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Hotel Style

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Main image credit: NH Collection

BESPOKE DESIGN: Italian boutique hotel inspired by natural elements

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Understated living area of the guestroom

Image credit: Mariell Lind Hansen

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

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

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

Image credit: Mariell Lind Hansen

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

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

Main image credit: Mariell Lind Hansen

BRITISH STYLE: Questioning design like Ilse Crawford

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
BRITISH STYLE: Questioning design like Ilse Crawford

To launch the new chapter of Hotel Designs, Hamish Kilburn investigates how one woman, her editorship and her questions over convention helped to change modern international hotel design by challenging the very foundations it sits on…

Every now and then, the world is introduced to a design icon who, through making their visions into reality, helps to shift attitudes by challenging conventional forms.

For Ilse Crawford, the founding Editor-In-Chief of British Elle Decoration, the design world was somewhat lacking reference of everyday movement when she decided to step into the shoes of her designer readers.

In 1997, a decade on from founding British Elle Decoration, Crawford asked the world to “liberate your senses and change your life” when she published her first book, Sensual Home, which mapped out how the living environment can engage us sensually as well as visually from the perspective of sight, sound, taste, touch and smell. And was, for Crawford, the start of a new journey.  “Writing the book was the ‘ah-hah’ moment, because it wasn’t the current understanding of design,” she explained in the Netflix documentary, Abstract: The Art of Design. “The days of being a two-dimensional person were over.”

The defiant leap from narrator to creator came one year later after she signed off as Editor-In-Chief. Having completed her mission to launch a contemporary magazine for a wide audience, Crawford worked for Donna Karan and getting her hands dirty, she became a maker. Crawford’s first hotel interior design brief was presented to her immediately after she left Elle Decoration when she was asked to convert a stately home for Nick Jones of Soho House into what we now know of as Babington House. “Nick originally wanted this place to look and feel like a stately home, but I was very clear that that’s the last thing it should be,” Crawford explained in Abstract: The Art of Design. “My proposal was that it should be a very informal place where you could just treat as if it was your own, like a family house of a friend where the parents had gone away and left the key the drinks cabinet.” Breaking the rules of the time, Crawford’s design stole the headlines and her journey as an interior design began.

“The project saw the transformation of a former industrial building in the Meatpacking district into a 27-key design hotel.”

From the rural British countryside to the bustling scene of Manhattan, Crawford’s skillful and sensitive approach was called upon to create the first outpost of Soho House outside the UK. The project saw the transformation of a former industrial building in the Meatpacking district into a 27-key design hotel, including bars, a restaurant, cinema and rooftop pool. Soho House New York opened to become the definitive third space for the transatlantic media crowd.

Her aim as an interior designer is to put human needs and desires at the centre of all that she does. Working in commercial and residential design, and blurring the lines between both, Crawford has changed many environments for the better of those who use them. Ett Hem Hotel was a conversion project of a former arts and crafts building. The 12-key guesthouse is described by Crawford as “a place to stay for the modern traveller, a home-from-home, where flexibility of space and function is central to the hotel’s operation,” she says. “There is no division between front and back of house – anything can happen anywhere at any time.”

Residential style in the hotel

Image caption/credit: Ett Hem Hotel. Interiors by Ilse Crawford

As someone who truly lives and breathes the industry in which she used to curate on the pages of Elle Decoration, Crawford wears many hats as a modern designer. In her own admission to Interior Design magazine, she confessed that “the line between my work and life is thin to non-existent.”  Working from her London studio, which is directly below her home, Crawford’s knowledge in interiors has allowed her to extend her portfolio to include product design. The Sinnerlig Collection for IKEA includes 30 pieces of of furniture, lighting and tabletop collection. “They explore natural materials and are simple,” Crawford explains on her website. “They are helpful, background pieces, not showstoppers.” Tactile materials such as cork, ceramic, glass, seagrass and bamboo appealed in the design concept because they felt as good as they looked.

“Maison&Objet awarded Crawford the prestigious title of Designer of the Year 2016.”

The Together Table was another design that challenged existing products on the market. Confronting the design of conventional four-cornered tables, Crawford simply rounded the edges of the table, which as a result naturally invited people to move around it more freely.  The Ilse Sofa was the result of a collaboration with British furniture brand George Smith. The height and depth of the product’s arms and back were calculated and tested to ensure that the sofa supports as many sedentary habits of modern life. “We like to think of it as a room within a room,” Crawford explains when describing the tactile experience.

Beige modern, long, thin table

Image caption/credit: The Together Table by Ilse Crawford

Two years after she was awarded an MBE in recognition for her work in design, Maison&Objet awarded Crawford the prestigious title of Designer of the Year 2016. Since then, the modest designer has continued to evolve the hospitality landscape with completing projects such as The Lounge Plaza 66, Cathy Pacific’s iconic airport lounge in Hong Kong and the warm and inviting home-from-home that is Bukowskis.

Crawford’s philosophical visions to challenge the norm leaves a clear path for young designers who aspire, like her, to make a difference through design. As the founder of the department of Man and Wellbeing at the Design Academy Eindhoven, Crawford’s mission as a visionary is explained on her website as “nurturing a new generation of students to always question why and how their work improves the reality of life.” Her philosophy to improve the future through considered design is what makes her the leader she undoubtably is today. Her work – and her working style – is a simple, effortless reflection of the questions she asks of the designs of today and the possibilities that are garnered by second guessing what the future should look and feel like.

Crawford, an ever-evolving icon of British and international design, has metaphorically cut the ribbon to launch Hotel Designs’ new website by being the subject of the first editorial feature of the title’s new era. The newly launched slogan “defining the point of international design” is a pledge from the editorial team to its readers to cut through the noise to publish conversation starters that will filter into many debates on the hotel design scene that we all know and love. That conversation starts here, with a question that Crawford asks herself when confronted with a new project: “How can design strategically make things better?”

Main image credit: Ilse Crawford/StudioIlse