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Interiors

Hotel specifies flooring made from 540 recycled bottles

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hotel specifies flooring made from 540 recycled bottles

The newly rebranded DoubleTree by Hilton Harrogate Majestic Hotel & Spa, which has just opened in the historic spa town, has specified a revolutionary carpet underlay company that uses recycled bottles within its flooring solutions… 

The newly rebranded DoubleTree by Hilton Harrogate Majestic Hotel & Spa, which has just opened in the historic spa town, has specified SpringBond as the underlay of choice in its transformed spa facility.

Following a £15m programme of refurbishment throughout the hotel, the Harrogate Spa now has 540 recycled plastic bottles sitting under its carpeted areas.

Used in the relaxation lounge, SpringBond, which is manufactured in Yorkshire, fits with the spa’s desire to incorporate the rich heritage of the region, and bolsters its sustainability credentials as well as improving indoor air quality.

Following approval from four world leading adhesives companies – FBall, Uzin, Ardex and Xchem – SpringBond FR, SpringBond’s heavy contract double stick underlay system, is going from strength to strength in the hospitality and leisure sector.

Close up of man fitting the carpet underlay

Image credit: SpringBond

Launched at the Harrogate Flooring Show and during the INDEX Exhibition in Dubai in September, SpringBond FR is ideal for use in hotels, hospitality and leisure establishments. The revolutionary carpet underlay is available in 7mm for double stick or stretch fit applications and is made from recycled PET plastic bottles (up to 120 per roll) and other single use plastics, offering maximum performance with minimum environmental impact.

“SpringBond is a perfect alternative to PU foam,” said James Taylor, Managing Director of SpringBond. “It’s a greener and safer choice when compared to many traditional underlays so is getting the attention of a lot of hotel brands, especially, at the moment, with consumers becoming savvier about brands’ green credentials. We’re in a fortunate position to have such a topical product and are looking forward to demand continuing to increase.”

SpringBond underlay is fully recyclable at the end of its usable life – creating a closed-loop manufacturing cycle – and contains no harmful VOCs (volatile organic compounds), promoting better air quality in buildings.

The company is a partner of non-profit organisation Plastic Oceans, which addresses plastic pollution.

Main image credit: DoubleTree by Hilton

Bathroom trend of pastels is explored in Vitra's new range of bathroom products

Key bathroom trends to emerge in 2020

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Key bathroom trends to emerge in 2020

As Hotel Designs continues its ultimate throwback, Year in Review, Recommended Supplier UK Bathrooms takes a look back at key bathroom trends that emerged in 2019, and are expected to evolve in 2020…

As a result of designers are moving away from hard angular lines, and while furniture and fittings become more flowing in shape, 2019 saw the launch of some seductive new bathroom collections. Next year, we expect designers to be influenced raw materials, various patterns as well as sensitively introducing gold and black when creating new wellness areas.

Bathroom trend of pastels is explored in Vitra's new range of bathroom products

“Once relegated in the style archives gold is definitely back and has taken a new direction adding a glam look to bathrooms.”

Sensitively utilising gold

range of gold fittings from Crosswater

Image credit: Crosswater

One of the biggest trends of 2019 and definitely staying around for 2020 is gold – once relegated in the style archives gold is definitely back and has taken a new direction adding a glam look to bathrooms.  Start with fittings such as basin taps, waste, shower fittings and then layer up the accessories.  Crosswater is one of the leading contemporary bathroom brands and the company’s new MPRO Industrial Brass range is simply stunning with its unlacquered brass finish, allowing the metal to breath and eventually resulting in beautiful oxidation. The MPRO collection is inspired by industrial era brassware and is already proving very popular especially to those who are discerning and style conscious.

Pastels with a twist

Pastel bathroom with minimalist urinal and sinks and 70s-inspired mirrors

Image credit: VitrA

UK Bathrooms and Hotel Designs have seen a growing demand for pastel shades this year and VitrA’s new Plural range+, which launched in October, is a great example of this trend. The exciting modern look was designed by award-winning Milan based designer Terri Pecora.

Inspired by the heritage of communal bathing spaces and rituals, the collection presents the bathroom in a totally new light. Organic shaped design elements are used in multiple combinations to form an intimate setting.  Innovation abounds in this Gold Award winning collection with three syphon solutions one of which allows a basin to be placed at various angles as an alternative to the conventional positioning by the wall, another designed to specifically enable washbasins to be mounted in an open bathroom space whilst still keeping a clean and minimalistic look and the this allowing for the fitting of column basins at free angles in the room instead of the more common 90 degree angle to the wall.  This superb range also includes a mirror which easily rotates between two basins.

Raw and natural

modern bathroom with running tap in botanical surroundings

Image credit: Hansgrohe

Materials like exposed concrete, unfinished wood and raw brick look contemporary and chic combined with ultra-modern touches, such as the Hansgrohe Metropol Floorstanding Bath Mixer Tap the result is a bathroom firmly on the chic side of industrial interior design. Natural unrefined finishes will be seen more and more in 2020.  Villeroy and Boch Memento 2.0 Countertop basin comes in a choice of amazing finishes, including concrete grey which complements this look perfectly.

Show stopping cast iron roll top baths are the heart of the Victorian Vibe look and UK Bathrooms sell a large selection of roll tops from premium luxury brands such as Burlington’s Avante garde back to wall traditional bath and the stunning Imperial Sheraton Cast iron Ball Foot Slipper Bath. Remaining a crucial component in today’s chicest bathroom, the freestanding bath with ball and claw feet is here to stay. Add dark walls and panelling to create the mood.

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

Main image credit: VitrA

In Conversation With: The founders of design studio BARANOWITZ + KRONENBERG

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
In Conversation With: The founders of design studio BARANOWITZ + KRONENBERG

With W Ibiza about to open, Hotel Designs gets a backstage pass to exclusively interview the design and architecture heroes behind the project. The founders of BARANOWITZ + KRONENBERG, Irene Kronenberg and Alon Baranowitz, have led the completion of some of Europe’s most iconic hotels. Editor Hamish Kilburn joins the pair to understand how to effortlessly confront convention in the ever-evolving hotel design arena…

A few miles away from where the spotlight is being cast on the designers and architects who are attending Sleep & Eat 2019, The Standard London’s playful interior design scheme provides an apt and backdrop for my next interview to take place. I don’t know it yet, but I am about to experience a pivotal moment in my career as I prepare to meet face-to-face with the designers behind one of my very first ever hotel reviews, which took place almost half a decade ago.

Irene Kronenberg and Alon Baranowitz are the founders of BARANOWITZ + KRONENBERG, and have – for some time now –  led an exciting movement on the hotel design scene in Europe and in the Middle East. Their two studios in Amsterdam and Tel Aviv consist of a group of talented designers and architects, all of whom have graduated from institutions around the globe.

Among a sea of residential projects within the studio’s portfolio, there are also a number of hotels that have marvellously opened to disrupt the tide of the pre-existing hospitality spaces. These include the likes of Sir Albert Hotel, Mendeli Street Hotel, Wyndham Grand Frankfurt, as well as a handful of W Hotels for good measure in pockets of Europe that have become major travel hotspots.

“I like to think it’s the building talking back when we face challenges.” – Alon Baranowitz, Co-founder, BARANOWITZ + KRONENBERG.

It’s a daunting prospect to reconfigure a respected building that has formed part of history and a community for centuries, and sensitivity from concept through to completion is called for for such briefs. “We have a beautiful dialogue with buildings that allows us to converse and work with them,” explains Baranowitz. “I like to think it’s the building talking back when we face challenges. It really is a journey. When you start from scratch, anything is possible. And then you start confronting elements that affect the original ideas and plans. The trick then is to work around constraints and not against them. Often, these end up being the most exciting and rewarding projects.”

“In that moment, we moved from being functional designers and became narrative creatives.” – Irene Kronenburg, Co-founder, BARANOWITZ + KRONENBERG.

1998 was a defining year for the studio. The two designers were approached by a client to create a new restaurant and dining experience. “We remember the birth of Zo Zo Bra’s design concept like it was yesterday, and it was a turning point for us,” says Kronenburg. “I even remember what the lady was drinking on the table adjacent to us during our meeting. We sat there for hours trying to understand the concept of ying and yang. We went in completely open-minded, and only after we had succeeded in defining the energy of the concept and space did we start designing. “In that moment,” reflects Kronenburg, “we moved from being functional designers and became narrative creatives.”

projector above tables and open front windows, the studio's design take on ying and yang

Image caption: The ying and yang concept executed in Zo Zo Bra in Tel Aviv

A few decades later, having perfected their innovative design method with a string of hotels and residential projects, the studio was awarded the opportunity to design W Amsterdam, which I first reviewed in 2014 during its soft opening. It was another one of those projects – a ‘labour of love’ hotel, which I’m assuming received more labour than love during key moments. “It was an incredible project to work on,” beams Kronenberg. “It felt like our role was to stitch all the elements together. Before we made any decisions, we had to understand the buildings as well as the city of Amsterdam. The biggest challenge was to breathe new life into the building while remaining sensitive throughout.”

The hotel, which takes shelter in the pre-existing 1920s telephone exchange building as well as the former KAS Bank down the road, challenges design and behavioural conventions in many ways. For starters, the check-in area is positioned on the top floor of the exchange building, which flows seamlessly into the rooftop bar and restaurant and heated outdoor pool, allowing visitors to feel part of the W’s energy immediately upon checking in. “It’s a party place, but Amsterdam does not the same night life you have here in London,” explains Kronenberg, and I can only assume the designer is referencing the city’s open-minded attitudes as well as an underground party, design and fashion scene. “It was important for us to create a venue that the locals would accept as a new destination that breaks boundaries. Without the locals using the hotel’s facilities as we intended, the design would not have worked as a concept.”

Hotel designers are moving – or have already shifted – into a new era, where their design projects on the boards being influenced as much by quality materials as they are aesthetics. Having led the industry as innovators for so long, I am intrigued to understand how this greater awareness has impacted the studio. “It’s a really exciting time to be operating in the industry at the moment,” explains Baranowitz. “Perspectives on sustainability are definitely changing. Before knocking down a building, for example, we should be investigating what we can restore in order to create a continuation of urban fabric that would otherwise be forgotten. Thinking in this way has become more of a reflex.”

“It really is as simple as adjusting the way we live in order to design more thoughtful spaces.” – Irene Kronenburg, Co-founder, BARANOWITZ + KRONENBERG.

For the studio, while consumers checking in and out of hotels become more savvy to consciously designed properties, it is less about designing purposely, and more about living sensibly and within ones means so that an eco-approach becomes second nature. “There shouldn’t need to be someone telling us to design responsibly, just like there shouldn’t be someone telling us to recycle,” adds Kronenberg. “It really is as simple as adjusting the way we live in order to design more thoughtful spaces.”

QUICK-FIRE ROUND

Hamish Kilburn (HK): Where’s next on your travel bucket list? 
Elon Baranowitz (EB): Japan
Irene Knonenberg (IK): The Azores

HK: What is the secret to good design? 
IK: Good design is about what you don’t see.

HK: Why should people visit your hometown of Tel Aviv? 
EB: We live each day like there is no tomorrow. No, really, the energy on the streets is electric!

HK: What would you say has been the most significant change on the international hotel design scene recently?
IK: Respect for specialists and sourcing inspiration outside of design territory.

Not understanding the 360-degree relationship between the designer, architect and operator is a pitfall I try to avoid when reviewing hotels. When researching into the studio’s latest project it is about to complete, W Ibiza, I find it uncommon and interesting that BARANOWITZ + KRONENBERG was commissioned to work on the architecture as well as the interior design scheme.

W Hotels has a habit of doing things differently – and considering the studio’s wealth of architecture experience as well as interior design – the renders of W Ibiza say rather a lot about the buildings need for a strong relationship between both elements. The colourful renders depict a vision that is the result of a seamless and understood relationship between the shell of the building, its practical properties catering to the modern traveller and and evolution of the W-style within the vibrant interiors sheltered inside. “When we first entered the building, which is positioned on the beach front, we couldn’t even see the sea. There had been no thought as to how guests would and should use these public spaces,” explains Kronenberg. “As a result of us opening up the structure of the building sensitively, guests now capture the sea from the outside of the property.”

Render of a colourful green and blue architecture of W Ibiza

Image credit: W Ibiza/Baranowitz + Kronenberg

W Ibiza is slated to open in April, ahead of the 2020 Summer season. Located off the beaten track, the 167-key hotel will strike a pose on the palm-fringed beachfront of Santa Eulalia. As the only global brand on the island, the design brief was to marry the parallel realities of Ibiza with a magnetic pull that turns up the sass.

By opening up the public spaces to become a flexible social hub, the hotel becomes a place that nurtures human connections, and through the use of subtle levels creates touchable distance between each functional area. “The idea is that the energy descends into the unconventional pool area,” adds Baranowitz. “As you move up levels, the lobby/lounge area becomes more reclined, but the open architecture scheme allows for a clever connection between all spaces.”

 

60 minutes in the company of Kronenberg and Baranowitz has allowed me to find a fresh perspective on the industry, as well as the possibilities that can emerge from taking the time to listen before acting. As the pair rush to catch their flight back to Tel Aviv, their boundless energy has awakened my senses. Nearly five years after checking in to W Amsterdam, it is as if fate has finally brought this moment together. My barely touched coffee has gone cold, which I now believe is the sign of a great conversation that will continue soon.

Main image credit: BARANOWITZ + KRONENBERG

World Architecture Festival 2019 welcomes 2,300 professionals

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
World Architecture Festival 2019 welcomes 2,300 professionals

World Architecture Festival 2019, sponsored by GROHE, welcomed 2,300 professionals from 75 countries and hosted 39 exhibitors…

At this year’s World Architecture Festival in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, founder sponsor GROHE celebrated another year of success, welcoming more than 1,000 visitors from the international architecture and design world to its dynamic booth.

“We are proud to be a part of some of this year’s nominees for the Building of the Year Award,” says Stefan Schmied, Vice President Global Projects Grohe AG. “Being able to contribute to some of the finest buildingsaround the world continues to be an inspiration and an honour. We are very happy to see those buildings getthe professional acclaim they deserve.” One of the annual highlights of the festival is the announcement of the World Building of the Year 2019, which was this year awarded to LocHal Public Library in Tilburg, the Netherlands. The scheme was designed by Civic Architects (lead architect), Braaksma & Roos Architectenbureau and Inside Outside / Petra Blaisse.

Blue and yellow stand

Image credit: GROHE

A platform for professional exchange

As founder sponsor of the festival, GROHE values WAF as a key opportunity to meet with the industry’s topspecialists and, of course, potential partners and customers. As in years past, the 2019 festival proved that the event is the place to be when it comes to professional networking and exchange about innovations, trends, and future developments in architecture and the built environment. “As founding sponsor, GROHE is thrilled and immensely proud to see how WAF has developed over the years,” says Paul Flowers, Chief Design Officer LIXIL. “What makes this festival so unique is the ability to engage in discussions with architects from all over the world and explore developing macro trends such as urbanisation, sustainability, health and wellbeing. We’d like to thank the architectural community for the positive feedback to the products we have shown at our booth. Many of our solutions have been createdfrom the insights we’ve gathered in the previous years.”

Investing in the future of water

As one of the most sustainable brands of the sanitary sector, GROHE is dedicated to supporting research that explores the future of saving and preserving our water. As part of its efforts, GROHE has been donating money for the Water Research Prize which was awarded at WAF this year for the second time. This year, the researchinitiative “Recycle Build Brazil” convinced the jury including Paul Finch, Programme Director, WAF; Paul Flowers, Chief Design Officer LIXIL and Henk Ovink, Special Envoy for International Water Affairs for the Kingdom of the Netherlands with their proposed sustainable architectural solutions for a school in the Brazilian Saõ José dos Campos area. By using recycled materials and implementing intelligent rainwater harvesting systems, the project not only improves the lives of the schoolchildren but also raises awareness of their interaction with water. Starting with the school building as a pilot project, there is also a longer-term proposal for the enhancement of 400 local low-income housing units.

The Water Research Prize is based on the WAF Manifesto. It describes the most important challenges for architects within the next ten years. Proper handling of water is a top priority, which is also a key commitment for GROHE.

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

Main image credit: Civic architects, Braaksma & Roos Architectenbureau, Inside Outside – Petra Blaise Stijn Bollaert

Hospitality Tech & Innovation Forum unveils the hospitality professionals attending

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hospitality Tech & Innovation Forum unveils the hospitality professionals attending

Hospitality Tech & Innovation Forum, which falls under the Forum Events hospitality portfolio, takes place on January 27 at Hilton London Canary Wharf…

Forum Events, the parent company of Hotel Designs, is beginning the new year with the opportunity to start conversations like no other by hosting the Hospitality Tech & Innovation Forum, a highly focused meet-the-buyer event that brings together hospitality professionals and suppliers.

The Forum consists of one-to-one business meetings, interactive seminars and valuable networking opportunities throughout – all to enable attendees to create lasting business relationships.

With a combined annual budget of more than £200 million among the hospitality professionals attending, Hospitality Tech & Innovation Forum, which takes place on 27 January at Hilton London Canary Wharf, is regarded as the go-to event for suppliers to extend their contacts in the ever-changing landscape of technology in the hospitality market.

audienceThe premium meet-the-buyer event will be attended by hospitality professionals from the following companies:

  • Accor
  • Atlas Hotels
  • Hotel Café Royal
  • Hilton
  • Apex Hotels
  • Best Western
  • Crowne Plaza London Docklands
  • DoubleTree by Hilton London Excel
  • Sloane Square Hotel
  • Grayshot Hotel
  • The Goodenough on Mecklenburgh Square
  • MARC Ltd
  • Old Thorns Hotel
  • Reset Hotels & Resorts
  • InterContinental The 02
  • Millennium Hotels and Resorts
  • Valor Hospitality
  • JKS Restaurants
  • The Arora Group
  • Trivelles Hotels
  • Ashley Hotels
  • Roseacre Pub Company
  • Your Space Apartments
  • Lester Hotels
  • Mils Hotels & Resorts
  • Circadian Trust
  • Knights Care
  • Hillbrook Hotels
  • Blue Orchid Hotels
  • Make Venue
  • Belmont Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons
  • Sara Management Company
  • The Deckers Group
  • Cave Hotel & Golf Resort
  • Bills
  • MSC Cruises
  • Champneys
  • YOTEL
  • Wagamamas
  • Dorsett Hotels
  • Bulgari Hotel
  • Whitbread
  • Marstons
  • Pizza Express
  • Fullers
  • G1 Group Plc
  • Rank Group
  • McDonalds
  • Rileys
  • Fulham Football Club
  • Lucky Voice Karaoke
  • STAY Worldwide
  • Ambassadors Bloomsbury
  • Centennial Hotel
  • Canary Wharf Riverside Park Plaza
  • Costa
  • The Lodge Duxford
  • The Lodge Hotel
  • The Wesley Hotel
  • Waterfront Seaport
  • Zebrano

How to attend

If you are a supplier and would like to attend, please email Toby Ward or call 07930 402303.
If you are a delegate and would like to attend the event, please email either Emily Gallagher or Lucia Guilesano or call 01992 37485/94.

FEATURE: It’s time to art-en up more design hotels around the world

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
FEATURE: It’s time to art-en up more design hotels around the world

Art expert Tabish Khan writing for Momentous explains the real value of art on the international hotel design scene… 

If you’ve stayed in hotels, then you’ve probably rested up in one that had some generic abstract artwork or an Impressionist reprint on the walls. This lack of imagination is pretty common but what happens when hotels take a more innovative approach to designing their rooms and reception?

Often it makes sense for a hotel to team up with a nearby gallery as Thompsons Contemporary did with the Hyatt Regency in Marylebone and Curious Duke Gallery with East London local Hoxton Hotel — the urban vibe of Curious Duke’s artists aligning perfectly with the East London feel the hotel is aiming for.

My most impressive experience has been at Kensington’s Exhibitionist Hotel who both hold exhibitions and literally deck the halls with artwork. I’ve seen a pink panther by Olga Lomaka watching over a doorway and a corridor given to Mr Doodle to decorate with his trademark doodles.

Reaching out beyond London is Toronto’s Gladstone hotel where artists have designed 37 of the rooms so each stay can feel individual, plus it also has its own gallery to host changing exhibitions.

For those looking at the pricier end of hotel stays there’s always the Gormley shaped room at the Beaumont in Mayfair, though from the pictures it looks more interesting from the outside – defeating the point of paying over £1,200 per night to stay there.

All these examples are a welcome change from the generic art and magnolia walls that have greeted me at most hotels I’ve stayed in – let’s hope more hotels take this approach in future and that they’re within the price range of this traveller who likes to keep his holidays affordable.

If you are interested in this subject, you may be interested in reading about Logistical challenges you don’t hear about when installing art in hotels globally.

Main image credit: Olga Lomaka at The Exhibitionist Hotel

25Hours Hotel Paper Island in Denmark to open in 2024

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
25Hours Hotel Paper Island in Denmark to open in 2024

The hotel will become 25hours’ second property in Copenhagen, following the brand’s announcement to debut the brand into the region earlier this year…

Following the first 25hours hotel in Copenhagen was announced in February 2019, the hotel brand has announced a second hotel to debut in Copenhagen. The 128-key Hotel Paper Island, which is slated to open in early 2024, will be located in the centre of Copenhagen on an island called Christiansholm.

Florian Kollenz, Chief Development Officer, is particularly thrilled about the group’s success in Denmark. “The only thing better than one hotel opening in a new city is two openings,” he said in a press statement. “We’re very proud to be working on the new hotel project with CØ P/S, a consortium consisting of pension fund Danica and project developers Nordkranen and Union Kul.”

The island of Christiansholm is also known as Paper Island, because of the giant rolls of paper that were stored there for Danish newspapers. In recent years, the island has developed into an urban destination at the heart of Copenhagen’s harbour district. The Opera House and theatre are located nearby and the area will continue to develop with a new public park and promenade encircling the entire island to open next to the hotel. A new waterfront culture centre is also planned, which will highlight the great importance of water in Copenhagen’s history.

“We look forward to the collaboration with 25hours Hotels on Paper Island. The team around Christoph Hoffmann has a very professional, and at the same time has an untraditional approach, which we fell in love with at our first encounter. We are confident that 25hours will be welcomed not only by future guests, but also by all the inhabitants of Paper Island,” says Klaus Kastberg, CEO in Unionkul Ejendome, on behalf of Udviklingsselskabet CØ P/S.

COBE, Danish architecture experts, will spearhead the 128-room hotel project and 25hours will once again be turning to Stylt Trampoli from Gothenburg for the interior design. The award-winning 25hours Hotel Das Tour in Düsseldorf was also designed alongside the Swedish team in 2018.

Michael End, Managing Director, is excited about the details in store: “At 25hours, food and drink should and must play a central roll. We’ll be working on Paper Island with both brand new and proven partners. As well as a restaurant and cafe on the ground floor, a rooftop bar is also planned. At the moment, my favorite part is the two house boats in front of the hotel for which we are currently evaluating various concepts, including a sauna and bar.”

Main image credit: 25hours Hotels

The Brit List Designers of 2019 (Part 2)

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
The Brit List Designers of 2019 (Part 2)

In the coming weeks, Hotel Designs will be profiling the individuals who made it into The Brit List 2019. We continue by profiling The Brit List Designers of 2019 (in alphabetical order)…

The Brit List 2019 is Hotel Designs’ annual nationwide search to identify the top 25 designers, top 25 architects and top 25 hoteliers who are operating in Britain. The Judges, which are made up of experts in all pockets of the industry, gathered to decided who was eligible to make this year’s list.

The industry’s leading figures then gathered on November 21 at Patch East London, where The Brit List 2019 was unveiled and the individual winners were announced. 

Following on from the first 10 designers we profiled the other day, here are The Brit List Designers of 2019…

Marcus Barwell, Managing Director – Soho House Design

Leading the interior design team to create timeless interiors with personality, Marcus Barwell has been the managing director of Soho House Design for seven years and counting. His most recent projects include Soho House West Hollywood, Soho House Greek Street, Babbington House, Soho House Mumbai and Soho House Paris. In addition, Barwell has led his team to unveil a new concept of motel-diner experiences called Mollies.

Maria Vafiadis, Managing Director – MKV Design

The founder and managing director of MKV Design, Maria Vafiadis is an established thought-leader within the interior design sphere. With her body of work totalling more than two decades, Vafiadis’ ‘every project is one-off’ approach reflects her constant quest for new ideas andinnovation on the international hotel design scene.

One of the studio’s recent projects is situated on Mykonos’ west coast, which has been described as the “perfect setting for rare moments of romance, luxury and personalised service.” Mykonos Riviera Hotel & Spa is a new 44-key boutique hotel that overlooks the Aegean Sea and adorns sharp, dynamic design moments throughout.

Nicky Dobree, Design Director – Nicky Dobree Interior Design

Award-winning, globally published designer Nicky Dobree completed her first hotel design project in July of 2019 in Vejer de laFrontera, Andalucia.

Plaza 18, which is serviced and managed by adjacent The Califa hotel, opened as a new home house hotel. Its effortless design is made to feel like a luxurious home-from-home with furnishings by Ralph Lauren, Eichlotz, De la Couna & Nicky Dobree Collection among others.

Philip Watts, Design Director – Philip Watts Design

25 years of commercial interiors delivered with wit and wisdom have seen Philip Watts transform the look of many iconic high street favourites. From Greggs to Ibis, and Yo!sushi to Mercure, all have been part of the designer’s vision to inject personality everywhere possible.

Rachel Johnson, Senior Vice President – Wimberly Interiors

With a diverse design career spanning more than 20 years, Rachel Johnson is a stalwart of the British interior design industry. As studio director and senior vice president of WATG’s Wimberly Interiors in London, her contribution to the discipline can be felt not only throughout the firm, but from much farther afield.

Her acute eye for detail and authentic approach can be witnessed throughout an array of projects, which include St. Regis Astana in Kazakhstan, Abu Dhabi EDITION and Belmond Venice Simplon-Orient-Express.

Russell Sage, Director – Russell Sage Studio

Under Russell Sage’s direction, each member of the team at the studio is passionately committed to the creation and delivery of truly authentic, compelling interior schemes, which aim to engage and surprise all who experience them. Hotels that have completed this year in Sage’s portfolio include The Fife Arms and Belmond Cadogan Hotel, and last year he completed the design of Fitz Bar at Kimpton Fitzroy London.

Shawn Hausman, Director – Shawn Hausman Studio

The newest collaboration between SHD and the Standard Hotel is the international debut of the Standard brand. Located in King’s Cross, the Brutalist building once served as Camden Council government offices. In contrast to its origins (and the notorious grey skies of London above), the newest Standard features a bright and bold colour scheme throughout the interior. Drawing inspiration from the early 1970s, Shawn Hausman described the team’s concept: “We tried to take over in a friendly way –keeping the essence, but almost as if California rebels had taken over a government building and made it more free-spirited.”

Simon Rawlings, Creative Director – David Collins Studio

As creative director of David Collins Studio, Simon Rawlings has overseen the realisation of some of the world’s most iconic hospitality, residential and retail spaces. A passionate believer in “creating luxury through quality”, Rawlings has always been a committed advocate of craft, supporting artisanship while encouraging design innovation. Functionality remains a cornerstone of his design philosophy. This, combined with a profound understanding of brands, and an acute sense of the way people live, enables him to design spaces they can use and inhabit in total harmony. This year, the studio completed the third phase of The Delaire Graff Estate, which incorporates bespoke materials and soft furnishings, whilst the walls are adorned with original art by both contemporary and modern African artists – each piece shared from the collection of Laurence Graff.

Terry McGillicuddy, Director – Richmond International

Terry McGillicuddy is an invaluable asset to Richmond International. In addition to working on a number hotel projects, McGillicuddy leads the studio’s work in the luxury cruise ship space. Several years ago, Richmond were asked to design a Lotus spa on Princess Cruises Royal Princess. The design revolutionised spa concepts on board cruise ships and has won many accolades and awards.

McGillicuddy embraced the challenge of delivering the entire interior for the magnificent behemoth that is P&O’s Britannia. This achievement, delivered in 2015, set the designer and consequently Richmond up as a market leader delivering more subtle and refined cruise ship interiors. Richmond has carved a new, growing niche in luxury cruising interiors and is constantly working with brands such as Cunard, P&O and Princess.

Terry McGinnity, Executive Design Director – GA Design (London)

Originally trained as an architect in Australia, Terry McGinnity moved to London to continue his career. After assuming the role of managing director of G.A Design in 1998, he has turned it into one of the most dynamic and interesting interior design firms working out of the UK. He has recently moved into the position of global executive design director where he oversees the creative output for all G.A projects.

To read The Brit List 2019, click here.

Surface Design Show brings back ‘New Talent’ to support emerging creatives

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Surface Design Show brings back ‘New Talent’ to support emerging creatives

Back by popular demand at Surface Design Show, ‘New Talent’ supports emerging creatives, specialising in producing interior and exterior surface materials and lighting design…

Surface Design Show, which takes place from February 11 – 13, will bring back New Talent, with the aim to support emerging talent in surface materials and lighting design. The area offers attendees the chance to see the next big innovations in surface design.

New Talent is curated by Chief Creative Director at Trendease International Jennifer Castoldi. All of those chosen to exhibit in New Talent have been in business for five years or less, and with 37 exhibitors showcasing, compared to 16 last year, the section has grown substantially.

“We are thrilled to have collaborated with Trendease International; Jennifer has brought togethersome of the most exciting new designers with the freshest ideas in material design to New Talent,” said Christopher Newton, Director of Surface Design Show. “We can’t wait for visitors to immerse themselves in New Talent’s designs, textures and materials.”

Many of the New Talent exhibitors are using traditional craft techniques and combining them with contemporary design. Charlotte Relf is an experimental embroidery artist who uses exaggerated stitches to add detail and energy while Royal School of Needlework graduate Frances Stone uses various experimental embroidery techniques such as gold work, crewel work and beading to create her range of foot stools, chairs and cushions. Charlotte Clayton Design, meanwhile, combines knitting with automotive interior design for her surface designs and Farr Designs marries photography and contemporary design using hand screen prints and digital technology.

The sheer wealth of approaches to surfaces is one of New Talent’s strengths from Janine Partington’s emphasis of carving and hand painted leathers to Trifold, a company which has designs constructed of thermal and acoustic layers, folded via means of a traditional origami tessellation to research-based designer Megan Cowley, who creates mild steel moulds using water jet technology, which are then transferred onto glass.

Wallcoverings are well-represented in New Talent this year, Olenka’s luxury British wallpapercollection features natural motifs of leaves and flowers whilst Catherine Griffiths’ work takes in boldwallpaper designs as well as fabric and cushions with inspirations as eclectic as Celtic mythology, the Renaissance period and European architecture. West by Design specialises in intricate hand-painted wallpaper inspired by the English countryside and King Kong Design creates site-specific corporate wall art and custom wall panels for retail, public and residential installations.

It’s no surprise given the current climate emergency that exhibitors in New Talent are focussed on nature or sustainability. This focus is reflected throughout the whole of Surface Design Show with its theme of Close to Home: looking beyond aesthetics and designing with a conscience. Jonel van Schalkwyk uses a painterly style to create surface designs featuring human-sized plants while designer Paula Nerlich has a strong focus on circular biomaterials and exploring vegan compostables

and foams from industrial and household food waste. Atticus Durnell, the brains behind the That’sCaffeine brand, has created a material made from recycled coffee grounds, that imitates granite stone. Brussels-based Studio Gilles Werbrouck also takes a novel approach to material reuse, making knitted textiles from unconventional material such as video tape or dead stock from fashion designers.

Tickets are free to professional and trade visitors. Register here.

Main image credit: Surface Design Show/King Kong Design

 

CASE STUDY: Designing the carpets for Tewkesbury Park

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
CASE STUDY: Designing the carpets for Tewkesbury Park

Brintons Carpets, together with ADS design, have designed stunning, high-performance axminster carpets for independent luxury country resort, Tewkesbury Park…

The resplendent 18th century manor house, Tewkesbury Park, with some later additions, sits proudly above the historic riverside town of Tewkesbury, which is famous for its battle in 1471. Over the last couple of years, under new ownership, the hotel has undergone a major renovation and refurbishment, resulting in a wonderfully intimate yet stylish space for guests torelax and unwind.

The modern glass fronted extension by Bristol architects Childs & Sulzmann with interior design overseen by ADS Design, includes a £3 million suite for conferences and events such as weddings. Built in just under a year, it was the fourth stage of the independent hotel’s £9 million investment. ADS Design worked on the new Cotswolds Suite and Berkeley Bar. The overall brief was to design a timeless yet luxurious and welcoming hotel. Brintons was commissioned by the design firm to create bespoke carpets for the new conferencing areas. “Our aim was to create an exciting, multi functional space for events, appealing to both corporate clients and weddings,” said interior design at ADS Design, Rachel Eaton. “The large conference room with full height glazing has amazing views of the Gloucestershire countryside and features a Cotswold stone wall to add texture and depth, these tones are reflected in the carpet design. The space can be divided into smaller spaces for a variety of functions and works well with the adjoining Restaurant and Bar which feature deeper colours, subtle plaids and rich velvet upholstery, the flexible lighting changes to create a daytime or evening atmosphere.”

The Cotswolds suite is a large function room and exclusive-use bar accommodating both wedding and business functions. It is a largely glass structure that provides panoramic views of the countryside. The design theme is classic and timeless incorporating a colour palette of steely blues and golden honey hues, reflecting the generous sense of light and space.

“The pattern has Gothic undertones helping to link the story back to the old manor house.” – Senior creative designer at Brintons, Jane Bradley-Bain.

“We selected Stacey Garcia Dark Fairy Tale for its classic design but treated in a contemporary way, by using a modern neutral colour scheme it combined the two areas giving a flexible interior that spans classical and modern themes equally suitable for all events,” said senior creative designer at Brintons, Jane Bradley-Bain. “The pattern has Gothic undertones helping to link the story back to the old manor house.”

Brintons worked alongside Eaton to create an inviting and opulent atmosphere supplying bespoke carpet for the recently refurbished function rooms, meeting rooms, corridors and Berkeley bar. Sumptuous designs from the Stacey Garcia Dark Fairytale collection were selected to complement the upscale interiors. The collection offers designs embellished with shadowy imagery, forest tones and dark feminine motifs which complement the history of the surrounding area and are reflected in subtle elements of Tewkesbury’s medieval past.

Manufactured using Brintons signature axminster blend of 80 per cent wool 20 per cent nylon to provide a durable and stylish carpet that will withstand footfall over a prolonged period of time. Brintons’ carpets contribute to the intimate and welcoming ambience that ADS Design aimed to create.

Main image credit: Tewkesbury Park

INDUSTRY INSIGHT: How to safely specify slip-resistant tiles

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
INDUSTRY INSIGHT: How to safely specify slip-resistant tiles

Specifications Sector Manager for CTD Architectural Tiles, Andrew Sadler, explains how to practically and safely specify non-slip tiles… 

From lobbies and front of house to hotel bathrooms and bar areas, there are a number of practical considerations to consider when specifying floor tiles within the hospitality sector; one of the most important of which is slip resistance. Ensuring a tile provides the appropriate level of slip resistance whilst meeting both the practical and aesthetic requirements for a project is of paramount importance to the specifier, so what do they need to consider?

Firstly, it is important to understand that the slip resistance of a floor depends upon many factors, for instance: whether it is wet or dry when in use, the roughness of the surface, whether the floor finish comes into regular contact with liquids or other contaminants, how the floor will wear over time and if there a suitable cleaning and maintenance schedule in place. Each of these factors will affect the performance of the tile and therefore must be carefully considered when making a final flooring choice for a hotel.

Image credit: CTD Architectural Tiles

If we look at the bathroom environments then based on recommendations from the HSE, the correct specification should use floor finishes that achieve Pendulum TRL (slider 55) of 36+ for wet barefoot areas, to achieve a low slip potential environment. CTD Architectural Tiles suggests using a structured tile with Pendulum TRL (slider 55) of 40+ for wet barefoot areas as good practice. This is due to possible slight variations from tile to tile and possible cleaning and maintenance issues. The Tile Finder on the CTD Architectural website allows the specifier to be able to filter product ranges along these lines.

The table below illustrates how the HSE categorises the results from the Pendulum test:

Classification PTV
High slip potential 0 – 24
Moderate slip potential 25-35
Low slip potential 36+

Surface Micro-roughness

CTD Architectural offers test results for another method for establishing slip resistance –  surface micro-roughness. Whilst this method is subject to ongoing research and subsequently is not a subject of a British Standard like the Pendulum Test, when the data is used to supplement pendulum data, research has shown it gives a good indication of slipperiness in water contaminated environments.

Maintaining slip resistance of floor finishes

The two main factors that affect the ongoing slip resistance performance of a floor finish are wear resistance and surface contaminants. In respect of wear resistance, this can be addressed by recommending unglazed porcelain tiles to the client. This is opposed to a glazed floor tile where the glazed surface finish is subject to wearing away over time. Correctly specified and installed unglazed porcelain tiles would be expected to last the lifetime of the building. The slip resistant characteristics of an unglazed porcelain tile are maintained with the implementation of a suitable cleaning regime.

Surface contaminants

Areas subject to expected surface contaminants should incorporate the use of slip resistant floor tiles. The degree of slip resistance changes with the predicted contaminant – for example water as a contaminant has less of an effect on slip resistance than gear oil or margarine. There is proven relationship between slip resistance and cleanliness, specifying an appropriate post-installation cleaning regime is crucial in maintaining the performance and look of the original design.

For more information on the CTD Architectural Tiles portfolio and team, please see www.ctdarchitecturaltiles.co.uk

Main image credit: CTD Architectural Tiles 

Pantone reveals Colour of the Year 2020

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Pantone reveals Colour of the Year 2020

Pantone Colour of the Year 2020 is Classic Blue, a reassuring presence instilling calm, confidence, and connection…

Following 2019’s refreshing Living Coral, Pantone has announced Classic Blue as the Pantone Colour of the Year for 2020; a timeless and enduring hue elegant in its simplicity. Suggestive of the sky at dusk, the reassuring qualities of the thought-provoking. PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue highlight our desire for a dependable and stable foundation from which to build as we cross the threshold into a new era.

“We are living in a time that requires trust and faith. It is this kind of constancy and confidence that is expressed by PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue, a solid and dependable blue hue we can always rely on,” said Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Colour Institute. “Imbued with a deep resonance, PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue provides an anchoring foundation. A boundless blue evocative of the vast and infinite evening sky, PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue encourages us to look beyond the obvious to expand our thinking; challenging us to think more deeply, increase our perspective and open the flow of communication.”

Imprinted in our psyches as a restful colour, PANTONE 19-4052, Classic Blue brings a sense of peace and tranquility to the human spirit, offering refuge. Aiding concentration and bringing laser-like clarity, PANTONE 19-4052, Classic Blue re-centers our thoughts. A reflective blue tone, Classic Blue fosters resilience.

As technology continues to race ahead of the human ability to process it all, it is easy to understand why we gravitate to colours that are honest and offer the promise of protection. Non-aggressive and easily relatable, the trusted PANTONE 19-4052, Classic Blue lends itself to relaxed interaction. Associated with the return of another day, this universal favorite is comfortably embraced.

“The Pantone Colour of the Year highlights the relationship between trends in colour and what is taking place in our global culture at a moment in time, a colour that reflects what individuals feel they need that colour can hope to answer.” added Laurie Pressman, Vice President of the Pantone Colour Institute. “As society continues to recognise colour as a critical form of communication, and a way to express and affect ideas and emotions, designers and brands should feel inspired to use colour to engage and connect. The Pantone Colour of the Year selection provides strategic direction for the world of trend and design, reflecting the Pantone Colour Institute’s year-round work doing the same for designers and brands.”

“As we all head into a new era, we wanted to challenge ourselves to find inspiration from new sources that not only evolve our Colour of the Year platform.” – Laurie Pressman, Vice President of the Pantone Colour Institute.

To fully bring to life the true meaning of PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue, Pantone has translated PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue into a multi-sensory experience. By extending the sensory reach of PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue, Pantone is hoping to reach a greater diversity of people to provide everyone with an opportunity to engage with the Colour of the Year 2020 in their own unique way.

“As we all head into a new era, we wanted to challenge ourselves to find inspiration from new sources that not only evolve our Colour of the Year platform, but also help our global audiences achieve richer and more rewarding colour experiences,” added Pressman. “This desire, combined with the emotional properties of PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue, motivated us to expand beyond the visual, to bring the 2020 Pantone Colour of the Year to life through a multi-sensory experience.”

For 21 years, Pantone’s Colour of the Year has influenced product development and purchasing decisions in multiple industries, including fashion, home furnishings, and industrial design, as well as product packaging and graphic design. Past selections for Colour of the Year include:

  • PANTONE 16-1546 Living Coral (2019)
  • PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet (2018)
  • PANTONE 15-0343 Greenery (2017)
  • PANTONE 15-3919 Serenity and PANTONE 13-1520 Rose Quartz (2016)
  • PANTONE 18-1438 Marsala (2015)
  • PANTONE 18-3224 Radiant Orchid (2014)
  • PANTONE 17-5641 Emerald (2013)
  • PANTONE 17-1463 Tangerine Tango (2012)
  • PANTONE 18-2120 Honeysuckle (2011)
  • PANTONE 15-5519 Turquoise (2010)
  • PANTONE 14-0848 Mimosa (2009)
  • PANTONE 18-3943 Blue Iris (2008)
  • PANTONE 19-1557 Chili Pepper (2007)
  • PANTONE 13-1106 Sand Dollar (2006)
  • PANTONE 15-5217 Blue Turquoise (2005)
  • PANTONE 17-1456 Tigerlily (2004)
  • PANTONE 14-4811 Aqua Sky (2003)
  • PANTONE 19-1664 True Red (2002)
  • PANTONE 17-2031 Fuchsia Rose (2001)
  • PANTONE 15-4020 Cerulean (2000)

Main image credit: Pantone

Duravit’s tap fittings – from the washbasin to the bathtub

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Duravit’s tap fittings – from the washbasin to the bathtub

Four different sizes make the C.1 tap fittings from Duravit compatible with any washing area, from a small handrinse basin through to a generously proportioned above-counter basin…

Selecting the correct tap for a bathroom can both enhance the overall aesthetic and add an additional design statement. Whether for the washbasin, the shower, the bathtub or the bidet: Duravit taps set themselves apart. This is due to their high-quality materials and universal design, it makes them an ideal match for all Duravit ceramic and bathroom furniture ranges.

Convenient functions and ease of use are the hallmark of all Duravit tap ranges. The B.1 to B.3 series impresses with their attractive price points this appeals not only to architects and developers, but to private individuals too.

The B.1 series is characterised by its gently rounded contours and contrasts with the angular design of B.2. The B.3 tap series adds yet another dimension to the Duravit B series. 

Its sophisticated ergonomics are particularly noticeable in the circular recess in the handle, perfectly positioned for ease of operation. Minimalist, unpretentious design is the order of the day with the C.1 series from designer Kurt Merki Jr. This series features a handle that is perfectly proportioned both to the eye and to the touch. Alongside classic chrome, the series also introduces contemporary Black Matt into the bathroom.

Black tap and white basin

Image caption: The C.1 design range by the Swiss designer Kurt Merki Jr. is available in Chrome or Matt Black.

With the two finishes and the four different tap sizes, the series will bring out the best in any washing area – from the handrinse basin through to the wash bowl. All harmonize perfectly with different furnishing styles and offer plenty of scope for individual design preferences. 

Hand shower or showerhead? Why not both! The all-in- one Duravit shower system solution combines all the benefits of the two variants. Use the hand shower for a quick all-over clean if you’re in a hurry, or give yourself a well-earned wellness experience with the relaxing showerhead. 

On the technical side, Duravit also offers a choice between single-lever shower mixers and a thermostatic shower mixer for exposed or concealed installation that can be combined with any square or round showerheads for wall or ceiling fitting. A similar degree of variety is available for bathtubs, too. From the bathtub faucet through free-standing bath mixers to thermostatic or single-lever mixers for exposed or concealed installation – Duravit satisfies all the customer’s wishes. Exposed and concealed variants offer the perfect solution for any bathtub situation. The Duravit BlueBox®, a universal installation system for a range of tap designs (lever mixers or thermostats), is used for concealed installation. This allows the design decision to be taken even after the basic set has been installed. 

The faucets are splash-free thanks to an individually adjustable aerator. Thermostats offer additional comfort for use in the shower area. An integrated safety cut-off efficiently guards against excessive water temperatures.

The bathroom of today is also the bathroom of the future. The precision-manufactured, long-lasting and maintenance-free ceramic cartridges that are installed in all mixers play a big part in that. With a maximum flow rate of 5.7 liters per minute, the noise-optimized Duravit taps are also impressively economical. Especially important for customers: Duravit provides a five-year warranty across its entire faucet range. 

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

CASE STUDY: 99 Acres adopts new technology solutions

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
CASE STUDY: 99 Acres adopts new technology solutions

Australian property, 99 Acres Bangalow, achieves operational efficiency by choosing STAAH technology for managing rates and inventory through one single-login…

99 Acres Bangalow sits upon the highest point of a stunning Byron Hinterland property with encapsulating 360-degree views. The property has been in the same family for two decades and has now been opened as a luxury retreat from where guests can discover all that the region has to offer and relax amid the scenic sub-tropical rural landscape.

Need for Robust and Advanced Technology 

The bangalow was looking for a streamlined solution to aide their online distribution needs; and a system that could cater to their unique needs along with providing quality support. The property was also looking to access their inventory through one single dashboard, and also be able to set up seasonal rates on their rooms.

99 acres bangalow chose STAAH for it was simple and effortless to use.

The property uses STAAH Max Channel Manager, which is an advanced system that is completely customisable and scalable, designed to meet the unique needs of a property.

The MAX Channel Manager helps grow consumer confidence and direct bookings with real-time and quick updates to all channels, ensuring rate parity. The system also gives the option for dynamic pricing, with up-to-the-minute market information available at fingertips, so you can charge and optimal price for your room, not losing revenue and increasing yield.

The property also uses STAAH Max Booking Engine, providing for one platform to manage all bookings. Simple & easy to use, it is available in multiple currencies and languages, allowing varied search options and advanced features like booking a trip itinerary.

STAAH has ticked the boxes for the property’s unique requirements with its flexible yet advanced solutions. While Max Channel Manager helps grow the property’s reach, the Max Booking Engine is popular with hoteliers for its conversion-driven features that drive bookings and increase profitability.

Apart from innovative products, what has set STAAH apart is its stellar support. A dedicated account management approach and local support ensures customer service is prompt and the technology development agile.

Main image credit: 99 Acres

Is this the world’s most expensive Christmas tree?

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Is this the world’s most expensive Christmas tree?

Kempinski Hotel Bahia shelters 2019’s most decadent Christmas tree. In partnership with designer Debbie Wingham has unveiled this year’s festive decorations, which are complete with Bulgari, Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and Chanel statement baubles…

With balmy temperatures all year round, Marbella is not the first place we would expect to find the most decadent Christmas tree in the world.

Nonetheless, Kempinski Hotel Bahia has partnered with celebrity designer Debbie Wingham to reveal a festive showstopper; the beachfront escape is housing the world’s most extravagant Christmas Tree, worth a total of £11.9 million. Fashioned from high-value stones, the tree is peppered with pink, red, white and black diamonds, edible treats and traditional decorations.

All flawlessly cut and ethically sourced, decorations include 3crt pink diamonds, 4crt sapphire, oval red diamonds, black and white diamonds, and a mixture of remastered, expertly upcycled jewellery from the likes of Bulgari, Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and Chanel.

Inspired by the verdant feathers of a peacock and the modernist art-deco era, the tree features unique martini glasses, feathers, perfume bottles and even 3D printed chocolate peacocks. But it wouldn’t be Christmas without tradition, and guests can still expect to find classic decorations such as snowflakes, fairies, nutcrackers and beautifully decorated baubles, carefully curated with a mixture of materials, from diamond dust and 24 carat gold to emu and ostrich eggs.

Think you can beat it? We’re on the hunt for the most elaborate hotel Christmas decorations. Tweet us @HotelDesigns.

Main image credit: Kempinski Hotels

MINIVIEW: The Biltmore Mayfair, London

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MINIVIEW: The Biltmore Mayfair, London

In the heart of London’s leafy neighbourhood, The Biltmore Mayfair, London has had a £60 million renovation – and it is unrecognisable…

The red-brick facade of The Biltmore Mayfair reopened its doors in September of this year as Europe’s first LXR Hotels & Resorts property. The 307-key hotel’s recent renovation has resulted in the building – and its interiors sheltered inside – becoming a new jewel in the prestigious neighbourhood, uniting 20th century grandeur with modern architectural details throughout.

The hotel combines exquisite contemporary accommodation, stunning views across the gardens of Grosvenor Square, and innovative culinary concepts by Michelin Star restaurateur, Jason Atherton, creating the ultimate urban sanctuary in the heart of Mayfair.

Red-bricked exterior of the hotel

Image credit: The Biltmore Mayfair

Guests looking for an elegant escape can book into one of the 57 quintessentially British suites. Designed to reflect the iconic area, each suite’s panelled walls and distressed mirrored headboards feature references of leafs and nature. As well as referencing a timeless location, the hotel guestrooms also feature modern touches, such as Ruark audio systems that sit on the bedside tables. The dark furniture of red and blue creates a deep luxe scene, while accents of colour in the soft furnishings adds a sensitive layer. The layout of each room has been sensitively designed so that guests can take in the vistas of Grosvenor Square.

Quintessentially British suite

Image credit: The Biltmore Mayfair

The bathrooms, specified by Utopia Projects, continue the luxury theme with marble surfaces complimenting muted gold towel rails. Clever spot lighting has been added either side of the twin vanity basins to create meaningful statement as guests demand for wellness evolves.

Luxe bathroom with marble and large bath tub

Image credit: The Biltmore Mayfair

The Biltmore Mayfair is also home to the capital’s most sought-after new restaurant concepts from world-renowned restaurateur Jason Atherton:

  • The Betterment features a seasonally driven menu, from locally-sourced fish and meats that are wood-fired, to signature salads and plant-based dishes.
  • The Pine Bar operates as a sophisticated bar with classic cocktails, exceptional wines and delicious bar snacks, including home-cured charcuterie.
  • The Tea Lounge, located within the hotel lobby, is ideal to enjoy one of London’s finest afternoon teas, and indulge in a selection of homemade sandwiches.  Guests can also enjoy sweet delicacies including a Dorset spice apple cake and lemon and lavender macarons, in the Writer’s Corner.
  • Finally, within the heart of the hotel is The Terrace. Open all year round, the relaxed, alfresco area is surrounded by stunning floral arrangements, sweeping greenery and glimmering fairy lights, making it the perfect spot to drink and dine under the stars.

“We are delighted to be opening The Biltmore Mayfair, Europe’s first LXR Hotels & Resorts property, on London’s prestigious Grosvenor Square,” said Simon Vincent, President, EMEA, Hilton when the hotel opened in September. “Bringing contemporary luxury to Mayfair, guests will experience outstanding hospitality, including dining by Chef Jason Atherton, in remarkable surroundings that truly capture the spirit of London and British luxury.”

With a host of iconic landmarks and neighbourhoods on its doorstep, including the home of bespoke tailoring, Savile Row, and exclusive retailers on Bond Street – the hotel is a decadent retreat to experience the best that London has to offer.

Main image credit: The Biltmore Mayfair

W Hotels Arrives In Abu Dhabi

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
W Hotels Arrives In Abu Dhabi

Rev up your engines, W Abu Dhabi – Yas Island is the only hotel in the world to be located on a Grand Prix racetrack…

Buckle up… W Hotels Worldwide has announced the highly anticipated debut of the W brand in the UAE capital with the opening of W Abu Dhabi – Yas Island. Located in the heart of Abu Dhabi’s bustling entertainment epicentre, the hotel is the brand’s second W Hotel to open this year in the United Arab Emirates after W Dubai – The Palm, and has the bragging rights to be the only hotel in the world located atop a Grand Prix racetrack.

W Abu Dhabi – Yas Island is surrounded by iconic landmarks, located just 15-minutes from Abu Dhabi International Airport at the doorstep of the famed Yas Marina Circuit and Yas Marina. The hotel is also in close proximity to Ferrari World, Warner Brothers Studios and Abu Dhabi’s biggest shopping center, the Yas Mall. W Abu Dhabi – Yas Island is set to provide front row seats to the glitz and glamour of the vibrant metropolis, be it on or off the track.

YAS Island's iconic building and racetrack

Image credit: W Hotels

“W Hotels seeks dynamic destinations that are multi-dimensional and ever-evolving, and Abu Dhabi, with its cultural DNA that honors a millennium of tradition while boldly embracing what’s new and next, is an ideal fit for the brand,” said Anthony Ingham, Global Brand Leader, W Hotels Worldwide. “The arrival of W in Abu Dhabi marks a new chapter for both the brand and the capital. While paying tribute to the essence and spirit of the city, the hotel creates a modern, energetic and stylish escape unlike anything else.”

“The design draws inspiration from traditional and artistic surroundings complementing the natural landscape of the Emirate.”

W Abu Dhabi – Yas Island reveals the best of the destination’s history, heritage and culture while infusing elements of its modern future. From the barren desert to the burgeoning concrete metropolis, Abu Dhabi boasts one of the most unique and diverse landscapes, all celebrated by the hotel’s tone-setting vibe. The design draws inspiration from traditional and artistic surroundings complementing the natural landscape of the Emirate. All architectural elements are influenced by symmetry, intricate detail, parallel beams and optical illusions, creating silhouettes and shades inspired by the region’s natural lakes, wetlands, salt flats and fossilized sands and dunes – the hidden natural gems of the UAE.

Guests are greeted by Bedouin-inspired tents, large columns and seating inspired by local mangroves. Custom-designed Welcome Desks mimic the form of oil droplets and jewel tone furnishings, depicting the colors of liquid gold, a distinctive historic trade in Abu Dhabi. Show-stopping Whatever/Whenever desks are canoe-shaped, a visual reference to the Abu Dhabi waterways and once the mode of movement across the city.

The hotel’s vibrant 499 guestrooms and suites offer plush amenities and floor-to-ceiling windows with spectacular views of the Grand Prix racetrack or the Yas Marina. The EWOW Suite (the brand’s over-the-top take on the traditional Presidential Suite), boasts 409 square meters (about 1,342 square feet) of ultimate luxury spread over two floors. Guests can soak it up in the suite’s private lap pool, sauna and enjoy jaw-dropping, 180-degree views of Yas Island.

Image credit: W Hotels

The W brand’s iconic poolside experience features the stunning scenery of the Yas Marina Circuit as guests swim, sun and enjoy signature beverages while listening to live DJ performances. WET is sure to become the hottest place to cool off, take a dip and make a splash in the city. W Abu Dhabi – Yas Island will embody the brand’s signature work hard, play hard philosophy, with FUEL-focused activities (fitness and wellness programming) including weekly workouts, healthy cuisine and amazing adventures.

Main image credit: W Hotels

Year In Review: Hotel Designs’ top products of 2019 (Part 1)

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Year In Review: Hotel Designs’ top products of 2019 (Part 1)

Hotel Designs starts December as it means to go on; looking back to reflect on some of the major statement products of 2019 (edited by Hamish Kilburn)… 

It has finally happened. ‘Trends’ is now a ‘dirty word’ on the international hotel design scene. In its place, meaningful design is allowing creativity to run freely through the unclogged veins of design studios, which is resulting in each project to have its own personality. Designers and architects are able to choose their tools carefully in order to create the hotels and cities of the future.

As a result, there’s a greater desire to cut through the noise in order to identify the game-changing products that have recently launched.

Since January, Hotel Designs has put a a different topic under the spotlight each month in order to identify the most innovative products and services. 11 months later, here’s what we found…

  1. The Cleanet Navia shower toilet by Laufen
Orange set with WC toilet in the middle

Image credit: Laufen

The new Cleanet Navia by Laufen is an upgrade in comfort compared with a classic designer WC. It impresses with a compact design, simple functions and with a gratifying price.

“My aim with the Cleanet Navia was to create a classic designer WC with a minimalistic, timeless look, that has another ace up its sleeve when you take a closer look,” explains Swiss designer Peter Wirz, who created the shower WC for Laufen. The technology is fully integrated into the compact all-ceramic body and reduced to the essentials. Thus, Keramik Laufen has succeeded in developing a shower toilet with an excellent price-performance ratio, which is also suitable for use in commercial buildings.

2) The Balmoral collection by Bisque

Soft pink radiator and amenities

Image credit: Bisque

Pioneering designer radiator brand Bisque has, for the last four decades, represented the pinnacle of cutting-edge, contemporary design; however, for the first time, the luxury firm has announced its inaugural range of traditional towel radiators for use in classic bathroom designs for 2019.

The collection – comprising the Buckingham, Osbourne and Balmoral – was designed with a timeless appeal, without compromising on performance or output.

In particular, the Balmoral radiator. Its centre section, conventionally a timeless white, can now be ordered in Bisque’s selection of stock finishes or, for when only an exact shade will do, can be colour-matched to popular paint brands such as Farrow & Ball, Mylands or Little Greene. This makes it a fantastic option for those who prefer to add a pop of personality to an otherwise fairly neutral scheme, and complements many bathroom brands’ latest offerings of colourful baths, basins and brassware.

Bisque’s Balmoral Radiator colour-matched to RAL 6005.

The addition of a colour finish further adds to the Balmoral’s flexibility. Traditionally a radiator for period homes or vintage-inspired bathrooms, this sleek update means it sits right at home in contemporary settings, too.

3) GROHE Plus Single-Lever Mixer M-Size with LED temperature display

Tap with digital display on faucet

Image credit: GROHE

Take your bathroom to a place as technologically sophisticated as the rest of your life with the GROHE Plus basin mixer with LED temperature display. Its slim, D-shaped form, designed to complement both traditional and contemporary bathrooms, contains a range of user-friendly technology. The upper surface of the spout in chic white acrylic hosts an LED temperature display, which shows the exact water temperature as it flows. The tap also employs infra-red sensors to switch smoothly between a sustainable standard spray (5.7l/min) and even greater water-saving with the Spray function (4l/min). Just wave your hand in front of the lit icon on the spout to activate. The large size of this tap offers the space for a more user-friendly, comfortable experience. It features a GROHE SilkMove ceramic cartridge, offering smooth, precise control via the tactile solid metal lever handle. The swivel spout with easy docking system turns through 90° for added ease of use, while an integrated GROHE AquaGuide lets you adjust the spray angle of the spout with ease and precision. The SpeedClean aerator can be wiped free of limescale with just your finger.

4) Timeless lighting pieces in the Edition 26 collection by Chelsom

Image desk and lamp shade

Image credit: Mr C Coconut Grove/James McDonald

For nearly two years, Chelsom’s Edition 26 collection has been inspiring designers and architects to add statement in lighting. This year, Hotel Designs has identified the design potential of some of its products in the collection, such as Orb, Criterion, Icicle, and one of the editorial team’s favourite, Roma, which is an industrial-chic masterpiece.

Creativity is in the cooker as the lighting experts at Chelsom prepare for a busy 2020 with the launch of its next collection.

5) Morgan’s award-winning Rakino

One chair on top of the other behind white background

Image credit: Morgan

The family of lounge chairs and tables, which feature crisp timber detailing that is emphasised by a clean linear structure, has just won Product of the Year at the FX Awards 2019.

Interviewed by Hotel Designs shortly after the collection dropped, Tim Rundle said about the collection: “The Rakino collection stands out due to its striking timber architectural frame, with a strong, square, clean aesthetic, combined with a soft sculpted and slim line upholstered shell that is held within the frame. The frame is very open and honest and is a reflection of Tim’s eye for detail and our passion for precision CNC manufacturing and a hand-crafted finish.”

7) Luxe bathrooms inside Stock Exchange Manchester by Utopia Projects

Luxe marble bathroom overlooking Manchester

Image credit: Stock Exchange Hotel Manchester

In a recent study it was revealed that more than 70 per cent of designers and architects fear the bathroom most when designing a hotel. For those professionals, there’s Utopia Projects that has unrivalled relationships with suppliers and an acute eye for detail when it comes to designing meaningful bathroom spaces. The bathrooms inside Stock Exchange Hotel Manchester are an excellent example of this. Hotel Designs’ got the concept-to-completetion exclusive of the challenges and triumphs for this hotel, which opened recently.

If you know of a product you believe should be involved in PART 2 of Hotel Designs’ ultimate throwback, please email h.kilburn@forumevents.co.uk

Main image credit:

Editor’s round-up of Sleep & Eat 2019

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Editor’s round-up of Sleep & Eat 2019

Rounding off this year’s show season, editor Hamish Kilburn attends Sleep & Eat 2019 on the search for new product launches, sensational design concepts and more brands under one roof than in any other hotel design trade show in Europe…

It is often said that the sequel is never as impactful as the prequel. And although that may well be the case in the film industry, design is different. For the second year running, Sleep & Eat 2019 went west to found shelter at Olympia London, a hotly debated venue but a popular one no doubt during show season.

The show opened its doors on November 19 to offer designers, architects, operators and owners a unique chance to learn from the game-changers, while discovering new products and expand their thinking.

On the surface Sleep & Eat’s success from last year was matched with many of the same exhibitors taking the same positions as in 2018. The most significant statement from the 2019 show, however, took place in the lecture theatre, where a mix of interesting and colourful insights and debates became the highlight for many.

Amar Lalvani, CEO of Standard International, opened day one by sharing his experience oftransforming an ‘ugly’ and unloved building in London into a hotel that is now headline news around the world. Christoph Hoffman, CEO of 25Hours Hotels, opened day two and, in conversation with Conference Moderator, Heleri Rande, talked about the importance of “soul”. While his group has so notably charted its own course, hedeclared himself inspired by the great luxury hotels of the world. “It’s about keeping the stories alive,” he said. Josh Wyatt, CEO of NeueHouse, also delivered a captivating keynote. “More than ever before,design is essential to survive as the world becomes more crowded. Design is a defensive necessity,” he told the audience. “In NeueHouse, we are forging places where commerce and creativity collide, where new enterprises that will shape our futures will be conceived by our users.”

Image credit: Rob Jones

Panel topics were diverse and layered, from hotel F&B trends to managing and designing flexible public spaces and the meaning of eco in the luxury hotel experience, but all with an eye not just to the hospitality scene today but in the future. Architect, Richard Coutts, and engineer, Ben Fitzgerald, took the audience to the under- and above-water frontiers of their work, presenting a project destined for Hobart Harbour – an underwater hotel with public park on top – and the Under restaurant off the Norwegian coast. The knowledge, skills, vision and technology exist to harness our lakes, rivers and oceans for greater hospitality experiences, claimed the duo Design maverick and disrupter, Johannes Torpe, considered the future of hospitality in space but, despite his collaborations with NASA and his passion for space movies, he argued that there was still much work to do before space could be accessible for most of us. Instead, he called on the audience to create unearthly places on Earth, citing his Red Mountain resort project in Iceland, a spa and wellness retreat that will offer complete escape into Icelandic nature.

Sleep, Eat and Party in this year’s Room Sets

This year’s event theme of “Social FlexAbility” explored the power of hospitality to stimulate human interaction in our age of digital isolation. It proved to be just the challenge that six international architectural and design firms needed to create concept guestrooms, a bar and a restaurant which were inspiring in vision, intriguing in detail and astonishing in execution.

Yuna Merge, unveiled the VIP Area entitled ‘Gather’. The designer transformed Olympia Club Room into a whimsical flora and fauna-inspired space.

London-based hotel design practice twenty2degrees designed a concept guestroom to explore hospitality’s power to stimulate human interaction in our age of digital dislocation. Complete with a fully retractable bed and a tap that poured chilled negroni, the set utilised space, senses and colour.

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

Other Set designers were HAT Design (guestroom), SpaceInvader (bar) and NAME Architecture (restaurant).

In the exhibition hall

Image credit: Rob Jones

More than 160 design-led suppliers – established and up-and-coming manufacturers, artisans and fit-out companies – chose Sleep & Eat 2019 to showcase their products and launch new collections. Some highlights included:

GROHE returned to Sleep & Eat for the 14th year and presented its most eclectic and diverse product offering yet, including its ground-breaking Icon 3D metal-printed taps on their first official UK outing.

Image credit: Rob Jones

Following Hotel Designs’ interview with designer Marcel Wanders one day prior, the team from Laufen unveiled the curtain on its latest collection, The New Classic.

Ammique, the world’s most technologically advanced bed, was at Sleep & Eat for the first time. The company launched its Platinum limited edition bed with a choice of three sensual fabrics created in collaboration with textile designer, Hannah White. Marlene Greenhalgh, Co-Founder of Ammique,says: “Having thought long and hard about taking space, we are utterly delighted that we decided to. We would unequivocally recommend anyone in the industry to consider investing in a stand at Sleep & Eat. It really is a show that delivers.”

Hansgrohe, which was an Event Partner at The Brit List Awards 2019 later in the week, launched its Rainfinity range and Sunbury Design launched Perception Collection in collaboration with renowned print designer, Amelia Graham. Meanwhile, both Bette and Kaldewei gave visitors the opportunity to test their materials themselves, with wire brushes, hammers, nail varnish and naked flames.

Morgan, which has just won Product of the Year at the FX Awards, unveiled a new stripped-back sustainable furniture collection, Kaya, which finds its roots in the openness, honesty and purity of trees.

Showing the design world it’s place as a premium shower supplier was Aqualisa, which was also an Event Partner at The Brit List Awards 2019. The company, which was the first to launch the digital shower to the hospitality market, was making noise with a range of new high-tech products.

There were cause of celebrations on the Knightsbridge stand as the British furniture company announced its 80th anniversary. In apt fashion, the brand displayed its design-led Caravelle collection, which was redeveloped to celebrate theanniversary and its rich history, taking influence from a past mid-century piece of furniture.

Also new to Sleep & Eat, Marie Martin, the range of exclusive lighting by the Dutch company Lumière, presented its lush and extravagant lighting fixtures. Stemming from a passion for interiors, this collection arose from the desire to unite a love for antiques, Paris, colour and fully decorated spaces.

Bette’s new Red Dot award-winning basin and luxurious circular bath made their UK debut at the show.

Image credit: Rob Jones

Other familiar brands at the show included: Astro Lighting, Roca, Interna UK, Chelsom, Grok, Northern Lights and Perrin & Rowe. Newcomers included Eichholtz, ILIV Contract Textiles and Absolute Lifestyle.

As tradition, Sleep & Eat presented two awards for best-designed stands, this year judged by designers, Constantina Tsoutsikou, Yasmine Mahmoudieh and Ben Webb together with architect, Angela Dapper and event director, Mark Gordon. Hospitality artwork suppliers, Verdigris Art, with artist in residence, Marcus Aitken, was awarded Best Stand, and luxury wallcoverings manufacturer, Arte, was the recipient of the Best Space-Only Stand Award.

Following the two-day event, industry experts gathered for an after-party style awards ceremony, The Brit List Awards 2019, which is where this year’s winners of seven individual awards were crowned, as well as where The Brit List 2019 was unveiled.

With rumours circulating, it is down to interpretation whether or not Sleep & Eat’s second year at Olympia London was as or more successful than its first year. Whether or not the show ‘hit the mark’ in your opinion, there was no denying that it was a engaging two-days of talks, networking opportunities and interesting product launches.

Have your say by tweeting us as @HotelDesigns. What was your highlight of Sleep & Eat 2019?

Main image credit: Rob Jones

Designer Anna Busta unveils newly refurbished Oceana in Santa Monica

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Designer Anna Busta unveils newly refurbished Oceana in Santa Monica

Following a nearly $30 million transformation, the newly reopened all-suite Oceana now delivers a rare private residential experience in Santa Monica’s most coveted neighbourhood…

Interior designer Anna Busta, of Busta Studio in NYC, has completed a project to renovated Oceana to become a peaceful and private luxury escape in Santa Monica, LA.

The new Oceana is a 70-suite seaside retreat that combines the impeccable service of a world class hotel with authentic personal connections, making the boutique property feel like a fully staffed beach house.

Oceana provides a rare opportunity to experience Santa Monica like a local resident of the coveted beach district. Driving along Ocean Avenue, the first vision of Oceana is the hotel’s stately, ivy-clad facade, quietly at home among the neighbourhood’s other beautiful residences. Upon entering the stunning two-story living room-inspired lobby, guests are personally greeted by the hotel’s thoughtful staff and welcomed to their home-away from home without having to undergo the traditional hotel check-in process.

Each room features a secluded entry nook adorned with fragrant dried lavender and a playful tufted leather porch swing. Inside, the suites are outfitted with one-of-a-kind furnishings to evoke a true sense of warmth and comfort. From rich, deep velvet sofas and sleek suede lounges to a four-poster bed outfitted with sumptuous Loro Piana bedding and Frette linens, each suite feels like a private guest house at an impeccably designed home. The luxurious experience is completed by extravagant spa-inspired bathrooms with Bottega Veneta bath amenities and state-of-the-art technology, including personal iPads that control everything from temperature to light settings and allow guests to order room service with the swipe of their finger.

“This new phase of Oceana is a unique, standalone offering unlike any other found in Santa Monica,” said Alex Landy, Senior Vice President of JRK Property Holdings, Inc. “We combined all the comforts of a private beach home with the convenience of a five-star hotel to curate an unmatched experience with truly unforgettable service. Guests will arrive and immediately feel relieved as they escape the hustle and bustle of downtown Santa Monica, and the private experience will follow throughout their stay. It’s inviting, comfortable and staying true to the lifestyle we’ve come to love from the neighbourhood.”

Image credit: Lisa Romerein.

Designer Busta oversaw the hotel’s design, ensuring no detail was overlooked. Her modern design captivates the senses across every inch of the coastal home-away-from-home, and includes soothing colour palettes, gold metal accents, bold geometric patterns and extensive wood finishes. The design is punctuated by a beautiful collection of original works by local L.A. artists and international photographers.

Throughout their stay, guests are invited to enjoy a bespoke culinary experience curated by Santa Monica restaurateur Raphael Lunetta. Open exclusively for hotel guests, the dining spaces feature Lunetta’s signature take on seasonal Californian cuisine rooted in hyper-local ingredients from the world-famous Santa Monica Farmers Market. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are prepared to guest specifications and can be served in the beautifully designed Dining Room or at the poolside veranda.

Surrounded by lush greenery and blooms from landscape architecture firm Perry Guillot of the Hamptons, the extraordinary veranda offers a comforting yet stylish daytime lounge for sunbathing, and a posh evening escape for al fresco dining. The expansive, freeform pool, situated at the heart of the property, is lined with rich olive trees and oversized daybeds. Guests who want to truly take in their seaside surroundings, can head upstairs to the picturesque third floor terrace for a sunset cocktail by the outdoor fireplace.

Beyond the courtyard, is the all-new fitness studio equipped with state-of-the-art machines from Peloton and Technogym. The adjacent spa treatment room offers a full-service spa menu.

Oceana provides guests their own private sanctuary; secluded from the outside world yet still within close proximity to the liveliness of Santa Monica, Malibu, Beverly Hills and Venice Beach. Residents are granted the solitude they desire, but also given a sense of belonging where true refined elegance and brilliantly executed designs embody a whole new level of intimacy. The tranquility and peace make it feel not like a hotel at all, but a home that caters to a guest’s every need. The calm is found at every turn, offering virtual silence throughout – aside for maybe the sounds of crashing waves in the distance.

Main image credit: Lisa Romerein

New geometric designs for Skopos base-cloths

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
New geometric designs for Skopos base-cloths

Playful compositions of triangles, squares, circles and diamonds come together in elegant formations to create the new Skopos Oslo collection

Skopos’ latest collection, Oslo, features a creative mix of muted cool Nordic tones and playful bright colours and geometric shapes. Together with a horizontal organic stripe, the designs are a mix of neat graphic outlines and softer, natural forms, tuning into the ongoing trend for geometrics in interiors.

As with all of the Skopos print collections, Oslo is available on more than 14 base-cloths, including bedding, drape and upholstery qualities, a mix of velvets, linen-look and waterproof fabrics and with the new addition of an exquisite blackout velvet drape, there is a solution for all contract environments. All meeting the FR requirements for contract interiors, Oslo print provides a perfect solution for hospitality and leisure soft furnishings. Alongside Oslo, Skopos is also introducing a new wide width, wool-look fabric, called Farne. A simple textural washable plain, Farne is available for bedding, drape and cushions for a neat statement within contract interiors.

With almost 50 years’ specialist experience, Skopos provide high-quality flame retardant fabrics and soft furnishings to the contract market.

Defining the signature styles of many flagship hotels and cruise-liners, Skopos are dedicated to design, service and best performance. Its full service or fabric only option provides choice for the company’s customers, with expertise in design, make-up (curtains, cushions and bedding), fitting and installation. Its bespoke design and colour matching service provide the opportunity to create unique solutions.

Samples of both Oslo and Farne are available immediately.

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

Morgan’s Rakino wins Product of the Year at FX Awards 2019

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Morgan’s Rakino wins Product of the Year at FX Awards 2019

The award-winning furniture collection by Morgan was designed by Tim Rundle and was launched earlier this year at Clerkenwell Design Week…

Contract furniture brand Morgan has won Product of the Year at the 2019 FX Awards, which took place on November 27. Prior to Sleep & Eat where Morgan unveiled the Kaya collection, the British furniture brand launched Rakino, which juxtaposes soft sculpted upholstery with a strong, low line frame.

The family of lounge chairs and tables feature crisp timber detailing, emphasised by a clean linear structure.

Interviewed by Hotel Designs shortly after the collection dropped, Tim Rundle said about the collection: “The Rakino collection stands out due to its striking timber architectural frame, with a strong, square, clean aesthetic, combined with a soft sculpted and slim line upholstered shell that is held within the frame. The frame is very open and honest and is a reflection of Tim’s eye for detail and our passion for precision CNC manufacturing and a hand-crafted finish.”

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

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

Canopy by Hilton to arrive in Paris’ Latin Quarter

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Canopy by Hilton to arrive in Paris’ Latin Quarter

The 150-key Canopy by Hilton hotel will feature a vegetated facade with climbing plants and a garden on the ground floor, and is expected to open in 2022…

Canopy by Hilton, Hilton’s lifestyle hotel brand has announced the signing of a development agreement and a long-term lease between Novaxia Investissement and Dutch hotel operator Borealis Hotel Group for the 150-room Canopy by Hilton Paris Quartier Latin.

The hotel, which is expected to open at the end of summer 2022, will be located on rue Lacépède, near Place Monge, Jardin des Plantes and in the heart of the Latin Quarter one of Paris’ most diverse and culturally rich districts.

Canopy by Hilton Paris Quartier Latin will occupy a renovated, historical mansion with an Eiffel-style industrial roof and a new seven-floor building and will offer a range of features, including a restaurant, bar, a tearoom and a fitness centre.

Patrick Fitzgibbon, senior vice president, development, EMEA, Hilton, said: “With the first property opening near Trocadero in 2020, introducing the second Canopy by Hilton hotel to Paris, the first on the Left Bank, is a significant milestone in our French expansion plans. Already one of the world’s most-visited cities, Paris is enjoying a surge in tourism recording close to 40 million visitors in 2018, with demand set to increase. Canopy by Hilton Paris Quartier Latin creates the ultimate Parisian experience. It is perfect for exploring this charming neighbourhood, and its central location is ideal for those who want to search out Paris’ cultural sites, gastronomic adventures and all that this remarkable city of light has to offer.”

Nature will be anchored in the Canopy by Hilton Paris Quartier Latin with an ambitious landscaping component: a vegetated facade with climbing plants, a garden on the ground floor and green terraces. The project is part of a BREEAM certification process.

The rehabilitation of this obsolete complex began in September 2019 and is expected to finish in summer 2022. The new hotel will be inspired by the numerous tourist sites that surround the project and will offer top-of-the-range services for international tourists as well as local neighbours.

“This project highlights Novaxia Investissement’s ability to offer to its clients complex and outstanding operations, usually led by institutional investors,” said David Seksig, deputy director, Novaxia Investissement. The development is the eighth hotel project developed by the funds managed by Novaxia Investissement and reflects the expertise of the teams in this asset class. Novaxia Investissement has been advised by the Avocats White & Case law firm.

Lodewijk van der Meulen, co-founder of Borealis Hotel Group added, “We are very excited to expand our foothold in the Parisian region to three hotels. We see the Canopy by Hilton brand as the perfect addition to Paris’ city centre and our portfolio. Borealis and Hilton have been working on numerous developments across Europe together and we very much value the strong and trusted partnership we have formed over the years.”

Main image credit: Canopy by Hilton

The Kixby Hotel opens in New York

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
The Kixby Hotel opens in New York

Rockwell Group completes The Kixby Hotel, which is located in a storied Beaux-arts building in Herald Square, New York…

Rich in history, pulsing with life, and constantly changing, Herald Square feels like the true crossroads of Manhattan — a neighborhood whose often-overlooked architectural splendor reflects its Gilded Age roots.

Now, with the rebirth of one of its storied buildings, Herald Square is about to get the hotel it deserves.

Kixby reclaims the stunning 1901 building that housed a legendary luxury hotel, the Collingwood, a century ago. With public spaces designed by Rockwell Group, Kixby will bring sophistication, history, and wit to Herald Square — along with a sense of intimacy, warmth, and the personal attention of a true boutique hotel.

“Herald Square has always been the heart of New York, and, at this time of resurgence, Kixby will give guests a prime place to experience it,” said co-owner and managing partner Justin Arest, whose family has operated a hotel on the site since 1995. “The area, known to many as being home to the Macy’s flagship and once to the New York Herald, has been reinventing itself over the past two decades.” It has become the ideal mix of history, energy and personality, drawing the best traits from neighboring NoMad and Times Square. Kixby will reintroduce many to the neighborhood that, in the early 1900s, was a stone’s throw to the flagships of Tiffany & Co., B. Altman & Co., and Gimbels.” Today, Kixby’s location puts the Empire State Building, shopping, Broadway theaters, the High Line, Grand Central Station, Bryant Park, Hudson Yards and many other attractions within a walk or easy commute.

Black Tap, whose prize-winning burgers and CrazyShake milkshakes have earned raves worldwide, opened the brand’s first flagship location inside Kixby, with their signature NYC-inspired dining room where graffiti and neon meet black and white tiles and exposed brick. Like Kixby, Black Tap offers a smart spin on tradition with inspiration from classic burger joints and an old-school New York vibe. Designed by Rockwell Group, the restaurant features a stand-alone CrazyShake Bar, an installation made of 4,000 custom-designed cassette tapes, and an oversized neon boombox.

On the hotel’s roof with the Empire State Building as its backyard Julie Mulligan and Chris Barish from the Black Tap team partnered with Kixby on The Lookup, a rooftop bar with smart bar bites and cocktails curated by mixologist Pamela Wiznitzer, formerly of the Seamstress and the Dead Rabbit. Both the restaurant and the rooftop lounge mix a playful edge with sophisticated, old-world style that syncs perfectly with Kixby’s spirit.

A green wall with a neon sign greets guests in The Lookup. The three-season space has a summery, crisp, and clean aesthetic, with black and white elements that draw the spirit of Black Tap up to the roof. Tabletops and furniture in bright colors give the space a playful feeling.

Image credit: The Kixby Hotel

In its previous life as the Hotel Metro, the hotel earned a loyal repeat clientele from around the world. Many on the hotel’s team, including its general manager, head of housekeeping and director of sales, have been with the property for 25 years and will stay to welcome guests at Kixby. Arest’s partners in Kixby are Ira Drukier and Richard Born of the renowned BD Hotels, which owns some of New York’s most stylish lodgings.

A namesake character will also animate Kixby. Mr. Kixby is a compilation of the known and imagined characters that have lent themselves to Kixby’s history. He was a resident of the original Collingwood and tended bar there in the early 20th Century. Local lore paints English-born Mr. Kixby as a fabulous raconteur, pioneering artist, and inventive mixologist — a dapper, whimsical, slightly rakish presence.

Kixby takes inspiration from his name and his spirit; its understated luxury blends Beaux-Arts splendor with clean, modern style that embraces and energizes guests from the minute they enter.

Kixby’s fresh, forward-looking spin on history starts in its lobby. Working with Arest, Rockwell Group crafted an atmosphere that has a modernised members-only club feel, with a mix of classic elements, such as rich hardwood floors and fluted dark wood paneling. Modern takes on traditional furniture in plush fabrics like velvet and leather nod to the hotel’s past. A feature wall comprised of bronze screens a latticed work of art inspired by New York’s classic metal elevator gates illuminates the room.

“Rockwell Group had an amazing opportunity to create a collection of spaces that brings a new social experience to the hotel,” says Shawn Sullivan, Partner, Rockwell Group. “Juxtaposing modern and traditional, our design concept embraces the building’s history while adding a contemporary layer that feels vibrant and relevant today.”

Image credit: The Kixby Hotel

Guests are greeted at a front reception desk crafted with warm woods and reflective slatted metal. Kixby associates will be ready with iPads to offer swift check-ins and answer any guest questions. Walking through the lobby, past a curated “book cabinet featuring New York-themed books, leads to the hotel’s cocktail lounge, Lot 15, which is also operated by the Black Tap team, and offers guests and locals a destination to experience old-New York mixed with elegant yet approachable cocktails and delicious fare. Executive Chef Stephen Parker curated a menu that evokes nostalgia through classic dishes with modern-day twists, such as a bite-sized Hot Honey Crispy Chicken Skins and Wagyu Steak Sandwich, as well as a Sweet Tooth section. The cocktail menu by Mixologist Cameron Shaw showcases familiar yet elevated options like a vegan Whiskey Sour with bonded bourbon and aquafaba, and the Airmail, a Daiquiri and French 75 lovechild with honey.

Lot 15 has a gritty, sophisticated feeling, with a dark palette that features gold accents, exposed brick and charred black wood walls in a chevron pattern. With black leather banquettes, high-top seating, custom drapery, art installations by contemporary muralist Fumero, and even its own DJ booth, the space is a destination in itself unlike anything else in the neighborhood.

Guestrooms feature a stylish palette of periwinkle blue and charcoal gray. For the hotel’s clean-lined furniture, Arest sought out a unique source: Amish and Mennonite craftspeople in Ohio, who worked with him to customize the Kixby’s solid oak furniture. The cleverly designed dressers conceal a hotel safe and a mini-fridge. Side tables, next to the hotel’s plush beds outfitted in MATOUK linens, feature two electrical outlets and two USB ports each — a thoughtful detail that’s often overlooked in some hotels. Even the numbers on each room have been hand-selected by Arest; crafted in solid brass, they also capture the hotel’s fusion of classic and modern. Bright, elegant marbled bathrooms feature Brizo fixtures with rain shower heads and hand showers, as well as lighted mirrors, bath amenities by New York-based apothecary MALIN + GOETZ and luxurious bathrobes made by Frette.

Main image credit: The Kixby Hotel

Brintons unveils latest in-house design collection, The Parlour

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Brintons unveils latest in-house design collection, The Parlour

Britons has announced its latest axminster design collection inspired by collaboration and communal creative spaces, The Parlor.

Born from a drawing game Surrealist artists played to pass time and unlock the true creative essence of the unconscious, The Parloris a collection of one of a kind axminster designs with surprising linear transitions.

Glowing neon hues contrast with moody velvet textures calling us to our local watering holes and reminding us of the intimate social spaces occupied by literature + art’s greats.Inspired by a space defined by community, The Parlorhinges on successful collaboration and exists as a conduit for unapologetic creation.

Woven in Brintons signature 80 per cent wool, 20 per cent nylon yarn blend, designs from the collection will be fully customisable to suit the parameters of any flooring project. Following the rules of an age-old artist’s game called the Exquisite Corpse, Brintons designers joined forces to produce unique hand drawn works of art. Each designer was tasked with completing a quarter of a drawing and shipping it to the next player in the game.

Las Vegas based Brintons designer, Sam Hoeffer comments on the process: “It was reminiscent of art projects we used to do in college which served as a nostalgic reminder that no matter wherewe are in our creative careers, we’re all still students of art.”

Image credit: Brintons

The next player is tasked with continuing the previous designer’s work by only exposing a half inch of the drawing. The game leaves us with unexpected transitions between each drawing as the result of creatives expressing themselves while also leaning into collaboration. Likening the development process behind The Parlorto a manufacturer’s rolein the interior design industry, Hoeffer explains: “Sometimes we forget that our carpet is a humblecomponent of a larger project.It is important to be mindful of how the carpet has to relate to the architecture,light fixtures, furniture, fabrics, etc. It’s like the Exquisite Corpse idea in that we arecreating one smaller piece among other unknown smaller pieces. All ofthose things come together as one whole cohesiveentity.”

The inky illustrations traveled across North and South America, finally making their way back to the home office in Atlanta, GA where they were photographed. The digital files were then distributed to different groups of designers to be translated into woven axminster carpet.

Four symbiotic drawings and twelve one of a kind woven axminster carpets are the collateral of a collaborative exercise leaving us to question the rules of line + colour.

Committed to the concept of thinking globally and acting locally, Brintons has design studios, offices and agents in all of the major markets around the world.Brintons Carpets product portfolio includes premium woven axminster and wilton broadloom carpets, carpet tiles, machine-made rugs and hand-tufted rugs. The company operates wholly owned ISO 14001 accredited facilities.

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

Main image credit: Brintons

Kimpton Hotels to make its Spanish debut in early 2020

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Kimpton Hotels to make its Spanish debut in early 2020

Kimpton Vividora in Barcelona will shelter bold Barcelona-inspired design and the brand’s signature heartfelt hospitality, along with creative Mediterranean dining and a rooftop pool…

Located in Barcelona’s famous Gothic Quarter, with 156 beautifully appointed guest rooms and three distinct restaurants and bars, Kimpton Vividora Hotel is poised to be the most exciting hotel opening in Barcelona in 2020.

Kimpton Vividora Hotel’s design has been overseen, in part, by Henry Reeve, Head of Interior Design at IHG and who won Highly Commended in the Interior Designer of the Year category at The Brit List Awards last week. The interiors in the hotel are inspired by the textures, colours and historic details of the city. Kimpton’s Creative Director and Global SVP of Design, Ave Bradley, collaborated with local design agency El Equipo Creativo to infuse all spaces with an authentic Barcelona feel, contemporary details and local artwork.

Perched one floor above the lively streets, Fauna restaurant will welcome guests into a warm space reminiscent of an elegant Barcelonian home. Chef Ferran López’s menu is rooted in Mediterranean flavours and family recipes with a creative, Kimpton twist.

On the hotel’s ground floor, floor to ceiling windows offer a look at Cafè Got which will offer locally-roasted artisan coffee and light bites by day, and natural wines, artisanal vermouth and cocktails by night.

The rooftop bar, Terraza de Vivi, will feature a beautiful pool with sun loungers, elegant lighting, pergolas and lush greenery. The rooftop bar offers clever cocktails paired with creative small plates and expansive views of the city centre.

Mike Robinson, a native of Washington, D.C. has been appointed General Manager of the first Kimpton property in Spain. Mike will oversee the opening of the 156-room hotel, including three restaurant and bar outlets.

“We are very excited to bring Kimpton to Spain for the first time. From the thriving diversity and inclusiveness, to the passion for gastronomy and the arts, we couldn’t think of a more fitting first city than Barcelona. We are honoured to be Gothic Quarter’s new neighbour and member of the community, as well as becoming Barcelona’s best loved hotel,” said Mike Robinson, General Manager, Kimpton Vividora Hotel.

Kimpton spaces and experiences centre on its guests, offering inspiring design that evokes curiosity, to forward-thinking flavours that feed the soul. Every detail is thoughtfully curated and artfully delivered, so that guest experiences remain meaningful, unscripted and luxurious without the fuss.

Main image credit: IHG/Kimpton

IN PICTURES: Inside Hotel Designs’ The Brit List Awards 2019

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
IN PICTURES: Inside Hotel Designs’ The Brit List Awards 2019

Now in its hat trick year, The Brit List Awards 2019 took place on November 21 to shelter the industry’s finest at Patch East London. Hotel Designs’ annual awards ceremony, hosted by editor Hamish Kilburn, welcomed leading interior designers, architects, hoteliers, developers and suppliers to celebrate Britain’s unique position on the international hotel design and hospitality scene.

Here are the official images of the night, capturing the buzz inside the sold-out awards ceremony.

Official video interviews with the winners of The Brit List Awards 2019 will be available shortly, courtesy of SYS Visual.

Partners include:

Event Partner: Hamilton Litestat

Event Partner: Hansgrohe

Event Partner: Aqualisa

2019 Industry Partner: BIID

Videography Partner: SYS Visual

New hotel opens to put Germany’s answer to the Hamptons firmly on the map

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
New hotel opens to put Germany’s answer to the Hamptons firmly on the map

Holistic architect and designer Yasmine Mahmoudieh has injected new life into a building in Usedom, Germany, by completing the restored Strandhotel Atlantic & Villa Meeresstrand. Editor Hamish Kilburn writes…

Germany is not known for its islands, nor is it famous for its sugar-white sandy beaches.

However, on the northern tip of the country sits the island of Usedom. The coastal escape is blessed with untouched coastline, a royal history and recently a new boutique design-led all-suite hotel.

As the modern traveller seeks adventure to untapped new locations, the island’s secret has been unveiled, drawing in more crowds than ever before. The increase in visitors has been the driving influence to restore a building on the Bansin stretch to become a luxury boutique hotel, known today as Villa Meeresstrand.

Barely adrift on the Baltic Sea, where Germany meets Poland, Usedom stretches about 30 miles from end to end and has been a popular summer resort since the late 19th century. Nicknamed Berlin’s Bathtub, its connection with Germany’s capital is as legendary as that of Brighton to London, and the Hamptons to New York City.

Yasmine Mahmoudieh, a well known designer on the international hotel design scene, was tasked to work on the project that became a labour of love following extensive research. The designer and architect delved into the lives of people of its past to add just the right amount of sense of place, while merge the impressive history between the current and modern time. “I took portraits of famous writers such as Maxim Gorky and Leo Tolstoi and imprinted them in a pixel like fashion on wallpaper in the rooms and their positive quotes are printed on suspended ceilings above the hotel beds.” The result of this adds a deeper nod to the building – and island’s – past becoming, which has become the motif of the overall design concept.

In order to mindfully design areas to retain the location’s charm, while also blending in one-off experiences, Mahmoudieh has played on more than just the sense of two-dimensional sight to explain the building’s past. “Once you enter the hotel there is a projection of a video artist,” she says, “commissioned to tell the story about the rich past and this is projected against a three dimensional entrance wall, that distorts the viewing and melts past and present once more.”

Subtle hints of bringing nature indoors run throughout the hotel. For example, the lighting above the bar is imitating the seagulls seen all over outside which are part of the natural landscape to be found everywhere on the island.

Meanwhile, a three dimensional wall of bottles from the French company Elitis defines the fine dining area and seating benches are diving the restaurant between the a la caret and general restaurant.

The lounge area, which also includes a magnitude of books from other celebrated Russian writers, also picks up on the spectacular sunsets outside, by a touch of violet to be found in fabrics, melted with the rather natural colour scheme that depicts all hues directly from nature.

Going forward, the hotel owner, which currently owns 16 hotels on this island, in reaction to the crisp design scheme. “We are going to redesign three more hotel buildings for the same owner and like to give this area a sense of a new identity that will attract once more an international crowd of hotel guests,” explains Mahmoudieh.

Villa Meeresstrand is located on the beach promenade, and is regarded among those who stay there as ‘a real gem on the Baltic Sea’.

Main image credit: Strandhotel Atlantic & Villa Meeresstrand/Yasmine Mahmoudieh

Behind Crosswater’s colourful AW/19 message

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Behind Crosswater’s colourful AW/19 message

As the headline partner for The Brit List Awards 2019, Crosswater has a pretty UNIQUE message when it comes to colour in the bathroom…

Bathroom manufacturer Crosswater’s high-quality signature finishes and textures enable hotels to express their own brand through their bathroom designs. Combined with lighting and interior design elements, each bathroom can be created to perfectly suit the personality of the hotel, often without the need to change existing sanitaryware.

I am. Indulgent

Combining exceptional manufacturing with contemporary design, Crosswater’s collection of high-quality signature finishes and textures presents an extensive range that can be used to design an indulgent, luxurious bathroom.

Bringing together a collection of products that is both raw and refined, Crosswater provides hotels with the opportunity to create a luxury, personal spa environment, with exquisite detailing, finishes and feature lighting. This opulent bathroom space offers guests a place to escape and unwind; a place to feel rejuvenated and inspired.

Utilising a combination of darker tones and industrial details, the final scheme is edgy and versatile, on-trend and desirable. Black marble floors are paired with wood surfaces, and dark tones are complemented by natural accents throughout the bathroom. Pops of colours are brought in with plants and brass accessories.

Paying homage to the materials, colour schemes and accents used in older industrial interior designs also bring a taste of indulgence into the bathroom. Clean lines, metallic shades and eye-catching pieces are the finishing touches to create a minimal feel that has maximum impact.

Crosswater offers a range of darker, more industrial style products to complete an indulgent bathroom scheme.

I am. Divine

Bringing together a collection of products that integrates the traditional with the modern, Crosswater’s range of high-quality signature finishes and textures presents an extensive range that can be used to create a divine, romantic bathroom scheme.

Using an enchanting combination of subtle pastel shades, neutral white and bold signature brassware, a romantic bathroom is expressed through soft colour, textures and patterns, along with tasteful accessorising – bringing to mind light evenings, pink flowers in bloom and sunshine through the windows.

Gold, rose and blush are used in harmony with distinctive terrazzo, herringbone and marble-effect surfaces, which complements metallic finishes and pops of pink and white. Soft furnishings, upholstered in materials such as green velvet with gold detailing, are used to bring additional colour into the room and accentuate natural elements such as leafy houseplants.

Make use of neutral white furniture for extra storage space, as well as creating a truly eye-catching finish when paired with gorgeous brushed brass or matt black brassware. Calming, elegant and surprisingly versatile, this overall finish will bring warmth, glamour and elegance to the hotel – a statement bathroom that has maximum impact.

I am. Brave

Dare to be brave with the ultimate in contemporary, bold bathroom design from Crosswater. Utilising a mixture of deep colours, bright patterns and retro styling with daring brassware finishes, a bold bathroom expresses personality through colour, texture and pattern.

The bathroom scheme is brought to life with a bold botanical print and monochrome pattern tiled floor. The brushed nickel brassware stands out against the dark wallpaper and complements the stylish marble gallery basin. The grey furniture provides practical storage while also being a neutral, subtle grounding feature within this bathroom, as is the white wall hung WC. The entire style is finished with a stunning illuminated mirror and dramatic pendant lighting to make a real style statement.

Other ways of introducing this bold aesthetic into a bathroom design can include featuring eye-catching accessories, such as towel warmers and green plants.

By also incorporating a statement patterned wallpaper, bold colours and darker tones, any hotek is able to achieve a bold bathroom scheme. The overall finish is one that is creative, unique and playful – a statement room that has maximum impact.

I Am. Mindful

Bringing together a collection of products that creates a natural, ethical and organic environment, we offer products for a hotel bathroom that replicates a bright, light spa, with a neutral colour palette and natural wood tones. This relaxing bathroom is a place to breathe, meditate and let the day’s worries go.

Utilising clean, simple lines, the mindful hotel’s bathroom is an uncluttered space in which to think clearly and promote wellbeing. Neutral tiled floors are paired with wood surfaces, statement pendant lighting and brass overtones. Pops of greenery are brought into the scheme with plants, wall art and botanical touches.

Crosswater offers a range of light, modern products and furniture to complete a mindful bathroom scheme for hotels.

GROHE’s answer to the digital revolution of the modern shower

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
GROHE’s answer to the digital revolution of the modern shower

GROHE launches Rainshower SmartConnect 310 head shower, combining tech and wellness to create its answer to meaningful bathroom design… 

Digitalisation and wellness-inspired spaces are two mega-trends that are changing the way we perceive bathroom design. The two may seemingly juxtapose one another but with the Rainshower SmartConnect 310 head shower, GROHE has found a way to merge the two to create easily accessible, personalised showering that can be tailored to each individual user.

Thanks to its flexible and accessible positioning, the wireless control enables all users to conveniently select different spray patterns, choosing the spray that will best suit their mood. Users can choose from the ActiveRain spray which is a powerful jet perfect for rinsing away shampoo, loosening tense muscles or for a much-needed wake up call on an early morning; and PureRain which delivers larger, softer droplets for a more luxurious, relaxing shower experience. Each spray can be activated by pushing the relevant pictograph on the control, with a third icon allowing you to combine both sprays at once.

What makes the system unique is its compatibility to work alongside existing shower thermostats without the need for complete refurbishment of the shower space. Installation is quick and simple as the shower head can easily be mounted on existing shower extension arms. Thanks to its wirelessconnection which doesn’t require any behind-the-wall installation, the Rainshower SmartConnect 310 is a cost-effective and simple upgrade that will bring enhanced shower enjoyment using smart, forward-thinking design.

GROHE Rainshower SmartConnect 310 has already received a number of highly coveted design accolades since it was first showcased at the ISH show earlier this year. These include Winner of the Red Dot Award for Product Design 2019, the Innovative Architecture – Best of Best award at Iconic Awards 2019 and winner at the iF Awards 2019.

Main image credit: GROHE

In Conversation With: Marcel Wanders – “bathroom design can be poetry”

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
In Conversation With: Marcel Wanders – “bathroom design can be poetry”

Ahead of Sleep & Eat 2019, editor Hamish Kilburn speaks to acclaimed designer Marcel Wanders to understand how he hopes his new collection and collaboration with bathroom manufacturer Laufen will create long-lasting poetry in the modern bathroom…

Designing interiors and designing an interior design product are two very distant things that should not be confused with the other. They both require two separate methods, and most of the time, two separate designers.

For an individual to be able to effortlessly switch between the two disciplines shows great versatility, creativity and passion. Combine these three elements together and you have something close to Marcel Wanders’ drive, determination and dedication when it comes to creating timeless interiors. “Designing a product is much like creating a new word in an empty sentence,” Wanders explains. “Depending on how the words are curated will determine the dynamics of the sentence, and in effect, the quality of the poem it becomes. I love seeing what sentences and poems designers will create with my empty words.”

“I wanted The New Classic to break into a new territory, which I think makes it interesting.” – Marcel Wanders.

If Wanders’ latest collection was to be described in one word only, he would use simply the adjective of ‘contemporary’, which balances both sides of the coin when it comes to sensitively depicting the delicate, classic lines with modern architectural details that seems to be the DNA strand within all the pieces in Lauren’s The New Classic collection, which first previewed in Milan earlier this year. “I wanted The New Classic to break into a new territory, which I think makes it interesting,” Wanders explains.

The collection, which makes its UK debut at Sleep & Eat 2019, is complete with washstands, countertop and vanity washbasins, WCs, faucets, bathtubs, showers and furniture to match, and arrives on UK soil after a healthy amount of anticipation in the build-up to the event, making it one of the most exciting product launches of this year’s two-day show.

“The idea is not about throwing away the past,” adds Wanders. “Instead, it is about trying to blend the past into the now and the future. I started with the concept of a table you would find in your Grandma’s home, for example, and used that as a strong metaphor to create the structure of the range,” explains Wanders. “I then added some soft, elegant shaping and the whole collection started to take form.

“Like all architectural fittings, The New Classic had to feel timeless and designed with purpose. I kept imagining these pieces in a house that’s just been sold. I wanted the new owners to feel as if they didn’t need to change the fittings, because they become the foundation of its design. Bathrooms are not meant to feel disposable or stuck in the past. The durability of the materials, therefore, was paramount.”

Originally, Wanders had designed this collection to be made from ceramic, but Laufen’s unique SaphirKeramik gave the design – and its creative process – unmatched strength. “SaphirKeramik is differnet because it allows you as a designer to create thinner products that don’t loose their strength,” says the designer. “Considering the design concept was to create elegant pieces, it was the perfect material.”

The major challenge when designing the new iconic statements was to ensure that the idea and design approach was also functional. “We are talking about minuscule changes that can totally change the way in which the product performs,” adds Wanders. “For me, this area of product design is interesting as well as complicated – and it takes time to perfect.”

QUICK-FIRE ROUND

Hamish Kilburn: If The New Classic was a music artist, who would it be?
Marcel Wanders: Puccini, because I think opera can also be contemporary.

HK: What item can you not design with?
MW: Honestly, I can design without anything. It is all in my mind.

HK: What would you say has been the most bizzare collaboration you have worked on?
MW: Antiques Capellini, because I don’t think anyone was expecting something so bold.

HK: Which bathroom trend to you hope will never return?
MW: Trends in general!

HK: What is the secret to a successful collaboration?
MW: Mutual respect.

For a designer who is well-known for entering meaningful collaborations, I am intrigued to know more about what makes this particular project special and memorable among the more than 1,500 other projects to his name. “I love to work,” Wanders projects. “It’s been the first time we have done a serious project of scale in the bathroom. I am so excited to see my designs injected into projects around the world.”

In regards to the humble designer behind Lauren’s The New Classic, I believe this collection has the narrative and strength to win the hearts of designers and specifiers and to become the great bathroom love story sheltered in many hotel projects in all corners of the globe, that we, as industry, will reflect on decades from now as a significant moment in bathroom design.

Laufen, which will be showcasing The New Classic collection on stand L10 at Sleep & Eat, is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email  Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: Marcel Wanders

CASE STUDY: How YOTEL utilised space in design and hospitality

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
CASE STUDY: How YOTEL utilised space in design and hospitality

In the wake of a plethora of announcements regarding hotel openings to expand the YOTEL portfolio, editor Hamish Kilburn sat down with the hotel brand’s CEO, Hurbert Viriot, to understand more about the company’s ethos and methods to grow… 

It’s safe to say that the international hotel design and hospitality scene transformed dramatically in 2007 and 2008 – the exact cause of this is still up for discussion.

Undeniably, though, it was influenced by the financial crisis and driven largely by a change in behavior among frequent travellers, which resulted in the industry having to rethink its foundations.

One hotel group to react to this was YOTEL, which opened its debut property strategically within Gatwick Airport, the UK’s second busiest airport which last year recorded 46.1 million passengers pass through its terminal doors. “The original concept of YOTEL Air Gatwick was quickly followed by hotel openings in Heathrow and Amsterdam Schiphol,” said Hubert Viriot, CEO of YOTEL. “Essentially, it was in these three hotels where the business DNA was set.”

“Hotels that were built 10 years ago and beyond, they are very inefficient pieces of real estate.” – Hurbert Viriot, CEO, YOTEL.

Today, YOTEL is known globally for its comfortable and affordable hospitality offering; a modern hotel experience, it calls it, that shelters smart thinking, smart design and smart prices. The design concept is compact, and functional without changing lanes to look or feel budget. This design ethos of what the brand calls its cabins was led by the unique demand of a guest checking in to an airport or urban hotel. “Most people travel several times per year, and the average length of stay in our hotels is very short,” Viriot added. “They travel looking for an experience, and they are very well informed with access to smart phones etc. Their budget accommodation has reduced because people travel more often, and the structure of a ‘budget hotel’ is different. Formally, the bulk of your travel costs was transport and accommodation – and consumers would save a proportion of money left over for pleasure. That has changed, which is driving the industry to change with it.”

Image credit: YOTEL NYC

The launch of a fresh design hotel concept to cater for short-stay travellers looking a low-price point flipped the current hotel model on its head. “Hotels that were built 10 years ago and beyond, they are very inefficient pieces of real estate,” explains Viriot who is talking about large guestrooms and non-essential, low-income-generating retail and F&B areas. “Once we remove those areas and make the room or cabin design more compact without taking away the quality, then we are able to keep our room rates low.”

When it comes to the design details of any short-term hotel experience, the most important element to get right is bed. Inspired the lay-flat beds inside modern planes, YOTEL believed that including an adjustable smart bed, complete with cool action gel memory foam mattresses, was something its guests would appreciate.  “The beds and mattress meet our customer requirements,” said Viriot. “You can recline and adapt the bed to your liking, so we had to find a mattress that also adapted in this way, as well as regulating the temperature of the body to ensure for a good night’s sleep. Ultimately it [YOTEL] is about providing those essential luxuries.”

Image credit: YOTEL

Since the success of the modern airport hotels, the group has expanded into the hearts of cities, taking with it the compact design of guestrooms to ensure the room rates remain lower than competitors. But what is arguably more impressive is the group’s ability to design sustainable spaces, which is none more so apparent as it is inside the newly opened YOTEL Amsterdam Noord.

The brand’s first hotel in mainland Europe, YOTEL Amsterdam Noord is at the epicentre of the up-and-coming Buiksloterham neighbourhood, built on the sunny bank of the Tolhuis Canal. Home to start-ups and creative businesses, the area is also brimming with hip bars, experimental festivals and modern architecture, making it an ideal base for modern travellers.

As well as featuring the space-saving adjustable beds, the cabins are also equipped with refreshing amenities from Urban Skincare, rejuvenating rain showers, adjustable mood lighting, free super-fast WiFi, HD SMART TVs with Chromecast and much more.

At the centre of the action, guests will find KOMYUNITI, which is something new for the brand. The hotel’s relaxed all-day social space spills out on to an alfresco waterside deck. The light and airy restaurant and bar will offer a menu of small and large plates, sharing platters and snacks with ingredients sourced from local partners and coffee seasonally selected by speciality roaster, Workshop Coffee. An inviting place for guests and locals to both work and play, KOMYUNITI will also run a programme of neighbourhood events such as yoga and running clubs along with film screenings under the stars at its cosy outdoor cinema.

Developed by Being Development,and designed by Studioninedots, also based in Amsterdam Noord, the hotel also boasts top notch sustainability credentials. Benefitting from a unique water system which collects, stores, filters and recycles water, the hotel also utilises energy saving LED lighting and sensors to ensure nothing is kept running when not in use. Guests who arrive by electric car will also be able to charge their vehicles at one of the hotel’s 10 charging points.

Image credit: YOTEL

So, what’s next for the outward-looking brand? Well, there seems to be no end to YOTEL’s vision. Considering that aparthotel growth is currently outpacing hotel expansion, the hotel group has launched YOTEL PAD, it’s answer to combine the best of serviced appartments with the hotel experience, again limiting unnecessary cost for both operator and guest. It has taken its deisgn DNA to expand the process, injecting compact design, while utilising space.

The new concept has already been rolled out across North America and soon to enter on the European scene in Lake Geneva. “The Lake Geneva region is a natural location to introduce YOTELPAD into Europe,” explains Viriot. “Centrally located and concentrating an unusually high proportion of global organisations, the region is home to an exceptionally mobile, dynamic workforce and welcomes frequent international business travellers, visiting their headquarters or attending conferences at the UN or elsewhere.”

YOTEL currently operates seven airport hotels in London Gatwick, London Heathrow, Amsterdam Schiphol and Paris, Charles de Gaulle, Istanbul Airport (2), Singapore Changi and seven city centre hotels in New York, Boston, San Francisco, Washington D.C., Singapore, Edinburgh and Amsterdam. YOTEL is expanding rapidly with new projects under development globally, including Porto, Glasgow, London, Dubai, Geneva, Long Island City, Miami, Park City, Mammoth, Atlanta and Melbourne.

Main image credit: YOTEL

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

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

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

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

1 – So durable Bette has BBQs in its baths!

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

2 – Easy to clean

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

3 – Sustainable, natural and 100% recyclable

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

4 – Invisible, easy-clean anti-slip

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

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

Image credit: Bette

5 – Strong material meets strong design

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

6 – Tailored to you  

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

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

7 – A choice of 500 Colours

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

8 – A warm, comfortable bath

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

9 – Quiet with special sound-proofing

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

10 – UV Resistant

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

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

EXCLUSIVE ROUNDTABLE: Meaningfully differentiating luxury in hotel design

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DM: It’s always in the ceiling!

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

JL: For me, it’s artwork.

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

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

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

Hansgrohe announced as Event Partner for The Brit List 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#TheBritListAwards2019

Headline Partner: Crosswater

Event Partner: Hamilton Litestat

Event Partner: Aqualisa

Event Partner: Hansgrohe

2019 Industry Partner: BIID

Videography Partner: SYS Visual

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

Main image credit: Hansgrohe/AXOR Edge

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Main image credit: Morgan

Aqualisa confirmed as Event Partner for The Brit List 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#TheBritListAwards2019

Headline Partner: Crosswater

Event Partner: Hamilton Litestat

Event Partner: Aqualisa

2019 Industry Partner: BIID

Videography Partner: SYS Visual

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

Main image credit: Aqualisa

Sustainable bamboo signage from Signbox

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Sustainable bamboo signage from Signbox

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

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

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

There are two product choices:

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

Hybrid sets the scene, effortlessly

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

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

If you need help with artwork please contact Signbox.

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

MINIVIEW: Balancing heritage and playful design inside Maximilian Hotel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image credit: Matthias Aschauer

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

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

Main image credit: Matthias Aschauer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Main image credit: twenty2degrees/Sleep & Eat 2019

Manchester’s Hotel Brooklyn to open in February 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image credit: Bespoke Hotels/Hotel Brooklyn

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

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

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

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

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

Image credit: Bespoke Hotels/Hotel Brooklyn

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

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

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

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

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

Image credit: Bespoke Hotels/Hotel Brooklyn

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

Main image credit: Bespoke Hotels/Hotel Brooklyn

FIRST LOOK: Inside Riggs Washington D.C., a new level of unrivalled luxury

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
FIRST LOOK: Inside Riggs Washington D.C., a new level of unrivalled luxury

Ahead of the highly anticipated opening of the 181-key luxury hotel in Washington D.C., Hotel Designs takes a closer look inside…

Lore Group, the international hospitality company behind renowned hotels, such as Sea Containers London and Pulitzer Amsterdam, has released model images of Riggs Washington D.C.. The new luxury hotel is the latest hotel development to hit the headlines, and is the brainchild of The Brit List 2019 judge Jacu Strauss, designer, architect and Lore Group’s creative director.

In concepting and designing the property, Strauss, invoked the spirit of the former bank while preserving and restoring much of the property’s original design features to reimagine the storied building for the modern traveller. The 181-room property features playful nods to the building’s rich past, drawing on the parallels between the activities that take place in banks and at hotels to offer something personal and serendipitous around every corner.

The hotel’s development, which was first explored by Hotel Designs in a exclusive interview Strauss when he described the Washington D.C. as: “a city with a particularly strong and quirky evolving hotel and F&B market.” As such, the design of Riggs has paid particular attention to the public areas of the hotel, with the aim to add sensitive statement on the hotel design scene in the US capital. In the original barrel-valuted lobby and cafe, restored expansive ceilings, corinthian columns, classic stonework and custom furniture set the scene for an eye-catching arrival experience. A medallion of Juno Moneta, the Goddess of Money, presides over the room, while original features have been given a new lease of life and the grandeur of the building embraced to create a welcoming and inspired hotel that is deeply rooted in D.C. and its impressive history.

Image credit: Lore Group/Riggs Washington DC

Upstairs, the 181 guestrooms – including 15 bespoke-designed suites are full with flair and personality. The marble-patterned headboards and wall coverings by Vousta blend together to create a thoughtful motif in each room. The interiors, balanced to create a romantic, sophisticated and calming oasis, have been inspired no doubt by Strauss’ love for travel.

Image credit: Lore Group/Riggs Washington DC

Catering to Washington DC’s ever-evolving social scene, the hotel’s 2,500 soft rooftop will offer panoramic views over the capital, and also feature a number of meeting, dining and events space.

“Lore Group continues to explore ways to deliver inspired and approachable hospitality concepts to interesting places around the world,” said Billy Skelli-Cohen, group CEO. “With Riggs Washington D.C., we have created a hotel and F&B concepts that celebrate both the legacy of the building – and the history of the city – through unexpected details and a thoughtful approach to guest experience.”

The arrival of Riggs comes an interesting time for Penn Quarter, which has been rejuvenated over the last two years. The new hotel is expected to further raise the level of luxury, creativity and innovative hospitality in the area – and Hotel Designs is keen to follow its progress.

Main image credit: Lore Group/Riggs Washington DC

GREEN WELLNESS CONCEPT: The eco-friendly luxury spa

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

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

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

Biocompatibility

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

Sustainable Production

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

Renewable materials

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

Natural, reusable packaging

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

Image caption/credit: Sweet Sauna Vision/Starpool

Green Technology

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

Making a difference

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

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

Main image credit: Starpool

SO/ Paseo del Prado La Habana opens in Cuba

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

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

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

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

Image credit: Accor

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

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

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

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

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

Main image credit: Accor

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

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

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

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

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

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

modern and contemporary guest room in a hotel

Image credit: Swissotel

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

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

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

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

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

Main image credit: Swissotel

Viceroy Residences at Ombria Resort wins prestigious sustainability award

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Main image credit: Ombria Resort

Eco gem: The Tongsai Bay, Koh Samui

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Eco gem: The Tongsai Bay, Koh Samui

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image credit: Tongsai Bay

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

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

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

Main image credit: Tongsai Bay

Parkside unveils “most sustainable tile material on the market”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Main image credit: Parkside

JW Marriott Maldives officially opens

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JW Marriott Maldives officially opens

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

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

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

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

Image credit: Marriott International Hotel

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

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

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

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

Image credit: Marriott International Hotel

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

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

Main image credit: Marriott International Hotel

‘Must see’ brands at Sleep & Eat 2019

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

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

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

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

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

Dramatic view of the full The New Classic collection

Image credit: Laufen/Marcel Wanders

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

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

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

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

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

Muted coloured washbasins

Image credit: Bette

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

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

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

Image credit: Grohe

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Mandrake welcomes new artist in residence

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
The Mandrake welcomes new artist in residence

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MEININGER Hotels signs for second hotel in the UK

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
MEININGER Hotels signs for second hotel in the UK

The hotel group, MEININGER Hotels, will open 87-key hotel in Liverpool in 2021…

MEININGER Hotels, which currently operates 29 hybrid hotels in Europe, has signed a contract for a new hotel in Liverpool, reinforcing its aim for further growth in the UK. “Our new hotel property in Liverpool is an existing building that will be converted into a typical MEININGER Hotel according by spring 2021,” says Thomas Hagemann, COO of MEININGER Hotels.

“On a gross floor area of 36,049 sq ft (3,349 sq m), the result will be a state-of-the-art accommodation with 87 rooms and 277 beds spread over six floors, a lobby, reception, guest kitchen, bar, lounge, game zone as well as a breakfast area and luggage room.

“Our guests can also look forward to sufficient social spaces for shared community experiences as well as to our flexible room concept, which is unique in the industry. The MEININGER Hotel Liverpool will appeal to individual, group and business travellers with its room structure consisting of two, three and four-bed rooms.”

The MEININGER Hotel Liverpool will be located on Union Court, right in the heart of the city. Most of the main cultural, architectural and gastronomic attractions of the city are within walking distance of the hotel: from the UNESCO world heritage buildings around the Royal Albert Dock, Liverpool One, the Tate Gallery or the Cavern Club. Thanks to the excellent public transport links via the nearby train and bus stations, both Anfield and Goodison Park are also within easy reach for football fans.

This will be the MEININGER Group’s second hotel in the UK after the opening of the MEININGER Hotel London Hyde Park in 2006. A MEININGER Hotel Manchester is also underway and expected to open at the end of 2021.

Hannes Spanring, CEO of MEININGER Hotels commented: “Together with openings planned for this year in Paris and Lyon as well as next year in Washington D.C., which will mark the respective market entries in France and the U.S., Liverpool is an important milestone in MEININGER Hotels’ goal to operate approximately 34,000 beds internationally by 2024.”

“There is no doubt that the UK capital is very popular with visitors, and we had a 94% occupancy rate last year at our Hyde Park hotel,” he added. “But the UK is very rich in attractive destinations with enormous development potential elsewhere too. We are therefore delighted to have signed the contract for a new MEININGER Hotel in Liverpool.

“In Liverpool, the figures for overnight stays and hotel offerings have shown a sustained upward trend in recent years, and the forecasts are also very positive,” Spanring continues. “The current range of rooms consists mainly of four-star and budget hotels, hostels account for only one percent of all accommodation in Liverpool to date. Our goal is to become the UK market leader in this segment with our unique hybrid hotel concept, which combines the service and comfort of international budget hotels with the exceptional amenities and flexible room structure of hostels.”

Main image credit: Xtravagant

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image credit: Roca/Armani

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

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

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

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

Image credit: Cosmic

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

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

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

Main image credit: Roca Group

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

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

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

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

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

Image credit: Duravit

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

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

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

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

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

Main image credit: Duravit

Checking in to a urban landmark: The Edwardian Manchester

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Peter Street Kitchen

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

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

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

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

Image caption/credit: Peter Street Kitchen/Edwardian Hotels

The Library

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

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

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

Wellness and wellbeing

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

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

Image caption/credit: The spa/Edwardian Hotels

Guestrooms and suites

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

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

Image caption/credit: Modern guestroom/Edwardian Hotels

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

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

Main image credit: Edwardian Hotels

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Editor, Hotel Designs

Roca takes home gold at Designer Kitchen & Bathroom awards

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Main image credit: Roca

ARCHITECTURE GOALS: Architects unveil Japanese infused urban retreat in Sydney

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Main image credit: Crown Group

Kempinski opens second luxury hotel in the Americas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Main image credit: Kempinski Hotels

GROHE to showcase ground-breaking 3D printing concept at Sleep & Eat 2019

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
GROHE to showcase ground-breaking 3D printing concept at Sleep & Eat 2019

GROHE will return to the Sleep & Eat 2019 exhibition for its 14th year in November, delivering continued commitment to the hospitality sector with new product innovations…

GROHE will showcase its most eclectic and diverse product offering yet including the ICON 3D which has received international recognition since its launch in March 2019.

This will be the first time the 3D printing concept will be on display in the UK, having already received multiple award-nominations including the Blueprint Awards 2019, plus specification in exciting European projects such as the new Under restaurant in Norway.

With the launch of another ceramics collection earlier this year, GROHE will use Europe’s leadinghospitality design event to cement its status as a complete supplier of coordinated bathroom fittings offering a seamless and hassle-free way of working with specifiers in the hospitality sector.

“This is an exciting time for GROHE as we mark our evolution from a sanitaryware brand to an all- encompassing bathroom brand that can offer hoteliers and specifiers a complete and coordinated design from one single, world-recognised supplier,” said Raj Mistry, Marketing Director at GROHE UK. “Sleep & Eat is a key event for us and one which has helped us to build very strong industry contacts over the years. As its founding partner in 2005 we continue to push the boundaries of innovation at the show.”

GROHE will once again have fantastic placement and visibility within the exhibition space and its carefully curated stand can be found at M50. The stand will include new launches first seen at ISH 2019 earlier this year in Frankfurt, many of which will be showcased in the UK for the first time at the event.

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

Main image credit: GROHE

Aparthotel growth outpacing UK hotel market

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Aparthotel growth outpacing UK hotel market

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Main image credit: Accor/Adagio

Laufen expands BASE bathroom furniture collection

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Laufen expands BASE bathroom furniture collection

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Main image credit: Laufen

Coventry’s Telegraph Hotel unveils new interiors

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Main image credit: Telegraph Hotel

In Conversation With: Britain’s design legend Martin Brudnizki

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Quick-fire round

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Main image credit: Luca Marziale

Lighted mirror, mirror on the lobby wall

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

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

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

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

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

Image credit: Electric Mirror

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

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

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

Main image credit: Electric Mirror

Get creative with Creations from Wilton Carpets

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Get creative with Creations from Wilton Carpets

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

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

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

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

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

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

Main image credit: Wilton Carpets

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HK: What sets OPAL aside from other design awards? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HK: What trend do you hope never returns?

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

Main image credit: OPAL

Accessibility championed at inaugural Blue Badge Access Awards

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Main image credit: Blue Badge Access Awards

St. Regis Hotels debuts on the Grand Canal in Venice

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Main image credit: Marriott International/St Regis

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Caption: The Restaurant | Image credit: ACT Studios

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

Caption: The Monkey Room | Image credit: ACT Studios

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