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Duravit at the Louvre Abu Dhabi

Project Spotlight: Duravit at Louvre Abu Dhabi

1000 666 Daniel Fountain

Jean Nouvel has created an architectural wonder in the desert. It includes products by Duravit, designed by Philippe Starck.

A commission that was unusual even for the French star architect and Pritzker prize winner Jean Nouvel – the creation of the first all-purpose museum in the Arab world – and the first in the twenty-first century, a building that is intended to stand as a symbol for Abu Dhabi.

The Louvre Abu Dhabi was officially opened on 11 November 2017. The spectacular building on Saadiyat Island will show 300 objects on loan from thirteen leading museums in France. However, the greatest attraction is the building itself.

Duravit at Louvre Abu DhabiBetween modernity and tradition
The architecture is modern but timeless, incorporating elements from Abu Dhabi’s architectural tradition. Jean Nouvel took inspiration from an Arab medina (old town) to create a building whose domed metal roof weighs as much as the Eiffel Tower in Paris but is supported by just four columns – a technical feat that is also an aesthetic experience.

A total of fifty-five different buildings form a museum city on the island in the Gulf, covered by a huge steel roof with a diameter of 180 metres.

Passages and corridors wind their way through this cool white labyrinth, with steps up to the flat roofs of some of the building blocks to enable visitors to see the spectacular domed roof from close up. This unique design consists of almost 8,000 stars of different sizes and angles, superimposed in seven layers.

Like a roof made of overlapping palm leaves, this structure provides shade and protection from the hot desert sun. The effect is breathtaking: “It produces a poetic, almost magical rain of light,” says architect Jean Nouvel. At night the effect is reversed when the internally lit building shines like a miniature night sky.

In the white bathrooms the works of another French architect and designer are on show: Starck 1 toilets by Philippe Starck.
Copyright: © Danica O. Kus

Nouvel, Starck and Picasso
In the white bathrooms the works of another French architect and designer are on show: toilets by Philippe Starck, designed for Duravit. Starck was also inspired by tradition in his design of the toilet. The Starck 1 toilet recalls its historical predecessor, a bucket – interpreted in a completely new way, of course.

Jean Nouvel’s building occupies a site of almost 100,000 square metres, with 8,600 square metres of exhibition space, including 6,400 for the permanent exhibition and 2,000 for temporary exhibitions. The first exhibition will feature Leonardo da Vinci’s “La Belle Ferronnière”, a self-portrait by Vincent van Gogh and works by Pablo Picasso.

Images: ©Danica O. Kus

Project Spotlight: Sterling Studios in London

882 416 Daniel Fountain

Sterling Studios is a London-based specialist in sumptuous decorative surfaces working internationally. 

Walking around the main hubs of London such as Mayfair, Belgravia or Chelsea you would have no doubt been in close contact with Sterling Studios’ artistry.  The six-metered mottled antique silver-leafed mirrors, behind the bar at The London Edition Hotel for example.

Or perhaps the sapphire and emerald Rousseau-esque mural back painted glass at the International Services Department at Selfridges in Oxford Street.  Sterling Studios is London’s hidden artisan creating the finest pieces of wall art and interiors for many of London’s prestigious locations.

Clientele includes Graff Diamonds, 5 Hertford Street, Selfridges, Berners Tavern, The Arts Club and Sartoria.  The extravagant reception rooms at The Ritz (seen below) with hand-drawn panels and ceilings too.

Sterling StudiosSterling Studios delves into more detail than ever on the decorative surfaces front.  By decoration they can turn their hands to hand-painting, figurative imagery of flora and fauna as well as textural finishes.  Hand-finished artisanal decoration can be applied to leather, canvas, resin, metal and, their speciality, glass – including gilded verre églomisé and hand-oxidised antique mirror finishes that can span internal doors, whole walls and even entire rooms.   Glass wall-finish account for much of the company’s work, from cast glass inspired by the creations of Renè Lalique.

This hand-artistry is incredibly hand-detailed, gilded, glass and papered wall panels have just been installed in a Middle Eastern dining room, artistry of this scale and project took the best part of a year to complete.

Old-age techniques harnessed especially for palaces are used to create contemporary materials and spectacular finishes.  The hand-created wall finishes range from jewel-like metals and resins, embellished glass, gesso and leather.  Wall art can be commissioned by interior designers and venues to create modern and classical finishes.  Sterling Studio’s has worked hand in hand with many top interior designers including Alidad, Joanna Wood, Todhunter Earle, Terence Disdale, Sagrada, Nicholas Haslam and Anna Owens.

Based in a large 10,000 sq ft artist studio in West London, craftsman and luxury artisans hand-create each wall finish by hand-painting, screen-printing patterns or edging in designs.  The space is filled with paper, wood, brushes and bottles. The studio is a treasure trove of unique designs, from a dainty little blue bird on antique silver verre èglomise, a technique done by painting in reverse, applying silver leaf and then oxidising it.  Sterling Studio’s loves to create the new and within their studio is a whole mezzanine floor with over 20,000 samples.  The majority of designs for each project are completely original and the office bookshelves hold vast numbers of artwork books for inspiration.

Viero's work with Henry Van Der Vijver

Client Spotlight: Viero’s work with Henry Van Der Vijver

999 647 Daniel Fountain

The lifeblood of any successful business is good quality clients. Viero UK is fortunate to have many.

During our time in the industry, we have partnered with some of the most fantastic creatives in the world of surface designs. To celebrate our collaborative approach to business, we have launched a new feature to introduce our loyal clients and to explain how our work intertwines.

To kick it off, we spoke to Henry Van Der Vijver who is renowned within the industry for his quality work and great experience in the surface finish industry…

Viero: Tell us a bit more about your business…
Henry Van Der Vijver
: I’m the managing director of HVART Ltd, a specialist decorator and master craftsman with 30 years’ experience in the trade. I have a classic grounding and training in decorative finishes, so as a surface designer my finishes last. I now run a small friendly team of London-based artisans and we only use the best products that give our designs longevity. We work closely with London’s design and architecture studios to create bespoke finishes for their projects. People know where to find me and know that my name equals quality. I have great clients, a super team and I like to trade with a smile.

V: What projects are you working on at the moment?
We have just been working a new project in the clubhouse of one of the world’s most famous golf courses. We completed the main project back in 2002 and were invited back to create more designs as the initial project work still looks like the day we finished them. We have an ongoing commission at the back of Oxford Street where we’re hand painting fireplaces in a penthouse to look like the client’s favourite marble. We like to travel too and will soon be going back to a project in Montenegro to paint another exciting ceiling mural. And back in London, we’re performing lacquer wall finishes for a new trendy hotel project in central London as well as commissions for ride crews for Cunard’s cruise liners.

V: How did you first start working with Viero UK?
I first met Viero UK at a Decorex exhibition. I liked the look of the products and thought that the director Chris was incredibly charming. There used to be a word called chivalry which is nowadays lost, but Chris is very chivalrous and is a true gentleman. We hit it off straight away and have been working together ever since. We work on the kind of projects of which Viero products suit beautifully. There is some super new looks that have been created with these products like the bathroom suites we finished in Hydro and the lovely soft grain of the Marmorin, so HVART and Viero make for a great pairing.

V: What do you like about working with Viero UK?
The products are very malleable and user-friendly. I like the availability, the fact that the team will deliver it wherever I need it to go and I think it’s branded beautifully. Chris and team are always on hand to answer any questions, so all round it’s a great product from a smashing team.

V: What does the future hold? How are you working to stay ahead of the game?
Our industry is greatly driven by fashion, although I’m grounded in the classics. I can walk into most interiors and identify the date by the surface finishes. It’s all about re-inventing. A very famous artist friend of mine once said to me: “It’s all been done before Henry, buts it’s all about how we will do it today.” If you’re constantly talking to all of your peers and keeping an eye on social media, you can stay fresh in the game. I’ve never seen such a fabulous tool as Instagram for our trade and we are so lucky nowadays to have such wonderful reference tools like this and Pinterest.

0870 609 2827

Andre Fu: Designer of public spaces for new hotel, Villa La Coste, Provence

Andre Fu: Designer of public spaces for new hotel, Villa La Coste, Provence

636 424 Daniel Fountain

Architect Andre Fu and his design studio AFSO is working on a number of high profile projects due to unveil this year. Amongst the list of key commissions is the most highly anticipated Villa La Coste, nestled within the poetic Chateau La Coste in Aix en Provence, France.

Set against the Luberon mountains, Château La Coste is an organic winery where visitors can also explore an exceptional art and architecture trail with works by such renowned artists and architects as Renzo Piano, Richard Rogers, Richard Serra, Frank Gehry, Louise Bourgeois and Tadao Ando.

Villa La Coste is a brand new purpose-built luxury hotel inside the vineyard that comprises 28 villas and public spaces. Inspired by the true artisanal spirit of the vineyard as well as the breathtaking artistic vision of the chateau, Fu was commissioned to create key destinations within the Hotel, including the Salon, the Bar, the Library and the destination Pavilion Louise Restaurant opening this spring. Fu seeks to instill a ‘contemporary Provençal’ design experience into the project, whilst overlaying his own signature language of ‘relaxed luxury’.

The Library, Salon, Cave Cellar and Bar
Located at the garden level of Villa La Coste, Fu’s vision was to craft a sequence of discreetly elegant spaces that would allow guests to lounge and discover. Beginning in the Library with its adjoining Cellar, Salon and Bar, the experience is designed to mirror the sense of being in a private collector’s maison.

Andre Fu: Designer of public spaces for new hotel, Villa La Coste, Provence

Fu has used beautiful solid aged timber wood and brushed Botticino Crema marble to create the sense that while the spaces are contemporary, they are also timeless, a defining feature of so much of Fu’s work. Lighting is soft and subtle, with guests immersed in a candlelight environment in the evening to convey a sensuous sensibility.

The Pavilion Restaurant
February 2017 sees the opening of the Pavilion Louise Restaurant by renowned chef Gerald Passedet. Passedet’s restaurant in Marseille, Le Petit Nice has three Michelin stars.

Pavilion Louise, located in a modernist free-standing glass pavilion which appears to float above an extensive water pond, is designed by Fu to celebrate the union of architecture and gastronomy. The centerpiece of the dining room is a prominent sculpture, The Couple, by Louise Bourgeois, is suspended from the ceiling in the centre of the room.

Andre Fu: Designer of public spaces for new hotel, Villa La Coste, Provence

“Chateau La Coste has a very special atmosphere and this has been a remarkable project for me, to work so closely with its owner Paddy McKillen. I saw my role as creating a sense of intimacy, of relaxed luxury, designing these spaces for people rather than as spectacles in themselves.” says Fu of his involvement in the vision for Villa La Coste.

Wandsworth at Ham Yard Hotel

Guest Blog: Wandsworth Case Study – Ham Yard Hotel

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As Giorgio Armani so eloquently put it, “The difference between style and fashion is quality”. The Wandsworth Group couldn’t agree more. That’s why their range of superlatively designed, hand crafted electrical accessories, including luxury light switches and electrical sockets, are used by world-class interior designers and architects in prestigious building projects from Hong Kong to New York – even in the private residence of the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge at Kensington Palace.

Their reputation for providing stylishly designed, beautifully realised lighting and electrical wares means that Wandsworth products and expertise are sought out by a host of discerning design professionals – particularly in projects where the importance of elegance is on a par with peerless quality. This is evidenced by their involvement in a number of prominent hotel developments across the world but most recently with the newest addition to the famous Firmdale Hotel’s stable: The Ham Yard Hotel in central London.

Wandsworth at Ham Yard Hotel
Situated in the bustling centre of the capital’s famous Soho district the Ham Yard Hotel is owned by Tim and Kit Kemp, both internationally recognised interior designers famous for outstanding excellence in modern British design – Tim having previously won the coveted Andrew Martin International Interior Designer of the Year award in 2008. Together they have made Firmdale’s 9 hotels and 7 bars & restaurants, located in both London and New York, beacons of service excellence and unique design. Kit in particular has been personally responsible for carrying out the complete interior design of all of the properties – no less so than when the Ham Yard Hotel building project was begun in 2012.

Wandsworth at Ham Yard Hotel

From the very beginning Wandsworth Group were actively involved in the establishment of this £60 million luxurious boutique hotel development. Consisting of 91 individually themed deluxe bedrooms and sumptuous suites, as well as airy bar and contemporary restaurant areas, the Ham Yard Hotel project included a lavish drawing room and library. In addition, this expansive new development featured a spa and gym, numerous private dining and meeting rooms, as well as an original 1950s era bowling alley and rooftop garden, complete with sweeping vistas of the Soho skyline and the city beyond.

Wandsworth at Ham Yard Hotel
Luxury hotel light switches and electrical sockets coordinate with modern British interiors
As a new build project with such a relentless focus on individual style, modern design and matchless quality Wandsworth Group worked closely with the client’s project manager, the contractors and the architect to understand the requirements for all the electrical accessories needed from the outset. With over a century of expertise in providing high quality, luxury light and socket fittings, Wandsworth worked in close concert with all of the interior design parties to offer ideas and suggestions on the best solutions to complement the individual modern British style so prevalent throughout the hotel.

The Wandsworth Group’s diligent project team assisted the clients and the contractor’s site manager in producing a complete, full size mock up of the rooms required – enabling a much more holistic overview of the impact of all the interior design proposals. Following on from this Firmdale Hotels felt assured that the Wandsworth Group’s Classic Collection of electrical accessories was the perfect fit for the high levels of design quality, reliability and elegance inherent in the personalised room designs of Kit Kemp.

Wandsworth at Ham Yard Hotel
The Classic Collection was chosen due to its ergonomically attractive flush finish featuring a unique flat plate profile to compliment the contemporary modern British design. Whilst those selected for the Ham Yard Hotel were supplied in ultra-clean, Super Mirrored Stainless Steel, as a market leader who is able to boast of offering the largest variety of colours on the market, the Classic Collection is available in a dizzying array of finishes, including:
– Polished Brass
– Antique Bronze
– Bright Nickel
– Satin Nickel
– Antique Brass
– Light Bronze
– Matt Black
– Satin Silver
– Satin Stainless Steel
– White
– Yellow Etched Prime

Needless to say, all of Wandsworth’s bespoke multi-service, AV plates and screw fixing plate attachments are individually manufactured from the highest grade solid brass, premium stainless steel or aluminium, as required. Wandsworth are shamelessly uncompromising when it comes to ensuring that the quality of product meets the high standards of style demanded by national and international customers.

Wandsworth at Ham Yard Hotel
Bespoke electrical sockets and data outlets installed throughout the Ham Yard Hotel
As you would expect for the Ham Yard hotel the Wandsworth Group project managers were only too happy to provide standard and bespoke accessories (both Multi-service and AV plates) specifically tailored to Firmdale’s requirements. In the case of the Ham Yard boutique hotel project these included a data outlet and American style two pin socket as well as a standard 13 amp plug, which were installed throughout the building.

Wandsworth’s involvement was not simply limited to lighting and electrical sockets for this particular project. At the client’s invitation, Wandsworth were all also delighted to provide individually designed and constructed disabled toilet alarm systems (again, in the same style as the Classic Collection Super Mirrored Stainless Steel).

Wandsworth at Ham Yard Hotel
Ensuring excellence in electrical accessories from concept to delivery
Right through the overall project lifecycle of just over two and a half years the Wandsworth Group’s staff kept in constant contact with all parties, from the clients own representatives to the M & E consultants, Mecserve, and the electrical contractors, LJJ of Stockton. By maintaining continual communication and making numerous site visits Wandsworth were able to react quickly and decisively to any changes in the original specifications, design alterations and other unexpected project developments. Wandsworth offer this kind of end to end service as standard, meaning their clients receive a consistently high level of customer service, as well as seeing deadlines met. This was particularly appreciated by LJJ, who were responsible for the installation of the high end, luxury electrical accessories supplied. As demonstrated throughout the Ham Yard project, the Wandsworth Group is consistently chosen to work with and deliver to large scale projects across the globe. Taking pride in their reputation as the ‘go-to’ firm for clients looking for high spec, hand finished products – something which is demonstrated by the fact that Wandsworth’s electrical accessories are used extensively in the construction, repair and renovation of countless landmark buildings across the world.

Wandsworth at Ham Yard Hotel
Hand-crafted hotel light switches and electrical sockets exceed the highest quality demands
The premium electrical accessories which are handcrafted and tested beyond the highest industry standards by a British workforce are valued by top class interior designers and architects – all of whom recognise their brand as a market leading innovator and supplier of peerless quality.

The Ham Yard Hotel project was completed on 1st June 2014 and the hotel is already a popular place to stay for many visitors to the capital who have been entranced by its chic urban village feel and Kit Kemp’s stunning modern British interior styling. Located in the heart of the cosmopolitan Soho district the Ham Yard Hotel is also proving to be a big hit with savvy Londoners looking for a convenient place to rendezvous, relax, enjoy a drink or indulge in a fabulous dining experience, all within easy walking distance of the city of Westminster.

For the people who make up the Wandsworth Group – from the skilled designers and craftsmen to the individual project managers – it is a source of great pride that Firmdale Hotels, leading interior stylists and renowned architects around the world continue to choose them for electrical accessories that live up to their high standards of class, elegance, reliability and quality. If Giorgio Armani had been an interior designer it’s nice to think he would approve.

Ritchie House
Albert Drive

GU21 5JY
01483 713400


Project Spotlights: Atelier Textiles in hotel interior design

1024 355 Daniel Fountain

Boutique hotel designers are the masters of lavish comfort. We’ve been exploring how a selection of premiere interior designers have used Atelier Textiles soft furnishings to promote a sense of cosiness in tandem with refined style.

THE ALPINA GSTAAD Swiss chalet (above, main) hotel is full of ruggedly chic textures, to warm you up after a long afternoon on the slopes. The designer chose the Susan design from our cushion archives, in snowy broken white jute with midnight blue susani inspired embroidery.

BLAKES HOTEL in South Kensington (below) is the home of several dreamy signature suites, many of which feature richly textured velvet drapes, cushions and bedding from our collections. The warming fabrics enhance the snug feel, while classically inspired patterns maintain the elegance of this famously fabulous hotel.

The bedrooms at private members’ club HOME HOUSE are lavishly decorated with richly textured bedspreads and accessories. Each room is like a velvet lined jewellery box, with precious warming shades of claret, khaki and gold draped over the beautiful beds. The designer chose classic bedspread and pillow designs from our Florence and Oscar collections, combining them with original 1820s Chinese silk wallpapers and antique artefacts, for a cosy and eclectic look that is quintessentially London.

THE PIG HOTELS (below), created around an aesthetic that is ‘comfy, interesting and homely… evolved rather than interior designed’ are a masterclass in setting a tone of relaxation for guests. Unpretentious luxury is woven into every design decision made in the Pig rooms, including the bathrooms, which feature bespoke sheers from our Tamara collection, which cast a subtly decorative veil over the room.


THE LANESBOROUGH CLUB AND SPA is an exclusive new health and fitness space within the renowned Lanesborough Hotel. Due to open in Spring 2017, the scheme was designed by masters of luxury, 1508 London, with ultimate comfort and indulgence in mind. Together with 1508 London, we developed a bespoke incarnation of our Josephine sheer fabric panels, embellished with intricate burnished metal beading. The embroidered sheers encircle each chair in the lounge with an opulent, shimmering backdrop, continuing the feeling of sumptuous relaxation from the main hotel into the spa.


Wilton Carpets at The Chapel, Beaumont

Project Spotlight: A Wilton carpet worthy of praise at The Chapel

1000 656 Daniel Fountain

Bespoke wool-rich axminster carpet made in the UK by Wilton Carpets, has been fitted throughout The Chapel at Beaumont Estate, Old Windsor, a country hotel operated by the Principal Hayley group.

Continuing on from an earlier installation of the same design throughout other areas of the hotel, contractor Pocklington Carpets has fitted over 380m2 in the complex layout of The Chapel, voted one of the top 100 wedding venues in the UK.

Wilton Carpets work at The Chapel, BeaumontThe design features a striking large-scale multi-layer damask overlaid on a contemporary stria. Fitting the heritage of the Beaumont Estate and working well with the intricate painted ceilings of The Chapel, the carpet reflects a status as a luxurious and thoroughly modern destination.

“We have worked with Wilton Carpets on numerous projects and were involved in the original installation of carpet in this design elsewhere in the hotel,” reveals Paul Eade, Pocklington Carpets. “So when contacted by the design team at Principal Hayley, we had no hesitation in continuing our relationship with Wilton, this time in a lighter colourway more suited to The Chapel’s wonderful interior.

“Installations such as this require careful planning and faultless attention-to-detail and so it is crucial that our supply chain upholds these values. Working with Wilton Carpets gives us the confidence that we can recommend woven carpet in bespoke designs, knowing that the process will be a smooth one. From the design through to installation, Wilton Carpets understands the nature of the high-quality work Pocklington Carpets is known for and that has been proven once again in this fabulous location.”

Woven from British wool in a rich blend that gives appearance retention, the bespoke axminster carpet features in a nine-row construction so is more than capable of withstanding the demands of weddings and functions, where the carpet is placed under high-wear. Alongside the requirements of the carpet to endure and be easy to maintain, the architectural features of The Chapel also required particular attention:

“The planning in this project was particularly vital,” continues Paul Eade. “The columns of The Chapel’s architecture and the complexity of the carpet design needed to be planned carefully at the design stage, so we supplied Wilton Carpets with a floorplan. From this it developed CADs that saw the design fall accurately between pillars. The final look is impressive and shows that contractor and manufacturer working closely together yields the best results, while also making the whole process a better one for the client.”

This is an opinion underlined by the General Manager of Beaumont Estate, Sven Steijvers, tasked with ensuring the installation went smoothly and within the high business demand of the luxury hotel: “The process from quotation to installation was truly seamless and professional and despite the complexity of the design and layout of The Chapel, we were able to install the carpet in the small window of opportunity presented by the high demand of this top 100 wedding venue.

“Good communication throughout really aided the process and has resulted in an enhanced product for guests to enjoy for years to come. Lifting the ambience of The Chapel, the new carpet has been instantly noted by our guests who booked prior to the installation and I would highly recommend both parties.”

For further information contact Wilton Carpets Commercial on 01722 746000 or sales@wiltoncarpets.com

Photo courtesy of www.dextermoren.com/ - Dorsett City

Dorsett City, London opening Q1 2017

763 432 Daniel Fountain

Dorsett Hospitality International is delighted to announce the development of its second hotel in London, Dorsett City, a 13 storey building formerly known as The Matrix, located next to Aldgate tube station and the 18th century St Botolph Church.

Dorsett Hospitality International’s first hotel, Dorsett Shepherds Bush, opened in 2014 and Dorsett City, London, will further underline the company’s vision to expand its hotel portfolio in selected strategic regions in the United Kingdom and Europe.

On this exciting expansion, Winnie Chiu, President and Executive Director of Dorsett Hospitality International commented, “We consider the United Kingdom to be one of the most popular destinations for tourists and business travellers around the world. Major European countries, including the UK, are attracting an unprecedented number of Chinese arrivals and the opening of a second hotel in London will continue to capture this key market for Dorsett, in line with our ongoing business strategy.”

Set to open in Q1 2017, the 13-storey Dorsett City, London will be a sleek and sensitively-designed building with 275 guestrooms and will also house two restaurants, a bar and 1,600 sq. ft. of meeting space for the business community – to be carried out by Dexter Moren Associates.

John Connolly, Head of UK Development for Dorsett Hospitality International said, “Given the architectural sensitivity of this historic and typically dense area of London, The Matrix is indeed a landmark building; both figuratively as well as architecturally; and we are indeed honoured and grateful to the local community and The City of London Corporation for granting us the approval to proceed with our re-development plan.”

London hotels

UK hotels increase spending for refurbishments by 57% in last year

650 354 Daniel Fountain

UK hotels increased capital expenditure by 57% to £1.62 billion in 2015/16, up from £1.03 billion in the previous year to compete with newer tech rivals, according to research by Funding Options, the online business finance supermarket.

Funding Options explains that established hotels are investing in their facilities and improving their offerings to stay competitive. Consumers now have a much greater selection of options available to them with the rise of online competitors such as Airbnb. As a result, alternatives are increasingly threatening the market share of traditional hotels.

The 57% rise in expenditure is the third consecutive year that UK hotels have increased capital spending.

Source: Funding Options

Source: Finance Options

Funding Options says that hotels are now looking to build on the potential increase in ‘staycations’. With the fall in sterling in the wake of the Brexit vote, people are likely to get better value for money by staying in the UK.

Conrad Ford, CEO of Funding Options, comments: “Established hotel chains are investing more into their offerings to keep their market share in the face of increased competition.

“Hotels will be competing with each other and online-only alternatives to capitalise on the increase in domestic tourism and staycations as the pound and concerns remain over the safety of some continental destinations.”

Paramount Hotel - one project in the pipeline for UAE hotel industry

UAE hotel industry to open 54,000 new rooms

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A new report has revealed that there are 183 hotel projects and 54,000 hotel rooms in the UAE hotel industry pipeline.

The hotel construction report by TopHotelProjects, exclusively written for Hotel Show Dubai 2016, says the majority of the new hotels are expected to open before 2020 and the busiest years are forecast to be 2017 (56 project openings) and 2018 (58 project openings).

Hotels opening in this time include the Paramount Hotel Dubai (2017); Hard Rock Hotel Abu Dhabi (2017); Citymax Hotel Ras Al Khaimah (2017); and Marriott Dubai Jumeirah (2018).

Dubai and Abu Dhabi continue to lead in hotel construction across the UAE with a combined 155 hotel projects and 47,619 rooms in the pipeline. Other emirates with hotel construction underway include: Sharjah with six projects (959 rooms) and Ras Al-Khaimah with five projects (1,847 rooms).

Thomas van Vliet, CEO of Paramount Hotels & Resorts, said: “Paramount Hotel Dubai, expected to open by the end of 2017, will be the first ever Paramount Hotels & Resorts property as well as the operator’s UAE flagship hotel.

“The hotel, part of a mixed use complex also housing 1,197 serviced residences, offers a luxurious experience with a Californian edge and Hollywood vibe, housing 823 guest rooms and suites, some of which are themed after Paramount Pictures movies. We have three more projects underway in Dubai, with a total of 1,383 keys,” he added.

Project Spotlight: Innovative hotel projects by Kudos Dsign

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Kudos Dsign is a leading luxury interior design agency for hospitality developments, designing innovative projects across the globe, from the iconic Burj Al Arab Terrace in Dubai to ‘Hotel With’ in Stockholm, the world’s first purpose-built underground hotel.

Based in Turku, Finland, Kudos prides themselves on their creativity and attention to detail in every aspect of the process, specially sourcing and custom-designing each element to fully explore the creative brief and deliver a unique and distinctive project through skillful design and beautiful materials.

Pia Litokorpi, CEO, founder and architect at Kudos Dsign, explains: “Kudos was born of a passion for fine design and craftsmanship, and is inspired by the elements of nature. Kudos works closely with its clients to share their vision, and bring conceptual ideas into reality through the combination of beauty and function, which makes each Kudos project unique and special.”

Case Study: Hotel With, Stockholm
Located in the heart of Stockholm’s city centre, Hotel With has been built deep underground, with all 106 en-suite bedrooms sitting beneath the city’s renowned, bustling Urban Deli. Constructed within a former utilities basement this custom designed hotel delivers a modern experience, with no exterior walls and windows which guarantees total darkness and silence in soundproofed guest rooms.

Working within the restraints of this unusual location, Kudos introduced design elements to both enhance and compliment the underground experience. Corridors and public areas mimic a city street – complete with letter boxes and door knockers – for the illusion of outdoor space, while custom-designed carpets act as markers for hotel guests to avoid becoming disorientated while underground.

Kudos Dsigh - Hotel With Urban Deli, Stockholm

The special lighting scheme simulates natural light, while allowing for total darkness during the night. High specification soundproofing provides an urban haven of silence and a powerful sound system which allows guests to enjoy music or television to any desired volume with no disruption to other guests.

Case Study: Resorts World Bimini, Bahamas
Resorts World Bimini is a brand new hotel on the remote Bimini Island of the Bahamas, opened in June 2016. This pristine natural location offers limited land, and required all aspects of development to have a minimum impact on local environment and marine life. Working within environmental challenges of construction on a remote island, the guest rooms were built and outfitted using a pre-assembly construction process not used before in the hotel industry.

Kudos Dsign - Hilton at Resorts World Bimini

Kudos Dsign introduced a number of unique design elements, one of the highlights being a rooftop infinity pool with a dramatic wraparound walkaway, along with the hotel’s signature swim-up suites. Special features created bespoke by Kudos include the lobby wine bar with a specially designed glass wall that doubles as wine storage, a two-sided reception desk which also acts as the lobby bar and a unique lobby lighting feature with 75 individual handmade pennant lamps.

Case Study: Burj Al Arab Terrace, Dubai
Dubai’s iconic Burj Al Arab hotel recently unveiled ‘The Terrace’, opened to hotel guests in May 2016, Kudos designed the one-of-a-kind space which features pools, beach, cabanas and a restaurant and provides guests and members with a unique over-water beach experience.

Kudos Dsign - Burj Al Arab Terrace

Kudos was involved in every aspect of the terrace’s design and interior architecture, including shape of the spaces, specification of surface materials, as well as custom-designed indoor and outdoor furniture, soft furnishings and interior details.


Down Hall Hotel

Project Spotlight: Gallery Direct collections at Down Hall

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Down Hall Hotel is one of England’s most established country house hotels, located in Hatfield Heath, near Bishop’s Stortford on the Hertfordshire and Essex border.

Dating back to 1322, this impressive Italianate mansion is sited in a historic setting of 110 acres of surrounding woodland, parkland and landscaped gardens. The hotel’s luxury interiors with ornate ceilings and beautiful period details have been enhanced by a complete refurbishment and the use of Gallery Direct, Frank Hudson SPIRE collection furniture.

Gallery Direct's furniture at Down Hall Hotel
Designer Rachael McLane, the award winning Yorkshire based consultancy worked with Keith Clarke, Contract and development Manager at Gallery Direct to create the ‘Classic Country House meets Contemporary lifestyle’ look of opulence and luxury. The first floor gallery rooms in the old house have SPIRE and CHIC collection furniture and the more contemporary rooms in the more recent wing have ANNECY, SPIRE and KISS collections.

Gallery Direct's furniture at Down Hall Hotel

Gallery Direct's furniture at Down Hall Hotel

Gallery Direct's furniture at Down Hall Hotel
Rachel McLane commented: “Gallery Direct were recommended to us a few years ago and we were suitably impressed at the time how they handled our brief, so when it came to sourcing furniture for the major refurbishment at Down Hall, Keith and his team were the obvious choice. It was important to everyone that the Down Hall project was completed on time, to schedule and in a manner befitting a luxury hotel.

“We were very impressed with Keith’s site installation team and any small issues were magically resolved. The refurbished rooms required classic, traditional furniture of understated simplicity but noticeable quality. This quality, combined with excellent service, proactivity, and a single point of contact, guarantees that we will be using Gallery Direct in the future,” she added.

With thanks to Keith Clarke of Gallery Direct

Keith.clarke@gallerydirect.co.uk  07738 540287 www.gallerydirect.co.uk/2016-directory
studio@rachelmclane.co.uk  01653 740036 
www.downhall.co.uk 01279 731441

Project Spotlight: Taylor’s Classics’ recent hotel projects

1000 562 Daniel Fountain

Hotel Designs Directory members Taylor’s Classics have been busy recently providing furniture for a host of hotel and hospitality projects up and down the country. See shots of their work below…

Greenhills Country Hotel and Restaurant, Seymour Hotels Jersey
It was a great pleasure to work with Jane Goff of Goff Associates in the refurbishment of the bar at the Greenhills Country House Hotel and Restaurant.

The project incorporated refurbished antique chairs and tables together with bespoke stools and lounge chairs. Jane specified all the fabrics and from a wide range of furniture styles, the interior has a relaxed atmosphere that combines traditional and modern tastes.

Taylor's Classics -Greenhills Country Hotel and Restaurant

Blenheim Lodge, Bowness-on-Windermere
Janz and Robert Duncan took great care in considering the practicalities of the refurbishment of their dining room at Blenheim Lodge in Bowness-on-Windermere.

The solid oak Ashley tables were tailor made to suit their needs and the Haywood oak dining chairs were especially upholstered in an easy to clean fabric. The room has a lovely airy feel that will make you want to eat a hearty breakfast before going out on a long Lake District walk.

Taylor's Classics - Blenheim Lodge

The Curing House, Middlesborough
It was a big change in direction for Sarah and Peter Walker to open The Curing House, a charcuterie bar and restaurant in Middlesborough.

Charcuterie was a hobby for Peter that has become a career. The restaurant design reflects mid century elegance through the combination of Taylor’s Classics Benchairs chairs and tables together with a striking Glasgow bench.

Taylor's Classics - The Curing House, middl

T: +44 (0) 17 85 24 04 44

E: sales@taylorsclassics.com

Mercure Maldives Kooddoo Resort

AccorHotels reveals 2016 openings, future projects in Asia Pacific

1000 600 Daniel Fountain

Last year AccorHotels opened more than 70 hotels across Asia Pacific, meaning the group launched at least one new hotel per week in the region. This year the group is on target to reach 700 hotels in APAC. Here are some of the most exciting recent and upcoming openings to entice travellers from all corners of the globe.

New hotels
SO Sofitel Hua Hin offers an imaginative beachside escape for guests seeking a luxurious, playful retreat. Featuring private access to Cha-am Beach, it is located 2.5 hours’ drive from Bangkok. It acknowledges the growing market of travellers seeking a fun and design-led atmosphere with a distinct style and attitude. Hua Hin has long been a retreat for Thailand’s aristocracy and the resort blends a nostalgic sense of seaside charm with the trendiest design. Drawing inspiration from the ‘Evolution of Life’ guests will be surprised by animal statues hiding in the gardens and rooms that are either themed ‘So Arty’ or ‘So Nature’. The resort brings four innovative food and beverage outlets designed to spark the local scene including White Oven, the Hi-So rooftop bar and Beach Society, a lively lifestyle club which hosts amazing parties on a monthly basis. Other facilities include the SoSpa and SoFit as well as an adults-only solarium pool and a family-friendly SO pool. The So Ballroom is equipped with cutting-edge equipment and is perfect for company events or lavish weddings for up to 150 guests.

SO Sofitel Hua Hin
Located just ten minutes from the city centre and yet seemingly worlds away on Singapore’s ‘entertainment island’ the Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa is set on 27 acres of tropical woodlands. The Sofitel features 215 spacious rooms and private villas, outstanding MICE facilities with 13 meeting rooms and two ballrooms, and the largest SO Spa in the world, with 20 treatment rooms, six outdoor spa pavilions, a float pool and Singapore’s only mud pool. The resort’s leisure facilities include two pools, tennis, volleyball and badminton courts. The Sofitel also offers some of Singapore’s best dining including the famous Il Lido at the Cliff, its signature Italian restaurant overlooking the sea and Kwee Zeen for amazing Sunday brunches and all-day dining. With a bold, elegant design themed around Paris’ Jardin du Luxembourg, the resort creates a sense of flow from inside and out for the perfect urban oasis.

Sofitel Singapore Sentosa
A new Novotel has opened in Araneta Centre, the premier lifestyle hub of Quezon City in the Philippines. The 24-storey hotel features 401 contemporary rooms, plus an executive sky lounge with 360-degree views of the city. The hotel is part of a massive development of the area, which is bustling with life and activities including weekend night markets, food festivals and street performances. Its vibrant décor and facilities contribute to the well-being of guests including an In Balance Wellness Centre with gym, spa and pool, a Gymboree kids’ area plus two new dining concepts – the Food Exchange Manila and Gourmet Bar by Novotel, which showcases organic and local produce. The hotel is a few steps away from the light rail and metro stations providing easy access to all the city’s best attractions. For meetings there is a 2500sqm landscaped outdoor garden area and a ballroom for up to 1200 guests.

Byron Bay’s first world-class beachfront resort, Elements of Byron, MGallery by Sofitel opened its doors in February 2016. Situated on 50 acres of rainforest and natural ponds and lakes, the $100 million resort boasts two kilometres of beach frontage and provides the perfect natural setting for relaxation, with just 94 villas. Three separate pavilions make up the central leisure facilities including a signature restaurant and lobby bar, poolside bar and kiosk, gym and five-suite garden spa. Weaving throughout the resort is a luxurious infinity lagoon pool area complete with sunken fire pit. The design of the resort references the four ecological systems in place in the area – rainforest, dunal, eucalypt and wetland, with specific native landscaping and furnishings as well as works by local artists to create a true sense of place. Along with conferencing facilities for up to 450 delegates, the resort features a range of dining options including Graze at Elements, Drift Bar and the Barefoot Bar and Kiosk, with another restaurant opening in the next few months, along with a private beach club.

Elements of Byron MGallery by Sofitel

AccorHotels has opened a combined Pullman & Novotel New Delhi Aerocity project which adds 670 international-standard rooms at the gateway to India. The 270-room Pullman and 400-room Novotel are located in close proximity to Indira Ghandi International Airport and offer easy access to the prominent business hubs of Gurgaon and New Delhi. Set around a central garden and outdoor heated pool, guests can enjoy the facilities of both during their stay including a spa, with a wide range of Ayurverdic, Thai and Swedish treatments, plus a fully equipped health club and heated pool. The Pullman was launched as the brand’s 100th hotel globally and features a gorgeous design themed around a peacock, while the adjoining Novotel is one of the best examples of the brand’s classic blend of modernity, design, simplicity and efficiency.

Pullman Aerocity New Delhi
Located on one of the island’s most beautiful white-sand beaches, Novotel Phu Quoc offers an unforgettable resort experience with views of turquoise waters, lush vegetation and a wide-range of hotel amenities, eco- tourism activities and attractions for guests of all ages. The resort is conveniently located near Duong Dong town and close to many of the island’s top attractions, such as Sao beach, Ham Ninh fishing village and various pearl farms. There are 366 rooms including private pool villas and there is also 650 square metres of meeting and event space. Dining options include Food Exchange, featuring international a la carte and buffet and guests can also enjoy a selection of cocktails with spectacular views over the Gulf of Thailand from the resort’s Lounge Bar, Pool Bar and Beach Pool Bar. Leisure facilities including a fitness centre, two tennis courts, spa treatments, an outdoor pool, a separate kids’ pool and a kids club, make it an especially great retreat for families.

Upcoming hotels

The 222-room Sofitel Singapore City Centre will be part of the upcoming multi-billion dollar Tanjong Pagar Centre, which will redefine mixed use developments in Singapore. Located between historic Chinatown and the vibrant CBD, Tanjong Pagar Centre will feature Singapore’s tallest building at 290 metres, a prestigious residential and office tower, premier retail and event spaces and the luxury Sofitel hotel, all set around beautifully landscaped parklands and with direct MRT station access. Guests at Sofitel Singapore City Centre will appreciate the unique, state-of-the-art equipment and programmes offered at the Virgin Active gym, as well as a host of health and fitness-related public activities and events at Tanjong Pagar Centre’s Urban Park which can accommodate up to 2,000 people. The 150,000 sq ft Urban Park will be an ideal location to host public fitness events, such as Zumba and yoga, for the broader community, including hotel guests. Positioned as an ‘Integrated Vertical City,’ Tanjong Pagar Centre will provide a holistic, end-to-end hospitality service for hotel guests. Opening late 2016.

Sofitel City Centre Singapore
As the city’s newest conference and entertainment precinct gets ready to launch its multi-billion dollar transformation, the Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour is set to open in 2017. The 35-storey luxury hotel will boast a rooftop pool with stunning views over the harbour city, several dining outlets and 600 beautifully appointed rooms. Darling Harbour will become the most vibrant entertainment hub in Sydney, just ten minutes from the central business district and providing easy access to Star City Casino, Sydney Aquarium and Sydney Wildlife World plus the Chinese Garden of Friendship and National Maritime Museum. Opening 2017.

Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour
Mercure Bana Hills French Village in Vietnam is truly a unique destination, perched atop a hill reached by a cable car that holds two World Records – for both the longest and highest non-stop single track cable car. The entire village is modelled on 19th century France. The hotel currently features 162 guest rooms with a second phase to finish mid-year, which will bring the total to 455, seven dining outlets, a spa, pool and fitness centre. Fantasy Park provides fun for the whole family and is themed around Jules Verne’s novels Journey to the Centre of the Earth and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea with lots of rides and games. There is also a separate Alpine Coaster which winds down the mountains in a stunning course and for more cultural pursuits there is the Linh Ung Pagoda, which is an impressive sight amongst the hills. Bana Hills is located 25 minutes outside of Danang and offers a great base for exploring nearby UNESCO World Heritage sites as well as three golf courses, the Cham Ruins in MySon, Pagodas and Marble Mountain, as well as the charming town of Hoi An. Opening March 2016.

Danang French Hills Mercure

The Maldives is renowned for being high-end and quite expensive, but the new Mercure Maldives Koodoo Resort is set to change that when it opens late 2016, offering visitors to this pristine paradise one of the best-value accommodation options in the area. The Mercure will open in the south of the Maldives in the Gaafu Alifu Atoll, a spectacular lagoon teeming with colourful marine life and unmatched diving and snorkelling options. It will feature 68 villas (43 overwater), and will be built using local materials, bright colours and stylish furniture, with the interiors designed to reflect the Maldivian culture and the spirit of travel. It will be the only Maldives beach resort directly accessible by domestic plane, without the need of an additional speedboat journey. Facilities will include an all-day restaurant, lobby lounge, pool and pool bar, sunset bar, spa and gym as well as a range of watersports including a dive centre. AccorHotels is also developing a 120-villa Pullman Resort in the Maldives, which will open in 2018. Mercure opening late 2016.
Mercure Maldives Kooddoo Resort