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Suite inside LEVEN Manchester with freestanding bath in front of window with red exposed brick walls

‘First in’ to review LEVEN in Manchester

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
‘First in’ to review LEVEN in Manchester

In the heart of Manchester, LEVEN, brought to you by the innovators at Wellbrook Hospitality, has opened its glass door. Editor Hamish Kilburn was ‘first in’ to review the luxury/lifestyle brand’s debut hotel…

Suite inside LEVEN Manchester with freestanding bath in front of window with red exposed brick walls

For some time now, the David-and-Goliath narrative between Manchester and London has been an exciting battle to watch. London, a giant in size as well as spirit, is unequivocally the epicentre of the UK hotel design and hospitality scene. But it is not alone. Small yet mighty and effortlessly dominating the Northern hotel landscape, Manchester’s compact city centre is an incubator of vibrant innovation and pure style; home to lifestyle and fashion brands that unapologetically break the mold. It therefore confidently squares up to many major hotel design hotspots around the globe (seriously, ignore development in the city at your peril).

Within the hive of new development that is simply bursting out at the seams is LEVEN, the new hospitality brand that has arrived with a bright and infectious personality.

Taking on the challenge to achieve meaningful luxury/lifestyle hospitality in the heart of Manchester required individuals who were able to navigate the lifestyle sector and pinpoint valuable opportunities. Cue the arrival of Timothy Griffin, PJ Kenny and Shanthan Balakrishnan, the Founders of Wellbrook Hospitality who prior to this accumulated 20 years’ experience between them as senior leaders at Ennismore.

“We saw an opportunity  to enter a space that is dominated by staid-legacy thinking,” said Griffin. “Challenging the status quo, thinking differently, and bringing a fresh dynamic approach are all key components of our DNA. Wellbrook Hospitality is also unusual in that we are one of the only independent operators that not only create new brands, but manage all technical, design  and pre-opening services along with operating under flexible HMA terms.”

LEVEN Manchester, the brand’s debut hotel located on the corner of the infamous Canal Street, is where the brand’s narrative begins to create a conscious, community-driven series of spaces that speak the local language.

“It’s like LEVEN gatecrashed the party, deliberately ignored the dress code and brought its own booze.” – Hamish Kilburn, editor, Hotel Designs.

From the outside, the property’s striking red bricks and characterful Crittal windows reflect the same style as many other building’s in Manchester: original, untouched and charmingly rustic.

Exterior of LEVEN Manchester

Image credit: Mariell Lind Hansen

But inside, the 42-key hotel is equipped and designed for modern travellers, and includes contemporary co-working, co-living, on-trend retail space and a yet-to-open food and beverage experience.

Immediately upon entry, the scene is set as a laid-back lifestyle hotel. The cosy lobby is adorned with emerald green scalloped tiles, blackened steel ceiling-height units and statement lighting, which creates a dramatic entrance. The space feels home-from-home level of intimate, with faux fur throws draped over miss-matched furniture and a gallery wall of abstract art that makes guests stop to exhale and admire with a tilted head.

As far as ‘the brand’ goes, it’s like LEVEN gatecrashed the party, deliberately ignored the dress code and brought its own booze. And talking of dress codes, in one corner of the lobby, the retail concept allows the brand to further flex its muscles with the slogan ‘work life’ taking on a whole new meaning, which is imprinted in the various on-trend merchandise available, including jumpers, socks and drinks containers. Adjacent to this is the modest check-in area and café, which is aptly subtle, allowing for the friendly nature of the staff the opportunity to ensure guests’ experience from the start is one that is warm and memorable.

The hotel’s 42 guestrooms and suites are spread over eight floors, and comprise of four thoughtfully designed accommodation types: ‘Life Size’ (standard guestroom), ‘Living Space’ (one-bedroom suite), ‘Living Large’ (one-bedroom duplex Penthouse suite), and ‘Living The Dream’ (two-bedroom duplex Penthouse suite).

Suite with white bed, exposed brick and bath, inside LEVEN Manchester

Image credit: Mariell Lind Hansen

Although each room and suite is designed to be different, together they share the same design language with oak parquet or timber floors, bespoke furniture and quirky ‘do not disturb’ signs. As well as being a pioneering hotelier – that, nobody is questioning – Griffen is also an exceptional interior designer. Inside the hotel he took the historic roots and industrial bones of the building, and masterfully married them together with sleek interior touches and intuitive design solutions. Here, the devil is in the detail. For example, the rooms, which feel lifted and airy with plenty of natural light flooding in, feature by-folding wardrobes that open to reveal a simple yet clever mirror that slides across the piece of furniture.

“We wanted the interior design to be consistent with the pillars of the LEVEN brand,” added Griffin. “Leven means ‘live’, so we crafted spaces that would feel not only stylish and sophisticated, but warm, relaxed and homely.”

In the Life Size and Living Space rooms, soft greys and blues are offset by rich green velvet, leather and black marble furnishings. The duplex Penthouses – sheltered in a seamless extension on the top floors of the building – have a calming neutral colour palette throughout and upper-level bedrooms that are accessed by whimsical, wooden spiral staircases.

“We selected calming colours throughout, paid attention to the tactility of fabrics and materials using natural woods and stones to complement the industrial fabric of the early 20th century warehouse,” added Griffin. “We played around with the idea of using graphic paint lines in the corridors, however settled on floor to ceiling wooden panels painted in a charming Farrow & Ball Card Room Green juxtaposed with an industrial mesh ceiling.

The beds, with natural fibre mattresses from Naturalmat, feature padded leather headboard paired with black metal frames. The artwork, deliberately positioned on the left hand side of each guestroom to avoid unsightly symmetry. From black-and-white images of the city to an upside-down poem and the odd dog in between, the art curation raises questions. “It’s all been curated by Tim, and there’s no real theme with these pieces” said Kris Doyle, General Manager, LEVEN Manchester. “He just knows what he likes and can capture what works.”

The bathrooms, meanwhile, complete with anti-steam mirrors and industrial-style grey concrete tiles, have been designed to be minimalistic wet rooms. They include quality brands, such as Hansgrohe showers (hand shower and overhead shower), Roca basins, GROHE flush plates and Duravit toilets. Creating a cohesive design tone between bathroom and bedroom – all while taking the wellness outside the bathroom – the ‘Living Space’ suites also feature deep free-standing baths from Porcelanosa.

Entering a new territory in the luxury/lifestyle sector, LEVEN has unquestionably arrived, and in doing so it has set the tone for lifestyle hospitality to transform and adjust its settings yet again.

So what’s next for Wellbrook Hospitality, and the LEVEN brand? “We are in advanced discussions for our second and third sites in the UK and Europe,” said Griffin. “Along with Branco Capital we are looking at New York – a favourite city of mine after living there for over a decade.”

And with that, I bid farewell to Manchester – a city that will forever inspire me to push boundaries and ask questions – with the knowledge that when I return, whenever that may be, LEVEN will have established itself as the trend-setting, gatecrashing friend in the industry who we all want to socialise with.

Main image credit: Heiko Prigge

Hamish Kilburn, Tina Norden, Balkaran Bassan and Vince Stroop on stage at HIX

HIX panel discussion: Designing hospitality for the ‘WFHotel’ generation

730 565 Pauline Brettell
HIX panel discussion: Designing hospitality for the ‘WFHotel’ generation

One of the stand-out moments from HIX 2021 was undoubtedly the installations that were displayed in the Hotel Tomorrow gallery. Designed collaboratively by Conran and Partner, Areen Design and stroop design, the aim was to reflect the coming together of co-working spaces and hotels. Editor Hamish Kilburn, who spent six months following the designers, moderated the panel discussion on the HIX Talks stage that explored every corner of the concept in detail. Pauline Brettell writes…

Hamish Kilburn, Tina Norden, Balkaran Bassan and Vince Stroop on stage at HIX

HIX 2021 has been two years in the making – like the entire hospitality industry, the event was subjected to Covid-19 cancellations and delays – but finally, last week saw the experiential trade show in the spotlight at London’s Business Design Centre. True to its manifesto and guiding principles, HIX presented us with not only new products and practical design solutions to marvel over, but it also opened discussion and debate around issues of direction, design and, of course, sustainability.

The spaces in which this spirit of debate and conversation were most visible, were the two installations, along with the discussions that were taken to the HIX Talks stage as a result.

The first of these immersive settings was the WFHotel installation, which presented designers with the challenge of re-looking at the hotel as a “new productive, fluid and well workplace”, and all that that means. It was a collaborative installation by the design studios of Areen Design, Conran & Partners, and stroop design. The three hand-selected studios worked together to present us with emerging possibilities. The designers representing the studios,  Balkaran Bassan, Tina Norden and Vince Stoop joined forces with editor Hamish Kilburn on the HIX Talks stage to explain the process and discuss the thoughts and ideas that resulted in the set, and just how the conversation developed into one that hopefully initiated debate and discussion rather than coming up with a formulaic answer or response. “The access we had into these studios was unprecedented,” said Kilburn. “It allowed us to follow the process from concept through to completion, to understand how each area of the installation evolved and mutate over time. “For me, though, the most inspiring element of this project was how it changed from being a competition between three studios to a purposeful collaboration, which really helped enforce this year’s theme of HIX: ‘all together now’.”

Although the project was a collaborate effort, each designer was able to create their own section within the overall installation. While there is clearly a need to overlap and integrate, the installations and the conversation that followed could be broadly divided into community and function, comfort and cocooning and wellness and nature. “It was inspiring to see how each design studio approached the brief differently,” Kilburn explained. “Conran and Partners injected the energy of community when they decided to launch workshops on their pod on the hour so that the space would transform in time. Meanwhlile, Areen Design created an art installation-style safe cocoon nest that brought down the heart rate. stroop design, very much inspired by its own situation of launching recently with no physical base, was inspired by nature – and unveiled its co-working pod as a walk-in-the-park experience. Outside these three areas, the studios worked together to help set the scene, using visuals and sound as tools for transformation from one area of the show to another.”

Discussing the question of community and function, Conran & Partners developed an interactive and community based focus to the design question. As explained by Tina Norden, while hotels have clearly always had to design for people, this concept took it a step further, encouraging the people using the space to define it and refine it, according to function and needs. Rather than over designing a space, the circular workspace was stripped back to allow for flexibility – flexibility of space and design being a key them throughout the discussion – to allow the people using the space to use it according to their needs in that moment.

The theme of wellness was explored by stroop design. Identifying the ‘work from wherever’ fluidity that has emerged out of the pandemic, and combining it with the importance of nature, especially in the urban built environment, was the focus. Stroop spoke about the need to maximise the ‘pockets of nature’ presented to us, along with the importance of nature in our wellbeing and therefore the importance of integrating that into the workplace and in so doing, ensuring a work, wellness balance.

Becoming a lot more introspective, and really championing the ‘circle of life’ motif that ran through all three installations, Areen Design created a soft and fluid quiet space, a space to cocoon. It was a place for thought, which provided an important counterbalance to the busy communality of the other spaces. Heightened by soft surfaces and lack of colour interference, this space gave a heightened sense of calm, and was a design devoid of unnecessary distraction.

“Not long after being presented with the brief and exploring initial ideas, the conversation soon developed from one of competition into one of collaboration – and this ethos was a positive note that sounded throughout the discussion.”

Having identified the differences, it was soon clear in discussion that the overall installation was all about collaboration and commonality. It was a process that, as mentioned by Kilburn, started out as a competition; a call to arms for three design studios to compete and establish who could come up with the best workplace solution. However, not long after being presented with the brief and exploring initial ideas, the conversation soon developed from one of competition into one of teamwork – and this ethos was a positive note that sounded throughout the discussion.

There was, as already mentioned, a clear theme or key word which emerged out of this discussion; flexibility. The need for flexible spaces and flexible design, to accommodate flexible purpose and mood. Coming out of the pandemic, lines and boundaries have been blurred as our personal spaces have had to be more multi-functional. We are now projecting those experiences onto what we want from public and hospitality spaces, specifically when it comes to design requirements around our co-working space. All three designers discussed at length the need for the need for that concept of flexibility to be applied to the design process as much as to the design itself. People have had to find the ‘space’ at home for work, play and wellness, and now expect hotels to deliver the same. A successful co-working space is about more than providing a socket to charge your phone, people are demanding a place that allows them to be creative, to work, to be responsive.

Tina Norden, Balkaran Bassan and Vince Stroop on stage at HIX

Image caption: Balkaran Bassan, Tina Norden and Vince Stroop were on the HIX Talks stage last week, explaining how their WFHotel concepts developed. Image credit: HIX

Another key theme of this discussion was that, along with the spirit of partnership, there developed an understanding of what we have in common rather than differences, so while on the surface the studios offered three very different design solutions, there was, as discussed by Tina Norden, Conran and Partners, “the red thread that ran through the designs”. The points the installations had in common were as important as their differences, and in fact ideally, aspects of all were required for a successful WFHotel space. The singularity of purpose, that red thread, strengthened the individual designs as they all presented us with different aspects of that flexible new space.

All three designs brought something different into the mix and highlighted the different elements that are required when we are looking critically at hotel design for tomorrow, a tomorrow which is rapidly becoming today. As with a lot of subjects, the questions around co-working spaces and design requirements where already happening before society got locked down, but Covid-19 and the ensuing shifts in society have accelerated this discussion. The WFHotels installation can therefore be seen as a starting point, and possibly even a challenge to start thinking more critically. As Bassan, succinctly put it, these installations should be seen as “conceptual thought bubbles,” that float into other conversations rather than a prescriptive solution.

The entire installation was described by stroop design as a “palette cleanser” from the main exhibition hall – it was a place to decompress after the hard sell of the main event where people where visually vying for space. In this space it was palpably quieter, and a lot calmer. There was a sense of community and common purpose, yet within that there remained space for so many different threads to be followed and discussions to be had.

If it was about creating an experience, then the circle of life swathed in fabric by Areen Design certainly did that, and as you walked into and quietly took time to explore the folds of fabric, you were confronted with the words of Haruki Murakami; “you won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm is all about”

The storm isn’t over, and the world is certainly not the same, but the conversation about what that means for the industry is certainly taking place as we try and work out exactly what the storm is all about. Hopefully, we are able to take back the narrative, and ensure that with some conscious and considered design we can somehow  charge the conversation with an increased positivity and energy.

And the suppliers…

The designers have expressed their sincere gratitude to the companies that and people who helped them throughout this process (and in some instances at very last minute) to achieve each their visual goals. Below is a nod to those brands; the often forgotten or at the very least, under-amplified, manufacturers that are vital part of the puzzle.

Conran and Partners: (We have requested a suppliers list and will update this article shortly).
Areen Design: Alt Collective, Table Place Chairs, The Romo Group, Villa Nova, Latham Timber
stroop design: Technogym London, Elite Wallcovering by Article, Leaflike, Gubi, Ligne Roset, Astro Lighting, Romo Fabrics, Solid Surfaces, The Alt Collective, The Sunbeam Group

Main image credit: HIX

Exterior of Amada Colossos Resort

Amada Colossos Resort – large in size, made personal by design

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Amada Colossos Resort – large in size, made personal by design

To understand whether or not a hotel on a ‘colossos’ scale can still create a boutique look and feel, editor Hamish Kilburn travelled to the Greek island of Rhodes – known as the Island of Sun – to check in to the 699-key Amada Colossos Resort

Exterior of Amada Colossos Resort

The most eastern Greek island – just 12 miles from Turkey, which can be seen vividly from the Old Town – Rhodes has become famous among tourists for its medieval city, which is twice the size of Dubrovnik; fascinating architecture; stone-paved alleys and beautiful, untouched natural landscape.

In recent years, due to its easy accessibility from the UK and wider Europe, the island has become somewhat of a tourism hotspot. In 2018, it was reported by Statista that Rhodes had 49,451 hotel rooms, the second largest reported figure among the Greek islands that year.

Among them is the beachfront Amada Colossos Resort, where, on the eastern coast, early risers during the small hours of the morning can capture the moment the Mediterranean Sea meets a bubble-gum pink sky as the sun starts to emerge on the edge of the horizon – a much welcome change of scenery from the craggy, grey autumn I left behind in England.

Since 1980, when the hotel first emerged as a 408-key hotel, it has evolved into several new chapters thanks to a series of renovations. Nothing, though, was quite as impressive or dramatic as than the €50m reconstruction and redevelopment project in 2017, which was implemented by architecture studio F. & K. KYDONIATIS & PARTNERS and completed in 2018.

Exterior image of Amada Colossos Resort

Image credit: Amada Colossos Resort

Aris Soulounias, Colossos SA CEO, a veteran and experienced hotelier, had the vision to create a resort that would offer, through a spectrum of locally inspired and meticulously selected details, a ‘modern philosophy of luxurious seafront holiday’; an irresistible combination of five-star living and authentic Greek hospitality.

Landscaped to blend into its natural setting, the hotel now shelters no less than 699 guestrooms (varying from 17 styles), all decorated in natural materials with a contemporary twist. To cater for the number of guests, the hotel features 16 bars and restaurants that are dotted throughout the resort, a 140-metre outdoor pool and even its own water park. The challenge, therefore, for the wide team at F. & K. KYDONIATIS & PARTNERS was to maintain a cohesive design narrative throughout – and this required a sensitive yet personal approach.

Inside one of the 32 sea-view junior suites, guests enter to a sense of calm, which, in one of the 12 Sea-View Executive Suites, is enhanced by the floor-to-ceiling balcony doors that frame an enchanted vista of endless sea, which is complimented by the colour scheme that includes punches of turquoise and blue.

Guestroom with handmade headboard inside Amada Colossos Resort - Sea View Executive Suite_2

Image credit: Amada Colossos Resort

Clever use of cove lighting aptly elevates the space, while also blurring any potential hard boundaries. Blended together with natural materials, such as a handcrafted wooden headboard from Bali and walls that have been painted with a modern lime wash effect to create a natural tone and texture, the suite feels earthy yet spacious, complete with a contemporary walk-in wardrobe, framed with LED strip lighting, a large living area, a luxurious bedroom and a balcony that stretches the entire width of the suite.

The bathroom, meanwhile, complete with Ideal Standard taps and shower fittings, is beyond simply a practical space. A large window, with panel-controlled blinds, allows natural light and a cohesive design style to flood into the space, as well as opening up yet another opportunity for guests to soak in the unmatched view of the sea below. “The first question was how to bring water into the building,” architect Konstantinos Kydoniatis tells Hotel Designs. “We opened up the bathrooms to give a feeling of more space and tried to orientate everything towards the sea. When visitors arrive, they will understand that they have come very close to the sea. That you can see the sea from many parts of the resort. That you can touch it.”

Bathroom inside Amada Colossos Resort Sea View Family Room (With sliding doors)

Image credit: Amada Colossos Resort

It would be easy with a hotel as large as Amada Colossos Resort for its design language to be muted or overshadowed by its size. However, like many answers in design, the solution came in the form of art. Throughout the hotel, guests will notice abstract sculptures and art pieces that reflect the property’s sense of location. Taking the art narrative deeper, I am told that in fact all the art sheltered within the building had been commissioned by Ms. Roula Soulounia, who was instrumental in the interior design process and the selection of the artworks adorning Elite Collections Suites and Villas as well as resort’s premises.

Sustainability fit to scale

Don’t let the hotel’s size fool you Despite its scale, the Amada Colossos’ commitment to sustainability is refreshing. Going much further than simply banning plastic straws – although the hotel has taken the liberty to introduce 450,000 pasta straws – decisions such as installing energy-efficient windowpanes, heat-recovery chillers to reduce energy costs of air conditioning units, prove that the hotel is, from its foundations, a non-greenwashing, sustainable core.

In addition, the outside walls have been fitted with an external thermal insulation composite system and all interior walls have been painted with European Eco-Label paints. The hotel also used 40,000 metres of energy-saving LED tape around the premises (just another 295 metres and it would have completed a marathon). Around the resort, a total of 14,000 low-energy LED bulbs have been fitted, and by introducing reverse osmosis and nanofiltration technology, not only is the tap water in rooms and common areas drinkable, but guests save 450g of CO2 emissions (equivalent to six km of driving) by consuming their three-litre daily water quota.

Outside, the landscaping has been done with local Mediterranean plants, minimising irrigation needs.

Sunrise image of pool at Amada Colossus in Rhodes

Image credit: Amada Colossos Resort

As an added touch, screens in the lifts reference these sustainable milestones, which ensure the message around conscious hospitality is being heard loud and clearly, without it feeling too forced.

The real power of F&B 

And now we come to the real answer on how a large hotel can indeed still shelter an apt boutique look and feel. The power of F&B has long been explored in the arena of hospitality, but nowhere can it set different scenes than in a large resort, and often it is the make or break moment of whether a hotel will cater for modern demand travellers. In charge of the main restaurant as well as three á-la-carte restaurants (Greek, Italian and Asian) is Executive Chef Konstantinos Vasileious, who along with his committed team ensure that the hotel’s extensive menus hit the notes, which they do precisely in every dish.

The three á-la-carte restaurants are positioned next to each other, but could not be more different in their design. The Greek restaurant appropriately feels more like a Greek house than a hospitality establishment, with authentic artwork and ceilings made from used crates. The Italian restaurant, meanwhile, features a beautiful tiled floor and orb-like lighting with matt black and wooden furniture to reflect a contemporary image. Lastly, the Asian restaurant has been designed with a sharp eye to feature Asian-inspired lighting that plays on different textures.

Asian-inspired F&B outlet in hotel in Rhodes

Image credit: Amada Colossos Resort

If trends are to be believed, with travellers expected to journey deeper and for longer in the future, hotels such as Amada Colossos Resort have the ability, flexibility and space to offer something for almost everyone. As I check out – turning over my shoulder to capture the postcard-perfect view one last time – I feel confident to conclude that the owners and management team behind this hotel work tirelessly and effectively, through design as well as service, to ensure that each guest’s experience is unique, comfortable and memorable – you don’t get much more boutique than that.

Main image credit: Amada Colossos Resort

couches and cushions at the gucci suite at the london savoy hotel

Inside The Royal Suite by Gucci at Savoy London

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Inside The Royal Suite by Gucci at Savoy London

With The House of Gucci making cinematic waves this week – “Father, son and House of Gucci” – we thought we would take a look at another fashion-meets-design story that is being showcased artfully in the newly designed Royal Suite at London’s Savoy Hotel. Pauline Brettell and editor Hamish Kilburn take a look inside…

couches and cushions at the gucci suite at the london savoy hotel

The Savoy Hotel and Gucci have a shared history, which, although it might not have started on an equal footing, has become intertwined over the decades – and has in recent weeks has turned a new chapter. The iconic address on The Strand, which stands today as London’s first ever luxury hotel has collaborated with the fashion house. The collision of the two iconic brands in the hotel’s Royal Suite is as much a statement as it is a meeting between design and fashion. And, it goes without saying, the suite’s new decor is a fitting tribute to the centenary year of the Gucci fashion house – much more than simply a PR stunt in order to promote the upcoming House of Gucci film.

The narrative here began when Guccio Gucci, Founder of Gucci, started his working life as a young man as a porter at the Savoy. His time spent there exposed him to the tastes and demands of the luxury traveller in the early 20th century, and as such was the start of his story, providing him with the impetus and inspiration he needed to start his own luxury leather good production on his return home to Italy.

antique four poster bed in the royal suite by gucci at the savoy hotel

Image credit: London Savoy

This shared history and inspiration is now being celebrated with the unveiling of The Royal Suite by Gucci – both brands are unsurpassed for the quality and attention to detail that is apparent throughout the design and decoration of the suite. In addition, the attention to detail has been extended to include curated experiences for guests and customers.

“I’m so delighted that The Savoy is partnering with Gucci in such a creative way in the fashion house’s centenary year,” said Franck Arnold, Managing Director at The Savoy, who was recently profiled in The Brit List 2021 as one of the UK’s most influential hoteliers. “It’s wonderful to bring alive our shared history to contemporary audiences, and we’re excited to unveil a transformed Royal Suite, as well as providing guests with charming experiences and exceptional service that befit two brands with such global renown.”

The starting point for this particular collaboration was first seen earlier this year in April, when Gucci chose to reveal its new Aria Collection at a private screening at the Savoy. The collection was seen to include nods to the hotel and its role in shaping the fashion brand.

The next step in this partnership has seen the Royal Suite at The Savoy being transformed to reflect the world of Gucci, sensitively using furniture and decorative items from the Gucci Décor Collection. The collaboration was then taken a step further with the addition of carefully curated art and antiquities from Christies to complement both the Savoy experience and the Gucci aesthetic. Both the furniture and decoration from the Gucci collection, and the art and antiques from Christies, are available for guests to purchase, making the suite a personalised and possibly one of the most luxurious, shopping experiences.

As we celebrate a moment in both brands’ history, we can’t help feel reminded of the power of reinvention within the luxury hospitality industry. And, arguably, there is no finer example of a hotel that has continued to transform with the aim to meet new demands from modern travellers while also staying robustly true and respectful to a storied history that can never be rewritten. The world waits in anticipation for the pages of this hotel’s endless narrative to turn once more.

Main image credit: London Savoy


The Luxury Collection makes debut in Rocky Mountains

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
The Luxury Collection makes debut in Rocky Mountains

The Luxury Collection Heralds a new beacon of sophistication and vibrancy in the Rocky Mountains with the Debut of The Hythe, a Luxury Collection Resort, Vail…


The Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts, part of Marriott Bonvoy’s portfolio of 30 extraordinary hotel brands, today announced the opening of The Hythe, a Luxury Collection Resort, Vail. Owned by DiamondRock Hospitality Company, the brand-new luxury resort concept in the heart of the Rocky Mountains debuts after undergoing a $40 million transformation, including an entirely revamped arrival and lobby experience, reinvigorated outdoor spaces and four brand-new culinary concepts. The resort marks Marriott International’s only Luxury Collection alpine resort in North America.

“With over 5,200 acres of world-renowned terrain, Vail, Colorado has become one of the most popular mountain resort communities in North America,” said Philipp Weghmann, Vice President and Global Brand Leader for The Luxury Collection. “The addition of The Hythe, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Vail to this legendary destination is an extension of the unique experiences available in the region. We are proud to announce the opening of the resort as the only Luxury Collection alpine resort in this iconic destination.”

Boasting 344 rooms, inclusive of 22 suites and 16 spacious residences, guests are situated just steps from the base of Vail Mountain where they can explore a plethora of outdoor experiences designed for every season or take in the charming and bustling cobblestone streets of Lionshead Village, which offers countless shops and art galleries. The Hythe serves as a gateway to Vail’s most exciting and desirable experiences, whether guests are looking to partake in exclusive alpine excursions or rejuvenate at the on-site recovery-focused spa. Inspired by the legendary founders of Vail Ski Resort, Pete Seibert and Earl Eaton, The Hythe reimagines the revelry, camaraderie, and hospitality of après ski, infusing the ‘good-time-was-had-by-all’ spirit into all aspects of the guest experience, no matter the time of day or season.

Helmed by Wilson Ishihara Design, the interiors of The Hythe are inspired by the origins of Vail, those who built it in the 1960s, and the beautiful surrounding nature that drove people to the destination. A pioneering spirit, hospitality, and a mutual love of skiing can be felt in each elevated design element. Adorned with elegant custom furniture and art pieces, entering the lobby brings guests into a majestic and serene Rocky Mountain design scheme. Punctuated with glamorous 60’s touches and historic ski references, the space brings guests a sense of unparalleled authenticity. Visitors will be pulled in by thoughtful, clean design details such as local Colorado calacatta marble quarried from the Rocky Mountain, carved wood feature art inspired by the local shepherding tradition of Arborglyphs, marble flooring textured to evoke snow fall on the landscape, carved black stone walls, and Douglas fir siding wood panels inspired by an alpine chalet.

The Hythe’s namesake, ‘haven’, is fully realised in the resort’s 344 guestrooms, which offer elegant and opulent spaces, creating a true respite. With a focus on design elements that invite relaxation and recovery from a day spent on-mountain, picture windows boast the same views of Vail Mountain that inspired the passion of Pete Siebert and Earl Eaton many years ago. Wood, stone, leather, and faux fur bring a welcoming sanctuary to lay one’s head or simply spend the whole day.

> Since you’re here, why not read about W Dubai, which has been signed?

Main image credit: The Hythe, a Luxury Collection Resort, Vail

Trip lighting from LEDS C4

Live from HIX: LEDS C4 presents ‘best choice’ of new products

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Live from HIX: LEDS C4 presents ‘best choice’ of new products

LEDS C4 is presenting its ‘best choice’ of new products at Hotel Interiors Experience (HIX). Editor Hamish Kilburn heads over to stand U36 to learn more about the Tubs, Trip and Noway collections…

Trip lighting from LEDS C4

LEDS C4 is at Hotel Interiors Experience (HIX) this week in London. The lighting company over on stand U36 at this year’s event – and has also lent a few items to Hotel Designs on stand U54. LEDS C4 is an official sponsor of this year’s edition, supporting the organisation with an interesting series of discussions involving famous names such as Tom Dixon. For this London event, the brand will highlight some of the best sellers from its Decorative Collection catalogue – and here’s what caught our eye…


The design by Nahtrang Design is a set of geometric lines that make versatility its main strength, with almost endless composition possibilities. Its linear forms combine to create visual poetry in the form of latticework. The Tubs collection has four families: pendant, table, wall and floor. Each piece is a living element that can be infinitely extended; they can also be built in smaller versions that adapt to more limited spaces.

Recently, the collection was extended with a new felt fitting, providing spaces with a greater decorative element and improved acoustic quality.


LEDS C4 has opted for the Trip collection at the HIX event: a family of wall lights that decorates and illuminates. This soft, diffuse and asymmetric light point adapts easily to any space: “When the piece and the light effect it produces are designed in full harmony, the possible applications of the luminaire are endless”, explains LEDS C4.

Trip is intended to decorate with its mere presence. To do so, it’s available in two sizes (300 and 460 mm), in metallic gold and black, and there is the option of combining two or three luminaires. It’s made from steel and aluminium.

The glass version, TRIP GLASS, connects the design of the piece with light effects, and transparency is the key to its design. It comes in three diffuser colours: Amber, Fumé and Opal. Measuring 270mm, it uses E14 bulbs with IP20 protection.


LEDS C4 will also present the Noway collection, which is now available this year with a new pendant version. Not only does Noway boast a character based on simplicity and purity, but it also provides visual comfort through high-quality indirect lighting.

Noway, which is a design by Francesco Vilaró, is a luminaire with notable dematerialisation, fully ceding relevance to the light through a surprising effect of weightlessness and lightness that helps it offer high visual comfort with minimal material. This collection offers different options, from purer versions to other more complex choices, playing with a double shade (the colours of which can be combined) and with light effects to provide more visual presence. It’s available in black and gold finishes, with or without a floor counterweight.

LEDS C4, which will also display its Tubs lighting products on Hotel Designs’ stand on U54, is one of our recommended suppliers and regularly feature in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: LEDS C4

tropical villa with infinity pool at gran melia lombok

Melia Hotels set to expand in Indonesia

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Melia Hotels set to expand in Indonesia

Already one of the hotel group’s most sought after destinations, the opening of Gran Meliá Lombok in 2024 will mark the second Gran Meliá property in Indonesia. Here’s what we know about the hotel that is expected to shelter ‘pure luxury’…

tropical villa with infinity pool at gran melia lombok

Meliá Hotels International is planning to bring a touch of Spanish luxury to Indonesia with the opening of Gran Meliá Lombok in 2024.  Meliá Lombok will be located at the beautiful Torok Bay in the south of the island, surrounded by green hills and a beach with crystal clear waters, the perfect destination to disconnect and relax. The hotel will boast 22 luxury beachside villas and another 105 villas on the mountainside, all with private infinity pools and stunning ocean views. Careful attention will be paid to the architectural design, utilising natural elements that represent the essence of the destination. The hotel will blend seamlessly with its natural environment, allowing guests to fully immerse themselves in the surroundings. An abundance of large windows will maximise natural light to promote the indoor/outdoor lifestyle, while elegant furniture and warm tones will convey a sense of pure luxury.

Luxury tropical villa featuring natural materials and textures on lombok

Image credit: Melia Hotels

Lombok is an island to the east of Bali with a pristine natural environment which has become increasingly popular as a travel destination over the past decade. Its immense rice fields, rugged landscape and the famous Mount Rinjani volcano all form part of the natural attractions of the island, which is surrounded by endless beaches, and turquoise waters ideal for surfers. The entire hotel has been designed as an authentic sanctuary for wellbeing. From the beachside YHI Spa offering relaxing rituals and treatments, to the well equipped fitness centre, Gran Meliá Lombok provides guests with everything they need to maintain their wellness routine. The hotel will also offer a kids club to keep children entertained and an extensive programme of activities designed for the whole family.

In keeping with the Gran Meliá brand, the hotel will feature world class dining options that combine the best local ingredients and techniques to offer guests authentic Indonesian dining experiences. The spacious lounge with scenic ocean views will provide the perfect setting for couples planning an exotic destination wedding.

Gran Meliá Lombok will become the second Gran Meliá brand hotel in Indonesia after Gran Meliá Jakarta, a flagship urban oasis situated in the Golden Triangle of the central business district of Kuningan, in Jakarta. The hotel boasts an iconic architecture inspired by Spanish heritage with renovated contemporary decoration, offering the finest dining experience, such as the awarded gastronomic offerings of Chef Tomoaki at Yoshi Izakaya Japanese restaurant.

Main image credit: Melia Hotels

four seasons new orleans in iconic city tower building

Now open: Four Seasons arrives in New Orleans

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Now open: Four Seasons arrives in New Orleans

Four Seasons Hotel New Orleans has opened its doors, inside one of the city’s most iconic  buildings, and has been designed to celebrate New Orlean’s spirit of ‘survival’ and ‘rebirth’. Melania Guarda Ceccoli explores…

four seasons new orleans in iconic city tower building

Four Seasons Hotel New Orleans finally welcomes its guests to the iconic 34-storey tower, originally built in 1968 to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the city’s founding. Designed by legendary modernist architect Edward Durell Stone, the building was originally the World Trade Centre and the International Trade Mart. Now recognised on the National Register of Historic Places, this historic tower has been painstakingly restored and upgraded to become a five-star hotel, celebrating the city’s spirit of survival and rebirth.

“New Orleans has been a priority market for us for many years, and we have been waiting for the right opportunity to make our debut in this dynamic city,” says John Davison, President and CEO, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. “We are in a solid position to enter the market with our exceptional partners at Carpenter & Company, in the best location in the city, and by offering an unmatched level of service that only Four Seasons can deliver. The new Hotel and Private Residences will be a genuinely standout property in the city and our global portfolio.”

The New Orleans experience begins at Chandelier Bar, located off the hotel’s lobby and onto a garden patio. The bar sits beneath a 15,000-piece light and glass installation, and provides a glamourous welcome, with live music offered year-round, showcasing local talent. The impressive chandelier, designed by Preciosa, is made up from a glittering 15,000 glass trimmings of round, pendeloque and almond-shaped crystals. This statement chandelier which defines the lobby space, is four metres in height, and features Bohemian crystals from Crystal Valley in the Czech Republic.

huge crystal chandelier in hotel lobby four seasons new orleans

Image credit: Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

Complementing the world-class design throughout the Hotel is a carefully-curated art collection featuring local artists, and those inspired by the city. The collection exhibited at the Chandelier Bar and throughout the lobby level, has been curated by Kate Chertavian Fine Art, and includes Louisiana based artist George Dunbar’s clay and gold leaf panels, and New York-based artist Leonardo Drew’s relief works on paper. Immediately, visitors are confronted with a visual conversation between local and international artists, as both artists use earth tones and metallic details with an evident influence from the natural world. Leonardo Drew’s paper pulp prints are rich with abstraction, texture, and relief, while George Dunbar achieves a similar effect in his beautiful clay and gold leaf panels.

The well-known local artist Dawn Dedeaux’s Water Markers New Orleans: A City Below the Sea, leans against the wall in the elevator lobby. These acrylic sculptures are based on the devastating post-Katrina floods of 2005 and represent an actual floodwater level declared by New Orleans homeowners, sharing this recent history visually and elegantly.

hotel lobby in blue and brown with art pieces in new orleans four seasons

Image credit: Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

The celebration of New Orleans extends further into Miss River, a “love letter to Louisiana” presented by acclaimed New Orleans Chef Alon Shaya on the lobby level. The ingredient-driven menu offers fresh takes on New Orleans classics with bold and familiar flavours, along with impeccable preparation. Also opening this autumn, award-winning chef, Donald Link, is honouring his Louisiana heritage in his newest concept, Chemin a la Mer. Exemplifying its meaning, pathway to the sea, the enticing menu of steaks and seafood is a perfect combination of local fare executed with French techniques, set against panoramic views of the Mississippi. Not to be missed is the excellent oyster bar, a New Orleans tradition taken in exciting new directions under Chef Link’s expert eye.

With a total of 341 beautifully appointed guestrooms and suites designed by Bill Rooney Studio, the hotel is able to offer accommodation options suited to each guest’s purpose in the city. Rooms have a light, and airy feel, with a palette of clean whites and pale greys, accentuated with white-washed oak furnishings, textured fabrics and wall treatments and, above every bed, a striking tri-panel plaster relief depicting South’s signature scent, the magnolia.

This autumn, the hotel will open its crescent-shaped rooftop swimming pool surrounded by inviting lounge chairs, four private cabanas and of course, incomparable Mississippi River views. There will also be a fitness centre conceived by Harley Pasternak, and The Spa, where Spa Director Toni Sullivan’s team of highly trained therapists will customise treatments to get guests looking and feeling good.

In addition to Four Seasons Hotel New Orleans, the landmark 34-storey World Trade Centre is home to 92 fully serviced Four Seasons Private Residences. Residents enjoy access to all Hotel facilities, including the spa, fitness centre, rooftop pool deck, indoor/outdoor event spaces, Chandelier Bar, along with the signature restaurants by Chefs Alon and Donald.

Main image credit: Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

colourful parasols and canopies at hyatt island resort

Unveiled: The latest brands to join the Red Sea development

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Unveiled: The latest brands to join the Red Sea development

With the highly anticipated Red Sea Project getting underway, we thought we would take a look at the nine leading hotel brands who are now on board and set to join the Red Sea party…

colourful parasols and canopies at hyatt island resort

The Red Sea Development Company, the developer behind the world’s most ambitious regenerative tourism project, has announced the signing of nine hotel management agreements with international hotel brands to operate resorts in the first phase of development at The Red Sea Project. With the first phase of development on track for completion by the end of 2023, and with a total of 16 hotels set to offer 3,000 hotel rooms across five islands and two inland sites, we thought we would take a look at some of the latest developments.

The list of the hotels who have signed up reads like a who’s who of the international hotel world, and includes: EDITION Hotels and St Regis Hotels & Resorts, part of Marriott International; Fairmont Hotel & Resorts, Raffles Hotels & Resorts and SLS Hotels & Residences, all part of global hospitality group Accor; Grand Hyatt, part of Hyatt Hotels Corporation; Intercontinental Hotels & Resorts and Six Senses, part of IHG Hotels & Resorts; and Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts, a global luxury hospitality company.

Each brand at The Red Sea Project has embraced the vision of the project and have agreed to work together to collaborate in making the destination a success. The partners have welcomed the industry-pioneering sustainability standards of TRSDC and the broader commitment towards regenerative tourism development.

High on this list is Marriott International , who have plans to develop two of its flagship brands as part of the project, with both St Regis and EDITIONS set to enhance their footprint across the Kingdom.

“We are excited to be working with The Red Sea Development Company to introduce St. Regis Hotels & Resorts and EDITION to one of Saudi Arabia’s most-anticipated projects,” said Jerome Briet, Chief Development Officer, Europe, Middle East & Africa, Marriott International. “These milestone signings illustrate Marriott International’s commitment to the growth of the tourism sector in the Kingdom and highlight increased demand for lifestyle and luxury accommodations and experiences.”

crystal clear water at island resort of st regis in the red sea

Image credit: Marriott Hotels

The St. Regis Red Sea Resort marks the brand’s introduction in Saudi Arabia, and the continued growth of its portfolio in the Middle East. Situated on a private island, the resort is expected to feature 90 villas, two signature restaurants, an outdoor pool, fitness centre, and spa, in addition to a Children’s Club. Expected to open in 2023, the exclusive resort will offer the brand’s visionary spirit, avant-garde style and bespoke service.

contemporary architectural design of timber clad EDITION red sea hotel

Image credit: Marriott International

The proposed EDITION Hotel will be located on the Red Sea Project’s main island of Shaura. The Red Sea EDITION is slated to open in 2023 with 240 guestrooms, including one-, two- and three-bedroom suites. The property is set to reflect the best of its location’s cultural and social milieu and of the time. The hotel plans to offer two signature restaurants, a destination bar, beach bar, fitness centre, a swimming pool, and spa.

“It is with great pleasure that we welcome Marriott International to The Red Sea Development Company family,” commented John Pagano, CEO at The Red Sea Development Company. “Securing globally esteemed and recognized brands such as St. Regis Hotels & Resorts and EDITION operating our luxury resorts is a significant and positive step forward for our flagship destination. We are very much looking forward to working hand in hand with Marriott International to deliver unique and immersive guest experiences underpinned by a commitment to enhancing the environment and uplifting local communities as we endeavour to stay true to our regenerative promise.”

The Red Sea Project, one of the first ‘giga’ projects announced by Saudi Arabia’s government, is an ambitious regenerative landmark project, covering 28,000 square kilometres on the west coast of the country. The destination is expected to offer a new type of barefoot luxury experience and is being developed with the highest standards of sustainability. With an archipelago of more than 90 untouched natural islands, as well as dormant volcanoes, desert, mountains and cultural sites, the project is expected to deliver new levels of service excellence, using technology to enable a seamless personalized experience that aims to position Saudi Arabia on the global tourism map.

Main image credit: Grand Hyatt

Contemporary bathroom design and fittings in the londoner hotel

Case study: Designing the bathrooms inside The Londoner

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Case study: Designing the bathrooms inside The Londoner

Synonymous with luxury, Edwardian Hotels’ The Londoner, which takes urban hospitality in Leicester Square to new lavish heights, specified AXOR brassware throughout the ‘super boutique’ hotel – from its guestrooms and suites to its destination spa (and all wellness areas in-between)…

Contemporary bathroom design and fittings in the londoner hotel

London’s first super boutique hotel in Leicester Square, The Londoner is a collection of spaces, tastes and experiences brought to life across 16 storeys. Part of Edwardian Hotels London, The Londoner has been curated to reflect the drama and elegance of West End life. Synonymous with luxury, The Londoner specified AXOR brassware throughout the entirety of the hotel. From its rooms and suites, to the Retreat Spa and hotel restrooms, AXOR provided all basin and bath mixers, showers and handsets, kitchen taps and brassware accessories to this iconic building.

Mirroring the industrial metalwork on the outside of the building, AXOR’s Brushed Black Chrome finish was selected for all products. Chosen for its sleek silhouette and premium feel, the AXOR Citterio stands pride of place in every room. In standard rooms, AXOR Citterio E 3-hole wall-mounted basin mixers have been selected, whilst suites boast AXOR Citterio M. Citterio E Shower sets complete with overhead and 120 3jet hand showers, and the Citterio E bath spout can be found in both. Public restrooms feature the Citterio E single lever basin mixers for its hand washbasins, and where there are in room kitchens, AXOR Uno mixers have been selected.

Paying attention to the smallest of details, the iconic Brushed Black Chrome finish has also been applied to all Universal Accessories. From shower door handles and rail grab bars, to towel hooks and toilet paper holders, Londoner bathrooms have a truly unified, luxury aesthetic.

“AXOR was the natural choice for this hotel,” says Rob Steul, The Londoner’s head architect and Creative Director of Edward Group London. “The Londoner is all about understated luxury, we wanted guests to feel they were experiencing the best. AXOR delivers that in both its product design and function. The showering experience is like no other.”

brushed steel and marble surfaces in a contemporary hotel bathroom

Image credit: The Londoner Hotel

With environmental sustainability at the core of The Londoner’s design, the hotel boasts an ‘Excellent’ rating from BREEAM, exceeding the requirements for sustainable energy and water use. Playing a key part in this is AXOR’s innovative technology which reduces water consumption without compromising on performance. Thanks to its AirPower and EcoSmart technologies water is aerated, reducing consumption by up to 60 per cent from traditional mixers, without compromising on performance. As water is full of air, droplets are plump, cocooning the body as they fall to give an unparalleled showering experience.

hansgrohe is one of our recommended suppliers and regularly feature in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: hansgrohe

Orange couch and indoor plants at Beckett Locke hotel

Lifestyle brand Locke opens second hotel in Dublin

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Lifestyle brand Locke opens second hotel in Dublin

Set to become a new hub for culture and entertainment in the city Beckett Locke brings its home-meets-hotel concept to the centre of Dublin’s thriving docklands area…

Orange couch and indoor plants at Beckett Locke hotel

As a brand that isn’t prepared to waste time procrastinating, Locke is seriously catching up to – dare we say ‘taking over from’ – the conventional lifestyle brands that have for decades dominated the international hotel design scene. Following the launch of Zanzibar Locke, which was hotel brand’s first property to emerge outside of the UK, the stylish brand has now opened its second hotel in Dublin.

Tucked behind the 3Arena, Beckett Locke is a 241-studio aparthotel, which aims to inspire and connect travellers through mindful design, activated social spaces, a locally led cultural programme and disruptive food and drink concepts that celebrate the character and social fabric of its locality.

Set around a naturally lit atrium, Beckett Locke features a neighbourhood co-working space, artisan coffee shop, restaurant and intimate cocktail bar in addition to meeting and event space for up to 100 people. Beckett Locke’s beautifully designed apartments (which range from 23sqm to 53sqm) each feature fully-fitted kitchens, as well as living and dining space, making them suitable for short, medium, and long stays.

“We are thrilled to open Beckett Locke, our second home in Dublin, and the third international property in the Locke family,” said Stephen Mccall, CEO of Locke’s parent company edyn. “Dublin has always been an important city for us, and we’re excited to bring Locke’s distinctive and vibrant personality to the rapidly expanding Docklands area. The Locke experience ranges from cultural programming to creative partnerships and our ambition is to establish Beckett Locke as a creative hub for guests and locals alike.”

Designed by the London studio of globally renowned design firm AvroKO in collaboration with local firm C+W O’Brien Architects, the interiors of Beckett Locke take their cue from Dublin’s maritime history and the Docklands’ deep industrial heritage. The layout of the social spaces are inspired by a traditional Docklands market hall, and include a co-working area, meeting rooms, cocktail bar, coffee shop and restaurant, all set around a central glass atrium. The assimilation of local narratives flows into the apartments, which feature black steel, exposed concrete and rust-coloured soft furnishings, which evoke the intrepid colourways and history of the Docklands. Unique to Beckett Locke, each studio apartment has been designed in-house by edyn Development Studio.

glass walls and wooden table provide contrasting surfaces at Beckette locke hotel

Image credit: Beckett Locke

The hotel also houses three new food and drink concepts by Alan Clancy’s native restaurant group, NolaClan. North 7th Coffee will fuel the co-working space from the early morning and throughout the day, serving artisan coffee, delicate pastries, and hearty sandwiches. Meanwhile, The Belis restaurant will offer a contemporary Irish take on classic dishes using freshly sourced ingredients. Nestled in a decadent theatre-like setting, complete with rich red velvets and draped chain canopy, Sam’s Corner will shake up handcrafted cocktails inspired by Beckett Locke’s namesake, playwright Samuel Beckett.

Beckett Locke will also host an evolving cultural activation programme where locals and guests can participate in talks, events and workshops hosted by local businesses and creatives. This will be complemented by an evolving cultural activation series, which will invite local creatives, brands, and businesses to host talks, workshops and events.

Locke’s hybrid ‘home-meets-hotel’ concept has proven popular among guests seeking flexible accommodation for a night, to a month or longer. Each apartment provides the space and comfort of home, which includes fully fitted kitchens, adaptable living areas where guests can dine or work, and ample storage, all with industry-leading design and guest experience at its core. This is combined with the social attributes of a lifestyle hotel, including buzzy co-working spaces, original food and drink concepts and a team of local house hosts.

Main image credit: Beckett Locke

ARTIS collection of coloured basins from Villeroy & Boch

Villeroy & Boch introduces new colours in Artis collection

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Villeroy & Boch introduces new colours in Artis collection

Designed by German-Danish designer Gesa Hansen, the Artis collection by Villeroy & Boch – now in new colours – has the right tone for any bathroom…

Villeroy & Boch has introduced new splashes of colour in the Artis collection – Indian Summer, Sage Green, Rust and Bordeaux – reflecting personality, while creating an atmosphere that challenges the conventional idea that colour is risky in the bathroom.

ARTIS collection of coloured basins from Villeroy & Boch

“For me, colour is the soul of a product,” said designer Gesa Hansen. “Colour can awaken so many emotions and change practically everything: the mood, dimensions or definition of a room.” She has created a holistic colour concept with inspiring hues for anyone who wants to immerse their bathroom in a special shade. In addition to the new colours, the existing tones of Ocean, Fog and Powder still have a role to play. The palette has been joined by classic white and the neutral shades of Coal Black and French Linen. The two-tone concept remains for the nine colours: while the exterior adds colour to the bathroom, the interior surprises with glossy White Alpin. The precise wrap-around edge makes the contrast even more vivid while emphasising the delicate look of the surface-mounted washbasins made from high-quality TitanCeram.

Artis surface-mounted washbasins are available in four shapes – round, oval, square, rectangular – and can be combined with furniture from the Finion and Legato collections. Villeroy & Boch will soon be able to reveal the colours and surfaces that harmonise best when it releases its colour wheel based on colour theory. The perfect complement: a bath with a colour-coordinated panel from the Colour on Demand concept. This way, Artis not only adds individual splashes of colour, but also lays the foundation for well-composed colour compositions. By the way, guest bathrooms are also a perfect playground for colour. This is where Artis leaves a lasting impression with visitors and turns this frequently underestimated room into a home’s calling card.

> Since you’re here, why not read about the Finion collection by Villeroy & Boch?

Villeroy & Boch is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: Villeroy & Boch

palm trees and swimming pool at quinta do largo

Diving into the spirit of the Algarve at Quinta do Lago

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Diving into the spirit of the Algarve at Quinta do Lago

It’s all about the weather and wellness – sustainability and sunshine – in this corner of Portugal. Pauline Brettell checks in to The Magnolia Hotel to explore all that is on offer at the Quinta do Lago resort, where the natural beauty of the Ria Formosa Park combines seamlessly with contemporary design…

palm trees and swimming pool at quinta do largo

The Ria Formosa Natural Park in Portugal forms part of the protected coastal lagoon, which provides the context and backdrop to the Quinta do Lago, resort, and has been key to informing its commitment to sustainability and the environment, on all levels, throughout the resort – from critically assessing its landscaping and golf course management, to developing a culture of farm-to-table that has permeated all of the resort restaurants. The resort makes it clear that luxury can be sustained by sourcing locally, and integrating the local landscape rather than superimposing a resort onto it, and this is key to the ethos of luxury behind Quinta do Largo.

In the heart of the resort is The Magnolia Hotel – a stylish, family friendly boutique hotel designed by London-based Bryan O’Sullivan Studio, and modelled on the iconic motel designs reminiscent of Palm Springs. Driving through the entrance punctuated by the retro swimmer diving through the air, lit up in equally retro neon, the mood is set.

“The pool at its centre looks like it has been lifted straight out of one of David Hockney’s Pool series of paintings.”

There are bright sorbet colours as guests walk in nods to Hockney on the walls, and an abundance of palm trees that all contribute to the feeling of laid-back motel living with a note of luxury. The pool at its centre looks like it has been lifted straight out of one of David Hockney’s Pool series of paintings with its tiled reflections of the surrounding palm trees, and forms the focal point of the hotel, inviting you to dive straight into your holiday. Quality and comfort are the backbone to the vibrant and relaxed décor of this design, which is made up of a combination of 74 comfortable guestrooms, and a further seven vintage style cabins. The focus throughout is on laid back comfort, teamed with quality, along with a focus on wellness that runs throughout the resort. This wellness focus has been integrated on every level of design, from the bicycles at your disposal, to the Sleep Hub in your bedroom – I must confess to getting a little addicted to the sounds of waves crashing on my bedside table!

While The Magnolia Hotel is all about creating a relaxed family zone, the Reserva is a low-rise, cutting edge development made up of 26 luxury apartments. Designed by Portuguese architect João Cabrita, each unit has its own swimming pool, with panoramic sea views framed in a modernist composition of glass and natural stone. The Reserva complex remains true to the original plan of the resort with its low density design that is ecologically driven by its location on the edge of such striking natural scenery.

With wellness being the cornerstone to the entire resort, its state-of-the-art, multi-sports complex, The Campus, is an integral part of the experience, on both a design and a facilities level. The Campus is not simply about getting a bit of exercise in on your holiday, it is also about the lifestyle attached to that. The facilities are geared towards professionalism and performance, and are perfect for everyone, from high energy kids on holiday, right through to professional athletes needing to train in recovery, and pretty much everything in-between. For me, it was simply about a wonderful outdoor yoga session in the late summer sunshine, followed by a few laps in the comfortably heated pool.

state of the art sports centre

Image credit: Quinta do Lago

You can’t, of course, escape the golf course culture as you head down to the Algarve, as it is key to the hotel industry there. Importantly, Quinta do Lago has spent time looking critically at how their state of the art courses are impacting on the local landscape, and where possible, making improvements to minimise their impact. I am no golfer, so it was all about admiring the landscaping and negotiating the buggy for me, but if I was tempted to pick up a club or two, this would be the place to do it! The credentials and awards speak for themselves, as the South course on Quinta features regularly in Top 100 golf courses of Europe lists, and has also been awarded best golf course in Portugal on more than one occasion!

One thing is certain (and this is a subject I feel a little more qualified to offer an opinion on than golf), guests won’t be going hungry during their stay here! The resort is home to a wealth – 13 in total if I am sticking to the facts – of restaurants. Each one a signature aesthetic and ambience, created by different design teams appropriate to the concept. Again, design is considered in every nook, from craft-led crockery to locally sourced finishes.

japanese restaurant with jellyfish sculpture

Image credit: Laura Caroco

No where is the resort’s ethos of sustainability clearer than in the F&B experiences, as it is clear that all the chefs and their teams are passionate about sourcing and using local produce. On your way to your morning tee off you go right past the Quinta farm where chefs and gardeners collaborate to grow and develop fresh seasonal produce for all the restaurants.

We ended our stay at Quinta do Lago with an intricately crafted tasting menu at the Michelin-recommended Casa Velha. The attention to detail and the passion that head chef Alipio Branco puts into both the produce and the presentation, epitomises the ethos of the resort. The menu is inspired by the surrounding Ria Formosa as are the plates and bowls on which they are served, all sourced from local artisans and craft people, who, like all the designers and architects of this resort, take their inspiration from the dunes and the waterways of the estuary.

wooden boardwalk crossing natural lagoon at Quinto do Lago beach

Image credit: Quinto do Lago

“Sometimes when you look at a property you have an instant view of what you are going to do,” explains Andre Jordan, the man behind the idea that was to become Quinta do Lago, “I had to drive along trails and through pine woods until I came to a high point overlooking it, with the ocean on the horizon. Within 10 minutes I had the concept for the whole project in my mind. I wanted to create a high quality resort that reflected local character and style.” It is this idea of remaining a part of, while safeguarding, the local landscape that does in fact set Quinta do Lago apart. With the Ria Formosa running through it, and the strong sense of community as its foundation, Quinta do Lago has established itself as a leader in the world of low impact, luxury real estate, incorporating considered design at every turn.

Main image credit: Quinta do Lago

Guestroom inside Mollie's Motel

Mollie’s Motel & Diner: 100 new sites planned for next 10 years

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Mollie’s Motel & Diner: 100 new sites planned for next 10 years

Following the successful launch of two Mollie’s, the new, affordable motel and diner concept has appointed leisure property specialist, Fleurets, to support ambitious plans to expand to 100 sites over the next 10 years through site search and acquisition, both in roadside and city centre locations…

Guestroom inside Mollie's Motel

Originally conceived by Nick Jones MBA, the Founder of Soho House, Mollie’s launched in 2019 with a Motel, Diner and Drive-Thru in Buckland, Oxfordshire, followed earlier this year by the second at Cribbs Causeway, Bristol, where the group invested in excess of £15 million. The third is expected to arrive in 2022 and will shelter a larger hotel in the former Granada TV Studios in Manchester city centre, with a Soho House located above on the building’s top floors.

A further 10 locations have already been earmarked as part of the immediate expansion plan.

Exterior of Mollie's Motel & Diner

Image credit: Mollie’s Motel & Diner

Exclusively designed by the Soho House interiors team, Mollie’s mission is to forge a new ‘budget luxe’ proposition within the travel and leisure industry – focusing on stylish, affordable stays, contemporary design, excellent service, innovative tech, sustainability and destination dining inspired by the retro American roadside diner.

Mollie’s has two formats and are seeking two- to three-acre freehold sites in strategic edge-of-town or roadside locations with the opportunity for 75-plus bedrooms, 145-plus cover diner and car parking. The city centre model will focus on prime city centre locations with high prominence with an opportunity for more than 100 bedrooms, 145-plus cover diner and 125-plus cover lounge/bar.

With significant investor support, the brand’s aims to grow to 100 sites in the next 10 years. To achieve this, it has retained Fleurets to support the expansion plan through site search and acquisition, both in roadside and city centre locations.

“We are delighted to be working with Mollie’s to grow this exciting challenger concept in the hotel and leisure market,” said Paul Hardwick Head of Hotels at Fleurets and Kevin Conibear, Head of Urban Markets at Fleurets. “Mollie’s has reinvented the perception of the roadside hotel and diner, with high quality accommodation and dining, but at affordable prices. The customer response to Bristol has been hugely positive and this is a welcome addition and enhancement to the vibrancy of our city centres and edge of town, roadside locations.”

Mollie’s Motel & Diner is now backed by a new strategic shareholder cohort and led by Managing Director, Darren Sweetland (Soho House, Tesco Plc).

> Since you’re here, why not read about the latest expansion plans from Soho House?

Main image credit: Mollie’s Motel & Diner

The Brit List Awards in Pictures

In pictures: Inside The Brit List Awards 2021

730 565 Pauline Brettell
In pictures: Inside The Brit List Awards 2021

The winners of The Brit List Awards 2021 were announced last night, inside a spectacular setting. The evening, which included more than 500 designers, architects, hoteliers, developers and brands, was full of glamour and a fair amount of glitter. Pauline Brettell and editor Hamish Kilburn were at the centre of the action to capture the atmosphere inside the awards ceremony…

The Brit List Awards in Pictures

Surrounded by the design, energy and vintage glamour of the roaring ’20s, London’s famous cabaret venue, PROUD Embankment, was a fitting platform for The Brit List Awards 2021 – an awards ceremony, unlike any other, that focused on and celebrated the individuals who are moving design, architecture and hospitality into the new ‘roaring ‘20s’.

Much like the 1920’s, there is an energy that this decade is harnessing, coming out of a period of disquiet and uncertainty, which feels like it is mirroring that same positivity of the era – a chapter in design and hospitality that was characterised by economic growth, accelerated consumer demand and saw the introduction of new trends in lifestyle and culture (sound familiar?). If those glamorous black-and-white photographs are to be believed, all this was done alongside the consumption of copious amounts of champagne – the parallels are clear.

2021 stands as the fourth year of The Brit List Awards, and this year felt significant, as we appreciate and rewarded all the creativity that surrounds us despite – or possibly because of – the year of enforced hibernation that has preceded the event. Importantly, this hibernation brought with it a healthy dose of introspection, as the industry realigns and refocuses on design priorities and responsibilities that have become integral to the design and hospitality processes. Here at Hotel Designs we feel it is important to ensure that the social considerations facing the industry – sustainability, wellness and technology, for example –  don’t just become another strap line, but are instead a continuing part of the discussion and debate. We hope this has been mirrored, in part, by the award categories.

Choosing last night’s venue at PROUD Embankment as a place of performance and celebration, was a deliberate coincidence, as Editor Hamish Kilburn explained in his opening address. “Proud,” he said, ” a relevant emotion that I sincerely hope you are all feeling right now as we gather, scarred and not broken, to celebrate the UK remaining an international design and hospitality hub.” And he was right, pride was bursting from the audience because darling… life is a cabaret, and although it may feel like we have been through a protracted intermission, the takeaway from last nights ceremony is that the main performance is about to begin!

> Since you’re here, why not read the winners’ story from The Brit List Awards 2021?

While the awards ceremony was about celebrating excellence, it was also a much-needed coming together of an industry that evolves through collaboration, craft and creativity. The event was a ‘who’s who’ – and our photographer was on the floor to capture what happened behind the red curtain. Right on cue, following the announcement of the winners, here are the obligatory social snaps from the from The Brit List Awards 2021.

The Brit List Awards will return in 2022, with applications and nominations remaining free. More information will be available shortly.

Main image credit: The Brit List Awards 2021

A contemporary suite with brushed gold lighting and bath in room

Sneak peek inside ME Barcelona

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Sneak peek inside ME Barcelona

Meliá Hotels International has announced the Spanish brand’s first five-star hotel opening in Barcelona in more than a decade, with the 164-key ME Barcelona set to open on November 25, 2021. Pauline Brettell went behind closed doors to have a look inside…

A contemporary suite with brushed gold lighting and bath in room

Situated in the heart of Barcelona, on the elegant Passeig de Gràcia, ME Barcelona is one of the city’s most anticipated openings of 2021 as it brings with it the brands trademark contemporary luxury, while taking inspiration from its exclusive location. The hotel, comprising of 164 guestrooms and luxurious suites spread over 14 floors, is completed with a statement rooftop patio and pool on the eighth floor that opens onto its distinctive skyline with iconic views of Plaça Catalunya and La Sagrada Familia. The new ME hotel is set to combine innovation, local art, music and technology in an exciting new space, inviting guests in to experience the local scene through its cultural programme, and exclusive bespoke experiences.

contemporay design in natural tones with yellow accents at Me Barcelona

Image credit: ME Barcelona

“ME Barcelona represents a step forward for ME by Meliá, along with recent major openings such as the stunning ME Dubai, the work of the late architect Zaha Hadid, and the exotic ME Cabo,” says Alba Bustamante, Global Brand Marketing Director of ME by Meliá. “All these hotels have consolidated, at an international level, the new definition of contemporary luxury close to the art and culture of the brand.”

Keeping clearly focussed on its design ethos, ME Barcelona is home to interior pieces by globally renowned designers that include Ronan & Ewan Bouroullec, Patricia Urquiola and Jaime Hayón. The stylish rooms feature neutral tones with yellow hues, clean lines, and large windows illuminating the space, all accentuated by the bright translucent bathrooms. Each guestroom presents bespoke details – from the decorative glass bottles, a design classic made by Josep Ma Jujol, Antonio Gaudí’s close collaborator, and the Oscar Tusquets tables, to the suspended bedside lamps and the vibrant Roll Club armchairs by Patricia Urquiola for Kettal. Every detail of the hotel has been thoughtfully considered and inspired by Barcelona’s love of design.

Aside from its design credentials, ME Barcelona also brings with it a unique and diverse culinary offering in the shape of BELBO, a unique space that includes three restaurants for a delicious and exclusive gastronomic experience. Terrenal, the flagship restaurant will serve dishes created with local produce; Luma is set to become a temple for the Barcelona cocktail scene; while Fasto will be a new setting to indulge in unconventional and unforgettable Italian cuisine.

The hotel has also collaborated with Manuel de la Garza, founder of Égoïste Spa, to curate a Spa and wellness centre which reflects a philosophy focused on personalisation, pampering, and luxury, where guests and visitors will enjoy tailored treatments. This oasis of wellness offers a wide range of treatments which blend ancient traditions with the most sophisticated beauty and wellness techniques. Keeping the focus on guests health and wellbeing, the hotel also has a gym with the latest Technogym equipment.

state of the art gym in ME Barcelona

Image credit: ME Barcelona

Incorporating both wellness and sustainability into the overall design was important, and ME Barcelona maintains the sustainability commitments of the brand ME as part of Meliá  Hotels International’s portfolio. As part of this commitment, ME Barcelona has consciously opted for auto-sufficient energy and renewable sources, which means the hotel will produce the entirety of its hot water supply, the rooftop pool will be heated by the same method during the winter season, and solar panels will provide the hotel’s energy, ultimately reducing the environmental impact and minimising its carbon footprint.

The clear design vision of ME Barcelona has been inspired by its location as well as the design history and energy of the city, combining contemporary art with innovative design, through the architectural work of Barcelona studio FITARQ as well as the interior design concepts and development of Mur Arquitectos and ASAH. This collaboration has transformed and created a new property and modern design that maintains all the brand hallmarks of ME.

Main image credit: ME Barcelona

The Brit List Awards 2021 Winners story

Winners of The Brit List Awards 2021 unveiled

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Winners of The Brit List Awards 2021 unveiled

On November 3, The Brit List Awards 2021 welcomed more than 500 interior designers, architects, hoteliers, developers and suppliers when it took over London’s famous cabaret venue, PROUD Embankment, for an awards ceremony unlike any other, which crowned nine individual winners and celebrated the UK remaining a leading international hotel design and hospitality hub…

The Brit List Awards 2021 Winners story

Hotel Designs’ annual nationwide search to find the top designers, architects, hoteliers and suppliers operating in Britain came to a dramatic climax on November 3, when more than 500 of the industry’s top names came together at PROUD Embankment for a night of celebration, timeless glamour and frivolous fun: The Brit List Awards 2021 – the awards ceremony had arrived.

“Welcome to PROUD,” roared editor Hamish Kilburn who hosted the awards ceremony, “a relevant emotion that I sincerely hope you are all feeling right now as we gather, scarred and not broken, to celebrate the UK remaining a leading international hotel design and hospitality hub.”

The shortlist, which was unveiled in September, included the names of 130 individuals and projects – the most finalists in the campaign’s history – across nine categories. From here, the judges whittled down the not-so-short shortlist in order to confidently decide this year’s winners.

Following Publisher Katy Phillips and Kilburn’s opening addresses, the evening was divided into two sections. Following tradition, first came the formal unveiling of The Brit List 2021the official publication, produced by Hotel Designs, which includes the profiles of the top 25 interior designers, architects and hoteliers who are a operating in Britain.

In addition the individual awards, The Brit List 2021 can be read here.

The event then continued, with the event’s partners and sponsored invited on stage to announce each winner.

And the winners are… 


The Brit List Awards winner Tina Norden and Maximilian Hotel in Prague

Highly Commended: Geraldine Dohogne, Founder, Beyond Design
Winner: Tina Norden, Partner, Conran and Partners


Mark Bruce, Architect of the Year 2021 and a render of NoMad London

Highly Commended: Mark Kelly, Partner, PLP Architecture
Winner: Mark Bruce, Director, EPR Architects


THE PIG guestroom and Robin Hutson, Hotelier of the Year 2021

Highly Commended: Olivia Richli, General Manager, Heckfield Place 
Winner: Robin Hutson, Founder, THE PIG Hotels


L11 Tuneable white light engine by Franklite

Highly Commended: Sonance audio systems
Winner: L11 Tuneable white light engine, Franklite


Two seperate images of beds from Silentnight Group

Highly Commended: The Global Collection, manfucatured by Mosa Tiles (supplied by CTD Architectural Tiles)
Winner: Silentnight Group Hospitality


Close up and lifestyle shot of the Metamorphis collection by The Monkey Puzzle Tree

Highly Commended: Hypnos Contract Beds
Winner: The Metamorphosis collection, The Monkey Puzzle Tree


A design moodboard and image of Sophie Sheppard, The Rising Star Award winner of 2021

Highly Commended: Matthew Maganga, University of Kent
Winner: Sophie Sheppard, Junior Designer, Concorde BGW Group


Bill Bensley, Founder, BENSLEY, winner of International Awards, The Brit List Awards 2021

Highly Commended: noa* network of architecture 
Winner: Bill Bensley, Founder, BENSLEY


Design-led kitchen and Ariane Steinbeck, winner at The Brit List Awards 2021

Winner: Ariane Steinbeck

> Since you’re here, why not also view the ‘in pictures’ story from The Brit List Awards 2021?

Thank you to our Partners!

Headline Partner: Crosswater

luxury bedroom in neutral shades

Sneak peek inside One&Only Aesthesis

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Sneak peek inside One&Only Aesthesis

One&Only Aesthesis, the brand’s second hotel in Europe, is set to arrive on the Athenian coast and the seafront of Glyfada in June 2022. Melanie Guarda Ceccoli takes a look into the inspiration behind the resort…

luxury bedroom in neutral shades

After the announcement in May 2021 of the landing in Europe of One&Only Portonovi in ​​Montenegro, the expansion of the ultra-luxury brand, One&Only, in Europe continues with the development of One&Only Aethesis on the Athenian seafront.

In a 21-hectare seafront estate, within a six-hectare forest reserve, One&Only Aesthesis will be positioned a short distance from the capital and its most iconic sites, such as the Acropolis, the Parthenon, Syntagma Square and Cape Sounio. The resort, overlooking a 1,600-metre shoreline, will offer a statement beach club where guests and residents alike can gather and enjoy priceless views from sunrise to sunset.

Like all the brand’s properties, the hotel will guarantee maximum privacy, offering most of the accommodation in independent villas, all with private pools, perfect for couples or families. Among the accommodation solutions available, the iconic Villa One has set new standards in terms of exclusivity.

One&Only Aesthesis embodies the glamour of the Aegean, with 127 guestrooms, breathtaking suites, and private villas – all designed to frame the natural beauty of the Grecian coastline. The architecture pays homage to mid-century design with high ceilings, woven leather, muted tones, and accent patterns that embody the inherent beauty of a cosmopolitan Riviera.

Following the global partnership with Chenot, a leader in health and wellness, the resort will also host a Chenot Spa that will offer customised programs and cutting-edge treatments, scientifically designed to improve guests’ vitality and optimal health throughout the hotel. A state-of-the-art fitness centre, with both indoor and outdoor spaces, will complete the offer.

The news comes after Kerzner International Holdings Limited, the owner of the ultra-luxury One&Only Resorts and iconic Atlantis Resort & Residences brands worldwide, entered into a resort management agreement with Grivalia Hospitality S.A. “Kerzner International is very excited to be adding Athens to our European footprint,” commented Philippe Zuber, CEO, Kerzner International. “This exclusive beachfront location, just outside of the city centre of Athens is incredible; the perfect destination to begin, or end, any Greek adventure through the ultra-luxury experience of One&Only. We will reimagine the golden era of Athens, a celebration through life and energy that is true to our brand promise. We are executing our strategic growth and development of the One&Only brand globally, and excited to add another One&Only experience in Greece. Our partners, Grivalia, are leaders in Greek real estate investment and are committed to honouring the location and providing a legacy for the future.”

hotel dining room decorated in sage and cream palette

Image credit: One&Only Aesthesis

The resort is at the crossroads of Greek history and culture, from the Acropolis and Parthenon to Syntagma Square and Cape Sounio on the glamorous Athenian Riviera, with its exclusive beachfront of Glyfada. The resort is just moments away from the vibrant metropolis, yet is surrounded by endless blues and glistening islands dotting the horizon. A true paradise embodying Grecian heritage and authentic Athenian allure, the resort will be the perfect sanctuary, honouring the cosmopolitan sophistication of the ’60s and ’70s.

Inspired by the azure waters and the incredible natural surroundings, One&Only Aethesis aims to provide a modern Greek elegance, while at the same time looking to the past and  showcasing powerful elements dominant in Greek mythology like fire and water, carved from a palette of natural stone and timber. As with all One&Only properties, the resort will offer innovative programmes for families with children, whilst carefully preserving space for adults only as well.

Along with the emphasis on design and luxury, significant attention will be paid to the culinary proposal to give guests an immersive Greek experience through all the senses.

“Grivalia Hospitality is excited to revive a landmark site along the Athenian Riviera and join forces with Kerzner International for One&Only, a distinguished global leader in ultra-luxury hospitality,” commented George Chryssikos, Founder and Chairman, Grivalia Hospitality. “One&Only Aesthesis will be on one of Athens’s most iconic and cosmopolitan waterfront sites, originally designed by prominent Greek architects. From its development in the mid-1950s, the bungalows, the beach, and the club hosted both the local and international jet set. Upon completion, this contemporary hybrid city resort will become the unique high-end destination in the Mediterranean all year round.”

One&Only was created exclusively for the ultra-luxury market and conceived as a hallmark of excellence. With the continued evolution of the One&Only portfolio, this new resort will complement the existing award-winning resort collection, set in some of the most beautiful locations in the world.

> Since you are here, why not read about the One&Only One Za’abeel in Dubai.

Main image credit: One&Only Aesthesis

New York hotel bedroom, overlooking Manhattan from The Carlyle

Legendary New York hotel, The Carlyle, reveals long-awaited new look

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Legendary New York hotel, The Carlyle, reveals long-awaited new look

After a much anticipated transformation, The Carlyle re-emerges on the New York hotel scene with an exciting new renovation, sensitively designed by legendary design studio tonychi studio. The iconic hotel new offers a contemporary aesthetic, while cleverly referencing its storied past. Pauline Brettell takes a look inside…

New York hotel bedroom, overlooking Manhattan from The Carlyle

Rosewood Hotels and Resorts has announced the completion of its three-year renovation process to redesign The Carlyle in New York. The newly reimagined spaces and suites have taken inspiration from the glamour and beauty of Manhattan’s pre-war era, the Upper East Side, and the glamorous guests whose footsteps graced the hallowed halls of this storied hotel residence for more than 90 years.

Carlyle Rooftop and Tower at Sunset (credit Justin Bare)

Image credit: Justin Bare

The hotel has re-emerged on the Manhattan hotel scene to shelter a hospitality experience where quintessential apartment living meets modern day, with luxurious fixtures and furnishings in the new rooms, black-lacquered panelling and illustrated wallpaper of whimsical vignettes from Central Park, along with a thoughtful curation of artwork, books and collected everyday finds, all of which create a smart, residential look.

Subtle art deco inspirations are also present, paying homage to The Carlyle’s original designer, Dorothy Draper. William Paley, long-time Creative Director of tonychi studio, led the redesign of 155 of the hotel’s 189 guestrooms and suites. The additional 34 guestrooms and suites remain completely unique in design and range from the Empire Suite by the renowned designer, Thierry Despont, to new suites by New York based interior designer, Dan Fink, to the hotel’s newly acquired Presidential Suite.

Encompassing the entire 26th floor of The Carlyle’s tower, the Presidential Suite offers the ultimate Manhattan living experience. Formerly a privately owned apartment, the suite was recently added to the hotel’s inventory, and features 360-degree views of the city, with floor-to-ceiling windows that showcase sweeping vistas of Central Park, Midtown and beyond. The private elevator landing and dramatic entrance features gold leaf and hand-etched Art Deco inspired murals. This exclusive residential-style suite is adorned with Venetian plaster walls throughout and features three bedrooms, four full bathrooms and one-half bath, living room, full kitchen and media area. Additionally, the gallery entrance just off the landing features a piano, making it the ideal spot for entertaining and taking in the striking view.

“We are thrilled to finally debut our completed new guest rooms – which are highlighted by the coveted suites in the Tower with sweeping views of Central Park,” said Anthony McHale, Managing Director of The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel. “Obviously with a beloved property such as The Carlyle, we had to be careful with this restoration and we feel it offers the perfect modern aesthetic to bring the hotel into the future while still respecting the past.”

The renovation also marks the debut of the new signature restaurant, Dowling’s at The Carlyle. This newest addition to The Carlyle family is named after Robert Whittle Dowling, former owner of The Carlyle and an influential urban planner known for his passionate efforts to revitalise the city that never sleeps. He acquired the hotel in 1944 and was instrumental in turning it into the institution it is today and putting it on the map as a fashionable destination attractive to celebrities, politicians, royalty and tastemakers alike.

the dowling restaurant at the carlyle hotel new york

Image credit: Rosewood Hotels and Resorts

It is through his whimsical vision that The Carlyle embodies a distinct sense of place, offering a welcoming, intimate and eclectic atmosphere for New Yorkers and visitors alike. Newly appointed Executive Chef Sylvain Delpique (formerly of 21 Club) has created a menu that features his interpretations of timeless New York favourites and throwback dishes from another era. Dowling’s at The Carlyle debuted in October following an extensive renovation, also by tonychi studio. The stylish and intimate, 80 seat dining room will exude the glamour and charm of the 1930’s and 40’s, highlighted by historic artwork and five newly acquired Ludwig Bemelmans – the creator of the classic Madeline children’s books – paintings that will pay tribute to the adjacent bar that has been a beloved Upper East Side favourite for 75 years.

gold walls at bemelmans bar at the carlyle

Image credit: Rosewood Hotels and Resorts

From new guestrooms and suites to the debut of the hotel’s signature restaurant, Dowling’s at The Carlyle, to the arrival of a new spa by Valmont, this 91-year-old property is preparing for the next generation of travellers with the new unveil, while maintaining what The Carlyle’s loyal patrons adore most about the celebrated hotel.

Main image credit: Rosewood Hotels and Resorts

A contemporary, airy suite inside ME Cabo

Now open: ME Cabo unveils $10 million renovation

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Now open: ME Cabo unveils $10 million renovation

Arriba! Mexico’s much-loved ME by Meliá property returns into the Cabo luxury hospitality scene to flex its design muscles after unveiling a $10 million renovation. Editor Hamish Kilburn takes a look inside…

A contemporary, airy suite inside ME Cabo

ME by Meliá has unveiled the all-new ME Cabo, five years after completing its previous restoration project. After undergoing a $10 million transformation, the lifestyle resort has reopened its doors with a completely reimagined look that touches nearly every aspect of the resort; from guestrooms and public spaces to food and beverage outlets and an entirely new rooftop bar and lounge, in partnership with Rosa Negra. 

Located on Los Cabos’ only swimmable beach, and overlooking the celebrated ‘El Arco’, ME Cabo embodies sophisticated design with a creative flair and hint of local culture. Designed by Alvaro Sans, the hotel’s new look is bold and contemporary, with special touches around every corner. Beginning with ME Cabo’s signature open-air arrival experience, guests are welcomed back with warm, earthy, natural hues and touches of turquoise and ivory that complement the stunning Pacific Ocean that lies just ahead. Welcoming yet sophisticated, the arrival captures the classic charm of Mexico while embodying the brand’s European signature style. 

ME Cabo has partnered with popular Mexican restaurant group Grupo Rosa Nega to debut four new culinary hotspots: Confessions Skybar & Tapas, Taboo Beach Club & Restaurant, Funky Geisha, and Mamazzita Mexican Soul. The new culinary concepts are dedicated to serving locally-sourced produce and ingredients that explore Latin American cuisine. 

Dazzling with some of the best views the destination has to offer, Confessions Skybar & Tapas is the newly built rooftop bar andlounge featuring a tapas-style menu, creative mixology and nightly entertainment. ME Cabo’s signature restaurant, Mamazzita, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, is an open-air restaurant that takes inspiration from the flavours and colours of Mexican culture, with the finest ingredients and culinary techniques.

Lobby/lounge inside ME Cabo

Image credit: ME by Meliá

Additional dining outlets include Funky Geisha, a reinvented lobby lounge open for lunch and dinner, that serves up Thai, Chinese and Japanese inspired cuisine in a casual setting. Guests relaxing poolside can also enjoy Taboo Beach Club, where the design of deep sea blues and natural stone walls, coupled with reimagined cuisine, transports guests to the Mediterranean.

All 170 guestrooms have been cued to embrace traditional Mexican design, boasting an eclectic feel, mixing rustic wood furnishings with bright, vivid colours. Rooms range from 425 to 914 square-metres and feature a private, furnished balcony or terrace with garden or ocean views, rainfall showers, fully stocked Maxibar, integrated room technologies and bath amenities by C.O. Bigelow.  

ME Cabo also reopens with a new spa and wellbeing experience. The KORPO Wellness Experience combines inner and outer-wellness through a harmonious blend of beauty treatments, relaxation techniques, and state-of-the-art fitness facility. Innovative treatments and techniques by Sothys include the ‘CBD Detox Massage’ featuring CBD oil designed to improve lymphatic and blood circulation, and relieve tension and pain. The “Facial HIIT Tri-Complex” combines the trifecta of saffron, sophora and peptides in a scientifically proven anti-ageing treatment, safe for all ages.

Meliá Hotels International is one of the largest hotel companies worldwide, as well as the absolute leader within the Spanish market, with more than 380 hotels (current portfolio and pipeline) throughout more than 40 countries and four continents. Watch this space.

Main image credit: ME by Meliá

Weekly digest: Global hotel growth, a Nobu debut & a live roundtable

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Weekly digest: Global hotel growth, a Nobu debut & a live roundtable

Huddle in everyone… Editor Hamish Kilburn here to serve up your weekly dose of hotel design and hotel development news and features. This week on the editorial desk we unveiled our latest live roundtable, explored the art of lighting; shared hotel development news from several hotel groups and, in addition to this (and more), we rounded up the latest products that have emerged on our radar…

In the week before the industry gathers for The Brit List Awards 2021 – we are ready to put on a show – the energy pulsating through the veins of the hotel design and hospitality industry, on an international scale, is pointing towards signs of serious recovery. From brands announcing that they’re doubling their current portfolio of hotels by 2025, to other leading groups that have, this week, debuted in new territories, it suggests that 2021 will be rounded off with ambitious plans laid out on the table. And following the industry’s awakening since its forced hibernation, why not be aggressive when strategically looking ahead?

In the meantime, while hotel groups and brands jostle for position on the international stage, suppliers have come out of the wings, performance ready, with new products to attract designers’ attention. In addition, industry experts are excited about the boundless possibilities that lie ahead. One wellness guru, Ari Peralta, Founder of Arigami, exclusively reveals some game-changing qualitative research that we are excited to share with you!

To make sense of the latest headlines and features, from all corners of the industry, here are our top stories of the week.

St Regis to almost double portfolio of hotels by 2025

luxury st regis resort built over the sea

Image credit: St Regis

Hotel brand St Regis Hotels and Resorts has announced ambitious plans to expand its portfolio of luxury resorts in desired destinations for the next generation of luxury travellers, including locations within the Caribbean, North America, North Africa, Middle East and Asia Pacific.

St. Regis currently has 49 hotels and resorts open worldwide, with a further 29 hotels and resorts in its pipeline, representing expected growth of nearly 60 per cent over the next five years in both urban and leisure destinations.

Read more.

Inside Rosewood Villa Magna, the brand’s debut hotel in Spain

facade of Rosewood Villa Magna in Madrid

Image credit: Rosewood Villa Magna

Set in the heart of the Spanish capital city’s distinguished Salamanca district, the reimagined icon, now Rosewood Villa Magna, represents a milestone for the brand as well as Madrid’s hospitality landscape.

Renowned Spanish architect Ramón de Arana led the remodel of the building’s striking façade and entryway into the hotel, adding a sense of grandeur to the arrival experience via a striking staircase and a pair of reflecting pools that draw attention to the centuries old, 30-metre-high cedar and carob trees adorning the property.

Read more.

Industry insight: Digital interactive art – technology for tomorrow’s hotel

Image caption: 'Internal Visions' by Daniel Kersh. | Image Credit: Daniel Kersh Studios

Image caption: ‘Internal Visions’ by Daniel Kersh. | Image Credit: Daniel Kersh Studios

Technology is shaping the way in which hotel buildings are built and designed. Inside the hotel, technology is altering how guests use and journey through spaces as well as how they view interior design. In our latest article in the Hotel Designs Lab series, Ari Peralta, Founder of Arigami, explores the rise of digital, generative and interactive art; a new genre that has the potential to transform guest experiences.

Read more. 

Nobu expands its footprint in Saudi Arabia

street view of new nobu hotel in saudi arabia

Image credit: Nobu Hotels

Nobu, the global lifestyle brand founded by Nobu Matsuhisa, Robert De Niro and Meir Teper, has just revealed plans to launch a new hotel, Nobu Restaurant and Nobu Residences in the Eastern Province city of Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia, by 2024. Here’s what we know.

Read more.

Live roundtable: The art of lighting

Image credit: Dish Creative/James Munson

In Hotel Designs’ first live roundtable since the beginning of the pandemic, in association with Dernier & Hamlyn, we gathered leading interior designers to discuss the art of lighting in 2021 and beyond – from downlights to pendants and the pitfalls in-between. Scroll down to meet the panellists and to catch the conversation.

Read more.

Product watch: Venti20 collection by Gessi

art deco inspired bathroom fittings

Image credit: Gessi

“Great design has emotional power and an innate ability to instil beauty into everyday objects,” states bathroom brand Gessi when discussing the new Venti20 range, which captures the essence of the era and allows us to rediscover the spirit of the ‘Roaring 20s.

Read more.

Aeon: A wellness hotel setting new standards in architecture & design

Exterior of Aeon, designed by noa network of architecture

Image credit: Alex Filz/Noa architecture

Designing the Aeon hotel, which shelters an innovative wellness concept that plays on striking architecture and thoughtful design, was all about connection and context for the architects and designers at noa* network of architecture. It was also about shifting and blurring lines, looking at the boundaries between inside and out – the visible and the invisible – between dream and reality. The studio’s use of colour in the interiors does exactly this; it creates divisions, yet blurs the lines. There is the feeling of standing firmly on the ground, while at the same time being able to touch the clouds.

Read more.

Since you’re here…

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luxury urban hotel swimming pool

Nobu expands its footprint in Saudi Arabia

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Nobu expands its footprint in Saudi Arabia

Nobu, the global lifestyle brand founded by Nobu Matsuhisa, Robert De Niro and Meir Teper, has just revealed plans to launch a new hotel, Nobu Restaurant and Nobu Residences in the Eastern Province city of Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia, by 2024. Here’s what we know…

luxury urban hotel swimming pool

Global lifestyle brand Nobu Hotels has become synonymous with passionate service, distinctive design, the finest ingredients, and a powerful energy. Reflecting these core values within the local culture,  the new Nobu hotel, restaurant and residences in Al Khobar will be located in the waterfront area of the city, facing the Arabian Gulf. The luxury complex will offer 120 thoughtfully designed guestrooms and suites, a Nobu Restaurant on the lobby level, swimming pools, a wellness centre, as well as a meeting and event space.

“We are elated on our exciting partnership with Nobu, leading the vision in bringing the best of Hotels, Residences and Restaurants to Al Khobar,” stated Yousef Al Quraishi, Chief Executive Officer AZAQ and Vice Chairman Al Khobar Sands Real Estate. “With this attracting people, international development and interest to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as well as growing our economy and improving community lifestyle in line with the Saudi Vision 2030. We are optimistic the Nobu brand will stand strong as the place to be.”

Trevor Horwell, Chief Executive Nobu Hospitality adds: “We are delighted to be partnering with Retal Urban Development Company and Assayel Arabia to deliver an exciting vision with the creation of a truly unique and transformative mixed-use destination in Saudi Arabia.  As part of this, the Nobu Residences Al Khobar will deliver to the community the opportunity to live the Nobu lifestyle.”

From the very beginning, Nobu has been about creating unforgettable experiences around exceptional food. With 13 hotels open and many more in development around the world, the brand has never moved from what it set out to do – create a platform for memories. The philosophy of Kokoro – which comes from the Japanese word for heart – ties the destinations together and is the heartbeat of Nobu Restaurants, Hotels and Residences.

Main image credit: Nobu Hotels

A green bedroom with luxury bed inside Rosewood Villa Magna

Inside Rosewood Villa Magna, the brand’s debut hotel in Spain

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Inside Rosewood Villa Magna, the brand’s debut hotel in Spain

Set in the heart of the Spanish capital city’s distinguished Salamanca district, the reimagined icon, now Rosewood Villa Magna, represents a milestone for the brand as well as Madrid’s hospitality landscape. Editor Hamish Kilburn takes a look inside…

A green bedroom with luxury bed inside Rosewood Villa Magna

In July this year, we released the news that the Rosewood Hotels and Resorts brand was to arrive in Spain, taking over the iconic Hotel Villa Magna in Madrid. Months later, and the brand hasn’t wasted any time at all – following a comprehensive refurbishment and redesign, Rosewood Villa Magna has officially opened.

Located on Madrid’s most coveted boulevard, Paseo de la Castellana, amidst the city’s finest shopping, dining and cultural attractions, the historic property has been a beloved local landmark since it originally opened in 1972, evoking a convivial spirit and charm that captivated visitors from both near and far. Newly infused with a dynamic design scheme that honours the original hotel and the vibrant city in which it sits while simultaneously incorporating contemporary style and comforts, as well as elevated amenities, world-class gastronomic experiences and an unmatched standard of service, the revived Rosewood Villa Magna has been carefully conceived to usher in a new phase of ultra-luxury hospitality to the city of Madrid and Spain at large.

facade of Rosewood Villa Magna in Madrid

Image credit: Rosewood Villa Magna

“At long last, we are thrilled to formally introduce Rosewood Villa Magna as Madrid’s most extraordinary place to stay, gather, dine and delight,” said Charles Morris, Managing Director of Rosewood Villa Magna. “Working together with our brilliant partners, we were careful to preserve the historical nature of the property, while at the same time adding a modern and residential design ethos and intuitive service style that is synonymous with the overarching Rosewood brand. It is a joy to be able to welcome visiting guests and the local community alike to join us as we celebrate this new beginning and the bright future ahead!”

“Madrid is the ideal destination for Rosewood to plant its flag in the beautiful country of Spain.” – Radha Arora, President of Rosewood Hotels & Resorts.

“With its thriving culture, rich history and robust art and culinary offerings, Madrid is the ideal destination for Rosewood to plant its flag in the beautiful country of Spain and we are especially thrilled to bring the brand to this dynamic city with the relaunch of the iconic Villa Magna hotel,” said Radha Arora, President of Rosewood Hotels & Resorts and co-chief development officer of Rosewood Hotel Group. “Rosewood Villa Magna is the latest demonstration of the brand’s guiding A Sense of Place philosophy: a transformation of a famed 19th century building into a contemporary gathering place designed for both travellers and residents, that further embraces the local surroundings in all aspects of the project from architecture to service to food and beverage experiences. We’re immensely proud to open our doors today and provide a new and discerning destination for our affluential explorers to enjoy.”

A team of talented designers completely refurbished Rosewood Villa Magna, showcasing a clear commitment to contemporary design, architecture, landscaping and art, while subsequently channeling the original spirit of the Anglada Palace, the 19th century building which was the first to occupy the hotel’s supreme site, as well as the original Villa Magna hotel.

Renowned Spanish architect Ramón de Arana led the remodel of the building’s striking façade and entryway into the hotel, adding a sense of grandeur to the arrival experience via a striking staircase and a pair of reflecting pools that draw attention to the centuries old, 30-meter-high cedar and carob trees adorning the property. The property’s iconic gardens have been transformed by prolific landscape designer Gregorio Marañón to underscore and maximise the privileged green spaces that the hotel enjoys in the heart of the city. A significant number of trees, bushes and plants, including species original to the old Anglada Palace, have been planted to create distinctive outdoor areas across the expansive grounds, many adorned with pergolas, sculptures, fountains and other furnishings to facilitate myriad settings in which to gather in groups or relax on one’s own. The robust assortment of leafy species further allows for the property to continuously evolve over time, as they adopt different chromatic tones in the different seasons of the year.

Revived interiors have been brought to life by Australian firm BAR Studio. The refreshed accommodations and public spaces pay homage to the original palace and hotel, securing a powerful sense of familiarity and nostalgia amongst legacy guests and local visitors, while infusing a new, contemporary character throughout the building that answers to the expectations of travellers today. True to Rosewood’s guiding A Sense of Place philosophy, wherein the destination inspires each element of the property, subtle references to traditional Spanish architecture, art, design and culture can be discovered through the patterns, fabrics, materials and colour palettes that comprise the hotel. Complemented by the use of stone, iron and glass materials across all of the different rooms, the result is a truly unique visual experience that sets the hotel apart from the existing hospitality landscape. The interior design is complimented by the hotel’s extensive art collection that has been selected and commissioned by English firm ArtLink. Many of the pieces serve to tell the stories of the fascinating personalities who walked the corridors of the original Anglada Palace, while others are reminiscent of Madrid’s overarching aesthetic and Spain’s signature fashions, including a standout, specially commissioned work by Jacky Puzey in the lobby.

Expertly designed to evoke the essence and sentiment of the Salamanca district’s finest private homes, the guestrooms, suites and signature suites are among the crown jewels of Rosewood Villa Magna. The 154 accommodations, consisting of 101 guestrooms, 49 suites and four signature suites, have been built to balance the ambiance of a contemporary Spanish villa with the signature aesthetic of the original Villa Magna hotel. The exterior of the façade frames each guestroom with an avant-garde touch, while inside, a chromatic colour palette provides a muted background to give preference to the room’s large windows overlooking the Paseo de la Castellana, allowing the striking views to take centre stage. The clean, simplistic style is blended with modern luxuries, including bath amenities by Maison Caulieres and the linens by Rivolta Carmignani, and a residential feel for the utmost in 21st century hospitality.

Nowhere is this expert design more evident than within the hotel’s signature suites. Named after and inspired by the original Anglada Palace, Anglada House is the hotel’s largest suite, located on the top floor and featuring two bedrooms, dedicated living and dining rooms, a private gym and sauna and an expansive private terrace. Also located on the top floor is Salamanca House, which includes a bedroom, living room, dining room, dressing room and full bathroom and can be combined with adjacent rooms to create up to a four-bedroom accommodation and the largest private terrace in the capital, stretching 140-square-metres.

The hotel’s four distinct dining outlets come together to create the city’s newest and most discerning destination for inspired culinary experiences, delightful to all palates, for all occasions. Each outlet and offering references local influences, with a focus on unmatched quality and service and menus committed to sustainability and the freshest ingredients. From authentic Spanish tapas on the terraces and in the gardens, to casual business lunches and post-work cocktails, to formal events and celebratory evenings out, there are countless opportunities for guests to enjoy exceptional food and beverage with friends and family.

Headlining the hotel’s food and beverage program as its signature restaurant, Amós is helmed by Michelin-starred chef Jesús Sánchez and is poised to quickly establish itself as a highlight of Madrid’s culinary landscape. The thoughtful interior design concept and accompanying terrace, brought to life by Spanish architect Alejandra Pombo, creates a space that is both stunningly special and supremely comfortable in which to enjoy an inspired menu that brings together the unique offerings of Northern Spain’s Navarre community and Cantabrian Sea. Revolving around an eye-catching open kitchen, Las Brasas de Castellana is the hotel’s all day dining destination, serving everything from classic tapas and small plates to more elaborate meals. The dedicated bar and lounge concept, Tarde, was meticulously designed to reflect the warmth and spirit of an English club through an elevated atmosphere that is equal parts cultivated, casual and cool.

Rosewood Hotels & Resorts currently manages 27 one-of-a-kind luxury hotels, resorts and residences in 16 countries, with 25 new properties under development, including hotels in destinations such as Amsterdam, Rome and Mexico City.

Main image credit: Rosewood Villa Magna

Roundtable: The art of lighting

Live roundtable: The art of lighting

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Live roundtable: The art of lighting

In Hotel Designs’ first live roundtable since the beginning of the pandemic, in association with Dernier & Hamlyn, editor Hamish Kilburn gathered leading interior designers to discuss the art of lighting in 2021 and beyond – from downlights to pendants and pitfalls in-between. Scroll down to meet the panellists and to catch the conversation…

Roundtable: The art of lighting

To celebrate Hotel Designs putting the spotlight on lighting this month – and following the recent virtual roundtable on ethical lighting – the editorial team along with Dernier & Hamlyn invited a handful of designers together to explore where designers’ are putting their focus when decoratively lighting hotel spaces.

Meet the panel:

Hamish Kilburn: What key elements should designers focus on when lighting public areas?

Darren Orrow: Lighting is an integral part of the guest journey and experience, it helps tell a story and create the ambience. Lighting treatments should be tailored to suit each area’s function and be controllable from morning to evening. The colour temperature and warmth of light must be considered in all areas but in particular areas for relaxation, lounging and dining.

With regard to architectural lighting it is about the light effect as opposed to seeing the light fixtures, downlights are often best kept to a minimum. Many fantastic lighting schemes are created from predominantly decorative and integrated lighting treatments, with accent lighting only used to highlight specific task areas and displays where they can add highlights and drama. Decorative lighting is so important in public spaces from both the point of view of their visual aesthetic and the contribution of light to the overall ambience. Table lights and standard lamps encourage guests to sit and relax.

There are a number of hotel operators with lighting guidelines that need to be followed for areas such as reception and check in, which need to be well lit to carry out admin tasks, often overnight when the rest of the lobby lighting is at a very low level / in sleeper mode. So, local lighting to such task areas is preferred in order to not overlight the area. Stair areas also have minimum light level and uniformity requirements.

Image caption: Editor Hamish Kilburn leading the conversation with leading designers on the art of lighting. | Image credit: Dish Creative/James Munson

Image caption: Editor Hamish Kilburn leading the conversation with leading designers on the art of lighting. | Image credit: Dish Creative/James Munson

HK: When pitching to clients, how much detail do designers go into regarding lighting schemes?

DO: I would say that in the last eight years, lighting designers are being engaged in the project really early on in the process. While the interior designer has an initial vision before we are involved – establishing the overall ambiance and decorative details –the best schemes are the ones where a lighting designer is involved in the concept stages of the hotel. Any later than that, then the opportunity to get really creative with lighting becomes limited.

Mimi Shodeinde: With a supplier like Dernier & Hamlyn, I would send them a concept that I have and then the team in the factory come back with suggestions. After this, I will go into the factory and we will together go through drawings and produce models. This is when the concept really develops.

Gemma McCloskey: I think when designers start to look at interior architectural plans and spaces, when they are establishing elements such as the ceiling and wallcoverings, they innately consider where the lighting is going to be integrated. Like Darren said, we also make a conscious decision to stay away from downlights. When looking at the layers of the interior/architecture you start realising which lights would work. Once you have that finalised, and FF&E you can then start allocating where the lighting can be placed before speaking to a lighting consultant in order to qualify how much light we need and advise us on technical details.

Una Barac: From my perspective, we try to get lighting designers on board as soon as we are appointed on large hotel schemes. We do explain to the client that, yes, we have engineers ourselves, but in order to get the successful layering you need a lighting consultant on board straight away. We also recommended that they are kept on board as a guardian role, especially when a contractor can really dumb it down. And if someone is not there keeping a watchful eye on value engineering then all that work can go to waste.

HK: Guy, you have completed simply stunning projects inside iconic, heritage buildings. What have been some of the challenges you have faced – and more to the point, what were the solutions?

Guy Oliver: I think there’s a tendency to over-light spaces. Everyone demonises downlights, but in a banqueting scenario, downlights are a good thing in order to make the food pop on the table. In a beautiful restaurant, they have remote control pin spots because they want to make, for example, the flowers or the food stand out. There are always these wonderful layers of lighting in heritage buildings, such as majestic chandeliers, wall lighting and these modern spots – it creates a really nice juxtaposition.

For me as a designer, it’s all about creating an atmosphere. He is the opposite, he likes to under light a lot of space. Take the Chiltern Firehouse, for example, you’re finding your way around because it’s deliberate to create a dark, moody and sexy ambiance. For me as a designer, I am designing a mise én scene.

I think strip lighting is overused. When you are sitting in a space for a long period of time, linear lighting can burn into your retina. There are other ways you can dramatically light a space, and there’s a hotel in Paris which is a perfect example. Instead of adding that harsh strip lighting under the bar, instead they just added decorative lighting on the shelves, which just highlights certain hotspots. Lighting does not have to be complex. I was in a beautiful palazzo in Malta, where I noticed a single light bulb in the entrance hall, and it was one of the most atmospheric places I have been to because it [the light] bounces off the paintings, mirrors and silver.

“Sometimes lighting can flatten a painting, and it’s really about getting the textures and layering into place.” – Guy Oliver, Managing Director, Oliver Law.

The Wigmore at The Langham London - Dernier & Hamlyn's luxury lighting

Image credit: The Wigmore/Dernier & Hamlyn

HK: Would you say art is a key area you are looking at when injecting sensitive lighting into a space?

GO: Don’t get me started on picture lighting… you could do a whole roundtable discussion on it. I think you should work with artists in spaces. Designers need to consider the period of the space they are in as well as the period of the object that they are trying to illuminate. Sometimes lighting can flatten a painting, and it’s really about getting the textures and layering into place. Sometimes, the painting itself can become the lighting source.

DO: It also depends on whether it’s framed in glass or the size of the piece. For us, it’s a nightmare when the artwork is chosen too late. The wall light needs to be ordered to match what art is going where. Ideally, we like to ask our clients to map out what’s been supplied and the materials being used.

HK: Does this then create a challenge when hotels want to shelter an art residency instead of having fixed pieces?

GO: Sometimes a client doesn’t know what they want, or, as you say it’s a hotel that wants to start an art narrative by launching a residency. Sometimes, clients are collecting art as they go. A simple and flexible solution for this is to put a clock point on a wall where the painting is roughly going to be. From there, you can get any painting and movie it around the clock point so that the picture light is on the frame. Often, I see spaces where the lighting is highlighting the wall and not the painting, which is a classic error in my opinion.

HK: How far can we take lighting in hotel design? It’s come a long way from simply being a decorative element in a room?

MS: Art was my first calling, and this has absolutely enforced my work. As designers, our minds are our largest tool. Essentially, if you can imagine it you can create it. I love working with bespoke products – it’s very rewarding seeing your concepts come to life. We are working on a few new lighting pieces with Dernier & Hamlyn. It’s a lot of fun, seeing my sketches come to life.

Akram Fahmi: I am working with an artist at the moment who made a paint that you simply cannot purchase. We are using this in a restaurant concept with the aim to really tell a story about this paint and artwork. For this, we have inversed the concept by playing with shadows instead of ‘light’, allowing this feature to become a dynamic statement, which changes as different light is added to it.

Working with the artist from the beginning has been a really nice journey. Often, we, as designers, will design a space not knowing exactly what the art is until later on in the process. However, this way, we were able to really ensure that the art, the colour and the lighting really weaved themselves into the DNA of the interior design scheme.

“Often with bespoke lighting we have to really do the leg work to find a supplier who will be able to design the product within the time frame while also being on budget.” – Alex Holloway, Co-Founder, Holloway Li.

MH: As a bespoke manufacturer, our boundaries are set by the imaginations of interior and lighting designers. Some of the more interesting projects we have worked on have included incorporating egg whisks into a pendant for a restaurant, believe it or not.  We’ve also used branches from the trees on a golf course to wrap around large parchment shades to help bring the outside feeling into a large space. And for another project we used scent bottles filled with different coloured waters for a perfumery company. We’ve also worked with a vast range of diverse materials such as Vellum, ceramic tiles, plaster, fibre glass, resins and the notoriously challenging shagreen.

Alex Holloway: In a lot of the hotel projects I worked on, we were not given the luxury of a lighting designer in the budget. We are also quite restricted on our FF&E budgets and our time on a project. Often with bespoke lighting we have to really do the leg work to find a supplier who will be able to design the product within the time frame while also being on budget. In one project, I remember speaking to four different manufacturers who simply could not make the lead time.

UB: Even on high-end refurbishment projects, we sometimes don’t get the luxury of a lighting designer. When we work on residential schemes, clients sometimes give us 12 weeks. We need to know, straight up, what your lead times are.

Mark Harper: It all depends how quickly we are brought into the team. If it’s left until the last minute, then of course we have still got to do all the research and development because a lot of what is being specified is unique. Research and development takes time. The sooner designers can get manufacturers on board, the better it is.

AH: What is great about the projects we get to work on is that as well as picking from the mix of decorative off-the-shelf products, you can also develop your own products within your projects. We have set ourselves a task each time we work on a project to create at least one bespoke element, which creates a unique language around the project. In addition to the aesthetic benefits, it also really allows our design team to understand a lot more about lighting as a result – it’s a fantastic learning curve.

“We are being asked to promote biophilic design, which is really looking at all senses.” – Una Barac, Founder, Atellior.

UB: It’s interesting. We have used lighting manufacturers to help us with lighting calculations and lighting advice when the client has chosen not to use a lighting designer. The reason being is that otherwise, engineers will just kill it – the first thing they would say is that decorative does not come into the deluxe level calculations and if you want to pass building control you have to have a certain amount of down-lighting. So, we have used friendly suppliers to help us when faced with these situations.

Image caption: Nobu Restaurant inside Nobu London Portman Square. | Image credit: Jack Hardy

Image caption: Nobu Restaurant inside Nobu London Portman Square (lighting manufactured by Dernier & Hamlyn). | Image credit: Jack Hardy

HK: There seems to be a louder conversation happening around sensory design at the moment. What’s lighting’s role in this movement?

UB: More and more we are being asked to promote biophilic design, which is really looking at all senses. When doing so, obviously, we have to look at utilising daylight and generally creating a better, healthier environment.

DO: We are also seeing this. The challenge we are seeing is that real plants need the right quality and amount of light in order to stay alive. And sometimes the light needed is not always the light you want in a moody bar or restaurant, for example. So sometimes, we have a different light to switch on when the restaurant is closed. We are also seeing a lot of clients using real plants where you can touch them and faux plants where you can’t, which makes the whole space easier to maintain.

GM: There is a line where it becomes too gimmicky, and sometimes it’s just best to let the light do what it naturally wants to do.

“We are now looking at really simple solutions like a tuneable, soft bedside light.” Darren Orrow, Director, into Lighting.

GO: Anyone who has control over the lighting, from an operational perspective, has to firstly understand atmosphere.

GM: If it’s suitable for the hotel brand, playing on the senses through lighting design can be really interesting. However, for most hotel brands, I fear it will enter a gimmicky territory.

DO: The whole circadian rhythm conversation is really interesting. It’s colour mixing white light. Controls can be expensive but it doesn’t have to be. In a hotel room, I believe the control should be with the guest, to be able to tune their lighting how they want it. We are now looking at really simple solutions like a tuneable, soft bedside light. For other hotel clients, we are looking at integrating the real flame effect from candles into the bathroom lighting scheme, creating a spa-like look and feel in the evening.

AK: I think you need to find a balance. You can inject high-tech software with a user-friendly interface. I think guests miss having a switch, and especially in a hotel, the controls need to be simple yet intelligent.

HK: And finally, what would you say are your biggest bugbears in lighting design?

DO: For me, as a lighting designer, the wrong lightbulb being used in a beautiful fitting. The specification of the lightbulb needs to come from the lighting design and/or the interior designer.

GO: Lighting lifts. Anything that comes as standard, forget it when lighting lifts. One of the cheapest tricks is to install a light panel, which literally look like you are in an operating theatre. If you put a panel under it, it softens the lighting. Sometimes people add lighting on the skirting, but it’s a very difficult space to light.

GM: Corridor spaces where designers don’t accept darkness, if that’s suitable for the space. Forcing lighting into spaces is often a big pitfall.

Key takeaways from the discussion:

  • Most designers prefer to have a lighting designer on board if budgets allow
  • Bespoke lighting manufacturers want to be involved at the earliest stages of a project
  • The wrong type of lightbulb can be a disaster
  • Getting the right balance between over and under lighting is key
  • The Wigmore in London does great chips!

Dernier & Hamlyn 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: Dernier & Hamlyn

Aeon: A wellness hotel setting new standards in architecture & design

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Aeon: A wellness hotel setting new standards in architecture & design

Aeon is the latest wellness hotel concept that has been brought to life by the team at  noa* network of architecture. The 15-key hospitality development, which features a bold interior design scheme, is set into and inspired by the landscape of Italy’s South Tyrol region. Pauline Brettell explores… 

Designing the Aeon hotel, which shelters an innovative wellness concept that plays on striking architecture and thoughtful design, was all about connection and context for the architects and designers at noa* network of architecture. It was also about shifting and blurring lines, looking at the boundaries between inside and out – the visible and the invisible – between dream and reality. The studio’s use of colour in the interiors does exactly this; it creates divisions, yet blurs the lines. There is the feeling of standing firmly on the ground, while at the same time being able to touch the clouds.

The new wellness hotel, which completed in July 2021, is nestled between meadows and woodland and is defined by its panoramic views across the Italian countryside. The original build on a historic farm, comprised of an old inn, residential house, and traditional barn, has all been reimagined to become part of the next chapter of its history – and one in which the architecture and design studio has created the new framework that is the signature of Aeon.

“It would have been easy to simply go wild and focus on the famous ‘green meadow’. But we chose a different path.” – Christian Rottensteiner, architect, noa*.

From the very beginning, the 550-year-old farm was a source of inspiration for the development process of the project, with special consideration given to the views and vistas of the site. A gentle nod was made to its past through the layout of the building units and the details, with the new buildings being consciously modelled on the existing structure. “The creation of an ambivalent tension between the centuries-old tradition of the rural complex and an exclusively modern statement was the basic principle underlying the design process,” explains Christian Rottensteiner, architect at noa*. “It would have been easy to simply go wild and focus on the famous ‘green meadow’. But we chose a different path: the design consists of freestanding structures that allow the landscape to flow through and become part of it. The result is two buildings, one hosting the public area with a reception, bistro, bar, and wellness area, while the other includes private areas with a total of 15 guest suites.”

At first glance, the buildings appear singular yet together they form a permeable courtyard context. However, there is an ingenious connection in the form of a hallway that elegantly vanishes under an artificially created hill, disappearing out of sight.

The two buildings that form the wellness hotel also relate directly with the existing structures in their design language. The use of traditional gable roofs, for example, as well as a very dynamic façade design with reinforcing slanted elements, replicate the design of the struts and brackets of the historically listed barn while translating them into a modern statement. This allows the facades to be perceived differently – depending on how one approaches the project. On one side, the east and west façades break strongly towards the outside, while in contrast, the north and south sides appear as a homogeneous envelope. The trapezoid windows are designed to catch the eye in a striking way, while the upper, slatted structure that stretches over the entire length of the building almost disguises the stories and create a homogeneous appearance.

“Verticality and linearity are the leitmotivs of two strongly contrasting design approaches – at times creating the feeling of floating between worlds,” Rottensteiner adds. “This project is all about the details and stories, which are all about the family and the place where the project is rooted. For example, wood from the farm’s own woods was used. Also, the use of this renewable raw material gives the architecture a vitality through the projections and recesses that create exciting shadows.”


Guests enter the building through an entrance portal made of black steel, which bears the family’s old coat of arms from 1464 on the outside. “The ‘slope’ is traditionally an element for load transfer and static reinforcement – here it was used to make the volume more dynamic and to make it merge with the landscape,” adds Rottensteiner.

Stepping through the steel front door, into the lobby, guests can grasp the full sense of the design narrative, which is to blur lines and creating subtle divisions, suitable for modern travellers. Here, guests move away from the hard architectural details and instead enter a world of softer interiors. The clever palette of calm tones as well as tactile textures introduce feelings of being grounded and connected with nature. Soft beige meets a mystical blue. Meanwhile, this expressive, clear-cut division is consistently drawn through the buildings, both horizontally and vertically.

contemporary hotel bar design

Image credit: AlexFilz . Noa architects

“The past has grown like stone, wood and nature,” explains interior designer Patrick Gürtler. “The future, on the other hand, is veiled, mysterious and artificial; it is intangible like the sky, the night, or the ocean. In between is the moment, a sharp, unconditional break, but also a point of contact.” A line – not to separate, but to connect.

In the public building, the sharp-edged transition between beige and blue takes place at eye level, to make the concept of an “in-between zone” tangible. But the design concept is not only focussed on the floors, walls, and ceilings. All elements – from the curtains, through the furniture and the light fixtures – are part of a holistic approach to the design.

contemporary blue and white design scheme in wellness hotel

Image caption: AlexFilz/Noa* architecture

The wellness area is located on the first floor. It has been designed so that guests ‘dive’ through the horizontal blue and find themselves, subconsciously, in the opposite colour concept. The consumer journey then invites guests to move through the different zones, opening into a wide relaxation space and adjoining terrace.

The half-covered outdoor infinity pool juts out from the southwest side of the building, affording spectacular views. It can be reached via a platform, the top level of which marks the “water’s edge,” once again playing on the use of colour and the divisions between blue and beige.

A half-covered infinity pool that is attached to a contemporary wellness hotel in Italy

Image credit: Alex Filz/Noa architecture

Just a few more steps up, guests enter a separate relaxation area that can be used as a meditation room, for yoga or simply to relax. In front of this, in the outdoor area, is a whirlpool on a roof terrace with an incredible view of the Dolomites.

In the adjacent building, which is connected via an underground corridor, is where the 15 suites are housed – and here, too, the division of the colour worlds takes a 90-degree turn: what was horizontal is now vertical. There is a deliberate psychological effect at play here, because from here on, guests can immerse their whole body in the respective area, which has an overall relaxing effect.

The three types of rooms differ in size as well as furnishings. The bed in each suite has been given its unique position in order to utilise the expansive view. Another highlight in the truest sense of the word is the Gallery Suite, where an internal staircase leads up to a living platform on the roof, where you can watch the sky through the opening in the roof.

Ultimately the design of this hotel, with its deliberately thought through interior detail, is all about taking the guests on a journey, and using design to facilitate this as they experience spatial changes, contrasting textures and a conscious use of colour to emphasise the architecture and direct their experience which has wellness and nature at its core.

Main image credit: Alex Filz/Noa architecture

Bamboo wall lantern

Product watch: Vaughan presents the Ellisfield Collection

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Product watch: Vaughan presents the Ellisfield Collection

Lighting and furniture brand Vaughan unveiled its latest range, the Ellisfield Collection, at Focus 21 in September. Here’s our editor’s pick of our favourite pieces…

Featuring renditions of beloved classics, such as the Bamboo Lantern and the Windermere Chandelier, as well as contemporary pieces, the Ellisfield Collection by Vaughan is a British design masterpiece.

Bamboo wall lantern

From the tapered legs of the Colemore chest of drawers to the compelling simplicity of the Thackam bookcase, the collection artfully combines beautiful and practical design.

“Throughout lockdown, creativity has been such a source of comfort and joy to me, the result you can see in the pieces here today” explained Lucy Vaughan, Chair and Co-Founder, Vaughan. “From a familiar table that I would see in my grandmother’s house, to a chest of drawers that for years has been placed next to our sitting room, each design brings me a feeling of being at home. Inspired by the aesthetic of the arts and crafts movement, as well as containing considerable Japanese and Chinese influence, the pieces we’ve made have come from a wealth of different backgrounds – undoubtedly adding to their uniqueness ands complexity.”

Editor’s pick

Here’s what stood out in the collection among the editorial team at Hotel Designs:

Leckford table lamp

Leckford table lamp by Vaughan

Image credit: Vaughan

Large in scale, this table lamp has a sophistication and monumentality to it. Initially modelled in clay by our design team, this ceramic piece is then given a striking antiqued finish glaze.

Windermere chandelier

Windermere chandelier in gilt

Image credit: Vaughan

Based on an original antique, this chandelier focuses on a foliate design and has been decorated with individually pressed and formed maple leaves in a gilt finish.

Morestead table

Morestead table by Vaughan

Image credit: Vaughan

Based on an original antique found in Lucy’s grandmother’s house, this piece centres around an Arts and Crafts aesthetic. Composed of two tiers, it has a wonderful decorative feel to it thanks to the knurled legs, and is finished in acacia wood.

Compton table

Based on an antique original Lucy and Michael bought at auction, this table harks back to the Aesthetic Movement, and has a personal link – ideal when giving character to a lobby/lounge. Available in both an ebonised wood and a light oak finish, it is finely decorated with fretwork detailing.

> Since you’re here, why not read about the Chawton Collection by Vaughan?

Vaughan is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main caption: The Bamboo Lantern. | Image credit: Vaughan

Minimalist bathroom

Product watch: D-Neo minimal bathroom range by Duravit

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Product watch: D-Neo minimal bathroom range by Duravit

Pared down design and ordered perfection: bathroom brand Duravit’s new D-Neo range by designer Bertrand Lejoly is all about lifestyle and minimalism…

Minimalist bathroom

The minimalistic language and style of Duravit’s D-Neo range, which was explored last month when we looked at the D-Neo Monochrome range, is all about creating a counter-balance to the current fast pace of life we live in. It is about creating a sense of constancy in an age of short-lived trends in the bathroom.

Understated and expressive, the D-Neo faucets, with their clear cut design, hold their own in any room and are the perfect default choice for any minimalistic design concept. This range is all about purity of design, with subtle colour tones and clear edges, all with a noticeable air of orderliness. This complete bathroom range has been created for Duravit by designer Bertrand Lejoly and offers a range of design elements suitable for an urban lifestyle by simply jettisoning anything superfluous.

Close-up of basin with furniture built in

Image credit: Duravit

The clean and geometric forms of the D-neo range transform the bathroom with clean lines and a tidy appearance. These design elements are complemented by the use of non-colours and the subdued beige and brown tones, which commend themselves as design elements. The minimalist qualities of this range can adapt to a variety of tastes and interiors, no matter whether the preference is Scandinavian or urban. The clear forms and minimalism of this range create a haven of peace in the bathroom, transforming simple daily rituals into a regenerative experience.

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

Main image credit: Duravit

Grok Tubs contemporary, felt fitting lighting in living room

New architectural lighting range by Grok plays on geometric lines

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
New architectural lighting range by Grok plays on geometric lines

Grok’s architectural lighting range Tubs, designed by Nahtrang Design, is a versatile and modular lighting collection that plays on geometric lines. It also features a new felt fitting, providing a greater decorative perception as well as improved acoustic qualities…

Grok Tubs contemporary, felt fitting lighting in living room

Answering modern designers’ demands for statement lighting schemes incorporating innovative use of acoustic materials, LEDS C4’s Grok has recently expanded its geometric Tubs collection to now feature felt fitting.

This new fitting is available in two sizes (1000 x 300 mm and 600 x 200 mm), and comes in two shades of grey, as well as a wide range of colours available on special order.

Being showcased at HIX Event next month, the range combines versatility with subtle design. Its linear shapes are joined together to create grids of air and light, enhancing sense of space in a room. The design studio Nahtrang, formed by Dani Vila and Ester Pujol, has created a lighting collection that’s pure visual poetry, offering endless possibilities for creating and dressing large spaces.

The Tubs collection has four families: pendant, table, wall and floor. The wealth of shapes make each piece a living element that can be infinitely extended, and can also be built in smaller versions and adapted to more limited spaces.

Uniquely designed, the Tubs pendant light is characterised by its geometric and pyramidal lines, trapping the light inside and subtly defining and enhancing the spaces where it hangs. Its soft yet powerful light makes it a versatile piece, perfect for large spaces.

Tubs table lamps and Tubs floor lamps cast light through geometric shapes. The linear light source has a broad capacity for movement, providing the space with energy and character. Their black marble bases give them a touch of elegance and quality. These are highly versatile pieces, suitable for domestic, leased and office spaces.

The Tubs wall light also represents a play with light, casting geometric shapes on the surfaces where it hangs. The linear light source has a broad capacity for movement, providing the space with energy and character.

Tubs Modular is a highly versatile and technically sophisticated family of products that allows maximum user control within a slim profile.

LEDS C4 will be showcasing a range of products at HIX Event. The lighting brand will be stationed on stand U36, as well as featuring its Tubs floor lamp on the Hotel Designs stand ( U54) and displaying its products within a live environment in the HIX Works installation. 

Main image credit: LEDS C4/Grok

Minimalist bathroom: Kaldewei Superplan Zero_Milieu

‘Bathroom blockbuster’: SUPERPLAN ZERO shower surface by Kaldewei

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
‘Bathroom blockbuster’: SUPERPLAN ZERO shower surface by Kaldewei

The SUPERPLAN ZERO by bathroom brand Kaldewei is a sustainable, aesthetic floor enhancement with elegant lines. The enamelled shower surface – with reserved, stylish detail  and extremely comfortable underfoot – has the potential to become a blockbuster in the bathroom. Editor Hamish Kilburn speaks to Berlin designer, Werner Aisslinger, to learn more… 

Minimalist bathroom: Kaldewei Superplan Zero_Milieu

Superplan Zero has a story behind its development: Kaldewei has always paid attention to customer requirements in terms of shower surfaces and as such have translated these needs into this new product. Installed at floor level, the shower surface becomes part of the bathroom floor and because of the very narrow edges it is possible to tile directly up to the shower edge with almost invisible joints. The waste is placed close to the wall so that standing comfortably and moving safely on the Superplan Zero is guaranteed. The new shower surface is characterised by its elegant and precise lines and is easily accessed from three sides, without having to step up or into the surface.

The base is sustainable, extremely long-lasting and 100 percent recyclable steel enamel. The exquisite glass surface is applied to the steel using a special process and this is what gives it such a luxurious finish. Kaldewei is the only steel enamel manufacturer that produces the enamel, i.e. the basic substance for the glass coating, in-house and using a secret formulation. The quality and durability of these surfaces are legendary.

There are more than 50 different dimensions from 70 to 180 centimetres, diverse surface variations and a wide range of colours, all of which make the Superplan Zero even more attractive. Whether in large or small bathrooms, building owners, planners and installers have full flexibility. The shower surface is available with the almost invisible, anti-slip surface finish Secure Plus, upon request. The Superplan Zero is 100 percent compatible with all the sealing sets, assembly systems and waste fittings from Kaldewei.

Hamish Kilburn: What makes this shower floor different from anything else on the market?

Werner Aisslinger: For starters, it’s super flat and elegant. The maximum body of water is absorbed by the Superplan drainage system even though it looks level, even and flat. Other shower floors have the drain system either in the corner or in the middle of a huge rectangle. Superplan Zero, however, comes in a great many sizes –far more than many others?

Dancer on top of Kaldewei shower surface in front of black backdrop

Image credit: Kaldewei/Bryan Adams

HK: Can you tell us more about the development of this product – where did the idea come from?

WA: Superplan was part of a product range developed in 2005 – it was a best-selling range for Kaldewei, and 16 years later they wanted to update it. Kaldewei wanted to update the whole range; they wanted to take it to another level to develop Superplan Zero, creating an extremely flat shower floor. The problem with the development was we needed to make it possible to get rid of the water, we needed to take into account facts such as power showers and the amount of water they use per minute or per second and how many litres of water this is and how to dispose of the water. We wanted to go to the limits of what is possible and what is necessary. To make what is possible with a shower floor and to show the world – it was a complex design job. Working together with the engineers from Kaldewei we needed to arrive at a design language that would at the same time keep a feeling and reference to the original Superplan. Matching all the worldwide norms and demands then going to the limit of an extremely flat shape involved a lot of computer work so it was not easy. None of the work was done by hand – we needed to do a lot research and carry out a lot of computer assimilations.

HK: What challenges did you face developing products during lockdown?

WA: I would say the lockdown situation didn’t change so much; although it’s always nice to meet in person it was ok because we were meeting on line. In this case it was all about the data, we produced data, the engineers produced data and then we compared all this on line and with on line calls, so it was easy to switch from a pre corona time to lockdown.

It was not a drama for the evolution of the product to work like this. The challenge was more to compare all the world wide regulations and bathroom floors and the technology of Kaldewei with the moulded metal material, trying to create a design that had a long lifecycle in terms of product and design language to still be a long runner and long term seller within the market.

> Since you’re here, why not read about Kaldewei’s new washbasins that bring sensuality to the bathroom?

Kaldewei is one of our recommended suppliers and regularly feature in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: Kaldewei/Bryan Adams

Stylish dining room interior with design wooden family table, black chairs, teapot with mug, mock up art paintings on the wall and elegant accessories in modern home decor. Template.

Newmor launches vibrant collaboration with mural artist Lois O’Hara

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Newmor launches vibrant collaboration with mural artist Lois O’Hara

Fresh out the blocks from its rebrand, Newmor Wallcoverings has launched a vibrant and playful collaboration with mural artist, Lois O’Hara, as part of the brand’s Newmor Designer range…

As part of Newmor Wallcoverings’s ongoing range of collaborations with artists and designers, the company has launched a colourful and joyful collection of large scale digitally printed murals designed by Lois O’Hara, specifically for the commercial interiors market.

Stylish dining room interior with design wooden family table, black chairs, teapot with mug, mock up art paintings on the wall and elegant accessories in modern home decor. Template.

O’hara’s brand ethos explores how colour can have a positive effect on how people feel when they use spaces. Her unique colour combinations and use of shape and movement form her signature style. The designer has transformed many public spaces and has partnered with exciting brands including Habitat, Pantone, Westfield, Brighton City Council, London Design Festival, and Urban Outfitters, to name a few.

“It’s been a real pleasure working with Newmor Wallcoverings and having the opportunity to showcase my work in a new format,” she told Hotel Designs. “To see my designs in different interior spaces has been exciting! I hope the artwork inspires others to think more positively.”

Image credit: Newmor Wallcoverings

Newmor launched the Newmor Designer collection as part of its commitment to bridging the gap between artists, craftspeople and commercial interiors. Artists such as painter and fashion designer, Iona Crawford; interior design duo 2LG; weaver Ptolemy Mann; artist Stephen Walter; and The Patternistas are currently represented. All of the designs can be custom coloured, scaled, and printed onto any of Newmor’s wallcoverings, including metallics, textures and window films.

“We’ve seen an increased interest in adding bespoke elements to interior design schemes,” commented Eleanor Cardwell, Marketing Manager, Newmor Wallcoverings. “The Newmor Designer collections are fully customisable, and we believe this flexibility contributes to their popularity. We can even work with the artists directly to develop completely unique designs based on a client’s brief.

We are launching the Lois O’Hara collection at a time when designers are reconsidering the use and functionality of public spaces. It’s so important that our time spent in offices, hotels, restaurants, and healthcare interiors is positive and uplifting, and we believe Lois’ joyful designs are the perfect addition to our collection for that very reason.”

Newmor Wallcoverings is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: Newmor

The Reykjavik EDITION_Tides Restaurant

The Reykjavik EDITION arrives in Iceland

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
The Reykjavik EDITION arrives in Iceland

Opening in preview on November 9 2021, The Reykjavik EDITION is expected to set a new hospitality standard – one that matches the natural magnificence of the destination –  as Reykjavik’s first truly luxury hotel experience. The 253-key hotel combines the best of the Icelandic capital with the personal, intimate and individual experience that the EDITION hotel brand is known for. Melania Guarda Ceccoli writes…

The Reykjavik EDITION_Tides Restaurant

Cool cafes, culinary hotspot, an epic music scene and a vibrant nightlife: we are in Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland – land of hot springs, mineral waters and natural fjords. With typical finesse, the long-awaited arrival of The Reykjavik EDITION further cements EDITION Hotel’s uncanny ability to land in just the right place at the right time. Opening this November, The Reykjavik EDITION will shelter a personal, intimate and individual experience that the EDITION hotel brand is known for. The result is a spirited and sophisticated urban hub with 253 rooms, an outstanding line-up of bars, signature restaurants and nightclub and, in true EDITION hotel style, the introduction of a new kind of modern wellness concept.

“More so than any other place in the world, it’s a real opportunity to get in touch with earth and nature.” – Ian Schrager, Founder, EDITION Hotels.

The Reykjavik EDITION hotel is the first true luxury brand entering the market which has facilities and services like no other. First appearing on the map when American chess grandmaster Bobby Fischer won the World Chess Championship in Reykjavik in 1972, Schrager, who was following the event at the time, says he was taken aback by the country’s unspoiled, natural beauty.  “In Iceland, you’re getting to see things you won’t see anywhere else,” says Schrager, the visionary pioneer of the boutique hotel concept. “More so than any other place in the world, it’s a real opportunity to get in touch with earth and nature and we’re proud to further expand the EDITION brand in an incredible place with an incredibly exciting hotel that gives you a true sense of place.”

From the outside, The Reykjavik EDITION hotel is a striking addition to this downtown neighbourhood. Its ebony façade of shou sugi ban timber has been charred to be blacked using an ancient Japanese technique, and blackened steel frames is a clear nod to Iceland’s dramatic lava landscape.

The Reykjavik EDITION_Exterior

Image credit: EDITION Hotels

The double-entrance lobby is accessible either from the pedestrian Harpa plaza, or the harbour. The latter features a canopy, its underside illuminated by 12,210 glass LED nodes.

As with all EDITION hotels, the lobby is a dynamic, social space that subtly reveals a sense of place and sense of time. Here, basalt stone – or volcanic rock – is prominent, appearing on the flooring, which has been laid with an intricate pattern inspired by Icelandic geometry, and a standout sculptural reception desk. The lobby lounge features a central open-flame fireplace which is the hearth of the space, surrounded by seating and a collection of custom-made furniture in intimate seating groups, such as the JeanMichel Frank-inspired armchair in white shearling and Pierre Jeanneret-inspired chairs in black velvet.

Inside the entrance of the hotel, ISC has collaborated with local artisans to create a totem sculpture of stacked, columnar basalt slate from the south of Iceland. Rising close to four meters high, the sculpture’s inspiration is found in the traditional Cairns that act as landmarks across Iceland’s countryside. Dramatically lit by both electric and candlelight and surrounded by a basalt bench, the totem is layered with lush black sheepskins, black damask and silk pillows, becoming a gathering place to see and be seen, at the centre of the lobby. Right next to this, inspired by the spectacle of the aurora borealis (Northern Lights), ISC has video mapped the Northern Lights and has created an immersive, three dimensional and atmospheric digital artwork of beautiful green and purple dancing waves. Located in the lobby, it stirs a reaction and emotion, similar to witnessing the natural phenomenon in the Icelandic night sky…but in the comfort, warmth, and intimacy of the lobby and lobby fireplace.

Accessible from the lobby, the ground floor is also home to Tides, the signature restaurant with private dining room, and café with homemade baked goods, and Tölt, an intimate bar that takes its cues from The London EDITION’s award-winning Punch Room. Tides, which has an outdoor terrace and its own waterfront entrance, is helmed by Gunnar Karl Gíslason – the chef behind Dill, Reykjavik’s much-celebrated New Nordic Michelin-starred restaurant. In the mornings, breakfast is a fresh, healthy mix of clean juices, pastries, fruit, cereal and skyr (Icelandic yoghurt) supplemented by an à la carte menu of hot dishes and a selection of open-face sandwiches. For lunch and dinner, Gíslason serves modern Icelandic cuisine, with subtle hints of traditional cooking methods, focused on seasonal local products and the highest quality of global ingredients mainly cooked over an open fire. Alongside an extensive global wine list, expect dishes such as a vertical salad topped with fried oyster mushrooms aged soy sauce and roasted almonds, whole Arctic char stuffed with lemon, dill and garlic butter, baked Atlantic cod, grilled potatoes, mixed herbs and butter and lamb shoulder braised and slowed grilled, pickled onions mint and apples, and for dessert, Tides carrot cake, buttermilk ice-cream, carrot and sea buckthorn jam, with roasted caraway oil. There is also a weekend brunch menu and three nights a week, The Counter, overlooking the theatrical open kitchen, will serve an eight-course tasting menu with wine pairings for up to 10 people. Meanwhile those looking for something more casual can pop into the bakery and café for a coffee and a selection of freshly baked crowberry scones to delicious sourdough or rye bread sandwiches where guests can dine in or take away.

On the opposite side of the lobby, Tölt – named after the unique fifth gait Icelandic horses are best known for – is a cozy bar.

The Roof is located on the hotel’s seventh floor and offers panoramic mountain, North Atlantic Ocean and old town vistas. A versatile space that can be divided by a glass door for private events allows it to be the best place from which to enjoy the endless bright summer evenings as well as the magical northern lights in the colder months. Floor-to-ceiling glass doors open onto a large wrap-around seasonal outdoor terrace, scattered with comfortable seating and a large fire pit, while the slick all-black interiors create a discreet background that doesn’t detract from the views. Here, the casual vibe is supplemented by a small menu of comfort foods like grilled flatbreads, toasted sandwiches and fresh salads.

The Reykjavik EDITION_The Lobby Bar

Image credit: EDITION

The guestrooms and suites have been designed as warm retreats, each with floor-to-ceiling windows and some come complete with an outdoor terrace. From its prime corner spot on the 6th floor, the one-bedroom Penthouse Suite – with its own private terrace has magnificent harbour, Harpa and mountain views that are further complemented by bright, light-filled elegant interiors of plush custom furnishings in creamy oatmeal tones. The Penthouse Suite is also accessorised with an oversized bathroom with Italian white marble and a central fireplace too.

The Reykjavik EDITION hotel offers modern meeting and event spaces, including flexible studios, a boardroom with natural light, bleach oat-wide plank floorings, and a grand ballroom with pre-function space.

Also, on the lower ground floor is a gym. Alongside three treatment rooms, a hammam, steam room, sauna, and plunge pool which offers hydrotherapy, there is also a central lounge with a spa bar, which by day serves a fresh healthy menu of post-workout Viking shakes, champagnes and, delicious moss vodka infusions alongside snacks like volcano bread with black lava salt.

Main image credit: EDITION Hotels

COMO Le Montrachet Exterior 3 Square

Image exclusive: A look at COMO Hotels’ debut property in France

730 556 Hamish Kilburn
Image exclusive: A look at COMO Hotels’ debut property in France

The COMO Group has announced that its debut hotel in France, COMO Le Montrachet, is slated to open in 2022 – Hotel Designs has been given access to the first exterior images of the highly anticipated hotel property, taken by photographer Martin Morrell. Scroll down to have a peek… 

COMO Le Montrachet Exterior 3 Square

With 14 luxury hotels worldwide, including properties in the Maldives, Bhutan, Thailand, Australia, Turks and Caicos, Italy and the UK, it was only ever a matter of timing and , crucially, the right location for the arrival of the The COMO Group’s first hotel in France.

Well, the wait is almost over, but not without a the group creating a bit of healthy tension. COMO Le Montrachet, which will be situated in the sought-after Côte-d’Or region, will open in phases, with phase one scheduled to be completed in 2022, evolving the hotel judiciously over the years to come. With this new addition to the portfolio, COMO aims to bring its contemporary flair to Puligny-Montrachet, Burgundy, providing ‘unparalleled access’ to some of the most famous Grand Cru vineyards. Nestled around the most charming village square, guests are invited to experience the ‘COMO way of life’.

For this project, the COMO Group will again collaborate with esteemed designer Paola Navone to complement the historic 18th century property with her contemporary touches. This launch marks the brand’s second European opening after COMO Castello Del Nero in Tuscany, which was also designed by the Italian designer.

Arranged across four heritage buildings, 31 rooms and suites will be converted into chic sanctuaries starting with Villa Christine. The phased opening of the hotel will also see a COMO Shambhala Retreat, the first of its kind in France.

COMO Le Montrachet

Image credit: COMO Hotels and Resorts/Martin Morrell

With COMO’s renowned emphasis on cuisine, guests of COMO Le Montrachet can expect exceptional dining options and exquisite wine experiences in one of the most beautiful settings.

And that’s not all. COMO is making all the right noises for us to believe that is the just the start of the group’s well-timed expansion. “With the recent sale of COMO Metropolitan Miami Beach, this announcement underlines our strategy to develop pioneering properties in new destinations,” said Olivier Jolivet, CEO of the COMO Group. “Besides Europe, we will also add a new luxury resort in the South Pacific to the portfolio next year.”

Watch this space.

Main image credit: COMO Hotels and Resorts/Martin Morrell

Winners of TOP ID - NEWH

NEWH UK Chapter honours design excellence at TopID Awards 2021

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
NEWH UK Chapter honours design excellence at TopID Awards 2021

Starved of live events and face-to-face networking, the British design community gathered on October 20 at Roca London Gallery in Chelsea for the 2021 TopID Awards, powered by NEWH UK Chapter. “Drum roll please – and the winners are”…

Winners of TOP ID - NEWH

As the seasons change and a new year approaches, it is clear that a new design landscape has emerged, placing increased emphasis on the ‘contactless journey’ and the importance of natural materials in connecting interior spaces to the outside world in order to foster a sense of space and wellbeing.

While adapting to a myriad of challenges, the industry’s dedication to exceptional design has not wavered. In acknowledgement of this fact, each year NEWH, an international not-for-profit network for the hospitality community that provides scholarships, education, leadership development, professional recognition of excellence and business development, has the honour of recognising design excellence within the UK through its TopID Awards. The prestigious accolade is determined with consideration to both the quality of a firm’s work and the support and dedication provided to NEWH membership and events, allowing winning practices to be celebrated internationally across the vast NEWH network.

In February of this year, NEWH UK Chapter bestowed the 2021 TopID Awards to three deserving studios. Unfortunately, at the time, lockdown regulations prevented the opportunity to present these awards physically. However, on November 20, the practices were aptly celebrated (in person) in spectacular fashion at Roca London Gallery.

This year’s winners

Dennis Irvine Studio

Dennis Irvine Studio, led by Dennis Irvine who recently became Director at Richmond International, was an award-winning interior design practice that specialised in hospitality and residential projects, both in the UK and internationally. Working in collaboration with a diverse range of partners – from international private clients, to residential developers and hotel operators – the multidisciplinary team had a world-class reputation for creating spaces that acknowledge cultural context whilst appreciating the spirit of a brand or individual – a reputation that Irvine has taken with him.

Dennis Irvine

Image credit: Dennis Irvine Studio

From conception through to delivery, the studio provided a comprehensive, holistic range of services including initial feasibility and space planning, interior concept, tender documentation, bespoke FF&E design and procurement.

The Estate House is the signature restaurant and bar at Jumby Bay, the exclusive island resort located off the northeast coast of Antigua. This 1830s plantation house and centrepiece of the island was extensively refurbished by Dennis Irvine Studio to create a luxurious fine-dining experience that celebrates the island’s local spirit and rich history. In keeping with the local architecture, an airy courtyard and surrounding terrace connect the main restaurant, bar, and private dining areas.

Whilst each space has its own identity, the entire project has been carefully curated to deliver a considered and elegant design, conscious of contemporary comforts whilst also being sympathetic to local design and traditions. Originally designed as a Rosewood resort, the Estate House references the brand’s ‘Sense of Place’ philosophy, with the interiors capturing the essence of island life whilst creating a serene, sophisticated environment for discerning travellers.

A wine tasting room inside The Estate House

Image credit: The Estate House, designed by Dennis Irvine Studio

Goddard Littlefair

Established in 2012 by Martin Goddard and Jo Littlefair, Goddard Littlefair is a luxury interior design practice based in London and Porto, Portugal. The company’s talented international team delivers award-winning hospitality, residential and wellness projects across the globe, creating sophisticated, stylish interiors with the people that inhabit them at the forefront of every design decision.

Jo and Martin from Goddard Littlefair

Image credit: Mel Yates/Goddard Littlefair

The brand’s ethos seeks to combine aesthetic perfectionism and boundless curiosity with a team-playing, service-driven attitude. “The firm’s unique selling point is the ability to knit smart, sensual design with a healthy dose of pragmatism,” said The Irish Times.

Goddard Littlefair is currently working on some of London’s most high-profile residential developments including One Park Drive, Southbank Place, Ebury Square and Grosvenor Waterside, as well as luxury spa projects in London, Prague and Tripoli. Their burgeoning hospitality portfolio includes projects for Corinthia, InterContinental, Principal, Cadogan and Hilton Hotels, with projects in London, Glasgow, Edinburgh, York and across Europe.

Originally built in 1912, Villa Copenhagen is an impressive new hotel opened within the capital’s historic Central Post & Telegraph Head Office. Epicurean – Goddard Littlefair’s emerging F&B sister company – was called upon to transform all five of the hotel’s food and beverage outlets within this iconic building, in addition to casting their creative eye over a selection of public spaces, including the wellness and pool area and various meeting and event spaces.

The vision for the F&B venues was to create five distinctive destinations with several points of difference; introducing something new and fun to the marketplace whilst honouring Scandinavian design sensibility and recognising the specific locale. Styled to be familiar yet magical for the Danish market and authentic to guests, each space channels unpretentious mid-century design with beautifully crafted references to both past and present.

Image credit: F&B areas inside Villa Copenhagen, designed by Goddard Littlefair

Image credit: F&B areas inside Villa Copenhagen, designed by Goddard Littlefair

Nous Design

Nous Design, founded by Director Nir Gilad, is an international design company creating experiences that tell a story, connecting people to places through their emotions via tailor-made design solutions.

Starting each project with fresh eyes, their design inspiration begins by listening, and then combines the client’s aspirations with the unrevealed potential of the location, to produce a unique multisensory experience.

Whether evoking calming stillness in a spa or a dynamic statement at a rooftop bar, ​Nous Design places the future guest at the heart of the narrative and considers how to connect and immerse them in the story.  Their aim is to ‘gift’ the guest another five minutes in their day or perhaps increase their work productivity when away from their day-to-day environment.

Based in London, this award-winning interior design company is currently working on projects in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia that vary from standalone restaurants and spas to luxury resort hotels and city-centre hubs.

Immersed in the natural beauty of the Galil and Golan mountains in the north of Israel, Setai Hotel award-winning hospitality experience that comprises 158 luxury suites with direct access to individual infinity pools. The spacious public areas include lounges, restaurants and an upmarket spa with 14 unique treatment rooms arranged in a circular building around a central skylight.

Working closely with local builders and manufacturers, Nous Design created an environment inspired by the surrounding countryside and using native materials. The reception area is one such example, with decorative partitions that imitate eucalyptus trees and guide guests’ view towards the lake vista, creating an oasis feel.

The restaurant continues this theme, with wooden louvres and a large central table displaying the richness of the local Middle Eastern cuisine through decorative elements from the region, whilst creating a relaxed but refined environment.

Setai Hotel by Nous Design- copy

Image credit: Setai Hotel, designed by Nous Design

NEWH UK Chapter, which Hotel Designs is a media partner for, hosts a plethora of events throughout the year, including an up-coming brunch at HIX Event and the Cruise Ship Interiors Expo in December.

Main image credits: Dennis Irvine Studio/Goddard Littlefair/Mel Yates/Nous Design

1 Hotel Toronto - collage

Inside 1 Hotel Toronto, the city’s new sustainable masterpiece

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Inside 1 Hotel Toronto, the city’s new sustainable masterpiece

New York-based design studio Rockwell Group has unveiled the interiors of the new 1 Hotel in Toronto, Canada’s first ‘mission-driven hotel’ that celebrates the beauty of the city’s natural environment in an urban package that sets a new hospitality standards in sustainable luxury…

1 Hotel Toronto - collage

Two years since whispers of the 1 Hotel brand marking its territory on Canadian soil, Hotel Designs is finally able to take a sneak peak inside 1 Hotel Toronto – and it was worth the wait!

Rockwell Group’s design concept for new the latest lifestyle hotel to emerge on the city’s hospitality scene reframes the city – turning its urbanism inside out, responding to the question: “What if a luxury hotel was an inviting portal to the natural world, instead of a flight from it?”.

“Our vision for the hotel invites guests to celebrate Toronto’s ecology through materiality and locally-made artwork.” – David Rockwell, Founder, Rockwell Group.

“We have long admired 1 Hotels’ sustainable and eco-friendly ethos, and we are thrilled to have been given the opportunity to design the new 1 Hotel Toronto with a biophilic emphasis,” said David Rockwell, Founder, Rockwell Group. “Our vision for the hotel invites guests to celebrate Toronto’s ecology through materiality and locally-made artwork.” Every corner of the design narrative unconsciously reflects a strong sense of place. The material palette for the hotel, for example, takes inspiration from the muted colours of Lake Ontario and the contrasting tones of the passing seasons and features reclaimed timber, native plants, board-formed concrete, and local marble.

The hotel’s lobby welcomes guests to a warm and nest-like space surrounded by floor-to-ceiling glass windows, which create a light box at night, as well as a feeling of seamlessness between indoors and out. The entrance to the hotel is framed with a mix of granite and limestone boulders, maple trees, local plants, warm wood, and a trailing green canopy, all reminiscent of Canada’s natural landscape.

1 Hotel Toronto lobby - with a sustainable design scheme

Image credit: Brandon Barre

It features 4.5 metre-high ceilings, reclaimed Elm wood flooring and shelving sourced from a dismantled barn in Ontario. Additional sustainable design details include a living green wall, found objects, local stone and reclaimed furnishings from materials such as elm wood and teak root.

Plants and natural materials in lobby lounge of 1 Hotel Toronto

Image credit: Brandon Barre

A stone wall with wood-like striations – carved out of glacial activity along the Eramosa River – serves as the backdrop to an art installation designed by Toronto-based artists Moss & Lam behind the check- in desk.

Once first impressions have been made, guests can discover that 1 Hotel offers an all-round dining and drinking experience, with a selection of two restaurants and two bars spread throughout the hotel.

The modern 1 Kitchen has a vintage vibe and is located in a glass-walled conservatory-like space with a vaulted wood ceiling and curved trusses hung with greenery. Sourcing all food ingredients from within a 50 km radius, 1 Kitchen is a neighbourhood destination that welcomes both hotel guests and locals alike.

In harmony with the local and crafted design scheme, Madera is an organic Mexican restaurant follows the design cues of the hotel, with sand-blasted textured wood, greenery, wooden dining chairs crafted by Benchmark, reclaimed live edge wood tabletops, artistic handmade vessels, and modern, vibrant lighting.

Harriet’s is the city’s newest rooftop hotspot featuring an open concept sushi bar with sliding glass walls and a retractable roof, to get the best out of the breathtaking city and lake views. The design details recall Toronto’s flora and fauna, with a woven rope ceiling interspersed between wood beams, reclaimed Elm wood flooring and leather and lambskin accents.

Harriets on rooftop of 1 Hotel Toronto

Image credit: Brandon Barre

The light and airy guestrooms at 1 Hotel Toronto feature sliding barn wood doors dividing the bedroom and bathroom. The studio added warmth to the Carrara marble bathrooms by utilising Hickory wood surrounds for the vanities. A natural wood accent wall is added behind the bed, with a leather headboard. An art piece comprised of a fallen tree fragment, sourced by a local wood studio, completes the design.

On the collaboration with 1 Hotel, Rockwell Group’s Founder David Rockwell says “We have long admired 1 Hotels’ sustainable and eco-friendly ethos, and we are thrilled to have been given the opportunity to design the new 1 Hotel Toronto with a biophilic emphasis. Our vision for the hotel invites guests to celebrate Toronto’s ecology through materiality and locally-made artwork.”

Main image credit: Brandon Barre

Zany project insitu

Product watch: L11 tuneable white light engine by Franklite

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Product watch: L11 tuneable white light engine by Franklite

Introducing lighting brand Franklite’s latest development in LED technology, the L11 tuneable white light engine, which has been shortlisted in the ‘Best in Tech’ category at The Brit List Awards 2021…

Franklite remains at the forefront of the lighting industry as a result of the hard work and dedication of its technical team, who continue to develop the latest in technology and custom design projects. The UK-based brand’s latest unveil takes LED technology to a whole new lighting level, the L11 tuneable white light engine.

Zany project insitu

The product is an innovative and unique take on a traditional candle lamp – designed and manufactured at the brand’s factory in Milton Keynes and tested in our in-house laboratory. The technology offers a smooth transition between amber and cool white from 1,700 to 3,650 kelvin.

Designers now have the capability to easily control the transition of light colour temperature wirelessly through an app or hard-wired within a building management system. With a dimming range from 100 per cent down to one per cent, users are able to create the perfect ambience with a simple touch of a button all while providing customers with the ultimate sensory experience.

The L11 tuneable white light engine is designed to fit a wide range of decorative fittings including chandeliers, lanterns, pendants and wall brackets. The technology can be replicated into the manufacturing of our LED plates for Franklite’s Woburn shade family, and custom designed projects.

Other benefits to using the light engine include a high quality of light across the whole CCT spectrum, increase in light output which exceeds retrofit LED lamps available on the market, longevity and reduced maintenance costs. This dedicated LED technology contributes significantly to energy efficiency with an 80 per cent saving using only 11W.

Franklite L11TW Overview

Image credit: Franklite

Franklite only partners with reputable brands such as eldoLED, Bridgelux and CASAMBI and as a member of the Lighting Industry Association Quality Assurance our quality system and product compliance are audited yearly to ensure it maintains the high level of standard expected.

The L11 tuneable white light engine can also be accompanied by maintained emergency gear within Franklite’s extensive range of wall brackets and flush ceiling fittings. With the essential functionality uniquely hidden, users are still able to comply with health and safety guidelines whilst providing guests with the ultimate luxury experience.

> Since you’re here, why not read about what else is new from Franklite?

Franklite is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: Franklite

Raffles Udaipur - aerial view

Now open: Inside the first Raffles hotel in India

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Now open: Inside the first Raffles hotel in India

Set to bring a ‘legendary hospitality’ experience to the romantic city of Udaipur, Raffles has unveiled its first hotel in India, which shelters 101 rooms inside an architectural marvel…

Following the brand’s announcement earlier this year to more than double its portfolio of hotels by 2023, Raffles Hotels & Resorts has opened its first hotel in India. Raffles Udaipur, a flagship hotel in the group’s portfolio, offers a fresh perspective on the city of Udaipur and region of Rajasthan, from a 21-acre private island set in the middle of the serene Udai Sagar Lake.

Raffles Udaipur - aerial view

Removed from the hustle and bustle of the city, the expansive property is reminiscent of a magnificent country estate, with beautifully manicured, ornamental gardens and panoramic views of the surrounding hills, tranquil lake and a 400-year-old temple.

Luxury lobby, Raffles Udaipur, wiht high ceilings and palatial decor

Image credit: Raffles Hotels & Resorts

The influence of the island’s flora and fauna can be seen in the intricate details of the country estate, ‘greater flamingo’ being the most prominent one. The hotel is meticulously adorned with a variety of flora, ranging from the fragrant white frangipani and the night-blooming jasmine to stunning spider lilies and the peepal tree that holds great religious significance.

The hotel itself is an architectural masterpiece of 101 luxurious rooms, suites and signature suites that elegantly interweave western cultural references with Rajasthan’s royal heritage and elements of Mughal architecture. Guestrooms have uninterrupted lake views, private gardens, balconies, plunge pools and an east-west design aesthetic with murals, handcrafted furniture and other crafts by local artisans.

“I am proud and delighted to see how Raffles Udaipur has opened to such acclaim and established itself as a market leader in such a short space of time,” said Stephen Alden, CEO Raffles & Orient Express. “As a member of Raffles’ close-knit global portfolio, it is bringing to life our shared vision of true hotelcraft.”

Under Culinary Director Prasad Metrani, Raffles Udaipur is a culinary aficionado’s paradise with fresh, new flavours to relish every day. At Sawai Kitchen, the Indian speciality restaurant, guests can expect to be graciously served the lost recipes from the region’s royal households, reinvented for modern tastes. Harvest, set to open before the end of the year, offers an interactive farm-to-table dining experience with produce foraged from the estate farm, spotlighting the region’s food traditions; while culinary enthusiasts can enjoy a co-cooking experience at Rasoi, the cookery school. The Raffles Patisserie offers freshly baked breads, classic French desserts, signature Raffles pastries and more. Guests can dine under the crystal clear sky, overlooking the breathtaking views of the lake at the Belvedere Point. Mindfully crafted alfresco dining experiences, framed by the picturesque hills that surround the lake, draw inspiration from the five elements: earth, fire, water, air and space.

Long Bar, Raffles Udaipur

Image credit: Raffles Hotels & Resorts

For a sophisticated and discreet experience, guests can linger over intimate conversations or take a book to read at The Writers Bar, while indulging in bespoke artisanal and classic cocktails, as well as a champagne & caviar menu. For the elegant Afternoon High Tea experience, guests can anticipate exquisite savouries and desserts, along with specially curated teas from the Kangra hills in Himachal Pradesh and the best coffees from Southern India, introduced by the Tea Sommelier. In contrast, the iconic Long Bar, a hallmark of the Raffles brand designed with European wood and leather, with engravings by local artisans, is a perfect place to socialise. It offers fine Indian spirits, single malts, local brews from across Rajasthan and the signature Udaipur Sling – the Singapore classic remade with fresh produce from the island and home-made syrups.

The Raffles Spa, a space full of natural light with an embroidered canopy to encourage a sense of nurturing, offers a private escape, with authentic treatments and personalised programmes that prioritise both emotional and physical well-being. The fitness centre is well-equipped for an invigorating work-out and the swimming pool invites guests to take a languorous dip, while enjoying a beautiful sunset.

Raffles Udaipur, as with every Raffles hotel around the world, reflects the cultural and natural heritage and mood of its location, offering unforgettable experiences, from a celestial cruise under the moon, to guided farm tours, astronomy, yoga and meditation. Raffles’ legendary service is delivered by private butlers and thoughtfully tailored to individual travellers’ needs.

“Whether you are looking for a rare place of extraordinary discovery or a romantic getaway with captivating sunsets, Raffles Udaipur is the ideal choice,” said Abhishek Sharma, General Manager. “With breath-taking views of the lake from every room, the chance for long, leisurely, romantic walks around our magnificent gardens, and experiences like star gazing and full moon rituals, we are a sanctuary for travellers on a quest for peace and rejuvenation.”

Guests can also choose this island location as a memorable setting for special events and celebrations. The Grand Ballroom of 9,000 square feet, including pre-function area, multiple outdoor gathering areas and an on-site temple, is set to make landmark moments simply unforgettable.

Speaking about the opening, Puneet Dhawan, ‎Senior Vice President of Operations – India & South Asia, Accor, said: “India is a strategic focus with long-term growth potential for Accor and it’s an exciting time for us as we present the iconic Raffles brand to the market. The rich cultural heritage, the regal past, and the grand architecture that gives the city its splendour all contribute to the Raffles Udaipur experience. Discerning travellers will now be able to experience the bespoke and immersive hospitality that is quintessentially Raffles. We look forward to warmly welcoming our guests and allowing them to discover what we have created, a confluence of Raffles’ global ethos and local Indian sensitivities.”

Main image credit: Raffles Hotels & Resorts

Bathroom design | Contemporary hotel bathroom, with moody interiors

Collaboration goals: KEUCO & TEAM7 create luxe bathroom concept

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Collaboration goals: KEUCO & TEAM7 create luxe bathroom concept

TEAM 7 and KEUCO have combined heads to form a luxurious bathroom furnishing concept, which has resulted in the striking interiors of EDITION LIGNATUR…

For more than 60 years, the Austrian company TEAM 7 has been creating exquisite, meticulously handcrafted, solid wood furniture for every area of the house. However, one room was missing; the bathroom. This issue was solved by forming a partnership with KEUCO; its expertise in washbasins, light mirrors, accessories and fittings led to the creation of EDITION LIGNATUR.

Bathroom design | Contemporary hotel bathroom, with moody interiors

Created by leading design agency Tesseraux + Partner; each piece of EDITION LIGNATUR bathroom furniture is individually crafted and produced. The collection includes, single or double washbasins which can be recessed or table-top, sideboards, tall units and benches. All of the furniture is made from one of three premium natural woods: light oak, Venetian oak, (which gets its extraordinary appearance from natural embellishments produced by the shipworm) and noble walnut.

The wood grain of each piece of natural wood used for EDITION LIGNATUR furniture has to look good together with the grain of every other piece. To achieve this they take the time beforehand to arrange the individual slats that make up the natural wood panels to make sure they look good together and to produce a harmonious overall picture in the bathroom. This first procedure is a specific step called ‘painting with wood’.

As the base units made of premium woods, it is possible to combine washbasins made of Varicor or ceramic. A free-standing fitting that was designed specifically for the round Varicor basin stands raised in the middle of the washbasin.

The washbasins can also be combined with KEUCO wall-mounted fittings. KEUCO accessories put the finishing touch on the harmonious overall picture.

The EDITION LIGNATUR light mirror has very special features: The luminous colour can be infinitely adjusted and dimmed from warm white to daylight-like illumination (2700 – 6500 Kelvin) by pressing a touch-sensitive key panel. This makes it possible to adapt the light to the mood of the user and also allow you to see for example, when applying makeup what the effect would be outdoors, in the office or in a restaurant as the mirror’s light shade causes the light to fall pleasantly from above. After showering, a smart detail ensures that the integrated mirror heater guarantees fog-free vision in a matter of seconds.

> Since you’re here, why not read about KEUCO’s IXMO Shower series? 

KEUCO is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: KEUCO

A dramatic bar inside RG Naoxs

Inspired by nature: RG Naxos unveils fresh look

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Inspired by nature: RG Naxos unveils fresh look

Design studio THDP has completed an extensive renovation inside RG Naxos, set in Giardini Naxos. The new look was inspired by nature to draw out the best of Mediterranean culture…

RG Naxos, located on the shores of Giardini Naxos in Scilly, Italy, emerges following a major interior revamp sheltering a cohesive interior design narrative that sensitively celebrates the destination’s culture to re-establish itself as a modern hospitality masterpiece.

A dramatic bar inside RG Naoxs

Giardini Naxos, founded in 734 BC by colonists from Chalcis in Euboea, was the first Greek colony in Sicily. Ancient Naxos was destroyed in 403 BC, and the centre that rose in its place in the Middle Ages became a thriving fishermen’s village. In the late 19th century elegant villas were built, used as holiday mansions by the upper classes.

The Greek heritage that remains in Sicily can be seen in the architecture of a few very important buildings, but today it is regarded a popular seaside resort. With its distinct identity and its various cultural and religious events that take place throughout the year, Giardini Naxos is a natural tourism hotspot.

While the natural beauty of the location made it an interesting place to visit, it was the fashion house of Dolce & Gabbana that arguably put Sicily on the fashionista map, and spread the island’s crafts worldwide by incorporating iconic Sicilian images in its bold prints like the colourfully decorated horse cart, ripe lemons and oranges. This was an early inspiration for the interior design concept created for the hotel by THDP, the London based interior designer and architectural practice with a team of 50 per cent British and 50 per cent Italian designers (the best of both worlds). The design team consisted of Nicholas J Hickson and Manuela Mannino (Founders of THDP) and Simone Bretti (design) and Francesca Benedetti (architect).

Making a sensitive nod to the destination’s history and modern culture, in order to inject apt sense of place, the interior design studio THDP decided to centre the concept of its design for the hotel around the location’s unique topography. “Inspired by the natural beauty of the volcanic beaches, the sea, mount Etna’s super-natural presence and the features of the island of Sicily, the vision was to bring them into the centre of the hotel,” explained Benedetti. “By adding local decoration, artworks and colours, the goal was to add character – a deep sense of authenticity and a refined and resort-based palette of natural tones with touches of colours of the sea.”

Detailed local research guided the narrative of the entire  project, commencing with the refurbishment of the main public areas – the lobby, lobby bar and guest check-in area – before retouching the F&B areas, including the main restaurant and the pool dining and bar spaces.

The lobby was a large and open space, which was previously decorated in a heavy baroque style. “The concept from the outset was to re-activate this space, giving it a new heart and focal point – and to be appealing to both guests and to walk-in locals,” said Bretti. “From concept stages, we considered adding a new lobby bar to the centre of the space, being both a visual anchor but also dividing the space and making it feel more intimate.” With the new layout smart workers and leisure guests can meet using a polyvalent area which can hosts all thanks to the different typology of seating. The style is elegant and authentically Mediterranean with sea colours and Taormina’s stone colours melting indoor and outdoor colour palette.

Lobby/lounge inside RG Naxos

Image credit: Giorgio Baroni

The reception has been inspired by the Sicilian attitude of welcoming and it has been translated in three large reception desks with dark grey lava top fabricated by Nero Sicilia.  The rear feature wall is tiled with hand-painted local tiles by La Fauci. The accent decorative lights are from Aromas del Campo and are of copper and rattan, thus from the very beginning of their journey the guest is surrounded by an authentic and local experience.

The restaurant, Panarea, has materials, features and shapes that remind guests of antique craftsmanship, incorporating hand painted tiles in the niches at the entrance with traditional motifs from La Fauci.  The buffet area has screens featuring irregular but geometric shapes hanged from the ceilings that recall ancient Greek terracotta jars. The artisan tributes continue on the walls covered with a braided woven leather cowhide effect inspired by ancient Greek sandals.

Contemporary restaurant inside RG Naxos

Image credit: Giorgio Baroni

La Sciara Restaurant’s design, meanwhile, has been inspired by the existing wallcovering of lava stone: the space has the darker tones echoing those of the Mount Etna volcano, the dark ominous stone is counterpointed by the vibrant blue and red glazing – recalling colours of the sea at night, foreboding, dark yet attractive and welcoming.  The metalwork in the restaurant is a rich copper tone, accented by rich blue lacquers, and the table top feature rich glazed textures applied with glass onto the lava stone, all by Nero Sicilia. The entire space naturally calls to mind dining in a more elegant and finer restaurant.

The Fluido Bar is located on the pool terrace, just outside La Sciara Restaurant offering breathtaking panoramic views of the Mediterranean sea and the unique grey volcanic sandy beaches. The pool bar is characterised by a contemporary, indoor-meets-outdoor styled residential look and feel. The walls are finished in a cement-coloured panels by Cosentino, the bar top is white Dekton and the bar front is feature tiles in raw and glazed lava stone by Nero Sicilia.

A light and bright bar outside RG Naxos

Image credit: Giorgio Baroni

The bar serves pre-dinner aperitifs with signature cocktails, open to guests and locals, the ambition is to become a destination bar for the hotel adding to its local night scene. The seating is part dining, part informal lounge sofas with outdoor furniture by Etimo & Varaschin. The flooring is a grés-tiling from Gruppo Florim, who also provided the surround to the pool and its interior. Large ecru umbrellas offer shade to the guests during the summer times. THDP created a warm garden style lighting effect, selecting outdoor weathered wall fittings by Aldo Bernardi and suspended light by Faro Barcelona.  The large pergola and pavilions are custom designed and supplied by Corradi.

> Since you’re here, why not watch a panel discussion on bathroom design that THDP’s Nick Hickson participated in recently?

The hotel emerges from one of the most difficult periods in hospitality history wth a fresh look and feel, which will no-doubt take it – and the destination – into a new era that puts emphasis on craft, authenticity and simply travelling for longer.

Main image credit: Giorgio Baroni

Lanserhof in Sylt bathroom and suite

Lanserhof to open first island hotel in Spring 2022

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Lanserhof to open first island hotel in Spring 2022

Lanserhof, Europe’s leader in innovative health, has announced that it will open its first island hotel in 2022. Located in Sylt, the 55-key luxury hotel will be designed by internationally renowned architect Christoph Ingenhoven, and will shelter a cutting-edge wellness experience under a contemporary roof. Here’s what we know…

Lanserhof in Sylt bathroom and suite

Arriving in 2022 in Sylt – AKA the ‘Hamptons of Germany’ – Lanserhof, a leading brand in innovative health, has unveiled that its debut island hotel will feature just 55 rooms and shelter design by internationally renowned architect Christoph Ingenhoven.

Sylt, an island in the Frisian archipelago in northern Germany, has long been treasured for its famous healing climate and restorative sea air, which can provide significant relief for allergy and respiratory disease sufferers. Reachable by air via Düsseldorf year-round, with just 15,000 inhabitants, the island offers 40 kilometres of fine sandy beach and three shifting sand dunes, the only ones left in all of Germany. Set on UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Wadden Sea, Sylt is home to some of the continent’s most astonishing wildlife and flora and fauna; whale watching is possible during the summer months while harbour porpoises can be spotted off the coast year-round.

Render of shoreline at Lanserhof Sylt

Image credit: Ingenhoven Architects

Lanserhof Sylt, a €120 million project more than five years in the making, will offer the brand’s signature approach, which combines cutting-edge diagnostics with natural healing methods, overseen by Medical Director and Cardiologist Dr. Jan Stritzke, a specialist in cardiological rehabilitation for acute and chronic illnesses. “At Lanserhof Sylt, the magic of a new beginning can not only be felt but experienced,” explained Dr. Stritzke. “Surrounded by the unique and ever-present nature of Sylt, the new health resort awaits guests in a place where modern, flowing and natural architecture radiates tranquillity and at the same time combines modern cutting-edge medicine with the help of state-of-the-art equipment and alternative naturopathy. The natural and traditional combined with the new and modern are thus reflected in both the architecture of the resort and at the same time in the medical concept. This is something very unique. For this new Lanserh of experience we have built a great team of physicians, therapists, sports and nutrition scientists and beauticians. I can’t wait to introduce it to our guests.”

Wellness pool inside Lanserhof Sylt

Image credit: Ingenhoven Architects

Housing 55 rooms and suites beneath Europe’s largest thatched roof, the resort will have a combined guest area of more than 20,000m2. In addition to the main building, the resort will feature two interconnected saltwater indoor and outdoor pools complete with counter-current system and a five-story freestanding spiral staircase centrepiece. A continuous glass facade, the largest on Sylt, will give the impression that the thatched roof floats above, giving the property a weightless character that blends seamlessly into the rolling dunes and landscape beyond.

Render of luxury bedroom inside Lanserhof Sylt

Image credit: Ingenhoven Architects

The guestrooms range upwards in size from 39m2 double rooms and all feature their very own private balcony cut into the thatched roof of the building. These balconies are the first of their kind, creating an abundance of light within the room while providing a tranquil spot for guests to enjoy the healing sea air amidst panoramic views of the sea and sand dunes ahead. Selected rooms will feature beds with innovative FreshBed technology to ensure the perfect night’s sleep, in addition to a unique, human-centric lighting concept to keep guests in harmony with the natural biorhythm.

The hotel has been constructed using entirely sustainable, non-emitting materials. The design finds inspiration from the surrounding area and climate, as well as in the construction of Frisian houses, which typically feature low storeys, glass, wood and thatch. Natural, curved shapes mirror the island’s sand dunes, while a pared-back aesthetic featuring wood, earthen tones and organic materials allows the magnificent setting to take centre-stage.

The timeless, unique nature of Sylt in combination with the new, modern Lanserh of property with its flowing, corner-less architecture has a health-promoting effect on body, mind and soul, just like the traditional naturopathy and state-of-the-art cutting-edge medicine contained in the Lanserhof Concept.

Main image credit: Ingenhoven Architects

Exterior of Grantley hall

Case study: Designing lighting & audio inside Grantley Hall Hotel & Spa

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Case study: Designing lighting & audio inside Grantley Hall Hotel & Spa

Local custom integrator Clever Association worked with Grantley Hall Hotel & Spa to complete the design and installation of perfectly integrated lighting and audio control automation within the bedrooms and communal areas, inside and out. By specifying Sonance Landscape Series systems, the design team were able to ensure the experience of luxury extended to outdoor areas in order to keep up with modern traveller demands…

Exterior of Grantley hall

It’s all very well designing a beautiful interior space that cleverly injects biophilic design, but in order to create a truly cohesive language between inside and outside, designers should consider a dimentional approach to the look and feel of the space by considering the lighting as well as sound. For Grantley Hall Hotel & Spa, in order to do this trend justice, with a meaningful approach, the property called upon a supplier that could seamlessly elevate the entire consumer journey. By doing so, the Grade II listed building has proved that heritage buildings and technology can indeed work in harmony.

Situated on the outskirts of the Yorkshire Dales near Ripon on 30 acres of stunning woodland, parkland and grounds, and complete with its very own English-Heritage listed Japanese garden, the hotel is set to become one of the UK’s leading luxury hotel and spa retreats, immersing guests in complete luxury and relaxation. Many of the Georgian characteristics of the stately home have been preserved, but the 47 beautiful bedroom suites, spa, gymnasium, event spaces and nightclub also benefit from ultra-modern technologies. Local custom integrator Clever Association worked with Grantley Hall to complete the design and installation of perfectly integrated lighting and audio control automation within the bedrooms and communal areas inside and out.

All bedrooms are kitted out with a high-quality audio system, allowing guests to access their own music or stream from the hotel’s music library. Luxury Lutron lighting control, also present in the bedrooms, offers guests the ability to tailor lighting to their own needs and mood. In addition, Lutron Homeworks lighting is installed in all communal areas, ensuring the ideal light level at any given time. Similarly controlled by hotel staff, high quality audio extends to hospitality areas immediately outside the hotel.

The interior design project, which included Grantley Hall’s new ‘Three Graces Spa’ and innovative ‘ELITE’ luxury gym and wellness centre, answered the brief with thanks to the intuitive automation of both lighting and music distribution throughout the hotel to create the perfect ambience in any space at any time of day, season or specific occasion. As a result, staff are able to spend more of their time looking after guests while energy wastage is minimised, and the guest experience is enhanced by the magic of flawless touch control.

Grantley Hall - outside pool

Image credit: Jonty Wilde

Clever Association’s Anthony Gallon takes up the story: “We contacted Grantley Hall after we’d heard about its plans through the business grapevine. They were keen to use local companies so that helped our pitch. Grantley Hall is one of the biggest installations we’ve managed to date, but as with every project, the key objective was to deliver an impeccable standard of work within budget. Part of our competitive tender involved making sure that the client had all the demonstrations they needed to inspire confidence in the quality and performance of our work, in harmony with the hotel’s luxury ethos.”

When it came to designing the luxury al fresco area, the team required a reliable brand that’s products were tech savvy. “We approached Habitech for the outdoor audio elements required to cover extensive areas along the West Terrace including The Orchard, where a substantial sailcloth marquee covers a drinking and dining area,” explained the studio.

Grantley Hall, Sonance speaker“Similarly, a contemporary extension, including the ‘ELITE’ luxury gym and wellness centre and ‘Three Graces Spa’ complex, called for superior and consistent outdoor audio coverage. The design demanded long cable runs, super discreet aesthetics, full range sound quality, the capacity for high SPLs without distortion (although the systems are rarely driven hard) and excellent intelligibility at background levels. In other words, we needed to deliver the quality of audio definition that uninitiated hotel guests would notice. The Habitech team recommended the flagship Sonance Landscape Series speakers and Sonance amplification for the job, providing a custom design and SPL map for each area. In each case we used a mix of LS6TSATs, smaller LS4TSATs and LS12 in-ground subs either discreetly buried at the periphery or hidden within strategically placed planters. Landscape Series sats and subs also surround the spa’s pool area.

“Overall, we’re very proud of what we have achieved at Grantley Hall. This was a big project, which required integration precision, effortless ease-of-use for staff and guests, and absolute reliability. The systems, including the outdoor audio elements, are helping to fulfil our promise to Grantley Hall by working discreetly and beautifully, and the hotel is happy with our work. And we’re grateful to the team at Habitech for its design backup and product performance, which has been consistently excellent throughout our long partnership.”

Equipment specified:

  • Sonance SLS LS6TSAT satellite speaker x 18
  • Sonance SLS LS4TSAT satellite speaker x 24
  • Sonance SLS LS12T in-ground subwoofer x six
  • Sonance DSP-2-150 amplifier x five
  • Sonance DSP-2-750 amplifier x two

> Since you’re here, why not read a case study from Sonance on how the brand fitting out the audio inside The Hendrick’s Gin Palace?

Sonance is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: Jonty Wilde

Hotel design | luxury pool in Langham Jakarta

A capital move: Langham arrives in Southeast Asia

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
A capital move: Langham arrives in Southeast Asia

The Langham, Jakarta has opened its doors inside a stylish and contemporary 65-storey building in the heart of the city, marking the brand’s bold debut property in Southeast Asia…

After years of anticipation, The Langham, Jakarta has officially opened in Indonesia’s capital city. The slick 65-storey hotel is strategically located within the new prestigious complex of District 8 at SCBD (Sudirman Central Business District) in close proximity to the city’s most important financial, cultural and entertainment centres. 

Hotel design | luxury pool in Langham Jakarta

“The opening of this beautiful hotel in Jakarta is the culmination of many years of hard work and dedication to delivering the very best product, facilities and service in this international gateway city,” said Brett Butcher, Chief Executive Officer of Langham Hospitality Group. “Partnering with Indonesia’s premier developer Agung Sedayu Group, we have been able to create something truly remarkable to welcome our guests to one of the very best hotels in the world. We are taking luxury to new heights and I couldn’t be prouder to include The Langham, Jakarta to our collection.”

Designed by the Singapore-based Smallwood Reynolds Stewart Stewart (SRSS), The Langham, Jakarta embodies classical design elements, effortlessly fusing glamour with urban sophistication.

Upon entering the arrival lobby on the ground floor, all eyes are drawn towards the magnificent chandelier depicting 3,000 fluttering crystal butterflies, some of which are suspended by intricate wire work. Titled ‘Haven’ by Lasvit, the renowned designers of dazzling bespoke light installations from the Czech Republic, the chandelier takes its inspiration from the Indonesian rainforests where butterflies fly freely thereby creating an ethereal aesthetic in the remarkable space.

Image credit: Langham Hotels & Resorts

The elaborate construct of Haven is evident in the beautiful champagne-coloured lattice that is reminiscent of a Monarch butterfly’s wings. On the 62nd floor at the Sky Lobby, a second but no less dramatic 10-metre high chandelier, also by Lasvit, commands the attention and admiration of the guests. All other senses will be mesmerised by the curated collection of art throughout the hotel showcasing the finest works from Indonesian artists, painters and photographers which include John Martono, Hanafi, Jumaldi Alfi, Jay Subyakto, and Chaerul Umam.

The Langham, Jakarta shelters 223 guestrooms with majestic floor-to-ceiling windows offering spectacular views of the city, state of the art in-room entertainment complemented by smart technology, opulent marble bathrooms featuring rain showers and free standing soaking bathtubs.

Poised to be highly sought after by luxury aficionados, the elegantly appointed 336-square metre Presidential Suite features a spacious living room and dining area ornamented with contemporary furnishings. The dominant use of the highest-quality materials and craftsmanship is evident from the intricate wall panels, sculptures, paintings and timeless artefacts that tastefully adorn each room.

Other highlights of the impressive suite include an Italian-marble bathroom with an oversized bathtub, twin vanities and separate spa bath, bespoke amenities, an outdoor terrace with panoramic views of the city. Fitness enthusiasts, meanwhile, can take full advantage of the in-suite gym with a trainer on demand for private sessions; attending to the guests’ every whim with personalised yet discreet service is a dedicated 24-hour on-call butler service.

The Langham Club lounge at the hotel’s 59th floor is designed as a sanctuary for guests who prefer a discerning level of comfort with panoramic and unobstructed views of Jakarta. The Club lounge will offer complimentary food and beverage presentations and will feature a writer’s corner, a reading library and private arrival and departure facilities with dedicated butlers for personalised service.

The Langham, Jakarta - Club Lounge

Image credit: Langham Hotels & Resorts

The Langham, Jakarta features exceptional celebrity restaurant partnerships that include Tom’s by Tom Aikens, the culinary maestro who has guided his restaurants to accolades by the Michelin Guide. T’ang Court, inspired by its Three Michelin starred Cantonese restaurant namesake at The Langham, Hong Kong, will make its debut in Southeast Asia and world-renowned Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto from New York City will satiate gourmands with haute Japanese cuisine at Morimoto.

LANGHAM JAKARTA, Toms restaurant

Image credit: Langham Hotels & Resorts

The Langham, London was the first hotel that served afternoon tea in 1865 and since then, guests continue to cherish this afternoon indulgence at all The Langham hotels around the world. In Jakarta, The Langham’s afternoon tea legacy continues at Alice where guests may bask in the beautiful environs at the grand dining emporium. And for those familiar with the Artesian at The Langham, London – recognized as the World’s Best Bar for several years – will be delighted to know that its latest outpost will be at the dazzling rooftop of The Langham, Jakarta.

For those seeking a respite and needing a recharge of the body and mind, Chuan Spa will provide treatments inspired by Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) philosophies in a serene, meditative setting. The 670 square metre (7,211 square foot) spa will offer private treatment rooms as well as a fully-equipped fitness centre and Jakarta’s highest indoor infinity pool with spectacular views of the city.

The Langham, Jakarta will be the new iconic venue for social events, weddings, high-level conferences and luxury product launches. Showcasing more than 2,100 square meters of flexible space, including a magnificent 688 square meter ballroom and a beautiful outdoor garden, there are an additional 11 meeting rooms that may be configured for events requiring different capacities.

> Since you’re here, why not read about the new design scheme inside The Langham, Boston?

The hotel opening is just the beginning of an exciting journey for Langham Hospitality Group, the umbrella company of The Langham Hotels and Resorts and Cordis Hotels brands. The group currently has more than 30 projects currently either confirmed or in a developed stage of negotiation from Asia, Europe and North America to the Middle East.

Main image credit: Langham Hotels & Resorts

Industry insight: Best hotel flooring options

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Industry insight: Best hotel flooring options

With hotels expecting to stand the test of time, in function as well as aesthetics, choosing the right flooring for each area is integral. Luxury Flooring are on hand to offer a guiding light on which materials work best…

What is the first thing you notice when you arrive at your hotel? Is it the extravagant chandelier draping over the front desk or the parquet style floor in the front lobby? Exceptional design starts with a floor, especially in places where you want to impress your guests.

The lobby

The lobby is the first thing your guests walk through when they enter your hotel, and often form their assumptions on what the rest of it looks like. Give your guests a memorable first impression with Luxury Vinyl Tiles. LVT comes in a variety of imitated materials ranging from wood, stone and tile. Along with styles such as parquet, chevron and herringbone, that show class and versatility.

The Lobby at The Londoner hotel

Image caption: The lobby/lounge inside The Londoner | Image credit: Andrew Beasley

Serve your guests with parquet style luxury vinyl tiles. Parquet flooring first graced the palace of Versailles in 1684, France, and became increasingly popular throughout Europe. The flooring style was installed in grand homes of the wealthy and could only be installed by skilled craftsmen. It’s durable, water-resistant which is a perfect fit for a lobby with it being incredibly bust 24/7.

This floor is made to look modern with a traditional twist, you can go in any direction with its unique pattern. Minimalistic hotel? Pair a light, parquet LVT with light-coloured walls and taupe furnishings to give your lobby an airy feel. Or if your hotel is on the traditional side, opt-in for a dark, chocolate brown LVT with daring red and royal green interiors.

The bedroom

The bedroom is the one room where guests can relax and wind down. At the end of the day, they want to come back to a room that’s cosy and comfortable, right? One of the first things they do is take their shoes off. And with the floor being the first thing they touch, it’s important to provide them with luxury and comfort.

Image credit: Plaza 18/Philip Vile

Solid wood; prized for its elegance, beauty and individuality. The material graces grand halls, statement lobbies and penthouse suites, making it one of the most luxurious flooring choices out there. Solid wood flooring is becoming increasingly popular in the hotel industry, especially with it being installed in more bedrooms. Parquet style flooring is making a statement in Parisian hotels and slowly shifting across Europe with its versatile and expensive design.

Solid wood comes in a variety of colours and statement patterns ranging from herringbone, chevron and parquet. Pair these floors with cashmere-coloured sheets and soft linen curtains for a space that’ll teleport you to a sanctuary in the Maldives. For a city vibe, industrial-like décor and open-brick walls will look effortlessly stylish against chocolate brown oak.

Solid Oak is a hard material, so make sure to dress it with soft rugs. Add gowns and slippers for extra comfort and luxury, you want to make sure your guests feel at home!

The bathroom

The bathroom is the one room in your hotel room that needs to be stylish and practical. Stylish bathrooms have taken the interior world by storm by having brass accents, limestone walls, smart showers and toilets. But the main thing hoteliers need to consider is the flooring.

A cool, contemporary bathroom inside golf resort in Palm Springs

Image credit: PGA National Resort & Spa

The best option for bathroom flooring in hotel rooms is stone vinyl tiles. They are durable, water-resistant and have good gripping properties. Stone vinyl tiles are modern and come in a wide range of colours and styles while imitating the natural look of stone. If you want to achieve a rustic look with authentic tile, then go for colours such as ambient grey or blue slate.

Every floor is catered for every hotel, it just depends on what kind of hotel you’re in. If you’re a chain and want an all-rounder, LVT flooring is the one for you. If you own a mini or boutique hotel, solid and engineered flooring are more desirable options. It all just depends on how many people stay with you.

Main image credit: W Hotels

Hypnos Chillington Sept 2021_10879 1

Sustainability & comfort combined: A new mattress collection from Hypnos

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Sustainability & comfort combined: A new mattress collection from Hypnos

Experts in sustainable luxury, British bed maker Hypnos Contract Beds unveiled the next chapter of its sustainable story with the launch of its new ethical Origins collection for the hospitality sector at this year’s Independent Hotel Show. Editor Hamish Kilburn writes…

Hypnos Chillington Sept 2021_10879 1

With up to three-quarters of hotel guests willing to spend more per night to stay in a hotel that demonstrates authentic green credentials, The Hospitality Origins Collection by Hypnos Contracts Beds arrives right on cue. It represents a new era of sustainable sleep solutions for the sector, providing hoteliers with a truly eco-conscious bed for their guests.

No new comer to unveiling sustainable solutions in the industry – with its carbon-neutral certification and eco-packaging solution – the brand’s latest collection is a harmony of conscious design with supreme comfort.

Hypnos Chillington Sept 2021_9983_9982 - for social

Image credit: Hypnos Contract Beds

We’re told that the collection comprises of three luxury, durable mattresses. The first model, launched at the Independent Hotel Show last week is the Woolsleepers Elite – a hand-finished pocket sprung mattress, featuring 11 layers of sustainable comfort with each mattress including more than eight full fleeces of 100 per cent British wool. Considered a super-fibre, as well as being naturally antibacterial, wool is also incredibly breathable, responding to natural fluctuations in body temperature by wicking away moisture, making it a perfect material for beds.

Upholstered in beautiful unbleached, naturally fire-retardant woven cotton and viscose ticking, the mattress also benefits from 1,400 ReActivPro™ pocket springs and 3,000 Adaptiv™ springs that are designed to evenly distribute weight across the expanse of the bed, flexing to individual body shapes for optimum support and personalised comfort for hotel guests. 

Encompassing Hypnos’ decade long commitment to responsible sourcing and manufacturing, The Hospitality Origins Collection is a reflection of the company’s commitment to working only with likeminded ethical partners to ensure the provenance, authenticity and traceability of all materials. By only using wool from Red Tractor assured farms, hoteliers and those specifying for hotel projects can be confident that Hypnos is working with sheep farmers who are committed to animal welfare and regenerative farming and know that Hypnos is paying them a fair price, on time, something many brands don’t do. 

Hypnos also supports farming communities around the world through CottonConnect and the Better Cotton Initiative, with education and training ultimately leading to reductions in pesticides and water usage.  And their certified factories have met the Global Recycled Standard to ensure materials have been collected and recycled responsibly so they don’t pollute our seas and lands.

“With a rise in hoteliers opting to incorporate more natural elements into their properties through the use of biophilic design – which has become more important over the last 18 months, we are incredibly excited to share our latest vision which has once again pushed the boundaries for sustainable sleep,” Carolyn Mitchell, Sales and Marketing Director at Hypnos Contract Beds, told Hotel Designs. “Our aim is to support hoteliers by providing a luxury, ethical sleep solution. Our robust sustainable beds will appeal to consumers who’s environmental principles are increasingly driving their booking decisions.

“Through The Hospitality Origins Collection, we are continuing to champion sustainable, ethically sourced British materials and working with partners including Red Tractor Food and Farming Standards to ensure high levels of animal welfare and land management. The collection ensures that every part of the supply chain is accounted for ensuring that everything from the farm to the factory floor is as sustainable as it possibly can be.”

Hypnos is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: Hypnos Contract Beds

An airy dining area inside One&Only Portonovi overlooking pool and sea

MINIVIEW: Inside the first One&Only resort in Europe

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
MINIVIEW: Inside the first One&Only resort in Europe

Perched on the dramatic Adriatic coastline, One&Only Portonovi marks the luxury hotel brand’s arrival in Europe. Inside, it weaves pristine mountain terrain and medieval history into a modern design, imagined by Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA). Editor Hamish Kilburn explores…

An airy dining area inside One&Only Portonovi overlooking pool and sea

Located in the charming village of Portonovi, on Montenegro’s stunning Adriatic coastline, One&Only’s first resort in Europe is an ultra-luxurious escape in a truly unique corner of the world. Its close proximity to the Montenegro’s town of Tivat and the historical city of Dubrovnik, Croatia, gave the interior designers at Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA) a plethora of sources of inspiration in order to create a meaningful sense of place inside the 113-key hotel.

Hotel Design | Exterior of One&Only Portonovi

Image credit: Rupert Peace

With architecture and initial concept design by Denniston Architects, HBA collaborated to craft the interiors and bring the space to life. Drawing inspiration from the regions stunning natural scenery and traditional monastic architecture, HBA creates an understated, modern design that celebrates the resort’s key asset – sweeping vistas of the fjord-like Boka Bay.

Being the design firm’s very first One&Only resort and HBA Singapore’s first project in Montenegro, particular care was taken to adapt to regional expectations in both design and process. Helping to bring this outstanding project to fruition were HBA’s design departments – Illuminate Lighting Design, CANVAS Art Consultants, HBA Graphics, and SOCIAL F+B – who together channeled the company’s core principle of championing local culture and tradition within a modern design that resonates with the global elite.

A breathtaking view of the idyllic Boka Bay instantly captures the gaze of guests when they enter the resort’s reception, giving a profound air of exclusivity and bliss to the space. An ambience of royalty exudes from the room with elements of monastic architectural heritage. Barrel vaulted ceilings in a shimmering platinum tone finished with wood marquetry encompass the space, along with aged, tumbled stone walls and floors. Two oversized hearths flank the attached lobby lounge, completing the traditional castle aesthetic.

A high-ceilinged marble lobby with leather furniture

Image credit: Rupert Peace (styled by Florence Rolfe)

This medieval feel is woven into a contemporary tapestry with modern European decorations, detailing and contemporary artwork, adding soft touches of playfulness to offset the formality. Above the heads of guests as they enter hangs an opulent canopy of hand-blown glass in smokey, amber tones fixed to a frame of intertwining branches forming the shape of a mimosa tree, from which Montenegro’s eponymous national flower sprouts. This nod to regional culture is repeated in the drapery that dramatically frames the vistas of the bay, with a mimosa-inspired floral motif and asymmetrical layering of sheers adding a sense of theatre. At the centre beneath the canopy of mimosa lighting sits a striking boulder sculpture crafted in likeness of the region’s dramatic topography of jagged cliff edges and jutting rocks.

From the reception, guests can venture over to Caminetti, the resort’s intimate bar to relax in its comfortable and luxurious surroundings. Drinks are ordered from a burnt terracotta bar upholstered in leather furnishings and enjoyed in comfortable seating surrounded by natural walnut millwork and stained wood furniture. The space channels the grandeur of the lobby area with grigio marble floors surrounded by columns cladded in backlit art depicting a forest scene. Warmth is diffused through the cool grey colour palette with copper tones and a grey shagreen leather in the fireplaces, Maya Romanoff wood marquetry wall coverings and accents of antique brass. 

A modern luxury bar inside One&Only Portonovi

Image credit: Rupert Peace (styled by Florence Rolfe)

Moving on from the lobby, guests continue on an artistic journey across the rugged landscape of Montenegro; while waiting in the lift lobby, they can busy themselves by admiring the dramatic artwork depicting a hiker trekking through the majestic cliffs and mountain ranges that sit at the resort’s doorstep.

Exuding a sense of residential welcome, One&Only Portonovi’s beautiful guestrooms offer a luxurious home-away-from-home experience. A cozy and romantic ambience is communicated through a warm colour scheme of natural wood flooring and millwork with strokes of grey and burnished bronze.

Each room is fitted with fireplace that straddles the bedroom for an added air of opulence. Windows designed to maximise the mesmerising views of the bay serve to unify the indoor and outdoor spaces, fostering an open, exhilarating feeling. In the bathroom, no effort has been spared to encourage relaxation: an extended lounge space homes a comfortable window-side daybed and central chaise lounge. But the true element of surprise and awe lies within the daybed, which, upon request, can be magically converted into a couples’ tub, designed to face the blissful panorama of shimmering Adriatic waters.

Bathroom inside One&Only Portonovi that overlooks sea and mountains

Image credit: Rupert Peace (styled by Florence Rolfe)

The resort shelters various destination restaurants, which together offer a wealth of choice in cuisine, style, and experience. La Verandah serves up a delicious menu of traditional Montenegrin dishes for both buffet and a la carte settings. To emulate the relaxed and open atmosphere of this dining concept, the design adopts a crisp, Mediterranean colour scheme, with dark indigo blue textures and lacquered panels juxtaposed with antique bronze detailing in the light fixtures. The laser-cut grey Carrara marble tiles lining the floors bring to mind the rich stone patterns seen in traditional regional architecture. Surrounding the tables, seats woven in alternating dove-grey fabric and deep caramel and chocolate leather upholstering are arranged.

For a taste from the other side of the Adriatic Sea, guests can indulge in the refined Italian flavours offered at Sabia, a restaurant headed by renowned Michelin-starred chef, Giorgio Locatelli. The interiors were designed by SOCIAL F+B, an HBA department, in collaboration with the celebrity chef, who chose a light, fresh colour palette with warm sand tones to reflect the elegant, modern menu. The neutrals used throughout the space are accentuated with accents of seafoam blues and dove greys. A colourful light fixture hanging above the bar features hand-blown glass containing grains of sand, conjuring up images of a warm day at the seaside.

SOCIAL F+B was further tasked with the design of the innovative pan-Asian fusion restaurant Tapasake Club, a space exuding an atmosphere as lively and exciting as its cuisine. Concrete flooring is marbled with meandering metal inlay, mimicking the craquelure of ‘wabi-sabi’, a traditional Japanese aesthetic that celebrates beauty in imperfection. A warm and luxurious feel is cultivated through the use of artisanal bronze and dark mahogany detailing on the raked spatulata plaster ceiling and naked red brickwork in the walls. Complementing this golden, autumnal colour palette are neutral fabrics with olive and orange accents and ombre aqua sheer wall partitioning separating the dining tables. Behind the live edge wood bar counter are a row of amber glass display shelves showcasing the intriguing choice of liquors on offer.

A luxury suite with balcony that overlooks sea

Image credit: Rupert Peace (styled by Florence Rolfe)

Completing the wellness experience, the Chenot Espace is a world-renowned health and wellness centre within the resort. The spa area features silver travertine marble walls with a honed finish and washed grey oak floors, along with a burnt orange and grey fabric scheme.

Hotel Design | Arches inside a luxury spa and pool area

Image credit: Rupert Peace (styled by Florence Rolfe)

From the spa’s lavish hammam baths, tiled with a shimmering gold mosaic framed by traditional Turkish stone, to the expansive indoor pool and a room crafted from grigio marble walls and dark grey non-slip simulated stone tiles accented with copper and antique bronze details, this area has been designed, utilising the senses, to take wellness to the extreme. A spray of sunset tones in the glass mosaic surrounding the pool light niches casts a warm shimmering aura through the water. 

> Since you’re here, why not read about One&Only Mandarina?

The arrival of One&Only in Portonovi was described by the team at HBA as a ‘labour of love’. As a result of deep research and development mixed together with intuitive design that speaks the local language, the designers have created a timeless escape that carries the One&Only brand into new territories.

Main image credit: Rupert Peace (styled by Florence Rolfe)

Hamish Kilburn, Marie Soliman, Tom Middleton and Mark Bruce on stage at Independent Hotel Show

Show review: Independent Hotel Show 2021

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Show review: Independent Hotel Show 2021

Following 18 months of uncertainty, the Independent Hotel Show 2021 did what it does best; it brought people back together to re-connect, re-think and re-consider what the future for the indy hotel looks like. Editor Hamish Kilburn, speaker at the show, was there to soak it all in…

Hamish Kilburn, Marie Soliman, Tom Middleton and Mark Bruce on stage at Independent Hotel Show

Leading figures on the UK independent hospitality scene emerged from their bunkers this week to attend the Independent Hotel Show 2021. Exhibitors and visitors alike were not quite sure what to expect when they entered the doors of Olympia London after a year of empty lobbies followed by the double-blow of staff shortages in the wake of Brexit. But once in the hall, with natural Autumn light flooding into the arena, familiar and friendly faces started to appear and harmony was restored.

The highly anticipated show, which like all trade events last year was forced to find virtual alternative routes to keep the industry reconnected during lockdown, was on a mission this year, it seemed, to cut through the noise in order to shelter meaningful conversations that packed a punch and allowed the live audience (a novelty that no moderator took for granted) to explore topics from a slightly different perspective.

Among the 200 carefully curated hotel suppliers at the event, there were a number of exciting new launches on the show floor including a range of innovative technology services.

Clockwork Marketing unveiled its new DIY marketing suite GuestNet; eviivo announced a number of new digital partners, expanding the platform’s range of bespoke offerings for hoteliers; FCS announced the European launch of its latest application FCS1 – an all-in-one web and mobile solution that elevates the way hotels can run operations, and TigerTMS launched iPortal – an affordable, app-less solution which provides branded hotel information, services and guest engagement by scanning a QR-code.

The event also hosted the UK debut of the Cloudbeds Hospitality Platform, which offers independent hoteliers greater efficiencies in bookings, payments and accounting, channel management, marketing and more.

Innovation on display

The Innovation Stage, in partnership with eviivo and dressed by sofa.com, was elevated by an eight-metre-wide mural created especially by art studio Aster Muro, highlighting a continued commitment to integrating art and design into the fabric of the event.

The Innovation Stage’s extensive seminar programme saw packed sessions across the two days of the show and covered subjects including the evolution of sensory hotel design, the effective use of customer data, tackling recruitment and retention challenges and much more.

Hotel Designs’ first panel discussion on sensory design, with interior designer Marie Soliman, architect Mark Bruce and sound expert Tom Middleton, struck a chord with hoteliers who used the session to understand how they could set themselves aside from other hotels by taking a three-dimensional look at their design and hospitality in one. What made the topic particularly exciting was that the panel themselves were currently in early stages of using new sensory ways to elevate guest experience in the hotel projects they are working on.

Hamish Kilburn, Marie Soliman, Tom Middleton and Mark Bruce on stage at Independent Hotel Show

Image credit: Independent Hotel Show

Gareth Banner, Managing Director of The Ned and panellist on ‘The Membership Model: Creating A Lifestyle Brand session, commented: “It’s great to be back at a live event after so long. When you’re in the hospitality business there’s no substitute for being with people, whether that’s customers, vendors or industry colleagues, and it’s very encouraging to see such good numbers here.”

The show’s Social Business Space, designed by Aorta, hosted a number of campfire-style sessions during the event, allowing guests to network with and learn from their peers in an intimate, informal and productive environment and covering topics such as hotel marketing, staffing challenges, kickstarting city hotels and retaining domestic tourists.

Peter Hancock FIH MI, outgoing Pride of Britain Hotels Chief Executive and Independent Hotel Show Ambassador, commented: “Such a delight to find the Independent Hotel Show back in business after our prolonged period of forced hibernation. I’m thrilled by how many people have come here and how excited they are about mixing with other hoteliers, learning from each other and learning from the experts that we’ve brought into the show.”  

Celebrating success

Monday October 4 ended with a joyous industry celebration, as guests celebrated the return of face-to-face events and the reconnection of the hotel community. The evening’s festivities kicked off with the celebration of the Good Hotel Guide’s ten Cesar Award winners. The Independent Hotel Show Awards were announced, with Joanne Taylor-Stagg FIH MI, General Manager of The Athenaeum Hotel & Residences securing Independent Hotelier and Anna Sirba, Operations Manager at Salcombe Harbour Hotel, awarded GM of the Future, in partnership with The Master Innholders.

Juris Dubrovskis, Executive Housekeeper at The Athenaeum Hotel & Residences, was additionally named ‘One to Watch’ by the judges, for his ‘tenacity, drive and passion for hospitality’. The evening concluded with a surprise additional award for industry veteran Peter Hancock, as he was given Outstanding Contribution for his lifetime’s work in the hospitality industry.

The morning of Tuesday October 5 saw The Power Breakfast hosted by Freemotion from iFIT, an exclusive morning session which welcomed independent hoteliers to hear renowned restaurant critics Fay Maschler and David Ellis discuss what goes into creating an exceptional hotel restaurant experience and taking a deep dive into modern restaurant trends and challenges.

Serena von der Heyde, Owner of Georgian House Hotel & Victoria House Hotel, commented: “I loved the show. I thought the panel discussions were the best and most relevant that they’ve ever been. The Power Breakfast discussion was brilliant – informative and funny. Missing a year has reinforced my belief that the Independent Hotel Show is the most important event in my calendar.”

Seminar at Independent Hotel Show

Image credit: Independent Hotel Show

Both the Social Business Space and The Suite were designed by Aorta, led by Managing Director Frida Rush, with both spaces featuring salvaged architectural materials, bespoke furniture and unique interior finishes, enveloped by the grand industrial presence of Olympia London.

During the event, organiser Montgomery Group announced the launch of new digital platform IH Connects, a free resource for hoteliers to source new suppliers and keep up to date with industry thought leadership, webinars, research and more. The platform will host on-demand seminar content from the two days of the show and will continue to host innovative sessions and vital industry debates throughout the year.

The Independent Hotel Show will return to Olympia London on October 4 – 5 2022 for its 10th edition.

Main image credit: Independent Hotel Show

Hotel Designs | A pastel pink bathroom - Crosswater Infinity furniture

Infinite bathroom furniture ideas from Crosswater

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Infinite bathroom furniture ideas from Crosswater

Infinity, Crosswater’s new bathroom furniture collection, is focused on client customisation. Seamlessly blending practicality and functionality, the new range gives interior freedom with plenty of design possibilities, as bathrooms become much more than just practical spaces

Hotel Designs | A pastel pink bathroom - Crosswater Infinity furniture

Modular, smart, and stylish, Infinity is a wall hung storage collection that provides the ‘perfect bathroom furniture collection’ by  Crosswater. Whether clients want optimal organisation, exposed shelving, or luxe coverings to conceal endless clutter, Infinity boasts an extensive number of design combinations that result in beautifully bespoke cabinetry at an off-the-shelf price.

The Infinity design journey is surprisingly simple, requiring just four steps:

Step one: Choose your base

Available in matt white, windsor oak, matt black, storm grey matt, and white gloss, the Infinity vanity unit comes in six sizes, ranging from 500mm to 1400mm. Each size unit has a specific configuration, providing a different combination of drawer units and shelving units.

These combinations allow customers to choose a unit that will best suit their bathroom needs or desired aesthetic, whether that’s prioritising drawers to hide skincare essentials or opting for more exposed shelves to display decorative accessories. There is also the option of a pull-out drawer, a great choice for those wanting quick and easy access to every inch of storage space.

Step two: Pick your worktop

Calm neutral colours in modern bathroomThere are six worktop sizes available that match any base unit configuration. With a choice of three colours, carrara marble effect, polar white, and windsor oak, each worktop is crafted from a hard-wearing solid surface material that is easy to clean and impenetrable to dust, dirt, and bacteria.

Step three: Select your handles

Four handle finishes are on offer, including chrome, matt black, brushed brass, and brushed stainless steel. In addition to complementing the contemporary bathroom unit, these handle finishes will perfectly match Crosswater’s extensive brassware options.

Step four: Finish with a tile front

Image credit: Crosswater

Available in three finishes, carrara marble effect, marquina marble effect, and cement effect, the tile front is the showpiece of the Infinity unit. Designed to replicate natural materials for a truly authentic aesthetic, each tile varies slightly in its tone, pattern, and colour. For the indecisive shopper, Crosswater recommends investing in all three tile fronts, enabling a quick and simple design update whenever the bathroom needs a refresh.

> Since you’re here, why not read about the Artist collection from Crosswater? 

Crosswater, Headline Sponsor of The Brit List Awards 2021, is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: Crosswater

Hotel Designs | A mint and soft pink tonal tiles in the kitchen

Surface design trend: Tonal tiles in all shapes & sizes

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Surface design trend: Tonal tiles in all shapes & sizes