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hotel opening

Rockwell Group to unveil Barcelona’s ‘hippest hotel’ this September

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Rockwell Group to unveil Barcelona’s ‘hippest hotel’ this September

Nobu Hotel Barcelona, a member of the prestigious Preferred Hotels & Resorts Collection, will open its doors this September with the aim of being a place where the vibrant energy of the Catalan capital meets the iconic spirit of Nobu Hotels…

Home to 259 sleek rooms and stylish suites, a 150sqm Nobu Suite, an elegant spa and gym as well as tailor made meeting and event spaces, Nobu Hotel Barcelona, slated to open in September of this year, will house the city’s first Nobu Restaurant along with the Japanese inspired tapas bar; Kozara.

Capturing the unique essence of this famous European city, Nobu Hotel Barcelona will reflect the core values that have become synonymous with Nobu Hotels; passionate service, distinctive design and unpretentious luxury.

“Nobu Hotel Barcelona is the fourth European and third Spanish property from the internationally renowned hospitality brand.”

The interiors, conceptualised by award-winning architecture and design firm, Rockwell Group, seamlessly blend Japanese minimalism with the colourful character of Barcelona to create an integrated mix of luxurious hotel and energised living spaces. Recognisably Catalan-inspired designs, such as the works of Gaudi, are mingled with the traditional Japanese craft of Kintsugi; the art of repairing broken pottery with either gold, silver or platinum, to create collages of materials, textures and spaces throughout the hotel.

Located on the top floor of the 23-storey property, guests can dine at Nobu’s world-famous namesake while taking in unrivalled views of the Barcelona city line and the Mediterranean. The menu will reflect Nobu’s philosophy of locality; paying homage to local ingredients and classic Catalan cuisine, while staying true to the brand’s Japanese DNA.

Located in the charmingly Catalan neighbourhood of Eixample, the hotel is just a five minute stroll from Plaza de España, a mere 15 minutes from Barcelona’s buzzy La Rambla or a short walk to the main railway station for high speed links to Madrid, Paris, Lyon and Marseille making it ideal for laid-back luxury explorers and business travellers alike.

Nobu Hotel Barcelona is the fourth European and third Spanish property from the internationally renowned hospitality brand founded by Robert De Niro, Nobu Matsuhisa and Meir Teper. Working together with the Spanish hospitality group owned by Jordi Mestre, Selenta, Nobu Hotel Barcelona offers guests and locals a luxury lifestyle experience with a genuine Catalan feel.

Main image credit: Rockwell Group

Hotel Indigo opens two new hotels in Germany

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hotel Indigo opens two new hotels in Germany

Boutique hotel brand, Hotel Indigo, has unveiled two new hotels in Germany, both of which are inspired by local architecture and culture, and are situated in two of the country’s culture capitals… 

Hotel group IHG has announced the opening of Hotel Indigo Dresden – Wettiner Platz and Hotel Indigo Berlin – East Side Gallery as part of the group’s large expansion plans in Europe. Both hotels have been strategically placed to enhance the brand’s ethos that no two Hotel Indigo locations are either.

Hotel Indigo Dresden – Wettiner Platz is the brand’s first hotel in Saxony, next door to striking baroque architecture and a host of outdoor activities, providing the perfect location for guests looking to discover a culture rich part of Germany. Meanwhile, Hotel Indigo Berlin – East Side Gallery overlooks the world’s largest open air gallery, complete with 1.3 kilometres of original art pieces.

The 132-key Hotel Indigo Dresden – Wettiner Platz is within walking distance to the historic centre of the city. The hotel is close to one of the city’s most famous sites, Brühl’s Terrace, nicknamed the “The Balcony of Europe”, which stretches along the shore of the river Elbe. Just steps from the hotel, Kraftwerk Mitte is a former electricity plant, which has found a new life as an arts centre and regularly play host to some of the biggest DJs in Europe. Within the same neighbourhood, the Academy Of Fine Arts in Dresden, HfBK Dresden, occupies a glorious neo-Renaissance building featuring a beautiful glass dome.

Hotel Indigo Dresden – Wettiner Platz is fully immersed in its neighbourhood, taking its design cues from Dresden’s contrasting architecture styles, from modern, industrial buildings to historical Baroque architecture. In the public areas, a modern industrial feel comes through in the use of filament bulbs, scaffold table legs, and features slabs of solid wood and use of copper and brass. Guest rooms are a contemporary take on the baroque architecture of Dresden, with wood-panelled walls and colours taking inspiration from the copper verdigris (the blue-green patina that metals take on when weathered) of the grand buildings of the city.

Hotel Indigo Berlin – East Side Gallery takes its design inspiration from the creative energy of the East Side neighbourhood, marrying raw industrial architecture with retro elements such as graffiti blocks and a bright colour scheme, inspired by the famous Trabi car. All guest rooms are fully equipped with USB outlets, a 43” inch Smart TV and complementary WiFi throughout.

The onsite restaurant and bar, Gallery Restaurant, gives both guests and locals a place to enjoy traditional German cuisine served in a tapas style, made from locally sourced fresh produce. The Gallery Rooftop Bar, offers panoramic views of the river Spree and is the perfect location to gather for a few drinks.

Whether strolling alongside the East Side Gallery or visiting local boutique shops and street markets, Hotel Indigo® Berlin – East Side Gallery is in a prime location for guests to explore the local neighbourhood. Nearby attractions include Oberbaumbrücke, the former checkpoint between East and West Berlin and Wrangelkiez, an area that forms part of Kreuzberg, with an array with unique shops, cafes and bars. Wrangelkiez, is also famed for its flamboyant street art, curated by some internationally renowned street artists.

The hotel brand, which is vastly expanding in tier two cities across Europe now that more than 105 properties worldwide, with Hotel Indigo Chester waiting in the wings for its unveiling later this month.

Main image credit: IHG/Hotel Indigo

SPOTLIGHT ON: Laura Ashley, from homes to hotels

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
SPOTLIGHT ON: Laura Ashley, from homes to hotels

One strategic acquisition at a time, Laura Ashley Hotels is injecting quintessentially British charm into the hospitality industry. As Hotel Designs continues to put Hotel Groups under the spotlight, editor Hamish Kilburn speaks to commercial designer Kay Cullen and head of brand Nimo Abdi about the company’s growing hotel portfolio…

The year was 1953 and celebration was in the air. Queen Elizabeth II was crowned in Westminster Abbey while Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tensing became the first climbers confirmed to have reached the summit of Mount Everest.

In the same year, one lady and her husband launched a design and textiles company, Laura Ashley, in the Pimlico area of London. Using silk screens, the pair started printing placemats and scarves on their kitchen table. By 1984, the company that we all know and love today’s sales grossed $130 million.

In 2013, the company followed in the footsteps of many residential designers, by entering the commercial market. The British textiles company opened its first hotel and today, 66 years after the company was founded and having won the hearts of more than 300 million hearts around the world all searching for authentic quintessentially British designs, the brand has its sights on expanding its presence within the hospitality industry with a unique platform. “The fact that we already have a brand has been a significant advantage,” explains brand manager Nimo Abdi. “Our customers are brand loyal and that has encouraged us to invest further by acquiring hotels as well as launching the Laura Ashley Tearooms.”

As guests check in to a Laura Ashley Hotel, they are welcomed in a true-to-the-brand home-from-home setting – and location seems to be at the heart of every strategic acquisition. “Obviously we do want to create that ‘wow’ factor,” explains commercial designer Kay Cullen. “But our main ethos is in the heritage. I take a lot of inspiration from the original building and try to take that from an initial concept right into where you end up.”

Image credit: Laura Ashley Hotels

The Belsfield Hotel in The Lake District is an example of blending new with old. “It’s an amazing Victorian building,” says Cullen. “It’s set right out there on the lake, and while a lot of inspiration was taken from that, it also had beautiful Italian ornate architecture that we wanted to enhance throughout.”

The hotel’s timeless architecture has been accentuated with the addition of a conservatory-like structure adding natural light and making the public areas look and feel bright, open and modern. “When we got there, everything was faced inwards, which was ridiculous,” explains Cullen. “We used Laura Ashley products that felt authentic and replicated how the building’s interiors would have looked but with a touch of modernity.”

Due to the often-hefty demands of modern-day operators and developers, most guestrooms and suites within international hotel design are imagined with the aim for them to be timeless – or as timeless as possible. Upstairs in Laura Ashley Hotels, however the guestrooms and suites are decorated with the season’s latest products, creating a ‘living showroom’ concept. “We have a design department that comes up with the main six-monthly seasons of products that we have,” explains Cullen. “I then work with that palate to understand and decide what goes into the hotels.”

The most recently completed hotel within the Laura Ashley Hotel portfolio is the conversion of the 66-key The Chace Hotel in Coventry. “It’s a building that’s hard not to fall in love with,” adds Cullen. “It’s got amazing William windows, original fireplaces. For us, it’s about bringing it back to life, which is part of my job that I love.”

Image credit: Laura Ashley Hotels

Laura Ashley’s love of creating beautiful spaces within the home has been well and truly extended to the hotel environment. Its current portfolio includes just one hote, The Belsfield Hotel in the Lake District. The Chace in Coventry and Burnham Beeches are currently on the boards, slated to open this year, with more hotels yet to be announced.

The future for the group’s footprint in the hotel design scene is now very much secure in looking for new unique buildings that with the help of its design team, they can turn into truly unmatched, British-themed hotels.

W London Leicester Square unveils tech-based renovation

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
W London Leicester Square unveils tech-based renovation

Sheltering the result of fashion designer Jack Irving’s debut interior design collaboration, W london Leicester Square has unveiled its new tech-savvy guestrooms and suites… 

W London – Leicester Square has unveiled a multi-million-pound transformation of all 192 guestrooms and suites. W’s quirky, glamourous and decadent look has been super-charged with the help of architecture firm Concrete, designer firm Krause Architects and fashion designer Jack Irving.

Furthermore, W London has partnered with fashion visionary and dynamic artist, Jack Irving, to create a one-of-a-kind ‘techorative’ pillow, along with a range of immersive in-room experiences.

“W Hotels has consistently been at the forefront of innovation – reinventing and rewriting the rules of hospitality wherever the W sign lands,” said Jenni Benzaquen, Vice President of Luxury Brands – Europe, Marriott International. “The transformation of W London – Leicester Square merges the latest technologies in hospitality and the music industry with boundarybreaking design, offering our guests the ultimate experience in-room, in our newly renovated public spaces, as well as connecting them with what’s new/next in this dynamic city.”

“Upon entry, music and lighting greet the guest to offer a truly immersive and memorable stay.”

Much like its guests, every room at W London is unique. Ever the rebel, the hotel is the first in the UK to embrace the full DigiValet technology – one of the most advanced tablet-based systems in the industry which allows each guest to be in control of their stay right from check in. Upon entry, music and lighting greet the guest to offer a truly immersive and memorable stay. All settings are adjustable and customisable to the guest’s preference and mood, whether getting pumped up for the night ahead or beginning to unwind before the next day’s meeting.

A user-friendly tablet controls the in-room temperature, lighting and media, including personal streaming services, at the touch of a button, while also showcasing a taste of the freshest beats being made and played across the city. W London has teamed up with Kobalt, a music tech company, to curate playlists showcasing London’s coolest up-and-coming artists, including W London’s own Music Curator, DJ/producer Olivia Dawn. Global music-lovers can tune in to hear what’s playing in real time at any of the 55 W Hotels worldwide through advanced music technology by Soundtrackyourbrand. The tablet also gives guests insider access to what’s new and next in London with an ever-evolving calendar of happenings including the hotel’s music programming and the latest dining and entertainment suggestions across the city.

Each of the property’s 192 rooms, including 28 suites, has had a bold makeover. Designed by renowned architects, Concrete, and kitted out by Krause Design, the rooms have benefitted from structural upgrades along with daring new feature walls, refreshed avant-garde furniture and atmospheric lighting. Sleek white details, photo-friendly mirrored walls, and party-starting disco balls complete the provocative new look. This renovation completes the hotel’s full transformation, following the redesign of the hotel’s bar and lounge, The Perception at W London, in 2017 and makeover of the hotel’s luxurious oasis, the AWAY Spa, in 2018.

“Over the years, our guests have made it clear that they want innovation, as well as both fashion and function, from their hotel room,” said Martijn Mulder, General Manager of W London –
Leicester Square. “The new room design is just that- substance, as well as that inimitable W style. We offer the latest tech available today in the hospitality industry for guests to easily control and personalise their stay, from mood lighting to music, in-room dining and entertainment.”

“When set with the task, I took inspiration from Soho’s creative energy and W London’s irreverent attitude.”

To amplify the re-imagined guest experience, W London has teamed up with daring fashion fantasist, Jack Irving, to create a limited-edition pillow collection. Best known for his eyecatching designs injected with a shot of engineered technology, Irving has dressed the likes of global superstar Lady Gaga. Taking inspiration straight from the catwalk and remixing it with the bold attitude of W London, the spiked pillows, available in every guestroom, appear muted to the naked eye until they are brought to life through the click of a camera flash. Through the lens, the smart fabric transforms into an iridescent masterpiece.

Image caption/credit: The spiked pillows, designed by fashion designer to the stars, Jack Irving,  appears muted to the naked eye until they are brought to life through the click of a camera flash. Through the lens, the smart fabric transforms into an iridescent masterpiece making it truly instagrammable/W Hotels

“It’s amazing to be working with W London for my first interiors collaboration, as the hotel’s unmistakable bold identity is a perfect match for my avant-garde designs,” said Jack Irving. “When set with the task, I took inspiration from Soho’s creative energy and W London’s irreverent attitude, to create a unique statement piece that unites the hotel fabulous new room design and upgraded functionality.”

The limited-edition pillow by Jack Irving and new Mini Mega Bar will be available to experience in all 28 suites from mid-June and will be rolled out to all guestrooms later this summer.

Main image credit: W Hotels

Four Seasons Resort Nevis enters final phase of sustainable renovations

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Four Seasons Resort Nevis enters final phase of sustainable renovations

TAL Design Studios’ two-year reimagining of Caribbean luxury sheltered within Four Seasons Resort Nevis is slated to complete by Q4 of this year.. 

Situated on the undisturbed shores of a Caribbean island like no other, where regulations state that no building should be taller than a palm tree, Four Seasons Resort Nevis has officially commenced the final chapter of its multi-phase enhancement project.

The two-year enhancement plan, which has already seen the launch of re-envisioned guestrooms and suites, an updated look for the Great House lobby and the opening of new food and beverage outlets, EsQuilina and crowned monkey RUM BAR, is expected to be completed this autumn.

“We are excited to bring the entire resort enhancement full circle to fulfill our vision of a luxury Caribbean playground” – Gonzalo Güelman Ros, General Manager.

The latest chapter of renovations will include the redesign of the resort’s main signature pool, construction of a new restaurant concept – On the Dune – that extends out on to the sand and the unveiling of additional improved spaces around the property for guests to enjoy a variety of new experiences and amenities.

Raw luxurious dining experience in shack-like structure

Image credit: Four Seasons Resorts

“These new areas will continue to evoke the fresh take on a timeless Caribbean experience that we began rolling out in 2018,” says Gonzalo Güelman Ros, the Resort’s General Manager. “We are excited to bring the entire resort enhancement full circle to fulfill our vision of a luxury Caribbean playground, offering infinite perfect places in one perfect paradise.”

The resort’s signature pool will be completely reconstructed and raised to create one long sight line from the Great House lobby straight out to the Caribbean Sea horizon. Surrounded by lush new landscaping, the 3,300 square foot infinity edge pool will be the centerpiece of the resort, featuring 86 new loungers and four luxury pool cabanas fully-equipped with comfortable seating and furnishings, wi-fi connectivity and power. The pool’s 5,350 square foot hardwood deck will be made from fully-sustainable US grown resources, highlighted by a new feature fire pit that will be installed to the west of the pool, towards the beach.

Render of beach and pool

Image credit: Four Seasons Resorts

“The traditional Caribbean-style structure will utilise many natural materials”

Replacing the existing Cabana restaurant, On the Dune will be a 7,300 square-foot outdoor restaurant with 138 covers and additional capacity at the bar. The traditional Caribbean-style structure will utilise many natural materials, including heavy timber construction and, as much possible, sustainably-sourced resources.

The final stages of the redesign will sensitively enhance the island’s luxury offerings, while further rooting the destination as a place where love, harmony and its soulful spirit is ever-present. With 189 spacious rooms and suites and more than 50 luxurious villas, the resort has been delivering authentic Caribbean hospitality for more than 28 years.

The design chapter continues…

Main image credit: Four Seasons Resorts

Grecotel Group embarks on 42 million euro expansion plan

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Grecotel Group embarks on 42 million euro expansion plan

Grecotel Group’s expansion plans begin with the opening of  Casa Marron in the Peloponnese, and will include the renovation and expansion of five other luxury hotel complexes…

Greece’s largest luxury hotel chain, Grecotel Group, has implemented a 42 million euro business plan that begins with the unveiling of Casa Marron, which has been transformed into the ultimate destination, changing the game for summer holidays.

Grecotel’s renovated “third generation” hotel complex, combines modernity with the classic Mediterranean style, and takes inspiration from local architecture, both traditional and contemporary with exquisite exotic embellishment. The design displays the high aesthetics of the complex, whilst highlighting the beauty of Greek nature. Casa Marron borrows its name from the colour of the fertile Peloponnesian land contrasted against the blue waters of the Ionian Sea.

“We have invested in creating a special resort in one of the most enchanting places and favourite destinations throughout the Peloponnese,” said Mr. Vasilis Minadakis, Grecotel’s General Manager. “The radical renovation of the well-known Lakopetra Beach, brings together bohemian ambience and magical scenery.”

Image credit: Grecotel Hotels

On the golden beach of Lakopetra, in an area of ​​80,000 sq.m, set against a unique landscape surrounded by exotic palm trees, olive trees and colourful gardens complete with impressive swimming pools, Casa Marron is upgraded to a top tier choice for your summer holiday, harmoniously combining safety and freedom for the whole family.

The 172 guestrooms and suites in the main building and the 92 spacious bungalows with two bedrooms, terraces and private gardens with outdoor shower allow Grecotel guests to connect with nature and take in unobstructed views of the vibrant gardens. Here, indoors becomes one with the outdoors, creating a distinct zen aura.

After 45 years of dynamic presence in the country, Grecotel has grown to support 12 tourist destinations in Greece. Each of Grecotel’s 32 luxury hotels and resorts is a unique architectural experience and a paradise of opulent amenities, gourmet restaurants and elegant details embodying the essence of Greek hospitality.

Main image credit: Grecotel Hotels

Unbound Collection by Hyatt unveils fourth hotel in Europe

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Unbound Collection by Hyatt unveils fourth hotel in Europe

Parisi Udvar Hotel Budapest has officially joined the Unbound Collection by Hyatt, marking the brand’s fourth property in Europe…

Hyatt Hotels Corporation has announced the opening of Párisi Udvar Hotel Budapest as part of The Unbound Collection by Hyatt, following major restoration and full-scale renovation. The hotel is managed by Mellow Mood Hotels. It features 110 guestrooms and is situated on Ferenciek Square, between the River Danube and the bustling city center.

Once home to Budapest’s most fashionable shops and cafés, building has continuously evolved; from the shopping destination inspired by the Parisian ‘Passages des Panoramas’ that gave the hotel its name, to Budapest’s Central Savings Bank in 1906. Today, it stands as a palatial hotel, offering a novel, story-worthy experience and sense of place in the heart of Budapest.

“The original façade, staircases and decorative tiles have been carefully preserved.”

The hotel incorporates elements from Arabic, Moorish and Gothic design, representing Hungary’s fascinating past. The original façade, staircases and decorative tiles have been carefully preserved and the guestrooms feature tailor-made, Hungarian-crafted furnishings. Entering from the street or the lobby, visitors to the hotel’s restaurants and cafes will see its original iconography, including the Central Savings Bank mascot, the honey bee. Popular points of interest near the property include the State Opera House, Chain Bridge and St. Stephen’s Basilica.

Image credit: Unbound Collection by Hyatt

“Párizs Property Kft and Mellow Mood Hotels are excited to work with The Unbound Collection by Hyatt brand,” said Zuhair Awad and Sameer Hamdan, both Managing Directors at Mellow Mood Hotels. “We are very proud to open this renowned landmark building and to give it back to Budapest. We expect its rich history and stunning architecture will deliver memorable stays for the modern travelers.”

The hotel’s 110 upscale and spacious guestrooms will ensure guests have the ultimate stay. Each palatial Art Nouveau guestroom has been elegantly designed with decorations by Hungarian contemporary artist Agnes Toth, inspired by Gothic, Moorish and Oriental styles to guarantee that guests have an unconventional stay.

There are 18 luxurious suites and two Royal Residencies including the spacious Budapest Residence situated at the top of the hotel, which provides guests with stunning views of the city and a terrace to relax and watch the sunset.

Párisi Udvar Hotel Budapest offers two unique dining options, each with their own style and space. The hotel’s main restaurant, the Párisi Passage Cafe & Brasserie, serves international cuisine but also local and international wines in a cosmopolitan dining area. It is made complete with an open kitchen, allowing guests to interact with the chefs in a relaxing yet lively atmosphere. The Patisserie & Café, best known for its signature dark chocolate dessert, Párisi kocka, will serve hand-crafted juices, artisan coffee and traditional Hungarian pastries. By evening it transforms into a stylish cocktail bar.

Elsewhere, four distinctive multi-functional meeting and event spaces spanning more than 3,229 square feet (300 square meters) which can accommodate up to 160 guests.  Each space is equipped with contemporary conference facilities and the latest audio-visual technology.

Párisi Udvar Hotel Budapest is the fourth property to open in Europe as part of The Unbound Collection by Hyatt. It joins Hôtel Martinez in Cannes, Nish Palas in Istanbul, Turkey, Hotel du Louvre in Paris and Hotel SOFIA Barcelona, in Spain.

Main image credit: Unbound Collection by Hyatt

In Conversation With: Senior designer Kate Jarrett on Hard Rock Hotel London

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
In Conversation With: Senior designer Kate Jarrett on Hard Rock Hotel London

Since becoming a Hotel Designs’ 30 Under 30, Kate Jarrett, senior designer at Scott Brownrigg has completed the Hard Rock Hotel London. Sitting down with editor Hamish Kilburn, Jarrett talks job satisfaction, preferred materials and the challenges that come with being a young designer in 2019…

The early summer vibes are in full swing; the sun is out over the capital and its latest hotel, Hard Rock Hotel London, has arrived.

Upon entering, the hotel is humming with activity. Guests are soaking in the iconic memorabilia hanging on the walls, while locals gather around the bar enjoying a post-work refreshment or two.

The Lobby Bar feels like an apt place to meet Scott Brownrigg’s Kate Jarrett, the senior designer on the project, who earlier this year became a Hotel Designs’ 30 Under 30. “This started with a passion for illustration, something I studied before moving to Brighton University to study Interior Architecture,” she says. “I then started as an interior designer and I haven’t looked back. I have worked across several sectors but my real passion is for hospitality design.”

“We have used drumsticks to create unique lighting over the concierge desk.” – Kate Jarrett

The completion of the new 900-key hotel, which is located a stone’s throw from Oxford Street, is the perfect stage for the designer to amplify what has become a milestone moment in her career. “We drew inspiration from the history of music and specifically instruments themselves, breaking them down in detail seeing how they have been made,” she says. “This was an unusual take on the obvious theme of ‘music’ and we never lost sight of this unique brief in our design. For example, we have used drumsticks to create unique lighting over the concierge desk.”

Drumsticks used as lighting in the hotel's lobby

Image credit: Philip Durrant

The hotel’s walls are plastered with memorabilia that reference the legacy of legends who stayed in Hard Rock Hotels in decades past, including Jimi Hendrix, Nina Simone, Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan, Diana Ross and Madonna. Balancing the history and heritage of the brand in a timeless style to avoid cliché moments was the first task for design firm Scott Brownrigg when confronting the motifs that will be sheltered in the new hotel. “We knew we had to represent the Hard Rock brand in an innovative way for the contemporary London market,” Jarrett explains. “The hotel scene here is competitive so we knew we had to create something that tied into London and Hard Rock’s music heritage, while still being completely contemporary.”

Contemporary bar

Image credit: Philip Durrant

The F&B structure at the Hard Rock Hotel London originally took its inspiration from the original art-deco style ceiling of the Lyons Corner House that original stood on the site in the early ‘90s. “Great F&B and bars are key to the success of a hotel as they offer a destination for non-hotel guests too,” explains Jarrett. “For that matter, the expectations of hotel customers on what they want from the hotel experience has also changed. They want it to feel like a home, workplace and a space to socialise; the brief is more open than it used to be.”

QUICK-FIRE ROUND

Hamish Kilburn: If budget was no object, what product would you include in a project you are currently working on?
Kate Jarrett: An incredible art collection

HK: Best thing about being a designer in London?
KJ: The constant source of inspiration

HK: Where is next on your travel bucket list?
KJ: Japan – it would be like an experiential mood board. I already have a list of places I want to visit

HK: Where was the last hotel you saw that took your breath away?
KJ: I recently visited the Beekman in New York, and it really impressed me. That central atrium is like something straight out of a 1920s novel.

HK: What does luxury mean to you?
KJ: For me it represents a space that I want to spend time in, a collection of pieces whether its furnishings, art etc. that make me feel like I can sit back and slow down.

HK: What’s the last item that will appear on your bank statement?
KJ: Most likely ASOS… or coffee, as I’m always running around at the moment!

Without a doubt, it’s her ability to let the project do the talking that has made Jarrett the designer she is today. But the challenges of being a young designer in 2019 are far deeper than simply securing projects, or belonging to a leading firm. “London has a lot to offer, however it also means that you have to shout louder, metaphorically, to get yourself heard and to stand out in the industry,” says Jarrett. “Platforms like the 30 Under 30 I find career-affirming as they enable us to get our names out there and really help to showcase the talents of young designers.”

With sustainability arguably as big a talking point as any other at the moment in interior design and trends, Jarrett is insistent, where possible, on using naturally sourced materials within her projects. “I really enjoy working with natural materials,” she says. “Specifically, I like working with the tactile qualities of natural timbers, stones and the effects achieves by a neutral palette.”

“Scott Brownrigg has been really supportive and encouraging with the projects I have worked on.” – Kate Jarrett

At the root of Jarret’s decisions and place in the market is a design firm that has incubated and supported the young designer’s creativity to ultimately develop better places to live, stay and work. “At Scott Brownrigg, we are all encouraged to enrich lives through the environments we design,” she explains. “Scott Brownrigg has been really supportive and encouraging with the projects I have worked on. As a young designer it can be hard to establish yourself in a company, but Scott Brownrigg has really been great at championing me every step of the way. We’re a friendly, social bunch so I have also make some great relationships with colleagues along the way which has really helped.”

Aside from the Hard Rock Hotel London, current projects that Jarrett is working on that on the boards are firm proof that she is anything but a one-trick pony in the race. “We are working on an exciting hotel project in Stratford,” she explains. “This area is having a surge at the moment with lots of new developments, particularly in the hospitality sector. There are also some further Hard Rock projects we are working on; it’s great to get repeat work as it means we are doing something right!”

The fresh and vibrant interiors that surround the new hotel that everyone seems to be talking about are a reflection of the designer that Jarrett is becoming, or arguably already become. Modest, calm-natured and enthusiastic, Jarrett is, in my opinion, a credit to the firm that has helped support her on her way.

Main image credit: Tash Busta Photography

Canopy by Hilton to debut in Africa

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Canopy by Hilton to debut in Africa

Hilton’s Lifestyle brand is expected to debut in Africa with an opening in Cape Town’s vibrant Longkloof precinct in 2021…

Hotel Group Hilton has announced the signing of a management agreement with Growthpoint Properties, South Africa’s largest REIT, to open a hotel under its lifestyle Canopy by Hilton brand. The 150-key Canopy by Hilton Cape Town Longkloof is expected to begin welcoming guests in 2021 and will be the brand’s debut property in Africa.

Canopy by Hilton launched in 2014 to appeal to travelers seeking locally inspired stays and wishing to immerse themselves in the culture and history of local neighbourhoods. It currently operates in nine destinations around the world with more than 35 properties in the pipeline, aiming to guarantee travelers unique and authentic experiences.

“Cape Town is one of the world’s most sought-after destinations, offering an array of attractions to suit every travel occasion,” said Patrick Fitzgibbon, Senior Vice President, Development, EMEA at Hilton. “Canopy by Hilton becomes our third brand to gain a presence in the city and we are eyeing further expansion. The decision to locate Africa’s first Canopy by Hilton here, is testament to not only the strength of the destination, but the quality of partners at Growthpoint as we seek to create a showcase interpretation of the brand to introduce to the African continent.”

Located a stone’s throw away from the city’s historical epicenter, the Company’s Garden, and will bring to life the heritage of a 112-year-old site, Longkloof Studios. The project forms part of a precinct redevelopment by Growthpoint, representing a R550m investment in the city. DHK architects will redevelop a building which began life as the premises of what was then the United Tobacco Company and subsequently served as the home of Cape Town’s Women’s Institute.

“Growthpoint is thrilled to partner with Canopy by Hilton to launch this phenomenal brand in Africa,” said Rudolf Pienaar, Chief Development and Investment Officer of Growthpoint Properties. “Our prime Longkloof redevelopment project is in a magnificent multi-faceted historic urban quarter of Cape Town and is the perfect setting for the first Canopy by Hilton branded property on the continent. Our investment in this property reflects our confidence in Cape Town as well as Hilton’s exceptional upscale lifestyle hotel brand. We believe Canopy by Hilton Cape Town Longkloof will become a South African landmark and will be supported by travellers from all over the country and the world.”

In keeping with its traditional place within the social fabric of the city, guests will be welcomed by friendly ‘Enthusiasts’ selected for their expert local knowledge and will be invited to partake in local food and drink tastings alongside the local community.

“Canopy by Hilton was created to redefine the lifestyle hotel space for travelers who want an upscale hotel to help introduce them to desirable neighborhoods around the world,” said Gary Steffen, Global Head at Canopy by Hilton. “Every detail in the design and facilities of these hotels is created with that ethos in mind and our Longkloof property will be no exception, capturing the dynamic vibe of the precinct and its reputation as a trendy hangout for Cape Town urbanites.”

Canopy by Hilton Cape Town Longkloof will be located at Long Kloof Studios, c/o Park Road and Kloof Street, Cape Town. The property will participate in the award-winning guest-loyalty program for Hilton’s 17 world-class brands. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose nearly any combination of Points and money to book a stay, an exclusive member discount that can’t be found anywhere else, and free standard Wi-Fi.

Main image credit: Cape Town Tourism

Inside Hokkaido National Park’s latest luxury hotel

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Inside Hokkaido National Park’s latest luxury hotel

Design firm Wilson Associates unveils luxury condominium-hotel in renowned Japanese ski resort…

Interior architecture and design firm Wilson Associates, which this year made it onto Hotel Designs’ 30 Under 30, has unveiled the interiors of a modern hotel located in Japan’s Hokkaido National Park. The Skye Niseko ski resort shelters 100 apartments and five penthouses and is located on a picturesque mountainside with views of the surrounding landscape.

The firm was brought on board to complete the interior design of the five penthouses, lobby, corridors, spa, cafe deli and ski valet at the unique ski-in ski-out hotel.

The luxurious collection of condominiums, which officially opened earlier this year, is a blend of Alpine design and Japanese hospitality and culture. The design firm’s theme of minimalist, monochrome is filtered throughout the interior of the suites.

The privately-owned resort was designed by Australian-based Pike Withers and its shell has been conceived of as two interlocking L-shaped volumes, allowing each of the apartments and penthouses to benefit from both privacy and panoramic views.

Wilson Associates ensured the main lobby had plenty of WOW factor and guests are immediately greeted by a striking reception desk where a rough stone wall surface contrasts with the counter’s sharp and sleek metal immediately greets guests with a WOW factor.

The lighting strategy works in tandem with the bamboo lattices on the walls and slate paving on the floor to make everything in the lobby seem like it’s floating.

The penthouses are organised in arrangements of either three or four bedrooms and come complete with comfortable and cosy living and dining areas. They offer guests the ultimate in luxury and boast covered balconies and heated external spring pools overlooking the stunning landscape.

Modern spa area

Image credit: Skye Niseko Ski Resort

Meanwhile, the spa area has been sustainably designed so that its own onsen well draws mineral rich hot water from deep below the property.

The hotel describes itself on its website as: “More than just a place to stay, Skye Niseko has everything you need for your alpine getaway.”

Six Senses to arrive in Costa Rica and Iceland

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Six Senses to arrive in Costa Rica and Iceland

The hotel brand, Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas, that recently joined IHG has announced two significant opens in both Costa Rica (2021) and Iceland (2022)…

Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas has announce two of the latest projects in the group’s expanding portfolio with Six Senses Papagayo in Costa Rica – opening 2021 – and Six Senses Össurá Valley in Iceland – which will open in 2022.

Six Senses Papagayo, Costa Rica

Commonly referred to as the Switzerland of Latin America, Costa Rica boasts miles of exotic beaches, some of the most extensive rainforests in the world, majestic mountains, volcanoes, lakes and meandering topography. The Six Senses Papagayo, located on the stunning 2,300-acre Papayago Peninsula, will be a private and eco-conscious destination, offering a new adventure for discerning travellers. The hotel brand is working in partnership with the California based Canyon Group – which acquires and develops boutique ultra-luxury resorts in exciting destinations – and the Garnier Group, one of Costa Rica’s best known and most reputable development companies.

Overseeing the design of the resort is award-winning London based architect John Heah. The site stretches from the highest point on Papagayo down to the forested beachfront which will be home to 41 secluded pool villas. There will also be 31 residences available to buy, with owners benefitting from full access to the resort’s amenities

Six Senses Össurá Valley, Iceland

Surrounded by mountain range the vast Össurá Valley and Vatnajökull National Park, the 70-key Six Senses Össurá Valley is owned and is being developed by the Álfaland Hotel ehf alongside its partners; architect John Brevard, fashion entrepreneur, Áslaug Magnúsdóttir and cultural entrepreneur, Jakob Frímann Magnússon.

Built using renewable and locally-sourced materials, the hotel will adhere to high standards of energy and water efficiency the region is known for. The welcome lodge will be integrated into the surrounding environment and include a library, a cinema room, a water bar and an Earth Lab showcasing the project’s sustainability efforts.

Main image credit: IHG/Six Senses

InterContinental opens sixth hotel in France

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
InterContinental opens sixth hotel in France

The highly-anticipated opening of InterContinental Lyon – Hotel Dieu marks the luxury brand’s sixth property in France…

Following an extensive four-year restoration, InterContinental Lyon – Hotel Dieu has opened in one of the city’s most iconic buildings. The renovation of the Grand Hôtel-Dieu complex is, to date, the largest private transformation of a historic monument carried out in France.

Calling out for a visionary who could sensitively restore the building while blending in a sense of modernity, interior designer Jean-Philippe Nuel, who recently unveiled the design of Sofitel Rome Villa Borghese, was tasked to bring the property timelessly to life. Nuel focused on maintaining the original beauty and architecture of the building whilst offering a contemporary, understated luxury design which is rooted in the history of Lyon and the building itself.

Lyon was once the capital of the European silk industry, playing a central role in the Silk Road trade between east and west. This led to a booming local silk industry which is still an important part of the city’s culture today. The city is also famed for its floral art which was an early source of inspiration for the local silk industry – a key design theme of the hotel. Prestigious Lyonnais silk creator Verel de Belval, a subsidiary of the Hermès group, has designed custom silk prints which can be seen throughout the rooms and public areas in silk screen panels, cushions and soft furnishings.

Epona Restaurant full of gold

Image credit: InterContinental/Eric Cuvillier

These rich fabrics perfectly contrast with the original architectural features of the building, such as stone floors, plastered walls and timber ceilings. This ‘monastic yet sophisticated’ design was inspired by the historical use of the building – as the city’s hospital for more than 800 years – combined with the desire to create a destination for global travellers.

 

“InterContinental is known for transforming heritage buildings into stunning properties whilst maintaining their historic spirit, and InterContinental Lyon – Hotel Dieu is a perfect example of that,” said Tom Rowntree, Vice President, Global Luxury Brands at IHG. “This new opening marks the sixth in the remarkable InterContinental portfolio in France which includes the likes of Carlton Cannes, Marseille – Hotel Dieu and Paris – Le Grand. Lyon is full of sophistication, culture and a rich history, making it a perfect fit for InterContinental as we pioneer in new luxury destinations worldwide.”

Executive Room River View

Image credit: InterContinental/Eric Cuviller

Le Dôme Bar is nestled in the heart of the hotel within the grand dome, one of the most breath-taking features of InterContinental Lyon – Hotel Dieu. Originally housing a chapel, today the dome is a space where hotel guests and locals can come together under its 32m high ceiling. Originally designed by Jacques-Germain Soufflot, architect of the Pantheon in Paris, Soufflot was called away during the project and he never saw the dome finished. The dome has since been named in his honour as the ‘Soufflot Dome’.

Le Dôme bar is open for all-day drinks and light bites. Traditional, local products are a key focus for the signature cocktails and Le Dôme offers a fresh twist on the famous pink praline, a traditional Lyon confectionery, combining it with vodka, pink champagne and lemon for a unique cocktail. Club InterContinental guests will be able to enjoy views of the grand dome from the first-floor balcony of the private Club InterContinental Lounge above.

High ceilings in the authentic dining area

Image credit: InterContinental/Eric Cuviller

The hotel’s restaurant, Epona, extends along the hotel’s front façade and opens on to an interior courtyard and garden. Head Chef Mathieu Charrois will offer world-class Lyonnaise dishes with a modern twist. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the hotel’s main restaurant will be a destination in itself.

Of the 34 suites at the hotel, the 150 sqm Presidential suite is the largest suite in Lyon. It follows a similar modern luxury design, decorated in powder pink tones and elegant floral motifs. From the living room of the Presidential suite, guests can enjoy a unique view in to the grand dome, overlooking the stunning space from the suite’s own private balconies.

The most emblematic of the 144 guestrooms at the hotel are the 28 Duplex suites, which feature huge vertical windows with views on to the Rhône river, maintaining the grandeur and façade of the original building. What makes the Duplex suites unique is that guests enter from the mezzanine floor to take in the river view at first glance before heading down the stairs to the bathroom and bedroom.

InterContinental Lyon – Hotel Dieu also boasts 1,500 m2 of flexible convention and reception halls; L’Académie. This is one of the largest conference centres in the Presqu’île (Peninsula) quarter and in Lyon city centre, offering 12 meeting rooms on four different levels, all with natural daylight.

For guests looking for relaxation, the Grand Hôtel Dieu complex is home to Le Tigre Spa, which includes a Hammam, 24-hour gym, sauna and steam room.

The opening joins the French family of InterContinental Paris – Le Grand, InterContinental Paris – Avenue Marceau, InterContinental Carlton Cannes, InterContinental Marseille – Hotel Dieu and InterContinental Bordeaux Le Grand Hotel.

InterContinental Hotels & Resorts is the largest luxury hotel brand in the world with more than 204 InterContinental hotels open worldwide and 60 new hotels in the pipeline, set to expand the brand’s portfolio in the most sought-after destinations around the world. This year will see InterContinental Hotels & Resorts open stunning resorts in the Maldives, Hayman Island, Phuket and Beppu as well as the brand’s return to Edinburgh in the historic George Street.

Main image credit: InterContinental/Eric Cuviller

Tapestry Collection by Hilton to debut in the Caribbean

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Tapestry Collection by Hilton to debut in the Caribbean

Hilton’s latest signing of a 168-key hotel in Jamaica marks Tapestry Collection by Hilton’s debut in the Caribbean…

Hilton has announced the signing of ROK Hotel, Kingston, Tapestry Collection by Hilton, representing the brand’s debut in the Caribbean. Slated to open in 2020, the 168-key property, owned by PanJam Investment Limited, sits in a multi-purpose complex on the Kingston Waterfront and will include retail, on-site entertainment and commercial office spaces.

“Strategically focused on our expansion across the Caribbean and Latin America, we value the opportunity presented with Tapestry Collection by Hilton,” said Juan Corvinos, Vice President, development, Caribbean and Latin America, Hilton. “With Tapestry Collection, we open the door to owners with unique, upscale hotels, who seek to maintain their property’s distinctive character, but also seek the benefits of the Hilton engine and our award-winning Hilton Honors program.”

Under redevelopment to further revitalise the Kingston Waterfront, the 12-storey building originally opened in 1977 as the Oceana Hotel. Now, it is being transformed into ROK, Kingston, a contemporary hotel in Downtown Kingston, offering guests convenient access to the National Gallery of Jamaica and the historic landmark, Port Royal.

“Following a year of impressive growth since the brand’s launch, including the signing of our first two properties in Peru, we are energised by our expansion in the Caribbean and Latin America,” said Jenna Hackett, global head, Tapestry Collection by Hilton. “With its deep roots in the community, the ROK Hotel, Kingston will offer guests an authentically local experience coupled with the warm and welcoming hospitality of Jamaica.”

Enviably located on Ocean Boulevard overlooking the Kingston Harbour, the seventh largest natural harbour in the world, the property will feature an expansive pool deck on its first floor, as well as a fitness center, lounge area, restaurant, cafe and bar. ROK, Kingston will offer flexible space for meetings and events, and will also serve as an accommodation option for guests attending events at the Jamaica Conference Centre just across the street.

“The company continues to pursue additional growth opportunities in the region and currently has a robust pipeline of nearly 90 hotels throughout the Caribbean and Latin America.”

“As Hilton continues to expand its presence throughout the Caribbean, we are excited to have the opportunity to support their growth and debut the Tapestry Collection brand in the region,” said Stephen Facey, chairman and chief executive officer of PanJam. “We recognise the value in collaborating with a well-respected global hospitality company such as Hilton, particularly as we work together to introduce travelers to authentic Kingston experiences, while offering them the brand’s upscale accommodations.”

Hilton currently has a portfolio of nearly 150 hotels and resorts open to welcome travellers in the Caribbean and Latin America, including more than 20 hotels across the Caribbean. In its 100th year, the company continues to pursue additional growth opportunities in the region and currently has a robust pipeline of nearly 90 hotels throughout the Caribbean and Latin America, including two Tapestry Collection properties in Peru – Hotel Bel’Arte Lima and Hotel Museo de Osma slated to open in 2021.

Main image credit: Hilton Hotels

Injecting sense of place in Koh Samui beach hotel

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Injecting sense of place in Koh Samui beach hotel

SALA Samui Chaweng Beach Resort, the luxury boutique beach resort on Koh Samui, briefed design firm Onion to divide the resort into two distinct parts in order to add architectural drama while creating an unforgettable sense of place.

The moon plays an integral role in Thai culture, with each phase of the lunar cycle holding deep significance. The presence of a full moon, half-moon or dark moon can dictate the timing of festivals, the schedule of planting and harvesting, and even the most auspicious dates in a person’s life.

More recently, they have provided the backdrop to the legendary full, half or dark moon beach parties of Koh Samui and Koh Phangan.

SALA Samui Chaweng Beach Resort, the luxury boutique beach resort on Koh Samui, has divided the resort into two distinct parts – the Oceanfront/Beach Wing and Garden Wing – each of which has been exquisitely designed to reflect the changing phases of the moon.

“The Garden Wing will complete our resort, not only in terms of its rooms and facilities but through the story of its design,” said Erwin van der Veen, General Manager, SALA Samui Chaweng Beach Resort. “Just as the moon moves through cycles, SALA Samui Chaweng Beach Resort will allow guests to journey through a series of spaces which are designed to reflect the different characteristics of the full, half and dark moons. Charming, intimate and atmospheric, our new Garden Wing will provide the perfect contrast to the bright and spacious vibe of the Oceanfront/Beach Wing,”

Image caption/credit: Inside the Garden Wing/SALA Samui Chaweng Beach Resort

Conceived by Onion, the Thailand-based architecture and design studio, the hotel allows guests to channel the energy of the full, half or dark moons through innovative design shifts – from the openness and high energy of the full moon, through smaller half-moon spaces, and into the more intense shades of the dark moon.

Blue and white decor in treehouse-like bar and restaurant

Image caption/Credit: Treehouse restaurant and bar/SALA Samui Chaweng Beach Resort

While the Oceanfront / Beach Wing reflects the energy of a full moon with the circular shapes incorporated into various design elements, from the façade to the aptly named Moon Pool – the new Garden Wing offers a collection of private spaces with an ambience elevated by verdant trees and plants that add a touch of natural tranquillity. The family friendly area includes 82 rooms, pool villas & pool suites, ranging from 45 to 181 square meters in size, with state-of-the-art IPTV and audio systems, and glamourous full-size daybeds. Also included is a Tree House Restaurant and Bar, 25-metre swimming pool, the Garden Pool Bar, SALA Gym, SALA Spa with six private treatment rooms and steam room as well as SALA’s first kids’ club, which includes indoor and outdoor play areas.

Luce interiors with rustic villa furniture

Andronis Arcadia opens in Santorini

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Andronis Arcadia opens in Santorini

Offering “unrivalled luxury”, earthly Andronis Arcadia shelters 53 design-led pool suites on Santorini, Greece, all with striking vistas towards the Aegean Sea and the island’s unforgettable sunsets…

Andronis Arcadia is the latest addition to the Andronis Exclusive family of five-star hotels and villas. The hotel, which is named after the mythical home of Greek God Pan, is situated on the fringes of Oia, a place of natural harmony and pastoral enchantment.

Luce interiors with rustic villa furniture

Andronis Arcadia’s rustic and earthly-luxe interiors bring elements of nature indoors, from the succulents and plants, to local wood and materials. The Greek forged cement coating technique used throughout, has existed for centuries and creates a minimalistic look. Around 85 – 90 per cent of the furniture is handmade locally and has been constructed inside the hotel. The exterior heavily uses stones, drawing on the colours and textures of the volcano and its lava.

Close up of woven chair and a glass of white wine

Image credit: Carley Rudd Photography

The hotel has 53 suites of six categories including Eden Villa, the largest villa on the island complete with six bedrooms over three floors, plus its own spa, fitness centre, private chef and two pools. All suites have sunset and sea views plus a plunge pool, and guests additionally have access to the 450m2 infinity pool surrounded by cabanas. The suite interiors have geometrical-style design alongside square recesses on the walls, and natural fabrics throughout including linen to give the ultimate sense of light and space.

Evexia Spa is Andronis Arcadia’s Spa & Wellness Centre, developed in partnership with founder of luxury skincare brand ila, Denise Leicester, and Dr Zulia Frost, who pioneered the non-invasive hair profiling test. The largest spa on Santorini, Evexia Spa has five treatment rooms with the option for in-suite treatments.

Three restaurants and two bars occupy the space. Signature restaurant Opson spearheaded by Stefanos Kolimadis showcases dishes inspired by the tastes and ingredients of classical Greece through a several course tasting menu developed in consultation with a classical scholar. Contemporary cuisine and flavours of an ancient time are fused to bring together the best Greek food today with dishes known and loved by legendary forefathers including Aristotle, Plato and Omiros. Althea Restaurant features dazzling Mediterranean seafood as well as local dishes with ingredients grown in the Andronis gardens. Chef showcases the best flavours and produce of the Cycladic islands and wider Mediterranean. Oishii Sushi Bar uses the freshest ingredients fused with traditional Japanese techniques, serving exceptionally well presented and seasonally changing dishes.

View from the hotel terrace withColours of blue, orange, red and yellow in the sunset

Image credit: Andronis Arcadia

The sunset terrace, Senses Cocktail Bar, is a welcome return for island friends. Chic and convivial, it’s designed to be a premium Instagrammable setting. The hotel, which opens as the seventh property within the Andronis Exclusive portfolio, is said to be a game-changer on the island for style, gastronomy and understated luxury.

Canopy by Hilton arrives in Asia Pacific region

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Canopy by Hilton arrives in Asia Pacific region

Interior design firm CCD has completed the first Canopy by Hilton in Asia Pacific Region, which opens in Chengdu…

Following recent reports of there to be 500 new hotels to arrive in China by 2020, Canopy by Hilton has just debuted in Asia Pacific by opening Canopy by Hilton Chengdu City Centre, with dynamic interiors by Cheng Chung Design (CCD). The first Canopy hotel in Asia Pacific – the property is located in the city that emphasises on the experience of ‘body’, ‘heart’, ‘senses’ and ‘enlightenment’.

The concept of the hotel blends Chinese and Western charms, intertwined with old-fashioned feelings and vitality, elegant and unconventional design, bringing guests a lively Chengdu style and the comfort and warmth of home, with contemporary moments thrown in for good measure.

Art instalment depicting people having their photos taken.

Image credit: Canopy by Hilton

“The design revolves around the story of ‘the scholar goes to the city to take the imperial exam’,” explained designer Joe Cheng. “Traversing the memory corridor of the imperial city, capturing the auspicious details hidden in the green brick wall, on the street view of the market, in the peddler stall and the courtyard.” The history of the hotel has been reconstructed, while exploring and re-writing the new story of the Imperial City memory.

A row of green bamboos is in front of the drop-off area of the hotel, which forms a shadow that can different from the outside world, leaving the prosperous shackles behind, creating a leisurely temperament that calms and slows you down. The design of the door canopy derives from the elements of the arch, and the bags of the ancient scholars, using columns of the wooden strips, interspersed, and laminated to reproduce the beauty of Chinese classical architecture.

Inside, the first floor reception hall is designed as an art exhibition hall, creating a humanistic space under the artistic conception. Up to nine metres tall,  the lobby is an abstract reflection of the historical streetscape of the old imperial city. The streetscape of the past is vividly displayed in front of the guests, under the large art installation of the roof, to open a dialogue of time and space.The chair hanging in the elevator hall is a reproduction of ancient ‘Gongyuan’ scenes by modern artistic techniques. Guests are guided along the roadways (corridors), which are complete with with green bricks, grey tiles and wooden doors.

Large, open and very minimalist lobby with brings as wallcoverings.

Image credit: Canopy by Hilton

In the guestrooms and suites, Canopy’s unique brand colour, bright orange, has been applied throughout the design. The panda in front of each guestroom in different poses gives a further nod to the unique sense-of-location and injects an element of humour. Inside, each room is represented through the quaint texture and exquisite details, showing the calm and unpretentious attitude of life, build a balance in the selection, composition and colour.

Image credit: Canopy by Hilton

The design concept of the guestrooms originated from the idea of “Gong Yuan”and inspired by the film “A Chinese Ghost Story” to connect the whole design to the project. The Canopy brand classic L-shaped bedside, as well as the bedside table inspired by the actor in “A Chinese Ghost Story” Leslie Cheung’s backpack, the shower space of the rice paper laminated glass, also comes from the classic scene of the film – Leslie Cheung breaking through the doors and windows made of Xuan paper, the designer has used the modern techniques to interpret the ancient paper doors and windows, so that the whole design is closely related to the story in terms of form, image and material.

Living green wall inside the hotel - with integrated bookshelf

Image credit: Canopy by Hilton

The hotel also features a number of food and beverage options, including TC Café, the Canopy Lounge and the Leisure Bar, which features a striking floor-to-ceiling living wall with integrated bookshelf to add further to the laid-back luxury feel and tone the hotel sets.

The Canopy by Hilton brand was established in October 2014 as a lifestyle offering under Hilton hotel group. The concept of the brand is guided by ‘lifestyle’, which is dedicated in creating a localised-luxury boutique hotel, providing personalisation.

Main image credit: Canopy by Hilton

Leading designers, architects and hoteliers to attend Meet Up North 2019

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Leading designers, architects and hoteliers to attend Meet Up North 2019

Meet Up North, which takes place on July 1 at Hotel Gotham’s Club Brass, will be attended by leading hoteliers, designers and architects…

Following the success of Meet Up London in March, Hotel Designs is weeks away from heading up to Manchester with Meet Up North. The event, which is designed to bridge the gap between designers, architects, hoteliers and suppliers will this year carrying the theme of ‘Creativity Outside the Capital’.

Directors and/or partners from the likes of Denton Corker Marshall, Gensler, AEW Architects, Fusion by Design, LDA Design Consultants, Utopia Projects and Abode Architecture are among the designers and architects that will be attending the evening networking event.

In addition, general managers from the likes of The Stock Exchange Hotel, Hotel Indigo Chester and Hotel Gotham will be among the hoteliers attending the event.

Meet Up North, which returns to Manchester for a second year following clear indications that the city continues to be a hotel development hotspot, will include an insightful talk and presentation by Tom Lindblom, Principal and Hospitality Leader at Gensler (London), which will be entitled Hospitality is way more than hotels.’

How to purchase your tickets to Meet Up North

If you are a supplier to the industry and would like to purchase your ticket to Meet Up North for £150 + VAT, click here.
If you are a designer, architect or hoteliers to the industry and would like to purchase your ticket to Meet Up North for £20 + VAT, click here.

In additionl, there are still various sponsorship opportunities and packages available for Meet Up North. If you would like to discuss these with our team then please contact Zoe Guerrier by either emailing z.guerrier@forumevents.co.uk or calling 01992 374059.

The inaugural Meet Up North took place last year at King Street Townhouse and was attended by more than 200 designers, architects, hoteliers and key-industry suppliers.

About the venue

Hotel Gotham is sheltered in what is arguably the city’s grandest properties and is an exclusive city-centre sanctuary, previously a bank that was designed in 1935 by none other than architect Edwin Lutyens.

The hotel, which opened in 2015, prides itself on offering a modern and comfortable experience in a unique and luxurious environment, with exquisite service all within a bespoke private club in the heart of Manchester.

H-Hotels Group to add 11 hotels by 2020

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
H-Hotels Group to add 11 hotels by 2020

H-Hotels Group announces it will add 11 hotels in 2020 to its brand portfolio following sales in the group increasing to €436 million…

The H-Hotels Group has announced that it has seen strong growth for another year in a row. Revenues of €436 million for 2018 have marked a new all-time high in the company’s history. Occupancy figures have shown a similarly positive development, with an average of 73 per cent across the company’s 63 properties, and increased average room prices of €101 have paved the way for considerable profitability increases within the hotels themselves.

The continued growth of the brand can also be seen in both its operating locations and brand portfolio. Its newly opened H+ Hotel in Vienna not only marks a new regional presence on the H-Hotels map, but also demonstrates further expansion into other European countries. 2020 will see a new H2 Hotel opening in Budapest, as well as a Hyperion Hotel within the historic Palais Faber in Salzburg.

With the launch of its hostel brand H.ostels in the centre of Münster and the introduction of new serviced apartment brand H.omes, the H-Hotels Group’s portfolio has grown to incorporate six of its own brands. “With H.ostels and H.omes – Serviced Apartments, we have created a brand portfolio that covers the entire range of guest and location requirements,”  stated Alexander Fitz, CEO of H-Hotels AG.

All signs point to further expansion for H-Hotels in the years to come: with H4 Hotel Mönchengladbach in BORUSSIA-PARK, the Hyperion Hotel in Munich, the H2 Hotel in Olympia Park Munich and the Munich opening of H.ome Serviced Apartments, H-Hotels has already celebrated four new openings in 2019 so far. Autumn will also see the launch of its Hyperion Hotel and H2 Hotel double brand, which will open close to Leipzig central station. A total of 1572 new rooms will become available this year.

Further projects have already been signed for 2020, with a total of five new openings in the pipeline in Düsseldorf and Mainz, among others. 2024 will also mark the start of a double brand between H2 Hotel and H4 Hotel, with 501 new rooms set to become available in the terminals of Düsseldorf Airport. Discussions are now in the final stages for a number of short and medium-term acquisitions, as well as new projects such as H2 Hotels in Saarbrücken and Hamburg.

Main image credit: H-Hotels Group

In Conversation With: Jacu Strauss, designer & founder of Lore Studio

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
In Conversation With: Jacu Strauss, designer & founder of Lore Studio

An architect or a designer can become one of the most dynamic hoteliers, as editor Hamish Kilburn learns when sitting down with Jacu Strauss, the founder of Lore Studio and the mastermind behind some of the world’s most awe-inspiring hotels…

“Being a great storyteller is essential,” says designer Jacu Strauss as we start discussing what it takes to be a leader in design on the international hotel design scene.

It’s the first time we have caught up properly in a whirlwind three years. We catch up immediately where we left it in 2016, when the designer was putting the finishing touches onto The Pulitzer Amsterdam – an independent hotel project that allowed Strauss to break free with his creativity. “It was a once in a lifetime opportunity,” he says, “that through a cocktail of heavy research, team work and some brave risks turned out to be a tremendous success.”

Growing up in the diamond rich area of South Africa, Strauss moved to New Zealand to train as an architect at the University of Auckland before travelling to London to study at the Bartlett School of Architecture.

After graduating in 2008, Strauss worked as a senior designer at Tom Dixon’s Design Research Studio, and started to add major hospitality projects to his growing portfolio. “My architectural training and education proved helpful and I was responsible for the project from concept development through to completion,” explains Strauss. “As we won larger projects, we were eventually given the green light to design Mondrian at Sea Containers on London’s South Bank. It was there where I completed my first hotel and, eventually, I was offered an exclusive role as Creative Director of what is now called Lore Group.

“Designing a successful hotel is so much more than just choosing colours and fabrics.” – Jacu Strauss

Following the completion of The Pulitzer Amsterdam in 2016, which continues to capture the attention of the world’s media on a mass scale with its timeless yet quirky interiors, Strauss went on to not only design hotels, but also own them by becoming the founder of Lore Studio. “I have not so much changed as become more attune to what does and doesn’t,” he adds. “I have tried to refine how guests and visitors experience our hotels, so it is more than just the visual. It involves a balance of senses that when you get it right means an enjoyable and memorable experience.”

Image of the designer flicking through a book on the floor

Image credit: Emily Andrews

Today, in between jetting around the world being inspired by life’s movement, Strauss and his team are working to complete a new independent hotel, RIGGS Washington DC, a hotel, slated to open in heart of the city at the end of this year, sheltered in what was the Riggs National Bank building. “Washington DC is a city with a particularly strong and quirky evolving hotel and F&B market,” he explains. “So much so, in fact, that there may be another hotel in DC to join the portfolio, but it will be completely different to RIGGS Washington DC.

QUICK-FIRE ROUND:

Hamish Kilburn: What would you like to be if you were not a designer/architect/hotelier?
Jacu Straus: A jeweller

HK: What’s the first rule to learn when designing a hotel?
JS: You can only open the hotel once, so make everything count!

HK: Where is the next hotel design hotspot?
JS: There is a great need for more hotels in urban centres that act as calm retreats for peace from the hustle and bustle of dense cities, but without being gimmicky.

HK: What one hotel would you have liked to have designed/or would like to redesign?
JS: I would have loved to be part of the design team of the Negresco Hotel in Nice. It’s so crazy and magical – I love it.

HK: What is the number one item you cannot travel without?
JS: Tabasco! I always have little sachets of Tabasco in my travel wallet. The little bottles are cute but the sachets are more convenient for travel. Tabasco makes everything taste better.

HK: What trend do you wish would emerge again soon?
JS: Decent table manners.

HK: What was the last hotel you stayed in?
JS: Downtown hotel in Mexico City.

HK: Explain London in three words…
JS: Quiet, polite, multicultural.

HK: What’s your favourite colour this season?
JS: Rust. Something nice about earthier and natural  tones as we move away from sterile palettes.

HK: What’s the last thing that shows up on your credit card statement?
JS: Uber. It is the first item that appears and most of what is inbetween!

As someone as visual as Strauss, the urge the design came as almost a natural instinct. “I think I was always a designer,” he narrates. “My mother says I was always observing my surroundings as a child and I think to this day it’s perhaps one of the reasons that I am doing what I am doing. What I really think makes you a professional designer is being able to process criticism. That you learn over time and does not come naturally.”

“F&B, I believe, is once again thriving in hotels.” – Jacu Strauss

As we converse over cocktails in a rooftop bar overlooking east London, it feels apt to discuss the rise of food and beverage facilities within hotel design. “I think hotels have historically been an important “pillar” in a city or town or community,” he explains. “But towards the end of the last century hotels became massive and exclusive only to its guests, and that meant it became inaccessible to their neighbours. Hotels are unique to their locations and I think guests have become more interested in feeling like they are part of a community even just for a night, than staying at a non-descript hotel that is removed from its surroundings. F&B is a tell-tale sign of how it was once the place to eat and drink, before it then became sterile. F&B, I believe, is once again thriving in hotels – as we’re proving this afternoon – because hotels are opening up to locals as well as guests making it feel less like a “hotel restaurant” and more like a restaurant that happens to be in a hotel.”

In reference to the quick-fire round above, Strauss is a man that believes in detail. “I have realised how important it is to research a new market thoroughly and avoid having a cookie cutter approach,” Strauss explains. “Designing a successful hotel is so much more than just choosing colours and fabrics. It is about the neighbourhoods, the greater contexts of the city and its people, and ensuring the longevity of a product. There are always things to improve on, but we believe you only open a hotel once.”

For the designer who has just as much in the pipeline as what’s already on his impressive portfolio, what makes him stand out his ability to be different. “At some stage,” he adds, “you need to ignore what others are doing and focus on your own task at hand and making decisions based our own hotel and not what others are doing.”

Another distinct characteristic that quite clearly sets Strauss aside from other hoteliers, designers and architects is his ability to effortlessly – on the surface at least – to balance work and life. Living his best life through both travel and work and sometimes a combination of both, Strauss is anything but a one-trick pony, constantly absorbing ideas, concepts and themes that time and time again capture the world’s attention each time the ribbon is cut. And for those wanting a snippet of the inspiration behind his designs, you have only to follow him on Instagram account.

Main image credit: Patrick Meis

Global awards launches to challenge industry standards around accessible design

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Global awards launches to challenge industry standards around accessible design

The Blue Badge Access Awards launches and questions why accessible design is not as large a talking point as sustainability currently is. Editor Hamish Kilburn attended the launch event in London and writes…

Blue Badge Access Awards has launched raising some much-needed debates around the current industry standards around accessible design.

The launch of Blue Badge Access Awards – a combining of two major design competitions – the Bespoke Access Awards and the Blue Badge Style Awards – took place at Home Grown Club in Marylebone. The occasion explained the purpose of the new global competition, which is to celebrate thoughtful and stylish inclusive design worldwide. It aims to inspire designers, architects, operators and developers to work together in order to build exceptional business and venues that make everyone feel like a “first-class citizen.”

“No one would have dreamed that sustainability would be so high on the agenda as it is now and we want access to be high on the priority list.” – Robin Sheppard.

Speaking at the event was Robin Sheppard, Chairman of Bespoke Hotels, Hotel Sector Champion for Disabled People and in turn the winner of The Brit List 2018’s Outstanding Contribution to the Hospitality Industry. “It is important to make access a permanent addition to the agenda,” he said during a thought-provoking speech. “No one would have dreamed that sustainability would be so high on the agenda as it is now and we want access to be high on the priority list.”

With the support of charity Leonard Cheshire, the Blue Badge Access Awards aims to accelerate much-needed progress. This follows studies that show inclusive design gives businesses and venues access to a market of more than one billion people across the world, a group of more than 13 million people in the UK along with spending power of more than £250 billion.

Inclusive design has a history of inspiring great innovation, from the invention of the first typewriter, which was built to help a blind Italian countess write legibly, to the remote control, which was created to make life easier for people with limited mobility.

Categories include:

  • Arnold Fewell Award – The Most Inclusive Building/Interior Design
  • Best Hotel x 2 (Upmarket and Boutique, Bespoke Award)
  • Best Bar x 2 (Upmarket and Budget)
  • Best Restaurant x 2 (Upmarket – Conran award – and Budget)
  • Best Accessible Toilet
  • Ludicrous Loo
  • Above & Beyond (Includes Hospitality & Corporates)
  • Euan’s Guide Award
  • Best Venue in a Listed Building
  • Inclusive Employment Award (Leonard Cheshire)
  • Employee of the Year

“Nowhere can be 100 per cent accessible, but everyone can start somewhere,” said Fiona Jarvis, founder of Blue Badge Style. “There is a tremendous public interest in the area of accessible design, with a strong desire to honour and recognise businesses that go the extra mile for their customers.”

With categories ranging from Best Hotel and Best Bar, to the Leonard Cheshire Inclusive Employment Award, the Blue Badge Access Awards recognises the variety of ways that businesses can become more inclusive. The prize that nobody wants to win, ‘Ludicrous Loo’ demonstrates the challenges faced in a light-hearted manner, revealing bathrooms where accessibility is an afterthought.

Nominations of the Blue Badge Access Awards, which are open to anyone, anywhere in the world, are now open and close on June 30. Visit to website to cast your vote.

Winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on October 7.

Main image credit: Blue Badge Access Award/Bespoke Access Awards

SPOTLIGHT ON: Inspirational design hotel bars and restaurants in London

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
SPOTLIGHT ON: Inspirational design hotel bars and restaurants in London

To round off our Spotlight On topic of Bars & Restaurants, Hotel Designs headed into London to pick out the best F&B facilities that are serving up a treat on the international hotel design scene… Editor Hamish Kilburn edits…

Since hotels became much more than simply a bed for the night, the in-house food and beverage scene globally has taken off. Here are a few London bars and restaurants that have emerged to be statement F&B areas within hotel design.

GMT Bar –  Hard Rock Hotel London 

Image credit: Roberto Lara Photography

Incorporating the Hard Rock “mantra”, which includes the global brands’ range of memorabilia, artwork, installations and lyrics, design firm Scott Brownrigg was tasked to complete the 900-room Hard Rock Hotel London. As well as designing quirky and edgy guestrooms, the design team, led by Senior Designer and Hotel Designs’ 30 Under 30 Kate Jarrett, also created what is now London’s latest Instagrammable statement bar, which acts as an inviting cocoon from the rest of the city.

The Monkey Bar – Monkey Island Estate

Image credit: Monkey Island Estate

Monkey Island Estate is located in Bray-on-Thames. The island, with its intriguing history dating back 800 years, has been the haunt of monks, monarchs, aristocrats and writers alike. Visitors from London and beyond are transported to their own private countryside escape steeped in stylish yet laidback luxury. Designed by award-winning Champalimaud, complete with its beautiful garden terrace, The Monkey Bar is elegant, contemporary and relaxed – just like the rest of the hotel.

Sloane Place Hotel London 

Long dining table with hanging pendents above

Image credit: Sloane Place Hotel

The 50-seat café-bar in the hotel, designed by JSJ Design, required extensive structural works to open up the space, making it more accessible for guests and local clientele alike. The interior design scheme combines bold teals,timber panelling, glass and brass, maximising light and space.

45 Park Lane

modern quirky bar in 45 Park Lane

Image credit: 45 Park Lane

While the world is all too familiar of the iconic bar inside The Dorchester, its younger sibling, 45 Park Lane, located next door, is the contemporary answer to luxury in the city. The hotel’s modern-chic bar, which serves London’s finest negronis, is described as: “the vibrant beacon of contemporary culture in a luxury hotel.” It is an invigorating blend of art and landmark architecture in the middle of classical London.

InterContinental London Park Lane

Once more, RPW Design strikes again on London’s leafy iconic Park Lane. The design firm’s latest refurbishment of the guestrooms and The Capital Suite in the InterContinental Park Lane compliments the work of David Collins Studio in the hotel’s restaurant, Ella Canta.

Hotel Cafe Royal London

Image credit: Hotel Cafe Royal London

Designed by Piero Lissoni and Atelier 27, the new F&B areas sheltered in Hotel Cafe Royal London are contemporary yet timeless. The Green Bar’s cocktail list is an invitation to explore tastes throughout the ages, divided into four eras spanning over 100 years. The interiors masculine, with hues of emerald green creating a dark and moody atmosphere to compliment the cocktails served.

Main image credit: Roberto Lara Photography

Sloane Place Hotel in Chelsea unveils eclectic décor

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Sloane Place Hotel in Chelsea unveils eclectic décor

The new 27-key Sloane Place Hotel opens in the heart of Chelsea and is complete with eclectic décor by JSJ Design…

Sloane Place has opened a 27-bedroom boutique hotel, café-bar and restaurant adjoining The Sloane Club in Chelsea, London. Hospitality interior design studio, JSJ Design were hired by Queensway, who acquired The Sloane Club in 2017 in order to convert the property into a hospitality hotspot in one of London’s most upmarket districts.

The large five-storey red-brick Victorian building has been remodelled and divided to create a separate venture, with work on project beginning in February 2018.

From the original building, around 30 bedrooms were allocated for the hotel, alongside smaller underutilised meeting rooms. Led by JSJ Design, the space was remodelled, renovated and refurbished, creating 15 bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, 13 luxury suites, a multi-functional café-bar-restaurant and lower ground floor bar.

The 50-seat café-bar required extensive structural works to open up the space, making it more accessible for guests and local clientele alike. The interior design scheme combines bold teals,timber panelling, glass and brass, maximising light and space.

View of the stairway from above

Image credit: Sloane Place Hotel

JSJ Designer, Simeon Thompson was required to maximise the space and create an inviting modern scheme that reflects the locality. “The concept for the café-bar evolved to become a venue in its own right, with short backed seats and clever use of colour, soft eclectic furniture to create an open, sociable space,” he said. “In the décor, we’ve combined hints of luxury, with elements of nature in a nod to Chelsea past and present.”

With the combination of informal décor and an all-day dining menu courtesy of Executive Chef Bernhard Mayer (formerly The Savoy, Four Seasons Park Lane Hotel), guests and patrons are encouraged to relax and extend their stay.

Long dining table with hanging pendents above

Image credit: Sloane Place Hotel

The interior décor and evolution of the Sloane Place brand work together harmoniously, with hand-drawn Broom bush designs featuring within the décor across the three main areas and in the new logo. This is a nod to the heritage of the area; for centuries the Broom bush grew in abundance on site and features at the top of the Kensington and Chelsea coat of arms.

The hotel bedrooms fall into three categories: Cosy (14-17 sqm), Classic (18 sqm) and Suite (38 sqm). All boast en-suite bathrooms, comfortable Hypnos beds, WiFi, mini kettles and Nespresso machines and a small writing desk.

Bedroom décor consists of warm grey timber panelling to evoke a sense of warmth and comfort, complimented by luxury statement blue and yellow fabrics. All furniture items are bespoke, with high gloss light-reflecting surfaces, designed to make the best use of space.

Overall the design, décor and concept promise a luxury venue for guests and the general public to feel welcome to enjoy from day to night.

Main image credit: Sloane Place Hotel

MINIVIEW: Hard Rock Hotel London

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
MINIVIEW: Hard Rock Hotel London

In spectacular fashion, as expected, Hard Rock Hotel London has opened its doors, adding 900 stylish rooms to the Capital’s hotel scene. Hotel Designs took a peak inside…

Positioned on the corner of Oxford Street at Marble Arch, Hard Rock Hotel London has arrived, catering to the needs of both business and leisure travelers from around the world. Designed by award-winning design firm Scott Brownrigg, the concept for the interior design was inspired from the heritage of the existing building, which was built in the mid 1700’s.

Drawing on the legacy of legends who stayed here in decades past, including Jimi Hendrix, Nina Simone, Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan, Diana Ross and Madonna, the new venue pays homage to the site’s rich history through stylish interior design and carefully curated music memorabilia displays. It also is an inspiration to those who have yet to write their own story – Hard Rock Hotel London stands alone as a hotel haven for music lovers everywhere.

Image credit: Roberto Lara Photography

Hard Rock Hotel London accommodates two vibrant bars and a lively Hard Rock Cafe – the second Hard Rock Cafe to open in the Capital City. With 370 seats, the hotel’s Cafe is set to be the ultimate Central hang out. Combining elevated food and drink offerings with weekly live music performances that celebrate both local London and international talent, the Cafe offers an electric atmosphere, perfect for all occasions – from lunch meetings to after work drinks.

“As the original birthplace of Hard Rock, we are delighted to open a new hotel in London, the brand’s spiritual birthplace,” said Ian Fletcher, general manager of the hotel. “In true Hard Rock style, the property offers stylish and contemporary design, incredible in-room amenities, fantastic food and unparalleled service, with the thread that unites them all – music. We know all our guests have an unforgettable experience.”

Image credit: Roberto Lara Photography

Meanwhile, the 42-seat Lobby Bar takes its inspiration from the original art-deco style ceiling of the Lyons Corner House, which originally stood on the site in the early 1900’s. As well as celebrating the site’s unrivalled heritage, the bar embodies Hard Rock’s musical roots, with an abstract installation designed to reflect a master disc and record player. Memorabilia, in true Hard Rock fashion, is suspended in the bar from the walls through guitar strings to replicate a ‘larger than life’ fret board.

‘It has been a great experience working with two established brands, glh hotels and Hard Rock International,” said Kate Jarrett, Interior Designer at Scott Brownrigg who was also credited as a Hotel Designs 30 Under 30 earlier this year. “We have enjoyed collaborating with them to create a unique and sophisticated offer for the London market. Combining the history of the central London location with the iconic musical heritage of the Hard Rock brand.”

With venues in 73 countries including 184 cafes, 237 Rock Shops, 28 hotels and 11 casinos, Hard Rock International (HRI) is one of the most globally recognised companies – and the hotel brand’s most recent opening fittingly returns to where it all began.

Main image credit: Roberto Lara Photography

Canopy by Hilton to make its debut in France in 2020

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Canopy by Hilton to make its debut in France in 2020

Canopy by Hilton is poised to make French debut with two hotels in Paris (2020) and Bordeaux (2021)…

Hotel giant Hilton has announced its intention to introduce its upper upscale lifestyle brand, Canopy by Hilton, to France. Two new hotels – Canopy by Hilton Paris Trocadero and Canopy by Hilton Bordeaux Chartrons –  are set to welcome their first guests before the end of 2021, following management and franchise agreements.

“Paris and Bordeaux are exceptional destinations, and these new hotels are meticulously designed to celebrate their respective neighbourhoods,” said Patrick Fitzgibbon, Senior Vice President, Development, EMEA, Hilton. “Hilton’s expansion in France is gaining further momentum, with plans to triple our portfolio in the next five years. The introduction of new brands including Canopy by Hilton is testament to the quality of partners we are working with to grow across the country.”

Canopy by Hilton hotels are thoughtfully curated to appeal to travellers seeking a locally inspired experience, with unique interiors that are influenced by the culture and history of the neighbourhood. Guests are welcomed by friendly Enthusiasts with expert local knowledge and recommendations and are invited to immerse themselves in the experience with local food and drink tastings and use of the complimentary Canopy by Hilton bicycles to explore the city.

“Travellers want a hotel to help them get the most out of travel and experience the best of a great neighbourhood – Canopy by Hilton allows our guests to do just that,” said Gary Steffen, Global Head, Canopy by Hilton, Hilton. “Designed with their immediate surroundings, local art, culture and cuisine in mind, Canopy hotels redefine the lifestyle hotel category.”

Canopy by Hilton Paris Trocadero

The 123-key Canopy by Hilton Paris Trocadero is scheduled to be the first Canopy by Hilton to open in France. Slated to open in mid-2020, the hotel is located in sight of the place du Trocadero and Palais de Chaillot in the 16th arrondissement of Paris, a cultural hotspot with several galleries and attractions such as the Palais Galliera and Palais de Tokyo museums.

Construction has already started on the property, which is being transformed into an open and inviting space in touch with Canopy’s local design influences.

The hotel is owned by a French institutional investor and will be operated by Hilton under a management agreement. The hotel is located at 16 Avenue d’ Eylau, Paris.

Canopy by Hilton Bordeaux Chartrons 

Canopy by Hilton Bordeaux Chartrons is expected to open in early 2021. The new-build property will be constructed in the Chartrons neighbourhood, overlooking the Garonne River. Chartrons is famous for its waterside bars and dining, antique shops and vintage boutiques.

The hotel will offer multiple dining options, including a spectacular rooftop restaurant, bar and pool overlooking the river and Bordeaux’s city centre. The hotel’s design will draw on the area’s history as an industrial hub, made famous by its eponymous wine, which is produced in vineyards around the city.

The hotel is owned by SAS RE Hotels, an affiliate of SAS Groupe Reaumur France, and will operate under franchise agreement. The hotel is located at 85 Quai des Chartrons, Bordeaux.

The introduction of Canopy by Hilton in France marks Hilton’s fourth brand entry in France in as many years, following the debut of Curio Collection by Hilton in 2017, Hilton Garden Inn in 2018 and Hampton by Hilton in 2019. The new Canopy hotels join spectacular European properties in Reykjavik and Zagreb, with a further hotel under construction in London.

Main image credit: Canopy by Hilton

Aloft Hotels arrives in Ireland

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Aloft Hotels arrives in Ireland

Aloft Dublin City in Ireland has opened and is expected to shake up the hotel scene in one of Dublin’s most historic and vibrant quarters…

Marriott International has announced the opening of the design-led Aloft Dublin City, the first Aloft hotel to open in Ireland. The hotel is located in the Blackpitts area of Dublin’s Liberties, one of the capital’s most dynamic quarters.

The Liberties is rich with heritage, formerly a trading site of textiles; fast forward and this rejuvenated district is the thriving home to media and tech hubs as well as Dublin’s top visitor attractions.

As a brand for music lovers and music makers, we are so excited to debut Aloft Hotels in Dublin, the city that shares our passion for live music,” said John Licence, Vice President Premium and Select Brands, Europe at Marriott International. “From the buskers on Grafton Street to shows in the National Concert Hall, the live music experience in Dublin is a special one and we can’t wait to add to the city’s buzzing night-time scene by inviting emerging artists to take the stage at our Live At Aloft series,”

Vibrant blue carpets in large guestroom

Image credit: Marriott International/Aloft Hotels

With its vibrant design and always-on public spaces, Aloft Dublin City brings a new beat to the city and bold approach to the guest experience. The brand’s signature W XYZ® bar anchors the social scene on the seventh floor with striking panoramic views of the city – from sky-piercing mountains to famous hotspots including the Guinness Storehouse and St Patrick’s Cathedral.

Each of the 202 spacious guestrooms and suites feature Aloft’s ultra-comfortable plush beds, complete with headboards designed by local Dublin Artist, Sketchy; custom amenities by Bliss® Spa; fast & free Wi-Fi; and 49-inch televisions linked to a Plug & Play connectivity panel.

Aloft Dublin City features Mobile Key — the industry-first keyless entry system that enables guests to use their smartphone or Apple watch as a room key. Additional amenities include the Re:chargeSM fitness center, and meeting facilities equipped with state-of-the-art A/V equipment and fast and free WiFi.

With now more than 150 hotels now open in more than 20 countries and territories around the world, Aloft Hotels, which first launched in 2005, delivers a fresh approach to the traditional staid hotel landscape. For the ‘always on’ next generation of traveller, the Aloft brand offers a tech-forward, vibrant experience and a modern style that is different by design.

Main image credit: Aloft Hotels/Marriott International

Hyatt Centric brand to enter into Greater China

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Hyatt Centric brand to enter into Greater China

Located on the eastern side of Hong Kong Island, the hotel will mark the Hyatt Centric brand’s entry into Greater China…

Following China being identified as a major international hotel design hotspot, Hyatt Hotels Corporation has announced that a Hyatt affiliate has entered into an agreement with an affiliate of Sun Hung Kai Properties Limited to rebrand the 665-key Hotel VIC on the Harbour to Hyatt Centric Victoria Harbour Hong Kong by the third quarter of this year.

The newly branded property will be the first Hyatt Centric hotel in the Greater China region, joining the brand’s inaugural property in Asia, Hyatt Centric Ginza Tokyo which opened last year.

“We are delighted to grow our relationship with our anchor owner Sun Hung Kai Properties with this exciting project in Hong Kong after our successful collaborations with Park Hyatt Hangzhou and Hyatt Centric Minhang, Shanghai,” said Stephen Ho, president of Greater China, global operations, Hyatt. “We look forward to introducing the Hyatt Centric brand to Hong Kong and providing more distinctive experiences to our guests. With the hotel’s convenient waterfront location and proximity to cultural and leisure hotspots, Hyatt Centric Victoria Harbour Hong Kong will be an ideal base for savvy, in-the-now guests to explore all that this dynamic gateway city has to offer.”

Tailored for socially connected guests seeking shareable moments, the hotel’s social areas and food and beverage concepts were designed by Hong Kong-based architect and interior designer, Andre Fu while the 665 harbor-view guestrooms feature designs from Hirsch Bedner Associates.

“We decided to work with Hyatt after careful consideration and are excited to debut the first Hyatt Centric hotel in Greater China,” said Tasos Kousloglou, chief executive officer of the Hotel Division of Sun Hung Kai Properties. “The Hyatt Centric brand’s young and dynamic profile will fit perfectly with the vibrant neighborhood. The hotel benefits readily from the landmark integrated development with the premium residential towers of Victoria Harbour and the retail complex of Harbour North, which, together with the hotel’s retail space has a total area of over 200,000 sq ft. Guests will also enjoy the new magnificent waterfront garden promenade and the lifestyle offerings within the hotel’s quintessential Hong Kong neighborhood. By joining hands with Hyatt, we will be able to leverage its world-class knowledge, excellence in food and beverage, wealth of hospitality experience, and global marketing and sales network to make Hyatt Centric Victoria Harbour Hong Kong the preferred choice for socially-connected travelers and locals. We will also reach a broader audience of savvy travelers worldwide and elevate guest experience.”

Following the brand ethos to connect guests to the heart of the action so they never miss a moment of adventure, the hotel is located in the dynamic North Point district on the eastern side of the Hong Kong Island.

Main image credit: Hyatt Hotels

Hotel Group IHG has signed a hotel in London’s Clerkenwell

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hotel Group IHG has signed a hotel in London’s Clerkenwell

The 151-key Hotel Indigo property is slated to open in London’s most-talked-about design district, Clerkenwell, in 2021…

Following the opening of Hotel Indigo Stratford Upon Avon and ahead of the openings of both Hotel Indigo Bath and Hotel Indigo Chester later in the year, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has signed a Management Agreement with Omenport Developments Ltd for Hotel Indigo London – Clerkenwell.

The 151-room hotel will be the fifth Hotel Indigo in London and is expected to open in early 2021. Located in the heart of the city, Hotel Indigo London – Clerkenwell brings a brand defining property to IHG’s pipeline.

Established in 2004, the Hotel Indigo is IHG’s upscale boutique brand and has more than 100 hotels across more than 15 countries around the world. The brand is set to double its portfolio presence over the next three to five years and continue its growth as one of the largest boutique brands.

The decision to arrive in Clerkenwell comes as the neighbourhood, arguably most known for its annual Clerkenwell Design Week, has strong travel links with Farringdon station, Barbican and Old Street all within walking distance, making it an increasingly popular location for both business and leisure travellers.

Just like no two neighbourhoods are alike, no two Hotel Indigo properties are the same. At the Hotel Indigo London – Clerkenwell, the current historic listed building of the Hat & Feathers pub will be added to by two newly-built modern wings. When it opens in 2021, the hotel will feature well-appointed guestrooms, an all-day restaurant and five meeting rooms, as well as incorporating the existing pub into the hotel.

“We are excited to bring Hotel Indigo London – Clerkenwell into portfolio,” said Jon Colley, Head of Development, UK&I at IHG. “We are seeing strong growth in the boutique market in the UK and this hotel strengthens our position in the capital. This signing will join the newly opened Kimpton Fitzroy London and Hotel Indigo London – 1 Leicester Square to build out our boutique presence in the UK’s capital.”

IHG has 15 Hotel Indigo properties in the UK and a further seven in the pipeline*. There is a strong momentum behind the brand as part of IHG’s UK growth strategy.

In total, IHG currently has 349* hotels operating under eight brands in the UK, including: InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, Hotel Indigo, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts, voco™ Hotels, Holiday Inn®, Holiday Inn Express® and Staybridge Suites, with another 26 in the pipeline.

*Numbers as at 31 March 2019

Main image credit: Hotel Indigo

Hotel Designs becomes media partner for Outstanding Property Award London

730 565 Hamish Kilburn

[vc_row padding_top="35"][vc_column width="1/3"][vc_column_text el_class="newposttitle"][page_title][/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Hotel Designs become an official media partner for the Outstanding Property Award London as editor Hamish Kilburn is confirmed on the jury...  The Outstanding Property Award London (OPAL), which honours innovation and talent in the most exceptional projects globally within property development, interior design and architecture, has confirmed Hotel Designs as an official media partner.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width="2/3" el_class="top-left-border"][vc_column_text][thumbnailnew][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]In addition to covering news and features around the awards, Hotel Designs has also put forward its editor, Hamish Kilburn, to be on the jury. "As the leading international hotel design website, Hotel Designs is all about supporting awards, events and concepts that are dedicated to rewarding outstanding individuals and projects worldwide," he said. "There's a lot of synergy between OPAL and Hotel Designs. For starters, both brands aspire to identify and celebrate the leading individuals and firms who are pushing the boundaries of design and architecture. On a personal note, as a member of this year's jury, I am eager to sift through the entries, but what I am most looking forward to is helping to amplify the individual property developers, designers and architects who are internationally shaping the future of our industry." Other jury members of OPAL 2019 include Richmond International's Fiona Thompson, Stylt's Erik Nissen Johansen, Zaha Hadid Architects' Michele Salvi, Beauchamp Estates' Gary Hersham and Yasmine Mahmoudieh among others.  "The awards are now open to outstanding entries from around the world." Described on its website as "not just another award", OPAL creates the opportunity for each participant to gain visibility for their latest innovative projects and allows developers, designers and architects to connect with leading professionals within the industry and beyond. The awards are now open to outstanding entries from around the world. An exclusive event, organised in London, will celebrate the winners. OPAL will reward the world's most outstanding property projects and expose them to the world - and Hotel Designs will now be there alongside the awards with live updates between now and the ceremony. OPAL accepts applications for project submissions from three industry sectors, which are property developers, interior designers and architects. To apply for this year's OPAL, and/or to find out more information about the concept and the jury, please click here. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Social hotel brand to arrive in Malaysia

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Social hotel brand to arrive in Malaysia

Ormond Group’s new social hotel brand, MoMo’s, will debut in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia in October of this year… 

MoMo’s, Ormond Group’s new playful hospitality concept, will launch its first property in central Kuala Lumpur within the eclectic Chow Kit neighborhood this October. Home to 99 guest rooms, MoMo’s KL will be a newly renovated, exciting hangout in the city, providing a fun and laid-back multi-dimensional space where visitors and locals can collide in harmony.

MoMo’s celebrates creative collaboration whilst offering a design-led lifestyle hotel at a value-for-money price point. Alongside micro rooms, MoMo’s KL will provide guests with a dynamic social space that engage with creative communities and urban nomads. The hotel has been designed to inspire memorable moments, through fun creative programming and a unique food and beverage offering.

MoMo’s hosts will ensure that guests have unrivalled access to Kuala Lumpur’s hidden gems, experiencing the city as a local would. Stepping away from the traditional notion of front-of-house staff, hosts are on hand to greet guests on arrival, make them a coffee or cocktail whilst checking them in for their stay. Embracing Asia’s open house culture, MoMo’s prides itself on its informal environment in which guests are encouraged to relax and have fun, feeling totally at home.

Render of minimalist lifestyle area

Image credit: MoMo

“MoMo’s is bringing a fresh personality to Kuala Lumpur, offering young, culturally driven travellers a design focused and value-concious experience,”  said Gareth Lim, CEO of Ormond Group. “Social interaction is central to MoMo’s ethos and look forward to being part of the regeneration of the Chow Kit neighbourhood.”

On the ground floor, MoMosita’s – a new casual concept from leading Malaysian F&B operators Christian Bauer and Eddie Chew of Troika Sky Dining, is a fun, gritty, self-serve dive bar serving tacos and snacks alongside draft beer and bottled cocktails. Open in the evenings throughout the week, with late night music programming on Fridays and Saturdays, MoMosita’s is the ultimate low-key hangout for guests and locals to let loose and mingle.

Reframing the hotel narrative from being a place to get a good night’s sleep to each hotel acting as a springboard to guests’ city experiences, MoMo’s KL encourages guests to live, play and stay. The traditional lobby is replaced by a social space that acts as the central hub of activity, The Playground. The Playground, located on the ground floor, is the hotel’s main events space which will host a series of weekly events from performance art, workshops and exhibitions to DJ sets and live gigs. The Playground was conceptualized to encourage the best creative minds from the city and abroad to mingle.

Render of minimalist dining area

Image credit: MoMo’s

The micro-rooms feature bespoke amenities, plush beds, smart TVs and a safe with a self-pick-up style room service facility. Inward facing rooms look out onto a large gallery lightwell which provides the rooms with a curated moving image space. The design palette throughout the rooms and the communal spaces are made up of simple, honest materials with raw concrete, laminated timber and combed plaster featuring throughout. Notes of dusty pinks, washed greens and aged brass are consistent throughout the furnishings, fabrics and ornaments that bring MoMo’s design focused, yet approachable, character to the fore.

Sydney based interiors and architecture studio, Akin Atelier, has led the design of MoMo’s Kuala Lumpur bringing founder, Kelvin Ho’s, renowned style to this unique property. The Australia based architect and interior designer has brought MoMo’s KL to life using the multi-faceted and playful character of Kuala Lumpur as the inspiration for the design. The public spaces have been conceptualised to feel like an experiential gallery where food, art and music are expressed in its rawest forms to elevate and juxtapose them from the simple rooms.

MoMo’s will open next door to The Chow Kit – An Ormond Hotel, another new launch from Ormond Group. A second MoMo’s hotel is slated for a 2022 opening in Melbourne, Australia.

Main image credit: MoMo

Hyatt Regency brand to arrive in Portugal

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hyatt Regency brand to arrive in Portugal

The opening of Hyatt Regency Lisbon in 2020 will mark continued growth for the Hyatt Regency brand in Portugal and Southern Europe…

Hyatt Hotels, which currently has more than 190 Hyatt Regency urban and resort locations in more than 30 countries around the world, has announced that a Hyatt affiliate has entered into a franchise and related agreements to develop the first Hyatt branded hotel in Portugal: Hyatt Regency Lisbon.

Expected to open in late 2020, the hotel will feature 200 guestrooms and apartments and will be located between Rua Guerra Junqueiro and Avenida da Índia, a stunning waterfront location facing Tejo River.

“The number of tourists visiting Portugal has increased for eight consecutive years, with 12.8 million travelers visiting in 2018 alone.”

The foray into Lisbon, Portugal’s coastal capital city, is an important milestone for Hyatt, signifying its growing brand presence in increasingly competitive markets across the continent. The decision comes after the number of tourists visiting Portugal has increased for eight consecutive years, with 12.8 million travelers visiting in 2018 alone.

“We are delighted by the announcement of plans for the first Hyatt hotel in Portugal as Lisbon is one of Europe’s leading cities in overnight stays and has quickly established itself as a prime destination not only for leisure travelers, but also for larger conventions and events.” said Nuno Galvão-Pinto, regional vice president development at Hyatt. “We look forward to working with United Investments Portugal on this exciting project in Lisbon. This is an important step for Hyatt as we look to expand our brand presence throughout Portugal.”

Hyatt Regency Lisbon will offer a wide range of intuitive facilities, including a luxurious spa, a swimming pool, a rooftop terrace bar with views over the river, as well as a beautiful courtyard and garden.

Hyatt Regency Lisbon will mark continued growth for the brand in Europe, joining Hyatt Regency Nice Palais de la Méditerranée and soon-to-open Hyatt Regency Barcelona Fira and Hyatt Regency Hesperia Madrid.

Main image credit: Hyatt Regency Lisbon

MKV Design completes chic hotel design in Mykonos

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
MKV Design completes chic hotel design in Mykonos

Design firm MKV Design has completed the interior design of Mykonos Riviera Hotel & Spa, a new 44-key boutique hotel that overlooks the Aegean Sea…

Described as the “perfect setting for rare moments of romance, luxury and personalised service,” Mykonos’ west coast has welcomed the arrival of a new boutique hotel,Mykonos Riviera Hotel & Spa, designed by MKV Design. Just as Hora tumbles down the centuries-old cliff face, so the white Cycladic buildings of Mykonos Riviera are also terraced down the rocky terrain.

With a stepped pathway running through the resort like its spine, and many spaces opening directly onto the pathway, the development resembles a series of little village houses, albeit revealing contemporary pared-back design and many luxurious features when the doors are opened.

“This has been a very special project for us, given our role over the years as interior designer at the Riviera’s sister resort, The Mykonos Grand Hotel & Resort,” says Maria Vafiadis, Founder of MKV Design and finalist of The Brit List 2018. “In this new project, we have created a retreat just a stroll away from the main town in which guests can feel completely connected with the most beautiful and transformative aspects of Mykonos – its natural landscapes, centuries old architectural character and its sense of simple luxury”.

A sunken pathway is the start of the journey through the site, leading to the reception lobby which sits below the elevated infinity pool, only opening out at the far end with a seating area and windows looking over the sea. The genius of the design in this space is the deep, glazed “windows” punched through the ceiling under the pool which transform the lobby into an ethereal underwater experience. By day, the space is constantly alive, shimmering with reflections of water and sunlight and animated by swimmers above. In the evening, it is illuminated by fibre optic lights embedded into the walls which shine upwards through the windows and pierce the water like hundreds of stars twinkling in the night sky. All this life is reflected and amplified by a fully mirrored reception desk, while a suspended sculpture plays with the notion of a diver plunging through the ceiling and recurring design features are established, such as polished concrete finishes and decorative marine rope.

Minimalist check-in desk with colours of turquoise in ceiling and reflection on floor

Image credit: Niall Clutton

The library is also directly off the sunken pathway. A fresh, calm room in which to relax or work, it is one of the very few spaces that looks inwards rather than out to sea. Above, the Blu Room is a space for small private events and guest breakfasts with a stunning custom-designed buffet table above which a parade of lights like elegant sunhats forms an eye-catching display. The Blu Room’s reversal of the island’s usual colour palette of white with blue highlights into a room of dense ultramarine blue emphasises its unique role within the resort as a semi-private facility.

Most of the guestrooms and suites overlook the Aegean Sea. Their interiors are bright, spacious and designed with a sleek nautical touch. A rope motif strung across the ceiling suggests rigging on a boat and splashes of Mykonian blue enliven the otherwise all-white palette; all the rooms enjoy an outdoor terrace. The bathroom area is finished in the iconic white marble of Naxos together with weathered timber, and the free-standing vanities are within the bedroom area, together with, in some rooms, a bath tub.

Bright, airy and clean guestroom

Image credit: Niall Clutton

Among the many room types, there are a number of suites raising the luxury experience to a further level, including suites with a heated jacuzzi on their terrace, duplex spa suites in which the lower floor is dedicated to pampering and fitness and the 70 sq metre Pool Suites, each with a private pool. A three-bedroom maisonette crowns the guest offering with its own infinity pool and a huge, fully furnished terrace.

The rooftop Pool Club restaurant and bar is the hotel’s all-day dining venue. Located opposite the pool and directly looking towards the sea, it offers a panoply of gently changing vistas, from the Mykonian sunset to the yachts and pleasure boats making their way in and out of harbour. The range of seating options is varied to suit loungers and diners, secluded contemplation and lively socialising. Once again, the colour palette is simple and belongs to Mykonos; the white ceiling of the pergola is criss-crossed with white rope and the bar is dressed in rope that sways in the Mykonian breeze.

Lafs, the Greek speciality restaurant, only opens in the evenings and its simple interior is therefore designed to feel cosy and be seen by the light of its many glass pendants and loosely woven raffia shades which cast shadows across the room. From its outdoor terrace overlooking Hora, diners feel like they can touch the town.  Lafs has the air of the best Greek in town – unpretentious, convivial and authentic.

View overlooking the pool and the bar

Image credit: The Mykonos Grand Hotel & Resort

The 500 sq metre spa includes six treatment rooms, a thalassotherapy pool with therapeutic showers, a hammam, sauna, relaxation room and hairdressing salon. The interiors are pure and simple with polished concrete finishes predominating embellished by pebble channels in the floor and a sculptural wall to one side of the pool; although the spa is sunken, natural light penetrates the space via a small outdoor courtyard.

Main image credit: Niall Clutton

New ‘super boutique hotel’ in London to become leader in sustainability

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
New ‘super boutique hotel’ in London to become leader in sustainability

Edwardian Hotels London has secured a £175 million Green Loan from HSBC UK that will help make its new ‘super boutique hotel’, The Londoner, one of the most environmentally friendly in the UK, with sustainability at its core…

Edwardian Hotels London has secured a £175 million Green Loan from HSBC UK to ensure its new super boutique hotel, The Londoner, situated in Leicester Square will be one of the greenest hotels in the UK.

The deal with HSBC UK breaks new ground in sustainability for the hospitality industry. It is the first Green Loan in the sector that meets the Green Loan Principles, which were set out in March 2018 to encourage and facilitate environmentally-friendly economic activity. The funding will be used to ensure the new hotel doesn’t just meet but exceeds the BREEAM Excellent category in building environmental and sustainable performance.

Thanks to the Green Loan, The Londoner’s impressive green credentials will range from use of construction materials with a low environmental impact, to new technologies including an innovative liquid film which will reduce evaporation and energy loss from the hotel’s swimming pool.

The hotel is also aiming to contribute to the sustainability of its neighbours by including a heat network connection. Initially, this will be linked to the Edwardian Hotels London-owned hotel next door to The Londoner, The Radisson Blu Edwardian Hampshire, but could also be extended to the surrounding area in the future. In total, the hotel is set to use 30 per cent less carbon than regulations demand.

 “Since its inception we have always had bold ambitions for The Londoner to write itself into the very fabric of the city, said Jasminder Singh OBE, Chairman and Founder of Edwardian Hotels London. “We have been dedicated to delivering a high-quality, sustainable, integrated hotel and this Green Loan supports that vision. We are delighted that this new property, designed to celebrate the character of the capital, has become the first in the hospitality industry to secure this.”

Rob King, Head of Sustainable Finance at HSBC UK, said: “HSBC has made a commitment to provide US$100bn of Sustainable Finance by 2025 to help businesses transition to a lower carbon economy. We are very pleased to have supported Edwardian Hotels London with a Green Loan to support the construction of this high profile hotel with very strong sustainability credentials.  Green Loans are an exciting development in Sustainable Finance which will encourage the investment urgently required to meet our carbon emission reduction targets.”

The Londoner is in a new hotel category of one. Boutique in feel, yet staggering in scale, at 15 storeys, the property will offer a multifaceted experience through its 350 exquisite rooms and suites, signature restaurants and dining offerings and with the bespoke meetings and event spaces infused with London character. It is scheduled to open in Spring 2020.

Main image credit: Edwardian Hotels

New destination bar opens at revamped Hilton Hotel Münich City

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
New destination bar opens at revamped Hilton Hotel Münich City

While Hotel Designs continues its Spotlight On Bars & Restaurants, Hilton Hotel Münich City opens Juliet Rose, a new destination bar…

Interior design firm Goddard Littlefair has completed a striking new destination bar called Juliet Rose at the Hilton Hotel Münich City. The city’s new place-to-be bar was inspired by the F&B concept of unusual botanical extracts and the importance of process in the creation of its singular drinks.

The scheme was inspired by the F&B concept of unusual botanical extracts and the importance of process in the creation of its singular drinks, which includes a range of signature cocktails and what is said to be the best coffee in Munich. The result is an exciting and theatrical zoned space with an alchemical, laboratory feel; a perfect back-drop for outstanding drinks to be made and delivered. The scheme both stands out from and also works subtly in harmony with the overall hotel, which has also undergone a thorough revamp by the Goddard Littlefair team.

The bar’s name, Juliet Rose, is taken from one of the most elite roses in the world, developed over a 15-year period by renowned rose breeder David Austin. As well as lending the concept connotations of craftsmanship and the long-term pursuit of perfection, the ‘Rose’ reference will also be easily understood by a local audience as a nod to Rosenheimer Strasse, the street onto which the bar’s dedicated entrance faces, as well as the Rosenheimer Platz metro station, on top of which the hotel stands.

Modern restaurant and bar

Image credit: Gareth Gardner

The generously-apportioned, 90-seat, 180 sq m bar is located on the hotel’s ground floor, with easy access from both the hotel’s spacious new reception, as well as via its own dedicated Rosenheimer Strasse entrance, introduced to maximise passing trade. Customers can additionally access the hotel and bar directly from the metro station and an adjacent car park below, arriving via a special circulation route through the ground floor of the hotel, offering intriguing glimpses of the back of the bar through semi-opaque windows, so that the bar is referenced and announced from every possible angle.

Juliet Rose is made up of four different seating zones, each with different stand-out features, plus two bars. The main ‘ceremony bar’ is a stunning, monolithic U-shaped design that guests coming from the hotel entrance see as soon as they enter the space, at the far end of a central approach. A second, smaller-scale coffee bar is made of the same dramatic moss-green and highly-polished granite, with the choice of material referencing the earthiness of botanical ingredients. The granite for the main bar has been book-matched to ensure dramatic textural veining from the front. Above and behind the main bar, the gantry structure is made up of brass sections, with an industrial/lab feel, underscored by an apothecary-style bottle display. The barman prepares cocktails at its centre, making full use of dry ice, bell jars and a sense of reveal.

‘The overall design approach for the space was based on form and order, with drama, freedom and an opposing sense of randomness created by the furniture and accessorising’, architect David Lee Hood, Associate at Goddard Littlefair, explained. ‘When it came to structure, we added a number of new elements to the space to give a feeling of overall order and symmetry, whilst also ensuring playful visibility between zones via glazed screens offering varying privacy levels.’

As visitors arrive from the hotel down the entry circulation route for example, they pass between two large-scale, floor-to-ceiling screens (with added ‘peep holes’), where a brass-effect structure features ribbed glass OLED panels with a striking inset palm print. The screens were bespoke-manufactured for the project and are just one of many bespoke items that ensure design integrity and exclusivity for the project. A second highly striking screen-wall faces the hotel entrance lobby, passed by guests on their way to either the bar or front reception, and is made up of a brass shelving structure with glass backlit panels where a textured opaque manifestation gives the impression of a linen-style finish and plays with light. The structure is decorated on the inner side with judiciously-placed planting.

Image credit: Gareth Gardner

As the existing columns in the space are quite dominant, the design team made a feature of them by using new cladding and mirroring. An existing ceiling was removed so that the space’s full height could be used, with a dramatic new lighting structure that uses brass pipes and large, exposed lamps to add to the geometric, laboratory feel. Inset mirrors within the ceiling area reinforce the structure, as well as adding reflection and sparkle. Architectural lighting for the scheme was created together with DPA Lighting, whilst the stand-out decorative pieces were all bespoke-designed by Goddard Littlefair, with advice from DPA, and manufactured by Peters Design. As well as the overhead grid structure, these include a stand-out ‘test tube’ style pendant light located over the main bar and a number of vertical, glass-clad wall lights, which refer to the test-tube decorative light in style. A number of mid-wall lights throughout feature a circular fitting with a pole attachment to each side. These add layering and create a lower-level light source to bring light to the tables. Flooring throughout features stained oak timber surround and inset panels, made up of a geometric pattern of small white mosaic areas, plus larger slices set at interesting angles.

The four main seating zones include a casual drop-in area, directly to the left of the entrance, primarily for daytime use for coffee and cakes. Further casual seating is to the right, whilst the two sections further back and along both sides of the bar, for day or evening use, feature a mixture of seating types, as well as a communal high table, for groups, cocktails evenings and special events. Planting is used throughout, both for biophilic appeal and to underline the ‘botanical ingredients’ bar concept.

Furniture throughout includes sofas in bottle green leather and loose seating upholstered in pale oyster pink or else in deep orange leather with thin brass upstands and dark turquoise seat backs. Tables are either a marble-effect silestone, a brass-edged timber-topped design or, for the higher communal table, a series of easily-conjoined tables featuring a print taken from a magnified gold-veined leaf print, supplied by Fameed Khalique and manufactured by the lead contractor on the scheme, Engels.

luxurious bar with pendent lighting

Image credit: Gareth Gardner

Four windows which look directly out onto Rosenheimer Strasse, alongside the bar, feature a special chain-mail curtain with a clip detail, playing once again with light and screening, whilst effectively obscuring the busy street view and ensuring customers are enveloped by the bar’s atmosphere.

Located behind the street entrance to the bar, on the other side of a draft lobby area, are two stand-out pieces of bespoke-designed joinery: a waiter station and a moveable cocktail bar, both in high-gloss lacquer with blue-green tones to work well with the planting and moss-green granite bars. The cocktail bar has a removable top with ice and a sink inside so that it can be moved around to cater to guests anywhere in the space.

The hotel reception lobby that connects with the bar features a design treatment in keeping with the overall hotel design scheme, inspired by German Expressionism and particularly Der Blaue Reiter art movement, which had its origins in the city. Stand-out design features in the reception area include feature lighting loops, designed by Goddard Littlefair and manufactured by LED-C4; a high-gloss hexagonal mosaic-fronted reception desk with brass edging; a striking reception back-wall with a pale grey wallcovering and bronze effect vertical dividing strips; a marble fireplace area and artworks chosen by art consultants ARTIQ, taking a cue from the dynamism and strong colour of early 20th century German Expressionism, but updating that for today’s context, with new artworks commissioned for the hotel from contemporary artists. The artworks that lead towards Juliet Rose are partly-abstracted paintings which reference a more natural theme, in keeping with the F&B concept, with bold and interplaying curved lines.

Main image credit: Gareth Gardner

The Balmoral in Edinburgh reveals new suite

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
The Balmoral in Edinburgh reveals new suite

The Balmoral, a Rocco Forte hotel in Edinburgh, has revealed a new look for one of its signature suites, The Glamis…

One of Edinburgh’s most iconic hotels, The Balmoral, has unveiled the new design of one of its signiture suites, The Glamis. Designed by Olga Polizzi, Rocco Forte Hotels’ Director of Building & Design, the royal suite is set to become one of the city’s most impressive spaces thanks to an extensive refurbishment and the introduction of exclusive partnerships designed to elevate the guest experience.

The ultimate base for couples and families or an urban retreat for royalty, heads of state and VIPs, The Balmoral is now home to the finest suites in the city, setting the luxury standard of accommodation for Scotland. Named after one of the country’s most beautiful and historical royal abodes, Glamis Castle, childhood home of HM Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, the newly launched Glamis Suite is full of period charm and regal references, its ambience and offerings giving a hint of its namesake’s legacy of style, intrigue, rebels and revolution.

Stretching over 100 square metres, with a prime position overlooking the entrance to the hotel on Princes Street, the new suite can be booked with one, two or three bedrooms, making it perfect for couples, families and VIPs.

“Authenticity is at the heart of Rocco Forte Hotels and here original features are celebrated with book cases.”

A new entrance to the Glamis Suite offers discrete, private check-ins. Entering the generous space, patinated bronze screens open onto a Scottish baronial table set for four in the dining room. In the sitting room – with its working fireplace and antique chandelier – a lush colour palette of emerald and amethyst sets the tone for a scheme in which rich fabrics meet antiques selected personally by Polizzi from her travels throughout Europe.  Authenticity is at the heart of Rocco Forte Hotels and here original features are celebrated with book cases – set within the original Edinburgh presses – and art featuring Scottish botanicals. The showpiece Shinola record player and vinyl collection is a nod to the Rock ‘n Roll greats who have frequented the hotel. Available for guests to enjoy, the record menu offers an ever-growing collection tailored to guests’ music tastes.

Taking centre stage in the Master Bedroom is a full-height half-tester bed with a tapestried canopy adding to the romance of a by-gone era. Lewis & Wood Bosky wallpaper by artist Alexander Hamilton adds a fairy-tale quality to the scene whilst two stone lions referencing The Royal Banner of the Royal Arms of Scotland stand guard. A spacious Arabascato marble-clad bathroom, with its oversized freestanding bath sitting underneath a lustrous vintage Czechoslovakian glass chandelier, completes the suite.

Providing a unique suite experience is at the heart of Rocco Forte Hotels’ ongoing dedication to its guests. As part of this, Glamis Suite guests will be offered exclusive turndowns from luxury cashmere brand Johnstons of Elgin and fragrance house, Kingdom Scotland, both aimed at bringing the essence of Scotland to the suite.

NH Hotel Group unveils fourth property in Amsterdam

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
NH Hotel Group unveils fourth property in Amsterdam

The new NH Collection Amsterdam Flower Market is a contemporary and elegant hotspot for visitors to the Dutch capital…

NH Hotel Group has unveiled its fifth NH Collection property in The Netherlands and fourth in Amsterdam with the opening of the new upper-upscale NH Collection Amsterdam Flower Market. With 233 room, the new four-star hotel is situated in a distinctive 1920s building in the historic city centre of the Dutch capital. 

After closing for six months to undergo a complete renovation, the former NH Carlton Amsterdam has now become part of the Company’s premium NH Collection brand.

Image credit: NH Collection

Commenting on the property, Maarten Markus, Managing Director Northern Europe of NH Hotel Group, said: “NH Carlton Amsterdam was a well-known hotel with a rich history dating back to the Olympic Games in 1928. We decided that this unique hotel would be the perfect addition to the NH Collection properties in Amsterdam after an extensive renovation”.

“NH Collection Amsterdam Flower Market is a fascinating building, located between canals and plazas, right next to the Flower Market. With its signature elegant yet contemporary touch it will continue to attract leisure guests as well as business travellers that look for the extraordinary NH Collection experience”, adds Markus.

Image credit: NH Collection

Designed by Spanish interior and architecture studio TBC Interiorismo, the hotel’s design is inspired by the industrial and cosmopolitan atmosphere of the city, its famous Bloemenmarkt flower market and the region’s colourful flower fields. Commenting on the concept, Mercedes Isasa from TBC Interiorismo said: “The design brings the city inside the hotel, starting off with the nearby floral atmosphere that invades all public areas. We used textures and materials with large-scale floral prints to magnify and create interesting design elements. Moreover, we made use of Moooi’s design, a Dutch landmark firm in contemporary design whose products are exhibited in every design forum worldwide. An example is the flowery mural behind the reception. The tapestry is a design of Marcel Wanders, cofounder of the firm with Casper Vissers, and has given a new twist on the traditional Dutch still life flower paintings”.

Currently, the Company operates 80 NH Collection hotels in 15 different countries, placed in strategic locations in key cities of Europe and Latin America. With the opening of this new NH Collection hotel, the Group consolidates its commitment to its upper-upscale brand in the city of Amsterdam. NH Collection Amsterdam Flower Market will be the fourth NH Collection property in Amsterdam, a great addition to an already impressive portfolio consisting of NH Collection Doelen right at the Amstel River, NH Collection Barbizon Palace next to the central train station and NH Collection Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky on Dam Square overlooking the Royal Palace.

For NH Hotel Group’s Chief Marketing Officer, Isidoro Martínez de la Escalera, the newest NH Collection hotel in Benelux confirms the long-term strategy of investing in the upper-upscale segment: “With the NH Collection brand, we reinforce our leadership in strategic important destinations such as Amsterdam, Munich and New York. We recently signed an agreement for another property in Rome, NH Collection Fori Imperiali, which will be our 13th hotel under our premium brand in Italy. Our new NH Collection Amsterdam Flower Market highlights the unstoppable growth of the NH Collection brand further in the Netherlands and Europe, considering our upcoming openings in Germany and Belgium in Q 3 this year”.

In 2019, more destinations will be added to the portfolio: the first NH Collection hotel in Antwerp, Belgium, named NH Collection Antwerp Centre, the refurbished NH Collection München Bavaria in Southern Germany; and NH Collection Roma Fori Imperiali in the historical heart of the Eternal City.

Hotel Indigo stylishly arrives in Venice

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hotel Indigo stylishly arrives in Venice

The new hotel, designed by the in-house design team at IHG, debuts in the undiscovered Venice neighbourhood of Sant’Elena…

Hotel group InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) is has announced the opening of Hotel Indigo® Venice – Sant’Elena, which marks the brand’s debut in Venice, Italy. From palaces to piazzas, gondolas to gelato and canals to carnevale – there is no destination quite so magical as Venice. Filled with beauty and world-famous sights, the city that surrounds the new hotel made up of 55,000 residents attracts more than 30 million annual visitors.

Despite its immense popularity, there are still pockets of the city yet to be discovered, such as the Sant’Elena neighbourhood. Sant’Elena is a global hub for modern art and culture, close to the home of  the Venice International Film Festival and the Murano Glass Factory. The neighbourhood will introduce guests to a side of Venice that few tourists see.

Hotel Indigo® Venice – Sant’Elena is located in the heart of the iconic Italian city, next to the canal Rio Sant’Elena. Formally a 1930’s monastery, the 75 room Hotel Indigo® Venice – Sant’Elena is a peaceful sanctuary reflective of its former heritage that exudes an almost spiritual calm, the perfect place to retreat from the bustle of San Marco square. Composed of two wings joined in the centre by a former chapel, the hotel boasts an interior courtyard and large windows with high ceilings, which is evocative of the local neighbourhood and existing architecture. The hotel also has a private garden, a rarity in Venice, where guests can sit and enjoy a refreshing cocktail and relax after a day of exploring.

Plush guestroom with large bed, velvet headboards

Image credit: Hotel Indigo/IHG

The interior design brings to life the building’s original features with oriental influences inspired by Venice’s traditions and history, with touches of modern elements contrasting with the classic Venetian style. Plush velvet pillows layered on leather seating and brass lighting scattered throughout the hotel contrast the deep wood panelling on the walls in the lobby and the emerald green marble bar top. Ebru paintings are dotted in the public areas, bringing to life Venice’s history of introducing the marbleized papers into their famed repertory of woodblock prints, copperplate engraving and book leather binding.

“The hotel is the perfect example of how Hotel Indigo draws inspiration from the local neighbourhood, bringing to life the historical importance of the building through design while also providing the ideal getaway from the busyness of Venice,” said Marco Costa, Hotel Manager of Hotel Indigo Venice – Sant’Elena. “Just a 15-minute walk from all the main attractions, including St Mark’s Basilica, the Bridge of Sighs and the Doge’s Palace in San Marco, the hotel is the ideal choice for those coming to visit our beautiful town.”

Large leafy parks are a rarity in Venice, but a short walk to the north is the Giardini della Biennale, a park commissioned by Napoleon Bonaparte when Venice was under French rule at the start of the nineteenth century. The park is a year-round hub for modern art and culture, although it really comes alive during the Venice Biennale, which, as its name suggests, takes place every other year.

Vienna House Wroclaw hotel to open following bleisure boom in Poland

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Vienna House Wroclaw hotel to open following bleisure boom in Poland

Vienna House plans to open a 240-room hotel in the centre of Wroclaw. The group’s seventh hotel in Poland is slated to open in Q1 of 2022 following a rise in the country’s bleisure market…

Following the acquisition of 17 city hotels from hotel brand arcona, Vienna House has announced plans to open its seventh hotel in Poland, further utilising on the destination’s booming business traveller market.

The new smart-casual city hotel is part of a redesigned building complex which surrounds a historically listed bakery. Vienna House Easy Wroclaw will be a base for business and leisure traveller alike, featuring a vibrant restaurant, lifestyle lobby and bar, modern fitness facilities and spacious conference area. Guests will receive a warm welcome from the famous Wroclaw dwarves’, an insight into the city’s history and unique culture. The complex in which the hotel sits also features a student apartment concept from the BaseCamp brand.

“Wroclaw is an exciting, growing market, and the location in the city centre, near the botanical garden, is ideal, ” said Rupert Simoner, CEO of Vienna House, in a press release. “The combination of the casual, service-oriented Vienna House Easy and the lively student concept fits very well together and will develop into a fresh, lively meeting place.” Vienna House Easy Wroclaw, the Austrian hotel group’s seventh hotel in Poland, underscores the enormous interest in the Polish market.

Rendering of modern guestroom with dark-green wallcoverings and twin beds

Image credit: Vienna House

The hotel will be operated by Vienna House under a lease agreement from ST Wroclaw Sienkiewicza Sp. z o.o., which offers student apartment solutions with BaseCamp in Poland, Denmark and Germany.

Vienna House Easy Wroclaw offers 236 double rooms along with four suites. The rooms come with extra-long, super comfortable beds, modern writing and seating solutions, and bathrooms with walk-in showers. The hotel also has a 360 m² meeting and conference area, ideal for working. The fitness area features state-of-the-art exercise equipment, in addition to a massage area.

Vienna House Easy stands for smart casual design, hospitality DNA within our employees, established analogue services and meaningful digital offerings. These include televisions with connectivity for guest devices, high-speed WiFi, mobile concierge, self-check-in/check-out and much more. The hotel lobby provides a cosy meeting place, inviting reception area, cool bar and lounge all rolled into one.

Main image credit: Vienna House

Concept to Completion: Nicky Dobree creating Plaza 18 (part three)

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Concept to Completion: Nicky Dobree creating Plaza 18 (part three)

While Hotel Designs is exclusively following Plaza 18’s creation, editor Hamish Kilburn checks in on designer Nicky Dobree as the project is just weeks from completing…

With her sleeves rolled up, designer Nicky Dobree is on the home straight in the race to design her first hotel project. The finish line, which is getting closer and closer by the day, is nestled within Vejer, which is one of the many white towns of Andalucia.

The new six-key boutique hotel will shelter a home from home, adjacent to the palm-filled Plaza de Espana landmark. Inspired, in part, by Dobree’s travels, the authentic surrounding landscape and even the smell of orange blossom, the boutique jewel will shelter an unmatched luxury setting.

While the full details of the project are heavily under wraps (for now at least), part three of Plaza 18’s concept to completion feature focuses on the final preparations to create an unmatched home-from-home boutique hotel.

Hamish Kilburn: How does travel influence your interpretation on design? 
Nicky Dobree: Travel hugely influences my design and expands my creative perspective. I am fortunate to have travelled extensively and to have lived abroad for many years. I therefore find that I regularly draw on my love of travel to add to the layers of my design. Inspiration can come from anything and everything, be it the local smell of the orange blossom in Vejer to its moorish architectural roots.

HK: How far in the process are you with Plaza 18? 
ND: The end is in sight and we are receiving bookings for the summer.

HK: What can go wrong and what are the major challenges at this stage in the project?
ND: Hopefully not a lot can go wrong at this stage that we are not able to resolve. Timing is key. We’ve just had Easter, which the Spanish take very seriously so the team will break for a couple of weeks. On the positive, the team have returned with a fresh eye to complete the finishes ready for us to install and open.

HK:Do you ever find it difficult to leave a project behind once it’s completed? 
ND: I always find it difficult leaving a project behind and handing it over. It’s like giving birth and handing over your baby. With Plaza 18, I hope that many get to enjoy it and look after it as if were their own.

Various images of bedrooms, door fittings and art

Image caption: Moodboard for Plaza 18

HK: This is your first hotel that you have designed, will there be others? 
ND: I very much hope so. I have really enjoyed the new challenges this project has given me. I really love the art of creating a space and above all an atmosphere that will hopefully make people want to return.

Hotel Designs has been following Dobree on the completion of her first ever hotel. Click here to read part one. Click here to read part two.

Hilton’s brand portfolio overtakes Marriott’s as “world’s most valuable”

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hilton’s brand portfolio overtakes Marriott’s as “world’s most valuable”

Despite announcing earlier this year to open 30 new luxury hotels, Marriott’s portfolio drops to second place as the value of its brands in the Brand Finance Hotels 50 ranking decreases by 30 per cent, giving way to Hilton…

As luxury brands scramble over one another in the battle for being the best, there has been a change in the tables. Reporting a 17 per cent growth, Hilton now becomes the world’s most valuable brands in the Brand Finance Hotels 50 ranking.

The hotel group, which owns brands such as Homewood Suites, Double Tree, and Hampton, has extended its lead as the world’s most valuable hotel brand and, according to Brand Finance, has overtaken Marriott’s. Hilton’s brand value growth (up 17 per cent to US$7.4 billion) was largely driven by strong revenue increase over the last year, cementing the brand’s leadership position in the industry.

Meanwhile, Marriott suffered a reduction in brand value (down eight per cent to US$5.0 billion) and its brand strength dropped from AAA- to AA+. Marriott has faced several challenges in the North American market from hacking scandals to persistent problems with its loyalty schemes. At the same time, the combined value of Marriott’s brands within the Brand Finance Hotels 50 ranking decreased by 30 per cent, giving way to Hilton’s brand portfolio to claim the title of the world’s most valuable.

“Hilton’s strategic approach to brand growth has allowed it to extend its lead as the world’s most valuable hotel brand,” said Savio D’Souza, Valuation Director at Brand Finance. “At the same time, endorsement from the flagship brand has rendered benefits across the portfolio as Homewood Suites, Double Tree, and Hampton have seen their brand values sore. In its centennial year, Hilton is well-positioned for another hundred years of success.”

“Hilton’s brand value in the top 50 ranking is concentrated across six brands.”

Hilton Worldwide Holdings achieved overall brand value growth of 41 per cent. Hilton’s brand value in the top 50 ranking is concentrated across six brands, up from five in 2018, all strongly leveraging the valuable Hilton brand name and each recording solid growth this year. Hilton has continually committed to its relentless expansion programme and with thousands of new rooms and hotels in the pipeline, the company shows no signs of slowing down in the coming year.

Marriott has not fared so well, with four of its brands dropping out of the Brand Finance Hotel 50 ranking this year. With one new entrant, Marriott now has twelve brands in the ranking, many of which have nevertheless decreased in value. Marriott’s recent announcement of entering the home-rental market however, is a promising move to take back market share from Airbnb and could contribute to an uplift in brand value in the coming year.

The Hilton and Marriott portfolios remain well ahead of third-ranked Wyndham, which also suffered a drop of eight per cent in brand value to US$7.3 billion.

The three hotel brands to grow the fastest in value this year all come from Hilton’s portfolio, and each contributed to its overall growth. Its impressive performance was led by Homewood Suites (brand value up 99 per cent to US$0.8 billion), followed closely by Double Tree (up 79 per cent to US$2.1 billion) and Hampton (up 78 per cent to US$3.2 billion). This growth allowed the latter two brands to reshape the ranking’s top 10, with Double Tree jumping from 17th to 7th and Hampton rising from 10th to 5th place over the past year.

Aside from calculating overall brand value, Brand Finance also determines the relative strength of brands through a balanced scorecard of metrics evaluating marketing investment, stakeholder equity, and business performance. Alongside revenue forecasts, brand strength is a crucial driver of brand value.

“Mercure has claimed the title of the world’s strongest hotel brand.”

According to these criteria and scoring high in Brand Finance market research, Mercure has claimed the title of the world’s strongest hotel brand, significantly improving its Brand Strength Index (BSI) score from 75.7 to 86.2 out of 100 and recording a brand rating upgrade from AA+ to AAA. Mercure is also the most valuable brand in Accor’s portfolio, with nearly 800 hotels. The brand has continued to make several acquisitions through its scheme of franchise growth.

Alongside analysing the world’s biggest hotel brands, Brand Finance also ranks the top 10 most valuable brands in the wider leisure and tourism industry.

Royal Caribbean International has narrowly retained its position as the world’s most valuable leisure and tourism brand, with its brand value remaining steady at US$3.8 billion. The brand reported strong financial results in 2018, and with demand high in the cruise industry, Royal Caribbean are on course for future growth.

Meanwhile, second-ranked TUI (brand value up four per cent to US$3.7 billion) substantially closed the gap to the ranking’s leader, only just falling short of overtaking Royal Caribbean.

The fast-growing China International Travel (up 70 per cent to US$3.7 billion) has come third this year, up from 5th in 2018. China International saw a significant increase in its valuation due to a surge in forecast revenue in coming years as the Chinese tourism market continues to develop with unprecedented speed and scale.

The fastest-growing brand in the ranking also comes from China. Happy Valley almost doubled its brand value in a single year (up 97 per cent to US$2.0 billion).

The brand portfolio analysis is based on the Brand Finance Hotels 50 ranking and does not take into account less valuable brands which have not been included in the ranking.

Brand value is understood as the net economic benefit that a brand owner would achieve by licensing the brand in the open market. Brand Strength is the efficacy of a brand’s performance on intangible measures relative to its competitors.

Additional insights, more information about the methodology, as well as definitions of key terms are available in the Brand Finance Hotels 50 2019 report.

Main image credit: Hilton Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

Four Seasons Hotel Bengaluru at Embassy ONE arrives

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Four Seasons Hotel Bengaluru at Embassy ONE arrives

Designed to reflect relaxed luxury in a booming city, the all-new Four Seasons Hotel Bengaluru at Embassy ONE is now open…

Developed by India’s leading developer Embassy Group, Four Seasons Hotel Bengaluru at Embassy ONE brims with modern sophistication featuring interiors by Yabu Pushelberg, beautifully complemented by a carefully curated collection of paintings, prints and sculptures by more than 25 contemporary Indian artists throughout the Hotel.

Rooms and suites offer views of the greenery, some featuring the Palace Grounds. At the Hotel’s dining venues, Four Seasons chefs and mixologists take centre stage in interactive style bringing energy and vitality to the dining experience. Embassy ONE is also home to 105 Four Seasons Private Residences, the first of its kind in India.

“We are delighted to welcome our first guests, and particularly excited to showcase the modern city of Bengaluru to our visitors,” says General Manager Fredrik Blomqvist, who oversees a hand-picked team of nearly 250 deeply dedicated employees. “It’s such an exciting time in southern India, and we are proud to be at the forefront of the city’s business and social lives.”

Developed by India’s leading developer Embassy Group, Four Seasons Hotel Bengaluru at Embassy ONE brims with modern sophistication featuring interiors by Yabu Pushelberg, beautifully complemented by a carefully curated collection of paintings, prints and sculptures by more than 25 contemporary Indian artists throughout the Hotel. Rooms and suites offer views of the greenery, some featuring the Palace Grounds. At the Hotel’s dining venues, Four Seasons chefs and mixologists take centre stage in interactive style bringing energy and vitality to the dining experience. Embassy ONE is also home to 105 Four Seasons Private Residences, the first of its kind in India.

Render of a dynamic bar with red seating and clever break-out areas

Image credit: Four Seasons

“It is very fulfilling to see Four Seasons open its doors to the city of Bangalore. What started off as a vision of excellence in service and hospitality is now a reality. The many synergies in our culture, service offerings, and vision between Four Seasons and the Embassy Group have brought us together to create this iconic asset. We are positive that the extraordinary experiences that Four Seasons offers will continue to build loyalty among customers, making it their first choice of luxury hospitality in Bangalore.” says Jitu Virwani, Chairman & Managing Director, Embassy Group.

“It’s truly a milestone as we open our second hotel in India,” notes Rainer Stampfer, Four Seasons President Hotel Operations – Asia Pacific. “Together with our property in Mumbai, Four Seasons reflects the vibrancy and poise of modern India through design, experiences and personalised service to meet the needs of both travellers and local residents.”

A Garden Oasis 
Set amid 5.6 acres of landscaped gardens and water features including a (100 feet) outdoor pool, the Embassy ONE oasis mirrors the city’s unique combination of modern urban architecture dotted with calming parks and gardens.

Inside Four Seasons Hotel Bengaluru, 191 guestrooms and 39 suites are light filled, with crisp lines and thoughtful details designed for today’s luxury traveller, whether in town for business, enjoying a romantic weekend getaway or bringing the whole family for a vacation. Highly recommended are the Garden Suites with a living and dining area opening onto a private terrace, separated from the luxurious bedroom, generous bathroom and double closets.

All accommodations feature the fully customisable Four Seasons Bed with a choice of plush, signature mattress topper to ensure a good night’s rest.

Urban views of the lush tree tops across the city, emphasize the abounding greenery that Bengaluru is famed for.

Main image credit: Four Seasons 

 

Hotel Brand Dakota launches in Manchester

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hotel Brand Dakota launches in Manchester

Slated to open later this month, Dakota Manchester is expected to bring a touch of Mayfair to Manchester when it officially opens this month, bringing with it the largest suite in Manchester, a Champagne Room and a Cigar Garden…

Situated on Ducie Street close to Piccadilly Station, Dakota Manchester will transform the city’s skyline, offering a first class service complete with atmospheric spaces, luxurious finishing touches and waterside views.

Following launches in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Leeds, the brand is expanding south of the UK with its latest announcement. Dakota Manchester will shelter 137 luxury guestrooms, including 20 plush suites – the most in Manchester. With the aim to establish a new level of service, the hotel focuses on providing an outstanding experience for guests, with features such as The Dakota Grill, a vibrant neighbourhood brasserie, complete with waterside views, which is expected to become the heart of the hotel.

Image credit: Dakota Manchester

Described by the brand as the “glistening jewel in Manchester’s crown” is the penthouse suite. Known as the Grand Deluxe Suite, the piece de resistance will be the largest and grandest suite in the city, the brand says. Offering the ultimate Dakota experience, the Grand Deluxe Suite is positioned on the top floor of the hotel. This standout, instagrammable suite offers both indoor and outdoor space; with a dedicated lounge, dining area, opulent bedrooms, walk-in wardrobe, modern fire place, ensuite bathrooms with steam showers and a sunken bath. Finished off with a private eighth-floor external terrace, with far-reaching views across the city.

Strategically placed to be within minutes of all the action in the city, the new hotel aims to create ripples within the hotel scene. With so much attention on Manchester at the moment, Hotel Designs is preparing to take its Meet Up concept into the core of the hive of activity for Meet Up Manchester, which takes place on July 1 at Hotel Gotham’s rooftop bar. Tickets are still available here.

Main image credit: Dakota Manchester

Hotel Indigo to make its debut in Chester

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hotel Indigo to make its debut in Chester

Hotel group IHG has unveiled a first glimpse of its much-anticipated new boutique hotel, Hotel Indigo Chester, which is slated to open later this year under a franchise agreement with Castlebridge Hospitality… 

Located at the heart of Chester, Hotel Indigo Chester combines the local character and charm with vibrant colours and textures to give the hotel a residential look and feel. Just as no two places are alike, no two Hotel Indigo properties are the same.

Each boutique hotel draws inspiration from the local neighbourhood, culture and popular trends in food, drink and design to create a warm and vibrant atmosphere.

The 75-key new build hotel has been designed by architects Franklin Ellis taking inspiration from three key elements of the city; the material layers of its architecture, the iconic 1897 Eastgate Clock and the world-famous Chester Racecourse. Guests can expect an eclectic combination of fabrics, wood panelling and references to historic people and dress from the city’s past.

The design of the 96-cover restaurant will nod to the chef’s, award winning 2015 MasterChef champion Simon Wood, signature style to create a relaxed natural environment in which to enjoy his unintimidating fine dining making it the perfect new outlet for locals to dine in.  At the heart of the restaurant will be the chef’s table and theatre kitchen providing the perfect vista for guests to watch Simon and his team as they work. The restaurant will also feature a private dining room that will accommodate up to ten people for a meeting or dinner. Guests will be able to enjoy Simon’s tasting menus as part of any event or occasion.

“At Hotel Indigo we believe in providing more than just a good night’s sleep, we want to create an experience as unique as the neighbourhood in which we are found,” said Bethan Johnston, General Manager, Hotel Indigo Chester. “It’s really important to us that we reflect the community around us and offer a personalised stay that is tailored both to the city and the guest.

“It’s a high end boutique experience but without ever being stuffy, we will offer top quality service that, like Simon’s food, is unintimidating, relaxed and welcoming. We believe we will offer something different to any other hotel in Chester.”

“We have added unique elements to the interiors that are relevant to the area, including artwork of local landmarks and items that are made locally.” – Ben Dudley, Franklin Ellis Architects

Partner at Franklin Ellis Architects, Ben Dudley, commented: “It’s been a real joy to be involved in this hotel and signature restaurant project. Like all Hotel Indigo properties, this one is inspired by the city it’s located in and seeks to reflect the surrounding architecture and character. We have added unique elements to the interiors that are relevant to the area, including artwork of local landmarks and items that are made locally.

“On a personal note, it’s fascinating to work with Chef Simon Wood and see how his attention to every detail ensures his guests have a wonderful dining experience. I’m certain this project will be a fabulous new venue for Chester and a delightful place to stay.”

Main image credit: Hotel Indigo

NH Hotel Group to unveil new boutique property in the heart of Rome

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
NH Hotel Group to unveil new boutique property in the heart of Rome

Slated to open during the third quarter of 2019, NH Collection Fori Imperiali in Rome will become the Group’s sixth property in the Eternal City…

NH Hotel Group is preparing to open its sixth property in Rome this summer, the boutique-style NH Collection Fori Imperiali. The upper-upscale property will be located within a stone’s throw of the city’s most famous historical sites, including the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Spanish Steps, Castel Sant’Angelo and the Vatican.

Built in a magnificent palazzo decorated in 19th Century style, within one of the most important archaeological sites in the world, the hotel will be infused with the hallmark elegance and sophistication of the NH Collection range.

The NH Collection Fori Imperiali will have 42 guestrooms (nine of which will be suites) decorated in a contemporary and luxurious style, with most offering direct views over some of Rome’s most prized archaeological and architectural treasures. The boutique hotel will also feature a rooftop bar on a terrace, from which visitors can admire the Roman Forum and the Vittorio Emanuele II Monument.

The agreement reached with the owner of the historical palace, in which the hotel is located, will allow NH Hotel Group to fortify its benchmark position in the city’s centre, where it will boast six establishments, of which five will be within the NH Collection brand.

The NH Collection Fori Imperiali, which will be operated under a lease regime, consolidates the tremendous growth of the NH Collection brand in Italy where the company has opened 12 hotels under this trademark in the last four years. The opening therefore cements NH Hotel Group’s positioning in the upper-upscale segment in the city of Rome, where it also operates the NH Collection Roma Palazzo Cinquecento, NH Collection Roma Centro, NH Collection Roma Giustiniano, NH Collection Roma Vittorio Veneto and the NH Roma Villa Carpegna. Between them, these establishments offer more than 1,000 rooms located in a range of emblematic buildings which retain their local authenticity and are a source of inspiration for guests looking to discover the ‘eternal city’ from a privileged base.

Main image credit: NH Collection

BESPOKE DESIGN: Italian boutique hotel inspired by natural elements

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
BESPOKE DESIGN: Italian boutique hotel inspired by natural elements

Design studio Boxx Creative has completed the interior design of Miramonti, a 21-key boutique hotel in the Italian mountains. Editor Hamish Kilburn writes…

Inspired by its natural surroundings, Miramonti, meaning mountain view, draws its name and design from nature. A deep terracotta facade, which dates back to 1958, evokes the changing seasons and rich natural Italian colour palette.

When it first opened just over a decade after the second world war, the five-storey Albergo Miramonti was the first building in town to feature hot water in every room and it quickly gained in popularity among tourists as well as locals as a place for ultimate relaxation. The new guestrooms, which are divided into five categories over three storeys, feature – in true Miramonti spirit – calming green and blue colour schemes, punctuated with deeper accents.

Design firm Boxx Creative’s first step in its transformation was to maximise every square foot to increase guestroom numbers, providing flexibility of room use and creating defined room types for couples and families. The Deluxe Doubles provide an appealing space for couples to relax in comfort inside the room or outside on the balcony. The spacious Family Suites meanwhile have the option to connect through to en-suite bunk-bed rooms, which comfortably accommodate a family of six.

“Materials were selected for their authentic properties and link to the surrounding environment.”

The firm redesigned each floor of the hotel and created the interior schemes; drawing on the elements of: earth, fire, air, water, wood and metal. Materials were selected for their authentic properties and link to the surrounding environment and feature in the natural stone wash basins, carved wooden bedframes, solid trunk coffee tables, round metal bedside tables and soft natural fabrics.

“We always focus on quality and environmental impact in our work,” said Nicola Keenan, interior designer and Co-founder of Boxx Creative. “All design details have been fully considered across the hotel. Carpet made from recycled fibres line the corridors and is inlaid within the sustainable, hand-crafted wooden flooring. Locally sourced and sustainable materials were used wherever possible and the build contractor was chosen for his energy saving principles and employment of workers within the area.”

Understated living area of the guestroom

Image credit: Mariell Lind Hansen

The majority of the furnishings were made completely bespoke by a talented artisan in his local workshop. The bedrooms feature wooden headboard panelling, metal framed open cabinetry storage and sturdy desks, each thoughtfully hand-crafted. The unique hand-made wooden flooring with individually controlled underfloor heating system, adds warmth and grounding to each room. Beautiful reeded glass panelled doors with curved frame detailing provide privacy to each en-suite and rippled wooden under-sink cabinets hang beneath attractive natural stone basins.

“Lighting was incredibly important to the client,” added Nicola Lindsell, also an interior designer and Co-founder of Boxx Creative. “We chose Italian designed, Flos feature pendants in each of the en-suites and Scandinavian inspired adjustable wall lights to create an appealing focal point in the bedrooms.”

Soft, minalist lobby area. Natural materials, such a stone, used in the casegoods and furniture

Image credit: Mariell Lind Hansen

“When we decided to redesign the hotel we were conscious of finding a suitable partner that matched our values and design style,” said the owner of the hotel. “We loved working with Boxx Creative as they had a great knowledge of suppliers and longterm sustainable options. Throughout the redesign they presented options which reflected our sustainability goals as well as our overall artistic vision for the hotel.”

The hotel has always been within the family and today the management has passed on to the third generation, with strong hope to continue and build upon that original idea, creating an authentic escape for locals and travellers alike.

Main image credit: Mariell Lind Hansen

MINIVIEW: Hotel Indigo, Warsaw

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
MINIVIEW: Hotel Indigo, Warsaw

As Poland becomes a thriving hotel design hotspot, Hotel Designs checks out one of Warsaw’s boutique hotels, Hotel Indigo Warsaw, to understand the combination of colourfully decorated rooms with bathroom solutions from Recommended Supplier Kaldewei…

When historic architecture and modern interior design are skilfully combined, the result is inspiring rooms – perfectly demonstrated at the Hotel Indigo Warsaw Nowy Świat in Warsaw.

This stylish four-star boutique hotel, owned by the InterContinental Hotels Group, is housed in a listed building, more than 100 years old, on cosmopolitan Nowy Świat Street. Later contemporary extensions, some with wraparound glass, afford not only a magnificent view of the old town and the Polish capital’s skyline from all the rooms, but also provide a suitable frame for a minimalist interior with vibrant splashes of colour. As the perfect complement to the interior decoration, the hotel has chosen enamelled bathroom solutions from Kaldewei which guarantee a comfortable showering and bathing experience in the 60 rooms.

The building, Smolna40, which features playful decorative facade elements, was once the residence of Count Branicki and is in one of the city’s most picturesque areas which links contemporary and historic Warsaw. Destroyed during the Second World War, it was rebuilt in the 1950s and later a modern mansard roof and an annex with wraparound glass and a terrace were added based on a design by architect Bogdan Kulczyński. This produced an attractive mix of styles that runs through the entire hotel. Bright rooms with elaborate stucco and elegant columns contrast with the 60 bedrooms that embrace a more minimalist look in plain shades of white and grey. Throughout the hotel, coloured furniture creates exciting highlights that put their own spin on the palatial style of 19th century mansion flats.

Distinctive bathroom design with Iconic Bathroom Solutions from Kaldewei

The bathrooms reflect the property’s exclusivity and individuality. The Hotel Indigo chose bathroom solutions from Kaldewei which offer the perfect fit for the bathroom, thanks to their design language and superb quality. The baths from Kaldewei’s clean-lined, minimalist Puro line possess a persuasively unfussy elegance and, like all bathroom solutions made of Kaldewei steel enamel, are made of an exquisite material. As a highlight, the freestanding Meisterstück Centro Duo Oval brings timeless elegance and calm into the bathroom of the Superior Premium room. In a further 47 rooms, the Conoflat floor-level shower surface ensures a luxurious showering experience, while offering the greatest safety underfoot: because the shower surfaces in the matt shades of Lava Black and Alpine White from the Coordinated Colours Collection feature the anti-slip properties of Kaldewei’s Secure Plus finish.

Modern bathroom with Kaldewei products

Image credit: Hotel Indigo Warsaw/Kaldewei

Worldwide expertise: Kaldewei a winner with international hotels

Kaldewei shower surfaces, washbasins and baths are chosen for top hotels all over the world. The enamelled bathroom solutions, not only meet the highest aesthetic requirements of hoteliers and their guests, but are also extremely cost-efficient thanks to Kaldewei steel enamel’s longevity and ease of maintenance. Another point in their favour is: the intelligent surface finishes such as anti-slip Secure Plus which can optionally be annealed – heated and allow to cool slowly – in order to remove internal stresses and toughen it onto the steel enamel surface and which ensure the greatest possible safety underfoot in the shower.

Kaldewei 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: Hotel Indigo Warsaw/Kaldewei

UK’s first vineyard hotel opens in South Wales

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UK’s first vineyard hotel opens in South Wales

The UK’s first vineyard hotel has opened its doors in Hensol in South Wales. Llanerch Hotel is the result of a £2m investment by Ryan Davies, owner of Llanerch Vineyard…

Comprising of just 26 rooms and suites, the Llanerch Hotel has opened in South Wales as the UK’s first vineyard hotel, situated quite literally in the heart of the vineyard.

“To become the first vineyard hotel in the UK is a fantastic achievement for the team at Llanerch,” said Ryan Davies, owner of Llanerch Vineyard. “Across Europe, wine hotels are very popular and we wanted to bring that unique experience to south Wales.”

Davies took over the vineyard, which is one of the oldest in Wales, in 2010 with the aim to replicate the successful wine tourism models he had seen whilst working in vineyards in New Zealand and Australia, where vineyards are tourist attractions in their own right, offering restaurants, weddings and events, in addition to traditional wine tasting and vineyard experiences.

Since then, Llanerch has become the largest commercial vineyard in Wales and attracts visitors from around the world with its award-winning restaurant and bar, unique marquee and lodge wedding venues, on site cookery school owned by Angela Grey and wine tasting and vineyard tours.

Davies added: “We have had a number of B&B rooms available at the vineyard since 2010, but as the business grew, so did the demand for accommodation at Llanerch. The popularity of Cardiff, which is just 20 minutes away, as an events destination for everything from rugby to high profile concerts has also pushed up demand for high quality accommodation in south Wales.

“This has been a vision for Llanerch for many years. We have managed every aspect of this project – the biggest we’ve ever undertaken – ourselves to ensure that the hotel offers the highest quality and that every detail has been thought about, from luxury in-room products to maximising the spectacular scenery enjoyed by every room.”

Large, modern guestroom which overlooks green vineyards

Image credit: Llanerch Hotel

The superior rooms at Llanerch Hotel are 42 sq ft and include a super king size bed with a large sofa and living area and a luxury ensuite bathroom with shower.

The four suites, located in each corner of the hotel, are over 45 sq ft and include a bedroom with super king size bed, as well as a large living room with sofas and a seating area, which can be separated by a partition, and a luxury ensuite bathroom with shower.

The vineyard’s existing courtyard rooms, set in one of the vineyard’s original stone outbuildings, have also been fully refurbished in keeping with the new hotel.

Each room has a large widescreen smart TV, allowing guests to stream from their own devices, a Nespresso coffee maker and kettle and luxury interiors, including Welsh wool blankets, made at Pembrokeshire’s traditional woollen mill Melin Tregwynt, and art by local photographer Andy Stoyle.

Main image credit: Llanerch Hotel

Former Metropolitan Police headquarters transformed into luxury hotel

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Former Metropolitan Police headquarters transformed into luxury hotel

The historic landmark building, which was developed by Galliard Construction, has been transformed into The Great Scotland Yard Hotel, a 153-key luxury lifestyle hotel…

The former Metropolitan Police headquarters in London’s Whitehall has been converted into the 153-key The Great Scotland Yard Hotel, which is operated by Hyatt under the group’s Unbound Collection brand and was developed by Galliard Construction.

Working in association with Galliard’s in-house team along with HBA, and EPR Architects, The Deluxe Group was appointed to manufacture and fit all front of house areas, for the high-end hotel, including double height vestibule, grand entrance lounge, concierge, main cocktail bar, palm court style lounge, whiskey bar/clubroom, signature restaurant, library, gymnasium, 120-seater main conference room/ballroom, meeting rooms and function/private dining rooms. The firm also produced the luxury hotel’s sample bedroom, as part of the multi-million-pound development, which is expected to open later this year.

The bespoke joinery project, which was worth £5.5 million was completed in just six months, with all work completed on schedule and within budget.“We are delighted to have been part of the team which has sympathetically developed this building to give a classic period interpretation, reflecting the immense history of such a landmark site,” Commented Colm Connolly, Director of The Deluxe Group. “We used the highest quality, detailed joinery and luxury finishes throughout all front of house and public areas, with individually themed areas providing a stylish homage  to the crime and policing history of the building.”

“Our commitment to delivering the best in bespoke joinery with the greatest attention to detail and client servicing, ensured the finished project was a true reflection of the client’s vision.”

Luxury public area

Image credit: Great Scotland Yard Hotel

Constructed in 1910, the iconic Edwardian building served as the Royal Military Police headquarters and the British Army Recruitment Office. It later became the Ministry of Defence Library until 2004.

The famed landmark is known for its rich history, providing guests the opportunity to stay in the location where Metropolitan police pursued some of the country’s most notorious criminals, including Jack the Ripper and the 40 Elephants all-female crime syndicate. Reflecting on this, the distinct historical character of the building has been preserved throughout the renovation, including maintenance of its original façade.

Main image credit: The Great Scotland Yard Hotel

First integrated resort in the Maldives to open in June

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
First integrated resort in the Maldives to open in June

Crossroads project, which will span a 7km-long lagoon and nine islands in the Maldives, will open in June 2019 and will become the largest integrated resort in the Indian Ocean…

Crossroads Maldives has announced that it will be welcoming guests from June 2019, set to be the first integrated multi-island resort destination of the island nation.

Said to be one of the most comprehensive investment tourism projects to have been undertaken in the Maldives, the project will include the highly anticpated openings of Hard Rock Hotel Maldives and SAii Lagoon Maldives, Curio Collection by Hilton.

At the heart of the Emboodhoo Lagoon, Hard Rock Hotel Maldives will inject music-infused energy, engaging experiences and feel-good vibes into the Maldives. The resort will fuse tropical atmosphere and contemporary design, topped with curated music memorabilia and a regionally inspired twist. 178 expansive family suites, chic beach villas and unspoilt one and two-bedroom overwater villas lie in wait, alongside show-stopping activities and brand-signature amenities that will bring the signature Hard Rock experience to the Maldivian atolls.

SAii Lagoon Maldives, Curio Collection by Hilton, meanwhile, will offer guests something different, with a personalised journey from start to finish. Upon arrival, guests are welcomed with the chance to create their own bathroom amenities using natural ingredients from the resort’s Aroma Lab, a place to synchronise with the resort’s signature scents of Relaxation, Refreshment, Rejuvenation and Energy. An Aroma Specialist is on hand to explain the benefits of each scent and the precise techniques used to mix the ingredients. Using this knowledge, guests then are able to handpick from a selection of twelve scents, including cedarwood, lavender and rosemary, combining several of these to create their own delectable bathroom amenities. Once guests are settled, they are invited to drop by Snap: Snack Box and pick up complimentary refreshments.

Render of green shack-like guestroom in the Maldives

Image credit: Curio by Hilton

198 spacious guestrooms, beach villas and overwater villas are dotted across the tropical island, surrounded by al fresco spaces, spacious interiors and personalised comforts, all created with an eclectic yet artisanal touch. Located within walking distance to The Marina @ CROSSROADS, the resort is ideal for families, couples or friends looking for a unique escape.

Crossroads Maldives, a multi-island integrated leisure and entertainment project, will aim to redefine holidays in the Maldives and transform the Greater Malé Region when it opens. In addition to the new hotels, the project will feature a luxurious 30-berth yacht marina, 11,000 square metres of retail space and world-class facilities such as Café del Mar beach club.

Main image credit: Curio by Hilton

‘Fittest hotel in the world’ to arrive in New York

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
‘Fittest hotel in the world’ to arrive in New York

Fitness and lifestyle brand Equinox will open its first hotel in June. The 212-key luxury property will throw open its doors in the heart of New York City…

Equinox, a lifestyle brand that is widely known for its high-end premium membership gyms around the world, will open its first hotel in June. The 212-key flagship hotel, designed by architecture firm Rockwell Group, will be the first of many Equinox-branded properties to open with the aim to disrupt the luxury hotel landscape.

The brand’s first ever Equinox Hotel will open in Hudson Yards, and is said to be a true culmination of Equinox’s brand promise that will redefine travel as the world knows it. “We have obsessively pursued our enduring mission of life maximisation, becoming iconic by bringing luxury to a place where none existed,” the brand explains in a press release. “Now we are redefining luxury experience once again as a seamless extension of a life well-lived, elevating fitness, culture, and community for those who rest and play as hard as they work. The result is a place that matches the scale of our ambitions and the ambition of the very people for which we built it.

“Equinox is uniquely positioned to define an emerging category that is disrupting the industry.” – Chris Norton, CEO of Equinox Hotels

“In hospitality, lifestyle hotels have grown up and luxury hotels have gotten younger in their outlook and experience,” said Chris Norton, CEO of Equinox Hotels, in a statement. “Now, as health becomes the new wealth, Equinox is uniquely positioned to define an emerging category that is disrupting the industry.”

The hotel’s guestroom features include what the brand describes as “the ultimate sleep chamber”, complete with total soundproofing, a total-blackout window system, CocoMat all natural fibre mattresses, and Scandinavian-style duvets that enable temperature regulation. In true Equinox fashion, each guestroom will come with a foam roller, yoga mat, blocks and straps, whilst the mini bar contains a juice press and magnesium-based sleep supplements.

Render of atmospheric room

Image credit: Equinox

The overall design of the brand’s debut hotel transcends hospitality and elevates the art and science of fitness. From the moment guests arrive, and throughout their stay, they are promised to be immersed in a world of infinite possibilities, including access to a membership-based co-working community space located within the building. Designed to amplify comfort, creativity, and productivity, the hotel is described as an ideal place to meet and connect. Extraordinary environments and thoughtfully chosen elements come together at Equinox Hotels, reimagining how guests move, eat, sleep, work, and live.

The brand’s debut hotel in New York City will be followed with properties opening in Los Angeles, Santa Clara, CA, Chicago, Seattle and Houston.

Main image credit: 35 Hudson yards via Related-Oxford

Hyatt Regency Beijing Shiyuan opens in nature retreat

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Hyatt Regency Beijing Shiyuan opens in nature retreat

The newly opened Hyatt Regency Beijing Shiyuan connects guests with the rejuvenating beauty of nature near the Great Wall…

Hyatt Hotels Corporation has announced the opening of Hyatt Regency Beijing Shiyuan, located in the vibrant Yanqing District of China’s capital city. Yanqing is known as an imperial retreat, surrounded by scenic mountains, rivers and wildlife.

These nature elements have influenced the interior design of the property to create an energising experience from the moment guests arrive. Just steps away from the International Horticultural Expo 2019, the hotel provides guests traveling for business or leisure a seamless, intuitive experience as they connect with who and what matters to them most.

The hotel features 283 contemporary guestrooms, including 19 suites, two Diplomat Suites and a Presidential Suite. Starting at 430 square feet (40 square meters), most guestrooms feature floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Expo Park and garden views, while nearly 90 percent of the guestrooms also offer a private balcony. Complimentary Wi-Fi, a 55” SMART TV and Bluetooth stereo are available in all rooms.

Image caption: Hyatt Hotels

Guests can savour enticing cuisine infused with Northern China flair and fresh local ingredients at the hotel’s two signature dining outlets. Mirroring a rustic mountain village, Xiang Yue Chinese restaurant showcases authentic local favorites along with Cantonese, seafood and other regional Chinese specialties. Market Café’s lively culinary marketplace serves specialties from East to West, prepared in an open kitchen. Meanwhile, the cozy Lobby Lounge is an ideal gathering place for casual meetings and refreshments overlooking the outdoor garden.

“We are very excited by the opening of the first international hotel in the Yanqing district and sincerely appreciate the trust and support from our owner, Beijing Horticultural Expo Investment and Development Co., Ltd.,” said Stephen Ho, president, Greater China, global operations, Hyatt. “As a new landmark of northwest Beijing, the hotel looks forward to welcoming local and international guests to discover the history and nature of Yanqing.”

Hyatt Regency Beijing Shiyuan offers seamless, personalised, high-touch experiences for meetings and social events of all sizes. The hotel features a 10,225 square foot (950 square meter) Regency Ballroom, six multifunctional meeting rooms, and a 5,382 square foot (500 square meter) manicured lawn, suitable for weddings and other outdoor celebrations. The hotel’s meeting spaces compliment the facilities of the adjoining Beijing World Horticultural Expo Park, offering an endless array of possibilities for meeting and event planners.

Main image credit: Hyatt Hotels

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

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
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

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
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

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
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

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
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

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
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

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
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

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
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.

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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.

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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

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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.

> Click here to read the full story

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.

> Click here to read the full story

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