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    Interior Design

    A new chapter: Fabiia’s showroom opens in Chiswick, London

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    A new chapter: Fabiia’s showroom opens in Chiswick, London

    Furniture brand Fabiia has opened its doors to a new London showroom just in time for Sleep & Eat 2019… 

    Marking a significant milestone for the furniture company, Fabiia has opened its doors to a new showroom on the doorstep of the quaint yet thriving neighbourhood of Chiswick, London. The new showroom’s strategically placed location has become the company’s first base in the UK, and will shelter brands such as Miniforms, Lightyears, Normann Copenhagen, Schneid, Delightfull, Fast, Labbate and Sika.

    “When we first decided to make the move from Dubai back to the UK, we were keen to pick out a prime location for what would become the Fabiia Showroom,” said Fabiia’s creative director Shija Walia. “Three months scouring the streets of London led us to The Light Box, a studio set two minutes from Chiswick Park and a stone’s throw away from the Chiswick train station.

    “To put things in perspective, most of the last year was spent pouring over Fabiia’s signature line of furniture. The team divided its time traveling around Europe identifying the choicest manufacturing units alongside juggling multiple projects in the Middle East. We sure have kept ourselves busy, but the results are most definitely worth it!”

    A heady mix of indoor and outdoor furniture, designer lighting, plus a signature Fabiia flair alongside our architectural Norse LED lighting invites visitors into a showroom that lives and breathes design.

    Image credit: Fabiia

    “What was once a pipeline dream has now finally taken shape in a one-stop location for all your contract furniture/lighting requirements,” added Walia.

    The brand’s timely entrance to unveil a UK showroom unfolds as one of Europe’s largest and most talked-about hotel design trade show, Sleep & Eat prepares to get underway – of which Hotel Designs is a proud media partner of.

    Main image credit: Fabiia

    Conrad Maldives Rangali Island debuts redesigned villas

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Conrad Maldives Rangali Island debuts redesigned villas

    Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, the luxury destination resort located on the picturesque setting of Rangali Island in the Maldives, is redesigning a unique set of villas available on the property…

    Just more than year after Hotel Designs interviewed the designers and architects behind the world’s first underwater hotel suite, the same hotel, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island has unveiled the design details of its new mix of villas.

    By next month, the resort will introduce five new room types including the Two-Bedroom Deluxe Beach Villa, Grand Water Villa with Pool, Grand Water Villa, Two-Bedroom Grand Water Villa with Pool and Two-Bedroom Grand Water Villa, encouraging all travellers – groups, families and couples alike – to find the room best suited to fit their every need and desire.

    Yuji Yamazaki, principal of Yuji Yamazaki Architecture PLLC, NYC and design collaborator on the underwater THE MURAKA residence will apply his signature style of simple paired back luxury to the updated accommodations. The design of the villas will feature a clean and minimalist aesthetic, giving the space a natural, bright and airy feel intended to focus on the beauty just outside of the villa. The new design will promote a sense of harmony with the surrounding environment, awakening but not overwhelming the senses and providing absolute privacy and exclusivity.

    “Our pioneering innovative hospitality to cater to the passion points and needs of our guests is the cornerstone of this resort,” said Stefano Ruzza, General Manager of Conrad Maldives Rangali Island.“We are thrilled to debut new villa categories to discerning travellers, marking the beginning of the next chapter of Rangali history and our commitment to driving the evolution of travel to the Maldives.”

    The Deluxe Beach Villas were refurbished throughout 2018 and 2019. A selection of villas have recently been converted into new luxury Two-Bedroom Deluxe Beach Villas to offer the ideal space for any Maldivian holiday. The Two-Bedroom Deluxe Beach Villas will feature a new design with a private garden and pool, indoor state of art bathroom, a private outdoor rain-shower and floor-to-ceiling glass windows that illuminate the villa with natural light. Set amongst the tropical greenery, the standout feature of the newly designed villa is the addition of the second bedroom adjacent to the main villa, which has been purposely designed to accommodate a twin bedroom with luxurious floor-to-ceiling glass windows.

    Image credit: Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

    In addition to the Two-Bedroom Deluxe Beach Villas, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is reinventing the Retreat Water Villas into two villa types – Grand Water Villa and Grand Water Villa with a pool. A popular room category, the Water Villas are set on stilts above the gentle ocean waves where guests can discover the true meaning of indoor-outdoor living. The redesigned villa will greet guests with a large living room, which can be converted into a second bedroom, along with views of the outdoor deck complete with a Jacuzzi or pool. Featuring clean lines and muted natural tones, the villas are located in the Spa Retreat, 100 meters off of the tip of the main island Rangali Finolhu, with vistas across the Indian Ocean to the resort’s second island, Rangali.

    The in-demand Family Water Villa will also be transformed into two villa types and renamed Two- Bedroom Grand Water Villa and Two-Bedroom Grand Water Villa with pool. The design of the Two- Bedroom accommodation will be similar to the Grand Water Villas, but will offer two bedrooms, instead of one and can host any group of guests. Set on stilts over the Indian Ocean, the villas offer views of either the lagoon or ocean and a sunset or sunrise view and can sleep a maximum of four persons – two adults and two children, or four adults.

    Set across two islands connected by an open-air overwater path, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island plans to announce additional enhancements in 2020 offering guests a Maldivian playground full of possibilities.

    Main image credit: Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

    PREVIEW: Surface Design Show 2020

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    PREVIEW: Surface Design Show 2020

    The show, of which Hotel Designs is a proud media partner for, is celebrating 15 years of bringing the best in innovative surface design, manufacturing and development to the UK…

    Surface Design Show will once again be bringing the best in surface material innovation to London’s Business Design Centre from February 11- 13 2020, with a focus on the trending topic of ‘Close to Home.’

    Now in its fifteenth year, the show is a must-visit for architects, designers and specifiers looking for material inspiration from the UK and around the world. As well as over 170 exhibitors, visitors can also enjoy a packed programme of talks, plus the ever-popular Opening Night Debate supported this year by the RIBA and the lively PechaKucha evening, which will be hosted by Chris Dyson of Chris Dyson Architects, with speakers including: Daniel Campbell, director at Stiff + Trevillion Architects; Luke Tozer, director at Pitman Tozer Architects; Joe Morris, founding director of Morris+Company; Richard Wilson RA, a renowned sculptor Burrell Foley Fischer; and Stella Ioannou, director of Lacuna.

    The ‘Close to Home’ theme will look beyond aesthetics and into manufacturers’ impact on theenvironment, from the processes used in mining or manufacture, through to the carbon footprint sustained during sales and distribution. Designing with a conscience will also be examined, fromreusing waste materials to looking at what happens at the end of a product’s life cycle.

    Returning exhibitors to the 2020 Surface Design Show include market-leading finishes specialist Armourcoat, family-run tile firm BluePrint Ceramics, Innerspace Cheshire, which connects designers with a wide range of design-led materials, James Latham, distributor of timber and wood-based panel products in the UK and Tile of Spain, a Spanish tile company encompassing more than 100 tile manufacturers.

    Among the new exhibitors joining this edition of the show are British art studio Aster Muro, which produces stunning contemporary frescoes, solid surface supplier KULA and Croatian decorative glass producer Bokart, reflecting the global appeal of the exhibition.

    Surface Spotlight Live is a section of the show which is wholly focused on the ‘Close to Home’theme. Curated by trend expert Sally Angharad and forecasters Colour Hive the exhibit will take a look at what the future holds for materials. Stone Gallery also returns for 2020 accompanied by the Stone Knowledge Hub, supported by the leading industry body Stone Federation GB, which will form a focal point for the event where architects and designers can interact with, and learn more about, specifying natural stone.

    In addition to materials for indoor and outdoor use, Light School is key component of the show,reflecting the fact that London is the world’s capital for lighting design specification. Here, leading manufacturers will demonstrate the relationship between light and surfaces, as well as showcasing the latest architectural lighting products and innovations in lighting technology. Light Talks, a series of sessions supported by the Institution of Lighting Professionals and collated by Rebecca Weir from Lightbout. IQ will underpin this knowledge sharing.

    Surface Design Show 2020 will host approximately 30 presentations from 50 speakers across the purpose-built stages: Light Talks, Stone Knowledge Hub and Main Stage. One of the highlights of the show is expected to be Biophilic Materials in Surface Design, which will be hosted by editor Hamish Kilburn and will hear from Jeremy Grove (head of design and director, Sibley Grove), Richard Holland (director, Holland Harvey Architects) and Fraser Lockley (architectural consultancy manager, Parkside).

    As well as established brands, Surface Design Show is dedicated to supporting promoting up-and- coming designers in the materials sector with its New Talent section appearing once again, curated by internationally acclaimed speaker and forward-thinking chief creative director at Trendease International Jennifer Castoldi. The New Talent area allows designers, who have been in the industry five years or less, to have a devoted exhibition area, giving them the opportunity to showcase to and engage face-to-face with a hard-to-reach and targeted audience. The 45 exhibitors here includeThat’s Caffeine, a start-up that creates products from waste coffee grounds and knitted textile specialist Charlotte Clayton. Appearing for the first time is New Talent Plus, a section of the show that bridges the gap between emerging material talent and existing manufacturers.

    The Surface Design Awards, now in their sixth year, are an intrinsic part of the show, with this year’sedition attracting 107 entries from over 21 countries. The judging panel is co-chaired by Paul Priestman, designer, co-founder and chairman of global design consultancy PriestmanGoode, and Amin Taha, chairman of Groupwork and director of Amin Taha Architects. The remaining judges are Nikki Barton, head of digital design at British Airways; Sean Griffiths, artist, architect and academic practicing at Modern Architect; Charles Holland, principal at Charles Holland Architects; Glenn Johnson, director of design at the Advanced Design Group of Collins Aerospace; Daniel Mota Veiga, global head of product design for KEF / GP Acoustics; and Steve Webb, co-founder of Webb Yates Engineers. The winners will be revealed during a breakfast reception on 13 February at Surface Design Show.

    For all things innovative in surfaces and materials, Surface Design Show provides the perfect platform for architects, designers and specifiers to explore.

    Tickets are free to professional and trade visitors, and registration is now open.

    Main image credit: Surface Design Show

    A wealth of benefits using walnut in surfaces, says Unilin

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    A wealth of benefits using walnut in surfaces, says Unilin

    With the popularity of mixed wood and metal finishes, UNILIN, division panels, is making sure that designers can source authentic surfaces without the expense and complexities of genuine materials…

    Aspirational interiors continue to play a key part in furniture and interior design. Combinations of luxury brushed and gloss metals, cool alabasters and rich wood pairings are prevalent in many top global design projects within the high-end commercial and hospitality sector.

    While material combinations are not a new trend, it feeds an ongoing focus on reinventing retro elements into modern and contemporary schemes. The inclusion of metals to a wood scheme provides an edgy modernity, while introducing wood to metal schemes provides warmth and comforting luxury.

    Lorenzo Walnut, one of the 168 decors available in the UNILIN Evola surface collection, brings the delicate fine grain and silky-smooth attributes of solid walnut into a versatile surface finish.

    What’s more, thanks to the adaptability and durability of UNILIN Evola HPL and melamine, Lorenzo Walnut can be used on everything from wall panels and column features to reception desk fascia, café tables, work desks, bar and work surfaces.

    It’s all-round performance and ease of maintenance makes it a more cost-effective option than solid walnut.

    “There are tactile and aesthetic assets from walnut that provide an exciting material partner for metal and stone finishes,” said Sofie Coulier at UNILIN division panels. “Its distinctive structure and weathered patina give that detailing that sets it high on the luxury scale.

    “This almost architectural wood gives the soft, sleek and high-end finish that is popular with key designers throughout the interiors sector and works perfectly with our brushed metal and stone decors in the Evola range.”

    Scratch and stain-resistant, safe from fading and easy to wipe down. All Evola melamine-faced chipboard panels are made from 100 per cent circular wood, including a minimum 85 per cent recycled content. Not only great performing, Lorenzo Walnut delivers a more sustainable solution to extracting raw material from natural resources.

    Free A4 samples of all Evola decors can be ordered from the UNILIN, division panels website.

    Signbox 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: UNILIN

    10 reasons why glazed titanium-steel is the material for the hotel bathroom

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    10 reasons why glazed titanium-steel is the material for the hotel bathroom

    Bette explains some of the benefits of using glazed titanium-steel for baths, shower trays and washbasins…

    What makes glazed titanium-steel so perfect for hotel baths and should more hotels be choosing it for shower trays too? German manufacturer, Bette, has been supplying hotels with baths and shower trays made of its glazed titanium-steel, for many years. Here are its top 10 reasons why glazed titanium-steel is the best material for hotel bathrooms, including why it’s the perfect material for shower trays, as well as baths and washbasins.

    1 – So durable Bette has BBQs in its baths!

    Bette baths and shower trays are so durable and scratch resistant that the company has BBQs in its baths to prove how indestructible its glazed titanium-steel is! Once the charcoal has cooled and the bath has been cleaned it looks as good as new. While you might not go that far, durability is key to choosing a product that will stay looking great for many years, with no amount of hotel guests and regular cleaning diminishing its shine and flawless finish. It’s all down to the perfectly uniform thickness of the titanium-steel and the precision of the enamel glaze, which makes it super-strong. Bette is so confident about the durability, that all its glazed titanium-steel products come with a thirty year warranty.

    2 – Easy to clean

    The surface that makes Bette’s products so durable, is also what makes them so easy to clean. It is so hard and smooth (like glass) that dirt simply washes off, as it has no scratches or texture to cling to. No special cleaning formulations are needed. Cosmetics and coloured shampoos and shower gels won’t mark the surface and even nail varnish can be removed easily.

    3 – Sustainable, natural and 100% recyclable

     With a growing focus on the environment and desire to reduce the use of plastics, Bette offers the natural, non-plastic/acrylic alterative. Bette baths, shower trays and basins are made from only natural materials and are 100% recyclable, which means they can be a more sustainable choice. Bette’s sustainability is confirmed by an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) based on the ISO 14025 and EN 15804 standards.

    4 – Invisible, easy-clean anti-slip

    Bette’s Anti-slip Pro finish isn’t like the ‘gritty’ anti-slip finishes of the past. It’s almost invisible, so you’d hardly know it’s there, even after years of use, and is fully enamelled for easy cleaning. What’s more it’s been tested and meets one of  the highest levels of slip resistance.

    Which is why it makes sense to choose Bette glazed titanium-steel for shower trays too. Bette offers a wide choice in hundreds of sizes and colours, including matt colours to coordinate with flooring.

    Image credit: Bette

    5 – Strong material meets strong design

    Bette has a strong design focus and this, together with the strong titanium-steel, means that Bette products include many clever features, like super-slim rims on baths and washbasins, steep sides for more standing or lying room and ultra-comfortable lying areas.

    6 – Tailored to you  

    Not only does the Bette range offer a large choice of sizes and styles, including space-saving designs, but the manufacturing process means that Bette can tailor products to fit a space perfectly. So, if there’s an awkward space, like a recess, that needs a perfectly sized shower tray or bath, Bette can create it. No compromise required.

    And the hand-crafted element of Bette’s manufacturing process also means that shower trays and fitted baths can be ordered with BetteUpstand to the exact measurements required. So you can say goodbye to silicone where the product meets the wall tiles.

    7 – A choice of 500 Colours

    Because Bette products are made from titanium-steel and then the surface is enamelled there are around 500 colours to choose from. There are matt options, as well as gloss, Bette can colour-match to ceramic items, and for larger projects, Bette can even create bespoke colours.

    8 – A warm, comfortable bath

    Glazed titanium-steel is the perfect heat conductor, taking on the temperature of the room and then of the bathwater, to provide a truly comfortable bath, including around the neck area.

    9 – Quiet with special sound-proofing

    Bette’s expertise extends to clever installation systems that reduce the transmission of noise from the bath or shower tray to the building, so making for a more relaxing experience for everyone.

    10 – UV Resistant

    Bette’s special surface is colour and light-fast so, even after years of use, will be as bright and shiny as new.

    Bette 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.

    EXCLUSIVE ROUNDTABLE: Meaningfully differentiating luxury in hotel design

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    EXCLUSIVE ROUNDTABLE: Meaningfully differentiating luxury in hotel design

    To continue Hotel Designs’ series of articles to put sustainability under the spotlight, editor Hamish Kilburn chairs an exclusive editorial roundtable, in collaboration with Minotti London, to understand how today’s leading designers are sensitively working to create a more meaningful luxury hotel design landscape. Joining us on the Minotti sofa to discuss this topic:

    With the aim to conceive and design meaningful luxury hotels, there is undoubtedly a question mark on how designers and architects can differentiate their projects to stand out as timeless jewels. With the rise in technology and social media, competition for hotel operators and developers is no longer limited to a single neighbourhood; we have very much entered a global arena. But how are today’s leading designers confronting the evolving hospitality landscape, and just how significant is sense of place when approaching sensitive luxury projects? We invited a handful of the industry’s most distinguished innovators to Minotti London‘s alluring showroom in Fitzrovia to find out more.

    Hamish Kilburn: What are the largest misconceptions when it comes to designing luxury?

    Jo Littlefair, Director and Co-Founder, Goddard Littlefair: Travelling globally, and understanding global attitudes towards luxury is so important. We have clients that have huge misconceptions to whatever project they are developing. We still struggle when clients associate harsh golds and marbles with luxury, for example. I find it really disheartening, because for me, a non-material object like ‘time’ is a luxury. When approaching the design of any luxury hotel, it’s really important to keep in mind the attitude you are trying to create.

    Hamish Brown, Partner, 1508 London: There are a few buzzwords that keep coming up in the studio. We don’t have a ‘house style’ as such, therefore we are really trying capture and create sense of place within each projects. It’s not about fashion but about style. If you look at the great Hollywood movie stars now and compare them to images of themselves 30 to 40 years ago, quite often they will look as relevant now as they did then. That is certainly to do with style over fashion. We look at ways in which classical details and proportions can manifest themselves within a design.

    David Mason, Head of Hospitality, Scott Brownrigg: The definition of luxury is not the same for everyone. Some may see luxury in technology, while others believe it is in the foundations of a hotel. In our studio, we don’t necessarily design the ultra six-star luxury hotel, but many of our clients are interested in ‘luxury’, which can come from anything from the service down to the attention to detail. What is luxurious to one person is different to another.

    Constantina Tsoutsikou, Creative Director, HBA London: I think luxury is also about being generous as a designer. You always give more than what is expected and make sure that the spaces are comfortable and also have longevity. Where I can, I try to avoid anything too shiny. It’s becoming more apparent that the days of clients wanting to the interiors to show off wealth are behind us. Instead, well-designed luxury interiors are more honest and truthful. That in itself is a luxury mindset.

    “We have realised that clients want luxury but almost on a shoestring budget.” – Constantina Tsoutsikou, Creative Director, HBA London

    Image caption: (centre) Hamish Brown, (right) Jo Littlefair

    HK: When did your clients start accepting a shift in consumer demands when it comes to luxury?

    HB: I think it massively goes back to what that hotel means within its location as well as the characteristics of the building. There is certainly more of an acceptance from both sides. Some clients believe that what they want is a grand, sweeping entrance, whereas to really differentiate themselves and to make their hotel work within its location and to be relevant to the building, we suggest to park pre-conceived ideas and think about what would work for that particular hotel.

    CT: We have realised that clients want luxury but almost on a shoestring budget. If you compare it to a good few years ago, budget expectations are certainly getting lower. Perhaps it is a sign of the times. At the same time, palettes are becoming more concise, that’s a good thing because designs are cleaner. There’s still a layering there, but the money that was being spilled into a hotel project before the 2008 crisis is not there anymore. However, the expectation certainly is. So, as designers, we have to work out how to manage that.

    JL: Also, you cannot ignore the noise and influence of social media – it has a lot to answer for. That inaccurately convinces clients and developers that design is easy and disposable, and that it doesn’t take five minutes to produce a moodboard. But in reality, especially when considering sense of place, you’re thinking about a building and a brand. Putting these elements together requires a real curation of things. Otherwise, I have seen it when people go off on tangents and throw details into the canvas. Nothing ends up gelling and it becomes a messy clash of ideas.

    “Trying to get the balance between the soft, the elegant while making these spaces feel comfortable places to work, sit and socialise is a challenge.” – David Mason, Head of Hospitality, Scott Brownrigg

    HK: One of the most obvious changes in hotel design, and in the demand from guests, is in the public areas. How has this changed the way in which you specify furniture?

    CT: Everybody is working from everywhere. We have a beautiful resort project, which is currently on the boards. As a result of the direct demand from modern travels, we are thinking about putting USB charging sockets on the day beds next to the pool. Generally, I think this is a positive step forward for hotels, which have a life on their own. I think it’s wonderful – and a real stamp of approval from the community – when the neighbourhood becomes part of the life inside a hotel. After all, nobody likes a dead public space.

    “All of our furniture is designed at a deliberate height so that each piece can gel with other elements. As opposed to creating one iconic piece, we wanted to create a design DNA.” Digby Summerhill, Director, Minotti London

    DM: It’s a hard balance to strike. When our commercial interior designers get asked create these multifunctional spaces, the way in which they design is very task oriented. Trying to get the balance between the soft, the elegant while making these spaces feel comfortable places to work, sit and socialise is a challenge.

    Digby Summerhill, Director, Minotti London: We’ve always had modular systems that are flexible. All of our furniture is designed at a deliberate height so that each piece can gel with other elements. As opposed to creating one iconic piece, we wanted to create a design DNA; something that runs through an interior design scene. It’s not a coincidence that no individual item stands out in our collections. One thing I think is interesting is that we didn’t design any of these pieces with hospitality necessarily in mind. Instead we very looked at consumer behaviour and understood the demands of consumers within public areas.

    HB: We are often trying to design public spaces to not look like public areas. The idea of a lobby/lounge going against what people would expect in a conventional hotel, to shelter intimate spaces, private nooks where people can work, is very appealing to me. I agree that idea of the community coming in and using the hotel is huge, but perhaps this is something that London has not got right in the past. In other cities there is much more fluidity and it works beautifully. Allowing furniture to adapt to how people are using is a big part of this, and an idea that is really exciting.

    Image caption: (Left) David Mason, (Right) Jo Littlefair

    HK: Let’s talk about sustainability. A study recently showed that 76 per cent of guests believe that hotels could be greener. Is consciousness the new luxury, as I suggested in my recent editor’s letter?

    JL: We’ve been really encouraged recently to have had two projects come to us with sustainability at their hearts. Absolutely every decision has to have a sustainability angle. What we hope is that it continues through to the final touch points, because there will be financial implications along the way. Having filter taps in the room so that hotel guests can refill water bottles is a fresh approach that I love. The design utilities recycled parts of the existing building, giving a whole new meaning of injecting life back into a hotel. We are really thinking about those elements, including timelessness. I agree that it is about style. For us, it’s not about having a hemp interiors, it’s about creating luxury that has a slight assured sense of elegance and quality that has a higher purpose.

    DM: The best way to differentiate luxury when it comes to sustainability is to be clever. Having a brief like this is rare, let alone working on two. So, designers, it is our responsibility to educate our clients and specify materials and items that don’t harm the environment or the end user. Behind this, it’s therefore so important that we understand the products and materials and what sets them apart from others in the market.

    “Luxury is not just about design, it is about service as well and so many other things that are intrinsically layered on top.” – Hamish Brown, Director, 1508 London

    HK: To me it’s very transparent when hotels use words without actions when it comes to sustainability. Is it the designer’s responsibility to ensure clients avoid greenwashing?

    CT: You have to remember, we are designing spaces that will open in three years time. It’s a long time, and things change very quickly. You have to be ahead of the game and lead in that way so that the hotel is relevant when it opens. You have to ensure that the strategy you have in place is looking ahead and avoids the need for significant last-minute changes. On the other hand, as designers, we have a responsibility to influence the clients. But I think soon, it will become a necessity across the entire industry. I predict this will happen faster than we think, and it’s already started with wider conversations with local suppliers.

    HK: What are you all doing at the moment to try and differentiate your luxury projects from others?

    CT: I am always asking myself, how do I position this hotel in the current market, or in a wider sense, how do I position this hotel for an international clientale? This is because the competition is no longer just the hotel’s neighbour, it’s a global arena.

    DM: I suppose it is now about experience. People desire luxury experiences. A hotel group has just bought the Fort of India. How incredible would that be; to stay and experience something totally unmatched like that. Travellers want authenticity and they consider that to be luxury.

    HB: Sense of place cannot be underestimated. The definition of luxury differs from place to place and demographic to demographic, and you have to respond, beneath the surface, to understand what is happening in those locations. Luxury is not just about design, it is about service as well and so many other things that are intrinsically layered on top. When those elements and concepts interlock, that’s when you have a seamless luxury experience when service and design sit side by side and are harmoniously linked.

    HK: Consumer demands of public areas have spilled out into outdoor spaces. Has this changed the way in which you design these areas together?

    JL: We love integrating the outdoor areas so that they becomes a seamless flow where we can. I would say this is especially the case in food and beverage sector. We have recruited designers that only specialise in those areas so that we can get the operational flow right. That connection to the outdoor is integral to our overall wellbeing. Humanity is an element of luxury that we have not touched upon, because our disassociation with human relationships is becoming more enforced by our use of technology. I feel that human touch – it can be as simple as eye contact, and/or just being understood in a different country – is really important that we deliver with hospitality. And first and foremost, design and architecture should enable this.

    “Usually I will use the sustainability angle as an added value and not the primary reason why we are specifying, unless the brief has an eco-friendly thread in its core.” – Jo Littlefair, Director and Co-Founder, Goddard Littlefair.

    HK: Sustainability is becoming a buzzword that some would argue is losing its meaning. What makes a piece of furniture sustainable for you?

    JL: At the end of the day we, as designers, have to ensure that the furniture looks fantastic – and it meets all the needs and demands from our clients as well as regulations. But it really does come down to how we communicate this with the client. We do have to choose our words carefully, but that’s the same as when pitching any idea to the client. Usually I will use the sustainability angle as an added value and not the primary reason why we are specifying, unless the brief has an eco-friendly thread in its core.

    DM: Different cultures are going to be more interested than others, that is for sure. It is all about baby steps, and we do as much as we can.

    Technology and manufacturing has been a massive help. Sustainable products and materials are now at a price point that works for a client and a luxury brief. To then specify a product that is eco-friendly and longer lasting than another becomes a no-brainer. I really believe it is changing. Clients are more aware of the value of reclaimed or reupholstered furniture. Having said this, it is also a balancing act. I am working on a hotel at the moment with the aim to reupholster the casegoods and the beds, and sadly it is actually almost as expensive as buying new pieces.

    “I think if you can justifiably explain how a decision adds value, then cost can sometimes be reconsidered.” – Hamish Brown, Director, 1508 London.

    HK: In regards to luxury, do you believe value outweighs cost?

    HB: It’s a lovely idea, and my view is that value does outweigh cost. If you look at today’s market and the economy, there is a huge sense of getting value. It’s not always about cost. I think if you can justifiably explain how a decision adds value, then cost can sometimes be reconsidered.

    JL: We get closer to understanding the deal that the developer has struck and the budget that has driven the deal, which underpins the whole project. Basically, our client has a figure that they cannot deviate from. So yes, it is common sense, and I do value beautiful furniture, and we do have to be ambassadors that push for quality so that these pieces don’t end up in landfill, but there is a bottom line figure discussion. As a designer, you are the piece of magic in the middle having to constantly and consistently value engineer the project.

    HB: The most successful projects that we work on are the ones where everyone involved is upfront and honest with cost and there is a real transparency there.

    HK: Has the weight on where the budget is spent in the hotel changed?

    DM: It’s always in the ceiling!

    CT: I have seen that generally, not enough budget is left for the finishing touches.

    JL: For me, it’s artwork.

    Following the exclusive panel discussion, the leading designers and architects were able to browse the showroom, which showcased, in an apt setting, Minotti’s 2019 collection of timeless indoor and outdoor furniture.

    Minotti London will be the venue of Hotel Designs’ Meet Up London, which will take place in Spring 2020. More details will follow.

    If you are interested in hosting our next editorial roundtable, please email Katy Phillips or call +44 (0)1992 374050. 

    Hansgrohe announced as Event Partner for The Brit List 2019

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Hansgrohe announced as Event Partner for The Brit List 2019

    With one week until Hotel Designs takes the stage to host its annual awards ceremony, The Brit list Awards 2019, Hansgrohe has become an Event Partner… 

    As more than 300 of the industry’s leading designers, architects, hoteliers and suppliers gear up for what is guaranteed to be a night to remember at The Brit List Awards 2019, Hansgrohe has been confirmed as an Event Partner for the event.

    The bathroom manufacturer, which will also exhibit at Sleep & Eat 2019 in the days leading up to the event, has bookmarked The Brit List 2019 as a significant awards concept that recognises and champions the leading designers and operators in hotel design and hospitality in Britain and beyond.

    “We identify the UK market of design and hospitality as a significant influence on the global industry.” – James Murray, Director of Sales  for global projects for Hansgrohe.

    “Hansgrohe is delighted to become an Event Partner for The Brit List 2019, and is proud to support the award’s concept,” said James Murray, Director of Sales  for global products for Hansgrohe. “We are especially excited to help amplify The Brit List, as we identify the UK market of design and hospitality as a significant influence on the global industry. We look forward to meeting the leading designers, architects and hoteliers at the event.”

    The nationwide search to find the most influential designers, architects and hoteliers operating in Britain began months ago when Hotel Designs opened up nominations and applications to readers.

    Since then, an independent panel of expert judges have gathered to select this year’s individual award winners and also to confirm the 75 individuals who have made it into The Brit List 2019.

    At Sleep & Eat, of which Hotel Designs is a proud media partner for, Hansgrohe will be exhibiting new products, such as new finishes to its My Edition range, which is said to be “a new dimension of personalisation”, as well as showcasing the highly popular AXOR Edge collection and the trend-setting Rainfinity showers.

    #TheBritListAwards2019

    Headline Partner: Crosswater

    Event Partner: Hamilton Litestat

    Event Partner: Aqualisa

    Event Partner: Hansgrohe

    2019 Industry Partner: BIID

    Videography Partner: SYS Visual

    The Brit List Awards 2019 is now sold out! The only way now to attend The Brit List Awards 2019 is to become the event’s last remaining partner, which can be secured by contacting Katy Phillips by email or by calling +44(0)1992 374050.

    Main image credit: Hansgrohe/AXOR Edge

    Checking in to Inhabit Hotel, sheltering a new level of eco design

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Checking in to Inhabit Hotel, sheltering a new level of eco design

    During the London hotel’s soft launch period, editor Hamish Kilburn checks in to discover Inhabit’s debut property, which in the process earns his eco stamp of approval…

    Last year, an insightful study revealed that the city of London had the eighth highest level of pollution in the world, making the sky 67 times brighter than it would be without the contribution of humans. In the same study, it was highlighted that a staggering 84 per cent of Brits spend less than 10 minutes a day enjoying peace and quiet.

    Armed with these statistics, it came with great delight reading about a new hospitality concept of a fresh urban hotel perspective, where wellbeing and sustainable design was at the core of everything. Where the aim is for guests to leave feeling lighter, more free and inspired by taking the pace of life down a gear or two. Where time is luxury. Where Inhabit Hotel becomes a home-from-home.

    After a chaotic experience navigating the London Underground, which I politely consider to be ‘the pits’ of all public transport with it being the most polluted place in the city, I arrived at Paddington’s new boutique hotel in the same state of mind as I imagine most guests do; slightly stressed showing early symptoms of rush-hour rage. Juxtaposing the hustle and bustle of the city’s zone 1, the hotel’s understated is guests’ first indication of a new kind of hotel.

    The sixth-floor urban sanctuary is the brainchild of Nadira and Rihim Lalji, and is the cousins’ first hotel within the portfolio. Created by architecture firm Holland Harvey Architects and Caitlin Henderson Design, the 90-key hotel is designed with busy travellers in mind. My arrival experience feels more as if I am staying with warm hosts rather than a hotel. The lobby sits in perfect harmony between the F&B area, named Yeotown, and book-filled library.

    The check-in desk is down-played, and marries nicely into the laid-back luxury design concept. While checking in, my eyes are drawn to a timetable that I am not familiar with; a yoga and mediation schedule, which I am told launched only this week but was very much part of the core plan for the hotel. “Wellness is at the heart of our brand,” says Nadira Lalji. “Every aspect of our hotel is aligned with what being well means to us. We think of wellness as more than a physical state, but a way of being. Our brand pillars, which stand for social connectedness, intellectual expansion and environmental responsibility, reinforce this belief.”

    The ground-floor library is Inhabit’s answer to the rise in demand for public areas designed with bleisure in mind. The space encourages residents and members of the public to unwind, work and be inspired. The noise-free corner is complete with LED bulbs, which are 80 per cent more efficient in terms of energy used than traditional lighting. Occupancy sensors ensure that no energy is lost and guests are seen in their best light when they require it.

    Image credit: Inhabit Hotel

    Yeotown, is an innovative and thoughtful F&B area, perfect for guests on the move or as a venue for casual meetings. By partnering with food-wastage apps Karma and Too Good to Go, the area allows non-guests to pick up perfectly edible bargains which would otherwise be put into waste. The tables and chairs, made also by Holland and Harvey, have been created using materials honestly and in their natural state. “At Inhabit, we have specified oak flooring and joinery, all finished with a natural sealant to show off their natural colouring and tones,” said architect Richard Holland. “The floor is a natural stone from Fired Earth, which has beautiful variations and tonal differences.”

    Upstairs, the sustainability story continues, which is most impressive when considering that the hotel is sheltered within a Grade II listed building. From Casper eco-friendly mattresses to the REN amenities that are made from recycled plastic – even the soft toilet paper is 100 per cent recycled – the guestrooms and bathrooms are quite obviously designed with conscious guests in mind. But on close inspection, it becomes apparent just how high up on the agenda sustainability is for the hotel. Taking the concept of ‘escapism’, one step further, each room comes complete with Studio ND phone charge and stowaway boxes, made from scrap materials, so that guests can break away from their devices.

    Perhaps it was my perfectly timed stay to sit in-between speaking about this very topic on stage at the Independent Hotel Show – more likely it’s simply the sheer statement of an urban hotel having such an eco-focused message – that has put on a smile on my face when checking out following one of the best night’s sleep I have had in London for a while. I can’t help but feel totally relaxed and reassured that the bottom line of profit is not the only value when it comes to successfully operating a hotel. And it was this that inspired my latest Editor Checks In online column, where I argue that consciousness could very well become the new luxury.

    Main image credit: InHabit London

    Morgan to unveil a stripped-back sustainable furniture at Sleep & Eat 2019

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Morgan to unveil a stripped-back sustainable furniture at Sleep & Eat 2019

    Morgan will unveil the Kaya lounge furniture collection next week at Sleep & Eat on stand C60…

    Taking its name from sacred forests spread along 200 km of the Kenyan coast, Morgan’s new Kaya lounge collection finds its roots in the openness, honesty and purity of trees. The crafted timber frames, gentle curve and soft upholstery are designed to provide relaxed luxury.

    Simplicity is further embodied in the upholstery, which features only the most essential elements, sculpted and fitted to provide enveloping comfort. Juxtaposing soft informality with timber’s clean geometry required a precise balancing act.

    With an emphasis on space and light, the collection evokes an atmosphere of ‘komorebi’, the Japanese word for the sunshine filtering through leaves. As with a lush woodland, Kaya’s serene frame finds strength in numbers. Individual timber sections have been kept small with multiple lightweight supports in place of a single, larger component.

    While Kaya draws inspiration from nature, technology played a crucial role in its production. The frame’s smooth, curving lines were made possible with Computer Numerical Control (CNC). Morgan uses any timber which is removed to help heat its manufacturing facility with a biomass boiler.

    “Relying on trends in the design world means whatever you produce will be bound by the tastes of a certain point in time,” Katerina Zachariades, Morgan’s design director, commented. “At Morgan, we like to look to things which have stood the test of time, from artwork of various styles to elements of the natural world.

    “With Kaya, we wanted to look beyond the heavy materials and density of the built environment, peeling back the surface to reveal the pure form within.”

    The Kaya collection is versatile, intended for interiors from hospitality through to the workplace. While the smaller lounge chair caters to projects requiring a smaller footprint, the larger lounge and high back chairs maintain a greater presence and impact within spacious environments such as lobbies, breakout areas and gallery spaces.

    Main image credit: Morgan

    Aqualisa confirmed as Event Partner for The Brit List 2019

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Aqualisa confirmed as Event Partner for The Brit List 2019

    With just days until the leading designers, architects and hoteliers will gather for Hotel Designs’ annual award ceremony, The Brit List Awards 2019, Aqualisa is announced as an Event Partner… 

    The Brit List 2019, which is Hotel Designs’ nationwide search to find the top designers, architects and hoteliers operating in Britain on the international hotel design scene, has secured Aqualisa as an Event Partner.

    The bathroom manufacturer, which will also exhibit its latest products at Sleep & Eat in the days leading up to The Brit List Awards, will attend Hotel Designs’ sold-out premium awards ceremony along with 300 other industry professionals.

    The nationwide search to find the most influential designers, architects and hoteliers operating in Britain began months ago when Hotel Designs opened up nominations and applications to readers.

    Since then, an independent panel of expert judges have gathered to select this year’s individual award winners and also to confirm the 75 individuals who have made it into The Brit List 2019.

    “We are delighted to be involved as an Event Partner for The Brit List 2019,” commented Jerry Gorman, Head of Specification at Aqualisa. “In particular, this unique event concept combining an awards ceremony with a superb networking opportunity is really attractive to Aqualisa  as our brand continues to build a strong position in this sector.  We very much look forward to meeting and connecting with the leading designers, architects and hoteliers that the awards demonstrably attract.”

    At Sleep & Eat, of which Hotel Designs is a proud media partner for, Aqualisa will be exhibiting new products, such as double, triple outlet mixer showers in the Mian range, as well as tech-driven digital showers, such as Rise, Q Edition, Hiqu.

    #TheBritListAwards2019

    Headline Partner: Crosswater

    Event Partner: Hamilton Litestat

    Event Partner: Aqualisa

    2019 Industry Partner: BIID

    Videography Partner: SYS Visual

    The Brit List Awards 2019 is now sold out! The only way now to attend The Brit List Awards 2019 is to become the event’s last remaining partner, which can be secured by contacting Katy Phillips by email or by calling +44(0)1992 374050.

    Main image credit: Aqualisa

    Sustainable bamboo signage from Signbox

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Sustainable bamboo signage from Signbox

    Continuing this month’s spotlight on sustainability, Hotel Designs has identified Signbox’s Hybrid Sign System, made from Bamboo, the most sustainable wood in the world… 

    Hybrid from Signbox is a premium modular outdoor sign system that combines the relentlessly durable and sustainable qualities of exterior-grade composite bamboo with powerful materials, such as painted MDF, glass and slate, that bring both sign scheme and setting to life.

    Engineered with components that are tailored from the ground up to support single post, twin post or fin bamboo structures, frame, branding panel, secure base fitting and optional illumination, Signbox Hybrid is a fusion of elegant, yet hardworking materials and aesthetically-pleasing, versatile system design.

    There are two product choices:

    • Branding backboard, single backboard, we will colour this backboard according to your branding.
    • Five-Wayfinder planks for different elements of wayfinding instruction. Upload your artwork for each panel. If you need help with artwork please contact Signbox. The company will colour the five panels according to your artwork.

    Hybrid sets the scene, effortlessly

    Easy to design and with seamless, step-by-step installation, Hybrid creates groundbreaking impact and effects that blend with the environment – effortlessly.

    Its graceful lines and nature-rich components make Hybrid the perfect modular sign system for discerning environments from landmark commercial buildings, hotels and hospitality areas to woodland settings, school and university campuses and ecologically-conscious public spaces.

    If you need help with artwork please contact Signbox.

    Signbox 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.

    MINIVIEW: Balancing heritage and playful design inside Maximilian Hotel

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    MINIVIEW: Balancing heritage and playful design inside Maximilian Hotel

    Known locally as one of Prague’s most established boutique hotels, redesigning the 71-key Maximilian Hotel called upon experienced minds and skilful to sensitively reimagine and redesign the hotel’s interiors. Editor Hamish Kilburn checks in for a sneak peek…

    Situated on Haštalská Street facing the Haštal Church – close to Prague’s Old Town Square, Maximilian Hotel was first opened in 1995, and was last last renovated by Czech architect Eva Jiřičná in 2005.

    Since then, an evolving demand among international savvy travellers has called for a new kind of F&B areas. Combine this with the rise of the urban ‘hometel’ hotel, the hotel was in drastic need of tender, love and meaningful care.

    Commissioned by the owners, Christian and Rudolf Ploberger, Conran and Partners was given the task to sensitively restore the hotel to its former glory, adding a modern mix of personality and character without diluting its charm – something that, considering the architectural shells of the hotel, was easier said than done.  “Maximilian presented us with interesting challenges,” says Tina Norden, Partner, Conran and Partners. “It consists of two different buildings with different architectural styles, which are connected on the ground floor by a linear series of previously underutilised public areas. Our challenge was to open up and unify these spaces to create a coherent and engaging journey for guests and visitors.”

    Previously, only a limited food and beverage offer existed in the front-of-house areas. The design team have added a café and bar at the main entrance, which animates the building’s façade and engages with the adjacent streetscape, including a small tree-lined paved area directly in front of the church opposite.

    In addition, the ground floor spaces were re-worked to include a brasserie within the new living room hub at the heart of the hotel, providing social spaces for guests and visitors. The Plobergers have teamed up with innovative Austrian restauranteur Marco Simonis to create the F&B concepts for the hotel.

    Martina Honcikova, Maximilian’s Creative Director, adds: “The new brasserie is a wonderful additon to the Prague gourmet scene and the reconfigured spaces within the hotel will allow us to host a range of private and public events. The design approach is highly creative – yet practical – and has helped to confirm Maximilian’s position as one of Prague’s leading hotels.”

    Conran and Partners’ design approach for the 71-key hotel reflects the cultural and architectural heritage of its urban context, referencing Czech modernism and the progressive art movement influenced by famous avant-garde artist and architectural writer, Karel Teige. Teige developed a version of the modernist principle that was based on much softer elements than many of his peers; his poetic modernism embraced elements such as texture and colour as well as more playful elements also represented in his many surreal collage works.

    The design team wanted to retain a strong element of Teige’s poetic modernism while creating sense of place rooted in the city and the neighbourhood. This involved drawing upon the iconic pastel colour palette of Prague’s architecture and local crafts – including weaving and glass-making – for the materiality of the design.

    “By respecting the heritage of the original building and through an inspiring collaboration with Conran and Partners, we have created a chic, contemporary urban dwelling that brings together the best of Czech tradition, culture and design with brasserie-style food,” says Rudolf Ploberger, co-owner of Maximilian. “The new design will allow us to focus on the needs of our guests to ensure that they experience a truly memorable time while in Prague.”

    “Each area of the hotel is highlighted in a different pastel tone.”

    Bold use of colour is the defining element of the design approach. Each area of the hotel is highlighted in a different pastel tone, referencing the colourful architecture of Prague’s inner city. This ranges from light green tones on entry, to pinks in the historic stairwells and a deep blue for the guestrooms. Overlaid on this are elements of local craft, made bespoke for the hotel, and a carefully curated selection of contemporary and classic furniture pieces in similar soft and colourful shades.

    Bespoke lighting elements designed by Conran and Partners, and made by Czech manufacturer Sans Souci, feature throughout the public areas and a contemporary chandelier crafted from handmade Czech glass was created for the living room and library spaces. The popular basement spa has been optimised and refreshed throughout using gentle pastel paint colours, bespoke artwork murals by local design company Lavmi and warm ambient lighting to promote relaxation.

    “The bespoke headboards reference the local craft of basket weaving.” Tina Norden, Partner, Conran and Partners

    “We have created an approach which is playful, provocative but also functional,” says Norden. “Colour features very strongly in the rooms as well, combining a deep blue with softer highlights and warm oak joinery, textured glass, mirror and brass details. The bespoke headboards reference the local craft of basket weaving, while the artwork celebrates the Czech avant-garde movement, including photomontages by Karel Teige. The terrazzo in the bathroom areas is both decorative and functional. Each room has a window bench seat – some looking out onto the church opposite – to offer guests a direct connection with the city and outside. Our aim was to redefine Maximilian with a clear and compelling personality which is grounded in the local context and re-establish it as a prime design destination hotel for the city.”

    Image credit: Matthias Aschauer

    Artwork plays a key part in the design, based on pieces the owners had already, combined with prints of iconic Teige collages and contemporary works inspired by his playful, surreal and intriguing works. The Teige pieces were sourced through the Czech archives with the new pieces curated with Dais Contemporary in London.

    Conran and Partners’ design approach for the rooms has sought to optimise the spaces across various guestroom layouts, which include quirky rooms with curved ceilings within the roof space, and give them a contemporary yet warm and residential feel.

    Main image credit: Matthias Aschauer

    Design studio twenty2degrees creates social flexible pop-up for Sleep & Eat 2019

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Design studio twenty2degrees creates social flexible pop-up for Sleep & Eat 2019

    twenty2degrees is one of six studios creating a concept guestroom pop-up ‘Sleep Set’ for this year’s Sleep & Eat 2019…

    London-based hotel design practice twenty2degrees has designed a concept guestroom in a response to Sleep & Eat 2019′s theme of “Social FlexAbility”, which explores hospitality’s power to stimulate human interaction in our age of digital dislocation.

    “We are not suggesting that human beings should return to a world without digital devices – far from it – but it’s a question of balance and making non-digital elements more fun so they can compete with smart phone obsession,” says Nick Stoupas, Founder and Partner of twenty2degrees. “We’ll be incorporating a music playlist and dynamic lighting as well as using a lot of bold colour, and materiality will be important. Then we are shaking it all up. Think neon illumination and timber, an industrial style black floor with a richly designed rug depicting fantastical flying creatures.”

    “We followed certain paths of thought, then found new sources of inspiration and were able to flip the aesthetic.” – Joe Stella, Creative Director and Partner of twenty2degrees

    twenty2degrees has worked closely with Ulster Carpets in the creation of the rug. Other supplier partners are: Hansgrohe (Brassware), Contardi Lighting, Tarkett (flooring), Solus Ceramics (stone marble), Hamilton (sockets & switches) and Altrock Surfaces (vanity unit). Peter Millard and Partners is supplying artwork, Bang & Olufsen the sound system and the build partner is Viriato Hotel Concept.

    “The process of designing the concept guestroom has been fascinating,” says Joe Stella, Creative Director and Partner of twenty2degrees. “Essentially, we were our own client freed from the usual constraints of commercial hotel design. We followed certain paths of thought, then found new sources of inspiration and were able to flip the aesthetic. We hope that the result of this creative license will be ideas that operators, owners and other visitors to our pop-up will want to take away with them and adapt for real-life projects.”

    twenty2degrees’ concept room, one of six Sleep & Eat Sets, will be located on the gallery level of Olympia London’s Main Hall.

    Main image credit: twenty2degrees/Sleep & Eat 2019

    Chelsom to exclusively preview Edition 27 at Sleep & Eat 2019

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Chelsom to exclusively preview Edition 27 at Sleep & Eat 2019

    Chelsom will once again be exhibiting at the annual Sleep & Eat event, which takes place at Olympia London on November 19 -20, 2019…

    Lighting manufacturer Chelsom will be at Sleep & Eat 2019, Europe’s leading trade events for interior hospitality products providing an annual meeting for those at the forefront of hotel design, development and architecture.

    This will be Chelsom’s2ndconsecutive year at the eventand this year they will be exhibiting a selection of stunning products from the latest collections, Edition 26, created specifically for the international hospitality and marine sectors.

    In addition, Chelsom will also be providing an exclusive preview of brand-new pieces from the upcoming collection, Edition 27, as designed entirely in-house by Robert and Will Chelsom and will be available from May 2020 onwards.

    “Sleep & Eat is the numberone UK show in terms of interior design for the hospitality market and we are very pleased to be back again,” said Will Chelsom, Managing Director of Chelsom. “Being able to see what the wider market is up to is really inspirational and it’s a great environment for companies to showcase their latest product designs and innovations. The show has become a key date in the diaries of many leading hospitality professionals so it’s exciting for us to be promoting a selection of new pieces from what is undoubtedly set to be our most eclectic collection to date.”

    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.

    Manchester’s Hotel Brooklyn to open in February 2020

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Manchester’s Hotel Brooklyn to open in February 2020

    The doors to Manchester’s highly anticipated Hotel Brooklyn will open in February 2020…

    Designed by Squid Inc – the team behind renowned Hotel Gotham – the long-awaited Hotel Brooklyn is scheduled to open in February 2020. The 189-key hotel is inspired by the New York Borough and chosen for its resonating similarities to Manchester, in terms of its buzzing industrial growth, as well as its strength of identity and culture.

    The hotel will pay homage to Brooklyn’s history from early 20th century to the present day, with the inclusive design of the hotel being overseen by Motionspot, the UK’s leading accessible design company. Positioning itself as Manchester’s most accessible hotel, Hotel Brooklyn will be a trailblazer in championing accessible, sexy and modern design for all.

    “We believe Hotel Brooklyn is a perfect fit for Manchester” – Robin Sheppard, Chairman of Bespoke Hotels

    Squid Inc’s starting point was to create a distinctly Mancunian destination that resonated with the characteristics of its counterpart, Brooklyn: the sense of neighbourhood, the grittiness of its culture and edginess of its people. Brooklyn residents, from Mel Brooks to the Beastie Boys, have helped inspire this vibe.

    “It was an honour to work with Bespoke Hotels again on creating another iconic Manchester hotel with a strong identity and character,” said Olly Redfern, Lead Interior Designer of Squid Inc. “Weaving the lines between Manchester and Brooklyn is a bold and inspirational project that draws many parallels and it was incredibly fun to do, partnering with some of the best local suppliers to create the finished look.”

    Beautiful Victorian brownstone buildings have become icons of both Brooklyn and Manchester and Squid Inc have been driven by the ambition that the architects of Brooklyn showed when repurposing an area which had fallen out of favour, transforming it into one of the most exciting parts of town.

    The brownstone idea is explored from the moment guests enter the hotel, with the industrial feel of the architecture softened by the lobby interior and designed to recreate the sense of journeying down a Brooklyn avenue, with brick stone and trees lining the walls.

    Image credit: Bespoke Hotels/Hotel Brooklyn

    Beyond the lobby is a flight of wide-paced steps, designed to provide a communal space to hang-out – paying homage to the iconic stoops of Brooklyn, and the sense of community these have inspired in film and art.  

    The Snug is designed to be a playful, contemporary twist on the traditional.

    Harking back to historic Victorian brownstone buildings and their expansive drawing rooms, The Snug is designed to be a playful, contemporary twist on the traditional.  This space is cosy and intimate – a sanctuary from the hubbub – with an open fireplace and a record player spinning vintage records from the Manchester music scene.

    “Bathrooms have been cleverly-angled to allow their back walls and semi opaque windows to look out across the guestroom.”

    The aesthetic of the 189 guestrooms has been inspired by Brooklyn’s loft spaces, peppered with immaculate features that favour quality and high-spec finishes. Beds have brass adornments, while Turkish rugs have been designed to contrast with the concrete floors. Bathrooms have been cleverly-angled to allow their back walls and semi opaque windows to look out across the guestroom, while street art wall features finish off the bold design direction.

    Image credit: Bespoke Hotels/Hotel Brooklyn

    Bathroom amenities include organic bamboo toothbrushes and ethically sourced toothpaste, green soap and lotion dispensers with minimum waste.

    In addition, the hotel features 18 dynamically designed accessible bedrooms, each of which has been stylishly designed to complement the aesthetics of the hotel. “Accessible accommodation at Hotel Brooklyn features subtle details like basins with integrated hand grips, removable matt black grab rails, accessible bedroom storage and a hidden ceiling track hoist”, said Ed Warner, Founder & CEO of Motionspot. “We hope this high level of attention paid to inclusivity will make Hotel Brooklyn one of the most sought-after venues for guests of all abilities.”

    Hotel Brooklyn’s bar and restaurant, named Runyon’s after Damon Runyon, an American writer renowned for his depictions of Brooklyn characters, will present a diverse menu showcasing European and American influences. Paying respect to the remarkable industrial craftsmanship of the Brooklyn Bridge (immortalised in many iconic images), Squid Inc have taken the bridge’s tension lines as inspiration, giving Runyon’s a flavour of downtown Brooklyn – a mix of gangster and quality, purposeful engineering – adding a desirable irregularity to proceedings.

    On the top floor of the hotel, Salvation is the hotel’s dedicated events bar, featuring exposed brick work, pop art and neon lights to create a lively destination bar for the UK’s preeminent Northern city.

    “We are thrilled to have secured this fantastic site in the heart of Manchester’s historic industrial thoroughfare of Portland Street”, commented Robin Sheppard, Chairman of Bespoke Hotels. “We believe Hotel Brooklyn is a perfect fit for Manchester, not solely in terms of the architectural grandeur and convenience of its location, but the abundant character and feistiness of the city. Portland Street is experiencing a regeneration as the hotel strip of the city”.

    Image credit: Bespoke Hotels/Hotel Brooklyn

    Throughout the hotel, regional suppliers have been selected wherever possible. Deanhouse Interiorswere commissioned to fabricate the entire fit-out package, including cased goods from wardrobe and bedroom fittings, to the reception pods and 9th floor bar counter. Alongside this, PS Interiors sourced several key furniture pieces throughout, including the retro styled bedroom chairs, while sourcing New York street art was overseen by Elegant Clutter Artwork. In addition, Manchester-based The Knot Collective were commissioned to design two bespoke rugs for the hotel’s public spaces.

    Main image credit: Bespoke Hotels/Hotel Brooklyn

    GREEN WELLNESS CONCEPT: The eco-friendly luxury spa

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    GREEN WELLNESS CONCEPT: The eco-friendly luxury spa

    To continue the editorial team’s efforts to position sustainability firmly under the spotlight this month, Hotel Designs dives in to understand Recommended Supplier Starpool’s eco credentials in its wellness products…

    While recent statistics have highlighted that consumers are demanding for hotels to do more to become greener, luxury spa manufacturer Starpool believes that hospitality businesses could benefit from the brand’s various products and wellness solutions, all of which are sustainable in their concept and design.

    Biocompatibility

    All of Starpool’s products are designed with eco-sustainability in mind. For example, the sauna wood is 100 per cent natural and untreated. The special working of the slats and the construction system employed limits the use of adhesives in the installation phase, thus optimising the healthiness of the surroundings.

    Sustainable Production

    Starpool’s products are manufactured with a low environmental impact with limited energy consumption from clean and renewable sources, recyclable raw materials and external emissions equal to zero.

    Renewable materials

    The company is proud that more than 75 per cent of its materials that goes into each product are made from recyclable materials. In addition, the simple system for dismantling the components makes it easy to recover the raw materials at the end of a product’s life cycle.

    Natural, reusable packaging

    All products under the Starpool brand are dispatched in fir wood boxes from the Fiemme Valley that can be collected and reused many times over, thus reducing the use of new packaging materials.

    Image caption/credit: Sweet Sauna Vision/Starpool

    Green Technology

    The company uses software and hardware that adjusts and keep the temperature consistent. Its Green Pack includes self-closing doors and remote diagnostics, which enable approximately 20 per cent energy saving during standard operation and optimisation of energy loads. Controlling the power distribution allows you to avoid the overrun of the kW and obtain long- term savings.

    Making a difference

    Starpool sorts waste materials and, where technically possible, it regenerates the components of products that have been withdrawn and are no longer in use.

    The company’s products are manufactured to the highest standard, using only the top-quality materials to deliver exceptional eco-friendly spa and wellness facilities that represent true luxury.

    Main image credit: Starpool

    SO/ Paseo del Prado La Habana opens in Cuba

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    SO/ Paseo del Prado La Habana opens in Cuba

    Accor’s fastest growing luxury hotel brand, SO/I arrives in Cuba just in time to honor Havana’s 500thanniversary…

    Designed by the renowned French architect, Michel Regembal, SO/I Paseo del Prado La Habana has opened in Cuba. The 250-key hotel will showcase the brand’s ‘have-it-all’ lifestyle of rebellious luxury at its new residence in one of the most emblematic neighborhoods of the country’s capital city.

    “SO/ is one of the most high-energy, fashionable and edgy brands within Accor’s luxury portfolio, combining the vibrant energy of the locale, energizing entertainment and creative food and beverage experiences with modern luxury service,” said Heather McCrory, CEO, Accor North & Central America. “Avant-garde design and fashion are also at the heart of the SO/ brand, and the new hotel in Havana will be a welcomed and exciting addition to our fast-growing network.”

    Image credit: Accor

    SO/ Paseo del Prado La Habana is a masterpiece of luxury and style, designed by the renowned French architect, Michel Regembal. With design at the core of the SO/ brand, the hotel in Havana will unfold as a glamorous yet playful masterpiece featuring the creative signature of celebrated Spanish fashion designer Agatha Ruiz de la Prada – from the hotel’s emblem to the staff’s stylish uniforms. With 250 guestrooms on nine floors, including eight suites, the décor of each room is infused with the spirit of one of three dance styles – Classical Ballet, Salsa or Son Cubano – balanced with spectacular floor-to-ceiling views of the sea, the neighboring Malecón, Paseo del Prado and the hotel’s sweeping patio.

    “The life of SO/ Paseo del Prado La Habana begins in this special year, the 500th anniversary of Havana itself,” said Jean Philippe Hubau, General Manager, SO/ Paseo del Prado La Habana. “We feel this is a bright and exhilarating way to start, as our goal is to become the most sought-after lifestyle address in Havana – a city that captures the imagination like no other place on earth. The hotel provides a fascinating mix of social spaces, audacious experiences and distinct ‘Just Say SO’ services to celebrate the Cuban culture, surprise and amuse even the most sophisticated jet-setters, and captivate the hearts of Habaneros as well.”

    SO/ Paseo del Prado La Habana is located at the intersection of Paseo del Prado and Malecón, just a one minute walk from Habana Vieja (Old Havana), a World Heritage Site filled with ancient monuments, forts, churches and palaces. A seven-minute walk takes guests to Central Park and the Gran Teatro de la Habana, while a stroll along the Malecón boardwalk to the El Vedado district provides a glimpse into the city’s wide avenues, aristocratic villas and ubiquitous 1950s American-series cars.

    At the idyllic Cosecha Restaurant, guests of SO/ Paseo del Prado La Habana are invited to begin the day with organic and wholesome breakfast fare. The SO/ SPA, SO/ FIT gym and the infinity pool with a signature pool bar provide daily rejuvenation and wellbeing experiences. In the evening, the HI-SO bar brings the glamour to stylish guests who mingle to the DJ beats while taking in fashion shows, art events and glittering, celebrity-filled SO/ parties on a spectacular rooftop terrace with exclusive palapas from which to enjoy an artisanal sunset cocktail. If that’s not enough, the hotel’s Chocolate Shop, Origen, is a charming spot where guests and locals pop in for savory European-inspired pastries, artisanal chocolates and Cuban coffees; while the lobby bar, MIXO, attracts stylish Habaneros and international guests to enjoy a lively atmosphere set amongst great views.

    SO/ Paseo del Prado La Habana is the ninth property in the SO/ portfolio, which includes the recent additions of SO/ Auckland, SO/ Berlin Das Stue, SO/ Vienna and SO/ St. Petersburg. With an ambitious plan to expand its global footprint over the next few years, SO/ is one of the fastest growing brands in the luxury portfolio of Accor.  New SO/ properties in Kuala Lumpur, Koh Samui, Dubai, Paris, Melbourne and Los Cabos are scheduled to open over the coming years.

    Main image credit: Accor

    Swissotel aquires Hotel Allegro in Bern, to reopen property in Autumn 2020

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Swissotel aquires Hotel Allegro in Bern, to reopen property in Autumn 2020

    As part of this exciting next chapter for the property, Kongress + Kursaal Bern AG will invest approximately 16 million Swiss Francs on remodeling the property’s 171 guestrooms and public areas. 

    More than 20 years after opening, the Kursaal Bern enters a new chapter in its history. Kongress + Kursaal Bern AG entered into an agreement with Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts whereby, effective in autumn 2020, Hotel Allegro will then be operated as Swissôtel Kursaal Bern.

    Renovations inside the 171-key hotel will commence next January and are due to be completed by autumn 2020, and the hotel will remain open during the refurbishment process. Once complete, guests can look forward to clever design solutions, high-quality furnishings and a carefully thought-out sustainability concept, but also to traditional Swiss hospitality in the midst of one of the country’s most historic cities.

    “Our search for a strong international brand partner led us to Swissôtel. It combines genuine Swiss hospitality with intelligent design and a stimulating atmosphere. This makes us a perfect match,” said Kevin Kunz, CEO Kongress + Kursaal Bern AG. “Regardless of the change in brand, we will of course keep the proven management team in place and will continue offering traditional Bernese hospitality.”

    modern and contemporary guest room in a hotel

    Image credit: Swissotel

    Operating more than 30 hotels in 18 countries, Swissôtel, which will celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2020, has been part of the Accor group since 2016.

    The partnership agreement between the brand and Kursaal Bern is a landmark moment for the tourism sector in the city. Both Kursaal and the hotel will benefit from Accor’s global reservations system, the company’s worldwide sales teams, direct booking channels, and access to new, innovative technologies. Guests at Swissôtel Kursaal Bern will also have the opportunity to become a member in the ALL loyalty program that puts all Accor brands and businesses worldwide under one umbrella.

    “We offer a genuine expression of Swiss values and a steadfast commitment which is deeply rooted in quality, efficiency and reliability,” said Lilian Roten, Vice President Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts. “We are excited to add a third property in the brand’s birthplace. Our contemporary Swiss style combined with local characteristics creates a balanced environment for guests to relax and feel at home.”

    The renovation is led by architects Marazzi + Paul together with interior designer Nina Mair. “She uses high-quality, natural materials and has managed to win us over with well-conceived and confidently stylish functionality,” added Kunz.

    Roten adds: “Our alpine heritage has its roots in craftsmanship, sustainable design and a conscious, active way of life. This is exactly what Nina Mair’s design brings to the new Swissôtel Kursaal Bern. It’s through these approaches that we offer our guests a sense of well-being, energy and joy of life, which is perfectly in-tune with our brand promise ‘Life is a journey. Live it well.’”

    Main image credit: Swissotel

    Viceroy Residences at Ombria Resort wins prestigious sustainability award

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Viceroy Residences at Ombria Resort wins prestigious sustainability award

    Continuing our theme this month to put sustainability under the spotlight, Viceroy Residences at Ombria Resort has been recognised for its commitment to the environment, winning Best Sustainable Residential Development, Portugal at the European Property Awards… 

    Luxury real estate development Ombria Resort in the heart of the Algarve, which is slated to open in 2021, has been honoured at the 2019-2020 European Property Awards.

    Announced at the awards ceremony in London, the destination won the coveted new category recognising excellence in sustainability, the Best Sustainable Residential Development, Portugal, with the Viceroy Residences at Ombria Resort project.

    “We have definitely seen a shift across the last decade in the requirements of prospective buyers – they are much more focused on sustainability.” – Julio Delgado, CEO, Ombria Resort.

    The European Property Awards is considered one of the most prestigious and recognised programme celebrating the highest levels of achievement across the real estate industry. The Sustainable Residential Development category, introduced this year for the first time to reflect the importance of sustainability in real estate, judged developments on their economic, environmental and social responsibility with Ombria Resort demonstrating strong practices in each area.

    Reflecting the resort’s overall ethos Carved by Nature, Ombria Resort has a deep commitment to pioneering sustainable tourism; incorporating environmental, economic and socio-cultural values into innovative, everyday actions that will ensure the natural and cultural surroundings live on for future generations.

    “We are thrilled to win this prestigious achievement and be leading the way in sustainable residential developments,” said Julio Delgado, CEO, Ombria Resort. “We have definitely seen a shift across the last decade in the requirements of prospective buyers – they are much more focused on sustainability, the natural environment and supporting local ecosystems. Our commitment to sustainability and a respect for nature is at the heart of everything we do, so to have such an accolade to recognise our efforts is truly an honour.”

    The Viceroy Residences at Ombria Resort is a collection of 65 one- and two-bedroom freehold apartments serviced by Viceroy Hotels & Resorts, set within the Viceroy at Ombria Resort 5-star hotel, located in the heart of the development which spreads over 150 hectares in the inner Algarve. Ranging in size from 70 to 173 sq.m of gross internal area, the apartments are fully furnished and equipped to exacting five-star standards.

    Designed as an elegant Portuguese village with all the charm and character of a long-established settlement and blending seamlessly into the hills, the resort eature a unique, sustainable vision of NZEBs (Nearly Zero Energy Buildings), which will lead the way for the Portuguese market – including creating a national case study for the use of geothermal energy.

    Its pioneering shallow geothermal system will use water to transfer heat energy found just below the ground surface for climate control, hot water supply and swimming pool heating. Reverse heat pumps utilize the stable temperature of the ground as the main source of energy to produce heating in the winter, cooling in the summer and hot water throughout the year, safely and responsibly. The strategy for a sustainable, efficient Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system is based upon achieving high levels of user-friendly comfort while ensuring low energy consumption and maintenance costs.

    Bioclimatic architecture, both innovative and traditional, allows for energy to be conserved wherever possible, with heat gained or lost through materials with low heat transference coefficients and age-old design tricks to protect from the sun.

    Other innovative sustainable programmes at Ombria Resort include a comprehensive recycling programme, electric vehicle charging points and the conservation and cultivation of the local flora and fauna.

    Adopting and implementing sustainable trade practices and supporting local suppliers with many building materials such as stones, tiles, plasters and insulation materials sourced regionally and nationally, vastly reduces Ombria Resort’s carbon footprint. The overall aim is to become a member of the community and actively contribute to the preservation of local traditions, generating new jobs and business opportunities. Activities at Ombria Resort will include an area for organic farming, honey harvesting facilities, astronomical observatory, paths for nature walks, mountain biking, and other sports facilities.

    Main image credit: Ombria Resort

    The Brit List Awards 2019 becomes sold-out event

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    The Brit List Awards 2019 becomes sold-out event

    With less than three weeks to go until Hotel Designs’ premium annual award ceremony, The Brit List Awards 2019 becomes a sold-out event… 

    Following unprecedented demand, The Brit List Awards 2019, which takes place on November 21 at Patch East London, is now sold out. The event, which is Hotel Designs’ annual award ceremony, will be attended by more than 300 of the industry’s leading designers, architects, hoteliers, developers and suppliers.

    The only way now to attend The Brit List Awards 2019 is to become the event’s last remaining partner, which can be secured by contacting Katy Phillips by email or by calling +44(0)1992 374050.

    “The overwhelming demand to attend The Brit List Awards 2019 is a clear indication that Britain remains a strong creative capital on the international design and hospitality scene,” commented editor Hamish Kilburn. “We very much see the event as the after party of show season, and the whole team at Hotel Designs is looking forward to welcoming and celebrating the creative genius’ who are keeping Britain’s design hub an innovative and exciting place to operate – and write about!”

    The event, which is sponsored by Crosswater, Hamilton Litestat, the British Institute of Interior Design and SYS Visual, will be attended by more than 300 of the industry’s finest. These include individuals from the likes of David Collins Studio, Goddard Littlefair, Dexter Moran Associates, Jack Irving Design, Jestico + Whiles, 3D Reid, EPR Architects, Richmond International, ReardonSmith Architects, IHG, Eccleston Square Hotel, Great Scotland Yard Hotel, Inhabit Hotels and Rosewood London, among many others.

     

    The nationwide search to find the most influential designers, architects and hoteliers operating in Britain began months ago when Hotel Designs opened up nominations and applications to readers.

    Since then, an independent panel of expert judges have gathered to select this year’s individual award winners and also to confirm the 75 individuals who have made it into The Brit List 2019.

    Individual award categories:

    • 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 Shortlist for The Brit List 2019 can be viewed here.

    #TheBritListAwards2019

    Headline Partner: Crosswater

    Event Partner: Hamilton Litestat

    2019 Industry Partner: BIID

    Videography Partner: SYS Visual

    Eco gem: The Tongsai Bay, Koh Samui

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Eco gem: The Tongsai Bay, Koh Samui

    In search of eco gems, as we continue putting sustainability under the spotlight this month, journalist Sara Darling has committed to long haul, and Asia is firmly on her agenda. Removed from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok, Koh Samui is Darling’s next adventure as it is home to one of the world’s few fully sustainable boutique hotels, The Tongsai Bay…

    Koh Samui, just east of mainland Thailand, is a relaxed island, famous for its giant temple of the Big Buddha- a 39ft golden Buddha erected in 1792 at Wat Phra Yai. It is also the home of what I have found to be one of the world’s most sustainable boutique hotels.

    The Tongsai Bay, on the north east tip of the beautiful island, is a family run business which has been welcoming visitors since 1987, and is the ideal  tranquil break that is full of many sustainable and thoughtful moments thanks to its design, architecture and day-to-day operations.

    Nestled amongst 28 and a half acres of greenery, the secluded property consisting of low rise apartments, bungalows and cottages are spread in the valley of a private cove. Only 15 minutes from the airport, it is a short hop north of the popular Choeng Mon beach, and a ten minute transfer to the buzzy restaurants, bars and shopping in Fisherman’s Village.

    Paying attention to all the small details, the hotel has a modern rustic feel, which blends Eastern and Western philosophies with science and spirituality; However the subtle decor is more homely than pretentious and enhances the brand’s ethical stance. For example, the art throughout the property, which has been created by the hotel’s resident artist Mook, uses recycled materials – and paints my first indication of a sustainable and eco-friendly picture.

    Meanwhile, the elegant, airy villas have private pathways and pools which are interspersed amongst the greenery. Along with cottages, villas and suites, there are low rise blocks, all which maximise the uninterrupted sea views, and are designed to utilise the natural sun and shade within their open spaces.

    With a low-key, back-to-nature environment, the 83 chalets and villas that cascade down to a private beach on the Gulf of Thailand, have also been designed to enhance their natural surroundings, so guests can enjoy the birdsong, crashing waves and sound of crickets on their terrace. The terrace cottages all offer an outside “bath with a view”, four poster gazebo, bar, dining area and sun loungers, along with a freshwater plunge pool for ultimate luxury while feeling at one with the elements.

    “Dedicated to improving its carbon footprint, Tongsai Bay has abolished the use of all plastic – providing re-fillable glass drinking bottles and lemongrass straws for guests.”

    Great care has been taken to integrate the buildings into nature. They are furnished in contemporary Thai style – dark wood tables and beds, hardwood floors, along with modern showers, hairdryer and walk-in wardrobe.

    Dedicated to improving its carbon footprint, The Tongsai Bay has abolished the use of all plastic – providing re-fillable glass drinking bottles and lemongrass straws for guests. It also applies energy-saving measures throughout, stocks guestrooms with environmentally-friendly toiletries made by local supplier, and only changes bedding when requested.

    Other eco-conscious details include washing-up liquid and cleaning products produced from leftover peelings, and mosquito deterrent created with natural citronella and lemongrass. Staff are trained to be environmentally aware and the hotel prides itself on upcycling and composting everything it can- including the waste of the compost toilets for fertiliser, and recycling cooking oil.

    These simple approaches go a long way in making a difference to the future of the planet, and the ethos is subtly carried out across the site. From a bay that is free from mechanical water sports, to avoid pollution, to the two fresh water pools.

    Image credit: Tongsai Bay

    In regards to food, as much produce as possible is home grown for the Tongsai, at an impressive, off-site organic garden which provides ingredients for the bar, kitchen and spa, and is open to guests by arrangement. Packed with edibles including exotic fruits, herbs and vegetables, they are cared for using sustainable agricultural practices, and knowledgeable gardners.  The breakfast “Happy Juice” prepared by larger than life Khun Pu is an essential kick start to your day.

    A visit to Thailand is not complete without a massage, and the onsite Prana Spa provides a wide range of luxury, innovative treatments for a traditional  taste of Thailand. The scents and oils are provided by the same organic company as the bathroom products, and you can get transported to another world either in one of the cosy spa cottages or shady daybeds on the beach.

    For a deluxe stay in a hotel that really puts the environment first, along with friendly staff, The Tongsai Bay is a great place to escape from the rat race where guests can feel at one with nature and themselves.

    Main image credit: Tongsai Bay

    Parkside unveils “most sustainable tile material on the market”

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Parkside unveils “most sustainable tile material on the market”

    To kickstart Hotel Designs’ month with ‘Sustainability’ under the spotlight, we investigate Parkside’s Sequel Vibe, a material from yesterday made for tomorrow…

    While the company settles in to its new design studio in the Cotswolds, Parkside has launched Sequel Vibe, the most waste-efficient and sustainable tile readily available to designers and architects to date.

    Answering a demand for sustainable and stylish tile solutions without compromise on design and aesthetics, Parkside was keen to include a collection that lived up to sustainable credentials while appealing to the creative spirit of designers and architects.

    Sequel Vibe is the work of the team at Alusid, a creator of eco-friendly surfaces. Alusid started its life as a research project at the University of Central Lancashire by Dr Alasdair Bremner and Professor David Binns that aimed to explore the ways waste and low value materials could be reused rather than ending up as landfill. It was also important that the process used to manufacture would use less energy and added chemicals than conventional tile manufacturing.

    This research led to Sequel Vibe, created using 98 per cent recycled materials from post-consumer glass and pre-consumer vitrified ceramic carefully bound during a low-impact, ingenious manufacturing process. The glass element is sourced from bottles, windows and car windscreens that have reached the end of their useful life cycle, while the porcelain is sourced from sanitaryware and fine china tableware manufacturers.

    Since its launch at Clerkenwell Design Week 2019, the range has continued to endear the design community it was aimed at. With its unique subtle nuances in colour and texture, the finished tile is a perfect companion for designers and architects wanting a modern, contemporary twist for interiors. During the manufacturing process, tiles take on a unique shade and patina making each one an individual work of ceramic art.

    There are three glossy organic shades available; Greenwich Green, Paddington Pink and Shoreditch Blue, each bringing a contemporary twist to design schemes. Three size options are available: square (100x100mm), metro (200x100mm) and large metro (300x75mm). The colours chosen are a step ahead of palette trends predicted for the design market for 2020 and work as a great companion for multiple design schemes and styles. If designers are looking at alternative colour options, then these will be considered for large scale orders.

    “Sequel Vibe was a great addition to our tile offering, with sustainability and aesthetics at its core,” comments Sarah Holey, the marketing manager for Parkside. “The collection would be a great option for feature walls in reception areas or would look stunning as a bar front but its adaptability as a wall tile is enormous, and ready to take on the most creative of architects and designers on commercial and hospitality focused projects.

    “As well as being sustainable products themselves, when Sequel Vibe tiles come to the end of their useful life they themselves can be recycled within the very same process used to create them.”

    The Sequel Vibe collection can be seen at all four Parkside design studios in Chelsea, Clerkenwell, Leicester and the recently opened Cotswolds location, where the Parkside team will be able to provide help and advice.

    Main image credit: Parkside

    JW Marriott Maldives officially opens

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    JW Marriott Maldives officially opens

    The Maldives is booming as JW Marriott Maldives officially opens with what is being called the region’s most impressive culinary facilities, complete with a treetop restaurant, former Nobu chef and ultra-private supersize villas…

    Situated on the island of Vagary, Shaviyani Atoll, JW Marriott Maldives Resort & Spa has officially opened featuring 60 expansive beach and overwater villas all with private pools. Headed up by food and wine expert, general manager Marc Gussing, the resort has one of the most impressive culinary offerings in the Maldives.

    There are five restaurants as well as three fully-serviced bars, and a chef’s garden – an exceptional offering for a remote private island with only 60 villas.

    Guests can feast on a wide range of cuisine that includes and goes beyond classic Maldivian dishes. Highlights include vibrant Thai dishes created by a former Nobu Chef in a treetop restaurant, authentic Japanese Teppanyaki, poolside Woodfired pizzas made in a traditional pizza oven, and freshly caught seafood in a fine-dining, overwater restaurant. Meals are complemented with a choice of sake, Japanese whisky, rum cocktails, smoked cocktails, and both new and old-world wines.

    Image credit: Marriott International Hotel

    The villas start at 234sqm – larger than the average London flat. The resort places a strong emphasis on privacy with private decks and pools designed so they can’t be seen from the outside.

    “Each room draws inspiration from the natural surroundings and local Maldivian culture.”

    There are four ultra-expansive villa types, all with private pools. The two-bedroom, three-bathroom Duplex Beach Pool Villas sleep up to five guests and have upstairs living areas and direct beach access ideal for families, whilst the Duplex Overwater Pool Villas with upstairs living areas have unsurpassed views of the Laccadive Sea. Beautiful One-bedroom Beach Pool Villas and sunrise and sunset Overwater Pool Villas are also available.

    Each room draws inspiration from the natural surroundings and local Maldivian culture, incorporating colours and materials that highlight the island destination. Thatched roofs on villas are reminiscent of inverted Dhoni boats, the traditional Maldivian wooden fishing vessels, and slanted roof tips recall white herons dipping their heads into the water.

    Image credit: Marriott International Hotel

    Situated in the untouched Northern atoll of Shaviyani, the resort is a 55-minute seaplane flight to the north of Male. The island’s surrounding natural reef benefits from the island being far from Male and civilisation and is teeming with sea life. An on-site marine biologist ensures the pristine reef remains untouched and in perfect health whilst overseeing aquatic expeditions including diving and snorkelling.

    An iconic Spa by JW, overwater gym and an open-air yoga pavilion offers cutting-edge and indulgent spa treatments and a daily schedule of yoga and fitness activities.

    Main image credit: Marriott International Hotel

    Naturalmat announces new collaboration

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Naturalmat announces new collaboration

    Leading eco bed supplier Naturalmat launched Another Bed, a collaboration with Another Country, at Decorex International…

    Another Bed marries Another Country’s honest furniture forms with Naturalmat’s excellence in craftsmanship and organic credentials. Oak and upholstery are fused with beautiful dovetail detailing and a piped seam, to realise a timeless design with a double-sided headboard allows the option for either Oak or upholstery to face outward.

    Naturalmat are trail-blazing organic and environmentally sound British-crafted beds, mattresses and bedding. Offering mattresses and beds which are by far the best – free from glues, chemical fire retardants or synthetics of any kind, whilst meeting all British Standards.

    A growing fan-base of high-end boutique hotels as well as chains with a strong sustainability policy which only believe in the very best natural and organic ingredients, are supplied with Naturalmat mattresses, bedsteads and bedding including: Six Senses Resorts and Spas, The Hoxton Group, Z Hotels, The Capital Hotel, Chewton Glen Hotel and Spa, The Cliveden House Hotel, and The Mandrake.

    “Our factory generates its own Green electricity, only sources its wool from certified organic sheep farms within a 50 mile radius of our Devon-based beadwork,” said Naturalmat’s CEO Mark Tremlett who was recently interviewed by Hotel Designs. “It’s here we make all our mattresses and beds from scratch and at the end of its life we pledge to take our customer’s mattress back and rejuvenate it or recycle it and give our customer’s full credit towards the purchase of a new mattress.”

    Naturalmat are market leaders in creating mattresses which meet all British fire-retardant standards and yet are entirely free from chemical treatment.  Naturalmat’s unique combination of wool (which acts as a natural fire retardant) and cotton, means that Naturalmat mattress covers aren’t treated with chemicals in order to pass standard fire regulation checks.  Studies have shown the damaging impact of toxic chemicals commonly used on mattresses and upholstery and in paint throughout the home on human health and the environment.

    Naturalmat’s mission is to promote the use of organic raw materials not just inside your mattress but outside of it as well, and to make Natural and Organic as accessible to Interior Designers and end customers as possible.

    Main image credit: Naturalmat/Another Country

    The integral design element inside the Spa of the Year

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    The integral design element inside the Spa of the Year

    Following Marienlyst Strandhotel recently winning Danish Beauty Award’s ‘Spa of the Year’ category, Hotel Designs dives in to explore the design elements that set this hotel spa aside from others…

    In 2018 the doors opened to the 1,600 square foot, luxurious beach spa in the 150 year old Marienlyst Strandhotel. This lavish spa has recently gained recognition for its luxury facilities winning a Danish Beauty Award in the ‘Spa of the Year’ category.

    Located on the edge of the Sound and overlooking Helsingborg, the spa was designed specifically to bring guests closer to nature, with both indoor and outdoor facilities.

    “The design goal of the spa is to blend both the indoor and outdoor experience for the guests. As we are dealing with a spa, wet room installations such as drains play a key role in the overall appearance”, says Jan Mortensen, owner of Heating Business, who was employed by Marienlyst Strandhotel to cover the technical aspects of the development.

    Image credit: Marienlyst Strandhotel

    Specific materials for a unique spa

    He explains that the spa’s natural surroundings have played a crucial role in the choice of materials for both drains and fixtures; this has resulted in an elegant combination of warm shades and tones.

    “We are building a beach spa, not a traditional spa and this is reflected in our choice ofdrains and fixtures,” explains Jan Mortensen. “We have tried to reflect the surrounding beach and coastline, and area where the sunlight reflects on the water. Because of this reflective aspect we deliberately selected Unidrain’s line drain in brass for the spa entrance and changing rooms; the guests expect the best quality and the exclusive line drains help give the spa its luxurious look.

    “We have received a really good response from the guests. They are enthusiastic about theaesthetics and choice of materials and think it contributes to an exclusive aura. There is no doubt this feedback is important to us, as it is precisely Marienlyst Strandhotel’s goal toprovide an exclusive wellness experience for the guests at all times.”

    “In addition to the aesthetics, the functional aspect is resolved as the line drains are easy to maintain and in terms of both safety and prevention of damage to the wet room, Unidrain is an obviouschoice for busy hotels.” – Dennis Bagge, architectural adviser for Unidrain

    Image credit: Unidrain/Marienlyst Strandhotel

    Line drainage in both spa and hotel

    It is not only in the spa that the hotel has selected to feature Unidrain’s line drain. The hotelhas recently undergone a programme of renovations; as part of this the rooms which have been renovated also feature ClassicLine column drains.

    “The Marienlyst Strandhotel and its spa are the epitome of luxury and wellness and we are delighted they have chosen Unidrain products as part of the experience,” said Dennis Bagge, architectural adviser for Unidrain. “In addition to the aesthetics, the functional aspect is resolved as the line drains are easy to maintain and in terms of both safety and prevention of damage to the wet room, Unidrain is an obviouschoice for busy hotels.”

    HighLine Colour

    Unidrain’s HighLine Collection has received a number of design awards including the prestigious Red Dot Award for design. What makes the HighLine so innovative is that the traditional grating has been replaced by a panel.

    There are four different versions of the HighLine which include: Panel available in brushed stainless steel or frosted glass; Customised – which can be matched to floor tiles; Cassette – with edges on all sides this allows the drain to be used with any material and is especially suited for terrazzo floor and the most recent addition to the HighLine Collection – HighLine Colour.

    HighLine Colour is created in PVD-treated brushed stainless steel, brass, copper, black and hand polished stainless steel with a high gloss finish. The design aesthetic of the colour panel is further enhanced by the matching stainless steel frame. Each frame is 10mm high with a 4mm solid top to ensure a snug fit inside the drain unit.

    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  Katy Phillips by clicking here.

    Main image credit: Marienlyst Strandhotel

    ‘Must see’ brands at Sleep & Eat 2019

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    ‘Must see’ brands at Sleep & Eat 2019

    With less than three weeks until Sleep & Eat 2019, here are just a few brands and products to look out for… 

    More 160 design-led suppliers are now confirmed to be exhibiting at Sleep & Eat 2019, which takes place on November 19 – 20 at Olympia London. For many years now, the exhibition has been the place where both established and up-and-coming manufacturers not only choose to launch their collections, but where business is done and opportunities to network and socialise are numerous.

    Reflecting the growing convergence between hotel, restaurant and bar design, the exhibitor line-up includes many international companies which supply all three sectors, as well as cruise ships and spas.

    Following our sneak peek inside the doors of the company’s new UK headquarters, Laufen will launch The New Classic collection by Dutch designer Marcel Wanders. Utilising Laufen’s innovative SaphirKeramikmaterial, the designer created a collection combining gentle, feminine curves with angular, masculine elements. “For the first time, the ultra-modern SaphirKeramik has been moulded into a classic and iconic form,” commented Wanders. “This lightweight yet resilient material gave us the unique opportunity to celebrate the beauty of ceramics with our elegant, soft lines.”

    Dramatic view of the full The New Classic collection

    Image credit: Laufen/Marcel Wanders

    Morgan, the British designer and manufacturer of contemporary furniture, will be introducing its new Kaya lounge collection. Taking its name from sacred forests spread along the Kenyan coast, Kaya finds its roots in the openness, honesty and purity of trees. Morgan will also exhibit The Rakino collection of lounge chairs and tables designed by Tim Rundle, and The Goodwood collection designed by Katerina Zachariades in collaboration with artist Mark CcClure.

    A Sleep & Eat newcomer, Prestigious Textiles, will be debuting with a range of prints, jacquards and velvets alongside a rich diversity of plains, semi-plains and sheers. The company will also present its new bespoke service, giving customers the freedom to take their design of choice and translate it onto any print ground using the latest digital printing technology.

    Also new to Sleep & Eat, Marie Martin, the range of exclusive lighting by the Dutch company Lumière, will present its most popular lighting fixtures. Stemming from a passion for interiors, this collection arose from the desire to unite the love for antiques, for Paris, for colour and fully decorated spaces. Marie Martin’s range will feature lush materials – bronze, silk, brocade, and velvet – as well as abundant attention to detail and extravagant colour schemes.

    Spanish architectural and design surfaces producer and distributor Cosentino will be showing a range of its brands. These include Dekton ultra-compact surfaces, Silestonequartz and Sensa by Cosentino natural protected stone.

    German bathroom manufacturer, Bette, will exhibit its award-winning glazed titanium-steel baths, shower floors and washbasins, all of which come with a 30 year warranty. Available in an extensive range of sizes and colours, they are finished in BetteGlaze;  a durable, non-porous, scratch-resistant and easy to clean surface.

    Muted coloured washbasins

    Image credit: Bette

    AHK, the Turkish supplier of joinery and fit-out contractor, will feature its indoor and outdoor loose furniture range and latest case goods collection. AHK will also reveal the AW Simulator – the game-changing meeting room pod that immerses users in a unique experience. Its advanced technologies include a panoramic digital view, exclusively designed expanding table, state-of-the-art AV system, and unparalleled acoustics and soundproofing.

    Chelsom will showcase some of the dynamic and trend-driven designs within its extensive Edition 26 collection. Among the products are The Orb, The Icicle and Roma.

    GROHE will be returning to Sleep & Eat for its 14th year. This year, the brand will showcase its most eclectic and diverse product offering yet. This will include its ground-breaking Icon 3D metal-printed taps, taking pride of place on the stand for its first official showcasing in the UK. “Sleep & Eat is a key event for us, one which has helped us to build very strong industry contacts over the years and where we continue to push the boundaries of innovation,” said Raj Mistry, Marketing Director of GROHE UK.

    Image credit: Grohe

    Terratinta – manufacturer of high-end Italian porcelain stoneware, inspired by Scandinavian design enriched with fresh and unusual aesthetic effects – will display its newest ranges of ceramic tiles, including Sartoria Artigiana, Sartoria Romanza, Hexa Mosaics, and Ceppo.

    The Exhibition will also see the event debut of family-owned Irish manufacturer and fit-out specialist, Abbey Upholsterers, which works with numerous luxury hospitality brands as well as in luxury residential. At Sleep & Eat, the brand will be highlighting its hotel guestroom furniture collections.

    Omexco – the Belgian manufacturer of high-end wallcoverings, specializing in sophisticated printing and embossing techniques – will feature its latest designs, Arubaand Portfolio. Aruba collection, inspired by the exotic Caribbean isle, recognises craftsmen who respect natural materials such as weaves of waterlily and raffia with a range of linen yarns and ecological non-woven wallcoverings, whereas Portfolio collection pays tribute to Omexco’s heritage and features a variety of natural yarns including pure linen, multi-coloured silky cotton and viscose.

    Other familiar names exhibiting at Sleep & Eat will include Astro Lighting, Arte, Camira, Knightsbridge Furniture, Quasar, Roca and VitrA. An array of newcomers this year will include Absolute Lifestyle, Article London, Eichholtz, ELG Solutions, Iconic Images, ILIV Contract Textiles, Kaufmann Ceramics, Sahrai, Tarkett, and VICALVI Contract.

    The event also encompasses a complimentary Conference, Development Roundtables and nine specially designed pop-ups including concept guestrooms, restaurant and bar Sets, The Hub – a co-working space, the VIP Lounge and the Sleeper Bar.

    Sleep & Eat, November 19 – 20 in the National Hall, Olympia London. The show will be open from 10am on Tuesday 19 with an evening drinks reception until 8.30 pm, and from 10am-6pm on Wednesday 20. Click here to register.

    Main image credit/caption: Sleep & Eat/Abstract forms, texture and objects study

    The Brit List 2019 secures Videography Partner for ceremony

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    The Brit List 2019 secures Videography Partner for ceremony

    Just weeks ahead of Hotel Designs’ annual award ceremony, The Brit List Awards 2019 secures SYS Visuals as its official Videography Partner… 

    Known for its exceptional 360-degrees video interviews, SYS Visuals has teamed up with The Brit List 2019 to shoot the winners’ interviews at the award ceremony, which takes place on November 21 at Patch East London.

    “SYS Visual drives transformation,” said Fardi Mohamed, Managing Director of SYS Visual. “Our agency around the world help clients to harness the power of visual communication. Our work combines strategy with content creation and execution. Our solution to the Luxury Hotel Industry is to use immersive technology, such as 360° Video Experience, to help hotels transform the way they sell, market and engage with their audience. We use 360° Video Experience to help your potential clients visualise being in your Luxury Hotel so they can book it.”

    Working with companies such as Microsoft, DHL and the Independent Hotel Show this year, SYS Visual is a leading marketing agency that specialises in in visual communication strategies and immersive media.

    “Considering everyone attending The Brit List Awards 2019 operates in a live and visual arena that feeds on innovation, we are delighted to have the support of such a forward-thinking service,” said editor Hamish Kilburn. “Having the 360-degree interviews will be such a quirky element to this year’s event, and will really show off our stunning venue.”

    Among the leading designers who have already confirmed are design directors and principals from Richmond International, Project Orange, Sibley Grove, Harriet Forde Design, Harris + Harris, RPW Design, Scott Brownrigg, David Collins Studio and IHG.

    In regards to architects attending The Brit List Awards 2019, Hotel Designs will welcome associates and directors from the likes of Zaha Hadid Architects, WATG, Jestico + Whiles, Holland Harvey Architects, EPR Architects and Dexter Moren Associates.

    Hoteliers confirmed to attend the annual awards ceremony include, among others, Heckfield Place, Good Hotel London, Limewood Group and Homegrown Hotels, Rosewood London, Cliveden House, The Athenaeum Hotel & Residences London, The Dixon, Bespoke Hotels, Great Scotland Yard Hotel, Eccleston Square, Inhabit London and Hotel Gotham.

    The nationwide search to find the most influential designers, architects and hoteliers operating in Britain began months ago when Hotel Designs opened up nominations and applications to readers.

    Since then, an independent panel of expert judges have gathered to select this year’s individual award winners and also to confirm the 75 individuals who have made it into The Brit List 2019.

    How to attend

    Suppliers:
    Click here if you are a supplier to the industry to secure your ticket for £150 + VAT.

    Designers, architects, hoteliers and developers:
    Click here if you are either a designer, hotelier, developer or architect to secure your ticket for £20 + VAT.

    #TheBritListAwards2019

    Headline Partner: Crosswater

    Event Partner: Hamilton Litestat

    2019 Industry Partner: BIID

    Videography Partner: SYS Visual

    MINIVIEW: Austin Proper to open in December 2019

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    MINIVIEW: Austin Proper to open in December 2019

    Austin Proper Hotel and Residences offers an artful immersion in lifestyle and well-being. Ahead of its official opening in December, editor Hamish Kilburn took a sneak peek inside..

    Following the opening of Santa Monica Proper in July, Proper Hotels has extended its portfolio with the launch of Austin Proper Hotel and Residences.

    Also designed by the acclaimed Kelly Wearstler, the hotel shelters 244 rooms and suites; 99 branded residences; four unique settings for dining and drink; a focus on wellness with a dedicated spa and fitness centre; plus a variety of atmospheric spaces for events. And it wouldn’t be Proper without a 5th floor pool deck offering small-batch tequilas and majestic lake views.

    This sculptural new construction also integrates the work of award-winning Handel Architects in a progression of atmospheres including two pools, 9,500 square feet of event spaces, and multiple dining concepts by McGuire Moorman Hospitality. In step with Austin’s natural lifestyle, LEED Gold certification minimizes footprint and maximizes sustainability. To promote wellness for those who stay and work with Proper, these rigorous environmental standards extend from water use (reclaimed irrigation systems, in-building chilled water loops, centralized boilers) to low-VOC paints, energy-efficient LED lights, and insulated dual-pane windows that save energy and block UV.

    Render of a private pool

    Image credit: Proper Hotels

    Wearstler’s creative direction for the site-specific design of Austin Proper has unfolded over three years. The layered, individualistic look mines a tradition of artistry and craftsmanship distinct to Austin. The historical influence of Austin’s most stately homes inspires eye-catching details, from a sculptural staircase installation of 60 patch worked vintage rugs, to the lobby’s monolithic wood-and-ceramic grandfather clock. Local artists and materials feature prominently throughout, with every surface adding textural interest: pots, trays and cabinet inlay tiles by ceramicist Rick Van Dyke; locally quarried travertine on the pool deck; Delta wood panelling; native elmwoods; and antique mirror finishes.

    With Austin as muse, each of the 244 rooms and suites has been carefully detailed by Kelly Wearstler for refined living and restful evenings. The design is deeply influenced by local craft and material, from raw travertine sourced at nearby quarries, to trays by Rick Van Dyke to original fibre artworks by Magda Sayeg. Well-considered appointments include Aesop bath amenities, Kelly Wearstler x Parachute Home robes and signature Proper beds layering Simmons Providence Mattresses, Fili D’oro and Bellino Fine Linens.

    Stylish and chic restaurant with glass barriers

    Image credit: Proper Hotels

    Leading Austin Proper’s dining front is McGuire Moorman Hospitality, the award-winning team behind many of Austin’s best dining and entertainment spots. At the landmark eatery, guests can savour Mediterranean–inspired foods and flavours. Mezze plates and wood-grilled fare are colourful, healthy and wholesome, paired with house-made pita from the wood-burning oven. On the rooftop pool deck, a coastal Mexican restaurant with raw bar offers wood-fired seafood and fajita offerings. Morning, noon or night, a ground floor Mediterranean coffee shop serves savoury items to-go and tempting treats like soft-serve Greek frozen yogurt, while the sunken bar is an elegant hideaway.

    In step with Proper’s commitment to wellness, this urban getaway begins with a private reception to discuss a client’s needs. The facility includes a soothing lounge, five spa treatment rooms, men’s and women’s locker rooms with steam showers, and wellness experts on call. A 2,000-square-foot fitness centre is also on property.

    An array of high-end amenities aim to refresh, whether with a challenging workout in the 2,000-square-foot fitness centre, borrowing a bicycle for a lakeside trail ride, or a dip into world-class wellness at the spa. Guests are encouraged to linger on property, perhaps set up your office for the day by the 5th-floor pool. Dining options satisfy a variety of moods, whether cafe grab-and-go, garden cocktails overlooking Shoal Creek; poolside suppers, or a full feast at the landmark restaurant.

    From well-appointed ballrooms to music gardens, Austin Proper offers more than 9,500 square feet of thoughtfully designed spaces for indoor and outdoor meetings, weddings and special events, and private dining. Adding distinction to the creative design, the Proper team and McGuire Moorman Hospitality specially curate menus and styles of service to match any occasion.

    Austin Proper rises above the waterfront of a 2nd Street District booming with creative offices, world-class design, conveniences and culture. Add in an easy-going lifestyle, and you’ve got a style forward epicentre of pedestrian activity.

    Main image credit: Proper Hotels

    The Mandrake welcomes new artist in residence

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    The Mandrake welcomes new artist in residence

    London’s Mandrake Hotel will welcome celebrated photographer Haris Nukem from November 2 – 11 as he takes up residency in Studio 5 as part of the hotel’s Artist in Residence programme…

    The Mandrake, known for its exquisitely designed spaces, provocative and thought invoking art, designed the Artist in Residence programme to celebrate both emerging and established artists and performers.

    The hotel extends guests’ artistic interaction from merely viewing the artwork by providing a unique opportunity to interact with artists and witness the creative process. Guest are often part of the work itself, whether that be paintings, photography, tattoo or mural. By involving guests in this unique process, the hotel truly honours its ‘stay beyond yourself’ philosophy.

    The programme, designed to allow guests and visitors an up close and personal account of the creative process of creating art, has hosted big names including Mark Mahoney, Azzi Glasser, Danny Minnick, Peter John De Villiers, Zoobs and Thomas Hooper.

    Image caption/credit: Dopamine and Leadership Qualities by Haris Nukem

    During his residency, Nukem will be creating one photoshoot per day within The Mandrake, where guests are able to interact and engage with Nukem and the creative process. The hotel’s dedicated art space, Studio 5, will showcase a selection of Nukem’s art for guests to view.

    For an insight into Nukem’s residency, follow @mandrake_air to get behind the scenes access.

    Main image caption/credit: We Need Heroes by Haris Nukem

    Exploring Roca, Armani/Roca, Laufen and Cosmic’s new UK headquarters

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Exploring Roca, Armani/Roca, Laufen and Cosmic’s new UK headquarters

    Editor Hamish Kilburn is invited up to Leicester where he is able to discover the treasures that lie within Roca Group’s new and improved UK headquarters…

    Some businesses would argue that, when reading that the country’s construction has fallen by 2.5 per cent from August to September, which is largely influenced by the unstable political landscape in the UK at the moment, now is not a wise time to invest in expanding UK assets.

    And then there are companies like Roca Group that would disagree entirely to the above statement. Claiming the title of market-leading bathroom manufacturer for more than 20 years, with more than 24,000 employees globally, Roca Group has recently opened a new and gleaming UK headquarters. Based on the outskirts of Leicester, the 145,000 sq-ft base, which also features one of the country’s largest bathroom showrooms, was the subject of my latest warehouse/factory tour.

    “Roca Group is all about the long-term goals,” Alan Dodds, the Managing Director of Roca Group UK, tells Hotel Designs. “Our products are inspired by materials. Therefore, research and design is paramount.”

    Peering over the interior balcony was the first time I grasped the sheer scale of Roca Group’s UK presence. The warehouse is colossal, complete with 12 dock level loading doors, two level access loading doors and 150 per cent more pallet locations than it sheltered in its previous UK base. “We had been at maximum capacity [in our old headquarters] for years,” adds Dodds. “And it’s refreshing, and it feels like the right time, to be able to bring all brands together under one roof.”

    Although the brands under Roca Group may capture a different segment of the market, the research and development team behind each product launched work in-house and operate across both Roca, Roca/Armani, Laufen and Cosmic equally. “It can take anything from six months to two years for a product to be developed and ready for the market,” explains Dodds. “We may not always be the first to launch new concepts, but we ensure that when we do, we are adding something different. Something that the consumers have demanded.”

    The latest shower toilets from Laufen are a solid example of this. Despite these W/Cs first being introduced in the ‘80s, the group has only recently launched them to the market, after investing time in careful and sensitive R&D. “We realised that consumers did not appreciate the chunkiness of this style of product originally, nor did they speak highly of the complicated and often unnecessary software when it comes to operating them,” said Richard Court, Laufen’s UK training manager. “Therefore, we launched our W/Cs to look discreet – like any other high-end toilet – and offer a one-button solution for operation that can, if preferred, also be adjusted by the remote.”

    In regards to showcasing the latest products on the market across all brands, the new showroom is one of the largest – and most impressive – bathroom showrooms in the UK. In true Roca Group fashion, the space has been dynamically designed to enhance each product’s value and unique selling points. It superbly compliments the group’s ethos to form ideas responsibly and with purpose.

    Often on the battlefield of bathroom manufacturers, one of the main challenges faced by bathroom manufacturers is differentiation. For Roca Group, each brand has its own position, aims and target market. However, all innovations are inspired by materials, form and function.

    Some of these materials used for sanitaryware from other manufacturers include china ceramic, titanium steel, and even cast-iron. However, in 2013, after half a decade of research and in true Swiss design style, Laufen launched a new material that became known as the world’s thinnest ceramic. “Sourcing SaphirKeramik was Laufen’s dining out card for some time,” explains Court. “It allows us to manufacture thin material without sacrificing on strength. It is still to this day the only material that can do so – and we are the only company that uses it.”

    The advantages of SaphirKeramik affect the availability of space. Put simply, less material is required without affecting the durability of the product. This could quite possible inspire future collections from Laufen that include smaller basins, for example, that would be impossible to recreate using any other material.

    In addition to the vast innovation, the brand’s bread and butter has always been valuable collaboration. In 1989/1990, Laufen introduced the first design collection developed with the Porsche Design Group with a press release headed “The bathroom that’s a PORSCHE”. Since then, the brand has partnered with renowned designers such as Patricia Urquiola, Roberto Palomba and Marcel Wanders to take the aesthetics of bathroom design to new heights.

    Next month at Sleep & Eat 2019 (stand L10), Laufen will unveil the result of its latest collaboration with Wanders. The New Classic collection interprets classical styles using Laufen’s SaphirKeramik to create soft, gentle feminine curves, alongside angular, masculine elements.

    Over in the Roca division of the showroom, while the brand is less focused on collaborations, there is one exceptional partnership that has been repositioned and readjusted under the spotlight recently following the brand announcing its second collection with fashion house Armani.

    Image credit: Roca/Armani

    Armani/Roca, as Giorgio Armani explains, “combines all the functional aspects of the bathroom space with elegance and subtly, providing an area that simultaneously provides comfort and wellbeing.” And the way in which the set has been curated within the new showroom with ‘that bath’ being taking centrestage, certainly does that bold statement justice. The latest products within the collection will also be showcased at Sleep & Eat on stand L20.

    “Each brand that is under the Roca Group umbrella is equally dedicated to stay within the confines of its own design lane.

    Adjacent to the Roca section within the showroom, the company displays yet another unique bathroom brand and style. Cosmic was created in 1985 and started by uniquely producing abstract bathroom accessories, such as the free-standing Saku collection. Designed by Ricard Ferrior, the products’ designs were inspired by plant forms which grow and evolve.

    The brand has recently expanded its offering, taking its inspiration from the rise in demand for industrial bathrooms, and included furniture, basins and a new range of lighting and mirrors. The Grid, also designed by Ferrer, is an excellent example of something different to launch in the bathroom furniture market. The parallel lines which frame the objects have been specifically designed for an architecturally engineered bathroom, something that neither Laufen nor Roca would compete to achieve.

    Image credit: Cosmic

    Considering how heavily congested the bathroom manufacturing market is, Roca Group seems to be able to jockey for position and noise within the market place effortlessly. “Roca keeps life very simple, allowing the products’ innovative qualities do the talking,” Dodds concludes. “But if you launch good products, present them in the right way, and have a good team, you will be heard regardless how busy the market place is.”

    Following my insightful trip to the group’s new UK Headquarters, one thing has become more apparent: each brand that is under the Roca Group umbrella is equally dedicated to stay within the confines of its own design lane. While all brands are inspired by outside influences and research, each and every decision is carefully considered to keep all brands at the forefront of the bathroom manufacturing market. Operating in 170 markets in all corners of the world, Roca Group’s long-term thinking has resulted in the launch of unconventional bathroom solutions for all designers.

    Roca and Laufen are both recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, email Katy Phillips by clicking here.

    Main image credit: Roca Group

    Duravit wins five Iconic Awards in the “Innovative Architecture” category

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Duravit wins five Iconic Awards in the “Innovative Architecture” category

    Visionary architecture, forward-looking products and sustainable communication: this year the Iconic Awards, the international design and architecture competition, awarded Duravit with five awards in the ‘Innovative Architecture’ category…

    Duravit walked away from the Iconic Awards with wins for both new and enhanced product lines as well as its booth concept at the ISH, the world’s leading trade fair for HVAC and water, in Frankfurt.

    Duravit and Philippe Starck can count themselves among best of the best thanks to the new SensoWash Starck f product. The innovative shower-toilet earned the “Best of Best” award for the most innovative product. It was marked out by the fact that it can be individually configured via an app, laying the foundation for a new generation of shower-toilets. The flat seat and the white cover located behind it form a flush-mounted unit that combines contemporary design and comfort-enhancing technology.

    Image credit: Duravit

    Philippe Starck is also behind the new “Starck T”accessory range for Duravit, one of the winners in the Product subcategory. The stand-out design feature of this range is its geometric T shape: 16 elements in classic chrome or stylish Black Matt add the finishing touch to the modern bathroom.

    Only recently introduced and already winning awards: in addition to “Starck T”, the new Viu/XViu series from sieger design stood out in the Product subcategory. Organic shapes and precise geometric contours combine to produce a harmonious whole. From matt lacquers to wood finishes, the new surface combinations provide diverse options in the bathroom. Striking V-shaped metal profiles in Champagne Matt or Black Matt forge the characteristic, avant-gardist look of the c-bonded metal consoles, washing areas with vanity unit, mirror, mirrored cabinets, and free-standing bathtub. 

    The new D.1 faucet line from Duravit in collaboration with Matteo Thun and Antonio Rodriguez brings a hi-tech flourish to the washbasin. With clear contours and finely galvanized surfaces in Chrome or Black Matt, D.1 sets an unmistakably unique statement in the bathroom. This is underscored by the Iconic Award for the range. The circular operating button on the D.1e electronic version similarly takes up the clear formal language of the cylinder on the faucet body.

    These new Duravit products were presented at the ISH, the world’s leading trade fair for HVAC and water, in Frankfurt. A space of 1,100 square meters was given over to informative product experiences. This enabled, for instance, the products to be showcased in a range of room ambiences befitting the different series – which ultimately won over the Iconic Awards jury. The innovative booth concept was awarded a prize in the Architecture subcategory.

    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, please email  Katy Phillips by clicking here.

    Main image credit: Duravit

    Checking in to a urban landmark: The Edwardian Manchester

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Checking in to a urban landmark: The Edwardian Manchester

    The Edwardian Manchester, which joins The May Fair as Edwardian Hotels London’s second Radisson Collection property, has recently completed a £12m renovation. Editor Hamish Kilburn was invited to exclusive review the 263-room hotel… 

    A coherent blend of old and new is my first impression when, stood under a glass box that divides two buildings, I check in to the modern and contemporary The Edwardian Manchester.

    The Grade II listed The Free Trade Hall plays an integral role in the UK’s history and has long been an important spot for Mancunians. From the political, the Free Trade Hall was constructed in 1853–56 on St Peter’s Fields, the site of the Peterloo Massacre, to the cultural; a range of  iconic names have either performed or spoken at the property, from Charles Dickens to the Sex Pistols to Winston Churchill, the hotel embodies a sense of community and union.

    Edwardian Hotels London’s Design Team, led by Creative Director Rob Steul and Product Design Manager Krishma Singh-Dear, has successfully created a dynamic destination through smart, intuitive architectural design. Guests are drawn to a series of connected focal points throughout the building, with each location serving as a distinct purpose to enhance their visit. Their refusal to compromise on quality, and consistent attention to detail is apparent through the use of robust, yet luxurious materials and subtle highlights that consciously link spaces together.

    “The top-to-bottom renovation allowed the opportunity to marry the modern bedroom tower with the important heritage of the Grade II* listed original building,” says Steul. “The ground floor public rooms now create a coherent guest arrival leading to a varied and memorable flow of elegant spaces – layering materials, colour and lighting in a clear spatial sequence with texture and drama. It was critical in this building to get the balance of old and new right, allowing the memory of the Free Trade Hall, with its heroic façade, to live on as part of a confidently modern yet comfortable hotel. For me, the great surprise is the spa, gym and pool found below the entry level – a true urban resort in the heart of Manchester.”

    The lobby’s design is an excellent place to start. Balanced to reflect both the building’s heritage as well as the modern soul of Manchester. A large contemporary chandelier hangs in the entrance under a carefully curated mix of relaxed public seating. Meanwhile, above the long check-in desk, deliberately hidden from view upon arrival, are crests of honour, which reference the properties previous life.

    Peter Street Kitchen

    The ground floor restaurant, Peter Street Kitchen, serves hotel guests a fusion of Japanese and Mexican cuisine under a quirky and thoughtful design concept that aims to bring people closer together. The design team created a sequence of four distinctive spaces; a heroic scaled bar, an intimate circular dining room, a shared table area, and a relaxed lounge running the length of the barrel-vaulted colonnade overlooking the nightlife of Peter Street.

    “A varied palette juxtaposes smooth and textured materials to further define the space.”

    The unique menu inspired design features such as shared bench tables, a Hibachi inspired fire pit, and sumptuous leather-clad booths. Highly dramatic mood and feature lighting complements the stylish textures of natural woods, river stone, and sleek steel, with the historic carved stone arches and highly detailed plasterwork serving as a rich backdrop.

    A varied palette juxtaposes smooth and textured materials to further define the space. Circular marble mosaics and wood planking is used on the floors with historic stone with hand-crafted plaster framing circular mirrors and reflecting the shape and light of the arches opposite. The rough, raw timber exterior cladding of the bespoke dining banquets gives way to a supple white leather interior, further enhancing the powerful, circular form of the dining area.

    Image caption/credit: Peter Street Kitchen/Edwardian Hotels

    The Library

    Also situated on the ground floor, The Library has been curated by Assouline and is nestled adjacent to the welcoming lobby. The chic and contemporary dining concept includes neon lighting and considered bookshelves to create subtle boundaries. What is arguably most impressive, though, is the style of the menu. Designed around the theme of a recipe book, a clean image of the dish is the left of the page, while a precise list of ingredients is on the right page.

    “Mirrored nickel lamps project a warm glow over the navy velvet and dark woollen charcoal grey armchairs.”

    Complete with stunning, limited-edition books, the area, especially during the day, is a sophisticated space that encourages guests to sink into leather sofas and wingback armchairs to truly relax. Mirrored nickel lamps project a warm glow over the navy velvet and dark woollen charcoal grey armchairs, whilst the baby grand piano greets guests with a luxury setting to eat, drink and relax in, simultaneously capturing Manchester’s ties to art and culture. The property’s birch tree wallpaper has been used to mirror the exterior birch trees that line South Street entrance, bringing a connection and synergy between the two spaces.

    Wellness and wellbeing

    The lower floor of the hotel features the hotel’s gym and spa, which has been completely reimagined to manipulate ceiling heights, remove the appearance of walls and barriers, and create an open and fluid floor plan that provides clear sight lines between the defined spaces. The entire pool area is encompassed by a neutral palette of wood, concrete, marble and white flooring which aesthetically contrasts with the 12-metre pool’s aqua blue stone lining, creating an alluring lagoon. Crittall glass dividers are used to open the space and maximise light, while the swimming pool is further enhanced as a destination space with seven low cabanas creating a truly relaxing escape for guests.

    “The project allowed us to combine modern design influence with the property’s classic heritage.” – Product Design Manager, Krishma Singh-Dear

    Image caption/credit: The spa/Edwardian Hotels

    Guestrooms and suites

    The hotel’s guestrooms and suites have also been transformed, aligning with the contemporary design used throughout the property’s ground floor. Modern, yet relaxed and inviting, a pallet of greys mixes with black leather, smart dogtooth, marble, walnut and brass.

    Iconic images of Manchester and its history adorn each room, bringing flashes of colour alongside bespoke graphic prints designed exclusively for the hotel, while quirky details, such as the same checkered armchair seen in the lobby, add personality and form to each room.

    Image caption/credit: Modern guestroom/Edwardian Hotels

    “Aside from our ongoing work on the group’s first Super Boutique hotel The Londoner, the refurbishment of The Edwardian Manchester has been our largest and most complicated in-house designed and managed project to date,” explains Singh-Dear. “The project allowed us to combine modern design influence with the property’s classic heritage. I am very proud of the result and enjoy seeing our guests enjoy the spaces we have created.”

    Combining luxury, style and a rich history, The Edwardian Manchester has become one of the most established five-star hotels in the region as the brand prepares to open what is said to become one of the most environmentally friendly in the UK, with sustainability at its core.

    Main image credit: Edwardian Hotels

    Anantara to make its debut in Ireland

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Anantara to make its debut in Ireland

    By rebranding The Marker Hotel in Dublin, Anantara will open the brand’s first urban hotel in Europe…

    Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas will make its debut in the upcoming months in Ireland with the rebranding of The Marker Hotel in Dublin, one of the Irish capital’s most modern and luxurious buildings. The addition of the property in Dublin will represent the expansion of the luxury brand’s footprint into northwest Europe for the first time and also the first urban Anantara hotel in Europe.

    The hotel is located in the Docklands, one of the most attractive and dynamic areas of the Irish capital, in the heart of Silicon Docks, a nod to Silicon Valley on account of the high concentration of multinational high-tech companies located in the area. Close to the International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) and the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, the hotel is a perfect cultural and business epicentre for travellers’ keen to experience Ireland’s famous hospitality at its best. The Marker is the only five-star hotel in the area, which has recently emerged as one of the most vibrant and modern parts of the city for living, working and socialising.

    Image credit: Anantara

    Owned by Deka Immobilien, one of Europe’s leading real estate investment managers, and a member of Leading Hotels of the World, The Marker Hotel has a futuristic design and style and offers 187 contemporary guestrooms over six floors (166 deluxe rooms, 18 executive rooms and three suites) plus eight state-of-the-art event and meeting facilities.

    Image caption/credit: The Marker Hotel Dublin: Corner Suite/Anantara

    Services such as an award-winning spa, named Irish Tatler Dublin Spa of the year several times, and stylish rooftop terrace with stunning panoramic 360º views and the restaurant La Brasserie, recently named Best Hotel Restaurant in Dublin by the Restaurant Association of Ireland (RAI), are part of the experience of The Marker Hotel.

    “We are thrilled to announce the expansion of our luxury Anantara brand into northwest Europe in the fair city of Dublin,” commented Dillip Rajakarier, CEO of Minor Hotels, parent company of Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas. “The Marker Hotel is already known as one of the city’s leading hotels and bringing the reputation and luxury touch points of Anantara to the property will further elevate the guest experience.”

    In the surrounding area visitors to the city can enjoy a walk through the culture and heritage of the Docklands, which dates back to the eighteenth century, a wide range of options for foodie travellers, including extravagant cafés and high-end restaurants, shopping on nearby Grafton Street, boat rides along the river and in Dublin Bay or sporting activities from a relaxing yoga class to watching a game of Gaelic football at renowned Croke Park.

    “This agreement will enable us to bring a truly different value proposition to the Irish market for the first time,” comments Ramón Aragonés, CEO of NH Hotel Group, operators of Anantara in Europe, under the guidance and brand oversight of Minor Hotels. “The Anantara brand will connect travellers with genuine experiences in a privileged location in the city of Dublin.”

    The Dublin hotel will be the third Anantara in Europe, joining Anantara Vilamoura Algarve Resort in Portugal and the Anantara Villa Padierna Palace in Marbella, Spain.

    Main image credit: Anantara

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Editor, Hotel Designs

    Logistical challenges you don’t hear about when installing art in hotels globally

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Logistical challenges you don’t hear about when installing art in hotels globally

    Kickstarting our time putting Art under the editorial spotlight, Giles Bristow, fine art and logistics specialist at Momentous, lifts the lid on some of the issues you don’t hear about when installing art in hotels…  

    Just like every art collection, art installed in hotels is unique. Art comes in all shapes, sizes and mediums. From one-of-a-kind drawings, oil on canvas and complex works, audio-visual, large sculptures or hanging installations.

    Especially since the rise of using ‘art outside the frame’ in an interior design scheme, designers, architects and hoteliers are also thinking outside the box to come up with new ways to inject personality within their hotel. Therefore, the install process, which often looks on the outside to run seamlessly, also has to be personalised for the project as well as the building that will shelter it and the works themselves. With the aim to dig beneath the surface on what it actually takes to logistically transport and install art, here are some of the common challenges.

    We are commonly required to incorporate the installation of fine art into the hotel logistics and installation programmes we manage for our clients. In these cases, we engage our fine art team who work in close coordination with our FF&E logistics team. Fine art installation requires a unique set of skills, especially when artworks, by their nature are irreplaceable, so having the relevant technicians who understand the medium and the works are able to define the correct techniques and employ these in the art logistics and installation processes is critical to success.

    Starting early

    Installing art is not like any other part of the project. You are installing unique and one of a kind pieces so there is a lot more that goes into the logistics planning, specifically in the early stages of the project.

    The installation is critical but there are many specialist logistical aspects that must be worked through before the artworks are ready for installation.

    Image credit: Matetsi Victoria Falls. Each suite includes an abstract art piece that when put together forms a map off the safari reserve the hotel sits on.

    “In every case, we work directly with the artist to fully understand the works and define the best form of preservation.”

    Where is your artwork coming from?

    We generally work in consultation with the party who has commissioned the work, for example the interior designer, curator and the artist. This means that there will be production times and arrangements that we need preparation to be made prior to collection, coordinating transportation, bringing into storage and inventory control. Preparing the works for transportation is key. Many large pieces will require crating which we organise in coordination with the artist making these according to a specific specification set by our technicians. In every case, we work directly with the artist to fully understand the works and define the best form of preservation. If works are being procured, or even on loan, we would normally work with the gallery or collector to arrange for the packing, crating and handling. You need to ensure that your art is protected so it arrives on location in optimum condition. We would normally provide a detailed condition report of the items before packing and transporting.

    Transportation

    Momentous has transported artwork from overseas galleries, historic pieces and enormous sculptures. In each case, we have to consider the most effective method of transport. Moving art within the UK or across Europe will invariably be by road but it is not the case that it can go on a standard vehicle, it needs a specialist fine art vehicle. Roads often suffer from potholes and city centres have speed control bumps. This means art needs to be transported on trucks with sufficient air-ride suspension and have the necessary anchoring in place to avoid damage, there may also be a need for climate-controlled transportation although this is less common for art installed in a hotel. Even with the best packing and crating methods it is still easy to sustain damage if the wrong transportation method is used.

    We also transport artwork internationally, importing unique items for a project from overseas. In these circumstances, managing the customs process becomes critical as there are materials and items that are subject to restrictions and there can be complicated customs and tax requirements attached which we deal with as part of the process of arranging the international shipment by air and sea. I would always recommend consulting with a specialist international art shipping expert to check you have everything covered and don’t get stuck.

    Condition reporting, storage and inventory management

    Your artworks will be brought in to be held in storage until they are ready for distribution to site and installation. This may require specialist storage with racking and additional security standards to the rest of your FF&E inventory.

    Individual artworks would be expected to have a condition report before being packed and moved. The best form of condition reporting is electronic, with photographic evidence and detailed notes that can be referenced. Condition reports are one of the main aspects regarding administration of artwork, this process can be carried out several times during a project from the original collection point, to delivery into our warehouse and to the installation point.

    Storage options will need to be assessed as different types of artwork require different types of storage for example temperature controlled, oversized items, heavy sculptures that require bespoke pallets, travel frames and crates.

    Image credit: Silo Hotel, Cape Town

    “When it comes to the point of installation, having someone on the project who understands your vision and the nature of the artwork is going to make a big difference.”

    Understand the medium and space

    When it comes to the point of installation, having someone on the project who understands your vision and the nature of the artwork is going to make a big difference. Understanding the materials and the mediums of the works will ensure that the installation process is smooth, and the artwork is displayed to make a maximum impact. Our art technicians will advise on the use of light and any potential environmental factors that could damage the works such as excessive heat, light or moisture. An experienced technician will understand the requirements of the artworks and the space and advise on every aspect to define the best way to install the works and fulfil your project plan.

    Specialist technicians, qualifications and equipment

    Your project manager will select the best team of Art Technicians to support your project specification and the work package requirements. Some projects also require technicians to have CSCS cards and attend site inductions prior to starting work on site. Technicians will follow the floor plans and the work package that has been agreed by both the project management team and designer.

    Certain types of lifting equipment can be required during the installation, for example we use external elevators, cranes, genie lifts, gantry’s and scissor tables. Your project manager would discuss these with you in consultation with the technician.

    Considerations when delivering to site

    Your logistics project manager will ensure coordination of storage and transport services based on the requirements of your overall project plan. If your installation is phased, then specific items will be selected according to a pick list, then prepared, packed and consolidated as a consignment ready for transport and delivery. They will also need to prepare all the necessary documentation and customs preparations if this is an international delivery.

    At location, many hotels, especially in city locations, have access limitations that require assessing early in the project. This should be conducted by your accredited logistics specialist. Risks will need to be assessed expertly, especially taking into account health and safety measures needed to prevent damage to people and the site.

    Your project manager will need to define route plans of your site from delivery point to installation point. These need to be checked daily as working hotels can be very busy which can sometimes lead to routes being obstructed.

    Always factor for noise levels too. If you have guests or local residents, then noise cancelling measures need to be taken. We also carry out work during weekends or evenings depending on the needs of the project.

    On-site installation

    All works will be installed as per the project plan set out by the designers, curator and project management team in coordination with the art technicians. A pre-installation survey will check both access and type of material that the works will be installed against. A risk assessment and method of works are often provided depending on the project specification.

    The type of surface that the artwork will be displayed on or fixed to will define the type of tools and equipment that will need to be used.  For example, drilling into marble must be handled differently to drilling into materials such as panelled or plaster walls, carpet walls, wallpapered areas and wooden walls.

    The type of surface on which the art is being displayed or being hung from should be able to sustain the mass of the artwork. Weight and pull test certificates must be provided for any hanging works or pieces that are considered heavy. We must also consider the age of the building looking if and where required do we need to have asbestos certifications for health and safety reasons.

    As your artworks tend to be displayed in locations that are in reach of guests, then health and safety is going to be high on the list and may also want to consider that your artwork is valuable too. Therefore, fixings must be considered. Your project manager and technician should advise on the safety of fixings and special security fittings. They will also provide written method statements where construction and build are involved.

    If you are installing artwork, then it is recommended that the installation is conducted by art technicians. The level of experience and skills required will be defined by the medium, size, weight and complexity of the items you require installing and the space you are installing them in; height, access, safety requirements, risks, access and others. Ensuring you have the right skills on-site and a logistics project manager who understands art installation and is able to engage technicians with the correct level of experience will help a great deal.

    After all the artworks are installed, the crew will complete an internal snagging report for your team to sign off. They will be able to accommodate and advise on any adaptations that you request.

    Anything else?

    Bringing fine art into your project opens a whole new range of creative possibilities. Unique works can enrich the customer experience and differentiate your residence from the market.

    If you are incorporating art, you are also investing in and creating a collection. You should ensure your works are insured from the point they are collected. Depending on the works, you may need to have valuations, you will also want to ensure you have an updated inventory of what you have on display as well as those you have in storage.

    About Momentous

    Momentous provides specialist logistics solutions for interior design, events and fine art installations.

    1. FF&E logistics for interior design and hotels
    2. Event and tour logistics for the performing arts
    3. Fine art logistics and installations

    Having all these services available through Momentous, means that we can support you with all your specialist packing, crating, condition reporting, storage, consolidation, FF&E inventory management, shipping and installation requirements.

    Visit the website for more information

    Main image credit: Paradiso Ibiza Art Hotel

    Roca takes home gold at Designer Kitchen & Bathroom awards

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Roca takes home gold at Designer Kitchen & Bathroom awards

    Global bathroom manufacturer, Roca is thrilled to announce winning the gold award in the ‘Innovation in Bathroom Product Design’ category at the 2019 Designer Kitchen & Bathroom Awards for its forward-thinking Beyond Colours collection…

    The hugely popular awards are designed to celebrate residential kitchen & bathroom design projects and products from across the world and took place at the De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms in London on October 10.

    Roca won gold in 2018 for the Beyond collection and this year has been celebrated again for its state-of-the-art manufacturing techniques embedded in the new Beyond Colours collection.

    Claire Gay Marketing Manager at Roca, comments, “We are delighted that Beyond Colours has won gold in the Bathroom Product Design category. A lot of research went into designing and manufacturing this collection, for instance, the enamel formulation needed to be exactly right to ensure there were no colour variations within the collection. This award is fantastic for the team as it recognises the dedication and high level of design.”

    The new Beyond colour finishes for vitreous china include Beige, Coffee, Pearl, Onyx and Matt White. These options provide a new level of design and creativity to suit the imagination of Roca’s customers. The Beyond collection includes WC’s, basins, furniture and baths all manufactured from Roca’s latest and most sophisticated materials including FINECERAMIC, which is a high-quality ceramic material that facilitates precision and sophisticated design details previously not possible, with the added benefits of being 40 per cent lighter and 30 per cent more resistant to abrasives than conventional basins. SURFEX is a malleable solid surface material formulated from a combination of minerals and resins, allowing for the creation of shapes that were unthinkable until now.

    Roca are one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, email Katy Phillips by clicking here.

    Main image credit: Roca

    ARCHITECTURE GOALS: Architects unveil Japanese infused urban retreat in Sydney

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    ARCHITECTURE GOALS: Architects unveil Japanese infused urban retreat in Sydney

    The new development of five buildings in Sydney will feature new penthouses that will offer rare traditional Japanese design details…

    Australian developer Crown Group’s latest residential development, Mastery by Crown Group, will offer a rare infusion of Japanese design in Sydney, complete with traditional Japanese hinoki timber onsen style baths.

    The five towers are designed by three different architects, with a Japanese aesthetic and design scheme. The tallest, at 20-storeys, is designed by world-renowned Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, and features lush, timber-clad innovative design on the building’s green exterior emulating a ‘stacked forest’. Three further towers are the work of award-winning architect Koichi Takada Architects, while the fifth residential building is designed by established Sydney based architects Silvester Fuller.

    Prisca Edwards, Director of Sales at Crown Group said the apartments would have the most sophisticated Japanese-inspired interiors Sydney had ever seen, with a neutral palette and generous use of natural materials, timber tones and soft warm hues, inspired by the interplay of light (hikari) and shadow (kage).

    “Mastery by Crown Group has been designed with the most sought-after features drawing on an inspirational Japanese concept of simplicity, peace, and nature,” she said. “Koichi Takada himself conceptualised and curated the interior of every apartment. It’s very Japanese inspired, very minimalistic and also represents what Crown Group stands for.”

    The modern and sophisticated interior design varies between five buildings to complement the exterior architecture. In all residences, natural light takes centre stage. Landscaping on the facades relates to materials used inside the apartments.

    Edwards said the design created a natural urban retreat, incorporating the calming, zen design sensibilities of Japanese architecture and interiors.

    “We are giving penthouse buyers the option to have a hinoki wood bathtub — it is a traditional Japanese onsen style bath using the densest wood in the world,” she said. “Normally, wood disintegrates in the water but this type of timber is really unusual because it becomes hardened.

    “Natural oils with medical properties and soothing fragrances are released in the warm water for a sensation of extreme wellbeing when you soak in the warm water. Hinoki wood oil is also traditionally used to treat skin irritations and injuries thanks to its antibacterial and antifungal action. When inhaled, it acts as a decongestant of the respiratory system, used to cure asthma and as a tonic for the nervous system. So, we are going all out with this – soaking in a Japanese natural style – because they are limited and with a Japanese concept these are different.”

    Mastery by Crown Group, being developed in partnership with Mitsubishi Estate Group, will comprise 368 luxury apartments across five-tower residential towners. When completed in 2021, residents can access to Crown Group’s signature resort-style facilities including an infinity-edge rooftop pool, gym, spa, mini-cinema, community room and a ground-floor retail precinct comprising a mix of restaurants, cafes and shops, as well as Sydney’s first Japanese “eat street”.

    Main image credit: Crown Group

    Kempinski opens second luxury hotel in the Americas

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Kempinski opens second luxury hotel in the Americas

    Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski has opened, marking the brand’s debut in Dominica ahead of global expansion… 

    Nestled in Douglas Bay on the northwest side of the island of Dominica, the unparalleled luxury destination which now features Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski blends harmoniously the Caribbean hospitality with timeless European elegance of Kempinski.

    “Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski Dominica is an important addition to Kempinski fast-growing portfolio of iconic and luxurious hotels in the Caribbean, and further emphasizes our development strategy in the region,” said Martin R. Smura, Chairman of the Management Board and Chief Executive Officer of Kempinski Hotels S.A. “The beachfront hideaway is the perfect destination for luxury travellers looking for a different kind of resort experience in deep connection with nature, and combines the best of Kempinski European service with a keen respect for Dominica culture and traditions.”

    Commenting on the opening, Michael Schoonewagen, General Manager, Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski Dominica says: “We are excited to bring Kempinski rich heritage of impeccable personal service and incomparable hospitality to Dominica. Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski Dominica is the celebration of the destination’s pristine, untouched landscape and Kempinski European refinement. We look forward to welcoming all guests to experience this new pinnacle of luxury in the Caribbean.”

    “Dominica is the land of a variety of flora and fauna, including many rare plants, animals and bird species.”

    Found between Guadeloupe and Martinique, the lush, unspoiled island of Dominica is the Caribbean’s hidden gem. Unexposed to mass tourism, the island attracts both eco-adventurers and those simply wishing to disconnect from everyday life. Surrounded by Cabrits National Park, Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski Dominica has been designed to preserve the natural balance between land and the sea, whilst ensuring a modern contemporary guest experience.

    Dominica is the land of a variety of flora and fauna, including many rare plants, animals and bird species. The island is protected by an extensive natural park system that encompasses three national parks, two forest reserves and the Syndicate Parrot Reserve. Adventure seekers can enjoy eco-trekking on countless hiking trails, bird watching or simply observing wildlife in their natural surroundings.

    All of the resort’s 151 luxuriously appointed guestrooms and suites are generously proportioned and guarantee exceptional mountain or ocean views. From deluxe and superior rooms to spacious suites and two-bedroom duplexes, as well as villas, each is inspired by the island’s natural beauty and features a soothing palette of coastal colours, detailed wood accents and ample natural lighting, bringing the beauty of the outdoors in.

    Rooms are equipped with every modern convenience that a guest might need including flat-screen televisions and complimentary WiFi service to in-room espresso machines and luxurious bath amenities.

    For the ultimate Cabrits experience, the 426 sq m Presidential Villa features stunning ocean views, dedicated butler service, a private lobby entrance, two bedrooms, two and a half bathrooms, a dining room, a private spa room with sauna and a large, oversized terrace for outdoor dining, complete with a grill and private pool. A private chef is also available upon request.

    The selection of culinary treasures at Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski has been carefully thought out to give all the senses a feast. The resort is a culinary destination featuring both local and international cuisine as well as “farm-to-table” and “sea-to-table” dining.

    The hotel group currently operates 79 five-star hotels and residences in 34 countries, and has plans to add new properties in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and the Americas.

    Main image credit: Kempinski Hotels

    One month until The Brit List Awards 2019

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    One month until The Brit List Awards 2019

    Calling all hotel designers, architects, hoteliers, developers and suppliers: Tickets are selling out fast for The Brit List Awards 2019, which is just one month away… 

    There is just one month to go until Hotel Designs announces the winners of The Brit List 2019. The awards, which will be sheltered at Patch East London on November 21, is the climax of the publication’s nationwide search to find the UK’s top interior designers, architects, hoteliers and suppliers.

    Supplier tickets (£150 + VAT) can be purchased here.
    Delegate tickets (£20 + VAT) can be purchased here.

    Among the leading designers who have already confirmed are design directors and principals from Richmond International, Project Orange, Sibley Grove, Harriet Forde Design, Harris + Harris, RPW Design, Scott Brownrigg, David Collins Studio and IHG.

    In regards to architects attending The Brit List Awards 2019, Hotel Designs will welcome associates and directors from the likes of Zaha Hadid Architects, WATG, Jestico + Whiles, Holland Harvey Architects, EPR Architects and Dexter Moren Associates.

    Hoteliers confirmed to attend the annual awards ceremony include, among others, Heckfield Place, Good Hotel London, Limewood Group and Homegrown Hotels, Rosewood London, Cliveden House, The Athenaeum Hotel & Residences London, The Dixon, Bespoke Hotels, Great Scotland Yard Hotel, Eccleston Square, Inhabit London and Hotel Gotham.

    The nationwide search to find the most influential designers, architects and hoteliers operating in Britain began months ago when Hotel Designs opened up nominations and applications to readers.

    Since then, an independent panel of expert judges have gathered to select this year’s individual award winners and also to confirm the 75 individuals who have made it into The Brit List 2019.

    How to attend

    Suppliers:
    Click here if you are a supplier to the industry to secure your ticket for £150 + VAT.

    Designers, architects, hoteliers and developers:
    Click here if you are either a designer, hotelier, developer or architect to secure your ticket for £20 + VAT.

    If you would like to discuss various sponsorship packages available, please contact Katy Phillips via email, or call 01992 374050.

    #TheBritListAwards2019

    Headline Partner: Crosswater

    Event Partner: Hamilton Litestat

    2019 Industry Partner: BIID

    Aparthotel growth outpacing UK hotel market

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Aparthotel growth outpacing UK hotel market

    Serviced apartments and aparthotels are the fastest growing segment of the UK’s hospitality accommodation market, according to new research by commercial property consultancy Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH)…

    LSH’s latest hotel market research Va Va Vroom! reports that the serviced apartment sector, which includes aparthotels, currently represents just 3% of the total hospitality accommodation in the UK, a significantly lower level than in many international markets.

    In the US, the sector takes a 9% market share, the report says, suggesting that there is considerable room for growth in the UK.  Reflecting this potential, the sector is now expanding at an accelerated rate, with approximately 6,000 new units scheduled to open over the next two years – making up around 13% of the UK’s total active pipeline.

    While serviced apartments have historically been targeted at single travellers on long stays, Va Va Vroom! highlights that the sector is now appealing to a much broader customer base, with aparthotels increasingly popular for short-term stays.  Newer aparthotel concepts are tapping into the changing consumer demands of the Airbnb era, it says, by providing flexible accommodation that offers more of a ‘home-from-home’ experience.

    Innovative formats are also blurring the distinctions between serviced apartments, aparthotels and traditional hotels, it reports, with operators such as Native, Locke and Roomzzz developing increasingly stylish, design-led products.  Ideas from the co-working sector are also being introduced to create home-office hybrids.  While London has historically been the main focus for operators, key target markets for aparthotel operators now include regional centres such as Manchester, Glasgow and Liverpool.

    “The aparthotel sector is currently one of the most exciting parts of the market,” said Simon Stevens, LSH Hotels Director. “While the rise of the Airbnb sector is sometimes viewed as a threat to more traditional types of accommodation, it is actually benefiting aparthotels by making consumers more receptive to alternatives to conventional hotels.

    “With new brands being launched and established operators reinventing their products, serviced apartments and aparthotels will continue to innovate and grow. The sector will remain a melting pot for new ideas; borrowing from alternative concepts such as co-living and co-working to create inventive new hybrids.”

    Main image credit: Accor/Adagio

    Latest concept in hotel wellness design is the Five-Star Bedroom Spa

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Latest concept in hotel wellness design is the Five-Star Bedroom Spa

    The five-star private spa by Starpool is the latest concept in hotel wellness design that brings modernisation and beauty to the most ancient spa rituals…

    Inspired by luxury living, the private spa suites by Starpool offer unique relaxation experience for body and mindthat goes well beyond customers’ expectations in terms of functionality and design.

    Awarded with the ‘Best of the Best’ by Reddot Design Award, the iconic Starpool SweetCollection combines high technology and style for a tailor-made environment dedicated to wellness.

    The SweetSpa is designed exclusively for luxury hotels that aim to offer only the highest standard spaexperience to their guests. That is the company has incorporated its new sp.a_system to the SweetSpa, where guests can choose from four wellness paths for four wellness goals.

    Image credit: Starpool

    How sp.a_system works

    The sp.a_system helps the user by informing him/her on times and conditions of use of each spa facility. Just choose your goal from one of the four wellness bracelets (relax, tonic, purify, excite), put the bracelet on and follow the guidelines. The facilities in the SweetSpa are marked with a wellness sign that matches the ones displayed on your bracelet, so all you need to do is follow the wellness path and enjoy the private spa experience.

    Also, for those of your clients that are jet-lagged or looking for a stress relief solution, the SweetSpabedroom setting provides another luxury facility, designed exclusively for body and mind regeneration– Zerobody.

    Zerobody is a dry floatation cloud for deep relaxation and enhancement of sleep duration and quality. The Zerobody cloud is at the forefront of wellness technology, providing multiple health benefits such as muscle and joint pain reduction; improvement of memory capacity and skills; reduction of chronic insomnia and headaches.

    How Zerobody works

    During the floating experience, your body causes to regulate its temperature and gravitational alignment – two activities that alone absorb 90 per cent of our resources. Once on the Zerobody cloud, your body is free to use the extra energy for quicker muscle and jet lag recovery and reduction of mental pressure. All you need to do is lie down and enjoy the ultimate body and mind recovery booster.

    Image credit: Starpool

    In combination, Starpool’s new sp.a_system and Zerobody Relax make the SweetSpa unique wellness concept that brings the spa relaxation to the next level of five-star luxury.

    Starpool 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: Starpool

    Parkside delivers custom programme for health and wellbeing project

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Parkside delivers custom programme for health and wellbeing project

    London’s iconic premium health and fitness club, Harbour Club Chelsea, has undergone an extensive refurbishment including a custom floor and wall tile specification from Parkside.

    Parkside , which last month opened a new design studio in the Cotswolds, has used its versatility to deliver a mixture of looks across more than 2,000mof space inside Harbour Club Chelsea.

    Incorporating the reception area, changing rooms and shower areas, the tile specialist has created a marble-look ceramic tile in a combination of matt and polished finishes has been used to striking effect, setting the scene for members stepping into the luxurious, state-of-the-art health and fitness club. Along the walls of corridors, Parkside sourced a sleek large-format porcelain tile in an off-white matt finish.

    To provide a sense of flow, architect Hadfield Cawkwell Davidson has continued the same off-white tile onto the changing room walls, before moving to a high-impact grand marble-effect wall tile in the shower area. Within the female changing rooms, the light veined marble look has been complemented with a pearl floor tile that has excellent slip-resistant properties. For the male changing rooms and to harmonise with the dark veined marble wall tiles, the same porcelain tile has been chosen in a tobacco colourway, providing a safe and durable surface underfoot.

    Despite the numerous finishes from different manufacturers chosen for Harbour Club Chelsea’s luxury interior, Parkside was able to manage every aspect of the tile specification process. From presenting viable options with the performance required for the busy health and fitness venue, to their sourcing and timely delivery to site; Parkside has underlined its ability to work with architects and designers to develop unique solutions to the challenges of their project.

    “Projects such as these are always great fun as they let us explore the extraordinary depth of ceramic and porcelain finishes available today, working really closely with designers to develop a specification that is without compromise,” said Andy Habbick, architectural consultancy manager at Parkside. “Our ability to work with the world’s most dynamic manufacturers to find just the right products, as well as deliver clients the reliable and timely service they need, makes it a really rewarding collaborative exercise.”

    The tiles were expertly installed by contractor DDI Projects, a specialist retail and leisure fit-out and construction company.

    Main image credit: Parkside/Harbour Club Chelsea

    Laufen expands BASE bathroom furniture collection

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Laufen expands BASE bathroom furniture collection

    Swiss bathroom manufacturer Laufen has extended its popular BASE bathroom furniture range, with the addition of new vanity units for the Ino washbasin collection. The extensive furniture range is timelessly simple and graceful and features Laufen’s trademark attention to detail in carefully thought-through functionality, high-quality materials and the latest colour schemes.

    Bathroom furniture helps to create a tidy, uncluttered atmosphere in the bathroom, allowing bathroom accessories and towels to be unobtrusively tucked away out of sight.

    The latest additions to Laufen’s BASE range are not only designed to complement the company’s fine-profile SaphirKeramik Ino washbasins, designed by French designer Toan Nguyen, but are cleverly created for an even more refined and sophisticated bathroom ambiance.

    A key detail of the new BASE furniture collection is the recessed inverted metal strip handles, which extend for the entire width of each unit. This ensures intuitive, safe handling and also prevents dust and grime from collecting. The handles will be available in two colour variations: anodised aluminium and black aluminium.

    The furniture itself is available in matt or gloss white, classic furniture colours which stand for purity and tranquillity. Other available colour variations are light elm and dark elm, plus the new colour option of traffic grey. For special bathroom designs, Laufen offers many other on trend colours in a matt finish on request. All furniture colours can be combined with either handle colour option.

    The range features high-end vanity units in a variety of dimensions, along with a generously proportioned tall column cabinet. For the 900 mm-wide Ino washbasin unit, Laufen offers a choice of a wall-mounted frame with one drawer or a floor-mounted frame with two drawers. Smaller washbasins can be combined with vanity units in two sizes with either a left-opening or right-opening door. Further storage space is provided by the matching tall column cabinet, with a vertical strip handle running the whole height of the cabinet.

    Laufen 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: Laufen

    Coventry’s Telegraph Hotel unveils new interiors

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Coventry’s Telegraph Hotel unveils new interiors

    Operators behind the transformation of the former Coventry Evening Telegraph building into the city’s first four-star hotel have revealed the first completed interiors of Telegraph Hotel….

    The £20 million project on the Telegraph Hotel has seen an iconic 1950s building turned into an 88-key boutique hotel embracing its Mid-Century architecture. The hotel features a 160-seat convention room, meeting rooms, 110-cover restaurant and two ground floor bars as well as an expansive rooftop bar and events space which overlooks Belgrade Square.

    The released photographs show one of the smallest bedrooms, which has been prepared early as a sample room to enable the finessing of the design. The hotel will open in September 2020 ahead of Coventry being UK City of Culture and is already taking bookings.

    The hotel has been developed by Complex Development Projects (CDP) and operated by Bespoke Hotels, the UK’s largest independent hotel group which also operates Gotham Hotel and Oddfellows On The Park.

    The guestrooms and public space interiors have been designed by Squid Inc, highly praised for their recent work on Manchester’s award-winning Hotel Gotham. The company has taken inspiration from the building’s history as a thriving newspaper and printworks, as well as the Mid-Century architectural style for which Coventry is famed.

    The project is a flagship for the city’s drive to boost the tourist economy and will be one of the major physical legacies of 2021.

    “The Telegraph Hotel will bring something truly unique to the region and we have looked across Europe for our inspiration,” said Brian Harrabin of CDP. “ This is the first glimpse of the completed product.

    “This will be Coventry’s first four-star hotel since the Hotel Leofric, which was built in the rebirth of Coventry in the 1950s.  It is apt that we are restoring a much-loved 1950s landmark building and recreating the glamour of that Mid-Century era.

    “The hotel recaptures the optimism of the era for the renewed confidence in Coventry’s future that we will be celebrating in 2021. In many ways we wanted to signal to the outside world that Coventry has done it again – the improvements to the city in recent years have been immense.

    “All the en-suite rooms will be a treat to stay in, offering much more than merely a nod to the 1950s in styling. In a world where most hotels appear the same, it will be very different.”

    The project has been supported by the West Midlands Combined Authority.

    Main image credit: Telegraph Hotel

    In Conversation With: Britain’s design legend Martin Brudnizki

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    In Conversation With: Britain’s design legend Martin Brudnizki

    Last year’s crowned Interior Designer of The Year at The Brit List Awards, Martin Brudnizki, invites editor Hamish Kilburn to his Chelsea London studio to explain some of the major milestones in his career as well as how he logistically manages his time in a truly international market…

    Design gems are not hard to come by on the British hotel design scene. You have only to open the pages of last year’s edition of The Brit List – and this year’s shortlist for that matter – to find the top 75 influential designers, architects and hoteliers.

    However, design legends are less common. It’s not a question of talent or ability, but more a reflection of style, class, personality and being about to really set oneself aside from others in the heavily congested international hotel design market.

    There is only – and will only ever be – one Martin Brudnizki, for example. Last year, Hotel Designs’ The Brit List crowned the acclaimed visionary as its Interior Designer of the Year – and for good reason. “Brudnizki is an international leader, standing as an icon as well as inspiration to so many young aspiring designers,” commented last year’s expert judging panel. “His recent work in University Arms Cambridge is a credit to his studio’s ability to give a building a new lease of life in the most sensitive and creative way.”

    Image caption/credit: The Library designed by MBDS/University Arms Cambridge

    Almost one year later, while the editorial team at Hotel Designs are gearing up for yet another spectacular awards ceremony, I aptly caught up with the Brudnizki in his Chelsea studio in London to find out more about our ‘poster boy’s’ journey to become one of the world’s most celebrated interior designers of the moment.

    “I grew up in Stockholm; my mother was a stylist and my father an engineer and I think this blend of approaches to living and design, in particular, rubbed off on me,” Brudnizki explains. “My mother is incredibly stylish and filled our home with beautiful colours, patterns and objet. My father on the other hand, worked in a very precise and thought-through way. Both aspects of their personality has certainly informed the way I work today.”

    Brudnizki’s early career in design saw him working at the likes of David Gill Gallery and David Collins Studio before branching off and putting his own practice in 2000, Martin Brudnizki Design Studio (MBDS) in 2000. “I learned a lot during my time in other places,” he adds, “which has served me well when establishing my own studio.”

    “We have a number of up-coming projects that I also hope shape our studio’s story. It’s an exciting time.” – Martin Brudnizki

    Since then, MBDS has become one of the leading international design studios, with bases in London and New York and projects including The Beekman, University Arms and Four Seasons Athens. But, like all designers, Brudnizki remembers the milestone moments; the hotels and buildings that captured his and his team’s incredible imagination, usually sheltered in iconic shells. “All the projects we work on are exciting and help shape the future of the studio however, there are a few that really stick out as being pivotal,” the designer explains. “Scott’s in Mayfair presented us with the opportunity to design our first fine dining restaurant, it also cemented our relationship with Caprice Holdings, who have since become important clients of ours. Working with Nick Jones on Soho Beach House Miami was exciting as this saw us introduce the successful Soho House brand to a new region. The Beekman in New York opened in 2016 and helped stamp our mark on New York. It’s located in a beautiful building and we were lucky to garner a lot of attention from it. Finally, Annabel’s in London has proved incredibly popular for us. It’s such an iconic club so we felt very honoured to be asked to redesign its incarnation. We have a number of up-coming projects that I also hope shape our studio’s story. It’s an exciting time.”

    Dividing his time between both London and New York has given Brudnizki the unique freedom to position himself in two of the world’s most respected design hubs. “Both cities have very unique identities,” Brudnizki explains. “They are both are melting pots of culture and excitement and whilst very different, they both present wonderful opportunities to mark your mark.”

    “Luxury travel to me is being able to combine a sense of curated experience with spontaneity; finding new places but also the having the flexibility to be adventurous and go off piste.” – Martin Brudnizki

    From the outside looking in, the luxury market in hotel design may look like a desirable place to start when setting out to build a reputation as being a leading designer, but it also comes with risk to cater to the ever-changing demand of the modern luxury traveller. For Brudniki, the true art of luxury travel is a reflection of his own experience and personality. “Luxury travel to me is being able to combine a sense of curated experience with spontaneity; finding new places but also the having the flexibility to be adventurous and go off piste,” he defines.

    Since winning at The Brit List 2018, Brudnizki’s vision on a new hotel brand has come to life in the shape of Mr C Hotels, which opened in Miami earlier this year – and has, as a result, put him in the running for the second consecutive year for this year’s awards. “Mr C is situated in a modern new build in the green surroundings of Coconut Grove,” he explains. “New builds have many benefits, including up-to-date technology and no listed statuses to content with however, new builds often lack the characterful details of older properties. With this in mind, we often have to dig deeper to find a strong narrative to wrap the hotel’s design in. For Mr. C we looked to the landscape of the region and the glamorous boating heritage and incorporated elements of this into our scheme.”

    As well as technology, another area that has peaked recently in popularity among developers as well as designers and architects is the value of sustainability and designing consciously. “I think it depends on the project and the client, Brudnizki admits. “We are working with Six Senses on their new hotel and resort in Kitzbuehel Alps and the whole design is focused on sustainability and using organic and local materials. This is to mirror the brand’s values so we’ve had an interesting time researching new materiality and local artisans who can help reduce the hotel’s carbon footprint and up their sustainability accreditation.”

    Quick-fire round

    Hamish Kilburn: Where is next on your travel bucket list?
    Martin Brudnizki: Portugal.

    HK: What is the number one item you simply cannot travel without?
    MB: A silk eye mask.

    HK: What is the last item that will show up on your bank statement?
    MB: Probably food from Bayley & Sage.

    HK: What is your favourite place to unwind in London?
    MB: My home in Parsons Green. As a travel so much, it’s nice to just come home and relax in the peace and quiet.

    HK: What trend do you hope will never return?
    MB: International Beige.

    HK: Where are you travelling to next?
    MB: My New York Studio next week.

    Before I leave the designer in peace to create with his team the hotel interiors of the future, which include hotels in London, Austria, LA and Cape Town (among others), I am interested to explore, on the surface at least, new materials that have emerged on the designer’s radar. “I am really interested in straw marquetry at the moment; it’s such a beautiful natural fibre that can be used in the most unusual of places, such as walls and furniture,” Brudnizki says.

    MBDS itself is incubating a strong network of talented designers that will further position Britain as a globally regarded leading design hotspot. With his name on the door of two dynamic studios – and also in the minds of I would argue all aspiring interior designers – Brudnizki is leading the ever-evolving industry into new territory.

    The shortlisted finalists this year’s The Brit List have been invited to The Brit List Awards 2019, which takes on November 21 at Patch East London (Aldgate). To purchase limited tickets, click here

    Main image credit: Luca Marziale

    Lighted mirror, mirror on the lobby wall

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Lighted mirror, mirror on the lobby wall

    While it has become common to specify a lighted mirror in the hotel bathroom, Hotel Designs turns to new Recommended Supplier Electric Mirror to understand how the product can also be utilised in public areas… 

    In conclusion to Hotel Designs’ time putting lighting in public areas under the spotlight, we have noticed one company is looking to disrupt the conventional idea that the lighted mirror is reserved for the hotel bathroom.

    Electric Mirror, which is leading a clean and innovative path in lighting and mirror technology on the international hotel design scene, has taken the accessories to entirely new places and spaces, creating a memorable experience from the moment the guest enters the hotel.

    An Electric Mirror Savvy SmartMirror in the lobby connects guests with hotel features, nearby attractions, and airport schedules. A custom Cameo lighted mirror in the restaurant or lounge brings light and life to the room’s décor theme.

    Image credit: Electric Mirror

    Lighted mirrors suspended from the ceiling of the hotel’s salon provide optimal lighting to let stylists help their clients look their very best. Dimmable lighted mirrorsin the spa create a peaceful, tranquil space. Corridor lightingon the guestroom floors help guide the way to the guests’ rooms.

    Electric Mirrors are one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, email Katy Phillips by clicking here.

    For general enquiries, contact the team at +1 425.776.4946 or sales@electricmirror.com. For the Director of Sales, Europe, call +46.790195074 or email gelareh@electricmirror.com.

    Main image credit: Electric Mirror

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    The Independent Hotel Show London continues…

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

    Main image credit: Inhabit London

     

    Get creative with Creations from Wilton Carpets

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Get creative with Creations from Wilton Carpets

    In creative shades of fjord, demerara, burnt copper and gunmetal, the Creations colour palette is the foundation of many striking woven carpet designs from Wilton Carpets, now curated in ‘Creations; Ready to Weave’, a brochure now available from the Wiltshire manufacturer.

    Demonstrating the impressive versatility of designs made with the Creations palette, the brochure charts the ability of Creations to enhance the cool, elegant interiors of hospitality and leisure settings, mansion apartments and high-traffic commercial spaces.

    From the vitality and spirit of modern patterns to the contemporary interpretation of traditional motifs, Creations delivers functional base tones and gorgeous radiating highlights for carpets that are not only beautiful but commercially viable too.

    As part of the Ready to Weave concept, the Creations palette can be used in any combination of the 12 colours available across any design – library or otherwise – bringing designers the opportunity to deliver a bespoke look that’s perfectly matched to their interior and ready within just four weeks.

    “Creations was created as a reaction to the cool and calm greys and blues that have gained traction in commercial interiors,” explains Damian Roscoe, creative director, Wilton Carpets. “The move away from richer, regal bases to these new colours, along with flashes of ultra-popular ochre, green and icy blue working as beautiful highlights; provides a thoroughly modern colourbank in-tune with today’s interior palettes.”

    Using Creations as a base for many of its new woven axminster carpet designs, including Havana, Nova Scotia and Urban, Wilton Carpets has underlined the important role that this new ultra-usable palette is playing in its design direction. The ‘Creations; Ready to Weave’ brochure illustrates this beautifully and promises inspiration for designers looking to bring beautiful carpets to their commercial projects.

    Main image credit: Wilton Carpets

    Editor’s round-up of London Design Festival 2019

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Editor’s round-up of London Design Festival 2019

    Strap yourself in for editor Hamish Kilburn’s annual round-up of London Design Festival (LDF). The 2019 edition was a thought-provoking insight into how the bare bones of the industry, led by innovative manufacturers working with open-minded designers and architects, are taking it upon themselves to design a better future of international hotels from the foundations upwards…  

    “Most cities are experts in one or two disciplines,” said Ben Evans, Director of London Design Festival. “But the breadth and depth of London’s expertise is unparalleled.”

    For the 11th year, LDF was the epicentre of the design universe, publically displaying in full the ingredients to make the capital an incubator of ideas, creativity and something different.

    Initially established in 2003 by Sir John Sorrell and Evans, the festival has grown to encompass a broad range of activities, and attracts visitors from around the world: last year welcomed a record-breaking 588,000 direct visitors from more than 75 countries, generating almost one million visits.

    Despite Brexit call-to-actions being plastered across the front of the city’s major newspapers, the festival’s spotlight this year was thankfully not on the political landscape (or landslide) of whether or not this is really happening, but instead the lenses were focused on conscious change for good. With designers being now more aware than ever before on the need for design responsibly, sustainable products, materials and initiatives were evident in all corners of the metropolis, at all of the four Design Destinations. “LDF celebrates and promotes London’s design excellence in a period when showcasing creativity is even more important, adds Evans. And installations around the city from the likes of Matthew McCormack, Sony Design and Paul Cocksedge were a visual reminder of how design can influence change and educate wide-spread audiences of all demographics.

    Focus 19

    Neatly kicking things off after Hotel Designs led an exclusive roundtable at Arte Wallcovering at Design Centre Chelsea Harbour, Focus19 extended its luxurious arm to welcome a select number of pop-up stands. Whether green is or isn’t this year’s colour is irrelevant. What’s more important for hotel creatives is following how suppliers are turning up the volume on how they are designing with purpose and further bringing the outdoors in using sustainable methods. One area where this is very apparent is in fabrics and large prints – both of which are never in short supply at DCCH. Arte arguably stole the show with the launch of four new collections. Following last year’s collaboration with Moooi, any collection to launch after would be a tough act to follow, but the wallcovering experts delivered and the results are extraordinary.

    While fabrics were strong, so too was lighting. Pookey Lighitng’s installation designed by The Brit List 2019 judge Florence Rolfe was a vibrant LED light show. Meanwhile, David Hunt Lighting cut the ribbon on its new permanent hub within the DCCH, showcasing its bespoke service as well as its intricate lamps. As well as hosting a captivating talk with the lighting company’s founder, Vaughan, unveiled a new collection of simple, yet extremely chic sculptured lamps as well as a new range of Tribal Collection shades, that were first unveiled at last year’s show.

    Elsewhere, collaborations from the likes of Barnaby Gates, Kit Kemp and others were on display under what will soon become the Design Centre Avenue, but during Focus was a pop-up exhibition of pure, untouched talent.

    100% Design

    Making its bold, colourful entrance, 100% Design celebrated its 25thbirthday with a bold line-up of speakers, including David Rockwell, Marcel Wonders and Daniel Shofield among others.

    Following last year’s move to London’s Olympia, the show found its feet in historic halls as visitors flocked to see the plethora of interactive installations, cutting edge collections and plenty of products. The Two Lovely Gays unveiled an piece entitled Insta-interiors, which featured a playful mix of pastels. “Social media can has brought design to everyone in a way that we love,” the studio explained on its stand. But it can also be a confusing arena, with so many images and ideas vying for attention. Our hope is that it opens up a new freedom in design, promoting diversity and confidence.”

    With a noticeable shift in behaviours, especially in public areas of the hotel, it is no surprise that there was a significant focus on furniture. Taking centre stage directly opposite the show’s doors was Benchmark with its latest collaboration with design legend David Rockwell. The Sage Collection has a specific focus on human health and wellbeing. Made with natural, sustainable and non-toxic materials, it meets the standards required for well-certified buildings. The collection includes slick sit-stand desks and tables, dining and meeting tables, high-low sofas, benches, occasional tables and storage.

    Hamilton Litestat also exhibited its impressive answer to personalising the hotel experience, by being able to colour-match its products to suit any hotel design brief – something that I saw in person recently when visiting the studio’s Bristol-based hub.

    Image credit: Paul Cocksedge’s Please Be Seated

    designjunction

    In the midst of LDF, just as the feet of the design community start to tire, the VIP party for designjunction comes alive. Offering exclusive access into the show 24 hours before it opens to the public, the event is typically a great opportunity to network as well as catching new products on the market. This year’s event unveiled its catwalk for trends alongside the exclusive Tom Dixon party. Taking place in what I can only describe as LDF’s most interesting design districts, Coals Drop Yard, the event arrived fabulously fashionably late (as ever) to the week-long party.

    While the talent sheltered inside was fresh, the narrative of designing responsibly was solid and synonymous among many if not all brands exhibiting at the show. Furniture brands and lighting manufactures put an equally significant emphasis on utilising recyclable materials. Sixteen3, for example, showcased a dynamic range of contemporary furniture pieces that were made from 99 per cent recycled material, while over in the light tunnel, designer Huw Evans unveiled The CONCERTINA COLLECTION, which comprised of both furniture and lighting. Using natural timbers, English Ash and Cherry, the designer accentuated the drama of the product’s raw form by with carefully positioned up-lighting. Meanwhile, Qiang Huang used inspirations from dissembled bike parts to design an equally precise lighting piece. The product follows research that suggests that by 2020, it is estimated that there will be 10 million shared bikes reaching their scrap age, which equates to a staggering 1.6 million tons of solid waste, which Hauang believes can be reduced by designers looking more outwardly when it comes to recycling products and materials.

    Whether or not designjunction created a larger mid-week statement than last year’s show on The Southbank is down to interpretation. There was, however, no denying that it sheltered something for everyone, including a number of engaging talks. For that reason alone, it is certainly not an event that should be skipped over when navigating around LDF in future.

    London Design Fair

    Keeping an understated mantra in the heart of Shoreditch, London Design Fair was this years’ stand-out show for Hotel Designs, because of its ability to allow the products and exhibitors to do the talking. The show, which took place on the iconic Brick Lane, featured meaningful themes, such as biophilic materials and design as well as showcasing the only bathroom pavilion during London Design Festival – highlights of which included Roca’s new collection with Armani and West One Bathrooms’ eco-themed stand.

    In addition, the show included its worldwide theme, allowing regions in all pockets of the world to exhibit a little bit of their own personalities and creativity.

    As a result, London Design Fair focused on form, function and looking forward, past tomorrow’s trends, to globally identify pieces that will really help to change and shape the landscape of international hotel design.

    While the installations, projects and districts differed in style, the thread between each was very much about confronting convention and offering something different, an abstract reality, if you like, of London through the eyes of the creatives.

    LDF provides a platform like no other that time and time again harbours creative talent and fascinating stories of product design in action. And with variety being the spice of the life, as so many wise bodies have announced before, this year’s exhibitions were in heavy supply of something different, something new and something fresh for everyone.

    Main image credit: designjunction

    Knightsbridge poised and ready for 80th Birthday celebrations at Sleep + Eat 2019

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Knightsbridge poised and ready for 80th Birthday celebrations at Sleep + Eat 2019

    2019 marks the 80thanniversary of Knightsbridge, the award-winning British furniture manufacturer. In order to mark this landmark the company they will celebrates its extraordinary history on stand number E92 at Sleep & Eat, Olympia London (November 19 – 20, 2019)…

    If you are planning on attending Sleep & Eat 2019, then make sure you head over to the Knightsbridge stand (E92) where the team will be celebrating 80 years strong as one of the leading British furniture design and manufacturing companies.

    Committed to British market-led design, Knightsbridge is one of the very few British contract furniture companies to invest in an in-house design and development team – and new collections for 2019 pay homage to its history taking inspiration from archive pieces.  

    Wellbeing has long been established as a benchmark in workplace design, with forward thinking companies providing biophilic, sustainable design that creates healthier environments for their employees. The properties of wellness and biophilic design are now being seen more and more in hospitality and hotel environments; indoor spaces are inspired by nature whilst furniture is designed to be ergonomic aswell as stylish. Knightsbridge will be reflecting this trend on its stand with furniture covered with beautiful fauna & flora designs.

    As hotel, bar and restaurant suppliers, Knightsbridge’s hospitality collection contains furniture designed to suit a variety of styles, needs and tastes. Crafted using timber from renewable sources, the company’s portfolio embraces a collection of style-forward products that are ideal for a wide range of environments such as waiting rooms, foyers, dining rooms and lounges.

    New to 2019, Knightsbridge will be exhibiting its Caravelle collection which was redeveloped to celebrate Knightsbridge’s 80thanniversary and its rich history, taking influence from a past mid-century piece of furniture. The Caravelle collection consists of an armchair, two-seater and three-seater settee that have the clean lines and organic curves that the period became renowned for. It’s deep seat cushion provides a luxurious seat whilst the beautiful clean styling allows it to be specified into workplace, hospitality and care sectors. The collection is covered with exquisite fabric featuring jungle creatures and foliage from visionary textile designers Timorous Beasties.

    Hotel Designs is a long-standing proud media partner for Sleep + Eat, and will at this year’s show to identify key product launches, emerging trends while catching the engaging talks and discussions that will be sheltered in one of Europe’s leading hospitality events.

    Main image credit: Knightsbridge

    UNILIN injects maximalist luxury vibes new finishes

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    UNILIN injects maximalist luxury vibes new finishes

    UNILIN develops products inspired by everything from reclaimed wood, through trending colours, to concrete and brushed precious metals such as gold to create an ideal setting for all hospitality scenes…

    Nothing can match gold for injecting glamour into our living and working spaces and the material is now a favourite for high-end interiors looking to deliver a maximalist luxury vibe. However, for most projects the ‘real deal’ is beyond grabs and this is when UNILIN Evola decorative surfaces come into their own.

    With UNILIN Evola’s brushed gold decor, space and furniture designers working in retail, hospitality, commercial office spaces and even high-end residential projects can capture the magic with versatile surface finishes in scratch, wear and stain-resistant HPL. Used to create ultra-luxe splashbacks and surrounds in washrooms to stylish feature panels on furniture, or even as a detail highlight on door handles; UNILIN Evola brushed gold brings the look without breaking the bank.

    “There’s no doubt that high-end luxury is a major driver in interiors and our brushed gold is the perfect way to get the look while keeping a lid on your budget,” says Jurgen Plas, marketing manager for UNILIN, division panels. “With decors such as brushed gold, marble, ceppo and brushed bronze, the Evola collection can answer the demand for glamour with highly-functional surfaces that are not only cost-effective alternatives, but also functionally better.”

    Teamed with the black of a UNILIN MDF door panel to create a fan inlay in radiant gold, offset beautifully against the marble of carrara creamy wall panels, brushed gold brings a look straight out of 1920s decadence. Or bonding it to shelf edges set against the walnut backdrop of Lorenzo, sees the very same elegant gold-effect take on a luxury modern edge: brushed gold can lift any space beyond the ordinary.

    With many of the 198 décors in the UNILIN Evola collection completely exclusive, UNILIN, division panels develops products inspired by everything from reclaimed wood, through trending colours, to concrete and brushed precious metals. All UNILIN Evola décors are available in HPL, melamine-faced chipboard and edging-tape; each product providing exceptional quality and a surface that is scratch and UV resistant, as well as easy to look after. With authenticity and practicality, UNILIN Evola is a serious alternative to natural materials.

    UNILIN 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: UNILIN

    In Conversation With: Andrew Sadler from CTD Architectural Tiles

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    In Conversation With: Andrew Sadler from CTD Architectural Tiles

    Editor Hamish Kilburns sits down with the Andrew Sadler, CTD Architectural Tiles specifications sector manager, to discuss how the industrial trend in surfaces is evolving, sustainable wall covering solutions and how tech is driving a new age in tile design… 

    2019 is proving to be a pivotal year for surfaces. While trends are being replaced for a burning need for designing with purpose, sustainability is being discussed widely in more ways than ever before.

    Meanwhile, art on the international hotel design scene continues to spill outside the frame, and often onto the walls. To understand more about how surface suppliers are coping with the rise in demand for vivid wallcoverings that can completely change an interior designs space, I spoke to CTD Architectural Tiles’ specifications sector manager, Andrew Sadler.

    Hamish Kilburn: Can you explain how the industrial trend (especially in wallcoverings) has evolved recently?

    Andrew Sadler: The industrial trend has developed mostly due to production technology. The introduction of ‘Continua Plus’ has allowed the production of larger sizes than ever before, which has been a real change in the trend, and the products specified. The first generation slabs were marble-based designs but now we are seeing more industrial design themes such as concrete and metal coming through. See Maiora Concrete 2.4 x 1.2 metre slabs.

    Some factories are however are embracing the desire amongst specifiers and clients for authentic production techniques. We can see this in both our Zelij and Croma ranges.

    Image caption: Zelig from CTD Architectural Tiles

    Another development has been the fusions of traditional ceramic techniques and new industrial design concepts. This is best captured in a range like Diesel Glass Blocks, where a 1950s style glass brick has been captured in ceramic tile using decade-old glazing techniques updated for the 2020s.

    HK: What would you say is the biggest pitfall among designers when specifying wallcovering?

    AS: With tiles, the biggest pitfall among designers is probably understanding that the tile is just one element of a system. Consideration needs to be given to the substrate the tile is being fixed to and how the area is tanked to mitigate water ingress and potential failure. CTDA work with both Schluter Systems and Jackon to offer the specifier peace of mind through provision of a wide range of wetroom and substrate solutions. From a design perspective, trying to replicate the popular brick bond or herringbone/parquet style of floor tile used on walls can cause a challenge when the room is fitted with spotlights. All of a sudden the lipping on the tiles, unevidenced on the floor becomes all too apparent.

    HK: Why are surfaces within public areas more important now than ever before?

    AS: The public areas are the key selling areas of the space – the face of the project – so an aspirational appeal is crucial. This appeal needs to married however with a floor surface that is safe to use to protect the client from slips and trips and the hotel from litigation or reputational damage. We have seen the adoption over recent years in the UK of the Pendulum Test as the acceptable measure of a tile’s slip resistance. The implication of this is that we are seeing public spaces being fitted with tiles that have a higher slip resistance than was previously the norm. Whilst this is great from a safety perspective, it does cause challenges with cleaning these spaces as the more textured surfaces are more attractive to dirt. We see therefore a move away from lighter tones (whites, creams and ivories) towards darker tones (grey and anthracites) where the floor does not reveal its secrets so easily.

    HK: How sustainable are CTD Architectural Tiles’ products?

    AS: There are many advantages to ceramic tiles against alternative materials. Made from water, clay and fire – these elements give rise to a natural and quality material which is free of toxic substances, making it a strong alternative to materials such as plastic laminates or vinyl. Ceramic also has a very long life cycle and is therefore sustainable from a longevity point of view. There also isn’t the need for excessive maintenance, which makes it more advantageous than wood or parquet flooring for example.

    HK: How was nature used as inspiration in your latest collections?

    AS: Launched earlier this year, our Amazonia collection is the epitome of how botanical influences are finding their way into the commercial and hospitality sector. A celebration and seamless marriage between rustic handmade influences and the trend for biophilic design, the Amazonia collection is versatile and unique. Combining botanical patterns with a pared-back, nature-inspired palette to enliven spaces of all sizes, the collection offers endless opportunities to combine and mix distinctive tiles.

    Image caption: Amazonia Grey Hexagon from CTD Architectural Tiles

    For a more floral take on the botanical trend, ranges such as Maiora’s Custom Décor’s offer the possibility to create true feature walls with over-sized tiles – see p36 in this catalogue.

    HK: How is technology allowing you to create more immersive products?

    AS: One of our key launches this year was our 20mm-thick Porcelain Pavers collection, which is a testament to the advances in technology having a direct impact on the options that are available. The Porcelain Pavers collection is made up of 22 different tile ranges and each and every product meets all the technical and design requirements for exterior applications as well as indoor applications. The 20mm thickness means that it is extremely durable and resistant to breaks and scratches as well as being fade and frost resistant. Boasting a +36PTV (wet) slip-resistant structured surface, the tiles are also extremely low maintenance thanks to their exceptionally low porosity.

    Image caption: Porcelain Pavers from CTD Architectural Tiles

    Offering the added benefit of easy installation, the 20mm ranges can be installed in a number of different formats depending on the environment and project requirements. Providing the ultimate flexibility, the products can even be loose laid onto gravel, sand or pedestals, making them both accessible and re-usable. 

    Advances in technology and production have also led to the introduction of a more diverse product portfolio in terms of styles, colours, patterns and designs. One of our most recent collections, Venice Villa, delivers the beauty of terrazzo captured in porcelain. The terrazzo look originates from using left over marble chippings into cement as a way to use excess product. A reinterpretation of this famous look, the Venice Villa collection is an exquisite contemporary twist on the traditional terrazzo trend, combining the appearance of crushed marble fragments with the excellent properties of fully body porcelain stoneware. Available in eight colourways in a polished, natural or structured finish, from monochrome Silver, Grey, Zinc and White to the more colourful options of Earth, Beige, Graphite and Ivory, the Venice Villa tiles offer an intriguing combination of colours that capture and reflect light, enhancing commercial spaces of all types. Expressing the beauty of the material that inspired the collection, the porcelain surfaces of the tiles combine the traditional look with modern materials making a surface that is easy to maintain and clean.

    To find out more about CTD Architectural Tiles, please click here.

    Main image credit: CTD Architectural Tiles

    The Annual Hotel Conference kicks off in spectacular fashion

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    The Annual Hotel Conference kicks off in spectacular fashion

    As proud media partners, Hotel Designs was on location in Manchester to witness the engaging opening sessions of The Annual Hotel Conference 2019…

    Hosted by Questex Hospitality Group,the 16thAnnual Hotel Conference (AHC) opened yesterday at the Hilton Manchester Deansgate with 28 per cent more speakers than last year, following popular demand.  In addition, the outstanding conference programme features 65 per cent of speakers new to The AHC stage and one third of these are female.

    New sessions to the programme, covering the most topical conversations include:

    Claire King, Event Director of The AHC said: “Never has there been a more pressing time to come together as a community. The AHC is proud to provide a unique, nurturing and fun platform for the industry to gather and collectively, look to the future. This year’s event features more content, more networking and more speakers to deliver the highest quality conference to the gathered audience. We’ve always stayed fiercely true to our “Learn. Network. Be Inspired.” maxim and we’re looking forward to welcoming the industry to The AHC next week”.

    The AHC is for UK hoteliers, owners, operators and managers as well as investors, developers, designers, architects, consultants, tourism leaders and regional tourist boards.

    Day two of The AHC continues…

    Image credit: Twitter/The AHC

    In Conversation With: Outstanding Property Award London’s Jesper Thomsen

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    In Conversation With: Outstanding Property Award London’s Jesper Thomsen

    Making its debut on the international design stage, Outstanding Property Award London (OPAL) has begun its global search to identify the most innovative design and architecture projects. As the exclusive media partner of the awards, Hotel Designs speaks to OPAL’s  co-founder to understand what sets the initiative aside from others. Editor Hamish Kilburn writes…

    “What makes a building, a project, a person and/or a hotel’s design outstanding,” I ask myself as I weave between some of London’s architectural skyline statements while running embarrassingly late to meet with Jesper Thomsen. It feels like only yesterday we were both sitting down over coffee for the first time discussing the bones of what has now become the Outstanding Property Award London (OPAL).

    Fast-forward to today, and I am on the jury –  as well as at the helm of a very special media partnership -imminently about to be asked to identify the ‘outstanding’ from the ‘extraordinary’ and ‘unique’ – all of which are buzzwords that are overused and I struggle at the best of times to define. Considering the vast amount of innovative architectural gems that have appeared in cityscapes around the world in recent years, I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel the entire weight of the industry’s judgement pressing down on my shoulders. It’s an interesting concept becoming a judge, and ironic that what follows is then the feeling – or apprehension at least – of judgement. But it’s reassuring to know that I’m not alone when casting my opinion, as the awards now has significant number of jury members, all of which have been hand-selected to offer different perspectives from all corners of the industry.

    By the time I make it to meet Thomsen, I have decided that, for me, something unconventional will be my winner, which is a word that I feel would best describe Thompson’s ambitions for OPAL, along with ‘bold’, ‘courageous’ and ‘about time.’

    Hamish Kilburn: What was the aim when setting up OPAL? 

    Jesper Thomsen: The aim was created out of a passion for creativity in the property industry. We aim to highlight and celebrate the most exceptional design projects in the world, raising their awareness and honoring its creators. Buildings last for decades, sometimes centuries, they tell our history and legacy, where we come from and where we are now. They are fundamental to our existence, so it’s essential that they are well designed and serves humanity in the best way possible.

    We seek to reveal projects that are not only highly creative but show useful function, provide better living experiences for its users, and meeting the clients’ expectation. Class-leading projects that demonstrate innovation and embracing new technologies, setting new trends, respecting and protecting the environment, and pushing boundaries of human ingenuity.

    OPAL was established with my friend and business partner Hossein Farmani, founder of the Farmani Group of companies, who has vast experience in the design awards industry since 1985. Having worked together in the past, the award feels like a natural progression of our combined experiences.

    HK: Can you tell more about your experience in the industry? What’s your story? 

    JT: I always wanted to become an Architect. Since a young age, I’ve been fascinated by design, and for me, architecture was the ultimate expression of human creativity and design evolution. However, my father was the third-generation owner of a printing and design practice in my native Denmark and got me interested in graphic design. At the time of A-level graduation in Denmark, I wanted to apply for the School of Architecture, but the ministry of education regulating the free admissions had almost no openings for new students due to a slump in that industry.

    Instead, after one year as an apprentice in an architectural firm in Paris, I moved to London and began a Masters degree at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, which related more to graphic design, I also supplemented my studies with photography. Following graduation, I was a creative director, designing websites for major companies during the dot com boom era. Here I gained considerable experience in digital marketing and branding. After a seven-year itch, I became tired of commercial design, and my love for the arts was calling.

    I launched a private art gallery in Londons’ Knightsbridge, including spending one year developing and designing the gallery space. In this process, it felt like all creative aspects came together, and after completion, I would subsequently spend another seven years running the gallery exhibiting artworks by artists such as Damian Hirst and Bill Brandt.

    I decided to move on from the gallery business, and fate got me involved in developing a few properties in Londons Knightsbridge, I spent nearly 3 years responsible for all operations, learning hands-on all the disciplines from interiors to architecture, planning, research, 3D modeling, materials, procuring and team management. It was a very creative period but also learning the hard way how complex the creation of properties really is. So my past really covers hugely varied types of creative practices. I’ve learned that creativity, in all its forms, is about ‘seeing’, sensing, letting your imagination unfold, and this can be applied to all its disciplines.

    HK: Why is London such a significant destination to base these awards? 

    JT: London has always been incredibly important for creativity and design in the built environment, spanning from historical landmarks up to today’s groundbreaking contemporary designs. Some of the most famous developers, architectural firms, and interior designers, have a base here and continue to inspire and influence the global property industry. The OPAL Award is open to entries from around the world, and we want to bring outstanding projects to London and celebrate them in our fantastic capital we are so proud of.

    “OPAL offers a three-way synergy between our three main entry categories; Property Development, Architecture and Interior Design.” – Jesper Thomsen

    HK: What sets OPAL aside from other design awards? 

    JT: Many awards are confined to a single industry within the property sector; An Architecture Award, is for Architects, by Architects. An interior design award, is for interior designers, by interior designers and so on. OPAL reaches fully across the property sector. It offers a three-way synergy between our three main entry categories; Property Development, Architecture and Interior Design. These industries continuously collaborate to create exciting projects, each bringing their expertise, and combined, they deliver outstanding designs. We are also very proud of our talented jury panel who will evaluate the global entries, they are our backbone and aspiration to those who enter our award.

    HK: What other destinations around the globe would you are design hotspots? 

    JT: It’s incredible how major cities in Asia have become design hotspots. Shanghai for example, really pushes boundaries fuelled by a concentration of industrial partners and strong government support. As the countdown to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games draws closer, the Japanese capital is in the middle of a hotel gold rush. Anything from boutique design hotels to glittering skyscrapers, a raft of new establishments are opening or are in the pipeline. Mexico City is also one to watch after being nominated for World Design Capital last year. I love their particular design language, elegantly fusing original colonial architecture with contemporary.

    HK: What’s the number one thing you cannot travel without?

    JT: This is an obvious one; my laptop. It’s glued to my fingertips at all times. I travel extensively, and this enables me to run operations and be connected at all times. Oh, and an online back-up of it too.

    HK: What is your favourite hotel you have ever stayed in and why?

    JT: There are so many. I recently visited Extremadura, a remote and less traveled part of Spain. Here, in the historic town of Cáceres, inside its UNSECO walled city and housed in a beautifully restored 16th-century palace is the stunning hotel Atrio. Striking white minimalist architectural features blends lovingly with the old stone walls and shiny black wooden floors. The surrounding streets have no tourist shops, nor huge crowds with selfie sticks you’d typically find in places of such beauty, just quaint, peaceful alleys defined by sandstone and ivy leaf clad palaces. The rooms and amenities are styled in a fashionable 60s Scandinavian design, Miles Davies’ Blue Note years playing softly in the background, a pleasing opposition to the striking view onto the empty medieval square below. Atrio is also home to a fabulous two-starred Michelin restaurant boasting one of the finest wine cellars in the world. I thoroughly recommend a visit here.

    HK: What do you look for in an outstanding property?

    JT: What really excites me about a great project is when the original vision of a completed building shines like a star, its purpose is evident to the eyes and the senses. Those projects are likely to be those who have seen mostly green lights during the creation process.

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

    JT: My sights are on Mongolia, away from civilisation and buildings. When I take time off, I grab my camera bag and go shooting landscapes, happy to be off-grid. No place is better for me to clear my mind than to connect with solitary, vast open expanses or wild roaring oceans.

    HK: What is your favourite restaurant/bar in London at the moment?

    JT: I like Aquavit in St. James. Maybe I’m a bit impartial due to my Scandinavian roots, here you can eat classic dishes such as gravid lax in a beautiful, sumptuous setting. I also like the buzz of The Ned, the physical scale of it is bars, and restaurants area is incredible. I just had a sneak peek of the yet to be launched upstairs bar and restaurant of the Standard Hotel, a funky design offering fantastic views over Londons’ city to one side and the clock tower of St. Pancras to the other, so close it feels glued onto their windows.

    HK: What trend do you hope never returns?

    JT: Brutalist 60s’ architecture. Its primitive obsession with concrete made an austere generation of buildings where function superseded design, creating discouraging living conditions for its users. I don’t think architects and developers of that time really understood or considered the human factor as part of a design concept, that a building serves to improve peoples lives and its environment, not just a structure to keep you dry from the rain. They are genuine eyesores and should be demolished, and only the best examples should be preserved for the record. I doubt this trend will return anytime soon due to a much better understanding of peoples needs along with technological advancements in the building industry, 3D printing, new materials and simulation methods give designers today far more freedom, flexibility, and individuality to create exciting designs.

    Main image credit: OPAL

    Six Senses to open first hotel in the Galápagos Islands

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Six Senses to open first hotel in the Galápagos Islands

    Opening 2021, Six Senses’ first hotel in the Galápagos Islands will be designed by world-renowned bamboo architect Simon Velez… 

    Following a rise in demand for hotels to open in far-flung destinations around the world, Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas has announced that its first resort in the Galápagos Islands will open in 2021. Six Senses Galapagos will be located on San Cristobal Island, in the town of Cerro Verde on the Northeastern coast. This is the quietest of the main islands with a relaxed and tranquil vibe.

    The Galápagos Islands were named by 16th century Spanish sailors after the saddle-shaped shells (“galápago”) of their most famous resident, the giant tortoise. The 19 islands are home to some of the world’s most amazing wildlife and ecology systems. Guests at the upcoming Six Senses Galapagos will therefore experience a one-of-a-kind natural environment.

    UNESCO recognised the Galápagos Islands as a World Heritage Site in 1978 and a Biosphere Reserve in 1985, development is only permitted on three percent of the total area. Permission has been granted to develop the resort on a verdant hill with unspoiled views of the ocean and other topographical landmarks. All building work is in accordance with local laws and with strong involvement from the local community.  The development of this project is being led by Hitesh Mehta of HM Design and will focus on a distinctive planning philosophy which balances economic, environmental, and social impact.

    Chief Executive Officer Neil Jacobs of Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas said: “Sustainability is at the core of our brand, influencing everything from ongoing community engagement and conservation efforts to the local, repurposed materials used in the development. We are excited and delighted to work with the Orgal Group on this extraordinary project in such a special and environmentally sensitive place, staying true to our joint purpose of ecosystem restoration, scientific research of marine species and low-impact tourism.”

    Plans are underway for an Earth Lab and Experience Center. The first will showcase the project’s sustainability efforts and the second will host research and educational activities by well-respected academics and NGOs already working in the Galápagos. There will be a particular focus on restoring the original endemic Miconia ecosystem, eradicating invasive species and maintaining a native plant nursery on site. The almost zero light pollution ensures night skies are some of the most spectacular on earth, and an Observation Post will offer guests stargazing and fine dining experiences. All three facilities have been designed by world-renowned bamboo architect Simon Velez.

    The Six Senses Spa will have a functional fitness centre, yoga studio and Alchemy Bar and will offer comprehensive wellness programmes incorporating  local healing and herbalist treatments. Following the guiding principles of Eat With Six Senses, the food and beverage program will minimise the need to import any produce. The ultimate aim is self-sufficiency, with an organic vegetable garden complementing produce grown by local farmers or caught by local fishermen. There will also be a Fermentation Room where guests can learn about the joys of pickling and preserving.

    The hotel brand currently manages 18 hotels and resorts and 30 spas in 21 countries under the brand names Six Senses, Evason and Six Senses Spas, and has signed a further 19 properties into the development pipeline.

    Main image credit: IHG/Six Senses

    Accessibility championed at inaugural Blue Badge Access Awards

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Accessibility championed at inaugural Blue Badge Access Awards

    The Blue Badge Access Awards, which took place last night at The Langham London, has created a pivotal moment in international design by celebrating and championing thoughtful accessible design… 

    Last night, the inaugural Blue Badge Access Awards were held at The Langham London with the support of charity Leonard Cheshire Disability. Thirteen winners were awarded on the basis of celebrating thoughtful and stylish inclusive design and business practices across the world.

    This year’s winners included Shakespeare’s Globe as the most Inclusive Employer and Sea Containers for Best Hotel, sponsored by HEWI.

    The evening included a comedy set by British stand-up comedian, writer, actor, presenter, and disability-rights campaigner, Laurence Clark. Laurence was born with cerebral palsy and uses his line of work to alter the general public’s perceptions of disabled people. Alongside this, an inclusive fashion show was put on by Samanta Bullock, founder of SB. SB is an online department store that provides comfortable and fashionable universally-designed clothes with the focus on inclusion and benefiting the seated position.

    The 2019 judging panel included Fiona Jarvis, CEO of Blue Badge Style; Tina Norden, Partner at Conran and Partners; Alex Taylor, BBC Journalist; Paul Vaughan, Bespoke Access; Neil Heslop, CEO, Leonard Cheshire Disability and Karen Fewell, daughter of Arnold Fewell.

    “Nowhere can be 100 per cent accessible but everyone can start somewhere,” said Fiona Jarvis, Founder of Blue Badge Style. “There is tremendous public interest in the area of accessible design, with a strong desire to honour and recognise businesses that go the extra mile for their customers. We are delighted to champion these venues with Blue Badge Access Awards and will continue to do so to amplify enthusiasm across the hospitality sector, as well as wider tourist attractions, museums, and public organisations.”

    “Awards like this are profoundly important because they shine a light on best practice”, added Neil Heslop, Chief Executive of Leonard Cheshire Disability. “Leonard Cheshire exists to improve life choices for people with disabilities globally, and accessibility is key to this. We work with cross-sector organisations every day in supporting individuals to live, learn and work independently, whatever their disability. We congratulate everyone who has been involved to date and hope many more join in, having been inspired by tonight’s winners.”

    “We are thrilled to unveil so many exemplary winners at the first Blue Badge Access Awards and celebrate the great work of designers and architects around the world in inclusive design” said Robin Sheppard, Chairman of Bespoke Hotels and Hotel Sector Champion for Disabled People. “It is important to make access a permanent addition to the agenda. No one would have dreamed that sustainability would be as high as a priority as it is now, and we want access to be just lionised in the future.”

    The Blue Badge Access Awards are here to accelerate progress, and highlight that the importance of inclusive design should not be underestimated. It gives businesses and venues access to a market of over 1 billion people across the world, a group of more than 13 million people in the UK alone with spending power of over £250 billion.

    Main image credit: Blue Badge Access Awards

    St. Regis Hotels debuts on the Grand Canal in Venice

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    St. Regis Hotels debuts on the Grand Canal in Venice

    The 169-key St. Regis Venice has opened following a two-year, full-scale renovation on the building with the interior design project led by London-based interior design studio Sagrada… 

    St. Regis Hotels & Resorts has announced the debut of The St. Regis Venice, which is located steps away from Piazza San Marco and boasting the largest waterfrontage in Venice. The opening follows an extensive project to restore the grandeur of the former Grand Hotel Britannia, which originally opened in 1895 – the same year as the inaugural Venice Biennale.

    Many of the guestrooms and suites boast private terraces or Juliet balconies for sweeping views of Venice’s iconic landmarks. Situated across the Grand Canal from Punta della Dogana, the hotel marries its celebrated heritage with the St. Regis brand’s modern design and bespoke service throughout a unique collection of five Venetian palaces, with the oldest dating back to the 17th century. The hotel’s spacious secluded garden sets the hotel apart, making it a lifestyle destination where guests and locals alike can enjoy remarkable views of the Grand Canal. The St. Regis Venice marks the brand’s third location in Italy, joining The St. Regis Florence and The St. Regis Rome.

    “Venice is one of the world’s most inimitable cities; one which has inspired royalty, artists, merchants and jet setters alike for more than fifteen centuries,” said Jenni Benzaquen, Vice President of Luxury Brands – Europe, Marriott International. “The St. Regis Venice unites the captivating spirit of the city with the timeless sophistication and service of the brand, re-interpreting Venice’s rich history through a modern lens.”

    Throughout its storied history, The St. Regis Venice, in its various guises, has played host to a roster of illustrious guests, global influencers and tastemakers. The five ‘palazzi’ that make up the hotel enjoy a position of privilege overlooking the Grand Canal, with Badoer Tiepolo being the oldest palazzo, which dates back to the 17th century. By the 19th century, palazzi Tiepolo, Barozzi and Regina were converted into the Grand Hotel Britannia, more recently known as Hotel Europa & Regina.

    The Grand Hotel Britannia attracted notable intellectuals and socialites as well as renowned painters J.M.W. Turner, John Singer Sargent and Claude Monet, who in the autumn of 1908 was inspired by the hotel’s spectacular views during his stay as a guest and worked to capture the passage of light in his artwork. It is recorded in the book “Monet in Venice” by Philippe Piguet that Claude Monet’s wife, Alice, remarked in her daily letters to her daughter during their stay, “the views from our hotel room are the most magnificent of all Venice, and it’s all for Monet!” The hotel was also the first in Venice to have electricity in every room.

    “The St. Regis Venice unites the captivating spirit of the city with the timeless sophistication and service of the brand.” – Jenni Benzaquen, Vice President of Luxury Brands – Europe, Marriott International.

    Each room has been reverently furnished to cherish the artistic and cultural heritage of the building, while also embracing the evolution of La Serenissima and the St. Regis brand’s spirit of modern glamour. The exquisitely-designed suites include a two-bedroom, art-inspired Presidential Suite – a true contemporary artist’s residence overlooking the Grand Canal – and a three-bedroom Penthouse Suite with a wraparound furnished terrace showcasing extraordinary views over Venice from three separate viewpoints.

    The five Roof Garden Suites spectacularly combine garden-inspired interiors with uninterrupted vistas and contemporary touches while furnished terraces offer a quietly seductive atmosphere. Set against twilight tones, the Venetian Suites showcase crafted details of modern design, influenced by the artistic heritage of the city, while the colour palette of the Monet Suites pay homage to the reflection of light across the Grand Canal. As a hallmark of the St. Regis experience, all guests have access to the signature St. Regis Butler service. Honoured to maintain a long-standing tradition of making guests feel at home, the St. Regis Butler is poised to provide an ever-present, yet unobtrusive, serviceattending to guests’ every need.

    Inspired by the Venetian masterpieces of former guest and Impressionist painter Claude Monet, the interiors of the refined guestrooms showcase a distinctive colour palette that represents how light changes throughout the day from dawn to dusk. The design of the public spaces pays homage to Carlo Scarpa, one of Venice’s greatest artists and architects. Venetian styling is seen throughout the hotel in tailored fabrics and custom, handcrafted furnishings inspired by the gentle curves of gondolas, the patterns of the Doge’s Palace, the pavements of St. George’s churchyard and the water flow of the canal.

    An eclectic collection of artwork and sculptures will also be curated, bringing ancient Venice to today’s luxury travellers in a modern way. Paying homage to the hotel’s tradition of welcoming famed artists, The St. Regis Venice will host artists from around the world to take residence and create unique pieces inspired by the hotel and its beloved locale. The hotel’s first resident artist, Parisian Olivier Masmonteil, has been commissioned to create original artworks for the Grand Salon and the Monet Suites. The Venetian tradition of glassmaking also lives on, celebrated through a partnership with Glasstress. This unique partnership marries contemporary art and historical glass blowing techniques, inviting world class artists of various disciplines to collaborate with Murano Maestros (masters) to create one-of-a-kind glass works of art.

    The hotel opens as part of Marriott International’s strategy to expand its luxury portfolio with the addition of 30 new hotels in 2019. St. Regis Hotels & Resorts, part of Marriott International, Inc., has properties in more than 40 destinations around the world.

    Main image credit: Marriott International/St Regis

    INTERACTIVE HOTEL REVIEW: Monkey Island Estate, Bray-on-Thames

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    INTERACTIVE HOTEL REVIEW: Monkey Island Estate, Bray-on-Thames

    Unearthing eight centuries of history, editor Hamish Kilburn checks in to Bray-on-Thames’ Monkey Island Estate to interactively review a new kind of private countryside luxury…

    Travel upstream from London and you eventually arrive in the quintessentially British surroundings of Bray-on-Thames, a quiet suburban village that is arguably most for harbouring two of the UK’s five restaurants that hold three Michelin stars.

    But before the existence of award-winning gourmet F&B establishment, some 800 years prior, there quietly sat an empty island, which went on to soak up interesting eras. It was firstly an ideal setting for monks seeking peace on the banks of the river. It is said that after the Great Fire of London in 1666, materials from Oxfordshire, such as stone and brick, were transported down the river for rebuilding the city. On the vessels’ return, rubble would be spread around some of the Thames islands, which greatly reduced erosion and helped to strengthen the foundations.

    A few decades later, in 1738, the land was purchased by Charles Spencer, 3rdDuke of Marlborough, who was rumoured to have paid palladian architect Robert Morris £2,277 to erect the first two buildings on the island in order to indulge his hobby of fishing. It took Morri three years to complete, but his work marks an important milestone in the property and island’s history – and it is arguably here where the narrative of what is now known as Monkey Island Estate really begins. But it was only recently when the story took on a new narrative, complete with the introduction of new characters, to become a completely unique boutique hotel.

    In 2016, YTL Hotels acquired the land, and work began to restore the property into a modern and relaxed countryside abode. Inspired by the haunts of monks, monarchs, aristocrats and writers alike, New York-based Champalimaud Design was responsible to sensitively orchestrate the interior design of the hotel. Having completed the interior design of YTL’s debut UK property, The Gainsborough Bath and Spa, and more recently The Academy in London, the studio, while also sensitively restoring Raffles Singapore, was well-poised to develop the relationship further.

    Unlike any hotel project that lead designer Jon Kastl has faced before, the geography of Monkey Island Estate presented its own unique set of challenges. “You have no idea how difficult it is to work on a island that has no direct car access,” he explains. “Everything had to be carried over the footbridge onto the island. And then, the other challenge was the age of the buildings, and dealing with the neglect of the building. They were in pretty rough shape, almost falling into disrepair.”

    Guests’ first impression of the hotel is an understated – almost camouflaged – lobby area in a cosy ‘boathouse’ – the feeling of being taken away from the daily grind does not get much stronger than this so close to the centre of London. “The hotel is relatively small,” adds “

    The short walk over the footbridge from the unassuming lobby to the public areas is one of wonder. Architectural landscape designer AV Design has created a majestic garden that compliments the various buildings.

    Framing what should be in my opinion the postcard picturesque views of the River Thames, the pavilion building, which shelters the majority of the public areas, sets a relaxing setting – and echoes, on a balmy summer afternoon at least, the same peaceful scene that I imagine was once enjoyed by monks centuries ago.

    Caption: The Restaurant | Image credit: ACT Studios

    Although the bar and restaurant is, on the surface, seemingly conventional, the building has a few hidden gems. The Monkey Room, for example, stands true to its original form and structure – and even design. “The only thing we changed was the purple paint colours on the ceiling and add the furnishings,” says Kastl. The eye-catching murals on the panelling is all original which has been there from since when the building was first built.

    Caption: The Monkey Room | Image credit: ACT Studios

    Up the spiral staircase, The Whiskey Room is the latest area that has opened. Designed with the winter months in mind, the cosy and home-from-home atmosphere, complete with tactile wallcoverings, is an expected treat.

    It is because of the fact that the 41 guestrooms and one originally restored suite are sheltered in a grade I-listed building that makes the design story even more fascinating. The design of each and every one of the guestrooms utilises the entire space, with some stretching out onto terraces which look over the river, while carefully blending in a modern style that becomes timeless.  “We just had to accept the smallness of the rooms when designing them,” Kastl explains. “We did things like designing miniature shelves and additional service space. We designed rails that lined the rolls for guests to hang items from. Because there is such a limited closet space, we had to rely on these rails.” The furniture is scaled appropriately so that it fits in the limited space neatly. Meanwhile, the blinds and curtains, supplied by Concept Contract Furnishings are deliberately not heavy, and instead naturally flood the rooms with light to make them look and feel more expansive.

    INTERACTIVE tour of The Wedgwood Suite | Image credit: ACT Studios

    Despite the guestrooms being impressive – and adding to the overall interior design story (and challenges) – the masterpiece of the hotel is perhaps sheltered upstairs in the Wedgewood Suite. “The room, from the panelling to the ceiling, was very much intact,” explains Kastl. “One of the challenges was that it has windows on three sides, so from a layout point of view it created a few headaches.” The ensuite bathroom has been re-gutted and given a fresh and modern look. “ The suite is the coming together of old heritage design and the new.

    Moored on the river bank, the hotel’s spa is unlike any other in or around London. The facilities have been curated by Melissa Mettler who took inspiration from its riverine surrounds, past inhabitants in the form of royalty, liturgy and literary stars, as well as elegant architecture. The floating spa, which features two treatment rooms that are uniquely sheltered within a renovated barge, is a celebration of the power of water blended together with natural wellbeing and wellness.

    Image credit: ACT Studios

    I’m sure, for the designers as much as the operators, that the thought of completing Monkey Island Estate and opening again to the public was a distant day dream. But, considering the drastic rise in demand for wellbeing as well as wellness, the timing of YTL hotel’s countryside retreat could not have been more perfect. Checking out of Monkey Island feeling fully restored in mind, body and spirit myself, following a short by sweet trip to the floating spa before departure, the hotel locks in so many unique and thoughtful moments – and exceeds expectations to become one of the UK’s premium countryside retreats.

    Main image credit: ACT Studios

    LIGHTING WATCH: Berkley Collection from Christopher Hyde

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    LIGHTING WATCH: Berkley Collection from Christopher Hyde

    Christopher Hyde Lighting beautiful Berkeley table lamp was recently supplied in the lobby area of a luxury hotel in Moscow…

    The stunning and imposing table lamp allows the interior designer to put the finishing touches into their own five-star project. The design of the Berkeley collection features delicate cast brass details. Available in many different finishes from the ever popular french gold and antique silver to polished rose gold and soft bronze. Complimented by Christopher Hyde’s hand crafted silk lampshades the Berkeley table lamp is sure to brighten up any lobby.

    The Berkeley range is on display at the company’s showroom at the Design Centre in Chelsea Harbour, London.

    Christopher Hyde’s new catalogue is released soon and is available to order.

    Christopher Hyde 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: Christopher Hyde

    EXCLUSIVE ROUNDTABLE: Adding personality in hotel public areas

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    EXCLUSIVE ROUNDTABLE: Adding personality in hotel public areas

    In partnership with Arte Wallcoverings, editor Hamish Kilburn invited some of the leading hotel designers and architects to Design Centre Chelsea Harbour for a live debate on how to add sustainable personality in the ever-evolving arena of public areas. In addition to being involved in the engaging conversation, the designers, directors and principals were also the first to see Arte’s five new collections, which were officially launched a few days later at Focus19 during London Design Festival… 

    Design experts around the table:

    Regardless of style, size or star-rating, recent hotel openings suggest that public areas are evolving, and fast. No longer an empty air pocket in the building’s structure, the lobbies that are being created or renovated today are unconventional active spaces, designed to flexibly accommodate all guests whether they are checking in for business, for leisure or in many instances, for both.

    Hamish Kilburn: How have the ways in which consumers use public areas changed?

    Fiona Thompson (FT), Principal, Richmond InternationalGenerally, how guests behave in hotels has changed. The demographic is completely different. At one point, hotels were quite intimidating places, and not very accessible. That’s been one of the most significant changes I have seen. Hotels have become much more outward-looking and much more accessible to everyone. People now use spaces how they want to use them. Therefore, public areas, in general, have a greater sense of informality.

    Vitalija Katine (VK), architect, Jestico + WhilesOne of the largest changes I have noticed is the accent of activation points in lobbies. The activation point of, for example, pop-up bars and pop-up receptions can be positioned and adapted easily in the lobby. I think the public space of a hotel has been the highlight of the last four years, because people are lounging in the lobby as opposed to using it simply as transitional space.

    David Mason (DM), Director of Hospitality, Scott BrownriggThere’s a lot more awareness now about the ecological message that hotels are trying to amplify. Also, with the appeal to millennials, there’s much more awareness on the public areas. I imagine there will be a lot more focus on some kind of hotel standard where we really start to look into what is going into hotels, and that will come from hotels aiming to achieve an environmental space. Although hotels are already acting to be more eco-friendly, I think it will become even more of a focus.

    Caroline Cundall (CC), Director of Interior Design IHG – Europe: How people work and specifically how people hold meetings has changed massively. That has had a large affect on our lobby spaces. More and more people are roaming around with small laptops and lobbies are much less formal than they used to be. Hotels are recognising the value in attracting more than just the guests staying at the hotel, and the current boutique influence is a catalyst in all of this.

    Sam Hall (SH), Global Head of FF&E, GA GroupI have seen more awareness in hotel operators in understanding how space is used. There are many examples of hotels that use every inch of the space as a revenue generator. CitizenM, for example, feels very intimate because the space is broken down. The grand volume of entering a hotel is behind us, perhaps not in Asia or the Middle East, but in Europe and elsewhere for sure. Space is at a premium and every inch of it has to make money. Designers are using the materiality to make spaces feel softer and warmer. These grand areas full of marble are not really where it’s at anymore. Instead, designers are trying to make these soft and reduced acoustics, so it feels more comfortable.

    “It doesn’t matter what word you throw on it, what people want is a well-designed space.” – Arianne Steinbeck, Managing Director, RPW Design

    Arianne Steinbeck (AS), Managing Director, RPW DesignThe launch of W New York on Lexington Avenue in 1998, designed by David Rockwell, was a pivotal moment. Before that, it was unheard of to serve drinks in the hotel [public areas] and play music. And now everyone is doing it. That was the start of this boutique look and feel that we see today. It doesn’t matter what word you throw on it, what people want is a well-designed space. I think that everyone in the industry has upped their game across all brands, which is a result of consumer demands. To be honest, I’m surprised it took so long.

    HK: Are you saying that there is less of a space for grand and open lobbies on the international hotel design scene?

    AS: I think there will always be a space for this style of hotel. Personally, I love hotels that remind you that they are a hotel, where the service element absolutely completes the overall experience.

    SH: I agree with you, and it’s about the coming together of quality and luxury, working as one.

    FT: But even some of the smaller luxury resorts capture that feeling of grand luxury. It all comes down to that amazing sense of service, but it is perhaps delivered in a more modern way.

    “All these hotels that feature over decoration to differentiate from others will disappear.” – Fiona Thompson, Principal, Richmond International

    HK: Trends is a sensitive term in hotel design. But do what extent do emerging trends come into your decisions when selecting wallcoverings on a project?

    AS: It’s come full circle. When I started in the ‘80s there were a lot of patterns on the wall. And then it washed out to a symphony of beiges. Now we seem to be coming back to a little bit more colour and pop. In a few years’ time we might perhaps look at this ‘greyeige’ situation again. That’s why we have all these different brands, because there is room in this industry for individuality.

    FT: There is going to be a move away, for sure, of this extraneous design for the sake of it. All these hotels that feature over decoration to differentiate from others will disappear. The young generation want something that is a bit more meaningful. All these words get thrown around: timeless, authentic, and I’m not really sure what they all mean. There is going to be this move away and everything will have more of a purpose.

    Hotels are typically big environmentally bad beasts that use power and electricity and decimate environments. Therefore, I predict there will be a call for them to be more responsible, and this filters down to the materials being used to design them.

    HK: From a product point of view, how does Arte select trends?

    Siobhan Kannenberg, Commercial Manager UK & EIRE, Arte Wallcoverings: As a brand, we don’t really have a specific style. You can always recognise Arte by the quality, but we try to cover all basis. Trend-wise, sustainability is becoming more and more important for our customers, so we are using more natural materials and that is certainly what is called for. Also, I am really excited to see tactile patterns are coming back around.

    CC: The fashion industry has always had a huge influence on design. There’s so much talk about recycling in the fashion industry at the moment. Like for example reusing materials, and this is already something that hotels are looking at.

    FT: The fashion industry is always half a season ahead. However, things are going to change because they are being challenged. It will be interesting to see how this will filter down into the design sector.

    SH: Where brands could go wrong is using sustainability as a selling point, whereas I believe it should be the foundation of the brand and not the feature. I’m hoping that everyone will end up speaking the same language in design to use for purpose and just naturally recycle materials. One of the key benefits of wallcoverings is that it is so easy – and much more affordable – to change and update interiors.

    AS: I have no problem reusing something from a previous renovation that still looks good. You don’t always have to throw everything out. Sometimes the casegoods, for example, are on par or better than what you could buy new. And with the right wallcovering, the space will look fresh and retouched.

    SK: When we are designing our Arte collections, we like to think of wallcoverings as our showstopper. Is that accurate?

    FT: I think it hasn’t been in the past, but actually bright colours and patterns are becoming the centre stage.

    HK: In all honesty, how much of the budget, time and consideration goes on the wallcovering decisions – and can you talk me through that process?

    CC: You can never estimate these things. The fact that Arte has many wallcoverings that are quite distinctly statement pieces is interesting. If an interior designer would put that into specifications there’s no way that would be changed. It’s the one thing that would be a focal element to a scheme. And if that’s an initiative that everyone agrees on then it will go ahead.

    DM: Designs are moving massively forward. From what I remember 20 years ago, the range and difference is incredible. There are so many interesting things you can do now with the wallcoverings, and I have been introduced to such a vast range of materials.

    AS: It’s also worth mentioning how much more you get in a product these days. Digital printing changed the pace of innovation. You can have so many awesome effects with digital printing, and I expect to see more of that.

    HK: What would you say is the biggest misconception from a client’s point of view?

    ALL: That the client can do it better!

    SH: In all seriousness, all of these interior designer programmes make it look so easy.

    HK: How has the evolution of social media changed the ways in which your briefs from clients are coming in?

    FT: I don’t think it’s any different from years ago when we were asked to create ‘wow factors’. It’s just a different terminology. I ban Pinterest. It is too easy to find information these days. I really encourage our designers to go out and see hotels in person, because I don’t want them to lose that discovery process.

    AS: I always have to ask which page on Pinterest a look came from, because if it’s from the first page, I don’t want to know.

    DM: You’re right, and when they see hotels, I encourage them to find something new than what they have seen online. Too often people are looking for the same shot, the same framing that they have already seen on social media, and it is stripping creativity from the process.

    We were actually given a brief for an independent hotel which was solely to create an instagrammable hotel, which would never have happened only a few years ago.

    We were challenged quite a lot by Hard Rock International when designing the London property. The brand is American and very bold. To be fair to the client, although we did go backwards and forwards, we did manage to convince them to tone down the ‘instagram moments’ for an audience in London.

    VK: We are asked quite often by clients what we consider to be ‘our moments’ in the design. The attention that the ‘Instagram moment’ is getting is much larger and much more exposed to the general public. There is no ‘one size fits all’ solution. What works in one region does not necessarily work in others.

    HK: With the rise in demand for hotels to feel more boutique and independent, how are the materials you are using in the public areas changing?

    SK: From Arte’s point of view, there seems to be a lot of misconception that vinyl is what is asked for from the big brands. Actually, with the influence of independent and boutique hotels, hotel groups are more willing to use range of products and materials. As manufacturers, we see vinyl an essential material for corridors for obvious reasons, but it’s a different story in the lobby. People don’t really touch the walls, so there is the ability you can have more fun with a variety of materials.

    CC: Fire regulations is key for the country you are in. As long as a material and product has passed its certification, I totally agree.

    HK: How do you predict public areas further changing in the next 10 years?

    CC: More people will start to work remotely. Working in London, there isn’t anywhere comfortable to sit and have a meeting with a few people. I think that should be the next focus, to have more discreet places to have a meeting – and hotels could harness this well.

    SH: I think that there is more that can be done around connectivity. Public areas can still further become even more accessible.

    FT: It will be totally connected to how we work and live. People don’t have the formality so much of going to an office anymore. The behaviour of ‘hotdesking’ is interesting and public spaces in hotels can really respond to that.

    Following the exclusive panel discussion, the leading designers and architects were the first to browse Arte Wallcoverings’ five new collections (Expedition, Wildwalk, Essentials – Les Nuances, Velveteen and Sketch (HookedOnWalls)) before they were officially launched a few days later at Focus19.

    In Conversation With: British designer Bim Burton

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    In Conversation With: British designer Bim Burton

    Following the unveil of his latest collaboration with bathroom manufacturer Kaldewei, Bim Burton sits down with Hotel Designs to discuss sustainability in design and the inspiration behind ‘those bath chairs’… 

    Bim Burton is an innovative modern furniture maker and designer, creating timeless design with space saving ideas. Taking this year’s themes of (Re)act at designjunction, Bim and Kaldewei worked together to create, exclusively, for designjunction, a series of recyclable, sustainable unique bath chairs in three different styles.

    These were showcased within the Installations area, located in Lewis Cubitt Park, Kings Cross, London, throughout designjunction, which was very well attended and hosted cutting-edge designers, breakthrough brands, an unrivalled talks programme and unique design experiences.

    Kaldewei steel enamel baths are 100 per cent recyclable, made from Kaldewei’s ownsuperior steel enamel and have been ingeniously crafted to Bim’s unique design -creating beautiful, designer chairs for designjunction’s visitors to relax in.

    Hotel Designs: Why did you want to be part of designjunction?

    Big Burton: I was really flattered to be asked to take part in designjunction this year. I was recommended by British Designer Steuart Padwick, the creator of the breathtaking sculpture “Head Above Water’ also on show in London. Designjunction is one of the best destinations during the London Design Festival (LDF), so obviously, I just couldn’t say no.

    Image credit:: Bim Burton/Kaldewei

    HD: Where did the idea to create bath chairs come from?

    BB: The theme this year is (Re)act and renew so when designjunction asked me what I would design, I immediately thought of the bath chair as it’s an object which is notonly functional but has the chance of a second life. The Kaldewei bath makes a great exterior for seating and I thought this was relevant today with the theme re- use as well as being great for an outside seating area.

    HD: Why is sustainability so important to you?

    Sustainability should be important to everyone. Kaldewei’s baths are 100 per cent recyclable so perfect for this product. During my time as a designer, I have recycled many objects into practical and interesting pieces of furniture.

    “I’ve found Kaldewei to be very enthusiastic when working with their baths.” – Bim Burton

    HD: Why Kaldewei?

    BB: Again, this was a recommendation, this time from designjunction. I’ve found Kaldewei to be very enthusiastic when working with their baths. I couldn’t believehow well made and strong they are, I would definitely recommend them as a bath for their design and durability alone. Kaldewei were very generous in providing me with the chance to realise my design idea of turning baths into chairs – to reuse baths as seating. Kaldewei provided their steel enamel baths for me to cut and workout different ways to use the parts as chairs. I turned them up, sideways, and discovered how many variations I could make. I am very grateful for them trusting me and my imagination.

    HD: How did you find working with steel enamel?

    BB: Cutting the steel wasn’t nearly as difficult as I had imagined, cutting the steel with the right tools is very forgiving!

    HD: What was the biggest challenge?

    In a word – “time”. There just isn’t enough of it. Time is so precious, I usually havevery little of it to bring a project together.

    HD: What was the most enjoyable part of the project?

    BB: I’ve enjoyed working with the challenge of the bath shape and its material, as well as having the freedom to use my creativity bringing to life my design – transforming the baths into bath chairs!

    HD: What’s happened to the bath chairs now that the event has passed?

    BB: Good question! They will probably go for sale. I already have a list of people who would like one… so let’s see.

    From Inside to Out is in collaboration with – Kaldewei, AJ Wells, Agua Fabrics & AHEC.

    Main image credit: Bim Burton/Kaldewei

    Sleep & Eat unveils design details of this year’s VIP Lounge

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Sleep & Eat unveils design details of this year’s VIP Lounge

    ‘Gather’ in the enigmatically designed VIP Lounge. Sleep & Eat announces collaboration with Megre Interiors to create a new design-led experience…

    Sleep & Eat, one of Europe’s leading design and innovation event for the hospitality sector, has revealed an enticing glimpse of its new-look VIP Lounge. Created for the first time this year by an international design firm, the lounge will be brought to life by Moscow-based interior design studio Megre Interiors. With this year’s theme of ‘Social FlexAbility’, VIP Lounge guests are promised an experience like never before.

    Named ‘Gather’ by the designers, the original oak panelled Olympia Club Room will be transformed into a whimsical flora and fauna-inspired space. Drapes, upholstery and even the flooring will be in a fabric depicting exotic flowers, specially designed for Sleep & Eat by Megre Interiors, cascades of fabric flowers will loop through the space and, in the epicentre, a large-scale light installation will flicker like a fire. This will be surrounded by orbicular seating –referencing the circular gathering places of human history and drawing a parallel to the primeval pleasure of coming together around a firepit.

    “In an age marked by the impersonal, it’s vital to trust people over brands.” – Yuna Megre, Founder and Principal of Megre Interiors

    Arriving in the entrance reception, guests will find themselves enticed into the space by a single thread of light. Inside, lighting remains low, shapes and forms are obscured and audacious texture and colour prevail. Collections of poufs as well as the circular seating will be underlit to glow like beacons. Vastly adaptable, this will be a room that gives its users the power to interact with it and alter as they wish, moving the seating around to suit their needs. It will be about the opportunity is to meet, talk, learn and relax, and to emerge better connected than before.

    “The human soul blossoms fully only when we meaningfully connect with one another,” says Yuna Megre, Founder and Principal of Megre Interiors. “In an age marked by the impersonal, it’s vital to trust people over brands. To meet, to see, to know each other and embark on the adventure of creation together.”

    The VIP Lounge will not be the only space at Sleep & Eat to be specially designed by an international design firm. Plans for this year also include the introduction of The Hub – yet to be revealed – as well as the much-loved Sleeper Bar which will host the late evening networking on day one and is this year being designed by Michaelis Boyd.

    Sleep & Eat, November 19 – 20 in the National Hall, Olympia London. The show will be open from 10am on Tuesday 19 with an evening drinks reception until 8.30 pm, and from 10am-6pm on Wednesday 20. To register for a complimentary pass, visit registration.

    Main image credit: Merge Interiors/Sleep & Eat

    TREND WATCH: Super Matt is the new Black

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    TREND WATCH: Super Matt is the new Black

    UNILIN, division panels, has developed Fibralux MR Black Super Matt, a black core MDF panel with a fingerprint-resistant, satin-soft matt finish on both sides…

    With an MDF core coloured black and a transparent super-matt finish on both sides, Fibralux MR Black Super Matt delivers a new black for interior and furniture use. Showcasing the origins of its fibrous construction through the transparent finish, Black Super Matt, brings a new aesthetic.

    UNILIN, division panels has developed a brand-new finish for black MDF panels with a soft-touch effect that’s fingerprint-resistant, as well as resistant to scratches, tough and easy to maintain.

    “We’re really excited about Black Super Matt,” said Jurgen Plas, marketing manager, UNILIN, division panels. “The coating technology in our new transparent, matt finish brings a unique aesthetic without compromising on performance.

    “As designers continue to hunt for authenticity in the materials they specify, Black Super Matt is one of the first MDF panels to embrace this, revealing the beauty of its raw state in a striking panel that feels incredible too. What’s more, it offers a super-matt finish that breaks form with the standard finishes of other panels, bringing a new black.”

    Fibralux MR Black Super Matt is available in 18 and 19mm thickness in a panel size of 122cm x 305cm. Suitable for all process involved in furniture production as well as vertical application in interiors, Fibralux MR Black Super Matt is not recommended for high-wear applications such as work surfaces, desks or table tops.

    Main image credit: UNILIN

    THROWBACK: Duravit looks back on 2019’s top bathroom trends

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    THROWBACK: Duravit looks back on 2019’s top bathroom trends

    As we hurtle into Q4 of 2019, Bathroom manufacturer Duravit is taking a look back at some of this year’s top bathroom trends that are still holding strong. From organic shapes to matte finishes, these are the looks to add a high-end touch to any designer bathroom into the coming season and year…

    Organic elegance

    Frank Lloyd Wright, an early pioneer of organic architecture, took his inspiration from nature.

    The legendary architect integrated organic forms into his works, seeking to harmonise the object with the environment.

    Duravit’s latest additions to its product ranges perpetuate this idea: sweeping lines and dynamic curves characterize new products like Viu/XViu and Starck T.

    The Viu/XViu series by sieger design boasts a post-industrial elegance with a combination of organic forms and precise geometry. The highlight is a washbasin with Duravit’s patented c-bonded technology: the clear rectangular definition on the outside contrasts with gentle organic curves within, reminiscent of the softness of water.

    The fluid transition from the round base to the geometric “T” shape is the defining design feature of the Starck T series, the first accessory line by Duravit and longtime collaborator Philippe Starck. It is reminiscent of an organic, branching tree structure. This simple yet chic design element runs through every part of the series as a subtle, recurring signature.

    Colours, Materials, and Surfaces

    Matte colors are reigning strong in interior design. In the bathroom silky, matte surfaces and wood create a soothing, warming atmosphere. Duravit’s new light and dark matt glazes for washbasins and toilets open up an even greater variety of combination options. Their velvety finish exudes a sophisticated elegance and creates contrasts with glossy individual pieces or zones with other pops of color.

    The Happy D.2 Plus bathroom furniture, created by sieger design, is available in a total of 11 finishes for an individual look in the bathroom, featuring quality wood or fashionable matte surfaces in light and dark shades. Even greater customization options are afforded by the choice of six finishes for the console panel, enabling a whole range of creative combinations: monochrome, harmonious tone-on-tone, or contrasting.

    These can be further enhanced with the expressive Starck T accessories in stylish Matt Black or Chrome to create a cohesive aesthetic. Ranging from toothbrush holders to towel hooks and soap dispensers, the range encompasses 16 high-quality accessories.

    Smart Technology

    Duravit’s tech-forward mirrors provide a bevy of features and intuitive ease of use that make them optimal for any bathroom setting. The features of the round Happy D.2 Plus mirrors in particular offer added comfort. Mirror heating and the ambient light and colored light switching function can be operated via icon control. The series also provides the opportunity for a perfectly matching double washing area: two mirrors can be paired at the factory for additional convenience.

    Main image credit: Duravit

    100% not-for-profit luxury safari, Lepogo Lodges, opens in South Africa

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    100% not-for-profit luxury safari, Lepogo Lodges, opens in South Africa

    The safari Lepogo Lodges, joins the ‘Not-for-Profit Conservation Tourism’ Movement and pledges to offset each and every guest’s carbon footprint…

    Lepogo Lodges, one of Africa’s few entirely not-for-profit high-end safari lodges, has opened its very first lodge in South Africa’s Limpopo Province, Noka Camp, which is set within the 50,000-hectare, malaria-free Lapalala Wilderness Reserve.

    Lepogo Lodges is the very first luxury camp in Africa to offset the carbon footprint of every visiting guest, from the time they leave their home to the moment they return. Family-owned and operated, the project has been developed as part of a life-long dream to create a sustainable conservation legacy in Africa, with 100 per cent of any financial gains made re-invested back into the reserve for the benefit of wildlife, conservation and the local community.

    Image credit: Lepogo Lodges

    Noka Camp consists of five stilted villas, including one villa especially designed for families. The villas are joined by a main lodge comprised of dining room, bar, lounge area and sprawling outdoor terrace, all perched atop a 100ft cliff overlooking the winding Palala River below and the endless bush ahead. The camp is entirely off-grid, with all energy self-generated by a bespoke, 250msolar walkway.

    Lepogo Lodges have worked with award-winning Japanese Architect Yuji Yamazakion Noka Camp and its five stilted villas, designed to offer the highest level of luxury while bearing the lightest footprint on the surrounding environment. A glass-fronted design for the main lodge and villas maximises the incredible panoramic views seen at every turn, while the entire property has been built on small concrete pads, which ensure that no scars are left on the land.  Each villa is complete with heated plunge pool, unique ‘sky bed’ with glass floor over the ravine, sunken bathtub and underfloor heating.

    Lepogo Lodges have collaborated with Sarah Ord Interiors on the interior design of Noka Camp. Reputed for her use of colour and eclectic designs, Sarah’s vision was to enhance and reflect the natural colours of the reserve. Noka’s light-filled interiors were inspired by the vast horizon of turning leaves on the terracotta-coloured cliffs, where the sky meets Africa. Walls disappear through the use of expansive glass panes, with each vista becoming a framed work of art on a grand scale. Sarah has made use of sustainable and South-African products, crafts and textiles wherever possible.

    Lepogo Lodges will consist of two lodges, with a second property, Melote House, set to open in 2021. Ideal for multi-generational travel, Melote House will be an exclusive-use property sleeping up to 16 guests.

    Entirely energy self-sufficient thanks to the property’s very own solar walkway, Lepogo Lodges will be the first luxury lodge in Africa to offset the carbon emissions from all guests’ travel, from the time they leave their home to the moment they return. Guests can also participate in conservation efforts, community outreach, school visits and more.

    The owning family of Lepogo Lodges is committed to supporting community projects. For example, the Montebello Design Centre in Cape Town was founded by a close relative as a centre to support the disadvantaged, where students can learn valuable crafting skills and generate income to support their livelihoods. It flourishes today and has produced some remarkable talent, some of which Lepogo is proud to be able to showcase. Lepogo Lodges are also working closely with local communities, who have created bespoke soft accessories for the lodges, toys and clothing for the on-site curio shop and custom amenities including hydrating hair oil made from the fabled Baobab and Moringa trees.

    The family is particularly passionate about the conservation of cheetah, pangolin and rhino, having been attracted to Lapalala as one of the leading private rhino sanctuaries in Africa. Lepogo Lodges have funded research and are working with Lapalala to establish the reserve as a centre of excellence for the release of wild captured cheetah in conjunction with The Endangered Wildlife Trust. A pangolin re-introduction programme will also begin in the coming months and the family look forward to supporting and working with the world renowned Lapalala Wilderness School.

     Main image credit: Lepogo Lodges

    The Standard London, Camden’s new kid on the block

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    The Standard London, Camden’s new kid on the block

    In search of a new standard in design, creativity and urban hotels, editor Hamish Kilburn checks in to London’s most talked-about hotels this year to explore another world. The Standard London has opened, making a bold statement on the capital’s new hospitality scene… 

    Something significant is happening in London’s King’s Cross area. It’s been brewing for some time now, but it has only recently erupted.

    During London Design Festival and London Fashion Week, the area was the backdrop of a scene of celebrities, models and the odd design editor or two falling out of parties and onto pavements. Soho and Shoreditch were desolate deserts in comparison. It’s the power of real estate like you have never seen before. Selecting its opening date carefully, The Standard has disrupted everything – and it’s about time too!

    Although, for years, the district has evolved with the time, it was the expansions to King’s Cross and the new St Pancras International stations adjacent to each other that started the catalyst for change. Strangely enough, my father worked on the construction of both. I remember the odd non-official ‘bring your son to work’ day, the oversized hard hat specifically, as we meandered around the expansive building site unable to imagine the finished picture. “Soon, you will be able to travel from London to Paris in just two hours, imagine that” I remember my father saying overexcitedly. “Right here, where you are standing, is going to become London’s major international train station!”

    Whether or not my pops really was one of the first to envision the area’s potential is irrelevant. The station opened and almost instantly the cool, quirky neighbourhood of Camden became even more of a hotspot for the mainstream, without much – if any – loss of its bold and bohemian personality. As a result, the capital’s hotel scene – quick to follow major travel trends – moved outward to put a roof over the raw and rustic scenes that its locals had created.

    And here we are, welcoming the city’s new arrival, The Standard, which has been patiently waiting in the wings for some time now. And while all hotels have a story (some more worth sharing than others), The Standards’ narrative is as unique as the interior design scheme locked within; a perfect meeting of American soul and London’s ostentatious quirk.

    Housed in the former Camden Town Hall Annex in London’s thriving King’s Cross neighbourhood, the 1974 Brutalist building has been meticulously restored by the legendary ORMS Architects in collaboration, in part, with Archer Humphryes Architects.

    The 266-key hotel, which shelters 42 suites, sets the perfect stage for the brand’s first arrival outside America. Uniquely overlooking the iconic St Pancras Station, from street level it’s juxtaposition of architecture that shouldn’t but does work. On the north side is the traditional 19th-century iconic neo-gothic architecture, which has stood the test of time, and two world wars for that matter, unscathed. On the south side is the ultra-modern non-conventional structure, symbolising loudly that times are changing.

    “Three new storeys have been added to the top of the building,” explains Simon Whitaker from ORMS Architects. “The form of which has been derived from the host building below, and clad in new stainless steel and glass panels. Two of these floors provide hotel bedrooms, whilst the top floor is dedicated to the new restaurant and bar, with a roof terrace above.”

    Image credit: The Standard Hotels

    Upon entering, the lobby lounge sets the scene, with a carefully curated library that pays homage to the building’s original use. Further in, sound studio booths host weekly live music and talks. Executive Chef Adam Rawson’s street facing bar, Double Standard, designed by Shawn Hausman, the neighbourhood’s street-facing anchor for lunch, casual drinking and dining throughout the evening.

    Although the colour scheme in the guestrooms and suites may not be to everyone’s taste, it is very much so mine. Not so much because of the tones used, but more so because they have been intertwined together with purpose – and unapologetically so for that matter. Complete with bespoke curved sofas and the King’s rooms featuring outdoor terrace bathtubs, the idiosyncratic charm of the hotel is certainly not limited to the public areas.

    Image credit: The Standard Hotels

    Before it opened, the hotel’s street level, red exterior lift was the ultimate teaser campaign. Now fully open, it shoots guests up directly to the 10th-floor where Chef Peter Sanchez-Iglesias’ restaurant showcases his live-fire cooking and where guests and visitors alike can enjoy the building’s 360-degree views of the city below all-year round thanks to the retractable awning.

    No longer do party-hard followers of the brand have to travel stateside to experience The Standard’s retro maximalism. First launched in the late 90s with its debut hotel in Hollywood, which for the record remains to this day a go-to destination on the Sunset Strip, the hotel’s urban cool influence is London’s answer to keeping the Camden’s hospitality scene fresh, authentic and designed with purpose.

    It’s next stop? The Maldives, next month in fact, which will be an interesting page to turn in what is an unmistakably climatic chapter for the now international hotel brand.

    Main image credit: The Standard Hotels

    PRODUCT WATCH: Armani and Roca launch Baia Collection

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    PRODUCT WATCH: Armani and Roca launch Baia Collection

    With the new Baia collection, Giorgio Armani once again shows his commitment to promoting comfort and wellbeing, expressing his vision of the bathroom environment through a combination of elements that allow maximum flexibility and adaptability…

    Particular attention has been paid to the ergonomics of each piece in the new collection by Roca in collaboration with Armani. The aesthetic intentionally references the past but the retro styling has been interpreted in a modern manner and incorporates avant-garde technology.

    The result is a new versatile bathroom collection, which manages to be both contemporary and timeless, in accordance with Giorgio Armani’s well-known design philosophy.

    The wide range of countertop and over-countertop washbasins offers endless combinations of brassware, allowing the adaptation of the pieces to suit every type of bathroom. The introduction of exciting new metallic finishes extends the embellishment on offer to help create bathroom spaces of increased sophistication and elegance. Two luxurious shades – a matte gold and dark metallic – are used in a revised version of the shagreen finish. The resulting shagreen matte gold and shagreen dark metallic adds a touch of unusual elegance. The basin options now also include a new, stylish pedestal model, which complements the rest of the collection and can be fitted with integrated metal towel rails in various finishes.

    The range also includes a new line of classically inspired brassware: deck-mounted and built-in basin faucets, a bidet faucet, a thermostatic shower column faucet and a thermostatic freestanding bathtub faucet. These are all available in three finishes: greige, brushed steel and chrome. One of the unique features of this brassware range is that, in spite of its classical design, it is equipped with innovative technology; for example, thermostatic technology has been incorporate into the freestanding retro-inspired bath filler and the retro-look shower column, delivering thoroughly modern efficiency.

    The highlight of the collection is an elegant piece of metallic furniture with washbasin and an integrated metal towel rail. This provides maximum functionality, while exuding a sense of comfort and convenience. Available both in off-white lacquered wood and greige oak-veneered wood, this piece will instantly endow any bathroom with an undeniably luxurious touch.

    To complement the beauty of this iconic piece, the freestanding bathtub, which also has a retro look, makes a perfect focal piece for any bathroom. Updated with a contemporary appearance and paying special attention to ergonomics and comfort, the lines of this bathtub are soft and sinuous. It is also available in an elegant version embellished with four metal handles in three finishes – greige, brushed steel and chrome. These handles are beautiful and functional details which match the rest of the collection.

    The importance of flexibility and the added benefit of ‘made-to-measure’ is evident in the shower tray, which comes in an extra-fine resin in custom-made sizes up to 2m x 1m, and is presented in a unique collection of textures and finishes.

    A new line of toilets and bidets, both wall-hung and close-coupled, is now included in the collection in order to meet every design requirement. These are complemented with advanced technological electronic flush plates that feature unique glass finishes.

    The wide-ranging collection also includes a line of accessories that incorporates towel racks and a wall mirror, both with rounded metallic profiles in various finishes. These recall the same design characteristics as the rest of the collection.

    Throughout the Armani/Roca Baia collection, harmonious and fluid forms promote a feeling of comfort.

    Main image credit: Roca

    PRODUCT WATCH: A Super-fast carpet full of spirit

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    PRODUCT WATCH: A Super-fast carpet full of spirit

    Spirit is the latest Ready to Go woven axminster collection from Wilton Carpets, bringing all-over interpretations of repeating geometrics inspired by Greek key patterns…

    Impressively versatile, thoroughly modern and perfect for hotels seeking a glamorous deco feel, Spirit comes in three strong patterns that add poise and purpose to corridors, receptions, lounges and guest bedrooms.

    Using the rich and luscious colour combinations found in Wilton’s Creations colour palette, Mettle, Moxie and Magic bring an intoxicating and captivating carpet for hospitality interiors.

    “Spirit captures the elegance of the Art Deco era for a look that is ideal for hotels wanting to create a rich and lavish interior,” says Damian Roscoe, head of creative, Wilton Carpets. “From the gold and grey combinations in Mettle Demerara to the midnight and gunmetal of Moxie Black, we’ve given Spirit great depth throughout, ensuring it can lend its sophisticated and luxurious period feel in traditional and modern interiors alike.”

    Designed and made in Britain, Spirit comes in an enduring eight-row woven axminster construction that’s ideal for all-round use. Crafted from a high-quality, wool-rich blend that delivers superb appearance retention, as part of the Ready to Go collection, Spirit is available in a super-fast turnaround of just 14 days and with no minimum order.

    Main image credit: Wilton Carpets

    Ruby Hotels to open second hotel in London in 2021

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Ruby Hotels to open second hotel in London in 2021

    The 154-key Ruby Stella will open in London’s Clerkenwell district and is the latest instalment in the ‘Lean Luxury’ hotel brand’s ambitious expansion plan…

    Following a theatrical launch in Dusseldorf, Ruby Hotels, the Munich-based hotel brand and pioneer of the ‘Lean Luxury’ philosophy, today announces plans for a second UK property, in London’s Clerkenwell, to open in the first quarter of 2021. The new hotel, Ruby Stella, will follow the launch of Southbank’s Ruby Lucy in January 2020 and will form part of Ruby Hotels’ plan to unveil a total of 12 new hotels by 2022.

    Set within a modern purpose-built space which will reflect the historic facades of the surrounding buildings, Ruby Stella will be constructed on Clerkenwell’s Eyre Street Hill in collaboration with real estate partners Geneva Management Group and UDevelopments.

    The hotel will shelter 154 rooms, ranging in size from cosy ‘Nest’ rooms (13-15m²) to expansive ‘Loft’ rooms (23-38m²), a stylish bar area, a communal work station and a library. All guest rooms will showcase Ruby Hotels’ sleep-scientist-approved formula for the perfect night’s sleep, with full soundproofing, blackout curtains, high-quality linen and extra-long and wide custom mattresses.

    A laid-back, contemporary design will see 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, and ‘Ruby Radio’, the hotel group’s own internet radio station.

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

    Just like the group’s other houses, Ruby Stella will follow 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 will serve a healthy, 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 will 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.

    Main image: Ruby Hotels

    Sleep & Eat announces this year’s conference line-up

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Sleep & Eat announces this year’s conference line-up

    Sleep & Eat has revealed a conference programme that is set fair to live up to the show’s reputation as one of Europe’s leading hospitality design and innovation event…

    With some of the speakers yet to be announced, Sleep & Eat’s 2019 programme already scales new heights and reaches new depths, grapples with hospitality’s response to one of our most pressing social issues and features some of the industry’s greatest influencers, dreamers and doers, including directors of  Standard International, Virgin Galactic and NeueHouse.

    The Conference, which is free-to-attend, will run throughout the two days of the show, November 19 – 20 at London’s Olympia.

    Exceptional by Design

    Amar Lalvani, who as CEO of Standard International, has built the company into one of the most innovative hospitality enterprises in the world, will be flying in from New York to deliver the opening keynote. With his latest hotel opening just completed in London, and with plans to quadruple the company’s footprint to 20 properties in the coming years, he will tackle the challenging issue of how to continue running the group as a platform for creativity. If the strength of the brand currently is a clientele that sees value in a specific lifestyle, will that be enough to fuel aggressive growth?

    Hospitality’s Opportunity: Social Connection

    Sleep & Eat’s theme for 2019 is “Social FlexAbility”. In a world full of evidence that people are disconnecting from each other in favour of digital relationships, the event will be exploring if and how the hospitality sector and its designers can be in the vanguard of combatting this interactional shift, providing guests the opportunity to reconnect with others in-person as and when they want to by offering spaces where users can activate the social experience of their choice.

    Josh Wyatt, the driving-force behind NeueHouse, the U.S. based provider of collaborative workspace, and previously the visionary behind Generator Hostels, will share his opinions in conversation with Conference Curator, Heleri Rande, considering how creativity and design can act as financial drivers for investors, and taking a look at how NeueHouse is using these to create a unique and non-replicable company. Wyatt admits to being shocked by the many executives who still don’t appreciate the importance of design. “I think that as we enter into an era of increasing digitisation, design is ever more important. You can build a somewhat successful company without; but you can build a great company with longevity if you understand that design is the physical foundation for your customers’ emotional experience,”he says.

    The trend for hybrid spaces where guests can socialise, work and network will be under the spotlight when a panel of highly respected hotel operators gathers to discuss Social FlexAbility. Nowadays, public areas need to be engaging and inviting with food and drink concepts that complement both room and non-room areas. But what does that mean operationally and how must brands adapt themselves to manage this efficiently and within a reasonable timeframe? In a data-driven world do we still rely on our teams and human interaction to deliver on the brand promise? These are just some of the questions that Dale MacPhee, General Manager of the Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh and Business Women Scotland’s Hotelier of the Year 2017 and citizenM’s London Area Manager, Eylem Ozgun, will seek to answer. Veteran hotelier and Chairman of Bespoke Hotels, Robin Sheppard, will moderate this thought-provoking discussion, no doubt peppering the discussion with his own perspectives.

    The design of co-experience environments will also be under the spotlight. Harry Harris of SUSD, the developer behind the Curtain Hotel and Members Club and Devonshire Club, will chair a conversation between leaders in hospitality design, including Alex Michaelis of Michaelis Boyd, Matthew Grzywinski of N.Y. based architecture and design firm, Grzywinski + Pons and Yuna Megre, Founder of Moscow-based Megre Interiors which will look at some of the latest design solutions. In addition, the Sleep & Eat Set designers will be on stage to explain their approach to the design of their “Social flexibility” Sets – concept guestrooms, a restaurant and a bar that experiment with the theme and inspire visitors with what might be in their future projects.

    Above and Below

    The second day of the Conference is promising to boldly go not only into space but into the depths of Earth’s oceans. In the morning, Richard Coutts, Principal of Baca Architects, the UK’s foremost architectural practice designing on, near or under water, and Ben Fitzgerald, Director of Core Marine, the engineering firm which earlier this year worked on the headline-grabbing Underrestaurant share the platform. Ben Fitzgerald says: “At the southernmost point of the Norwegian coastline lies Under – Europe’s first underwater restaurant that also doubles up as a research centre for marine life. The combined efforts of the design practice and the engineers into underwater architecture have pushed the boundaries of hospitality experiences below the waves. Far from being an aquarium for touristy expeditions, the magic of the North Sea wildlife captivates with all its awe, rain or shine. When the land is not enough – how do we design and engineer for the next frontier?”

    The speakers from Virgin Galactic may share the sentiment but disagree with the solution when it’s their turn on stage in the afternoon. As the company is preparing to catapult the hospitality experience into space, Jeremy Brown and Martijn Brouwer will set the scene and talk about the absolute imperative of putting a personal approach to service front and centre of their delivery. The duo will explain how such an approach manifests itself operationally and in design considerations, both on and above ground in a conversation destined to fire imaginations and ensure the bucket list has just got longer.

    Other sessions will include an F&B panel in which Lydia Forte, Group Director of F&B at Rocco Forte Hotels will be joined by a stellar group of her peers, namely: Gustaf Pilebjer of Marriott, Karina Elias from The Langham and, from Hong Kong, Anurag Bali of Shangri-La International. The ingredients for this particular discussion will include the hot new concepts that travellers are craving and the thorny question – have hotels finally caught up with independent restaurants and bars in offering the same amount of social excitement and social media worthy content?

    In addition to the Conference, Sleep & Eat 2019 will include an international exhibition together with six concept room Sets, The Sleeper Bar, The Hub and the VIP Lounge, each designed by a major name hospitality design practice. The show will be open from 10 am on Tuesday 19 November with an evening networking reception until 8.30 pm, and from 10.00 am – 6.00 pm on Wednesday 20 November. For more information and to register for a complimentary pass, please visit registration.

    PRODUCT WATCH: Versa Designed Surfaces’ CABA

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    PRODUCT WATCH: Versa Designed Surfaces’ CABA

    Versa Designed Surfaces’s Caba is a reflection and an adaptation of the times… 

    The versatile design of Versa Designed Surfaces’ Caba changes appearance depending on color selection. Designers can choose the look of pleated fabric in neutral color treatments, flowing water in blues, windswept meadows in golds and greens, and wood bark in deep rich tones. 16 colorways provide endless options and a stream of design possibilities.

    The designers at Versa experimented with the interplay of light and color to create this deep, three-dimensional embossing that projects luxury while withstanding the heavy traffic of corridors, public spaces, and retail and restaurant environments.

    24 oz. Type II low-VOC vinyl on Osnaburg backing, Caba is 52”/54” wide and certified to NSF 342.

    To read our In Conversation With with Versa’s Paul Gibson on sustainable wallcoverings in EMEA hotels, click here

    Versa Designed Surfaces 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: Versa Designed Surfaces

    Disneyland Paris hotel portfolio sold for €240m

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Disneyland Paris hotel portfolio sold for €240m

    Benson Elliot and Schroders have acquired the three hotels that sit within the €240m Disneyland Paris hotel portfolio…

    A joint-venture led by UK-based private equity real estate fund manager Benson Elliot Real Estate Partners V, LP (“Benson Elliot”) and Schroder Real Estate Hotels (“SREH”, formerly Algonquin) has acquired three hotels (the “Portfolio”) totalling 1,183 rooms in Disneyland, Paris. The themed hotels, which are adjacent to one another, were acquired off-market in two separate transactions for a total investment of circa €240 million.

    Dream Castle and Magic Circus, both four star hotels, were purchased from Austrian real estate developers Warimpex / UBM, while Explorers was purchased from a JV managed by SREH. The investment is structured as a 50/50 JV between Benson Elliot and a consortium of private investors advised by SREH.

    “The Portfolio represents a collection of high-quality, cash-flowing assets being acquired at a substantial discount to replacement cost,” said Marc-Olivier Assouline from Benson Elliot Principal. “The hotels present opportunities to optimise value and grow income through targeted refurbishment programmes. Benson Elliot has built a strong track record in the hotel sector,with over €1 bn in hotel investments and dispositions in just the last five years. This transaction marks another partnership with the former Algonquin team, with whom we have worked successfully in the past.”

    “The Disney market has experienced almost uninterrupted growth for the last 15 years.”

    Disneyland Paris is Walt Disney’s only European theme park and Europe’s most popular tourist destination. The Disney market has experienced almost uninterrupted growth for the last 15 years, set to be driven further by Disney’s €2 billion expansion plan, which will be rolled out from 2021 and is the most ambitious project undertaken since the park opened in 1992.

    Developed between 2003 and 2007, the Portfolio has a profitable trading profile and generates strong cash flow. Whilst the assets have benefitted from substantial investment, significant opportunities remain for the JV to create further value through the implementation of targeted asset management initiatives.

    Main image credit: Disneyland Paris

    Tivoli Hotels & Resorts to debut in China

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Tivoli Hotels & Resorts to debut in China

    The Portuguese hospitality brand Tivoli Hotels & Resorts has announced plans to diversify its portfolio by introducing the brand into the Chinese market in the capital of Sichuan Province, Chengdu…

    Chengdu serves as the economic, commercial, financial, transportation and communication centre of Southwest China. Renowned for its pleasant climate and popular food, Chengdu is home to the world-renowned breeding and research base for giant pandas which attracts almost 3.5 million visitors annually, along with a wealth of historical attractions.

    The new project is being developed in partnership with Chengdu Qingyang Urban and Rural Construction Development Company Limited.  Sitting on the south-west edge of the commercial and convention hub of Chengdu International Intangible Cultural Heritage Exhibition Park, the site is located in the western part of Chengdu in close proximity to Nancaoping Ecology Park and the 18-hole Tianfu Golf Club.

    Chengdu International Intangible Cultural Heritage Exhibition Park was established to promote cultural exchange, showcasing world cultures in purpose-built exhibition halls. Interactive experiences for visitors include arts and crafts activities such as paper cutting and wood painting. Throughout the year the park also hosts a number of recreational and entertainment activities celebrating cultural diversity.

    Expected to open in the fourth quarter of 2019, Tivoli Chengdu at Cultural Heritage Park is located together with Oaks Chengdu at Cultural Heritage Park adding 400 keys in categories ranging from deluxe rooms to suites to serviced apartments.

    The dual properties will provide eight dynamic food and beverage options, including all-day dining, Chinese cuisine, specialty dining, coffee shops, as well as a lounge and bar area. In addition to quality stay and dining experiences, guests can also enjoy luxury spa and fitness facilities, a children’s club and state of the art banqueting and meeting facilities.

    With a journey that dates back to 1933 in Lisbon, the brand expanded from Portugal to Brazil and more recently to Qatar. 2019 is the year that opens a new chapter with the first opening in Asia, bringing some of the brand’s cosmopolitan atmosphere and lifestyle approach to China.

    Main image credit: Tivoli Hotels & Resorts

    PRODUCT WATCH: UNILIN’s Clicwall is a striking wall without compromising durability

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    PRODUCT WATCH: UNILIN’s Clicwall is a striking wall without compromising durability

    UNILIN, division panels, has released an extra-high panel in its Clicwall fast-to-install decorative wall system…

    Producing seamless vertical runs on walls up to 3.5m in height, Clicwall high panels retain the ease and simplicity of the patented Uniclic click-joint and easy slide strip, delivering superfast fitting in commercial interiors.

    Ideal for retail stores and hospitality interiors looking to deliver high-impact wall features, Clicwall is available in 137 different decors, as well as ClicwallPaint, ready for paint, fabric, wallpaper or a custom high-definition digital print.

    From plain colours to a range of realistic wood and concrete designs, spaces can be instantly transformed with walls that deliver great looks and faultless commercial performance.

    “Clicwall is made from 100 per cent circular wood, with not a single tree ever felled to directly produce the panels.”

    Heleen Verhamme, product manager, Clicwall, says: “Where high walls could be covered by putting two panels on top of each other, Unilin panels now offers an easier and faster solution: a second standard dimension of 3500 mm height. The new size makes Clicwall even more versatile and ready to take on a wider range of commercial environments, including retail stores and hospitality venues. With the wall as a key visual space in these locations, Clicwall’s new high panels can lead to a cleaner look that really helps digital print graphics pop.”

    Available in standard, fire-retardant and moisture-resistant MDF core specifications, Clicwall comes in a 10mm thickness and in panel sizes of 600 x 2785mm and 600 x 3500mm. Clicwall is made from 100 per cent circular wood, with not a single tree ever felled to directly produce the panels. The MDF boards are based on pre-consumer wood supplied by the timber industry and thinned wood from sustainable forestry and verge management, much of which is sourced locally to reduce pollution caused by transport and provide a solution for wood seen as waste by our suppliers.

    With a huge array of wood, stone and concrete finishes that look and feel just like the original material, Clicwall uses the know-how developed through Evola decorative surfaces to bring a striking wall without compromising durability, everyday performance and easy maintenance.

    UNILIN 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: UNILIN

    Winner at The Brit List 2018, Robin Sheppard, given Lifetime Achievement Award

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Winner at The Brit List 2018, Robin Sheppard, given Lifetime Achievement Award

    Bespoke Hotels Chairman, who was last year’s winner of the Outstanding Contribution to the Hospitality Award at The Brit List 2018, has been honoured at 2019 AA Hospitality Awards…

    Bespoke Hotels’ Chairman, Robin Sheppard, has been honoured with the Lifetime Achievement accolade at the 2019 AA Hospitality Awards.

    Having co-founded Bespoke at the end of 1999, alongside Group CEO Haydn Fentum, Robin enters his 50th year in the hospitality industry, a sector he has described as “the most wonderful family” that comprised “a fellowship that I cherish, but which I could never have anticipated when starting out”.

    Now 64, Robin has no thoughts of retirement, and is increasingly focussed on promoting accessible tourism via the Blue Badge Access Awards, alongside encouraging young people to enter hospitality and have a career to be proud of.

    Presenting the Lifetime Achievement Award, Simon Numphud, Managing Director of AA Media, referred to Robin’s 2004 diagnosis of Guillain-Barre Syndrome, which resulted in paralysis from the neck down for a period of several months. Following two years of relentless physiotherapy, Robin was ultimately able to return to work and has gone on to spearhead Bespoke’s ongoing growth.

    “Robin has been an inspiration to us all”, he stated. “With his career made even more remarkable by the exceptional challenges he has overcome, as well as his involvement in the creation of the Blue Badge Access Awards and appointment as chairman of the Institute of Hospitality.”

    “I’m actually on cloud nine”, added Sheppard. “I have just got married, and it’s not often you spend the second night of your honeymoon in the company of 1000 people at Grosvenor House!

    “I’ve been around the block a few times, but I’ve no intention to slow down yet. It’s a tremendously exciting time for Bespoke Hotels, with the team currently focused on opening three properties in 2020: Hotel Brooklyn in February, with the Telegraph Hotel in Coventry, and Sun Street Hotel, near Liverpool Street in London, launching later in the year.”

    Bespoke Hotels entered its third decade of operations in 2019, and now stands as the UK’s largest independent hotel group with over 200 properties represented worldwide. Co-founded in 1999 by CEO Haydn Fentum and Chairman Robin Sheppard, Bespoke has enjoyed consistent growth and now manages over 9,500 hotel rooms, with £815 million in assets, and 8,000 employees under its wing.

    “While the business itself has transformed dramatically over the preceding two decades, I am immensely proud to say our principles and focus have not changed”, he added. “Bespoke has been a fantastic chapter in my career, where I have learned a huge amount from my colleagues, and been able to develop and put into practice many of the ideas I stumbled across in the preceding decades; not forgetting to have some fun along the way, especially in creating our flagship Hotel Gotham brand. And we are far from finished yet!”

    Main image credit: AA Hospitality Awards

    Editor Checks In: Everyone’s gone eco!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Main image credit: Act Studios

    Accor announces six new Mercure hotels by end of 2019 in the UK

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Accor announces six new Mercure hotels by end of 2019 in the UK

    The Mercure Hotels properties are being refurbished to a high standard and combine international standards of quality and service with a locally inspired look and feel…

    Accor has announced that six UK hotels signed by Danish based real estate property group Proark will be opening under the Mercure brand by the end of 2019. The hotels are located in key locations in Birmingham, Nottingham, Cardiff, Bedford, Telford and Harlow.

    Previously operating under the Park Inn brand, these six hotels are in the process of being extensively refurbished by Proark and rebranded to Mercure.

    The first three; Mercure Bedford Centre Hotel, Mercure Telford Centre Hotel and Mercure Nottingham Sherwood Hotel, have this month opened under the Mercure brand, with the extensive redesign and refurbishment of each hotel due to fully complete by the end of October 2019. The remaining three hotels; Mercure Cardiff North Hotel, Mercure Birmingham West Hotel and Mercure Harlow Hotel are set to be branded as Mercure by the end of this year.

    Every Mercure hotel takes its inspiration from the features, traditions and history of its individual location while sharing the consistent quality of an international brand. Each hotel features locally inspired artwork, design, décor and even textures encompassing elements of its area’s cultural and historic past.

    For example, Mercure Birmingham West Hotel is inspired by the industrial and automotive heritage of the West Midlands. The hotel features black powder-coated metal designs fixed to the wall with industrial exposed fixings, alongside pieces of artwork which reflect the region’s automotive history. The hotel offers 168 guestrooms, and provides a convivial eating and drinking experience, alongside full on-site leisure facilities and extensive meeting and banqueting space.

    The theme of Mercure Nottingham Sherwood Hotel meanwhile draws on the city’s historic lace making heritage, having been the world centre for the industry for more than 100 years. This is reflected in the artwork styles throughout the reception and lounge areas, featuring lacemaking artefacts. The hotel has 172 guestrooms, a 42-cover restaurant, bar and meeting lounge spaces.

    Mercure Cardiff North Hotel is based in the docklands district, Tiger Bay, which was key to the export of coal, iron and tin from South Wales during the industrial revolution. The design of the hotel features copper aesthetic lining inspired by the Millennium Centre façade in Cardiff Bay, while curated display items include Welsh love spoons, miners’ hats and Welsh textiles. The hotel offers 132 guestrooms, a 32-cover restaurant and a café and bar lounge area.

    Mercure Bedford Centre Hotel takes the Great Ouse River as its inspiration, which is seen as the jewel in the crown of Bedford and is popular for canoeing and kayaking. The design of the hotel features lots of timber features from canoes, water graphics and rowing illustrations. The hotel has 121 guestrooms available and provides a 20-cover restaurant, bar and café area as well as lounge and meeting spaces.

    Ironbridge, the home of the world’s first iron bridge and a turning point in construction around the globe, provides the focus for the Mercure Telford Centre Hotel. The hotel takes its inspiration from this rich industrial and pioneering heritage and features metallic designs and artwork styles to convey wrought iron manufacturing. The hotel offers 153 guest rooms, a locally inspired eating and drinking experience, plus extensive meeting rooms.

    The New Town of Harlow was built in 1947 as a hub for manufacturing and the technological industry and is where fibre-optic telecommunication was born. Mercure Harlow Hotel takes its inspiration from this pioneering spirit and the development of new technology is reflected in details throughout the hotel. The hotel offers 119 guest rooms and provides 7 meeting rooms, and ample on site car parking.

    We are delighted to be partnering with Proark on these hotels and are proud to brand them as Mercure hotels,” said Jean-Marc Vendioux, Senior Vice President Managed hotels UKI. “ Guests can expect a hotel which provides an incredibly high level of personalised service and the quality they expect from a Mercure, elevated by the look and feel of a hotel rooted in its local community.”

    Michael Brag, Chairman of Proark commented: “We have worked closely with Accor since signing this portfolio of hotels and are extremely pleased with the result of the refurbishments. Each hotel has the Mercure service and features guests expect but they offer local touches too, which we are confident will be well received by business and leisure travellers alike.”

    Main image credit: Accor

    SPOTLIGHT ON: October’s features announced

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    SPOTLIGHT ON: October’s features announced

    Hotel Designs has officially dropped its October editorial features, which are Lighting in Public Areas and Art…

    For the second time this year, as a result of ever-evolving LED technology and consumer demands, Hotel Designs is putting lighting under the editorial spotlight, this time specifically looking at innovative lighting schemes outside the guestrooms and suites. Lighting in public areas and art will be the main focus of conversations on the website throughout October.

    Lighting in public areas

    Due to popular demand, we have decided to revisit lighting as one of our Spotlight On features of 2019. Throughout October, will highlight key lighting trends that are happening in the public areas.

    Art

    Extremely reclined interiors with personal interiorsWorking hand-in-hand with lighting in the public areas, we will position the spotlight to focus on art in international hotel design. This continues to be one of our most popular features of the year as we understand how art in the hotel arena is changing to create even more immersive spaces.

    If you wish to find out more about Recommended Supplier packages, or know of a product that we should be talking about, please email Katy Phillips

    Main image credit: antonovich-design

    MINIVIEW: The Pig at Bridge Place

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    MINIVIEW: The Pig at Bridge Place

    Following its hotly anticipated opening in April, The Pig at Bridge Place marks the hotel brand’s sixth authentic boutique hotel within its portfolio. Editor Hamish Kilburn heads back to his home county in Kent to explore the countryside gem… 

    With its welcoming red brick façade and ornate Jacobean interior, Bridge Place is an intriguing old building with an usual rock-n-roll vibe. Over the past four decades, this musical honeypot in Bridge, Kent, has been home to some renowned parties and gigs playing host in the ‘70s to Led Zeppelin and The Kinks.

    The property houses a wealth of period features, which are most noticeable in the public areas, including large fireplaces, secret stairways, panelled walls and endless nooks and crannies. In the refurbishment, all of these structural nuances have been respected and enhanced to create seven bedrooms along with numerous cosy bars and sitting areas.

    But now, the building has turned the page to a new chapter, The Pig at Bridge Place is a 31-key boutique hotel that oozes effortless style thanks to the acclaimed designer Judy Hutson, whose signature style has given The Pig its unique brand of laid-back chic, which has been beloved by guests to date.

    The Pig, Bridge Place, Canterbury, Kent, hotel, boutique hotel, gardens, restaurant, bar

    Attached to the main building a new, carefully detailed Coach House contains a restaurant with open kitchen. Within The Coach House are 12 bedrooms; four on the ground floor and eight on the first floor. Over the brook via a hand crafted wooden bridge are seven fitting Hop Pickers’ Huts created from reclaimed materials all dotted along a meandering wooden walkway. Each hut houses a double bedroom with cosy bathroom and wood-burning stove. Next to the kitchen garden is The Barn; a large upstairs/downstairs room with vast bathroom and bedroom views across the garden.

    Worlds away from the building’s former existence of being an illustrious party scene in the ’70s, the rooms inside The Pig at Bridge Place are a calming oasis reflecting countryside bliss. Overflowing with character and style, each key unlocks its own personality. Original details can be found in each room, which are finished effortlessly with carefully curated artwork and an array of personally chosen vintage features.

    “We’ve had a great couple of years, with customers seeming to love what we do. Occupancy is in the mid 90 per cent in our rural locations and we know from our guests and their invaluable feedback that they want more PIGs,” said CEO of Home Grown Hotels Robin Hutson. “After searching far and wide for truly unique properties, we really are over the moon about our new hotel in Kent.”

    If the design wasn’t impressive enough, as with every other PIG, the kitchen garden and restaurant sit at the beating heart of this property; anything that can’t be supplied by the gardens are impressively sourced from Kent’s best producers within a 25-mile radius of Bridge.

    Main image credit: The Pig at Bridge Place

    The value of consciously designed HVAC when building eco-friendly hotels

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    The value of consciously designed HVAC when building eco-friendly hotels

    Confronting huge pressure from the changing the demands of modern travellers, Gallant believes that the effort to build hotels consciously should start early on in the hotel design process. Editor Hamish Kilburn speaks to the company’s Business Development Director, Lee Bell, to understand more…

    With so much emphasis on eco-friendly initiatives and designs, Hotel Designs digs beneath the surface by speaking to leading HVAC specialists, Gallant, to understand how developers and architects can start from the foundations up when designing and building an sustainable hotel building.

    Hamish kilburn: Can you explain how the company has grown since 2000?

    Lee Bell: The company has achieved successive years of profitable growth during its 19 years of trading and now employs more than 35 individuals and operates from three UK offices to provide the necessary support platform to accomplish our further forecast development over the next three years and beyond.

    HK: How can hotels fulfil their guests’ demands for eco-friendly hotels with the right heating ventilation and air conditioning units?

    LB: An eco friendly ethos is paramount to the design principles utilised to apply air conditioning systems to hotels as we strive for increased energy efficiency. This is achieved via, efficient use of diversity, effective time scheduled operation and integration of  heat recovery ventilation to adhere to regulations including BSEN378 whilst attaining BREEAM and ECA accreditation

    HK: What sets Gallant aside from other companies within the market?

    Gallant takes full, unambiguous responsibility for the entirety of its agreed demarcation of works this includes design, supply, commissioning, after sales service and maintenance, all underpinned by industry leading warranties.

    HK: How have guest behaviours inspired your product designs and services to evolve?

    LB: The guests desire for bespoke control and their familiarity and comfort with their own hand held device has focused our attention into differentiating via more sophisticated control options This emphasis can lead to a hotel guest eventually having the ability to:

    • Book and pay for a room on website(s).
    • Receive subsequent confirmation that the room is ready via email.
    • Being directed to their room via the app.
    • Unlocking the room with the app
    • Controlling the Lights, Blinds, HVAC, TV and Door Lock with the app.
    • Checkout from within the room.

    Image credit: Gallant

    HK: What are your thoughts on the future hotel room being a fully customisable and personalised space?

    LB: Evolution of individual control solutions tailored to each specific individual will allow them to re create their own personal experience in any hotel room in the world. This will allow them to replicate preferred climate conditions and  media / TV content via a hotel rooms services as they would enjoy in the comfort of their own home.

    HK: What is the biggest misconception people have of Gallant?

    HK: The most significant misunderstanding of Gallant is that our scope of supply is only limited to that of comfort cooling.

    HK: What are some common pitfalls designers/hotels fall into when specifying the products that you offer?

    LB: The three main common pitfalls can be summarised as follows:

    1. A complicated, layered route to market providing the end user with a confused method of resolving issues that arise after the initial 12 month defect period.
    2. Unbalanced indoor / outdoor combination ratio’s resulting in too many rooms being over reliant on one condenser.
    3. The impact of an ill disciplined maintenance regime, which jeopardises warranty and increases the likelihood of guest complaints  and off line rooms.

    Gallant 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: Gallant

    Top furniture looks to come out of London Design Festival

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Top furniture looks to come out of London Design Festival

    Are you sitting comfortably? Here is Hamish Kilburn’s editor’s pick of the most innovative furniture pieces that were exhibited at London Design Festival 2019…

    With the design world watching, London Design Festival (LDF) once again delivered a spectacular performance full of colour, shapes and thoughtful design. Full of twists and turns – and too many highlights to mention – the nine-day festival included events, talks and installations that all explored how product design is changing to cater to the evolving behaviours and demands of modern consumers.

    For the purpose of this article, I have selected my top picks from four of LDF’s leading exhibitions that made the most noise – and they were: Focus19, 100% Design, designjunction and London Design Fair.

    Winch Design’s Arc Collection for Summit Furniture – weaving new design directions 

    Winch Design and Summit Furniture introduced Arc, their debut collaboration, at Focus19. The two companies collaborated to create “the ultimate exterior furniture range”, which is inspired by the sea and the sky.

    A signature feature of the range is laminated teak, which is woven between maritime-grade brushed stainless steel rods, alternatively undulating, they arc around the back of the seats in gentle rows. The final result is reminiscent of the woven rope traditionally used on sailing yachts. Winch Design is inspired by the patterns, colours and textures of the natural world, and every design that leaves the studio is imbued with its own unique spirit, identity and story. With dedication to storytelling underpinning their fastidious attention to detail and commitment to design perfection, Arc was brought to life. The name ‘Arc’ is visually evocative and brings to mind the long arcing lines of latitude and longitude, the curve of the horizon, of a full sail, and of the shapes in the sky made by sailors when navigating by the stars using the arc of the marine sextant.

    Each piece in the collection complements the other, enabling the client to enjoy a unified, contemporary exterior look. Arc by Winch Design features a lounge chair, dining chair, bar chair, low coffee style table, sun lounger, bar cart, dining table and occasional table.

    The low, deep seating style encourages a laid back and relaxed atmosphere, creating the perfect environment to enjoy a drink at sunset. The curve of the woven teak contrasts with the straight, smooth edges and clean lines of the cushions, keeping the overall impression fresh and contemporary. The fabric on any of the soft furnishings is completely customisable.

    Ligne Roset – adaptable by nature

    Creative and pioneering by nature, Ligne Roset’s bold and contemporary stamp was imprinted on Focus19 and left a lasting impression. The brand presented its iconic ‘Prado’ settle, which adjusts freely with weighted cushions that can easily be moved from sofa to floor. The result is a comfortable, non-conformist piece of furniture that can adapt as quickly as the travel trends and guest behaviours within modern, design-led hotels around the globe.

    Andrew Martin – taking a walk on the wild side

    Unveiling a multi-layered theatrical approach design, Andrew Martin – in try Andrew Martin style – let the leash off his new collections in his own jungle-covered installation, which was entitled: The Lost City of Ozymandias.

    The new collections that were hidden in an enclave of treasure and travel included the Evans side table and Retrospective, in collaboration with Kelly Hoppen, which is a statement collection of more than 40 designs, which includes everything from furniture to lighting.

    Benchmark – architecture meets biophilic furniture design

    Image credit: Benchmark

    Benchmark presented a new collection of furniture by award-winning American architect David Rockwell at 100% Design. The Sage Collection, designed for office and commercial environments as well as the home, has a specific focus on human health and well-being within the built environment and meets the standards required for WELL certified buildings. The tenets of biophilic design inspired the collection, with its natural materials, colours and textures, rounded profiles and inviting ergonomic shapes. These elements are intrinsic in the work of both Benchmark and David Rockwell, which, together with an interest in transformation and mobility, have resulted in a collection that offers moments of both refuge and prospect.

    sixteen3 – recycled quality

     

    Image credit: sixteen3

    Exhibiting at designjunction, sixteen3 unveiled a number of contract furniture pieces that stood out for their eco qualities. Claiming that the product is made from 92 per cent recycled material and is 100 per cent recyclable, the Pop stools has been designed with purpose and is ideal for contemporary urban public areas. Another product launched at the show was Reece are armchairs that have been made from 83 per cent recycled materials and are 100 per cent recyclable.

    Inspired by the evolution of the workplace to a more relaxed, social and mobile interior, the brand’s product portfolio offers a softer approach to working, with an extensive collection of seating ranges, stylish cafe chairs and modular space division systems.

    Kolho Series by Matthew Day Jackson

    Image credit: Made by Choice

    As hotel public areas become less defined by hotel branding, and more attuned with the behaviour of guests, there is a opening for suppliers to become more daring with their designs; to take a practical item, like a piece of furniture for example, and bring it to life to make a bold statement. Cue the launch of Kolho Series by designer Matthew Day Jackson. Sheltered at London Design Fair, the new range of tables and chairs take their inspiration from the Apollo landing and a small town called Kolho in Finland.

    “The serpent represents temptation and chaos which supports the flat plane of reason,” said Day Jackson. “The space between reason chaos is that of play. This is the space where our human animal truly shows its greatest self.

    Hotel Designs’ official LDF round-up will be published shortly.

    Main image credit: Made by Choice

    Carlton Tel Aviv reveals new public area interior scheme

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn