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Luxury

VIP ARRIVALS: hotels opening in March 2020

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
VIP ARRIVALS: hotels opening in March 2020

With the aim to cut through the noise in a contemporary tone, Hotel Designs has the scoop on which statement and game-changing hotels are opening in March, 2020…

So far, 2020 is shaping up to be a year of expansion for many hotel brands, such as Hotel Indigo, Le Meridian, Radisson Hotels, Hoxton and ME.

And there’s more to come from both large brands and independents as Hotel Designs identifies some of the most iconic and statement-like hotels poised and ready, waiting in the wings, to open in March 2020.

Paragon 700 Boutique Hotel & Spa

Image credit: Paragon 700 Boutique Hotel & Spa

The elegantly restored red palace in the heart of Puglia’s White City, Ostuni, set to open on March 4 2020. This quintessentially Puglian property is being meticulously restored to boast 11 individually curated rooms and suites with a cosmopolitan soul. Standing in stark contrast to the whitewashed buildings of Ostuni, Paragon 700’s red brick façade cocoons a lush garden and swimming pool, a rare green space in the heart of the city, that will offer guests a tranquil and exclusive oasis, just a five-minute walk from Ostuni’s main square.

Canopy by Hilton Hotel – West Palm Beach

Exterior of the modern structure around other buildings

Image credit: RP Architects

Designed by RSP Architects, The Canopy West Palm Beach Downtown is architecturally artistic with a soaring glass atrium that is home to a 60-foot fibre optic art installation resembling the long roots of a banyan tree. Locals and visitors alike will relish the hotel’s prominent location, within minutes of three world-class cultural venues, waterfront recreation along the Intracoastal Waterway, all the attractions of Palm Beach and Clematis Street’s famous nightlife. Travellers in town for business are only a short walk away from the Palm Beach County Convention Centre. Among the 150-room hotel’s standout features will be two restaurants (including one on the 13th floor rooftop) plus complimentary evening tastings each night of local specialities. Handcrafted cocktails and stunning city and ocean views are on the menu on the roof at Treehouse, which will offer the most photo-worthy dining experience in West Palm Beach. The Canopy’s ultra-flexible, 3,060-square-foot ballroom will combine convenience and wow factor for meetings, weddings and other special events.  

Generator Washington D.C. 

bunk beds overlooking Washington D.C.

Image credit: Generator Hotels

Generator, the award-winning, design led, culturally affluent and socially-driven provider of accommodation, is set to open a new property in  Washington, D.C. in March. After successfully breaking into the American market with their inaugural U.S. property in Miami Beach in 2018,acclaimed hospitality group Generator recently announced plans for their second stateside venture in Washington, D.CSituated in the heart of the city between Adams Morgan and Dupont Circle, the property will boast the brand’s signature elements: ultra-comfortable private rooms and luxury suites, brilliantly designed shared accommodations, trendy F&B outlets and interactive programming, all at affordable price points in one of the hippest neighborhoods in the nation’s capital.  Generator is the perfect option for those who want to be in the heart of the city and its social scene, but don’t want to pay a fortune, with a unique mix of hip designed, super-friendly and centrally located spaces that ensure all types of travellers feel welcome.   

Maafushivaru, Maldives

Image of pontoon with restaurant and bar

Image credit: Maafushivaru, Maldives

Maafushivaru will be opening from March 1 after a total refurbishment of the island that includes five all-new villa categories (overwater and beach) as well as six new restaurants. 

The highlight of this stunning resort, is without a doubt, it’s castaway sister island, Lonubo, which is exclusively available for resort guests. Found just 500 metres from the shores of the hotel, Lonubo encourages guests to escape reality in an authentic Maldivian island experience. This miniature white sand isle is ringed by a vibrant coral reef with towering palm trees concealing a private beach villa for two.

The Hotel Seiryu Kyoto Kiyomizu

Rener of exterior of Japanese property

Image credit: Prince Hotels

The Hotel Seiryu Kyoto Kiyomizu will open in Kyoto, Japan’s former capital city. It is a conversion of the once Kyoto Kiyomizu Elementary School, which opened in 1869 and played a huge role in Kyoto’s history and traditions. The school will be reborn as a luxury hotel comprising of 48 guestrooms, restaurants, private baths and a gym. Guests of the hotel can explore the culture of Kyoto with shrines, temples and historic landmarks close by. The hotel will be a 10-minute walk from the Kiyomizu-dera Temple, which is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site ‘Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto’.

Eclipse at Half Moon, Jamaica

Exterior wide shot of the shore

Image credit: Half Moon

Half Moon will open the highly anticipated Eclipse at Half Moon, which is being described as a ‘new luxury resort experience’ on March 1. Framed by the glistening Caribbean Sea to the north and the lush hillsides to the south, Eclipse at Half Moon is one of the most luxurious additions to the Caribbean in a generation. The new property features 57 luxurious and spacious accommodations, two restaurants, three bars, a market café, Fern Tree ­a Salamander Spa, a sweeping infinity-edge swimming pool, and private beachfront with a natural swimming cove. 

Hotel Designs is currently researching and writing the next article in this series, which will identify the top hotels that are opening in April, 2020. If you are working on a hotel project, or know of a hotel that would be suitable for the feature, please email the editorial team

Main image credit: Paragon 700 Boutique Hotel & Spa

INDUSTRY INSIGHT: How guest behaviour is changing hotel design

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
INDUSTRY INSIGHT: How guest behaviour is changing hotel design

To understand how important it is to react to changing guest behaviour, Paisley Hansen identifies some of the drivers that have significantly evolved the hotel experience globally…

Hotel design has evolved in the past decade. With the rise of technology and growing social awareness, designs need to incorporate new ideas and reflect the growing aesthetic demands of both the traveller and the hotel operator.

Following on from identifying interior design trends that are expected to shine this year, as well as hospitality trends that are emerging, here are some of the consumer catalysts that are dictating the future design of hotels everywhere.

Making a Reservations – there’s an app for that

From apps to websites, technology is transforming how customers are selecting their hotels. To understand how this trend will develop, take the time to research which are the best apps are being used to book hotels. Customers are looking for the best deal as well as hotels that offer more than just a simple room. “Instagrammable” hotels pull in a younger crowd, while those offering seclusion and privacy attracts a different demographic. Paying attention to how your consumers are utilising technology and social media will help create an innovative hotel design to attract more guests.

Redesigned check-in areas

In 2020, lobby design trends are expected to evolve to reflect the changing needs of the customer. The traditional check-in counter is disappearing in favour of residential-like lounges that incorporate exciting interior design ideas to welcome guests. Hotels are including simplified check-in spaces that offer perks to add a touch of luxury to the process. The use of bold colours and patterns are creating a welcoming dichotomy of hues and textures. These changes all come in to create a check-in experience that relies less on the traditional service and more on creating a relaxed atmosphere as guests transition in and out of the hotel.

image of child reaching out to touch arm of robot

Image credit: YOTEL

Interacting in a personalised guestroom

Smart technology is taking its place in hotel rooms. From finding ways to incorporate streaming TV services to smart controls, hotels need to innovate how guests are interacting with their room environment. Hotels that fail to modernise will feel the impact in the years to come. Outside of technology, the most important part of any hotel room is the bed. If the history of beds tells us anything, comfort and design will win out in the years to come. Creating an environment where guests can enjoy control over their room while relaxing will lead the way in room layout. Comfort and innovation need to be at the forefront of any design plans.

modern guestroom

Image credit: Freepik

Creating unique, one-off experiences

Travellers are looking for new ways to capitalise on their time away with experiences. Hotels can embrace this trend by utilising personalised services with artificial intelligence to help build customer profiles allowing for a more personal touch to each interaction. In the more general sense, hotels can look into providing a local experience via a tour or introducing local culture to the hotel design and/or menu. By incorporating local themes into the hotel design, hotels can provide a regional experience for guests without ever leaving the hotel. Hotels cannot afford to miss out on capitalising on this trend.

Taking care of mother nature

By including local features into the design, hotels can take advantage of one of the biggest trends of the year: increased ecological awareness. The environmental impact of tourism is weighing heavily on the minds of tourists as they travel. Guests are moving away from wasteful spaces, and hotels that embrace green policies are seeing an influx of customers. Hotels are finding ways to reduce their carbon footprint. Customers can expect to see more of this as hotels reduce using single-use plastics and implement systems to decrease water usage across the board. Another aspect of this will be the incorporation of sustainable design, this includes sourcing local materials and putting energy management and reduced carbon emission plans in the design.

Main image credit: mrsiraphol/Freepik

CASE STUDY: Designing minimalist bathrooms for Nobis Hotel Copenhagen

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
CASE STUDY: Designing minimalist bathrooms for Nobis Hotel Copenhagen

The recently refurbished Nobis Hotel in central Copenhagen specified Unidrain in the luxurious bathrooms of its 100 hotel guestrooms…

When renovating Nobus Hotel in central Copenhagen, attention to the detail was imperative. Each of the bathrooms within the hotel have been created with Scandinavian elegance; as this chic minimalist design ethic helps to create an environment where there is a space to pamper oneself and relax whilst exuding a sense of wellbeing.

One of the main characteristics of each of the 100 bathrooms is a large bathtub surrounded by marble tiles. A large single mirror is positioned above the dark framed washing area and wash basin reflecting light back into the room. The shower cubicle maintains the minimalist feeling, as it is enclosed by a sleek sheet of glass. The water falls from the oversized shower head bouncing on the tiles beneath, before disappearing into the bespoke single drain.

At the architect’s request Unidrain created and supplied designer drains for the shower cubicles in the entire hotel. The drains for 80 bathrooms were fitted with Unidrain’s linear drains each with the customised solution option.

Here the classic steel Unidrain grating has been replaced with exactly the same marble as the rest of the bathroom, making the drain almost invisible to the eye. It is elements such as these Unidrain custom-designed solutions that make these stylish bathrooms completely unique.

At the Nobis Hotel, Unidrain worked in conjunction with its architectural advisor Dennis Bagge, to ensure that the clients every detail was met. For example twenty of the bathrooms in the hotel are particularly large and needed extra-long drains. This required a single drain to cover an expanse of more than two metres. Unidrain were able to create bespoke extra-long drains made to the client’s specific dimensions.

“When liaising with the architect on this project the bathroom solutions were easier to create. This was due to Unidrain’s reputation and ability to craft and install a single drain which would run from wall to wall covering a length of over two metres ” Unidrain Architectural Adviser Dennis Bagge.

These tailor-made solutions add the finishing touch and help to create the coveted wellness experience wanted in a bathroom today. This room has evolved more than any other in the home, from an outdoor WC, it transferred inside, initially as an enlarged broom cupboard, now it is no longer a room we have for practical reasons, but a space we want to spend time in to pamper and relax; be it in a home or a hotel.

Unidrain is a Hotel Designs’ Recommended Supplier. 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: Unidrain/Nobis Hotel Copenhagen

Inside the world’s first ‘super boutique’ hotel

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Inside the world’s first ‘super boutique’ hotel

The world-class design team of The Londoner ‘super boutique hotel’ consists of interior designers at Yabu Pushelberg, engineer experts at Arup Associates and artist Ian Monroe

After seven years and a £300 million investment, The Londoner, the world’s first super boutique hotel, will open its doors in June 2020.

The property will take centre stage on London’s Leicester Square and is the latest project by Edwardian Hotels London.

 The project is a feat of design, architecture and engineering that aligns with the vision of Edwardian Hotels London’s Founder and Chairman, Mr Jasminder Singh to create “a celebration of London; its history, aesthetic and people.”

Its 16 storeys will incorporate 350 guestrooms, suites and a tower penthouse with panoramic views, two private screening rooms, a mix of six concept eateries – including bars and a tavern, alfresco dining on the ground floor and a contemporary Japanese lounge bar with a rooftop terrace and fire pit – plus an expansive ballroom suited for any occasion, a variety of meeting spaces and a results-driven gym and spa.

Edwardian Hotels London’s Design Architect, Rob Steul and architectural firm Woods Bagot CEO, Nik Karalis collaborated to develop the architectural design concept fitting of its cornerstone position on Leicester Square, and a guest experience with a ‘West End Story’ narrative at its core. Interior designers Yabu Pushelberg, engineers Arup Associates and artist Ian Monroe round out the world-class design team.

“From inception, Edwardian Hotels London saw the building as more than a hotel and sought to create an ‘urban resort’ destination of the highest architectural quality,” said Steul. From the wellness space below, to an extraordinary rooftop terrace overlooking Trafalgar Square, we developed a central core of meeting, eating, lounging and event spaces running vertically through the building around which wrap the guestrooms.”

“It is essentially two buildings intertwined – with the interplay between them creating a dynamic guest experience. Working closely with City of Westminster planners, we carefully considered the urban context of the site and responded with a building which fits its context in both massing and materiality.”

Engineers Arup Associates provided expertise across 16 different disciplines, from mechanical, electrical and public health to fire, acoustics, vertical transportation, accessibility and façade engineering.

Image credit: Edwardian Hotels London

Due to urban planning height restrictions, the architects proposed a 30-metre subterranean series of spaces on six levels, creating the deepest habitable basement in London and among the deepest in the world – a factor that presented a number of architectural, structural and engineering challenges for the teams involved.

In order to reach down to the depths required, an excavator had to be specially designed and made by construction company McGee Group, who built the basement and building superstructure.

Portland stone predominates on the façade with a vertical pattern of punched bronze-framed windows trimmed in rich blue architectural faience tiles numbering over 15,000, which were both conceived and designed by artist Ian Monroe and individually hand-made by British company Darwen Terracotta. 

Each tile took traditional artisans up to six weeks to create, from the initial pour through to the final firing – and when in place, set at a specific angle, will reflect the natural light of the sky during the day and the dynamism of the area’s myriad of lights following nightfall.

A truly public work of art (a condition of the hotel’s planning approval) and Monroe’s first hotel project, the faience extends from the ground floor of The Londoner up and through to its roof.

Inside, a luxurious and contemporary experience crafted by world-renowned designers Yabu Pushelberg speaks to the backdrop and approximation of the city’s cinema district. Marrying charming wit with British sentiment, thoughtfully designed common areas, dining spaces and guest rooms enhance the motions of everyday life.

When talking about The Londoner’s guestrooms, George Yabu of Yabu Pushelberg said: “The Londoner was designed to play into the roots of Leicester Square as London’s historic theatre district. We created layers of programming up into the sky and deep into the earth that emphasise this extraverted, alluring, playful voice.

“Through subtle nuances, we gently infused this energy into the guestrooms because we wanted them to remain evident spaces for comfort and relaxation. Stylistically, we tapped into traditional British sensibility and a minimal, cohesive neutral palette.”

Ensuring sustainable luxury for future generations, The Londoner secured a £175 million Green Loan from HSBC UK, which will ensure it exceeds the BREEAM Excellent category in building environmental and sustainable performance.

The Londoner, a member of the prestigious Preferred Hotels & Resorts Legend Collection, is the latest project by Edwardian Hotels London, the privately-owned hotel group behind the development of The May Fair Hotel, the newly opened The Edwardian Manchester and a collection of restaurant and bar brands, including May Fair Kitchen, May Fair Bar, Bloomsbury Street Kitchen and award-winning Peter Street Kitchen.

Main image credit: Edwardian Hotels London

Case study: Designing furniture for the world’s first underwater residence

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Case study: Designing furniture for the world’s first underwater residence

The unique and complex architectural project to design the the underwater residence, THE MURAKA by Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, required a timeless, stylish and quality furniture brands to compliment the underwater world…

THE MURAKA by Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, which opened in 2018, aptly translates in native Dhivehi to “coral”.

Its complex structure spans an area both above and below the surface of the Indian Ocean surrounded only by water. One of the many challenges faced throughout the project was to ensure that the interior design scheme complimented the architectural significance of the construction both under the surface as well as above.

Suite overlooking the ocean

Image credit: Justin Nicholas

The interiors were led by Japanese architect Yuji Yamazaki, and choosing appropriate suppliers to reflect the interior design vision was an imperative responsibility. Minotti furniture was, therefore, thoughtfully specified in order to add an extra layer of sophistication and timeless quality.

What makes the room design unique is the varying uses of acrylic that has been incorporated into one unit. The bedroom is an acrylic tunnel that makes guests feel completely submerged under the waves. The acrylic that forms the living room is curved vertical glass, which allows guests to further marvel at the marine wildlife outside the sea-wrapping pod.

Underwater suite featuring luxury bed and furniture

Image credit: Justin Nicholas

Adjacent to the bedroom, a sophisticated lounge area shelters two Portofino armchairs facing the open ocean (seen above) that are paired with a Benson coffee table.

Many products from the Minotti collection were also chosen for the design of the spaces above the water. Particular care was dedicated to the large, ultra-bright living area, characterised by floor to ceiling windows and furnished with two Powell seating systems, some Quinn armchairs and a series of Cernobbio coffee tables.

Image credit: Justin Nicholas

In addition to the Aston stools, designed for the counter in the lounge, a row of Leslie dining chairs brightens up the dining area. The master bedroom features the Creed bed, with a matching pair of Creed Small armchairs, the Kitaj coffee table and the Prince Cord Indoor armchair. A large Florida seating system is the centrepiece of the open-air spaces.

Exterior shot of lonely suite in the middle of the ocean

Image credit: Justin Nicholas

The result of years of planning and construction, married together with a number of forward-thinking suppliers, is an out-of-this-world hotel experience that literally takes hotel concepts to new depths.

Minotti 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: Justin Nicholas

Editor Checks In: Colouring outside the lines, searching for creativity

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Editor Checks In: Colouring outside the lines, searching for creativity

Casting back to a two-dimensional art classroom, editor Hamish Kilburn has a few confessions to make regarding the creativity of his sketch book before rekindling his relationship with art in design…

As someone who regularly rushed his art homework in blue biro ink at the back of the school bus, reserving a seat in detention in the process, I am a disgrace to art enthusiasts everywhere. I had no time for the subject, or its storied history. Patience didn’t come naturally to me or my teachers. As far as they were concerned, there were two types of people in the world: people who could draw life-like hands to not look like Monster Munch on a portrait and people who couldn’t. In hindsight, though, I am regretful for not digging beneath the surface of the subject and for not paying more attention. I realise now that I would have loved learning about the likes of Van Gogh, Andy Warhol, Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, Edvard Minch and other hall-of-famers.

12 years later, I am writing about the very topic that made my eyes enthusiastically roll with disinterest when presented with the next homework assignment. Still unable to draw or paint anything to resemble anything or anyone, the ink from my biro-infected Year-9 art book has run into my career; its stain is in every hotel I review, every feature I commission, every conversation I have, and now even in one of my editor’s letters. The fact is, art is unavoidably everywhere. It is adding texture and meaning to the beautifully painted picture of an industry that refuses to colour within the lines and that is not afraid to veer off into new lanes in search for creativity.

This month, I attended my first ever fashion show, which is shocking considering creativity in interior design and architecture very often derives from unconventional threads in fashion. But the reality of manning the editorial desk, scrutinising which envelopes are necessary to open and which should remain sealed, quite often results in me avoiding the noise amplified through London’s landmark during London Fashion Week. That is until now.

“It was a fantastical depiction of a partnership between two worlds that often meet, art and fashion, but rarely hold hands in public.”

Having finally joined the stampede of fashion week, the first theory of the fashion world I crushed into a myth was being ‘fashionably late’. Unapologetic to the stragglers, the lights went down at 6.30pm on the dot to signifying the show starting, as we were pre-warned on the e-invitation. The perfectly timed, choreographed performance of artistic frocks commenced – and a late arrival would have almost certainly ruined the atmospheric mise én scene, as well as ones captured point of view.

Everyone’s eyes in the high-ceilinged lobby inside Sofitel St James London were fixed to the centre of the room. Detaching the audience from their day-to-day deadlines, the models marched forward, one by one, to showcase a moment. It was a fantastical depiction of a partnership between two worlds that often meet, art and fashion, but rarely hold hands in public.

It was the work of French artist Stephane Koerwyn who put these colourful pieces together, delicately connecting the stylish similarities between the two industries and creating a new layer of design in the process. Bright, colourful and bold dresses made from Aluminium illuminated the catwalk to celebrate the sustainability movements in both territories. We were able to appreciate the pieces in motion before they were displayed as statues throughout hotel in an exhibition of the artist’s work, which is now on display until June 2020.

Koerwyn is not the only creative who isn’t afraid to cross boarders into other industries. In all corners of our endless industry, designers and artists are raising the ceiling and filling the space with more iconic, standalone statements. Hotel Le Coucou, which I recently reviewed in the French Alps, is the brainchild of Pierre Yovanovitch – a former fashion designer – whose injection of houte couture interiors, has taken this slope-side 56-key luxury boutique to new heights of creativity where bear chairs, emoji-themed plates and ice-cube lighting become genius layers in luxury design.

Meanwhile, meaningful collaborations between suppliers and designers continue to catapult innovation in material, style and wider in design. A few years ago, a collaboration between sportswear brand Odlo and Zaha Hadid Design (ZHD) went under the radar of most designers. But in reality, it was a remarkable ‘two heads are better than one’ approach that led ZHD to vastly improve the form of a conventional sports ‘baselayer’, with new technology allowing the companies to create a seamless garment that adapted with the body.

Only last year, at Sleep & Eat 2019, Laufen’s A New Classic was launched. The collection of bathroom products and furniture was the unrivalled result of a partnership with Marcel Wanders, who further pushed the boundaries in bathroom design and aesthetics to create a collection that confronted gender. At the same time, Roca unveiled its next collection of timeless bathroom gems with fashion brand Armani and furniture brand Benchmark worked with architecture legend David Rockwell to transform the workplace with a new, ergonomic table.

Even as we speak, commercial furniture brand Morgan, known and respected for its carefully aligned collaborations, is (I am told) working on its next partnership that will be unveiled at Clerkenwell Design Week 2020 in May.

Before that, lighting brand Chelsom, which was recently specified in Riggs Washington D.C. and Great Scotland Yard Hotel, is preparing to light up a new collection of lamps, pendants and chandeliers that has been inspired by two years of thorough research. Meanwhile, luxury Italian furniture brand Minotti is weeks away from raising the curtain on the 2020 – 2021 collection of luxury indoor and outdoor furniture, inspired, no doubt, by the family’s travels and evolution of public spaces in hospitality.

As the list of conscious collaborations continues to grow, Hotel Designs is inviting the industry to celebrate creativity in all its colours at Meet Up London. Taking place on May 13, at the Minotti London showroom, our spring networking event will further bridge the gap between designers, architects, hoteliers, developers and suppliers with conversations like no other. Above all, though, we promise to inspire all avenues of creativity, even if that means colouring outside the lines from time to time.

During March, Hotel Designs will be putting ‘Lighting’ and ‘Bathrooms’ under the spotlight. If you would like to contribute to these topics, please do not hesitate to email me.

Editor, Hotel Designs

Robust, reliable & design-led mixer shower range from Aqualisa

791 658 Hamish Kilburn
Robust, reliable & design-led mixer shower range from Aqualisa

Innovative shower brand Aqualisa has launched a striking new range of dual control mixer valves, adding to its strong specification portfolio…

Fresh from sponsoring the The Brit List Awards 2019, bathroom brand Aqualisa has launched the Mian range, which offers a robust and reliable choice of dual control thermostatic mixer showers, suitable for all approved UK water systems.

Complete with a comprehensive five-year guarantee, the range successfully focuses on form, style and function, paying special attention to clean lines, simplicity, compact shaping and the overall feel of quality. As well as optimising the shower space available, the highly finished, modern shower designs are timeless and understated yet, also, eye-catching and sophisticated.

The Mian range of dual control mixer valves comprises of single, dual and triple outlet variants with a choice of wall plates and control dials. With a choice of components and accessories, the Mian range allows for the design and specification of bespoke shower systems for every type of project, large or small. Different combinations of valve, wall plate and control dials with a selection of handset and fixed shower heads, rails and wall outlets give style options and flexibility, but with the same guarantee of performance and reliability throughout the range.

“As one of the top UK bathroom brands, we are continuously striving to develop products that meet and exceed the requirements of national building regulations and recognised industry standards,” explains Jerry Gorman, Head of Specification at Aqualisa. “We know that cost-effective, stylish product solutions and flexible installations are of the utmost importance, and that is what the Mian collection delivers.”

The one piece flat backed brass valve can be securely mounted before the mortar and tile work is finished, while push fit wall plates, control shrouds and handles make the completed installation quick and straightforward

The Aqualisa customer care team has expert resource dedicated to contract and specification customers. A nationwide coverage of trained and approved service engineers will support you quickly and professionally with any on-site installation issue.  Mian showers are suitable for all approved UK water systems and carry a comprehensive five year parts and labour guarantee.

Main image credit: Aqualisa

Renaissance Hotels debuts in New York

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Renaissance Hotels debuts in New York

The 39-floor luxury hotel, Renaissance New York Chelsea Hotel, has opened as plans for the brand to open another hotel in the city move forward…

Renaissance New York Chelsea Hotel has officially opened its doors to become one of the tallest properties in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood.

Rising an impressive 39 floors at 430 feet high, the brand’s first hotel in Chelsea is crowned with one of the highest rooftop pools in the city, offering unparalleled 360-degree views.

Located on the former site of the iconic Antiques Garage flea market, the hotel pays homage to the site’s history and the area’s charming antique shops with a theatrical design concept by architecture and interior design firm Stonehill Taylor. Drawing inspiration from the surrounding neighbourhood, spaces within the hotel aim to surprise and delight guests with unexpected moments, each thoughtfully designed to tell a story.

“Renaissance New York Chelsea Hotel encourages guests to discover this iconic location with a sense of reimagined curiosity,” said George Fleck, vice president of global brand marketing and management, Renaissance Hotels. “This new hotel, coupled with our significant growth and renovation strategy in North America, further reinforces our brand’s global commitment to ensuring that guests experience the DNA of the neighbourhood through our dramatic design and engaging guest experiences – ultimately leaving with a new appreciation of the destination.”

Colourful artwork in the suite

Image credit: Marriott Hotels/Renaissance Hotels

Underscoring Renaissance Hotels’ unexpected design aesthetic, Stonehill Taylor created an escape that plays on the contrasting dichotomy of the hotel’s industrial, antique and floral market surroundings to create the illusion of walking through a secret garden. The hotel’s top-floor exterior features a sleek, modern glass facade, while the entrance embodies the look and feel of an English manor. Behind a stone-walled arcade entry lays a private, open-air courtyard studded with lush foliage and seating for guests to lounge.

Penthouse bedroom overlooking skyline of New York

Image credit: Marriott Hotels/Renaissance Hotels

Tapped to curate the hotel’s collection of artwork, art consultant Indiewalls led a massive two-story installation of antique knobs, locks and keys created by local artist Laura Morrison that takes center stage as the backdrop to the lobby staircase. As guests pass through the space, they are encouraged to touch and interact with these whimsical wares. Indiewalls also oversaw mixed media artist Liam Alexander’s creation of various video art moments throughout the hotel, reflecting inspiration from the flower district and flea market concepts in the surrounding locale, eliciting the feeling of a “living painting.” Trellage-Ferrill Studio fabricated custom pieces like a collection of upside-down bird cages, as well as a large pendant at the elevator lobby inspired by a bird’s nest to pique the curiosity of travelers. Inside the elevator cabs, leather tiles made from vintage belts coat the walls, adding intrigue of the hotel’s overall design.

Earth tones dominate the color palette of the 341 guest rooms and suites. Interiors are outfitted with wood-panelled printed wallcoverings and unexpected playful touches include gnome desk lamps and rabbit coat hooks. Guest bathrooms evoke a quaint garden shed with concrete sinks, porcelain tiles and mirrors etched with silhouettes of wildflowers. Suites on the fourth and 36th floors are distinguished by their 14-foot high ceilings. A focal point of each suite is a floor-to-ceiling framed wallcovering art installation of a magnified peacock feather, as well as an oversized mural of a woman’s silhouette comprised of fuchsia roses by artist Sara Byrne.

The hotel is the latest property to debut under the brand’s growing North American portfolio which includes recently opened hotels in Philadelphia, Toledo, Reno, Dallas and Newport Beach, as well as renovated properties in Los Angeles, Minneapolis and Palm Desert, among others. Additionally, the brand is set to grow its New York City footprint two-fold over the next two years with highly anticipated openings in both Flushing and Harlem.

Main image credit: Marriott/Renaissance Hotels

BREAKING: Salone del Mobile postpones exhibition due to coronavirus outbreak

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
BREAKING: Salone del Mobile postpones exhibition due to coronavirus outbreak

BREAKING NEWS: Salone del Mobile in Milan, which is largely considered as the leading furniture fair globally, has postponed this year’s event until June 16 – 21 in response to Italy’s coronavirus outbreak…

Salone del Mobile, which is the world’s largest and arguably most visible furniture fair in the international design calendar, was due to take place from April 21 – 26, but in response to the coronavirus outbreak, the fair this year has been forced to postpone its plans.

Days after the 2020 global press conference to give the rundown of the up-coming show, the organisers of the show released a statement. “Following an extraordinary meeting today of the Board of Federlegno Arredo Eventi, and in view of the ongoing public health emergency, the decision has been taken to postpone the upcoming edition of the Salone del Mobile,” the statement said. “Confirmation of the change of date for the trade fair – strongly supported by the Mayor of Milan Giuseppe Sala – means that the manufacturers, in a major show of responsibility, will be able to present their finalised work to an international public that sees the annual appointment with the Salone del Mobile as a benchmark for creativity and design.”

“Italy now has the highest number of coronavirus cases in Europe, with more than 280 cases that have been reported.”

The update comes after The Foreign Office in Britain updated its travel advice, warning against all but essential travel to 11 quarantined towns in Italy. The country now has the highest number of coronavirus cases in Europe, with more than 280 cases that have been reported.

A Foreign Office spokesperson told the BBC: “We advise against all but essential travel to the 10 small towns in Lombardy and one in Veneto, which are currently in isolation due to an ongoing outbreak of coronavirus.

“Any British nationals already in these towns should follow the advice of the local authorities.”

Main image credit: Salone del Mobile/Andrea Mariani | Image caption: Salone Del Mobile press conference on February 12, 2020

Clean, simple lobby with marble check in desks and dark green walls

MINIVIEW: Inside Kimpton Hotel’s first Spanish boutique gem

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
MINIVIEW: Inside Kimpton Hotel’s first Spanish boutique gem

The arrival of Kimpton Vividora Hotel marks the brand’s Spanish debut. The 156-key design-led hotel was poised to be the most exciting hotel opening in Barcelona in 2020. But has it delivered on that promise? Hotel Designs checks in to find out… 

IHG’s brand Kimpton has made an early statement in 2020 on the hospitality scene with the opening of Kimpton Vividora Hotel.

Clean, simple lobby with marble check in desks and dark green walls

Located in the heart of Barcelona’s cultural and historical epicentre; the Gothic Quarter, the hotel is attracts the energy from the pedestrian-friendly nature of the neighbourhood.

When it comes to the bold Barcelona-inspired design, the hotel is sensitively 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.

The guestrooms and suites, complete with stylish furniture, warm wooden flooring and quirky details such as geometric headboards, look and feel comfortable. The spaces feature a textured interior design scheme that seamlessly works around original features of the building.

Image credit: IHG/Kimpton Hotels & Resorts

With three F&B outlets, the hotel’s answer to creating an authentic culinary experience is in sync with the destination’s reputation for quality and meaningful cuisine. Perched one floor above the lively streets, Fauna restaurant welcomes 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 offers locally-roasted artisan coffee and light bites by day, and natural wines, artisanal vermouth and cocktails by night.

Relaxing cafe area with low-level furniture

Image credit: IHG/Kimpton Hotels & Resorts

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

Born in San Francisco from an idea to anchor one-of-a-kind experiences, Kimpton now operates more than 65 hotels and 80 restaurants, bars and lounges across urban locations, resort destinations and up-and-coming markets in the United States, Canada, Europe, Caribbean and Greater China. Kimpton spaces and experiences centre on its guests, offering inspiring design that evokes curiosity to forward-thinking flavours that feed the soul. And the brand’s new Spanish hotel is no exception.

Main image credit: IHG/Kimpton Hotels & Resorts

Dormy House launches new Scandi-chic suite, The Studio

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Dormy House launches new Scandi-chic suite, The Studio

The award-winning rural retreat within the Farncombe Estate in the Cotswolds has launched The Studio, a brand-new suite designed by owner and design director Nette Reynolds…

The Studio at Dormy House is characterised by the clean lines, soft curves and warm, natural materials that are the hallmarks of modern Scandinavian design, and has been created with a sense of playful relaxation and utter escapism in mind. 

“The launch of The Studio marks another milestone in the continued success of Dormy House and further strengthens its reputation as one of the UK’s best countryside hotels. We now have a total of 11 suites here at Dormy and all are extremely popular with our guests, having been individually designed to provide the greatest levels of comfort, space and modern design. The Studio offers some quirky, unexpected twists that our guests are going to love” commented Stephen Browning, General Manager, Dormy House. 

At 980 sq ft, The Studio is now the largest suite at Dormy House, providing the luxury of light-filled contemporary space across its stylish living, sleeping and bathing areas.  

Luxe modern guestroom

Image credit: Dormy House Hotel

Taking inspiration from elements of the Cotswold countryside in which the Farncombe Estate sits, The Studio is slightly more eccentric and eclectic in style than the other suites at Dormy – with textures, patterns and one-off pieces of furniture and art that really make the suite unique.  

A natural colour palette of cream, taupe and biscuit shades lend the space a relaxed, warm feel, accentuated by subtle green tones and the use of natural materials such as wicker and sheepskin, with plenty of green plant life.  

As well as being the largest suite, The Studio offers a totally new dimension to a stay at Dormy House, with its very own curated vinyl collection, turntable and state-of-the-art sound system by Project, perfect for kicking back, relaxing and immersing in soulful sound. Playful mood lighting which works in time with the beat of the music adds to the immersive feel. A first for Dormy House, the new music den in The Studio echoes the hotel’s atmosphere and ethos, which is as relaxed as it is fun.

In addition to its fully equipped music den, the suite features the very latest technology including a 4K 65” flatscreen Samsung smart TV in the lounge and one in the bedroom; free wifi; and Nespresso coffee machine. The Studio also features a seriously dreamy bathroom, complete with double rainfall showers, free-standing Burlington bathtub and luxurious Temple Spa products – representing the ultimate in Hygge living.  

Main image credit: Dormy House

Le Méridien Hotels arrives in South Florida’s design destination

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Le Méridien Hotels arrives in South Florida’s design destination

Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts, along with national real estate developer Charles S. Cohen, has announced the opening of Le Méridien Dania Beach at Fort Lauderdale Airport…

Taking cues from the brand’s mid-century design aesthetic, the top-to-bottom conversion of the property that now shelters Le Méridien’s latest hotel brings to life Le Méridien’s distinctive French heritage and the allure of the Côte d’Azur to South Florida.

Located just steps from the city’s famed The Design Center of the Americas, the 12-story hotel, designed by David Ashen of dash design, features 245 thoughtfully designed guestrooms and suites. Throughout the exterior and interior of the hotel guests will find references to the sky and sea with design details such as a grand oculus in the lobby that frames the sky to pay homage the glamorous era of air travel, allowing guests to stargaze and view planes passing over. The guestrooms are minimal and modern in design with touches of blue and grey to reflect the destination, features custom-made headboards with mappings of the city inlaid into the wood veneer, and local photography captured by Elizabeth Gill Lui that celebrates the diverse architecture and environment of Fort Lauderdale.

“It was a true pleasure for us to partner with real estate developer Charles Cohen and Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts,” says David Ashen, the founder of dash design, the interior design and brand consulting firm for Le Méridien. “The design we created supported the tenets of Le Méridien brand as well as the lifestyle that is emblematic for South Florida, both for its residents and visitors. Every detail was thought out: form, function, as well as beauty. The concept sets a standard that we are proud to have contributed.”

“With a nostalgic nod to the glamour of the French Riviera in the 1960s, Le Méridien inspires travellers to explore the world in style, savour the good life and enjoy experiences that offer something more than meets the eye,” said George Fleck, Vice President of Global Brand Marketing & Management. “The debut of this hotel is part of the brand’s significant growth strategy and further reinforces our brand’s commitment to ensuring that guests experience destinations around the globe through the lens of its European spirit”

Guests will have the opportunity to indulge in five culinary outlets throughout the hotel including the brands signature Latitude/Longitude Bar serving light fare at Le Méridien Hub and Cabana, as well as Toro Latin Kitchen, serving up a South American menu, La Bibloteca de Tequila which is an exclusive tequila bar and lounge, Constellation Café serving daily French fare, and the hotel’s outdoor bar offering Caribbean-style fare poolside.

For meetings and events, the hotel offers 25,000 square feet of state-of-the-art flexible meeting space within a prime location, in the epicenter of South Florida. Conveniently located minutes from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) and Fort Lauderdale Everglades Cruise Port, the new hotel also neighbors Las Olas Boulevard, downtown Fort Lauderdale and the evolving Dania Pointe.

Le Méridien Dania Beach at Fort Lauderdale Airport will also offer guests a sensorial environment through the brand’s signature scent, which was developed with MALIN+GOETZ. Aptly named LM002 for airplane tail numbers, the alluring scent will be featured in the public spaces, as it is at all of Le Méridien’s properties globally. Paying homage to its French roots, the brand also has a signature soundtrack that will fill the Hub and public spaces, curated by French Bossa Nova band Nouvelle Vague.

“Being able to bring the Le Méridien brand to South Florida has been an exciting venture,” said Mr. Charles Cohen, developer and owner of Le Méridien Dania Beach at Fort Lauderdale. “We’ve curated a team of esteemed professionals to bring the brand’s French flair to life while paying homage to the maritime spirit of Fort Lauderdale. The hotel’s design-centric appeal stands at the forefront – a visual story beautifully told by David Ashen with dash design, and the Pentagram team – and will be complemented by elevated dining experiences, innovative meetings and event spaces, and unrivalled service.”

In addition, Le Méridien Dania Beach at Fort Lauderdale Airport will offer guests a variety of amenities including a signature Club Lounge with views of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, a fully equipped state-of-the-art 1,200-square-foot fitness centre and yoga room, an 82-foot zero-entry pool and an outdoor terrace called the “Water Club.”

Main image credit: Marriott International

Biophilic design highlights of Surface Design Show 2020

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Biophilic design highlights of Surface Design Show 2020

More than 170 exhibitors showcased the latest in surface design, with nearly 5,000 architects, designers and specifiers visiting Business Design Centre over the packed 2 ½ days of Surface Design Show 2020… 

Surface Design Show 2020, which took place at London’s Business Design Centre from the February 11 – 13, sheltered more surface material and architectural lighting designs than ever before.

With a focus on the trending topic of ‘Close to Home… Locally Sourced’, the show looked beyond aesthetics and into manufacturer’s impact on the environment, from the processes used in mining or manufacture, through to the carbon footprint sustained during sales and distribution.

Standout exhibitors at the show included InnerSpace Cheshire, which launched a new surface product that combined natural materials, such as cork, to create an authentic biophilic connection between nature and the built environment. Smile Plastics, meanwhile, showcased its ability to create exquisite hand-crafted panels from varied waste-streams. Following being specified by Harris + Harris London for the Conscious Bedroom that was unveiled at the Independent Hotel Show London, the innovative company was a first-time exhibitor at the Surface Design Show. The company uses typically non-recyclable materials with a sustainable approach resulting in a textured layer of consciously design, contemporary surfaces.

Monohrome table with flowers on

Image credit: Smile Plastic

Over the course of show there was a full schedule of insightful and entertaining discussions and talks. Biophilic materials and surfaces was a dominant discussion during the event. TEDx speaker Simon Gosling and sustainable architectural and interior designer Oliver Heath were among the professionals to put the topic under the spotlight. In an insightful panel discussion, editor Hamish Kilburn hosted a live discussion on the main stage entitled: Biophilic Materials in Surface Design. Joining Kilburn on the sofa was Jeremy Grove (head of design and director, Sibley Grove), Richard Holland (director, Holland Harvey Architects) and Fraser Lockley (architectural consultancy manager, Parkside Architectural Tiles).

Co-located within Surface Design Show was the ever-popular Light School which educated visitors of the importance of the relationship between light and surface by bringing together leading manufacturers and suppliers with architects and designers looking to specify their products. A highlight of Light School was its stand out seminar programme – Light Talks; a series of sessions collated by the Institution of Lighting Professionals. The new Light Talks theatre was designed by Rebecca Weir’s Lightbout.iQ. The design featured a range of surface materials creatively lit to emphasise the essential link between light and materials.

As well as established brands, Surface Design Show is committed to supporting and promoting up-and-coming designers in the materials sector with its New Talent section which was expanded for 2020. Curated by chief creative director at Trendease International Jennifer Castoldi, the New Talent area allowed designers, who have been in the industry five years or less, to have a devoted exhibition area, giving them the opportunity to showcase and engage face to face with a hard to reach and targeted audience.

Red foldable material made into a chair

Image credit: Trifold, designed by Hannah Davis

Among the 32 New Talents was Trifold. The flexible furniture system that comprises of building blocks which make flexible working environments achievable, was a meaningful addition to the show. Designed with modern lifestyles – and ever-changing spaces such as lobbies – in mind, the on-demand system allows for flexibility. The sheet can be folded and manipulated into countless forms, the only limit being your imagination.

“Exhibiting at New Talent has given me great networking opportunities.” – Hannah Davis, creator of Trifold

The new product, which is the brainchild of Hannah Davis went on to win the New Talent Award at the Surface Design Awards. “Exhibiting at New Talent has given me great networking opportunities,” the designer explained. “I have engaged in many discussions regarding the Trifold system as well as the world of design with a range of industry experts. This has allowed me to expand my contact catalogue and explore new ways of thinking that I had not previously considered. I have made contacts with fellow exhibitors considering collaborations, which is truly valuable.”

Launched six years ago the Surface Design Awards has become an integral part of the show, growing in stature to become one of the most respected accolades in the design awards realm. The 2020 Awards had more than 100 entries from 12 countries including as far afield as America, India and Australia. There were 14 categories in total, from Retail and Public Building to Commercial Projects and Housing, including new categories Public Realm and Affordable Housing. The entries comprised the best in architecture and design from across the globe; Giles Miller Studio, Mikhail Riches and Chris Dyson Architects from the UK, Steven Holl Architects from the USA, and Kris Lin International Design from China were among those shortlisted.

The impressive Krushi Bhawan from Bhubaneswa, India by Studio Lotus was named the Supreme Winner, as well as winning the Public Building Interior and Public Building Exterior categories. Capturing the admiration of all the judges Krushi Bhawan is a testament to design, created for the Odisha State Government’s Agriculture Department in India. The centre incorporates an eye-catching façade drawn from vernacular materials and narratives, which responds to the local climate and offers a glimpse into the region’s agricultural folklore and mythology, which has been envisioned at an unprecedented architectural scale.

 Surface Design Show 2021 will take place from 9-11 February 2021 at Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, Islington, London, N1 0QH

Main image credit: Surface Design Show/InnerSpace

Nobu Hotels announces 8 new properties in the pipeline

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Nobu Hotels announces 8 new properties in the pipeline

2020 is an exciting year for Nobu Hotels, with 10 hotels currently open and eight more in the pipeline across the US, Europe and Middle East, including regions such as London, Chicago, Warsaw and Riyadh…

Founded by Chef Nobu Matsuhisa, Robert De Niro and Meir Teper, Nobu Hotels continues to solidify its reputation as a global hospitality brand with instinctive design, discreet service and fine ingredients at its core.

With eight properties in the pipeline, here are what are expected to be the most significant openings in the near future…

Nobu Hotel Warsaw

Image credit: Nobu Hotels

Nobu Hotel Warsaw 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II, making this year the ideal time to explore modern Poland. The capital is evolving as a vibrant travel destination, and with nearly a dozen hotels set to open in Warsaw in 2020, none are as highly anticipated as Nobu Hotel Warsaw. Dynamic and distinctive, the new Nobu Hotel Warsaw is set in the heart of this historic city and will occupy a new building located at Wilcza Street.

Designed by the Polish architectural firm, Medusa Group, the property will also encompass the existing Hotel Rialto. The design will be a collaborative effort between Medusa Group and Californian-based Studio PCH, and will see a transformative architectural design for Warsaw, blending with the original Rialto building.

Nobu Hotel Palo Alto

Slated to be Silicon Valley’s most anticipated hotel renewal in some time, Nobu Hotel Palo Alto will unveil a completely brand-new hotel following its multi-million-dollar transformation.

The 73-room boutique property is elevating its façade, reception and arrival experience, wellness offerings, meeting venues and amenities, guest rooms and a signature Nobu restaurant to reflect the world-renowned standards of Nobu Hospitality. Standout highlights include high-tech guest rooms with Alexa and Toto Neorest washlet toilets, with 90-inch televisions in the eighth floor Ryokan guestrooms, and an elevated fitness studio.

Nobu Hotel London Portman Square

Image credit: Nobu Hotels

Expected to open in summer 2020, the hotel is set in the heart of the city’s West End, in Portman Square W1. Steps from Mayfair’s vibrant restaurants and independent boutiques and on the edge of Soho’s world-famous theatres, Nobu Hotel London Portman Square will shelter 259 guestrooms and suites, a Nobu Restaurant, ballroom and meeting spaces.

Conceptualised by London-based architecture and design firm, David Collins Studio, in conjunction with Make Architects, the property will embody Nobu’s signature Japanese minimalism, drawing upon traditional weaving techniques, patterns and artworks.  

Nobu Hotel Chicago

Image credit: Nobu Hotels

Ideally situated in the vibrant area of Chicago’s west loop, Nobu Hotel Chicago will harness the essence of the energetic and iconic Midwestern town.

Offering 119 guestrooms and suites, Nobu Hotel Chicago will play host to a 10,000-square foot Nobu restaurant, opening out on to Randolph’s famed Restaurant Row. An exquisite 3,000 square foot, multi-use suite will be available for private social functions and meeting space, alongside an indoor pool, state-of-the-art fitness centre, spa treatment rooms and a stylish rooftop indoor and outdoor bar and lounge.

Nobu Hotel Riyadh

Set in the heart of downtown Riyadh, Nobu Hotel Riyadh sports clean lines and a casual elegance, an urban oasis that is the very first five-star luxury boutique hotel in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

A 23-story glass panelled skyscraper, the property rises proudly above the storied skyline and is styled to reflect Nobu’s Japanese heritage, with a nod to arabesque architecture. Innovative printed, layered glass allows light to flood through the façade, complimenting the airy interiors and addressing its striking surroundings. 119 guestrooms and suites sit alongside a spa, fitness facility, executive club lounge, meeting spaces, ballrooms and the Kingdom’s first Nobu Restaurant.

Nobu Hotels are distinctive destinations, each offering a sense of place and a celebration of their own locality.  What they have in common, is that each is designed as a space in which to relax and savour an experience, in an atmosphere charged with a sense of being a part of something rather extraordinary.

Main image credit: Nobu Hotels/Make Architects

In Conversation With: Hamish Brown, Partner at 1508 London

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
In Conversation With: Hamish Brown, Partner at 1508 London

Following some major global project wins, 1508 London’s entrance into hospitality was one that was led by a burning desire to reference local culture, unique design and organic materials in a new generation of luxury hotels. Editor Hamish Kilburn joins one of the firm’s Partner, Hamish Brown, in the London-based studio to learn more…

“There’s a real desire at the moment for brands not to be completely dictatorial about what their hotel should look like,” comments Hamish Brown, Partner at 1508 London, who warmly welcomes me into the studio moments before arriving himself having just walked off the red-eye flight from New York to London. “There are operational and functional standards, for sure, but in terms of design and aesthetics, there is so much more freedom now than there ever has been in hotel design.”

Could it be this movement that opened the door from residential into hospitality for the design studio? Or maybe it’s Brown’s ability to sharply define where the industry is at in this moment even while enduring transatlantic jetlag. Before then, the team at 1508 London were residential pioneers who had created a unique thread of new design standards on the high-end market around the globe; an appealing DNA for developers and operators in the hospitality arena.

It’s a refreshing experience, visiting a working studio that is – despite having already completed The Spa at The Lanesborough, awarded Best Hotel Spa 2019, and is currently working on new spaces for brands such as Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, Park Hyatt, InterContinental Hotels and Jumeirah – still relevantly new on the international hospitality scene. It is perchance the gems that are on the boards, as well as the major project wins that the studio has achieved recently, therefore, that is causing the heads in the industry to turn towards the direction of 1508 London.

“I have always really hated the ‘one size fits all’ approach in design.” – Hamish Brown, 1508 London

Most recently, the studio’s pipeline of statement projects includes Rosewood Doha, which is said to become “Qatar’s latest landmark five-star hotel”, the first branded residences in Beverly Hills’ golden triangle and the redesign of Jumeirah Carlton Tower in London, which will infuse a new, lighter sense of grandeur to elevate the guests’ arrival experience.

Render of two towers in doha

Image caption: Render of the majestic towers that will shelter Rosewood Doha, slated to open in 2020 | Image credit: 1508 London/Rosewood Hotels

The structure of the 70-strong designers at 1508 London is supported by four design directors, one of which, Akram Fahmi, was published in The Brit List 2019 following his recent move from his success at another studio. “We try as much as possible here to throw things up in the air, because I have always really hated the ‘one size fits all’ approach in design,” Brown tells me. “We start by first understanding the building’s context – the architecture and the local vernacular – and, as designers, it is our job to be able to draw inspiration from that.”

Brown, who The Times named as a ‘tastemaker’ in 2018, joined the firm in its infancy in 2010. Before that, he worked for a property development firm, swerving anything design-related succeeding a full-on interior architecture degree at the Birmingham Institute of Art and Design. “To be honest, I was a bit overwhelmed after my studies,” he admits. “The modules were attempting to be sensible, but, in reality, they did not prepare me for what life is really like as a designer. It felt a bit like passing my driving test and then merging onto the motorway for the first time.”

Render of the outside of the building

Image caption: Render teasing what the front of Jumeriah Carlton Tower will look like when it majestically remerges back onto the London scene later this year. | Image credit: 1508 London/Jumeriah Hotels

After flirting with the idea of working in high-end residential and retail development, giving student life some time to deliquesce in the memory, Brown initially joined 1508 London as a Business Development Manager. Climbing the ladder rapidly, in 2011 he became Head of Projects, was promoted one year later to become Studio Director and in 2013, he joined CEO and Partner Stuart Horwood as a Partner. “Originally, we were just four people with one vision, and we deliberately didn’t have a house style.” Walking around the studio, I am presented to the brand’s perhaps most impressive creation: the carefully curated cluster of characters – AKA, the designers – who are all driven, I’m told, by the idea of producing better spaces. “We take pride in being very client-centric, and that’s not to put anyone else or any other studio in the industry down – we really do try to respond to briefs with creativity,” Brown adds.

In a recent exclusive roundtable discussion on the topic of meaningfully differentiating luxury in hotel design, Brown mentioned that the studio tries to always capture and create sense-of-place with every project it works on. “Intrinsically, we believe that the exterior and interior of a building should have a strong relationship,” explains Brown. “And that’s often the starting point on most projects. We ask about the location, the architecture and the materials. Quite often, our inquisitive nature then takes over and we will investigate more about things like the culture, the art and the food.”

Luxury pool area inside The Lanesborough

Image caption: Thoughtfully designed, The Spa at The Lanesborough shelters a luxurious hydro pool area. | Image credit: 1508 London/The Lanesborough

In regards to the company’s own sense-of-place, the studio is situated in the heart of the capital and has famous neighbours, sharing the same roof as fashion house Tom Ford’s studio and showroom. With 27 different nationalities under one roof, 1508 London is an outwardly thinking practice that is inspired by different cultures. “Britain is a design hub because of its education,” Brown says. “Our studio is a perfect example. There is a natural flow of talent in London, and that is because individuals from all over the world choose to operate here.”

“Although the first impression in a hotel usually comes from the look and feel, the last impression is of equal importance.” – Hamish Brown, 1508 London.

QUICK-FIRE ROUND

Hamish Kilburn: Where do you feel most at home in London?
Hamish Brown: In South London, with my wife and two children

HK: Where’s next on your travel bucket list?
HB: Sri-Lanka

HK: Was there a designer/or designers who inspired you when you were studying?
HB: Zaha Hadid and Antoni Gaudi, I’ve always fascinated by their uses of materials.

HK: What is the most rewarding part of your role?
HB: Working with people, and learning about cultures. I have learned more about geography as a designer than I ever did at school.

HK: If you were not a designer, what would you do?
HB: I would restore furniture, which is what I want to do when I retire.

HK: How would you describe your four design directors?
HB: They are completely open-minded and expansive beyond belief. You give them a challenge and they will each respond in the most wonderfully exciting ways.

HK: What’s the last item that shows up on your bank statement?
HB: A tactical coffee a Gatwick airport.

One of Brown’s most valuable lessons that he has learned is the balance between design and function. “Although the first impression in a hotel usually comes from the look and feel, the last impression is of equal importance,” he says. “The lasting memory comes from the service and function. To make someone fall in love with their stay, to attract them in the way it looks, you have to be able to deliver on that promise – and that is where the symbiosis happens between design and function.”

For most designers, one project will stand out in the portfolio. For Brown, that project sits majestically on Hyde Park Corner, just a few miles from the studio, and was also one of the first luxury hotels I checked in to as a journalist. “Working with the hotel’s Managing Director at the time, Geoffrey Gelardi, on the design of The Spa at The Lanesborough was incredible,” he says. “He had unbelievable knowledge on how the back-of-house operated, which allowed us to design spaces with complete precision, and enabled us to learn exactly how each area should be utilised. Without a doubt, those lessons have been the major transition between residential and hospitality.”

striking bar with marble surfaces featuring distressed mirrors

Image caption: Worlds away from the hustle and bustle of London life above, The Spa at The Lanesborough is an urban sanctuary unlike any other. | Image credit: 1508 London/The Lanesborough

The fact that we are sat around a beautiful oak table that I find out was rescued by the 1508 London team from an antique shop in Chelsea, exemplifies the studio’s respect for objects and restoration. “In many ways, you are only as good as your materials,” explains Brown. “This rug, even, came from a woman I met in the Middle East. She devoted her life to travelling to tribal areas, bringing groups of people together in the process to make these detailed rugs.”

“I remember using a recycled car windscreen in a bar, which a supplier fused together in order to create a striking bubble-like surface.” – Hamish Brown, 1508 London

The studio is so passionate to learn about new materials and products that it even dedicates time, one day a week, to invite select suppliers into the studio. “This time is an opportunity for us to learn, which is fascinating,” he says. “I remember using a recycled car windscreen in a bar, which a supplier fused together in order to create a striking bubble-like surface. When you backlit it, the result was incredible. The point is, I would never have thought about doing that on my own, and it added a new layer to the high-end project.”

Inspired by the studio’s infectious ethos – as well as its ability to sensitively lead the industry’s evolution ­– I leave Brown and his team in peace to continue reshaping the international landscape of luxury hotels. My evaluation of Hamish Brown? He is a polite and modest man who you can effortlessly spark up a conversation with. Listening intently to hear his passion for design, architecture and the carving out of a new era of hospitality, I can conclude that we do, after all, have more in common than simply a memorable name.

Main image credit: 1508 London

Image of faucet

Study reveals 1 in 6 of Brits use feet to flush the toilet in public

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Study reveals 1 in 6 of Brits use feet to flush the toilet in public

The study, conducted by QS Supplies revealed that four in 10 Brits frequently use their phone on the toilet, but 39.6 per cent never clean their phone…

It’s a fact of life: germs are everywhere, and there’s no escaping them. But does that mean we should surrender and accept contact with a never-ending germ army?

Image of faucet

Or do we fight the good fight and engage in as many germ-dodging tactics as we can? Some people fall firmly into one of these camps but most are somewhere in the middle – picking their battles based on what disgusts them the most.

QS Supplies spoke to 1,008 Brits to find out who are the germaphobes among us, what tactics we use to avoid germs, who lies about hygiene behaviours, and the ways we expose ourselves to more germs than we realise.

The study concluded that one in 10 of us take our own bedding to hotels in order to avoid germs, while 53.7 per cent admitted to pushing buttons with knuckles.

Unsurprisingly, the hotel bathroom was where the germ-phobic folks in the study feared the most, with a staggering 68.5 per cent admitting to hovering above public toilet seats over sitting and 26.3 per cent skipping flushing to avoid touching a public toilet.

Paper towels also come in handy for almost four in 10 Brits who use them to turn off taps and for over half of people who use them (or their clothing) to open the bathroom door.

“Overall, 37.2 per cent of people ‘often’ or ‘always’ take their mobile phone with them to the toilet.”

The majority of Brits have a device that they can take with them anywhere and often do: their mobile phones. Only one in five people said that they never take their mobile phone to the bathroom. Overall, 37.2 per cent of people ‘often’ or ‘always’ take their mobile phone with them to the toilet. What’s more concerning, though, is that only four in 10 of people have never cleaned their mobile phone.

The fight continues outside the bathroom. More than three-quarters of us wash food despite it being labelled ‘pre-washed’, while 27.7 per cent wash our hands after putting on shoes.

For those truly committed to the germ-dodging lifestyle more extreme measures can be taken, like taking your own bedding to a hotel (12.3 per cent) and taking personal cutlery to a restaurant (5.9 per cent).

Exactly one in 10 people classified themselves as a germaphobe. The bathroom supplies company took the germ-dodging activities and ranked them based on how much more likely self-confessed germaphobes were to do them compared to non-germaphobes. They found that taking your own bedding to a hotel is the biggest hint that a person may be a germaphobe, as almost 27 per cent of germaphobes have done this compared to 10.5 per cent of non-germaphobes.

Self-identified germaphobes were also 2.5 times more likely to have taken their own cutlery to a restaurant, 2.4 times more likely to wash their hands after putting on shoes, and 2.4 times more likely to flush the toilet using their feet. If you do all these things then you might just be a germaphobe.

Whether germaphobe or not, most of us have a germ-dodging quirk or two. Nine out of 10 people claimed not to be a germaphobe but still sometimes flush the toilet with their feet or pack their own bed sheets when staying in a hotel.

The bathroom produces many germ-dodging tactics but perhaps our guile is misplaced and we should focus on specific items in the home, like our kitchen sponges and mobile phones. Our phones may provide welcome relief from boredom, but they’re also a germ storage device with the capacity to undo diligent hand-washing hygiene.

While the results of the study shows that many Brits engage in crazy tactics to dodge germs, it’s worth noting that the very best defence against germs is simple: wash your hands regularly and properly. Also, maybe give your phone a clean once in a while.

QS Supplies 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: Pixabay

F&B Special: Restaurants raising the bar in architecture & design

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
F&B Special: Restaurants raising the bar in architecture & design

Say farewell to conventional restaurants, and say hello to a delicious and enticing world of pure imagination to the latest design-led restaurants to open. Editor Hamish Kilburn writes… 

Ahead of next month, when Hotel Designs will take centre stage at Hospitality Restaurant Catering show, I have good reason to believe that some of the latest restaurants that have opened recently (in and out of the hotel industry) have changed the landscape of hospitality.

And while, some may argue that we should be cautious to focus the lens on purely the F&B scene in fear of losing purpose on other areas within the hotel, it is also an undeniable truth that the new era of international hotels are using their restaurants and bars to drive in a local crowd in order to make the public areas a vibrant hub of activity.

Therefore, here are just some of the latest restaurants and bars to open, which have been designed holistically to improve the overall guest experience.

Under, Europe’s first underwater restaurant

Located at the southernmost point of the Norwegian coastline, where the sea storms from the north and south meet, Europe’s first underwater restaurant is situated at a unique confluence. Marine species flourish here in the both briny and brackish waters to produce a natural abundance in biodiversity at the site. The Snøhetta-designed restaurant, which has just received a Michelin-star status, also functions as a research centre for marine life, providing a tribute to the wild fauna of the sea and to the rocky coastline of Norway’s southern tip.

The structure is designed to fully integrate into its marine environment over time, as the roughness of the concrete shell will function as an artificial reef, welcoming limpets and kelp to inhabit it. With the thick concrete walls lying against the craggy shoreline, the structure is built to withstand pressure and shock from the rugged sea conditions. Like a sunken periscope, the restaurant’s massive window offers a view of the seabed as it changes throughout the seasons and varying weather conditions.

“Under is a natural progression of our experimentation with boundaries, says Snøhetta Founder and Architect, Kjetil Trædal Thorsen. “As a new landmark for Southern Norway, Under proposes unexpected combinations of pronouns and prepositions, and challenges what determines a person’s physical placement in their environment. In this building, you may find yourself under water, over the seabed, between land and sea. This will offer you new perspectives and ways of seeing the world, both beyond and beneath the waterline”.

 Burbank Restaurant at Roomers Frankfurt

Burbank is a new design-led, Asian-fusion restaurant by leading chef, The Duc Ngo. It is situated within Frankfurt’s chic Design Hotels member, Roomers Frankfurt by the Gekko Group. The restaurant is the third partnership between Berlin culinary innovator, The Duc Ngo, and Gekko Group’s founders, Micky Rosen and Alex Urseanu. Burbank joins the group’s portfolio of leading destination restaurants including moriki Frankfurt, moriki Roomers Baden-Baden, and the Golden Phoenix at Provocateur Berlin Hotel. The Duc Ngo creates an inventive and unconventional menu at Burbank, fusing pan-Asian flavours with relaxed Californian and Latin American cooking. 

Beefbar restaurant, Le Coucou Hotel

Reviewed recently in Hotel Designs’ wider feature of Le Coucou Hotel, Beefbar restaurant is, like the rest of the property, sheltered within a unique design scheme. Pierre Yovanovitch, Wallpaper*’s Designer of the Year 2019, pulled out all the stops for this area, using it’s naturally striking vista as strong inspiration. The area is full of thoughtful nods to the hotel’s name, location and character of its owners. A wall of cuckoo clocks above the tables, for example, reflects the traditional decor of the region, and emoji-themed plates create humour in all the right places.

Hey Yo – Hong Kong

Think fresh, vibrant (and wear sunglasses) when stepping inside Hey Yo, which was a winner at the Bar and Restaurant Awards 2019. Inspired by the all the pastel colours of macaroons, the design team at Design Action & Associates took and adopted these colours in different areas of the shop, just like a pastry chef forming different shapes with flour and dough. The designer formed different shapes of design and furniture. Each arch window is painted with grey texture paint. The arch window on the front of the door, includes a bright neon sign which permeates the atmosphere. Beside the continuous arch windows, different colours of display shelves and display items are composed like a dream-like oil painting. Round countertops resemble Macaroons is in their unique hues, and chairs resemble coloured dough in contrast to shaped countertops.’

Wild Honey St James

black and white floors above striking chandeliers

Image credit: Sofitel London St James

Situated metres from The Mall in London, Sofitel London St James’ Wild Honey is a collaboration with renowned chef Anthony Demetre and a reimagination of his iconic restaurant concept. Located on the former site of the beloved bistro The Balcon, the dining room decor has been redesigned and refurbished by Jim Hamilton Design to echo its new direction.

Harlan & Holden Glasshouse Café

With biophilic design wrapping its branches around almost every sector, is it any wonder why design firm GamFratesi used nature as its primary inspiration in the creation of Harlan & Holden Glasshouse? We think not. The rehabilitative restaurant is inspired by a greenhouse. Breaking boundaries between interiors and exterior, the studio swapped windows for walls and used the surrounding landscape to create the space.

Main image credit: Under/Ivar Kvaal

Ultima Collection’s retreat in Geneva marks its first urban property

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Ultima Collection’s retreat in Geneva marks its first urban property

Ultima Collection announces the launch of Ultima Geneva Grand Villa, an urban sanctuary opening on April 1, 2020…

Located on the shores of Lake Geneva, Ultima Geneva Grand Villa will be a luxury residence available for private hire only, offering travellers a stylish gateway to the Alps.

Ultima Geneva represents what the brand is calling a “a new chapter” in Ultima Collection’s development, bringing the luxury comforts for that the Ultima brand is renowned to an urban environment. The Grand Villa is also the first of a series of properties to be located in and around Geneva, which, once opened, will offer both city centre and country destinations.

“The property features high ceilings and is bathed in natural light, offering a sumptuous home with a subtle yet elegant design narrative.”

The retreat will sleep up to 16 guests and will be comprised of one master bedroom, seven bedrooms and a one-bedroom guest villa, all of which are en-suite. Built over three storeys, the villa will be in keeping with Ultima Collection’s commitment to providing an environment of pure relaxation, conviviality and privacy. The property features high ceilings and is bathed in natural light, offering a sumptuous home with a subtle yet elegant design narrative. An understated mix of contemporary lines and traditional architecture will be complemented by the brand’s signature design aesthetic of leather and natural materials, nubuck, sumptuous textiles, and rare marble sourced from Italy and Brazil, punctuated with bold art pieces and statement soft furnishings.

The Ultima Geneva Grand Villa has also been designed with a variety of holistic spaces for those who want to incorporate wellness activities into their itinerary and truly rejuvenate. The villa includes a 200sqm wellness area where guests can choose from a plethora of holistic therapies, a fitness centre, an aesthetics clinic for more specialist treatments, as well as a heated outdoor pool and Jacuzzi. In addition, there will be both an indoor hammam and sauna for guests to enjoy heat therapies.

Ultima Geneva Grand Villa follows on from the success of the Ultima Collection’s existing properties in Gstaad, Crans-Montana, Megève, and Courchevel and will complement the collection by offering travellers the ultimate city break to their ski season itinerary in the winter, or an idyllic summertime getaway.

Main image credit: Ultima Collection

CASE STUDY: Designing meaningful carpets for The Lowry Hotel, Manchester

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
CASE STUDY: Designing meaningful carpets for The Lowry Hotel, Manchester

Hotel Designs’ Recommended Supplier Brintons was called upon to produce timeless carpets for the F&B areas and the junior suites inside The Lowry Manchester…

Dominating the skyline of Salford Queys, The Lowry completed an ambitious seven-figure refurbishment recently, which was led by The Brit List award-winning design firm Goddard Littlefair.

Supplying the carpets for the new Lounge Bar and Junior Suites within the five-star hotel. “Taking inspiration from the dappled reflections in the waters on the Irwell, the textured carpet design is reminiscent of the movement of water and creates an aqueous look and feel,” explained Jane Bradley-Bain, senior creative designer at Brintons. “The colours we selected creates a visual link with the outdoors, the muted contemporary palette that echoes the subtle hues of the rich teal and greys of the river feel very refreshing, clean and light.”

Brown sofa on light blue rug

Image credit: Brintons/The Lowry Hotel Manchester

The design firm’s creative vision for the interiors was inspired by Manchester’s industrial forms, geometry and heritage, including the shape of Trinity Bridge, located directly outside the hotel. Accompanied by Lowry’s own colour palette, as the artist famously kept to a base palette of only five colours, mixing them to achieve tonal shades that nonetheless stayed within a distinctive overall range.

The five-star renovation included an entire redesign of the hotel’s bar and restaurant. Retaining the incredible, unique riverside views and terrace, the new River Lounge Bar features soft hues, a new layout, bespoke furnishings and axminster carpets by Brintons. Long known as a luxurious hide-a-way for Mancunians in the know and home to impromptu performances from some of the hotel’s high-profile guests including Lady Gaga and Take That, the new venue encapsulates The Lowry Hotel’s fun-loving spirit at the confluence of city life.

As with the majority of hospitality refurbishment projects, the project team was required to work to tight deadlines, with no option of over-run, to deliver a complete high quality refurbishment on time with minimal disruption to the hotel’s business. For this reason, Goddard Littlefair chose to collaborate with leading carpet supplier Brintons whose QuickWeave collection of high quality Axminster woven carpets can be delivered in only six weeks.. Designs were recoloured using the newest colour pallet in the QuickWeave series – Oydessey, combining subtle ambient tones of graphite and gold with a touch of decadent luxe colours jade, amethyst and slate.

A contemporary design was selected for the River Lounge. The pattern features a textured design, which creates a sense of movement and fluidity, bringing a modern element that harmonises with the tranquil surroundings of the building.

Image credit: Brintons/The Lowry Hotel

As well as the new-look bar and restaurant, other developments include the refurbishment of the hotel’s luxury Junior Suites, which features Brintons QuickWeave axminster rugs. Taking inspiration from the strong lines of the Santiago Calatrava’s Trinity Bridge the geometric design features a steel grey and neutral colour palette, which complements the sophisticated interiors.

Named after on of the city’s more famous artists L. S. Lowry, the iconic property has 165 bedrooms and six suites, as well as a spa, restaurant and bar, and a variety of meeting and event spaces.

Main image credit: Brintons/The Lowry Hotel

PRODUCT WATCH: Skopos launches new Dove velvet

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
PRODUCT WATCH: Skopos launches new Dove velvet

Complimenting other flame-retardant velvets in the Skopos collection, Dove offers a luxurious cotton-look matt velvet with a soft handle and gentle reflection…

Offered in 31 trend-inspired colours, ranging from calm neutrals to bright berry tones and botanical greens and blues, Skopos’ new Dove collection is ideal for elegant drapery, cushions and bedding within contract interiors.

100 per cent FR Polyester, and washable to 40∘C, the collection provides a perfect solution for contract soft furnishings within hospitality, leisure and luxury care environments.

As with all Skopos fabrics, Dove has been tested to ensure compliance with British Standards for contract fabrics.

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.

Main image credit: Skopos Fabrics

Hotel Designs speaking at HRC next month

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hotel Designs speaking at HRC next month

As part of Hotel Designs’ media partnership with Hospitality Restaurant and Catering, editor Hamish Kilburn will speak on both the Vision Stage as well as the TechX area of the show… 

With less than a month until the industry gathers at ExCeL London for Hospitality Restaurant Catering, Hotel Designs has announced its movements around the three-day event.

HRC (formerly Hotelympia) is the UK’s largest and most prestigious event for the hospitality and foodservice industry and is one event is split in to four shows: The Food Service Show, The Professional Kitchen Show, Interiors and Tabletop Show and Hospitality Tech Show.

All of the four shows within HRC offer food service and hospitality professionals the chance to meet with a range of leading suppliers, to taste, test and source new products and business services to drive their business forward for 2020 onwards. Learn more about what’s on at the show here.

The Vision Stage on March 3 (13:00 – 13:45)
Session: Designing Hospitality for the Modern Consumer

Joining a popular list of professional speakers, Hotel Designs will host the panel discussion entitled: Designing Hospitality for the Modern Consumer. With first impressions now being made before guests have even considered checking in or making a reservation, the future design of hospitality needs to evolve with the connected and eco-conscious consumer. How does an independent or group operator add personality, stay relevant and appeal to the experience and social media gripped customer? The design-savvy panel will explore the top design trends to engage the next generation.

On the panel: Hayley Roy, Harp Interiors | Rita Alves Machado, Great Hotels of the World | Terry McGillicuddy, Richmond International | Stefan Trepp, The Dorchester.

TechX Stage on March 4 (14:30 – 15:00)
Session: Comfort and Control – Tech’s Place in Hospitality Design

Following the panel discussion, Kilburn will engage the audience on the TechX stage with a TED-style talk entitled: Comfort and Control – Tech’s Place in Hospitality Design.

As hospitality design continues to evolve, exciting developments in technology will allow us to further push the limits of conventional hotels and restaurants, creating space for more creativity in their design. But are we thinking about technology meaningfully enough? Hotel Designs’ TED-style talk will investigate technology’s place in tomorrow’s hospitality.

HRC takes place between March 3 – 5, 2020. Head over to the website to register for your ticket.

Hyatt Regency Barcelona Tower officially opens

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hyatt Regency Barcelona Tower officially opens

Hyatt Hotels has opened the fully renovated 280-key Hyatt Regency Barcelona Tower, a hotel in the gateway to Barcelona’s new financial district…

Connecting travellers between Barcelona’s international airport and city centre, the opening of Hyatt Regency Barcelona Tower  marks the second Hyatt Regency branded property in Spain.

Designed by renowned architect Richard Rogers who is best known for his work on the Pompidou Centre in Paris, the Millennium Dome in London, and the European Court of Human Rights building in Strasbourg, the hotel is one of Barcelona’s skyline landmarks. The 344-foot (105-meter) high and 29-story tower is topped by a stunning glass dome providing the top-floor restaurant with breathtaking 360-degree views of the city.

Hyatt Regency Barcelona Tower offers 280 contemporary rooms including 41 suites, one Presidential Suite as well as twelve duplex suites, all offering beautiful views of the city skyline. The Presidential Suite is located in the tower on the 26th floor and includes two separate bedrooms, a private office, two large terraces and free access to the Regency Club and Metropolitan Health Club & Spa.

All rooms have ample space, each with walk-in closets, luxurious bathrooms and wall-to-wall mirrors. In addition, the hotel also offers 24-hour room service and around the clock laundry service.

Hyatt Regency Barcelona Tower features a range of energising F&B areas. Terrum is a new and unique restaurant concept led by the prestigious two-Michelin starred chef, Oscar Velasco. Fresh and seasonal produce as well as excellent service allow guests to depart on culinary adventures. The Axis Bar invites guests and locals to indulge in cocktails and a variety of snacks and sandwiches in a sophisticated setting. A spectacular outdoor terrace completes the Axis Bar as a perfect place to enjoy the comfortable year-round weather in Barcelona.

The Azimut Restaurant offers a daily breakfast buffet with a wide range of nutritious and healthy options to start the day confidently.

Hyatt Regency Barcelona Tower offers a variety of intuitive event and meeting spaces, including its own 500 seat auditorium. Additionally, the Cosmos Room can hold up to 1,800 people and 24 panelled meeting rooms. Furthermore, the hotel lobby offers a wide and open space to work and relax including a spectacular 2034-square-foot (189-square-meter) LED screen, one of the largest in Europe. The flexible meeting spaces backed by the brand’s signature service of personalized care and attention to detail ensures that event planners have seamless and high-touch gatherings.

Main image credit: Hyatt Hotels

Center Parcs unveils luxury spa following £6m refurbishment

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Center Parcs unveils luxury spa following £6m refurbishment

Design consultancy firm Sparcstudio collaborated with Center Parcs on one of the UK’s most highly anticipated spa refurbishments, Aqua Sana Longleat Forest…

Reimagined as a ‘Forest Spa’, with the creation of 24 spa experiences that draw inspiration from different aspects of nature and the surrounding landscape, Aqua Sana Spa at Center Parcs Longleat Forest, UK has relaunched following a £6m refurbishment.

Sparcstudio worked alongside Center Parcs’ own spa experts to help create and design the new ‘Forest Spa’ concept for Center Parcs which is inspired by the tranquil and therapeutic properties of the forest environment. It follows in the footsteps of the first Forest Spa at Aqua Sana Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire and the acclaimed Aqua Sana Longford Forest, Ireland.

“We are delighted to have had the opportunity to work with Center Parcs again on such a transformational and creative project,” said Neil Fairplay, Director at Sparcstudio. “Center Parcs have put their trust in Sparcstudio to deliver the best possible innovative and stimulating spa experience; we couldn’t be happier with the outcome. We focused hard on creating a seamless and intuitive guest journey to provide a more comprehensive and complete spa offer.’’

Following the restyle, the spa’s footprint has increased by 40 per cent and is spread across five themed zones – Nordic Forest, Hot Springs, Volcanic Forest, Forest Immersion and Treetop Nesting – all of which are designed to take guests on a journey through different aspects of nature using multi-sensory experiences, each with a unique, temperate feel, aesthetic and soundscape, inspired by the cold ice climate of the Nordic regions, Volcanic geothermal landscapes and Japanese Mountain Onsens.

living wall in coridor next to salon

Image credit: Center Parcs/Sparcstudio

“From the outset, we imagined a double-height cave environment with an opening in the roof, allowing natural light to flood in, with trailing foliage and gentle mists adding to the ambience,” Fairplay added. “It’s hard not to be wowed by this experience; I think we’ve really pulled it off.”

Guests can enjoy more than 20 hot, cold, herbal and meditative experiences and a multitude of light and dark, immersive and stimulating relaxation spaces 24 treatment rooms and a huge range of steam rooms and saunas, a heated outdoor pool, hot tubs, an ice cave, a selection of relaxation rooms and reflexology foot baths. Two new exclusive experiences have been created the Moonlight Steam Room and the Forest Cavern, replicating a cave hidden deep within a forest, (the region around the site is well known for its caves) this gently warming experience helps to balance mind and body.

sauna looking outside

Image credit: Center Parcs/Sparcstudio

“Our Forest Spa concept has been a huge success at our Sherwood Forest and Longford Forest sites and we wanted to bring that same high quality design and innovative approach to Longleat Forest,” explained Paul Kent, Development and Construction Director at Center Parcs. “We wanted to create a space where the positive benefits of the outside environment fed into the décor, design, experiences and overall atmosphere – a place which is effectively an extension of the forest setting.”

biophilic design in restaurant

Image credit: Center Parcs/Sparcstudio

With the spa now holding up to 125 guests at a time (or 175 including the Vitale Café Bar, treatment and outdoor areas), a sense of space and a clear journey became a major priority for the project. The result is a modern, biophicially designed wellness and wellbeing interior scheme that utilises all areas to create a seamless and intuitive guest journey through the space.

Main image credit: Center Parcs/Sparcstudio

PRODUCT WATCH: Grohe’s latest sustainable shower head

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
PRODUCT WATCH: Grohe’s latest sustainable shower head

The sustainable Rainshower 310 Mono headshower from GROHE is compatible with multiple shower systems…

Products with eco-friendly credentials are very likely to be high on the priority list of many bathroom projects for 2020.

Proving that water-saving showers can still deliver a premium performance, GROHE’s new Rainshower 310 Mono head shower offers an affordable way to upgrade your existing shower system, enhancing your shower experience without negatively impacting your water consumption. Equipped with GROHE’s EcoJoy technology, the water flow is limited to 9.5 litres per minute (compared to the standard 12 litres per minute), delivering a comfortable yet cost-effective water saving experience.

Installation of the Rainshower 310 Mono couldn’t be simpler as the head shower can be mounted with ease onto most shower arms with no need for complex tools or extensive behind-the-wall work. Its impressive 310mm diameter head, which can be swivelled in all directions thanks to a half-inch ball joint, offers the full face PureRain spray which encases the user in larger, softer droplets for a more relaxing and luxurious showering experience that is likened to being caught in a warm summer rain. Despite its statement size, the head shower features a particularly slim silhouette, allowing it to blend seamlessly into minimalist interiors. There are several model variants so you can choose the look that most suits your existing bathroom style: from ceiling- mounted to wall-mounted, round or square designs with matching shower arms, and white or chrome spray faces.

Its striking aesthetic, premium performance and impressive eco-credentials have resulted in the Rainshower 310 Mono achieving accreditation by the Water Regulatory Advisory Scheme (WRAS). This status ensures that the product meets all safety and quality regulations and is deemed suitable for installation in commercial buildings, hotels and new build homes as well as offering peace of mind to homeowners fitting the product themselves.

Main image credit: GROHE

Vienna House opens innovative bleisure hotel in Germany

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Vienna House opens innovative bleisure hotel in Germany

The new 96-key Vienna House hotel forms part of the Musikquartier Kronberg development project to open clear, relaxed designed spaces for bleisure guests…

Centrally located in the idyllic town of Kronberg, just outside the financial hub of Frankfurt am Main, the cosy and stylish Vienna House MQ Kronberg im Taunus is a retreat for business travellers, trade-show guests, music lovers and tourists visiting the city and the region.

“For me, Vienna House MQ Kronberg is a real hotel original,” said Rupert Simoner, CEO of Vienna House. “With playful ease, the classy and timeless design, clear structures and inviting atmosphere meet the specific needs of the location,” says . “Thanks to the good working relationship with Daniel Rinck and his team at Contraco, this vision has become reality after just two years of construction.”

Entering the lobby is an experience in itself. In front of the large staircase hangs an imposing bell, nearly two metres in diameter, which not only serves a decorative purpose but acts as a carillon of sound and light when the cord is pulled. Guests will also notice the audiographic visualisation of a few bars from Ludwig van Beethoven’s Grand Fugue hovering above the free-standing reception tables. The common area continues in the living room on the first floor.

High-quality materials such as warm wood, leather, brass and velvet set the tone in the stylish guest rooms. The surroundings are reflected in the large windows, with window seats that induce reverie. Smart TVs, cosy beds, elegant furnishings, air conditioning and modern bathrooms with walk-in showers complete the wonderfully relaxed atmosphere. The room categories cover the complete range starting from Classic to Superior and Executive.

Breakfast is served in the open kitchen with a large selection of varied and regional products. Real Viennese hospitality can be experienced at lunchtime and in the evening in the cosy restaurant and on the terrace. For the restaurant experience, Vienna House has for the first time entered into a partnership with the famous

The fitness area gives hotel guests an exclusive workout experience with cross-trainers and cardio machines made of wood, which are real eye-catchers. The mobile concierge provides various jogging routes to choose from and the reception team will gladly help in booking a tee time at the nearby Kronberg Golf Club.

At Vienna House MQ Kronberg, music and hospitality go hand in hand. The neighbouring concert hall, named after the great cellist Pablo Casals, will host concerts showcasing young talent from Kronberg Academy as well as world-class musicians and orchestras.

The hotel even has sufficient underground parking, two electric vehicle charging stations and bicycles for hire.

Vienna House is all about endless exploration, the European zeitgeist and modern hospitality. The brand is always bespoke and prides itself on, “always being down-to-earth and on the pulse of the times”.

Main image credit: Vienna House

UNILIN has the perfect match this Valentine’s Day

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
UNILIN has the perfect match this Valentine’s Day

This Valentine’s Day, division panel supplier UNILIN is enticing designers and architects to “find the perfect match” with UNILIN Evola

Edges can play a leading role in delivering a high-quality aesthetic. And with UNILIN, division panels, there’s no shortage of complementing and contrasting edging tape to bring your surfaces and furniture to life.

From a uniform look with perfectly matched edging tapes in texture and colour for every UNILIN Evola décor, through to contrasting pops of citrus, designers can use UNILIN edging tapes to show that it’s the details that matter in delivering a first-class finish in commercial interiors.

Sofie Coulier, UNILIN, division panels, says, ‘Edges are not often thought of as a design element, but they can really make or break the quality of finish, as well as add a sense of quirkiness or added luxury. By choosing a perfectly matched edging tape you can give a more authentic look, with synchronised texture and colour ensuring the very best in realism. Want to add a bit of personality? Add lime, lemon or orange pops as a surprise on the inside of drawers. Or for that ultimate luxurious look, edge shelves in metallic gold for a really custom-made, high-end feel.’

To make sure its UNILIN Evola edging tapes deliver authenticity, UNILIN, division panels, has gone to extraordinary lengths. For example, to emulate the original look of solid wood the manufacturer has developed edging tape with an end-grain print. The cross-section design gives a more natural overall result.

Not only has UNILIN, division panels, considered the detail in the design of its edging tapes, but also in performance. With standard melamine as well as an ABS specification that delivers high levels of impact-resistance for demanding interiors such as offices, hospitality and retail, specifiers and designers can be confident of lasting performance in virtually any application.

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

Still to come at the Surface Design Show 2020

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Still to come at the Surface Design Show 2020

As the final day of Surface Design Show approaches in London, there is so much still to look forward to, including an engaging panel discussion hosted by editor Hamish Kilburn

Celebrating 15 years, Surface Design Show (#SDS20) has once again stolen the limelight early in the season, with an impressive 170 exhibitors showcasing their latest products as well as a packed programme of 30 presentations from 50 expert speakers.

Among them is editor Hamish Kilburn who is preparing to take the main stage with Jeremy Grove (head of design and director, Sibley Grove), Richard Holland (director, Holland Harvey Architects) and Fraser Lockley (architectural consultancy manager, Parkside Architectural Tiles) to deliver the panel discussion entitled: Biophilic Materials in Surface Design at 12.30pm.

The show is a must-visit for architects, designers and specifiers looking for material inspiration from the UK and around the world. The 2019 show hosted 5,071 unique visitors, 80 per cent of whom were from the A&D sector, who came to explore the inspiring array of surfaces on display, be entertained and learn from the presentations on offer and network with like-minded industry professionals.

With sustainability at the top of the architecture and design agenda, the chosen theme for this year’s show is ‘Close to Home’. The theme has allowed the industry to look beyond aesthetics and into manufacturers’ impact on the environment, from the processes used in mining or manufacture, through to the carbon footprint sustained during sales and distribution. Designing with a conscience will also be examined, from reusing waste materials to looking at what happens at the end of a product’s life cycle. This topic is not only highlighted throughout the extensive talks programme but is also a focus within Surface Spotlight Live.

Hotel Designs’ ‘editor’s round-up’ of the Surface Design Show 2020 will be published shortly.

Main image credit: Surface Design Show

In conversation with: Pierre Yovanovitch, interior design’s answer to haute couture

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
In conversation with: Pierre Yovanovitch, interior design’s answer to haute couture

With his latest project Hotel Le Coucou in the French Alps as an apt backdrop, Wallpaper*’s Designer of the Year Pierre Yovanovitch joins editor Hamish Kilburn to discuss milestones, new directions and his signature couture approach to interior design…

In my official review of Hotel Le Coucou, I mention that it is the hotel’s idiosyncratic take on slope-side luxury that has made it onto the radar of winter luxury travellers. Far removed from the conventional ski-in/ski-out luxury hotel, Hotel Le Coucou, more than 1,400 metres above sea level, takes unapologetic risks in its design to boldly shelter contrasting tones, bespoke lighting and animal-shaped furniture.

“They told me about the project, and mentioned that I was the only designer they were interested in working with for it.” – Pierre Yovanovitch.

The creative genius behind the project who in just three years sensitively created the 55-key new-build hotel, from a piste ski route into the jewel it stands as today, is Pierre Yovanovitch. The fashion designer who turned architect/designer was recently crowned Wallpaper*’s Designer of the Year 2019. He joins me for breakfast during my review of the hotel in the property’s Bianca Neve restaurant. Together, we discuss overcoming project obstacles, working to tight deadlines as well as the key moments that have shaped his abstract career.

Making the headlines recently for becoming Wallpaper*’s Designer of the Year 2019, Yovanovitch’s unique style is in hot demand. “For me, being celebrated in that way was completely unexpected,” he tells me. “For the business, though, it has been a real turning point. We have just opened an office in New York, which was completely necessary because of the increase in projects we are working on in North America. However, regardless of where we open offices, we will always be proud to be a French design studio in our approach to all projects.”

Room with interesting pieces of shaped furniture and art with man lying dead on beach

Image caption/credit: Chateau de Fabrègues, Provence/Jérome Galland

Hamish Kilburn: Let’s talk about Hotel Le Coucou. Why was was it your most challenging hotel project to date?

Pierre Yovanovitch: First of all, where we are sat right now was a piste slope before. Meribel has many constraints when it comes to architecture. Some ski resorts in France made a lot of mistakes in the ‘70s and ’80s when they built new properties without respecting the mountain-chalet style.

“Hotel Le Coucou is a complex design; its structure cascades down more than 10 levels and has very narrow areas.” – Pierre Yovanovitch.

Here, buildings have to be made from local materials, they have to match the colour of other buildings in the area and even have a specific shape. While in some ski resorts, designers and architects are able to create architectural masterpieces, in Meribel that simply is not possible. Hotel Le Coucou is a complex design; its structure cascades down more than 10 levels and has very narrow areas. Therefore, it was not an easy project to work on.

White fluffy chair and bold blue sofa

Image credit: Hotel Le Coucou

HK: Can you explain how Maisons Pariente reached out to you with this project?

The Pariente family approached me three years ago, which only feels like yesterday to be honest. They told me about the project, and mentioned that I was the only designer they were interested in working with for it. Yes, there was a burden, but I was also very honoured, and the pressure was good. 

HK: What inspired you when you first started drawing the design for Hotel Le Coucou?

PY: The views! In most hotels, you have rooms with good views and bad views. Here, though, every room opens up to capture an amazing panoramic vista of the area. It was important to me that each room utilized this fabulous site. Sometimes, the view even becomes more important than the décor.

HK: How did the hotel’s concept come to life?

PY: There were so many local constraints, so I worked with a very local architect on the building’s construction. Once we had the shell of the building, I started to draw everything inside, and some changes were made in order to open up the space. The ceiling in the lobby, for example, was too low and we had to lose a bedroom in order to create that dome-like structure you see when you arrive.

We designed everything and we had to work as quickly as possible. We drew and designed more than 140 pieces of furniture and lighting for this project. I wanted to create something special, and when we decided to purchase something over making it, it was usually because it was vintage. Creating so many pieces was a good exercise for me, because I want some of my items of furniture and lighting to become more accessible.

HK: What is it about the Scandi/American style of furniture that you love?

PY: Scandinavian furniture is instantly recognisable, but it is also timeless and I like the fact that you cannot link it to a period in time or a trend. It becomes more chic. It is also simple, made from nice wood and has a good shape. My experiment was to blend this with a Californian style, which was something new to me and other French designers.

Bear chair next to lamp and on snow-inspired carpet

Image credit: Hotel Le Cou cou/Jérôme Galland

HK: What was it like to work with Christian Louboutin in 2015, and how did that change your career?  

PY: Chistian Louboutin called me one day, out of the blue, and asked me to design the global concept of his first boutique dedicated to beauty. It was a lot of fun, and I love working on projects that are very different because they challenge me in the best way.

Image of Christain Louboutin and Pierre Yovanovitch in white space

Image credit: Louboutin Beauty Boutique Paris, 2015

HK: What other highlights in your career can you now identify as milestones?

PY: As you can see, I have a very strong interest in furniture, and I have always taken a lot of inspiration from the short yet impactful ‘Swedish Grace’ movement from the early 20th century. In 2005, my profile as a designer grew quickly after I decided to create an exhibition that was inspired by this movement.

Another moment happened two years ago when I was asked to put on an exhibition at Villa Noailles Hyères. I invented a narrative about a woman. In each room, different pieces of art and furniture as well as text told the story of this character. The area sparked a lot of interest from press and the design community. People understood my love and passion for art, theatre and literature. You see, design is larger than interiors. It sits somewhere between art and craftsmanship. I don’t like to be enclosed and I work better when I have freedom on where I source my inspiration from.

HK: Who inspired you to take risks in design?

PY: I worked with fashion designer Pierre Cardin. He warned me that if I didn’t take risks then I would stay small. He has a very strong style and, in a way, he is an architect. Working with Cardin was a very good experience for me, and his words still inspire me today.

QUICK-FIRE ROUND:

HK: What trend do you hope never returns?
PY: Trends are not interesting. I hate the idea of following trends.

 HK: Where is next on your travel bucket list?
PY: Glasgow. I am taking my whole team there next week to learn the work of architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh. I really need to learn new things when I travel.

HK: Describe your team in three words?
PY: Family, friends and positivity

HK: If you could start from scratch with Hotel Le Coucou, would you change anything?
PY: I would change everything! I have new ideas all the time, but this project is a moment in time that I am proud of.

HK: What have your learned from this project?
PY: That constraints are fantastic because budget and time limits allow you to be more creative.

While working on the final stages to complete Hotel Le Coucou, Yovanovitch’s time was split among other projects. In London, he was given just two months to design new interiors for high-end restaurant Hélène Darroze at The Connaught. With the history and heritage of the building on his shoulders, the designer injected style into the space with a sensitively blend of salmon-toned surfaces, bespoke curved furniture and a distinct refined yet comfortable style.

“For me, there are two reasons why I liked that project, Yovanovitch explains. “The first is the chef, Hélène Darroze, who is such a lovely lady. And second was the building itself. Darroze asked me to design something feminine and she ended up loving my idea to narrate through design the tension between masculine and feminine. This project was another example of me drawing everything from scratch – from the lighting to the furniture and even the ceiling. It became a haute Couture project unique for her.”

As our breakfast comes to an end, I am left with little more than a teaser that unveils the designer/architects next movements will be as bold as his latest project. “I am currently working on a few projects, which means that I am travelling a lot” he concludes. “Expect something loud and over the top.”

It’s difficult not to be touched by Yovanovitch’s approach to new challenges. His confident approach to say yes to projects that will stretch his limits as a designer has allowed his to take the industry to a new level – one that is playful, couture-driven and always meaningful.

It’s clear that overhauling iconic spaces into something more is, each time, a personal journey itself that allows Yovanovitch to grow as a creative and artist. Although the challenges that Yovanovitch faces often come with insomnia and the inability to simply switch off, it is his passion and devotion to innovation in the industry that has made him one of the greatest designer/architects of our time.

Main image credit: Pierre Yovanovitch Studio/Vincent Desailly

FIRST LOOK: Inside the Maldives’ next-gen wellness hotel

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
FIRST LOOK: Inside the Maldives’ next-gen wellness hotel

Kagi Maldives Spa Island will harbour a 360-degree wellness experience, complete with a teardrop-shaped floating yoga pavilion at its centre…

Designed by esteemed architect Yuji Yamazaki, who was the mastermind behind the world’s first underwater villa, Kagi Maldives Spa Island is expected to open in July 2020. 

The boutique 50-villa property will provide travellers with a 360-degree wellness experience, with 1500-square-metre spa and wellness hub, complete with an open-air, teardrop-shaped floating yoga pavilion at its centre. Kagi will also house a state-of-the-art gym, two restaurants, three bars, a dive centre and a house reef.

Guests will be able to choose from three room types, a Beach Pool Villa, a Lagoon Pool Villa or an Ocean Pool Villa, all of which will be distinguished by their unique locations and will house a private pool, a sun deck and an expansive indoor-outdoor bathroom.

render of floating villa

Image credit: Kagi Maldives Spa Island

A fully integrated wellness centre, the spa will consist of four treatment rooms with outdoor bathing facilities, a relaxation lounge, beauty salon, fully-equipped yoga and sound-healing studio, steam rooms and a spa wellness boutique. A ‘Spa Corner’ will raise the ‘juice’ bar with superfoods and ingredients rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, offering a variety of drinks that are as delicious as they are energising and nutritious.

The hotel will shelter two restaurants, three bars and an expansive wine cellar in addition to the wellness-oriented ‘Spa Corner’. The resort’s fusion cuisine will take inspiration from the geographical ‘ring of fire’ that surrounds the Maldives, from the highly spiced and fragranced cuisine of East Asia to the bold, fiery flavours of South America and Oceania.

Render of open-planned restaurant

Image credit: Kagi Maldives Spa Island

The resort will provide an ‘out-of-home kitchen experience’ across its dining outlets, with a focus on whole foods and locally and sustainably sourced ingredients. Menus will be designed to create dishes that are high in flavour and low in sugar, fat, salt and gluten. For example, chefs will make use of the tandoor, a type of Indian oven that allows for the fat-free cooking of meat and fish while introducing a smoky, charred flavour.

Main image credit: Kagi Maldives Spa Island

One of the Maldives’ few resorts with a female-led management team, Kagi will embody the country’s warm island spirit while promoting the art of wellbeing.

Hotel Indigo opens botanical boutique gem in Brussels

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hotel Indigo opens botanical boutique gem in Brussels

IHG has announced the opening of Hotel Indigo Brussels – City…

Adjacent to the gleaming international office buildings of Brussels-centre, named locally as the “little Manhattan”,  IHG’s boutique brand Hotel Indigo has opened Hotel Indigo Brussels – City in Place Charles Rogier.

Just behind this bustling modernity lies a beautiful and tranquil green space, the Botanic Gardens, which became a dominant source of inspiration behind the interior design concept of the hotel.

plants frame lifts

Image credit: IHG

Hotel Indigo Brussels – City shelters 284 guestrooms, putting it on the larger scale of ’boutique’. Referencing its surroundings, the hotel’s rooms and suites feature three garden-inspired themes: floral, herbal, and tropical. The room designs mimic what used to be the grand greenhouse in the Botanical Gardens which was also split into the above three climates. Guests will be fully immersed into a unique botanical theme throughout the hotel, with the walls and some ceilings in the rooms boasting very bold botanic inspired patterns and self-sustaining PikaPlant Jars, the original airtight terrarium. Each room boasts premium bedding, a working corner equipped with complementary water, a coffee-machine, a smart TV, high-speed internet, and a spa-inspired en-suite bathroom with Art Deco touches.

Brussels is the epicentre of architectural treasures with unique neighbourhoods strewn throughout the city. From the Royal Quarter to the Grand Palace and Îlot Sacré which houses the city’s 15th century Gothic town hall, the city has a lot to offer those coming to visit. 

“Hotel Indigo is IHG’s fastest growing boutique brand and is set to double over the next three – five years,” said  Eric Viale, Managing Director Southern Europe, IHG. The brand is now at home in over 100 different and vibrant neighbourhoods globally, which is an incredibly exciting milestone. We provide guests with the best of both worlds – the promise of a design-led hotel and the reassurance of a consistently upscale experience with the IHG name behind it.”

large lobby/lounge bar area with plants

Image credit: IHG

The hotel is also home to the new SERRA, a restaurant that is dedicated to producing good food that has a positive impact on people and the planet. A combination of terra (the soil) and serre (the greenhouse), the name SERRA is a tribute to nature as both aspects help to grow food. Offering a quick bite at Urban Picnic or a delicious menu at Garden Kitchen, Serra is centred around the ethos that good food has a positive impact on people and the planet. Serra describes itself as “authentic, eco-friendly, locavore” with everything being sourced or grown within 100 miles of the hotel.

Hotel Indigo has amplified its presence on the international hotel design scene recently, with more than 112 properties open globally and a further 102 in the hotel pipeline, including Hotel Indigo Clerkenwell that Hotel Designs is following from concept through to completion.

Main image credit: IHG

PRODUCT WATCH: Spectre from Parkside

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
PRODUCT WATCH: Spectre from Parkside

Ahead of Fraser Lockley from the brand joining editor Hamish Kilburn on stage on Thursday at the Surface Design Show, Parkside Architectural Tiles has launched a new ceramic wall tile collection…

A study that investigates the reactions of light on different glazes to playful effect, Spectre is the new ceramic wall tile collection from Parkside Architectural Tiles.

Made up of three glaze finishes; the playful and pearlescent hologram, matt and gloss, Spectre lets designers explore the interaction of light on different surfaces. The matt and gloss finishes are available on their own, or with a mixed finish box including all three finishes. By combining the different glazes in either a random combination or structured pattern, the collection can be used to dramatic effect, with light dancing across the finishes for a unique look at every viewing angle.

Most notable, the hologram finish uses a precious metals glaze to recreate an incredibly captivating and ever-changing spectrum effect. Each tile is unique, simply adding to the impact, with different gradients and shade combinations. Changing colour and reflectivity depending on where its viewed and the light conditions at that time, the hologram finish brings a different kind of pop to wall tiles.

Spectre comes in four colours of Sky, Cream, Rose and Milk and brings a thoroughly modern aesthetic, heightened by the intriguing 5cm x 25cm vertical format: “Spectre is an extraordinary collection that uses light as its catalyst for creativity,” explains Ian Mattacola, product manager, Parkside Architectural Tiles. “Creating iridescent rhythmic patterns through thoughtful pastel tones, it’s a tile that feels thoroughly modern and elegant while somehow bringing an intoxicating, playful spirit.”

Suitable for both commercial and residential interiors, the exclusive Spectre collection is available from Parkside in all four colourways, giving designers and specifiers the chance to explore unique finishes with the reassurance of the supplier’s high service levels.

Hotel Designs’ Hamish Kilburn will host the panel discussion entitled: Biophilic Materials in Surface Design. He will be joined on the sofa by Fraser Lockley (architectural consultancy manager at Parkside Architectural Tiles), Jeremy Grove (Managing Director of Sibley Grove) and Richard Holland (Director of Holland Harvey Architects).

Main image credit: Parkside Architectural Tiles

Render of luxurious public area

Hilton’s ‘Collection’ brands add more than 100 hotels to global pipeline

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hilton’s ‘Collection’ brands add more than 100 hotels to global pipeline

Curio Collection and Tapestry Collection by Hilton unveil to increase global pipeline by 120 hotels…

From picturesque island getaways to charming small towns, Hilton’s full service Collection brands – Curio Collection by Hilton and Tapestry Collection by Hilton – opened 40 unique hotels last year in sought-after destinations.

Render of luxurious public area

In 2020, the brands’ development goals feature notable milestones, including Curio Collection’s 100th hotel opening and Tapestry Collection’s debut in Europe.

“Today, Curio Collection and Tapestry Collection offer travellers distinctive experiences at more than 100 hotels worldwide – from enjoying locally sourced seafood from the surrounding ocean waters as part of the Dock to Dish program at Baker’s Cay Resort Key Largo, to admiring the original chocolate factory design at The Wilbur Lititz near historic Hershey, Pennsylvania,” said Jenna Hackett, global head, Hilton’s Collection brands. “Hilton’s Collection brands promise our guests an enriching travel experience. Through the introduction of unique hotels to our growing global portfolio, we can maintain that promise on an even greater scale with anticipated openings in destinations like Lisbon, Paris and Madrid.”

In the year ahead, Curio Collection and Tapestry Collection are expected to welcome the following hotels:

Curio Collection openings

  • The Emerald House Lisbon, Curio Collection by Hilton (Q3 2020): The Emerald House Lisbon is undergoing a multi-million-dollar renovation and will be situated in the heart of Lisbon, steps away from many of Lisbon’s top attractions and the historical districts of Chiado and Baixa, known for its vibrant restaurant scene, boutique shops and local culture. The hotel will boast 67 guest rooms, a fitness center, restaurant and bar for guests and local residents to enjoy.
  • Navy Pier Chicago, Curio Collection by Hilton (Q3 2020): As Curio Collection’s second property in Chicago and the first hotel on Navy Pier, Navy Pier Chicago’s 222 guest rooms will feature floor to ceiling windows that showcase breathtaking views of the city’s famed skyline, Lake Michigan and the Pier. Guests will also enjoy a high-energy first floor restaurant, a state-of-the-art fitness center and an unparalleled 30,000-square-foot rooftop restaurant, bar and event space.
  • The Fellows House Cambridge, Curio Collection by Hilton (Q3 2020): The Fellows House Cambridge embraces Cambridge’s heritage as home to one of the U.K.’s most prestigious universities. Everything from the hotel’s interiors to its name pays tasteful tribute to the great minds who have graced the city through the centuries. Filled with poetry, scientific drawings and famous quotations, the hotel will offer guests a place to truly stay, eat and drink in the style and culture of the city.

Tapestry Collection openings

  • Atocha Hotel Madrid, Tapestry Collection by Hilton (Q1 2020): The first Tapestry Collection hotel to open in Spain, Atocha Hotel Madrid will introduce the Tapestry Collection experience to Madrid locals and visitors alike. The 46-room hotel on Calle Atocha is just metres from Madrid Atocha railway station, the busiest in Spain, and is within walking distance of popular tourist attractions, including the Golden Triangle of Art museums, Puerto del Sol which contains the famous city square clock and Plaza Mayor, boasting grand Spanish architecture.
  • Le Belgrand Hotel Paris Champs Elysees, Tapestry Collection by Hilton (Q1 2020): As the first Tapestry Collection hotel in France, Le Belgrand Hotel Paris Champs Elysees is undergoing a significant renovation designed to create a unique ambience and reflect the building’s heritage. Guests will enjoy a lobby/bar area and thoughtful touches throughout the property, including original artwork exclusively curated for the hotel and placed in all rooms and public areas showcasing well-known French artists.
  • Bermudiana Beach Resort, Tapestry Collection by Hilton (Q4 2020): Situated on a cliff overlooking the pristine pink-sand beach and turquoise waters, Bermudiana Beach Resort will welcome guests to 90 fully furnished hotel residences. As the first Hilton property in Bermuda, the resort will offer an array of vibrant amenities including a family-friendly swimming pool and infinity pool, an indulging spa, an immaculate and secluded beach in addition to a terrace with its signature restaurant, bar and ocean views.

Together, Curio Collection and Tapestry Collection have more than 120 properties in their pipelines. From urban destinations like Washington, D.C. to cultural hot spots like Taipei, both brands will continue to evolve their offerings to feature each hotel’s unique identity and story, weaving in local culture and providing each guest a rich experience that is authentic to its destination.

Main image credit: Hilton Hotels

Yello and blue contemporary arm chairs in light chalet-style room

Checking in to review Hotel Le Coucou, Meribel

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Checking in to review Hotel Le Coucou, Meribel

15 years after first discovering the magic of Meribel in the French Alps, editor Hamish Kilburn is back – this time to review the destination’s latest ski-in/ski-out luxury hotel

In-between snow-blanketed fir trees, more than 1,400 metres above sea level in the French Alps, Hotel Le Coucou is Meribel’s latest luxury ski-in/ski-out hotel.

Yello and blue contemporary arm chairs in light chalet-style room

Award-winning French designer/architect Pierre Yovanovitch, who was last year crowned Wallpaper*’s Designer of the Year, was presented with a blank-canvas brief with his latest hotel project. Within just three years, he managed to create a sensitive architectural shell and fill it with his signature couture approach to interior design, including more than 140 bespoke furniture and lighting pieces – think abstract, animal-like armchairs and ice-inspired chandeliers. “There was so much pressure, because three years is not long for a project on this scale,” says Yovanovitch, “but it was a good challenge and the time restraint spurred me on to create something unique for the area.”

“We were familiar of Pierre’s work and knew instantly that he was perfect for what we had in mind for this hotel.”  – Kimberley Cohen, Artistic Director of Maisons Pariente.

Image from balcony looking out onto the mountains

Image credit: Hotel Le Coucou

With a list of strict local architectural planning constraints to abide by, in regards to using only local materials and regionally-integrated styles, the 55-key boutique hotel quickly became one the of designer’s most ambitious projects to date. “Previously, hotels that opened in ski resorts made a lot of mistakes, especially new-build properties that opened in the ‘70s,” Yovanovitch adds. “It was impossible to create a striking architectural structure because of the town’s uncompromising architecture regulations.”

“We had to lose a bedroom in the design stages in order to open up space for the oval-shaped lobby.” – Pierre Yovanovitch.

Despite the hotel seamlessly blending in to the natural winter wonderland location from the exterior (literally positioned on what was previously a piste ski route), inside, Yovanovitch paints a contrasting picture. Through the blonde, wooden-framed automatic doors, an understated check-in desk sits under a large painted oval ceiling. “Originally, the ceiling in the lobby was too low,” the designer explains. “As a result, we had to lose a bedroom in the design stages in order to open up space for the oval-shaped lobby.” The now intricately painted ceiling that forms a backdrop for a chandelier that looks like a melting ice cube is also guests’ first introduction to a loose motif, which continues throughout the hotel: the theme of owls – think of it as the designer’s contemporary flair, or a well-placed obsession.

intricate dome in the ceiling shelters seating underneith

Image caption/credit: The quirky, understated hotel lobby/Hotel Le Coucou

For the owners of the hotel, Maisons Pariente, there was only ever one designer for the job. “We were familiar of Pierre’s work and knew instantly that he was perfect for what we had in mind for this hotel,” said Kimberley Cohen, Artistic Director of Maisons Pariente. Thanks to the designer’s idiosyncratic take on slope-side luxury, Hotel Le Coucou has made it onto the radar of winter luxury travellers.

As well as the property remaining sensitive to its location in order to not lose the charm and personality of the local architecture, the public areas are also a nod to Yovanovitch’s stamp in the world of interior design. Several iconic Bear Chairs from his recent collaboration with R&Company, for example, are meaningfully scattered around the public areas, which adds the designer’s signature playful and contemporary style inside the shell of what on the outside looks to be a traditional alpine hotel.

“I was inspired to ensure that every room had an amazing view.” – Pierre Yovanovitch.

Capturing what you could strongly argue, from a hotels perspective at least, to be the most striking panoramic vistas in all of the French Alps, each of the boutique jewel’s guestrooms and suites have been designed to frame postcard-perfect views of undulating mountains. “I was inspired to ensure that every room had an amazing view, that was the most important thing when I came to design these areas,” explains Yovanovitch. “Sometimes, the view itself is more important than the décor.”

The 39 suites and 16 rooms are adorned with rich, warm colours and more than 160 contemporary art pieces as well as modern technology. The snow-inspired carpets inject sense-of-place and add a new layer of character into the lodge-like spaces. Although each guestroom and suite share the same motif, each shelter individual elements and somehow still maintain a traditional alpine style.

Bear chair next to lamp and on snow-inspired carpet

Image credit: Hotel Le Coucou/Jérôme Galland

The plush en-suite bathrooms, which are layered in marble, feature quality supplier labels and are complete with Italian faucets from Stella, Duravit W/Cs with Geberit operation panels and Beurer vanity mirrors as well as discreet wash-room style shower that is simple to operate. Character is injected into these spaces with imperfect oval-shaped mirrors and Yovanovitch’s bulb lighting.

Hidden downstairs, away from the public eye, are the hotel’s two four-bedroom chalets; worlds of their own. Both expansive two-floor chalets showcase Yovanovitch’s mastery of volume and architectural angles and continue to combine five-star luxury amenities with the detailed craftsmanship found in a traditional alpine home. Each are fully equipped with en-suite bedrooms, spacious living area and a games area as well as a private ski room, pool and spa.

For the main hotel guests, the hotel’s indoor and outdoor pool also feature private moments, such as relaxation areas that are nestled poolside underneath sculpted arches. The pool areas, divided by a bay window, create a stunning, trompe-l’oeil effect with views of the postcard-perfect vista outdoors. Down the corridor, six massage treatment rooms with specialist treatments from Tata Harper and a sauna area offer a deeply relaxing experience, and above this area is a state-of-the-art fitness studio and gym.

While there are three F&B areas in the hotel, the Beefbar restaurant and the adjacent bar create equal statement, as they frame the most spectacular views through unobtrusive floor-to-ceiling windows and are deliberately placed on the ground floor to create a dramatic first impression.

The Beefbar restaurant is full of thoughtful nods to the hotel’s name, location and character of its owners. A wall of cuckoo clocks above the tables, for example, reflects the traditional decor of the region, and emoji-themed plates create humour in all the right places. In the bar, low-level furniture that, when not sat on, abstrusely depicts an owl sitting on a textured geometric carpet. Together with a pastel pink, blue and mustard palate in the walls and furniture makes this area an exciting instagrammable space that feels warm, inviting and far from stuffy. Meanwhile, the hotel’s fine-dining restaurant, Bianca Neve, is located on a lower floor and is ideal for an evening meal, once the sun has disappeared over the horizon and guests’ attention can focus inwards. Yovanovitch’s artistic mark continues with a strong choice of bold colors, rich materials and an intricate ceiling fresco for good measure.

Light and bright restaurant

Image caption/credit: Bianca Neve restaurant/Hotel Le Coucou

Hotel Le Coucou is the third opening for Maisons Pariente in 2019, following closely behind the opening of Hotel Lou Pinet, Saint Tropez in June 2019 and the reopening of the refurbished Hotel Crillon le Brave in Provence on May 1, 2019. The Pariente family have their sights set on Paris, in le Marais, for a fourth addition to the collection in 2021.

Exterior shot of the hotel

Image credit: Hotel Le Coucou

A destination as precious as Meribel, in my humble opinion, requires a meaningful design eye when it comes to redevelopment. Yovanovitch has proven that rigid architectural boundaries do not automatically limit the level of creativity. Instead, it is clear that his studio’s eccentric style was everything and more the destination was crying out for.

Image of man standing with back to camera overlooking snow-capped mountains

Image caption/Credit: Editor Hamish Kilburn saying goodbye to Meribel once more from his slope-side luxury suite at Hotel Le Coucou/hotel_design_editor

If anyone was in doubt of Yovanovitch’s credentials of being one of the great modern designers of our era, then they have only to check in to a place truly like no other, Hotel Le Coucou is open for business.

Suppliers
Bathroom: Duravit, Geberit, Stella | Furniture: Pierre Yovanovitch Studio, R&Company, Ethimo| Lighting: Pierre Yovanovitch| In-room technology: Samsung

Main image credit: Hotel Le Coucou

Dorchester Collection unveils first foray into branded residences

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Dorchester Collection unveils first foray into branded residences

Mayfair-based developer Clivedale London has unveiled Dorchester Collection’s first branded residences in London…

With interiors by acclaimed Parisian design duo Patrick Jouin and Sanjit Manku from Jouin Manku and fully serviced by neighbouring hotel, 45 Park Lane, Mayfair Park Residences are Dorchester Collection’s first foray into branded residences and set a new benchmark for the London super-prime market.

Located in south-west Mayfair, adjacent to Hyde Park and opposite the world-famous hotel, The Dorchester, ‘Townhouse One’ – a 3,334 sq. ft, three-bedroom duplex townhouse – offers the first glimpse inside this collection of 24 residences in the form of apartments, townhouses and a penthouse all fully serviced by Dorchester Collection. The eight-storey residential development seamlessly integrates the building’s Grade II listed façades on two traditional Mayfair Streets. Lee Polisano of PLP Architecture designed the residences, taking a scholarly approach to the refurbishment of historic Georgian façades whilst creating a contemporary counterpart, blending effortlessly into Mayfair’s eclectic patchwork of architectural styles.

Clean and spacious bedroom

Image credit: Clivedale London/Dorchester Collection

Accessed through its own private Georgian portico on Stanhope Gate, ‘Townhouse One’ features capacious Georgian proportions that exude a refined luxury. Marking the first time the innovative Parisian designers Patrick Jouin and Sanjit Manku have created interiors for a residential development project, the practice has created a luxurious, yet liveable space inspired by the fusion of classic and contemporary elements. The resulting design is one that exudes a strong sense of place – where historical references of English heritage and the period grandeur of the building’s Georgian origins are blended with exquisitely considered, custom interior architecture to create sumptuous interior spaces that are organic, elegant and evocative.

“We are thrilled to be part of the creation of Mayfair Park Residences and to work with Dorchester Collection again,” said Sanjit Manku, Founding Partner at Jouin Manku. “We’ve endeavoured to create a high-end interior with a sense of ease, relaxation, warmth and comfort with a little bit of sizzle and dazzle; a little bit of sparkle. A focal point of the new home is the blending of both natural and warm light throughout with coffered backlit ceilings illuminating the space and a six-metre-high bespoke light installation which extends down to the lower ground floor, melding the two levels together.”

Beyond the ornate décor of ‘Townhouse One’ lies a hidden gem; a 1,280 sq. ft vaulted garden filled with decadent alcoves, that span the length of the residence and is accessible from the kitchen and the bedrooms.

Tarun Tyagi, CEO at Clivedale London, commented: “Mayfair Park Residences marks a significant moment for Clivedale, and we are thrilled to be the first residential developer globally to partner with Dorchester Collection to create one of London’s most sought-after addresses. Our residents will become the first people in the world to enjoy the renowned services of a Dorchester Collection hotel in the comfort of their own home and we are excited to set a new benchmark for private residential developments. We are overjoyed how ‘Townhouse One’ reflects the unprecedented standard that will be seen throughout the wider scheme and hallmark quality that is synonymous with both Clivedale London and Dorchester Collection.”

Dorchester Collection’s 45 Park Lane will provide exclusive access to a tailor-made array of services including housekeeping service, 24/7 concierge services, 24-hour in-residence dining, a Rolls-Royce town car and chauffeur service, sommelier expertise as well as secure valet underground car parking, all helping to facilitate every and any aspiration of a resident. Indulgent in both service and amenities, Mayfair Park Residences 10,000 sq. ft Health Club will comprise a state-of-the-art gym, 20m pool, sauna and steam rooms, hydrotherapy pool, two private treatment rooms and residents lounge, all fully managed by the team at Dorchester Collection.

“Our first venture into private residences is a pivotal moment in the history of our company,” added Christopher Cowdray, Chief Executive Officer of Dorchester Collection.” We have partnered with Clivedale as they are known for their pursuit of outstanding design excellence in prime locations. Mayfair Park Residences will offer its residents the best combination of a spectacular home close to Hyde Park with the highly personalised services offered by 45 Park Lane.”

Main image credit: Clivedale London/Dorchester Collection

Radisson brand to debut first property in South Africa

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Radisson brand to debut first property in South Africa

Radisson Hotel Group has signed its first ‘Radisson branded’ hotel property in South Africa, the Radisson Safari Hotel Hoedspruit

Slated to open as early as 2022, Radisson Safari Hotel Hoedspruit will be the first ‘Radisson branded’ hotel to arrive in South Africa. 

The brand Radisson will become Radisson Hotel Group’s fourth brand and 13th hotel to open in the area and will take the group’s portfolio to almost 100 hotels in operation and under development.

The new 138-key hotel will comprise of rooms and suites, coupled with Radisson’s Scandinavian-inspired hospitality and unique brand features. Guests will be able to indulge in local and international cuisine at the all-day dining restaurant. Drinks can be enjoyed at the bar and coffee lounge overlooking the infinite and tranquil landscape as well as the pool bar and traditional lapa, with the majestic Drakensberg as a backdrop. 

“We are thrilled to introduce the Radisson brand to South Africa with our first safari-inspired hotel in the country,” said Elie Younes, Executive Vice President & Chief Development Officer, Radisson Hotel Group. “The hotel will be the perfect complement for our other hotels in South Africa.”

Gerrit Jan van der Grijn, CEO of the Lowland Group, developer and owner of the hotel, added: “It is an honour to be partnering with the Radisson Hotel Group to introduce the Radisson brand to South Africa and welcome the first safari-style hotel to the Group’s African portfolio. The hotel will most certainly uplift the area with the credibility that the Radisson Hotel Group brings as the first international hotel brand in the region. We look forward to a flourishing and long-standing partnership with the Group and together opening the doors in 2022.” 

With the rise of blesuire travellers, the hotel will also boast an expansive meeting and events area, which will include contemporary and versatile venues, from a conference centre to various meeting and board rooms which lead onto a spacious pre-function area and a business centre.

Main image credit: Radisson/Radisson Hotel Group

Sensitively renovating a luxury jewel in Malta

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Sensitively renovating a luxury jewel in Malta

Design firm RPW Design has completed the extensive renovation inside Malta Marriott Hotel & Spa, inspired by Maltese craft and culture…

Opening its doors this month after an extensive renovation led by RPW Design is Malta Marriott Hotel & Spa.

The refreshed interiors of the hotel’s public spaces, restaurants, bars and 301 guestrooms blend modernised elements of traditional Maltese craft with the heritage of the hotel’s local area of Balluta Bay. 

In order to create a local, authentic and sophisticated aesthetic, the design firm carefully studied the culture and architecture of Malta and the history of Balluta Bay to take inspiration from natural materials and shapes.

“The hotel is situated in amazing location which has inspired our design throughout.” – Alessandro Tessari, Interior Architect at RPW Design.

The design highlights elements of traditional Maltese craft in a modern way. Within the curtains and carpets throughout the corridors and bedrooms, there are subtle references to lace; artworks created from locally made cement tiles decorate the interiors and hand-blown glass is incorporated into the light fittings.

With five diverse restaurants and three bars, functionality was at the forefront of the design process. The designers carefully considered the different spaces and how these will be used to create spaces that are adaptable to the modern traveller who may have a business meeting in the morning, but wants to enjoy a relaxed drink in the evening. The result is an elegant aesthetic that is both intuitive for guests and functional for operations, underpinning the exceptional service that the Malta Marriott team deliver. 

“We have been delighted to work on this exciting design project,” said Alessandro Tessari, Interior Architect at RPW Design. “The hotel is situated in amazing location which has inspired our design throughout. It has been a pleasure to showcase the history and heritage of Malta through our eyes for all the guests to enjoy. We are excited to see how the hotel develops as it embarks in a new era as a Marriott hotel.”

Guests enter the hotel and step inside The Great Room and the original Villa Garden, where the hotel is now situated, was the main source of inspiration for this space. Organic features and natural elements are used throughout the property. Furnishings with elegant textures mixed with traditional materials such as cane, wood and raffia are featured. Traditional Maltese with decorative glasswork including a large-scale lighting feature in the reception adds colour and vibrancy to the space. The use of soft curves subtly encourages guests to move through the expansive space. 

“Inspired by the heritage of Balluta Bay, we have woven the traditional crafts of Malta throughout the design.” – RPW Design partner, Elizabeth Lane.

The Atrio features luscious wooden elements, warm tones and rich textures throughout, creating calm and casual environment by day, and a relaxed, intimate setting in the evening. The space showcases expert joinery through the stunning bespoke wine display and crafted wooden bar. The use of varied furniture again allows guests to clearly distinguish between the spaces. 

“It has been a privilege and really exciting working with the team on the renovation and rebranding of the hotel,” added RPW Design partner, Elizabeth Lane. “Inspired by the heritage of Balluta Bay, we have woven the traditional crafts of Malta throughout the design in a contemporary way thereby giving the hotel a real sense of place while looking to the future. It will be an ideal destination for business or leisure or a combination of both.”

As for the guestrooms, the design team exchanged the bright yellow walls and terracotta furnishings for a palette of soft greys and browns that reflect the local architecture. The studio also introduced accents of vibrant colours inspired by the colourful balconies and doors found on traditional Maltese buildings and soft blues that reflect the shades of the sea. 

Light and bright image of room with wooden floor and white bed.

Image credit: Malta Marriott Hotel & Spa

Within the new executive suites, a timber slatted wall partition adds a new layer that is inspired by traditional balcony shutters. The partition creates an interesting effect which ensures natural light and air can travel across the lounge and bedroom areas whilst maintaining privacy for the guests. 

Located on the seafront, separate from the main hotel, The Villa has been designed in continuity with the hotel but the overall design is more traditional, as this is one of the few villas left in Balluta Bay.  Since the hotel was built in the original villa gardens, RPW decided to incorporate flora as the main feature to showcase the outlet’s fine dining experience.

The Marketplace, situated on the second floor, is Malta Marriott’s main restaurant. The designers have created a large open space that is flooded with light. The studio has continued to use slatted timber detailing that can be seen throughout the hotel, as well as soft upholstery, decorative tiles, marble detailing and colourful accessories to create a harmonious atmosphere. The design allows the space to be seamlessly adapted from a daily breakfast venue into a lavish evening restaurant, perfect for special occasions throughout the year.

The M Club Lounge offers spectacular views and the ideal space to work or relax. A versatile range of furniture meets the ever-changing needs of travellers. Soft lounge chairs and sofas create an intimate setting for leisure guests, whilst a large communal table with integrated work space is the perfect spot for business travellers to work. 

Image of rooftop overlooking Malta

Image credit: Malta Marriott Hotel & Spa

Overall, the hotel’s latest renovation has not only given life into the hotel, but has also enriched the surrounding area with RPW Design’s sensitively accurate approach. The design firm, which first showcased its ability to transform the Marriott brand back in 2016 with the completion of London Marriott Hotel County Hall’s complete renovation, has done it again with the completion of Malta’s Marriott to prove that this hotel brand is not reserved to the colour scheme of maroon reds and dark greens.

Main image credit: Malta Marriott Hotel & Spa

Versa’s new Invinci surface collection harnesses art and tech

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Versa’s new Invinci surface collection harnesses art and tech

Versa’s new surface collection, Invinci, harnesses art and technology to create one-of-a-kind textures, intriguing embossings and multi-faceted prints…

From subtle textile effects to dramatic iridescent mylars, the expansive Invinci collection from Versa Designed Surfaces delivers the right aesthetics to achieve your design vision.

Choose from a range of textile designs that project the luxury of silk, the warmth of cotton and the refinement of linen. Peruse reflective embossings that change appearance in different light and when viewed from different perspectives. Browse inspired, multi-colored patterns that intermingle flat and metallic inks to produce three-dimensional looks. Invinci blends fresh, sometimes unexpected, design elements with classic motifs to fashion wallcoverings that will stand the test of time.

image of marble-like textured wallcovering behind sofa

Image credit: Versa Designed Surfaces

Invinci wallcoverings meet or exceed stringent U.S. and international standards for quality, performance and sustainability. Versa Designed Surfaces, one of the largest commercial wallcovering manufacturers in the world, designs and produces the collection in state-of-the-art U.S. facilities. The company follows an aggressive sustainability plan that includes sourcing high quality and recycled raw materials, recycling inks and materials, and reducing usage of water and energy that was outlined in a recent interview with Paul Gibson, the Business Development Manager EMEA at Versa.

Invinci wallcoverings carry Environmental Product Declarations that provide a comprehensive picture of the product’s environmental impacts. This tool offers complete transparency into the wallcovering’s sustainability profile, detailing impacts from cradle to grave. The EPDs are accepted internationally and may contribute points to environmental rating systems such as LEED and Green Globe.

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

Main image credit: Versa Designed Surfaces

Crosswater becomes Partner for Hotel Designs’ MEET UP networking events

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Crosswater becomes Partner for Hotel Designs’ MEET UP networking events

Crosswater will attend both MEET UP London and MEET UP North as a partner…

Following the company being the headline partner of The Brit List Awards 2019, British bathroom manufacturer Crosswater has been announced as a partner for Hotel Designs’ premium networking events in 2020.

MEET UP London takes place on May 13 at Minotti London, and MEET UP North that takes place in Manchester on July 6.

“To this end, we are very excited to be involved in the first MEET UP London and MEET UP North in Manchester.” – Richard Ticehurst, head of trade marketing and training at Crosswater.

Richard Ticehurst, head of trade marketing and training at Crosswater said of the announcement: “At Crosswater, we are committed to making decisions on design, manufacture, marketing and our supply chain based on strong market insights from across the industry. One of our guiding values is to ‘focus on the user, and all else will follow’. This doesn’t just mean the end-user, it means we want to understand all the critical perspectives in a project from designer, hotelier and developer and integrate them into our offer. To this end, we are very excited to be involved in the first MEET UP London and MEET UP North in Manchester and look forward to some great interactions.”

Having previously supported Hotel Designs by being the headline partner of The Brit List Awards, Crosswater will attend the regional networking events which last year bridged the gap between more than 400 design and hospitality professionals. “We are fully committed to host our networking events in locations and venues that are at the heart of the hotel design community,” said editor Hamish Kilburn. “We hope that Meet Up London and Meet Up North, which include relevant themes and talks at both, help to build seamless relationships as well as inspire the industry to further push boundaries in design and hospitality.”

EARLY RELEASE tickets to the events have expired. Look out for announcements to launch our EARLY BIRD tickets at the end of the month…

In the meantime, if you would like to discuss various sponsorship packages available, or if you have any enquires regarding tickets, please contact Katy Phillips via email, or call 01992 374050.

7 savage hotel construction projects on the boards

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
7 savage hotel construction projects on the boards

To celebrate ‘Architecture & Construction’ firmly being in the spotlight this month, the editorial team at Hotel Designs have identified some of the industry’s most ambitious hotel projects that are expected to open in the next few years… 

The hotel industry is booming, is the verdict from the data analysts at STR as they reveal to Hotel Designs that there are currently 74,417 hotels on the boards in Europe alone.

In the next few years, millions of rooms will open in major cities, towns and far-flung travel hotspots around the world. In order to shelter these rooms and suites, architects are using new rendering software to challenge conventions like never before to conceive new exciting buildings that will have the power to transform skylines on an epic scale.

Ahead of Forum Events’ up-and-coming inaugural Building and Construction Summit next month, here are just a few hotel construction plans that we expect will disrupt the international hospitality industry as we know it when they complete with innovation, style and substance.

Mandarin Oriental Melbourne

render of the Mandarin Oriental Melbourne

Image credit: VA

Mandarin Oriental’s first hotel in Melbourne is taking shape. First realised in 2016, Zaha Hadid Architects were asked to design the mixed-used 185-metre tower located in the heart of the city’s financial district. When completed, it will feature an all-day dining restaurant and a bar with a landscaped roof terrace. There will also be a variety of meeting spaces and an executive club lounge. A Spa at Mandarin Oriental will offer the Group’s renowned wellness,relaxation and beauty facilities, while further leisure options include a comprehensive fitness centre and an indoor swimming pool.

Rosewood São Paulo 

image of building camouflaged in trees

Image credit: Jean Nouvel

Opening later this year, Rosewood Hotels & Resorts will launch its first South American property situated in the centre of São Paulo. The hotel, which is being designed in collaborations with design and architecture legend such as Philippe Starck and Pritzker Prize-winning architect Jean Nouvel, will feature 151 guestrooms. The striking biophilically designed building will include two swimming pools with one rooftop pool and the other set amongst the landscaped grounds and a large spa and a fitness area.

Shishi-lwa House

From one Pritzker Prize winner to another, architect Ryue Nishizawa has designed the concept of Shishi-lwa House in Japanese city of Nagano. Expected to open next year, the eight-key hotel’s aim will be to provide a sanctuary in a cluster of 10 interconnected pavilions made out of locally sourced jinoki cypress wood.

Downtown LA Jenga-like skyscraper

Render of the top of a building that has been made to look likke a jenga set

Image credit: Arquitectonica | JMF Developments & Co.

Architecture firm Arquitectonica‘s dream to evolve the city of Angels’ iconic landscape is becoming a reality after the company has recently got approval for the 53-storey building by the city’s planning commission. The condo tower with its cantilevering glass-bottom swimming pools. JMF Development Co. aims to have the building completed by as early as 2023.

25hours Hotel Paper Island

Slated to open in 2024, 25hours Hotel Paper Island will mark the brand’s arrival into the Copenhagen property market. Pulling out all the stops, the hotel company has enlisted the help of interior design guru Erik Nissen Johansen from Stylt Trampoli and architecture firm Cobe to imagine the concept of the hotel developed by Nordkranen and Union Kul.

Kisawa Sanctuary 

render of beach-front bungalows

Image credit: Kisawa Sanctuary

Taking the hotel scene in Mozambique back to basics, Kisawa’s founder Nina Flohr’s latest hotel is stripped-back luxury escape in the pipeline. Comprising of 12 luxury bungalows – each one furnished to echo cultural references of the island – the hotel is expected to open this Summer. “My mission for Kisawa is to create a level of hospitality and design that to my knowledge, does not exist today, a place that inspires feelings of freedom and luxury born from nature, space and true privacy,” Flohr. “We have used design as a tool, not as a style, to ensure Kisawa is integrated, both culturally and environmentally into Mozambique.”

Infinity London

Once you have worked out how to get in and out of what was surely the talked-about infinity pool concept of last year (via a spiral staircase “based on the door of a submarine” that rises from the pool’s floor), the next question is: who would be brave enough to peer over the edge? Infinity London is the brainchild of Alex Kemsley, a pool designer and technical director for Compass Pools. The 55-story high-rise in London, will provide 360-degree views of the city below and takes wellness to new death-defying heights.

If you are a contractor, developer or surveyor and are interested in attending the Building and Construction Summit, which takes place on March 16 – 17 at Radisson Blu Hotel, please email Daniella Batchelor or Josh Oxberry. Alternatively, you can call 01992 374048/04.

Main image credit: Arquitectonica/Kisawa Sanctuary/Rosewood Hotels/Compass Pools 

Image of the built in bath

Bette launches its first circular built-in bath

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Bette launches its first circular built-in bath

The sustainable, recyclable and luxurious BettePond bath is made from the company’s signature glazed titanium-steel…

Bathroom manufacturer Bette has launched the first built-in circular bath, BettePond, made of glazed titanium-steel, which uses only natural materials in its production.

Image of the built in bath

The generously proportioned 150cm diameter BettePond bath is made from durable glazed titanium-steel,  which keeps its shine, is easy to clean and can be a more sustainable choice for the bathroom.

The BettePond bath has a slender rim of only 8mm, and when inset into a surface creates a stylish pool or pond-like effect. Bette can also install a whirlpool system into the bath.

Like the freestanding version (the BettePond Silhouette) the new built-in BettePond was designed by Dominik Tesseraux as a reminder of the original shape of the bathtub. With a generous diameter, the bath is the perfect place for luxurious relaxation.

The sustainability of Bette’s glazed titanium-steel products is independently verified by an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) which is based on the ISO 14025 and EN 15804 standards. It covers the entire life-cycle of Bette’s products, and their functional and technical qualities.

The brand’s baths, shower trays and washbasins are made from glazed titanium-steel, which uses only natural materials in its production, and they are so durable that they come with a 30 year warranty.

Bette has invested in energy-efficient manufacturing and creates two-thirds of its own energy requirements with electricity that it produces itself from renewable sources.

Bette is a Hotel Designs’ Recommended Supplier. 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: Bette

Bathroom collaboration goals: AQATA and Roccia Tiles

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Bathroom collaboration goals: AQATA and Roccia Tiles

The UK’s leading manufacturer of luxury shower screens and enclosures AQATA recently collaborated with Roccia Tiles on an exciting new bathroom project…

The brief for AQATA and Roccia Tiles was to create a large walk in steam enclosure that was light, airy and used stone tiles and flooring which added warmth to the space.

The project was the perfect fit for AQATA’s Design Solutions range, the most versatile of all our shower screens and enclosures as it allows total freedom to create a unique and individual space. In this case we used the DS470 special, for this made 2 measure steam enclosure.

The client wanted to the room to be fully visible from the outside so chrome fixtures and hinges were used and AQATA installed the screen and door using 10mm toughed clear-shield glass. This is ideal for a steam enclosure as it is easy to clean, eco-friendly and prevents the growth of bacteria. Although for this project clear glass was used, tinted options including bronze and grey are available.

When designing the steam enclosure because of the exterior set up, in this instance the door opens to the left. However, as the DS range provides numerous options, doors can open in either direction and depending on aspects, such as height of showerhead; it can open inwards or out into the bathroom.

Image caption: Design Solutions range by AQATA

The steam enclosure is a complete room with the glass extending from wall to wall; however the design solution range is also suitable for freestanding shower enclosures too.

Enriched by a passion for superb design and product innovation AQATA are a leading UK manufacturer of luxury shower screens and enclosures. Founded in 1986 by engineer and entrepreneur, Peter Brown, AQATA is a home-grown, family owned company with more than 30 years’ experience in the bathroom industry.

All AQATA models are designed and built to order by skilled experienced craftsman at the company’s dedicated factory in Hinckley, Leicestershire. Every handcrafted enclosure and screen comes with a life time guarantee for complete peace of mind and is supplied with ClearShield ECO-GLASSTM glass protection as standard.

AQATA has recently become a Hotel Designs’ Recommended Supplier. 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: AQATA

Everything you need to know about Hilton’s new lifestyle brand

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Everything you need to know about Hilton’s new lifestyle brand

Last month, Hilton dropped the news that it was launching a new lifestyle brand. Tempo by Hilton is an elevated and approachable brand offering thoughtful design, efficient service and exciting partnerships. Editor Hamish Kilburn investigates…

With no less than 30 hotels under development – and 30 more pending deals – Tempo by Hilton has launched with no intention of pacing itself into the market.

By combining thoughtful design and diverse lifestyle partnerships, Tempo by Hilton provides hotel owners and developers with a highly scalable brand that is both uplifting and within reach for future guests – all powered by an efficient service model.

“For more than 100 years, Hilton has pioneered the hospitality industry as we know it,” said Christopher J. Nassetta, President and CEO, Hilton. “Tempo by Hilton is the latest example of our unique ability to anticipate what our guests are looking for and deliver unmatched value for customers and owners alike. We’re thrilled to welcome this new brand to our Hilton family and look forward to building on our legacy of innovation with Tempo by Hilton.”

As part of its commitment to helping guests live better lives, Tempo by Hilton has established and built upon partnerships with leading experts across the well-being, food and beverage and other lifestyle spheres. The experts on board include Arianna Huffington’s renowned behaviour change platform, Thrive Global and established culinary firm, Blau + Associates. These organisations bring a sense of discovery to the brand, while empowering guests to continue prioritising well-being and personal growth even while travelling.

“Tempo by Hilton introduces a new concept by combining all the benefits and efficiencies owners expect from a limited service model with an uplifting dose of inspiration,” said Phil Cordell, SVP and global head of new brand development, Hilton. “Utilising a data-driven blueprint, we identified lifestyle offerings inside the guest rooms and throughout the property that push the entire sector to new heights. The end result is a compelling, yet approachable brand that enables owners to expand their portfolios in sought-after locations across the country as well as capture a new demographic of travellers.”

Guided by its various lifestyle partnerships, as well as exhaustive market research surveying more than 10,000 consumers, each Tempo by Hilton property will feature elements designed to help ambitious guests continue their journey without disrupting their routine.

Reinvigorating and Relaxing Guestrooms

More than rooms, Tempo by Hilton accommodations are said to serve as a refuge where modern travellers are reinvigorated for the day ahead. In-room experiences include the one-of-a-kind Power Up and Power Down collections; curated assortments of morning and bedtime rituals created in partnership with Thrive Global; as well as other unexpected touches, such as a finely tuned sleep environment and a dedicated Get Ready Zone with space to get ready, organise for the day and focus on work. In addition, the oversized bath suite, which includes mirrors with built-in Bluetooth speakers, is spacious, bright and invigorating to help guests recharge and renew.

render of plush yet simple guestroom

Image credit: Tempo by Hilton

Shared spaces

Envisioned as catalysts for genuine, memorable experiences, all Tempo by Hilton public areas bring a fresh approach to industry mainstays. These include art and design collections specifically chosen to encourage guests to look up from their daily grind and take a moment for themselves. Guests will also enjoy state-of-the-art fitness offerings; flexible meeting spaces.

Render of public areas

Image credit: Tempo by Hilton

Culinary journeys

Developed alongside the award-winning Blau + Associates, Tempo by Hilton’s food and beverage offerings ensure guests have access to everything they need to sustain energy and boost focus.

Sustainability

Tempo by Hilton aligns with Hilton’s Travel with Purpose 2030 Goals to double its investment in social impact and cut its environmental footprint in half. To that end, this new brand is committed to implementing sustainable practices throughout the guest experience. Examples of specific initiatives include LightStay, food waste programs, responsible seafood sourcing, hydration stations throughout the property to replace single-use plastic bottles and full-size bath amenity dispensers to reduce disposable plastics.

“Through our research, we found that while our current upscale offerings have been incredibly successful at earning loyalty among specific guest segments, there was a rising demographic of ambitious and highly discerning travellers that weren’t engaging with the category,” said Jon Witter, chief customer officer, Hilton. “With Tempo by Hilton, we are able to reach these influential consumers through a new, elevated yet approachable class of hotels designed to surpass expectations of both customers and owners in truly meaningful ways.”

Conceived with extensive input from leading hotel owners and investors around the country, the new brand has seen strong momentum ahead of its unveiling. There are more than 30 individual commitments to date with properties confirmed in several prime markets across the US, including New York, Maui, Boston, Los Angeles, Lexington, Nashville, San Diego, Charlotte, Washington D.C., Houston, Atlanta, and more. An additional 30 deals are in various stages of development.

Tempo by Hilton is the latest brand created by Hilton to address the future of travel. Other recently launched brands include Motto by Hilton – an affordable, lifestyle micro-hotel with a communal vibe in prime urban destinations – and Signia Hilton – the portfolio’s premiere meetings and events brand.

Main image credit: Tempo by Hilton

Discussing biophilic design in hotel surfaces

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Discussing biophilic design in hotel surfaces

Ahead of their panel discussion at the Surface Design Show next week, editor Hamish Kilburn and Parkside Architectural Tiles’ architectural consultancy manager Fraser Lockley discuss sustainable surfaces in hotel design… 

Design is all around us, and we interact with it from the moment we get up in the morning, through our working day and into leisure time.

Design is a reflection of society and impacts on how we interact in our daily lives. The way in which buildings and spaces are designed has the potential to greatly impact the wellbeing of those interacting with it, so to promote biophilic design seems a given.

Ahead of hosting a panel discussion (February 13 at 12:30pm on the Main Stage) at the Surface Design Show next week, I caught up with one of my panelists early to understand, from a suppliers perspective, how designers’ methods for injecting biophilic design into projects is allowing new possibilities to emerge in surface design.

Hamish Kilburn: What makes biophilic design more than just a trend?
Fraser Lockley: The ideas and principles of biophilic design have been around for many years, it is only the term that has come to the forefront of the design world more recently. The use of natural materials was a foundation for many of the classic societies (Egyptians, Greeks etc), so biophilic design is definitely not a new trend. It’s more a return to exploring the use of natural shapes, colours, textures and patterns as well as sustainable materials and interpreting these to modern designs and how they impact on end users.

HK: Can you explain what Parkside is looking for when it investigates new materials?
FL: We are always looking for opportunities to bring new products to the interiors and A&D sector. Our Sequel range is a great example, using recycled glass and ceramics normally discarded in the sanitary products manufacturing process, we were able to offer a great looking tile that appealed to the aesthetic requirements of clients while embracing sustainability and a biophilic ethos.

“While 15-20 years ago the idea of using recycled content was associated with inferior or cheaper products, now producers are more comfortable in declaring the resourcing of products to create new tiles.” Fraser Lockley, architectural consultancy manager at Parkside Tiles.

HK: What would you say are the least sustainable materials available in the marketplace?
FL: Sustainability can be measured in various ways, so it is not always easy to pinpoint exact materials, for example some materials may be more energy intensive to produce but then have a much longer product life than sustainably produced equivalents. In addition, products that stand the test of time in terms of look and performance could arguably be more sustainable over something very niche and on-trend for a particular timeframe. For us, it’s about achieving a balance across all of these and providing products that have a long-term design, good product life and made without over-exploiting earth’s natural resources.

HK: How is technology unlocking the potential for designers to affordably access sustainable tiles?
FL: Digital printing technology means that a majority of looks, finishes and styles can be replicated onto tiles, thereby protecting valuable natural resources such as marble, slate, quartz etc. It’s worth bearing in mind that tiles are generally long-lasting and hardwearing. In fact, tiles are only likely to be removed because someone wants to change them rather than through necessity. Looking around modern-day London, our tube stations are testament to some of the iconic tiles from the 1900s that are still in use today.

HK: How many of Parkside’s tiles would you consider to be sustainable?
FL: With the longevity that tiles provide we consider tiles to be a sustainable option for exterior and interior finishes. Many of the major manufacturers are using a percentage of recycled content within their production processes. While 15-20 years ago the idea of using recycled content was associated with inferior or cheaper products, now producers are more comfortable in declaring the resourcing of products to create new tiles.

HK: How can designers on a budget sensitively inject biophilic design in public areas?
FL: Designers can concentrate on one or two of the biggest elements of a project that will impact on the overall design, this could be key features or focusing on particular aspects like the lighting or flooring and sourcing one or two products that embrace the biophilic ethos. This one change may seem small but incorporating even just a single element can have an impact on how the end user interacts with public areas.

HK: In your role, how has demand for sustainability increased in recent years?
FL: There has been a massive increase! Architects and designers continue to incorporate sustainability within their projects and the latest generation of designers have been introduced to sustainability from the start of their careers, so we predict continued demand for new products that address these practises.

HK: What are the consumer benefits of biophilically designed tiles?
FL: Any biophilic design which helps end users connect with nature while inside, provides the benefits of reducing stress, supporting wellbeing, and helping with performance in an ever-hectic environment.

Hotel Designs’ Hamish Kilburn will host the panel discussion entitled: Biophilic Materials in Surface Design. He will be joined on the sofa by Fraser Lockley (architectural consultancy manager at Parkside Architectural Tiles), Jeremy Grove (Managing Director of Sibley Grove) and Richard Holland (Director of Holland Harvey Architects).

PRODUCT WATCH: Gessi’s sophisticated Anello faucets

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
PRODUCT WATCH: Gessi’s sophisticated Anello faucets

Gessi describes the new faucets as: “the poetry for a form that symbolises a promise…”

The Anello collection by Gessi speaks of harmony, love and fidelity. The design concept was, in fact, inspired by the form of a circle, a ring, that symbolises perfection, infinity, eternity.

Not only refined design, love for details, harmony of lines and proportions: Gessi wants to enter the home, enter daily life, in a discreet way, but that also touches an emotional chord. The Anello line is mainly distinguished by the handle of the mixer that features a new circular form, a ring, a true jewel of functional use, a promise of love and union that gives wellness and happiness every day, morning and night.

concept image of two faucets

Image credit: Gessi

The collection includes a variety of faucets for sinks, base and wall moun­ted. The mixer is produced in brass with treated surfaces, and presents va­rious finishes and patterns that enhance the uniqueness of the design with different hues and material or architectural effects. The new finishes in gloss brass, from warm to deep colours, and flamed brass, that has a charmingly rustic elegance, give a new alternative to the metallic surfaces that we are used to seeing in the bathroom fittings sector. Anello offers the possibility of creating innovative looks also thanks to a matte black finish, that joins the others of chrome, copper, gloss and satin metallic black.

In addition to the different models and versions, the Collection incorporates many modular and coordinating variables. The finishes may be combined in creative matches: the ring itself is available with smooth finish or in two different variations of knurling. Combining or overlapping opaque and gloss surfaces, smooth or knurled, creates very interesting and pleasing contra­sts and original decorative effects.

Gessi, which is a Hotel Designs’ Recommended Supplier, is a synonym of exclusivity and style in the world of design. The company’s mission is to bring a sense of private wellness to everyday life through its water sculptures: water as a means of wellbeing, the beauty of design as a pleasure to the eyes.

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: Gessi

Concept to Completion: Designing Hotel Indigo Clerkenwell (Part 1)

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Concept to Completion: Designing Hotel Indigo Clerkenwell (Part 1)

In the first article of a new series, editor Hamish Kilburn exclusively speaks to the designers at 3Stories to understand how the studio will sensitively convert an iconic neighbourhood pub into Hotel Indigo Clerkenwell… 

It’s been almost a year since IHG announced plans to open a 151-key Hotel Indigo in the heart of London’s design district.

Responsible for the interior design of the 151-key boutique hotel is Ben Webb and Jordan Littler who are the co-founders of 3Stories. The entire project, meanwhile, is being overseen by IHG’s Director of Interior Design, Henry Reeve, who was highly commended in the Interior Designer of the Year category at The Brit List Awards 2019. Reeve, who recently led the completion of Kimpton Fitzroy and Hotel Indigo properties in Stratford-Upon-Thames and Barcelona among other projects, is a sharp, dynamic designer who awarded 3Stories with one of the firm’s first hotel projects, Hotel Indigo Antwerp that opened in 2017.

Almost three years later, while the studio is working on on-going projects such as a Jo&Joe hotel in Liverpool, a Bistro in Brixton and a new music venue down the road in Kings Cross, Webb and Littler are putting their hearts and souls into sensitively restoring Clerkenwell’s much-loved pub, the Hat & Feathers, into a thriving hotel hub. 

I travelled to the duo’s Clerkenwell studio to exclusively speak to Webb about the plans of converting what is currently a building site into a statement hotel in the city’s design hub.

 

Hamish Kilburn: When did you win the project?
Ben Webb: August 2019

HK: How much time went into the pitch?
BW: We utilised the studios entire time, as we only had two weeks to come up with our concept.

HK: Can you explain for us how 3Stories developed?
Jordan Littler and I started our careers together 15 years ago and subsequently over that time worked for a number of different design agencies. In 2017 we both decided to join forces and essentially set up a company that specialises in hospitality design. 

HK: How did your pitch allow you to keep an ‘open window’ of ideas throughout the project?

BW: We kept the presentation quite broad, looking at all of the different areas in the hotel, meaning we didn’t present a finished design. This left more room for the client to use their own imagination and fill in the gaps. From a render perspective, we kept the visuals in a hand-sketch format as we felt a stunning photorealistic 3D was not required and the pitch was more about the ideas we could bring to the table. 

“Our first design job was located opposite the hotel and we would use the Hat and Feathers pub as our local.” – Ben Webb, Co-founder, 3 Stories

HK: What is the significance of this project, the site and why do you believe you are the best designers for the job?
BW: My business partner and I have worked in Clerkenwell for the past 14 years and are therefore very familiar with the area. Our first design job was located opposite the hotel and we would use the Hat and Feathers pub as our local. We specialise in F&B which is a huge part of the project and therefore our knowledge in the market helped us sell the concept to the client. 

HK: What are the biggest challenges you expect to run in to during the project?
BW: An obvious answer, but I have to say budget. There are a lot of elements to this project especially surrounding the listed nature of the pub and therefore the budget maybe squeezed in certain places. 

HK: Can you set the scene for our readers on what the hotel’s interiors will look like?
BW: If you are not familiar with the Hotel Indigo brand it is all about creating the neighbourhood story. With that in mind the hotel’s interior takes lead from the areas architectural and design heritage. The bedrooms themselves (three types) are designed in relationship to Clerkenwell, giving the guest a choice when booking to stay at the hotel. We have also defined four restaurant concepts within the hotel that we are currently developing with the F&B consultants, all of which take on a different feel based on the level cuisine being served.

HK: Do you plan on using suppliers that are local to the area?
BW: 100 per cent yes. This project more than any, due to its location in Clerkenwell and being surrounded by so many suppliers. One of the bedroom designs is purely dedicated to the ‘supplier showcase.’

HK: What are you most excited about with this project?
BW: The fact that we can bring a lot of local knowledge to the design from the relationships with current suppliers down to our understanding of the F&B market in Clerkenwell. 

The project continues…

This is part one of Hotel Designs’ Concept to Completion series, following design firm 3 Stories and IHG throughout their journey to create Hotel Indigo Clerkenwell. If you have a question regarding the design of the project that you would like to put forward, please email our editor.

Main image credit: 3 Stories

Render of rooftop bar and pool in city

Canopy by Hilton to open 20 hotels in 2020

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Canopy by Hilton to open 20 hotels in 2020

Hilton is calling it ’20 in 20′ as its lifestyle brand, Canopy by Hilton, is predicting to nearly triple its portfolio with 20 expected openings in the next 11 months… 

Hotel group Hilton has just announced that its ‘upper upscale’ lifestyle brand, Canopy by Hilton, is predicting to open 20 hotels in 2020 across seven countries.

Render of rooftop bar and pool in city

Canopy’s current and projected openings in 2020, which join the brand’s 12 existing hotels in China, Croatia, Iceland and the U.S., include:

  • Brazil: São Paulo-Jardins
  • China: Hangzhou-West Lake
  • France: Paris-Trocadero
  • Mexico: Cancun-La Isla (opened Jan. 28)
  • United Arab Emirates: Dubai-Al Seef1
  • United Kingdom: London-London City
  • United States: Austin-Downtown; Baltimore-Harbor Point; Charlotte-SouthPark; Dallas-Frisco Station; Grand Rapids-Downtown; Jersey City-Arts District; Kansas City-Downtown; Memphis-Downtown; Philadelphia-Center City; San Antonio-Riverwalk; Scottsdale-Old Town; Tempe-Downtown University Area; Washington, DC-Embassy Row (opened Jan. 14); and West Palm Beach-Downtown

“We’ve received resoundingly positive feedback from guests who have loved their local adventures while staying in our 12 existing hotels,” said Gary Steffen, global head, Canopy by Hilton. “We are excited to create more of these authentic experiences with all that Canopy offers in 20 more vibrant neighbourhoods this year.”

Strategically located in dynamic neighbourhoods across the globe, the concept of a Canopy hotel is a natural extension of the community in which it calls home and provides an energising atmosphere with thoughtfully local touches.

Following extensive consumer research, Canopy by Hilton was created to provide the uncomplicated comforts, thoughtful design and thriving atmosphere that today’s travellers demanded.

Prior to 2020, Canopy by Hilton opened properties in Atlanta-Midtown; Chengdu-City Centre; Columbus, OH-Short North; Dallas-Uptown; Ithaca-Downtown; Hangzhou-Jinsha Lake; Minneapolis-Mill District; Portland, OR-Pearl District; Reykjavik-City Centre; Washington, DC-Bethesda North; Washington, DC-The Wharf; and Zagreb-City Centre.

Beyond this year, the brand is working with local partners to develop hotels in Bangkok, Boston, Cape Town, Chicago, Kuala Lumpur, Madrid, New Orleans, Riyadh, Toronto and more.

Main image credit: Canopy by Hilton

Sekers launches new collection of wide-width curtains

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Sekers launches new collection of wide-width curtains

Sekers has launched BACCHUS, a collection of wide-width curtains, ideal for the contract market…

Hot off the heels of launching FIORA early this month, Sekers has unveiled BACCHUS, a collection of wide-width curtains that are available in a generous range of shades from vivid blues and earthy neutrals to ethereal pastels.

Bacchus includes two fabrics, each representing a distinct route to achieving lightweight contract curtaining. With a chunky yarn and soft drape, semi-sheer Bobal embraces natural light, making a simple and elegant statement. Gamay’s subtle melange colouration, fine woven, opaque appearance and supple drape makes for optimal snoozing.

The Bacchus collection is washable and fully FR tested with Bobal meeting FR curtain standards for the UK and US markets and with Gamay additionally meeting European and IMO FR curtain standards. With the width forming the drop and a fluid drape and subtle texture, Bacchus casts a positive glow on any interior and is an ideal choice for the designer specifying for the contract market.

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

Main image credit: Sekers

Ruby Hotels arrives in London

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Ruby Hotels arrives in London

The 75-Room, carnival-themed ‘Ruby Lucy’ brings the disruptor brand’s ‘Lean Luxury’ philosophy to the Southbank in London…

Following the opening of Ruby Leni, and Hotel Designs’ exclusive interview with the brand’s Head of Design Matthew Balon, Ruby Hotels has arrived to London, opening its debut hotel on the Southbank.

The new 75-room hotel, Ruby Lucy, forms part of an ambitious expansion plan for Ruby Hotels to unveil a total of eleven new hotels – including a second London property – by 2022.

Enjoying a prime position on the Southbank’s Lower Marsh, Ruby Lucy’s interior design is inspired by the area’s bustling fairs and markets, entertainment and theatre scene, with a carnival theme running throughout the hotel. Rich, dark tones meet bright brass accents and subtle stripes are accented with playful props including circus drums and juggling pins.

Booth to look like a circus tent

Image credit: Ruby Hotels

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

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

“This works because we accommodate luxury in a relatively condensed space, similar to luxury yachts, and we forego unnecessary services,” explains Michael Struck, Ruby Founder and CEO. “Every hotel is designed and developed individually, referencing local themes and stories. Thanks to proprietary technical innovations, we plan, build and organise ourselves differently from conventional hotels. To be precise, we plan and build in a very modular way and centralise as well as automatise processes behind the scenes wherever possible. This helps us create a luxurious and unique hotel experience at an affordable price.”

Located just a three-minute walk from Waterloo station, Ruby Lucy rubs shoulders with some of the city’s best-loved and lesser-known cultural gems. From theatres and galleries to concert halls and independent shops, the area buzzes with artistic flair and creativity.

Ruby Lucy houses 75 rooms, ranging in size from cosy ‘Nest’ rooms (14-15 m²) to expansive ‘Loft’ rooms (21-23 m²) and a stylish 24-hour bar. All guest rooms showcase Ruby Hotels’ sleep-scientist-approved formula for a peaceful night’s sleep, with full soundproofing, blackout curtains, high-quality linen and extra-long and wide custom mattresses.

Image credit: Ruby Hotels

A laid-back, contemporary design sees quirky touches such as the inclusion of a Marshall guitar amp in each room, which guests can use both with their own guitar or one borrowed from reception, and ‘Ruby Radio’, the hotel group’s own internet radio station.

Founded in 2013, the group already operates eight Ruby Hotels, with 11 additional hotels either under construction or in the planning phase of construction. Also, with the Ruby Asia joint venture, founded in 2018, and following it’s London arrival, Ruby Hotels is expanding into new territories around the globe.

Main image credit: Ruby Hotels

The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach re-opens following $90 million renovation

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach re-opens following $90 million renovation

The historic Art Deco Ritz-Carlton resort unveils an elegant new design as it is poised to become one of the most coveted destinations in South Florida…

The iconic Ritz-Carlton, South Beach has re-opened its doors following a $90 million, multi-year renovation by owners Flag Luxury Group, LLC and Lionstone Group that touched all elements of the property.

Ideally located in the heart of South Beach, Miami, the landmark hotel was originally imagined by architect Morris Lapidus, and following its floor-to-ceiling restoration is set to deliver a rare and refined experience marked by timeless design, thoughtful programming, and the anticipatory service of the Ladies and Gentlemen of The Ritz-Carlton.

Positioned at the intersection of Collins Avenue and Lincoln Road, the historic hotel showcases a design scheme created by Meg Sharpe, who oversaw the lobby, the Lapidus Bar, restaurant, pool, club and spa, and Cristian Rubio, from design-firm HBA, who was charged with reimagining the guestrooms and meeting spaces. Finding inspiration from the gorgeous natural surroundings, the interiors are warm and inviting, reflecting the serene natural beauty of Miami while celebrating the historic roots of the hotel.

Upon entering The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach, guests will discover the stunning new lobby that is a celebration of the original design, enhanced by elegant touches that transition the property into a modern era. Steps away, the all-new Lapidus Bar is a classic cocktail lounge honoring a bygone era of Miami with live music, vintage cocktails, and a design that invites visitors to settle in and absorb their magnificent surroundings.

“The design of the public spaces was inspired by the history of the building itself,” said Sharpe. “By upholding the integrity of the storied past of the property, we have revealed the architectural base created by the giants of the Art Deco and Mimo styles renowned in Miami. The gentle nod to the past is imbued with modern purpose.”

The vibrant flavors of Latin America take the lead at Fuego y Mar, the hotel’s new restaurant with Executive Chef Anthony LePape at the helm. Within this space guests also find a tech lounge, where they work in a sophisticated, convivial setting while ordering coffee and cocktails. DiLido Beach Club and its oceanfront location promise an intimate dining enclave with plush seating and views out across the turquoise water.

A true urban oasis in the heart of South Beach, The Ritz-Carlton Spa centres around a holistic approach to wellness that celebrates mindfulness and offers a range of therapies and journeys carefully designed to promote rest and rejuvenation. Home to the only Timeless Capsule in the United States, this one of a kind elliptical space is designed to condense spa treatments and is the ideal offering for time-restricted guests.

Each of the 376 guestrooms and suites reflect Rubio’s vision, which is the result of his extensive research into Miami and the many facets of the city that make it so special. Meticulously-designed furnishings and custom millwork blend together to create a space celebrating the city and its culture. Enhanced soundproofing additionally ensures guests a restful night’s sleep.

“Culture has been infused into each and every guestroom and meeting space, resulting in an authentic Miami experience,” said Rubio. “A relatively new city, Miami’s unique culture has been translated into the hotel with both depth of design and whimsical details that allow guests a feeling of being in the city without having to leave their rooms.”

The ballroom at The Ritz-Carlton, South Beach spans more than 10,000-square-feet, and is supplemented by 11 separate meeting and event spaces, all of which showcase a design that is infused with the spirit of Miami’s history and rich cultural scene.

Main image credit: Marriott International

Editor Checks In: Is it time to reinvent the hotel design experience?

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Editor Checks In: Is it time to reinvent the hotel design experience?

Steering away from the days of absurd tech-flooded hotels, editor Hamish Kilburn has identified a number of factors in the industry that are acting as catalysts to pave a more meaningful hotel design landscape…

The hotel design industry is a shrinking violet, said nobody… ever. And you can always count on the leading individuals to shake things up with a sprinkle of unconventional concepts.

In order to keep the tide of ideas flowing, though, designers, architects and suppliers need inspiration. Cue the arrival of CES 2020 in the wild and raucous city of Las Vegas, well and truly unlike anywhere else in the universe – AKA the perfect platform for the latest innovations in technology to take flight. The CES Convention, which took place on January 7 – 10, was a playground of breakthrough technologies and next-generation innovations. From Alexa-enabled showers to rotating TVs, the show was an insight into the possibilities of hotel design, if you knew where to look.

But what it perhaps lacked, which is often the case when futuregazing, was context on how these products will benefit the guests’ overall experience (I’m not sure we need a robot to check us in or fetch us a new toilet roll).

Learning the lessons from the days when the hotel industry layered hotels with unnecessary and complex technology, designers are now looking for ways in which to make the hotel experience smarter – think seamless cyber security preventions, products that aid better sleep and atmospheric lighting.

“My aim with the February features is to explore how the industry is reinventing itself through the use of materials.”

And that leads me seamlessly to introduce next month’s features: Architecture & Construction and Surfaces. My aim with the February features is to explore how the industry is reinventing itself through the use of materials. At last year’s London Design Fair, eagle-eyed visitors would have noticed a collage of biophilic materials being introduced and explored as palpable alternative in design. Hemp, tobacco, potato waste and palm leaves were among them.

I will be presenting ‘Biophilic Materials in Surface Design’ at the Surface Design Show next month. Joined on the Main Stage by Jeremy Gove from Sibley Grove, Richard Harvey from Holland Harvey Architects and Fraser Lockley from Parkside Tiles, together we will lift the lid on new, emerging and alternative surface materials with the aim to inspire the industry to think more consciously when designing the foundations of tomorrow’s hotels and cities.

Stay tuned…

Editor, Hotel Designs

5 minutes with: Interior designer, Yuna Megre

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
5 minutes with: Interior designer, Yuna Megre

Following the impressive VIP Suite that was unveiled Sleep & Eat 2019, interior designer Yuna Megre joins editor Hamish Kilburn for a five-minute chat on how the design concept came together…

It was one of the most popular elements of last year’s Sleep & Eat. Not only was the VIP Suite fit for purpose – giving designers, architects and the press a place to hide from the exhibition – but it was also flawlessly designed to look and feel like a premium space.

Named ‘Gather’ by the designers, the original oak panelled Olympia Club Room was transformed into a whimsical flora and fauna-inspired space. Drapes, upholstery and even the flooring were in a fabric depicting exotic flowers. Specially designed by MEGRE INTERIORS cascades of fabric flowers looped through the space and, in the epicentre, a large-scale light installation flickered warmly like a fire. Surrounded by orbicular seating – referencing the circular gathering places of human history and drawing a parallel to the primeval pleasure of coming together around a fire pit – the space was inviting, exciting and original.

Hamish Kilburn: Sum up your Sleep & Eat 2019 experience in one sentence?
Yuna Megre: Meaningful, inspiring, humbling experience, and there was an overwhelming appreciation of our ‘Gather’ concept.

HK: What was the brief?
YM: The brief was to create a VIP lounge that would reflect this year’s theme of the event of Social Flexibility. We went beyond that brief and created an experience rather than just a space, attacking all senses and immersing guests into a powerful atmosphere.

Image caption: Yuna Megre inside the VIP Suite at Sleep & Eat 2019

HK: Can you explain your choice of materials?
YM:
Straight away we knew we would keep to a mono-material / look as much as possible to create an atmosphere of immersion and to make shapes disappear, taking a back seat to colour and pattern. Originally we were aiming to cover all surfaces with fabric, and developed such fabric with Sahco, that could withstand all the application we would need. However, in development, we came to the conclusion that for fire safety, for ease of cleaning, for ease of application – we will produce glue backed vinyl with the same print to use on floors and some furniture. We further pushed the boundaries by creating fabric flowers and leaves that matched those drawn on the print and strategically placing them as if they burst out from the two dimensional world into the three-dimensional one. Everything but the print we wanted to disappear as much as possible and to create some spacial illusions – which we achieved through the use of mirrored furniture and surfaces. We also view the scent and music that we created for this project as the materials we used. Because for a concept to be experiential and immersive it must work with all human senses. 

“It is no longer enough to design spaces. We have to design experiences, environments, emotions.” – Yuna Megre, Founder and Head of Design at MEGRE INTERIORS.

HK: How does your design challenge conventional ideas of a public space?
It goes beyond space – that I feel is the biggest challenge to the convention. The way that our world is evolving, the way we consume our surrounding is evolving. It is no longer enough to design spaces. We have to design experiences, environments, emotions. There has never been such a cross-disciplinary overlap as today between interior design, event and experience design, art, digital design. And we are only at the beginning of this new paradigm. Our concept explores this new reality, a new approach to public spaces. It looks at space as an environment of interaction which has to create an emotion, a memory, rather than just serve a function.

HK: Can you explain your use of layers within the design?
YM: As we used a mono-material approach, we layered the project through senses rather than conventional visual layering. We addressed all six senses – the visual, the sound, the smell, the touch and with it ergonomics, the taste, and our last but most important one – emotion. We unravelled the concept of gather through them all. This is layering in the new era of design, not just visual layering. 

HK: What were the main challenges throughout this project?
YM:
Many people believed it could not be done. Throughout the journey multiple people were telling us to simplify it, to make it less complex. But we achieved what we set out to do, at 60 per cent of original cost estimations, on time, with everything as we envisioned. It is our teams approach to everything we do. There is always a solution, always to get things done. If you cannot see it, you are not looking hard enough. GATHER was such an overwhelming success because of this unwavering dedication to the concept and the support of all-out partners and contractors.

Main image credit: Megre Interiors 

CASE STUDY: Creating signage for stadium hospitality spaces

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
CASE STUDY: Creating signage for stadium hospitality spaces

Recommended Supplier Signbox manufactured bespoke signage for 12 restaurants and premium hospitality spaces at Tottenham Hotspur stadium…

Working closely with F3 Architects, which was responsible for designing the premium interiors of the new Tottenham Hotspur stadium, Signbox manufactured and installed brand signage for each of the 12 individual restaurants and hospitality spaces across the new stadium.

This including a commission to design, manufacture and install extensive glass manifestations for the Tottenham Experience, the Club’s new store.

The bespoke hospitality signage manufactured by Signbox were fabricated using a range of materials such as brass, copper, Corten steel, acrylic, LED neon and aluminium to create an elaborate suite of signage across the stadium’s premium interiors.

Installed across nine floors on both the East and West sides of the stadium, the Signbox’s installers covered on average 10km and 12 flights of stairs a day, working 24|7 to a tight deadline. Almost every single sign type was unique and as such had to be coded and marked on the plans with its individual location ID.

Collaboration was the key to success

Following on from the success of the previous Spurs project at their training campus (a stone’s throw from the new stadium) ‘The Lodge’ player accommodation, F3 Architects invited Signbox to become involved with the stadium works and to support them in the delivery of the bespoke hospitality, player and media signage across the new stadium for their client Tottenham Hotspur.

Collaboration with the client and BASE Contracts who were responsible for the delivery of the build was the key to success. With F3 Architects, we went through a highly detailed design process for each of the spaces and developed every element of the fixings, specification and location ensuring this was coordinated with the surroundings and making sure the placement for each sign was considered exactly.

Click here to read to find out more about the signs manufactured and installed by Signbox at Tottenham Hotspur stadium, the greatest and most innovative stadium in the world.

If you want to create that critical first impression that speaks volumes about your hotel brand and delivers a guest experience they’ll remember for all the right reasons, talk to Signbox about our award-winning hotel and hospitality signage solutions.

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.

Shama expands Bangkok presence in 2020

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Shama expands Bangkok presence in 2020

The serviced apartments brand will be present in four prime Bangkok neighbourhoods by late 2020…

Already a fast expanding Asia-Pacific serviced apartments brand with two properties in two prime locations in Bangkok, Shama Serviced Apartments by ONYX Hospitality Group is doubling its neighbourhood presence in the Thai capital by adding Phrom Phong and Yen Akat to its portfolio in 2020.

The two new properties – Shama Sukhumvit 39 Bangkok and Shama Yen Akat Bangkok – will complement the existing Shama Sukhumvit Bangkok in Ploenchit and Shama Lakeview Asoke Bangkok.

 Douglas Martell, President & CEO, ONYX Hospitality Group, said: “We are excited to welcome the new decade with the expansion of Shama to four prime locations across the Thai capital – Ploenchit, Asoke, Phrom Phong and Yen Akat. This follows an exciting 2019 where we opened our second Shama property in Hangzhou, relaunched Shama Lakeview Asoke and Amari Pattaya following extensive refurbishments and signed our first hotel in Japan with Amari Niseko. As we enhance our presence across the Asia-Pacific region, we are equally committed to expanding our reach within Thailand where we are headquartered.”

Developed by Walton Asset Limited and managed by ONYX Hospitality Group, Shama Sukhumvit 39 Bangkok in Phrom Phong is scheduled to open in February 2020 as an extended stay residence with 52 apartments in five different one-bedroom and two-bedroom layouts. The property features a pool and terrace, gym and kid’s playroom.

Situated in the heart of what has affectionately been referred to as Bangkok’s largest Japanese neighbourhood, Shama Sukhumvit 39 Bangkok is a short stroll from the EM District comprising the Emporium and Emquartier shopping malls, Samitivej Hospital, numerous international schools and Soi Thonglor, best known for fine cuisine, buzzy bars and hip coffee shops.

Shama Yen Akat Bangkok, developed by SP Plus Property Company Ltd and managed by ONYX Hospitality Group, is scheduled to open in September 2020 with 136 units, welcoming both short stay as well as extended stay guests. The property will offer a restaurant, gym and a rooftop pool terrace with barbeque pit.

The hotel brand was named the “Best Serviced Apartment Operator of Asia” for the 7th time at the AHF Asia Hotel Awards 2019. It was also named the “Best Serviced Apartment Operator” at the Hong Kong Business High Flyers Awards 2018.

Shama is a leading and award-winning provider of premium serviced apartments, with a portfolio of 11 properties in China, Hong Kong and Thailand. Upcoming Shama openings are anticipated in Johor, Malaysia and additional locations within mainland China.

Based in Bangkok, ONYX Hospitality Group has a growing regional portfolio of 50 operating properties across three core brands in eight markets. The Group has a robust development pipeline of 25 new properties in markets such as China, Malaysia and Laos, and has set a target of having 99 hotels open by 2024 as part of its journey towards being the best medium-sized hospitality player in the region.

Main image credit: ONYX Hospitality Group

Hyatt expected to open up to 200 hotels in the Americas region by 2022

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hyatt expected to open up to 200 hotels in the Americas region by 2022

Hyatt’s Americas full service and select service brand portfolios expected to grow by 33 percent by 2022…

Hyatt Hotels plans to grow its Americas brand portfolio with the expected opening of more than 50 full service and select service hotels in 2020 and the addition of more than 140 additional hotels to its pipeline of hotels expected to open by 2022.

This growth is set to fuel Hyatt’s regional brand presence by 33 per cent of its current Americas portfolio. Newly executed deals for properties – under management and franchise agreements – will join 585 Hyatt hotels that are currently open and operating in the Americas.

The Americas region continues to be a top priority for Hyatt and prospective developers due to business demand in several strong regional markets like California, Texas, New York, Canada and Mexico.

“Hyatt remains focused on thoughtfully growing our full service and select service portfolio of brands in the Americas region – and growing and running our core hotel business: the development, management and franchising of full service and select service hotels, while being best-in-class,” said Pete Sears, Americas group president, Hyatt. “Hyatt’s Americas growth through 2022 further signals incredible strength in our brand among owners, customers, and guests across the largest region within Hyatt’s global portfolio.”

Image credit: Hyatt Hotels

Notably, Hyatt’s newest brands – Alila, Destination Hotels, Joie de Vivre, and Thompson Hotels – are experiencing strong growth with new openings and executed managed and franchised deals, including the following:

  • The 225-room Thompson Washington D.C., which marked the Thompson Hotels brand’s introduction to the nation’s capital on January 8, 2020;
  • A 130-room Alila hotel in Encinitas, Calif., which will mark the Alila brand’s first new-build hotel in the Americas in early 2021;
  • The 80-room Quirk Hotel Charlottesville, A Destination Hotel (Va.), which will mark the second Quirk Hotel in Virginia, joining Quirk Hotel Richmond in March 2020; and
  • A 161-room Joie de Vivre hotel and 226-room hotel within the Destination Hotels brand, located in Oceanside, Calif., in late 2020.

The growth of the Hyatt Place and Hyatt House select service brands, remains a strategic priority with more than 100 expected to open across North and South America through 2022.

New openings and executed managed and franchise deals in the Americas, per brand, include:

Alila

The Alila brand features luxury hotels in unique locations, distinguished by innovative eco-design and a strong commitment to sustainable tourism. Alila means “surprise” in Sanskrit, which suitably describes the refreshing character of Alila hotels and the impression guests feel when they stay as a guest.

  • A hotel within the Alila brand, located in Encinitas, California, will shelter 130 guestrooms, and is expected to open in early 2021

Andaz

Global in scale while local in perspective, the Andaz brand of luxury lifestyle hotels weaves the sights, sounds, and tastes of each property’s surroundings for a distinctively local experience. Every Andaz hotel is a unique expression of the culture that surrounds it, and enables guests to go beyond the familiar and satiate their curiosity.

  • Andaz Palm Springs (California), 150 guestrooms, Late 2020
  • Andaz Toronto – Yorkville, 160 guestrooms, 2021
  • Andaz Turks & Caicos at Grace Bay, 184 guestrooms, 2021

Destination Hotels

The Destination Hotels brand is a collection of more than 40 upscale and luxury independent hotels, resorts and residences across North America. Serving as both the explorer and the guide, Destination hotels ensure a sense of genuine belonging and the chance to encounter life-enhancing discoveries.

  • Quirk Hotel Charlottesville, A Destination Hotel (Va.), 80 guestrooms, March 2020
  • Wyndhurst Manor & Club, A Destination Hotel (Lenox, Mass.), 46 guestrooms, May 2020
  • The Shay, A Destination Hotel (Culver City, Calif.), 148 guestrooms, Late Summer 2020
  • A hotel within the Destination Hotels brand, located in Oceanside, Calif., 226 guestrooms, Late 2020

Grand Hyatt

Grand Hyatt hotels celebrate the iconic in small details and magnificent moments. Drawing inspiration from each destination, Grand Hyatt hotels provide superior service and signature experiences within a backdrop of dramatic architecture, world-class restaurants, luxury spas, and spectacular meeting and event spaces.

  • Grand Hyatt Nashville (Tenn.), 591 guestrooms, Fall 2020
  • Grand Hyatt Grand Cayman, 351 guestrooms, 2022

Hyatt Centric

Hyatt Centric is a brand of full-service lifestyle hotels located in prime destinations around the world and is Hyatt’s fastest growing lifestyle brand. Hyatt Centric hotels help fuel guest discovery, located in the heart of the action with passionately engaged team members always on-hand to serve up insider knowledge and provide local expertise.

  • Hyatt Centric Old Town Alexandria (Va.), 124 guestrooms, January 22, 2020
  • Hyatt Centric Downtown Portland (Ore.), 220 guestrooms, February 2020
  • Hyatt Centric Downtown Minneapolis, 145 guestrooms, Spring 2020
  • Hyatt Centric 39th & 5th New York, 163 guestrooms, March 2020
  • Hyatt Centric San Salvador (El Salvador), 138 guestrooms, April 2020
  • Hyatt Centric Las Olas Fort Lauderdale (Fla.), 238 guestrooms, May 2020
  • Hyatt Centric City Center Philadelphia, 332 guestrooms, June 2020
  • Hyatt Centric Beale Street Memphis (Tenn.), 227 guestrooms, 2021
  • Hyatt Centric Downtown Austin (Texas), 200 guestrooms, 2021
  • Hyatt Centric Downtown Nashville (Tenn.), 252 guestrooms, 2021
  • Hyatt Centric Downtown Sacramento (Calif.), 172 guestrooms, 2021
  • Hyatt Centric Koreatown Los Angeles, 310 guestrooms, 2021
  • Hyatt Centric SouthPark Charlotte (N.C.), 175 guestrooms, 2021
  • Hyatt Centric Buckhead Atlanta, 218 guestrooms, 2022
  • Hyatt Centric Niagara Falls (Ontario, Canada), 364 guestrooms, 2022
  • A hotel within the Hyatt Centric brand, located in downtown Los Angeles, 138 guestrooms, 2022

Hyatt House

Hyatt House hotels are designed to welcome guests as extended stay residents. Apartment-style suites with fully equipped kitchens and separate living areas remind guests of the conveniences of home

United States: More than 40 executed contracts for Hyatt House hotels in key markets, including Scottsdale, Ariz.; Los Angeles; Sacramento, Calif.; Denver; Lewes, Del.; Tampa, Fla.; Orlando, Fla.; Atlanta; Chicago; Louisville, Ky.; Kansas City, Mo.; Minneapolis, Minn.; Harlem, N.Y.; Allentown, Penn.; Columbus, Ohio; Portland, Ore.; Nashville, Tenn.; Houston; and Dallas.

Canada: Six executed contracts for Hyatt House hotels in Edmonton, Alberta; Winnipeg, Manitoba; and Ottawa, Hamilton and Mississauga, Ontario.

Hyatt Place

Hyatt Place hotels offer a modern, comfortable and seamless experience, combining style and innovation to create a casual hotel environment for today’s multi-tasking traveler. From the lobby to the guest rooms to in-hotel dining, every touchpoint is designed with the high value business traveler in mind.

United States: More than 65 executed contracts for Hyatt Place hotels in key markets, including Fairbanks, Ala.; Flagstaff, Ariz.; Fayetteville, Ark.; Bakersfield, Paso Robles and Sonoma, Calif.; Titusville, Fla.; Chicago; Indianapolis; Des Moines, Iowa; Wichita, Kan.; Bossier City, La.; Boston; Reno, Nev.; Fort Lee and Newark, N.J.; Albany, N.Y.; Winston Salem, N.C.; Philadelphia; Sioux Falls, S.D.; Murfreesboro, Tenn.; Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, and McAllen, Texas; Harrisonburg and Virginia Beach, Va.; and Vancouver, Wash.

Canada: Fourteen executed contracts for Hyatt Place hotels in Kelowna and Prince George and Richmond, British Columbia; Edmonton, Alberta; Winnipeg, Manitoba; Moncton, New Brunswick; Toronto, Ottawa, Mississauga, Brampton, Ontario; and Montreal, Quebec.

Latin America: One executed contract for Hyatt Place San Jose Cariari located in Heredia, Costa Rica.

Hyatt Regency

Hyatt Regency hotels are intuitively designed to make travel free from stress and filled with success. Conveniently located in urban and resort locations in more than 30 countries, Hyatt Regency hotels offer seamless experiences for any occasion, from energizing vacations to personalized, high-touch meetings.

  • Hyatt Regency Frisco (Texas), 301 guestrooms, Spring 2020
  • Hyatt Regency Insurgentes Mexico City, 250 guestrooms, 2021
  • Hyatt Regency Niagara Falls (Ontario, Canada), 703 guestrooms, 2022
  • Hyatt Regency Salt Lake City (Utah), 700 guestrooms, 2022

Joie de Vivre

Since its founding in San Francisco in 1987, the Joie de Vivre boutique lifestyle brand has made curating playful travel through local connections and eclectic experiences its signature. Each Joie de Vivre hotel is an original concept designed to reflect its neighbourhood.

  • The Ambassador Chicago, a Joie de Vivre Hotel, 285 guestrooms, February 2020
  • El Capitan, a Joie de Vivre Hotel (Merced, Calif.), 114 guestrooms, Summer 2020
  • A hotel within the Joie de Vivre brand, located in Oceanside, Calif., 161 guestrooms, Late 2020

Miraval

Miraval is a luxury leader in wellness resorts and spas for individuals looking to create a life in balance through alignment of the body, mind and spirit. Opened in 1995, Miraval Arizona in Tucson, Ariz., pioneered the destination wellness spa resort category with its comprehensive program of activities, experiences and personal treatments.

  • Miraval Berkshires (N.Y.), 102 guestrooms, May 2020

Park Hyatt

Park Hyatt hotels provide discerning, global travelers with a refined home-away-from-home. Guests of Park Hyatt hotels receive quietly confident and personalized service in an enriching environment. Located in several of the world’s premier destinations, each Park Hyatt hotel is custom designed to combine sophistication with understated luxury.

  • Park Hyatt Toronto* (Ontario, Canada), 219 guestrooms, October 2020
    • *Reopening after property redesign
  • Park Hyatt Los Angeles at Oceanwide Plaza, 184 guestrooms, 2021
  • Park Hyatt Los Cabos (Mexico), 163 guestrooms, 2021
  • Park Hyatt Mexico City (Mexico), 155 guestrooms, 2021

Thompson Hotels

Founded in 2001, Thompson Hotels is an award-winning lifestyle brand that delivers a new take on modern luxury and tailored stays for guests with connections to world-class culinary offerings, arts and entertainment, and groundbreaking design. Each location offers a stunning, carefully layered and dynamic urban or resort setting that molds into the surrounding community.

  • Thompson Washington D.C., 225 guestrooms, January 8, 2020
  • Thompson San Antonio, 162 guestrooms, Late Summer 2020
  • Thompson Dallas, 219 guestrooms, Fall 2020
  • Thompson Hollywood (Calif.), 190 guestrooms, 2021
  • Thompson Austin, 200 guestrooms, 2021
  • Thompson Denver, 220 guestrooms, 2021
  • Thompson Savannah (Ga.), 193 guestrooms, 2021
  • Thompson New York – Central Park*, 2021
    • *Rebrand from Parker New York
  • Thompson South Beach (Miami), 150 guestrooms, 2022

The Unbound Collection by Hyatt

The Unbound Collection by Hyatt brand is a portfolio of independent, premium hotel properties, ranging from historic urban gems to contemporary trend-setters and boutique properties to resorts. Each hotel is one-of-a-kind and offers story-worthy and extraordinary experiences for our guests.

  • Mar Monte* (Santa Barbara, Calif.), 200 guestrooms, Spring 2020
    • *Rebrand from Hyatt Centric Santa Barbara
  • A hotel within The Unbound Collection by Hyatt brand, located in Kansas City, Mo., 144 guestrooms, Summer 2020
  • A hotel within The Unbound Collection by Hyatt brand, located in Hollywood, Calif., 64 guestrooms, 2021
  • Hotel La Compañia (Panama City, Panama), 88 guestrooms, 2021

Main image credit: Hyatt Hotels

Four Seasons to open six new hotels in 2020

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Four Seasons to open six new hotels in 2020

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts continues to expand its global portfolio with strategic openings of new hotels, resorts and branded private residences…

Luxury hotel giant Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts has lifted the lid on its 2020 hotel development strategy, which includes the opening of six new hotels in tourism and business hotspots in Europe, Asia and America.

Planned openings for 2020 follow an exciting year as Four Seasons celebrated a significant number of new openings around the world in 2019, including its first entry into Greece with the rebirth of the legendary Brudzizki-designed Astir Palace Hotel in Athens, and the company’s return to Montreal with a stunning and sleek new hotel in the heart of the city’s Golden Mile, featuring the opening of the restaurant MARCUS with celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson.

Additional openings included a new hotel in the Garden City of Bengaluru, its second in India; the return of the brand to Philadelphia (located within the Comcast Centre, the city’s tallest building) as well as a second hotel in Boston at One Dalton Street; a third address in Mexico, this time on the pristine beaches of the East Cape of Los Cabos; the company’s first all-inclusive wellness retreat in the fully refurbished Lodge at Koele on the Hawaiian Island of Lanai; and the completion of its full suite of historic chalet offerings in the French Alpine community of Megève.

“An unwavering commitment to service and quality, a strong operating model and alignment with hotel owners who share our vision places Four Seasons in an enviable market position as we continue to grow our portfolio and strengthen our global development pipeline,” says John Davison, President and Chief Executive Officer, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. “As we begin a new decade, we continue to elevate the experience for our guests and enhance our product offering, affirming our passionate dedication to excellence and the industry-leading innovation that has defined our brand for nearly 60 years.”

Working in concert with its partners, each new development authentically reflects the character of the destination, envisioning new ways for travellers as well as local residents to experience the world of Four Seasons. Recent innovations have included the company’s first standalone Private Residences, fully serviced by Four Seasons, in London at Twenty Grosvenor Square, a technology-led development with Comcast in Philadelphia, the Athenian riviera conversion of the iconic Four Seasons Astir Palace Hotel Athens, and the company’s first all-inclusive wellness retreat in Hawaii.

Soon, having just opened its collection of traditional chalets at the foot of the Mont d’Arbois slopes with Les Chalets du Mont d’Arbois, Megève, the company that also introduced the first private jet will debut its first resort with an onsite winery in Napa Valley.

Planned Openings in 2020

The six new openings that are anticipated for 2020 include the return of Four Seasons to Bangkok with the glorious new Jean-Michel Gathy-designed landmark along the Chao Phraya River, debuting with nearly 300 stunning guest rooms and over 350 beautifully appointed Private Residences. Also opening in the Asia-Pacific region early in the year is a third address in Japan, in the Otemachi area of Tokyo facing the Tokyo Imperial Palace.

In Europe, Four Seasons will debut in Spain for the first time with a new hotel in central Madrid, an assembly of several historic buildings now fully restored and reimagined, and highlighted by a rooftop restaurant by three Michelin-starred Spanish celebrity chef Dani García.

Long established as the premier luxury hospitality brand in California with seven existing locations, Four Seasons continues to expand its presence in the northern part of the state with the spring opening of its second hotel in San Francisco, a soaring building in the Embarcadero district. Also scheduled for 2020 is the highly anticipated opening of Four Seasons resort in Napa Valley, including a unique collection of Private Residences as well as Four Seasons first on-property winery in partnership with acclaimed winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown.

Also in the United States, a recently announced hotel in New Orleans is expected to open in late 2020 in the city’s historic World Trade Center.

In addition to announcing new properties in San Francisco and New Orleans, Four Seasons also unveiled plans for new hotels in Okinawa, Japan; Nashville and Minneapolis, USA; Cartagena, Colombia; and a second resort in Cabo del Sol, Mexico. The company also previously announced new Four Seasons projects in Dalian, China; Makkah, Saudi Arabia; Hanoi, Vietnam; and Caye Chapel, Belize.

“Four Seasons residential portfolio is expected to double, with more than 90 per cent of all development projects including a residential component.”

Building upon Four Seasons 35-year history in branded residential following the opening of its first Private Residence in 1985, the company continues to strategically enhance its portfolio of exclusive Private Residences in markets around the world.

In the next five years, Four Seasons residential portfolio is expected to double, with more than 90 per cent of all development projects including a residential component. The company’s global portfolio is on track to exceed 7,000 homes, affirming Four Seasons as the world leader in luxury property management services. In 2020, Four Seasons anticipates to open 9 new Private Residences including three standalone private residences in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Marrakech.

Main image credit: Four Seasons

Location special: Factors behind rapid hotel growth in West Africa

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Location special: Factors behind rapid hotel growth in West Africa

In an interview, Philippe Doizelet, Managing Partner of Hotels at Horwath HTL in conjunction with the Forum de l’Investissement Hôtelier Africain (FIHA), identifies four fundamental factors that are fuelling an increasing flow of investment into the hospitality sector in West Africa. Bench Events reports… 

Air connectivity, better economic growth, currency and demographics are the four factors recently identified as being the catalysts for hotel development in West Africa.

Today, Africa is seen as one of the most promising regions for hotel developers. Aside from small chains and independents, four global hotel groups dominate signings and openings on the continent.

Over the last four rolling quarters, as of September 2019, Accor, Hilton, Marriott International and Radisson Hotel Group have opened 2,800 rooms and signed deals for 6,600 rooms. Across Africa, hotel development remains important in most advanced economies, such as Morocco and South Africa; and projects are multiplying in East Africa, especially in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. In West Africa, Nigeria is back on the development scene thanks to emerging regional destinations beyond Abuja and Lagos. Francophone Africa is also moving fast. The Ministry of Tourism of Ivory Coast has launched an ambitious national plan for tourism development, Sublime Cote d’Ivoire, and already announced more than US$1bn investment in the sector. Senegal is the other regional star, with local programmes such as Diamnadio, Lac Rose near Dakar and Pointe Sarene. Other countries showing active hotel development include Benin, Cameroon, Guinea, Niger, and Togo.

Now, in an interview, Philippe Doizelet, Managing Partner, Hotels, Horwath HTL, West Africa’s leading hospitality consultant, in conjunction with the Forum de l’Investissement Hôtelier Africain (FIHA), the premier hotel investment conference in Francophone Africa, has identified four fundamental factors which are fuelling an increasing flow of investment into the hospitality sector in West Africa. They are, in alphabetical order: Air connectivity, Better economic growth, Currency and Demographics.

“According to the UNWTO, international tourist arrivals in Africa grew by seven per cent in 2018, one of the fastest growth rates in the world together with East Asia and the Pacific.”

In the past few years, additional flight connections have transformed travel to and from West Africa, which, in the words of Philippe Doizelet, Managing Partner, Hotels, Horwath HTL, has been a game changer. He said: “It used to be that the main hubs for flying between West African countries were Paris and Casablanca. However, thanks to the rapid growth of Ethiopian Airlines and other carriers, such as Emirates, Kenya Airways and Turkish, the situation has changed; and new routes are offered to travellers. For example, it is now possible to fly direct from New York to Abidjan, where the African Development Bank is located, and to Lomé, where the Central Bank of West African States (BOAD) is situated… and with increased travel comes increased commerce and demand for accommodation.”

According to the UNWTO, international tourist arrivals in Africa grew by seven per cent in 2018, one of the fastest growth rates in the world together with East Asia and the Pacific. The flight data analyst, ForwardKeys, recently confirmed that trend continuing. In 2019, African aviation experienced 7.5 per cent growth and it is the stand-out growth market for Q1 2020. As at January 1, international outbound bookings were ahead 12.5 per cent, 10.0 per cent to other African countries and ahead 13.5 per cent to the rest of the world. As a destination, Africa is also set to do well, as bookings from other continents are currently ahead by 12.9 per cent.

The second factor is the superior economic growth of many West African countries, which are expanding substantially faster than many of the world’s most advanced economies. According to World Bank data for 2018, several, such as Benin, Burkina Faso, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast and Senegal are growing at six per cent per annum or better, more than double the world average, three per cent. That is a potent attraction to international investors. However, that’s not all; as prosperity grows domestically, so too does the local financial services industry. It then looks to invest client monies; and a good proportion of that capital gravitates towards real estate projects and, in turn, new domestic infrastructure. As those projects come to fruition, more prosperity is generated and so a virtuous cycle is stimulated, which acts as a catalyst for further economic development.

Currency is the third factor. Later this year, the CFA franc, which is pegged to the euro, is planned to be dropped and 15 countries in West Africa (ECOWAS) will adopt the Eco, a new, free-floating, common currency, designed to reduce the cost of doing business between them and so increase trade. However, whilst there is great enthusiasm for the Eco, it is somewhat qualified because the economies of participating countries are at different stages of development and governments may find it difficult to adhere to agreed guidelines for managing their economies.

The fourth factor is demographics. The population is young and the fastest growing of any major world region. According to Doizelet, it is also characterised by a hunger to learn and confidence about the future. “People are seeing their standards of living improve and they are keen to seize opportunities. We are seeing that mindset reflected throughout the hospitality industry; it’s incredibly refreshing and it’s attracting business.” He explained.

“Africa is not the easiest place to do business, but it is an incredibly exciting place because the opportunities substantially outweigh the threats.” – Matthew Weihs, Managing Director, Bench Events.

However, the picture is not all rosy. Horwath HTL also identifies four factors which threaten economic progress; they are security issues, political agenda, governance and increasing public debt. Although Africa today experiences much less conflict than it did three or four decades ago, when most African countries experienced war, some parts of the Sahel are still subject to security threats. On the political front, although democracy is continuing to spread, it is not yet the general rule everywhere, especially when come the times of major elections. Third is governance. Doizelet adds: “When people are poor and the state is weak, there will be corruption, but I’m not convinced that it is much worse than in other parts of the world.” The fourth concern is rising public debt, much of which has been incurred as long-term loans from the Chinese to build infrastructure. That said, the debt to GDP ratio of many West African states is still less than many highly developed nations.

Matthew Weihs, Managing Director, Bench Events, which organises FIHA, concluded: “Africa is not the easiest place to do business, but it is an incredibly exciting place because the opportunities substantially outweigh the threats. Every time we organise a hotel investment forum, I see more hotel openings being announced and I meet new players keen to enter the market. The FIHA delegates are literally constructing the future of Africa in front of our eyes and anyone who attends the conference has the opportunity to join in.”

FIHA takes place at the Sofitel Abidjan Hotel Ivoire in Abidjan, March 23-25.

Main image credit: Hotel Bab Rimal, Foum Zguid, Morocco

Light, bright room features soft finishes and warm wood tones

Sheraton brand “reinvents experience and design” with new guestrooms

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Sheraton brand “reinvents experience and design” with new guestrooms

Sheraton Phoenix Downtown has completed a renovation of 1,000+ guestrooms, which feature the brands reinvented experience and design… 

Evoking a timeless comfort that welcomes guests into a light and bright room, the new guestrooms inside Sheraton Phoenix Downtown feature soft finishes and warm wood tones.

Light, bright room features soft finishes and warm wood tones

The well-lit rooms are accented with black and metallic accents. A platform bed and crisp white bedding centres the space of curated furniture that feels reminiscent and as welcoming as a friend’s guestroom.

A houndstooth chair gives a pop of classic Sheraton pattern while the new 65-inch televisions are mounted to a noise cancelling, woven fabric paneling that make for statement wall. A height adjustable table makes a quick transformation to a standing desk through integrated height controls and a bench running beneath the tv provides additional sitting. The bathroom features a walk-in shower or bath surrounded by neutral porcelain walls while a light wood tone vanity and backlit mirror with modern polished chrome fixtures and black finishes complement the guestroom design.

Rooted in its community-forward ethos, Sheraton’s design approach embraces community-fluid spaces that feel warm and inviting from a statement bar serving coffee creations in the morning and spirited sips in the evening to restaurant concepts that satisfy both purpose and cravings. In addition to fresh guestrooms, Sheraton is also redefining what the hotel lobby is by making it downtown’s best-positioned co-working space, with everything from Community Tables with lockers and charging tabletops, to uniquely designed studios for groups of varying sizes.

Once unveiled in the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown, the luxury hotel will have completely revamped the guestrooms, food and beverage, programming, and a lobby which will be home to the property’s Club lounge.

Main image credit: Sheraton

Authentic restaurant inside 18th century palace. Large pillars separate tables and rustic fabric hanging down from the ceiling adds charm and character

Palacio Solecio opens as Malaga’s first luxury boutique hotel

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Palacio Solecio opens as Malaga’s first luxury boutique hotel

An inspiring transformation of an aristocratic palace, Palacio Solecio has opened as a 68-key luxury boutique hotel in 18th century building…

In the heart of old town Malaga sits Palacio Solecio, an 18th century architectural gem that now shelters the destination’s first luxury boutique hotel.

Authentic restaurant inside 18th century palace. Large pillars separate tables and rustic fabric hanging down from the ceiling adds charm and character

The palace, which was derelict for 80 years before restoration began, has been lovingly and sensitively redesigned by Antonio Obrador in order to retain its authenticity. The building, which became a masterpiece of architecture for its time, has been transformed, whilst maintaining the essence of its architecture and decorative details, creating a hotel where old meets new.

“The idea was to be authentic, but not folksy.” – Pablo Carrington, founder of Marugal Hotels.

The hotel is operated by Marugal Hotels, which specialises in the management of independent, one-off hotels. “Palacio Solecio is one of the finest examples of 18th century domestic architecture in Málaga, so our restoration has been incredibly sensitive,” said Pablo Carrington, founder of Marugal Hotels. “We’ve been able to incorporate the wonderfully decorative original architectural elements – pilasters, garlands, Tuscan columns topped by vases, the original staircase – into the design of the hotel. For the interiors, we’ve been led by old photos of the palace. The idea was to be authentic, but not folksy.”

Exterior of the palace

Image credit: Palacio Solecio

Current rules dictate that the footprint of Listed buildings in Spain must remain the same – so details such as the inner courtyard are exactly as they would have been when the palace was new. Original features – the old grills over the windows, elements of the main staircase (including the decorative arch and columns)– have been meticulously restored. The façade has been re-painted and returned to its original appearance.

Reading light on blue and cream textured wallcovering

Image credit: Palacio Solecio

In a deft and subtle acknowledgment of Andalucía’s history, the decorative details are rich with Moorish influence. Painted leatherworks – Cordobanes – which became popular in Andalucía in the 16th and 17th century adorn the walls, bringing their striking patterns and deep colour palettes to the interior. Fabrics have been reproduced from old photos of the palace interiors, such as the typical espiga fabric with its herringbone design, used in the guestrooms. Even the smallest detail – door handles, the bedside tables – are subtly redolent with local character to brilliant effect.

Image of the guestroom, which features blue and cream fabrics on bed, headbaord and led lighting in the ceiling

Image credit: Palacio Solecio

The guestrooms meld quiet sophistication and comfort with the authentic charm of the building, with parquet floors, and stunning lighting. The interiors are both rustic and modern, a combination of neutral colours with splashes of bold prints and local Andalusian artwork.

Following the initial opening, in 2021, the hotel is expected to add a further 49 rooms as well as a rooftop bar and pool.

Main image credit: Palacio Solecio

In Conversation With: Hotelier of the Year 2019, Thomas Kochs

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
In Conversation With: Hotelier of the Year 2019, Thomas Kochs

The Managing Director of Corinthia London, Thomas Kochs, has confidently evolved – and arguably led – the luxury hospitality scene in London for decades. Editor Hamish Kilburn joins the man of the moment who was recently crowned Hotelier of the Year at The Brit List Awards 2019

London’s luxury market stands and operates alone on the global hospitality map. Although ‘competition’ is a rare word spoken among hotel operators in the city, there is no denying that the luxury hotels in the capital are all vying for the title of being the best and most interesting hotel in London.

One man who knows more than most hoteliers about the luxury hospitality scene is Thomas Kochs, the Managing Director of Corinthia London. In the last decade alone, the German-born hotelier has managed properties such as The Berkeley, The Connaught Hotel, Claridge’s and Hotel Café Royal. More than likely, it was this impressive portfolio that qualified him as the man for the job to take the helm of Corinthia’s flagship property in 2017.

Roof terrace that has modern furniture, a large chess board and the view of the London Eye

Image credit: Corinthia London’s Whitehall Penthouse

Since its opening in 2011, in a building that dates back 1885, the 300-key property has proven, time and time again, that Mayfair is not the only neighbourhood for premium hotels in London. Sitting undisturbed on the bank of the River Thames; a hop, skip and a jump away from London landmarks such as Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace, Corinthia London faces, and in some suites frames, the iconic London Eye and the contemporary and eclectic South Bank.

Having just clinched the prestigious title of Hotelier of the Year at The Brit List Awards 2019, Kochs is rightfully considered one of the best in his field. With an acute eye for detail, and a calm, collected yet dynamic approach to leadership, the hotelier has seen – perhaps even led – the evolutions of many hospitality trends driven by consumer behaviour and demands. “Design has evolved,” says Kochs. “10 – 15 years ago, hotels had more opportunities to impress through design. However, a good design formula alone is no longer enough in today’s market. There are some design-driven brands where the customer only checks in because of the design and aesthetic, but we don’t consider ourselves one of them.”

Spacious and luxury hotel lobby. Grand piano in the centre, and a large chandelier in the background

Image cpation/credit: Corinthia London’s luxurious lobby | Jack Hardy

Last year, Corinthia London was the backdrop of a BBC docuseries entitled: A Hotel for the Super Rich & Famous. The two-part series, which echoed a similar format of another series that featured Kochs when he was General Manager of Claridge’s, gave consumers a window into the inner workings of a luxury hotel.

As well as following the day-in-the-life of housekeepers, florists and the concierge, the cameras were also given access to creative meetings with the hotel’s Futurists-in-Residence, The Future Laboratory. The trend forecasters, who began their partnership with the hotel in 2018, believes the future of luxury is about intelligent encounters – think cool cultural exchanges, and the kind of exemplary food for the mind, body and soul that stimulates thinking. “These are dear friends of ours,” Kochs explains. “The Future Laboratory were trying to make the point that that consumers are too busy with themselves, to the point that only severe disruption would make them talk to each other.” One option suggested was to deliberately shut down one of the lifts. “That’s all well and good,” Kochs adds, “but that just doesn’t work in hotels. The aim of the partnership was to position ourselves as a forward-thinking hotel that also respects our history and brand values.”

Another common theme explored in the TV series was how decisions were made, and often changed. “Why would you stick to something that your mind is warning is not the right decision?” Kochs rhetorically questions. “I know it can sometimes be exhausting and an inconvenience to people around you, but it’s important to get it right and sometimes you just have to trust your gut.”

Quick-fire round

HK: Congratulations on your win at The Brit List Awards 2019. How does it feel, being Hotelier of the Year?
TK: It’s amazing, I have never been a hotelier of the year before.

HK: Why is Britain a hospitality hotspot?
TK: Because creativity, design and hospitality is deeply rooted in British culture.

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

HK: What’s the one item you cannot travel without?
TK: My Bottega Veneta holdall travels everywhere with me.

HK: What is the one hospitality trend you hope will not return?
TK: The idea that the most expensive is the most desirable. That was vulgar.

HK: What is the last item that will show up on your bank statement?
TK: Organic dog food, hand-cooked in Devon, for my new puppy.

HK: What is the most important element to get right in hospitality?
TK: The team is essential. The team here really do inspire me every day.

HK: What did you want to be when you were growing up?
TK: A GP in the countryside.

HK: If you were not living in London, where would you be?
TK: Somewhere with a beach, potentially Los Angeles.

HK: Who inspired you when you were early on in your career?
TK: It was more the feeling of quality hospitality that inspired me.

HK: What’s your favourite part of the hotel?
TK: I really like the Northall Bar. I like the high ceilings and the historic elements, but also there is space to breathe.

As a someone who has been at the top of the luxury hotel triangle in London since 2001, Kochs understands that the roles of a hotelier are changing, and evolving fast. “The structure of having your strategy, the next five-year plan and the budgets has remained the same, explains Kochs. But now, more than ever, you need to be really close to your team; understand your employees and what they are working on. You also need to spend time with the guests, and really consider the sense of location when doing so. The minute you lose interest in any of these components, you’re fighting a losing battle. That brings me nicely onto relevance. The hotel has to understand how to remain an exciting place. It is a beating heart; a live operation. It’s not something that we can put into storage and sell later. Instead, it’s happening now.”

modern, contemporary guestroom with green cushions and bed throw.

Image caption/credit: Corinthia London’s Duluxe King guestroom | Jack Hardy

It’s an interesting time for Corinthia Hotels. Following its announcement to debut in Dubai, which CEO Simon Naudi explained the ins and outs of in an exclusive interview last year. While the brand expands sensitively, the London hub remains the mothership of the group, where the DNA of its award-winning style and service was born and refined. “I do certainly feel the responsibility,” adds Kochs. “We are in one of the most exciting cities in the world, which is all too easy to forget because we have access to it every day. We are lucky and blessed that we identify trends before others. This, I believe, comes with experience. It’s crucial to stay alert and awake to consumer trends and shifts in demands so that we capture them both verbally and intellectually, which we can then communicate seamlessly through the hotel experience.

Render of luxe, light and airy suite.

Image caption/credit: Render of Corinthia Dubai | Corinthia Hotels

Considering its widely known reputation, it’s easy to forget that the hotel group currently only has one hotel on UK soil. “We have the advantage of being small,” says Kochs. “Look at what is going on around us. Everything is getting bigger. Travel to Vietnam, for example. You enter Saigon and the streets are a bit dusty, and souk is steaming on the side of the road. But then you are confronted with Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Prada; the same brands and products you would find on Bond Street.

“The hotel industry is not too dissimilar. The Corinthia brand is small, and we are quick in our decision making. There isn’t a corporate paralysation and we are not overly governed by brand guidelines. A large brand would argue that the opposite is their advantage, which can also be true.”

Dark spa with fire on the left and luxe sauna on the right.

Image caption/credit: The Spa inside Corinthia London | Jack Hardy

What I believe is most telling of Kochs’ style as a hotelier is the fact that, throughout our interview, he had a subtle, non-invasive watch on everyone else in the room. The self-proclaimed perfectionist continues to stand as a leading example for the brand that is slowly by surely expanding its luxury offering in far-flung destinations around the world.  Personally, I believe that Kochs’ attention to detail is what sets him apart – like how, during this interview, he paused politely to ask for the lighting to be lowered as the last of the London light filtered into the late afternoon. Despite his impressive background in hospitality, Kochs remains humble, warm and a worthy Hotelier of the Year.

Main image credit: Corinthia London

VIP ARRIVALS: Top hotels to open in February 2020

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
VIP ARRIVALS: Top hotels to open in February 2020

With the aim to cut through the noise in a contemporary tone, Hotel Designs has the scoop on which statement and game-changing hotels are expected to open in February, 2020…

The hotel industry never ceases to amaze with its ability to break through hard barriers to take design, architecture and creativity to new heights and levels.

Following Hotel Designs’ two-part series published last month, where it shared the major hotel openings of 2020, the editorial team have narrowed down the search even further to identify the hotels that will arrive onto the international hotel design scene this month. From architectural firsts in Dubai to long-awaited heritage hotels in London – and the start of a family of hotels in Manchester – the industry, in all corners of the globe, is about to display a spectacular performance of how far design and architecture briefs can be stretched.

Here’s February’s top picks…

Hotel Brooklyn, Manchester

Image credit: Bespoke Hotels/Hotel Brooklyn Manchester

As Hotel Designs prepares its troops for its annual northern networking event to take place in the city that is fast-becoming a hotel developer’s dream, Hotel Brooklyn is ready and waiting in the wings to unveil its contemporary design.

Designed by Squid Inc – the team behind the renowned Hotel Gotham – the long-awaited Hotel Brooklyn will shelter 189 rooms that are 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.

If Hotel Gotham, its older sibling that opened in 2015, is anything to judge by, then we expect a playful hotel that is not afraid to bend, even break, the rules of hospitality for its guests.

ME Dubai

Image credit: ME Dubai/Zaha Hadid Architects

Following the opening of The Morpheus last year, and Hotel Designs’ interview with one of the lead architects behind the projectZaha Hadid Architects is preparing to celebrate yet another groundbreaking moment in architecture.

The London-based firm’s latest project, the Opus, is days away from entering onto the international hotel design landscape with arrival of ME Dubai. The 93-key hotel will feature dramatic, signature furniture in the lobby, lounges and reception area, which were either designed or personally selected by the late Zaha Hadid.

Zedwell, London

Image credit: Zedwell London

Opening it’s doors February 2020, the first Zedwell will be housed in one of central London’s most iconic venues; The London Trocadero. Holding in excess of a staggering 700 guestrooms, the flagship Zedwell will be one of the largest hotel openings in the capital within the last decade.

As well as large in size, the hotel is also clever and ahead of its time for many reasons, such as installing high-tech soundproofing, filtered air to enhance the overall guest experience.

Artist Residence, Bristol

Image credit: Artist Residence

The founder of Artist Residence, Justin Sailsbury, is known today as a true pioneer in sustainability and meaningful design who spends hours on end browsing ebay and other search engines for vintage-gem furniture and casegoods to layer into his hotels.

Following the success of the London property, the brand is expanding – and so too is his message to other independent hoteliers in the industry. Entering into tier two cities around the UK, allows the brand to stay in its unique lane of offering a residential, friendly and quirky hotel and hub. The bustling city of Bristol is the next location on the list, with the opening of Artist Residence Bristol moments away.

Arctic Bath in Lapland, Sweden

Image credit: Arctic Bath Sweeden

Situated under the northern lights in winter, and the midnight sun during the summer months, Arctic Bath is a unique hotel and spa experience that welcomes guests to immerse themselves in the elements while leaving a minimal environmental footprint behind.

The idea of a floating sauna first came to Harads resident Per-Anders Eriksson during the opening of Treehotel in 2010. At first, the vision was a glass cube on a raft. Bertil Hagström, who designed Treehotel’s The Bird’s Nest, took over the idea and in 2013 he and Johan Kauppi designed Arctic Bath’s floating, circular building.

The Guardsman, London

Image credit: The Guardsman Hotel/Tonik Associates

The Guardsman is a purpose-built luxury London boutique hotel that is expected to offer the atmosphere, discretion and personal service usually associated with a private members’ club.

Presenting guests with what is being described as “a true home away from home experience”, the 53-key hotel, which sits on Buckingham Gate, London, has been designed by Dexter Moren Associates and multi-disciplinary design practice Tonik Associates.

Hotel Designs is currently researching and writing the next article in this series, which will identify the top hotels that are opening in March, 2020. If you are working on a hotel project, or know of a hotel, that would qualify, please email the editorial team

Main image credit: ME Dubai/Zaha Hadid Architects

CASE STUDY: Furnishing London Marriott Hotel Kensington

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
CASE STUDY: Furnishing London Marriott Hotel Kensington

Recommended Supplier Curtis has recently supplied headboards, TV units, wardrobes, desks, vanity shelves and mirrors in London Marriott Hotel Kensington…

In line with the design brief to create a stylish and modern ‘bleisure’ hotel, Curtis was specified to create bespoke furniture for London Marriott Hotel Kensington.

The company supplied furniture in xylocleaf MFC, hand-selected pressed European walnut, including upholstery, and polished stainless steel.

Due to the complexity of the room design for this stunning hotel refurbishment, the client needed to find a supplier whom they could trust to work closely in partnership with the main contractor.

Having worked with the furniture company before, the client chose Curtis to supply the hotel because it is a quality UK-based supplier with large manufacturing capability, it prides itself on having a meticulous project management process, tried and tested since 1998 and its solid partnership approach with a strong customer service record.

“The effect of all these different co-ordinating materials is of a luxurious design with consideration given to every detail.”

Each room needed to be supplied over four separate visits to allow other contractors, such as decorators and electricians, in to complete their work in the correct sequence.  Curtis, already known to the client for our eagerness to be flexible and provide great customer service, worked in close partnership with the main contractor to ensure our timings fitted into the schedule perfectly.

“The initial stages had tight lead times and Curtis pulled out all the stops to ensure we could get moving as quickly as possible,” explained David Elliott from County Contractors. “We were impressed with how smoothly everything went, and with the quality of finish and fitting of the furniture.”

Curtis manufactured, supplied and installed bespoke furniture, including:

  • Upholstered headboards
  • Gladstone oak MFC TCMF trays with black powder coated legs
  • Statement hand-selected pressed walnut features on TV units, sideboards and wall panels
  • Xylocleaf MFC bedsides
  • Fenix NTM desks, with solid ash legs and mirror panelling
  • Upholstered luggage benches
  • Co-ordinating wardrobe areas with Gladstone oak drawers with leather handles, xylocleaf minibar units and black powder coated hanging rails
  • Metal-framed mirrors with integrated glass vanity shelf.

In the suites, slotted privacy walls and swivel TV units in hand-pressed walnut add to the impressive combination of beauty and function.

The effect of all these different co-ordinating materials is of a luxurious design with consideration given to every detail and how it will impact on the guests’ experience.  Thoughtful design doesn’t come better than this.

Curits 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.

Radisson opens in the heart of Times Square, New York

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Radisson opens in the heart of Times Square, New York

Marking the brand’s third opening in New York City, Radisson has opened a 320-key hotel in the heart of the tourist hotspot…

Following the news that the brand will debut in Iceland in the coming years, Radisson Hotels has announced the opening of Radisson Hotel New York Times Square at a unique landscaped entrance that offers a park-like setting and a sleek and elegant interior design scheme.

 

The newly constructed hotel in the center of New York City’s most thriving tourist district exemplifies Radisson’s growth in key gateway cities.

“The opening of this new hotel in the heart of New York City is a true testament to Radisson Hotel Group’s commitment to growth in key international gateway markets,” said Aly El-Bassuni, chief operating officer, Americas, Radisson Hotel Group. “With New York City being one of the top leisure and business destinations in the world, we’re excited to greet travelers from across the globe with this newest addition to the Radisson family.”

Located in Midtown West, the hotel offers 320 guest rooms, with 70 rooms that offer stunning views of the Empire State Building. Each room features free Wi-Fi, room service and a mini fridge, creating a perfect sanctuary to unwind after a high-energy day of shopping or seeing the latest hit show on Broadway. Throughout their visit, guests have access to an onsite fitness centre and business centre, luggage storage and complimentary tea and coffee. For those traveling on business, a 12-person New York style boardroom is available with a coordinator to assist with all the important details, including catering. The hotel also has a seasonal rooftop cocktail bar featuring sweeping views of the Empire State Building, the Hudson Yards development including The Edge observation deck and the Hudson River.

Main image credit: Radisson Hotels

MINIVIEW: The Spa at South Lodge

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
MINIVIEW: The Spa at South Lodge

Following a thread of rave consumer reviews, Hotel Designs travels to the scenic countryside of West Sussex to take a dip inside the nature-inspired spa at South Lodge…

Opened in the Spring 2019 to become a contemporary wellness extension for the luxury hotel, The Spa at South Lodge was designed sensitively by Sparcstudio in partnership with architecture studio Felce and Guy.

Situated within the grounds of the hotel, The Spa at South Lodge follows the natural contours of the land and provides a haven away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Surrounded by wildlife, nature and peace, and perched above the rolling hills of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. the 44,000 sq. ft. spa champions the estate’s landscape.

The natural theme continues throughout the Spa’s interior, with a colour palette of beige, white, pale blues and greens across the walls, floors and soft furnishings. Natural light floods into the wide, open spaces and carefully placed lighting guides guests down the stairs and through to the workout areas, 14 nature-themed treatment rooms and changing rooms. Luxurious brushed-brass hardware and plush chairs give the expansive changing areas a personable touch, complemented with the very best in grooming equipment, including premium brands such as Dyson Supersonic hairdryers and Paul Mitchell hair straighteners.

Image credit: South Lodge Hotel

Relaxation is at its best in The Spa’s treatment rooms encourage deep relaxation, with heat, light and sound mood pods. A variety of thermal experiences include a private mud room and infused sauna, as well as marble-lined salt steam and jasmine herbal steam rooms.

Outside, lounge chairs lead the way to a vitality hydrotherapy pool and beyond, the spa boasts a serene heated wild swimming pool, with an attractive wooden bathing platform inviting guests to take a revitalising dip. In colder months, the 22m x 10m indoor infinity swimming pool is the place to swim against the dramatic Sussex landscape.

New-York style gym area with punch bag and weights area

Image credit: South Lodge Hotel

A New York loft-style fitness gym slots right into the West Sussex countryside, where beaten-leather punch bags, retro-inspired boxing gloves and state-of-the-art Technogym equipment compliment all kinds of fitness programmes. An adjoining terrace provides space for alfresco training and first-class fitness instructors are on hand to ensure workout goals are met.

Outdoor hydrotherapy pool on wooden decking

Image credit: South Lodge Hotel

The hotel’s spa has been meaningfully designed to combine the best of luxe interiors with the natural, untouched geology of the surrey countryside. What really sets it aside from others, though, is its answer to the rise and evolving demands of modern travellers in regards to wellness and wellbeing. For that reason, The Spa at South Lodge is a timeless gem, perfectly placed in England’s pleasant land.

Main image credit: South Lodge Hotel 

FIRST LOOK: Inside the renovation of Oatlands Park Hotel

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
FIRST LOOK: Inside the renovation of Oatlands Park Hotel

Following a multi-million pound renovation, Oatlands Park Hotel has given Hotel Designs a sneak peek inside the new contemporary hotel in Surrey… 

A venue steeped in History, Oatlands Park Hotel has been the home to previous Kings and Queens of England. Following more than ten million pounds of investment to date towards extensive and careful renovations over the last four years, the hotel is nearing its completion.

The transformation of the hotel includes a brand-new glass ceiling guest foyer, a new restaurant and bar, The Mulberry and Bar 1509, alongside the grand total of 144 guestrooms, 120 of which have been completely updated and modernised. There’s also been dramatic developments in the hotel’s multiple meeting rooms and conferences spaces as well as significant improvements and new crafted landscaping to the grounds.

The design of the hotel’s lobby and lobby bar was led by interior designer Përparim Rama from 4M Group, while Penny Patterson from Make It So Design set the design language for the new guestrooms, other feature areas and meeting spaces.

Originally the site of a Tudor Palace commissioned by Henry VIII in 1538, Oatlands Park Hotel in Weybridge is described as ‘the jewel in Surrey’s crown’. The multistage refurbishment project started back in 2016 with the aim of retaining historic features alongside a fresh contemporary style, to ensure the hotel is kept at the very forefront of the marketplace, meeting the high expectations of both its corporate and leisure clientele who come from all over the world to stay here.

Lavish dining area with high ceilings

Image credit: Oatlands Park Hotel

The recently developed hotel lobby and welcome foyers have meant the project has come to near completion. The design of these areas within the hotel has been highly enriched by the elegance of natural marble and oak timber flooring. Reflecting the history of the hotel, the lobby has been refurbished with marmorino walls, recreating the Italianate style of the original building of the 19th century. A hand-crafted brass and glass chandelier looks down from a privileged position as a classic symbol of the luxurious past in this historic venue. The idea is that this sets a goal of creating a comfortable space welcoming guests to the hotel lobby, lobby bar and grounds, encouraging customers to walk around and interact.

Horse like lamps facing each other in white coriddor

Image credit: Oatlands Park Hotel

Throughout the whole project, the historic hotel façade will remain intact and retains its character of the grade II listed building and grounds. The Oatlands Park Hotel’s magnificent grounds, trees and gardens are included in the “Register of Gardens and Park of Special Historic Interest”. The team at the hotel has been working closely with Emma Adams, a local heritage planning expert and SSA Architects to ensure that they keep the existing historical spirit of the hotel, while anchoring the establishment firmly in the 21st century.

Following the latest phase of renovations, there are additional plans for a luxury spa, further conference rooms as well as 33 guestrooms currently going through planning permission stages.

Main image credit: Oatlands Park Hotel

Sekers unveils new velvet collection

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Sekers unveils new velvet collection

Following its appearance at Sleep & Eat 2019, Sekers has announced the launch of FIORA, a lush polyester velvet collection suitable for contract upholstery and accessories…

With a subtle printed texture and soft lustre providing a modern edge, Fiora by Sekers is available in a spectrum of 25 colours including rich, saturated hues and pastel highlights.

Incorporating FibreGuard, an advanced finish that helps protect the fabric against spills and stains without having to resort to specialist cleaning, Fiora resists the toughest of stains, including red wine and ballpoint pen.

With a Martindale abrasion performance of 100,000 rubs and supplied with crib five fire retardant backing, Fiora is perfect for the most demanding upholstery application. Meeting all relevant UK, American and IMO standards for upholstery, Fiora is the ideal choice for the designer specifying for the hospitality, leisure and marine markets.

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

Main image credit: Sekers

Industry insight: What is driving the digital bathroom trend?

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Industry insight: What is driving the digital bathroom trend?

As Hotel Designs continues to put technology under the spotlight, Nick Brown, hospitality channel manger for GROHE UK, explains why digital modern bathrooms are going to be trending for a while… 

In recent years, the hotel guest experience has undergone a mass transformation.

As seen in Hotel Designs’ Year in Review of the most significant products to launch in 2019, digital technology is now commonplace throughout a hotel from app-based digital check-ins to slick entertainment systems providing music, TV and concierge support at the touch of a button.  The hotel bathroom is the natural next step in the evolution of the smart hotel, offering convenience, comfort and relaxation for the customer. Digital or smart fittings in the bathroom are now being specified to help increase functionality and usability in the bathroom, and in many cases, enhance the luxury atmosphere that so many visitors are now seeking from their travel experiences.

As far as interiors go, it is usually the crème de la crème of hotel designs that spark the trends for residential interiors. However, with digitalisation, the roles have been reversed to some extent. The integration of digital and smart concepts in the home is much more readily available now than they were even a few years ago, and with increased understanding as to their benefits and how to use them, the uptake from the mass market has become more profound. As most consumers are now much more in touch with tech and the digital world, hotels can really benefit from integrating smart features and there is even a growing expectation from savvy travellers for these elements to be included as standard.

“In particular, there has been a growing desire amongst hoteliers for infra-red basin mixers in guestrooms.” – Nick Brown, hospitality channel manager, GROHE UK.

The rise of lifestyle hotel brands over the past few years has certainly helped spur on the desire for digital. Designers of these spaces are instilling character and innovations such as smart technology into both guest rooms and communal areas to create an enhanced, unique atmosphere. These experiential hotels are generating enormous appeal particularly with millennial guests and are consequently being shared in abundance on social media platforms. The hotel bathroom already has its own corner of the social media sphere, with the most luxurious and aspirational designs reaching hundreds of thousands of users around the world. Like bespoke design and idyllic aesthetics, digital products offer this same element of aspiration and can really help create a unique hotel experience, a trend which is trailblasing travel experiences for younger generations.

From the perspective of hoteliers and facility management teams, the trend for digital products in the bathroom stems from growing pressure on hotels to reduce their footprint and integrate fittings that will generate more efficient consumption of water and energy, as well as being mindful of how much single-use plastic waste they are generating. In particular, there has been a growing desire amongst hoteliers for infra-red basin mixers in guestrooms which can be monitored via an app as well as set to run for a limited amount of time, helping to reduce on water consumption and costs whilst preventing against water damage from the tap being accidentally left on.

Many of the leading global hotel groups are beginning to implement their own sustainability targets and initiatives and are therefore turning to suppliers for smart solutions that can help them to reduce consumption without comprising performance as well as use app connectivity to monitor and manage their usage. Hotel conglomerates such as Hilton have subscribed to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, a blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all, which encourages the implementation of 17 targets to be in place by 2030. GROHE and its parent company LIXIL can work hand in hand with hotels supporting these initiatives as it too has pledged its support to the programme.

The challenge for meeting this new trend for digital is that bathroom interior fittings must still be beautiful and elegant, as well as functional and innovative. Each aspect is valued of equal importance and is key to creating an aspirational bathroom setting that will create a lasting memory in the minds of the guests, both for its looks and the experience it offers. Of course, sustainability will remain a dominating factor too as digitalisation continues to transform hotel bathrooms. Guests are becoming more and more conscious of the footprint they leave when travelling and will welcome encouragement from their hotel to help them be more eco-conscious during their stay. In 2020, basin mixers with LED temperature displays will emerge on the market, acting as a subtle but impactful reminder that guests can make small changes such as turning the temperature of their water down by just a few degrees to help reduce their energy consumption. Infra-red operated eco-modes will also be available on basin mixers which will see hotels actively offering guests more conscious choices when it comes to managing their carbon footprint and water usage.

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

Main image credit: GROHE UK

Apurva Kempinski Bali unveils new design-led villas

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Apurva Kempinski Bali unveils new design-led villas

Newly launched villa collection, designed by Trivium Design Group, marks the competition of The Apurva Kempinski Bali…

Nestled in tropical gardens on the clifftops of Nusa Dua, The Apurva Kempinski Bali has completed its design renovation, which results in the launch of 43 new villas. 

Named after the mighty kingdoms that once ruled over Indonesia, the one-, two- and three-bedroom pool villas designed by Trivium Design Group evoke the tropical characteristics of southern Bali, offering discerning visitors complete privacy, spacious indoor-outdoor living and a delectable flavour of Balinese life.

“We have made tremendous efforts to showcase Indonesian heritage in the eyes of the world by incorporating the best local craftsmanship, philosophy and materials into the interior design,” said Rudy Dodo, founder of Jakarta-based Trivium Design Group, which is responsible for interiors throughout the resort.”

Image credit: Kempinski Hotels

Hidden away among tropical gardens, each of the two-storey villas affords complete privacy. Self-contained plunge pools and outdoor terraces are surrounded by lush foliage and clever architectural features created by architect Budiman Hendropurnomo, who founded the Indonesia office of Denton Corker Marshal.

“The debut of our new villa collection means The Apurva Kempinski Bali is ready to welcome families or groups of any size, for any occasion; from intimate family escapes and show-stopping weddings, to board-level meetings and incentives,” said General Manager Vincent Guironnet. “The completion of the villas marks the final stage in our development, just in time for our grand opening. With 475 rooms, suites and villas, six dining outlets, an outstanding spa and a collection of versatile meetings and events spaces, The Apurva Kempinski Bali is one of the most dynamic, dramatic and breath-taking resorts on the Island of the Gods.”

All of the villas offer private plunge pools and spacious outdoor terraces, while the larger options also feature kitchens and rooftop dining areas. Wood and stone-clad interiors are meticulously finished with rattan bamboo furniture, woven Sumba textiles and handmade woodcarvings from Bali and Java, giving guests a flavour of Bali’s rich history of design and creativity.

Main image credit: Kempinski Hotels

UNILIN’s new designs add comfort with nature in surfaces

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
UNILIN’s new designs add comfort with nature in surfaces

UNILIN division panels has unveiled four new decors in its Evola range that work together to bring comforting, calm of nature into commercial surfaces and interiors…

With the growing pressures of a fast-paced world, the need for comforting nature-inspired interiors has surged in popularity, and recently identified in Hotel Designs’ trend forecast for 2020 and beyond.

It is predicted to be a continued key emphasis for designers over the coming months. The light schemes that dominated last year’s trends are eclipsed with the dark and black tones of nature’s varied palettes.

“Using our advanced technology and manufacturing processes, we’ve been able to create an astounding range of calm, nature-inspired ranges that are predicted to be popular for 2020.” – Sofie Coulier, UNILIN division panels.

“Our Evola range, like the fashion, styles and interiors that inspire the range, continues to evolve to satisfy the demands of designers looking to create new frontiers in interiors,” explains Sofie Coulier from UNILIN division panels. “Using our advanced technology and manufacturing processes, we’ve been able to create an astounding range of calm, nature-inspired ranges that are predicted to be popular for 2020.”

Sustaining and refreshing interiors could be attributed to the very practices that UNILIN source their materials. Scratch and stain-resistant, safe from fading and easy to wipe down. All Evola melamine-faced chipboard are made from 100 per cent circular wood, including a minimum 85 per cent recycled content.

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

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

Main image credit: UNILIN

Case study: Specifying the surfaces at Juno Rooms

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Case study: Specifying the surfaces at Juno Rooms

A range of striking porcelain and handmade ceramic tiles from Parkside have been used as surfaces at Juno Rooms, a lively entertainment venue in the heart of London’s financial district…

Known locally as a thriving hub and flexible event space, Juno Rooms is Urban Pubs and Bars’ debut property in the City of London.

Driving the venue’s transformation through the universal appeal of natural influences in pattern, colour and texture, leading hospitality concept specialist Harrison has created a unique interior for the multi-functional space that sees use from morning till late night. The all-encompassing design appeals to a more discerning and demanding city worker guest but also attracts a wide variety of clientele.

Surface specialists Parkside supplied approximately 250m2 of tiles for the project with the main floors in the bar area and toilets using the award-winning Kaste01. This concrete-effect porcelain tile offers high slip resistance and was used in standard large format at the bar surround and in rest rooms, as well as waterjet cut into a multi-tonal geometric design in the seated dining area.

Found on the walls of the impressive front bar, Harrison commissioned a handmade bespoke ceramic tile in a geometric pattern of colour-matched green tones. The walls of the toilets feature a specially sourced botanical pattern ceramic tile joined by colour-matched green ceramic wall tiles in a gloss finish.

At the entrance of Juno Rooms, Harrison tasked Parkside to source frost-proof hexagonal tiles, again in a unique green colourway.  For the steps of the entrance, Parkside provided another frost-proof tile, this time with high slip resistance, supplying it alongside a contrasting technical step edge for safety.

Ceri Shannon, designer at Harrison, said on the refurbishment of Juno Rooms: “We wanted to create a strong design that represented the interior’s need to be adaptable and appealing. Achieved through biophilic elements in the design, as well as authentic materials including exposed brickwork and wood, we also came to Parkside to help us achieve a ranging set of demands in our use of ceramic and porcelain tiles.

“We knew that Parkside could source us the products we needed, as well as handle the specialised aspects of the design such as waterjet cutting and colour matching. To have this all from one supplier makes a huge difference in a high-spec, multi-layered project such as this.”

Juno Rooms, is a bar and kitchen operated by Urban Pubs and Bars, a Sunday Times FastTrack 100 listed chain of 20 pubs, bars and restaurants across London.

Parkside will join editor Hamish Kilburn at the Surface Design Show for the panel discussion entitled: Biophilic Materials in Surface Design.

The tile design company 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: Juno Rooms/Parkside

Manchester welcomes two new Hyatt hotels

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Manchester welcomes two new Hyatt hotels

The opening marks the first two Hyatt-branded hotels in Manchester, and the debut of the Hyatt House brand in the United Kingdom…

After Hotel Designs announced it will return to the city for Meet Up North, Hyatt Hotels  has announced  the opening of the 212-room Hyatt Regency Manchester and the 116-key Hyatt House Manchester in the city’s landmark building “The Lume.” The openings represent a significant milestone for Hyatt’s brand growth in the U.K. and the debut of Hyatt’s extended stay segment, the Hyatt House brand.

Hyatt Regency Manchester offers empathetic service that anticipates the needs of guests and event planners to ensure they have a seamless and personalised experience. The hotel will stay true to the brand promise of making travel free from stress by providing guests everything they need under one roof. Hyatt House Manchester is designed to make guests feel at home, offering residents spacious, apartment-style living paired with amenities that help them maintain work and personal routines while on the road.

Situated in the Innovation District on the Oxford Road Corridor, both hotels are close to Manchester’s major transportation hubs and provide easy access to major attractions. “We look forward to welcoming guests to the first Hyatt hotels in Manchester – one of the UK’s most multicultural cities and a hub for innovative start-ups,” said Assumpta McDonald, general manager of Hyatt Regency and Hyatt House Manchester. “A city popular for leisure and business travelers, Manchester and its growing commercial center is an ideal destination for having two brands within one building. Located in close proximity to the University, the city center and a number of tourist attractions, we believe that both hotels will attract business and leisure travellers alike.”

Image credit: Hyatt Hotels

The properties offer a variety of shared facilities, including The Laureate Restaurant, The Graduate Bar, seven state-of-the-art meeting rooms and a fully equipped 24-hour fitness centre. Additionally, guests staying at Hyatt House Manchester have access to the Omelet Bar and the 24/7 H Market.

Establishing shot of hotel

Image credit: Hyatt Hotels

Hyatt Regency Manchester offers 212 contemporary guestrooms and suites, all featuring floor-to-ceiling windows with city views. For travellers looking for an extended stay, Hyatt House Manchester offers 116 studios and one-bedroom suites, all featuring fully equipped kitchens, free wi-fi and stylish living and working spaces. Guests of the hotel can also enjoy 24-hour access to complimentary laundry facilities, inclusive breakfast, and the 24/7 H Market.

Hyatt Regency Manchester and Hyatt House Manchester share two distinctive gastronomic offerings – The Laureate Restaurant and The Graduate Bar. The Laureate Restaurant boasts a menu that celebrates Manchester as one of the UK’s most multicultural cities. Aptly named to reflect the academic brilliance of the hotel’s surroundings, The Graduate Bar is a vibrant, airy oasis inspiring guests and locals to relax and unwind. It offers cocktails, quality beers and gourmet bites. Exclusively accessible for guests of Hyatt House Manchester, the H Market is open 24/7 and provides a range of groceries and on-the-go snacks.

Hyatt Regency Manchester offers an array of flexible meeting spaces, with seven state-of-the-art meeting rooms. The hotel pays tribute to some of Manchester’s best-known academics, naming the meeting rooms after famous alumni and those working closely with the University. These include former chief executive of Manchester City Council Sir Howard Bernstein and renowned mathematician Alan Turing, best known for his work in breaking the German Enigma code during World War II.

Hyatt House Manchester offers two intimate event spaces: The Conservatory and The Living Room, both located on the 18th floor of the hotel.

The varied selection of meeting spaces offered by the two hotels provide guests of both properties the option to book from a range of options to ensure a seamless environment for every event. The meeting rooms are equipped with LCD projectors and screens for presentations, and the on-site business center is open 24 hours a day. Additionally, all meeting rooms and event spaces offer expert catering services.

Hyatt Regency Manchester and Hyatt House Manchester are the seventh and eighth Hyatt-branded hotels to open in the U.K., alongside Andaz London Liverpool Street, Hyatt Regency Birmingham, Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill, Hyatt Place West London/Hayes, Hyatt Place London Heathrow Airport and the recently opened The Great Scotland Yard Hotel.

Main image credit: Hyatt Hotels

Checking in: Heckfield Place

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Checking in: Heckfield Place

Former senior stylist for House & Garden and The Brit List Awards 2019 judge, Florence Rolfe, checks in to the award-winning Heckfield Place to discover how the hotel is anything but ‘greenwashing’ in both its design and operation…

I recently received a dream invitation to the highly acclaimed country manor hotel Heckfield Place. Naturally, I obliged.

The Georgian Manor House, which is set within a 438-acre estate, is now a hotel that holds a substantial reputation in the market for its extremely elegant and sophisticated interior style.

Cleverly designed by Ben Thompson (a protégé of Ilse Crawford), a surveillance and understanding of the natural surroundings seem to have inspired a subtle colour palette. Not much pattern to be seen here (which I love), but instead a clever use of varying textures that combine to create a relaxing and peaceful environment for guests.

Located only one hour outside of London, I couldn’t wait to get there. As I approached the spectacular Georgian Manor House I was welcomed by the concierge dressed in a plain, rather cool looking linen pinafore and shirt (designed by cutting edge London based label Egg) who took our bags and offered to park our car for us. We were greeted again in the grand hallway by a member of staff offering a delicious welcome refresher.

Wooden staircase

Image credit: Heckfield Place

No sign of a traditional desk check-in. Instead, we were immediately given a choice of an initial tour of the building or to go straight to our room. Tempted by the sound of murmuring voices at the bar and the smell of a roaring fire, I decided to opt for the latter after arriving in darkness. Corridor walls are lined with carefully curated art works from the owner’s private collection. Windows along the corridor are decorated with delightful white lace sheers for added privacy. Over-sized decorative pots on the window-sills force you to notice their eye-catching shapes and interesting textures.

Every single design element has been so carefully considered. On the approach to our room, the concierge pulled the room key from a small envelope that had my name embossed on it. If that isn’t considered luxury attention to detail,  I don’t know what is! Whilst on the subject of details, the electronic door lock (often very unattractive) has been beautifully disguised behind a plain white linen hoop.

Mustard walls in guest room looking through into bathroom

Image credit: Heckfield Place

As our guide opened the door, an immediate warmth overwhelmed me. I was not only confronted with a few of my favourite interior design comforts, but any amenities that were waiting for us had been so carefully thought about and beautifully styled – a tray of apples and a bag of chestnuts became a work of art. A clear intention to steer away from plastics was consistent throughout the room. Any homemade treats left for us in the minibar were presented in jars (home-made Ribena) or paper bags (containing salted almonds or coconut macaroons).

This was no ordinary minibar: a dark and mysterious, rather chic looking kettle sat on the top with a secret drawer beneath. It cleverly pulls out of the minibar with a connector to hold the kettle.

Coat hooks have been styled with woven baskets that hang ready and waiting for you take to the spa (or to collect any items that you might have foraged from around the grounds). Vases of dried flowers (grown and dried on site) are dotted around the room amongst carefully considered clientele coffee table books – ready for you to fall into a large, comfortable sofa and indulge.

Soft pastel colours on bed and on armchair

Image credit: Heckfield Place

The addition of the Fiddle leaf fig plants are something that I don’t always see in hotel rooms. Effective, as it is now considered that house plants are thought to be a calming influence in a space. A contemporary natural rush woven headboard runs across the width of the bed, creating a back drop that highlights the antique bedside tables on either side. Overall, the bedrooms feel stylish and homely. Everything from the furniture to the lighting to the styling has been carefully thought about with detailed consideration and most importantly with the guest in mind. I really didn’t want leave!

After an extremely peaceful nights sleep, breakfast was only a short walk away. An impressive dining room with full panoramic views of the grounds means that you can sit, relax and enjoy your eggs (collected fresh from the farm earlier) just the way you like them!

After breakfast I took a walk around the ground floor as I was intrigued to explore during the day. Daylight floods in through the main hall and along the corridors bouncing off the grand interior architecture throughout. Two enormous airy yet cosy drawing rooms still adhere to the muted colour palette. Thompson has stuck to linens in soft greys and neutrals on both the curtains and chairs, adding punch here and there with pastel coloured velvet cushions. Fires are lit throughout the day during the winter, making this an ideal spot to sit and enjoy a cuppa after a long country walk.

A wood panelled private dining room with a grand marble fireplace also has full views of the estate. It also hosts an array of beautifully arranged floral arrangements by florist Kitten Grayson, including a stand out dried floral wreath that hangs over an enormous oak dinning table.

I jumped at the chance when I was offered to go on a tour of the farm. Heckfield Place has become well known for its contribution to sustainability and the farm follows biodynamic principles. Guests are advised to wear willies, which are provided for by the hotel –  downstairs you are spoilt for choice with black Hunter wellies laid out for you, in every size possible.

In my opinion good hotel interior design is about creating a home away from home: to feel that you can walk in somewhere and simply fall into bed or onto an extremely comfortable sofa – a peaceful retreat. Heckfield Place seems to have got it just right. The aspirational photography featured on its website and Instagram account is only a hint of the true inspirational experience this place so effortlessly shelters.

Main image credit: Heckfield Place

INSIGHT: 5G and hotel security technology in the ’20s

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
INSIGHT: 5G and hotel security technology in the ’20s

To launch the next few weeks putting Technology under the spotlight, Mark Tucknutt, the owner of specialist security consultancy Toren Consulting Ltd, breaks down some of the cyber security issues the design, architecture and hospitality sector will face in the Roaring 20s…

It’s pretty hard to resist a technology forecast at the turn of the decade, and when you misspent your teenage years playing ‘Cyberpunk 2020’ its nigh on impossible.

I run a boutique security design consultancy, supporting developers and architects in designing hotels that meet the security requirements of planning authorities, hotel brands and hotel guests. While we’re not living in the dystopian tech-obsessed 2020 that 13 year old me was promised in the early 1990s, we are living in interesting times for the hotel sector, for technology and for security risks.

Most commentators agree that one of the key technology trends for the 2020s is going to be the continued rolloout of 5G networks. Here are a few ways that I believe that may impact on hotel security and allow ‘security’ devices to better support hotel business operations.

Distributed Video Analytics

We all know from the mainstream media that 5G is coming, and that it will bring huge increases in bandwidth and speed over mobile networks. The impact of 5G on hotels, with their transient users and geographically dispersed properties, is going to be significant. Of course, I’m not talking about the ability of guests to download a movie more quickly, as exciting as that might be. 5G is going to enable hotel chains to make use of a wide range of intelligent devices, and I predict that some of the most valuable will be video surveillance cameras.

5G networks will increase the ability of business systems to make decisions based on information from edge devices. For traditional security cameras monitored by a human operator, the reduced latency isn’t really a factor; fibre optic latency is already a tiny factor compared to human decision-making speeds. But when we’re talking about automated business systems, that faster response is going to enable lots of interesting processes. 5G will allow hotel brands and operators to reliably use video analytics to monitor and react in real-time to AI-based alerts from a global hotel portfolio, for example about queue lengths, unusual patterns of behaviour in the lobby or recognition of a VIP guest.

More devices, fewer wires and more integration

Security systems have been, somewhat belatedly, moving to a cloud-based architecture during the last few years. 5G is going to accelerate that development so that access control panels and servers and video surveillance recorders located on the premises will be consigned to history.

Video surveillance cameras will finally become truly wireless for data transmission. The increased reliability of 5G will give hotels the confidence to deploy wireless cameras throughout hotels, rather than only in hard to reach locations. Instead of ‘wireless’ guestroom locking connecting to wired hubs (often several in each guest corridor), guestroom locks will make use of 5G’s reduced latency to become truly wireless, also improving the guest experience by reducing the time taken to unlock the door.

5G will therefore lead to reduced security installation costs for new hotels by removing network cabling, switches, wireless access control hubs, network video recorders etc from construction. New locks and cameras will become quicker, easier and cheaper to deploy.

Mobile app guestroom locking comes of age

The capabilities of 5G phones are going to make mobile phones even more ubiquitous, and hotel guests even more comfortable with expecting to use phones for secure tasks.

The use of mobile phones for guestroom locking ‘keys’ has existed for a while now, but adoption hasn’t been as strong as it might have been. I’m predicting that as the technology matures, and integrations between locking systems, guest apps and booking systems become more open, that 2020 is the year that we finally see mobile phones take over from plastic RFID cards as the de facto guest room access control device.

While there is still a concern that guests will be reluctant to download a new app for each hotel stay, the major guestroom locking providers are at least now offering integration to not just a hotel’s own app development but to the main third-party hospitality app providers. This means that just as smaller hotel chains can now ‘white-label’ a guest app solution from a third-party (such as HotelBird or AeroGuest), those apps are now likely to be integrated with a guestroom locking product (such as Salto XS4 or Vingcard Essence).

Main image credit: Salto

Laufen’s technology secret: it’s all in the material

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Laufen’s technology secret: it’s all in the material

Design reduced to the essentials, SaphirKeramik has been bathroom manufacturer Laufen’s trade technology secret since 2013. Since then, the material has been used to create some of the most stunning bathroom products…

With SaphirKeramik the Swiss bathroom specialist Laufen is setting a new trend in bathroom design.

SaphirKeramik is an innovative ceramic material, which possesses all the hygienic advantages of traditional bathroom ceramics, but is thinner, more defined, and extremely robust. The special properties are due to the addition of corundum, a colourless component of sapphire, which has been prepared for the market by years of research and development work by Laufen. Since its launch in 2013 SaphirKeramik has developed into a favourite material of many architects and bathroom planners, because it permits a whole new design language with ceramics in the bathroom, which could not have been realised in the same way with conventional ceramic material.

Basin in black set

Image credit: Laufen

SaphirKeramik from Laufen is a very hard and rigid ceramic, which for the first time allows very thin, but extremely robust ceramic walls and at the same time a defined rim – a narrow edge radius of 1-2mm is possible, whilst traditionally ceramic material manages 7-8mm. The name SaphirKeramik is related to sapphire glass, known from watch-making, which also contains corundum, making it also a very hard material. However, SaphirKeramik not only permits a more precise and slimmer design language, but also has functional and ecological advantages: thus in the case of SaphirKeramik washbasins, with less material more functional space is created. In the process SaphirKeramik is exactly as hygienic and safe with drinking water as traditional ceramic material, and can also be recycled completely. The low material quantity, thanks to a simplified ceramic structure, has further advantages in terms of environmental protection and sustainability, since fewer raw materials and less energy are required for the firing, production and transport of SaphirKeramik.

Meanwhile Laufen has gained extensive experience with the innovative ceramic material, integrating numerous bathroom products made of SaphirKeramik into its ranges. Together with the washbasins in the successful Kartell by Laufen bathroom collection, and the SaphirKeramik bowls from the Living Square collection, the washbasins from the Val and Ino collections have now joined this exclusive club. Val and Ino have been developed from the SaphirKeramik project, to which Laufen invited the two designers Konstantin Grcic and Toan Nguyen, in order to collectively explore further the design potential of the material in conceptual studies. SaphirKeramik also plays a key role in Patricia Urquiola’s Sonar collection for Laufen.

“Laufen is convinced that the potential of SaphirKeramik has not yet been fully exploited, and that with this innovative material we are going to realise many exciting developments in the future,” says Marc Viardot, Director of Marketing and Products at Laufen. “Since the dimensions of bathrooms in reality hardly change, it is our vision of wellbeing in the bathroom to optimise the proportions of features and to create a sustainable product design in accordance with the available room.”

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

EARLY RELEASE tickets open for Hotel Designs’ premium networking events

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
EARLY RELEASE tickets open for Hotel Designs’ premium networking events

For limited time only, Hotel Designs has opened discounted EARLY RELEASE tickets to Meet Up London (May 13) and Meet Up North (July 6)…

After hosting a hat-trick of successful and meaningful premium networking events up and down the country last year, Hotel Designs is offering designers, architects, hoteliers, developers and suppliers to purchase discounted EARLY RELEASE tickets to Meet Up London and Meet Up North.

Until January 31, tickets to both Meet Up London and Meet Up North are available to purchase for designers, architects, hoteliers, developers and those who supply to the hospitality industry. The regional events, which last year bridged the gap between more than 400 design and hospitality professionals, are regarded as two of the industry’s most established networking events. “We are fully committed to host our networking events in locations and venues that are at the heart of the hotel design community,” said editor Hamish Kilburn. “We hope that Meet Up London and Meet Up North, which include relevant themes and talks at both, help to build seamless relationships as well as inspire the industry to further push boundaries in design and hospitality.”

About Meet Up London 
Date: May 13, 2020 | 6pm – 10pm
Venue: Minotti London | Theme: Inspiring Creativity
Headline Partner: Hamilton Litestat | Partner: Crosswater

Following the success of last year’s spring networking eventHotel Designs is delighted to return to Minotti London for Meet Up London 2020, the publication’s first networking event of the year. The London Fitzrovia showroom, which recently played host to an exclusive roundtable, will shelter an evening like no other around the theme of Inspiring Creativity, with the concrete aim to further bridge the gap between designers, architects, hoteliers, developers and key-industry suppliers.

EARLY RELEASE SUPPLIER TICKETS*: £99 + VAT (expires on January 31)  | CLICK HERE to purchase your tickets.
EARLY RELEASE BUYER TICKETS**: £10 + VAT (expires on January 31) | CLICK HERE to purchase your tickets.

Sponsors for Meet Up London (so far): 

About Meet Up North 
Date: July 6, 2020 | 6pm – 10pm
Venue: Central Manchester (venue to be announced shortly)| Theme: Manchester On The Boards
Headline Partner: Hamilton Litestat | Partner: Crosswater

Considering the vast amount of hotel projects currently on the boards in the north – many of which are slated to complete in Manchester and open this year – Hotel Designs will be returning to the city of Manchester for Meet Up North 2020. The city, which has hosted the concept since its launch in 2018, will once again welcome leading designers, architects, hoteliers, developers and key-industry suppliers for the market’s leading networking event in the north of England.

EARLY RELEASE SUPPLIER TICKETS*: £99 + VAT (expires on January 31) | CLICK HERE to purchase your tickets.
EARLY RELEASE BUYER TICKETS**: £10 + VAT (expires on January 31) | CLICK HERE to purchase your tickets.

Sponsors for Meet Up North (so far):

If you would like to discuss various sponsorship packages available, or if you have any enquires regarding tickets, please contact Katy Phillips via email, or call 01992 374050.

Early Release offer strictly ends January 31, 2020.

* Those eligible to purchase Supplier Tickets must be industry suppliers.
** Those eligible to purchase buyer tickets must prove that they are an interior designer, architect, hotelier or developer.

close up of wall partition in the restaurant

How twenty2degrees redesigned Budapest Marriott Hotel

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
How twenty2degrees redesigned Budapest Marriott Hotel

Hotel Designs follows twenty2degrees, which has just completed a two-phase refurbishment of Budapest Marriott Hotel…

Whenever a project completes from The Brit List 2019 accredited design firm twenty2desgrees, you know that its design is g