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Independent Hotel Show

Hamish Kilburn, Marie Soliman, Tom Middleton and Mark Bruce on stage at Independent Hotel Show

Show review: Independent Hotel Show 2021

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Show review: Independent Hotel Show 2021

Following 18 months of uncertainty, the Independent Hotel Show 2021 did what it does best; it brought people back together to re-connect, re-think and re-consider what the future for the indy hotel looks like. Editor Hamish Kilburn, speaker at the show, was there to soak it all in…

Hamish Kilburn, Marie Soliman, Tom Middleton and Mark Bruce on stage at Independent Hotel Show

Leading figures on the UK independent hospitality scene emerged from their bunkers this week to attend the Independent Hotel Show 2021. Exhibitors and visitors alike were not quite sure what to expect when they entered the doors of Olympia London after a year of empty lobbies followed by the double-blow of staff shortages in the wake of Brexit. But once in the hall, with natural Autumn light flooding into the arena, familiar and friendly faces started to appear and harmony was restored.

The highly anticipated show, which like all trade events last year was forced to find virtual alternative routes to keep the industry reconnected during lockdown, was on a mission this year, it seemed, to cut through the noise in order to shelter meaningful conversations that packed a punch and allowed the live audience (a novelty that no moderator took for granted) to explore topics from a slightly different perspective.

Among the 200 carefully curated hotel suppliers at the event, there were a number of exciting new launches on the show floor including a range of innovative technology services.

Clockwork Marketing unveiled its new DIY marketing suite GuestNet; eviivo announced a number of new digital partners, expanding the platform’s range of bespoke offerings for hoteliers; FCS announced the European launch of its latest application FCS1 – an all-in-one web and mobile solution that elevates the way hotels can run operations, and TigerTMS launched iPortal – an affordable, app-less solution which provides branded hotel information, services and guest engagement by scanning a QR-code.

The event also hosted the UK debut of the Cloudbeds Hospitality Platform, which offers independent hoteliers greater efficiencies in bookings, payments and accounting, channel management, marketing and more.

Innovation on display

The Innovation Stage, in partnership with eviivo and dressed by sofa.com, was elevated by an eight-metre-wide mural created especially by art studio Aster Muro, highlighting a continued commitment to integrating art and design into the fabric of the event.

The Innovation Stage’s extensive seminar programme saw packed sessions across the two days of the show and covered subjects including the evolution of sensory hotel design, the effective use of customer data, tackling recruitment and retention challenges and much more.

Hotel Designs’ first panel discussion on sensory design, with interior designer Marie Soliman, architect Mark Bruce and sound expert Tom Middleton, struck a chord with hoteliers who used the session to understand how they could set themselves aside from other hotels by taking a three-dimensional look at their design and hospitality in one. What made the topic particularly exciting was that the panel themselves were currently in early stages of using new sensory ways to elevate guest experience in the hotel projects they are working on.

Hamish Kilburn, Marie Soliman, Tom Middleton and Mark Bruce on stage at Independent Hotel Show

Image credit: Independent Hotel Show

Gareth Banner, Managing Director of The Ned and panellist on ‘The Membership Model: Creating A Lifestyle Brand session, commented: “It’s great to be back at a live event after so long. When you’re in the hospitality business there’s no substitute for being with people, whether that’s customers, vendors or industry colleagues, and it’s very encouraging to see such good numbers here.”

The show’s Social Business Space, designed by Aorta, hosted a number of campfire-style sessions during the event, allowing guests to network with and learn from their peers in an intimate, informal and productive environment and covering topics such as hotel marketing, staffing challenges, kickstarting city hotels and retaining domestic tourists.

Peter Hancock FIH MI, outgoing Pride of Britain Hotels Chief Executive and Independent Hotel Show Ambassador, commented: “Such a delight to find the Independent Hotel Show back in business after our prolonged period of forced hibernation. I’m thrilled by how many people have come here and how excited they are about mixing with other hoteliers, learning from each other and learning from the experts that we’ve brought into the show.”  

Celebrating success

Monday October 4 ended with a joyous industry celebration, as guests celebrated the return of face-to-face events and the reconnection of the hotel community. The evening’s festivities kicked off with the celebration of the Good Hotel Guide’s ten Cesar Award winners. The Independent Hotel Show Awards were announced, with Joanne Taylor-Stagg FIH MI, General Manager of The Athenaeum Hotel & Residences securing Independent Hotelier and Anna Sirba, Operations Manager at Salcombe Harbour Hotel, awarded GM of the Future, in partnership with The Master Innholders.

Juris Dubrovskis, Executive Housekeeper at The Athenaeum Hotel & Residences, was additionally named ‘One to Watch’ by the judges, for his ‘tenacity, drive and passion for hospitality’. The evening concluded with a surprise additional award for industry veteran Peter Hancock, as he was given Outstanding Contribution for his lifetime’s work in the hospitality industry.

The morning of Tuesday October 5 saw The Power Breakfast hosted by Freemotion from iFIT, an exclusive morning session which welcomed independent hoteliers to hear renowned restaurant critics Fay Maschler and David Ellis discuss what goes into creating an exceptional hotel restaurant experience and taking a deep dive into modern restaurant trends and challenges.

Serena von der Heyde, Owner of Georgian House Hotel & Victoria House Hotel, commented: “I loved the show. I thought the panel discussions were the best and most relevant that they’ve ever been. The Power Breakfast discussion was brilliant – informative and funny. Missing a year has reinforced my belief that the Independent Hotel Show is the most important event in my calendar.”

Seminar at Independent Hotel Show

Image credit: Independent Hotel Show

Both the Social Business Space and The Suite were designed by Aorta, led by Managing Director Frida Rush, with both spaces featuring salvaged architectural materials, bespoke furniture and unique interior finishes, enveloped by the grand industrial presence of Olympia London.

During the event, organiser Montgomery Group announced the launch of new digital platform IH Connects, a free resource for hoteliers to source new suppliers and keep up to date with industry thought leadership, webinars, research and more. The platform will host on-demand seminar content from the two days of the show and will continue to host innovative sessions and vital industry debates throughout the year.

The Independent Hotel Show will return to Olympia London on October 4 – 5 2022 for its 10th edition.

Main image credit: Independent Hotel Show

Independent Hotel Show Awards 2021

Independent Hotel Show Awards 2021 – and the winners are…

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Independent Hotel Show Awards 2021 – and the winners are…

The winners have been announced for the 2021 Independent Hotel Show Awards, which took place on the first evening of the show that was held at Olympia London…

Independent Hotel Show Awards 2021

On October 4, the industry gathered at Olympia London to experience this year’s highly anticipated Independent Hotel Show Awards, which for many reasons, was about celebrating UK hospitality’s true leaders and visionaries.

Joanne Taylor-Stagg FIH MI, General Manager of The Athenaeum Hotel & Residences secured Independent Hotelier, while Anna Sirba, Operations Manager at Salcombe Harbour Hotel, was awarded GM of the Future, in partnership with The Master Innholders. Juris Dubrovskis, Executive Housekeeper at The Athenaeum Hotel & Residences, was additionally named ‘One to Watch’ by the judges, for his ‘tenacity, drive and passion for hospitality’.

The judges for both awards were some of the industry’s most respected hoteliers and hospitality professionals hailing from iconic independent hotels and vital industry institutions.

Taylor-Stagg has overseen multi-million-pound refurbishments, worked on acquisitions and refinancing deals and has a passion for progressing and nurturing young talent. She played a pivotal role in setting up the inaugural IHG Academy helping the young and long-term unemployed return to work and recently worked with Dr Hilary Cooke to create Master Innholders Developing Additional Skills (MIDAS) in response to the exodus of young talent from the industry due to Covid-19.

She commented: “I’m very proud, not only of our achievements but of everything that the industry has done through the most challenging of times. Thank you very much for this, but I would like to share it with all my fellow nominees.”

Sirba has successfully taken part in two luxury hotel pre-opening projects, is a Member of the Institute of Hospitality and a Certified Associate member of HOSPA, and commented: “I’m extremely honoured, I still can’t believe it, I can’t thank my team enough for supporting me. It’s been really tough but also amazing and without my team I wouldn’t be here – thank you very much!”

David Morgan-Hewitt FIH MI, awards judge and Chairman of the Master Innholders, said: “The GM of the Future Award was created by The Master Innholders to champion the next generation of hotel leaders and is designed to celebrate those who go the ‘extra mile’ to demonstrate their commitment to becoming a future leader.

“Anna and Juris both embody these qualities and share a great passion for the hotel industry. On behalf of The Master Innholders I congratulate them on their awards and extend a well done to all finalists who demonstrated such a high standard of entry.”

Elena Attanasio, Event Director for the Independent Hotel Show, presented by James Hallam, commented: “Huge congratulations to our 2021 award winners. This year’s event is a vital celebration and chance to reconnect as a hospitality community. Both Joanne and Anna have demonstrated their passion for this fantastic industry and are hugely deserving of these accolades.”

Outstanding contribution

A surprise addition to the evening’s accolades was an Outstanding Contribution award for long-standing Independent Hotel Show Ambassador and industry veteran Peter Hancock FIH MI, outgoing CEO of Pride of Britain Hotels.

David Noble, Managing Director – Hospitality and Leisure at James Hallam, announced the award, saying: “This is an award given to a person to reflect their contribution to the hotel sector. It isn’t given every year, but this year there is one person that deserves special recognition.

“Our winner was made an honorary Master Innholder in 2014, something I know he holds dear to his heart. He is also an honorary St Julian scholar, a brilliant Ronnie Corbett impersonator, a Freeman of the City of London and the list goes on.

“He is a wonderful human being, and his sparkle will leave a legacy in the hotel sector for many years to come. It is my great pleasure to introduce you to the winner of the Outstanding Contribution award. It is the one, and only, Peter Hancock.”

Hancock said: “I was absolutely thrilled and surprised to receive the Outstanding Contribution award at the Independent Hotel Show. It was such a lovely tribute. When you get to the end of your career, a little pat on the back can go a long way to making you feel good about it and to receive the award in front of such a distinguished audience at the show meant a great deal to me and I shall cherish it forever.”

Learn more about the award winners on the Independent Hotel Show website. The Independent Hotel Show will return to Olympia London on 4-5 October 2022.

Main image credit: Independent Hotel Show Awards 2021

Independent Hotel Show 2019 Innovation Stage

Speakers announced for Independent Hotel Show London

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Speakers announced for Independent Hotel Show London

Independent Hotel Show London, presented by James Hallam, is returning with a bang as it announces an impressive speaker line-up for its ninth edition, taking place at Olympia London on October 4 – 5 2021. Hotel Designs, a proud media partner for the show, will also be taking part…

Independent Hotel Show 2019 Innovation Stage

The packed two–day seminar programme at Independent Hotel Show London will see a wide range of insightful content across the Innovation Stage, in partnership with eviivo and dressed by sofa.com, and the Social Business Space, designed by Aorta, along with new feature the Tech Solutions Bar presented by Hospa, which will provide objective, expert tech advice for guests at the show.

Registration to attend Independent Hotel Show London is now open.

Shot from last year's Independent Hotel Show London

Image credit: Independent Hotel Show London 2019

A highlight of the two-day programme will be a no-holds-barred session on ‘The Future of Hospitality’ hosted by Robert Richardson FIH, CEO of Institute of Hospitality. Panellists Chris Gamm of Springboard, David Taylor MI FIH of Lore Group, Julia Sibley MBE of The Savoy Educational Trust, Kathy Dyball of Caterer.com and Sally Beck of Royal Lancaster London will be setting the hospitality world to rights as they discuss retaining staff, strengthening the reputation of the industry and where to direct future resources and investment.

“Editor Hamish Kilburn will be hosting the session entitled: Sensory Design: Imagining the Impossible.”

Elsewhere in the programme, Juliet Kinsman, Sustainability Editor at Condé Nast Traveller will host an all-star panel for ‘ESG: Building A Sustainable Business Strategy’. Philippa Hughes of The Bull Inn Totnes, Sue Williams MI FIH of Whatley Manor Hotel, Will Ashworth of Watergate Bay Hotel and Another Place Hotel Collection and Beach Retreats and James Ghaffari, Director of Growth and Product, B Lab UK, will take a close look at what it truly means for a hotel to be socially and environmentally responsible.

The Social Business Space designed by Aorta will once again be a hub of discussion, debate and learning, as hoteliers are invited to sit down and discuss topics such as rebuilding the urban city hotel, the rise of residences, creating a lifestyle brand and what it means to be an environmentally and socially conscious business.

Independent Hotel Show Event Director Elena Attanasio commented: “The Independent Hotel Show programme is packed with content aimed directly at our audience of boutique, luxury and independent hoteliers. We know the specific issues, trends and challenges that affect our audience and work hard to provide practical, implementable thought leadership alongside more wide-ranging analysis and insight.”

Other sessions on the Innovation Stage include:

  • City Kickstart: Reviving the Urban Hotel.While the entirety of the hotel and hospitality industry has been hugely impacted by the events of the past 18 months, city hotels have in many cases missed out on the benefits of the UK’s staycation boom. This session looks at how we can revive and revitalise the nation’s urban hotels.
  • Sensory Design: Imagining the Impossible. The smell, sound, taste and touch of a space have a huge influence on how it’s experienced. In this session, Hotel Designs’ editor Hamish Kilburn is joined by an expert panel to explore what’s possible in multisensory hotel design.
  • Through The Keyhole: How Well Do You Know Your Guests? Most independent hotels are gathering customer data in some form, but many don’t know how to effectively convert that raw information into insights, improvements and increased profits. This session will provide lessons and learnings from hoteliers who’ve made data work for them.
  • Blurred Lines: Changing the Hotel Framework.The hotel model is changing, and innovative hoteliers are exploring new ways of operating and new potential revenue streams. Join this session to hear how thinking outside the box can lead to countless possibilities.

Sue Williams, General Manager of Whatley Manor, commented: “Independent Hotel Show is an essential event to attend if you wish to keep moving your business forward. So many inspiring speakers on relevant subjects that challenge us all. It is one of our industry events that I always prioritise in the diary.”

Main image credit: Independent Hotel Show London

Independent Hotel Show London postponed until 2021

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Independent Hotel Show London postponed until 2021

Due to the significant impact coronavirus (COVID-19) is having across the world, Independent Hotel Show, the business event for luxury and boutique hotels, will be postponed to October 4 – 5, 2021…

The Independent Hotel Show has released a statement explaining why it has made the decision to postpone its London trade show until October 4 – 5, 2021.

The situation around COVID–19 is changing daily and the pressure on the whole industry has led to a number of events – the Independent Hotel Show being the latest of many – feeling obliged to postpone until next year.

“We have been listening to feedback from our community, as well as information from the government and public health authorities and it is with deep sadness and heavy hearts that we have made the difficult decision to postpone this year’s show,” the show organisers explained in the statement. “We are truly in awe of the resilience, innovation and kindness that we have seen from so many within our community and understand how important it is to stay connected during this time.”

While the show has felt forced to cancel its physical event, the team at Montgomery are currently working on ways in which to bridge the industry together using virtual methods, such as webinars. Montgomery Group Series is a cluster of weekly webinars with Q&As from leading industry figureheads, aimed to help keep the community updated, inspired and motivated during these difficult times.

In the meantime, the company is preparing to launch number of new initiatives aimed at authentically helping connect suppliers with buyers.

Main image credit: Independent Hotel Show

BREAKING: Independent Hotel Show 2020 forced to cancel

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
BREAKING: Independent Hotel Show 2020 forced to cancel

The organisers of Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam have made the difficult yet responsible decision to cancel this year’s physical show in response the global pandemic of COVID–19…

The Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam 2020, which was originally due to take place in March 17 – 18 but was then postpostend until June 24 – 25, has now been cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.

In a statement, the show organisers said: “It is with deep sadness and heavy hearts that we must inform you that, due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam 2020 is cancelled and will no longer take place on 24-25 June at RAI Amsterdam, as planned.

“We hoped that postponing the event until June would have provided enough time for life to return to normal, but unfortunately this has not been the case. We understand the significant impact coronavirus (COVID-19) is having across the entire hotel and hospitality industry and offer our support in these challenging times.

“Please rest assured that all paid for tickets will be refunded in due course so please bear with us as we get these processed.

“We are truly in awe of the resilience, innovation and kindness that we have seen by so many within our industry.”

In order to keep in touch with its audience, the show has said that over the next few months, it will be sharing stories from suppliers and hoteliers that are thinking differently and offering advice on how to stay ahead in this current climate. In addition, on June 24, the date Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam should have taken place, the event will be running a free one-day online webinar series, featuring many of the speakers who were due to speak at the event. If you are interested, you can register your interest on the website. 

Main image credit: Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam 2019

Editor Checks In: The new luxury for AW/19 and beyond

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Editor Checks In: The new luxury for AW/19 and beyond

Following an enlightening month at the helm of the editorial desk, Hamish Kilburn pauses for just a moment on whether or not consciousness is the new luxury in design, architecture and hospitality…

Am I accurate in saying that a few years working on the international hotel design scene can often feel like a lifetime of achievement? So much seems to happen in such a short period of time.

Within what feels like a blink of an eye, sketches of projects have become the jewels of populated skylines, while juniors have evolved into directors of studios. Meanwhile, topics we have discussed in the specialist press for decades, such as sustainability and designing with purpose, have finally hit the headlines of the mainstream media to leave whole cities and populations petrified about their future.

I so vividly remember my first ever trade show in this colourful industry. I was a 22-year-old, fresh-out-of-university features editor. You could spot me in the crowd from a mile away, complete with a three-piece suit, polished black shoes and new glasses to match. I may as well have just worn a sign with the word ‘noob’ printed in permanent ink.

I scurried towards my pre-booked seat to catch an insightful on-stage Q&A with Martin Brudnizki, who had at the time just completed the extensive renovation of The Ivy in Soho, London. Whether I was shy or just inexperienced (or quite possibly both), I was not a fan of audience participation back then, at least not if it involved speaking up myself. I would rather leave a question burning within my chest than all eyes in the audience potentially focusing on me.

How things have changed, and thank the high heavens they have too. This month was full of minor milestones for both myself and Hotel Designs, which as a result has made my former self a mere shadow of the editor I feel proud to have become.

Firstly, in an interview to understand what the designer has achieved since becoming The Brit List 2018’s Interior Designer of the Year, I was finally able to put my questions to Brudnizki. I visited the celebrated designer in his Chelsea studio just a few months ahead of this year’s ceremony, which takes place on November 21 at Patch East London.

In addition to the award-winning designer unknowingly becoming our poster boy for this year’s awards, I also held the microphone to host the headline panel discussion at the Independent Hotel Show London 2019: The Conscious Bedroom Report. And although this was my fifth time hosting an on-stage session, it was – in many ways – the most significant of them all. For starters, the subject area that was restrained under the spotlight, sustainability and thinking consciously, was one of huge relevance. And also, my panel made up of Alex Harris from Harris + Harris London, Olivia Richli from Heckfield Place, Sue Williams from Whatley Manor and Xenia zu Hohenlohe from Considerate Group made the whole experience seamless and the topic easy to digest.

“Unmistakably, business owners from up and down the country were, in a way, pledging that they would do more to make a difference.”

“Let’s have a show of hands,” I said to the overflowing audience as I ignored entirely what my 22-year-old self would be thinking. “Who here is a hotel owner/operator and truly believes that they could do more to be sustainably and socially more conscious?”

One by one, hands raised and remained firm in the air. It was a moment. Unmistakably, business owners from up and down the country were, in a way, pledging that they would do more to make a difference. Admittedly, this was after hitting them hard with the statistic that 76 per cent of guests believe that hotels could be greener while 72 per cent hope a hotel can provide local produce. I am not a gambling man, but if I was I would bet for the same overwhelming result if we were to put forward the mini yet mighty experiment on our readers – the designers, hoteliers, architects, suppliers, procurement managers, and design and architecture enthusiasts from far and wide. If the session was anything to go by, we can all do more to become more thoughtful in our actions on this global stage.

“My conclusion for the audience at the show was to not think about sustainability with red tape around it.”

So where do we go from here? Things are changing. In April 2020, just five months from now, plastic cotton buds, drinks stirrers and straws will be banned in England. This is very much a ‘today’ problem, and in order to keep ahead of the game, all individuals operating within this market need to consider the issues we will face tomorrow instead. I’m talking about food wastage, using upcycled materials in design and eliminating the ingredients for greenwashing. My conclusion for the audience at the show was to not think about sustainability with red tape around it, but to instead brainstorm new and innovative ways to add organic, conscious personality into your hotel or service.

One of our breakfast planning meeting to establish and define the theme for this year’s show was sheltered inside the extremely quirky and sustainable Artist Residence London. I was inspired and captivated to hear about some of the initiatives that were already happening in a handful of the UK’s leading independent hotels; how they were tackling the war on food wastage, going paperless and spending hours scrolling through search engines for second-hand furniture pieces. But it was Julio Margues, the General Manager of London Bridge Hotel who, for me, hit the nail clean on the head. “My vegetable patch has a great view of The Shard,” he said casually. And that’s the point. Hoteliers, designers and architects should not boast about being sustainable in their day-to-day decisions, which in my opinion should naturally be a common value shared by all. But they should highlight the minor and quirky – somewhat personal – details that set them aside from others.

I leave you with an open question to sign off October 2019, a period of my editorship I will struggle to forget (for all the right reasons). In an industry and era where and when trends are becoming more and more obsolete, could consciousness become the new luxury?

Editor, Hotel Designs

New research suggests that hotels are not doing enough to be eco-friendly

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
New research suggests that hotels are not doing enough to be eco-friendly

New research published by the Independent Hotel Show London has revealed that 76 per cent of holidaymakers feel as if hotels could do more to be greener and become more eco-friendly. Editor Hamish Kilburn took to stage to present the findings and writes… 

I am sick to death of hotels – large and small, chains as well as independents – doing the bare minimum in order to claim that they have become more sustainable. Yesterday, I took my frustration over the ‘greenwashing effect’, which so many businesses are guilty of, to the stage at the Independent Hotel Show London to deliver the Conscious Bedroom Report. And here are some of the new stats that have emerged.

Times are changing, and hotels – like all other businesses and sectors worldwide – need to change with them. A report by the conscious bank Iriodos reported that in 2017, UK consumers spent an estimated £83.33 billion on ethical goods and services. And given the recent developments in climate change awareness, that number has increased drastically. While 76 per cent of consumers who were surveyed believe that hotels could do more to become greener, a whopping 72 per cent hoped hotels could also provide local produce.

Question: Are you more likely to book a room if a hotel has a clear sustainability policy? Would your preference change if you were given an incentive? Of the 2,000 individuals who were polled in the survey (64 per cent female and 36 per cent male), the answers to these particular questions were divided. While 57 per cent responded in the affirmative, 43 per cent were not converted by sustainability policies in and of themselves. Furthermore, this plunged to just 16 per cent once an incentive of some sort was involved. When asked why, however, many responded that protecting the environment itself was a strong enough incentive.

It seems, more recently, that sustainability has gone on tour to become a global concern and conversation and not one that is restricted to regional areas. 14 per cent of consumers surveyed admitted to being more aware of their environmental impact when away from home. Interestingly on the flip side, the same number that they believed to be less mindful. 72 per cent, though, managed to keep their beliefs consistent when both travelling and when at home.

“62 per cent of respondents admitted to feeling frustrated by single-use plastics in their room.”

The report also stated that “180 million plastic cotton buds are flushed down the toilet every year in Britain.” For many, and certainly myself after reading that statistic, it is unfathomable for hotels to still be providing guests checking in with single-use plastics. 62 per cent of respondents admitted to feeling frustrated by single-use plastics in their room. 26 per cent claimed not to be bothered and 12 per cent argued that they didn’t notice whether or not single-use plastics were in a hotel room during their stay. Whats more, plastic cotton buds, drink stirrers and straws will be banned in England from April 2020.

“73 per cent of guests asked did not consider a hotel to look ‘budget’ by using large dispensers.”

From recent discussions I have had with hoteliers on how to activate sustainable change without diluting the quality of service, there is a concern that replacing miniatures in the bathrooms with large dispensable bottles will look like a hotel is scrimping. However, 73 per cent of guests asked did not consider a hotel to look ‘budget’ by using large dispensers. If you needed further reassurance, a large proportion of the top luxury hotels in London have replaced bathroom miniatures with large dispensers and are, as a result, feeding back to the editorial desk at Hotel Designs zero complaints. “We ensure that the product remains high quality,” one hotelier said. “And in order to illuminate the opportunity for guests to complain, we ensure that each bottle is always topped up.”

“78 per cent of those surveyed embraced the rag ‘n’ bone revolution.”

The report also examined the design element of a hotel guests’ experience. 78 per cent of those surveyed embraced the rag ‘n’ bone revolution. 22 per cent maintained to feel ambivalent at the thought of restored furniture. In regards to art, which is further being taken outside the frame in hotel design with new innovative design scenes coming into vision, seeing locally sourced pieces around a hotel is becoming more of a demand among travellers. 61 per cent of guests said that they did appreciate the use of indigenous arts and crafts, and only six per cent were non-plussed.

The Conscious Bedroom Report is a step in the right direction. Although positive to see that consumer demands are very much in line with ensuring that the international hotel design scene becomes more conscious both socially and environmentally, it also exposes an industry that is behind many to become sustainably driven.

“In short, the value of becoming a more conscious hotel operator, designer and architect far out weighs the cost.”

EDITOR’S COMMENT: “Never before has it been more transparent than it is now to see hotels either choosing not to embrace and adopt new eco initiatives or doing the bare minimum and greenwashing. I believe that in order to really make an impact on the international hotel design scene, examples need to be set. Examples like Heckfield Place, The Langham London and Inhabit London. All of which, interestingly, are sheltered in grade-listed buildings. The excuses are fading.

“By the industry creatively thinking about how they can add sustainability into their core values, hotels and hotel designers will naturally open themselves up to local suppliers, businesses and communities that surround them. In short, the value of becoming a more conscious hotel operator, designer and architect far out weighs the cost. We have an opportunity to make a real change and the statistics in the Conscious Bedroom Report just highlight further the changing demands of modern travellers.” – Hamish Kilburn, editor, Hotel Designs

The seven-page report was unveiled in an exclusive panel discussion, hosted by Kilburn. He was joined by Alex Harris, the creative director for Harris + Harris London; Olivia Richli, the general manager for Heckfield Place; Sue Williams, the general manager for Whatley Manor and Xenia Zu Hohenlohe, the managing director of Considerate Group.

The Independent Hotel Show London continues…

Next month, Hotel Designs will be putting sustainability under the spotlight. If you have a story for the team, please email h.kilburn@forumevents.co.uk

Main image credit: Inhabit London


Editor Checks In: Everyone’s gone eco!

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Editor Checks In: Everyone’s gone eco!

This September, editor Hamish Kilburn has seen a rise in biophilic and eco design at London Design Festival as he prepares to go on stage at next month’s Independent Hotel Show (October 15) to put the topic firmly under the magnifying glass…

I’ve got a confession to make. I’m not a naturally born eco warrior – and I don’t believe anyone who was born pre-Millennium is either. That’s not to be confused by someone who doesn’t care about the environment. It just means that I, like others, have had to learn – and learn quickly – about the many strands attached to this very real issue before being comfortable speaking about it publicly.

“Reading the latest statistics on global warming sends physical shivers down my spine, like a glacier is melting down by back vertebrae by vertebrae.”

Last year I was privileged to be among the first to interview Martin Pease as the Managing Director of architecture and design firm WATG London. While the interview was memorable, it was his response to one particular question that stayed with me. When asked what the number-one tool for success is, he said: “We have two ears and one mouth for a reason.” Since then, I have made it an editor’s prerogative to listen to many, not just one or a few, before finally being prepared to make sense of chaotic and stigmatised issues. And here I am preparing to dissect what is the most chaotic and complex matters our industry has perhaps ever faced: climate change and finding sustainable, ecological and realistic solutions to create harmony between design and nature.

Reading the latest statistics on global warming sends physical shivers down my spine, like a glacier melting down my back vertebrae by vertebrae. According to NASA, most of the warming has occurred in the last 35 years, with the five warmest years on record taking place since 2010. Meanwhile, The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have decreased in mass, having lost an average of 286 billion tons of ice per year between 1993 and 2016.

Designers, architects and suppliers have traditionally been good listeners when it comes to reacting to meeting the needs – and in this case requirements – of consumers. This month has been no exception. London Design Festival 2019 once again attracted the attention of the design world. Firstly, it awarded Dame Vivienne Westwood with the Lifetime Achievement Medal.

Despite my initial concerns, it was not Brexit that was dominating the theme of every conversation in and between the many social events. Instead, it was the boundless possibilities of biophilic design; discussing, at length, who was using nature innovatively for good to create warm and thoughtful interiors. I have my favourites, as do we all, but it feels like it’s creating a free-flowing movement of ideas.

I would argue that we are not quite yet surfing on the crest of the sustainability wave. Although we have the resources to hand when we catch it, we are reliant on each other – developers, owners, operators and investors – in order for it to finally, one day, become common practice to receive a brief to design a fully eco hotel.

Cue next month’s Independent Hotel Show, where I will have the heavy responsibility to lead the discussion on how our global industry can work together to build more conscious and considered hotels. While I can’t promise miracles, I can guarantee that my expert panel and I have turned over every stone to ensure that we offer realistic visions of a sustainable future on the international hotel design scene.

It’s already started, with hotels such as The Pig pledging publically that almost all food that can’t be supplied by the gardens is then impressively sourced within a 25-mile radius. And Monkey Island Estate in Bray-on-Thames, which features its own smoke house among many other intriguing elements in the garden, with still plenty of space for further expansion.

My conclusion (for the purpose of this Editor’s Letter if nothing else) is that it is not rocket science. It’s simply about the industry collectively using creative thinking to offer new and functional solutions. Call it, if you like, the true art of modern hospitality.

Main image credit: Act Studios

EXCLUSIVE: Pre-show interview with designer of The Conscious Bedroom

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
EXCLUSIVE: Pre-show interview with designer of The Conscious Bedroom

The Founder and Creative Director of Harris & Harris London, Alex Harris, gives Hotel Designs‘ editor, Hamish Kilburn, a sneak peek of The Conscious Bedroom that he and his team are designing for The Independent Hotel Show London 2019… 

It was at the beginning of 2019 when Harris & Harris, the London based multidisciplinary design studio, were first approached by the organisers of Independent Hotel Show to work on this year’s concept room set.

The brief was simple (and came in after the show had viewed the studio’s interior design portfolio online): to design The Conscious Hotel Room for the Independent Hotel Show 2019. The design studio leaped at the opportunity to design the concept room. “It was a seamless fit for the studio and their ethos of looking at the most environmentally and socially conscious way of producing luxury interiors and products,” Alex Harris, the studio’s Founder and Creative Director, explains. Arguably most importantly, though, the space at the show would give Harris & Harris the opportunity to showcase this mentality through the design and curation of brand partners who have similar ethics.

When designing the skeleton of the room, Harris was keen to explore creating a heritage feel. “We wanted it to feel as if the room was located within a historic building instead of a new build,” he explains. “This was to prove that sustainable design practices can also be applied to older buildings, which are more prominent in the UK. This was achieved through introducing Georgian style wall panelling throughout the bedroom and including some historic design references in the interior design but with a modern twist.” 

Parallel to curating sustainable focussed products and brands in the concept room – including factoring in elements like using local suppliers to reduce milage – the studio was also focussed on ensuring the overall design felt fresh, inviting and luxurious, all of which could be achieved whilst minimising the impact on the environment.

Ahead of the official unveiling of the finished room on October 15, we caught up with Harris to understand more about the concept and his drive to design with purpose.

Hamish Kilburn: What sparked your passion for sustainability, both at university and beyond?
Alex Harris: I had the opportunity to gain work experience in 2005, prior to graduating from Bournemouth University, with the award winning furniture designer Russell Pinch (we grew up in the same tiny village in Gloucestershire). One day we traveled down to Benchmark Furniture in Berkshire as Russell was working on a new collection with them and I had the chance to see Benchmark’s incredible workshops, showroom and design office.

They are very focused on sustainability throughout their manufacturing process and the products themselves. Together with their passion for craftsmanship, this definitely resonated with me as a student and I knew that my final year project must represent this ethos that I witnessed with Pinch and Benchmark’s work.

I designed a (fully functioning) wooden wind-up LED lamp for my final year project, which I won an award for sustainability from my university. At the same time I approached the eco-design collective [RE] Design and had the opportunity to exhibit my lamp with them at the London Design Festival in 2006. Then in 2009 (after a stint living and working in Melbourne, Australia) I joined the Benchmark design team, four years after I had previously visited with Russell Pinch, so I had come full circle!

I then went to work for several interior designers in London who were focussed on luxury and not really concerned about sustainability, which was always difficult for me. I vowed that whenever I start my own design studio that we must bring together both ‘luxury’ and ‘sustainability’  to prove that they can work harmoniously.

HK: How will your concept The Conscious Hotel Room showcase environmental and social factors?
AH: We have thought about the design in terms of impact on the environment from floor to ceiling. It was very important to us that every element was considered, so we researched and approached companies that we knew could help us with this vision.

So we have organic and natural wool and linen fabrics, FSC certified timber flooring from Domus, bespoke 100 per cent recycled cardboard and plastic joinery pieces, many products that are made in the UK (to reduce ‘mileage’) such as our Harris & Harris furniture & lighting and the beautifully natural bed from Naturalmat, 100 per cent wool carpets from Axminster with their recycled car-tyres underlay (both also made in the UK). Handmade natural terracotta tiles, also from Domus, feature in the bathroom with Crosswater WC, basin mixers and showers with low water use. Edward Bulmer paint features on the bedroom walls that only uses natural ingredients. We have a boiling and chilled water tap from Quooker together with reusable water bottles at the mini bar, omitting the need for a kettle (as you only use the exact boiling water you need for a cup of tea) and of course no need for single-use plastic water bottles. Even the artwork we have curated with the art consultants ARTIQ has been chosen to minimise impact on the environment, with artists that use recycled materials and natural materials & processes.

“Natural materials are used wherever possible but in particular with the Naturalmat bed and linens from The Fine Cotton Company.” – Alex Harris, Founder and Creative Director, Harris & Harris

The social factors that we have considered include making the space as wheelchair friendly as we can, with clear space around the bed, sofa, desk and bathroom vanity and a wide doorless opening into the bathroom with no change in floor level into the shower. Plants throughout provide better air quality and general well being. Natural materials are used wherever possible but in particular with the Naturalmat bed and linens from The Fine Cotton Company, to provide the best night’s sleep possible. Snacks and beverages will be sourced as locally as possible and that contain healthy ingredients.

HK: What are the challenges of creating a heritage feel from scratch?
AH: Our first approach was to introduce wall panelling and decorative mouldings throughout, this gave the feeling of a Georgian style property which also helped it feel warm, welcoming and luxurious. Materials, colours and patterns were also chosen to be simple and classic throughout and the furniture and joinery designs are pared back to give a timeless feel.

Image caption: Independent Hotel Show Conscious Hotel Room sketch

HK: What are the historic design references that are mentioned in the brief?
AH: As discussed above, the wall panelling and decorative mouldings, gave the feeling of a Georgian style interior. Our Harris & Harris furniture we have specified for the project; ‘Totterdown’ sofa, ‘Orchard’ Bench and ‘Clarke’ dining chair all have subtle references in their designs to 1920s/1930s Art Deco era and our Harris & Harris ‘Wharf’ lights (both table and pendants will be showcased) feature classic reeded glass. Cole & Son’s wallpaper ‘Flamingos’ that feature in the bathroom are a take on their archived designs from the 1960s as do the ‘Palm Jungle’ fabric on the scatter cushions. The herringbone pattern in the Axminster carpet is another classic design feature and the recycled cardboard tubing, used in the joinery and bed backdrop, gives a feeling of fluted columns that were used in Greek and Roman architecture.

“There are so many ways in which hotels can embrace the three ‘R’s (reduce, recycle and reuse).” – Alex Harris, Founder and Creative Director, Harris & Harris

HK: Can a hotel be 100 per cent fully sustainable?
AH: Unfortunately I don’t believe we as human beings can ever be 100 per cent fully sustainable unless we go back to living in a cave! We can all do our bit to help minimise our impact, but we all consume and we all produce waste. There are so many ways in which hotels can embrace the three ‘R’s (reduce, recycle and reuse) and we are excited to showcase just a selection of examples of how this can be employed in the design of The Conscious Hotel Bedroom which we hope will inspire hoteliers for their current and future projects.

HK: Let’s talk about water consumption. So many hotel groups are pledging to reduce their water consumption by ‘X’ amount.. Which suppliers would you say are allowing this to be a reality?
AH: We are working closely with the British bathroom brand Crosswater who are supplying The Conscious Hotel Bedroom with their M Pro range which have WRAS and TMV2 certification. The WC has two flush types to encourage water management and the mixer tap features a Neoperl aerator that has a flow rate of only five litres per minute.

When I lived in Australia we received an egg timer from the local water company to encourage showers of under four minutes. This was such simple idea and gave a fun challenge to try and ‘beat the clock’ whilst saving water. We will be featuring an egg timer in the bathroom of The Conscious Hotel Bedroom.

“There will be many UK produced products that will feature in The Conscious Hotel Bedroom and will be noted in our literature at the show.” – Alex Harris, Founder and Creative Director, Harris & Harris

HK: What is the value of products that have been manufactured in the UK?
AH: We have many great craftsmanship skills and traditions that are hard to find abroad. Harris & Harris are passionate about producing the UK whenever possible and keeping these skills alive. There will be many UK produced products that will feature in The Conscious Hotel Bedroom and will be noted in our literature at the show.

HK: What can designers do to ensure an eco-hotel is still a trendy and fresh hotel?
AH: I think there is no reason why an eco-hotel cannot not still be trendy and fresh. Curating the products and materials specifically for The Conscious Hotel Bedroom galvanised this idea for us. Many brands now offer products which have less impact on the environment but still look fab. It is up to the designer to track these down and encourage their client to use in place of products that could be damaging to the environment.

HK: Can you explain the benefits of Smile Plastics?
AH: Smile plastics have kindly donated their ‘Dapple’ plastic sheets to us for the joinery pieces at The Conscious Hotel Bedroom. Dapple is made from recycled chopping boards and plastic packaging and with all of their ranges, Smile Plastics are produced from waste which would otherwise end up in land fill. With Dapple we felt it had the look of a natural material such as marble, to give a touch of luxury, particularly important in the bathroom where it features on the vanity joinery. Dapple is hard, dense and rigid, 100 per cent waterproof, rot-proof and strong weather resistance. It is solid and consistent, allowing for a decorative edge. It is also UV resistance and is food-grade and can be used for preparation of wet foods.

Harris & Harris will showcase The Conscious Hotel Room at the Independent Hotel Show 2019. In addition to this, Harris will also join editor Hamish Kilburn on stage to discuss this year’s major topic in a live talk entitled The Conscious Bedroom Report, which takes place at 11:30am on October 15, 2019.

Brand Partners (as of August 2019)
ARTIQ– art consultants and rental agency, Axminster- carpets, Cole & Son– wallpaper and fabrics, Crosswater- bathroom items including shower, basin, toilet and tapsCurran Packaging– recycled cardboard tubing, Domus – bathroom floor and wall tiles, timber flooring, Edward Bulmer – paint, The Fine Cotton Company – towels, gowns, slippers and bed linens, Harris & Harris London– furniture and decorative lighting, Naturalmat – bed, mattress and bed linens, Plant Plan – plants and moss/living wall, Quooker – boiling, filtered & chilled water mixer tap, Samsung– television and soundbarSmile Plastics– recycled plastic sheet material, Wandsworth Group – power, lighting sockets and faceplates

Trends forecast ahead of Independent Hotel Show London 2019

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Trends forecast ahead of Independent Hotel Show London 2019

Ahead of the Independent Hotel Show London 2019, which takes place on October 15 – 16 at Olympia London, design partners and exhibitors identify four key areas predicted to be hot in hotel design… 

Now that registration is officially open for the Independent Hotel Show London 2019 – and following the announcement that Hotel Designs has once again come on board as a media partner for the show – here are a few trends that visitors should expect to see emerging during the two-day event.

Bold and bright décor

Soft, muted shades have been the preferred palette for hotel bedrooms and lobbies for many years, but it’s now time to ‘banish the beige’ and embrace bold and bright colours, says Gemma Tate, director of House of Sloane. “Gone are the days where all the rooms are filled with beige upon beige and look exactly the same,” explains Tate. “Boutique hotels are becoming more confident in their use of bold and colourful decor, mixing eclectic elements when styling individual rooms and giving the guest a captivating experience.”

As design partner to the Innovation Stage, House of Sloane is planning to fulfil the brief of ‘modern eclecticism meets maximalist glamour’ by kitting the stage out with bold hues, luxurious velvets, a dash of animal print and eclectic accessories.

Susi Bellamy, founder of her eponymous agency and wallpaper partner to the Independent Hotel Show, says the ‘trend for a more eclectic approach to interiors seems to be here to stay’ and notes a ‘growing appetite’ for brighter colours. “Jewel tones, acid brights and candy colours are omnipresent in hospitality interiors and add a joyful tone to spaces,” Bellamy says as she explains the three striking wallpaper designs – Grey Stucco, Grey Stucco Pebbles and Pietra Grigia – she has selected to hang on walls at this year’s show. “The palette of these designs means they work in harmony with one another and provide a versatile backdrop for a range of hotel settings,” Bellamy adds. “Grey Stucco and Grey Stucco Pebbles inject a pop of colour into a setting and feel very bohemian. Grey Stucco Pebbles layers some collage over the top of the design and is a slightly more eccentric choice for interiors that truly stand out. Pietra Grigia combines tones of pale greyish greens and works well alongside cream and neutrals. These designs are some of our bestsellers, owing to their adaptable colour scheme and understated elegance.”

Image caption: Shot from last year’s Independent Hotel Show London

Make a statement

If there’s no budget or time for a full re-design, investing in one eye-catching piece of furniture per room, or to place in a communal area is one way to refresh a hotel’s look and help your business seem on-trend. A similar impact can be found by painting or wallpapering a single feature wall or ceiling.

“Invest in a statement sofa or chair,” advises Tate. “This is potentially one of the first things your guests will see on arrival and actually says a lot of about a hotel. Be brave with your choice of colour and shape. This should be about what works for your brand and should be a part of your overall room design. We would highly recommend this is one of those high-ticket items that you don’t cheap out on. Eclectic pieces, hand built with quality craftsmanship that are sturdy and made to last is a winning combination. Anything else is a false economy.”

Felicity Randolph, of Cheeky Chairs, an exhibitor at this year’s Independent Hotel Show, agrees and believes that unique statement pieces lend themselves particularly well to boutique independent hotels. “With the ever-increasing influence of Instagram and Pinterest, consumers are seeking a more esoteric individual style of hotel,” Randolph says. “Independent hotels are perfectly placed to capitalise on this trend and offer something truly unique and unexpected.”

The company’s boutique collection of crafted designer chairs and bar stools feature naturally soft seats upholstered in striking designer fabric.

“Our approach has been very much along the lines of a fashion collection on the runway,” Randolph adds. “Our models are carefully chosen for a specific feature of their shape; perhaps it’s the subtle curve of their leg, the length of their back, their enveloping seat or the flick of their ankle. Each finished product is a unique combination of model, designer fabric and colour to create a truly unique statement piece.”

“If you are unsure of how to incorporate more colour and pattern into your interiors, consider having a single feature wall or using wallpaper in the back of a bookcase to provide a hint of colour and print,” says Bellamy.

Shot from last year's Independent Hotel Show London

Image credit: Shot from last year’s Independent Hotel Show London

Create a home-from-home

The way guests use hotels is changing and interiors need to accommodate these shifts in behaviour if they want to survive. Starchy, formal and defined areas are no longer in vogue. Instead, guests want to be able to access services wherever and whenever they want within a hotel, so designing multi-purpose, flexible spaces that can cater for these changing needs is key. “A home-from-home approach is where hotels are moving towards, expanding the lobby into a living room space, almost a common room area where guests can find intimate places to relax,” says Tate.

“Décor can also help hotels provide a more homely feel to spaces,” includes Bellamy. “Carefully selected ‘objets’ on mantelpieces, and soft furnishings like luxurious throws or plush cushions are an ideal finishing touch that transform a space to feel more homely and cosy.”

The home from home feel can also be achieved on a more practical level by making it easy for guests to settle in quickly by providing them with the tools to do so. “We also see a connection between home and life through technology which is here now and working, so an easy transition from home to hotel is essential,” says Nick Sunderland of Two’s Company, design partner for The Suite who recommends swapping light sockets to include USB chargers so guests can easily charge electronic devices during their stay.

A conscious approach

There is no doubt about it, sustainability is a hot topic. With everyone showing increasing concern for their carbon footprint, and investigating ways they can reduce it, it’s a topic that will be under the spotlight throughout the show. Hotels are no exception and forward-thinking hoteliers are keen to lessen their business’s impact on the environment in all areas, including design.

The Independent Hotel Show’s live installation this year is The Conscious Hotel Room where sustainability has been considered across “every inch of the room” according to Alex Harris, director of Harris & Harris, the multidisciplinary design studio in charge of creating it.

Brand partners, which include Axminster, Cole & Son and Naturalmat, will provide furnishings that include recycled, organic, natural or sustainably-sourced materials while others, like Crosswater, will showcase energy-efficient bathroom items.

“It was also felt important that the ‘mileage’ of each product was kept to a minimum by sourcing items that have been produced in the UK, an ethos which also helps support local businesses and communities,” adds Harris.

Sunderland of Two’s Company also regards sustainability as a key trend and will integrate this ethos into the design of The Suite. The area will feature tables from Nature Squared, which uses sustainable natural resources such as feathers, egg shells and seashells to create unusual surfaces.

“Conscious design doesn’t simply mean using sustainable furnishings and products, however. It also encompasses areas such as accessibility, so The Conscious Hotel Room has been designed in a way that is mindful of the needs of guests with mobility issues,” says Harris.

“Generous space was allowed around the bed, desk, and joinery as well as omitting the door to the dressing room and bathroom. Space was allowed below the vanity unit and a large wet-room style shower, with no change in the floor heights, making the bathroom wheelchair accessible,” Harris concludes. “Through articles in the media and better education, travellers are becoming more eco-savvy and are now demanding that hotels provide a more sustainable stay for them. Hoteliers need to keep up with this trend, which won’t be a passing fad but a new and better way of living. Hotels have the opportunity to be the best expression of sustainable living which can then inspire guests to live in a more conscious way when they return home,” he concludes.

Hotel Designs’ editor Hamish Kilburn will be on stage to host the opening session on October 15. More details on who will be joining him – and the topic he will be presenting – will emerge shortly. Register your place by clicking here.

Main image credit: House of Sloane

Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam to return in 2020

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam to return in 2020

The Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam, which debuted last month for the first time outside London, has announced that it will return to the Amsterdam next year on March 17 – 18… 

The Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam, of which Hotel Designs was an official media partner for, has announced that it will return to ‘The Dam’ next year. More than 2,200 hoteliers designers and architects visited the inaugural edition of the the show in Amsterdam to be inspired and informed about the current trends in the hotel industry.

In addition showcasing the latest products and services through its 120 carefully curated exhibitors and providing ample networking opportunities, the innovative event at RAI Amsterdam on May 8 – 9, provided a hotbed of new ideas with the very latest trends presented and covered across multiple touchpoints at the show.

“As this was the first edition in continental Europe, we had no idea what to expect, but the experience the past two days has exceeded expectations,” said Portfolio Director, Miranda Martin. “It was a delight to meet such a great collection of progressive and enthusiastic hospitality professionals and we look forward to welcoming everyone back to the 2020 edition in March!”

A Vision of the Future

The Hotel Vision Stage, the central education stage at the show saw hoteliers, trend forecasters and CEOs share their visions for the future of the hotel industry.

During a well-attended session, Dutch trend-watcher Vincent van Dijk shared a glimpse into the Hotel Room of the Future and presented the 10 important hotel trends for 2019:

  • Never wait at a counter again – checking in online or via an app is the new thing. And you’ll open your room via the smart key on your phone too. Easy does it!
  • The automation of in-room service is only going to get more popular, whether it’s simply closing the curtains or requesting the coffee machine prepare a cappuccino, everything will be managed via tablets and technology.
  • Tailored service based on big data is what it’s all about as every guest is unique!
  • Despite all the technology, personal communication remains important. If this isn’t via face-to-face interaction, consider instead a chat program that allows the guest to communicate with the hotel from the room.
  • Due to a lack of space, furniture will become increasingly flexible. For example, a coffee table that quickly becomes a desk where you can work on, or a TV which automatically becomes a mirror as you get closer.
  • Introduction of voice-controlled equipment in hotel rooms. “Hey Google, set air conditioning to 19 degrees!”
  • Shower toilets, as we already see them a lot in Asia, will become the new hygienic standard.
  • Due to air pollution in large cities, there will be an increasing need for systems that can provide clean air.
  • Eco-friendly and health conscious housekeeping without the use of chemical agents – healthy for employees and guests.
  • Green is the new gold! Key words for the hoteliers to keep in mind for the future are sustainability, low waste and water reuse.

A number of significant panel discussions also took place on the stage. Lead by STR Global, ‘The Year in Review’ saw, Eric Toren  (Hotel TwentySeven, Amsterdam) and  Gabriella Esselbrugge (Hotel De Dames van Jonge, Giethoorn) explore the need to spread tourists who come to Amsterdam throughout the country – something that fellow panellist René van Schie, who works on tourism development for the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area, deals with on a daily basis.

Elsewhere, Hotel Designs, which was an official media partner for the show, was on stage for a live debate on how the rise in ‘bleisure’ is dictating how the industry builds and renovates hotels and cities.

Three men on the Hotel Vision stage

Image caption: Editor Hamish Kilburn leading panel discussion entitled ‘Designing for Bleisure’

During a panel discussion, Gladys Camphuijsen (The Pulitzer, Amsterdam), Annemoon Geurts (Kazerne, Eindhoven) and Veerle Donders (Zoku, Amsterdam) explained how they involve the local community in their hotels, be it by placing a large Christmas tree that the entire neighbourhood benefits from (The Pulitzer) or by organizing neighbourhood parties with beer and bitterballen (Zoku).

Christiaan Uittenbosch, founder of Smart Travel Lab, challenged visitors to think in terms of solutions instead of problems and even use them as a unique selling point within your company. When traveling, guests, especially millennials, are looking for positively-minded brands that are actively working on sustainability. QO Hotels, but also start-ups like Rotterzwam, were named as companies that have built their business by finding solutions to existing problems.

The Independent Hotel Show was concluded with a keynote speech by ex-Radisson CEO, Wolfgang M. Neumann (strategic hospitality consultant and chairman of Hotel School The Hague). In his speech, he emphasized responsibility to the planet and the generations after us. Concluding with the memorable words: “If you think you’re too small to make a difference, you’ve never spent a night with a mosquito.”

The Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam will return for the second edition in the RAI on 17 and 18 March 2020.

Main image credit: Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam

Hotel Designs puts ‘Bleisure’ under the spotlight at IHS Amsterdam

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hotel Designs puts ‘Bleisure’ under the spotlight at IHS Amsterdam

Hotel Designs’ editor Hamish Kilburn was joined on the Hotel Vision Stage at Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam by Zoku’s founder Hans Meyer and Concrete’s director Rob Wagemans to discuss whether designers and hoteliers should be designing for ‘bleisure’ in mind… 

Day one at the Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam concluded with an engaging panel discussion, entitled Designing For Bleisure’ that aimed to disrupt the conventional hotel experience.

“A recent survey carried out by Great Hotels of The World found that 75 per cent of business travellers had extended their trips for leisure purposes,” editor Hamish Kilburn shared with the audience over on the Hotel Vision stage to kick-start the discussion. “What’s more is that in 2017, 2.2 million bleisure trips took place – that’s 10 per cent of all business trips.”

Joining Kilburn for the live debate was Rob Wagemans, the founder and director of Concrete and Hans Meyer, the founder and director of Zoku. “I actually disagree slightly with he whole ‘leisure’ terminology,” said Wagemans. “I think our industry needs to be really cautious not to package trends in this way, because it can really strip the creative process. Instead, I believe that we should be designing spaces around people and their demands.”

One man who arguably understands more than anyone what his guests require when checking in is Meyer, who spent six months ‘living like his guests’ in order to identify exactly how he should design his first property, which was Zoku Amsterdam. “I do agree with Rob,” he said. “I can’t stress enough how important it is to understand your demographic before designing or creating anything. When we designed Zoku, I lived like my target audience for six months to not just understand from a top level what would engage our guests, but also to experience what our guests want from a hotel. The brand was formed around what was lacking in the industry.”

Wagemans, who was a visionary behind many of the CitizenMs and a handful of W Hotels around the world, believes it is the responsibility of innovators in order to create better working spaces in hotels that are designed to last. “There are many times – too many times to count – where I have received a brief from a client, thrown it in the bin and presented something different to them,” he said. “But everything I present to a client has been thoughtfully considered to help the overall guest experience. Of course, we work towards the client’s goals, but we are also delivering a service.”

The trio went on to discuss the idea and concept of opening up the guestrooms to be more than just a bed for the night. “Will there ever come the day when the guest room in urban hotels will be used for meetings,” kilburn asked. “We actually have this already in the guestrooms at Zoku,” explained Meyer. “All areas have been created with emphasis on living and working so that the guest rooms are what you want them to be to an extent.”Wagemans, who actually designed Zoku Amsterdam with Meyer, added: “It’s about creating areas that flow into other areas. It’s down to us, designers and architects, to work with hoteliers in order to challenge what is conventional – that’s very much how we work.”

The session went on to highlight some interesting solutions, encouraging the audience to work outside the box in order to come up with new ideas. It explored how designers, hoteliers and architects alike can innovate the industry and their hotels by presenting practical working spaces. “I don’t take inspiration from other hotels necessarily, but more from other industries entirely,” added Wagemans.

As bleisure trends continue to be on the rise, it is down to the industry to figure out how best to invent new spaces that are practical, flexible and built with people in mind.

The Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam continues…

Hotel Designs is a proud media partner of Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam. Continuing this topic further, Hotel Designs will be with Great Hotels of The World at Hotel Summit to further discuss how to increase revenue by utilising on blesiure trends.

Hotel Designs takes the stage at Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hotel Designs takes the stage at Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam

Editor Hamish Kilburn is preparing to join Concrete’s Rob Wagemans and Zoku’s Hans Meyer on stage at the first ever Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam…  

Hotel Designs, an official media partner for Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam, is preparing to go on stage this afternoon for a live debate on how the rise in ‘bleisure’ is dictating how the industry builds and renovates hotels and cities.

Whether travelling for business or leisure, guests are seeking great experiences from their hotel stay. Editor Hamish Kilburn will ask the panel – Concrete’s Rob Wagemans and Zoku’s Hans Meyer -how the hospitality and design community should be reacting to the need of flexible working and living spaces in international hotel design.

About the speakers: 

Hans Meyer, Founder & Owner at Zoku

Hans Meyer is co-founder and managing director of Zoku. Facilitating global living and working, Zoku has created a new category in the hotel industry – a home-office hybrid, with the services of a hotel and the social buzz of a thriving neighbourhood. He is responsible for innovation, culture, concept development, branding, operations and strategic partnerships for the Zoku brand. Zoku has been internationally recognized as being an innovator in the industry and was quoted by Forbes as one of the 25 coolest hotels in the world. A firm believer of value creation and innovation for the international hospitality industry, Hans previously was the initial creator and founding partner of the citizenM hotel concept and held senior corporate positions in Operations and Development for NH Hoteles and Golden Tulip, where he was responsible for projects throughout Europe, Africa, The Middle-East and Central America. Hans is also a jury member for the Accenture Innovation Awards and Ahead, the international Awards for Hospitality, Experience and Design. He was educated at Hotelschool The Hague and Cornell University in the United States.

Rob Wagemans, Founder & Director at Concrete 

Concrete develops concepts in architecture, interior design, urban development and brand development. Wagemans founded Concrete in 1997 and is the architectural visionary behind CitizenM and Zoku. The architectural firm was also behind the design of W Verbier and Ink Amsterdam.

Hotel Designs is attending Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam as a proud media partner of the show. If you would like to meet the team, head over to stand F64!

PREVIEW: Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
PREVIEW: Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam

With just days to go until the first ever Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam, Hotel Designs, which will be moderating a panel discussion at the event, shares some of the main events that will be on stage in the city famed for its alternative creativity… 

Designed to support hoteliers with an independent attitude, Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam is setting up to deliver aspirational content alongside practical solutions.

Inspired by the hospitality offered in hotels themselves, the show strives to deliver a guest experience above and beyond that of the typical trade fair. So whether you’re looking for inspiration from our sublime designers, innovation from leading technology suppliers, or simply to discover something new for your hotel, we’re confident you’ll discover the solutions you are searching for.

Here’s what Hotel Designs, an official media partner of the show, is looking forward to…


11.00am – 11.45am: The Year in Review

The big picture of the European Hotel Industry. Our expert panel reviews the last 12 months of the European hotel market, outlining opportunities, implications and possibilities for you and your hotel – (in partnership with STR Global)

Speakers: Samantha Mardkhah, STR; Sander Allegro, Allegro INNovations Hospitality Consultancy; Gabriella Esselbrugge, Hotel De Dames van Jonge; Rene van Schie, Met Region Amsterdam

Stage: Hotel Vision Stage

12.30pm – 13.15pm: The Travel Future Forecast

This insight-packed presentation will navigate the major cultural shifts that are transforming the travel and hospitality landscape. Has the sharing economy gone luxe? How are Chinese tourists spending? Is room service having an existential crisis, and will robot concierges come to the rescue? The Travel Future Forecast is your ultimate guide to the trends defining travel and hospitality in 2019.

Speaker: Holly Friend, The Future Laboratory 

13.30pm – 14.00pm: Trend Tour

Join trend forecaster Vincent van Dijk for a trend tour, featuring a number of hand-selected highlights at the show which tie in with the most important hotel trends of this moment. From technological innovations to special sustainable gadgets that should not be missing in today’s hotel room! Tours will leave promptly from the Hotel Vision Stage.

Speaker: Vincent van Dijk, HBMEO Concepts

Stage: Hotel Vision Stage

14.30pm – 15.15pm: Why Sustainability is Good for Business

Discover the green business practices you need to know now. Join our panel of industry leaders as they outline the direct benefits of taking a transparent, sustainable approach to individual hotels and to the industry as a whole, from influencing customer trust to driving new business opportunities.

Speakers: Marie-Noelle Keijzer, WeForest; Inge van Weert, QO Amsterdam; Finn Bolding Thomsen, Green Key; Marco Lemmers, Conscieous Hotels

Stage: Hotel Vision Stage

15.45pm – 16.30pm: Let’s Get Personal: Attracting, inspiring and retaining your staff

Examining why hospitality is a hot career, This session outlines the new initiatives, opportunities and incentives hotel owners and operators can offer to staff looking to pursue a career in hospitality and how to train and retrain high potential recruits.

Speakers: Joost van Beek, The Student Hotel; Charles van Goch, Mise en Place; Erik-Jan Ginjaar, Postillion Hotels Netherland; Jorn Heikens, Stenden Hotel Management School

Stage: Hotel Vision Stage

16.15pm – 16.45pm Curating Design Through Art

Join Rebecca Wilson, VP of Art Advisory and former Director of the Saatchi Gallery in London, for guidance on selecting the best artworks to ensure you are at the forefront of art as well as design.

Speaker: Rebecca Wilson, Saatchi Art

Stage: Social Business Space

17.00pm – 17.45pm: Designing for ‘Bleisure’

Whether travelling for business or leisure, guests are seeking great experiences from their hotel stay. How is the hospitality and design community reacting to this need and designing spaces for ‘bleisure’?

Speakers: Rob Wagemans, Concrete; Hans Meyer, Zoku; Hamish Kilburn, Hotel Designs

Stage: Hotel Vision Stage

On stage with speakers

Image credit: Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam


11.00am – 11.45am: How to use Technology and Personalisation to Maximise your Direct Bookings

Industry expert, Frank Reeves explores the journey that hotels should be using to shift booker intent from OTA’s to their own website through revolutionary technology, and move the focus on from ‘direct bookings’ to ‘direct relationships’. This session will explore the changes in buyer booking behaviors, and how a digital guest-centric approach along with the adoption of emerging technology can revolutionise your guest experience from the start.

Speaker: Frank Reeves, Avvio

Stage: Hotel Vision Stage

12.00pm – 12.45pm: Placemaking: Hospitality at the heart of the community

A ‘how to’ for hoteliers wishing to capitalise on their local community’s assets, inspiration and potential.

Speakers: Veerle Donders, Zoku; Sander Allegro, Allegro INNovations Hospitality Consultancy; Gladys Camphuijsen; Annemoon Geurts, Kazerne

Stage: Hotel Vision Stage

13.00pm – 13.30pm: The Smart Travel Challenge

The 5 biggest industry challenges of the next decade and how we could turn them into sustainable growth opportunities.

Speaker: Christiaan Uittenbosch, Smart Travel Lab

Stage: Hotel Vision Stage

13.15pm – 13.45pm: Elevating Guest Experiences through Art

Rebecca Wilson, VP of Art Advisory at the international art gallery Saatchi Art, will discuss how art can transform the guest experience and lead to increased PR and greater social media exposure. Rebecca has curated art programmes for luxury brands such as Nobu, Hyatt, and Royal Caribbean Cruises.

Speaker: Rebecca Wilson, Saatchi Art

Stage: Social Business Space

14.00pm – 14.45pm: Scale Up But Retain Your Independent Spirit

A ‘how to’ for hoteliers looking to expand their portfolio, keeping the guest experience at the heart of the operation.

Speakers: Sander Allegro, Allegro INNovations Hospitality Consultancy; Bram Van Der Hoek, EU Hotels Private Collection; Jan Stuurman, V Hotel; Kevin Rockey, The Hoxton

Stage: Hotel Vision Stage

15.00pm – 15.45pm: The Hotel Room of the Future

What can we expect from the hotel room of the future? Trend forecaster Vincent van Dijk gives us a glimpse into the future of hospitality. Based on both experiences from his living lab, a hotel room where innovations for the hotel industry are tested, and a trend analysis.

Speaker: Vincent van Dijk, HBMEO Concepts

Stage: Hotel Vision Stage

15.45pm – 16.15pm: Trend Tour

Join trend forecaster Vincent van Dijk for a trend tour, featuring a number of hand-selected highlights at the show which tie in with the most important hotel trends of this moment. From technological innovations to special sustainable gadgets that should not be missing in today’s hotel room! Tours will leave promptly from the Hotel Vision Stage.

Speaker: Vincent van Dijk, HBMEO Concepts

Stage: Hotel Vision Stage

16.00pm – 16.30pm: Making a Difference – A Leadership Opportunity

Taking responsibility for the two most precious resources: Your People – Our Planet.

Speaker: Wolfgang M. Neumann, Radisson Hospitality Group AB, Guestline

Stage: Hotel Vision Stage

The Hotel Designs team will be exhibiting at the show on stand number F62

Editor of Hotel Designs confirmed to speak at IHS Amsterdam

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Editor Hamish Kilburn has been confirmed to host ‘Designing for Bleisure’ on the Hotel Vision Stage at Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam on May 8… 

As a proud media partner of the Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam, Hotel Designs has announced that it will take an active role in the two-day exhibition that takes place on May 8 – 9 with its editor, Hamish Kilburn, is now confirmed to moderate a unique and engaging panel discussion.

Title: Designing for Bleisure
When: Wednesday May 8

Time: 17.00 – 17.45
Where: Hotel Vision Stage, Amsterdam Rai Hall 5
Moderated by: Hamish Kilburn, Hotel Designs
Panelists: Hans Meyer, Zoku and Rob Wagemans, Concrete

Summary of session

Whether travelling for business or leisure, humans are seeking great experiences from their hotel stay. Kilburn will moderate the session ‘Designing For Bleisure’ and will ask important questions such as how we should define a bleisure guest while also confronting whether or not the hospitality and design community is reacting well to this need by designing spaces for ‘bleisure’.

Joining Kilburn on the stage for the session will be one of Amsterdam’s most known, and much-admired, hoteliers Hans Meyer who is the brainchild of Zoku and Rob Wagemans who is the founder and creative director of architecture studio Concrete.

“In order to nail consumer demands so that we can then go on design better hotels and better cities, it is vital to put this topic under the magnifying glass,” said Kilburn. “Designing for bleisure is not about designing separate areas for different types of guests, but more around designing flexible spaces that are timeless, which I look forward to discussing live on stage at the Independent Hotel Show in Amsterdam.”

To resister for the show in order to secure your place in the audience at the Designing For Bleisure session, please click here. In addition to partaking in the speaker programme, Hotel Designs will also be exhibiting at the show on stand no. F64.

SPOTLIGHT ON: Photography/Artwork & Show Season Recap

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Throughout November, Hotel Designs will be shining the spotlight on the importance of photography and artwork while also reflected on what was a busy and successful show season, which is not quite over yet…

Next month, Hotel Designs will investigate how photography and artwork is used within international hotel design in order to create personality and a strong sense of place. In addition, it will reflect on Show Season’s London Design Festival and Independent Hotel Show and will highlight what the industry can expect ahead of this year’s highly anticipated SLEEP + EAT.

Photography, artwork and wallcoverings

This month, ARTIQ will conclude its nationwide search to find the best young artists trying to make a name for themselves. Now in its sixth year, The Graduate Art Prize 2018, established by ARTIQ and global law firm Herbert Smith Freehills in 2012, is open to all final year students on BA and MA degree courses at British art colleges or universities. In addition, the Hotel Designs editorial team will catch up with the artist behind the sensational newly designed lobby at Address Downtown, Dubai in order to understand the challenges of creating the 8.5-metre-high paintings that now frame the luxurious first impressions upon arrival.

Show Season Recap 

Image caption (left to right): Hamish Kilburn (Editor, Hotel Designs), Emma King (Head of Interior Design, Europe), Chris Hill (Director of Operations, Daniel Thwaites) and Anant Sharma (CEO, Matters of Form)

As we hit the halfway point in regards to Show Season as the industry prepares for SLEEP + EAT, Hotel Designs will reflect on the highlights from both London Design Festival and Independent Hotel Show in order to pinpoint the main events and what the trends look like for 2019 and beyond.

If you’re a supplier in either of these categories and want your products to reach more than 41,000 hoteliers, interior designers and architects per month, there are plenty of ways you can get involved with these features next month, from supplying an opinion piece to working with us on a targeted mini-series.

If you wish to find out more, please contact Zoe Guerrier on 01992 374059 or z.guerrier@forumevents.co.uk

Image credit: ©-Nicolas-Dumont-courtesy-of-Address-Downtown




Launching tomorrow: DLAppTap

Hamish Kilburn
DLAppTap launches tomorrow at Independent Hotel Show to help improve and revolutionise revenue streams for hospitality retail…

Making its debut at London’s Independent Hotel Show on 16-17 October 2018 is DLAppTap. This is an innovative iPhone and iPad app that allows hotels to easily sell their beautiful products to guests in their properties without the need for in-house retail operations. With DLAppTap, hotels can capitalise on new revenue streams, achieve ROI from refurbishments and improve and provide higher levels of guest-centric services.

The new hospitality-focused tool is an extension of the soon-to-be-launched DesignLife App, which, as the video below demonstrates, was developed to showcase residential products. The iOS app becomes a platform for individual hospitality venues thanks to encoded Near-field Communication (NFC) labels, which are discreetly attached to items available for purchase. After downloading DLAppTap, guests can view the specifications, measurements, costs, lead times, shipping and payment options for any labelled item they “tap” with their mobile devices. Purchases can even be added to their guestroom bills. Orders are automatically sent to manufacturers, with the hotel receiving 25 per cent commission.

“Hotels are the shopping centres of the future,” says Jane Moriarty, founder of DesignLife Associates, Ltd. and marketing director of DLAppTap, “and this technology is set to revolutionise the retail aspect of hospitality.”

Visitors to the Independent Hotel Show can test the app for themselves at the Hotel Room of the Future exhibit conceived by Two’s Company Interior Design. To demonstrate that the labels will not distract from aesthetics, nearly every item in the concept stand will be discreetly tagged with nano-thin, film-like NFC stickers that store data and draw energy from mobile devices. Pieces to be encoded include the Nexus Armchair and two-seater sofa from Knightsbridge Furniture, with JAB Anstoetz’s Hideaway textile collection used for upholstery, curtains and accessories. Various items are crafted by Splinter Works, MRF Design and Langstaff-Ellis, the company building the room’s wardrobes. Minibar facilities are from A3 Solutions, and lighting from Heathfield & Co. Accessories from Cocoon Interiors and Buwier will be tagged, and even toiletries and bed linens from The Fine Cotton Co. These can all be scanned by visitors wishing to test the technology on their own devices.

Not only does this solution help guests get “the look” of their favourite hotel for their own homes, it also offers numerous benefits to hoteliers, designers and product suppliers:


  • Financial: eliminates the huge investment required to launch and maintain online retail and procurement departments, as well as warehouses
  • ROI: opportunity to, at the very least, partially recoup expenses from new-build or refurbished hotels and restaurants
  • Brand extension: guests have daily reminders of a hotel’s lifestyle ethos in their homes
  • Organic advertising: purchasers will show their friends their hotel furniture “finds”
  • Loyalty: guests can earn hotel brand loyalty credits that can be exchanged for products
  • Maintain market-lead by keeping ahead of the curve: declining product sales may indicate interiors are perceived as tired, and therefore the hotel requires a design refresh
  • Exclusivity: a “white label” app can be created to provide consistency with a brand’s own corporate identity


  • Portfolio: a platform to showcase a design studio’s range of products across a variety of projects
  • Awareness: acknowledgement of a studio’s creative talents and contributions
  • Increased innovation: developers willing to pay more for bespoke designs that will increase a hotel’s cachet


  • Authenticity: encourages developers to use genuine items that can be ordered from original factories
  • Marketing tool: a gateway for purchasers to learn about the other products suppliers sell
  • Market research: products purchased (or not) reveal insights to manufacturers about consumer preferences

The DLAppTap team manages the retail process: establishing supplier trade accounts; uploading all product specifications to the app; determining if products require minimum quantities in order to be sold; and managing the guest experience when using the app.

Justin Kandiah, managing director of DLAppTap, says, “Not only does DLAppTap have the potential to turn hospitality retail on its head, it is also a win-win solution where guests’ homes have reminders of their treasured holidays, and the hospitality industry has a streamlined way to give guests what they want, increase revenue and build their brand awareness.”

The Independent Hotel Show with the Hotel Room of the Future takes place at Olympia London 16-17 October 2108.

Hotel Designs is a proud media partner of the Independent Hotel Show. 

Top five stories of the week: Sleep talking, Shanghai arrivals and peeking into the future

Hamish Kilburn
With the Independent Hotel Show just around the corner, editor of Hotel Designs Hamish Kilburn breaks down the stories of the week…

It’s official, show season is well and truly underway and don’t we all know it. As media partners, we are highly anticipating Independent Hotel Show opening its 2018 doors and I look forward to hosting Power Hour on October 17. In the week we were in Manchester at the AHC, EDITION yet again added to its empire with the opening of EDITION Shanghai, SLEEP + EAT launched its speaker programme and we’re all staring into the future eagerly awaiting for Gilly Craft and Nick Sunderland’s answer to the future of hotel design to be unveiled at IHS.

1) EDITION Hotels arrives in Shanghai

Celebrated designer Ian Schrager brings the celebrated EDITION brand to the metropolis of Shanghai, with an unprecedented blend of leisure and entertainment within one luxury hotel.

Times change, people change, cultures change. Few cities move as fast or adapt as quickly as the city of Shanghai. Ian Schrager, the inventor and innovator of the boutique hotel concept, now brings the modern luxury of the EDITION Hotels brand to Shanghai.

2) Sleep conference programme announced

Taking place on 20 – 21 November at London Olympia, Sleep + Eat promises once again to be packed with foremost influencers shaping the industry today. The free-to-attend two-day Sleep Conference at Sleep + Eat 2018 show will be joined by a new Eat Conference.

3) Independent Hotel Show: Peeking into the future of hotel design 

Looking ahead to new possibilities, the founders of Two’s Company, Nick Sunderland and the President of the BIID* Gilly Craft have combined thoughts to design what they believe could very well be the hotel room of the future. With hidden technology and a ‘WOW’ bathroom, the conceptional representation will be unveiled on The Future stand at the Independent Hotel Show on October 16 – 17 at London’s Olympia.

4) Brown Hotels’ The Lighthouse opens in Tel Aviv

Image credit: Assaf Pinchuk/Max Morron

Brown Hotels, the design-savvy boutique hotel brand born out of Tel Aviv, opens doors today to The Lighthouse, the group’s eighth property in Israel and its largest and most amenity-rich hotel to date…

5) 10 innovative hotel design trends to watch for in 2019 

Today hotel guests have higher expectations than ever. They appreciate exotic textures and personalised experiences and have developed a taste for exquisite materials, even if it’s just an overnight stay – all while feeling at home. With more focus on guest experience than ever before, here are 10 interesting creative trends we expect to be emerging in 2019 and beyond.

Independent Hotel Show: Peeking into the future of hotel design

Hamish Kilburn
With the Independent Hotel Show around the corner, Hotel Designs took a sneak peek of one of the most anticipated unveilings of this year’s show. The hotel room of the future, conceived by Two’s Company Interior Design Ltd., has been designed around the concept that anything is possible…

Looking ahead to new possibilities, the founders of Two’s Company, Nick Sunderland and the President of the BIID* Gilly Craft have combined thoughts to design what they believe could very well be the hotel room of the future. With hidden technology and a ‘WOW’ bathroom, the conceptional representation will be unveiled on The Future stand at the Independent Hotel Show on October 16 – 17 at London’s Olympia.

The room will have a lounge area, bedroom and bathroom with all three spaces interconnected with clever tech elements throughout for a seamless, stress-free stay. Guests will be surrounded by intuitive design, multi-channel connectivity, sensor-led sleep support and in-room systems. From checking in to their sumptuous super- luxe room using thumb recognition or their phone, to being able to order room service via simple touch pads, or buy any item they like in the room with a quick tap on a nearby screen, the features bring to life what the future could look like in hotel design.

“Creating a room with 21st century technology, luxury, comfort and outstanding service for the guest are the challenges of today’s hotelier,” says Sunderland. “Research shows that technology is important on both sides but should not be invasive or difficult to use. It should be intelligent and responsive, integrated into the room. Seamless use of technology, in automatically updating housekeeping with individual requirements, for example, and a front of house that responds without intrusion or delay, is the aim. In addition, the guest requires comfort, elegance and style that is unique and individual.”

Subtle tech in the guestroom

Leading integrated technology experts Crestron and Smartcomm have developed the innovative features for the state-of-the-art hotel room. Expect no dials or knobs on walls, just discreet one-touch keypads for simple operations or the central touch screen to make bespoke adjustments for guests to control heating, lighting, air conditioning and much more.

“The bed’s pre-settings include ‘zero gravity mode’ where the guest’s legs are raised above the level of the heart for improved circulation and to relieve pressure on the lower back.”

The ultimate night’s sleep is a given with tech, scent and science incorporated into the design. The Simba bed has a six-axis motion base, amber lights in its footing that encourage the ‘alpha brainwave’ state preceding sleep, plus inbuilt lavender scent diffusers and air purifiers. The bed’s pre-settings include ‘zero gravity mode’ where the guest’s legs are raised above the level of the heart for improved circulation and to relieve pressure on the lower back. The integrated headboard by MRF incorporates two Corian side panels which feature wireless Corian Charging Surface technology that enables smart devices to be powered up directly through the table top.

Entertainment within hotel rooms is ever evolving. IP TV content is now standard across global hotels delivering content based upon geographic location, plus other popular global channels. BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is now the norm, so the Hotel Room of The Future is set up so that content can be displayed on the TV and audio system via two screens.

A media wall built by Simon Waites from Waites Furniture faces the bed with a Samsung 49inch TV and Sonos bar linking to individual devices and enabling access to all services in the hotel with a single tap. The media wall reverse creates a private seating area and again houses a 49 inch Samsung TV and Sonos sound bar. A minibar, and safe from A3 Solutions and a Nespresso coffee system is hidden in the unit and a pull-out desk creates a flush system. Built into the side is another control panel accessing all room and hotel services. It overrides the TV to integrate the room with front of house and housekeeping and gives access direct to the concierge for any guest requests. The whole process linking services has been set up by Crestron and Smartcomm on three levels of programming. Luxe lighting by Heathfield in elegant brushed antique brass and satin black, is pre-programmed but can be adjusted by the guest.

The whole concept for the technology within the room enables guests to have as little or as much interaction with the room as they wish. The aim is to create a calming, no-hassle room that a guest can feel right at home in and truly relax for the ultimate hotel experience with the most efficient yet discreet hotel service.

The room tech could provide:

  • Welcome/Good morning with one touch to control lights, TV, audio
  • Good night – all media can be turned off, primed for next day – alarms set
  • Entertainment mode – dim lights, all audio off, curtain closed
  • Good bye – all off and primed for return
  • Or Standard mode as above with no requirement from the guest to make changes
  • Preference settings / pre-stored for regular guests, room profile already set up on check in
  • Turn down/ yes or no option, and also what time
  • Room health check and re-set within hidden menu
  • Check in / out via touch screen or iPad
  • Air con / heating control and scheduling for personal preferences
  • Beside controls, curtain control
  • Water temperature control, Smart glass control/ walk in bathroom glass dims
  • Television custom displays
  • Wall panel device same as guest iPad
  • Concierge contact, room service, do not disturb
  • Cleaning request service, over and above the standard cleaning schedule

The smart hotel app from DL APP TAP

A great opportunity for hoteliers to offer guests add-on experiences, the DL APP TAP (Design Life App) is a new concept. Guests often want to buy luxury interior products they see and use whilst staying at a hotel. This clever App will make that a possibility, with sales handled via the App.  By using near field communication (NFC) newly available to iOS devices, hotels can now brand their own App and start selling luxury items to their guests straight away. Guests can simply use their iPhone to tap the items they want and place them in their basket to checkout in-app or pay upon checking out. Plus, this App can be white labelled to the hotel’s own name and corporate identity.

WOW factor bathroom

The state-of-the-art bathroom with its Splinterworks Hammock bath and eco Axor Philippe Starck taps has its own subtle tech incorporated too for a totally luxe effect. A stylish, Switchable Privacy Glass panel from Smart Glass International can be adjusted by the guest from transparent to opaque in less than 0.01 seconds. They can appreciate the sheer beauty of the cool bathing area from their room, then switch to the privacy setting when they want to step in for a peaceful dip. The entire space is enhanced with translucent bathroom panels from CD UK- Corian®. Leading LED lighting technology specialists, ALL LED worked its magic by backlighting the panels to create a luminous glow throughout the space.

With facilities it’s all about speed and efficiency; the quicker a room can be turned around the faster it can be occupied again. Management want and need to understand their guests more; what they’re doing whilst at the hotel, what they’re using and why, and, of course, what they’re spending their money on. With the use of this seamless, inspiring technology all these things can be achieved in hotel rooms of the future.

Hotel Designs’ editor Hamish Kilburn will be moderating the panel discussion ‘Power Hour’ on October 17 at the Independent Hotel Show. In addition, Kilburn is currently working with tech genius and the former presenter of The Gadget Show, Jason Bradbury, in order future-gaze further into the hotel room of the future.

* The BIID are industry sponsors of The Brit List 2018

In Conversation With: Katja Behre from Elli Popp

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Katja Behre, creative director of interior design company Elli Popp, talks about what’s hot in hotel design, where she finds inspiration, and shares tips for hoteliers looking to freshen up their interiors ahead of the Independent Hotel Show 2018

Ahead of this year’s Independent Hotel Show 2018, Hotel Designs went behind the scenes to catch up with Katja Behre of Elli Popp, the design partner to the Innovation Stage at IHS 2018.

Image credit: Twitter Katja Behre @ElliPoppDesigns

Hamish Kilburn: What are your clients currently looking for in hotel design?

Katja Behre: Storytelling is big. We’ve worked on a lot of customised designs over the past year and our clients love how we can incorporate and merge personal photos and drawings into our existing designs to create unique pieces.

We also add a lot of ‘hide and seek’ images to the murals and can change the layouts of patterns so they complement the client’s architectural features and shapes. We have also created exclusive murals from scratch based on a client’s brief.

HK: What are the key trends you’re noticing in hotel design?

KB: That’s a difficult question to answer as I don’t follow trends, nor do I look out for them.

I do what feels right and as trends come and go, I always try and create timeless designs, which from time-to-time happen to be in trend. Most of our best-selling designs are between one and six-years-old and still don’t seem to fade out.

HK: If a hotelier is looking to improve the design of their property, what top tips would you give them to ensure they do it right?

KB: I come from a colour design background and think it’s important to work with someone who can advise on colour schemes as every colour can have a different meaning. The same colour can even have a different impact depending on the surface and product it’s on as well as carrying different messages and meanings, both psychological and emotionally.

My advice is to look into the importance of colour and check that those you like will work within the hotel environment. What might work well in fashion, might not work in interiors. Colours and patterns can also have different meanings depending on where you are in the world.

I also think that people always feel comfortable with designs that connect them to nature – whether that’s plants, flowers, insects or animals. Any design with a connection to nature will be popular.

HK: Where do you find inspiration for your designs?

KB: Everywhere. I approach the world and life with open eyes and curiosity to find beauty in everything.  We are so conditioned in so many ways that we forget that everything carries beauty and inspiration.

Our surroundings are full of inspiring and special moments, appearances and shapes. Everything can be turned into something special with the right approach.

HK: Tell us about who you are collaborating with at the Independent Hotel Show:

KB: We will have a total of seven creative companies present on stage. Our own Elli Popp wallpapers will be supported by Tektura who we have worked with in the past.

We have furniture in collaboration with Jonathan Charles Fine Furniture and will have two vintage chairs on stage re-upholstered with one of our latest mural patterns which has been created by local upholsterer Polly Chetwynd Stapylton.

You’ll also see decorative lights by Emerald Faerie, small decorative pieces by Jimmie Martin and flower and plant arrangements by Aude de Liedekerke.

HK: What key tip would you give to a designer just starting out?

KB: Be true to yourself and your own style.

Be open and friendly to anyone and everyone, help others as others will help you.

Don’t end up copying fellow designers or larger companies – and if you do, than change it as much as you can making it your own individual version.

Take inspiration from the past in art, design, fashion and culture, but create something new. I love Art Nouveau and Art Deco, but make designs my own by adding my own modern twist.

Ellie Popp is the Design Partner for the Innovation Stage at the Independent Hotel Show, which will host an exciting programme of seminars on 16th and 17th October.  To register visit www.independenthotelshow.co.uk

Outdoor terrace looks down onto a palm courtyard

SPOTLIGHT ON: British independents taking international hotel design to new heights

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All this month we are shining the spotlight on independent hotels. As we prepare for this year’s much-anticipated Independent Hotel Show, editor Hamish Kilburn investigates inspiring hotels that are independently leading the way in international hotel design…

Last week, we announced which handful of the industry’s best will join my panel discussion entitled ‘Power Hour’ at this year’s Independent Hotel Show. As we gear up for one of the top hotel exhibitions in Britain, in addition to this year’s highly anticipated Brit List, our editorial team have searched high and low to bring you some inspirational independent hotels in Britain that are creating ripples in international hotel design. With this year’s Brit List fast-approaching, the independents are turning up the volume…

The Mandrake, London

Image credit: The Mandrake, London

Five years in the making, and a first for the Fustok family, The Mandrake Hotel, which we reviewed earlier this year, sits in a former Victorian office block and has been artfully converted into the cool, urban boutique hotel that it is today.

During fashion week last year, when The Mandrake opened, its unique Bohemian-Gothic style led to it becoming the venue of choice for British Vogue’s editor Edward Enninful and a stream of A-listers who followed. The most recent neighbour to move in and name the hotel its premium local hangout spot is Facebook’s new swanky London headquarters in Rathbone Square.

Oddfellows On The Park

Image credit: Oddfellows Hotels

Today’s Oddfellows takes inspiration from a society for the ODD fellows, those who can’t be categorised. The second independent Oddfellows hotel to operate, the interiors were inspired by those people, the ones who aren’t afraid to stand out from the crowd or take the road less travelled – who live a life full of character and charm.

The hotel group proves that when it comes to authentic hotel design, strength is not necessarily in numbers, but in quality instead. With only two hotels under the brand’s umbrella, Oddfellows believes that design is important, service is crucial and playfulness is a requirement.

The owner of Oddfellows will join me on my panel on October 17 to discuss hotel branding and how important strong, consistent branding is in today’s arena of independent hotel design. 

The Goring, London

Image credit: The Goring, London

As one of London’s finest luxury hotels – and one of The Queen’s favourites – The Goring stands out from the crowd as the Capital’s last family-owned luxury hotel, with more than a hundred years of passion for hospitality and commitment to service. Its staff are trained to the highest standards of hospitality – always retaining a timely touch of fun. Indulgence is at the forefront of the experience in order to make guests feel at home, and after 108 years, we still continue to surprise and delight even the most frequent of guests.

Idle Rocks Hotel, St Mawes

St Mawes Hotel and Idle Rocks Hotel, St Mawes, England. June 2015. Image credit: Drew Gibson

With a south facing aspect over the River Fal, St Mawes is a historic fishing village all centred around the harbour and waterside. With an abundance of water activities including sailing, kayaking, powerboating, SUP and much more, it’s a perfect destination if you enjoy a little bit of activity & adventure with your beach-side Cornish holiday.

When arriving at the St Mawes Hotel, it’s immediately clear that this location is a place to escape to, a quiet corner of the world that you can make your own. The hotel sits on the seafront, as does almost everything in St Mawes, and most of your needs can be met within the hotel itself. Inside there is a bar and restaurant available, meanwhile The Courtyard Room can also be hired out for private dining events, where guests can host a formal three-course meal. St Mawes is recognised for its sustainability ethos, from sourcing local produce to respecting the Cornish environment, so you can be confident in the fact that you’re supporting all things local when working with the hotel.

The Royal Crescent Hotel

The Royal Crescent Hotel

The Royal Crescent Hotel is not just a hotel, it’s a destination filled with heritage that is perfectly combines with modern, elegant service and attention to detail along with a passion for making precious memories to last a lifetime. Nestled in between the infamous Royal Crescent Road is a unique 45-key hotel, spa and restaurant that has plenty of charm and character and vibrant interiors to match.

With the independent hotels firmly in the spotlight this month, in addition to Hotel Designs hosting a panel discussion, the leading online website for international hotel design will also be exhibiting at Independent Hotel Show on stand 628.



Editor of Hotel Designs to host ‘Power Hour’ at Independent Hotel Show

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Editor of Hotel Designs Hamish Kilburn will host ‘Power Hour’ at this year’s Independent Hotel Show next month on October 17 2018…

As a proud media partner for the Independent Hotel Show, the editor of Hotel Designs, Hamish Kilburn, will lead a unique panel discussion, exploring how hotels can help better brand their business.

The ‘power hour’ workshop named ‘Designs For Life’ will detail how to use design to create an authentic and individual hotel brand. From typefaces to toilets, cutlery to cocktail lists, and special events to chef’s specialities, here’s how you create an appealing and memorable hospitality environment.

On the panel, a number of leading industry figures will join Kilburn to discuss how hotels can create an appealing and memorable hospitality environment.

Also on the panel
Chris Hill – Hotels Operations Director, House of Daniel Thwaites
Anani Sharma – CEO, Matters of Form
Jonathon Slater – Owner, Oddfellows Management
Emma King – Head of Interior Design, IHG

“We are very proud media partners for the Independent Hotel Show, and this is such a fitting way for us to be involved with the show,” said Kilburn. “I am really looking forward to exploring this topic with such incredible names.”

Secure you place at the talk here.

Image of Miranda Martin

The director of the Independent Hotel Show’s take on Amsterdam as a design hub

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Following the Independent Hotel Show’s major announcement to take the unique exhibition overseas to Amsterdam, Hotel Designs editor Hamish Kilburn caught up with the show’s director, Miranda Martin, to find out more…

Earlier this month, the Independent Hotel Show (IHS) let the cat out of the bag that it will launch the inaugural IHS Amsterdam next year. Considering it’s the first time that the show has taken the concept abroad from London, we caught up with the show’s director Miranda Martin to find out why now is such an important time to recognise Amsterdam as well as London is a prominent design hub of the world.

Hamish Kilburn: What would you say is the most challenging part of your role?

Miranda Martin: The most challenging part of my role is translating blue sky thinking into real, tangible, transformational experiences for the communities my events serve. I’m lucky that I’m surrounded by a team of creative thinkers with big ideas. The challenge is harnessing the key components of those ideas, on schedule, in budget and then delivering them in a compelling and relevant way in a live event scenario.

“Social media presents an unrivalled brand building opportunity.”

HK: We are putting huge emphasis on social media at the moment and its place in our industry. How has social media had an impact on trade events?

MM: Social media presents an unrivalled brand building opportunity. Users belong to a digital tribe and behave in a different way digitally than they do in real life. By positioning yourself in a certain way on social platforms, you engage an audience that value a common vision and you’re able to build aspiration for your brand. Instagram is my favourite platform for the Independent Hotel Show because it allows us to share pictures that paint a thousand words and easily enables us to illustrate our brand to our community.

Image caption: Pulitzer Amsterdam

HK: What does Holland have that London does not?

MM: I don’t think it’s about what Holland has that London doesn’t but rather about broadening our support of our hotelier community to a new destination in continental Europe. We’ve had an amazing response to our event in the UK over the years and are proud to be able to serve the industry in a creative, thoughtful live event environment (not just another boring trade show!). As the world becomes smaller and more connected our ultimate goal is to take our support of the hotelier community global, connecting, sharing knowledge and creating opportunities for the global industry.

“Its unique culture and it being a European centre for innovation will be mirrored at the Independent Hotel Show.”

HK: Why expand IHS to Amsterdam now?

MM: I’ve experienced an infectious enthusiasm amongst the Dutch people with whom I’ve shared the vision of the show and it’s so exciting to be able to create a new event, when nothing like it currently exists, for such an enthusiastic audience. There’s a close community of hoteliers and hospitality professionals in Amsterdam particularly and I’m looking forward to seeing the show spread through the community in an authentic, organic way.

Aside from my excitement at being able to serve this sector, Amsterdam is an incredible destination with beautiful architecture, design and an open minded culture. It is a forward-thinking, attractive and accessible destination. It was last year’s most attractive European city for investment and celebrates a vigorous tourism industry. According to PWC, occupancy is forecast at 82 per cent in 2018, the highest level in western Europe. The industry in Amsterdam is informal, open-minded, tech savvy and driven by ideas. Its unique culture and it being a European centre for innovation will be mirrored at the Independent Hotel Show.

Image caption: Amsterdam’s iconic riverside

HK: How does IHS support collaboration in hotel design?

The show is thoughtfully curated to present the highest quality exhibitors and partners to our hotelier audience. It’s no surprise that it has a strong focus on design. I generalise here but our audience of ‘boutique’ hoteliers are very design led, with design being an easy way to differentiate from competitors in the market, creating a unique guest experience and identity. More than this, we want to build an amazing event experience for all of our customers – visitors and exhibitors alike – so the aesthetics of the show and the environment we create are important to us.

We’re essentially building an environment to inspire our hotelier community to use design to create better guest experiences, so we have to deliver exceptionally designed communal working and networking spaces at the show in line with what our discerning hotelier audience would want and expect. As such we invite amazing design brands to come on board as partners to work with us to design and deliver beautifully designed, stimulating spaces at the show. We are totally in support of collaboration in hotel design. If there are any companies out there who want to work with us, please get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.

HK: What will be the layout of the show, how will it flow and why? 

Without giving too much away, we plan to have a dramatic entrance experience to set the scene as our guests walk through the doors. When in the show, they’ll experience a high quality curated exhibition of market-leading suppliers from across the hotel supply chain. We’ll also have a strong focus on companies and individuals with products never-seen-at-events-before to ensure we deliver true innovation.

The Lobby will be our main communal space at the heart of the show embodying qualities that the modern hotel lobby emulates such as a an inspirational work space, transitioning seamlessly to a social sharing space and bar.

The Suite is our VIP space for special events we’re hosting in collaboration with key industry partners. Our aim: to deliver great hospitality for the best minds in the business. Expect flowing champagne, speed networking and the possibility of making connections you never imagined you’d make.

“Think The Hoxton, Soho House, The Pig, Artist Residence etc. We’ve loved watching them grow.”

HK: What will the key show themes be and why? 

Design, technology, sustainability, from one to many – expanding your portfolio, recruitment and retention… these are just some of the big themes we’ll build into the show’s content. Design, because of the reasons stated above and we want the show to look beautiful and to inspire. Technology, because there’s a huge opportunity for hoteliers to grow in the tech space in line with consumer demand and we want to give them the tools to enable them to be successful in this sphere. Sustainability, because we care about the future of our planet. Because we know this is a huge topic in The Netherlands and because consumer shifts indicate deep feelings of responsibility in this area and we want to help our hoteliers capitalise on this. From one to many… we’ve seen some epic hotel brands on their journey, growing from one to many over the years as our little show has served them. Think The Hoxton, Soho House, The Pig, Artist Residence etc. We’ve loved watching them grow and despite their huge expansion plans they’ve managed to retain that special feeling that makes each and every one feel like an independent, unique, special place to stay. We love this about these hotels and we want to champion all hoteliers out there with big aspirations, but particularly those where they don’t lose sight of those things that make them so special. Recruitment and retention – because we know the hospitality industry is an amazing place to work and we want to support the industry in creating remarkable career opportunities in a challenging recruitment landscape.

HK: Will this show pave the way for a succession of other Europe based events for Fresh Montgomery? And if so, where do you have your sights on next and why? 

MM: That’s certainly the plan! But our next move will remain secret for now. Lets get the Amsterdam show to an amazing place then we can talk about how we can continue our support for this amazing industry… and where.

Hotel Designs is a proud media partner of the Independent Hotel Show 


IHS Awards

IHS Awards winners revealed

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The winners of the Independent Hotel Show Awards, in association with Sky – Independent Hotelier and Outstanding New Hotel – were revealed this week.

Paul Bayliss MBE, manager of Carden Park in Cheshire took the Independent Hotelier of the Year crown while Bath-based property No.15 Great Pulteney was given the Outstanding New Hotel of the Year award.

Bayliss MBE told the gathered crowd: “Well done to all the nominees, I am elated to win award. This really is a nice surprise, and a big surprise as I’ve only been in the hotel industry for nine years.”

IHS Awards
“Thank you, on behalf of everyone at No. 15 Great Pulteney, we are truly delighted to win the outstanding new hotel award – this is the one we wanted to win,” Jonathan Walker, managing director of No.15 Great Pulteney, said.

Independent Hotelier shortlist:
Claire Randall, Lucknam Park
Neil & Zoe Kedward Grove of Narbeth,
Justin & Charlotte Salisbury Artist Residence
Nicholas Dickinson Congham Hall
David & Charlotte Reilly Yorebridge House
Paul Bayliss MBE Carden Park

Outstanding New Hotel shortlist:
The Painswick
The Pig at Combe
Foxhill Manor
No. 15 Great Pulteney
King Street Townhouse
Brocco on the Park

Ahead of the Independent Hotel Show in October, Hotel Designs caught up with the event director Miranda Martin to get her thoughts on this year's edition...

IHS Live 2017: Seminar programme highlights

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Independent Hotel Show has built up a reputation for offering high-quality, focussed and insightful seminars during the two days of the event. This year’s edition has been no different.

Hotel Designs picks out the highlights from Tuesday and Wednesday’s programme…

UK Independent Hotels
This ‘state of the industry’ address featured vital intel on the health of the hospitality sector right now.

Thought Leader Forum
George Titlow hosted a panel featuring some of the finest hospitality minds, as they interpreted the over-arching trends from the show’s in-house expert’s landmark presentation. 

Power Couples: Owners and Operators
Owners aren’t always operators – too many hotel success stories include a driven, savvy entrepreneur working alongside an experienced hospitality professional. 

I’m With the Brands: Partnerships
‘Brand partnerships’ – that’s shrewd hook-ups with other like-minded businesses are an excellent way to accelerate the growth of your brand identity.

The Guest Journey: Stairways to Heaven
The ‘guest journey’ refers to your customers’ sensory experience, and its consistent presence during their stay from the satisfying crunch of the gravel on the driveway to the cosy glow of the bedside…

Oh! What a Lovely Brexit!
Tourism is one British industry that actually could benefit from the infamous referendum result and with hotel bookings from abroad up, it actually already is. 

The New Era of F&B
Formal hotel dining is a thing of the past, and while Britain may be leaving the EU cosmopolitan, continental dining habits will thankfully be sticking around.

Instagram 1.01
The hot photo-sharing application is considered the lifestyle sector’s most powerful social media tool. But it can be harder to have a ‘lit feed’ than it first appears…

Perfect hotel bedroom - IHS 2017

IHS 2017 Live: The ‘Perfect Hotel Bedroom’

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What makes the ‘perfect hotel bedroom’? New for this year’s show – the Independent Hotel Show is trying to determine exactly that.

Having commissioned a survey of consumers to find out their preferences and tastes, they assigned the design of the perfect hotel bedroom, which is to be presented by Chic Retreats.

Questions in the survey revolved around the design of the room, bedding, lighting, technology and many other factors.

The results formed the basis of a report which dictated the design of the room – being carried out by Harriet Forde Design Studio – and can be seen in person at this year’s show.

Some of Hotel Designs’ clients that contributed and supplied to the project include Hypnos Beds, Vaughan, Chelsom and Hamilton Litestat.

Independent Hotel Show

IHS 2017 Live: Join Hotel Designs at the biggest event of the year…

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This year’s Independent Hotel Show, the most comprehensive and best loved business event on the market for the luxury, boutique and independent hotel sector, is now open!

With record hotelier attendance in 2016 and 66% of exhibitors already booked into their stands for 2017, the buoyancy of the industry is clear and the organisers are thrilled to provide a means to support this exciting and flourishing sector year on year.

According to the Tourism Alliance, the numbers of international travellers to the UK are rising. A weaker pound will drive an increase in staycations, and now more than ever, hoteliers need to invest in their properties to ensure they keep up with the competition.

Moreover the growth of the number of hotel rooms in the UK shows no sign of slowing. With 11,400 regional and 7,200 London rooms due to be added to the hotel supply chain in 2017 alone, the business opportunities are vast.

Comprised of a curated exhibition of over 300 suppliers, a complimentary programme of educational seminars, multiple networking opportunities and the Independent Hotel Show Awards; the Independent Hotel Show is proven to bring thousands of hoteliers together to share ideas, do business and network.

You can join Hotel Designs at our stand on M5 at this year’s show. . .


IHS 2017 Live: Hoteliers optimistic about outlook for 2018

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2017 has exceeded performance expectations and 2018 is currently on track to be even better for independent hoteliers according to new research from Guestline.

The optimistic view also sees many planning to increase investments in technology and refurbishment throughout their properties to deliver growth in the year ahead.

This is according to research published today by leading global hospitality software provider, Guestline, ahead of this week’s Independent Hotel Show taking place at London’s Olympia. Nearly two thirds (60 per cent) of those surveyed confirmed that they think 2018 will be a better year than 2017.

Almost a quarter of those researched (24 per cent) advised that the year to-date has exceeded expectations, whilst nearly half (45 per cent) felt that 2017 has performed in line with their expectations. Likewise looking ahead to the remainder of the year there is a strong excitement and commitment to developing key areas of hotel operations. This includes refurbishment for over a quarter (27 per cent) and technology both for bookings and property management software (PMS) (20 per cent) and guest technology (13 per cent).

Growing direct guests is a key part of hotelier’s plans for 2018 with nearly half of those researched (47 per cent) identifying it as one of their key challenges for the next 12 months. This is followed by planning for challenges around Brexit and technology (13 per cent each). A focus on staff and attracting talent will also be key for one in ten owners and operators.

Investment looks set to be a key trend as in light of this optimistic view many areas can expect to see a commitment to spend and improve. Bedrooms have been identified as a key area for investment by nearly half of respondents (47 per cent), followed by design and décor (20 per cent) and technology (17 per cent). Over a third (37 per cent) also stated they expected to invest more in technology in 2018 compared to this year, with over three quarters (77 per cent) confirming that having a PMS that is easy to integrate to other software services was essential.

Commenting on the findings, Emma Johnstone, VP business development, Guestline said: “It is exciting for the hospitality sector to see that hoteliers are optimistic about the next 12 months and that the market mood is buoyant. Certainly it is has been an interesting year but the fact that hotel owners and operators are making a firm commitment to investment across all areas of operation, including technology and staff as well as property refurbishments indicates that not only is the sector confident there is also strong potential for growth. The sector continues to evolve apace and we look forward to supporting our existing and potential new clients in navigating their way through this changing landscape so they are equipped with the technology and insight they need to realise this growth.”

Guestline this year celebrates its 25th year of offering accommodation providers revenue-generating solutions, and its technology suite is now relied on by companies in 20 countries across five continents. The company will be showcasing the potential of its market-leading software to the hospitality industry at the Independent Hotel Show (Olympia London, 17-18 October, stand number 63).


Jalu - Outdoor Lighting

Company Profile: Outdoor lighting from Jalu

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Officially launched earlier this year, and first seen at Clerkenwell Design Week, there’s a new player on the outdoor accessory scene – Jalu – bringing high-quality and stylish lighting to the UK market whilst offering designers and landscapers a truly unique product for outdoor spaces.

Hotel Designs editor Daniel Fountain sat down with the founders of the company – Alison Cavey and Juliet Kauffmann – to discuss the company’s origins, the product and their plans for the future…

2017 has been a monumental year for Juliet and Alison. Having previously worked together in innovation strategy consulting for more than 15 years, they tell me that after years of working with start-up companies and commercialising new technologies they wanted a piece of the action.

“We wanted to work in a completely different sector and to be able to focus on a product and get excited and passionate about it,” Alison tells me.

That decision led the duo to developing a range of striking, attractive outdoor lighting pieces that make up Jalu’s product range. “We travelled a lot for work and for pleasure to places like Australia and around the Mediterranean, where there is a fantastic outdoor-based lifestyle, and we thought we could bring a little more of that vibe to the UK,” Alison adds.

“The first idea we had was around outdoor lighting which is very traditional here in the UK. In Spain and Italy you can find some really interesting, contemporary pieces – but they’re not designed for the UK market. That was our starting point – making a product suited to this market, using innovative, British-based suppliers who are a big part of our operation,” Alison explains.

It’s taken the pair around 18 months to get the company to where it is today, and there has been a learning curve along that road; namely in finding the right materials to produce the pieces and going through some several early prototypes. The final method takes on a casting approach using a material called Jesmonite (named as one of the products of the year at this year’s London Design Week).

Looking at the pieces, it’s clear to see that it certainly is a durable material to work with. The beauty of the products, too, is given the vagaries of the British weather the finish does not fade and is entirely frost-proof. Being considerably lighter than stone and concrete also means the pieces are easy to move, making them ideal for ever-changing layouts for outdoor spaces. This forms part of Jalu’s adoption of a current design trend – ‘bringing the inside, out’ – which sees indoor living spaces extended to the outdoors.

Juliet explains: “We wanted to create a product that looks just as good outside or inside, and this adds to the flexibility of usage for our clients. There is also an extraordinary versatility in terms of colour and finish, so we can create completely bespoke products for the end user.

“We saw two key markets for these high-end, handmade pieces – we originally targeted working with interior designers, garden designers, landscapers to get access their clients. But we’ve always seen a strong opportunity to work with boutique hotels, restaurants, spas – clients that can make a real statement with Jalu products,” she adds.

So when do they see as the ideal time to get involved in the design process?

“We can come in at any time during a project – due to the versatility of the product, so if a client comes to us and they already have a colour scheme, we can fit in around that as best we can. But ideally, we would come in earlier. The important thing to remember is these lights are a statement, they’re a feature – they’re not designed to be hidden around a corner, or to light something else; they are meant to be part of the design, so the earlier they can be incorporated into the design process, the better for us. Not to mention there is the potential for customisation or completely bespoke designs,” Juliet says.

And, although they are designed to be portable, they can be hard-wired too – the pieces are mains-powered, entirely IP65 rated so perfect for outside provided the outdoor socket has a residual current device (RCD) on it, or goes through to an indoor socket.

“So we see it as a standalone item that you can just plug in like you would with any device. But with a loop-in, loop-out system they can be wired up together. In terms of practicality, these are large pieces that wouldn’t have worked with a small, solar bulb; they needed something a bit more substantial, so we use high-quality LED luminaires, which are obviously energy-efficient and should last you a long time,” Alison concludes.

So far, Alison and Juliet have received considerable positive feedback from the design world. And with more designs on the horizon, there is more to come from Jalu. Now up-and-running, the next step is to target independent and boutique hoteliers where the duo feel the product is perfectly suited.

You can see Juliet and Alison on the Jalu stand at the upcoming Independent Hotel Show on Stand 29. Be sure to stop by, the future is looking bright for this innovative and stylish product…

Photos: Daniel Fountain (Hotel Designs)

Vaughan to show off new additions at IHS 2017

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Vaughan will be launching some stylish new additions to their range at the Independent Hotel Show 2017, Stand 19.

Highlights from the collection include the Beauchamp bouillotte ceiling light in cast brass finished with a large linen shade with stitch leather binding. The hanging shade has been designed for elegant living & dining areas.

The Liston bathroom wall light in nickel is a fabulous new addition to the Vaughan bathroom range, this decorative wall light is IP44 rated and has an opaline glass hurricane shade and nickel finial and backplate.

The Shoreditch ceiling pendant with cylindrical opaline glass is encased with a circular band of brass or bronze. Pictured here in bronze, this contemporary design can be hung individually or in groups to create a stylish statement.

The Bamboo lantern made of solid brass is inspired by an antique from the Vaughan archives. This stylish hand-crafted design has been made using the lost wax casting process. This traditional method highlights the exquisite detail of the brass, creating a bamboo finish.


Biggest issues, hottest trends at IHS 2017

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The hotel industry’s biggest issues and hottest trends will be put under the spotlight at this year’s Independent Hotel Show in partnership with James Hallam.

Returning for its sixth year at Olympia London, the Show on 17th and 18th October will provide a hotbed of ideas and inspiration for those working in the hotel industry.

Thought-provoking and inspiring seminars will take place over both days in three areas: The Business Theatre, The Innovation Stage and Gymnasium for The Mind by Shape with more than 100 hotel professionals speaking in 30 seminars and workshops covering areas such as design, recruitment, technology, marketing and health and well-being.

On Wednesday 18th October head to the Innovation Stage to find out about the latest design innovations in Design Forum 2107 before visiting Gymnasium for The Mind to hear Hotel Designs editor Daniel Fountain and fellow experts discuss how technology is shaping design.

The show embraces this year’s strongest design trends: natural and individual combined with clever lighting.

Benedict Wilhelm, who is designing the Show’s main networking area – The Lobby – this year, says hotel design now includes a stronger emphasis on combining more tactile, natural, raw materials with carefully designed details.

Harriet Forde, founder of Harriet Forde Design, who will create a live version of The Perfect Hotel Bedroom – a new feature for this year – agrees that the use of natural materials as well as clever lighting have become an integral part of hotel bedroom design.

“Lighting… can make a huge difference to the ambience of a bedroom,” she says. “Meanwhile, natural materials in hotel accommodation is increasing, with wooden floors gaining popularity as well as the use of marble and coloured glass.”

Other hotel trends highlighted and discussed in more detail at #IHS17 include an emphasis on sourcing more local produce, personalised marketing, mindfulness and smarter staffing.

To register to attend the Independent Hotel Show 2017, visit www.independenthotelshow.co.uk

Miranda Martin IHS

In Conversation: Miranda Martin, IHS event director

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Ahead of the Independent Hotel Show in October, Hotel Designs caught up with the event director Miranda Martin to get her thoughts on this year’s edition…

Hotel Designs: First off, how is everything going with the show planning?
Miranda Martin: We have a simply brilliant team of people here at Independent Hotel HQ. We’re super committed to delivering great experiences for everyone who attends the show. Every detail matters and a huge amount of effort has gone into making this edition remarkable. I’m confident that this year will truly be the best yet. We’re lucky because we’re confined by a finite space in the halls so when the stands sell out we get to focus on making the rest of the show even better.

One of the key tasks for this year was to focus on turning the heat up on design. Our exhibitor list is reflective of the hard work the team have put into researching and discovering brilliant brands to bring value and inspiration to our audience of luxury and boutique hoteliers. And the designed features at the show are the ‘pièce de résistance’. I can’t wait for people to see them.

Ahead of the Independent Hotel Show in October, Hotel Designs caught up with the event director Miranda Martin to get her thoughts on this year's edition...HD: Could you tell us what familiar features of the Independent Hotel Show guests can expect this year, but also anything new with this year’s edition we can look forward to?
MM: As always, guests can expect a strong line up of speakers revealing trends and practical solutions, together with a fully relevant collection of exhibiting companies showing the latest products and services available for hoteliers today.

New for this year’s event we have introduced ‘The Perfect Hotel Bedroom’ thread in partnership with Chic Retreats. We conducted a consumer survey to help generate answers around what makes the perfect hotel bedroom. And Harriet Forde Design studio is bringing that to life at the show. We propose to bring you ‘The Perfect Hotel Bedroom’ at the Independent Hotel Show. Come tell us what you think!

The Gymnasium for The Mind is a new concept too. Taking on board mindfulness and wellbeing trends as well as the need to mix up the format of the ‘stuff to do’ at the show, we’ve introduced a workshop area where guests will be encouraged to remove shoes and coats, sit on gym balls, and get stuck in; exercising their minds in an unusual format. Workshop topics will include design, artificial intelligence, cyber-crime prevention and spas for men….

HD: What are the key things you hope guests come away with from the show?
MM: The discovery of something they’ve never seen before; connections and relationships that will change their businesses forever; inspiration and motivation to make change and having had a terrific experience.

HD: Just how important are shows like IHS to the industry?
MM: We strive to serve and support independent hoteliers from across the land to help them stay current and deliver unforgettable experiences for their guests whilst optimising profitability and efficiency.

Ahead of the Independent Hotel Show in October, Hotel Designs caught up with the event director Miranda Martin to get her thoughts on this year's edition...Consumer demand changes at a rapid pace and so must the hotel industry if it wishes to keep up. We offer an annual touch point where hoteliers can network with likeminded people, see the latest products and hear future forecasts and trends. It’s the industry’s show. It’s a great show. It’s a great opportunity. You never know what connections you could make in a face to face environment. Done right, business events of this kind are invaluable.

HD: Thinking about the wider industry, how do you see Brexit affecting the independent/boutique market?
MM: Occupancy reports from this quarter have been hugely positive with an increase in inbound tourism and staycations. I don’t think hoteliers need to fear for a lack of demand
Of course staffing issues will arise but I see this as an opportunity for hoteliers to reimagine their recruitment and training processes, perhaps creating better opportunities in hospitality careers. I think people are going to have to up their game to make their businesses attractive places to work.

Attend our talk ‘Oh! What a Lovely Brexit!’ at the show to find out how Tourism can benefit from a new 21st century ‘Brand Britain’.

HD: And what trends are you seeing coming to the fore in this market?

MM: Mindfulness is everywhere, infiltrating many industries and led ultimately by a widespread consumer interest, hence our introduction of the Gymnasium for the Mind.
People are the priority. In a Brexit landscape, there are natural concerns about our workforce thus there’s a push on recruiting, training and creating an attractive career proposition for domestic staff. The show this year will focus heavily on this in our role of supporting independent hoteliers.

A focus on sustainable and seasonal menus, a continuation of a trend we’ve seen growing every year of the show, with a strong focus on grow-your-own, locally sourced, authentic propositions that are becoming increasingly supplier-led. Brand extensions – clever and strategic partnerships to engage the right type of consumer with your brand and widen your marketing message.

HD: Lastly, what does the future have in store for IHS – is expansion on the horizon?
MM: We have big plans. Not for this small but perfectly formed London edition… watch this space!

17-18 October 2017, Olympia London

Independent Hotel Show

Independent Hotel Show now open for registration

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The Independent Hotel Show, presented by James Hallam Hospitality & Leisure, returning to Olympia London on 17 and 18 October, is now open for registration.

Now in its sixth year, the Show is the only UK business event dedicated to the independent, luxury and boutique hotel sector and returns with new feature areas, a stimulating list of industry experts, business seminars and key note sessions, as well as a feast of ideas, inspiration and insight.

A carefully-curated list of over 300 exhibitors – from guest room amenities to interior design agencies and technology suppliers – will be present, informing visitors about the latest products and services for the independent hotelier while over 100 industry professionals will speak in more than 30 seminars covering design, marketing, branding, social media, recruitment, wellness and more across three stages – Business Theatre, Innovation Stage and The Gymnasium for the Mind.

IHS 17 Logo GoldFor the first time, attendees will be able to find out what makes The Perfect Hotel Bedroom after the results of a survey, carried out in partnership with Chic Retreats, determined consumer preferences in lighting, soft furnishings, storage and more.

The Perfect Hotel Bedroom, created and built to scale by Harriet Forde Design, will be a key feature, with products from the Show’s exhibitors used to furnish the room and visiting hoteliers, journalists and industry thought-leaders invited to get “in bed” to share opinions about it.

The show will also feature the celebrated Independent Hotelier and Outstanding New Hotel Awards which will recognise those which have made a significant contribution to the industry over the past year.

Miranda Martin, Event Director at Independent Hotel Show said: “The 2017 Independent Hotel Show offers everything the independent, luxury and boutique hotelier needs to help inspire and develop their business. As with previous years we have secured an exceptionally strong line-up of industry experts and exhibitors, proving how invaluable the show is to all areas of the sector. We are particularly excited to be revealing such an insightful and potentially controversial feature in The Perfect Hotel Bedroom and look forward to feedback from visitors”

For more information on the Independent Hotel Show 2017 and to register to attend for free, visit www.independenthotelshow.co.uk.

Lucy Mortimer Galapagos

In Conversation: Lucy Mortimer, Galapagos Designs

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Lucy Mortimer, director at Galapagos Designs – a design partner with this year’s Independent Hotel Show – talks about how an individualistic approach and the use of heritage-inspired furniture continues to be a big trend in the world of hotel design…

Hotels are eschewing a uniform look and are taking a more individualistic approach to design to help mark them out and convey a sense of warmth, that’s certainly what we’re seeing our clients come to us for.

A good example of that is The Ned in London which is looking back to an Art Deco styling to create a very eclectic and individualistic look across the rooms. Hotels are no longer applying that ubiquitous, formal look to rooms, but are making them more warm and inviting with a heritage angle. Mixing a bit of old and new in together helps add more depth of character to a room.

We are certainly seeing design being used to reflect the personality of the business more. Even when hoteliers have a new-build property, they are seeking out a more individual edge. There’s less use of ubiquitous artwork and more of a focus on sourced products rather than something that is bought. Of course, it all depends on the hotel and the target audience. This look might be less appropriate for a business hotel but certainly there’s a cluster of hotels catering for high-end business customers who want to provide something other than just great Wi-Fi and room service.

We’ve been working on a big hotel project recently which combines the vintage mid-century stuff we produce with newly-made classic-style furniture. We are finding more and more customers are approaching us for a similar style.

Overall, hotels want to create an inviting space, so the type of material used is gaining importance. A lot of velvet is being used now by our customers – the term we use is ‘layering’ which is bringing more than one dimension to a room. You can do that with touches, maybe through old furniture, more accessories or using more classic style lighting over the beds, which can look really lovely rather than just a standard lamp.

Heading into the future, I think we’ll see more of this. Every hotel project we’re working on is using a mix of velvets with more British heritage fabrics like Bute Fabrics. Good, strong, old brands which have a sense of history.

This thoughtful approach to putting together a room is something that will continue. Now, we’ll almost always supply products to hotels that, even if they aren’t vintage, look vintage. That heritage look is quite a strong trend and that’s what we’ve got with the range of furniture we’ll be showcasing at this year’s Independent Hotel Show at our stand and in the VIP Lounge.

We’ve launched our Heritage Collection in partnership with a brand called Howard Keith, or HK. It was a huge brand in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s and supplied all the furniture to the QEII Officers’ lounge and royal residences. They closed in the noughties, but we have partnered with them under licence to bring back some of their furniture under a heritage collection which is made exactly the same as the 1950s models but mixed today with fabric featuring cutting-edge designs from Japanese designers. That mixture of old and new is what you’ll find in our chairs and what you’ll find us showcasing more at the show.

Galapagos Designs is one of the design partners at this year’s Independent Hotel Show, taking place at Olympia, 17 & 18 October. Galapagos is designing the Suite for VIPs and select partners to use. Lucy says: “We’ve chosen to marry luxury fabrics and furnishings with a slightly wild, colonial feel for the Suite – the theme is Hot House Jungle, so expect a lot of tropical planting and sumptuous chairs you’ll sink into lush green velvets and singing hot colour accents from our fabric partners ROMO, Linwood and Designers Guild, and some beautiful metallic accents in the lighting and accessories from Pooky Lighting and Rockett St George. We’re making the space into a real retreat, where hoteliers can take 10 minutes away from the crowds to recuperate or send a few emails, or have a private meeting in comfort.”



Perfect Hotel Room

IHS 2017: ‘Perfect Hotel Bedroom’ survey launches

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The luxury and boutique hotel sector’s most comprehensive and inspirational business event, the Independent Hotel Show has launched a survey to reveal the consumer’s perfect hotel bedroom in partnership with Chic Retreats, an online marketplace to book independent boutique villas and hotels from round the globe.

The Perfect Hotel Bedroom will be featured at the Independent Hotel Show, 17-18 October, Olympia, in a dedicated space on the show floor. Show exhibitors’ products will furnish the room and visiting hoteliers, journalists and industry thought-leaders will be invited to get “in bed” to share opinions about the room.

Designed to provide independent hoteliers with an understanding of the modern consumer’s wants and needs for a UK luxury hotel stay, the survey will capture lighting system preferences, soft furnishings desires, technology needs, storage requirements and much more. Additional research and industry comment will be included in a final report to be available for hoteliers to take away at the show.

Independent Hotel Show Event Director Miranda Martin says: “We are excited to be presenting such an insightful and potentially controversial feature at this year’s Independent Hotel Show. The Perfect Hotel Bedroom is a collaborative venture that will provide the UK’s best hoteliers with invaluable observations. It will also encourage conversation about design and functionality and bring together our visitors and exhibitors. We are delighted to be partnering with Chic Retreats whose expertise in boutique hotel stays for the discerning traveller will be integral to the success of the project and another successful Independent Hotel Show.”

Amanda Dyjecinski, Chic Retreats, CMO, says: “We are always on the look out for beautiful charming independent boutique hotels to add to our growing marketplace. The Perfect Hotel Bedroom survey results will highlight the features and little details that our ever evolving, modern discerning guests love, so we ensure we partner with hotels that deliver on this.”

On completing the survey, consumers will be entered into a prize draw to win an incredible two-night stay shopping package at boutique The Portobello Hotel, London. Follow @IndHotelShow for up-to-date information on the show and the exhibitors.

Networking at IHS

Networking opportunities at IHS

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As well as generating new leads and a full programme of seminars, the Independent Hotel Show offers fantastic opportunities for networking. There are several spaces designed for networking at this year’s event…

The Hospitality Interiors Hub designed by Paper + White
The Hospitality Interiors Hub is the central networking point of the event, providing a unique opportunity to meet with industry peers, establish new relationships and share ideas. Relax and take in the surroundings in Paper + White’s specially designed seating area while enjoying a glass of fizz from the Nyetimber Bar.

The Guest Lounge
The Guest Lounge is a haven of calm, right at the heart of the show. A spot to relax and network with key industry players. New for 2016, the Guest Lounge will also play host to James Hallam’s Hospitality & Leisure roundtable talks plus Nyetimber will be holding tasting masterclasses to educate you on English sparking wine.

The Power Breakfast powered by Quinyx
A panel of hotel visionaries reflected on the rapidly evolving UK hotel industry – taking in the increasing spend on stays by millennials, the popularity of independents over brands, the growing influx of seasoned international travellers and the rising sophistication of food and beverage expectations. Plus: ‘guest experience’ – what does it really mean, and how do we conjure it? Also, the event looked forward into 2017, profiling trends and examining how we can all future-proof our businesses in an ever more complex business landscape.

Independent Hotel Show

Hotel Designs clients at the Independent Hotel Show

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The Independent Hotel Show kicked off on Tuesday 18 October with a successful first day for suppliers and hotel professionals alike.

A host of Hotel Designs clients were showcasing their latest product ranges and equipment. From Crosswater to Vaughan, we caught up with them on day one of the show…

Seminar Programme - Independent Hotel Show

Independent Hotel Show Day Two: Seminar Programme

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Featuring talks from hoteliers, journalists and industry leaders, the 30 seminars at Independent Hotel Show aim to guide independent hoteliers to improving their business, find out about new trends and initiatives, and learn first-hand from some of the biggest names in the business.

Tailored to the needs of the independent and boutique hotelier, all the sessions cover a range of topics and advice to help build and grow a successful hotel business, from marketing and sales support, business, investment and growth insight, design and technology trends, to staff and service best practice.

Day Two’s programme includes:
• The New Service Culture – a masterclass in service, presented by Peter Hancock, chief executive of Pride of Britain Hotels; Oliver Williams, general manager of Ellenborough Park; Stewart Davies, group operations director of GG Hospitality; Kate Levin, general manager of the Capital Hotel; and Paul Milsom, managing director of Milsom Hotels
• OTAs – The best of frenemies is discussed by Steve Lowy, MD and co-founder of Umi Digital; Simon Bennett, owner of Augill Castle; Dori Stein, CEO of Fornova; Jonathan Raggett, managing director of Red Carnation Hotels; and Serena von der Heyde, owner of the Georgian House Hotel
• Hotels for locals – how to tap into your local customers. Speakers include: Tom Bell, editor of Alastair Sawday’s British Hotels & Inns; David Timmis, managing director of Aubrey Park hotel; Will Ashworth, managing director of Watergate Bay; and Justin Salisbury, co-founder of Artist Residence
• Learn how to win at content marketing, from Richard Fraiman, CEO of the Good Hotel Guide; David Petitt, group marketing manager of Elite Hotels; and Petra Clayton, managing director of Custard Communications
• Finding sanctuary: How to set up a spa with Brian Hunter, director of BHSL Concepts; Jill Russell, spa director of Ramside Hotel & Spa; Mark Chambers, managing director of Eden Hotel Collection; and Mark Boler, CEO of the Mere
• Clean Bill of Health: Spas and business, led by Helen Merchant, director of Helen Merchant International Spa Consultants, aims to provide expert insight into how to make your spa profitable. Further speakers include Lina Lotto, spa director of SenSpa at Careys Manor, and Simon Kerr, chief marketing officer of Yoo Hotels

Winners announced of Independent Hotel Show Awards

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The winners of the Independent Hotel Show Awards, in association with Sky, were announced on Tuesday 18 October at Kensington Olympia.

Coming out on top in a strong field of nominees were The Laslett, Notting Hill – the outstanding new hotel of the year – and Kate Levin, general manager at the Capital Hotel, who won the hotelier of the year award.

The awards are an opportunity for the industry to recognise and toast the sector’s trailblazers at a relaxed reception, and take place annually within the confines of the show on the first evening.


IHS Special Event: Nyetimber Tasting Masterclass

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As part of a programme of ‘Special Events’ at the Independent Hotel Show, English sparkling wine pioneers Nyetimber will be hosting a masterclass on Wednesday 19 October giving you the opportunity to taste their Classic Cuvee MV, Rosé NV, Blanc de Blancs 2009, Blanc de Blancs 2007 Magnum, and Demi-Sec NV.

Date: Day Two, Wednesday 19 October
Time: 13:00 – 13:45
Location: Guest Lounge

If you would like to register your interest for the tasting, click here. . .

Independent Hotel Show Awards

Independent Hotel Show Awards – the nominees…

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An opportunity for the industry to recognise and toast the sector’s trailblazers at a relaxed reception, the Independent Hotel Show Awards in association with Sky takes place annually within the confines of the show on the first evening and celebrates the Independent Hotelier and Outstanding New Hotel.

The two main categories are Independent Hotelier of the Year and Outstanding New Hotel, see the list of nominees below…

Independent Hotelier of the Year
– Ian and Christa Taylor – Abbey Hotel
– Paul Milsom – Milsom Hotels and Restaurants
– Richard Ball – Calcot Hotels
– Edmund and Charles Inkin – The Griffin, The Gurnard’s Head, The Old Coastguard
– Kate Levin – The Capital Hotel
– Andrew Wildsmith – Wildsmith Hotels

Oustanding New Hotel
– The Laslett, Notting Hill
– Penally Abbey, Tenby
– Soho Farmhouse, Oxfordshire
– The Pig at Combe, Devon
– Padstow Townhouse, Cornwall
– The Royal Oak, Swallowcliffe

To find out more about the Awards and the nominees, click here. . .

Seminar Programme - Independent Hotel Show

Independent Hotel Show Day One: Seminar programme

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Featuring talks from hoteliers, journalists and industry leaders, the 30 seminars at Independent Hotel Show aim to guide independent hoteliers to improving their business, find out about new trends and initiatives, and learn first-hand from some of the biggest names in the business.

Tailored to the needs of the independent and boutique hotelier, all the sessions cover a range of topics and advice to help build and grow a successful hotel business, from marketing and sales support, business, investment and growth insight, design and technology trends, to staff and service best practice.

Day One’s programme includes:
• Melvin Gold will talk about 2017 trends, developments and industry headlines at the Zeitgeist Talk
‘Show me the Money’: Alex Clarke from the George in Rye; Nicholas Dickinson from Congham Hall; and principal and founder of Hetherley Capital Partners Charles Scudamore will share experience on securing finance and next-generation financing models
‘Thoroughly Modern Marketing’ will examine the latest marketing buzzwords ‘ethics’, ‘purpose’ and ‘personality’, with Penny Brewer, director of marketing for South Place Hotel; Olivia Johnson, group public relations manager at Claridges, the Connaught and the Berkeley; and Hannah Béraud, director of Hannah Béraud Digital Communications
‘Staring at the Stars’ confronts the ongoing topic of whether the current star rating system should be consigned to the past. Alistair Sandall of the AA; Robert Nadler of Nadler Hotels; PJ Kenny, general manager of the Hoxton Holborn; and hotels editor of The Caterer Janet Harmer discuss
‘The Future Guest’ takes a look at the evolving needs and priorities of tomorrow’s consumer, hosted by Dr Antonia Ward, global head of advisory at Stylus


Independent Hotel Show

Independent Hotel Show has arrived…

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This Tuesday and Wednesday (18-19 October), the Independent Hotel Show will open its doors to celebrate five years as Britain’s best loved, biggest and most comprehensive business event for the luxury, boutique and independent hotel sector.

More than 300 companies will be showcasing their latest products and services to help you find your next inspiration.

There are also 30 free-to-attend seminars, presented by more than 100 industry thought leaders, all available to offer advice on how to achieve business success.

Inspiring and informative, the Independent Hotel Show presented by RateGain, is the only forum in the UK bringing together the luxury, boutique and independent hotel sector.

A must-attend event for independent hoteliers and industry professionals, the show presents a diverse collection of the most innovative suppliers in the UK together with expert insight from our Business Sessions.

Exhibiting companies come from the following categories:

  • Interior & Exterior Design & Build
  • Housekeeping Products & Services
  • Technology
  • Marketing & Brand Awareness
  • Business, Legal & Finance
  • Health & Wellness
  • Environment & Sustainability
  • Breakfast, Bedroom, Bar & Minibar


Independent Hotel Show Awards 2016

Independent Hotel Show announces 2016 Awards shortlist

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The Independent Hotel Show, presented by James Hallam Hospitality & Leisure, has released the much anticipated shortlist for its 2016 Independent Hotelier and Outstanding New Hotel Awards in association with Sky.

The Independent Hotelier Award gives recognition to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the boutique and independent hotel sector. The winner will already be making waves within the industry with a strong reputation for pushing boundaries and having the confidence to evolve and do things differently. Above all, the winner will be someone committed to the development of their team, the success of their establishment and the industry at large.

The shortlist for the Independent Hotelier Award is:
Andrew Wildsmith – owner, Hipping Hall & Forest Side, Cowan Bridge, Kirkby Lonsdale
Ian and Christa Taylor – owners, Abbey Hotel, Bath & Villa Magdula, Bath
Paul Milsom – chairman and MD, Milsom Hotels, Essex and Suffolk
Richard Ball – executive chairman, Calcot, Barnsley House, Lord Crewe Arms, The Painswick
Kate Levin – general manager, The Capital, Knightsbridge, London
Edmund and Charles Inkin – owners, EATDRINKSLEEP

Now in its fourth year, the Outstanding New Hotel Award is designed to highlight and recognise independent, luxury and boutique hotels that have been opened or relaunched within the last three years and have made a significant impact within the industry. The winning hotel will showcase the pinnacle of innovation, demonstrating outstanding service and guest experience as well as creating a unique personality and hotel culture.

The shortlist for Outstanding New Hotel is:
The Laslett, Notting Hill, London
Penally Abbey, Penally, Wales
Soho Farmhouse, Great Tew, Oxfordshire
The Pig at Combe, Honiton, Devon
Padstow Townhouse, Padstow, Cornwall
The Royal Oak, Swallowcliffe, Salisbury, Wiltshire

The shortlist was selected and decided by a panel of industry heavy-weights and experts. Voting for the awards is now live and the winners will be announced at the awards ceremony immediately following the first day of the show on 18th October 2016. Previous winners include Olga Polizzi, voted Independent Hotelier 2015 and Hotel Gotham, winner of the Outstanding New Hotel award 2015.

To discover more and to register for this must-attend event for independent hoteliers and industry professionals, visit independenthotelshow.co.uk.