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Interior Design

The Other House in Covent Garden

The Other House: The new luxury/lifestyle brand ‘revolutionising hospitality’

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
The Other House: The new luxury/lifestyle brand ‘revolutionising hospitality’

Naomi Heaton, CEO of The Portfolio Club, dropped the name of the company’s new lifestyle brand and residents’ clubs during a panel discussion at Hotel Designs LIVE. The Other House will launch in the Spring of 2022 with a stunning property in London’s famed Covent Garden neighbourhood. Editor Hamish Kilburn has more…

The Other House in Covent Garden

During a panel discussion at Hotel Designs LIVE, aptly themed ‘the new era of lifestyle’, Naomi Heaton revealed the name of her new residents’ club brand. To an engaged virtual audience, the developer announced that The Other House will launch in Spring of 2022 and will “blur the lines to create a cutting-edge type of new accommodation.”

Heaton, who is arguably most known for the acquisition of Harrington Hall Hotel in South Kensington, explained that the brand will disrupt the traditional sectors of hotels, serviced apartments and private rentals, effortlessly and elegantly combining home comforts with hotel style facilities, whatever the length of stay.

The brand, which refers to itself on the website as ‘your home from as long as you’re in town’, positions itself as a ‘second home’ for its guests – their other house. It will provide a unique experience for the discerning traveller who knows what they want, seeking style and experiences to remember, without a hefty price tag.

Interior design studio, Bergman Interiors, which won Interior Designer of the Year at The Brit List Awards, has been appointed to create iconic interior schemes for both the South Kensington and Covent Garden properties, led by co-founder, Marie Soliman. Soliman and her team are working alongside award-winning architects, Falconer Chester Hall on both projects.

“The Other House caters to consumers looking for flexibility, style and greater personalisation and who embrace responsibility and slow travel,” explained Heaton in a press release. “Our mission is to create spaces that enhance the overall guest experience and completely reinvent how people stay, providing a renewed sense of space, place, ownership and engagement. The concept paves the way for a new era of smart travellers.”

Each Club will offer around 200 ‘club flats’ with a beautifully designed living area, sleeping area and kitchen. There will be boldly stunning private spaces, bars and spa with fitness studios for residents and private members. A whimsical destination bar and a bistro-style kitchen with a constantly changing seasonal menu will welcome the public.

Moving away from large scale banqueting and conference facilities, each residents’ club will offer amenities that augment the club flats and guest experience such as private dining rooms, bookable meeting rooms and screening rooms.

The brand connects guests with on-demand services and limits touch points through the club’s bespoke tech platform and app. Features include automatic check in, keyless room entry, remote room controls, fingertip access to services, as well as booking and ordering at any of its restaurants, bars and other amenities.

Rolling out in prime central London neighbourhoods initially before expanding globally, The Other House highlights the best in British design, utilising green technology, with sustainability and positive social and environmental impact at its core.

Heaton added: “Now, more than ever, we need to embrace the travel revolution we see ahead of us – we look forward to opening our doors in 2022 and welcoming this new chapter of hospitality.”

The new brand is yet to release interior design renders of the projects, but rest assured that Hotel Designs will be ready and waiting as soon as we know more. For now, welcome to your other house, London and travellers alike.

Main image credit: The Other House

Profile image of Joel Butler, Co-founder of HIX

In the HIX seat: Introducing HIX Works

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
In the HIX seat: Introducing HIX Works

As you know, we love an exclusive at Hotel Designs. Joel Butler, Co-founder of HIX Event and our monthly columnist, explains all the exclusive details around HIX Works that will launch in November 2021…

Profile image of Joel Butler, Co-founder of HIX

As already established in this editorial series, HIX Event 2021 is all about understanding what your guests have just experienced in order to design your guest experience.

When it comes to our relationship with work, the ‘how, where and when? (and indeed for many  of us, the ‘why?’)’ have been irreversibly redefined. The HIX Event will jump into these questions, mind wide-open, exploring how hotels can be our workplace solutions and destinations. 

Following her recent involvement in Hotel Designs LIVE, Tina Norden of Conran and Partners, one of our four ‘HIX Works’ participating studios, muses that we’ve all had to design our own multi-use offices within our homes and have therefore become become designers by default, ‘Are we all now workplace experts, at least in our own little bubbles?’. And as we venture back to our ‘proper’ offices, Norden reflects on the ideals of a homely aesthetic, ‘having worked from home for so long, do we still want our office to be more like home?’

The HIX Team can directly relate to these questions. The event itself was conceived in a hotel lobby, we sold our first stand in an East End hotel bar (we lost the floor plan that evening but that’s another story), and our pre-pandemic honeymoon days were spent working in either Citizen M or the Hoxton, starting the day with carrot juice and finishing with beer, if we felt that we deserved it.  A year later, the Waldorf Hilton and Herman Miller have partnered to create a luxury work package within the iconic Edwardian hotel destination, complete with ergonomic furniture design, state-of-the-art meeting facilities and a record player. As people now bravely step out of their living rooms, sheds and kitchens to re-negotiate the way that they work there will likely be many more hospitality workplace options to fulfil our varying needs and desires. 

HIX will continue to focus on this topic as our conceptual deep-dive culminates in our ‘WFHotel’ session at HIX in November, hosted by Hotel Designs. We’ll explore four concepts, each presented by a leading hospitality or workplace design studio. These four big ideas will manifest as a series of seamlessly connected installations called HIX Works. To compliment this disruptive thinking, our exhibitors allow these design visions to become practical reality, with our edit of furniture, lighting, fabrics and technologies.

So for now, please do get back to work and we’ll announce the HIX Works studio line-up over the coming weeks, sharing our findings along the way. Whatever those findings might be, it’s clear that this work and hospitality opportunity will provoke consideration, creativity and opportunity amongst hotel operators and designers alike.

Head over to the website if you want to know more information about what other experiences will be sheltered at HIX Event. 

Main image credit: HIX Event

The Brit List complilation

The Brit List Awards 2021: Nominations now open (and free)!

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
The Brit List Awards 2021: Nominations now open (and free)!

FREE TO APPLY: Hotel Designs’ The Brit List Awards is back, and bigger than ever, as the nationwide search to find Britain’s best designers, architects, hoteliers and brands introduces two new individual awards to this year’s campaign…

The Brit List complilation

The free nomination/application process for The Brit List Awards 2021 is now officially open, as Hotel Designs’ nationwide search to identify the true leaders operating in the hotel design and hospitality arena in Britain begins. The awards, which has become a major campaign to support diversity and raw talent that stretches across the British design, architecture and hospitality landscape, is expected to be bigger than ever before – climaxing with a live awards ceremony that will take place on November 3 at Proud Embankment, London.

FREE TO ENTER: Simply click here to apply/nominate for The Brit List Awards 2020.

To remain Britain’s most meaningful design and hospitality awards ceremony, this year’s campaign will debut two new awards, The Rising Star Award and the International Award, which editor Hamish Kilburn says will elevate and diversify this year’s awards. “It’s been a challenging year for everyone operating in the industry we love to serve, and I am delighted that these two new awards position our editorial lens on young talented individuals who are fiercely climbing the ranks as well as making a nod to international superstars who are pivoting the international hotel design into a new era,” Kilburn, who will host the awards ceremony on November 3 in London, said. “And yes, following our successful virtual awards ceremony in 2020, we are doing everything we can in order to make sure our awards ceremony, which will be sheltered inside Proud Galleries in London, is the biggest and best yet.”

This year’s individual categories are:

  • Interior Designer of the Year 
  • Architect of the Year
  • Hotelier of the Year
  • Best in Tech
  • The Eco Award 
  • Best in British Product Design
  • The Rising Star Award 
  • International Award
  • Outstanding Contribution to the Hospitality Industry

In addition to the individual awards up for grabs, the top 25 entries in the interior design, architecture and hospitality categories will be profiled in the prestigious The Brit List, Hotel Designs’ annual publication that references the top 75 most influential individuals in British design, architecture and hospitality.

“We have made the decision to postpone all of our other networking events this year until 2022 in order to pour all of our attention into The Brit List Awards Ceremony which will welcome this year’s shortlisted finalists – AKA, the best in British product design, architecture and hospitality – under one roof for a party unlike any other,” said Katy Phillips, Publisher at Hotel Designs. “As a brand, Hotel Designs has confronted the challenges of Covid-19 by being a safe space that incubates new discussions – whether that’s publishing thought-provoking articles, hosting conversations like no other in our Hotel Designs LIVE events, amplifying innovative people on our podcast platform DESIGN POD or by championing the pioneers who are taking our industry forward via The Brit List Awards.”

For the third consecutive year, Crosswater, which is sheltered under the parent company Bathroom Brands Group, has been confirmed as the Headline Partner for The Brit List Awards. In addition, Hamilton Litestat and Duravit return as Event Partners while Schlüter Systems returns as Showcase Partner. Also returning to this year’s awards, the British Institute of Interior Design (BIID) will once again be an Industry Partner for the awards ceremony and its upcoming President, Lindsey Rendall, will join this year’s judging panel alongside Lester Bennet, who is the institute’s current president. In addition, NEWH has also been confirmed an Industry Partner for the event.

If you would like to discuss various sponsorship packages available, please contact Katy Phillips via email, or call 01992 374050. Tickets to the live awards ceremony at Proud Embankment, London on November 3 will be available to secure shortly. 

Debba_Comfort-height_Rimless_Close-coupled WC

Product watch: New comfort height & rimless WCs from Roca

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Product watch: New comfort height & rimless WCs from Roca

Bathroom manufacturer Roca has added three new WCs to its extensive portfolio, offering even more choice of design options and functionality…

A new addition to the popular Debba range is the Rimless Comfort Height WC available as both back-to-wall and close-coupled back-to-wall, with a 4.5/3litre flush and soft-close seat and cover.

Debba_Comfort-height_Rimless_Close-coupled WC

Due to the complementary design of both WCs, they can be easily paired with other products in the collection, as well as several others to provide a full bathroom specification. The Debba collection has a wide range of solutions that, combined with its soft, square design, fit seamlessly into any bathroom space.

Also new to the Roca portfolio, is The Gap Rimless Comfort Height close-coupled back-to-wall WC, with a 4.5/3litre flush and soft close seat and cover. The Gap collection delivers both a compact and functional style. Its wide range, including the new Rimless Comfort Height WC enables full optimisation of any bathroom space, while its sleek, modern and stylish lines make it an ideal solution for any contemporary bathroom design.

The rimless aspect of the WCs adds another level of hygiene, simplifying and easing the cleaning process altogether. With no rim, the smoother inner walls eliminate areas for bacteria to thrive and therefore prevent a build-up of dirt. When flushed, the improved design not only prevents splashing, but also distributes the water around the entire bowl, reaching higher and cleaning the entire surface, acceding EU standards.

The added benefit of comfort height helps to future-proof the bathroom, ensuring those with mobility issues can use the WCs comfortably.

Since you’re here, why not read more about how Roca helped create the innovative bathrooms inside Scotland’s first YOTEL property?

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

Main image credit: Roca

The Grove Hotel, Hertfordshire

In pictures: The Grove shelters masterful revamp from Martin Hulbert Design

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
In pictures: The Grove shelters masterful revamp from Martin Hulbert Design

Guests checking in to The Grove in Hertfordshire, England, can expect a ‘transformed and elevated experience’, following a recent renovation to public areas and guestrooms which was led by award-winning design studio Martin Hulbert Design…

The Grove Hotel, Hertfordshire

In just a few days time, on May 17, The Grove, which is a quintessentially British countryside retreat in Hertfordshire, will reopen its doors with a perfectly timed unveil of its most recent renovation to transform what was a tired interior design scheme into a light, bright and playful modern hotel experience. The complete redesign, which was masterminded by interior design studio Martin Hulbert Design, incorporates all three dining spaces – The Glasshouse, The Stables and The Lounges – as well as the lobby area and all 189 West Wing guestrooms.

The refurbishment represents a significant investment for The Grove over the past two years and has been completed during the UK lockdown period. Guests can expect a transformed and elevated experience at The Grove, which will re-emerge from the pandemic as a new hotel in late Spring, rather than a reopening of the property that closed in December 2020.

London-based designers Martin Hulbert and Jay Grierson have worked with The Grove since the hotel’s launch in 2003 in addition to completing a wide variety of residential and hotel projects around the world, including The Grove’s central London sister property The Athenaeum as well as Chewton Glen, Barnsley House and the Dorchester Spa. Martin Hulbert’s work has been published worldwide, consistently earning the studio a spot on House & Garden’s coveted top 100 interior designers. Hulbert and Grierson were charged with updating the property while retaining its signature warmth, character and luxurious modern touches. Whilst the new interiors reflect the evolution of the brand, many of the original furnishings still feature in the designs, albeit with a re-imagined look. This regenerative approach was taken not only to retain some of the hotel’s original character, but also to champion sustainability – a theme which is evident across the property.

The Glasshouse, The Glasshouse Bar & Lobby

The Grove’s signature restaurant, The Glasshouse, has been entirely reimagined with the ultimate vision of bringing the outside in. The striking glasshouse exterior, which overlooks a manicured courtyard and the lush grounds beyond, provides abundant natural light. This complements an interior colour palette of warm, ochre yellow and rich earthy tones to create a sense of eternal sunshine, whatever the weather.

Plush velvets and rich leathers provide a welcoming setting in which guests can enjoy The Glasshouse’s theatrical gourmet dining experience, with seating arranged around the restaurant’s open kitchen and live cooking stations. Bespoke, kinetic sculptures are suspended from the ceiling to create a gentle energy, while light and airy voile drapes provide a sense of intimacy.

Image caption: The Glasshouse overlooks a manicured courtyard and the lush grounds beyond. | Image credit: The Grove, Hertfordshire.

Image caption: The Glasshouse overlooks a manicured courtyard and the lush grounds beyond. | Image credit: The Grove, Hertfordshire.

The theme continues at the neighbouring Glasshouse Bar, which features a brand-new mirrored bar area. The ambient space has been seamlessly incorporated into the hotel’s lobby area through the use of glass walls. This brings warmth to the newly-refreshed lobby and provides an immediate welcome for guests as they check in.

The Lounges and The Stables

Also part of the total design overhaul are The Grove’s much-loved Lounges, a series of characterful drawing rooms at the heart of 18th Century Mansion. Here, Hulbert’s team was tasked with creating three unique but cohesive spaces in which guests can relax with a cocktail or enjoy stunning views of the gardens over a traditional afternoon tea.

The first of the three rooms has been brought up to date with jewel-like teal blue hues, contrasting with the light, minimalist interiors of the lobby and providing a warm and inviting feel. Rich, textured fabrics including tweed and velvet have been used for upholstery, drapery and soft furnishings, while handmade Irish linen and eclectic artwork by emerging artists adorns the walls.

The second of the three Lounges, known as the Newspaper Room, enjoys a neutral yet opulent colour palette, where gold combines with gentle creams, browns and blues to create a soothing, sumptuous environment. A brand new mirrored and marble cocktail bar has been installed within an original feature alcove and in a nod to traditional Georgian interior styles, the walls have been decorated in a hand-finished painterly striped fabric.

The Library completes the trio of rooms and invites the verdant garden surrounds of The Grove inside, with a scheme of tonal greens and earthy hues. A hand-painted, bespoke fabric covers the walls of the curved, oval space, complemented with dark panelling and contemporary artwork.

The Grove’s Stables restaurant, currently the setting for Alpine-style pop-up restaurant ‘Jimmy’s Lodge at The Grove’, has also received a complete refresh, with warm tan leather seating and equine artwork as a nod to the late George Stubbs.

West Wing Guestrooms

Perhaps one of the largest projects for the hotel since its opening, all 189 of The Grove’s West Wing bedrooms have been completely remastered. Hulbert has employed a bright and airy scheme of neutral tones in tandem with seasonal green and rich sepia, inspired by the endless English countryside outdoors. Bespoke, handwoven wall hangings sourced from Italy frame king size beds while velvet soft furnishings offer luxurious comfort and the ideal setting in which to unwind after a day spent exploring the grounds.

Image caption: Hulbert has employed a bright and airy scheme of neutral tones in tandem with seasonal green and rich sepia, inspired by the endless English countryside outdoors. | Image credit: The Grove, Hertfordshire

The Grove Hotel, Hertfordshire

The hotel, which is nestled within 300 acres of verdant Hertfordshire countryside, has met the new era of hospitality with a contemporary vision that now shelters a home-from-home for travellers and locals alike who desire a rural escape. With many nods to the hotel’s heritage, which dates back to the 1500s, the hotel’s interiors reflect British style with a few twists.

Main image credit: The Grove, Hertfordshire

Image of various washbasins in cold industrial setting

Kaldewei completes the Cayono product family with new washbasins

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Kaldewei completes the Cayono product family with new washbasins

Cayono washbasins now join bathtubs and shower surfaces that are also in the collection by Kaldewei. What’s more, everything in the range is made from sustainable Kaldewei steel enamel, particularly easy to care for and 100 per cent recyclable…

Image of various washbasins in cold industrial setting

As if from one piece: Premium bathroom manufacturer Kaldewei does not do things by halves. Kaldewei completes their highly popular Cayono product family with high-quality washbasins – including a trendsetting washbowl, countertop and under counter solution.

The perfectly coordinated design of the bathtub, shower surface and washbasin brings effective harmony to the bathroom and the resulting visual calm underlines the current demand for serenity and relaxation.

Economical bathroom design solution for both the private and corporate sector

With the completion of the Cayono model family, Kaldewei now offers a complete solution for the private sector as well as offices, commercial residential construction and hotels; the under counter washbasin with a mirrored overflow is predestined for use in hotel bathrooms. Cayono is the ideal economical design solution for every bathroom and for anyone looking to combine quality, price and aesthetics in the bathroom.

Image caption: For example, the comfortable Cayono Duo bathtub, the floor-level Cayonoplan shower surface and one of the spacious Cayono washbasins ensure the harmonious perfect match. | Image credit: KaldeweiSpa trio made from sustainable steel enamel

With the introduction of the three new Cayono washbowls, countertop and under counter washbasins, the next bathroom upgrade is bound to be a success: Developed for the layout and design of modern bathrooms, the models stand out with their fine lines and softly curved contours, combining puristic aesthetics with intelligent functionality.

The generous interior depth of the individual washbasins creates a comfortable spaciousness experience for every user. When combined with the comfortable Cayono Duo bathtub with central waste, the floor-level Cayonoplan shower surface the new spacious Cayono washbasin ensures a perfect match.

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

Main image credit: Kaldewei

A modern bathroom with gold fittings and white and blue interior design scheme

Villeroy & Boch’s Finion introduces a touch of tech to the bathroom

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Villeroy & Boch’s Finion introduces a touch of tech to the bathroom

Spanning bathroom furniture, ceramics and accessories, Villeroy & Boch’s award-winning Finion range introduces technology to the bathroom in a subtle, user-friendly way – perfect for the new era of hospitality, says UK Bathrooms

A modern bathroom with gold fittings and white and blue interior design scheme

The bathroom has pivoted from being a purely functional wash space to a room of relaxation and soothing spa-style luxury. How the room is designed has also evolved, with its focus moving from cleanliness and efficiency to the overall bathing experience – how the room makes you feel, and its ambiance. Today’s bathroom is a private sanctuary, a unique space in the house to retreat to, wind-down in and a place to indulge in some alone guilt-free solitude.

In a world of constant multi-tasking, endless scrolling and too much screen time, the bathroom has generally remained the one room in the house where you can escape technology. While of course withdrawing from overstimulating notifications does wonders for wellbeing and mental health, when used in the right way technology can have a positive effect and play into creating a restful, restorative atmosphere.

Spanning bathroom furniture, ceramics and accessories, Villeroy & Boch’s award winning Finion range introduces technology to the bathroom in a subtle, user-friendly way. The gentle Emotion lighting – as its name suggests – taps in to the need for calming and easily controlled soft illumination throughout the space with the option to add LEDs to all Finion pieces, while the collection also sensitively incorporates music and charging points to the bathroom, all activated through a single remote control.

“The Finion collection from Villeroy & Boch cleverly integrates technology into the bathroom so that it is unobtrusive and invisible,” explains Graeme Borchard, MD at UK Bathrooms. “While boasting numerous technological innovations, the collection places a peaceful and holistic experience at its core, focusing on setting the scene for serenity before anything else.”

Image of modern bathroom design

Image credit: UK Bathrooms/Villeroy & Boch

The furniture

Customisation defines the Finion furniture collection. Select from 13 stylish finishes for the front and sides of vanity units – from real wood veneers, Glossy White and Matt Black Lacquer to sunny Gold and rich red Peony – and experiment with different shades for the internal shelf module to create an expressive display unique to your home. Like all Finion elements, vanity units, tall cabinets and shelf boxes can be further customised with the addition of LED lighting which illuminates shelving to make it an atmospheric feature within the space.

The bath

Cast in Villeroy & Boch’s unique, quartz-based Quaryl material which is incredibly durable, impact resistant and easy to clean, the freestanding Finion bath shows off slimline edges and a seamless contemporary curve which can be custom coloured with any RAL tone to perfectly match – or contrast – any furniture combination, tile tone or wall shade. Add Emotion lighting around the base of the bath to make it seems as if it’s floating on a ring of light, the most modern oasis.

The mirror

The Finion mirror may look like a classic, but it’s hiding a whole host of clever features. With a border of Emotion lighting illuminating it from every angle – which can be changed from warm white to cool white at the touch of a button to suit your mood – there are also options for a smart anti-fogging function, plus a premium integrated sound system to set the tone for the whole space.

The charging station

Power up while you zone out with the most discreet way to charge your phone – simply place it on the side cabinet or in the shelf unit to wirelessly charge the battery and stream your music without worry. Design-led, practical and intuitive, the Finion range is the bathroom’s most high-tech way to switch off.

UK Bathrooms and Villeroy & Boch are both Recommended Suppliers. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here

Main image credit: UK Bathrooms/Villeroy & Boch

image of mid-tone green bathroom with white and gold basin

First look: Burlington’s upcoming launch of the Riviera collection

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
First look: Burlington’s upcoming launch of the Riviera collection

Hot off the heels of launching the Bespoke collection, bathroom brand Burlington is preparing the sophisticated and rather elegant arrival of the Riviera collection. Ahead of its official launch this summer, Hotel Designs takes an exclusive sneak peek…

image of mid-tone green bathroom with white and gold basin

Following hefty demand from modern travellers for the bathroom to become more than a practical space, Burlington has introduced the Riviera collection, which is anything but conventional. Embodying the freedom of design and fashionable nature of 1920s Europe – similar to that of Art Deco range of basins in the brand’s Bespoke collection – the collection moves the traditional bathroom into an era of modernity, mixing form and function with elegance and glitz.

Image of modern bathroom featuring Burlington Riviera collection items

Image credit: Burlington

“Riviera represents a new era in traditional bathrooms, offering a complete collection of stunning furniture, brassware and ceramics; strengthening Burlington’s market leadership,” said Stephen Ewer, CEO of Bathroom Brands Group. “We are incredibly excited to be launching Riviera and inspiring broader design of traditional bathrooms in modern spaces.”

Created in collaboration with renowned designer, Steven Booth of Christian Booth design, the Riviera collection encompasses the 1920s era, taking inspiration from the Art Deco architecture aligning the coast of the French Riviera and the lavish décor and decadent features seen in homes during the decade known in France as ‘les années folles’ (the crazy years). Mirroring elements of traditional styling, whilst remaining truly reminiscent of the glorious bathrooms fitted in the famous architectural residences of the ‘roaring twenties’.

The Riviera collection works beautifully in both modern and traditional homes with iconic features such as clean balanced lines and the refined details that Burlington is known for. The collection includes elegant furniture solutions available in White, Blue and Pink, a full range of WCs and basins that seamlessly add classical beauty to any interior, with showering and bath brassware available in a Gold Finish or Chrome.

Burlington’s Riviera collection will no-doubt drive the leaders in traditional bathrooms into a new and exciting era of modernity, bringing harmony and style to any bathroom.

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

Since you’re here…

More than 40,000 readers per month enjoy the content we publish on Hotel Designs. Our mission is to define the point on international hotel design, and we are doing that by serving relevant news stories and engaging features. To keep up to date on the hottest stories that are emerging, you can sign up to the newsletter, which is completely free of charge. As well as receiving a weekly round-up of the top stories, you will also access our bi-monthly HD Edit –staying ahead of the curve has never been so easy!

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Main image credit: Burlington

Gif of top stories from Hotel Designs

Weekly briefing: Hygiene in hospitality & debut hotel openings

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Weekly briefing: Hygiene in hospitality & debut hotel openings

Howdy! Editor Hamish Kilburn here to round off your week with my top headline picks, including debut hotel openings from JW Marriott, W Hotels, Hyatt Hotels as well as the latest episode of DESIGN POD. Get comfy and start scrolling… 

Gif of top stories from Hotel Designs

So it seems this week’s theme on the pages of Hotel Designs is hotel development, which gives me a rather warm and cosy feeling on the editorial desk as the stories published this week reflect light at the end of the tunnel as we emerge once more from yet another forced hibernation. Specifically, the emphasis seems to be on new hotels sheltered under lifestyle brands that are polishing their worktops to be ready for when the international travel floodgates open and a new era of modern travellers land with new expectations for one-off experiences that are so far removed from being locked up and forced to adhere to social distancing measures.

And with this new hospitality era that we are on the cusk of entering comes a new perspective, which is what we want to celebrate and amplify across our online platform. With that in mind, here are our top stories from the last few days.

The latest episode of DESIGN POD has dropped

In the third episode of DESIGN POD, editor Hamish Kilburn and co-host Harriet Forde welcome technology guru Jason Bradburyas their special guests to discuss tech’s role in design and architecture. In association with Bathroom Brands Group, the episode explored where Bradbury saw technology being injected in tomorrow’s hotel experience, delved into the new possibilities of CAD software, questioning the current conventional process of design and architecture in residential and hospitality and explained the concept of ‘the democratisation of everything’ when discussing the future of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Read more. 

W Rome on track for Q3 opening

Render of W Rome

Image credit: W Hotels

For many hotel projects, the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in unavoidable delays. Not for the W Rome, which we first heard about in 2017 and is impressively on track to open as the W Hotels brand’s debut property in Italy in Q3 this year.

Read more.

Virtual roundtable: Tomorrow’s perception of clean

To cut through the noise and with the aim to identify meaningful solutions, Hotel Designs’ next virtual roundtable, in association with Geberit, tackles the hygiene debate to ultimately understand tomorrow’s perception of clean.

Read more.

Inside out – are your outdoor spaces ready for the post-pandemic world?

Image credit: Art Story/Elegant Clutter

When you consider art for bars or art for restaurants, the first thing that springs to many people’s mind is the interior spaces, but with the demand for outdoor spaces following the pandemic set to rise what are the possibilities of outdoor art? Elegant Clutter’s in house art consultancy Art Story discuss how art can still tell a story when the party moves outside.

Read more.

Case study: Fires in Public areas – The Southern Ocean Lodge

Image of luxury public area with fire in the middle of room over looking an incredible sea view

Image credit: Focus

If you have ever wondered where architects source those dramatic sculptural fireplaces, look no further; Focus is the design manufacturer for these outstanding statement centrepieces. Just look at The Southern Ocean Lodge as a case study behind how architectural fireplaces can completely transform an interior design space.

Read more. 

JW Marriott to open debut hotel in Spain

Image of luxury hotel with marble table and light

Image credit: JW Marriott

Marriott International has signed an agreement to introduce the JW Marriott brand to Madrid, offering discerning guests a new destination to rediscover a balance in mind, body and spirit, in the heart of the city. Located in the central Plaza de Canalejas, JW Marriott Madrid will be developed by Millenium Hotels Real Estate as part of their lease agreement with a wholly owned subsidiary of Belagua and is expected to open in 2022.

Read more.

Main image credit:

Product watch: TwistFlush – more cleanliness, less water consumption

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Product watch: TwistFlush – more cleanliness, less water consumption

The TwistFlush by Villeroy & Boch is an innovative toilet flush with vortex power, resulting in a more hygienic bathroom solution that uses less water consumption…

The new TwistFlush toilet flush delivers extra clean and hygienic flushing results while being exceptionally water efficient. The secret: the patent-pending TwistFlush technology uses the physical force of a controlled water vortex, which flushes almost all of the inside of the toilet bowl while carrying waste away. In turn TwistFlush uses the flush water much more efficiently and saves precious water every time the flush is activated.

Economical yet powerful

A sustainable lifestyle includes the conscious use of resources. A TwistFlush toilet that saves precious water every time it is used plays an important role in this. The toilet only needs 4.5 litres for a large flush and a mere three litres for a small one. And as the flush is so powerful, one flush is usually sufficient. This way, a four-person family can save up to 19,700* litres of water a year. Moreover, the patent-pending flushing technology far exceeds standard requirements: the controlled water vortex generates a very strong pull in a conic bowl. It reaches almost all of the inside of the toilet bowl while well and truly carrying waste away.

Practically brushless and easy to clean

Annoying toilet brushes are a thing of the past: TwistFlush thoroughly flushes the entire inner pan, and the smartly designed bowl with its steep and super smooth walls makes it difficult for dirt to stick.

One more hygienic advantage: thanks to the sophisticated rimless shape, a TwistFlush toilet is quick and easy to clean. CeramicPlus and AntiBac make it even cleaner while reducing bacterial growth by 99.9 per cent.

Prevents spray and aerosols

The controlled vortex power deploys the flushing water exactly where it is needed. This prevents spray and significantly reduces the formation of aerosols. Another advantage: TwistFlush is significantly quieter than a standard flush.

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

Main image credit: Villeroy & Boch

HD : HoteliersGuild

Hotel Designs announces partnership with HoteliersGuild

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hotel Designs announces partnership with HoteliersGuild

With the aim to strengthen both brand’s relationships within the international hotel design and hospitality industry, while continuing to serve their readers with quality content, Hotel Designs and HoteliersGuild have entered into a media partnership that will include editorial and event collaboration…

HD : HoteliersGuild

With the aim to share engaging and relevant content beyond its already existing loyal readers, Hotel Designs has formed a media partnership with HoteliersGuild, the private society for discerning luxury hoteliers.

“There are so many different strands to this partnership, which is what makes it so exciting,” explained Katy Phillips, publisher, Hotel Designs. “What’s more, with hospitality starting to awake from the the Covid-19 pandemic, we hope that by working with HoteliersGuild it allows us to form even stronger relationships with leading hoteliers and developers globally in order to continue to create conversations on Hotel Designs like no other.”

The partnership, which will include event and editorial collaborations, has been designed to enhance both brand’s authentic identities, while strengthening editorial integrity. “One of Hotel Designs’ key pillars as a brand is meaningful collaborations,” added Hamish Kilburn, editor, Hotel Designs. “Therefore, it was only when speaking to the editorial team at HoteliersGuild when the alliance was truly formed. Since our rebranding in 2018, Hotel Designs has evolved with the industry it serves. Partnerships like these are integral, especially during times like these when togetherness is a key theme.”

As a partner, and with the continued aim to establish an international voice, Hotel Designs has invited Frank M. Pfaller, Founder President of HoteliersGuild, to become a judge for The Brit List Awards 2021.

With nominations and applications opening on May 10, 2021, this year’s awards campaign will include eight awards, including the Rising Star of the Year award, which will make its debut with the purpose to support and celebrate young professionals who are exceptional.

This year’s categories for The Brit List Awards 2021 are:

  • Interior Designer of the Year
  • Architect of the Year
  • Hotelier of the Year
  • Best in Tech
  • The Eco Award
  • Rising Star of the Year
  • Best in British Product Design
  • International Award
  • Outstanding Contribution to the Hospitality Industry

In addition to the individual awards, the top 25 entries in the interior designer, architect and hotelier category will be profiled in the annual publication, The Brit List, which will be released at the awards ceremony on November 3, 2021 at Proud Galleries London.

DESIGN POD EP3 - Jason Bradbury

LISTEN NOW: Episode 3 of DESIGN POD is now live

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
LISTEN NOW: Episode 3 of DESIGN POD is now live

In the third episode of DESIGN POD, editor Hamish Kilburn and co-host Harriet Forde welcome technology guru Jason Bradbury as their special guests to discuss tech’s role in design and architecture…

DESIGN POD EP3 - Jason Bradbury

With technology’s role being questioned partially as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic in meaningful hotel design, hospitality and general living, in episode three of DESIGN POD, Jason Bradbury, the former presenter of the The Gadget Show who once reviewed a hotel for Hotel Designs 30 years in the future, was invited to explore technology’s role in design and architecture.

Listen to the full episode here:

“In the future, AI is going to move to exceptionally complex issues such as reinventing physics.” – Jason Bradbury.

In association with Bathroom Brands Group, the episode explored where Bradbury saw technology being injected in tomorrow’s hotel experience, delved into the new possibilities of CAD software, questioning the current conventional process of design and architecture in residential and hospitality and explained the concept of ‘the democratisation of everything’ when discussing the future of Artificial Intelligence (AI). “We are already living in an Artificial Intelligence era,” Bradbury explains, “It’s evolving trading, architecture challenges, predicting weather patters. In the future, AI is going to move to exceptionally complex issues such as reinventing physics and providing technologies that we haven’t even dreamt of.”

The next DESIGN POD episode, which will drop next month, will invite designer and artist Jack Irving to discuss fashion in design.

Product watch: Form follows function in bathroom design with RAK-Des

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Product watch: Form follows function in bathroom design with RAK-Des

Bringing spa-inspired luxury to the domestic bathroom design, RAK-Des from RAK Ceramics is a collection that ensures this most private of areas is as comfortable and relaxing as any of our living spaces, while never compensating on practicality…

With clean, minimal lines for a sleek and streamlined finish that emulates the hotel feel, one of the many highlights of RAK-Des is the versatile range of bowls and freestanding washbasins, ensuring a solution for every bathroom. Freestanding, wall-hung and countertop basins all feature beautifully ergonomic shapes crafted from quality ceramic.

The washbasins can be combined with RAK-Joy vanities and RAK-Precious countertops for perfect harmony in the bathroom. RAK-Precious provides a luxurious alternative to the functional ceramic white, with surfaces that emulate the natural properties of materials such as stone, marble and cement, bringing the trend for industrial styling into the bathroom in a functional way.

RAK - image of basin from above

Image credit: RAK Ceramics

With hidden fixations, the RAK-Des WC can be wall-hung or installed back-to-wall and features the latest in flushing technology for the ultimate in bathroom hygiene. RAK Ceramics WCs set new standards of hygiene and water efficiency, with uniquely engineered water flushing systems that effectively remove waste, helping to keep bathrooms fresh and hygienic. Using just four litres for the full flush and 2.5 litres for the half flush, water usage is reduced by a third and with no rims to harbour germs, cleaning is quick, easy and more hygienic.

All in all, RAK-Des provides a complete sanitaryware solution for the modern bathroom that successfully combines form with function and gives designers creative freedom in this more personal of spaces.

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

Main image credit: RAK Ceramics

Product Watch: A new tradition of cork tiles

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Product Watch: A new tradition of cork tiles

Granorte’s Tradition collection of cork floor tiles celebrates the unique aesthetic of nature’s renewable resource in a timeless, raw and beautiful way…

If you could have a floor with a unique aesthetic that was natural, recycled, readily renewable and suitable for commercial use, why wouldn’t you choose it?

Following our close look at the brand’s Wabi collection, that celebrates imperfections in life, we’re taking a peek at Granorte’s Tradition cork tile, which is a floor suitable for commercial use with impeccable environmental credentials available in a wide range of unique looks. From the classic mid-century cork tile look of Standard to the colour and pattern rich Canyon and Twist, Tradition showcases the variety of natural cork.

Paulo Rocha, product manager, Granorte, says: “Cork is a traditional material but it is also an extremely relevant one for today’s commercial interiors. From a renewable natural resource and 100 per cent post-industrial recycled, the cork we use possesses excellent environmental credentials. In Tradition it’s presented in one of its purest forms – a cork veneer on a high-density cork base – and the collection’s 36 options show just how versatile this natural form is as a design option.”

Granorte uses waste cork from wine stopper manufacturers to make its cork products. Based in Portugal, the company has been finding alternative uses for this material since 1973 and manufactures an extraordinary range of products from the natural material.

Each Tradition tile comes in a 600 x 300mm format for glue-down installation. Recommended for moderate commercial use, the floor is provided unfinished, so the appropriate lacquer can be applied. Comfortable and with excellent thermal and acoustic insulation, cork has properties that are beneficial in creating a supportive environment for users.

Granorte is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. 

Main image credit: Granorte

The Dubai EDITION Final Rendering Hi Res- Edition_Lobby_R4

EDITION to open 8 new hotels by 2022

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
EDITION to open 8 new hotels by 2022

EDITION Hotels has announced that it will open eight new properties by 2022, these include new hotels in Reykjavik, Tokyo, Rome, Dubai, Tampa, Riviera Maya and Doya…

The Dubai EDITION Final Rendering Hi Res- Edition_Lobby_R4

EDITION Hotels has announced its further international expansion by the end of 2022, with the expected openings of eight new properties across three continents. The new openings include sites in Rome, Madrid, Dubai, Reykjavik, Tampa, Doha, Mexico’s Riviera Maya at Kanai and EDITION’s second property in Tokyo. With 11 hotels worldwide currently, these planned unveilings underscore the brand’s strong growth and will bring the portfolio to a total of 19 properties globally. 

The hotel brand, which has redefined the concept of luxury through offering an unexpected collection of one-of-a-kind hotels, was conceived by hotel visionary and cultural icon Ian Schrager and Marriott International. The commitment to uncompromising quality, true originality and impeccable modern service continue to challenge traditional perceptions of luxury and entrench EDITION’s position as an industry leader. Every EDITION hotel is unique, reflecting the social and cultural milieu of the time and place of its creation. Each new property is individually developed in collaboration with one of the world’s most eminent designers chosen specifically for that location, and introduces original food and beverage concepts from internationally renowned chefs. The end result offers the best of dining and entertainment, modern luxury services and amenities “all under one roof.” 

“I’ve always been committed to being involved in special projects on a global scale that reach new heights,” said Schrager. “I’m thrilled to work together with Marriott, and the opportunity to see these hotels come to life across the world is a dream come true.”

Let’s take a closer look at what to expect in the EDITION pipeline…

The Reykjavik EDITION – launching mid 2021

Image caption: The Reykjavik EDITION – Harbor entrance. | Image credit: Edition Hotels

The Reykjavik EDITION is anticipated to launch in summer 2021 in one of the world’s most sustainable capitals. Located in the historical, scenic heart of downtown Reykjavik by Old Harbor port, the hotel is just steps away from  Laugavegur Street, the city’s vibrant shopping district, and the Harpa Concert and Conference Center. The hotel is the perfect jumping off point for exploring the wonders of the region, with the renowned Blue Lagoon within driving distance and the Northern Lights visible in the city during the winter solstice.

Ian Schrager Company has collaborated with architects T.arch and designers Roman & Williams to introduce EDITION Hotels to Iceland. Poised to offer 253 guestrooms and suites, The Reykjavik EDITION will house a rooftop, nightlife, spacious meeting and event spaces (502 sqm/5,402 sqft) and a spa. In addition, the hotel is expected to offer guests and locals a diverse culinary offering with a signature restaurant, destination bar and a café. 

The Tokyo EDITION, Ginza – launching late 2021 

Image caption: Rendering of the entrance of Ginza Maya EDITION. | Image credit: Edition Hotels

Image caption: Rendering of the entrance of Ginza Maya EDITION. | Image credit: Edition Hotels

Following the successful launch of the first Japanese EDITION hotel with The Tokyo EDITION, Toranomon in late 2020, the opening of the The Tokyo EDITION, Ginza will further strengthen the brand’s position as one of the most exciting lifestyle pioneers in Asia. Slated to open in late 2021, The Tokyo EDITION, Ginza will be situated just off Chuo Street, one of the largest upscale entertainment and shopping destinations in the city.

The newly constructed property will include 86 guestrooms and suites, three incredible food and beverage destinations including rooftop bar, together with meeting studio and a state-of-the-art fitness centre.

The Rome EDITION – launching late 2021 

Image caption: A rendering showing the biophilic entrance of Rome EDITION. | Image credit: EDITION Hotels

Image caption: A rendering showing the biophilic entrance of Rome EDITION. | Image credit: EDITION Hotels

Expected to open late in 2021, EDITION Hotels’ first Italian property will feature 95 guest rooms and suites, including a Penthouse suite with a private 130 sqm (1,399 sqft) terrace. The Rome EDITION will offer uniquely designed food and beverage outlets, including a signature restaurant with outdoor dining space that will make locals and visitors fall in love with its cuisine and all that comes with it; a Punch Room Bar with exceptionally crafted cocktails; and a Rooftop Terrace where guests can have the choice of a seasonal bite, a drink overlooking the city, a private gathering with friends, or all of the above.  In addition to customisable indoor and outdoor event spaces, the hotel will also be home to a rooftop swimming pool, a very spacious hi-tech gym, and two treatment rooms including a couple-massage experience.   

With its central location a few steps from Via Veneto and Bernini’s Tritone Fountain in Piazza Barberini, The Rome EDITION is within a short walk of all the best that the city has to offer, such as the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, the Borghese Gardens and Gallery, and many other wonders that make Rome a must-see destination.  At the corner of modern luxury and history, the hotel is housed within a historical striking building designed by Cesare Pascoletti in collaboration with architect Marcello Piacentini, one of Italy’s most famed architects of Rationalism in the early 20th century.

 The Dubai EDITION – launching late 2021

The anticipated opening of the The Dubai EDITION in late 2021 will mark a significant expansion for the brand into the Middle East’s most popular travel destination. Situated in downtown Dubai, the hotel will be located in one of the city’s most popular locations, opposite the world-famous Dubai Mall.

Designed with LW Design Group LLC, the hotel will feature 275 guestrooms and suites. The property will also be home to multiple food and beverage outlets, pool, spa and fitness center, in addition to dynamic events spaces boasting meeting rooms and a flexible ballroom.

The Madrid EDITION – launching early 2022

Image caption: Rendering of the entrance to Madrid EDITION. | Image credit: EDITION Hotels

The Madrid EDITION will showcase 200 beautifully appointed guestrooms and suites, some with terraces, and five unique food and beverage outlets including a signature restaurant, cocktail bar, Sky Bar and rooftop terrace, together with an outdoor pool, state-of-the-art fitness centre and spa. Flexible studios with over 350sqm (3,767 sqft)  of dedicated space will host creative meetings and events for large or small groups.

Set in a tranquil square surrounded by historic buildings, The Madrid EDITION is near Puerta de Sol in the heart of the Spanish capital, one of the city’s most famous sites, and within walking distance to The Golden Triangle of Art – three of the most important art museums in Madrid. 

Slated to open in early 2022, the hotel will reflect the people and the culture of the city and will become a stunning microcosm of one-of-a-kind food, beverage and entertainment offerings, innovative design, and luxury service. The Madrid EDITION will be the second EDITION Hotel in Spain, following the successful opening of The Barcelona EDITION in 2018.

The Tampa EDITION – launching early 2022

Image caption: Render of entrance for The Tampa EDITION. | Image credit: EDITION Hotels

Image caption: Render of entrance for The Tampa EDITION. | Image credit: EDITION Hotels

Planned to open in early 2022, The Tampa EDITION will become the fifth US property from EDITION Hotels. Situated within the new 56-acre Water Street Tampa neighbourhood, the hotel will be home to 172 guestrooms and suites and six food and beverage outlets, including a signature restaurant, rooftop bar and terrace. The property will also feature a 204sqm  (2,195 sqft) Penthouse Suite, expansive spa, fitness center and over 550sqm (5,920 sqft)  of flexible meeting and events space. Bringing some of the world’s best talents together into one project, design is care of the acclaimed New York-based architecture practice Morris Adjmi in collaboration with Florida-based firm Nichols Brosch Wurst Wolfe & Associates; with interiors designed by the renowned Roman & Williams. The hotel is situated within immediate proximity to the best that Tampa has to offer in terms of cultural institutions, entertainment, recreational, dining and shopping options. 

The Riviera Maya EDITION at Kanai – launching mid 2022

The Riviera Maya EDITION at Kanai is expected to open in mid 2022. With 180 guestrooms and suites, the hotel will be situated within the luxurious Kanai development, and home to six food and beverage outlets including a signature restaurant, pool bar and beach club, destination spa and an expansive 206sqm (2,217 sqft) Penthouse Suite. In addition to multiple meeting spaces, the hotel will also house an extensive outdoor deck for large scale events and parties.

Located on a pristine beachfront site, EDITION Hotels’ first property in Mexico will find its home in the blissful stretch of Caribbean coastline. Riviera Maya is known for its mangroves and lagoons, ancient Mayan cities, tropical beaches, ecological reserves and the world’s second largest coral reef.

The Doha EDITION – launching late 2022

The Doha EDITION is anticipated to open in late 2022 in Doha’s central business district, West Bay, which edges the Persian Gulf. The hotel will have 200 guest rooms including 29 suites, two restaurants, three bars and a nightclub and nearly 929 sqm (10,000 sqft) of event space. The hotel tower will punctuate the already eclectic Doha skyline and will house 167 EDITION branded residences.

In addition to these new properties, EDITION Hotels expects to announce further expansion later in 2022. 

Main image caption: Render of lobby inside The Dubai EDITION | Image credit: EDITION Hotels

Main image Hotel Designs LIVE

Hotel Designs LIVE: Less than 1 month to go

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hotel Designs LIVE: Less than 1 month to go

Time is running out for designers, architects, hoteliers and developers to secure their complimentary tickets to attend Hotel Designs LIVE on May 11, the one-day virtual conference designed to keep the conversation flowing and the industry connected throughout the Covid-19 crisis…

Main image Hotel Designs LIVE

In less than one month, the team at Hotel Designs will host the fourth Hotel Designs LIVE event, which will virtually take place on May 11, 2021. The event, which was recently shortlisted shortlisted in the ‘Best Webinar Series’ category at the Digital Event Awards, will welcome world-renowned designers, architects and hospitality professionals to take part in four targeted panel discussions. And the best part? If you qualify as a designer, architect, hotelier or developer, then attending the event is completely free.

Simply click here to secure your complimentary ticket(s) to Hotel Designs LIVE* (booking form takes less than two minutes to complete).

In addition to the live interviews and panel discussions with handpicked industry experts – and to ensure that the event is bridging the gap between hospitality suppliers and designers, architects, hoteliers and developers – the conference also included structured ‘Product Watch’ pitches around each session, allowing suppliers the opportunity to pitch their products and services in a ‘live’ environment to the hospitality buyers that are tuned in.

The agenda for the day and confirmed speakers

 

 

If you are a designer, architect, hotelier  or developer and would like to secure your complimentary seats in the audience, click hereIf you are a supplier to the hotel design industry and would like to promote your latest product or services to the Hotel Designs LIVE audience, please contact Katy Phillips via email or call +44 (0)1992 374050.

Main image credit: Oladimeji Odunsi/Unsplash

TSAR Retreat Collection—Shoreline Axminster Carpet

“A Designer’s ‘Retreat’ – the carpet collection inspired by Covid-19

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
“A Designer’s ‘Retreat’ – the carpet collection inspired by Covid-19

We have always been impressed with the relevance of TSAR Carpets’ collections, but this is something else… The carpet brand launched a collection during that oozes tranquility and harmony for designers during the Covid-19 crisis. Grab a coffee and let’s take a look…

TSAR Retreat Collection—Shoreline Axminster Carpet

In Autumn 2020, months after governments around the world closed their boarders and populations were instructed to work from home, TSAR Carpets innovatively launched the Retreat collection, which translates ink-on-paper artworks and biophilic water motifs into new Axminster carpet designs.

TSAR Retreat Collection—Ocean Song Axminster Carpet (blue carpet)TSAR’s Melbourne-based Head Designer, Ross Cleland, channeled his creative exploration during Covid-19 lockdown into a series of soothing and biophilic floor covering designs. Centered around the concept of “The Future of Hospitality,” TSAR’s Retreat Axminster carpets use natural bodies of water as inspiration to add visual movement and flow underfoot.

By using interchangeable colours, each design can take on a new meaning and purpose, as the fluid designs are responsive to a building’s architecture and add a bespoke element to an interior context.

Available since October 2020, the collection is sold exclusively at TSAR’s studios in Melbourne, Sydney, New York, London, and Shanghai.

The Retreat collection joins the brands impressive and dynamic ranges of carpets, including the Chromatic collection and the Sierra Collection.

TSAR Carpets, which is an Industry Support Partner Hotel Designs, is a Melbourne-based design brand with more than 30 years of expertise in the manufacturing of luxury custom carpets and rugs. A family-owned business founded by David and Kerrie Sharpley, it is now a global company recognised for its passion for textiles and its profound knowledge of the handtufted technique. TSAR delivers bespoke floor coverings for high-end residential, hospitality, and commercial environments worldwide.

Main image credit: TSAR Carpets

Tom Dixon joins design team for Pan Pacific London

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Tom Dixon joins design team for Pan Pacific London

The acclaimed British designer, Tom Dixon, has been appointed by Pan Pacific to to create a destination bar in Devonshire House, with the aim to design a ‘home from home’ in the city of London…

Pan Pacific London has announced the appointment of Tom Dixon’s Design Research Studio for its destination bar in Devonshire House.

Set to launch in Autumn 2021, this appointment will further cement Pan Pacific London’s commitment to combining world-class design with hospitality to encourage a new generation of guests to make the City of London their home away from home.

“We look forward to creating an exciting new location in the middle of the city at breakneck speed.” – Tom Dixon.

“We have recently spent a lot of time designing spaces all over the world so it’s a great pleasure to find ourselves with a project on our doorstep commissioned by our friends at Pan Pacific London, who are showing their commitment to London and to Bar Culture just when most of the sector is frozen,” explained Dixon. “We look forward to creating an exciting new location in the middle of the city at breakneck speed. We’ll see you all for a cocktail in Autumn 2021!” 

Anne Golden, General Manager at Pan Pacific London added: “We are thrilled to have Tom Dixon and his talented design team on board. Tom’s design aesthetic will be perfectly placed in Devonshire House and will complement the existing architecture and heritage of this beautiful building. I am confident that they will create a space that is unique and exciting, allowing the bar to become one of the finest destinations in the city and a compelling addition to the already vibrant cocktail bar scene in East London.” 

The hotel, which was referenced on Hotel Designs during an interview with Mark Kelly, Partner at PLP Architecture, is being  described as an ‘architectural marvel’ – the project’s vision is to balance a design that is sensitive to the Asian heritage of the brand whilst creating an ultra-modern, timeless hotel and complex that challenges conventional architecture.

Fronted by PLP Architecture and with design by Yabu Pushelberg, the hotel is unmatched in scale and quality by any existing hotels in the area. It will open in 2021 featuring 237 guestrooms and one-bedroom suites; two restaurants and bars; a wellbeing floor with treatment rooms, relaxation pods, a well-equipped gym and fitness area, Café and 18.5m indoor infinity pool; public plaza; two floors of meeting rooms and event spaces as well as the largest ballroom in the square mile; and more.

Main image credit: Tom Dixon/Pan Pacific London

Hotel Designs updates in-house events calendar for 2021 & 2022

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hotel Designs updates in-house events calendar for 2021 & 2022

In the wake of the Covid-19 crisis, Hotel Designs has made a few amendments to its in-house event calendar for 2021 and 2022. Editor Hamish Kilburn explains everything you need to know…

The entire team at Hotel Designs and Forum Events have been working tireless throughout the Covid-19 pandmeic, reacting to the latest government guidelines, in order to organise premium networking events that are safe and effective for designers, hoteliers, architects, developers and key-industry suppliers. In this time, we have launched new events, such as Hotel Designs LIVE, in order to keep the conversation flowing, while amended dates and concepts around our much-loved networking events.

Now that the UK government has given us a clearer indication on when social distancing measures will ease, here are the latest updates regarding all of our events.

Hotel Designs LIVE | May 11, 2021 | Virtual event

Main image Hotel Designs LIVE

The next Hotel Designs LIVE will take place on May 11, and will look at topics such as lifestyle, bathrooms, art and workspace.

In addition to the live seminar sessions – and to ensure that the event is bridging the gap between hospitality suppliers and designers, architects, hoteliers and developers – the conference also included structured ‘PRODUCT WATCH’ pitches around each session, allowing suppliers the opportunity to pitch their products and services in a ‘live’ environment to the hospitality buyers that are tuned in.

What’s more, designers, architects, hoteliers and developers attend free of charge – click here to secure your complimentary ticket(s).

The inaugural Hotel Designs LIVE, which took place online on June 23, 2020, defined the point on international hotel design’s most relevant topics with the help of some of design, architecture and hospitality’s leading figures as well as identifying the latest product innovations on the market.

Following this event, Hotel Designs LIVE will return on August 10, 2021 and December 7, 2021 to explore more relevant topics with with world-renowned designers, architects, hoteliers and developers (topics and sessions for future events will be available shortly).

#HotelDesignsLIVE | Participate here.

Interior Design & Architecture Summit | June 30, 2021 | Hilton Canary Wharf

The next Interior Design & Architecture Summit (IDAS) will take place on June 30, 2021 at Hilton Canary Wharf

IDAS is Hotel Designs’ premium meet-the-buyer event for designers, architects and suppliers.

If you are a senior designer and/or architect and would like to attend the 2021 event, please contact Alex King on 01992 374082, or email a.king@forumevents.co.uk. If you are a supplier and are interested in attending the 2021 event, please contact Jennie Lane on 01992 374098, or email j.lane@forumevents.co.uk.

Retail & Hospitality Design Forum | September 6 – 7, 2021 | Radisson Red, London Heathrow

To help the industry enter the new era of retail and hospitality, Forum Events has launched a new meet-the-buyers hybrid event for senior professionals who are directly responsible for the interior design and fit-out of retail stores, leisure and hospitality establishments and those who provide products and services to these industries.

The Retail & Hospitality Design Forum, which takes place from September 6 – 7 at Radisson Red, London Heathrow (virtual attendance options are also available), will be a highly focused event that will consist of one-to-one, pre-arranged business meetings, interactive seminars and valuable networking opportunities over the two days.

If you are a supplier to the industry looking to meet top retail and hospitality professionals, email Courtney Saggers – or click here to request more information. If you are a hotelier and would like to attend the Summit for free, please email Victoria Petch – or click here to book your place.

Hotel Summit |  September 27 – 28 | Radisson Red, London Heathrow

For more than two decades, the Hotel Summit has been bringing together senior hospitality professionals with key-industry suppliers. The meet-the-buyer event include:

  • Pre-arranged, one-to-one meetings between hospitality professionals and suppliers
  • Exceptional speakership programmes
  • Gala dinner

If you are interested in exhibiting at the 2021 event, please contact Jennie Lane on 01992 374098 or email j.lane@forumevents.co.uk. If you are a hotel operator, general manager or procurement manager and would like to attend the event free of charge, please contact Victoria Petch of 01992 374099 or email k.naumburger@forumevents.co.uk.

The Brit List Awards 2021 | November 3, 2021 | Proud Galleries, London

Following last year’s virtual awards ceremony, The Brit List Awards is back for another year to identify the leading interiors designers, architects, hoteliers and suppliers operating in Britain.

This year’s categories are:

  • Interior Designer of the Year
  • Architect of the Year
  • Hotelier of the Year
  • Best in Tech
  • The Eco Award
  • Best in British Product Design
  • Rising Star of the Year (NEW CATEGORY)
  • Outstanding Contribution to the Hospitality Industry

Applications and nominations (free to apply/nominate) will open on May 10, 2021 and will close in August. More information on the event can be found here.

MEET UP London | March 24, 2022 | Minotti London

Sheltered safely inside Minotti London’s premium and spacious Fitzrovia showroom, MEET UP London will welcome designers, architects, hoteliers, developers and suppliers. With the aim to support young talent as we emerge from unprecedented and challenging times, the theme MEET UP London will be ’30 Under 30′ where we will unveil the leaders and visionaries of tomorrow’s hotel design and hospitality scene. Applications/nominations will open shortly.

MEET UP North | May 5, 2022 | Stock Exchange Hotel in Manchester

MEET UP North, which is Hotel Designs’ leading networking evening in the north, will take place at Stock Exchange Hotel in the heart of Manchester on May 5, 2022.

Designers, architects, hoteliers and developers, click here to attend (booking form takes less than 2 minutes to fill out).  Suppliers, click here to attend (booking form takes less than two minutes to fill out).

Considering the vast amount of hotel projects currently on the boards in the north – many of which are slated to complete and open this year – the theme of MEET UP North will be Manchester ‘Inspiring Creativity’. The city, which has hosted the concept since its launch in 2018, will once again welcome leading designers, architects, hoteliers, developers and suppliers for the industry’s leading networking event in the north.

If you would like to discuss or be part of any other our hospitality and hotel design events, please do not hesitate to email Hamish Kilburn and/or Katy Phillips.

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How will hotel public spaces overcome Covid-19?

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How will hotel public spaces overcome Covid-19?

To kickstart ‘public spaces’ being placed under the editorial spotlight this month, Emma Cook takes the reigns to explore how the pandemic will evolve hotel lobbies, hotel arrival and the hospitality experience in general once more…

Hotels: the home away from home. Except, now, we want to be anywhere but our homes! Endless lockdowns have left people craving to escape the confinement of their house, and where are modern travellers desperate to escape to? Hotels is where!

Since the late 1980s, unique experience in hotels has taken over, and the desire to have an authentic experience has changed the way in which hotels are designed. Travellers becoming more savvy – and just general interest in culture – has seen hotels use the local vernaculars as concept for their design: both physical and experience. Brand standards are slowly being taken over by distinctive boutique hotels which encapsulate the local identity – creating a more immersive experience.

The experience of a hotel is arguably more influential than the design when creating repeat business; although, the two go hand-in-hand. When you enter a space, you don’t remember the colours of the flooring or the warmth of the lighting, instead you remember if you felt excited, uncomfortable or inspired. One can appreciate a great looking hotel on Pinterest, for example, but when they walk into that same hotel in real life, the feeling they get may be completely different. Design becomes experience when the senses are stimulated. Touch, sound, and human interaction are all part of the design experience and can completely change the way someone feels in the space. However, in the face of Covid-19, how will the lack of touch and interaction impact the hotel experience?

More often than not, designers and hoteliers are aiming to achieve a sense of the hotel’s brand and ethos when guests enter the building. If the public spaces are particularly open plan and airy, the space will feel sociable and will have a ‘buzz’ about it. On the contrary, if a hotel has more corridors, soft music, and a luxurious feel, you could hazard a guess that it will probably be an older demographic with more middle-class desires. This initial representation comes in the service too; a long marble check-in desk compared to a person carrying a tablet, both give off a very different ambience. Once hotels can open to the public again, it’ll be interesting to see which types of hotels people are more drawn to. The open plan and social hotel may now be stark and empty whereas the more private hotel may feel too much like being back in lockdown.

Image of lively public area inside W Osaka

Image caption: Stylish interior design scheme inside W Osaka, conceived by Amsterdam-based studio concrete

In the last decade, the amount of human contact we get has reduced massively. Thanks to technology, everything can now be done and ordered at the touch of a button. Since Covid-19, the importance of human connection has become very apparent, and we may see a reversion to more face-to-face service by choice of the guest. There is a strong argument between the convenient hygiene of self-check-in stations vs. the sought-after human interaction of desk staff. The flexibility of allowing the guest to do what makes them feel more comfortable will make for a successful hotel check-in experience.

Hotel public spaces host a wealth of activities: arriving, waiting, working, meeting friends, eating, and departing. Factoring flexibility into the design can give space to these activities and allow them to cohesively work in one room to fulfil the needs and wants of guests. Larger, more flexible spaces also allow for more people in one room, whilst maintaining a safe distance. This retains the social aspect that guests will crave yet continues to keep them safe. Creating lots of small breakout spaces will make potentially longer waiting times feel more pleasant but also creates places for people to grab a coffee or work. Savvy designers may be able to manipulate human traffic within the spaces by creating subtle boundaries. A simple change in lighting or furniture can define spaces and flooring materials can create ‘pathways’ for guests to subconsciously follow. Gone will be the days of ‘one way’ signs and ‘2m apart’.

Interior visualisation of ADP's new hotel in Kyiv

Image caption: A hotel concept in Kyiv, conceived by ADP Architecture with the aim to create a deeper connection with the local vernacular.

Hygiene will be at the forefront of hospitality design. After being cooped up in the safety of their own homes, people need to feel comfortable in knowing that the place they are staying is clean. However, being surrounded by service people cleaning 24/7 wont exactly create a warm and inviting environment. Minimalism tends to give off a sterile aesthetic which can lead people into thinking the surfaces are cleaner than they look – this comes with both materiality and form. Brass and other copper alloys have antimicrobial properties and materials like these, that not only look amazing but also help tackle some of the bacterial issues, can be used at touch points like handles and railings. If people feel safe in an environment, they will feel more comfortable engaging with others in the same room, increasing sociability and the overall experience.

Ventilation is key and hotels with open spaces are bound to do well in the future. Whether it’s a courtyard, outdoor eatery or a guestroom balcony, people want to know that the air around them is fresh and clean. Greenery in indoor spaces is an easy way to make a room feel fresher and cleaner, even if it’s not, and planting can also be a way of dividing spaces and creating clear pathways. Architectural science may see a big movement into breathable technology. Long gone will be air conditioning; façades that can breathe and act like skin will become the new way of ventilating and cooling/heating a building.

Image of beach-side reception in the Maldives

Image caption: An open-air public area experience at Seaside Finolhu in the Maldives, conceived by Muza Lab. | Image credit: Seaside Finolhu/Brechenmacher & Baumann

More than ever, people are aware of their own personal wellbeing and the idea of routine will be extremely important for a lot of people now. Hotels can take inspiration from Japanese architecture which implements ritualistic elements into design which has been proven as an architectural way to increase mental wellbeing. Simply adding a few wash basins to the entrance of a hotel lobby can incorporate ritualistic elements to the design and let guests know that the hotel is a clean space. The sinks don’t need to look unsightly either, the Address Hotel, Dubai Marina, has beautiful sinks which are a feature of the entrance.

After a year of lockdowns and restriction, people have become very adapted to working from home and communicating through virtual means. Those who once travelled for business may not need to anymore yet flexibility in where people can work from may increase numbers of remote workers. Meeting rooms may become dormant as working from the bedside is the new norm and an increase in communal workspaces will be required. The flexibility to choose where to work from will be high on the priority list for remote workers and they will be looking to enjoy working from a poolside, quiet café, or lounge seating area. Although hotels should not want to become the new workplace, in fear of jeopardising leisure travellers’ experience. Will a new generation of workplace hotels be born, as a result, to keep definitive boundaries between work and play?

It will be a challenge for both designers and hoteliers to allow guests to feel comfortable in public spaces again, without removing the human interaction that people crave and need more than ever right now. New priorities of guests will have inevitably changed since Covid-19 but the experience they desire will remain the same. Hotel public spaces need to offer the same amount of uniqueness as they already do but need to also respond to the heightened concerns of visitors.

Main image credit: Edition Hotels

Image of W Osaka guestroom

W Hotels arrives in Japan with opening in Osaka

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
W Hotels arrives in Japan with opening in Osaka

World-renowned hospitality design firm concrete Amsterdam was appointed to design the interiors of W Hotels’ first property in Japan. The hotel has just opened and Hotel Designs managed to get a sneaky peek inside…

Image of W Osaka guestroom

The wait is over. W Hotels Worldwide, part of Marriott Bonvoy’s portfolio of 30 extraordinary brands, has lifted the curtains on Japan’s first-ever W hotel. Making its debut along vibrant Midosuji Boulevard, W Osaka will redefine the local hotel scene with the brand’s spirited spin on luxury as the perfect addition to this electric city.

“Osaka’s mix of culture and bold, high-energy lifestyle makes it the ideal setting for the debut of W Hotels in Japan,” said Rajeev Menon, President, Asia Pacific (excluding China), Marriott International. “We are excited to once again be partnering with Sekisui House to welcome W Osaka to the luxury hospitality landscape here, and know international travellers and locals alike will be drawn to the hotel and its playground of possibilities.”

Image of lively public area inside W Osaka

Image credit: W Hotels

The hotel asserts its presence in the city’s busy urban streetscape with a black monolith façade designed by Osaka-born, world-renowned architect Tadao Ando. The hotel’s intriguing design concept is expressed as a minimalist exterior concealing colourfully exuberant interiors, a nod to the Edo period when excessive displays of wealth were prohibited, and merchants were said to have dressed modestly in public. However, in private, flamboyance and opulence were free to be expressed, and W Osaka typifies this transformation. The interior design was conceptualised by concrete, the Amsterdam-based design studio behind the extraordinarily chic W London and W Verbier and who will join the Hotel Designs LIVE speaker line-up in May. The design narrative shines a spotlight on the contrast between Japanese minimalism and the limitless excesses of urban life, illuminated by Osaka’s bright neon lights at night.

Upon arrival at W Osaka, guests enter an illuminated tunnel inspired by the Japanese art forms of cutting and folding paper, origami and kirigami, with images of nature and seasons reflected on its walls. On the third floor, the hotel’s social hub LIVING ROOM (W’s signature take on the lobby) greets guests with vivid colors and a show-stopping design featuring an original interpretation of whimsical Kawaii Kokeshi wooden dolls which celebrate the diversity of W Osaka’s international guests.

Bright spaces, clean lines and bold colour schemes are inspired by Osaka’s blazing streetscapes and reflected in the hotel’s 337 guestrooms and suites. Floor-to-ceiling windows frame stunning views of the skyline, while spacious bathrooms with rain showers and luxe amenities invite guests to retreat and recharge. For an unexpected touch, a surprise is locked away behind the closets: a unique “pixorama” of Osaka, a graphic filled with the city’s famous landmarks, designed by pixel art group eBoy. To represent Japan’s famous pink cherry blossoms and Osaka’s azure oceanside, colour themes and neon light accents shine either pink or blue on each alternate floor.

Situated atop the hotel’s 27th floor, the Extreme WOW Penthouse Suite (the brand’s take on the traditional Presidential Suite) is 200 square meters with a 4.5-meter-high ceiling and five sequenced rooms divided by oak portals that merge traditional Japanese home design with the W spirit. The “Garden Room” marks the entrance to the suite, with its zen-inspired garden providing a refuge from the bustling city life below.

The EWOW suite in W Osaka

Image credit: W Hotels

The bedroom features dreamy artwork by Sigrid Calon, a Dutch textile artist whose works have been exhibited around the world, including at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMa) in New York. In the bathroom, the large, 1.9-meter-diameter chrome tub is a reimagined champagne bucket, and invites guests for a surreal soak. The suite features an open kitchen and a built-in DJ booth – the first of its kind in a hotel room in Japan – that’s perfect for entertaining and soundtracking any stay.

W Osaka’s two bars and four restaurants tempt guests with unique, unexpected offerings and an unforgettably gourmet experience. Global flavors merge with iconic Japanese cuisine to tantalise the tastebuds in unexpected ways.

On the fourth floor of W Osaka, FIT offers the latest in fitness equipment, as well as a yoga room with a view. WET is the hotel’s indoor pool space with an LED ceiling to illuminate and amplify the fun. For guests who live by the brand’s ‘Detox.Retox.Repeat’ philosophy, AWAY SPA awaits to restore and revive, with five private treatment rooms.

Purple-lit pool inside W Osaka

Image credit: W Hotels

The new hotel has a total of four event and meeting spaces, including the GREAT ROOM, a 390-square-meter ballroom, with high ceilings, deep oak pillars, and champagne-gold metallic details. With WED YOUR WAY, guests can customise the wedding of their dreams on an entire private floor at W Osaka.

“The energy and eclecticism of Japan, particularly Osaka, make it the perfect backdrop for a W hotel,” said Jennie Toh, Vice President of Brand Marketing and Brand Management, Asia Pacific, Marriott International. “From unforgettable dining experiences and live music sets to the thoughtful design rooted in the history and culture of the city, W Osaka is a destination within a destination where international jetsetters and local tastemakers meet and make magic.”

Main image credit: W Hotels

“Individuality with a splash of colour,” says UK Bathrooms about hansgrohe’s FinishPlus range

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
“Individuality with a splash of colour,” says UK Bathrooms about hansgrohe’s FinishPlus range

“hansgrohe’s FinishPlus range of modern tones for taps, mixers and showers means brassware can now make a statement in the bathrooms while seamlessly blending various styles,” says Graeme Borchard, Managing Director at UK Bathrooms

The bathroom of today is taking on many of the traits of other rooms in the house, becoming a space dependant on style and comfort as well as practicality and purpose – a lifestyle area providing sanctuary, solace and a chance for self-care. Design plays a key role in the room’s new function, and the way the bathroom looks now has the power to evoke moods and impact mental wellbeing, be it comfort and calmness in darkest black, energetic and eager in zingy sunshine shades or powerful and present in slick monochrome.

As the bathroom adapts to its creative design credentials, the objects found within it have also evolved, and customisation and personalisation have never been more important. While decorative options for surfaces, ceramics and bathroom furniture have become never ending, brassware choices generally remained limited – until now.

Image caption: hansgrohe white shower and taps in the FinishPlus range. | Image credit: hansgrohe/UK Bathrooms

Image caption: hansgrohe white shower and taps

Gone are the days of chrome dominating the bathroom. hansgrohe’s FinishPlus range introduces five forward-thinking finishes, reimagining tones that were once unusual in the bathroom and making them easy to apply across the space. The innovative finish collection coats an array of showers, taps, accessories and (soon to be launched) drains, in bold, unconventional shades and textures which are incredibly durable and scratch resistant, demonstrating hansgrohe’s dedication to unparalleled quality and its view that the movement of water is not only as part of the daily routine, but something to be enhanced, modernised and made more beautiful.

“hansgrohe’s FinishPlus challenges preconceptions of the role brassware plays in bathroom design, and elevates taps, mixers and showers to become key features within the space,” says Graeme Borchard, Managing Director at UK Bathrooms. “The spectrum of finishes offered in the collection have a transformative power over the entire bathroom, offering endless opportunities for individualism and self-expression.”

Hansgrohe’s FinishPlus offers five finishes in bold and contemporary tones which coat some of the brand’s leading designs, such as the angular Metropol and smooth Talis E basin mixers and bath fillers. The finishes are also applied to practical elements such as valves, rails and pipes to create an all-encompassing, seamless aesthetic, with fittings large and small crafted with the same precision engineering the German brand has been perfecting for 120 years.

Matt Black

Welcoming both black tones and texture into the bathroom, the FinishPlus Matt Black surface brings a sense of moodiness and edgy style, its light absorbing matt quality highlighting the shape and silhouette of that which it covers, creating a sculptural feel. Introduce Matt Black into an on-trend all-black bathroom to create an immersive, soothing retreat.

Image caption: hansgrohe matt black shower taps and bath. | Image credit: hansgrohe/UK Bathrooms

Brushed Black Chrome

Dark with a muted shine, shadowy FinishPlus Brushed Chrome is at once dramatic and understated. Team with bright whites to highlight its slick-yet-subtle sophistication and moody impact, add to monochrome schemes to highlight its discreet shine, or juxtapose it against a coloured or patterned background to showcase the brassware’s shapely outline.

Matt White

While white is a staple for bathroom ceramics and surfaces, FinishPlus brings the bright shade to brassware, where it at once makes a bold statement and delicately blends with the room’s surroundings. Camouflage white-coated taps, mixers and showers against a pale backdrop for an ultra-fresh feel and to extend the visual impact of basins and baths, or style it as a statement point of difference against other colours, where the matt surface will create a sleek, contemporary feel.

Polished Gold Optic

One for the extravagant bathrooms, a touch of gleaming Polished Gold Optic will transform a piece of brassware into an elegant, Midas-inspired art object. Go all out with coordinating taps, mixers and showers, or have one statement item as the pièce de résistance to bring glamour and luxury to the space.

Brushed Bronze

Hovering between soft gold and copper, Brushed bronze is a gentle take on the metallic, channelling a calming, neutral feel with its soft sheen and muted colour. Pair the shade with natural materials and hues to create a bathroom that’s serene with a design-led edge.

Image caption: hansgrohe polished gold optic shower and taps in the FinishPlus range. | Image credit: hansgrohe/UK Bathrooms

Image caption: hansgrohe polished gold optic shower and taps in the FinishPlus range. | Image credit: hansgrohe/UK Bathrooms

Stay tuned this year for the launch of the FinishPlus Accessories range, which will complement the existing brassware tones and offer ever greater freedom of expression within bathroom design.

UK Bathrooms is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package and hansgrohe is a Recommended Supplier. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here

Main image credit: UK Bathrooms/hansgrohe

Image of suite inside Six Senses Ibiza

Sneak peek: Inside Six Senses Ibiza

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Sneak peek: Inside Six Senses Ibiza

Catapulting the Balearic Island into a different league, Six Senses Ibiza will offer a way of life that embraces music, culture, art, spirituality, fashion, wellness and sustainability. Hotel Designs gets an early check-in before it officially opens in July…

Image of suite inside Six Senses Ibiza

Following the opening of the brand’s latest hotel in Botanique in Brazil, Six Senses has unveiled images of its highly anticipated hotel in Ibiza. Said to be one the Mediterranean’s most anticipated openings this year, as outlined in our 2021 Hotel Openings SeriesSix Senses Ibiza is located on the peaceful northern tip of the island, the village-like resort will capture the authentic essence of the Balearic island both in look and feel. It will be set over 20-acres, with unrivalled sea views and will benefit from direct access to one of the most beautiful bays in Ibiza, Cala Xarraca. Live layers of programming and experiences will constantly evolve to celebrate music, art, sustainable fashion, spirituality, pioneering wellness, culinary exploration and culture, all synonymous with the island.

Guestroom overlooking sea at Six Senses Ibiza

Image credit: Six Senses

Six Senses Ibiza will be the first sustainable BREEAM certified resort and residential community in the Balearics. The resort will offer 116 guest accommodations, villas, suites and beachfront caves and a number of Village Residences with intimate terraces, lush gardens and pools – perfect for those looking for a permanent hideaway in the Mediterranean.

“Our vision is to capture the authentic Ibiza experience of community, spirituality and celebration,” Jonathan Leitersdorf, the architect and developer, explains. In the hot season (May to October), the community celebrates. From lazy days soaking poolside, enjoying the natural beauty of the bay or meeting an extended family of islanders, to gathering at night on long tables to explore new culinary delights, festive pop-up events and full moon dinners.

In the cool season (November to April), the community shares deep spiritual experiences. Six Senses Ibiza is gearing up to feature a series of immersive teaser weekends and longer-stay retreats, initially yoga, cleanse and fitness.

Surrounded by beautiful unspoiled coves and groves, Six Senses Ibiza is symbolic of the light, beauty and natural rhythms of the seasons that draw people back again. The tactile Finca-style aesthetic has a modern and sophisticated design and finish, and the architecture is built and inspired by locally sourced materials. The Farm at Six Senses Ibiza is a 400-year-old olive press and agricultural estate, where guests will take part in growing the abundance of organic produce that will also supply the resort’s restaurants, café and bars.

“This vision captures an authentic Ibiza experience that really resonates with me on a personal level,” says Neil Jacobs, Chief Executive Officer of Six Senses. “It is aligned with our set of beliefs, particularly around emotional hospitality. Sustainability is a huge part of our company ethos. And when you find a magical place such as Cala Xarraca, it’s something that you work really hard to both showcase and respect. In the case of Six Senses Ibiza, this is what shines so brightly.”

Six Senses Ibiza will be the first European outpost for celebrity chef Eyal Shani, founding father of new Israeli cuisine. His sublime menus will follow the Eat With Six Senses guiding principles of organic, seasonal, nutritious and delicious, gathering guests at the exquisite long tables of the Farmers’ Market. Other signature venues including The Orchard, The Piazza, Farmacy Bar and Live Cave will be complemented by grow-your-own veg, chef’s table and cooking lessons at the Farm.

The Six Senses Spa houses single and couple’s treatment rooms, a steam room, hammam and state-of-the-art fitness area, café and juice bar. The Rose Bar offers night owls a chance to roll back the years through a range of healing and preventative longevity programmes combining diagnostics, biohacking, nutrition and beauty treatments. Outdoors there is an impressive yoga deck and boxing ring on the roof. There will also be immersive retreats at the resort which will be facilitated by Friends of Six Senses, Visiting Practitioners and partners.

 

Six Senses Ibiza will add an enticing new setting to the vibrant Ibiza music scene. Directly on the shorefront, the Beach Caves music venue is the heart of the resort. Hosting live shows, events, emerging artist sessions, and an expansive vinyl collection, the Beach Caves features avant-garde technology from McIntosh and Sonus faber through a partnership with McIntosh Group. There is also a Cave Royale guestroom with a secret door leading to the Recording Studio for when creativity strikes in the middle of the night.

The hotel celebrates sustainable fashion at the Agora, a new retail concept – part entertainment, part education and part shopping experience. Curated by the renowned fashion editors Daniela Agnelli and Tiffanie Darke, it seeks to tell a story in a series of chapters: Reduce, Recycle, Rent and Restore. Highlights of the store will be a “live magazine” experience, a “Cinderella Room” for dress up nights, and an Intention Tree for customers to remember the change.

Arts and culture are central to the Six Senses experience. As they wander through the resort’s galleries, guests will enjoy displays by Magnum photographers, curated by Elaine Groenestein to reflect Ibiza’s core themes. Along with photography events and workshops, a larger selection of fine prints is available through the Magnum Gallery. There is also a beautiful library for guests to relax and unwind in and expand the mind.

Main image credit: Six Senses

“It makes a statement” – UK Bathrooms reviews Imperial’s Black Sapphire Collection

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
“It makes a statement” – UK Bathrooms reviews Imperial’s Black Sapphire Collection

UK Bathrooms explore comfort and style qualities in the Black Sapphire Collection of dark sanitaryware by Imperial Bathrooms

Creating a unique environment is key to success for hoteliers, whatever the hotel category, whatever the size of hotel; hotels today need to stand out in the crowd.  And one place they can do this is the hotel bathroom by not only offering the best in comfort and ease of use, but by making sure the space is beautifully stylish, functional, durable and different.

Merging comfort and style the Black Sapphire Collection of dark sanitaryware by Imperial Bathrooms ups the ante, finally bringing ceramics over to the dark side.

The hotel bathroom of 2021 has emerged as a space for wellbeing and retreating to for a moment of calm; time spent in the bathroom of today is prized by hotel guests, an opportunity for peace, privacy, self-care and time out from frenetic lives.  Bathroom design has become more expressive, experimental and exciting.

Enter the vogue for black bathrooms, with dark, cave-like spaces creating sanctuaries where the stresses of outside cease to exist. While surfaces, furniture, fixtures and accessories have all been doused in black tones of late, sanitaryware remained traditionally white and bright – until now. Imperial Bathrooms’ new Black Sapphire Collection has put an end to interrupting dark schemes with chunks of dazzling paleness, with the extensive offering, encompassing basins, toilets, bidets and accessories in a myriad of styles, enabling bathrooms to wholly embrace the darkness, as well as adding an unexpected edge to monochrome designs and broader palettes.

“Black and monochrome rooms soothe the eye and allow an overworked mind a moment of calm,” explains Graeme Borchard, MD at UK Bathrooms. “The Black Sapphire Collection from Imperial Bathrooms means that bathrooms can now fully commit to a black palette, and offers wider and bolder options for those hoteliers wanting to create statement spaces.”

The range incorporates four sanitaryware families, the first truly comprehensive collection of black bathroom ceramics.

Etoile Black Sapphire

Bedecked in the pigment-rich Black Sapphire finish, the round edges, intricate design and striking silhouettes of the Etoile collection take on an alluring, opulent feel. Each piece is crafted in Britain, repeatedly fired and smoothed to ensure a flawless, glossy finish. Team with high shine tiles in a matching tone and polished metals for maximum effect.

Astoria Deco Black Sapphire

The Astoria Deco range takes on an edgy, moody personality with a glossy Black Sapphire coat. The sculptural quality of its Art Deco angles, defined lines and shapely elegance make a dynamic statement – bring together multiple pieces for high impact and unforgettable wow factor.

Drift Black Sapphire

Combining the playfully curved lines of the Drift range with a blackened coat creates a tongue-in-cheek effect, the modern finish and shapes merging with hints of the traditional. Place the subtly decorative ceramics against a white, coloured or patterned backdrop of to make the most of the collection’s design details.

Radcliffe Black Sapphire

With slick lines and an even sharper attitude, the refined Radcliffe range is a nod to classic British bathroom design, made even more stately and statuesque in a shadowy glass-like finish. Style with traditional brassware, lighting and mirrors to complete the powerful, sophisticated aesthetic.

Since you’re here, why not read UK Bathroom’s review of Crosswater’s Crossbox Push? 

UK Bathrooms is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here

Main image credit: UK Bathrooms

Unidrain_The Hub_03

The Hub – a modern boutique hotel in the heart of Oslo

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
The Hub – a modern boutique hotel in the heart of Oslo

Clarion Hotel – The Hub, is an environmentally friendly and inspiring boutique hotel located in the heart of Oslo. This new and spectacular hotel offers exciting food with local roots, excellent business facilities and 810 rooms that goes above convention…

Unidrain_The Hub_03

Designed by architects Lund + Slaatto and interior designer Anders Björkén, Clarion Hotel -The Hub shelters an elegant, boutique style. For Björkén, Unidrain was the obvious choice for the bathrooms. “Unidrain drains are elegant and work extremely well in a hotel environment” he says.

Anders is behind the interior design of the historic Grand Hotel in Stockholm and Hotel Vesterbro in Copenhagen. “We use almost exclusively Unidrain’s drains in our projects, in addition to their beautiful and minimalist design, they are easy to install,” he said.

The Hub wants its guests to experience something akin to a “love affair” through classical décor, balanced design, and ground-breaking, innovative interiors solutions without losing any feeling of warmth, intimacy and elegance, which Björkén achieved in the design of the hotel rooms.

On the 11th floor, you will find a fantastic suite overlooking the Oslo Fjord; as with all the rooms every detail has been thought through and nothing has been left to chance.

Unidrain, are very proud to have supplied HighLine Custom drains to The Hub; in the main bathroom and specifically crafted for this space, the classic Unidrain grating has been replaced by marble tiling creating an exact match to the rest of the bathroom floor, here the line drain blends into the flooring and is almost invisible to the eye.

In the second bathroom, the drain becomes a feature; the design in this space focusses on colour and incorporates a delicate black HighLine Colour line drain, which is installed so it fits right up against the wall.

Architecture, interior and design

The hotel wanted their guests to experience a carefully crafted balance between early design classics and ground breaking contemporary elements; the aim was to incorporate the stylish vibe of the 1950s in a modern boutique hotel.

Anemone Wille Våge designed the interiors of the restaurants and common areas; she took her inspiration from the old Hotel Viking, designed by Knut Knutsen for the 1952 Winter Olympics. Delving into the history of the original building she used elements from this, to create a timeless, yet modern design. The design team incorporated elements from the building as it was in 1952, including styling the lobby’s ceiling in exactly the same pink tone as the building’s façade, the bronze columns were inspired by the original window sills, in fact every element of the furniture and interior decorations were handpicked from high-quality manufacturers and specially designed for this project to create its unique look.

The green hotel in the heart of the city – Growhub

With an added environmental twist; The Clarion Hotel is testing a brand-new way to grow food in the city, in a sustainable and economical way. At the very top of Clarion Hotel The Hub, there is a large rooftop garden, known as the Growhub; this provides zero-travelled ingredients for locals, guests and conference attendees alike. From its unique take on interior design, stylish bathrooms and carbon neutral food sourcing The Hub is the perfect place to create an Oslo experience.

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

Main image credit: Unidrain

Product Watch: Finoris washbasin from hansgrohe

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Product Watch: Finoris washbasin from hansgrohe

hansgrohe has described the Finoris washbasin as a bathroom item that is ‘for every activity required’. The revolutionary all-rounder features more flexibility and functionality than other basins, as Hotel Designs discovers when reviewing the product…

Did you know the average person spends 400 days of their lifetime using their bathroom? That’s more than 30 minutes a day, and in that time, the dream of a bathroom wellness retreat doesn’t often become a reality. Following customer engagement research, leading bathroom manufacturer, hansgrohe, understands the everyday life of a family bathroom is usually very different: routines vary greatly from relaxation and personal hygiene to soaking laundry and endless cleaning. Modern day life demands a tap that is functional in all these situations and for this purpose, hansgrohe launches Finoris; a basin mixer range which combines minimalistic design and maximum flexibility.

With its innovative “Flex” variant, the new range offers enough freedom of movement to simplify everyday chores. Quickly washing your hair directly in the basin is no longer a problem with the functional pull-out head, using microdroplets instead of the standard water delivery, to reduce splashing. And with the added benefit of easy rinsing afterwards, it reduces any mess outside of the basin. Everyday receptables, such as buckets and tall vases, can also filled in no time at all. In a deeper basin, an infant can be quietly coaxed into having a quick bath. Finoris is designed to be a practical, yet beautiful, addition to everyday family life.

Whether it’s a gentle PowderRain spray or a smooth laminar spray, the tap adapts to the respective application with a flick of the wrist and the push of a button. Both spray modes use no more than five liters of water per minute, ensuring water consumption is kept at a minimum.

Slender design with high functionality

Visually, the hansgrohe Finoris tap impresses with a slim, geometric look. The subtly integrated pull-out showerhead with an action radius of 500 millimetres glides smoothly back into its original position after each use thanks to its magnetic retraction support. Its minimalist design is also available without a pull-out showerhead.

Even the standard model is designed for an extensive range of applications, as it can be ordered in three different heights. This means hansgrohe Finoris can be combined with a wide variety of basin models. Someone planning a wall-integrated shower can install the concealed solution from Finoris. Around the bath, there is option of the hansgrohe sBox, which neatly conceals the pull-out showerhead hose for a clean, clutter-free look.

When it comes to surfaces, the new range offers a variety of options throughout the entire series: Chrome, Matt Black, or Matt White. The complete range naturally includes matching exposed and concealed fittings for the bath and shower. For convenience in the bathroom, hansgrohe Finoris can be combined with hansgrohe Rainfinity shower solutions and the matching Addstoris accessory range.

hansgrohe is one of our recommended suppliers and regularly feature in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: hansgrohe

Optix 10 Pivot door & side panel Brushed Stainless Steel

Luxury shower goals: Crosswater launches new 10mm walk-in solutions

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Luxury shower goals: Crosswater launches new 10mm walk-in solutions

Meeting new modern traveller luxury shower demands, the OPTIX 10 and GALLERY 10 ranges by Crosswater provide a superior quality and versatile design, resulting in a serene bathroom experience…

Optix 10 Pivot door & side panel Brushed Stainless Steel

Weeks before Hotel Designs LIVE invites expert designers to discuss ‘bathrooms beyond practical spaces’, Crosswater has unveiled OPTIX 10 and GALLERY 10, which is the brand’s latest collections of 10mm enclosure and walk-in shower solutions.

Showering has become more than just a daily routine – it has become a ritual, with homeowners and hotel guests alike now recognising the positive effects that can come from a relaxing showering experience. Subsequently, the bathroom industry has started to design products that promote wellness within the bathing space, as well as innovation.

Crosswater is already recognised for their holistic approach to showering, with the brand providing a choice of trend-led brassware, including shower valves that will deliver the perfect flow of water, and a variety of indulgent 6mm and 8mm shower enclosures which were strengthened in 2020. Crosswater is looking to continue this success in the 10mm shower enclosure and walk-in shower solutions category with the new additions of OPTIX 10 and GALLERY 10.

“OPTIX 10 and GALLERY 10 are the newest addition to Crosswater’s Home of Showering programme and enable the brand to offer luxury and every level of specification,” said Stephen Ewer, CEO of Bathroom Brands Group (Crosswater, Burlington, Clearwater, Britton). “Crosswater have been working intensely to bring this offer to market whilst ensuring expected levels of design, quality and value for both our retail partners and consumers.”

A luxury solution for all generations, OPTIX 10 and GALLERY 10 are extremely versatile, offering numerous possibilities to align with the needs of the consumer such as Crosswater Clear which enables easy cleaning, slimline wall profiles to create a beautiful interior scheme and availability in a variety of finishes that have been specifically designed to match the colour of Crosswater’s bestselling MPRO brassware range.

Featuring premium 10mm toughened glass, the innovative design of the new 10mm ranges are built to last, with a lifetime guarantee available to add additional peace of mind. The impressive construction which includes durable PVD coating and high-quality components, allows for a seamless transition when opening and closing the shower door, providing the ultimate showering experience.

“Crosswater’s introduction of 10mm enclosures and walk-in solutions is a significant step on our journey to enhance our cohesive design and colour offering across all categories, creating increased sales opportunities for our customers,” added David Button, Crosswater Retail Sales Director UK & Ireland.

As modern travellers continue to prioritise wellness and self-care, Crosswater are meeting the demand for holistic shower solutions with an impressive and extensive range of luxury shower enclosures for all generations.

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

Main image credit: Crosswater

Image of modern restuarant inside Hyatt Recency Zurich Airport

Hyatt Regency touches down in Switzerland

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hyatt Regency touches down in Switzerland

The opening of the 255-key Hyatt Regency Zurich Airport The Circle marks the brand’s debut property in Switzerland…

Image of modern restuarant inside Hyatt Recency Zurich Airport

Hyatt, which recently opened its 1,000 hotel worldwide, has announced the opening of Hyatt Regency Zurich Airport The Circle. The 255-key hotel, which becomes the first hotel under the Hyatt Regency brand to arrive in Switzerland, is located directly at Zurich’s brand-new hub the ‘Circle’, boasting an innovative mix of retail shops, offices, health facilities as well as restaurants, all situated on more than 180,000 square metres and alongside an almost 80,000 square metre park with greenery and running paths. Hyatt Regency Zurich Airport The Circle will be joined by the planned opening of a Hyatt Place branded hotel at the Circle hub. The Circle Convention Centre which will be managed by Hyatt as well is expected to host its first events in late spring.

Directly at Zurich Airport and with direct access to The Circle Convention Center, one of the largest conference venues in Switzerland, Hyatt Regency Zurich Airport The Circle is situated at one of the most well-connected locations.

Public area inside Hyatt Recency in Zurich Airport

Image credit: Hyatt Regency

“Hyatt Regency Zurich Airport The Circle has been designed to meet the needs of travellers who seek flexible and energising experiences, and will offer intuitive and seamless experiences to business and leisure travellers alike,” said Benno Geruschkat, general manager of Hyatt Regency Zurich Airport The Circle. “The Hyatt Regency brand fosters the connections that matter most, and we are excited to offer our guests the perfect place to work, engage and relax.”

The 255 guestrooms sheltered inside include 16 suites, one Ambassador suite and one Presidential suite with a terrace overlooking the park. 

Hyatt Regency Zurich Airport The Circle features a range of culinary experiences that meet various dietary needs and preferences. Guests can discover Middle Eastern flavours in a contemporary setting with an open kitchen at Restaurant Babel. Bar Iris is a social hub at the hotel with views overlooking the main square and offers Swiss inspired dishes and signature drinks. The 24/7 take-away, Zum Mitnäh, offers refreshments and an extensive selection of gourmet sandwiches and healthy snack options, as well as freshly brewed coffee.

Image credit: Hyatt Regency

Image

Suitable for large events and meetings, as well as galas, fairs and product launches, Hyatt Regency Zurich Airport The Circle will have direct access to The Circle Convention Centre, which is set to open in late spring 2021 and will be home to more than 2,800 square metres of event space divided over three levels. The Circle Convention Center will offer pre-function spaces and 18 meetings rooms, all featuring floor-to-ceiling windows.    

At Hyatt Regency Zurich Airport The Circle guests can relax between meetings or after a busy day at the complimentary 24/7 fully equipped fitness centre. To reenergise after a busy day, guests can also explore the relaxation area with sauna.

image of low lit sauna

Image credit: Hyatt Regency

Hyatt Regency Zurich Airport The Circle joins Hyatt’s Park Hyatt Zurich and Alila La Gruyère which is expected to open in 2024. Hyatt Place Zurich Airport The Circle will open when the situation permits.

Main image credit: Hyatt Regency

Interior visualisation of ADP's new hotel in Kyiv

Should hotels do a better job of reflecting their communities?

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Should hotels do a better job of reflecting their communities?

To conclude our editorial series with ADP Architecture, Studio Director Amrit Naru looks at how a hotels and their design can sensitively reflect a locations local culture…

Interior visualisation of ADP's new hotel in Kyiv

Ask someone to name a place they’re looking forward to visiting once lockdown eases, and there’s a wide range of answers you might hear. They might mention a local pub or café. They might be looking forward to getting back to the gym, seeing a sports team play, or popping in to see a friend. They’re unlikely to mention a hotel.

And there’s a perfectly good reason for that: hotels aren’t typically designed for their local community. They’re arguably designed for everyone but the local community: tourists, business travellers, visitors for one reason or another. In contrast with the back-and-forth of a transport hub, we look at hotels as a one-directional interface between a specific locale and the wider world, where the wider world touches down for a few days before returning home. The only transport hub that seems to bear comparison here is a docking station for UFOs.

This kind of view fits the traditional way of looking at hotels – but of course, it neglects the wide range of purposes that hotels can actually serve. Very few hotels are simply places to stay: they can include bars, restaurants, conference centres, spas, and plenty more. It’s easy to look at these facilities simply as added value for guests, but they’re just as likely to be used by locals.

Explore these opportunities further, and you open up a whole new way of thinking about what a hotel can be. Far from a semi-private site with clearly defined boundaries – like a house or an office building – it becomes permeable, integrated with its community, with spaces which are as much defined by their surroundings and local flavour as by the people who travel to them. This kind of approach can reverse the (un)popular image of a hotel, making it the beating heart of a neighbourhood that benefits everyone.

Take, for example, a recent ADP project on a former industrial site in Scotland. When several plants closed in the 70s and 80s, hundreds of local workers lost their jobs, and the area lost key places that had given it purpose. It’s the sort of post-industrial community that’s been crying out for regeneration of the genuinely beneficial kind, providing spaces that benefit and support an existing community rather than driving them out. So when we were appointed to design a new hotel there, we saw an opportunity to create real value for local residents and businesses.

Our public consultations confirmed this: many locals voiced their worries that a hotel of the traditional sort could detract from the area, and that a radically different approach was needed. We took these concerns on board, asking consultees what sorts of facilities would be useful to them, and designing a scheme which is as much a community hub as a hotel. The proposals include a range of spaces open to the community, such as a gym, restaurant and bar. Public realm was also key to our designs, and we explored various ways to bring local residents onto the grounds, giving the landscape an open, accessible feel that interacts sensitively with the riverbank bordering the site.

The very flexibility of this approach means that it can work for any community, in any location. We’re currently delivering a hotel for Radisson in Kyiv, Ukraine, which includes a hybrid lounge/coffee/restaurant space with an open design – reflecting a wider openness to the surrounding neighbourhood. By breaking down the boundaries between types of spaces – and using the ground floor of a hotel as a fuzzy threshold – it’s possible to encourage the kind of unplanned interactions and sharing of spaces on which communities thrive.

Of course, embedding a hotel in its locale isn’t just down to the architects and engineers who design it. Marketing teams have to strike a careful balance between promoting the hotel’s brand and responding to the spirit of a place, the unique “vibe” that defines a district. The most effective way to do this is to make flexibility central to your brand: Hotel Indigo, an IHG brand that I’ve worked with in the past, does this particularly well by using the sights and sounds of their urban locations to inform every detail of the hotel’s design, from public spaces to private rooms. IHG is certainly not the only client I’ve worked with to take this approach, with companies such as Radisson and Hilton offering similar “lifestyle” brands.

The risk here is that a design can simply mimic its environment, becoming a pastiche rather than a reflection. Again, engagement with the community is key. It’s impossible to tap into what makes a city like Newcastle or Marrakech, Sydney or New York special without taking cues from the people who call those cities home – especially when clichés about “the typical New Yorker” are so widespread. Our redevelopment of Oxford Castle – including a Malmaison hotel converted from a Victorian prison – is a classic example of this, reflecting a part of the city’s culture and history which has very little connection to the more famous university, and integrating hospitality with bars, restaurants, shops and a visitors’ centre.

Getting this right means paying attention to the details, and taking a holistic approach. Employees aren’t just brand ambassadors: they’re community ambassadors too, trained in the kind of local knowledge that adds serious value for guests looking for hidden gems nearby. A local hiring policy takes this a step further, ensuring that your staff have a genuine connection to the hotel’s surroundings while creating jobs that support the area’s economy. Bookable spaces for businesses and a local supply chain complete the picture – transforming an out-of-place visitor from out of town into a place in its own right, with the town’s blood running through its veins.

“Staying local” has taken on a whole new meaning in the last year, and it’s sure to be a phrase that resonates with us for many years to come. By bringing hotels into a deeper, richer conversation with their surroundings, we can help give a much needed boost to communities which have suffered through lockdown. It’s also a surefire way to protect our industry from relying too greatly on travel – making it stronger, more adaptable, and better equipped to deal with an uncertain future.

ADP Architecture is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here.

Image caption: Interior visualisation of ADP’s new hotel in Kyiv. | Image credit: ADP Architecture

image of guestroom overlooking city of Madrid

INNSiDE by Meliá Madrid Gran Via opens

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
INNSiDE by Meliá Madrid Gran Via opens

The new 117-key hotel in Madrid is the result of the total renovation of the old TRYP Cibeles Hotel, which is situated in one of the liveliest districts in the capital, with an abundance of local art and culture that connects with the essence of the INNSIDE by Meliá brand…

image of guestroom overlooking city of Madrid

At number 34 on the Gran Via in Madrid, just a few metres from Malasaña, one of the most unconventional and dynamic districts in Madrid, the youngest of the Meliá Hotels International brands is preparing to arrive in the Spanish capital at the beginning of spring. Meliá Hotels International, which is Spain’s largest hotel group, has announced the opening of INNSiDE by Meliá Madrid Gran Via.

The property in which the hotel be sheltered by is a historic building dating back to the 1920s, designed by Antonio Palacios Ramilo and renowned for its innovative nature. The building was inaugurated in 1923 as the Alfonso XIII hotel, and was always known as the Hotel Avenida. In recent years it was renamed the TR YP Cibeles hotel, and it will now be changing its name to Gran Via due to the fact that its façade is now part of the history of Madrid and one of its most popular streets.

INNSiDE By Meliá Madrid Gran Via will house 117 guestrooms, all of which will be designed to meet the needs of modern travellers and providing all of the brand’s key attributes, such as sustainable sheets, bathrobes and amenities with a low environmental impact, no single-use plastics, and strict compliance with the new Stay Safe with Meliá health and safety programme.

image of large modern suite

Image credit: INNSiDE by Meliá

In order to connect with the city itself, the hotel will also have different spaces with work by urban artists thanks to a partnership with the Madrid Street Art Project, an independent organisation which supports art and local urban artists by exhibiting their work to a larger audience, in addition to taking part in the Pinta Malasaña festival, a breakthrough event in the world of art and culture in Madrid.

In addition to a spectacular rooftop area, the hotel will have an open living lounge on its seventh floor, which will be a space for work or play in the order that every visitor decides. This space will host the reception, artistic spaces, the bar, restaurant and DJ area.

INNSiDE By Meliá Madrid Gran Via aims to become a fashion and dining icon for both locals and tourists in Madrid thanks to the Abica group and “A Ollo”, a dining space with a Galician flair and international influences, as well as an incredible rooftop bar, “Le Tavernier”, an oasis in which to enjoy cocktails and the sky over the centre of Madrid.

INNSiDE by Meliá Madrid Gran Via opens after a major renovation and rebranding, reinforcing the commitment of Meliá Hotels International to its youngest brand. The brand is expected to be the fastest-growing brand in the company’s portfolio over the coming years, prioritising sustainability and respect for the environment.

Meliá Hotels International has also used the hotel renovation to implement its new Stay Safe with Meliá health and safety programme certified by Bureau Veritas, which has been very well received during the pandemic and reinforced the trust of customers in the group’s hotels.

2021 is expected to be an exciting and important year for the INNSiDE by Meliá brand, as it plans to open new hotels in Amsterdam, Liverpool, Newcastle and Luxembourg, adding to the brand’s current portfolio of 33 hotels open in Spain, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, the United States, Vietnam, China and Peru.

Main image credit: INNSiDE by Meliá

VIP arrivals: Hottest April hotel openings

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
VIP arrivals: Hottest April hotel openings

The industry is gearing up for a summer of hospitality, is the feeling the editorial desk at Hotel Designs has as it selects the most exciting hotel openings expected in April 2021. Editor Hamish Kilburn writes…

Blink and you will miss it! With vaccine updates, hotel re-opening strategies being across social media and conversations moving towards re-engaging with the post-corona consumer, all signs on the editorial desk lead to a summer of hospitality – whether that be abroad or enjoyed domestically.

This prediction follows a flood of press releases, together referencing hope, optimism and prosperity for international hotel design and hospitality. Regardless on whether we will be allowed to travel ahead of the summer boom, hotels are being developed in preparation for the travel demand that is shortly inevitable as we reach the one-year anniversary since many nations closed their boarders in order to fight against the spread of Covid-19.

We have been sharing our VIP arrivals now for four months, but it seems as if many brands have waited until now when it comes to unveiling new arrivals. Following an in-depth look at the landscape, here are our VIP arrivals for April.

Iniala Harbour House & Residences

Image of bar in curved tunnel-like structure

Image credit: Iniala Harbour House & Residences

Spread across four exquisite Maltese townhouses and their ancient vaults, dating back to the 1600s, Iniala Harbour House & Residences has 22 uniquely designed rooms and suites, and will be the latest opening from philanthropist Mark Weingard. The hotel, which overlooks the famous Grand Harbour, will set new standards for eye-catching urban design.

Iniala Harbour House & Residences, which is slated to open its doors in April, mixes tradition with more contemporary touches offering an eclectic mix of design concepts that subtly reflect Valletta’s unique heritage and charm. Created by three world-class design studios – Autoban from Turkey, A-Cero from Spain, and Malta’s DAAA HAUS – the hotel’s historical details will be beautifully preserved, with each townhouse having a distinctive identity. Using three different designers offers a true variation of interiors for all guests’ tastes.

Kalesma Mykonos

An image of infinity pool in Mykonos hotel that is opening this April

Image credit: Kalesma Mykonos

Set to elevate the desirable island of Mykonos to new heights, Kalesma is a 25-suite and two-villa luxury hotel, which is expected to open in late April. ‘Kalesma’, meaning ‘inviting’ in Greek, is perfectly suited to the ethos of this boutique, privately-owned property. The whitewashed collection of houses have been created to resemble a charming Mykonian village, tumbling down a slope to Ornos Bay, just a short walk from the beach. The look and feel of a traditional village is deliberate, as Kalesma is all about making guests feel at home and encouraging a neighbourhood vibe, enhanced by laid-back weekly supper clubs. Inspired by Cycladic architecture, combining tradition with contemporary elements, Kalesma is a design aficionados dream – offering sleek and minimalist interiors using locally-sourced materials, evident at every turn.

Ca’ di Dio, Venice

Ca’ di Dio, which is expected to open in April, is located in a unparalleled position, at the entrance to the Arsenale area, known as the Contemporary Art District of Venice, a place linked to the prestigious Biennale. The fascinating history of the building dates back to 1272, and the project has been curated by the studio of the internationally renowned architect Patricia Urquiola, with the aim of creating an original and distinctive concept: a Venetian “house”, linked to the history of the city. 

Although contemporary in style, which is unusual for Venice, when strolling through the common areas, guests will be able to admire the bright travertine and perfectly preserved frescoes. The hotel features many places for guests to relax whilst staying in Venice; an ‘altana’ – covered roof-terrace, common in medieval Venice, which is the perfect place from which to admire the sights of the city, two internal courtyards, which will be home to one restaurant serving light and quick snacks throughout the day, and a spacious reading room. There will be a second, outdoor restaurant overlooking the lagoon, towards the island of San Giorgio Maggiore. 

Mandarin Oriental Ritz, Madrid

Sophisticated deluxe room inside Mandarin Oriental Madrid

Image credit: Mandarin Oriental Ritz, Madrid

Following the most ambitious and extensive renovation to take place in its 110-year history – it took three years for Spanish architect Rafael de La-Hoz and the French designer duo Gilles & Boissier to complete their collaborated masterpiece – Mandarin Oriental Ritz, Madrid is ready to serve its guests. The 153-key luxury hotel is expected to appeal to both local and international guests, while preserving the striking Belle Époque character of the original building in keeping with the original spirit conceived by Cesar Ritz.

In addition to the Spanish arrival, Mandarin Oriental will also be opening properties in Luzern, Switzerland and on the Bosphorus in Istanbul in 2021.

W Algarve – look out, Portugal!

Render of private pool overlooking Algarve in hotel that opens in April

Image credit: W Hotels

W Hotels is about to land in the Algarve, which marks the brand’s debut in Portugal. Located just outside of Albufeira and perched on the iconic cliffs overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, the hotel is a combination of urban glam meets beach life in a region famous for its beautiful, secluded coves, year-round sunshine and enticing cuisine. Guests can expect pulsating beats, vibrant flavours, and bright contemporary design.

The hotel will shelter 134 guestrooms and suites plus 83 residences, all ocean facing and boasting spacious balconies. Atlantic colours and asymmetrical forms that mimic the nearby cliffs define the design; it is the Algarve reinterpreted by W. 

Facilities will include a state-of-the-art fitness centre ‘FIT’ and an ‘Away’ Spa with seven treatment rooms, plus outdoor pools. To refuel and replenish there will be an authentic Portuguese Algarve-inspired dining restaurant, plus a classic and modern Italian restaurant.

Taking the luxury up an additional notch are the ‘Extreme WOW Suites’ with a rooftop terrace where luscious gardens surround an elevated lounge seating spot, DJ booth, dining and bar area, and an infinity pool from which guests can soak up the incredible sunset views over the Atlantic Ocean. The bedroom design is inspired by the beautiful Benagil cave and the picturesque Algarve fishing villages.

Berkeley Park Hotel, Miami 

On April 1, 2021, Berkeley Park Hotel will rise as the newest member of the MGallery Hotel Collection, and the first MGallery property in Florida. A highly anticipated four-star boutique hotel, the 80-key property sits along one of Miami Beach’s most coveted sectors known by locals as the Collins Park “Arts Corridor” for its direct access to world-renowned art institutions, and just steps from white sand beaches. With a timeless Mediterranean façade from 1936, the hotel pays homage to the city’s architectural roots with all the modern amenities that discerning travellers expect.

“We are thrilled to continue expanding our North American portfolio with the addition of the Berkeley Park Hotel – MGallery,” said Heather McCrory, CEO, Accor North & Central America. “With its ideal location, striking architecture, and vibrant spirit, the hotel is a tremendous addition to Accor’s Miami portfolio, which also includes Faena Hotel Miami Beach, SLS South Beach, SLS Brickell, SLS LUX Brickell, Hyde Midtown Miami, Mondrian South Beach, Novotel Miami Brickell, and Pullman Miami Airport.”

Main image credit: Iniala Harbour House & Residences

*Some dates as listed above may be subject to change due to travel restrictions following Covid-19 and national lockdown developments.

Since you’re here…

More than 40,000 readers per month enjoy the content we publish on Hotel Designs. Our mission is to define the point on international hotel design, and we are doing that by serving relevant news stories and engaging features. To keep up to date on the hottest stories that are emerging, you can sign up to the newsletter, which is completely free of charge. As well as receiving a weekly round-up of the top stories, you will also access our bi-monthly HD Edit –staying ahead of the curve has never been so easy!

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An armchair in front of glass window

Product watch: ILIV launches the Kelso & Harlow textiles collection

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Product watch: ILIV launches the Kelso & Harlow textiles collection

The Kelso & Harlow textiles collection by ILIV has been woven in a charming village on the border of Lancashire and Yorkshire and draws on the centuries-old tradition of British textile weaving…

An armchair in front of glass window

The Kelso & Harlow collection by ILIV has been born out of traditional craftsmanship. Manufacturing to high ethical standards, from all-natural, wool fibres without the use of harmful chemicals, the brand proud to be using many traditional machines that do its fine work in the time-honoured way.

Despite its traditional manufacturing process, the new collection is completely suitable for modern-day commercial use. With its highly durable make-up natural dirt repellence, acoustic absorbance properties and its superior fire resistance, Kelso & Harlow is the environmentally friendly choice for all types of furniture and interiors, offering a sophisticated and organic look.

Image caption: The Kelso collection is available in 51 colours. | Image credit: ILIV

Image caption: The Kelso & Harlow collection is available in 51 colours. | Image credit: ILIV

“We are committed to minimising the impact of our business on the environment from our energy consumption and carbon emissions to our waste management and recycling facilities,” explains the ILIV in a press release. “By weaving our 50 per cent British wool collection, Kelso, here in the UK, we have reduced our carbon footprint, whilst offering our support to local British farmers.”

Kelso & Harlow is available across 51 colours, constructed using a mix of melange and greige woven yarns from commercial greys to corporate greens and vibrant blues to striking yellows and oranges.

SMD Textiles/ILIV is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here.

Main image credit: ILIV

Siminetti Seasons Collection

Product Watch: The Seasons Collection by Siminetti

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Product Watch: The Seasons Collection by Siminetti

During Hotel Designs LIVE on February 23, Siminetti, which was a Product Watch Pitch Partner at the event, unveiled the sustainable and luxurious Seasons Collection…

Siminetti Seasons Collection

Hotel Designs LIVE was a fantastic experience for us; seeing the best the hospitality industry has to offer all in one place,” said Simon Powell CEO of Siminetti. The leading sustainable surface brand held a presentation during the sustainability segment during the one-day virtual conference event. Discussing the importance of sustainability in the luxury sector and how the brand’s new Seasons Collection is both sustainable and luxurious. For those who were unable to attend; below is an overview of the collection and how Siminetti strive to provide luxury surfaces that are not damaging to the planet.

Since its founding in 2010, Siminetti has strived to provide their clients with luxury surface solutions that are not only beautiful but kind to the planet. The process began with establishing relationships with suppliers who could ensure only the finest raw materials with respect for the environment and the communities who inhabit the source locations. Every supplier is carefully selected to ensure the brand’s processes meet strict ecological standards and their materials are sourced from sustainable, farmed locations wherever in the world they are grown.

Image credit: Siminetti

Image credit: Siminetti

Siminetti now has a prospering network of suppliers all over the planet. The brand’s Saltwater Pearl is sourced from Pacific communities who depend on sustainable relationships with the ocean lagoons in which they farm pearls or harvest them as a food source. Harvesting is done in line with local Government Fishery laws and a constant communication with our suppliers ensure we are informed and accountable.

Siminetti’s freshwater mother of pearl is primarily sourced from Asia. They are the largest producer of freshwater pearl in the world! producing some 1,500 metric tons per year. The farms traditionally harvest the shellfish that produce our mother of pearl for the food industry, the shells are then discarded as waste to landfill, due to being incredibly hardwearing the shells would take many generations to breakdown.

Siminetti’s expert artisans take these raw shells and transform their rough appearance to create stunning decorative surfaces. In their latest innovation, Siminetti has transcended the expectations of mother of pearl by producing their seasons collection. A series of patterns with shapes previously perceived to complex to be crafted from mother of pearl.

The collection has been designed in conjunction with Chrisanna of London, it is truly the next generation of mother of pearl sustainable decorative surfaces. Consisting of twelve designs inspired by nature, available in either their Golden Promise saltwater pearl or Innocence saltwater pearl on a Bianco freshwater base. Below is a selection of never before seen close up photos of the seasons collection showcasing the expert craftsmanship that goes into every one of their handmade decorative surfaces.

Siminetti’s Mother of Pearl Mosaics and Decorative Panels decorate some of the Worlds leading hotels, resorts, private residences and super yachts. From the Burj Khalifa, to Hollywood Boulevard and Harvey Nicholls, the brand supports some of the world’s leading brands ensuring they remain at the top of their industry. With an enviable history in designing and supplying one of the world’s most luxurious, sustainable, surface materials, Siminetti is renowned for supporting architects and designers with technical know-how and testing documentation, ensuring their clients complete peace of mind whilst embarking on their stylish journey.

Siminetti is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here.

Main image credit: Siminetti

Render of the DoubleTree by Hilton in Pakistan

DoubleTree by Hilton to expand its portfolio into Pakistan

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
DoubleTree by Hilton to expand its portfolio into Pakistan

An agreement signed with Dhabi Hospitality will see Hilton’s upscale DoubleTree by Hilton brand launch in the city of Islamabad in 2025. Here’s what we know…

Render of the DoubleTree by Hilton in Pakistan

The DoubleTree by Hilton brand, which currently has more than 600 upscale hotels across 48 countries, will arrive in Islamabad in 2025, following a signed agreement between the global hotel group and real estate company Dhabi Hospitality.

“This is a landmark agreement for Hilton that signals our re-entry to the Pakistan market,” said Carlos Khneisser, vice president of development, Middle East and Africa, Hilton. “We are doing so as part of a groundbreaking development in the country’s business capital and one which will offer unparalleled convenience for travellers to the New Islamabad International Airport, which is ultimately expected to handle around 25m passengers on an annual basis.”

Featuring 167 guestrooms, including 10 suites, the property will form part of a residential and commercial development. It will sit alongside newly built residential apartments in a suburban complex containing healthcare, education and recreational facilities as well as a number of commercial outlets. Guests will be able to enjoy four restaurants, including a rooftop pool café, as well as on-site fitness facilities.

Muhammad Sadiq, CEO, Dhabi Hospitality said: “We aim to blend the comfort of suburban living with the convenience of city life, offering our customers an unrivalled lifestyle and the very best in modern amenities and services. We are proud to be bringing the DoubleTree by Hilton brand to Pakistan as part of this project and are excited to complement our offering with its world-renowned upscale hospitality and service.”

The hotel will be located to the West of Islamabad city centre, on the Srinagar Highway, which connects the city with New Islamabad International Airport. Just 4km from the airport terminal, it will become the most convenient option for travellers looking for high-end accommodation and meeting facilities in proximity to the airport. It will be equipped with three state-of-the-art meeting rooms and a 518sqm ballroom suitable for weddings and large events.

Hilton is yet to confirm the architecture and interior design studios who will be responsible for this milestone project.

Main image credit: Hilton Hotels

 

Gif of top stories of the week

Weekly briefing: Hyatt milestones, a D.C. check-in & HD Live returns

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Weekly briefing: Hyatt milestones, a D.C. check-in & HD Live returns

Editor Hamish Kilburn here with your weekly briefing, a safe place where you can catch up on all the hottest hotel design and hospitality stories from the last couple of days. This week’s round-up includes our latest hotel review and your chance to join us for free at Hotel Designs LIVE in May…

Gif of top stories of the week

As we accelerate past the anniversary when the UK was placed under its first national lockdown following the Covid-19 outbreak, I am reminded of how unpredictable events can impact the way in which hospitality and hotel design is perceived.

This week, when hosting our latest roundtable (to be published next month) the conversation turned towards how, despite the hospitality industry being inherently hygienic and clean, the perception around cleanliness is the new challenge designers and hospitality professionals are managing.

Although we don’t have all the answers just yet, one way to reassure the post-corona consumer is by highlighting exceptional design and examples of innovative hospitality – something that the editorial team at Hotel Designs feels strongly about. In addition to shining the spotlight on leading hotel design examples, we also need to amplify the raw conversations the industry is having right now in order to reopen for the post-pandemic world. Cue the return of Hotel Designs LIVE in May, which will welcome world-renowned designers, architects, hoteliers and developers to speak about the real challenges our industry is facing in 2021.

Until May, the editorial team is here to serve you the latest news and features in international hotel design and hospitality – starting with this round-up of the top stories published this week.

Hyatt opens 1,000th hotel worldwide

Image caption: Rendering of Hyatt Centric Jumeirah Dubai | Image credit: Hyatt Hotels

Image caption: Rendering of Hyatt Centric Jumeirah Dubai | Image credit: Hyatt Hotels

We love a milestone at Hotel Designs! For any brand to claim that they have opened 1,000 hotels is an enormous feat, but considering we are in the middle of the Covid-19 crisis – and the hospitality industry is climbing its most challenging mountain to date in order to thrive once more – the news that Hyatt has opened its 1,000th hotel worldwide is nothing short of extra ordinary.

Read more.

Hotel review: Checking in to Riggs Washington D.C.

Sheltered in a former bank in the capital city, Riggs Washington D.C.is emerging from the pandemic as a statement hotel that offers a new kind of luxury on the east coast. Writer and cine​matic storyteller Ollie Wiggins checks in to the Caroline Harrison suite and interviews interior design legend Jacu Strauss in order to understand the hotel design narrative that is not what it first seems.

Read more.

Registration now open for Hotel Designs LIVE in May

Hot off the heels of the success of Hotel Designs LIVE in February – and following being shortlisted in the ‘Best Webinar Series’ category at the Digital Event Awards – Hotel Designs’ one-day online conference will return on May 11, with world-renowned designers, architects and hospitality specialists confirmed in the speakership line-up.

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In Conversation With: Atlas Concorde on surface design

Atlas Concorde interview image

In the wake of Hotel Designs’ spotlight on surfaces throughout the month of February, Hotel Designs gets a behind-the-scenes perspective of one of the leading ceramic surface brands in the industry. Matteo Martini, UK & Northern Europe Sales Director at Atlas Concordejoins us to explore surface trends, creative materials and sustainability.

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What’s in the spotlight this April on Hotel Designs?

This April, Hotel Designs is serving up a multiple stories that will be dedicated to public areas and architecture & construction; two areas in hotel design that go hand-in-hand when looking at meaningful solutions for tomorrow’s hotel design scene.

Read more.

Since you’re here…

More than 40,000 readers per month enjoy the content we publish on Hotel Designs. Our mission is to define the point on international hotel design, and we are doing that by serving relevant news stories and engaging features. To keep up to date on the hottest stories that are emerging, you can sign up to the newsletter, which is completely free of charge. As well as receiving a weekly round-up of the top stories, you will also access our bi-monthly HD Edit –staying ahead of the curve has never been so easy!

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Product watch: Seating collection by Hommés Studio

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Product watch: Seating collection by Hommés Studio

Hommés Studio crafts its own identity with precision and challenges existing interior boundaries. From its natural look and textures to highly polished and coloured versions, all seating collections are a tribute to craftsmanship, honouring the art of creating soulful pieces with handmade techniques…

The heart of every home depends on its owners. Some consider the living room, others the entryway, and still others the dining room. One thing is for sure, the seating composition wanders throughout the space creating a welcoming and functional space. A sectional here, an armchair there, and a bench somewhere create a different vibe in the space. With a bit of creativity, a perfect collection of chairs, sofas, armchairs, and benches can transform any room for the better.

1) ARMCHAIRS

From vintage armchairs, retro armchairs, mid-century modern armchairs to more modern and contemporary armchairs, this is the best collection to incorporate in any interior space.

Image credit: Hommés Studio

AJUI Armchair

Ajui Armchair is a luxury armchair that features an artsy interpretation of a cactus and a swivel base. This accent armchair is a conceptual piece and the perfect choice for a modern living area.

MAX Armchair

Max Armchair is a mid-century style armchair. This armchair brings details from the old days to contemporary design. Its shape and exquisite materials make it an outstanding accent armchair.

ALICE Armchair

Alice Armchair is a luxury armchair composed of exquisite materials. This eclectic armchair is perfect for a contemporary interior design project. It features the most comfortable materials that anyone can ask for in an armchair.

2) CHAIRS

The dining room is a showcase of every house because it is the center of meetings with family and friends. Sometimes it is not easy to choose the perfect furniture for your interior, but HOMMÉS Studio has a suitable chairs collection.

SCILLE Chair

Scille Dining Chair is a luxury armchair that features an asymmetric seat composed of curvilinear panels that intersect each other. An original and comfortable chair, ideal for a contemporary dining room project.

PINA Chair

Pina Dining Chair is an art deco-style armchair whose shape provides the best comfort for guests. Perfect for modern dining room projects that aim for a classic-chic vibe.

KARMEN Chair

Karmen Dining Chair adds instant class and contemporary chic to the home. A genuinely stunning seat, the velvet palette works well alongside creamy marble tables.

3) DAYBEDS

Seating Collection_23

Image credit: Hommés Studio

Daybeds are pieces of furniture that can be used for sitting, reclining, and sleeping. They feature fabric or leather cushions, as well as both curved and more streamlined silhouettes. The small size also makes them a versatile piece for narrow spaces.

VOLARE I and II Daybed

Volare Daybed is a luxury daybed. It features an ergonomic shape and exquisite details. It will provide the accent piece to a modern master bedroom or luxurious living room project.

JAGGER Daybed

Jagger Chaise Longue is a luxury chaise longue that aims to relax the body and mind and break routines, ideal for contemporary garden designs.

4) SOFAS

The sofa is the main element of living room furniture.  Find everything from shiny, contemporary sofas to cozy corner sofas and much more. All products offer extraordinary comfort and excellent.

GYVATÉ MODULAR Sofa

Gyvaté Modular Sofa is a sectional sofa with an elegant curvy silhouette. With an iconic aesthetic, this contemporary design piece allows a customizable composition to be a feature in a high-end interior design project. This curved sofa is the perfect place for entertaining as its incomparable shape enlivens your luxury living room.

LUNARYS Sofa

Lunarys Sofa is a contemporary style sofa that features a glamorous aesthetic look. It is an outstanding sofa that amazes everyone with its powerful presence. A stunning piece that disrupts commonly seen shapes, transitioning its admirers to another dimension.

AJUI Sofa

Ajui Sofa is a modern rounded sofa that combines an artsy interpretation of a cactus shape with the comfort expected from a luxury sofa. The perfect choice for a modern living room design or a unique retail project.

5) BENCHES

Hommés Studio’s wide selection of benches spans the modern design spectrum combining the perfect materials with bold shapes and colours.

CADIZ Bench

Cadiz Bench combines bold shapes with extreme attention to comfort. A Memphis style inspired bench, ideal for any modern seating area.

FIFIH Bench

Fifih Bench is the perfect luxury bench for a minimalist and modern interior architecture project. Elements from the past mixed with a futuristic vision.

MOA Bench

Moa Bench is an accent bench. Its base and seat express a solemn geometry that accent a modern identity in any contemporary interior design project.

Hommés Studio is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here.

Main image credit: Hommés Studio

Image of Riggs Wet bar

Hotel review: Checking in to Riggs Washington D.C.

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hotel review: Checking in to Riggs Washington D.C.

Sheltered in a former bank in the capital city, Riggs Washington D.C. is emerging from the pandemic as a statement hotel that offers a new kind of luxury on the east coast. Writer and cine​matic storyteller Ollie Wiggins checks in to the Caroline Harrison suite and interviews interior design legend Jacu Strauss in order to understand the hotel design narrative that is not what it first seems…

Image of Riggs Wet bar

The highly anticipated Riggs Washington D.C. opened its doors in early 2020, but considering the unforeseen circumstances around the pandemic that shortly followed, the hotel’s grand opening period was cut short as hospitality worldwide hunkered down for a turbulent year. So, for the sake of this review, I am prepared to erase 2020 from our memories in order to instead celebrate the arrival of what has already become one of Washington’s most exciting hotel openings of the decade. This 181-key hotel aims to offer unparalleled luxury and a breath of fresh air to the thriving and modern metropolis. 

Sitting down with Jacu Strauss, the Creative Director of Lore Group and the brainchild behind Sea Containers London and Pulitzer Amsterdam, it becomes immediately apparent how important the setting was and is to him – he is clearly passionate about DC. “It’s just a really beautiful city,” he says. “Great architecture, and noticeably lacking skyscrapers, it has a certain rhythm to it.” With Jacu’s projects across the world, he’s famous for putting time, energy and resources in to research an area and its needs. Keen to avoid what he describes as a “cookie cutter approach”, it is about the neighbourhoods, the greater contexts of the city and its people. With D.C., he felt he’d found a real gap in the hospitality market. “You have lifestyle brands as well as more traditional, institutional luxury hotels that are really established here and do what they do perfectly,” Strauss explains. “But we wanted to bridge that gap between lifestyle and luxury and become an institution that sits alone.”

It would have been all too easy to make this imposing gothic building into another institutional hotel. And there is no escaping the fact that it is sheltered in what used to be a bank – the ceilings are enormous for starters. The name of the hotel is synonymous with banking throughout DC; many presidents banked with the brand and it even provided the bank loan the US government needed to buy Alaska. Strauss freely admits that he is not the first to turn a bank into a luxury hotel, citing The Ned in London as a prime example. It is perhaps for this reason that he is keen to make sure the building is not tied to its former use. “We really wanted to depart from banking and make it about other things as well,” Strauss explains. “We wanted to celebrate both the legacy of the building and history of the city through unexpected details and a thoughtful approach to guest experience.” So it is perhaps no surprise then that he says he wants to evoke the spirit of the bank, preserving and restoring much of the beautiful old building with playful nod’s to it’s rich and storied past. It is in this way he hopes that the building will reflect a sense of timelessness, which he hopes will give the hotel longevity. 

Upon entering the hotel on F street, I am immediately struck by how authentically period the building feels. Whilst Strauss said he was keen to avoid the sense that the building was stuck in the past, it is hard to imagine the entrance hall has changed at all in the 130 years since it was built. The original marble floors and columns, for example, have not lost their shine or luster. The intricate recessed carvings on the arches of the barrelled ceiling have been meticulously restored and the gold trim on the American eagle that presides over the entryway is as bright and splendid as one would hope.

Image caption: The lobby/reception area has been designed to give a sensitive nod to the building's past. | Image credit: Riggs Washington D.C.

Image caption: The lobby/reception area has been designed to give a sensitive nod to the building’s past. | Image credit: Riggs Washington D.C.

To the right, the commanding entrance hall is replaced with a warm and welcoming check-in area. There is still the impressive sense of space and grandeur from the high-vaulted ceilings and federalist columns, but the marble floor has been replaced by a luxurious blue carpet. Comfortable arm chairs and soft furnishings help temper the building’s stark gothic feel without taking away from the majestic first impression. On the wall hangs an enormous medallion of Juno Moneta, the Roman goddess of money, modelled on an insignia Strauss discovered when first exploring the building. It gives the impression of inventing without betraying that the designer was keen to create; whilst a new addition to the building, the medallion feels timeless and totally in keeping with the property’s past. Behind a desk and a gold trimmed screen are the friendly reception staff. Whilst a new safety feature for the current pandemic, the gilt edged dividers feel true to the former use of the building and one can imagine the bank’s customers standing in front of them as they discussed the handling of their finances.

“The wooden parquet flooring gives the air of a stately home, where marble would have felt too austere and carpet too subaltern.”

Upon checking in, I am taken first to the Riggs suite, once the boardroom of the bank, now an impressive function room with enviable views of the city. Here, a room that could have felt stark with its hard lines and gothic arches has been made to feel luxurious and comfortable. The wooden parquet flooring gives the air of a stately home, where marble would have felt too austere and carpet too subaltern. Upholstered chairs around a long dining table reinforce this feeling of luxury and recall the room’s former use. On the walls of this room, no doubt once occupied exclusively by men, now hang the portraits of inspirational looking women in a variety of styles and from different cultures. In fact, the room is full of feminine touches including the soft green carpet, delicate oak furniture, copious plants and plush velvety sofas and cushions. It is part of Strauss’ efforts to neutralise what he sees as the overly masculine world of banking with feminine touches.

“Riggs is the only hotel in the area that has chosen to name its suites them after first ladies.”

I am fortunate enough to be staying in the Caroline Harrison Suite. The general manager proudly explains that whilst many hotels in the city have suites named after presidents, Riggs is the only hotel in the area that has chosen to name its suites them after first ladies – yet another example of the way Strauss has injected elements of femininity into all aspects of the hotel’s design. The room is a rich blue with sumptuous, heavy-velvet curtains, a sofa and pillows with a design that calls to mind the ornate patterns of the dividers that separated customers from tellers. The carpet, whilst pristine, has been made to look distressed as though it is itself part of the building’s history.

Image caption: The living room inside the Caroline Harrison Suite. | Image credit: Riggs Washington D.C.

Image caption: The living room inside the Caroline Harrison Suite. | Image credit: Riggs Washington D.C.

Throughout the room are an eclectic collection of objets; lampshades in the form of dogs, contemporary takes on classical urns, a porcelain lantern with an Asian feel. Strangely, they help anchor the building in its Washington location by creating the sense that these pieces may have been gifted to the first lady by visiting dignitaries on some state visit from long ago. This feeling is complemented by the Jasperware plates and medallions hanging on the wall that celebrate significant events in the nation’s history; the signing of the declaration of independence and the start of JFK’s ill-fated presidency. Behind the luxurious four-poster bed is a feature wall with fun and quirky wallpaper that calls to mind the illustrations in a children’s book or the work of Ken Done. It contrasts aptly with the block colours and bold design choices in the rest of the space. 

The other three first lady suites, named after Ida McKinley, Louisa Adams and Angelica Van Buren have their own distinct styles and decor. The Van Buren is particularly striking with its rich red walls and velvet curtains complimented by ornate gold furniture. Of particular interest, too, are the classical busts that adorn the shelves, all of classical female deities, as well as contemporary artwork inspired once again by the profile of Juno Moneta. 

Each of the hotel’s other rooms are designed to offer something personal and unexpected. Whether it’s the colour of the wall or the shape of the space, each one feels different and offers something unique to the guest so that no two stays are ever quite the same. 

Image caption: Jacu Strauss collaborated with longtime friend George Benson to create the unique headboards in the guestrooms. | Image credit: Riggs Washington D.C.

Image caption: Jacu Strauss collaborated with longtime friend George Benson to create the unique headboards in the guestrooms. | Image credit: Riggs Washington D.C.

Perhaps most striking in each room are the custom made headboards, the shape suggestive of the ripples of theatrical curtains. To achieve this unique style, Strauss collaborated with longtime friend George Benson to create these stunning pieces. The abstract swirling pattern used on both the headboards and wallpaper is inspired by a detail on a painting Jacu saw whilst at the Met Gallery in New York and was created by Benson’s company Voutsa specifically for the hotel. It adds a fun and cheeky dimension as well as a sense of movement to what were once the bank’s offices. Eagle eyed guests may spot that the pattern is also used on the inside of the bespoke umbrellas that are provided in each room. 

Next to the bed are small oak bedside tables with green leather inlay designed to feel like the writing desks that would once have been used in this building. To achieve a strong and timeless lighting scheme, Strauss collaborated with bespoke lighting brand Chelsom in order to ensure that each space was effortlessly lit in order to radiate the hotel’s luxe style and distinct personality. For example, gilt desk lamps sit on top of the bedside tables to reinforce the writing desk association and invite you to imagine the bank clerks hunched over their work in the previous century. Each room also contains a replica bank safe complete with the insignia of Juno on the outside and housing the minibar and room’s safe inside. It is the most overt reminder of the building’s former life as well as a fun talking point for guests. 

Since you’re here, why not read about Chelsom’s Edition 27 lighting collection

“I can’t help wondering if the powerful rain shower head is a nod to Obama’s request that one be added to The White House for the duration of his incumbency.”

Inside the bathrooms, the Italian Carrara marble tiles on the floor and walls create a sense of grandeur and security. Even the shape of the shiny metallic taps is reminiscent of the handle of a safe and reinforces the idea that one has walked into the bank’s impregnable strong room. The deep free-standing bath makes for a luxurious bathing experience and I can’t help wondering if the powerful rain shower head is a nod to Obama’s request that one be added to The White House for the duration of his incumbency. 

Image credit: Luxurious bathrooms inside the hotel. | Image credit: Riggs Washington D.C.

Image credit: Luxurious bathrooms inside the hotel. | Image credit: Riggs Washington D.C.

Strauss said that he wanted each of the rooms to feel like a safety deposit box, with the contents of each being unique and valuable. This certainly comes across and is particularly evident from the door to each room. Every door features the front of a safety deposit box, complete with a non-working keyhole and golden circular medallion bearing the likeness of Juno Moneta. On the walls and floor, the sumptuous, rich, red carpets evoke a feeling of warmth. They contrast directly with the imposing lobby of the building and give the sense that you are exploring a more intimate and sequestered part of the hotel. On the walls of the corridors are a collection of paintings, some depicting classical figures and others in a more contemporary style as if these pieces have been placed here by customers trusting the bank to protect their artistic investments. The lifts too are worthy of note, featuring marble floors and mirrors covered in silver leaf, which gives them an opulent antiquarian aspect. 

In the bar and restaurant it is clear that Strauss has attempted to bring something new to the city. “There may have been a certain standard of food and beverage outlets here that became quite institutionalised, and not necessarily in a good way,” he admits to me.  “So, it didn’t have much diversity, and going against that convention – especially in an area of the hotel that is typically most criticised – was really changing. DC is becoming a real foodie city.” Strauss’ aim was to provide something “bright and elegant, inspired by the grand cafes of Europe,” and that is certainly case here at Riggs. The high-vaulted ceilings provide a massive sense of space and the circular marble tables together with the trendy wooden and velvet chairs would not feel out of place in a continental eatery. It is no coincidence that the chairs themselves are the colour of money, in America at least. It would have been easy to use an overabundance of green throughout the hotel for its pecuniary associations and the decision not to do this in the rest of the development feels remarkably restrained. 

The luxury of space in the bar area has provided one of the largest  challenges in converting this part of the building. With the huge height of the room, Strauss and his team were keen to make sure the scope of the space was being fully utilised. To that end, Strauss installed massive velvet curtains, so weighty that their use necessitated reinforcing the wall. He also commissioned a bouquet of oversized fabric flowers from Ukraine – its bright colours and whimsical design are suggestive of the works of Lewis Carroll or Edward Lear. Yet despite their sheer scale (they come in at an eye-watering two storeys high) everything in the room feels perfectly in proportion. Even the six foot four inch gilt chandeliers that Strauss designed himself help to make the space feel intimate without taking away from the sense of grandeur. 

Image caption: Jacu Strauss commissioned a bouquet of oversized fabric flowers from Ukraine, which has become a statement piece in the public area of the hotel. | Image credit: Riggs Washington D.C.

Image caption: Jacu Strauss commissioned a bouquet of oversized fabric flowers from Ukraine, which has become a statement piece in the public area of the hotel. | Image credit: Riggs Washington D.C.

I journey downwards to the subterranean Silver Lyan bar, described by the hotel manager as an adult playground. It’s not hard to see why, the theming is fun without being gimmicky and the low ceilings, dark lighting and deep red chairs give the air of that most uniquely American thing: a speakeasy. There are also an array of fun little touches around the bar; secret messages hidden as optical illusions in the wall panelling, lighting inspired by classical Asian designs and hundreds of sporting trophies in cases across the walls, which Strauss is quick to tell me were all won by female athletes. 

Across the hall is the gym and fitness area, which perhaps rather tauntingly has an oversized gumball machine outside, which feels uniquely American and once again helps to play with the sense of scale and disrupt the sense of solemnity in the building. Despite the restrictions currently in place due to Covid-19, I can’t resist sampling one or two. The gym itself has enough equipment to ensure that even the most ardent of fitness fanatics can ensure they get a good workout and the marble pillars hardwood floors provide a sense of decadence as you sweat your way towards your fitness goals. There are also fun touches around the room, like the leather punching bag, that invites one to imagine a circus strongman with a handlebar moustache hard in training. There is also the door to what once would have been the bank’s strongroom, with its intricate mechanism, bolts and rivets on display.

As I check out, I am reminded of something Strauss said to me, that a hotel should provide an elevated experience rather than simply being “a home away from home” and Riggs Washington D.C. is certainly not that. It is a building that has always been about showmanship that has left lasting impression of strength and security.

Strauss’ next project, the Lyle in D.C., will be much more about calm and comfort – think mattresses like marshmallows that he describes as the “most comfortable” he has ever slept on. Yet here, the way The Lore Group has managed to turn what could have been a stark and austere building into something welcoming without losing any of the sense of grandeur is impressive. To summarise, Riggs DC embraces its past whilst remaining pitch perfect for its current use, ensuring its future place in the city for years to come. 

Main image credit: Riggs Washington D.C.

Product watch: Bette introduces BetteEve bath

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Product watch: Bette introduces BetteEve bath

The new BetteEve from Bette is said to create a “harmonious bathing experience for two”, and is available in 400 colours…

With the new BetteEve bath collection, the organic, ellipse shape makes its way into the bathroom. Inspired by nature, Bette has made the transition between the edge and the inner body of the bath silky and smooth. Made from durable glazed titanium-steel, it is as if the gentle force of water has smoothed the material over millions of years

At the beginning of the 17th century, the astronomer, Johannes Kepler discovered the elliptical shape of the planetary orbits. The Baroque artists and architects enthusiastically took up this discovery and celebrated the elegant and balanced shape of the ellipse in buildings, parks, jewellery and picture frames. For BetteEve, designer Dominik Tesseraux (Tesseraux+Partner) has interpreted this form in a modern way to create harmony and sensuality in a glazed titanium-steel bath collection.

The aim was to achieve a perfect ellipse, and also to give the impression that the bath had been smoothly hollowed out by running water. Bette was able to achieve the fine curves and jointless transitions in the extremely hard material because of its expertise in the forming and enamelling of steel.

The BetteEve, which is 100 per cent recyclable, is a natural and comfortable bath, that is also comfortable for two to bathe together, because the ellipse has two focal points. The units are a generous 180 x 100 cm, with symmetrical back rests on both sides, a central waste outlet and the option to include sound insulation.

Three versions and more than 400 colours

BetteEve is available in three versions: a freestanding bath, an oval built-in bath and a built-in bath with a rectangular surround – and all come with a 30 year warranty which guarantees the quality of the material and of Bette’s manufacturing in Germany.

The freestanding BetteEve is eye-catching, especially when chosen in one of Bette’s many colour options. It is available in over 400 colours, including matt white, glittering midnight and flattering blue satin.

The rectangular built-in BetteEve allows flush-mounted, integrated installation as the glazed titanium-steel forms the surface around the bath. It is also particularly easy to clean, as any excess water can be wiped off into the bath.

The BetteEve oval built-in bath can be almost completely integrated into the bathroom furniture, as it has an extremely fine, 20 mm rim.

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

Image credit: Bette

smart shower from Roca

Product Watch: Roca shines with new smart shower

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Product Watch: Roca shines with new smart shower

Keeping in mind that no shower experience is the same, Roca has developed a smart shower to revolutionise this daily routine. Let’s take a look at the brand’s new, sleek and simple smart shower…

smart shower from Roca

The latest innovative shower launched by Roca uses smart technology to provide a truly unique showering experience. With its customisable settings and ease of use, the Smart Shower is a beneficial addition to any bathroom design.

The intelligent control has a sleek, simple interface and allows up to three users within the same household to pre-set their desired settings. They can set their shower duration, maximum temperature and flow rates all based on their own individual needs.  The interface features a colour LCD display and touch sensitive controls with soft turn dials to ensure it is extremely easy to use and control. The Smart Shower system can install two or three outlets including a Raindream showerhead, handset and Puzzle Square Jets. If homeowners select the three outlet option, the clever design allows two of them to work simultaneously.

One of the smart benefits to the digital shower is that it can be controlled via an app. This means that users can simply use their phone or tablet from a bedside to conveniently turn on the shower and activate the warm-up function. The app also helps with energy and water saving, enabling users to monitor their water and energy consumption, to run your shower more efficiently.

For young families, the shower is equipped with a child safety mode so children can only turn the shower off and also allows for the control of flow, temperature and duration to provide peace of mind. This is reinforced by the temperature monitoring system which measures the temperature to eliminate the risk of scalding.

The Smart Shower solution also includes a Legionella cleaning programme to eliminate bacteria without the use of chemical products and a cleaning program to remove any impurities.

“It may seem like a luxury, but the Smart Shower is not just for convenience,” comments David Bromell Head of Marketing at Roca. “In addition to providing a luxe showering experience, the intuitive system will actively work to reduce water wastage, making it a sustainable and eco-friendly choice for the bathroom design.”

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

Main image credit: Roca

Image of pastel coloured wash basins

Product watch: Ideal Standard launches Atelier Collections

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Product watch: Ideal Standard launches Atelier Collections

Bathroom brand Ideal Standard has introduced its brand-new, design-led range, Atelier Collections, created in collaboration with renowned Italian studio PS+A

Image of pastel coloured wash basins

The premium latest premium collections by Ideal Standard look back to its heritage while shaping the bathrooms of the future. The products bring together the unmatched skills of Palomba Serafinia Associati (PS+A), through its founder Roberta Palomba, with Ideal Standard’s broad manufacturing expertise. 

The ranges draw inspiration from iconic Ideal Standard products of the past to create exciting new collections for the present. Roberto Palomba, a master of international design with over 25 years of experience in design innovations for the bathroom, has created unique collections that include an exclusive range of ceramics, brassware and furniture. The bold designs work in harmony to allow complete customisation on every project.

At the centre of the new collections is the Conca range, which nods towards the iconic Ideal Standard basin, offering stunning minimal designs. The Blend range of WCs has been created to perfectly complement these basins. Both Conca and Blend are inspired by Ideal Standard’s leading product lines from the past, reinvigorating the brand as a leader in design.  

Core to the Atelier collections is colour. PS+A have created a new, bold colour palette, some of which draws on colour influences that can be found in Ideal Standard’s design heritage, and others which reflect and define new colour trends. Launching in March, the colours have been applied to the Ipalyss range of super slim washbasins, designed by Robin Levien. Incredibly striking in colour and design, new shapes and sizes are also being introduced, creating an extremely durable and versatile range, made possible by Ideal Standard’s Diamatec technology.

Additionally, there is also new brassware, with two new lines of mixer taps, Check and Joy. They are available in chrome and PVD finishes to offer a stylish simplicity.

Commenting on the new collections, Roberto Palomba said: We are particularly proud of the results of our partnership with Ideal Standard. We maintain a very simple approach for our creations: quality paired with intuitive design that also keeps an eye to the past, while ensuring the levels of practicality, purity and elegance meet the needs of modern society.”

Torsten Türling, Chief Executive Officer at Ideal Standard added: “Throughout our history, we’ve worked closely with the leading designers of their era. Master designers have a unique ability to capture the essence of the time and translate that into designs that shape the evolution of society and influence the culture of design beyond the bathroom. This essence of design is what we wanted to capture again and this is reflected in Atelier Collections.”

The Atelier Collections will be available exclusively through independent retailers, with Ideal Standard committing significant investment into showroom and marketing support for the collections.

David Barber, Managing Director for Ideal Standard UK and Ireland said: “The Atelier Collections mark a new era in Ideal Standard’s design journey and we understand the importance of these ranges for our retail partners. Not only are we committing to a consumer advertising campaign to drive footfall to showrooms, but we are also working with retailers to provide support and tailor-made packages to ensure they are fully equipped to serve their customer base.”

Ideal Standard is one of Hotel Designs’ recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: Ideal Standard

Industry insight: Elevate the guest experience with flooring

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Industry insight: Elevate the guest experience with flooring

Specifiers can easily achieve unique designs with the versatility of LVT, from combining colour and pattern combinations, to working with flooring manufacturers to produce bespoke creations, says Gemma Passantino, Design Services Manager at Amtico

Flooring is one of many products that can bring a touch of style and quality to hospitality environments, and opting for products that offer design flexibility opens up a world of possibilities. While the word ‘unique’ is often overused, it isn’t uncommon for it to appear in a client’s brief. However, instantly reflecting a brand and its desired aesthetic can be challenging! So, it’s important to work with a product and company that can help produce designs that will make a hotel stand out.

“We also have more than 100 predefined floors in the Designers’ Choice collection.”

Bespoke designs can be created in many ways and as a British flooring manufacturer we offer a variety of services from made-to-order, completely unique concepts and creations, to tailoring our Luxury Vinyl Tile (LVT) products and laying patterns to produce custom floor designs. Working with a manufacturer ensures that a client’s requirements for acoustic backing or other technical specifications can also be taken into account. In addition to our service offering, we also have more than 100 predefined floors in the Designers’ Choice collection; these exclusive laying patterns make it easier for specifiers to select stunning floor designs and colour combinations.

The expertise of a manufacturer’s in-house creative and CAD teams is invaluable, and its advanced knowledge of the product range and cutting capabilities is essential, as these can be utilised to create an intricate design or feature floor area. Whether it’s an eye-catching emblem and splash of colour, or a bespoke laying pattern, a manufacturer can also advise on product choice and suitable finishes to fulfil a project’s requirements.

The chosen colours, textures, and patterns set the mood and prepare guests for their stay – and flooring ticks all the boxes, whether it’s a colourful, patterned floor design that enhances the vibrancy of a hotel bar, or a classic Parquet in Oak hues for a home-from-home feel in a bedroom. Consider the many roles that flooring plays – does it reflect the desired mood, do the colours complement the textures in the room in question? And does the laying pattern make a visual impact and guide guests through an area?

Of course, achieving this relies on the flexibility, adaptability and durability of the flooring material. While natural woods and stones have their place, selecting Luxury Vinyl Tiles (LVT) is a forward-thinking decision for a hotel; after all, they can provide the shapes, angles/geometry and scale needed to optimise a space, while remaining incredibly durable and meeting VOC requirements for wellbeing and air quality. However, you can combine the charm of woods and stones with the unrivalled performance of LVT. For instance, we have launched Amtico Form, a new nature-inspired collection that recreates the tactile beauty and authentic textures of natural materials. Designed in Britain by our in-house creative team, the 36 Woods and Stones harness the natural colours and variations that can be seen in real marble or timber.

Ever-popular, LVT also provides complete resilience and design freedom while withstanding heavy traffic and resisting scuffs, scratches and stains. Importantly, our LVT products are made with recycled content and offer the same aesthetic years after installation, all while maintaining its integrity. So, it is no surprise that it is rising above ceramics and timber to become the flooring material of choice in hospitality.

Interior design trends are slowly moving away from simple, minimalistic schemes to more considered and characterful looks that enhance the mood of guests and provide the ultimate experience. As hotels re-open, we foresee a greater emphasis on wayfinding and zoning being incorporated naturally into designs with flooring choices, and with this we will see even more experimentation, with distinctive patterns and bold colours.

The design of a space makes it possible to evoke an emotional response in an individual, however, the right choice of floor product – provided with a generous commercial warranty – goes a long way in terms of meeting the practical needs of the hotel and its guests, while ensuring durability, long-lasting performance and, importantly, comfort.

Amtico is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Black Friday Deal. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here.

Main image caption: Pacific Grain, DC338 Parquet Small | Image credit: Amtico

Registration now open for Hotel Designs LIVE in May

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Registration now open for Hotel Designs LIVE in May

Hot off the heels of the success of Hotel Designs LIVE in February – and following being shortlisted in the ‘Best Webinar Series’ category at the Digital Event AwardsHotel Designs’ one-day online conference will return on May 11, with world-renowned designers, architects and hospitality specialists confirmed in the speakership line-up…

Hotel Designs LIVE, the one-day conference which is free to attend if you qualify as a designer, architect, hoteliers or developer, will return on May 11 to serve up a series of online seminars with the aim to keep the industry connected and the conversation flowing during and after the Covid-19 pandemic.

“This time last year, Hotel Designs, which is known for organising exceptional face-to-face networking events, made the decision to adapt its delivery in order to adhere to new guidelines and restrictions that were put in place as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic,” explained Katy Phillips, publisher, Hotel Designs. “It was during this confusing time when the concept of Hotel Designs LIVE was born. Thanks to the support of the industry we love to serve, the event has been able to amplify important topics and continue to be the bridge between designers, architects, hoteliers, developers and suppliers worldwide.”

“In order to really and confidently define these answers and possibilities we called upon world-renowned design, architecture and hospitality experts in order to inject personality, perspective and flair into the discussions.” – Hamish Kilburn, editor, Hotel Designs.

In what will be the brand’s fourth online conference, the topics explored throughout the day will include understanding the new era of lifestyle, bathrooms beyond practical spaces, art outside the frame and how workspace trends will impact hotel design. “Due to the flexible concept of Hotel Designs LIVE, we have the luxury of being extremely selective when deciding upon the topics for each event,” explains editor and content curator for the event, Hamish Kilburn. “Each seminar, therefore, will amplify meaningful solutions around areas of design and hospitality that are drastically evolving – and in order to really and confidently define these answers and possibilities we have called upon world-renowned design, architecture and hospitality experts in order to inject personality, perspective and flair into the discussions.”

Click here to secure your complimentary ticket for the online event (designers, architects, hoteliers and developers attend free!)

In addition to the live interviews and panel discussions with handpicked industry experts – and to ensure that the event is bridging the gap between hospitality suppliers and designers, architects, hoteliers and developers – the conference also included structured ‘Product Watch’ pitches around each session, allowing suppliers the opportunity to pitch their products and services in a ‘live’ environment to the hospitality buyers that are tuned in.

The agenda for the day and confirmed speakers (so far) are:

If you are a designer, architect, hotelier  or developer and would like to secure your complimentary seats in the audience, click hereIf you are a supplier to the hotel design industry and would like to promote your latest product or services to the Hotel Designs LIVE audience, please contact Katy Phillips via email or call +44 (0)1992 374050.

Main image credit: Oladimeji Odunsi/Unsplash

Hotel Designs LIVE: Wellness panel

(In video) Hotel Designs LIVE: The new era of wellness

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
(In video) Hotel Designs LIVE: The new era of wellness

The final session at Hotel Designs LIVE, which took place on February 23, focused the lens on wellness. Armed with the knowledge shared in the previous sessions, editor Hamish Kilburn invited world-renowned designers and architects to discuss how wellbeing should be sheltered in hotel design…

Hotel Designs LIVE: Wellness panel

The third Hotel Designs LIVE came to a fitting close on February 23 with a panel discussion to ultimately explore how designers and architects will create moments of bliss inside the luxury and lifestyle hotels of tomorrow. Maintaining a two-metre distance from conversations around hygiene and Covid-19, instead, the session was inspired by modern travellers’ demands for authentic, personalised and non-curated travel experiences.

To kickstart the session, editor Hamish Kilburn explained how he selected the panel. “Each and every person on the virtual sofa is challenging conventional wellness design,” he said,  “as well as opening up new opportunities in regards to hotel and hospitality experiences.”

On the panel: 

Wellness panel at Hotel Designs LIVE

Following introductions, Kilburn asked the panel about challenges and pitfalls to avoid when injecting wellness into urban environments and landscapes before he and the designers and architects scrutinised and made sense out of architecture and hospitality trends that will ultimately evolve the way in which wellness is perceived in hotel design. Within this discussion, as in previous sessions throughout the day, technology was arguably at the heart of each and every point and example that was made – whether that be stripping tech back to its bones or considering meaningful and intuitive lighting to enhance the guests’ experiences.

Here’s the full recording of the panel discussion, which has been edited by CUBE and includes Product Watch pitches from Franklite, Utopia Projects, Geberit, Atlas Concorde and Inspired By Design.

We have now published all highlights and recordings from Hotel Designs LIVE. These include: 

SAVE THE DATE: Hotel Designs LIVE will return for a fourth edition on May 11, 2021, putting topics such as lifestyle, bathrooms, art and workspace under the spotlight. In the meantime, if you would like to discuss sponsorship opportunities, focused Product Watch pitches or the concept of Hotel Designs LIVE, please contact Katy Phillips or call +44 (0) 1992 374050.

Since you’re here…

More than 40,000 readers per month enjoy the content we publish on Hotel Designs. Our mission is to define the point on international hotel design, and we are doing that by serving relevant news stories and engaging features. To keep up to date on the hottest stories that are emerging, you can sign up to the newsletter, which is completely free of charge. As well as receiving a weekly round-up of the top stories, you will also access our bi-monthly HD Edit –staying ahead of the curve has never been so easy!

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What’s in the spotlight this April on Hotel Designs?

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What’s in the spotlight this April on Hotel Designs?

This April, Hotel Designs is serving up a multiple stories that will be dedicated to public areas and architecture & construction; two areas in hotel design that go hand-in-hand when looking at meaningful solutions for tomorrow’s hotel design scene…

Throughout April, Hotel Designs will be putting both public areas and architecture & construction under its editorial spotlight in order to continue to define the point on international hotel design.

Public areas 

There has been a seismic shift in attitudes towards public areas in the last year. The pandemic, and as a result of hygiene creeping up on the modern traveller’s agenda, designers and architects are now being presented with a challenge to make public areas safe without looking and feeling too clinical. With some brands merging into one – while others do everything they can to stand alone – boundaries in design and architecture being stretched further than ever before and modern traveller demands now meaning that experience is key. But what will that look like? We will spend the month speaking to the designers, architects and heavy hitters in hospitality to find out.

Architecture & construction

2020 thought us on the editorial desk that there is no situation too extreme for modern architects and designers. Through the uncertain times of lockdown, the creative forces of leading studios around the world took their work home. One year since the Covid-19 outbreak forced us to change our approach to life as we knew it, the team at Hotel Designs are starting to see, through the renders that are being unveiled, how the cultural shift changed our designs (for the better). To celebrate the boundless possibilities in architecture, we will spend the month crediting the internationally acclaimed pioneers.

Main image credits: ZHA/Jestico + Whiles/AMA Design/Dorchester Collection

Profile image of Joel Butler, Co-founder of HIX

In the HIX seat: Developing and designing for the post-pandemic world together

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
In the HIX seat: Developing and designing for the post-pandemic world together

With the UK road map, outlined by the government, showing signs of recovery, our columnist Joel Butler unveils the six discussion points that HIX Event will focus on when it welcomes the design community to London in November…

Profile image of Joel Butler, Co-founder of HIX

A week ago, I return home from dropping my daughter off at school for the first time in five months – a milestone that feels like that first daffodil head springing up in March. You knew it was going to happen, nevertheless the joy it brings is palpable. 

You would have thought that a week later the novelty would have passed. It hasn’t. So please excuse my fanciful prose and humour me, allow me to muse on the wonderful parallels between our literal and metaphorical Spring times. I’ve just had a coffee, you see, and as I said I’m not having to struggle through primary school math today. Here goes…

“And right on cue, indoor hospitality appears with its luscious shades of interiors, drinks and meals are scoffed and slurped with grateful abundance.” – Joel Butler, Co-Founder, HIX Event.

As the cherry blossom of a nation’s beer garden falls into its half-full pint glass, design showrooms bloom at once, Clerkenwell, Chelsea, Angel, Wigmore Street open up in unison. And right on cue, indoor hospitality appears with its luscious shades of interiors, drinks and meals are scoffed and slurped with grateful abundance. Ideas, real conversations, and even more ideas climb the walls like the illustration of Max’s room in ‘Where the Wild Things Are’, and then we celebrate the opening ceremony of a youthful summer, the full wonders of life sway and dance with a gentle breeze as all social restrictions cease.

I really can’t wait for the above things to happen across the UK, the rest of Europe and around the world. We’ve designed HIX around the way people are likely to feel once varying restrictions have been lifted from their lives and I’ll be exploring these topics within this column in the run up to the event in November.

The pandemic has been a challenging time for all and a truly horrific one for so many. The six discussions that define HIX 2021 will recognise this, often starting in a place of anxiety and darkness. With help from our speakers, contributors, and audience we’ll then journey towards opportunity and something better. 

Our six discussions focus on how hotels can develop and design around their guest’s feelings in a post-pandemic world. 

  • Financial Anxiety towards meaningful value 
  • Solitude towards shared experience 
  • Masks, gels and distance towards safety
  • Misinformation towards truth 
  • An existential office dilemma to the hotel as our brave new workplace 
  • Collective mental and physical health pressure towards self-compassionate design

Between now and November, we’ll invite discussion, debate, opinion and solutions to these challenges. For now, though, I’ll have another quick coffee before school finishes.

Main image credit: HIX Event

Image of tiger on walls in warehouse

Wallpaper goals: Adding personality in public spaces

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Wallpaper goals: Adding personality in public spaces

With all this talk around hygiene and reassuring the post-corona consumer, to avoid spaces looking too clinical we need to start talking about how we inject personality back into the public areas. Cue the arrival of Arte’s latest wallcoverings collections that give off some serious haute couture vibes and a splash of wallpaper goals…

Image of tiger on walls in warehouse

Many hotel spaces have now evolved to become community hubs, appealing to not only business guests and tourists, but equally people looking for an experience, whether that be a spa day, a business breakfast or a social lunch. Consumers are savvier and more informed, looking for something more substantial than a comfortable stay, so it’s important to ensure any public space is decorated in a way that appeals to all senses and creates a unique, stand out interior.

Gone are the days where a hotel lobby was acting merely as a transitional space for check-ins; this is the first place guests will see when they arrive and the last place they will see before they leave, therefore it’s important to make a lasting impression. This is an area with the highest traffic in the entire hotel; it’s one that guests will move through many times, therefore it needs to be both functional, but also stylish, atmospheric and vibrant.

Hotels are recognising the value in utilising and maximising their large spaces to attract footfall above the guests staying at the hotel. Interior designers are experimenting with different aesthetics and textures to add interest to these spaces, elevating not only the design, but also the common perception of what a hotel should like; dreary walls, covered in a singular paint colour or outdated wallpaper are being swapped for statement designs, playful patterns and distinguished textures.

From small boutique hotels like the art deco inspired Hotel Victor Hugo in France, with interiors by Laurent Maugoust featuring the gorgeous, hand-embroidered Crane pattern in their lobby to larger hotel groups such as the Hilton Tanger City Centre in Morocco, designed by Jaime Beriestain Studio featuring the geometric Sapphire Maze in one of their restaurant spaces, Arte’s designs have been expertly used by interior designers in hotel lobbies, bars and restaurants around the world for over 40 years to transform public spaces into places with character and personality.

Wallpaper is one of the simplest ways to refresh and add interest to a space, yet, it can be one of the most impactful. With materiality and texture at the heart of Arte, many of their wallpaper designs push boundaries of what is known as ‘traditional wallpaper’ and incorporate innovative techniques and finishes from heat embossed 3d fabrics, printed textiles and natural materials including silk, raffia and sisal to denim, velvet and leather, the possibilities in both texture and design are endless.

Lush and rich, jungle and tropical foliage designs such as Palmera, Abanico, Java or Silk Road Garden, as well as the more paired back florals of Wildflower or Grow will work equally well for an all-over scheme or a statement wall to give a sense of comfort by bringing the outdoors in through motifs and colours seen in nature, adding life and light to a space and allowing us to maintain that connection to nature.

Image caption: Java | Image credit: Arte

Many interior designers are abandoning the traditional rules of decorating and embracing the idea of combining different wallpaper designs in the same space, mixing textures and bolder designs with different colours across the walls, layering with other decorative items in the space, for a dramatic, maximalist scheme. Arte’s collections are designed in a way that offers a comprehensive palette of colours, ranging across a wide range of textures, prints and patterns – allowing for designs to be combined and mixed in a way that results in a playful, but cohesive scheme.

Intreguing and interesting textures can be found across the collections, including heat embossed 3d patterns as seen in Intrigue, Enigma and Eclipse, as well as the rich velvet, suede and leather textures of Velveteen, Les Cuirs and Lush. The 3d, heat embossed Caisson design from the Eclipse collection was used by designer Gensler to dress the walls in the Baton Rouge Hotel, resulting in an interior that not only looks elegant and gives the illusion of French panelling on the wall, but one that feels warm and comforting. Aside from being extremely durable and long-lasting (with the added bonus of acoustic qualities), these heavier textures are a great way to add both flair and warmth to a space, be it a restaurant or a hotel bedroom; creating a relaxing, yet stylish space.

Arte’s wallcoverings are not only creative and innovative, but each collection offers a myriad of possibilities for transforming a public space, be it through colour, pattern or texture, making it easy for designers to create spaces that are sophisticated, impactful and engaging.

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

Main image credit: Arte

Main image for virtual roundtable on bespoke possibilities in luxury design

Virtual roundtable: Bespoke possibilities in luxury design

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Virtual roundtable: Bespoke possibilities in luxury design

To specify or not to specify, that was the initial question that editor Hamish Kilburn put forward to our expert panel of designers and lighting masterminds for our latest roundtable, in association with bespoke lighting brand Dernier & Hamlyn, on bespoke possibilities in luxury design…

Main image for virtual roundtable on bespoke possibilities in luxury design

There are a plethora of well-documented benefits linked to selecting bespoke products in a luxury brief – it eliminates the need to flex or drastically change the interior design scheme, for starters. Bespoke is therefore, in many if not all scenarios, the best and most preferred solution among leading designers where budget is no barrier. Or is it? In association with the bespoke lighting experts at Dernier & Hamlyn, we recently invited a cluster of leading interior designers and world-renowned lighting experts in order to explore the bespoke possibilities in luxury design. As well as understanding today’s perception of ‘luxury’ among clients and guests alike, we were intrigued to also understand the pitfalls designers should avoid when deciding to go bespoke.

Meet the panel: 

Hamish Kilburn: How have hotel operators’ perception of luxury design changed over the past few years? Is what used to be considered luxury now standard? And what does this mean for designers in ensuring their schemes exude luxury?

Justin Wells: We pontificate over luxury so much – it’s just like defining colour! Firstly, it’s very important to know your audience – and that includes understanding cultures and demographics. In our experience, luxury in North America has been around legacy brands. In more perhaps progressive markets, such as South East Asia, for example, they are certainly trying to reposition luxury to be more lifestyle. In the region of the Middle East, which is where I am now, the perception of luxury is to make up for lost time. Elsewhere, in more mature markets, such as Europe, there’s certainly a reinvention happening at the moment, which is very exciting.

HK: You talk about perception, which makes me want to bring in social media and this demand for ‘accessible luxury’ into the conversation. Has that damaged the integrity of luxury hospitality?

Simon Rawlings: It’s interesting, we’re finding that luxury is becoming more standardised, certainly when it comes to peoples’ expectations of luxury. With many brands and experiences that are global, we’re really seeing that each region’s differences are disappearing, which is actually quite boring when you want to emphasise differences.

 “Authentic luxury has to be very particular to that project, and to standardise luxury is dangerous.” – Simon Rawlings, Creative Director, David Collins Studio.

Luxury is a difficult thing to pinpoint and it can be as simple as beautiful service in an ordinary space. Authentic luxury has to be very particular to that project, and to standardise luxury is dangerous.

Also, we will never get a brief that says ‘we want to be a luxury hotel’. Instead, it will be the ideas and thoughts around sustainability, aims to stand out from the crowd that, combined, lead spaces and projects to look and feel more luxurious. The idea that luxury is lavish and excessive is an outdated mindset. For us, it’s been an interesting and exciting time recently because a lot of the briefs we have received in the last few months show that people are really willing to invest in good design.

“The luxury element 10 – 20 years ago would have been more around the materials and finishes, but it’s less and less about that now.” – Kirsten King, Design Director, Bergman Interiors.

Image caption: Interiors inside Nobu Hotel London Portman Square, designed by David Collins Studio, which features bespoke lighting from Dernier & Hamlyn | Image credit: Jack Hardy

Image caption: Interiors inside Nobu Hotel London Portman Square, designed by David Collins Studio, which features bespoke lighting from Dernier & Hamlyn | Image credit: Jack Hardy

Kirstin King: For us, the luxury element 10 – 20 years ago would have been more around the materials and finishes, but it’s less and less about that now. Instead, it has become much more about lifestyle. We have to think more intelligently to really understand the local craftsmen, and in doing so we need to pair things back to allow the ambiance to naturally reflect luxury.

Paul Nulty: For us, luxury lighting design is something that fires all the senses. Whether it’s visual or a composition. If it’s heightening the senses and the emotional connection with that space, then it feels luxurious.

HK: Similarly, how have guests’ perceptions of luxury design changed over the past few years?

Hamish Brown: We have always worked with private clients, and our understanding on what luxury guests need and demand stems from experience in residential. The key difference that consumers are expecting now is that sense of place. Across all brands, the industry went through a brief moment of standardisation, but now we are seeing brands really understand and celebrate cultural difference. For example, if you take two Four Seasons properties in two locations within one country. By both capturing the local flavours of their unique destination, it sets them aside from each other. That in itself becomes luxurious, bespoke and individual. And then, what happens is that the brand’s DNA gets threaded into the design scheme through consistent service – it’s no longer a look or an aesthetic but much more a feeling.

HK: With the sheer number of options that suppliers offer in their standard ranges these days, why is the demand for bespoke design in luxury projects still growing?

Jo Littlefair: I think that bespoke design, both in hospitality and high-end residential, gives you the flexibility to respond to a project individually – it’s a great way to bring in local vernacular. It’s really important for us to give a strong identity. In our studio, nothing is a cookie-cutter approach. Instead, we respond to everything individually – and I think bespoke design gives you that ability to scale and size things perfectly. It allows us to really craft interiors as opposed to just select them.

Mayfair Townhouse peacock entrance

Image caption: a 67-inch peacock sculpture adorned in 25,000 Swarovski crystals sits inside the Mayfair Townhouse, designed by Goddard Littlefair | Image credit: Iconic Luxury Hotels

SR: We’ve started specifying more than we have ever done. Yes, of course, there’s still the demand for bespoke, but there are so many incredible designers who are creating some really awesome things that we love to embrace and collaborate with them on. With the Nobu Hotel London Portman Square, for example, one of our goals was to specify as many statement pieces as we could. As someone who has always championed bespoke everything, I don’t think by specifying you get a lesser product, and I don’t think the clients think anything less of it either. It’s changing, and there are a lot of us who have our own collections so we will specify our own products for certain projects.

“The quality of the end bespoke product is not necessary as high as something that has been crafted over many years.” – Tina Norden, Partner, Conran and Partners.

Tina Norden: I would say that there are regional differences. Particularly in Asia, clients may believe you can get the product cheaper but sometimes the quality of the end product is not necessary as high as something that has been crafted over many years. Therefore, you have to be extremely careful as an interior designer. You need the right manufacturer you can trust that allows you to see the prototypes – we have all been there when that simply isn’t an option.

With the late Sir Terence Conran traditionally being a furniture designer, we have always had – and shown huge respect for – the work that furniture designers do. I guess that sometimes people don’t appreciate how much time specifiers take to get products just right.

HK: You’re right, Tina! Trust is vital – and the relationship now between quality suppliers and designers is stronger than it has ever been, is it not?

Mark Harper: We are seeing and contributing to more artisan people who are being specified. For us, as a bespoke lighting manufacturer, we do what we do to the highest level of quality.

HK: At what point in the design process do you decide bespoke is the best option?

PN: Designers go bespoke when they cannot find a product on the market that achieves the look, feel and quality that they are looking for. Perhaps the bespoke product will give a slightly different glow, but for me it comes back to the senses. It’s relevantly simple, and yet extremely complex at the same time.

Shayne Brady: At the end of the day, it is a case-by-case basis – and it depends on different factors. We often have clients come to us with a specific vision. In Bob Bob Cite, for example, the client wanted to create a full suite of bespoke wall and ceiling lights. Bespoke is great when you are working in a space that has high volume because you can customise each product to fit the space.

Image caption: Bob Citi Citi diner, designed by Brady Williams Studio, which includes bespoke lighting from Dernier & Hamlyn | Image credit: Bob Citi Citi

Image caption: Bob Bob Citi diner, designed by Brady Williams Studio, which includes bespoke lighting from Dernier & Hamlyn | Image credit: Bob Bob Citi

HK: Do bespoke projects always have to be the statement design pieces?

TN: In lighting terms, quite often it is. Ultimately, it is really coming down to the client and the location. Quite often in Europe, making something bespoke can actually feel a lot more special. Whereas in Asia, it feels more luxurious to select something from a high-end brand as a feature piece.

HK: And surely if you have a really ambitious idea that is pretty unconventional, bespoke becomes your best and sometimes only option – and Kirstin I am thinking about your project, The Engine Room…

KK: It was a really interesting project for the team here. The idea was an indoor rowing club that was sheltered in a converted church. The budget was low and therefore we recycled a lot. For example, the juice bar was made out of church pews. I would say 60 per cent of that project was lighting. As the guests were working out, the lighting would move and react in order to enhance performance. We worked very closely with the lighting designers to create that effect.

Image caption: The Engine Room, designed by Bergman Interiors | Image credit: The Engine Room

Image caption: The Engine Room, designed by Bergman Interiors | Image credit: The Engine Room

HK: That is a great example of using the demographic of where you are and thinking outside the box, and elevating the five senses. Are designers now approaching projects more holistically with sound and smell in mind?

“For me, sound and lighting are very closely linked – maybe that’s me going back to my clubbing days.” – Tina Norden, Partner, Conran and Partners.

TN: Yes, very much so. A few weeks ago, at Hotel Designs LIVE, we discussed how sound was being used in experience. For me, sound and lighting are very closely linked – maybe that’s me going back to my clubbing days. It’s all enhancing the overall ambiance.

PN: Multi-sensory lighting and design is the future! We started offering sound design in some projects. Going beyond acoustics, we are very interested to understand how sound can help enhance the consumer journey and we are seeing this now in hospitality. The third element of that is smell, which is becoming really important. Lighting, sound and smell work together, almost as a set of sub-consultants in design and architecture.

A bespoke lighting scheme by Nulty Lighting for the Earth Hotels concept at Downtown Dubai | Image credit: Nulty Lighting

A bespoke lighting scheme by Nulty Lighting for the Earth Hotels concept at Downtown Dubai | Image credit: Nulty Lighting

HK:  That’s extremely difficult to get right when all of those elements are very personal.

PN: Absolutely, and that’s why you have to really understand the brand from the outset of the project and what you want that user experience to be.

TN: That’s the key, it’s about being specific and designing for the demographic. You are not trying to please everyone.

“There will be dialogue about creating separation – which removes barriers and planning. In many ways, that’s allowing brands to reinvent themselves.” – Justin Wells, CEO, Wells International.

Blue co

Image caption: The Maximilian Hotel in Prague, designed by Conran and Partners

SR: I was doing an interview recently where I was asked when we come out of this pandemic whether or not people are going to struggle with noisy areas, and it’s an interesting point. At the same time, I met a sound identity designer. There are so many people listening in on podcasts these days. Ultimately, it made me realise that you can close your eyes but you cannot close your ears.

JW: We are trying to create thriving spaces and there were a lot of social collisions in these areas before the pandemic. However, now there will be dialogue about creating separation – which removes barriers and planning. In many ways, that’s allowing brands to reinvent themselves.

“Our clients reported that spend was greater on the tables that had more space.” – Shayne Brady, Director, Brady Williams.

SB: In between the second and third lockdown here in the UK, the guests were really appreciative and enjoyed the restaurants that had more space – not from a Covid perspective, but more from a luxury point of view. Actually, our clients reported that spend was greater on the tables that had more space. Perhaps we don’t need as many covers as we used to have.

HK: Do you therefore think that F&B spaces will be larger and take up more space?

SB: It will be more of a dialogue, for sure. There are more questions around capacity and what the sense of luxury means. Not being confined is luxury to me because that makes the experience far better.

“When we come out of this, there will be a need to decompress even more.” – Jo Littlefair, Co-Founder and Director, Goddard Littlefair.

JL: Pre-pandemic we were thinking about de-compression. We are very aware that people need that disconnect. The pandemic has definitely amplified that. When we come out of this, there will be a need to decompress even more.

Image caption: W Abu Dhabi Yas Island, designed by Wells International | Image credit: W Hotels

Image caption: W Abu Dhabi Yas Island, designed by Justin Wells | Image credit: W Hotels

HK: And now for a word that brings shivers down our spines: trends… what are the topics and movements that are dominating your conversations at the moment?

MH: We have seen an increase in enquires and requests for natural materials and clean lines with a traditional twist. What we are going to see now is the bigger picture; it’s about longevity and sustainability. Also, you cannot ignore the fact that LED technology has come on leaps and bounds and I expect that to evolve further and faster than perhaps ever before.

SR: LEDs are a nightmare, though, because the colour temperature on every single LED is different. So, trying to marry the interior design is very difficult. We still end up using filament bulbs because you just can’t rectify it.

PN: One big trend we are seeing is towards wellness – certainly towards business hotels and using lighting to mitigate jetlag. Lighting using circadian rhythm has a huge role to play in that. There’s a hotel in Reykjavik where the lighting is tied in to the alarm clock, and it illuminates before the sound of the alarm clock goes off in order to wake the guest up gently.

HK: Is that extremely expensive? For me, the benefits of circadian rhythm in lighting is so obvious, so why is it therefore not in more hotel design schemes?

PN: It’s more expensive and of course if you’ve got a 300-key hotel then it adds up. However, the benefits of that technology are being more and more proven.

HK: Do you worry about suppliers copying a bespoke design after seeing it in your projects? Does anyone have any examples of this they can/would like to share?

HB: Yes, you see that in parts of Asia and it’s not ideal, but it’s unfortunately part of our work that is always there.

 TN: I think there’s an opportunity there. If we work together with the manufacturer on a product going forward then it beats them at their own game.

HK: The ‘Norden’ chandelier, you heard it here first! Other than the ‘Norden’ collection, what’s lacking in lighting at the moment?

HB: Being able to visual prototypes in lighting is very important and be able to adapt and mold them in that creative process allows us to do more things.

SR: I agree. The first thing we want to know is what type of light the product will give off. If there was a tool to establish that, it would help us understand which light a fixture will give. For me that comes before what the product looks like. Some way of understanding the type of light the fixtures give off would be so invaluable.

“The issue is that designers love the materiality of stuff. It’s trying to engage with the intangible stuff.” – Paul Nulty, Founder, Nulty Lighting.

SB: That is interesting. We are working on a project at the moment where they have that already for furniture, but something similar in lighting would be very helpful.

PN: I agree with you. The issue is that designers love the materiality of stuff. It’s trying to engage with the intangible stuff. So many people disregard the quality of light. Quality of light and quantity of light are independent and are, I believe, misunderstood.

KK: From my experience, this should happen before we get fully into a project. Maybe it should happen even earlier!

striking bar with marble surfaces featuring distressed mirrors

Image caption: Worlds away from the hustle and bustle of London life above, The Spa at The Lanesborough was sensitively designed by 1508 London | Image credit: 1508 London/The Lanesborough

HK: Let’s finish by talking tech. The advancement of render software is incredible; it has given designers a tool to be more accurate and as a result allowed them to make informed decisions ahead of purchasing. However, it does also mean that clients now expect to see sharp renders in pitches. Does this ever narrow the window for new ideas to come into the project once it has been won?

HB: It’s such a hot topic at the moment within our studio and we have invested in a lot of technology at the moment to really confront this. You are correct in terms of narrowing down the window – and there is always a debate in our minds as to how far you go in the pitch. Right now, I think renders should happen later in the process and there has to be a visualisation tool that is a half-way house. That journey has to be a process – and that’s how you get a perfect space.

HK: And you are all competing against each other to win projects… Does it require across the board, designers stating that they will only present sketches?

HB: It would be amazing to have a conversation with designers to establish how far we should all be going in a pitch.

HK: It’s catch 22. As tech improves and the clients and consumers’ knowledge of design expands then so too does the demand for wanting to see more in a pitch.

KK: I agree totally. Sometimes the client demands a minimum of three renders in the pitch and it is a huge cost. You want to win the project and you know that everyone else will be producing renders.

SB: It depends on the client. Some clients do not understand the concept of your pitch unless it is a perfect CGI. More and more, these days, the client is very involved and there is a collaboration from start to finish. If you can hook a client with a great idea that is where it should be won.

JW: We always go quite analogue in our pitches. We use vignettes to highlight certain areas. We then, during the pitch, talk about these spaces and elements, which become frameworks. The aim of the pitch is for the client to establish how we think and how we work. If we win a pitch, we will then produce more emotive non-photo realistic renderings. The next set of renders will be marketing quality.

Dernier & Hamlyn, the sponsor of this roundtable, is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email  Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Artful guestroom inside The Glenmark Hotel

HBA Los Angeles complete interiors inside The Glenmark Hotel

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
HBA Los Angeles complete interiors inside The Glenmark Hotel

Design firm HBA Los Angeles has completed the interior design project of The Glenmark, Glendale, A Tribute Portfolio Hotel, which is the first lifestyle boutique hotel in Glendale, California. Let’s take a look inside…

Artful guestroom inside The Glenmark Hotel

Designed by creatives for creatives, The Glenmark Hotel is a gem in the Jewel City, deeply rooted in the heart of Glendale and a hub for the healthcare and entertainment industries in Los Angeles. Its interior design dances along the fringe, flirting with natural materials, texture and geometric forms. Thoughtful public spaces and amenities, 85 artfully designed guestrooms, signature restaurant Olia, Mila Rooftop, Olia Coffee Café, a lobby bar, and 7,900 square feet of indoor/outdoor meeting and event space mold The Glenmark Hotel into a true community that is a hidden Los Angeles hideaway.

HBA Los Angeles designers drew inspiration from Glendale’s vibrant diversity, the city’s innovative and creative industries, and its geographical intersection amongst its neighbours to offer a microcosm of the city with pockets of discovery throughout the hotel, much like the city of Los Angeles itself. A casual-chic aesthetic is juxtaposed with architectural gestures and playful, impactful art by local artists to create sophisticated yet approachable environments with comfortable and stimulating moments.

The art-filled lobby inside The Glenmark Hotel

The lobby serves as the epicentre of energy, bathed in natural light and with visual surprises to entice all who enter. A gallery wall of rotating artwork flanks one side of the voluminous space while wood slats wrap from floor to ceiling on the other, defining the lobby bar and reception areas. Sculptural lighting, accent furnishings and decorative elements combine with custom rugs and inviting seating groups for a relaxed, residential feel.

In the guestrooms, tailored detailing and mixed materials are realised in a neutral colour palette of white, taupe and warm browns.

Twin beds in hotel room

Image credit: The Glenmark Hotel

An intricate geometric installation composed of rich dark tilework acts as a backdrop behind the headboard while a large-scale wall mural makes a bold statement and adds a splash of colour. Streamlined technology and state-of-the-art connectivity in the guest rooms and throughout the hotel allow guests to plug in and get to work and unplug when it’s time to relax.

Main image credit: The Glenmark Hotel

A minimalist bedroom setting in Ruby Lucy

Industry insight: Redesigning an already ‘recognisable’ hotel (part 1)

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Industry insight: Redesigning an already ‘recognisable’ hotel (part 1)

Do owners and the project designers feel the pressure of redesigning an established hotel where a previous brand had found its rightful place in an area of a city? Tom Bishop, Director of Project Management at Concert, explores…

A minimalist bedroom setting in Ruby Lucy

Taking a popular hotel and creating a new chapter of the story through either ‘hard’ re-positioning or simply a ‘soft’ face lift must come with added pressure or perhaps the pressures will always be the budget that weighs heaviest on everyone’s shoulders! New identities that are led by the brands and/or operators must release any pressure but with life style brands that are more flexible, especially that invite a wide range of clientele must focus owners and designers to tease the best out of an existing hotel building.

Biophilic publis area in Dolce Sitges

Image credit: Dolce Sitges

Externally the façade reflects the culture and aesthetics of a hotel. It is an identity on which the hotel’s theme is based on. The façade is the visual connection of what the public observes and what image they perceive in their heads. Altering a façade on a recognisable building can create a big impact but will come with buildability issues.

The orientation (zoning and layout) of an existing Hotel is already set so internally the question needs to be asked if the existing or previous brand had found its rightful place i.e. did it have a specific style that just needs updating? If it had not then a full redesign is the way forward and ultimately gives designers expression to provide a genuine experience with representation of the place. The opposite is the cost manager led re-touch, rather than reinventing a hotel’s DNA.

A comfy bedroom setting

Image credit: Hilton Canopy

Designers are and can be restricted by existing services (including elevators, escalators, fire staircases, ramps, electrical system core, plumbing system, and HVAC system etc.) and cores which are already defined with structural solidity. The structure is designed and operates the critical operations as well as entertaining guests. Any redesign is not just meant for aesthetic purposes, but to improve the service that the hotel can provide the guest and their experience. 

Sustainability – hotels are massive energy consumption facilities, depending on their size, technology or location. Redesigning an existing Hotel gives the opportunity to provide new plant and equipment that is more efficient in terms of energy consumption and sensor connectivity. 

Through lifestyle there are no fixed ideas so a designers role is to guide and advise for a brand to evolve. If a hotel already captured the essence and soul of the area that surrounded it through design, extending the cultural experience and further establishing a true sense of belonging to the place then there must be a fine balance that designers have to achieve in taking on a ‘golden goose’ and not over-designing.

Part 2 in this editorial series will be available shortly. Concert is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here. And, if you are interested in also benefitting from this  three-month editorial package, please email Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: Concert

Keriboard Schlüter

Product watch: Illuminated wall niches from Schlüter-Systems

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Product watch: Illuminated wall niches from Schlüter-Systems

Schlüter-LIPROTEC LED niches from Schlüter-Systems help to create the ‘wow factor’ in the bathroom while offering guests a wellness oasis…

Keriboard Schlüter

With the hospitality industry looking to open back up to the public later this year, there is plenty to be excited about. People are keen to enjoy time outside of their own homes, and a UK getaway is high up on the list for many. Now more than ever is the time to give guests an unforgettable hotel experience, with wellness and serenity being key factors that they are looking for.

Bringing spa-like elements to a guest bathroom is a simple way to enhance a visit, whether that involves providing complimentary skincare products so they can pamper themselves or utilising the space available to create a peaceful sanctuary of relaxation.

Schlüter-Systems makes this easy to achieve with the help of one of their most versatile products. Schlüter-KERDI-BOARD-N are prefabricated niches and shelves for wall areas of all kinds, made from the multi-functional tile underlayment Schlüter-KERDI-BOARD. They can be covered directly with tiles or with suitable rendered/plaster covering materials.

The Schlüter-KERDI-BOARD-NLT are installed with LIPROTEC technology, enabling the installation of illuminated niches in bath and shower areas. The plug-and-play technology makes it even easier as they are ready to install – ideal if you are looking at ways to bring some spa-like elements to your project whilst the hospitality industry is gearing up to welcome guests again.

Niches within a bathroom or shower can serve multiple purposes, such as offering additional storage options and enhancing the design of the room. Welcoming guests with the use of soft, ambient lighting can make a big difference to their wellness; the idea of soaking in a bathtub reading a good book with a calming illuminated niche keeping your beverage at arm’s reach is a true luxury, and that is what many people are searching for when planning a hotel stay.

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

Main image credit: Schlüter-Systems

Product watch: Hamilton Litestat’s Paintables collection

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Product watch: Hamilton Litestat’s Paintables collection

Following Hamilton Litestat sponsoring a session at Hotel Designs LIVE, we take a look at the expanded Paintables service that delivers highly durable, colour-matched wiring accessories with accurate colour reproduction…

Consumer demand for personalisation continues to grow in all aspects of our lives. Today there is an expectation that products and services will meet our exact needs – if an available solution doesn’t tick all our boxes, we want to customise it simply and cost-effectively and make it our own. And if that’s not possible, we’ll find another supplier that can make it happen. Hamilton Litestat provides bespoke solutions to fulfil these customer demands, including its popular Paintables colour-matching service.

Accessories can be painted to blend in with a colour taken from a wallpaper, or to contrast it with a hue from the room’s soft furnishings. Popular colours are heavily influenced by the paint manufacturers, so Dulux’s Colour for 2021, Brave Ground, is set to have a major impact on the finish of wiring accessories in current interior design schemes. The company is giving the designer the ability to make every flick of a switch feel unique while ensuring ease-of-ordering and minimal hassle for wholesalers and installers.

“We pride ourselves on going the extra mile to ensure a client’s vision can be executed, and our Paintables service is helping deliver that with accurate colour matching to interior design schemes,” explains Gavin Williams, Sales & Marketing Director at Hamilton. “Today, people expect options to be tailored to them rather than selecting off-the-shelf solutions, and Paintables delivers that experience in a simple and cost-effective solution. We’ve seen demand double in the past 18 months, and to keep ahead of the market have increased our capacity for this service at our Bristol facilities.”

Image caption: Paintables Service Hotels by Hamilton Litestat

Hamilton has long offered colour-matched switch plates and sockets from its factory at Mere but with this rapidly rising demand it has relocated and doubled the size of its Paintables Department, which now sits at its headquarters in Bristol, delivering a 40 per cent reduction in current lead times.

The Paintables service is a powder coating process and is available on Hamilton’s popular and versatile Hartland CFX and Sheer CFX designer plate collections, which offer a wide range of functionality and configuration options. So, whether a customer wants a USB switched socket in BS 114 Rail Blue, so it blends seamlessly with a deep on-trend wall colour, or a Wide Rocker Switch in RAL 6000, a leafy green to complement a jungle mural feature wall, it’s possible quickly, simply, and cost-effectively.

Colour selection

For accurate colour matching Hamilton recommends using colour reference systems RAL, British Standards or the Natural Colour System. While Pantone is often a go-to system, its accuracy is limited in metal powder coating applications, so all Pantone colour-matching requests need to be individually accessed to avoid disappointment.

coloured switch plates

Image credit: Hamilton Litestat

Yet with RAL having 1,625 options and the Natural Colour System having 1,950, customers will not be short on colour choices! In addition to the vast colour possibilities, Hamilton’s Paintables solution is available in gloss, matt, and even a metallic finish.

“Colour influences our emotions and behaviours, so getting the right colour scheme and coordinating accessories and soft furnishings is really important. After the difficult times we’ve faced lately, there’s a great craving for change and to get away from our daily routines. Colour can help us reset, recharge and refocus, and Paintables wiring accessories can ensure that these schemes are cohesive and personalised to the customer’s exact colour requirements.”

FREE production service

All of Hamilton’s wiring accessories receive a decorative coating of some kind – whether that’s to achieve a standard Matt Black option or a metallic finish such as Antique Brass. For bespoke, colour-matched Paintables finishes, the cost of the spray coating process is already considered, so Hamilton only charges for the dry powder coating required. Purchased in bulk, this means that on-trend colour requests may be very competitively priced due to market demand.

“Many orders we receive from wholesalers are bespoke, so thanks to our expanded Paintables capacity we can provide colour-matched finishes with minimal impact on anticipated lead times,” explains Williams. “Moreover, as we already take into account the spray coating process in the unit price, the cost implications are minimised. Although niche colours may have a minimum purchase quantity, we can offer more popular colours cost effectively.”

Flawless finish

The Paintables powder coating results in a high-quality finish, ensuring the paint adheres evenly and the colour is consistent. It is resistant to chipping, scratching, and fading, which is particularly important for these high-wear wiring accessories.

Powder coating makes use of pigment and resin that are statically charged and sprayed onto the electrically grounded surfaces of the wiring solutions. The paint coating is then cured in an oven, resulting in a finish that is far more durable than other paint options.

Should it not be possible to select a colour ahead of time, Hamilton also supplies primed plates for painting on site. While not as durable as they haven’t been cured, they provide a flexible alternative for achieving the colour-matched aesthetic.

Hamilton Litestat, which was a Session Sponsor at Hotel Designs LIVE, is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: Hamilton Litestat

Hotel Designs LIVE sound panel discussion main image

(In video) Hotel Designs LIVE: Sense of sound in hotel design

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
(In video) Hotel Designs LIVE: Sense of sound in hotel design

The third session at Hotel Designs LIVE, which took place on February 23, turned the audience’s attention towards sound. Going deeper than simply discussing acoustics, editor Hamish Kilburn invited a leading designer, architect and sound architect to explore sound’s role in hotel design and hospitality…

Hotel Designs LIVE sound panel discussion main image

Designers, architects and the leading hoteliers have always been celebrated for thinking holistically. This statement can be measured by the industry’s proactive reaction to the Covid-19 crisis and the innovative solutions that have emerged since the world went into survival mode this time last year.

With the aim to explore meaningful ways to stretch the interior design schemes of tomorrow – and to simply offer something different on the palette for the audience of designers, architects, hoteliers and developers around the globe who tuned in to Hotel Designs LIVE – the third panel discussion of the day served up an engaging conversation around the possibilities of sound in hotel design and hospitality.

On the panel: 

Panel discussion line-up: sound in hotel design

The exclusive session, which followed debates on the future of hotel design and sustainability, was powered by both science and experience. The topic, meanwhile, around the sensory experience in hotel design and hospitality, is one that has arguably been amplified in recent product launches in the wellness arena.

The discussion began with Kilburn asking the panel whether or not they believed the industry currently understood the potential of sound in hotel design, which soon steer the conversation towards how sound can be explored, beyond acoustics, to enhance the hotel guests’ experience.

Here’s the full recording of the panel discussion, which has been edited by CUBE and includes a Product Watch pitch from Panespol:

As well as recently publishing our highlights from the first session of Hotel Designs LIVE and Sustainability beneath the surface, the full recording of the final session (‘A new era of wellness’) will be available on-demand next week.

SAVE THE DATE: Hotel Designs LIVE will return for a fourth edition on May 11, 2021. Session titles and speakers will be announced shortly. Once these have been announced, tickets for Hotel Designs LIVE will be available. In the meantime, if you would like to discuss sponsorship opportunities, focused Product Watch pitches or the concept of Hotel Designs LIVE, please contact Katy Phillips or call +44 (0) 1992 374050.

Miniview: Inside Italy’s natural wellness hotel, Terme di Saturnia

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Miniview: Inside Italy’s natural wellness hotel, Terme di Saturnia

Design firm THDP’s recently completed project is situated in Tuscany, Italy. As a natural wellness hotel and retreat, Terme di Saturnia has been part-inspired by the elements of earth, air, and water. Editor Hamish Kilburn writes…

Surrounded by beautiful Tuscan countryside, Hotel Terme di Saturina is a luxury golf and spa resort, which is located 3km from both Le Cascate del Mulino waterfall and the village of Saturnia in Tuscany, Italy.

Design firm THDP was responsible for refurbishing both the guestrooms and the public area. The inspiration behind the concept is formed around a ‘super natural’ condition; how elements such as the earth, air, water transform as well as the light and temperature. THDP used terms such as reflection, corrosion, erosion, layering, ripples to create the visual and emotional language of the interior design.

Image credit: Terme di Saturnia/Giorgio Baroni

Light installations with glass spheres were created by Gomiero, who had the intuition to ripple the spheres to create the same reflection of water on the walls.

Botanical wallcoverings and lights that look like waterfalls in the lobby

Image credit: Terme di Saturnia/Giorgio Baroni

The waterfalls of the Mill were the inspiration behind the design of the lobby/lounge area, created together with local artisans such as the Ragnini workshops of Pitigliano who have created oxidised tables and bronzed handles and with experienced craftsmen such as Ramiro Contract and design such as Materica who work metals in a contemporary way, using them liquid to transform them into corroded metals, as well as sulphur dense water.

The selection of four colour palettes resulted from the observation of the resort’s surroundings. The colours have been declined in diverse shades in line with the different areas, from the reception with the ethereal hues of the waterfalls of the Mill, to the patio with the central olive tree embodying the Tuscan countryside, up to the bright tones of turquoise and petrol blue of the handmade glazed terracotta tiles of the bar counter coating, found after a long search, in the colour ‘The Fondale’, from Pecchioli Fierenze.

In order to maintain an ideal continuity with the classic and elegant original style, but more importantly with the conscious intention to adhere to a sustainable approach to renovations, some wooden furnishings have been preserved both in rooms and common spaces.

The hotel, which sits above Italy’s most famous thermal spring dating back 3,000 years, is naturally a safe and quiet place – think home-away-from-home – that is conducive to wellbeing as we enter a new era of wellness.

Main image credit: Terme di Saturnia/Test Srls

Image of KEUCO shower light

A perfect symbiosis of water and light from KEUCO

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
A perfect symbiosis of water and light from KEUCO

With all senses expected to be explored in wellness in tomorrow’s hospitality experience, bathroom brand KEUCO has launched The Royal Midas shower light…

Image of KEUCO shower light

The bathroom has changed in recent years and it is now seen as a place for relaxation, a home style spa and room to unwind and indulge the senses.

The shower has become a large part of this and in many homes it now replaces the bath; with many showering in the morning to actively start the day or taking a shower in the evening to relax the body and sooth the soul. The ROYAL MIDAS shower light made by KEUCO provides a unique showering experience– a perfect combination of water and light.

The Royal Midas shower light, has a large integrated shower head and the combination of light and water has a positive effect on the person showering. Single drops of water reflect the light, whilst the water streaming from shower above covers the body – refreshing, cooling and invigorating or warming and relaxing.

The unit is a complete all-in-one product this means installation is quick, safe and easy in combination with your chosen KEUCO shower valve; the KEUCO shower light being autonomously operated via a momentary room switch providing on/off and light adjustment.

Image of The Royal Midas by KEUCO

Image credit: KEUCO

The shower light can be set or dimmed between 6500 kelvin (day light) and 2700 kelvin (warm white). This is especially good in winter time, it allows you to have a brighter ‘day light’ shower with a warming effect for body in the morning, and this activates the circulatory system. A warmer, softer light during an evening shower creates a relaxing ambience; it is similar to the effects of sunset and helps to release the hormone melatonin encouraging healthy sleep.

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

Main image credit: KEUCO

Image of natural looking hotel room

Product watch: Sustainable luxury surfaces from Siminetti

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Product watch: Sustainable luxury surfaces from Siminetti

As we have already established in our editorial series with the brand, Siminetti is renowned for its hand-crafted mother of pearl decorative surfaces. In the unprecedented circumstances of 2021, the brand’s products offer a unique form of decoration with qualities that enhance both public and private areas…

Image of natural looking hotel room

Siminetti produces luxury surfaces that are crafted with passion and viewed with awe. As explained in a Product Watch Pitch at Hotel Designs LIVE, all of its raw materials are sourced from ethically farmed and sustainable sources. This is to ensure our impact is with respect to the traditions of the people who inhabit the areas and ensure the environment is protected. Typically the shellfish industry farm foodstuffs, cosmetics and pearls for jewellery. Leaving the shells as waste material which is discarded to landfill. Siminetti takes this jewel in the rough to remove the harsh exterior and reveal the undisputable beauty within, resulting in not only a minimal environmental impact but a positive one reducing waste to landfill.

Image of bed in hotel room with Siminetti wallcovering

Image credit: Siminetti

The process in which the brand’s raw product is transformed into their beautiful surfaces however is not straightforward. All products are handcrafted with a key attention to detail. Rough imperfections are removed to reveal the stunning nacre. This is then cut into individual tesserae, hand-placed by artisans onto either mesh backings or paper sheet faces – for mosaics – or applied to one of their panelling substrates to create our inspiring decorative surface. Finally, the mosaic tiles and decorative surfaces are polished to bring out the stunning qualities of mother of pearl then sealed for increased strength, an enhanced finish and ease of cleaning.

Following the events of 2021, hoteliers and designers are looking for solutions to growing hygiene concerns. Siminetti’s decorative surfaces come made to measure up to a size of 1200mm x 2400mm with a strong panelling substrate. The substrate options include aluminium honeycomb, magnesium board or PVC foam in varying depths depending on your requirements. This results in an exact fitting solution that requires no grouting and is easily wiped clean in high traffic areas. The grout typically used with bathroom tiling can cause a bacterial build-up or capture viral pathogens. The brand’s paneling solution mitigates that risk whilst providing a luxurious aesthetic.

Image of luxury textured sustainable wallcovering from Siminetti

Image credit: Siminetti

This year, Siminetti unveiled its Seasons’ Collection. A series of decorative surfaces inspired by nature and kind to the planet. The collection consists of 12 designs which are all currently available in two colourway options; Innocence saltwater pearl or Golden Promise saltwater pearl with a Bianco freshwater base. These timeless designs will tie your décor back to nature, provide a hygienic – easy to clean surface, and inspire your customers.

The seasons’ collection entails a range of designs to complement any luxury setting. Breaking the traditions of what is assumed possible with mother of pearl. The inclusion of geometric, organic and abstract patterns sets the collection apart from any others on the market. Explore the twelve stunning designs on their website or their new brochure.

It is important to look at what can be taught by the disruption of 2020. Siminetti’s next generation of decorative surfaces present opportunities in the development of both luxury hospitality aesthetics and hygiene demands of more demanding guests. This benefit of improved maintenance and aesthetics, over traditional tiling, is furthered also by the surfaces ease of installation compared to traditional tiling.

Siminetti is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here.

Main image credit: Siminetti

PENT Fitness collection in hotel

Product watch: PENT. launches stylish hotel fitness solutions

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Product watch: PENT. launches stylish hotel fitness solutions

Following PENT.’s Product Watch pitch at Hotel Designs LIVE during a panel discussion on the future of hotel design and hospitality, Hotel Designs takes a look at the brand’s latest stylish fitness accessories…

PENT Fitness collection in hotel

On February 23, during Hotel Designs LIVE first panel discussion of the day, PENT., which was established in 2011 on the base of experience and know-how gained in previous years as a supplier of fitness solutions for professional fitness clubs, unveiled details about two of its latest collections that are suitable for the hotel and hospitality market.

Recently, hospitality demanded a product that not only responded to the change that the world has been going through over the last year but also allowed hotel guests to use fitness equipment at a comfort of their rooms. Both the SOPHIA and COMBO Hotel collections were inspired by the ever-changing role of fitness spaces within the hotel experience.

SOPHIA

The SOPHIA collection includes a set of dumbbells, kettlebells, exercise mat and essential yoga and fitness accessories. Placed on a niftily designed cart, it can be delivered straight to a guest’s room. It is the true evolution of modern solutions for the hotel industry in times of pandemics and beyond.

PENT Sophia collection

Image credit: PENT.

SOPHIA has been created by specialists for professionals and enthusiasts as a complete set for the most demanding guests. The ergonomic design includes drawers for smaller but important accessories such as a jump rope or push-up bars. There’s a place for towels, water and an IPad.

COMBO Hotel 

If, however, a hotel prefers a more stationary solution then PENT. also provides a permanent set of fitness equipment. The COMBO option can be placed inside a chosen room or a suite to provide hotle guests with even more privacy and hassle-free experience.

COMBO Collection by PENT Fitness

Image credit: PENT.

All PENT. fitness equipment is designed and manufactured in Poland and the brand prides itself on the fact that the entire production process is performed in-house.

Even the smallest wooden, steel or genuine leather components are made by PENT. employees – not a single production process is outsourced, which means that the company has the opportunity to fully customise and quickly develop new products. All product components are made by hand, and where it is impossible, the elements are made on the most modern CNC machines.

PENT. was a Product Watch Pitch partner at Hotel Designs LIVE, which took place on February 23, 2021. Read more about the virtual event here. The next Hotel Designs LIVE will take place on May 11 2021.

Main image credit: PENT

maggies by thomas Hetherwick

Industry insight: Biophilic spa & wellness design

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Industry insight: Biophilic spa & wellness design

As wellness evolves as we enter a new era of hospitality, we invite Beverley Bayes, Creative Director at Sparcstudio, to discuss the growing trend for biophilic design in spa and wellness properties…

maggies by thomas Hetherwick

It is inevitable that spa and wellness, post-pandemic will become an ever more important and integral part of our lives. We are entering a new era where ‘Health is the New Wealth’ and a healthy lifestyle is recognised as an important part of preventative medicine.

UK hotel spas are set to provide an alternative to holidays abroad as staycations are expected to boom. There has been a 1,900 per cent increase in searches for ‘when do spas open? ‘ post road map announcement, as reported in Googles search trends.

Image of two people in pool overlooking nature outside

Image credit: Sparcstudio

“Excellent design will be absolutely key in the creation of destination spas that are unique, have heart and soul, capitalise on the best aspects of their location in linking to a beautiful landscape or view,” says Beverley Bayes, Director of Sparcstudio. “Many of the trends in spa design this year and beyond relate to our collective desire to connect with nature.”

Biophilic design: Reconnecting with nature

2020 saw the entire country embrace the great outdoors and spas followed by extending their spa gardens, making use of outside space to help social distancing which created a true connection between the spa and nature.

This ‘biophilic’ approach to design is already evident in our own homes, offices and hotels  right now and we expect them to explode in spas in 2021. Spas are realising the full potential of converting outside terraces and underused gardens to useable spa relaxation and wellness spaces.

Nature has always been a key inspiration in the design of the spas that Sparcstudio creates which includes Calcot Spa, Dormy House, The Spa at South Lodge Spa, Sopwell House Spa and the Aqua Sana spas. The Sparcstudio HQ is based by the river at Richmond and we are lucky to have Kew Gardens close to hand for natural ‘inspiration’.

Exterior shot of The Spa at South Lodge Spa

Image credit: The Spa at South Lodge Spa

Location, location, location

 When creating a new build spa, careful positioning is key if you want to take full advantage of the vistas, natural light and links to outside spa space, whether this is via gardens or a even a roof terrace. Thankfully spas have largely emerged from being consigned to the hotel basement, reflecting their increasing importance as part of a hotel’s overall wellness offer and the rise in global spa tourism where spas are destinations in their own right.

The Aqua Sana Forest spa concept that we helped develop, transformed the Aqua Sana space – planning model from inward facing experiences, to experiences that reached out into the forest with the inclusion of in-out pools and panoramic saunas surrounded by trees, as can be seen at the new build Center Parcs Longford Forest Aqua Sana spa in Ireland. At the Sherwood Forest Aqua Sana, we created the first sauna on stilts which takes ‘Forest bathing’ to a new level.

Exterior Spa experiences can also include a yoga deck or dedicated area for ‘Forest bathing’, curved seating around a firepit, a circular walk through herb garden, or bathing in a natural pool. Natural swimming pools offer a sense of freedom and escapism whilst tapping into the popularity of ‘wild swimming’. These fresh water, naturally filtered pools and ponds are set to become an essential element for any forward thinking, eco-conscious spa developer.

We are also designing stretch and personal training zones that extend to an outside deck beyond the interior gym spaces.

Not all sites of course are blessed with an inspiring mountain top, edge of the ocean location or a  view of pristine countryside or even a glacier, but with good design it’s very possible for a building to ‘transcend’ the location and benefit from a biophilic design approach.

Take the inspiring example of Thomas Heatherwick designed wellness centre ‘Maggie’s  in Leeds (a charity that provides support for people affected by cancer). Set in the midst of medical buildings, almost on a traffic island, the studio created a series of beautiful interlocking organic buildings that seem to grow out of the garden and provide a relaxing haven which has central top lit space and roof terraces that features native English species of plants, alongside areas of evergreen to provide warmth in the winter months.

Top lighting

‘Top lighting’ of spaces with the integration of skylights or slots and integration of internal courtyards is a very effective way of providing a connection to nature in spas, framing sky views and allowing light to penetrate into the heart of spa. An example of this can be seen at  Spa Vilnius Lithuania, where we formed an organic shaped top lit winter garden in the heart of the treatment space.

Image of lighting in sauna

Image credit: Champneys Spa Mottram Hall

Interior spaces will also continue to have a strong Biophilic feel and visual link to natural surroundings. I love the Japanese concept of ‘Yukimi-shoji’ meaning ‘Snow viewing Shoji’, which is a type of window made so the bottom half slides upwards, often to reveal a beautiful view. Taking inspiration from this concept, we often frame a view with a single pane of glass in a treatment room or even a heat cabin (such as the Organic Sauna at South Lodge Spa), which features organic forms looking out onto the curving South Downs.

Biophilic form: Curves, waves and organic forms

Curved soft cosseting forms will be a strong theme in spa design offering a comforting embrace to spa users. These will be evident in many elements ranging from curved organic pools (such as the ‘wild swimming’ pool at South Lodge). Bespoke joinery and furniture (for example the statement curved sofas that we created for Champneys Mottram Hall) or the bespoke organic sauna designs and ice feature that we designed as part of the new pool there.

Biophilic design for the senses

Natural light, planting, fire and water are key elements to incorporate into a biophilic wellness interior. But surprisingly  ‘Aroma’ whilst often being a key part of the spa treatment experience itself, can be  overlooked in the physical design of the spaces.

As spa designers but we like to be mindful of Aroma as an integral part of the sensual experience, imbedded in the spa  materials and finishes and experiences.  Thermal and heat experiences offer an opportunity to create little ‘micro climates of aroma’. Cedar is one of my favourite timbers within saunas for its soothing slightly exotic smell.  We have also designed many plant based aroma rooms  including the ‘lavender aroma room’  heat  cabin that we designed as part of the heat experiences at Dormy House Spa utilising local lavender from a nearby farm.

At Sopwell Spa, Cottonmill Club, we created a ‘Rose Relaxation room’ inspired by Moroccan Riads whose central courtyards provide serene sheltered relaxation spaces infused with a Moroccan rose aroma, and rose tinted glass panels create private relaxation niches.

As part of our design of Third Space fitness club at Tower Bridge we created one of London’s first dedicated hot yoga studios. We lined the walls with fragrant Juniper logs and fitted with state-of-the-art anti-bacterial technology, enabling members to enter deep stretches and poses, and detoxify through perspiration, in a hot, cleansing biophilic environment.

Since you’re here, why not read out Guide To Hotel Design article on spa design in the new era of wellness?

Sparcstudio is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here.

Image caption/credit: Maggies by Thomas Heatherwick

NOBU RESTAURANT DCS

Case study: The bespoke lighting narrative inside London’s Nobu hotel

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Case study: The bespoke lighting narrative inside London’s Nobu hotel

Inside Nobu Hotel London Portman Square – a hotel that has caused a lot of noise recently on the international hotel design scene – there is a bespoke lighting narrative that flickers unlike any other. Editor Hamish Kilburn exclusively catches up with Lyn Newcombe, Head of Projects at Dernier & Hamlyn and Lewis Taylor, Design Director at David Collins Studio, to capture the full story…

NOBU RESTAURANT DCS

The design narrative for Nobu Hotel London Portman Square was focused on creating an atmosphere of timeless elegance and contemporary luxury. In order to create the right ambience when it came to statement decorative fittings, bespoke lighting manufacturer Dernier & Hamlyn, which has been making bespoke lighting since 1888, became the obvious choice.

The brand’s work for David Collins Studio at the new Nobu London address saw its team’s extensive experience and wide-ranging artisan skills brought to bear in a variety of ways to produce more than 100 individual pieces, all of which were crafted from brass and hand-finished in bronze.

the lobby/lounge with green and purple furniture and modern bar at Nobu Hotel London Portman Square. Image credit: Jack Hardy

Image caption: The lobby/lounge at Nobu Hotel London Portman Square. Image credit: Jack Hardy

Lighting made by the brand features in the most spectacular areas of the hotel including wall, ceiling and pendant lights in the restaurant, bar and private dining room.

Particularly noteworthy bespoke light fittings crafted to David Collins Studio’s design schemes include:

  • In the restaurant’s lobby lounge, a pendant some 1,600mm square and four square luminaires that sit atop cabinets containing wines and spirits comprise hand crafted brass frames fitted with glass panels on which bespoke parchment shades are fitted.
  • Four bronze pendants finished in antique brass some 1,300mm in length are above the sushi bar which were hand cut, shaped and welded fitted with bespoke handmade seeded glass shades.
  • 12 ceiling lights for the main restaurant feature reeded glass tubular shades and hand formed brass end caps. They are fixed using one-metre long, handcrafted brass rods fitted with solid brass spheres.
  • An 80-metre brass track system to accommodate hand-folded, white-paper shades created by Danish bespoke shade maker Le Klint.
  • 12 colonnade wall lights installed in the lobby ceiling, which were formed from brass sheets cut by hand, all pieces individually silver-soldered and finished in a unique bronze shade created by the David Collins Studio team. Light is softly dissipated through the 22 shades created by sandwiching luxury Spanish parchment between glass panels.

“We wanted the lighting to convey Nobu’s strong brand identity and to reference Japanese principles of design without making anything too “themed”.” – Lewis Taylor, Design Director, David Collins Studio.

“This project utilised many of our team’s skills to ensure the lighting we manufactured achieved the quality and attention to detail required,” Lyn Newcombe, Head of Projects at Dernier & Hamlyn, told Hotel Designs. “The lighting they produced for Nobu Hotel London Portman Square is even more exquisite than we hoped for and we have no doubt that the hotel’s guests and diners will have their experience enhanced by the mood it helps to create.”

Following the opening of the hotel, we talked to Lewis Taylor, Design Director at David Collins Studio, to shine the spotlight on the role of lighting inside Nobu Hotel London Portman Square from the designer’s perspective.

Hamish Kilburn: At what point in developing the design concept for hotels do you consider lighting?

Lewis Taylor: Lighting and custom lighting is considered at the very start of the design process along with all the other elements that make up one of our interior designs. Our starting point for a design is always to consider the feeling that the space should evoke, and lighting is such an important factor in creating and maintaining the overall mood of space.

With all the spaces we create, there is a common thread of design details, colours and textures that create the overarching concept and carries through from the furniture design, material selection, custom finishes, and bespoke lighting, that link everything together in a subtle and sophisticated way. So when we start to create this narrative of details at the beginning of the design process we are considering everything holistically, lighting included.

HK: How important is bespoke lighting to you and for which areas do you tend to specify it?

LT: Bespoke lighting really helps to give each project a unique sense of identity that you cannot find with simply specifying a piece.

HK: What were you looking for the lighting to convey/reference at Nobu Hotel London Portman Square, and how did you achieve this? 

LT: We wanted the lighting to convey Nobu’s strong brand identity and to reference Japanese principles of design without making anything too “themed”. We looked at simple and honest applications of materials and clean simple shapes that follow the forms created in the interior architecture. Warm and dappled lighting effects really help to give the space an inviting and intimate feeling.

HK: Nobu Hotels is known for blending modern, cool luxury and minimal Japanese tradition. What therefore was the lighting in the restaurant and bar areas’ role in this?

LT: In both spaces the lighting really adds intimacy and interest. In the bar the relatively low lighting levels and dark finishes mean that the lighting really pops. The Japanese book binding paper on the shades on the bar top are unique and the unusual triangular form of these bar lamps are mimicked by the textured glass ceiling pendants.

In the restaurant, the hanging pendants around the perimeter of the room create a calm warm glow, whilst the custom wall lamps on the columns reflect the light beautifully off the textured mirror glass columns.

HK: Very simply, why did you specify Dernier & Hamlyn for this project? 

LT: We have a proven track record of collaborating to create unique lighting pieces that are finished to the highest quality. Their craftsmen and technicians really know the level of detail we will want to go into and the uncompromising quality that we expect. The process of transforming an idea off paper and into reality with them is also an enjoyable one with sampling and mock-ups to ensure the desired finished lighting effect in addition to the finished product.

HK: Have you worked with the brand on other projects?

LT: We have worked with Dernier & Hamlyn on many projects over our 35-year history, in a range of locations and varied sectors, from private home to hospitality and retail space. Our work with them on the custom lighting for Harrods Mens Superbrands being one of the more recent examples.

Dernier & Hamlyn is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email  Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: Jack Hardy

image of shower toilet from Geberit

Product Watch: AquaClean shower toilet by Geberit

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Product Watch: AquaClean shower toilet by Geberit

Geberit, which recently presented a Product Watch Pitch at Hotel Designs LIVE, has unveiled the AquaClean shower toilet, which offers hotels the very latest in washroom smart technology and guest wellbeing…

image of shower toilet from Geberit

Washing with water technology has always been at the heart of Geberit’s product innovations. The original Geberit shower toilet, the ‘Geberella,’ launched back in 1978, and brought groundbreaking technology to the market, with an innovative WC enhancement solution and built-in spray functionality. Its revolutionary toilet seat was designed to fit virtually any ceramic bowl and came in a range of on-trend, bold colours, so could be perfectly matched to the bathroom furnishings of the day.

Geberit’s AquaClean shower toilet as we now know it was introduced back in 2011 and continues to pave the way for the washing with water revolution today.

Enhancing guest experience

From odour extraction technology that purifies the air to an automatic lifting seat that rises when the user approaches, Geberit’s AquaClean range incorporates a range of features that have been carefully designed to improve guest experience with wellness and hygiene front of mind.

At the touch of a button, the shower toilet’s integrated spray function provides guests with a fresh-out-of-the-shower feeling, with premium models also offering a cutting-edge features including orientation lighting and heated seating.

Designed by renowned London-based architect, Christoph Behling, each model brings a contemporary, compact wall-hung design to perfectly complement any guest washroom.

Hygiene front-of-mind

AquaClean shower toilets also incorporate other solutions that help maximise hygiene in the washroom space. Geberit’s KeraTect Glaze, for example, makes cleaning easier with a non-porous, smooth surface, helping prevent staining of the ceramics and creating a high-gloss effect.  Other innovations also make cleaning and maintenance easier, with rimless design and TurboFlush technology eliminating tricky corners and hard-to-reach areas around the pan.

Selling experiences

As the trend for selling ‘experiences’ and creating an escape for guests continues, so too does the value of creating a unique, positive guest experience to help build stronger memories and ensure customers keep coming back.

As we focus ever more on physical and mental health and wellbeing to help combat the stresses of modern life, it’s clear that good design in the bathroom or washroom space could be the key to unlocking better lives. And it is critical for hotels and designers to be aware of this opportunity.

Geberit was a Product Watch Pitch partner at Hotel Designs LIVE, which took place on February 23, 2021. Read more about the virtual event here. The next Hotel Designs LIVE will take place on May 11 2021.

Main image credit: Geberit

ADP Third Space Concept

Feature: A green (and happy) recovery for hotels?

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Feature: A green (and happy) recovery for hotels?

If there’s one phrase that’s inspired equal parts optimism and frustration this year in hotel design, it’s the idea of a green recovery, writes Amrit Naru, Studio Director, ADP Architecture

ADP Third Space Concept

Last July, the UK government’s announcement of a funding boost to help with green industry was met with a mixed reception, and while the principle of green recovery has won wide support, there’s understandable skepticism about whether government and industry leaders can commit to going far enough.

And yet this looks like our best chance. It’s impossible to ignore the negative impact of the pandemic – but if we look forward, taking the new roadmap for lifting lockdown as a starting point for recovery, it’s possible that we can use it as an opportunity to build a very different kind of post-pandemic landscape.

The effects of climate change are increasing exponentially, from extreme weather events to desertification and species extinction. All industries participate in a system that’s allowed this to happen, and everyone therefore has a part to play in helping to stop it. The hospitality sector is certainly no exception: our work reaches communities all over the world, with more than 200,000 hotels generating an annual revenue of more than £400 billion, and employing people of every imaginable background. By interrogating how that money is raised, who it benefits, and what processes it drives, we can make sizeable and measurable change. And with the hospitality sector set to bounce back more dramatically than almost any other industry, we’re uniquely positioned to lead the way towards a sustainable, inclusive future for our planet and its people.

There’s another side to this story as well. Personal wellbeing has been one of the hardest-hit victims of the pandemic: the Centre for Mental Health estimates that up to 10 million people in the UK will need new or additional mental health support due to the crisis. I recently spoke on a panel addressing how hotels can support wellbeing in the future, with ideas ranging from room size and air quality to back-of-house facilities (a reminder that wellbeing is as important to staff as it is to visitors). It’s certainly my view that sustainability and wellbeing go hand-in-hand, and it’s this approach that ADP takes on many of our projects.

Image caption: Mixed-use leisure sketch scheme in Oxford. | Image credit: ADP ArchitectureIn fact, it’s precisely this idea which led to us developing a new tool that measures three key factors in the wider impact of a project: sustainability, belonging and engagement. The first is all about how a building relates to its environment. Does the project’s energy use support a zero-carbon strategy? Does the project support local wildlife, and encourage sustainable travel? The second – belonging – centres on the ways in which buildings connect people with places: a key consideration for any hotel. Thirdly, we consider whether a project is engaging, and whether it can provide that boost to wellbeing which is sorely needed in a post-pandemic world.

Answering these questions requires a degree of creativity in finding solutions, but it also demands honesty in acknowledging where we could have done better. This brings us back to that point about the green recovery – as an industry, we can be optimistic about our capabilities, but we need to be self-critical. It’s not enough simply to say that we support a green recovery, or even that we’re taking particular steps in that direction. We need to measure outcomes. We need to show that what we’re doing is actually making a difference.

This was a problem we encountered time and again when creating the SBE (“Sustainability, Belonging, Engagement”) toolkit. Identifying what needs to change is one thing; measuring it in an objective, consistent way is another. After months spent poring over research and testing our ideas against a range of our own projects, we created a toolkit which broke these “big issues” down into concise factors such as water use or connectivity to nature, and then broke each of these down further – creating a questionnaire which could output an easy-to-read score.

Questions cover every aspect of a project’s potential impact. Has the community been involved in the design? Are there measures to mitigate flood risk or the effects of climate change? What are the average floor-to-ceiling heights? The result is a robust and usable toolkit, one which ADP is now using on every single project we work on.

The SBE Toolkit is very much our own, but it reflects wider trends in the hospitality industry and beyond. One of these key trends – as I’ve already mentioned – is wellbeing. As we move out of lockdown and nationwide restrictions, hoteliers will need to think carefully about how they can balance safety measures with a sensibility that helps guests feel welcome and at ease. One approach is to use the WELL Building Standard, a certification process that takes a detailed account of the ways in which a building can promote health, safety and general wellbeing.

The advantage of using a recognised standard like WELL is that not only can you trust that the process is relevant and meaningful – your visitors and staff can, too. In fact, as tourists take a wider range of factors into account when looking for a hotel, it’s looking increasingly possible that measurements like the WELL Building Standard will become an important part of marketing. The ability to research a number of hotels quickly online has allowed people to consider factors like carbon footprint or media reputation in their search for the perfect stay – so it doesn’t seem far-fetched to expect wellbeing to play a growing role in the future.

A second key trend is flexibility. Working from home isn’t going away with the restrictions. Our experience living with Covid-19 has taught us that we can work from home more, and that doing so carries unique advantages in a society which is ever more globally connected. Hotels are going to play a special role in this “new normal” (apologies for using that phrase, but in this case it genuinely applies). As travel patterns resume, the technology which has allowed us to work from home will allow us to work from anywhere, including local coffee shops, leisure venues, and of course hotels. There will doubtless be a growing market here for co-working spaces built into the wider context of a hotel, as well as adjacent and related spaces such as serviced apartments, aparthotels, and long-stays.

Finally – and bringing us full circle – the word “sustainability” is going to be on everybody’s lips more than ever in the years to come. The pandemic has forced us to think more introspectively about the impact of our travel, and while the travel industry is predicted to come back strongly after restrictions lift, it’s surely a good thing that travellers will take that more thoughtful approach into the future with them. Thoughtful travel is bound to lead to more sustainable travel, and with sustainable travel comes a focus on sustainable hotels.

It’s therefore important that, as an industry, we’re as thoughtful as the people we serve. Hotels are currently among the most resource-intensive commercial buildings in terms of energy and water use per square foot. We need to work together to address this now, as we restructure our ways of operating for a post-pandemic world. We need to reach out to other areas of the tourism industry – from ecotourism to local workforces and communities – to form a united front against climate change. We need to be role models, even when it’s most difficult. The pandemic has presented unparalleled challenges for the hotel industry. As we emerge blinking into the light of a new world, it’s time to seize the opportunity to provide hotels which support the environment and the people they impact. If we meet this opportunity head-on, others are sure to follow us on the road to a green (and happy) recovery.

ADP Architecture is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here.

Main image caption: ADP Third Space concept. | Image credit: ADP Architecture

Wooden floor inside empty Cambridge Novotel

Product watch: Wood flooring from sustainably managed forests

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Product watch: Wood flooring from sustainably managed forests

Havwoods, which recently presented a Product Watch Pitch at Hotel Designs LIVE during a panel discussion on the topic of sustainability, has introduced HavSeal stamp of approval to further encourage sustainable and responsible procurement of wood flooring within its supply chain…

Wooden floor inside empty Cambridge Novotel

Environmentally sustainable design is the philosophy of designing physical objects, the built environment, and services to comply with the principles of ecological sustainability. Over recent years, the realisation that many of our human practices are destroying the earth has led to this growing emergence of eco-design, which is increasingly being integrated, into every phase of a potential new product, from conception to completion.

In this way, when we consider the environmental impacts throughout all stages of the product development process, we more thoughtfully create eco-design products – those that aim to make the lowest possible environmental impact throughout their lifecycle.

According to Greenpeace, human consumption of natural resources has doubled over the last 30 years. Of course, we have good reasons to manufacture better and more efficiently: raw materials and natural resources are finite and, if we do not do better, they will run out.

Eco-design differs slightly from green design, which is perhaps a term more often used – it is an easy mistake to interchange the two phrases. Whereas eco-design is a more natural, organic practice from start to finish, green design focuses more upon the use of recycled materials, renewable energies and a reduction of material waste. Therefore, it is more efficient to adopt an environmentally sustainable approach from the very start.

Wood is one of the few renewable choices of building material for flooring. Other materials are derived from fossil fuels (such as plastic) or take huge amounts of energy to produce (such as concrete). In contrast, wood is a renewable, natural resource which, when managed correctly can provide an unlimited supply. But it is important to carefully monitor and apply policies to ensure that the journey of the wood is sustainable, every step of the way.

Havwoods has recently introduced HavSeal™ stamp of approval, which means that even further measures than ever before are taken to ensure sustainable and responsible procurement within their supply chain. The HavSeal stamp of approval is awarded to those products that exceed the already high standards needed to ensure entry into its portfolio. As part of this process Havwoods not only considers the origin, the legality and sustainability of each of the products but also the energy that goes into production of the product, the chemical content of the product as well as the mill’s commitment to re-using its waste.

The Green Seal award is given to products that offer extra international accreditation, identified as coming from sources that offer higher standards of energy use and waste generation. The Gold Seal is awarded to the products coming from mills that show an extreme passion and proactive approach to ecological benefits such as reusable heating for local communities, the powering of wind turbines, financing the re-introduction of animals into the forest areas and commitments to replanting forest and woodland areas.

These awards are used to encourage and educate the supply chains so that only the very best quality products are offered to the Havwoods’s customers.

Havwoods was a Product Watch Pitch partner at Hotel Designs LIVE, which took place on February 23, 2021. Read more about the virtual event here. The next Hotel Designs LIVE will take place on May 11 2021.

Main image credit: Havwoods

Collage of speakers for Hotel Designs LIVE Sustainability talk

(In video) Hotel Designs LIVE: Sustainability beneath the surface

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
(In video) Hotel Designs LIVE: Sustainability beneath the surface

On February 23, designers, architects, hoteliers and developers from around the globe tuned in to watch Hotel Designs LIVE. In the second panel discussion of the day, editor Hamish Kilburn was joined by leading hospitality figures to discuss sustainability beneath the surface…

Collage of speakers for Hotel Designs LIVE Sustainability talk

With so much noise around sustainability at the moment, it was about time that Hotel Designs LIVE, which was launched last year with the aim to keep the conversation flowing during and after the Covid-19 pandmeic, hosted a panel discussion that allowed designers, architects and hoteliers to go beneath the surface of conscious design and hospitality.

The virtual event, which took place on February 23, led with the ambition to go further than it has ever gone in order to define the point on meaningful topics and conversations.

Following an engaging panel discussion on the future of hotel design and hospitality, the spotlight for the second session of the day landed on leading design and hospitality figures to debate sustainability, a topic that continues to be weighed down by heavy stigma. Sponsored by Grohe, a brand that inherently has sustainability running through its DNA – if recent accolades are anything go by – the panel was inspired by the recent Q&A between Hotel Designs LIVE and eco warrior, Bill Bensley.

On the panel: 

Hotel Designs LIVE sustainability panel

The discussion dived in head-first with editor Hamish Kilburn asking the panel what their thoughts were on greenwashing, before moving on towards establishing where sustainability in hospitality is heading and whether or not the pandemic has been a positive or negative catalyst for sustainable solutions and eco-savvy product development.

Here’s the full recording of the panel discussion, which has been edited by CUBE and includes Product Watch pitches from Grohe, Havwoods and Siminetti:

As well as recently publishing our highlights from the first session of Hotel Designs LIVE, the full recordings of the other two sessions (‘ ‘Safe & sound hotel design’ and ‘A new era of wellness’) will be available on-demand shortly.

SAVE THE DATE: Hotel Designs LIVE will return for a fourth edition on May 11, 2021. Session titles and speakers will be announced shortly. Once these have been announced, tickets for Hotel Designs LIVE will be available. In the meantime, if you would like to discuss sponsorship opportunities, focused Product Watch pitches or the concept of Hotel Designs LIVE, please contact Katy Phillips or call +44 (0) 1992 374050.

Image of digital hotel technology room entry in corridor

Hotel technology: Solutions for tomorrow’s hospitality

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hotel technology: Solutions for tomorrow’s hospitality

Gary Yeames-Smith, Director at Yeames Hospitality who presented a Product Watch Pitch at Hotel Designs LIVE, explores hotel technology available today to safeguard guests throughout the pandemic and beyond...

Image of digital hotel technology room entry in corridor

The hotel guestroom has undergone many changes over the years to keep up with the lives, both social and physical, of the ever changing demands of the occupant. TVs have got larger yet slimmer, showers have replaced baths and decor concepts range from the lavish, to the quirky.

With Covid-19 providing the biggest interruption to the industry in modern memory, there are solutions available today to safeguard guests throughout this pandemic and beyond.

Indeed, how we enter our rooms and how we relax fundamentally have not changed. Instead of physical keys, we now have solutions that are sustainable, more efficient and far hygienic options with both online and smart key check ins systems already available.

Sometimes a stay is more of a luxury – maybe a retreat – than a busy business trip. Perhaps the stay has an emotional significance for the Guest and a hotel-branded paper RFID card could provide the ideal souvenir to remember the stay in years to come.

The importance of first impressions for any hotel is vital, therefore a suitable check in and access system is of the utmost importance for any Hotelier to prevent a hasty entry into Trip Advisor, rather than a relaxed stroll to the room, whereby they could be greeted with a stylish and custom floor reader panel directing them to their door.

A quick tap on the “Floor Panel” or via the “Magic Eye” reader on the door is all that is needed to gain entry to their room whereby the second impression of the Hotel can be developed with designated lighting themes designed for entry, sleeping and work.

The guest experience is enhanced further using amazing design from the interior designer and architect that utilises the latest technology for room management control with custom finishes to any panel to provide a bespoke room design for any Hotel.

As the guest unpacks they could find room management controls in all the right places to control turn the TV on, set the air conditioning or open the blinds.

With presence sensors installed, the room status can be known to staff and can be monitored and adjusted for the highest energy efficiency. Housekeeping could also be informed when the room is empty for cleaning.

What differentiates a Messerschmitt system to the others on the market?

  • Both the Key Card and Room Management Systems can be used separately or combined which provides great flexibility for a Hotelier to add on future upgrades as required.
  • All of the components are designed and manufactured in Germany and therefore not reliant on imports from China where future availability of main or spare parts can not be guaranteed.
  • 30 years of experience and installed in over 2000 branded and independent Hotels, provides reassurance that the products are tried and tested.
  • Increased Investment into R&D in the last 2 years will see an influx of new options for the future Hotel.

Yeames Hospitality is both proud and excited to be the exclusive certified partner for Messerschmitt Systems in the UK and Ireland and are working diligently to bring this excellent solution to market with Hotels already installed and running in London.

As a company we have our own experienced and trained engineers as well as support staff to ensure all systems installed are maintained to the highest standard with a comprehensive management system and proactive maintenance processes in place.

Image of slick tech system in modern hotel room

Image credit: Yeames Hospitality

With the acquisition of Hotel Media, we are developing a unique approach to integrated systems that can offer the Guest seamless experience throughout the hotel.

By working together with design teams in the hospitality sector, room management, guest entertainment and design can be created that provide for the guests senses and allow design and function to co-exist.

Yeames Hospitality was a Product Watch Pitch partner at Hotel Designs LIVE, which took place on February 23, 2021. Read more about the virtual event here. The next Hotel Designs LIVE will take place on May 11 2021.

Main image credit: Yeames Hospitality

Gif of strong women for International Women's Day

International Women’s Day: Leading hospitality design figures comment

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
International Women’s Day: Leading hospitality design figures comment

Our nod to International Women’s Day is more of a formal bow or curtsy. Editor Hamish Kilburn hears from leading female designers, hoteliers and architects about how far we have come and, crucially, how far we have still got to travel in order to operate in an equal and fair global arena…

Gif of strong women for International Women's Day

To celebrate International Women’s Day, we’ve collected the thoughts of women who have and are breaking boundaries in international hotel design. While we have come so far to champion equality in our industry, a recent report published by the BIID strongly suggests that there is a long way to go in order to create a equal opportunities in this global arena.

Let’s hear from our leading ladies on what the next step towards equality in design, architecture and hospitality needs to be.

Jo Littlefair, Co-Founder and Director, Goddard Littlefair

Image caption: Jo Littlefair

Image caption: Jo Littlefair, Co-Founder and Director, Goddard Littlefair

“While women have made great strides in forging careers and have tremendous support within our industry, unfortunately there remains a difference to how we are perceived professionally and there are prejudices which some still hold on to therefore perpetuating their existence. Without being so utopian as to be unrealistic, my personal view is that at every opportunity presented to us we should learn to celebrate our differences, try to be tolerant and inclusive of one another to realise the best initiatives we can, together. It’s like chipping away at a founding stone of a pyramid – it’s going to take a while! Being a designer means questioning and thinking creatively is second nature, I always try to channel energy in finding a solution and not being content with a closed door.” 

Una Barac, Executive Director, Atellior

Image of Una Barac

Image caption: Una Barac, Executive Director, Atellior

“Sadly, there is still a way to go for women, and minorities, in the hospitality design sector across the world. If you look around, you find very few women at senior board level. Yet, studies repeatedly show that diversity is not only good for an organisation’s culture but results in better business outcomes.

At Atellior we are now 35 people across two offices, 22 of whom are women, and we pick our people based on their talent. Having grown up in Eastern Europe when it was governed by socialist ideology, one positive result was that I completely believed in gender equality. That’s why I eventually set up my own business!”

Harriet Forde, Founder, Harriet Forde Design and co-host of DESIGN POD.

Image caption: Harriet Forde, President, BIID

“We have come far but not far enough. Each generation moves forward and sadly this will take time. Whilst women now hold 30 per cent of all board roles in the UK, we are still faced with a system that doesn’t accommodate or value the fact that as women, we bear the children who will be our future. This shouldn’t be a juggle but embraced for the challenge it is and be met with inclusive solutions for all.”