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An aerial view of Fari Islands in Maldives

Weekly briefing: insane hotel concepts, sustainability answers & Ace arrivals

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Weekly briefing: insane hotel concepts, sustainability answers & Ace arrivals

Good afternoon and welcome to this Friday’s briefing, with me, editor Hamish Kilburn. In this round-up we take a look at the hottest hotel design stories that have been published over the last five days…

An aerial view of Fari Islands in Maldives

It hasn’t been the easiest of starts to the year – today the UK hospitality industry remains closed and new travel sanctions have been enforced to prevent the spread of a new Covid-19 variant – but we are determined as ever to keep the mood lifted as we pick out the headlines that are influencing positive change throughout the international hotel design scene.

Here are the top stories of this week:

The Hot List – hottest hotel openings arriving in 2021 (Q3 & Q4)

An arial view of the cutting edge swimming pools

Image credit: CAYO Exclusive Resort and Spa

Dubbed ‘The Hot List’ by our readers, we start every year as mean to go on; with a positive mindset to get ahead of the curve to reveal what we believe will be the hottest hotel openings of 2021. Following on from part one, which was published last week, here are our Q3 & Q4 VIP arrivals.

Read more.

Virtual roundtable: ‘sustainable does not mean natural’ in surface design

With ‘greenwashing’ still an all-too-common term in the global ‘sustainable’ hotel design and hospitality arena, we gather a cluster of designers and architects to attend a virtual roundtable, sponsored by Architextural, to discuss sustainability solutions in surface design.

Read more.

Hotel concept: designing a sustainable floating resort

Render of floating hotel in Dubai

Image credit: AMA Design

With the aim to design a hotel resort that offers guests an unparalleled at-one-with-nature experience, AMA Design has developed a hospitality concept called GAIA, a floating eco hotel that pushes boundaries to re-connect people with nature.

Read more.

Looking ahead: inside Ace Hotel Brooklyn

Exterior of hotel

Image credit: Ace Hotels

Located on the cusp of Downtown Brooklyn and Boerum Hill, Ace Hotel Brooklyn will be the brand’s second property in New York City. The design of the 287-key hotel – one of the largest in the Ace portfolio – has been inspired by the “geographical and cultural history of Brooklyn” and is intended to harmonise with the borough’s ideals.

Read more.

Miniview: Hotel Carmichael, Autograph Collection strikes a chord

Image caption: The elegant lobby balances grandeur design and decadent decoration sensitively. | Image credit: Coury Hospitality

Timeless, neoclassical interiors and intricate details, designed by HBA, salute America’s rich musical legacy inside the recently completed Hotel Carmichael, Autograph Collection.

Read more.

Rosewood Hotels to arrive in Rome in 2023

Image credit: Rosewood Hotels & Resorts

Image credit: Rosewood Hotels & Resorts

Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, a global leader in luxury travel and lifestyle experiences, has been appointed by real estate firm Antirion SGR to manage Rosewood Rome, which will open in 2023 in the heart of the capital city.

Read more.

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Main image credit: Ritz Carlton Maldives Fari Islands

Hottest hotel openings arriving in 2021 (Q3 & Q4)

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hottest hotel openings arriving in 2021 (Q3 & Q4)

Dubbed ‘The Hot List’ by our readers, we start every year as mean to go on; with a positive mindset to get ahead of the curve to reveal what we believe will be the hottest hotel openings of 2021. Following on from part one, which was published last week, here are our Q3 & Q4 VIP arrivals. Editor Hamish Kilburn writes…

The hospitality industry continues to be tested to its limits as the UK, a major design and travel hotspot, has once again been plunged into a national lockdown. Despite the cause for concern among already established hotel businesses, the hotel construction industry continues to develop what will be the future hotels. To keep spirits high as the demand for travel will return in 2021, it is time to pick up from where we left off in the first article of this series that referenced the VIP hotel openings of Q1 and Q2. Going beneath the surface to unveil some true gems, here’s your guided tour of the hotels that will open in Q3 and Q4 that we expect will cause the most disruption on the international hotel design scene this year.

Rosewood São Paulo – opening Q3, 2021

Image of the exterior of Rosewood Sao Paulo hotel

Image credit: Rosewood Hotels

2020 was a pivotal year for the Rosewood Hotels brand, with announcements of new properties in the Caribbean, Sardinia, Spain and Amsterdam. 2021 will see little change of momentum as the brand prepares to open what is arguably it’s most interesting architectural project to date.

Mirroring the energy and heritage of Brazil, Rosewood São Paulo is said to be an “urban oasis” situated in Cidade Matarazzo, a complex of elegantly preserved buildings from the early 20th century. The 180-key luxury hotel – with rooms designed by none other than Philippe Starck – will anchor this stylish, mixed-use cultural destination, occupying one of the area’s few remaining historical landmarks and a striking new vertical garden tower designed by Jean Nouvel.

Reykjavik EDITION – opening Q3, 2021

Rendering of the EDITION hotel in Iceland

Image credit: EDITION Hotels

Narrowly missing its previously scheduled arrival date in 2020, the EDITION brand – which is the brainchild of designer Ian Schrager – is preparing to touch down in Reykjavik this summer! The hotel, which will become the brand’s fourth property in Europe is expected to shelter Schrager’s signature home-from-home luxury style with a curated taste of the locale, reflecting the best of the area’s cultural and social miliieu.

Cayo Exclusive Resort & Spa – opening Q3, 2021

With sustainability on the radar despite the pandemic’s best efforts, Cayo Exclusive Resort & Spa, which softly opened in 2020, will open fully this year as a modern, ecologically sensitive, luxurious resort born out of passionate love in the art of traveling. Cayo’s vibe and feel are the results of thoughtful consideration of the spiritual, cultural, and natural environment.

The accommodation’s striking architectural design uses Greece’s ample sunlight to heighten the beauty of the surrounding hills and the famous islet of Spinalonga, a candidate for the UNESCO List of World Heritage Site.

Known locally as ‘Crete’s most stylish hotel’, its eco-friendly design and bioclimatic architecture highlight the local climate’s beneficial features. The ground slope was put in use to achieve optimal air and light exposure to the resort’s indoors and outdoors areas.

Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Island – opening Q3, 2021

Arial view of Ritz Carlton hotel in Maldives

Image credit: Ritz-Carlton

Set within an integrated development that cleverly bridges together three islands, Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands takes a minimalist approach to luxury. Modern design highlights sea views and pristine beaches; simple ingredients are transformed by skilled chefs and mixologists; healing is guided by directional energy and nature is explored with respect and wonder.

Bvlgari Hotel Paris – opening Q3, 2021

Render of Bvlgari Hotel Paris

Image credit: Bvlgari Hotels

The seventh property to join the collection, Bvlgari Hotel Paris will offer 76 rooms, most of them suites, while the hotel will feature a full range of luxury facilities, including a spa with 25m pool, a Bvlgari restaurant and a bar looking out onto a charming courtyard garden. The new luxury hotel, which is positioned on Avenue George V (between the Champs Elysees and the Avenue Montaigne), is a collaboration between the Italian architectural firm Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel, and the renowned Parisian architects Valode & Pistre. The design of the building has been conceived as a transition to modernity – in keeping with Parisian style with traditional limestone and honouring the building’s 19th century history, while also creating a contemporary look with a renewed façade. 

The Paris property is the next hotel opening for the brand with Rome, Miami, Moscow and Tokyo also on the horizon in the coming years.

Four Seasons Resort Tamarindo – opening Q4, 2021

A render of the eco architecturally structured hotel overlooking the ocean

Image credit: Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

Following last year’s development demand in Mexico’s Riviera Nayarit, further south is a hidden gem that is about to become the stage for the arrival of Four Seasons’ next luxury property. The hidden eco reserve on Mexico’s Costa Alegre – the pristine coastline between Puerto Vallarta and Manzanillo – is where dense jungle rainforest meets the Pacific Ocean. Four Seasons Resort Tamarindo will feature modern, organic architecture that defines three distinct enclaves: a protected beachfront for families, a panoramic clifftop for adults, and a private hideaway immersed in greenery.

Nobu Hotel Marrakech – opening Q4, 2021

Image of Marrakech mosque

Image credit: Nobu Hotel Marrakech

Becoming the brand’s debut property in Africa, Nobu Hotel Marrakech will be situated in the Hivernage district, steps from the historic heart of the city, souks and vibrant Djemaa el-Fna. The 71-key hotel will house contemporary guestrooms and suites, a selection of dynamic dining venues and rooftop spaces, a 2,000 sq. ft luxurious spa and fitness centre, indoor and outdoor swimming pools and meeting and event space.

LXR Hotels & Resorts, Roku Kyoto – opening Q4, 2021

Render of LXR Hotels & Resorts, Roku Kyoto hotel in Tokyo

Image credit: LXR Hotels & Resorts

With the Tokyo 2020 Olympics rescheduled for this year and Kyoto sitting just two hours by bullet train from the capital, the cultural heart of Japan is gearing up to welcome international visitors. Situated in an area home to some of the region’s most idyllic Japanese gardens, historic architecture and authentic tea houses, Roku Kyoto will be the first property in Asia under Hilton’s luxury LXR brand. Opening in the second half of 2021, the resort is expected to offer “a luxurious and refreshing stay” with fine dining restaurants and spa treatments paired with natural hot springs.

Langham Gold Coast – Opening Q4, 2021

Sheltered inside the central and tallest of the three landmark towers of the Jewel development, which first and largest development with direct beach access to be built in the coastal city within the last 30 years, The Langham, Gold Coast will become the brand’s third luxury address in Australia.

The grand structure and shimmering exterior of the Jewel are reminiscent of three colossal quartz crystals, visible for miles from the Nerang River to the Gold Coast hinterland. The crystalline forms of the towers are inspired by the gemstone shards discovered in the region which dates back thousands of years.

“Combining the cosmopolitan vibrancy and relaxed lifestyle for which the Gold Coast is renowned will certainly position The Langham as the quintessential luxury urban resort,” explained Stefan Leser, Chief Executive Officer of Langham Hospitality Group. “We are very much looking forward to complementing our legendary service standards with the warmth of this beautiful city to make our all guests’ experiences celebratory and memorable.”

Main image credit: Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

Render of Hotel Indigo Nottingham

IHG to launch a landmark duel-branded hotel in Nottingham

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
IHG to launch a landmark duel-branded hotel in Nottingham

Hotel operator IHG has signed terms with development group Conygar to bring two of its world-renowned brands, Hotel Indigo and Staybridge Suites, to Nottingham…

In December of 2020, a planning application for phase 1B proposing a 17-storey landmark hotel in Nottingham was submitted.

Render of Hotel Indigo Nottingham

It is now confirmed that the multi-million-pound scheme will include a new hotel, which will be managed by IHG and developed local development group Conygar, in order to create new home for both the Hotel Indigo and Staybridge Suites brands.

The duel-branded hotel, with architecture and interior design led by Jestico + Whiles, will comprise 223 guestrooms and suites – 155 located within Hotel Indigo and a further 68 aimed at multi-night business and leisure travellers in the Staybridge Suites, which will include a range of amenities such as a full kitchen and dedicated shared outdoor space exclusively for Staybridge Suites guests.

They form part of the latest stage of the development, which will include a further 247 residential rental apartments and an extensive food and beverage area featuring a stunning bar and busy 100-metre long forum for people to meet. There will also be 3,000 sqm of flexible serviced office space, with some 400 desks.

Image caption: An example lounge area from a Staybridge Suites in Dundee | Image credit: IHG

The hotel is the city’s first of its size in nearly two decades, forming part of a landmark tall building.

Karan Khanna, Managing Director, UK & Ireland at IHG said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Conygar to bring the leading global brands of Hotel Indigo and Staybridge Suites to Nottingham as an important part of the regeneration of the Island Quarter. These new properties will add to IHG’s presence in the city, sitting alongside our existing Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn hotels. As we begin 2021 these new hotel signings show the confidence that owners and investors have in IHG and our potential for continued growth for when travel can finally resume.”

The brand has said that guests will experience the “same quality of design” as in IHG’s recently opened Hotel Indigo in Bath and dual-branded Hotel Indigo and Staybridge Suites in Dundee, as well as the mixed-use elements of its recent IHG dual-branded Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn Express in Warsaw, Poland.

Inspired by ‘the neighbourhood story’ of the city, Hotel Indigo will take design cues from the local area and its bar and restaurant will offer locally sourced ingredients to customers. Meanwhile, the Staybridge Suites will feature a 24-hour fitness room, storage lockers for guests wishing to store items between stays and a communal ‘outdoor living room’ complete with firepit, grilling areas and covered seating. All the suites allow people to enjoy a flexible space to relax, play and work.

“The Island Quarter is one of the most significant city centre regeneration schemes in the UK at the moment, and it was vital that the hotel brand which we brought to the development was reflective of that,” said Richard Watson of Conygar. “We are absolutely delighted to have agreed terms with the team at IHG to bring its Hotel Indigo and Staybridge Suites brands to Nottingham.

“This is a very important step for us as we move this development forwards and securing a hugely successful global operator in IHG shows real confidence in the flagship element of the scheme as a whole. These two brands are world-renowned as upscale and quality hotels, which really play a part in the communities in which they are based.

“The hotel forms a key element of this latest phase, which is truly cohesive, creating a range and fluidity of uses that will spread across the whole site. The Island Quarter is a development that Nottingham can be proud of and bringing brands of this calibre to the city plays an important part in that.”

Main image credit: IHG

A london bus outside Sofitel London St James

Weekly briefing: a London review, a Japanese gem & re-living the drama

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Weekly briefing: a London review, a Japanese gem & re-living the drama

Just in time for the weekend, here’s your weekly briefing, featuring the hottest stories of the week. This briefing includes our video review of Sofitel London St James, a boutique bombshell up for sale in Bordeaux and how you can re-watch all the drama from The Brit List Awards 2020…

A london bus outside Sofitel London St James

As we gear up to dive into our ultimate throwback, when we will revisit the hottest product launches from the last 11 months, the editorial team at Hotel Designs has been busy publishing the latest news and engaging original features. We appreciate that you may not have time to read all the hot content that Hotel Designs has been published this week, therefore, here is our ‘editor’s pick’ of what we believe are the juiciest stories from the past five days.

Inside Hotel The Mitsui Kyoto, A Luxury Collection Hotel & Spa

Hotel The Mitsui Kyoto, A Luxury Collection Hotel & Spa, has opened in the heart of Japan’s ancient capital – sheltering design by an international team of renowned architects and designers including Akira Kuryu, André Fu, Shunsaku Miyagi and Yohei Akao.

Read more.

Boutique hotel, La Vue, in Bordeaux region goes on sale

An outdoor pool iun between barns in La Vue

Image credit: La Vue

2020 has proven itself to be the year of distressed assets, with characterful hotel properties around the world being sold to the chains. However, there is nothing distressed about La Vue, a perfectly placed boutique hotel that has potential to be something incredible on Europe’s independent hotel scene.

Situated right at the centre of a triangle drawn between three major cities in France – Bordeaux, Cognac and Angouleme – La Vue is a luxury boutique gem set in one acre of land, which is surrounded by vineyards and spectacular views.

Read more.

Hotel review (in video): checking in to Sofitel London St James

Sofitel London St James bathroom

image credit: Sofitel London St James

17 years after first unveiling the original designs for the Sofitel London St JamesPierre-Yves Rochon returned to London to breathe new life into the 183-key lifestyle luxury hotel. Editor Hamish Kilburn, along with a production team to film his response, checks in find out more.

For Sofitel London St James, a flagship for the global hotel brand that is positioned in between Westminster and Mayfair, the decision to invite legendary designer Pierre-Yves Rochon back to redesign the guestrooms and suites was one that came naturally. And it was his ability to combine English décor with refined French elegance that gave this hotel’s interiors a new and somewhat an unexpected personality.

Read more. 

Re-live all the drama from The Brit List Awards 2020

Image of the Sterling Suite with Brit List logo

Hundreds of designers, architects, hoteliers, developers and suppliers tuned in on November 12 to watch the awards ceremony that crowned the winners of The Brit List Awards 2020. But if you missed it, you can watch the full ceremony here, on demand.

Adhering to social distancing measures and the latest government guidelines, this year’s awards were produced by CUBE Video and filmed from inside Minotti London’s Fitzrovia showroom, which will host The Brit List Winners’ Party/MEET UP London on April 29, 2021.

Read more.

(In video) Hotel Designs LIVE: The revival of smart tech post-pandemic

Main image for Hotel Designs LIVE Session 4

In the final session of Hotel Designs LIVE, editor Hamish Kilburn was joined by global industry experts to discuss the revival of smart tech after he checked in to a completely contactless hotel experience.

The final session that took place during Hotel Designs LIVE was entitled: The revival of smart tech post-pandemic – and was sponsored by Grohe, a bathroom manufacturer that is clearly leading the way when it comes to utilising technology to create innovative bathroom solutions.

Read more.

Weekly briefing: sustainability standards, awards countdown & biophilic design 2.0

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Weekly briefing: sustainability standards, awards countdown & biophilic design 2.0

Only got a minute? As we prepare to host The Brit List Awards 2020 next week, we have have compiled our top stories that have been published over the last five days, including a haunted check-in, a hotel that sets new standards in sustainability and how we begin to engage with the post-corona consumer…

We are days away from unveiling the winners of the The Brit List Awards 2020. On November 12, starting at 14:00 (GMT), the industry will pause momentarily to tune in to attend our virtual awards ceremony. It will be an afternoon of celebration as we not only reflect on what has no-doubt been a challenging year for designers, architects, hoteliers and suppliers but also champion those who are driving change. As well as crowning this year’s individual winners, the awards ceremony will also include the official unveiling of The Brit List 2020, which will profile the top 25 designers, top 25 architects and top 25 hoteliers who are operating in Britain.

Want to attend The Brit List Awards 2020 free of charge? Designers, architect, hoteliers and developers: click here to secure your places in the audience. Suppliers: click here to secure you places in the audience.

Before the awards, though, here are this week’s top stories, brought to you by editor Hamish Kilburn

 Biophilic design 2.0 – from living walls to living hotels

Large hotel atrium with living walls

Image credit: Pixabay

For article three in the Hotel Designs LAB seriesHotel Designs and Arigami explore wellbeing through the lens of biophilic design. Founder of Arigami Ari Peralta compiles the thoughts of biophilic design expert Oliver Heath and environmental psychology researcher Nigel Oseland to explore the science of nature in design.

Biophilic design is much more than adding plants to a space, it is a strategy for developing a multi-sensory relationship with the world around us…

Read more. 

(In video) Hotel Designs LIVE: Reassuring the post-corona consumer

In the third session of Hotel Designs LIVE, we were joined by hoteliers from around the world in St Lucia, France, Zimbabwe and the UK to ask how we will reassure tomorrow’s travellers in a post-pandemic world.

On the panel: 

Watch the panel discussion.

Checking in to The Bull Inn, Totnes – a new standard in eco hospitality

Wooden furniture inside the pub of The Bull Inn in Totnes

It is time we erase the myth that sustainable hotels are a compromise on luxury. No longer should it be culturally acceptable to greenwash your way into the headlines by simply replacing miniatures and enforcing a ban disposable plastic – this should now be common practice. Instead, hotels and hospitality businesses should be conjuring up new, innovative ways to make a difference, not only environmentally, but also locally within the community.

Cue the arrival of The Bull Inn, an eight-key British bolthole located in Totnes. This deliberately rough round-the-edges pub/hotel is the fourth brainchild of visionary Geetie Singh-Watson, who worked with local architect Jackie Gillespie to ensure that, from concept through to completion, that every nook and cranny – from the pastel-coloured, untouched rooms right down to the innovative heating system – is sustainable.

Read the full review. 

In the HIX Seat: the journey back to ‘in real life’

An image of Joel Butler and HIX Event animations

Joel Butler, Co-Founder of HIX Event, has become a monthly columnist for Hotel Designs. In his first published opinion piece, Butler contemplates challenging times and asks ‘what’s next’ for the industry and its much-loved series of trade events.

Read Joel’s debut column here. 

One&Only Mandarina arrives in Mexico’s Riviera Nayarit

Overlooking the Pacific Ocean with dramatic vistas and an awe-inspiring beachfront rainforest setting, One&Only Mandarina is a hidden retreat complete with secluded eco-designed treehouses and clifftop villas, swimmable shores, destination dining from Chef Enrique Olvera, active and mindful experiences, and an environment crafted for reconnection.

Read more.

5 Minutes With: Karen Richards, co-founder and designer, The Idle Rocks

Image of Karen Richards and various interior shots inside The Idle Rocks Hotels

During a laid-back luxury experience at The Idle Rocks, we caught up with co-founder and designer Karen Richards to understand the hotel’s design narrative, and how it has adapted since lockdown.

Read the interview here.

EXCLUSIVE: Space Copenhagen appointed to design revolutionary wellness hotel

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
EXCLUSIVE: Space Copenhagen appointed to design revolutionary wellness hotel

Danish designers Peter Bundgaard and Signe Bindslev Henriken of Space Copenhagen will mastermind the complete interiors for new wellness and eco hotel in Norway, Svart

Svart, which will become the world’s first energy positive hotel, has appointed award-winning Danish design firm Space Copenhagen to lead the property’s interior design.

Image credit: Svart

The 99-key hotel, which Hotel Designs first unveiled the concept of last year, will be located in Arctic Norway at the base of the Svartisen glacier and will house an indoor-outdoor spa, four restaurants, an education centre and a design laboratory. Developed by Miris and archtiecture by Snøhetta, the glass-fronted, circular property will float on stilts above the Holandsfjorden fjord. Following my hype already, the hotel is slated to open to guests in late 2022, and aims to be fully off-grid, carbon neutral and shelter zero waste within the first five years of operation.

The Denmark-based design studio Space Copenhagen, founded by Peter Bundgaard and Signe Bindslev Henriken in 2005, has been charged with masterminding the entire interior vision for the new hotel. The duo will draw on their years of creative collaboration, with past projects including 11 Howard, Geist 2.0 and The Stratford London, to create an aesthetic which will reflect the project’s core values of sustainability, innovation and holism.

“It was essential for us to find a design partner that shared our vision, with the ability to create a truly stunning aesthetic that both complements and emphasises the natural beauty of the destination, without distracting from it,” said Ivaylo Lefterov, Svart’s Development Director and judge for The Brit List Awards 2020. “Longevity, human connection and a distinctly Scandinavian quality – themes which run through Bundgaard and Bindslev Henriken’s award-winning work – will be at the heart of the Svart experience. We could not have found a better fit for us in Space Copenhagen and we are thrilled to have them on board.”

“The design aesthetic does not seek to mimic or filter the magnificence of the Norwegian landscape, but to be a humble backdrop to it.” – Peter Bundgaard and Signe Bindslev Henriken, founders, Space Copenhagen.

Image credit: Space Copenhagen

Providing Hotel Designs with an insight into their vision, founders Bundgaard and Bindslev Henrikson said: “The four elements’ intrinsic connection to Norse mythology has provided the design aesthetic, poetically and holistically bringing together the tactile materials of stone and wood from the earth, the transparency and fluidity of water, the magic warmth of fire and the ephemeral intangible qualities of air. The design aesthetic does not seek to mimic or filter the magnificence of the Norwegian landscape, but to be a humble backdrop to it. The building itself – an unbroken, seamless circle – will become a portal dedicated to enhancing human connection to nature, the seasons, and to time itself.”

With an approach they call ‘Poetic Modernism’, Space Copenhagen seeks to forge new paths by balancing opposites within their work. For the team, curiosity is a fundamental human condition and it is this transformative curiosity they will bring to Svart.

While you’re here: click here to read more about Ivaylo Lefterov, Development Director at Miris and judge for The Brit List Awards 2020.

Main image credit: Svart/Space Copenhagen

Weekly briefing: remembering Sir Terence, lighting launches & a Bath debut

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Weekly briefing: remembering Sir Terence, lighting launches & a Bath debut

Only got a minute? Our editorial team have compiled the top design stories that they have published this week, including an editor’s letter that remembers a legend, Chelsom unveiling Edition 27 and Hotel Indigo entering new territory…

And just like that we are in October. With the industry busy trying to navigate itself into more familiar settings – where hotels are open and in demand, – we appreciate that you may not have time to read all the content that Hotel Designs has published this week. Therefore, here is our ‘editor’s pick’ of the juiciest stories that have been covered this week.

Editor checks in: will design ever be the same again?

Weeks ahead of celebrating the best British designers, architects, hoteliers and suppliers in The Brit List Awards 2020, editor Hamish Kilburn warmly remembers a design legend, Sir Terence Conran, in his monthly column.

Click here to read more.

Two years in the making, Chelsom launches Edition 27

Image caption: The Hybrid set | Image credit: Chelsom

Image caption: The Hybrid set | Image credit: Chelsom

Every two years on the international hotel design scene, something incredible happens. The industry becomes temporarily blinded by new lighting designs that are created with tomorrow’s luxury hospitality projects in mind. The brand behind this much-awaited artificial phenomenon is, of course, Chelsom.

Click here to read more.

Hotel review: Villa Copenhagen

Image credit: Villa Copenhagen

A much-anticipated addition to the Danish capital city, Copenhagen, transforms an iconic architectural landmark into a modern oasis of cool. Writer Collette Swindells explores the hidden gems – including the country’s most luxurious penthouse and a sully sustainable ‘Earth Suite’ – that are sheltered inside.

Click here to read more.

Guide To Hotel Design (Part 50): how to design for social distancing

The hospitality sector has been deeply impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. As lockdown eases, hotels are navigating the effects of social distancing and new safety guidelines for their design and guest experience. Giles Fuchs, owner of Burgh Island Hotel, safely guides us through what to consider when designing for social distancing.

Click here to read more.

Confessions of a lighting designer – what is lighting design?

Throughout October we are, for the second time this year, putting the spotlight on lighting. To kickstart this series, we reach out to Gary Thornton, senior project designer at neolight global, to understand lighting design from the inside.

Click here to read more.

Weekly briefing: a London review, ‘fit’ design & the power of art

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Weekly briefing: a London review, ‘fit’ design & the power of art

Only got a minute? Our editorial team have compiled the top stories that they have published this week, including news on Moxy’s development, an exclusive review and our feature on the power of art…

We appreciate you may not have time to read all the content that Hotel Designs has published this week. Therefore, here is our ‘editor’s pick’ of the juiciest stories that have been covered this week.

“Fit is the new sexy,” and it’s here to stay in hospitality!

Image credit: ACCOR

In an exclusive editorial to celebrate the upcoming ‘WELLNESS’ concept coming to ‘ACCOR’ by Bergman Interiors, we took a closer look at the future of wellness in hospitality.

Within the luxury market, wellness is not an expectation; it’s a dominant consumer value that is essential to the future hotel experience. This demand has inspired the collaboration between ACCOR and Bergman Interiors, in order to design wellness for tomorrow’s consumers.

Read more. 

EXCLUSIVE REVIEW // Checking in to No.5 Maddox Street, London

Image credit: No5. Maddox Street

Nestled between high-end art galleries and luxury boutiques – conveniently tucked behind Bond Street and metres away from Regent Street – is the discreet entrance to No.5 Maddox Street.

Sheltering just 12 luxury apartments – all of which were renovated last year by the owner herself, Tracy Lowy – No.5 Maddox Street is part of the Living Rooms collection, which also includes The Laslett and Weymouth Mews. Offering what it claims is ‘the best of apartment living and hotel service’, it’s almost as if the collection was unconsciously designed for the post-pandemic world.

Read more.

Moxy makes it a hat-trick in Japan!

Image credit: Marriott International/Moxy Hotels

Moxy has opened its third hotel in Japan. Located in one of the main hubs of Osaka City, the new Moxy hotel will provide guests with what Marriott is describing as “a fun and playful experience” through lively communal spaces.

“We are thrilled to be opening Moxy Osaka Shin Umeda, which marks the third Moxy branded hotel to open in Japan,” said Rajeev Menon, President, Asia Pacific (excluding Greater China), Marriott International. “This opening is a testament to Marriott International’s commitment to continue expanding its footprint across Japan and Asia Pacific with the experiential lifestyle portfolio catering to the next generation of travellers.”

Read more.

TRENDING // bathroom tap trends emerging in 2020

According to UK Bathrooms, taps in a range of metallics and subtle brushed finishes are trending in the bathroom for 2020 and beyond.

Taps with matt or brushed finishes are flooding into the most contemporary bathrooms in a varied palette of muted metallics and monochromes, transforming pieces of brassware into elegant design statements.

Read more.

Feature: the power of art in hotel design

Image caption: Cocktail series – tequila sunrise | Image credit: Michelle Lucking

Image caption: Cocktail series – tequila sunrise | Image credit: Michelle Lucking

More than ever before, there is a demand among modern travellers for hotel operators have to create destinations we feel a connection with; a place we want to spend time in. Interiors, therefore, need to captivate, inspire, and resonate with us. Art can do that and so much more; art has the power to stir our emotions and leave a lasting impression.

That’s why, in a search for creativity post-lockdown, we decided to catch up with Clare Howlett, artwork design manager at Elegant Clutter, to see how the brand is engaging new artists and the process it applies when pairing artists to projects.

Read more.

Mandarin Oriental to arrive in Vienna in 2023

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Mandarin Oriental to arrive in Vienna in 2023

Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group has announced that it will manage a luxury hotel and branded residences in Vienna, Austria that is scheduled to open in late 2023…

Mandarin Oriental, Vienna will be housed in a heritage building that originally served as the city’s commercial law court from 1912 to 2003.

Mandarin Oriental, Vienna is located in a peaceful street in District One of Vienna within the Ringstrasse. It is in easy walking distance of the city’s major attractions, including St. Stephen’s Cathedral, the Imperial Palace, Vienna State Opera and a wide range of restaurants and bars.

“On completion, the hotel will comprise 151 guestrooms and suites.”

The conversion of the property is already underway, and the restoration will preserve many of the building’s original design elements. On completion, the hotel will comprise 151 guestrooms and suites surrounding a courtyard in the centre of the property, incorporating a restaurant, bar and outdoor garden. The property will also house a Spa at Mandarin Oriental featuring a series of treatment rooms, a swimming pool and a well-equipped fitness centre. A range of adaptable banqueting and meeting spaces will be available for events and social occasions.

The 17 Residences at Mandarin Oriental will be located on the top two floors of the building and will have private access to the roof, with several of the apartments offering outdoor terraces and stunning citywide views. These will be some of the most exclusive apartments in the city, with owners enjoying Mandarin Oriental’s legendary service and direct access to the hotel’s facilities.

“We look forward to extending the Group’s presence into one of Europe’s most popular destinations for art, music and culture and introducing the city to Mandarin Oriental’s exemplary quality of service,” said James Riley, Group Chief Executive of Mandarin Oriental. “This iconic redevelopment of a historic building in a prime location, will offer guests a truly memorable experience, and fits ideally within the Group’s increasing portfolio of central European hotels.”

The project is owned by Brisen Group, headquartered in Geneva and operating in the European real estate investment and wealth management sectors. London based designers, Goddard Littlefair, which recently completed Villa Copenhagen, have been appointed to create the hotel and residences interiors.

“We are delighted to partner with Mandarin Oriental, one of the world’s best luxury hotel brands, on this project. Mandarin Oriental’s reputation for providing an unparalleled level of luxury service and attention to detail, matches our own wish to create an exceptional luxury hotel and residences in the heart of Vienna,” said Mr Dimitry Vallen of Brisen Group.

Main image credit: Mandarin Oriental

Avani Hotels & Resorts to enter Cambodia

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Following the opening a hotel in Koh Sumui, Avani Hotels & Resorts prepares to open its first hotel in Cambodia… 

Avani Hotels & Resorts has announced its entry into the Cambodian market with the launch of ‘FCC Angkor – Managed by Avani’. Following an extensive seven million USD renovation which includes the addition of 60 new rooms, the hotel is set to reopen its doors in the second quarter of 2019. The FCC Angkor is one of Cambodia’s best-known hotels and features authentic French colonial architecture intrinsic to the historic and cultural fabric of Siem Reap. FCC Angkor creates an inspiring ambience for remarkable experiences and unforgettable stories in the heart of Siem Reap.

“Avani Hotels & Resorts’ first entry into Cambodia signals our ongoing commitment to offering an upscale experience to all intrepid travellers,” said Dillip Rajakarier, CEO of Minor Hotels, the parent company of Avani Hotels & Resorts. “We believe FCC Angkor will be home to the intrepid traveller seeking an authentic experience in the social hub of Siem Reap.”

Located across from the Royal Independence Gardens and Royal Residence, FCC Angkor evokes the timelessness of Siem Reap for guests who want authentic experiences during their journey. The property centres around the former ‘Mansion’ of the French colonial governor, which became the renowned Foreign Correspondence Club and a popular meeting place for local and international journalists, celebrities, and travellers from around the world seeking to explore Siem Reap. Their stories echo and permeate every corner of the FCC Angkor, encouraging visitors to embrace their inner global adventurer.

“We are excited to be working with Avani Hotels & Resorts as they are exceptional operators of lifestyle hotels, and well aligned to promote and position the FCC Angkor and FCC Collection brand. The new FCC will also be a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, joining us in the commitment to deliver extraordinary, engaging and unique experiences to our global guests,” said Susan Devine, Owner’s Representative, FCC Angkor – Managed by Avani.

The hotel enhancements have perfectly blended the colonial structures with contemporary designs inspired by Cambodia’s natural beauty and Khmer culture, which extend across the pedestrian bridge to the newly built extension. Throughout the property, the exotic environment of verdant gardens, Khmerinspired contemporary art, and exclusive European design accents create a sophisticated, residential feel, a signature concept for the heritage property.

Main image credit: Avani Hotels & Resorts

Six Senses joins IHG

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IHG has welcomed a new family member to its portfolio of brands, with the acquisition of Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas…

Six Senses, which is renowned for its wellness and sustainability offerings, with each hotel and resort set in locations of incredible natural beauty that will stop you in your tracks, has joined IHG.

Featuring properties in 12 countries, Six Senses is behind some of the world’s most enticing hotels, resorts and spas, including: a 19th-century wine estate in the Douro Valley (Portugal), breathtaking island resorts in the Seychelles and Maldives, beach-side retreats in IndonesiaThailandVietnam and Oman, a city escape in Singapore, and residences in the mountains of Courchevel (France).

Six Senses joins a growing number of luxury brands in the IHG family, including:

  • InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, the world’s largest luxury hotel brand, which recently celebrated the opening of its 200th hotel and was named World’s Leading Hotel Brand title for the 12th time at the World Travel Awards (WTA). This is a brand dedicated to those who appreciate and enjoy The InterContinental Life – the glamour and exhilaration of fascinating places, mixed with international know-how and local cultural wisdom.
  • Regent® Hotels & Resorts, also recently acquired and now undergoing a repositioning which celebrates the brand’s deep luxury heritage and revered legacy. Born in 1970, this collection of modern hotels and resorts is rooted in extraordinary living, with a legacy of luxury that endures to this day.
  • Kimpton® Hotels & Restaurants, the industry pioneer that first introduced the boutique concept to the U.S. The brand is now set to open in 20 new global destinations including Mexico CityParisBarcelonaBali and Shanghai, each of which will showcase bold, playful design, award-winning dining and surprising amenities to ensure guests have the ultimate boutique hotel stay.

Across IHG’s four leading luxury brands, guests can now enjoy nearly 300 luxury hotels around the world, with more than 100 set to open in the coming years.

As part of the IHG family, Six Senses is expected to expand to 60 properties within the next 10 years. This includes incredible new Six Senses hotels and resorts from a restored 14th-century fort in Rajasthan, to villas on a private island in Cambodia, and the brand’s first hotel in North America – a contemporary duo of twisting towers designed by Bjarke Ingles near the High Line in Manhattan’s West Chelsea.

IHG’s Chief Executive Officer, Keith Barr, said: “IHG’s growing portfolio of luxury brands is a collection of the very best in the travel industry. Each one offers something unique to our guests, and together they offer an unparalleled choice of locations and experiences. We’re incredibly proud to welcome Six Senses into our family of brands and look forward to opening more stunning hotels, resorts and spas – each one staying true to Six Senses’ world-renowned reputation for wellness and an unwavering commitment to purposeful travel.”

Core to every Six Senses hotel and resort is a Six Senses Spa, where guests can relax, reconnect, and completely refresh. Guests are guided on a personal path to finding harmony and balance, to ensure positive and lasting benefits. Unique to the hospitality sector, Six Senses has also taken wellness out of the spa and integrated it across the entire stay, helping guests learn something new and reconnect with themselves, others, and the world around them.

“This is an exciting new era for Six Senses,” said Six Senses Chief Executive Officer, Neil Jacobs. “IHG believes in our purpose to merge the two platforms of wellness and sustainability to promote personal health, and the health of the planet. Joining forces with IHG means we can use a wealth of systems and operational excellence to grow our brand and reach new markets without losing our quirky personality and playful touch.”

In the near future guests will be able to book their Six Senses stay through IHG’s booking platforms, such as the ihg.com website and the company’s leading mobile app, and benefit from the advantages of the IHG® Rewards Club loyalty programme.

With 15 of the world’s leading hotel brands and more than 5,500 hotels around the world, IHG offers travelers and members of its global loyalty programme IHG® Rewards Club, a hotel stay for all travel occasions.

 

Top five stories of the week: New hotel openings, living coral inspires Kaboom rug and Citizenm’s award-winning Dometic Drawer minibar

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Following a swathe of new hotel openings, editor of Hotel Designs Hamish Kilburn, lists this week’s top stories…

As the year comes to a close and we head into 2019, the editorial desk at Hotel Designs has witnessed a major uplift in known hotel brands expanding into yet-to-be discovered areas this week.

This also coincides with the feature for January 2019, where we will have a key focus on new hotel launches and spas. If you wish to find out more, or know of a product that we should be talking about, please contact Zoe Guerrier on 01992 374059 or z.guerrier@forumevents.co.uk.


1) Curio Collection by Hilton opens in Canary Wharf

Lincoln Plaza London
Located for the curious traveller looking to explore the city, Lincoln Plaza London is a short distance from iconic landmarks such as the Tower of London, Big Ben, the London Eye, Buckingham Palace and The O2. The hotel echoes the sleek architectural cues of Canary Wharf, drawing inspiration from the area’s rich industrial heritage.

2) Illullian unveils Kaboom rug in living coral
Illulian unveil Kaboom ru
Kaboom depicts a great explosion that recalls the action painting, a highly-charged, impulsive style of abstract gestural painting during which paint is energetically splashed, spilt or dribbled onto a canvas. The outcome? A veritable work of art: Kaboom is the distinctive, irreverent sign of a splash of colour, enhanced by the use of blue & living coral.

3) Citizenm agree to use award-winning Dometic Drawer minibar

Lifestyle hotel brand CitizenM has selected Dometic to equip its rooms with stylish Noiseless Drawer Minibars and sleek in room Top Opening Safes. Dometic, a brand widely associated for providing products for use in recreational vehicles and premium car are devoted to trying to enrich people’s experiences away from home.

4) Four Seasons opens its first Greece Hotel
Four Seasons Astir Palace Hotel
Long a favoured playground of Athenians and international celebrities, the Astir Palace Hotel is now being transformed into the first Four Seasons experience in Greece. Following a significant renovation and reinvention, a new generation of travellers is poised to fall in love with this very special seaside enclave.

5) Longevity Wellness worldwide takes state-of-the-art Wellness Hotel to Portugal

June 2019 will witness the grand opening of the five-star Longevity Health & Wellness Hotel, located in Alvor, Portugal. The state-of-the-art wellness centre is the first of its kind in the region, where it will boast modern, integrative and regenerative medicine with advanced wellness and preventative diagnostics, therapies and programmes.

Top five stories of the week: New artistic heights, when two industries collide and The Brit List 2018 approaches

Hamish Kilburn

Feeling inspired from recent conversations and exclusives, editor of Hotel Designs Hamish Kilburn, lists this week’s top stories… 

The most common answer I hear when I ask designers, architects and hoteliers where they source their inspiration from is ‘everywhere’. The more I hear this answer, the more I sit and wonder how far-reaching everywhere can be, and can anything really spark the concept of a great idea?

If you’re looking for a company that is pushing the boundaries in where inspiration can be found, look no further. The creative genius’ at Zaha Hadid Design demonstrated to the world late last month that design has no ceiling. The design firm unveiled a new collection of fitness clothing, believe it or not, having turned to the arena of performance sportswear to find new ideas and (that key word) inspiration. Since this product dropped, the thought that inspiration can lead to innovation has been a theme that has seamlessly weaved itself into the majority of this week’s headlines. This comes as the team at Hotel Designs prepare to unveil The Brit List 2018, which will name the top 75 inspirational individuals (designers, hoteliers and architects) who are keeping Britain at the centre of the design world. Prepare to be inspired, ladies and gentlemen, as we break down this week’s top five stories.

1) SPOTLIGHT ON: Reaching new creative heights with artist Beth Nicholas

Known artist Beth Nicholas is used to seeing her masterpieces on the walls of some of the world’s finest examples of hotel design. Among working with clients such as Christian Louboutin, Langham Hotels and Waldorf Astoria, one of the most challenging briefs came recently when she was asked to create a large art installation for The Address Downtown Dubai‘s lobby area. I was fortunate enough to catch up with Nicholas after the hotel had reopened and she could finally take a sigh of relief now that her art is the first impression for guests checking in.

2) Architecture meets fashion: Zaha Hadid Design’s latest collaboration weaves a new direction in sportswear technology

Design giant Zaha Hadid Design unveils collaboration with a Swiss performance sportswear brand, suggesting that inspiration for designers and architects is not limited to one – or even two – industries. Hamish Kilburn investigates.

3) The Brit List 2018: Less than two weeks to go

 

There are still limited tickets available to attend The Brit List 2018 on November 2018 at BEAT London. The evening will welcome Britain’s leading interior designers, hoteliers, architects and suppliers to celebrate Britain as an international design hub in hotel design. As well as unveiling the 75 most influential designers, hoteliers and architects who deserve their place in The Brit List 2018Hotel Designs will also announce the winners of the six newly launched awards. These include:

  • Inspiration in Design – Innovative use of Technology (Sponsored by DLAppTap)
  • Inspiration in Design – Hotelier of the Year
  • Inspiration in Design – Interior Designer of the Year (Sponsored by Tarkett)
  • Inspiration in Design – Architect of the Year
  • The Eco Award
  • Outstanding Contribution to the Hotel Industry

4) Amsterdam named top city for hotel investment for third year in a row

Amsterdam

Investors have named Amsterdam as the most attractive European city for hotel investment for the third year in a row, according to the 2018 European Hotel Investment Survey from Deloitte. The findings, based on responses from 122 senior hospitality figures from across the world, are revealed ahead of the 30th annual European Hotel Investment Conference taking place in London this week.

5) DLAppTap confirmed as sponsor of The Brit List 2018 Innovation In Technology Award

Following its official launch at the Independent Hotel Show last monthDLAppTap has been confirmed as the official Sponsor of the Innovation In Technology Award at the The Brit List 2018.

Trump Hotels’ prices down as much as 65 per cent

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The cheapest room rate found at Trump Doral in Florida is just £254 for two nights in November 2018, that’s 35 per cent cheaper than last year and 65 per cent cheaper than January 2017 at Donald Trump’s inauguration…

Travel currency expert FairFX, has revealed the cost of a stay in Trump hotels around the world has dramatically dropped since Trump’s inauguration, as American voters hit the polls again for the USA’s mid-term elections – showing it doesn’t necessarily pay to be president.

Two years on from Donald Trump’s shock election victory, the outcome of these votes could affect how the rest of Trump’s presidency turns out and are considered a test of the President’s time in office so far.

Outside of his political performance, FairFX has investigated the success of the President’s hotel empire, revealing the price of a luxury room at his hotels have dropped by as much as 65 per cent since his inauguration in January 2017 and are down by 35 per cent since this time last year. This research suggests that the success of the Trump brand could be being impacted by Trump’s time at the White House.

“Even the most expensive room at a Trump hotel – the Trump Townhouse – is down £8,813 for a 2-night stay in November 2018.”

Of the 22 room prices tracked since Trump’s inauguration, 17 of them have slumped by between 10 per cent and 65 per cent with an average price slump of £865.

The dramatic slump in hotel prices could go some way to explaining how the president – who became the first billionaire president in U.S. history when he took office – was knocked 138 places lower on this year’s Forbes 400 list where his net worth was listed as $3.1billion, down $1.4billion compared to the end of 2015.1

Even the most expensive room at a Trump hotel – the Trump Townhouse – is down £8,813 for a 2-night stay in November 2018 at £38,687 compared to the £47,501 price tag it boasted in January 2017.

Meanwhile, a stay in the Presidential Suite in the Trump Doral in Florida comes in at £4,936 less than January 2017 – a difference of 35 per cent. And compared to this time last year, the price tag is 19 per cent less.

But it’s not just the premium suites that have taken a price hit, superior and deluxe rooms are also being sold at much cheaper rates compared to the start of Trump’s presidency.

A two-night stay in a ‘Superior Room’ at both Trump Las Vegas and Trump Vancouver is now £342 and £314 respectively cheaper than it would have been back in January 2017.

And it seems that some room prices are slumping around the world, as the price of a Deluxe Room at either Trump Waikiki in Hawaii or Trump Turnberry in Scotland is now two per cent less than January 2017, with a price drop of £251 and £140 respectively.

Top Trumps

But it’s not all bad news for Trump’s Hotel empire as five of the hotel room prices have been bumped up, with an Ocean View Suite in Trump Turnberry up 44 per cent (£400) compared to January 2017 and 35 per cent compared to this time last year.

 

References available on request

Top 5 stories of the week: New swanky brand, a futuristic opening in China and a floating hotel

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It’s been a busy week for the industry, with plenty of news in the air to digest. This week Hotel Designs has seen the launch of a new upscale hotel brand, new openings from around the world and we are one step closer to the first hotel brand launching on water.

Here are the top five hotel stories of the week, as selected by editor Hamish Kilburn:

1. IHG launches voco, a new upscale hotel brand

coffee and voco menu

At an exclusive press event in London’s Saatchi Gallery, our editor learnt all about the new hotel brand, voco. We broke this story to the world on Tuesday morning, and have since watched it soar the charts to become this week’s most read article. Read all about how the brand is planning on launching to be ‘reliably different’…

2. New London hotel restaurant: Hans’ Bar & Grill unveiled at 11 Cadogan Gardens 

Hans’ Bar & Grill, a new west London neighbourhood restaurant in Chelsea’s Pavilion Road, has opened. The new striking and contemporary interiors scheme, created by leading hospitality and F&B designers Goddard Littlefair, includes an exciting new extended café-bar space and a new restaurant, which plays on the concept of indoor-outdoor dining…

3. Seven minutes with Fiona Thompson, Principal of Richmond International

We last spoke to Fiona Thompson in 2014, when she and her team had just completed the quintessentially British Sterling Suite and Club Lounge at The Langham London. Having just agreed to be our headline speaker at Meet Up North on July 18, we wanted to know how the industry is shaping up from a leader’s point of view…

4. Zaha Hadid Architects unveils new flagship hotel for the City of Dreams resort in Macau

Image credit: Virgile Simon Bertrand

From one design visionary design house to another, award-winning architecture firm Zaha Hadid Architects designed the futuristic Morpheus as a simple extrusion of the existing abandoned foundations…

5. The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection opens reservations to the public 

Rendering of the yacht

Claiming to be the first luxury hotel group to take its service and ambiance of its resorts to the sea, The Ritz-Carlton, L.L.C. has announced the opening of reservations for The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection. The yacht will also feature two 158 square-meter lavish Owner’s suites, each with its own private whirlpool, modern craftsmanship and interior finishes jointly designed by The Ritz-Carlton and leading design firm Tillberg Design of Sweden.

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Light, airy room with a subtle colour scheme

Multimillion pound renovation completes at Apex Grassmarket hotel

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A multi-million pound refurbishment of leading Edinburgh hotel, Apex Grassmarket, has been completed, with guests set to enjoy a warm welcome in luxurious surroundings within the city.

The investment – which is part of a £15 million package of improvements across the Apex Hotels portfolio throughout 2018 – saw all 169 bedrooms transformed within the stylish hotel, located in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town.

The revitalised bedrooms, designed by in-house designer Emma Franks, now have a calm, Scandinavian feel with contemporary grey patterned carpets and strong contrasts between light and dark – creating a cosy atmosphere for guests to unwind and get the perfect night’s sleep.

As part of Apex’s #WarmerWelcome campaign, each bedroom now comes with a new in-room handbook full of helpful tips from wellbeing expert and Apex ambassador Celynn Morin, helping guests to rejuvenate, focus or relax, and get the most out of their stay.

Guests in executive rooms and above will also be able to enjoy an in-room luxury Elemis pillow spray to help aid sleep and a selection of teas such as camomile to relax or green tea for rejuvenation alongside healthy snacks including tasty sea salt popcorn and luxurious dark chocolate cocoa pouches.

Alan Taylor, General Manager of Apex Grassmarket Hotel, said: “With tourists attracted to the city for a wide range of world-renowned festivals and a popular conference destination, the seven figure refurbishment will ensure that our guests enjoy Apex’s signature warmer welcome in stylish and modern surroundings.

“The work carried out has been fantastic and we are proud of the new look, so much so we are looking forward to welcoming both visitors from the area and further afield to enjoy our new and enhanced offering within Edinburgh’s Old Town.”

Alongside the revitalised bedrooms, the hotel’s decking area, with beautiful views towards Edinburgh Castle, is set to be revamped this year – providing guests with world class views to enjoy a drinks and dining experience like no other.

Apex Hotels’ investment comes following another consecutive year of strong growth for 2016-17, with a six per cent rise in turnover – up to £65m from £61.3m the previous year.

As part of the £15 million refurbishment programme, improvements are also underway to two further Edinburgh Apex Hotels – Haymarket and Waterloo Place – as well as Apex Temple Court Hotel in London.

Multi-million pound refurbishment works at Apex City Quay Hotel & Spa and Apex City of London Hotel have now been completed.

Large and quirky public area

Award-winning Naumi Auckland unveils exclusive art collection

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In the lobby, a 24-carat gold textured wall represents the feathered nape of the native Tui bird…

Art and design play a central role at Naumi Auckland Airport, which opened in February. Already heralded as the world’s coolest airport hotel, making it into Forbes’ list of “The Best Airport Hotels In The World 2018”, Naumi Auckland Airport is a living gallery as well as a hotel. Its impressive work embellishes the property from the entrance through to each and every guestroom. From up-and-coming artists in New Zealand as well as established names internationally, the multi-sensory pieces reference the native Tui bird, on which the hotel’s design is centred, as well as the beautiful landscapes of the country.

Large lobby area with gold wall

One of the most striking works at Naumi Auckland is found in the lobby. Greeting guests as they arrive is a 24-carat gold textured wall which represents the feathered nape of the Tui bird. Commissioned to the NY Art Department (New Zealand), the 95 gold discs are hand painted with a feather pattern. Next to the wall sits a customized two and half metre bird cage as well as paintings from Australian artist Belynda Henry. Winner of the SNW Wynne prize, Belynda was specially commissioned to capture the natural Auckland landscape and started the process by sitting on the rooftop of the hotel to sketch the view. Her original pieces have been transformed onto rugs in the guest rooms as a playful interpretation of the Tui bird’s native surroundings. The rugs allow guests to engage with the natural landscape through a walkable piece of art.

Close up of the tactile wall in the lobby

Among the eclectic mix of handpicked furnishings from the likes of Jonathan Adler and Kartell are works by New Zealand based designer Judi Bagust. Commissioned to work on original pieces for the hotel, the artist chose to capture the lyrical notes of the singing Tui bird. The largest work is found in the Paksa Restaurant as well as prints hanging in the guestrooms, complete with customized brass frames. Seemingly floating in space, Bagust’s brushed ink marks stretch, loop and fold across the paper in one elegant, oscillating movement. Each mark twists and turns to give the effect of a delicate dance of a geological form or musical score.

Modern dark-lit guestroom

In keeping with the hotel’s art theme, Naumi Auckland is home to two design suites including the Dotty Suite, inspired by the Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, known for her brightly coloured conceptual pieces. Each piece of furniture, wall and soft furnishing will be inspired by Kusama’s signature dots, making it a one of a kind experience for guests. Naumi was the sponsor for Auckland Art Gallery’s Obliteration Room by Yayoi Kusama Project, that ran earlier this year.