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hotel opening

FIRST LOOK: The Wild Hotel arrives in Mykonos

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
FIRST LOOK: The Wild Hotel arrives in Mykonos

The Wild Hotel in Kalafati Beach, designed in collaboration with Alexandros & Filippos Varveris and Sofia & Matina Karavas, will open in Mykonos in May 2019… 

Located on a picturesque cliffside over Kalafati Beach, The Wild Hotel, owned by Interni, will offer a design-led retreat, featuring 40 suites and villas inspired by the colours and lines of traditional Grecian architecture.

Set in a natural amphitheatre, the hotel is home to an infinity pool with views across the Aegean Sea, a private beach for residents and a restaurant – The Taverna – serving classic dishes from the Cycladic Islands. The Wild Hotel is a collaboration of design between Alexandros & Filippos Varveris and Sofia & Matina Karavas, who are both co-owners and architects of the project.

The Wild Hotel offers an unparalleled location on the island of Mykonos; situated on a tip of the island which remains raw and pure, the hotel is situated next to a tiny beach-front village once inhabited by the bravest fishermen of Mykonos, referred to as ‘the wild ones’ by locals. The village is now a tranquil, picturesque port that imbues the area with a rich Cycladic history.

Raw luxury pool

Image credit: The Wild Hotel/Yiorgos Kordakis

Spring 2019 will also see the launch of Ftelia Beach Club, the sister of The Wild Hotel, located on the opposite side of Mykonos Island in the much-loved Ftelia Bay. Ftelia Beach Club will showcase the designs of up-and-coming Italian architect Fabricio Casiraghi. The club’s aesthetic was inspired by the famous resorts of the 60s and 70s in Southern France and coastal Italy, seamlessly blending Mykonos’ buzzy cosmopolitan vibe with the natural beachfront surroundings. Ftelia Beach Club will offer a Mediterranean menu with an emphasis on local produce.

Image credit: The Wild Hotel/Yiorgos Kordakis

“We are excited to announce the opening of The Wild Hotel and Ftelia Beach Club on the island of Mykonos and we are confident that both properties will bring something new and dynamic to the island,” said Alexandros Varveris, Owner and founder of Interni Group. “We have already established our brand with Interni Restaurant, and are excited to watch Interni grow on the beautiful island of Mykonos.”

With these two new properties, The Wild Hotel and Ftelia Beach Club, Interni Group aim to merge the traditions of the island with new cosmopolitan thinking to offer something fresh and different for Mykonos.

Main image credit: Yiorgos Kordakis

Mandarin Oriental announces new hotel in Istanbul

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Mandarin Oriental announces new hotel in Istanbul

Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group has announced that it will manage a second luxury hotel in Istanbul, Turkey…

The hotel group Mandarin Oriental has announced that is will unveil a 158-key luxury hotel and residences within three standalone towers that is slated to open in 2022.

One of the towers will house Mandarin Oriental Etiler, Istanbul with 158 guestrooms and suites and 16 serviced apartments.

The remaining two towers will house 251 luxurious Residences at Mandarin Oriental. UNStudio from Amsterdam has been appointed as the master planner and architect.The hotel will have three restaurants and bars, and a selection of adaptable meeting spaces with outdoor areas and terraces, ideal for hosting both business and leisure events. There will also be a spa and fitness centre, offering the Group’s award-winning signature wellness programmes as well as locally inspired treatments.

The hotel will have both an indoor and outdoor swimming pool.The Residences at Mandarin Oriental will feature some of the most exclusive homes in the city, providing owners with extensive private gardens and impressive views of the Bosphorus. Owners will also enjoy Mandarin Oriental’s legendary service and direct access to the hotel’s facilities.  In addition, there will be a full suite of bespoke resident facilities, including two outdoor swimming pools with city skyline views, a fitness centre and six beauty treatment rooms.The owners and developers of the project are Astaș Holding A.Ş and Yapi & Yapi.

This is the Group’s third venture in Turkey with Astaș Holding A.Ş who is the owner of the Group’s two other Turkish properties – the award-winning Mandarin Oriental, Bodrum and Mandarin Oriental Bosphorus, Istanbul which is scheduled to open in 2020.

“We are delighted to be announcing a second Mandarin Oriental property in Istanbul, together with an exciting luxury residential project. We look forward to extending further the Group’s presence in one of the world’s most historic and vibrant cities,” said James Riley, Group Chief Executive of Mandarin Oriental. “Operating two complementary hotels in a single city is something that the Group has already done successfully in Hong Kong and will soon do in London. We believe there is room for more than just one Mandarin Oriental hotel in certain select destinations around the world.” he added. “Having strengthened our successful collaboration with Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group in Bodrum, and through the upcoming opening of Mandarin Oriental Bosphorus, Istanbul it is our intention to establish this second Istanbul property, uniquely located in the prestigious district of Etiler, as one of the world’s most impressive addresses.

The project is slated to cater to a discerning clientele who enjoy this legendary city so rich in history and culture, at the crossroads of Europe and Asia,” said Astaș Holding A.Ş, and Yapi & Yapi’s Board of Directors.

Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group has grown from its Asian roots into a global brand, now operating 32 hotels and six residences in 23 countries and territories, with each property reflecting the Group’s oriental heritage and unique sense of place. Mandarin Oriental has a strong pipeline of hotels and residences under development, and is a member of the Jardine Matheson Group.

JO&JOE opens in Paris with longest house-warming party

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JO&JOE opens in Paris with longest house-warming party

The design hotel in Paris “where youth hostels meet hotels” opens with interiors by global architecture and design studio PENSON…

After first launching in 2017 in the city of Hossegor, JO&JOE has opened a hotel that shelters its disruptive design concept in Paris. The brand, which was launched by Accor in 2016, is described as a “a vibrant living space, a home that is open to the external world and designed to meet the expectations of Millennials and all those who value sharing, spontaneity and experience”.

JO&JOE is a hybrid hospitality concept, a mix of hotel and hostel, called Open Houses, offering a completely fresh experience in terms of design, dining options, service and customer experience.

JO&JOE Paris has developed its interiors with global (UK based) architecture and game-changing design studio PENSON. At the Open House of Paris Gentilly, street art is everywhere thanks to the work of nine local and international artists who have covered the walls with their creations.

The rooms at the hostel-like hotel are split into three categories: Together (dorms), Yours (private hotel-like guestrooms) and Cabins (Private space with access to communal bedrooms and restrooms).

For launch of the new property, the brand is hosting what it is calling “the longest house-warming party with events taking place between April 25 – June 6.

By 2020, the hotel aims to have launched Open Houses in London Budapest, Glasgown, Paris, Rio de Janero and Rome.

JO&JOE welcomes everyone in its engaging and vibrant Open Houses, offering a completely fresh experience in terms of design, dining options, service and customer experience.

Main image credit: JO&JOE

St Regis opens “curated mansion” in Hong Kong

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St Regis opens “curated mansion” in Hong Kong

Renowned interior designer André Fu completes his latest project, St Regis Hong Kong, located in the vibrant district of Wan Chai…

An ode to the cultural diversity and timeless elegance of Hong Kong, The St. Regis Hong Kong has opened and is described as a curated mansion which has been realised through the masterful lens of designer, André Fu.

Design elements throughout the hotel seamlessly combine classic luxury with modern sophistication, incorporating signature details which pay homage to Hong Kong’s rich culture and heritage.

“Hong Kong has always been one of the most attractive destinations for global luxury travelers, and the St. Regis brand is synonymous with timeless luxury and impeccable standards of hospitality,” said Henry Lee, Chief Operations Officer and Managing Director, Greater China, Marriott International. “We are very glad to add The St. Regis Hong Kong to Marriott International’s strong luxury portfolio in the market. The St. Regis Hong Kong represents the very best of the St. Regis brand, with its distinctive design, exquisite fine dining and truly exceptional service.”

Designed for business travellers and culture seekers alike, the 27-storey property boasts 129 appointed guestrooms and suites featuring warm and inviting touches throughout. A residentially-inspired retreat in the heart of Wan Chai, guestrooms at The St. Regis Hong Kong feature wood flooring and accents infused with understated Asian sensibility, deep soaking bathtubs and expansive windows with sweeping views of the harbour and city. The hotel is also home to a heated swimming pool and poolside bar, as well as a health club with a spa treatment room and other luxury amenities.

Image credit: Marriott International/St St Regis

The St. Regis Hong Kong also introduces two exceptional dining concepts to the region with L’Envol and Rùn, each spearheaded by award-winning chefs. At L’Envol, guests can indulge in French Haute cuisine created by chef Olivier Elzer who has accrued a remarkable 18 Michelin stars throughout his career to date. The hotel’s signature Cantonese restaurant, Rùn, is led by renowned chef and winner of the Silver Award in the 2012 Best of the Best Culinary Awards, Hung Chi-Kwong. Famed for his contemporary interpretations of Cantonese cuisine, Chi-Kwong’s restaurant will serve innovative takes on traditional Cantonese fare.

The Drawing Room is an all-day eatery with views of the Terrace. Meanwhile, the St. Regis Bar is a contemporary bar for after-hours digestifs.

The St. Regis Hong Kong is also an all-encompassing events destination with approximately 12,000 sq. ft. of event space across five venues. The sophisticated Astor Ballroom, with its cathedral high ceiling design, is perfectly suited for grand-scale events; while the Rockefeller Room is a versatile space for corporate meetings or more intimate affairs.

The hotel’s opening follows Marriott’s plans to open more than 30 luxury properties this year.

Main image credit: Marriott International/St Regis

Mercue Brighton Seafront Hotel completes £3m refurbishment

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Mercue Brighton Seafront Hotel completes £3m refurbishment

Mercure Brighton Seafront Hotel has undergone a £3 million-pound transformation of its 116 guestrooms and communal spaces…

Led by local interior designer, Helen Hooper, Mercure Brighton Seafront Hotel haws completed the interior design renovation, which included all 116 guestrooms and public spaces. The redesign of the nineteenth century hotel encapsulates the perfect blend of exquisite Regency splendor, with a dash of quirky Brighton charm.

As a listed building, no structural changes have been made, but the bespoke refurbishment has introduced modern décor throughout, with elements of Brighton’s rich history seen in every room.

“The bespoke carpet is set to make waves, as design inspiration was taken from the ripple effect of the tide going out from the sea.”

A colour palette of inky blues and welcoming whites has transformed the lounge and reception area. The bespoke carpet is set to make waves, as design inspiration was taken from the ripple effect of the tide going out from the sea – which is only a few yards away from the hotel’s doorstep. The lounge has been transformed into an impressive gallery showcasing the finest creations from local artists, really putting Mercure at the heart of Brighton’s buzzing art scene.

“The modernisation of the hotel will make the Mercure a thriving cultural hub for guests, the artwork that can be seen all around the hotel shows how proud we are to be a part of the busy Brighton community,” commented Iain Lindsay, General Manager at Mercure Hotel Brighton Seafront. “We are so happy with how the refurbishment has gone and we are looking forward to welcoming guests, old and new, and hearing their thoughts on our new look hotel.”

The updated cocktail bar and restaurant is unrecognisable with splashes of jewel colours sapphire, emerald, and amber adorning the walls. It’s not just the furnishings that have been given an update, a new food and drink menu will also be launching that reflects the culinary delights that can be locally sourced in and around Brighton. Taste buds will tingle with diners choosing from many delicious options on the menu from the Chef’s signature locally caught fish and chips, battered in Harveys Beer (brewed in Lewes), to the Brighton Deli Burger, made with Sussex Cheddar – for those with a sweet tooth finishing up with the signature Brighton Rock Knickerbocker Glory.

The bar front has become the new home to pieces from the iconic West Pier, which were salvaged from the fire that destroyed it almost two decades ago. The restaurants ceiling has been restored to its original height of just over three meters, making it a decedent room to sit back relax and enjoy drinks, dinner or an indulgent afternoon tea.

Guests of Mercure will step into a seaside wonderland in the newly refurbished bedrooms. The new throws, curtains, carpets and bespoke furnishings provide a fresh and modern look. The 16 sea view rooms have been updated with a plush grey silk effect décor, beautiful glass and brass chandeliers and antique mirror glass on the desk and bedside tables.

Main image credit: Mercure Brighton Seafront Hotel

Minimalist Muji opens first hotel in Japan

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Minimalist Muji opens first hotel in Japan

The Japanese retailer, Muji, opens its first hotel in Japan, Muji Hotel Ginza – and it’s a minimalist’s dream…

Spread over six floors, the 79-key Muji Hotel Ginza designed by UDS has opened as the brand’s first hotel in Japan following the successful openings in Beijing and Shenzhen last year.

Muji Hotel Ginza’s thoughtful design is true to the company’s sustainable principles, using upcycled materials such as flagstone of Tokyo’s tramway from 50 years ago and even the waste materials from ships.

The 79 guestrooms all vary in size and are presented in nine categories. Designed to fill a gap in the market between luxury and mid-scale, the hotel’s interiors are true-to-form minimalist.

Minimalist interiors - writing desk

Image credit: Muji Hotels

The interiors convey an atmosphere typical of Muji; natural materials, alongside upcycled products with a small number of rooms including traditional Japanese textiles. Fuji Hotel’s pricing structure remains the same throughout the year, regardless of seasons and holidays, which supports the brand’s commitment to fairness and affordable living as the hotel aims to become a base for visitors to enjoy a deeper immersion in Ginza and Japanese culture.

“Great care has been taken to ensure that the room will restore travelers in body and spirit alike,” the hotel’s website states. The mattresses have been designed informed by posture research, while the lighting designed in order to aid sleep quality.

The hotel opens together with the global flagship store Muji Ginza as the “anti-gorgeous, anti-cheap” alternative hotel.

Main image credit: Muji Hotels

 

 

Serviced apartments hotel brand debuts in Munich, Germany

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Serviced apartments hotel brand debuts in Munich, Germany

H-Hotels.com opened the first hotel under its serviced apartment hotel brand in Munich…

H.Hotels.com has debuted its first service apartment hotel in Munich. With the opening of both H2 Hotel Munich Olympiapark and H.omes Serviced Apartments in Munich, the hotel group now boasts properties in six locations in the metropolis of Munich on the river Isar.

The opening of the aparthotel, which represents the first establishment in the Serviced Apartment brand from the hotel chain, follows a rise in demand for serviced apartment-styled accommodation.

The size of the 105 modern and stylishly furnished apartments varies from 18 to 29 square metres within the categories of Comfort, Superior and Business. They are equipped with high-quality box-spring beds, air conditioning and multi-media screens. All apartments have a small but functional kitchen featuring a fridge with freezer compartment, microwave, coffee machine, kettle, dishwasher, cookware and crockery, as well as a full bathroom offering underfloor heating and a rainforest shower.

“The 465 rooms, styled in a modern way, offer high-quality beds, air conditioning and flat screen TVs for the best entertainment.”

With its innovative design and functional space concept, H2 Hotel Munich Olympiapark is a solution for city-hoppers, families, groups and business travellers. The 465 rooms, styled in a modern way, offer high-quality beds, air conditioning and flat screen TVs for the best entertainment. For families and groups, H2 Hotel Munich Olympiapark offers comfortable four-bed and six-bed rooms. Bathrooms are equipped with underfloor heating, revitalising showers and a separate WC. The heart of the new H2 Hotel is the H2 Hub. With an island offering fresh food and an open kitchen, the H2 Hub serves a wide selection of seasonal salads, pasta, burgers and pizza 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. All dishes can be ordered to go.

“With our new H.ome Serviced Apartments in Munich, we are meeting the demands of the future. Guests appreciate the private atmosphere of our apartments but don’t need to compromise on the hotel standards they expect if they desire them,” explains Alexander Fitz, CEO of H-Hotels AG. “With a total of six hotels, we now have a very strong foothold in Munich.”

Alongside H2 Hotel Munich Olympiapark and H.ome Serviced Apartments Munich, the H2 Hotel Munich Exhibition Centre, H4 Hotel Munich, H+ Hotel Munich and the recently opened HYPERION Hotel Munich all belong to the Munich portfolio of H-Hotels AG, with a combined total of 1,511 rooms.

Nobu Hotel Los Cabos opens

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Nobu Hotel Los Cabos opens

The opening of Nobu Hotel Los Cabos marks the hotel group’s debut into Mexico…

Officially open today, Nobu Hotel Los Cabos, debuts 200 stylish guestrooms and suites. Both WATG and Studio PCH have blended Japanese minimalism with locally sourced Californian raw materials, such as custom furniture pieces, wood-soaking tubs, teak and stone materials, shoji-inspired closet doors and Japanese inspired lanterns.

The first Nobu Hotel in Mexico, perched beachfront on the southernmost tip of the Baja Peninsula, houses elegant meetings and event spaces, a luxurious spa with Natura Bissé products and, what all Nobu Hotels must have…a spectacular Nobu Restaurant and Bar with ocean views, making this the third Nobu restaurant in Mexico.

Light and bright public dining area

Image credit: Nobu Hotel Los Cabos

The natural growth of Nobu Hospitality, built on service, image, and reputation, offers the complete spectrum of hotel, restaurant and residence management for unique projects around the world.

Founded by Nobu Matsuhisa, Robert De Niro and Meir Teper, with operations spanning five continents, the Nobu brand thrives in the world’s capitals as the ultimate destination lifestyle experience.

Also set to open in 2019 are properties in Barcelona and Chicago, with Warsaw recently announced for 2020.

Main image credit: Nobu Hotel Los Cabos

Accor’s Aparthotel brand Adagio arrives in London

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Accor’s Aparthotel brand Adagio arrives in London

Hotel Designs attended the official launch party of Aparthotel Adagio London Brentford last night, which marked the brand’s official arrival in London, UK… 

Adagio has celebrated the opening of its first London property by hosting a show-stopping party that was attended by more than 150 people.

The 100-key Aparthotel Adagio London Brentford, which informally opened in October of last year, is located just a few miles from London’s main airport Heathrow and is the fourth hotel within in the brand to open in the UK, with more in the pipeline.

“This is an important milestone for us, with many more openings in the UK to be announced,” said Karim Malak, CEO of Aparthotels Adagio at the event. “Our target is to have 20 properties in the UK by 2023.”

Aparthotels Adagio London Brentford’s public spaces have been created as an open area for guests to meet and collaborate. Each apartment offers a fully equipped kitchen, spacious bedroom and living area with a flat-screen smart TV. Guests also have access to a bar, virtual concierge, fitness centre, laundry facilities, business services and onsite parking.

Image credit: Accor/Adagio

The West London property is part of Brentford’s Kew Eye Tower GWQ development. The aparthotel is the fourth UK opening for the brand following launches in Edinburgh, Birmingham and Liverpool. The aparthotel brand is planning further properties in London Stratford, Leicester (opening by the end of 2019) and Glasgow (opening by the end of 2020).

The opening of Aparthotel Adagio London Brentford emerges as part of the brand’s strategy to open 10 new hotels this year and to double the amount of properties it has within its portfolio by 2023.

Hotel Designs will be investigating the rise of aparthotels when it puts Hotel Concepts under the spotlight in August. If you would like to contribute to this topic, please get in touch with the editorial team.

Main image credit: Accor/Adagio

SPOTLIGHT ON: Vaughan unveils timeless wall lights for guestrooms

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SPOTLIGHT ON: Vaughan unveils timeless wall lights for guestrooms

The lighting experts at Vaughan has recently unveiled a series of wall lights available in three different finishes… 

Vaughan have recently designed a collection of wall lights specifically for guestrooms called the Malden and Medway reading lights.

Vaughan’s recently unveiled reading lights are perfectly suited for directional bedside lighting. The products are available with either a stepped backplate (Malden) or flat backplate (Medway) and come in a choice of three finishes; brass, bronze or nickel finishes with optional covering in brown or black leather.

With a highly flexible and adjustable goose neck arm with an LED spot, the Malden and Medway reading lights have quickly become an essential requirement of a guestroom.

In a recent project, Vaughan assisted with decorative lighting for the stunning transformation of the beachside hotel, Carbis Bay Hotel near St Ives, Cornwall. Vaughan supplied a collection of Vaughan products perfectly suited for the light and spacious bedrooms with sea views and one of the key products in every guest room were the Malden and Medway reading lights.

For more information on the Vaughan collection, please contact the contract sales department – contract-sales@vaughandesigns.com

Vaughan is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, click here.

Kimpton brand arrives in Asia

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Kimpton brand arrives in Asia

Kimpton Da An Hotel has opened its doors in Taipei, marking its entrance into Asia…

Kimpton Da An Hotel brings a new luxury hotel offering to modern Taipei (Taiwan). With its unique location in the heart of the Da’an District and an elevated, sophisticated design, the hotel opens as an urban sanctuary for the laid-back luxury traveller.

Kimpton Da An is ideally located in the heart of Taipei city, allowing guests easy

access to local cafes, boutiques and galleries, while providing a welcoming environment decorated with artwork from local artisans. The hotel features 129 rooms and has been designed by Neri & Hu, the winner of MASION&OBJET Asia in 2015, a prestigious design accolade. Once guests enter the hotel, the lush greenery and sophisticated water installation, coupled with custom lighting, immediately offers guests a sense of calm.

Kimpton Da An will enjoy Kimpton’s signature perks such as in-room yoga mats and a Morning Kick-Starter, as well as tea and coffee served in the lobby living room to energize guests. Guests can also take part in wellness morning yoga on the rooftop, free fitness and wellness classes or explore the city with complimentary bicycles.

Home to The Tavernist restaurant, its culinary experience provides diners with contemporary dishes coupled with local touches and innovative cooking methods. The Tavernist embraces Taiwan’s organic movement and works closely with local farmers and food producers. The restaurant is led by Chef James Sharman, who has travelled to countless countries with his team and has sought inspiration from local cuisine around the world. To him, The Tavernist offers a place where guests can discover something new while feeling at home.

“As the world’s largest operator of lifestyle hotels, the luxury lifestyle hotel segment is a key IHG focus,” said Jolyon Bulley, CEO of IHG Greater China. “We’re delighted to bring the Kimpton brand to Taiwan, one of the most renowned destinations in Asia. Today’s opening marks another milestone for the brand, as it pushes the boundaries to bring design-led hotels and heartfelt, human service to more guests around the world.”

IHG currently has 6 hotels operating under four brands in the Taiwan market including, Regent Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts and Holiday Inn Express, with another 6 hotels in the pipeline. In the next few years, Kimpton is slated to open new hotels in Shanghai, Beijing, Sanya, Tokyo and Bali.

The brand, which currently operates more than 60 hotels and 80 restaurants and bars across the United States, Canada, Europe and the Caribbean is also due to open a further five properties in Shanghai, Beijing, Sanya, Tokyo and Bali. Last November, the Kimpton Fitzroy became the first UK opening in London, with more in the pipeline.

Main image credit: IHG/Kimpton Hotels

Rosewood Hotels arrives in Hong Kong

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A new global icon for Rosewood Hotels & Resorts is established at the most distinguished address in its home city of Hong Kong…

Rosewood Hong Kong has opened as a magnificent new ultra-luxury property in the heart of the Victoria Dockside district on the shores of Victoria Harbour. Situated on one of Hong Kong’s most significant waterfront locations in Tsim Sha Tsui – Kowloon’s dynamic, culturally compelling heart – the property is set to become a grand icon for the city, celebrating the area’s role as Hong Kong’s new creative and cultural epicentre.

The opening of Rosewood Hong Kong is a defining milestone for the group, solidifying its stature as one of the world’s most dynamic hotel brands and a leader in global style.  This showpiece of the brand’s highest aspirations epitomises Rosewood’s essence and represents the complete manifestation of a differentiated and modern expression of ultra-luxury hospitality.

Exterior of hotel

Image credit: Rosewood Hotels

From the brand’s inception 40 years ago as a fine private home that opened its doors to guests, each Rosewood hotel continues to be guided by A Sense of Place® philosophy and the concept of the hotel as a living canvas celebrating artistry in all its forms.  This spirit reaches its zenith at Rosewood Hong Kong.  Guests can experience the first urban outpost of the brand’s pioneering wellness concept; gastronomic innovation showcasing locally grown and artisanal ingredients; masterworks by the world’s most highly acclaimed artists; and supremely stylish, residentially natured gathering and living spaces – all within a masterfully designed and meticulously curated journey in architecturally bold environs commanding the harbour.

“The site is the former Holt’s Wharf, dating back to 1910.”

Rosewood’s opening in Hong Kong marks the evolution of another meaningful historic legacy.  The site is the former Holt’s Wharf, dating back to 1910, which subsequently became New World Centre, a lifestyle magnet for the city in the 1980s, which holds a unique place in the hearts and minds of local residents as a place of discovery and wonderment.  New World Centre – a proud expression of Hong Kong’s evolution – was the creation of Dr. Cheng Yu-tung and Dr. Henry Cheng, the grandfather and father (respectively) of Rosewood Hotel Group Chief Executive Officer, Sonia Cheng.

“With Hong Kong evolving from a business and financial centre to become a true global cultural capital, I wanted to create an iconic property that not only showcases the city’s rich history but also reflects its bright future,” says Cheng. “New World Centre was conceived as my grandfather’s ultimate gift to Hong Kong, a celebration of its progress, vibrancy and spirit.  I hope that Rosewood Hong Kong enhances this legacy and helps fulfill his and my father’s vision for the city that they loved. Rosewood Hong Kong sets bold new benchmarks for design, guest experience, cuisine, and culture. Our ambition is to create a new world standard for ultra-luxury hospitality and a focal point of the vibrant Hong Kong lifestyle, reflecting its incredible dynamism, style and diversity.” 

The Kohn Pedersen Fox-designed, 65-storey exterior pays homage to the city’s impressive verticality.  Renowned hospitality designer who designed the London property Tony Chi of New York studio tonychi has created an immersive experience for a new age of elevated residential hotel living. An homage to Rosewood’s origins as an aristocratic manor, Chi has conceived the entire hotel as a “vertical estate” which incorporates significant green spaces and outdoor areas throughout.

“More than 80 per cent of Rosewood Hong Kong’s rooms boast standout harbour vistas.”

Masterful and important art throughout the property includes works by internationally acclaimed artists Henry MooreDamien Hirst and Bharti Kerr, as well as China’s Wang Keping and homegrown Hong Kong artist Wilson Shieh. Significant works are juxtaposed with an eclectic, whimsical approach to decorative arts throughout the hotel.

More than 80 per cent of Rosewood Hong Kong’s rooms boast standout harbour vistas, with the remainder featuring verdant Kowloon Peak views overlooking the fabled Lion Rock and scenic mountains. Generous “salons” on each guestroom floor from the 24th level up feature carefully selected objets that reflects Hong Kong’s richly layered past.

“For me, Rosewood Hong Kong is the majestic ‘estate on the harbour’ that pays reverent homage to the great founding family that built and operates it, and also the legacy of its surrounding community,” says designer Tony Chi. “Having designed Rosewood London — an elegant mansion in a royal city — and being in the process of refreshing The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel, in New York, an iconic residence in Manhattan’s Upper East Side; there’s a remarkably rich and overarching sense of continuity and a sense of place that binds all these properties together.”

Generous space and residential luxury are the hallmarks of Rosewood’s 322 light-filled guestrooms, which start at 53 square metres and include the Grand Harbourview Rooms, boasting panoramic views of Hong Kong Island. Elevated homely comforts include curated interior details, considered amenities, generous marble bathrooms with a freestanding soaking bath, separate, freestanding vanities and twin showers, as well as spacious walk-in closets.

Rosewood Hong Kong is home to the highest number of suites of any Hong Kong luxury hotel and also some of the largest.  The 91 suites, starting from 92 square metres, offer carefully curated stays, bespoke services, and inspired interiors. Suite guests enjoy exclusive services including access to Rosewood’s Manor Club executive lounge, personal butler service, monogrammed pillow cases and robes, and personalised amenities from arrival to departure. On each floor, the 123-square-metre Grand Harbour Corner Suites offer glittering panoramic harbour views from every vantage point.

Rosewood Hotels Cafe

Image credit: Rosewood Hotels

In addition, Rosewood Hong Kong features 18 of the most outstanding signature suites in the metropolis, each with its own unique character. The crowning jewel amongst them, the 1,000-square-metre Harbour House boasts spectacular views from private sky terraces on the 57th level and unique décor and design. Enhancing the lavish interiors, a garden oasis features harbour view sun decks and private lap pools.  Located on the same floor, the Harbour House and Garden House can be combined, offering an entirely private five-bedroom retreat complete with state-of-the-art private gym.

Extended stays will be catered to by 186 exclusive Rosewood Residences, set to launch this Spring.  Uniquely designed for longer-term stays, the Rosewood Residences will offer a separate private entrance and dedicated club facilities, including an indoor swimming pool and private fitness centre, along with a host of special services and amenities for guests.

 

Main image credit: Rosewood Hotels

The Luxury Collection debuts in Armenia

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The Alexander, a Luxury Collection Hotel becomes the first international luxury hotel in Armenia…

Following plans to open 30 new luxury hotels this year, Marriott International has annoucned the opening of The Alexander, a Luxury Collection Hotel. Owned by Tsupani CJSC., the hotel proudly brings The Luxury Collection’s rare, indigenous and captivating experiences to the capital of Armenia – one of the world’s oldest cities and a noted historical intersection between the East and West. As the country’s first internationally-branded luxury hotel, The Alexander joins a portfolio of more than 100 Luxury Collection hotels around the world. The brand’s new footprint in Yerevan also further cements the hotel group’s strategy to meet the growing demand for experiential luxury in emerging markets.

“Armenia is a destination with a deeply rooted history and rich culture, which has until now remained a mostly unchartered destination for our Global Travelers” said Anthony Ingham, Global Brand Leader, The Luxury Collection. “The Alexander will allow our guests to connect with the fascinating capital city of Yerevan, marked by grand Soviet-era architecture and historic landmarks such as the Matenadaran library, and truly engage in the authentic traditions of Armenia.”

“Led by Alexander James Interior Design, the decor draws upon intricate Armenian motifs, alongside contemporary flourishes.”

Set in an enviable location in the heart of Armenia’s capital, The Alexander is mere moments away from the city’s famous Republic Square, and is a brief stroll to numerous landmarks and cultural sights. The striking hotel reflects the city’s distinctive architecture, cleverly incorporating an 18th century façade at its entrance to hint at the indigenous charms found within. Led by Alexander James Interior Design, the decor draws upon intricate Armenian motifs, alongside contemporary flourishes that bring to life the history and modernity of the destination within the property’s opulent public spaces.

Roof top restaurant

Image credit: Matthew Shaw.

“Shaped by rich traditions, coveted treasures and a storied history, the city of Yerevan truly encapsulates the spirit of The Luxury Collection,” said Jenni Benzaquen, Vice President of Luxury Brands, Europe at Marriott International. “The Alexander will provide sophisticated, independently-minded global explorers and locals alike with an unparalleled level of luxury in this fascinating destination. The unique destination experiences offered by The Luxury Collection, combined with Armenian hospitality, is also the perfect way to introduce our luxury portfolio to the region.”

The Alexander offers 114 guestrooms and suites, many of which include private balconies. The magnificent Presidential Suite is celebrated as a standout highlight of the property, occupying an entire floor and spanning over 1,700 square feet. An equally alluring feature is the Alexander Spa by Anne Semonin, providing guests with an inviting haven of wellness experiences and personalized treatments designed to relax, heal and rejuvenate. The hotel also features a state-of-the-art fitness centre, a full-service beauty salon, and the city’s first indoor pool, which boasts breath-taking vistas of the snow-capped peak of Mount Ararat.

Main image credit: Matthew Shaw/Marriott International

Marriott International announces three-year growth plan

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The hotel giant Marriott International’s growth plans include the openings more than 1,700 hotels around the world… 

Marriott International has presented the company’s three-year growth plan, which includes opening more than 1,700 hotels around the world, at its meeting with institutional investors and security analysts at the New York Marriott Marquis.

The hotel giant has outlined its plan to add between 275,000 and 295,000 rooms by 2021, supported by the strength of its record 478,000-room pipeline, including roughly 214,000 rooms already under construction. The company disclosed that its new room openings during this period could contribute $400 million in fee revenue in 2021 and $700 million annually when stabilised. The company’s three-year growth plan assumes, but does not forecast, comparable hotel revenue per available room (RevPAR) growth of one and three per cent, compounded annually.

“Starwood has made us a more formidable competitor, providing a more valuable loyalty program, brands with strong appeal to loyalty members and owners, talented associates, terrific locations, particularly in the fast-growing Asia Pacific region, significant cost synergies and meaningful scale,” said Arne Sorenson, Marriott International president and chief executive officer. “We launched our newly branded loyalty program, Marriott Bonvoy, just last month. The program reached 125 million members as of year-end 2018 adding roughly 50,000 members per day.”

Given the assumptions for its three-year plan, the company could produce the following results:

  • Diluted earnings per share of $7.65 to $8.50 by 2021, a compound growth rate of 11 to 15 per cent over 2018 adjusted results;
  • Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (adjusted EBITDA) increasing by six to nine per cent compounded, with net income increasing by five to eight per cent compounded, each compared to adjusted results in 2018;
  • Cash available for shareholders could total $9.5 to $11 billion for the three years (2019 through 2021);
  • Shareholders could see $1.9 to $2 billion in dividends, assuming a continued 30 percent payout ratio, and $7.6 to $9 billion in share repurchases over the three-year period.

Marriott’s growing pipeline of new hotels is fueled by the strong profitability of its hotels, the broad selection of powerful brands available for development, its rich loyalty program, lower costs from the company’s meaningful scale, and the strong confidence of its owners and franchisees. The company disclosed that 70 per cent of its portfolio of open and signed pipeline projects is held by owners with multiple Marriott properties, and roughly one-third is held by owners with ten or more Marriott branded hotels. Marriott’s development pipeline reflects an increasing number of legacy-Starwood branded hotels. Since the merger date, the pipeline of legacy-Starwood brands has increased nearly 25 per cent to represent nearly one-third of the legacy-Starwood portfolio’s system size.

“In 2018, Marriott launched a new Sheraton brand strategy, guestroom prototype and design approach.”

The company will also discuss its success improving the Sheraton brand. With more than 155,000 rooms, Sheraton is the company’s most geographically diverse brand and the company’s third largest brand globally measured in both rooms and fees. The brand contributes significantly to Marriott’s overall scale and effectively reduces costs for all the hotels in Marriott’s worldwide system. More than one-quarter of Sheratons are already under renovation or committed to a renovation. In 2018, Marriott launched a new Sheraton brand strategy, guestroom prototype and design approach, and just a week ago, unveiled the new Sheraton logo, signaling change to owners, operators, guests and Sheraton associates. Since the acquisition, Sheraton’s RevPAR index has improved to over 100.

“Our new three-year plan, with Starwood fully integrated, demonstrates how our fee-based, asset-light business model generates even stronger and more sustainable cash flows. This allows us to invest profitably in our core business at high rates of return and also return significant amounts of capital to shareholders,” said Leeny Oberg, Marriott International’s executive vice president and chief financial officer. “Our proven business model combined with opportunities to leverage our significant scale from the Starwood acquisition uniquely position us for additional shareholder value creation.”

Main image credit: Marriott International

Crown Group’s third SKYE Suites hotel to open in Sydney

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Crown Group will open its third luxury serviced apartment hotel, SKYE Suites Green Square, Sydney, in Q3 of this year as part of the iconic $575 million development Infinity by Crown Group… 

Designed by globally renowned Koichi Takada Architects, Infinity by Crown Group will shelter 326 premium apartments, a convention centre, a new retail and dining precinct with 20 outlets and a 90-key hotel called SKYE Suites Green Square.

The 20-storey building has captured the public’s attention with its iconic looped design, situated on the corner of Botany Road and Bourke Street. The development forms part of the $13 billion Green Square redevelopment that has transformed the town centre into an exciting new destination and will add a new train station and aquatic centre.

“SKYE Suites is redefining the boundaries of the luxury hotel experience.” – Crown Group Director of Hotels and Suites, Wayne Taranto

SKYE Suites Green Square will feature 90 luxurious studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments with Kevin Murphy toiletries, complimentary mini-bar and the ability to choose individual mattress firmness on each side of the bed. There will also be keyless entry and ‘virtual concierge’ tablets in every suite for guests to access all hotel services. A STARCast system will enable guests to stream in-room entertainment from personal devices.

Image credit: Crown Group/Koichi Takada Architects

Crown Group Director of Hotels and Suites, Wayne Taranto, said SKYE Suites were renowned for being situated in new buildings with iconic architecture, sophisticated interiors and for delivering bespoke service with attention to detail. “At SKYE Suites, we endeavour to differentiate ourselves by offering creative and inspirational spaces to our guests, making their stay comfortable, enjoyable and memorable,” he said. “SKYE Suites is redefining the boundaries of the luxury hotel experience with the seamless combination of the atmosphere of an urban resort, the convenience and comfort of an apartment and the amenities of a hotel.”

Render of the atrium of the property

Image credit: Crown Group/Koichi Takada Architects

The first SKYE Suites opened in August 2017 at Parramatta, with 72 stylish hotel apartments offering Crown Group’s signature resort facilities including an outdoor pool, gym and expansive foyer. It also has conference rooms, vibrant alfresco dining, retail piazza and the chic rooftop cocktail bar Nick and Nora’s by Speakeasy Group. The hotel is situated within the award-winning V by Crown Group residential tower, designed by Allen Jack + Cottier and Koichi Takada Architects.

The second SKYE Suites opened in Sydney in November 2018, a beautiful new destination in an iconic building on Clarence Street, Sydney. The hotel offers a luxury experience in the heart of the city, within the 25-storey residential apartment tower Arc by Crown Group, also designed by Koichi Takada Architects. SKYE Suites Sydney has 73 well-appointed hotel apartments and features an ice cave-themed lobby, “Insta-worthy” indoor swimming pool and a gym.

Main image credit: Crown Group/Koichi Takada Architects

In Conversation With: Damien Perrot on defining ibis Hotels’ new design era

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The world’s most iconic budget hotel brand is undergoing a major redesign following the growing demands of the modern traveller. To understand all the design details of the new generation of ibis Hotels, editor Hamish Kilburn sat down with Damien Perrot, Senior Vice President, Design Solutions for Accor, to find out more about how the new ibis was conceived in three separate designs…

With more than 1,170 economy hotels open worldwide, ibis has become somewhat of a trailblazer in the congested budget sector of the hotel industry. Opening up in neighbourhoods that before the ‘70s may well have not existed for the modern traveller, the company’s aggressive expansion into tier two cities bridged the gap between travellers and the freedom to explore the world while on a budget.

With the aim to ‘shake up budget hotel standards’, the brand, which is known for its basic and standardised design, is now in the process of reinventing itself to become more flexible to cater to a wider demographic. Using interior design as its tool, Ibis’ latest face lift includes new guestrooms, F&B areas and living spaces. “Its transformation is primarily based on customer behaviour and how guests instinctively use the spaces,” said Steven Taylor, Chief Brand Officer at Accor in the official statement from the brand. “Today, the brand is a truly vibrant place where travellers and non-staying and local customers alike can dine, sleep, work and feel welcome.”

Leading the extensive brand renovation is Damien Perrot, Senior Vice President, Design Solutions for Accor. “I wanted to achieve a design that was living, vibrant and real,” he told Hotel Designs. “The objective, in terms of design, is to attract people and allow our guests to have a great experience that will naturally encourage them to return.”

“Perrot launched competitions in America, Asia and Europe in order to garner inspiration from all corners of the world.”

The design, marketing and brand team came together with the ambition to rethink ibis as if it was created today. “The simple fact was that we felt obliged to confront the way in which our guests’ behaviour and lifestyles have changed,” explained Perrot. “Our idea was not to radicalise the form, but instead to create a concept in line with that of the modern travellers’ needs of today.” In order to keep the thoughts open and fresh, Perrot launched design competitions open to all in America, Asia and Europe in order to garner inspiration from all corners of the world. “The brief being light in context around what we wanted was key as we did not want to restrict the designers’ creative flow,” adds Perrot. As a result, the brand was able to handpick the designers who put forward realistic and brand-worthy solutions to the challenge.

Following the competition, the new ibis was to be divided into three concepts drawn up from three separate design studios. Studio Innocad from Europe, Studio FGMF from Latin America and Studio Soda from Asia together were Perrot’s answer to the new generation of ibis hotels.

Studio Innocad – Europe

Flexible living area with hammocks by entrance - blue and while tiles

Image credit: INNOCAD Architecture

The concept is a modular, flexible and customisable approach for architecture and interior, for renovation as well as new construction of ibis hotels. Designed around the fluid transition between inside and outside, the different settings of social spaces invite travellers and locals to explore several atmospheres and areas and are importantly not limited to be in one design during their customer journey.

Studio FGMF – Latin America

Modern Scandinavian room with flexible living spaces

Image credit: FGMF/ibis hotels

Urban living comes to the heart of the hotels with the design concept from Studio FGMF while the street outside becomes an integral part of the lobby. Unveiling a new pedestrian walkway, the hotel concept is gallery of local inspiration.

Meanwhile, the guestrooms have been imagined to be comfortable in a modern style, featuring a bookshelf as a centrepiece. A functional layout opens up new possibilities for guests to relax in the home-from-home setting.

Studio Soda – Asia

Modern, opening living areas

Image credit: Soda Studio/ibis hotels

Flexible, modular and contemporary, the concept that was imagined by Studio Soda is one that offers everything the modern guest is looking for; comfort combined with warmth. The lobby has been specifically designed to welcome the outside world, with a terrace area that extends out onto the street. The result is a public area that is welcome and free for guests to eat, relax, work or play.

“When we are rethinking ‘the new’, it is essential to forget what it is today,” explained Perrot when confronting the challenges of the project. “After the big idea in terms of design, the question is how can we apply that into our existing hotels. That’s a really big challenge, but I think we have succeeded.

Portrait of Damien Perrot

Image caption: Damien Perrot, Senior Vice President, Design Solutions for Accor

“The other challenge is to not be distracted by trends. Each design concept that was accepted stayed true to the DNA of the brand, which is very modern. Throughout the project, I want to demonstrate that modernity is in line with a new way of living.”

With the ambitious plans to redesign all hotels in the ibis portfolio by 2022, the aim is not for all hotels to be identical to one another. Instead, each property is aimed to have its own quirky personality. “Each concept is not 100 per cent defined. But the designer will apply the concept on projects and select different furniture and lighting to suit the hotel,” said Perrot. “In order to be able to roll this out globally, we have to have guidelines and style book. Each document helps the designers to roll out this concept. In those guidelines, we explain the boundaries that can and can’t be broken to achieve the final design of the individual hotel.”

Each hotel to adopt the new design concept will be better equipped and better designed to personalise the overall guest experience. The refreshing, and very different, designed concepts suggest heavily that ibis strongly believe a good hotel experience is much beyond experiencing a good night’s sleep. To achieve that overall home-from-home experience, the brand has redefined its public areas, F&B environment and guestrooms allowing its guests to tailor-make their own travel experience when checking in.

Main image credit: FGMF/ibis hotels

Radisson Collection opens in Moscow

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Radisson Hotel Group has announced the opening of the Radisson Collection Hotel, Moscow. The rebrand is now complete and the hotel has become the latest addition to the group’s exceptional collection of premium lifestyle properties.

“As one of Moscow’s legendary landmarks, with outstanding architecture and world-class service, the hotel is the perfect match for Radisson Collection,” said Michel Stalport, Area Senior Vice President of Eastern Europe, Russia & Turkey at Radisson Hotel Group. “This is a one-of-a-kind property, and we’re delighted to have completed the rebranding of the hotel together with the owners.”

From the impressive, palatial exterior to the luxurious interior, featuring 501 stunning guestrooms and suites, the hotel is a Moscow landmark. The property itself is one of the capital’s ‘Seven Sisters’, a family of renowned neoclassical skyscrapers, while the rooms and public spaces echo the special nature of the building – with the finest materials and most exclusive furniture seen throughout the hotel.

A signature feature of the Radisson Collection brand is its outstanding service level, and the hotel is one of the most-awarded hotels in the whole of Russia – recognized for its service level, its professional conference expertise and luxurious hotel offers. Only recently, the hotel was awarded ‘Best 5 Star MICE Hotel in Russia’ at the Russian Hospitality Awards. The hotel’s Guest Relations Managers all ensure that no details are left unattended – all to give the guests truly memorable stays.

Located on the bend of the Moskva River, the hotel was formerly the tallest in Europe. It remains an imposing presence on Moscow’s skyline – and offers spectacular views of the capital. In fact, it’s a destination itself, with 26 on-site shops, its own art collection, a diorama of Moscow, an Olympic-sized swimming pool and its own flotilla of 10 yachts that offer city river cruises.

With Moscow’s most exceptional sky bar, the Mercedes Bar on the 31st-floor, the hotel is the perfect spot for guests who would like to get close to the twinkling stars and enjoy unparalleled views of Moscow. For gastronomy enthusiasts, there are 19 restaurants and bars on-site, serving a wide range of global cuisines from early morning until late at night.

Main image credit: Radisson Hotels

Accor’s new lifestyle brand to arrive in 150 destinations by 2030

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With one hotel open, 10 in the pipeline and a further 50 under construction, Accor launches lifestyle brand Tribe… 

Accor continues to expand its portfolio by launching a new lifestyle brand in the midscale segment, TRIBE. The brand launches with the aims to surprise travellers with an original, exciting and carefully curated offer that focuses on style rather than price. Reshaping the traditional hotel experience, guests checking in to TRIBE hotels are promised to be able to live, work and play in contemporary interiors.

TRIBE currently consists of one 126-key address in Perth, Australia – one of the largest inner-city parks in the world. Ten other openings are already scheduled to take place by 2022 in Europe and Asia Pacific, totaling more than 1,700 rooms. “The pipeline of more than 50 hotels currently being negotiated for the coming years leads us to believe that the Tribe brand will achieve significant growth all over the world including in gateway locations such as Paris, London, Singapore, Dubai Bangkok,” said Gaurav Bhushan, Chief Development Officer at Accor. “It will be making its debut in 150 international destinations by 2030.”

Image credit: TRIBE/Accor

At TRIBE, design finds its expression beyond the details. In each living space and for every service, particular attention has been paid to user-friendliness without overlooking either style or comfort. Everything has been designed to increase the sense of space, enhance the decor and improve the customer perception. The design is sleek – the hotel’s common areas, like that of the guest rooms, create a feeling of greater space by opening out onto the exterior.

Several creative areas are available to guests. Working, arranging a meeting or enjoying a drink, everything is possible. As welcoming as a hotel, as laid-back as a trendy urban hub and as relaxing as a home, Tribe is constantly reinventing itself.

Modern and quirky living area

Image credit: TRIBE/Accor

The modern style is complemented by artfully designed objects giving the perception of an upscale space. Moroso chairs, an array of Jean-Paul Gaultier cushions, lamps provided by the renowned British designer Tom Dixon, etc. From the lobby to the guest rooms, and encompassing the common areas, each TRIBE object has been carefully crafted, selected and installed in order to bring a distinctive decor to the hotel.

Echoing the smart design, TRIBE is going back to basics to give customers what they want, and nothing else. In their rooms, guests will benefit from under-bed storage, have the opportunity to unwind in front of the Smart TV or enjoy a refreshing shower using Kevin Murphy professional products. Nespresso coffee capsules and T2 teabags are provided free of charge in place of a pricey minibar. A Grab & Go station is also available 24/7.

As a world-leading actor in the travel and lifestyle sectors, Accor continues to expand its brand portfolio. Following the success of JO&JOE and partnerships with 25Hours, Mama Shelter and, more recently, sbe Entertainment (including the Delano, SLS, The House of Originals, Mondrian and Hyde brands), Accor proceeds with the enforcement of its lifestyle ecosystem.

Oceana to debut in Q2 following $25 Million transformation

800 523 Hamish Kilburn

Already underway with a $25 million head-to-toe transformation, the current Oceana Beach Club Hotel has announced it will re-emerge as the all-new Oceana in May 2019

A secluded haven for world travellers, celebrities and titans of industry since opening across from the beach on fabled Ocean Avenue in 1996, Oceana Beach Hotel is expected to shake up the West Coast scene this summer as it reopens its doors.

The new Oceana will evoke a stunning beachside home-away-from-home and deliver a rare private residential experience in Santa Monica’s most coveted neighborhood north of Wilshire Boulevard – where the sun-kissed ocean meets the prestige of walkable Montana Avenue. Oceana will feature an all-new entrance and lobby; 70 striking guest suites with ocean views and custom high-end furnishings; a private indoor-outdoor restaurant and bar curated by a famed Santa Monica restauranteur; lush outdoor courtyard lounge with swimming pool and stylish social gathering space; a state-of-the-art fitness studio and spa; and space for intimate events.

“We are thrilled to soon welcome world travelers to the new Oceana that will offer exclusive access to the best of Santa Monica’s celebrated beach lifestyle,” said Jim Lippman, Chairman & CEO of owner and operator JRK Hotel Group. “With an authentic take on intimate, residential-style luxury steps from the Pacific Ocean, Oceana will bring a new caliber of five-star hospitality to the iconic beaches of Southern California.”

“The lobby will feature mesmerising views of the Pacific Ocean”

Oceana’s new design from interior designer Anna Busta of Busta Studio in New York City will see elegant modern design captivate the senses across every inch of a beachside home-away-from-home. Busta, which specialises in high-end home interior design, will employ the design principals from her private residence work to bring Oceana to life with custom high-end furnishings commissioned for the hotel; a rich yet soothing color palette where soft ivories, silvers and blues meet blackened steel and gold metal accents; bold geometric patterns and extensive wood finishes; and a custom art program in collaboration with Los Angeles artists and international photographers.

A grand two-story entrance clad in ivy will usher guests into the privacy of this intimate Santa Monica hideaway. The lobby will feature mesmerising views of the Pacific Ocean and outdoor courtyard lounge with pool while offering a stunning living room setting with a hanging glass light installation by Alison Berger, contemporary fire pit and cerused oak wood ship lap paneling.

Seventy guest suites – many offering ocean views – will feature hanging swings beside front doors; a sumptuous color palette with soothing neutrals, blues and bold geometric patterns; all custom high-end furnishings and accent pieces including rich velvet sofas, four-poster beds, luxe minibar cabinets and hand-tufted rugs from Nepal; captivating artwork commissioned from Los Angeles artists and international photographers; Loro Piana bedding and Frette linens; spa-inspired bathrooms with Bottega Veneta amenities; and a state-of-the-art technology package.

Guest suites with living rooms average a spacious 850 square feet and eight room types range from studio suites (500 square feet) to two-bedroom ocean-view suites (up to 1,700 square feet). Select suites will feature ocean-view balconies and amenities including luxury soaking tubs, walk-in closets, pull-out queen sofa beds, fully-stocked kitchens and connecting options.

A sleek indoor-outdoor restaurant and bar curated by a notable Santa Monica restauranteur will be a members-only destination unto itself that is available exclusively to hotel guests. Fashioned in soft pastels inspired by ocean sunsets that paint the sky just beyond its windows, the restaurant will serve New American cuisine rooted in hyper-local ingredients from the world-famous Santa Monica Farmer’s Market. Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be available as well as an overnight room service menu.

An outdoor courtyard lounge will evolve from a chic daytime relaxation and social gathering space to a posh evening hideout available exclusively to hotel guests. Framed by lush greenery and blooms from landscape architecture firm Perry Guillot of the Hamptons, the outdoor courtyard lounge will offer a swimming pool, alfresco dining and cocktails, fire pits and James Perse upholstered teak furniture.

 

Oceana is owned and operated by JRK Hotel Group, a division of Los Angeles-based JRK Property Holdings which is a real estate investment firm specializing in the ownership, management, leasing and redevelopment of properties in primary and secondary markets throughout the U.S.

Anantara to debut in Mauritius

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Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas is entering the luxury hospitality sector on the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius with the announcement of Anantara Mauritius Resort – a new luxury property on the South Eastern coast which is scheduled to open in Q4 2019…

Part of an integrated coastal development, a new Anantara resort located near Blue Bay Marine Park will arrive at the end of this year.

Anantara Mauritius Resort will feature 164 guestrooms and suites, with eight luxury pool villas – two with two bedrooms and six with four bedrooms – to be added in the first half of 2020. Facilities at the resort will include Sea.Fire.Salt – a specialty grill and seafood restaurant with courtyard and beach dining, an all-day dining restaurant, private dining with a wine cellar, a healthy wellness-focused cafe, two bars – one by the poolside and one facing the beach, a 30-metre ozone-based swimming pool, a gym and a signature Anantara Spa.

The look and feel of the new resort have been created by award winning Ground Kent Architects,  Australia, in collaboration with the Office of Global Architecture in Mauritius, alongside Abacus Design interior designers of Thailand. The design reflects the melting pot history of the country, drawing influences from the rich architectural heritage seen in the capital Port Louis and around the island. Natural, locally-sourced materials take precedence, harmoniously anchoring the buildings in their natural setting. Taking inspiration from local colonial architecture, the overall effect effortlessly evokes the vibe of a relaxing, tropical beach house, yet one with a distinctly modern feel.

modern guestroom overlooking the beach

Image credit: Anantara Mauritius

The use of scattered light, basalt and volcanic stone, drift wood, wave-and-ripple patterns and neutral sandy colours blur the line between the indoor and the outdoor. Fabrics and art selected for the rooms are a contrasting combination of accents of orange, deep ultramarine and royal yellow as a nod to Blue Bay’s crystal waters, sandy beaches and legendary sunsets.

With the resort’s dining options ranging from traditional creole cooking to fine dining, guests can expect a gastronomic experience rooted in an exotic blend of European, Asian and African influences. Most of the ingredients will be harvested locally since Mauritius benefits from incredibly fertile soil, while the ocean is the source of the freshest seafood and fish.

As part of Anantara’s commitment to sustainability, the resort will incorporate solar technology for water heating in all guest rooms, to reduce the usage on energy. Other green initiatives include planting endemic flora within the hotel landscaping, reusing water for irrigation and cleaning as well as incorporating recycled materials into resort décor. The property will be plastic straw-free, an Anantara standard, and where possible organic farming methods will be encouraged throughout its restaurant supply chain.

An island nation in the south western Indian Ocean, Mauritius is known for its varied flora and fauna, with many species endemic to the island. Famously the only known home of the dodo, an avian species which became extinct back in the 1600s, the island offers nature-centred activities both onshore and offshore. Visitors can charter a boat for deep sea fishing, paddle over serene blue waters in a glass-bottomed kayak to go snorkelling, embark on bird-watching walks on nearby islands, explore botanical gardens and more.

Main image credit: Anantara Mauritius Resort

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Checking In: MOB Hotel Paris, where it all started

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Checking In: MOB Hotel Paris, where it all started

On the doorstep of Paris’ infamous flea market, MOB Hotel Paris – the original MOB – is designed ‘for the people’. Editor Hamish Kilburn checks in to see where the MOB Hotels story started…

In order to understand MOB Hotels’ style, ethos and energy you must first, in my opinion, meet the man behind the brand.

©Aldo_Paredes_MOB_Hotel_Paris_HD_54-1-800x533-768x512

Cyril Aouizerate, the CEO of MOB Hotels, is a gentleman who eats, sleeps and breathes MOB Hotels, which he created last year and believes that a great hotel is designed around great people. “My desire to was create movement,” he told me when describing the brand’s origins. “My objective is to use the hotels in our portfolio to create a new vision in the world that a hotel is more than just a bed for the night. That is why, for me, understanding the culture of each of our hotel’s location is so important.” That movement started in Paris and has since moved into Lyon as well as there being plans for a 2020 opening in Washington D.C.

Hidden among red and orange buildings, the entrance to the 92-key MOB Hotel Paris is surprisingly understated and worlds away from the stereotypical view of postcard Paris. Instead being among of chic neighborhood of shops and cafes, the hotel is in the heart of an urban adventure, located just south of the Saint Ouen, north of the city centre. It’s not immediately obvious that the two buildings, which were disused telecom factories only a few years ago, would shelter a quirky design-led boutique hotel. But expecting the unexpected is something that all guests should prepare when joining the MOB way of thinking.

Much like the Flea Market that borders the property, the architecture firm BBC Architecte created MOB Hotel Paris around the raw energy and creativity of the brand. The lobby inside is complete with wooden trunks as pod-like reception desks and very wears a bohemian personality. Simple yet productive, the space is a relatively empty shell that is curated only with stylish pop-up-store merchandise.

Image credit: Mob Hotels

The first real indication of Aouizerate’s unravelled creative mind comes when walking through the lobby and into the open-planned, lounge-like restaurant. With interiors by Kristian Gavoille et Valérie Garcia, the walls tell a story of comedy with fruits and vegetables being personified and remembered with plaques – my personal favourite among them being “R.I.P Mister Eggplant, who died for Baba Ganouche.” Furthermore, the large curtains that separate the restaurant from the conservatory, at first, look like they are printed references of The Last Supper. However, on closer inspection, all is not what it first seems. Famous faces in both the design world, from the likes of Philippe Starck, and significant figures in popular culture, such as Barak Obama, have been printed on the fabrics to add character and offer a further reference to Aouizerate’s involvement in the design process and decisions.

©Aldo_Paredes

Image credit: Aldo Paredes

Upstairs and although the comedy is softened, the style of each guestrooms is equally as edgy while also remaining thoughtful to the needs and requirements of guests checking in. In the bathrooms, which are tastefully positioned without creating too many unnecessary barriers, include Duravit fittings, Geberit WCs and Villeroy & Boch showers. Although the mustard yellow carpets and peachy pink walls in the guestrooms may not be to everyone’s taste, the unique headboards that are made to reference theatre stage curtains cannot be ignored as a quirky and unique feature to entice guests to tell their own narrative.

Complete with a Fatboy beanbag, low-level furniture from IKEA and mobile spotlight lighting, the guestrooms are idiosyncratic to say the least, but also balance within them a sense of play and can adapted to suit the needs of whoever is checking in. With a strong message to bring guests together, there are deliberately no TVs in each of the rooms, but projectors and iPads can be provided on request.

Sneak peak into the bathroom

Image credit: Mob Hotels

The dictionary definition of mob is “a large crowd of people, especially one that is disorderly and intent on causing trouble or violence.” Although the brand isn’t planning on causing any violence or trouble, it certainly is ready to cause a scene. With plans for the brand to broaden out as far as Washington D.C., the Paris MOB is also expanding. Just down the road, the skeleton of a new kind of MOB is taking form. MOB House, which is expected to open in January 2020, will pride itself on a sheltering a different style. The hotel’s interiors are being imagined by non-other than award-winning designer and long-term friend of Mob Hotels, Phillipe Starck.

Other suppliers

Furniture in the restaurant: Tonet/Drucker
Outdoor furniture: Fermob
Furniture in guestroom: Fatboy/Sempre

Main image credit: Aldo Paredes

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Ritz-Carlton, Berlin reopens after 40m Euro renovation

1024 576 Hamish Kilburn

The recent renovation of Ritz-Carlton, Berlin showcases a chic, elegant design evoking 1920s Berlin with creative details and references to the golden era of German cinema…

The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin has announced the culmination of a 40 million euro renovation. The meticulous refurbishment, largely funded by its ownership Beisheim Group, heralds in a new era of elegance through refreshed guestrooms and suites, conference, wellness, lobby and lounge areas and the addition of POTS, a new restaurant. Each space evokes a vision of Berlin in the 1920s, with guests encountering creative details and thoughtful references to the golden era of German cinema.

“The recent completion of this meticulous 40 million euro renovation at The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin marks a momentous occasion for this hotel, whose storied location has sat at the epicentre of history for over a century,” said Jenni Benzaquen, Vice President, Luxury Brands – Europe, Marriott International. “Present throughout the hotel in details large and small, the new design beautifully captures the gilded glamour of Berlin in the 1920’s, while celebrating the city’s ever-changing spirit. Our Ladies and Gentlemen will continue to provide legendary service to our luxury travellers during their visit to one of the most unique cities in Europe.”

The hotel’s imaginatively redesigned guest rooms and suites are the work of G.A. Design’s Budapest team, as is the grand entrance guests experience in the lobby upon arrival. An ornate sweeping marble and ironwork staircase makes a statement, while sparkling crystal chandeliers evoke the flurry of flashbulbs that punctuate the annual Berlinale Film Festival. Radiating 1920s flair, one wall gleams with stylised champagne glasses while guests will find one of the recurring motifs of the new design at reception: an abstract representation of a screen, reminiscent of film star’s cloakrooms.

“It is wonderful to see how the architecture of the building, with its light sandstone façade, compliments the elegant interior design, forming a harmonious whole,” said Robert Petrović, General Director at The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin. “We wanted to make our new Art Deco design story as personal as possible – our guests are our focus.”

Image credit: Matthew Shaw

In the style of early 20th century literary salons, the spacious lobby is the ideal place for guests to relax, exchange ideas or enjoy a game of chess. An eye-catching marble fireplace replaces real flames with a bold sculpture, while She Represents, a 1928 painting by artist Jeanne Mammen, hangs above the mantelpiece – a declaration of love for the vitality of Berlin women. The adjoining space, flooded with daylight, features views of Potsdamer Platz, providing an ambience of a retreat where guests can take a break from the bustling city.

The lovingly redesigned guest rooms and suites of The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin are epitome of modern luxury. Day meets night in the contrasting colours of full-height headboards, while geometric patterns symbolise the historical significance of Potsdamer Platz. As with the lobby, the rooms also echo the city’s great film heritage. Elegant wash and make-up tables suggest the wardrobes of early silver screen icons while the sleek honour bar offers a nod to their classic wardrobe boxes”. State of
the art technology is also thoughtfully woven into the experience, including touchscreens controlling all in-room electronics and convenient charging stations built into seating. In the Carlton Club Suite, shades of blue represent the moon and Berlin nightlife and in The Ritz-Carlton Suite, warm golden tones are a nod to the city’s sunny sides.

The Lounge creates the heart of the hotel, shining in new splendour with dazzling mirror accents across its marble floor.  Designed in the style of a South American hacienda, a Living Room lies in the heart of the bar with a stage for live music.  A vision in red and gold, the Fragrances Bar is home to the high art of mixology, centred around scents and where Heissen enthrals guests with his “fragrant” cocktail creations. An interactive experience, guests choose their favourite cocktails from a walk-through bar menu, the Hall of Fame, where each drink is inspired by a top-quality gourmet perfume. The bar’s design is based on elaborate perfume flacons with ingredients and spirits arranged in pharmacy bottles, reflecting the mixologist’s experimental work. Dark mirrors underscore the sensual approach and mystical character of the space, with six avant-garde Golden Age-inspired drawings by local artist Tina Berning lining the walls.

Re-envisaged by interior expert Carbone Design, the hotel’s newly modernized wellness space brings a hint of glamour to the workout and wellness experience. Guests can also take advantage of two saunas, a cosmetic treatment menu and state-of-the-art fitness equipment. The divisible ballroom of the Beletage conference area is ideal for lavish parties as well as corporate events. Inspired by the 1920s nightlife, Czech lighting designer Lasvit created large Bohemian glass lamps in striking shapes, giving special dimension to the space. Seven additional event rooms featuring state-of-the-art technology have a total area of 1,800 square metres.

Main image credit: Matthew Shaw

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Two new hotels with 500 rooms to arrive at Düsseldorf airport.

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H-Hotels signs a new contract for H2 Hotel and H4 Hotel at Düsseldorf airport, both slated to open in 2024…

H-Hotels Group is embarking upon the next stage of its dual brand concept by announcing two new hotels at Düsseldorf airport. The hotels will be constructed on Wanheimer Straße, in the immediate vicinity of Düsseldorf airport, and will be of particular interest to business travellers as a conference and congress venue.

The building complex will occupy grounds of around 15,000 square metres, located to the north of the state capital of North Rhine-Westphalia. It will host an H2 Hotel featuring 237 rooms as well as an H4 Hotel offering 264 rooms. A generous conference centre with an area of around 1,000 square metres will be available to guests of both hotels. This will also be the case for the planned fitness centre and ‘sky bar’ on the eighth floor. Around 18,000 square metres of office facilities will occupy the area that is parallel to the hotels. An underground car park with 700 parking spaces will complete the facilities.

Thanks to its unbeatable location in the immediate vicinity of the airport, the terminals can be reached using the SkyTrain in just a few minutes. The ICE long-distance train station is just five minutes away, which means that both the city centre of Düsseldorf as well as the exhibition complex can also be reached quickly using public transport.

“Our dual brand concept with its impressive conference facilities is the perfect response to this exclusive location, right next to one of the largest airports in the country,” said Alexander Fitz, CEO of H-Hotels AG. “This means that travellers can choose between completely different accommodation options depending on their preferences.”

The real estate partners for the project are Nördliche Spitze GmbH & Co. KG, a joint venture between Reggeborgh, Delta Project Development, and Kondor Wessels. Managing Directors Johannes G.S. Hegeman and Lars Stillmann are delighted by the joint project: “In the H-Hotels Group we have found a very experienced hotel operator, whose concept corresponded perfectly with the project and its environment. Future office users will be able to take advantage of all of the hotel’s services within the building.”

Reggeborgh is a family-led investment company from the Netherlands and has also been active as a property business in Germany for more than 25 years. The company is responsible for the fund and asset management of several property funds in Germany and the Netherlands, with which Reggeborgh is also significantly involved. Another of the company’s fields of activity is the development and management of projects for high-quality residential and commercial property projects. In this respect, Reggeborgh stands for the sustainable and innovative development of ambitious property projects, as well as their implementation.

“The fundamental idea behind their property developments is the C2C concept.”

With more than 120 completed projects, primarily within Germany and the Netherlands, the Delta Group is active as a property development company. The fundamental idea behind their property developments is the C2C concept. The intelligent use of all kinds of resources – as well as the possible reutilisation of these resources – is one of the challenges facing the property sector of today and the future. The value of the group’s current portfolio, with a focus on residential and commercial properties, is in excess of €500 million.

Kondor Wessels boasts more than 25 years of experience in the development, planning and construction of residential properties, care homes, and office properties as well as mixed residential districts. With all of its projects, the company takes responsibility for the entire construction process as a partner, as well as delivering added value – all from a single source. Currently, more than 38 property projects with a total value of more than 700 million euros are being supervised by Kondor Wessels in Berlin, Frankfurt and North Rhine-Westphalia.

The project was supervised by Horwath HTL Germany – hcb hospitality competence berlin GmbH, operating as a consultant. The tenants were assisted by GVW Graf von Westphalen lawyers, and the lessors were assisted by lawyers from Bornheim and Partners.

Main image credit: H-Hotels

S Hotel Jamaica opens in Montego Bay

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Making its highly anticipated debut, the new stylish S Hotel Jamaica in Montego Bay is poised as the ultimate trendsetting hotspot overlooking famed Doctor’s Cave Beach…

The inspiration for the newly arrived S Hotel Jamaica is as cosmopolitan as it comes, but the feeling is notably Jamaican as the country’s soul and culture swirl together to create this new multi-experiential hotel. Buzzing bars, a high-spirited pool scene, the Sky Deck for the exclusive use of those booked on concierge floors, an international restaurant, a café, spa, gym and guestrooms with an elevated design aesthetic, thoughtfully combine to create a modern and effervescent sense of place, reinvigorating MoBay’s irie Hip Strip featuring new shops, restaurants, entertainment and more.

Chris Issa, Jamaican entrepreneur and owner of the recently formed Crissa Hotels including Kingston’s iconic Spanish Court Hotel comments, ”We’re creating a new kind of hotel in Montego Bay, one that infuses modern Jamaican culture balanced with the sophistication of an urban hotel and the laidback style of a beach resort, appealing to international travelers and locals alike.”

Award winning, full-service, Miami-based luxury design firm, Antrobus Ramirez directed the interior design of the hotel with Jamaica-born designer Alison Antrobus and design partner Ruby Ramirez, spearheading the project. A towering 25-foot interior lobby walled with coral stone greet guests with a central ‘boardwalk’ made from local Jatoba hardwood physically and visually connecting the hotel’s many water elements from the stunning entryway water feature leading back to the central swimming pool, setting the stage for grand processions of hotel activity.

The main swimming pool is framed by lounge-worthy swim-out cabanas and white sand lines the area around the pool dotted with beach chairs and a sleek wood deck completing the resort-style atmosphere.

Image credit: S Hotel Jamaica

Jamaican historical and cultural design elements are at the forefront woven in with modern interpretations. Artisanal weaving techniques are used in unexpected applications such as the 20-foot screens made with rattan cane panels and “Cut Stone”, typically used in traditional Jamaican buildings, serving as inspiration and adorning the lobby walls. Dotted throughout the property, guests find the works of local Lumber Artist, Tamara Harding, whose pieces feature wood recycled from the trees removed from the property during construction.

Local artists contributed original pieces such as a hand painted mural and a dramatic photomontage of “faces of Jamaica” that adorn the hotel’s dining venues. A 14-foot antique dining table made by Mr. T.T. Jackson, a famous furniture maker in the 1950’s, also serves as a focal point.

A massive investment in Spain-based Dekton flooring by Cosentino is being used throughout and S Hotel is the company’s single largest project outside of Spain. Its durability, resistance to UV rays, scratches, stains, thermal shock and very low water absorption make this progressive surface perfect for the hotel’s outdoor and indoor use.

Clean, linear lines in the guestrooms

Image credit: S Hotel Jamaica

In the guestrooms, sleek interiors with an overarching monochromatic theme give way to gorgeous blue Caribbean Sea or lively city views, while oversized “wicker” wrapped soaking tubs stand out in the Spa Suites. The hotel’s signature Sky Suite soars above the property with 20-foot ceilings while the Presidential Suite features three bedrooms and a living/dining room. Other room categories range from The Essentials to Spa Suites that include various spa amenities while each room features turntables complete with a copy of Bob Marley’s iconic album “Legend”.

The pinnacle of the property is the Sky Deck, exclusive to Sky Club Suite guests. Boasting an enviable rooftop location with a glass enclosed pool surrounded by cabanas and loungers; this is the ideal spot for sunset to enjoy modern cocktails and a decadent tapas menu for refined revelry.

 

Image credit: S Hotel Jamaica

The new S Hotel is centrally located on Montego Bay’s irie Hip Strip, recently re-christened Jimmy Cliff Boulevard, just five minutes from Sangster International Airport and walking distance to nightlife, restaurants and shopping.

S Hotel is the second hotel project from Jamaican entrepreneur Chris Issa, owner of the newly created Crissa Hotels. The term Crissa is derived from the Jamaican Patois word, “Kriss” meaning “excellent.” The group includes the popular Spanish Court Hotel and the Spanish Court Worthington event venue in Kingston, and in Montego Bay, Usain Bolt’s Tracks & Records restaurant outpost located adjacent to the new S Hotel Jamaica.

Main image credit: S Hotel Jamaica

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Kimpton Hotels arrives in Scotland

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Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel brings a new, approachable luxury hotel offering to historic Edinburgh…

IHG has announced the opening of the first Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants in Scotland, Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel, as it continues to invest in Scotland as a luxury destination.

Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel is in one of Edinburgh’s most beautiful squares in the Georgian New Town, a UNESCO world heritage site. With a view of Edinburgh Castle and historic hotspots just a short walk away, the hotel is at the perfect intersection between old and new. The 184 rooms and 15 suites are part of seven interconnecting Georgian townhouses which showcase Kimpton’s bold and playful design.

Last year IHG and Covivio entered an agreement to rebrand and operate 12 hotels (and one pipeline hotel) operating under the Principal and De Vere brands. The Principal Charlotte Square is the second of these properties to rebrand as a Kimpton, following the successful opening of Kimpton Fitzroy London in October 2018. The opening of Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel marks IHG’s return to the luxury market in Edinburgh, as the first branded luxury hotel in Scotland in over a decade. This year will see a continuation of this momentum with additional Kimpton hotel openings in Glasgow and Manchester and an InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts opening in Edinburgh.

Hotel guests will enjoy Kimpton’s signature perks such as in-room yoga mats and Kimpton’s ‘Forgot It, We’ve Got it’ service offering important guest essentials. Guests can also meet fellow travellers at Kimpton’s daily social hour in the hotel’s BABA Bar, take part in free fitness and wellness classes at the recently refurbished, state-of-the-art gym, or enjoy a relaxing treatment at The Spa.

“Kimpton has built its brand on the belief that heartfelt human connections make people’s lives better. We inspire curiosity and embrace people exactly as they are, creating truly meaningful guest experiences,” said Johan Scheepers, General Manager, Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel. “Each Kimpton hotel is an escape from the ordinary, and Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel will offer a vibrant Scottish service full of charm and personality, in one of the world’s most historic cities.”Karan Khanna, Managing Director, UK & Ireland, IHG commented: “We are very excited to build our presence in the luxury market in Scotland as we introduce the Kimpton brand. Edinburgh has a real demand for a lifestyle luxury brand and I’m confident that Kimpton’s relaxed approach to luxury will suit the market well.”

IHG currently has 345 hotels* operating under eight brands in the UK, including: InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, Hotel Indigo, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts, voco, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express and Staybridge Suites, with another 29 in the pipeline.

*Numbers as at 31 December 2018.

Main image credit: Kimpton Hotels/IHG

20 new resorts slated to open in The Maldives in 2019

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20 new resorts slated to open in The Maldives in 2019

Top Hotel Projects has announced that the region will see a large increase in developments this year as demand for luxury in the Maldives continues to grow…

The President of The Maldives has announced that the tropical region made up of 26 ring-shaped atolls will welcome 20 new resort openings this year. In his presidential address to a sitting of parliament, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has said with the new resorts, the number of beds in the country will increase to more than 47,000.

“By the end of last year, 1.4 million tourists from around the world visited the Maldives, and there were 145 resorts and 521 guest houses operating with a total of 44,860 beds,” the president said as reported by Top Hotel News.

Tourism and hospitality in the tropical nation has been steadily growing in recent years. Eleven new resorts opened in 2016, followed by at least 15 new resorts in 2017 and 20 new properties last year. Over the past few years, dozens of uninhabited islands have been leased to local and foreign resort developers as well. Several international brands have entered into the market too, increasing the number of resorts in operation to more than 140.

Singapore’s Park Hotel Group has opened its first resort in the Maldives, while major international hotel chains such as AccorHotels have entered the Maldives with three openings, including Mercure Maldives Kooddoo ResortFairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi and Mӧvenpick Resort Kuredhivaru Maldives, with two more in the pipeline.

Brands like Hard Rock InternationalCapella Hotel Group, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, Emaar Hospitality GroupBaglioni Hotels, Emerald Collection and Meliá Hotels International have all announced their own entries to the Maldives as well.

Main image credit: Radisson Blu Maldives

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HOTEL OPENING: Lincoln Plaza London’s design inspired by London Docklands

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By taking note of the exciting and vibrant spirit of the London Docklands area, RPW Design was the design firm that sensitively designed the 129-key Lincoln Plaza London… 

Based in the heart of Canary Wharf, RPW Design has announced the opening of its most recent project, Lincoln Plaza London. Conveying its location into the hotel, the experienced RPW Design team, led by Nicola Romanelli and Richard Snow, has maintained a unique and luxurious experience through the guestrooms, function and meeting spaces while staying true to the location. RPW Design took Canary Wharf as a treasure trove of inspiration; from the historic shipping and dockland past to the present day, high tech, modern, business, luxury residential living and extraordinary architecture.

When approaching the design for a property in such a vibrant area of the city, RPW Design was inspired by a quote from the design brief for the new Hilton Curio Brand: “Hotels with a special character you can’t duplicate. They’re part of the fabric of their cities: true locals, each embodying the spirit of their home”.

For Richard Snow, Senior Designer at RPW Design, this quote really stood out and inspired the design story for Lincoln Plaza London. “We drew on the rich industrial past of the area using rusty tones and finishes alongside the design of joinery and FF&E pieces with exposed metal framework,” he told Hotel Designs. “At the same time, conscious of the hotel brand and surrounding residential developments, we included quality finishes such as natural stone in the bathrooms and on joinery, as well as statement pieces like the rusty/burnished gold wall covering to the bed head wall.”

Image credit: Main image credit: Lincoln Plaza London/Curio Collection by Hilton

Lincoln Plaza London’s focus on luxurious lifestyle facilities has been seamlessly translated throughout the 129 guest rooms. The layout of the rooms was creatively developed to move away from the standard hotel offering by incorporating the vanity into the main lobby area of the room, creating a sense of space and openness in the room. A decision to remove the traditional hotel room desk was made, and instead RPW designed a multi-use table at the right height for either a work space or dining table whilst seated at the armchair. These changes allow a more residential feel. From the bespoke shelving units made of blackened steel and antique brass, through to the marble rainfall showers, all elements work together harmoniously. The guestroom artwork was carefully curated in collaboration with RPW Design’s Art Consultant, Peter Millard and Partners, in order to show some of the East End’s most famous and unique artists: Gary Hogben; Julian Bray; Kyra Cane; and Tom Clark. Meanwhile, individual sculptural pieces by Simon Bingle, positioned in every floor lift lobby, hark back to the industrial landscape still visible around the hotel. This particular bespoke artwork conveys RPW Design’s attention to details that is inherent in their projects.

Canary Wharf is a more recent business hub for London, and the Hilton Curio offers 465 square metres of event space that is distributed across seven meeting rooms.  With sleek design details, RPW Design implemented a blend of “old industrial” and contemporary design. RPW Design has created a popular new space in this centre of commerce and it is a truly unique destination for the Docklands.

Image credit: Main image credit: Lincoln Plaza London/Curio Collection by Hilton

The reflection of the historical and industrial shipping dock is continued throughout the hotel, from the lower-ground meeting and function spaces to the fitness centre. Lincoln Plaza’s fitness centre is designed to be simple and modern, reflecting the location’s industrial heritage with a concrete reception desk formed out of concrete and rusty metal effect laminate in the joinery.

Lincoln Plaza’s meeting areas can be reached by a feature staircase that is formed of shuttered concrete, poured in situ, with an exposed timber imprint remaining on view, contrasted by a polished concrete floor. The rough concrete is offset by a luxurious brushed brass handrail and stair treads, with concealed lighting to add drama. This is diffused into the pre-function space, with a concrete render-effect wall covering and rich, dark timber doors.

Image credit: Main image credit: Lincoln Plaza London/Curio Collection by Hilton

The function areas are versatile spaces that may be configured dependent on the client’s needs and meeting planners’ specifications. The large function room can be divided into thirds when required and the buffet counters housing TV and tea/coffee facilities in the individual meeting rooms can also be concealed, thus enabling various uses from one space. A central area with a communal work table, features iconic pieces of furniture from Poltrona Frau, Walter Knoll and Porada. The cranes, such a familiar sight in the Docklands, are reflected in the pattern of two large metal work screens, dividing the pre-function area. The walls of the function rooms are designed with contrasting finishes, featuring geometric patterned wallpaper and bespoke lighting, continuing the theme.

Andrew Hart, Chairman of interior fit-out contractor Fileturn, commented: “This project was one which used all the skills of the team on site to incorporate the new designs within the existing structural shell. The fit-out areas designed by RPW included public areas, conference and meeting room facilities as well as bedrooms. The end results have produced a striking hotel in keeping with its surroundings and one the team here at Fileturn can deservedly be proud of”.

RPW Design worked alongside Fileturn to make the design become a reality, creating the perfect addition to the Curio Collection by Hilton.

Main image credit: Lincoln Plaza London/Curio Collection by Hilton

MEET UP LONDON: 3 weeks to go

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Calling all designers, architects, hoteliers and suppliers: Meet Up London takes place on March 28 at Minotti London… 

Designers, architects and hoteliers can purchase tickets here.
Suppliers can purchase tickets here.

There are just three weeks to go until the industry will gather together for Hotel Designs’ Q1 networking event, Meet Up London.

Taking place on March 28 at Minotti London, the evening event is designed to bridge the gap between designers, architects, hoteliers and key-industry suppliers.

Meet Up London will be attended by more than 200 hospitality professionals. As well as providing the perfect networking stage for professionals who are working on the hotel design scene, the event will also pay special attention to young designers as it will unveil Hotel Designs’ 30 Under 30 (the shortlist can be accessed here).

The latest names to the guest list include designers, directors and 30 Under 30 shortlisted finalists from the likes of B3 Designers, Yasmine Mahmoudieh Design Studio, Scott Brownrigg and M Studio.

They will join designers and directors from leading studios such as Richmond InternationalHBA LondonGenslerJestico + WhilesGoddard LittlefairProject Orange and WATG who are among the names that are also confirmed to attend.

Agenda for Meet Up London: 

 

How to attend Meet Up London 

If you are an interior designer, architect, operator or hotelier and would like to attend Meet Up London, click here to book your place.

If you are a supplier to the hospitality industry looking to attend the event, contact Zoe Guerrier on 01992 374059 or on z.guerrier@forumevents.co.uk – or click here to book your place.

For more information about becoming a Hotel Designs Meet Up sponsor, contact Zoe Guerrier on 01992 374059 or email z.guerrier@forumevents.co.uk.

Sustainable design transforms London boutique hotel

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Each guestroom of the newly renovated Fuller’s Fox & Goose has been consciously designed to allow for the highest degree of sustainable and ethical sourcing…

Interior architects Sibley Grove has completed work on a collection of hotel guestrooms for the brewery, Fuller, Smith & Turner at The Fox & Goose business hotel in Ealing, London.

All products and materials used in the project have been assessed on five fundamental principles: aesthetic quality, build quality, value, environmental impact and social impact. The bespoke joinery has been designed for disassembly making it easier to reuse the materials in the future. Meanwhile, the upholstery and dressing items have been created using fabric with recycled content from mills in the UK or mainland Europe. Cradle to Cradle CertifiedTM products have been used throughout, including suspended ceilings from Armstrong, Tiles from Mosa and carpets from Ege Carpets.

Sibley Grove strongly believes that design should be a vehicle for positive change – both environmentally and socially. “A chair that looks great, is affordable and well made, but achieves this through being manufactured in a factory with poor employment rights and a lack of safety equipment is a failed product,” says Sibley Grove director, Jeremy Grove. “Likewise, a product from a great factory using sustainable materials that is poorly made and overpriced is an equally failed product.”

“We’re making a continuous effort to tackle some of the issues that are rife in the design industry.

“In today’s world, regardless of budget, it’s unacceptable to knowingly create stuff that is harmful to the environment or reliant on an exploited labour market. Cradle to Cradle is a great system for designers to measure and manage the impact of the products they specify as it takes into consideration material health, renewable energy, water stewardship and social fairness.”

Image credit: Sibley Grove

Key materials used in the project:

Major suppliers include Castlebrook (furniture), Mosa, Ege, Hansgrohe, Armstrong and recommended supplier Chelsom Lighting.

Reading lighting on side of headboard

Image caption: Chelsom Lighting were used as a sustainable lighting product for the project

The project uses materials, fixtures and fittings that are considerate of the environmental and social impact, with no additional cost to the client. The guestrooms are light, bright and open space with contemporary detailing. In addition, the space is functional and practical, perfect for business customers.

 

Sibley Grove is an interior design studio founded by Kate Sibley and Jeremy Grove, based in Totnes, Devon. The company has a deliberately open and collaborative approach to design, bringing together local suppliers with global companies and clients who share our commitment and ambition to design things better.

 

Is this hotel California’s most luxurious beachside retreat?

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Rosewood Miramar Beach has opened as the first ultra-luxury beachside resort in Southern California to offer guestrooms set directly over the sand…

Located in Santa Barbara’s picturesque Montecito community, Miramar, meaning ‘to behold the sea,’ Rosewood Miramar Beach has opened. Taking its name from its remarkable location on one of the most beautiful and pristine beaches in California, a fitting setting for Rosewood’s first property in Southern California, the hotel shelters 124 guestrooms and 37 suites.

Owned and developed by Caruso, the company behind some of the world’s most acclaimed shopping, dining and lifestyle destinations, the hotel embodies the brand’s commitment to creating properties that reflect the unique fabric of the communities in which they live.

“Rosewood Miramar Beach is the pinnacle of design, setting and service.” – Sonia Cheng, CEO of Rosewood Hotel Group

“Rosewood Miramar Beach is the culmination of years of hard work and dedicated service to the Montecito community. What makes Miramar Beach so special, beyond the incomparable setting, is its history as a beloved icon of hospitality – it’s simply embedded in the land,” said Rick Caruso, owner, Rosewood Miramar Beach, and founder and chief executive officer, Caruso. “We’re honored to now usher in a new era of hospitality and welcome locals and travelers back to this cherished retreat.”

Inspired by the beautiful homes and grand estates of Montecito, and true to Rosewood’s signature residential-style, Rosewood Miramar Beach provides guests a truly unique experience – as if being hosted in a private home – across all guest touch-points; the resort is residential in style, service and sentiment.  The property was manifested from Rick’s idea of a sprawling Montecito estate that grew over time, in tandem with the growth of a family – a homage to the genesis of the original property.

“Rosewood Miramar Beach is the pinnacle of design, setting and service,” said Sonia Cheng, chief executive officer of Rosewood Hotel Group. “It is a true jewel not only in the rich hospitality landscape of Montecito and Santa Barbara, but across the globe. Guests will delight in the relaxed atmosphere of coastal California while enjoying Rosewood’s intuitive service and our modern, ultra-luxury approach to the resort experience.”

At the heart of the property is the magnificent Manor House where a dramatic stone-paved driveway leads up to a striking single-entry, solid-wood front door that opens into the home’s grand foyer.

The centerpiece of the residence is its luxuriantly-curved staircase – a tribute to an original design by esteemed Southern Californian architect Paul Williams, remembered by many as an architect to the stars. Williams’ work and vision is distinctly Southern Californian and has influenced residential and hospitality design worldwide. His original drawings are on display within the property’s entryway, showcasing a number of sketches, including the inspiration behind the resort’s spiral staircase.

Image credit: Rosewood Hotels & Resorts

Three signature suites reside in the Manor House including The Founder’s Residence, The Miramar Suite and The Ambassador Suite. Each provide the utmost in luxury, space and style, infusing distinctly residential design details throughout the resort – the product of collaboration with Rick Caruso’s personal interior designer, Diane Johnson. Boasting spectacular views and distinct décor and design, the signature suites can be combined with king-sized guestrooms to form an entirely private, seven-bedroom retreat within the Manor House.

Complementing the grandeur of the Manor House, spread more than 16 acres of lush landscaping, are the Bungalows and Lanai House guestrooms. Each guestroom accommodation is light-filled and spacious and offers a furnished balcony or patio, a roomy dressing area, and awe-inspiring views of the garden, ocean or mountainside. Lavish bathrooms provide every indulgence with elegant marble finishes, freestanding soaking tubs and separate his-and-her vanities.

A focal point of the estate is the Cabana Pool, one of two pools on property. Another nod to Paul Williams, the pool’s distinctive, serpentine-edge design draws inspiration from the architect’s work for the now-demolished Arrowhead Springs Hotel in Central California. Nineteen luxurious cabanas, each topped with a stylish black and white valance, complete the pool’s polished yet playful footprint.

A carefully curated art collection beautifully bolsters the residential quality of the resort, with more than 600 pieces hand-selected by the owner Caruso himself thoughtfully placed throughout the property. The one-of-a-kind collection combines archival images, traditional works and fine modern pieces to produce a distinctive and distinguished art narrative. Capturing the rich history of the property’s privileged site on the stunning Montecito coast, as well as the signature spirit of the new resort, the collection includes original works by Norman RockwellFernando BoteroMel Bochner and Hans Burkhardtand fine photography from Jim McHugh, Slim Aarons, and more.

Anchoring the property are the resort’s 26 oceanfront Beach House suites, studios and guestrooms which feature private terraces directly over the sand, an unparalleled offering in Southern California. In addition to the breath-taking ocean views, Beach House guests enjoy several exclusive services to complement the beachfront experience, including access to a complimentary evening cocktail trolley, monogrammed pillowcases and robes along with personalised amenities from arrival to departure.

“Combining the comforts and intimacy of a family home with the world-class amenities and seamless service of a luxury resort, Rosewood Miramar Beach has been meticulously designed to provide both guests and locals with an experience unlike any other,” said Seán Carney, managing director of Rosewood Miramar Beach. “We feel incredibly privileged to continue the legacy of the former Miramar by the Sea and bring to the Montecito community a new ultra-luxurious retreat and a past sense of the magic that was – and will be – Miramar Beach.”

With its prime positioning directly atop Montecito’s pristine sands, Rosewood Miramar Beach is the only resort in the region that offers guests all-encompassing beach service with complimentary access to chairs and umbrellas, food and cocktail services and activities and programs for both sand and sea.  Enjoy the cool crash of the Pacific’s waves aboard surf and paddleboards available by way of the resort’s beach attendants or watch the tide rise high from the Miramar Beach Bar.

Rosewood Hotels & Resorts now manages 25 luxury properties in 15 countries, with 22 new hotels under development.

Main image credit: Rosewood Hotels & Resorts

Marriott to add more than 30 luxury hotels internationally in 2019

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Hotel giant Marriott International plans to add hotels across its eight luxury brands…

Marriott International has announced that it is projecting to open more than 30 luxury properties in 2019, furthering the company’s global perspective on luxury travel with its ensemble of eight distinct luxury brands. Through the world-renowned hospitality hallmarks of The Ritz-Carlton, Ritz-Carlton Reserve, St. Regis, W, The Luxury Collection, EDITION, JW Marriott and Bulgari, Marriott International continues to push boundaries, creating new guest experiences which meet the needs of the evolving luxury traveller.

With hotels in more than 60 countries and territories, the hotel giant is poised to expand its luxury footprint with more than 200 properties in the development pipeline, representing 20 new countries for the company’s luxury portfolio, from Sri Lanka to Bermuda and Morocco to Kenya.

“Our eight unique luxury brands provide distinct experiences that appeal to different types of luxury travelers, no matter if your priority is residing at the best address in town, completely immersing yourself in your destination, or prioritizing your wellbeing,” said Tina Edmundson, Global Brand Officer and Luxury Portfolio Leader, Marriott International. “From the world’s most iconic destinations to the ultimate undiscovered gems, we are focused on elevating travel with highly contextualized, nuanced brand experiences that signal the future of luxury by allowing our guests to indulge their passions while sparking personal growth.”

A global luxury study, conducted in partnership with creative agency Team One, revealed that luxury travellers of today are travelling not just to discover the world, but also to discover something about themselves. Edmundson continued: “When it comes to experiences, people today are seeking more meaning and personal significance rather than just the opportunity to indulge. Travellers have become active participants in the trips they are taking – they are more engaged and vested than ever before. Ultimately, global luxurians are becoming ‘creators’ in every aspect of their travel experience and for this group, travel is no longer a departure from reality, it is the reality.” With a rapidly growing global footprint and eight distinct luxury brands, Marriott International is uniquely positioned to deliver on these new expectations, inviting globally-minded travelers to look at the world through a new lens. “For our guests, we strive to go beyond offering moments of delight, to creating experiences that will profoundly inspire and transform,” said Edmundson.

Ritz-Carlton to set a new standard of luxury 

Known for its legendary service and refined design, The Ritz-Carlton will continue to set the standard for luxury. With six openings anticipated in the year ahead, the iconic luxury brand also expects to celebrate the opening of its 100th property. The brand is expected to make its return to Australia with the debut of The Ritz-Carlton, Perthand is slated to grow in China with the opening of The Ritz-Carlton, Xi’an. Showcasing the beauty of the Moroccan landscape and culture, The Ritz-Carlton Rabat, Dar es Salam is set to offer an oasis in the country’s vibrant capital, while The Ritz-Carlton, Mexico City will invite guests to experience the city through a new perspective. With a mission to inspire travel and create memories for its guests, the brand also expects to see the completion of a major renovation of The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park and to continue to work towards the inaugural voyage of The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection in February 2020.

St. Regis anticipates grand debuts in global hotspots

Currently offering more than 40 hotels in 20 countries and territories, St. Regis recently celebrated the renovation of The St. Regis Rome along with the opening of The St. Regis Zhuhai, China’s premier tourist destination on the Pearl River Delta. In the coming year, St. Regis is planning to debut the André Fu-designed St. Regis Hong Kongwhere the award-winning designer will blend the brand’s timeless elegance with silhouettes representative of the city’s architectural and cultural diversity. The brand is also set to expand its footprint in Europe with The St. Regis Venice, which is ideally situated on the Grand Canal and offers a central location from which to explore the historic city. Finally, St. Regis is also expecting to bring its modern glamour and bespoke service to Cairo, a destination that has captivated travelers for generations and one which is quickly reclaiming its place as a hot spot for the global explorer.

W Rewrites the rules

Trailblazing its way around the globe, W broke the norms of traditional luxury in destinations including Brisbane, Amman and Costa Rica in 2018. The luxury rebel also rewrote the music festival rules, taking the festival experience off the field and onto fabulous hotel grounds with the global launch of WAKE UP CALL. Bringing people closer to the music than ever before, the brand’s signature music festival series made stops at W Hollywood, W Barcelona and W Bali. This year, the brand will live out its mission to fuel guests’ lust for life with eight hotels projected to open, ranging from Aspen and Ibiza to Muscat and Melbourne. W skillfully balances the power of a global brand with the relevance and personality of a local insider and continues to revitalize its global portfolio with multi-million-dollar renovations planned or underway at more than half its properties in North America, including W Washington D.C. and W San Francisco.

EDITION continues growth in iconic destinations

In 2018 the EDITION brand doubled its footprint, growing from four properties to eight with openings in Shanghai, Bodrum, Barcelona and Abu Dhabi. The in-demand lifestyle brand was created through a collaboration between boutique hotel creator and innovator Ian Schrager and Marriott International, which offers sophisticated design, a curated taste of the destination and modern service. Next up, the brand expects to redefine luxury with its recent opening in New York City’s Times Square and will bring its distinct perspective to West Hollywood with a scheduled opening in Q2 2019.

The Luxury Collection brings authentic charm to new destinations

Offering the promise of unique, authentic experiences, The Luxury Collection is a rapidly growing ensemble of 110 hotels in more than 30 countries and territories around the world. In 2018, the brand made its debut in Savannah with the opening of Perry Lane, expanded its footprint in Paris through Hôtel de Berri and brought distinct resort design to Los Cabos with Solaz, among other exciting debuts. With each hotel serving as a portal to the destination’s indigenous charms and treasures, The Luxury Collection anticipates debuting nine properties this year in coveted locations such as Okinawa, Cesme, Buckinghamshire, and Budapest.

JW Marriott Inspires the Passions 

JW Marriott offers differentiated luxury experiences at 84 hotels and resorts in nearly 30 countries and territories, including the recent opening of JW Marriott Nashville. Inspired by its legendary namesake, JW Marriott is committed to curating uplifting experiences for guests, delivering experiences and environments that help guests be fully present and bringing people together to celebrate life’s most meaningful moments. This year, JW Marriott anticipates continuing to bring its distinct style of warm service to established and emerging destinations with planned openings from the Maldives and Shanghai to Savannah, GA.

Marriott International currently encompasses a portfolio of more than 6,900 properties in 30 leading hotel brands spanning 130 countries and territories. Marriott operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts all around the world.

Main image credit: EDITION/Marriott International

Ruby Hotels to open first Nordic hotel

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The 142-room property in Finland’s Helsinki is the latest installment in ‘lean luxury’ hotel brand’s expansion plan…

Ruby Hotels, since unveiling plans for UK and international expansion at the end of last year, has announced plans for its first Nordic property in the Finnish capital, Helsinki, to open in the first quarter of 2021. The new hotel forms part of an expansion plan for Ruby Hotels to unveil a total of nine new hotels by 2021.

Set within a historic 19th-century building, in the same plot which housed Finnish national poet Johan Ludvig Runeberg, the new hotel will be located in Helsinki’s charming Kruununhaka district. Enjoying a central position between the city’s main railway station and the hip district of Kallio, guests will be just steps from hotspots including the harbour and marketplace, Helsinki cathedral and the beating heart of the local nightlife, Tori Quarters.

A collaboration with Finnish project developer ICON Real Estate, the hotel will house 142 guest rooms, ranging in size from cosy ‘Nest’ rooms (13-15m²) to expansive ‘Loft’ rooms (23-38m²), a stylish 24-hour bar and breakfast area, a spacious outside terrace and – in a nod to traditional Finnish culture – Ruby Hotels’ first in-hotel Sauna.

“This works because we accommodate luxury in a relatively condensed space, similar to luxury yachts, and we forego unnecessary services,” explains Michael Struck, Ruby Founder and CEO. “Thanks to proprietary technical innovations, we plan, build and organize ourselves differently from conventional hotels. To be precise, we plan and build in a very modular way and centralize as well as automatize processes behind the scenes wherever possible. This helps us create a luxurious and unique hotel experience at an affordable price.”

A laid-back, contemporary design will take inspiration from the area’s Jugendstil art-nouveau style, with quirky touches such as the inclusion of a Marshall guitar amp in each room. Guests will be able to use the amp with their own guitar or one borrowed from reception, and will enjoy ‘Ruby Radio’, the hotel group’s own internet radio station.

Cutting-edge technology will be on offer throughout the property; in each room guests will find a personal tablet PC and smartphone pre-loaded with Ruby Hotels’ carefully-curated Helsinki city guide, social media apps and unlimited data and calls to use throughout their stay. A state-of-the-art self-check-in system will make use of tablets to reduce check-in time to under one minute, leaving guests free to make the most of their stay.

Just like the group’s other houses, the new hotel will follow Ruby Hotels’ ‘Lean Luxury’ philosophy: a top location, high-quality fittings, and outstanding design. All of this is offered at an affordable price by rigorously cutting out the superfluous and focusing on the essential.

The Ruby Helsinki development is a part of a half-city-block-sized (10,000m2) real estate project which will revitalise the neighbourhood, with a further 50-60 luxury apartments ranging from studios to 4-bedroom apartments also under construction next door.

Main image credit: Ruby Hotels

CASE STUDY: Furnishing Grand Central, Belfast

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Hastings Grand Central is more than a hotel, it’s an ode to a spectacular city. Recommended Supplier Style Library Contract explains how it helped to style the hotel in Belfast that everyone is talking about… 

Standing tall in Bedford Street, the 22-storey Hastings Grand Central, which opened in June last year, fuses glamour and grandeur with a uniquely Belfast spirit. Comprising of 300 luxurious guestrooms and suites, restaurant, bar, conferencing facilities and retail space, it is a jewel that sits at the heart of Belfast’s Linen Quarter.

RPP Architects was involved in the design of every aspect of the hotel, from the external envelope which involved the design of prominent and distinct signage, a bespoke cladding system to the different bedroom, suites and all of the public spaces. Meanwhile, the interior design was developed with Grahams construction and the Hastings Hotel group during a series of design workshops.

Situated on the ground floor, the Grand Café will catch your eye as you walk by but when you step inside you’ll want to stay. An everyday place with an easygoing elegance, it reflects the whole ambience of being “beautifully simple and simply beautiful”.

Sumptuous suite

Image credit: Hasting Hotels

Quality exudes from every angle of the bar and restaurant space; from the phenomenal cuisine and cocktails to the lavish fabrics and fittings. The art deco nods, high ceilings and sense of space add a distinctive drama and the vibe inside shifts as the day rolls in and the sun rolls round. Located on the 23rd floor, the Observatory is an aweinspiring cocktail lounge with spectacular, unique views of Belfast and beyond. The decadent décor combined with the stunning vistas make the inside feel intimate, and the outside infinite. Each of the 300 guestrooms and suites are designed for absolute comfort and relaxation. Each room has been lovingly created as an oasis of calm; a thoughtfully crafted cityscape sanctuary teeming with touchable, tactile fabrics and state of-the-art finishes.

entrance lobby

Image credit: Hasting Hotels

Mark Higgins, Associate at RPP Architects explains how they selected the materials and craftsmen for this project: “The interior design utilised local craftsmanship where possible sourcing marble and quartz from Ballymoney, specialist joinery and bedroom casegoods from Ballymena, bespoke upholstery and front of house furniture was manufactured in Carrickfergus and bespoke carpet from Portadown.

“We chose to work with Style Library Contract because of the wide selection and high specification of their fabrics and wallcoverings. Being able to specify products from across their brands enabled us to create the look we wanted for each distinct space. Products include: Zoffany curzon belvoir, Zoffany elswick paisley, Anthology veda, Harlequin mesh and sgraffito, Scion toma, Harlequin momentum aves paprika, William Morris snakeshead paper in the bar and various Anthology papers in the suites.”

Carolyn Mitchell, Group Contracts Sales Director at Style Library Contract adds, “We are delighted to have worked with RPP Architects and Hastings on this exquisite project. Our job is to provide clients with the means to create beautiful, design-led interiors. In house manufacturing and design expertise in contract specification fabrics, wallcoverings and paint, means we can be relied on for a complete project solution.”

Style Library is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, click here.

Main image credit: Hasting Hotels

Rosewood’s lifestyle brand, Penta, makes comeback in Russia

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Pentahotel Moscow, Arbat unfolds a new neighbourhood lifestyle hotel category and opens as the brand’s first step into Russia…

Penta, the neighbourhood lifestyle brand under Rosewood Hotel Group, is back in Moscow after 20 years. Formerly operating as the ‘Moscow Olympic Penta Hotel’ under different ownership, the property had closed its doors in the late ‘90s, only for the brand to make a much-anticipated re-entry into Russia with its latest addition, Pentahotel Moscow, Arbat. A first in Russia for both Penta and Rosewood Hotel Group, the opening marks another milestone in the brand and group’s global expansion.

“Each Pentahotel is a combination of the cultural characteristics of the country it is in with the unique attributes of its location.” – Eugène Staal, President of Penta Hotels Worldwide

“Pentahotel Moscow, Arbat is a great example of our neighbourhood lifestyle hotel concept, a new category of hospitality in Russia,” said Eugène Staal, President of Penta Hotels Worldwide. “Each Pentahotel is a combination of the cultural characteristics of the country it is in with the unique attributes of its location. Here in Moscow, travellers are close to popular attractions, eateries and experiences that bridge tourism and living; we want our guests to feel as if they are part of the neighbourhood, exploring, shopping and interacting with local residents and the community, whether their stay is for a few nights or a few months.”

Exterior image of the hotel

Image credit: Penta

Pentahotel Moscow, Arbat is located in one of the four famous “book houses” – The Book on Novy Arbat Avenue. The Book is a mixed-use building, and is among the first high-rises to appear in Russia on Novy Arbat 15. After a major overhaul, the building now offers three new accommodation types – Pentahotel Moscow, Arbat, for visitors to the city, serviced apartments for rent, and apartment suites for permanent residents. Developed by mastermind developer/ author Capital Group, The Book is a 26-storey building with 28,900 sq.m that stands as a place of modern history fused with three state-of-the-art urban living solutions in the heart of Moscow. The dynamism of The Book stems not only from the commitment to delivering top quality comfort to its residents, but also from the very history of the property, which was constructed to reflect the contemporary side of Moscow – ‘The Book, is done for living’.

Occupying six polished floors, Pentahotel Moscow, Arbat also carries the mission of bringing Penta’s latest global design concept to life: the trademark Pentalounge, 228 guestrooms and a Pentagym. Meeting rooms range from 44 to 82 sq.m and are equipped with the latest technology and facilities to accommodate any occasion, from trainings and board meetings to personalised events. The Pentalounge is the first stop for guests checking into the hotel at its signature bar. With its open atmosphere and lifestyle features, the multi-functional space is set to become a lively hub and gathering point in the city for both travellers and Muscovites alike.

Image of the bar area at the hotel

Image credit: Penta

The restaurant includes the enticing “bistro style” Breakfast Box, serving freshly-made morning delights, while the Pentalounge adopts a more “living room-style” vibe, and is open for travellers and locals to find the brand’s signature dishes, homemade local cuisine and warm conversations in a cozy environment.

The opening marks the eighth country and 29th property in Penta’s ever-expanding portfolio. Thanks to a very efficient product model, high level of centralised support and relatively low development cost, Penta enjoys a strong track record of delivering a high return on investment, which appeals to owners and investors around the world. The brand is spearheading substantial growth with its upcoming openings in Asia, along with a significant number of developments currently in the pipeline.

Main image credit: Penta

Moxy NYC Chelsea opens an urban design jungle

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Refined yet playful, hand-crafted yet modern, the 349-key Moxy Chelsea reimagines the urban jungle, blending botanically-inspired design with Italian romance…

Rising 35 stories high into the New York City skyline, Moxy NYC Chelsea, the micro-room, macro-amenity hotel, developed by Lightstone and part of Marriott International’s experiential Moxy Hotels brand, has officially opened. Inspired by the surrounding Flower District, the hotel blends a botanically-influenced design with Italian romance and a touch of playful wit – perfectly timed to welcome guests on Valentine’s Day.

Creating an environment that appeals to both today’s modern traveller and locals, Moxy Chelsea was developed with a collection of public spaces designed to meet the community’s dining, drinking, and co-working needs—while providing guests access to New York City at a neighbourhood level. The 349-room hotel marks the second collaboration between Yabu Pushelberg, Rockwell Group, and architects Stonehill Taylor, the designers behind Moxy Times Square and three of the industry’s most admired firms.

The newly-constructed building’s architecture riffs off the neighborhood’s retro-industrial style and feels harmonious with its location, in the heart of the Chelsea Flower Market. The hotel blends into the lush flower shops that surround it, with a soaring three-story glass atrium revealing the vertical gardens within. Guests enter through the overgrown Putnam & Putnam Flower Shop, designed by Yabu Pushelberg, which is envisioned as a “botanical library,” with planter boxes suspended from the 15-foot wall, reachable by a wheeled ladder. The shop is run by husbands Darroch and Michael Putnam, whose couture approach to floral arrangements over the years has made them a staple at celebrity weddings, including the recent nuptials of Gwyneth Paltrow and Brad Falchuk.

Image credit: Michael Kleinberg/Moxy Chelsea/Marriott International

The guestrooms are drenched in sunlight and feature floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall windows. For the design, Yabu Pushelberg replicates the clever functionality they created for Moxy Times Square, leavened with wit and humanised with a sense of craft. In all three room types — King, Double/Double and Quad Bunk — the furniture, which includes a writing desk and chair/luggage rack, can be folded up and hung up on Moxy’s signature peg wall when not in use. Other space-saving gambits include under-bed storage and a lava-stone sink and vanity area placed outside the bathroom. Tiles in the shower stalls are printed with cheeky phrases like “SOME REGRETS” and “WILD THING,” while a bulldog-shaped beer bottle opener hangs on the door. Additional bedroom features nod to the Flower District, like reading lamps that resemble garden lanterns and faucets that recall hose reels. Unique to Moxy Chelsea is the over-the-top MONDO Suite, an entertainment suite located on the 32nd floor. With soaring, double-height 18-foot ceilings and a wall of industrial-style windows looking out onto the Empire State Building, the room is equipped for entertaining and socialising. The suite can be combined with one or two adjoining king rooms to create a place to party and sleep.

The lobby atmosphere is enlivened by a design that reflects Moxy’s trademark cheekiness, such as classically sculpted figurines making unexpected poses, like twerking, taking selfies, and wearing sunglasses. A life-size, toga-clad Roman statue rests on a column, one arm extended so it can hold a guest’s phone and pose with them for a selfie. Throughout the lobby, ample seating options invite co-working and socializing, including modular meeting studios that morph seamlessly from daytime workplace to evening social space.

Decadent rooftop bar

Image caption: The Fleur Room – credit: Michael Kleinberg/Moxy Chelsea/Marriott International

TAO Group and Rockwell also collaborated on The Fleur Room, Moxy Chelsea’s rooftop lounge, topping off the hotel on the 35th floor with panoramic 360-degree views of the Manhattan skyline, from the Statue of Liberty to the Empire State building. The design features a copper-clad bar, glass chandeliers that resemble giant water droplets, and a massive disco ball salvaged from the notorious 1980s L.A. nightclub Vertigo. The real showstopper: The lounge’s glass walls descend at the touch of a button, transforming the space into an alfresco sky veranda.

“We’ve all read about how the modern traveller wants to satisfy their curiosity with unique experiences and personalised, insider access,” says Mitchell Hochberg, President of Lightstone. “Nobody really expects that at the Moxy price point. With Moxy Times Square, we proved we could flip the script; and with Moxy Chelsea, we’re taking it to the next level: We’ve doubled down on that formula—affordable rates, rooms with character, distinctive public spaces—and made it even more personal, more local, more genuinely New York.”

“With the opening of Moxy Chelsea, the Moxy Hotels brand continues to boldly reinvent the hospitality scene,” says Toni Stoeckl, Global Brand Leader, Moxy Hotels, and Vice President, Distinctive Select Service Brands, Marriott International. “When you walk into a Moxy, you know you’re getting a killer bar experience with fun, playful programming; an in-the-know Crew; stylish and functional bedrooms; and experiential moments you’ll want to share with friends during your trip. Moxy Chelsea offers all of that, with a distinctly bold, New York twist.”

The Moxy brand now has 30-plus experiential hotels open across North America, Europe and Asia. Moxy is expected to open 20-plus more hotels in 2019*, in destinations including Paris, Nashville and Boston.

*subject to change depending on hospitality landscape and market conditions

Main image credit: Michael Kleinberg/Moxy Chelsea/Marriott International

Millennium Hotels and Resorts opens 40th property

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Deyaar Development and Millennium Hotels & Resorts MEA open Millennium Atria Business Bay…

Millennium Hotels and Resorts, Middle East and Africa (MEA) – one of the fastest growing hotel management companies in the region, has opened its 40th property, the Millennium Atria Business Bay, which will serve a growing hospitality and tourism sector.

The first phase of the opening will cover 156 apartments out of the hotel’s total 347 units, which comprise studio, one, two- and three-bedroom apartments. Other Hotel Serviced Apartment facilities, such as the Laguna Restaurant, Grab and Go, Podium Terrace and Kids Club, the fitness center and the infinity pool on 25th floor will be available for guests during their stay.

Image credit: Millennium Hotels & Resorts

Developed by Deyaar Development PJSC, one of the UAE’s leading real estate development and property management companies, the Millennium Atria Business Bay features well-designed studios, one, two, three -bedroom units, penthouses, as well as duplex apartments designed by YOO Studio, the internationally-acclaimed interior design company founded by John Hitchcox and Philippe Starck.

The 30-storey Millennium Atria Business Bay hotel apartment tower, will be managed by Millennium Hotels and Resorts MEA and is the first property in Deyaar’s hospitality portfolio.

Kevork Deldelian, Chief Operating Officer of Millennium Hotels and Resorts Middle East and Africa, says, “The opening of the Millennium Atria Business Bay reflects our strong and long-term commitment to the UAE’s hospitality sector, where we are expanding our footprint very fast.”

“We are proud to see Deyaar’s first hospitality project commence its operations,” Selim El Zein, Assistant Vice President – Hospitality at Deyaar, said. “This opening shows commitment to our vision to diversify our real estate portfolio, as well as the returns for our investors, to complement the value-added services Deyaar offers. Millennium Atria Business Bay will be a landmark in Dubai’s strong hospitality sector.”

Christian Palacin, General Manager of the Millennium Atria Business Bay, says, “Business Bay is a very popular place for people to live and work and our property enjoys the ideal location for business as well as for leisure clients. Millennium Atria Business Bay offers the largest apartments in the area with a unique design and all the modern technology.  Besides, its opening could not have come at a more appropriate time – ready to serve the increased number of tourists ahead of the Expo 2020.”

Dubai was named as the seventh most-visited city in the world in 2018, ranked by Euromonitor International. According to the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), Dubai’s tourism sector was worth Dh109 billion in 2017.

In the first half of 2018, Dubai received 8.1 million tourists, with India, Saudi Arabia and the UK remaining the top markets. The city’s hotel inventory stood at 111,317 rooms in the first half of 2018, up 7 per cent on the same period last year. Occupied rooms nights increased from 14.53 million to 14.97 million.

Main image credit: Millennium Hotels & Resorts

INNSiDE by Melia opens first hotel in France

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Spain’s largest hotel brand, Meliá Hotels International, unveils the new INNSiDE Charles de Gaulle located at Paris’ international airport…

Meliá Hotels International’s INNSiDE has arrived in Paris with the 266-key hotel at Charles De Gaulle’s airport.

Relaunching this year, INNSiDE by Meliá is adapting its business strategy to captivate the younger generation of business and leisure travellers, as well as strengthening its leisure and wellness offering.

INNSiDE Charles De Gaulle’s striking exterior has been developed by Parisian architects SCAU, whilst renowned French designer Jean-Philippe Nuel has created the interior utilising natural, raw materials such as wood and concrete throughout. The property’s open-plan invokes feelings of freedom, echoed in the printed Acrobats on staff’s uniforms created by French artist Sabrina Chess. Chess said: “The idea was to illustrate a universe that offered the possibility of telling several stories of travellers. I imagined them as acrobats moving around…free and happy.”

Nuel has developed this unique airport hotel for guests to recharge their batteries whilst in transit, where guests can work, workout, rest and play, with open lobby spaces ideal for meetings, whether social or business. Guests can relax and unwind in one of the many large armchairs, designed by the Parisian design studio Bouroullec brothers, or enjoy the spacious outdoor terrace.

The lounge features a contemporary glass bar, with mixologists on hand to prepare classic cocktails, such as the bourbon and cherry combination “Catch Me”. Guests can also enjoy DJ sets every Thursday – Sunday nights, whether they are relaxing in the hotel or heading out to experience the ‘City of Light’.

image credit: Meliá Hotels International

Visitors with business in mind can let their imagination run wild in one of four meeting rooms, named “Big Ideas Spaces”. Innovatively designed to inspire creativity, collaboration and positivity, these meeting rooms feature ping-pong tables, breakout areas, complimentary snacks and the largest of the four offers panoramic views of the Concorde and the airport.

Rooms are contemporary with white furnishings, featuring cosy in-room amenities, including bathrobes and slippers, as well as a luxurious coffee machine, complimentary minibar, with fresh juices and local beer. Smeg fridges will be available to Superior+ guests, packed full of healthy treats, drinks and snacks. Superior+ rooms will also have high-end sound systems and complimentary streaming services.

In line with the INNSiDE brand’s commitment to sustainability, INNSiDE Charles De Gaulle does not use single use plastic within the hotel; the bar does not use plastic straws, coasters and business cards are made from recycled card. Bedrooms feature organic cotton linens and towels, kraft paper laundry bags and wooden “do not disturb” signs.

Main image credit: Meliá Hotels International

Four Seasons Hotel Montreal incoming this spring

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Architects Lemay and Sid Lee Architecture and interior design firms Gilles & Boissier and Atelier Zébulon Perron will complete Four Seasons Hotel Montreal this spring…

Heralding the city’s world renowned festival season and the biggest sporting event in Canada, the all-new Four Seasons Hotel Montreal has announced that it is confirming reservations for arrivals beginning June 1, 2019.

“We are so excited to join with our community in welcoming Formula One fans from around the world for the 2019 Montreal Grand Prix taking place June 7 to 9. The event virtually takes over the city, and we’ll be right there in the middle of it,” says Four Seasons General Manager Gonçalo Monteiro. “And that’s just the beginning of what promises to be a summer to remember in Montreal.”

Image credit: Four Seasons Hotels

The design-led hotel is the result of a collaboration between architects Lemay and Sid Lee Architecture and interior design firms Gilles & Boissier and Atelier Zébulon Perron. The 169-key luxury Four Seasons Hotel Montreal is located downtown in the city’s Golden Mile Square, connected to Holt Renfrew Ogilvy. Just ten minutes by foot from the city’s Bell Centre, the hotel is ideally located for international visitors, regional weekenders and business travellers. In addition to MARCUS restaurant and bar, the hotel will offer an intimate spa and state-of-the-art fitness centre, a skylit indoor pool and a stunning fifth floor ballroom with outdoor terrace.

The guestrooms and suites will feature avant-garde opulence complete with chaise lounges, floor-to-ceiling windows, oversized beds and boldly designed bathrooms. The pièce de résistance is the two-bedroom presidential suite, which is positioned on the top floor.

The new Four Seasons hotel is one of nine luxury statements that the hotel group plans to open this year, including hotels in Bangkok, Athens and Costa Palmas.

The hotel group currently has 111 hotels and resorts in 47 countries – including recent openings in Desroches Island, Seychelles; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; and São Paulo, Brazil.

Main image credit: Four Seasons Hotels

FIRST LOOK: Savoy Palace unveils design concept

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Ahead of its highly anticipated opening this summer, Savoy Palace in Funchal has unveiled the first glimpse of its interior design concept… 

Savoy Palace, Funchal, which will be refurbished and redesigned paying tribute to the island’s traditional art and culture, has unveiled the first glimpse of the new hotel. Refurbished in homage to Madeira’s traditional art and culture through its noble and eloquent interiors, the hotel will open its 352 luxury guestrooms and suites.

The new property will retain a classic style adapted for contemporary tastes with elegant, rich decorative interiors. The quality of the materials, the soft textures, along with the perfect finish will certify the hotel’s luxury feel.

The bold, curved structure is designed by the award-winning team RH+ and Nini Andrade Silva, one of Portugal’s most famous interior designers, whose work includes the new W São Paulo and Nini Design Centre Funchal.

The design is influenced by the Belle Epoque period, which is in harmony with the island’s rich resources; a dynamic blend of natural and cultural heritage. Entering the hotel will be like exploring a poetic world, where colours, textures and iconic ornaments and objects are all important.

Photo of luxury suite

Image credit: Savoy Palace

The aesthetic brings together several elements: the exuberant surrounding volcanic landscape, the unique man-made environment with ancient levadas (irrigation channels) and tunnels, the excellence and mastery of Madeiran embroidery, the centuries-old art of wickerwork, and the expertise involved in the productions of one of the best fortified wines in the world, Madeira wine.

The resort’s common areas are bold and inspirational with the emphasis on colour, sinuous curves suggesting plant forms, animals and women, as well as ornaments based on Art Nouveau.

The opening of the hotel will indicate that the history of Savoy Hotels & Resorts is being reinvented but the goals remain the same: consolidating and projecting the centuries-old tradition and excellence of the Savoy brand at an international level.

Top stories of the week: design love from Bangkok, hide and seek architecture and a new hotel chapter

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With architecture and construction firmly in the spotlight, Hotel Designs has witnessed another jam-packed week full of interesting stories that highlights our love in design and architecture. Breaking down these headlines is editor Hamish Kilburn… 

New York, New York! Is there anywhere else on the planet quite like it? In the original metropolis where possibilities soar high above the bustling streets below, the hotel scene is staggering. It’s latest luxury neighbour is situated on 701 Seventh Avenue on the corner of 47th Street, Times Square, and features 452 guestrooms. With four levels of public space, the hotel is, much like the area it surrounds has already done over many decades, evolving with the trends to cater to the modern man and woman.

Changing perceptions has been a theme that has stitched together this week’s headlines – and I have been fortunate enough to be the first to tell many of this week’s main features. From spending quality time in the company of interior designer Celia Chu as she prepares to complete Rosewood Bangkok, to continuing to follow Nicky Dobree on her quest to open her first hotel; it’s been a great week to be part of the industry. To top it off, we are hours away from closing the applications/nominations process for our 30 Under 30 initiative. As a young editor (26 years old), I am personally proud to support this scheme – to support young talent in our industry – with every fibre of my body.

Here are the top stories of the week:

1) EDITION arrives in New York’s Times Square

black armchair infront of black wallcoverings

Image credit: EDITION Hotels

“The Times Square EDITION is an entirely new lens on Times Square. From an aerie above the hubbub below, you can engage, observe or withdraw. The hotel is an oasis of sophistication brought to you through the insight of the incomparable Ian Schrager, my friend and partner. There is simply nothing like it,” said Arne Sorenson, President and CEO, Marriott International.

> Click here to read the full story

2) The interior designer behind Rosewood Bangkok

open and airy suite with peculiar angular architecture

Image credit: Rosewood Hotels

As its highly anticipated opening is imminently on the horizon, the Rosewood Bangkok’s interior design story is one yet to be unveiled in detail. We caught up with interior designer Celia Chu to establish the narrative told within the walls of the soon-to-open 159-key luxury hotel.

> Click here to read the feature

3) Six Senses joins IHG

Aerial shot of a Six Senses hotel in the ocean

Image credit: Six Senses

The milestone moment, where IHG aquired Six Senses happened on Wednesday. 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.

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4) Camouflaged hotel architecture of the 21st century

glass structure in the woods

Image credit: treehotel

As we continue putting architecture and construction in the spotlight, Hotel Designs reveals some of the world’s most spectacular hidden architectural gems.

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5) From Concept to Completion: Restoring a 19th-century house to create Plaza 18 (part two)

Moodboard of ideas

Image credit: Nicky Dobree

In part two of our From Concept to Completion series, where we are closely following the design story of Plaza 18, Dobree’s first hotel project is beginning to take form. The building’s design is approaching the final stages before the grand reveal this Easter. Meanwhile, interior designer Nicky Dobree is able to step away from the project for five minutes – something I believe the designer is not accustomed to – in order to explain more about her relationship with the soon-to-be hotel.

> Click here to read the feature

Main image credit: Rosewood Hotels

 

Chapter Roma to open this spring

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The 42-key hotel, designed by Tristan Du Plessis of Studio A, will be the first property to open in the newly established Chapter Italia portfolio…

Opening in the vibrant and historic Regola neighborhood of Rome this spring, the 42-room hotel Chapter Roma will create an intimate atmosphere for those checking in. The first location in the newly established Chapter Italia Portfolio developed by Marco Cilia (formerly of Hotel Americano in New York City), Chapter Roma will open in March 2019. The hotel, proudly part of the Design Hotels collection, will act as a catalyst for change for Italian travel by providing something currently unattainable – an accessibility to luxury that is not just saved for five-star hotels.

 Embodying a true fusion of gritty and glamorous, with a contemporary and classic aesthetic, South African based designer Tristan Du Plessis of Studio A has breathed new life into the building which dates back to 1880. Chapter Roma’s laidback yet spirited vision in contemporary interiors brings Du Plessis’ signature industrial-chic, sultry style and strong local connection to this ancient cosmopolis. The guest rooms are centered on a few statement pieces in otherwise minimalistic spaces with clever custom-made vanity-cum-storage solutions.

“We wanted to create a design that stood out for its youthfulness whilst still respecting the traditions of the city.” – Tristan Du Plessis of Studio A

A Rome native, Cilia has seen the modern-day city change and develop over time. “We are introducing a new vibe for hospitality in Regola with the opening of Chapter Roma,” he said. “I was born here, and it is important that we put our guests in the Italian state of mind; protecting Rome’s design heritage while celebrating the future with genuine and original design, service, and food and beverage offerings. With Chapter Roma we’re telling the first part of our story, we want to create a place where guests truly feel like they’re living like a local.”

Green bed and wooden flooring

Image credit: Chapter Roma

Cilia decided upon Regola due to the area being commemorated with the names of the winding cobblestone streets. Chapter Roma itself is on Via di Santa Maria dei Calderari, or the “street of the blacksmiths,” and Du Plessis has paid tribute to this lineage by using a variety of metals throughout the property. Du Plessis employs elements of raw steel, brass, copper and bronze, adding an industrial touch to an elegant space with high ceilings, herringbone floors, and mid-century Italian furniture. The dramatic setup is rounded off nicely with a palette of dark green and rust and soft-to-the-touch velvets.

“We wanted to create a design that stood out for its youthfulness whilst still respecting the traditions of the city, by using local craftsmen, materials and aesthetics for a large amount of the hotel and collaborated with young local and international artists as well as furniture and lighting manufacturers to imbed a spirit of rebellion throughout the design,” added Plessis. “The age of the building was both inspiring and challenging, but the old walls and ancient layout made sure that each room has a unique footprint which has lent us the opportunity to create varied and interesting room types.”

Inspired by the streets of Rome along with the neighborhood’s cutting-edge galleries and furniture boutiques, a contemporary artwork by CYRCLE, a two-man collective made up of American artists David Leavitt and David Torres, as well as graffiti by local artist Alice Pasquini grace the walls of the Chapter Roma’s lobby bar.

Opening on to Via Santa Maria dei Calderari the bar features Roman arches wrapped in raw steel throughout and will be a hybrid space for work, play, and everything in between. Chapter Roma will also feature an all-organic daytime market, delivering a new kind of accessible luxury to the modern in-the-know traveler and, later on in the year, a signature restaurant.

 

The Sound Hotel opens to celebrate all senses in Seattle

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The Hotel Group and Hilton have announced the grand opening of The Sound Hotel Seattle Belltown, Tapestry Collection by Hilton. Woven into the fabric of Belltown, one of Seattle’s most vibrant and centrally located neighborhoods, The Sound Hotel celebrates the sights, sounds and tastes that are unique to Seattle. It occupies the first 10 floors of the 42-story Arrivé tower, one of the first mixed-use properties, featuring rental units, in the market.

“We are thrilled to see The Sound Hotel open its doors as the brand’s first hotel in the Pacific Northwest, particularly in a city like Seattle that is known for innovation, great restaurants and a thriving arts scene,” said Jenna Hackett, global head, Tapestry Collection by Hilton. “Just as Seattle is one of the fastest-growing cities in America, Tapestry Collection continues to rapidly expand as The Sound Hotel also marks the collection brand’s first of many 2019 openings.”

Design firm Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA) immersed itself into the hotel’s neighborhood, visiting local hotspots and meeting with the community, to create an authentic Belltown experience. Upon arriving at the hotel entrance, guests are immediately welcomed into an artist’s studio as stretched canvases, murals and finished concrete floors flow towards the reception desk. Guest rooms feature warm, wood-toned floors, echoing the feeling of a musician stepping onto a stage. Dark, moody bathrooms are reminiscent of backstage dressing rooms, with microphone lights, plush robes, metal accents and rich black linear tiles setting the perfect backdrop.

Modern guestroom in hotel

Image credit: Hilton Hotels Worldwide

Artistic elements are also featured on the exterior of the hotel. Watkins commissioned Seattle graffiti artist Weirdo, a.k.a. Jeff Jacobson, to paint an original mural on an exterior brick wall facing several of the guest rooms, effectively turning those rooms into some of the most desirable in the hotel. This larger-than-life piece features Jacobson’s signature vivid, post-Internet hyper-realism style and beautifully tells the story of The Sound Hotel through art.

The Sound Hotel features 142 exquisitely designed guestrooms with expansive views of the downtown Seattle skyline and Puget Sound, a ground level restaurant, Currant Bistro.

“The hotel’s design drew directly from the Belltown neighborhood’s deep roots in the arts and local music scene, mixed in with the natural beauty of the Puget Sound region,” said David Watkins, general manager, The Sound Hotel. “Warm, rich textures in our rooms offer visitors an authentic Northwest experience, while the artistic elements reflect Seattle as a bustling hive of creativity.”

Image of modern bathroom with large sliding wooden doors

Image credit: Hilton Hotels Worldwide

The building’s seventh-floor Lupine Room offers 770 square feet of divisible meeting space, ideal for groups of up to 35. Featuring plenty of natural light, it can easily transform into an event space to accommodate an intimate gathering. In addition to the Lupine Room, Sound Bite Lounge is a relaxed, post-meeting gathering spot with a seasonal outdoor sundeck offering stunning views of the Space Needle.

Main image credit: Hilton Hotels Worldwide

 

EDITION arrives in New York’s Times Square

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The Times Square EDITION is the brand’s second hotel to open in New York…

There simply has never been anything like it before in New York City’s famed cultural and entertainment mecca. Ian Schrager, in partnership with Marriott International, has introduced the sophisticated The EDITION Times Square, which will shelter the first Michelin-starred chef ever to grace the neighborhood, along with the creation of a new form of Cabaret theatre and a complete reinvention of billboard art.

Throughout the decades, Times Square has seen myriad changes and has taken on many iterations. By World War I, it was the center of culture, nightlife and entertainment. By the 40’s and 50’s, the Latin Quarter Nightclub presented festive floor shows that featured chorus girls and can-can dancers, Frank Sinatra, Frankie Laine and the Andrew Sisters. There was Tin Pan Alley, the Copacabana and the Theater District. There was Roseland, Birdland, Ella Fitzgerald, marathon dancing, hot jazz, Doo-Wop and the pop rock of the Brill building as well as the invention of the now gossip columns. It was a democratic “meeting place” and nothing exemplified the disorder of the city or the dichotomy of high and low art than Times Square. Sadly, however, the Great Depression and World War II took its toll on the area and Times Square began its decline. From the 60’s onward, the area was riddled with adult entertainment, prostitution, drugs, and crime. It wasn’t until the mid-80’s when the Marriott Marquis opened its doors and Disney debuted The Lion King at The New Amsterdam Theatre that the clean-up began with the redevelopment of new theaters, retail, hotels and eateries.

Despite Times Square’s notorious reputation, it has managed to maintain itself as a symbolic global, geographic and cultural icon. It had long been home to media giants as well as the center for theater, music, culture and entertainment. This adventurous mold-breaking, however, has disappeared. Today, Times Square and its overindulgent commercialisation that lacks the substance and sex-appeal that once distinguished its streets. It is hungry for a Renaissance and The Times Square EDITION will usher in a new era. The hotel and all of its unique offerings seek to preserve the essence of the area during its Golden Age when it was the microcosm of the best New York City had to offer.

“The Golden Age of Times Square elicited the feeling that anything was possible. New York was the City of Dreams, Times Square at its heart, where everyone came together with a common purpose,” said Schrager. “The Times Square EDITION is the embodiment of this storied past, resurrected for the present, providing hope for the future of this most beloved neighborhood.”

black armchair infront of black wallcoverings

Image credit: EDITION Hotels

From the moment you enter the hotel’s doors on 20 Times Square at West 47th Street, guests are transported to another world—a decompression zone. A long ivory hall with venetian plastered walls and ceiling and a floating custom green mirrored stainless sphere inspired by Anish Kapoor and the colors of Jeff Koons await you. Once gusts arrive at the Lobby and Lobby Bar, a series of black and white spaces, which is worlds away from technicolour scenes located on the streets. Each of these two extremes serves the other yet each stands on its own. But together, something new, original, and even stronger is created. Indeed, with this alchemic symbiosis, a new reality and a virtual fourth dimension is created. As guests move in and out continuously, the space becomes boundaryless. This clash of worlds, this surreal sense of space and time is best experienced on the outdoor terraces, appropriately named the Bladerunner Terraces, that frame the various public space floors. On the terrace off the Lobby Bar, guests can choose to be in your own private oasis escaping in a cocoon-like area or face the brilliance of flashing light and color of Times Square for the best light show in the world.

“The hotel is an oasis of sophistication brought to you through the insight of the incomparable Ian Schrager, my friend and partner.” – Arne Sorenson, President and CEO, Marriott International.

Off the Terrace Restaurant, a similar feeling awaits on expansive terraces that were inspired by the L’Orangerie at Jardin des Tuileries in Paris. The outdoor space in totality with thousands of plants, trees and ivy is perhaps the biggest indoor landscaping effort in the country was designed by Madison Cox and is literally, multi-level gardens in the sky. The public space interiors with their rich woods, lush velvets, waxed leathers, polished marbles and smooth metals are combined to create a chic, simple, hip, serene and luxurious setting, an antidote to the hectic life just outside the hotel’s doors.

“The Times Square EDITION is an entirely new lens on Times Square. From an aerie above the hubbub below, you can engage, observe or withdraw. The hotel is an oasis of sophistication brought to you through the insight of the incomparable Ian Schrager, my friend and partner. There is simply nothing like it.” Arne Sorenson, President and CEO, Marriott International.

The first Michelin-starred chef ever in Times Square, John Fraser, is spearheading the food and beverage at the hotel to create a cacophony of dining experiences. The fine dining restaurant named 701 West is a gastronomic gem in a jewel box-like setting that is an explosion of color.

The Terrace Restaurant and Outdoor Gardens is an original take on a four meal, 18 hour-a-day restaurant inspired by traditional French brasseries and American chophouses but taken in a completely new direction by Chef Fraser.

The entrance to the Terrace restaurant will host the debut exhibit of specially curated candid portrayals of “the real New York City”, the one not seen by visitors, capturing energetic, gritty and poetic street and neighborhood scenes by renowned photographers Helen Levitt, Elliott Erwitt, Bruce Davidson, Ruth Orkin, Arthur Leipzig and Cornell Capa to name a few. The following exhibit will shift to more current street scenes illustrating the culture and diversity that pervades the city today. The space will continue to house rotating photography and art exhibits by various well-known photographers and artists.

The Paradise Club is an inventive, chaotic, high production spectacle perfectly suited for Times Square. The brainchild of Anya Sapozhnikova, Justin Conte, Matthew Dailey and Kae Burke of House of Yes in Bushwick, Brooklyn, this edgy and provocative modern-day Cabaret manifests the disorder of the City and adds a whole new dimension to the hotel and to Times Square.

The shows will be part theatre, part performance art with talent across many disciplines including dance, voice, aerial acrobatics, choreography, costume design and magic. There will be a regular ongoing performance based on William Blake’s The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. With no formulas, rules or any specific structure, but not for shock value, each performance at Paradise Club will be different from the previous one and different from the next. For a new twist on dining and entertainment, the menu will be original and creative from hot dogs to caviar and everything in between.

“Paradise Club is a place of aspiration… Invention and reinvention… A refuge to enjoy life and forget life and the perfect place to escape into fantasy,” said Schrager.

This one-of-a-kind cultural entertainment space also features the most sensational, immersive, colorful and kinetic lighting effects designed by Tony and Academy Award-winning Fisher Marantz of Studio 54 fame and inspired by a Lenny Kravitz video, as well as bespoke hand painted murals inspired by Bosch and Dali–a modern successor to the world famous Maxfield Parrish’s King Cole mural on Fifth Avenue. Perhaps the most spectacular element of the space is the full-blown production studio and control center that allows for live simulcasts and broadcasts around the world, as well as locally to a “Best in Class” 17,000 sf-8K-8mm Jumbotron outside of the building and a high definition digital screen on the stage. The exterior Jumbotron will also display rotating art by current video artists, cinematographers and animators.

Main image credit: EDITION Hotels

It’s a hat trick for Scape Design Associates as it completes three landscape design projects for Grecotel

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Internationally acclaimed landscape design practice, Scape Design Associates, has completed the refurbishment of three Grecotel resorts in readiness for the 2019 holiday season…

Design firm Scape Design Associates has recently completed renovations on Casa Marron in the Greek Peloponnese, Pella Beach in Halkidiki on Greece’s Cassandra Peninsula and the Corfu Imperial, located on the tip of the private peninsula of Kommeno on the island of Corfu. While the character of each resort is quite different, and Scape’s response completely bespoke to each project, the visions for each project share in the desire to connect with the natural landscape of the location and create numerous opportunities for guest engagement, entertainment and rejuvenation.

The very grand Corfu Imperial is set apart from other hotels on the island, not just by its stunning location surrounded on three sides by the Ionian Sea but by its Italian Renaissance-style gardens which take inspiration from the island’s historic links to Italy. Pella Beach, by contrast, is a modern family resort looking towards the Aegean Sea and Casa Marron, while also offering stunning sea views, is situated in an agricultural landscape.

“We have worked with Grecotels on numerous projects over the years, so it is very special to us when we can our philosophy to their beautiful properties,” says Philip Jaffa, Founder of Scape Design Associates and a finalist at The Brit List 2018. ”We strongly believe in a new kind of tourism that is not just about sustainability and preservation, although it includes both, but is a tourism of harmony, connection and restoration – living in conscious relationship with the earth. Landscape architects are in a unique place right now; we can be the ones who help build the bridge to connection by promoting a unique and harmonious relationship with the magnificent natural world we live in.”

Casa Marron – a modern interpretation of a Greek seaside village

Open bedroom onto green gardens

Image credit: Grecotel

Working closely with the client, Scape Design has master planned and revived Casa Marron as a luxury resort full of laid-back Greek charm, where a harmonious balance of function and aesthetics ensure contented tranquillity. Responding to the tradition of Greek communities where life takes place in the central square, the team has created a modern “village square” in the heart of this seaside destination, complete with dining pavilions, a performance area, pergolas to shade under and open-air seating terraces, all surrounding a reflecting water jet feature. The result is simple and inclusive. The square is complemented by two new beach side pools with undisturbed views of the sea, open lawn areas offering opportunities for play, retreat and reflection, and a new terraced dining pavilion which steps down to the beach.

The plan also sought to achieve better flow between the buildings across the 800,000 sq. m site, which had diminished over the years with successive additions. Starting with guest arrival, Scape Design created a new courtyard to formalise the moment, enable improved traffic management and frame the memory-making view – the new infinity pool and, beyond this, the sea. The entrance road was realigned into an olive tree lined driveway interspersed with water features and leading to a new palm tree-lined drop-off point. Service and delivery were separated from the guest experience by the addition of separate routes.

All the existing trees were preserved under a carefully considered transplantation plan, a new olive grove was planted on an extended open lawn area to provide areas of shade and avenues of trees were introduced to connect the three pools – the 40-metre main infinity pool, the 37-metre beach pool and the kids’ pool. New pathways and the central courtyard were constructed with locally sourced stone and laid in the traditional puzzle paving pattern. New white pergola structures reflect the traditional arches seen elsewhere in the resort and new timber structures echo traditional construction methods.

Pella Beach – a contemporary symbiosis of landscape, architecture and interior design

Light woods feature in one of the modern guestrooms

Image credit: Grecotel

Scape Design has redesigned the landscape of Pella Beach to harmonise with the updated building facades and refreshed interiors and to open it up to what is one of Halkidiki’s longest and most beautiful beaches. Now, generously proportioned modern pools with crisp edges are at one with the buildings and tree-lined avenues take the eye to sea and horizon, frame the green Sukabumi stone-lined pools and create an allusion of distance.

The previously outdated arrival has been transformed. A new walled courtyard offers immediate separation from the roadway outside, drawing guests into another world and, via shaded pathways, to the entrance lobby. The plan is simple and axial. One axis draws guests through the courtyard into the lobby and then beyond into the gardens and beachside restaurant. The other axis is central to the building and powerfully anchors the landscape with the architecture.

The two existing pools were replaced to match and reflect the simple, modern and clean spaces of the renovated interiors. The new restaurant pavilion and lobby bar terrace structures take inspiration from architectural forms, in particular the colonnades that flank the building. In order to ensure a view of both the garden and the sky to every guest, the restaurant has been designed as a garden courtyard surrounded by an open-air double colonnaded space. The roof slopes inwards so that during a rainstorm the internal space amplifies the effect and creates a dramatic rain garden spectacle.

The design team opted for a simple palette of materials. Large porcelain tiles, distinctive for their modernity and uniform textures, highlight the main axes of Pella Beach. In addition to the existing olive trees, new olive trees were planted and Washingtonia Palms were introduced to lend drama to the new avenues.

Corfu Imperial – a revival of the Italian Gardens

Palatial interiors in one of the guestroom at the hotel

Image credit: Grecotel

Set against a backdrop of the crystal-clear waters of the Ionian Sea, the natural beauty of the seven-hectare site, with panoramic views of the Marina and the island’s Old Town as well as the sea, sets this hotel apart. Scape’s mission was to enhance connection between hotel and landscape wherever possible, from new arrival courtyards built within characterful olive groves, to a new lower pool perched above the sea, to stylish garden pavilions. Every moment at the Corfu Imperial now offers unforgettable views far into the distance and closer at hand where the grandeur of the Italian-style gardens with its palette of Cypress trees, formal clipped hedges and colourful flowering aromatic shrubs is a feast for all the senses.

The existing upper pool was treated to elegant new cabanas and the rooftop terraces were refined.

The refurbished landscape now includes an enhanced beachfront promenade for shopping and dining and Il Boschetto – new family accommodation located within the gardens. The existing upper pool was treated to elegant new cabanas and the rooftop terraces were refined. When the Corfu Imperial re-opens this spring, guests will find a stunning juxtaposition of the elegantly modern with a classical jewel.

Main image credit: Grecotel

Hyatt Regency Valencia completes multi-million dollar renovation

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The 244-key hotel’s renovation in Valencia California has been designed for the modern traveller in mind… 

Hyatt Regency Valencia and Dimension Development has announced the completion of an expansive renovation of Hyatt Regency Valencia, and the introduction of Greater Pacific, a destination dining experience. Focusing on providing guests with a modern and effortless travel experience, the project enhanced all 244 guest rooms and suites, the lobby, public spaces, and all indoor and outdoor meeting spaces.

The new welcoming lobby opens to the sights and scents of Greater Pacific’s bar. Guestrooms feature modern design elements with a focus on premium style and comfort. Guests will enjoy large work desks, ergonomic chairs, and spacious bathrooms with upscale amenities and glass enclosed showers. Select rooms feature balconies, or views overlooking the pool, golf course or mountains.

The hotel’s 16,000 square feet of meeting space has been updated with energy-efficient lighting and each indoor ballroom features 20 foot ceilings adorned with grand chandeliers. Newly redesigned outdoor meeting space includes lush flower gardens, vine-covered terraces and manicured greens.

The hotel’s new signature restaurant, Greater Pacific, features contemporary décor with Asian and Californian influences and brings fresh fare to the community well beyond the traditional restaurants in the area. Greater Pacific’s menu illuminates a rich variety of approachable flavors and boldly crafted recipes of this country’s most fruitful state.

Main image credit: Hyatt Regency

Melia Hotels International opens first property in Prague

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Meliá Hotels International, Spain’s largest hotel brand, unveils INNSiDE Prague Old Town, its latest property and first hotel in the Czech capital…

Designed by Spanish architect Meritxell Cuartero, INNSiDE Prague Old Town will open in March as the first Meliá Hotels International’s hotel in the Czech capital.

The hotel marks a new era for the INNSiDE by Meliá portfolio, fitting perfectly into the brand’s evolution of design-led lifestyle and resort hotels, to give guests more freedom to relax and explore, whether they are travelling for work or leisure.

Living/lounge area with low seating and contemporary wooden bookshelf

Image credit: INNSiDE by Meliá

With a key focus on sustainability, INNSIDE Prague Old Town Hotel will provide 90 modern guestrooms, all featuring the attributes of the INNSiDE by Meliá brand. This includes in-room amenities, such as bathrobes, slippers and flip flops, a luxurious coffee machine, complimentary minibar, with fresh juices and local beer and Smeg fridges packed full of healthy treats, drinks and snacks. Superior+ rooms will also have high-end sound systems, complimentary streaming services and complimentary bike rental to encourage guests to explore the local area.

“INNSiDE Prague Old Town will be one of the first hotels to offer all of the new attributes and sustainable features of this stunning and fast-growing brand, which adds up to the attractiveness of this amazing city,” said Gabriel Escarrer, Executive Vice President and CEO of Meliá Hotels International.” As the leading leisure hotel Group worldwide, our brands are also extremely successful in an increasingly leisure-inspired urban market, where the city of Prague stands out.”

With health and wellness a key focus point for the brand, INNSiDE Prague Old Town will offer a gym with state-of-the-art fitness suites and the latest digital fitness software. The hotel will have an open lobby space for meetings, whether social or business, as well as boasting creative meeting room spaces including a cinema, wellness studio and recording studio, which can be hired for events and functions.

The INNSiDE by Meliá brand portfolio already has 38 hotels in 20 countries, 20 in operation and 18 in the pipeline.

Main image credit: INNSiDE by Meliá

W Hotels arrives on The Palm, Dubai

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The 350-key W Dubai – The Palm opens, complete with disruptive interiors, to design its own narrative and lead the ever-changing hospitality scene in the Middle East forward… 

“The desert just got hotter,” is how W Hotels Worldwide, part of Marriott International Inc., announced the opening of W Dubai – The Palm, located on the Palm Jumeirah, the largest man-made island in the world and one of Dubai’s most iconic attractions.

With its electrifying style, evocative design and eclectic destination restaurants, W Dubai – The Palm is the newest W Escape, the W brand’s playful spin on the traditional resort experience, is set to add a new beat to the already dynamic and pulsating city.

Guestroom overlooking Dubai

Image credit: W Hotels Worldwide

“Much like W has redefined modern luxury, Dubai is a city that is firmly in charge of writing its own narrative, fearlessly embracing the future through design, technology and global culture,” said Anthony Ingham, Global Brand Leader, W Hotels Worldwide. “The energy and marvel of this incredible city make it the perfect destination for a W Escape – our unique take on a resort holiday – where the bold style, iconic service and signature scene of W come to play.”

“It begins with the hotel’s iconic “W” sign patterned to resemble an evaporated desert river bed.”

The dynamic design of W Dubai – The Palm celebrates the evolution of one of the most dynamic cities in the world, seamlessly juxtaposing the organic, natural curves of sand dunes and coastline with the marvel of the geometric lines of the city’s skyscrapers. It begins with the hotel’s iconic “W” sign patterned to resemble an evaporated desert river bed and the WHEELS (valet) area reminiscent of a falage, a cavernous riverbed covered by palm fronds. Leading guests into the hotel is a stunning display of Orsoni glass tiles in colors inspired by overgrown foliage which reflect the golden sun on the horizon. A head-raising, five-story atrium envelopes the Welcome Desk, a nod to desert fortresses and citadels of long ago. Golden trusses comprised of framed boxes sparkle throughout the space, representing different stages of modern construction in Dubai, a common sight of the ever-changing cityscape, and sit upon carpets that depict the island’s surrounding waters reflecting both construction and clouds. Completing the dramatic entrance is “The Soundwave” – a 6.5 ton, 30m long visual vector that represents a W sound wave. With 640 glass pieces, the towering fixture puts on a show of its own, illuminating in alternating intensities and colors to reflect the beats of the DJ in the neighboring W Lounge.

View of the pool and exterior of the building in Dubai

W Hotels Worldwide

The W Lounge (lobby) is a stage to see and be seen and celebrates the city’s well-known love of opulence with several geometric fixtures that mimic the raw, natural form of gold. An artistic interpretation of a traditional fire pit sits in the center of the W Lounge, signifying the bonfires that Bedouin tribes would gather around during their desert travels years ago. Connecting the W Lounge to the nearby VIP Lounge is a 13.5-meter sofa in muted earth tones, representing a desert mountain range – the skyscrapers of the past.

Vibrant bathrooms at W Dubai - The Palm

Image caption: Vibrant bathrooms at W Dubai – The Palm

All 350 guestrooms and suites offer uninterrupted views and dreamy amenities. Curved walls are intricately tiled to glisten like the lights and colors of the sea at various times of the day, bringing the shoreline into each room. Modern graffiti adorns the walls of every room, featuring lyrics in Arabic from an iconic song by Lebanese singer, Fairouz.

Arial perspective of a render of the W Dubai - The Palm site

Image cation: Aerial perspective of a render of the W Dubai – The Palm site

The hotel features a multiple of pools that sit in a wave-like pattern in the center of the Escape to form the W brand’s iconic WET® Deck experience, beach-facing, with views of the Dubai skyline. The W brand’s signature AWAY® Spa invites guests to ‘Stroll in and Strut out’ offering ten treatment rooms, a steam room, sauna, experiential showers, a hammam and a couples’ suite. Guests are treated to a design inspired by the underwater perspective of a pearl diver, where iridescent shells reflect the sunlight that peeks through the ocean above. Lastly, guests can sweat it out at FIT (gym) which boasts state-of-the-art equipment overlooking the WET Deck, beach and skyline views, featuring abstract art inspired by the graceful forms of both jellyfish and the parachutes of adventure-seeking skydivers.

“As our first W Escape in the region, W Dubai – The Palm combines the city’s unique allure with the brand’s bold design and dynamic lifestyle and gives it a locally relevant twist.”

W Dubai – The Palm is set to infuse even more decadence into Dubai’s booming, multicultural culinary landscape with six beverage and food destinations. Translated as “I will be right back,” Torno Sobito is the first restaurant outside of Italy by global culinary genius, Chef Massimo Bottura – whose Osteria Francescana has been feted as the “World’s Best Restaurant.” The dishes and design of Torno Subito lean in to Dubai’s reputation for all things playful. Guests dig into Massimo’s favorite bites inside converted rescue boats and pedalos (paddle boats) and can choose a flavor from the roving gelato cart. Massimo, like W, has an eye for irreverence, which is evident in the options for decadent pasta bowls ordered by size: medium and large. Guests dine in a 60’s-esque wonderland, decked with woven green chairs, life sized beachfront imagery, bold metallic accents adorning the ceilings and walls, and lighting reminiscent of dressing rooms and marquees from the golden age of Hollywood.

Torno Subito at W Dubai - The Palm

Image caption: Torno Subito at W Dubai – The Palm

“We are excited to bring the W brand to Palm Jumeirah with the highly anticipated opening of W Dubai – The Palm,” said Alex Kyriakidis, President and Managing Director, Middle East and Africa, Marriott International. “As our first W Escape in the region, W Dubai – The Palm combines the city’s unique allure with the brand’s bold design and dynamic lifestyle and gives it a locally relevant twist. With game-changing style, amplified entertainment and innovative culinary offerings, this W Escape will inject a fresh vibe into the local hospitality scene and offer the most sought-after luxury getaway for locals as well as global jet-setters.”

SoBe (short for South Beach) is an adults-only playground inspired by the eclectic and vibrant spirit of Miami. This is the only rooftop bar in Dubai where guests can watch the sun sink into the Arabian Sea with 360-degree views to watch as the Dubai skyline lights up each night. Serving up eclectic live DJ performances, imaginative cocktails, and even tattoo artists, there will be nothing else like it in the city.

LIV offers guests greener, lighter, fresher and brighter options for breakfast, lunch and dinner and was designed using only upcycled materials, meaning no new materials were created to build the venue. The restaurant is sprinkled with artwork inspired by the patterns left on beaches by sand bubbler crabs, the official mascot of W Dubai – The Palm.

W Dubai – The Palm adopts a bold approach to take events from ordinary to extraordinary. Featuring more than 2,000 square meters of event space, W Dubai sets the stage for any elaborate occasion. The sprawling 1,215-square-meter Great Room boasts an extraordinary oval shape, sensually designed with rotating walls letting in (or blocking out) the dazzling Arabian sun. Custom lighting features allows W Dubai to personalize each event, lighting up the scene with a myriad of colors. The Green Room serves as a holding area for events and weddings and features light pendants reminiscent of wedding bands and carpeting adorned in henna-like patterns.

Deadline for 30 Under 30 applications announced

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Hotel Designs is broadening its search to find 30 young inspirational designers, hoteliers and architects. The deadline for applications for its 30 under 30 list has been announced for February 15…

With less than two weeks before the deadline, time is running out for interior designers, architects and hoteliers to submit their entries for the 30 Under 30 list that will be unveiled at Meet Up London: 30 Under 30.

Styled by Minotti London and hosted at the luxury furniture company’s luxury showroom, the event has launched the list with the aim is to bridge the age gap between interior designers, architects, hoteliers and key-industry suppliers.

How to apply for the 30 Under 30 list

If you are/or know of a deserving designer, architect or hotelier who is 30 years old or younger, please send in your application/nomination to: h.kilburn@forumevents.co.uk with the following:

  • 200-400 word bio, which acknowledges achievements to date and why you/he/she deserves to be recognised
  • Name of company you/he/she currently works for
  • Profile image

Deadline: February 15, 2019

The final 30 will be confirmed to attend the event on March 28 with Hotel Designs‘ compliments and the winners will be notified in due course ahead of the networking evening.

How to attend Meet Up London: 30 Under 30

If you are a supplier to the hospitality industry looking to attend the event, contact Zoe Guerrier on 01992 374059 or on z.guerrier@forumevents.co.uk – or click here to book your place.

If you are an interior designer or architect and would like to attend the Hotel Designs Meet Up London: 30 Under 30, click here to confirm your attendance.

Exclusive style partner: Minotti London

Exclusive headline partner: Hamilton Litestat

Nadler Hotels arrives in Covent Garden, London

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The fifth boutique property in the Nadler Hotels Group’s luxury portfolio opens in London’s bustling Covent Garden… 

Overlooking The Strand in a restored Edwardian building, the 57-key The Nadler Covent Garden has opened as the hotel group’s fourth luxury boutique hotel in London.

Architecture firm PJMA designed the hotel over six floors. It’s stylish and thoughtfully designed guestrooms (ranging from Standard Double through to Deluxe) were, meanwhile, imagined by Brit List 2019 winner WISH London. Each guestroom and suite offers chic accommodation that, as per the company’s ethos, delivers on comfort, convenience and aesthetic.

“Each room features bespoke furniture, designed and handmade locally in west London.”

An elegant colourway of deep blues, clay greys and accents of cherry red sit alongside metallic touches of brass and copper. Each room features bespoke furniture, designed and handmade locally in west London, along with luxurious fabrics made from natural fibres woven on the Isle of Bute, Scotland. Upscale touches in accessories, including special edition Paul Smith Anglepoise lamps, echo the focus on quality British design and craftsmanship. Many of the rooms also extend onto balconies, with some boasting private terraces.

Image credit: Nadler Hotels

In addition to high quality pocket-sprung beds, complimentary ultrafast Wi-Fi, HD TVs (able to stream content direct from your mobile device), and versatile dining / work tables with handy USB and power points, each room features the brand’s signature Mini Kitchen, complete with a microwave, fridge, sink with BRITA filter water tap, kettle, crockery and cutlery, and Nespresso coffee machine with complimentary capsules. Spacious bathrooms include powerful showers (walk-in or over bath) and come with luxury Gilchrist and Soames toiletries.

Designed with a refined residential style, The Nadler Covent Garden aims to make every guest feel and live like a local.

Nadler Hotels currently operates three London properties in Kensington, Soho and Victoria, as well as extending the portfolio in the north with The Nadler Liverpool, which suggests a clear focus to pin its attention on the UK market.

Main image credit: Nadler Hotels

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts to open nine hotels in 2019

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The luxury hotel brand, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts continues with a steady portfolio expansion with openings in new markets and much-anticipated debut of first-ever standalone Private Residences in London… 

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts has announced that 2019 will mark significant hotel openings, with the debut of nine new hotels and resorts around the world, plus the continued expansion of its residential portfolio.

“Four Seasons is well positioned for continued success in 2019 with the steady and strategic growth of our global portfolio,” says Christian Clerc, President, Worldwide Hotel Operations, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. “Our portfolio continues to grow at a healthy pace, as we focus on projects of the highest quality, in the destinations where our guests want to be. We remain committed to offering the very highest standards of hospitality as we expand with a diverse collection of properties, including our entry in Greece and Spain, our first resort set within a world class vineyard in Napa Valley, and the opening of our first standalone residences in London.”

Clerc continues: “With a continued focus on our residential portfolio, we are solidifying our market position as the world leader in luxury branded residential offerings. Eight of the nine new anticipated openings this year include a residential component, affirming the growing importance of branded residences to Four Seasons growth strategy as well as luxury consumers who want to live with our brand and make Four Seasons their home.”

Extensive Global Growth: 2019 Portfolio Openings

Now numbering 111 hotels and resorts in 47 countries – including recent openings in Desroches Island, Seychelles; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; and São Paulo, Brazil – Four Seasons is planning to open the following new hotels, resorts and private residences in 2019:

Four Seasons Astir Palace Hotel Athens 

Simple luxury hotel guestroom

Image credit: Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

This project marks the long-awaited entry of Four Seasons in Greece with the transformation of the famed Astir Palace on the Athenian Riviera. The hotel will offer 303 rooms and bungalows along three private beaches with three pools, a spa and seven restaurants and lounges.

Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences Bangkok at Chao Phraya River 

Skyline of Bangkok

Image credit: Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

The return of Four Seasons to Thailand’s capital is scheduled to open this year as the fourth property in the company’s Four Seasons Thailand collection. The all-new complex spans 9 acres and 200 metres of prime river frontage with open courtyards, water features and works of art. Ballrooms offer stunning river views and outdoor spaces that are ideal for grand weddings and impressive events while three restaurants and a Latin American inspired social club bring glamour to the riverside lifestyle. With 366 Private Residences and 299 rooms and suites, many with generous outdoor terraces, the property brings the sophistication of a resort to the heart of Bangkok.

Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences Bengaluru at Embassy ONE

Modern guestroom with accents of gold in the carpet

Image credit: Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

Set in the heart of India’s technology hub as part of the prestigious new Embassy ONE development, the property will feature 230 rooms, 105 Private Residences and prime commercial retail space. Within the hotel, guests will find warm and inviting restaurants featuring interactive live counters and artisanal offerings. The outdoor pool in the lush landscaped private gardens lends a resort-like ambiance and the spa is an uplifting hideaway for modern and holistic wellness solutions. Four Seasons Hotel Bengaluru joins its sister property in Mumbai as the second Four Seasons in India.

Four Seasons Resort and Residences Los Cabos at Costa Palmas 

Bathroom in a suite that overlooks the ocean

Image credit: Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

The oceanfront resort in the Baja Peninsula will soon be home to the third Four Seasons in Mexico. Located on the East Cape on a stunning, swimmable stretch of the Sea of Cortez, the resort will include 141 rooms as well as a selection of Private Residences with private yacht slips and a Robert Trent Jones Jr. golf course, within the exclusive Costa Palmas development.

Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences Madrid

Guestroom of the hotel with the tops of buildings in Madrid seen in the distance

Image credit: Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

A meticulous restoration and conversion of several historic buildings in the heart of the city’s famed Canalejas district is entering its final stages, with the 200 room Four Seasons as the company’s first location in Spain. The property will also incorporate 22 beautifully appointed Private Residences.

Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences Montreal

Render of the guestrooms overlooking the skyline

Image credit: Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

The company’s fourth property in Canada will open in the heart of Montreal’s best shopping neighbourhood, within a development that will mark the city’s very best lifestyle offerings. Guests can look forward to an all-new 169 room hotel and 18 Private Residences connected to the new Holt Renfrew Ogilvy in the Golden Square Mile neighbourhood, as well as the first Canadian restaurant by famed chef Marcus Samuelsson.

Four Seasons Resort and Residences Napa Valley

Render of the guestrooms which feature dark dues in the interiors

Image credit: Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

Glasses are already being raised in anticipation of Four Seasons first resort immersed within an estate winery, in partnership with acclaimed winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown, that will be part of the all-new resort set among the mountains and vineyards of one of the world’s top wine-producing regions. Its 85 rooms and 20 residences will extend the diverse Four Seasons California Collection as its eighth location in the state.

Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences One Dalton Street, Boston 

Exterior render of the hotel above the skyline

Image credit: Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

Four Seasons will open its second property in Boston’s prestigious Back Bay neighbourhood, steps from the city’s best cultural, sporting, and entertainment outlets. This sleek, 61-storey skyscraper will be home to 215 hotel rooms and 160 Private Residences and will also include a Zuma restaurant, the renowned Japanese Izakaya with outposts in London, Miami, New York and Las Vegas.

Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia at Comcast Center

Guestroom with white linen and floor-to-ceiling windows

Image credit: Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

The company’s return to the city will showcase the future of hospitality in Philadelphia’s tallest building. At 60 storeys and with 219 rooms, the property will showcase advanced technologies from Comcast as well as world-class dining experiences by top chefs Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Greg Vernick, and florals by celebrated creative director Jeff Leatham.

Additional future projects recently announced include hotels, resorts and residences in Dalian, China; Makkah, Saudi Arabia; Hanoi, Vietnam; and Caye Chapel, Belize.

Main image credit: Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

Top 5 stories of the week: Lighting the mood, surface trends and Meet Up developments

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Concluding January and looking ahead to the future of lighting, surfaces and hotel development, Hamish Kilburn writes the top five stories of the week…

As January turns to February, there is much anticipation in the air around developing trends. The must-watch lists of hues, textures and materials that landed in my inbox on January 1 have filtered subtly into the designs of new hotel spaces. Designers working outside the box establish how they can create a timeless statement scan the floors of the trade shows. The next in the calendar is the Surface Design Show in London (February 5 – 7). Ahead of the show, this week we took a closer look at the trends on the walls, floors and ceilings. Closer to home, Hotel Designs had some developments of its own to announce. Here are the top five stories of the week.

1) 6 trends to look out for at Surface Design Show 2019

dark bathroom design

Image credit: SIBU

Taking place next week in London’s Business Design Centre, Surface Design Show will showcase the latest products and technology in surface design. Ahead of the event, as Hotel Designs is a media partner of #SDS19, here are top surface trends to be mindful of.

> Read more about the trends here

2) Meet Up London: 30 Under 30 Announces Early Bird Tickets

Until February 7, designers, architects, hoteliers and suppliers will be able to purchase early bird tickets for Hotel Designs‘ highly anticipated Q1 networking evening, Meet Up London: 30 Under 30.

Exclusive style partner: Minotti London

Exclusive headline partner: Hamilton Litestat

> To book your tickets, click here

3) One-third of consumers believe lighting helps to eliminate January Blues

A study has revealed that one in three people believe that lighting is important to creating a relaxed and calm atmosphere before bed.

As the January blues well and truly set in for some, new research has revealed how lighting can have direct impact on mood and wellbeing in the hotel environment.

> To read more about the study, click here

4) SUSD gains planning consent for hotel and members club on the River Thames

render of the exterior of a manor-like building

Image credit: SUSD

SUSD, the developer behind two of London’s most successful hybrid destinations, The Curtain Hotel & Members Club and Devonshire Club, has just won planning consent, subject to finalising the S106 Agreement, for a third development, this time on the banks of the Thames near Pangbourne, Berkshire.

> To read more about the plans, click here

5) Editor Checks In: January ’19

To round up January – and to help understand the crossroads many designers are at – it felt appropriate to use the metaphor of two worlds colliding. I am, of course, referring to the opportunities that result from authentic collaborations.

> To read my editor’s letter, click here

If you would like to be kept up to date with the latest happenings and news in international hotel design, subscribe to receiving our newsletter here.

Main image credit: ITC Natural Luxury Flooring

Editor checks in: January ’19

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When two trendy worlds collide in January…

Excitement and optimism are both thick in the January air. My train carriage on the Eurostar is full to the brim of creative people. Half the passengers on board are interior designers on their way, like me, to Maison&Objet. The other half are fashionistas, bloggers and journalists preparing to arrive at Men’s Paris Fashion Week. Two worlds collide to converge in conversations around this season’s must-see designers and emerging trends to keep an eye on. It reminds me of yesterday when I published my exclusive interview with lighting designer to the stars, Moritz Waldemeyer. In 2007, the young, enthusiastic Waldemeyer found himself in the same unfamiliar setting when fashion legend Hussein Chayalan asked him to create a lighting installation unlike any other for one of the shows.

11 years on from Waldemeyer’s first dip into high fashion and, while trends have shifted, the core of our creative business remains concrete; we are never afraid to knock on doors to chase inspirational ideas.

Ever since 1995, when the show first launched, Maison&Objet has powerfully set the industry up for the year. Yes, recently have witnessed somewhat more of an upsurge in attendees compared to early years, but the show has always given apt context to many of the discussions that ripple through the rest of the 11 months as things undoubtedly develop from the ‘trends’ that ping through to our inboxes on January 1.

“Investigating three separate luxury travel markets over three weeks (aviation, rail and cruise ships), we launched the series Hotels At New Heights.”

Altering course for a moment in order to explore which other worlds are in fact colliding, the cruise industry in recent years has been reaching out to more and more hotel designers to imagine the interiors of future fleets. Investigating three separate luxury travel markets over three weeks (aviation, rail and cruise ships), we launched the series Hotels At New Heights with the aim to understand how our industry can benefit from coming together with other markets.

At the core of all of these topics, bringing the loose strands of ideas together through conversation, is networking. Following the success of Meet Up North and The Brit List 2018, I am proud to announce that our Meet Up London: 30 Under 30 event will take place in Fitzrovia’s trendy neighbourhood on March 28 at Minotti London’s stylish showroom. The deadline for suppliers, designers, hoteliers and architects to claim their early bird tickets is fast approaching (February 7), so click here to purchase your tickets.

I look forward to continuing this adventurous journey with you as Hotel Designs itself prepares to enter a new chapter.

Editor, Hotel Designs

IHG unveils five-year expansion plan for Kimpton Hotels

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Outlook for the luxury boutique brand, Kimpton Hotels, is at its strongest in its 38-year history with more than 25 hotels under development…

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has announced plans to open more than 25 Kimpton Hotels properties across 20 new global destinations including Mexico City, Paris, Barcelona, Bali and Shanghai, in the next three to five years.

Founded in 1981 in San Francisco by Bill Kimpton, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants’ heartfelt approach to hospitality has translated to unique, design-led hotels across city centers, beachside resorts, mountain getaways, and more. Since acquiring the brand in 2015, IHG has driven Kimpton’s global growth beyond the U.S. IHG has opened the first Kimpton® hotel in the Caribbean, Kimpton® Seafire Resort + Spa in Grand Cayman; the first hotel outside of the Americas, Kimpton® De Witt in Amsterdam and debuted in the UK with a flagship property for the brand, Kimpton® Fitzroy London. The brand continues to grow and is set to make its debut in a suite of new markets around the world from Germany to Grenada, Indonesia, Spain and China.

“With IHG’s scale and network of owner relationships, we’ve unlocked the global growth of Kimpton Hotels & Resorts,” said Elie Maalouf, Chief Executive Officer, Americas, IHG. “We’ve seen incredible interest from hotel owners around the world, as well as from guests who can now experience the heartfelt service Kimpton is so famous for in new and exciting destinations. We have flagship hotels now open in London and Amsterdam, a series of fantastic hotels slated to open this year including our first in Asia, and a growing pipeline of projects in key markets around the world.”

Upcoming marquee hotel openings include:

Kimpton Da An Hotel – Taipei, Taiwan

Poised for a Spring 2019 unveiling, Kimpton Da An is an urban sanctuary in the heart of Taipei, bridging the historic ZhongShan and DaTong districts with the modern, upscale Xinyl district. The hotel’s interior design will celebrate the area’s heritage with artistic modernity and traditional craftsmanship. Expect lush botanicals, light-filled spaces and a restaurant – The Tavernist, offers playful modern cuisine led by former Noma Chef, James Sharman.

 Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel – Edinburgh, Scotland

Opening in Spring 2019, Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel will consist of seven interconnected Georgian-style townhouses that blend traditional glamour with modern-day Scotland. Overlooking a beautiful private garden square, located in the heart of the city center, everything from the glass-topped central courtyard to the locally-loved Middle Eastern restaurant provides an ideal haven in the Scottish capital.

 Kimpton Kawana Bay Resort – Grenada, Caribbean

Marking Kimpton’s second Caribbean resort and slated to open in early 2020, Kimpton Kawana Bay will be a 220-room luxury hillside retreat located between tropical rainforest cliffs and the world-renowned Grand Anse Beach. All rooms feature spectacular ocean views and a number of suites will have private pools. The name of the resort itself, Kawana Bay, pays homage to the area’s native leatherback turtles, named “Kawana” – a fixture on the Spice Island.

 Kimpton Bali – Bali, Indonesia

The natural beauty of the Nusa Dua coastline and lush volcanic hillsides make for a perfect backdrop to Kimpton Bali, opening in 2020. Here, 50 luxury villas serve as a lifestyle sanctuary that will embrace local Balinese culture while delivering a genuine experience on the Island of the Gods.

These openings reflect the opportunity across the boutique hotel sector, which is among the fastest growing in the industry. Together with Hotel Indigo®, IHG’s boutique portfolio totals almost 170 hotels globally, with nearly 120 more hotels in the development pipeline.

Main image credit: Kimpton Hotels. Photography: Laure Joliet

Nobu Hotels announces plans to arrives in Poland

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Nobu Hospitality, a global luxury lifestyle brand founded by Nobu Matsuhisa, Robert De Niro and Meir Teper, has announced its continued global expansion into Warsaw, Poland…

On track to have 20 hotels within its portfolio globally by 2020, Nobu Hotels has announced plans to open Nobu Hotel Warsaw.

The hotel, which is expected to merge tradition with contemporary design, will be situated in the heart of the historic city. With 120 guestrooms, expansive meeting and event spaces, fitness center and signature Nobu Restaurant, Nobu Hotel Warsaw will be an integrated mix of luxurious hotel and energised living spaces.

As we enter 2019, this is our newest hotel in Europe and the start of an exciting future partnership,” said Trevor Horwell, Chief Executive Officer of Nobu Hotels. “We are truly proud to announce Nobu Hotel Warsaw to our growing Nobu Hotel and Restaurant family.  This takes our hotel portfolio to 17 hotels underpinning our strategy to carve out our own niche whilst staying true to our brand and loyal Nobu customer.”

“The city of Warsaw has been ranked as the seventh greatest emerging market in the world and continues to evolve as a vibrant leisure destination.”

Nobu Hotel’s first Polish property is slated to open in Q1 2020 and will occupy a new building located at Wilcza Street, designed by the Polish architectural firm, Medusa Group, and will also encompass the existing Hotel Rialto. The design refurbishment will be a collaborative effort between Medusa Group and Californian-based, Studio PCH. The new building will see a transformative architectural design for Warsaw, blending with the original Rialto building.

Render of the bar in the hotel

Image credit: Nobu Warsaw/Studio PCH

Warsaw is the cultural heart of Poland, and one of the country’s most dynamic cities. With a booming business community, the city has been ranked as the seventh greatest emerging market in the world and continues to evolve as a vibrant leisure destination. 

Named as one of luxury’s 25 most innovative brands by Robb Report, Nobu Hospitality is ranked among an elite section of global brands that is fast expanding its luxury arm across the world. The next anticipated opening from the brand is Nobu Hotel Los Cabos, which is being designed by both WATG and Studio PCH.

Main image credit: Nobu Hotels/Medusa Group

Unveiled: First upscale boutique hotel in the heart of New Hampshire

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With the city of Concord, New Hampshire, being in the middle of a cultural renaissance, The Hotel Concord opens as the city’s first upscale boutique hotel…

The Hotel Concord, the city of Concord’s first upscale boutique hotel, opened in August 2018 with the aim to become a cultural hub of the city with a striking design vision. The hotel has now opened all areas of the hotel following the completion of the top-floor guestrooms.

The 38-room independent hotel brings the high-end hotel experience to the heart of historic downtown Concord. Located on the fourth and sixth floors of the Capital Commons building, the hotel features floor-to-ceiling windows, some of which include balconies and unique views of the New Hampshire Capitol building and newly redesigned Main Street.

Each guestroom is a different shape and size offering each guest a distinctive luxury experience, with high-tech amenities like state-of-the-art climate control systems, wall mounted flat screen televisions, high-speed internet and Amazon Echo Dots. The spacious rooms are sound-proofed and include numerous high-end features such as luxury bed linens and bathrobes, California-style closets, mini fridges and well-appointed oversized bathrooms.

“As we were designing the hotel, we to create a unique space that reflects the character and charm of the city.”

The welcoming lobby is designed to be a place where guests can gather and relax, with a lounge and The Lobbyist bar, fireplace and light breakfast served each morning. Executive lounges, function rooms, on-site restaurant, 24-hour gym and 24-hour concierge service aim to provide guests of the Hotel Concord with all their travel needs during their stay.

Image caption/credit: The lobby of The Hotel Concord

“This is not your ‘cookie-cutter’ style hotel where one room is indistinguishable from another,” said Michael Simchik, owner of the Capital Commons building. “As we were designing the hotel, we to create a unique space that reflects the character and charm of the city.”

Located just an hour north of Boston, the Concord has seen a growth in development and cultivation of the local arts scene over the past decade. The recently completed redevelopment of Main Street added amenities and a more walkable downtown for visitors of the many boutiques, shops, restaurants and cafes. The Capital Commons building, which was one of the first redevelopments, also houses the Red River Theatres, a three-screen arthouse cinema featuring award-winning documentaries, independent films, an art gallery and private events.

Main image credit: The Hotel Concord

 

Ritz-Carlton Istanbul completes renovation

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Entering a new chapter, Ritz-Carlton Istanbul completes multi-million-dollar renovation…

The Ritz-Carlton Istanbul has completed a two-year, multi-million-dollar renovation across all guestrooms, ballrooms and events spaces. The hotel marks the completion of its refresh with the unveiling of The Ritz-Carlton Suite, which is being dubbed the hotel’s crown jewel featuring more than 2,500 square feet of space and some of the most spectacular views of Istanbul.

Located on the 14th floor, the suite features floor-to-ceiling windows providing magnificent views across the Bosphorus. The space was re-imagined by well-known Turkish architect, Hakan Yürüoğlu, who is also responsible for the redevelopment of all banqueting areas including the stunning ballroom.

In keeping with the other 243 guestrooms, gold and copper hues are combined with highlights of rich blue to reflect the rich history of the Ottoman Empire. A unique mix of colours and materials have been used to emphasise the grandeur of the city, including stone, wood and metals that showcase the dynamism of Istanbul and the Bosphorus views.

Blue and gold hues in the decor of the Ritz-Carlton Suite living room

Image caption: Ritz-Carlton Suite living room

Comprising a luxuriously appointed King bedroom and separate living room, guests staying in The Ritz-Carlton Suite can enjoy the ultimate indulgence thanks to a spa hot tub with views overlooking the Bosphorus as well as two full marble bathrooms with rain showers and soaking tubs. Other amenities include complimentary access to the exclusive, well-appointed Club Lounge and a 42-inch flat-screen IPTV. For guests travelling in a larger group, The Ritz-Carlton Suite provides flexibility with three connecting rooms available to accommodate up to eight guests.

Entrance of the Ritz Carlton Suite with blue art piece on the wall and blue and gold rug

Image caption: Entrance of the Ritz Carlton Suite

Located in the heart of the city of Istanbul, the hotel now stands as one of the city’s most elegant hotels. Set against the backdrop of stunning Bosphorus shores, the hotel provides a perfect blend of culture, hospitality and sophistication at the heart of the world’s crossroads between Asia and Europe.

Elsewhere in the hotel, the Lobby Lounge is the perfect spot for an afternoon tea and Bleu Lounge Terrace for cocktails offering unrivalled views of the Bosphorus. The hotel also features a wellness centre, featuring a rich menu of facial and total body treatments, an indoor pool and an authentic Turkish Hammam. A rarity in the city, the hotel is the only property to offer an open-air spa with treatments overlooking the Bosphorus.

The hotel compliments Istanbul’s growing new-found reputation as the ‘capital of cool’. The city has seen a raft of hip new hotels arriving in the neighbourhood, galleries and flight routes – including the new $25 billion Istanbul Airport – that are leading the city’s renaissance ensuring a growing demand for more stylish accommodations in this city. The Ritz-Carlton Istanbul now stands among them as a leading luxury hotel in one of the brand’s 30 destinations in which it operates in.

 

Top 5 stories of the week: Lighting the future, Madrid arrivals and Nobu expansion

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From lighting insights to hotel group milestones, here are Hotel Designs’ top stories of the week…

As we continue our Spotlight On hotel openings, this week’s headlines have suggested a theme of hotel chains arriving in new destinations. From BLESS Collection Hotels opening its first hotel to Bali welcoming the Kempinski brand, it’s been an exciting week to report the hotel design headlines. Here are our top five stories of the week.

1) Hotels at New Heights: Rooms on rails

Luxury room in train. Wooden bed frame and luxury blue seating

In the second article in the series, Hotels at New Heights, we investigate how the luxury train industry is seeing somewhat of a renaissance for plush suite travel following an uncertain journey on the rails…

> Read more about Hotels at New Heights here

2) BLESS Collection Hotel opens first hotel

View from balcony of hotel

Image credit: BLESS Collection Hotel

The luxury hotel brand, which sits under the Palladium Hotel Group umbrella has opened the 111-key BLESS Hotel Madrid designed by Lázaro Rosa-Violan

To read more about the opening, click here

3) In Conversation With: Moritz Waldemeyer

LED Lighting with Moritz Waldemeyer

Lighting designer Moritz Waldemeyer speaks to Hotel Designs about 2019 trends, the power of lighting therapy and how one moment in time can dramatically change the direction of a creative’s career…

Read the exclusive interview, click here

4) Nobu Hotel Marbella set to double in size for 2019

Licing area featuring sofa next to large balcony

Image credit: Nobu Hotels

Following its launch last year, Nobu Hotel Marbella, which is a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH), has announced that it will double in size with the opening of a further 40 rooms and suites for the 2019 season.

> To read more about the renovation, click here

5) Spotlight On: February features announced

Render of Eden Hotel

Image Credit: Tate Harmer Hotel, Eden Hotel (Winner of The Eco Award at The Brit List 2018)

Hotel Designs has officially dropped its February editorial features, which are Surfaces and Architecture & Construction…

To read more about the topics, click here 

Main image credit: Moritz Waldemeyer Studio

BLESS Collection Hotels opens brand’s first luxury property

Hamish Kilburn

The luxury hotel brand, which sits under the Palladium Hotel Group umbrella has opened the 111-key BLESS Hotel Madrid designed by Lázaro Rosa-Violan… 

BLESS Collection Hotels, a new luxury hotel brand from Palladium Hotel Group which owns , has opened its first property, BLESS Hotel Madrid. The hotel opens as the brand begins to expand its luxury arm in cosmopolitan cities and international beachfront destinations starting with Ibiza this summer.

BLESS Hotel Madrid, located on Calle de Velázquez in the heart of the city’s fashionable Salamanca district, is housed in the former Gran Hotel Velázquez, a historical social hub among locals. Maintaining the original essence of the property, BLESS Hotel Madrid will continue to offer locals an inner-city sanctuary as well as providing guests with a stylish base from which to explore the Spanish capital.

View from balcony of hotel

Image credit: BLESS Collection Hotel

BLESS Hotel Madrid boasts 111 rooms, rooftop pool, bowling alley, spa and gym, gourmet destination restaurant, three bars and conference spaces. Renowned Spanish designer and architect Lázaro Rosa-Violan incorporated elements of the property’s former glory including the marble staircase and glass dome with modern materials and colour schemes to create a quintessentially Madrilenian ambience with a contemporary slant, blending the best of Madrid in the 1950s to the present day. Spaces in the hotel including Feten and Picos Pardos have been given names relating to Madrid colloquialism, presenting a truly authentic vision of the city.

“One of the special spaces some of these events will take place is Velázquez 62.5, an elegant boulevard area.”

The BLESS Collection Hotels brand has been built around the concept of Hedonist Luxury, a unique proposition designed for citizens of the world – modern travellers, sybarites and pleasure-seekers.  In its own words “BLESS Collection Hotels worships the pursuit of happiness and the best of life”. Guests will enjoy the ultimate in luxury through a range of sensory exclusive experiences designed to feed the spirit. These include BATHOLOGY with a personal butler creating a bespoke bathing experience and BLESSEDBED that will allow guests to personalise their moments of rest through a luxurious menu of pillows and bed linen. Wellness and beauty also takes a relevant position with unique training, spa and beauty propositions. Not to forget the unparalleled food and beverage offering with the signature of Martin Berasategui.

View from bedroom into the bathroom

Image credit: BLESS Collection Hotels

The hotel will also present a non-stop programme of inspirational entertainment drawing on the destination’s cultural agenda – from art and culture to fashion and gastronomy.  These “happenings” will include live music, fashion shows, performance and visual art and photography exhibitions.

One of the special spaces some of these events will take place is Velázquez 62.5, an elegant boulevard area which will become an exclusive retail and entertainment destination for Madrid residents as well as hotel guests.  The space will include an exclusive beauty center and will feature a variety of pop-up art exhibitions and music events.

Guests will also be able to enjoy unique entertainment at Fetén, an elegant and vibrant ‘clandestine bar’ complete with a retro-styled bowling alley.

The Spanish hotel chain currently has 48 hotels in six countries: Spain, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Italy and Brazil and operates nine brands, iuncluding TRS Hotels, Grand Palladium Hotels & Resorts, Palladium Hotels, Palladium Boutique Hotels, Fiesta Hotels & Resorts, Ushuaïa Unexpected Hotels, Ayre Hoteles, Only You Hotels, Bless Collection Hotels, as well as licensed brand Hard Rock Hotels.

Courtyard by Marriott expands its UK portfolio with Oxford opening

Hamish Kilburn

The first hotel to opening following the aim to expand portfolio in the UK to seven hotels will be Courtyard by Marriott Oxford South… 

Courtyard continues to grow its UK presence with the opening of Courtyard by Marriott Oxford South. Inviting the modern traveller to work and play, the hotel features the latest Courtyard by Marriott design to ensure a refreshing and productive hotel experience. Design company Urban Reef imagined the stunning, futuristic, exterior of the property, and the interior design showcases artwork and murals inspired by the county of Oxfordshire.

Owned by EQ Hotels, the hotel is located within easy reach of Oxford city centre and its historic and cultural attractions, Bicester Village shopping outlet, and premium science and business hub Milton Park.

“Courtyard by Marriott Oxford South is an excellent gateway to discover the unique attractions of this historic area,” said John Licence, Vice President Premium and Select Brands Europe at Marriott International. “Whether our guests are in Oxfordshire for business or pleasure, they are sure to enjoy an authentic local experience that inspires them to both work and play.”

The 170 welcoming guest rooms feature complimentary Wi-Fi, 55-inch TVs with Chromecast technology, rainfall showers, comfortable Hypnos beds, and Nespresso machines. Guests can also unwind in the state-of-the-art fitness centre.

Luxury bedroom with white interiors and statement yellow cushion on bed

Image credit: Marriott International

The hotel’s signature all-day dining restaurant, The Oxen Bar & Grill, presents seasonal British-inspired and international cuisine in a relaxed setting with its open pizza kitchen, all-weather alfresco dining terrace, and urban lounge bar.

Courtyard Oxford South is the ideal venue for a memorable event or conference. Four spacious meeting rooms, with natural daylight and equipped with the latest technology, offer 185 square metres of versatile meeting and function space, with the largest area able to cater for 120 delegates.

The addition of Courtyard Oxford South brings the brand’s footprint in Europe to over 60 hotels. Further hotel openings are anticipated over the next couple of years in key growth markets including Germany, UK, and France, as well as new markets including Armenia, Iceland, and Finland.

Main image credit: Marriott International 

Top 5 stories of the week: Suites in the sky, defining trends and X marks the spot in Toronto

Hamish Kilburn

In the same week Hotel Designs’ announced a new floating hotel in Edinburgh, a mountain of so-called 2019 trends and major openings were among the highlights of this weeks headlines, as editor Hamish Kilburn reports… 

January arrived, and what inevitably followed was a plethora of emails of which each subject claimed to have the answers to this year’s must-have trends (I use the term loosely). And while it’s interesting to read all about whether the ’70s will or will not makes its return, or whether chrome really will replace the brushed-brass finishes, hotel designers must ensure that whatever they produce is timeless. The age-old argument between whether it’s best to be fashionable or stylish is never more relevant than it is in hotel design. Style, in our industry at least, wins every time over ever-changing fashion. It is somewhat hypocritical of myself, therefore, to have uploaded a piece about flooring trends this week, but I urge you to approach this topic with a pinch of salt. If trends were concrete (and I’m not referring to the industrial-chic bathroom look that was ‘in’ in AW19), international hotel design would become static with nothing ever changing. My hope is that this piece, along with all my features I have the pleasure of writing for Hotel Designs, can be seen as a guide – one opinion among many, if you like, with the ‘many’ referring to our wonderful readers of course.

To start the conversation over the weekend, leaving trends aside for now, here are five headlines that have grabbed the attention of our industry this week.

1) New luxury floating hotel launches in Edinburgh

Image credit: Fingal

Developed by The Royal Yacht Britannia’s trading company, Royal Yacht Enterprises, Fingal, a new floating hotel with 23 luxury cabins that are each named after Stevenson lighthouses, has launched.

The hotel, which will be permanently berthed in Edinburgh’s historic Port of Leith, includes considered design that offers high specifications of craftmanship and finishes with nautical touches and polished woods throughout. Sumptuous Scottish leathers and the finest linens are in colour palates inspired by Fingal’s journey from land and sea.

Read more about Fingal >

2) SPOTLIGHT ON: Major hotel openings for Q3 & Q4 2019

Wallcoverings reflecting the city of Malta and a large bed in a modern suite

Image credit: Iniala Malta

Last week, we brought you what we considered to be the top hotels that are planning on opening in the first half of this year. Following suit, we have identified even more significant launches of design hotels that are planning to cut their ribbons from this Summer onwards this year. From beachside resorts, to cliff-side eco hotels, here are the editorial team’s top picks.

Read more about the major openings in Q2 & Q3 >

3) Checking in to Hotel X – the luxury Canadian hotel that stands alone

outdoor pool

Image credit: Hotel X Toronto

Juxtaposing the neighbouring buildings in the Liberty Village area, which were once cut off from the rest of the city of Toronto, Hotel X Toronto is the new sought-after boutique kid on the block that is making waves as a new kind of luxury experience in a city that welcomes more than 40 million tourists each year.

Read more about Hotel X here >

4) Hotels At New Heights: Airlines’ race to launch luxury suites in the sky

The bedroom of The Residence

Image credit: Etihad Airways

Travelling the world today is arguably the most comfortable it has ever been. And it comes with few raised eyebrows that the long-haul travel market is dominated, without a shadow of a doubt, by the airlines. In 2017, National Geographic reported that air travel is predicted to over the next 20 years. In the same year, Forbes reported that within just 12 months more than a staggering four billion passengers travelled by plane, which set a new record. But with slower forms of travel, such a luxury cruises and iconic train carriages, making their return in popular demand, airlines are having to adapt for the luxury market – and each other – in order to welcome guests into suites in the sky.

Read more about suites in the sky >

5) Radisson Blu opens two hotels in Abu Dhabi

Two new Radisson Blu-branded landmark hotels have arrived in Abu Dhabi, one of which is located on the vibrant and iconic sea walk of Abu Dhabi, while the other is situated in one of the UAE’s cultural gems, known as the Garden City for its natural springs, plantations and lush palm groves.

Read more about the Radisson openings here >

To keep up to date with all the international hotel design news as it happens, follow Hotel Designs on Twitter.

Hyatt Regency opens its first hotel in Ethiopia

Hamish Kilburn

 

Hyatt Regency Addis Ababa opens in Ethiopia following the brand’s aim to strengthen its presence in Africa… 

Following Hilton Hotels’ announcement to double its footprint of hotels in Africa within the next five year, Hyatt Hotels Corporation has announced the opening the brand’s first Hyatt-branded hotel in Ethiopia and its seventh in Africa.

The 188-key Hyatt Regency Addis Ababa, which is centrally located on the famous Meskel Square, features carefully designed areas throughout and is complete with a total of six dining outlets.

“We are excited to celebrate the opening of Hyatt Regency Addis Ababa and to introduce the brand to Ethiopia,” said Heddo Siebs, general manager, Hyatt Regency Addis Ababa. “We are confident that our loyal World of Hyatt members and global travelers will feel welcomed the moment they arrive and we look forward to serving them delicious blends of local flavors, while also offering an array of live entertainment.”

The 188 spacious guestrooms include 12 luxury Regency suites, two Executive suites, one Presidential suite and one Royal Presidential suite with four bedrooms. Regency Club room and suite guests can enjoy complimentary use of the boardroom and exclusive access to the Regency Club lounge.

wooden ceilings shelter a luxury dining area compltee with art on walls and soft, comfortable seating

Image credit: Hyatt Hotels

With six restaurants and bars to choose from, the hotel offers something for every taste. Guests can enjoy delicious Levantine signature meals in the hotel’s The Kitchen or a wide array of coffees and cocktails in Cascara Coffee & Cocktails, while taking in the stunning courtyard views. For business meetings, The Lobby Lounge allows guests to indulge in fresh fruit and delicious pastries from The Market. The hotel also features a Pool Bar and Lounge overlooking the inner courtyard. The Oriental serves western style barbeque and fine Asian cuisine in a casual yet contemporary setting. In addition, The Metro Bar, located in the basement, offers live music.

Guests wishing to relax and revitalise can visit the outdoor pool or enjoy a massage at the spa. The 2,530 square foot (235 square meter) fitness center will provide the perfect workout with state-of-the-art equipment.

The 18,300 square feet (1,700 square meters) of flexible meeting space overlooking the legendary Meskel Square leads to the open air inner courtyard of the hotel. The magnificent Regency Ballroom adjoining the courtyard offers the best setting for memorable occasions. Further, the hotel features multi-functional meeting spaces equipped with high-tech audiovisual and lighting equipment, making Hyatt Regency Addis Ababa, according to the brand, the best place for any occasion.

Africa’s hotel pipeline

In June 2018, it was reported that the total number African hotels in the pipeline was 281 projects/45,555 rooms, which was up 21 per cent by projects YOY. In Africa, there are 127 projects/21,233 rooms under construction, up one per cent by projects YOY. Those scheduled to start construction in the next 12 months were at 79 projects/11,954 rooms, up a whopping 65 per cent, while projects that were in early planning stood at 75 projects/12,368 rooms are up 29 per cent.

Palacio Can Marques opens in Palma, Mallorca

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The former private palace in Palma, Palacio Can Marques, has opened its doors to the public for the first time in 250 years as a luxury boutique hotel…

Set in Palma’s bustling La Lonja district just 100m from the harbour, Palacio Can Marques has opened in Palma, Mallorca. The property, which was built in 1760 and is considered one of the city’s most historic properties, was name after the Marques family who lived there for over a hundred years. Bought in 1999 by German businessman Kim Schindelhauer, the property was turned into a hotel offering an exceptional space in the heart of the Old Town.

Consisting of thirteen individually-designed suites, a restaurant, gym and a 200m2 garden surrounded by palm and olive trees, the hotel has been meticulously renovated to preserve the tranquillity of the old Palacio.

“Following 18 months of intensive restorations, we are proud to present a luxurious five-star boutique hotel that still carries with it the soul of the private residence it once was, said Schindelhauer. “Under the guidance of interior designer Aline Matsika, the property has been restored to its former glory. Having changed hands only twice in its history, we are excited to finally be able to welcome guests into this remarkable city palace.”

Palatial interiors in palma with soft grey curved sofa and wooden door frames
Tucked behind a discreet façade, guests arrive into a dramatic interior courtyard, unique in Mallorca with its free-standing staircase leading up to the first floor. Set beneath eleven metre high ceilings supported by gothic alabaster columns, the 140m2 space leads onto the property’s quiet, leafy garden, a peaceful haven in Palma’s lively centre.

Using the existing architectural and decorative elements as a starting point, every room has been curated to evoke a particular atmosphere. From the 38 chandeliers handcrafted in Murano to the hand-woven silk and wool carpets, Matsika has attached particular importance to the hotel’s selection of furniture and artwork. Additionally, with a boutique shop located within the hotel itself, guests intrigued by their surroundings are able to order furnishings and art that they have seen at Palacio, as well as seek individual design advice.

Housing a traditional French restaurant and bar in the vaults of the building, and a roof terrace offering views of the nearby cathedral, Palacio Can Marques provides guests with the opportunity to soak up Palma’s vibrant culture, whilst immersing them in a slice of the city’s history.

Five-Star hotel becomes Italian Hospitality Collection’s first ski venture

800 412 Hamish Kilburn

The hotel group’s first ski resort sits at the foot of Mont Blanc… 

As the ski holiday industry grows even further in popularity, despite factors such as the EU Referendum or Brexit, Italian Hospitality Collection has announced that the luxury resort of Le Massif has officially opened its doors in the Italian ski resort of Courmayeur.

Le Massif, a member of The Leading Hotels of the World, has a distinct chalet vibe in its design. It shelters a total of 80 rooms and suites, a world-class spa, a private, in-house ski concierge, two on-site restaurants including the gourmet Cervo Rosso Steakhouse and all-day-dining family restaurant Chetif, two bars and a ski room.

The five-star hotel is conveniently located in the centre of picturesque Courmayeur, a stone’s throw from both the resort cable car and the village’s most fashionable boutiques and vibrant nightlife.

Contemporary sofa in a minimalistic bar

Image Credit: Italian Hospitality Collection

The expansive Le Massif Spa offers the ideal antidote to a day on the slopes, with a range of innovate treatments including forest bathing and alpine stone massages designed to soothe aching muscles. Centred around Italian Hospitality Collection’s signature Equilibrium philosophy – pioneered at the collection’s award-winning Tuscan spa properties – the treatment menu has been expertly curated to tackle internal inflammation, the number one cause of life-limiting illnesses.

In an exciting period of growth for the  hotel collection, Le Massif is Italian Hospitality Collection’s first ski property, joining a portfolio which includes Chia Laguna resort in Sardinia and the renowned thermal spa hotels Grotta Giusti, Bagni di Pisa and Fonteverde in Tuscany.

In regards to hotel development within ski locations globally, recent reports suggest that an overwhelming majority of 76 per cent of ski travellers believe that chalets were a more popular accommodation choice than hotels. This suggests even further that hotels opening in these locations must, like Le Massif, work harder to ensure that its design is one that evokes a home-from-home setting on the slopes.

Could this be 2019’s hottest new wellness spa hotel?

800 450 Hamish Kilburn

As we continue to focusing the spotlight on Hotel Openings and Spas, a new spa hotel in Alvor, slated to open in June 2019, merges the two topics together by hailing itself as the hottest wellness hotel to open in 2019… 

Longevity Wellness Worldwide will open the five-star Longevity Health & Wellness Hotel, in June 2019 in Alvor, Portugal. The state-of-the-art wellness centre will be the first of its kind embracing modern integrative and regenerative medicine with the most advanced wellness and preventative diagnostics, therapies and programmes, meaning it is set to be 2019’s hottest new wellness property.

Image credit: Longevity Health & Wellness Hotel

The hotel will offer a wide selection of impactful programmes from light programmes for beginners including relax and spa or detox to intensive longer specialised programmes around women’s health optimisation or intense detox and reshape. Such is the dedicated wellness offering that more specialised programmes are also available such as exclusive hyperbaric treatments for intense tissue oxygenation, in-depth diagnostics, advanced detoxification and health regeneration therapies, cardio-vascular repair and prevention programs, diabetes, metabolic and sleep optimization programs, obesity management programs.

“Through continuous research, development and innovation, Longevity Wellness Worldwide is the ‘Source to Wellness.”

“Longevity has learned over the years the wide range of clients’ issues and needs when they are looking for a health and wellness holiday,” said Nazir Sacoor, CEO of Longevity Wellness Worldwide. “Our upcoming flagship Longevity Health & Wellness Hotel, is aimed at being a world class product with 360º solutions in health and wellness to meet all such needs.”

Modern guestroom with dark tones in the flooring and light, bright spots

Image credit: Longevity Health & Wellness Hotel

A ground-breaking adults-only health and wellness property set in the western Algarve with panoramic views of the bay of Alvor, the property will offer a world class dedicated wellness and medical spa over two floors focused on a full array of medical and non-medical state-of-the-art diagnostics and therapies for optimal health and wellness. The hotel will have a total of 70 bedrooms and suites offering standard Longevity rooms, junior suites, Longevity thematic suites and one premium Longevity ‘The One’ suite.

Through continuous research, development and innovation, Longevity Wellness Worldwide is the ‘Source to Wellness’ for guests looking for a relaxing spa or wellness break or a more intensive high impact health and wellness programme.

In addition to the innovative wellness and medical spa offering, Longevity Health & Wellness Hotel will have two restaurants, including a rooftop Pure Cafe by Longevity with a panoramic view over the stunning bay of Alvor. The Mediterrânico Restaurant by Longevity and the Chill Out & Relax Tea Lounge will be located on the ground floor. Staying true to the core of the Longevity brand the food will be fresh, delicious and colourful focusing on local and functional, alkaline and anti-inflammatory foods.

 

Top 5 stories of the week: Controversial colours, London reloaded and a Manchester arrival

1024 576 Hamish Kilburn

With 2019 on the horizon, and the focus in the international hotel design market being firmly fixed on what the future brings, Hamish Kilburn reviews the week’s headlines… 

Who would have thought that a colour – especially one that is as calming as Living Coral – could create so many divided opinions? Now that we have thrown it back to review this year’s major product launches, Hotel Designs is looking ahead to understand how the future predictions in trends will effect the look and feel of hotels around the world.

This week’s headlines have been full of colour. Hotel Indigo finally arrives in Manchester, Condé Nast Traveller highlighted its editors’ favourite hotels who one London-based hotel even unlocked the door to a guestroom that resembles the womb. It’s never a dull moment on the editorial desk at Hotel Designs, and here are the stories that grabbed the attention of the industry over the last five days.

1) Design-led NHow Hotel to arrive in London in Summer 2019

Image credit: Project Orange

Designed by Project Orange, the 190-key nhow London will arrive in the British capital in summer 2019. Located between Islington and Shoreditch within the ‘250 City Road’ development designed by acclaimed architectural firm Foster + Partners, the four-star hotel will be NH Hotel Group’s second property in the UK.

2) Inside the London guestroom designed to resemble the womb

Image credit: Simba/Cuckooz/ Billy Bolton

Launching today, Cuckooz has opened unlocked to a new sleeping experience by launching a guestroom that has been designed to resemble the womb.

The nine-month project, which resulted in The Zed Room being opened, was inspired by the safety and ‘snugness’ of the womb and comes complete with muted lighting, soft-pink walls and a high-tech mattress.

3) Pantone’s colour of the year divides opinions

Image credit: YouTube/Pantone

Pantone determined that 2019’s colour of the year will be Living Coral, or Pantone 16-1546. Since then, though, there have been suggestions that the peachy orange shade, which is a clear and defiant move away from this year’s colour of choice, Ultra Violet, has been compared to cheap bridesmaid dresses or budget toilet roll, as well as it being considered as 60 per cent of the world’s remaining reefs are now at risk of being destroyed by human activity.

4) Condé Nast Traveller reveals its editors’ all-time favourite hotels from around the world

Image credit: Four Seasons Hotel at the Surf Club, Miami

With 78 hotels ranging from game-changer Heckfield Place in Hampshire, to the romantic Castello di Vicarello in Tuscany, the nostalgic St. Regis New York and plenty to choose from in far-flung destinations, Condé Nast Traveller shines a rather bright and dynamic spotlight on the most wonderful places to stay next year with The Gold List 2019:

5) Hotel Indigo arrives in Manchester

Image credit: Hotel Indigo

Hotel Indigo® Manchester – Victoria Station has arrived, marking the brand’s debut in one of the UK’s largest cities, which was described earlier this year as a hive for hotel design. Famous for its cotton mills and its role in the industrial revolution, Manchester is a vibrant city that is rapidly expanding and regenerating, complementing its historical setting and its quirky contemporary feel.

If you would like to be kept up to date with the latest happenings and news in international hotel design, subscribe to receiving our newsletter here.

Main image credit: Ellerman House, Cape Town

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts to expand in Dubai

800 566 Hamish Kilburn

The hotel chain giant is expected to open a further three hotels in Dubai…

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, with a large global presence of more than 9,000 hotels across more than 80 countries, is set to increase its footprint in Dubai with three new managed hotels as part of the Deira Waterfront Development by Ithra Dubai, a wholly owned subsidiary of Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD). The hotels will operate under the Wyndham, Days by Wyndham, and Super 8 by Wyndham brands.

Also known as the Deira Enrichment Project, Ithra Dubai’s development is a mixed-use area situated along the Dubai creek in the southern part of Deira. Communal facilities, public amenities and open spaces will create a dynamic urban community along the shores of the Dubai Creek and will deliver key commercial growth opportunities for the city. The addition of three new hotels to the first phase of the development will also draw domestic and international business and leisure visitors looking for accommodation suited to a range of budgets.

“We are very excited to welcome Wyndham Hotels & Resorts as a partner of our flagship development in Deira,” said Issam Galadari, Director and CEO of Ithra Dubai. “Ithra Dubai’s development in Deira will enhance this busy and bustling part of Dubai, and will add to its rich tapestry woven by communities past and present. The collaboration with Wyndham Hotels & Resorts will bring a new dimension to the area’s hospitality services, and will elevate and facilitate new pathways for trade and business in the heart of Dubai’s commercial district.”

“The 282 rooms and suites at Wyndham Deira Waterfront will appeal to upscale travellers.”

“The addition of three of our most iconic global brands to this important area demonstrates Wyndham Hotels & Resorts’ commitment to Dubai and the Middle East region as a whole,” said Ignace Bauwens, Regional Vice President for Middle East, Eurasia and Africa, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts.“Together with Ithra Dubai, we know we can preserve the heritage of the area whilst still meeting the needs of the modern traveller and contributing to growing the district’s commercial opportunity. Offering three very distinct hotel brands ranging from upscale to economy will also ensure the area holds great appeal for visitors to Dubai from many different source markets.”
The 282 rooms and suites at Wyndham Deira Waterfront will appeal to upscale travellers looking for tailored services and amenities to match, with its extensive meeting, fitness and leisure facilities, including a rooftop pool with views over the Gulf.

Days Hotel Deira Waterfront will give midscale travellers a fresh burst of energy with its 131 quality rooms and suites, as well as an all-day dining restaurant and meeting facilities.

Through its network of over 798,000 rooms appealing to the everyday traveller, Wyndham commands a leading presence in both the economy and midscale segments of the lodging industry.

 

Hotel Elephant Weimar reopens to capture the property’s artistic and architectural heritage

800 450 Hamish Kilburn

Following an Extensive Renovation, Hotel Elephant Weimer Joins The brand’s portfolio of four independent hotels in Germany…

Autograph Collection Hotels, Marriott International’s distinctive collection of passionately independent hotels, has revealed the latest addition to its portfolio with the reopening of Hotel Elephant Weimar following a nine month full renovation. The boutique hotel offers 99 guestrooms, all of which have been redesigned to capture the spirit of the property’s artistic and architectural heritage. Three elegant and spacious suites are named after art, literature and architectural luminaries that have previously stayed as guests, including Lyonel Feininger, Thomas Mann and Walter Gropius.

Located in the city centre’s historical market square, the hotel has been a cultural hub for more than three centuries, known for its classic Art Deco and Bauhaus features.“We are thrilled to reintroduce one of Germany’s most historic hotels, uniting its rich history with an exceptional renovation,” said John Licence, Vice President Premium & Select Brands Europe at Marriott International. “Exactly like nothing else, this timeless hotel upholds Autograph Collection Hotels’ values of vision, design and craft.”

“The colour palette throughout the property consists of rich, natural tones of grey, blue and dark emerald.”

The unique design is a result of the creative collaboration of Bost Interior Design and DK Architekten, which draws upon 1920s elegance fused with an eclectic mix of iconic German structural design and modern flourishes. Taking inspiration from Germany’s leading literary figure, Goethe and his Theory of Colours, the colour palette throughout the property consists of rich, natural tones of grey, blue and dark emerald. While a thoughtfully curated collection of contemporary artwork adorns the hotel walls, the hotel is especially proud to be exhibiting works from leading German artists Georg Baselitz and Elvira Bach.

Image credit: Autograph Collection Hotels

Celebrated for its artistic and cultural heritage, the historic hotel remains the ultimate hub for city explorers and is situated a stone’s throw from the very best that Weimar has to offer. With 19 of the city’s sites listed in UNESCO’s World Heritage list and an array of cultural hotspots including the Classical Weimar ensemble, Herzogin Anna Amalia Library and the Memory of the World, guests can enlist the hotel’s in-house cultural concierge to make the most of their trip.

The culinary highlight of the hotel is Restaurant AnnA, specialising in local, authentic cuisine in a stylish and contemporary setting.

The Lichtsaal room, meanwhile, is situated at the heart of the hotel offering a cultural hub for guests and local residents to meet and enjoy the properties unique art collection as well as a curated programme concerts, readings and plays.

A state-of-the-art sauna and fitness area will also be opening in February 2019. For meetings and events, the hotel provides 560m² of spacious and adaptable event and banquet space, accommodating up to 100 guests per room. Three unique meeting rooms filled with natural light are available to book, equipped with high-quality conference technology.

Top 5 stories of the week: Festive interiors, predicting 2019’s colour trends and sleeping with the lions

800 658 Hamish Kilburn

From understanding Zimbabwe’s answer to luxury to finding the world’s best festive interiors, here are our top stories of the week…

This week has been full of adventure in the Hotel Designs HQ. Not only did we published the highly anticipated hotel review on Matetsi Victoria Falls, but we also got into the spirit of the holidays by searching for hotels that are taking Christmas decorations to a whole new level. In between luxury and Christmas, we also managed to catch up one of our recommended suppliers in order to get their take on next year’s colour trends.

Here are our top stories of the week:

1) Checking in to Matetsi Victoria Falls – Zimbabwe’s answer to luxury

Travelling 7,500 miles to Zimbabwe, on the search for luxury, I just happened to stumble into the award-winning Matetsi Victoria Falls. With expansion plans in the pipeline, here is my exclusive review on what I am calling Zim’s answer to luxury.

2) 5 hotels taking the festive spirit to new heights this Christmas

Unlike many industries, the hotel industry is one that gets little rest over the festive period. As soon as December strikes, marketing teams from the world’s most luxurious hotels take centre stage to present their properties in the best possible Christmas-themed light.

From ice kingdoms to designer collaborations, here are our top picks of the hotels that are showcasing the best winter stories this festive period.

3) In Conversation With: BISQUE’s Ellie Sawdy on 2019 colour trends

Ever since Bisque first came on our radar, we have been impressed with how the company has taken a very practical – and historically mundane – item and used it to lift a whole interior space. The brand’s marketing manager, Ellie Sawdy, talks us through major colour trends, radiator pitfalls and 2019 surprises…

4) Former 1920s bank in Zagreb opens as new luxury hotel

Working in collaboration with project developers Ugo Group Zagreb, London-based design firm HBA London has converted a heritage property dating back to 1923 into a boutique hotel full of residential charm and sense of place.

5) Goettsch Partners completes Colombia’s first Grand Hyatt

Architecture firm Goettsch Partners has announced the completion of the Grand Hyatt Bogotá, a new, 372-key hotel complex with a 230-foottall elliptical tower marking the symbolic centre of an 18-building commercial complex.

If you would like to be kept up to date with the latest happenings and news in international hotel design, subscribe to receiving our newsletter here.

Savoy Palace slated to open in Funchal in summer 2019

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With the aim to open a ‘modern take on an island steeped in history and tradition’, the only Leading Hotels of The World property in Madeira is expected to open in June 2019…

A new member of the Leading Hotels of the World, which expected to open in June 2019 in Madeira, is already being donned a ‘game changer for the destination’ in relation to its contemporary luxury hotel offerings.

Savoy Palace, a 16-storey, 352-key resort will unveil stunning Atlantic Ocean and garden views with striking design that will balance bold, modern and historical styles throughout.

The resort will shelter an 11-room destination spa inspired by the island’s Laurissilva Forest, as well as five restaurants and bars, a kid’s club, numerous impressive swimming pools and a ‘boutique-hotel-within-a-hotel’ offering an exclusive panoramic space for suite guests.

The bold, curved structure of the building has been designed by the award-winning team RH+ and Nini Andrade Silva, one of Portugal’s most famous interior designers, whose work includes the new W São Paulo and Nini Design Centre Funchal.

“Entering the hotel will be like exploring a poetic world.”

The overall concept is influenced by the Belle Epoque period, which is in harmony with the island’s rich resources; a dynamic blend of natural and cultural heritage. Entering the hotel will be like exploring a poetic world, complete with a mix of colours, textures and iconic ornaments and objects.

The aesthetics will reference a number of elements echoing further its sense of place, such as the exuberant surrounding volcanic landscape, the unique man-made environment with ancient levadas (irrigation channels) and tunnels, the excellence and mastery of Madeiran embroidery, the centuries-old art of wickerwork, and the expertise involved in the productions of one of the best fortified wines in the world, Madeira wine.

The resort’s common areas will be bold and inspirational with the emphasis on colour, sinuous curves suggesting plant forms, animals and women, as well as ornaments based on Art Nouveau.

The guestrooms and suites at Savoy Palace will all include balconies, with distinct leisure and office areas, striking contemporary interiors, customised fabrics and made-to-measure furniture.

The well-appointed and elegantly furnished rooms range from 40 to 260 square metres, characterised by exclusive and refined interiors, where quality and detail are at the forefront. There will be a wide range of suites for guests to choose from, some with their own swimming pools, and an impressive presidential suite with sweeping views. The resort will also include 226 apartments.

 The design of the 3000 sqm spa is inspired by the Laurissilva Forest, which remains the largest surviving laurel forest in the world. The spa houses 11 treatment rooms, sauna, Turkish bath, jacuzzi, ice fountain, sensory showers, halo-therapy room, relaxation room, champagne and nails bar, beauty salon and heated indoor pool.

The main event space will be an 928 square metre multifunctional room, which will be, if required, able to divide into three rooms, with a maximum capacity for 1,300. There will also be five rooms of 48 square metres each and a lobby with a bar for group receptions.

The opening of the hotel will indicate that the history of Savoy Hotels & Resorts is being reinvented but the goals remain the same: consolidating and projecting the centuries-old tradition and excellence of the Savoy brand at an international level.

Former 1920s bank in Zagreb opens as new luxury hotel

Hamish Kilburn

Amadira Park Capital in Zagreb has been sensitively created by interior design firm HBA London…

Working in collaboration with project developers Ugo Group Zagreb, London-based design firm HBA London has converted a heritage property dating back to 1923 into a boutique hotel full of residential charm and sense of place.

The new hotel, which was previously a bank, is located on the important thoroughfare of Jurisiceva Street. The property’s bespoke interiors combine the original and the new with a deft touch, embracing the building’s historic character as a significant example of Secessionist architecture and translating this into interiors that are light, fresh and elegant with a touch of romanticism.

“The colour palette is reminiscent of the charming rooftops of old Zagreb.”

The public areas take meaning from Gesamtkunstwerk, meaning that they are a work of art that makes use of many artforms. These include the original, classically carved mahogany-clad columns which were removed during construction and then reinstated, as well as listed ceiling features, light fittings and magnificent arched windows. The interiors also feature new pieces that reflect the influences of 20th-century design, such as softly draped curtains and a variety of seating collections, and some restored antique furniture discovered in the building, now joined by new seating, including plush banquettes.

Planned as a series of rooms, the public areas reinforce the suggestion of a private home overlaid with something of the winter garden, thanks to high ceilings, touches of Viennese-style detailing and an abundance of large pot plants. The colour palette is thoughtful, too, to the hotel’s location and are reminiscent of the charming rooftops of old Zagreb.

The lobby area has the ambiance of a refined and intimate parlour. The two small reception desks, for example, would be equally at home in a private residence. The soft colour palette begins here in reception, combining pale blue and greys with crystal and satin gold – and behind the desks’ custom-designed sliding doors with panels of opaque and patterned glass obscure the bar beyond.

“This has been a very special project because the client gave us creative free rein to think afresh and design a hotel that is different for Zagreb,” said HBA London’s Creative Director, Constantina Tsoutsikou who last month was confirmed as the headline speaker of IDAS. “We were blessed with the Secessionist and Art Nouveau heritage, and this lovely period for design infuses the new interiors which are fresh, playful and a little magical within a sometimes imposing architectural form. There will be something of a Croatian fairy tale to the guest experience.”

The bar is glamorous, yet also of a residential scale; the epitome of the Secessionist soul. A marble-topped bar with a sculptural tiled front sits in the centre of the space under three beautiful contemporary chandeliers and an elegantly decorated ceiling which gives a nod to the building’s Art Nouveau inheritance. Guests can choose to either sip their cocktails perched on leather-upholstered bar stools or to relax in comfortable wicker armchairs.

The café extends along one length of the façade and offers a variety of seating options from a marble-topped sharing table to deep armchairs arranged around low tables and dining tables with European brasserie style dining chairs. The colour palette is of soft green and yellow, velvets, trims and patterns predominate in the upholstery and there are multiple floor-standing pots containing large vertiginous plants. The café also doubles up as the hotel’s main event space with heavy velvet curtains that can be drawn across for privacy and carefully integrated technology.

“The original mahogany cladding of the old banking hall is imposing but softened by delicate original wall lights.”

Overscaled illustrations in the café are by David Doran, and the central artwork in the dining room is by the young Croatian artist, Mario Matakovic, who repurposes his old work into new compositions with an original aesthetic – a fitting allegory for the entire design vision.

The restaurant continues with a popular trend of an “indoor garden” narrative with generous amounts of planting all around on various levels. The original mahogany cladding of the old banking hall is imposing but softened by delicate original wall lights restored by HBA London and complemented by the continuing hues of fresh green and golden highlights. In the centre of the room, a large ceiling light suggests a contemporised version of classic European dining room luminaires.

Vibrant guestrooms

Original, listed staircases lead up to light-filled bedroom corridors that wrap around a central courtyard. They are elegantly designed with details such as folkloric-inspired patterned carpets and punchy-blue guestroom doors.

Guestrooms are especially residential in feel with a pretty palette of pink, pale yellow and blue, and contemporary Italian timber flooring from Berti. These are joyful rooms, filled with natural light thanks to their large windows and high ceilings and with design details that give a nod to the rural past of this location. Bathrooms are classically styled with a marble topped vanity, checkerboard tiled floor and a walk-in shower with fittings by Hotel Designs Recommended Supplier Grohe.

Artwork in the guestrooms and corridors has been curated by HBA and Muzeo. It is composed of both handwritten and illustrative pieces as well as work inspired by textiles and crafts. Traditional, contemporary and contextual, the artwork lends insights into the heartbeat of the city, both past and present.

The Bel Étage shelters the grander suites. This historic floor is strictly protected so design changes were constrained and HBA London focused on the selection of new furniture and accessories.

The original building was designed in 1921 by Viennese architects Ernst Gottilf and Alexande Neumann who specialised in landmark bank buildings in central Europe.

Avani Hotels & Resorts unveils sharp interiors in upscale resort in Koh Samui

Hamish Kilburn

The new upscale hotel in Thailand’s Koh Samui opens as Avani Hotels and Resorts’ 24th property, with a further 15 currently in the pipeline… 

Avani Hotels & Resorts is expanding its portfolio in Thailand with the launch of AVANI+ Samui, an upscale resort situated by Taling Ngam Bay on Koh Samui.

The new seaside hideaway features 25 guestrooms, 27 private pool villas and six beachfront pool villas, which are all situated steps away from an untouched, secluded bay. Each room and suite has been designed to be spacious, with nature-inspired yet vibrant interiors complete with ample natural lighting that floods each room.

Sunset view over the bay

“We are excited to confirm the Avani+ Samui opening, the second addition to our Avani+ portfolio, providing guests with our signature Avani+ experience for their beach getaway,” said Dillip Rajakarier, CEO Minor Hotels, owning company of AVANI Hotels & Resorts. “An exclusive upscale resort offering all the Avani+ extras at one of the hottest island destinations in Thailand, Avani+ Samui also embraces an eco-friendly culture to help Samui maintain its natural beauty for future generations such as no plastic straws, bio-degradable materials and locally sourced ingredients.”

Koh Samui, Thailand’s second largest island, has long been a major island destination for local and international travellers. With its untouched beaches and easy access to the rest of the island, Taling Ngam Bay, on the southwest coast, is ideally situated to capture a wide consumer demographic.

Avani currently operates 24 hotels and resorts in 15 countries worldwide. The opening of Avani + Samui follows the brand recently debuting properties in Australia, New Zealand, and Laos – and Avani currently has a further 15 new hotels in the pipeline, including a recent signings in Dubai, Bangkok, and Busan.

Ikos Resorts begins construction on €150 million development project

Hamish Kilburn

The resort will be the company’s fifth property in the Ikos Resort portfolio and first outside of Greece, slated to complete construction in 2020… 

Ikos Resorts has announced its move full speed ahead with the construction of Ikos Andalusia, having recently celebrated the cornerstone laying ceremony at the hotel. Located in Estepona, the €150 million development will be the group’s fifth resort and its first outside of Greece, opening its doors in May 2020.

Construction of Ikos Andalusia started on November 15 with the placing of the first stone and will complete in March 2020. Once the works are complete, the resort will initiate a pre-opening period during April and will start welcoming guests in May 2020.

The objective of the company is to position Ikos Andalusia as a benchmark for excellence in the luxury all-inclusive resorts sector in Spain, bringing its award-winning* Infinite Lifestyle experience to the Costa del Sol.

Ikos Resorts announced the acquisition of the current Costa del Sol Princess hotel in Estepona in the first quarter of 2018. The brand will invest a total of €150 million in the reconstruction of the current building and its adaptation to the product and service standards of Ikos Resorts.

“We are also delighted to be transforming the existing property into a world-class premium resort, adding further to the proven success story of Ikos Resorts, while investing further in beautiful Estepona and this magnificent region, said  Dr. Andreas Andreadis, CEO of Sani/Ikos Group. By offering premium holiday experiences to international luxury travelers we aim to contribute in Estepona’s development as a top luxury tourism destination worldwide”.

The ceremony of the first stone was attended by different representatives of the company at an international level – Andreas Andreadis, CEO of Sani/Ikos Group; Luis Herault, CEO of Ikos Iberia, as well as local and regional authorities, who wanted to support the presentation of a project that will constitute as a milestone in the tourism transformation process in the region.

“Located on the shores of a 14,000 square meter beach, Ikos Andalusia will offer 411 rooms and suites.”

José María Urbano, Mayor of Estepona, thanked Ikos Resorts for investing in Estepona and expanding the city’s tourism offering.  “We are convinced that this new high-end resort will strengthen Estepona’s touristic brand in the international markets, while promoting employment and the revitalization of the economic sectors linked to tourism”, he said.

On another note, Luis Herault, Chief Executive Officer of Ikos Iberia, commented: “With Ikos Andalusia, we will contribute to further develop Estepona as a high end destination by offering world class service excellence and individual unique Ikos touches such as the Dine-Out Service, which includes selected restaurants from the surrounding area in our offer to our guests, the Local Discovery complimentary drive around experience promoting interesting destination experiences, sourcing local produce, the Ikos Green initiatives and recruiting approx. 60% of the minimum of 635 jobs required, from the local community.”

Located on the shores of a 14,000 square meter beach, Ikos Andalusia will offer 411 rooms and suites. In addition, the new resort will house seven restaurants, top-level sports facilities, a theatre, 3,100 square meters of heated and outdoor swimming pools, and a spa. It will also offer Ikos Deluxe Collection, an exclusive service meticulously created for the most discerning guests, offering a wide range of privileges and services including the use of reserved pool and beach areas.

New luxury hotel heading for Palma de Mallorca in Spring ’19

Hamish Kilburn

A new luxury hotel in Palma de Mallorca, designed by Swedish interior designer Magnus Ehrland, is slated to open in spring 2019…

A new luxury hotel, El Llorenç Parc de la Mar, will open its doors in the heart of Palma de Mallorca in  spring 2019. Said to be “the first of its kind on the island”, the hotel will boast 35 exclusive guestrooms, Le Labo amenities throughout, two swimming pools, a rooftop bar, a new destination restaurant and a spa in collaboration with Natura Bissé.

The location of El Llorenç combines authentic luxury and tranquillity, situated in La Calatrava, the oldest neighbourhood in the city. The area is a meeting point for all of the cultures that have shaped the Mallorca as it is known today, and the hotel is within walking distance of historical attractions such as the Arab Baths and the famous Catedral de Mallorca.

“El Llorenç Parc de la Mar is a unique hotel that embodies the best of what Mallorca has to offer, whilst also offering something that hasn’t been seen on the island before,” said Joan Comas, the hotel’s general manager. The hotel has the versatility to tailor to the needs of the modern traveller – whether they want to rejuvenate, party or site-see. The hotel delivers on all of the traditional requirements for seamless travel, whilst being modern, innovative and tech-savvy at the same time.”

El Llorenç’s striking interiors are the work of established Swedish interior designer Magnus Ehrland. The hotel’s design offers a new direction in Balearic style, presenting a step away from the well-rehearsed white beach linens and wicker combination, and instead offering a richer aesthetic that – whilst contemporary in spirit – pays homage to the history of Palma. Moorish motifs can be found throughout the hotel’s design, seen throughout the property in authentic dark wood lattice-work and Arab-Mallorcan tiling details.

El Llorenç Parc de le Mar will also be home to one of the most unique gastronomic offerings in the Mediterranean. Spearheaded by renowned Mallorcan chef Santi Taura, the hotel’s restaurant DINS will offer a unique dining experience inspired by the island’s traditional cuisine and made with locally sourced, seasonal ingredients.

Guests of El Llorenç Parc de la Mar will find themselves in a welcoming and stylish environment perfect for a break at any time of the year. Those coming out during Mallorca’s long summer can enjoy the expansive views of the bay from the rooftop bar, Balinese beds and the largest infinity pool in Palma; for those looking for a restorative break, time can also be spent enjoying the sensational spa, featuring a 14-metre indoor thermal pool and treatment room offering an array of beauty and wellness services curated by Spanish brand, Natura Bissé.

Top five stories of the week: Brit List success, artistic talents and a hotel unlike any other

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Following last night’s The Brit List, here are the top five stories of the week, as selected by editor Hamish Kilburn… 

In my editor’s letter in The Brit List 2018, which can be read here, I ask why it is that a tiny spec of land in the Northern Hemisphere could have such a large impact on the rest of the world. Well, my question was answered last night in a private members club as the industry’s leaders gathered for the unveiling of The List as well as our newly launched awards. It was a truly spectacular evening, full of engaging talks, insights, lighting demonstrations and plenty of tension as the winners were revealed. One thing is for certain, Britain is – and will continue to be – a major design hub of the world. Congratulations to the full 75 individuals who made it on to this year’s The Brit List, who have each proven that they are leading the way in international hotel design from the shores of Britain.

Here are the top five stories of the week:

1) Winners of The Brit List crowned

Martin Brudnizki Design Studio, Gleneagles’ Conor O’Leary and Bespoke Hotels among those who swooped trophies at The Brit List 2018.

Britain’s top interior designers, hoteliers, architects and key-industry suppliers gathered last night for The Brit List 2018 at BEAT London, where the profiles of the top 75 influencers in British hotel design, as well as crowning the winners of the six newly launched awards.

2) IN CONVERSATION WITH: Patrick McCrae, Co-founder and CEO of art consultancy ARTIQ

Earlier this month, ARTIQ inspired me – as a young design enthusiast – to think outside the box when critiquing art in hotels around the world. The term ‘talent searching’ has never been so clear as it was at the final of the Graduate Art Prize. The room was full of ideas, some yet to be sketched. ARTIQ, which launched the awards in 2012, is led by the dynamic and charismatic Patrick McCrae. Considering his team’s work that hangs on the stunning walls of prestigious hotels such as Gleneagles and Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik, I had the pleasure of catching up with McCrae to find out more.

3) B3 Designers breathes new American life into Marriott Hotel’s champions bar in Frankfurt

B3 Designers, which has gone from strength to strength since launching in 2002, has unveiled its latest project, which captures a little bit of America into the F&B areas of Frankfurt’s Marriott hotel…

Restaurant and hotel interior design specialist, B3 Designers has recently unveiled its latest interior design and branding project. Champions Bar & Restaurant, located within Frankfurt’s Marriott hotel, is a European sports bar and restaurant serving classic bar dishes and drinks in the German city’s central district of Innenstadt.

4) Inside The Brit List 2018 

The Brit List 2018 took place last night at BEAT London, welcoming the top interior designers, hoteliers, architects and key-industry suppliers to network and mingle to celebrate Britain’s position in international hotel design. Here are the official images of the evening.

Hotel Designs‘ nationwide search to find Britain’s top interior designers, hoteliers and architects came to a close last night as the leaders of our industry gathered for the awards ceremony. The winners of The Brit List 2018 awards were crowned and the top 75 influencers in British hotel design were announced.

5) InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland has opened as the brand’s 200th hotel

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), as one of the world’s leading hotel companies, has opened InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland, which has been under construction for the past 10 year. Developed by Shimao Group and managed by IHG, InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland has been masterfully built into the side wall of a formerly abandoned quarry in Southwestern Shanghai. Stretching 88 metres underground, the hotel was nominated as one of the architectural wonders of the world by the National Geographic Channel’s MegaStructures series due to its pioneering architectural design.

FIRST LOOK: London’s Belmond Cadogan Hotel to open in February 2019

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The luxury hotel, which is ideally located in the heart of London, will open its decadent doors in February 2019… 

With luxury brands and high-end retailers of Knightsbridge just off the main entrance and the artistic heart of Chelsea just off the side entrance, the 54-key Belmond Cadogan Hotel, which will open in February 2019, is ideally located in the heart of London in between the two fashionable districts, somewhat capturing the best of both worlds.

Belmond, with architecture leadership by Blair Associates, have carefully preserved the London legacy of the property by sensitively restoring five 1800s Queen Anne-Style buildings that are unique to both aptly leafy neighborhoods.

What is described on its website as being ‘truly a welcome home’, the hotel has been renovated to balance – like its location – a distinct feeling of comfort and style. Inside the property, the interior design will reflect modern British style with a distinctive contemporary feel. Much of the inspiration draws inspiration from the hotel’s original features. Steeped in colourful history, the hotel’s many walls tell many fascinating tales from Oscar Wilde to Lillie Langtry, both of whom were regular residents at the hotel. The restaurant and bar are in the hotel have been designed by Russell Sage Studio, while the guestrooms and suites have been carefully imagined and created by GA Design International. The firm’s global executive design director (London), Terry Mcginnty, has been shortlisted for The Brit List 2018 for his work on previous iconic hotels as well as the work his team are completing for Belmond Cadogan Hotel.

Considering art is a major feature of this month, more than 400 pieces of original artwork will be found throughout the hotel, from more than 20 artists, many of whom are UK-based.

Guests checking in will have access to the private Cadogan Place gardens (one of Chelsea’s largest garden squares and once site of the 18thcentury London Botanic Gardens) and for complete privacy, a residential entrance is accessible via Pony Street.

 

InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland has opened as the brand’s 200th hotel

Hamish Kilburn

The luxury hotel, InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland, becomes the brand’s 200th hotel and unveils apt art installation to honour the milestone…

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), as one of the world’s leading hotel companies, has opened InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland, which has been under construction for the past 10 year. Developed by Shimao Group and managed by IHG, InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland has been masterfully built into the side wall of a formerly abandoned quarry in Southwestern Shanghai. Stretching 88 metres underground, the hotel was nominated as one of the architectural wonders of the world by the National Geographic Channel’s MegaStructures series due to its pioneering architectural design.

“The art installation is made from 200 champagne bottles individually hand-painted by Alexander Hall in his bright and energetic drip-style.”

Marking 200 captivating destinations around the world

To celebrate reaching 200 destinations, the InterContinental brand partnered with London-based contemporary artist Alexander Hall, also known under the alias Haut de Gamme©, to create a stunning art installation, commemorating the milestone. The art installation is made from 200 champagne bottles individually hand-painted by Alexander Hall in his bright and energetic drip-style, with unique artwork on each bottle inspired by each destination. The finished bottles are suspended together in a stunning oeuvre to reveal the number ‘200’.

An architectural feat

The concept and façade was designed by JADE+QA, led by architect and former Atkins employee Martin Jochman who worked with local architect firm ECADI (East China Architectural Design & Research Institute Co., Ltd.), which was responsible for design development, construction documents, structural design and MEP. The interior design firms are AB Concept and Cheng Chung Design (CCD) were menawhile responsible for the interior design.

The new-build InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland combines the brand’s signature luxury with revolutionary design at a wonderfully unique location, creating an unprecedented experience. Located at Sheshan Mountain Range, this new hotel is mostly subterranean, with two floors above ground and 16 below ground, including two floors underwater. Individually designed to best reflect both modern elegance and the unique features of the quarry’s landscape, all 336 guestrooms and suites provide ample, luxury living spaces with spectacular views of waterfalls and the surrounding cliffs.

The stunning underwater loft offers two awe-inspiring levels: the landing deck at water level houses the outdoor terrace and living room, whilst the underwater bedrooms are encased within a turquoise aquarium where guests will be surrounded by the schools of fish that swim by. All hotel rooms on the bottom floor are provided with around-the-clock butler service to ensure a truly hassle-free stay experience and keep guests feeling truly pampered.

“We are delighted to be joining forces with Shimao Group again to open InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland – an architectural masterpiece which is a wonder and beauty in the global hospitality industry,” said Ms. Lin Wang, CMO of Greater China, IHG. “ IHG has maintained staggering growth since entering the Chinese market in 1984, and the opening of InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland marks a significant milestone in our development strategy and further enhances our luxury portfolio in China. With its exceptional experiences and personalised services, the hotel is ready to welcome guests to a world of alluring luxury and natural wonder, inviting everyone to live and enjoy the InterContinental life.”

As the world’s first and largest international luxury travel hotel brand, InterContinental Hotels and Resorts have been welcoming guests with new international destinations for decades – from historic buildings to city landmarks and immersive resorts in every corner of the globe. Celebrating the brand DNA of service, sophistication and style, InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland will create unprecedented hospitality experiences for guests and stand out as a must-visit destination for visitors to the financial capital of China.

 

First look inside the revamped Athenaeum Hotel & Residences

Hamish Kilburn

Following an intense renovation led by the award-winning designer Martin Hulbert, the five-star Athenaeum Hotel & Residences has opened to unveil 134 contemporary guestrooms, 10 new suites and an exciting guest destination…

The Grande Dame of Piccadilly re-emerges reinvigorated by a transformation of all ten floors; including bedrooms and suites, and the decision to transform the hotel’s top real-estate – The Penthouse – into “The View’’, a members-style club accessible to hotel guests only.

The View takes the concept of a ‘high-end’ guest experience quite literally. A constantly evolving space of surprising and inspirational experiences, The View (as the name would suggest) offers one of the most spectacular skyline panoramas in London. Previously reserved for privileged Penthouse Suite guests, The Athenaeum has opened up the top floor and rededicated it to hotel guests. A private members club – where your membership is your room key – to relax, socialise and connect with London.

Inspired by the metaphorical ‘rabbit hole’, The View will allow guests to enter a new space, immersing themselves into a world of unexpected spectacles, all with compliments of the hotel. Residents will enjoy surprise masterclasses such as how to mix the perfect G&T, mindfulness sessions overlooking Green Park, or simply be able to enjoy a complimentary tipple and nibbles from Michelin-starred brothers’ restaurant, Galvin whilst overlooking the unique and uninterrupted view of the capital.

 “The Athenaeum’s guestrooms are now back and more beautiful than ever, paying a definite nod to its Mayfair heritage.”

In true grandiose style, guests at the hotel can consider themselves among the likes of Elizabeth Taylor, Christian Bale, Harry Styles, Samuel L Jackson, Natalie Portman and Kim and Kanye, and countless world-leaders. Residents may be surprised to know that it is within the four walls of The Athenaeum that many London legends have been made: Take-That announced their split and Spielberg edited E.T.Close Encounters and Raiders of the Lost Ark from The Athenaeum’s suites. Also, it was within the same suites that Russell Crowe was famously made to tidy his bedroom. With thanks to the creative vision of Hulbert, for a tailored approach to design, the Athenaeum’s guestrooms are now back and more beautiful than ever, paying a definite nod to its Mayfair heritage, cue its Art Deco loveliness, whilst keeping the contemporary, discerning traveller in mind.

“Art in hotels can be so boring. It was important to create something that was fun and that you could look at for a long time,  said designer Martin Hulbert. The more you look, the more you see.”

Each of the Superior, Deluxe, Park View bedrooms and Suites at the Athenaeum have been adapted and repurposed with the aim of maximising the hotel’s extraordinary aspect across the historic Green Park. Floor to ceiling windows now effortlessly open up the outlook and flood the room with natural light (a rare commodity in central London), whilst clever design, innovative lighting and tailored use of colour has been applied to enhance the interior space. Attention has been paid to every last detail with textiles being carefully sourced, or if required, specially made, from classic Herringbone weaves and linen-lined wardrobes, to silk-clad furniture, plush velvet cushions and bespoke carpets showcasing the very best of British craftsmanship.

The newly redesigned bar is a spectacular hideaway where guests can relax in Kinnersley Kent Design jewel toned chairs whilst sipping on signature cocktails crafted by award-winning barmen. The living wall backdrop in each alcove is a gorgeous feature that encases the stunning space.

Encouraging guests to #lookatlondondifferently, the hotel has also reimagined local landmarks through a series of exclusive artworks. These specially commissioned whimsical pieces harness the Athenaeum’s English design ethic, eccentric spirit and artistic DNA. Based on the concept of old theatre sets, the eclectic multimedia collages replicate local landmarks; Buckingham Palace, Burlington Arcade, Fortnum & Mason and the Royal Academy of the Arts (RA) and insert quintessentially British characters in sometimes surprising scenarios, from David Attenborough riding an elephant and the Queen with her Corgis, to representations of Grayson Perry, the Rolling Stones, Einstein, Alice in Wonderland and even the hotel’s owners.

Overcoming Grade II listed challenges to create £1.8m boutique hotel

Hamish Kilburn

A suite overlooking cathedral gardens, original fireplaces and character windows are just some of the features included in a new £1.8m boutique hotel in a historic location in Leicester…

Two derelict office buildings in Leicester – adjacent to the site of the car park where King Richard III’s remains were discovered in 2015 – have been converted into the 28-key boutique hotel, St Martins Lodge, which has just opened.

Building Services Design (BSD) provided mechanical and electrical engineering services for the Grade II listed Georgian buildings, with many of the original features being retained –including the hallway, with its chandelier and staircase.

“We’re delighted to be involved in a project that has created modern, elegant accommodation while at the same time, honouring the heritage of the important site and its surroundings,” said Joel Sawyer, director at BSD, the lead designer on the project.

“We provided a design that is a mix of traditional and modern installation.” – Joel Sawyer

As 40 per cent of the hotel – located directly opposite Leicester Cathedral – is of listed status, all original internal cornices, ceilings and floors are having to be retained, meaning BSD had to design the building services around the structure of the existing building.

Sawyer added: “We provided a design that is a mix of traditional and modern installation, meaning some of the building services run through the floors and into the ceiling. To meet listed status building regulations, air conditioning equipment has also been moved to the roof where it is out of sight.

“In order to make the spatial challenges work, we held regular on-site visits in order to overcome and catch any potential problems before they happened.”

The plantroom has been designed to fit within the existing basement, which has height restrictions due to a vaulted ceiling.

To ensure the heating system would fit within the confinements of the basement, it has been designed as a modular system for better efficiency and ease of installation.

The domestic water and hot water systems have also been centralised in the basement and we have made provisions within the design to allow for a possible connection to the Leicester District Energy Scheme, which supplies low-cost, low-carbon energy to major buildings across the city. “The future advantages of this will mean energy efficiency and lower running costs,” explains Sawyer.

Nick Quinn, director of St Martins House, said: “With our neighbouring conference and events centre, St Martins House, located only a few steps away, we are now able to offer a 24-hour conference rate – including overnight accommodation with breakfast – alongside our function run hire and catering facilities.

“This is frequently requested by conference and wedding hosts so St Martins Lodge is now meeting a known demand and adding to the room capacity available for business and for tourism in the city.”

The new luxury accommodation offers modern guestrooms with unrestricted views of Leicester Cathedral and its beautiful Gardens. The hotel opens in an unmatched location, becoming an ideal base for all who come to Leicester to enjoy the Richard lll experience and its historical past. 

 

IHG opens first voco on Australia’s Gold Coast

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IHG opens first voco on Australia’s Gold Coast

World’s first IHG voco™ opens on Australia’s famed Surfers Paradise on Gold Coast…

Following the exclusive unveiling of the new branding just five months ago, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has opened the first hotel globally for its new upscale hotel brand: voco™. Owned by Australian property investment firm SB&G Group and located on the shores of the Gold Coast, voco™ Gold Coast is now open for guests to soak up the sun, sand and sea in Australia’s beloved Surfers Paradise.

voco™, inspired by the meaning ‘to invite’ or to ‘come together’ in Latin, will combine the informality and charm of an individual hotel, with the quality and reassurance of a global and respected brand. The public spaces of voco™ Gold Coast emphasise this social element, fittingly named Social House Café, which collectively houses a bar and lounge within the venue, offering a space for everyone.

The 389-key property is situated in the heart of Australia’s iconic Surfers Paradise precinct and steps away from Queensland’s famous beaches. The hotel offers all the features that guests can expect from the upscale voco™ brand including two swimming pools, gym facilities, L’Aqua Day Spa, 800sqm of meeting space and expansive views of both the ocean and hinterland. Multiple dining options are also available in the hotel’s three unique restaurants – Waves, Clifford’s Grill & Lounge and Social House – all designed to offer vibrant social experiences for voco™ guests to enjoy.

“voco™ Gold Coast also offers several exclusive features that sets it apart from existing hotels.”

“IHG launched the voco™ brand in June in Australia, we are so pleased to see the brand’s momentum continue here with the first opening in the iconic Gold Coast with long standing partner, SB&G Group,” said Kenneth Macpherson, CEO EMEAA, IHG. “voco™ delivers a guest experience that stands out, with touches of charm and memorable, distinctive and dependable hallmarks.”

voco™ Gold Coast also offers several exclusive features that sets it apart from existing hotels, starting with their onsite beehives, producing honey for various uses throughout the hotel. The strong sustainability focus also promises refillable dispensers for products such as soap, along with a high-end Aveda amenity and an initiative with Gold Coast City Council to ensure all kitchen waste is recycled.

The voco™ Gold Coast signing was announced by IHG and owners SB&G Group in June 2018, coinciding with the global launch of the voco™ brand.  With six signings to date, in addition to the four properties that will rebrand as part of the UK portfolio deal, there are expected to be more than fifteen signings in total for the brand by the end of 2018. These include three signings in Australia, in Victoria’s wine region, Yarra Valley and in the heart of Melbourne’s bustling CBD as well as a number of properties in the UK. The opening of voco™ Gold Coast will be quickly followed by hotel openings in Solihull and Cardiff in the UK.

We are proud to be the first owner of a voco™ branded hotel in the world and to have worked closely with IHG to bring this new brand and service culture to the Gold Coast,” said Paul Salter, SB&G Group Managing Director.

IHG currently has 48 hotels operating under four brands in Australasia, including: InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express, with another 22 in the pipeline, including Hotel Indigo, EVEN Hotels and voco.

Westin Brisbane: rewriting the approach to luxe hotels

Hamish Kilburn
With its evolution of the hotel check-in, and grounded in a deep sense of place, Woods Bagot has designed a new, luxe prototype with Brisbane’s latest luxury hotel…

At the newly opened The Westin Brisbane guests are welcomed in the luxe lobby on the ground floor, which flows into the hotel’s street side jazz bar.

Woods Bagot principal and hotel sector leader (Australia) Bronwyn McColl explained that the ground floor hospitality is deliberately designed to merge with the street, encouraging local use, and to feel more like a part of the public realm than a traditional hotel.

“With hotel guests co-mingling across the entire ground level with neighbourhood locals and residents from the apartments above [1], Westin is rewriting the hyper-local approach to hotel operation,” said McColl.

Making the most of Brisbane’s sub-tropical climate, the port cochere has been moved to the side to allow the food and beverage venues to take centre stage and spill out directly onto the street for outdoor dining all year round.

Cascading landscape protects the edge, enlivens the street frontage and screens diners and guests from the bustle of Mary Street. From the street to the interior and through to the hotel lobby, the transition from café/ bar through to check-in is seamless.

“Guests will feel the authenticity of a truly local experience. They are having coffee, a drink or dining in the same place as the locals, creating opportunity for chance encounters and incidental conversations, which can spark business opportunities and friendships,” McColl said.

Nestled in the heart of the city, The Westin Brisbane offers a unique, urban retreat for leisure and business travellers who put their health and wellness first. The resort facilities are designed for guests to live Westin’s wellness mantra, ensuring they leave feeling restored and better than when they arrived.

“Any time spent in the gym will uplift you. Bathed in Brisbane’s beautiful sunshine there are views to the pool, the lush landscape and to the terrace spaces designed for yoga, stretching and personal training sessions,” said McColl.

The day spa is a place of sanctuary, for indulgence, escape and rejuvenation. Hand crafted elements speak of luxury, with a materials palette of natural and textured materials. Curved timber walls and polished plaster are draped with fabric which cocoons guests as it draws them through the space. The design is sophisticated, evoking a sense of refuge and ritual.

The opening of The Westin Brisbane, marks the brand’s debut in Queensland, Australia. . It also marks the unveiling of Australia’s first Heavenly Spa by Westin™, WestinWORKOUT® Fitness Studio and large resort style swimming pool overlooking the city skyline.

“It’s a great feeling to bring the Westin brand and its empowering commitment to health and wellness to Brisbane – a city which is equally passionate about healthy living,” said Brad Mercer, general manager of The Westin Brisbane. “We will lead the wellness revolution in Brisbane, bringing new stylish accommodation and a range of well-being experiences and amenities to the city.”

Designed to capture the laid-back sophistication of the city, the hotel offers 299 guest rooms and suites with floor to ceiling windows, bathing the rooms in natural light.

“Working across both the architecture and interior design has enormous value for the integrated design quality and overall sustainability. With elements like sun shading, orientation of the building and facades, ventilation, balconies and overhangs, we could be quite deliberate in the decisions to optimise the passive sustainability,” said McColl. “Being a new building gave us scope early in the design process to marry sustainability with the values of health and wellness.”

References available upon request

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

Hamish Kilburn
Deloitte’s European Hotel Investment Survey 2018 reveals that Amsterdam is the number-one hot spot hotel investment, as London climbs to second…

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.

The news comes in after Independent Hotel Show announces its 2019 Amsterdam arrival. The European design hub continues to be seen as the most attractive hotel investment destination in Europe, with more than a third of respondents (34 per cent) ranking the Dutch capital top. London (24 per cent) has climbed back to second place from fourth in 2017, ahead of Paris (22 per cent) and Madrid (19 per cent). Dublin (18 per cent) and Barcelona (16 per cent), which featured in the top three last year, have slipped to fifth and sixth, respectively.

London’s rise comes despite 70 per cent of respondents saying that the UK is at a ‘peak’ or ‘downturn’ in its investment cycle. By contrast, investors identified France (50 per cent), Greece (48 per cent) and Spain (46 per cent) as the European markets that are currently on the ‘upturn’.

Andreas Scriven, head of hospitality and leisure at Deloitte, comments:  “When it comes to hotel investment, Amsterdam is head and shoulders above the rest of Europe. It remains a standout destination for business and leisure, and is strategically placed as a gateway city. Given the investor appetite and lack of supply in the Dutch capital, we expect to see further inbound investment in 2019.

“It is reassuring to see London climb back up the rankings, and somewhat curious considering the uncertainty around the manner in which the UK will exit the EU in less than five months’ time. For London to continue to remain attractive to hotel investors, it will need to address concerns around over-supply and high pricing. Investors will be keeping a close eye on currency markets in the coming months, as sterling’s weakness is likely to be a key driver of inbound investment into the UK capital.”

Investors still expect top-line growth in the Regional UK hotel market

Respondents were also asked about their investment appetite towards the UK regional hotel landscape. For the fifth year in a row, Edinburgh has been named the most attractive UK regional city for hotel investments in the next 12 months, according to 39 per cent of respondents. Second-place sees Cambridge (30 per cent) overtaking Manchester (28 per cent). All three cities are also expected to see the highest growth in RevPAR (revenue per available room) in 2019.

The majority of hotel investors are optimistic about 2019 growth prospects in the Regional UK hotel market, with 52% of respondents expecting RevPAR growth to be between one – three per cent across the UK, although this is down from 70 per cent last year. Hotel investors were less confident when asked about 2019 expectations for gross operating profit per available room (GOPPAR), however. One in four respondents (25 per cent) expect GOPPAR to enter negative territory in London over the next 12 months, while 21 per cent expect negative GOPPAR in the Regional UK.

The research also revealed growing concern around pricing multiples, with expectations on EBITDA multiples for both London and Regional UK falling year-on-year. Despite the majority (53 per cent) expecting multiples of 11-14x in 2019, one in four respondents (25 per cent) expect less than 10x multiples across Regional UK, up from 11 per cent last year. Around a third (32 per cent), however, still expect to see EBITDA multiples of over 16x in London, falling slightly from 36 per cent in 2017.

Two-fifths (41 per cent) of respondents expect the primary source of investment into the Regional UK market to come domestically. More than a third (36 per cent) of hospitality leaders expect to see inbound investment coming from Asia Pacific (excluding China and India), increasing from 26 per cent last year. The perceived importance of North America and China as a source of investment has continued to decline, falling by five and ten percentage points respectively year-on-year.

Nikola Reid, director and head of UK hospitality at Deloitte comments: “The majority of hotel investors anticipate continued RevPAR growth in the Regional UK in 2019. However, one only has to scratch away at this surface to reveal clear concerns and intensity in operational cost pressures caused by inflation, staffing challenges and Brexit uncertainties. With significant headwinds to profitability, UK hotel owners and operators will need to continue to be more innovative with efficiency and productivity to preserve the bottom line whilst having to adapt to ever changing consumer habits and value expectations.

“Despite this, we’ve seen no shortage of capital chasing the exceptional level of portfolio activity this year fuelled by a number of new players in town and ensuing aggressive pricing. With a number of portfolios and large single assets still expected to come to market next year, and, as we move closer to a resolution on the Brexit negotiations, the strength of the transaction market may be tested.”

Economic backdrop fuelling concerns around talent retention

According to the research, 38 per cent of respondents identified ‘lack of economic growth’ as the number one strategic risk facing the European hotel industry over the next five years. Terrorism, which was last year’s number one risk after a series of high-profile attacks across Europe in 2017, has slipped to second place (34 per cent, down from 67 per cent).

In order to address the staffing issue prevalent in the European hospitality sector, three-fifths of hotel investors believe increasing pay would help attract the top talent over the next three years. Ensuring a faster career progression (48 per cent) and improving employee benefits (43 per cent) would also help attract and retain employees, according to respondents.

Scriven added: “Hotel investors are understandably concerned about the macroeconomic environment, which has exacerbated fears about attracting and retaining talent. Understandably, hospitality leaders are thinking about how they can keep hold of their staff. This is why we are seeing evidence of the need to increase pay and improve benefits packages, in order to mitigate factors out of their control.”

Main image credit: Pexels

Bahia Principe celebrates the opening of its 25th Hotel

Hamish Kilburn
With a £70 million investment, Fantasia Bahia Principe Tenerife celebrates the opening of its 25th hotel…

Bahia Principe, the leading all-inclusive resort brand with properties in Spain, Mexico and the Caribbean, has officially opened its 25th hotel, a five-star Fantasia-brand resort in the island of Tenerife, Spain. Fantasia Bahia Principe Tenerife in San Miguel de Abona represents a £70 million investment that will position the brand as the benchmark in high-end family tourism.

The brand’s first newly constructed property in Spain since 2003 is an extensive complex that features eight buildings spread throughout more than 480,000 square-feet of space. The resort offers 372 rooms, seven swimming pools, five restaurants, six bars, a water park, the brand’s signature Bahia Spa and wellness centre, among others.

The theme of the hotel is based around the ancient legend of the Garden of the Hesperides which is long associated with the island of Tenerife.  The most striking structures of the property are the beautiful white castle and replica “Dragon Tree,” known as the Drago Milenario de Icod de los Vinos, a dracaena tree that is an icon of Tenerife.  Both are located by the pool area in the centre of the hotel and will feature spectacular light shows at night.

Fantasia Bahia Principe Tenerife is Bahia Principe’s first Fantasia-brand property in Europe, debuting nearly two years after the debut of Fantasia Bahia Principe Punta Cana. Fantasia is the brand’s family-friendly concept that offers thematic hotels and guarantees an enchanting vacation experience with the highest standards in quality and service. The other Bahia Principe brands in Spain are Sunlight, Luxury and Grand.

“The opening of Fantasia Bahia Principe Tenerife marks several milestones for our company,” said Isabel Piñero, vice president of marketing and communications for Grupo Piñero, Bahia Principe’s parent company. “On one hand, it consolidates and reaffirms our commitment to Spain, where seven of our 25 hotels are located. On the other hand, it allows us to present a new brand to the market: Fantasia, which we believe will put us at the forefront of entertainment innovation in the all-inclusive segment for families worldwide.”

In addition to reinforcing Tenerife’s hotel offer, the new property will generate 300 jobs on the island, 30 percent of which will be directed toward people who were previously unemployed and registered with the Canary employment service, following an agreement between the company and HECANSA (Hotel Schools of the Canary Islands).

First look at Liverpool’s latest design hotel

Hamish Kilburn
Seel Street Hotel by EPIC is slated to open its dynamic interiors and design in December 2018…

New design renders have been released showcasing Liverpool’s latest design hotel, Seel Street Hotel by EPIC, which is scheduled to open to the public in early December 2018.

The exclusive visuals of the 128-key hotel, developed by Elliot Group and designed by Liverpool-based Falconer Chester Hall, throw the spotlight on the property’s flagship ‘WOW! Suite’ – a striking corner suite with external space providing sensational city views and set to raise the bar in the city’s expanding hotel sector. With scaled-back interiors, completed with industrial-like exposed wardrobes and a palette of warm blues and browns, the rooms are cosy, inviting and modern.

Also revealed is the hotel’s spacious Super Luxe suites with outside terraces and skyline vistas, and the ultra-contemporary Cinema Room, offering what is said to be the ultimate guest experience without having to leave the room.

“We are thrilled to be able to give this first look of our new Seel Street Hotel by EPIC. We are very proud of what we have envisioned for the property, and we are confident our guests will fall in love with it from the moment they step inside,” said Managing Director of EPIC Simon Beer. “This is a game-changer in the city and offers a high-end hotel experience befitting of Liverpool’s status as a world-class place to visit. It’s a first-class hotel for a first-class city.”

EPIC have been setting the standard in the apart-hotel sector over a number of years, with successful properties already on Liverpool’s Duke Street, Seel Street and Campbell Street.

Seel Street Hotel by EPIC, which opens as part of its wider transformation of Wolstenholme Square, is said to bring a dynamic character to the guest experience that matches its vibrant, urban setting.

All image credits: EPIC Hotels

Rixos Hotels opens first hotel in Abu Dhabi

Hamish Kilburn
The hotel group opens a 378-key luxury hotel in Abu Dhabi, the brand’s fourth hotel in UAE…

Turkish-grown hospitality brand Rixos Hotels has opened its first resort in Abu Dhabi. Rixos Saadiyat Island prides itself on offering ‘pure luxury’ in an opulent setting, inspired by the palaces of the Ottoman Empire, with dazzling interiors reflecting gemstone shades of green, blue and turquoise throughout. Situated on Saadiyat Island, the resort is expected to become the most successful, fully integrated resort in the Emirates.

“We are thrilled to be expanding Rixos Hotels into Abu Dhabi, showcasing our first all-inclusive, all-exclusive resort in the capital,” said Fettah Tamince, Founder and Chairman of Rixos Hotels. We hope to show visitors from around the world how to create a fully integrated resort that delivers ultra-luxury, innovation in cuisine and the highest standards of service. We are extremely proud of our new resort and of the team, we can’t wait to mark a new chapter in our expansion and welcome guests to Rixos Saadiyat Island.”

Image caption: Rixos Saadiyat Island Abu Dhabi

Image caption: Rixos Saadiyat Island Abu Dhabi

With panoramic views overlooking a sprawling private beach and across the Arabian Gulf, the 378-key resort comprises of 366 rooms and suites, plus 12 three and four-bedroom villas, each boasting either shared or private pools, direct access to the beach and the dedicated services of a butler. Conveniently located less than 30 minutes away from all of Abu Dhabi’s most thrilling attractions, guests can indulge in the feeling of hiding away in an exclusive island enclave while still benefiting from proximity to city highlights including the Louvre Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Zayed Mosque, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, and Abu Dhabi International Airport.

Rixos Saadiyat Island boasts a water park complete with wave pool for all ages and a children’s Aqua Park to keep the little ones happy. Nestled away within the resort’s verdant gardens, Rixos Saadiyat’s Spa is inspired by the age-old wellness customs of Turkey. The dramatic design reflects traditional Ottoman architecture to create a truly luxurious indoor and outdoor sanctuary where guests enjoy complimentary use of the facilities, which includes a steam room, sauna, a private outdoor pool, and an ice room. A collection of luxury treatment rooms and a traditional Turkish Hammam await those who wish to book a pampering spa treatment, with expert therapists on hand to restore balance for mind, body and soul.

Following the opening of Rixos Saadiyat Island, Rixos Hotels will operate four hotels in the United Arab Emirates –Rixos Premium Dubai, Rixos The Palm Dubai, Rixos Bab Al Bahr and Rixos Saadiyat Island.

Westin Hotels & Resorts heads to the Maldives

1024 480 Hamish Kilburn
The opening of The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort signals a new wave of well-being in the heart of the Maldives…

Westin Hotels & Resorts has expanded into the Republic of Maldives with the opening of The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort.

Developed by Belluna Co. Ltd, Japan and Asia Capital PLC, Sri Lanka, the hotel signals the brand’s wellness positioning in the Maldivian oasis.

The resort has taken inspiration from the ocean, as award-winning Milan-based architects PEIA Association has created a visionary approach towards environmental sustainability.

An aerial view of the new resort also reveals an outline in the shape of a fish, reinforcing its approach to sustain the environment.

“We are thrilled to introduce the Westin brand to the Maldives, strengthening our presence in Asia Pacific,” said Mike Fulkerson, VP of brand and marketing at Marriott International Asia Pacific.

Inside, the resort boasts 70 villas and suites, 41 on island and 29 overwater, which all feature an eco-friendly double roofing to create a natural ventilation system.

On-site, the hotel also offers its guests three unique dining experiences; The Pearl, which specialises in Japanese cuisine and Island Kitchen which stays true to the Westin brand’s Eat Well brand pillar through a balanced menu combining Chinese, Indian and Maldivian fare. Lastly, guests can sample authentic Asian street food with a live kitchen inside the Hawker.

Fulkerson added: “The opening of The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort is a significant addition to our portfolio underscoring a transformative and meaningful wellness proposition for travellers, who are increasingly prioritising well-being even while on the road.”

The resort also comes equipped with Westin’s signature branded spa concept, the Heavenly Spa by Westin with the latest in beauty treatments for guests to indulge in.

Brown Hotels’ The Lighthouse opens in Tel Aviv

Hamish Kilburn

Brown Hotels, the design-savvy boutique hotel brand born out of Tel Aviv, opens doors today to The Lighthouse, the group’s eighth property in Israel and its largest and most amenity-rich hotel to date…

Brown Hotels, the rapidly expanding boutique hotel brand from Tel Aviv, has opened its largest property to date, The Lighthouse. The 100-room hotel is situated within an iconic Brutalist architectural-style property and located in the heart of central Tel Aviv. The Lighthouse honors its ethos of “work hard, play harder” with sleek design details and amenities for savvy business travelers and tourists alike. The high-style rooms pair well with a lively lobby, two vibing cocktail bars, a 360° panoramic rooftop lounge (Haiku), two upcoming pools and terrace rooms with private decks and jacuzzis. True to its name, The Lighthouse is named for its desired effect as a source of energy and light in a revitalizing corner of Tel Aviv, just steps away from the Mediterranean Sea and beach promenade.

Image credit: Assaf Pinchuk

“We are entering new territory with The Lighthouse; it is a high energy hotel with a big, thumping heartbeat.”

Brown Hotels is a rapidly-expanding global boutique hotel brand with roots in Tel Aviv. Conceived by native Israelis, Leon Avigad & Nitzan Perry with partner Nir Waizman, the collection includes four hotels in Tel Aviv, two in Jerusalem and one in Trogir, Croatia. Each boutique property packs big design punch with a unique vibe of their own, yet true to the Brown Hotels’ spirit. As its largest property, The Lighthouse boldly explores a new sense of scale for the brand. The hotel’s building is an iconic Brutalist office tower built in the 1970s and fully restored. Its sheer size offers sweeping views of the White City and Mediterranean Sea from each vantage point in the hotel, from the private rooms to its communal spaces.

Image credit: Max Morron

“We are entering new territory with The Lighthouse; it is a high energy hotel with a big, thumping heartbeat,” says Brown Hotels founder Leon Avigad. “We are creating a bit of a wonderland within its walls, where a certain young and fun-seeking guest with a fine palate for design can find everything they’re looking for. If they still want more, they’re in luck: The Lighthouse is two minutes from the Mediterranean promenade, five minutes from the Carmel Market and ten minutes from Rothschild Boulevard.”

The Lighthouse takes Brown Hotels high-design sensibility to the next level through the collaborative vision of Leon Avigad and Argentinian-Israeli architect, Nestor Sandbank. The spatial layout of the property thinks big with two high-energy cocktail bars, two pools, a full-service gym/spa, a sprawling eighteenth-floor rooftop lounge and lower-level conference/banqueting center. The lobby of the hotel features Brown Hotels’ iconic library wall, complemented by new textures, rich tones of navy and emerald and décor. Never taking itself too seriously, the lobby lightens up with playful accents from its birdcage swing, gold-plated sections, antlers mounted to the wall and colorful contemporary furnishings. Guests are treated to a range of accommodations ranging in size from twenty-two to twenty-seven square-meters, making them much more spacious than the average city room.

Image credit: Assaf Pinchuk

Twelve exclusive terrace rooms offer private balconies with outdoor jacuzzis, stunning views and ensured privacy by a natural fence of lush greenery. Twelve Junior and Executive Suites feature separate seating areas and a slew of in-room amenities. Other room categories provide obstruction-free vistas of the Mediterranean Sea coastline, while city-facing rooms feature the best panoramic views of Tel Aviv. Each room is adorned with bright wooden-clad walls that punctuate light through their innovatively designed-crevices. Bright carpets rest upon hardwood flooring accented by contemporary furnishings and lighting accents. The sumptuous queen and king-size beds feature 800-thread count Egyptian Cotton and full-tub showers are filled with Molton Brown amenities. Phase two of The Lighthouse will open an additional two floors with sixty guest rooms, bringing the total room count to 160.

The hotel will house Haiku, a much-anticipated addition to the city’s nightlife offerings on the hotel’s panoramic rooftop. Mood-setting music, dim lighting and rich color-schemes amplify the dramatics at the stylish sky lounge. Guests and party-goers can enjoy bottle service and local cuisine at the luxurious and spacious banquet seating. A range of food and beverage offerings will also be made available in the hotel’s banquet and conference complex that accommodates up to 400 people in its well-appointed and stylishly-designed meeting rooms.

Founded in 2003 by Avigad, Brown Hotels evolved out of the desire to introduce a collection of truly boutique hotels to Israel. The Brown properties are all rooted in a devotion to service, design, innovation, style and authenticity.

Main image credit: Assaf Pinchuk

 

Top five stories of the week: Sleep set dreams, Roman spa experience and reflecting on London Design Festival

400 400 Hamish Kilburn

Following a busy London Design Festival, editor of Hotel Designs Hamish Kilburn breaks down this week’s major conversations…

A storm was brewing last week as more than 450,000 designers, architects and creatives from around the world descended onto the Capital to learn about the latest products, trends and discussions. As UK continues to be seen as a major international design hub, and with our Brit List fast approaching to further prove that point, here are the latest and biggest news from this week.

1) Editor’s round-up of London Design Festival

Image credit: designjunction

Ten design districts, nine days, eight talks, seven parties, six after parties, five exhibitions, four hours sleep between each day, three fabulous media partners, two tired legs and ONE city. This year, an estimated number of more than 450,000 designers, architects and creatives from more than 75 countries visited the 16th edition of London Design Festival – and what a way to remind the world of London’s position as one of the best design hubs in the world than with the installation of a fifth lion protecting the city’s landmark Neslon’s Column in Trafalgar Square. We were ready to hear London Design Festival roar, and with two days still remaining, that roar can still be heard echoing in an around the city.

2) Checking in to The Gainsborough Bath and Spa

The spa

Image caption: The Gainsborough

“First and foremost, the location is what really sets this project apart,” says Alexandra Champalimaud who, to me, looks far too composed and relaxed for two reasons as we meet for breakfast. For starters, although her soft English accent would suggest otherwise, Champalimaud is actually based in the loud, sleepless city of New York. And secondly, we are catching up at the same time of London Design Festival, when more than 450,000 designers, architects and creatives from around the globe descend onto the capital to catch the latest trends, discussions and product launches. Never before has the analogy of a duck above water been so apt than in this situation right now, and it’s inspiring to watch. “Bath is an actual treasure, a world UNESCO World Heritage Site, and frankly I think it’s one of the most magical places in the UK,” she says passionately as we begin to talk about The Gainsborough Bath and Spa, the five-star hotel that stole both of our hearts.

3) SLEEP + EAT reveals sneak peek of this year’s Sleep Sets

Sleep + Eat, which takes place at London’s Olympia on November 20 – 21, has unveiled a glimpse of this year’s highly anticipated Sleep Sets. Reflecting recognition of the role Sleep Set plays in moving the design conversation on, the participants are all leaders in their field: luxury hotel and residential designers AB Concept from Asia, international design polymath Yasmine Mahmoudieh, the London studio of the global design firm, HBA, and the UK office of Australian born architects, Denton Corker Marshall. Each team has been brought together in a unique pairing with a much-loved but most definitely non-hotel brand, to create a hotel bedroom. Enter Penguin Books with Yasmine Mahmoudieh, Maison Pierre Hermé Paris and AB Concept, West Ham United Football Club tackled by Denton Corker Marshall, and the Natural History Museum to be explored by HBA London.

4) Designers, hoteliers and architects reflect on what Brit List means to them

As the 2018 Brit List award ceremony fast approaches, Hotel Designs caught up with last year’s winners in order to investigate just how important it is to recognise Britain’s best interior designers, hoteliers and architects…

Last year, Hotel Designs brought you the inaugural Brit List, a nationwide search for the top 25 interior designers and top 25 hoteliers in Britain. The task to find Britain’s best took our editorial team and judges on a journey to find hidden gems in somewhat unexpected corners of the UK while also allowed the team to meet the world-class talent that is keeping Britain’s hotel design industry alive and ahead of the curve.

5) Conran and Partners unveils flagship hotel for Puro Hotels

PURO’s new flagship hotel in Kraków has been designed by the award-winning studio Conran and Partners with a strong ‘Bohemian Modern’ theme…

Hotel group Puro Hotels has opened its new flagship hotel in Kraków, which is where the brand launched in 2011 with the aim to change the landscape of hotel design in Europe.

 

 

Four Seasons Hotel São Paulo At Nações Unidas prepares for grand opening

800 511 Hamish Kilburn

The new Four Seasons hotel, which has been designed by HKS Architects in partnership with Aflalo e Gasperini Arquitetos, will open this October…

The clock is ticking ahead of the grand opening of Four Seasons Hotel São Paulo at Nações Unidas, as the hotel prepares to open on October 15, 2018.

The all-new hotel is the vision of HKS Architects in partnership with Aflalo e Gasperini Arquitetos, with principle interiors including guestrooms, lobby lounge and public areas by San Francisco-based BAMO. Describing their vision as “bold and evocative modern, an international luxury aesthetic rendered in Brazilian materials and infused with classic Paulistano flavour,” the result is an art-filled hotel with pieces from Burle Marx, Francisco Brennand, Paulo Mendes da Rocha, among others. The interiors are characterised by locally-sourced finishes that create a luxurious yet welcoming environment for both international travellers and local guests.

“As the first Four Seasons in Brazil, our team is especially excited to introduce the customised experiences and personalised service for which the company is known around the world,” says General Manager Michael Schmid.  “Although many Brazilians who travel internationally are very familiar with the Four Seasons experience, the opportunity to offer something uniquely tailored to this city and connect with its citizens is important for us.”

Meeting planners and wedding couples will find 1,409 square metres (15,160 square feet) of flexible event space, also designed by EDG including a grand ballroom that can be divided into smaller function spaces, as well as seven additional rooms of varying sizes and two outdoor terraces.

The vibrant urban space will include enclosed and beautifully landscaped grounds, a BAMO-designed spa and fitness centre, and an ultra-modern indoor-outdoor pool.

Located amid the leafy green spaces along the Pinheiros river in southern Sao Paulo, the all-new 29-storey tower will include the 258-room Hotel as well as 84 Four Seasons Private Residences designed by Studio Arthur Casas, along with restaurants, spa, meeting rooms and other facilities. The Hotel’s address on Avenida Nações Unidas (Avenue United Nations) places guests just steps from corporate offices, plus shopping, entertainment and South America’s best medical facilities. The domestic Congonhas-São Paulo Airport is just 20 minutes away, and São Paulo International Airport is about one hour by car. Four Seasons Hotel São Paulo at Nações Unidas is the first Four Seasons location in Brazil, joining sister properties in Bogota, Buenos Aires and Costa Rica as part of the company’s growing Central and South American portfolio.

The Arch London unveils boutique guestroom refurbishment

800 534 Hamish Kilburn

The boutique hotel unveils refurbishment with a major focus on adding personality in surface design and interesting headboard patterns…

To mark the 8th Anniversary of The Arch London, the luxury five-star boutique Georgian townhouse hotel has refurbished a third of its guestrooms as part of its ongoing refurbishment project…

The newly renovated guestrooms have the same style and characteristics that the hotel’s loyal guests have come to know and love.  Now with a bolder more colourful look, the spaces rival some of the best designed hotel rooms in the Capital.

The four new concepts have been developed around unique feature wallpapers by Thibaut.  Striking colour palettes encompass:

  • Medallion Paisley: Emerald green and indigo blue, with pops of violet and white, developed around a large, paisley style flower print.
  • Luzon:  A chic, navy and camel scheme, based around an oriental garden print, mixed up with navy Ikat-style and animal prints and an oriental style jungle cat print.
  • Imperial Dragon: Tangerine and brilliant blue, formed around a flamboyant Chinese Dragon print incorporating several shades of blue, orange and beige.
  • Sunburst: Bright fuchsia and Yves Klein blue, based around a blousy, daisy style flower print.

Within the Grade II listed building, pops of strong colour and alternative fabrics from a selection of British designers and companies – such as Nina Campbell, Matthew Williamson for Osborne & Little, Clarke & Clarke – have been added to mix and match across the guestrooms.  This gives each space its own unique style whilst creating a cohesive look.

The bathrooms feature walk-in showers, along with elegant bronze and white tiling.  Additional lighting has been placed around the mirrors to aid those getting ready for the evening – perhaps in the hotel’s award-winning restaurant Hunter 486.

To create an inviting space, furniture positioning is vital, so that the guestroom neither feels too cluttered or stark. The most important part of the room is the bed which has to be super-comfortable.  With this in mind new bespoke beds were installed, all of which have been fitted with Nestledown and Sleepezee mattresses that are 2000 Pocket Sprung, and are adorned with duck down duvets and pillows and high thread count linens.

Lighting is one of the most important aspects of any room, and the designers have taken advantage of new developments in lighting technology to enhance the rooms’ ambience.  Whilst some of the rooms have eye-catching curtains, other rooms use shutters to create a fresh, elegant, colonial style.

The lighting now also incorporates modern LED technology, enhancing the mood in the rooms and showcasing the designs. Rooms have been reconfigured with integrated pelmet lighting to highlight the curtains, as well as being fitted with LED strips on the headboards to up-light the feature walls.

In addition, the designers selected new wall lights for the bed-heads and bathrooms.  Paul Smith Anglepoise lamps were used in all the bedrooms for desk lighting as they fitted the schemes perfectly – colourful, a little quirky, but very functional.

A member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World™ and Pride of Britain, the hotel boasts 82 bedrooms including eleven sumptuous suites spread over six floors. Spacious interconnecting rooms are on offer for families or larger groups.

The hotel offers a selection of complimentary treats for guests to enjoy.  These include soft drinks, water and juice from the mini bar, Jing teas, a Nespresso coffee machine, MALIN + GOETZ toiletries, WIFI and daily changing exotic flavoured drinks in the lobby.

A handpicked selection of classic novels can be found in the suites, while all rooms have a full Sky HD TV package, DVD Player and internet radio with over 19,000 channels for international guests. The bathrooms feature modern flourishes such as heated anti-steam mirrors and flat screen TVs built into the wall above baths.

The officially rated five star property is a regular resident amongst the top 20 Luxury hotels in the UK on TripAdvisor and has earned the 2017 Forbes Travel Guide Recommended Award. The hotel is tucked away on a quaint residential street in Marylebone, a stone’s throw from Bond Street, Hyde Park and the West End, and spans seven Grade II listed Georgian townhouses and two mews homes.

The hotel offers a gymnasium on the lower-ground floor for guests to use, with fitness equipment including a PowerPlate machine and multi-functional Kinesis station.

 

New Amy Winehouse artwork revealed at Hard Rock Hotel London

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Hard Rock Hotel London, which is slated to open in Spring 2019, partners with photographer to the stars Terry O’Neill and commissions Amy Winehouse art…

Despite its opening not being unveiled until Spring next year, Hard Rock Hotel London is fast becoming London’s most anticipated opening in 2019 as it has now revealed a sneak peek of the specially commissioned that will be put on display in the hotel’s 1,000 guestrooms and suites.

Partnering with internationally renowned photographer, Terry O’Neill and legendary photography archive, Iconic Images, the series of artwork will bring to life the site’s rich musical history and immortalise the world’s biggest music and culture icons.

Cult photographer O’Neill has shot countless global music and screen icons, with his work hanging in national art galleries and private collections worldwide. The collaboration will see Hard Rock Hotel London guests discover unique images of iconic musicians including Amy Winehouse and David Bowie, embellished with bold brushstrokes of colour by the artists at Iconic Images.

“The inspiration for the Hard Rock Hotel collaboration really comes from the music, and the rich musical history the site of the new hotel holds,” said O’Neill. “It seems like anyone who was anyone went through the lobby, stood outside the doors, or played gigs across the road in Hyde Park. Some of my fondest memories are of taking the shots that will be showcased, and they have found a fantastic home at the new Hard Rock Hotel London.”

Exhibited across all of the hotel’s suites and bedrooms, the artwork will be a visual homage to the biggest names in the industry, many of whom have previously stayed at the property in years gone by. Joining Winehouse, Hendrix and Bowie on the hotel walls will be Elton John, Diana Ross, Madonna and Mick Jagger.

“Terry O’Neill is one of the world’s most iconic music photographers, so there was no other choice for us when we were selecting a partner to curate the art at the new Hard Rock Hotel London,” added Oliver Kahf, General Manager of Hard Rock Hotel London. “Music is at the heart of everything we do at the hotel and these immortalised legends will be celebrated by each guest who passes through our doors”

“Hard Rock Hotel’s arrival in London will further help define the hotel group as one of the most iconic and most recognisable companies in the world.”

Internationally recognised as a world-class entertainment and lifestyle brand, Hard Rock Hotels offer stylish, contemporary, design and unparalleled service with the continual thread of music running throughout. Hard Rock Hotels’ current portfolio is located in the world’s most enviable resort destinations, as well as urban gateways. Hard Rock Hotels cater to the evolving and distinctive needs of today’s cosmopolitan travellers who seek a reprieve from traditional, predictable experiences, whether for business or leisure travel.

Through music appreciation and an imaginative environment, Hard Rock Hotels deliver products for the varied aspects of life – work, play and personal sanctuary.

Hard Rock Hotel’s arrival in London will further help define the hotel group as one of the most iconic and most recognisable companies in the world, with venues in 74 countries, including 185 cafes, 25 hotels and 12 casinos. Beginning with an Eric Clapton guitar, Hard Rock owns the world’s greatest collection of music memorabilia, which is displayed at its locations around the globe. Watch out London, Hard Rock has announced its grand, solo entrance.

citizenM opens US flagship hotel this week

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citizenM launches US flagship hotel, kicking off an ambitious rollout plan across America…

citizenM – the pioneer of affordable luxury hotels – is doing what they do best once again: launching a new hotel and causing further disruption in the traditional hotel industry. The award-winning brand is returning to New York City to throw open the doors of citizenM New York Bowery, a 300-room sister hotel to the citizenM New York Times Square open since 2014.

citizenM New York Bowery continues to build on the brand’s presence in New York, where it opened citizenM Times Square in 2014. Continuing the company’s ambitious rollout, by 2020, the brand will have around 40 properties either open or in development globally – more than doubling its current portfolio.  In North America alone, citizenM plans to open a dozen hotels, in major cities that include Seattle, Boston, Washington DC, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Miami.

“Even the art we use will be drawn from the local art scene, as well as international contributors.”

Since its founding in 2008, citizenM has upended the rules of traditional hospitality by introducing the concept of ‘affordable luxury for the people’. This starts with selecting well-connected locations in the world’s most popular cities, so business and leisure guests spend the shortest possible time commuting. Each property offers a streamlined, luxury experience – including high-tech amenities, friendly and efficient service, luxury guest rooms, and spacious and inviting living areas filled with contemporary art and iconic 21st century furniture by the likes of Verner Panton, Hella Jongerius and Jasper Morrison from Swiss manufacturer Vitra – all at an affordable price.

“The hotel is designed by Amsterdam-based firm Concrete, a long-time partner of citizenM.”

“When we were looking for our next New York location, it became clear very quickly that Bowery is an exceptional destination,” said Rattan Chadha, the founder of citizenM. “We don’t want to be just another building; we want to become part of the neighbourhood’s fabric while showing New York’s visitors a different side of the city. Even the art we use will be drawn from the local art scene, as well as international contributors.”

The new location, which is now taking reservations from 12th September, will be the tallest building in the neighbourhood, standing 246 feet high on the oldest thoroughfare in Manhattan, with an expansive cloudM rooftop bar, outdoor terrace, and spectacular 360-degree views of New York. Occupying the entire 21st floor, cloudM features oak cabinets, Vitra chairs and couches, and chandeliers so large, they’ll catch the eye of pedestrians on the street.

The hotel is designed by Amsterdam-based firm Concrete, a long-time partner of citizenM. Their design for the Bowery is – as usual – unmistakably citizenM, without duplicating anything they’ve done before.

As guests enter the hotel through the plaza, they will meet citizenM’s ambassadors, and get their key in just one minute at the self check-in/check-out kiosk. A striking spiral staircase leads towards the living room on the lower ground floor, featuring double-height ceilings, bookshelves, and a 24/7 canteenM bar at the heart of it. Glass walls stream in plenty of daylight and open to a view of the park outside, mirrored inside with benches and picnic tables for the same fresh relaxed vibe as the public plaza.

citizenM’s philosophy of ‘affordable luxury’ is best experienced in the guestrooms. They are smartly furnished with everything modern travellers need, and nothing they don’t. Everything in the room is the very best: the bed is XL king-size wall-to-wall with a superb mattress and luxury bedding. An HD TV features a library of on-demand movies, plus streaming options via free superfast Wi-Fi. A powerful shower with full-size shower gel and shampoo (as well as giant fluffy towels) will soothe all long and short-haul travellers. The room ambiance is fully controlled by an iPad – the blinds, the TV, even the lights with changeable colours (and settings like ‘romance’ and ‘movie’).

The hotel draws inspiration from the local community for the hotel’s interior, which will be filled with an eclectic mix of contemporary art, photography, and objects by local artists. citizenM has commissioned the New Museum, and its incubator NEW INC, to supply art for the guest rooms. Known for its rich cultural heritage and vibrant art scene – anchored by the New Museum and emerging art galleries – the Bowery is an ideal home for the new citizenM hotel.

citizenM Bowery will be the company’s 13th property globally, and its second in the US. In addition to citizenM’s established pipeline in the US’s largest cities, the company is eyeing further afield, and will consider venturing into new markets such as Toronto, Chicago, Austin, Silicon Valley, Denver, etc.

Park Plaza Victoria Amsterdam unveils stylish new interiors

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Park Plaza Hotels & Resorts’ flagship Amsterdam hotel has re-launched fresh interior design…

Following the announcement of the Independent Hotel Show marking its debut in Amsterdam next year, the vibrant city continues to prove its place as an international design hub as it witnesses the unveiling of Park Plaza Hotels & Resorts’ flagship Amsterdam property.

The upscale contemporary brand Park Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, which has over 40 hotels in worldwide city-centre locations, has unveiled  the re-launched flagship Amsterdam hotel, Park Plaza Victoria Amsterdam, after a multi-million-euro investment. The 298-room hotel, located in the heart of the city, officially revealed its new stylish, contemporary look.

The interior design of Park Plaza Victoria Amsterdam, led by Digital Space Designs, has been transformed to create a refreshed and sophisticated feel across the entire property, whilst respecting and retaining the historic architecture and long-standing charm the iconic listed building is known for. The guestrooms feature state-of-the-art technology, contemporary lighting incorporated in the headboards and large, luxurious bathrooms. In addition, all guestrooms have been furnished with Egyptian cotton bed linen and Elemis toiletries.

Image credit: Matthew Shaw.

“We are delighted to announce the official launch of our refurbished hotel and can’t wait for guests to enjoy the elegance and sophistication,” Lennart Maas, Hotel Manager at Park Plaza Victoria Amsterdam comments. “Close to many of the attractions that Amsterdam is known for, and within walking distance of Central Station, it’s a very exciting time for us and we are thrilled to play a part in welcoming visitors to our wonderful city.”

“Since first opening its doors in 1890, the distinguished hotel has played host to famous guests including Louis Armstrong and Mata Hari.”

Park Plaza Victoria Amsterdam’s public spaces have also been restyled, including its nine meeting rooms, which offer a sophisticated location for professional occasions and hold up to 130 people. In addition, a Brasserie and VIC’s BAR will join the hotel’s swimming pool, sauna and fitness suite as an ideal location for unwinding after a day exploring the city.

Since first opening its doors in 1890, the distinguished hotel has played host to famous guests including Louis Armstrong and Mata Hari, alongside glamourous international fashion shows by designers Pierre Balmain, Christian Dior, Elsa Schiaparelli, Nina Ricci, Rochas and Pierre Cardin. Looking to the future, the hotel will continue to welcome a close link with the fashion and creative industries.

Conveniently located in the centre of the city’s buzzing shopping district and a two-minute walk from Centraal Station, Park Plaza Victoria Amsterdam makes a fantastic destination for short breaks. With many key museums and attractions also nearby, the hotel provides the perfect base for exploring enchanting Amsterdam as it continues to hold its position as one of Europe’s major design hub.

Main image credit: Matthew Shaw

Modern, sleek bathroom with focus on wood

Top 5 stories of the week: Spanish arrivals, setting trends and luxury on a cliff edge

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Hotel Designs editor Hamish Kilburn breaks down this week’s international hotel design headlines…

September has kicked-off with a number of exciting news stories that have, quite literally left the industry on a cliff hanger. Firstly, the iconic EDITION brand has expanded its empire with the hotel announcing its arrival in Barcelona. Elsewhere, Hotel Designs recommended supplier Duravit are setting trends in the bathroom, and a Six Senses opening sends ripples through the industry with its jaw-dropping – and totally unmatched – coastal views. Here are our top five stories of the week.

1) The Edition brand lands in Spain as the brand’s luxury empire expands

Ian Schrager’s rising global influence has arrived in Spain, adding another luxury property to the EDITION empire. The Barcelona EDITION combines the personal, intimate, individualised and unique hotel experience that Schrager is known for.

2) Inside Denmark’s first chemical-free hotel

Hotel lobby, dark and mysterious

Hotel Herman K, Denmark’s first chemical-free hotel, is a converted station situated in the heart of Copenhagen. We took a sneak peak at the raw architecture within the bespoke hotel…

3) TREND ALERT: Favourite shades of grey in the bathroom

Grey modern bathroom

Sharing the same opinion as that of the new Managing Director of WATG London, Martin Pease, bathroom specialist Duravit believes that grey is one of the best-loved colours in architecture and interior design. Evident in Duravit’s recent collection, the colour is used to further creates the clarity and sense of space to emphasise the impact of rooms, interiors, and therefore architecture.

4) Brit List: Less than two weeks in order to claim your early bird tickets

Calling all British interior designers, architects, hoteliers and key-industry suppliers, early bird tickets for this year’s Brit List are only available until September 16.

5) Six Senses continues to rapidly expand with opening of Uluwatu luxury hotel

Our ‘most read’ story of the week is the opening of Six Senses’ 16th property. The opening marks an exciting time for the international hotel brand as it plans to triple its portfolio size in the next five years.

Render of public areas

Hampton by Hilton debuts in the Middle East

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Hampton by Hilton Dubai Airport opens as the brand’s largest hotel in Hampton by Hilton’s portfolio…

Hampton by Hilton has celebrated its Middle East debut with the opening of Hampton by Hilton Dubai Airport, marking the largest property in Hampton’s global portfolio. The opening of Hampton by Hilton Dubai Airport reinforces the brand’s commitment to international growth, driven by concerted efforts in China and Latin America, while deepening its reach in the U.S. and Europe.

“The opening bolsters Hampton’s international footprint of more than 2,380 hotels in 22 countries and territories.”

“Hampton continues to bring quality accommodations, strong value, and outstanding service everywhere travelers need and want to be,” said Shruti Gandhi Buckley, global head, Hampton by Hilton. “Hampton has a long legacy of delivering an incomparable guest experience, which will be led by General Manager Nayla Chowdhury at Hampton by Hilton Dubai Airport, whose appointment signifies Hilton’s growing international female leadership representation.”

The opening bolsters Hampton’s international footprint of more than 2,380 hotels in 22 countries and territories. With the largest pipeline in the brand’s history and in the Hilton enterprise with 620 planned hotels, Hampton is positioned for successful, rapid and steady growth in its target markets. Hampton recently opened its first hotel in Kazakhstan, and soon will enter into Argentina, Chile and France, with continued expansion in China, where it is the fastest growing international hospitality brand in the country.

The contemporary 420-key hotel is located near the Dubai International Airport and the Dubai Airport Freezone Authority (DAFZA). Hampton by Hilton Dubai Airport also features a state-of-the-art rooftop gym with panoramic views of the Dubai skyline, a large infinity pool and a fully licensed bar. Guests will immediately feel at home with the property’s warm and modern interiors, flowing with natural light and complemented by touches of lavender, gold, and locally inspired artwork that adorn the hotel walls and corridors.

The highly anticipated property brings Hampton’s signature value-added services and amenities for the first time to the region, offering free, hot breakfast with healthy options, spacious rooms, complimentary Wi-Fi, and a 24/7 business center. Hampton continues to be a category leader in terms of guest experience with its 100% Hampton Guarantee, making sure guests are 100% happy.

Globally recognised for its unmatched approach to hospitality and friendly, caring service culture known as ‘Hamptonality’, Hampton aims to serve the region’s growing demand for mid-market hotels – particularly among millennial travelers, who are increasingly prioritizing value in their search for accommodation. A recent survey of just over 1,000 respondents conducted by Hilton in partnership with YouGov found that when choosing between two destinations, almost half (44 per cent) of UAE travelers were likely to base their decision on overall travel cost.

“With Dubai’s vision of welcoming 20 million tourists annually to the emirate by 2020, diversifying its hospitality offering has become a major priority for the travel and tourism sector,” said Rudi Jagersbacher, Area President – Middle East, Africa, and Turkey. “Today’s travelers are increasingly looking for affordable hospitality without compromising on quality. They want a hotel in a well-connected location, with clean and modern rooms, free Wi-Fi, and friendly, reliable, quality service. This is precisely what the Hampton by Hilton brand offers.”

 

Six Senses continues to rapidly expand with opening of Uluwatu luxury hotel

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The hotel group’s 16th opening, Six Senses Uluwatu, is just the beginning, with plans to triple the brand in size over the next five years…

Sharing the same spectacular views over a rugged cliff edge as the island’s famed Uluatu Temple, Six Senses Uluwatu, Bali is now open, adding another exciting destination to the group’s portfolio. Drawing upon the renowned Six Senses commitment of providing top-tier facilities wedded to environmental responsibility, the resort and spa has been thoughtfully designed and, when combined with the innovative spirit of the owners, PT Cahaya Warna Prima, has resulted in a rare development.

True to Six Senses’ inimitable style, Six Senses Uluwatu, designed by PTI Architects and Blink Design Group is home to 28 Sky Suites, 62 one-­bedroom villas and seven two-bedroom villas that draw upon the local culture, embrace nature, and offer every creature comfort.  The ultimate in Six Senses accommodations is the expansive and beautifully-appointed Retreat Villa which sits on a prominent knoll with sweeping views of the ocean and resort beyond.  There are also two restaurants, a pool bar, a restaurant with a Chef’s Table and cooking school, and an extensive organic garden is also planned.

In this famed island environment so deeply rooted with wellness and personal care, the Six Senses Spa is right in its element, with the unmatched vistas providing a calming and tranquil setting.

Large swimming pool over sweeping coastal views

An event lawn enhances the facilities with a beautiful ballroom, two meeting rooms and a wedding pavilion. The resort’s own Balinese temple creates a tranquil setting and present the true essence of the island’s deep cultural beliefs.  Six Senses Uluwatu will include an Experiences Centre that can arrange visits to everything that this legendary island has to offer, from sightseeing excursions, to cultural events plus over and underwater activities.

The coastline is also one of the top places on the island to bear witness to spectacular sunsets with sweeping panoramas out to the Indian Ocean. Uluwatu is perhaps best known for Pura Luhur Uluwatu, one of the six key temples believed to be Bali’s spiritual pillars, renowned for its magnificent location perched on top of a steep cliff approximately 70 metres above the sea.  ‘Ulu’ means top or tip and ‘watu’ means stone or rock in Bahasa Indonesia.  Several archaeological remains found here prove the temple to be of megalithic origin, dating back to around the 10th century.

Modern, sleek bathroom with focus on wood

Six Senses properties share a leadership commitment to community, sustainability, wellness and design, infused with a touch of quirkiness. Whether an exquisite island resort, mountain retreat or urban hotel, the enduring purpose is to help people reconnect with themselves, others and the world around them.

Grand Hyatt Bogota opens in the capital of Colombia

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372-key luxury hotel marks the first Hyatt hotel in Bogota and first Grand Hyatt hotel in Colombia…

Hyatt Hotels Corporation has announced the opening of Grand Hyatt Bogota, marking the first Hyatt hotel in the Colombian capital and the first Grand Hyatt branded hotel in Colombia. The 372-room luxury property is located in the heart of Ciudad Empresarial Sarmiento Angulo commercial district, up the road from the Corferias and Ágora Bogotá convention centers, and minutes from the ultramodern Gran Estación Mall, El Dorado International Airport, and Bolívar Square.

“We are thrilled to announce the opening of the first Grand Hyatt hotel in the country and are confident that Grand Hyatt Bogota will exceed expectations of all who visit the hotel,” said Myles McGourty, senior vice president, Latin America & Caribbean, Hyatt. “The hotel offers an iconic experience for worldly guests who seek first-class hospitality, best-in-class food and beverage and a luxurious stay.”

Grand Hyatt Bogota reflects and celebrates what makes Bogota a vibrant capital city rich in history, iconic sites and countless attractions for all types of visitors, while also being the governmental and financial center of Colombia. In addition to offering first-class accommodations and luxury amenities and services, the hotel brings to life Colombian culture through its innovative architecture, distinctive interior design and multicultural culinary offering.

Designed with bold and vibrant features, the hotel has 372 beautifully decorated guestrooms, including 50 suites, that invite guests to wake up in open, airy rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the lush inner atrium garden, multicolored lights of the metropolis, or the cloud-topped majesty of the Andes Mountains. Additionally, suites and club room guests have exclusive access to the Grand Club Lounge, which provides an elegantly designed space with personal concierge services and culinary highlights throughout the day.

 

The hotel invites guests to schedule time for themselves at Zaitania Spa, one of the largest urban spas in Latin America, where experienced aestheticians and massage therapists work to refresh and soothe guests in 11 spacious treatment rooms. Guests have access to the relaxation area, which is complete with three hydrotherapy pools, steam room, or dry sauna to extend their spa experience. With over 32,000 square feet (3,000 square meters), Zaitania Spa is located on the third floor also featuring a beauty salon, an indoor pool acclimatized to 82°F (28°C) and a fully equipped fitness centre.

Nestled in striking architecture, Grand Hyatt Bogota sets the perfect scene for incredible meetings, events, conferences, galas or wedding festivities illuminated by natural daylight and modern light fixtures. Expert planners create bespoke events in 24,434 square feet (2,270 square meters) of meeting and event space ranging in scale from the opulent Grand Ballroom, which can hold up to 1,000 people approximately, to 269 square foot (25 square-meter) conference rooms where small teams can work efficiently.

An immense tropical lagoon pool anchors Radisson Blu Resort Phu Quoc overlooking the Gulf of Thailand.

Radisson Blu debuts in Vietnam

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The 514-key hotel, Radisson Blu Resort Phu Quoc, opens as the brand’s first Vietnamese property and heralds a new era for the Radisson Hotel Group…

Radisson Blu Resort Phu Quoc, a 514-room property overlooking the northern stretch of Vietnam’s most compelling beach, Bai Dai, has opened as part of an unprecedented integrated resort on the nation’s biggest island.

The resort’s design sets a contemporary tone with neutral palettes of marble, refreshing high ceilings and vast floor-to-roof glass panels

“Phu Quoc is fast developing a reputation as Vietnam’s answer to Thailand’s Phuket and the beach experience here is one of a kind,” said Radisson Blu Resort Phu Quoc’s General Manager Peter Feran. “This is a tropical island setting that comes right out of a storybook and is all the more spectacular every day at dusk when the sun goes down over the Gulf of Thailand.”

The resort’s design sets a contemporary tone with neutral palettes of marble, refreshing high ceilings and vast floor-to-roof glass panels that take advantage of the stunning natural surrounds and abundance of sunshine.

In a captivating fusion of Eastern and Western aesthetics, striking artwork adorns the resort including abstract sculptures crafted out of Vietnamese marble and vertical pressed panels referencing the lotus flower, palm fronds and more native Vietnamese flora. Spectacular lighting installations that pay homage to the Gulf of Thailand, such as a melange of glass seaweed and schools of countless glass fish that appear to swim swiftly past smooth eggshell white columns, greet guests in the capacious foyer and lobby areas.

To go above and beyond using only locally made bamboo straws, Radisson Blu Resort Phu Quoc has ambitions to become the first international hotel in Vietnam to have its own bamboo straw farm from which to harvest its own straws.

The resort is as paperless as possible with all menus available on screens and digital signage located throughout the resort.  All magazines and newspapers are only available online.

Located 30 kilometres from Phu Quoc International Airport, the resort is easily accessible from Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and beyond thanks to numerous arrivals and departure flights daily.

Guestrooms, villas and suites

Ranging in size from an ample 45 sqm to a tremendous 635 sqm, the resort’s array of rooms, suites and villas afford unencumbered views of the sea, gardens, lagoon swimming pool and mountains.

The 10 Beachfront Pool Villas, the most lavish of the accommodations, boast two, three or six bedrooms totaling 165 sqm, 255 sqm and 635 sqm respectively. Strategically dispersed across the resort’s most inspiring ground, these incredible villas each come with a private pool with sunken lounge and sun deck, huge separate living area, fully-equipped kitchen, dining room, luxurious bathroom, private outdoor rain shower and spacious garden.

Hues of gunmetal blue complemented by urban grey and soft gold throughout the resort and rooms nod to Radisson Blu as a brand

Inland from the villas the property’s hotel building looms, offering up sweeping views of the ocean from many of its rooms and suites.  Spanning up to 145 sqm each, 17 Sky Suites are situated on the building’s eighth floor.

The villas, along with the Executive Rooms, Executive Suites, One Bedroom Suites and Two Bedroom Suite, offer exclusive access to the ALUMI executive lounge.

Hues of gunmetal blue complemented by urban grey and soft gold throughout the resort and rooms nod to Radisson Blu as a brand.

With venues ranging from a poolside bar to a VIP lounge, Radisson Blu Resort Phu Quoc’s diverse culinary landscape lures casual and sophisticated diners alike.

Strategically dispersed across the resort’s most inspiring ground, the stunning Beachfront Pool Villas each come with a private pool with sunken lounge and sun deck, private outdoor rain shower and spacious garden.

Anchored by a large show kitchen, all-day dining establishment Avenue’s vibrant marketplace setting seats more than 300 indoors and a further 100 on its poolside terrace.

An elegant space, the exclusive ALUMI executive lounge offers patrons personalized concierge service and complimentary drinks and snacks including high tea.

Located by the resort’s picture-perfect pool, Azure offers classic cocktails, freshly squeezed juices, healthy smoothies and snacks to guests lounging in the sun.

The opening comes as the group prepares to launch Radisson Blu Resort Cam Ranh Bay and Radisson Phu Quoc Resort, a separate 218-room four-star resort on Truong beach, in addition to pursuing development opportunities in other Vietnamese destinations.

 

Modern bar with mustard yellow bar stalls and clean lighting

Room Mate Hotels opens first design hotel in the Spanish Basque Country

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The 33-key Room Mate Gorka, designed by acclaimed interior design studio Cuarto Interior, opens as the brand’s 24th hotel…

International hotel chain Room Mate Hotels continues with its ambitious expansion plans and opens Room Mate Gorka; its first hotel in the Basque Country. This is the chain’s second opening in less than a month, after opening Room Mate Bruno in Rotterdam. What’s more, the chain aims to open another 11 hotels before the end of 2019. With Gorka, the chain now operates 24 hotels, consolidating its leadership in the urban centres of the world’s main cities.

Room Mate Gorka, which intends on being one of the chain’s and the city’s landmarks, being located in the emblematic Plaza de Gipuzkoa in the heart of Donostia-San Sebastián, operates 33 rooms split into three categories: double, executive and duplex; many of which have large terraces. Its protected façade is one of the symbols of the famous square, as such its aesthetics have been kept the same.

 The project surprises, with a thoughtful, elegant, fresh, harmonious decoration with a classic touch

“I am particularly happy with this opening. San Sebastián is one of my favourite cities in the world and Room Mate Hotels couldn’t not be here,” said Kike Sarasola, President and Founder of the Room Mate Group. “My father was from Donostia-San Sebastián, my memories in the city are wonderful and it brings me great joy that Room Mate Gorka is now a another member of the great family made up of 24 hotels located around the world. As with all new projects, at Room Mate Gorka we have taken care of the finest details. We are sure that Gorka is going to become a new landmark in the city. It is the work of my friends German Álvarez and José Manuel Fernández, from the studio Cuarto Interior, and working together has been a real pleasure.”

Large guestroom with grey hues and warm lighting

Design continues to be one of the underlying foundations of the hotel chain, as well as the concept of travelling visiting friends. In this case, Gorka’s personality is what set the tone for the decoration. Gorka is an extrovert, he’s creative and he loves travelling, and that’s exactly what the space portrays.

“We loved designing the new Room Mate Gorka because from the very beginning Kike Sarasola had a very clear idea of the hotel that he wanted for his guests. Kike gave us complete freedom to create the interior concept of the hotel. It was an absolute pleasure working for Room Mate Hotels”, stated Germán Álvarez and José Manuel Fernández, the project designers.

Room Mate Gorka is a classic contemporary design full of contrasts. The project surprises, with a thoughtful, elegant, fresh, harmonious decoration with a classic touch. The details that make reference to the La Concha beach front promenade are a clear example of this, as are the glass panes that separate the reception and the bar. Thanks to a careful use of transparent elements, some spaces are able to intertwine with each other. Moreover, this twist on the classic gives way to a modern, fresh elegance that has contemporary purposes whilst being reminiscent of timeless classics both in terms of the furnishings and the finishes and decorations. Cuarto Interior has given Gorka homely touches that create unique spaces in order to present a welcoming hotel with personality.

The building’s architecture and its location in San Sebastián have been taken into account in order to create a space that is in tune with the city. Simplicity and elegance merge together at Room Mate Gorka in order to create an intimate environment that combines contemporary decoration with neoclassic touches.

The whole design of the hotel is thought out to surprise and provide comfort in a sophisticated yet homely environment where guests will feel at home.

Strand Hotel Stockholm completes renovation and lights up as Radisson Collection

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The completed renovation marks an exciting chapter for Radisson Collection as Swedish architectural studio Wingårdhs’ design vision comes to life

The Radisson Collection Hotel, Strand Stockholm has completed its high-considered, two-year-long renovation. Marking an exciting, new chapter for one of Stockholm’s most historic buildings – Strand Stockholm’s latest incarnation blends effortless Scandinavian design with an artistic richness, befitting its storied history.

Designed by internationally acclaimed Swedish architectural studio, Wingårdhs, Strand Stockholm joins a unique portfolio of local icons and one-of-a-kinds, as part of Radisson Collection. This new premium lifestyle collection of exceptional hotels have unique locations all over the world.

Originally launched in 1912 for the Olympics, Strand Stockholm quickly established a reputation as a local hotspot beloved of the stars, such as Swedish actors Greta Garbo and Ingrid Bergman. A particular popular part of the hotel was the Sea Salon, today the Sea Salon Suite, which boasts remarkable views of the Royal Dramatic Theatre.

In what has been a project of ambitious vision, the hotel’s 170 guestrooms and suites, meeting spaces, lobby, restaurant and bars have all been refreshed. The result is a striking ode to effortless modern living, inviting both locals and hotel guests to enjoy atmospheric spaces that celebrate Stockholm’s vibrant social scene. The top floor Tower Suite, has access to a personal roof terrace with panoramic views of the city.

Modern and contemporary Deluxe Suite

Image caption: Deluxe suite

Wingårdhs’ careful selection of furniture from design legends Fritz Hansen, GUBI and Flos channels Scandinavian design at its most elegant – perfectly complementing the historical façade of the building.

“We believe in creating a dynamic experience by amplifying the building’s own character. We wanted the new elements to be a distinctive addition to the original appearance,” says Leila Atlassi, architect at Wingårdhs in Stockholm, explaining how “to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere, the interior tonality has been set from natural materials like stone, wood, leather, metal, and concrete in their natural colors. A specific tone of grey is noticed on the walls – Strand Grey and constitutes the base in the interior concept.”

Modern, white and clean bathroom

Image caption: Light and bright modern bathroom

With an illustrious reputation as a fine dining destination, an exciting new food and bar concept has been crafted, blending local and international influences alike. The hotel’s all-day brasserie, ‘The Strand’, serves distinctly Swedish cuisine and, with stunning views of Nybrokajen Bay, is a striking space sure to enliven Blasieholmen. Meanwhile, the bar is a relaxed, stylish space, the perfect location to enjoy a refreshing cocktail or two, and a buzzing go-to for meeting friends or simply taking-in the local atmosphere.

modern and open F&B area of the hotel

Image caption: All-day brasserie, The Strand

Located in the city centre, The Strand Stockholm is an ideal base for a stay in the capital. The hotel is just a short walk from Stockholm’s Old Town, Gamla Stan, which features an eclectic mix of shopping destinations, bars and restaurants. Some of the city’s most iconic attractions, such as The Modern Museum, Nordiska Kompaniet Department Store and the ABBA museum, are all located a few minutes from the hotel. The Stockholm Arlanda Airport is a quick 20-minute ride away on the Arlanda Express Train.

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