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MINIVIEW: The Holiday Inn London – Heathrow M4, Jct.4

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Taking the next junction in modern hotel design, the design team at IHG has recently unveiled new interiors at The Holiday Inn London – Heathrow M4, Jct.4…

The days of the The Holiday Inn brand being perceived as a cheap and rather basic night away are long gone, as IHG has unveiled a new design era in the brand’s history which begins on the fringes of London Heathrow airport.

Complete with a open lobby, flexible work stations and dynamic interiors throughout with a strong focus on contemporary art outside the frame, The Holiday Inn London – Heathrow M4, Jct.4 has pulled off a significant refurbishment to the public spaces, revolutionising the guest experience from check in through to check out.

A modern styled room with accents of blue and cosy seating throughout

The refurbishment followed the news that LGH Hotels Management Ltd, which owns and manages a portfolio of Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza hotels across the UK, announced a multi-million-pound refurbishment plan across their properties, starting with the Holiday Inn London – Heathrow M4, Jct.4.

The new open lobby transforms how guests eat, drink, work, meet and socialise by providing one cohesive space to fit their individual lifestyles. The redesigned space merges the reception, lounge, bar and restaurant to create one relaxed and multi-faceted area with no barriers, so that guests can blend work and leisure instinctively, which has already received rave reviews from guests and visitors.

A mixture of leveled seating with a TV on the right hand side. Modern public areasOmar Nicholls, Development Director for LGH Hotels Management Ltd, was tasked to oversee and execute the refurbishment plans for the hotel and has worked closely with external design agency Design Coalition to achieve the new Holiday Inn open lobby concept.“Our main goal with the open lobby design was to create a space that feels familiar, like an extension of home, and has a logical flow so guests can truly relax and utilise each corner in a way that makes sense to them and accommodates all of their work and relaxation needs,” he explains.

Designed to reflect a laid-back living room, guests find comfort in the furniture that feature appropriately placed charging units. The new dining area in the lobby is now a flexible and informal space with a range of high and low tables and booths to suit everyone, be it a working lunch or relaxed group meal.

The open lobby concept is unique to The Holiday Inn brand and will be extended to properties across Europe to become a brand-defining feature.


How can hotel design help achieve a great night’s sleep?

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Health expert Ali Howe awakens how thoughtful hotel design can lead to a better night sleep for both your business as well as your guests…

Around 60 million Americans are affected by sleeping disorders every year, a fact which affects physical and mental wellbeing to varying degrees. Sleep deprivation is linked to daytime drowsiness and fatigue, but also to serious long-term illnesses such as heart disease, obesity, and Type 2 diabetes.

At the same time, the travel industry is continuing to grow exponentially. The Global Business Travel Association pegs the number of business trips taken annually in the US at 488 million, and that means that many people on the move are sleeping away from home. New environments are known to be added stressors when it comes to sleep. So, how can good design help clients enjoy a great night’s sleep, even when they are sleeping in a hotel for the first time?

Quality sleep is key

We know that the majority of people aren’t getting the recommended seven hours of sleep a night, yet research shows that we shouldn’t just be worrying about quantity, but also about quality. In order to feel truly refreshed when they wake up, people need to enjoy between 1.5 and 1.8 hours of deep sleep (or delta sleep) per night. Achieving good quality deep sleep depends on a number of factors, which the National Sleep Foundation lists as follows: sleeping at least 85 per cent of the time in a bed, falling asleep in half an hour or less, waking up no more than once a night, and spending no more than 20 minutes in wakefulness after initially falling asleep.

In contemporary hotels, gradient panel systems can work well to create total darkness

Let in the darkness

To improve delta sleep, complete darkness and quiet are key for most people. Hotel interior designers should therefore design rooms in such a way that natural light is allowed during the day but blocked out at night. In traditional or classical rooms, this can be achieved through blackout curtains. In contemporary hotels, gradient panel systems can work well to create total darkness. Gradient panel systems are motorised, with individual panels moving independently of each other thanks to a central axis pivot. They can be fully closed (to completely block light out) during the night, but they can rotate during the day to either let in direct sun or to provide interiors with indirect light. This savvy system works well in high-end hotels, since discerning clients can program the system themselves to adjust the amount of light entering to their desired preference.

Soundproofing guestrooms

One only needs to consult popular travellers’ forums to see one of the most frequent guest complaints is noise. When designing rooms, allow for the space reduction necessitated by soundproofing. The use of soundproofing boards (or laminated glass to dampen sound vibration of windows) can reduce external noise by around 95 per cent, which is great news for early sleepers – and those who are jet lagged – who are easily bothered by the sound of people talking in halls and in adjacent rooms.

When deciding on color schemes, avoid loud contrasts between walls, furniture and flooring

Calming hues

Shades of grey, blue, or green are known to create a calming effect. Studies have shown that these colors can reduce stress and anxiety, as well as make a room seem more expansive. When deciding on color schemes, avoid loud contrasts between walls, furniture and flooring, opting for complementary rather than contrasting color schemes. You don’t need to forego artistry. Hand-painted wallpapers or paint effects can still be used to add touches of creativity; just opt for muted rather than primary shades and consider the use of natural elements such as wood, which help instill a sense of tranquility.

For many people who already struggle to get a good night’s sleep, spending one or more nights at a hotel can be challenging, especially if light and noise are an issue. To balance the room’s interiors with human circadian rhythms, create spaces that are completely dark at night and ensure guests enjoy complete silence. Finally, create soothing ambiences and consider installation of sound systems that play ambient music, white noise, or sounds of nature, which many people find to be effective at reducing stress and anxiety.

Main image credit: Bruno van der Kraan | Unsplash

Modern living area

PGA Catalunya Resort announces new luxe villas

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Contemporary, luxe Mediterranean-style villas – elegantly designed for family living…

PGA Catalunya Resort is delighted to announce its latest luxe real estate offering – the development of six new four-bedroom contemporary Mediterranean-style villas, the L’Alzina Semi-Detached Villas. The Villas are currently for sale and will be completed from mid-2019.

The striking angular architecture and innovative design harmoniously combines luxury with nature.

Expertly designed by Barcelona-based architect Jaime Prous, the villas are ideally located in the south-west of the 300-hectare estate of PGA Catalunya Resort overlooking the 5th hole of the awardwinning Stadium Course, a spectacular golf course which is consistently ranked number one in Spain. The sweeping golf course views combine with bountiful forestry surroundings and a mountainous backdrop to create a feeling of being at one with nature.

modern bathroom

The four-bedroom villas feature open plan interiors designed with both practical family living and stylish entertaining in mind. Distributed across two levels, the smooth tiled floors in the communal living spaces contrast with oak wood floors in the bedrooms. Interiors are in relaxed shades of white and grey. Outside the private sun-filled terrace features a stylish barbecue area and leads onto a 21m2 private infinity pool.

The striking angular architecture and innovative design harmoniously combines luxury with nature. Aromatic plants on the interior patio combine with extensive floor to ceiling windows, connecting owners with the surrounding natural environment and blending the interior with the exterior, a key theme echoed throughout PGA Catalunya Resort.

Across an interior built surface of over 220 square metres, each property includes private parking, four bedrooms, three bathrooms and a guest bath. Other features inside the villas include a central floor heating, air conditioning and heating systems, in addition to a high quality kitchen designed by Bulthaup.

The addition of the L’Alzina Semi-Detached Villas follows PGA Catalunya Resort’s recent announcement of the development of 50 new three-bedroom luxury villas, the La Selva Terraced Villas, demonstrating the Resort’s continued commitment to offering secure, high-quality real estate investment opportunities as part of its overall Master Plan as a leading, next-generational resort and residential community for buyers and visitors.