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    hotel

    IHG to introduce Kimpton Hotels & Restaurant brand to Germany

    800 530 Hamish Kilburn

    Global boutique luxury brand Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants from IHG to continue European expansion with first hotel in Germany, Kimpton Frankfurt slated to open in 2023…

    InterContinental Hotels Group® (IHG®), has announced its rapidly expansion of Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants brand by unveiling plans to launch the brand in Germany in 2023 with the opening of Kimpton Frankfurt.

    Set in a listed building of Junghofstrasse in Frankfurt’s city centre, the luxury boutique hotel will feature 155 guestrooms, two large meeting rooms and an onsite gym. In addition to the hotel’s signature restaurant, there are also plans for a sky-bar and restaurant on the roof terrace, where guests will be able to enjoy an unrivalled skyline view of the city. The classic ’50s lobby will serve as the main entrance to the hotel.

    Kimpton Frankfurt is part of Frankfurt’s most pioneering development project; FOUR Frankfurt

    “Being one of Europe’s largest financial hubs, Frankfurt is a key location for us and this signing is a great milestone in Kimpton’s European expansion,” said Kenneth Macpherson, CEO of Europe, Middle East, Asia and Africa (EMEAA) at IHG. “We’re proud to partner with Groß & Partner to bring the brand to Germany, where IHG is growing at pace. Guests staying at Kimpton Frankfurt can expect Kimpton’s signature bold and playful design, luxury, personalised service and truly local feel.”

    Kimpton Frankfurt is part of Frankfurt’s most pioneering development project; FOUR Frankfurt, which is led by highly-regarded developer Groß & Partner. FOUR Frankfurt is a unique high-rise in the middle of the central banking district which features office, residential and retail space in a prime city centre location. The mixed-use project, which highlights innovative and sustainable design by UNStudio architects, will be home to 5,000 people for both business and residential purposes.

    “Frankfurt can look forward to a new, international hotel brand in a class of its own,” said Nikolaus Bieber, Managing Director of Groß & Partner. “With the signing of Kimpton Frankfurt, the FOUR Frankfurt receives another point of attraction that will enrich and upgrade the downtown area. Kimpton Frankfurt in Junghofstraße will be a special experience, not only for hotel guests enjoying the city skyline but also for local restaurant and bar visitors.”

    Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants was acquired by IHG in 2015. The luxury boutique brand currently operates 66 hotels and 80 restaurants, bars and lounges in the U.S., Caribbean, and Europe[1]. Kimpton De Witt in Amsterdam was the first Kimpton property to open outside of the Americas in May 2017. Continuing the brand’s expansion in key cities across Europe, IHG has announced plans to debut the brand in the UK and open Kimpton Paris in 2020, with more European signings in the pipeline. This announcement continues Kimpton’s international expansion to new global markets in every IHG operating region, with additional hotels underway in Tokyo, Taipei, Bali, Shanghai and Sanya,

    Waldolf Astoria Bangkok prepares for ‘Asia’s most anticipated hotel openings this year’

    1004 670 Hamish Kilburn

    The anticipated opening of Waldorf Astoria Bangkok, designed by the award-winning André Fu is said to evolve the hotel landscape in Southeast Asia…

    The end of August will see the opening of what is said to be Asia’s most anticipated hotel openings of 2018. The grand Waldorf Astoria in Bangkok, meticulously designed by, André Fu, from AFSO who was named Designer of the Year for Maison & Objet Asia in 2016, captures the brand’s iconic image in the vibrant Thai capital.

    All areas of thew hotel will open to reflect the artistry and craftsmanship of Fu and his design studio

    In tribute to the owners of the property, Magnolia Finest Corporation Limited, the building, which is perched near the city’s Royal Bangkok Sports Club and Ratchaprasong Intersection, has been designed to give the effect of springing from the ground like a Magnolia flower. Towering above the city, the dazzling sculptural appearance of the property cuts a dramatic profile in the skyline of Bangkok, in the heart of the bustling Ratchaprasong intersection.

    Large, spacious and modern guestroom

    Image credit: Waldrof Astoria Bangkok

    The hotel will boast 171 spacious guestrooms and suites, which start at 50 square metres, offer more space than the average hotel room size and are designed to as ‘home-from homes’. All areas of thew hotel will open to reflect the artistry and craftsmanship of Fu and his design studio. Globally recognised for high-profile luxury fashion and retail projects, such as his recent work with luxury brand Louis Vuitton, the studio has been involved in curating an holistic hotel experience that brings together the building’s contemporary architecture with Thai artisanal tradition.

    The hotel, which stands as a milestone for the Hilton brand as it will be Southeast Asia’s first Waldorf Astoria, is expected to become the new skyline gem of Bangkok, and promises to live up to high expectations of locals and diserning travellers.

     

     

    Exterior shot

    Converting Antwerp’s most iconic building into a design hotel

    800 531 Hamish Kilburn

    Hotel Designs explores how Alex Kravetz Design used comic inspiration to create the interiors of Antwerp’s new design hotel on the block…

    There were three major concepts which drove Alex Kravetz Design’s (AKD) vison of the Radisson Blu Astrid Hotel in Antwerp. The architect of the hotel – Michael Graves, the diamond district of Antwerp and lastly the emerging comic movement. These three elements created a strong concept for the hotel’s design language, creating a link with both the hotel’s foundations, the city’s history and the vibrant future of Antwerp.

    Graves, who was one of the pioneers of neo-modernism architecture in the US, created the building which later become arguably one of Antwerp’s most iconic buildings. “It is an example of post-modern architecture and therefore the overall concept for the refurbishment was to create spaces which have a strong relationship with the exterior feel of the building,” said Alex Kravetz, Prinicpal at AKD.

    Lobby area

    The comic concept was explored due to the famous history of Belgian comics, the new Comics Station which has opened in Antwerp and the comic-inspired graffiti seen on buildings in the city featuring Belgian comic characters.

    The Lobby Bistro Bar is a dynamic and stylised space which reflects the postmodern architectural influences of Grave’s building. This has been reflected in a number of interesting ways, one example of this can be found in the rugs. “The bright colours used convey the vast number of colours which were available to postmodern architects, referencing back to the bright yellow and blue hues of the Hotel building,” explains Kravetz. “The pattern developed on the other hand also shows a link with Antwerp’s Diamond district, composed with abstract geometric forms like cut diamonds.” The diamond concept continues throughout the hotel in numerous forms, for example in the drapery fabric of the suites, in the carpet designs of the public spaces and the wall sconces at the Rotonde Bar. Guests checking into the hotel will feel a sense of place and belonging.

     

    The Rotonde Bar provides an upscale event space due to the stained maple veneers, brushed bronze and textured metal cladding finishes seen against the parquet floor. The banquettes at the windows allow for both flexible seating and great views overlooking Antwerp’s famous train station.

    The lobby lounge area offers a multifunctional space where guests can relax in a warm and inviting environment. The feature fireplace wall has an oversized horizontal opening with an Opty mist flame effect fire and a rich industrial finish in Hammered Bronze metal with displayed rough cut timber logs. The Lobby Bar area hosts an industrial feel, with metal finishes in antique and hammered bronze and exposed rivets and hinges. “These juxtapose with the rich upholstery and the postmodern feature wall panels,” explains Kravetz. “Connections are clear between the spaces, although each space has its unique touch as you move between the public spaces on the ground floor.” The lobby restaurants takes a modern yet timeless feel, achieved by the contemporary furniture selection and banquette detailing, combined with the textured wall panels and feature mirrors.

    The reception bar has individual reception pods with an abstract bespoke design. The contrasting materials used here set an eclectic tone leading into the lobby lounge. The striking feature banquette provides a key focal point opposite the main entrance, with a triptych of art above by Jeffery Edwards, adding humour, warmth and character. “The art pieces here have been specifically selected to connect with the Comic Room creating a sense of place and originality,” says Kravetz. “The Comic Room is a fun and inviting area where guests can relax and read a comic in a pop art inspired setting. The throw cushions and the accessories contribute to the overall concept and impression in this space.”

    The design of 253 guestrooms offer a stylish and contemporary feel with warm tones that further reference the location. “This project was one of the first to tap into the new Radisson BLU Guestroom concept,” says Kravetz. The rooms may have been developed in line with Radisson Blue’s latest design standards but offers originality in regard to connections with the key concepts outlined and the location of the hotel. Above the headboard there is a feature wallpaper which has been custom developed specifically for the project. “The wallpaper has essentially become a statement artwork itself, showcasing Antwerp’s notable buildings, with the iconic train station in the centre,” says Kravetz. “The defined seating group includes a chair which is custom made for the property, drawing on postmodern architectural elements.” The stitched leather frame and brushed brass detail in the armrests gives a residential feel and the distinctive rug underneath the seating group features the strong, bright colours of postmodern architecture but also offers a luxurious feel to the room.

    Meeting spaces

    Radisson Blu Astrid Hotel Antwerp is superbly located on the historic Astrid Square near Antwerp Central Station and has unveiled a completely new look and feel following an extensive programme of refurbishment across the entire hotel, with total investment reaching over €9 million.

    Rendering of guestroom

    First Luxury Collection property to debut in Corfu

    800 533 Hamish Kilburn

    The Luxury Collection has announced the brand’s first hotel in Corfu with the signing of Domes Miramare, a Luxury Collection Resort, Corfu…

    Domes Miramare, a Luxury Collection Resort, Corfu will mark the debut of Luxury Collection Resorts brand in Corfu. The idyllic beachfront retreat has emerged from a renovation restoring the legacy property − originally built for the Onassis family in the late 60’s − alongside new contemporary suites and luxury villas. One of a trio of Domes Resorts luxury properties in Greece, Domes Miramare sits at the heart of Greece’s resurgent luxury hospitality landscape, further cementing the Ionian island’s long-standing appeal to sophisticated global travellers. The hotel will operate under the Domes Resorts brand from July 14 2018 and will be converted to operate under The Luxury Collection brand from August 1 2018.

    “The Miramare Hotel has a long history of welcoming the glitterati, and it’s heartening to see this icon reclaiming its rightful place as one of the Mediterranean’s newest and most luxurious resorts,” said Anthony Ingham, Global Brand Leader, The Luxury Collection.  “The stunning, multi-million Euro transformation will ensure that this very special resort remains the definitive luxury destination for decades to come.”

    Exterior shot of hotel

    Image credit: Luxury Collection Resorts

    Originally designed by renowned architect Charalambos Sfaellos, Domes Miramare remains faithful to Sfaellos’ characteristic modernist style. The Adult Only resort (minimum age 16 years), will offer 113 guestrooms, suites and villas that have been elegantly reimagined by Kristina Zanic Design Consultants to reflect the richness and colour of the surrounding landscape. Shades of cream and taupe are blended with accents of soft blue and green, alongside modern furnishings and natural materials in patterns inspired by the surrounding landscape. The spacious marble bathrooms with bespoke pastel-tiled washbasins offer a nod to ancient Greek mosaics.

    The resort’s collection of luxurious Pavilion Suites, enjoy beachfront locations with private pools and gardens.  Ideal for larger groups or even families, the hotel is also home to an exclusive area available for private hire, which includes two expansive villas with pools, along with other amenities. Cherished artwork influenced by the island’s Venetian, French, British and Greek heritage adorns walls and public spaces, while Corfiot influences permeate throughout.

    “It is all about Legacy! Legacy is the force that inspires and drives us,” said George P. Spanos, Vice President and CEO, Domes Resorts.  “First, the Miramare legacy, which we wish to continue from when the Onassis family first developed the resort; Second, the legacy of Domes Resorts, to continue to open hotels in the most iconic destinations throughout Greece, which combine history and beauty; and finally, the legacy of Corfu being the most aristocratic destination in Greece. Our co-operation with The Luxury Collection brand supports and enhances our vision of developing a resort that will redefine the destination.”

    Image credit: Luxury Collection Resorts

    Set in shore-hugging grounds, and surrounded by acres of centuries-old olive groves, the resort is the perfect place to relax and rejuvenate. Guests can revitalise with beachfront yoga, motivate with personal training sessions among the lush grounds, or simply unwind with a relaxing wellness treatment. Several common and private sleek pools, set between the resort’s private stretch of coast and the main building, provide the perfect spot for lounging.

    Like all Luxury Collection properties, Domes Miramare offers enriching and inspiring experiences, custom-curated by the Concierge team to aid curious travellers in discovering the destination. Whether guests wish to immerse themselves in the UNESCO protected old town of Corfu, explore the island’s lush interior, or get up close to artisans at work, the possibilities are endless.

    Domes Miramare, a Luxury Collection Resort, Corfu showcases the brand’s commitment to delivering authentic experiences in the most coveted destinations around the world. With more than 100 hotels in more than 30 countries and territories, The Luxury Collection, with 46 hotels currently in Europe alone, has solidified itself as the brand of choice for Global Explorers.

     

    Competition watchdog puts hotel booking sites under the spotlight

    620 372 Hamish Kilburn

    Hotel booking sites are being advised by the UK’s competition watchdog to review the way in which they rank and display rooms online…

    Some hotel sites have recently been accused of making misleading claims about discounts, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said in a report by the BBC.

    The organisation is examining whether or not the sites are giving a false impression of room availability and “rushing” customers into booking decisions, while also looking into the extent to which a hotel’s ranking may be influenced by the size of the commission it pays.

    The names of the companies that the CMA is investigating have not yet been released, but leading booking sites include Expedia and Booking.com.

    The CMA, which launched its investigation into online booking sites in October, says it has sent warning letters to “a range of sites”, demanding they review their practices to make sure they are fair and comply with consumer protection law.

    Its investigation is examining several practices, including:

    • Search results: how hotels are ranked after a customer has entered their search requirements, for example to what extent search results are influenced by other factors that may be less relevant to the customer’s requirements, such as the amount of commission a hotel pays the site.
    • Pressure selling: whether claims about how many people are looking at the same room, how many rooms may be left, or how long a price is available, create a false impression of room availability or rush customers into making a booking decision.
    • Discount claims: whether the discount claims made on sites offer a fair comparison for customers – for example, the claim could be based on a higher price that was only available for a brief period, or not relevant to the customer’s search criteria, for example comparing a higher weekend room rate with the weekday rate for which the customer has searched.
    • Hidden charges: the extent to which sites include all costs in the price they first show customers or whether people are later faced with unexpected fees, such as taxes or booking fees.

    According to the CMA, around 70 per cent of consumers who shop around for accommodation use hotel booking sites.

    Speaking to the BBC, Andrea Coscelli, chief executive of the CMA, said: “Booking sites can make it so much easier to choose your holiday, but only if people are able to trust them. We are now demanding that sites think again about how they are presenting information to their customers and make sure they are complying with the law. Our next step is to take any necessary action – including through the courts if needed – to ensure people get a fair deal.”

    The watchdog has been in contact with a number of sites asking them to review their practices, and to respond within the next few months.

    At the end of the review, the sites can either give a legally-binding commitment to change the way they operate, or argue their case that their practices do not break the law.

    If the CMA disagrees with their arguments, it can take the companies to court, where unlimited fines can be levied.

     

    Skyline

    Hospitality sector to generate £100 billion in 2018

    1024 682 Hamish Kilburn

    Data from Adia suggests that the ‘now economy’ has led to the hospitality industry consistently growing at approximately six per cent a year since 2013…

    Extensive analysis of ONS data* published across the last five years by hospitality recruitment platform Adia suggests that the total turnover of all businesses providing ‘Accommodation and Food Services Activities’ will reach £100 billion this year. In addition, over the last five years, the total turnover of all companies in the sector has steadily grown at around six per cent a year.

    The total turnover of all businesses in the hospitality industry reached £98 billion in 2017, up from £92 billion in 2016 and £86 billion in 2015. Based on this rate of growth, Adia expects this figure to comfortably reach £100 billion in the ONS’ 2018 data, which is expected to be published in the autumn.

    Adia’s analysis of government business population estimates has also revealed that the amount of people employed in the sector now exceeds 2.3 million, representing an increase of 21 per cent compared to 2013 – when the total amount of people working in the industry stood at 1.9 million.

    Encouragingly, the amount of firms providing accommodation and food services activities in the UK has grown by just under 20 per cent in the last five years, having reached 202,060 – up from 169,235 in 2013.

    Adia CEO, Ernesto Lamaina comments: “The hospitality sector makes a significant and important contribution to British economic output, equally, the 202,000 businesses operating in the industry play a valuable role as employers and job creators.

    “Our analysis indicates that the amount of people working in the sector has increased by over 409,000 in the last five years, which is testament to the health of the industry. However, as we’re seeing across the entire economy – the way we’re working and employing is changing. Employees expect flexibility and often, employers require it – businesses must respond to that.

    “We believe the ‘now economy’ is a system where companies can more efficiently manage staffing costs, and people are free to pursue the roles they want.”

    Adia is Adecco’s online recruitment solution that has the technology, scale and expertise to deliver what businesses need to thrive in the now economy, helping to find and manage temporary talent while building better practices for a new way of working.

    Launched in Switzerland in 2016, Adia is now available across the UK providing temporary talent to the hospitality industry.

    *Business population estimates for the UK and regions provides the only official estimate of the total number of private sector businesses in the UK at the start of each year.

    These estimates produced by BEIS cover a wider range of businesses than Office for National Statistics (ONS) outputs, which report on VAT traders and PAYE employers.

    Pimlico sofa

    Creating the Pimlico Collection from Morgan Furniture

    1024 758 Hamish Kilburn

    This year’s Clerkenwell Design Week saw the expansion of Morgan’s Pimlico collection to include two new sofas, the dramatic 148 high back booth sofa, and low back 147 two seat sofa to accompany the 140 lounge chair.

    The Pimlico collection, designed by Morgan Studio, began as a bedroom chair with a small footprint and has developed to include a variety of size options and high-backs.

    Valencia collection

    With smooth curved lines and a unique oval seat pad, the expanded collection offers further possibilities and interior solutions; Creating a cohesive collection suited to both workplace and hospitality interiors.

    At Clerkenwell Design Week, Morgan also showcased its recent Valencia collection of modular seating, statement asymmetric daybeds and tables. Launching new additions to the table collection, including variations in size and finish.

    To view these new collections please visit the Morgan showroom at 1 Dallington Street, ECV1 0BH.

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

    Terrace of King's Street Townhouse

    Meet Up North: One month to go!

    1024 576 Hamish Kilburn

    This time next month, hoteliers, designers, architects and suppliers will gather at Kings Street Townhouse hotel in Manchester for the inaugural Meet Up North

    Taking the successful ‘meet up’ networking concept up North for the first ever, Hotel Designs will next month host Meet Up North, a social event that aims to bridge the gap between designers, architects, hoteliers and suppliers alike.

    The venue

    Meet Up North will take place in one of Manchester’s finest hotels, Kings Street Townhouse, which The Telegraph recently described as,”the antithesis to a chain hotel,” comparing the experience of staying there similar to “staying with a rich friend who has extremely good taste.” The hotel is situated in an Italian Renaissance-style former bank dating from 1872, on a quiet side street within central Manchester’s historic Upper King Street Conservation Area. AEW Archtiects, whose directors will attend the event, was engaged in the design and transformation of the hotel, and completed the project in February 2016.

    The agenda

    The evening will commence with an official welcome from the newly appointed editor, Hamish Kilburn, who will briefly talk about the history of Meet Up, it’s purpose and why this year it’s being taken outside of London.

    The mic will then be handed over to the award-winning Principal of Richmond International Fiona Thompson. The celebrated visionary designer will speak the the audience about past projects, future predictions and the significance of worthy collaborations. “Only through a thoughtful collaborative process, which acknowledges individual skills, talents and perspectives, can a project be successfully completed,” Fiona said ahead of the event. “Richmond International is extremely excited to take part in Meet Up North, an event which honours the significance of professional collaboration, and in turn reflect on the successful partnerships Richmond International has had the pleasure of being part of over the past 51 years.”

    Completing the line-up of speakers will be the headline sponsors of the event, Marca Corona. The Italian ceramic tile specialists will provide the audience with an in-depth industry insight and will be available to answer questions after.

    How to get involved

    The evening will then continue with all the ingredients for a successful networking recipe. Canapés and complimentary drinks will be served on the balcony of Manchester’s most talked about hotel in 2017 and 2018.

    If you are a hotelier, architect, designer or supplier and would like to also benefit from the event, there are very limited available. Please head over to the website where you can secure your place.

     

    Rendering of the yacht

    The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection opens reservations to the public

    800 400 Hamish Kilburn

    Travellers worldwide are invited to book their voyage on The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection’s new custom-made luxury yacht…

    Claiming to be the first luxury hotel group to take its service and ambiance of its resorts to the sea, The Ritz-Carlton, L.L.C. has announced the opening of reservations for The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection.

    “From the yacht’s design, to programming onboard and ashore, every aspect of the voyage has been carefully created to embody the signature service and casual luxury of a Ritz-Carlton resort,” said Lisa Holladay, Global Brand Leader for The Ritz-Carlton. We look forward to officially welcoming guests onboard The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection as we open reservations.”

    Reservations are now open for the inaugural season of The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, set to take the seas in February 2020. With several distinct itineraries available in 2020, guests have the option to book back-to-back voyages without repeating ports, allowing them to explore a wider range of destinations and delve into the local culture at each port.

    Designed with a yachting lifestyle in mind, the first of three bespoke yachts in The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection will stop at both signature and iconic destinations.

    The specially designed yacht will measure 190-meters, accommodate up to 298 passengers and feature 149 suites, each with its own private terrace. The yacht will also feature two 158 square-meter lavish Owner’s suites, each with its own private whirlpool, modern craftsmanship and interior finishes jointly designed by The Ritz-Carlton and leading design firm Tillberg Design of Sweden. The onboard experience will reflect the sublime comfort and unparalleled level of individualized guest service for which the iconic Ritz-Carlton brand is recognized, with one of the highest staff to guest service ratios in the cruise industry.

    “The opening of reservations marks an exciting milestone for The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, which is set to redefine luxury at sea,” said Doug Prothero, CEO of The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection. “Whether you are looking for culture, adventure, or the chance to go off the beaten path, we are thrilled to be able to invite guests to explore the world with The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection.”

    Customers are also encouraged to visit the newly launched website for The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, which offers full details of itineraries, pricing, and onboard experiences. Guests can browse for voyages by region, departure date or ports of interest using the “Find a Cruise” feature, view suite and fare information, explore the yacht experience, and more. The website additionally features a downloadable digital brochure for The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, with engaging imagery and further itinerary information for the inaugural season.

     

    The news of The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection opens reservations follows an increase in hotel design firm’s being signed up to redesign major cruise liners, suggesting that holidays at seas are becoming ever-more popular.

    Profile image of Fiona Thompson

    Seven minutes with Fiona Thompson, Principal of Richmond International

    1024 471 Hamish Kilburn

    Hotel Designs editor Hamish Kilburn caught up with Richmond International’s award-winning designer, and this year’s headline speaker at Meet Up North, Fiona Thompson, to find out how technology is influencing modern hotel design…

    As we sit down to discuss what’s happened in the last three years, I am reminded of how much travelling is actually required to being the Principal of Richmond International. Fiona and her team are certainly clocking up the air miles, splitting their time mainly between London, LA, Boston and now Melbourne.

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

    Hamish Kilburn: So, Fiona, what’s new?

    Fiona Thompson: All sorts really, some of which we are allowed to tell you and some that we can’t just yet. We are scattered all over the world at the moment. For starters, we are working on new projects with Langham Hotel Group in both Boston and Melbourne, which has all come off the back of the work we completed in London and Chicago for the brand. We are also working right now with Rosewood Hotels in California on the Santa Barbra coast, which follows the work we have recently completed at the London West Hollywood. And of course, we are also working at Four Seasons Ten Trinity square, within the beautiful building to create high-end residential apartments.

    HK: As Principal, how involved actually are you in the projects?

    FT: We very purposefully stay the size that we are as a business because we do want to keep that involvement with the clients. We like to keep below 50 people. Once you go above that, you have to drive a lot of projects through the studio, which quite frankly we don’t want to do. That’s why we haven’t opened offices all over the world, because then the business is only as good as the person running that office. Also, if you take on too much then you can’t possibly stay in touch with all the projects. We run everything out of the studio here in London. The aim is about spending time and being involved in projects. I don’t want to be a business-only person. Could you imagine how dull that would be?!

    Light, airy living area with white wooden panels

    Image caption: London West Hollywood

    HK: Can you quite believe that we last spoke when you completed the Sterling Suite and the Club Lounge in The Langham London, nearly three years ago?

    FT: Gosh, I know. It was a really interesting project for us to work on. The idea of personalisation is where everything is going at the moment. People rent it [The Sterling Suite] out in such chunks of time that we never actually been back in properly since we completed the project when we last spoke.

    In all seriousness, though, the biggest change since we last spoke, I believe, is personalisation. Guests want their hotel room to be personal and special to them. I think the interest has been a huge driver in changing the way in which we design modern hotels.

    Even when I travel and I am looking for a hotel, the first thing I do is look up the area. If I’m there for just a few nights, I am more likely to stay in something that is half recognisable. But I think, after that point, when you have been there for a while, you can find such interesting hotels and there is a lot of information out there online. Put simply, people have more choice in where they stay. This has absolutely made the hotel groups rethink their offering right up to the design of the property.

    I think it’s really opened up the industry completely. The big brands are trying to make themselves more bespoke and relevant – and this is right down to the food. For example, no longer is there only a steak and Italian restaurant. From our perspective, everything is a lot more thoughtful.

    The Sterling Suite, Langham London

    Image credit: The Sterling Suite, Langham London

    HK: Our spotlight this month is technology, which can be a way of differentiating a hotel from the competition. However, high-tech hotels can also be considered as alienating. Where do you believe the balance lies?

    FT: Technology is great as long as it is not challenging the way in which consumers behave. Hotels took a lot from high-end residential, which was a lot of more forward than the hotel industry in regards to the level of technology you can put into a home compared to the capacity of hotels. 10 years ago, for example, you could control your house with a laptop. I think at this point there was a desire in our industry where because you could, hotels felt as if they should.

    The point is, though, hotel guests don’t want to learn how to open and close their curtains from a tablet device when they are only checked in for a night or two. Now it is much more important to include technology that is easy to use and also relevant. I think the biggest technology shift currently is seen in lighting. You can do so much more with lighting and it can change a space so significantly. That is a huge change that I believe will continue to evolve as it such an important element of the overall design.

    HK: Did you ever find it a challenge educating hotel brands on technology?

    FT: It is, and some hotel brands are better than others. I think once groups understand the consumer journey they start to understand why certain pieces of technology would not be relevant.

    HK: You recently spoke this year’s Clerkenwell Design Week. What are your thoughts on trends in hotel designs?

    FT: It’s so difficult. I don’t think hotels spend that much time on trends. Of course, we are influenced by them, but we don’t respond to them the same way as the fashion world does – or even the retail world does. This is because hotels take so long to realise, so you can’t really respond to trends other than shifts in culture. In hotels, you have to respond much more to the location and how society is shifting. The real trick is trying to think about how that’s going to look in the future.

    Light, airy and simple guestroom

    Image credit: Fairmont Barbados

    HK: One thing I noticed a few years ago was that feeling of ‘home-from-home’ within hotel design. How has that evolved?

    FT: I don’t want a home-from-home. I think people actually want something different. There was that time when we were told that guests want a home from home, and I don’t think people want that at all. I think consumers now want to walk into a hotel room and think ‘wow, that’s really thoughtful’. I believe it’s got to be something that is beyond the Instagramable moment and it has to look and feel more real. However, above all else, the hotel room must be easy to use; it has to be intuitive.

    HK: I remember attending a panel discussion of yours on hotel interiors. Out of interest, have your opinions changed on cushions in the guestroom?

    FT: Nope, throw them away. What’s that all about? [laughs] I don’t want them on the bed! Cushions in the lobby are fine, but not on the bed. No. Get rid of them! If that’s the only way you can add flair to a room then you have failed.

    Image of interiors of F&B areas

    Image credit: Ritz Carlton Astana

    HK: A little birdy tells me that you are working on designing the Interiors of a cruise ship. If location is your first reference when designing a hotel, where do you start in designing interiors of a ship that’s location is constantly changing?

    FT: This is so fascinating for me. The new P&O is a big ship and it is all guest-focused – and the interiors very much have to be added around how guests use the space. There is a huge change within cruise ship interior design. The star in the new ship that we are working on is the sea, which as far as I am aware has not been the case with any other ship.

    Now, in order to cater to younger demographics, cruise ships are trying to make the sea is a big part of the experience. This means making windows much larger and the relationship between inside and outside becoming more important. Cruise ships are trying to break away from that naff Vegas style, and are turning these ships into places that are more upscale and thought through. It is very different to hotels though. In hotels people leave for starters. Cruise ships really have to capture the attention of every guest as they can be at sea for as long as three months.

    The biggest challenge working in cruise ship interior design is the ceiling heights because you are working in large spaces that typically have very low ceilings. Therefore, you have to play all sorts of games as to how to make those spaces feel comfortable and airy. A great way to do that is through lighting.

    HK: Has working in cruise ships helped you when designing hotels?

    FT: I think it has, and it allows me to think about space in a different way. Although design has not perhaps been as seamless in the cruise ships as it is in hotels, I think it is ahead in other areas. There is a lot of integrated technology in cruise ships and also entertainment is a massive factor. It’s really interesting now seeing hotels thinking about that more.

    HK: Where’s next on your travel bucket list for pleasure?

    FT: Well I’m going to Norfolk next [laughs]… No in all seriousness, I really want to go to back to Australia, but I need to take a big chunk out which I haven’t managed to do recently. I grew up in Sydney, so I have a lot of fond memories.

    The Student Hotel fuels European expansion with five new properties in the pipeline

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    In five years, the hotel brand plans to open properties in Lisbon, Paris, Barcelona, Porto and a third hotel Florence…

    The Student Hotel (TSH) has unveiled plans to expand its European portfolio to 65 properties within the next five years. At the grand opening of TSH Florence Lavagnini, its first Italian hotel, the group confirmed five new site acquisitions, which include Lisbon, Paris, Barcelona, Porto, plus a third Florence location.

    TSH’s vision for an international Complete Connected Community of co-living and co-working students, leisure and long-stay professional guests, takes a monumental leap forward with Florence Lavagnini, its stunning new flagship, hybrid-hospitality concept.

    “Our fully flexible, hybrid model is the first to cater for the needs of hotel guests, students, entrepreneurs, young professionals and locals under one roof,” said Charlie MacGregor, TSH founder and CEO. “In five years we aim to have 65 locations secured across Europe, 26,000 rooms and close to one million square meters of shared space. Our new TSHLIFE app and digital platform will connect nearly a million current and former co-living and co-working guests.

    “We will continue to disrupt the industry and offer future generations a hybrid home away from home. We will always listen to them, to evolve and adapt our offering, which will ensure we grow a hospitality company that always has one foot in the future.”

    Located in the heart of the Tuscan capital, TSH Lavagnini is a €50 million regeneration of an historic palazzo, nicknamed The Sleepy Palace by locals. Contemporary design, inspired by the Memphis movement, sees classic architecture now boast modern twists, such as a supersized graffiti installation in the central courtyard, a rooftop “The Beach is Boring” pool, a skybar and two terraces with breathtaking vistas of the city, the Duomo, and the Tuscan hills.

    TSH Florence Lavagnini will soon be joined by four sister hotels:

    TSH Florence Manifattura Tabacchi
    Manifattura Tabacchi will be the third TSH project in Florence and its fifth in Italy. This development, part of the largest regeneration site in Tuscany spearheaded by AERMONT Capital and CDP Immobiliare, will create a new urban community outside of the historic city center.

    The former tobacco factory, near Piazza Puccini in the northwest of the city, will receive a €200m investment to create a 100,000-sq-meter complex with its own piazza covered by a transparent roof, that features a vibrant mix of food market, artisan shopping, co-working spaces, events and exhibition venues. TSH, along with international fashion and design institute Polimoda, are the first organizations signed-up to the project.

    TSH Florence Manifattura Tabacchi will have 318 rooms, communal spaces including lounge and games areas, rooftop pool, outside courtyard, restaurant, gym, study areas and bike rental. The 14,500-sq-meter site is due to open in 2021.

    TSH’s first Italian project, Florence Lavagnini, opened on 7 June 2018. The second Florence hotel, Belfiore, will open in 2020 with 652 rooms. Bologna will open with 361 rooms in 2019 and Rome in 2020 with 481 rooms. TSH plans to have more than 10 Italian properties open, in development or secured by 2023.

    TSH in Portugal
    TSH will land in Portugal with two locations. The group’s first beachside property is located in Carcavelos, opposite the new Nova Business School campus and directly on the seafront of Portugal’s best surf spot at Carcavelos, just 15-minutes from Lisbon.

    The area is booming with start-ups and incubators that will soon be home to a large business center and new Google offices. The 435-room hotel will be developed in partnership between TSH and Stone Capital and opens in 2021. It will house a large TSH Collab co-working area, rooftop pools, extensive terraces and open spaces, sport and yoga studios, and a restaurant.

    The group has also secured an amazing city center location In Porto where it will open with 300 rooms in 2020.

    Expansion of TSH in Paris and Barcelona
    TSH is close to securing sites for a second location in Paris, a 300-room hotel within the Peripherique that is expected to open in 2020.

    A new location is also planned for Barcelona, a 300-room property with 3,000-sq-meters of Collab co-working space. It will be the second new TSH in Spain (Madrid opens in 2019). They complement two TSH Campus-branded, student-only residences in Barcelona at Marina and Poble Sec.

    Light, modern newly unveiled guestrooms

    St. James’ Court, A Taj Hotel, unveils renovated premium guestrooms

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    Following a nine-month refurbishment, the renovated areas boast a blend of heritage and contemporaneity design…

    St James’ Court in Westminster, operated by Taj hotels, has officially launched its newly renovated guestrooms at the Almoners Townhouse, as part of a multi-million pound refurbishment.

    In accordance with the hotel’s commitment to ‘reinventing tradition’, the renovation complements the “English Classics, Reinvented” series, which gives literary classics a new lease of life as Taj partners with contemporary British artists to create a selection of limited edition covers for UK’s best loved tales.

    The award-winning hospitality and residential architects and interior designers, Dexter Moren Associates, alongside interior design consultant Sue Freeman, are carrying out the entirety of the project, working to create an equilibrium between the historic design features and a fresh contemporary finish.

    Embodying the magnetism of the unique location, the new premium guestrooms have been infused with the modern influence of present-day London, yet maintaining comfort and convenience, rooted in the hotel’s legacy, providing guests with a welcoming retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city.

    Among the spaces seeing that have recently completed are the guestrooms located in Almoners townhouse. Following a nine-month refurbishment, the renovated areas boast the perfect blend of heritage and contemporaneity; Taj’s historic design features marry with a bold, contemporary finish, reminiscent of a modern townhouse. The use of pale hues accentuates the abundance of natural light, giving the new rooms and suites a bright and airy feel that ultimately creates a light and welcoming environment.

    The areas boast ample space and a variety of earthy and soothing colour pallets which draw inspiration from the surrounding meandering cityscape, evident in the decorative bespoke maps that are suspended throughout.

    Neutral tones and cleverly-crafted light installations provide the entrance lobby and hall with a sophisticated appeal, resembling an archetypal arcade. Showcasing simple paneling, elegant edges and steady trimmings, these rooms are quintessential gateways to the luxurious offerings synonymous with St. James’ Court.

    “Since opening its doors in 1902, St. James’ Court, A Taj Hotel has symbolised union between Taj’s Indian heritage and timeless British pedigree,” comments the UK Area Director and General Manager, Digvijay Singh. “Hosting more than a 100,000 travellers every year, the renovation marks an exciting new era for the hotel by boosting its offerings to serve the ever evolving needs of the modern traveller”.

    The renovation will also see the opening of new spa facilities in August 2018.

    Mandarin Kensington Fire: Hotel issues statement

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    Just one week after completing “the most extensive restoration in its 115-year history”, the Mandarin Oriental London yesterday suffered a devastating blow when a fire broke out on the top floor…

    The Mandarin Oriental has made a comment after a fire broke out yesterday afternoon.

    “Plumes of smoke were seen rising from the five-star Mandarin Oriental in Knightsbridge just before 16:00 BST,” reported the BBC. Among the guests that were evacuated from the burning building was singer Robbie Williams who described the drama to the BBC: “I went on the balcony and looked up and there was just billows and billows of smoke.

    “I came back in from the balcony and said, ‘The hotel’s on fire,’ and then the next thing a knock at the door came and there was a bellboy there and they said, ‘Get out’.”

    The fire was believed to have spread across a vertical façade of plants and vegetation and into several floors of the hotel but was quickly extinguished, as reported by FT.

    It happens after the hotel last week announced that its recently completed renovation, overseen by internationally renowned designers Joyce Wang and Adam D. Tihany was to confirm this historic hotel’s position as one of the best in the world.

    In a recent press release from the hotel brand, the renovation was described to have given all 181 guestrooms and suites a more luxurious and comfortable feel than ever before. The designers took inspiration from art deco and included carefully curated artworks, and custom-designed furniture. The hotel had also installed a green living wall which surrounds the inner courtyard.

    Since the fire broke out, the hotel has made a comment: “We would like to express our appreciation to everyone who has conveyed their concern about this sad incident.

    “It is too early at the present stage to assess the full extent of the damage. A full investigation is under way and will take time to complete.”

     

    Our thoughts are with the hotel and the Mandarin Oriental brand at this time.

    Image credit: Twitter @Watersun555

     

    rooftop views over Edinburgh

    Renovated bank headquarters in Edinburgh opens as five-star hotel

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    The five-star The Edinburgh Grand opens in the heart of the city’s vibrant St Andrew Square in the former RBS Building…

    Two years in the making, The Edinburgh Grand has opened its doors for the first since it was closed 2007, successfully converting the headquarters of a bank into a five-star hotel.

    The hotel opens with the aim to redefine luxury accommodation in the area, offering 50 individually designed, fully-equipped apartments as well as a selection of restaurants and bars.

    “Every detail has been carefully considered – from the beautiful art deco inspired interiors celebrating the building’s amazing heritage, to the cutting-edge technology in each of the apartments, said general manager of Lateral City Apartments, which will operate The Edinburgh Grand, Gavin MacLennan. “The Edinburgh Grand is the ultimate home from home, and we know it will surpass every expectation.”

    The venture is part of Chris Stewart Group’s ambitious Registers development, a regeneration and redevelopment project which is set to transform one corner of the prestigious St Andrew Square. Karen Brown, head of interior design at CSG led the project though the entire renovation.

    Door half open into guestroom

    Luxury apartments cater to needs of modern guests

    Old meets new as guests’ needs have been put at the forefront of the distinctive design with original features artfully woven together with contemporary interior design. Authentic features, including original dark wood panelling, fireplaces, brass door handles and decorative cornicing, create a sleek and timeless design.

    From the uniquely configured Grand Studios to the city’s most exclusive suite, the three-bedroom, rooftop Penthouse boasts unmatched 360° panoramic views over the cityscape.

    Each residence is equipped with smart televisions, Bose sound systems and intelligent heating controls and a fully fitted top of the range kitchen. Bathrooms feature drench showers and oversized baths in addition to luxury amenities.

    Large open living areaThe Edinburgh Grand is also home to The Register Club, which occupies the west wing of the fourth floor. The champagne and cocktail club run by The Bon Vivant promises to be one of the city’s most elegant and sought-after venues.

    Following the opening, in July the award-winning steak restaurant and cocktail bar, Hawksmoor, will open its first Edinburgh offering with 170 covers in the former banking hall on the ground floor. The Bon Vivant team will also launch a continental café and aperitif cocktail bar with a late-night basement hangout tucked into the former banking vaults below. Sitting proudly in its place on St Andrew Square, and showcasing the best of interior design, impeccable service and local food and drink, The Edinburgh Grand is set to become the most sought-after hotel booking and table reservation in the city.

    Suite with stunning sea view

    Caribbean: Eden Rock – St Barths on track for December reopening

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    The hotel is undergoing an extensive renovation and restructuring, following the impact of Hurricane Irma in September 2017…

    Eden Rock – St Barths, the Caribbean legend in the prestigious Oetker Collection, has announced that it will reopen its doors on 22 December 2018 after an extensive renovation and restructuring following the impact of Hurricane Irma last year.

    While the majority of the Caribbean (nearly 70 per cent) was not damaged by Hurricane Irma and Maria, islands such as St Barths unfortunately were. Despite this, St Barths has been announced as ‘open’ since November last year, and the reopening of Eden Rock is a small yet significant milestone to amplify the island as a unique Caribbean hotspot once more.

    Owner of Eden Rock – St Barths Jane Matthews has been central within the redesign, working with firms such as Martin Brudnizki Design Studio (MBDS) London, Mercure Engineering & Consulting Paris, Architectonik St Barths and Eden Rock Design. The collaborative group has redesigned and refurbished the entire property with a fresh look and feel, while preserving the heritage and incomparable atmosphere for which Eden Rock is loved.

    Throughout the rebuilding process, Fabrice Moizan, General Manager demonstrated the work-rate and optimism that have long been associated with Eden Rock: “We sought an opportunity following a disaster,” said Moizan. We took a different perspective on the situation and now Eden Rock – St Barths is coming back stronger and better than before. Both the hotel and the team are completely refreshed, full of energy and ready to rock and roll!”

    The design brief was to create an even more laidback Eden Rock style. All rooms, suites and villas have been renovated, and an additional two suites with spacious private pools have been added ahead of a further three brand new suites to be revealed on the very top of the rock in 2019. The hands-on Matthews has also expanded her art collection within the property, and takes pleasure in introducing guests to wonderful new talent via the New York Academy of Art.

    MBDS will be redesigning the famous Villa Rockstar, Villa Nina and the resort’s restaurants. The new buildings will retain St Barths character with its relaxed beach style. The Sand Bar, for example, has been transformed to bring the outdoor indoors and remains culinary heart of the hotel.

    The new Rémy Room and Bar is named after Eden Rock’s original owner, paying tribute to his pioneering spirit. A casual beach bar has been added, as well as a new sun deck with shaded loungers.

    The reopening of Eden Rock – St Barths is another example showing that the Caribbean is very much open for business.

    Large and quirky public area

    Award-winning Naumi Auckland unveils exclusive art collection

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

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

    Large lobby area with gold wall

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

    Close up of the tactile wall in the lobby

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

    Modern dark-lit guestroom

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

    Hotel Summit becomes another sell-out event

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    With less than a month to go until the 20th anniversary of Hotel Summit, we are pleased to announce that it will be another sell-out event…

    The Hotel Summit will take place on June 4 to 5, 2018, at the Radisson Blu Hotel, London Stansted.

    Headline partner –
    Simba Sleep Limited

    Gold partners –
    Salto SystemsChroma FlooringQCRWandsworth GroupCentrica Business SolutionsPortable FloormakerDysonB Light GroupVoguePulsarAnchor Hospitality Logistics, ISS Facility Services, and Project Blinds.

    Silver partners –
    CrosswaterBirchall TeaDelabieJames AlexanderHeritage BathroomsTarkett FlooringADI Trading, Sue Whimster, Cassellie LTD, Viridor, Simon Jersey, 7 Formation, Dr Cost, Wanzl and Airwave.

    Drinks reception partner –
    Trviago

    Over the course of the two days, attendees can enjoy interactive seminars and networking opportunities, while taking part in one-to-one business meetings.

    If you are a hotelier and would like to attend the 20th anniversary of the Hotel Summit there are still limited spaces available on first serve basis.

    For more information and what to expect from the two-day event click here

    Remote control activating the actuator plate

    Bathroom specialist Duravit launches installation frames with matching actuator plates

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    The bathroom should be comfortable, relaxing, and stylish, particularly as it is estimated we spend around three years of our lives in this room.

    To make the bathroom as aesthetically appealing as possible, functional components are often invisible. The innovative technology concealed within the assembly units of toilets and washbasins is essential in ensuring the perfect interaction with products installed in front of the wall.

    With DuraSystem®, Duravit offers convenient additional features for the bathroom. The new DuraSystem® is available for the toilet, urinal, washbasin, and bidet. In front of the wall, the sophisticated system uses actuator plates that are appealing to both the sense of sight and touch. Behind the wall, it guarantees a simple and perfect installation and solves many technical challenges. Whether for a new build, or a conversion, dry or wet installation, DuraSystem® is suitable for any installation type.

    The actuator plates come in an electronic and mechanical version. Both feature the clear geometry that characterizes the stylish design of Duravit products.

    Toilet featuring the DuraSystem

    The electronic A2 toilet actuator plates, made from white glass, are surface-mounted. Their contemporary, timeless design enriches the bathroom and increases its users’ comfort. An infrared approaching sensor activates the illumination of the symbols when they detect movement close by. The remote control supplied enables the many convenient functions to be set and adjusted as required: integrated hygienic flush, auto flush, nightlight, cleaning function, emergency power supply, and the particularly quiet and effective odour extraction as an extra feature.

    The remote control supplied enables the many convenient functions of the A2 actuator plate to be set and adjusted as required
    cleaning function, emergency power supply, and the particularly quiet and effective odour extraction as an extra feature.

    The mechanical A1 toilet actuator plate is made from white plastic or chrome high gloss and can be flush mounted. It is also available in white glass. The standard toilet frame and toilet frame for wet installation can also be upgraded retrospectively with a hygienic flush function.

    With DuraSystem® the installation frames are compatible with Duravit’s new rimless WC’s and SensoWash® shower-toilets. As all components are supplied from a single source, DuraSystem® also ensures a perfect fit with all other Duravit products. In addition, DuraSystem® also offers solutions for the washbasin, urinal and bidet.

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

     

    Signbox shares its tips for architectural hotel signage

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    Sponsored by Signbox

    The hospitality sector is the place where architectural signage truly comes to life. The impression guests receive when they first arrive at your hotel and step inside can make or break their experience and determine the success of your business. Architectural sign company Signbox lists the top ten architectural sign solutions for the hotel industry.

    We’ve spent 30 years conceiving remarkable signage solutions that have inspired, motivated and empowered our clients around the world. We put it down to an innate creative energy that our team embraces every day and channels it into iconic, intelligent sign schemes that bring buildings to life.

    Welcome to a world of signs to take your breath away.


     Top 10 architectural sign solutions for the hotel industry:

    1. External brand signs

    The sky is the limit when it comes to exterior signage – projecting or post-mounted fabricated letter signs, with various finishes to complement your building and brand, high-elevated letters and LED illumination are just a few of options. Go for a bespoke architectural sign that will create a remarkable first impression.

    2. External wayfinding

    Powerful exterior wayfinding signage will welcome your guests and direct them within unfamiliar surroundings, informing them that they arrived at the correct destination. Signbox’s full range of exterior signage solutions includes directional signs, directory signs, landmark signs and entrance signs and, whether illuminated or otherwise, all are designed to be low maintenance, durable and complement their environment perfectly.

    3. Internal reception signs

    Upon arrival your guests first interaction is at reception – an inviting lobby where the guests feel welcomed and a reception sign, designed on brand and manufactured to high standards will convince your guests that they will be well looked after.

    4. Internal wayfinding

    Use wayfinding signs to help your guests find what they need with ease, feeling safe, informed and engaged. From the elegant and easy to install off-the-shelf Signkit collection of signage components to bespoke architectural signs that are designed to inspire and captivate, Signbox pushes the boundaries of sign design and creativity.

    5. Meeting room signs

    If you have meeting rooms you need appropriate signage to direct multiple users efficiently – take the signage to the next level and use a sign that shows the occupancy status. Signbox has an eye- catching solution for you – Project Lumos can incorporate an RGB switchable LED from red to green or white to signal that a room is ‘engaged’ or ‘vacant’.

    6. Manifestation for glazing

    Glass manifestation is one of the best solutions for privacy, safety and branded visual impact. It’s mandatory to avoid accidents, but can also be a great way to enhance the environment using CAD cut designs or digitally printed graphics. If you have a meeting room with large windows, make sure they are part-covered to ensure privacy.   

    7. Digital wallpaper

    Vibrant environmental graphics will exude quality and deliver an amazing guest experience. Digitally printed wallpaper also reveals your style –  luxury, modern and contemporary, traditional or boutique hotel.

    8. Hotel room signs

    The secret of an effective room identification signage scheme invariably lies in its simplicity. Signbox guestroom signs are manufactured using a wide range of materials, including timber, metals and contemporary glass/acrylic. They are designed to be elegant and beautiful, yet robust, tamper proof and low maintenance. Project Lumos signs are another sought after solution because they are attractive, colourful and visible in low lit corridors.

    9. Statutory signs

    Statutory signs such as safety, fire safety, hazard and warning signs are fundamental to the safety of your guests and employees. They should be located at strategic points and include prohibition, warning, fire action, mandatory and escape signage elements. Signbox designs and manufactures a range of high quality fire and safety signs that comply with all current regulations.

    10. Wall art

    There is no rule for all when it comes to wall art. Tell us what you want to display and we will translate your 2D vision into a 3D reality. We’ve spent 30 years conceiving remarkable signage solutions that have inspired, motivated and empowered our clients around the world. We put it down to an innate creative energy that our team embraces every day and channels it into iconic, intelligent sign schemes that bring buildings to life. Welcome to a world of signs to take your breath away.

    Contact: 01784 438688, signbox.co.uk

    Radisson Red Glasgow casting day proves a success

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    Radisson Red Glasgow has received a number of applications to attend its casting day earlier this week, with 1,600 showing interest in the positions available.

    Scheduled to open in spring 2018, the Radisson Red marks the first Red hotel to open in the UK and is looking to employ around 80 people in total.

    The call went out in December last year, inviting anyone looking for a new challenge in 2018 to apply for a place on the casting day held at The Lighthouse on January 22. Alongside their CV, applicants were asked for a video clip, selfie or Instagram link.

    Encouraged to be conscious, courageous, captivating and versatile, successful candidates will be able to take the lead, be part of a team and create a spark with everything they do.

    “We were blown away with the response to our Casting Day. 1,600 applications is an amazing number. It really reinforced in our minds that Glasgow was the right location for the first Radisson RED hotel in the UK. This city is brimming with creativity, style and ambition, and we can’t wait to be a part of it,” said Michael Weston, curator of the hotel.

    “The candidates who attended had a great connection with the brand, and really embraced the spirit of the day and it was great to get to know so many of them.

    “We want Red brand ambassadors who connect with the world around them. We want our team of creatives to be socially aware and able to make genuine friendships with our guests. We encourage laughter, playfulness and even a little mischief with guests that will drive them to come back again and again. At Red personality is the most important part – we can show you the rest.”

     

    Bradbury Group shares its top tips for hotel fire safety

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    Every hotel must ensure it has a proper fire safety procedure in place, to ensure guests and staff are safe in the event of a fire.

    Whether that is having a clear evacuation plan or training staff in preparation of a fire, hotel owners must make sure all aspects are covered.

    To help with this, Bradbury Group has listed its four fire safety tips that all hotels should follow. Click here to read on.

    How to bring nature-inspired designs into your hotel

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    Duncan Neil, creative director at Earthed by William Clark, shares his expert opinion on how to utilise nature-inspired design to create best results in the hospitality industry.

    Creating a welcoming and memorable experience in the hospitality industry is vital and the natural world holds a wonder of unique colours, patterns and materials that can inject life into interior spaces.

    Hallways and entrances

    A spacious entrance with lots of natural light grabs the guest’s attention as soon as they set foot into the venue. The space should have clean lines and a neutral colour palette to create a fresh feeling no matter what time of day or season. The use of large green plants can also help achieve this. Adding greenery in any form to hotel hallways will maintain an air of freshness around the premises and bring a sense of rejuvenation.

    Restaurants

    It’s important to create a comfortable restaurant area to promote a relaxed dining experience. Red, yellow and green palettes are the most common colours found within food and naturally complement our eating experience. Eating is a basic primal function, so using earthy natural materials, such as natural woods, cottons and linen, can synchronise experience and our primal needs.

    In this busy environment pattern can be used to add character and depth, potentially through furniture, upholstery or soft furnishings. Patterns inspired by nature are ideal for hotels as they create calming environments when soft flowing patterns are used, but can also be perfect to add bursts of excitement and vibrancy when sharp bold designs are used. Our collections utilise a mix of elements found within the natural world, from the soft flow of water to the sharp lines of minerals found in the earth’s surface.

    Bedrooms

    The guest room is arguably the most important area to get right as this will have an effect on how well a guest rests. A spacious room incorporating neutral tones really helps to create a relaxed and calm atmosphere. However stronger colour schemes are more atmospheric and can make a real statement.

    The best colour palettes to experiment with in bedrooms are greens and blues. Greens have clear links with nature, one of the most peaceful influences to bring into the bedroom. While blue tones are traditionally linked to harmony and calm, which will help guests to have a restful sleep. Our debut collection, The Upperlands incorporates these colours and tones, with fabrics that have an earthy, calming effect. Incorporating quality fabrics also enable depth and texture to be added to a room, either by print or structured textiles.

    Additionally, it has been proven that headboards aid a better night’s sleep, therefore should always be present – they are also an ideal opportunity to add personality and colour.

    There is no rule book when utilising our natural world in interiors, so it’s important to be playful and have some fun experimenting to see what works for your hotel and your guests.

    Embassy Suites by Hilton New York celebrates grand opening

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    Buccini/Pollin Group (BPG), Hidrock Properties and Hilton Hotels & Resorts has announced the opening of the new 310-room Embassy Suites by Hilton New York in Midtown Manhattan.

    BPGS Construction oversaw the entitlement and construction of the project, while PM Hotel Group performed technical services during programming, design and construction and manages the hotel.

    Campion Platt Interiors was selected to design the hotel’s public areas, while HVS Design was responsible for the guest suite and corridor designs, and PPA provided the architectural plans.

    “BPG believes that if we hired a typical commercial hotel designer, we would get a typical commercial hotel design,” said Dave Pollin, co-founder of BPG.

    “Many travellers today can’t tell the difference between a hotel located in Cleveland or one in Canberra due to ‘generic hotel aesthetic blur’. We hired Campion Platt to set the tone and lead the design team due to his New York experience and sensibilities; they were apparent at our very first meeting. Campion grasps the city at its DNA level, including a deep historical understanding of the Garment District.”

    Based at the crossroads of New York City, the 39-storey building boasts a glass façade and is a quick walk to Times Square, the Empire State Building and 5th Avenue.

    Plus, each of the hotel’s studio suites feature Wi-Fi, two 42-inch HDTVs, a spacious work area, mini fridge, microwave and a coffeemaker.

    SkyLawn, the hotel’s outdoor venue can host events for up to 300 people, while the Heist Bar & Lounge celebrates the greatest jewel heists in history through inventive cocktails while paying homage to New York’s famed Diamond District.

    Jonathan Tuckey Design to plan new floor in Berlin’s Michelberger hotel

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    Jonathan Tuckey Design has been appointed to build an extra floor for the Michelberger hotel in Berlin.

    The creation of an additional floor provides the opportunity to offer more space to even more guests, plus the new aesthetic ties in with the design approach across the hotel, where every inch is used, creating practical, warm and spatially interesting rooms.

    “We are incredibly lucky to have been appointed for our first hotel project by the team at the Michelberger,” said practice director, Jonathan Tuckey.

    “This hotel is built around a creative community and so the social experience is paramount. We feel that by taking aspects of the city and building them into the fabric of the interiors we can create a series of spaces that can be enjoyed and shared by the guests, both new and returning customers.”

    Jonathan Tuckey Design will celebrate the original features of the building, which dates back to 1903, and will boast open floor plates, large windows and beams traversing the full width of the ceiling.

    Meanwhile, communal walkways provide access to the rooms but also act as social spaces where guests might bump into one another, just as they would in the city.

    Azar Kazimir, creative director at Michelberger, added: “In researching for this project, Jonathan’s work leapt out at us with his ability to create simple, almost minimalist spaces but ones which are full of warmth, charm and humility.

    “That is a rare thing to find! He has a wonderful sensitivity to working with light and natural materials and has great ability in working with existing buildings and adding to them to create something beautifully new.”

    Work on the new floor and its rooms is slated to start in early 2018, while the new floor will open in the summer.

    W Hotels expands to Osaka

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    W Hotels Worldwide, part of Marriott International, has announced the development of W Osaka in Japan.

    Set across 27 floors, the new hotel is expected to open in 2021 and will boast 337 guestrooms and suites, restaurants and cocktail bars.

    Under an hour away from Kansai International Airport, W Osaka will be based within the indie boutiques and restaurants of the city.

    “In 2020, Japan will capture the global spotlight, welcoming nations from around the world to the country on a grand scale for the 2020 games. This is a great build up to the launch of the first-ever W in Japan,” said Anthony Ingham, global brand leader for W Hotels Worldwide.

    “W is always bringing its new/next vision and bold approach to new destinations, especially cities as vibrant and energetic as Osaka. We are confident W Osaka will add even more energy and excitement to this already action-packed year in Japan.”

    Inside, guests will also be able to maintain their health and fitness with the Away Spa and fitness centre.

    Isami Wada, chairman of Sekisui House, added: “We are excited to add yet another Marriott International property to our portfolio and even more thrilled to be introducing a brand as daring as W to the country.

    “It will be an exciting year for Japan, and the W brand will surely offer limitless experiences to those visiting from all corners of the world.”

    The new opening joins more than 50 W Hotels currently open globally, including the W Shanghai – The Bund, W Suzhou, W Bellevue and W Goa, as well as the soon-to-open W Panama, W Amman and W Brisbane.

    New Novotel hotel opens for Stansted travellers

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    Arora Hotels and AccorHotels have revealed the completion of a multi-million pound refurbishment to transition Arora Hotels’ Stansted hotel to the Novotel brand.

    The new hotel boasts restaurants, bars, meeting and event spaces, as well as 250 bedrooms for guests to stay in.

    “We’re delighted to unveil our newly refurbished hotel and to bring the highly regarded Novotel brand to Stansted,” said Surinder Arora, founder and chairman of the Arora Group.

    “Our ongoing investment into the hotel ensures that we continue to offer guests the very best quality facilities.”

    The development marks the third partnership between Arora Group and AccorHotels, plus the group also manages and operates Sofitel London Gatwick and Sofitel London Heathrow.

    Located within the airport perimeter, the hotel is minutes away from the terminal and 30 minutes from central London via train.

    Paul Muscroft, general manager of Novotel London Stansted Airport, added: “The refurbishment includes a fantastic upgrade to our meetings product, which includes eight purpose-built fully equipped meetings rooms with a capacity for up to 250 people, theatre-style.

    “In addition, our dedicated team of in-house specialists are on hand to advise, organise, and help you plan your meeting every step of the way.”

    Skamania Lodge bolsters tree house offering

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    The Columbia River Gorge’s iconic Skamania Lodge, A Destination Hotel, has debuted its second pair of tree houses.

    Boasting an extra sleeping area and queen bed, the new houses overlook the Gorge and Skamania Lodge’s golf course.

    Like the previous two tree houses, these are situated in the Douglas Firs of the Columbia River Gorge and have been placed higher, sitting twice as high at about 30 feet.

    “We’re thrilled at the way our first two tree houses turned out,” said Ken Daugherty, general manager at Skamania Lodge. “They became so popular, we wanted to be able to provide our guests with additional options to truly have that quintessential Columbia River Gorge experience.”

    Each of the houses also feature an additional nook space with a bed and large windows, meaning couples and families can enjoy the space.

    Plus, an outdoor fire pit has been placed in each house, as well as an indoor-outdoor fireplace.

    In line with the first two tree houses, design elements were once again inspired from the idea of a creative childhood, with carefree days and playing outdoors.

    Guests are also a short walk away from all of the lodge’s offerings, including hiking trails, dining facilities, the Waterleaf Spa and more.