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Milan Design Week 2019: What’s on

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Milan Design Week 2019: What’s on

This week, hundreds of designers from all corners of the world will descend onto Europe’s soulful design hub that is Milan for the Salone del Mobile furniture fair, the Euroluce lighting show and other events happening within the city walls. Editor Hamish Kilburn cuts through the noise to identify what to bookmark over in Milan…

Design lovers are arriving in Milan today to attend what is arguably the most significant event in the design calendar.

From April 8 – 14, the Italian city  centre transforms into a creative hub that witnesses product launches, emerging trends, which this year are expected to be themed around health and wellbeing, bringing the outdoors indoors and creating closer human interaction.

Salone del Mobile, which is arguably the main event of the week, will be split into three categories this year there are: Classic – Tradition in the Future, drawing on the values of tradition, craftsmanship and skill in the art of making furniture and objects; Design – products that transmit functionality, innovation and a great sense of style and finally xLux – the section you’ll want to spend most of your time at – the luxury section devoted to timeless objects in a contemporary key.

Meanwhile, Euroluce the International Lighting Exhibition. The show, which has run every two years since 1976, presents the most innovative solutions in the field of light for interiors and exteriors.

As the shows open their doors, here are a few events to bookmark:

Sebastian Herker – Milan man of the moment

Image credit: Sebastian Herkner/Freifrau

Hot off the heels of becoming Maison Objet’s Designer of the Year, Sebastian Herkner is moments away from launching new products in Milan. On the both upcoming shows Salone del Mobile and Euroluce in Milan, the studio will showcase new products for brands like Ames, Dedon, Emu, Freifrau, Gloster, Pulpo and Thonet as well as designs for our new partner Vibia.  The studio will also present collections for Schönbuch, Wittmann and Zanotta.

Turri – architectural furniture

Image credit: Turri

The furniture company has confirmed that it will launch a new collaboration with architect Daniel Libeskind who will be on the company’s stand at Salone del Mobile on Wednesday April 10 to discuss the new project with the company. Until then, the furniture company thats motto is ‘The Italian way to Beauty’ is keeping extremely tight-lipped about what we can expect.

Swedish Design Moves – HEMMA goes wild

Image credit: Swedish Design Moves

Swedish Design Moves returns to Milan this year with HEMMA gone wild – a sequel to the 2018 exhibition, HEMMA – Stories of Home.

Curated and designed by Joyn Studio, HEMMA gone wild invites visitors to experience an abstract and playful vision of home, from hallway to living room and onwards through an unfolding scenography that showcases the best of Swedish design, drawn by curiosity and a mood of mystery.

Humanscale – Human touch

Todd Bracher, long-time collaborator with Ergonomic leaders Humanscale, and Studio TheGreenEyl have designed an immersive, interactive experience. Bodies in Motion will invite visitors in to explore human movement, as represented through dramatic beams of light. The display can be seen in the historic vaults located under Milano Central Station, as part of the third edition of Ventura Centrale.

USM

The Swiss furniture innovator USM will be returning with their mega-structure at the Fair in collaboration with UNStudio. Visit their stand (A07/B06) in hall 20. If you’re visiting on Tuesday, CEO & Great-Grandson of USM’s founder Alex Schaerer will be on the stand, as will Ben van Berkel, UNStudio founder and Ren Yee, Head of Design/Strategies, UNStudio. If you would like an interview with Alex, Ben or Ren let us know and we will help make arrangements.

Minotti 

Returning to the fair, the Italian furniture company in familiar surroundings will launch its 2019 Collection of luxury and timeless pieces. The premium furniture brand, which was Hotel Designs’ Exclsuive Style Partner for Meet Up London, will unveil all on its stand. Minotti will premiew the new collection, coordinated entirely by Rodolfo Dordoni, which also includes some products designed by Christophe Delcourt. The collection is a return to its roots, but with a vision of the future, to innovate while staying true to our style and our traditions. The inspiration for a collection marked by an intriguing layering of influences and styles, for a timeless elegance that is nonetheless strikingly unexpected.

Brodie Neill – Plastic in the ocean

Image credit: Brodie Neill

Following the sustainable Gyro table – a circular table featuring a top made from inlaid fragments of recycled ocean plastic, designer Brodie Neill will launch yet another public statement to highlight climate change. He will unveil a contemporary hourglass filled with microplastic instead of sand during Milan Design Week in order to highlight the issue of ocean plastic pollution.

Nendo – Breeze of Light

The Japanese studio Nendo will present a new lighting display entitled Breeze of Light. This installation, in collaboration with Daikin, evokes the sensation of a comfortable breeze by the movement of light and shadows, not actual air. A virtual flower garden is illuminated using 115 individually-controlled spotlights directing light on 17,000 flower-shaped polarising films. Changes in shadow intensity of the flowers produce the effect of a breeze passing through the garden.

Tom Dixon

Going against the grain, Tom Dixon took the decision not be showcasing products at Salone del Mobile. Instead, he’s opening his own restaurant and his furniture, lighting and accessories will feature throughout the restaurant’s dynamic mise en scene.

Salone Satellite 

Exhibition hall

Image credit: Salone del Mobile

As Hotel Designs continues to support young emerging designers, the Salone Satellite is to place to be if you want to discover new talent. Back for its 22nd edition, this year’s theme ‘Food as Design Objects is aimed to challenge designers to debate climate change and

Ahead of the event, Claudio Luti, President of the Salone del Mobile, had this to say: “At this particular time of great success for Milan, it is important to consolidate the Salone del Mobile’s powersof attraction, offering its visitors not just a wide range of products, but, especially, opportunities for international interface and for reflection on the relationship between creativity and business.”

Milan, the moral capital of a thriving design hub, has opened its doors as designers, architects flood in. The small city with a large personality is ready to witness many moments that are about to written and no-doubt go down in design history.

Main image credit: Salone del Mobile

BRITISH STYLE: Questioning design like Ilse Crawford

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
BRITISH STYLE: Questioning design like Ilse Crawford

To launch the new chapter of Hotel Designs, Hamish Kilburn investigates how one woman, her editorship and her questions over convention helped to change modern international hotel design by challenging the very foundations it sits on…

Every now and then, the world is introduced to a design icon who, through making their visions into reality, helps to shift attitudes by challenging conventional forms.

For Ilse Crawford, the founding Editor-In-Chief of British Elle Decoration, the design world was somewhat lacking reference of everyday movement when she decided to step into the shoes of her designer readers.

In 1997, a decade on from founding British Elle Decoration, Crawford asked the world to “liberate your senses and change your life” when she published her first book, Sensual Home, which mapped out how the living environment can engage us sensually as well as visually from the perspective of sight, sound, taste, touch and smell. And was, for Crawford, the start of a new journey.  “Writing the book was the ‘ah-hah’ moment, because it wasn’t the current understanding of design,” she explained in the Netflix documentary, Abstract: The Art of Design. “The days of being a two-dimensional person were over.”

The defiant leap from narrator to creator came one year later after she signed off as Editor-In-Chief. Having completed her mission to launch a contemporary magazine for a wide audience, Crawford worked for Donna Karan and getting her hands dirty, she became a maker. Crawford’s first hotel interior design brief was presented to her immediately after she left Elle Decoration when she was asked to convert a stately home for Nick Jones of Soho House into what we now know of as Babington House. “Nick originally wanted this place to look and feel like a stately home, but I was very clear that that’s the last thing it should be,” Crawford explained in Abstract: The Art of Design. “My proposal was that it should be a very informal place where you could just treat as if it was your own, like a family house of a friend where the parents had gone away and left the key the drinks cabinet.” Breaking the rules of the time, Crawford’s design stole the headlines and her journey as an interior design began.

“The project saw the transformation of a former industrial building in the Meatpacking district into a 27-key design hotel.”

From the rural British countryside to the bustling scene of Manhattan, Crawford’s skillful and sensitive approach was called upon to create the first outpost of Soho House outside the UK. The project saw the transformation of a former industrial building in the Meatpacking district into a 27-key design hotel, including bars, a restaurant, cinema and rooftop pool. Soho House New York opened to become the definitive third space for the transatlantic media crowd.

Her aim as an interior designer is to put human needs and desires at the centre of all that she does. Working in commercial and residential design, and blurring the lines between both, Crawford has changed many environments for the better of those who use them. Ett Hem Hotel was a conversion project of a former arts and crafts building. The 12-key guesthouse is described by Crawford as “a place to stay for the modern traveller, a home-from-home, where flexibility of space and function is central to the hotel’s operation,” she says. “There is no division between front and back of house – anything can happen anywhere at any time.”

Residential style in the hotel

Image caption/credit: Ett Hem Hotel. Interiors by Ilse Crawford

As someone who truly lives and breathes the industry in which she used to curate on the pages of Elle Decoration, Crawford wears many hats as a modern designer. In her own admission to Interior Design magazine, she confessed that “the line between my work and life is thin to non-existent.”  Working from her London studio, which is directly below her home, Crawford’s knowledge in interiors has allowed her to extend her portfolio to include product design. The Sinnerlig Collection for IKEA includes 30 pieces of of furniture, lighting and tabletop collection. “They explore natural materials and are simple,” Crawford explains on her website. “They are helpful, background pieces, not showstoppers.” Tactile materials such as cork, ceramic, glass, seagrass and bamboo appealed in the design concept because they felt as good as they looked.

“Maison&Objet awarded Crawford the prestigious title of Designer of the Year 2016.”

The Together Table was another design that challenged existing products on the market. Confronting the design of conventional four-cornered tables, Crawford simply rounded the edges of the table, which as a result naturally invited people to move around it more freely.  The Ilse Sofa was the result of a collaboration with British furniture brand George Smith. The height and depth of the product’s arms and back were calculated and tested to ensure that the sofa supports as many sedentary habits of modern life. “We like to think of it as a room within a room,” Crawford explains when describing the tactile experience.

Beige modern, long, thin table

Image caption/credit: The Together Table by Ilse Crawford

Two years after she was awarded an MBE in recognition for her work in design, Maison&Objet awarded Crawford the prestigious title of Designer of the Year 2016. Since then, the modest designer has continued to evolve the hospitality landscape with completing projects such as The Lounge Plaza 66, Cathy Pacific’s iconic airport lounge in Hong Kong and the warm and inviting home-from-home that is Bukowskis.

Crawford’s philosophical visions to challenge the norm leaves a clear path for young designers who aspire, like her, to make a difference through design. As the founder of the department of Man and Wellbeing at the Design Academy Eindhoven, Crawford’s mission as a visionary is explained on her website as “nurturing a new generation of students to always question why and how their work improves the reality of life.” Her philosophy to improve the future through considered design is what makes her the leader she undoubtably is today. Her work – and her working style – is a simple, effortless reflection of the questions she asks of the designs of today and the possibilities that are garnered by second guessing what the future should look and feel like.

Crawford, an ever-evolving icon of British and international design, has metaphorically cut the ribbon to launch Hotel Designs’ new website by being the subject of the first editorial feature of the title’s new era. The newly launched slogan “defining the point of international design” is a pledge from the editorial team to its readers to cut through the noise to publish conversation starters that will filter into many debates on the hotel design scene that we all know and love. That conversation starts here, with a question that Crawford asks herself when confronted with a new project: “How can design strategically make things better?”

Main image credit: Ilse Crawford/StudioIlse

SPOTLIGHT ON: Vaughan unveils timeless wall lights for guestrooms

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
SPOTLIGHT ON: Vaughan unveils timeless wall lights for guestrooms

The lighting experts at Vaughan has recently unveiled a series of wall lights available in three different finishes… 

Vaughan have recently designed a collection of wall lights specifically for guestrooms called the Malden and Medway reading lights.

Vaughan’s recently unveiled reading lights are perfectly suited for directional bedside lighting. The products are available with either a stepped backplate (Malden) or flat backplate (Medway) and come in a choice of three finishes; brass, bronze or nickel finishes with optional covering in brown or black leather.

With a highly flexible and adjustable goose neck arm with an LED spot, the Malden and Medway reading lights have quickly become an essential requirement of a guestroom.

In a recent project, Vaughan assisted with decorative lighting for the stunning transformation of the beachside hotel, Carbis Bay Hotel near St Ives, Cornwall. Vaughan supplied a collection of Vaughan products perfectly suited for the light and spacious bedrooms with sea views and one of the key products in every guest room were the Malden and Medway reading lights.

For more information on the Vaughan collection, please contact the contract sales department – contract-sales@vaughandesigns.com

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

SPOTLIGHT ON: IHG pilots new lighting technology

800 534 Hamish Kilburn

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SPOTLIGHT ON: IHG pilots new lighting technology

The new lighting technology that is being piloted by IHG is designed specifically to help guests sleep better…

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has partnered with Healthe® by Lighting Science, a global leader in innovative LED lighting solutions, to pilot the use of state-of-the-art circadian lighting to help guests sleep better while travelling.

Crowne Plaza® Atlanta Airport will be the first IHG property to install the JOURNI™ Mobile Task Light in guestrooms. Designed using Healthe®’s patented GoodDay® and GoodNight® spectrum technologies, JOURNI allows access to the alertness and focus-enhancing spectrum during the day, and then easily change to the warm, sleep-enhancing spectrum at night. This versatile, dual-spectrum luminaire can help you to effortlessly bring energy-efficient, circadian lighting right to your hotel room.  Ultimately, JOURNI also helps to regulate the body’s circadian rhythm or 24-hour internal body clock which effects important biological functions such as sleep, hormone levels, body temperature and metabolism.

Committed to investing and leading the way in the latest innovations and technologies to help guests sleep better, IHG already has programs in place across its brands based including:

  • Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts Sleep Advantage™ Programme has been designed to improve the quality of sleep during hotel overnights, improving the quality of the following day. The bed linens provide unbelievable softness and the programme’s unique This Works aromatherapy line contains pure essential oils that help the customer to recover from the day’s stress and to sleep more soundly.
  • EVEN® Hotels lighting profiles allows guests to change the colour of the lighting in their rooms to blue, red, green or yellow to either energise or relax
  • The Holiday Inn® Pillow Menu gives guests the option to choose between a varied range of pillows, from firmness to type and even filling

“At IHG, we want to make sure our guests are getting the best night’s sleep possible across our 5,600 hotels and portfolio of more than 15 brands,” said Brian McGuinness, Senior Vice President of Global Guest Experience Shared Services, IHG. “We are continually testing ways we can enhance the guest experience, loyalty and ultimately, owner value. Our circadian lighting technology pilot is the latest example of the work we are doing to innovate the guest experience. We’re excited to be the first hotel company to pilot Healthe®’s JOURNI product and are already working on what’s coming next.”

Main image credit: IHG

Rosewood Hotels arrives in Hong Kong

800 528 Hamish Kilburn

A new global icon for Rosewood Hotels & Resorts is established at the most distinguished address in its home city of Hong Kong…

Rosewood Hong Kong has opened as a magnificent new ultra-luxury property in the heart of the Victoria Dockside district on the shores of Victoria Harbour. Situated on one of Hong Kong’s most significant waterfront locations in Tsim Sha Tsui – Kowloon’s dynamic, culturally compelling heart – the property is set to become a grand icon for the city, celebrating the area’s role as Hong Kong’s new creative and cultural epicentre.

The opening of Rosewood Hong Kong is a defining milestone for the group, solidifying its stature as one of the world’s most dynamic hotel brands and a leader in global style.  This showpiece of the brand’s highest aspirations epitomises Rosewood’s essence and represents the complete manifestation of a differentiated and modern expression of ultra-luxury hospitality.

Exterior of hotel

Image credit: Rosewood Hotels

From the brand’s inception 40 years ago as a fine private home that opened its doors to guests, each Rosewood hotel continues to be guided by A Sense of Place® philosophy and the concept of the hotel as a living canvas celebrating artistry in all its forms.  This spirit reaches its zenith at Rosewood Hong Kong.  Guests can experience the first urban outpost of the brand’s pioneering wellness concept; gastronomic innovation showcasing locally grown and artisanal ingredients; masterworks by the world’s most highly acclaimed artists; and supremely stylish, residentially natured gathering and living spaces – all within a masterfully designed and meticulously curated journey in architecturally bold environs commanding the harbour.

“The site is the former Holt’s Wharf, dating back to 1910.”

Rosewood’s opening in Hong Kong marks the evolution of another meaningful historic legacy.  The site is the former Holt’s Wharf, dating back to 1910, which subsequently became New World Centre, a lifestyle magnet for the city in the 1980s, which holds a unique place in the hearts and minds of local residents as a place of discovery and wonderment.  New World Centre – a proud expression of Hong Kong’s evolution – was the creation of Dr. Cheng Yu-tung and Dr. Henry Cheng, the grandfather and father (respectively) of Rosewood Hotel Group Chief Executive Officer, Sonia Cheng.

“With Hong Kong evolving from a business and financial centre to become a true global cultural capital, I wanted to create an iconic property that not only showcases the city’s rich history but also reflects its bright future,” says Cheng. “New World Centre was conceived as my grandfather’s ultimate gift to Hong Kong, a celebration of its progress, vibrancy and spirit.  I hope that Rosewood Hong Kong enhances this legacy and helps fulfill his and my father’s vision for the city that they loved. Rosewood Hong Kong sets bold new benchmarks for design, guest experience, cuisine, and culture. Our ambition is to create a new world standard for ultra-luxury hospitality and a focal point of the vibrant Hong Kong lifestyle, reflecting its incredible dynamism, style and diversity.” 

The Kohn Pedersen Fox-designed, 65-storey exterior pays homage to the city’s impressive verticality.  Renowned hospitality designer who designed the London property Tony Chi of New York studio tonychi has created an immersive experience for a new age of elevated residential hotel living. An homage to Rosewood’s origins as an aristocratic manor, Chi has conceived the entire hotel as a “vertical estate” which incorporates significant green spaces and outdoor areas throughout.

“More than 80 per cent of Rosewood Hong Kong’s rooms boast standout harbour vistas.”

Masterful and important art throughout the property includes works by internationally acclaimed artists Henry MooreDamien Hirst and Bharti Kerr, as well as China’s Wang Keping and homegrown Hong Kong artist Wilson Shieh. Significant works are juxtaposed with an eclectic, whimsical approach to decorative arts throughout the hotel.

More than 80 per cent of Rosewood Hong Kong’s rooms boast standout harbour vistas, with the remainder featuring verdant Kowloon Peak views overlooking the fabled Lion Rock and scenic mountains. Generous “salons” on each guestroom floor from the 24th level up feature carefully selected objets that reflects Hong Kong’s richly layered past.

“For me, Rosewood Hong Kong is the majestic ‘estate on the harbour’ that pays reverent homage to the great founding family that built and operates it, and also the legacy of its surrounding community,” says designer Tony Chi. “Having designed Rosewood London — an elegant mansion in a royal city — and being in the process of refreshing The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel, in New York, an iconic residence in Manhattan’s Upper East Side; there’s a remarkably rich and overarching sense of continuity and a sense of place that binds all these properties together.”

Generous space and residential luxury are the hallmarks of Rosewood’s 322 light-filled guestrooms, which start at 53 square metres and include the Grand Harbourview Rooms, boasting panoramic views of Hong Kong Island. Elevated homely comforts include curated interior details, considered amenities, generous marble bathrooms with a freestanding soaking bath, separate, freestanding vanities and twin showers, as well as spacious walk-in closets.

Rosewood Hong Kong is home to the highest number of suites of any Hong Kong luxury hotel and also some of the largest.  The 91 suites, starting from 92 square metres, offer carefully curated stays, bespoke services, and inspired interiors. Suite guests enjoy exclusive services including access to Rosewood’s Manor Club executive lounge, personal butler service, monogrammed pillow cases and robes, and personalised amenities from arrival to departure. On each floor, the 123-square-metre Grand Harbour Corner Suites offer glittering panoramic harbour views from every vantage point.

Rosewood Hotels Cafe

Image credit: Rosewood Hotels

In addition, Rosewood Hong Kong features 18 of the most outstanding signature suites in the metropolis, each with its own unique character. The crowning jewel amongst them, the 1,000-square-metre Harbour House boasts spectacular views from private sky terraces on the 57th level and unique décor and design. Enhancing the lavish interiors, a garden oasis features harbour view sun decks and private lap pools.  Located on the same floor, the Harbour House and Garden House can be combined, offering an entirely private five-bedroom retreat complete with state-of-the-art private gym.

Extended stays will be catered to by 186 exclusive Rosewood Residences, set to launch this Spring.  Uniquely designed for longer-term stays, the Rosewood Residences will offer a separate private entrance and dedicated club facilities, including an indoor swimming pool and private fitness centre, along with a host of special services and amenities for guests.

 

Main image credit: Rosewood Hotels

Marriott International announces three-year growth plan

960 597 Hamish Kilburn

The hotel giant Marriott International’s growth plans include the openings more than 1,700 hotels around the world… 

Marriott International has presented the company’s three-year growth plan, which includes opening more than 1,700 hotels around the world, at its meeting with institutional investors and security analysts at the New York Marriott Marquis.

The hotel giant has outlined its plan to add between 275,000 and 295,000 rooms by 2021, supported by the strength of its record 478,000-room pipeline, including roughly 214,000 rooms already under construction. The company disclosed that its new room openings during this period could contribute $400 million in fee revenue in 2021 and $700 million annually when stabilised. The company’s three-year growth plan assumes, but does not forecast, comparable hotel revenue per available room (RevPAR) growth of one and three per cent, compounded annually.

“Starwood has made us a more formidable competitor, providing a more valuable loyalty program, brands with strong appeal to loyalty members and owners, talented associates, terrific locations, particularly in the fast-growing Asia Pacific region, significant cost synergies and meaningful scale,” said Arne Sorenson, Marriott International president and chief executive officer. “We launched our newly branded loyalty program, Marriott Bonvoy, just last month. The program reached 125 million members as of year-end 2018 adding roughly 50,000 members per day.”

Given the assumptions for its three-year plan, the company could produce the following results:

  • Diluted earnings per share of $7.65 to $8.50 by 2021, a compound growth rate of 11 to 15 per cent over 2018 adjusted results;
  • Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (adjusted EBITDA) increasing by six to nine per cent compounded, with net income increasing by five to eight per cent compounded, each compared to adjusted results in 2018;
  • Cash available for shareholders could total $9.5 to $11 billion for the three years (2019 through 2021);
  • Shareholders could see $1.9 to $2 billion in dividends, assuming a continued 30 percent payout ratio, and $7.6 to $9 billion in share repurchases over the three-year period.

Marriott’s growing pipeline of new hotels is fueled by the strong profitability of its hotels, the broad selection of powerful brands available for development, its rich loyalty program, lower costs from the company’s meaningful scale, and the strong confidence of its owners and franchisees. The company disclosed that 70 per cent of its portfolio of open and signed pipeline projects is held by owners with multiple Marriott properties, and roughly one-third is held by owners with ten or more Marriott branded hotels. Marriott’s development pipeline reflects an increasing number of legacy-Starwood branded hotels. Since the merger date, the pipeline of legacy-Starwood brands has increased nearly 25 per cent to represent nearly one-third of the legacy-Starwood portfolio’s system size.

“In 2018, Marriott launched a new Sheraton brand strategy, guestroom prototype and design approach.”

The company will also discuss its success improving the Sheraton brand. With more than 155,000 rooms, Sheraton is the company’s most geographically diverse brand and the company’s third largest brand globally measured in both rooms and fees. The brand contributes significantly to Marriott’s overall scale and effectively reduces costs for all the hotels in Marriott’s worldwide system. More than one-quarter of Sheratons are already under renovation or committed to a renovation. In 2018, Marriott launched a new Sheraton brand strategy, guestroom prototype and design approach, and just a week ago, unveiled the new Sheraton logo, signaling change to owners, operators, guests and Sheraton associates. Since the acquisition, Sheraton’s RevPAR index has improved to over 100.

“Our new three-year plan, with Starwood fully integrated, demonstrates how our fee-based, asset-light business model generates even stronger and more sustainable cash flows. This allows us to invest profitably in our core business at high rates of return and also return significant amounts of capital to shareholders,” said Leeny Oberg, Marriott International’s executive vice president and chief financial officer. “Our proven business model combined with opportunities to leverage our significant scale from the Starwood acquisition uniquely position us for additional shareholder value creation.”

Main image credit: Marriott International

Autograph Collection Hotels to grow by 25% in Europe in 2019

800 397 Hamish Kilburn

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Autograph Collection Hotels to grow by 25% in Europe in 2019

Autograph Collection Hotels set to grow in europe by more than 25% this year, debuting in 10 new destinations…

Autograph Collection Hotels, Marriott International’s diverse and dynamic portfolio, has announced plans to welcome 12 one-of-a-kind hotels to its European portfolio this year, each hand-selected for their distinct perspective on design and hospitality.

Hotels set to debut as part of Autograph Collection Hotels this year, include: Aegon, Mykonos, a stunning beach resort complete with harmonious spa and private beach club; Hotel Universo, a sixteenth-century palace in the medieval walled city of Lucca near Florence; Schloss Lieser, a fairy-tale castle in Germany’s Moselle region, an idyllic landscape famed for its wine-growing; Academia of Athens in Greece, with design inspired by Greek Philosopher Plato; and The Shelbourne, the enduringly iconic hotel that’s been at the heart of Dublin society since opening in 1824. Each hotel truly is a product of passion and a personal realisation of its individual founder’s vision, making each one singular and special: Exactly Like Nothing Else.

Launched in 2010, the hotel brand has become a pioneer in the independent hotel space and has rapidly grown from five hotels to more than 160 in nine years. Continuing to grow around the globe, Autograph Collection’s global pipeline comprises nearly 100 properties.

Image credit: Academia of Athens, Autograph Collection_Suite

“With the depth and diversity of Autograph Collection Hotels, we have the unique opportunity to create one-of-a-kind, memorable experiences for travellers,” said John Licence, VP Premium & Select Brands Europe, Marriott International. “The brand’s significant growth momentum throughout Europe solidifies it as an established leader in the independent hotel space, and we are thrilled to welcome 12 exceptional hotels to our European portfolio in 2019.”

At a time when Booking.com revealed that 53 per cent of global travellers plan to take more weekend trips in 2019, Autograph Collection Hotels is offering travellers rich immersive moments that leave a lasting imprint, with five restored architectural gems slated to join Autograph Collection Hotels in Europe this year.

Exemplified by the latest addition to Autograph Collection’s portfolio of London hotels, The Dixon – just opened in January – was originally designed as a Magistrates’ Court and police station in 1905 by John Dixon Butler. The building has undergone extensive restoration to restore its original features, including its spectacular grand courthouse. A stunning interior design concept showcases the hotel’s passion for art with curated artworks set against a backdrop of contemporary and heritage design.

Situated in the Moselle region of Germany, Schloss Lieser resides in a breath-taking castle originally built in 1885. Linked to pivotal moments in both German and Dutch history, previous owners include Clemens Freiherr von Schorlemer-Lieser, a wealthy politician who was related to the Dutch Royal Family. Over the centuries, politicians regularly gathered at the castle to discuss the future of Germany. In 2007, the castle was transformed into the independent, boutique hotel it is now.

Championing Individuality through Distinct Perspectives on Design

Autograph Collection hotels advocate for the original and individual through unique perspectives on design, enabling travellers to make a serious travel statement, even on the shortest of getaways. Academia of Athens, set to become Autograph Collection’s third property in Greece when it opens later this year, is inspired by its namesake, historical landmarks and the vibrant culture of the contemporary city. Global design and architectural firm HOK juxtaposes the heritage of the city of Athens with a bold and modern exterior. Inside there are visual cues from ancient Greek scholar Plato’s Three Orders; Science, Philosophy and Arts, with each principle brought to life throughout various spaces within the hotel.

“Ten of the 12 planned openings in 2019 will mark the brand’s debut in new cities and resort destinations.”

Autograph Collection Hotels Expected to Debut in 10 New European Destinations This Year

Autograph Collection Hotels is set to continue adding to its existing roster of 47 properties across 17 countries in Europe, with new destinations that provide one-of-a-kind hotel stays for even the most discerning global traveller. Ten of the 12 planned openings in 2019 will mark the brand’s debut in new cities and resort destinations, offering more choice and trip inspiration than ever before. New destinations include Lieser, Germany; Athens and Mykonos, Greece; Lucca, Italy; Montreux, Switzerland; Paris and Reims, France; and Seville, Spain.

The planned opening of Sapphire House late in 2019 in the vibrant city of Antwerp will mark Marriott International’s first hotel in the city. Expected to provide travellers with insight into the city’s traditions and fascinating past in gem-trading, Sapphire House will invite guests to discover the quirks of this inconspicuous destination. Occupying the site of the city’s original Royal Exchange, known as Den Grooten Robijn (The Great Ruby), Sapphire House will be a stunning addition to Antwerp’s boutique hotel scene.

Autograph Collection Hotels Leave a Lasting Impression with ‘The Mark’

Ensuring every stay is unique, Autograph Collection Hotels’ handpicked portfolio of properties each offer their own unique ‘Mark’ – a signature moment within the hotel that is bespoke for each property and enhances the guest experience. No two hotels share the same story and therefore none share the same Mark.

Scheduled to join the brand in autumn 2019, Hotel Querencia de Seville, in the Old Town of Seville will perfectly represent the Mark concept. The hotel’s unique offering of music, arts, crafts, creative gatherings and artisanal workshops will bring a flare of Spanish craftmanship and everyday life to visitors, guaranteeing guests a genuine cultural experience.

The anticipated spring opening of La Caserne Chanzy in the heart of Reims will provide guests with an immersive environment to explore the gastronomy of Reims. A restored firehouse will be transformed into a new restaurant – La Grande Georgette – offering reinvented local gastronomy, signature dishes and cocktails using evocative smoke, and even a food truck fashioned from an old fire engine.

Main image credit: Aegon, Mykonos, an Autograph Collection Hotel 

Crown Group’s third SKYE Suites hotel to open in Sydney

800 500 Hamish Kilburn

Crown Group will open its third luxury serviced apartment hotel, SKYE Suites Green Square, Sydney, in Q3 of this year as part of the iconic $575 million development Infinity by Crown Group… 

Designed by globally renowned Koichi Takada Architects, Infinity by Crown Group will shelter 326 premium apartments, a convention centre, a new retail and dining precinct with 20 outlets and a 90-key hotel called SKYE Suites Green Square.

The 20-storey building has captured the public’s attention with its iconic looped design, situated on the corner of Botany Road and Bourke Street. The development forms part of the $13 billion Green Square redevelopment that has transformed the town centre into an exciting new destination and will add a new train station and aquatic centre.

“SKYE Suites is redefining the boundaries of the luxury hotel experience.” – Crown Group Director of Hotels and Suites, Wayne Taranto

SKYE Suites Green Square will feature 90 luxurious studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments with Kevin Murphy toiletries, complimentary mini-bar and the ability to choose individual mattress firmness on each side of the bed. There will also be keyless entry and ‘virtual concierge’ tablets in every suite for guests to access all hotel services. A STARCast system will enable guests to stream in-room entertainment from personal devices.

Image credit: Crown Group/Koichi Takada Architects

Crown Group Director of Hotels and Suites, Wayne Taranto, said SKYE Suites were renowned for being situated in new buildings with iconic architecture, sophisticated interiors and for delivering bespoke service with attention to detail. “At SKYE Suites, we endeavour to differentiate ourselves by offering creative and inspirational spaces to our guests, making their stay comfortable, enjoyable and memorable,” he said. “SKYE Suites is redefining the boundaries of the luxury hotel experience with the seamless combination of the atmosphere of an urban resort, the convenience and comfort of an apartment and the amenities of a hotel.”

Render of the atrium of the property

Image credit: Crown Group/Koichi Takada Architects

The first SKYE Suites opened in August 2017 at Parramatta, with 72 stylish hotel apartments offering Crown Group’s signature resort facilities including an outdoor pool, gym and expansive foyer. It also has conference rooms, vibrant alfresco dining, retail piazza and the chic rooftop cocktail bar Nick and Nora’s by Speakeasy Group. The hotel is situated within the award-winning V by Crown Group residential tower, designed by Allen Jack + Cottier and Koichi Takada Architects.

The second SKYE Suites opened in Sydney in November 2018, a beautiful new destination in an iconic building on Clarence Street, Sydney. The hotel offers a luxury experience in the heart of the city, within the 25-storey residential apartment tower Arc by Crown Group, also designed by Koichi Takada Architects. SKYE Suites Sydney has 73 well-appointed hotel apartments and features an ice cave-themed lobby, “Insta-worthy” indoor swimming pool and a gym.

Main image credit: Crown Group/Koichi Takada Architects

Zuri Zanzibar becomes first hotel awarded EarthCheck’s Sustainable Design Gold Certification

800 533 Hamish Kilburn

Zuri Zanzibar, the recently launched design-led resort has become the first hotel in the world to be awarded EarthCheck’s Sustainable Design Gold Certification…

EarthCheck has awarded Zuri Zanzibar, the stylish beachfront 13-acre Jestico+Whiles-designed resort, a Sustainable Design Gold Certification. The resort, which is located in Kendwa, on the the idyllic northern west shores of Unguja, provides a seamless blend of contemporary design, sustainable architecture and authentic African flair offering world-class gastronomy, wellness and responsible tourism.

“We’re extremely proud of being the only resort globally to receive Gold Certification in EarthCheck’s highly-esteemed Sustainable Design Programme,” said Jean-Francois Laporte, the Zuri Zanzibar Project Director comments on receiving the award. “This accolade reflects our unwavering commitment to sustainability, by making positive changes to reduce our environmental footprint and improve social impact

“This award is also testament to the fantastic team behind the construction of Zuri who all shared the joint vision of creating a truly magical resort with ecology at its heart, without compromising on design and style.”

Striking views over the coast

Image credit: Zuri Zanzibar/Adam Letch

The EarthCheck BPDS Final Certification Report found that “Sustainable design principles were integrated from the outset with the building concept respecting the original terrain configuration and utilising local materials and local architectural traditions.”

EarthCheck is the world’s leading scientific benchmarking, certification and advisory group for travel and tourism. Zuri Zanzibar achieved a Gold certification in EarthCheck’s Design Programme which facilitates environmentally, socially and economically sustainable design and construction management of collective buildings and associated infrastructure. Results are determined by operational data from global clients which benchmark their environmental, social and economic performance.

As part of the certification process, the resort was assessed by an independent third-party auditor who appraised Zuri Zanzibar against the ten key performance areas of sustainability approach, energy, water, solid waste, land use planning & biodiversity, sustainable materials & resource conservation, indoor environmental health & pollution control, transport, social, cultural & economic wellbeing and innovation.

Stewart Moore, CEO and Founder of EarthCheck stated: “Achieving EarthCheck Design Gold places Zuri Zanzibar as an industry leader that has benchmarked its design and sustainability performance against internationally recognised criteria and demonstrated responsible business practices across their operation.

“This award highlights the long-term commitment that Zuri Zanzibar has shown to the communities and environment of Zanzibar and has allowed the resort to take practical, meaningful action to provide a quality holiday experience for their guests. We look forward to continuing to support their environmental efforts for years to come.”

Main image credit: Zuri Zanzibar/Adam Letch

MINIVIEW: Joyze Hotel Xiamen Curio Collection by Hilton

800 533 Hamish Kilburn

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MINIVIEW: Joyze Hotel Xiamen Curio Collection by Hilton

Opened late last year, Joyze Hotel Xiamen Curio Collection by Hilton, with all its unique design qualities, is a mere shadow of the stereotypical chain hotel you would expect check in to. Editor Hamish Kilburn dives deeper into its Chinese design story to uncover how the boutique 104-key hotel came to be… 

As a boutique hotel, the concept of a ‘floating city on the sea’ can be seen throughout the hotel design of Joyze Hotel Xiamen Curio Collection by Hilton. Combining the local cultural elements of Minnan with urban design techniques, the hotel narrates the historical changes of “the fishing village” that it neighbours. Tasked to merge architecture with interior design was Hong Kong-based design firm CCD (CHENG CHUNG DESIGN).

Image credit: CCD/Cheng Chung Design (HK)/Curio Collection by Hilton

Surrounded by mountains and seas, with the Dongping Mountain in the North, and the coastline of Huandao Road in the South, the hotel enjoys the best of both worlds. The villages in Zengcuoan are divided by walls, and the houses in the villages are scattered around. The floor plan of the hotel follows the arrangement of the villages, as different zones are divided by walls and intersected by landscapes between different areas. Look down from the above; each area is like a box, representing a household with different personalities and designs. Guests enter the hotel as if they are on a village tour, complete with alleys, walls and landscapes.

Image credit: CCD/Cheng Chung Design (HK)/Curio Collection by Hilton

The entrance of the hotel incorporates the local culture of ‘brick wall’, which is a very unique way of building a wall in Minnan architecture that uses stones and bricks of different shapes to overlay and build simple and beautiful walls.

According to the legend in the end of the Ming Dynasty that, there was a major earthquake occurred in the Southern part of Minnan region. After the earthquake, the native people used the local materials such as bricks, stones, tiles and gravels collapsed from the natural disaster to build the unique wall. And thereby, this way of wall-building has been widely practiced and followed in the region.

Image credit: CCD/Cheng Chung Design (HK)/Curio Collection by Hilton

The designer also used the mansion method to design the hotel lobby. The first sight of the guest after they get off from the drop-off area and enter the hotel is not the hotel lobby, but a door that is several meters wide, and if they are entering a mansion house. Then they will see the brick wall, followed by cultural exhibition area, then other landscapes and finally the lobby bar and reception.

“Under each box, there is a light to create a sense of levitation.”

The design concept of “Floating City on the Sea” is expressed through the subtle design method.The façade of the wall is constructed with boxes, and it transforms from empty to solid, presenting a feeling of ‘floating’, the orderly change of the gradient also presents a sense of rhythm swinging with the current. A corner of the reception desk floats into the air, becoming a warm chandelier, floating on the sea, and the entire hotel is like a floating city on the sea.

In comparison to the hotel, every box in the space is the composition of the hotel as a floating city. Under each box, there is a light to create a sense of levitation.

“The design of the guestrooms are natural, warm and cosy, creating a sense of home.”

The design incorporates natural comfort and childhood memories, vintage chandeliers, metal-trimmed glass doors, wooden tables and chairs; it brings guests back to the restaurant where they used to go with their parents. Here, the curious people walk into the old days of Xiamen.

Image credit: CCD/Cheng Chung Design (HK)/Curio Collection by Hilton

The design of the guestrooms are natural, warm and cosy, creating a sense of home. Meanwhile, it also tries to open the space as much as possible as to form a transparent visual experience. Getting rid of the traditional framework, and strengthen the interaction of spatial functions through subtle design, so that each area can be used alone and connected.

After the entrance is the cloakroom and the luggage rack, which is designed to make the walkway more functional and to make the largest use of space. In detail, it also closely follows the concept of floating city, as the wash table and the bed are suspended from the ground.

The city view and beach outside the window is one of the hotel’s business cards. The wash table, mini bar and operating desk form a small living room, so that guest can sit in the living room and enjoy the scenery with tea, just like the local residents. The texture of the old buildings in the city is projected onto the walls of the guestrooms, and the patterns of the old buildings in Gulangyu are carved into ceramic tiles, which become time fragments to record the traces of the years.

Main image credit: CCD/Cheng Chung Design (HK)/Curio Collection by Hilton

In Conversation With: Damien Perrot on defining ibis Hotels’ new design era

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The world’s most iconic budget hotel brand is undergoing a major redesign following the growing demands of the modern traveller. To understand all the design details of the new generation of ibis Hotels, editor Hamish Kilburn sat down with Damien Perrot, Senior Vice President, Design Solutions for Accor, to find out more about how the new ibis was conceived in three separate designs…

With more than 1,170 economy hotels open worldwide, ibis has become somewhat of a trailblazer in the congested budget sector of the hotel industry. Opening up in neighbourhoods that before the ‘70s may well have not existed for the modern traveller, the company’s aggressive expansion into tier two cities bridged the gap between travellers and the freedom to explore the world while on a budget.

With the aim to ‘shake up budget hotel standards’, the brand, which is known for its basic and standardised design, is now in the process of reinventing itself to become more flexible to cater to a wider demographic. Using interior design as its tool, Ibis’ latest face lift includes new guestrooms, F&B areas and living spaces. “Its transformation is primarily based on customer behaviour and how guests instinctively use the spaces,” said Steven Taylor, Chief Brand Officer at Accor in the official statement from the brand. “Today, the brand is a truly vibrant place where travellers and non-staying and local customers alike can dine, sleep, work and feel welcome.”

Leading the extensive brand renovation is Damien Perrot, Senior Vice President, Design Solutions for Accor. “I wanted to achieve a design that was living, vibrant and real,” he told Hotel Designs. “The objective, in terms of design, is to attract people and allow our guests to have a great experience that will naturally encourage them to return.”

“Perrot launched competitions in America, Asia and Europe in order to garner inspiration from all corners of the world.”

The design, marketing and brand team came together with the ambition to rethink ibis as if it was created today. “The simple fact was that we felt obliged to confront the way in which our guests’ behaviour and lifestyles have changed,” explained Perrot. “Our idea was not to radicalise the form, but instead to create a concept in line with that of the modern travellers’ needs of today.” In order to keep the thoughts open and fresh, Perrot launched design competitions open to all in America, Asia and Europe in order to garner inspiration from all corners of the world. “The brief being light in context around what we wanted was key as we did not want to restrict the designers’ creative flow,” adds Perrot. As a result, the brand was able to handpick the designers who put forward realistic and brand-worthy solutions to the challenge.

Following the competition, the new ibis was to be divided into three concepts drawn up from three separate design studios. Studio Innocad from Europe, Studio FGMF from Latin America and Studio Soda from Asia together were Perrot’s answer to the new generation of ibis hotels.

Studio Innocad – Europe

Flexible living area with hammocks by entrance - blue and while tiles

Image credit: INNOCAD Architecture

The concept is a modular, flexible and customisable approach for architecture and interior, for renovation as well as new construction of ibis hotels. Designed around the fluid transition between inside and outside, the different settings of social spaces invite travellers and locals to explore several atmospheres and areas and are importantly not limited to be in one design during their customer journey.

Studio FGMF – Latin America

Modern Scandinavian room with flexible living spaces

Image credit: FGMF/ibis hotels

Urban living comes to the heart of the hotels with the design concept from Studio FGMF while the street outside becomes an integral part of the lobby. Unveiling a new pedestrian walkway, the hotel concept is gallery of local inspiration.

Meanwhile, the guestrooms have been imagined to be comfortable in a modern style, featuring a bookshelf as a centrepiece. A functional layout opens up new possibilities for guests to relax in the home-from-home setting.

Studio Soda – Asia

Modern, opening living areas

Image credit: Soda Studio/ibis hotels

Flexible, modular and contemporary, the concept that was imagined by Studio Soda is one that offers everything the modern guest is looking for; comfort combined with warmth. The lobby has been specifically designed to welcome the outside world, with a terrace area that extends out onto the street. The result is a public area that is welcome and free for guests to eat, relax, work or play.

“When we are rethinking ‘the new’, it is essential to forget what it is today,” explained Perrot when confronting the challenges of the project. “After the big idea in terms of design, the question is how can we apply that into our existing hotels. That’s a really big challenge, but I think we have succeeded.

Portrait of Damien Perrot

Image caption: Damien Perrot, Senior Vice President, Design Solutions for Accor

“The other challenge is to not be distracted by trends. Each design concept that was accepted stayed true to the DNA of the brand, which is very modern. Throughout the project, I want to demonstrate that modernity is in line with a new way of living.”

With the ambitious plans to redesign all hotels in the ibis portfolio by 2022, the aim is not for all hotels to be identical to one another. Instead, each property is aimed to have its own quirky personality. “Each concept is not 100 per cent defined. But the designer will apply the concept on projects and select different furniture and lighting to suit the hotel,” said Perrot. “In order to be able to roll this out globally, we have to have guidelines and style book. Each document helps the designers to roll out this concept. In those guidelines, we explain the boundaries that can and can’t be broken to achieve the final design of the individual hotel.”

Each hotel to adopt the new design concept will be better equipped and better designed to personalise the overall guest experience. The refreshing, and very different, designed concepts suggest heavily that ibis strongly believe a good hotel experience is much beyond experiencing a good night’s sleep. To achieve that overall home-from-home experience, the brand has redefined its public areas, F&B environment and guestrooms allowing its guests to tailor-make their own travel experience when checking in.

Main image credit: FGMF/ibis hotels

Kohler announces plans for Milan Design Week 2019

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Bathroom brand Kohler has lifted the lid on its sensory plans for Milan Design Week from April 9 – 13…

Kohler will return to Milan Design Week to host an enticing sensory experience inside the historic Palazzo Del Senato (via Senato, 10, 20121 Milan, Italy). The large-scale immersive exhibit will showcase the bathroom brand’s bold approach to design and its products through an artful combination of water, technology, texture, and color. The installation will be open April 9 through April 13 from 10am – 7pm daily.

“Milan Design Week is the ultimate celebration of creativity and innovation among the global design community,” said Jim Lewis, Vice President of Kohler Kitchen and Bath Global Marketing. “The energy and spirit of the event make it the perfect place to explore new ideas and celebrate our latest design expressions with an inspirational audience of designers from around the world.”

Nature will play a pivotal role with the inclusion of a “digital garden” at the entrance of the exhibit as well as an infinity garden that whimsically juxtaposes Kohler’s Smart Home collection. Kohler’s space will also feature a bar and lounge area for guests to relax and recharge.

Additionally, Kohler will use the Palazzo as the platform for the launch of the company’s second global design theme, Experiential Luxury, an examination of the details and layers that create rich and dynamic environments.

Products featured at this year’s exhibition include the latest from Kohler Co. brands KOHLER, KALLISTA and ANN SACKS.

Image credit: Kohler

Smart home/Smart hotel

Intelligent Toilets offer the perfect combination of sophisticated design and unmatched technology to deliver the finest in personal comfort and cleansing. Extensive customisation – from ambient lighting and wireless music to temperature control, create a truly personalised experience.

Digital Showering transforms users’ daily routine by allowing customisation down to the tiniest detail. It invites users to orchestrate spray experiences, steam, music and lighting to create a personalized escape. Kohler’s portfolio of Smart Room products help create the world’s smartest bathrooms.

Color, material, finish

With a full range of colors, Kohler finishes visually set the tone for any space’s story and convey a unique personality. A two-tone finish with etched patterns – launching on the Components Collection – offers a beautiful, subtle gradient between two finishes with a precise graphic pattern. A wide range of colors and detailed graphics continue to draw the eye in for a beautiful, decorative impact.

Steeped in Japanese culture, Kensho conveys the story of decorative stitching known as sashiko by using patterns etched in stone. It also leverages the Italian etching technique known as acqueforti, marrying metals and marbles to create a distinctive level of ornamentation. The shape is gorgeous, the real stone adds texture and variation, and the decorative techniques are stunning.

With precise cuts and ultra-flat surfaces, the Parallel Collection of faucets and accessories brings sophistication to the modern bathroom through controlled expression. The dichotomy of round and square forms is unified by characteristic angles that deliver beautiful reflections and precise alignment. Smaller details deliver character originality and heighten the collection to a higher level of sophistication.

In partnership with parent company, Kohler Co., ANN SACKS debuts The Crackle Collection by Kohler WasteLAB, an innovative tile series that employs Kohler’s unfired pottery cull as its medium, transforming the waste into a responsive tile body. Handcrafted in the WasteLAB located in the Kohler, Wis. enamel factory, the bespoke collection was one of the initiatives spun from the Kohler Innovation for Good program.

Main image credit: Kohler

 

Accor’s new lifestyle brand to arrive in 150 destinations by 2030

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With one hotel open, 10 in the pipeline and a further 50 under construction, Accor launches lifestyle brand Tribe… 

Accor continues to expand its portfolio by launching a new lifestyle brand in the midscale segment, TRIBE. The brand launches with the aims to surprise travellers with an original, exciting and carefully curated offer that focuses on style rather than price. Reshaping the traditional hotel experience, guests checking in to TRIBE hotels are promised to be able to live, work and play in contemporary interiors.

TRIBE currently consists of one 126-key address in Perth, Australia – one of the largest inner-city parks in the world. Ten other openings are already scheduled to take place by 2022 in Europe and Asia Pacific, totaling more than 1,700 rooms. “The pipeline of more than 50 hotels currently being negotiated for the coming years leads us to believe that the Tribe brand will achieve significant growth all over the world including in gateway locations such as Paris, London, Singapore, Dubai Bangkok,” said Gaurav Bhushan, Chief Development Officer at Accor. “It will be making its debut in 150 international destinations by 2030.”

Image credit: TRIBE/Accor

At TRIBE, design finds its expression beyond the details. In each living space and for every service, particular attention has been paid to user-friendliness without overlooking either style or comfort. Everything has been designed to increase the sense of space, enhance the decor and improve the customer perception. The design is sleek – the hotel’s common areas, like that of the guest rooms, create a feeling of greater space by opening out onto the exterior.

Several creative areas are available to guests. Working, arranging a meeting or enjoying a drink, everything is possible. As welcoming as a hotel, as laid-back as a trendy urban hub and as relaxing as a home, Tribe is constantly reinventing itself.

Modern and quirky living area

Image credit: TRIBE/Accor

The modern style is complemented by artfully designed objects giving the perception of an upscale space. Moroso chairs, an array of Jean-Paul Gaultier cushions, lamps provided by the renowned British designer Tom Dixon, etc. From the lobby to the guest rooms, and encompassing the common areas, each TRIBE object has been carefully crafted, selected and installed in order to bring a distinctive decor to the hotel.

Echoing the smart design, TRIBE is going back to basics to give customers what they want, and nothing else. In their rooms, guests will benefit from under-bed storage, have the opportunity to unwind in front of the Smart TV or enjoy a refreshing shower using Kevin Murphy professional products. Nespresso coffee capsules and T2 teabags are provided free of charge in place of a pricey minibar. A Grab & Go station is also available 24/7.

As a world-leading actor in the travel and lifestyle sectors, Accor continues to expand its brand portfolio. Following the success of JO&JOE and partnerships with 25Hours, Mama Shelter and, more recently, sbe Entertainment (including the Delano, SLS, The House of Originals, Mondrian and Hyde brands), Accor proceeds with the enforcement of its lifestyle ecosystem.

S Hotel Jamaica opens in Montego Bay

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Making its highly anticipated debut, the new stylish S Hotel Jamaica in Montego Bay is poised as the ultimate trendsetting hotspot overlooking famed Doctor’s Cave Beach…

The inspiration for the newly arrived S Hotel Jamaica is as cosmopolitan as it comes, but the feeling is notably Jamaican as the country’s soul and culture swirl together to create this new multi-experiential hotel. Buzzing bars, a high-spirited pool scene, the Sky Deck for the exclusive use of those booked on concierge floors, an international restaurant, a café, spa, gym and guestrooms with an elevated design aesthetic, thoughtfully combine to create a modern and effervescent sense of place, reinvigorating MoBay’s irie Hip Strip featuring new shops, restaurants, entertainment and more.

Chris Issa, Jamaican entrepreneur and owner of the recently formed Crissa Hotels including Kingston’s iconic Spanish Court Hotel comments, ”We’re creating a new kind of hotel in Montego Bay, one that infuses modern Jamaican culture balanced with the sophistication of an urban hotel and the laidback style of a beach resort, appealing to international travelers and locals alike.”

Award winning, full-service, Miami-based luxury design firm, Antrobus Ramirez directed the interior design of the hotel with Jamaica-born designer Alison Antrobus and design partner Ruby Ramirez, spearheading the project. A towering 25-foot interior lobby walled with coral stone greet guests with a central ‘boardwalk’ made from local Jatoba hardwood physically and visually connecting the hotel’s many water elements from the stunning entryway water feature leading back to the central swimming pool, setting the stage for grand processions of hotel activity.

The main swimming pool is framed by lounge-worthy swim-out cabanas and white sand lines the area around the pool dotted with beach chairs and a sleek wood deck completing the resort-style atmosphere.

Image credit: S Hotel Jamaica

Jamaican historical and cultural design elements are at the forefront woven in with modern interpretations. Artisanal weaving techniques are used in unexpected applications such as the 20-foot screens made with rattan cane panels and “Cut Stone”, typically used in traditional Jamaican buildings, serving as inspiration and adorning the lobby walls. Dotted throughout the property, guests find the works of local Lumber Artist, Tamara Harding, whose pieces feature wood recycled from the trees removed from the property during construction.

Local artists contributed original pieces such as a hand painted mural and a dramatic photomontage of “faces of Jamaica” that adorn the hotel’s dining venues. A 14-foot antique dining table made by Mr. T.T. Jackson, a famous furniture maker in the 1950’s, also serves as a focal point.

A massive investment in Spain-based Dekton flooring by Cosentino is being used throughout and S Hotel is the company’s single largest project outside of Spain. Its durability, resistance to UV rays, scratches, stains, thermal shock and very low water absorption make this progressive surface perfect for the hotel’s outdoor and indoor use.

Clean, linear lines in the guestrooms

Image credit: S Hotel Jamaica

In the guestrooms, sleek interiors with an overarching monochromatic theme give way to gorgeous blue Caribbean Sea or lively city views, while oversized “wicker” wrapped soaking tubs stand out in the Spa Suites. The hotel’s signature Sky Suite soars above the property with 20-foot ceilings while the Presidential Suite features three bedrooms and a living/dining room. Other room categories range from The Essentials to Spa Suites that include various spa amenities while each room features turntables complete with a copy of Bob Marley’s iconic album “Legend”.

The pinnacle of the property is the Sky Deck, exclusive to Sky Club Suite guests. Boasting an enviable rooftop location with a glass enclosed pool surrounded by cabanas and loungers; this is the ideal spot for sunset to enjoy modern cocktails and a decadent tapas menu for refined revelry.

 

Image credit: S Hotel Jamaica

The new S Hotel is centrally located on Montego Bay’s irie Hip Strip, recently re-christened Jimmy Cliff Boulevard, just five minutes from Sangster International Airport and walking distance to nightlife, restaurants and shopping.

S Hotel is the second hotel project from Jamaican entrepreneur Chris Issa, owner of the newly created Crissa Hotels. The term Crissa is derived from the Jamaican Patois word, “Kriss” meaning “excellent.” The group includes the popular Spanish Court Hotel and the Spanish Court Worthington event venue in Kingston, and in Montego Bay, Usain Bolt’s Tracks & Records restaurant outpost located adjacent to the new S Hotel Jamaica.

Main image credit: S Hotel Jamaica

LAUFEN collaborates with studio EOOS

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LAUFEN collaborates with studio EOOS that created the Austrian contribution to the XXII International Exhibition of La Triennale di Milano with an ecological project…

LAUFEN has made a contribution to the initiative of Austria at the XXII International Exhibition of La Triennale di Milano. Broken Nature: Design Takes on Human Survival is the title of the thematic exhibition that explores the bonds between mankind and the natural environment, bonds that over the course of time have been deeply compromised or even destroyed.

Through projects of architecture and design on different scales, the exhibition explores the concept of design reparation as a solution through which to reinterpret the relationship between human beings and the context in which they live. This year for the first time La Triennale assigned the Bee Awards, created to reward the three worthiest international contributions to the XXII Triennale. Austria is the winner of the Black Bee, for its profound interpretation of the theme and the quality of its presentation.

“LAUFEN has made a substantial contribution to the project and to the video CIRCULAR FLOWS: The Toilet Revolution!”

A leader in its sector with over 125 years of experience, LAUFEN worked together with highly acclaimed Vienna-based design studio EOOS to develop an innovative project that promises to become an important breakthrough on the global scene. Thanks to its exceptional expertise in the design and production of bath fixtures, driven by constant research and technological experimentation, LAUFEN has made a substantial contribution to the project and to the video CIRCULAR FLOWS: The Toilet Revolution!. Supported by the Federal Chancellery of Austria and commissioned by MAK, the Museum of Applied Arts of Vienna, it all started with the long-term research of Eawag, the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, and the grant of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The studies demonstrate that current practices of waste water treatment play a significant role in unbalancing the nitrogen cycle, with major repercussions on the ecosystem and the health of human beings and other living things, consequences that will become more evident over the short term. New hygienic-sanitary solutions represent the future in the construction of intelligent cities with more healthful, sustainable characteristics.

The collaboration between studio EOOS and LAUFEN has led to save!, a revolutionary toilet prototype for the separation of urine, offering an effective solution in the battle against the global problem of excess nitrogen, in line with the principles of systemic design. The separate treatment of urine means reducing – in an intelligent, economical way – the quantity of nutrients (such as nitrogen and phosphor) and pollutants released in the waters of the planet.

Up to 80 per cent of the nitrogen found in sewage can be removed from the wastewater stream, which will in turn reduce the resources required to operate treatment plants. Where others have failed in the past, save! represents a design challenge successfully met, raising excellent prospects for the future. In the achievement of these objects, the contribution of LAUFEN to the project has been fundamental, thanks to the deployment of unprecedented know-how. The Swiss company relies on an extremely advanced research and development centre, the only one in the world capable of developing such an innovative idea. At the same time, it boasts a production system capable of making the save! into the toilet of the future, according to the most advanced industry standards.

Main image credit: LAUFEN

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HOTEL OPENING: Lincoln Plaza London’s design inspired by London Docklands

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By taking note of the exciting and vibrant spirit of the London Docklands area, RPW Design was the design firm that sensitively designed the 129-key Lincoln Plaza London… 

Based in the heart of Canary Wharf, RPW Design has announced the opening of its most recent project, Lincoln Plaza London. Conveying its location into the hotel, the experienced RPW Design team, led by Nicola Romanelli and Richard Snow, has maintained a unique and luxurious experience through the guestrooms, function and meeting spaces while staying true to the location. RPW Design took Canary Wharf as a treasure trove of inspiration; from the historic shipping and dockland past to the present day, high tech, modern, business, luxury residential living and extraordinary architecture.

When approaching the design for a property in such a vibrant area of the city, RPW Design was inspired by a quote from the design brief for the new Hilton Curio Brand: “Hotels with a special character you can’t duplicate. They’re part of the fabric of their cities: true locals, each embodying the spirit of their home”.

For Richard Snow, Senior Designer at RPW Design, this quote really stood out and inspired the design story for Lincoln Plaza London. “We drew on the rich industrial past of the area using rusty tones and finishes alongside the design of joinery and FF&E pieces with exposed metal framework,” he told Hotel Designs. “At the same time, conscious of the hotel brand and surrounding residential developments, we included quality finishes such as natural stone in the bathrooms and on joinery, as well as statement pieces like the rusty/burnished gold wall covering to the bed head wall.”

Image credit: Main image credit: Lincoln Plaza London/Curio Collection by Hilton

Lincoln Plaza London’s focus on luxurious lifestyle facilities has been seamlessly translated throughout the 129 guest rooms. The layout of the rooms was creatively developed to move away from the standard hotel offering by incorporating the vanity into the main lobby area of the room, creating a sense of space and openness in the room. A decision to remove the traditional hotel room desk was made, and instead RPW designed a multi-use table at the right height for either a work space or dining table whilst seated at the armchair. These changes allow a more residential feel. From the bespoke shelving units made of blackened steel and antique brass, through to the marble rainfall showers, all elements work together harmoniously. The guestroom artwork was carefully curated in collaboration with RPW Design’s Art Consultant, Peter Millard and Partners, in order to show some of the East End’s most famous and unique artists: Gary Hogben; Julian Bray; Kyra Cane; and Tom Clark. Meanwhile, individual sculptural pieces by Simon Bingle, positioned in every floor lift lobby, hark back to the industrial landscape still visible around the hotel. This particular bespoke artwork conveys RPW Design’s attention to details that is inherent in their projects.

Canary Wharf is a more recent business hub for London, and the Hilton Curio offers 465 square metres of event space that is distributed across seven meeting rooms.  With sleek design details, RPW Design implemented a blend of “old industrial” and contemporary design. RPW Design has created a popular new space in this centre of commerce and it is a truly unique destination for the Docklands.

Image credit: Main image credit: Lincoln Plaza London/Curio Collection by Hilton

The reflection of the historical and industrial shipping dock is continued throughout the hotel, from the lower-ground meeting and function spaces to the fitness centre. Lincoln Plaza’s fitness centre is designed to be simple and modern, reflecting the location’s industrial heritage with a concrete reception desk formed out of concrete and rusty metal effect laminate in the joinery.

Lincoln Plaza’s meeting areas can be reached by a feature staircase that is formed of shuttered concrete, poured in situ, with an exposed timber imprint remaining on view, contrasted by a polished concrete floor. The rough concrete is offset by a luxurious brushed brass handrail and stair treads, with concealed lighting to add drama. This is diffused into the pre-function space, with a concrete render-effect wall covering and rich, dark timber doors.

Image credit: Main image credit: Lincoln Plaza London/Curio Collection by Hilton

The function areas are versatile spaces that may be configured dependent on the client’s needs and meeting planners’ specifications. The large function room can be divided into thirds when required and the buffet counters housing TV and tea/coffee facilities in the individual meeting rooms can also be concealed, thus enabling various uses from one space. A central area with a communal work table, features iconic pieces of furniture from Poltrona Frau, Walter Knoll and Porada. The cranes, such a familiar sight in the Docklands, are reflected in the pattern of two large metal work screens, dividing the pre-function area. The walls of the function rooms are designed with contrasting finishes, featuring geometric patterned wallpaper and bespoke lighting, continuing the theme.

Andrew Hart, Chairman of interior fit-out contractor Fileturn, commented: “This project was one which used all the skills of the team on site to incorporate the new designs within the existing structural shell. The fit-out areas designed by RPW included public areas, conference and meeting room facilities as well as bedrooms. The end results have produced a striking hotel in keeping with its surroundings and one the team here at Fileturn can deservedly be proud of”.

RPW Design worked alongside Fileturn to make the design become a reality, creating the perfect addition to the Curio Collection by Hilton.

Main image credit: Lincoln Plaza London/Curio Collection by Hilton

LOCATION SPECIAL: Mexico sees significant increase in hotel investment

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Investment management company JLL has released findings, proving that hotel investment in Mexico is sharply on the up… 

Following the opening of Viceroy Los Cabos and the awaited arrival of Nobu Hotel Los Cabos, Mexico’s lodging market is being viewed as more sophisticated and liquid, reflected by a 26 per cent transaction volume increase year-over-year, a study from JLL has shown.

From bustling urban locations to relaxing resorts, Mexico’s lodging market has experienced strong growth over the past six years, averaging an annual compounded revenue per available room (RevPAR) growth of nearly 5.3 percent in U.S. dollar terms, which illustrates the country’s resilient tourism industry and ability to weather unforeseen situations such as hurricanes or travel advisory warnings. Although investors are exercising caution due to the uncertainty regarding the political environment and policies, investors are anticipated to continue exploring strategic lodging opportunities in Mexico.

Light and bright guestroom

Image credit: Nobu Hotels/Studio PCH

“In recent quarters, Mexico’s lodging market has been viewed as more sophisticated and liquid,” says Carolina Lacerda, JLL Senior Vice President, Investment Sales. “The quality of lodging supply has improved and investors, particularly domestic groups such as FIBRAS, funds, and local families, are increasingly active.”

Total transaction volume at year-end 2018 reached $980 million, a 26 per cent increase over the prior year. Additionally, 2018 recorded a price-per-key average of $466,000 – the highest annual average in the past 10 years, driven by several luxury hotel sales, such as the September 2018 sale of JW Marriott Mexico City, which JLL brokered for $183 million.

“Mexico’s hotel market is estimated to deliver nearly 23,000 new, quality rooms over the next five years.”

Travel to Mexico is driving much of the growth, with the majority of visitors heading to locations like Mexico City, Los Cabos and Cancún. According to Tourism Secretary Miguel Torruco Marques, tourists are anticipated to spend approximately US$23.2 billion in 2019, a nearly four percent increase over the prior year. Three hotel assets seem to be the current preferred types among investors and owners:

  • Hotels with a mixed-use component located in cities with a strong corporate presence, such as Mexico City, Monterrey, and Guadalajara. Beyond capturing the business travel segment, having a retail or office component is viewed as a diversification strategy.
  • Hotels located in vacation destinations such as Cancún, Riviera Nayarit, and Los Cabos. Additionally, some of these hotels with a branded residential or rental component allow developers and investors to achieve more attractive returns.
  • All-inclusive resorts in international destinations with a strong vertically-integrated business model.

In response to strong tourism numbers and in turn, strong hotel fundamentals, Mexico’s hotel market is estimated to deliver nearly 23,000 new, quality rooms over the next five years, per Smith Travel Research (STR) data1. Cancún/Riviera Maya, Los Cabos, Riviera Nayarit and Mexico City are slated to see the largest increases in total incoming supply, predominately in the upper-upscale and luxury segments.

“Mexico is witnessing unprecedented growth in branded lodging supply across major resort markets and gateway destinations,” says Wendy Chan, JLL Senior Vice President, Strategic Advisory and Asset Management. “The arrival of new and different-tiered brands to the marketplace is improving the quality and maturing the overall tourism and lodging infrastructure nationwide.”

Chan also points that continued international and domestic route development and infrastructure investment in key gateway cities will be essential, as this will contribute to the further growth of the lodging industry, especially with the anticipated supply increases in the near term. “While the investor sentiment in 2019 is generally cautious given recent changes in the political landscape and growth in incoming supply, the industry should start witnessing RevPAR growth across select markets in Mexico in the coming years.”

“Driven by revenue growth in U.S. dollars and operating expenses in its devalued Mexican Peso currency, investors are able to find attractive high margins,” says Lacerda.

[1] Reflects hotels under construction or final planning only (Jan 2019). 

Main image credit: Viceroy Los Cabos

MEET UP LONDON: 3 weeks to go

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Calling all designers, architects, hoteliers and suppliers: Meet Up London takes place on March 28 at Minotti London… 

Designers, architects and hoteliers can purchase tickets here.
Suppliers can purchase tickets here.

There are just three weeks to go until the industry will gather together for Hotel Designs’ Q1 networking event, Meet Up London.

Taking place on March 28 at Minotti London, the evening event is designed to bridge the gap between designers, architects, hoteliers and key-industry suppliers.

Meet Up London will be attended by more than 200 hospitality professionals. As well as providing the perfect networking stage for professionals who are working on the hotel design scene, the event will also pay special attention to young designers as it will unveil Hotel Designs’ 30 Under 30 (the shortlist can be accessed here).

The latest names to the guest list include designers, directors and 30 Under 30 shortlisted finalists from the likes of B3 Designers, Yasmine Mahmoudieh Design Studio, Scott Brownrigg and M Studio.

They will join designers and directors from leading studios such as Richmond InternationalHBA LondonGenslerJestico + WhilesGoddard LittlefairProject Orange and WATG who are among the names that are also confirmed to attend.

Agenda for Meet Up London: 

 

How to attend Meet Up London 

If you are an interior designer, architect, operator or hotelier and would like to attend Meet Up London, click here to book your place.

If you are a supplier to the hospitality industry looking to attend the event, contact Zoe Guerrier on 01992 374059 or on z.guerrier@forumevents.co.uk – or click here to book your place.

For more information about becoming a Hotel Designs Meet Up sponsor, contact Zoe Guerrier on 01992 374059 or email z.guerrier@forumevents.co.uk.

Nokia-sleep-sleeping-pad_13-768x451

SPOTLIGHT ON: Technology products to look out for in 2019

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Ahead of Hospitality Tech & Innovation Forum which takes place on March 25 – 26, and to launch this month’s Spotlight On Technology, Hotel Designs has identified interesting technology products to look out for in 2019… 

Predicting the future is something that the team at Hotel Designs has become used to since the growing demand for designers and architects wanting to know all about the latest tech products that are on the market. Here are some slick examples of tech products that are taking international design into the future.

1) Bang Olufson – Beosound Edge

The speaker on a pink carpet

Image credit: Bang Olufsen

Described as “the perfect circle”, the Beosound Edge is a speaker and minimalist design object in one. Designed by Michael Anastassiades, the product has been conceptualised for intuitive touch and motion so that it’s an unbroken circle of clarity and beauty. Ideal for the contemporary hotel where design can be personalised, the product has been engineered to move and to be moved.

> Read more about Beosound Edge here

2) Hamilton Litestat – Smart Multi-room Audio System 

Modern kitchen with Hamilton's smart switch on the right

Image credit: Hamilton Litestat

Hamilton Litestat produces high quality decorative electrical wiring accessories, circuit protection, smart lighting controls and multi-room audio systems, designed and manufactured to meet the project demands of architects, interior designers and installers. Ideal for high-end suites, its Smart Multi-room audio system enables up to four separate music sources to be connected and controlled in four separate rooms or zones.

> Read more about Smart Multi-room Audio System here

3) Punkt – DP01 cordless phone

red phone sideways on

Image credit: Punkt

“I consider the voice a to be powerful instrument in human communication. Face-to-face conversation is best, but giving someone a call comes a close second,” said Petter Neby, founder of Punkt. With real, physical buttons, the DP01 is a mains-operated cordless phone that comes in three colours (white, black and red).

When the DP01 is not in use it sits face up in its cradle, so incoming calls can be viewed at a glance and outgoing calls can be dialled without picking it up. And its physical form is designed to allow it to sit stably on a desk without wobbling around: much more convenient for hands-free operation.

> Read more about Punkt’s DP01 here

4) Nokia Advanced Sleep Tracker

Image credit: Jason Bradbury

Mentioned during tech expert Jason Bradbury’s review of Eccleston Square Hotel, Nokia Sleep is a Wi-Fi enabled pad that fits under the mattress and provides insight into the quality of the sleep experience while offering environment control through IFTTT, an automation service for all internet-connected things. The new sleep sensor includes:

  • Sleep cycle analysis: sleep duration and interruptions; light, deep and rapid-eye-movement phases; and snoring tracking.
  • An individualized Sleep Score is provided to indicate how restorative a night’s sleep was, and educate users about what makes a good night’s sleep and how they can improve night after night.
  • Smart Home control via the IFTTT home automation platform. Nokia Sleep acts as a switch to automatically control lights, thermostats and more by getting into and out of bed. For example, users can automatically dim the lights when they get into bed.
  • Nokia Sleep synchronizes automatically with the Nokia Health Mate app so users can have all their health data in one place. The app provides data history, personalized advice and coaching programs, including one developed specifically around sleep.

> Read Jason Bradbury’s review of Eccleston Square here

5) DLAppTap

screenshot of the app

Image credit: Design Life/ DLAppTap

DLAppTap is an innovative iPhone and iPad app that allows hotels to easily sell their beautiful products to guests in their properties without the need for in-house retail operations. With DLAppTap, hotels can capitalise on new revenue streams, achieve ROI from refurbishments and improve and provide higher levels of guest-centric services.

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

> Read more about DLAppTap here

6) Modio – Guestroom Acoustic Control 

Sleeping girl on bed in front of product

Image credit: Modio

Made for hotels, MODIO introduces a continuous soothing background sound into the room, allowing guests to control its ambience the same way they control temperature and lighting.

The sound is similar to soft airflow, designed for comfort and engineered to cover a wide variety of hotel noises. Far superior to white noise apps or clock radio style products emitting nature sounds, MODIO is a commercial-grade device designed, manufactured and supported by a company with more than 40 years’ experience in the sound masking field.

Hotel guests will benefit from the same world-leading technology used by our corporate, healthcare and military clients.

> Read more about Modio here

7) Moasure 

Image credit: Moasure

Ideal for all designers and architects, Moasure’s patented technology uses motion to make measurements, leveraging inertial sensors and a proprietary algorithm to deliver an innovative new way to measure.

> Read more about Moasure here

8) Sumnuva

Image credit: Sumnuva

Somnuva has been designed to be as user friendly and intuitive as possible, and as such, the screens presented are as simple as possible whilst still allowing as much flexibility within the product as possible.

Somnuva worked with Cambridge Industrial Design to seamlessly blend innovative acoustic technology with a beautifully designed product that naturally fits in any living space.

The aesthetics of the hard sub-frame with delicate fabric sleeves were designed to  ensure that the directional acoustics weren’t affected, but that the users have flexibility to tailor and personalise their Somnuva

> Read more about Sumnuva here

 

Main image credit: Nokia Sleep/YouTube

Dexter Moren Associates wins planning to extend Bloomsbury hotel

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Dexter Moren Associates has won planning permission to extend Mercure London Bloomsbury…

Design firm Dexter Moren Associates (DMA) has won planning permission to extend the Mercure London Bloomsbury Hotel, increasing the number of guest rooms from 114 to 132 and improving the visitor experience with an updated food and beverage offer.

Working closely with client Fairview Hotels Ltd, DMA’s plan enhances the guest experience at the four-star boutique hotel, adding 586sqm of extra floorspace through new side, rear and roof extensions plus a bar extension.

Javier Ortega from DMA explains: “The main challenge was how to deliver the internal spaces to meet the client’s requirements whilst achieving an elegant series of extensions suitable for such a prestigious and sensitive site.”

DMA’s successful design uses high quality materials and architectural elements complimentary to the existing red and cream brick with Portland stone ornaments of the late Victorian / Edwardian hotel. Combined with a deliberate decluttering of miscellaneous distracting external elements, the new extension allows the hotel as a whole to engage more positively with the surrounding townscape and enhance the character and appearance of the Bloomsbury Conservation Area.

“As well as playing to our space planning expertise and creating spaces that will satisfy the expectations of the modern, savvy traveller, this project is another example of our contextual approach to design, rooting the hotel in its surrounding neighbourhood,” Continues Ortega.

The Mercure London Bloomsbury Hotel is the first of a series of Fairview Accor hotel projects on which DMA has been engaged to investigate expansion opportunities.

 

 

5 ways to use storytelling to increase hotel revenue

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As consumers become more and more design savvy when checking in to a hotel, marketing expert Chloe Bennet from UK Services Reviews explores ways in which hotels can increase their profits with the perfect narrative… 

Storytelling is an invaluable component of any hotel marketing strategy. Sharing the right narrative is perfect for content marketing as well as creating a bio that allows hotels to connect with their audience. Here are six ways to use storytelling to increase hotel revenue.

People tell stories, and listen to stories, every day without even realising it. “Stories resonate with customers on a deep, human level. In order to succeed in this industry, your marketing efforts must go beyond simply selling hotel rooms at a certain price. You need to connect with your customer base on an emotional level, so that you can make yourself stand out in an overcrowded and competitive market,” suggests Jose Guenther, storyteller at Academized. The digital age has created a ton of opportunities for marketers to use storytelling, which is fortunate because many customers are wary of conventional marketing tactics.

“It’s all about weaving together the different strands to create an interesting and engaging narrative.”

1) Visual storytelling and hotel marketing online

So how do we go about using online storytelling to increase hotel revenue? It’s all about weaving together the different strands to create an interesting and engaging narrative. Guests checking in are a lot less concerned with basic elements such as amenities and information about the room. It’s not that these things aren’t important, it’s just that in the digital age, guests are looking for visuals of what a hotel has to offer. Whenever you can, tell your story through high resolution photographs, combined with riveting narratives. Hotels should focus on interactive storytelling whenever possible, using things like short videos that shows off the hotel’s best features. It’s hard to go wrong with video content, as long as you keep in mind how short attention spans are online.

2) Shaping your digital story

A hotel’s number one job when crafting its story is to create a connection with its audience. Consumers tend to make purchasing decisions based on how they feel, not how they think. If a hotel wants to connect with its audience in this way, it has to get to know its guests first. Target the right segments, learn what they’re looking for, and create content that appeals to them and their needs. Segments and groups will respond differently to different forms of content, so don’t take a shotgun approach that tries to market to everyone at once. A great story told through the wrong kind of content will not be as effective.

3) Make your stories authentic

A hotel’s stories should feel real and have a natural flow to them. If a hotel can include stories from its guests, then that is even better. There’s no reason for a hotel to make stories up, instead hotels should have a wealth of stories and experiences to draw from. Make the story align with the strongest aspects of the hotel, whatever that may be.

4) Storytelling methods

There are a ton of different ways to tell your story, and you’ll probably find there are multiple ones that work for your situation and audience. Will you take advantage of the two-way communication that using social media offers? Maybe you’ll even put the call out to your audience to create some original content. Each hotel’s methods will depend on its audience and its goals. It’s critical that hotels have a goal that can be measured, so they can determine how effective its storytelling is. Data collecting should work to steer the storytelling strategy back on course if it needs correcting or adjustments.

5) Tell better stories by improving your writing skills

To use storytelling to increase your hotel revenue, you’ll need to be writing at a decent level. A lot of people don’t even realise where their writing weaknesses lie. Thanks to the online age, though, there are a number of effective websites out their to help professionals start writing the first chapter:

  • ViaWriting and MyWritingWay – Use these grammar resources to check over your copy for grammatical errors. Don’t risk leaving in mistakes that can discredit you and make you look like an amateur.
  • Big Assignments and Assignment Help – Check out these editing tools, they’ve been reviewed positively by Revieweal and can make your life a lot easier.
  • WritingPopulist and LetsGoandLearn – Read through these writing blogs and improve your knowledge about the writing process. Even if you’re an experienced writer you can find some helpful suggestions and tips here.
  • OXEssays and AustralianReviewer – These online proofreading tools, recommended at BestBritishEssays, are the perfect solution to leaving typos in your copy. Why risk leaving an error in when there are tools that can help?
  • SimpleGrad and State Of Writing – Try out these online writing guides. If you’re struggling with storytelling, there’s a good chance it’s because you’re rushing out drafts without following the proper writing process.

Guests have a myriad of options when it comes to hotels, so it’s crucial to get creative. Good storytelling can differentiate a hotel from the crowd and allow it to form an emotional connection with your audience by sharing its unique personality.

Main image credit: Pexels

Morgan makes a colourful splash

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New commissions from Morgan Furniture showcase appetite for bold and bright colours ahead of SS19…

With the 1970’s vibe in full swing, designers are looking to colours and patterns that arouse and inspire the imagination. Morgan, contract furniture and manufacture, shares two recent commissions that perfectly encapsulate the current taste for vivid, post-Scandinavian palettes.

A family of Chevy dining and meeting chairs brings the seventies into the 21st century with rich gemstone colours. While the collection itself owes its inspiration to the styling and elegance of an earlier era, its timeless silhouette can adapt to any aesthetic sensibility and contract environment. Turned timber legs and a fully wrapped seat detail combine to create a picture of comfort and simplicity.

The Chevy collection brings together five chairs and seven modish coffee tables, available in three heights.

Image caption: Chevy by Morgan Furniture

A pattern reminiscent of the 1980’s Memphis Group’s abstract geometry and Keith Haring’s pop stylings gives these Goodwood lounge chairs punch. Here the collection piece uses upholstery to showcase the graphic motif from fabric designer GP & J Baker.

With customisable arms and an optional high or low back, the Goodwood range invites guests to sit back and relax. The collection has ten chairs and four tables, available in two heights, three top sizes and a choice of glass, timber or marble inset.

Commenting on the two collections, Morgan’s Design Director Katerina Zachariades said: “When we’re developing the concept for a chair design, we look for inspiration in fashion, nature and architecture. This encourages us to use shapes that are enduring, as opposed to transient styling.

“All Morgan furniture is made to order for clients. Upholstery choices help designers’ visions to be brought to life while scale and base options allow for the chair design to be suitable for a variety of uses.”

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

Image caption: Goodwood range by Morgan Furniture

 

Leading designers and architects confirmed to attend Interior Design & Architecture Summit

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Two months before the inaugural Interior Design & Architecture Summit, the event has unveiled who among the architecture and design community will be attending… 

Following the announcement of the ‘Rising Ceiling of Creativity’ panel discussion at the event, the Interior Design & Architecture Summit (IDAS) has just announced the attendees list for the meet-the-buyers event.

Dexter Moren Associates, EPR Archtiects, Goddard Littlefair, MKV Design, ReardonSmith Archiects and Zannier Hotels are all among the leading design firms that have confirmed to attend IDAS as delegates.

The event, , is aimed to bridge the gap between designers, architects, hoteliers and key-industry suppliers.

About IDAS

The one-day event, which will take place on April 29 at Hilton Tower Bridge London, is designed to connect senior executives working within the sector with product and service suppliers for face-to-face meetings and business networking.

The Summit aims to support the design and architecture sector with a unique platform to help create long-lasting and mutually beneficial business connections.

The design and architecture companies confirmed to attend IDAS are:

Aaron Chetwynd Architect Studio
Abode Architecture
Ana Engelhorn Interior Design Ltd
Anita Rosato Interior Design
Brompton Cross Construction
Burke Rickhards Ltd
Burrell Mistry Architects
CMT Design & Construction
CS Design
Dexter Moren Associates
DesignLSM
EPR Architects
Fiona Barratt Interiors
FL Interiors
Forster
Gauri Dole Design Studio
Goddard Littlefair
GA Design
GA Architect
Gereghty Taylor Architects
Gunter & Co Interiors
Harp Commercial Interiors
Hartmann Designs Limited
Harriet Forde Design
HBA London
Henry Prideaux Interior Design
Hyphen
InD Creations
Je Ne Sais Quoi
JPA Design
JCC
Jo Berryman Studio
Koubou Interiors
Kim Partridge
KCA International Designers Ltd
Lambart & Browne
LDA Design
LXA Projects
Materialise Interiors
Mangera Yvars Architects
MKV Design
Natalia Interior Design
NBBJ
NSI Design Ltd
Nine Yard Club
One Creative Environments Limited
Panache Interiors
Project (SW) Ltd
Rebecca James Studio
ReardonSmith Architects
Run for The Hills
RWD
Sapphire Spaces
Suited ID
Stop and Smell the Roses
Studio Mica
Tara Bernerd and Partners
Toca
Temza
Twinning Design
Wilson Associates
Watson Batty Architects
Woods Bagot
WS Design
Yasmine Mahmoudieh
Virserius Studio
Zannier Hotels

If you are an architect or interior designer and would like to attend the Summit, there are very limited spaces available. Please contact Kerry Naumburger on k.naumburger@forumevents.co.uk – or click here to book your place.If you are a supplier to the hospitality industry looking to meet the top architects and interior designers, contact Victoria Petch on v.petch@forumevents.co.uk – or click here to book your place.

Click here for more information about IDAS.

Media partner: Future Contractor & Architect

London School of Architecture confirmed as headline speaker for Meet Up London

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James Soane, Director of Critical Practice at the London School of Architecture, will speak at Meet Up London which takes place on March 28 at Minotti London…

Meet Up London has confirmed James Soane, Director of Critical Practice at the London School of Architecture, as its headline speaker for the networking event which takes place on March 28 at Minotti London’s showroom.

In addition to welcoming leading designers, architects, hoteliers and suppliers of all ages, Meet Up London will also carry a light theme to support young creatives. Attending the evening, courtesy of Hotel Designs, the 40 shortlisted finalists for Hotel Designs’ 30 Under 30 initiative will find out on the night who among them have made the final 30 Under 30.

“Our aim for this event has always been very clear; to support young designers and architects who are proving themselves to be rising stars on the international hotel design scene,”  said Hamish Kilburn, editor of Hotel Designs. “It is therefore my honour to invite James Soane to speak at the event in order to share his experience of working with and supporting young talent within in our industry. We hope that by having James speak at this event it will help to further bridge the age gap between designers, hoteliers, architects and suppliers.”

About Meet Up London

More than 200 hospitality professionals are expected to attend Hotel Designs’ highly anticipated Q1 networking event, Meet Up London.

Following the success of previous networking events, such as The Brit list 2018 and Meet Up North, Hotel Designs’ Meet Up London will adopt the theme of 30 under 30. The leading hotel design website has asked its readers to nominate designers, architects and hoteliers of the age of 30 and under who are fast climbing the ranks to become leading practitioners.

Meet Up London, which is being styled exclusively by Minotti London, will provide a unique opportunity to network over drinks and canapés with the largest names in hospitality, interior design and architecture.

Address: 77 Margaret St, Fitzrovia, London, W1W 8SY

Evening agenda:
18.00: Guests arrive
18.30: Welcoming speech from editor of Hotel Designs’ Hamish Kilburn
18.45: Unveiling of Hotel Designs’ 30 Under 30
19:00: Presentation by London School of Architecture’s James Soane (topic TBC)
19:15 – 21.00: Networking over complimentary drinks and canapés

If you are an interior designer, architect, operator or hotelier and would like to attend the Hotel Designs Meet Up London: 30 Under 30, click here to book your place.

If you are a supplier to the hospitality industry looking to attend the event, contact Zoe Guerrier on 01992 374059 or on z.guerrier@forumevents.co.uk – or click here to book your place.

For more information about becoming a Hotel Designs Meet Up sponsor, contact Zoe Guerrier on 01992 374059 or email z.guerrier@forumevents.co.uk.

 

Exclusive style partner: Minotti London

Exclusive headline partner: Hamilton Litestat

 

 

 

Woven Image adds on-trend colours to popular geometric upholstery collections

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Inspired by tangrams, an ancient Chinese puzzle, Woven Images adds five new colours to its upholstery collection… 

Woven Image has added five new directional colourways to both Quiz and Zip upholstery fabrics in celebration of classic design. The upholstery, which can be used indoor and outdoor, will launch this September as part of Woven Images’ ‘Refined Ambiance’ product release.

The inspiration for both designs originated from tangrams, an ancient Chinese puzzle that interchanges seven angular forms to create a range of different shapes and structures. As well as this, there is reference to the architectural style of Dutch fashion designer Iris Van Herpen.

Quiz and Zip are produced from 100 per cent solution-dyed polyolefin, allowing for excellent performance characteristics which include outstanding colour fastness to light, UV stability as well as easy-care and maintenance with a bleach solution. From an environmental perspective, solution dyed textiles are considered to be optimal as this method allows for reduced water usage and emissions compared to conventional dyeing processes. Quiz and Zip are also produced using certified green energy (100 per cent renewable resources) and the yarn holds an
Oeko-Tex certification.

five colours

Zip is the larger scale pattern of the two, featuring bold intersecting line-work which creates irregular, angular forms. The five new Zip colourways incorporate a classic neutral latte combination, as well as on-trend azure, olive and sunshine hues accented with a subtle duck egg blue completing a total palette of 12 colourways.

The smaller scale design, Quiz, combines up to four yarn colours per colourway creating a combination of both tonal and contrasting options which coordinate back with the Zip palette.

The new colourways of fashionable blossom, azure, coral, latte and duck egg re-fresh the Quiz collection saluting classic contemporary design.

The geometric fabrics are suitable for both commercial and residential uses; from break-out office spaces to poolside furniture.

In Conversation With: Tom Lindblom, Gensler

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Lifting the curtain to peak inside one of the largest architecture firms in the world, editor Hamish Kilburn heads to Gensler’s UK headquarters to catch up with hospitality leader, Principal and Brit List 2018 finalist Tom Lindblom…

“Designing a hotel is a theatre production,” Tom Lindblom, hospitality leader and Principal at Gensler explains. “If you have ever been backstage at a theatre show, and have seen all the activity that’s going on, you will understand how many strings need to be pulled to ensure that what’s happening on the stage – front-of-house in our case – is going smoothly and flows seamlessly. The magic has to happen without the guests being aware how it is made.” This carefully chosen metaphor used to describe the realities – and often challenges – that modern architecture practices face is my first opportunity to really understand the man behind the vision of many projects in the UK, Europe and in the Middle East.

If we are to continue the theatre theme then I feel as if I have a front-row seat, exclusively invited to the opening night to critique Gensler’s award-winning performance. While the narrative explains how the company came to be one of the largest architecture firms in the world, the lead role is certainly up for interpretation. Lindblom, formally a museum and lighting designer, is one of 15 principals at Gensler and his stage is very much sheltered in the company’s London base in St Katherine Docks, with major plans for expansion. “Our expression is deliberately ‘one firm firm’, which suggests that we, the more than 6,000 employees at Gensler, are one team working across 48 offices around the globe,” he explains. “As a result of this shared mindset, our London office is able to share relationships with others around the world in order to eventually work on projects that would have otherwise gone to other architecture practices – it really is a key element to our global success.”

Gensler_Four Seasons_Kuwait

Image caption: Gensler’s Four Seasons Kuwait

Although the project briefs may change as the demands from operators and owners evolve, one thing remains constant in Lindblom’s eyes; team work really does make the dream work. “As an architect, the sooner you are working with an interior designer on a hotel project, the better the end result will be,” he says confidently. “Many see our industry as a triangle, but in actual fact it is a square,” he says. “That shape is between the owner, the operator, and the two designers – architecture and interiors – everyone needs to be reading off the same script.”

“The landscape of the hotel is as important as the architecture.” – Tom Lindblom

Whether we should design hotels that are Instagrammable is a topic that we are used to debating, I am keen to understand how, in Lindblom’s eyes, social media is dictating the design of the modern hotel. According to him, the pool in a resort hotel tends to be the ‘wow’ moment. “For a luxury resort hotel we designed in Croatia, for example, the ‘wow’ moments are a pool bar and grill and the water-front adult pool,” he explains. “The landscape of the hotel is as important as the architecture, and that’s why we work closely with landscape architects as well. At Gensler, we are very fortunate to have in-house landscape designers, which is often absolutely integral to the success of the project.”

Render of a pool and bar area outside

Image caption: Brizenica Bay Four Seasons Croatia Pool Bar / Credit: Gensler

Some of Lindblom’s most memorable curtain-call openings include St Regis Langkawi, Malaysia and the unforgettable unveiling of Four Season Kuwait at Burj Alshaya. Closer to home, though, since becoming one of the finalists at The Brit List 2018, Lindblom has been working on the interiors for a Hilton hotel project in Woking, Surrey. “There will be a great rooftop bar and restaurant, which is our answer to the operator’s brief, wanting to create certain ‘Instagrammable moments’,” Lindblom explains. “Our aim here was to open up the public areas to amazing panoramic views that can become an attraction for both guests and outside visitors.”

Gensler’s recently published Hospitality Experience Index concludes that hotel public spaces are changing. “Single-use public spaces are dead,” Lindblom claims. The report concludes: “The best hotels know that designing for today’s everything/everywhere customer doesn’t mean being everything to everyone -but it does require a new approach to understanding what guests want that goes far beyond business vs. leisure or millennial vs. boomer.” In response to this, Lindblom says: “Before we start drawing the shape and design of the building, we should be asking what experience we are trying to create.”

Quick-fire round:

Hamish Kilburn: What would you say, in your opinion as an architect, is the best designed city in the world?
Tom Lindblom: I love Paris and New York, but the city that made a big impression on me recently was Ljubljana, the Capital of Slovenia.

HK: What would you be if you weren’t an architect?
TL: A Sculptor

HK: What, in your opinion, is the worst designed hotel?
TL: There are too many to list

HK: What is your biggest bugbear when travelling?
TL: Wheely bags! I hate them!

HK: What is your favourite colour?
TL: Anything with stripes!

HK: Do you have a favourite project?
TL: They are all special, but I am really proud of the Four Seasons in Kuwait – I feel as if we need end credits to list all the people who brought that vision to life, all led by an amazing client.

Exterior shot of the hotel

Image caption: St. Regis Langkawi / credit: Gensler

There is a certain ignorance that comes from reviewing hotels, one that typically completely ignores the foundation of what is, as Hilton Hotels puts it, the heart-of-house. “The back-of-house, or backstage of any hotel performance, has to be designed around functionality,” Lindblom explains. “Our job here is to design an area that will maximise service and overall productivity, which in turn leads to a seamless guest experience. Although these areas won’t have all the finishes that you see in front of the staging, they are a vital part of the production.”

In the backstage access-all-areas interview, I am eager to learn what it takes to be cast as one of the leads at Gensler. “Believe it or not, listening is the fundamental skill to be a good leader,” Lindblom says. “When we are failing, we are not listening, which interestingly is the same for both staff and clients”

For this interview’s dramatic final scene, Lindblom explains how his past experience as a lighting designer has helped him to sketch and create some of the world’s most impressive design hotels. “There is just way too much artificial light in the world,” he explains as he points to the light directly above our heads, which creates glare while we are speaking at the table. “The starting point for a lighting designer should be darkness. Then you build up from there, considering the light sources, the times of day, colours and finishes, and ultimately the intention for the spaces.” And like any hit Broadway or Westend show, the production fades on a cliff-hanger conclusion as we wait to witness the unveiling of Gensler’s next hotel project.

Editor’s round-up of Surface Design Show 2019

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Taking place from February 5 – 7 at Business Design Centre London, the Surface Design Show gave a platform to more surface material and lighting specialists than ever before. Editor Hamish Kilburn was there and reports…

More than 5,000 architects, designers and specifiers from 47 countries descended on London earlier this month for the much anticipated Surface Design Show. Over the course of three days, the show provided a packed schedule of insightful and entertaining panel discussions, informative CPDs and talks, trend forecasts and allowed exhibitors to display new products.

Presenters included New London Architecture and RIBA who hosted the Opening Night Debate; Chris Dyson who presented the PechaKucha Evening; Hannah Malein of Colour Hive; Oliver Heath of Oliver Heath Design and Daniel Hopwood representing Design Guild Mark, all kept visitors engaged as they educated on ways of thinking about materials, current industry issues and trends.

crowd gathering around the stand

Image credit: Surface Design Show 2019

There were a number of stand-out motifs among the 150 exhibition stands that displayed a positive look at where surface design is heading. The most prominent themes were:

Acoustic walls 

The surface experts at Armourcoat were at the show unveiling its new Acoustics Plaster System, which is designed with hotels and restaurant designers in mind with the aim to optimise the acoustics of interior spaces. While many acoustic surfaces are often bulky and not stylishly flexible, The Acoustic Plaster System offers a clean and smooth mineral surface that can be applied seamlessly over large expanses such as hotel lobbies or restaurants.

Meanwhile, anne kyyro quinn, which produces bespoke three-dimensional acoustic walls coverings, supplied the backdrop for the main stage. The handmade textile wallcoverings are natural, durable, versatile and are therefore suitable for commercial as well as residential projects.

Sustainability

Ethically handmade by master craftsmen, the premium patchwork cowhide rugs from Mosaic that were displayed on the stand were fabricated with 100 per cent recycled hides. Unlike other vendors which buy in full leather hides, Mosaic only use recycled hides from off-cuts of the luxury furniture and leather goods industry. The result, aesthetically, is a completely unique and customisable rug ideal for boutique hotels seeking characterful floors.

Elsewhere, Friends of Wilson displayed its Tessellate acousitic wall panel, which is made from 100 per cent polyester fibres containing a minimum of 60 per cent post-consumer recycled material (PET bottleflake).

Taking this concept into new territory were you designers Poppy Pippin and Emma Raybould over on the Spotlight Surface Live stand. Pippin’s Moss Tiles product has been designed specifically to encourage moss growth in order to improve air quality in the urban environment by absorbing carbon dioxide. Raybould’s silicastone design, displayed at the show, is an eco-architectural alternative to quarried stone for solid surfaces, which was developed at the University of Central Lancashire.

Since 2013 the Show has hosted the Surface Design Awards, now recognised as one of the most respected events in the design calendar. The 2019 Awards received 197 entries from 22 countries,
including America, Italy, China and India.

In a ceremony held over breakfast, the beautiful new Maggie’s Centre St Barts, London was declared the Supreme Winner, capturing the hearts and minds of the stellar panel of judges from the world of architecture and design. A beacon of design in the charity sector, the building by Steven Holl Architects was shortlisted in the Public Building Exterior category, gaining acclaim from the judges, including architect Christophe Egret of Studio Egret West, who stated “You really feel that a person dealing with cancer might feel elevated in this space”.

The 2019 awards ceremony was presented by architecture and design writer Aidan Walker, who cited the specialist focus of the show as key to its success now and for the future: “Surface Design has become one of the most compelling areas of innovation and imagination in design and architecture in the last few years. Driven by technology on one hand and the imperative for sustainability on the other, the application of new techniques and materials to cladding, walls, floors and ceilings has enlivened practice in a way unimaginable 10 years ago. Surface Design Show is perfectly positioned to express, exploit and support this rich seam of imagination and creativity. I see a great future for both the show and its Awards scheme.”

Hotel Designs was a proud media partner for the event.

Main image credit: Surface Design Show 2019

SHORTLIST ANNOUNCED: Hotel Designs’ 30 under 30

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SHORTLIST ANNOUNCED: Hotel Designs’ 30 under 30

Hundreds of entries have been whittled down to just 40 talented designers and architects under 30… 

Following its search to find the industry’s next rising stars, Hotel Designs has announced the shortlist of its 2019 30 Under 30 initiative…

Nominations, which closed on February 15, came in from many leading design firms such as HBA London, The Gettys Group, WATG, Richmond International, Gensler and many more.

Further to being recognised as rising stars on the international hotel design scene, the shortlisted finalists will also be invited, courtesy of Hotel Designs, to Meet Up London to network among a sea of other leading leading names in the industry.

“Our aim for the 30 Under 30 initiative is really to bridge the age gap between designers, hoteliers, architects and key industry suppliers,” said Katy Phillips, publisher of Hotel Designs. “Our events are often attended by directors and principals of studios, but we would like to extend the invitation now to include the young talented individuals who are shaping the future of our industry.”

The shortlisted finalists are:

Adam Charlap Hyman – Charlap Hyman & Herrero

Adam  Crabtree – Chelsom

Alaa Mohamed – Pallavi Dean Interiors

Ali Bacon – The Gettys Group

Amber Peters – Bluehaus

Andre Herrero – Charlap Hyman & Herrero

Anya Gordon Clark – Dexter Moren Associates

Beatrice Fischel-Bock – Hutch

Catherine van der Heide – HASSELL

Charlotte Roe – WISH London

Daniela Anedda – M Studio London

David Jelensky – M Studio London

Gina Langridge – WATG

Gioia Corrada – M Studio London

Harry Allnatt – Richmond International

Jen Lees – HBA London

Jodie Hatton – Brintons

Jordyn Dickson – The Gettys Group

Josh Piddock – Project Orange

Karolina Samuilaite – Modus

Kate Jarrett – Scott Brownrigg

Kay Jones – Brintons

Lauren McEwen – Goddard Littlefair

Lily Kwong – Studio Lily Kwong

Lisa Liu  – WATG

Mahesh Parekh – ARA Design

Marion Pierru – Wilson Associates

Natasha Ahmed – Lulie Fisher Design Studio

Nicola Brook – Nicola Brook Design

Omar Nakkash – Nakkash Design Studio

Patrick McCrae – ARTIQ

Rasha All-Tekreeti – MMAC Design

Rebecca Quickfall – Jasper Sanders + Partners

Reem Moussalli – Dress The Space F.Z.E

Rosalynn Youdan – Jestico + Whiles

Sarah Murphy – Jestico + Whiles

Scarlett Supple – Soho House Design

Simona Miron – Gensler

Stephanie Riedl – B3 Designers

Yasmin Farahmandy – Gensler

Yosola Akinwumi – HBA London

About Meet Up London

More than 200 hospitality professionals are expected to attend Hotel Designs’ highly anticipated networking event, Meet Up London.

Following the success of previous networking events, such as The Brit list 2018 and Meet Up North, Hotel Designs’ Meet Up London will adopt the theme of 30 under 30. The leading hotel design website has asked its readers to nominate designers, architects and hoteliers of the age of 30 and under who are fast climbing the ranks to become leading practitioners.

The event, which is being styled exclusively by Minotti London, will provide a unique opportunity to network over drinks and canapés with the largest names in hospitality, interior design and architecture.

Address: 77 Margaret St, Fitzrovia, London, W1W 8SY
Time: 6pm – 9pm

For more information about becoming a Hotel Designs Meet Up sponsor, contact Zoe Guerrier on 01992 374059 or email z.guerrier@forumevents.co.uk.

To purchase your tickets to Meet Up London, click here.

Exclusive style partner: Minotti London

Exclusive headline partner: Hamilton Litestat

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SPOTLIGHT ON: March features announced

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Hotel Designs has officially dropped its March editorial features, which are Technology and Guestroom Lighting… 

Throughout March, Hotel Designs’ Spotlight On features will look at two highly topical features, namely Technology and Guestroom Lighting. These topics, which marry up nicely in many of the debates rippling through conversations in the industry, will be explored throughout the month in a series of editorials.

Technology 

Image of in-room ipad next to lighting controls

Image credit: Ecclestone Hotel London

Now that the industry seems to be doing away with gimmicky tools that serve little purpose for anyone checking in, the way has been cleared for sophisticated tech products to launch with the aim to amplify the overall guest experience. “Arguably, this topic has never been more relevant than it is today, which is why are exploring it so early on in the calendar.” commented editor Hamish Kilburn.

Guestroom Lighting

chandelier in a modern guestrooms

Image credit: Chelsom Lighting

Back by popular demand, Hotel Designs will continue March by shining the spotlight on lighting in the guestroom. “Thanks to certain advancements in lighting technology, we predict that guestroom lighting in 2019 will see some serious innovation,” Kilburn commented. “At the heart of this evolution, LED is still king!”

If you wish to find out more, or know of a product that we should be talking about, please contact Zoe Guerrier on 01992 374059 or z.guerrier@forumevents.co.uk

Main image credit: Moritz Waldemeyer

Mr. C Hotels to unveil first property in Q2 2019

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The new 100-key luxury property, which will be designed in conjunction with architecture firm Arquitectonica and Brit List winner Martin Brudnizki Design Studio, will open in Miami this spring…

The highly anticipated Mr. C Coconut Grove, the first Mr. C Hotel to debut in Florida from the fourth-generation hospitality leaders, brothers Ignazio and Maggio Cipriani, has announced that the property will open in spring 2019.

“It is with great pleasure that we are able to unveil Mr. C Coconut Grove to the community this spring,” said Ignazio Cipriani, Founder/President of Mr. C Hotels at the announcement. ” Our partners and associates have enhanced our vision and helped to bring this exciting project to life in such an iconic neighborhood as Miami’s Coconut Grove.”

Modern guestrom with palette of light blue and light oak

Image credit: Mr. C Hotels

Mr. C Coconut Grove is situated in the heart of one of Miami’s most notable neighborhoods and is set to provide guests with unmatched views of Biscayne Bay and the Coconut Grove skyline.

From its interior, the hotel draws inspiration from Italy’s iconic coastal style and hints at the aesthetic elements of a classic yacht. Interior design includes high gloss timber paneling, leather-upholstered blue and caramel headboards, nautical style dressers, playful and comfortable sofas and armchairs in a range of soft and airy blue, and white and pink fabrics throughout the space. Acclaimed architecture and design firm Arquitectonica, in conjunction with the Martin Brudnizki Design Studio, combined the stylish European glamour and nautical aesthetic Mr. C Hotels are best known for with the tropical surroundings of South Florida.

In addition to its 100 guestrooms and suites with private outdoor terraces, Mr. C Coconut Grove also features the Bellini Restaurant and Bar, on the hotel’s top floor. The restaurant boasts a refreshing new Italian dining concept inspired by Ignazio and Maggio Cipriani’s travels throughout Italy, and offers indoor and outdoor seating that exudes the intimate old-world atmosphere of coastal Italy while embracing a sleek and soothing Miami modern style.

Rooftop pool render

Image credit: Mr. C Hotels

For corporate meetings and social events, Mr. C Coconut Grove offers guests a top floor ballroom with panoramic views of the Biscayne Bay. The space can accommodate a seated dinner for approximately 150 guests and cocktail reception for 300 guests, with an additional pre-function space. A covered event space is also available in the hotel’s ground floor for up to 720 guests.

Other statement features include a rooftop pool and pool deck with private cabanas and a pool bar, state-of-the-art gym equipment with personal trainer and yoga classes available upon request, a Lobby Lounge with indoor and outdoor garden seating, and a private spa suite with a relaxation area, sauna and treatment room which can be reserved through the concierge team.

Main image credit: Mr. C Hotels

Top stories of the week: design love from Bangkok, hide and seek architecture and a new hotel chapter

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With architecture and construction firmly in the spotlight, Hotel Designs has witnessed another jam-packed week full of interesting stories that highlights our love in design and architecture. Breaking down these headlines is editor Hamish Kilburn… 

New York, New York! Is there anywhere else on the planet quite like it? In the original metropolis where possibilities soar high above the bustling streets below, the hotel scene is staggering. It’s latest luxury neighbour is situated on 701 Seventh Avenue on the corner of 47th Street, Times Square, and features 452 guestrooms. With four levels of public space, the hotel is, much like the area it surrounds has already done over many decades, evolving with the trends to cater to the modern man and woman.

Changing perceptions has been a theme that has stitched together this week’s headlines – and I have been fortunate enough to be the first to tell many of this week’s main features. From spending quality time in the company of interior designer Celia Chu as she prepares to complete Rosewood Bangkok, to continuing to follow Nicky Dobree on her quest to open her first hotel; it’s been a great week to be part of the industry. To top it off, we are hours away from closing the applications/nominations process for our 30 Under 30 initiative. As a young editor (26 years old), I am personally proud to support this scheme – to support young talent in our industry – with every fibre of my body.

Here are the top stories of the week:

1) EDITION arrives in New York’s Times Square

black armchair infront of black wallcoverings

Image credit: EDITION Hotels

“The Times Square EDITION is an entirely new lens on Times Square. From an aerie above the hubbub below, you can engage, observe or withdraw. The hotel is an oasis of sophistication brought to you through the insight of the incomparable Ian Schrager, my friend and partner. There is simply nothing like it,” said Arne Sorenson, President and CEO, Marriott International.

> Click here to read the full story

2) The interior designer behind Rosewood Bangkok

open and airy suite with peculiar angular architecture

Image credit: Rosewood Hotels

As its highly anticipated opening is imminently on the horizon, the Rosewood Bangkok’s interior design story is one yet to be unveiled in detail. We caught up with interior designer Celia Chu to establish the narrative told within the walls of the soon-to-open 159-key luxury hotel.

> Click here to read the feature

3) Six Senses joins IHG

Aerial shot of a Six Senses hotel in the ocean

Image credit: Six Senses

The milestone moment, where IHG aquired Six Senses happened on Wednesday. As part of the IHG family, Six Senses is expected to expand to 60 properties within the next 10 years. This includes incredible new Six Senses hotels and resorts from a restored 14th-century fort in Rajasthan, to villas on a private island in Cambodia, and the brand’s first hotel in North America – a contemporary duo of twisting towers designed by Bjarke Ingles near the High Line in Manhattan’s West Chelsea.

> Click here to read the full story

4) Camouflaged hotel architecture of the 21st century

glass structure in the woods

Image credit: treehotel

As we continue putting architecture and construction in the spotlight, Hotel Designs reveals some of the world’s most spectacular hidden architectural gems.

> Click here to read the full story

5) From Concept to Completion: Restoring a 19th-century house to create Plaza 18 (part two)

Moodboard of ideas

Image credit: Nicky Dobree

In part two of our From Concept to Completion series, where we are closely following the design story of Plaza 18, Dobree’s first hotel project is beginning to take form. The building’s design is approaching the final stages before the grand reveal this Easter. Meanwhile, interior designer Nicky Dobree is able to step away from the project for five minutes – something I believe the designer is not accustomed to – in order to explain more about her relationship with the soon-to-be hotel.

> Click here to read the feature

Main image credit: Rosewood Hotels

 

Chapter Roma to open this spring

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The 42-key hotel, designed by Tristan Du Plessis of Studio A, will be the first property to open in the newly established Chapter Italia portfolio…

Opening in the vibrant and historic Regola neighborhood of Rome this spring, the 42-room hotel Chapter Roma will create an intimate atmosphere for those checking in. The first location in the newly established Chapter Italia Portfolio developed by Marco Cilia (formerly of Hotel Americano in New York City), Chapter Roma will open in March 2019. The hotel, proudly part of the Design Hotels collection, will act as a catalyst for change for Italian travel by providing something currently unattainable – an accessibility to luxury that is not just saved for five-star hotels.

 Embodying a true fusion of gritty and glamorous, with a contemporary and classic aesthetic, South African based designer Tristan Du Plessis of Studio A has breathed new life into the building which dates back to 1880. Chapter Roma’s laidback yet spirited vision in contemporary interiors brings Du Plessis’ signature industrial-chic, sultry style and strong local connection to this ancient cosmopolis. The guest rooms are centered on a few statement pieces in otherwise minimalistic spaces with clever custom-made vanity-cum-storage solutions.

“We wanted to create a design that stood out for its youthfulness whilst still respecting the traditions of the city.” – Tristan Du Plessis of Studio A

A Rome native, Cilia has seen the modern-day city change and develop over time. “We are introducing a new vibe for hospitality in Regola with the opening of Chapter Roma,” he said. “I was born here, and it is important that we put our guests in the Italian state of mind; protecting Rome’s design heritage while celebrating the future with genuine and original design, service, and food and beverage offerings. With Chapter Roma we’re telling the first part of our story, we want to create a place where guests truly feel like they’re living like a local.”

Green bed and wooden flooring

Image credit: Chapter Roma

Cilia decided upon Regola due to the area being commemorated with the names of the winding cobblestone streets. Chapter Roma itself is on Via di Santa Maria dei Calderari, or the “street of the blacksmiths,” and Du Plessis has paid tribute to this lineage by using a variety of metals throughout the property. Du Plessis employs elements of raw steel, brass, copper and bronze, adding an industrial touch to an elegant space with high ceilings, herringbone floors, and mid-century Italian furniture. The dramatic setup is rounded off nicely with a palette of dark green and rust and soft-to-the-touch velvets.

“We wanted to create a design that stood out for its youthfulness whilst still respecting the traditions of the city, by using local craftsmen, materials and aesthetics for a large amount of the hotel and collaborated with young local and international artists as well as furniture and lighting manufacturers to imbed a spirit of rebellion throughout the design,” added Plessis. “The age of the building was both inspiring and challenging, but the old walls and ancient layout made sure that each room has a unique footprint which has lent us the opportunity to create varied and interesting room types.”

Inspired by the streets of Rome along with the neighborhood’s cutting-edge galleries and furniture boutiques, a contemporary artwork by CYRCLE, a two-man collective made up of American artists David Leavitt and David Torres, as well as graffiti by local artist Alice Pasquini grace the walls of the Chapter Roma’s lobby bar.

Opening on to Via Santa Maria dei Calderari the bar features Roman arches wrapped in raw steel throughout and will be a hybrid space for work, play, and everything in between. Chapter Roma will also feature an all-organic daytime market, delivering a new kind of accessible luxury to the modern in-the-know traveler and, later on in the year, a signature restaurant.

 

Make hotels more instagrammable with UNILIN

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A recent British survey suggests that more than 40 per cent of millennials choose their holiday destination based on its Instragammability, so what can you do to make hotel interiors more instagrammable? UNILIN explains…

To find out, UNILIN, division panels, makers of Evola decorative panels have turned to Kel Wouters of So Buzzy, a social media marketing agency that counts Crowne Plaza Antwerp and Hotel BLOOM, among its clients.

“Instagram can give your hotel additional awareness and reach, and often just a small investment can have a major impact,” begins Wouters. “Hotels that are shared frequently are ‘top of mind’ and people will want to stay there and populate their own feed from the same place. It’s a positive circle for any hotel that can crack Instagram.”

Starting small can often reap surprising rewards. A simple yet amusing slogan on the wall of the entrance to washrooms at The Hotel’s (Brussels) restaurant reading ‘men to the left because women are always right’, became one of its most Instagrammed spots. Designers can use UNILIN Evola panels to such effect, choosing from 168 designs as the perfect backdrop to a ‘grammable’ slogan, or even creating a unique ‘selfie spot’ with custom digital print technology available on UNILIN’s HPL, melamine and edging tape.

Wouters continues: “Check what your audience is sharing and looking at on Instagram and respond to that when designing your spot. Think about light in the area and test it out beforehand. Ensure there’s an obvious link to your hotel. If guests are sharing your selfie spot but no one knows that it’s in your hotel, then it’s a wasted opportunity; share your account at the location and encourage people to use a hashtag.”

UNILIN can offer office space designers a flexible way to approach the entire fabric of their Instagram spot – walls, partitions, furniture and surface treatment – with different looks that all possess the same low-maintenance, splash-proof, scratch-resistant, fade-resistant and durable finish. perfect for giving any selfie spot a ‘loveable’ look and joining Evola in 106 matching decors, ClicWall is UNILIN’s instantly transformative wall panel system.

“Interior designers also need to look at what’s currently popular on Instagram, although they need to be careful with temporary trends. Replaceable accessories are the key. The ball chairs at Hotel BLOOM! regularly get new cushions in different colours to create a whole new vibe, and arty objects throughout the hotel are replaced at regular intervals,” concludes Wouters.

UNILIN Evola and ClicWall panels can be used as the perfect, lasting backdrop for any hotel looking to make itself more Instragammable.

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, click here.

The Sound Hotel opens to celebrate all senses in Seattle

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The Hotel Group and Hilton have announced the grand opening of The Sound Hotel Seattle Belltown, Tapestry Collection by Hilton. Woven into the fabric of Belltown, one of Seattle’s most vibrant and centrally located neighborhoods, The Sound Hotel celebrates the sights, sounds and tastes that are unique to Seattle. It occupies the first 10 floors of the 42-story Arrivé tower, one of the first mixed-use properties, featuring rental units, in the market.

“We are thrilled to see The Sound Hotel open its doors as the brand’s first hotel in the Pacific Northwest, particularly in a city like Seattle that is known for innovation, great restaurants and a thriving arts scene,” said Jenna Hackett, global head, Tapestry Collection by Hilton. “Just as Seattle is one of the fastest-growing cities in America, Tapestry Collection continues to rapidly expand as The Sound Hotel also marks the collection brand’s first of many 2019 openings.”

Design firm Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA) immersed itself into the hotel’s neighborhood, visiting local hotspots and meeting with the community, to create an authentic Belltown experience. Upon arriving at the hotel entrance, guests are immediately welcomed into an artist’s studio as stretched canvases, murals and finished concrete floors flow towards the reception desk. Guest rooms feature warm, wood-toned floors, echoing the feeling of a musician stepping onto a stage. Dark, moody bathrooms are reminiscent of backstage dressing rooms, with microphone lights, plush robes, metal accents and rich black linear tiles setting the perfect backdrop.

Modern guestroom in hotel

Image credit: Hilton Hotels Worldwide

Artistic elements are also featured on the exterior of the hotel. Watkins commissioned Seattle graffiti artist Weirdo, a.k.a. Jeff Jacobson, to paint an original mural on an exterior brick wall facing several of the guest rooms, effectively turning those rooms into some of the most desirable in the hotel. This larger-than-life piece features Jacobson’s signature vivid, post-Internet hyper-realism style and beautifully tells the story of The Sound Hotel through art.

The Sound Hotel features 142 exquisitely designed guestrooms with expansive views of the downtown Seattle skyline and Puget Sound, a ground level restaurant, Currant Bistro.

“The hotel’s design drew directly from the Belltown neighborhood’s deep roots in the arts and local music scene, mixed in with the natural beauty of the Puget Sound region,” said David Watkins, general manager, The Sound Hotel. “Warm, rich textures in our rooms offer visitors an authentic Northwest experience, while the artistic elements reflect Seattle as a bustling hive of creativity.”

Image of modern bathroom with large sliding wooden doors

Image credit: Hilton Hotels Worldwide

The building’s seventh-floor Lupine Room offers 770 square feet of divisible meeting space, ideal for groups of up to 35. Featuring plenty of natural light, it can easily transform into an event space to accommodate an intimate gathering. In addition to the Lupine Room, Sound Bite Lounge is a relaxed, post-meeting gathering spot with a seasonal outdoor sundeck offering stunning views of the Space Needle.

Main image credit: Hilton Hotels Worldwide

 

How hotels can utilise this year’s bathroom trends

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With the bathroom trends for 2019 well and truly forecasted, interior designer Charlie Willaims from Heritage Bathrooms explains how hotels can inject these into the modern hotel…  

Luxurious, modern bathrooms are right at the top of the wishlist for homeowners right now, with many of these individuals now increasingly expecting to see this design-led approach when they book a hotel stay.

We have taken a look at this year’s five of key trends and how you can incorporate them to ensure your bathrooms remain at the cutting edge.

Mixed metallics

Metallics have been in vogue for a number of years now, and this trend is showing no sign of slowing down. The key to making it work in 2019 will be to vary the use of metals to create a standout look that will impress your guests.

Choose a distinctive metallic bath or statement copper brassware. Also consider using accent textures and shade with a traditional chrome mirror frame like Heritage’s arched mirror for a classic finish.

Biophilia

Pink bath in front of a floral wallpaper

Image credit: Heritage Bathrooms

For the uninitiated, biophilia involves bringing a little bit of the outside in – creating warm and welcoming spaces combining plants with natural woods and neutral tones.

A key way to bring this into a hotel space is to maximise natural light. Minimise blinds and curtains to allow the sunlight to pour in and then build a bit of colour on top of the neutral tones by adding an array of low-maintenance plants, or some nature inspired wallpaper.

Memphis Design

Image credit: Heritage Bathrooms

The 1980s is alive again and experiencing a bit of a renaissance thanks to the Memphis Design movement.

It doesn’t need to be difficult to incorporate this trend, which makes the most of primary colours and geometry, in a subtle way. Pair a colourful roll top tub, like the Buckingham from Heritage, with some funky towel designs for a bit of pattern and intrigue.

Colour layering

Layered tiles in the bathroom

Image credit: Heritage Bathrooms

Bringing a range of colours and shades into a bathroom space can make it feel warm and welcoming, while adding a little bit of interest and intrigue.

Make sure that you include a common thread which ties the room together if you’re going to implement this trend. A good example would be to layer a range of accessories in soft hues on top of a monochrome bathroom suite. This will also enable you to alter your colour scheme according to the different seasons.

Bold black bathrooms

Croc-scaled bath

Image credit: Heritage Bathrooms

Dark shades can help bring a spa-like quality to a bathroom, creating an indulgent, high-end guest experience.

Make a statement by including a dark freestanding bath, such as the hand finished Alderley Croc Skin Effect from Heritage Bathrooms. Pair it with patterned tiles or wallpaper for an elegant finish.

Main image credit: Heritage Bathrooms

Final call for entries: Shaw Contract Design Awards 2019

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The deadline for entries is March 1, 2019…

A global programme, the Shaw Contract Design Awards recognise the creative vision of the architects and designers who inspire new ways of living, working, learning and healing. The Awards place a spotlight on a diverse range of talents from across the globe, celebrating design in action and purposefully rewarding the innovative and truly inspiring work being done by the architecture and design community.

The Shaw Contract Design Awards programme is open to all professional interior design firms, architecture firms and end users. Projects must feature a Shaw Contract product as the predominant flooring in the space and must have been completed between February 2017 and February 2019. There is no cost to enter you just need to submit your design story by March 1, 2019.

Supporting a cause

In its 14 years, the Shaw Contract Design Awards Programme has given nearly $200,000 to non-profit and charitable organisations around the world. Each year, the final winners and People’s Choice Award winner select a charity of their choice to donate $2000 USD as part of their prize winnings. This allows designers the opportunity to make an impact beyond the built environment.

Fokkema & Partners Architecten Bv, the Netherlands-based firm whose work drew the judges’ attention for a win in the Small Office category, chose a cause that was near and dear to their firm. A former colleague oversees the construction of schools in Tanzania, and the firm chose to support her work with their winnings.

RossTarrant Architects, the People’s Choice Award winner, designed Western Kentucky University, USA and chose to give back to the Institution’s science and experimentation programmes.

For a chance to win the 2019 Design Awards and support the cause that matters most to your practice or company, please enter here.

The interior designer behind Rosewood Bangkok

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The interior designer behind Rosewood Bangkok

As its highly anticipated opening is imminently on the horizon, the Rosewood Bangkok’s interior design story is one yet to be unveiled in detail. Editor Hamish Kilburn caught up with interior designer Celia Chu to establish the narrative told within the walls of the soon-to-open 159-key luxury hotel…

The interior designer Celia Chu has worked for many leading international hotel brands across Europe, Africa and Asia & North America including The Grand Hyatt,  Hyatt Regency, Crowne Plaza, Intercontinental, to name but a few.

Since establishing the design firm Celia Chu Design, the combination of inspired creativity and comprehensive design strategy has been the main driving force and much of the time its competitive edge. Chu’s reputation of being a global modern designer, who can balance trendsetting statements with timeless style, inspired Rosewood Hotels, which turned to Chu to design its next luxury statement located in the ever-changing landscape of Bangkok.

With its luxury arm expanding 24 prestigious properties around the globe, being responsible for the interior design direction of a hotel branded by Rosewood requires a tenacious mindset. Balancing the interiors to be sensitive to the heritage of the brand as well as to be an ultra-modern, timeless hotel that challenges conventional design is a hurdle faced by most designers in today’s industry. However, designing a 159-key luxury hotel within the shell of a new architectural landmark – one which takes statement architecture to new global heights – was a totally new quest. Despite the boundaries, mental and physical, that were ahead when receiving the brief in 2016, interior designer Celia Chu took it all in her stride, and her vision slowly became the Rosewood Bangkok.

“It sometimes felt like I was writing a novel, taking one chapter of the story at a time.” – Celia Chu

Slated to open this Summer, the hotel has all the ingredients required to not only raise the awareness of the Rosewood Brand, but also to elevate the overall image of the city below. “To me, it’s important to first understand what kind of a story you want to tell and how you want the guests to feel,” says Chu. “When designing the concept, we become heavily involved with the culture, and all decisions have to come from the heart. Shanghai is a very modern city with a high population. As well as striving to achieve a more international look and feel, Bangkok is also very humble and it was therefore integral respect the nature of the area. I have kept this in mind throughout the entire project in order to create personal moments; it sometimes felt like I was writing a novel, taking one chapter of the story at a time.”

As well as the obvious, the sheer scale of the building and its angular architecture, there were other minor details of the site to consider when beginning the design journey. The first task for Chu and her team in the bustling Asian city of Bangkok, was to imagine a theme that would stand out from the other hotels in the area. While many designers would ‘go big or go home’, Chu opted for a more refined way of thinking. “Although it is hard to believe, because of the noise that the architecture renders have created, the site is actually very small,” Chu explains. “The design has always been very informed to feel, once completed, more like a luxury residence rather than a hotel. Therefore, the devil was absolutely in the detail.” Chu’s relationship with the architects, KFP Architect, became the fuel to the success of the overall project.

Exterior shot of the hotel

Image credit: KPF Architects/Rosewood Hotels

The building itself is visually striking – a bold move for Rosewood, which has traditionally decided to shelter its luxury abodes within classic buildings. The architecture of the 33-storey building was inspired by the Thai hand gesture of ‘wei’. “Working closely with the architects throughout the whole process, our goal for the interior design was to continue this theme of local gestures inside the property. “I love the building and our challenge was to ensure that both the architecture and the interior design blend into each other,” Chu says. “As an extension from the ‘wei’ on the exterior, in the interior design we have created all these different cultural areas, some more abstract on this theme than others. For example, while the architecture uses ‘wei’ as inspiration, there’s an area within the hotel that is inspired by another hand gesture used in Thai dance.” What many designers would consider a challenge when faced with the striking face of the architecture, Chu saw this as an opportunity to create an interesting chapter within the novel.

For Chu and her team, creating the residential look to create sophisticated tones throughout the hotel was key. To do this, she considered interesting surfaces, colours and textures. “I typically use a lot of materials the way that I design – I like to pile up layers from a base,” Chu explains. “For example, as a base I have used luxurious heavy materials such as marble, metal, leather, but to add layers I looked at traditional local materials such as wood carvings and textiles.”

Plush bathroom

Image credit: Rosewood Hotels

Within the design of a hotel of this scale, there is of course a larger context. Being a modern global designer is arguably more challenging than ever before. The double-edge sword that is technology and trends continue to divide opinions among the hotel designers in the 21st century. Chu’s experience highlights, like most, a challenge to establish ‘timeless décor’ in the ever-shifting landscape of design. “From the time we start a project start to time we finish can be up to eight years. With hotels that need to stand as a statement for a minimum of 15 years, this creates a variety of challenges when selecting styles and interior pieces,” says Chu. “My aim as a modern global designer is to support local artists, especially those who manufacturer locally. I believe I have an ethical duty to help establish the economy of where I am designing.”

Image caption: Celia Chu

If the beating heart of a luxury hotel is the lobby, then the soul within the body of the property is by far the guestrooms and suites. These areas within the Rosewood Bangkok will use night and day as an obvious theme. “Think modern Thai when imagining what the guestrooms and suites will look like,” explains Chu. “We have used a colour scheme to incorporate dark areas and light areas.” The result of this, I can envision, is a district residential feel, which echoes a similar style to that of the public areas.

While the surfaces will be layered, the lighting will be simple and effective. “Our aim in the lighting was to steer away from being complicated and instead create different light directions,” says Chu. “I find that designers are using more decorative lighting to make the whole system within the guestroom or suite easier to use.”

Lots of time they are trying to peruse an international look. In Bangkok we are trying to respect the humble nature of the area. Especially this client, we design the space I want to make it even more Thai with the history. Like writing a novel for a client. Maybe not on the scale of it, but we are certainly making an impact.

As Chu approaches writing the final pages of what she describes is her novel, complete with thick, textured and timeless pages, I am interested to go where few design enthusiasts dare to go. I am eager, before we say farewell, to unearth which area of the hotel Chu would consider to be her favourite. “That is so difficult to question, as all areas are so different and mean different things to me,” says Chu. “However, the living room/lobby lounge is such an interesting space. It is designed appropriately for an area where guests can enjoy afternoon tea and dinner. Locals too will enjoy this area, which I am very excited about. Therefore, I wanted to tell the story of the client’s memories and is inspired by a music box.”

The end of March will mark the grand opening of the Rosewood Bangkok. As Chu puts the finishing touches to her masterpiece ‘novel’, which will be unveiled to the world shortly, Bangkok’s presence as a rising modern design hub continues to develop in many interesting shapes, colours and sizes.

EDITION arrives in New York’s Times Square

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The Times Square EDITION is the brand’s second hotel to open in New York…

There simply has never been anything like it before in New York City’s famed cultural and entertainment mecca. Ian Schrager, in partnership with Marriott International, has introduced the sophisticated The EDITION Times Square, which will shelter the first Michelin-starred chef ever to grace the neighborhood, along with the creation of a new form of Cabaret theatre and a complete reinvention of billboard art.

Throughout the decades, Times Square has seen myriad changes and has taken on many iterations. By World War I, it was the center of culture, nightlife and entertainment. By the 40’s and 50’s, the Latin Quarter Nightclub presented festive floor shows that featured chorus girls and can-can dancers, Frank Sinatra, Frankie Laine and the Andrew Sisters. There was Tin Pan Alley, the Copacabana and the Theater District. There was Roseland, Birdland, Ella Fitzgerald, marathon dancing, hot jazz, Doo-Wop and the pop rock of the Brill building as well as the invention of the now gossip columns. It was a democratic “meeting place” and nothing exemplified the disorder of the city or the dichotomy of high and low art than Times Square. Sadly, however, the Great Depression and World War II took its toll on the area and Times Square began its decline. From the 60’s onward, the area was riddled with adult entertainment, prostitution, drugs, and crime. It wasn’t until the mid-80’s when the Marriott Marquis opened its doors and Disney debuted The Lion King at The New Amsterdam Theatre that the clean-up began with the redevelopment of new theaters, retail, hotels and eateries.

Despite Times Square’s notorious reputation, it has managed to maintain itself as a symbolic global, geographic and cultural icon. It had long been home to media giants as well as the center for theater, music, culture and entertainment. This adventurous mold-breaking, however, has disappeared. Today, Times Square and its overindulgent commercialisation that lacks the substance and sex-appeal that once distinguished its streets. It is hungry for a Renaissance and The Times Square EDITION will usher in a new era. The hotel and all of its unique offerings seek to preserve the essence of the area during its Golden Age when it was the microcosm of the best New York City had to offer.

“The Golden Age of Times Square elicited the feeling that anything was possible. New York was the City of Dreams, Times Square at its heart, where everyone came together with a common purpose,” said Schrager. “The Times Square EDITION is the embodiment of this storied past, resurrected for the present, providing hope for the future of this most beloved neighborhood.”

black armchair infront of black wallcoverings

Image credit: EDITION Hotels

From the moment you enter the hotel’s doors on 20 Times Square at West 47th Street, guests are transported to another world—a decompression zone. A long ivory hall with venetian plastered walls and ceiling and a floating custom green mirrored stainless sphere inspired by Anish Kapoor and the colors of Jeff Koons await you. Once gusts arrive at the Lobby and Lobby Bar, a series of black and white spaces, which is worlds away from technicolour scenes located on the streets. Each of these two extremes serves the other yet each stands on its own. But together, something new, original, and even stronger is created. Indeed, with this alchemic symbiosis, a new reality and a virtual fourth dimension is created. As guests move in and out continuously, the space becomes boundaryless. This clash of worlds, this surreal sense of space and time is best experienced on the outdoor terraces, appropriately named the Bladerunner Terraces, that frame the various public space floors. On the terrace off the Lobby Bar, guests can choose to be in your own private oasis escaping in a cocoon-like area or face the brilliance of flashing light and color of Times Square for the best light show in the world.

“The hotel is an oasis of sophistication brought to you through the insight of the incomparable Ian Schrager, my friend and partner.” – Arne Sorenson, President and CEO, Marriott International.

Off the Terrace Restaurant, a similar feeling awaits on expansive terraces that were inspired by the L’Orangerie at Jardin des Tuileries in Paris. The outdoor space in totality with thousands of plants, trees and ivy is perhaps the biggest indoor landscaping effort in the country was designed by Madison Cox and is literally, multi-level gardens in the sky. The public space interiors with their rich woods, lush velvets, waxed leathers, polished marbles and smooth metals are combined to create a chic, simple, hip, serene and luxurious setting, an antidote to the hectic life just outside the hotel’s doors.

“The Times Square EDITION is an entirely new lens on Times Square. From an aerie above the hubbub below, you can engage, observe or withdraw. The hotel is an oasis of sophistication brought to you through the insight of the incomparable Ian Schrager, my friend and partner. There is simply nothing like it.” Arne Sorenson, President and CEO, Marriott International.

The first Michelin-starred chef ever in Times Square, John Fraser, is spearheading the food and beverage at the hotel to create a cacophony of dining experiences. The fine dining restaurant named 701 West is a gastronomic gem in a jewel box-like setting that is an explosion of color.

The Terrace Restaurant and Outdoor Gardens is an original take on a four meal, 18 hour-a-day restaurant inspired by traditional French brasseries and American chophouses but taken in a completely new direction by Chef Fraser.

The entrance to the Terrace restaurant will host the debut exhibit of specially curated candid portrayals of “the real New York City”, the one not seen by visitors, capturing energetic, gritty and poetic street and neighborhood scenes by renowned photographers Helen Levitt, Elliott Erwitt, Bruce Davidson, Ruth Orkin, Arthur Leipzig and Cornell Capa to name a few. The following exhibit will shift to more current street scenes illustrating the culture and diversity that pervades the city today. The space will continue to house rotating photography and art exhibits by various well-known photographers and artists.

The Paradise Club is an inventive, chaotic, high production spectacle perfectly suited for Times Square. The brainchild of Anya Sapozhnikova, Justin Conte, Matthew Dailey and Kae Burke of House of Yes in Bushwick, Brooklyn, this edgy and provocative modern-day Cabaret manifests the disorder of the City and adds a whole new dimension to the hotel and to Times Square.

The shows will be part theatre, part performance art with talent across many disciplines including dance, voice, aerial acrobatics, choreography, costume design and magic. There will be a regular ongoing performance based on William Blake’s The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. With no formulas, rules or any specific structure, but not for shock value, each performance at Paradise Club will be different from the previous one and different from the next. For a new twist on dining and entertainment, the menu will be original and creative from hot dogs to caviar and everything in between.

“Paradise Club is a place of aspiration… Invention and reinvention… A refuge to enjoy life and forget life and the perfect place to escape into fantasy,” said Schrager.

This one-of-a-kind cultural entertainment space also features the most sensational, immersive, colorful and kinetic lighting effects designed by Tony and Academy Award-winning Fisher Marantz of Studio 54 fame and inspired by a Lenny Kravitz video, as well as bespoke hand painted murals inspired by Bosch and Dali–a modern successor to the world famous Maxfield Parrish’s King Cole mural on Fifth Avenue. Perhaps the most spectacular element of the space is the full-blown production studio and control center that allows for live simulcasts and broadcasts around the world, as well as locally to a “Best in Class” 17,000 sf-8K-8mm Jumbotron outside of the building and a high definition digital screen on the stage. The exterior Jumbotron will also display rotating art by current video artists, cinematographers and animators.

Main image credit: EDITION Hotels

Hyatt Regency Valencia completes multi-million dollar renovation

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The 244-key hotel’s renovation in Valencia California has been designed for the modern traveller in mind… 

Hyatt Regency Valencia and Dimension Development has announced the completion of an expansive renovation of Hyatt Regency Valencia, and the introduction of Greater Pacific, a destination dining experience. Focusing on providing guests with a modern and effortless travel experience, the project enhanced all 244 guest rooms and suites, the lobby, public spaces, and all indoor and outdoor meeting spaces.

The new welcoming lobby opens to the sights and scents of Greater Pacific’s bar. Guestrooms feature modern design elements with a focus on premium style and comfort. Guests will enjoy large work desks, ergonomic chairs, and spacious bathrooms with upscale amenities and glass enclosed showers. Select rooms feature balconies, or views overlooking the pool, golf course or mountains.

The hotel’s 16,000 square feet of meeting space has been updated with energy-efficient lighting and each indoor ballroom features 20 foot ceilings adorned with grand chandeliers. Newly redesigned outdoor meeting space includes lush flower gardens, vine-covered terraces and manicured greens.

The hotel’s new signature restaurant, Greater Pacific, features contemporary décor with Asian and Californian influences and brings fresh fare to the community well beyond the traditional restaurants in the area. Greater Pacific’s menu illuminates a rich variety of approachable flavors and boldly crafted recipes of this country’s most fruitful state.

Main image credit: Hyatt Regency

W Hotels arrives on The Palm, Dubai

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The 350-key W Dubai – The Palm opens, complete with disruptive interiors, to design its own narrative and lead the ever-changing hospitality scene in the Middle East forward… 

“The desert just got hotter,” is how W Hotels Worldwide, part of Marriott International Inc., announced the opening of W Dubai – The Palm, located on the Palm Jumeirah, the largest man-made island in the world and one of Dubai’s most iconic attractions.

With its electrifying style, evocative design and eclectic destination restaurants, W Dubai – The Palm is the newest W Escape, the W brand’s playful spin on the traditional resort experience, is set to add a new beat to the already dynamic and pulsating city.

Guestroom overlooking Dubai

Image credit: W Hotels Worldwide

“Much like W has redefined modern luxury, Dubai is a city that is firmly in charge of writing its own narrative, fearlessly embracing the future through design, technology and global culture,” said Anthony Ingham, Global Brand Leader, W Hotels Worldwide. “The energy and marvel of this incredible city make it the perfect destination for a W Escape – our unique take on a resort holiday – where the bold style, iconic service and signature scene of W come to play.”

“It begins with the hotel’s iconic “W” sign patterned to resemble an evaporated desert river bed.”

The dynamic design of W Dubai – The Palm celebrates the evolution of one of the most dynamic cities in the world, seamlessly juxtaposing the organic, natural curves of sand dunes and coastline with the marvel of the geometric lines of the city’s skyscrapers. It begins with the hotel’s iconic “W” sign patterned to resemble an evaporated desert river bed and the WHEELS (valet) area reminiscent of a falage, a cavernous riverbed covered by palm fronds. Leading guests into the hotel is a stunning display of Orsoni glass tiles in colors inspired by overgrown foliage which reflect the golden sun on the horizon. A head-raising, five-story atrium envelopes the Welcome Desk, a nod to desert fortresses and citadels of long ago. Golden trusses comprised of framed boxes sparkle throughout the space, representing different stages of modern construction in Dubai, a common sight of the ever-changing cityscape, and sit upon carpets that depict the island’s surrounding waters reflecting both construction and clouds. Completing the dramatic entrance is “The Soundwave” – a 6.5 ton, 30m long visual vector that represents a W sound wave. With 640 glass pieces, the towering fixture puts on a show of its own, illuminating in alternating intensities and colors to reflect the beats of the DJ in the neighboring W Lounge.

View of the pool and exterior of the building in Dubai

W Hotels Worldwide

The W Lounge (lobby) is a stage to see and be seen and celebrates the city’s well-known love of opulence with several geometric fixtures that mimic the raw, natural form of gold. An artistic interpretation of a traditional fire pit sits in the center of the W Lounge, signifying the bonfires that Bedouin tribes would gather around during their desert travels years ago. Connecting the W Lounge to the nearby VIP Lounge is a 13.5-meter sofa in muted earth tones, representing a desert mountain range – the skyscrapers of the past.

Vibrant bathrooms at W Dubai - The Palm

Image caption: Vibrant bathrooms at W Dubai – The Palm

All 350 guestrooms and suites offer uninterrupted views and dreamy amenities. Curved walls are intricately tiled to glisten like the lights and colors of the sea at various times of the day, bringing the shoreline into each room. Modern graffiti adorns the walls of every room, featuring lyrics in Arabic from an iconic song by Lebanese singer, Fairouz.

Arial perspective of a render of the W Dubai - The Palm site

Image cation: Aerial perspective of a render of the W Dubai – The Palm site

The hotel features a multiple of pools that sit in a wave-like pattern in the center of the Escape to form the W brand’s iconic WET® Deck experience, beach-facing, with views of the Dubai skyline. The W brand’s signature AWAY® Spa invites guests to ‘Stroll in and Strut out’ offering ten treatment rooms, a steam room, sauna, experiential showers, a hammam and a couples’ suite. Guests are treated to a design inspired by the underwater perspective of a pearl diver, where iridescent shells reflect the sunlight that peeks through the ocean above. Lastly, guests can sweat it out at FIT (gym) which boasts state-of-the-art equipment overlooking the WET Deck, beach and skyline views, featuring abstract art inspired by the graceful forms of both jellyfish and the parachutes of adventure-seeking skydivers.

“As our first W Escape in the region, W Dubai – The Palm combines the city’s unique allure with the brand’s bold design and dynamic lifestyle and gives it a locally relevant twist.”

W Dubai – The Palm is set to infuse even more decadence into Dubai’s booming, multicultural culinary landscape with six beverage and food destinations. Translated as “I will be right back,” Torno Sobito is the first restaurant outside of Italy by global culinary genius, Chef Massimo Bottura – whose Osteria Francescana has been feted as the “World’s Best Restaurant.” The dishes and design of Torno Subito lean in to Dubai’s reputation for all things playful. Guests dig into Massimo’s favorite bites inside converted rescue boats and pedalos (paddle boats) and can choose a flavor from the roving gelato cart. Massimo, like W, has an eye for irreverence, which is evident in the options for decadent pasta bowls ordered by size: medium and large. Guests dine in a 60’s-esque wonderland, decked with woven green chairs, life sized beachfront imagery, bold metallic accents adorning the ceilings and walls, and lighting reminiscent of dressing rooms and marquees from the golden age of Hollywood.

Torno Subito at W Dubai - The Palm

Image caption: Torno Subito at W Dubai – The Palm

“We are excited to bring the W brand to Palm Jumeirah with the highly anticipated opening of W Dubai – The Palm,” said Alex Kyriakidis, President and Managing Director, Middle East and Africa, Marriott International. “As our first W Escape in the region, W Dubai – The Palm combines the city’s unique allure with the brand’s bold design and dynamic lifestyle and gives it a locally relevant twist. With game-changing style, amplified entertainment and innovative culinary offerings, this W Escape will inject a fresh vibe into the local hospitality scene and offer the most sought-after luxury getaway for locals as well as global jet-setters.”

SoBe (short for South Beach) is an adults-only playground inspired by the eclectic and vibrant spirit of Miami. This is the only rooftop bar in Dubai where guests can watch the sun sink into the Arabian Sea with 360-degree views to watch as the Dubai skyline lights up each night. Serving up eclectic live DJ performances, imaginative cocktails, and even tattoo artists, there will be nothing else like it in the city.

LIV offers guests greener, lighter, fresher and brighter options for breakfast, lunch and dinner and was designed using only upcycled materials, meaning no new materials were created to build the venue. The restaurant is sprinkled with artwork inspired by the patterns left on beaches by sand bubbler crabs, the official mascot of W Dubai – The Palm.

W Dubai – The Palm adopts a bold approach to take events from ordinary to extraordinary. Featuring more than 2,000 square meters of event space, W Dubai sets the stage for any elaborate occasion. The sprawling 1,215-square-meter Great Room boasts an extraordinary oval shape, sensually designed with rotating walls letting in (or blocking out) the dazzling Arabian sun. Custom lighting features allows W Dubai to personalize each event, lighting up the scene with a myriad of colors. The Green Room serves as a holding area for events and weddings and features light pendants reminiscent of wedding bands and carpeting adorned in henna-like patterns.

Editor’s round-up of MAISON&OBJET Paris and Deco Off 2019

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With the aim to unearth new talent among the sea of exhibitors, as well as identifying emerging trends in all markets, editor Hamish Kilburn reviews MAISON&OBJET Paris 2019…

The streets of Paris at any time of the year ooze chic style, sophistication and a certain ‘je-ne sais quoi’. During January, though, it is a bustling haven for designers seeking inspiration on emerging trends, new pieces and exhaustive conversations. Between both Deco Off, which in my eyes is Paris’ answer to Clerkenwell Design Week, and MAISON&OBJET, an ocean of exciting products displayed from a plethora of exhibitors, Paris in January is quite simply unlike anywhere else on the design globe.

Despite the social unrest in France recently, more than 84,000 visitors from 160 countries dodged yellow vests when descending on to the City of Light for the 21st edition of MAISON&OBJET Paris.

“2,910 exhibitors in total where represented at the show, 603 of which were new exhibiting brands.”

With each MAISON&OBJET fair traditionally exploring a key trend, this year’s exhibition pinned the Excuse My French! concept to the walls in order to challenge designers to highlight the Parisian influence, which is once again being felt across the world. The immersive experience offered in the Trend Forum set the scene for the unmistakably French art of cultivating paradoxes and twisting classics. It confirmed the creative excitement generated by French-made brands and a whole new generation of creators.

Stand at the show

Image credit: MAISON&OBJET

2,910 exhibitors in total where represented at the show, 603 of which were new exhibiting brands. Although it was impossible to have visited every stand, it was clear that on the surface there were common themes on what was expected to be popular in 2019. Nonetheless, each supplier pushed its limits to unveil to the world what was new in 2019. Above anything, it’s inspiring how ‘trend forecasts’ have been read but not necessarily adhered to. Here are a snippet of our highlights.

Let there be light

Combining functionality with decorative excellent, there were a number of lighting brands at the show that exhibited a range of innovative designs. Design By Us was among the leading exhibitors with its New Ocean Wave Optic Wall Lamp that provided a spectacular lighting installation, which glowed unapologetically outside its perimeters.

Door to the right and the Design By Us light to the left

Image credit: Design By Us

Elsewhere in the show, attendees were drawn the elegant stand of Glammfire. Its Thales pieces where centre stage of the stand, creating a dramatic ambiance. Whatsmore, the company also displayed the result of an interesting and colourful collaboration with artist Luio Onassis. With a sculptural design and simply charismatic, Thales is the world’s first suspended fireplace with a bioethanol automatic burner, designed from the drawing of a circle, is a versatile and adjustable piece that reveals the beauty of the integral view of the flame.

Husband and wife duo Verglass Luminaires exhibited bespoke lighting products such as Azur, Pop, Lotus and Cal. Established is 2007 by Scottish-born Julie Johnson and Eric Lemarie, there was a sense of personality on the stand.

Light in the middle of a kitchen

Image caption: POP by Verglass

Portugese-based Villa Lumi impressed attendees at the show with its Pendent that stood out not as lighting, but more as a piece of art which one can imagine would sit effortlessly on a mantlepiece, alone, in a quirky hotel lobby.

Meanwhile, Voltra Lighting, which was among the stand-out lighting companies that emerged in many of the London fairs in 2018, displayed its new generations of table-level lamps, which created a warm, intimate environment with the subtlety of candlelight – a welcome break from the harsh exhibition lighting.

Retro-fitting the future of lighting

Image caption: Delightfull’s Botti

There seems to be a influx in lighting specialists designing products that blend into their surroundings; perhaps this is the result of consumers becoming more savy around lighting and becoming more reactive when experiencing bad lighting (design suicide to many). Delightfull’s Botti sent sound waves of excitement through the hall as it was displayed on the company’s ever-colourful stand. The embodiment of the most famous wind instrument of them all, Botti mid-century table lamp was inspired by a classic trumpet. Its unique shades are handmade in brass with a gold-plated finish to resemble the instrument. The base can be produced in Nero Marquina or white marble, as well as black nickel or any other finish of your choosing. It is a tall table lamp, very hard to miss, with almost 55 pounds, making it the ideal choice for a classic living room design.

Celebrating imperfections in design

Attendees at the show questioned the definition of perfection at many areas of the show. What was concluded was that there’s a clean line between precision and perfection. While Tom Dixon’s precise craftsmanship never ceases to amaze new audiences, it was the imperfection that impressed visitors at the stand as the London-based studio unleashed a range of new collections. Swirl, one of the accessories launched at the show, is a mysterious new material that resembles 3D-marbeled paper yet has the weight of a stone. Perhaps the most interesting quality of this product is that no two pieces will ever be the same, giving each product its own personality. Displaying its qualities on apt newspaper was a touch that brought with it class, sophistication and a sense of headline-grabbing drama.

Storytelling on the walls, in the furniture and in the carpets

2018 closed with opinions being divided around which colours will dominate over the coming 12 months. While many companies amplify their answer to ‘the colours of the year’, wallcovering expert Arte decided to narrate the story of extinct animals. Partnering with Moooi, the company launched Extinct Animals, which brings the walls to life. Launched at its showroom in Saint-Germain-des-Prés during Deco Off, the showroom was a jungle of designers getting up close to animals that time had forgotten.

image of jungle wallpaper

Image credit: Arte/Moooi

Just down the road at Holland & Sherry’s showroom, the focus was on fabrics, colour and layers. Its signature weaving tradition has come to life in nine elegant handwoven designs. In addition, the showroom presented an array of unique trims that have been purposefully designed to compliment the company’s core fabric collection.

Back over at MAISON&OBJET, storytelling took many shapes and forms. From experimental lighting company Lumneo presenting neon mirror lamps to rug company Slinke displaying, as the name suggests, slinky-inspired patterns in pastel colours, each stand had its own narrative to tell. Wallpeper on the other hand took art outside the frame to be able to sustainably display in unique wallpaper.

Striking design of wallpaper on the walls

Image credit: Wallpepper

Meanwhile, using denim in a contemporary format, Japanese company Shin-Denim emerged to display a series of hard-wearing products. From a residential-styled reclined sofa to a striking wall partition, the material used in this way gave each product an usual, yet fresh, style.

Contract furniture company SCP exhibited a variety of design collaborations from the likes of Piet Hein Eek, Faudet-Harrison, Matthew Hilton, Reiko Kaneko, Phillipe Malouin, Donna Wilson and Jasper Morrison. Meanwhile, Pedrali opted for simple luxury displaying a glimpse of its SS19 collection with its latest modern colour twist on the classic Nolita range.

Green grass, yellow umbrella and chairs

Image credit: Pedrali, Nolita

Bringing the indoors outdoors

Following on from last year’s dominant trend to blur the lines between areas, many outdoor furniture companies were further muddying the waters by exhibiting indoor-looking outdoor furniture. The designs of which were determined on consumer behaviours, as Hugo de melo Lourenco from Sachi explained: “I don’t look at trends too much, because I prefer to understand behaviour and ergonomics of our products. Research has shown us that the luxury market is currently looking for outdoor furniture that is slim and minimalist.” Other companies that displayed new lines of outdoor furniture collections included Skyline Design, 10Deka, Tucci, SUNSO and Mobika Garden.

Image credit: Manta

While many exhibitors displayed sun loungers and shade options, handmade stone specialist Manta exhibited something out of the ordinary, an oversized outdoor (or indoor) marble seat as part of the company’s melting collection. The one-of-the-kind product oozed character and a high level of personality. Also adopting the same theme, Domani displayed a large selection of robust outdoor pots which stacked together to demonstrate the scale of different designs suited for a variety of spaces.

Once again, MAISON&OBJET has set the industry up for an exciting year of developing trends and themes. My time at the show would not be complete without a sneaky exclusive interview with the fair’s Designer of the Year, which this year was awarded the multi-talented Sebastian Herkner. All that is left to say is Bon Voyage, Paris, for another year – the journey into the world of 2019 interiors continues.

Main image credit: MAISON&OBJET

Deadline for 30 Under 30 applications announced

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Hotel Designs is broadening its search to find 30 young inspirational designers, hoteliers and architects. The deadline for applications for its 30 under 30 list has been announced for February 15…

With less than two weeks before the deadline, time is running out for interior designers, architects and hoteliers to submit their entries for the 30 Under 30 list that will be unveiled at Meet Up London: 30 Under 30.

Styled by Minotti London and hosted at the luxury furniture company’s luxury showroom, the event has launched the list with the aim is to bridge the age gap between interior designers, architects, hoteliers and key-industry suppliers.

How to apply for the 30 Under 30 list

If you are/or know of a deserving designer, architect or hotelier who is 30 years old or younger, please send in your application/nomination to: h.kilburn@forumevents.co.uk with the following:

  • 200-400 word bio, which acknowledges achievements to date and why you/he/she deserves to be recognised
  • Name of company you/he/she currently works for
  • Profile image

Deadline: February 15, 2019

The final 30 will be confirmed to attend the event on March 28 with Hotel Designs‘ compliments and the winners will be notified in due course ahead of the networking evening.

How to attend Meet Up London: 30 Under 30

If you are a supplier to the hospitality industry looking to attend the event, contact Zoe Guerrier on 01992 374059 or on z.guerrier@forumevents.co.uk – or click here to book your place.

If you are an interior designer or architect and would like to attend the Hotel Designs Meet Up London: 30 Under 30, click here to confirm your attendance.

Exclusive style partner: Minotti London

Exclusive headline partner: Hamilton Litestat

Hotel Designs closes January with online traffic record

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The leading international hotel design website closes January with a record-breaking 67, 792 readers…. 

By exploring hotel openings and spas as its Spotlight On features during January, Hotel Designs has smashed its online monthly traffic record, which was previously hit in November, by amassing more than 67,000 readers to the website.

Hotel Designs, which last year attracted more than half a million readers, engaged readers with the following most-read stories during January:

Spotlight On: Major hotel openings for Q1 & Q2 2019
Inside the world’s first hotel room that determines room rate based on social media addiction
Nobu Hotels to arrive in Warsaw
In Conversation with Yasmine Mahmoudieh
Hotels at New Heights

“This is a fantastic start to 2019,” said publisher Katy Phillips. “I am absolutely thrilled that, yet again, I am being asked to comment on Hotel Designs smashing another online traffic record. As well as showing that our editorial team have their finger on the pulse when it comes to covering hot topics in our industry, this is a clear indication that this market is engaging positively with the content we publish.

“One area that Hotel Designs has always been strong in is having a face-to-face relationship with our audience. We are therefore looking forward to our next networking evening, Meet Up London: 30 Under 30 on March 28, which are aim will be to bridge the age gap in international hotel design.”

The news comes as the website steers its Spotlight On features to cover Surfaces and Architecture and Construction, two widely debated topics within international hotel design.

Click here to read editor Hamish Kilburn’s ‘Editor Checks In’ where he spends some time reflecting on January as a time when two worlds seamlessly collide.

 

Top 5 stories of the week: Lighting the mood, surface trends and Meet Up developments

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Concluding January and looking ahead to the future of lighting, surfaces and hotel development, Hamish Kilburn writes the top five stories of the week…

As January turns to February, there is much anticipation in the air around developing trends. The must-watch lists of hues, textures and materials that landed in my inbox on January 1 have filtered subtly into the designs of new hotel spaces. Designers working outside the box establish how they can create a timeless statement scan the floors of the trade shows. The next in the calendar is the Surface Design Show in London (February 5 – 7). Ahead of the show, this week we took a closer look at the trends on the walls, floors and ceilings. Closer to home, Hotel Designs had some developments of its own to announce. Here are the top five stories of the week.

1) 6 trends to look out for at Surface Design Show 2019

dark bathroom design

Image credit: SIBU

Taking place next week in London’s Business Design Centre, Surface Design Show will showcase the latest products and technology in surface design. Ahead of the event, as Hotel Designs is a media partner of #SDS19, here are top surface trends to be mindful of.

> Read more about the trends here

2) Meet Up London: 30 Under 30 Announces Early Bird Tickets

Until February 7, designers, architects, hoteliers and suppliers will be able to purchase early bird tickets for Hotel Designs‘ highly anticipated Q1 networking evening, Meet Up London: 30 Under 30.

Exclusive style partner: Minotti London

Exclusive headline partner: Hamilton Litestat

> To book your tickets, click here

3) One-third of consumers believe lighting helps to eliminate January Blues

A study has revealed that one in three people believe that lighting is important to creating a relaxed and calm atmosphere before bed.

As the January blues well and truly set in for some, new research has revealed how lighting can have direct impact on mood and wellbeing in the hotel environment.

> To read more about the study, click here

4) SUSD gains planning consent for hotel and members club on the River Thames

render of the exterior of a manor-like building

Image credit: SUSD

SUSD, the developer behind two of London’s most successful hybrid destinations, The Curtain Hotel & Members Club and Devonshire Club, has just won planning consent, subject to finalising the S106 Agreement, for a third development, this time on the banks of the Thames near Pangbourne, Berkshire.

> To read more about the plans, click here

5) Editor Checks In: January ’19

To round up January – and to help understand the crossroads many designers are at – it felt appropriate to use the metaphor of two worlds colliding. I am, of course, referring to the opportunities that result from authentic collaborations.

> To read my editor’s letter, click here

If you would like to be kept up to date with the latest happenings and news in international hotel design, subscribe to receiving our newsletter here.

Main image credit: ITC Natural Luxury Flooring

Editor checks in: January ’19

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When two trendy worlds collide in January…

Excitement and optimism are both thick in the January air. My train carriage on the Eurostar is full to the brim of creative people. Half the passengers on board are interior designers on their way, like me, to Maison&Objet. The other half are fashionistas, bloggers and journalists preparing to arrive at Men’s Paris Fashion Week. Two worlds collide to converge in conversations around this season’s must-see designers and emerging trends to keep an eye on. It reminds me of yesterday when I published my exclusive interview with lighting designer to the stars, Moritz Waldemeyer. In 2007, the young, enthusiastic Waldemeyer found himself in the same unfamiliar setting when fashion legend Hussein Chayalan asked him to create a lighting installation unlike any other for one of the shows.

11 years on from Waldemeyer’s first dip into high fashion and, while trends have shifted, the core of our creative business remains concrete; we are never afraid to knock on doors to chase inspirational ideas.

Ever since 1995, when the show first launched, Maison&Objet has powerfully set the industry up for the year. Yes, recently have witnessed somewhat more of an upsurge in attendees compared to early years, but the show has always given apt context to many of the discussions that ripple through the rest of the 11 months as things undoubtedly develop from the ‘trends’ that ping through to our inboxes on January 1.

“Investigating three separate luxury travel markets over three weeks (aviation, rail and cruise ships), we launched the series Hotels At New Heights.”

Altering course for a moment in order to explore which other worlds are in fact colliding, the cruise industry in recent years has been reaching out to more and more hotel designers to imagine the interiors of future fleets. Investigating three separate luxury travel markets over three weeks (aviation, rail and cruise ships), we launched the series Hotels At New Heights with the aim to understand how our industry can benefit from coming together with other markets.

At the core of all of these topics, bringing the loose strands of ideas together through conversation, is networking. Following the success of Meet Up North and The Brit List 2018, I am proud to announce that our Meet Up London: 30 Under 30 event will take place in Fitzrovia’s trendy neighbourhood on March 28 at Minotti London’s stylish showroom. The deadline for suppliers, designers, hoteliers and architects to claim their early bird tickets is fast approaching (February 7), so click here to purchase your tickets.

I look forward to continuing this adventurous journey with you as Hotel Designs itself prepares to enter a new chapter.

Editor, Hotel Designs

Hamilton litestat confirmed exclusive headline partner for Meet Up London: 30 Under 30

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Hotel Designs has confirmed that Hamilton Litestat will be the exclusive headline partner at Meet Up London: 30 Under 30, which takes place at the showroom of Minotti London on March 28…

Hotel Designs has confirmed that Recommended Supplier Hamilton Litestat has become the exclusive headline partner of Meet Up London: 30 Under 30.

The event, which takes place on March 28 at Minotti London’s showroom, is expected to bridge the age gap between designers, architects, hoteliers and key-industry suppliers by putting the spotlight on supporting young, emerging talent. 30 of the industry’s most inspirational practitioners will be invited with complements of Hotel Designs to attend the networking event.

“Hamilton Litestat is a keen supporter of young, up-and-coming talent and we’re delighted to be working with Hotel Designs to support talent rising through the ranks in interior design, architecture and the hotel industry,” said Gavin Williams, Head of Marketing, Hamilton Litestat. “As an Industry Partner of the British Institute of Interior Design, we’re keen to develop lasting relationships with those that understand the importance of getting the finishing touches of an interiors project just right.

“We hope to build awareness through our partnership with the 30 under 30 Meet Up events and foster long-term collaborations with the next generation of talented industry leaders.” – Gavin Williams, Head of Marketing, Hamilton Litestat

“Through both functionality and aesthetics, quality decorative wiring accessories and lighting control can achieve this. We hope to build awareness through our partnership with the 30 under 30 Meet Up events and foster long-term collaborations with the next generation of talented industry leaders.”

Suitable for all hotels, Hamilton Litestat produces smart lighting controls and multi-room audio systems designed to enhance the hotel guest experience.

Early bird ticket prices for Meet Up London: 30 Under 30

Suppliers: £99 + VAT (£150 + VAT after early bird offer expires after February 7)
Designers, hoteliers and architects: £10 + VAT (£20 + VAT after early bird offer expires after February 7)

To purchase your tickets, click here.

Venue:
Minotti Showroom,
77 Margaret St, Fitzrovia, London, W1W 8SY

Date: March 28, 2019

How to apply for the 30 Under 30 list

If you are/or know of a deserving designer, architect or hotelier who is 30 years old or younger, please send in your application/nomination to: h.kilburn@forumevents.co.uk with the following:

  • 200-400 word bio, which acknowledges achievements to date and why you/he/she deserves to be recognised
  • Name of company you/he/she currently works for
  • Profile image

The final 30 will be confirmed to attend the event with Hotel Designs‘ compliments and the winners will be notified in due course ahead of the networking evening.

How to attend Meet Up London: 30 Under 30

If you are a supplier to the hospitality industry looking to attend the event, contact Zoe Guerrier on 01992 374059 or on z.guerrier@forumevents.co.uk – or click here to book your place.

If you are an interior designer or architect and would like to attend the Hotel Designs Meet Up London: 30 Under 30, click here to confirm your attendance.

Exclusive style partner: Minotti London

Exclusive headline partner: Hamilton Litestat

Domus launches new colourful glazed porcelain tile collection designed by Studiopepe

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The Pittorica collection by Domus is suitable porcelain tile for interior walls and floors…

Launching in the UK in February exclusively at Domus, Pittorica is a new colourful glazed porcelain stoneware collection suitable for interior walls and floors, designed by Studiopepe creative directors Arianna Lelli Mami and Chiara di Pinto. Research by the two designers led to the creation of a collection comprised of 14 plain solid colours in three palettes – neutral, background and bold colours, and available in three different shapes, a triangle, a square and a brick shape.

In a silky matt finish, the tiles are mutually compatible and can be used singularly or coordinated to create complex and highly creative decorative layouts, bringing out the full, modern spirit in expressive colour. With a retro feel, the colours span from dark shades to soft greys and neutrals along with pink, blues, green and terracotta shades, expressing the universe of colour though an extremely current palette, offering elegance and modernity to any interior space.

Suitable for both walls and floors, the decorative ability of Pittorica is enhanced by the rectified formats which guarantee layouts and installation with minimum grout lines where the colour stands out. The statement triangular shape formats are a key feature statement in the collection and guarantee a decorative capacity to characterise interior surfaces. The solid matt colours give the collection a silky consistency, which is further enriched with a textured canvas weave print which is stamped into each tile. Each tile has a unique, subtle, almost imperceptible variation.

Studiopepe proudly describe their collection, saying: “The mystery of colour in the game of perception and illusion. Pittorica is the poetry of the imagination, rhymes of graphic patterns and hues of colour put together in freedom and fun.”

Main image credit: Domus Tiles

Architects and designers concerned to incorporate flame installations in design

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79 per cent of architects and designers avoid using flame installations in their projects, a study has revealed…

Architects and designers have growing concerns about including flame in their designs, a study has suggested. 

The research, which was carried out by Glen Dimplex Heating and Ventilation, revealed that the majority of respondents (79 per cent) said they had concerns when it came to incorporating fire and flame in their projects, despite the fact that they often form centrepieces of design work.

Health and safety was cited as the main concern (46 per cent), followed by energy efficiency (39 per cent) and cost (32 per cent). However, respondents also said if health and safety concerns could be addressed and the right technology was available, 53 per cent would be more inclined to use include fire or flame in projects.

“The research demonstrates that there is a definite appetite in the market for alternative ways of incorporating fire into the design of commercial spaces, especially methods that are safer and more cost-effective,” says Jonathan Smith, product marketing manager – Flame Technology, Glen Dimplex Heating and Ventilation.

“This is something that we are seeing more of in our own business, where the demand for our flame technology and flame effects products is increasing rapidly, giving architects and designers realistic flame options that add to the visual appeal of a space with none of the disadvantages.”

The study surveyed 250 architects and designers across the UK to gauge their opinions on the state of the industry, technology in the design process, and the use of flame in their projects.

The concerns around using fire are consistent with the industry’s overall challenges; architects and designers identified cost reduction (64 per cent), keeping on top of innovation (48 per cent) and health and safety (41 per cent) as their top issues.

The research also highlighted the use of other technologies in the design process with 62 per cent of architects and designs saying that smart technology was already having an impact or would be in the next six months. Almost one-quarter of respondents (24 per cent) said augmented reality would influence the industry within the next 18 months, while 23 per cent said virtual reality would affect it in the next six months. Robotics, 3D modelling and 3D printing, and the use of drones, were also cited as making an impact in the longer term.

Hotel Designs’ would like to know your opinion on whether you would avoid using flame installations in your design because of health and safety factors. Please tweet us @HotelDesigns to have your say. 

Main image credit: Glamm Fire’s Operetta 

BISQUE introduces three new finishes across arteplano radiators

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Leading radiator brand BISQUE has launched three new finishes to its immensely popular Arteplano collection for 2019…

Bisque, the UK’s first ever luxury radiator brand, has introduced three spectacular new finishes to its immensely popular Arteplano collection for 2019. As a brand widely known for its striking feature radiators, these new styles will be a welcome addition for discerning homeowners and architects alike.

The trend for copper accessories remains as popular as ever, and now you can unleash your inner interior designer with Bisque’s innovative Brushed Bronze finish. This new aesthetic is the perfect addition for modern homes with its simple, yet striking finish, complementing contemporary interiors.

Meanwhile, moody and dark hues continue to lead the way in home décor. Be bold with Bisque’s new Brushed Black finish. This head-turning texture adds a touch of luxury to any space, whilst the matt finish softens its harsh colouring, allowing it to suit most homes.

Dark hallway with mirror radiator

Image credit: BISQUE

If you’re looking for the ultimate style statement, look no further than Bisque’s Mirror finish. Taking centre stage in any space with its crisp and minimal design, this radiator can double as a mirror, and is a welcome addition to bedrooms, living rooms and hallways.

Depending on the finish, the Arteplano can be delightfully daring or discreetly subtle. The Arteplano can also be made to order when only an exact size will do.

All orders can be placed at Bisque’s newly opened showroom within the Business Design Centre, Islington, on the edge of the vibrant design district of Clerkenwell, where Bisque’s team of experts are on hand to advise every step of the way.

All prices on application. Further information can be found by visiting www.bisque.co.uk.

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

The Brit List 2018: architect profiles

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In last few weeks, Hotel Designs has profiled the 75 finalists who made it onto the Hotel Designs Brit List 2018. We conclude our profiling by listing our winning architects in alphabetical order…

This year’s The Brit List 2018 concluded on November 22, when leading designers, hoteliers and architects gathered at BEAT London to find out which of them made it on to this year’s The Brit List 2018. The hundreds of nominees and entries were whittled down by the event’s five judges, who were:

  • Gilly Craft, President of the British Institute of Interior Design
  • Charles Leon, founder of Leon Black Architecture and Interior Design
  • Gerri Gallagher, former associate editor, Tatler
  • Lysbeth Fox, founder and director of Fox PR
  • Hamish Kilburn, editor, Hotel Designs

Top architects

Martin Pease – WATG London

Having recently completed Shanghai’s very first Bellagio hotel, WATG are at the top of the architectural food chain in international hotel design. Recently appointed to lead the architecture firm into the future is Martin Pease.

With more than 25 years’ architectural experience, which spans across the world, Pease was recently interviewed by Hotel Designs, where the publication learned of his love of drawing and seeing a project come to life. As the new Managing Director of the London studio, his leadership style stands out as exceptional and enables him to be involved in all aspects of the business.

Nathalie Rozencwajg – NAME Architecture

Commended with the Emerging Woman Architect of the Year accolade by The Architects’ Journal, Nathalie Rozencwaijg, who co-founded RARE Architecture with Michel da Costa Gonclaves, brings a wealth of experience of overseas associations and collaborative teamwork.

As the founder of NAME Architecture, Rozencwaig’s portfolio includes London’s Town Hall Hotel, where the team worked to create a sensitively contemporary design with the aim to preserve the original features while integrating modern inserts such as a new roof extension.

Georgia Stevenson – SHH Architects & Interior Design 

Georgia Stevenson has vast interdisciplinary design expertise, enabling her to lead some of the practice’s landmark hotel projects such as The Trafalgar St. James London and The Mayfair Hotel.

Stevenson is known for her flexibility and co-operative style, and her ability to build exceptional relationships with clients, consultants and project teams alike.

Phil Jaffa – Scape Design Associates

Phil Jaffa has created some of the finest landmark projects in the hospitality industry.

His company, Scape Design Associates, claims to be the only European based landscape architectural practice which specialises in the design and detailing of landscapes and external environments for the hospitality and luxury lifestyle markets.

The firm leads with passion, and Jaffa is not afraid to participate debates in design. The aim of the company is to raise the bar in world-class landscapes in order to create a new kind of luxury.

Richard Hywel Evans – Studio RHE

Having overseen more than 50 luxury international projects, Richard Hywel Evans built his global reputation on the solid design and delivery of bold innovative projects.

Since founding Studio RHE in 1997, Evans’ research has been published in the RIBA Journal and has also contributed to publications such as The Times, The Guardian, Finacial Times and the BBC.

Holistic hotel design: creating a space to accommodate your guests & Staff

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In the constantly evolving landscape of international hotel design, staying relevant and on-trend is somewhat a daily challenge. Simon Mitchell from Action Storage details three key areas where hotels can create timeless look and feel that is flexible to all guests checking in…

In your hotel, when it comes to creating an atmosphere that makes your guests comfortable and the prospect of them returning probable, it’s vital that you invest time and resource in ensuring that those providing them with the service are equally as happy and comfortable in their workspace. Therefore, when designing a hotel that encourages a cohesive and productive environment, building a space for your staff as well as your guests should be at the top of your priority list.

Whether you start off by focusing on one particular area like your hotel’s busy lobby, or you choose to optimise the practicality of the additional facilities in your accommodation first, giving your hotel a functional design overhaul will help highlight all that’s wonderful in your facility.

The lobby

A universal issue for guests and hoteliers alike is check-in and check-out times that don’t align with scattered schedules. For reception desks that aren’t able to stay open 24/7, providing your guests with the option to leave their important possessions in a secure place within the hotel’s premises is a practical solution that ensures security while encouraging an accommodating atmosphere.

By providing durable and secure locker units within a sensible distance from the central reception desk, your guests’ luggage will be easily and efficiently organised in one area. Not only are storage units great for keeping your visitors’ possessions secure, but they can also provide a space for your staff members to keep their own belongings stored safely away.

The additional facilities

For hotels that provide a restaurant, bar or spa experience within their facility, creating a logical layout in a surrounding that, for many, will be unfamiliar to them is crucial if you want the space to be used effectively. Make it easy for your members of staff to provide a fluent and hassle-free service by picking non-slip flooring solutions that make rushing around easy. Additionally, while extravagant ornaments may be beautiful to look at, forcing both your guests and staff to manoeuvre around them not only creates a health and safety risk, but can make your space look small and cluttered as a result.

Next up, you’ll want to keep your customer in mind when it comes to designing the function of your room. Pick warm amber colours and place glistening spotlights above your luxury swimming pool to invite guests into your idyllic spa atmosphere. Not only will these small touches make your guests fall in love with your hotel, but will make your members of staff proud and happy to work where they do.

Image credit: Pexels

The guestrooms

When designing a stylish yet functional hotel room, it’s important to tailor the area your guests are likely to spend most of their time in – the bedroom – to their specific needs. Optimise the room with plenty of built-in storage features so that whether guests are stopping by on a one night business trip or a week-long holiday, they have the options they need to create a home-from-home atmosphere.

While the aesthetic of a space is important, so too is its functionality – so make sure that door frames and the space surrounding the bed are clear enough to allow a cleaning trolley to make its way around. Whether this means rearranging furniture, picking ‘invisible’ storage or knocking down walls to create an open-plan space, a tidy and practical room will make for a happy guest and employee!

As with any business, preparation is key. By planning ahead for 2019’s busy summer season and streamlining your hotel accordingly for both your guests and crucial members of the team, stress will be relieved and an enjoyable hotel atmosphere created. Whether it’s through back-of-house storage techniques or up-to-date hotel rooms, optimising your accommodation for a positive guest experience through various interior adaptations is sure to make a noticeable difference to the way your hotel operates.

Main image credit: Pexels

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SPOTLIGHT ON: Major hotel openings for Q1 & Q2 2019

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Hotel Designs is starting the New Year fresh by focusing the spotlight on significant hotel openings for 2019 that together are expected to transform the landscape of international hotel design. Here are our top picks of hotels that are launching in Q1 & Q2…

Looking ahead, and kickstarting our Spotlight On feature on Hotel Openings, here are the most anticipated ribbon cuts that are planning to make waves in Q1 and Q2 of this year.

Q1

Hotel Bennett, USA
Opening: January 2019 

Hailed as the newest grand dame hotel to debut in the American South, Hotel Bennett is designed for travellers seeking an opulent and luxurious escape.  Overlooking Charleston’s iconic Marion Square, the hotel will comprise of 179 luxurious guestrooms and suites, a signature restaurant, , a stylish bar and lounge that will utilise reclaimed pink marble. In addition to a spectacular rooftop bar which stretches out to overlook the city’s famed park, the hotel will also feature a new destination spa for guests and locals to enjoy.

Website: hotelbennett.com

YTL Hotels’ Monkey Island, UK
Opening: February 2019

Exterior white building surrounded by leafy scenes

Image credit: Monkey Island Estate

The much-anticipated luxury hotel, designed by the award-winning Alexandra Champalimaud, will open in the historic village of Bray-on-Thames, Berkshire. The island, which dates back 800 years, has been the haunt of monarchs, aristocrats and artists, along with writers, famous performers and Berkshire locals.

The private countryside escape will consist of 27 guest rooms and three deluxe suites, plus a separate barn with 11 rooms for private hire. The estate will also feature the Floating Spa – a first-of-its-kind bespoke barge, which will offer an aray of luxury treatments.

Website: monkeyislandestate.co.uk 

Santarena Hotel, Costa Rica
Opening: February 2019

Expected to be Costa Rica’s hottest new opening, Santarena Hotel will be a bohemian gem located in the town of Las Catalinas. The 45-guestroom hotel will include three suites, a rooftop lounge and swimming pool and elevated local cuisine that is focused on sustainability and farm-to-fork dishes.

Website: santarenahotel.com

The First Roma Dolce, Italy
Opening: February 2019

Modern bedroom with maroon art above white-linen bed and a white bookshelf to the right

Image credit: The First Roma Dolce

Situated on Via del Corso, The First Roma Dolce, a new patisserie-themed boutique hotel, is set to open its doors in February 2019. The Dolce will be the newest addition to the ‘First Experience’, which joins three distinctly unique hotels together and emboldens guests to truly experience the city as locals.

The hotel will be housed within a classic 19th-Century building designed by the renowned Italian architect and urban planner Giuseppe Valadier, who is known and widely celebrated for creating the elliptical design of Piazza del Popolo.

The boutique hotel will shelter 23 refined suites and guestrooms, with views overlooking the bustling Via del Corso. With particular attention being paid to the contemporary design of the guestrooms and spacious suites, the hotel encourages guests to feel as though they ‘live’ in the city during their trip. State-of-the-art amenities include in-room fitness equipment, and ensure The Dolce will become guests’ ‘home-away-from-home’, offering an elegant yet comfortable and familiar atmosphere whilst visiting the Italian capital.

Website: thefirsthotel.com/dolce

Magashi Camp, Rwanda
Opening: March, 2019

Interiors of the tented camp at the hotel

Image credit: Magashi Safaris Camp, Rwanda

Following the success of the award-winning Bisate Lodge, Rwanda, Wilderness Safaris will continue to expand its luxury arm and ecotourism footprint by opening a new camp in Akagera National Park in March 2019. In partnership with the Rwanda Development Board and conservation group African Parks, the six-tented camp called Magashi will be situated in the north-eastern part of Akagera overlooking Lake Rwanyakazinga.

Website: wilderness-safaris.com

Hotel EQ, Kuala Lumpur
Opening: March 2019

Image credit: EQ Hotel

With a prime location in the heart of Kuala Lumpur’s Golden Triangle, Hotel EQ will be an ideal base for bleisure breaks, a trend that is expected to reach new heights this year. Set in a multi-use 52-storey building occupying floors 29-52, the hotel will feature 440 guestrooms and suites, an authentic Pan-Asian restaurant and an impressive rooftop Sky Restaurant and Lounge.

Website: eqkualalumpur.com

Q2

Lelewatu Resort Sumba, Indonesia
Opening April 2019

Exterior shot of large bed on decking overlooking majestic sea views

Image credit: Preferred Hotels

Expected to turn heads with its remote pristine beaches, Sumba Island’s latest hotel will be set on a cliffside overlooking a private lagoon and the Indian Ocean.

Scattered over 10 acres of land, the resort’s 27 luxurious villas are designed with authentic Sumbanese wooden interiors, handwoven ikat fabrics, indoor marble baths, and private pools.

Website: lelewatu.com

Ikos Aria Kos, Greece 
Opening: May 2019

White, modern and clean interiors

Image credit: Ikos Aria Kos

Ikos Aria will bring an elevated and luxury dimension to all-inclusive offerings on the popular island of Kos. Situated on the southwest coast of Kos, the five-star resort will feature 373 elegantly appointed guest rooms with chic modern interiors, all with panoramic vistas across the Aegean Sea.

Website: ikosresorts.com/resorts/ikos-aria/

Hotel Samzeo, Georgia
Opening: May 2019

The remote village of Omalo, which is where Hotel Samzeo is situated, is positioned between two mountain ranges in Geogira’s historical Tusheti region. With just 43 guestrooms and suites, the boutique hotel is entirely powered by energy efficient systems and solar power.

render of public spaces of the hotel

Image credit: VFM Leonardo

Website: preferredhotels.com

The Kitano Hotel Tokyo 
Opening: April 2019

The Kitano Hotel Tokyo nestled in Hirakawacho is currently being renovated and will open in April 2019 as a new luxury boutique hotel in Tokyo.

Website: kitanohotel.co.jp/tokyo

The Chedi Mumbai, India
Opening: June 2019

Exterior render of the towering hotel

Image credit: GHM

Breathtaking views over serene Powai Lake to Mumbai’s dramatic cityscape elegantly finish the sophisticated and thoughtful offerings of this game-changing luxury hotel in India’s City of Dreams. The Chedi Mumbai will welcome business travellers with sophisticated meeting facilities, state-of-the-art equipment and communication technology.

Seven exceptional and innovative dining options, a holistic spa and wellness facilities plus stunning venues for private events of all sizes extend our heartfelt welcome to business and leisure travellers as well as to this city’s most discerning residents. Each of the 312 generously sized guestrooms and suites will capture stunning panoramas, while tasteful interiors will reflect GHM’s legendary motto: ‘style to remember.’

Website: ghmhotels.com/en/our-hotels/

Main image credit: Magashi Safaris Camp, Rwanda

Hotel Elephant Weimar reopens to capture the property’s artistic and architectural heritage

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Following an Extensive Renovation, Hotel Elephant Weimer Joins The brand’s portfolio of four independent hotels in Germany…

Autograph Collection Hotels, Marriott International’s distinctive collection of passionately independent hotels, has revealed the latest addition to its portfolio with the reopening of Hotel Elephant Weimar following a nine month full renovation. The boutique hotel offers 99 guestrooms, all of which have been redesigned to capture the spirit of the property’s artistic and architectural heritage. Three elegant and spacious suites are named after art, literature and architectural luminaries that have previously stayed as guests, including Lyonel Feininger, Thomas Mann and Walter Gropius.

Located in the city centre’s historical market square, the hotel has been a cultural hub for more than three centuries, known for its classic Art Deco and Bauhaus features.“We are thrilled to reintroduce one of Germany’s most historic hotels, uniting its rich history with an exceptional renovation,” said John Licence, Vice President Premium & Select Brands Europe at Marriott International. “Exactly like nothing else, this timeless hotel upholds Autograph Collection Hotels’ values of vision, design and craft.”

“The colour palette throughout the property consists of rich, natural tones of grey, blue and dark emerald.”

The unique design is a result of the creative collaboration of Bost Interior Design and DK Architekten, which draws upon 1920s elegance fused with an eclectic mix of iconic German structural design and modern flourishes. Taking inspiration from Germany’s leading literary figure, Goethe and his Theory of Colours, the colour palette throughout the property consists of rich, natural tones of grey, blue and dark emerald. While a thoughtfully curated collection of contemporary artwork adorns the hotel walls, the hotel is especially proud to be exhibiting works from leading German artists Georg Baselitz and Elvira Bach.

Image credit: Autograph Collection Hotels

Celebrated for its artistic and cultural heritage, the historic hotel remains the ultimate hub for city explorers and is situated a stone’s throw from the very best that Weimar has to offer. With 19 of the city’s sites listed in UNESCO’s World Heritage list and an array of cultural hotspots including the Classical Weimar ensemble, Herzogin Anna Amalia Library and the Memory of the World, guests can enlist the hotel’s in-house cultural concierge to make the most of their trip.

The culinary highlight of the hotel is Restaurant AnnA, specialising in local, authentic cuisine in a stylish and contemporary setting.

The Lichtsaal room, meanwhile, is situated at the heart of the hotel offering a cultural hub for guests and local residents to meet and enjoy the properties unique art collection as well as a curated programme concerts, readings and plays.

A state-of-the-art sauna and fitness area will also be opening in February 2019. For meetings and events, the hotel provides 560m² of spacious and adaptable event and banquet space, accommodating up to 100 guests per room. Three unique meeting rooms filled with natural light are available to book, equipped with high-quality conference technology.

In Conversation With: BISQUE’s Ellie Sawdy on 2019 colour trends

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Ever since Bisque first came on our radar, we have been impressed with how the company has taken a very practical – and historically mundane – item and used it to lift a whole interior space. The brand’s marketing manager, Ellie Sawdy, talks us through major colour trends, radiator pitfalls and 2019 surprises… 

Ever since its humble beginnings in 1979, after Geoffrey Ward stumbled across a towel radiator (a product that was revolutionary at the turn of the decade) on his travels and was struck with idea of pioneering attractive radiators in the UK, BISQUE has made a major impact on the interior design scene.

This year has been one of significance for the brand as it settles into a new home and is now able to welcome designers to experience the products at its showroom in the heart of London’s design hub, Islington Business Centre. But what’s next for the company that is always seen to be ahead of the curve – and can a radiator really have the power to change an interior design space? I caught up with the marketing manager whose natural trend radar is helping to steer the company into the future.

Various ranges of colour

Hamish Kilburn: How are radiators more than just heating appliances?
Ellie Sawdy: No longer do you have go with a simple towel rail or a pressed steel panel radiator. With so many options you can now make a bold statement with your radiators. For example the Bisque Arteplano etched copper or brass finishes are like a work of art! Each one is individually acid etched making it completely unique. Its products like these that appeal to those boutique hotels or décor that is going for the wow factor.

“Other trends include brass taps in kitchens and bathrooms.”

HK: What major trends are you seeing for 2019?
ES: We are seeing an increase in earthy tones for 2019, colours such as Spiced Honey which is Dulux’s colour of the year is a versatile colour perfect for a space that you want to be timeless. Bisque’s colour matching service means that we can match to colour like this to have a radiator that blends into your interior. Other trends include brass taps in kitchens and bathrooms. This finish helps you add warmth and shine to your interior. Depending on the finish of the brass you can have an industrial look or and polished clean finish.

“So many colour trends have popped up throughout 2018.”

HK: What can we expect to see in the products launching next year?
ES: Next year Bisque are really focusing on their special finishes. Designers are mixing metals and adding shades of colour steering away from Chrome. With taps, showers and even light switches coming in materials such as polished brass or antique bronze we want to complement these shades to help designers create one seamless look. Our new bathroom products for 2019 work perfectly with traditional bathrooms with matching valves sets to complete the look, all of which are available in a variety of finishes.

Coloured radiator

HK: What are some major pitfalls designers fall down when it comes to selecting the radiators?
ES: With so many beautiful designs you no longer have to try and hide the room radiator or towel rail, why not make it a feature? We allow designers to have something practical and stylish which are often timeless designs.

HK: Can you explain a little bit more about Bisque and its entrance onto hotel design scene?
ES: Bisque has always had a clear mission – to offer beautiful but practical radiators in the most exciting styles, colours and finishes. We have worked with both established designers to create innovative designs and no matter what they style, good design and quality are always paramount. This allows us to work with hotels to create a bespoke offering and provide world-class standards beyond minimal compliance with UK building regulations.

HK: What was the biggest trend surprise of 2018 in interior design?
ES: Colour is here to stay! So many colour trends have popped up throughout 2018 and all have been well received. Colour is creeping into people’s home and making an impact, people have lost the fear of committing to bold patterns and colour.

In almost 40 years, through generation changes and shifting trends, BISQUE has continued to remain at the top of its interior design game by leading the luxury radiator industry into a colourful future. As one major anniversary approaches, we are watching this space carefully to see what’s next.

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

Featured image caption: Skye Brackpool

 

IN CONVERSATION WITH: Patrick McCrae, Co-founder and CEO of art consultancy ARTIQ

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As our ‘Spotlight On’ feature on Art and Photography becomes even more colourful, editor of Hotel Designs Hamish Kilburn caught up with the charming, and equally talented, visionary who is ARTIQ‘s co-founder and CEO Patrick McCrae. Together the pair discuss talent searching and how the art consultancy firm is leading art in hotels into uncharted waters…

Earlier this month, ARTIQ inspired me – as a young design enthusiast – to think outside the box when critiquing art in hotels around the world. The term ‘talent searching’ has never been so clear as it was at the final of the Graduate Art Prize. The room was full of ideas, some yet to be sketched. ARTIQ, which launched the awards in 2012, is led by the dynamic and charismatic Patrick McCrae. Considering his team’s work that hangs on the stunning walls of prestigious hotels such as Gleneagles and Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik, I had the pleasure of catching up with McCrae to find out more.

Hamish Kilburn: What do you look for when searching for new art talent?

Patrick McCrae: Innovation, creativity and sustainability. ARTIQ is interested in representing a diverse group of artists, but with the same level of ambition as our own and an exceptionally high level of quality. We work across many different media, from painting and sculpture to photography, prints and illustration, and we’re always on the lookout for artists making waves in their communities in the territories in which we’re active. We like efficient people and good communicators too! As we’re so hands-on with our artists, it’s really important to foster a close working relationship. Our clients see us as their conduit to the artworld, so it’s important too that we can reflect the calibre and standards of our clients in the artwork we put forward.

ARTIQ were commissioned to curate an art collection for The Marriott Heathrow Conference, Banqueting & Event Space, redesigned by EPR Architects alongside works for the bedrooms, designed by Anita Rosato Interior Design.

Image caption: ARTIQ were commissioned to curate an art collection for The Marriott Heathrow Conference, Banqueting & Event Space, redesigned by EPR Architects alongside works for the bedrooms, designed by Anita Rosato Interior Design.

HK: Which hotel has recently stopped you in your tracks because of its art – and can you describe it?

PM: In February, I stayed in a tiny boutique hotel on Waheike Island, New Zealand.  I was there for the Auckland Arts Festival before touring around a bit and this was the last night in the country before coming home, so I really wanted to escape.  The hotel was run by a husband-and-wife team and set atop a huge vineyard in an olive grove (it was all a bit extra).  The plan was really to submerge in natural beauty before heading back to London.  The place was incredible: a spacious suite with floor to ceiling windows opening completely on two sides to a terrace with sun chairs and a table and the most absurdly picturesque view ever.  However, what really stuck me was the art collection, almost a lesson in modern art!  Miro, Picasso, Kandinsky nestled amongst local artists inspired by the views.  Every piece had a story and had been purchased over years by the owners.  It was the aesthetic so many of our clients are inspired by – the idea of a collector’s collection, each piece relevant, each modern work by an artist known to the family, collected and transported by hand back to the hotel.

HK: British artists seem to be so attractive to hotel clients from around the world. But what is it that Britain has that other countries may lack?

PM: There are indeed many fantastic British artists and I think this stems from the strength of the UK’s art market, which allows a certain freedom and flexibility when it comes to creating and collaborating. At ARTIQ we adopt a fair pay policy and in turn have found that our artists are more open to working on commissions in a much less restrictive way. However, we do think it is extremely important that when working on an international project to support local artists and not just to promote a British-is-best mentality. For example, with Mode ApartHotel Arc de Triomphe, our team of art researchers sourced work by Parisian artists Christian Gastaldi and Matheiu Bernard to reflect the culture and innovation of the city and offer a powerful place-making tool for the hotelier, as well as a unique opportunity for guests to experience local arts and culture as soon as they reach their accommodation.

The London Marriott Regents Park ARTIQ worked closely with Anita Rosato Interior Design on the curation of a fun and location-specific art collection for London Marriott Hotel Regents Park

Image caption: The London Marriott Regents Park
ARTIQ worked closely with Anita Rosato Interior Design on the curation of a fun and location-specific art collection for London Marriott Hotel Regents Park

HK: What advice would you give to young artists aspire to branch out into the commercial market?

PM: Here are my seven top tips:

  • Find your voice: in terms of subject and style, don’t be swayed by trends as these change and you’ll be left behind.
  • Know your business: from your prices to your intellectual property –  spend a bit of time working out your pricing, do a bit of research on industry practice, a-n, The Artists Information Company has a lot of great resources.
  • Think about how can you help clients ‘get’ your work? Maybe it’s the story, maybe’s it’s how many hours you spend on a piece or maybe it’s the materials? Think about what makes your process a ‘practice’.
  • Draw the line (early): Do you want to only sell originals? Do you want to do editions? Decide what you want now – it can always shift but makes you less likely to make uncomfortable compromises later in your career. The commercial art world can get hectic in terms of pace, and you want to lay a solid foundation early on.
  • Support others and they’ll return the favour: Whether it’s a gallerist, curator, or fellow artist – opportunities can come from the unlikeliest places. Find peers and mentors who truly want the best for you and can be trusted to advise on prices/opportunities/where your work is going.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want: if the client is really interested in the work, they’ll bite – it’s a negotiation, so play your part!
  • Grow your network! Go to shows, go to openings, network, be nice, ask for business cards and follow-up.

Image caption: The guestrooms at The London Marriott Regents Park were designed by Anita Rosato Interior Design, the art is all by Claire Brewster (ARTIQ)

HK: For designers working within tight budgets, how can they use art to help completely transform a hotel?

PM: When working within a tight budget, there are several ways to maximise the potential of your art. Firstly, consider renting a collection rather than buying. A rental collection can not only offer an affordable alternative to purchase, but in fact can attract more guests with a 3-6 monthly change that the marketing team can regularly talk about! In the same way, be open and clear about budget constraints from the get-go and your consultant can therefore tailor ideas that are specific to your project, rather than selling you something you cannot afford.

Think about the volume of the art you’re specifcying.  Think about areas of high traffic or strong perspective.  The ends of corridors, lift lobbies or walk-ways wherever everyone will travel to their rooms.  With a focus on key traffic areas and a reduction in volume, art can be carefully curated to impress continually.

A salon hang is another very cost-effective idea, whereby relatively inexpensive art, when grouped together, can create a bespoke and high-visual impact, as the viewer’s eye tends to focus on the whole rather than the individual.

Finally, you should be working with a consultant for whom budget restraints can also lead to creative, even transformative, outcomes. For example, approaching the end of The Principal Edinburgh, our team had a tight budget for the public areas. Thinking outside of the box, ARTIQ used vintage frames for the new, commissioned pieces, which not only looked fantastic but brought a whole other dimension to the project.

Four Seasons Hotel Singapore unveils luxury themed suites

Hamish Kilburn
Four Seasons Hotel Singapore, which first opened in 1994, has unveiled new themes in its luxury suites…

Four Seasons Hotel Singapore has completed its recent room renewal program with the revelation of its crowning jewels – The Suite Collection.

Together with the rest of the guestrooms and suites, the renovation began in early July 2018, led by the interior designers Hirsch Bedner Associates, who led the renovations of the Jiang-Nan Chun restaurant in 2016 and the opening of the Hotel in 1994.

Comprising four distinctive residential-style suites – the Royal Suite, Governor Suite, Ambassador Suite and the Presidential Suite – the suites artfully unfurl Singapore’s legacy through thoughtful use of key motifs, textures and colour palettes to create intentional, ambient design that portrays and acknowledges Singapore as a dynamic, cosmopolitan nation with a storied history.

Located on the 18th floor, the Royal Suite is inspired by the tropical splendour of nearby Singapore Botanic Gardens, a lush UNESCO World Heritage Site. The newly added chic open pantry and unique sofa seating unites living and dining space and is ideal for casual entertaining. Cloaked in neutrals, black and verdant green, and dressed in cane and linen textures, with local palm, fruit and animal motifs in artworks and accessories, the new décor reflects a relaxed and vibrant ambience.

In the surrounds of hand-picked, book lined walls of the privileged, agreements were oft sealed with a simple gentlemen’s handshake and a toast of brandy and a glass of whiskey. Ensconced in exclusivity on the top guest room floor of Four Seasons Hotel Singapore and generously sized, the Governor Suite features pear wood millwork offset with stylish contemporary furnishings in smoky light grey, dark wood detailing and amber tones for a smart, stately ambience with a panoramic boulevard view.

As colourful and rich as the intricate designs of the kamchen pottery featured in-suite, the Peranakan culture is a unique heritage that blossomed since the 15th century as a result of inter-marriages between the local Straits community with non-Straits descendants, when Singapore was a major trading port. This cultivated a beautiful cross-cultural appreciation in Singapore, evident through distinctive art styles, fashion, language and recipes. Accented with existing Straits Chinese elements through chic modern furniture in a turquoise, grey and dusty rose scheme, the Ambassador Suite is located on the 19th floor and exudes a unique grace and charm.

Evoking the journey of Singapore from colonial outpost to a modern nation, the largest suite at Four Seasons Hotel Singapore – the Presidential Suite – is eloquently showcased through contrasts of black and white, symbolic of old news footage and photos, with accents of gold, symbolic of its hopes and prosperity. Inspired by the grand colonial houses that are today still standing proud on the island, the suite located on the 19th floor offers a breath-taking view of the city skyline and is appointed with sleek contemporary furniture in a black, white and persimmon scheme that complements the existing pear wood millwork and black marble floor.

With a total of 255 guestrooms inclusive of these four themed suites, the wide range of accommodation options are crafted to welcome the Hotel’s clientele. From families to business travellers, guests will be immersed in sophisticated comfort and plush interiors. All rooms and suites also boast large floor-to-ceiling windows providing sweeping views of the city and surrounding greenery, brightening up the rooms with plenty of natural light. Just steps from the city’s shopping and commercial heart, the Hotel provides convenient access to the Central Business District and main tourist attractions.

Spotlight On: Furniture line made from forgotten traditional material

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As combining materials seemed to be a major theme of this year’s London Design Festival, editor Hamish Kilburn went beyond the show to investigate how one furniture company decided to use an often forgotten material from the 20th century for its latest collection of contract seating…

British design brand Deadgood launched a brand new collection of furniture at this year’s designjunction at London Design Festival 2018.

‘Hug Chair’ utilises Lloyd Loom, a traditional yet somewhat forgotten 20th century material, manipulated over a plywood shell and sat atop a recycled steel frame. The new dining and lounge chair version of the ‘Hug Chair’ was on the stand along with a number of other new designs in Oak and Upholstered finishes.

“After much experimentation we were able to manipulate the shape of this well loved material by applying it directly to a plywood shell,” said Vicki Leach, Deadgood Design Director. “By contrasting Lloyd Loom with a powder coated steel frame the aesthetic is somewhat refreshed for a modern interior, hopefully giving this tried and tested material a new lease of life.

Machine-woven Lloyd Loom is manufactured out of Kraft paper twisted round fine aluminium wire. The material is smooth to the touch, impervious and remarkably strong and durable. Deadgood adopted to use Lloyd Loom in order to create a thoroughly modern range of products with a distinctive yet altogether familiar aesthetic. “The result is subtle and not overwhelming, lending itself to gently merging in with the current workplace and hospitality trends,” concluded Leach.

As all this month Hotel Designs is focusing the spotlight on furniture, we are on the hunt for interesting furniture pieces that have recently launched. Tweet our editorial team on Twitter @hoteldesigns.

 

 

 

 

 

Steigenberger Hotel Bad Homburg - Bost Interior Design

Get involved with Hotel Designs’ Architecture & Interior Design month

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In February, Hotel Designs will be focussing on architecture and interior design.

We will look at current trends in architecture to determine what we might expect to see more of as hotel projects continue to crop up all over the world – from floating pools and sustainable wooden buildings to working with organic materials.

Our clients within this sector include Duravit, Roca and Laufen – see the full list of our recommended suppliers here.

Meanwhile, we will be showcasing the very best work of hospitality-driven interior designers – earthy colours will make a comeback including beiges, browns, oranges and reds, while designers will reflect the exteriors of buildings by using more organic materials.

Our clients within this sector include Richmond International and Lighting Design Studio – see the full list of our recommended suppliers here.

If you want to get your company and products in front of an audience of interior designers, procurement specialists and hoteliers for a month of focussed editorial, this is a fantastic opportunity.

If you wish to find out more, please contact Jennie Lane on 01992 374098 or j.lane@forumevents.co.uk.

How to bring nature-inspired designs into your hotel

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

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

Hallways and entrances

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

Restaurants

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

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

Bedrooms

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

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

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

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

Francesco Rota

Designer Profile: Francesco Rota, LEMA

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The philosophy behind Italian furniture designers LEMA is the concept of slow living, the harmonious enjoyment of life through beauty. This vision is behind all their bespoke items, and underpins the grace and elegance that flows through their interiors.

Francesco Rota, one of LEMA’s most admired designers, has articulated this concept in his exceptional pieces for day and night living. Embracing the values of Italian design – comfort, simplicity, functionality and visual appeal – he has created works that offer flexibility and versatility.

Born in Milan where he opened his studio in 1998, he has a wide scope of work including products, furniture, lighting, showrooms, offices and residential interiors. His products have won numerous awards, including The Good Design Award in 2016 and the Wallpaper Design Award 2017.

OYDO designed by Francesco Rota

OYDO designed by Francesco Rota

He has exhibited at many events including the Biennale di Architettura Venezia, the Royal Academy of Arts in London and the Miami Design District.

Francesco often finds inspiration in the beauty of the industrial production processes as well as in the aesthetics of popular iconic designs. His pieces are timeless, unaffected by fashion and embued with an innate feeling for composition, delicate colours and functionality, complementing their settings.

NEIL designed by Francesco Rota

NEIL designed by Francesco Rota

CASES, an airy sideboard that plays on the contrast of solids and voids, offers a nod to the ‘60s with its titanium-coloured legs. It offers a combination of containers including sideboard, set of drawers, display cabinet and a bar cabinet. The sideboard is available with a glass or marble top, and also in leather with an elegantly stitched border.

CASES designed by Francesco Rota

CASES designed by Francesco Rota

With either glass or wood doors, wooden drawers of differing heights or even an elegant glass cube that functions as a display cabinet, each unique combination personalises the room and makes CASES a versatile piece that works in all areas of the home. Rota’s OYDO coffee tables for LEMA are similarly versatile, one round and the other rectangular, with many different finishes from heat-treated oak, clay, stone to elegant Portoro marble.

Comfort is the theme for Rota’s NEIL sofa, a modular concept which is the perfect synthesis of made-to-measure comfort. A low seat, generous shape and square back is enhanced by two different heights, one for relaxing and the other for more formal entertaining, giving an interesting movement to the sofa.

Marcel Wanders

In Conversation: Marcel Wanders – Grand Portals Nous

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He has been dubbed the ‘Lady Gaga’ of design – a moniker I’m not entirely convinced Marcel Wanders fully appreciates – and has been a big name in the industry for more than two decades; his ‘big break’ coming via the ‘Knotted Chair’ in the late 1990s.

But from his Powerhouse studio in Amsterdam with the help of his team of designers, Marcel has realised hundreds of projects – including some notable ones in the hospitality sector. One of the most recently completed is the IBEROSTAR Grand Hotel Portals Nous in Mallorca, and about which Hotel Designs caught up with the charismatic and accomplished artist for a short chat…

As I call Marcel, he is relaxing with a cappuccino having just spent a week in Mallorca – the home of his latest hospitality project with IBEROSTAR. After our short introductions and a brief aside about the Mondrian Doha – another of his recent mammoth undertakings – I ask him how he got involved in the Grand Portals Nous. He tells me he is ‘super-excited’ about the project and how much it is going to impact the region’s hospitality scene.

Marcel Wanders - Grand Portals NousHe is not wrong. The property sits atop a stunning beach and Marcel has used this luxurious setting to bring about a truly Mallorquin style through his use of transparencies, whites and reflective surfaces. From the lobby’s bouquet motif to the boundless luxury of the hotel’s 66 rooms, four penthouse suites and five themed suites, guests are truly in for a treat.

“We’ve been working on this project for a long time, it has taken a while to complete this project and the whole building process. We’ve worked for eight years with the developer to create this wonderful place that it has become. It really is a jewel in the crown of the Iberian Peninsula. It has been great to be part of it,” he tells me.

Mallorca is a place close to Marcel’s heart. He clearly adores the place, having completed a similarly spectacular residential project on the island in 2009. I ask him what his inspiration was for this hospitality project.

“As a guest, you want to feel that you are in Mallorca – this beautiful Spanish island. The scenery and views are amazing. So, it was really important for me to make something authentic, that felt like it belonged there in that locale. That can be a difficult thing to achieve – but we wanted to do it in a new way, we didn’t want to do something that had been done before, it needed to be contemporary, modern yet at the same time international.

“It was a challenge to create something ‘of that place’ and authentic, that also delivers that unique Mallorquin character. We spent a lot of time sourcing materials, finishes and architectural features specific to the island – not to mention we had colour palettes that are really special; there is a winter and a summer palette. So the inspiration was definitely from the surrounding area. Guests go there to relax and hang out, but they also want to be excited about the place. For me, all of this was critical when it came to designing the space,” he adds.

Marcel’s attention to detail even went as deep as the design of the hotel’s logo. “Part of that ‘local inspiration’ process was creating a logo – its design inspiration was local flowers found on Mallorca, which bloom in early spring and herald the start of the season and I’m really happy that the bouquet logo celebrates that fact.”

Marcel Wanders - Grand Portals NousMarcel’s work has been carried out around the world on various sectors, so what is it that interests him about designing for hotels? “I have to say that in all things that the team does, we like to do projects where the design is ‘major league’. By that I mean projects where the design is integral to the success of the project. Of course, that comes into every project to an extent, but often people go somewhere because they have to go there. We want to create spaces that people visit because they really want to go there,” he says.

I ask Marcel how it differs from other sectors he has worked in and he enthusiastically tells me why he finds hotels ‘amazing’ to work in. “You get the freedom to really go hard with the design – unlike in a private residence where you might have to quieten that creative streak, create something a little more subdued and which ultimately is less visible to the world. Hotels are definitely our ‘sweet spot’ so to speak, a chance to show off creativity.

“As a designer you really have to be the best you can be, and as it’s a public sphere anybody who uses that space ‘owns’ that space. Therefore a lot of people will see your work, so it’s wonderful to create something a lot of people will use and enjoy.”

Marcel then talks about his early years as a designer and how that mass appeal is part of the appeal. “Starting out in my career as a designer, if we take the example of designing a coffee cup – you work for a long while to make that cup look wonderful and special, and then thousands of people can enjoy it, that’s important to me. It’s nice if one person is really happy with something you’ve created but it’s amazing when you create something of value for a lot of people – and hotels are exactly that.”

With his huge, worldwide reputation for creating statement, high-end interiors Marcel could be forgiven for running away with his vision, but that attitude has never been part of his make-up.

“I think hotels are actually very democratic. With this project – sure, it’s a five-star hotel and if someone wants to stay there for a week, they have to take quite a bit of money. But a person can also enjoy that space by just having a coffee or a drink with friends – I think that’s really cool.

Marcel Wanders - Grand Portals Nous“I remember when I was a kid, I would see spaces and think that’s a great space – like an expensive shop for example, you walk in with only a hundred bucks for the month and everything on sale is five hundred bucks. You’re priced out. But there has never been a hotel I felt I couldn’t go in, because I thought to myself I can always order a cappuccino, I can be a customer here – it was something I appreciated and have tried to do with this project.”

Having also spoken about his Mondrian Doha project, I ask Marcel what the future holds and if there are any exciting projects on the horizon.

“Yes, in fact, Doha was another project we spent a lot of time on and to have two openings in such a short space of time, it makes it look like the team and I do a lot of hotels, but in truth we only started on hotels in 2005 or so and we’ve only completed six or seven hotels in that time. So, it’s not a huge hospitality operation that we’ve created. We try to only do very prestigious projects that take a long time to get right; that require a tremendous amount of detail and research. We definitely pick and choose, but those half-dozen hotels, in the end, have really made their mark as a result – they are special places.”

Does Marcel think there is too much uniformity in hospitality design? “It’s nothing against designers of some hotels, but there’s already so many in the same style – I don’t feel there’s a need for yet another one. We always try to do something really different that stands out and that gives guests a genuine experience. It’s not always easy to find the clients, operators or developers who share that vision of creating something that hasn’t been seen before,” he says.

‘Creating something that keeps the guests coming back for more’, I suggest…

“Yes, exactly – keep the guests coming back! It’s wonderful to get new guests – but no hotel or hospitality client can survive on unique customers alone. Clients have to go away and spread the word, show photos to their friends – and that’s why I was delighted to stay at the hotel last week, I spoke to fellow guests about it and they were suitably impressed; not just with the design but with the service levels which are genuinely excellent. The operator knows exactly what its doing, so I’m super happy and I’m sure the business will grow fast,” Marcel concludes.

With his mercurial touch on show, I can only agree with him – it’s a wonderfully striking property and will be a Mallorquin gem for years to come, I’m sure…

www.grandhotelportalsnous.com

www.marcelwanders.com

www.powerhouse-company.com

Based on an interview in September 2017

Kit Kemp Wilton Carpets

Kit Kemp by Wilton Carpets receives acclaim since launch

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The Kit Kemp by Wilton Carpets collection was launched at a glittering event at London’s The Soho Hotel, named the ‘World’s Most Glamorous Hotel’ by Tatler magazine. Since then the range has enjoyed widespread acclaim, grabbing the attention of leading luxury consumer lifestyle publications and notable influencers from across the interiors industry.

Created by Kit Kemp, design director of Firmdale Hotels PLC and well-known author and art collector, the made-to-order collection features nine exquisite patterns drawing from influences as diverse as folklore, botany and architecture. Kit worked with the Wilton Carpets design team to create a stand-out collection for hospitality environments that is unique and individual. Using traditional axminster or wilton weaves, or incorporating the added texture of a Brussels weave, the collection delivers the finest British wool-rich qualities in bespoke size wall-to-wall carpet and area rugs.

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RELATED: KIT KEMP, WILTON CARPETS CREATE EXCITING CARPET COLLECTION
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“The designs in the Kit Kemp by Wilton Carpets collection truly are extraordinary and we’ve pushed the limits of our design and manufacturing expertise to faithfully interpret the sophisticated, subtle elements of Kit’s original creations,” explains Damian Roscoe, head of creative for Wilton Carpets. “In fact, patterns such as Batik were only possible because of the detail achievable with our robotic Axminster loom; the country’s most advanced. The collection was a joy to develop and shows just what can be achieved when two creative forces collaborate.”

Presented in a luxurious hardback book, the Kit Kemp by Wilton Carpets collection has made the difficult transition between a carpet created for hospitality and leisure spaces to one equally at ease in luxury homes. Recognised for this by leading interior journalists, it demonstrates that when good design and carpet craft combine, the results deserve attention. In fact, the Kit Kemp by Wilton Carpets collection has already been recognised by English Home magazine in its prestigious ‘New Year Honours’ special edition.

Designs from Kit Kemp by Wilton Carpets can now be seen in corridors and rooms at The Soho Hotel. From the stunning Batik used as runner in the reception and By Way as an area rug in the library, to the flexibility of Tweed Fleck demonstrated in one of the impressive Terrace Suites; the carpets reflect the richness of pattern and understanding of colour that is signature Kit Kemp.

www.wiltoncarpets.com

T: +44 (0) 17 22 74 60 00
F: +44 (0) 017 22 74 29 23
E: sales@wiltoncarpets.com

MEININGER Hotel Berlin East Side Gallery - Bar area

MEININGER opens fifth Berlin hotel

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MEININGER Hotels has opened its fifth hotel in Berlin. The new building, which has 245 rooms and 833 beds, is well-located right next to East Side Gallery and Ostbahnhof.

The design of each MEININGER hotel is based on an individual theme, and this hotel was inspired by the immediate proximity to the former border wall separating East and West Berlin, the East Side Gallery. The phrase “be united” is realised in every room of the hotel, with concrete walls, long tables and graffiti reflecting the history of the wall and the reunification, as well as the philosophy of MEININGER Hotels. “Every day, guests from all over the world meet here and exchange views in a relaxed atmosphere in the guest kitchen, game zone, lobby, lounge and bar,” says Hannes Spanring, CEO of MEININGER Hotels.

MEININGER Hotel Berlin East Side Gallery - Bar areaIn the public areas of the MEININGER Hotel Berlin East Side Gallery, two long tables serve as a connecting element between different areas of the hotel. Opposite the bar, the text “be united” illuminates the room on a concrete wall. The modern, straightforward design is punctuated by colourful highlights.

On the way to the rooms, the guests come across interesting quotes about the reunification and togetherness. In the cosy rooms, modern graffiti reflects the theme. Floor-to-ceiling windows provide a perfect view of vibrant Berlin as well as the nearby quarter. The room types range from classic double rooms and private multi-bed rooms, through to a bed in a dormitory. The hotel also offers superior rooms on the upper floors of the building. “Also in this new hotel, we expect the typical mix of guest types including groups, families, backpackers, business and leisure travellers, which makes MEININGER so unique”, says Hannes Spanring.

Thanks to its excellent location and convenient public transport links, the MEININGER Hotel Berlin East Side Gallery is the perfect base to explore the whole city, with the trendy districts Mitte and Kreuzberg only a few minutes away. The East Side Gallery and Oberbaumbrücke are also within walking distance of the hotel. The proximity to the Ostbahnhof, which can be reached in a two-minute walk, guarantees a comfortable journey. For guests arriving by car, the hotel offers 17 parking spaces in the underground car park.

MEININGER Hotel Berlin East Side Gallery - BedroomThe opening of the MEININGER Hotel at the East Side Gallery is the beginning of a series of openings that will follow in the next nine months. By September next year, MEININGER will open eight more hotels across Europe including another one in Berlin. “Berlin is an important location for us, and we are keen to open more hotels here. A sixth MEININGER hotel is already under development, in Turmstrasse in Moabit. It will welcome its first guests in the summer of next year”, says Hannes Spanring.

MEININGER continues to expand. A total of 16 new hotels are already planned. Although the focus is on Europe, opportunities in North America and South Asia are being examined in the search of further projects. Currently the MEININGER Group operates 18 hotels in Europe with 2,712 rooms and 9,242 beds in total.

www.meininger-hotels.com

Elizabeth Lane

Introducing RPW Design’s newest partner – Elizabeth Lane

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RPW Design, a leading hospitality interior design practice in East London, is proud to announce its latest partner, Elizabeth Lane. Previously Director of Projects, Elizabeth’s promotion to Partner heralds an exciting new phase of growth for RPW Design.

“Elizabeth has shown herself to be incredibly accomplished and vital in the maintenance of RPW Design’s reputation as an Interior Design studio where beautiful interiors and operational functionality work in complete harmony. We are proud of her progress during her career at RPW Design and excited for the growth and future of the company with Elizabeth as our newest partner,” commented Managing Director Ariane Steinbeck.

Elizabeth joined RPW in 2004 as FF&E Manager and then became Director of Projects. In that capacity, Elizabeth worked on several key assignments including The Marriott Hotel County Hall, London, The Fairmont St Andrews, Scotland and P&O cruise ship refits for both Arcadia & Oceana, due to complete this year.

Elizabeth’s 13-year tenure at the company has included welcoming current Managing Director Ariane Steinbeck and supporting a smooth transition as RPW founder Jan Wilson took a step back from the helm of RPW Design in 2015.

Elizabeth has steadily guided the design teams at RPW to deliver first class outcomes suiting diverse projects. From luxury city hotels, to countryside golfing venues and exclusive private clubs, Elizabeth has an extensive understanding of hospitality operations, having worked on the client’s side for many years.

As the newest Partner at RPW, Elizabeth will continue to lead and undertake key design projects. Exciting RPW focus points for 2018 include a hotel interior design project in Malta and the creation of a stunning Sky Bar in the heart of London, as well as luxury hotels in Eastern European capitals.

Elizabeth commented on her new position, “2018 is an exciting year for the growth of RPW Design and I am honoured to accept the offer of partnership at this inspirational and creative company. I look forward to continuing the reach of our practice globally as well as developing new and innovative design alongside my talented colleagues.”

Batik runner, Kit Kemp by Wilton Carpets

Kit Kemp, Wilton Carpets create exciting carpet collection

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Wilton Carpets and Kit Kemp have come together to create an exciting collection of woven wool-rich carpets for hospitality, travel and home.

Kit Kemp MBE has forged an international reputation as one of the world’s top interior designers. With a unique approach to her work, Kit is also well-known as an author and passionate champion of British art, craft and sculpture. As Design Director of Firmdale Hotels PLC, she is the creative force behind hotels including London’s Ham Yard, Charlotte Street, The Soho Hotel and New York’s Crosby Street Hotel and The Whitby. Her designs have been celebrated with many prestigious awards including ‘Condé Nast Best Hotel in the World for Design’.

Situated in the Wiltshire town of the same name, the spiritual home of weaving for nearly 400 years, Wilton Carpets designs and manufactures in Britain, making carpet from British wool on a blend of traditional machinery and the country’s most advanced robotic high-speed loom. Wilton Carpets is the embodiment of the very best in modern manufacturing blended with traditional craftsmanship.

Kit’s collaboration with Wilton Carpets has created a stand-out collection for hospitality, travel and home, interpreting scale and usability through the latest manufacturing techniques. With a highly experienced design team, spearheaded by Damien Roscoe, Wilton Carpets has skilfully turned Kit’s ideas into beautiful high quality woven carpets, pushing carpet craft to its limits.

Kit explains: “New manufacturing technology has made my ideas a possibility and with its design input, Wilton Carpets has turned them into a joyful reality. We have been able to create subtle effects and graduations of colour to give carpets a unique feel, similar to the finish of a hand-blocked fabric. Colour makes you feel happy and gives a contemporary buzz to this collection.”

The made-to-order range introduces nine unique and multi-tasking designs that draw from a diverse array of inspiration within folklore, architecture and botanical motifs. These come together to provide carpets that work in both traditional and modern interiors.

Damian Roscoe, Head of Creative at Wilton Carpets: “We’re incredibly proud of the Kit Kemp by Wilton Carpets collection as it represents just what is achievable when two creative forces collaborate. The collection has been a joy to develop and we’ve worked closely with Kit to make sure her vision was reproduced with the attention-to-detail for which we are famed.”

Whether using traditional Axminster or Wilton weaves, or incorporating the added texture of a Brussels weave, Kit Kemp by Wilton Carpets delivers carpet of the finest design and quality. Made in a British wool-rich blend for lasting appearance and wear resistance, the range is available in wall-to-wall carpet and as bespoke area rugs, in a quality and construction suitable for the demands of project.

Batik (main image)
One of the most difficult influences to turn into carpet, Batik references hand-blocked fabrics and the subtle effects this technique brings. Kit Kemp says: ‘it’s a new way to bring one off craftwork into you home.” Batik comes in two striking colourways dominated by red and blue.

Detail
A strong architectural look, which is ‘one of my favourites, so simple but graphic and strong’ explains Kit. Available in six colourways, including red on blue and yellow on black.

By Way
A classic herringbone infused with bright colour combinations that Kit describes as ‘having fun in a colourful and carefree way’. Available in four high-contrast colourways.

Domino
Based on traditional Turkish carpets, this design has a large diamond repeat that Kit says, ‘needs to be seen to be believed’. A definite ode to the Arts and Crafts in four colourways including dynamic shades of blue and terracotta.

Flower and Berry
There is more than meets the eye with this overall Botanical pattern. ‘This is a design that will work well in both traditional and modern settings’, says Kit. Available in five colourways featuring red on off-white, off-white on blue and off-white on pea green

Leaf Cut
Inspired by nature, this is a carpet that Kit describes as, ‘falling leaves in a modern way that will look interesting in any environment’. Leaf Cut comes in two popping colourways, blue with leaves of orange and red with green.

Leaf Cut in Cerise area rug, Kit Kemp by Wilton CarpetsOpen Plan
A large repeat that looks good in grand areas, tribal influences abound. The Open Plan pattern ‘takes the traditional and turns it into something that says today’, explains Kit. This pattern comes in four colour combinations, including three with an off-white base cloth.

Tweed Fleck
A tweed design which Kit describes as having ‘flecks of fabulous tiny vibrant colours” It is a modern-day classic. Tweed Fleck is available in seven high-impact colourways including red, teal and blue.

Squiggle
A simple linear geometric design that still manages to make a statement and which Kit believes will make ‘halls and stairways look tailored’. With inversed colours available, this pattern comes in five other off-white combinations.

The richness of pattern and understanding of colour is a signature look of Kit Kemp and in creating the collection, the team at Wilton Carpets has pushed carpet design to the limit. Kit Kemp and Wilton Carpets are bringing craft into carpets for everybody to enjoy.

www.wiltoncarpets.com

T: +44 (0) 17 22 74 60 00
F: +44 (0) 017 22 74 29 23
E: sales@wiltoncarpets.com

Sneak Peek: MarBella Nido, Corfu

Sneak Peek: MarBella Nido, Corfu

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The newest addition to the MarBella Hotels family, MarBella Nido Suite Hotel & Villas, is set to open on the 5th May 2018.

Nestled into the South-East corner of Corfu in Agios Ioannis Peristeron, this newly built adults-only property is situated adjacent to sister property MarBella Corfu Hotel.

With the hotel name Nido deriving from Italian meaning ‘nest’, the hotel reflects this in its warmth and intimate environment. MarBella Nido will not only offer a cosy and intimate atmosphere with a blend of Corfiot heritage and stylish comfort, but the property will echo Corfu’s natural charm, making guests feel at home during their stay.

MarBella Nido will offer a range of individually designed 70 junior suites, deluxe suites and luxury villas all with stunning views across the glistening waters of the Ionian Sea. Every room from the junior suites up to the luxury villas with private pool offers luxurious elegance. Inspired by the natural environment, each room is complemented by sleek design, modern amenities and breath-taking scenery and sea views at every turn.

This brand new luxurious accommodation stays true to Corfu’s heritage. All suites and villas will be contemporary in design with neutral tones, offering sleek and elegant furnishings combined with the local Corfiot aesthetics.

Sneak Peek: MarBella Nido, CorfuGuests will be welcomed into rooms and suites that offer privacy, relaxation and comfort. Furthermore, many of the suites, including the grand terrace junior suites and deluxe junior suites, come equipped with a private terrace whirlpool as well as stylish sunbeds, table and chairs.

www.marbellanido.gr

Hotel Jardín Tropical – Tenerife completes refurbishment

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Christmas has come early for those looking for one of the best hotel experiences in Tenerife, thanks to a major refurbishment of the stunning Hotel Jardín Tropical.

Situated in Costa Adeje in the south of the largest of the Canary Islands, the exclusive hotel overlooks the Atlantic Ocean with stunning views towards the neighbouring island of La Gomera and benefits from Tenerife’s constant year-round sunshine and temperatures of around 23°c.

But a recent investment programme at the 390-room hotel has now made the premium experience even more enticing ahead of the December 1, 2017 relaunch, just in time for a sun-drenched festive season for those looking to escape the UK winter.

The new-look hotel’s interior style has been overseen by Barcelona-based Jaime Beriestain, who was awarded the prestigious AD Espana Interior Designer of the Year in 2016 and has an extensive portfolio of previous clients at some of the most salubrious hotels around the world.

Hotel Jardín Tropical - Tenerife completes refurbishment

Hotel Jardín Tropical - Tenerife completes refurbishmentHis vision has gained huge acclaim and the Hotel Jardín Tropical project has created a chic, personal touch, while retaining its unique personality in its spectacular setting.

Aside from the new look, there is also a fresh take on luxury. The Club is a fabulous new five-star experience with exclusive features for guests who prefer an extra layer of comfort with 90 rooms and suites, exclusive hotel areas and a host of features to enhance any stay to an even higher standard.

Hotel director Saad Azzam said: “We look forward to welcoming our guests to the relaunch of Hotel Jardín Tropical and we are sure it will go beyond all expectations in terms of service. We believe we offer the very best hotel experience in Tenerife.”

www.jardin-tropical.com/en/

Photos: The Azalea Group

Jean-Michel Gathy shares the most important part of design

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World-famous architect Jean-Michel Gathy has revealed what he values most when designing a space; colour.

Gathy’s signature designs have inspired many leading architectural works, which are showcased in a list of some of the most recognised hotels and resorts including the One&Only Reethi Rah, Cheval Blanc Randheli; Maldives, St. Regis Lhasa; Tibet, Viceroy Snowmass; Aspen Colorado, Park Hyatt Sanya Sunny Bay; Sanya, The Chedi Andermatt; Switzerland, Aman Canal Grande; Venice, Amanwana; Moyo Island Indonesia and Aman Summer Palace; Beijing, Amanyara; Turks & Caicos, and The Setai in Miami, Florida.

Born in Belgium, Gathy founded Denniston in 1983, an architecture firm with a specific niche market, where he specialises in the creation of innovative designs for up-market hotels and other establishments in the industry. Thanks to its forward thinking architecture, design and technology applications in a constant state of evolution, DENNISTON has been able to retain its position as the market leader and a reference point for all designers in the industry.

With a career that has spanned almost four decades, Gathy shares his top five reasons why utilising colour is an important element when designing a space.

  • Colour Creates Mood: When it comes to selecting the colour palette for a space, Gathy stresses that colour is a very powerful element that can set the tone for a room. “Colour has an immediate effect on mood—the ability to calm or invigorate—and creates energy and depth of field,” says Gathy. “It’s a powerful thing, and used intelligently, it can be a beacon for inspiration.”
  • Say No to Monotone: Gathy advises that one should steer clear of tonal colour palettes as they don’t add enough excitement.  “Too much tone on tone is quite boring. The colours you choose do not always have to match, but should rather complement one another,” adds Gathy.
  • Messaging is Everything: Colour can send a strong message to guests and Gathy suggests taking the intention behind the colour palette in your home very seriously. “Colour has an immediate and enormous effect on the atmosphere. If you enter a dark home, your mood instantly changes,” says Gathy. Choosing colour schemes that carry the message you want to convey in your home will ensure that guests inherently understand your personality and overall aesthetic.
  • Proportion is Key: Bold colours and patterns are great to use, but in moderation. Gathy advises that colour proportion must be appropriate to the palette and pleasant to the eye. “Be careful not to over-mix patterns, otherwise they’ll start to compete with each other. Offset patterns with neutral breaks to create balance so the eye isn’t challenged. For example, if you have busy, multi-coloured pillows, opt for a more streamlined geometrical rug in black and white or tones of beige. Grounding the room with neutrals means you can add colourful highlights in the way of pillows, throw blankets, and rugs,” advises Gathy.
  • Cohesive Connection: Adhering to unique themes in each room can work well, but it’s important to maintain a sense of continuity throughout suggests Gathy. “The beauty of decorating a home is that each room can look and feel distinctive, so you can use a different colour scheme in every space if you choose. The trick is to create cohesiveness by choosing complementary colours where rooms connect,” says Gathy.
Home House Winter Marquee.

Christmas Meet Up: A month to go…

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We’re a month away from the Hotel Designs Christmas Meet Up event, which has already seen some biggest names in the UK hotel and design industries confirm their place for an evening of drinks, canapes and an end-of-year celebration.

Embrace the spirit of the holidays a little early this year and join us all at Hotel Designs as we usher in the end of the year with a bang at Home House in Marylebone, London on 8th November 2017 from 6-10pm.

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TO FIND OUT MORE OR BOOK, CLICK HERE
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Home House - Christmas Meet Up

The attendee list is filling up, with some fantastic representatives from across the hotel and design industry making an appearance. Last month we announced Marriott International, Shangri-La at The Shard, Rosewood London, York & Albany Hotel and The Wellesley Knightsbridge. We are now pleased to announce Bermondsey Square Hotel, InterContinental, The Montcalm and The Montague on the Gardens Hotel will also be in attendance.

Home House Winter Marquee.Attendees from firms in the design industry already confirmed to attend included Twenty2Degrees, Areen Design, Atelier Lux and inD Creations. We can now announce Design Clarity, Milan Babic Architects, Harrier Forde Design, Hendry Associates Architects and ReardonSmith.

If you are a suppliers to the hospitality industry looking to meet top names from both industries, contact Jennie Lane on 01992 374098 or on j.lane@forumevents.co.uk – or click here to book your place.

The Christmas Meet Up is completely free for hoteliers and designers; click here to confirm your attendance.

Steigenberger Hotel Bad Homburg - Bost Interior Design

Bost Interior Design wins award for Hotel Bad Homburg

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The architectural firm Bost Interior Design has received a 2017 Iconic Award during the recent Expo Real Trade Fair in Munich.

The prize was awarded in the “Interior” category to recognise the design the company had produced for the renovations that have taken place at the Steigenberger Hotel Bad Homburg.

Every year the German Design Council, a body instigated by the Federal Parliament, honours visionary architecture, innovative products and sustainable communication achievements. Every branch of architecture, construction, property and manufacturing industry is eligible for consideration. The Iconic Award is conferred in five main categories. Evaluation criteria include quality of form, aesthetics, material and design.

The Steigenberger Hotel Bad Homburg has undergone complete modernisation and regeneration over the past 18 months. The first stage of the works involved renovation of all 174 rooms and suites, and this was followed by a redevelopment of the facade and public areas.

Steigenberger Hotel Bad Homburg - Bost Interior Design
Architect Tassilo Bost stated: “In the 1920s, the Steigenberger Hotel Bad Homburg was known as the ‘Ritters Parkhotel’. It was a highly prestigious establishment which enjoyed an international reputation. The idea behind the concept for the entire expanse of the public areas was to create a link to the aura exuded by classical grand hotels from the beginning of the twentieth century and to showcase this style whilst also incorporating design components from the modern age.”

COO Thomas Willms was on hand to represent Deutsche Hospitality, and he also expressed his delight at the award. “We get regular positive feedback from large numbers of guests regarding the new appearance of the Steigenberger Hotel Bad Homburg. We are proud that architectural experts have declared their recognition in the form of such an accolade,” he said.

A total of €11 million (£9.8 million) was made available for the renovations at the Steigenberger Hotel Bad Homburg, and the project was jointly funded by the owning company Art-Invest Real Estate and Deutsche Hospitality itself.

www.steigenberger.com/en

www.bid-berlin.eu

Wimberly Interiors - Orient Express

Wimberly Interiors reveal Orient Express designs

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Wimberly Interiors is delighted to unveil the design of three ultra-luxurious private ‘Grand Suites’ aboard the seminal Venice Simplon-Orient-Express. Adorned with opulent marquetry, the sumptuous ‘Grand Suites’ offer guests a once in a lifetime opportunity to be transported to the golden era of travel in suitably contemporary luxury, from March 2018.

Venice Simplon-Orient-Express brings to life the romance and nostalgia of the golden age of travel with its luxurious 1920s and 1930s carriages. Drawing inspiration from the romance, adventure and style of each of the destinations the train weaves through; Paris, Venice and Istanbul, Wimberly Interiors has used ornate detailing, hand-beaded embroidery and lavish fabrics to reflect each city’s unique character. Wimberly Interiors worked closely with Belmond to retain the carriage’s intrinsic features and enrich the original bespoke details, celebrating the original décor of the Roaring Twenties in every stylistic detail.

Throughout the season, the train journeys through a mobile-tapestry of changing landscapes, connecting three of Europe’s most exciting and culturally rich cities. The resplendent décor embraces and enhances the carriage’s history, creating an exceptional and genuine experience for the discerning traveller.

“It was extremely important when developing the design concept, that we embraced the unique story and history of the brand. To capture the epitome of classic luxury travel that the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express exudes,” comments Rachel Johnson, Vice President and London Studio Director, Wimberly Interiors. “We focused on moments within each city, inspiring visual cues and the overall Belmond guest experience. It was an exciting challenge to use this inspiration to recreate the essence of Art Deco glamour in a graceful and timeless design.”

The Paris Suite
Taking inspiration from Paris’ historic love affair with the Art Deco movement, Wimberly Interiors has adorned the suite with exquisite decorative touches and a light and crisp colour palette. The city’s haute couture and gastronomic excellence is channelled through elegant furnishings, delicate fabrics, crystal barware and Lalique crystal panels.

Wimberly Interiors - Orient ExpressThe Venice Suite
Wimberly Interiors has interwoven the grandeur of Venice into the space using damask silks, blue and silver hues and bespoke Murano Glass Chandeliers which reflect the city’s baroque and renaissance heritage. Celebrating local craftsmanship, decorative elements include traditional Venetian mirrors and an antique tapestry sourced from Venice, which evoke an authentic sense of the city.

The Istanbul Suite (Main Image)
This suite has been influenced by the rich patterning of the Topkapi Palace, traditional Ottoman design and Istanbul’s famous Grand Bazaar. Hand carved timber and marquetry panel borders accented with mother of pearl recall the opulence and romance of the destination while amber crystal ware, embossed leather and exaggerated metal details honour the city’s unique heritage.

“One of the key design elements in each suite is the extravagant, high gloss marquetry, which blends the unique rich traditional patterns of each city with the Art Deco design of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express carriages.” Sophie Deeley, Project Designer, Wimberly Interiors.

“This is a one of a kind restoration project; we are going to completely transform the individual classic cabins into three exceptional suites. The designs are sensitive to the original history of the carriages and each cabin is inspired by the city it represents.” Comments Gary Franklin, Managing Director, Trains & Cruises for Belmond.

Decorex 2017

Decorex 2017: Still one of the hottest shows on the calendar

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Decorex has been in full swing all week and comes to a close on Wednesday, Hotel Designs was there to take a look at this year’s edition…

Succeeding Tim Gosling’s 2016 spectacular entrance, 2017’s entrance celebrate the design industry through interiors, floristry, theatre and product.

Meanwhile, a programme of seminars take place across all four days, Hotel Designs caught insight on modelling business for design, luxury lighting, global design trends and working with wool.

As part of the Sight area of Design Sense, Tim Gosling and guests were teaching a series of masterclasses on all aspects of visual design. From drawing and watercolours to gilding and works with leather and glass.

 

Key members of the BIID hosted a series of mentoring sessions during this year’s Decorex, designed to support new and emerging designers making their way in the interior design profession. These informal round-table Q&A sessions will focus on both the residential, commercial and hospitality markets as well as offering business skills advice.

Celebrating 30 Years of Jean-Michel Gathy

Spotlight: Celebrating 30 years of Jean-Michel Gathy

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Jean-Michel Gathy, the legend behind some of the world’s most iconic luxury hotel and resort design celebrates more than 30 years of achievement in 2017 as Principal Designer at Denniston Architects.

For more than three decades, Jean-Michel Gathy has been the architect responsible for consistently pioneering and redefining the design of leading luxury hotels and resorts world-wide such as The Chedi Muscat, Aman Resorts, The Setai, One&Only, Park Hyatt and LVMH Hotels to name a few.

Pioneering Design
Denniston Architects believes that it is important to address all the components of architecture, interiors and landscape at once in a synergistic seamless flow when building a hotel. Working alongside many of the pioneers of luxury hotels, Jean-Michel Gathy has conceptualised and created some of the most internationally recognized ground breaking designs for the industry’s top hoteliers and owners.

Water Features Abound
Dramatic water features are evident in all of Jean-Michel’s designs and play to a strong visual narrative. “The best way to create scenery is by using water. It produces reflective surfaces, which have a space-doubling effect and create drama” shares Gathy. Examples of signature design which pay homage to water include the Marina Bay Sands, Singapore’s largest rooftop infinity pool overlooking the city’s skyline the world’s most extravagant Gold Energy Pool at the St. Regis Lhasa and The Setai Miami.

Celebrating 30 Years of Jean-Michel Gathy
A Creative Approach to Spa Design

With the rise of well-being and healthy living, we never speak of a luxury hotel now without also speaking of its spa. At LVMH’s Cheval Blanc Randheli in the Maldives, Jean-Michel Gathy conceived an intimate “house”, the perfect holiday residence beside the sea. He incorporates matching elements with the island landscape, luxuriant vegetation and its views over the blue lagoon. Positioned in its own island, the journey begins upon sailing to the idyllic spa on board a traditional dhoni. Alongside treatments, guests can enjoy a traditional hammam bath or a yoga session in the dedicated pavilions as a prelude or interlude to their treatments.

Positioned on the shores of a pink-sand private beach, Aman Sveti Stefan in Montenegro is known to be one of the most beautiful resorts in the Adriatic. Constructed out of a 15th-century fortress, Jean-Michel Gathy drew inspiration from historical features and contemporary reinterpretations while preserving cultural and heritage elements. The property features a 1,600sqm spa offering treatments following a holistic personalised approach with natural Aman products and outdoor terraces for relaxation.

Celebrating 30 Years of Jean-Michel Gathy
Restaurants & Bars, the new heartbeat of a hotel

Whether it is celebrating special occasions or relaxing and socialising, restaurants and bars are the most popular venues and gathering point in a hotel. Tapasake at One&Only Maldives is one of those restaurants that you will always remember. Suspended over water, Gathy has designed a gloriously stylish showcase of glass, stone and stainless steel, with its black terrazzo floor, oyster-grey mother of pearl tables with whalebone-effect legs – and captivating views of the ocean for every diner. Gathy comments “The feeling I’d like people to take away with them as they leave Reethi Rah is fulfilment in every sense: aesthetically, because they have just spent time in one of the world’s beautiful places, and spiritually, because they have had the most marvellous, refreshing, fun time.”

Celebrating 30 Years of Jean-Michel GathyA forerunner of luxury tourism to Oman
The Chedi Muscat, an architectural and design masterpiece is a particularly significant and impactful creation of Jean-Michel Gathy as its launch in 2003 served to open the doors to luxury travel to Oman. With the concept of luxury evolving over time, Jean-Michel’s idea remains timeless. “If I have to qualify a good hotel, I would only use one word: comfort,” shares Gathy.

Celebrating 30 Years of Jean-Michel Gathy

Denniston International is currently working on more than 40 projects globally, including those for One&Only in China and Montenegro, Jumeirah in Bali and Rio de Janeiro, Mandarin Oriental in Bali, Four Seasons Bangkok and, a hotly anticipated green project with Leonardo DiCaprio in Belize.

denniston.com.my
oneandonlyresorts.com

Sekers - Ticino Collection

Product Spotlight: Sekers – Ticino Collection

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Sekers is pleased to announce the launch of Ticino, a collection of two subtle, shimmering fabrics suitable for contract curtains, bedding and accessories.

Lugano is a versatile semi plain combining a lustrous chenille yarn with a matt yarn in a striking strie construction and Riviera is an elegant plain with a slub weft, creating a raw silk effect.

Available in a palette of forty refined shades ranging from cool metallic tones and sophisticated neutrals to rich rust and opulent greens and reds, Ticino is a handsome addition to any interior and is an ideal choice for the designer specifying for the hospitality and leisure markets.

Woven in 100% polyester, the Ticino collection is washable and is suitable for all aspects of the contract market. Both fabrics meet all relevant UK & US standards for curtains, accessories and bedding; in addition Lugano meets IMO standards for curtains, with both designs meeting IMO standards for bedding making this washable collection the perfect selection for any contract application.

Lighting the way: two new mirror designs from Bauhaus announced

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The Bauhaus range by Crosswater has revealed two new designs for its illuminated bathroom mirrors range. The new designs, Mike Pro and Dune, are launching among the range of contemporary LED mirrors looking to naturally, stylishly and unobtrusively assist with daily routines.

The designs offer a range of smart design features, including sensor on/off switches and colour changing illumination, these multifunctional mirrors look to not only provide a practical feature in the bathroom but also act as a stylish focal point too.

Designed to offer the latest in functional bathroom technology, the new Dune mirror boasts smart features throughout combined with sleek, up-to-the-minute styling. Beautifully illuminated from all angles, this smart mirror features the next generation of LED lighting, offering superior performance using the lowest possible energy consumption.

Operated via the mirror’s touch-sensitive controls, which are marked in three subtle sandblasted symbols, users can control the light’s on/off function, its brightness and a choice of three ambient illuminations: cool, warm and daylight. Going for simplicity the Mike Pro mirror is available in two sizes for landscape and portrait hanging, the simple form and classic framed illumination means that this design will coordinate effortlessly in any bathroom scheme.

Controlled by a clever PIR sensor discreetly placed on the mirror’s underside, users can turn the light on and off with a simple hand motion, making it both hygienic and easy to use.

For more information, you can visit Crosswater’s official site

Areen Design - Sheraton Madagascar - Lobby (002)

Project Spotlight: Areen Design – Sheraton Madagascar

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Located in Madagascar’s capital city Antananarivo, the 25-storey Sheraton hotel is being transformed with all guest rooms and public spaces undergoing major refurbishment, with interiors by Areen Design’s award-winning hospitality team.

The 224-bed hotel is the latest project where Areen Design has been commissioned to offer a full design and procurement package, providing interior design services alongside a multi-million pound contract supplying the furniture, fixtures and equipment (FF&E) and operating supplies & equipment (OS&E).

As Andrew Linwood, Head of Hospitality Design, explains: “Clients benefit from a deeply engrained design ‘know-how’ combined with procurement services based on quality and product durability. Design specifications are written with localisation, budget and suitability in mind, thanks to close collaboration between our departments. All this translates into better quality specifications, early and accurate budgeting, transparency, greater efficiencies, and ultimately cost savings while delivering a high quality service.”

Areen Design - Sheraton Madagascar - Spa
Andrew continues: “Alongside these benefits, our design team were also inspired by the project’s location. I believe our interior spaces now incorporate a strong flavour of the locality and the Malagasy heritage; from striking patterns and colours, to structures and metalwork. The standards international travellers expect from Sheraton have still been provided but with more than a firm nod towards local influence.”

With completion and handover expected to be in Q1 of 2018, the new interiors will welcome guests to spaces which reflect Marriott’s quality and international standards, alongside the values held by the Sheraton brand in the hospitality sector.

House & Garden - Arlo and Jacobs - Decorex

House & Garden launch first design collection at Decorex 2017

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As the ultimate launchpad for new talent and the show of choice for the discerning interior design market, it was fitting for House & Garden to select Decorex International as the platform to debut their exciting new venture in collaboration with Arlo & Jacob.

To celebrate their 70th anniversary, House & Garden are launching their first ever furniture collection at the UK’s leading interior design fair this September.

Conceived by House & Garden decoration director, Gabby Deeming, and designed to keep the price accessible, each piece has considered proportions that are at once elegant and comfortable, with stylish details such as single seat cushions and painted legs.

House & Garden - Arlo and Jacobs - Decorex
Inspired by English country house style, with an emphasis on deep comfort and a sense of prettiness, this design collection offers statement pieces that would also make chic additions to sophisticated townhouse interiors. A contemporary take on classic shapes, each piece is instantly recognisable for its smart, refined design.

House & Garden - Arlo and Jacobs - Decorex
Arlo & Jacob were an obvious partner for the House & Garden Collection; a fresh, young brand with ambition, underpinned by craftsmanship and a heritage of almost a century of manufacturing in Long Eaton. With a broad collection of popular designs, the brand has the heritage and skills needed to bring the House & Garden Collection into reality.

The collection includes six elegant designs: three sofas, two chairs and a footstool. Each piece can be upholstered in up to 20 fabrics chosen by House & Garden, over 120 of Arlo & Jacob’s fabrics, as well as customers’ own fabrics.

17 – 20 Sept | Stand D28
www.decorex.com
www.houseandgarden.co.uk
www.arloandjacob.com

Radisson BLU Hotel Belgrade

Hotel Group Spotlight: Radisson Blu

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Unique architecture and interiors, combined with a rich history and heritage, form the foundations of these eight hotels within the upscale Radisson Blu collection, which are located in some of Europe’s most popular, dynamic and stylish cities.

These include Radisson Blu Strand Hotel, Stockholm; Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Copenhagen; Radisson Blu Old Mill Hotel, Belgrade; Radisson Blu Hotel, Amsterdam; Radisson Blu Hotel, Frankfurt; Radisson Blu Hotel, Berlin, Radisson Blu Hotel, Madrid Prado and Radisson Blu Hotel, Zurich Airport.

With interiors by acclaimed designers, creative culinary concepts by world-renowned chefs and housed within architecturally striking or deeply historic buildings; these hotels effortlessly blend a sense of place with an innovative and inspirational approach towards hospitality. With an eye firmly on the future, 2017 and 2018 will see fresh enhancements to hotels within the collection, the launch of creative collaborations and exciting brand developments; making the brand the one to watch in the hotel world.

Radisson Blu Strand Hotel, Stockholm
Stylish Nordic design meets a rich history dating back to 1912, when the 170-bedroom hotel first opened its doors; since which it has played host to the great and the good, from Ingrid Bergman to Greta Garbo and Zara Larsson. Sky high luxury can be enjoyed in the Tower Suite with panoramic views over Stockholm, whilst Autumn will see the hotel welcome a new culinary hot-spot, The Strand. Within walking distance of the hotel, guests will find the best of the city’s shopping, nightlife and cultural experiences.

Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Copenhagen
Renowned Danish architect Arne Jacobsen designed the sleek, modern Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Copenhagen, which is just a short walk from some of this Danish capital’s top attractions such as the Tivoli Gardens. Iconic design features include the hotel’s spiral staircase and unique “Swan” and “Egg” chairs. Guests can expect an iconic design-led experience throughout the 260 room and suite hotel, with memorable moments created by a world-class service delivery from the dedicated team.

Radisson Blu Royal Hotel Copenhagen
Radisson Blu Old Mill Hotel, Belgrade

Industrial-chic awaits at this award-winning design hotel in emerging tourism destination Belgrade. Behind the design is Graft Architects who’s use of natural materials such as oak, copper and brick, combined with contemporary touches, have breathed life into this historic 19th century building. Guests can enjoy Serbian inspired dishes at the hotel’s OMB LARDER + LOUNGE and explore this lively city, beautiful lakes and beaches.

Radisson BLU Hotel Belgrade

Radisson Blu Hotel, Amsterdam
This 18th century former merchants house encapsulates the maritime heritage of Amsterdam and is embraced on either side by two canals. History meets modernity in the one-of-a-kind suites and Pastorie Bar, which was once connected to a clandestine church and is now known for its insta-factor. Locally, guests can shop along the Nine Streets, full of one-off boutiques and galleries and quirky independent stores.

Radisson Blu Hotel, Frankfurt
The only round, all-glass hotel in Europe cost over $100 million to build and is a true architectural wonder, both outside and in, with interiors designed by dynamic trio John Seifert, Adam Tihany and Matteo Thun. Two new WOHNIDEE Suites launched in March, a creative collaboration between Wohnidee Magazine and Joi-Design with items in the suites available to purchase. 16 state-of-the-art conference rooms including one Brain Box room and show rooms for car launches.

Radisson Blu Hotel, Berlin
Guests can expect a truly unique arrival at Radisson Blu Hotel Berlin, where sophistication and sea life await. The hotel lobby is home to the world’s largest freestanding cylindrical aquarium, the AquaDom. After a day spent exploring Berlin and its eclectic art and fashion scene, guests can relax and unwind at the hotel’s Heaven Spa & Fitness, complete with a bio and Finnish sauna, swimming pool and spa treatments. The hotel boasts 15 state-of-the-art meeting rooms, including the DomLounge for sky-high views.

Radisson Blu Hotel, Madrid Prado
This boutique 54 bedroom and suite hotel in the El Barrio de las Lestras district provides guests with a stylish base in the heart of cosmopolitan Madrid. After a day spent experiencing the sights and sounds of the city, including the nearby Prado Museum and Retiro Park, guests can relax and unwind with a drink in hand at the hotel’s Cask Restaurant, Bar and Terrace. Down below the hotel, a swimming pool and spa can be found.

Radisson Blu Hotel, Zurich Airport
The only hotel with direct access to the terminal at Zurich Airport is also just a 10-minute train ride into down-town Zurich and offers Switzerland’s largest meeting and conference facilities with 52 different spaces. Come February 2018, guests will be treated to an exciting new culinary concept by Chef Haim Cohen, who is known for fine dining with contemporary Middle Eastern and Mediterranean influences. The exterior was designed by Atelier WW Architekten and is a Swiss landmark.

Radisson Blu ZurichWith thanks to Grifco PR, which has been appointed by The Rezidor Hotel Group to handle the consumer public relations for selected Radisson Blu hotels.

Ed Ng and Terence Ngan - AB Concept

In Conversation: Ed Ng, Terence Ngan of AB Concept

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AB Concept recently unveiled its first project in London – Mei Ume, one of the two flagship restaurants at Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square. Hotel Designs caught up with designers Ed Ng and Terence Ngan about the project and their thoughts on hospitality design…

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Q. How much freedom were you given in creating your own take on the restaurant’s design?
Mei Ume is located within Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square, a heritage building built in 1922 that was previously home to London’s Port of Authority, acting as an access point for Eastern traders to trade commodities such as teas and silks. The story behind of the history of the building was our inspiration behind the design of the restaurant and also allowed us to tackle one of the most challenging factors in this project -designing an Asian restaurant within a classical Western architectural building.
The trading history between the British and the Orient allowed us the freedom to merge Eastern heritage and Oriental design themes into the traditional Western space, seamlessly bridging the gap between the two distinct cultures.

Mei Ume - AB ConceptQ. You’ve worked on several projects in China and the far-east – how does working in London compare/differ?
As a Hong Kong based design studio, we can see similarities between both China and London in terms of how a project is managed, however the biggest difference is that the majority of projects in China are state owned and so with that comes varying limitations that differ from privately owned projects that are common in London. Whilst working on Mei Ume, it is apparent that there was a solid system to ensure that every detail was refined and perfected to suit the space.

Mei Ume - AB Concept
Q. This isn’t the first time you’ve worked with Four Seasons (Shang-Xi – Shanghai Pudong), what is it you like best about working with the brand?

We always emphasise that a project designer plays an important role in the success of a project, but at the same time we can only take partial credit. We enjoy working with luxury brands at the level of Four Seasons because we know we are working alongside other passionate creative individuals to create a top quality destination. In doing so, we can assure that food quality, service, table setting, music and the marketing of the project will be nothing short of perfection.

Q. What do you like most about working on hospitality projects?
Hospitality projects are really the only windows for us to showcase our work to the public because 9 out of 10 residential projects we work on remain private. Hospitality projects tend to give us more creative freedom; we are always trying to balance our creativity with the commercial viability of a space, and that’s what makes design intriguing.

Q. Do you have a particular ‘design philosophy’ at AB Concept?
We believe we play the roles of “storytellers of space”. We try to ensure that with each project, we are telling a different story from the previous. This is a much more challenging way of working as an interior designer because we do not want to cast ourselves into a mould of a particular look, feel or design aesthetic which means we are constantly developing new design vocabularies for each new project.

Q. If possible to sum up in a few sentences – what do you personally think makes ‘good design’?
A good design has to be able to function beautifully with a unique identity and have the ability to withstand the test of time.

Q. What design trends do you predict in the coming years?
We see a growing appreciation of classical designs. We feel it is a natural tendency that when we are living through the fast-paced, impersonal technological breakthroughs on a daily basis, our consciousness simultaneously reminds us to cherish the past and its artisanal beauty. Mei Ume is a perfect example of letting the original structure of the former Port of Authority building take centre stage whilst enhancing it with modern elements. With the task of transforming the purely British architectural structure and seamlessly infusing it with Asian elements to suit the restaurant’s cuisine, we wanted to captivate guests by taking them back in time, on a journey to when the Port of Authority was a thriving trading hub between the East and West.

Q. Any exciting projects in the pipeline for yourselves and the team coming up?
We are currently working on our first resort project for Rosewood, named Rosewood Sanya Resort at Haitang Bay of Hainan Island, where we are designing the entire outfit of the resort. Meanwhile, we are also working on the first W Resort in Europe at the waterfront location in the Algrave, Portugal. Like the Rosewood, this is another consolidated resort project.

We have also been given the great honour to redesign the signature Lord Jim’s Restaurant at the grand dame Mandarin Oriental Bangkok, one of the oldest hotels in the world, which is still in operation having just celebrated its 140th birthday.

www.abconcept.net

www.fourseasons.com/mei-ume

Hilton Bankside design

Hilton leading the way in hospitality industry design

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With more than 4,900 properties in over 100 countries worldwide, Hilton is at the forefront of hospitality design innovation.

Gone are days of beige interior and a corporate feel, modern day Hilton hotels are influencing the way the hospitality industry designs places to stay. From striking interiors and a level of detail previously unseen in chain hotels, to technological firsts, Hilton’s 14 brands feature design stories across the globe.

Hilton London Bankside – a modern representation of Hilton in the capital (pictured above)
With more guests looking for authentic, stand out places to stay that truly reflect the surroundings, this property is a shining example, as it takes inspiration from the heart of London. The Distillery, Bankside’s destination bar, is located on the site of a renowned Victorian essence factory and pays homage to its heritage by serving signature cocktails with homemade aromatics, infusions and bitters. Meanwhile the ‘penny wall’, made up of 16,800 pennies, reflects the site’s former use as a warehouse to store five pound notes for the Bank of England. Listen to this podcast to hear the full design story for Hilton London Bankside.

OXBO Restaurant’s excellent use of materials to create space (Photos: London Hilton Bankside)

Curio Collection by Hilton – remarkable hotels for authentic experiences
Curio Collection by Hilton is a portfolio of remarkable hotels, handpicked for their unique character and personality, providing authentic experiences reflective of the destinations they are in. Reichshof Hamburg, Curio Collection by Hilton is a prime example of the uniqueness of this newly-launched Hilton brand. A £30m renovation in 2015 ensured the preservation of the hotel’s art deco features to highlight the ‘Golden 20s’ era. Mixing old with new, the cosmopolitan concept for the hotel was inspired by the ocean-liners of the German-owned HAPAG, specifically the SS Cap Polonio, built in Hamburg in 1914. Most noticeable in the hotel’s Restaurant Stadt, the space features heavy chandeliers and wood panelling. For more information visit www.curiocollection.com and to listen to a podcast about the design story at Reichshof, Curio Collection by Hilton.


Hilton Tallinn Park – light fixtures to delight and surprise

The first Hilton to open in the up and coming capital of Estonia features an eye-catching light installation by leading designer Tom Dixon. 150 copper mirror ball pendants, inspired by the famous space helmet, descend 11 metres from the high ceilings of the spacious lobby, making for a stunning first impression upon arriving.

Hilton Tallinn Lobby

Hilton Bournemouth – the ‘Ted Baker hotel’
Ray Kelvin, founder of clothing brand Ted Baker, was heavily involved in the design of Hilton Bournemouth. Ted Baker’s retro British identity is clear throughout the interiors with colours and original prints synonymous with the renowned fashion designer, while guest rooms feature unique Bournemouth vista wallpaper. The hotel’s LEVEL8IGHT The Sky Bar heads further into the past, capturing the essence of the roaring twenties with an art nouveau, creating a Great Gatsby style venue.

Copyright of Pellier Photography

www.hilton.com

JK Rowling suite - The Balmoral, Edinburgh

Olga Polizzi leads redesign of JK Rowling suite at The Balmoral

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The suite in the Balmoral, Edinburgh where JK Rowling finished her book ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’ has been renovated along with 36 other suites after a three-month refurbishment programme led by Olga Polizzi.

Fans of the wizarding series enter the room through a purple door adorned with an owl door knocker. Inside, whimsical woodland designs can be found, from owl and bird figurines to tree-themed wallpaper. Plush chairs, couches, and colourful orange and red pillows adorn the cozy suite, and the entire Harry Potter series lines a stately bookshelf, just in case you hadn’t read it yet.

The suite also contains a glass-encased bust of the Greek god Hermes, which Rowling triumphantly signed after finishing the fantasy fiction series: “JK Rowling finished writing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in this room (552) on 11 Jan 2007.”

This summer, Rocco Forte Hotels is marking its 20th year with the refurbishment of The Balmoral in Edinburgh, the hotel that signifies the beginning of Sir Rocco’s portfolio in 1997.

www.roccofortehotels.com

Recent research from Beacon Design Services (BDS) has revealed that when it comes to hotel rooms, the most popular design among guests is neutral contemporary

‘Fresh, sleek and stylish’ – nation’s favourite hotel room design

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Recent research from Beacon Design Services (BDS) has revealed that when it comes to hotel rooms, the most popular design among guests is neutral contemporary, with 44% of Brits preferring a sleek and stylish look to more traditional designs. Compact contemporary design came in second, with 29% of hotel guests preferring a no frills and straightforward design that saves on space.

The least popular styles among hotel guests were country designs with tweed and wooden fixtures (10%), modern colourful rooms with bright décor (5%), boutique style with personal touches (5%) and classical design with high quality finishes (5%). Chris Johnson of BDS shares his advice and top tips for achieving the nation’s favourite hotel room design:

The way that guests use hotel rooms is evolving. The requirement for a standard double bed with a pair of side tables is changing to one of multi-purpose furniture, areas for work and relaxation, and increased technology. However this does not mean that the modern hotel room has to be minimalist. The modern traveller is looking for a home away from home and through following these tips, you can create a contemporary hotel room design whilst maintaining a homely ambiance.

Be up to date with your technology offering
Décor is very important in giving a room its style, however the level or age of the technology in the room can have a tremendous effect on how modern the room feels. Out-dated technology, such as CRT televisions, can instantly age an area by 10-15 years. There is an expectation on hoteliers to provide a certain level of modern convenience with smart TVs, digital control over lighting, temperature and entertainment desired as well as ways to charge mobile devices efficiently. Importantly, all of these amenities and features need to seamlessly integrate into the design of the room.

Neutral tones with a pop of colour
We are seeing the trend of natural, neutral colours and mixed metal finishes passing from the domestic market into the hospitality sector as customers seek that homely atmosphere. Rather than creating a bright interior, warmer colours and tones should be considered to provide a relaxing colour palette. Pastels are being used more regularly in hotel rooms, providing a feeling of sophistication and luxury. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a requirement for colour; an item in navy blue combines so well with sage, grey, cream, and coral. Small pops of colour in soft furnishings or statement pieces of bright furniture turn up the interest level in a hotel room, without being overwhelming.

Consider contemporary fabrics with your furniture
A contemporary design can be created through furniture with clean, simple lines. However, just as the shape of the furniture affects its style, so does the fabric. Furniture can easily be used to make a statement by utilising unexpected textures and colours. Upholstering a traditional armchair in a contemporary fabric can completely change its style. For instance, a button backed wingback armchair would look completely different in a non-traditional, bright, textured fabric.

Move away from patterns
Historically, a lot of hotels would have a number of different patterns and finishes across the property, creating an untidy, confused aesthetic. These patterns are now being overlooked in favour of the wide range of textures available in the fabric market to cater for a more contemporary style. Try mixing the neutral interior with interesting fabrics such as slub effect silks, brushed velvets and rough linens so the focus is stimulating the guests’ sense of touch as well as sight.

Layer textiles for a balance between modern and homely
Although a contemporary design is favoured, it is still important to provide a hotel room that is a home away from home. As our survey suggests, guests are moving away from heavily patterned, cluttered hotel rooms and are looking for calmer, more simple interior design. Simply put, layering textiles is the key to creating a warm, well-designed space, and neutral colours allow you to create this space more easily. Scandinavians have had this design style for decades with their use of Hygge style, which is a huge trend at the moment.[1]

For more information about Beacon please visit www.beaconpurchasing.co.uk

Shilla Stay

Shilla Stay expands portfolio with two new properties

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As part of its ongoing expansion, The Shilla Hotels & Resorts’ premium business brand, Shilla Stay, announces the opening of two new properties in Seocho, Seoul, and Haeundae, Busan. Shilla Stay Haeundae is the brand’s first property in Busan, situated on the southeast tip of the Korean Peninsula.

Characteristic of the Shilla Stay brand, the hotels are designed by renowned Italian architect Piero Lissoni and offer ample space with minimalist aesthetics. Functional furnishings coupled with modern conveniences create a relaxed ambience and reflect the brand’s “Smarter Stay” values of delivering home away from home experiences.

Shilla Stay Seocho
Opened on April 1 in the heart of Gangnam’s commercial district, Shilla Stay Seocho is accessible via two subway stations – Yangjae Station and Gangnam Station – and nearby Seoul’s cultural and shopping hubs such as COEX Mall, Apgujeong Rodeo Street, and Seoul Arts Centre.

Shilla Stay Seocho spans 28 floors and comprises 305 rooms available in three categories. Ranging from Standard and Deluxe to an expansive Grand Room, each guestroom exemplifies the brand’s winning blend of comfort and convenience through bespoke details such as quality Hungarian goose-down bedding and Aveda bathroom amenities.

Designed with the modern traveller in mind, Shilla Stay Seocho features welcoming communal spaces such as a Guest Lounge*, which includes amenities like a self-service laundry room, microwave, induction stove, and water purifier. For those travelling for work, the hotel’s 5/F is dedicated to meetings and banquets, with several venues that can be booked in advance as well as catering services available upon request. Six customizable rooms can accommodate groups from 12 to 70 persons, each fully equipped with LCD projectors, state-of-the-art sound systems, and high-speed wireless internet to match the needs of a diverse audience.

Shilla StayShilla Stay’s flagship restaurant Cafe on the 3/F offers a buffet of pan-Asian and international cuisines for breakfast and lunch, and transitions into a cozy lounge bar serving drinks and small bites after 6pm.

Centrally located with easy access to major tourist areas and two subway lines, the hotel is ideal for business and leisure travellers alike.

Park Hyatt Washington DC

Park Hyatt Washington DC unveils renovation by Tony Chi

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World-renowned and New York-based interior designer Tony Chi returned to Park Hyatt Washington DC to make design enhancements to the hotel’s guestrooms and lobby, in time for the return of spring in the nation’s capital and the city’s famed cherry blossoms.

Tony Chi last completed a full redesign of the entire luxury hotel in 2006. The new update includes 216 guestrooms, which include deluxe king and deluxe double rooms, as well as junior suites. All rooms have been updated with a fresh look by Chi that reflects the hotel’s modern, refined elegance. Throughout his 30-year career, Tony Chi has been highly lauded worldwide with industry awards for creating warm, modern spaces at elite international hotels and restaurants.

Park Hyatt Washington DC“My concept for Park Hyatt Washington DC was to bring together a dynamic and attractive modernism with classic American style,” said Tony Chi, Principal and Founder of tonychi. “Modern for today’s sophisticated traveler, classic American in deference to the fashionable and historic area in which it is located. Park Hyatt Washington intimately connects guests and visitors with Washington DC’s legacy of culture and style, a journey of timelessness that is expressed both from its past and today.”

Inspired by DC’s bright, blooming spring colors, the hotel’s new guestroom design features rich woods, dazzling gold accents, and custom glasswork by photographic glass artist Amanda Weil. Guests will enjoy a soothing, yet vibrant color palate of denim blue, cracked caramel, and blue-grey hues. The new design also now features 100 percent natural vegetable fibre (grass cloth) wall coverings, custom-designed plaid wool rugs, and rich walnut wood platform beds complete with leather headboards and reading lights.

Park Hyatt Washington DCCustom-designed daybeds, complete with walnut wood platform bases, upholstered benches, and leather-wrapped arms and back can be found in deluxe rooms and junior suites. The deluxe rooms feature large social tables, with inlaid cherry blossom glass art by Weil, that are perfect for the needs of every guest. The junior suites also offer new walnut wood flooring and cherry blossom glass-topped desks also by Weil. Room accents in the junior suites include antique gameboards and a selection of hardcover books highlighting American crafts and heritage.

Deluxe rooms feature spa-inspired, basalt-tiled bathrooms. King bathrooms feature a spacious walk-in rainfall shower, and the double bathrooms feature large bathtubs. Junior Suites, some of the largest in the city at 544-square feet, also feature oversized spa-inspired bathrooms with limestone-tiled rain showers and deep soaking tubs. The style of the refreshed guestrooms is a natural extension of the hotel’s approach to understated luxury.

Park Hyatt Washington DC“We are very happy to work with Tony Chi again on a new guestroom and lobby design that has transformed the hotel into a Park Hyatt in bloom,” said Jon Benson, general manager, Park Hyatt Washington DC. “His unmistakable style and creative approach make a unique statement about the city that is perfect for our guests – savvy global connoisseurs. The fresh design expands upon the hotel’s approach to refined all-American luxury and celebrates Park Hyatt hotels’ commitment to thoughtfully curated design.”

This new “in-bloom” feeling is not limited to the hotel’s new design at Park Hyatt Washington; the hotel carries out the spring-inspired concept throughout to its Michelin-starred restaurant Blue Duck Tavern. The restaurant will soon introduce new culinary events including a Seasonal Garden Table, which is an outdoor, communal Chef’s Table experience; rooftop garden; and a garden-inspired cocktail series, which will feature fresh elements from local farms. In late April, the hotel will feature an exclusive collection of spring-like art from The Phillips Collection, the country’s first museum of modern art, on the hotel’s mezzanine level.

washingtondc.park.hyatt.com

www.tonychi.com

Soughton Hall

‘Downton Abbey’-style hotel named in UK top ten thanks to interiors

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A ‘Downton Abbey’ style former mansion house in Flintshire has been named as one of the UK’s top 10 hotels because of its stylish interior.

Soughton Hall Hotel, a popular wedding venue in Northop, near the border with Chester, was the only North Wales finalist in the Best Hotel Interiors category at the Laterooms.com Simply The Guest Awards 2017.

The annual accolades, now in its fifth year and run by the leading online accommodation website, is the UK’s only hotel awards based entirely on guest reviews. It uses guest reviews and ratings published on Laterooms.com to recognise and reward the highest standards in the industry.

Soughton Hall Hotel is a 14-bedroom mansion house which was built in 1714 by Edward Conway and remodelled by the famous Sir Charles Barry whose iconic work includes the Houses of Parliament and Highclere Castle – home to the aristocratic Crawley family in the smash hit ITV series Downton Abbey. Sir Charles was good friends with William John Bankes whose family took over the Grade II* listed Hall in 1815 and lived in the home until it was sold and turned into a hotel in the 1980s.

Sarah Ramsbottom is joint Managing Director with her husband James of Castlefield-based Elle R Leisure which is well-known for its successful Dukes 92 and Albert’s Restaurants in Manchester. They also own a luxury Leeds boutique historic hotel specialising in weddings called Woodlands.

Sarah Ramsbottom MD for family run business Elle R Leisure at Soughton Hall.

The family-run leisure firm took over Soughton Hall Hotel just over a year ago and has since invested more than £150,000 into transforming the interior of the former stately home. Sarah, who leads the in-house interior design team at Elle R Leisure, said: “The house is so stunning from the outside and as it comes into view from the long driveway, you cannot help but be wowed. There is absolutely nothing you need to do to improve it.

“When we took it over last year, we knew we had to create an interior to match but one that didn’t lose the homely and familiar attraction of the house which is an architectural jewel in the crown for the area.

“It was once a very grand home for a family and we didn’t want to lose sight of that and it is an atmosphere we wanted to create for the people who come here to get married or enjoy a stay in spectacular surroundings.

“Our aim and the theme of our interior design was to create a luxurious home from home feel so that our guests, especially the brides and grooms, could come here and feel like Lord and Lady of the Manor for their special day.

“We have an in-house interior design team which created the look and we used a lot of fabrics from GP & J Baker who are holders of the Royal Warrant since 1982 and supply the Queen’s household. The look is a mix of the new with the old and we have bought and displayed a lot of antique pieces which have come from auctions and flea markets.

“Ironically, we have managed to pick up a few pieces which once belonged to the Hall which we found in a local auction including a big burr walnut chest which now takes pride of place on the first floor landing of the hall.

“It is one of my particular favourites and looks great because it fits in perfectly, like it has always been there and I suspect contained all sorts of treasures at one stage!”

Sarah added: “To have this finalist award, based on the experience of people who have stayed with us is a real feather in our cap. It’s great reassurance that the interior transformation we are continuing to undergo at Soughton Hall is bringing a lot of enjoyment to people’s stay with us and we are very proud to receive this finalist status with Laterooms.com

“Today’s customers, both bridal parties and those who enjoy a leisure break with us, are very discerning. People are much more design savvy and expect when they come and stay at a great house like Soughton Hall that it should have an interior to match.

“That’s always been our goal right from day one and it is terrific news to have this wonderful feedback that we are achieving this.”

soughtonhallhotel.co.uk

Furama City Centre unveils a fresh new concept to its Lobby

Furama City Centre unveils a fresh new concept to its Lobby

1000 666 Daniel Fountain

Furama City Centre in Singapore is celebrating the launch of its newly refurbished main and lower lobby. Furama City Centre opens its doors to all guests alike and invites them to soak in its new and fresh concept.

Together with the revamped concept, Furama City Centre is anchored in the heart of Chinatown and at the fringe of the Central Business District. Here, an approximate one million guests pass through the lobby each year, forming their first impressions of the hotel, and some key changes include new flooring, bright carpet inlays, a new reception and lounge area, and a new façade for Tiffany Café & Restaurant – the hotel’s main restaurant. Furthermore, the new lobby is fitted with completely new lighting, enhancing the already welcoming ambiance for guests.

To enhance its guest experience, the hotel implemented the new design to the lobby alongside the brand’s initiative of introducing a series of value-added services and recreational activities for its guests. Furama City Centre hopes to deliver the message of striking a balance between work and play for both the leisure and business travellers. The hotel aims for guests to be able to fully immerse themselves in experiencing and taking away a unique experience. For all guests, Furama City Centre will be more than just a hotel.

Designed by Classroom, the first of two phases of the renovation unveiled a brand-new look in the hotel lobby, the second phase will include unveiling a new look for guestrooms. The modern interiors creatively incorporate design elements inspired by culturally rich and colourful Chinatown. The newly-designed lounge area for guests has also been decorated with brightly coloured swan chairs, juxtaposing structured lines with colourful curves to create a modern classic look.

Crafted by designers Lisa Yun and Lee Yong Hoe when asked for the idea behind the new design concept, Lisa said, “We were trying to find a solution to the infrastructure of the lobby and to create a space with a lot of potential. We were faced with a unique situation whereby the main entrance is not on the same level as the main lobby, and we needed to extend the anticipation from the lower lobby/concierge. The colours at the concierge includes contemporary colours to create a more welcoming lobby, while timbers as wall panels create a warm atmosphere. The hotel aims at attracting a younger audience with trendier design and bright colours.

“Extending the colours and vibrancy from the concierge to the upper lobby, we adapted a brighter palate and changed the lightings at the main lobby to keep them more current and updated. We decided to construct a island reception counter in the centre of the lobby to activate the space around and install prominent new lightings that would create focal points yet make an elegant yet bold statement with the vibrant colours. At the lobby lounge, we see a more casual and less structured set-up, to inject a sense of cosiness,” she added.

Guests are encouraged to pamper themselves with a wide array of dining options, entertainment, shopping within vicinity. Inspired by the dynamic neighbourhood, the hotel infuses the use of vibrant and bold striking colours to bring out a fun and refreshing design, while up keeping the historical and heritage context.

Coupled with the excellent and personalised service in the heart of the city, Furama City Centre is sure to entice travellers to make a stop at this destination. Located in a strategic and accessible location with public transportation within the neighbourhood, experience the culturally rich heritage at Chinatown, a mere 5-minutes’ walk from Furama City Centre.

Boutique collection - Potenza - botanicals

Guest Blog: Kobe UK – Bring on the botanicals in 2017

1000 631 Daniel Fountain

Luxury fabric specialist, Kobe UK, predicts a ‘botanical Britannia’ for Spring/Summer 2017.

David Harris, managing director, said: “Rich, dark greens are back in fashion, with bags of opportunity to experiment with botanical patterns. Look out too, for jungle printed jacquards, woven with metallic yarns, paired with the young, modern look of natural materials, wood, cork or marble. This year it’s all about collections where each fabric has an individual identity.

“Whether it’s a modern or more traditional domestic or commercial interior, curtain and upholstery fabrics, in vibrant colours and designs are ready to take-off.”

For a stunning look which adds up to a room to remember, geometric shapes in furniture are also in style with upholstery fabric in sumptuous velvet woven in both timeless and on-trend colours. Said David: “There will be more modern shapes and colour together with textures of rich velvet, woven jacquard and cool cotton in geometric, floral, paisley and botanical designs.”

This year go for a balance between contemporary and traditional. Perfect for window décor in any hospitality venue are 100% flame retardant fabrics, in tones of metallic, gold and copper for a more luxurious style.

Kobe's Enchanted - botanicals

Making an even bigger impact in the season ahead will be room highs, the stylish, extra wide fabrics for window décor. More than 300cm high with the pattern printed or woven horizontally, these fabrics make matching patterns and sewing seams a thing of the past and create striking, seamless drape from ceiling to floor.

Whatever design and style, it’s always exciting to create something new. With Kobe’s collections there is a lavish mix of curtain and upholstery fabrics for those searching for inspiration.

Kobe is a luxury fabric specialist with a UK operation based in Crowthorne, Berkshire. For further information please contact salesuk@kobe.eu or call +44(0)1344 771653.

www.en.kobe.eu