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Hotel Designs in conversation with Jean-Luc Naret for The Set Collection

Talking all things luxury hospitality with Jean-Luc Naret

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Talking all things luxury hospitality with Jean-Luc Naret

Inside The Set Collection’s iconic London hotel, Hotel Café Royal, Editor Hamish Kilburn meets legendary hotelier and Executive Director Jean-Luc Naret to discuss hotel development, the definition of luxury and how (and why) the collection is expanding…

Hotel Designs in conversation with Jean-Luc Naret for The Set Collection

In the heart of London – straddled between the well-to-do neighbourhood of Mayfair and the exuberant quarters of Soho – sits the iconic Hotel Café Royal, which for many is the epitome of luxury hospitality with its bold, voguish design that meets the height of quality service.

“If only walls could talk,” I say to myself when walking through the paired-back, minimalist corridors being told tales of the building’s former existence, when it was, as the name suggests, a café. But not just any café in London. It was a place where the rich and famous were seen rubbing shoulders. Patrons include the likes of Mohamed Ali, Virginia Woolf, George Bernard Shaw, Mick Jagger, Elizabeth Taylor and Diana, Princess of Wales.

Hotel Designs Cafe Royal London Lobby

Image caption: The magnificent lobby inside Hotel Café Royal. | Image credit: Hotel Café Royal/The Set Collection

In 2008, the hotel closed for an extensive renovation, which was led by David Chipperfield Architects and Donald Insall Associates. The task was to transform the building into a thriving luxury hotel, while also being sensitive to the building’s long and storied heritage.

Hotel Café Royal emerged in 2012 from its building site to reveal a modern five-star hotel. The second hotel of what was then The Set, its sister hotels include the Conservatorium in Amsterdam and Hotel Lutetia in Paris.

A decade on from that spectacular opening party, I am back here, inside the Regent Suite that casts an unparalleled view over Piccadilly Circus, to meet Jean-Luc Naret, the Executive Director of The Set Collection, which is made up of a cluster of iconic hotels in spectacular locations.

Prior to starting his journey with The Set Collection, Naret took the global hospitality industry by storm. He was the Director General of the Michelin Guide and also managed luxury hotels worldwide, in destinations such a Mauritius, the Maldives, Barbados and also become CEO of La Réserve Hoetls & Spas, where he was at the helm of a collection of six hotels and five private residences.

His latest mission is to sensitively expand The Set Collection’s small cluster of award-winning luxury hotels, to welcome new members that speak the same design and hospitality language. “The Set Collection launched a few years ago during the pandemic,” he tells me. “We started with four properties in Europe (the original members, if you like). From there, we wanted to expand and that’s where our search for unique design-led hotels began.”

Hotel Designs Hotel Lutetia suite bedroom

Image caption: A bedroom inside a suite at the iconic Hotel Lutetia in Paris. | Image credit: The Set Collection

When it comes to selection process of which hotels will be sheltered under The Set Collection umbrella, Naret and his team are looking for properties that sit in a class all on their own and have a strong and meaningful sense-of-place, both in the design as well as hospitality. “We are not looking for more than one hotel per destination,” Naret explains. “We want to avoid our hotels feeling like they are competing against each other. Therefore, we are looking for a properties that are leading luxury hotels within their neighbourhoods. Each of the hotels that are already in the collection – Lutetia in Paris, the Conservatorium in Amsterdam, the Mamilla in Jerusalem and Hotel Café Royal in London – are based locally. Take this hotel, for example, you have one foot in Soho and one foot in Mayfair.”

The latest news is that The House Collective will be joining The Set Collection, which will add a further four properties to the mix. “Like our founding members in Europe and Israel, The House Collective’s properties have made an impact on their market and the luxury traveller’s collective consciousness that is far greater than their relatively small footprint would suggest,” Naret said in a press release that was issued a day before our meeting. “It is a privilege to work with these expert hoteliers, not only to offer them the myriad benefits that being a part of The Set Collection offers but also to learn and grow together in new and exciting markets during these unique times.”

QUICK-FIRE ROUND

Hamish Kilburn: So, you currently have properties in London, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Paris, Beijing, Chengdu, Jerusalem and Amsterdam… If you had to chose one destination answer where you choose to party, live and work?
Jean-Luc Naret: Party in Paris, live in Amsterdam and work in London

HK: Is there such thing as an unachievable guest demand? What’s the most outrageous one you have heard of?
JLN: No. A guest once requested 1,000 rose petals to be floating in an Olympic-size swimming pool

HK: What’s the last item that shows up on your credit card transactions?
JLN: Last night’s dinner with my team.

HK: Number one item you cannot travel without?
JLN: My phone. What would we do without them?

HK: Incredible food with a sleepless night or an incredible sleep with a standard F&B experience?
JLN: Food every time.

HK: Define luxury for you in 2022?
JLN: Luxury is defined by quality service, in my opinion.

Given Naret’s experience working on the operational and management corner of luxury hospitality, I am keen to understand where design, in his opinion, sits when it comes to the new era of luxury travel. “The hospitality businesses that set themselves aside from others, such as Club Med, One&Only, Rosewood and others, will create their own style that will be replicated by other brands,” he says. “Design plays a vital role. Ian Schräger is a fantastic example of someone who challenged what was then the conventional way of designing hospitality spaces. He poured his energy into the public spaces so that the guestrooms and suites were almost secondary, and that completely transformed the hotel market in the luxury sector. In the luxury business, we used to be – dare I say it – boring. Today, people like to do things differently, and have bold ideas for the future of luxury travellers.”

As we wrap up our morning meeting, and Naret prepares to leave for the airport to travel to The States for more meetings, and no-doubt interviews about The Set Collection, I am keen to understand where he sees the next big movement in luxury hotels and hospitality. “For me, I have been keeping an eye on the fashion industry’s launch into hospitality,” he says, “and that’s an interesting concept that I think will further change the landscape.”

Image caption: Fashion meets design. The dramatic courtyard at The Temple House. | Image credit: The Set Collection/The House Collective

Image caption: Fashion meets design. The dramatic courtyard at The Temple House. | Image credit: The Set Collection/The House Collective

Off the record, I am told that The Set Collection, currently with eight properties as members, is not planning on procrastinating, with Naret and his time moving towards the ambitious goal of having 25 – 30 hotels under its umbrella by 2023. Following the destruction the pandemic caused on the independent hospitality sector in particular, it is refreshing to see a brand that is working to celebrate the essence of luxury hospitality by collaborating with hotels that channel deep senses of place and purpose.

Main image credit: The Set Collection

curio collection hotel in the heart of florence italy

Curio collection by Hilton to debut in the heart of Florence

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Curio collection by Hilton to debut in the heart of Florence

Hilton has announced plans to open Anglo American Hotel Florence, Curio Collection by Hilton in autumn 2022, following a full renovation. Here’s what we know…

curio collection hotel in the heart of florence italy

Anglo American Hotel Florence, Curio Collection by Hilton is less than 15 minutes by foot to renowned palaces, churches, and museums — all replete with Renaissance art, including the works of the great masters such as Giotto, Brunelleschi, Botticelli, and Michelangelo, and the beautiful architecture that Florence is famed for. Top nearby attractions include the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, Piazza Duomo, the Uffizi Palace and Gallery, the Accademia Gallery, and the Ponte Vecchio, the beautiful bridge spanning the Arno river.

“Anglo American Hotel Florence is a stunning addition to Curio Collection by Hilton, joining almost 50 Curio Collection hotels trading or under development in Europe,” said Patrick Fitzgibbon, senior vice president, development, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Hilton. “Across the continent, we’re seeing growing owner interest in our Collection brands, which allow hotels to maintain an independent look and feel, while benefiting from Hilton’s commercial systems and global customer base. We look forward to welcoming guests in the historic centre of Florence.”

Following an agreement with Westmont Hospitality Group and funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management, L.P., the 115 guestroom hotel, located in the centre of Florence, a renowned UNESCO World Heritage Site, will undergo a full renovation prior to opening. The hotel will feature distinctly local offerings in a stunning setting, exemplifying the Curio Collection flair for authentic, curated experiences. A mere two blocks from the famous Arno River in a tranquil neighbourhood, the elegant hotel reflects the history and the charm of the city, complete with romantic Tuscan shutters and a sun-drenched interior courtyard typical of classic Italian villas.

“We are excited to strengthen further our relationship with Hilton following our highly successful collaborations both in Italy and around the world,” said Westmont Hospitality Group. “Originally built in 1792 as one of the first hotels in Florence that has also hosted Leo Tolstoy and Maria Callas among its former guests, the fully renovated Anglo American Hotel Florence will retain its historic and elegant grandeur while enjoying the added consistency and global recognition of the Curio Collection brand.”

The renovation will follow the parties’ commitment to ESG investment, with a particular focus on sustainability. The main emphasis will be on the restoration of the property in keeping with its architecture and history, and the restoration of original finishes and utilisation of existing materials will make up a key part of the sustainability strategy.

> Since you’re here, why not have a look at The Royal Senses Resort Curio Collection by Hilton?

 

Main image credit: Curio Collection by Hilton

Kimpton Kitalay Samui-Villa Kitalay Master Bedroom

Kimpton Resorts arrives in South East Asia

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Kimpton Resorts arrives in South East Asia

Kimpton Kitalay Samui, the first resort in South East Asia for IHG Hotels & Resorts’ luxury boutique brand, has officially opened its doors. We take a look at its distinctive design showcasing its take on the Samui way of life…

Kimpton Kitalay Samui-Villa Kitalay Master Bedroom

Located on Choengmon Beach in the northeast of Koh Samui, Kimpton Kitalay Samui will be the island’s newest luxury beachfront resort. Tranquillity and privacy will be easy to find as the resort occupies a quiet cove along the pristine beach, far from the hustle and bustle of Chaweng. The resort’s name is derived from two Thai words: ‘kita’, which means ‘song’ or ‘singing’, and ‘lay’, which translates to ‘sea’ and encapsulates the spirit of the local community. ‘Kitalay’ is thus a joyous ode celebrating the song of the sea.

Kimpton Kitalay Samui view from above

Image credit: IHG/Kimpton Hotels & Resorts

“Koh Samui is renowned for its breath-taking beauty and village living, and this inspires the immersive guest experiences – our take on the return of Samui’s way of life, at the resort,” said Michael Janssen, General Manager, Kimpton Kitalay Samui. “We are also offering Kimpton’s signature perks including a nightly-hosted Social Hour, the brand’s industry-leading Kimpton Pets Programme, and an approachable luxury experience fuelled by a team who champions heartfelt, human connections.”

interior design with traditional thai elements in Kimpton Kitalay Samui

Image credit: IHG/Kimpton Hotels & Resorts

Standing on double-tiered, stilt-suspended platforms, the resort is an enchanting fusion of contemporary design and traditional accents. Local Thai design agency, P49 Deesign integrated rustic wooden elements from repurposed driftwood, nostalgic veranda-style features and timeless accents such as local artwork by Thai artisans. Earthy palettes and wave-inspired terrace furnishings lend a rustic character to the 138 guestrooms and pool villas, complemented by interwoven Thai basketry motifs on the bathroom floors and local artwork upon the walls.

Thai inspired design in guestroom at Kimpton Kitalay Samui

Image credit: IHG/Kimpton Hotels & Resorts

Within the rooms, handwoven ocean blue cotton robes are custom designed by local Samui tailors. An elevated bath experience in the oversized-bathtub awaits with the resort’s signature sea salt and patchouli-scented bath amenities by HARNN including bath bombs, bath salts and milk baths.

With connection and wellness top of mind, Pimãanda by HARNN is the perfect treatment for those seeking to restore balance, with its 14-step spa ritual, or its signature treatment, ‘Paradise of Wondrous Sea’. Apart from a 24-hour gym, guests can also enjoy a refreshing dip in the resort’s outdoor pool, or their own private pools located within the villas, or try Rue Sri Dad Ton, a Thai Hermit’s programme which teaches self-stretching and body manipulation poses that boosts energy and harmonises minds.

traditional woven lampshades in the Lanai Bar at Kimpton Kitalay Samui

Image credit: IHG/Kimpton Hotels & Resorts

First-class food and beverage programmes play a big part in Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants across the world. Kimpton Kitalay Samui is no exception and boasts five distinct and immersive dining venues. The Lanai offers guests a journey of discovery through finely curated coffees including Thai single origin coffee, artisanal teas and locally-produced spirits. Fish House is an elevated all-day beach house dining with its range of classic seafood flavours as well as innovative seafood bao buns or local-inspired spicy nam jim sauce. Guests can also look forward to lounging at SHADES Ocean Lounge and Pool Bar for refreshing poolside cocktails and beach events, dine at the Thai lifestyle café, Boho, or partake in freshly baked fun at HOM Baking Company with its extensive range of creative baked goods, confectionery, specialty teas and cold press juices.

The resort’s lifestyle programming which continues to be part of Kimpton’s DNA, delivers memorable experiences, starting with a morning kickstart experience to Kimpton’s Social Hour, where the brand’s vision to enable human connection comes to life as guests mingle with locals. Not forgetting the furry guests, Kimpton Kitalay Samui’s Pets Programme will delight with special amenities and treats, and even a pet spa experience.

nautical decor in the Kimpton Kitalay Samui Junio Kids Club

Image credit: IHG/Kimpton Hotels & Resorts

Inspired by the buzzing seaside port, Junio is the 500 square-metre, split-level Kids Club at Kimpton Kitalay Samui designed for interaction, creative play and active exploration, Little guests can learn new skills like tie-dye, coconut leave weaving or roll up their sleeves for a day tending to plants and growing their own sprouts at the resort’s Herbs Garden.

The brands debut in this tropical paradise is all about the warmth of human connection and sense of community which are woven into the fabric of an idyllic escape and intertwine into every aspect of the resort through references to the stories and culture of the island’s fishing village.

> Since you’re here, why not check out Kimpton Hotels Australia debut?

Main image credit: IHG/Kimpton Hotels & Resorts

Hotel Designs Ace Hotel Toronto modern guestroom

Exclusive first look inside Ace Hotel Toronto

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Exclusive first look inside Ace Hotel Toronto

Opening this summer, Ace Hotel Toronto will be housed in a new building in Toronto’s Garment District designed by award-winning Toronto firm Shim-Sutcliffe Architects, in collaboration with Atelier Ace’s interior design team. Editor Hamish Kilburn shares what he knows about Ace’s first foray on the Canadian hospitality scene…

Hotel Designs Ace Hotel Toronto modern guestroom

The opening of the 124-key Ace Hotel Toronto this June will mark the brand’s debut property in Canada. The modern hotel, which has been developed in partnership with Zinc Developments and Alterra Group and designed by Toronto-based design firm Shim-Sutcliffe Architects in collaboration with Atelier Ace’s interior design team, will be housed in a new building in Toronto’s Garment District designed. “Our intention with Ace Hotel Toronto was to make a positive contribution to our city, a welcoming civic space where life happens and memories are made, and where both locals and their guests feel equally at home, Brigitte Shim from Shim-Sutcliffe Architects told Hotel Designs.

Guestroom inside Ace Hotel Toronto with wooden interiors and modern design scheme

Image credit: Ace Hotel Group

The new hotel also features dining from critically acclaimed chef Patrick Kriss, who helms the signature restaurant, Alder, and a yet-to-be-named rooftop bar and lounge debuting later this summer.

Ace Hotel Toronto is adjacent to Queen West, Chinatown, and the Downtown business core, blocks from famed music venues Horseshoe Tavern and Velvet Underground, from the Art Gallery of Ontario and TIFF Bell Lightbox — Toronto International Film Festival’s HQ, and from the Bentway, the city’s artistic, cultural, and recreational public space. The hotel reflects the city’s past through a prismatic and future-facing vantage — preserving its layered legacies and adding texture with considered design and feeling. Intentionally crafted as a civic space, the hotel stands both in homage to and in dialogue with the neighbourhood it inhabits.

“We’ve long admired Toronto, a free-thinking city and international cultural capital, and we are thrilled to open our first Canadian home here,” Brad Wilson, CEO, Ace Hotel Group said. “Ace Toronto is housed in a brand-new building inspired, both in design and ethos, by the electricity and independence of this remarkable place. Along with our brilliant collaborators, including Shim-Sutcliffe and Chef Patrick Kriss, we have created a site that reflects the city’s legacy as a global meeting ground and aims to actively share in its future. We look forward to opening our doors and welcoming everyone — locals and visitors alike.”

Entering Ace Hotel Toronto, guests will be greeted by a suspended lobby overlooking St. Andrew’s Playground Park — site of the city’s first patch of green devoted to children’s play. The hotel’s public spaces are defined by an honest and refined material palette of concrete, clay, copper and wood that is echoed throughout the hotel’s public spaces as well as the guest rooms. Site-specific furnishings and lighting were custom-designed by Atelier Ace and Shim-Sutcliffe Architects to bring tangible comfort to the building’s design, and playfully intermix with vintage furniture sourced locally in Toronto. Original artworks by primarily Torontonian artists will offer reflection and joy across the hotel.

The guestrooms, conceived as urban cabins to offer respite from the city, feature deep-set window benches that invite conversation and closeness, and grant sitters bird’s-eye views of the park below.

Widely regarded as one of the world’s top culinary talents, Chef Patrick Kriss holds the distinction of being awarded the title of “Outstanding Chef” by Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants consecutively from 2017-2020. Relaxed and inviting, Alder aims to be an all-day hangout for Toronto. “For Alder’s menu, we’ve been inspired by the use of earthen and tactile materials in the design of Ace Hotel Toronto,” explained Kriss. “In the same way, our offerings will be direct and elemental. Drawing on elements from the wood-fired grill, we envision a little more olive oil than butter; lightly-treated seasonal vegetables; a selection of crudos, handmade pastas, and charcoal- grilled seafood and meats.”

The restaurant’s keystone is its wood-fired hearth and grill, which offer the simple yet effective preparation methods of open flame and smoke to gently transform seasonal ingredients selected at their peak.

Ace Hotel Toronto will take the Ace into a new territory. The lifestyle hospitality brand also has properties in Seattle, Portland, New York, Palm Springs, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, New Orleans, Chicago, Kyoto and Brooklyn. Following high anticipation, Ace Hotel Sydney is due to open next.

Main image credit: Ace Hotel Group

Marriott provides insight on 2022 hotel development

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Marriott provides insight on 2022 hotel development

Marriott International, which added 86,000 gross rooms last year and 517 properties, provides Hotel Designs with the latest on its hotel development progress, while also indicating a few emerging travel trends that are currently shaping hospitality development. Editor Hamish Kilburn writes…

Following the lows of the pandemic, 2021 was a surprisingly good year for Marriott International and there was plenty to celebrate about, including opening its 70th hotel in Japan, opening its 100th JW Marriott property worldwide and agreeing the signings of three new hotels in Saudi Arabia.

At the end of 2021, the hotel group’s worldwide system consisted of nearly 8,000 properties and roughly 1.48 million rooms in 139 countries and territories. At year-end, the company had the largest global development pipeline, with roughly 485,000 rooms. The company signed 599 agreements during 2021 representing approximately 92,000 rooms of which slightly more than half are located outside of U.S. and Canada. Rooms falling out of the pipeline remain at historically low levels, despite challenges brought on by the pandemic. During 2021, Marriott added more than 86,000 rooms on a gross basis, growing the system 3.9 percent, including deletions of 2.1 per cent. The deletion rate was 1.2 per cent excluding the exit of 88 Service Properties Trust select service hotels.

“Marriott has the benefit of sitting at the intersection of information and insights from a global community of developers, properties, owners and franchisees, as well as the more than 160 million members of our Marriott Bonvoy travel program,” said Stephanie Linnartz, President, Marriott International. “Our analysis of the prevalent trends in global development is particularly instructive as we continue to recover from this global pandemic. We have been focused on working closely with our valued community of owners and franchisees throughout these unprecedented times. We are pleased with our strong 2021 development results and look forward to continuing to drive value for our owners and franchisees throughout the recovery and beyond with our quality brands, our comprehensive business support systems and industry leading loyalty platform.”

Luxury maintains momentum

Travellers crave leisure luxury travel experiences seeking iconic destinations and undiscovered locations. Marriott is poised to meet this demand with its unmatched portfolio of seven dynamic luxury brands across 476 hotels spanning 69 countries and territories.

In 2021, Marriott International signed 40 luxury hotel deals, representing more than 6,000 rooms, and grew its portfolio of luxury hotel rooms by 4.8 per cent net, with notable additions in prime locations around the globe including Philadelphia (W Hotels), Nashville (W Hotels), Charlotte (JW Marriott), Bermuda (St. Regis), Paris (Bulgari), Rome (W Hotels), Maldives (The Ritz-Carlton), Budapest (The Luxury Collection) and Reykjavik (EDITION).

Hotel Design of W Rome

Image caption: Lobby/lounge inside W Rome. | Image credit: W Hotels

The company continues to expand its luxury footprint and has by far the largest global pipeline of hotels in this important, high fee earning segment, with nearly 50,000 rooms. Marriott anticipates debuting more than 30 luxury hotels in 2022 in destinations from Mexico (The St. Regis Kanai Resort) and Portugal (W Algarve) to Australia (The Ritz-Carlton, Melbourne) and South Korea (JW Marriott Jeju Resort & Spa). Marriott’s industry leading luxury portfolio adds to the power of Marriott Bonvoy, giving members a tremendous choice of experiences around the globe.

The leisure boom continues booming

Leisure demand has led the travel recovery, a trend that is expected to continue into 2022, as travellers continue to embrace multi-purpose trips, mixing remote work and vacation time. Leisure transient global room nights were the first to recover to 2019 pre-pandemic levels in the second quarter of 2021. For some time prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, leisure travel had been growing at a faster pace than business travel, and according to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), all signs point to a continuation of the trend. Marriott’s industry leading resort network includes more than 600 properties in beach, mountain and desert locations around the world that have seen incredibly high demand and have demonstrated impressive average daily rates.

Contemporary public area inside a Marriott Hotel

Image credit: Marriott International

Consumer interest in the very high growth all-inclusive resort segment continues to increase. Marriott intends to therefore capitalise on its strong recent momentum in this area, leveraging its proven brands to drive additional growth in this important segment. Currently, Marriott International’s all-inclusive portfolio spans 28 properties, representing more than 8,000 rooms in locations across the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America. In 2021, Marriott International signed 22 agreements for all-inclusive resorts, marking a company record, including 20 all-inclusive resorts under its Autograph Collection Hotels brand and the first Marriott branded all-inclusive resort agreement in North Africa.

“Marriott’s all-inclusive platform is energising the segment and providing Marriott Bonvoy members, owners and franchisees access to our strong brands,” said Carlton Ervin, Global Development Officer, International, Marriott International. “While our initial all-inclusive growth has been focused in the Caribbean and Latin America, we see tremendous opportunity to expand our all-inclusive platform into additional markets, including the Mediterranean and the Middle East.”

Europe, Romania, Bucharest, The Marmorosch

Image caption: The Marmorosch Bucharest, Autograph Collection. | Image credit: Marriott International

The extended stay segment has always been attractive to leisure travellers and has become even more popular with the increase in remote work and the blending of business and leisure travel. Marriott International is the leader in the extended stay segment, setting the bar with the introduction of its Residence Inn brand almost 40 years ago. In 2021, extended stay accounted for 37 per cent of the company’s rooms signings in U.S. and Canada. Marriott Bonvoy’s extended stay brands – Element Hotels, Residence Inn by Marriott and TownePlace Suites by Marriott – include more than 1,400 hotels, offering stays from a few nights to a few weeks. Notable expected openings in 2022 include Element City Center Doha, Residence Inn by Marriott The Hague City Center and TownePlace Suites Cape Canaveral Cocoa Beach.

With growing consumer demand, Marriott’s extended stay portfolio offers modern design, signature programming​, new food and beverage offerings​, a flexible room mix for leisure and business​ travel and a proven operating model. At ALIS, Marriott will be showcasing Element Hotels, Residence Inn by Marriott and TownePlace Suites by Marriott through its ‘Longer Stay Lounge’, a space where investors, owners and operators can experience the latest in brand programming and designs while networking. The Longer Stay Lounge will present immersive brand vignettes that will allow visitors to learn about and experience each of the company’s longer stay brands.

Modern spa area inside the JW Marriott hotel

Image credit: JW Marriott

“The extended stay segment has been extremely resilient over the past few years and guest and owner demand continues to grow, driven in some measure by the rise in multi-purpose travel,” said Noah Silverman, Global Development Officer, U.S. & Canada, Marriott International. “We are excited for continued momentum around extended stay and to use our presence at ALIS to communicate the strength and possibilities of Marriott’s longer stay category and the impressive value it brings to owners.”

Conversions transform across the portfolio

Conversions are an important driver of rooms growth in any year, but they have been particularly meaningful during more disruptive times. Marriott provides a rich and flexible conversion platform with significant revenue synergies, cost saving opportunities and turnkey access to many of the programs and services that the company provides, including the company’s powerful Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program.

Marriott added more than 18,000 conversion rooms in 2021, accounting for 21 per cent of overall openings. In addition, conversions accounted for 27 per cent of rooms signings in 2021. Interest in conversions into Marriott brands remains high, led by the company’s robust portfolio of collection brands, including Autograph Collection Hotels, The Luxury Collection, and in particular the Tribute Portfolio, which has grown its footprint of open and pipeline hotels by nearly four times in the past five years. In addition, Delta Hotels by Marriott, the company’s flexible full-service conversion brand represented nine percent of signed conversion deals in 2021. Notable expected conversion additions in 2022 include the JW Marriott Hotel São Paulo in Brazil, The Brix, Autograph Collection in Trinidad and Tobago, The Serangoon House, Singapore, A Tribute Portfolio Hotel and a Delta Hotels by Marriott City Center Doha in Qatar.

Strong international growth poised to continue

In 2021, the company signed 256 agreements representing nearly 51,000 rooms in international locations outside the U.S. and Canada. With the company rapidly growing its international footprint, Marriott continues to enter new markets, offering travellers more exciting destinations. In 2021, the company expanded into Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Bermuda, Grenada, St. Lucia and Turks & Caicos. In 2022, the company expects to plant its flag in Albania and Honduras.

Luxury minimalist suite

Image credit: Ritz Carlton/Marriott Hotels

Development activity for well-established brands within the select service space remains another key driver of growth, especially internationally. Comprised of brands including Courtyard by Marriott, Fairfield by Marriott, Four Points by Sheraton, Aloft Hotels and Moxy Hotels, Marriott International’s select brands are increasingly resonating internationally. In 2021, the company opened 107 select service hotels representing nearly 19,000 rooms in 29 countries across its international regions. In China, select brands further expand consumer travel experiences and choices, bringing guests diversified experiences in emerging Chinese destinations. Notable expected openings in 2022 include Element Yangjiang Hailing Island and Moxy Suzhou City Center. In 2021, Fairfield by Marriott continued to make its mark in Japan with the “Michi-no-eki” project, bringing six more hotels to key locations across four prefectures in Japan. The company also launched its new Fairfield prototype in Europe and the Middle East.

Branded residential soars

Marriott’s branded residential business soared in 2021 as evolving lifestyle changes have sparked growing interest in on-demand amenities and services from brands people admire and trust. Marriott continues to lead the branded residential segment with nearly 190 projects open or in development worldwide across 14 of the company’s brands.

Marriott’s branded residential offerings include a standalone residence model with similar elevated services offered at the company’s hotel properties, but without a co-located hotel, which speaks to the power of Marriott’s brands to attract residential buyers in markets around the globe. In 2021, Marriott signed its first standalone residences for the EDITION brand in Miami and for the Autograph Collection Hotels brand in London. The company currently operates 14 standalone residences with 16 in the pipeline. Overall, the branded residential sector continues to grow rapidly internationally, with nearly 80 percent of Marriott’s upcoming projects located outside of the U.S. and Canada. The company expects to debut 14 residential projects in 2022 in destinations from New York City (The Ritz-Carlton Residences, New York, NoMad) and Algarve (W Residences Algarve) to Belgrade (The Residences at The St. Regis Belgrade).

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Main image credit: Marriott International

Raffles Boston Back Bay Hotel & Residences, The Secret Garden,

Raffles announces hotel openings expected in 2022

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Raffles announces hotel openings expected in 2022

Raffles Hotels & Resorts is continuing its global expansion with new openings in Boston, Macau and Jeddah slated for later this year. Here’s what we know…

Raffles Boston Back Bay Hotel & Residences, The Secret Garden,

Known for transforming landmark properties in storied destinations around the world, Raffles is adding a host of distinguished locations that will continue to set the standard in the luxury hospitality industry. Later this year, Raffles has announced that it will debut flagship locations in Boston, Jeddah and Macau, among others.

Raffles Boston Back Bay Hotel & Residences, Balcony overlooking the city

Image credit: Raffles Hotels & Resorts / Binyan Studios

Raffles Boston will be the brand’s first mixed-use North American venture, featuring both a hotel and private residences. Located in Boston’s prestigious Back Bay neighbourhood, just a block away from Copley Square, the 35-storey building will be a new landmark in Boston’s skyline, with 146 residences, 147 guestrooms, and six restaurant and bar venues, including a sky bar and speakeasy. The property will feature state-of-the-art facilities and amenities. The striking three-story sky lobby, the first of its kind in Boston, will be the centrepiece of the property, complete with a grand staircase spanning the 17th, 18th and 19th floors.

Raffles at Galaxy Macau will be situated within a stunning architectural landmark featuring a glass airbridge that connects the two towers on every floor. Each of the 450 suites draws inspiration from a modern palazzo, with curated artworks and some featuring private pools and gardens. Raffles at Galaxy Macau will be a spectacular addition to the Galaxy Macau, a world-class luxury integrated resort that offers an array of bespoke leisure activities, on-site entertainment and a specialty restaurant helmed by a multi-Michelin-starred Japanese chef.

dramatic glass and marble entrance and lobby to Raffles Hotel Jeddah

Image credit: Raffles Hotels & Resorts

Inspired by the rich history of Saudi Arabia and Jeddah’s old town architecture, Raffles Jeddah will have 181 guestrooms – including a spectacular wedding suite and penthouse suite with in-room entertainment – and 188 branded residences. Alongside six restaurants and lounges, there will be an extensive library, a 1,200 square metre spa with eight treatment rooms and a state-of-the-art fitness club. The hotel’s meeting facilities include a 1,500 square metre ballroom overlooking the corniche and 1,000 square metres of conference rooms.

Raffles Hotels & Resorts has an illustrious history with some of the most prestigious hotel addresses worldwide, starting as far back as 1887 with the original Raffles Singapore. With these properties set to open in 2022 the brand will continue its tradition of luxury in leading cities across the world.

> Since you’re here, why not have a look inside the first Raffles hotel in India?

Main image credit: Raffles Hotels & Resorts

Accor Hotel restaurant and bar design with natural materials and surfaces

Accor steps into boldly into 2022 with 25 new hotel signings

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Accor steps into boldly into 2022 with 25 new hotel signings

Accor ended 2021 on a high note with the signing of 25 hotels in northern Europe in December, bringing its total signings in the region to an impressive 89. We take a closer look at its plans and pipeline for the year ahead…

Accor Hotel restaurant and bar design with natural materials and surfaces

Last year saw a strong development across Accor’s Northern European region, which today consists of more than 1,100 hotels across a portfolio of more than 20 brands spanning 31 countries, from Ireland through to Russia.

“2021 was a phenomenal year for signings culminating in a strong year end across the region,” said Camil Yazbeck, Senior Vice President Development, Accor Northern Europe .”Accor has maintained its stronghold on the region with a 39 per cent branded hotel market share in signings. In 2020 development was resilient, in 2021 our signings returned to pre-pandemic levels. Development is future looking and our strong pipeline reflects our and our partners’ strong belief in market recovery.”

Accor hotel lobby in black and white with gold accents

Image credit: Accor

Within the UK, 2021 ended with 13 signings across all of Accor’s portfolio, and added more than 500 guestrooms to the group’s already strong London portfolio. The year closed with the signing of Hyde Paradox Hotel London City, which will be coming soon to the historic location by the Old Bailey in the heart of London. The 110 guestroom property will occupy the 15 Old Bailey, originally known as the Spiers & Pond Hotel. Built in 1874 by architect Evans Cronk and converted to office use in the early 1900’s, the latest re-conversion by Hyde London City owners OB Capital, seeks to return the asset back to the iconic hotel that it once was. This stylish property is expected to open in 2023. Hyde Hotels, Resorts & Residences is part of Ennismore, a joint venture with Accor, formed in 2021.

Accor Hotel guestroom detail with orange sofa

Image credit: Accor

Signings span Accor’s strong spectrum of brands, from economy to luxury, with notable growth in key brands such as the ibis brand family, with 27 signings across ibis, ibis budget and ibis Styles. Mercure saw an additional 15 signings across the leading midscale brand, including one Mercure Living longer-stay brand. Novotel signed a further 7 properties, including two Novotel Living brands, and the new economy and midscale conversion brands, greet and By Mercure, gathered momentum, with 10 signings across the two brands.

Germany, Poland, Russia and the Benelux continued to dominate the brand acquisitions, with strong signings in each region. Eastern Europe remains a strong pipeline for the group with multiple signings in countries including Albania, Croatia, Georgia, Hungary, Moldova, Montenegro and Romania.

Black freestanding bath in Accor Hotel guestroom

Image credit: Accor

Accor boasts an unrivalled portfolio of distinctive brands and has one of the industry’s most diverse hospitality ecosystems from luxury through to economy brands. Its growth moving into 2022 ensures it is set to retain its position on the lifestyle hospitality platform.

> Since you’re here, why not find out more about Accor Masai Mara, Kenya?

Main image credit: Accor

The Retreat inside The Londoner

How The Londoner created a new dialogue between design & wellness

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
How The Londoner created a new dialogue between design & wellness

Sitting majestically above Leicester Square, in its very own island site, The Londoner took the design and architecture community’s breath away when it opened in 2021. One year on, Editor Hamish Kilburn meets Rob Steul, the Creative Director of Edwardian Hotels to learn more about the unparalleled design and wellness narrative…

The Retreat inside The Londoner

It was one of the most ambitious architecture and hotel development projects that Leicester Square had ever seen. The plans for the world’s first ‘super boutique’ hotel, The Londoner, designed by Yabu Pushelberg, engineer experts at Arup Associates and artist Ian Monroe, reportedly cost £5 million and included 15-storeys of innovative design and architecture. 

Rob Steul, the Creative Director of Edwardian Hotels, was the puppet master – AKA architect – behind the magnificent and innovative performance. Due to urban planning height restrictions, Steul and his team proposed a 30-metre subterranean series of spaces on six levels, which created the deepest habitable basement in London and among the deepest in the world – a factor that presented a plethora of architectural, structural and engineering challenges for all involved.

As the hotel moves close to its one year anniversary – a milestone in itself considering the unpredictable landscape along with travel restrictions that the hotel opened within – Hotel Designs, in association with AXOR and Hansgrohe, caught up with Steul to understand how, as well as architecture, the hotel has reached new heights (or depths is perhaps more apt) in wellness and wellbeing.

Hansgrohe is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our Recommended Suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: Hansgrohe

Render of Somewhere Else in The Bahamas, by Pharrell Williams and David Grutman

Pharrell Williams and David Grutman to open hotel in The Bahamas

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Pharrell Williams and David Grutman to open hotel in The Bahamas

The 13-time Grammy rapper, songwriter and producer Pharrell Williams and nightclub entrepreneur David Grutman have announced that they will open a new lifestyle hotel in 2024. Set the be the creative duo’s largest hospitality project, Somewhere Else, will be located on a small island just off Nassau in The Bahamas. Editor Hamish Kilburn writes…

Render of Somewhere Else in The Bahamas, by Pharrell Williams and David Grutman

It’s not the first time celebrities have dipped their toe in the hospitality waters, with the likes of Hugh Jackman, Donatella Versace, Elizabeth Hurley and of course Robert De Niro among A-listers owning hotels. The recent addition to the list includes Pharrell Williams and David Grutman who in 2021 opened The Goodtime Hotel to rave reviews.

Less than a year later, the pair have tasked design and architecture studio Rockwell Group to bring to life their next hotel vision of a design-forward lifestyle hotel in The Bahamas.

“Throughout the resort, there will be a strong emphasis on indoor-outdoor flows with flush, freeform landscaping.”

The new hotel will be situated on Atlantis Paradise Island, in a building that has been, until now, referred to as The Beach – and was the island’s first hotel, originally designed by the late Morris Lapidus who was a leader of the vivacious ‘Miami-modern’ style.

The 400-key hotel, named Somewhere Else, is slated to open its doors in 2024 and will shelter multiple F&B outlets and  bungalows featuring recording studios. Throughout the resort, there will be a strong emphasis on indoor-outdoor flows with flush, freeform landscaping. Williams referred to the project as “tropical modernism” in a recent interview.

The design of the property will be led by Shawn Sullivan, Partner at Rockwell Group. The overall aesthetic will take inspiration from topography of the landscape. The latest renders show a water-coloured depiction of a flamingo pink-trimmed building. On the site, the hotel will feature cascading pools that draw the eye towards the sea and polychrome room concepts with flashes of colour, CNN reports.

Despite this project being Williams and Gutman’s largest and most complex development undertaking to date, the 13-time Grammy winner and the nightclub entrepreneur have previously completed two other hospitality ventures; Miami-based restaurant The Swan and The Goodtime Hotel.

Main render credit: Somewhere Else/Rockwell Group

The House Collective

Weekly digest: Eco hotel openings, tech updates & Vegas developments

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Weekly digest: Eco hotel openings, tech updates & Vegas developments

Roll up, roll up! Editor Hamish Kilburn here with your weekly digest. If you’re drowning in work, hurtling towards deadlines or are unable to scour the net for design and hospitality news, then this is the only article you need to read about the latest hotel openings and news to be stay in the loop…

The House Collective

In this week’s digest, there’s a lot to cover – from technology hit and misses at CES 2022 to Regent Hotels’ debut property Vietnam, and even our feature that follows our cheeky trip to the Harrison Spinks farm. Having looked at the analytics, this month’s news is largely dominated by hotel openings, which come in all shapes, sizes and styles – and this week has been no exception with a number of sneak peeks garnering a lot of attention.

From all the headlines that we have published, here are the most significant.

How the design scene is embracing Net Zero initiatives

coastal bedroom designed using net zero principles and sutainable materials

Image credit: Perkins&Will

With Net Zero fast becoming the buzzword of 2022, along with conversations around sustainability and the importance of working towards a circular economy, and brands such as GROHEHarrison Spinks and Room2 pledging to become Net Zero, design studio Perkins&Will has published a report which identifies the steps it is taking – and what other design studios could be doing – to create Net Zero projects by 2030.

Read more.

On the farm with Harrison Spinks

Image caption: Each interior design scheme has been themed to celebrate the locality of the farm, such as Fenton, my hut, which is a nod to RAF Church Fenton. | Image credit: Harrison Spinks

Image caption: Each interior design scheme has been themed to celebrate the locality of the farm, such as Fenton, my hut, which is a nod to RAF Church Fenton. | Image credit: Harrison Spinks

In the heart of the Yorkshire countryside – slap-bang between Leeds and York – editor Hamish Kilburn arrived on the 300-acre farm where the Harrison Spinks journey evolved into one that was centred around sustainable and innovative initiatives. From understanding the benefits of hemp to seeing how the bed manufacturer is keeping British manufacturing alive, Hotel Designs was given full access for 48 hours to understand why the bed and mattress manufacturer is commonly referred to as ‘the true bedmakers’.

Read more.

Hard Rock Hotels to transform the Las Vegas strip

guitar shaped hard rock hotel in las vegas

Image credit: Hard Rock Hotels

Hospitality and entertainment company Hard Rock International, has announced its agreement to acquire The Mirage Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas from MGM Resorts International. Having made history in 2019 with designing the first ever guitar-shaped hotel for its Florida expansion, Hard Rock is planning to add to its guitar collection by building  its second guitar-shaped hotel, this time on the famous Las Vegas Strip.

Read more.

The technology products that hit and missed at CES 2022

A stillness bath by Kohler

Image credit: Kohler

Quiet floors, a lack of international travellers and it all coming to close a day early due to the organisers facing pressures from travel restrictions and the Covid-19 crisis: is this really the same CES that dominated the world’s attention every January with the biggest tech show on earth? Well, the answer is ‘no’ but for good and healthy reasons for the hotel technology sector.

Read more.

Regent Hotels to arrive in Vietnam this spring

Regent Phu Quoc villa with swimming pool over looking the lagoon on long beach vietnam

Image credit: Regent Hotels & Resorts

IHG Hotels & Resorts will launch the first resort from its recently acquired, leading luxury brand, Regent Hotels & Resorts this Spring in South East Asia. Situated off the southwest coast of Vietnam, alongside a UNESCO-designated World Biosphere Reserve, Regent Phu Quoc will usher in a new era for this heritage brand, offering guests 176 spectacular suites and 126 spacious villas, set against the serene waterfront backdrop of Long Beach.

Read more.

Nordic Hotels to open Sommerro in Oslo this year

Scandic climate neutral hotel guestroom

Image credit: Scandic Hotels

Nordic Hotels & Resorts has announced that it is bringing one of Oslo’s most iconic buildings back to life as Sommerro – a new luxury hotel set to open its doors in September 2022.

Read more.

The Set Collection adds four new properties to portfolio

fireplace and lounge area in the Upper House in Hong Kong

Image credit: The House Collective

In an exciting marriage of East and West, this the first chapter in an organisation that looks set to disrupt the traditional models of what went before, while doing justice to the reputation and success of the iconic properties present at its start.

“I cannot think of a better group of hotels to be our first new members than The House Collective,” said Jean-Luc Naret, Executive Director of The Set Collection.

Read more.

And one for the January blues: Vibrant, story-telling hotel art for optimistic times

breaking boundaries by Frances Bildner

With coming out of lockdown and the latest omicron fears easing up, it’s time to look forward to some fresh outlooks. Frances Bildner of Frances Bildner Expressive Arts produces and sells dynamic artwork to hotels, other businesses and residences and is no stranger on Hotel Designs‘ radar. Her paintings often tell stories, albeit abstract ones, and enhance interior design schemes by injecting vitality to the environment. Her paintings, described by New York’s Village Voice as being “vital enough to convert even the most jaded of people”, bring life and colour to empty walls.

Read more.

Since you’re here…

More than 60,000 readers per month enjoy the content we publish on Hotel Designs. Our mission is to define the point on international hotel design, and we are doing that by serving relevant news stories and engaging features. To keep up to date on the hottest stories that are emerging, you can sign up to the newsletter, which is completely free of charge. As well as receiving a weekly round-up of the top stories, you will also access our bi-monthly HD Edit –staying ahead of the curve has never been so easy!

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Main image credit: The House Collective

Regent Phu Quoc spa and treatment room

Regent Hotels to arrive in Vietnam this spring

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Regent Hotels to arrive in Vietnam this spring

Regent Phu Quoc, with design inspired by the tropical and tranquil surroundings in which it is set, is on track to combine the brand’s trademark luxury with Vietnamese heritage to create a unique and immersive destination resort…

Regent Phu Quoc spa and treatment room

IHG Hotels & Resorts will launch the first resort from its recently acquired, leading luxury brand, Regent Hotels & Resorts this Spring in South East Asia. Situated off the southwest coast of Vietnam, alongside a UNESCO-designated World Biosphere Reserve, Regent Phu Quoc will usher in a new era for this heritage brand, offering guests 176 spectacular suites and 126 spacious villas, set against the serene waterfront backdrop of Long Beach.

Regent Phu Quoc villa with swimming pool over looking the lagoon on long beach vietnam

Image credit: Regent Hotels & Resorts

Designed by BLINK Design Group who were inspired by the island’s tropical abundance and tranquil surrounding, the villas at Regent Phu Quoc showcase panoramic views of the translucent ocean and sky from their private infinity pools. The resort offers multiple accommodation options perfect for both couples and families, from one-bedroom havens to expansive seven-bedroom ultra-villas, including beach pool villas with direct access to the pristine white beach, sky pool villas situated high in the Sky Wing with breathtaking ocean views and lagoon pool villas which overlook the striking vista of the resort’s lagoons.

“Founded more than 50 years ago, Regent Hotels & Resorts changed the face of modern luxury with bold firsts, such as pioneering the private villa with pool concept which have since become luxury hotel standards,” said Juan Losada, General Manager, Regent Phu Quoc. “With the opening of Regent Phu Quoc, a truly visionary resort has been conceived which marries the calming, the imaginative and the extravagant. We look forward to setting new luxury benchmarks through exceptional Vietnamese hospitality and guest experiences which feel simultaneously luxurious and effortless.”

infinity pool at sky villa in Regent Phu Quoc Vietnam

Image credit: Regent Hotels & Resorts

With a design brief of Vietnamese heritage meets minimalist modernity, the resort’s architecture echoes and reflects the traditional Vietnamese vernacular, while its design maximises access to the environment with floor-to-ceiling glass windows framing enchanting ocean views, and inside spaces featuring decadent touches that hint at the tropical surroundings. Guests will be greeted by a modern interpretation of Vietnamese roofs, and a variation of the local traditional wooden truss structural system, known as the Bovi, has been developed into subtle patterns found on screens, carpets and accessories. Another local style, known as Gian Nha, comprising small courtyards within a traditional Vietnamese house, is the inspiration for the layouts in the villa designs. The boundaries of indoor and outdoor areas blur through intelligent zoning across the resort as a homage to Gian Nha, providing privacy within a luxurious setting in this evolution of a traditional way of living.

main swimming pool under a pagoda at Regent Phu Quoc

Image credit: Regent Hotels & Resorts

The Spa at Regent Phu Quoc will offer an innovative approach to wellness, with a curated schedule of contemporary and traditional treatments that go beyond the ordinary. Guests can experience a highly personalised wellness itinerary guided by the resident Holistic Wellness Coach. The resort’s holistic wellness programmes include Acoustic/Vibrational Therapy complemented by the Welnamis System, as well as Psammo Hot Sand Therapy on an exclusive quartz bed designed by Gharieni, one of the world’s leading spa manufacturers. In addition, guests can experience Biologique Recherche treatments, and the Pedi:Mani:Cure concept salon by renowned podiatrist Bastien Gonzalez. alongside all these treatments, the Health Club features a fitness centre, reset meditation studio and rooftop yoga pavilions to recharge and rejuvenate.

Adding to the sense of natural rejuvenation on offer, is the fact that nearly half of Phu Quoc island is a National Park. The northern part of the island is home to  kilometres of lush tropical forest which has been declared as a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, while the southern part of the island is popular for its pristine white sand beaches. With this impressive natural backdrop the resort has kept this as its focus, and maintained a sensitive approach to the design while introducing visitors to a range of immersive destination experiences that showcases all the rustic charm of an idyllic island life.

Main image credit: Regent Hotels & Resorts

Sommerro Hotel art deco designed guestroom

Nordic Hotels to open Sommerro in Oslo this year

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Nordic Hotels to open Sommerro in Oslo this year

Before one of Oslo’s most iconic art-deco buildings is restored back to life as new luxury hotel Sommerro, Hotel Designs get a sneak peak into the design that plans to ‘revolutionise’ the city’s hospitality landscape.  Pauline Brettell writes…

Sommerro Hotel art deco designed guestroom

Nordic Hotels & Resorts has announced that it is bringing one of Oslo’s most iconic buildings back to life as Sommerro – a new luxury hotel set to open its doors in September 2022.

With panoramic views of the Norwegian capital, Sommerro is housed in the former headquarters of Oslo Lysverker, the city’s original electrical company, and will be a modern tribute to Norwegian cultural heritage, with a strong focus on eco-conscious experiences. A community in its own right, the 231-key, art-deco hotel, complete with 56 branded residences, will shelter four restaurants and three bars, meeting and event spaces with capacity for up to 150 people, a 100-seat gilded theatre, a gym and wellness space, and the city’s first year-round rooftop pool, sauna, and terrace.

“Sommerro will be an open house for all where visitors and locals can work, sleep, eat, play and recharge.” – Jarle Moen, Managing Director of Sommerro.

“Our vision is to redefine Oslo’s hospitality landscape by creating a new kind of hotel built on Frogner’s classic and creative neighbourhood spirit,” said Jarle Moen, Managing Director of Sommerro. “Made by the local community, Sommerro will be an open house for all where visitors and locals can work, sleep, eat, play and recharge. Together, we are creating an inspiring space where kindred souls and culture-makers can gather in cosy corners or pop by for a range of experiences from intimate gatherings and work meetings to late-night movie screenings and wine tastings in our library.”

Drawing heavily from the building’s magnificent architectural details, Sommerro will pay homage to a fusion of neoclassical contemporary aesthetics with original elements that have been meticulously restored and developed by local firm LPO Architects in collaboration with New York and London based studio GrecoDeco. Notable art deco details include oak parquet flooring, bespoke furnishings upholstered with 1930s Norwegian motifs, and slick bathrooms with custom tiles. Original artwork by celebrated Norwegian artist Per Krohg is featured throughout the hotel, with unique pieces including a giant wall fresco and a ceiling mural that nods to the building’s heritage, highlighting life after the wonders of electricity.

The crown jewel of Sommerro’s social spaces is its year-round rooftop terrace, home to the contemporary restaurant Tak Oslo. The hotel will also offer Lysverker Scene, an alluring 100-seat gilded theatre that will host intimate events open to the public. Vestkantbadet, one of the few public baths left in all of Norway, has been brought back to its former glory and expanded into an 740-square-metre underground wellness paradise – the largest of any city hotel across the Nordic countries. Open to hotel guests and the public, the wellness space will include a series of treatment rooms, restored Roman baths, a gym with an infrared sauna, and cold plunge pool offering a traditional Nordic thermotherapy experience, all with soothing, eco-friendly spa products.

Sommerro spa and plunge pool with art deco design details

Image credit: Sommerro Hotel

Expected to become one of Oslo’s most coveted culinary destinations, the hotel will feature four restaurants, including outposts from local favourites Barramon, a Spanish tapas and wine bar, and Plah, one of the city’s most popular restaurants that features elevated cuisine by Norway’s ‘Best Thai Chef’ Terje Ommundsen. Ekspedisjonshallen, an all-day dining spot located in the former hall where the public once paid their electricity bills, will come to life with regular DJ performances accompanied with brasserie-style cuisine, and the hotel’s central sunken floor will be converted into a lively bar overlooked by the vast Per Krohg wall mural.

Adjacent to Ekspedisjonshallen will be To Søstre, an elegant home for mimosa-fuelled afternoon teas served on decadent cake trolleys and accompanied by regular classical concerts. The sky is the limit on the hotel’s seventh floor at Tak Oslo, a Nordic-Japanese restaurant by award-winning Swedish chef Frida Ronge, where guests can experience hyper-local, seasonal dishes using sustainable Norwegian produce and seafood.

The hotel will invite groups of 12 to 150 people to gather within its dynamic range of meeting and event spaces, which include Sommerrostuene, a collection of four laidback and playful rooms; Salongen, a relaxed interchangeable room; Storstua, a break-out area serving grab and go lunches; Biblioteket, a snug book-filled library layered with whimsical Nordic touches; and Kinoen, an intimate screening room. On the Heritage floor, eight historical rooms outfitted with top technology and again adorned with original ceiling murals from Per Krohg, will also be available to rent.

As the most recent independent venture by Nordic Hotels & Resorts, Sommerro will uphold and enhance the group’s commitment to eco-sustainability through a variety of meaningful on-property practices and amenities, from what dishes are served at each restaurant to the materials used to design and construct the guestrooms and property as a whole. A year-round destination with sweeping views over the Norwegian capital, visitors of Sommerro can explore the local neighbourhood of Frogner while enjoying the curated guest experiences brought to life in this historic building full of inspiring design, and great storytelling.

Main image credit: Nordic Hotels & Resorts

Scandic climate neutral hotel guestroom

Scandic to open climate-neutral hotel in 2024

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Scandic to open climate-neutral hotel in 2024

Sweden’s Scandic Hotels puts sustainability high on the agenda as it is set to go climate neutral in its latest development. Here’s what we know about the plans for Scandic Sundsvall Central…

Scandic climate neutral hotel guestroom

Scandic Hotels has signed a long-term lease agreement with Skanska for a new 210-key hotel in downtown Sundsvall. The new hotel, located in the city’s harbour area and slated to open in 2024, will be built of wood giving it a very high environmental standard. The hotel will be called Scandic Sundsvall Central and will be ideally located next to Sundsvall’s harbour and railway station.

exterior of proposed new scandic climate neutral hotel

Image credit: Scandic Hotels

“We’ve been developing the hotel together with Skanska for the past two years and naturally, it feels extremely positive to be further strengthening our hotel offering in the city,” said Peter Jangbratt, Head of Scandic Hotels Sweden.

Along with the proposed guestrooms, it will have a restaurant and bar area on the ground floor. One floor up, guests will be able to enjoy the hotel’s spa and wellness facilities, gym and meeting rooms while taking in the spectacular view of the Bothnian Sea. The building’s frame, facade and interior will all be made of wood, meeting the requirements for the high-ranking environmental certification, LEED Gold. With its choice of energy-efficient materials and solar panels on the roof, the new hotel will maintain a very high energy standard and be 100 per cent climate-neutral during its lifetime.

“It is gratifying to now have Scandic as a tenant – a company that shares our values in terms of sustainability and with which we have worked closely in other projects,” added Joakim Åkesson, Regional Manager at Skanska Sverige.

Adding to its existing portfolio of two hotels in Sundsvall, this new addition to the Scandic family will be a modern and attractive meeting place ideally located in an exciting area where the brand has identified a growing demand for hotel accommodations.

Main image credit: Scandic Hotels

NOBU Santorini and a birds eye view of swimming pool

Nobu to arrive in Santorini this spring

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Nobu to arrive in Santorini this spring

Nobu Hospitality, the global lifestyle brand founded by Nobu Matsuhisa, Robert De Niro, and Meir Teper, has just announced that its first hotel and restaurant in Greece, the Nobu Hotel and Restaurant Santorini, is scheduled to open in spring 2022. Here’s what we know…

NOBU Santorini and a birds eye view of swimming pool

Situated on the island’s captivating northeast coast, the boutique hotel houses a signature Nobu Restaurant, full-service spa, fitness facility, dual-level infinity pool, and five luxurious pool villas, and offers panoramic views of both the Caldera and Aegean Sea from its unique clifftop location in Imerovigli. Just a short drive to the charming coastal town of Oia and within striking distance of Santorini International Airport, the hotel is well-positioned along the famed Oia-Fira hiking trail that runs between Oia and Fira, Santorini’s cosmopolitan capital.

view of Nobu Santorini looking across pool and out to sea

Image credit: Nobu Hospitality

Nobu Hospitality has entered a long-term management agreement with MonteRock International (MRI), a group with over 25 years of experience in a variety of core industries including hospitality, media, food & beverage, real estate, banking, and industrial technology.

“We are really proud of the rock-solid collaboration we are having with Nobu brand throughout the years, and we are now more than delighted to expand together in the hospitality industry,” said Alfredo Longo, Chief Executive Officer MonteRock International. “In this incredible canvas such as the Island of Santorini, the finest of what Nobu lifestyle and cuisine have to offer would be served in a picture-perfect setting, catering to every need at the highest standards.”

Nobu hotel Santorini at sunset

Image credit: Nobu Hospitality

“We are very excited to be coming to Santorini and to work with the local community on this exciting project,” said Trevor Horwell, Chief Executive Officer Nobu Hospitality. “Santorini is one of the most highly regarded destinations in the world with its rare beauty, famed for its distinctive cuisine, whitewashed architecture set with a backdrop of steep cliffs, and dramatic sunsets lighting the sea and sky. We look forward to inviting locals and international travellers alike to experience the Nobu lifestyle in this special destination.”

Adding to Nobu Hospitality’s European portfolio, the launch of Nobu Hotel and Restaurant Santorini marks the 26th hotel around the world and tenth in Europe. Nobu Hotels are also in development for Marrakech, Rome, Riyadh, Atlanta, Toronto, Atlantic City, New Orleans, San Sebastián, São Paulo, Tel Aviv, Thailand, Hamburg, and Al Khobar, as the brand is strategically focused on further expanding its global portfolio of hotels through a solid pipeline.

> Since you’re here, why not read about Nobu Hotel’s plans for Saudi Arabia?

Main image credit: Nobu Hospitality

HOMM Bliss guestroom with calm neutral interior

Banyan Tree Group unveils new HOMM brand

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Banyan Tree Group unveils new HOMM brand

HOMM, one of five new brands within the Banyan Tree Group, aims to combine the concept of globally diverse experiences while maintaining a feeling of home. HOMM Bliss Southbeach Patong in Phuket is the first location for the new addition to the groups growing ecosystem…

HOMM Bliss guestroom with calm neutral interior

Blending the essence of Phuket’s tropical beach with the signature Banyan Tree Group’s standards of service, HOMM Bliss Southbeach Patong sits on the quiet southern end of Patong Bay, with unrivalled views of the Andaman Sea along miles of white sand beaches. The newly refurbished guestrooms all have a contemporary beach-inspired feel and are bathed in natural light. The hotel shelters 71 contemporary guestrooms, with 39 of them featuring sea-facing private balconies and terraces or ground-floor plunge pools. Indulgent bathrooms encourage relaxing mornings, while the property’s two outdoor pools, beachfront access and proximity to top tourist attractions provide for exciting afternoons in Phuket.

seaview from guestroom at HOMM Bliss

Image credit: Banyan Tree Group

“With the introduction of our HOMM brand, we strive to provide guests with true ‘sense of home’ comforts that act as a base camp for new experiences and adventures, while simultaneously supporting the local community,” said Chatchaya Jearranai, Hotel Manager of HOMM Bliss Southbeach Patong. “HOMM Bliss Southbeach Patong’s close proximity to Phuket’s culturally rich attractions and coastal region provides global travellers with the ability to fully engage with locals and foster sustainability and stewardship practices through Banyan Tree Group’s world-renowned ‘Stay for Good’ program, a blueprint for future HOMM locations to come.”

Origami art in lobby at HOMM Bliss Southbeach Patong

Image credit: Banyan Tree Group

As part of the group’s larger Stay For Good program, each HOMM property will advocate for a unique endangered species, centrally displayed in the lobby areas via origami art. For example, at HOMM Bliss Southbeach Patong, an origami creation of the Black Billed Gull can be found upon entering the lobby to raise awareness of the native bird generally found in nearby rivers and coastal areas. Waste-reduction initiatives and educational programs for locals will also be implemented, ensuring the holistic wellbeing of each HOMM community.

With its focus on creating a sense of home for its guests, the brand debut of HOMM Bliss Southbeach Patong maintains the groups signature service, along with purpose led sustainable standards of tourism the Banyan Tree is known for. Through destination-specific, immersive travel experiences and locations in key second-tier cities, travellers can engage in the local culture before heading back to their HOMM-away-from-home.

Since you’re here, why not read about The Banyan Tree Group in Mexico?

Main image credit: Banyan Tree Group

Laucala island swimming pool within the lagoon

COMO expands private island portfolio with ‘island within an island’

730 565 Pauline Brettell
COMO expands private island portfolio with ‘island within an island’

COMO Laucala Island, an exclusive retreat in the South Pacific, is the brands newest addition to its private island collection, and shelters an exclusive 25 standalone residences, all surrounded by turquoise-blue sea, white sandy beaches, and the ultimate luxury of space…

Laucala island swimming pool within the lagoon

COMO Laucala Island offers guests the perfect island escape in a unique and carefully protected ecosystem, and is as much about the signature COMO design as it is about the location and lifestyle on offer. This is a resort where space is luxury: 25 residences, each with their own COMO butler, spread out on private beaches, above lagoons, atop hills and mountains. With a private airstrip, this exclusive sanctuary has been designed to unparalleled levels of luxury living on the northern shore of the island.

Laucala island aerial view of buildings using natural materials

Image credit: COMO Hotels and Resorts / Trey Ratcliff

The sympathetically designed spaces have kept the location central to design, both with the emphasis on views as well as the use of materials, and the construction has been carefully considered using local materials where possible. The Residences, all featuring private pools and ranging in size from 3,000 to 4,000 square metres, are built in a South Pacific style, which is blended seamlessly with COMO’s unmistakable contemporary flair. Interiors are softly curved and full of free-flowing shapes, allowing the space to flow freely between indoors and outdoors. Thatched roofs are made from the leaves of sago palms, floors are laid with local timber, and the spaces also feature ‘balabala’ fern stems and a traditional coconut husk weave known as ‘magimagi’.

natural materials and finishes in the villa interior at COMO Laucala island fiji

Image credit: COMO Hotels and Resorts

A first for COMO, the island features a tropical 18-hole David McLay Kidd designed golf-course, along with a wide range of land and water activities, from a fleet of jet-skis, sailing and game fishing boats to horse-riding, mountain biking, nature hikes and tennis. The emphasis throughout is about the heart of the island, its tropical rainforests, volcanic mountains, blue lagoons, mangroves and coconut groves, all fostering a unique habitat that is waiting to be explored by the guests.

COMO Shambhala Retreat, the island’s wellness centre, is the embodiment of COMO’s philosophy for holistic, healthy living. At this nurturing retreat, guests can expect physical fitness classes, yoga, and a fitness centre. Treatments make use of COMO Shambhala’s signature products, as well as the island’s herbs, spices, flowers, and fruits. COMO Shambhala’s signature Asian-inspired massages and body treatments using the island’s river stones, mineral crystals and rich volcanic soils are also provided.

laucala island restaurant designed with natural materials

Image credit: COMO Hotels and Resorts

To minimise its impact on the environment and in line with COMO’s farm-to-table philosophy, the island’s five dining options receive fresh produce from the resort’s 240-acre farm, cultivating a wide range of organic crops and livestock. Fresh seafood supplies are sourced exclusively from local fishermen, contributing to the island’s commitment to sustainability.

COMO Laucala Island joins resorts like COMO Parrot Cay and COMO Maalifushi as the brand continues to expand its signature design and luxury ethos that keeps, at its core, a focus on sustainability and wellness.

Main image credit: COMO Hotels and Resorts

Boka-Place-Rooftop

EXCLUSIVE: Introducing SIRO, the new holistic wellbeing brand from Kerzner

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
EXCLUSIVE: Introducing SIRO, the new holistic wellbeing brand from Kerzner

Kerzner International, the company behind One&Only, Atlantis Resorts and Residences and Magazan Beach & Golf Resort, has announced it is creating a pioneering new hospitality brand designed to sit at the convergence of travel, fitness, health and wellbeing. Here’s what we know about SIRO…

Boka-Place-Rooftop

Kerzner International has launched SIRO (Strength, Inclusive, Reflection and Original), a new hospitality brand that’s purpose will be to offer a balanced wellbeing experience for guests aspiring to become a healthier, more energised and rejuvenated version of themselves. The forward-thinking aim will be nurtured by SIRO’s engaging environment, supported by experts in a suite of health-related specialisms and made especially memorable by opportunities to experience destinations urban –  from urban jungles to serene countryside – through the lens of fitness.

The holistic wellbeing brand’s first property will be located in Boka Place, a new neighbourhood in the luxury marina destination of Porto Montenegro. Combining a 96-guestroom hotel and 144 managed residences, SIRO Boka Place is being designed by London-based design studio Atellior, and is slated for completion by the end of 2023.

“It is always very exciting to create the first property for a new hospitality brand and this is particularly so with SIRO because it is such a forward-looking concept – destinations of excellence forging an approach to fitness and wellbeing that meets the aspirations of modern, global lifestyles,” Una Barac, Executive Director of Atellior, told Hotel Designs. “We are also blessed with one of the most stunning locations in Europe, overlooking the breath-taking Bay of Kotor as well as Porto Montenegro, and with the Montenegrin mountains rising behind.”

SIRO Boka Place Gym cropped

Image caption: Render of the gym and fitness centre that will be sheltered inside SIRO Boka Place, designed by Atellior. | Image credit: SIRO

SIRO Boka Place will provide thoughtful environments for both guests and local residents. The public areas, we are being told, will emphasise the social aspect of wellbeing, providing a fully immersive experience and encouraging social interaction, with an overriding theme of ‘exploration’ and ‘play’ dictating the tempo. Sculptural bleacher seating in the lobby’s Amphitheatre zone will offer an informal and open place for people to relax and work, where leather cushions add comfort to the typical stadium experience and power points are hidden within integrated tables to provide numerous work hubs. The lobby is designed to come to life through sight, touch and sound, encouraging guests to linger.

Since nutrition is central to wellbeing and integral to connecting with the culture of the locality, the restaurant will provide a ‘mindful menu’ – balanced and nourishing cuisine crafted by SIRO dieticians and chefs using ingredients that are sourced locally and harvested seasonally. The restaurant’s design will have an urban vibe, with a grey conglomerate stone-effect floor and exposed service black-painted ceilings with a striking black mesh; a back-lit feature wall will create a dramatic focal point. In the centre of the space, comfortable lounge furniture in hues of grey, black and deep green surrounding low tables will lend themselves to a casual dining experience, whilst other dining tables will flank the perimeter and spill out onto the meticulously landscaped terrace.

> Designer Una Barac has joined several Hotel Designs roundtables. Since you’re here, why not check out the latest one she was involved in, on the ‘art of lighting’?

Adjacent to the restaurant will be another another pivotal feature of the ground floor lobby; the Juice Lab and After Work-Out Bar, where bar tenders will mix healthy and nutritious cocktails, juices and smoothies.

For those seeking a party vibe, a rooftop bar with live DJs will be a glorious rendezvous spot from day into the night. Contemporary furniture in cognac leather hues will occupy the space, offering a  variety of seating arrangements, from bar stools set around tall, communal tables through to comfortable lounge chairs. Striking, bespoke light features, inspired by sports’ physical movements will decorate the walls and hang as pendants. Contemporary outdoor furniture will grace the terrace together with lanterns and ample planting, creating a perfect al fresco experience and offering views across Boka Bay.

By contrast, the guestrooms are being designed as poised sanctuaries where guests can continue their fitness regime, recharge and sleep very well thanks to blackout and soundproof technology. Importantly, the rooms can transform quickly and easily between active and passive mode, pulse and restorative spaces. Each room comes with a range of fitness equipment, including punch bags, yoga balls and dumbbells, and there is plenty of space to work out or meditate. Another unique feature within the guestrooms will be the stretching bars, which form an integral part of the built-in joinery, enabling guests to exercise whilst also achieving a striking design feature. In-room mist showers, innovative furniture design and sustainable materials will work together to create a private retreat for rest, rejuvenation and recovery.

A high-performance fitness club will sit at the heart of the hotel. Featuring signature equipment and studios for workouts, yoga and dance, it will offer ample natural light thanks to the carefully designed see-saw roof, reminiscent of the industrial buildings that previously occupied the site. In addition, there will be the ‘Experience Box’ – an immersive studio with club-style lighting, sound and a large XL screen, and a smart climate-controlled 20-metre pool with a retractable roof which will allow guests to train freely regardless of weather, pausing only to take in the stunning views from the pool’s rooftop location.

Since rehabilitation is an important part of the SIRO experience, a ‘Recovery Lab’ will offer sports rehabilitation, innovative procedures, meditation classes and relaxing treatments. The Lab’s state-of-the-art equipment and procedures will explore new avenues to renewed, improved and harmonious health. Recovery facilities will include a selection of health spa services, ranging from cryo chambers, specialised massage therapies to meditation classes for mindful regeneration.

Igniting guests’ passions for exhilarating pursuits in the great outdoors, SIRO Boka Place will come complete with access to a number of demanding sailing circuits, plus cycling routes of varying intensity. Other outdoor activities will include hiking, boxing, climbing, kite surfing, parkour and, during the winter months, skiing, to name but a few.

SIRO will also be building TEAM SIRO, a team of key athletes from around the world who’ll each play an advisory role as SIRO develops the fitness and wellness elements at the heart of its immersive lifestyle experience. The first ambassador is GB Olympic gold medallist swimmer Adam Peaty – an Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth champion, and a favourite to win gold again at the next Olympics.

“SIRO is a gamechanger.” – Una Barac, Executive Director of Atellior.

Atellior’s aesthetic for the hotel has taken its cue from SIRO’s brand values, reflected in finishes that combine both traditional and contemporary materials such as oak, plaster, stone and aniline leather together with concrete, metal and glass. In this way, the contrast between the active and passive faces of SIRO, the physical as well as the mindful benefits that the experience provides, are expressed. The dramatic landscape background has inspired and defined the colour palette – tan leather and dark green upholstery combined with the softer tones of the warm ivory plaster, pale fabrics and light textured wood. Materials are being specified with great care to ensure they are ISO certified, regionally sourced and, where possible, incorporate elements of recycling within their manufacturing process.

The managed residences will range from studio apartments to three-bedroom duplexes and penthouses designed with a pared-back aesthetic. Clean lines and neutral tones will create an optimal environment for holistic wellbeing. Similar in aesthetic to the hotel guestrooms, they are designed with a calming and neutral palette inspired by the local limestone, with pops of colour in aniline cognac leather and striking artwork. Varying in size from 45 metre-squared to 170 metre-squared, the managed residences will all qualify for Montenegro’s Citizenship by Investment Programme (CBIP).

“SIRO is a gamechanger,” says Barac. “Developing a unique concept with health, well-being and mindfulness at its core has never been more relevant and together we have the opportunity to achieve a benchmark of excellence that will be the bedrock of future SIRO hotels. It is also special to us, as a firm with studios in London and Zagreb, to work in Montenegro with such a forward-looking international team.”

> Since you’re here, why not read about One&Only’s first property in Europe (it’s a stunner)?

Main image credit: Kerzner International

rooftop with pool at The Lana Dorchester

Hottest hotel openings anticipated for 2022 (Q3 & Q4)

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Hottest hotel openings anticipated for 2022 (Q3 & Q4)

Keeping the momentum going and following hot on the heels of our list of hotel openings slated for Q1 & Q2, Pauline Brettell takes over, keeping a collective eye glued to the hospitality horizon with a list of openings that are planned for the second half of 2022, which have piqued our curiosity and titillated our design tastebuds…

rooftop with pool at The Lana Dorchester

If, like many, you are unable to schedule your personal life beyond a 24-hour window, looking forward to plans and proposals post-spring of 2022 might seem a little unrealistic. Thankfully, for those who find themselves in this situation, we have identified the movers and shakers on the hotel design stage who are planning for 2022 and beyond.

Despite all the setbacks and slowdowns, there are so many exciting and ambitious hotels on the horizon that is a challenge to narrow it down. However, rising to the task in hand – and following on from our first article in this series that looked at openings this side of the year – here’s a must-read list of some of the VIP arrivals that have caught our attention and which we plan to follow as they unfold in Q3 and Q4.

Locke at East Side Gallery, Berlin – opening in Q3, 2022

Locke at East Side Gallery Berlin

Image credit: Locke

Lifestyle aparthotel brand Locke is to expand further into Europe with two new German openings in 2022. The opening of Locke at East Side Gallery in Berlin plans to continue with the brand ethos by challenging convention, and partnering with unique up-and-coming designers and local food and drink partners to give this location its own distinctive character and style. The 2022 openings continue the rapid expansion of the home-meets-hotel brand, which has established itself as a leader in the hybrid hospitality movement.

Maisons Pariente Paris – opening in Q3, 2022

a new maisons pariente scheduled for Paris Le Marais

Image credit: Maisons Pariente

After Crillon le Brave in Provence, Lou Pinet in Saint-Tropez and Le Coucou in Méribel, Maisons Pariente has chosen the heart of Le Marais for its new five star hotel. Le Grand Mazarin is located in the heart of the action in a buzzing district that’s bursting with creativity and constantly coming up with cutting-edge trends and avant-garde concepts. With its dream location on the corner of Rue des Archives and Rue de la Verrerie near Hotel de Ville, the collection’s first city-centre hotel embodies Le Marais’ signature bold and cosmopolitan eclecticism. Le Grand Mazarin is a place to meet and get together in a sophisticated setting that puts a playful spin on styles and periods. With 61 quirky guestrooms and suites, a spectacular restaurant with all-day service, a chic yet enigmatic underground bar, not to mention the largest private pool in Le Marais, Maisons Pariente are ready to make their mark in the City of Lights.

The Lana, Dorchester Collection – opening in Q4, 2022

Slated to open in the last quarter of 2022, The Lana marks Dorchester Collection’s first address in the Middle East. Taking its name from the Arabic expression ‘for us’, The Lana is a striking 30-storey tower designed by the award-winning architects Foster + Partners that perfectly captures the essence of its destination as an unparalleled luxury experience in Downtown Dubai. With its 225 guestrooms, it will be located in the heart of Dubai, in the Burj Khalifa District and overlooking the vibrant Business Bay area.

Como Le Montrachet  – opening in Q4, 2022

gardens and exterior at COMO Le Montrachet

Image credit: COMO Hotels and Resorts

COMO Le Montrachet will be the COMO Group’s first French property, and is set to bring its signature style and design to the Burgundy region where it will make its home alongside some of the regions most acclaimed wines and vines. Italian designer Paola Navone will be bringing her trademark contemporary touches to the historic 18th-century property in the sought-after Côte-d’Or. Arranged across four heritage buildings, 31 guestrooms and suites will be converted into chic sanctuaries over the course of 2022.

Six Senses New York – opening in Q4, 2022

calm natural tones at six Senses New York

Image credit: Six Senses

Six Senses New York, the group’s first North American property, will be housed in The XI – two unique, twisting towers designed by world-renowned architect Bjarke Ingels in an unparalleled location between Manhattan’s Hudson River and The High Line. Guestrooms and suites designed by Parisian firm Gilles & Boissier will be contemporary in style, while offering every modern convenience in a calm ambiance of natural-hued fabrics and furnishings. Two restaurants will showcase the brand’s popular culinary approach to wellness, while the Six Senses Spa will introduce its layered approach to wellness with treatments that are an intuitive mix of science and human awareness, and where a high-tech and high-touch approach is crafted around the individual.

Nobu Marrakech – opening in Q4, 2022

view over marrakech from planned Nobu Marrakech

Image credit: Nobu Hospitality

Nobu Hotel Marrakech will be the brands debut in the Red City, where it plans to bring its contemporary style to the design while keeping the city’s rich heritage as a reference and backdrop. The hotel will be located in the Hivernage district, steps from the historic heart of the city, souks and vibrant Djemaa el-Fna. Transformed into a luxury lifestyle destination, the hotel will house 71 spacious guestrooms and suites, a selection of dynamic dining venues and rooftop spaces, 2,000 square meters of luxurious spa and fitness centre, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, and meeting and event space.

Ritz-Carlton Arizona – opening in Q4, 2022

Ritz-Carlton Paradise valley

Image credit: Ritz-Carlton

Set in 20 acres of lush, cooling landscape with the grandeur of Camelback Mountain on the horizon, The Ritz-Carlton, Paradise Valley is an exclusive sanctuary and retreat that will evoke a sense of playfulness and escape. Its modern accommodations and luxury amenities include secret gardens and citrus groves, world-class shopping and dining, all underlined by a statement 120 metre pool.

citizenM Chicago – opening in Q4, 2022

facade and exterior of new citizenM Chicago Downtown

Image credit: citizenM

citizenM is planning its first opening in Chicago with a newly constructed hotel that will be part of Sterling Bay’s mixed-use development at 300 North Michigan Avenue, situated between the Riverwalk and Millennium Park. The 280-room hotel sits within the 47-story tower which also includes 289 residential units and 25,000 square feet of retail space. citizenM Chicago Downtown will offer the signature brand experience, with an art-filled living room, 24/7 canteenM and three societyM meeting rooms. The hotel façade will feature a commissioned piece by New York-based artist Nina Chanel Abney, whose artwork will also appear in the entrance.

W Hotel Sydney – opening in Q4, 2022

Render of new W Hotel sydney australia

Image credit: W Hotels

The W Sydney is set to make its debut in the city later this year. It will be the third W hotel in Australia, following the W Brisbane and the W Melbourne. The hotel will mark the re-entry of W Hotels into Sydney, and will be part of ‘The Ribbon’ development The 25 storey build designed by HASSEL, will shelter 539 guestrooms, serviced apartments, along with an infinity pool, all with stunning views of the harbour.

Raffles Resort Sentosa – opening in Q4, 2022

artist impression of proposed Raffles Resort Sentosa singapore

Image credit: Raffles

And finally, ending in style, Singapore is about to get a second Raffles Hotel, this time on Sentosa, 135 years after the original now iconic colonial-style hotel in Beach Road opened its doors. The developers say they are taking Raffles ‘back to the beach’, as the original hotel, which opened in 1887, was conceived as a beach hotel and has long since been engulfed by the bustling city. Each of the 61 villas will feature its own private swimming pool, and will be set in more than 10 hectares of sprawling tropical gardens with beautiful views over the south China Sea.

Singapore Sling anyone…?

Main image credit: Dorchester Collection

A hotel in the middle of the desert - with a pool and unmatched accomodation

Weekly digest: Hotel openings, a review from Paris & trends galore

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Weekly digest: Hotel openings, a review from Paris & trends galore

Peek-a-boo! Editor Hamish Kilburn here, emerging from the Holidays slumber, with your first weekly digest of 2022 – and it’s a big one! Our list of must-read stories this week features an extensive look at significant hotels openings expected between now and June, a hotel design trends special as well as a hotel review, sent with love, from Paris…

A hotel in the middle of the desert - with a pool and unmatched accomodation

And just like that, it was January: a month that crawls by under the shadow of the Holidays. It’s not all dark mornings and freezing evenings, though, as January is a time at Hotel Designs when we put our fortune-telling hats on to explore some of the most significant hotel openings expected over the next 12 months.

Okay, we may not quite qualify as fortune tellers, but we do our best to keep our readers in the loop on all the latest hotel developments, emerging trends and new products – all while providing an entertaining read (and sometimes listen with our podcast) to keep things aptly light.

As important as it is for designers, architects, hoteliers, developers and suppliers to keep their fingers of the pulse, it’s not always the easiest of tasks to do when on-the-go and on site (somewhat of a novelty these days). Therefore, the weekly digest, published (you got it, every week) will include all the most-read and must-read stories. Shall we get started?

Hottest hotel openings anticipated for 2022 (Q1 & Q2)

A render of a modern, contemporary guestroom bedroom with wooden headboard and a colour scheme of blue, brown and cream

Image credit: xenodocheio Milos

Each year, adhering to tradition, we started January on a unique mission: to pinpoint the hottest hotel openings; the game-altering properties that will flex their muscles, challenge conventional approaches to hotel design and effortlessly take hospitality, on an international scale, forward.

If last year was about recovery, then 2022 will be defined by the designers, architects and hoteliers who are willing to put it all on the line for the sake of innovation and creativity – it’s time to show-off as we gather around the crystal ball once more to see which hotel openings of 2022 will make the biggest impact. And we start the two-part series by taking a glance at the hotels that are expected to arrive in Q1 and Q2.

Read more.

Hotel review: Fauchon L’Hotel Paris, where rock & roll meets luxury hospitality

Hotel suite bedroom with pink accents on bed and mosaic floor, in Fauchon L'Hotel Paris

Image credit: Fauchon L’Hotel Paris

Briefed to expect the unexpected, Gareth Thomas sets off on a Parisian adventure – far removed from chichés but still in the beating heart of the action – and checks in and checks out Fauchon L’Hotel Paris, where a bold interior design scheme juxtaposes heritage architecture in the heart of the city.

Read more.

Hilton reveals its list of new hotels for 2022

Cream, blue and gold decor in guestroom at Waldorf Astoria Kuwait

Image credit: Hilton Collection

With more than 75 new hotels planned across Europe, the Middle East and Africa in the coming year, Hilton is sharing its optimism and enticing us with their choices. It is starting to feel like it is time to start planning the next year’s jet-setting adventures. From Morocco to Mallorca, here is a taste of what is to come on the Hilton International agenda.

Read more.

Architecture structure ‘Phase Dance’ wrapped into the natural world

Exterior of PHASE DANCE, an architectural structure in forest in Japan

Image credit:Phase Dance/Koichi Torimura

Nestled in a hilly forested area in Shizuoka, Japan, Phase Dance is an impressive architectural structure, designed by Takeshi Hirobe Architects. But the journey to create this masterpiece was not as effortless as the result itself.

Read more.

7 hotel trends shaping hospitality in 2022

Render of lady in nest-like space in front of an outdoor pool and modern villa

Image credit: SB Architects

As we start look past the crisis period of Covid-19, and start to settle into a ‘new normal’, the definition of hospitality has a new meaning – one of comfort, security and escape. International architecture firm SB Architects has identified which key hotel trends are shaping hospitality design in 2022 and beyond.

Read more.

Dream Hotel Group unveils plans for Miami flagship in 2025

view of Dream Miami Hotel from across the river

Image credit: Dream Hotel Group

A new 165-key Dream Hotel has been planned as a centrepiece to the world-class Riverside Wharf hospitality and entertainment development in the heart of Downtown Miami. Here’s what we know.

Read more.

Product watch: The modern Statement shower collection from Kohler

Matt Black shower in contemporary bathroom. Products supplied by Kohler

Image credit: Kohler

The modern Statement shower collection from global brand Kohler brings a range of unique shapes and various sizes to the shower, breathing new, contemporary life into well-loved standards and marrying the latest in technology with enduring craftsmanship. Innovative sprays elevate the showering experience, and universal compatibility means the system works wherever in the world it is installed. Inspired by iconic furniture and home goods, and defined by soft, approachable designs, the collection carries an underlying familiarity while creating striking aesthetics within the space.

Read more.

Since you’re here…

More than 60,000 readers per month enjoy the content we publish on Hotel Designs. Our mission is to define the point on international hotel design, and we are doing that by serving relevant news stories and engaging features. To keep up to date on the hottest stories that are emerging, you can sign up to the newsletter, which is completely free of charge. As well as receiving a weekly round-up of the top stories, you will also access our bi-monthly HD Edit –staying ahead of the curve has never been so easy!

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Main image caption: A render of a resort in the Middle East. | Image credit: SB Architects

Hilton Bahrain outdoor lounge

Hilton reveals its list of new hotels for 2022

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Hilton reveals its list of new hotels for 2022

As modern travellers update their wishlists and re-pack suitcases to make up for lost time, Hilton has made it easy to be inspired with its list of new hotels planned across Europe, the Middle East and Africa…

Hilton Bahrain outdoor lounge

With more than 75 new hotels planned across Europe, the Middle East and Africa in the coming year, Hilton is sharing its optimism and enticing us with their choices. It is starting to feel like it is time to start planning the next year’s jet-setting adventures. From Morocco to Mallorca, here is a taste of what is to come on the Hilton International agenda.

Hilton Bahrain – opening summer 2022

As listed in our focus on Hottest hotel openings 2022, Hilton Bahrain is slated to open in June 2022. Located along Al Fateh Highway, the 348-room hotel will feature studios, one- and two-bedroom apartments, all with the brands trademark attention to comfort and luxury, as well as a stunning view of the sea from each unit’s balcony. With six distinct restaurants and lounges, nine meeting rooms and a luxurious spa, the hotel promises an exceptional guest experience.

Conrad Rabat Arzana – opening autumn 2022

swimming pool and terrace at Conrad Rabat Arzana

Image credit: Hilton International

Set to debut as Hilton’s first luxury hotel in Morocco, this hotel promises to offer spectacular ocean views from its elevated waterfront location, overlooking a tranquil lagoon and beach. Guests will be able to experience these breath-taking surroundings while enjoying locally inspired food and beverage at two unique restaurants. The hotel will also offer a fully appointed spa and salon as well as over 600 square meters of event space that includes a grand ballroom and four meeting rooms.

Iceland Parliament Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton – opening spring 2022 

The Iceland Parliament Hotel will be a complex of seven rebuilt and new buildings at the doorstep of the Icelandic parliament – Alþingi. Surrounded by three different squares, close to the cathedral, city hall, and the upcoming harbour area, the hotel will be in a key location within the city’s most high-profile zone, making it the perfect location to start your Icelandic explorations. The hotel will offer state-of-the-art meeting and conference facilities, an executive lounge, a fitness room, a spa area, café, bar and restaurant.

Conrad Chia Laguna Sardinia – opening spring 2022

guestroom at Conrad Chia Laguna Sardinia

Image credit: Hilton International

Conrad Chia Laguna Sardinia will shelter 107 guestrooms, each featuring a private garden or terrace, with the majority offering panoramic views of the entire Chia lagoon. La Terrazza restaurant will feature outdoor seating and iconic views of Chia Laguna. Sa Mesa, meaning ‘the table’ in local Sardinian dialect, will be the hotel’s signature restaurant offering authentic Sardinian cuisine and an extensive selection of local wines from small local producers in an informal trattoria style setting. Bar Bollicine will serve as the hotel’s all-day bar and lounge, where guests can enjoy an extensive collection of champagnes and proseccos, as well as cocktails with a modern twist. The hotel’s Conrad Spa will also offer six treatment rooms, a spa bar, a yoga studio, and a state-of-the-art gym.

Lost Property St. Paul’s London, Curio Collection by Hilton – opening spring 2022

Lost Property St Paul’s London, Curio Collection by Hilton, will open this spring to offer stunning views of St. Paul’s Cathedral and the City of London. Sheltering 145 guestrooms, designed by Rani Ahluwalia, the décor has been inspired by London’s lost stories in history. The six-storey hotel will offer a charming restaurant for guests and close access to some of London’s most visited tourist attractions.

Hilton Dubai Palm Jumeirah – opening spring 2022

beachfront and exterior of Hilton Dubai Palm Jumeirah

Image credit: Hilton International

Located on the iconic Palm Jumeirah, this hotels’ beachfront location makes it a destination of choice for those looking for a relaxing getaway. After waking up to the sunrise reflecting over the serene waters of the Palm, guests can exercise on the mile-long promenade, take a dip on the property’s private beach, enjoy a treatment at the spacious eforea spa, or have a bite at the hotel’s wide range of restaurants, bars and lounges which will include international brands such as Trader Vic’s, Barfly by Buddha Bar, and Claw BBQ.

Hampton by Hilton Doha Old Town – opening in early 2022

Situated in the Old Salata district, Hampton by Hilton Doha Old Town will feature 221 modern guestrooms, an all-day dining restaurant, juice and snack bar, work zone and fitness centre. It will be conveniently located close to Doha attractions such as the corniche, the Museum of Islamic Art, the National Museum of Qatar, and the famous Souk Waqif. It will also be in close proximity to the banking district and the Emiri Diwan Palace.

Sea Breeze Santorini Beach Resort, Curio Collection by Hilton – opening spring 2022

Swimming pool and terrace at Sea Breeze Santorini Beach Resort, Curio Collection by Hilton

Image credit: Hilton International

Sea Breeze Santorini Beach Resort, Curio Collection by Hilton will be Hilton’s first location on the glamorous Greek island of Santorini. The 37-key hotel draws its inspiration from Santorini’s iconic blue and whitewashed architecture and incorporates the island’s rugged natural beauty with stone walls and organic wooden textures. Each room will boast private terraces and a hot tub or pool. Guests can choose from two restaurants and two bars for a relaxed meal or cocktail, with two of the outlets being located on the resort’s private beach. spoiled for choice with swimming pools, a spa, fitness facilities and loungers by the beach, guests can alternate between working up a sweat, getting pampered, soaking up the sun, and cooling off in the water.

Motto by Hilton Rotterdam Blaak – opening spring 2022

Motto by Hilton Rotterdam Blaak will become the first Motto property in the Netherlands, as well as being the first in Europe, when it opens this year. The hotel provides convenient access to some of the city’s top attractions, such as the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Old Harbour, Maritime Museum Rotterdam, and Cube Houses. It’s also just a few minutes’ walk from Rotterdam’s famous Markthal, where visitors can shop and explore nearly 100 indoor food stalls and restaurants.

Waldorf Astoria Kuwait – opening spring 2022

Cream, blue and gold decor in guestroom at Waldorf Astoria Kuwait

Image credit: Hilton International

The 200 luxury guestrooms at the new Waldorf Astoria Kuwait will be just feet away from world-class shopping and dining, thanks to its location in Avenues Mall — a destination with more than 1,100 shops and a movie theatre. The hotel will also be home to the award-winning Japanese restaurant concept ROKA and will feature an exclusive Club Lounge as well as an awe-inspiring 13,560 sq ft Waldorf Spa. Kuwait City Centre, historical and cultural sites, and the Grand Mosque of Kuwait are just a short 15-minute drive away.

Hotel Saski Krakow, Curio Collection by Hilton – opening summer 2022

Set in the centre of Krakow’s old town, adjacent to the historic Main Square, Hotel Saski Krakow is poised to be one of the city’s most celebrated hotels. The property will be ideal for both travellers of leisure and business, offering a swimming pool, spa and fitness centre, a restaurant and bar, as well as a business centre.

Hilton Mallorca Galatzo – opening summer 2022

natural tones and textures in the guestroom at the Hilton Mallorca Galatzo

Image credit: Hilton International

The 208-key Hilton Mallorca Galatzo will join Hilton’s growing pipeline of properties in Spain. Set over 54,000 square metres of perfectly presented gardens, Hilton Mallorca Galatzo will boast three swimming pools and two pool bars, ensuring guests are never far from a cool drink and a dip in the pool to complement the warm Balearic climate. With relaxation and rejuvenation in mind, the hotel will offer a sizeable wellness centre and two distinct dining experiences and is located less than a five-minute drive from the popular beaches of Paguera.

Hilton Rome Eur La Lama – opening autumn 2022

dark blue and green interior at Hilton Rome Eur La Lama_Lounge Bar

Image credit: Hilton International

Hilton Rome Eur La Lama is located in EUR business district, with direct access to La Nuvola Roma Convention Centre. The hotel will include 439 guestrooms, all within an architecturally distinctive structure known as “La Lama” (The Blade). Metro links are just a few streets away, and Euroma2 mall is within a 10-minute drive. The hotel features a rooftop restaurant and terrace, kids’ activities, and a library bar.

Hilton Cairo Nile Maadi – opening autumn 2022
Located in the upscale residential and diplomatic district of Maadi, once complete the hotel will bring 257 keys to Cairo, while also offering direct access to the Corniche El Nile and providing views of some of Egypt’s ancient heritage sites. It is expected to house a business centre, meeting rooms, a health club and spa, and a handful of F&B outlets. Hotel guests will be able to enjoy the spectacular views of the Nile River while sunbathing by the outdoor pool. Perfect for both leisure and business, Hilton Cairo Nile Maadi will feature a large health club and spa, an outdoor swimming pool, two restaurants, an executive lounge, as well as fully equipped meeting and event spaces.

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Main image credit: Hilton Bahrain

Hotel suite bedroom with pink accents on bed and mosaic floor, in Fauchon L'Hotel Paris

Fauchon L’Hotel Paris: Where rock & roll, design and luxury hospitality meet

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Fauchon L’Hotel Paris: Where rock & roll, design and luxury hospitality meet

Briefed to expect the unexpected, Gareth Thomas sets off on a Parisian adventure – far removed from chichés but still in the beating heart of the action – and checks in and checks out Fauchon L’Hotel Paris, where a bold interior design scheme juxtaposes heritage architecture in the heart of the city…

Hotel suite bedroom with pink accents on bed and mosaic floor, in Fauchon L'Hotel Paris

Ahhh Pareee! (Paris!) – La Ville Lumiere (the City of Light) – the undistributed home of haute couture, elegant interior design and a historical destination for those seeking that ‘je ne sais quoi’ when it comes to matters of the heart.

While being a traveller in Paris comes naturally to most – people watching from a corner café isn’t exactly a difficult lifestyle to adapt to – operating a hospitality business amongst the city’s backdrop is anything but simple. Any new-kid-on-the-block hotel (even for Fauchon L’Hotel Paris, which is owned by one of France’s most iconic confectionary luxury brands) therefore needs to work hard in order to make a statement in a city littered with luxury hotels. Fauchon L’Hotel Paris shouts loudly, yet elegantly, by aiming to seamlessly harness and blend Parisian fashion cues, confident design aesthetics and even a nod to a rock-and-roll mindset, all housed in a traditional and effortlessly beautiful Haussmanien building.

The hotel’s natural playfulness and signature hot-pink touches are boldly and sensitively injected alongside the original design by renowned architect Richard Martinet who worked together with Atelier Paluel-Marmont. The juxtaposition of ‘new design meets old architecture’ feels intentional, and is further heightened when guests walk through the doors to experience celebrated French artist commissions that are hung throughout the public spaces, by names such as Aristide Najean and Monica Nowan.

Since opening in the summer of 2019 – the last travel season before the pandemic brought global travel and hospitality to its knees – Fauchon L’Hotel Paris unveiled itself as a house of innovation and excellence. The boutique hotel, which has remerged from the pandemic with bounds of character, lives up to its reputation by being a feast for all the senses that capture first impressions.

The sensory mood is set from arrival, within an elegant yet fun library that is complete with roaring digital fireplace and cosy intimate seating arrangements, with those signature hot-pink accents evident throughout. Champagne and delicious macarons – the only cliché, I promise – tantalise the tastebuds. Beyond what you can see, the hotel’s rich, indulgent, and very captivating, bespoke fragrance lingers delightfully in the air, further proving that attention to detail is paramount in the desired aim to deliver on this full sensory experience.

The public areas – from the discreet seating located throughout the public spaces to the exquisite dining room adorned with further art and sculptures that gives guests a more private gastronomic experience away from the elegant but busting Fauchon Café – further help communicate and elevate the brand’s contemporary yet refined hospitality experience.

Each of the hotel’s immaculately designed and decorated 54 rooms and suites frame the classic Parisian city view, with some extending to include a balcony view of the Eiffel Tower – truly la crème de la crème!

The rooms themselves are spread across two interconnected buildings and this is where the triad of fashion, design and unapologetic rock and roll truly meet through the hotel’s defining concept of G.L.A.M:

  • Gourmet – gastronomy is the signature Fauchon experience that is the focal point of the brand experience
  • Location – located in the heart and soul of central Paris, there is no escaping the energy and delights of the city
  • Attention and experiences – bespoke is the name of the game, each room is unique, and each guest deserves a unique and special experience.
  • Mesdames – femininity is celebrated and prioritised at every stage of the hotel design experience.
A Deluxe room inside Fauchon L'Hotel in Paris, with gold headboard

Image credit: Fauchon L’Hotel Paris

Guests checking in to one of the split-level suites on the top floor of the hotel will be provided with a 360-degree living experience. A lower ground-floor bedroom, with queen-sized bed is complete with punches of colour on the linens, which give way to a sizeable and well-thought-out bathroom designed for the discerning traveller in mind, complete with a walk-in shower area with full rain shower experience and complimentary mood lighting around a generous vanity mirror.

Within each room, the sound system is a timeless reminder of what music used to mean. A modest record player sits, harmoniously adding value to the authentic hospitality experience, while creating further texture to the overall design scheme. A selection of classic vinyl albums are also available to either listen to, either in private serenity or while throwing open the multiple balcony doors. There is something aptly satisfying about usurping digital experiences we have all grown accustomed to in favour of an analogue process that is more grounded, more tactile, and more expressive. It may be an obvious reminder of the rock-and-roll personality (depending on which album you select) the hotel presents to its guests – but this particular guest loved every second!

Split-level suite, featuring guitar on the wall and record player

Image credit: Fauchon L’Hotel Paris

The playful quirkiness of the Fauchon brand extends upstairs into the living area of the suite where the famed mini bar is displayed pride of place. Less functional drinks cabinet, more exhibition focal point, the elegant, custom-designed pink armoire installation designed by Sacha Lakic is stylishly graphic on the outside with a metallic multi-faceted finish, whilst the interior houses all the goodies and you would expect from a hotel belonging to the house of Fauchon.

From one memorable gastrnomy experience to another (though tempting to not leave the beautiful suite), The Grand Café Fauchon is a dining spectacle that awaits both guests and loyal Parisian diners and imbibers. Its design and service pays homage to the founder, Auguste Fauchon, whose legacy is celebrated here each day through Fauchon’s passionate commitment to pleasure, quality and fierce dedication to ensuring the quality of the products used and sold are from the best producers in France. These pillars, keeping the hotel relevant in the congested luxury hospitality arena of Paris, are upheld by the culinary mastery of the Fauchon chefs – three of France’s finest: François Daubinet, Head Pastry Chef; Frédéric Claudel, Executive Chef du Grand Café Fauchon and Sébastien Monceau, Executive Chef de la Maison Fauchon.

As day turns to night, the hotel’s restaurant comes to life with an eye-catching chandelier display that seems to dance above diners in what look like fishnets. This area allows guests a more secluded and private eating experience, away from the energetic and bustling public Cafe location. The design of this space reflects that intention with a relaxing yet opulent colour palate with nods to classical design sitting in harmony with the signature Fauchon modern touch.

Fauchon L’Hotel Paris, refreshingly not simply defined by its F&B offerings, is more than a base during your time in this vibrant city. It is a hotel that confidently matches – dare I say even contributes to the energy of – the awesomeness of Paris. The hotel earns its right to be a ‘destination’ in its own regard and cleverly achieves its aim to bring together the worlds of fashion, design and music, collectively which deliver its unique personality. If you are looking for a hotel experience that is distinctly Parisian but at the same time distinctly unique then Fauchon L‘Hotel Paris is for you.

> Since you’re here, why not check out our editorial series on the hottest hotels to open in 2022?

Main image credit: Fauchon L’Hotel Paris

Radisson guestroom with dramatic black and red decor at Radisson RED Rosebank south Africa

Radisson looks back on 2021 as it steps optimistically into 2022

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Radisson looks back on 2021 as it steps optimistically into 2022

Following its successful expansion and growth over the past year, Radisson Group is on track to reach its goal of 150 hotels by 2025. To understand more, Hotel Designs hears from senior figures at the Group about how it plans to develop…

Radisson guestroom with dramatic black and red decor at Radisson RED Rosebank south Africa

As Radisson Hotel Group looks towards and sets goals for 2022, it has reviewed the numerous milestones it has achieved in Africa over the past 12 months. These include new hotels and conversions, along with apartments, and places the group in a strong position to move forward. Having set a record on the continent this year with 14 signings to date, adding more than 2,500 rooms to its African portfolio, the Group continues with its plans to grow its footprint in the region.

“In Africa this year, we opened five stunning hotels in bucket-list destinations and in 2022, we’re on track to open at least 11 hotels, starting with the portfolio of three hotels in Madagascar within the first two weeks of the year,” said Tim Cordon, Senior Area Vice President, Middle East & Africa at Radisson Hotel Group. “Continuing the unpredictability of 2020, this year has been a rollercoaster with restrictions easing and tightening and borders opening and closing. Africa in general has commercially performed well, given the situation and in comparison to other international markets, proving its resilience and ever-present dynamism. Our commitment to the continent not only remains but we are looking at deploying further resources as our Group reaches new heights and where our ambitions for growth are only representative of the region’s potential.”

exterior of guestroom at Radisson Blu Resort, Taghazout Bay Surf Village

Image credit: Radisson Hotel Group

10 additional hotels in one of the key African focus countries, Morocco, have been included in the portfolio. These includes the entry into new territories within the country such as Al Hoceima, Taghazout and Saidia. Two new brands have also been introduced to the country with the signing of Radisson Hotel Casablanca Gauthier La Citadelle and Lincoln Casablanca, a Radisson Collection, which has elevated the brands offering in Africa.

swimming pool at Radisson Blu Resort, Al Hoceima

Image credit: Radisson Hotel Group

Numerous new market entries have also contributed to the brands growth. These include the Group’s debut in Djibouti with Radisson Hotel Djibouti, the introduction of the Radisson Individuals brand in Africa with the Earl Heights Suite Hotel, a member of Radisson Individuals in Accra, Ghana as well as the entry into Victoria Falls with Radisson Blu Resort Mosi-Oa-Tunya Livingstone.

“2021 has been a record year of numerous milestones for us in our expansion across Africa, from market entries to further establishing critical scale in key focus markets,” said Ramsay Rankoussi, Vice President, Development, Africa & Turkey at Radisson Hotel Group. “We have led the market share this year in terms of new signings across the industry and those achievements demonstrate our continued focus and the clear execution of our established strategy. In 2022 we aim to leverage this momentum with the same priorities within our identified key markets such as Egypt and Morocco in North Africa; various countries such as Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Senegal within West and Central Africa but also reinforcing our presence in South Africa and its neighbouring countries. Our strategy over the next twelve months includes the expansion of our African resort offering and continuing the trend in conversions, while we remain supportive and responsive within our owners community as we look towards the recovery of our industry.”

Hotel conversions have accounted for more than 70 per cent of these signings which provide the Group with a solid pipeline but also highlights the success of the Radisson Hotel Group in providing tailored solutions for existing hotels seeking operational improvement. Five hotels were opened during the year, including Africa’s second Radisson RED in South Africa and the brand’s debut in Johannesburg as well as four Radisson Blu resort offerings in Morocco further demonstrating the growth in leisure demand and the ability for the Group to respond to that trend.

Serviced apartments have continued to show resilience during the pandemic and Radisson Hotel Group has equally grown this segment with two stand alone serviced apartments being added to the portfolio across Africa.

Building on the success of the Group’s five-year expansion and transformation plan, Radisson Hotel Group is clearly ready for the rebound of travel with its positive plan for progress clearly mapped out.

Main image credit: Radisson Hotel Group

natural tones and textures in guestroom at hyatt doha

A look at Hyatt’s pipeline from now through to 2023

730 565 Pauline Brettell
A look at Hyatt’s pipeline from now through to 2023

In addition to the 24 previously announced luxury hotels within Hyatt’s luxury portfolio globally that are slated to open by 2023, Hyatt has unveiled plans for seven new luxury hotels and resorts throughout Europe and the Middle East. Here’s what we know…

natural tones and textures in guestroom at hyatt doha

Hyatt continues to grow its brands in locations that matter most to guests, members, and owners. As leisure travel continues to drive recovery in many parts of the world, today’s announcement signals a continued commitment to catering to high-end travellers through a strong pipeline of diverse brands in some of world’s most desirable locations. The hotels and resorts set to join the Alila, Andaz, Destination by Hyatt, Grand Hyatt, Park Hyatt, The Unbound Collection by Hyatt, and Thompson Hotels brands, are expected to exceed the expectations of the luxury traveller, delivering personalized and engaged service, story-worthy experiences and world-class offerings.

minimalist and modern white interior at Alila hotel by Hyatt

Image credit: Hyatt Hotels, Alila Lanzarote

“Today, more than ever, our members and guests are looking for unforgettable travel moments – moments that are truly meaningful and leave an indelible mark, connecting them to experiences that change and inspire them,” said Amy Weinberg, Senior Vice President, loyalty, brand marketing and consumer insights, Hyatt. “The addition of these new hotels and resorts across Hyatt’s luxury portfolio will reinforce Hyatt’s position as a leader in the luxury hospitality space.”

All grounded in premium, cultural and desirable destinations known for their cuisine, architecture, immersive cultures, and history, these newly announced projects are located throughout Europe and the Middle East and have been carefully selected to complement Hyatt’s elevated, luxury portfolio:

Magma Resort Santorini, part of The Unbound Collection by Hyatt brand: Expected to open in mid-2022

Magma Resort Santorini, the first resort in the Greek islands in a Hyatt brand, will offer one-of-a-kind luxury stays. The 59 key resort will be nestled among traditional old vineyards and located on the lava-made slopes of Vourvoulos, where guests will be able to enjoy stunning Santorini sunsets.

7Pines Resort Sardinia, part of the Destination by Hyatt brand: Expected to open in mid-2022

Following the brand’s successful arrival in Ibiza a few years ago, 7Pines will open a resort Sardinia in 2022, which will mark the second Destination by Hyatt hotel in Europe. Ideally located overlooking the archipelago of La Maddalena and surrounded by untouched coastline and a nature reserve, guests will enjoy laid-back luxury and a deep sense of place in this unique setting.

Thompson Madrid: Expected to open in mid-2022

Representing an exciting milestone for Hyatt, following the brand’s arrival in Los Angeles in 2021, Thompson Madrid will mark the brand’s debut in Spain and reintroduction to Europe. The dynamic, thoughtfully curated hotel will be located in the centre of the new Golden Mile of Madrid, steps away from the most visited icons of the city. Striking design and spaces, including a rooftop terrace and pool, are sure to make the hotel a cultural hub showcasing the individuality of the locale.

Andaz Doha: Expected to open in late 2022

The Andaz brand is expected to debut in Qatar with the 318 guestroom Andaz Doha, which will offer stunning sea views and will be located in the prestigious West Bay area of Doha. Providing elevated sensory experiences and unscripted service, Andaz Doha will invite today’s luxury traveller to immerse themselves into Qatar’s culture and capture the true essence of the surrounding destination.

Alila Lanzarote: Expected to open in 2025

Alila Lanzarote will offer a rare kind of luxury, integrating the respect and understanding of the local environment. Known for its diverse marine life, volcanic landscape and protected beaches, Lanzarote represents a spectacular location for the brand’s premier in Europe. Offering a combination of innovative design and an unprecedented level of personalized hospitality, guests will experience bespoke journeys.

Grand Hyatt Lanzarote: Expected to open in 2025

Grand Hyatt Lanzarote will be located in the premium tourist region on the island of Lanzarote and will provide stunning coastal views. Guests can look forward to spectacular design, iconic experiences in breathtaking settings and superior service and amenities to match.

Park Hyatt Riyadh Diriyah Gate: Expected to open in 2025

Park Hyatt Riyadh Diriyah Gate in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will be part of the much-anticipated Diriyah Gate Development overlooking Al-Turaif’s UNESCO world heritage site. Over seven square kilometers of Diriyah will be transformed into one of the world’s foremost historic tourism destinations offering guests a refined home-away-from home and new ways to experience the history of Saudi Arabia.

colourful canopy in reception area of Hyatt Hotels Andaz Doha

Image credit: Hyatt Hotels

In addition, the following previously announced hotels within Hyatt’s luxury brand portfolio are expected to open in the next two years in the following key destinations around the world.

2022
• La Zambra, part of The Unbound Collection by Hyatt brand, in Mijas, Spain (formerly the Byblos Hotel)
• Fuji Speedway Hotel, part of The Unbound Collection by Hyatt brand, in Oyama, Japan
• Grand Resort Qingchengshan, a Destination by Hyatt hotel, in Greater China
• Andaz Prague in the Czech Republic
• Andaz Hexi Nanjing in Greater China
• Andaz Pattaya Jomtien Beach in Thailand
• Grand Hyatt Kuwait
• Grand Hyatt Gurgaon in India
• Grand Hyatt Shenzhou Peninsula in Greater China
• Park Hyatt Marrakech in Morocco
• Park Hyatt Jakarta in Indonesia
• Alila Villas Maldives in the Maldives
• Alila Taihu Suzhou in Greater China
• Thompson Austin in the U.S.
• Thompson Denver in the U.S.
• Hotel La Compañía, part of The Unbound Collection by Hyatt brand, in Panama City, Panama
• Numu in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

2023
• Park Hyatt Los Cabos Hotel & Residences in Mexico
• Hotel Rhodania, Crans Montana, part of The Unbound Collection by Hyatt brand, in Switzerland
• Grand Hansa Hotel Helsinki, part of The Unbound Collection by Hyatt brand, in Finland
• Grand Hyatt Colombo in Sri Lanka
• Thompson Houston in the U.S.
• Thompson Monterrey in Mexico
• Thompson South Beach in the U.S.

With all these plans in the pipeline, it is going to be interesting to follow the Hyatt brand as it rolls out these exciting additions to what it has identified as being key portfolios and destinations. Hotel Designs will be following with interest and keep you updated!

 

Main image credit: Hyatt Hotels

Tapestry Collection hotel facade cosmopolita rome

Italy’s first Tapestry Collection by Hilton hotel will open in Rome

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Italy’s first Tapestry Collection by Hilton hotel will open in Rome

Slated to open in early 2022, Cosmopolita Rome joins eight Hilton hotels in Italy’s capital city and is the first hotel in Italy under Hilton’s newest European brand, Tapestry Collection. Here’s what we know…

Tapestry Collection hotel facade cosmopolita rome

With the agreement being signed and sealed, refurbishments have started on Cosmopolita Rome to transform it into Italy’s first Tapestry Collection by Hilton hotel, which will shelter 76 tastefully decorated guestrooms, designed to help guests immerse themselves in the architecture of Rome.

The hotel will also boast a scenic rooftop overlooking the historic city as well as a newly renovated gym and meeting space for small business meetings. In short, the unique hotel will be the ideal location to explore Rome for all ‘bleisure’ travellers.

wood and white decor in guestroom in Hilton Tapestry Hotel Cosmopolita Rome

Image credit: Hilton International

“In the coming years, we are due to open eight new hotels in Italy, significantly expanding our footprint in key cities and resorts,” said Patrick Fitzgibbon, Senior Vice President, Development, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Hilton. “Italy, like many of its European neighbours, has a large number of independent hotels that would benefit from visibility from Hilton’s 118 million Hilton Honors members, and as a result we’re seeing growing interest in Hilton’s Collection Brands. We’re looking forward to working with our partners at G&W Invest Srl to welcome guests at our first Tapestry Collection by Hilton in the heart of Rome.”

Located in the centre of Rome, guests will be within a 10-minute walk of some of Rome’s most popular sights, including the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain and Colosseum. Rome’s many renowned galleries, museums and landscaped parks make it the perfect destination for international guests looking to explore some of Europe’s most celebrated attractions. By night, guests can explore Rome’s 54 Michelin star restaurants or visit nearby bars and cocktail hotspots.

Tapestry Cosmopolita rome is located in the centre of the city

Image credit: Hilton International

The new hotel is the latest addition to Tapestry Collection by Hilton, which is expanding rapidly in Europe. The continent’s first Tapestry Collection hotel opened in Spain this year, with four more due to open in France, the UK and Portugal. Known for their vibrant and unique styles, each Tapestry Collection by Hilton hotel encourages guests to immerse themselves in the local area, creating authentic connections with destinations while offering an upscale and comfortable hotel experience.

> Since you’re here, why not check out DoubleTree by Hilton Rome Monti?

Main image credit: Hilton International

25 hours hotel one central rooftop pool in dubai

What you need to know about 25hours’ new hotel in Dubai

730 565 Pauline Brettell
What you need to know about 25hours’ new hotel in Dubai

25hours Hotel One Central has opened its doors in Dubai, and like every hotel in this brand, it tells a story unique to the city, while sheltering a contemporary design scheme that tears up the rule book…

25 hours hotel one central rooftop pool in dubai

Located in central Dubai, 25hours Hotel One Central is more than just a place to sleep, it’s a place for modern-day nomads to share stories and experiences. Just like the Hakawati, the Arabian storyteller in the desert, 25hours celebrates the ancient Bedouin traditions and stories, bringing them to life across different areas of the property. The history of the region is reflected throughout the design of the hotel, created in partnership with acclaimed interior design firm, Woods Bagot, and 25hours Hotels. This is the first 25hours Hotel One Central  to open outside of Europe, but true to brand, every hotel is unique to its city, and has a story to tell – the recent hotel opening in Florence, for example was designed around the theme of Dante’s ‘Divine Comedy’.

The 434 guestrooms and suites in the new Dubai hotel, feature Bedouin, Glamping and Farmstay interiors, whilst the Artist Village suites are perfect for those looking for more space. Meanwhile, the Hakawati Suite displays true Dubai glamour with a double bathtub, Triple king size bed ‘Sheikh-sized’ bed, a dining table seating 10 people, two bars, a DJ corner, dance floor, fireplace and a breath-taking view of the Museum of the Future. The room interconnects with two additional bedrooms through a secret staircase. It is the perfect playground for travellers and residents of the city to enjoy and revel in whether guests are there to indulge or relax, 25hours allows both.

All rooms and suites at the property serve as a peaceful oasis for nomads after a long day exploring. Each sanctuary draws on local influences, featuring quirky design elements such as hammocks, double rainfall showers, roll-top baths, Schindelhauer bicycles, analogue telephones and much more.

rustic interior in farmstay style guestroom at 25hours hotel in dubai

Image credit: 25hours Hotel

“25hours Hotel One Central is the most exotic 25hours project I have experienced so far,” said Christoph Hoffman, 25hours Founder. “From the beginning of this adventure our aim was to create a new Dubai experience of hospitality. Actually we want it to become the living room, the party cellar, the speakeasy, the romantic hideaway for lovers, as well as the place for relaxed and creative business meetings, inspirational various spaces, a fun rooftop for visionary thoughts and views. A new home and playground for the local community and of course travellers from all over the world.”

On the first floor, guests will find over 500 vinyl’s and a Walkman station in the ‘Analogue Circus’ in partnership with Vienna based Supersense. Following this, the hotel’s ‘Analogue Upgrade’ will give guests the opportunity to throwback and reminisce in the comfort of their own room. Delivered on demand in a trunk-case to guests bedrooms, the unique experience includes VHS and vinyl’s to typewriters and polaroid’s – encouraging guests to take a break and stimulate all senses.

A fully kitted co-working space, meeting rooms, event spaces, open pantry and coffee bar are available at The Gallery on the first floor. The open plan space features plenty of modern tech, five-metre-high ceilings and huge windows so guests can enjoy the breath-taking views while they work hard…or hardly work. Other creative spaces include a pottery studio, games room and podcast studio. For bookworms 25hours has a Fountain of Tales library with thousands of books across the hotel for guests to step away from the digital world and jump into a realm of relaxation.

cushions, books and pouffes in the lobby at 25hours Hotel Dubai

Image credit: 25hours Hotels

The Extra Hour Spa is dedicated to ‘you time’ and everyone is welcome – with Dubai’s first outdoor mixed gender sauna. Guests can indulge in a variety of treatments from quick fixes to full-body treatments. The sixth floor is also home to the rooftop pool and Monkey Pool Bar, where guests can relax poolside, sip cocktails and take in the view.

The 25hours brand is a smart, culturally resonant hotel idea characterised by provocative urban locations, it is all about story telling and taking guests on a journey. 25hours Hotel One Central certainly does that, as it invites you to jump on a bike and explore the streets, or lose yourself in a book and explore the story. The design is characterised by an irreverent yet functional aesthetic, with a touch of the romantic nostalgia of grand hotels. The brand focuses on individuality, authenticity and personality and, under the motto: “If you know one, you know none”, and designs each of its hotels with different designers and unique style. There is no doubting the location and inspiration for this design and all its details at 25hours Hotel One Central Dubai.

Main image credit: 25hours Hotels

deluxe room at Hyatt Centric Jumeirah Dubai

From Zurich to Dubai: A look at the latest two openings from Hyatt

730 565 Pauline Brettell
From Zurich to Dubai: A look at the latest two openings from Hyatt

Not content with doing things in moderation, Hyatt celebrates the opening of two incredible new properties. Travellers can feel the ‘Zurich-ness’ at Hyatt Place Zurich Airport The Circle – the first Hyatt Place branded hotel in Switzerland, or experience Hyatt Centric’s debut property in the Middle East, Hyatt Centric Jumeirah Dubai…

deluxe room at Hyatt Centric Jumeirah Dubai

Hyatt has announced the opening of two new hotels to join the brand, and they couldn’t be more different, with one sitting at the foot of the Swiss Alps, and the other on the edge of the desert with panoramic sea views. The hotels also represent two different brands within the Hyatt family. The Hyatt Place brand, as showcased by Hyatt Place Zurich Airport The Circle, is all about designing for flexibility, making it easier for guests to maintain their work and personal routines while travelling. Hyatt Centric and Hyatt Centric Jumeirah Dubai, on the other hand is all about the destination and providing an upscale, cosmopolitan and boutique guest experience.

So, two hotels, two very different design stories, but both sharing the trademark Hyatt attention to detail and understanding of they dynamic requirements of guests and travellers.

Hyatt Place Zurich Airport The Circle is the third Hyatt branded hotel and the first Hyatt Place branded hotel in Switzerland, as the brand continues to expand its footprint globally in markets that matter most to its guests and World of Hyatt members. The new hotel features the Hyatt Place brand’s intuitive design, combined with its trademark combination of casual atmosphere with practical amenities.

The 300 key Hyatt Place hotel combines style, innovation and 24/7 conveniences to create an easy-to-navigate experience for today’s multi-tasking traveller. The guestrooms have been designed with separate spaces to sleep, work and play. Understanding the need for flexible space, convenient and communal workspaces have been created. Hyatt Place Zurich Airport The Circle is situated in The Circle destination and directly linked to Zurich Airport, representing one of the most central locations in Switzerland. Guests can conveniently enjoy the business and lifestyle offerings of The Circle, which includes shops, restaurants, a park, airport facilities and The Circle Convention Centre. After a productive day, guests can unwind in the park or take advantage of the great outdoors, as the Swiss Alps and Lake Zurich are nearby.

“As the Zurich Airport and the Circle district continue to be a dynamic destination, we are excited to add to the momentum by welcoming the first Hyatt Place hotel to Switzerland,” said hotel manager at Hyatt Place Zurich Airport The Circle Ines Bruenn. “With our smartly designed social spaces and guestrooms with separate work and sleep areas, our multitasking, international and local guests can easily accomplish what they need to do while on the road, while both working and relaxing with nature right at their doorstep.”

contemporary seating design in the bar corner at hyatt place zurich airport

Image credit: Hyatt

A few thousand kilometres away – 4,773 to be precise if you are working in air miles – and marking the lifestyle brand’s debut in the Middle East, saw the opening of the Hyatt Centric Jumeirah Dubai. The seven-storey property is set to become a social hub in the La Mer district, featuring 173 sophisticated guestrooms, including 27 spacious deluxe rooms and suites, designed to reflect the city through the playful juxtaposition of colours, textures and curated curiosities.

Set in the heart of Dubai and bringing in a fresh take on the modern hospitality sector, Hyatt Centric Jumeirah Dubai serves as an ideal launchpad for exploration for those looking to discover the city’s local hot spots and hidden gems. Conveniently located between old and new Dubai, guests have the opportunity to experience nearby attractions including Laguna Waterpark, the La Mer beachfront shopping and dining district, Burj Khalifa, and Dubai Mall. For those seeking authentic, historical experiences, the nearby neighbourhoods of Satwa, Bur Dubai and Al Fahidi are home to traditional souks, and the Etihad Museum.

“Surrounded by the ocean with year-round sunshine and a stunning aesthetic, we are proud to introduce the 10th Hyatt branded hotel in Dubai and to bring the first Hyatt Centric hotel into the UAE,” said Britta Leick-Milde, hotel manager of Hyatt Centric Jumeirah Dubai. “With stunning views of the entire Dubai skyline, Hyatt Centric Jumeirah Dubai offers adventure-seeking travellers a window to the destination through a playful interpretation of local culture, art, and points of interest.”

The hotel includes thoughtfully designed and casual, relaxing spaces that boast an abundance of food and beverage experiences celebrating the region’s dynamic flavours. Hyatt Centric Jumeirah Dubai’s all-day restaurant is certain to become a hot spot for locals and visitors alike, serving continental favourites for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The hotel also features multiple spaces for meetings, events and social gatherings with a boardroom that fits up to eight guests, large terraces ideal for social gatherings for up to 85 guests, and the exclusive rooftop bar that can be used for small group celebrations. The terrace suite is also the perfect venue for a New Year’s party, where guests can take in the spectacular views of the Burj Khalifa’s firework show.

Whether fireworks, souks, or the private beach area at La Mer North beach for guests to relax and unwind, this 173-key lifestyle hotel provides, true to brand, a culturally immersive stay for travellers searching to uncover shareworthy experiences and local culture.

Since you’re here, why not check out The Hyatt House debut in Africa?

Main image credit: Hyatt 

comfortable seating and vintage lighting in coco cafe in coco hotel paris

Miniview: Coco Hotel, where old style meets cosmo hospitality

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Miniview: Coco Hotel, where old style meets cosmo hospitality

Contemporary Copenhagen meets vintage Paris in the new boutique Coco Hotel. Colourful key in hand, Melania Guarda Ceccoli opens the door to take a closer look…

comfortable seating and vintage lighting in coco cafe in coco hotel paris

Grab your tassel key with your room number, fall asleep in crisp white organic cotton sheets and watch TV while eating in bed. You are in the Coco Hotel, the new boutique hotel in Copenhagen that mixes old style with a sprinkle of the cosmopolitan. The hotel offers 88 unique guestrooms, a lovely café and a quiet green courtyard, perfect for working or drinking with friends. The hotel caters for those travellers looking for exceptional value and those looking for a little more luxury, offering what every big city should have: bikes, toiletries, a Pilates studio, and of course, a ping-pong room.

Built in 1880, the building has a long history as a hotel. More recently, it was acquired by Cofoco in 2018, and the renovation process began. When it came to the interiors, the Coco’s design brief had three key points: the owner wanted to respect the architecture of the building, reuse and recycle as much as possible. This meant mixing vintage with new and, at the same time, meeting the needs of the multi-functionality of the building. The space functions as a reception, a hotel, a café, a cosy hangout, an office and a cocktail bar at night. Built in 1880, the building has a long history as a hotel.

The TONEN Agency was chosen for the interior design of Coco Hotel, a collaboration between Malene Bech-Pedersen and Mette Bonavent, both designers based in Copenhagen. The café on the ground floor is very similar to a Parisian apartment, and Tonen decorated the space exclusively with materials that age beautifully in leather, wood, brass and marble. The bar and various pieces of furniture are custom made for the hotel by a local carpenter. The Danish artist FOS made brass lamps and mirrored tables, while global icons like Thonet chairs and classic bistro tables added a taste of Paris to the mix.

grey and white bedroom with skylight in Coco Hotel

Image credit: Coco Hotel

The 88 guestrooms are spread over five floors and vary in size and style: some are suites, some have gardens, some have connecting rooms, others have a garden or street views, and some are simple. TONEN chose to make them look less generic by painting different wall colours on each floor, mixing vintage with new and putting curated art on the walls. The walls on the first floor are painted a bright blue; the second floor walls are intense and vivid green; the third floor is creamy white, and the walls of the fourth and fifth floors are smoky grey. In addition to the standard rooms, the family rooms have PlayStation and toys for the younger guests.

bright green walls in guestroom at Coco Hotel

Image credit: Coco Hotel

The more romantic penthouse suites have sofas, panoramic views and large bathrooms. Each room has its visible personality: new, classic and vintage furniture, patterned fabrics, walls with paintings, selected art books, magazines, printed fabrics, and lamps. Guests will encounter Thonet Bentwood chairs, Prouvé chairs, locally handmade wooden tables, Bauhaus-inspired trolleys, Michael Anastassiades lamps, hand-stitched leather seats and Helle Thygesen Art & Antiques handmade lampshades. All these elements contribute to the layered design of the hotel that transforms each space into an individual statement.

At the heart of both Cofoco and now Coco Hotel, is the desire to make a positive difference for people and the planet. That is why sustainability is such a big priority, and with this as a guiding principle throughout the design process, Coco Hotel has achieved Green Key Certification.

This principle runs through every element of the hotel. Café Coco primarily serves organic products, and you will find no plastic bottles in the minibar. All towels and bed linens in rooms are made from organic cotton. The entire building has been renovated with energy and water-saving solutions. Like Cofoco’s restaurants, the hotel is covered by sustainable energy from Cofoco’s solar park in Nees, North West Jutland. The solar power park is the size of nine football fields and produces more solar power than the restaurants and the hotel use combined, which means that they are self-sufficient with sustainable energy.

Main image credit: Coco Hotel

Hamish Kilburn, Editor, Hotel Designs

Editor checks in: A sense of change in hotel design

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Editor checks in: A sense of change in hotel design

Making the best out of a disruptive situation – day eight of 10 into quarantine after testing positive for Covid-19 – Editor Hamish Kilburn finds the time (and the words) to explore in his final editor’s letter of 2021 how sensory design and togetherness could help fuel hotel design and hospitality into a new yet-to-be-written chapter…

Hamish Kilburn, Editor, Hotel Designs

Can you feel, smell, hear, touch or taste it? Don’t worry, this isn’t a new variant symptoms check. There’s a transformation happening. It’s affecting the way we work. The way we communicate. Even my tone seems dissimilar (perhaps more honest) as I write this, uncomfortably pessimistic, in day eight of a 10-day quarantine after testing positive for Covid-19 the day I landed back from reviewing a recent cluster of hotel design projects in Spain.

Whether we like it or not, we have no choice but to embrace new ways of living and working. As frustrating as this ‘new world’ may feel at times, we cannot always alter our surroundings. What we can adjust, however, is how we react. In great depression comes new prospects. When we accept a remodelled status quo, we can move past the practical hurdles and start to see how a change in landscape creates a transformation in behaviour, which in turn can lead to new breakthroughs in design, architecture and hospitality.

If you are struggling to see it, look no further than The Brit List 2021, which was unveiled in November at a spectacular, glitter-filled awards ceremony. The publication includes 75 individual examples of people at the forefront of our industry who are utilising this situation, which is becoming to feel more long-term as the months draw on. Take Robin Hutson, the Founder of The PIG Hotels, for instance, who won Hotelier of the Year at The Brit List Awards 2021. During a time when hospitality was forced to be on hold, Hutson started A Seat At The Table campaign in order to give the industry – formally under-represented – an unapologetic voice.

Another example is Tina Norden, Partner at Conran and Partners, who recently completed projects include the new five-star Park Hyatt hotel in Auckland; FEAST within Hong Kong’s iconic EAST hotel and the Peninsula Boutique and Café in Hong Kong. Norden was crowned Interior Designer of Year because of these projects as well as her selfless efforts to support the industry through lockdown, saying ‘yes’ to any opportunity to help raise the profile of British and global hospitality and design at its best. And instead of wallowing in self-isolation despair, I’ve just realised that I am interviewing both leaders in just a few days (note to self: use this time locked away from the world wisely in order to work on thought-provoking questions).

Logically, design and creativity during this period should have suffered, when human interaction and supplies chains have been damaged. Okay, it’s taken longer, and designers have been forced to, at times, sacrifice global FF&E, but it has allowed our community to do what it does best; find solutions to problems. Interior designer Álvaro Sans was tasked to steer one of Seville’s most iconic hotels, Meliá Gran Hotel Colón, into a modern era at a time when it was illegal for citizens to leave their houses. The delivery times of materials was a great task to manage,” he told me. “We had to change some furniture items because they did not arrive after five months of delay.” Sans recently unveiled this project, and it is, in my opinion, genuinely one of the most impressive public area renovations in recent history.

So, you see, change on this kind of scale can be a pivotal part of the overall narrative – we are turning the page of a gripping novel. Well, I have a confession to make. I read ahead and skipped a few chapter, and – spoiler alert – I have to tell you what I found before I read backwards. Waiting for us on the other side is an industry, scarred and not broken, which sets a holistic and more meaningful setting. The textured scene is layered with colour for personality, sound to create atmosphere, touch to make it personal and the smell of fresh bread from the bakery. It’s a sensory fusion of all the things we lost during dark times – a coming together of new skillsets we learned when restrained to the parameters of our homes. I’m not the only one who is reading ahead. At a recent panel discussion I moderated at Independent Hotel Show, Mark Bruce, Main Board Director at EPR Architects; Sound Designer Tom Middleton and Marie Soliman, Co-Founder of Bergman Design House discussed all the possible senses that will take hospitality forward – and no area, even the often forgotten hotel corridors, were off limit. “The gaps between the experiences are just as important as the experiences themselves,” said Bruce. “Those few metres can be thoughtful in themselves.”

The answer to many (if not all) of our problems comes in the form of collaboration, which has long been a fuel for the sector. I’m not talking about interior designers working with lighting designers or architects forming partnerships with sound architects. Instead, I’m suggesting two (or more) interior designers – AKA competitors – actually working together on a brief.

We saw this recently at HIX, in a wonderful display by the three design studios worked together to create Hotel Tomorrow. In this space, Conran and Partners injected the energy of community. Meanwhlile, Areen Design created an art installation-style safe cocoon nest that brought down the heart rate. stroop design, very much inspired by its own situation of launching recently with no physical base, was inspired by nature – and unveiled its co-working pod as a walk-in-the-park experience. Outside these three pods, the studios worked together, using visuals and sounds as tools for transformation from one area of the show to another – and as a result, intentional or not, they helped redefine the traditional trade show into an insightful experience.

Elsewhere in the show, a new revolution came to the surface in the wellness ‘living moodboards’ that were created by Sieger Design, Studio Carter, and Studio Corkinho – think hemp walls, spa-like suites and silent architecture. These concepts that were inspired with the 12 principles of design by Nestwell proved that the world is truthfully our oyster, and there is little we cannot achieve through constructive research and development (R&D).

“Yes, close the laptop lid and prepare to round-off another year on the international hotel design scene with a sense of pride from what we have created in a difficult year.” – Hamish Kilburn, Editor, Hotel Designs.

Render of organic guestroom designed by Studio Carter

Image credit: Studio Carter’s concept explored organic materials as well as soft architecture to create an authentic sense of wellbeing. | Image credit: Studio Carter

I would like to evolve R&D to add a new ‘R’: ‘rest’, which is unreservedly an integral element with innovation in design and hospitality. It’s the same with writing. Leaving an idea or an article to mature is all part of the process, which cannot sometimes be rushed, nor forced. Resetting the scales allows you time to exhale. When the writer returns, the space they’ve created allows the opportunity to add value to whatever was created previously.

And with that, several drafts later of attempting this column, it’s time to ‘switch off’ and turn on our Out of Office automatic replies. Yes, close the laptop lid and prepare to round-off another year on the international hotel design scene with a sense of pride from what we have achieved in a difficult year. I hope that when we return in 2022, we will find it in our hearts to embrace togetherness; to take on, in harmony, new opportunities and challenges.

To spur on this sense of change, I pledge to amplify on these pages bold, genius and non-conforming concepts next year and beyond. Revise the recipe – we’re craving spice and flavour here on the editorial desk – and please help us take hotel design and hospitality forward in beautiful, authentic, and disruptive ways. So, who will feature in the next chapter, I wonder?

Stay tuned…

Editor, Hotel Designs

Main image credit: Dish Creative/James Munson

We are Harrison Spinks, The True Bedmakers copy

Year in Review: How Harrison Spinks will go Net Carbon Zero by 2023

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Year in Review: How Harrison Spinks will go Net Carbon Zero by 2023

World leaders in luxury sustainable comfort, Harrison Spinks is a heritage bedmaker that has been at the forefront of sustainable bed making for 180 years. Innovation drives our business and is contributing to saving the planet, with every decision made rooted in sustainability, as Editor Hamish Kilburn learns when reflecting on the brand’s year…

We are Harrison Spinks, The True Bedmakers copy

For some time now – 180 years to be precise – Harrison Spinks has been ahead of the curve when it comes to technology, sustainability and innovation in bed making. In 2021, the brand went further than it has ever gone in its commitment to the circular economy and announced that it will become Net Carbon Zero by 2023. And here’s how it’s going to achieve that ambitious task.

The brand’s Beyond Circular approach focuses on ethical and sustainable design, committing to an entirely recyclable, reusable and zero to landfill production to ensure we continue to lead the way in sustainability and change the way the world sleeps. This year, Harrison Spinks published our first annual Sustainability Report, proudly stating it is a Carbon Neutral plus manufacturer. It included details such as offsetting more than 3,500 tonnes of carbon in the last year but, even more importantly, it detailing how the brand is leading the way in sustainable innovation. From its circular-by-design approach to how it is reducing and recycling with the objective to become Net Carbon Zero by 2023.

Every handmade mattress manufactured is 100 per cent glue, foam and FR chemical treatment free and 100 per cent recyclable. Each product is handcrafted, in the brand’s factory in Leeds, England, to the highest standards by its master craftspeople using time-honoured skills and only the best luxuriously sustainable materials available.

Harrison Spinks Handcrafting copy

Image credit: Harrison Spinks

The Pocket Spring machines are designed in-house by the brand’s own engineers, which in turn allows the brand to manufacture its award-winning pocket and micro pocket springs, all with glue less technology, meaning each spring system can be fully recycled at end of life.

The Harrison Spinks sustainable story starts at the farm, just outside York, where the brand grows its own hemp and flax. In 2021, Harrison Spinks also partnered with British Wool to launch a new scheme that traces the origin of the wool used in its mattresses from farm to factory. This allowed consumers to fully understand where the wool in the products they are purchasing comes from and giving them peace of mind that the farmer has received a fair price.

The brand also uses synthetic fillings and these are all 100 per cent GRS, 100 per cent recyclable and made from recycled plastic bottles. In addition, it is the only bed manufacturer to weave the fabric it uses to cover our mattresses in house on our state of the art weaving looms. This fabric is 100 per cent FR chemical treatment free and adds a natural finish to the perfect night’s sleep.

Each year 5.8m mattresses in the UK end up being burnt or disposed of in landfill sites. In short, brands like Harrison Spinks want to put a stop to this. As a result, it has pledged to recycle all its mattresses that contain our Cortec spring technology. In 2021, the brand opened its own recycling centre, working towards our vision to be the most sustainable bed manufacturer in the world.

2021 has also been a hugely successful year with multiple product launches in our Hospitality division. The Sprint Collection, offering three mattress types featuring multiple layers of sustainable and synthetic fillings alongside the brand’s innovative pocket spring systems all available in a rolled format, should you wish, for ease of installation. The Signature collection, a range of six mattresses, all featuring sustainably and supremely comfortable natural fillings.

And in October the brand launched the Exclusive Collection, a range of four mattresses that are the ultimate definition of handmade luxury, with the very finest natural fillings, handmade to order, and all 100 per cent recyclable.

Harrison Spinks Hospitality Beds Division now offers the most comprehensive hospitality collection available with pocket counts from 750 through to 42,000, essentially a mattress to suit every hotel. Harrison Spinks works with some of the most prestigious names in the industry to understand their requirements, while helping every customer to improve their own green footprint our mission is to deliver the ultimate sleep experience for every guest.

With unrivalled sustainability credentials, 180 years of manufacturing excellence and multiple Queens Awards, Harrison Spinks are proving themselves to be “the true bedmakers” and will continue we hope to change the way the world sleeps in 2022 and beyond.

Harrison Spinks is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our Recommended Suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image: Harrison Spinks

moxy hotels manchester check in and bar area

Moxy Hotels arrives in Manchester

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Moxy Hotels arrives in Manchester

Moxy Hotels, Marriott Bonvoy’s experiential hotel brand, has officially opened in Manchester with the launch of Moxy Manchester City, inviting us all to #playon #atthemoxy…

moxy hotels manchester check in and bar area

Manchester’s latest contemporary neighbourhood hotel, Moxy Manchester, is located in the heart of Spinningfields. The hotel is sheltered inside a rising nine-storey building, which is clad in weathered-effect metal panels to give an urban contrast to the original façade that has been retained from the former hat factory. Young at heart, Moxy Manchester City is the place to be for a social staycation, offering affordable fun and endless adventure, which starts the minute you step into Bar Moxy – the social heart of the hotel, which also serves as the hotel’s front desk, where a cocktail is served at check-in, alongside the room key.

games area and social media wall at moxy hotels

Image credit: Moxy Hotels

Bar Moxy and the social atrium space has a modern and industrial feel, with local-inspired artwork, curated Manchester-style illustrations and illuminated signs across the lobby. A foosball table, card games and board games and communal lockers also feature in the 24/7 space. From brightly coloured pouffe seating, hidden corners, and laid-back sofas to seats at the urban-style wrap-around bar, there’s something for all occasions.

Featuring a light bites menu and vibrant cocktail, Bar Moxy will also have DJs playing every night to draw hotel guests out of their rooms and locals out of their homes. An extensive drinks menu of beers, spirits, wine, and cocktails are available – featuring Moxy specials, Got MOXY: Gin, with MOXY syrup blend, a non-alcoholic Fauxy Moxy: MOXY Syrup Blend and Chilled Tea and the star of the show, Disco Diva: the ultimate sharing cocktail served in a disco ball with Vodka, Vanilla, Limoncello, Citrus Elderflower, Pomegranate, and Prosecco. There’s also a dedicated barista counter for a coffee fix, and Grab n Go snacks and beverages available 24/7.

The 146 stylish and smartly designed guestrooms can be as productive or as playful as needed. From plush platform beds to a fun-size workspace and comfy lounge chairs. Moxy Manchester City rooms feature walk-in showers, TVs with Netflix, open-wall closets, and motion activated LED guidelights. Plus, they’re pet friendly, so pooches can come too.

Moxy hotels are designed with social media-lovers in mind, and Moxy Manchester City is the first Manchester hotel to have a digital ‘Guestbook’ wall. The Guestbook streams photos, and videos that Moxy guests have shared to the social sphere. Moxy moments are shared on the wall, which constantly changes as the social feed is updated.

relaxed and playful seating in moxy hotel manchester

Image credit: Moxy Hotels

The hotel brand offers a playful hotel experience for the young at heart. With more than 100 properties open across North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific, Moxy Manchester joins the group as they boldly break the rules of a conventional hotel stay across the globe. The Moxy ethos is all about stylish, industrial design and sociable service at an attractive price point, allowing guests to splurge on the experiences that matter most to them during their travels.

> Since you’re here, why not read about Moxy in China?

Main image credit: Moxy Hotels

aerial view of marriot ritz-carlton eleuthera bahamas

Marriott to debut Ritz-Carlton Reserve brand Bahamas

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Marriott to debut Ritz-Carlton Reserve brand Bahamas

Marriott International has announced its plans to introduce a Ritz-Carlton Reserve to the island of Eleuthera, Bahamas, making it one of only five properties in this exclusive collection around the world. Here’s what we know…

aerial view of marriot ritz-carlton eleuthera bahamas

Marriott International has announced it has signed an agreement with Cotton Bay Holdings to introduce a Ritz-Carlton Reserve on the island of Eleuthera in the Bahamas. The proposed resort will be a highly personalized leisure experience, blending the signature Ritz-Carlton intuitive service with local design and stunning natural landscapes. Located on the southern end of the island, the Ritz-Carlton Reserve in Eleuthera is expected to feature an open-air resort with 90 intimate guestrooms forming part of the community once known as the iconic Cotton Bay Club. A range of select luxury amenities and exceptional services are slated to include an 18-hole golf course, a lavish spa and swimming pools, and restaurants all surrounded by pristine beaches, azure waters and tropical flora and fauna.

“We are thrilled to bring the Ritz-Carlton Reserve brand and service to this pristine island in the Great Bahama Bank,” said Laurent de Kousemaeker, Chief Development Officer, Caribbean and Latin America, Marriott International. “We are excited to partner with Cotton Bay Holdings in developing this luxury resort, where the original Cotton Bay Club was built in 1959.”

there are also plans for 60 Ritz-Carlton Reserve branded residences, which are expected to include a mix of two to five-bedroom villas. Designed in the same unique architectural style of the resort, each privately owned residence will offer refined design, and a one-of-a-kind luxury experience for owners.

“We are pleased to work with Marriott International to bring the Ritz-Carlton Reserve brand and experience to one of the most exotic and secluded destinations in the Caribbean,” said Daniel Zuleta, Manager for Cotton Bay Holdings. “We are excited to make this project a prime example of business, environmental and social excellence. Our plan for the project takes into strong consideration the role of the local communities and their active participation for its success.”

Ritz-Carlton Reserve is a complete escape to the unexpected – a private and transformative travel experience that is centred around human connection and brings together unique elements of the local culture, history, heritage and environment. For the most discerning travellers seeking a personalized and luxurious escape, Reserve properties are tucked away in the rarest corners of the world, featuring chic, relaxed and intimate settings that weave native flavours with highly responsive and individualized service. The Eleuthera development is set to join the five properties currently under the Reserve brand by Marriott International, located across Thailand, Japan, Indonesia, Puerto Rico and Mexico.

> Since you’re here, why not read about The Ritz-Carlton Nikko?

Main image credit: Ritz Carlton / Marriott Hotels

The check-in desk at Hotel Colon, surrounding by Spanish memorabilia

‘First in’ to review the newly renovated Hotel Colón Gran Meliá

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
‘First in’ to review the newly renovated Hotel Colón Gran Meliá

In the heart of Seville, the iconic Hotel Colón Gran Meliá re-emerges from lockdown showcasing a sophisticated first impression that’s timeless design effortlessly takes it into a new era. Editor Hamish Kilburn is among those ‘first in’ to explore the newly renovated hotel – and while there, he manages to secure an interview with the interior designer behind the project…

The check-in desk at Hotel Colon, surrounding by Spanish memorabilia

With its grandeur monuments, orange tree-lined cobbled streets and a vibrant gastronomy scene, Seville is a city that will leave a lasting impression on even the most seasoned of travellers. At the epicentre of this cultural hub – just a 10-minute stroll from the The río Guadalquivir, the Torre del Oro and the Real Maestranza Bull Ring – is Hotel Colón Gran Meliá; a hotel that has been an inherent part of Seville since its iconic architecture by José Miguel de la Cuadra was first unveiled in 1929.

Some 92 years later, and the building is now a listed pillar, having majestically maintained its original neoclassical façade. Don’t let its grand structure fool you, though. It shelters a contemporary hotel that fluidly forms around a modernist central dome, made up of thousands of coloured crystals. It, as Rosana Gonzáles, General Manager of the hotel says: “Shines over the hotel bringing a new light over Seville’s history.” And it was this central part of the hotel that became the core inspiration for interior designer Álvaro Sans when he was asked to steer to the its public areas through a sensitive renovation that could meet the demands of today’s travellers.

“Seville is a unique city, the ‘Spanish Florence’, if you like.” – Álvaro Sans, interior designer.

Lobby inside Gran Melia Hotel Colón in Seville

Image caption: The central dome inside Gran Melia Hotel Colón, which is the heart of the hotel and was a significant source of inspiration for the design team. | Image credit: Meliá Hotels International

“We wanted to differentiate Hotel Colón Gran Meliá from the rest of the hotels in the city,” said Sans. “To do this, we decided to inject a healthy dose of Sevillian culture, art and feeling into the building. The strong sense of place transports guests to the destination where they can really experience the true essence of the location. Seville is a unique city, the ‘Spanish Florence’, if you like. The ‘Sevillano’ is felt in the streets and by visitors who live who live within it. There is a contagious joy of living here.”

QUICK-FIRE ROUND WITH THE DESIGNER:

Hamish Kilburn: How long did the project take from concept to completion?
Álvaro Sans: Two years, due to delays with Covid-19

HK:  Describe the newly renovated hotel in two words?
AS: Sevillian and timeless

HK: What’s next for the hotel?
AS: Two wonderful suites, but you didn’t hear that from me!

There is no doubt about it: the hotel’s rejuvenation has been influenced by the past. However, its hospitality offering on the other hand has been created with a worldly traveller in mind, while looking ahead towards the future. By opening up the space in the lobby, the opportunity emerged for Sans to create a new F&B proposal – a new destination bar – that is now the focal point of all first impressions, which sits under the magnificent dome. The interiors of the bar are decorated with pieces that have been curated by young local artisans. Together, they form a magical atmosphere.

Making such a drastic transformation in an iconic hotel is challenging enough, but add to this the fact that Sans was working on this project during a pandemic creates a whole new layer of uncertainty. “The delivery times of materials was a great task to manage,” Sans explains. “We had to change some furniture items because they did not arrive after five months of delay.”

Originally known as Hotel Majestic, the property was, in its hay day, one of the most luxurious hotels in Spain, built primarily to welcome international visitors of the world’s fair, Exposición Iberoamericana, hosted in Seville in 1929. Following this, world renowned figures such as Ava Gardner, Picasso and Dalí also walked its floors and fell in love with the historical building. The hotel was where famous matadors (bull fighters) used to stay ahead of crowd-drawing Corridas (bull fighting events), which arguably helped put Seville on the tourism – domestic and international – map. In fact, traje de luces (the various costumes) of the famous El Cordobes have become part of the interior design decoration, displayed behind the check-in desk, along with original flamenco dancer costumes, to add a unique sense of place for guests who are beginning or ending their stay.

Check-in desk inside Gran Melia Hotel Colòn in Seville

Image caption: The check-in desk inside the hotel features a display of memorabilia, which gives a sensitive nod to Sevillian culture. | Image credit: Melia Hotels International

As guests arrive, what was a dated red and white design scheme has been transformed into a space that feels light, elegant and welcoming. “Pure red is a colour only used in the bullfighter’s cape in Seville – it is not an emblematic colour of the city,” explains the designer. The lobby now features hues of green, ochra, gold – reminiscent of the Andalusian countryside. Wood alongside luxurious and elegant materials such as velvet, silk, leather and walnut add meaningful texture. Amongst the new services, guests can enjoy a completely new Red Level on the ground floor, the new Bar del Colón and the restaurant Abacería del Colón.

“Seville is olive green,” adds Sans. “It is a city with many cultures that have merged in a magnificent way. The hotel, therefore, had to have something that amplified this authentically.” To achieve this, Sans introduced natural materials – Andalusian Macael white marble, solid walnut wood, hydraulic concrete floors – designed and built for the hotel, in a format larger than the traditional one. “We chose olive green [throughout the lobby and public areas downstairs], to mimic hotel’s wonderful skylight,” says Sans. “Ceramics were handcrafted specially for the hotel by Isabel Parente’s workshop in Seville, in an oxidised olive-green tone and an original Mudejar design, with details of the plasterwork from the Alhambra in Granada.”

One of the gastronomy venues at the hotel, Burladero restaurant offers a wide range of Andalucian tapas that attract locals as well as international visitors. The new Abacería del Colón is a place where guests can indulge in typical Sevillan produce such as jamón, cold meats, jams and chicharrones, as well as purchasing them to bring that iconic Sevillian flavour back home.

The hotel is also part of the Virtuoso y Fine Hotels and Resorts de Amex (FHR), as well as The Leading Hotels Of The World (LHW). It comprises of 188 rooms including 24 suites, adorned with classic paintings of the Spanish Golden Age from artists such as Goya, Murillo, Velazquez y and El Greco – the giants of 16th and 17th century Spanish painting.

Suite inside Hotel Colòn Gran Melia

Image caption: If rumours are to be believed, the next chapter for the hotel will be the renovation of two suites. | Image credit: Meliá International

The newly renovated Hotel Colón Gran Meliá is a tribute to Seville’s history and culture; a space where old and new meet with incredible results. Everything is curated to the smallest detail and recalls original elements from the 1929 Exposition to make every guest walk back in the past and discover the beauty of the city. And with whispers all but confirmed from Meliá International that the hotel will unveil two new renovated suites soon, it’s clear that the Gran Melia Hotel Colón’s narrative is far from ending.

Main image credit: Meliá International

guestroom in wasserturm hotel cologne

Curio Collection by Hilton opens the Wasserturm Hotel in Cologne

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Curio Collection by Hilton opens the Wasserturm Hotel in Cologne

Housed in what was once the tallest water tower in Europe, Hilton has opened the newest addition to its Curio Collection, the Wasserturm Hotel, in a historic building right in the heart of the city…

guestroom in wasserturm hotel cologne

With sweeping views of the city from its rooftop bar, Wasserturm Hotel Cologne presents itself as a dynamic work of art that always has new, unexpected discoveries in store. Designed by the internationally awarded design studio Goddard Littlefair, this ethos can be felt as soon as you enter the characterful 11-metre high lobby. The hotel’s structure showcases some impressive brickwork, lofty ceilings, and geometric patterns, all of which contrast with the contemporary elegance and touches of down-to-earth charm that can be seen throughout the design.

“Wasserturm Hotel Cologne joins a growing number of Curio Collection by Hilton hotels in Europe, a portfolio that is expected to more than double in the coming years,” said David Kelly, senior vice president, Continental Europe, Hilton. “This hotel, with its imposing structure, tasteful design, and elevated guest offering, is a perfect addition to that collection. As both a centre of commerce and a popular tourist destination, travellers will be well poised at this enviably located hotel to take advantage of all Cologne has to offer.”

The historic building, owned by Aroundtown, Germany’s largest listed commercial real estate company, is now home to 88 guestrooms and suites, a spa, gym, and three bars and restaurants. At the heart of the water tower is a round hub, leading guests to the lounge and adjacent winter garden. Here, hotel guests can start the day with a breakfast of regional delicacies, freshly baked bread, and homemade jams. Guests can enjoy a direct view of the private garden, which wraps around the entire hotel like a green ring and helps to create a calm oasis in the city. Also with access to the private garden are the hotel’s nine fully flexible event and meeting rooms, which combine to make 500 square metres of event space.

seating area in hotel wasserturm cologne with doors leading to central garden

Image credit: Wasserturm Hotel Cologne, Curio Collection by Hilton

As the lift travels up the water tower’s 11 floors, guests move past the rooms and suites, all with state-of-the-art furnishings, and Tapps, the hotel’s spa and gym, complete with treatment rooms, sauna, and training equipment. Finally, on the 11th floor, the top of Wasserturm Hotel Cologne, guests can experience a whole new view of the city at a height of 35 metres. The intriguing and atmospheric Bar Botanik is where botany, plants, herbal and floral aromas meet industrial chic and Cologne air. As the new hotspot for cocktail lovers, the rooftop Bar Botanik represents the bar culture and trendy Cologne society scene. This is where Cologne and its visitors feel equally at home, in an atmospheric mix that can only be topped by the breathtaking panoramic view.

Located less than five minutes from major attractions such as the cathedral, Cologne Chocolate Museum, and the Rhine, Wasserturm Hotel Cologne, making a statement in this iconic and historical building, is set to take its place with the other unique, one-of-a-kind hotels that make up the Curio Collection by Hilton.

> Since you’re here, why not check out The Royal Senses Resort, Curio Collection by Hilton?

Main image credit: Wasserturm Hotel Cologne, Curio Collection by Hilton

The Lake Spa Resort Vista Aerea

Domes Resorts announces plans to expand globally

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Domes Resorts announces plans to expand globally

Domes Resorts, which is one of the fastest growing luxury hotel brands in the Mediterranean, continues its rapid expansion taking over The Lake Spa Resort in Portugal owned by HIP (Hotel Investment Partners), the largest owner of resort hotels in Southern Europe backed by funds managed by Blackstone. Here’s what we know…

The Lake Spa Resort Vista Aerea

After what Domes Resorts has stated has been a “very successful 2021”, which saw the repositioning and opening of a completely renovated Domes of Corfu, Autograph Collection, Domes Resorts will once again partner with Hotel Investment Partners (HIP) to strengthen its presence in Europe with the much-anticipated early 2022 opening of The Lake Spa Resort in Algarve.

The project, which has been backed by a €7 million investment, will see the upgrade and transformation of the property through a complete refurbishment of all rooms and public spaces – including the creation of a new adults-only pool and pool bar. In addition, the existing F&B outlets will be replaced with signature Domes dining concepts.

Domes Resorts is amongst the fastest growing luxury hospitality groups in Greece, with a number of new projects in its pipeline. Owned by Ledra Hotels and Villas, the group is comprised of the legendary Domes of Elounda, Autograph Collection, the cosmopolitan Domes Noruz Chania, Autograph Collection, Domes Miramare, a Luxury Collection Resort on Corfu, Domes Zeen Chania, a Luxury Collection Resort, Crete and the newest addition Domes of Corfu, Autograph Collection. With a love for the destinations and driven by the thrill of sharing them with the world, Domes Resorts offer transformative experiences for cosmopolitan explorers, combined with authentic Greek hospitality and the highest international luxury accommodation standards.

Domes Resorts are developed on handpicked locations at iconic destinations and embrace their environments in every possible aspect, from local cultural experiences, to design, architecture, and community engagement. All properties are unique, award winning and known for their sophisticated design, opulent accommodation offering and fine-tuned services.

Main image credit: Domes Resorts

Guestroom render inside Melbourne Marriott Hotel Docklands

Introducing Melbourne Marriott Hotel Docklands: inspired by contours of yachts

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Introducing Melbourne Marriott Hotel Docklands: inspired by contours of yachts

DKO Architecture has completed its mission to design the interiors of Melbourne Marriott Hotel Docklands, a hotel that takes design cues from the luxury yachts that are moored outside the property…

Guestroom render inside Melbourne Marriott Hotel Docklands

In line with the hotel group’s plans to open almost 100 hotels in 2021, and following its 70th hotel opening in Japan, Marriott Hotels, the signature flag of Marriott Bonvoy’s portfolio, has welcomed the arrival of Melbourne Marriott Hotel Docklands. Sheltering 189 guestrooms and a one-of-a-kind rooftop infinity pool, the new hotel is destined to become a resort-style haven just minutes from Melbourne city centre. The property is set to offer elevated dining and inspiring experiences that will help locals and travellers alike foster their inventive nature.

The first international five-star hotel in the harbour suburb, Melbourne Marriott Hotel Docklands is nestled within the retail, leisure, and entertainment precinct, The District Docklands on Waterfront Way. The centrepiece of the hotel is the sky-high water feature, a 92 ft wet edge rooftop infinity pool, serviced by an adjoining bar with panoramic views across Melbourne’s CBD skyline, Bolte Bridge, Port Phillip Bay, and Hobsons Bay.

Infinity pool at Melbourne Marriott Hotel Docklands

Image credit: Marriott International

“We are excited to open the first Marriott Hotels property in Australia in 20 years. The opening of Melbourne Marriott Hotel Docklands marks the seventh property within the Marriott Bonvoy portfolio in Melbourne and the 27th property in the country, providing more opportunities for inspiring connections and moments of self-discovery around the world,” said Manny Rappenecker, Vice President and Global Brand Leader, Marriott Hotels. “As we see the growing demand for all types of travel, we look forward to welcoming guests to enjoy an all-encompassing Melbourne experience at this beautiful urban oasis.”

Designed by DKO Architecture, the hotel takes design cues from the aerodynamic contours of yachts in the city’s harbour. The curved façade offers multiple and enviable views over the water, city skyline, and the Bolte Bridge. The gentle and soothing motif transitions harmoniously from the exterior of the building through to the interior, complemented by the fluted glass windows of the lobby, with art installations gently ushering guests through to the connecting laneway.

Setting the scene upon arrival, polished brass golden chains by Australian sculptor Alexander Knox are suspended in sweeping parabolas throughout the hotel lobby, echoing the ruched forms of cinched sailcloth. Additionally, the featured pendant lights by Melbourne lighting designer Volker Haug set a sense of comfortable intimacy throughout the dining spaces.

The lobby area inside Melbourne Marriott Hotel Docklands

Image credit: Marriott International

The graceful ‘petal’ shape of the building offers a unique view from every room and window. Showcasing the latest design thinking from Marriott Hotels, the 189 guestrooms are thoughtfully-designed to offer

a spacious and modern look complete with tailored solutions that are as inventive as its guests. Bathed with abundant natural light, each guestroom features premium in-room amenities including luxuriant bedding, a 55-inch LCD TV, an open, retail-inspired wardrobe to alleviate fears of leaving clothes behind, a work surface that provides flexibility to freely move and use technology wherever the guest desires, a walk-in shower, and a curated ‘Made in Melbourne’ bar fridge. Additionally, through a first-of-its-kind partnership with Marriott Hotels and TED, guests will have access to specially curated in-room content to enjoy from the comfort of their bed.

Inside, there are four distinct culinary experiences. Destined to become one of the Dockland’s signature dining venues, Archer’s is a refined restaurant space serving exquisite Australian cuisine with fresh produce from local farms. Nestled within a vaulted cellar-esque ceiling, the interior is reminiscent of Melbourne’s historic bridges and train stations. Ada’s in the hotel lobby expresses the style and multi-functionality of the Marriott Hotels’ Greatroom, a space where guests can work, socialise or simply relax with light snacks, soft drinks, and cocktails. The sophisticated lobby bar menu and beverage list are inspired by, and pay homage to yesteryear, with a modern twist. Celebrating Melbourne’s coffee culture, laneway café Corsia serves premium and locally roasted coffee from St Ali, and a European-inspired menu of light meals by day, switching to espresso martinis and local wines by night. Sunset House is one of the few west-facing bars in Melbourne looking out to dazzling sunsets and sweeping views across Melbourne. Adjacent to the rooftop pool, this standout new addition to Melbourne’s sophisticated bar and restaurant scene will sit atop the building delivering an eclectic mix of casual dining and entertainment.

M Club inside Melbourne Marriott hoetl Docklands

Image credit: Marriott International

The new hotel also caters to fitness enthusiasts with all the revolutionary solutions of the new Technogym Excite Live platform whilst working out in the Fitness Centre. Using AI and immersive content, the state-of-the-art equipment range is designed to give users a personalised training experience by connecting to a wide range of workout content, personal wellness data, and entertainment options including Netflix. Heated to an inviting 84 degrees Fahrenheit, the 92 ft rooftop infinity pool enables guests to take a dip while enjoying the sweeping views of Melbourne all year-round.

Melbourne Marriott Hotel Docklands also welcomes the first exclusive M Club executive lounge in Australia. Designed to emulate a residential style living room, the 24-hour lounge is the perfect space to relax, socialise or meet for business. The adjoining outdoor terrace offers a rare al fresco space in the heart of Docklands.

The hotel is sparking new ways of thinking, fuelling curiosity, and fostering collaboration across five state-of-the-art function and meeting spaces. More than 4,000 sq ft. of event space is available, featuring contemporary styling and cutting-edge technology, and an abundance of natural light, making it the ideal venue for business and social events.

“We are excited to finally open our doors to guests and help them get into their best headspace for success with our forward-thinking, and refreshed and refined style,” said Girish Talreja, General Manager, Melbourne Marriott Hotel Docklands. “We look forward to establishing our hotel as a must-stay hotel for both locals and visitors to the city thanks to our unrivalled dining outlets and spectacular rooftop pool and bar.”

Main image credit: Marriott international

Bvlgari Hotel Paris collage Hotel Designs

In pictures: Inside Bvlgari Hotel Paris

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
In pictures: Inside Bvlgari Hotel Paris

Three years since the concept of the luxury hotel appeared on our radar, Bvlgari Hotel Paris has opened. The new hotel, designed by Italian architecture firm Antonio Patricia Viel, alongside the renowned Parisian architects Valode & Pistre, promises an experience that mingles Italian excellence with the magnificent culture of the City of Lights…

Bvlgari Hotel Paris collage Hotel Designs

In the heart of the world-renowned Golden Triangle of Paris, Bvlgari Hotel Paris has opened. Breaking with the traditional codes of the Parisian architecture, the elegant building that shelters the new luxury hotel enriches the eighth arrondissement with its contemporary style. For Bvlgari Hotels & Resorts, the opening marks a harmony between two cultures in design as well as hospitality. “We are particularly proud to add a French jewel to the Bvlgari Hotels & Resorts collection, the opening of the new Bvlgari Hotel Paris,” said Jean-Christophe Babin, CEO of Bvlgari. “Following the recent opening of the Bvlgari flagship store in Place Vendome, it is an honour for us to bring, once again, the best of the Italian design, lifestyle, culture and luxury hospitality to Paris.”

BH Paris Lounge, fireplace

Image credit: Bvlgari Hotels & Resorts

As with all of the Bvlgari Hotels & Resorts, the Bvlgari Hotel Paris has been designed by the Italian architecture studio Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel. Both the interior and exterior have been created with the same attention to details and precision of a Bvlgari jewel, enhancing all the characteristic codes of the establishments developed by the Rome-based jewellery house. The Bvlgari Hotel Paris offers 76 rooms, of which 75 per cent are suites, featuring terraces and loggias. Each one is designed as a private apartment and is exquisitely furnished with the highest quality luxury furniture brands. In addition, the artwork and photographs of celebrities closely linked to the Maison add that touch of personality characteristic of the Bvlgari Hotels & Resorts.

Perched atop the building, the Bvlgari Penthouse illustrates the pinnacle of this approach. Across more than a total of 1,000 sqm of which 400 sqm interiors and 600 sqm exteriors and on two levels, the Bvlgari Penthouse features a fully landscaped hanging garden, filled with Mediterranean plants and fruit trees, and offers a panoramic view over the emblematic buildings of the French capital.

Bvlgari Hotel Paris penthouse suite at night

Image credit: Bvlgari Hotels & Resorts

The highlight of the hotel’s culinary offering is “Il Ristorante – Niko Romito”, curated by the three Michelin star Chef, Niko Romito. Romito has created this concept for all the Bvlgari Hotels & Resorts with a blend of modern and classical Italian dishes using ingredients that are the essential characteristics of the culture, elegance and vitality of the ‘Made in Italy’ ethos.

Adjacent to the restaurant and facing the hotel garden, the Bvlgari Bar expresses the full generosity, elegance and spirit of the House and is set to become one of the most sought-after gathering places in western Paris. Located just next door, the Lounge – with its plush armchairs, massive fireplace, and ceiling inspired by a Bvlgari minaudière – is a desirable place to gather. Spanning 1,300 sqm on two levels, the Bvlgari Spa at Bvlgari Hotel Paris offers a unique experience, with its 25-metre swimming pool, one of the longest in any Paris luxury hotel. The fitness space, featuring state-of-the-art technology and entrusted to Workshop Gymnasium, has been exclusively created for Bvlgari by Lee Mullins, and includes a private studio.

Luxury pool inside Bvlgari Hotel Paris

Image credit: Bvlgari Hotels & Resorts

What’s next? Well, Bvlgari Hotel Paris is the latest creation in the Bvlgari Hotels & Resorts collection, which includes properties in Milan, Bali, London, Beijing, Dubai, and Shanghai, as well as upcoming openings in Rome (2022), Moscow (2022), Tokyo (2023),Miami (2024) and Los Angeles (2025).

Main image credit: Bvlgari Hotels & Resorts

In Conversation With: Kalia Konstantinidou on hotel development in Greece

730 565 Pauline Brettell
In Conversation With: Kalia Konstantinidou on hotel development in Greece

After creating three unique properties in Santorini, each reflecting the spirit of its location, it was only a matter of time before KANAVA Hotels & Resorts explored wider hotel development in Greece. Pauline Brettell speaks to co-owner Kalia Konstantinidou about the group’s island-hopping development plans…

KAVANA Hotels & Resorts is meaningfully making a dent in hotel development pipeline in Greece with its collection of unique hotels, resorts and villas that are all designed and curated by owners Kalia Konstantinidou and her husband, and business partner, Antonis Eliopoulos. For the pair, it is all about creating beautiful spaces as well as memorable experiences, while introducing guests to their beloved Cycladic way of life.

The brand’s hospitality vision first emerged on the whitewashed island of Santorini, where Eliopoulos turned a rustic vineyard on his family estate into the first five-star hotel of the island in 1993, which is now the renowned Vedema, a Luxury Collection Resort.

Since then, the couple’s combined passion for hospitality motivated them to expand in 2007 towards the north of the island, with the opening of Mystique, a boutique jewel carved into the rugged Caldera cliffs. Taking a different approach in 2018, the decision was made to transform an abandoned mansion of a legendary socialite on the famous black-sand beach of Perivolos into the peaceful Istoria, a Member of Design Hotels that offers a unique residential accommodation experience.

white interior and blue sea at Kanava hotels greek island resort

Image caption: Mystique was the second hotel to open in KAVANA Hotels & Resorts’ portfolio. Image credit: KAVANA Hotels & Resorts

After making its mark on Santorini, KANAVA Hotels & Resorts stylishly island hopped to Paros, where it opened the brand’s fourth hotel, Parīlio, a Member of Design Hotels, which is a statement hotel, envisioned as a gateway to the real Cyclades. The following year, the group introduced Acron Villas, a unique collection of 24 villas, all with a minimal Cycladic aesthetic.

The visionary brand is fast establishing its position on the island, and is launching its third property on Paros in 2022, Cosme Hotel, a project that is conceived to be a celebration of the authentic Mediterranean village. The hotel aims to “carry its guests away in time”, and filling them with a sense of serenity.

Before then – and with the aim to establish where the next hotel development hotspot is in Greece – I caught up with Konstantinidou for a coffee in London’s west end. I wanted to get an idea of both the brand in general, as well as the more specific plans for the new project on Paros – and I was told that no question was off limit!

A rock on the edge of a luxury swimming pool in Paros

Image caption: Parīlio was KAVANA Hotels & Resorts’ debut hotel in Paros. | Image credit: KAVANA Hotels & Resorts

Pauline Brettell: You first opened in Santorini in 1993 with Vedema, which was the first Five Star hotel on the island. Has the vision changed over the years – is luxury in 1993 the same as luxury in 2023?

Kalia Konstantinidou: Luxury has completely changed in the last three decades, in the sense that back in the 1990’s it was solely based on material goods and offerings, while in 2020’s, especially in the post-Covid era, the meaning of ‘high-end’ or ‘jet set’ travel is not defined by the material and lifestyle, rather by the experiential and intellectual.

The world has changed enormously, and as such our vision has been blended with creating unique hotels that define a destination, with the need to connect, to engage with communities, to be mindful and to travel for a purpose. And as travel reminds us of all the things that we share, most notably our humanity and our planet, the new luxury that we embrace is also connected with sustainable travel and a more mindful approach to travel: fewer trips, longer trips, more meaningful trips. While the planet has been incredibly resilient for billions of years, it is uncanny how vulnerable we are on this earth that has a vastly growing population, and one that is so interconnected.

PB: How does KANAVA Hotels & Resorts stand out from the crowd? 

KK: The most substantial thing that makes KANAVA Hotels & Resorts unique is that we are looking into the essence of things. We strive to create a better world for tourism, one that listens to its communities better than any other industry in the world. We create projects with the essence of being sustainable, sincere, and purposeful places for us and global travellers to live in, and we insist on creating awareness for a better kind of travel!

PB: Your choice of locations seems quite personal, what made you decide to move from Santorini to Paros?

KK: Santorini is our first and eternal love. It will always have a special place in our heart as it is the island where our journey started and made our passion for hospitality evolve.

After creating three unique properties in Santorini, each with their own distinctive character, yet tied with the common elements that always inspire us, we felt that we have managed to successfully leave our footprint on the island’s hospitality scene, showcasing all angles of it, it just felt natural for us to seek a new challenge for our fourth property, and we found it almost instinctively in Paros. In 2019 we launched Parīlio, while in 2020 we introduced Acron Villas, a unique collection of twenty-four villas.

Wishing to establish our position on the island, we will be launching in May 2022, Cosme, a project that we hope will further enhance the island’s luxury hospitality scene, located right on the waterfront of Naoussa.

Secrecy Villa Interior: KAVANA Hotels & Resorts

Image caption: A paired back, whitewashed interior design scheme inside Mystique. | Image credit: KAVANA Hotels & Resorts

PB: Of all the islands in all of Greece, why were you drawn to Paros?

KK: Paros is the island where we used to spend our holidays as teenagers, but also later as a couple, and in the course of time, as a family. It is a relatively unexplored island with compelling potential, exquisite natural beauty, rich culture, and gastronomy. The younger crowds come looking for a laidback holiday among its pristine sandy beaches and lively nightlife. Surfers come for its inviting waves, while families enjoy its many sheltered bays. Visitors love the picturesque villages and bougainvillea-lined alleyways. And nature lovers come to explore the island’s wildlife and stunning geological formations.

PB: And having decided on Paros, what specifically do you look for in a new hotel location?

KK: Having decided on Paros, we were initially looking into a location that would feel welcoming and have a positive energy for us, so that we can multiply this energy through the filter of locale and make it into a magnet that would attract travellers from all around the world, into a mainly unknown location, making them want to explore it, and immerse in it.

PB: Acron villas in particular seems to be embedded in the landscape – is there a theme emerging? 

KK: For Acron Villas, we were looking into absorbing the wild landscape that embraces the project and that is strongly dominated by the Mycenean Acropolis which lies just next to it. We used a lot of local stone that comes from the cliff and followed a typical Parian architecture that is characterised by the traditional classic elements of the Cycladic architecture, like the austere landscape, the weather conditions (mainly the winds) and the need for protection from the invaders-conquerors in the old times.

All of the projects in Paros showcase some aspect of local design, from the sunlight, to traditional village dwellings, simpler monastic spaces, or the rough-hewn rocks of the surrounding cliffs.

 PB: How is this new project, Cosme Hotel, going to differ from the other properties in Paros?

KK: The new project, coming also in the post pandemic era, is a ‘celebration of life’, a unique hotel design that is a mix of experiences and rituals from all around the Mediterranean, anchoring in Paros and inviting travellers to appreciate the gifts of life, in a Greek summer setup that makes you feel carefree, happy, and full of positive energy.

Located on a sublime seafront stretch, the hotel’s private beach club overlooks the translucent Aegean Sea and in line with KAVANA Hotels & Resorts’ engagement to offer our guests holistic wellness and mindful experiences, it will have a unique outdoor wellness and fitness centre, including a stargazing area. It is a project that is predominantly anthropocentric and that aims for a sense of holistic wellbeing originating from happiness and a conscious connection with both people and also place.

Mystery Villa Bedroom: KAVANA Hotels & Resorts

Image credit: KAVANA Hotels & Resorts

PB: Sustainability is mentioned as part of your vision. How do you translate that into KAVANA Hotels  & Resorts across the board – and has working in Paros thrown up any particular issues when it comes to questions of sustainability in the local environment and community?

KK: Sustainability has always been embedded as a core value of our company’s growth and development. We consider that the sole way for our company to grow is through sustainable practices, to ensure not only that the environmental impact of our hotels is minimised, but also that we contribute to the community by supporting organisations and charities with a sustainability focus. As a result, we have planned and implemented a dedicated environmental management plan (EMP) that prioritises green self-efficacy across our operations. We deem that this plan, along with our company’s commitment to protect the environment and contribute to the societal well-being, are our fundamental duties when striving to success. We were thrilled to discover that in Paros, sustainability has been in a more mature stage than in Santorini and have already started working with local and international organisations that support the local environment and community, and we are partnering in several initiatives including water and energy usage.

PB: And finally, for visitors to Paros, what is the one ‘must-do’ thing you would recommend to see/experience?

KK: A difficult question, as Paros is a conclave of unique experiences all of them seeking to elevate the local experience, but if I need to streamline to one, then this would be strolling in the streets of Naoussa right after sunset and heading towards one of the romantic restaurants in the little port, tasting some authentic Greek food that celebrates the Greek summer. This is an experience that certainly makes you feel in place!

> Since you’re here, why not read our latest hotel review from Greece?

Main image credit: KAVANA Hotels & Resorts

guestroom in white and grey with contemprary art and blue accents at 100 shoreditch

Sneak peek inside One Hundred Shoreditch

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Sneak peek inside One Hundred Shoreditch

Breathing a breath of fresh (designer) air into one of London’s iconic lifestyle hotels, One Hundred Shoreditch is slated to open in February. Before then, Hotel Designs went inside for a sneak peak…

guestroom in white and grey with contemprary art and blue accents at 100 shoreditch

Located in prime position on Shoreditch High Street, One Hundred Shoreditch is the new hotel from Lore Group, the group behind Sea Containers London, Pulitzer Amsterdam, Riggs Washington DC and Lyle Washington DC. Designed by Lore Group Creative Director Jacu Strauss, One Hundred Shoreditch will reflect how the area has evolved during the last decade, with interiors that mirror the neighbourhood’s new, grown-up feel while retaining the buzz and vibrancy synonymous with the area in the hotel’s public spaces.

contemporary design and decor in one hundred shoreditch guestroom in neutral tones with colour accents

Image credit : One Hundred Shoreditch Hotel

The 258 guestrooms and suites have been designed with calm and comfort in mind, giving guests headspace and a place to disconnect from the outside world. The rooms are finished in neutral colour schemes with original abstract art, while the suites feature a mix of bespoke furniture and curated vintage pieces, in addition to large terraces with views of Shoreditch and the London skyline.

“We’re super excited about the opening of One Hundred Shoreditch and seeing the new spaces come to life,” said Mark Jonathan Heyburn, Hotel Manager. “The team and I can’t wait to start welcoming guests in February and showcasing the hotel to our neighbours and community”.

One Hundred Shoreditch will also offer the largest choice of restaurants and bars within one hotel in the area, including three bars, a restaurant, a coffee shop using local roasters Ozone Coffee, and a take-out hatch ensuring that there’s something for everyone at any time of day or night. Inspired by England’s fishing villages and coastal towns, Goddard & Gibbs will be a casual, all-day restaurant specialising in British seafood with a focus on ethical sourcing and local suppliers. The Wine Bar will be an easy space to wind down or enjoy a glass with friends, and the wines on offer will represent a mix of modern, forward-thinking producers sitting alongside more celebrated regions, all complimented by sharing plates. As a playful extension of the restaurant, the Hatch will be a fun addition to the Shoreditch High Street offering an easy way to order seafood and snacks to eat on the go.

In the basement, drinks visionary Ryan “Mr Lyan” Chetiyawardana will open Seed Library – a laid-back bar where the drinks harness a rich manifesto of heritage ingredients to create new takes on favourite serves with a cleaner, differently composed balance, sitting alongside a handpicked selection of beers and wine.

The Rooftop at One Hundred Shoreditch will offer panoramic views of East London, alongside a menu of Champagnes, sparkling wines, cocktails and spritzes. Pink marble accents and lush foliage come together to create a space that feels like a private garden in the heart of Shoreditch, which can be privately booked for events. The Lobby Bar will act as the hotel’s living room – a comfortable space serving a selection of drinks and cocktails alongside Neapolitan pizzas.

One Hundred Shoreditch will also be home to five meetings and events spaces suitable for everything from private dining and receptions to meetings and weddings. The largest room, surrounded by floor to ceiling glass, offers views of the London city skyline.

As part of the hotel’s ongoing commitment to the local community, One Hundred Shoreditch has partnered with two charities: Spitalfield Crypt Trust – an East London charity focused on helping people facing homelessness and addiction transform their lives; and Refuge – a charity providing specialist support to those experiencing domestic violence and abuse. With design solutions that reflect the context as well as the Shoreditch community more broadly, One Hundred Shoreditch is set to ensure that the emblematic building it is redesigning and repurposing remains an integral part of the neighbourhood, while at the same time taking its place on the skyline of London’s hospitality scene.

> Since you’re here, why not read another Lore Group design story, our review of Riggs Washington D.C.?

Main image credit: One Hundred Shoreditch Hotel

pink couch and natural finishes in bright suite at The Standard

What to expect from Standard International in 2022

730 565 Pauline Brettell
What to expect from Standard International in 2022

Standard International, the luxury/lifestyle brand that likes to do things differently, is looking ahead towards 2022 with optimism – think glitterballs in bathrooms kind of positivity. Here’s a sneak peak of the brand’s 2022 opening pipeline… 

pink couch and natural finishes in bright suite at The Standard

Having just opened the latest addition to the company’s growing portfolio, and its first resort in Thailand, The Standard, Hua Hin, Standard International has announced that 2022 will also see the opening of The Standard, Bangkok Mahanakhon, the brand’s highly anticipated Asia flagship. In addition to this, The Standard, Ibiza, is slated to also arrive in 2022. These three new properties will kick off a series of 10 additional landmark projects in highly coveted markets around the world, including: Singapore, Melbourne, Lisbon, Dublin, Brussels and Las Vegas.

glitter ball in the bathroom of a standard hotel guestroom

Image credit: Standard International

“We are incredibly proud to announce the openings of The Standard, Hua Hin, our incredible Asia flagship, The Standard, Bangkok Mahanakhon, which will open next year, as well as our second property in Europe, The Standard, Ibiza,” said Standard International CEO, Amar Lalvani. “This has been a time of unprecedented crisis for the hospitality industry, and the millions of people around the world who work in the sector. Amidst such challenges, we are incredibly grateful that we continue to be able to delight our guests, serve our communities and create new opportunities for our team members by building landmark hotels around the world.”

yellow interiors with natural surfaces in the standard hotel in hua hin

Image credit: Standard International

The Standard, Hua Hin, The Standard’s first hotel in Thailand, has opened with 178 guestrooms, and 21 pool villas with beachfront access, and will be a timeless destination for the Thai creative set and The Standard’s global network of loyal clientele. A beloved getaway dating back to 1911, Hua Hin emerged as a destination when the construction of the railroad that connects Bangkok with the South first arrived at the pristine little beach town. By the mid-1920s, it became the chosen holiday retreat for the nobility. With time, the sleepy fishing village has transformed into a popular seaside destination without losing its old-world charm. Today, Hua Hin is a favourite weekend escape for residents of Bangkok who have been waiting for exactly what The Standard promises to offer: a stylish and vibrant beachfront resort. One that respects Hua Hin’s understated Thai elegance, has appreciation of the history and local setting, and combines it with a global sensibility and a bit of fun.

lighting on facade of the standard hotel hua hin

Image credit: Standard International

The Standard, Bangkok Mahankhon will be the Asia flagship for The Standard brand. Opening in 2022, the hotel is already a landmark, housed in the King Power Mahanakhon Building, a 78-story mixed-use building that is one of the tallest in Thailand. Centrally located in the CBD between Sathorn and Silom, the hotel will reflect the dynamic energy of the Thai capital. With 155 guestrooms, penthouse, a terrace pool, fitness centre, meeting rooms and a dynamic variety of food, drink and nightlife venues, from The Parlor to the Tea Room and renowned Standard Grill, as well as Thailand’s first outpost of the acclaimed Mott 32 restaurant. The property is designed by Spanish artist-designer Jaime Hayon’s Hayon Studio, in collaboration with The Standard’s award-winning in-house design team. This breathtaking new addition to the Standard portfolio will sit proudly alongside the brand’s award-winning vibrant US and European urban flagships, The Standard, High Line and The Standard, London, and in perfect counterpoint to our waterside retreats The Standard, Maldives, The Standard, Miami, and the forthcoming The Standard, Hua Hin and The Standard, Ibiza.

Main image credit: Standard International

Render of Rosewood Riyadh

Rosewood to open second hotel in Saudi Arabia in 2025

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Rosewood to open second hotel in Saudi Arabia in 2025

Rosewood Hotels & Resorts accelerates its strategic global growth with the announcement of Rosewood Riyadh, a new-build luxury hotel, which will open in 2025 within a progressive mixed-use development project…

Render of Rosewood Riyadh

Situated adjacent to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of At-Turaif, Rosewood Riyadh, slated to open in 2025, will be located within Diriyah Gate, a mixed-use development project poised to become the country’s leading cultural and lifestyle destination. The 250-key hotel is destined to bring a new level of luxury to the local and regional hospitality landscape and present an exceptional opportunity for both business and leisure travellers to immerse themselves in one of the Middle East’s most important cities. 

Rosewood Riyadh is the latest expression of Rosewood’s ambitious global expansion strategy, which currently includes 25 properties in the pipeline in areas such as Mexico City, LondonMadrid and Japan. The hotel will mark the brand’s second property in Saudi Arabia, joining Rosewood Jeddah, and fourth in the region, including Rosewood Abu Dhabi and Rosewood Doha opening in 2022.

“We are thrilled to further our presence in the Middle East with an opening in Riyadh, a historic trade hub and exemplar of 21st century vision, that is now a major destination for international business and cultural exploration,” said Sonia Cheng, Chief Executive Officer of Rosewood Hotel Group. “The Diriyah Gate development is bringing the destination to an expanded international audience of discerning travellers and we’re excited to be a part of the city’s continued evolution and commitment to redeveloping heritage areas for future generations.” 

Rosewood will bring a level of refinement to Diriyah, mirroring the past whilst providing guests with the excitement of the future, in the same way Diriyah will lead travellers from Saudi’s historical past to the present,” said Jerry Inzerillo, Group CEO of DGDA. “The exclusive nature of the Rosewood experience will bring excitement to Diriyah through the development of their renowned wellness offerings, famed Explorers Club and F&B talent. Guests will be immersed in a cultural journey spanning the centuries through the joint efforts of Diriyah and the Rosewood team; we are excited to unveil more in the coming months.”

The largest city on the Arabian Peninsula and the political and administrative centre of Saudi Arabia, Riyadh is a dynamic destination rich with history. Boasting myriad cultural institutions from forts and palaces to museums and marketplaces, the metropolis attracts a wide range of nearly five million visitors each year. Nestled around the city’s UNESCO World Heritage Site of At-Turaif, Diriyah Gate is set to underscore Riyadh’s status as a Middle East magnet for travellers.  It also provides a perfect canvas for the Rosewood brand to express its A Sense of Place concept and celebrate its unique location. 

In addition to Rosewood, the inspired set of heritage, hospitality, education, retail and dining experiences at Diriyah Gate will include a culinary centre, cinema, art academy and more, with all buildings showcasing their own interpretations of the destination’s iconic Najdi style. By honouring this traditional architectural typology while incorporating modern principles of New Urbanism, the development aims to revitalise the area for locals and tourists alike while protecting its history. 

The hotel itself will occupy a standalone building boasting 250 ultra-luxury accommodations, including 202 guestrooms and suites and 48 Wadi Suites ranging from one to three bedrooms. The property will further feature four restaurants and bars; Asaya, Rosewood’s integrative well-being concept; and Rosewood Explorers, the brand’s culturally inspired children’s club. Additional recreation will span a state-of-the-art fitness center and expansive meetings and events spaces including a ballroom. Visitors will enjoy exceptional access to many of the city’s key landmarks, lifestyle activities, and corporate destinations via Rosewood Riyadh’s prime positioning within the development. 

Rosewood Riyadh adds to Rosewood Hotels & Resorts’ impressive global growth plan and is the eighth property opening announced by the brand in 2021, a testament to the hospitality group’s vitality and vision. Additional projects that have recently been added to the pipeline include Rosewood properties in Rome, Miyakojima, Hangzhou, Chongqing, Mexico City, and San Francisco.

Main image credit: Rosewood Hotels & Resorts

white bed linen and natural decor in guestroom at hilton mallorca galatzo

Hilton plans new resort hotel for Mallorca

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Hilton plans new resort hotel for Mallorca

Following hot on the heels of recent openings in Madrid and Barcelona, Hilton Hotels & Resorts continues to roll out stunning new developments in Spain with the announcement of its plans for the Hilton Mallorca Galatzo in 2022. Here’s what we know…

white bed linen and natural decor in guestroom at hilton mallorca galatzo

Hilton Hotels & Resorts has confirmed plans to open a new hotel under its flagship Hilton Hotels & Resorts brand, on Mallorca’s pristine Costa de la Calma. The news follows the signing of a management agreement with Galatzo Inversiones, S.L., with The Hilton Mallorca Galatzo set to open in summer 2022 on the Balearic Islands West Coast.

The 208-key Hilton Mallorca Galatzo, is the latest hotel to join Hilton’s growing pipeline of properties in Spain, which has seen three hotels open this year alone, and includes 23 hotels under nine brands trading or under development in 16 destinations across the country.

“Following recent announcements in Crete, Rijeka, Santorini and Sardinia, Hilton Mallorca Galatzo is the latest in a string of spectacular resort hotels planned in the Mediterranean,” said Patrick Fitzgibbon, Senior Vice President, Development, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Hilton Hotels & Resorts. “As one of the most popular holiday destinations for European travellers, Mallorca is an ideal location for an international brand like Hilton Hotels & Resorts and we are pleased to partner with Galatzo Inversiones, S.L. to open this hotel next year.”

monochrome palette and soft surfaces in guestsuite at hilton mallorca galatzo hotel

Image credit: Hilton Hotels & Resorts

Set out more than 54,000 square-meters of perfectly presented gardens, the hotel will boast three swimming pools and two pool bars, ensuring guests are never far from a cool drink and a dip in the pool to complement the warm Balearic climate. The hotel’s lobby is also set to include a bar leading to an expansive outdoor terrace, and guests will be able to enjoy a variety of culinary options at the resort, including from the hotel’s two distinct dining experiences.

“We look forward to welcoming guests to the new Hilton Mallorca Galatzo next year, following substantial refurbishments to elevate the property’s interiors and facilities,” said Carlos Martins, Chief Executive Officer of Galatzo Inversiones, S.L. “With our experience of developing resort hotels in Spain, we are excited to partner with Hilton to introduce this stunning resort to the international market.”

With relaxation and rejuvenation in mind, Hilton Mallorca Galatzo will offer a 1,500-square-metre spa and wellness centre, complete with six treatment rooms and a variety of packages to suit all guests. With a sauna, jacuzzi, sensation showers and more, those looking to recharge themselves will have plenty of options. In addition to these wellness facilities, the hotel offers a fitness centre as well as multiple tennis courts.

The new hotel will join 16 hotels trading under Hilton brands in Spain, including Canopy by Hilton Madrid Castellana and Hampton by Hilton Barcelona Fira Gran Via, both of which opened last month.

> Since you’re here, why not check out more Mediterranean developments by Hilton and The Royal Senses Resort, Curio collection in Crete?

Main image credit: Hilton Hotel & Resorts

green tiled floor and ceiling in restaurant in hotel galei kinneret

Inspired by ancient ruins: Hotel Galei Kinneret unveils renovation

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Inspired by ancient ruins: Hotel Galei Kinneret unveils renovation

London-based design studio Saar Zafrir Design, unveils its latest project, a complete redesign of the previously abandoned Galei Kinneret Hotel, one of Israel’s first luxury hotels…

green tiled floor and ceiling in restaurant in hotel galei kinneret

Initially built in 1946, the original Galei Kinneret was one of Israel’s first luxury hotels founded by entrepreneur Lotte Eisenberg, and was inspired by a trip to the magnificent Villa d’Este Hotel in Lake Como.

When Saar Zafrir Design was appointed to fully redesign the uninhabited hotel, the design studio drew inspiration from the ancient ruins discovered onsite and reworked the charm of Eisenberg’s vision into a seamless design concept that blends the hotel into the natural landscape. The result is one of the most highly anticipated new openings on Israel’s hospitality scene.

outdoor restaurant with natural wicker lampshades on the edge of the sea of galilee

Image credit: Galei Kinneret / Amit Geron

Designer Saar Zafrir has drawn on these historical references to determine the narrative of the hotel, which celebrates the property’s long-standing history. Presenting a clean, white structure, the hotel’s façade has been kept very much the same. Meanwhile, the interior of the hotel has been transformed into a calm oasis that directs guests seamlessly towards the still waters and spectacular views across the Sea of Galilee. Emanating a sophisticated and serene atmosphere, the remodelled hotel features a neutral colour palette and the use of natural materials that complement the hotel’s natural surroundings.

“The area has been lacking in attention for some while, but with the relaunch of this iconic hotel, we believe Tiberias will once again become a leading destination for both domestic and international tourists to Israel having set a new standard of hospitality in Northern Israel.” – Designer Saar Zafrir.

The hotel shelters 123 spectacular guestrooms and suites with outdoor jacuzzis, and each with either a view of the vast mountainous landscape or the Sea of Galilee. Guestrooms feature parquet wood flooring and off-white panelled walls, with a soothing palette of natural and organic tones. The rooms, which have been designed to connect guests with the surrounding landscape, champion the use of natural materials with ample light flooding through large windows, and bathrooms finished in pale, veined marble and gold accents.

Further facilities include an indoor and outdoor bar, swimming pool, outdoor yoga deck, restaurant, spa, fully equipped gym, private beach and boat, and a synagogue for guest use.

natural tones and textures in room with seaview at hotel galei kinneret

Image credit: Galei Kinneret / Amit Geron

Upon entering the hotel, guests are greeted by a minimal, open space, which is characterised by three-dimensional graphic stone cladded walls, glossy marble flooring and elegant reception desks finished with marble and wood. The foyer of the hotel was kept intentionally clean and quiet, with the intention of the space to draw guests straight through the property, as a corridor to the Sea of Galilee. The hotel lobby offers a comfortable lounge area with wood panelled walls, parquet flooring and soft linen upholstered sofas with wooden accents.

sculptural monochromatic reception area in galei kinneret hotel

Image credit: Galei Kinneret / Amit Geron

Managing the hotel’s restoration from concept to completion, 90 per cent of the hotel’s fixtures and furnishings have been designed and custom made in-house by Saar Zafrir Design, to perfectly compliment the creative vision.

“I have such fond memories growing up and spending my summers on the Kinneret that despite not generally working in Israel, I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to work on a project that carried so much sentimental value to me,” said Zafrir. “The area has been lacking in attention for some while, but with the relaunch of this iconic hotel, we believe Tiberias will once again become a leading destination for both domestic and international tourists to Israel having set a new standard of hospitality in Northern Israel.”

understated entrance from hotel into restaurant at galei kinneret

Image credit: Galei Kinneret / Amit Geron

Through a smooth, cohesive wooden walkway, guests are led from the hotel lobby into the restaurant “Lotte”, named after Eisenberg herself. Presenting a menu honouring Lotte’s European roots merged with the flavours of Jerusalem, Michelin star awarded chef Asaf Granit (of Shabour and Balagan in Paris, Machne Yehuda in Jerusalem and The Palomar and Coal Office in London) is the mastermind behind this new culinary concept that captures the spirit of the original founder. Committed to working only with local farmers and suppliers, Lotte restaurant is a celebration of Israel’s delicious, fresh, and abundant produce grown between the Galilee Mountains and Golan Heights, with a menu offering dishes of fish, meat and fresh garden flavours. An interpretation of what Zafrir saw in the chef’s work, the space is vibrantly refined, with organic tones and the use of natural materials featuring parquet wood flooring, wood and rattan fixtures and floral upholstered accents that decorate the space. The main design features are the large archways covered in ceramic tiles in different shades of green, that climb up the walls and across the ceiling like leaves that gently disperse towards the glass wall leading out to the hotel’s private beach.

Overlooking the hotel’s private beach is an outdoor restaurant, sun lounger-lined swimming pool and cosy outdoor bar for guests to unwind at the water’s edge. Grounding the hotel to its historic roots, works by Israeli sculptor Yuval Lufen that manifest the archaeological remains found on the site have been implanted beneath the glass-bottomed swimming pool, with the original ruins currently preserved by the Antiquities Authority in Israel. At the foot of the pool, guests are invited to enjoy a drink and shelter from the sun beneath a huge tree-like structure by artist Gilad Keinan. The inspiration for creating this aluminium tree came from Zafrir’s experience at the Burning Man Festival in Nevada, resulting in an exceptional monument that combines both design with practicality – the sprawling leaves that overstretch the circular bar offer much needed shade from the blazing heat during the summer months.

Main image credit: Galei Kinneret / Amit Geron

Beach and pool at koh samui resort SAii Koh Samui Bophut

S Hotels & Resorts opens new resort on Koh Samui

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
S Hotels & Resorts opens new resort on Koh Samui

Just opened: SAii Koh Samui Bophut is an elegant low-rise, upscale resort planning to cater for those travellers wanting to stay in style, while soaking up the authentic essence of island of Koh Samui…

Beach and pool at koh samui resort SAii Koh Samui Bophut

S Hotels & Resorts is embarking on a new era of free-spirited hospitality on Thailand’s ‘Coconut Island’ of Koh Samui with the opening of SAii Koh Samui Bophut. The stylish low-rise sanctuary is nestled on Hanuman Bay, a secluded 300-metre long stretch of sand on Samui’s pristine northeast shore. Surrounded by lush foliage and coconut palms, with spectacular granite headlands that jut out into the sparkling sea, the elegant, eco-sensitive resort allows guests to unwind and escape the outside world.

SAii, from the Thai word for ‘sand’ or ‘pathway’, is an upscale lifestyle concept that plans to attract a new generation of experience-seeking guests. With private pools in every suite or villa and an array of engaging guest experiences, the resort was designed with couples and families in mind.

“SAii has captured our customers’ imaginations since it was first unveiled,” said Dirk De Cuyper, CEO, S Hotels & Resorts. “This fun and free-spirited lifestyle brand intuitively caters to a new generation of travellers who are curious and want to explore their destination, but on their own terms. With its spectacular seafront setting, stunning pool suites and villas, fantastic facilities, exceptional activities and deep environmental ethos, SAii Koh Samui Bophut will be an outstanding addition to our lifestyle collection.”

Hotel suite on koh samui featuring natural materials all with sea view

Image credit: S Hotels and Resorts

The resort is made up of a collection of spacious, standalone Plunge Pool Suites, One Bedroom Pool Villas and Beachfront Plunge Pool Suites. All showcase garden or sea views and come fully equipped with plenty of indoor and outdoor space, separate living areas and bedrooms, spa-inspired bathrooms, premium amenities and fast connectivity and Wi-Fi. Exclusive to the SAii brand are ‘creature comfort’ pillows, as well as personalised organic bathroom amenities from the unique M.I.Y Aroma Lab. The SAii App allows visitors to personalise every aspect of their vacation, with the ability to make requests, chat with resort’s team, book excursions, order room service and more, straight from their smartphone.

SAii Koh Samui Bophut is the fourth member of the SAii portfolio worldwide, joining SAii Lagoon Maldives, SAii Laguna Phuket and SAii Phi Phi Island Village. SAii Resorts will be the driving forces behind S Hotels & Resorts’ future expansion, as a forward-thinking Thai company strives to create a collection of hotels and resorts that reflect the vibrant spirit of their destination.

> Since you’re here, why not read about the eco gem, The Tongsai, on Soh Samui?

Main image credit: S Hotels & Resorts

the sky bar at hotel la tour with panoramic views over milton keynes

Hotel La Tour to open in Milton Keynes

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Hotel La Tour to open in Milton Keynes

Dedicated to enhancing and supporting the development of the town, economically and environmentally, with its modern build emphasising sustainability from the ground-up Hotel La Tour is set to open in its doors in April 2022…

the sky bar at hotel la tour with panoramic views over milton keynes

With planning permission secured in 2018, Hotel La Tour is finally gearing up to opening its doors. Conveniently located in the heart of Milton Keynes Central, the impressive mirror steel clad property, designed by PHP Architects, will feature 261 guestrooms, more than 1000 square metres of flexible events space, a gym and a 14th floor restaurant and sky bar offering the highest viewpoint in the county. Hotel La Tour Milton Keynes will also boast a glass lift providing a unique visual experience of Campbell Park and beyond, as guests travel to the top floor. A 30m high, LED-lit stainless steel sun design circle, created to align with the sun on the longest day of the year, will dominate the east-facing façade whilst a large sculpture, entitled Cycloidal Form by the artist Keith McCarter, will be placed adjacent to the canopy entrance.

floor to ceiling windows in restaurant with views over milton keynes at hotel la tour

Image credit: Hotel La Tour

“We are incredibly excited to open Hotel La Tour in Milton Keynes,” said Mark Stuart, Managing Director, Hotel La Tour. “Our aim is to deliver best in class, providing visitors, locals and hotel guests with a unique perspective of Milton Keynes and world-class amenities. Encapsulating the town’s aspiration to be better by design, we have worked hard to create an aesthetically pleasing and sustainable building that delivers on luxury as well as functionality. We are committed to supporting the growth of Milton Keynes’ economy and this investment demonstrates our confidence in its strength.”

The four-star hotel’s 261 luxury guestrooms and suites will all feature floor-to-ceiling windows, boasting views over Milton Keynes Central or Campbell Park, as well as in-room technology such as Ultra HD TVs, Ultra-fast WIFI and 24-hour room service. On the fourteenth-floor is a destination skyline bar and restaurant with 360-degree panoramic vistas over Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire. The elegant 180 cover all-day contemporary British restaurant will serve breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner with all dishes using seasonal, British sourced produce. The bar offering includes expertly made classic and contemporary cocktails, fine wines and champagnes, and locally sourced brews.

The first floor of the hotel is dedicated to conferences and events with nine high-tech rooms all flooded with natural light whilst a dedicated and fully licensed wedding space includes access to a private outdoor terrace. Other facilities include a state-of-the-art gym equipped with the latest WaterRower & NOHrD branded equipment.

Hotel La Tour is dedicated to enhancing and supporting the development of the town centre, economically and environmentally, with its modern build emphasising sustainability from the ground-up and the creation of 180 local jobs. The striking property is set to become the first building to meet the Exceptional Developments policy in the Central Milton Keynes Alliance Plan, and to achieve a ‘Very Good’ BREEAM rating for sustainability.

Main image credit: Hotel La Tour

blue and white bedroom with seaview in tel aviv hotel David Kempinski

The David Kempinski Tel Aviv to arrive in February 2022

730 565 Pauline Brettell
The David Kempinski Tel Aviv to arrive in February 2022

Kempinski Hotels has announced the long-anticipated opening of The David Kempinski Tel Aviv, the luxury hospitality brand’s 80th global opening and its first property in Israel. Let’s a take a look inside… 

blue and white bedroom with seaview in tel aviv hotel David Kempinski

In 2022, Kempinski Hotels is set to bring 125 years of five-star European hospitality to Tel Aviv. Housed in the latest skyscraper (built by Feigin Architects) to appear on the city’s Mediterranean Sea promenade, the 250-key property is set to open to guests as soon as February, following quickly on from the opening of Israel’s international borders to tourism. Centrally located across the street from the seaside boardwalk and promenade – and within walking distance to the city’s wonderful outdoor food markets and dynamic urban centre – The David Kempinski Tel Aviv stretches over 34 stories, with interior design spearheaded by Ara Design.

seaview bedroom at the david kempinski tel aviv

Image credit: The David Kempinski Tel Aviv

Unique for an urban resort, each of the 250 guestrooms and suites at The David Kempinski Tel Aviv features views of the Mediterranean Sea, with sliding glass doors that allow guests to soak up the sunshine. One of the highlights of the hotel is the property’s triplex-penthouse suite, the largest of its kind in Tel Aviv, spanning more than 370 square metres, and including a 100 square metre rooftop terrace with an infinity pool melting into the coastline. Guests of the hotel’s top 14 suites will have exclusive access to the 34th floor outdoor lounge that is open during the warm spring, summer and autumn months, and boasts a private rooftop pool, relaxation area with sunbeds and cabanas, and a fully-serviced lounge restaurant and bar. At night, the 34th floor lounge will also transform to Cloud51, a buzzy nightlife experience with cocktails and tapas. Adding to the city’s legendary gastronomic scene, the hotel will feature five dining venues spread across multiple floors of the property, each with their own unique atmosphere and decor. Executive Chef Mor Cohen, a World Luxury Restaurants Award-winner specializing in gourmet Kosher cuisine, will helm the property’s F&B program, including Sereia Restaurant & Lounge, a high-end Kosher fish restaurant with an outstanding selection.

Set in the heart of the “tayelet” (as Tel Aviv’s boardwalk is locally referred to in Hebrew), The David Kempinski Tel Aviv is steps away from the outdoor sport and water activities the city offers, from paddle boarding and surf lessons, to bike and scooter rentals and rooftop yoga curated by the hotel.

“Our goal is to create a warm community and become a home base in Tel Aviv for families visiting Israel,” said Guy Klaiman, General Manager, The David Kempinski Tel Aviv. “The David Kempinski Tel Aviv is the new central hub along the beach, combining the finest of a beach vacation and cultural urban experience.”

marble and wood hotel bathroom in tel aviv David Kempinski

Image credit: The David Kempinski Tel Aviv

In addition to the entertainment and culinary offerings, the hotel includes a full-service spa with 11 treatment rooms, a fully-equipped gym, a sauna and a relaxation area. Manicure, pedicure and hair salon appointments can be arranged in-house with the hotel’s team of seasoned professional stylists. The David Kempinski Tel Aviv tower features a state-of-the-art meeting and banquet space that can accommodate up to 500 guests, creating a new venue for destination weddings, large conferences, business meetings, and holiday celebrations.

Main image credit: The David Kempinski Tel Aviv

rooftop bar in manhatten at the hard rock hotel

Hard Rock Hotel New York prepares to take centre stage

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Hard Rock Hotel New York prepares to take centre stage

The highly anticipated Hard Rock New York is going up in the heart of Midtown Manhatten, and is on track to debut in April 2022 – we thought we would take a closer look at what is set to be this iconic brand’s new flagship…

rooftop bar in manhatten at the hard rock hotel

Gracing the iconic skyline of 159 West 48th Street, just steps from Times Square, Broadway, Rockefeller Centre, Bryant Park and Fifth Avenue shopping, Hard Rock Hotel New York is nearing completion. With its official debut set for April 2022, the ‘entertainment destination’ aims to honour the legacy of Music Row as the iconic brand’s new flagship hotel.

hard rock hotel new york lobby with blue and yellow chairs

Image credit: Hard Rock Hotels

“This is a monumental moment for Hard Rock International and a true milestone in our journey to elevate our lifestyle hotels portfolio,” said Dale Hipsh, Senior Vice President of Hotels, Hard Rock International. “New York City is the culture capital of the world, and as a brand, we have been eagerly anticipating the right opportunity to bring our entertainment-infused hospitality experience to this market. Hard Rock Hotel New York creates the perfect home base for exploring the city’s most exciting attractions, but what’s more, are the curated experiences for guests and locals that only we can offer through one-of-a-kind partnerships and collaborations with legendary artists, performers and musicians.”

The hotel will feature 446 exquisitely designed guestrooms and specialty suites offering floor-to-ceiling windows that showcase the city’s vibrant energy. Sitting on the 34th floor is the jewel of the hotel, the Rock Star Suite, a bi-level glass-enclosed penthouse with expansive city views, original contemporary artwork, bespoke music memorabilia, and one of the largest terraces for entertaining in New York City.

To spearhead the property’s interior design, Hard Rock Hotels enlisted the services of award-winning design firm Jeffrey Beers International to bring a music-infused vision to life, accented by legendary memorabilia honouring musicians from and inspired by New York City. Notable displays will include a classic leather motorcycle jacket owned and worn by Joey Ramone; a pair of silver patent leather boots worn by Lady Gaga; a record player with built-in microphone and cutting lathe for making direct-to-disc recordings from Les Paul; and handwritten lyrics for John Lennon’s 1972 ode to his adopted home, ‘New York City’.

hard rock hotel new york lobby contemporary design with blue accents and music memorabilia

Image credit: Hard Rock Hotels

Uniquely situated between the Theatre District and Radio City Music Hall, Hard Rock Hotel New York will offer a backstage pass to the city’s historic Music Row. Paying homage to the mecca of recording studios and music stores that once lined 48th Street, the hotel will have live music across all public spaces with a dynamic and engaging approach to entertainment programming. The RT60 Rooftop bar will deliver masterfully crafted cocktails and shareable bites, all in an effortlessly stylish scene with a chance to soak in the city from above. This will be a true entertainment destination with world-renowned DJs along with emerging local talent.

From day to night, the brand’s signature Sessions Restaurant & Bar will represent the soundtrack of New York. Located on the main level and accessible by a grand staircase from the street, this light-filled three-story atrium and open-air terrace will offer live, unplugged musical performances that embody the vitality and ingenuity of the city. The hotel’s show-stopping feature will be The Venue on Music Row, a flexible entertainment space with capacity for up to 400 guests. The Venue will play host to A-list performances as well as fashion shows, after-parties, and gala dinners for some of the city’s most sought-after moments.

Beyond the public spaces, Hard Rock Hotel New York plans to weave the kinetic force of music into its health and wellness offerings. The hotel will feature the brand’s signature Rock Om programme, fusing the practice of yoga with the rhythm of a custom DJ-curated soundtrack for on-demand in-room sessions. Building on the existing offering, Hard Rock Hotel New York will introduce a series of transformative experiences including rooftop moonlight yoga sessions. In true Hard Rock style, the hotel will offer an array of signature brand experiences and amenities exclusive to Hard Rock Hotels. Amenities include the Sound of Your Stay, which allows guests to listen to Tracks curated playlists by artists and musicians, Crosley record players available upon request with Wax, or play a Fender guitar with Picks in the privacy of their room. Roxity programming will bring to life family attractions and entertainment while the Unleashed pet programme will welcome four-legged friends. Guests are also invited to exchange the traditional city map for Soundtracks, interactive area guides which are curated by Hard Rock and musical artists to showcase the best of each destination.

The announcement of Hard Rock Hotel New York comes as Hard Rock International commemorates 50 years as one of the world’s most recognisable brands for entertainment, hospitality, gaming, and leisure, and this new flagship hotel promises to continue the tradition of providing guests with show stopping entertainment venues and immersive experiences.

> Since you’re here, why not read about Hard Rock Hotel Madrid?

Main image credit: Hard Rock Hotels 

the-hythe-lobby

The Luxury Collection makes debut in Rocky Mountains

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
The Luxury Collection makes debut in Rocky Mountains

The Luxury Collection Heralds a new beacon of sophistication and vibrancy in the Rocky Mountains with the Debut of The Hythe, a Luxury Collection Resort, Vail…

the-hythe-lobby

The Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts, part of Marriott Bonvoy’s portfolio of 30 extraordinary hotel brands, today announced the opening of The Hythe, a Luxury Collection Resort, Vail. Owned by DiamondRock Hospitality Company, the brand-new luxury resort concept in the heart of the Rocky Mountains debuts after undergoing a $40 million transformation, including an entirely revamped arrival and lobby experience, reinvigorated outdoor spaces and four brand-new culinary concepts. The resort marks Marriott International’s only Luxury Collection alpine resort in North America.

“With over 5,200 acres of world-renowned terrain, Vail, Colorado has become one of the most popular mountain resort communities in North America,” said Philipp Weghmann, Vice President and Global Brand Leader for The Luxury Collection. “The addition of The Hythe, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Vail to this legendary destination is an extension of the unique experiences available in the region. We are proud to announce the opening of the resort as the only Luxury Collection alpine resort in this iconic destination.”

Boasting 344 rooms, inclusive of 22 suites and 16 spacious residences, guests are situated just steps from the base of Vail Mountain where they can explore a plethora of outdoor experiences designed for every season or take in the charming and bustling cobblestone streets of Lionshead Village, which offers countless shops and art galleries. The Hythe serves as a gateway to Vail’s most exciting and desirable experiences, whether guests are looking to partake in exclusive alpine excursions or rejuvenate at the on-site recovery-focused spa. Inspired by the legendary founders of Vail Ski Resort, Pete Seibert and Earl Eaton, The Hythe reimagines the revelry, camaraderie, and hospitality of après ski, infusing the ‘good-time-was-had-by-all’ spirit into all aspects of the guest experience, no matter the time of day or season.

Helmed by Wilson Ishihara Design, the interiors of The Hythe are inspired by the origins of Vail, those who built it in the 1960s, and the beautiful surrounding nature that drove people to the destination. A pioneering spirit, hospitality, and a mutual love of skiing can be felt in each elevated design element. Adorned with elegant custom furniture and art pieces, entering the lobby brings guests into a majestic and serene Rocky Mountain design scheme. Punctuated with glamorous 60’s touches and historic ski references, the space brings guests a sense of unparalleled authenticity. Visitors will be pulled in by thoughtful, clean design details such as local Colorado calacatta marble quarried from the Rocky Mountain, carved wood feature art inspired by the local shepherding tradition of Arborglyphs, marble flooring textured to evoke snow fall on the landscape, carved black stone walls, and Douglas fir siding wood panels inspired by an alpine chalet.

The Hythe’s namesake, ‘haven’, is fully realised in the resort’s 344 guestrooms, which offer elegant and opulent spaces, creating a true respite. With a focus on design elements that invite relaxation and recovery from a day spent on-mountain, picture windows boast the same views of Vail Mountain that inspired the passion of Pete Siebert and Earl Eaton many years ago. Wood, stone, leather, and faux fur bring a welcoming sanctuary to lay one’s head or simply spend the whole day.

> Since you’re here, why not read about W Dubai, which has been signed?

Main image credit: The Hythe, a Luxury Collection Resort, Vail

Warner Bros. Hotel - Hotel Designs

World’s first Warner Bros. hotel opens on Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
World’s first Warner Bros. hotel opens on Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island

The world’s first WB hotel is situated on Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island, steps away from the Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi Theme Park. The 257-key hotel invites guests on a ‘journey through the world of Warner Bros.’ most iconic films and television series…

Warner Bros. Hotel - Hotel Designs

Miral, Abu Dhabi’s leading curator of magnetic experiences in collaboration with Warner Bros., home to one of the most well-known and successful collections of brands and characters in the world, has announced The WB Abu Dhabi, located on Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island, the first ever Warner Bros. themed hotel, part of Curio Collection by Hilton, has officially opened its doors to guests. The hotel allows guests to see their favourite stories and characters brought to life through unique hospitality experiences that only the rich history and storied legacy of Warner Bros. could offer. 

“This is yet another great moment for us, with The WB Abu Dhabi hotel opening on Yas Island, further positioning it as a top global destination for leisure, entertainment and business,” said HE Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of Miral. “We are very proud of our long-standing partnership with both Warner Bros. Themed Entertainment and Hilton, bringing world firsts and global hospitality offerings and experiences to Abu Dhabi.”

Featuring more than 400 curated images and film and TV props, guests at the world’s first Warner Bros. hotel will be treated to a journey of discovery through film and television, enjoying Warner Bros.’ rich history and library of timeless productions at every touchpoint from arrival to check-out. While dining in one of five restaurants on the property, you can listen as the piano from “Westworld,” the hit HBO science fiction TV show, plays a familiar tune. Visitors can stroll through the lobby or admire 360-degree city and sea views alongside their favorite props and costumes from Warner Bros. films and TV shows.  Kids and families can ring up one of their favourite Looney Tunes characters for a room service treat brought to them by the Wascally Wabbit, Bugs Bunny himself.

“Our dream has come true with the grand opening to the first ever Warner Bros. branded hotel. Our incredible partners at Miral and Hilton, have helped us make this vision a reality for our fans around the world,” explained Pam Lifford, President of WarnerMedia Global Brands and Experiences. “We always strive to be fan focused and have developed an exceptional hospitality experience for them to further connect with the iconic Warner Bros. brands, franchises, and characters they know and love. Guests visiting Warner Bros. World right next door will have the ultimate encore to their park experience by relaxing and treating themselves to a stay at The WB Abu Dhabi.”

Lobby area inside Warner Bros Hotel in Abu DhabiJochem-Jan Sleiffer, President, Hilton, Middle East, Africa & Turkey, added: “With the opening of The WB Abu Dhabi hotel as part of Curio Collection by Hilton, we continue our successful partnership with Miral on Yas Island.  This is the second of three hotels we are opening together, following on from the opening of Hilton Abu Dhabi Yas Island earlier this year, with DoubleTree by Hilton Abu Dhabi Yas Island Residences soon to come.  This property is a perfect representation of what Curio Collection by Hilton is all about, unique locations and experiences that carry their own distinct identity as a concept underpinned by the same upscale Hilton service.”

Guests of The WB Abu Dhabi hotel begin their story as they pull up to the hotel and are greeted by digital screens that span the height of the building, playing over 35 different pieces of original content created for the hotel. Before entering the hotel, visitors won’t want to miss the iconic “Friends” fountain, or snaping a pic with the all-new Batmobile from the upcoming highly anticipated film, The Batman. Guests will then enter the lobby and be drawn to the hotel’s uniquely designed lobby columns. A spectacular Living Archive (spiral staircase) also resides in the lobby and will house an evolving collection of items dedicated to the vast depth and history of WB’s role in entertainment. It will showcase original films and a number of Warner Bros. props such as Cowboy boots from the 1956 film Giant, worn by James Dean, Michael Keaton’s cowl from 1989 film, Batman, original drawing from The Great Gatsby and so much more. As guests continue their journey, the storytelling experience is further enriched with guest room corridors displaying a curated gallery of artwork.

Furnishing with nods to Warner Bros. legacy of rich story telling make up each of the hotel’s 257 rooms. Three themes have inspired the guestroom artwork. The first theme, “From Script to Screen,” highlights standout moments from Warner Bros.’ movies and shows and documents the journey from the written page to the final shot. The second theme, “Artist Confidential,” celebrates a variety of talent in front of and behind the camera in some of Warner Bros.’ favourite productions. The third theme, “The Vault” features rarely seen images from Warner Bros.’ most memorable archives.

Accompanying the hotel’s unique design is a broad range of world class food and beverage offerings featuring five dining options catering to both adults and children. Craft Services, located in the lobby lounge, offers a relaxing coffee break after a busy day, while Sidekicks is the perfect family friendly place for socialising and interacting while enjoying a flavorful international menu. For those lounging by the pool, The Matinee provides a casual dining option for guest of all ages, complete with a dive-in pool theatre and Mediterranean menu. Additionally, guests looking to indulge in an elegant dining experience, can visit The Director’s Club offering a sophisticated meatery where charcoal ovens, perfectly aged cuts, and a menu selection of dishes inspired to reflect the movie scene setting and supporting the whole cast, serve the mature palate, or enjoy an experience at The Overlook, a fabulous lounge with a relaxing infinity pool and beautiful 360-degree city, theme park and sea views.

The hotel is home to a host of leisure amenities for guests to enjoy, whether that’s lounging by the family pool area, working out in the fitness centre, relaxing in the spa, exploring the artwork and props or shopping in the Warner Bros. store, the Prop Shop. For younger guests, the Kid’s Club will offer a vibrant and playful space designed to bring Warner Bros.’ characters to life. Some of WB’s world-renowned characters such as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and others will participate in entertaining activities throughout the hotel providing guest memories that will last a lifetime. The hotel also caters for business meetings and events with a large 394 square-metre multi-function ballroom and expansive meeting room facilities perfect for events.

> Since you’re here, why not read about W Hotels arrival on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi?

Main image credit: Hilton Hotels

dubai skyline with new marriott w hotel

Marriott signs agreement to open W Dubai

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Marriott signs agreement to open W Dubai

Marriott has signed an agreement with wasl Hospitality & Leisure LLC to bring the W Hotels brand to Dubai’s sought-after Jumeriah Beach coastline. Set to become an ‘iconic addition’ to the Dubai skyline, the 318-key W Dubai will combine the culture of the W brand with the boundless energy of the city. Here’s what we know…

dubai skyline with new marriott w hotel

Marriott International, Inc. has just announced it has signed an agreement with wasl Hospitality & Leisure LLC, to bring the W Hotels Worldwide brand to Dubai’s Jumeirah Beach coastline. Slated to open in 2022, W Dubai – Mina Seyahi is set to become an urban escape that will bring the eclectic design, unconventional luxury, and innovative programming that travellers have come to expect from the W Hotels brand.

“We are seeing increasing demand for luxury lifestyle brands in Dubai, and with its mix of culture and high-energy lifestyle, the emirate is the perfect destination for the trend-setting W Hotels brand,” said Candice D’Cruz, Vice President – Luxury Brands, Europe, Middle East & Africa, Marriott International. “With its unexpected design and iconic, socially driven Whatever/Whenever® service, W Dubai – Mina Seyahi will become a destination within a destination.”

Located close to Dubai’s thriving leisure destinations, such as Dubai Marina and JBR Walk, W Dubai – Mina Seyahi is well-situated to offer guests a vibrant and playful escape. The 31-storey hotel is expected to feature 318 guestrooms, including 26 suites and an Extreme WOW Suite (W’s take on a Presidential Suite). The W Lounge (the brand’s signature take on the hotel lobby) is anticipated to draw inspiration from a Middle Eastern gathering place and will be a dynamic and lively space, where guests can mix and mingle over crafted cocktails and light bites. Anticipated plans include a new sunset destination experience by the pool overlooking the stunning Mina Seyahi bay, as well as a signature outlet on the 31st floor, with unsurpassed views of Dubai’s world-famous Palm Jumeirah Island.

FUEL, the W brand’s high-energy, social take on wellness that allows guests to focus on mind and body, will be at the heart of the BAR-B spa, which is expected to feature three treatment rooms and a beauty bar. The FIT Fitness Centre will see UK brand 1Rebel, the ultimate sport-luxe fitness experience, make its debut in the UAE, with a 2500-square-metre, dual-storey studio in the hotel.

“We are thrilled to strengthen our relationship with wasl Group to open W Dubai – Mina Seyahi in such an important leisure destination in Dubai,” said Sandeep Walia, Chief Operating Officer, Middle East, Marriott International. “This new hotel underscores our commitment to growing our luxury portfolio in the Middle East, while signifying the demand for the W Hotels brand in the region.”

Marriott International currently operates six properties and residences under the W Hotels brand across the Middle East. W Dubai – Mina Seyahi is anticipated to be the brand’s second property in Dubai.

Since you are here why don’t you read about W Hotel in Changsha

 

Main image credit: Marriott International

tropical villa with infinity pool at gran melia lombok

Melia Hotels set to expand in Indonesia

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Melia Hotels set to expand in Indonesia

Already one of the hotel group’s most sought after destinations, the opening of Gran Meliá Lombok in 2024 will mark the second Gran Meliá property in Indonesia. Here’s what we know about the hotel that is expected to shelter ‘pure luxury’…

tropical villa with infinity pool at gran melia lombok

Meliá Hotels International is planning to bring a touch of Spanish luxury to Indonesia with the opening of Gran Meliá Lombok in 2024.  Meliá Lombok will be located at the beautiful Torok Bay in the south of the island, surrounded by green hills and a beach with crystal clear waters, the perfect destination to disconnect and relax. The hotel will boast 22 luxury beachside villas and another 105 villas on the mountainside, all with private infinity pools and stunning ocean views. Careful attention will be paid to the architectural design, utilising natural elements that represent the essence of the destination. The hotel will blend seamlessly with its natural environment, allowing guests to fully immerse themselves in the surroundings. An abundance of large windows will maximise natural light to promote the indoor/outdoor lifestyle, while elegant furniture and warm tones will convey a sense of pure luxury.

Luxury tropical villa featuring natural materials and textures on lombok

Image credit: Melia Hotels

Lombok is an island to the east of Bali with a pristine natural environment which has become increasingly popular as a travel destination over the past decade. Its immense rice fields, rugged landscape and the famous Mount Rinjani volcano all form part of the natural attractions of the island, which is surrounded by endless beaches, and turquoise waters ideal for surfers. The entire hotel has been designed as an authentic sanctuary for wellbeing. From the beachside YHI Spa offering relaxing rituals and treatments, to the well equipped fitness centre, Gran Meliá Lombok provides guests with everything they need to maintain their wellness routine. The hotel will also offer a kids club to keep children entertained and an extensive programme of activities designed for the whole family.

In keeping with the Gran Meliá brand, the hotel will feature world class dining options that combine the best local ingredients and techniques to offer guests authentic Indonesian dining experiences. The spacious lounge with scenic ocean views will provide the perfect setting for couples planning an exotic destination wedding.

Gran Meliá Lombok will become the second Gran Meliá brand hotel in Indonesia after Gran Meliá Jakarta, a flagship urban oasis situated in the Golden Triangle of the central business district of Kuningan, in Jakarta. The hotel boasts an iconic architecture inspired by Spanish heritage with renovated contemporary decoration, offering the finest dining experience, such as the awarded gastronomic offerings of Chef Tomoaki at Yoshi Izakaya Japanese restaurant.

Main image credit: Melia Hotels

four seasons new orleans in iconic city tower building

Now open: Four Seasons arrives in New Orleans

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Now open: Four Seasons arrives in New Orleans

Four Seasons Hotel New Orleans has opened its doors, inside one of the city’s most iconic  buildings, and has been designed to celebrate New Orlean’s spirit of ‘survival’ and ‘rebirth’. Melania Guarda Ceccoli explores…

four seasons new orleans in iconic city tower building

Four Seasons Hotel New Orleans finally welcomes its guests to the iconic 34-storey tower, originally built in 1968 to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the city’s founding. Designed by legendary modernist architect Edward Durell Stone, the building was originally the World Trade Centre and the International Trade Mart. Now recognised on the National Register of Historic Places, this historic tower has been painstakingly restored and upgraded to become a five-star hotel, celebrating the city’s spirit of survival and rebirth.

“New Orleans has been a priority market for us for many years, and we have been waiting for the right opportunity to make our debut in this dynamic city,” says John Davison, President and CEO, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. “We are in a solid position to enter the market with our exceptional partners at Carpenter & Company, in the best location in the city, and by offering an unmatched level of service that only Four Seasons can deliver. The new Hotel and Private Residences will be a genuinely standout property in the city and our global portfolio.”

The New Orleans experience begins at Chandelier Bar, located off the hotel’s lobby and onto a garden patio. The bar sits beneath a 15,000-piece light and glass installation, and provides a glamourous welcome, with live music offered year-round, showcasing local talent. The impressive chandelier, designed by Preciosa, is made up from a glittering 15,000 glass trimmings of round, pendeloque and almond-shaped crystals. This statement chandelier which defines the lobby space, is four metres in height, and features Bohemian crystals from Crystal Valley in the Czech Republic.

huge crystal chandelier in hotel lobby four seasons new orleans

Image credit: Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

Complementing the world-class design throughout the Hotel is a carefully-curated art collection featuring local artists, and those inspired by the city. The collection exhibited at the Chandelier Bar and throughout the lobby level, has been curated by Kate Chertavian Fine Art, and includes Louisiana based artist George Dunbar’s clay and gold leaf panels, and New York-based artist Leonardo Drew’s relief works on paper. Immediately, visitors are confronted with a visual conversation between local and international artists, as both artists use earth tones and metallic details with an evident influence from the natural world. Leonardo Drew’s paper pulp prints are rich with abstraction, texture, and relief, while George Dunbar achieves a similar effect in his beautiful clay and gold leaf panels.

The well-known local artist Dawn Dedeaux’s Water Markers New Orleans: A City Below the Sea, leans against the wall in the elevator lobby. These acrylic sculptures are based on the devastating post-Katrina floods of 2005 and represent an actual floodwater level declared by New Orleans homeowners, sharing this recent history visually and elegantly.

hotel lobby in blue and brown with art pieces in new orleans four seasons

Image credit: Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

The celebration of New Orleans extends further into Miss River, a “love letter to Louisiana” presented by acclaimed New Orleans Chef Alon Shaya on the lobby level. The ingredient-driven menu offers fresh takes on New Orleans classics with bold and familiar flavours, along with impeccable preparation. Also opening this autumn, award-winning chef, Donald Link, is honouring his Louisiana heritage in his newest concept, Chemin a la Mer. Exemplifying its meaning, pathway to the sea, the enticing menu of steaks and seafood is a perfect combination of local fare executed with French techniques, set against panoramic views of the Mississippi. Not to be missed is the excellent oyster bar, a New Orleans tradition taken in exciting new directions under Chef Link’s expert eye.

With a total of 341 beautifully appointed guestrooms and suites designed by Bill Rooney Studio, the hotel is able to offer accommodation options suited to each guest’s purpose in the city. Rooms have a light, and airy feel, with a palette of clean whites and pale greys, accentuated with white-washed oak furnishings, textured fabrics and wall treatments and, above every bed, a striking tri-panel plaster relief depicting South’s signature scent, the magnolia.

This autumn, the hotel will open its crescent-shaped rooftop swimming pool surrounded by inviting lounge chairs, four private cabanas and of course, incomparable Mississippi River views. There will also be a fitness centre conceived by Harley Pasternak, and The Spa, where Spa Director Toni Sullivan’s team of highly trained therapists will customise treatments to get guests looking and feeling good.

In addition to Four Seasons Hotel New Orleans, the landmark 34-storey World Trade Centre is home to 92 fully serviced Four Seasons Private Residences. Residents enjoy access to all Hotel facilities, including the spa, fitness centre, rooftop pool deck, indoor/outdoor event spaces, Chandelier Bar, along with the signature restaurants by Chefs Alon and Donald.

Main image credit: Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

hotel lounge with eclectic lighting and natural finishes

Crowne Plaza Hotels and Resorts opens its first hotel in Hungary

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Crowne Plaza Hotels and Resorts opens its first hotel in Hungary

Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts has announced the opening of Crowne Plaza Budapest. Located in the heart of the Hungarian capital, the hotel is in a prime position for both locals, and those travelling to Budapest for business, leisure or a combination of the two…

hotel lounge with eclectic lighting and natural finishes

Designed to meet the needs of the modern business traveller, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts intrinsically understands the work/life balance, and this is brought to life across the brand, through a modern, distinct and purposeful design, featuring multi-functional zones, great food and drinks, and a warm and engaging approach to guest service. Crowne Plaza Budapest continues this tradition through both its design and its location.

Historically two separate cities, Buda and Pest, that joined in the 19th century, there are two unique characteristics that can been seen when exploring the city. Whether it’s the historic architecture and rolling hills of the west (Buda) or the business hub and trendy bars of the east (Pest) – there is something for everyone. Crowne Plaza Budapest is situated in the Pest (east) side of the city, alongside the iconic Nyugati train station, known for its design and construction by the renowned Eiffel Company. As the main travel hub for much of the international train travel coming in and out of the Hungarian capital, the building itself has recently undergone an extensive restoration project to return the late-19th Century structure to its former glory.  Adjacent to the hotel is the newly built Westend shopping centre, accessible directly through the hotel. Guests can visit the shopping centre’s three-hectares of roof garden on the top of the building, as well as all the stores and services available within.

contemporary hotel lobby design at crowne plaza budapest

Image credit: Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts

All 230 guestrooms and suites at the hotel have a distinctive modern design and layout to help encourage productivity, restoration, and to inspire guests. Guests will enjoy a noticeable sense of space with a layout that includes a desk area for work, a sofa for relaxation and a comfortable bed with high-quality bedding to promote a good night’s sleep – keeping that work/life balance high on the agenda.

hotel bedroom design with work space and desk

Image credit: Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts

Guests can also take full advantage of the hotel’s Plaza Workspace, a flexible space offering visitors and guests the opportunity to collaborate, meet colleagues, or work solo. The combination of flexible working and relaxation spaces, with food and drink options, enable guests to move seamlessly between work and downtime. Crowne Plaza Budapest also has an additional 13 meeting rooms and event spaces available to hire, and a Club Lounge with exclusive views from the private terrace overlooking the skyline of both Buda and Pest.

Roof terrace overlooking the Budapest skyline

Image credit: Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts

The onsite restaurant focusses on locally sourced, sustainable and healthy produce, helping guests refuel during their stay. Whether it’s the speciality coffee sourced from Hungarian-born coffee connoisseur Laszlo Banyai living in Costa Rica, or something sweet prepared by the award-winning Hungarian chain of confectionaries, Hiszteria, everything about the Axis Café and Lounge is aimed at introducing both international visitors and locals to the growing success of Hungarian gastronomy. In early 2022, the hotel will open a new rooftop restaurant called Cult, with a large terrace and panoramic views of the city.

“During 2020, we had time to reflect on the things that we take for granted and what has been missed through the lack of travel: the importance of human connection,” says Maurice Janssen, General Manager, Crowne Plaza Budapest. “There has been a distinctive shift in people’s mindset when it comes to business travel. No longer do hotel guests need to feel isolated in their rooms or confined to a business centre to feel productive, and no longer do locals need to be hesitant to walk into a hotel lobby to have a coffee and do some emails for fear of being asked for their room number – the spaces within our hotel are open to all, and we are very much looking forward to hosting our future guests and locals alike.”

Also in Europe, the brand recently opened its Crowne Plaza Nice – Grand Arenas, located on the stunning French Riviera as it continues to grow around the world with 409 Crowne Plaza hotels now open and a further 101 in the pipeline.

> Since you are here, why not read more about what’s happening in Budapest?

Main image credit: Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts

Rooftop render of hotel in Covent Garden

Berlin comes to London: AMANO to open new hotel in 2022

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Berlin comes to London: AMANO to open new hotel in 2022

The German boutique lifestyle hotel brand, The AMANO Group, announced it will open its debut hotel in London in 2022. Hotel AMANO Covent Garden promises to bring the cool and vibrant energy of Berlin to the heart of London. Here’s what else we know…

Rooftop render of hotel in Covent Garden

Located on Covent Garden’s Drury Lane, a luxury hotel will emerge next year marking the first international destination from Berlin-based hotel brand, The AMANO Group, which currently has eight hotels in Berlin, one in Munich, and one in Düsseldorf.

Render of exterior of AMANO Covent GardenAMANO hotels offer sophisticated urban living in a central location at a fair price, and are carefully integrated into the cultural life of a city. Extrovert by nature and unafraid to be different, the hotels are renowned for their distinctive design and immersive drinks and dining experiences.

Formerly a 1980s office building known as Drury House, this 141-room property is the first of multiple AMANO hotels set to open in London. Hotel AMANO Covent Garden will offer a new destination for Londoners to socialise in, as well as visitors coming to the city. Here you’ll find a basement bar, restaurant, sky bar and rooftop terrace with impressive city views and DJs spinning music on weekends.

Throughout the property, we are being told to expect dark moody tones and unique design features, which have been imagined by London-based design studio, Woods Bagot, the lead architect and interior designer behind the new opening.

Render of luxury lobby in AMANO's first hotel in the UK

Image credit: The AMANO Group

“As a Berlin-based company, opening our first international property in London was always a natural step for us,” said Ariel Schiff, Co-founder of The AMANO Group. “Like Berlin, London is a dynamic city known for its thriving nightlife and multicultural community. We felt the spirit of the AMANO brand would blend in well here. We’re excited to offer guests a unique hotel and leisure experience, bringing a taste of Berlin to London.”

With a wealth of tourist hotspots on its doorstep, like the recently renovated Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Hotel AMANO Covent Garden will make a great base for solo and business travellers, couples, and families wanting to explore the capital. Guests can choose from three room categories (cosy, comfy and roomy) to suit a range of budgets.

Watch this space.

Main image credit: The AMANO Group

Soho House Rome bedroom

Soho House arrives in Rome with timeless style

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Soho House arrives in Rome with timeless style

Soho House opens for the first time in Italy, in Rome, in the San Lorenzo district, with spaces for members to eat, drink and meet. The 69-key house shelters all the Soho House comforts, including guestrooms, long-stay apartments, a swimming pool, rooftop bar, a Soho Health Club and a screening room. Melania Guarda Ceccoli explores…

Soho House Rome bedroom

The time has come, as part of the brand’s aggressive growth plans, Soho House has arrived in Italy, with the opening of Soho House Rome. Located in the San Lorezo district of the city, the new house is now the epicentre of a new hospitality scene in Rome that is fast, helping making it one of the hottest hotel development spots in Europe.

The entire 10-storey building was designed by the Soho House Design in-house team, including the travertine-clad façade on the ground floor and plastered for the upper floors. There are balconies on each floor, with ribbed details and crenellated ceilings. Crittall exterior windows at each level give the building an industrial look, taking inspiration from the Fondazione Pastifico Cerere building near San Lorenzo, connecting Soho House to the local area that hosts it. Italian craftsmanship was used throughout the House, including locally made chandeliers and glassware.

Inspired by an Italian market, the reception area hosts a long counter with a marble shelf that wraps around the corner that passes from the reception to the bar in Store X. The floor is in striped grit, and the travertine of the facade covers the internal wall creating a light and airy lounge space. The space is furnished with a mix of Italian-made furniture and vintage elements.

The ninth floor is the central space of the club, with a bar, the House Kitchen and the Drawing Room. Guests can access a long lounge bar overlooking the outdoor park, with a terrazzo floor and metal bars give the space an industrial look.

House Kitchen is a space where you can order food and drinks all day, with an open kitchen equipped with sofas, chairs and tables everywhere and Crittall doors that open onto the balcony. The spaces are completed by ceramic lamps made in Italy and elements in Italian leather, exposed ceilings, terrazzo floors covered with mustard yellow bespoke carpets and industrial metal shelves that protrude above locally sourced marble counters.

The Drawing Room, which runs along the other side of the building, is a lounge with green walls, light herringbone flooring, and a briar-fronted bar. The space also features a travertine fireplace and vintage furniture, including armchairs and marble tables.

The first floor of the building is dedicated to an exhibition space that can be used by members for events and is also available for private hire, which can be used as a single large room or divided into two rooms, each with its bar.

Soho House The Club Rome

Image credit: Soho House/Giulia Venanzi

The rooftop bar, restaurant and swimming pool is located on the 10th floor, and offers a 360-degree view of the Eternal City. The red-tiled pool is surrounded by patterned sun loungers, crenellated umbrellas, and a stone floor in the traditional Italian Palladian motif.

The bar and restaurant occupy the other three sides of the top floor, with sofas running along one side. A large mural is painted all over the walls with motifs of vines, trees and planters to give the space a garden feel. Inside is a terracotta bar with a glazed tile facade, furniture covered in burgundy and Italian green. The environment is completed by festooned lighting and a pizza oven. Glass railings flank the edge of the top floor, providing uninterrupted views. A canopy roof equipped with heating elements covers the dining space.

On floors seven and eight, the Soho Health Club, a new fitness, health and wellness area of the Soho House, brings together the world’s best experts in health and beauty with class-based workouts, equipment and state-of-the-art skin and beauty treatments, including infrared saunas and cryogenic chambers. The treatment rooms and the sauna feature wooden floors and corrugated walnut cladding. On the seventh floor, the gym has two-tone walls, a base inspired by Roman geometric patterns, exposed ceilings and a balcony that allows members and their guests to train outdoors.

Also on this floor is the 42-seat projection room with velvet armchairs and footrest pouffes. The space will allow the screening of the best news in the world of cinema and new releases of independent and arthouse cinema.

The house shelters 49 rooms and 20 apartments. The rooms have Italian grit floors, plastered walls, the headboards of the beds are made of wood in the shape of a wave and feature Hypnos mattresses. The hand-painted ceramic bedside lamps with a carved top and craquelé enamel finish are a unique collaboration with Soho Home and the Italian designer Bitossi who produced lights in the 1970s and recreated them specifically for the Maison. The bathrooms feature a geometric pattern in green marble with a tadelek finish. Doors, cabinets and furniture all have ribbed detail.

The one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments and studios are located on the third and fourth floors and are available for short and long term stays. The apartments have wooden floors with plastered walls and bathrooms with Italian ceramic tiles. The kitchen and living area are furnished with furniture from Italian vintage markets and bespoke pieces that reflect details of classic Italian furniture.

There is also a fifth-floor suite with vintage wood floor, upholstered headboard in red velvet, briar bed made by local Italian artisans and a freestanding bathtub located by the window overlooking Rome. There is also a lounge with a large dining table, a bar area and a DJ console.

Art Soho House Rome

Image credit: Soho House/Giulia Venanzi

The art collection has a curatorial focus on the theme of Saints and Sinners. Local and international artists have been invited to create a work that addresses this concept. The idea has been interpreted in many creative ways: from football ultra-fans to Mary Magdalene, from Popes to Emperor Nero, art investigates the concepts of good and evil and the spaces in between. The works hosted by Soho House Roma include pieces by critical Italian artists such as Gianni Politi, Nico Vascellari, Silvia Gambrone, Claudio Verna, Elisa Montessori, Monica Bonvicini and Thomas Braida.

Rome continues to be a major hotspot for hotel development, with brands such as W Hotels Mama Shelter, The Student Hotel and Rosewood Hotels and Resorts all recently sharing news about recently opened or anticipated hotels in the Eternal City.

Main image credit: Soho House/Giulia Venanzi

colourful parasols and canopies at hyatt island resort

Unveiled: The latest brands to join the Red Sea development

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Unveiled: The latest brands to join the Red Sea development

With the highly anticipated Red Sea Project getting underway, we thought we would take a look at the nine leading hotel brands who are now on board and set to join the Red Sea party…

colourful parasols and canopies at hyatt island resort

The Red Sea Development Company, the developer behind the world’s most ambitious regenerative tourism project, has announced the signing of nine hotel management agreements with international hotel brands to operate resorts in the first phase of development at The Red Sea Project. With the first phase of development on track for completion by the end of 2023, and with a total of 16 hotels set to offer 3,000 hotel rooms across five islands and two inland sites, we thought we would take a look at some of the latest developments.

The list of the hotels who have signed up reads like a who’s who of the international hotel world, and includes: EDITION Hotels and St Regis Hotels & Resorts, part of Marriott International; Fairmont Hotel & Resorts, Raffles Hotels & Resorts and SLS Hotels & Residences, all part of global hospitality group Accor; Grand Hyatt, part of Hyatt Hotels Corporation; Intercontinental Hotels & Resorts and Six Senses, part of IHG Hotels & Resorts; and Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts, a global luxury hospitality company.

Each brand at The Red Sea Project has embraced the vision of the project and have agreed to work together to collaborate in making the destination a success. The partners have welcomed the industry-pioneering sustainability standards of TRSDC and the broader commitment towards regenerative tourism development.

High on this list is Marriott International , who have plans to develop two of its flagship brands as part of the project, with both St Regis and EDITIONS set to enhance their footprint across the Kingdom.

“We are excited to be working with The Red Sea Development Company to introduce St. Regis Hotels & Resorts and EDITION to one of Saudi Arabia’s most-anticipated projects,” said Jerome Briet, Chief Development Officer, Europe, Middle East & Africa, Marriott International. “These milestone signings illustrate Marriott International’s commitment to the growth of the tourism sector in the Kingdom and highlight increased demand for lifestyle and luxury accommodations and experiences.”

crystal clear water at island resort of st regis in the red sea

Image credit: Marriott Hotels

The St. Regis Red Sea Resort marks the brand’s introduction in Saudi Arabia, and the continued growth of its portfolio in the Middle East. Situated on a private island, the resort is expected to feature 90 villas, two signature restaurants, an outdoor pool, fitness centre, and spa, in addition to a Children’s Club. Expected to open in 2023, the exclusive resort will offer the brand’s visionary spirit, avant-garde style and bespoke service.

contemporary architectural design of timber clad EDITION red sea hotel

Image credit: Marriott International

The proposed EDITION Hotel will be located on the Red Sea Project’s main island of Shaura. The Red Sea EDITION is slated to open in 2023 with 240 guestrooms, including one-, two- and three-bedroom suites. The property is set to reflect the best of its location’s cultural and social milieu and of the time. The hotel plans to offer two signature restaurants, a destination bar, beach bar, fitness centre, a swimming pool, and spa.

“It is with great pleasure that we welcome Marriott International to The Red Sea Development Company family,” commented John Pagano, CEO at The Red Sea Development Company. “Securing globally esteemed and recognized brands such as St. Regis Hotels & Resorts and EDITION operating our luxury resorts is a significant and positive step forward for our flagship destination. We are very much looking forward to working hand in hand with Marriott International to deliver unique and immersive guest experiences underpinned by a commitment to enhancing the environment and uplifting local communities as we endeavour to stay true to our regenerative promise.”

The Red Sea Project, one of the first ‘giga’ projects announced by Saudi Arabia’s government, is an ambitious regenerative landmark project, covering 28,000 square kilometres on the west coast of the country. The destination is expected to offer a new type of barefoot luxury experience and is being developed with the highest standards of sustainability. With an archipelago of more than 90 untouched natural islands, as well as dormant volcanoes, desert, mountains and cultural sites, the project is expected to deliver new levels of service excellence, using technology to enable a seamless personalized experience that aims to position Saudi Arabia on the global tourism map.

Main image credit: Grand Hyatt

contemporary hotel bedroom design with natural wood surfaces at Hyatt House Johannesburg

Hyatt House debuts in Africa

847 565 Pauline Brettell
Hyatt House debuts in Africa

Hyatt House Johannesburg Sandton celebrated its opening this month, marking the debut of the Hyatt House brand in Africa, expanding the brand’s footprint globally…

contemporary hotel bedroom design with natural wood surfaces at Hyatt House Johannesburg

Hyatt House hotels are designed to welcome guests as extended stay residents who are looking for the conveniences of home, while enjoying the comfort of a luxury hotel stay. Modern, apartment-style suites with fully equipped kitchens and separate living and sleeping areas provide guests a stylish and comfortable environment, making it easier for guests to maintain their work and personal routines while traveling.

Earlier this month, Hyatt House Johannesburg Sandton celebrated its opening, marking the debut of the Hyatt House brand in Africa, while expanding the brand’s footprint globally. Owned by an affiliate of Millat Properties, Hyatt House Johannesburg Sandton is conveniently located in the leafy suburb of Sandton, only moments away from Johannesburg’s upmarket Sandton City Shopping Centre & Nelson Mandela Square, with its vibrant, premium dining and social scene. In line with the brand ethos, the property provides guests the service and convenience of hotel living with the casual comforts of home.

“Hyatt House Sandton is everything the name represents – a welcoming and warm environment that encourages guests to live like residents,” said Hotel Manager Atef Soliman. “We want each and every guest who comes through our doors to feel that they can let their real-life routines roll on, even when they’re on the road. Whether guests are visiting for a short trip or an extended stay, we know Hyatt House Johannesburg Sandton is the perfect place to offer a personalised hotel experience that will make everyone feel right at home.”

kitchen with wood and stainless steel surfaces in hyatt house suite

Image credit: Hyatt House

The hotel comprises of 62 guestrooms, which includes 43 residentially inspired studios, as well as 19 suites which have been designed with separate comfortable living rooms. All the  guestrooms are fully equipped with kitchens, working spaces, spacious bedrooms and stylish bathrooms.

Hyatt House Sandton is also home to a fitness centre, outdoor pool and a tree house where guests can continue to enjoy their stay whilst exploring what Johannesburg has to offer. From the arts, historic sites, prestigious shopping complexes and an eclectic ensemble of shops, boutiques and restaurants, Sandton, Johannesburg is popular with locals and tourists alike. After a day of exploring the nearby Johannesburg Botanical Gardens guests can unwind at the hotel’s Medley restaurant and enjoy the contemporary bistro serving trendy and healthy cuisine, have a thoughtfully crafted cocktail at the H Bar, Pool or relax at the unique Tree House.

kitchen and bedroom suite combining wood and marble finishes in natural tones

Image credit: Hyatt House

“Opening a hotel in the current global economic climate is not for the faint-hearted, but I am resolute that in times of adversity there is great opportunity.” says Hamza Farooqui, Chief Executive Officer of Millat Group. “In South Africa’s case when it comes to business and leisure tourism – in a what we hope will be a post-pandemic environment – this property will become an important symbol of renewed local and regional economic growth. Our investment is a manifestation of the group’s central operating philosophy of strong belief and optimism in the bright future of the African continent.  We are particularly proud of the property itself. Hyatt House Johannesburg Sandton offers modern and spacious rooms and apartments allowing guests feel right at home in one of South Africa’s most important economic centres.”

The Hyatt House brand is aimed at extended stay residents and currently has a footprint over 100 locations across the world, where they offer their trademark residential style design in conjunction with the comfort and convenience of a hotel stay.

> Since you are here, why not read about the new Hyatt Centric in Denver

Main image credit: Hyatt House

eclectic design of net zero hometel in chiswick london

room2 to open world’s first fully net zero hometel

730 565 Pauline Brettell
room2 to open world’s first fully net zero hometel

Setting new standards in environmental responsibility for the global industry, hometel brand room2 is set to open the world’s first fully net zero hotel in Chiswick, West London on December 1, 2021. We thought we would look a little closer at what this actually means…

eclectic design of net zero hometel in chiswick london

room2 is the UK’s first hometel brand, and aims to combine the best elements from Airbnb, serviced apartments and boutique hotels in a package that has been designed to appeal equally to corporate and leisure guests. Now set to open its third hometel in Chiswick, West London, this pioneering brand will offer its relaxed combination of home and hotel, while encouraging guests to embrace a sustainable lifestyle.

Forecast to use 89 per cent less energy per metre squared compared to typical UK hotels, room2 Chiswick is the first hotel in the world to fully account for its entire carbon footprint, making it ‘whole life net zero’. Being whole life net zero, means both embodied and operational carbon have, and will be, rebalanced throughout the entire hometel’s lifecycle. All emissions associated with the hometel’s production and construction, materials used, operations, maintenance, refurbishment, and including the eventual clearance of the building will equal zero.

contrasting textures, colours and surfaces in the design of room2 chiswick reception area

Image credit: room2

“Taking full accountability for our entire carbon footprint is room2’s baseline commitment going forward, investing in low energy and carbon solutions to align with our parent company’s Net Zero Roadmap by 2030.” says Robert Godwin who founded room2 with his brother Stuart Godwin. “Responsibility falls on all of us to make strides towards building a more sustainable future and keep the Paris Agreement’s 1.5-degree target within reach. We hope other hotel companies will join us in this urgent fight against climate change.”

To achieve these goals, room2 Chiswick embraces leading hardware and software technology from around the world to achieve pioneering energy efficiencies, with some of these being developed in house. Renewable energy is maximised on site with solar and ground source heat pumps, which convert 100 per cent of the energy needed for heating, cooling and hot water. Two lab rooms collect data on water and energy use, along with air quality, and learn from guest habits in order to refine and improve future efficiencies.

Ultra-low flow pressure showers use less water with aerated water fixtures and ultra-energy efficient lighting and appliances are combined with occupancy sensors across the building. The blue roof reduces localised flooding by slowly discharging up to 50,000 litres of rainwater, while the green roof boasts 200 tonnes of soil and wildflowers, planted to increase biodiversity and absorb CO2, along with beehives and bug hotels.

Inspired by the spirit of Chiswick’s 19th century arts and crafts heritage, which valued craftsmanship over a perceived decline in quality from mass factory production, each of the 86 bespoke guestrooms have been carefully crafted in collaboration with local artisans. From the marbled print wallpaper to handcrafted mirrors, guests can expect work from rising creative talent at every turn. All loose bespoke furniture was manufactured within 10 miles of the property, and made with Forest Stewardship Council timber. Fabrics and materials were all selected to promote reuse and a circular economy, beyond the current useful life.

 hotel guestroom design with fabric wall hanging and headboard

Image credit: room2

room2 Chiswick also has a zero-waste policy, and is the first UK hotel to introduce food waste into its in-room recycling bins. Unable to find a three-in-one recycling bin in keeping with the hometel’s philosophy for design and simplicity of use, room2 designed and manufactured its own bespoke bin to include waste, recycling and food waste, to ensure that 100 per cent of waste is recycled or converted into energy off-site.

Whether staying for two nights or two months, for leisure or for work, guests of all ages can expect the relaxed and informal room2 experience throughout their stay. Fully equipped kitchenettes, mattress menu and full 24-hour stay, with both check-in and check-out at 14:00, allow guests to personalise their visit, and stay more comfortably for longer. The new hometel also offers a laundry room, gym with Peloton equipment, as well as an independently run café by day and cocktail bar by night specialising in locally sourced organic food, coffee and wine.

“room2 puts a huge emphasis on our guest experience and connection to our local communities,” says Godwin. “With carbon emissions being the biggest threat to our planet, and with devastating impacts being felt across the world, we believe in our responsibility to prioritise our global communities and ensure our presence wouldn’t contribute further to the problem. We’ve done the hard work, so the guest has the full experience without the footprint.”

At a time when reducing the impact of climate change is more important than ever, room2 Chiswick has created an ideal destination for eco-conscious and responsible travellers looking for the ultimate stay in London, while at the same time, proving that sustainability doesn’t mean sacrificing style, convenience or comfort.

Main image credit: room2

luxury bedroom in neutral shades

Sneak peek inside One&Only Aesthesis

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Sneak peek inside One&Only Aesthesis

One&Only Aesthesis, the brand’s second hotel in Europe, is set to arrive on the Athenian coast and the seafront of Glyfada in June 2022. Melanie Guarda Ceccoli takes a look into the inspiration behind the resort…

luxury bedroom in neutral shades

After the announcement in May 2021 of the landing in Europe of One&Only Portonovi in ​​Montenegro, the expansion of the ultra-luxury brand, One&Only, in Europe continues with the development of One&Only Aethesis on the Athenian seafront.

In a 21-hectare seafront estate, within a six-hectare forest reserve, One&Only Aesthesis will be positioned a short distance from the capital and its most iconic sites, such as the Acropolis, the Parthenon, Syntagma Square and Cape Sounio. The resort, overlooking a 1,600-metre shoreline, will offer a statement beach club where guests and residents alike can gather and enjoy priceless views from sunrise to sunset.

Like all the brand’s properties, the hotel will guarantee maximum privacy, offering most of the accommodation in independent villas, all with private pools, perfect for couples or families. Among the accommodation solutions available, the iconic Villa One has set new standards in terms of exclusivity.

One&Only Aesthesis embodies the glamour of the Aegean, with 127 guestrooms, breathtaking suites, and private villas – all designed to frame the natural beauty of the Grecian coastline. The architecture pays homage to mid-century design with high ceilings, woven leather, muted tones, and accent patterns that embody the inherent beauty of a cosmopolitan Riviera.

Following the global partnership with Chenot, a leader in health and wellness, the resort will also host a Chenot Spa that will offer customised programs and cutting-edge treatments, scientifically designed to improve guests’ vitality and optimal health throughout the hotel. A state-of-the-art fitness centre, with both indoor and outdoor spaces, will complete the offer.

The news comes after Kerzner International Holdings Limited, the owner of the ultra-luxury One&Only Resorts and iconic Atlantis Resort & Residences brands worldwide, entered into a resort management agreement with Grivalia Hospitality S.A. “Kerzner International is very excited to be adding Athens to our European footprint,” commented Philippe Zuber, CEO, Kerzner International. “This exclusive beachfront location, just outside of the city centre of Athens is incredible; the perfect destination to begin, or end, any Greek adventure through the ultra-luxury experience of One&Only. We will reimagine the golden era of Athens, a celebration through life and energy that is true to our brand promise. We are executing our strategic growth and development of the One&Only brand globally, and excited to add another One&Only experience in Greece. Our partners, Grivalia, are leaders in Greek real estate investment and are committed to honouring the location and providing a legacy for the future.”

hotel dining room decorated in sage and cream palette

Image credit: One&Only Aesthesis

The resort is at the crossroads of Greek history and culture, from the Acropolis and Parthenon to Syntagma Square and Cape Sounio on the glamorous Athenian Riviera, with its exclusive beachfront of Glyfada. The resort is just moments away from the vibrant metropolis, yet is surrounded by endless blues and glistening islands dotting the horizon. A true paradise embodying Grecian heritage and authentic Athenian allure, the resort will be the perfect sanctuary, honouring the cosmopolitan sophistication of the ’60s and ’70s.

Inspired by the azure waters and the incredible natural surroundings, One&Only Aethesis aims to provide a modern Greek elegance, while at the same time looking to the past and  showcasing powerful elements dominant in Greek mythology like fire and water, carved from a palette of natural stone and timber. As with all One&Only properties, the resort will offer innovative programmes for families with children, whilst carefully preserving space for adults only as well.

Along with the emphasis on design and luxury, significant attention will be paid to the culinary proposal to give guests an immersive Greek experience through all the senses.

“Grivalia Hospitality is excited to revive a landmark site along the Athenian Riviera and join forces with Kerzner International for One&Only, a distinguished global leader in ultra-luxury hospitality,” commented George Chryssikos, Founder and Chairman, Grivalia Hospitality. “One&Only Aesthesis will be on one of Athens’s most iconic and cosmopolitan waterfront sites, originally designed by prominent Greek architects. From its development in the mid-1950s, the bungalows, the beach, and the club hosted both the local and international jet set. Upon completion, this contemporary hybrid city resort will become the unique high-end destination in the Mediterranean all year round.”

One&Only was created exclusively for the ultra-luxury market and conceived as a hallmark of excellence. With the continued evolution of the One&Only portfolio, this new resort will complement the existing award-winning resort collection, set in some of the most beautiful locations in the world.

> Since you are here, why not read about the One&Only One Za’abeel in Dubai.

Main image credit: One&Only Aesthesis

artists impression of country hotel

The Signet Collection unveils plans for second hotel

730 565 Pauline Brettell
The Signet Collection unveils plans for second hotel

Hot on the heels of The Mitre Hampton Court, The Signet Collection has unveiled its plans to open its second hotel. The Retreat Elcot Park is slated to open in Spring 2022. Hotelier Hector Ross’ focus within this portfolio of hotels is to create ‘memorable experiences’ with informal yet imaginative design schemes…

artists impression of country hotel

Slated to open in Spring 2022, The Retreat Elcot Park, is to become the second hotel to be unveiled under The Signet Collection brand. Housed in a Grade II-listed, 18th-century building, located between Hungerford and Newbury in the North Wessex Downs, the luxury hotel will comprise of 55 individually styled guestrooms with magnificent grounds to match.

The property follows the recent opening of The Mitre Hampton Court, which, within 30 days of launching, won ‘Best Hotel in London’ by The Sunday Times and was included in Conde Nast Traveller’s highly coveted Hot List for ‘Best UK New Hotels’, amongst other top awards and accolades.

Dating back to 1772, The Retreat has a storied past including once being the childhood home of the great poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. With stunning views of the Wessex Downs.

As with its sister hotel, The Mitre Hampton Court, all things Culinary will have pride of place at The Retreat, which will open with two restaurants (an all-day dining Brasserie and a pan-Asian restaurant). Other elements include a whisky tasting room, honesty pantries on each floor and experiences for all age groups.

For private events there will also be several meeting rooms and multiple private dining spaces. At the helm of culinary operations is Ronnie Kimbugwe, whose background includes time with the Gordon Ramsay group at Claridge’s Hotel and a decade with the Bel and Dragon Country Inns.

Set within 16 acres, The Retreat will be a destination in its own right with a walled working garden, tennis courts, an outdoor infinity pool (complete with designer cabanas and Whispering Angel pool bar), croquet lawns and children’s zone. The boutique hotel will also boast an impressive health club, inclusive of hydrotherapy pools, treatment rooms, steam and sauna, large gym, spin studio and a wellness area. Topping off the experiences will be ‘The Courtyard,’ a mixed-use retail space consisting of a bakery, coffee house, hair salon and a wine store.

“With a focus on creating memorable experiences, informality of design, exquisite food and service, we believe The Retreat will be a much-loved addition to the area.” – Hector Ross, Managing Partner, The Signet Collection.

Continuing The Signet Collection’s celebrated design aesthetic, the transformation of The Retreat will combine quirky British sensibility, blending the old with the new. Refined and comfortable, luxury is central to the design vision with nods to both the history and location of the property. As with The Mitre at Hampton Court, The Retreat will be home to characterful guestrooms, and playful, lively public spaces.

Hector Ross and Ronnie Kimbugwe

Image credit: The Signet Collection

“We are delighted to announce the second hotel from The Signet Collection coming next Spring,” says Hector Ross, Managing Partner who was named earlier this year as a shortlisted finalist in The Brit List Awards 2021. “As with The Mitre Hampton Court, we look forward to unveiling a property which will be enjoyed in the context of its historical significance, both preserving and restoring authenticity coupled with offering a vast array of activities on site to keep our guests entertained. With a focus on creating memorable experiences, informality of design, exquisite food and service, we believe The Retreat will be a much-loved addition to the area, involving both the local community and travellers from afar.”

The Signet Collection launched in September 2020 alongside the debut hotel in the portfolio, The Mitre Hampton Court. Founded by the former COO of Longshot, owners of Beaverbrook and Bel & the Dragon Group, the vision of the home-grown and hands-on brand is to be made up of several destination-defining properties throughout the UK. With a string of awards already under their belt, Ross and his team have taken the British hospitality world by storm whilst staying true to their objective of creating meaningful stays in time honoured places.

Main image credit: The Signet collection