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Interior Design

luxe marble bathroom

CONCEPT TO COMPLETION: Designing the bathrooms inside Stock Exchange Hotel, Manchester

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
CONCEPT TO COMPLETION: Designing the bathrooms inside Stock Exchange Hotel, Manchester

With the hotel months away from opening, the bathroom design specialists at Utopia Projects explain how they have worked with interior design firm Space Invader Design to create timeless, luxury bathrooms inside Stock Exchange Hotel Manchester… 

Due to open this November, Stock Exchange Hotel Manchester is located in the heart of the city centre, sheltered within the shell of the former Stock Exchange building.

luxe marble bathroom

As the opening date draws closer, anticipation builds around how the hotel’s luxe interiors will look and feel inside the Grade II listed building. Here we take a look into finer details of the guest rooms and suites, focussing on the bathrooms which have been designed by Space Invader Design, using products supplied by us at Utopia Projects.

Manchester’s newest addition its hotel scene is co-owned by former football stars Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs, with this being their second hotel venture as partners. They have spent the past six years restoring and renovating the Grade II listed building to maintain the Edwardian heritage and baroque style. Interior design companies Autoban and Space Invader Design have done a fantastic job at capturing this history whilst adding luxury and contemporary twists to every space.

“All the products we supply are of top quality have been specifically chosen as they evoke the classic/contemporary twist Space Invader Design have captured in their designs.” – Utopia Projects

We have worked together with Space Invader on a previous project, providing sanitaryware to Oddfellows On The Park, another fabulous hotel in the Manchester area. All the products we supply are of top quality have been specifically chosen as they evoke the classic/contemporary twist Space Invader Design have captured in their designs. We source products from the most stylish and innovative manufacturer’s currently on offer, such as Villeroy & Boch, Kudos and Axor because bathrooms should be at the height of luxury, just as the bedrooms are.

Render of luxury bathroom with marble surfaces and overlooking Manchester

Image credit: Space Invader Design/Utopia Projects/Stock Exchange Hotel Manchester

Delving into the details, Kaldewei was the first choice for shower trays, with Kudos and Crystal Tech being the brands chosen for the panels and doors. To suit the overall design of the hotel, Victoria & Albert were the obvious choice for their opulent freestanding baths. There really is something special about finding a bath like that in your hotel room; a very luxe element. Space Invader Design chose Axor as the brassware provider for the bathrooms which complement the sanitaryware perfectly, with other accessories being provided by Emco. The last piece of white ware chosen were Villeroy & Boch WC’s, which are a popular choice for many other hotels we have also supplied.

“Each piece is minimal yet stunning and all evoke the overall design of the hotel.” – Utopia Projects

All the products used help perfectly capture interior design firm’s luxurious bathroom designs. Each piece is minimal yet stunning and all evoke the overall design of the hotel. Keeping a bathroom simple helps to stimulate a calm and serene atmosphere, helping guests relax and unwind in a tranquil environment. Bathrooms can feel somewhat, overlooked as far as hotel design goes, however Space Invader Design always do a fantastic job as making it just as important as the bedroom itself.

Here at Utopia Projects we feel honoured to have worked alongside Space Invader Design again and we hope to work with them in the future. The Stock Exchange, Manchester, promises to be a fantastic asset to the city offering not only fabulous accommodation, but a quality dining experience too. The grand opening is set to be on November 15, which cannot come soon enough!

Utopia Projects 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: Space Invader Design/Utopia Projects/Stock Exchange Hotel Manchester

Hotels that have emerged bigger and better post-natural disasters

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hotels that have emerged bigger and better post-natural disasters

Hotel Designs identifies hotels around the world that have risen from the ashes of natural disasters…

Following the news of last week’s earthquake in Athens – and as we approach two years since part of the Caribbean was hit by Hurricane Irma – now is a good time to amplify properties that were resiliently rebuilt to stand once more as leading hotels around the world following unexpected disasters.

Whilst the BBC reported that nobody was injured in last week’s earthquake of 5.1 magnitude in Athens, a destination that is seeing a significant spike in soulful boutique hotels, several aftershocks left two buildings collapsing.

Looking back in recent history, here are a selection of developments around the world that have reopened, post-natural disaster, to become bigger, stronger and better hotels than they were in their former shells.

Le Sereno St Barth’s

Light, bright a airy look and feel in guestrooms

Image credit: Sereno Hotels

Sereno Hotels announced last year the reopening of Le Sereno St. Barth’s, following the damage it sustained from the passing of Hurricane Irma in September 2017. The hotel was originally designed by the Sereno Hotels team in keeping with the original vision of Christian Liaigre. The decision to rebuild from scratch a significant part of the property came from the Contreras family with the aim to extensively renovate more than half the rooms and all the public spaces, while maintaining the iconic style of Le Sereno which has a devoted following among guests.

Las Alcobas Napa Valley

fire in front of luxury pool

Image credit: Marriott International

Located in California’s famous wine region, Napa Valley, Las Alcobas closed its doors temporarily following the 2017 fires that burned 144,000 acres in three counties. Although the hotel’s doors remained closed, Acacia House, its in-house restaurant remained open to serve first responders and neighbours who had lost their homes. Two years on from the event, business is booming in the 59-key luxury boutique hotel.

Wyndham Grand Kalim Bay 

Light and bright guest room with impressive views over the bay

Image credit: Wyndham Hotels

Opened in 2016 with the aim to inject a level of luxury above Patong Beach, which was one of the destinations hit by the 2004 Tsunami, Wyndham Grand Kalim Bay boasts some of the most premium views on the island of Phuket.

El Lodge – Sierra Nevada

lodge-like interiors in the guest room

Image credit: Small Luxury Hotels of the World

Quite literally a hotel that has risen from the ashes, El Lodge in Sierra Nevada’s design story is mesmerising. Following a fire that damaged the entire structure, the same design team, led by Andrew Martin, were given the unique opportunity to rebuild the foundations and interiors and, in process, were able to improve what they originally completed.

Main image credit: Le Sereno St Barth’s

Sekers launches new fabric backed vinyl contract wallcoverings

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Sekers launches new fabric backed vinyl contract wallcoverings

The Chenega Collection by Sekers is a new fabric backed vinyl contract wallcovering…

Recommended Supplier Sekers has launched Chenega. Inspired by the delicate textures and surfaces of the polar landscape, the new collection is a versatile mix of six sophisticated designs including a modern interpretation of a classic moiré, an understated metallic effect, and a simple but elegant strie and is available in an extensive palette of 54 colours ranging from refined neutrals to radiant jewel tones, all with a subtle interplay of matte and sheen.

Meeting all relevant UK and American standards for contract wallcoverings and IMO certified, Chenega is scrubbable and available in wide rolls, making it the ideal choice for the commercial hospitality, leisure and marine markets.

Sekers 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: Sekers

In Conversation With: Michele Salvi, Associate at Zaha Hadid Architects

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
In Conversation With: Michele Salvi, Associate at Zaha Hadid Architects

Following the opening of the 770-key Morpheus Hotel in Macau, Zaha Hadid Architects’ Michele Salvi sits down with editor Hamish Kilburn to discuss pushing boundaries, ever-changing public areas and how the pioneering practice is continuing the legacy of a design legend…

When Morpheus first opened to the public in June of last year as the “world’s first free-form high-rise exoskeleton” hotel, to the surprise of nobody, it quickly became one of the most talked-about new-builds of the decade.

Six years in planning, the ambitious brief that the team at Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) received by Melco Resorts Entertainment was to design and build the fifth and final tower to complete City of Dreams Resort in Macau.

“Morpheus is a step into the unknown.” – Michele Salvi, Associate, Zaha Hadid Architects

To understand more about the challenges that were attached to such an enormous project – and to get a glimpse into the inner workings of one of the leaders behind many of the decisions – I join project architect and Associate Michele Salvi for one of his typical lunch hours in London’s bustling Clerkenwell district. “I love it here,” he says tucking into a fresh salad. “London’s vibrant culture scene makes Britain such a significant design hub.”

Establishing shot of site against other buildings

Image credit: Ivan Dupont

The architect, who operates from the ZHA’s London HQ and has recently been confirmed among other visionaries to be a jury member for the Outstanding Property Award London, is currently working on projects such as Mandarin Oriental Melbourne as well as several high-end competitions in Europe, Asia and Australia. And while these buildings that are on the boards are full-on commitments, there was nothing that could have prepared Salvi and the ZHA team for the opening of Morpheus. “Throughout the year there were many launch events with the hotel’s grand opening being the most important and expectations were high,” he admits. “The large atrium had been unwrapped from its scaffolding only a few days before and we had been working full speed with the interior contractors to deliver a project of premium quality right up until the last day. To be honest, it was a huge team effort.”

Instead of referencing architectural styles from around the globe, like the majority of other buildings in and around Macau, Morpheus ascended from its own unique environment juxtaposing its neighbouring buildings. “As our client says, Morpheus is a step into the unknown,” adds Salvi, “an unprecedented mix of challenges. More so than previous projects as parametric design tools methodologies have been used extensively in all design stages until construction.”

“It takes more than a comfortable room and premium facilities to make a hotel experience truly special.” – Michele Salvi, Associate, Zaha Hadid Architects

Rewind six years, and it was the late Zaha Hadid herself who had originally signed off the plans for the project. “We started with the envelope and exoskeleton,” explains Salvi. “The massing was given by the brief, the limited footprint leftovers from the existing City of Dreams development and 160m height restrictions because of being in close proximity to the airport.”

To create a fitting first impression that allowed all guests to experience the full scale of the project, the design team decided to keep the public areas as open and exposed as possible. “It takes more than a comfortable room and premium facilities to make a hotel experience truly special,” Salvi explains. “We wanted people to physically experience the building, be amazed and discover something unexpected.” Examples of this can be found no further than the 12 panoramic lifts, which through the full-height atrium provides what can only be described as a breathtaking 45-second experience of defying gravity.

What gives the 40-storey Morpheus its iconic free-form exterior shape are a number of delicately created pockets within the architectural structure. “We carved out three voids from this solid block to increase the amount of unique corner rooms,” explains Salvi. “By bending and curving the façade towards the centre, we enhanced visual connectivity and created unexpected crossing views between different areas of the building, such as two panoramic bridges that host restaurants.”

Exterior shot of the hotel, with irregular details

Image credit: Ivan Dupont

The guestrooms and suites within the hotel are somewhat hidden in the non-uniformed design in collaboration with interior design studio Remedios Studio. “Most rooms are within the flat façade and corners, with unique suites in the transition between flat façade and the voids,” Salvi continues. “All of them are behind the exoskeleton, and the variation of its pattern provides shelter from direct sunlight and generates dynamic filter towards the city.”

QUICK-FIRE ROUND

Hamish Kilburn: How do you escape from the daily grind?
Michele Salvi: Sailing, when I can, and I love travelling

HK: Where’s next on your travel bucket list?
MS: Hong Kong and Jordan are on my list. I would love to visit Patagonia and La Tierra del Fuego

HK: Renders or sketches?
MS: Both of them in every stage of design

HK: If I were to give you unlimited budget to design a hotel, where would it be in the world?
MS: I would love to design a floating hotel, always in motion rather than anchored to a specific context

HK: In your career, so far, what has been the largest change that has affected the way in which you design hotels?
MS: For me, this was when I started to use parametric tools, which could manage more information and has a much higher level of complexity

HK: Who inspired you when you were training to be an architect?
MS: Primarily Zaha Hadid. But also Frank Gehry and later on, from other creative fields, Ernst Haeckel and D’Arcy W. Thompson.

“Zaha’s loss was devastating.” – Michele Salvi, Associate, Zaha Hadid Architects

Despite Morpheus being no-doubt an impressive piece of architecture, it is perhaps the fact that it was one of the last projects that the late Zaha Hadid herself worked on that makes it an important building – and a poignant moment – in the firm’s journey. “Zaha’s loss was devastating,” says Salvi. “However, there is a strong sense of community within the company and we all share the responsibility to continue her legacy.” Salvi joined the studio just more than 15 years ago, first starting in the firm’s Italian studio before moving to London to work within – and later lead – a larger team. “I do feel as if I have contributed to making the company successful,” he says. After more than three years, we are doing incredibly well and continue to deliver unique projects.”

Just like the project itself did over many sketches and renders, Salvi has also evolved since early stages through to the completion. “Due to the extraordinary scale of the project, I feel I’ve learnt a lot,” he says. “From façade technology and interior design to form structure and workflow management, which is now a precious resource on every new project.”

With the architect’s lunch hour over running, and a design competition deadline looming, it’s time for Salvi to head back to the London studio to contribute further in changing the skylines of our cities for the better, all while continuing the work of the woman who changed architecture – and equality within the sector – forever. And with that, the extraordinary work taking shape behind the firm’s studio doors continues into a new chapter, which will no-doubt be complete with new, unique and elegant dimensions.

Main image credit: Jacopo Spilimbergo

Checking In: Down the rabbit hole in Devon’s Glazebrook House Hotel

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Checking In: Down the rabbit hole in Devon’s Glazebrook House Hotel

In search for English eccentricity, editor Hamish Kilburn checks in to Glazebrook House Hotel to explore the Alice-in-Wonderland meets Rule Britania interiors, designed by Timothy Oulton

When Peter and Fran Hamman, the owners of Glazebrook House Hotel, originally embarked on their tremendous journey to open a statement luxury boutique hotel in South Devon, they were faced with several key decisions to make.

The first, and arguably the most important: who was going to design the interiors of the hotel to help turn bring to life their vision of an Alice-in-Wonderland-themed hotel? If there was anyone who qualified in sensitively making this dream a reality it was internationally renowned British revivalist designer Timothy Oulton, a somewhat obvious choice considering his quirky portfolio of work.

Oulton’s alternative, somewhat edgy charm can be felt immediately upon entering the hotel’s lobby. Two statement chandeliers hang from the tall ceiling above a deliberately distressed-looking rug. On one side of the room, past a striking chesterfield sofa, is a white sculpture of a young Queen Elizabeth. On the other side, past two clashing metallic armchairs, and above the mantelpiece are the hulls of mini boats hang on wall, injects a subtle sense-of-place. Meanwhile, an oversized, eye-catching union jack curtain hangs behind an understated check-in desk.

Image caption: The lobby | Image credit: ACT Studios

Since opening in September 2014, the hotel has become as famous for its food and beverage offering as it has its award-winning design. The elegant, intimate F&B area is balanced precisely with refined parquet flooring and reclaimed British oak tables, which adds an element of welcome authenticity. Fun details such as British-made china and shining silverware trays create a bold yet brilliant choice of wallcoverings. Across the hall, an equally impressive bar area spills out onto a sun-trap terrace and connects to the cigar room, which features a sculpture of Winston Churchill smoking an illuminated cigar aptly positioned next to the liquor cabinet.

While corridors in some hotels naturally become a dead space that lack design and inspiration, Glazebrook House the hotel embraces the unconventional. Bizarre artefacts hang proudly on the walls, such as traditional horns and Oulton-style bowler hats. The landing is also a clash of ideas working together in harmony. A feature wall of traditional street signs reflects the main staircase, while furniture designed to be a nod towards Britain’s equestrian style – think upside-down saddle-inspired armchairs – create a relaxed yet refined feel.

“My nest for the evening, The Mad Hatter Suite, is full of idiosyncratic moments.”

Nine individually designed en-suite guestrooms, all designed in homage to Lewis Carroll’s most famous work, have been given apt names, such as White Rabbit (the hotel’s design-led disabled access room) and the twin room Tweedle Deez to reference further the overarching theme down the rabbit hole. My nest for the evening, The Mad Hatter Suite, is full of idiosyncratic moments, which include topsy-turvy dollhouses on the walls above a brown studded-leather headboard and low-hanging chandeliers tied with thick rustic rope, which juxtaposes solid marble side tables that sit underneath. The spacious ensuites in each room offer minimalist luxury, complete with Geberit WCs, Villeroy & Boch basins and Pura shower units.

Voted, among other award wins, as the best boutique hotel for 2018 by Visit England, the converted Georgian Manor house is full to the brim of personality and charm at every corner. Combining the best in British design with one-off quality elements thoughtfully thrown in to add new layers, the design story of Glazebrook House Hotel has been a methodical one. On the surface it seems that arbitrary objects have been paired together. But the realty is that every item sheltered in the shell of the building helps to create a seamless and unforgettable hotel guest experience for all.

Main image credit: ACT Studios

GROHE’s new Essence ceramics blends soft curves inspired by organic forms

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
GROHE’s new Essence ceramics blends soft curves inspired by organic forms

The sleek, minimalist design of GROHE Essence reflects the growing trend towards timeless elegance… 

Following on from the bathroom specialist’s aim to shape the future of water, as referenced in a Hotel Designs Q&A with the company’s VP of Design, GROHE has launched its premium Essence Ceramics Collection, marking its first ever offering of complete and coordinated bathroom.

The latest range has been created to expose the beauty of ceramics presented in its purest, most simplistic form. The range comprises of three sizes of vanity basins, a selection of toilets and for the very first time, a selection of bath tubs in three different styles: back to wall, built-in and freestanding. All the products within the Essence range benefit from the advanced technologies of GROHE PureGuard, which is fitted as standard, and promotes superior hygiene and a long-lasting surface finish. In addition, there are several new design features that have been developed in order to deliver a truly premium and uninterrupted design aesthetic.

GROHE’s brand new Essence bath tubs are at the core of the new collection. Made from high-quality titanium steel which stores heat for an extended period of time, an indulgent bath is the perfect way to create a touch of luxury within your upcoming bathroom projects and with models offering practical, family-friendly add-ons such as a unique textured surface that provides increased slip resistance and an EasyClean water-repellent coating to keep day to day cleaning to a minimum, they offer strong upsell opportunities too.

Meanwhile, Essence’s range of toilets come equipped with their own fair share of advanced technology to ensure hygiene in the bathroom is maintained to the very highest of standards. Featuring a rimless design as standard, the smooth surface and edges of the bowl leave bacteria with nowhere to hide. The toilets also benefit from water-conscious flush systems with the large flush requiring only 4.5 litres of water whilst the small flush is even more economical, using just three litres of water. To ensure years of a long-lasting sparkling Alpine White finish, GROHE enhances all of its ceramic toilets with its PureGuard hygiene coating, an anti-stick coating and anti-bacterial glazing. This prevents the build-up of dirt and limescale whilst anti-bacterial ions within the coating itself stop the development of any new bacteria.

GROHE Essence offers three sizes of vanity basins which feature a new positioning of the overflow which now sits opposite the tap – or in some cases has been removed altogether – whilst the stylish ceramic drain caps help to deliver that highly sought after, uninterrupted aesthetic. When specifying GROHE Essence or any of GROHE’s ceramic ranges, there is already a tried and tested brassware solution to match it. GROHE’s R&D team have developed the PerfectMatch philosophy, and spend months rigorously testing various tap and sink pairings to find those that deliver perfectly, in both form and function. GROHE Essence ceramics beautifully harmonise with Atrio, Essence, Plus and Lineare brassware ranges, as well as the Euphoria SmartControl shower system and GROHE shower trays, offering designers fully coordinated designs that span brassware, flush plates, accessories and ceramics, all from one single source.

GROHE’s latest ceramic collection and the news of its newfound complete bathroom supplier status has already been well-received by the industry. Key distribution partners Robert Lee and Faucets have invested in the new collection within their latest July catalogues available for delivery across the country. In addition to their already extensive distribution of GROHE’s three other ceramic ranges; Bau, Euro and Cube, there are a range of solutions for all customers.

Tim Wayman, Managing Director from Robert Lee says, “We are delighted to be one of the first to be championing the new GROHE Essence ceramic range and to be able to offer our customers a complete solution for any project they are working on. We fully support GROHE’s PerfectMatch philosophy and believe tried and tested pairings for ceramics and brassware are highly desired and needed in the industry.“ Patrick Gough, Sales Director from Faucets adds, “The latest collection is GROHE’s most premium ceramic range yet and the
innovative details that have been added into the designs of the products really help to set GROHE apart from the market and enable us to offer truly unique and forward-thinking bathroom solutions to our clients“.

James Sturdey, Key Account Manager at GROHE UK continues: “We are delighted to be backed by two powerhouse distributors in what is an exciting new launch for GROHE. We have been building up to a complete bathroom supplier status for some time, and now with the launch of Essence, we can finally offer our customers fully coordinated bathroom designs that are designed to look and work together. We are thrilled to have already received such supportive backing from the industry in response to our new products and anticipate they will be of great interest to many of our clients, from architects and designers to housebuilders, plumbers and hotel specifiers. The range is multi-faceted and can therefore offer something for everyone.“

Designing a bathroom that is unique to your customer‘s individual needs and tastes can be quick and simple thanks to GROHE’s ceramic collections; Essence, Bau, Cube and Euro. The four design lines, each with a distinctive look, ensure there is a style for everyone; whether it’s the natural elegance of Essence, the geometric minimalism of Cube, the flowing lines of Euro or the universal look of Bau.

GROHE 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.

CASE STUDY: Lighting and wiring a Grade II listed boutique hotel

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
CASE STUDY: Lighting and wiring a Grade II listed boutique hotel

Hamilton Litestat reports on its lighting and wiring work inside The Lime Tree Hotel, a family-run business in a Grade II-listed building, located in south Belgravia, London…

Packed with original character and grandeur, The Lime Tree Hotel’s high ceilings, open fireplaces and original cornicing have been painstakingly preserved for almost two centuries, providing guests with a charming, elegant and warm welcome.

The hoteliers sourced quality designer accessories and refurbished the guest rooms, with each suite featuring different wall coverings to create a high-end designer boutique feel. To unify the varied design scheme, they wanted to standardise the style of lamps used, hand-selecting Astro and Pooky lamps, and continue this consistency with coordinated electrical wiring accessories. They needed a solution that would work throughout the property, complementing the look and feel of each room and providing that sought-after high-quality finish.

To be in-keeping with the rich heritage of the Grade II listed property, the Goodsalls wanted to avoid large multi-functional control plates that felt too modern. Instead they were seeking a solution that would give a more traditional, boutique feel with single and double plates of a standard size.

During the research process, the Goodsalls came across Hamilton at a major independent hotel trade show. The sleek, sophisticated profile of Hamilton’s Sheer collection of switch plates and sockets, which fit almost flush to the wall, interested the hoteliers and they enlisted Hamilton to support in the hotel refurbishment.

Image credit: Hamilton Litestat

The Solution: Hamilton advised the Goodsalls on plate styles and finishes to suit the Astro lamps that were to be installed on either side of the bed in each guest room. Featuring a built-in reading light, the Astro lamps are a shade of bronze with crisp white shade. Hamilton developed a bespoke solution for the project, manufacturing its Sheer collection of plates in Etrium Bronze, a finish not typically available in this plate design but was an almost identical colour match to the finish of the Astro lamps. The minimalist flat plate Sheer design provides an elegant and understated designer solution.

Although deeply respectful of the building’s original features, the Goodsalls were well aware that guests expect modern functionality, such as USB charging, so Hamilton supplied 2.1A/1A dual USB double switched sockets for each side of the bed. A separate rocker switch was also installed alongside the USB plate that controlled the corresponding Astro bedside lamp.

For the main lighting in the guest rooms, a one-gang rotary dimmer acted as the master light switch, with a two-gang rocker switch to control the en-suite lighting. Both were finished in the sophisticated and on-trend Etrium Bronze finish for a coordinated look.

A matching 2.1A/1A dual USB double switched socket was also installed above the writing desk to support business guests that use the working area. Meanwhile, to keep functional wiring hidden away and the desk area clear, a double switch socket and telephone plate was installed under the desk.

The Result: Hamilton’s quality products, developed and manufactured in the UK, provided the perfect finishing touch to the Lime Tree Hotel. The design and finish of the switch plates and sockets match effortlessly with the hotel’s designer lighting accessories, while complementing and coordinating with the décor in each of the individual room designs. The hotel owners are delighted with the finished result.

“The quality and finish of the solutions supplied by Hamilton is exquisite and we’re proud to be able to offer this setting to our guests,” said Matthew Goodsall. “Throughout the process we have felt thoroughly supported, with the Hamilton team going the extra mile to supply samples that helped us to quickly reach a final decision on products and move forward with the refurbishment. The team’s enthusiasm, interest in the project and getting the finer details spot on has really added something extra to our final interior design scheme.

“Wherever possible, we wanted to source British manufactured products and support the UK industry, and we’re pleased to have been able to do this with Hamilton,” adds Matthew.“The team was big enough to take on our bespoke request but small enough to care; I don’t think we would have received this level of support from a larger company.”

Gavin Williams, Hamilton’s Head of Marketing, added: “This refined period property needed careful handling to ensure that the electrical wiring solution met the needs of guests while also adhering to the age and charm of the Grade II-listed building. We feel we found the perfect design and finish, and we’re delighted that hoteliers Matthew and Charlotte feel the same way.”

Main image credit: Hamilton Litestat

The Brit List 2019 Awards: Meet the judges

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
The Brit List 2019 Awards: Meet the judges

Now that nominations have opened for The Brit List 2019 Awards, we would like you to meet our fabulous judges, handpicked in order to make this year’s process to find the most influential British designers, hoteliers, architects and suppliers the biggest and best yet… 

The Brit List 2019 is back, once again launching its nationwide search to find Britain’s leading interior designers, hoteliers and architects. Nominations are now open (until August 9) and, what’s more, the process in which to apply remains completely free.

This year’s judges, who have all individually been hand-selected, each come from a different sectors of design, architecture and hospitality in order to keep the process fair, creative and open to all.

The judges for The Brit List 2019 Awards are:

Harriet Forde, British Institute of Interior Design President (Industry Partner)

Harriet Forde, BIID President

Harriet Forde, who was recently interviewed by Hotel Designs,  is the founder and director of Harriet Forde Design, which provides a comprehensive range of interior design services predominantly based in the commercial property and hotel industries, as well as the high-end residential housing market. “The BIID are the UK’s leading professional body for interior designers and we are delighted to partner with the Brit List for 2019,” said Forde. “Our past president Gilly Craft had only good things to say about the process of judging the event and I am excited to participate this year.”

Hamish Kilburn, editor of Hotel Designs

Hamish Kilburn, who will also be hosting The Brit List 2019 Awards on November 21, is the editor of Hotel Designs, which is the leading international hotel design website.

In 2014, Kilburn started his career in the industry when, as features editor, he helped launch a new international hotel design publication into the market.

Since then, he has traveled the globe and has reviewed some of the world’s most impressive hotels. In his day-to-day role, Kilburn is responsible for curating the content for Hotel Designs, bringing his readers the latest happenings, reviews, and features in the world of international hotel design.

Jacu Strauss, founder and creative director of LORE Studio

Jacu Strauss, Founder of Lore Studio | Image credit: Emily Andrews

Jacu Strauss, who was recently interviewed by Hotel Designs, is the creative director at LORE group and founder of LORE studio.

A qualified architect with a demonstrated history of working in the design industry, Strauss’ portfolio of projects includes The Pulitzer Amsterdam and Sea Containers London among many others. The architect and designer is now dipping his toe into the world of hospitality and will soon be opening his first hotel in Washington D.C.

Florence Rolfe, Former Deputy Decoration Editor, House & Garden

Florence Rolfe, Former Deputy Decoration Editor, House & Garden

Florence Rolfe, who is a regular contributor to Hotel Designs, is an interior stylist and art director based in London. Her career began with Condé Nast on House & Garden Magazine where she spent several years producing their monthly features, leaving after seven years as Deputy Decoration Editor. Since then she has worked with some of the most renowned interior photographers, producing & directing imagery for some of the biggest luxury brands including The One & Only Resorts, Nobu Restaurants, Heal’s, Habitat, Marks & Spencer, And So To Bed, Ballymore Homes, TH2 amongst others, and has had her work published in various national magazines including Vogue, GQ & Brides. With a background in publishing, Florence knows exactly how to style an image to make it appealing to editors and consumers alike.

Edward Webb, Director of Development Management, Nuveen Real Estate

Edward Webb, Director of Development Management, Nuveen Real Estate

Edward Webb is the director of development management at Nuveen Real Estate, which is a premier global investment manager that has been helping clients meet their goals for more than 100 years, making the world a better place along the way.

Mel Yates, Photographer 

Mel Yates, Photographer

Starting out as a portrait photographer working with a long list of subjects such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Javier Bardem, Jude Law, Keira Knightley, Tom Hanks, Mel Yates began to change direction and reconnect with his design background (originally trained as a product designer at Central St Martins) and now works internationally both as a stills photographer and video maker for numerous design related clients. In addition to photographing or filming designers such as Sir David Adjaye, Philip Treacy, Philippe Starck, Ron Arad, Tom Dixon, Yates shoots environments, people and objects for advertising, books, brochures, editorial and hotel clients, as well as interior and architectural projects. Hotel clients include The Four Seasons, ME and One & Only Resorts.

The judges will select the final 75 most inspirational and influential people in British design, hotels and architecture, as well as selecting this year’s individual winners of the following awards:

  • Interior Designer of the Year
  • Architect of the Year
  • Hotelier of the Year
  • Best in Tech
  • The Eco Award 
  • Best in British Product Design – NEW CATEGORY FOR 2019
  • Outstanding Contribution to the Hospitality Industry

On November 21, the shortlisted finalists of designers, hoteliers, architects as well as key suppliers to the industry will gather at Patch East, London where The Brit List 2019 will be unveiled along with the individual winners.

Early-bird tickets for the award ceremony are now available to purchase: 

Suppliers: £99 + VAT (£150 + VAT after early bird offer expires after August 4)
Designers, hoteliers, developers and architects: £10 + VAT (£20 + VAT after early bird offer expires after August 4)

Please click here if you are a supplier to the industry to secure your ticket NOW!

Please click here if you are either a designer, hotelier, developer or architect and secure your ticket NOW!

Headline Partner: Crosswater

Event Partner: Hamilton Litestat:

Industry Partner: BIID:

Eccleston Square Hotel unveils major tech upgrade

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Eccleston Square Hotel unveils major tech upgrade

Known widely for being one of the most technologically advanced luxury boutique hotels in the world, Eccleston Square Hotel London becomes even smarter following its recent tech renovation… 

Eccleston Square Hotel London, which was  the setting for a unique Hotel Designs hotel review carried out by tech expert Jason Bradbury, has unveiled its latest technology upgrade, complete with Artificial intelligence and the 3D television.

Olivia Byrne, Company Director of Eccleston Square Hotel, sophisticatedly integrated a number intelligent, and A.I. cloud-based technology systems. Her smart strategy to automate as much of the business as possible saw her investing in more sophisticated systems based on modern technologies and machine learning. Why? Says Byrne, “Artificial intelligence and the integration of technology, done well, saves time so that energies can be spent on the guest experience rather than dealing with manual work behind a computer.”

Using a unique combination of A.I. and cloud-based technologies including MEWS, ATOMIZE, AIRWAVE and 4K Google Chromecast for screen mirroring – the hotel offers a very slick, A.I. incorporated solution for guest information, entertainment and property management. It is one of the first hotels in the world to exclusively provide 4K TV content to all guests, with the technology for everyone to enjoy their own personalised content like Netflix and YouTube – offering a continuation of the tech luxuries and conveniences guests enjoy at home. Eccleston Square Hotel is also the first hotel to exclusively use Sonos Beam soundbars in all the guest rooms offering the ultimate in sound quality.

Guests control their rooms using VDA’s Vitrum glassware collection. The touch-sensitive keypads have etched icons for each room function and are totally intuitive to use. Interfaces with the hotel’s building management systems mean that hotel staff can automatically set the rooms to a dormant mode, whereby unnecessary items are switched off and the heating/cooling turned down when the room is vacant to save energy. Digital convenience is everywhere. UK, US and European power sockets are provided within the rooms. Portable players, iPads, iPhones and PC’s can be easily charged or connected to the room TV via in-wall docking points. Thought has even been given to providing charging points on either side of the bed; these remain active even when the guest leaves the room and when other systems are switched off. A complimentary mobile smartphone provides unlimited free calls to British and international mobile and landline numbers – a great bonus for UK inbound guests. The smartphone also features an in-built concierge and butler service for hassle-free room service and requests for assistance. To be used both inside and outside the hotel, it also offers 4G for unlimited and complimentary browsing, plus handy shortcuts to recommended shopping, dining and transport links. Rooms also feature UK, European and US power sockets – and if that isn’t enough, there is always a handy supply of free-to-borrow adapters and chargers. Wi-Fi in the hotel is super-fast and complimentary.

Eccleston Square Hotel is the epitome of affordable luxury. To add to the comfort of the guest, every bedroom offers the ‘world’s best beds’ sourced from the acclaimed Swedish manufacturers, Hästens, which are handcrafted electronically adjustable beds are gift wrapped in the finest Italian sheeting and luxury non-allergenic bedding.

Guests can also enjoy a ready supply of complimentary Nespresso coffee, freshly made pots of tea, and drinking water – and those who book directly also enjoy a daily re-stocked free mini bar. Eccleston Square Hotel’s media lounge is ideal for meetings and events, it boasts an impressive (and huge) Media Wall. Super high-speed Wi-Fi and modern technology allows for the screen to be used for presentations as well as private cinema screenings. When not in use for business, guests like to watch their favourite 3D television and sporting events and films in cinematic glory.

Something particularly unique to Eccleston Square hotel is that guests may use the incredible private residential gardens which offer a calm, botanical oasis away from the prying eyes and stimulation of this capital city. The beautiful mature gardens feature a variety of picnicking spots, a tennis court and lots of dappled shade, it’s little wonder the BBC recently declared them as one of the best kept garden squares in London.

Some of the hi-tech treats include:

• 4K Smart TVs
• Complimentary smart phone with free regional and international phone calls and data
• Superfast Wi-Fi
• International power sockets
• Smart Glass walls
• Hästens electronically adjustable beds
• Automatic front door
• Screen mirroring
• Sonos Beam soundbars
• VDA Vitrum glass touch sensitive control keypads
• A.I chatbots
• Integrated Cloud Based Hotel PMS
• Smart automated revenue management system

Main image credit: Eccleston Square Hotel London

Brilliant in Blue: NEW Glide II Furniture and LED Mirrors from Crosswater

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Brilliant in Blue: NEW Glide II Furniture and LED Mirrors from Crosswater

New for 2019, Crosswater has launched a stunning new colour into its Glide II furniture range – the Blue Smoke Matt…

Forming part of Crosswater’s prestigious Premium collection, this finish has been specifically developed to complement the most popular elements of modern bathroom design. The light tonal blue of the furniture is the perfect way to add a light splash of colour without taking away from the clean lines and bright look of today’s contemporary bathroom.

Reflecting Crosswater’s expertise in time-honoured cabinet making skills, Glide II is classically styled with fully extendable luxe drawers that enable easy access to the contents. Each feature displays the ultimate in function and appearance.

Available in three sizes, the smart wall-hung vanity unit readily embraces modern functionality with its elegantly curved recessed handle and modern angular lines.

Generously proportioned double drawers offer ample space for storing away bathroom essentials, creating an enjoyable space for all of the family to share. For a clutter-free environment, there are multiple layout concepts that sit inside the pull out, soft closing drawers. Customers can also choose from a range of coordinating units including the wall hung storage tower, which are perfect for stowing away towels and toiletries for a clutter-free bathroom.

The range also complements a variety of sink styles, including stylish countertop and inset options. For those wanting to add a unique and individual twist on the timeless Glide II range, pair the Blue Smoke Matt furniture with classic Carrera marble and natural wall and floor finishes to create a calm and relaxing feel.

Glide II is available in six further colour options: Wenge, American Walnut, Driftwood, White Gloss, Windsor Oak and Storm Grey.

Crosswater has also introduced a new Glide II mirror range featuring modern technologies, perfect for creating an optimum bathroom experience. The latest LED technology allows the user to change the colour temperature of the mirror from warm white to daylight and every shade in between to create the bathroom ambience. The demisting feature and charging socket for toothbrushes completes this stunning, technologically advanced mirror range.

The Glide II collection is designed to face the challenges of everyday bathing, whilst ensuring the finest colour, performance and strength for your bathroom.

InterContinental Hayman Island Resort opens in Great Barrier Reef

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
InterContinental Hayman Island Resort opens in Great Barrier Reef

Designed in collaboration with DBI Designs, DAARC and KY Design, with the Great Barrier Reef as a main source of inspiration, InterContinental Hayman Island Resort has opened… 

Following InterContinental Hotels & Resorts (IHG)’s plans to extending its footprint in Australia as well as other regions, the 166-key luxury InterContinental Hayman Island Resort has opened its doors. With design by DBI Designs, DAARC and KY Design, the new luxury hotel has been created to evoke one-off experiences.

Nestled in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef – famously one of the seven wonders of the natural world –the hotel has opened a after a spectacular multi-million-dollar refurbishment. Located on a pristine 400-hectare private island in The Whitsunday Islands, the luxury resort features dynamic 166 rooms, suites and villas across three distinct wings, and is accessible by luxury catamaran, helicopter or seaplane.

Exterior establishing shot of the hotel

Image credit: IHG

New to the resort, InterContinental offers 11 all-new suites in the luxury collection of the Pool Wing, with remarkable accommodation options including the Three Bedroom Hayman Beach House with three rooms each with its own private pool, and the One Bedroom Pool Access Suite with direct swim-out access to Australia’s iconic Hayman Pool. Completing the immersive on-island experience is a brand-new luxury spa with 11 treatment rooms, all-new resort boutique, on-island chapel, world-class kids club, and fitness and wellness centre.

With luxury properties in more than 200 locations around the world – some more far-flung than others – IHG is the world’s largest global luxury hotel brand. The hotel group’s strategy now  is to expand its portfolio, focusing on destinations such as France, Maldives, Japan, Australia and Thailand.

Main image credit: IHG

LIGHTING TREND WATCH: Chelsom’s Icicle

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LIGHTING TREND WATCH: Chelsom’s Icicle

Icicle was one of the most iconic lighting products to emerge from Chelsom’s Edition 26 collection, which launched last year… 

Inspired by Gothic style, Icicle from Chelsom is a true statement piece, which fuses cutting-edge design and impeccable craftsmanship with the latest technology. Dimmable integral LED light sources in the base of hand of Chelsom’s Icicle formed solid clear glass icicles throw light upwards giving a warm ambient glow whilst reflecting off the tiny silver leaf flecks within each of the unique glass icicles.

Alternate arms curve upwards or downwards to give a random feel to the heights of the icicle glasses which screw in for stability and perfect alignment. Wall and ceiling fittings are available, both finished with hand brushed brass metalwork.

Chelsom 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: Chelsom

INDUSTRY INSIGHT: Styling a hotel for design press

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INDUSTRY INSIGHT: Styling a hotel for design press

With first impressions now being made before guests have even considered checking in, making a hotel’s style, personality and character pop in photographs is fundamental in any successful launch campaign. Florence Rolfe, former senior stylist at House & Garden – and judge for The Brit List 2019 – explains some of the tricks of the trade… 

The overriding question I am often asked is: “What do I have to do in order to get my brand into a leading publication?”

As we well know, the role of the journalist is to find the next big scoop, to draw the reader in with interesting content, and ultimately: to tell a story.

When it comes to creating engaging imagery, my advice is that your visuals should also tell a story. They need to express a lifestyle, and, moreover when it comes to hotels, where there is an abundance, that story needs to be aspirational. It needs to offer access to something that you wouldn’t usually experience, and conclusively to communicate this. The image should encapsulate the incredible journey you will have. What do we enjoy most about staying at hotels? For me, I like to indulge: step into my room, kick off my shoes and slip into that soft luxurious robe. I scout out the brand of miniature toiletries carefully curated in the bathroom. Perhaps run a bubble bath, then later tuck into high-thread count, Egyptian cotton sheets freshly turned down by housekeeping, before indulging in a chocolate left on the pillow.

“Whilst emulating the comfort of a home is important, the magic of hotels is also the escapist quality.”

But how can we convey this sublime experience into a photograph? Whilst emulating the comfort of a home is important, the magic of hotels is also the escapist quality. A luxurious element and impression of pampering is key. Detail shots of gorgeous bed linen, or a beautifully presented breakfast on a balcony, or a section of the bed with a thoughtfully styled bedside table, attractive looking cocktails at a beautifully stacked bar, or a good looking dish prepared by the chef. An evocative shot could also capture a neatly rolled towel pristinely perched on a sun lounger.

Are there any quirky design details around the hotel that the stylist and photographer are able to hone in on? Perhaps an interesting art collection, extensive book collection, rooftop pool with panoramic views, or an inviting private beach? Perhaps an unusual design element like a bath tub on the balcony – think The Zetter Townhouse, Marylebone. Draw your focus onto the interior design elements in a hotel, like an oversized bedhead – Kit Kemp style – or a mega chandelier, as seen in The Corinthia London’s lobby. Focus on the materials at your disposal: the tiles, upholstery, curtains, bed linen. Do they contrast with other fittings like dramatic brass door handles? The writing desk in a hotel room. Or a big beautiful armchair. These furnishings are interesting to photograph to show guests how differently the bedroom space can be used (outside the standard realm of bed and en-suite bathroom).

Consider the different mix of materials not as typical or practical in our everyday living spaces: silk curtains, bed throws, velvet armchairs. The prevailing impact that interiors trends have for press and bloggers means that in this day and age photography and styling is really important.

Think about whether you want the pictures to look as though they are ‘guest ready’, preparing for the customers arrival or whether they should encompass a natural ‘lifestyle’ quality? Do you want to create your bedroom shots with a more ‘lived in’ feel. This could be a messy bed, for example. If your shots have been commissioned purely for website purposes, I would stick to ‘guest ready’. Lifestyle are great for video and social media content. I would also always advise having a model on hand for any lifestyle imagery as the human element not only brings things to life, also helps scale in a photograph. A mix of the two works well for website, brochure and social media content. Movement can still be created in a still life image: a running bath or shower, lit candles or a barman pouring a drink or shaking a cocktail.

If the budget allows, I would suggest hiring a stylist and good photographer to bring these elements to life. My job as a stylist is to create this ‘home from home’ environment in a photograph, achieved by sourcing props in interesting shapes and sizes that I know will always photograph well.  You can never go wrong with beautiful flowers. They bring any image to life. Not only will they provide that pop of colour if needed in the photograph, but they can hugely help image proportions.

Flowers is another element I would suggest carefully considering for your branding. Take a look at your surroundings: which flowers and/or plants are native to the country or area that your hotel is based? A hotel or resort based in South Africa might decide to stick with their native flower, which in this case is the ‘Protea’, whereas a hotel or resort in Mexico might opt for succulents in their imagery. As we are all aware, flowers can be pricey and don’t always last long. This isn’t always ideal when you’re on a long shoot, as they need to look as fresh as possible for every shot. Faux flowers might be a good option. Once renowned for having a bad reputation, these days there are some beautifully crafted, really realistic ones available. A good selection of hardback books in various sizes and colours are always useful to fill a neglected area.

To create an image that not only gets you into the press, but also hooks your target market, you need to create emotion. Put yourself in the guest’s shoes. Do not simply take a cold image of a smart room, but rather bring that room to life. Allow the reader to envisage how they would feel when they walk through the door into your hotel room and sense all the wonderful things around them, which you’ve so carefully thought out for them.

Main image credit: CitzenM Kuala Lumpar

PRODUCT WATCH: Sekers launches new collection of faux wool plains

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PRODUCT WATCH: Sekers launches new collection of faux wool plains

Recommended Supplier Sekers launches ARCADIA – Brodie & Glenmore…

Sekers introduces ARCADIA, a collection of faux wool plains including a melton and a broken twill texture suitable for contract upholstery and accessories. Available in a versatile palette of refined heather tones ranging from soft sophisticated neutrals to saturated jewel tones, Arcadia is an ideal choice for the designer specifying for the hospitality, leisure and marine markets.

With a high abrasion performance and supplied with a crib 5 flame retardant backing, Arcadia is ideal for the contract market, from pubs and hotels to cruise ships, meeting all relevant UK, US and IMO standards for upholstery.

Sekers 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: Sekers

PRODUCT WATCH: A captivating classic from Wilton Carpets

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PRODUCT WATCH: A captivating classic from Wilton Carpets

Wilton Carpets launches new collection ideal for guestrooms, corridors and meeting rooms… 

The rugged crags and high moorlands of the Northumbrian countryside inspire Lindisfarne by Wilton Carpets, the latest introduction to the Ready to Go collection of tufted carpets that are set to instantly transform boutique B&Bs, hospitality and leisure locations.

A captivating three-colour herringbone carpet that’s perfect for a classic feel in guestrooms, corridors and meeting rooms, Lindisfarne comes in six versatile colourways to complement modern and traditional settings. In colours such as Otterburn, Kielder and Craster looking towards the shifting natural light and ever-changing palettes of beauty spots throughout the ancient kingdom, Lindisfarne makes a stunning addition without ever being overbearing.

“Northumbria is an often-dramatic, picturesque area of the UK and as such it makes a wonderful muse for a collection such as this,” commented Damian Roscoe, head of creative, Wilton Carpets, on the development of the new collection. “The timelessness of herringbone makes it perfect for use in any style of interior, so we created a three-colour variety for a little extra lift and added detail. In colourways inspired by the striking vistas of Northumbria, it’s a really versatile look that works well throughout an interior or used sparingly in guestrooms or corridors.”

Crafted in a 38oz quality suitable for heavy contract use, this long-lasting Ready to Go tufted carpet is available immediately from stock. Blending the quality of wool-rich carpet with the value of a tufted construction, Lindisfarne is ready to deliver on-point style versatile enough for almost any hospitality environment.

Wilton Carpets 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: Wilton Carpets

Hilton is on track to open most luxury hotels in company’s history, says CEO

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Hilton is on track to open most luxury hotels in company’s history, says CEO

Hilton’s CEO has announced that this year will go down in history for the hotel giant as it will open more luxury properties than ever before… 

Hilton’s President and CEO, Chris Nassetta, has announced that the company is on track to open more luxury properties in 2019 than in any previous year of its 100-year history. The hotel group expects to open seven hotels by the end of the year, in addition to the four hotels that opened in Q1 and Q2, across its luxury brands.

Hilton’s current and projected luxury openings in 2019, which join the 65 existing luxury properties, include:

  • Waldorf Astoria: Waldorf Astoria Dubai International Financial Centre, Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregaland, Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi
  • LXR: The Biltmore, Mayfair in London and Zemi Beach House Resort & Spa in Anguilla
  • Conrad: Conrad Hangzhou, Conrad Hangzhou Tonglu, Conrad New York Midtown, Conrad Shenyang, Conrad Tianjin and Conrad Washington, DC

The record-breaking year marks the beginning of impressive momentum for Hilton’s luxury category and stems from more than a decade of strategic investments and planning. Following this year’s openings, Hilton’s luxury pipeline includes more than 30 properties, approximately 25 of which are expected to open through 2025.

“After more than a decade of honing Hilton’s distinct luxury offerings and investing in key markets around the globe, we are embarking upon a very exciting phase for the category,” said Martin Rinck, executive vice president and global head, Luxury & Lifestyle Group, Hilton. “Over the next five years, starting with this year’s openings, we will start to see the positive impact of our efforts, and we are confident that our amazing portfolio of properties will reinvent luxury travel for Hilton – and for the entire industry.”

Luxury became a top priority for Hilton when Nassetta took over as President and CEO in 2007 and re-focused the company’s business strategy around organic growth. Hilton leadership mapped out a luxury growth strategy that centered on two priorities: refining the two core luxury brands at the time, Waldorf Astoria and Conrad, to resonate with specific customer needs; and bringing the brands to diversified markets. Last year, Hilton identified a gap among independent luxury hotels and launched LXR, its third luxury brand, to provide customers with a portfolio of distinctive, iconic hotels and resorts – full of character and individuality – that are backed by a world-class commercial engine.

“Hilton was among the first to predict that luxury travel was poised to take off across generations and markets in the years to come – and we wanted to be at the forefront of its reinvention,” said Ian Carter, president, global development, architecture, design and construction, Hilton. “Development in the luxury space requires time and resources to do it properly. Our thoughtful and targeted approach has enabled us to grow Hilton’s luxury presence globally – in many cases from the ground up – from new properties to spectacular conversions.”

As part of the enterprise’s organic growth strategy, Hilton’s luxury development team works with strong ownership groups to select markets and tailor the respective brand’s presence. Over the past decade, Hilton and its partners expanded the luxury category’s global presence from 15 to 29 countries and territories, and they are continuing to grow the portfolio with a finely curated pipeline of more than 30 signings that are diverse in regions and market-types.

Waldorf Astoria is growing to include more resort destinations, such as Los Cabos, Mexico and the Maldives, and is building a presence in more key urban markets like London (expected to open in 2021), San Francisco (expected to open in 2022) and Miami (expected to open in 2024). The Conrad brand, which has been concentrated in the Asia Pacific region, is gaining traction in other parts of the world, including the U.S. where it recently signed deals in Nashville (expected to open in 2021) and Orlando (expected to open in 2022) and opened a flagship property in Washington, D.C. LXR is gaining speed in a variety of markets with the additions of Anguilla’s world-class Zemi Beach resort and London’s sophisticated Biltmore Mayfair.

Hilton and its ownership partners continue to elevate and expand the company’s luxury offerings. The Waldorf Astoria hotels in New York and Las Vegas, as well as the Conrad in Miami, are among Hilton luxury properties undergoing substantial renovations to upgrade design and enhance the on-property experience. In addition, Hilton has increasingly invested in its luxury residential portfolio, which now includes more than 2,800 units across 22 properties.

The hotel group currently has a portfolio of 17 world-class brands, which comprises of more than 5,700 properties with more than 923,000 rooms, in 113 countries and territories around the world.

Main image credit: Hilton Hotels

Concept to completion: Stock Exchange Hotel, Manchester

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Concept to completion: Stock Exchange Hotel, Manchester

As the opening date draws ever nearer, Stock Exchange Hotel in Manchester is starting taking form. Hotel Designs caught up with architecture firm jmarchitects to understand how the company restored a historic city building so that it can shelter Manchester’s new kind luxury hotel… 

The Manchester Stock Exchange building is a Grade II listed, fine example of Edwardian Baroque architecture.

Built between 1904 and 1906 and designed by Bradshaw, Glass and Hope, this historically symbolic institution has been lovingly extended and refurbished to create a new boutique hotel with a restaurant headed by Chef Tom Kerridge and a luxury penthouse residence.

When co-owners Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs first purchased the building, it comprised of three floors of office space which were converted in the 1980’s. These sat above a previously popular ground floor restaurant housed under a magnificent domed ceiling. Several trees had rooted themselves on the roof and had spread through the drainpipes, unfortunately causing water and material damage to the historic asset.

Stripping the building back to its bare bones, retaining only historical features and carefully preserving rooms of historical significance was the necessary starting point for the restoration and refurbishment. This process provided the opportunity to sensitively strengthen the existing structure in preparation for a two-storey roof extension.

Architect studio, jmarchitects began the design process with a thorough appraisal of the building and a brief to create a unique boutique hotel and restaurant with a luxury penthouse residence; focussing on the guest’s experience through the building while paying homage to its history.

Artist impression of public areas

image credit/caption: Artist impression of public areas,/Autoban

“Several schemes to extend the building were explored with the client in virtual reality, arriving at an extrusion of the existing mansard roof form, set back from the building frontage and clad in monolithic zinc.,” says Laura Turner, Architect, jmarchitects. “A contemporary insertion routed into the building via a seven-storey sculptural staircase in place of the former 1980’s circulation core.”

The complex nature of the historic building fabric was unveiled during the strip-out, which necessitated an ever-evolving design approach in adaption to the building’s needs. This was executed by working in close collaboration with a design team of engineers and specialists.

Artist impression of guestroom/

Image caption/credit: Artist impression of guestroom/ Autoban

The interiors are designed by internationally renowned, Istanbul-based, multidisciplinary design studio Autoban. The finished designs are opulent yet elegant, drawing on the building’s material palette of original marble, brass and woodwork.

“After three years testing and developing designs with the team we are thrilled to see this 100 year old building repurposed for modern use; bringing it up to date with current standards and technologies to see it through the next century,” adds Andrew Rogers, Director, jmarchitects. “We are confident that this sensitive, yet extensive refurbishment and extension will see The Stock Exchange become the first choice for hotel accommodation and dining in this fantastic city. We eagerly await the November opening and the excitement it will bring to those who visit.”

The Stock Exchange will be welcoming guests once again on November 15,  2019 as the first ever Relais & Châteaux member in Manchester.

Main image credit: jmarchitects/Stock Exchange Hotel Manchester

Six Senses to open new property in Loire Valley in 2022

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Six Senses to open new property in Loire Valley in 2022

Six Senses continues to expand into Europe with Six Senses Loire Valley, France  slated to open in 2022…

Following the news last year that the hotel brand was joining IHG, Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas is expanding further into Europe with the 2022 opening of Six Senses Loire Valley, France, in the village of Saint-Laurent-Nouan. The resort will be located in the UNESCO World Heritage region renowned for historic chateaux, medieval towns, fine wines, great food and unspoiled landscapes.

Six Senses Loire Valley will be developed by an affiliate of London-based RoundShield Partners LLP, an investment firm focused on European opportunities. “We are delighted to partner with Six Senses to develop a unique hotel and lifestyle offering at Les Bordes,” said Driss Benkirane, Managing Partner. “The brand’s ethos of understated luxury, connection with nature and the local environment, personal growth, health and wellness fits perfectly with our vision for the estate. We are developing a community where all family members have myriad activities to pursue on and off-site, and are excited to have Six Senses accompany us on this journey.”

Developed to embrace the environmental and community values that are core to Six Senses, the resort sits within the Les Bordes Estate, a 1,400-acre site in the Sologne forest, home to Les Bordes Golf Club – one of the most prestigious golf clubs in the world. The development will incorporate equestrian and tennis centres, an organic farm, an art gallery, a petting farm, a natural swimming lake with beach, water sports, biking and walking trails. Hotel guests will have access to the new 18-hole Gil Hanse-designed par three golf course and a new state-of-the-art golf practice facility.

Bernhard Bohnenberger, President of Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas commented: “We feel really fortunate to be collaborating with RoundShield Partners on a very unique project which will give a new dynamic to this world-famous destination and complement our existing and upcoming resorts in Europe. Six Senses Loire Valley is being designed with our sustainability values at its heart and will appeal to experience seekers, nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts looking to get up close with this region’s exceptional beauty, culture and history.”

Guests arriving at Six Senses Loire Valley will be welcomed at a beautifully preserved château surrounded by manicured lawns with sculptures and water features designed to enhance personal reconnection. There will be 88 guest suites and villas clustered in the woodland landscape and built alongside streams and waterways. There will also be 70 residential villas for private ownership, with the opportunity to include them within the resort’s inventory. Villa owners will enjoy access to all the amenities and facilities the resort offers. The château is also home to an elegant restaurant and bar, event spaces and function lawns.

The Six Senses Spa will be an integral part of the resort with an extensive menu of signature specialties. There will be a medicinal garden where plants and herbs will be grown for use in locally-inspired treatments and Alchemy Bar workshops. Adjoining this will be the main organic kitchen garden and Earth Lab, the centre for guests to learn about the resort’s conservation initiatives.

The resort will offer numerous dining options. The central château will feature an all-day restaurant and lounge bar that reflect the traditions of the region in taste and style. There will also be a specialty restaurant offering cuisine that reflects the Eat With Six Senses principles.

In addition to the event spaces within the château a meeting and conference centre with state-of-the-art facilities will also be developed. The centre will include outdoor meeting facilities, some with walled gardens, and will host pop-up activities. The Six Senses experience team can also arrange visits to some of the most beautiful places in the region including towns steeped in tradition and architectural heritage, castles and vineyards.

Main image credit: IHG/Six Senses

SPOTLIGHT ON: Fabric trends to bookmark for 2019 and beyond

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SPOTLIGHT ON: Fabric trends to bookmark for 2019 and beyond

While Hotel Designs is shining the spotlight on fabrics, Hotel Designs has identified interesting trends and innovate materials on the market… 

There are many factors that determine the trends and movements of which fabrics designers use within products. Sustainability, durability and feel to the touch are all among them. With this in mind, the editorial desk have found the fabrics that should and are being specified in design hotels around the world.

Innovative and instagrammable material

Image credit: W London

Earlier this month, W London unveiled the result of its fashion-forward collaboration with designer to the stars Jack Irving. Completing his first ever interior project, Irving was asked to design a statement product for each room and suite. The designer’s urchant-shaped bed cushions are dynamic, quirky and very W! But what’s arguably more impressive than the shape is the material. “We call it Rainbow material,” says Irving. “That’s because of its ability to change colour. When you take a photo with the flash on, the cushion turns from a black to a multicoloured it glow, which the hotel loved.”

Sustainability

Image credit: Kvadrat

The Denmark-based textile manufacturer Kvadrat has a strong sustainability policy. By launching the sustainable company Really, the company were able to upcycle waste wool and cotton to create different materials, which includes acoustic felts. “We strive to develop sustainable products of high quality – products that add value to public and private spaces.,” said the company which has worked in collaboration with the likes of Anton Alvarez, Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec and Patricia Urquiola, among others.

Another company that is leading the way on the sustainability path on the international hotel design scene is Mitre Linen. The company’s eco range, made from 100 per cent organic cotton and with a 200 thread count, is a classic, crisp white range that feels beautiful and soft to the touch. The cotton also conforms to the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certificate which means it is guaranteed to be free from potential skin irritants.

Time travelling to the ’50s

Image credit: Sekers

Incorporating a multi-colour looped yarn, Kielder by Sekers captures the essence of the heavy bouclé fabrics typical of the 1950’s but with a modern performance. Supplied with a crib five flame retardant backing and with a Martindale abrasion performance of 100,000 rubs, Kielder meets all relevant UK, US and IMO standards for upholstery. This textural semi plain is perfect for the most demanding upholstery application and the ideal choice for the commercial hospitality, leisure and marine markets.

Faux leathers

Fabric specialist Skopos has recently unveiled three new crib five faux leather products.

Kiri offers an antiqued / aged effect, in a range of leather-look colours. Its design mimics the sophisticated feel of leather and is well suited to hospitality and leisure interiors.

Haiko comes in an array of colours meaning it can be suited and matched to a variety of contract interiors. This finish presents a plentiful palette, pushing designers to work with both colours and naturals in their contract schemes.

Tama is both bold and confident. The emboss on Tama vinyl is subtle, light and understated, pushing the boundaries of colour to include vibrant shades in addition to neutrals, thus potentially appealing to a younger audience.

Fabric in lighting

In an industry that is used to collaborations and convergence, last year Vaughan boldly launched a new range that was inspired by travels around the globe that Lucy Vaughan, the creative director of the brand, has experienced. The result is The Tribal Collection, an array of vibrant lampshades, embroidered cushions and unusual upholstered chairs which aim to celebrate the craftsmanship and culture of fabrics Vaughan and her daughter have sourced. Each unique in their own right, the products within the collection is ideal for boutique hotels looking to create a statement, an editorial story we brought you one week ahead of this launch.

Main image credit: W London

Ruby Hotels opens second hotel in Dusseldorf

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Ruby Hotels opens second hotel in Dusseldorf

Last night, Hotel Designs was invited to Dusseldorf for the official opening party of Ruby Leni, the disruptive brand’s seventh property. Ahead of the theatrical opening scene, editor Hamish Kilburn lifts the curtain to get a closer look backstage…

Following the hotel group unveiling its aggressive expansion plans last year, Ruby Hotels has officially opened its seventh hotel. Ruby Leni, the group’s second property in Dusseldorf’s central district for the disruptive Munich-based brand.

Shelted within a former 19th century hotel which later housed the iconic Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus theatre, the 170-key Ruby Leni enjoys a prime position not far from Dusseldorf’s famous Königsallee shopping boulevard and canal.

An expansive bar and rooftop terrace offers a stylish watering hole for guests and locals alike, while an on-property work space and library provide ample space for both work and relaxation. All guest rooms, which range in size from cosy ‘Nest’ rooms (13-15m²) to expansive ‘Loft’ rooms (23-38m²), showcase Ruby Hotels’ sleep-scientist-approved formula for an ideal night’s sleep, with full soundproofing, blackout curtains, high-quality linen and extra-long and wide custom mattresses.

Dressing room style design

Image credit: Ruby Hotels

For guests in search of a longer stay, Ruby Leni offers RESIDENT rooms, which are more spacious and are equipped with a larger wardrobe, a small fridge and a coffee machine. Residents also get access to the residents’ kitchen and lounge. For longer visits, the hotel offers a special extended-stay rate, with significant price discounts for bookings of seven nights or more.

Drawing on both the surrounding area and the building’s creative past life, the design of the hotel is themed around the theatre world of the early 1950s, with antique furniture and artefacts providing a sense of place and history. Ruby Leni is in fact named after Helena from Goethe’s Faust; Gustav Gründgens’ groundbreaking production of the play premiered at the Schauspielhaus in the 1950s before it became a film classic.

As with all Ruby Hotels, a musical theme runs throughout the property with quirky touches such as the inclusion of a Marshall guitar amp in each room, which guests can use both with their own guitar or one borrowed from reception. By night, regular live music events at the bar provide a stage for local musical talent, while by day the space serves as a relaxed space for guests to enjoy an organic breakfast as they listen to the sound of the hotel’s very own ‘Ruby Radio’.

Cutting-edge technology is displayed throughout the property; in each room guests can find a personal tablet PC and smartphone pre-loaded with Ruby Hotels’ carefully-curated Dusseldorf city guide, social media apps and unlimited data and calls to use throughout their stay. A state-of-the-art self-check-in system makes use of tablet computers to reduce check-in time to under one minute, leaving guests free to make the most of their time in Dusseldorf.

Just like the group’s other houses, the new hotel follows Ruby Hotels’ ‘Lean Luxury’ philosophy: a top location, high-quality fittings, and outstanding design. All of this is offered at an affordable price by rigorously cutting out the superfluous and focusing on the essential.

For example, a trendy communal space serves an organic, locally-produced breakfast without the need for a kitchen or chef, and instead of overpriced minibars and room service, galley kitchens, vending machines and ironing stations supply guests with all of their needs. Likewise, a modular design sees Ruby hotels occupying mixed-use and former office buildings in the heart of the city, rather than the traditional, prestigious addresses with sky high rents typically favoured by hoteliers.

Ruby Hotels first unveiled its unique concept with Vienna hotel Ruby Sofie in 2014, before opening two further hotels in Vienna, Ruby Marie and Ruby Lissi, as well as Ruby Lilly in Munich, Ruby Coco in Dusseldorf and most recently Ruby Lotti in Hamburg.  In response to the success of these properties, the brand plans further openings including Ruby Lucy in London’s bustling Southbank in early 2020, as well as hotels in Zurich, Cologne, Frankfurt and Shanghai before the end of 2020.

Main image credit: Ruby Hotels

Waldorf Astoria arrives in Dubai’s Financial Centre

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Waldorf Astoria arrives in Dubai’s Financial Centre

Waldorf Astoria expands presence in the Middle East with the opening of Waldorf Astoria Dubai International Financial Centre, treating guests to a unique check-in experience from the 18th floor as well as sky-high dining and wellness facilities…

With the aim to bridge the world together, with a French Riviera-style rooftop bar and pool and a 1960s, New York-inspired F&B areas, the highly anticipated Waldorf Astoria Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has opened its doors.

Waldorf Astoria DIFC occupies the 18th to 55th floors of the Burj Daman, a complex featuring residences and office towers. Guests will enjoy a unique reception and check-in experience on the 18th floor, which is also home to the hotel’s dining and wellness facilities and acts as the true heartbeat of the hotel.  All 275 guestrooms, including 46 suites and 28 residential suites, offer unobstructed views of the downtown Dubai skyline, which can be viewed through floor-to-ceiling windows in each room.

“We are pleased to be part of this rapidly growing district and look forward to delivering unparalleled experiences to guests staying in DIFC.” – Rudi Jagersbacher, President, Middle East, Africa & Turkey, Hilton

“We are delighted to expand our luxury presence in the region with the opening of Waldorf Astoria DIFC which is located in an important economic hub within the region,” said Rudi Jagersbacher, President, Middle East, Africa & Turkey, Hilton. “Earlier this year, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum approved the launch of DIFC 2.0 which will add 13 million square feet of space to the Centre. We are pleased to be part of this rapidly growing district and look forward to delivering unparalleled experiences to guests staying in DIFC.”

Image credit: Hilton/Waldorf Astoria

Inspired by the iconic architecture, lifestyle and mid-modern style of the 1960s, the hotel exudes a contemporary elegance and understated luxury. With its stylish furniture, multifunctional design peppered with marble, ebony, brass and bronze materials, the hotel boasts a sleek and contemporary look.

In line with Waldorf Astoria’s legacy of culinary expertise, Waldorf Astoria DIFC is primed to be a best-in-class dining destination. All restaurants and bars are located on the 18th floor, a stunning location from which to view the city.

Inspired by the original once located in the Waldorf Astoria New York, Bull & Bear is the hotel’s signature restaurant which offers a twist on the legendary eatery. Diners can enjoy imaginative cuisine in a stylish, relaxed setting.

An oasis in the heart of the city, St. Trop serves up a slice of the French Riviera in DIFC. This stylish rooftop lounge ⁠— with its pool, whirlpool, timber decking and bright colours ⁠— is perfect for drinks and light bites from day to night. Truly an urban escape, St Trop brings laidback poolside chic to Dubai’s financial district.

Peacock Alley is an elegant lounge and bar ideal for both sophisticated gatherings and informal gatherings. The term “Peacock Alley” was coined to portray the daily promenade of people through the original colonnade connecting The Waldorf and The Astoria hotels in New York City. The iconic venue is present at all Waldorf Astoria hotels worldwide ⁠— and this historical part of New York heritage is now in DIFC.

The Waldorf Astoria Spa ⁠— with its floatation tank, hydrobath, hammam and Vichy shower ⁠— is a sanctuary of relaxation in the middle of the city. Secluded on the 18th floor, the spa offers four treatment suites and the hotel’s fitness centre offers state-of-the-art equipment and views of Dubai’s skyline from 18 floors up.

luxe and large bathroom

Image credit: Hilton/Waldorf Astoria

The hotel offers five elegant, innovative settings, including a unique library concept which houses an open kitchen. The hotel also features spacious meeting rooms, a grand ballroom with a pre-function area and a sophisticated boardroom that is perfect for corporate meetings. All spaces have a residential, personal feel, providing the ideal setting for every type of event.

“We are thrilled to bring Waldorf Astoria to DIFC and offer True Waldorf Service in such a thriving and dynamic location within the city,” said Dino Michael, Global Head, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts. “From Bangkok to Amsterdam, Waldorf Astoria properties are set in landmark locations all over the world, and Waldorf Astoria DIFC is a remarkable addition to our growing portfolio in the Middle East and beyond.”

Waldorf Astoria DIFC joins two award-winning Waldorf Astoria properties in the UAE ⁠— Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah and Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah ⁠— and is the brand’s first city-based hotel in the country. Like all Waldorf Astoria properties in the world, Waldorf Astoria DIFC offers True Waldorf Service: graceful, anticipatory service from the moment a guest books through checkout.

Main image credit: Hilton/Waldorf Astoria

Suppliers galore confirmed for Sleep + Eat 2019

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Suppliers galore confirmed for Sleep + Eat 2019

Sleep & Eat, of which Hotel Designs is a media partner of, announces exhibition packed with leading suppliers to hotels, restaurants and bars…

Sleep & Eat, the eagerly anticipated event which showcases the innovative and the inspired in hospitality design, has revealed some of the exhibitors so far confirmed for this year’s show. The exhibitor line-up reflects the growing convergence between the hotel, restaurant and bar design industry.

Exhibitors include: Ena Shaw Contract which designs, manufactures and installs soft furnishings; Tuuci, whose elegant outdoor umbrellas have re-defined shade technology and are designed to withstand the harshest environments; Arley House, creators of exclusive fabric collections;  Kriskadecor, creator and supplier of bespoke metal elements, from wallcoverings to lighting; Arte, the Belgian brand which specialises in trendsetting wallcoverings and Skopos Fabrics.

Companies planning to present new products this year include: Morgan Furniture – its Rakino Collection of lounge chairs and tables designed by Tim Rundle, as well as a collection focused on “relaxed luxury”; Quasar Holland who will be launching “The Kabuki Collection” of room dividers, designed by Edward va Vliet; and Chelsom who will be previewing selected pieces from their Edition 27 Collection, officially launching in 2020, as well as showcasing Edition 26, an eclectic lighting collection that harnesses and refines the latest trends in finishes and materials.

Sleep & Eat is also renowned for introducing a raft of outstanding companies that are new to the event each year. This November’s show will see the debut of Tarkett, the worldwide supplier of innovative and sustainable floor coverings; Yapiarti, the Turkish manufacturer and fit-out contractor behind a number of recent Park Plaza and Novotel projects in Europe; Catalano, the Italian manufacturer of ceramic collections combining cutting edge technology with traditional craftmanship; and, from the UK, The Fine Cotton Company.

Sleep & Eat 2019 will take place in the National Hall, Olympia London, on November 19 – 20. To register, visit registration

Main image credit: Kriskadecor: Mandarin Ducks & Noodles, Moscow

Behind the scenes: Morgan’s Rakino Collection

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Behind the scenes: Morgan’s Rakino Collection

Post-Clerkenwell Design Week, Hotel Designs’ editor Hamish Kilburn catches up with one of the designers of the moment, Tim Rundle, in order to understand how his new collection with Morgan developed…

During this year’s Clerkenwell Design Week, Morgan launched a new furniture collection which juxtaposed soft sculpted upholstery with a strong, low line frame, the new family of lounge chairs and tables feature crisp timber detailing, emphasised by a clean linear structure.

But how did the collaboration start, and what inspired the design? We caught up with designer Tim Rundle to discover all.

Hamish Kilburn: Tell us more about the Rakino collection?
Tim Rundle: Rakino is a collection of low lounge chairs that combines soft sculpted upholstery and CNC machined timber frames with an upright, somewhat architectural, attitude. The frame is all right angles and straight lines, save for the back support rail, which is bowed slightly, as if formed by the act of leaning back in the chair. The seat, in contrast, is a soft, shell-like form with a crisp single seam running around its edge.

HK: What inspired your designs?
TR: This project started in what I believe is the ideal way; with a trip to see production, and this is what really inspired the design. In Hampshire I discovered a factory staffed by some serious experts in upholstery and timber joinery. I really wanted to make the most of these capabilities, and maybe even push them a little to see what was possible. In terms of the chairs themselves I wanted to create something that felt quiet and inviting, that could feel right in your home, while obviously being appropriate for hard working contract environments.

HK: Did you enjoy collaborating with Morgan? How was the experience/process compared to solo working?
TR: None of my projects are just me. I think that’s a misconception, maybe brought about by the fact that in our industry, designers tend to have eponymous business names. Everything I’ve ever designed have been made possible by numerous other people, from engineers to marketeers, craftspeople to logistics managers. I guess the main difference this time was geographical proximity – this is my first project with a British furniture brand! This meant we could work really closely, with numerous prototype reviews as we refined the details.

HK: Benefits of this collaboration?
TR: Working with Morgan’s dedicated prototyping team (Jonathan and Dean) was a highlight. This meant we were able to make adjustments and modifications to our prototypes, effectively on the spot – and nothing was impossible. The whole team were always keen to push the limits of timber production, and the results can be seen in a frame that perfectly blends CNC technology with expert craftsmanship, and an upholstery element that tapers to an impossibly fine edge, something not normally achievable with cut foam.

What inspired the name of the collection?
TR: As Morgan have a product code system that uses place names, it felt only right we choose a New Zealand name – being designed by a Kiwi, albeit London based. Rakino is one of a cluster of small islands in the Hauraki gulf, the body of water surrounding Aucklands East coast, where people are able to escape the busy city, a short boat ride leaving you with a pleasant sense of isolation and calm. A comfortable low lounge chair in a busy hotel or workplace could, I hope, provide the same feeling.

As Raikino is the result of a true collaboration, we asked Morgan a few questions too…

HK: How did the collaboration start? How did Tim and the Morgan team meet?
TR: We were looking to collaborate with a like-minded Designer who shares our passion for quality and integrity. Our Design Director came across some of Tim’s work and was impressed with his portfolio and the fine detail of his work. After the first meeting, it was obvious that Tim understood our brand and would be a good design partner, so we decided to give him the brief for a new product for CDW19.

HK: What makes this collection stand out?
TR: The Rakino collection stands out due to its striking timber architectural frame, with a strong, square, clean aesthetic, combined with a soft sculpted and slim line upholstered shell that is held within the frame. The frame is very open and honest and is a reflection of Tim’s eye for detail and our passion for precision CNC manufacturing and a hand-crafted finish.

Morgan 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: Morgan

PRODUCT WATCH: GROHE extends Colours Collection

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
PRODUCT WATCH: GROHE extends Colours Collection

With 10 colour and finish variations across many GROHE ranges, installers, retailers and designers can help customers personalise their bathroom like never before – from tap to flush plate…

Not only do today’s homeowners want individuality when it comes to design, so too do hotel guests checking in. The chance to customise the look and feel  to reflect their unique personality is becoming achievable with some hotels going further than others to create a fully customisable experience.

Now, thanks to the comprehensive extension of the Colours Collection, it’s easier than ever for anyone to create their own personalised bathroom oasis – from the colour, style and finish of showers and taps right through to the accessories.

Working with trade partners to get full bathroom solutions right

As customers seek to play a more active role in the design process, it is even more imperative that they seek specialist advice and expertise that will help them make the right choice – for them. When it comes to implementing highly individualised products and innovative technologies, consumers still need to consult a professional who understands integrated solutions. GROHE is committed to supporting trade partners that work face-to-face with consumers with its perfectly coordinated products and complete bathroom solutions that help bring their customers’ bathroom concepts to life. This particularly benefits retailers, designers, architects and installers, as the advice on product selection and bathroom design is simplified and focused. They can rely on GROHE`s PerfectMatch philosophy which makes it easy to select products that fit together effortlessly on three principals: aesthetics, performance and comfort.

“Consumer expectations are changing to a great extent,” says Michael Rauterkus, CEO GROHE AG. “At GROHE, we are answering this demand by shaping the future of water in terms of design and innovation. We are giving customers the building blocks to express their individual lifestyle and we are giving our trade partners solutions that address what we believe is the key to customer satisfaction: being able to choose and personalise a full bathroom solution. GROHE is committed to building strong relationships with our trade partners to make our Full Bathroom Solutions and the extended Colours Collection a success – both for our own business and theirs.”

Unrivalled colour variety

One of the key features of the new GROHE Colours Collection is the unrivalled breadth of choice it gives customers when it comes to colour. Indeed, GROHE is the only bathroom supplier to offer a colour portfolio that spans brassware fittings, showers, accessories and flush plates – all made to the highest quality and finish, using the company’s innovative Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) manufacturing process. The process ensures a broader range of colours while at the same time making it possible for the finishes to be three times harder and ten times more scratch-resistant than galvanised finishes.

Besides Classic Chrome, GROHE also offers several other eye-catching colour designs including SuperSteel, Cool Sunrise, Warm Sunset, Nickel, and Hard Graphite, all of which are available in a polished or brushed finish. For a full list of variants available, click here.
Complete bathroom solutions

GROHE’s complete bathroom solutions simplify the process of planning and installation for trade partners by bringing together an extensive, holistic portfolio of taps, shower systems and accessories, as well as a carefully selected range of ceramics all in one place. The brand’s extensive variety also gives customers the design freedom to select each element to match their individual tastes and needs.

GROHE 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: GROHE

Designing Beijing’s newest destination bar

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Designing Beijing’s newest destination bar

The social hotspot bar Union, which is sheltered in The Opposite House  has been inspired by simple elegance and seamless hospitality in mind…

The Opposite House has announced the launch of UNION – a bar exuding eleganceand comfort, the free spirit of an artist’s studio infused with hospitality that curates the guest’s experience. With a 20th century modernist sensibility, showcasing artwork and objects in an environment reminiscent of International Expos and drinks inspired by the ancient Silk Road, the space responds to the versatility ofguest’s needs through time.

UNION was designed by leading, New York-based design firm, AvroKO. Since its launch in 2001, AvroKO hasearned a reputation as one of the most innovative design firms in the field, due in large part to the group’sintegrated design process and focus on creating emotionally connected experiences. Seemingly whimsical in nature, UNION was strategically designed to have a clear social flow; copper architectural frames and metal mesh sheets showcase artwork, sculptures and objects, drawing in and engaging guests, whilst hidden elements such as the bar trolley, spicery wall and DJ booths enable a seamless transition from day to night.

Designed by AvroKO’s Bangkok studio, the interiors were inspired by potter, Lucie Rie’s, 20th century modernist studio – a beautiful, yet versatile, space that was suited to living, working and socialising. With the simple elegance of well-executed hospitality in mind, they created a space that enables exceptional levels of service and functionality, without compromising the guest experience.

UNION aims to create a sense of belonging and discovery, evoking the sense of witnessing something for the first time. A balance of ceremony and warmth create a personal, authentic experience, whilst a carefully curated soundtrack allows the bar to seamlessly transition through day to night with the perfect eclectic mix of tempo, BPM, energy levels and genres.

UNION offers a refined experience that celebrates the flavours, ingredients, customs and drinking traditions of the Silk Road. A sophisticated drinks menu consists of an extensive wine list made up of 60 bins that are all available by the glass as well as selection of signature cocktails and alcohol-free drinks. The wine list changes monthly and whilst it features some well-known wineries the list is carefully curated to provide representation for lesser known producers, hard to find bottles and biodynamic wines

As for the signature cocktail list, it encapsulates a diverse range of flavours inspired by international tastes; non-alcoholic creations include Spring breeze (a representation of Eastern Chinese flavours) which haspear, vanilla, coconut, citric acid and sea salt , whilst the traditional cocktail menu includes highlights such as Genghis Khan Martini (Mongolian representation) with French Gin, Mongolia Milk Wine, Dry Vermouth, Elderflower, Coconut and Sea Salt.

The Opposite House, located in the Sanlitun district is an intriguing urban hotel designed by eminent Japanese architect, Kengo Kuma. Its contemporary style and abundance of space perfectly complement the refreshingly individual service. More new spaces will be unveiled throughout the remainder of 2019.

Main image credit: The Opposite House

Hotel Summit 2019 bridges the gap between hotel buyers and suppliers

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hotel Summit 2019 bridges the gap between hotel buyers and suppliers

Forum Events’ premium meet-the-buyers event, Hotel Summit, put on yet another spectacular event with guest speakers including representatives from The Lanesborough, Great Hotels Of The World and Areen Design, among many others…

Settling in a new home, located in the quintessentially British surroundings in the Oxfordshire countryside, Heythrop Park welcomed hoteliers, designers and suppliers alike for this year’s hotly anticipated Hotel Summit.

More than 60 procurement professionals from leading hotels around the UK such as The Lanesborough, The Beaumont Hotel and The Gainsborough Bath Spa and 30 supplier partners attended The Summit that was sheltered within the 18thcentury hotel, which combines both elegant heritage design with contemporary areas, making it the perfect venue for one of Forum Events’ leading meet-the-buyers concept for the hotel industry.

The two-day kicked off with an opening presentation with Rita Alves Machado, VP of sales and marketing for Great Hotels Of The World who joined editor Hamish Kilburn for a live interview on the topic of blesiure. “There should be more focus on public, intelligent areas when it comes to designing for bleisure guests,” Machado said. “For me, it’s about personalization, we look for that in our members, what they can do that will differentiate from others in an authentic way.”

Andrew Linwood, Head of Hospitality Design at Areen Design, aptly followed with a presentation entitled: How Design Adds Value To A Hospitality Brand. “Branding is not only the name above the door,” he said to the audience. “It’s about good design and good service working together.”

Meanwhile, Francisco Macedo, Operations Director for Clivedon House stood up in front of the audience to explain how to create a winning team, using personal anecdotes to explain how he has curated his army of staff in order to offer a seamless service within the hotel.

After a morning of face-to-face meetings with suppliers, delegates joined to attend a speaker session with Marco Novella, Managing Director of The Lanesborough, followed by a short live interview where Kilburn delved into what it takes to be at the helm of one of London’s most prestigious luxury hotels. “It’s been important to react to the right trends,” explained Novella. “Wellness, for example, is a very important factor for The Lanesborough, and our aim with the club and spa was very much to lead wellness and wellbeing.”

Following a lavish gala dinner and entertainment, delegates and suppliers gathered for a second day of pre-scheduled face-to-face meetings.

Partners:

ADI Trading Ltd, Airwave Europe, Alchemy House of Design, Birchall Team, Brushbox, Castrads, Discover Kangen Water, Elavon, Fortune Brands, Gallant, Good Energy, HCI, Hotel Champ, iBal Designs, Landmark Specialist Solutions, Ligne Roset Contract, Matrix Fitness, Mitre Linen, Out of Edan, Parkside, Phillip Jeffries, Portable Floormaker & Barlock Bars, Project Blinds, Riskmonitor Limited, Samsung Electronics, Tevalis Ltd, Timage, Toothbuckle, Virdor, Zennio

Next year’s Hotel Summit will take place in April 27 – 28 at Five Lakes Resort, Colechester. If you are interested in exhibiting at the 2020 event, please contact Jennie Lane on 01992 374098 or j.lane@forumevents.co.uk.

Hyatt Place arrives in Japan

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hyatt Place arrives in Japan

The 363-key select service hotel offers a resort-like atmosphere and marks the first Hyatt Place hotel to open in Japan…

Hyatt Hotels Corporation has announced the opening of Hyatt Place Tokyo Bay, marking the debut of the Hyatt Place brand in Japan. Hyatt Place Tokyo Bay features the Hyatt Place brand’s intuitive design, cozy atmosphere and practical amenities such as free Wi-Fi and 24-hour food offerings.

“We are especially excited about this hotel opening as it marks the debut of the Hyatt Place brand in Japan, as well as the twenty-fourth Hyatt Place hotel in Asia,” said Sam Sakamura, vice president – Japan and Micronesia. “Japan welcomed its first Hyatt-branded property in 1980 and Hyatt has since grown its brand presence to thirteen hotels across seven Hyatt brands in Japan, now including Hyatt Place Tokyo Bay.”

The Hyatt Place brand is founded on extensive consumer insights indicating that guests seek stylish, comfortable and seamless experiences that accommodate their lifestyles and routines. Hyatt Place Tokyo Bay offers the brand’s distinctive casual hospitality and purposeful service in a smartly designed, high-tech and contemporary environment.

Located in Urayasu City in Chiba Prefecture, Hyatt Place Tokyo Bay is just 30 minutes by train or car from central Tokyo, offering a resort-like atmosphere with breathtaking views of Tokyo Bay. The hotel is also conveniently located between both of Tokyo’s airports, 21 miles (34 kilometers) from Haneda Airport and 34 miles (55 kilometers) from Narita Airport. The property is also less than 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) from Tokyo Disney Resort®, one of Tokyo’s premier destinations.

With rooms overlooking Tokyo Bay, the 10-story hotel offers 363 spacious guestrooms, including three suites, 2,110 square feet (196 square meters) of meeting space, an all-day dining facility, and a 24-hour gym. World-renowned Japanese fashion designer, Junko Koshino, designed the colleague uniforms and produced key art for the interior of the hotel.

There are now more than 335 Hyatt Place locations in Armenia, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Costa Rica, Germany, Honduras, India, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Nicaragua, Panama, Puerto Rico, Thailand, The Netherlands, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and the United States.

Main image credit: Hyatt Hotels

BIID announces new President

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
BIID announces new President

The British Institute of Interior Design (BIID) has announced that Harriet Forde from Forde design has stepped up to become the 2019 BIID President…

The British Institute of Interior Design (BIID) has announced its new president for 2019-20, Harriet Forde, founder of London-based practice Harriet Forde Design. Forde succeeds current president, Gilly Craft and officially took on the role at the BIID Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Thursday July 4, which took place at The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

Forde, who has recently been confirmed as a Judge for Hotel Designs’ The Brit List, is an experienced interior designer and a long-standing member of the BIID, having previously held the position of Chair of the Membership Committee. An active member of the Institute, Harriet regularly leads talks and discussions at industry events across the country, including participation at the most recent BIID Inside Knowledge Conference.

“As president, I will continue to support our members in providing a high-quality and professional service to their clients.” – Harriet Forde

Having begun her study of interior design at the London School of Furniture, Forde went on to graduate from the prestigious University Central St Martin’s with a degree in textiles.  Following more than 10 years’ experience in the hospitality design sector – working for the likes of Richard Daniels, Richmond International and Areen Design – Harriet eventually set up her own practice, Harriet Forde Design in 1999.

“I am delighted to be president of the BIID, to continue the fantastic work already established by our hard-working BIID council,” she said. “As president, I will continue to support our members in providing a high-quality and professional service to their clients, to educate consumers on the benefits of using a BIID registered designer and to ensure that our talented community of BIID members continues to thrive.”

The designer is influenced by an admiration for architecture, attention to detail and nature, and incorporates this within her designs through pattern and texture. She also has a keen interest in the influences of design on wellbeing and explores the way this can be developed within a space through the careful selection of materials, lighting and space planning.

Forde is experienced in the commercial, hospitality and high-end residential sector and is regularly commissioned to work on projects across the UK, continental Europe and the Middle East. This has allowed her to build a successful business and client base, with an approach centred on the understanding of space and translating it into original concepts and design. Harriet continues to personally lead every client project and it is this commitment that has allowed the practice to thrive, with the studio recently celebrating an impressive 20 years in business.

Main image credit: BIID

 

Britlist_28-800x602

Free to apply: The Brit List 2019

800 602 Hamish Kilburn
Free to apply: The Brit List 2019

Calling all designers, architects, hoteliers and suppliers who operate from or have a presence in Britain: The Brit List 2019, Hotel Designs’ annual awards, is free to apply for. Nominations/applications close on August 9.

In an aim to ensure that Hotel Designs’ nationwide search to find the best interior designers, architects, hoteliers and suppliers operating in Britain, The Brit List remains completely free to apply for.

Simply click here to apply/nominate.

Britlist_28-800x602

The concept of The Brit List, which launched in 2017, results in 75 names, split into three categories (designers, architects and hoteliers), being listed as true movers and shakers. The list will be created around the nominations from the following awards that are up for grabs:

  • Interior Designer of the Year
  • Architect of the Year
  • Hotelier of the Year
  • Best in Tech
  • The Eco Award 
  • Best in British Product Design – NEW CATEGORY FOR 2019
  • Outstanding Contribution to the Hospitality Industry

“Now with suppliers able to participate in the awards element, The Brit List has allowed us to physically bridge the gap between industry leaders,” said Hamish Kilburn, editor of Hotel Designs.

On November 21, the shortlisted finalists of designers, hoteliers, architects as well as key suppliers to the industry will gather at Patch East, Londonwhere The Brit List 2019 will be unveiled along with the individual winners . “We have, yet again, deliberately kept nominations for The Brit List 2019 free for all to apply in order to maintain a fair opportunity for all designers, hoteliers, architects and suppliers who believe they deserve to be profiled in The Brit List 2019,” explains Hamish Kilburn, editor of Hotel Designs. “As a judge, I am personally looking forward to leading another nationwide search in order to find and platform exceptional creative thinkers who are operating or manufacturing in Britain today.” Patch East, London is a fabulous venue for our non-traditional awards ceremony, and we look forward to welcoming the industry’s finest for a night of celebration and high-profile networking.”

Early-bird tickets for the award ceremony are now available to purchase: 

Suppliers: £99 + VAT (£150 + VAT after early bird offer expires after August 4)
Designers, hoteliers, developers and architects: £10 + VAT (£20 + VAT after early bird offer expires after August 4)

Please click here if you are a supplier to the industry to secure your ticket NOW!

Please click here if you are either a designer, hotelier, developer or architect and secure your ticket NOW!

The judges for The Brit List 2019

Last year’s winners of The Brit List, who were crowned at an exclusive drinks evening in London, included Martin Brudnizki from Martin Brudnizki Design Studio, Conor O’Leary from Gleneagles and Robin Sheppard from Bespoke hotels, among many others.

Please note that there is NO FEE to nominate and/or apply for The Brit List 2019. 

Headline Partner: Crosswater

Event Partner: Hamilton Litestat:

Industry Partner: BIID:

Checking In: Zafiro Palace Hotel Palmanova

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Checking In: Zafiro Palace Hotel Palmanova

Past the old town of Palma’s cobbled streets sits a newly designed timeless hotel, Zafiro Palace Hotel Palmanova, which was designed by Marga Rotgeron. Chantal Borciani checks in to review… 

With almost guaranteed blue skies and sunshine for an average of more than 300 days per year year, it comes with little surprise that Zafiro Palace Hotel Palmanova on the island of Mallorca has been designed to make the most of natural light so that it floods in to the guest areas at every possible opportunity.

Upon entering the lobby, a double-height atrium with floor to ceiling glass ensures the connection between the interior scheme and the outdoors is seamless. Overlooking the hotel’s central garden and pools, as do all suites, restaurants and lounge areas, first impressions are that of a open and airy design scheme.

Located on the south west coast of Mallorca, 15 minutes from Palma Old Town’s cobbled lanes, Zafiro Palace Hotel Palmanova marries contemporary style with home-from-home comforts.

“The Zafiro hotel is imbued with a deep sense of connection to the island of Mallorca throughout.”

Run by the Mallorcan Plomer family, initially by Tomeu Plomer and now headed up by his daughter Antonia, the Zafiro hotel is imbued with a deep sense of connection to the island of Mallorca throughout. Native Mallorcan plants, for example, dot the gardens amid myriad swaying palms and the artwork, photography, fixtures and fittings have been selected from Mallorcan and Spanish purveyors.

Image credit: Zafiro Palace Hotel Palmanova

Opened in 2017, Antonia Plomer worked with Mallorca-based interior designer Marga Rotgeron on the hotel design, with an aim to deliver a Mediterranean look that is modern and stylish, ornamental yet not overloaded and practical for guests.

“Down the sweeping staircase from the reception, the cocktail bar takes centre stage.”

Down the sweeping staircase from the reception, the cocktail bar takes centre stage. This octagonal centrepiece is hewn from black marquina marble purchased from local suppliers and imported from Italy. Commissioned by the Plomers, a sculptural 3D art installation occupies the double height wall adjacent, imagined to reflect Mallorca’s foliage, nature and land. The pleated trellis is made from acebuche olive wood, and textured cottons, harmonised by gold and ochre tones. Designed and produced by Palma-based ABA ART LAB and F. Schalekamp, its form deploys branches, some bare and naked, others adorned by texture, and adds a note of drama to the bar area.

In a hotel ‘made for families, by families’ these rich artistic touches add intrigue and a sense of refinement that is usually the preserve of adult-only establishments. The choice of Edison light bulbs, large spherical white orb lights to illuminate the gardens, modernist wire chandeliers and sleek lighting in the a la carte restaurants, alongside the bespoke art afford this hotel a welcome contemporary edge and leave a long-lasting impression.

The hotel’s 240 suites range from spacious junior suites to penthouse suites, the latter equipped with a bedroom, lounge, roof terrace with private Jacuzzi and cabana daybed – the ultimate option for an adult getaway.

My room, a ‘swim up suite’, is on the ground floor and boasts a private garden terrace with direct access to the adjacent pool. There are a whopping 11 pools so guests opting for a swim up suite can largely find themselves in blissful solitude though the pool is not categorically private. A bali-style day bed sits snugly in the corner of the private garden area – a perfect spot to read and then pad down to the water’s edge.

Inside, the rooms are airy, bright and spacious, and can be configured to accommodate cots and beds for children. From a super-king bed, the restful view out drifts across the private terrace to the sapphire pool. The bathroom and bedroom in all suites are open-plan and offer both a shower and bath with high-end and pleasingly tactile fixtures and fittings. “The colour scheme that we chose is natural as we wanted to create a cosy and warm ambience throughout,” says Plomer. “We felt it created a nice contrast to more commonly used minimalistic white.”

image credit: Zafiro Palace Hotel Palmanova

Nature infuses the hand-picked art in the rooms – locally sourced framed art includes fern leaves mounted on manuscript backdrops while geometric mirrors and quality soft furnishings add a touch of luxury. All fabrics and linens are also locally sourced on the island and handy touches include microwaves in most rooms and USB chargers by the bedside.

At its heart, of course, this is a holiday destination and Zafiro Palace Hotel Palmanova doesn’t skimp on the attractions. Alongside the main pool, there are a multitude of smaller pools scattered around the gardens, giving guests a sense of space and exclusivity.  The children’s playground, bouncy castle and pirate ship are set away from the main gardens and pool area, meaning adults can relax in peace if desired. An adult’s only Oasis pool is also located on a raised terrace for ultimate seclusion and is lined with cabana beds. The delightfully squishy cabana day beds line many of the poolsides around the complex and are free to use for all guests, adding a feel of beach club luxury to proceedings. Complete with a swim-up bar in the main pool, and the al fresco poolside restaurant, the F&B areas have been created to enhance the overall guest experience.

The island connection continues in the lounges and restaurants where large artwork has been acquired from Art Mallorcan art studio & Gallery ABA Art, while photographic art throughout the hotel has been sourced from local artist Joan Sastre.

In the five a la carte restaurants, the interior design offers a nod to the cuisine or region of each dining concept, without (mercifully!) venturing into some theme feel.

El Olivo, for example, is the a la carte Mediterranean restaurant and adorned with foliage, which trails down from planters above the tables and has an airy, al fresco feel inspired by the Med. Meanwhile the Tastes & Sushi Bar Restaurant gives a hint of the east with hummingbird print wallpaper, blush seating, and gold accent mirrors.

It’s no mean feat to effectively cater for adults and families in the same establishment, but perhaps it’s the family hand on the tiller that steers Zafiro on the right course. The Plomers collaborate on every facet of the hotel’s design and operation and the result is all the better for it. Located in the busy Palmanova resort, the hotel will certainly suit families looking for a convenient haven close to the beach and hustle and bustle of Palmanova and nearby Palma. For vast vistas and a heightened secluded feel, the north of the island and perhaps the larger Zafiro Palace Alcudia will provide a restful alternative.

This is a hotel with proud family heritage and a deep-rooted Mallorcan connection. Be sure to take advantage of the on-site concierge – the owners are keen to share the beauty of the island with their guests and the concierge is a font of great authentic recommendations. Some of our favourites include tours of the small island wineries of the town of Binissalem and the best tapas and vermouth bars in nearby Palma Old Town, both activities offering that secret gem, local feel.

Zafiro Palace Hotel Palmanova is a hotel where adults can getaway and the kids can have lots of fun to boot. A step above many other family friendly hotels, this resort strives to deliver luxury with a home from home edge.

Main image credit: Zafiro Palace Hotel Palmanova

Quirky rustic European bar and restaurant

Kempinski Hotel Beijing Lufthansa Center unveils $30 million renovation

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Kempinski Hotel Beijing Lufthansa Center unveils $30 million renovation

The Kempinski Hotel Beijing Lufthansa Center is the first “European hotel” in Beijing…

Kempinski Hotel Beijing Lufthansa Center, Beijing’s first European hospitality pioneer, unveils its newly transformed 480 rooms and suites, including a Western and Oriental Presidential Suite, a large Executive Lounge, and a reimagined all-day dining outlet, after the most substantial renovation in its 26-year history. The USD 30-million upgrade brings international leisure and business guests’ timeless elegance while providing Beijing with a rejuvenated complex that aims at reinterpreting European luxury in modern China.

Quirky rustic European bar and restaurant

“From the moment new-age business travellers walk into our property, they’ll know it’s a Kempinski, not just because of the service, but also from its commitment to elegant, well-rounded performances in everything we do.”

The new portfolio of rooms and suites displays a decor that aims to convey the contemporary elegance of China and its cultural influence. European sandy, classical beige colors and hues adorn the walls and furniture, while art pieces, antique decorations, and colorful vases add breathtaking brushstrokes of Asian identity. Upgrades include bathroom glass walls with pixilated partitions (Magic Mirrors), heated towel racks and ground coffee machine stations in the Executive Floor rooms. Mirrors subtly outline windows and walls to accentuate a greater sense of space and tranquillity. The two Presidential Suites are decorated with authentic Chinese artwork and feature bathrooms with a view across the city. Additional upgrades include high-speed Wi-Fi connection and new homemade welcome amenities like assorted desserts made from seasonal fruits, macaroons and mousse pralines. For healthier option, homemade muesli bars and freshly-squeezed orange juice are available upon request.

Contemporary area of restaurant

“Since it opened in 1992, Kempinski Hotel Beijing has dedicated itself to pioneering the performance excellence. This relaunch signifies our strong commitment to impeccable personalised service,” continues Brice Péan. “Along with the physical aspects of the renovation, the hotel now offers many software upgrades like the all-digital PressReader, where guests can access most newspapers from around the world. Additionally, our new instant messaging service provides guests with the convenience of booking a table, ordering in-room dining, and requesting a delivery of amenities, through Facebook or WeChat’s messaging from the palm of their hand. Deluxe rooms and above will find Shanghai Tang amenities, while our Presidential Suite guests will enjoy Hermès amenities, giveaways and Stenders bath salts. From the various choices of amenities being offered, to the number of scents guests can choose from, rewards and benefits for the top-tier guests are always evolving just as the list is growing.”

A haven for the business-minded traveller, all Executive Floor guests can now experience the new Executive Lounge 15. Perched among the hotel’s top floors and overseeing Beijing’s city skyline, the lounge offers everything from an open kitchen breakfast buffet with a live-cooking station to afternoon tea, happy hour, and dinner. The Executive Floor provides business travellers with the ability to print, copy, use computers, and make use of the conference room. Adding to the Executive Floor flair and sense of personalized service is the access to a 24/7 private butler. All of the hotel’s butlers have undergone a special training by the Dutch Royal Butler program.

Main image credit: Kempinski Hotels

Unidrain wins three international film awards

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Unidrain wins three international film awards

Unidrain received a GOLD REMI at the WorldFest-Houston, the Silver Award at the US International Film and Video Festival, plus a Silver World Medal at the New York Festival Awards, which took place earlier this year…

It’s not often you hear the words “international film awards” and “drains” in the same sentence. However, Unidrain is not your average drain company; in the last year they have won three prestigious international film awards for their corporate video.

Unidrain received a GOLD REMI at the WorldFest-Houston, the Silver Award at the US International Film and Video Festival, plus a Silver World Medal at the New York Festival Awards, which took place earlier this year. Here Unidrain was competing against top brands such as Yves Saint Laurent and the Amsterdam Airport/Schiphol.

All three Awards celebrate the company’s transition from floor drain manufacturer to an international lifestyle and design brand.

The video encapsulates this journey and has now culminated in these two awards. Birgitte Arendsdorf Olsen: Marketing Director at Unidrain is proud of the awards and emphasises that the film demonstrates not only the products but the holistic side of the brand.

“Our approach to the market is to create a story, showing that we are not just a supplier of products, but a high-end designer brand,” said Birgitte Arendsdorf Olsen, Marketing Director. “We have established ourselves within that niche in Denmark and are well on the way to rolling it out not just in the Nordic countries but the rest of the world. Part of the process was the production of our corporate film, it is an important tool in delivering this message and therefore it is a huge honour to receive these awards for it.”

They also have a special significance for the CEO of Unidrain; Henrik Handschuh: “Winning gold and silver for the best corporate film means so much to us; the Awards recognise us as a designer brand and not just a manufacturer. It is also a great honour for the film producers Kongshaug Productions, who have helped us achieve recognition for Unidrain as a key player on the global design scene”.

Established in 2003 they have gone from inventing the linear floor drain to creating a leading international brand, spreading Danish design ethics and Nordic minimalism to the rest of the globe. From five star hotels in the Maldives, to the Award winning Herman K in Copenhagen Unidrain products and accessories play a key role in the look and feel of the most stylish bathrooms on the planet.

Unidrain 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 Zoe Guerrier by clicking here.

Stock Exchange Hotel in Manchester unveils sneak peek of design

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Stock Exchange Hotel in Manchester unveils sneak peek of design

Stock Exchange Hotel, one of the most eagerly anticipated hotels in Manchester, will open on November 15, 2019 as a member of Relais & Châteaux…

The former Stock Exchange building, located in the heart of Manchester, is a striking example of Edwardian architecture from the 20th Century and is currently being meticulously transformed into a hotel which will offer a collection of 40 rooms, including two signature suites and a stunning 3,500 square foot penthouse residence. The food and beverage operation within the hotel will be overseen by chef Tom Kerridge.

The sneak peek of the hotel follows Meet Up North, Hotel Designs’ premium northern networking event, which shone the spotlight further on Manchester being a hive of hotel development in the pipeline.

Co-owned by Gary Neville, Ryan Giggs and hotelier Winston Zahra, the boutique property is set to open as a member of global hotel and restaurant fellowship, Relais & Châteaux and will be managed and operated by Manchester based GG Hospitality.

Having purchased the Grade II listed building six years ago, Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs explained that their vision was to bring the building back to life: “We knew the Stock Exchange well from when it was a restaurant but it was only when we viewed it in its entirety that we realised the extent of the history there.

“Most people familiar with the building will know of the domed ceiling above the old trading room floor, but there are many other original features that will not have been seen by many, such as fireplaces, vaults and stained glass windows. For us it was critical that this heritage was protected, and it now sits at the heart of what we hope will be an exciting new concept for Manchester.”

Speaking about the association with Relais & Châteaux, co-owner and GG Hospitality CEO Winston Zahra said: “We are honoured to be the first ever Relais & Châteaux member in Manchester and one of the first properties in the 65 year history of the fellowship to become a member before its doors open. This is testament to all of the work the team has been doing behind the scenes. We have put a great amount of effort into ensuring the design for the property truly respects the history of the building.

“The values and foundations of Relais & Châteaux to protect and defend local arts of living are are reflected in every detail of our offering and we are committed to preserving an important part of Manchester’s heritage, while offering quality service in an exceptional setting.”

Philippe Gombert, President of Relais & Châteaux said: “We are very happy to count Stock Exchange Hotel as a member of our family and to be able to accompany them in the opening of this beautiful house. I am deeply convinced that Gary Neville, Ryan Giggs and Winston Zahra will revive Stock Exchange and its history in a remarkable way. This is a perfect example of what Relais & Châteaux is: properties anchored in their region, ambassadors of their heritage, but also passionate about their craft and deeply committed to forging warm, lasting relationships with their guests.”

The hotel’s interiors have been designed by internationally renowned design studio Autoban.  Their bespoke design – a subtle arrangement of a light palette of colours, combined with luxurious materials, original marble, brass, glass and woodwork – ensures guests will experience spaces deeply rooted in the history and heart of the city, crafted around the remarkable stories of the building.

The collection of unique rooms and suites can be booked as individual rooms or combined into a number of configurations, creating interconnected spaces ideal for guests visiting the city for business or leisure and for families or groups. Whole floors can be hired with full interconnecting capability and the building is also available to be booked out in its entirety for exclusive use.

Render of a lobby

Image credit: Stock Exchange Hotel

The Bradshaw, John Gass and Arthur Hope room collections pay respect to the architects who originally designed the Portland stone building which originally opened in 1906. Additionally, the Kent and Norfolk suite collections complement what will be a very unique accommodation offering in the city.

In addition to the room and suite collections, the hotel includes two signature suites – The 1906 Suite and The Boardroom Suite, measuring 1,070 and 1,700 square feet respectively. The signature suites are available for both short and long term fully serviced stays at the Hotel.

The 1906 Suite, named after the year in which the Stock Exchange opened for trading, is located on the newly constructed fourth floor of the building.  Comprising two bedrooms, this 1,070 square foot suite is a great space for families and friends who want to reside in the same room while retaining an element of privacy.

The Boardroom Suite, accessed via a private staircase off the main lobby of the hotel, is located in one of the most historically significant and architecturally preserved parts of the building – the original Stock Exchange boardroom. Designed to honour its past, the 1,700 square foot space boasts a number of original features, including marble pillars, wood panelling, an ornamental fireplace, stained glass windows, and the original Stock Exchange vault. Other features include a walk-in wardrobe, a large lounge area, dining room and small fitness room. The Boardroom Suite can be extended to 2,300 square feet with the addition of an interconnecting suite that also includes its own private terrace.

Complimenting the best accommodation available in Manchester, The House is an exclusive, fully serviced residence. With its own roof terrace offering views over and across the Manchester skyline, The House is a unique penthouse residence with superlative attention to detail, extensive amenities and spacious facilities, spread over 3500 square feet.

Ideal for both short and long term residency, The House encompasses three meticulously designed bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, a fully fitted kitchen, breakfast bar, two separate lounge areas, a beverage bar and a stylish dining room. A fitness room completes this exquisite top floor residence, underpinned by the full range of services offered by the team of the hotel.

The heart and soul of the hotel will be a restaurant and bar overseen by chef Tom Kerridge, housed under the magnificent dome which for decades was the trading floor of the Stock Exchange. The space has been designed to be a social space where people can enjoy quality food in a casual and relaxed atmosphere.

In addition to this, private dining and a variety of events will be catered for within The Vault and The Bank. The Vault sits in the lower ground floor of the building and will offer events for up to 120 people.  The Bank, with its own private entrance off Norfolk Street, will offer private dining experiences for up to 14 people in an intimate environment. The Bank comes complete with its own wine cellar which guests can enjoy as part of an overall dining experience. Both event spaces will cater for tailor made events depending on guest requirements.

Main image credit: Stock Exchange Hotel

Four Seasons Hotel Singapore unveils botanical twist

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Four Seasons Hotel Singapore unveils botanical twist

Four Seasons Hotel Singapore goes botanical, unveiling reinvented interiors, including luxury suites, F&B and wellness areas…

Nestled within a city/country that is widely known as a modern metropolis that is leading the way in sustainable design and architecture, Four Seasons Hotel Singapore has lifted the lid on its newly completed interior design renovation, celebrating the natural, verdant flora that the island is unmistakeably known for.

Somewhat becoming a major source of inspiration for the design team, the hotel is situated amidst lush foliage on the fringe of one of the world’s largest shopping street, Orchard Road, a mere five minutes away from the a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Singapore Botanic Gardens. With the creative direction of celebrity Floral Art Director Nicolai Bergmann since April 2019, guests are greeted fresh florals in the Grand Lobby at arrival.

“Replacing deep, rich palettes are now contemporary interiors that feature a natural colour palette of dusty cool blue tones and lime green accents.”

The guestrooms and luxury themed suites alike were revamped in the last six to twelve months in preparation for the hotel’s Silver Anniversary. Replacing deep, rich palettes are now contemporary interiors that feature a natural colour palette of dusty cool blue tones and lime green accents, inspired by the water and tropical lotus leaves of the Singapore Botanic Garden’s Swan Lake. Each room also features a mural wall composition of traditional Peranakan tiles, adding an artistic touch and reminiscent of Singapore’s rich and multicultural heritage. Peranakan culture represents the union between two or more major ethnicities of the Straits Peninsula – a result of Singapore’s historical significance as a major trading port. Large floor-to-ceiling windows provide sweeping views of the city and surrounding greenery, while white-colonial style doors and windows with plantation shutters, reminiscent of Singapore’s once-agricultural history, allowing for the natural light to brighten the rooms.

Comprising four distinctive residences – the Royal Suite, Governor Suite, Ambassador Suite and the Presidential Suite – the quartet of luxury suites unfurl Singapore’s legacy through subtle design motifs, natural textures and serene palettes of subtle sophistication that portrays and acknowledges the Garden City’s dynamic, cosmopolitan storied history.

The passion for a nature-enlivened, tropical ambiance continues from the private areas to the restaurants and bar at the Four Seasons Hotel Singapore.

Relaunched in March 2019 after a month-long revamp, One-Ninety, the breezy, botanical modern Asian brasserie teases with its Asian twist on wholesome Provençal cuisine. The adjourning resort-style alfresco Terraza is perfect for unwinding with a classic in hand and weekend tete-a-tete over a tri-terraced Floral Afternoon Tea that intrigues with flora-infused treats, launched in end-May 2019. Embodying the concept of “Xiang Le Zhu Yi,” or the principle of enjoyment and happiness, newly minted Michelin-starred restaurant Jiang-Nan Chun is not only evocative of the pastoral lifestyle of Jiang Nan region’s traditional river villages through its rustic décor, but also through its authentic Cantonese cuisine.

Main image credit: Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts

designjunction: Hotel Designs readers entitled to 50% discount

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
designjunction: Hotel Designs readers entitled to 50% discount

Using the code DJ700, readers of Hotel Designs are entitled a 50 per cent discount on tickets to designjunction, which takes place from September 19-22 in London… 

As a proud media partner for the exhibition that takes place during London Design Festival, Hotel Designs is offering its readers a 50 per cent discount on tickets to designjunction. Readers can access this benefit by entering the code DJ700 when applying online.

The four-day exhibition will present more than 200 international design brands across multiple King’s Cross locations surrounding the striking UAL Central Saint Martin’s building.

Presenting the latest in cutting-edge design each year during the London Design Festival, designjunction is described as London’s leading contemporary interior design show, facilitating connections between architects, interior designers, retailers and exhibitors. Encompassing the best in furniture, lighting, jewellery and home accessories, the event is a place for industry leaders to gather with the widest variety of influential and international designers.

“Readers can access this benefit by entering the code DJ700 when applying online.”

For eight years running, designjunction has attracted thousands of architects, interior designers, specifiers, retailers, buyers and consumers to its show doors. Each year its exhibitors make lasting connections with influential figures in the design industry, designed to create partnerships that are made to last.

Hotel Designs will be on the ground throughout London Design Festival with ‘LIVE FROM LDF’ capturing all the news from the exhibition as it happens.

100% Design unveils 2019 plans

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
100% Design unveils 2019 plans

With less than three months to go, 100% Design unveils this year’s plans with Hotel Designs on board as a media partner… 

100% Design will  this year celebrate its 25th anniversary with an array of show stopping brands, thought-provoking features, interactive experiences and world renowned speakers. A host of carefully curated world leading interior brands will form Design London including contemporary Italian furniture company, da a, ArperBenchmark, Dare Studio, Boss Design and Antonio Lupi, plus Swedish furniture makers Gärsnäs and Bsweden.

From global launches to an immersive pavilion and a tactile materials showcase – this year’s show has it all. Take a look below to find out about just some of the exciting content you can expect to uncover. Register now for your badge and be the first to hear more about exciting plans for #100Design25.

Voted the happiest country in the world for the second year running, the Finland pavilion will allow visitors to experience the sounds, sights, touch, smell and taste of Finland in the middle of London. A Sense of Finland will feature a specially built eco log house filled with the very best of Finnish furniture, products and lighting which are focused around sustainability, well-being and healthy living environments.

Located within one of Olympia’s lavish Victorian reception rooms, Detail London will showcase the latest high-end contemporary soft furnishings and wall coverings from international design companies, like Amsterdam based Studio Desimone Wayland (above), Glamora and Barbara Osorio Fabrics.

Created in collaboration with Material Driven, Material Studio will showcase 22 innovative materials with a number of them being shown in the UK for the first time. The feature will address some of the key issues of our time such as sustainability, performance, energy efficiency, waste and wellbeing.

Speaker programme

This year’s talks programme will feature 50+ in-depth conversations and debates with designers, architects and a specialist look at trends and current issues from the likes of David Rockwell, Marcel Wanders, Karen Haller and Suzy Hoodless. There will also be an hour each day in the Forum dedicated to architecture. Register now and be the first to hear when the full
2019 programme is announced.

The show continues to act as a platform for a mix of new interior brands and established names to showcase their latest products. Benchmark will launch the Sage Collection by award-winning architect David Rockwell focussing on health and well-being within the built environment.

Meanwhile, the West Kensington Design District will be brought to life by an array of partners including Kirkby Design who will bring an original 1967 Victoria Line tube carriage to the show. The tube will be upholstered in Underground Volume II fabrics, a new collection of velvets which recreate iconic moquette train seats.

IN PICTURES: Meet Up North 2019

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
IN PICTURES: Meet Up North 2019

Hotel Designs’ premium northern networking event, Meet Up North 2019, took place in Club Brass, Hotel Gotham’s spectacular rooftop private members’ bar… 

Meet Up North 2019, which took place on July 1, took over Manchester’s iconic Hotel Gotham. Hotel Designs’ premium northern networking event, which was sponsored by Hamilton Litestat, Architextural and Atlas Concorde, returned to the city for the second time in a row as a result of the city’s bustling and constantly evolving hotel design scene that sees many innovative hotels on the boards.

Meet Up North 2019 was attended by leaders from firms such as  Denton Corker MarshallGenslerAEW ArchitectsFusion by DesignLDA Design ConsultantsUtopia Projects and Abode Architecture.

Here are the official images:

If you have images from the event, please share on social media with the hashtag #HDMEETUPNORTH19

Waldorf Astoria arrives in the Maldives

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Waldorf Astoria arrives in the Maldives

The 122 all-villa Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi spans across three interconnected islands… 

Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Hilton’s iconic luxury hotel brand, has announced the highly anticipated opening of Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi — which is said to set a new standard of luxury in the Maldives. The 122 all-villa resort spans across three interconnected islands, including an independent private island for those seeking an exclusive enclave equipped with a dedicated staff and luxury amenities.

Each luxuriously appointed beach, reef and overwater villa opens onto either a white sand beach or an expansive deck, and features a private infinity pool with uninterrupted views of the Indian Ocean, allowing guests to bask in the island’s natural beauty in the privacy of their villa.

The resort also features two Stella Maris Ocean Villas, accessible only by boat. These villas feature floor-to-ceiling windows and direct ocean access, providing unmatched views of the sunlit paradise and celestial charm of the nighttime Maldivian sky.

Image credit: Waldorf Astoria Hotels

“Asia Pacific is enjoying a golden age of travel, and the launch of Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi is part of the growing momentum of Hilton’s Luxury and Lifestyle portfolio throughout the region,” said Alan Watts, president, Asia Pacific, Hilton. “This is especially significant as the Maldives becomes an increasingly popular destination for global travelers. As the first international hotel brand to have opened in the Maldives over 21 years ago, it is especially fitting that this opening takes place as we celebrate Hilton’s 100th year milestone as a leader in global hospitality.”

Image credit:

At the height of exclusivity is the Ithaafushi Private Island. Accessible only by yacht, the 32,000-square-metre sanctuary features a four-bedroom residence, three-bedroom beach villa and a two-bedroom overwater villa, giving guests a transcendent sense of space. The private island comes complete with a dedicated chef and personal concierge team, an overwater spa and gym, five swimming pools, an entertainment center and pristine beaches, providing endless options in which guests can indulge.

“The debut with our flagship brand in the Maldives is no exception.” – Martin Rinck, executive vice president and global head, Luxury & Lifestyle Brands, Hilton

“The Waldorf Astoria brand has a long-standing legacy of setting the standard for luxury and for providing personalized, graceful service,” said Martin Rinck, executive vice president and global head, Luxury & Lifestyle Brands, Hilton. “The debut with our flagship brand in the Maldives is no exception, and we will continue to redefine what it means to provide luxury escapes and deliver memorable experiences for the discerning traveller.”

Continuing the brand’s legacy as a pioneer in culinary innovation, Waldorf Astoria’s landmark opening in the Maldives will feature an unparalleled array of choices for its guests with 11 celebrated specialty-dining venues — many of which are brand new concepts developed with the Waldorf Astoria guest in mind.

World-renowned chef Dave Pynt, mastermind behind Singapore’s Michelin-starred restaurant Burnt Ends, offers his expertise to the island’s barbeque grill restaurant, The Ledge. The restaurant features his signature, custom-built, four-ton, dual-cavity oven and elevation grills, enabling the use of techniques such as smoking, slow roasting, baking and grilling. Bringing culinary theatre to the Maldives, The Ledge allows guests to witness the preparation of their dish, including favorites such as the Dry Aged OP Rib, a 45-day dry-aged beef rib, and the signature Lobster Roll, a brioche bun stuffed with freshly grilled lobster and lobster aioli.

Other dining highlights include Terra, located on the island’s highest point and providing a unique gastronomic dining experience in private dining pods crafted from natural bamboo. Nestled among boulders, The Rock is a rustic wine cellar and dining experience set in a carved-out space, where guests can indulge in wine pairing meals or an elevated dining experience with a menu that pays homage to renowned wine regions around the world.

Yasmeen offers guests the chance to savor authentic Middle Eastern cuisine. Hot pitas and puffed breads baked in ovens based on centuries-old designs, charcoal-roasted meats, and hot and cold mezzes are served in dining rooms filled with decorative artifacts and antiques, creating an unforgettable sensory experience. The immersive journey continues at Glow, which is set in a greenhouse-like structure shaded by lush greenery. It celebrates the concept of interactive garden-to-table dining by serving healthy and holistic cuisine made from fresh ingredients harvested from the on-island garden.

Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi offers guests an endless number of remarkable experiences designed with the ever-growing wellness trend in mind. The calming ambience of the Waldorf Astoria Spa invites guests to indulge in a range of invigorating treatments — all from the tranquility of an overwater or garden villa. Nearby, soft white sand beaches provide the perfect backdrop for a day spent in the sun, while the 40-meter Mirror Pool is an ideal place to cool down.

“We aim to surpass the expectations of today’s luxury traveler with the introduction of our fifth Waldorf Astoria property in Asia Pacific,” said Dino Michael, global head, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts. “Our guests are searching for new and extraordinary experiences during their travels, and we are confident that this latest luxury destination in the Maldives provides the perfect setting for our guests to Live Unforgettable.”

Main image credit: Waldorf Astoria Hotels

Balcony shot of San Francisco at night

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts to open second hotel in San Francisco

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts to open second hotel in San Francisco

From 2020, the former Loews Regency San Francisco will be managed by Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts following extensive renovations…

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts has been selected by an affiliate of Westbrook Partners, a privately-owned, fully integrated real estate investment management company, to manage its hotel in the 345 California Center building in San Francisco’s financial district.

Balcony shot of San Francisco at night

Currently known as the Loews Regency San Francisco, the Hotel will be renamed Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco at Embarcadero in 2020 following renovations.

“With a rich cultural landscape, unmatched culinary experiences and a market strengthened by the region’s renowned tech boom, San Francisco is one of the country’s most dynamic, thriving cities. Due in large part to these strong market conditions, we’re excited to offer guests a second Four Seasons experience, enhancing our portfolio in the Bay Area,” says Bart Carnahan, Executive Vice President, Global Business Development and Portfolio Management, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts.

“We have a longstanding, successful relationship with Westbrook Partners,” commented Carnahan, “who are also our partners in the existing Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco, Four Seasons Hotel Miami, and the forthcoming Private Residences at 706 Mission Street. We look forward to building on this strong partnership as we collectively work to enhance the luxury hotel and residential offerings in this great city.”

“We are proud to partner with one of the world’s most esteemed luxury brands, solidifying our position as the leading luxury lifestyle option in the city,” says Paul Kazilionis of Westbrook Partners.  “San Francisco is a world-class city that continues to grow at a remarkable pace, and we continue to show our belief in this market and the strength of the Four Seasons brand as this new hotel will be our third Four Seasons branded asset in San Francisco. We also currently own the Four Seasons hotel on Market Street and we are in the process of building and delivering one of the best luxury residential products on the west coast with the new Four Seasons Private Residences coming to 706 Mission Street in 2020.”

“Renovations will include all rooms and suites, corridors and other public areas, in addition to a new fitness centre.”

Housed on the top 11 floors of the 48-storey building (the city’s fourth tallest), the Hotel’s 155 rooms and suites afford enviable skyline views including the Coit Tower and Transamerica Building, and sweeping views of the Bay, including landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island. Once renovations are complete, the Hotel will also offer an all-day restaurant and bar and a well-equipped fitness centre including treatment rooms. With an entrance at 222 Sansome Street, the Hotel is centrally located in the city’s financial district and walking distance to Union Square, SoMa and San Francisco’s tallest building, Salesforce Tower.

Renovations will include all rooms and suites, corridors and other public areas, in addition to a new fitness centre. The current hotel will undergo renovations, following which the hotel will be unveiled as a Four Seasons experience in 2020.

Westbrook Partners purchased the hotel from Loews Hotels & Co in May 2019. Loews will continue to manage the hotel throughout 2019.

Main image credit: Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

EDITOR CHECKS IN: Making debuts in international hotel design

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
EDITOR CHECKS IN: Making debuts in international hotel design

Editor Hamish Kilburn has noticed an influx in hotel groups debuting lifestyle brands in far-flung destinations around the world…  

Whenever I disembark a long-haul flight I appreciate further just how small the world really is; it’s tiny in fact. The realisation that you can travel from one side of the planet to the other in less than 24 hours is remarkble, and it seems I am not alone.

Today, more and more travellers – young and old and of all abilities – are willing to go further in their search for adventure to learn and master the true art of luxury travel, which is in my opinion to capture one-off experiences that are totally unmatched.

This month the floodgates on the editorial were kept deliberately open so that we can share with our readers the sheer scale of hotel development that is happening worldwide, in real time. We’ve therefore made it our mission to cover as much news from Hotel Groups as possible. Hotel Indigo has made its debut in Qatar, Canopy by Hilton has made the leap into Africa, Hard Rock Hotels has made an aptly loud entrance on London’s stage and most recently, AC by Marriott has arrived in Jamaica. Our industry has proved this month alone, if nothing else, that it has anything but peaked, as our On The Boards page with no-doubt confirm.

Instead of another long-haul flight, I’ve taken five days out of the office , ahead of both Meet Up North and Hotel Summit and I have used my time wisely to travel to the quaint and colourful Greek island of Spetses. Arriving on an island where cars are forbidden – and with no ‘just opened’ luxury hotel in sight –  simply the sound of naturally breaking waves has inspired me to put pen to paper, after deliberately leaving my laptop at home. Sat on a rock that’s overhanging the water’s edge, I am slowly but surely reconnecting with nature, all the time reminding myself the human importance of using natural and sustainable materials within design and architecture. One company that has predicted a rise in human touch as a trend to watch evolve over the next 100 years is Hilton, which released a report this month stating that: “In a world filled with Artificial Intelligence, human contact and the personal touch will be more critical and sought after than ever.”

With hotel groups and lifestyle brands debuting in new destinations, all the while reacting to trends and forecasts in the process to provide the right experiences for their target audience, it’s an exciting time to be at the helm of the editorial content for Hotel Designs.

During July, Hotel Designs will be putting Soft Furnishings and Fabrics under the spotlight. If you would like to contribute to these topics, please do not hesitate to email me.

Editor, Hotel Designs

UK predicts 130,000 new hotel rooms by 2025

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
UK predicts 130,000 new hotel rooms by 2025

Prime Minister announces a new tourism sector deal that will prepare the UK for an extra 9 million visits per year, with commitment to build 130,000 new hotel rooms by 2025…

The Prime Minister has announced the UK’s first ever tourism sector deal today (Friday 28 June), reaffirming the UK’s global role as a key player in the industry. The new deal is said to revolutionise the way data is used by the sector, through the creation of new Tourism Data Hub.

The hub will collate regularly updated data showing  the latest trends and spends, allowing businesses to better target overseas visitors.

“By 2025 experts predict that there will be an additional 9 million visitors to the UK.”

The deal will also support the creation of an additional 10,000 apprenticeships for people building their careers in the tourism and hospitality sectors.

Last year around 38 million people visited the UK, contributing £23 billion to the local economy. By 2025 experts predict that there will be an additional 9 million visitors to the UK. The new deal commits to building an additional 130,000 hotel rooms to respond to the increased demand for infrastructure.

The deal also outlines the government’s ambitions for the UK to become the most accessible destination for disabled visitors, through improvement of disabled facilities and access to destinations across the country.

“This deal recognises the important role tourism plays, and will continue to play, in showcasing what our great country has to offer.” – Prime Minister Theresa May

Prime Minister Theresa May said:“As one of the most visited countries in the world, the UK is a world leader in international tourism and it is crucial that we remain globally competitive to meet growing demands.

“That’s why today I am pleased to announce the UK’s first ever tourism sector deal, ensuring that we continue to innovate, boost connectivity and economic productivity, expand career pathways and breakdown barriers for visitors with disabilities.

“This deal recognises the important role tourism plays, and will continue to play, in showcasing what our great country has to offer.”

Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright said: “Today we have set out our vision for the future of UK tourism – a commitment to an industry that is vital for the prosperity of our communities, our businesses and our economy.

“The UK is one of the world’s greatest destinations and this deal recognises the importance of maximising our natural assets. We are dedicated to supporting life-long careers for those that work in tourism, offering insightful data to help grow businesses and ultimately creating a better visitor experience throughout the UK.”

Business Secretary Greg Clark said: “Tourism is one of our most valuable industries and it plays a vital role in our economy, with nearly two million people employed in the communities across the country and £23 billion pounds spent by visitors in the UK last year.”

“As part of today’s ground-breaking Deal, new Tourism Zones will deliver a direct boost to holiday destinations across the country, helping create new jobs as well as supporting improvements in transport connections.

“This is one of the many ways in which the Deal will be key in building a world-class experience economy, helping us deliver on the ambition we set out in our modern Industrial Strategy; Government and industry working hand-in-hand to build on our exceptional strengths in this sector, boosting productivity and further increasing the UK’s attractiveness as a holiday destination.”

Other commitments in the Tourism Sector Deal include:

  • More than 130,000 new hotel rooms are set to be built across the UK, with 75% being built outside of London.
  • £250,000 to improve broadband connectivity in conferences centres across the UK for business visitors.
  • Pilot of up to five new Tourism Zones to drive visitor numbers across the country. Zones will receive Government support for growing their local visitor economy, through initiatives like targeted support for product and promotion development, mentoring support to businesses and digital skills training.
  • 10,000 employees in the sector to benefit from new mentorship schemes.
  • A new government strategy to grow the number of Business Events and Conferences, helping to drive off-season visitors.

Developed in partnership with the British Tourist Authority and Industry, the sector deal forms part of the UK Government’s Modern Industrial Strategy supporting the continued growth of the tourism sector, ensuring the UK remains globally competitive as a top tourist destination.

British Tourist Authority Chair Steve Ridgway CBE said: “This sector deal is a game-changer for tourism, one of the UK’s most valuable export industries, spelling a step-change in how we underpin the success of tourism for a generation, moving it to the top table as a leading industry for the UK Government’s future economic planning.

“And it is a game-changer for the economy, growing the value of the industry and employment in tourism, fixing issues from skills and productivity to extending the season year-round, building stronger tourism destinations up and down the country and developing world-class experiences for domestic and international visitors.

“Tourism is one of the most fiercely competitive global industries and this deal ensures we can continue to compete internationally as a top destination for visitors, driving major economic growth across the whole of the UK.”

Main image credit: Corinthia Hotel London

British Institute of Interior Design backs The Brit List 2019

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
British Institute of Interior Design backs The Brit List 2019

The British Institute of Interior Design (BIID) has been confirmed as the industry partner for The Brit List 2019, a leading award ceremony that recognises and celebrates the leading designers, hoteliers and architects operating in Britain… 

For the second year running, the British Institute of Interior Design (BIID) has been confirmed by Hotel Designs as the industry partner for The Brit List 2019, with its soon-to-be president Harriet Forde accepted and announced as a judge for the awards.

The news comes after Hotel Designs interviewed Forde ahead of the start of her presidency, and also after the BIID’s current president, Gilly Craft, sat on the judging panel during last year’s event. “The BIID are the UK’s leading professional body for interior designers and we are delighted to partner with the Brit List for 2019,” said Charlotte Davies, Marketing Manager at the BIID. “Our president Gilly Craft had only good things to say about the process of judging the event and we know our new president Harriet Ford is excited to participate this year.”

The Brit List 2019 will once again platform Britain’s leading interior designers, hoteliers and architects as well as launching the following awards:

  • Interior Designer of the Year
  • Architect of the Year
  • Hotelier of the Year
  • Best in Tech
  • The Eco Award 
  • Best in British Product Design – NEW CATEGORY FOR 2019
  • Outstanding Contribution to the Hospitality Industry

The winners of last year’s The Brit List, who were crowned at an exclusive drinks evening in London, included Martin Brudnizki from Martin Brudnizki Design Studio, Conor O’Leary from Gleneagles and Robin Sheppard from Bespoke hotels, among many others.

This year’s Award Ceremony for The Brit List 2019 will take place on November 21 at Patch East London.

The Brit List 2019, which is organised and hosted by Hotel Designs, is also an opportunity for leaders and visionaries in the industry to network. “Yet again, we are proud and incredibly privileged to announce our partnership with the BIID for The Brit List 2019, an association which wholeheartedly shares our vision to help promote talented creatives in Britain,” added editor of Hotel Designs Hamish Kilburn.

More information on how to apply, nominate and claim your tickets for The Brit List 2019 will be published on July 2.
Please note that there is NO FEE to nominate and/or apply for The Brit List 2019

Headline Partner: Crosswater

Event Partner: Hamilton Litestat:

Industry Partner: BIID:

FEATURE: Software and technology that is enhancing the overall hotel experience

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
FEATURE: Software and technology that is enhancing the overall hotel experience

To celebrate Hotel Designs putting the spotlight on technology, software and controls this month, the editorial team have compiled together all the latest and greatest technology pieces, both hidden and visible, that have launched to significantly help to evolve the overall hotel experience for the better.  

Edited by editor Hamish Kilburn…

Earlier this month, to celebrate the group’s 100th year anniversary, Hilton Hotels released a report supported by experts to reveal how the growing sophistication of technology and climate change will impact the hotel industry in the future. Using the results of the report as a metaphorical anchor, here is a selection of technology and software that is helping to shape the future of international interior design and, as a result, helping to improve the consumer journey within hotels.

Interactivity before checking in

With travel becoming more accessible to everyone, and the rise in alternative home-from-home accommodation, there has also been a rise of design-savvy guests checking in to hotels. Therefore, hoteliers may be interested to know that there is a range of software out there that actually allows the guest to interactively take a virtual tour of their hotel from behind a computer screen, mobile or tablet.

ACT Studios, Hotel Designs’ official photographer, is an innovative photography service that works with hotels to capture their interiors interactively. The company uses Matterport, a world leader in immersive 3D technology, offering a platform for the built environment that can easily capture, edit and share 3D models of physical spaces. The technology is able to fully capture the interior and the design of properties, including hotels and leisure destinations.

Matterport technology has already captured several spectacular hotels, resorts and travel lodges across the world. An example of this would be the Four Seasons Ty Warner Penthouse – located in New York that has hosted celebrity guests and has its own private spa room. An incredibly unique example is the Underwater Room at The Manta Resort and the Underwater Terrace – a floating underwater room as a private oasis located in the crystal clear waters of a conservation area in the Pemba Islands in Tanzania several hundred metres from shore. And up above in the clouds, Matterport has captured the Clouds Estate at Helshoogte Pass – a boutique hotel overlooking dramatic mountains in South Africa’s wine country.

Hotel Designs’ interactive hotel reviews which use the Matterport software include New Road Hotel, Hotel Gotham, University Arms and most recently Oddfellows On The Park.

Meanwhile, to improve the volume of guest bookings, STAAH is a channel management software, recognised as an innovator in hospitality technology solutions. STAAH has been using cloud-based products to help accommodation providers around the world power their online growth since 2008. Its award-winning products puts property owners in control by empowering them with technology that helps them attract, convert, analyse and maximise online reach and revenue.

Its latest products to emerge includes STAAH ReviewMinder, which follows a recent integration with booking.com API for review collection and STAAH Max App, giving users the ability to manage their property from their Mobile-On the Go. Find out more about the company’s June updates on products here.

Personalisation is key

In order to improve the holistic guest hotel experience, the evolution of behind-the-scenes technology has made a clear path for smart hotels, once considered the future, to emerge in the market. Guests checking in to a modern hotel can now expect to be able to adapt and personalise many elements, such as the AC or order room service using their phones, self check-ins are driving receptionists out of fashion, while smart door-opening solutions such as key cards or even mobile applications are fast challenging convention. Hamilton Litestat is an electrical solutions provider that designs, develops and manufactures innovative electrical accessories of the highest quality. With a vast product range, spanning consumer units, decorative switch plates and sockets, lighting control and multi-room audio, it is a one-stop-shop for all domestic wiring requirements to allow for guests to personalise their own stay.

Image of room with ceiling lights and display of Hamilton's switches

Image credit: Hamilton Litestat

A British manufacturer, Hamilton Litestat has created an enviable portfolio of switch plate and socket designs to please the hotel interiors fashion industry, as well as smart lighting control and audio systems designed to enhance the hotel guest experience. Its DMX control option allows a Red, Green or Blue colour-wash to be used as accent lighting to add drama to a space – ideal for guest rooms and restaurant/bar/public areas.’

Another emerging product that has emerged from the domestic market, and is quickly making its way into the boutique hotel sector, is Nanoleaf. The company’s canvas range allows guests to create their own masterpiece. Designed to add a dash of playful, ambient light to any room, the product, among other settings, reacts to the touch of the user. Via downloading the Nanoleaf app, guests can chose to change the colour of their wall tiles from more than 16 millions colours. What’s more, the product is drill free, easy to assemble and works with other smart devices such as Google Home and Amazon Echo.

Hoteliers interested in investing in a quality experience among high-paying guests may wish to include various portable devices for entertainment purposes. LOEWE’s mini yet mighty Klang M1 portable speaker is an excellent example of how a hotel can offer tech that gives the guests control. Thanks to its compact dimensions, exquisitely finished stainless steel case and genuine leather wrist strap, the Klang M1 is the ideal companion for guests on the go. Whether connecting to a smartphone, tablet or laptop – the Bluetooth signal is quickly detected and the devices are paired ready to stream your music. In the hotel suite, while working out or even exploring a destination on two wheels, the Klang M1 is available wherever, whenever.

Image of portable speaker (rose gold) on handlebars of bike

Image credit: LOEWE Klang M1

Technology in design

Earlier this year, Hotel Designs reported live from Milan the launch of LG’s latest innovation, the world’s first rollable LED TV. Designed in collaboration with Foster + Partners, the TV product evolved after the understanding that the modern TV is omnipresent in most living spaces, and with screen sizes getting bigger it often dominates a room even when not being used. The new LG OLED rollable screen allows freedom from walls and offers a sense of liberation to design interior spaces.

While some companies have decided to compact their technology, others have opted to go big or go home. Samsung, for example, has just announced that the hotly anticipated one-of-a-kind display, ‘The Wall Professional’, is available to order with select partners, as it marches forward with its innovation in LED and large-scale displays. A breakthrough innovation in multimedia content technology, The Wall Professional redefines the category, offering discerning customers the ultimate made-to-measure display solution fit for any business or living space. The Wall Professional is a bespoke display offering premium viewing experiences on a larger, grander scale.

Large TV display on wall with people looking (render)

Image credit: Samsung

Hidden technology

While it would be easy to focus the lens on technology that is only used and seen by hotel guests, it would not be a true reflection on the rise in technology within modern hotels. New back-of-house systems are now available to further provide more seamless service. Solutions from the likes of Infraspeak have been designed and launched for chaotic hotels that would benefit from improved operational efficiency and reduced costs of maintenance.

Image credit: Infraspeak

As well as improving communication between maintenance staff and the hotel, Infraspeak is a communication tool that is now used in other areas of hotel, such as house keeping, F&B and even energy management. Click to here to read Hotel Designs’ interview with the company’s co-founder.

Main image credit: Nanoleaf

MEET UP NORTH: Final call for designers, architects, hoteliers and developers to claim tickets

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
MEET UP NORTH: Final call for designers, architects, hoteliers and developers to claim tickets

Calling all designers, hoteliers, architects and developers, this is your last chance to confirm your attendance at Hotel Designs’ premium northern networking evening, Meet Up North, which takes place on July 1 at Manchester’s Hotel Gotham…

Where: Hotel Gotham, Manchester | When: July 1, 2019 | Cost: £20 per ticket for designers, hoteliers, architects and developers operating in the industry.

If you are a designer, hotelier, architect or developer working in the hotel design industry and would like to connect with suppliers and clients in and around Manchester, click here to purchase your £20 ticket to Meet Up North.

Following the success of Meet Up London in March, Meet Up North is designed to further bridge the gap between designers, architects, hoteliers and suppliers will this year carrying the theme of ‘Creativity Outside the Capital’, following the recent headings highlighting Manchester’s unique position in the industry as a hotel design hotspot.

The highly anticipated event will include an insightful talk and presentation by Tom Lindblom, Principal and Hospitality Leader at Gensler (London), which will be entitled Hospitality is way more than hotels.’

The hand-chosen venue for the event, which in a few years will become the older and wiser sibling of the brand’s latest hotel that is on boards, The Brooklyn, has been an epicentre of the city’s action since it opened in 2015. The general manager of the hotel and brand, Mario Ovsenjak, and the owner, Robin Sheppard, were both listed in The Brit List 2018 as being among the top hoteliers in the country. Located on the rooftop, Club Brass will transform on July 1 from a private members’ bar  into a premium networking evening for designers, hoteliers, architects and suppliers alike – and here’s how you can get your hands on a ticket.

Designer, architect and hotelier tickets: £20 + VAT
If you are a designer, architect or hoteliers to the industry and would like to attend Meet Up North 2019, click here.

Morgan launches lounge chair and table collection designed by Tim Rundle

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Morgan launches lounge chair and table collection designed by Tim Rundle

Contract furniture designer and manufacturer Morgan has launched Rakino, a collection of lounge chairs and tables, designed by Tim Rundle…

During Clerkenwell Design Week 2019, Morgan launched a new furniture collection, Rakino, designed by Tim Rundle.

Juxtaposing soft sculpted upholstery with a strong, low line frame, the new family of lounge chairs and tables feature crisp timber detailing, emphasised by a clean linear structure.

“It’s been a pleasure working with Tim, who brings an international perspective to Rakino,” says Katerina Zachariades, design director at Morgan. “His experience in furniture, lighting and interior design enables him to develop new product ideas with an understanding of commercial demands. We have enjoyed developing this chair and refining our production methods to achieve the light, simple structure that defines it.”

Describing his approach to the project, Rundle says, “I wanted to create something that felt quiet and inviting, that could feel right in your home, while being appropriate for hard working contract environments.” 

Morgan has a tradition of naming its collections after places, which Tim embraced. He explains: “It only felt right we choose a New Zealand name, being designed by a Kiwi, albeit London based. Rakino is one of a cluster of small islands in the Hauraki Gulf, the body of water surrounding Auckland’s east coast. There people are able to escape the busy city, a short boat ride leaving you with a pleasant sense of isolation and calm. A comfortable low lounge chair in a busy hotel or workplace could, I hope, provide the same feeling.”

Morgan 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 Zoe Guerrier by clicking here.

Wimberly Interiors completes ‘Diamond Residences’ in all-suite hotel in Crete, Greece

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Wimberly Interiors completes ‘Diamond Residences’ in all-suite hotel in Crete, Greece

Elounda Peninsula All Suite Hotel in Crete, Greece, has opened two new luxurious ‘Diamond Residences’, which have been designed by Wimberley Interiors… 

As part of a recent €500,000 refurbishment project by Elounda SA Hotels & Resorts, design firm Wimberly Interiors has completed a two new two-bedroom seafront Diamond Residences.

Part of Elounda SA Hotels & Resorts, the exceptional Elounda Peninsula All Suite Hotel enjoys striking views across the iridescent Aegean Sea and Sitia mountains. Perched on the water’s edge, the hotel has been famous over the years for having the finest beach area on the island of Crete, flaunting crystal clear waters and smooth sandy shallows. The new ‘Diamond Residences’ are situated just by the resort’s private sandy beach, being the hotel in Europe to offer this.

Taking its main source of inspiration from the resort’s beautiful landscape, nestled around a natural bay, the Cretan setting creates a stunning backdrop to the two new Diamond Residences at Elounda Peninsula. Upon entry into the residences, the prominent feature is the incredible view out to the bay and mountains beyond.

“The use of a simple yet timeless palette within each room exudes the luxury and sophistication sought by an international clientele,” says Rachel Johnson, Senior Vice President at Wimberly Interiors and a finalist in the The Brit List 2018. “From the modern take on the built-in sofas and placement of Cretan benches in the dining area, to the use of local artisans for the artwork and accessories, the choice of design showcases the island’s rich history and culture.”

Two-tier modern suite that looks out at pool and bay

Image credit: Elounda Peninsula All Suite Hotel

Each of the two residences have two master bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, a large sitting room with dining area, kitchenette and bathroom. The furniture in the residences are tailor made, using top quality interiors, fabrics and materials. The new rooms give access onto a unique, 90sqm terrace with a private heated pool, seating area, loungers and outside dining. Steps from the residence’s terrace provide access to the resort’s private sandy beach.

“The juxtaposition of old and new, along with the smoothness of the marble alongside the softness of the textiles, all craft an eclectic residential feel,” adds Johnson. “Implementing two levels to the residences has intensified the drama of the suites and created natural and easy definition to the areas. Features include a long, low built- in sofa and the soft palette, accented with soft blue hues.”

The two new Diamond Residences encompass timeless elegance, infusing a contemporary international aesthetic with local references of Crete. Purposefully complimenting the elegance of the architecture with the interiors, the design embraces panoramic sea and mountain views of Elounda Peninsula All Suite Hotel.

Main image credit: Elounda Peninsula All Suite Hotel

PRODUCT WATCH: Roca launches new flat brassware range

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
PRODUCT WATCH: Roca launches new flat brassware range

Recommended Supplier Roca flourishes with new flat brassware range… 

Roca, a leading manufacturer of bathroom products, has launched Flat, its latest brassware collection. Flat epitomises minimalist design with its square silhouette and soft edges, it offers a functional yet sophisticated brassware style for any bathroom space. The collection is available in a range of styles including standard, deck-mounted and wall-mounted options.

The square shape of the Flat mixer is complementary to a range of basin shapes, making it a versatile and functional brassware choice for homeowners, installers, specifiers and retailers.

“Homeowners are becoming increasingly experimental with bathroom design, with many moving away from the traditional mixer in favour of something innovative and contemporary,” says Claire Gay, Marketing Manager at Roca. “The square design and sleek aesthetic of the new Flat brassware range meets this demand, presenting a mixer perfectly suited to the modern bathroom.”

Flat includes the very latest technology, demonstrating Roca’s continued commitment to innovation and development.

“The electrolytic coating ensures the tap retains its shine along with simplifying the cleaning process.”

Customers can be assured that their brassware will look its best for many years to come as all mixers in the Flat collection are coated in the hard-wearing Roca EverShine® finish. The electrolytic coating ensures the tap retains its shine along with simplifying the cleaning process, while the innovative finish from Roca repels stains and discourages the build-up of limescale. Additionally, the exclusive ceramic cartridge has been tested with over one million movements to ensure optimal performance and longevity.

Roca has equipped the range with many water-saving innovations. Soft Turn technology provides the highest levels of precision and puts the owner in control, with the ability to set the desired water flow and temperature. This is enhanced further by the integration of flow limiters, flow limiters restrict the water flow to a specific number of litres per minute, enhancing sustainability alongside providing a cost-effective solution.

Roca 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 Zoe Guerrier by clicking here.

Main image credit: Roca

Rockwell Group to unveil Barcelona’s ‘hippest hotel’ this September

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Rockwell Group to unveil Barcelona’s ‘hippest hotel’ this September

Nobu Hotel Barcelona, a member of the prestigious Preferred Hotels & Resorts Collection, will open its doors this September with the aim of being a place where the vibrant energy of the Catalan capital meets the iconic spirit of Nobu Hotels…

Home to 259 sleek rooms and stylish suites, a 150sqm Nobu Suite, an elegant spa and gym as well as tailor made meeting and event spaces, Nobu Hotel Barcelona, slated to open in September of this year, will house the city’s first Nobu Restaurant along with the Japanese inspired tapas bar; Kozara.

Capturing the unique essence of this famous European city, Nobu Hotel Barcelona will reflect the core values that have become synonymous with Nobu Hotels; passionate service, distinctive design and unpretentious luxury.

“Nobu Hotel Barcelona is the fourth European and third Spanish property from the internationally renowned hospitality brand.”

The interiors, conceptualised by award-winning architecture and design firm, Rockwell Group, seamlessly blend Japanese minimalism with the colourful character of Barcelona to create an integrated mix of luxurious hotel and energised living spaces. Recognisably Catalan-inspired designs, such as the works of Gaudi, are mingled with the traditional Japanese craft of Kintsugi; the art of repairing broken pottery with either gold, silver or platinum, to create collages of materials, textures and spaces throughout the hotel.

Located on the top floor of the 23-storey property, guests can dine at Nobu’s world-famous namesake while taking in unrivalled views of the Barcelona city line and the Mediterranean. The menu will reflect Nobu’s philosophy of locality; paying homage to local ingredients and classic Catalan cuisine, while staying true to the brand’s Japanese DNA.

Located in the charmingly Catalan neighbourhood of Eixample, the hotel is just a five minute stroll from Plaza de España, a mere 15 minutes from Barcelona’s buzzy La Rambla or a short walk to the main railway station for high speed links to Madrid, Paris, Lyon and Marseille making it ideal for laid-back luxury explorers and business travellers alike.

Nobu Hotel Barcelona is the fourth European and third Spanish property from the internationally renowned hospitality brand founded by Robert De Niro, Nobu Matsuhisa and Meir Teper. Working together with the Spanish hospitality group owned by Jordi Mestre, Selenta, Nobu Hotel Barcelona offers guests and locals a luxury lifestyle experience with a genuine Catalan feel.

Main image credit: Rockwell Group

Dexter Moren Associates wins planning permission for a Cambridge hotel

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Dexter Moren Associates wins planning permission for a Cambridge hotel

A planning win for Dexter Moren Associates will see Cambridge’s iconic Hobson House given new lease of life as an all-suite boutique hotel…

One of Cambridge’s most iconic buildings is to be given a new lease of life following the decision by Cambridge City Council to grant permission for the conversion of the city’s historic former police and fire station into a 57 all-suite luxury boutique hotel and destination tearoom.

Operating under the Rogue City Hotels brand, the hotel has been sensitively designed by established hospitality designer Dexter Moren Associates (DMA) for client Henley and will see key features of the Grade II Listed Hobson House preserved, restored and opened up to the public for the first time in decades.

Hobson House, built in 1901 and located on St Andrew’s Street, sits on a site associated with the charity founded by Thomas Hobson, the 17th century Cambridge philanthropist from whom the phrase ‘Hobson’s Choice’ derives. Over the years, the building has functioned variously as a workhouse, a gaol for the university, a police and fire station and, more recently, as council offices.

Through a sensitive conversion DMA’s design provides opportunities to enhance and reveal significant architectural features of the building, much of which had been lost or hidden through previous alterations. The design respects the important original spaces without significant alteration, whilst new build elements woven into the existing fabric will provide a visual lift to the character of Downing Place to the rear. DMA has proposed that the unique covered courtyard, the former Drill Yard, will be enclosed to become a destination tearoom and eatery in the very heart of the hotel, creating vibrancy and social interaction for both guests and local neighbours.

Given the historic and architectural significance of Hobson House, it is important that the building be respectfully converted to its new use. DMA’s inhouse conservation knowledge coupled with its planning expertise successfully navigated the design through a number of Pre-application meetings and a Design and Conservation Review Panel.

“The building’s original stained-glass windows, ceiling plasterwork and wood panelling will be restored throughout.”

The project has been led by DMA Partner Paul Wells. “Hobson House is an architectural gem located in Cambridge’s historic city centre, with many fantastic original features local people may be unaware of,” Well says. “Sadly, since its conversion to office use in the 1960s the building has suffered from chronic under-investment and its many of its original features have been denied the care they deserve. Now that our hotel proposal has been granted permission, Henley can give the building a new lease of life, not only helping to serve the needs of the city’s many visitors, but also preserving and restoring Hobson House for the local residents to embrace and be truly proud of.”

DMA’s proposals will see the original ornate entrance hall and principal stone staircase retained and repaired to their former glory, alongside the first-floor Chief Constable’s Office which will also be restored with the existing timber panelling and bold ceiling pattern fully repaired. The building’s original stained-glass windows, ceiling plasterwork and wood panelling will be restored throughout.

The exterior façade on St Andrew’s Street will be cleaned using methods that are appropriately sensitive to the stone exterior, to activate and ‘open’ the ornate and historic frontage and welcome visitors into the site.

Nassar Khalil, Director of Hotels and Leisure at Henley and Chief Executive of Rogue City Hotels said “We are extremely excited to have secured planning consent for our next hotel in the heart of one of the UK’s most enchanting cities. As with all our hotels, our focus is to provide guests with design led luxury accommodation, exceptional service, comfort and convenience, and curate a special relationship with the local area. These summed up the key attributes of a Rogue City Hotel.”

To introduce a meaningful and visually exciting new use to the central core of the building, the design creates a landscaped destination tearoom in the double height former drill yard. This will allow the public to access an otherwise ‘land locked’ part of the building, allowing visitors to enjoy the dramatic scale of the space.

Main image credit: Dexter Moren Associates

SLEEP & EAT: Sleep Set design and architecture firms unveiled

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
SLEEP & EAT: Sleep Set design and architecture firms unveiled

Sleep & Eat has confirmed the designers and architects who will create this years Sleep + Eat sets, two of which were finalists of The Brit List 2018… 

Sleep & Eat, which takes place in Olympia London on November 19 – 20, has announced the architecture and design firms that will create the 2019 Sleep & Eat Sets. The roll call reveals an intriguing roster of new and long-established, multi-cultural practices based in Paris, London, Manchester and Singapore.

The firms are twenty2degrees, Miaja Design Group, Hat Design and Barreca Tibblin, who will each create a concept guestroom. Meanwhile, NAME architecture and Space Invader will both realise a restaurant and bar Set. With the theme for 2019 of “Social FlexAbility”, the six design and architecture companies have been challenged to design flexible and engaging spaces in that guests can activate the social experience of their choice. Once again, the Sets – a cult favourite amongst Sleep & Eat visitors – are poised to provide a conceptual playground which, this year, will explore one of the major issues of our technology-enabled age – connection with other human beings.

twenty2Degrees is one of the most prolific hotel interior design firms in London today. “We are thrilled to be a part of the creative team of designers involved with this year’s Sleep & Eat sets,” says Joseph Stella of twenty2degrees who was last year a finalist in The Brit List. “We look forward to delivering a design that not only encapsulates our studio, but also responds to the challenge of this year’s brief. Our aim is to design a space that feels fresh, excites those who visit and inspires others in the way that we have been when visiting The Sets in previous years.”

Headquartered in Singapore, Miaja Design Group has been bringing artistic design to hotels & resorts, luxury residential and F&B developments since 1995. The founder, Isabelle Miaja, says: “I am very excited to participate in Sleep & Eat 2019. Innovation and inspiration have always been a driving force for me in creating my designs and this event embodies these precepts.”

Paris-based Hat Design already enjoys a hospitality portfolio across Europe. Anne-Marie Sabatier believes that their quest is to design destinations and new experiences of wellbeing that engage all the guest’s senses. “With the prodigious opportunity offered at Sleep & Eat, we will be sharing our vision of relaxed aesthetics and transformable social collaboration,” she explains. “Sleep & Eat is an opening for HAT to a global audience, prestigious representation where functional business design matters.”

Barreca Tibblin was founded in London just last year, an interior design company combining the Scandinavian and French heritage of creative duo Emilie Barreca and Maria Tibblin.Maria Tibblin. “’Tradition of the future’ is my inspiration when designing a space,” says Tibblin. “It honours our heritage and welcomes the next generation. A timeless design combined with the creative sense of tomorrow. When I visited the Sleep & Eat event last year, I was so inspired and eager to be part of the show to share my ideas with a wider audience.”

Based in London and Paris, NAME Architecture is an award-winning architectural practice led by Nathalie Rozencwajg, whose experience ranges from landmark museums to residential spaces and luxury hotels. Rozencwajg was also a finalist in last year’s Brit List. “We are looking forward to contributing to a leading event in the hospitality sector and sharing our vision for the future of the industry,” she says. “Sleep & Eat is a driving force that bridges today’s solutions with visions for tomorrow and designing a Set is a unique opportunity to contribute to the debate and explore the power of design to personalise a social experience through a spatial one.”

Katie Edgar is the interior designer behind Oddfellows On The Park, Hotel Designs’ most recent interactive hotel review. “At Space Invader, we are always looking for new ideas that inspire us as interior designers,” says Edgar. “The Sleep & Eat event is a must for us as it combines new products, thought leadership, opportunities to speak to key figures in our industry and a chance to soak up the buzzing atmosphere. The opportunity to design a Set was a no brainer and a chance for us to come together as a design studio and create something special.”

Sleep & Eat 2019 returns to the National Hall, Olympia London, on 19th-20th November. For more information or to register for a complimentary pass, visit www.sleepandeatevent.com/visit/register-your-interest.

Main image credit: Sleep & Eat

 

Duravit unveils Happy D.2 Plus in collaboration with sieger design

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Duravit unveils Happy D.2 Plus in collaboration with sieger design

Duravit has teamed up with sieger design to create Happy D.2 Plus, an elegant bathroom series, which is expressive in terms of form and colour…

Duravit has teamed up with sieger design to create Happy D.2 Plus. This elegant new bathroom series combines current trends in colour, design, and finishes, whilst not detracting from the archetypical open oval of the original Happy D. design classic.

Above-counter wash bowls with precise lines, stand-alone consoles and matching semi-tall cabinets as well as circular mirrors unite to create perfectly harmonized washing areas. The new range enables stylish collections to be individually designed with a darker or lighter basic mood.

The above-counter washbasins with their narrow, characteristically flattened rim are available in three widths, of which two have an incorporated tap platform. Their striking individuality comes from the new colour variants in Anthracite Matt or a two-tone contrast, with glossy White on the inside and Anthracite Matt on the outside. The consistent colour concept of Happy D.2 Plus also extends to toilets and bidets, with the interior of the toilets finished in glossy Anthracite for optimum hygiene. All ceramic parts are also available in glossy White.

The new Happy D.2 Plus colour variants of refined Anthracite Matt or a two-tone contrast of Glossy White inside and Anthracite Matt outside lend the above-counter basins an extra layer of individuality

Image caption: The new Happy D.2 Plus colour variants of refined Anthracite Matt or a two-tone contrast of Glossy White inside and Anthracite Matt outside lend the above-counter basins an extra layer of individuality.

Subtly rounded contours, handle-free fronts, low material thicknesses, and optional interior lighting for the pull-out compartments and drawers on the bathroom furniture are highlights of the contemporary elegance of the series.

Storage options are provided by console washbasin vanity units, which come in four widths. Small, practical racks in the door of the semi-tall cabinets, which are available in two sizes, ensure perfect order in the interior. Individual style collections can easily be created with a total of eleven carcass surfaces to choose from: quality wood or matt, yet practical surfaces in light and dark shades. The Graphite Super Matt variant also comes with an anti-fingerprint coating. Happy D.2 Plus affords even greater customisation options: the console panel can be selected from a range of six finishes, enabling a range of different, expressive combinations.

The circular mirrors in two colours add an air of expressive elegance. The all-round mirror lighting strips come in two finishes: graphic-radiating (“Radial”) or bionic-geometric (“Organic”). For maximum comfort there are the models fitted with a sensor switch, featuring dimmable light and optional mirror heating. The variant with icon control on the mirror surface also has mirror heating and the ambient light mode and switching function for coloured light: At a luminosity of more than 300 lux, the light colour can be continuously adjusted from 2,700 (warm light) to 6,500 kelvin (cold light). With the set of two, the respective mirror functions for each side are synchronized via innovative wireless technology that is preset at the factory

This impressive elegance is also reflected when it comes to bathing: the bathtubs made from glossy acrylic are optionally available in Graphite Super Matt with seamless paneling. Thanks to the compact external dimensions, the various models – back-to-wall, corner right or left as well as the free-standing version – enable a high level of flexibility in room planning. The generously proportioned, ergonomic interior of all bathtub models and the optional whirl system offer pure relaxation and relaxing comfort.

Duravit 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, click here.

In Conversation With: Harriet Forde, the up-coming President of the BIID

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
In Conversation With: Harriet Forde, the up-coming President of the BIID

Editor Hamish Kilburn heads backstage to join Harriet Forde, the interior designer waiting in the wings to become the President of the British Institute of Interior Design (BIID)…

As far as interviewing a leading designer goes, I have never, until now at least, agreed to meet in a converted traditional men’s public toilet in London. Surprisingly, though, The Attendant in Fitzrovia turns out to be the perfect quirky backdrop for such an occasion.

The underground coffee shop instantly tells me two things about the designer before I have even managed to ask my first question. The first being that the soon-to-be president of the British Institute of Interior Design (BIID), Harriet Forde, does things differently. The second is that she has a thing about meeting in outlandish – almost kooky – locations because, and I quote: “Meetings like these should be fun, completely memorable and a bit out there.”

Once I had got over the initial shock of us both sitting, propped up on statement green stools, in front of pristine-white restored urinals while listening to country-folk music, I was keen to understand how Forde plans to wear the shoes of her soon-to-be predecessor, The Brit List 2018 judge, Gilly Craft. “There’s only so much you can do and change in a year,” Forde says. “That’s why all three of us, the president elect (currently myself), the president (Gilly Craft) and past president (Charles Leon) all have an active role – and it really is a three-year commitment. Therefore Gilly, for example, will step down as president in a few months, but she will still be very much involved in decisions and responsibilities – which she never shies away from.”

“British designers especially are not afraid to be experimental and they are arguably more willing to embrace the oddities.” – Harriet Forde.

It has been said time and time again – and here it is once more for good measure – that Britain is an unparalleled design hub. Wearing her BIID hat, Forde is the first judge announced for The Brit List 2019, Hotel Designs’ nationwide search for the top interior designers, hoteliers and architects. Forde has her own opinions on why she believes the UK captures some of the world’s best design talent. “Although manufacturing is lacking in Britain, and it is very niche now, there is still a history of craft,” Forde explains. “Still to this day, while manufacturing abroad is cheaper, there are a handful of creative companies who are still making products from British factories, which is something we should encourage and celebrate more. British design has a cache, of sorts, which can be quirky. British designers especially are not afraid to be experimental and they are arguably more willing to embrace the oddities.”

As well as preparing for her Presidency to commence, Forde is also the founder of Harriet Forde Design, a leading design firm that provides comprehensive interior design services and solutions for bars, restaurants, hotels, commercial properties and residential projects. “I very much try to take it one day at a time, using my diary planner to the best of my ability,” says Forde. “It’s a constant re-evaluation to identify the priority and it’s far too easy to over commit.”

QUICK-FIRE ROUND

HK: What’s your favourite type of hotel?
HF: I love hotels that have a home-from-home feel, like Kit Kemp’s Firmdale Hotels.

HK: What’s your number-one travel item?
HF: A Cafetière and decaf grounded coffee, don’t ask.

HK: What is your biggest bugbear within the industry
HF: Lack of communication between consultants.

HK: Who was your inspiration:
HF: Olga Polizzi.

HK: What trend is really inspiring you this year?
HF: I am really into marble and to that end I am embarking on learning more about what creates different marble around the world. Italy is running dry with certain types of marble, so other stones are becoming more popular. That and thin porcelain tiles.

HK: What do you hope to bring to your presidency?
HF: What value a BIID membership can bring professionally, personally and creatively.

HK: Sketches or renders?
HF: A render with sketching, but that’s like choosing between humous and guacamole.

HK: What would you do?
HF: I would quite like to be a lighting designer.

It seems as if Forde and I are on the same page when it comes to the limitless possibilities of lighting. “When I started as an interior design, we did our own lighting design as well as specifying the fittings,” she says. “Now, though, with the explosion of LED, it’s such a big world out there full of technical know-how. Therefore, more and more, we are working with lighting designers, on projects because they know what is technically possible and equally impossible.”

Forde’s open approach to not just talking about but really discussing design is refreshing; she is a fountain of knowledge who will make for a strong yet personable president – just like her predecessor. As her choice in venue suggests, our next President of the BIID can spot a design gem from a mile away, which I am sure will stand her in good stead for the phase of her journey.

Main image credit: Harriet Forde Designs

Chelsom head to the Cruise Ship Interiors Expo, Miami

730 565 Katy Phillips
Chelsom head to the Cruise Ship Interiors Expo, Miami

From today, June 19 to tomorrow, June 20 Hotel Designs’ Recommended Supplier Chelsom will be exhibiting at the Cruise Ship Interiors Expo which takes place at Miami Beach Convention Center.

This is the inaugural launch of the show which promises to focus on interior design and word is that it is set to be the USA’s premier trade show and conference for the international marine industry. Offering the newest and most innovative products and services, the show will provide inspiration whilst connecting hospitality professionals from all business areas.

Chelsom are supporting the show, showcasing pieces from their latest lighting collections, Edition 26. Designed by Robert and Will Chelsom, the collections harness and refine the latest trends in finishes and materials and have been created with the requirements of the international marine marketplace at their core.

John Hadley, Marine Director commented “Cruise Ship Interior Expo is set to be the number one global event for the marine industry and we are very pleased to be making our debut. Being able to see what the international market is up to is really inspirational and it’s a great environment for companies to showcase their latest product designs and innovations. Events such as these have become key dates in the diaries of many industry professionals from the wider marine industry so it’s a fantastic opportunity to show the leading Marine Interiors professionals a selection of our latest designs from what is undoubtedly our most different and design-led collection yet.”

At the start of the year, Hotel Designs published a series of articles focusing on hotels at new heights. Back then we looked at the increasing trend for hotel designers to take to the high waters to design the luxury cruise vessel suites of the future. Step forward Chelsom…

Chelsom has become one of the leading designers, manufacturers and suppliers of decorative contract lighting to the international marine sector working on projects with all leading marine operators across all brands within each operator; including Carnival, Crystal Cruises, NCL and RCCL. Supplying both standard and custom designed lighting products, Chelsom has the expertise to enhance any cruise ship interior, whether new build or refurbishment, cabins to corridors and public spaces.

Chelsom will be at booth 519. For more information on the exhibition and to register to attend please go to: https://www.cruiseshipinteriors-expo.com

Chelsom 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, click here.

 

Image credit – Chelsom

INTERACTIVE REVIEW: Oddfellows On The Park

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
INTERACTIVE REVIEW: Oddfellows On The Park

Located on the fringes of Manchester, Oddfellows On The Park is quirky, timeless and in its own admission ‘a little bit odd’. Editor Hamish Kilburn writes about the hotel that was designed to be disobedient…

By the looks of Manchester’s hotel development pipeline, creativity in British interior design and architecture is not limited to London. Despite Brexit uncertainty, this year alone, 835 new guestrooms will be introduced into the industrial city – with a further 11 more hotels slated to open between 2020 and 2021.

The booming hotel design scene in the northern metropolis has resulted in more interest around the outskirts of the city, and it is here – less than 10 miles from the Manchester’s Piccadilly – where Oddfellows Hotels’ latest property is situated.

A lamp shining from the head of a life-sized model of a horse and a chandelier made from bicycle chains hanging above the check-in desk is the first indication that Oddfellows On The Park doesn’t like to play by the rules. Tasked with the aim to stylishly go against the grain was design firm SpaceInvader, which is dedicated to creating spaces which fulfill their true potential, while unlocking the power to enhance human behaviour.

Opened in 2017, the hotel is sheltered within an 1861 traditional Victorian Gothic building, which was named Bruntwood Hall. The shell of the now 22-key boutique hotel was designed originally by an industrialist, John Douglas, who was inspired by a Scottish home; the original ceilings in The Stud Room Bar are testimony to this with subtle thistle design. Today, the iconic structure stands in plain sight, nestled within endless playing parks which feature archery, a golf course, and even a BMX cycling track – hence the cycling chain chandelier in the lobby.

In its history, Bruntwood Hall has served many purposes – from being a town hall during the war to becoming home to a film company and fashion designer. Now, though, for the first time in its winding narrative, the building has been redecorated, reconfigured and reborn to welcome guests into a luxury boutique hotel like no other.

Katie Edgar who heads up hospitality at SpaceInvaders led the design throughout the project. She and her design team conducted thorough research into the history of the building, the location and the inhabitants of Bruntwood Hall, in order to understand how to thoughtfully reference the building’s past. “The approach focused on respecting the character and beautiful features of Bruntwood Hall,” explains Edger. “We were inspired by them, and wanted to enhance them to design a romantic scheme that celebrates the history of the building and its unique position.”

Image credit: ACT Studios

In addition to sympathetically restoring the building’s original features, the design firm worked with architect Tim Groom, in order to incorporate elements of innovative and playful design that has become a signature of Oddfellows Hotels. “The aim was to create a space that allows guests to lose themselves in their surroundings and feel that the Hall is theirs for the weekend,” adds Edgar.

“Original 1860s encaustic floor tiles were uncovered in the reception area and revived to their former glory.”

The public areas arguably give the most significant nod to the building’s heritage. While Edgar and her team were restoring the building as part of its transformation, original 1860s encaustic floor tiles were uncovered in the reception area and revived to their former glory.

The Stud Bar, which is sheltered adjacent to the lobby area, is a small and intimate space dominated by the original statement ceiling complete with beautiful Jacobean-style decorative plasterwork. “The furniture here has been based around complementing, rather than competing with the overhead design,” said Edger. Comfortable high back chairs, and a soft approach to seating encourage guests to enjoy both the view out to the parkland and the historical building features.

Meanwhile, the corridors that are staggered over three levels feature an array of abstract art, creating fun and creative moments throughout guests’ journey to their rooms and suites. Just like the corridors, the guestrooms and suites are layered with texture and each have their own personality. The Tower Suite, for example, is a two-tiered design gem that adorns contemporary finishes such as playful wallcoverings and portraits hung with human bodies and animal heads.

The bathrooms in all 22 rooms and suites have been designed by Utopia Projects, which specified all of the sanitaryware for seven different room types and the spa facilities for the hotel. “Having worked with these designers before, and therefore having an idea of what they like, made this hotel a dream to spec,” said project consultant, Stuart Adamson. ” It’s truly genius how the designers have maintained the buildings country style but modernised it with complimentary elements like the hexagonal mirrors and tiles, although our favourite piece has to be the roll-topped, freestanding baths we supplied completely in white.”

Image credit: ACT Studio

On the top floor, the suites compliment the natural architecture of the building, featuring wooden beams and, with high ceilings, compliment natural arch shape of the roofing. The guestrooms feature over-scaled carpet designs, which are a stylish riff on the decorative plasterwork.

In a nod to the building’s Scottish heritage, the design team included thoughtful elements throughout, including new tartan upholstery, wools and tweeds, and original decorative thistles that are on display. “Heritage colours were specifically chosen to accent walls throughout the bedrooms and public spaces,” explains Edger. “Muted shades of greens, blues, purples and blacks were considered room by room and provide a back drop to conversational artwork and decorative lighting.”

The use of taxidermy would have been expected in the interior of the building’s previous iterations. And so to layer this sensitively within interior scheme was important, but as with everything in the hotel’s design, the use of taxidermy was anything by ordinary. “In a twist on this concept, we included elements such as bike handlebars mounted on elaborate wall plates,” explains Edger. “These have been utilised to provide another link to the activities that can be enjoyed within the building’s surrounding 100 acres of parkland.”

The Pigsty is the hotel’s premium spa that sits in a separate building adjacent to the rest of the hotel. Fittingly, the intimate salon features its own mudroom as well as two treatment rooms and has an engaging atmosphere within the social salon quarter.

Now managed by Bespoke Hotels, the UK’s largest independent hotel group that also owns Hotel Gotham, checking in to Oddfellows On The Park is a journey that celebrates oddities in spectacular fashion. With the combination of amplifying a unique style and through clever marketing to promote it, the Oddfellows Brand is taking its place in the northern hotel charts and it continues to push the boundaries of modern hotel design.

Main image credit: ACT Studios

Improving guest wellbeing with fire

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Improving guest wellbeing with fire

Jonathan Smith, product marketing manager – Flame Technology, Glen Dimplex Heating and Ventilation, explains the wellness benefits of incorporating fire in interior design… 

Fire has always played an important part in our lives. Evolutionary speaking, it was vital for our development as it provided a source of light, warmth and protection from predators.

Move forward a million years and fire still featured heavily in domestic lives. It provided a social gathering point for families, all heating and lighting, and the ability to cook.

With the innovation of the chimney came the fireplace. Often, these fireplaces were used as a symbol of power and wealth, but still, their main function was to provide heat and warmth, as well as remaining a focal point of the room. With the advent of central heating and cookers, the fireplace was no longer a necessity. However, we find it hard to break our evolutionary ties with fire — it’s something which still gives us a strong sense of well-being.

This is certainly true in the hospitality sector. Hotel lobbies can often be grand and overwhelming spaces, but some hotels do use fireplaces to create a dramatic and welcoming feel. These lobbies are spaces which can either make visitors feel relaxed and welcome, or intimidated and anxious. Obviously, the first emotions are preferable in creating a positive experience for guests — a fireplace can help to achieve this.

Indeed, the hospitality sector is witnessing a trend towards smaller, more welcoming and intimate spaces. Think of it as guests getting more of a ‘living room experience’.  Malcolm Berg, founder of EoA, a hospitality design firm, says: “What this means for hotel design, especially hotel lobbies, is more spaces of cross-pollination, spaces that offer a blend of public and private options for people who want to be in a public area but also have their privacy, to spaces where people can gather as a group to eat, dine, work or communicate.” Again, a fireplace can help to create a focal point for people to gather, relax and socialise.

Health benefits of flame

A wealth of evidence exists to support the positive psychological effects of fire. Research scientists in Japan found by investigating alpha brain wave patterns, that watching flame movements helps to improve levels of human comfort and satisfaction.

“The longer people watched the fire, the more relaxed they became.”

Additionally, in a study for the University of Alabama, Dr. Lynn discovered that watching a fire, complete with sound effects, consistently lowered high blood pressure. The longer people watched the fire, the more relaxed they became, and the experience also seemed to make the participants more sociable. This could be related to prehistoric times when keeping a fire going would have been a very important job that required cooperation. Dr. Lynn suggests that because of this, when we’re sitting by a fire, all our senses become absorbed in the experience. This focus of attention could explain our reduced blood pressure and anxiety.

With this ability to make us more relaxed, more sociable and therefore more likely to linger, surely all restaurants and hotels should make fires a focal point within their common areas. However, its not always easy, or even possible to install a real fire in some spaces. And that’s before the potential health and safety issues are even addressed.

The problems with real flame

Fires can enhance the aesthetic appeal of a space. However, in recent research commissioned by Glen Dimplex Heating & Ventilation, 79 per cent of architects and designers stated concerns about using fire and flame within their projects, with health and safety, energy efficiency and cost among their primary worries.

These health and safety concerns are not unfounded. Aside from the obvious issues around installing an open fire in a public space, there are also less obvious threats to health. Burning wood in an open fire releases small particles which can be absorbed by the lungs and enter the bloodstream. Scientists in Italy found that these particulates can lead to dangerous heart problems and King’s College, London has found a link to particulate pollution and Alzheimer’s. Asthma is another health problem made worse by wood combustion.

So, while fires may help us psychologically, do these benefits outweigh the physiological issues to our health?

Mitigating the negatives with flame technology

One way to alleviate the concerns posed by fire, while still achieving the desired psychological benefits, is through the use of electric flame technology. Modern electric fires provide all the same effects as real flame — a focal point for any room and they go a long way towards creating the right atmosphere for a space, making it welcoming and hospitable.

Three-dimensional flame technology gives such a believable illusion that the same state of relaxation and comfort can be achieved as with any real fireplaces. However, because there is no combustion, there are no open flames and no particulates produced — meaning health and safety concerns are no longer a worry.

Another benefit of electric flame technology is that these fires are quick and easy to install. They don’t need a working chimney or flue or create any heat; they can be installed in any space and used all year round to add ambience, character and a welcoming feel to any space.

Electric flame for the future

When fire was first “invented”, it played a very simple role; it was a lifeline. You needed a fire for warmth, for safety, to cook, to live. Today, the concept of a fire or fireplace isn’t any of these things as they’ve all become secondary function nice-to-haves. And yet, when we see a fire, we feel warm and not just in the physical sense.

While electric flame effects do not provide a living flame, the cost, safety, and flexibility benefits considerably outweigh this. They add ambience and warmth; allowing hoteliers and restaurateurs to put their own creativity and style into a space that will be enjoyed, and remembered, by many, now and in the future.

Skopos announce new faux leather fabrics range

730 565 Katy Phillips
Skopos announce new faux leather fabrics range

Contract designers, read on…

Hotel Designs Recommended Supplier, Skopos are delighted to present 3 new flame retardant, Crib 5 faux leathers this June.

If you are working on a project that requires a neat and elegant finishing touch then these faux leathers could give your design the soft finish it requires.

Each of these new faux leathers are waterproof and wipe-clean, offering an antimicrobial finish.

Applications are suited for care environments as well as leisure and hospitality interiors.

Each faux leather has a distinctively different finish and comprises of; Kiri, Hiako and Tama. All achieve IMO FTP part 8, meeting the requirements for marine interiors. Turn the clock back twelve months to this very day to see Hotel Designs’ initial thoughts on design in cruise ships.

More about the finishes…

Kiri

Kiri offers an antiqued / aged effect, in a range of leather-look colours. Its design mimics the sophisticated feel of leather and is well suited to hospitality and leisure interiors.

Haiko 

Haiko comes in an array of colours meaning it can be suited and matched to a variety of contract interiors. This finish presents a plentiful palette, pushing designers to work with both colours and naturals in their contract schemes.

Tama

Tama is both bold and confident. The emboss on Tama vinyl is subtle, light and understated, pushing the boundaries of colour to include vibrant shades in addition to neutrals, thus potentially appealing to a younger audience.

Skopos Fabrics Ltd are dedicated to design, service and best performance. Their full service or fabric only options provide choice for their customers, with expertise in design, make-up (curtains, cushions and bedding), fitting and installation.

Skopos Fabrics Ltd 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, click here.

Image credits – Skopos Fabrics Ltd

SPOTLIGHT ON: Laura Ashley, from homes to hotels

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
SPOTLIGHT ON: Laura Ashley, from homes to hotels

One strategic acquisition at a time, Laura Ashley Hotels is injecting quintessentially British charm into the hospitality industry. As Hotel Designs continues to put Hotel Groups under the spotlight, editor Hamish Kilburn speaks to commercial designer Kay Cullen and head of brand Nimo Abdi about the company’s growing hotel portfolio…

The year was 1953 and celebration was in the air. Queen Elizabeth II was crowned in Westminster Abbey while Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tensing became the first climbers confirmed to have reached the summit of Mount Everest.

In the same year, one lady and her husband launched a design and textiles company, Laura Ashley, in the Pimlico area of London. Using silk screens, the pair started printing placemats and scarves on their kitchen table. By 1984, the company that we all know and love today’s sales grossed $130 million.

In 2013, the company followed in the footsteps of many residential designers, by entering the commercial market. The British textiles company opened its first hotel and today, 66 years after the company was founded and having won the hearts of more than 300 million hearts around the world all searching for authentic quintessentially British designs, the brand has its sights on expanding its presence within the hospitality industry with a unique platform. “The fact that we already have a brand has been a significant advantage,” explains brand manager Nimo Abdi. “Our customers are brand loyal and that has encouraged us to invest further by acquiring hotels as well as launching the Laura Ashley Tearooms.”

As guests check in to a Laura Ashley Hotel, they are welcomed in a true-to-the-brand home-from-home setting – and location seems to be at the heart of every strategic acquisition. “Obviously we do want to create that ‘wow’ factor,” explains commercial designer Kay Cullen. “But our main ethos is in the heritage. I take a lot of inspiration from the original building and try to take that from an initial concept right into where you end up.”

Image credit: Laura Ashley Hotels

The Belsfield Hotel in The Lake District is an example of blending new with old. “It’s an amazing Victorian building,” says Cullen. “It’s set right out there on the lake, and while a lot of inspiration was taken from that, it also had beautiful Italian ornate architecture that we wanted to enhance throughout.”

The hotel’s timeless architecture has been accentuated with the addition of a conservatory-like structure adding natural light and making the public areas look and feel bright, open and modern. “When we got there, everything was faced inwards, which was ridiculous,” explains Cullen. “We used Laura Ashley products that felt authentic and replicated how the building’s interiors would have looked but with a touch of modernity.”

Due to the often-hefty demands of modern-day operators and developers, most guestrooms and suites within international hotel design are imagined with the aim for them to be timeless – or as timeless as possible. Upstairs in Laura Ashley Hotels, however the guestrooms and suites are decorated with the season’s latest products, creating a ‘living showroom’ concept. “We have a design department that comes up with the main six-monthly seasons of products that we have,” explains Cullen. “I then work with that palate to understand and decide what goes into the hotels.”

The most recently completed hotel within the Laura Ashley Hotel portfolio is the conversion of the 66-key The Chace Hotel in Coventry. “It’s a building that’s hard not to fall in love with,” adds Cullen. “It’s got amazing William windows, original fireplaces. For us, it’s about bringing it back to life, which is part of my job that I love.”

Image credit: Laura Ashley Hotels

Laura Ashley’s love of creating beautiful spaces within the home has been well and truly extended to the hotel environment. Its current portfolio includes just one hote, The Belsfield Hotel in the Lake District. The Chace in Coventry and Burnham Beeches are currently on the boards, slated to open this year, with more hotels yet to be announced.

The future for the group’s footprint in the hotel design scene is now very much secure in looking for new unique buildings that with the help of its design team, they can turn into truly unmatched, British-themed hotels.

Hotel Designs becomes media partner for designjunction

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hotel Designs becomes media partner for designjunction

Hotel Designs has become a media partner for designjunction, which this year takes place in and around London’s King’s Cross between September 19 – 22… 

Hotel Designs has announced that it will continue its long-standing media partnership this year for designjunction. The four-day exhibition will present more than 200 international design brands across multiple King’s Cross locations surrounding the striking UAL Central Saint Martin’s building.

Presenting the latest in cutting-edge design each year during the London Design Festival, designjunction is described as London’s leading contemporary interior design show, facilitating connections between architects, interior designers, retailers and exhibitors. Encompassing the best in furniture, lighting, jewellery and home accessories, the event is a place for industry leaders to gather with the widest variety of influential and international designers.

“We are absolutely thrilled to be returning to this vibrant, connected part of London, and to once again be working closely with King’s Cross,” said designjunction’s Director, Mark Gordon in an earlier press release. “Coal Drops Yard has opened since we were last at this location, so there’s a whole new experience we can offer our visitors. This is an incredibly exciting year for designjunction and our return gives us the opportunity to continue working with the best designers in the industry to create fantastic installations.”

For eight years running, designjunction has attracted thousands of architects, interior designers, specifiers, retailers, buyers and consumers to its show doors. Each year its exhibitors make lasting connections with influential figures in the design industry, designed to create partnerships that are made to last.

Hotel Designs will be on the ground throughout London Design Festival with ‘LIVE FROM LDF’ capturing all the news from the exhibition as it happens.

Main image credit: designjunction

W London Leicester Square unveils tech-based renovation

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
W London Leicester Square unveils tech-based renovation

Sheltering the result of fashion designer Jack Irving’s debut interior design collaboration, W london Leicester Square has unveiled its new tech-savvy guestrooms and suites… 

W London – Leicester Square has unveiled a multi-million-pound transformation of all 192 guestrooms and suites. W’s quirky, glamourous and decadent look has been super-charged with the help of architecture firm Concrete, designer firm Krause Architects and fashion designer Jack Irving.

Furthermore, W London has partnered with fashion visionary and dynamic artist, Jack Irving, to create a one-of-a-kind ‘techorative’ pillow, along with a range of immersive in-room experiences.

“W Hotels has consistently been at the forefront of innovation – reinventing and rewriting the rules of hospitality wherever the W sign lands,” said Jenni Benzaquen, Vice President of Luxury Brands – Europe, Marriott International. “The transformation of W London – Leicester Square merges the latest technologies in hospitality and the music industry with boundarybreaking design, offering our guests the ultimate experience in-room, in our newly renovated public spaces, as well as connecting them with what’s new/next in this dynamic city.”

“Upon entry, music and lighting greet the guest to offer a truly immersive and memorable stay.”

Much like its guests, every room at W London is unique. Ever the rebel, the hotel is the first in the UK to embrace the full DigiValet technology – one of the most advanced tablet-based systems in the industry which allows each guest to be in control of their stay right from check in. Upon entry, music and lighting greet the guest to offer a truly immersive and memorable stay. All settings are adjustable and customisable to the guest’s preference and mood, whether getting pumped up for the night ahead or beginning to unwind before the next day’s meeting.

A user-friendly tablet controls the in-room temperature, lighting and media, including personal streaming services, at the touch of a button, while also showcasing a taste of the freshest beats being made and played across the city. W London has teamed up with Kobalt, a music tech company, to curate playlists showcasing London’s coolest up-and-coming artists, including W London’s own Music Curator, DJ/producer Olivia Dawn. Global music-lovers can tune in to hear what’s playing in real time at any of the 55 W Hotels worldwide through advanced music technology by Soundtrackyourbrand. The tablet also gives guests insider access to what’s new and next in London with an ever-evolving calendar of happenings including the hotel’s music programming and the latest dining and entertainment suggestions across the city.

Each of the property’s 192 rooms, including 28 suites, has had a bold makeover. Designed by renowned architects, Concrete, and kitted out by Krause Design, the rooms have benefitted from structural upgrades along with daring new feature walls, refreshed avant-garde furniture and atmospheric lighting. Sleek white details, photo-friendly mirrored walls, and party-starting disco balls complete the provocative new look. This renovation completes the hotel’s full transformation, following the redesign of the hotel’s bar and lounge, The Perception at W London, in 2017 and makeover of the hotel’s luxurious oasis, the AWAY Spa, in 2018.

“Over the years, our guests have made it clear that they want innovation, as well as both fashion and function, from their hotel room,” said Martijn Mulder, General Manager of W London –
Leicester Square. “The new room design is just that- substance, as well as that inimitable W style. We offer the latest tech available today in the hospitality industry for guests to easily control and personalise their stay, from mood lighting to music, in-room dining and entertainment.”

“When set with the task, I took inspiration from Soho’s creative energy and W London’s irreverent attitude.”

To amplify the re-imagined guest experience, W London has teamed up with daring fashion fantasist, Jack Irving, to create a limited-edition pillow collection. Best known for his eyecatching designs injected with a shot of engineered technology, Irving has dressed the likes of global superstar Lady Gaga. Taking inspiration straight from the catwalk and remixing it with the bold attitude of W London, the spiked pillows, available in every guestroom, appear muted to the naked eye until they are brought to life through the click of a camera flash. Through the lens, the smart fabric transforms into an iridescent masterpiece.

Image caption/credit: The spiked pillows, designed by fashion designer to the stars, Jack Irving,  appears muted to the naked eye until they are brought to life through the click of a camera flash. Through the lens, the smart fabric transforms into an iridescent masterpiece making it truly instagrammable/W Hotels

“It’s amazing to be working with W London for my first interiors collaboration, as the hotel’s unmistakable bold identity is a perfect match for my avant-garde designs,” said Jack Irving. “When set with the task, I took inspiration from Soho’s creative energy and W London’s irreverent attitude, to create a unique statement piece that unites the hotel fabulous new room design and upgraded functionality.”

The limited-edition pillow by Jack Irving and new Mini Mega Bar will be available to experience in all 28 suites from mid-June and will be rolled out to all guestrooms later this summer.

Main image credit: W Hotels

Nature and citizenM’s typical design meet at in citizenM Kuala Lumpur

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Nature and citizenM’s typical design meet at in citizenM Kuala Lumpur

Design and architecture firm concrete has completed the design of citizenM Kuala Lumpur Bukit Bintang…

Design and architecture firm concrete, which joined editor Hamish Kilburn on stage in May at the Independent Hotel Show, has unveiled the design story of its latest completed project, citizenM Kuala Lumpur Bukit Bintang.

The architecture firm, which stands at the cradle of every citizenM, designed the interior of the hotel and redesigned the architecture in typical citizenM style while being inspired by local nature and art.

Located in Bukit Bintang, a lively area in the centre of Kuala Lumpur that is characterised by many restaurants, shops and Jalan Alor street just 100 metres away from the hotel, citizenM opens the door to the epicentre of Kuala Lumpur for food, fashion and entertainment. The car-free street, with open-air restaurants and terraces on both sides, is mainly visited by locals and known for their food and a great spot to get to know the local culture and atmosphere.

“Only the construction of the building has been preserved, both the façade and the entire interior have been newly designed and built.”

The existing building of the former Sky hotel has been stripped completely and has been rebuilt as a 210-key citizenM. Only the construction of the building has been preserved, both the façade and the entire interior have been newly designed and built. The first floor was removed to increase height, light and air in the lobby on the ground floor and the therefore created void now hosts societyM and meeting rooms.

The ground floor houses the disruptive check-in kiosks, iconic citizenM living rooms with a tribute to the city by local artists Azizi Latiff en Afiq Faris, canteenM for 24/7 food and beverages and collectionM, a one-of-a-kind retail shop. The internally located rooms have a view on the courtyard, which brings daylight in the rooms and the centre of the building. Just like in the lobby on the ground floor, structural beams characterize the space and protrude through the large space. Large planters and green hanging plants give the space atmosphere and create privacy for the guestrooms.

Dog accessory used as a bookstop

Image credit: CitizenM

Eye-catching moments within the hotel’s design include a colorful painted art ceiling in the lobby, which presents the colors and lush nature that Malaysia is known for. A colorful patchwork conceals the parking garage located in the façade and makes citizenM visible on street level.

CitizenM launched in 2008 at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. The brand, which now welcomes guests in 10 different country’s “to a new kind of hotel” now has 13 properties around the globe within its growing portfolio, with plans to unveil a hotel in Zurich soon.

Main image credit: CitizenM

 

Meet Up North 2019: Less than 3 weeks to go, Manchester!

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Meet Up North 2019: Less than 3 weeks to go, Manchester!

Calling all designers, architects and hoteliers: There are less than three weeks until Hotel Designs’ premium northern networking event, Meet Up North 2019, comes to Manchester… 

With less than three weeks until Hotel Designs heads back up to Manchester for Meet Up North 2019, time to purchase your delegate tickets is running out. The event, which takes place on July 1 at Hotel Gotham’s Club Brass, will welcome the leading suppliers, designers, architects and hoteliers for the brand’s premium northern networking event.

Following the success of Meet Up London in March, Meet Up North is designed to further bridge the gap between designers, architects, hoteliers and suppliers will this year carrying the theme of ‘Creativity Outside the Capital’, following the recent headings highlighting Manchester’s unique position in the industry as a hotel design hotspot.

The highly anticipated event will include an insightful talk and presentation by Tom Lindblom, Principal and Hospitality Leader at Gensler (London), which will be entitled Hospitality is way more than hotels.’

Image credit: Hotel Gotham

The hand-chosen venue for the event, which in a few years will become the older and wiser sibling of the brand’s latest hotel that is on boards, The Brooklyn, has been an epicentre of the city’s action since it opened in 2015. The general manager of the hotel and brand, Mario Ovsenjak, and the owner, Robin Sheppard, were both listed in The Brit List 2018 as being among the top hoteliers in the country. Located on the rooftop, Club Brass will transform on July 1 from a private members’ bar  into a premium networking evening for designers, hoteliers, architects and suppliers alike – and here’s how you can get your hands on a ticket.

Designer, architect and hotelier tickets: £20 + VAT
If you are a designer, architect or hoteliers to the industry and would like to attend Meet Up North 2019, click here.

Grecotel Group embarks on 42 million euro expansion plan

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Grecotel Group embarks on 42 million euro expansion plan

Grecotel Group’s expansion plans begin with the opening of  Casa Marron in the Peloponnese, and will include the renovation and expansion of five other luxury hotel complexes…

Greece’s largest luxury hotel chain, Grecotel Group, has implemented a 42 million euro business plan that begins with the unveiling of Casa Marron, which has been transformed into the ultimate destination, changing the game for summer holidays.

Grecotel’s renovated “third generation” hotel complex, combines modernity with the classic Mediterranean style, and takes inspiration from local architecture, both traditional and contemporary with exquisite exotic embellishment. The design displays the high aesthetics of the complex, whilst highlighting the beauty of Greek nature. Casa Marron borrows its name from the colour of the fertile Peloponnesian land contrasted against the blue waters of the Ionian Sea.

“We have invested in creating a special resort in one of the most enchanting places and favourite destinations throughout the Peloponnese,” said Mr. Vasilis Minadakis, Grecotel’s General Manager. “The radical renovation of the well-known Lakopetra Beach, brings together bohemian ambience and magical scenery.”

Image credit: Grecotel Hotels

On the golden beach of Lakopetra, in an area of ​​80,000 sq.m, set against a unique landscape surrounded by exotic palm trees, olive trees and colourful gardens complete with impressive swimming pools, Casa Marron is upgraded to a top tier choice for your summer holiday, harmoniously combining safety and freedom for the whole family.

The 172 guestrooms and suites in the main building and the 92 spacious bungalows with two bedrooms, terraces and private gardens with outdoor shower allow Grecotel guests to connect with nature and take in unobstructed views of the vibrant gardens. Here, indoors becomes one with the outdoors, creating a distinct zen aura.

After 45 years of dynamic presence in the country, Grecotel has grown to support 12 tourist destinations in Greece. Each of Grecotel’s 32 luxury hotels and resorts is a unique architectural experience and a paradise of opulent amenities, gourmet restaurants and elegant details embodying the essence of Greek hospitality.

Main image credit: Grecotel Hotels

Unbound Collection by Hyatt unveils fourth hotel in Europe

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Unbound Collection by Hyatt unveils fourth hotel in Europe

Parisi Udvar Hotel Budapest has officially joined the Unbound Collection by Hyatt, marking the brand’s fourth property in Europe…

Hyatt Hotels Corporation has announced the opening of Párisi Udvar Hotel Budapest as part of The Unbound Collection by Hyatt, following major restoration and full-scale renovation. The hotel is managed by Mellow Mood Hotels. It features 110 guestrooms and is situated on Ferenciek Square, between the River Danube and the bustling city center.

Once home to Budapest’s most fashionable shops and cafés, building has continuously evolved; from the shopping destination inspired by the Parisian ‘Passages des Panoramas’ that gave the hotel its name, to Budapest’s Central Savings Bank in 1906. Today, it stands as a palatial hotel, offering a novel, story-worthy experience and sense of place in the heart of Budapest.

“The original façade, staircases and decorative tiles have been carefully preserved.”

The hotel incorporates elements from Arabic, Moorish and Gothic design, representing Hungary’s fascinating past. The original façade, staircases and decorative tiles have been carefully preserved and the guestrooms feature tailor-made, Hungarian-crafted furnishings. Entering from the street or the lobby, visitors to the hotel’s restaurants and cafes will see its original iconography, including the Central Savings Bank mascot, the honey bee. Popular points of interest near the property include the State Opera House, Chain Bridge and St. Stephen’s Basilica.

Image credit: Unbound Collection by Hyatt

“Párizs Property Kft and Mellow Mood Hotels are excited to work with The Unbound Collection by Hyatt brand,” said Zuhair Awad and Sameer Hamdan, both Managing Directors at Mellow Mood Hotels. “We are very proud to open this renowned landmark building and to give it back to Budapest. We expect its rich history and stunning architecture will deliver memorable stays for the modern travelers.”

The hotel’s 110 upscale and spacious guestrooms will ensure guests have the ultimate stay. Each palatial Art Nouveau guestroom has been elegantly designed with decorations by Hungarian contemporary artist Agnes Toth, inspired by Gothic, Moorish and Oriental styles to guarantee that guests have an unconventional stay.

There are 18 luxurious suites and two Royal Residencies including the spacious Budapest Residence situated at the top of the hotel, which provides guests with stunning views of the city and a terrace to relax and watch the sunset.

Párisi Udvar Hotel Budapest offers two unique dining options, each with their own style and space. The hotel’s main restaurant, the Párisi Passage Cafe & Brasserie, serves international cuisine but also local and international wines in a cosmopolitan dining area. It is made complete with an open kitchen, allowing guests to interact with the chefs in a relaxing yet lively atmosphere. The Patisserie & Café, best known for its signature dark chocolate dessert, Párisi kocka, will serve hand-crafted juices, artisan coffee and traditional Hungarian pastries. By evening it transforms into a stylish cocktail bar.

Elsewhere, four distinctive multi-functional meeting and event spaces spanning more than 3,229 square feet (300 square meters) which can accommodate up to 160 guests.  Each space is equipped with contemporary conference facilities and the latest audio-visual technology.

Párisi Udvar Hotel Budapest is the fourth property to open in Europe as part of The Unbound Collection by Hyatt. It joins Hôtel Martinez in Cannes, Nish Palas in Istanbul, Turkey, Hotel du Louvre in Paris and Hotel SOFIA Barcelona, in Spain.

Main image credit: Unbound Collection by Hyatt

Curio Collection by Hilton heats up the Costa del Sol

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Curio Collection by Hilton heats up the Costa del Sol

Higueron Hotel Malaga, Curio Collection by Hilton opens on the Costa del Sol following a €22 million extensive renovation…

Hotel Group Hilton has unveiled its latest Spanish property – Higueron Hotel Malaga, Curio Collection by Hilton. From the city that gave the world Picasso, the 177-key new hotel shelters Malaga’s only sustainable Michelin-starred restaurant and jaw-dropping views of the Mediterranean Sea.

Nestled behind the Montes de Malaga, the hotel is conveniently located near Malaga’s vibrant city centre. Famously known as the heart of the Costa del Sol, the city offers something for guests of all ages, with its unique art districts, pristine sandy beaches and lively nightlife.

“Malaga is one of Europe’s most popular destinations, with 12.5 million tourists flocking to its sunny shores last year,” said Simon Vincent, President, EMEA, Hilton. “With €1 in every €7 generated from travel and tourism in Spain, we are excited to expand our portfolio by 50 per cent in the next three to five years.”

Each of the hotel’s elegant guestrooms feature distinct Spanish touches, such as original lithography made with local materials. It features 24 panoramic suites which boast glass panel balconies and terraces overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, offering 360-degree views.

Boasting the largest conference centre in the region, spanning 2255m² with six intimate meeting rooms and holding up to 1,000 attendees, the hotel is the ideal backdrop for any event, from cocktail receptions to conferences and weddings.

To reflect the vibrant art scene of Malaga, the hotel features two art exhibits showcasing the best of local and international artists, including paintings from Lita Cabellut and sculptures from Francisco Leiro.

“Higueron Hotel Malaga is the latest hotspot in the beautiful Costa del Sol, offering a truly unique experience to wind down and explore everything this remarkable location has to offer,” said Mark Nogal, global head, Curio Collection by Hilton. “As we continue to expand our one-of-a-kind collection of hotels to new and exciting destinations, we are thrilled to have opened in the charming city of Malaga, offering guests and locals alike unrivalled dining, spa and meetings experiences.”

The hotel is set to add an additional 113 premium suites in 2020, bringing the total number of rooms available up to 290.

Main image credit: Curio Collection by Hilton

In Conversation With: Senior designer Kate Jarrett on Hard Rock Hotel London

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
In Conversation With: Senior designer Kate Jarrett on Hard Rock Hotel London

Since becoming a Hotel Designs’ 30 Under 30, Kate Jarrett, senior designer at Scott Brownrigg has completed the Hard Rock Hotel London. Sitting down with editor Hamish Kilburn, Jarrett talks job satisfaction, preferred materials and the challenges that come with being a young designer in 2019…

The early summer vibes are in full swing; the sun is out over the capital and its latest hotel, Hard Rock Hotel London, has arrived.

Upon entering, the hotel is humming with activity. Guests are soaking in the iconic memorabilia hanging on the walls, while locals gather around the bar enjoying a post-work refreshment or two.

The Lobby Bar feels like an apt place to meet Scott Brownrigg’s Kate Jarrett, the senior designer on the project, who earlier this year became a Hotel Designs’ 30 Under 30. “This started with a passion for illustration, something I studied before moving to Brighton University to study Interior Architecture,” she says. “I then started as an interior designer and I haven’t looked back. I have worked across several sectors but my real passion is for hospitality design.”

“We have used drumsticks to create unique lighting over the concierge desk.” – Kate Jarrett

The completion of the new 900-key hotel, which is located a stone’s throw from Oxford Street, is the perfect stage for the designer to amplify what has become a milestone moment in her career. “We drew inspiration from the history of music and specifically instruments themselves, breaking them down in detail seeing how they have been made,” she says. “This was an unusual take on the obvious theme of ‘music’ and we never lost sight of this unique brief in our design. For example, we have used drumsticks to create unique lighting over the concierge desk.”

Drumsticks used as lighting in the hotel's lobby

Image credit: Philip Durrant

The hotel’s walls are plastered with memorabilia that reference the legacy of legends who stayed in Hard Rock Hotels in decades past, including Jimi Hendrix, Nina Simone, Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan, Diana Ross and Madonna. Balancing the history and heritage of the brand in a timeless style to avoid cliché moments was the first task for design firm Scott Brownrigg when confronting the motifs that will be sheltered in the new hotel. “We knew we had to represent the Hard Rock brand in an innovative way for the contemporary London market,” Jarrett explains. “The hotel scene here is competitive so we knew we had to create something that tied into London and Hard Rock’s music heritage, while still being completely contemporary.”

Contemporary bar

Image credit: Philip Durrant

The F&B structure at the Hard Rock Hotel London originally took its inspiration from the original art-deco style ceiling of the Lyons Corner House that original stood on the site in the early ‘90s. “Great F&B and bars are key to the success of a hotel as they offer a destination for non-hotel guests too,” explains Jarrett. “For that matter, the expectations of hotel customers on what they want from the hotel experience has also changed. They want it to feel like a home, workplace and a space to socialise; the brief is more open than it used to be.”

QUICK-FIRE ROUND

Hamish Kilburn: If budget was no object, what product would you include in a project you are currently working on?
Kate Jarrett: An incredible art collection

HK: Best thing about being a designer in London?
KJ: The constant source of inspiration

HK: Where is next on your travel bucket list?
KJ: Japan – it would be like an experiential mood board. I already have a list of places I want to visit

HK: Where was the last hotel you saw that took your breath away?
KJ: I recently visited the Beekman in New York, and it really impressed me. That central atrium is like something straight out of a 1920s novel.

HK: What does luxury mean to you?
KJ: For me it represents a space that I want to spend time in, a collection of pieces whether its furnishings, art etc. that make me feel like I can sit back and slow down.

HK: What’s the last item that will appear on your bank statement?
KJ: Most likely ASOS… or coffee, as I’m always running around at the moment!

Without a doubt, it’s her ability to let the project do the talking that has made Jarrett the designer she is today. But the challenges of being a young designer in 2019 are far deeper than simply securing projects, or belonging to a leading firm. “London has a lot to offer, however it also means that you have to shout louder, metaphorically, to get yourself heard and to stand out in the industry,” says Jarrett. “Platforms like the 30 Under 30 I find career-affirming as they enable us to get our names out there and really help to showcase the talents of young designers.”

With sustainability arguably as big a talking point as any other at the moment in interior design and trends, Jarrett is insistent, where possible, on using naturally sourced materials within her projects. “I really enjoy working with natural materials,” she says. “Specifically, I like working with the tactile qualities of natural timbers, stones and the effects achieves by a neutral palette.”

“Scott Brownrigg has been really supportive and encouraging with the projects I have worked on.” – Kate Jarrett

At the root of Jarret’s decisions and place in the market is a design firm that has incubated and supported the young designer’s creativity to ultimately develop better places to live, stay and work. “At Scott Brownrigg, we are all encouraged to enrich lives through the environments we design,” she explains. “Scott Brownrigg has been really supportive and encouraging with the projects I have worked on. As a young designer it can be hard to establish yourself in a company, but Scott Brownrigg has really been great at championing me every step of the way. We’re a friendly, social bunch so I have also make some great relationships with colleagues along the way which has really helped.”

Aside from the Hard Rock Hotel London, current projects that Jarrett is working on that on the boards are firm proof that she is anything but a one-trick pony in the race. “We are working on an exciting hotel project in Stratford,” she explains. “This area is having a surge at the moment with lots of new developments, particularly in the hospitality sector. There are also some further Hard Rock projects we are working on; it’s great to get repeat work as it means we are doing something right!”

The fresh and vibrant interiors that surround the new hotel that everyone seems to be talking about are a reflection of the designer that Jarrett is becoming, or arguably already become. Modest, calm-natured and enthusiastic, Jarrett is, in my opinion, a credit to the firm that has helped support her on her way.

Main image credit: Tash Busta Photography

Canopy by Hilton to debut in Africa

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Canopy by Hilton to debut in Africa

Hilton’s Lifestyle brand is expected to debut in Africa with an opening in Cape Town’s vibrant Longkloof precinct in 2021…

Hotel Group Hilton has announced the signing of a management agreement with Growthpoint Properties, South Africa’s largest REIT, to open a hotel under its lifestyle Canopy by Hilton brand. The 150-key Canopy by Hilton Cape Town Longkloof is expected to begin welcoming guests in 2021 and will be the brand’s debut property in Africa.

Canopy by Hilton launched in 2014 to appeal to travelers seeking locally inspired stays and wishing to immerse themselves in the culture and history of local neighbourhoods. It currently operates in nine destinations around the world with more than 35 properties in the pipeline, aiming to guarantee travelers unique and authentic experiences.

“Cape Town is one of the world’s most sought-after destinations, offering an array of attractions to suit every travel occasion,” said Patrick Fitzgibbon, Senior Vice President, Development, EMEA at Hilton. “Canopy by Hilton becomes our third brand to gain a presence in the city and we are eyeing further expansion. The decision to locate Africa’s first Canopy by Hilton here, is testament to not only the strength of the destination, but the quality of partners at Growthpoint as we seek to create a showcase interpretation of the brand to introduce to the African continent.”

Located a stone’s throw away from the city’s historical epicenter, the Company’s Garden, and will bring to life the heritage of a 112-year-old site, Longkloof Studios. The project forms part of a precinct redevelopment by Growthpoint, representing a R550m investment in the city. DHK architects will redevelop a building which began life as the premises of what was then the United Tobacco Company and subsequently served as the home of Cape Town’s Women’s Institute.

“Growthpoint is thrilled to partner with Canopy by Hilton to launch this phenomenal brand in Africa,” said Rudolf Pienaar, Chief Development and Investment Officer of Growthpoint Properties. “Our prime Longkloof redevelopment project is in a magnificent multi-faceted historic urban quarter of Cape Town and is the perfect setting for the first Canopy by Hilton branded property on the continent. Our investment in this property reflects our confidence in Cape Town as well as Hilton’s exceptional upscale lifestyle hotel brand. We believe Canopy by Hilton Cape Town Longkloof will become a South African landmark and will be supported by travellers from all over the country and the world.”

In keeping with its traditional place within the social fabric of the city, guests will be welcomed by friendly ‘Enthusiasts’ selected for their expert local knowledge and will be invited to partake in local food and drink tastings alongside the local community.

“Canopy by Hilton was created to redefine the lifestyle hotel space for travelers who want an upscale hotel to help introduce them to desirable neighborhoods around the world,” said Gary Steffen, Global Head at Canopy by Hilton. “Every detail in the design and facilities of these hotels is created with that ethos in mind and our Longkloof property will be no exception, capturing the dynamic vibe of the precinct and its reputation as a trendy hangout for Cape Town urbanites.”

Canopy by Hilton Cape Town Longkloof will be located at Long Kloof Studios, c/o Park Road and Kloof Street, Cape Town. The property will participate in the award-winning guest-loyalty program for Hilton’s 17 world-class brands. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose nearly any combination of Points and money to book a stay, an exclusive member discount that can’t be found anywhere else, and free standard Wi-Fi.

Main image credit: Cape Town Tourism

Inside Hokkaido National Park’s latest luxury hotel

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Inside Hokkaido National Park’s latest luxury hotel

Design firm Wilson Associates unveils luxury condominium-hotel in renowned Japanese ski resort…

Interior architecture and design firm Wilson Associates, which this year made it onto Hotel Designs’ 30 Under 30, has unveiled the interiors of a modern hotel located in Japan’s Hokkaido National Park. The Skye Niseko ski resort shelters 100 apartments and five penthouses and is located on a picturesque mountainside with views of the surrounding landscape.

The firm was brought on board to complete the interior design of the five penthouses, lobby, corridors, spa, cafe deli and ski valet at the unique ski-in ski-out hotel.

The luxurious collection of condominiums, which officially opened earlier this year, is a blend of Alpine design and Japanese hospitality and culture. The design firm’s theme of minimalist, monochrome is filtered throughout the interior of the suites.

The privately-owned resort was designed by Australian-based Pike Withers and its shell has been conceived of as two interlocking L-shaped volumes, allowing each of the apartments and penthouses to benefit from both privacy and panoramic views.

Wilson Associates ensured the main lobby had plenty of WOW factor and guests are immediately greeted by a striking reception desk where a rough stone wall surface contrasts with the counter’s sharp and sleek metal immediately greets guests with a WOW factor.

The lighting strategy works in tandem with the bamboo lattices on the walls and slate paving on the floor to make everything in the lobby seem like it’s floating.

The penthouses are organised in arrangements of either three or four bedrooms and come complete with comfortable and cosy living and dining areas. They offer guests the ultimate in luxury and boast covered balconies and heated external spring pools overlooking the stunning landscape.

Modern spa area

Image credit: Skye Niseko Ski Resort

Meanwhile, the spa area has been sustainably designed so that its own onsen well draws mineral rich hot water from deep below the property.

The hotel describes itself on its website as: “More than just a place to stay, Skye Niseko has everything you need for your alpine getaway.”

Six Senses to arrive in Costa Rica and Iceland

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Six Senses to arrive in Costa Rica and Iceland

The hotel brand, Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas, that recently joined IHG has announced two significant opens in both Costa Rica (2021) and Iceland (2022)…

Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas has announce two of the latest projects in the group’s expanding portfolio with Six Senses Papagayo in Costa Rica – opening 2021 – and Six Senses Össurá Valley in Iceland – which will open in 2022.

Six Senses Papagayo, Costa Rica

Commonly referred to as the Switzerland of Latin America, Costa Rica boasts miles of exotic beaches, some of the most extensive rainforests in the world, majestic mountains, volcanoes, lakes and meandering topography. The Six Senses Papagayo, located on the stunning 2,300-acre Papayago Peninsula, will be a private and eco-conscious destination, offering a new adventure for discerning travellers. The hotel brand is working in partnership with the California based Canyon Group – which acquires and develops boutique ultra-luxury resorts in exciting destinations – and the Garnier Group, one of Costa Rica’s best known and most reputable development companies.

Overseeing the design of the resort is award-winning London based architect John Heah. The site stretches from the highest point on Papagayo down to the forested beachfront which will be home to 41 secluded pool villas. There will also be 31 residences available to buy, with owners benefitting from full access to the resort’s amenities

Six Senses Össurá Valley, Iceland

Surrounded by mountain range the vast Össurá Valley and Vatnajökull National Park, the 70-key Six Senses Össurá Valley is owned and is being developed by the Álfaland Hotel ehf alongside its partners; architect John Brevard, fashion entrepreneur, Áslaug Magnúsdóttir and cultural entrepreneur, Jakob Frímann Magnússon.

Built using renewable and locally-sourced materials, the hotel will adhere to high standards of energy and water efficiency the region is known for. The welcome lodge will be integrated into the surrounding environment and include a library, a cinema room, a water bar and an Earth Lab showcasing the project’s sustainability efforts.

Main image credit: IHG/Six Senses

InterContinental opens sixth hotel in France

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
InterContinental opens sixth hotel in France

The highly-anticipated opening of InterContinental Lyon – Hotel Dieu marks the luxury brand’s sixth property in France…

Following an extensive four-year restoration, InterContinental Lyon – Hotel Dieu has opened in one of the city’s most iconic buildings. The renovation of the Grand Hôtel-Dieu complex is, to date, the largest private transformation of a historic monument carried out in France.

Calling out for a visionary who could sensitively restore the building while blending in a sense of modernity, interior designer Jean-Philippe Nuel, who recently unveiled the design of Sofitel Rome Villa Borghese, was tasked to bring the property timelessly to life. Nuel focused on maintaining the original beauty and architecture of the building whilst offering a contemporary, understated luxury design which is rooted in the history of Lyon and the building itself.

Lyon was once the capital of the European silk industry, playing a central role in the Silk Road trade between east and west. This led to a booming local silk industry which is still an important part of the city’s culture today. The city is also famed for its floral art which was an early source of inspiration for the local silk industry – a key design theme of the hotel. Prestigious Lyonnais silk creator Verel de Belval, a subsidiary of the Hermès group, has designed custom silk prints which can be seen throughout the rooms and public areas in silk screen panels, cushions and soft furnishings.

Epona Restaurant full of gold

Image credit: InterContinental/Eric Cuvillier

These rich fabrics perfectly contrast with the original architectural features of the building, such as stone floors, plastered walls and timber ceilings. This ‘monastic yet sophisticated’ design was inspired by the historical use of the building – as the city’s hospital for more than 800 years – combined with the desire to create a destination for global travellers.

 

“InterContinental is known for transforming heritage buildings into stunning properties whilst maintaining their historic spirit, and InterContinental Lyon – Hotel Dieu is a perfect example of that,” said Tom Rowntree, Vice President, Global Luxury Brands at IHG. “This new opening marks the sixth in the remarkable InterContinental portfolio in France which includes the likes of Carlton Cannes, Marseille – Hotel Dieu and Paris – Le Grand. Lyon is full of sophistication, culture and a rich history, making it a perfect fit for InterContinental as we pioneer in new luxury destinations worldwide.”

Executive Room River View

Image credit: InterContinental/Eric Cuviller

Le Dôme Bar is nestled in the heart of the hotel within the grand dome, one of the most breath-taking features of InterContinental Lyon – Hotel Dieu. Originally housing a chapel, today the dome is a space where hotel guests and locals can come together under its 32m high ceiling. Originally designed by Jacques-Germain Soufflot, architect of the Pantheon in Paris, Soufflot was called away during the project and he never saw the dome finished. The dome has since been named in his honour as the ‘Soufflot Dome’.

Le Dôme bar is open for all-day drinks and light bites. Traditional, local products are a key focus for the signature cocktails and Le Dôme offers a fresh twist on the famous pink praline, a traditional Lyon confectionery, combining it with vodka, pink champagne and lemon for a unique cocktail. Club InterContinental guests will be able to enjoy views of the grand dome from the first-floor balcony of the private Club InterContinental Lounge above.

High ceilings in the authentic dining area

Image credit: InterContinental/Eric Cuviller

The hotel’s restaurant, Epona, extends along the hotel’s front façade and opens on to an interior courtyard and garden. Head Chef Mathieu Charrois will offer world-class Lyonnaise dishes with a modern twist. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the hotel’s main restaurant will be a destination in itself.

Of the 34 suites at the hotel, the 150 sqm Presidential suite is the largest suite in Lyon. It follows a similar modern luxury design, decorated in powder pink tones and elegant floral motifs. From the living room of the Presidential suite, guests can enjoy a unique view in to the grand dome, overlooking the stunning space from the suite’s own private balconies.

The most emblematic of the 144 guestrooms at the hotel are the 28 Duplex suites, which feature huge vertical windows with views on to the Rhône river, maintaining the grandeur and façade of the original building. What makes the Duplex suites unique is that guests enter from the mezzanine floor to take in the river view at first glance before heading down the stairs to the bathroom and bedroom.

InterContinental Lyon – Hotel Dieu also boasts 1,500 m2 of flexible convention and reception halls; L’Académie. This is one of the largest conference centres in the Presqu’île (Peninsula) quarter and in Lyon city centre, offering 12 meeting rooms on four different levels, all with natural daylight.

For guests looking for relaxation, the Grand Hôtel Dieu complex is home to Le Tigre Spa, which includes a Hammam, 24-hour gym, sauna and steam room.

The opening joins the French family of InterContinental Paris – Le Grand, InterContinental Paris – Avenue Marceau, InterContinental Carlton Cannes, InterContinental Marseille – Hotel Dieu and InterContinental Bordeaux Le Grand Hotel.

InterContinental Hotels & Resorts is the largest luxury hotel brand in the world with more than 204 InterContinental hotels open worldwide and 60 new hotels in the pipeline, set to expand the brand’s portfolio in the most sought-after destinations around the world. This year will see InterContinental Hotels & Resorts open stunning resorts in the Maldives, Hayman Island, Phuket and Beppu as well as the brand’s return to Edinburgh in the historic George Street.

Main image credit: InterContinental/Eric Cuviller

Injecting sense of place in Koh Samui beach hotel

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Injecting sense of place in Koh Samui beach hotel

SALA Samui Chaweng Beach Resort, the luxury boutique beach resort on Koh Samui, briefed design firm Onion to divide the resort into two distinct parts in order to add architectural drama while creating an unforgettable sense of place.

The moon plays an integral role in Thai culture, with each phase of the lunar cycle holding deep significance. The presence of a full moon, half-moon or dark moon can dictate the timing of festivals, the schedule of planting and harvesting, and even the most auspicious dates in a person’s life.

More recently, they have provided the backdrop to the legendary full, half or dark moon beach parties of Koh Samui and Koh Phangan.

SALA Samui Chaweng Beach Resort, the luxury boutique beach resort on Koh Samui, has divided the resort into two distinct parts – the Oceanfront/Beach Wing and Garden Wing – each of which has been exquisitely designed to reflect the changing phases of the moon.

“The Garden Wing will complete our resort, not only in terms of its rooms and facilities but through the story of its design,” said Erwin van der Veen, General Manager, SALA Samui Chaweng Beach Resort. “Just as the moon moves through cycles, SALA Samui Chaweng Beach Resort will allow guests to journey through a series of spaces which are designed to reflect the different characteristics of the full, half and dark moons. Charming, intimate and atmospheric, our new Garden Wing will provide the perfect contrast to the bright and spacious vibe of the Oceanfront/Beach Wing,”

Image caption/credit: Inside the Garden Wing/SALA Samui Chaweng Beach Resort

Conceived by Onion, the Thailand-based architecture and design studio, the hotel allows guests to channel the energy of the full, half or dark moons through innovative design shifts – from the openness and high energy of the full moon, through smaller half-moon spaces, and into the more intense shades of the dark moon.

Blue and white decor in treehouse-like bar and restaurant

Image caption/Credit: Treehouse restaurant and bar/SALA Samui Chaweng Beach Resort

While the Oceanfront / Beach Wing reflects the energy of a full moon with the circular shapes incorporated into various design elements, from the façade to the aptly named Moon Pool – the new Garden Wing offers a collection of private spaces with an ambience elevated by verdant trees and plants that add a touch of natural tranquillity. The family friendly area includes 82 rooms, pool villas & pool suites, ranging from 45 to 181 square meters in size, with state-of-the-art IPTV and audio systems, and glamourous full-size daybeds. Also included is a Tree House Restaurant and Bar, 25-metre swimming pool, the Garden Pool Bar, SALA Gym, SALA Spa with six private treatment rooms and steam room as well as SALA’s first kids’ club, which includes indoor and outdoor play areas.

Luce interiors with rustic villa furniture

Andronis Arcadia opens in Santorini

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Andronis Arcadia opens in Santorini

Offering “unrivalled luxury”, earthly Andronis Arcadia shelters 53 design-led pool suites on Santorini, Greece, all with striking vistas towards the Aegean Sea and the island’s unforgettable sunsets…

Andronis Arcadia is the latest addition to the Andronis Exclusive family of five-star hotels and villas. The hotel, which is named after the mythical home of Greek God Pan, is situated on the fringes of Oia, a place of natural harmony and pastoral enchantment.

Luce interiors with rustic villa furniture

Andronis Arcadia’s rustic and earthly-luxe interiors bring elements of nature indoors, from the succulents and plants, to local wood and materials. The Greek forged cement coating technique used throughout, has existed for centuries and creates a minimalistic look. Around 85 – 90 per cent of the furniture is handmade locally and has been constructed inside the hotel. The exterior heavily uses stones, drawing on the colours and textures of the volcano and its lava.

Close up of woven chair and a glass of white wine

Image credit: Carley Rudd Photography

The hotel has 53 suites of six categories including Eden Villa, the largest villa on the island complete with six bedrooms over three floors, plus its own spa, fitness centre, private chef and two pools. All suites have sunset and sea views plus a plunge pool, and guests additionally have access to the 450m2 infinity pool surrounded by cabanas. The suite interiors have geometrical-style design alongside square recesses on the walls, and natural fabrics throughout including linen to give the ultimate sense of light and space.

Evexia Spa is Andronis Arcadia’s Spa & Wellness Centre, developed in partnership with founder of luxury skincare brand ila, Denise Leicester, and Dr Zulia Frost, who pioneered the non-invasive hair profiling test. The largest spa on Santorini, Evexia Spa has five treatment rooms with the option for in-suite treatments.

Three restaurants and two bars occupy the space. Signature restaurant Opson spearheaded by Stefanos Kolimadis showcases dishes inspired by the tastes and ingredients of classical Greece through a several course tasting menu developed in consultation with a classical scholar. Contemporary cuisine and flavours of an ancient time are fused to bring together the best Greek food today with dishes known and loved by legendary forefathers including Aristotle, Plato and Omiros. Althea Restaurant features dazzling Mediterranean seafood as well as local dishes with ingredients grown in the Andronis gardens. Chef showcases the best flavours and produce of the Cycladic islands and wider Mediterranean. Oishii Sushi Bar uses the freshest ingredients fused with traditional Japanese techniques, serving exceptionally well presented and seasonally changing dishes.

View from the hotel terrace withColours of blue, orange, red and yellow in the sunset

Image credit: Andronis Arcadia

The sunset terrace, Senses Cocktail Bar, is a welcome return for island friends. Chic and convivial, it’s designed to be a premium Instagrammable setting. The hotel, which opens as the seventh property within the Andronis Exclusive portfolio, is said to be a game-changer on the island for style, gastronomy and understated luxury.

Canopy by Hilton arrives in Asia Pacific region

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Canopy by Hilton arrives in Asia Pacific region

Interior design firm CCD has completed the first Canopy by Hilton in Asia Pacific Region, which opens in Chengdu…

Following recent reports of there to be 500 new hotels to arrive in China by 2020, Canopy by Hilton has just debuted in Asia Pacific by opening Canopy by Hilton Chengdu City Centre, with dynamic interiors by Cheng Chung Design (CCD). The first Canopy hotel in Asia Pacific – the property is located in the city that emphasises on the experience of ‘body’, ‘heart’, ‘senses’ and ‘enlightenment’.

The concept of the hotel blends Chinese and Western charms, intertwined with old-fashioned feelings and vitality, elegant and unconventional design, bringing guests a lively Chengdu style and the comfort and warmth of home, with contemporary moments thrown in for good measure.

Art instalment depicting people having their photos taken.

Image credit: Canopy by Hilton

“The design revolves around the story of ‘the scholar goes to the city to take the imperial exam’,” explained designer Joe Cheng. “Traversing the memory corridor of the imperial city, capturing the auspicious details hidden in the green brick wall, on the street view of the market, in the peddler stall and the courtyard.” The history of the hotel has been reconstructed, while exploring and re-writing the new story of the Imperial City memory.

A row of green bamboos is in front of the drop-off area of the hotel, which forms a shadow that can different from the outside world, leaving the prosperous shackles behind, creating a leisurely temperament that calms and slows you down. The design of the door canopy derives from the elements of the arch, and the bags of the ancient scholars, using columns of the wooden strips, interspersed, and laminated to reproduce the beauty of Chinese classical architecture.

Inside, the first floor reception hall is designed as an art exhibition hall, creating a humanistic space under the artistic conception. Up to nine metres tall,  the lobby is an abstract reflection of the historical streetscape of the old imperial city. The streetscape of the past is vividly displayed in front of the guests, under the large art installation of the roof, to open a dialogue of time and space.The chair hanging in the elevator hall is a reproduction of ancient ‘Gongyuan’ scenes by modern artistic techniques. Guests are guided along the roadways (corridors), which are complete with with green bricks, grey tiles and wooden doors.

Large, open and very minimalist lobby with brings as wallcoverings.

Image credit: Canopy by Hilton

In the guestrooms and suites, Canopy’s unique brand colour, bright orange, has been applied throughout the design. The panda in front of each guestroom in different poses gives a further nod to the unique sense-of-location and injects an element of humour. Inside, each room is represented through the quaint texture and exquisite details, showing the calm and unpretentious attitude of life, build a balance in the selection, composition and colour.

Image credit: Canopy by Hilton

The design concept of the guestrooms originated from the idea of “Gong Yuan”and inspired by the film “A Chinese Ghost Story” to connect the whole design to the project. The Canopy brand classic L-shaped bedside, as well as the bedside table inspired by the actor in “A Chinese Ghost Story” Leslie Cheung’s backpack, the shower space of the rice paper laminated glass, also comes from the classic scene of the film – Leslie Cheung breaking through the doors and windows made of Xuan paper, the designer has used the modern techniques to interpret the ancient paper doors and windows, so that the whole design is closely related to the story in terms of form, image and material.

Living green wall inside the hotel - with integrated bookshelf

Image credit: Canopy by Hilton

The hotel also features a number of food and beverage options, including TC Café, the Canopy Lounge and the Leisure Bar, which features a striking floor-to-ceiling living wall with integrated bookshelf to add further to the laid-back luxury feel and tone the hotel sets.

The Canopy by Hilton brand was established in October 2014 as a lifestyle offering under Hilton hotel group. The concept of the brand is guided by ‘lifestyle’, which is dedicated in creating a localised-luxury boutique hotel, providing personalisation.

Main image credit: Canopy by Hilton

In Conversation With: Jacu Strauss, designer & founder of Lore Studio

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
In Conversation With: Jacu Strauss, designer & founder of Lore Studio

An architect or a designer can become one of the most dynamic hoteliers, as editor Hamish Kilburn learns when sitting down with Jacu Strauss, the founder of Lore Studio and the mastermind behind some of the world’s most awe-inspiring hotels…

“Being a great storyteller is essential,” says designer Jacu Strauss as we start discussing what it takes to be a leader in design on the international hotel design scene.

It’s the first time we have caught up properly in a whirlwind three years. We catch up immediately where we left it in 2016, when the designer was putting the finishing touches onto The Pulitzer Amsterdam – an independent hotel project that allowed Strauss to break free with his creativity. “It was a once in a lifetime opportunity,” he says, “that through a cocktail of heavy research, team work and some brave risks turned out to be a tremendous success.”

Growing up in the diamond rich area of South Africa, Strauss moved to New Zealand to train as an architect at the University of Auckland before travelling to London to study at the Bartlett School of Architecture.

After graduating in 2008, Strauss worked as a senior designer at Tom Dixon’s Design Research Studio, and started to add major hospitality projects to his growing portfolio. “My architectural training and education proved helpful and I was responsible for the project from concept development through to completion,” explains Strauss. “As we won larger projects, we were eventually given the green light to design Mondrian at Sea Containers on London’s South Bank. It was there where I completed my first hotel and, eventually, I was offered an exclusive role as Creative Director of what is now called Lore Group.

“Designing a successful hotel is so much more than just choosing colours and fabrics.” – Jacu Strauss

Following the completion of The Pulitzer Amsterdam in 2016, which continues to capture the attention of the world’s media on a mass scale with its timeless yet quirky interiors, Strauss went on to not only design hotels, but also own them by becoming the founder of Lore Studio. “I have not so much changed as become more attune to what does and doesn’t,” he adds. “I have tried to refine how guests and visitors experience our hotels, so it is more than just the visual. It involves a balance of senses that when you get it right means an enjoyable and memorable experience.”

Image of the designer flicking through a book on the floor

Image credit: Emily Andrews

Today, in between jetting around the world being inspired by life’s movement, Strauss and his team are working to complete a new independent hotel, RIGGS Washington DC, a hotel, slated to open in heart of the city at the end of this year, sheltered in what was the Riggs National Bank building. “Washington DC is a city with a particularly strong and quirky evolving hotel and F&B market,” he explains. “So much so, in fact, that there may be another hotel in DC to join the portfolio, but it will be completely different to RIGGS Washington DC.

QUICK-FIRE ROUND:

Hamish Kilburn: What would you like to be if you were not a designer/architect/hotelier?
Jacu Straus: A jeweller

HK: What’s the first rule to learn when designing a hotel?
JS: You can only open the hotel once, so make everything count!

HK: Where is the next hotel design hotspot?
JS: There is a great need for more hotels in urban centres that act as calm retreats for peace from the hustle and bustle of dense cities, but without being gimmicky.

HK: What one hotel would you have liked to have designed/or would like to redesign?
JS: I would have loved to be part of the design team of the Negresco Hotel in Nice. It’s so crazy and magical – I love it.

HK: What is the number one item you cannot travel without?
JS: Tabasco! I always have little sachets of Tabasco in my travel wallet. The little bottles are cute but the sachets are more convenient for travel. Tabasco makes everything taste better.

HK: What trend do you wish would emerge again soon?
JS: Decent table manners.

HK: What was the last hotel you stayed in?
JS: Downtown hotel in Mexico City.

HK: Explain London in three words…
JS: Quiet, polite, multicultural.

HK: What’s your favourite colour this season?
JS: Rust. Something nice about earthier and natural  tones as we move away from sterile palettes.

HK: What’s the last thing that shows up on your credit card statement?
JS: Uber. It is the first item that appears and most of what is inbetween!

As someone as visual as Strauss, the urge the design came as almost a natural instinct. “I think I was always a designer,” he narrates. “My mother says I was always observing my surroundings as a child and I think to this day it’s perhaps one of the reasons that I am doing what I am doing. What I really think makes you a professional designer is being able to process criticism. That you learn over time and does not come naturally.”

“F&B, I believe, is once again thriving in hotels.” – Jacu Strauss

As we converse over cocktails in a rooftop bar overlooking east London, it feels apt to discuss the rise of food and beverage facilities within hotel design. “I think hotels have historically been an important “pillar” in a city or town or community,” he explains. “But towards the end of the last century hotels became massive and exclusive only to its guests, and that meant it became inaccessible to their neighbours. Hotels are unique to their locations and I think guests have become more interested in feeling like they are part of a community even just for a night, than staying at a non-descript hotel that is removed from its surroundings. F&B is a tell-tale sign of how it was once the place to eat and drink, before it then became sterile. F&B, I believe, is once again thriving in hotels – as we’re proving this afternoon – because hotels are opening up to locals as well as guests making it feel less like a “hotel restaurant” and more like a restaurant that happens to be in a hotel.”

In reference to the quick-fire round above, Strauss is a man that believes in detail. “I have realised how important it is to research a new market thoroughly and avoid having a cookie cutter approach,” Strauss explains. “Designing a successful hotel is so much more than just choosing colours and fabrics. It is about the neighbourhoods, the greater contexts of the city and its people, and ensuring the longevity of a product. There are always things to improve on, but we believe you only open a hotel once.”

For the designer who has just as much in the pipeline as what’s already on his impressive portfolio, what makes him stand out his ability to be different. “At some stage,” he adds, “you need to ignore what others are doing and focus on your own task at hand and making decisions based our own hotel and not what others are doing.”

Another distinct characteristic that quite clearly sets Strauss aside from other hoteliers, designers and architects is his ability to effortlessly – on the surface at least – to balance work and life. Living his best life through both travel and work and sometimes a combination of both, Strauss is anything but a one-trick pony, constantly absorbing ideas, concepts and themes that time and time again capture the world’s attention each time the ribbon is cut. And for those wanting a snippet of the inspiration behind his designs, you have only to follow him on Instagram account.

Main image credit: Patrick Meis

Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam to return in 2020

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

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

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

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

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

A Vision of the Future

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

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

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

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

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

Three men on the Hotel Vision stage

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

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

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

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

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

Main image credit: Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam

The rise of tile trends in international hotel design

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
The rise of tile trends in international hotel design

Celebrating art outside the frame, CTD Architectural Tiles identifies tile trends that are emerging for 2019 and beyond…

From texture and pattern to size and the increasing need for sustainable solutions, the hotel industry has become an exciting creative arena for tile and surface trend developments. The desire for creating spaces that stand out, delivering on both aesthetic and practical qualities, has driven the demand for tiles that make unique and memorable design statements.

From wood and marble-effect flooring to new generation mosaics and botanical-inspired patterns, architects and designers have never had so much choice when it comes to specifying ceramic and porcelain tiles in hotel projects.

Nature-inspired patterned tiles

A celebration and seamless marriage between rustic handmade influences and the trend for contemporary biophilic design, the new Amazonia collection from CTD Architectural Tiles is guaranteed to bring any hotel project to life.

Jungle-inspired interiors showcasing various tones of surfaces

Image credit: CTD Architectural Tiles

Versatile and unique, Amazonia combines botanical patterns with a pared-back, nature-inspired palette to enliven spaces of all sizes. Suitable for both walls and floors, the tiles are available in two shapes: a small square format (138 x 138mm) and a larger hexagon format (320 x 368mm), in five colourways and designs. Offering endless opportunities to combine and mix the distinctive tiles, designers are able to choose from the subtle geometric patterns of Ethnic or the delicate leaf prints of the Tropic designs to create a standout space. From the lobby and hotel bars and restaurants to even the swimming pool areas, Amazonia offers a truly versatile tiling proposition to designers, specifiers and architects for the hotel industry.

3D textured tiles

From bold patterns to structured 3D shapes and designs, tiles have become an increasingly popular format of creative expression within hotel interiors. Advances in tile manufacturing have led to reinventions of trends and tile styles such as bohemian, baroque and mosaics. An increasingly popular choice, mosaics are extremely versatile as they are able to be applied to flat or curved surfaces as well as being suitable for dry and wet areas on both walls and floors. Offering a variety of colours, sizes and materials, the return of mosaics has seen the introduction of new finishes such as metal or wood-effect designs as well as striking hexagon and geometric patterns, ideal for those designers or architects looking to make a true style statement.

Image credit: CTD Architectural Tiles

Colourful Marble-Effect Tiles

Combining an urban aesthetic with trend-led designs, the Diesel Living tile collection delivers truly eye-catching tile solutions for contemporary hotel spaces. The ideal range for designers wanting to achieve a truly statement scheme, the Diesel Cosmic Marble collection is an exquisite marriage between marble-effect tiles and a cosmic-inspired colour palette. Suitable for both walls and floors, the aptly named range is guaranteed to leave a lasting impression. From the deep blue and gold hues of Venus to the radiant red swirls of Mars, Diesel Cosmic Marble is available in eight polished porcelain colourways and will work perfectly in lobbies and reception areas.

Wood-Effect Floor Tiles

 An effortlessly stylish addition to any space, wood flooring is renowned for its beautiful, natural finish. Although undeniably a popular choice, natural wood isn’t always practical in high footfall areas in hotels. With some ranges offering up to 40 per cent recycled content, wood-effect tile collections celebrate the unique beauty of the natural material and combine the importance of a realistic finish with the practical benefits of ceramic or porcelain tiles.

Image credit: CTD Architectural Tiles

An on-trend and practical solution for hotel spaces, a wood-effect tile allows you to evoke the natural character of timber, whilst promising a low maintenance and practical product that is ideal for modern environments. Complete with the distinctive knots and markings of organic wood, each and every tile is different to ensure an authentic look. Not just limited to floors, the wide range of glazed porcelain and ceramic tiles are suitable for a number of applications including walls, exteriors and wet areas, meaning that the design of a project is not restricted by the limitations of real wood.

By their very nature, hotels are stunning examples of unique design and luxury living. When it comes to product selection for a hotel project, designers want to be working with the very latest trends and innovative products to ensure that they’re able to achieve a statement scheme to remember.  From beautiful lobbies to carefully designed guest suites, CTD Architectural Tiles’ extensive product portfolio is guaranteed to provide the ideal surface solution no matter what the application. Offering unparalleled expertise and technical knowledge, the Specification Team at CTD Architectural Tiles works with industry leading, innovative manufacturers to offer a complete portfolio of ceramic and porcelain tile ranges to suit the boutique hotelier, architect, interior designer, developer and specification professional.

BISQUE launches competition for next generation of radiators

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
BISQUE launches competition for next generation of radiators

CALLING ALL DESIGNERS: Recommended Supplier Bisque has launched a competition to find the next generation of stylish radiators…

Pioneering British design brand BISQUE has announced an exclusive competition to find the ‘next big thing’ in luxury radiators and celebrate its landmark 40th anniversary.

Budding designers and Bisque fans alike will be invited to join the movement and make their mark on the design industry by creating the brand’s newest model.

The competition was previewed at Clerkenwell Design Week, before officially launching at London’s New Designers show in July. The final deadline for entries will then be in October. All entrants will be judged by a panel of industry experts, including journalists, designers and Bisque officials, before the winning model is unveiled during an exclusive preview in November. The winning design will be awarded a cash prize; plus, provided the design works technically, it will go into production*.

“We are thrilled to be launching this competition to commemorate four decades of innovative radiators,” said brand leader at Bisque Ellie Sawdy. “Here at Bisque we have always maintained that radiators don’t need to be boring, and this philosophy remains a core part of our brand’s ethos. We are equally excited by the fresh, young design talent the UK has to offer, so are incredibly excited to see what the British public comes up with”.

Eagle-eyed Bisque fans may recall the last time Bisque invited the public to design a new model to join its repertoire. The prize model, the Archibald – designed by Italian Leo Salzedo – went on to win the 2006 designboo