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Weekly briefing: a London opening & the ‘new normal’ of luxe design

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Weekly briefing: a London opening & the ‘new normal’ of luxe design

Only got a minute? Our editorial team have compiled the top design stories that they have published this week, including a roundtable that targets health and wellness and luxury designers’ predictions of the ‘new normal’…

What has become clear in recent weeks is that even with the best will in the world, we are yet to find many of the answers we require in order to design in a post-pandemic world. However, beneath this week’s Hotel Designs headlines, we have spoken to leading designers, architects and hotel experts to understand what we do know. Here is our ‘editor’s pick’ of the juiciest stories covered this week.

How luxury hospitality designers are adapting to the ‘new normal’

Image credit: The Mitre, Hampton Court

To cut through the noise, Hotel Designs has teamed up with J Public Relations to ask how designers Rosendale DesignNicola HardingGoddard Littlefair and David Collins Studio are adapting to meet new demands from travellers.

One thing that has become apparent as we stand in the eye of the pandemic storm is that no one yet has all the answers. From the number of panel discussions I have hosted recently, I have learned that designers, architects and hoteliers are adapting daily to new developments in the Covid-19 crisis, which is somewhat impossible when designing hotels that will open years from now.

Click here to read more.

Virtual Roundtable: health & wellbeing in hospitality and hotel design

With a question mark on what the future of health and wellbeing will look like in tomorrow’s hotel, editor Hamish Kilburn, in collaboration with HDR | Hurley Palmer Flatt, asks industry’s experts to decipher what’s fact and what’s myth when predicting tomorrow’s wellness scene.

Click here to read more.

You have until 10am (BST) on Monday to secure your tickets to Hotel Design LIVE

In order to continue to start creative conversations like no other, Hotel Designs has launched Hotel Designs LIVE, a one-day virtual conference to serve the industry during and after the Covid-19 crisis.

Click here to participate.

Fairfield by Marriott doubles its footprint in Japan

Image credit: Marriott International

Marriott International has announced the planned openings of eight new Fairfield by Marriott properties in Japan, highlighting a vast expansion that more than doubles the size of the brand in the country.

Click here to read more.

Parkside Tiles adds lavish colour to Arabescato

A bold and lavish take on Arabescato marble, Pulp is the latest porcelain wall and floor tile collection from design-led tile specification brand, Parkside.

Click here to read more.

Weekly briefing: A sensational shortlist & the secret to a good night’s sleep

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Weekly briefing: A sensational shortlist & the secret to a good night’s sleep

Only got a minute? Our editorial team have compiled the top design stories that they have published this week, including the shortlist of The Brit List Awards 2020 and an exclusive interview with designer Lisa Haude about tomorrow’s design challenges…

With the industry re-strategising following further constrictions to social distancing, we appreciate that you may not have time to read all the content that Hotel Designs has published this week. Therefore, here is our ‘editor’s pick’ of the juiciest stories that have been covered this week.

EXCLUSIVE: Shortlist unveiled for The Brit List 2020 

This year, more than 120 individuals and projects were selected across eight categories. The winners will be announced at the virtual award ceremony on November 12. Now in its fourth year, The Brit List Awards is Hotel Designs’ the nationwide search to find the most influential designers, architects, hoteliers and suppliers operating in Britain.

Click here to read the story | Click here to secure your seats in the audience at the virtual awards ceremony.

1 in 3 Brits want to replace shower with modern system, survey reveals

A survey carried out by GROHE has revealed British showering behaviours and consumer attitudes towards their bathroom. As indicated in the debut broadcast of Hotel Designs LIVE, bathroom and wellness demands have shifted as we look ahead towards a post-pandemic world.

Read more.

In Conversation With: interior designer Lisa Haude

A storyteller in her own right, designer Lisa Haude creates one-of-a-kind spaces that breathe a new level of authenticity into the projects she touches. Working predominantly with the larger brands, such Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts and Marriott International, Haude’s style is to celebrate the history of each hotel’s destination, which is channeled through an meaningful design narrative that is sheltered inside each project. 

Read more.

Bathroom goals: when sustainability meets design

Sustainability meets design in Austria’s Winzendorf-Muthmannsdorf municipality. Surrounded by grapevines, and set on a sloping plot of around 1,600 square metres, is a detached house in harmony with nature. The distinctive and nature-loving architecture is in evidence outside, in the form of the charred larch cladding used on the façade. The client requested elegance and eco-conscious design everywhere, including the bathroom.

Read more.

New speakers announced for Hotel Designs LIVE

Calling all designers, architects, hoteliers and developers: you can secure your complimentary seats in the audience for Hotel Designs LIVE, which takes place on October 13, by clicking here

Industry insight: a special sleep experience during Covid

Chris Ward, Group Marketing Director at Hypnos Contract Beds, looks at how in addition to having Covid-compliant practices, hotels can offer a more discernible experience to guests by providing premium experiences that have sustainability at their heart.

Read more.

HIX announces postponement of debut event

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
HIX announces postponement of debut event

As a result of the uncertainty that remains in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis, HIX has made the decision to postpone its debut event until 2021…

2020 has been a painful and frustrating year for the events industry. Within the realms of hotel design, Salone del Mobile, the Independent Hotel Show, Clerkenwell Design Week and Hotel Designs’ much-loved networking events have all been indirect victims to the virus.

While the pandemic continues to force travellers from certain regions to quarantine and while businesses are encouraged to adapt to new social distancing guidelines as measures to prevent Covid-19’s spread tighten once more, there is heavy sense of uncertainty in the air. HIX, an ever-changing design experience that was expected with high anticipation to launch this year, has released an official statement announcing that it will postpone the debut event until November 2021.

“We made this decision based on uncontrollable factors but just one question: ‘can we guarantee a brilliant HIX experience this year?’ – HIX.

“It hurts to write the above statement because we are still buzzing from our launch and [we] feel a huge sense of gratitude for your support in making HIX London’s only hotel design event… all in the space of six months,” the event organisers expressed in the statement. “We made this decision based on uncontrollable factors but just one question: ‘can we guarantee a brilliant HIX experience this year?’ The potential implications of the uncontrollables made it impossible to answer that question with a confident ‘yes we can!’

“So we made the call; despite our own sense of adventurous optimism, despite the Government announcement for events to go ahead from October and despite our exhibitor’s consensus view of ‘if you guys open this year then we’ll do it with you‘.

“And this brings us to the good news. The HIX 2020 exhibitors have pledged their support for 2021 and with 15 months before the event, we have already allocated most of the stand spaces. So we now have the time and clarity to reflect, discuss, sketch and then create the hotel design experience that the community deserves.

“At this point in the announcement we’re supposed to provide a polished and sensible quote from us, ‘the organiser’. But we reckon that Anand from Hansgrohe summed it up pretty well on a zoom call this week:‘It’s sad not do it this year, but we’ll all build HIX 2021 to be something credible, meaningful and something for the future’. That’s exactly what we would have tried to say. Thank you Anand.”

HIX, which is fully supported by Hotel Designs, is now scheduled to take place at the same venue, sheltered inside London’s Business Design Centre, on November 18 – 19, 2021. Watch this space, we’re with HIX.

Main image credit: HIX

Elivi Skiathos to unveil new rooms and suites

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Elivi Skiathos to unveil new rooms and suites

Elivi Skiathos has announced that 56 Grace Rooms and Suites, three new restaurants, and a Kid’s Club will be added to the hotel in time for season opening on April 26, 2019…

Opened for the first time last year in June, the father-and-daughter-run luxury hotel is building on the success of its first season by expanding its accommodation offerings.

Elivi Skiathos is comprised of three separate areas, ELIVI Xenia Hotel in the main area of the resort, ELIVI Nest Rooms, Villas and Suites elegantly spread among olive groves, and, as of 2019, 67 secluded ELIVI Grace Rooms & Suites set on the beach.

The Grace area of the hotel will grow from 11 rooms to 67. The elegant, new Double Supreme Deluxe Rooms and Junior Suites will boast either long balconies, hot tubs or private plunge pools.

The hotel, which is perched on a hilltop on the Pounta Peninsula overlooking the Aegean Sea, was developed in collaboration between the family and Vivi Nathanailidi. The property is surrounded by an area of natural beauty beside a wildlife refuge, forest and lagoon – and roaming black swans – which became a large reference in the interior design as well as the branding of the hotel.

“A new beach bar will also take its bar offering up to seven.”

ELIVI Skiathos will also grow its food offering to five restaurants: fine-dining restaurant Leda & The Swan; Hagoromo Sushi Bar and Asian restaurant; the cosy Nest Greek Fish Restaurant serving traditional, fresh Greek seafood and meze; Grace Restaurant serving Mediterranean and Italian cuisine; Nest Breakfast Restaurant reserved exclusive for guests of the Nest area of the hotel. A new beach bar will also take its bar offering up to seven.

With families being a key market for Elivi Skiathos, the hotel is also pleased to introduce a Kid’s Club for 2019 with more details coming soon.

Two outdoor swimming pools on either side of resort stretch into the glistening Aegean Sea below and four of the most picturesque white-sand beaches on Skiathos are all within walking distance, offering mattress thick sunbeds and beach waiter service.

Main image credit: Elivi Skiathos

Michael Young and Woven Image create an acoustic Muse

800 400 Hamish Kilburn

Woven Image has collaborated with world renowned industrial designer Michael Young on a new range of acoustic wall panels. Notable for their extraordinary patterns that feature contrasting colour prints as well as subtle tone-on-tone colours and pearlescent ink, the Muse range is perfect for seamless floor-to-ceiling applications in commercial interiors.

The collection comes in three designs: Muse Fluid evokes the movement of the ocean and is available is five colourways (Ice, Ivory, Goldeneye, Lavender and Emerald); Muse Cloudy is based around a series of varying dots that converge to produce a ‘cloud-like’ effect and contains three options (Sandstone, Starlight and Foam); finally the cross-hatch style design Muse Mineral can be specified in two different versions (Calcite and Steel).

The panels, which are 1180mm x 2800mm high untrimmed, are manufactured from PET, 68 per cent of which has been recycled. They aim to reduce reverberated noise in commercial spaces – achieving a Noise Reduction Coefficient rating of 0.30 (no air gap) and up to 0.75 (with 50mm air gap).

According to Young, his studio brought a very particular sensibility to the product. “I believe these designs are genuinely cutting edge,” he explains. “It seems to me that an industrial design office is going to take a different approach to creating a pattern than an artist or even a graphic designer,” he said. “We created the aesthetic for Muse Fluid, Cloudy and Mineral using a software program called Grasshopper. By setting up an animated algorithm we generated a changing two-dimensional pattern and freed the animation at a particular point to build the final image. In other words, we are not creating conceptual decoration but technical decoration. The finished results look wonderfully mathematical.”

Top stories of 2018 – editor’s round-up

598 368 Hamish Kilburn

With more than half a million viewers this year in 2018, Hotel Designs has enjoyed a fantastic 12 months of exclusive stories, features, events and some rather spectacular hotel reviews. Here, the editor of Hotel Designs, Hamish Kilburn, runs us through the top nine articles of 2018…

The age-old saying goes: “Out with the old and in with the new” – and it has never felt more appropriate than it does in this moment as I sit down to write this significant write-up. Our industry is dominated by major shifts in trends and opinions, many of which were created in the number events that we were proudly media partners of this year. Therefore, we, the leading international hotel design website, must continue to remain relevant with our content, while showing that we are ahead of the curve in our own design – everything is about to change. For the minute, though – before we launch our new logo and fabulous website designed to be as visual and interactive as our readers themselves are – let’s take a moment to reflect on what a cracking year 2018 turned out to be.

Since joining the company as editor in May 2018, I have had many overwhelming moments. The first came just weeks into my role when I was whisked up to the stunning Scottish Perthshire countryside to review the mighty Gleneagles. The ‘am I dreaming moment’ came shortly after our excursion up the mountains in 4x4s. Taking in the tremendous scenes that stretched over the horizon, I heard a faint ambiance of buzzing that become louder as a helicopter appeared from the clouds. It hovered for a moment and began its descent. “This is your ride back to the hotel,” said our very helpful PR manager looking rather smug with herself – talk about setting standards as embarked on my editorship.

Another experience that remains etched into my memory is my time at London Design Festival 2018. I will never forget surviving on four hours sleep per night (something I have become accustomed to in my role here) in order to be at every major launch at every event (and after-party). Meeting the leaders and visionaries of our industry is all the thanks we require, as it allows us to be at the core of the hotel design world.

One other unforgettable breakthrough of the year was introducing, for the first time, interactive hotel reviews. Working with ACT Studios has allowed us to give our audience a truly immersive experience when reading our reviews, allowing them to find out exactly which products are in each guestroom and suite and where to purchase them.

The year continued with more exclusive features with international leading profiles from the likes of CEO of Meliá Hotels International, Gabriel Escarrer Jaume, the new Managing Director of WATG, Martin Pease, the Managing Director (EMEA) of Wyndham Hotels, Dimitris Manikis, Creative Director of HBA London, Constantina Tsoutsikou and the Principal of Richmond International, Fiona Thompson, who was also our headline speaker at our inaugural Meet Up North.

And so, as with all good things in life, we come to the end of 2018, but not before remembering our top stories of the year as we are on the cusp of welcoming in a new era in Hotel Designs

1) IHG launches voco, a new upscale hotel brand

Topping the Hotel Designs viewing charts is IHG. I was thrilled to have been one of four journalists who were invited to the exclusive launch of the new brand, where I learnt all about the significance of three logos (finch, owl and flamingo).

Just months after, the hotel brand unveiled their first hotel and it was located in the Gold Coast.

2) Elivi Skiathos to open June 2018

Family-owned five-star hotel will offering private pools, a sea-facing four-bedroom villa, spa and panoramic views.

The Elivi Skiathos Hotel, owned and developed by father and daughter team Elias and Vivi Nathanailidi, opened in June 2018 and marked the first hospitality venture by Elivi Hotels.

The 213,000m² hotel is surrounded by a wildlife refuge and offers direct access to four beaches in Skiathos: Koukounaries, Ambelakia, Banana and Little Banana Beach.

Elivi Skiathos features modern, spacious rooms and suites only a few steps away from the shore, with private pools and courtyards integrated into the area’s existing natural features and walking paths bordered by forests of olive and pine trees.

3) Editor’s round-up of London Design Festival 

Ten design districts, nine days, eight talks, seven parties, six after parties, five exhibitions, four hours sleep between each day, three fabulous media partners, two tired legs and ONE city. This year, an estimated number of more than 450,000 designers, architects and creatives from more than 75 countries visited the 16th edition of London Design Festival – and what a way to remind the world of London’s position as one of the best design hubs in the world than with the installation of a fifth lion protecting the city’s landmark Neslon’s Column in Trafalgar Square. We were ready to hear London Design Festival roar, and with two days still remaining, that roar can still be heard echoing in an around the city.

4) Checking in to Gleneageles, Scotland

Positioned in 344 hectares of land, under Perthshire’s Ochil Hills, is a Scottish jewel. The ever-majestic Gleneaglesfirst soared to be a natural star in the spotlight when it first opened its grand doors in 1924. Its ‘cutting of the ribbon’ was celebrated with Scotland’s first ever outside broadcast, and these moments of the hotel’s many milestones can be found injected into the fabrics of many pockets of the today’s Gleneagles. The hotel’s general manager, Conor O’Leary, was recently awarded ‘Innovation in Design – Hotelier of the Year’ at The Brit List 2018.

5) IN CONVERSATION WITH: Ronald Homsy, CEO and co-founder, Utopian Hotel Collection

In a quiet café just off London’s Sloane Square, which is a pleasant experience itself, something amazing is happening: I am about to meet one of the men behind a new hotel collection that inspires through one-off experiences. The sharp-looking businessman approaches my table and takes off his tailored blazer and rolls up his sleeves to shake my hand, which breaks down all formal barriers. The CEO and co-founder of Utopian Hotel Collection, Ronald Homsy, sits down comfortably and starts to share what I can tell has been a driving passion of his for years.

6) Meet Up North took networking in the North to new heights

More than 200 of the industry’s leaders and visionaries from within the hotel design gathered on the terrace of King Street Townhouse in Manchester for the first ever Meet Up North on July 18, 2018.

Sponsored by Marca Corona, the event, which boasted an unparalleled perspective of the Manchester sunset, welcomed hoteliers, architects, interior designers and key-industry suppliers.

7) Checking in to Hotel Gotham, Manchester’s decadent playground

This year, we sent Hotel Designs interactive by launching our ever-so-popular hotel reviews. The second interactive hotel review (the first can be read here) is Hotel Gotham. Ever since its bold entrance onto the unapologetically loud Manchester scene in 2015, Hotel Gotham’s alluring charm has tantalised many senses of those who have passed through its spectacularly framed automatic doors. I, for one, am one of them, and I hold my hands up proudly to say that I have formed a lust for decadence and luxury since checking in.

8) Chelsom Lighting launches Edition 26

Tapered perforated metal shades, brushed brass rings and even glass icicles were some of the focal trends that were unveiled at Recommended Supplier Chelsom Lighting’s launch of Edition 26 in May 2018.

Two years since the launch of Edition 25, leading designers, procurement experts and friends of the firm gathered at One Marylebone in central London to celebrate the awaited unveiling of the collection.

9) Oscar Wilde’s grandson opens first Wilde Aparthotel in London

Merlin Holland, the only grandson of famous Irish playwright and poet Oscar Wilde, was the guest of honour at the official opening of Staycity Group’s Wilde Aparthotels London [Photograph (from left to right): Jason Delany, Director of Brand, Product & Marketing; Merlin Holland; Tom Walsh, CEO; Keith Freeman, COO; Atul Prakash, GM].

Terror attack advice for holidaymakers

Police release hotel terror attack advice video for holidaymakers

1000 500 Daniel Fountain

The UK’s Counter Terrorism Police force has released a video, which advises holidaymakers on what to do in the event of a terror attack at a resort.

The four-minute video was made in association with the Foreign Office and Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) and depicts an incident at a hotel, describing how to stay safe in such an event.

In the video, holidaymakers are reassured that while the chances of becoming a victim in a terror attack remain ‘extremely rare’, the new approach encourages everyone to be prepared ‘should the worst happen’.

The Run, Hide, Tell message was first introduced in 2015 following the terror attacks in Paris in December. It has now been re-issued by the police in answer to the incident at London Borough Market.

Some 30 British tourists were among 38 people killed when a gunman attacked a Tunisian beach resort in June 2015.

Counter terrorism officials said there is currently no intelligence suggesting Britons will be targeted this summer, but that the film is part of a general awareness campaign.

The video advises:
– Run
If there is a safe route, run. Insist others go with you, but do not let their indecision slow you down. Leave belongings behind
– Hide
If you cannot run, hide. Be aware of your exits. Find cover from gunfire and try not to get trapped. Barricade yourself in and stay away from doors.
– Tell
Call the police as soon as it is safe. Tell them where the attack is happening, where you are and how many attackers you saw.