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Refurbishment

Laura Ashley guestroom

Coventry hotel to rebrand as a Laura Ashley Hotel

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Coventry hotel to rebrand as a Laura Ashley Hotel

The Chace Hotel, in Coventry, will after major refurbishment become a Laura Ashley Hotel…

Laura Ashley Hotels today announced it is expanding its portfolio with the addition of The Chace Hotel, in Coventry.

The 66-key hotel is undergoing a major refurbishment to bring it in line with Laura Ashley brand standards. The elegant new interiors will showcase the Laura Ashley Home range and its exquisite, high-quality inherently British fabrics and furnishings throughout.

Laura Ashley guestroom

The Chace Hotel is a striking example of Victorian architecture, surrounded by three acres of attractive landscaped gardens. Original features of the building, such as the ornate fireplace and mullioned windows, create a sense of grandeur in the oak-panelled reception area. The grand sweeping staircase leads upstairs to the new beautifully designed Laura Ashley bedrooms.

The deluxe Laura Ashley bedrooms are designed to infuse a sense of tranquillity and with an effortless style, drawing inspiration from the hotel’s Victorian heritage. Carefully selected colours and fabrics complement each other to create an elegant space in which to relax and unwind. Classic Laura Ashley design adorns every surface, from plush cushions and floor-to-ceiling drapes to statement lighting and stylish mirrors.

The portfolio, which also includes The Belsfield Hotel, Windermere, and is soon to include Burnham Beeches Hotel in Buckinghamshire, aims to offer guests an authentic home from home experience against the backdrop of the Laura Ashley Home range in characterful properties in the UK.

Chris Bowron, Hotel Manager of The Chace Hotel, said: “We’re delighted that The Chace Hotel will be joining the Laura Ashley Hotel portfolio. A thorough refurbishment is underway using the Laura Ashley Home collection’s beautiful range of décor, fabrics and soft furnishings. It is an exciting time for the hotel, and we are excited to offer our guests a whole new experience.”

The Chace Hotel is already home to the Laura Ashley The Tea Room, which opened in October 2018 and is the newest addition to the tea room portfolio.

The Lowry Hotel, Manchester, unveils images of new presidential suite

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
The Lowry Hotel, Manchester, unveils images of new presidential suite

The £700,000 renovation of the luxury hotel, The Lowry in Manchester, was led by The Brit List award-winning design firm Goddard Littlefair…

Amidst the increase in luxury hotel development in Manchester, The Lowry Hotel is upping the ‘luxury stakes’ once again by unveiling the first look at its newly renovated Presidential Suite, designed by Goddard Littlefair and the largest both currently available or planned in the city.

The renovations totalled £700,000 and include a complete reconfiguration and redesign of the space, an enlarged dressing room and a new bespoke marble bathroom. The suite also includes a fully equipped kitchen, large bathroom with a double steam shower and free-standing bath, super king size bedroom, a walk-in dressing room and lounge plus a dining room for up to eight people. There is also an additional second bedroom and with adjoining bathroom.

Image of stylish, modern guestroom. Geometric headboard and views over Manchester

Image credit: Gareth Gardner

The floor-to-ceiling windows offer views across the river Irwell and Manchester’s skyline, and the room also comes with a mini grand piano, two in-room bars, two smart TVs and an Amazon Alexa. As well as complimentary valet, luggage management, personalised welcome drinks and in-suite check in, guests can take advantage of a butler, on-site hairdresser, endless beauty treatments, Tesla hire, private chef or personal trainer whilst staying in the luxury suite.

“We drew inspiration from Manchester’s industrial history and in particular from cotton, weaving and the city’s industrial forms, geometry and heritage.” – Goddard Littlefair

Renowned interior designers Goddard Littlefair, Interior Designers of the suite, commented on the inspiration behind the design: “‘This was a special and prestigious project for us, showcasing the first of our new designs for The Lowry Hotel. We drew inspiration from Manchester’s industrial history and in particular from cotton, weaving and the city’s industrial forms, geometry and heritage, including the shape of Trinity Bridge over the River Irwell, directly outside the hotel. We were also inspired by Lowry’s own colour palette, as the artist famously kept to a base palette of only five colours, mixing them to achieve tonal shades that nonetheless stayed within a distinctive overall range.

Marble-lined shower area plus freestanding bath

Image credit: Gareth Gardner

“The new design has a residential feel, with light and bright tonal colours used for the walls, curtains and carpets, offset by darker joinery, geometric-patterned fabrics used for cushions and curtain trims for added visual interest. Colours range from rich bronzes and burnt oranges to off-whites and textured blue-greys. Special joinery features include four sets of double screens around the living and dining areas to help zone the space and a bespoke dining table for eight with a feature veneer inset pattern.

“The bedrooms and bathrooms feature timber slatted walls, which mirror on the opposite wall, whilst the bathroom also has feature walls in luxurious, richly-veined marble. The main bedroom features a bespoke, contemporary version of a four-poster bed, in a room where the colours become softer, more muted and restful. The stunning dressing room, with a large, anthracite velvet ottoman at its centre, is dominated by a tiered feature light, made of threads and inspired by Manchester’s cotton production history.”

Soft interior decor. Geometric wall partitions within the suite and a baby grand piano on the right.

Image credit: Gareth Gardner

In homage to the hotel’s namesake, L.S Lowry, a selection of art has also been chosen for the room by ARTIQ. Kate Terres, Head of Operations at ARTIQ, commented: “The collection at the Lowry presented an exciting opportunity for us, because it is rare for hotels to be named after celebrated artists.  In curating the collection with Goddard Littlefair, ARTIQ pulled specifically on L.S. Lowry’s recognisable palette of charcoals and dark reds against pale smoky backdrops. Alongside these distinctive tonal elements, the curation draws on the shapes evoked by Manchester’s solid industrial architecture of the twentieth and twenty-first century – examples of which can be viewed from the Presidential Suite – as well as heavily abstracted figures that draw on Lowry’s matchstick figures.

“The collection is comprised of painting, sculpture, photography and print, with an emphasis on varied and rich textures that range from highly polished stainless steel – representing the industrial subject – to thickly modelled paintings incorporating found elements. Examples of large format photography depicting an abstracted industrial narrative contrast with the delicacy of the works by artist Kelly M. O’Brien. Kelly’s mixed-media practice involves burning paper and layering with inserts of gold leaf and, for The Presidential Suite, focuses on a linear radiating pattern that recalls the bridge architecture viewed from the window as well as playing with a high/low contrast of material. Also in the collection is work by artist Laetitia Rouget, whose playful series focuses on simplistic line drawings of the human in thickly pulled paint – a modern interpretation of Lowry’s matchstick men.”

 The luxury Lowry Hotel also boasts six Riverside suites, an additional 164 guestrooms, a spa, bar and The River Restaurant.

Main image credit: Gareth Gardner

 

 

 

In Conversation With: Damien Perrot on defining ibis Hotels’ new design era

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The world’s most iconic budget hotel brand is undergoing a major redesign following the growing demands of the modern traveller. To understand all the design details of the new generation of ibis Hotels, editor Hamish Kilburn sat down with Damien Perrot, Senior Vice President, Design Solutions for Accor, to find out more about how the new ibis was conceived in three separate designs…

With more than 1,170 economy hotels open worldwide, ibis has become somewhat of a trailblazer in the congested budget sector of the hotel industry. Opening up in neighbourhoods that before the ‘70s may well have not existed for the modern traveller, the company’s aggressive expansion into tier two cities bridged the gap between travellers and the freedom to explore the world while on a budget.

With the aim to ‘shake up budget hotel standards’, the brand, which is known for its basic and standardised design, is now in the process of reinventing itself to become more flexible to cater to a wider demographic. Using interior design as its tool, Ibis’ latest face lift includes new guestrooms, F&B areas and living spaces. “Its transformation is primarily based on customer behaviour and how guests instinctively use the spaces,” said Steven Taylor, Chief Brand Officer at Accor in the official statement from the brand. “Today, the brand is a truly vibrant place where travellers and non-staying and local customers alike can dine, sleep, work and feel welcome.”

Leading the extensive brand renovation is Damien Perrot, Senior Vice President, Design Solutions for Accor. “I wanted to achieve a design that was living, vibrant and real,” he told Hotel Designs. “The objective, in terms of design, is to attract people and allow our guests to have a great experience that will naturally encourage them to return.”

“Perrot launched competitions in America, Asia and Europe in order to garner inspiration from all corners of the world.”

The design, marketing and brand team came together with the ambition to rethink ibis as if it was created today. “The simple fact was that we felt obliged to confront the way in which our guests’ behaviour and lifestyles have changed,” explained Perrot. “Our idea was not to radicalise the form, but instead to create a concept in line with that of the modern travellers’ needs of today.” In order to keep the thoughts open and fresh, Perrot launched design competitions open to all in America, Asia and Europe in order to garner inspiration from all corners of the world. “The brief being light in context around what we wanted was key as we did not want to restrict the designers’ creative flow,” adds Perrot. As a result, the brand was able to handpick the designers who put forward realistic and brand-worthy solutions to the challenge.

Following the competition, the new ibis was to be divided into three concepts drawn up from three separate design studios. Studio Innocad from Europe, Studio FGMF from Latin America and Studio Soda from Asia together were Perrot’s answer to the new generation of ibis hotels.

Studio Innocad – Europe

Flexible living area with hammocks by entrance - blue and while tiles

Image credit: INNOCAD Architecture

The concept is a modular, flexible and customisable approach for architecture and interior, for renovation as well as new construction of ibis hotels. Designed around the fluid transition between inside and outside, the different settings of social spaces invite travellers and locals to explore several atmospheres and areas and are importantly not limited to be in one design during their customer journey.

Studio FGMF – Latin America

Modern Scandinavian room with flexible living spaces

Image credit: FGMF/ibis hotels

Urban living comes to the heart of the hotels with the design concept from Studio FGMF while the street outside becomes an integral part of the lobby. Unveiling a new pedestrian walkway, the hotel concept is gallery of local inspiration.

Meanwhile, the guestrooms have been imagined to be comfortable in a modern style, featuring a bookshelf as a centrepiece. A functional layout opens up new possibilities for guests to relax in the home-from-home setting.

Studio Soda – Asia

Modern, opening living areas

Image credit: Soda Studio/ibis hotels

Flexible, modular and contemporary, the concept that was imagined by Studio Soda is one that offers everything the modern guest is looking for; comfort combined with warmth. The lobby has been specifically designed to welcome the outside world, with a terrace area that extends out onto the street. The result is a public area that is welcome and free for guests to eat, relax, work or play.

“When we are rethinking ‘the new’, it is essential to forget what it is today,” explained Perrot when confronting the challenges of the project. “After the big idea in terms of design, the question is how can we apply that into our existing hotels. That’s a really big challenge, but I think we have succeeded.

Portrait of Damien Perrot

Image caption: Damien Perrot, Senior Vice President, Design Solutions for Accor

“The other challenge is to not be distracted by trends. Each design concept that was accepted stayed true to the DNA of the brand, which is very modern. Throughout the project, I want to demonstrate that modernity is in line with a new way of living.”

With the ambitious plans to redesign all hotels in the ibis portfolio by 2022, the aim is not for all hotels to be identical to one another. Instead, each property is aimed to have its own quirky personality. “Each concept is not 100 per cent defined. But the designer will apply the concept on projects and select different furniture and lighting to suit the hotel,” said Perrot. “In order to be able to roll this out globally, we have to have guidelines and style book. Each document helps the designers to roll out this concept. In those guidelines, we explain the boundaries that can and can’t be broken to achieve the final design of the individual hotel.”

Each hotel to adopt the new design concept will be better equipped and better designed to personalise the overall guest experience. The refreshing, and very different, designed concepts suggest heavily that ibis strongly believe a good hotel experience is much beyond experiencing a good night’s sleep. To achieve that overall home-from-home experience, the brand has redefined its public areas, F&B environment and guestrooms allowing its guests to tailor-make their own travel experience when checking in.

Main image credit: FGMF/ibis hotels

Radisson Collection opens in Moscow

800 497 Hamish Kilburn

Radisson Hotel Group has announced the opening of the Radisson Collection Hotel, Moscow. The rebrand is now complete and the hotel has become the latest addition to the group’s exceptional collection of premium lifestyle properties.

“As one of Moscow’s legendary landmarks, with outstanding architecture and world-class service, the hotel is the perfect match for Radisson Collection,” said Michel Stalport, Area Senior Vice President of Eastern Europe, Russia & Turkey at Radisson Hotel Group. “This is a one-of-a-kind property, and we’re delighted to have completed the rebranding of the hotel together with the owners.”

From the impressive, palatial exterior to the luxurious interior, featuring 501 stunning guestrooms and suites, the hotel is a Moscow landmark. The property itself is one of the capital’s ‘Seven Sisters’, a family of renowned neoclassical skyscrapers, while the rooms and public spaces echo the special nature of the building – with the finest materials and most exclusive furniture seen throughout the hotel.

A signature feature of the Radisson Collection brand is its outstanding service level, and the hotel is one of the most-awarded hotels in the whole of Russia – recognized for its service level, its professional conference expertise and luxurious hotel offers. Only recently, the hotel was awarded ‘Best 5 Star MICE Hotel in Russia’ at the Russian Hospitality Awards. The hotel’s Guest Relations Managers all ensure that no details are left unattended – all to give the guests truly memorable stays.

Located on the bend of the Moskva River, the hotel was formerly the tallest in Europe. It remains an imposing presence on Moscow’s skyline – and offers spectacular views of the capital. In fact, it’s a destination itself, with 26 on-site shops, its own art collection, a diorama of Moscow, an Olympic-sized swimming pool and its own flotilla of 10 yachts that offer city river cruises.

With Moscow’s most exceptional sky bar, the Mercedes Bar on the 31st-floor, the hotel is the perfect spot for guests who would like to get close to the twinkling stars and enjoy unparalleled views of Moscow. For gastronomy enthusiasts, there are 19 restaurants and bars on-site, serving a wide range of global cuisines from early morning until late at night.

Main image credit: Radisson Hotels

The-Ritz-Carlton-Berlin_Lobby-copy-1170x658

Ritz-Carlton, Berlin reopens after 40m Euro renovation

1024 576 Hamish Kilburn

The recent renovation of Ritz-Carlton, Berlin showcases a chic, elegant design evoking 1920s Berlin with creative details and references to the golden era of German cinema…

The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin has announced the culmination of a 40 million euro renovation. The meticulous refurbishment, largely funded by its ownership Beisheim Group, heralds in a new era of elegance through refreshed guestrooms and suites, conference, wellness, lobby and lounge areas and the addition of POTS, a new restaurant. Each space evokes a vision of Berlin in the 1920s, with guests encountering creative details and thoughtful references to the golden era of German cinema.

“The recent completion of this meticulous 40 million euro renovation at The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin marks a momentous occasion for this hotel, whose storied location has sat at the epicentre of history for over a century,” said Jenni Benzaquen, Vice President, Luxury Brands – Europe, Marriott International. “Present throughout the hotel in details large and small, the new design beautifully captures the gilded glamour of Berlin in the 1920’s, while celebrating the city’s ever-changing spirit. Our Ladies and Gentlemen will continue to provide legendary service to our luxury travellers during their visit to one of the most unique cities in Europe.”

The hotel’s imaginatively redesigned guest rooms and suites are the work of G.A. Design’s Budapest team, as is the grand entrance guests experience in the lobby upon arrival. An ornate sweeping marble and ironwork staircase makes a statement, while sparkling crystal chandeliers evoke the flurry of flashbulbs that punctuate the annual Berlinale Film Festival. Radiating 1920s flair, one wall gleams with stylised champagne glasses while guests will find one of the recurring motifs of the new design at reception: an abstract representation of a screen, reminiscent of film star’s cloakrooms.

“It is wonderful to see how the architecture of the building, with its light sandstone façade, compliments the elegant interior design, forming a harmonious whole,” said Robert Petrović, General Director at The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin. “We wanted to make our new Art Deco design story as personal as possible – our guests are our focus.”

Image credit: Matthew Shaw

In the style of early 20th century literary salons, the spacious lobby is the ideal place for guests to relax, exchange ideas or enjoy a game of chess. An eye-catching marble fireplace replaces real flames with a bold sculpture, while She Represents, a 1928 painting by artist Jeanne Mammen, hangs above the mantelpiece – a declaration of love for the vitality of Berlin women. The adjoining space, flooded with daylight, features views of Potsdamer Platz, providing an ambience of a retreat where guests can take a break from the bustling city.

The lovingly redesigned guest rooms and suites of The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin are epitome of modern luxury. Day meets night in the contrasting colours of full-height headboards, while geometric patterns symbolise the historical significance of Potsdamer Platz. As with the lobby, the rooms also echo the city’s great film heritage. Elegant wash and make-up tables suggest the wardrobes of early silver screen icons while the sleek honour bar offers a nod to their classic wardrobe boxes”. State of
the art technology is also thoughtfully woven into the experience, including touchscreens controlling all in-room electronics and convenient charging stations built into seating. In the Carlton Club Suite, shades of blue represent the moon and Berlin nightlife and in The Ritz-Carlton Suite, warm golden tones are a nod to the city’s sunny sides.

The Lounge creates the heart of the hotel, shining in new splendour with dazzling mirror accents across its marble floor.  Designed in the style of a South American hacienda, a Living Room lies in the heart of the bar with a stage for live music.  A vision in red and gold, the Fragrances Bar is home to the high art of mixology, centred around scents and where Heissen enthrals guests with his “fragrant” cocktail creations. An interactive experience, guests choose their favourite cocktails from a walk-through bar menu, the Hall of Fame, where each drink is inspired by a top-quality gourmet perfume. The bar’s design is based on elaborate perfume flacons with ingredients and spirits arranged in pharmacy bottles, reflecting the mixologist’s experimental work. Dark mirrors underscore the sensual approach and mystical character of the space, with six avant-garde Golden Age-inspired drawings by local artist Tina Berning lining the walls.

Re-envisaged by interior expert Carbone Design, the hotel’s newly modernized wellness space brings a hint of glamour to the workout and wellness experience. Guests can also take advantage of two saunas, a cosmetic treatment menu and state-of-the-art fitness equipment. The divisible ballroom of the Beletage conference area is ideal for lavish parties as well as corporate events. Inspired by the 1920s nightlife, Czech lighting designer Lasvit created large Bohemian glass lamps in striking shapes, giving special dimension to the space. Seven additional event rooms featuring state-of-the-art technology have a total area of 1,800 square metres.

Main image credit: Matthew Shaw

Nokia-sleep-sleeping-pad_13-768x451

SPOTLIGHT ON: Technology products to look out for in 2019

768 451 Hamish Kilburn

Ahead of Hospitality Tech & Innovation Forum which takes place on March 25 – 26, and to launch this month’s Spotlight On Technology, Hotel Designs has identified interesting technology products to look out for in 2019… 

Predicting the future is something that the team at Hotel Designs has become used to since the growing demand for designers and architects wanting to know all about the latest tech products that are on the market. Here are some slick examples of tech products that are taking international design into the future.

1) Bang Olufson – Beosound Edge

The speaker on a pink carpet

Image credit: Bang Olufsen

Described as “the perfect circle”, the Beosound Edge is a speaker and minimalist design object in one. Designed by Michael Anastassiades, the product has been conceptualised for intuitive touch and motion so that it’s an unbroken circle of clarity and beauty. Ideal for the contemporary hotel where design can be personalised, the product has been engineered to move and to be moved.

> Read more about Beosound Edge here

2) Hamilton Litestat – Smart Multi-room Audio System 

Modern kitchen with Hamilton's smart switch on the right

Image credit: Hamilton Litestat

Hamilton Litestat produces high quality decorative electrical wiring accessories, circuit protection, smart lighting controls and multi-room audio systems, designed and manufactured to meet the project demands of architects, interior designers and installers. Ideal for high-end suites, its Smart Multi-room audio system enables up to four separate music sources to be connected and controlled in four separate rooms or zones.

> Read more about Smart Multi-room Audio System here

3) Punkt – DP01 cordless phone

red phone sideways on

Image credit: Punkt

“I consider the voice a to be powerful instrument in human communication. Face-to-face conversation is best, but giving someone a call comes a close second,” said Petter Neby, founder of Punkt. With real, physical buttons, the DP01 is a mains-operated cordless phone that comes in three colours (white, black and red).

When the DP01 is not in use it sits face up in its cradle, so incoming calls can be viewed at a glance and outgoing calls can be dialled without picking it up. And its physical form is designed to allow it to sit stably on a desk without wobbling around: much more convenient for hands-free operation.

> Read more about Punkt’s DP01 here

4) Nokia Advanced Sleep Tracker

Image credit: Jason Bradbury

Mentioned during tech expert Jason Bradbury’s review of Eccleston Square Hotel, Nokia Sleep is a Wi-Fi enabled pad that fits under the mattress and provides insight into the quality of the sleep experience while offering environment control through IFTTT, an automation service for all internet-connected things. The new sleep sensor includes:

  • Sleep cycle analysis: sleep duration and interruptions; light, deep and rapid-eye-movement phases; and snoring tracking.
  • An individualized Sleep Score is provided to indicate how restorative a night’s sleep was, and educate users about what makes a good night’s sleep and how they can improve night after night.
  • Smart Home control via the IFTTT home automation platform. Nokia Sleep acts as a switch to automatically control lights, thermostats and more by getting into and out of bed. For example, users can automatically dim the lights when they get into bed.
  • Nokia Sleep synchronizes automatically with the Nokia Health Mate app so users can have all their health data in one place. The app provides data history, personalized advice and coaching programs, including one developed specifically around sleep.

> Read Jason Bradbury’s review of Eccleston Square here

5) DLAppTap

screenshot of the app

Image credit: Design Life/ DLAppTap

DLAppTap is an innovative iPhone and iPad app that allows hotels to easily sell their beautiful products to guests in their properties without the need for in-house retail operations. With DLAppTap, hotels can capitalise on new revenue streams, achieve ROI from refurbishments and improve and provide higher levels of guest-centric services.

The new hospitality-focused tool is an extension of the soon-to-be-launched DesignLife App, which, as the video below demonstrates, was developed to showcase residential products. The iOS app becomes a platform for individual hospitality venues thanks to encoded Near-field Communication (NFC) labels, which are discreetly attached to items available for purchase. After downloading DLAppTap, guests can view the specifications, measurements, costs, lead times, shipping and payment options for any labelled item they “tap” with their mobile devices. Purchases can even be added to their guestroom bills. Orders are automatically sent to manufacturers, with the hotel receiving 25 per cent commission.

> Read more about DLAppTap here

6) Modio – Guestroom Acoustic Control 

Sleeping girl on bed in front of product

Image credit: Modio

Made for hotels, MODIO introduces a continuous soothing background sound into the room, allowing guests to control its ambience the same way they control temperature and lighting.

The sound is similar to soft airflow, designed for comfort and engineered to cover a wide variety of hotel noises. Far superior to white noise apps or clock radio style products emitting nature sounds, MODIO is a commercial-grade device designed, manufactured and supported by a company with more than 40 years’ experience in the sound masking field.

Hotel guests will benefit from the same world-leading technology used by our corporate, healthcare and military clients.

> Read more about Modio here

7) Moasure 

Image credit: Moasure

Ideal for all designers and architects, Moasure’s patented technology uses motion to make measurements, leveraging inertial sensors and a proprietary algorithm to deliver an innovative new way to measure.

> Read more about Moasure here

8) Sumnuva

Image credit: Sumnuva

Somnuva has been designed to be as user friendly and intuitive as possible, and as such, the screens presented are as simple as possible whilst still allowing as much flexibility within the product as possible.

Somnuva worked with Cambridge Industrial Design to seamlessly blend innovative acoustic technology with a beautifully designed product that naturally fits in any living space.

The aesthetics of the hard sub-frame with delicate fabric sleeves were designed to  ensure that the directional acoustics weren’t affected, but that the users have flexibility to tailor and personalise their Somnuva

> Read more about Sumnuva here

 

Main image credit: Nokia Sleep/YouTube

FIRST LOOK: Apex unveils Insta-worthy London suite

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Apex Hotels has unveiled the Temple Suite in London that has been designed with Instagram in mind… 

Following the Hotel Designs’ series, Designing Instagrammable, Apex Hotels has revealed a sneak peek at the fabulous, ‘Instagrammable’ interiors that lie within the £6 million extension to its hotel on London’s Fleet Street.

The Temple Suite is considered the jewel in the crown of the multi-million pound extension, which also boasts four deluxe Grand Suites. Each one is perfect for those looking for a new type of luxury in the capital, and those who want to witness #interiordesigngoals first-hand.

While the Grand Suites are already available to book, the outstanding Temple Suite has been kept under wraps – but now the first images have been released, showing exactly what potential guests can expect when the space opens for booking on March 3.

It includes original fireplaces, bespoke furnishings in rich jewel tones, luxury linens and a bathroom (complete with underfloor heating) that’s just begging for mirror-selfies to be snapped.

Image credit: Apex Hotel

Set within a Grade II listed building on the capital’s Fleet Street, dating back to 1912, the Temple and Grande Suites sit alongside ‘The Amicable Society of Lazy Ballerinas’ – a brand new stylish, decadent wine bar – and private dining rooms to really give guests a taste of the ‘suite’ life.

Guests can cosy up in the coolest of surroundings in the Temple Suite, which features a sophisticated grey colour palette that is injected with warmth thanks to the original parquet flooring and wall panelling.

There’s a chance to relax on Scandi-inspired, bold furniture upholstered in rich velvets and textured wools, whilst snapping away at contemporary features including striking pendant lighting, and the intricately detailed glassware and accessories dotted throughout.

Image credit: Apex Hotels

Before languishing in luxury with access to a personal concierge service, guests can be whisked straight into their suite for a private, queue-free check-in before settling in with a welcome drink, testing out the luxury linens and making the most of the sumptuous surroundings – including a totally personalised mini-bar.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to reveal the striking Temple Suite which, along with our Grand Suites, has come as a result of a meticulous, multi-million pound restoration and refurbishment of the stunning Grade II listed building situated right next door to our original Fleet Street hotel,” Karl Mitchell, General Manager at Apex Temple Court Hotel. “Not only are each of the suites entirely Instagram-worthy, with beautiful furnishings and facilities masterminded by our architects, ISA; each and every guest who stays within the suites will enjoy a totally bespoke stay – from a private check-in and access to a personal concierge, to a mini-bar stocked with their favourite tipples and much more. No two stays will be the same.

“Just imagine lazing in front of the fire with your favourite drink from the personalised mini bar…it’s just one of the blissful ways our guests can spend a stay at our magnificent suites.”

Guests looking for a new type of luxury in London can now book to stay at the 115 square metres of pure, opulent relaxation that is the stand-alone Temple Suite – or at one of the four Grande Suites.

 

In Conversation With: Tom Lindblom, Gensler

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Lifting the curtain to peak inside one of the largest architecture firms in the world, editor Hamish Kilburn heads to Gensler’s UK headquarters to catch up with hospitality leader, Principal and Brit List 2018 finalist Tom Lindblom…

“Designing a hotel is a theatre production,” Tom Lindblom, hospitality leader and Principal at Gensler explains. “If you have ever been backstage at a theatre show, and have seen all the activity that’s going on, you will understand how many strings need to be pulled to ensure that what’s happening on the stage – front-of-house in our case – is going smoothly and flows seamlessly. The magic has to happen without the guests being aware how it is made.” This carefully chosen metaphor used to describe the realities – and often challenges – that modern architecture practices face is my first opportunity to really understand the man behind the vision of many projects in the UK, Europe and in the Middle East.

If we are to continue the theatre theme then I feel as if I have a front-row seat, exclusively invited to the opening night to critique Gensler’s award-winning performance. While the narrative explains how the company came to be one of the largest architecture firms in the world, the lead role is certainly up for interpretation. Lindblom, formally a museum and lighting designer, is one of 15 principals at Gensler and his stage is very much sheltered in the company’s London base in St Katherine Docks, with major plans for expansion. “Our expression is deliberately ‘one firm firm’, which suggests that we, the more than 6,000 employees at Gensler, are one team working across 48 offices around the globe,” he explains. “As a result of this shared mindset, our London office is able to share relationships with others around the world in order to eventually work on projects that would have otherwise gone to other architecture practices – it really is a key element to our global success.”

Gensler_Four Seasons_Kuwait

Image caption: Gensler’s Four Seasons Kuwait

Although the project briefs may change as the demands from operators and owners evolve, one thing remains constant in Lindblom’s eyes; team work really does make the dream work. “As an architect, the sooner you are working with an interior designer on a hotel project, the better the end result will be,” he says confidently. “Many see our industry as a triangle, but in actual fact it is a square,” he says. “That shape is between the owner, the operator, and the two designers – architecture and interiors – everyone needs to be reading off the same script.”

“The landscape of the hotel is as important as the architecture.” – Tom Lindblom

Whether we should design hotels that are Instagrammable is a topic that we are used to debating, I am keen to understand how, in Lindblom’s eyes, social media is dictating the design of the modern hotel. According to him, the pool in a resort hotel tends to be the ‘wow’ moment. “For a luxury resort hotel we designed in Croatia, for example, the ‘wow’ moments are a pool bar and grill and the water-front adult pool,” he explains. “The landscape of the hotel is as important as the architecture, and that’s why we work closely with landscape architects as well. At Gensler, we are very fortunate to have in-house landscape designers, which is often absolutely integral to the success of the project.”

Render of a pool and bar area outside

Image caption: Brizenica Bay Four Seasons Croatia Pool Bar / Credit: Gensler

Some of Lindblom’s most memorable curtain-call openings include St Regis Langkawi, Malaysia and the unforgettable unveiling of Four Season Kuwait at Burj Alshaya. Closer to home, though, since becoming one of the finalists at The Brit List 2018, Lindblom has been working on the interiors for a Hilton hotel project in Woking, Surrey. “There will be a great rooftop bar and restaurant, which is our answer to the operator’s brief, wanting to create certain ‘Instagrammable moments’,” Lindblom explains. “Our aim here was to open up the public areas to amazing panoramic views that can become an attraction for both guests and outside visitors.”

Gensler’s recently published Hospitality Experience Index concludes that hotel public spaces are changing. “Single-use public spaces are dead,” Lindblom claims. The report concludes: “The best hotels know that designing for today’s everything/everywhere customer doesn’t mean being everything to everyone -but it does require a new approach to understanding what guests want that goes far beyond business vs. leisure or millennial vs. boomer.” In response to this, Lindblom says: “Before we start drawing the shape and design of the building, we should be asking what experience we are trying to create.”

Quick-fire round:

Hamish Kilburn: What would you say, in your opinion as an architect, is the best designed city in the world?
Tom Lindblom: I love Paris and New York, but the city that made a big impression on me recently was Ljubljana, the Capital of Slovenia.

HK: What would you be if you weren’t an architect?
TL: A Sculptor

HK: What, in your opinion, is the worst designed hotel?
TL: There are too many to list

HK: What is your biggest bugbear when travelling?
TL: Wheely bags! I hate them!

HK: What is your favourite colour?
TL: Anything with stripes!

HK: Do you have a favourite project?
TL: They are all special, but I am really proud of the Four Seasons in Kuwait – I feel as if we need end credits to list all the people who brought that vision to life, all led by an amazing client.

Exterior shot of the hotel

Image caption: St. Regis Langkawi / credit: Gensler

There is a certain ignorance that comes from reviewing hotels, one that typically completely ignores the foundation of what is, as Hilton Hotels puts it, the heart-of-house. “The back-of-house, or backstage of any hotel performance, has to be designed around functionality,” Lindblom explains. “Our job here is to design an area that will maximise service and overall productivity, which in turn leads to a seamless guest experience. Although these areas won’t have all the finishes that you see in front of the staging, they are a vital part of the production.”

In the backstage access-all-areas interview, I am eager to learn what it takes to be cast as one of the leads at Gensler. “Believe it or not, listening is the fundamental skill to be a good leader,” Lindblom says. “When we are failing, we are not listening, which interestingly is the same for both staff and clients”

For this interview’s dramatic final scene, Lindblom explains how his past experience as a lighting designer has helped him to sketch and create some of the world’s most impressive design hotels. “There is just way too much artificial light in the world,” he explains as he points to the light directly above our heads, which creates glare while we are speaking at the table. “The starting point for a lighting designer should be darkness. Then you build up from there, considering the light sources, the times of day, colours and finishes, and ultimately the intention for the spaces.” And like any hit Broadway or Westend show, the production fades on a cliff-hanger conclusion as we wait to witness the unveiling of Gensler’s next hotel project.

Editor’s round-up of Surface Design Show 2019

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Taking place from February 5 – 7 at Business Design Centre London, the Surface Design Show gave a platform to more surface material and lighting specialists than ever before. Editor Hamish Kilburn was there and reports…

More than 5,000 architects, designers and specifiers from 47 countries descended on London earlier this month for the much anticipated Surface Design Show. Over the course of three days, the show provided a packed schedule of insightful and entertaining panel discussions, informative CPDs and talks, trend forecasts and allowed exhibitors to display new products.

Presenters included New London Architecture and RIBA who hosted the Opening Night Debate; Chris Dyson who presented the PechaKucha Evening; Hannah Malein of Colour Hive; Oliver Heath of Oliver Heath Design and Daniel Hopwood representing Design Guild Mark, all kept visitors engaged as they educated on ways of thinking about materials, current industry issues and trends.

crowd gathering around the stand

Image credit: Surface Design Show 2019

There were a number of stand-out motifs among the 150 exhibition stands that displayed a positive look at where surface design is heading. The most prominent themes were:

Acoustic walls 

The surface experts at Armourcoat were at the show unveiling its new Acoustics Plaster System, which is designed with hotels and restaurant designers in mind with the aim to optimise the acoustics of interior spaces. While many acoustic surfaces are often bulky and not stylishly flexible, The Acoustic Plaster System offers a clean and smooth mineral surface that can be applied seamlessly over large expanses such as hotel lobbies or restaurants.

Meanwhile, anne kyyro quinn, which produces bespoke three-dimensional acoustic walls coverings, supplied the backdrop for the main stage. The handmade textile wallcoverings are natural, durable, versatile and are therefore suitable for commercial as well as residential projects.

Sustainability

Ethically handmade by master craftsmen, the premium patchwork cowhide rugs from Mosaic that were displayed on the stand were fabricated with 100 per cent recycled hides. Unlike other vendors which buy in full leather hides, Mosaic only use recycled hides from off-cuts of the luxury furniture and leather goods industry. The result, aesthetically, is a completely unique and customisable rug ideal for boutique hotels seeking characterful floors.

Elsewhere, Friends of Wilson displayed its Tessellate acousitic wall panel, which is made from 100 per cent polyester fibres containing a minimum of 60 per cent post-consumer recycled material (PET bottleflake).

Taking this concept into new territory were you designers Poppy Pippin and Emma Raybould over on the Spotlight Surface Live stand. Pippin’s Moss Tiles product has been designed specifically to encourage moss growth in order to improve air quality in the urban environment by absorbing carbon dioxide. Raybould’s silicastone design, displayed at the show, is an eco-architectural alternative to quarried stone for solid surfaces, which was developed at the University of Central Lancashire.

Since 2013 the Show has hosted the Surface Design Awards, now recognised as one of the most respected events in the design calendar. The 2019 Awards received 197 entries from 22 countries,
including America, Italy, China and India.

In a ceremony held over breakfast, the beautiful new Maggie’s Centre St Barts, London was declared the Supreme Winner, capturing the hearts and minds of the stellar panel of judges from the world of architecture and design. A beacon of design in the charity sector, the building by Steven Holl Architects was shortlisted in the Public Building Exterior category, gaining acclaim from the judges, including architect Christophe Egret of Studio Egret West, who stated “You really feel that a person dealing with cancer might feel elevated in this space”.

The 2019 awards ceremony was presented by architecture and design writer Aidan Walker, who cited the specialist focus of the show as key to its success now and for the future: “Surface Design has become one of the most compelling areas of innovation and imagination in design and architecture in the last few years. Driven by technology on one hand and the imperative for sustainability on the other, the application of new techniques and materials to cladding, walls, floors and ceilings has enlivened practice in a way unimaginable 10 years ago. Surface Design Show is perfectly positioned to express, exploit and support this rich seam of imagination and creativity. I see a great future for both the show and its Awards scheme.”

Hotel Designs was a proud media partner for the event.

Main image credit: Surface Design Show 2019

Top stories of the week: design love from Bangkok, hide and seek architecture and a new hotel chapter

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With architecture and construction firmly in the spotlight, Hotel Designs has witnessed another jam-packed week full of interesting stories that highlights our love in design and architecture. Breaking down these headlines is editor Hamish Kilburn… 

New York, New York! Is there anywhere else on the planet quite like it? In the original metropolis where possibilities soar high above the bustling streets below, the hotel scene is staggering. It’s latest luxury neighbour is situated on 701 Seventh Avenue on the corner of 47th Street, Times Square, and features 452 guestrooms. With four levels of public space, the hotel is, much like the area it surrounds has already done over many decades, evolving with the trends to cater to the modern man and woman.

Changing perceptions has been a theme that has stitched together this week’s headlines – and I have been fortunate enough to be the first to tell many of this week’s main features. From spending quality time in the company of interior designer Celia Chu as she prepares to complete Rosewood Bangkok, to continuing to follow Nicky Dobree on her quest to open her first hotel; it’s been a great week to be part of the industry. To top it off, we are hours away from closing the applications/nominations process for our 30 Under 30 initiative. As a young editor (26 years old), I am personally proud to support this scheme – to support young talent in our industry – with every fibre of my body.

Here are the top stories of the week:

1) EDITION arrives in New York’s Times Square

black armchair infront of black wallcoverings

Image credit: EDITION Hotels

“The Times Square EDITION is an entirely new lens on Times Square. From an aerie above the hubbub below, you can engage, observe or withdraw. The hotel is an oasis of sophistication brought to you through the insight of the incomparable Ian Schrager, my friend and partner. There is simply nothing like it,” said Arne Sorenson, President and CEO, Marriott International.

> Click here to read the full story

2) The interior designer behind Rosewood Bangkok

open and airy suite with peculiar angular architecture

Image credit: Rosewood Hotels

As its highly anticipated opening is imminently on the horizon, the Rosewood Bangkok’s interior design story is one yet to be unveiled in detail. We caught up with interior designer Celia Chu to establish the narrative told within the walls of the soon-to-open 159-key luxury hotel.

> Click here to read the feature

3) Six Senses joins IHG

Aerial shot of a Six Senses hotel in the ocean

Image credit: Six Senses

The milestone moment, where IHG aquired Six Senses happened on Wednesday. As part of the IHG family, Six Senses is expected to expand to 60 properties within the next 10 years. This includes incredible new Six Senses hotels and resorts from a restored 14th-century fort in Rajasthan, to villas on a private island in Cambodia, and the brand’s first hotel in North America – a contemporary duo of twisting towers designed by Bjarke Ingles near the High Line in Manhattan’s West Chelsea.

> Click here to read the full story

4) Camouflaged hotel architecture of the 21st century

glass structure in the woods

Image credit: treehotel

As we continue putting architecture and construction in the spotlight, Hotel Designs reveals some of the world’s most spectacular hidden architectural gems.

> Click here to read the full story

5) From Concept to Completion: Restoring a 19th-century house to create Plaza 18 (part two)

Moodboard of ideas

Image credit: Nicky Dobree

In part two of our From Concept to Completion series, where we are closely following the design story of Plaza 18, Dobree’s first hotel project is beginning to take form. The building’s design is approaching the final stages before the grand reveal this Easter. Meanwhile, interior designer Nicky Dobree is able to step away from the project for five minutes – something I believe the designer is not accustomed to – in order to explain more about her relationship with the soon-to-be hotel.

> Click here to read the feature

Main image credit: Rosewood Hotels

 

Make hotels more instagrammable with UNILIN

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A recent British survey suggests that more than 40 per cent of millennials choose their holiday destination based on its Instragammability, so what can you do to make hotel interiors more instagrammable? UNILIN explains…

To find out, UNILIN, division panels, makers of Evola decorative panels have turned to Kel Wouters of So Buzzy, a social media marketing agency that counts Crowne Plaza Antwerp and Hotel BLOOM, among its clients.

“Instagram can give your hotel additional awareness and reach, and often just a small investment can have a major impact,” begins Wouters. “Hotels that are shared frequently are ‘top of mind’ and people will want to stay there and populate their own feed from the same place. It’s a positive circle for any hotel that can crack Instagram.”

Starting small can often reap surprising rewards. A simple yet amusing slogan on the wall of the entrance to washrooms at The Hotel’s (Brussels) restaurant reading ‘men to the left because women are always right’, became one of its most Instagrammed spots. Designers can use UNILIN Evola panels to such effect, choosing from 168 designs as the perfect backdrop to a ‘grammable’ slogan, or even creating a unique ‘selfie spot’ with custom digital print technology available on UNILIN’s HPL, melamine and edging tape.

Wouters continues: “Check what your audience is sharing and looking at on Instagram and respond to that when designing your spot. Think about light in the area and test it out beforehand. Ensure there’s an obvious link to your hotel. If guests are sharing your selfie spot but no one knows that it’s in your hotel, then it’s a wasted opportunity; share your account at the location and encourage people to use a hashtag.”

UNILIN can offer office space designers a flexible way to approach the entire fabric of their Instagram spot – walls, partitions, furniture and surface treatment – with different looks that all possess the same low-maintenance, splash-proof, scratch-resistant, fade-resistant and durable finish. perfect for giving any selfie spot a ‘loveable’ look and joining Evola in 106 matching decors, ClicWall is UNILIN’s instantly transformative wall panel system.

“Interior designers also need to look at what’s currently popular on Instagram, although they need to be careful with temporary trends. Replaceable accessories are the key. The ball chairs at Hotel BLOOM! regularly get new cushions in different colours to create a whole new vibe, and arty objects throughout the hotel are replaced at regular intervals,” concludes Wouters.

UNILIN Evola and ClicWall panels can be used as the perfect, lasting backdrop for any hotel looking to make itself more Instragammable.

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

The Sound Hotel opens to celebrate all senses in Seattle

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The Hotel Group and Hilton have announced the grand opening of The Sound Hotel Seattle Belltown, Tapestry Collection by Hilton. Woven into the fabric of Belltown, one of Seattle’s most vibrant and centrally located neighborhoods, The Sound Hotel celebrates the sights, sounds and tastes that are unique to Seattle. It occupies the first 10 floors of the 42-story Arrivé tower, one of the first mixed-use properties, featuring rental units, in the market.

“We are thrilled to see The Sound Hotel open its doors as the brand’s first hotel in the Pacific Northwest, particularly in a city like Seattle that is known for innovation, great restaurants and a thriving arts scene,” said Jenna Hackett, global head, Tapestry Collection by Hilton. “Just as Seattle is one of the fastest-growing cities in America, Tapestry Collection continues to rapidly expand as The Sound Hotel also marks the collection brand’s first of many 2019 openings.”

Design firm Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA) immersed itself into the hotel’s neighborhood, visiting local hotspots and meeting with the community, to create an authentic Belltown experience. Upon arriving at the hotel entrance, guests are immediately welcomed into an artist’s studio as stretched canvases, murals and finished concrete floors flow towards the reception desk. Guest rooms feature warm, wood-toned floors, echoing the feeling of a musician stepping onto a stage. Dark, moody bathrooms are reminiscent of backstage dressing rooms, with microphone lights, plush robes, metal accents and rich black linear tiles setting the perfect backdrop.

Modern guestroom in hotel

Image credit: Hilton Hotels Worldwide

Artistic elements are also featured on the exterior of the hotel. Watkins commissioned Seattle graffiti artist Weirdo, a.k.a. Jeff Jacobson, to paint an original mural on an exterior brick wall facing several of the guest rooms, effectively turning those rooms into some of the most desirable in the hotel. This larger-than-life piece features Jacobson’s signature vivid, post-Internet hyper-realism style and beautifully tells the story of The Sound Hotel through art.

The Sound Hotel features 142 exquisitely designed guestrooms with expansive views of the downtown Seattle skyline and Puget Sound, a ground level restaurant, Currant Bistro.

“The hotel’s design drew directly from the Belltown neighborhood’s deep roots in the arts and local music scene, mixed in with the natural beauty of the Puget Sound region,” said David Watkins, general manager, The Sound Hotel. “Warm, rich textures in our rooms offer visitors an authentic Northwest experience, while the artistic elements reflect Seattle as a bustling hive of creativity.”

Image of modern bathroom with large sliding wooden doors

Image credit: Hilton Hotels Worldwide

The building’s seventh-floor Lupine Room offers 770 square feet of divisible meeting space, ideal for groups of up to 35. Featuring plenty of natural light, it can easily transform into an event space to accommodate an intimate gathering. In addition to the Lupine Room, Sound Bite Lounge is a relaxed, post-meeting gathering spot with a seasonal outdoor sundeck offering stunning views of the Space Needle.

Main image credit: Hilton Hotels Worldwide

 

Final call for entries: Shaw Contract Design Awards 2019

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The deadline for entries is March 1, 2019…

A global programme, the Shaw Contract Design Awards recognise the creative vision of the architects and designers who inspire new ways of living, working, learning and healing. The Awards place a spotlight on a diverse range of talents from across the globe, celebrating design in action and purposefully rewarding the innovative and truly inspiring work being done by the architecture and design community.

The Shaw Contract Design Awards programme is open to all professional interior design firms, architecture firms and end users. Projects must feature a Shaw Contract product as the predominant flooring in the space and must have been completed between February 2017 and February 2019. There is no cost to enter you just need to submit your design story by March 1, 2019.

Supporting a cause

In its 14 years, the Shaw Contract Design Awards Programme has given nearly $200,000 to non-profit and charitable organisations around the world. Each year, the final winners and People’s Choice Award winner select a charity of their choice to donate $2000 USD as part of their prize winnings. This allows designers the opportunity to make an impact beyond the built environment.

Fokkema & Partners Architecten Bv, the Netherlands-based firm whose work drew the judges’ attention for a win in the Small Office category, chose a cause that was near and dear to their firm. A former colleague oversees the construction of schools in Tanzania, and the firm chose to support her work with their winnings.

RossTarrant Architects, the People’s Choice Award winner, designed Western Kentucky University, USA and chose to give back to the Institution’s science and experimentation programmes.

For a chance to win the 2019 Design Awards and support the cause that matters most to your practice or company, please enter here.

Top stories of the week: futuristic hotel reviews, amazing architecture and rounding up MAISON&OBJET

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In the same week that the Surface Design Show opened in London and Dubai welcomes a new stylish neighbour (W Dubai – The Palm), Hotel Designs asked the former presenter of The Gadget Show, Jason Bradbury, to review a hotel 30 years in the future. Here are the top five stories of the week, as selected by editor Hamish Kilburn… 

This week, we published a story announcing yet another Hotel Designs’ traffic record. With January 2019’s readership peaking at more than 67,000 readers, the website has never been more popular internationally among designers, architects, hoteliers and industry suppliers. For that reason, this week has felt like a mini milestone on the editorial desk. Adding to that warm and fuzzy feeling, is our exclusive hotel review with Jason Bradbury, the former presenter of The Gadget Show. Equipped with a camera and the latest technology products, Bradbury spent the night in Eccleston Square Hotel in London future-gazing, as he reviewed the hotel in a unique format – 30 years in the future. Following on from MAISON&OBJET last month, the Surface Design Show, of which we are a media partner for, opened its doors at the Business Design Centre to a flood of new and exciting surface companies exhibiting its latest products. Ahead of that review going live, here are what I consider to be the top five stories of the week.

1) Jason Bradbury reviews Eccleston Square Hotel, London

Image credit: Eccleston Square Hotel/Twitter: @JasonBradbury

Healing heating, holographic entertainment and a toilet that tells you your food printer what snacks to make, technology expert and futurist Jason Bradbury spent a night future gazing in the technologically enhanced 19th Century luxury of Eccleston Square Hotel, London.

> Click here to read the full review

2) Editor’s round-up of MAISON&OBJET Paris and Deco Off 2019

Exhibition hall

Image credit: MAISON&OBJET

The streets of Paris at any time of the year ooze chic style, sophistication and a certain ‘je-ne sais quoi’. During January, though, it is a bustling haven for designers seeking inspiration on emerging trends, new pieces and exhaustive conversations. Between both Deco Off, which in my eyes is Paris’ answer to Clerkenwell Design Week, and MAISON&OBJET, an ocean of exciting products displayed from a plethora of exhibitors, Paris in January is quite simply unlike anywhere else on the design globe.

> Click here to read the round-up

3) W Hotels arrives on The Palm, Dubai

Image credit: W Hotels Worldwide

“The desert just got hotter,” is how W Hotels Worldwide, part of Marriott International Inc., announced the opening of W Dubai – The Palm, located on the Palm Jumeirah, the largest man-made island in the world and one of Dubai’s most iconic attractions.

> Click here to read the story

4) Deadline for 30 Under 30 applications announced

With less than two weeks before the deadline, time is running out for interior designers, architects and hoteliers to submit their entries for the 30 Under 30 list that will be unveiled at Meet Up London: 30 Under 30.

> Click here to apply/nominate

5) 5 awe-inspiring hotel architecture projects currently on the boards

Birdseye render of the site

Image credit: Foster + Partners

To kickstart our month shining the spotlight on architecture and construction, Hotel Designs highlights five groundbreaking projects that are currently in planning.

> Click here to read the story

Main image credit/caption: Torno Subito at W Dubai – The Palm

Hyatt Regency Valencia completes multi-million dollar renovation

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The 244-key hotel’s renovation in Valencia California has been designed for the modern traveller in mind… 

Hyatt Regency Valencia and Dimension Development has announced the completion of an expansive renovation of Hyatt Regency Valencia, and the introduction of Greater Pacific, a destination dining experience. Focusing on providing guests with a modern and effortless travel experience, the project enhanced all 244 guest rooms and suites, the lobby, public spaces, and all indoor and outdoor meeting spaces.

The new welcoming lobby opens to the sights and scents of Greater Pacific’s bar. Guestrooms feature modern design elements with a focus on premium style and comfort. Guests will enjoy large work desks, ergonomic chairs, and spacious bathrooms with upscale amenities and glass enclosed showers. Select rooms feature balconies, or views overlooking the pool, golf course or mountains.

The hotel’s 16,000 square feet of meeting space has been updated with energy-efficient lighting and each indoor ballroom features 20 foot ceilings adorned with grand chandeliers. Newly redesigned outdoor meeting space includes lush flower gardens, vine-covered terraces and manicured greens.

The hotel’s new signature restaurant, Greater Pacific, features contemporary décor with Asian and Californian influences and brings fresh fare to the community well beyond the traditional restaurants in the area. Greater Pacific’s menu illuminates a rich variety of approachable flavors and boldly crafted recipes of this country’s most fruitful state.

Main image credit: Hyatt Regency

Maggie’s St Barts awarded Supreme Winner at Surface Design Awards 2019

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13 awards were presented to the winners of Surface Design Awards 2019… 

The winners of the 2019 Surface Design Awards have been announced, hailing the best and most impressive use of materials in, and on, architectural projects from around the globe.

The beautiful new Maggie’s Centre Barts, London has been declared the Supreme Winner, capturing the judge’s hearts and minds. A beacon of design in the charity sector, the building by Steven Holl Architects’ was shortlisted in the Public Building Exterior category, gaining acclaim from the judges, including Christophe Egret, who stated “You really feel that a person dealing with cancer might feel elevated in this space.”

Across 13 categories entrants to the Awards comprised a who’s-who in architecture and design from around the world. Zaha Hadid Architects, Steven Holl Architects, Studio Egret West and Chris Dyson Architects from the UK, Rockwell Group from the USA, and Kengo Kuma & Associates from Japan were among the shortlist.

Contemporary view of the lobby

Image credit: Zaha Hadid Architects

The Surface Design Awards, announced at the annual Surface Design Show, recognise and celebrate the best use of innovative surface materials in architecture and design internationally.

Launched five years ago, the Awards have grown year-on-year to become one of the most respected accolades in the design awards realm. The 2019 shortlist consisted of an impressive 43 projects from 9 countries, each entry an exemplary example of creative and innovative use of materials and lighting in both interior and exterior schemes. Some projects won nominations across several categories, resulting in 48 finalists.

The 2019 judging panel was co-chaired by Christophe Egret, Founding Partner at Studio Egret West, and Paul Priestman, Chairman at PriestmanGoode. The full panel comprised Cany Ash, Partner at Ash Sakula Architects; James Soane, Director at Project Orange architecture & interior design; Jeremy Offer, Chief Creative Officer at future-focused vehicle designers Arrival; Katie Greenyer, Creative Talent & Network Director at Pentland Group; Paul Edwards, Head of Creative Design at Airbus and Roz Barr, Director of Roz Barr Architects.

The Surface Design Awards 2019 winners in full:

Award: Retail Interior
Project: Aesop flagship store
Designer: Snohetta

Award: Retail Exterior
Project: Lava Stone Shopfront
Designer: STAC Architecture

Award: Public Building Interior
Project: Writ in Water
Studio Octopi with Mark Wallinger

Award: Public Building Exterior
Project: Maggie’s Centre St Barts
Studio: Steven Holl Architects

Award: Commercial Interior
Project: The Veil
Studio: Giles Miller Studio & Orms

Award: Commercial Exterior
Project: Morpheus Hotel
Studio: Zaha Hadid Architects/ Isometrix Lighting Design

Award: Temporary Structure
Project: TED Theatre
Rockwell Group

Award: Sustainable Interior
Project: SGS Berkeley Green
Studio: Hewitt Studios

Award: Sustainable Exterior
Project: Cultural Village
Studio: Kengo Kuma & Associates

Award: Light & Surface Interior
Project: Gymbox Mopheus Hotel Atrium
Studio: Zaha Hadid Archtiects/ Lightivity Lighting Design/ Isometrix Lighting Design

Award: Light & Surface Exterior
Project: Black Prince Road Story Wall
Studio: Michael Grubb Studio/ AF Lighting

Award: Housing Interior
Project: Powis Cloud
Studio: Lily Jencks Studio

Award: Housing Exterior
Project: Fajal House
Studio: Mole Architects

Main image credit: Surface Design Show Awards/Maggie’s Centre St Barts/Steven Holl Architects

Editor’s round-up of MAISON&OBJET Paris and Deco Off 2019

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With the aim to unearth new talent among the sea of exhibitors, as well as identifying emerging trends in all markets, editor Hamish Kilburn reviews MAISON&OBJET Paris 2019…

The streets of Paris at any time of the year ooze chic style, sophistication and a certain ‘je-ne sais quoi’. During January, though, it is a bustling haven for designers seeking inspiration on emerging trends, new pieces and exhaustive conversations. Between both Deco Off, which in my eyes is Paris’ answer to Clerkenwell Design Week, and MAISON&OBJET, an ocean of exciting products displayed from a plethora of exhibitors, Paris in January is quite simply unlike anywhere else on the design globe.

Despite the social unrest in France recently, more than 84,000 visitors from 160 countries dodged yellow vests when descending on to the City of Light for the 21st edition of MAISON&OBJET Paris.

“2,910 exhibitors in total where represented at the show, 603 of which were new exhibiting brands.”

With each MAISON&OBJET fair traditionally exploring a key trend, this year’s exhibition pinned the Excuse My French! concept to the walls in order to challenge designers to highlight the Parisian influence, which is once again being felt across the world. The immersive experience offered in the Trend Forum set the scene for the unmistakably French art of cultivating paradoxes and twisting classics. It confirmed the creative excitement generated by French-made brands and a whole new generation of creators.

Stand at the show

Image credit: MAISON&OBJET

2,910 exhibitors in total where represented at the show, 603 of which were new exhibiting brands. Although it was impossible to have visited every stand, it was clear that on the surface there were common themes on what was expected to be popular in 2019. Nonetheless, each supplier pushed its limits to unveil to the world what was new in 2019. Above anything, it’s inspiring how ‘trend forecasts’ have been read but not necessarily adhered to. Here are a snippet of our highlights.

Let there be light

Combining functionality with decorative excellent, there were a number of lighting brands at the show that exhibited a range of innovative designs. Design By Us was among the leading exhibitors with its New Ocean Wave Optic Wall Lamp that provided a spectacular lighting installation, which glowed unapologetically outside its perimeters.

Door to the right and the Design By Us light to the left

Image credit: Design By Us

Elsewhere in the show, attendees were drawn the elegant stand of Glammfire. Its Thales pieces where centre stage of the stand, creating a dramatic ambiance. Whatsmore, the company also displayed the result of an interesting and colourful collaboration with artist Luio Onassis. With a sculptural design and simply charismatic, Thales is the world’s first suspended fireplace with a bioethanol automatic burner, designed from the drawing of a circle, is a versatile and adjustable piece that reveals the beauty of the integral view of the flame.

Husband and wife duo Verglass Luminaires exhibited bespoke lighting products such as Azur, Pop, Lotus and Cal. Established is 2007 by Scottish-born Julie Johnson and Eric Lemarie, there was a sense of personality on the stand.

Light in the middle of a kitchen

Image caption: POP by Verglass

Portugese-based Villa Lumi impressed attendees at the show with its Pendent that stood out not as lighting, but more as a piece of art which one can imagine would sit effortlessly on a mantlepiece, alone, in a quirky hotel lobby.

Meanwhile, Voltra Lighting, which was among the stand-out lighting companies that emerged in many of the London fairs in 2018, displayed its new generations of table-level lamps, which created a warm, intimate environment with the subtlety of candlelight – a welcome break from the harsh exhibition lighting.

Retro-fitting the future of lighting

Image caption: Delightfull’s Botti

There seems to be a influx in lighting specialists designing products that blend into their surroundings; perhaps this is the result of consumers becoming more savy around lighting and becoming more reactive when experiencing bad lighting (design suicide to many). Delightfull’s Botti sent sound waves of excitement through the hall as it was displayed on the company’s ever-colourful stand. The embodiment of the most famous wind instrument of them all, Botti mid-century table lamp was inspired by a classic trumpet. Its unique shades are handmade in brass with a gold-plated finish to resemble the instrument. The base can be produced in Nero Marquina or white marble, as well as black nickel or any other finish of your choosing. It is a tall table lamp, very hard to miss, with almost 55 pounds, making it the ideal choice for a classic living room design.

Celebrating imperfections in design

Attendees at the show questioned the definition of perfection at many areas of the show. What was concluded was that there’s a clean line between precision and perfection. While Tom Dixon’s precise craftsmanship never ceases to amaze new audiences, it was the imperfection that impressed visitors at the stand as the London-based studio unleashed a range of new collections. Swirl, one of the accessories launched at the show, is a mysterious new material that resembles 3D-marbeled paper yet has the weight of a stone. Perhaps the most interesting quality of this product is that no two pieces will ever be the same, giving each product its own personality. Displaying its qualities on apt newspaper was a touch that brought with it class, sophistication and a sense of headline-grabbing drama.

Storytelling on the walls, in the furniture and in the carpets

2018 closed with opinions being divided around which colours will dominate over the coming 12 months. While many companies amplify their answer to ‘the colours of the year’, wallcovering expert Arte decided to narrate the story of extinct animals. Partnering with Moooi, the company launched Extinct Animals, which brings the walls to life. Launched at its showroom in Saint-Germain-des-Prés during Deco Off, the showroom was a jungle of designers getting up close to animals that time had forgotten.

image of jungle wallpaper

Image credit: Arte/Moooi

Just down the road at Holland & Sherry’s showroom, the focus was on fabrics, colour and layers. Its signature weaving tradition has come to life in nine elegant handwoven designs. In addition, the showroom presented an array of unique trims that have been purposefully designed to compliment the company’s core fabric collection.

Back over at MAISON&OBJET, storytelling took many shapes and forms. From experimental lighting company Lumneo presenting neon mirror lamps to rug company Slinke displaying, as the name suggests, slinky-inspired patterns in pastel colours, each stand had its own narrative to tell. Wallpeper on the other hand took art outside the frame to be able to sustainably display in unique wallpaper.

Striking design of wallpaper on the walls

Image credit: Wallpepper

Meanwhile, using denim in a contemporary format, Japanese company Shin-Denim emerged to display a series of hard-wearing products. From a residential-styled reclined sofa to a striking wall partition, the material used in this way gave each product an usual, yet fresh, style.

Contract furniture company SCP exhibited a variety of design collaborations from the likes of Piet Hein Eek, Faudet-Harrison, Matthew Hilton, Reiko Kaneko, Phillipe Malouin, Donna Wilson and Jasper Morrison. Meanwhile, Pedrali opted for simple luxury displaying a glimpse of its SS19 collection with its latest modern colour twist on the classic Nolita range.

Green grass, yellow umbrella and chairs

Image credit: Pedrali, Nolita

Bringing the indoors outdoors

Following on from last year’s dominant trend to blur the lines between areas, many outdoor furniture companies were further muddying the waters by exhibiting indoor-looking outdoor furniture. The designs of which were determined on consumer behaviours, as Hugo de melo Lourenco from Sachi explained: “I don’t look at trends too much, because I prefer to understand behaviour and ergonomics of our products. Research has shown us that the luxury market is currently looking for outdoor furniture that is slim and minimalist.” Other companies that displayed new lines of outdoor furniture collections included Skyline Design, 10Deka, Tucci, SUNSO and Mobika Garden.

Image credit: Manta

While many exhibitors displayed sun loungers and shade options, handmade stone specialist Manta exhibited something out of the ordinary, an oversized outdoor (or indoor) marble seat as part of the company’s melting collection. The one-of-the-kind product oozed character and a high level of personality. Also adopting the same theme, Domani displayed a large selection of robust outdoor pots which stacked together to demonstrate the scale of different designs suited for a variety of spaces.

Once again, MAISON&OBJET has set the industry up for an exciting year of developing trends and themes. My time at the show would not be complete without a sneaky exclusive interview with the fair’s Designer of the Year, which this year was awarded the multi-talented Sebastian Herkner. All that is left to say is Bon Voyage, Paris, for another year – the journey into the world of 2019 interiors continues.

Main image credit: MAISON&OBJET

Technology expert Jason Bradbury reviews Eccleston Square Hotel in the future

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Technology expert Jason Bradbury reviews Eccleston Square Hotel in the future

Healing heating, holographic entertainment and a toilet that tells you your food printer what snacks to make, technology expert and futurist Jason Bradbury spent a night future gazing in the technologically enhanced 19th Century luxury of Eccleston Square Hotel, London

We’re living back to front. As technology marches inexorably forward, gaining speed at an exponential rate, it seems that the simple and the authentic have more value than ever before.

The resurgence of vinyl is a great example of this, independent coffee shops and organic grocers too – and so is a certain type of boutique hotel. In order to understand what a night in the hotel room of the future might be like, it’s necessary to appreciate why many of the standout disruptors in the current market are looking backwards, hiding their high-tech flaunts and instead focussing on experiences and simply good service.

Eccleston Square Hotel in London was the setting for my experiment in hotel room time travel. It’s a fine example of how well integrated smart technology can enhance a stay. Notable in-room features include LED clear-to-opaque glass in the bathroom, gestural lighting controls, a massaging bed and an improbably positioned outside/inside courtyard. All of these elements are design decisions that will have echoes in the rooms we will choose to book in the year 2049 (although few will have the Eccleston’s claim of being mere steps away from Winston Churchill’s front door).

Image of in-room ipad next to lighting controls

Image credit: Ecclestone Hotel London

 “The hotel room of the future will still rely heavily on technology, but it will be engineered for invisibility.”

30 years from now, the Artificial Intelligence (AI) that is currently the subject of deep moral conjecture will be commonplace. All retail, education, medicine, travel and data-centric areas of our lives will be handled by our personal Block-Chain driven A.Is. Much of our entertainment will be virtual visualisations; what we now call Augmented and Virtual Reality, immersive movies and games so convincing they’ll be indistinguishable from reality. It’s logical, therefore, to assume that when the mundane in life is handled by our personal A.I assistant and our persistent screen experience digital, we’ll seek out authenticity as an escape.

The hotel room of the future will still rely heavily on technology, but it will be engineered for invisibility. The down-lighters and wall switches that are currently in hotels will be replaced by neuro and mood interpreting imaging, ambient and natural light emulation, aimed at inducing calm and/or focus. Glass wall room dividers won’t just switch to opaque, they’ll transform into shimmering living jungle walls or expansive movie screens or personalised news feeds created by holographic projection. Think Minority Report, but without the need for gloves.

Modern bathroom

Image credit: Eccleston Square Hotel, London

In order to get a handle on all this future gazing, it’s sometimes helpful to have tangible examples to hand. The recently launched Magic Leap mixed reality headset offers insight into how a futuristic hotel room could be brought or augmented with ultra-high definition virtual assets. By 2049, several exponential leaps up the curve, the headset might be unnecessary, imaging handled by a projector and a glass room divider infused with highly refractive silver particles.

That’s entertainment, but what about the health and wellness opportunities offered by the hotel room of the next decade?

“Beyond just heating, far infrared light offers all manner of health benefits including immune system support, helping to alleviate stress, psoriasis and relieving joint and muscle pain.”

Astectherm is an example of an advanced technology that predicts the kind of hybrid between practical and health orientated benefits that might find itself in the guestroom in 10 years from now. I was able to install a working sample of this thin, flexible infrared thermal heating fabric between the electrically operated curtains during my Eccleston Square Hotel stay. More usually, lengths of Astectherm would be installed in walls or under floor and ceilings. Beyond just heating, far infrared light offers all manner of health benefits including immune system support, helping to alleviate stress, psoriasis and relieving joint and muscle pain. This system is an excellent example of an invisible technology that could offer in-room, spa-like health and wellness advantages for the future hotel room user checking in.

Hyper-personalisation will drive much high-end retail and leisure experiences in the future. The 3D printers that are still mainly the preserve of industry today will perhaps print bespoke, nutritionally focused meals in the kitchens of tomorrow. In order to compete, a morning in an Eccelston Square Hotel room circa 2049 will, for example, have to offer a high-end personalised breakfast and coffee experience. To give a sense of where our future caffeine fixes might come from, I tested the Ikawa Personal Coffee roaster in my room. As well as infusing the suite with a gorgeous aroma of freshly roasted green coffee beans, the tiny app-controlled machine offers concrete insight into the quick, delicious and bespoke snacks and meals we will come to expect in the near-future. In future in-room coffee machines, the ingredients will be determined by a stool and urine analysing toilet and other health monitoring wearables. If your morning bathroom routine flags a rise in your inflammatory markers, you might find turmeric in your freshly-roasted, non-dairy latte.

Image caption: Ikawa Personal Coffee Roaster – thanks to coffee gurus @Steampunkcoffeemachine & @Anyalou and Ben from imperialteas.co.uk

While we currently have the Apple Watch, in the future we’ll see far more discrete wearables, which will offer a much deeper insight into our general wellness. Take sleep for example, a critical part of any hotel room experience. At the moment, Some hotels offer a vague ‘good night guarantee’ based on little more than firm pillows. Eccleston Square Hotel already takes its bedtime more seriously than most, but as well as a mood lighting and an electronically adjustable bed, in 10 years time its beds might map guests’ REM and movement signatures. They high-tech beds might compare them to a block-chain powered pattern from thousands of my previous nights’ sleep, cross-referenced with a range of biological and psychological markers, blood sugar readings from bathroom analysis and wearables and even neurological data. And if this is all sounding a little too Sci-Fi, I took the liberty of installing a Nokia Smart Sleep sensor in my Eccleston Square hotel bed.

“The app data showed a high ‘Sleep Quality’ score of 90 per cent, only twenty seconds of snoring and a longer period of ‘deep sleep’ than on previous nights at home testing it.”

Perhaps it was exhaustion from setting up all the gadgets- or the massage – but the app data showed a high ‘Sleep Quality’ score of 90 per cent, only twenty seconds of snoring and a longer period of ‘deep sleep’ than on previous nights at home testing it. This level of detail, while insightful today will seem laughably trivial in ten years, but again, Nokia’s gadget is a fine example of where we’re heading.

Image Caption: Nokia Sleep Sensor. 2. Bed’s Massage Remote Control

The Eccleston Square Hotel has several rooms with distinctive private outdoor spaces. It achieves this by cleverly slicing up what would be larger areas and then giving each outdoor triangle the perception of space with large mirrored walls. This is another precursor to a future trend; the use of spacial sensory imaging, both auditory and visual, to create outdoor experiences, but on a considerably smaller scale. Looking beyond 2049 and it’s not implausible to imagine something like a Star Trek holodeck that transforms a tiny 24m² courtyard into an infinite forest in which you can jog by virtue of a 360° treadmill.

Image caption: Courtyard in Eccleston Square Hotel Room showing outside mirrored wall

It’s a contradiction for sure, but technology will deliver what the hotel guest of the future will desire most, authenticity. The design ethos, eco and energy awareness, food and customer service expectations of the discerning hotel guest a decade hence will still be central to their choice. What will change is the availability of bespoke, luxury personalised services, many of which will have echoes of a bygone age, a time when the gadgets that distract us today hadn’t been invented. Of course there will be no obvious gadgets in the hotel room of the future, just ‘real’ services and experiences. And when reality can’t be delivered, we’ll be happy to accept the perception of it.

Jason Bradbury can booked for futurology talks at jla.co.uk and found on YouTube  & Instagram. Thanks also to the lovely staff at Eccleston Square Hotel. 

 Main image credit: Twitter @JasonBradbury/Eccleston Square Hotel London

5 awe-inspiring hotel architecture projects currently on the boards

730 565 Hamish Kilburn

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5 awe-inspiring hotel architecture projects currently on the boards

To kickstart our month shining the spotlight on architecture and construction, Hotel Designs highlights five groundbreaking projects that are currently in planning… 

Long before the Burj Al Arab made its magnificent entrance onto the shores of Dubai in 1999, architects have competed with one another to break into the clouds of possibilities within international design.

Although there have always been groundbreaking architectural projects to rise from the earth, the advancement of technology over the last 20 years in particular has enabled practitioners to take architecture into a new era. The result is game-changing. No longer are guests’ first impressions made in comfort the hotel lobby. Instead, mass opinions are divided when the architects, who strive to constantly push the boundaries of what is possible, unveil their masterplans. To celebrate the architects are the top of their game, here are five projects that are currently in construction, which will shelter luxury hotels.

1) Rosewood Bangkok 

Skyline of Bangkok, which clearly shows the Rosewood Bangkok building

Image credit: KPF Architects

The award-winning building, designed by KPF Architects, was inspired by the graceful Thai hand gesture of the wei. The distinct slant of the building has opened up the opportunity for terraces, shrinking floorplates, and unique, occupiable spaces. With interior design by Ceilia Chu Design, the 30-storey high-rise tower will feature two restaurants, two bars, a luxurious spa, an outdoor swimming pool and a fitness centre. In addition, the hotel will shelter residential-style meeting and function space and the top-floor Sky Villa event venue will boast panoramic views of the capital’s iconic skyline.

> Read more about the project here

2) art’otel London, Battersea Power Station 

Birdseye render of the site

Image credit: Foster + Partners

Phase three of a major part of the regeneration of the Battersea Power Station site has been designed by Gehry Partners and Foster + Partners. In addition to 1,300 new homes, the new development will include the 160-key art’otel London. The Skyline, which is the building designed by Foster + Partners that will shelter the hotel, will feature an outdoor rooftop pool and bar overlooking the chimneys of the iconic Battersea power station.
> Read more about the project here

3) Four Seasons Golf Resort and Residences, Goa

Render of striking public areas on the coast

Image credit: WATG

Architecture and design firm WATG were appointed to create the exterior of the 125-key hotel in order to include design details that celebrates the history of Goa through Colonial Portugese structure and contemporary form. The hotel has been designed to attract erudite travellers from around the world to experience beauty, relaxation and Indian hospitality. Using the rugged coast as an architectural reference, the firm’s renders tell a quintessential local design story that, when completed, will anchor the architectural theme throughout.

> Read more about the project here

4) KoolKiel, Germany 

Render of the complex which depicts the two high-rise buildings

Image credit: MVRDV

The most recent update on this project is that the mixed-use development building’s form will be determined in consultation with the community. The Koolkiel complex, which is being designed by MVRDV, will include two buildings that will be wrapped by customisable concrete panels. With the aim to amplify the city’s creative edge, each of these silhouette-like panels can be cast in different shapes. Although the brand and name is yet to be announced, a 250-key hotel will be sheltered in the complex.
> Read more about the project here 

5) Murcury Tower, Malta

View of Murcury Tower in Malta

Image credit: Zaha Hadid Architects

The renovation and redevelopment of Mercury House, led by Zaha Hadid Architects, integrates residential apartments and boutique hotel within Malta’s most dynamic urban environment. Creating new public spaces and amenities for the island’s residents and visitors, the design responds to Paceville’s key urban challenges by investing in its civic realm and increasing its limited housing supply.

Derelict for more than twenty years, the 9,405 sq.m. site includes the remaining façades of the old Mercury House that date from 1903. Two underground vaults created during the Cold War are also within the site’s boundary.

The 31-storey tower of residential apartments and hotel is aligned at street level to integrate with Paceville’s existing urban fabric and to reduce its footprint, maximizing civic space within the new piazza.

Conceived as two volumes stacked vertically, the tower incorporates a realignment that expresses the different functional programmes within.

> Read more about the design here

Main image credit: WATG

Top 5 stories of the week: Lighting the mood, surface trends and Meet Up developments

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Concluding January and looking ahead to the future of lighting, surfaces and hotel development, Hamish Kilburn writes the top five stories of the week…

As January turns to February, there is much anticipation in the air around developing trends. The must-watch lists of hues, textures and materials that landed in my inbox on January 1 have filtered subtly into the designs of new hotel spaces. Designers working outside the box establish how they can create a timeless statement scan the floors of the trade shows. The next in the calendar is the Surface Design Show in London (February 5 – 7). Ahead of the show, this week we took a closer look at the trends on the walls, floors and ceilings. Closer to home, Hotel Designs had some developments of its own to announce. Here are the top five stories of the week.

1) 6 trends to look out for at Surface Design Show 2019

dark bathroom design

Image credit: SIBU

Taking place next week in London’s Business Design Centre, Surface Design Show will showcase the latest products and technology in surface design. Ahead of the event, as Hotel Designs is a media partner of #SDS19, here are top surface trends to be mindful of.

> Read more about the trends here

2) Meet Up London: 30 Under 30 Announces Early Bird Tickets

Until February 7, designers, architects, hoteliers and suppliers will be able to purchase early bird tickets for Hotel Designs‘ highly anticipated Q1 networking evening, Meet Up London: 30 Under 30.

Exclusive style partner: Minotti London

Exclusive headline partner: Hamilton Litestat

> To book your tickets, click here

3) One-third of consumers believe lighting helps to eliminate January Blues

A study has revealed that one in three people believe that lighting is important to creating a relaxed and calm atmosphere before bed.

As the January blues well and truly set in for some, new research has revealed how lighting can have direct impact on mood and wellbeing in the hotel environment.

> To read more about the study, click here

4) SUSD gains planning consent for hotel and members club on the River Thames

render of the exterior of a manor-like building

Image credit: SUSD

SUSD, the developer behind two of London’s most successful hybrid destinations, The Curtain Hotel & Members Club and Devonshire Club, has just won planning consent, subject to finalising the S106 Agreement, for a third development, this time on the banks of the Thames near Pangbourne, Berkshire.

> To read more about the plans, click here

5) Editor Checks In: January ’19

To round up January – and to help understand the crossroads many designers are at – it felt appropriate to use the metaphor of two worlds colliding. I am, of course, referring to the opportunities that result from authentic collaborations.

> To read my editor’s letter, click here

If you would like to be kept up to date with the latest happenings and news in international hotel design, subscribe to receiving our newsletter here.

Main image credit: ITC Natural Luxury Flooring

6 trends to look out for at Surface Design Show 2019.

800 658 Hamish Kilburn

Taking place next week in London’s Business Design Centre, Surface Design Show will showcase the latest products and technology in surface design. Ahead of the event, as Hotel Designs is a media partner of #SDS19, here are top surface trends to be mindful of…

The Surface Design Show, taking place on February 5 – 7, will again provide architects and designers with an exciting and inspirational range of surface designs and materials.

Speaking before the show opens trend forecaster and curator of the Show’s Surface Spotlight Live feature, Sally Angharad enthused: “There are a number of distinct trends coming out of Surface Design Show that visitors will pick up. Once again the Show will set the scene for the next year in terms of design ideas.”

Here are some of the 2019 trends to look out for are:

Scallop Shapes
Scallop shape tiles create decorative patterns in a combination of solid colours and patterned finishes. Blueprint Ceramics, Finsa and Viuva Lamego will both be exhibiting scallop shapes

Sumptuous Neutrals
Warm neutrals replace grey with shades of brown adding depth to tactile surfaces. Look out for Saint- Gobain, Off the Wall Coverings and ITC Natural Luxury Flooring.

Image credit: ITC Natural Luxury Flooring

Dynamic Patterns
A combination of tile formats creates complex designs for statement features. Exhibitors include Blueprint Ceramics and Viuva Lamego

Patina Effects
Weathered metals inspire luxurious patina effects on a variety of surfaces from flooring to finishes. PowderTech (Corby), MUUNA and Finsa will be stands to visit.

Indulgent Darks
Dark colours are key for glazed and tonal finishes to create dramatic yet welcoming effects. SIBU Designs, Grestec Tiles and Sterling Studios will be exhibitors to seek out.

dark bathroom design

Image credit: SIBU

Nature/Nurture
Organic materials translate into surfaces for walls and lighting that bring comforting textures indoors. Exhibitors include Freund, Innerspace Cheshire and PHEE. A range of new materials, prototypes and innovations can be seen on Surface Spotlight Live curated in collaboration by trend expert Sally Angharad and trend, colour & material forecast agency; Colour Hive.

Surface Design Show opens on February 5 from 6.00pm – 9.00pm; February 6 from 11.00 -9.00pm and February 7 from 11.00 – 5.00pm.

Main image credit: Blueprint Ceramics

Nine Hotel Group opens DoubleTree by Hilton in 19th Century Mill House

800 566 Hamish Kilburn

With more and more hotels opening in heritage shells, Nine Hotel Group announces the opening of DoubleTree by Hilton hotel Reading M4 J10 in a 19th century mill house…

Vivek Chadha – of Nine Hotel Group – purchased the Best Western Grade II listed mill house in 2017 and has spent £4 million on the redevelopment, rebranding the hotel to a DoubleTree by Hilton and expanding its facilities.

Now open to the public, the 129-key hotel is conveniently situated on the edge of Reading Town Centre, Providing the ideal base for both business and leisure travellers, the hotel is predicted to bring an influx of people to the area as well as providing luxurious amenities for the local community.

Included in the development is the construction of a 300-person capacity ballroom complete with a large banqueting facility for weddings, giving the hotel a total of five function rooms for groups looking to host events or business meetings.

Inside the historic mill, the bedrooms boast traditional characteristics such as classic wooden beams, and the Godfather & Co Restaurant – part of the original mill – has the River Loddon flowing beneath.

The renovation of this hotel has kept the traditional and distinctive character all of which is set on 10.5 acres of natural landscape, while boasting modern amenities such as a 24-hour fitness centre.

Those looking for a local country pub can visit the onsite Poachers Pub to sample real ales in a cosy atmosphere, complete with real  log fires. The Godfather & Co Restaurant proudly sources local produce, and you can also pay a visit to the Whisky Charlie Lounge where you can enjoy the hotel’s very own local cocktail, The Lion of Sindlesham.

Speaking about the DoubleTree by Hilton Reading M4 J10 refurbishment, Vivek Chadha, Managing Director and founder of Nine Hotel Group, said: “I’m proud to bring the unique Nine Group ethos to the area and I look forward to seeing the hotel prosper. The property was selected for redevelopment as it is part of local history, rich in character and period features. It now boasts premium facilities for the discerning guest whether they are visiting for business or pleasure.”

The latest addition to DoubleTree by Hilton, one of Hilton’s 15 market-leading brands, marks the first DoubleTree property in Reading and joins an existing 50 DoubleTree by Hilton hotels in the United Kingdom.

Main image credit: Hilton Hotels/Nine Hotel Group

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts to arrive in Okinawa, Japan

800 534 Hamish Kilburn

Four Seasons Resort and Private Residences Okinawa, which will shelter 120 guestrooms and suites, is expected to complete in 2023…

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and Berjaya Okinawa Development Co. Ltd. (“Berjaya Okinawa”) have announced its new development on the island of Okinawa. The project will debut as part of the development’s master plan as Four Seasons Resort and Private Residences Okinawa.

Comprising a total of 100 acres (more than 40 hectares) of beachfront, the project site is located along the western coast of the island, approximately 31 miles (50 kilometres) northeast of Naha International Airport, with easy access by highway from the airport and close to tourist attractions. The Resort will comprise 30 acres (12 hectares) of the project development land area, with 120 hotel rooms, 120 residences and 40 villas. The project is expected to take approximately four years to complete with a total development cost of USD 400 million and estimated gross development value of USD 1 billion.

“Four Seasons Resort and Private Residences Okinawa is another iconic project in Japan for the Berjaya Group, emulating the success of Four Seasons Hotel and Residences Kyoto, which officially opened in December 2016,” said Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Vincent Tan (“TSVT”), Founder and Executive Chairman of BCorp. “I am sure that with the prestigious Four Seasons branding and management, along with its strategic location in central Okinawa, the hotel will be one of the best on the island of Okinawa.”

“We are proud to continue our successful partnership with Berjaya Group with another exceptional project in Japan, extending our presence in the region and offering both guests and residents more chances to experience Four Seasons,” says Bart Carnahan, Executive Vice President, Global Business Development, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. “Together with Berjaya, we will not only create the very finest resort and residences of the highest quality, but will also offer a level of unparalleled service, one that is synonymous with the name Four Seasons around the globe.”

The master plan for Four Seasons Resort and Private Residences Okinawa, including planning and landscape architecture, is developed by internationally renowned landscape architecture and urban design firm EDSA Inc, and world-renowned Japanese architects Kengo Kuma and Kuniken will serve as joint architects of the project. Kengo Kuma’s work has been internationally acknowledged and he was chosen to design Tokyo’s Olympic Stadium for the 2020 Olympic Games recently; and Kuniken is the largest architecture firm in Okinawa.

The vision is to create a destination that portrays the cultural heritage of Okinawa island along with its natural landscape and resources. The Resort will be anchored by a resident beach club nestled on the east side, where guests as well as the homeowners will be able to access the natural beach. Additionally, the low-density layout of the resort will also allow guests and homeowners to access every amenity by foot, bicycles or golf carts. The resort facilities will include an all-day dining restaurant, specialty dining and lounge, retail shops and recreation facilities, as well as public grounds and gardens.

Main image credit: Four Seasons Resorts

Hotel lighting in the cruise vessels of the future

800 533 Hamish Kilburn

In response to the final article in the series, Hotels at New Heights, Chelsom Lighting shares its expertise on how it has helped to light the cruise vessels of the future…

Sailing the world’s oceans on one of today’s state of the art cruise ships is just as luxurious and flamboyant as it was on one of the great liners from a hundred years ago. The boundaries of marine interior design, like international hotel design, are constantly being expanded by the world’s top design practices and the scope of things to do on board. The result is that many ships are beginning to surpasses many land based hotels and resorts. It’s no wonder the whole cruise industry is booming with millions of satisfied passengers returning year after year. However, in terms of decorative products which contribute to such amazing interiors, there could hardly be a harsher environment with its pitching seas, salt air and constant motion. It takes a certain kind of design, a certain range of skills, an amount of specialist technical knowledge and a lot of commitment to successfully service such a demanding industry.

Light and airy interiors in the cruise ship

Image credit: Crystal Cruise

Product design

The interior designers who create the spectacular interiors of today’s ships are real specialists in their field. They have an overall brief to be extravagant, breath taking, original and awe inspiring and in the case of public areas they can work on a massive scale within the huge spaces which can sometimes transcend three or four decks. Subtle and understated are rarely the design watchwords so there is often the need for sparkle, drama and statement. The product designer must embrace these interior concepts and interpret them so that they function perfectly within the marine environment. Nothing must be allowed to sway about in rough seas, components must not vibrate, everything must be bolted down so it never falls over, weight restrictions must be considered and installation or maintenance must be as simple as possible. For cabins, space is often a driving feature so scaling down individual components whilst still maintaining perfect ambient light levels is important. Switching and dimming options are also usually essential.

Team work

As a specialist marine lighting supplier, we respect our role as just one of the huge teams of contractors ensuring that a cruise ship has stunning interiors with product that functions perfectly over a long period in a challenging environment. Our team work extends to collaborating with interior designers, lighting designers, shipyards, outfitters and cruise operators all around the world. Whereas a hotel stays where it is, there is a date on which a ship sails away and everybody in the team focusses 100 per cent on that date which is final!

Stairway of a ship

Image credit: Regent Seven Seas

Technical

Some of the manufacturing and structural technicalities of marine lighting are testing to say the least but lighting technology itself plays an ever increasing role in cruise interiors. Energy saving light sources are of course mandatory but colour rendering, colour changing, easily controlled dimming and remote switching are all increasingly important and indeed successful. Mostly it’s about creating the most luxurious and inviting ambience but it’s also about ease of lighting control and ease of maintenance. We work as part of the team of marine experts to bring all the lighting requirements to fruition.

Installation

There can be literally thousands of contractors on a ship at any one time when it is in build. Every one of them is working diligently to complete their own task whilst cooperating with all those around them so nothing gets in the way or delays some other part of the process. We have our own specialist and qualified marine installation team who will be on board at the right time to take delivery of our lighting products, assemble on site, install and commission. This on board presence not only allows successful installation but also allows any last minute adjustment or changes which can occur due to the sheer scale and complexity of the working environment.

Chelsom is a 70 year old company with vast experience in the cruise ship sector. Its knowledge of and close relationship with the industry’s specialist interior design practices, shipyards and operators gives us the closest possible understanding of what the industry needs. The company’s own in-house marine specialists in product design, manufacture and installation ensure that it meets those needs. Chelsom is proud to be one of the world’s leading manufacturers of marine lighting today.

Chelsom are one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. If you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, click here.

Main image credit: Chelsom/Harmony of the Seas

One Devonshire Gardens unveils refurbed guestrooms and suites

800 487 Hamish Kilburn
The hotel’s renovation, led by Anita Rosato Interior Design, results in 49 newly designed guestrooms and suites…

One Devonshire Gardens by Hotel du Vin has recently completed a transformational refurbishment, cementing its status as one of Glasgow’s most iconic and best-loved hotels.

The refurbishment encompasses the hotel’s 49 rooms, including its six luxurious suites, and the result is spectacular. Inspired by the flora and fauna of the nearby botanical gardens, as well as Hotel du Vin’s long-standing association with excellent wines and champagnes, the guest rooms boast fresh colour schemes, accented by rich, seasonal colour features to add brightness and vibrancy.

“One Devonshire Gardens is a truly unique hotel which brings centuries of heritage together with today’s modern life, and I’m delighted that the guestrooms reflect this,” said Guus Bakker, CEO EMEA Frasers Hospitality. “The final result is 49 beautiful spaces which marry together the old and the new, creating a warm space which is not only steeped in history but is also functional for today’s traveller. We’re delighted with the result and can’t wait for Hotel du Vin’s guests to relax and enjoy these lovely spaces.”

Image credit: Hotel du Vin

With the hotel’s heritage in mind, the original fireplaces, original ornate cornices and mouldings, along with the magnificent windows, have all been preserved and worked into the overall design. The beautiful style is elevated by sculptural lighting and curated mid-century and re-invented antique furniture, which come together to create an eclectic, original style.

Anita Rosato, Owner at Anita Rosato Interior Design, added: “One Devonshire Gardens is such a special place and it has been a real privilege to work with the team to take this part of the hotel forward into the next chapter. Inspiration for the concept of the guestrooms came from the Hotel du Vin brand and its close association with great wines and champagnes as well as from the beautiful Botanical Gardens nearby, where boldly coloured flora and fauna have really informed the move to a more vibrant colour palette. We’re so pleased with the result and are really excited that the rooms are now available for guests to experience.”

Image credit: Hotel du Vin

Following the refurbishment, the hotel now boasts two Luxury Townhouse Suites – Krug and Toques & Clochers. The Krug Suite has been completely reconfigured and now features a dining area (which can also serve as a meeting room) and a luxury bathroom which comprises a free standing roll top bath and large shower. Toques & Clochers has been elevated to a sumptuous Luxury Townhouse Suite, and now has the potential to be either a one or two bedroom suite.

The project was spearheaded by Hotel du Vin’s Group Development Director Jonathan Livesey, supported by well-known interior design business Anita Rosato Interior Design.

Located in the Glasgow West-end district, the stunning One Devonshire Gardens by Hotel du Vin is made up of five grand 19th century Grade B listed houses connected on the ground floor and first floors, and boasts 49 guestrooms each with its own distinctive architectural character.

Modern hotel in a timeless shell, Heythorp Park Hotel completes refurbishment

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The grade II listed country estate, Heythrop Park Hotel, completes refurbishment to 48 guestrooms balancing a timeless look with clever injection of bespoke furniture…

Curtis Furniture has recently completed a refurbishment of 49 guestrooms at the four-star Heythrop Park hotel in Oxfordshire. Operating in a 17th century grade II listed country estate, the newly renovated hotel now adorns a modern look and feel while remaining sensitive to its heritage.

Light and airy guestroom

The age of the building provided a challenge for the furniture specialists as the bedrooms were small and ergonomically difficult. The tired guestrooms required refurbishment whilst complying to an exact specification and budget.

The Brief

The clients specified that the rooms had to meet the high standard of the estate whilst complementing the ambiance of the location. The refurbishment was approached firstly by listening to the client’s needs, then establishing a strategy and finally a solution which would deliver the required results on time, whilst remaining within the given budget.

The Solution

Curtis provided various pieces of bespoke furniture which were used to solve the problem of the smaller sized rooms. Pale colours were used to make the rooms appear larger, floating bedsides provided more floor space, curved desks saved space whilst providing a functioning workspace and mirrored wardrobes which had sliding doors were used to prevent pinch points. The project took 8 weeks from the first site visit to delivery.

The client’s problem was solved, and the Heythrop Park team were proud to open their doors and a new chapter for the property as well as the hotel it shelters.

Curtis Furniture are 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, click here.

 

 

Sleek interiors at London Marriott West India Quay

M Studio London completes fresh interiors at London Marriott Hotel West India Quay

1024 576 Hamish Kilburn

Working with designers M Studio London, all 301 guestrooms and suites at the London Marriott Hotel West India Quay have undergone a full refurbishmnet to offer fresh, stylish accommodation in the heart of Canary Wharf, London…

Sleek lines with splashes of turquoise to reflect the waterways surrounding the property were the inspiration behind M Studio London’s latest project at London Marriott Hotel West India Quay. The hotel guestrooms and suites have been designed to incorporate intelligent technology to creating a luxurious blend of interiors tailored for both business and leisure travellers.

The spacious guestrooms boast stylish, understated carpets and wallpaper in a neutral beige and taupe palette, contrasted by dark wood furniture detailing and a flash of colour from the hand blown glass turquoise lamps. “When designing an interior we integrate vernacular of the architecture and local surroundings,” explained Alan McVitty, Director of M Studio London. All flooded with natural light from floor-to-ceiling windows, certain guestrooms also boast scenic views over West India Quay whilst the Curve Suites showcase incredible sights across Canary Wharf’s skyline.

Guestrooms have been decked out with luxurious flat screen TVs and plush mattresses, whilst suites come equipped with Nespresso coffee machines. Up-to-the-minute technology including high-speed Wi-Fi and 8 USB ports can be found in each room, ensuring ease for business travel.

“Here at London Marriott Hotel West India Quay the makeover has been inspired by our guests from start to finish,” said Bertrand Dijoux, General Manager at the hotel. “For our unique mix of business and leisure travellers, we’ve integrated high-quality, easy to use technological features and amenities, whilst maintaining a sleek and understated design.”

The property’s renowned steakhouse Manhattan Grill and relaxed bar G&Tea attract hotel guests and locals alike. Overlooking Canary Wharf quay side with a modern, light and airy ambiance, the Manhattan Grill claims to serve up some of the finest steaks in the area.

G&Tea, the sophisticated cocktail bar housing over 180 gins from both micro-breweries across London as well as classic brands, provides a relaxed spot to unwind with a drink and bar nibbles or a superb afternoon tea.

The hotel boasts a quiet fitness centre and sauna, perfect for switching off after a long working day, along with 19 stylish and modern event and meeting rooms able to accommodate 290, equipped with high-speed internet and modern audiovisual facilities.

Image credit: Marriott International

Dukes London unveils new Deluxe room as part of renovations

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New-look Deluxe room category design led by DesignLSM.

Dukes London has taken the wraps off its new Deluxe room category, which has been introduced as part of a renovation project covering both the bedrooms and public areas of the hotel.

The Mayfair-based five-star hotel offers 90 rooms in total, with the 22 newly-refurbished Deluxe rooms having been individually designed by DesignLSM.

Each room is decorated in greys and whites, which Dukes says creates a soothing and relaxing ambience, worming in tandem with soft furnishings to lend a modern twist to the hotel’s classical tone.

Other touches in the Deluxe rooms include matching bedspreads and armchairs in a variety of colours, including duck egg blue, mustard yellow and slate grey, while the bathrooms are finished in white marble.

Sally Peters, Associate of LSM Design, said:“The bedroom refurbishment project with Dukes has been a real labour of love, it was a huge undertaking to give each of the 90 rooms the consideration it deserved, to find fabrics that are beautiful yet resilient and to bring enough change to the rooms to be impactful whilst respecting the much loved history and guest anticipation of the Dukes experience. Dukes has a very restful atmosphere and we feel we have struck a perfect balance between cool, neutral and vibrant accent. I love the colour palette and the rich textured fabrics. The bespoke artwork maximises the impact of the upholstery tones pulling the whole design together. The rooms are a visual and sensory treat, each one having its own individuality.”

Wider Refurbishment

The opening of the new room category marks the completion of Dukes London’s multimillion pound refurbishment, which includes a new-look lobby, renovated bedrooms, the new St James’ Suite for events and the Great British Restaurant, headed up by Executive Chef Nigel Mendham.

Debrah Dhugga, Managing Director of Dukes Collection, said: “Our aim is to enhance and enrich what our guests know and love about the Dukes experience, whilst maintaining our award-winning five-star service and attention to detail that the hotel is so well-known for.”

Wyboston Lakes Resort set for £3m refurbishment

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Total transformation planned for residential Conference and Events venue.

Wyboston Lakes Resort is about to start on the first phase of a complete refurbishment, part of a £3m+ investment that will add meeting areas designed with creative flare and equipped with top of the range technology.

Furthermore, £0.5m is being invested specifically in the IT network, with Phase One of the work to be completed later this year.

Synergy Architects Ltd were commissioned to assess ways in which the existing building, opened in 1998, could be adapted to accommodate the latest trends in conferences in the 21st century and meet the needs of delegates.

Their plans encompass a comprehensive interior refit to modernise and upgrade the facilities sensitively and in keeping with the existing building.

Major changes

Though scheme will modernise all the public spaces, both within the building and within the external courtyards. The principal changes will be:

  • Increasing the capacity of the main conference room to 300+ delegates while incorporating the latest in design, IT and flexibility
  • Redecoration, new lighting, new artwork, room layouts and an uplift to the Bar and Main Breakout area
  • Movable wall sub-divisions, new seating, lighting and artwork in the Restaurant and server
  • A new coffee bar concept will be created
  • Movable walls between Training rooms to create more flexible spaces with increased occupancy
  • A new mini theatre and themed rooms
  • Developing the outdoor courtyard areas to integrate their use with the building, introducing sliding/folding walls to open the inside out
  • Hard and soft landscaping, adding seating, lighting, games areas, mobile bars and barbeques

Wyboston Lakes Resort Operations Director Steve Jones said: “This complete refurbishment of our premium conference and events centre is exciting.  All 120 bedrooms and bathrooms have now been upgraded with modern wet rooms installed. This phase will increase the size of the principle function room by around 54 per cent once completed, followed by all meeting rooms and public areas.

“As well as the physical works we are investing heavily in the overall offering with a new range of creative food and beverage outlets being launched and we will continue our focus on high end AV and outstanding service and hospitality. Our research into trends in dedicated conference and events venues has taken us across several continents and this investment is aimed to ensure we remain the venue of choice for the many blue-chip companies we work with. This will relaunch the Centre as a bright modern contemporary venue fit for the next decade.”

The purpose built residential Conference venue offers meeting and event facilities with a full spectrum of residential and non-residential events.

This investment will bring the total investment in the Resort in the last few years to over £10m and is part of a long term continuing reinvestment strategy.

Hardwick Hall Hotel completes £500,000 refurbishment

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Ramside Estates-owned County Durham hotel has unveiled its new look

The Hardwick Hall Hotel at Sedgefield has been given a £500,000 facelift, which includes a revamped bar and lounge area.

The hotel’s Boyne Suite, which can take up to 120 guests, has also benefited from a new carpet, curtains and complete redecoration.

The four star hotel, which is located in Hardwick County Park, has 50 bedrooms and offers a range of dining options, including the Rib Room Steakhouse and Grill.

It also has a number of suites and meeting rooms and erects large marquees at various points throughout the year, which can hold up to 1500 people.

The hotel host events, including the annual Lobster Ball, the Oyster Festival and Hardwick Live – a two day musical festival which attracts thousands of attendees.

The hotel is part of the family owned Ramside Estates, which also includes the award-winning Ramside Hall Hotel, Spa and Golf and near-by Bowburn Hall.

Owner John Adamson said: “We’ve created a stylish and welcoming bar and lounge area, but still very much keeping the hotel’s traditional feel. It’s already being well used for everything from afternoon teas to casual dining and we are very pleased with the results and how much great feedback we are getting from our guests.”

Doubletree by Hilton completes Cadbury House bedroom refurbishment

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The hotel has upgraded 72 bedrooms and also boasts a new state-of-the-art reception area.

The four-star DoubleTree by Hilton, Cadbury House in Congresbury has upgraded 72 bedrooms including its Junior Suites and Loft Suites, investing over £1.5 million in the project, which has also included a refresh to several public areas.

The new bedroom décor has an emphasis on elegance and features a chrome finish, grey-toned colour palette and a focus on comfort and luxury.

DoubleTree by Hilton says the refurbishment drew inspiration from local landmarks, including the SS Great Britain, Clevedon Pier, Clifton Suspension Bridge and Avon Gorge.

Facilities include USB charging points on plug sockets, double sinks in some bathrooms and additional seating areas for relaxing or working.

The hotel’s brand new reception area is another key part of the refurbishment programme and sports a feature ‘living’ wall to the exterior. The space also has floor-to-ceiling windows with panoramic views across the North Somerset countryside.

In total the site has 132 luxury bedrooms, an onsite health club and spa and two Marco Pierre White restaurants.

DoubleTree by Hilton, Cadbury House general manager, Mehmet Kandemir, said: “Our latest refurbishment project to upgrade our bedrooms and some public areas is part of an ongoing programme of regeneration at the venue. We have become renowned for our innovative and contemporary facilities so the evolution work never ends.

“The hotel has benefitted from over £26 million in investments since its opening thanks to owner Nick Taplin, and the latest refurbishment is testament to our commitment to guest comfort and satisfaction.

“The new rooms really give the wow-factor, especially our popular suites which really are stunning and offer a real treat for those visiting for special occasions. We’re certain guests will be impressed with the upgrades.”

Apex City of London

Million-pound makeover for Apex City of London Hotel

1000 656 Daniel Fountain

Work has now been completed on a £1.5 million refurbishment programme at the 209-bed Apex City of London Hotel. The nine-month project, saw the hotel’s public areas and largest meeting room given a makeover – with a new stylish restaurant and state of the art spa incorporated into the property for guests to the capital and locals alike.

Work was carried out in phases at the hotel on Seething Lane – just minutes from Tower Hill Underground and Fenchurch Street Station – to ensure guests booked to stay still enjoyed the best possible experience while visiting the capital. Apex City of London Hotel’s main lobby and reception have been fully refurbished to create a luxurious and stylish environment for guests entering the hotel, while the hotel’s main meeting room has also been upgraded – providing first-class facilities for delegates which Apex Hotels is renowned for.

Apex City of LondonThe new restaurant, The Lampery, provides a fresh all-day dining destination with honest cooking in the heart of historic London – with the concept spearheaded by hospitality and events company, Concerto, in partnership with Apex Hotels.

Featuring the ‘terrace’ area, with its stunning suspended foliage canopy, The Lampery also boasts a buzzing bar area, perfect for after work and weekend cocktails.

Brian Tapson, General Manager of Apex City of London Hotel, said: “We’re thrilled to welcome guests to our new look hotel. Following the addition of 30 bedrooms just two years ago, the refurbishment has transformed the hotel, with the inclusion of an indulgent spa and food offering that will appeal to locals as well as hotel guests.”

As part of its £1.5million refurbishment, Apex City of London Hotel has also partnered with PURE Spa & Beauty to bring an oasis of calm to the capital, allowing guests and locals to escape the busy streets of London to enjoy a new fantastic spa experience. As well as five luxurious treatment rooms and a whole host of pampering treats, the spa includes an infra-red sauna, manicure and pedicure bars, a spray tan booth, relaxation area and luxury retail area for the ultimate in relaxation.

www.apexhotels.co.uk/apex-city-of-london-hotel

Hotel Jardín Tropical – Tenerife completes refurbishment

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Christmas has come early for those looking for one of the best hotel experiences in Tenerife, thanks to a major refurbishment of the stunning Hotel Jardín Tropical.

Situated in Costa Adeje in the south of the largest of the Canary Islands, the exclusive hotel overlooks the Atlantic Ocean with stunning views towards the neighbouring island of La Gomera and benefits from Tenerife’s constant year-round sunshine and temperatures of around 23°c.

But a recent investment programme at the 390-room hotel has now made the premium experience even more enticing ahead of the December 1, 2017 relaunch, just in time for a sun-drenched festive season for those looking to escape the UK winter.

The new-look hotel’s interior style has been overseen by Barcelona-based Jaime Beriestain, who was awarded the prestigious AD Espana Interior Designer of the Year in 2016 and has an extensive portfolio of previous clients at some of the most salubrious hotels around the world.

Hotel Jardín Tropical - Tenerife completes refurbishment

Hotel Jardín Tropical - Tenerife completes refurbishmentHis vision has gained huge acclaim and the Hotel Jardín Tropical project has created a chic, personal touch, while retaining its unique personality in its spectacular setting.

Aside from the new look, there is also a fresh take on luxury. The Club is a fabulous new five-star experience with exclusive features for guests who prefer an extra layer of comfort with 90 rooms and suites, exclusive hotel areas and a host of features to enhance any stay to an even higher standard.

Hotel director Saad Azzam said: “We look forward to welcoming our guests to the relaunch of Hotel Jardín Tropical and we are sure it will go beyond all expectations in terms of service. We believe we offer the very best hotel experience in Tenerife.”

www.jardin-tropical.com/en/

Photos: The Azalea Group

Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel - Deluxe Room

Anantara Siam Bangkok unveils new guestrooms

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Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel has unveiled its new contemporary Thai inspired guestrooms, offering discerning leisure and business travellers even more luxurious style at the brand’s Thai flagship property.

Designed by Jeffrey A. Wilkes of LTW Designworks, who is recognised for his ability to blend cosmopolitan influences with tradition, the new interiors of the Deluxe and Premier guestrooms inject a fresh sense of luxury by infusing a more contemporary aesthetic, greeting guests with a subtle Thai character remaining true to the ethos of the Anantara brand.

Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel - Deluxe View Room
Using elegant regional undertones, typical Asian details were eschewed with the design instead paying homage to Thai palaces that have been constructed with European influences. Thai silk has been used as wall panels to give a simple and elegant finish, a refined reflection of Thailand, and an antique map of Bangkok in the Deluxe rooms provides an interesting conversation piece.

Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel - Premier View Room
The 307 new 42 square metre Deluxe and Premier guestrooms in one king size bed or two double beds configurations can accommodate up to three adults or two adults and a child, and feature an en-suite marble bathroom with a deep soaking tub and separate glass enclosed shower.

Four room categories are available: Deluxe Room; Deluxe View Room; Premier Room; and Premier View Room. The View category rooms’ expansive windows reveal the hotel’s magnificent tropical gardens; swimming pool; or the immaculate private golf course of the Royal Bangkok Sports Club in the heart of one of the world’s most enigmatic capital cities.

Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel - Premier View RoomIdeal for business travellers, some of the Deluxe and Premier guestrooms are located on the hotel’s exclusive Kasara Floor where, at a daily fee, guests are afforded access to the Kasara Executive Lounge with all-day dining; dedicated Concierge and business services; and private meeting facilities.

The addition of a complimentary Handy smartphone in every room allows guests to keep in touch with family and friends with unlimited international calls and texts to 25 countries, and 4G and preloaded popular apps to explore Bangkok with ease.

The refurbishment of its Deluxe and Premier guestrooms completes a THB 470 million project that also saw the upgrade of Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel’s suites and public spaces.

siam-bangkok.anantara.com

Lygon Arms

Lygon Arms unveils multi-million pound refurbishment

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The Lygon Arms, located in Broadway in the heart of the Cotswolds has unveiled the final chapter of its multi-million-pound refurbishment and expansion.

The no-expense-spared transformation of this 16th century coaching inn, honours the building’s charm and heritage, and debuts an enriched guest experience complete with 86 newly designed rooms and suites, a refreshed spa, and the late-summer launch of two new culinary experiences; Lygon Bar & Grill and Lygon Wine Bar.

The redesign of the guest rooms and suites, spearheaded by Anita Rosato Interior Design, beautifully embodies the hotel’s 600-year character and style, while incorporating the contemporary luxuries and technological conveniences that meet the needs of today’s modern luxury traveler. Steeped in traditional British opulence and comfort, each room unveils a unique design, all individually decorated to create eclectic accommodations for families, couples and the solo traveller.

Lygon Arms

The final renovation brings the total room count of The Lygon Arms to 86, including three one-of-a-kind signature Luxury Suites and six Courtyard Suites, inspired by famed past guests such as King Charles I.

This final chapter includes the newly opened Lygon Bar & Grill and the Lygon Wine Bar; a new restaurant and wine-bar, two of the most sought-after dining destinations in the Cotswolds. The Lygon Bar & Grill concentrates on seasonality and product provenance, while representing the traditional brilliance of British food in a relaxed setting.

The Mediterranean-inspired Lygon Wine Bar boasts a fine selection of European and international wines, complimented by light Italian dishes.

“It is with great pleasure that we debut the final phase of this monumental refurbishment of The Lygon Arms, that unveils an exciting new chapter in the property’s grand history,” says General Manager Graeme Nesbitt. “Our team has worked alongside the best talent to create a vision that celebrates and brings to life the property’s charm and long-standing heritage, and above all, ensures our guest experience is truly memorable.”

As part of the new vision for the hotel, the property opened the luxurious Lygon Spa offering a full range of unique beauty treatments. The hotel’s public areas also have new looks that encompass the relaxation and luxury of the chic Cotswold countryside.

Lygon Arms
The multiple stories at The Lygon Arms have been woven into the fabric of the new additions, in order to stay true to the hotel’s heritage, whilst ushering in an exciting next chapter built on personal service, passionate management and a luxurious & laid-back atmosphere.

www.lygonarmshotel.co.uk

AVANI Gaborone Resort & Casino Reopens Following Renovation

AVANI Gaborone Resort & Casino reopens following renovation

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AVANI Gaborone Resort & Casino is celebrating the completion of an extensive renovation, representing an investment of $7.5 million (£5.6 million) by Minor Hotels, the parent company.

All 156 guest rooms and public spaces including the main entrance and porte cochere have been renovated with the aim of introducing AVANI’s signature design hallmarks. The new contemporary design and technological enhancements make for a modern, functional and relaxing experience.

The open plan, design for living lobby blends reception, lounge, eateries and chill out spaces. The interior is spacious and natural light has been used to great effect, allowing for a communal space where guests can relax, meet and eat. The Pantry offers fresh, quick bites for life on the move, comfort food, fresh fruit juices, barista coffees and more.

The Conservatory, located in the centre of the lobby, provides an informal, communal eatery. Design elements include a leafy graphic design wall, ceiling punkah fans, wicker seating and parquet flooring. The menu features sandwiches, hamburgers, salads and pasta dishes and delivers on AVANI’s promise of honest food, using freshly sourced local ingredients as well as naturally raised poultry and sustainable meat and seafood.

The layout of the guest bedrooms and bathrooms has been redesigned to ensure the best use of space. The design is functional, modern and comfortable.

Sofitel London Gatwick

Sofitel London Gatwick unveils first phase of refurbishment

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Luxury airport hotel Sofitel London Gatwick has undergone an extensive refurbishment of all its restaurants and bars. The work, which cost just shy of £1 million, marks the completion of the first phase of a larger refurbishment project at the hotel.

The refurbishment took three months to complete and includes the hotel’s two AA-rosette La Brasserie restaurant, the more informal Le Café, the hotel’s two bars – La Terrasse and Kua bar – plus the executive lounge.

Sofitel London GatwickThe team at Sofitel London Gatwick worked with Grove Developments and the Group’s Interior Designer, Martin Farrow, to achieve the new look, which features all new interior décor, furniture and fittings in a modern contemporary style. It has also increased the number of restaurants covers 90 to 126. The seven two bedroom suites and the Club Millesime were also refurbished at the same time for a fresh contemporary look.

Sofitel London GatwickGloby Ouseph, General Manager, said: “We’re delighted with the results of our refurbishment, which has completely transformed the appearance of our entire food and beverage offering. Grove Developments and Martin Farrow have done a fantastic job and the result has completely exceeded all our expectations.”

Sofitel London Gatwick
Surinder Arora, Founder and Chairman of Arora Group, said: “We are committed to a continuous programme of development across all the hotels within the Arora Group, to ensure that we continue to deliver the very best quality experience for all our guests. The refurbishment at Sofitel London Gatwick has been completed to an exceptionally high standard, and we are thrilled with the result.”

The 4-star Sofitel London Gatwick is uniquely located within Gatwick Airport, directly linked to the North Terminal and minutes away from the South Terminal by Monorail. Conveniently located for business meetings, there are 11 different meeting rooms and 518 bedrooms.

www.thearoragroup.com

www.sofitel.com/gb/hotel-6204-sofitel-london-gatwick

The Radisson Blu Strand Hotel, Stockholm, originally launched in 1912 for the Olympics, is undergoing a significant refurbishment, transforming it into Stockholm’s leading lifestyle hotel

New design at Radisson Blu Strand Hotel, Stockholm

750 500 Daniel Fountain

The Radisson Blu Strand Hotel, Stockholm, originally launched in 1912 for the Olympics, is undergoing a significant refurbishment, transforming it into Stockholm’s leading lifestyle hotel. Scandinavian stylish design meets rich history at the iconic hotel, famously frequented by Swedish actors Greta Garbo and Ingrid Bergman, who favoured the Sea Salon Suite with views of the Royal Dramatic Theatre.

All 170 guest rooms and suites, meeting spaces, lobby, restaurant and bars at the hotel are being renewed by acclaimed architectural agency Wingårdhs enhancing the guest experience and creating the contemporary lifestyle hotel, due to be completed spring next year. Most phases of the beautiful renewal are already complete, and the hotel has undergone a substantial transformation, with only the final guest rooms left to finish.

New design at Radisson Blu Strand Hotel, StockholmGuests can already enjoy the new hotspot, ‘The Strand’ restaurant, the stylish meeting area, ‘Strand Gatherings’, the transformed lobby and the first new and iconic guest rooms, all designed by Wingårdhs. With on-trend design furniture and design classics from Fritz Hansen, GUBI and Flos, the hotel is full of Scandinavian design and clear international influences, designed to complement the rich history of the hotel.

“We believe in creating a dynamic experience by amplifying the building’s own character. We wanted the new elements to be a distinctive addition to the original appearance,” says Leila Atlassi, architect at Wingårdhs in Stockholm, and continues: “To create a warm and welcoming atmosphere, the interior tonality has been set from natural materials like stone, wood, leather, metal, and concrete in their natural colours. A specific tone of grey is noticed on the walls – Strand Grey, and constitutes the base in the interior concept,” says Altassi.

New design at Radisson Blu Strand Hotel, Stockholm
As part of the renewal, the Radisson Blu Strand Hotel, Stockholm has launched a stunning new food and bar concept, Swedish Brasserie ‘The Strand’, creating a new hotspot that is reviving Blasieholmen in the heart of Stockholm, serving classic flavours in an elegant and relaxed atmosphere. Plush velvet seats in dark greens and purples, contrast with monochrome floor, whilst elegantly designed windows allow plenty of natural light in.

With a striking view of the water of Nybrokajen, diners at The Strand will be able to enjoy breakfast, brunch, After One (Afternoon Tea), as well as a lunch, dinner, and a great After Five (After Work), revitalising classical Swedish cuisine in an inspiring and unique environment.

www.radissonblu.com/en/strandhotel-stockholm

A refurbished suite at Cameron House

Cameron House unveils final phase of £4m renovation

1000 667 Molly Dyson

Five-star Loch Lomond resort Cameron House has completed an extensive renovation programme.

The 12-month, £4 million project finished with a makeover of the hotel’s 136 bedrooms, including 26 suites. Inspiration has been taken from the property’s surroundings, with accents of tartan and layered paisleys throughout.

The hotel’s food and beverage offering has also been updated, along with public areas and the addition of the new Great Scots Bar Terrace.

Greyline Design headed up the renovation, with fabrics used from Osborne & Little, specially designed carpets from Gravity Flooring and upholstery from Zoffany. The main focal point in every room is a handmade leather sleigh bed designed by Paton Developments.

Resort Director Andy Roger says: “It’s fantastic to see the culmination of this multimillion-pound investment into the hotel. We hope guests will agree the new-look bedrooms complement the investment made throughout the resort, ensuring we continue to deliver a truly luxurious experience that offers guests only the best standards and showcases our hotel and its stunning location.”

Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas

The Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas unveils guestroom remodel

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The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas has unveiled a refresh to its guest rooms across both the Boulevard and The Chelsea Towers.

The project, which kicks off this summer, will be fully complete in 2018 with 2,895 of the resort’s 3,027 rooms remodeled with influence from innovative and inspired designers, including New York-based Virserius Studio.

The newly designed rooms emphasise modern design and luxurious comfort and come as the result of a meticulous selection process that lasted over 18 months.

An initial list of 20 designers was engaged to bid on the project, from which eight were selected to present in Las Vegas. From there, four design firms, in addition to The Cosmopolitan”s internal design team, were chosen to construct model rooms on property.

The Cosmopolitan solicited feedback from more than 400 employees who toured the accommodations as well as frequent-staying guests, ranging from business to leisure travelers. The collected response played an integral role in determining which designs were selected, leading to interiors inspired by both The Cosmopolitan’s in-house design team alongside Virserius Studios.

www.cosmopolitanlasvegas.com

Stanley House completes considerable five-figure investment

Stanley House completes considerable five-figure investment

930 512 Daniel Fountain

The award-winning Stanley House Hotel and Spa, Mellor, has unveiled the second part of its five-figure renovation project.

The investment includes an extensive refurbishment of the multi-purpose function rooms, The Stables and The Lodge, while the hotel’s bridal suites and a further two Manor House bedrooms have undergone complete transformation, offering guests four elegant Manor House suites.

The two function rooms, used for weddings, private events and for business conferences, have been furnished to the highest standards, with a new light, soft, feminine colour scheme breathing new life into the suites to strike a chord with brides-to-be, while the bar’s seating area even boasts horse print upholstery velvet from Mulberry Home.


Meanwhile, the Manor House’s Grade II listed status has led to a tasteful restoration of the rooms, meaning many of the building’s original features – enchanting wooden beams and exposed stonework – remain.

The renovation means the Manor House rooms have been brought up to a standard in line with the international class of the hotel’s Woodlands and Spa building. Some of the rooms feature an opulent bold and rich colour palette, roll top baths add even more luxury, while the original windows hold snug seats, offering unrivalled views out to the rolling Ribble Valley countryside.

The project has been led by Lake District-based interior designer, Sarah Jane Nielsen, renowned for work at the Embassy of Saudi Arabia in London’s Mayfair. Her hotel portfolio, includes the creation of the Spa lodges and Gilpin Spice at the Lake District’s Gilpin Lodge. This work gained national recognition, winning the prize for ‘Hotel Interiors’ at the United Kingdom Property Awards 2016-17.

Sarah Jane Nielsen, of Sarah Jane Nielsen Ltd, added: “When I first viewed the Manor House I was spellbound with its potential. There could be no more romantic a venue for the bride and her entourage to preen, gloss and enjoy the preparation process for the big day.

“I wanted to inject a contemporary design edge to the property to excite the guest, but still hold on to its sophisticated intrigue with elegance in this age of building. The rooms had to be personal, comfortable and hugely inspiring in line with the enchantment of the building.

“In the Stables, a neutral, soft colour scheme has been selected to enable brides to feel that the space is their own and can be transformed to suit any style or theme of wedding. The elegantly muted colour scheme is tasteful and sophisticated and will melt into the background but can also hold its own for brides who do not wish to dress the room. Our entire scheme was chosen with this flexibility in mind.

“A contrast of soft grey and fresh white keeps the Lodge space bright and light. An accent of deep green is earthy and grounding, bringing the outside in by reflecting the view of the gardens out of the expansive windows and French doors.”

Bride and grooms to be will get to take in the newly renovated function suites at the upcoming wedding open day on Sunday, September 17, seeing how the room could look on their big day, while the completed bedrooms will also be available for guests to view.

Ames Boston

Historic Ames Boston Hotel reveals new luxury design

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Glen Coben, of NYC-based architecture & design firm, Glen and Co. Architecture has just finished the renovation and redesign of the 1893, Ames Boston Hotel, and the restaurant inside, Cultivar, taking the building’s original architecture and redesigning it to merge the past, present and future by blending modern elegance with its many preserved, original features, to create a combo of modern style and old-world sophistication.

The revitalised 15-story, 114-suite Ames Boston Hotel merges the past, present and future, offering a blend of modern style and old-world sophistication. Glen blended his designs with the many preserved, original features of the hotel, including the lobby’s tiled mosaic arched ceiling and a marble staircase that runs from the first floor to the roof.

The renovated lobby features sleek new check-in stations and a casual seating area accented by warmly-toned wood shelving and trim pieces. Adjacent to the revamped entryway is The Library, which boasts the same eye-catching, mid-century design scheme that begins in the lobby and serves as communal workspace.

The 114 guestrooms incorporate modern and timeless elements with a refreshed chic color palette that evokes a sense of calm and peace. The design of the 1,7000 SF event space, including the Oliver & Oakes room, serve as the ultimate customisable setting for personalised, intimate get-togethers, banquets and conferences, along with lounge, classroom and theater-style meetings and presentations.

www.ameshotel.com

Mustard bedroom - Grey Street Hotel

Grey Street Hotel unveils results of £1.2m development

1000 562 Daniel Fountain

An historic hotel at the heart of Newcastle’s most prestigious street has unveiled the results of a £1.2m development.

Grade II-listed Grey Street hotel, on one of the most famous Regency streets in Britain, has come to the end of an 18-month phased refurbishment by its owner, North East hospitality heavyweight, Malhotra Group plc.

And, it is now set to become one of the city’s most prominent hospitality venues for corporate, leisure and spa visitors alike. The hotel – which retains a number of historically significant features such as art nouveau tiling and mosaic flooring – remained open throughout the development which began with the transformation of its 49 en-suite bedrooms.

Grey Street Hotel in Newcastle. Picture: DAVID WOOD

Grey Street Hotel in Newcastle. Picture: DAVID WOOD

Each has been individually styled to combine contemporary luxury with unique tributes to the city’s heritage. Decorated in a monochromatic scheme with accents of teal, green, pink or purple, each room has a feature wall bearing a large-scale image of a Tyneside landmark – including the neighbouring Theatre Royal – or figure, such as Earl Grey, from whom the street and hotel take their name.

Grey Street Hotel in Newcastle. Picture: DAVID WOOD

There have also been changes to the hotel’s layout, including the relocation of the entrance and the creation of All About You, an urban beauty retreat in the upper basement.

Grey Street Hotel in Newcastle. Picture: DAVID WOOD

For corporate customers, the hotel’s main conference room, the Monument Suite, has been extended to hold up to 100 people and can be divided into smaller spaces, while a smaller meeting room, The Snug, holding up to six people, has been created for private events.

Grey Street Hotel in Newcastle. Picture: DAVID WOOD

Grey Street Hotel in Newcastle. Picture: DAVID WOOD

“This development goes way beyond cosmetic,” said Atul Malhotra, operations director at The Malhotra Group. “We’ve taken an entirely fresh look at the space to widen its appeal to residents and non-residents alike and to ensure it is as attractive to the city’s business community and spa-goers as it is to those visiting from outside the region.

“Our challenge has been in providing the standard of luxury and comfort today’s hotel visitors expect, while respecting the building’s historical and architectural significance and I am confident we have achieved this,” he added.

www.greystreethotel.co.uk

$35m 're-imagination' for Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica

$35m ‘re-imagination’ for Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica

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Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo, the only Forbes Five-Star luxury resort in Central and South America, has announced a $35 million (£27 million) extensive re-imagination beginning in August 2017 that will bring a striking new interpretation of modern eco-luxury to Costa Rica’s north Pacific coast in December 2017.

Design Details
The renovation of the hotel will be guided by a locally-inspired yet globally-considered modern design narrative from Meyer Davis Studio. The renowned New York City-based design boutique will bring a handcrafted approach to effortlessly integrating the Resort’s signature indoor-outdoor spaces with the peninsula’s vibrant tropical landscape so that nature takes centre stage. Meyer Davis’ design concept of effortless, sun-dappled luxury and modern elegance will play with space, form, texture and light to develop a visual experience that celebrates the rare beauty and alluring mystique of Peninsula Papagayo and the rustic coastal Central American lifestyle. The new design vision will weave together a soothing, natural colour palette, rich elements from nature, indigenous art and local wood to create an immediate and lasting impression while revealing an ongoing visual dialogue of discovery.

$35m 're-imagination' for Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica
Enhanced Rooms and Suites

The Resort’s 181 guest rooms, suites and villas will also feature a modern yet locally-celebrated design aesthetic that recalls the intimate luxury, warmth and comforts of a beautiful home space. Each room’s foundation of new furnishings, natural colours, rich textures and woods, and local elements including artisan pieces and artwork will create a seamless visual connection to the wondrous flora and fauna and expansive ocean views on display beyond each room’s private balcony or patio. The Resort’s 15 one-bedroom Canopy Suites built into the hillside will additionally feature new plunge pools.

www.fourseasons.com/costarica

Adare Manor

Adare Manor in Ireland announces expansion, new GM

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Adare Manor, one of Ireland’s most renowned resort hotels with a list of prestigious accolades nearly as long as its history, has announced a multi-phase transformation to restore the property.

To maintain its commitment to providing guests with unrivalled facilities and services, Adare Manor closed its doors in January 2016 for an 18-month intermission and will debut its new look in Autumn 2017.

The transformation, spearheaded by acclaimed architects RSA will honour the building’s architectural heritage as a Neo-Gothic masterpiece and embody the hotel’s signature style, while incorporating the contemporary luxuries and technological conveniences necessary to meet the needs of today’s luxury traveler.

Paul Heery

Paul Heery

The restoration involves internal finishes, furniture and woodwork, and repairing external stonework and windows. Most notably, the expansion will include a new 42-bedroom wing, bringing the total room count to 104 guestrooms including the existing Manor House accommodations. An expansive ballroom will also be added, with capacity for 350 guests for weddings and special events. Both structures will be clad in limestone, a tribute to the detail of the original Manor House.

Plans are also in place for a complete redesign of the golf clubhouse by David Collins Studio London. In order to complement the significant improvements to the manor house and overall resort experience, world-renowned golf course designer Tom Fazio has been engaged to oversee a comprehensive redesign of the golf course, which when complete will take its place among the finest golf courses in Europe.

In addition, the existing Manor House will enjoy a new state-of-the-art spa, pool and relaxation area, boardroom and cinema, while Adare Manor’s 800 acres of beautiful parkland, walled gardens and walking trails, will be enhanced for guest enjoyment.

Meanwhile, the hotel also announced the appointment of Paul Heery as general manager; Paul comes from being GM at Gleneagles in Scotland (from 2014-2017)

www.adaremanor.com

Hardwick Hall - The Coleman Suite by Grange Photgraphy

Hardwick Hall in overhaul of conference facilities

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A leading north east hotel is taking care of business for its corporate clients with a range of classic – and newly refurbished – rooms available as part of its conference and events offering.

Hardwick Hall Hotel near Sedgefield – part of Ramside Estates – is one of the region’s most popular business and event venues, hosting a wide variety of events, conferences, awards and charity balls, with rooms catering for 10 to 1500 people.

Hardwick Hall - The Coleman Suite by Grange Photgraphy
And now, the hotel is hoping to entice more conference and meeting organisers, following a £150,000 refurbishment to one of its leading function rooms – part of an ongoing £350,000 refurbishment which will see the hotel’s bedrooms, bars and boardrooms redecorated.

The Coleman Suite, which can take up to 380 seated guests, underwent the £150,000 revamp earlier this year and the process involved redecorating, laying new carpets and replacing the existing furniture. The newly-refurbished suite can also be divided into smaller rooms, making it a flexible space suitable for meetings, balls and awards.

The four-star hotel, which is set in County Durham’s Hardwick Country Park, has a range of conference suites available for both little and large corporate events, and additional incentives include free Wi-fi, free parking on site and catering support.

Hardwick Hall - The Coleman Suite by Grange PhotgraphyThose travelling from further afield can also opt to stay in one of Hardwick Hall Hotel’s 50 rooms and dine in the hotel’s acclaimed Rib Room Steakhouse and Grill.

“We’re delighted to offer conference-goers a versatile experience here at Hardwick Hall, with plenty of options available, from large banqueting suites to smaller meeting rooms,” said Lee Kirtland, General Manager at Hardwick Hall Hotel. “We like to think we have something for everyone and hope that those visiting for conferences will see exactly why we’re one of Durham’s and the Tees Valley’s foremost business and event venues.”

www.hardwickhallhotel.co.uk

Photos: Grange Photography

Hotel Century Old Town Prague - MGallery Collection

MGallery by Sofitel Prague property reopens following refurbishment

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Hotel Century Old Town Prague – MGallery By Sofitel has relaunched following an extensive renovation of the property. The 5-star property has undergone a complete transformation, giving the historic interiors a unique ambiance where classic heritage and contemporary design are combined together.

Hotel Century Old Town Prague - MGallery Collection - Photos: www.sofitel.com

Hotel Century Old Town Prague – MGallery Collection – Photos: www.sofitel.com

The hotel is situated in the heart of Prague, next to the Old Town Square, where the famous medieval astronomical clock is mounted on the southern wall of the Old Town City Hall. The Neo-Baroque building was built in the 19th century by Alfonse Wertmuller, a famous architect in Prague. It was formerly the office of the Workers’ Accident Insurance of Kingdom of Bohemia, where Franz Kafka worked as an insurance clerk from 1908 to 1922. His spirit can still be felt in the hotel, as his bronze bust welcomes guests in the lobby in front of the majestic stairs.

Hotel Century Old Town Prague - MGallery Collection - Photos: www.sofitel.com

Hotel Century Old Town Prague – MGallery Collection – Photos: www.sofitel.com

The 19th century listed building was transformed into a hotel in 2002, and became part of the MGallery By Sofitel portfolio in 2009. The sculpted Neo-Baroque façade and spectacular stairway, with its columns, marble steps and wrought-iron banister are characteristic features of the building.

Hotel Century Old Town Prague - MGallery Collection - Photos: www.sofitel.com

Hotel Century Old Town Prague – MGallery Collection – Photos: www.sofitel.com

Renowned French interior designer Ana Moussinet has transformed the hotel, whilst retaining its grandeur and original classical features. The Neo-Baroque interiors have been modernised to complement the rich history of the building. The hotel’s heritage has been integrated into the design with Franz Kafka’s random patterns, reminiscent
of ink lines and splashes. His inspirational quotes are displayed on the hotel’s walls and his presence can be seen in the Kafka Suite, which used to be the writer’s office for many years. It is now an exclusive suite with a contemporary design, inspired by Art Deco and mid-20th century Cubism.

Hotel Century Old Town Prague - MGallery Collection - Photos: www.sofitel.com

Hotel Century Old Town Prague – MGallery Collection – Photos: www.sofitel.com

The renovation saw 169 rooms transformed into 5* room categories from Classic to Suite; along with new design of the Living Room, Restaurant and Bar. The hotel’s interiors are light and spacious, with marble parquet, glossy black and gold decorative features, deep green velvets and sober lines. Long corridors featuring artistically
geometric carpet patterns are a refreshing and stylish blend of classic and contemporary design. Guests can relax in the luxurious Le Dome Suite, which is a round and cosy cocoon under the dome, surrounded by the thousand spires of Prague.

Hotel Century Old Town Prague - MGallery Collection - Photos: www.sofitel.com

Hotel Century Old Town Prague – MGallery Collection – Photos: www.sofitel.com

The Bar concept has changed and the space has been rebuilt. The main inspiration for the new Hedgehog bar ambiance and bar services was derived from the legendary Czech conundrum “The Hedgehog in the Cage”, which is often portrayed in comics, movies and TV series. It is a mysterious story of a plan of constructing a flying bicycle hidden inside a steel cone in shape of a hedgehog in a cage. Guests can enjoy The Flying Bicycle – a cocktail served in its cage as a metaphor of the famous Czech puzzle. The seasonal terrace has turned into a Glass Veranda available throughout the year and on level -1, a new fitness room was created.

Hotel Century Old Town Prague - MGallery Collection - Photos: www.sofitel.com

Hotel Century Old Town Prague – MGallery Collection – Photos: www.sofitel.com

Hotel Century Old Town Prague is now a breathtaking sight in one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. MGallery has 90 existing fascinating addresses in addition to 30 others under development. Each hotel is inspiring, enhance local discovery and shapes memorable moments. With a compelling mix of Heritage, Serenity and Signature hotels, each MGallery is original with its own story to tell. MGallery will expand its collection with new openings including MGallery Leicester Square in London in August 2017; MGallery Dubai in the UAE; MGallery Livorno, Italy and MGallery Istanbul, Turkey.

www.sofitel.com

White Horse Hotel

£3 million investment for Dorking’s White Horse Hotel

850 560 Daniel Fountain

Bespoke Hotels is pleased to announce it has committed to a substantial refurbishment and expansion program of Dorking’s historic White Horse Hotel, due to take place between July and November, 2017.

Totalling over £3,000,000, works will encompass the property’s accommodation, including a comprehensive remodelling and the addition of 16 new bedrooms. In addition to this, there will be a total re-design of the ground floor restaurant, bar, events and public spaces at the property, with the aim of introducing a stylish and affordable destination hotel, café and restaurant offering to Dorking for the first time.

Following the property’s closure on July 17th, the dining and events spaces are set to be entirely re-designed, with the current total of guestrooms expanded from 41 to 57. Interior design will be overseen by Squid Inc, who recently worked alongside Bespoke on the opening of Manchester’s award-winning Hotel Gotham in 2015, with the aim of significantly transforming the culinary offering by expanding the property’s dining space and placing a renewed emphasis on local and freshly-prepared produce, available both to takeaway and dine-in.

“We are delighted to be able to commit so substantially to the reimagining of The White Horse”, commented Graham Marskell, Managing Director – Operations of Bespoke Hotels. “Bespoke Hotels and our creative partners will be overseeing a complete overhaul of both the accommodation and culinary sides of the business, with a view to re-establishing it as one of the region’s foremost foodie destinations.”

Hotel Russell - Uponor

Project Preview: Comfort flows at Principal London refurb thanks to Uponor

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Designed by Charles Fitzroy-Doll and first opened to guests in 1898, the former Hotel Russell in Bloomsbury is an icon of the British hotel trade.

Following a multi-million pound refurbishment and re-brand by Principal Hotel Company, its now set to welcome a new generation of discerning guests when it re-opens as Principal London this summer.

World Class Comfort
The tasteful refurbishment reinvents the hotel as a five-star destination, with striking interiors by Tara Bernerd & Partners and Russell Sage Studio providing sumptuous luxury. The focus on guest comfort goes far beyond the visible and tactile specification, however. Hidden within the service cavities is a plumbing installation that will be just as instrumental in delivering comfort to guests.

Explains Dave Lancaster from building services specialist, Uponor: “It’s not uncommon for hotels to struggle with water pressure at peak consumption times. “If the pipework is not designed to cope, a drop in water pressure not only affects the guest experience; it can also impact on the efficiency of the heating system.

“In a refurbishment of a historic hotel like Principal London, upgrading the traditional copper piping with PE (polyethylene) and MLC (multi-layer composite) pipe has numerous advantages. Not only does it help to maintain water pressure, but it also provides greater flexibility for a faster install and easier future modifications. Moreover, fewer joints and press, push or modular fittings reduce the potential for leaks and extend the service life of the installation.”

Hotel Russell - UponorLeak Free Benefits
Delivered by mechanical and electrical contractor, LJJ, the project involved Uponor’s MLC pipe for the hot, cold and heating water risers and main distribution. The WRAS-approved five layer composite pipe system has an aluminium core with adhesive either side and a PE inner core and outer layer. This combines the benefits of metallic pipe systems with the flexibility and ease of connection of contemporary PE technology.

Dave continues: “Our modular MLC pipe system allows installation teams to create 300 fitting combinations with just 40 parts and features a distinctive ‘click and lock’ mechanism that removes the need for overhead pressing.”

The LJJ team assembled sections of pipe outside of the service voids and connected sections together in-situ, reducing time on site and enabling them to check the integrity of each joint prior to installation. The flame-free jointing method will also allow connections to be disassembled and reconfigured to allow easier maintenance.

Explains Dave Lancaster from building services specialist, Uponor: “It’s not uncommon for hotels to struggle with water pressure at peak consumption times. “If the pipework is not designed to cope, a drop in water pressure not only affects the guest experience; it can also impact on the efficiency of the heating systemFlexible Solution
Uponor’s Q&E PEX PE pipe was specified for the remainder of the project, offering the same rapid installation benefits, reduced joint requirements and flow rate improvement. Dave adds: “Our Q&E PEX system has a more robust joint that eliminates the potential for leaks. A specialist tool rapidly expands the pipe diameter to create a full bore connection and our Q&E ring secures the fitting. The result is a pipe that maximise the flow and takes up minimal space in the service void.”

Contemporary Glamour
The building services installation at Principal London is now complete, allowing the final finishes for the hotel’s new era of contemporary glamour.

www.uponor.co.uk

Crowne Plaza Leeds

Crowne Plaza Leeds completes £4.5 million refurbishment

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The 135-bedroom Crowne Plaza Leeds hotel has completed a £4.5m refurbishment, 18 months after it was forced to close for eight weeks following the Boxing Day flood of 2015.

Located on Wellington Street, the investment has resulted in the creation of a new bar, restaurant, Club lounge, lobby, mezzanine level, grand staircase and installation of £25,000 of technology across its function suites.

All the bedrooms have also been refurbished. There are now two different styles of King Suite, an Executive Suite and Club Rooms all with additional benefits, such as a Nespresso coffee machine, a free standing bathtub and access to the Club lounge.

Work on the new bar and restaurant was carried out by contractors Murray and Willis and architects Falconer Chester Hall.

Photos: Marina Haigh, Crowne Plaza Leeds

Mercure Gloucester

Investment, refurbishment at Mercure Gloucester Bowden Hall

950 400 Daniel Fountain

The General Manager of the 4* Mercure Gloucester, Bowden Hall hotel, Gavin Jones, has today announced plans for a comprehensive refurbishment of the hotel’s 72 bedrooms.

The announcement follows just weeks after the launch of the hotel’s new Bar & Brasserie Restaurant. The hotel’s stunning ballroom was redesigned two years ago, followed by the reception and public areas in 2016.

The bedroom renovation will take place gradually over the coming months whilst the hotel maintains normal business with minimal guest disruption. The new bedroom design, created by Jupiter Hotels’ interior designer, Helen Hooper of HH Interiors, will be unveiled on 19th August when the refurbishment is completed.

Commenting on the developments at the hotel, Gavin Jones, General Manager of the Mercure Gloucester, Bowden Hall, said: “It is such as exciting time at the hotel. We have seen major transformations over the last two years starting with the redesign of the Lakeside Suite and the renovation of the historic hotel’s reception area. To now be undergoing an extensive refurbishment of all our 72 bedrooms is fantastic. Once complete the hotel truly will be one of the finest hotels in the Cotswolds – I am very proud.

“Last month we celebrated the opening of our new Bar & Brasserie restaurant and are already welcoming locals and guests from across the county and further afield. We have already built strong local connections such as Cotswolds Distillery and the new gin list is proving particularly popular,” he added.

Mercure Gloucester, Bowden Hall Hotel is a beautiful Georgian country house hotel set in 12 acres of sweeping parkland.

Rome Cavalieri celebrates launch of enhanced Petronius Suite

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Rome Cavalieri, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts is delighted to announce the re-launch of its iconic Petronius Suite following significant investment and enhancements, allowing guests to experience heightened levels of luxury in the Eternal City.

Combining Rome’s sense of history and traditions with Waldorf Astoria’s signature style and service, the newly enhanced Petronius Suite at Rome Cavalieri provides an unforgettable experience that reflects its namesake, the arbiter of elegance and fine taste. Located on Rome Cavalieri’s top floor, commanding spectacular views of the city below, the Petronius Suite’s ornate bedroom, marble bathroom, kitchen, wine cellar, dining room for up to 8 guests and living space are adorned with antique furniture, precious brass, wooden parquet and rare seventeenth century paintings depicting Santa Caterina and Santa Cecilia. From mosaic tables to a sofa designed by fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld, this is a suite that doubles as an exhibition and museum in its own right.

Classic meets contemporary with the Petronius Suite’s subtle yet slick technology system, allowing guests to control audio, visual and lighting at the touch of a button and Rome Cavalieri to provide modern luxuries without losing its long-standing traditions and charm. This extends to the state-of-the-art Valcucine kitchen from the ‘Artematica’ line, fully equipped to cater for a decadent private dinner and allowing guests to treat the Suite as a luxurious home from home.

Petronius Suite at Rome CavalieriRome Cavalieri has paid attention to the demand for space, privacy and flexibility from high-net-worth travellers and the Petronius Suite is therefore adaptable to comprise three additional Imperial Rooms with an adjacent Vista Suite, creating a unique apartment concept with the benefit of access to the resort’s extraordinary facilities.

These include Rome Cavalieri’s Imperial Club, which has also benefitted from recent enhancements, and offers a selection of drinks and light bites best enjoyed with views from the terrace, from morning through to night. Guests are also able to discover 15 acres of manicured parkland, Europe’s largest private art collection adorning the walls, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, the Cavalieri Grand Spa Club with treatments by La Prairie and Rome’s only three Michelin starred restaurant La Pergola. Whilst unforgettable experiences include gladiator training for children, taking a super-car for a spin on the winding roads of the ‘Gran Turismo’ or pampering a Very Important Pet with a choice of nutritious meals, spa grooming and dog sitting.

In addition to the re-launch of the Petronius Suite, enhancements to the Corner and Vista Suites has also reached completion, providing a Suite to suit all tastes at Rome Cavalieri.

Cachet Dewa Phuket

Cachet Hospitality boosts portfolio with Cachet Resort Dewa Phuket

1000 555 Daniel Fountain

Cachet Hospitality Group has announced the signing of a management agreement for Cachet Resort Dewa Phuket, a conversion property owned by R&B Partners.

Located on Thailand’s largest island, the hotel marks the company’s second resort property and adds to Cachet’s expanding portfolio in Southeast Asia, following on the heels of the recently announced SAVANT Vela Hotel – Bangkok. Operations as a CHG managed property will begin May 2017, with interior renovations to be completed November 2017, helmed by Cachet Interior Design (CID).

The sprawling property will feature CHG’s signature offerings, including a premium sleep experience, rejuvenating bath amenities, a grandiose arrival area, and global culinary experiences. On-site facilities will include two distinctive dining venues, approximately 1,000 square meters of meeting and event spaces, a luxurious spa, a fully equipped fitness center, a yoga-focused wellness center, a Kids Club, and two picturesque swimming pools.

Reinterpreted by CID, Cachet Resort Dewa Phuket’s standard rooms, villas and residential suites will feature sleek, contemporary interiors with polished concrete floors, deep mahogany, black marble, coconut shell finishes, and exposed ceilings. The modern effect is balanced by incorporating classic Thai blue silk on the pillows, chairs, and beds and adorning the guestrooms with authentic Thai sculptures and artwork.

Cachet Resort Dewa Phuket will be distributed on CHG’s revolutionary technology platform and participate in the platform’s loyalty program Cachet World. The technology platform is a lifestyle community that features a search and booking engine for boutique and lifestyle hotels and high-end residences worldwide. Through the platform, guests of Cachet Resort will enjoy interactive mobility, exclusive member rates, and personalized food and beverage experiences.

Cachet Hospitality Group’s global portfolio, including properties in the pipeline, extends across China, Thailand, Mexico and the United States. With unprecedented opportunity for international growth, CHG is establishing itself as an international hospitality leader.

AVANI Avenida Liberdade Lisbon Hotel

AVANI Avenida Liberdade Lisbon Hotel now open

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Avenida da Liberdade is the best address in Lisbon and it is now possible to stay at the upscale AVANI Avenida Liberdade Lisbon Hotel.

The newly launched Hotel has a perfect location just off fashion-forward Avenida da Liberdade, which attracts an eclectic crowd to its tree-lined esplanades with big-name designer labels and continental sidewalk cafes.

The hotel, formerly Tivoli Jardim Hotel, has undergone an extensive 1.5 million euro (£1.27 million) refurbishment. The upgrade includes the redesign of the façade, the guest rooms, lobby, reception, the installation of an AVANIFIT gym and the relaunch of well-known Olivier Restaurant. The open plan and retro spirit of the lobby merges chill, social and work areas, offering a stylish communal space in which to relax.

AVANI Avenida Liberdade Lisbon HotelThe 119 AVANI Standard, Premier, Deluxe and Family Rooms are comfortable and contemporary and the style is inspired by the brand`s nod to a restful sleep. Each room is decorated in a fresh and simplistic style. Subtle shades of plum, black and white lend the rooms a serene air and modern amenities include a Nespresso coffee-maker, satellite TV, well-stocked mini-bar and high-speed WiFi. All AVANI Premier, Deluxe and Family Rooms have balconies and AVANI Standard rooms have garden views.

The Olivier Restaurant celebrates contemporary, ingredient-focused food with a strong Portuguese accent. The new concept décor brings warmth and character to the space with wooden flooring and a warm palette of burnt sienna, azure and burnished gold which is brought to life in the furnishings, suede upholstery, wallpaper and mosaic tiles. Subtle imagery of the iconic Andorinha black swallow is revealed in the wallpaper and an outdoor terrace surrounded by olive and ficus trees provides alfresco seating.

Guests are able to enjoy a buffet breakfast outdoors on the hotel’s sunny terrace, the perfect place to enjoy an espresso and butter croissant with lashings of peach jam, before hitting the streets. AVANIFIT supports guests’ aim to continue with their normal exercise routines and the compact gym features the latest cardio equipment.

The Palacete Conference and Events Centre next door to the hotel, offers three floors of event space with a capacity for up to 260 people. The ground floor has a large reception area, the first floor offers three function rooms with varied configuration capabilities and the top floor houses an exclusive Boardroom with its own foyer and elevator access.

minorhotels.com/en/avani/lisbon

 

Barnett Hill Country House Hotel, a stunning wedding venue set in the Surrey Hills, has been awarded with two rosettes and four stars from the AA

Barnett Hill scoops awards following renovations

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Barnett Hill Country House Hotel, a stunning wedding venue set in the Surrey Hills, has been awarded with two rosettes and four stars from the AA.

Owned by Alexander Hotels and Utopia Spas in 2016, the property has since undergone a number of renovations. Its 18 bedrooms, restaurant and public guest areas were all recently refurbished.

The hotel’s newly appointed executive head chef Lee Young received two rosettes for his work at The Oak Room restaurant.

Tim Hall, general manager, commented: “On behalf of all the team at Barnett Hill I am delighted and extremely proud of all the hard work and dedication that everyone has shown in striving to achieve our AA four star rating and two AA rosettes awarded for the quality of our food at the first attempt.

“My congratulations go out to all those involved but in particular to Lee Young, our executive head chef, who has done an amazing job having only joined Barnett Hill just under three months ago.

“We are all very excited to have become part of the Alexander Hotels family and we are looking forward to welcoming guests to the new look Barnett Hill Hotel.”

alexanderhotels.co.uk/barnett-hill

Wilderness Safaris Relaunches Little Vumbura

Wilderness Safaris relaunches Little Vumbura in Botswana

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After an extensive refurbishment and partial rebuild, Little Vumbura Camp has reopened in Wilderness Safaris’ private Vumbura Concession in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. With only six intimate tented suites, the camp offers a true Delta-island experience, complete with an array of both land and water-based safari activities.

“We are thrilled about Little Vumbura’s refreshed look and feel, with the tents now boasting spacious rooms that lead onto a lounge area, having increased in size by 30%. They also feature large windows that bring the feel of the outdoors within so that guests can enjoy the beauty of the bush whilst also relaxing in their suite. The family tent has also increased by 30% and the intimate nature of the camp remains the perfect choice for exclusive family safaris”, said Vumbura Concession Manager, Nick Leuenberger.

Wilderness Safaris Relaunches Little VumburaOther improvements to the camp include the extension of the bar area, which now includes a circular bar with a lot more space for guests to enjoy a range of cocktails or their favourite drink whilst watching the sunset. The new shaded pergola, situated between the dining and lounge area, is ideal for afternoon tea or midday relaxation and also provides another scenic venue choice for communal dining. The main dining area now features new decking and free-standing furniture. The new fire deck will be used for pre-dinner drinks, offering the most incredible 360-degree views of the concession.

“One of the things that makes Little Vumbura special is the unique arrival into camp by boat which can only be experienced in a true year-round water camp in the Okavango Delta”, added Leuenberger. “Little Vumbura really does tick all the boxes in terms of exceptional wildlife viewing in addition to tranquil water experiences. You can begin your day by floating serenely through the waterlilies on a silent mokoro and end it on an expertly-guided game drive, watching a herd of 1000 buffalo against a golden African sunset”.

Wilderness Safaris Relaunches Little VumburaThe rebuild of Little Vumbura follows the extensive refurbishment of the main area of Vumbura South Camp in October last year. North Camp, South Camp and Little Vumbura all provide the perfect base from which to explore the diverse Vumbura Concession, renowned for its variety of activities on offer – on land, on water and by air! “It is a “hybrid” concession with the best of both worlds – permanent swamps, dry woodland and everything in between. It is the only Wilderness concession in Botswana that offers hot-air ballooning safaris – an absolute must-do bucket list experience”, Leuenberger concluded.

Superior Rose - looking out to sea - Roker Hotel

£1 million refurbishment for Sunderland’s Roker Hotel

850 511 Daniel Fountain

A top Wearside hotel has completed the latest stage in a £1m refurbishment – bedrooms inspired by the area’s seafaring heritage.

The 43 en-suite rooms at Sunderland’s Roker Hotel, overlooking the beach, have been entirely redesigned to combine contemporary styling with nautical features following a £250,000 investment.

And guests staying in the 12 superior rooms can not only enjoy an uninterrupted sea view but also a telescope enabling them to look miles out to sea. The unveiling marks the end of a three-year development programme at the hotel, owned by North East leisure group Tavistock Hospitality, which owns more than a dozen bars, hotels and restaurants across the region.

Tavistock’s successful distillery bar, Poetic License, is also based at The Roker and the superior rooms are each named after the botanicals used to create its range of bespoke gins, such as juniper, cinnamon, cassia and rose.

Cassia - a room with a view

Cassia – a room with a view

Each room contains a glass jar of the botanical from which it takes its name, while other features, such as stacked luggage chests, rope curtain tiebacks and doorknobs and a navy and neutral colour scheme, reflect the hotel’s beachfront position.

‘Sea-blasted,’ free-standing, solid wood furniture is used throughout and feature walls, decorated in the style of 1950s tourism posters for Roker and neighbouring Seaburn, hark back to the heyday of the family seaside holiday.

The ‘retro’ styling has also been extended to the guest directories in each room, which are designed to resemble 1950s newspapers and contain useful information such as breakfast and check out times and where to go and what to see in the area.

For further information, or to book, call 0191 5671786 or visit www.rokerhotel.co.uk

Hardwick Hall

North east hotel Hardwick Hall to undergo major refurbishment

1000 592 Daniel Fountain

A leading North East country house hotel is about to enjoy a £350,000 refurbishment.

Hardwick Hall Hotel near Sedgefield – part of Ramside Estates – is to undergo a major facelift which will see the bedrooms, bars and boardrooms all being redecorated, along with a new look to one of the hotel’s leading function rooms.

Plans are to spend £150,000 on the Coleman Suite, which can take up to 400 guests, to decorate and lay new carpets, along with replacing the existing furniture. The four star hotel, which is set in County Durham’s Hardwick Country Park, has 51 bedrooms along with its acclaimed Rib Room Steakhouse and Grill.

“We are very excited about this renovation which we are sure will be appreciated by our guests,” said Lee Kirtland, General Manager at Hardwick Hall. “It means that there will be even more reason to visit Hardwick, no matter if you’re an overnight guest, popping in for a drink or a meal or are hosting a wedding or a business conference with us,” he added

The hotel is renowned for holding large scale balls and events, including the popular Lobster Ball which attracts more than 1000 guests.

Work is set to start immediately on the refurbishment and is due to take around three months.

www.hardwickhallhotel.co.uk

Grotta Giusti

Grotta Giusti, Tuscany, reveals plans for a stylish refurbishment

1000 562 Daniel Fountain

The prestigious spa hotel, Grotta Giusti, Tuscany, part of hotel brand Italian Hospitality Collection, is delighted to announce a number of luxurious new upgrades for spring 2017. All 64 rooms, the bar, and restaurant will receive a lavish makeover and several exciting new additions will be made, including six dog-friendly rooms and a wine-tasting area.

The refurbishments in the 19th century property, will be unveiled when the hotel reopens on 9th March 2017. Home to the largest thermal caves in Europe, these improvements will serve to cement Grotta Giusti’s position as one of the most unique and exclusive spa hotels in the region.

In addition to a design makeover, the hotel’s 64 bedrooms will be equipped with high-tech touches, such as LED ceiling lights, improved Wi-Fi and more plug sockets for guest convenience, whilst staying true to the classical style the hotel is renowned for. Ten new, interconnecting rooms will appeal to larger families. Dog lovers will be delighted by the addition of six canine-friendly rooms, with special flooring creating a scratch resistant surface for man’s best friend to play on and the hotel’s sprawling 45-hectare grounds providing plenty of space to explore.

Grotta Giusti

Guests will be able to unwind at the end of the day over an indulgent wine-tasting session at the new area by the restaurant, sampling the very best local wines accompanied by mouth-watering canapés.

The interior design overhaul will breathe new life into Grotta Giusti’s guest rooms, bar and restaurant, creating light and airy spaces which reflect the tranquillity of the surrounding Tuscan countryside.

With a decadent history as the former home of famed poet Giuseppe Giusti, Grotta Giusti is now a prestigious hotel that has maintained its historical air and natural charm with a backdrop of antique furnishings and paintings. It offers 64 lavish rooms with marble bathrooms, a large outdoor thermal swimming pool, a large summer pool in the garden and a private underground thermal cave and lake, where guests can scuba dive or indulge in a spot of floating therapy.

grottagiustispa.com/en/

Belmond Mount Nelson

The Belmond Mount Nelson reveals its guestroom redesign

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Inge Moore and her London-based design team have completed the refurbishment of 48 guestrooms and suites in one of the world’s most iconic hotels – Cape Town’s Belmond Mount Nelson. The design intent was to recreate the original spirt of the grand old hotel, which opened in 1899 and was said at the time to be as elegant as any fine London hotel, while updating it in such a way to engage today’s connoisseur travellers and lovers of exceptional hotels.

Inspired by Heritage
Capetonian heritage and influences were therefore the foundation to the designers’ thinking and this was a narrative that proved to open up layers of design opportunity. Once, seafarers from around the globe discovered the Cape and made it home, embracing what she had to offer and combining this with what they had brought from their previous lives. Local materials, rustic timbers, beads and clay brought together with sparkling crystal, silver cutlery and fine bone china created a new vernacular that uniquely belonged in the Cape. It was this mixing of the old and the new, the refined and the artisanal that Inge has translated into the refurbished guestrooms. Importantly, just as the “Nellie” has always been, the redesigned rooms are comfortably residential in feel. For the many loyal guests who return year-after-year, the ambience of their room will be reassuringly familiar while there will be much to discover that is new and enchanting.

The Belmond Mount Nelson reveals its guestroom redesign

“The Mount Nelson is one of a small handful of hotels that epitomise the inheritance and soul of their location, so they must be subtly moved on within the continuum of their beloved personality,” says Inge.

Connected with Nature
The gardens, lovingly tended and matured over the decades since the hotel first opened, as well as the breath-taking view of Table Mountain mean that Mount Nelson Hotel is the place to contemplate both the majesty of untamed nature and the beauty of man’s work with nature. The redesign celebrates both. Windows and casings have been restored and painted white, while the new drapery pelmets are smaller than before, effectively opening up the windows and framing the views. Guests can now better connect with what is outside and take the emotion with them as they relax inside. The bed is the centrepiece of each room, focused on the view and, at the foot of each bed, there is a local ‘riempies bank’ – the bench introduced to the Cape by the early settlers and locally made. Each room has a “chair to dream in”, a deeply comfortable armchair placed at a vantage point to soak up the panorama and allow the guest a place to slow down and feel what is important to them, be it to think, read or just to be.

Other heirloom furniture includes dark timber tables and cabinets with brass and leather detailing, while some furniture has been specially designed as a modern take on traditional pieces. There are idiosyncratic pieces, such as a beaded mirror, introduced to balance the collection and ensure the rooms retain an air of light hearted residential randomness. In re-planning the rooms, wardrobe space has become as generous as each room allows to meet the needs of the many guests who stay for a week or more.

The Belmond Mount Nelson reveals its guestroom redesign

All materials are classic, timeless and locally sourced. Originally, the hotel had timber flooring. Now, new oak flooring has been introduced into some suites, scattered with rugs crafted by local carpet weavers. Natural leather and linen abounds and antiqued and bevelled mirror reflects the sparkle of crystal and the sunshine dancing through the room. Drapery is soft and calming in tone, locally embroidered with a flower motif to bring a biophilic context – a love of life and things natural and hand-made – to the design. The guestrooms are light and airy on sunny days but they will also be cosy and cocooning when the sea mists and rain roll in. “They are rooms for slow living, a place to nest and connect with one’s emotions,” says Stan Chan, a senior member of the design team.

Telling the Story through Art
Artwork is a major part of the experience and the rooms have been lovingly accessorised with collections of objects and over-scaled paintings curated by Janine Bath in collaboration with Inge. All of the art is by local artists, some is contemporary and some depicts the beautiful landscapes of this part of the world in a new way.

“I think that art in hotels is either just decorative or it has real meaning – there is nothing in-between,” says Inge. “When we have the opportunity to develop art with local artists, it creates the meaning of the project and sets the tone. For Mount Nelson, I wanted to celebrate the amazing Cape and bring this into the hotel.”

The Belmond Mount Nelson reveals its guestroom redesign

The new artworks have joined many fine existing pieces which have been re-framed in a contemporary manner, complimenting the traditionally classic images of landscapes and flowers. Guestroom corridors have been transformed with new art offering a journey through the work of some of Cape Town’s most interesting established and budding artists, combined with the existing collection. The introduction of additional chandeliers and crystal wall lights provides new sparkle as well as more light, the tones of paint replicate heritage colours favoured in domestic settings in the late 19th century and a new sisal-inspired carpet hints at the hard-wearing floor coverings of the turn of the century.

“I want guests to feel like they are walking through the corridors of a beloved aunt’s amazing home,” concludes Inge.

All photography: Micky Hoyle

belmond.com/mount-nelson-hotel-cape-town/

Mantra Club Croc

Iconic Queensland hotel reborn as Mantra Club Croc

999 583 Daniel Fountain

Mantra Group has officially opened the new-look, rebranded Mantra Club Croc hotel, following a major $5 million refurbishment to bring a fresh design and upgraded facilities to the iconic Airlie Beach hotel.

Situated close to the beachfront and Abell Point Marina, Mantra Club Croc is housed in a traditional Queenslander-style building, offering a glimpse into the region’s past, contrasted by its modern accommodation and facilities.

Guests can now experience stylish accommodation with coastal inspired décor, a range of new and improved guest amenities such as a large lagoon pool with adjoining spa and lush tropical gardens, and locally-inspired cuisine at the hotel’s new contemporary poolside restaurant and bar.

Mantra Club Croc

In addition to the refurbishment of all 160 guest rooms, the restaurant and bar, common areas and leisure facilities, the upgrade also includes an executive makeover of the hotel’s conference centre, which accommodates events from 20 to 200 delegates with a comprehensive range of facilities.

Mantra Club Croc

Mantra Club Croc General Manager Luke Harley said the hotel’s rebranding marks the conclusion of the hotel’s multi-million dollar refurbishment program.

“The refurbishment has breathed new life into the much-loved hotel and has brought it up to the premier Mantra brand standards,” said Mr Harley.

Originally opened 30 years ago in 1987 and now meticulously restored and refurbished, Mantra Club Croc is an important property, not just for Airlie Beach and the Whitsundays, but also for the international Mantra brand.

Mantra Club Croc is Mantra Group’s third Whitsundays property, joining Mantra Boathouse Apartments and Peppers Airlie Beach.

De Vere Wotton House

Sneak Peek: De Vere Wotton House unveils £6 million renovation

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The spectacular 17th century De Vere Wotton House, located in Dorking, Surrey, has been restored back to its country house mansion charms following a £6 million refurbishment.

Nestled in 13 acres of stunning Grade II listed grounds, it boasts the first Italian garden designed by famous botanist John Evelyn (the inspiration for Crabtree & Evelynn) who lived at Wotton House in the 17th century.

De Vere Wotton House

The renovation added an extra 16 suites to the Mansion House, bringing the total number of rooms to 127, all boasting stylish ensuites and fantastic views of either the beautiful gardens or dramatic manor house entrance. Designed in neutral tones and calming greys, guestrooms and suites are adorned with pieces of furniture that blend modernity with tradition to create an enticing English retreat.

De Vere Wotton House

All areas of the hotel have been refurbished from public spaces to restaurant and bar, meeting spaces and the spectacular Old Library which is popular for weddings and private dining events. These now exude a classic heritage feel with vintage items such as globes, bound books and antique keys adding character and warmth to the spaces.

De Vere Wotton House

For those booking a wedding or event at De Vere Wotton House, the new-look Evelyn Suite, suitable for up to 180 delegates theatre-style or 120 for a banquet, boasts picturesque views of Wotton’s picturesque gardens. The room’s décor provides a sophisticated look with detailing inspired by the building’s rich architecture. An additional 20 flexible meeting and event spaces are flooded with natural light and offer a range of locations to suit every organisers’ needs.

De Vere Wotton House

No stone has been left unturned with the gardens welcoming several commissioned sculptures inspired by nature, by Surrey-based artist Emma Stothard. Emma is also known for her willow sculpture which is set within the grounds of HRH the Prince of Wales Highgrove estate. The introduction of Emma’s works marks the start in a series of local artists creating installations, which will be placed across refurbished De Vere Country House Hotels.

De Vere Wotton House

Caroline Morrone, general manager at De Vere Wotton House, commented: “As a popular venue for the conference, business, leisure and wedding sectors, the final product will appeal to all our customers and provide an attractive, contemporary venue in stunning surroundings which pays homage to its history. We are delighted with the design which is also reflected in the fantastic feedback given by our guests. The new suites provide a luxurious setting for guests of wedding parties or those looking indulge away from the hustle and bustle of life.”

De Vere Wotton House

The completion of De Vere Wotton House’s refurbishment marks an important milestone in De Vere’s wider multi-million-pound country estate hotel renovation project, which will place the Mansion House at the epicentre of group’s country property portfolio. At several properties, the gardens will also receive investment with the addition of outdoor dining patios and sculptures, extending the hotels to the great outdoors.

De Vere Wotton House

phcompany.com/de-vere/wotton-house/

The Principal York - Lobby Lounge

The Principal York becomes triple award winner

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It was confirmed last month that The Principal York (designed by Goddard Littlefair and one of the launch hotels for PRINCIPAL, a collection of landmark hotels in UK city centres) has won the Gold Award for Hospitality Interior Design at the London Design Awards 2016, to be presented at a ceremony in March of this year.

The new award is in addition to the hotel’s double success at the Visit York Tourism Awards, where it won both Conference Venue of the Year and the overall Hotel of the Year crown. The Principal York was also shortlisted twice over for the refurbishment of its public spaces at the EHDAs (European Hotel Design Awards) at the end of 2016.

The magnificent, Grade-II-listed hotel, boasting beautiful gardens and views over York Minster, was originally one of Britain’s greatest Victorian railway hotels, housed in a purpose-built building in yellow Scarborough brick by architect William Peachey and first opening its doors in 1878. After the hotel was acquired by Starwood Capital, Goddard Littlefair was commissioned to redesign its public spaces, including the lobby, reception, Garden Room, entrances and corridor spaces, as well as all 159 bedrooms and suites. The full design team on the project also included Michaelis Boyd (who redesigned the bar and restaurant at the hotel), whilst architects 3D Reid oversaw the structural works on the project.

The Principal York - Lobby Lounge

“Our overall ambition was to breathe life back into every artery of the hotel’s interior,” Goddard Littlefair Director and Co-Founder Jo Littlefair explained. “Giving a nod to tradition and heritage, but also creating a tremendously warm, light and welcoming contemporary environment for guests. We were briefed to reinstate the hotel’s essential character and to pay respect to its original architecture, whilst at the same time ensuring a feeling of comfort, restfulness, so that The Principal York was once again a true destination hotel.”

The Principal York - Lobby

Space-planning and Structure
The hotel originally had two entrances, with the first on the garden side of the hotel for guests arriving by coach or car and a rather secondary entrance on the other side for guests arriving by rail. One of the first key elements of Goddard Littlefair’s new plan was to ensure both entrances were of equal importance so that all guests had a real sense of arrival, with both routes quickly joining one of two main public space circulation axes – the Promenade or the Colonnade. The ‘business’ of arrival is now contained within a relocated reception area, located off the Promenade, so the overall public space feels less transient and suitcases can disappear quickly into this dedicated and spacious contained room.

The Principal York

Opening up views throughout was key and two brand new entrances were cut into the Garden Room, alongside three more into the relocated reception area, so that the ground floor is flooded with light and there are tempting glimpses of spaces beyond, whichever way guests traverse the building. The new public and lounge spaces are bright and generously-proportioned and offer food and beverages throughout the day, from teas and coffees to afternoon tea or an evening menu, maximising revenue possibilities from the fabulously light and welcoming space.

Interior Design Concept
The central design concept was to create a modern and softer interpretation of a country house, featuring over-scaled furniture, such as large wing chairs, to ensure an instant feeling of welcome, combined with a light and soothing colour palette, featuring a gentle and fairly neutral base with softer highlights in shades such as eau de nil and lavender. Similarly, the furniture is in colours such as tan, buff and charcoal, with small amounts of texture and pattern for added interest.

Interesting and unique art and antiques give the interiors a sense of heritage and character, whilst traditional, high-quality materials, including linen, leather, wool and linen velvet express both comfort and authenticity. A sense of place is incorporated through, for example, artworks referencing York Races or images from historic society gatherings in York, particularly involving the Duke and Duchess of York. The design team also integrated architectural drawings of Castle Howard and other local stately homes, as well as antique maps.

The Principal York - The Garden Room
The whole scheme features a series of antique objects, hand-picked by Goddard Littlefair from antique markets around the country, including old trunks, for example, and beautiful stone dogs. The furniture throughout is also bespoke. This ensures a unique environment and is part of the Goddard Littlefair design approach, looking to create as many bespoke items as possible, so that they are always designed with the exact location, function and end-user in mind – and also embody a certain location-specific exclusivity.

Interiors Walk-through
The Colonnade, which proceeds from a glass-roofed original hexagonal arrival space, now gives a real sense of arrival for guests arriving via the railway station, stretching out towards the main public spaces beyond. Ten custom-made mirrors, some full-height and some sitting above doors, line the space and give it a rhythm, whilst glass and brass pendant lanterns add yet more light and warmth via a specialist, subtly-sparkling antiqued finish. The mirrors feature antiqued glass set within carved, frames with a moon gold finish and are a great way of indulging visitors’ desires for subtle people-watching, as well as increasing a sense of space. Because of their immense proportions, the glass had to be manufactured in separate pieces and then assembled on site. Curtains hang alongside the mirrors in a soft brown colour with a darker trim near the bottom.

The Colonnade has also been made warmer through the addition of bespoke, comfortable, high-backed wing chairs in mink brown leather along with tables with lamps. Cushions are in a green silk velvet with an oyster silk band, echoing the band on the curtains. The carpet is a bespoke design for the project, by Goddard Littlefair in conjunction with Hotel Design partners Brintons – as with the carpets throughout the project. A discreet concierge station awaits guests at the top of the Colonnade, so that guests arriving this way can be accompanied to the reception room.

The Principal York
The Promenade, which meets the Colonnade at a T-junction at its top end, runs the full width of the ground floor area and is punctured along its length by entrances. At its centre, it becomes a seamless part of the Lobby Lounge. The design treatment for the Promenade features the same pendant lights as the Colonnade, artworks that are top-lit by a brass light fitting and a grey carpet from Brintons with a darker border.

The new reception is located next to the garden entrance and is a spacious and light and dressed with furniture that has a pronounced residential flavour, including two large desks designed to ressemble giant trunks; two tall bookcases behind the reception and a central display of framed vintage keys, as well as large and small-scale artwork (selected with art consultants Visto) and a separate seating area, with wingback chairs arranged around a newly-installed fireplace. Lighting is in the form of two French chandeliers suspended on heavy-duty dark metal chains, with desk lamps on the reception and in the seating area.

The Principal York
The heart of the new scheme is made up of two wonderful, large and light-filled open spaces, punctuated by handsome original columns with ornate capitals, all of which have been refurbished. These are the Lobby Lounge, which contains the hotel’s wonderful, dramatic staircase and the Garden Room beyond, which looks out, as its name suggests, onto the hotel’s extensive gardens. There are clear views through from one to the other, to ensure they interact, via the existing central and the two new entrances. Both spaces – as well as the reception room – feature oiled oak flooring from Havwoods with a special ‘sawn’ surface and laid in a herringbone pattern. The timber was deliberately chosen for its informal, not overly-polished look. Inset rugs are by Brintons.

Beautiful, bespoke chandeliers, made up of faceted, cut crystal baguettes set within in bronze frames, which Goddard Littlefair developed together with Heathfield, punctuate the two spaces. There are three chandeliers in the Garden Room and three more in the Lobby Lounge, one of which, which hangs down through the stairwell, is triple-tiered.

At the left-hand side of the Lobby Lounge is the staircase, which has been refurbished and re-carpeted with a bordered goose eye patterned carpet. New wall mouldings and panels have been added as guests go up the stair, acting as a background to the stair’s dramatic new decorative feature – a five-storey-high eclectic collection of mirrors with picture lights above, all in different shapes, sizes and frames, which allow views down, through and across the hotel and which also maximise light and reflectiveness.

The Principal York
For the furniture within the Lobby Lounge and Garden Rooms, every aspect was carefully considered, so that the heights of the seats correspond perfectly with the table heights, for example, ensuring guests can eat and drink in the public and lounge spaces with ease. The Garden Room is a particular highlight of the final design and is a beautiful, long, light and elegant space, complete with Chesterfield sofas, wing chairs and marble-topped tables, making it the perfect location to relax and enjoy afternoon tea – and more. The sofas here are upholstered in an Evitavonni fabric with bespoke, highly-detailed cushions featuring trimmings by Samuel & Sons and fabrics including Primavera by Rubelli and Plaza by Casamance. Tall plan chests around the edges of the room conceal waiter stations, as well as refrigerated drawers and storage space for point-of-sale materials.

Set dressing here includes an array of antique objects, hand-picked by Goddard Littlefair from antique markets around the country for this project, such as antique books, old trunks and beautiful stone dogs. These suggest heritage and reflect the hotel’s long-standing and established reputation and also ensure that the environment is unique and not filled with things guests might see in other places. The hotel’s own archives were thoroughly investigated too in the search for treasure from the past, revealing such gems as a collection of old thank-you letters from the 1930s through to the 1950s, which have been used for display in the corridor approaching the restaurant.

The Principal York
Upstairs, the suites boast great proportions, plenty of natural light and have a natural, high-ceilinged elegance. Each one is comprised of a sitting area with sofa, bedroom and bathroom. The design accent here was on relaxation, answering a brief to be residential in feel and scale, so that guests feel at ease the moment their suitcases are out of their hands. A dado rail and wooden panelling add layers of interest, with added warmth from the wood. Fabric headboards add softness with an unusual concertina design adding interest and creating a sense of movement. Picture lights and room art create added visual interest via country-inspired imagery of wild flowers, horses, dogs and period cartography.

For the suites and bedrooms, all bed divans and mattresses are by Moonraker, whilst the throws, in a beautiful soft wool, were bespoke-designed for the project and supplied by Bute Fabrics. The sofas are bespoke, as is all the furniture throughout. The wood panelling in the rooms is carried on through to the bathrooms, which feature a roll-top standalone bath, marble flooring and bespoke washstand and mirror in pre-aged timber.

Jo Littlefair concluded on the overall scheme: “This project has been a great experience for us. It has been incredibly rewarding and we feel privileged to have been involved. We love restoration projects and challenges – particularly, as here, when we can address the whole space, be creative and successfully breathe new life into a property.”

Photos: Gareth Gardner, PRINCIPAL and Daniel Fountain
Hotel Designs also visited The Principal York in September 2016

phcompany.com/principal/york-hotel

Tivoli Oriente hotel, Lisbon

Tivoli Oriente in Lisbon presents new Family Rooms and refurbished Conference Centre

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The Tivoli Oriente hotel, in Lisbon’s thriving Parque das Nações business and leisure neighbourhood, presents ten floors of newly refurbished rooms as well as its Family Rooms to cater for the growing leisure guest market. The 11-meeting room Conference Centre has also been totally completely renovated.

The hotel opened its doors in 2001 and quickly established itself as the area’s landmark hotel. With its 279 bedrooms and 12 meeting rooms, sleek façade of smoked glass soars above the busy thoroughfare and tree-lined pavements below.

Tivoli Oriente hotel, Lisbon

A highly popular and sought after hotel, it has now invested in ten floors of totally refurbished rooms and bathrooms. The hotel’s Conference Centre was also completely renovated and now offers a total area of 1,200m², equipped with the most recent audio-visual technology and lighting. With 11 venues, the hotel can hold up successful meetings and events for up to 550 people. Most recently, the hotel was the official hotel for the 2016 Web Summit which attracted over 30,000 entrepreneurs and investors to Lisbon.

With its strong and high demand from business and meetings with clients, who together represent some 70% of the hotel’s occupancy – the Tivoli Oriente boasts a perfect location in Parque das Nações, home of the major technological companies; walking distance from the Lisbon’s Exhibition Centre and many local attractions like the multipurpose MEO Arena, as well as the Santiago Calatrava designed Gare do Oriente trains and bus transport hub. Lisbon airport is only 10 minutes’ drive from the hotel.

Tivoli Oriente hotel, Lisbon

For summer 2017, the hotel will be opening its own Sky Bar Oriente on the 16th floor with a show-stopping 360º view over Lisbon, the Tagus River and the Vasco da Gama Bridge. Perfect for events, parties and sundowners, it is set to be the area’s hot spot for the season, with gourmet snacks and salads, signature cocktails and cool sounds from our DJ set.

Superior and Family Rooms
Together with interior decorator Maria Ilharco, and spanning ten floors, the new rooms make the most of a palette of cool turquoise and restful charcoal grey – two colours that mirror the variety of vistas, over the River Tagus and the urban lines of the city itself. In line with Tivoli’s More Future sustainable development strategy, the focus is on local craftsmen and suppliers.

Tivoli Oriente hotel, Lisbon

The rooms all offer such distinctive touches as a 32” screen and Nespresso coffee-machines, whereas the bathrooms boast spacious walk-in showers, rain shower type heads and ample glass-topped vanity area. “We’re very pleased with these rooms and our guests’ reactions to them have been highly enthusiastic – we now have all 279 rooms in the hotel fitted out to the same Tivoli standard which our clients expect from us. The revamped Conference Centre has also been a resounding success with our regular clients”, declares General Manager Vitor Matias.

Tivoli Oriente hotel, Lisbon

As a response to the growing family clientele, the Tivoli Oriente now presents its own, very practical version of Family Rooms – they comfortably accommodate three people with an innovative and comfortable cushion-packed bed, permanently in place – far superior to the rollaway beds most hotels offer.

The renowned T/Bed is the highlight of any Tivoli bedroom and the new rooms at the Tivoli Oriente are no exception: the down featherbed and lighter-than-air duvets are crowned by four generous pillows, encased in the finest hallmark Tivoli bed linen, ensuring that all-important result: a really good night’s sleep.

tivolihotels.com

Low Wood Bay

£16 million investment for Windermere hotel Low Wood Bay

1000 628 Daniel Fountain

Low Wood Bay Resort & Spa is set for a brand-new look in 2017 with a major refurbishment and new build. English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues are set to establish a world-class resort in the Lake District, the idyllic lakeside destination closes its doors this week as work begins on the £16 million transformation, which will be unveiled from April when the hotel reopens its doors.

The multi-million pound project will see the existing historic property completely renovated, with a full upgrade and refurbishment of all existing rooms, new outdoor leisure facilities, along with a stunning Atrium, world class spa, and an additional new restaurant concept, “Blue Smoke”. Later in the summer a new building will open with a further 32 suites and studio rooms including its own club lounge and roof garden.

The hotel, which enjoys a fantastic waterfront setting looking out onto Windermere, will reopen in April 2017, once the first phase of the renovation is complete.

Simon Berry, Chairman and MD of English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues said: “It is a really exciting new chapter for us here at Low Wood Bay. This stunning building has been here for over 300 years and this will be the biggest change it has gone through in its history.

“The Lake District is a uniquely beautiful holiday destination and we’re creating an exceptional, stand-out resort from which to enjoy it. We want to make something truly special, bringing modern, top quality facilities to the area but without compromising the integrity or charm of this historic building; we really feel we have achieved that with these plans. We can’t wait to welcome our guests, both old and new, to see their reactions’.

English Lakes Hotel Resorts & Venues, which owns the property, has worked closely with the Lake District National Park Authority to progress the plans and create a ‘world class destination’ whilst remaining in keeping with the area and using local connections and expertise.

The whole new experience will start with the enhanced sense of arrival of the brand-new entrance which sweeps around and up to the existing car park. Bespoke art work will significantly improve the arrival experience for guests as they make their way to one of their 133 luxurious, upgraded and new build bedrooms and suites.

Set to open in summer, one of the most significant investments is in the luxurious Spa, complete with an outdoor heated infinity pool, sauna, steam room and Canadian hot tubs with views over the lake and mountains. The extensive fitness suite will also feature state of the art equipment and an express salon. The introduction of the innovative ‘Blue Smoke’ dining concept will provide British produce within a South American wood fired grill – the first of its kind in the area.

Opening later in the year, the addition of a luxury accommodation block, complete with its own private bar, club lounge and roof terrace will finally transform the hotel into the Lake District’s first world class luxury resort.

Best Western Brook Hotel, Norwich

Sneak Peek: Beacon’s £100k transformation of Best Western Brook Hotel

1000 621 Daniel Fountain

Located on the outskirts of Norwich, Best Western Brook Hotel called upon Beacon Design Services to facilitate a refurbishment worth over £100,000 of some of the hotel’s bedrooms, as well as the bar and restaurant area. The refurbishment was part of a wider plan to improve footfall at the hotel with a more modern and practical design, ultimately improving profitability.

The brief was for an inexpensive way to refurbish 13 of the hotel’s bedrooms, giving Beacon Design Services a budget of approximately £3,000 per room. The task was to take one of the Beacon Room In A Box interior design schemes and create something bespoke for the business, ensuring the design worked with the existing items that needed to remain in the rooms.

Best Western Brook Hotel, Norwich

The Room In A Box service allows businesses to choose from a range of interior design schemes, all of which have been created to meet the Best Western standards for aesthetics. A full refurbishment of the bar and restaurant area was also required, with a budget of £80,000, to not only improve the overall appearance but also the practical elements of the space such as seating specific to the coach tour groups that the hotel often hosts.

Best Western Brook Hotel, Norwich

Chris Johnson, Design Services Manager at Beacon, commented: “We split the bedroom refurbishment into two phases of six and seven rooms so we could avoid any major drop in occupancy rates for the client and maintain a healthy cash flow. By using one of Beacon’s Room In A Box design schemes but with some slight alterations, for example removing the upholstered headboards and keeping the existing curtains, the hotel and I knew it would fit Best Western’s standards for aesthetics and could confidently go ahead with the design whilst still retaining the hotel’s individuality. We worked extremely closely with the client and contractor in order to make sure the design not only kept to budget, but also became an attractive space for guests.”

Best Western Brook Hotel, Norwich

“For the bar and restaurant area, the main challenge was ensuring all of the elements worked within the space and this is something the entire team paid close attention to throughout the project. We started by drawing up two sets of plans to show the client how the space could look, which was followed by various site visits with the contractor to work out exactly how the plans would physically translate into the space. As often is the case, budgets were strict and we focused on finding premium-look items, for a lower cost, such as Panaz Enigma, a premium-feel faux leather fabric with a pattern that appears to be stitched into the surface.”

Gareth Stone, General Manager of The Brook Hotel, added: “The investment in our refurbishment has been a great success and we are already seeing an uplift in sales and footfall at the bar by 20%. The main challenge for us was creating a premium feel with a tight budget, but also ensuring we were making the best use of the space, and this is something that Beacon Design Services was very supportive of throughout.”

For more information about Beacon please visit www.beacondesign.co.uk

Chia Laguna, Sardinia in final stages of €70,000,000 investment plan

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The prestigious Chia Laguna resort, Sardinia is delighted to announce a number of new upgrades to Hotel Baia for the 2017 season. Two new restaurants, a new bar, a semi-Olympic pool and 80 new rooms will be unveiled at the start of the 2017 season on Saturday 20th May 2017.

The renovations are the next stage of Italian Hospitality Collection’s €70,000,000 investment plan for Chia Laguna that began in 2011, placing it amongst the most exclusive resorts in the Mediterranean. Hotel Baia’s 80 rooms will be fully renovated this winter. The light and airy rooms come in four categories. The Prestige Parco, Prestige Laguna and Prestige Mare rooms can all sleep up to three guests, a cot can also be provided. The majority of rooms are interconnecting making them a great choice for families.

The spacious new Junior Suites with sea views offer two rooms – bedroom and living room – and can sleep up to four guests plus a cot for babies.

A spacious new 140sqm, two-bedroom Suite Incanto with a wide living room and large garden is artfully positioned overlooking the picturesque bay below, with views of the flamingo adorned lagoon and the award-winning beach. The suite boasts two double-rooms with sitting areas and en-suite bathrooms. The rooms are connected by a spacious living room with a sofa-bed and separate bathroom, creating room for up to six guests.

Hotel Baia boasts access to one of Italy’s most beautiful beaches and offers guests complimentary beach service in a private area with umbrellas, sunbeds and towels. Chia Laguna is a collection of four hotels set amongst the turquoise waters and unspoilt countryside of Chia Bay in enchanting Southern Sardinia.

Marriott Hotel County Hall

London Marriott Hotel County Hall celebrates major redesign

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Marriott Hotels is celebrating the grand re-opening of one of its most iconic properties in the UK, London Marriott Hotel County Hall, following the completion of a multi-million pound transformation.

Set on London’s South Bank, County Hall offers guests an unparalleled panoramic view of London that takes in the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, the River Thames and the London Eye.

The redesigned hotel signals the momentum and evolution of Marriott Hotels’ bold transformation as it continues to elevate experiences all around the world, enhancing every aspect of the guest’s stay. New openings and reinvented hotels showcase attributes of the future of the brand, including contemporary guestroom design, local influences, stylish public areas and intuitive technology.

London Marriott - County Hall

“Marriott Hotels has consistently pushed the boundaries of innovation in travel to create experiences that inspire and push our guests’ creativity. London Marriott County Hall is the perfect combination of historic charm and intuitive design.” says Matthew Carroll, vice president, Marriott Hotels.

Set at the foot of Westminster Bridge, the 206-room London Marriott County Hall makes the most of its heritage and premier location in the heart of London. Its vaulted ceilings and wood-panelled chambers have witnessed many important moments of London history.

London Marriott - County Hall

The hotel offers guests some of the most spacious rooms in the heart of London with breathtaking riverside views. Based on guest feedback, locally-inspired accents offer a sense of place, while smart technology enables guests to use the room flexibly.

Led by RPW Design, one of the world’s leading hospitality interior design practices, the hotel’s reimagined interiors combine contemporary hotel design and luxurious functionality with inspiration from the heritage and elegance of the building. All suites include upgraded bathroom facilities, entrances with tiled mosaic flooring and bespoke wallpaper featuring a historic map of London from the era of the building’s infancy.

London Marriott - County Hall

Sumptuous soft furnishings and subtle plays on iconic London landmarks are featured throughout, including tasteful tributes to the building’s history – for example the orange chairs pay homage to the seating used in the chamber of the former London County Council and bowler hat prints on curtain fabrics echo London’s business culture.

London Marriott - County Hall

Govert Deketh, general manager, London Marriott Hotel County Hall commented: “Our transformation perfectly captures the essence of great British style whilst also delivering an elevated and modern hotel experience. That together with our building’s incredible history and our exceptional riverside views now places us as one of the most sought after properties in London.”

DUKES LONDON

DUKES LONDON to undergo multi-million pound refurbishment

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As part of DUKES COLLECTION, DUKES London, the award-winning five-star British bolthole in the heart of Mayfair, is thrilled to announce that a major refurbishment programme will commence in November 2016, to include its luxurious bedrooms, public areas and restaurant.

Starting next month with the hotel’s meeting rooms, changes to the restaurant and hotel bedrooms will follow in January 2017. The improved look is anticipated to be completed by the end of spring 2017.

From January 2017, DUKES will experience a full upgrade to a number of its bedrooms and suites, and public areas such as the much-loved Drawing Room. The popular Duchess Rooms, a personalised service aimed at the female solo traveller, will also undergo a dramatic facelift, working with a number of leading luxury British brands that work in synergy with DUKES’ own quintessential British offering.

2017 is set to be DUKES COLLECTION’s most exciting year yet, with this luxurious British brand continuing to offer guests the traditional five-star service it is famed for.

dukeshotel.com

The Robertson Small Hotel

Big things happening at Robertson Small Hotel, South Africa…

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The Robertson Small Hotel is excited to announce that it has recently undergone a complete redesign.

The hotel’s relationship with their collaborators and contributors has been a unique feature of the renovation. Curated by Studio Ashby of London, the redesign saw local designers and collaborators tasked with creating bespoke items to form part of a brand new look while enhancing the award-winning facilities.

The Robertson Small Hotel

The Victorian Manor House rooms as well as the Stable and Poolside Suites, the ample gardens and Wellness Room were all set upon by designers and artists including Alexis Barrel, Michael Chandler, Renee Rossouw, House of Gozdawa, Lisa Firer, Rene Botes, Bonfred Furniture among others.

Fashion designer and textile artist Alexis Barrell drew inspiration from local flora and fauna to design a range of textile works using techniques such as hand block printing and intricate and laborious process of carving sketches into wood and printing on cotton with natural dyes by hand.

The Robertson Small Hotel

The Small Restaurant received a new menu courtesy of Rose Ashby of Spring Restaurant at Somerset House in London, with the focus on seasonal produce sourced in the Robertson area Ashby worked alongside head chef Tiaan van Greunen.

The EM BAR, a custom designed bar in blue and white porcelain by artist Michael Chandler, offers a selection of the area’s finest wines and a small range of cocktails.

therobertsonsmallhotel.com

Clayton Hotel Chiswick

Clayton Hotel Chiswick unveils impressive new look

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Clayton Hotel Chiswick has officially unveiled its £21m extension and refurbishment at a ribbon-cutting ceremony and celebratory lunch held in its Chiswick Ballroom.

General manager of the hotel Thomas Doyle and his team were joined by senior executives from owner Dalata Hotel Group, Ireland’s largest hotel company, as well as local dignitaries, representatives from Chiswick’s leading businesses, and members of the press.

Clayton Hotel Chiswick

The work, which was completed in just two years, gives the four-star standard, 227-room hotel the modern yet warm and friendly values of the Clayton brand. Approximately 25 new jobs have been created as a result of extension and refurbishment. Central to the new look is the redesigned and extended 200m2 ground floor and reception area offering an attractive, welcoming bar, premium coffee outlet, revamped restaurant, and comfortable lounge area.

“Guests want something different now and we have designed the hotel with their needs very much in mind,” says general manager Thomas Doyle.

Clayton Hotel Chiswick
“People no longer spend time in their room, preferring to be in communal spaces, even if they’re on their own. We’ve provided a variety of places to sit throughout the ground floor offering different degrees of privacy as well as space to work, relax, eat, hold business meetings or chat with friends – with super-fast broadband throughout,” he added.

A further 104 bedrooms have been added to the hotel, while all existing rooms have been upgraded and refurbished with modern bathrooms, upgraded linen and beds, and stylish furniture echoing the hotel’s bronze and burnt orange colour scheme. Guests can choose from Deluxe, Executive, Family rooms, or King Executive suites, which come with a separate restroom, luxury power shower and a stand-alone roll top bath.

Clayton Hotel Chiswick

One of the most notable changes of the refurbishment is the positioning of the hotel’s reception desk, which rather than forming a visual barrier at the entrance, is now set to one side. This makes for a more enticing entrance and helps give the entire ground floor a definite buzz.

Alan McClure, co-director of Glasgow-based interior design practice Cunningham McLean, has given the hotel a strong sense of openness and space, with warm, contemporary colours creating a modern vibe that’s inviting and friendly and blends with the bronze tones of the Clayton nest-inspired logo. A cool atrium with Italian marble flooring and a huge glass chandelier leads into the revamped public space, restaurant and bar area. Beyond the relocated reception desk are further seating areas separated by open-shelf room dividers as well as a comfortable private library offering a greater degree of privacy.

Clayton Hotel Chiswick

“Our design team have created a soft look but with character through their choice of classic colours, quality wool carpets and high-end soft furnishings. Various lighting techniques help separate different areas as do the subtle room dividers,” says Doyle. “Creating a welcoming atmosphere was at the top of our agenda and already we’re seeing the lounge used for what it was intended. Guests can tuck themselves away or sit at the bar for a drink and a snack or enjoy the lounge areas on their own or with friends,” he adds.

Clayton Hotel Chiswick

The hotel has a carefully designed meetings and events facility that offers guests maximum flexibility in terms of layout and style as well as a choice of rooms suitable for weddings, meetings, training days, conferences, parties or dinners. With its own entrance and foyer the events area can accommodate up to 400 guests within 10 stylishly decorated, purpose-built meeting and function rooms.

Each room has adjustable settings and seating styles, light, sound and climate control, as well as the latest technology and AV equipment.

Clayton Hotel Chiswick

claytonhotelchiswick.com

Athenaeum Hotel & Residences

Case Study: Kinnersley Kent Design redesigns Athenaeum public spaces

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Leading British design studio Kinnersley Kent Design has completed the multi-million-pound refurbishment of one of London’s most iconic hotels – The Athenaeum Hotel & Residences – remodelling the interiors and adding new layers of warm and subtle glamour to this family-run, five-star, thoroughly-independent jewel in the heart of Mayfair.

The scope of works undertaken by Kinnersley Kent Design, one of the UK’s most established and celebrated practices, includes brand strategy, positioning and identity work – undertaken in partnership with the hotel’s owners and close-knit internal team – as well as external architectural works and a full interior architectural and design renovation, transforming the hotel’s public spaces, from the lobby, lounge and first floor meeting areas to a spectacular new bar – ‘THE BAR at The Athenaeum’ – and the elegant, day-to-night restaurant offer – ‘Galvin at The Athenaeum’.

Athenaeum Hotel & Residences

Speaking of the design approach to the project, Kinnersley Kent Design Partner Jill Higgins explained: “Above all, we were looking to open the hotel up in terms of light, space, circulation and visibility. The building’s original art deco nature has also been brought back to life by replacing the ground floor elevation with an elegant bronze façade with brass details referencing the 1930s modernist style.’

Kinnersley Kent Design’s Brand Director Lindie Kramers said of the agency’s approach: ‘Our thinking was based on the brand’s core strengths – its heritage, attitude and location. Located in the heart of Mayfair, the brand is delightfully English (in all the right ways), independently-owned, with an art deco spirit. And they’ve always done things differently.”

Athenaeum Hotel & Residences

The hotel’s external appearance has been transformed, with an entirely new ground-floor-level façade offering guests spectacular leafy views out across the Royal Green Park via new floor-to-ceiling windows. An impressive new, fully DDA-compliant main entrance has been relocated to the left of the façade, directly alongside the ‘Living Wall’ and created according to a design aesthetic of ‘authentic deco’. It therefore features classic architectural details of the era, such as stepped bronzework and geometric shapes, with a pattern overlaid on the doors, along with bespoke gilded metal inlays, featuring abstracted art deco shaping.

Outside the front of the hotel, a new terrace area has been created, forming one of the very few outdoor dining areas on Piccadilly in what was a relatively low-key, but very successful, transformation of available space in the project’s earliest phase. The design team also converted an existing secondary entrance on Downs Street into a new glass box with solid doors to serve as a direct entrance for non-resident guests to the hotel’s stunning new destination bar – ‘THE BAR at The Athenaeum’.

Athenaeum Hotel & Residences

For the newly-remodeled, double-height lobby area – where the whole mezzanine galleried section has been squared off and pulled back to double the available space – the design team applied a playful interior architectural signature in the form of an eclectic mix of classic British furniture items, to reflect the hotel’s strong British heritage, mixed with contemporary and mid-century-modern European pieces.

The scheme features lots of contrast and texture, with high-gloss and reeded finishes and thin and elegant metal forms set against a muted and subtle colour palette, punctuated by bright and contemporary accents. Materials include mesh-within-glass and a curated rose bronze that the Kinnersley Kent Design team created in order to get the exact look and feel required for the galleried balustrade to the mezzanine.

Athenaeum Hotel & Residences

Stunning, open, metal screens create semi-private zoning between the open-plan lobby and restaurant space, whilst the columns, which are a strong feature of the space, are clad in a striking, narrow-reeded dark timber. The overall result is both playful and geometric, but not overly symmetrical, with the hotel’s art deco roots acknowledged but approached with a thoroughly contemporary sensibility.

Furniture and fittings include two statement ‘Meshmatic Chandeliers’ by Atelier Rick Tegelaar, used here for the first time in the UK and chosen for their lightness, elegance and sense of playfulness, as well as to tie in with the metal in the overall materials palette. The space features a carefully-chosen selection of elegant chairs in smokey grey and teal velvets, with mustard and tangerine upholstery in leather and other fabrics, with all chairs chosen for their interesting tones, contrasts and juxtapositions.

The main flooring in the lobby is a dark-fumed oak with a herringbone pattern, with marble used to delineate the circulation area and stairs. The stairs have been re-clad with a polished plaster finish on the inside and marble treads, whilst the outside is clad the same way as the columns with narrow-reeded panelling. Touches of greenery throughout to refer to the Living Wall and to Green Park and underscore the hotel’s English heritage. A new high-level hanging plant feature in the entrance space gives the meeting room a sense of being fully enclosed within the Living Wall.

Athenaeum Hotel & Residences

Art is also a vital piece of the overall integrated scene dressing and was selected for the scheme by art consultant Robin Greene, in partnership with the hotel’s owners, to express the ‘Stay Individual’ brand ethos and to link to a number of key themes, including the hotel’s historical links to the film industry and a contemporary commitment to young British artists.

The entire ground floor has been designated as potential hospitality space, with a brand new espresso bar serving the lobby, as well as afternoon tea later in the day. Kinnersley Kent Design worked both with The Athenaeum and with The Galvin Brothers on the design of the F&B spaces, as well as creating the identities and designing all brand collateral, from uniforms to tableware.

Athenaeum Hotel & Residences

An existing, centerpiece chandelier in the restaurant was retained because it was in great condition and, with its spare, mid-century aesthetic, fitted perfectly with the style of the new furnishings on the ground floor. The flooring in the restaurant space is white oiled oak, whilst seating is a mix of bespoke, buttoned velvet banquettes and timber, metal and leather chairs. All tables were bespoke-designed by Kinnersley Kent Design to create the optimum arrangement of tables within the space.

THE BAR at The Athenaeum is a sensual delight and a space that really comes alive at night, with a deliciously dark and tactile contemporary palette of blue-green, lemon yellow and stylish dark green suede, velvet and leather, with full-height glass walls backed by the tropical feel of the full-height ‘Living Wall’ greenery outside. Once you step inside, London’s busy Piccadilly thoroughfare feels a million miles away and there’s a sense of being in a secret, subterranean destination.

Athenaeum Hotel & Residences

The bar itself creates a focal point within the space, flanked by bespoke cabinets, which hold the hotel’s extensive whiskey collection as well as a curated selection of interesting artefacts, chosen by Kinnersley Kent Design. The bar’s design takes the signature use of reeded finishes to another level, via a high-gloss reeded black miles away and there’s a sense of being in a secret, subterranean destination.

The furniture here really ups the elegance factor, with long, slim forms and plenty of sinuous metal. Stand-out pieces include a console designed by Kinnersley Kent Design to the rear of the space and rugs, bespoke-designed by Kinnersley Kent Design and manufactured by Stepevi. Seating is a carefully-chosen mix of black velvet and brass barstools, lounge chairs in butternut velvet and armchairs with a black leather exterior and saffron nubuck interior.

Athenaeum Hotel & Residences

There are sofas for more serious lounging, including velvet Chesterfields, whilst the small drinks tables feature a brass base and Nero Marquina marble tops and the larger ones a black base and Verde Guatemala marble tops. Flooring is white-oiled oak, as in the restaurant. Also at the rear of the space, a screen plays a bespoke film sequence of passionate embraces from the movies, in a reference to the hotel’s long history of links with Hollywood greats, including former guests Elizabeth Taylor, Marlon Brando, Shirley Maclaine, Cary Grant, John Wayne and Russell Crowe.

On the first floor – glimpsed as a mezzanine from the double-height atrium, The Gallery offers an exclusive feel and two new stunning private dining rooms with amazing views onto Piccadilly and across to Green Park, as well as meeting rooms aimed at a gap in the market for those looking something more relaxed and personal. The design feel here is informal and more domestic in scale.

Athenaeum Hotel & Residences

Jeremy Hopkins, General Manager at The Athenaeum, concluded: “We have thoroughly enjoyed revealing the new Athenaeum to guests. We’ve worked very hard with Kinnersley Kent Design to get every detail absolutely right and we knew almost immediately that they were able to share our vision for the hotel. London may well have the most diverse hotel offering in the world, but luxury hotels now have to meet the demands of today’s guests. Our guests are confident, stylish and independent and our reception mirrors their character, enabling us to meet their expectations and provide a truly individual experience.”

athenaeumhotel.com
kkd.co.uk

Photography: Kate Berry and Chris Tubbs

Victoria Inn, Peckham

The Victoria Inn re-opens in Peckham after major refurbishment

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Following extensive refurbishment The Victoria Inn, based in vibrant Peckham, has reopened. The historic 19th century pub with rooms, which first opened in 1878, has been given a contemporary refresh while still keeping its heritage feel.

The stylish mix of old and new is seen throughout with original period details remaining, such as the horse shoe bar, while the guestrooms take a more modern approach with new Scandinavian-inspired interiors. The newly re-opened Victoria Inn will remain a spot for locals to enjoy good traditional pub fare as well as a new hidden gem for those visiting London and the dynamic area of Peckham.

Victoria Inn, Peckham

Speaking about the re-opening, General Manager Joe Sheasgreen commented: “We are delighted to bring The Victoria Inn back to its former glory as a relaxed and friendly pub in which to enjoy a beer or a comforting meal in our beautifully refurbished restaurant. With fifteen stylish guestrooms we want to celebrate the vibrancy of Peckham and show case the area to our resident guests as well as remaining a firm favourite with locals. We are extremely excited to open our doors to the Peckham community and beyond.”

Victoria Inn, Peckham

The restaurant seating comes in the form antique wooden chairs and newly-upholstered banquettes covered in deeply comfortable dark leather, which look onto the stunning Victorian back bar – an original feature. The Victoria Inn will also be home to a private dining space, used for parties and supper clubs, and seating up to 15. Furnished with a long table made from light-coloured wood, the space will be used in the day by locals businesses and residents who can take full advantage of the TV/AV system for presentations.

Following the refurbishment, the number of guestrooms at The Victoria Inn has been downsized from 19 to 15, making each room significantly larger. Each of the beautifully appointed rooms has a spacious en-suite, including the family room that comfortably sleeps four. As with the rest of the property, the rooms have been created by ADS Design who have used clean lines and muted tones of off-white and slate, with pops of yellow, to give a contemporary Scandinavian feel to the spaces.

Filled with unique art pieces and fixtures, every room has a Nespresso coffee machine, air conditioning and sound system. Check-in will be informal with no fixed reception, instead guests will be invited to check in and out at the bar.

victoriainnpeckham.com

London hotels

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

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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.”

Holiday Inn Express Cheltenham

Holiday Inn Express Cheltenham begins bedroom revamp

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Guests staying at the Holiday Inn Express Cheltenham will soon enjoy a new and improved hotel experience, as the Redefine|BDL Hotels venue begins a revamp of its guest bedrooms.

The Cheltenham property – managed by the UK’s largest independent hotel management company, Redefine|BDL Hotels – will undergo extensive upgrades in August, bringing it up-to-date with the Holiday Inn Express Next Generation redesign.

With over £125,000 earmarked for the revamp and with 40 guest bedrooms receiving improvements across fixtures, fittings and bedding, Holiday Inn Express Cheltenham will be only the fourth hotel in Redefine|BDL Hotels portfolio to undergo the new Next Generation redesign.

Guests staying at the Holiday Inn Express Cheltenham will soon enjoy a new and improved hotel experience, as the Redefine|BDL Hotels venue begins a revamp

Daniel Sharpe, general manager of Holiday Inn Express Cheltenham, said: “The revamp of our 40 guest rooms will offer today’s smart travellers the ultimate stay, providing all of those at-home luxuries they’re accustomed to, and surpassing both their leisure and business needs.

“It’s an incredibly exciting time for the hotel as the investment and modernisation elevates our venue and its already high standards to the forefront of the hotel industry. We look forward to welcoming future customers to the hotel and we are in no doubt that they will enjoy their experience.”

The Holiday Inn Express Next Generation redesign was developed with industry-leading experts to meet the changing needs of today’s ‘Smart Travellers’ and is to be rolled out to a number of properties across Europe.

The Talbot, Ripley, Surrey

Bespoke Hotels’ The Talbot reopens after £1m refurbishment

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Following substantial refurbishment works and a star-studded launch event, The Talbot has reopened its doors in the heart of Ripley in scenic Surrey, breathing new life into this historic coaching inn, which has played host to everyone from Audrey Hepburn to Lord Nelson and Lady Hamilton during its 250-year history.

Having benefited from a £1 million investment, encompassing soft enhancements to the bedrooms and suites, the restaurant and bar areas, as well as the property’s substantial events and wedding facilities, The Talbot sees itself reinvigorated and ready to make its mark in the South East once again.

The addition of the renowned Michelin Starred figure of Martin Blunos to the role of Executive Chef has also helped to transform the Talbot’s culinary offering, with a brand new menu comprising modern flourishes alongside time-honoured British favourites, with an emphasis on versatility and locally sourced produce.

“The Talbot has always been a property brimming with personality”, said Graham Marskell, Managing Director of Bespoke Hotels. “We are delighted to have been able to bring out this unique character through a schedule of extensive refurbishment works, as well as an exciting new menu and dynamic team. We at Bespoke are looking forward to re-establishing the property both on a local and national level.”

Lion Quays Hotel

Lion Quays Hotel in the middle of £1m refurbishment

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The Lion Quays Hotel & Spa in Oswestry, Shropshire, has announced its next stage of its £1 million refurbishment, which is set to be completed in 2017.

The property is owned by Ashok Bansal, a former surgeon, who paid around £10 million to for the 82-bedroom property in 2015.

The hotel has completed the £500k upgrade of 41 of its bedrooms, with work to begin on the following 41 by the end of the year. The Lion Quays Hotel and Spa has recently renovated its conference space with a £100,000 investment.

The interior redesign features a palette of deep plum, mauve and bold splashes of colour, offset against white linens. Executive and ground-floor feature guestrooms offer Juliet balconies or canal side balconies.

Colin Jenno, general manager of the Lion Quays Hotel & Spa, said: “We are thrilled with the progress of the redevelopment of the hotel. We are infusing some contemporary styling and modern touches into the bedrooms, and matched with our warmth of service and great proximity to major towns such as Chester and Manchester, I can only see the hotel going from strength to strength.

“The hotel has already reaped the benefits of the early investment and meeting space refit, with occupancy forecast to increase by 2% this year and meeting booking up by 10% on this time last year. Great signs that the work we have carried out has been well received, and boding well for business next year.”

Boston Park Plaza Hotel

Boston Park Plaza completes $100 million renovation

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Boston Park Plaza is pleased to announce the completion of a comprehensive, multi-year, $100 million (£75 million) renovation and restoration project.

The extensive transformation includes the complete overhaul of the hotel’s 1,060 guestrooms and corridors, main entrances and lobby, meeting spaces, mezzanine levels, the addition of an all-new library room, and the replacement of all furniture and fixtures.

“This rejuvenation project has completely transformed Boston Park Plaza into a self-contained nucleus that pairs top-notch hospitality, world-class dining and high-end fitness amenities with the modern comforts and conveniences that today’s travelers have come to expect, all the while offering a uniquely Boston feel,” said Jon Crellin, managing director.

Boston Park Plaza Hotel

“Boston Park Plaza was thoughtfully redesigned with today’s modern travelers and executives in mind, and the hotel now truly reflects the city of Boston’s standing as a world-class destination known for its rich history and modern innovations.”

New high-end amenities include STRIP by Strega, a 5,700-square–foot, high-energy steakhouse concept by Boston-based restaurateur Nick Varano; DavidBartonGym and Cyc Fitness Boston – a 20,000-square-foot state-of-the-art fitness centre that includes complimentary gym access for hotel guests. Through the renovation, Boston Park Plaza has also gained an additional 6,000 square feet of fully-renovated professional meeting and pre-function space, bringing its grand total to 50,480 square feet. Boston Park Plaza’s storied ballroom has also been fully updated to feature a stunning new charcoal and ivory palette.

Boston Park Plaza Hotel

Photo credit: Michael Diskin

Designed by Sudbury, Massachusetts-based Parker Torres Design, Boston Park Plaza now evokes a youthful, innovative and international vibe that complements the hotel’s iconic architectural elements. The new lobby of the Boston Park Plaza boasts a sophisticated gray and white color palette, dramatic floor-to-ceiling columns encased in ceramic, new flooring, adjustable LED lighting, and sleek guest check-in stations designed to create a more intimate experience between hotel staff and guests. Located within the renovated lobby area is Off The Common, Boston Park Plaza’s new restaurant and lounge, which offers a sophisticated and contemporary setting to enjoy breakfast, lunch, dinner, light bites and hand-crafted libations. Designed to satisfy the needs of many, Boston Park Plaza’s newly added library room can act as the ideal shared workspace and reading area, or simply serve as an inviting place to visit with friends.

Boston Park Plaza Hotel

Photo credit: Christine Gatti

As guests enter the hotel’s revitalised guestrooms and suites, which boast all-new lighting and much-improved acoustics, they’ll be welcomed by a handsome, tailored and chic palate of charcoal, caramel and camel tones that complement all-new stone-topped wooden cabinetry, custom upholstered headboards, and warmly-hued carpeting.

Adding a crisp, fresh touch to the highly-appointed guestrooms are completely renovated bathrooms featuring white tile surrounds, custom vanities, over-sized mirrors and large porcelain tile flooring. As a nod to Boston Park Plaza’s iconic design details, each room’s crown molding has been fully refinished in order to preserve signature elements that pair with the hotel’s new smart and sophisticated appearance.

Boston Park Plaza Hotel

Photo credit: Christine Gatti

Since purchasing the property, Sunstone Hotel Investors has performed a series of renovations to repair and restore all structural elements, which includes replacing the hotel’s roof; repairing the exterior façade; replacing sidewalk surrounds; replacing the hotel’s signature two-story decorative windows; modernisation of the elevator systems; and the installation of a state-of-the-art HVAC system that provides individual climate control for every guestroom, meeting space and common area.

Boston Park Plaza has also been hand-selected by Preferred Hotels & Resorts to be the newest experience available within its Lifestyle collection.

Main photo credit: Michael Diskin

Macdonald Bath Spa Hotel

Macdonald Bath Spa Hotel reveals £150k refurbishment

700 493 Daniel Fountain

A five-star hotel in Bath Spa has unveiled the new-look of its luxury suites, following a £150k refurbishment.

Five-star Macdonald Bath Spa Hotel has revealed the results of its £150,000 refurbishment. Three new suites have been added to its offering, which come with a butler service on hand to deliver champagne and canapés each evening and fill the bath ready for when guests return to the room.

Each of the furnished suites – The Grange Presidential, The Cavendish, and The Belgrave Executive – has a panoramic view over Bath, a four-poster bed, complimentary mini bar and a bathroom with a cast iron roll top bath.

Macdonald Bath Spa Hotel

The hotel’s spa has its own heated hydrotherapy room, plus treatment and relaxation rooms. Alongside this, the hotel is home to the 2-AA Rosette restaurant Vellore, and Colonnade and Rotunda bars.

Jonathan Dawson, regional managing director of Macdonald Bath Spa Hotel said: “This £150,000 investment in our stunning new suites really elevates the hotel. The new suites offer something for everyone – be it a sensual soak in a roll top bath or a luxurious night’s sleep in a four poster bed, these rooms are the perfect place for a little luxury.”

Gild Hall Hotel, New York Financial District

Sneak Peek: Gild Hall, New York Financial District

1000 555 Daniel Fountain

Gild Hall, a Thompson Hotel, completed a redesign of its guestrooms and suites, unveiling a new environment with custom-designed furnishings. The property is located in the Financial District in New York.

Gild Hall, a Thompson Hotel in New York’s Financial District, has completed the refurbishment of its guestrooms and suites.

Designed by Bill Rooney Studio, a New York-based interior design firm, the 130 rooms and suites now display a combination of neutrals, browns and taupe accents, and a dark-stained trim is found in the spaces. Grey tones accompany a geometric patterned accent wall adjacent to the bed’s leather headboard and camel accent colours at the wainscoting, while flannel drapery help provide scale to the large windows. Leather furniture and accessories, including a bespoke mid-century lounge seat and a tailor-made magazine rack, and a chalk stripe carpet are also new.

Abstract photography by New York-based Rajmohan Fotograf, Maryland artist Llewellyn Berry and Venezuela-born Tony Vazquez-Figueroa also feature in the newly-appointed rooms. Other amenities in Gild Hall are the lobby library, and – adjacent to the lobby – Felice Ristorante, which has wood detailing.

Photos: thompsonhotels.com/hotels/gild-hall/

Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia

Sneak Peek: Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia after year-long renewal

1000 659 Daniel Fountain

The Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia has unveiled a year-long, multi-million dollar renewal project. Co-designed by Wimberly Interiors and LW Designs, with Coscia Moos Architecture, the updates to the hotel include all-new guest rooms and meeting spaces, a refreshed lobby experience and public spaces along with a new restaurant, bar and lounge by Richard Sandoval.

The iconic hotel, steeped in history, was originally built as a reproduction of the Pantheon when it opened in 1908 as The Girard Trust Company. The property-wide enhancements focus on the scenography of the building – explore history and experience the arts – paying tribute to its rich past.

Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia
The new design brings a fresh and sophisticated feel to the hotel while also telling a story through neutral colours, textures and materials inspired by money and currency, with pops of metallic, bronze and emerald green. Artwork and guest amenities reflect a distinct sense of place in the heart of Philadelphia.

New guest room design features luxurious fabrics and furniture finishes in a welcoming neutral color palate. Punctuations of green and blue along with notes of bronze and nickel layer a contemporary polish.

Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia
The new guest rooms offer a distinct space for work and relaxation with a cohesive unit encompassing the desk and TV console which work together to create a flexible work and dining space for guests.

The Ritz-Carlton Suite is the premier accommodation in Philadelphia. Offering beautiful views of the city from the 31st floor, a personal elevator for exclusive use, two full bedrooms, separate living and dining spaces, personal kitchen en-suite with a large dining table and a monumental Master Bath with incredible city views of the iconic City Hall and 27-ton statue of William Penn.

Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia
The Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia Club Lounge has been updated to reflect a distinct sense of place in the heart of the city. The lounge, which contains the original wood paneling made of French walnut serves as a hotel within a hotel. Here, service reaches a new level with dedicated private concierges and personalized amenities. In the exclusive Club Lounge, guests will discover a quiet space for working, meeting or relaxing with complimentary culinary and beverage presentations throughout the day.

“After years of thoughtful planning and construction we are thrilled to re-introduce The Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia, and showcase the new modern interiors inside our classic and historic building” said Darryll Adams, General Manager. “We are delighted to solidify our place as the only branded luxury hotel in Philadelphia.”

Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia
High ceilings, 9,000 tons of Georgia marble and original architecture of the 101-foot dome, which once was the largest dome in the Western Hemisphere, are dazzling. Upon entering the building a large lounge area with a plethora of comfortable seating is surrounded with two large crystal walls that fill the space with sparkle and light.

The original oculus, which used to host the bank tellers as they would pull the money through the center of the oculus from the vault directly below is still intact and covered by a glass wall which is now surrounded by a high-top bar.

Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia
Even the original bank vault now serves as a luxurious function room. With a variety of layout options and room sizes, The Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia has flexibility to host everything from small C-level board meetings to cocktail fundraisers and holiday parties. The hotel features two ballrooms: a 3,075 square-foot petite ballroom and the 6,100 square-foot Grand Ballroom, located on the concourse level, which is the centerpiece of the hotel and can hold up to 600 people. The sky can be admired through the ballroom’s large crystal chandelier as guests look up into the celling, into the oculus and through the top of the rotunda in the lobby.

Photos: www.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/philadelphia

Peninsula Beijing

Sneak Peek: Newly refurbished Peninsula Hotel, Beijing

1000 666 Daniel Fountain

The newly unveiled renovation of The Peninsula Beijing marks the latest chapter in The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels’ (HSH) long tradition of hospitality excellence in China.

With a front row seat in the capital city, HSH’s hotels have witnessed the remarkable transition of China into an economic superpower. Located in central Beijing, just a short walk from Tiananmen Square and the city’s historic cultural venues, The Peninsula Beijing has welcomed the world to Beijing and Beijing to the world for more than a quarter of a century, arguably the most exciting period in the nation’s 5,000-year history.

The history of the Middle Kingdom is one of astounding beauty; of scenic landscapes, remarkable architecture, exquisite art and unique cultural traditions. This spectacular and diverse land is the inspiration behind the reinvention of The Peninsula Beijing. Some of China’s finest artisans were commissioned to restyle the hotel using timeless luxury materials that provide guests with an authentic sense of China as a destination.

Grand Deluxe Room 65sqm Peninsula Beijing
The $123 million (£98.4 million) renovation of The Peninsula Beijing was conceived in 2013 by celebrated Hong Kong designer, and long-term Peninsula collaborator, Henry Leung of CAP Atelier.

Chinese artistic expression extends across every floor the hotel, including the restyled guestrooms and suites. Designer Henry Leung has adopted a contemporary take on Chinese culture and heritage as the design concept for the new rooms and suites, ranging from the classical shapes and motifs of the furniture to the Chinese calligraphy painting-inspired fish mosaic in the bathrooms.

The Peninsula Beijing - Deluxe Room_Bathroom

With guest comfort and convenience being at the centre of the reconstruction, the hotel’s original 530 rooms and suites have been reduced and reimagined to just 230 suite-style rooms, each offering a separate bedroom, living room, bathroom and dressing room. With standard room at an average of 65 square metres, the standard rooms are now the largest in Beijing, and among the most spacious in China. They are also the most personalised guestrooms in the world, with proprietary in-room technology delivering 11 languages at the touch of a fingertip, and paperless hotel and city information and services just a click away. Each room has its own self-contained ample dressing area with a valet box and nail dryer, while guests also have the added benefit of complimentary VOIP calls and WiFi.

The Peninsula Beijing takes suites to the next level of space and freedom. A collection of 61 suites offers inspired design and technological innovations to become the most sought-after guest accommodations in Beijing. In fact, suites comprise 25 percent of the hotel inventory – the highest percentage in The Peninsula group, and among the highest percentage for a luxury hotel in Beijing. The hotel’s stunning theme suites include The Peninsula Suite – styled after a Chinese aristocrat’s home – and 17 reimagined Beijing Suites, while the Loft collection of duplex rooms offers a chic and sophisticated twist on urban living.

Exquisite artisanship is a highlight of each room. Using Forest Stewardship Council-certified sustainable mahogany and high-gloss finishes, the exclusively commissioned furniture was hand-finished by Italian company Cassina, a century-old Italian design house whose contribution to the glamour of travel includes custom-creating furnishings for luxury cruise ships. Family guests can relax together with bespoke in-room amenities and baby products provided through an exclusive partnership with Norwegian baby brand Stokke, adding comfort and convenience for babies, toddlers and parents in a home away from home.

Combining Ancient and Modern China
Investing in hotel designs that stand the test of time is a key philosophy of The Peninsula Hotels. With this vision in mind, The Peninsula Beijing Lobby has been crafted to mirror Beijing’s modern transformation. The existing area has been reconfigured to create a grand three-storey Lobby, which is a Peninsula signature in its 10 hotels around the world.

Peninsula Beijing

A deep-rooted respect for the rich imperial history of Beijing, and the symbolisms imbued in its finest palaces and mansions, provides a refined sense of the destination for all guests. Luxurious materials such as bronze, onyx (jade), white marble and rosewood (zi tan wood), which ornamented the ancient structures of Beijing in the Ming and Qing Dynasties, such as The Great Wall, The Forbidden City and The Summer Palace, are used on every floor of the hotel. Carefully selected for their enduring qualities and their intrinsic beauty, these elements create an ageless sense of grandeur, elegance and timelessness.

The Imperial hexagon is a recurring theme. The 160,000 hexagonal motifs are partially inspired by a tortoise shell, which represents longevity in Chinese culture, and the peony flower, denoting prosperity and honour. The six pillars in The Lobby, which add formality and substance to the palatial space, are carved from white marble (han bai yu), which was used in the palaces of The Forbidden City. The floral emblems on the pillars are hand-carved in a hexagonal pattern. The hexagon is also visible in the bronze work on the main staircase, in the upper areas of The Lobby and in the open spaces surrounding the function rooms.

The Lobby features 3,500 individually chosen pieces of Palissandro marble, which is highly valued by designers. Every piece features subtly different vein colours, ranging from cream to cool grey, set to elegant perfection with a natural gold glitter. Using a complex specialised process, each piece was handpicked to create a “book mark” effect. The clean white onyx and cool grey floor contribute an ambience of lightness and rejuvenation to grand The Lobby.

Peninsula Beijing

Using China’s finest artisans to showcase some traditional arts erected in a contemporary fashion as a showcase of Chinese artisans and celebration of the long tradition of refinement and sophistication.

Chinese inspirations are extended through to all parts of hotel and included in the guestrooms with subtle references throughout. Goldfish are considered lucky in Chinese mythology. During the Qing Dynasty – China’s last dynasty – the Na family inspired Chinese high society with its sizable mansion and beautiful Imperial-style garden, located in Wangfujing (Goldfish Lane) directly opposite to where The Peninsula Beijing now stands. In a tribute to this exceptional location, the goldfish, which represents abundance and prosperity in Chinese culture, is prominently featured in carvings and mosaic artwork in the hotel’s guestrooms and suites.

Specifically designed to nurture emerging artistic talent, The Peninsula Beijing’s Art Residency programme is the first of its kind in a luxury hotel in China. The programme is hosted in conjunction with MoCA Beijing, and enables aspiring artists to live and work for three months in the heart of Beijing, the epicentre of China’s contemporary arts scene. Each resident artist can take advantage of a purpose-built studio and guestroom on the 14th floor, and the artworks created during their stay will be exhibited in a new gallery on the third floor. Guests can visit the studio to see the artist at work, and exclusive art dinners and themed events will be held.

The hotel will also showcase Beijing’s flourishing arts scene through The Peninsula Academy’s exclusive art tour experiences, or jade appreciation class for guests. The new “Keys to the City” programme, which offers the best tables at exclusive restaurants and front-row seats at the opera, also organises out-of-hours guest visits to the most exclusive art galleries, and a special afternoon tea experience in an art gallery.

beijing.peninsula.com

Superior Garden Double Room - Bromley Court Hotel

Two-year transformation, new-look website for Bromley Court Hotel

700 465 Daniel Fountain

This summer sees a double celebration for the Bromley Court Hotel as it unveils a fresh look and a new website.

The multi-million-pound transformation has been almost two years in the making and began with the refurbishment of the Garden Bar where cocktails, pre-dinner drinks and guided tastings are held.

Last summer saw the unveiling of a stunning look for its 180-cover Garden Restaurant and since then all public areas, including the lounge, reception and meeting rooms, have been given a makeover. New carpets have been laid throughout, all surfaces freshly painted, and there is new signage at the front of the hotel. The refurbishment project has also included redecoration of the majority of the hotel’s 117 bedrooms, from the single and twin rooms to its executive suites overlooking the two-acres of landscaped gardens.

Bromley Court Hotel
The result is a lighter, contemporary feel throughout the hotel, combined with a Regency elegance – a salute to the hotel’s rich history which dates back to the early 1800s when it was built as a country estate for Baron Farnborough. Regular visitors of the time included George IV and Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger.

At the end of this month (June) the hotel’s revamped website goes live and mirrors the fresh new look as well as being a showcase of beautiful photography depicting the historic hotel, its meeting rooms, grounds and food.

Executive Room - Bromley Court Hotel
“It has been very exciting for all the team to see the hotel transform and we are delighted to share it with our guests,” says Max Ball, managing director. “We have used local Kent-based designers who have been true to the hotel’s heritage while at the same time successfully modernising its interior.”

In a tribute to the hotel’s history, all meeting rooms have been renamed in honour of important guests of yesteryear. There is the William Pitt Room and the Macmillan Room – Harold Macmillan, former prime minister and Bromley MP, was a frequent visitor and once held a cabinet meeting at the hotel. And in an acknowledgment of the time when Bromley Court was a popular music venue hosting some of the biggest live acts, there are rooms named after David Bowie and Jimi Hendrix.

The Garden Restaurant - Bromley Court Hotel
One of the smaller meeting rooms – Leona’s Room – has been named after Leona Frankel, a late aunt of the hotel’s current chairman who, as a manager, played a crucial role in the Bromley Court’s success.

Ideally located for London and all that Kent offers, Bromley Court Hotel is the largest and most established hotel in Bromley, popular for weekend breaks, business meetings and weddings. All public areas have free Wi-Fi and its flexible meeting rooms can host up to 190 delegates. Commanding a panoramic view from its location on Bromley Hill, the independently-owned hotel is just a 20-minute walk, or a five-minute taxi ride, from the town centre and a 16-minute train journey into central London.
Bromley Court Hotel Exterior

www.bromleycourthotel.co.uk

11 Cadogan Gardens

11 Cadogan Gardens, London

1000 552 Molly Dyson

Guest reviewer Molly Dyson shares her experience of the newly refurbished 11 Cadogan Gardens in the heart of London. . .

I arrive at 11 Cadogan Gardens just after 3pm on a Friday and the buzz going on around the property is refreshing. It’s a bank holiday weekend, so there are a few families milling about and the attentive staff are on hand to open doors and check in new guests.

Daniela at reception happily tells me I’ve been upgraded to a signature suite on the third floor and assures me I’m going to have a wonderful stay. As soon as I turn around, Concierge Emelson is waiting to take my bag and show me the way to my room, which includes a ride up in the vintage lift. Emelson tells me he’s been working at the hotel for a while and suggests a few things to see in the area. He’s especially proud of the recent refurbishment to the property – my room was only finished two weeks ago.

Signature Suite - 11 Cadogan Gardens

My suite is light and airy, which is somewhat unexpected in an old building such as this. The room is nicely laid out, with a couch and television at one end, a desk with foldout dressing table in the middle and a massive king-size bed at the other end.

The bathroom is a wonder on its own; a separate waterfall shower and toilet cubicle break up the space. I’m pleased to see the bathtub is the perfect size for a Friday night soak and fluffy white robes have been provided for added comfort.

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RELATED: 11 Cadogan Gardens unveils new interior by JSJ Design
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I head back down to the lobby for a tour with Petra, who tells me the refurb is quite extensive and took around a year to complete, with every care taken to preserve some of the hotel’s original features. Along the way we visit some of the property’s other signature suites, two of which feature their own private entrance – perfect for shopping trips.

11 Cadogan Gardens

We finish our tour in the drawing room for a cup of coffee while I look over the afternoon tea selection, which is themed around the Chelsea Flower Show. Downstairs is the restaurant Tartufo, where guests can dine on a sumptuous truffle-based tasting menu.

In the evening, my plus one and I find a quiet corner in the richly decorated bar to nurse cocktails and Prosecco after dinner before retiring to our suite to veg out in front of the television. The super-soft bed with its fluffy duvet calls my name before too long and I get one of the best night’s sleep I’ve had in a long time.

If you’re looking for a place that’s a bit quirky and stylish for any reason, I highly recommend 11 Cadogan Gardens…

Based on a stay in April 2016. Photos: 11cadogangardens.com

Watergate Hotel reopens following 9 year, $125m renovation

Legendary Watergate Hotel reopens after $125m overhaul

924 570 Daniel Fountain

International New York-based real estate developer, Euro Capital Properties, has announced the opening of The Watergate Hotel, which has undergone an extensive $125 million renovation to restore the property to its ‘historic exuberance’. The hotel has been closed for renovations since 2007.

An American icon situated on the banks of the Potomac River, The Watergate Hotel offers a luxurious urban resort experience for the world’s most discerning leisure and business travelers. Originally designed by Italian architect Luigi Moretti in 1961 to look like a sail on the Potomac, the hotel made waves with its groundbreaking contemporary style and came to epitomise the fabulous lifestyle and sophistication of its time when it opened in March 1967.

Watergate Hotel

The hotel’s current owners, Euro Capital Properties, tapped world-renowned designer Ron Arad and Italian designer Moroso to complement the avant-garde architecture with bold curves and mid-century modern design while restoring some of hotel’s original structures such as the staircase and indoor pool. Acclaimed architectural and interior design firm BBGM was the architect for the project.

Watergate Hotel

“The Watergate is undoubtedly one of the most glamorous and illustrious hotels in the world,” said Rakel Cohen, Senior Vice President of Design and Development, Euro Capital Properties. “We paid meticulous attention to every detail in its renovation and we’re excited to bring our vision to life. Its intrigue is driven by evocative design, from the deep-rooted retro feel to the mystique that lies behind every curve of the hotel’s architecture.”

The hotel consists of 336 stylish guestrooms designed for comfort and sophistication, half of which include lavish balconies. Six exquisite Diplomat Suites, 24 premier suites and two stately Presidential Suites offer the highest standard of luxury accommodations. Each guestroom features natural light that brings out the soothing color palettes along with plush bedding, floor-to-ceiling Zebrano marble bathrooms with solid granite vanities, superior in-room amenities, 24-hour in-room dining, cutting edge technology, diffusers featuring the hotel’s signature Red Flower Oakwood scent, and more.

thewatergatehotel.com

Down Hall Hotel

Project Spotlight: Gallery Direct collections at Down Hall

999 590 Daniel Fountain

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

Hogarths Stone Manor, Worcestershire

Hogarths Stone Manor unveils results of multi-million pound redevelopment

650 325 Daniel Fountain

Worcestershire boutique hotel Hogarths Stone Manor has unveiled the results of its multi-million pound redevelopment, which was supported by funding from the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS).

The refurbishment as seen upgrades made to its 56 en-suite bedrooms, reception area, lounge, bar and restaurant. A new outdoor ceremony area for weddings was also created in the grounds of the hotel.

Hotel Designs Meet-Up attendees Trevillion Interiors was appointed to undertake the design work required for the hotel’s makeover.

Originally a private members club some fifty years ago and the first to have a swimming pool in the borough, it was acquired in 2015 by Helena and Andy Hogarth who also own the Four Ashes restaurant.

Helena Hogarth said: “We are delighted with the results of the refurbishment and that all of the work has now completed. The hotel has been completely transformed and has a really luxurious yet comfortable feel to it.

“Feedback from visitors has already been extremely positive and we are confident that it will enable us to continue to attract new guests and increase the venue’s appeal for weddings and other celebrations,” she added.

Princes Street Suites ® ZAC and ZAC Photography

Edinburgh serviced apartments get refurbishment ‘fit for a Prince’

1000 667 Daniel Fountain

Popular Edinburgh serviced apartment offering Princes Street Suites has unveiled the results of a £350,000 refurbishment.

The new-look Princes Street Suites, in the heart of the Scottish capital, have been transformed, with a modern Scottish aesthetic from Glasgow-based interior designer, Linda Reid running throughout.

Princes Street Suites, Edinburgh

®ZAC and ZAC Photography

All 37 one, two and three-bedroom apartments in the former Edinburgh Post Office building now feature bespoke furniture, furnishings and accessories, including a signature blue plaid.

Linda Reid, said: “The Princes Street Suites are a wonderful blend of old and new, with part of the building dating back to 1816 and another section very contemporary in feel. As such, I wanted to make sure the design reflected this and brought these two elements together.

Master Bedroom, Princes Street Suites - Edinburgh

® ZAC and ZAC Photography

“Another important aspect of the design was the introduction of our signature blue plaid, which really informed the modern Scottish aesthetic in the apartments. It’s wonderful to see this fantastic property with a brand new lease of life during its bicentenary year.”

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RELATED: Major refurbishment for Edinburgh’s Princes Street Suites
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Managed by the UK’s largest independent hotel management company, Redefine|BDL Hotels, the refurbishment is the first major project undertaken by Princes Street Suites’ new General Manager, Fiona Mackenzie, who took over the role last July.

® ZAC and ZAC Photography

® ZAC and ZAC Photography

Fiona said: “The Princes Street Suites have never looked more inviting and we can’t wait to welcome new and returning guests to enjoy our upgraded facilities. Coupled with the perfect city centre location, we are really offering visitors the full package.”

Situated in the heart of Edinburgh, the high-end apartments are perfectly located for exploring Edinburgh’s historic landmarks and attractions such as Edinburgh Castle, The Royal Mile and Princes Street.

www.princesstreetsuites.co.uk

The Mount Hotel

The Mount looks to build on successes after refurbishment completion

800 533 Daniel Fountain

Wolverhampton’s premier independent hotel, The Mount is celebrating after completing an extensive £1.5 million refurbishment of its bedrooms and creation of nine ultra stylish new suites.

Acquired by Aspen Leisure in 2012, The Mount has been slowly transformed over the last four years, with the Victorian Manor House sympathetically restored and brought back to its former grandeur. Listening to the local community, Aspen undertook the mammoth task of creating somewhere to really put Wolverhampton on the map. The restoration focused on protecting the existing character and charm of the Grade II listed building, bringing new life to the space that has been attracting guests since first opening its doors in 1952.

With luxe, modern facilities to rival any five-star establishment, work is finally complete on five new suites and four new junior suites. The modernisation joins other high-end features including a revamped courtyard, champagne bar and upgraded wedding and conference facilities.

 

The Mount Hotel, Wolverhampton

Photo: The Mount Hotel Tettenhall Facebook page

The team behind the chic revamp hopes to build on its achievements with additional regional and national awards later this year. The beautiful boutique hotel already holds an award-winning AA Rosette for its restaurant, a Laterooms Award for Excellence 2015 and stellar reviews on TripAdvisor. As a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Winner in 2014 and 2015, the hotel continues to go from strength to strength.

Owner Scott Bernard said, “The Mount is one of Wolverhampton’s most historic and best-loved hotels. It has a special place in history and in the hearts of local people. We took on the project in the hope of returning it to its former glory, and judging by the feedback and awards we have received, we have managed to do just that. We’re delighted to have completed the new suites, which mark the final stage in a four-year project. We look forward to building on the successes over the last couple of years and adding to our portfolio of awards and recommendations.”

TheMount3

With 66 bedrooms and a choice of standard, executive and deluxe options, alongside a fully-serviced apartment, the Mount provides the ideal base for both formal and informal occasions. The unrivaled range of 12 purpose-built conference and syndicate rooms, three executive period style board rooms and a modern purpose-built training centre complete with state-of-the-art audio-visual and presentation equipment, set the hotel apart from others in the area.The mount now also benefits from a fully equipped fitness studio.

The Mount also has a long history of providing a fantastic backdrop for weddings and special celebrations thanks to its grand and ornate character. As one of the only venues in the Midlands to be able to offer a civil ceremony in manicured gardens, as well as options for up to 150 guests inside its Great Hall and Mander’s Suite, The Mount Hotel looks set to continue its tradition of providing a perfect setting for that special day.

As a final stage of the revamp, the hotel is launching its new website this week. Showcasing all of the hotel’s fantastic facilities, the website will allow visitors to view guest rooms, meeting facilities and purchase custom gift vouchers online .

RPW Design - Fairmont St. Andrews Restaurant

RPW Design unveils latest 2016 project: Fairmont St Andrews

1000 570 Daniel Fountain

RPW Design has announced the extensive refurbishment of the five-star resort, Fairmont St Andrews, which has been designed over the last year. The highly anticipated refurbishment will feature a complete redesign of the Atrium, incorporating a bespoke 60m long ceiling sculpture by award winning artist George Singer, a new restaurant and a refurb of the Kittock’s Bar.

RPW Design will also extend their signature touch to the hotel’s suites and bedrooms, showcasing the deep rooted connection between the history of St Andrews and the exterior landscape, seamlessly relating the interiors to the surroundings. This sophisticated transformation will see all public areas completed by July 2016, while bedrooms and suites will be completed by May 2017.

Reception Lobby
A pair of contemporary velvet wall hangings, inspired by the varying landscape of St Andrews in a painterly manner have been developed and printed by Timorous Beasties, the avant-garde Scottish artistic fabric and textile designers. These have been installed in the double heighted reception space to give a sense of locality and authenticity as soon as guests enter the hotel.

RPW Design - Fairmont St. Andrews Reception

Upholstery fabrics and leathers have been selected from revered Scottish companies such as Andrew Muirhead and Bute Fabrics. Bute, based on the Isle of Bute off west coast of Scotland are providing a number of richly textured fabrics in the scheme influenced by the islands scenery. The company and the island share a unique family history as the 5th Marquess of Bute set up the company in 1947 to provide employment for returning servicemen and servicewomen. The Bute family has been inextricably linked with the island and its development ever since.

The Atrium
George Singer’s outstanding artwork ‘Zephyr’ is an organic, swirling ceiling sculpture sweeping through the atrium, imitating the movement of the water in the North Sea. The sculpture will create a focal point to the room and encourage an intimate atmosphere in this dramatic space.

According to George Singer: “Zephyr is designed to reflect the crashing waves, the flocks of starlings, the long wind-blown grasses, the spring blossom, the shoals of fish, the rolling hills, the clouds and the sheer energy, beauty, and dynamism of the east coast of Scotland.”

RPW Design - Fairmont St. Andrews Atrium

A natural colour palette, layered earthy textures and an eclectic furniture collection will create a relaxed, inviting atmosphere in the lounge as well as linking the interior with the views of the coastal landscape beyond the full height window at the north end of the Atrium.

Following through into the restaurant, dramatic lighting and refined materials with a colour scheme of pine and sage greens and hints of golds create a sense of quality throughout the space. Soft velvet wall drapes and bespoke screens reflecting the ripples in the sand dunes soften the architecture of the space and give a sense of intimacy.

The Bar
“RPW Design has drawn on a rich colour scheme with nautical elements that create a warm atmosphere for drinking and dining. A revised layout opens up the space to the lobby and a new copper coffee counter links the reception to the bar area”, explains Heather McLellan, Senior Designer for the project.

A carpet design based on the markings found in the nearby River Tay estuaries, along with the use of materials such as timber, copper and rope strengthen the connection between the interior design and history of St Andrews and its surrounding old fishing villages.

RPW Design - Fairmont St. Andrews Bar

The theme of Scottish suppliers follows through to the bar area where bespoke pendants from Edinburgh lighting manufacturers, RS Robertson create a feature to the space. Elizabeth Lane, Director of Projects RPW Design, said: “It is a wonderful opportunity to be part of the revival of this hotel property which simply has a breath-taking location which we have made a focal point in the renovation. We are extremely happy to be working with Kennedy Wilson and Fairmont Hotels & Resorts on this project.”

Mandalay Bay Resort remodelling of guest rooms and suites

Mandalay Bay Resort completes guest room, suite remodelling

1000 686 Daniel Fountain

Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino has completed the final phase of its resort-wide remodel of more than 3,000 guest rooms and suites.

Created by the MGM Resorts International Design Group, the redesigned rooms and suites feature refreshing colour palettes and modern designs in three distinct collections. The Resort Collection welcomes guests with three colour combinations.

Mandalay Bay Resort remodelling of guest rooms and suites
The Resort King features a cobalt and white colour scheme, while the Resort Queen offers a ruby and latte room or rich lavender and mocha. Bold furnishings throughout the collection include a mural onyx-inspired wall that surrounds the bed in each room. Other details include a spacious glass desk, modern seating, task lighting and easy bedside and tableside recharging.

The Suite Collection offers one and two-bedroom suites accented by rich jewel tone fabrics, natural wood and stone. Featuring multiple seating and dining areas, as well as a large table in the media and living area, these suites are ideal spaces whether hosting for business or pleasure.

Mandalay Bay Resort remodelling of guest rooms and suites
For guests seeking an elevated experience, the Luxury Collection offers spectacular one- to four- bedroom suites. New, vibrant décor accompanies floor-to-ceiling windows and elegant dining and bar areas to provide the ultimate accommodations.

This marks the conclusion of a near $100 million remodel that began in 2015.

Gleneagles Hotel, Scotland

Gleneagles to undergo multi-million pound upgrade programme

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Five-star, 232-bedroom hotel Gleneagles in Perthshire, Scotland has announced it will begin carrying out a multi-million pound upgrade programme (artist’s impressions above).

New owners Ennismore took over Gleneagles last year and will be working with renowned designers including the David Collins Studio and Timorous Beasties on the project, which includes enhancements to bedrooms, the Dormy Clubhouse and the main bar.

Ennismore founder and CEO Sharan Pasricha said: “The Gleneagles Hotel is an incredible property and beloved brand. It is known the world over for its golf, but with 850 acres of beautiful Scottish countryside, there is the potential to do so much more with the hotel.

“It’s an organic progression – evolution, not revolution – and will ensure the iconic Gleneagles brand remains synonymous with luxury, and the hotel maintains its position among the leading hotels of the world,” he added.

The famous property opened its doors as a hotel in 1924 and now boasts three championship golf courses, a spa and four restaurants – one being the two Michelin-starred, eponymous eatery headed up by Andrew Fairlie.

Ennismore, which owns the London-based, design boutique brand Hoxton, bought Gleneagles in July last year from Diageo for a reported sum of £200 million.

Congham Hall Hotel

Norfolk’s Congham Hall Hotel refurbishment nears completion

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Congham Hall Hotel in Norfolk has almost completed its latest phase of refurbishment, and some of the refreshed rooms will be available to book from Easter.

Five of the new-look rooms will be ready to book from the Easter period, a further three will be available from the end of April and the final three, including one suite, refurbished in January 2017.

The refurb features a contemporary palette, which complements the manor house’s classic Georgian style, including feature wallpapers by Jane Churchill, paint by Farrow & Ball and Little Greene, elegant illuminations supplied by Jim Lawrence Lighting, fabrics by Hotel Designs Directory members Sanderson and Zoffany and luxurious carpets by fellow HD Directory members Wilton.

Among the stand-out rooms that have been redesigned are the Dandelion, a new honeymoon suite with its own sitting room and private balcony overlooking the parkland and the Writing Room, which is available for meetings, events, private dinners and wedding celebrations.

The changes are the work of the new management who took over and relaunched the hotel in 2013.

Photos: Congham Hall Hotel Facebook // Twitter