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Renovation

Editor Checks In: Home comforts in hotel design

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Editor Checks In: Home comforts in hotel design

In August 2019, editor Hamish Kilburn concludes that trends are overrated when a project close to his heart reaches its highly anticipated conclusion…

I can’t quite believe it has been almost one year since we first started following the award-winning designer Nicky Dobree on her journey to complete her debut hotel design project. Before now, her undisputed talent was recognised for designing the interiors of 007-esqe luxury mountain retreats (Kevin McCloud’s words, not mine unfortunately).

But this year, she has injected her effortless style to restore a 19thcentury building in Vejer, Spain, which is known as Plaza 18 – and Hotel Designs has been there every step of the way.

Now that the season has ramped up to reach its peak, there’s no better time to put down the measuring tape, take a step back and reward Dobree’s “labour of love” as we cut the ribbon. More than 1,300 miles from Andalucia, the team in the London office are gathered around my computer screen as they impatiently wait for the folder to download, of which contains the final images of the new boutique hotel. Until now, you see, we have had to settle for shakey behind-the-scenes, unquestionably raw, photographs taken on location, as well as renders and sketches, which merely tease the luxury home-from-home concept in the making.

You’d be wrong to assume it’s an easy task working on a project of this scale. What the hotel lacks in the number of guestrooms (six to be precise) it makes up for in personality. And if anyone could sensitively re-establish the heritage property in order to give it a new lease of life, it would be Dobree.

“All that is missing is a luxury design-led hotel,” I think to myself as I run past the colourful beach huts (place your bids).

‘Home comforts’ feels like an appropriate theme for this month’s column. Four years after capturing my first solo metropolis memory, which then drove me to chase my career in a number of cities in the UK, I’ve hit a crossroads and have decided to take the right-hand turn, which has result in me hurtling back towards my hometown of Whitstable in Kent. Nestled on the north-east tip of the Garden of England, where home comforts – think sea views that stretch over the horizon and unparalleled sunsets – are never in short supply, this feels like ‘home’ to me. “All that is missing is a luxury design-led hotel,” I think to myself as I run past the colourful beach huts (place your bids).

It seems I am not alone in chasing home comfort. Last year, a study published by Forbes showed that in the 10 cities with the largest Airbnb market share in the US, the entry of Airbnb resulted in 1.3 per cent fewer hotel nights booked and a 1.5 per cent loss in hotel revenue. But as damning as this statistic may seem, hotels are fighting back to offer more home-from-home comforts married together with one-off experiences to capture travellers’ attention.

Examples of this can be found all over the Hotel Designs website this month, from our Miniview of room2’s ‘hometel’ concept in Southampton to a new ‘private members’ bar’-styled hotel that will open in London next year – and not forgetting the exceptional Plaza 18. Perhaps subconsciously, my year-long project with Dobree has led me to positively seek comfort in timeless style as opposed to chasing the short-term thrills of seasonal trends.

Main image credit: ACT Studios

Meet the design team behind Monkey Island Estate and Raffles Singapore

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Meet the design team behind Monkey Island Estate and Raffles Singapore

Following the opening of both Monkey Island Estate (review coming soon) and Raffles Singapore, Hotel Designs spends time to get to know the world-renowned design team who led both visions into reality…

Based in New York City, Champalimaud Design is an award-winning multi-disciplinary firm recognised for its visionary concepts, which span both hospitality and residential projects.

Founded almost 30 years ago by Lisbon-born Alexandra Champalimaud, the studio is now run by five Partners who are all specialists in their respective fields. In addition to Alexandra Champalimaud, Partners include CEO Ed Bakos, Jon Kastl, Winston Kong, and most recently, Anna Beeber.

Celebrated for creating luxury environments for a global client list which includes the likes of The Plaza New York, the legendary Troutbeck hotel in Upstate New York and The Gainsborough Bath Spa, Champalimaud Design was approached in 2013 by Raffles Singapore and tasked with the monumental goal of a complete redesign of Singapore’s oldest and most iconic hotel. The studio was presented with a unique challenge of maintaining an ambience intrinsically tied to the hotel’s unique 130 year long history, whilst at the same time taking the hotel in a renewed design direction through a meticulous update and refresh.

The newly restored property offers a reinvigorated and charming environment familiar to the original Raffles Singapore hotel, but which now introduces renovated dining options, updated accommodations, and a new suite category. By incorporating local influences throughout and remaining true to its heritage, Champalimaud Design thoughtfully layers a memory of old Singapore with a contemporary and artful approach.

As a national monument, special attention was paid to the preservation of the original colonial architecture throughout the renovation. All of the public areas are re-planned to increase social engagement and create an ease of flow between spaces. With a sensibility that is much more contemporary than its previous design iterations, there’s an emphasis on maximising scale through the careful curation of custom furniture in sumptuous shapes, ornate screens, locally sourced heritage antiques, and impactful lighting. The new reception and lobby lounge – once iconic places frequently visited by dignitaries and diplomats – is transformed into an elegant reception with a curated dining menu and now serves as the gateway to the hotel’s alluring spaces for dining and imbibing: Tiffin Room, Writer’s Bar, La Dame de Pic, Long Bar, and Butcher’s Block. The palate is composed of the original black and white contrasts juxtaposed with caramel, shades of green, and creamy neutrals. Light floral references and gilded trimming along with a bejewelled chandelier add a layer of refinement to the overall vision.

The coming year will see Champalimaud Design take on a number of high profile openings. In addition to Raffles Singapore, the studio has recently unveiled its highly-anticipated design for Halekulani in Okinawa, Japan; a hotel that fuses luxury with the island’s energy, as well as the Monkey Island, a picturesque retreat with a charming history in Bray-On-Thames, England. Other projects include One Waterline Square, a luxury high-rise development on the Hudson River in Manhattan which represents an unprecedented approach to urban living, as well as Su Casa, a private retreat nestled in Puerto Rico’s most exclusive resort which has undergone a complete renovation by Champalimaud Design following Hurricane Maria which ravaged the island in 2017.

Main image credit: Champalimaud Design

Empty room with various styles of seating

In Conversation With: Matthew Balon at Ruby Leni’s first showing

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
In Conversation With: Matthew Balon at Ruby Leni’s first showing

Ruby Hotels has re-entered the stage to take a second bow in Dusseldorf, Germany. The 170-key Ruby Leni, which takes shelter in a former 1950s theatre, is the hotel group’s seventh hotel to harness ‘lean luxury’. Editor Hamish Kilburn travels just south of the city’s fashion district to meet the group’s lead designer, Matthew Balon, the morning after the night before’s launch party to discuss design details, the significance of paper puppets and the brand’s highly anticipated 2020 arrival in London…

Empty room with various styles of seating

They say that to make any act truly memorable, the performer must enter the stage armed with a spectacular encore up his or her sleeve. In the case of Ruby Hotels in Dusseldorf, the main performance took place last year with the arrival Ruby Coco. The dynamic property is a contemporary urban hub that is nestled within the city’s main shopping district, just off Königsallee – AKA a fashionista’s heaven. The interiors inside are sharp, considered and give more than an apt nod to the fashion quarters that surround it.

[CURTAIN UP]

If Coco was used in the opening scene, engaging its captivated audience with the allure of couture costumes, then the encore is Ruby Leni, which is situated a mere 10 minutes down the road. Although the neighbourhood may feel quieter, its entrance certainly isn’t: a large marquee sign with the words ‘make it your own stay’ frames an appropriate first impression.

Exterior shot of the hotel, showing a colourful courtyard

Image credit: Ruby Leni

[PUBLIC AREAS ENTER FROM STAGE RIGHT]

With large, expansive public spaces that filter into plush private break-out areas, the hotel is designed for both locals and guests checking in. The character and soul has been channelled into the lobby/lounge, where the real story of the iconic 1900s building, which sheltered the Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus theatre, comes to life. “We looked at the materials, shapes and forms that you would associate to a theatre of that era,” says Lead Designer Matthew Balon. “We then separated that into front-of-house and back-of-house. We wanted to challenge that idea by merging those areas. For example, we have included stage cases in the lobby to really create an authentic feeling of being part of the production, behind the scenes.”

[GUESTROOMS ENTER FROM STAGE LEFT]

Upstairs, the sharp and stylish guestrooms have been designed around the original peculiar structure of the building, creating an interesting layout in each. The design and general make-up of the room, though, is a reflection of the others in the entire hotel group’s portfolio: crisp white beds, refillable toiletries and eco-friendly rain showers to match. The brand calls it ‘lean luxury’, which is posh for ‘uncomplicated, laid-back comfort’ – and it works, especially for bleisure travellers.

White, bright and contemporary guestroom

Image credit: Ruby Leni

Although you would recognise the rooms as ‘Ruby Rooms’ guests with eagle eyes will notice subtle differences, like the wood panelling for example.  “It’s been designed to also reference the story of the hotel,” explains Balon. “I looked into how sets were built and was inspired by the fact that guests in the theatre only ever see the pretty side. I wanted to show the back of the sets, the flats. I was interested to know how these things stood up and how they were constructed. That provided the inspiration for the wall panelling and the reinforced corner detailing.

Another quirky touch that sensitively helps set the theatrical scene is the art above the beds. Bolan initially wanted to do something with shadow puppets, which evolved into creating an immersive and playful paper puppet stage. “I really love introducing interior design elements that are fun and interactive,” says Balon. “We like to have fun with it and make an interesting element to guests’ stay.”

[APPLAUSE]

Image caption: Editor Hamish Kilburn (left) dragged the Lead Designer for Ruby Hotels, Michael Bolan (right), out on ‘stage’ the morning after the launch party before…

Quick-fire round:

Hamish Kilburn: What can you not travel without?
Matthew Bolan: My Darth Vader suitcase. I just love it!

HK: Where’s next on your travel bucket list?
MB: Japan.

HK: What’s your biggest bugbear when checking in to a hotel?
MB: Queuing!

HK: What is the number-one tool for success?
MB: You have to create an emotional connection.

HK: What is the last thing that showed up on your credit card transactions?
MB: A round of drinks I bought last night. It’s your round at the next launch, I’m told…

Most hotel designers are working with many several brands and brand standards, and so it is interesting how Bolan, within his creative realms, can piece together many different stories with the same Ruby strand running through each. “It is all-encompassing,” he says. “What the brand stands for in regards to design is something I can really get behind. When I think about Ruby, I think of all the people who bring the brand to life.”

[CURTAIN CALL]

The brand’s design is spilling out of the seams and leaving a permanent stain on new destinations. The next hotel design hotspot to welcome the arrival of Ruby Hotels is London – to the Southbank to be more specific. “We have done a lot of research into the location, which is a really interesting corner of London,” Balon explains. “I can tell you that Ruby Lucy is going to be fun, colourful, unexpected and I am really looking forward to the opening party!”

Ruby Hotels first unveiled its unique concept with Vienna hotel Ruby Sofie in 2014, before opening two further hotels in Vienna, Ruby Marie and Ruby Lissi, as well as Ruby Lilly in Munich, Ruby Coco in Dusseldorf and most recently Ruby Lotti in Hamburg. In response to the success of these properties, the brand plans further openings including Ruby Lucy in London’s bustling Southbank in early 2020, as well as hotels in Zurich, Cologne, Frankfurt and Shanghai before the end of 2020.

[CURTAIN CLOSED]

INSIDE THE FACTORY WITH: Hamilton Litestat

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
INSIDE THE FACTORY WITH: Hamilton Litestat

Celebrating half a century of being the trusted, reliable and high-quality brand for switch plates and sockets, Hamilton Litestat’s is, without a doubt, an industry leader. The company’s Head of Marketing, Gavin Williams, invites editor Hamish Kilburn along to its headquarters in Bristol to share some of the tools behind its esteemed reputation and ongoing legacy… 

For more than 50 years, Hamilton Litestat, one of the first companies in the world to produce dimmable products and USB charging sockets, has been leading an innovative path.

Following large investment in both equipment and people – from the factory floor right through to the sales and marketing teams, the company remains one of the leading manufacturers for switch plates and sockets.

As a result of its ability to be ahead of the curve when it comes to product innovation without diluting the quality of its products, Hamilton has attracted and retained the attention of large chains such as IHG, Marriott, Millennium Hotels and Radisson among many others, as well as leading independent hotels.

Situated on the fringes of Bristol, the company’s headquarters, and workplace for over 100 employees, stands as an ever-evolving hub of innovation, technology and shelters a driving force that ships out roughly 200,000 products per month most of which are dispatched within 24 hours.

As the majority of hotels on the boards continue to strive to create more personal interiors, it is now more important than ever before for suppliers to offer a variety of products, all of which are stamped with the same quality – and no brand understands the value of this than Hamilton. “The interior designer is one of the key cogs in the chain,” said Gavin Williams, Head of Marketing at Hamilton Litestat. “Therefore, that has created a demand for adding a statement within fixtures and fittings.”

The factory itself is a well-operating formula balancing both practical facilities and creative break-out areas. The space on the ground floor has been designed to create a swift, seamless and free-flowing manufacturing process. The raw materials – metal and plastic sheets – are pressed on one side of the building using state-of-the-art technology. By laser cutting, one sheet takes an average of 30 minutes to cut, producing roughly 150 plates, which are then ready to be wired. This process, as well as the stringent quality control that follows, still to this day is carried out by a dedicated workforce.

“Quality is our number-one priority.” – Gavin Williams, Head of Marketing at Hamilton Litestat

If the lower level of the factory is where the components are cut and fitted together, then the upstairs is then reserved for innovation and fresh ideas. Housed inside a standalone chamber is the result one of Hamilton Litestat’s latest investments. Following popular demand and feedback gathered at international trade shows and from talking to loyal customers, the company has introduced its Paintable Range. With a new high-tech machine and colour expert to operate it, the company can now colour-match the products in the collection to replicate any tone or shade that an interior designer is working with. “Quality is our number-one priority,” says Williams. “So despite innovating, we will always over check the quality before releasing any product to the market. We have fantastic test facilities here in Bristol, which allows us to test the product continuously to and above the British standards.”

With lifestyle and people’s behaviour being a large factor and driver behind the launch of the company’s latest products, Hamilton Litestat’s headquarters also stages an area that assembles together new concepts. Inspired largely by trends – and in an effort to create a conversation with its customers – the product development team often share their vision on the company’s growing Instagram channel. “Having a full-time focus [on social media] allows us to follow trends, key words and connect with new clients from the many shows we attend,” adds Williams. “It also allows us to circulate in the wider world, engaging with perspective clients who would have otherwise never heard of us.”

With a reputation that spans across more than half a century for delivering quality products and a reliable service, Hamilton Litestat is equipped to handle almost any interior design brief. The company’s friendly team will be showcasing its breadth of products at upcoming trade shows, such as 100% Design, The Independent Hotel Show and Decorex International.

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

Main image credit: Hamilton Litestat

Sensitively carpeting Grade-I listed Hawkstone Hall Hotel

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Sensitively carpeting Grade-I listed Hawkstone Hall Hotel

Brintons’ sensitive approach to hotel design was required when sensitively creating the timeless interiors inside Hawkstone Hall Hotel, a 37-key luxury abode that has emerged following a two-year restoration…

Grade-I listed 18th century Hawkstone Hall, which is owned by The Distinctly Hospitable Group, has been sympathetically restored over a two-year period and has now opened as a hotel for the first time in its 550-year history.

Located in the beautiful Shropshire countryside and set within 88 acres of gardens, the country mansion, which was originally built as a stately family home, features ceilings gilded with gold, sweeping staircases, four-poster suites and a private Chapel.

The Distinctly Hospitable Group decided to undertake a multi-million renovation of the building and re-open it as a luxury boutique hotel, with designer Kay Petrouis overseeing the renovation. The interior styling results at the newly- opened hotel have been breathtaking, Kay used an English heritage colour palette throughout the property to suit the listed period details and the Georgian manor has been restored to its original splendour, with many original features being reinstated.

The main hall hosts 12 sumptuous suites, all of which are named after British artists, writers, poets, and playwrights. Adjacent to the main building, The Orangery Wing has also undergone complete renovations, encompassing a further 25 bedrooms. Inside the rooms, colour tones mirror that of the main hall using the soft hues of duck-egg blue and calamine pink.

Jane Bradley-Bain, Brintons senior creative designer created bespoke, contemporary carpet designs for the Guest Suites within Hawkstone Hall featuring a warm grey and blue colour palette. The chosen designs capture the latest trend by taking a traditional design form and then giving it an abstract treatment to create a distressed classic elegance. Jane also developed a timeless classic motif design for the Library room using a cool neutral palette, the custom designs complement the sophisticated and contemporary interiors bringing a modern element that harmonises with the period of the building.

Amber Kashan from Brintons Renaissance stocked collection was selected by designer Nasim Köerting at Studio Köerting for the Byron Suite, the intricate large-scale design in bold, rich opulent colours is inspired by the golden age of Persian art and literature and compliments the mansions grand interiors. The design was also used in hotels bar area and snug.

“It was an absolute pleasure to design in a exceptional Grade-I listed building like Hawkstone Hall,” said Köerting. “We were able to create a real fairytale space. Brintons were flexible and could work within our building constraints like creating beautiful edged rugs to protect the original timber plank flooring.”

Traditional trellis patterns from Brintons QuickWeaveTM collection were chosen for key public areas including the Ceremony Room, corridors and reception, the trellis designs treated with texture provides a modern but contemporary feel.

The designs throughout the hotel vary, so each fitted carpet suits the specific finished space accordingly. Designs are classic patterns which harmonise with other interior surfaces and materials.

Main image credit: Aubadecreative

In Conversation With: Unidrain’s Kenneth Waaben on modern bathrooms

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
In Conversation With: Unidrain’s Kenneth Waaben on modern bathrooms

Hotel Designs exclusively sits down with innovative head designer at Unidrain, Kenneth Waaben, to understand more about the process behind the brand’s design of the modern bathroom… 

With the aim to “create aesthetic and functional designs that enhanced the company’s existing portfolio,” Kenneth Waaben started working for Unidrain in 2014. Since then, his clear methodical way of thinking when it comes to balancing practicality and good design has led to the launch of many of Unidrain’s hero products, including the dynamic Reframe Collection. 

For Waaben, who graduated from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, design is an iterative process that is based on a specific problem, as we find out in our exclusive Q&A.

Hamish Kilburn: What made you want to take on the challenge of designing for Unidrain?

Kenneth Waaben: In my view, good design has to be durable, a design that makes a difference, both aesthetically and functionally. Unidrain wished for products that stood out and solvedproblems in amore elegant and intelligent ways than other products in the market. I was able to design these products, so it was a fine match.

As a designer it is my mission to improve what already exists. Unfortunately, these days many new products are created with no real focus and are not designed to improving anything.

In these days of eco awareness and sustainability this is neither an interesting nor effective approach to product development. As a designer I feel we have to do everything we can to make a positive difference.

“One should dare to be critical of general practice, see possibilities and be open and brave enough to try new things.” – Kenneth Waaben, Unidrain

HK: What is your motto?

KW: Improve the existing – the devil is in the detail!  One should dare to be critical of general practice, see possibilities and be open and brave enough to try new things.

HK: What is the process behind your designs?

KW: I like to look at the things we use and find out where there is room for improvement, and then generate ideas around this.  It can be a challenge to connect the aesthetic with the functional. The process requires repeated tests and adjustments, it’s important to be aware of even the smallest details, since it is often these that make all the difference.

The road towards the goal, the actual design process, is to a great extent an iterative process where inspiration, the idea, the form and function is developed in a constant interactionbetween mind and hands.

It is all collaboration between drafts in 2D and 3D on paper and drafts shaped in cardboard and foam,as well as 3D printing and CAD. Through the entire process it is extremely important to use your experience and intuition.

HK: What was your most recent project?

KW: The Reframe Collection has been taking up my thoughts most recently.  One of the designs that have been under the design microscope is the Reframe corner shelf. I wanted to give new life to an everyday product, improve on the design.

Two other products in the Reframe Collection,the toilet brush and shower wiper, were also being re-framed and re-designed.    We looked at each item; the new toilet brush has been designed with a splash collar that eliminates the accumulationof bacteria between the inner and outer containers.

There is a small, integrated handle, so that you can easily empty the container without coming into contact with any bacteria.  The actual brush head has also been designed to collect as little water and paper as possible, to reduce unwanted dripping.

The shower wiper is a difficult product to keep tidy in the shower space so we designeda way of integrating the shower wiper with the soap shelf.  It is held in place by hidden magnets, which avoids having the wiper standing on the floor or hanging on the mixer tap.

HK: Do you design your products to be long lasting?

KW: Products have to be durable, this is important, plus time has proven that well-designed, long lasting products are also often the most popular.

As a designer, it’s important not to focus on what’s popular right now, as you risk designing a product that quickly becomes irrelevant.  It’s far more interesting to take a long-term approach. Many of the design products that are now celebrated around the world were often created many years ago and not on the basis of contemporary fads and trends.

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

CASE STUDY: Furnishing Hard Rock Hotel London

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
CASE STUDY: Furnishing Hard Rock Hotel London

Curtis Furniture explains its role on the first ever Hard Rock Hotel in the UK to bring the brand back to its British London roots…

When Curtis Furniture was tasked to work on the UK’s first ever Hard Rock Hotel, we had to understand the heightened importance of accuracy in order to bring to life the designer’s vision. Key to this was our ability to clarify accurately the requirements in advance, working as partners to the architects, Unwin Jones Partnership as we developed an on-site sample room and rolled this out through the whole hotel.

Benjamin Harvey, Category Buyer at glh Hotels explains: “Shipping supplies from outside the UK carries a risk to the quality of materials and timings of deliveries. To avoid these risks, we wanted to select a British Manufacturer, and Curtis are one of the few with the capacity to supply bespoke case goods for 1,000 rooms over a 12-month project.

Our relationship with them goes back more than 20 years. We needed to choose an expert partner we could trust to turn around the room refurbishments in a timely manner and with minimal disruption, as the hotel remained fully operational throughout.”

“The newly refurbished rooms buzz with the energy associated with the Hard Rock brand.”

Ultimately the success of the project was due to the accuracy and quality of materials supplied by a responsive, client-focused team. The newly refurbished rooms buzz with the energy associated with the Hard Rock brand. Hard Rock Hotel London is no longer simply somewhere to stay while experiencing all that London has to offer, it is now part of the London experience.

Main image credit: Hard Rock Hotel London/ ROBERTO LARA PHOTOGRAPHY

Singita Kwitonda Lodge and Kataza House opens in Rwanda

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Singita Kwitonda Lodge and Kataza House opens in Rwanda

The new hotel in Rwanda, designed by GAPP Architects in collaboration with the interior design teams Cécile & Boyd and Hesse Kleinloog (HK) Studio, opens to uniquely provide sanctuary for 320 endangered mountain gorillas on 178 acres of land… 

Multi-award winning conservation brand Singita has officially opened its doors to Singita Kwitonda Lodge and Kataza House in Rwanda.

Set on 178 acres of lush land on the edge of Volcanoes National Park, Singita Kwitonda Lodge is home to eight luxurious suites and resides alongside Kataza House – an exclusive use four-bedroom villa.

For the past 26 years, Singita has operated iconic ecotourism lodges and camps across three regions in Africa. The brand’s expansion into Rwanda supports the company’s 100-year purpose to preserve and protect large areas of African wilderness for future generations. To this end, Singita has committed to extensive reforestation initiatives in Rwanda, helping to increase the range and numbers of endangered mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park. The presence of Singita Kwitonda Lodge on the park border will help to create a natural space between agricultural plots and the habitat of the estimated 320 mountain gorillas that find sanctuary here. The property itself has been named after named after a legendary silverback gorilla known for his humility and gentle nature – Kwitonda.

Singita has been inspired by the warm and welcoming spirit of the people of Rwanda which embodies a sense of goodwill and encapsulates their remarkable recovery from a painful past – this energy has driven them forward in their country’s rebirth. For this reason, Singita feels enormously privileged to open just ten minutes from Singita Volcanoes National Park and will contribute significantly to conservation, community partnerships and ecotourism. The lodge’s on-site nursery, Akarabo has to date provided approximately 250,000 indigenous forest shrubs, bamboo shoots and trees for an extensive reforestation initiative.

The design of Singita Kwitonda Lodge was conceptualised by GAPP Architects in collaboration with the interior design teams Cécile & Boyd and Hesse Kleinloog (HK) Studio. The design takes its cue from Rwanda’s cultural heritage and the enormous responsibility of protecting the strong, yet vulnerable gorillas. Bold, striking interiors, which are simultaneously nurturing, reflect the duality of the gorillas’ nature; and this is also seen in the interplay of surprisingly strong art and furniture with pared-back modernity.

“It’s an absolute dream to expand our conservation footprint in Rwanda – a beautiful country with a remarkable conservation success story,” said Singita Founder and Executive Chairman, Luke Bailes. “Contributing to the Government’s enormous efforts to protect the country’s wildlife is both a privilege and a serious responsibility. We’re thrilled with the elegant, exceptionally sustainable lodges we’ve created here. They allow guests to connect deeply with nature in the heart of Africa, after a humbling encounter with the gorillas.

Image credit: Singita

Guest suites are made up of cosy living spaces, indoor and outdoor fireplaces and heated plunge pools, with breath-taking views of the Sabyinyo, Gahinga and Muhabura volcanoes. Travellers are encouraged to enjoy soothing massages on return from their adventurous excursions. Natural elements like earth, mist, rain and lava are cleverly integrated into furniture pieces and linear artwork. Meanwhile the vivid colour palette of lava black, khaki green, ‘greige’ and fiery orange echo the surrounding landscape which flows in through large windows throughout the lodge. It’s an inherently African sophistication that is long-lasting, polished and earthy.

The property itself is made up of a collection of small buildings laid which follow the natural contours of the ground. Each element of the design and construction of the lodge and villa follow Singita’s which informed every detail from site design and materials used to energy and water systems as well as overall interior design. The team worked closely with the local community to locally source most building materials from the immediate Musanze district – a majority of the elements that make up the property have been made in Africa and handpicked by the interior designers.

More than 500 local artisans and builders were involved in the project crafting volcanic walls, impressive woven ceilings and hand-fired terracotta brickwork, ensuring an authentic translation of local culture into key elements, adding a significant boost to local employment and businesses.  The overall effect is strong and captivating, yet soothing, enhancing the serious, soul-centering experience of encountering gorilla families in their natural habitat.

The food and beverage offering at the lodge takes a farm-to-table-approach featuring largely vegetable-based dishes and local Rwandan favourites, the on-site herb and fruit garden supplies the lodge kitchens with an array of fresh ingredients. Other highlights of the food journey include tailor-made trekking lunchboxes, flexible mealtimes and a signature “bar-deli” which offers fresh fruit and small snacks, enabling guests to help themselves throughout the day.

Main image credit: Singita

Mitsis Hotels lifts the lid on redesign story behind Greek gem

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Mitsis Hotels lifts the lid on redesign story behind Greek gem

Architecture and design firm WATG completed the renovation and redesign of Mitsis Summer Palace on the Greek island of Kos… 

Uniquely positioned on an elevated site above a Blue Flag-awarded beach, the newly renovated Mitsis Summer Palace boasts 360-degree views across the Aegean Sea towards Nissiros Island and the Bay of Kardamena, and offers a stunning direct line of sight all the way to the coast of Turkey. Tasked with the evolutionary renovations was the multidisciplined design firm WATG.

Showcasing the full suite of of the firm’s services, the project – which included upgrades to thesite’s restaurant and pool amenities – incorporated strategy, planning, architecture, landscape architecture and Wimberly Interiors to achieve a fully integrated, considered space that celebrates the stunning surroundings while aligning perfectly with Mitsis Hotels’ commitment to creating one-of-a-kind travel experiences.

“The hillside situation of the hotel, with expansive views across the Aegean, was theinspiration for creating a space which seamlessly connects the guest with the horizon,” said Georgina Langridge of WATG’s London Landscape Architecture team who was awarded a Hotel Designs’ 30 Under 30 earlier this year. “From a design perspective, it was all about connecting visitors with the surrounding sea and celebrating the Kos sunset. In contrast to other pools on the island, we made a bold move with the colour palette and opted for a dark tile – something that is quite unique to the property, which has bold features throughout including teal sun lounges and coralaccents in the restaurant.”

On working with Mitsis Hotels, WATG London Associate Vice President and Architect Nick Carrier commented: “WATG is thrilled to have an ongoing and exciting relationship with a company like Mitsis Hotels. We’re grateful to them for placing trust in us to make bolddecisions and contribute to their vision of creating unique, customer-centric spaces.”

Mitsis Summer Palace reopened in April 2019 following the highly successful renovation and reopening of Mitsis Norida Beach in April 2018, which featured five new pools, a pool bar, three restaurants and a beach bar – also a WATG multidisciplinary design project.

Main image credit: Mitsis Hotels

In Conversation With: Versa’s Paul Gibson on sustainable wallcoverings in EMEA hotels

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
In Conversation With: Versa’s Paul Gibson on sustainable wallcoverings in EMEA hotels

As part of its expansion plans for 2019 and beyond, Versa Wallcovering has recently turned up the volume in amplifying its products in Europe. Hotel Designs editor Hamish Kilburn sits down with the company’s new Business Development Manager (EMEA), Paul Gibson, to understand more about his vision and the latest sustainable wallcovering products on the market… 

Having worked with the likes of Marriott International, Hilton Hotels, IHG and Four Seasons, among many other brands, Versa Wallcovering is currently at a crossroads in its journey. Known in the US as one of the go-to contract surface brands, it has recently added a new element within in its strategy in order to expand in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

The individual who has been tasked to direct the traffic forwards in the EMEA regions is Paul Gibson. With more 15 years’ experience in the sector, Gibson is, in Versa Wallcovering’s eyes, the ideal industry expert for the job. “This is very much a clean page for Versa,” he says. “The company has always had an element of a presence in the UK through distribution, but they decided about a year ago to do a full-on sales attack in Europe.”

What seems to set the company aside from other conventional wallcovering brands is its sustainability qualities – not only in designing durable products that are built to last but also considering materials at manufacturing stages. “We have the technology to recycle and recover used vinyl and factory waste,” explains Gibson. “We cover it to be used in new products, which is a completely unique process. We have a range called Second Look, which is created using recycled materials. There are recycled materials in all of our products with no sacrifice in appearance, durability and quality. The other thing we have launching later this year is a PVC-free vinyl.”

Image caption: Paul Gibson, Versa Wallcovering’s Business Development Manager (EMEA),

Quick-fire round

Hamish Kilburn: A trend you hope to never return?
Paul Gibson: Artex on walls. It’s hideous.

HK: What is the wallcoverings market as a whole really focusing on at the moment?
G: I want to say sustainability, but more needs to be done first. I guess innovation of design.

HK: Where’s next on your travel bucket list?
PG: Tokyo

HK: What is the number-one item you can’t travel without?
PG: My phone

HK: What’s the last transaction that will show up on your statement?
PG: Probably an ITunes download, or coffee!

HK: How has technology changed since you entered the market?
PG: I started in 2004, and there were silk vinyl copies that were plastic and shiny and it didn’t look real. Now, you can’t really tell the difference because they are so realistic. Just how far tech has come in a relatively short period of time is incredible.

One area in the hotel that benefits more than others from innovative and creative wallcoverings is the lobby – and a fairly simple way to give these public areas personality is to inject colour in them. “The days of having one tone of colour on a vinyl are almost over,” explains Gibson. “We have a very sophisticated printing process where we can print multiple layers.

“What people couldn’t achieve a few years ago they now can because tech allows them to. Digital wallcoverings is now moving more towards achieving more intricate detailed. Now are using digital printing methods in standard wallcoverings where we can print on a texture or print over a colour to create more varied effects.”

Versa Wallcovering’s latest collection, which includes Caba, Capri and Crush, is proof in the pudding that the company’s focus remains on hotels within all levels and its inspiration comes from nature – think stones, peacocks and floral aesthetics but with a modern twist. “Our design team are very good at looking outside our direct industry for inspiration is key,” adds Gibson. “They are visionaries who are thinking outside the box and I am very proud of the new collection that has been a result of that method.”

Keeping brand values close to home, the company’s ‘everything we sell, we manufacture’ policy keeps its products and service seamless and absolute. In addition, and as an incentive for designers to select more sustainable products at affordable costs, Versa Wallcovering promises competitive prices and endeavours to deliver samples the next day (where possible even same day).

Now that Versa Wallcovering has turned the page to enter a new chapter on a prosperous journey, its global reach of eco-sourced products has inspired designers, architects, owners and operators to think more about the materials used when designing the hotels of our future.

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

MINIVIEW: room2 Southampton, the debut hometel

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
MINIVIEW: room2 Southampton, the debut hometel

Claiming to be the world’s first hometel brand, room2 Southampton shelters the best of both worlds in 71 rooms. As Hotel Designs continues to focus the Spotlight On Hotel Concepts, editor Hamish Kilburn spoke to design firm Project Orange to understand the design story…

With the aim to create a home-from-home hotel on England’s south coast, room2 Southampton opened to float above the surface in a sea of competition among other sub brands sitting under larger groups to stand out as a lifestyle hotel.

Tasked to redesign the hotel experience as we know it, the design team at Project Orange were briefed by Lamington UK to conceptualise and create the ultimate apart-hotel. “We believed that there are a lot of tired, soulless, corporate hotels out there, and we wanted to inject fun, energy and life into peoples stay,” says Robert Godwin, the Managing Director of Lamington UK. “The design brief was to take inspiration from the local surroundings, and so the ‘golden age of cruise lining from Southampton’, was our design starting point. We wanted to make a place which would put a smile on someones face, not make them feel stiff, because if a guest was relaxed, they would rejuvenate better, and be their best version of themselves the next day (whether for work or play).”

Steering clear of gimmicks, which too often creep in to plans when innovating hotel concepts, the project started to convert a block of 1980s offices into the 71-key ‘hometel’. “The concept of room2 is neither conventional hotel nor conventional Apart-hotel,” says Christopher Ash, Director at Project Orange. “It is a space between a hotel and Airbnb.”

Image credit: room2

Before creating the modern, compact but well equipped kitchens and proper spaces to dine, eat sleep and relax, the design team faced a common challenge of planning restrictions. “The main challenges involved taking an un prepossessing 1980s office building in a fantastic location and transforming it into this new brand of hometel,” explains Ash. “Planning restrictions severely limited external changes to the main part of the building so we focussed on the ground floor and creating huge Edward Hopper type picture windows that drew the gaze into the room2 Living Room, married with a bold new entrance design. Incorporating new M&E services, especially as bedrooms include kitchen areas also presented challenges.”

“Guests ‘get it’, they rave about the concept for us.” – Robert Godwin, Managing Director, Leamington Group

In creating something new and aiming to make a marked improvement on conventional hotel and apartment-style accommodation, a new term has been created – the ‘hometel’ – and it’s the perfect way to describe the interiors, the feel and the overarching concept that is housed inside. “It has been our biggest achievement to date, because it is not a fad, or buzz word,” adds Godwin. “Guests ‘get it’, they rave about the concept for us, and what’s very special about ‘home’, is it means something special and personal to everyone, so therefore guests get an instant connection with the brand and their stay experience.”

The extremely flexible accommodation has clearly been designed with purpose in order to suit both long and short stay, full or part self-catering and mixed/family groups. Many of the rooms, for example, include an iconic second loft-like sleeping deck area, ideal for families travelling with kids. “Everyone one loves a well-designed hotel room, cleaned daily and with fresh towels and linen, air conditioning and (generally) a big TV you can lie and watch in bed,” explains Ash. “And lots of people love a good hotel breakfast too. But sometimes you want a bit of flexibility, especially with extended stay guests.  – a chance to enjoy your favourite breakfast cereal in your room, or to cook up a quick pasta in the evening. Or you may want the chance to rustle up something simple for the kids whilst they’re glued to the TV. These are things more associated with home, or an Airbnb. But then you have to do your own housekeeping!

“You can be as plugged in or as zoned out as you like.” – Christopher Ash, Director, Project Orange.

“room2 is the perfect half-way house. An informal hotel with lots of personality you can enjoy but won’t be beholden to. There is no restaurant or bar in the traditional sense, just the room2 Living Room which is part hang out space, laid back working area, café, bar and meeting area. Likewise there are no designated reception staff, waiters or bar staff – the room2 Roommates are easy going jacks of all trades. You can be as plugged in or as zoned out as you like.”

Drawing on extensive industry experience, room2’s design considers all people and checking in and all possible scenarios. The result is a rule-breaking design-led abode, full of personality and attitude that allows its guests to experience the hometel on their own terms.

Main image credit: room2 Southampton

Franklite is the only UK company that is equipped to offer complete photometric files – and here’s why

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Franklite is the only UK company that is equipped to offer complete photometric files – and here’s why

Franklite, which believes it has the product to fit any lighting requirement, also one of the very few decorative and soft commercial lighting companies that has their own photometer and spectrometer and the only UK company which owns a Rigo 801-1500 near-field Goniophotometer – a cutting edge device used for measurement of light emitted from an object at different angles.

This investment now enables the company to offer complete photometric files compatible with designer’ssoftware in ELUMDAT .(ltd) and IESNA (.ies) formats.

Wojciech Miller, Franklites Technical Specialist states: ‘The Photometer allows us to gather information about the quality and quantity of light being produced by our luminaires. By utilizing this information, we are able to design and produce quality lighting products which also offer excellent energy saving credentials. In recent years lighting technology has evolved at a tremendous pace and with this investment it enablesFranklite to lead the field.”

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

DESIGN INSPIRATION: 7 Quirky hotels built into their surroundings

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
DESIGN INSPIRATION: 7 Quirky hotels built into their surroundings

To continue putting Hotel Concepts under the spotlight, leading booking management service STAAH identifies seven quirky hotels that shelter one-off luxury experiences… 

Depending on the type of traveller you are trying to attract or designing for, sometimes a hotel needs to be nothing more than just a place to rest after a long day of exploring the surroundings of your destination.

For others, the right hotel is part of what makes the travel experience an interesting one. We have found some of the quirkiest hotels around to give you, your clients and/or your guests a memorable experience from check in right through to check out.

The Caves Resort, Jamaica

At The Caves Resort, Every room at the caves is unique and bursting with its own character, charm and heart-stopping coastal views. Sitting atop of some of the most incredible sea caves in the world, their 12 custom designed Cliffside cottages act as artful hideaways with all the comforts of home.

ICE Hotel, Sweden

Bed in the middle of iced shelter

Image credit: ICE Hotel

Staying in the largest ice hotel in the world is like living inside a diamond. Each suite is individually themed and hand carved by artists commissioned from around the world and a wide range of disciplines.  Spending a night in Ice Hotel is a surreal experience and a memory for life and in the morning you are awakened with a cup of hot lingonberry juice at your bedside.

Eco Camp Patagonia, Chile

At Eco Camp Patagonia, guests can immerse their in the stunning world of Torres del Paine National Park. Spend your days exploring this fragile paradise with trekking, multi-sport adventures, and wildlife watching, and your nights in harmony with nature in your very own dome.

Poseidon Undersea Resort, Fiji

Image credit: Poseidon Undersea Resort, Fiji/YouTube

At Poseidon Undersea Resort, the entire ocean is a playground. Activities abound for adventurers who wish to explore the unimaginable, like maneuvering a personal Triton submarine through a lagoon, exploring the ocean’s depths as the passenger of a 1,000-foot luxury submersible, and scuba diving in pristine waters. Those who seek solitude will find the epitome of relaxation when indulging in marine-focused spa treatments and meditation under the gaze of only the moon and stars.

Aurora Express, Alaska, USA

Image credit: Aurora Express, Alaska, USA

Hotel and Motel lodging just can’t compare to the breath-taking views and unforgettable memories you’ll have when you stay on this amazing train (or once was)! The décor and majestic views to match will keep you wanting more.

The Aurora-Express is a Bed and Breakfast in Fairbanks, Alaska made out of authentic Alaska Railroad cars renovated to historical periods. Experience Fairbanks, Alaska in this nostalgic Bed & Breakfast overlooking greater Fairbanks, the Tanana Valley, & Alaska Mountain Range.

Singita Sweni Lodge, South Africa

Image credit: Singita Sweni Lodge, South Africa

Situated on the verdant banks of the Sweni River, modern autumnal-coloured furniture springs to life with vivid shades of green in one of the most intimate lodges in the Kruger. Sweni’s seven Suites are perched on stilts above the lush river and blend effortlessly into the surrounding trees.

Suites are open-plan (with curtains for privacy) with deep baths, splendid views of the river and lavish decks with daybeds and outdoor showers.

Hotel Endemico, Mexico

Image credit: Hotel Endemico, Mexico

They always say “good things come in small packages”. These little rooms pack a surprising punch once you step inside.

Hotel Endemico is a rustic retreat in Mexico’s wine country situated on a slope overlooking the Valle de Guadalupe. “Endemico” is a Spanish word meaning “part of the environment” and so each eco-pod is designed to show-off the rural landscape.

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

Main image credit: Singita Sweni Lodge, South Africa

Violet armchairs by the window

Laura Ashley Hotel The Iliffe, Coventry opens

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Laura Ashley Hotel The Iliffe, Coventry opens

Laura Ashley Hotel The Iliffe, Coventry, formerly known as Corus The Chace Hotel, has opened its doors to reveal to reveal a quintessentially British and timeless transformation… 

As part of the hotel group’s aggressive expansion, Laura Ashley Hotels has opened the doors to its second property, Laura Ashley Hotel The Iliffe, Coventry. The 17-key boutique hotel is sheltered in a stunning example of Victorian architecture surrounded by three acres of attractive landscaped gardens.

Violet armchairs by the window

The new design, led by the company’s in-house Commercial Designer, Kay Cullen, takes inspiration from the grand sweeping staircase, leading upstairs to the new guestrooms, which evokes the splendour of the past.

The land, which the property is located on, boasts a colourful history dating back to 1257 and was once owned by King Henry VIII. Laura Ashley Hotel The Iliffe, Coventry is named after the family the property was constructed for in the late 1890s, Dr Charles Webb Iliffe, a well-respected figure in the local medical community, and his wife, a young debutante, Mary Ann Soden.

Every part of the hotel has been redesigned drawing inspiration from the hotel’s Victorian heritage, with carefully selected rich colours which complement each other and luxurious furnishings to create an elegant space to entice comfort & relaxation.

“To pay homage to the decadence this image portrays, I decided to bring back a sense of the past and to embrace the beautiful detail within this magnificent old building.” – Kay Cullen, Commercial Designer, Laura Ashley Hotels.

“I was charmed by the beautiful building which once a grand manor house of late Victorian origin,” said Cullen. “The beautiful sweeping staircase takes you on a journey through the owner’s past with a portrait of the glamorous lady Mary Ann Soden as a debutante in the mid-eighteen hundreds. To pay homage to the decadence this image portrays, I decided to bring back a sense of the past and to embrace the beautiful detail within this magnificent old building.”

The boutique hotel’s superior and deluxe Laura Ashley bedrooms have been designed to infuse a sense of tranquillity with an effortless style. Classic Laura Ashley design adorns every surface, from plush cushions, to Laura Ashley Glenmore chairs in marine velvet, floor-to-ceiling drapes to statement lighting and stylish Laura Ashley Constellation Champagne and Gold Constance Mirrors.

Classic leather Hudson button back sofas add a touch of luxury and are a nod to the gentleman’s library that would have been cherished in a grand house by the Iliffe family. While a bespoke bookshelf separates the bar from the lounge space, with a secret pocket door which opens to connect both spaces when required. In the main restaurant there is a hand painted mural to reflect the surrounding grounds and to add a little country manor house romance to the space.

The Laura Ashley Hotels 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.

Main image credit: Laura Ashley Hotels

PRODUCT WATCH: Wellness & wellbeing in the open air

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
PRODUCT WATCH: Wellness & wellbeing in the open air

As Hotel Designs focuses its lens on Hotel Concepts, editor Hamish Kilburn learns how Gessi is leading the way in launching innovative bathroom products inspired by nature and the great outdoors… 

Internal and external, closed and open, domestic and nature scale: ideally designers can eliminate all barriers with the Gessi Outdoor line in order to create a single grand dimension of physical and mental wellbeing. The free-standing shower columns of the Gessi Outdoor Wellness Sy- stem were specically conceived for outdoor spaces.

They offer innovative combinations of materials, nishes and treatments, with the goal of recreating the stylistic and functional pleasure of the Gessi Private Wellness System outdoors, for a private oasis of wellbeing or in public spaces such as spas and resorts.

The rened and discreet lines of the Gessi Outdoor Collections are naturally inserted into the landscape, creating a continuity and happy union between interior and exterior, a harmonious fusion with nature.

With an elegant, modern and discreet appearance, the Gessi G01 outdo- or shower gives spaces a re ned and contemporary style. Self-standing and created in stainless steel, this model is a winner thanks to its slim and essential design, and gives a special atmosphere to terraces, gardens and pools, the geometric angled tubular structure terminates with a directional showerhead equipped with special holes for a rich rainfall jet. The showerhead is available with a smooth surface treatment or in four different knurled patterns, while the vertical tubular body is equipped with elegant ring-shaped controls in tone-on-tone or contrasting nish, available in smo- oth or knurled texture. For greater practicality, this model features a design handshower with magnetic attachment. Also for the outdoor world, Gessi offers customizable details and coordinating elements.

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

Main image credit: Gessi

A legend reborn: Raffles Singapore reopens

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
A legend reborn: Raffles Singapore reopens

Raffles Singapore has announced its highly anticipated reopening. With interiors by the acclaimed Alexandra Champalimaud, the hotel’s sensitive design heralds an exciting new chapter in the iconic property’s rich history and heritage…

The infamous Raffles Singapore is now open, following the iconic hotel’s careful and sensitive three-phased restoration, which first began in February 2017. The meticulous restoration project, led by acclaimed interior designer Alexandra Champalimaud, was also supported by Aedas.

“There are few hotels in the world whose names have become virtually synonymous with the cities in which they are located – and none more so than the Raffles Hotel in Singapore. The newly restored Raffles will provide an experience like no other,” said Christian Westbeld, General Manager, Raffles Singapore. “It is our wish and desire that our guests will continue to create treasured memories at the hotel, while rediscovering what makes it so special – the distinctive architecture, heritage and legendary service.”

Discerning travellers can expect new levels of unrivalled comfort and inimitable service with enhanced suite experience, brought to life by the fabled Raffles Butlers, while enjoying the new and reimagined spaces at Raffles Singapore.

“Raffles Singapore reinvents emotional luxury.” – Jeannette Ho, Vice President, Raffles Brand and Strategic Relationships, Raffles Hotels and Resorts

Striking chandeliers hang down in modern nd contemporary restaurant

Image caption: La Dame de Pic. Credit: Raffles Singapore

“We are very pleased to be part of the reopening of the iconic Raffles Singapore officially returning to the city, refreshed, reimagined and revitalised,” commented Jeannette Ho, Vice President, Raffles Brand and Strategic Relationships, Raffles Hotels and Resorts. “This is where it all started and faithful to its roots, Raffles Singapore reinvents emotional luxury. As the hotel concludes its restoration and embarks on the next chapter, the return of this flagship property to Raffles Hotels & Resorts paves the way for the expansion of the brand as we deliver this same level of unparalleled service and sublime experiences to new destinations in cities such as Udaipur, London and Boston.”

The revitalised hotel offers luxurious all-suite accommodations, across nine distinct suite categories: State Room Suites, Courtyard Suites, Palm Court Suites, Personality Suites, Residence Suites, Promenade Suites, Studio Suites, Grand Hotel Suites and Presidential Suites. Residence, Promenade and Studio suites, are the three latest additions to the hotel’s existing line-up. The total suite count increases from 103 suites to 115 suites.

The Raffles Arcade has been newly outfitted with a charming Raffles Boutique and various bespoke retail brands. Guests and locals will also delight in exploring the worldly restaurants and bars at Raffles Singapore, including restaurant collaborations with Chef Anne-Sophie Pic, of the three-Michelin star Maison Pic in Valence, France; venerable French Master Chef Alain Ducasse; and Chef Jereme Leung, known for his innovative Chinese cooking. At the refreshed Long Bar, travellers will continue to enjoy the hotel’s most famous cocktail, the original Singapore Sling, along with the timeless tradition of tossing peanut shells on the floor.

Westbeld further added, “Raffles Singapore is one of the few remaining great 19th century hotels in the world and its restoration has been carefully designed to preserve its unique historic charm, while creating extraordinary experiences for our esteemed guests – a dedicated commitment from all of us at Raffles Singapore and also from our owner, Katara Hospitality.”

First opened in 1887, and declared a National Monument a century later by the Singapore Government in 1987, Raffles Singapore has through the years, gained both local and international recognition as an oasis for the well-travelled. It is a national treasure among Singaporeans who deeply value its historical significance and unique heritage. The last restoration was conducted from 1989 to 1991 where the hotel closed for two and a half years.

Main image credit: Accor/Raffles Singapore

SNEAK PEEK: Inside Hinode Hills Niseko Village, Japan

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
SNEAK PEEK: Inside Hinode Hills Niseko Village, Japan

Nestled at the south base of the 1308m Mount Niseko Annupuri, the design-led 79-key boutique hotel, Hinode Hills Niseko Village, operated by YTL Hotels, will open in Japan on December 1…

Named to pay homage to the rising sun, the elegantly furnished luxury all-suite Hinode Hills Niseko Village hotel is designed with a wabi-sabi aesthetic, unveiling its fine beauty through authenticity, natural forms, and the appreciation for nature.

Blending warm contemporary style with authentic Japanese aesthetics, and complemented with luxury hotel services and amenities, guests’ choice of multiple room and suite configurations up to three-bedrooms, provide a host of opportunities suitable for any type of merriment, from romantic getaways to large family vacations.

“The hotel is also strategically located adjacent to the Upper Village Gondola.”

Situated at the base of Mount Niseko Annupuri, Hinode Hills occupies a prime position at the heart of Niseko Village with stunning Mount Yotei views, ski-in, ski-out access, an in-house onsen, and a host of ski services available on property. The hotel is also strategically located adjacent to the Upper Village Gondola, which provides guests with the convenience of mobility around the mountain with easy lift access replacing the need to walk, drive or take a shuttle bus.

Services at Hinode Hills are held to the usual high standards of YTL Hotels, with concierge facilities and priority privileges at guests’ doorstep. Being part of an integrated resort managed by Niseko Village, all-mountain operations and experiences are designed to be seamless and guests are spoilt for choice with the variety of convivial social settings across diverse dining and retail venues, world-class facilities, indoor and outdoor attractions at The Green Leaf Niseko Village, Hilton Niseko Village, and at the heart of the village itself.

Image credit: YTL Hotels

“Hinode Hills raises the bar for luxury developments in Niseko and is committed to providing guests with a truly integrated and seamless experience,” says Luke Hurford, Senior Vice President of Strategy at YTL Hotels.” You will have the luxury of having your ski school instructors meeting you at your door, to ski-out directly to the ski area and lifts beside the hotel, the convenience of on-site gear rental and the advantage of the gondola beside the hotel to whisk you away to the village dining and shopping area.”

The highly anticipated hotel opened for reservations in April, and will officially open in December, adding to the strong portfolio of YTL Hotels.

Main image credit: YTL Hotels

NYC-based design firm uses technology to re-imagine the hotel bar

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
NYC-based design firm uses technology to re-imagine the hotel bar

A sculptural “Cubic Sky” inside La Concha, one of San Juan’s most iconic technology hotels, takes spatial design, sound, and lighting to the next level…

Design firm Cactus transforms club Fifty Eight inside La Concha Renaissance Resort from an underused space into a must-see design destination using the latest innovations in digital technology and architecture.

A sculptural, full-ceiling, architectural installation which is capable of creating electrifying patterns and reacting automatically to live music and programmed controls. Created from hundreds of individual, custom-made light boxes, Cubic Sky combines architecture and technical innovation for a jaw-dropping display.

Each light box of the chandelier is capable of creating a wide range of color and brightness individually. The ‘cubes’ are networked together and utilize custom-built software that visualises data using a combination of graphic design, algorithms, and animation.

Cubic Sky can generate natural, ambient patterns, react automatically to live music, or be controlled with a custom, tablet-based interface which allows DJ’s, artists and hosts to adjust light patterns and create ephemeral and bespoke experiences.

During the day, subtle changes in light color and brightness create beautiful ambient patternsin the room, mimicking the passing clouds of the Caribbean right outside. In the early evening, the colors of the sunset from that day are reflected by the light colors and natural patterns on the ceiling, evoking the beauty of the surrounding area. At night, the lounge area transforms into one of the region’s most unforgettable nightclubs. The ceiling can react to the live music below, using inputs from the audio system to change thepattern, color and intensity of the lights.

Cactus is an experiential design studio that creates work at the intersection of physical architecture and digital technology. The studio works for visionary clients across a range of industries including media, fitness, medicine, entertainment, automotive and financial services. All client work is united by one objective – to imagine, design, and build what is next.

In Conversation With: Fashion designer Jack Irving

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
In Conversation With: Fashion designer Jack Irving

Having previously designed statement outfits for many international music and fashion icons, Jack Irving’s alternative style has recently spilled out onto the hotel design scene. Editor Hamish Kilburn joins the fashion designer, in between photoshoots, to understand how two worlds have recently collided…

The brand ‘Jack Irving Studio’ and the creative man behind the logo are two very different things. One is bold, disobedient and you would expect – almost encourage – to cause an outrageous impression in almost any social scenario.

The other orders a lemonade on a hazy Thursday afternoon at a media interview as he catches his breath between work engagements. Opposites do attract, after all.

Made famous by creating outlandish outfits for the likes of Lady Gaga and The Spice Girls for their come-back tour, the talented story-telling designer, Jack Irving, made his mark on the fashion industry by producing items that infused glamour and engineered technology.

His innovative work recently emerged on my radar when he unveiled the result of a collaboration with W London Leicester Square, which has been the designer’s first interior design project to date. “The idea of working with W Hotels was mentioned to us at Pride London last year,” says Irving. “But it wasn’t until November, following my first show at the V&A, when we met the team to really discuss what we could do together.”

Fashion shoot of models on bed with cushion

Image credit: Charlotte Rutherford

Presented by a loose brief to bring a flavour of ‘Jack Irving’ into the hotel, it became clear that that the W brand was willing to give the designer the creative reins in order to produce a statement piece for their newly designed guestrooms and suites. “They wanted a replacement for the current cushions and bed throw that met brand standards,” he explains. “The bed, for us, became the canvas.”

One month after the brief was given, Irving pitched what he explained at the time to the client as a ‘crazy tech idea’ for the concept of new cushions. He wanted the items to be inspired his signature sea urchin style, which became famous by his work with Lady Gaga. Irving then wanted to make the interiors more instagrammable. The spiked pillows’ fabric would appear muted to the naked eye until they are brought to life through the click of a camera flash. Through the lens, the smart fabric would transform into an iridescent masterpiece. “To be honest, we were hesitant as to whether or not the client would see our vision,” explains the designer. “What we pitched was as far away from convention as we could have gone.”

Irving and his partner (in life as well as well as in business), Rhys Beynon, received a call from the client while they were on a yoga retreat in Goa over Christmas 2018. “They wanted to see prototypes the first week of January,” Irving explains. “At this point, the pressure for us was on to meet the deadline.”

QUICK-FIRE ROUND

Hamish Kilburn: What would a Jack Irving guestroom look like if you were to design it?
Jack Irving: It would be ridiculous – think sea urchin chairs and UFO beds. I also have the idea to design a Chesterfield sofa in the rainbow smart material.

HK: What’s been the most challenging part going from fashion to interiors?
JI: It hasn’t actually been that challenging because W Hotels were so on board with our idea.

HK: Where’s next on your travel bucket list?
JI: New Zealand and LA!

HK: How do you switch off from work?
JI: Both Rhys and I are really into techno. Oddly, it’s become our sanctuary.

HK: What’s your biggest bugbear when checking in to a conventional hotel?
JI: When hotels don’t stay in their lane.

HK: What materials are really inspiring you at the moment?
JI: For me, smart fabrics and metallic fabrics are really fun to play around with. I want to experiment more with the manufacturing of the material we have been using. That being said, you can’t rely on the fabric. The shape and structure is just as important.

Models on bed with cushion

Image credit: Charlotte Rutherford

With time depleting by the day, and with fabric supplies on order to be delivered when they returned home from India, the next challenge was to secure a manufacturer. “The word ‘impossible’ landed in our inbox a few times,” explains Irving. “We did receive a lot of kickback at this stage from manufacturers, mainly because of the demand and the order size.” Undeterred, Irving and Beynon’s ‘when there’s a will there’s a way’ approach led them both to source the materials themselves to prove that it could be done. “I remember sitting on the beach with Rhys making a cardboard model of the cushion,” says Irving. “It’s one thing drawing the design, but it becomes very real when designing a 3D model.”

As well as the shape of the accessory being unconventional, so too was the material that designer decided to work with. “We call it rainbow smart fabric,” he explains. “We were worried that it would look to synthentic when not lit up, but in reality it was the perfect material to use for creating that contrast.”

As with all creative projects at pitch stage, there is an air of uncertainty, especially when it comes to unveiling to clients a prototype as futuristic as this one. “I was terrified when it came to pitching because you just don’t know how it’s going to go,” admits Irving. “We hadn’t seen the new rooms that our statement accessories would sit in, so it could have gone either way, as these things often do. But they loved it, and the second prototype we made on the beach in Goa over Christmas became the product that’s in the W London today.”

Irving’s interior design work for W Hotels may be just a dip in the ocean for now, but the designer’s ability to disrupt convention through the use of innovative materials and shapes unquestionably makes him a true innovator on the international hotel design scene.

Main image credit: Jack Irving Studio

NEW FOR DESIGNERS & HOTELIERS: Bisque debuts new online platform

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
NEW FOR DESIGNERS & HOTELIERS: Bisque debuts new online platform

Pioneering British design brand Bisque has announced a new online platform for interior designers, specifiers and architects…

A new section of Bisque’s website has been developed specifically to cater to the demands of designers, specifiers and architects in order to provide this audience with all the information it may need to specify Bisque products in new projects and developments.

For more than 40 years, Bisque has been the brand of choice for interior designers thanks to its class-leading selection of designer radiators. In fact, Bisque has been specified in a wide range of projects, from big budget hotels to independent, boutique outlets. These include the The Savoy, Shrangi-La at the Shard and Chewton Glen. Whatsmore, Bisque is also an accredited partner of SBID, the Society of British Interior Designers, founded by Vanessa Brady OBE, who was also a judge for The Brit List 2017.

“For a long time Bisque has enjoyed fruitful relationships with some of the UK’s finest interior designers, from both established names to up-and-coming talent,” explained Brand leader Ellie Sawdy. “The launch of this new section on our website signifies our ongoing commitment to providing designers with all they need to specify our products, and make the entire process as seamless as possible.”

Bisque provides a range of services for interior designers, which can be accessed via the new platform. This includes: an online resource library with downloadable images and CAD files, bespoke sizes and finishes, bespoke brackets and fittings, and a dedicated technical service team to assist throughout the entire process, from design to installation.

Main image credit: Designer – Edwina Boase/Bisque

 

More than 70% of Brits believe hotels can be more eco-friendly

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
More than 70% of Brits believe hotels can be more eco-friendly

A survey has revealed what Brits really think when it comes to hotels’ efforts to be eco-friendly… 

76 per cent of British holidaymakers feel hotels can play a larger role than they currently are in being ‘greener’, a study has found. The survey, carried out by Taxi2Airport, also concluded that most Brits will seek to walk, bike or use public transport to explore the destination around the hotel.

Meanwhile, 71 per cent have a strong desire to pack as light as possible. In turn, this will have an indirect positive effect on their flight, because if a plane weighs less – it increases fuel-efficiency and decreases the carbon emissions it produces. 66 per cent of the 1,468 respondents stated they will make a conscious effort to turn off the TV, lights, heating and air conditioning (AC) when not in use or present in the room.

Interestingly, since toiletries such as toothpaste, shower gels and shampoos are provided on a complimentary bases in a majority of hotels – it can be easy to use them wastefully as they are ‘free’. Bearing this in mind, 54 per cent will only throw away and/or ask for new toiletries once they have finished their existing set.

Fascinatingly, 67 per cent believed hotels should take the initiative to include a recyclableas well as non-recyclable bin, so they can separate any rubbish in their room between the two. Surprisingly, a sizeable 55 per cent of travellers would be happy if their hotel bathroom had a low flow shower head and toilet – both going a long way towards reducing water consumption.

Main image credit: Zuri Zanzibar

Checking In: Down the rabbit hole in Devon’s Glazebrook House Hotel

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Checking In: Down the rabbit hole in Devon’s Glazebrook House Hotel

In search for English eccentricity, editor Hamish Kilburn checks in to Glazebrook House Hotel to explore the Alice-in-Wonderland meets Rule Britania interiors, designed by Timothy Oulton

When Peter and Fran Hamman, the owners of Glazebrook House Hotel, originally embarked on their tremendous journey to open a statement luxury boutique hotel in South Devon, they were faced with several key decisions to make.

The first, and arguably the most important: who was going to design the interiors of the hotel to help turn bring to life their vision of an Alice-in-Wonderland-themed hotel? If there was anyone who qualified in sensitively making this dream a reality it was internationally renowned British revivalist designer Timothy Oulton, a somewhat obvious choice considering his quirky portfolio of work.

Oulton’s alternative, somewhat edgy charm can be felt immediately upon entering the hotel’s lobby. Two statement chandeliers hang from the tall ceiling above a deliberately distressed-looking rug. On one side of the room, past a striking chesterfield sofa, is a white sculpture of a young Queen Elizabeth. On the other side, past two clashing metallic armchairs, and above the mantelpiece are the hulls of mini boats hang on wall, injects a subtle sense-of-place. Meanwhile, an oversized, eye-catching union jack curtain hangs behind an understated check-in desk.

Image caption: The lobby | Image credit: ACT Studios

Since opening in September 2014, the hotel has become as famous for its food and beverage offering as it has its award-winning design. The elegant, intimate F&B area is balanced precisely with refined parquet flooring and reclaimed British oak tables, which adds an element of welcome authenticity. Fun details such as British-made china and shining silverware trays create a bold yet brilliant choice of wallcoverings. Across the hall, an equally impressive bar area spills out onto a sun-trap terrace and connects to the cigar room, which features a sculpture of Winston Churchill smoking an illuminated cigar aptly positioned next to the liquor cabinet.

While corridors in some hotels naturally become a dead space that lack design and inspiration, Glazebrook House the hotel embraces the unconventional. Bizarre artefacts hang proudly on the walls, such as traditional horns and Oulton-style bowler hats. The landing is also a clash of ideas working together in harmony. A feature wall of traditional street signs reflects the main staircase, while furniture designed to be a nod towards Britain’s equestrian style – think upside-down saddle-inspired armchairs – create a relaxed yet refined feel.

“My nest for the evening, The Mad Hatter Suite, is full of idiosyncratic moments.”

Nine individually designed en-suite guestrooms, all designed in homage to Lewis Carroll’s most famous work, have been given apt names, such as White Rabbit (the hotel’s design-led disabled access room) and the twin room Tweedle Deez to reference further the overarching theme down the rabbit hole. My nest for the evening, The Mad Hatter Suite, is full of idiosyncratic moments, which include topsy-turvy dollhouses on the walls above a brown studded-leather headboard and low-hanging chandeliers tied with thick rustic rope, which juxtaposes solid marble side tables that sit underneath. The spacious ensuites in each room offer minimalist luxury, complete with Geberit WCs, Villeroy & Boch basins and Pura shower units.

Voted, among other award wins, as the best boutique hotel for 2018 by Visit England, the converted Georgian Manor house is full to the brim of personality and charm at every corner. Combining the best in British design with one-off quality elements thoughtfully thrown in to add new layers, the design story of Glazebrook House Hotel has been a methodical one. On the surface it seems that arbitrary objects have been paired together. But the realty is that every item sheltered in the shell of the building helps to create a seamless and unforgettable hotel guest experience for all.

Main image credit: ACT Studios

CASE STUDY: Lighting and wiring a Grade II listed boutique hotel

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
CASE STUDY: Lighting and wiring a Grade II listed boutique hotel

Hamilton Litestat reports on its lighting and wiring work inside The Lime Tree Hotel, a family-run business in a Grade II-listed building, located in south Belgravia, London…

Packed with original character and grandeur, The Lime Tree Hotel’s high ceilings, open fireplaces and original cornicing have been painstakingly preserved for almost two centuries, providing guests with a charming, elegant and warm welcome.

The hoteliers sourced quality designer accessories and refurbished the guest rooms, with each suite featuring different wall coverings to create a high-end designer boutique feel. To unify the varied design scheme, they wanted to standardise the style of lamps used, hand-selecting Astro and Pooky lamps, and continue this consistency with coordinated electrical wiring accessories. They needed a solution that would work throughout the property, complementing the look and feel of each room and providing that sought-after high-quality finish.

To be in-keeping with the rich heritage of the Grade II listed property, the Goodsalls wanted to avoid large multi-functional control plates that felt too modern. Instead they were seeking a solution that would give a more traditional, boutique feel with single and double plates of a standard size.

During the research process, the Goodsalls came across Hamilton at a major independent hotel trade show. The sleek, sophisticated profile of Hamilton’s Sheer collection of switch plates and sockets, which fit almost flush to the wall, interested the hoteliers and they enlisted Hamilton to support in the hotel refurbishment.

Image credit: Hamilton Litestat

The Solution: Hamilton advised the Goodsalls on plate styles and finishes to suit the Astro lamps that were to be installed on either side of the bed in each guest room. Featuring a built-in reading light, the Astro lamps are a shade of bronze with crisp white shade. Hamilton developed a bespoke solution for the project, manufacturing its Sheer collection of plates in Etrium Bronze, a finish not typically available in this plate design but was an almost identical colour match to the finish of the Astro lamps. The minimalist flat plate Sheer design provides an elegant and understated designer solution.

Although deeply respectful of the building’s original features, the Goodsalls were well aware that guests expect modern functionality, such as USB charging, so Hamilton supplied 2.1A/1A dual USB double switched sockets for each side of the bed. A separate rocker switch was also installed alongside the USB plate that controlled the corresponding Astro bedside lamp.

For the main lighting in the guest rooms, a one-gang rotary dimmer acted as the master light switch, with a two-gang rocker switch to control the en-suite lighting. Both were finished in the sophisticated and on-trend Etrium Bronze finish for a coordinated look.

A matching 2.1A/1A dual USB double switched socket was also installed above the writing desk to support business guests that use the working area. Meanwhile, to keep functional wiring hidden away and the desk area clear, a double switch socket and telephone plate was installed under the desk.

The Result: Hamilton’s quality products, developed and manufactured in the UK, provided the perfect finishing touch to the Lime Tree Hotel. The design and finish of the switch plates and sockets match effortlessly with the hotel’s designer lighting accessories, while complementing and coordinating with the décor in each of the individual room designs. The hotel owners are delighted with the finished result.

“The quality and finish of the solutions supplied by Hamilton is exquisite and we’re proud to be able to offer this setting to our guests,” said Matthew Goodsall. “Throughout the process we have felt thoroughly supported, with the Hamilton team going the extra mile to supply samples that helped us to quickly reach a final decision on products and move forward with the refurbishment. The team’s enthusiasm, interest in the project and getting the finer details spot on has really added something extra to our final interior design scheme.

“Wherever possible, we wanted to source British manufactured products and support the UK industry, and we’re pleased to have been able to do this with Hamilton,” adds Matthew.“The team was big enough to take on our bespoke request but small enough to care; I don’t think we would have received this level of support from a larger company.”

Gavin Williams, Hamilton’s Head of Marketing, added: “This refined period property needed careful handling to ensure that the electrical wiring solution met the needs of guests while also adhering to the age and charm of the Grade II-listed building. We feel we found the perfect design and finish, and we’re delighted that hoteliers Matthew and Charlotte feel the same way.”

Main image credit: Hamilton Litestat

The Brit List 2019 Awards: Meet the judges

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
The Brit List 2019 Awards: Meet the judges

Now that nominations have opened for The Brit List 2019 Awards, we would like you to meet our fabulous judges, handpicked in order to make this year’s process to find the most influential British designers, hoteliers, architects and suppliers the biggest and best yet… 

The Brit List 2019 is back, once again launching its nationwide search to find Britain’s leading interior designers, hoteliers and architects. Nominations are now open (until August 9) and, what’s more, the process in which to apply remains completely free.

This year’s judges, who have all individually been hand-selected, each come from a different sectors of design, architecture and hospitality in order to keep the process fair, creative and open to all.

The judges for The Brit List 2019 Awards are:

Harriet Forde, British Institute of Interior Design President (Industry Partner)

Harriet Forde, BIID President

Harriet Forde, who was recently interviewed by Hotel Designs,  is the founder and director of Harriet Forde Design, which provides a comprehensive range of interior design services predominantly based in the commercial property and hotel industries, as well as the high-end residential housing market. “The BIID are the UK’s leading professional body for interior designers and we are delighted to partner with the Brit List for 2019,” said Forde. “Our past president Gilly Craft had only good things to say about the process of judging the event and I am excited to participate this year.”

Hamish Kilburn, editor of Hotel Designs

Hamish Kilburn, who will also be hosting The Brit List 2019 Awards on November 21, is the editor of Hotel Designs, which is the leading international hotel design website.

In 2014, Kilburn started his career in the industry when, as features editor, he helped launch a new international hotel design publication into the market.

Since then, he has traveled the globe and has reviewed some of the world’s most impressive hotels. In his day-to-day role, Kilburn is responsible for curating the content for Hotel Designs, bringing his readers the latest happenings, reviews, and features in the world of international hotel design.

Jacu Strauss, founder and creative director of LORE Studio

Jacu Strauss, Founder of Lore Studio | Image credit: Emily Andrews

Jacu Strauss, who was recently interviewed by Hotel Designs, is the creative director at LORE group and founder of LORE studio.

A qualified architect with a demonstrated history of working in the design industry, Strauss’ portfolio of projects includes The Pulitzer Amsterdam and Sea Containers London among many others. The architect and designer is now dipping his toe into the world of hospitality and will soon be opening his first hotel in Washington D.C.

Florence Rolfe, Former Deputy Decoration Editor, House & Garden

Florence Rolfe, Former Deputy Decoration Editor, House & Garden

Florence Rolfe, who is a regular contributor to Hotel Designs, is an interior stylist and art director based in London. Her career began with Condé Nast on House & Garden Magazine where she spent several years producing their monthly features, leaving after seven years as Deputy Decoration Editor. Since then she has worked with some of the most renowned interior photographers, producing & directing imagery for some of the biggest luxury brands including The One & Only Resorts, Nobu Restaurants, Heal’s, Habitat, Marks & Spencer, And So To Bed, Ballymore Homes, TH2 amongst others, and has had her work published in various national magazines including Vogue, GQ & Brides. With a background in publishing, Florence knows exactly how to style an image to make it appealing to editors and consumers alike.

Edward Webb, Director of Development Management, Nuveen Real Estate

Edward Webb, Director of Development Management, Nuveen Real Estate

Edward Webb is the director of development management at Nuveen Real Estate, which is a premier global investment manager that has been helping clients meet their goals for more than 100 years, making the world a better place along the way.

Mel Yates, Photographer 

Mel Yates, Photographer

Starting out as a portrait photographer working with a long list of subjects such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Javier Bardem, Jude Law, Keira Knightley, Tom Hanks, Mel Yates began to change direction and reconnect with his design background (originally trained as a product designer at Central St Martins) and now works internationally both as a stills photographer and video maker for numerous design related clients. In addition to photographing or filming designers such as Sir David Adjaye, Philip Treacy, Philippe Starck, Ron Arad, Tom Dixon, Yates shoots environments, people and objects for advertising, books, brochures, editorial and hotel clients, as well as interior and architectural projects. Hotel clients include The Four Seasons, ME and One & Only Resorts.

The judges will select the final 75 most inspirational and influential people in British design, hotels and architecture, as well as selecting this year’s individual winners of the following awards:

  • Interior Designer of the Year
  • Architect of the Year
  • Hotelier of the Year
  • Best in Tech
  • The Eco Award 
  • Best in British Product Design – NEW CATEGORY FOR 2019
  • Outstanding Contribution to the Hospitality Industry

On November 21, the shortlisted finalists of designers, hoteliers, architects as well as key suppliers to the industry will gather at Patch East, London where The Brit List 2019 will be unveiled along with the individual winners.

Early-bird tickets for the award ceremony are now available to purchase: 

Suppliers: £99 + VAT (£150 + VAT after early bird offer expires after August 4)
Designers, hoteliers, developers and architects: £10 + VAT (£20 + VAT after early bird offer expires after August 4)

Please click here if you are a supplier to the industry to secure your ticket NOW!

Please click here if you are either a designer, hotelier, developer or architect and secure your ticket NOW!

Headline Partner: Crosswater

Event Partner: Hamilton Litestat:

Industry Partner: BIID:

Eccleston Square Hotel unveils major tech upgrade

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Eccleston Square Hotel unveils major tech upgrade

Known widely for being one of the most technologically advanced luxury boutique hotels in the world, Eccleston Square Hotel London becomes even smarter following its recent tech renovation… 

Eccleston Square Hotel London, which was  the setting for a unique Hotel Designs hotel review carried out by tech expert Jason Bradbury, has unveiled its latest technology upgrade, complete with Artificial intelligence and the 3D television.

Olivia Byrne, Company Director of Eccleston Square Hotel, sophisticatedly integrated a number intelligent, and A.I. cloud-based technology systems. Her smart strategy to automate as much of the business as possible saw her investing in more sophisticated systems based on modern technologies and machine learning. Why? Says Byrne, “Artificial intelligence and the integration of technology, done well, saves time so that energies can be spent on the guest experience rather than dealing with manual work behind a computer.”

Using a unique combination of A.I. and cloud-based technologies including MEWS, ATOMIZE, AIRWAVE and 4K Google Chromecast for screen mirroring – the hotel offers a very slick, A.I. incorporated solution for guest information, entertainment and property management. It is one of the first hotels in the world to exclusively provide 4K TV content to all guests, with the technology for everyone to enjoy their own personalised content like Netflix and YouTube – offering a continuation of the tech luxuries and conveniences guests enjoy at home. Eccleston Square Hotel is also the first hotel to exclusively use Sonos Beam soundbars in all the guest rooms offering the ultimate in sound quality.

Guests control their rooms using VDA’s Vitrum glassware collection. The touch-sensitive keypads have etched icons for each room function and are totally intuitive to use. Interfaces with the hotel’s building management systems mean that hotel staff can automatically set the rooms to a dormant mode, whereby unnecessary items are switched off and the heating/cooling turned down when the room is vacant to save energy. Digital convenience is everywhere. UK, US and European power sockets are provided within the rooms. Portable players, iPads, iPhones and PC’s can be easily charged or connected to the room TV via in-wall docking points. Thought has even been given to providing charging points on either side of the bed; these remain active even when the guest leaves the room and when other systems are switched off. A complimentary mobile smartphone provides unlimited free calls to British and international mobile and landline numbers – a great bonus for UK inbound guests. The smartphone also features an in-built concierge and butler service for hassle-free room service and requests for assistance. To be used both inside and outside the hotel, it also offers 4G for unlimited and complimentary browsing, plus handy shortcuts to recommended shopping, dining and transport links. Rooms also feature UK, European and US power sockets – and if that isn’t enough, there is always a handy supply of free-to-borrow adapters and chargers. Wi-Fi in the hotel is super-fast and complimentary.

Eccleston Square Hotel is the epitome of affordable luxury. To add to the comfort of the guest, every bedroom offers the ‘world’s best beds’ sourced from the acclaimed Swedish manufacturers, Hästens, which are handcrafted electronically adjustable beds are gift wrapped in the finest Italian sheeting and luxury non-allergenic bedding.

Guests can also enjoy a ready supply of complimentary Nespresso coffee, freshly made pots of tea, and drinking water – and those who book directly also enjoy a daily re-stocked free mini bar. Eccleston Square Hotel’s media lounge is ideal for meetings and events, it boasts an impressive (and huge) Media Wall. Super high-speed Wi-Fi and modern technology allows for the screen to be used for presentations as well as private cinema screenings. When not in use for business, guests like to watch their favourite 3D television and sporting events and films in cinematic glory.

Something particularly unique to Eccleston Square hotel is that guests may use the incredible private residential gardens which offer a calm, botanical oasis away from the prying eyes and stimulation of this capital city. The beautiful mature gardens feature a variety of picnicking spots, a tennis court and lots of dappled shade, it’s little wonder the BBC recently declared them as one of the best kept garden squares in London.

Some of the hi-tech treats include:

• 4K Smart TVs
• Complimentary smart phone with free regional and international phone calls and data
• Superfast Wi-Fi
• International power sockets
• Smart Glass walls
• Hästens electronically adjustable beds
• Automatic front door
• Screen mirroring
• Sonos Beam soundbars
• VDA Vitrum glass touch sensitive control keypads
• A.I chatbots
• Integrated Cloud Based Hotel PMS
• Smart automated revenue management system

Main image credit: Eccleston Square Hotel London

INDUSTRY INSIGHT: Styling a hotel for design press

1024 768 Hamish Kilburn
INDUSTRY INSIGHT: Styling a hotel for design press

With first impressions now being made before guests have even considered checking in, making a hotel’s style, personality and character pop in photographs is fundamental in any successful launch campaign. Florence Rolfe, former senior stylist at House & Garden – and judge for The Brit List 2019 – explains some of the tricks of the trade… 

The overriding question I am often asked is: “What do I have to do in order to get my brand into a leading publication?”

As we well know, the role of the journalist is to find the next big scoop, to draw the reader in with interesting content, and ultimately: to tell a story.

When it comes to creating engaging imagery, my advice is that your visuals should also tell a story. They need to express a lifestyle, and, moreover when it comes to hotels, where there is an abundance, that story needs to be aspirational. It needs to offer access to something that you wouldn’t usually experience, and conclusively to communicate this. The image should encapsulate the incredible journey you will have. What do we enjoy most about staying at hotels? For me, I like to indulge: step into my room, kick off my shoes and slip into that soft luxurious robe. I scout out the brand of miniature toiletries carefully curated in the bathroom. Perhaps run a bubble bath, then later tuck into high-thread count, Egyptian cotton sheets freshly turned down by housekeeping, before indulging in a chocolate left on the pillow.

“Whilst emulating the comfort of a home is important, the magic of hotels is also the escapist quality.”

But how can we convey this sublime experience into a photograph? Whilst emulating the comfort of a home is important, the magic of hotels is also the escapist quality. A luxurious element and impression of pampering is key. Detail shots of gorgeous bed linen, or a beautifully presented breakfast on a balcony, or a section of the bed with a thoughtfully styled bedside table, attractive looking cocktails at a beautifully stacked bar, or a good looking dish prepared by the chef. An evocative shot could also capture a neatly rolled towel pristinely perched on a sun lounger.

Are there any quirky design details around the hotel that the stylist and photographer are able to hone in on? Perhaps an interesting art collection, extensive book collection, rooftop pool with panoramic views, or an inviting private beach? Perhaps an unusual design element like a bath tub on the balcony – think The Zetter Townhouse, Marylebone. Draw your focus onto the interior design elements in a hotel, like an oversized bedhead – Kit Kemp style – or a mega chandelier, as seen in The Corinthia London’s lobby. Focus on the materials at your disposal: the tiles, upholstery, curtains, bed linen. Do they contrast with other fittings like dramatic brass door handles? The writing desk in a hotel room. Or a big beautiful armchair. These furnishings are interesting to photograph to show guests how differently the bedroom space can be used (outside the standard realm of bed and en-suite bathroom).

Consider the different mix of materials not as typical or practical in our everyday living spaces: silk curtains, bed throws, velvet armchairs. The prevailing impact that interiors trends have for press and bloggers means that in this day and age photography and styling is really important.

Think about whether you want the pictures to look as though they are ‘guest ready’, preparing for the customers arrival or whether they should encompass a natural ‘lifestyle’ quality? Do you want to create your bedroom shots with a more ‘lived in’ feel. This could be a messy bed, for example. If your shots have been commissioned purely for website purposes, I would stick to ‘guest ready’. Lifestyle are great for video and social media content. I would also always advise having a model on hand for any lifestyle imagery as the human element not only brings things to life, also helps scale in a photograph. A mix of the two works well for website, brochure and social media content. Movement can still be created in a still life image: a running bath or shower, lit candles or a barman pouring a drink or shaking a cocktail.

If the budget allows, I would suggest hiring a stylist and good photographer to bring these elements to life. My job as a stylist is to create this ‘home from home’ environment in a photograph, achieved by sourcing props in interesting shapes and sizes that I know will always photograph well.  You can never go wrong with beautiful flowers. They bring any image to life. Not only will they provide that pop of colour if needed in the photograph, but they can hugely help image proportions.

Flowers is another element I would suggest carefully considering for your branding. Take a look at your surroundings: which flowers and/or plants are native to the country or area that your hotel is based? A hotel or resort based in South Africa might decide to stick with their native flower, which in this case is the ‘Protea’, whereas a hotel or resort in Mexico might opt for succulents in their imagery. As we are all aware, flowers can be pricey and don’t always last long. This isn’t always ideal when you’re on a long shoot, as they need to look as fresh as possible for every shot. Faux flowers might be a good option. Once renowned for having a bad reputation, these days there are some beautifully crafted, really realistic ones available. A good selection of hardback books in various sizes and colours are always useful to fill a neglected area.

To create an image that not only gets you into the press, but also hooks your target market, you need to create emotion. Put yourself in the guest’s shoes. Do not simply take a cold image of a smart room, but rather bring that room to life. Allow the reader to envisage how they would feel when they walk through the door into your hotel room and sense all the wonderful things around them, which you’ve so carefully thought out for them.

Main image credit: CitzenM Kuala Lumpar

PRODUCT WATCH: Sekers launches new collection of faux wool plains

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
PRODUCT WATCH: Sekers launches new collection of faux wool plains

Recommended Supplier Sekers launches ARCADIA – Brodie & Glenmore…

Sekers introduces ARCADIA, a collection of faux wool plains including a melton and a broken twill texture suitable for contract upholstery and accessories. Available in a versatile palette of refined heather tones ranging from soft sophisticated neutrals to saturated jewel tones, Arcadia is an ideal choice for the designer specifying for the hospitality, leisure and marine markets.

With a high abrasion performance and supplied with a crib 5 flame retardant backing, Arcadia is ideal for the contract market, from pubs and hotels to cruise ships, meeting all relevant UK, US and IMO standards for upholstery.

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

Main image credit: Sekers

Concept to completion: Stock Exchange Hotel, Manchester

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Concept to completion: Stock Exchange Hotel, Manchester

As the opening date draws ever nearer, Stock Exchange Hotel in Manchester is starting taking form. Hotel Designs caught up with architecture firm jmarchitects to understand how the company restored a historic city building so that it can shelter Manchester’s new kind luxury hotel… 

The Manchester Stock Exchange building is a Grade II listed, fine example of Edwardian Baroque architecture.

Built between 1904 and 1906 and designed by Bradshaw, Glass and Hope, this historically symbolic institution has been lovingly extended and refurbished to create a new boutique hotel with a restaurant headed by Chef Tom Kerridge and a luxury penthouse residence.

When co-owners Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs first purchased the building, it comprised of three floors of office space which were converted in the 1980’s. These sat above a previously popular ground floor restaurant housed under a magnificent domed ceiling. Several trees had rooted themselves on the roof and had spread through the drainpipes, unfortunately causing water and material damage to the historic asset.

Stripping the building back to its bare bones, retaining only historical features and carefully preserving rooms of historical significance was the necessary starting point for the restoration and refurbishment. This process provided the opportunity to sensitively strengthen the existing structure in preparation for a two-storey roof extension.

Architect studio, jmarchitects began the design process with a thorough appraisal of the building and a brief to create a unique boutique hotel and restaurant with a luxury penthouse residence; focussing on the guest’s experience through the building while paying homage to its history.

Artist impression of public areas

image credit/caption: Artist impression of public areas,/Autoban

“Several schemes to extend the building were explored with the client in virtual reality, arriving at an extrusion of the existing mansard roof form, set back from the building frontage and clad in monolithic zinc.,” says Laura Turner, Architect, jmarchitects. “A contemporary insertion routed into the building via a seven-storey sculptural staircase in place of the former 1980’s circulation core.”

The complex nature of the historic building fabric was unveiled during the strip-out, which necessitated an ever-evolving design approach in adaption to the building’s needs. This was executed by working in close collaboration with a design team of engineers and specialists.

Artist impression of guestroom/

Image caption/credit: Artist impression of guestroom/ Autoban

The interiors are designed by internationally renowned, Istanbul-based, multidisciplinary design studio Autoban. The finished designs are opulent yet elegant, drawing on the building’s material palette of original marble, brass and woodwork.

“After three years testing and developing designs with the team we are thrilled to see this 100 year old building repurposed for modern use; bringing it up to date with current standards and technologies to see it through the next century,” adds Andrew Rogers, Director, jmarchitects. “We are confident that this sensitive, yet extensive refurbishment and extension will see The Stock Exchange become the first choice for hotel accommodation and dining in this fantastic city. We eagerly await the November opening and the excitement it will bring to those who visit.”

The Stock Exchange will be welcoming guests once again on November 15,  2019 as the first ever Relais & Châteaux member in Manchester.

Main image credit: jmarchitects/Stock Exchange Hotel Manchester

Designing Beijing’s newest destination bar

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Designing Beijing’s newest destination bar

The social hotspot bar Union, which is sheltered in The Opposite House  has been inspired by simple elegance and seamless hospitality in mind…

The Opposite House has announced the launch of UNION – a bar exuding eleganceand comfort, the free spirit of an artist’s studio infused with hospitality that curates the guest’s experience. With a 20th century modernist sensibility, showcasing artwork and objects in an environment reminiscent of International Expos and drinks inspired by the ancient Silk Road, the space responds to the versatility ofguest’s needs through time.

UNION was designed by leading, New York-based design firm, AvroKO. Since its launch in 2001, AvroKO hasearned a reputation as one of the most innovative design firms in the field, due in large part to the group’sintegrated design process and focus on creating emotionally connected experiences. Seemingly whimsical in nature, UNION was strategically designed to have a clear social flow; copper architectural frames and metal mesh sheets showcase artwork, sculptures and objects, drawing in and engaging guests, whilst hidden elements such as the bar trolley, spicery wall and DJ booths enable a seamless transition from day to night.

Designed by AvroKO’s Bangkok studio, the interiors were inspired by potter, Lucie Rie’s, 20th century modernist studio – a beautiful, yet versatile, space that was suited to living, working and socialising. With the simple elegance of well-executed hospitality in mind, they created a space that enables exceptional levels of service and functionality, without compromising the guest experience.

UNION aims to create a sense of belonging and discovery, evoking the sense of witnessing something for the first time. A balance of ceremony and warmth create a personal, authentic experience, whilst a carefully curated soundtrack allows the bar to seamlessly transition through day to night with the perfect eclectic mix of tempo, BPM, energy levels and genres.

UNION offers a refined experience that celebrates the flavours, ingredients, customs and drinking traditions of the Silk Road. A sophisticated drinks menu consists of an extensive wine list made up of 60 bins that are all available by the glass as well as selection of signature cocktails and alcohol-free drinks. The wine list changes monthly and whilst it features some well-known wineries the list is carefully curated to provide representation for lesser known producers, hard to find bottles and biodynamic wines

As for the signature cocktail list, it encapsulates a diverse range of flavours inspired by international tastes; non-alcoholic creations include Spring breeze (a representation of Eastern Chinese flavours) which haspear, vanilla, coconut, citric acid and sea salt , whilst the traditional cocktail menu includes highlights such as Genghis Khan Martini (Mongolian representation) with French Gin, Mongolia Milk Wine, Dry Vermouth, Elderflower, Coconut and Sea Salt.

The Opposite House, located in the Sanlitun district is an intriguing urban hotel designed by eminent Japanese architect, Kengo Kuma. Its contemporary style and abundance of space perfectly complement the refreshingly individual service. More new spaces will be unveiled throughout the remainder of 2019.

Main image credit: The Opposite House

Hotel Summit 2019 bridges the gap between hotel buyers and suppliers

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hotel Summit 2019 bridges the gap between hotel buyers and suppliers

Forum Events’ premium meet-the-buyers event, Hotel Summit, put on yet another spectacular event with guest speakers including representatives from The Lanesborough, Great Hotels Of The World and Areen Design, among many others…

Settling in a new home, located in the quintessentially British surroundings in the Oxfordshire countryside, Heythrop Park welcomed hoteliers, designers and suppliers alike for this year’s hotly anticipated Hotel Summit.

More than 60 procurement professionals from leading hotels around the UK such as The Lanesborough, The Beaumont Hotel and The Gainsborough Bath Spa and 30 supplier partners attended The Summit that was sheltered within the 18thcentury hotel, which combines both elegant heritage design with contemporary areas, making it the perfect venue for one of Forum Events’ leading meet-the-buyers concept for the hotel industry.

The two-day kicked off with an opening presentation with Rita Alves Machado, VP of sales and marketing for Great Hotels Of The World who joined editor Hamish Kilburn for a live interview on the topic of blesiure. “There should be more focus on public, intelligent areas when it comes to designing for bleisure guests,” Machado said. “For me, it’s about personalization, we look for that in our members, what they can do that will differentiate from others in an authentic way.”

Andrew Linwood, Head of Hospitality Design at Areen Design, aptly followed with a presentation entitled: How Design Adds Value To A Hospitality Brand. “Branding is not only the name above the door,” he said to the audience. “It’s about good design and good service working together.”

Meanwhile, Francisco Macedo, Operations Director for Clivedon House stood up in front of the audience to explain how to create a winning team, using personal anecdotes to explain how he has curated his army of staff in order to offer a seamless service within the hotel.

After a morning of face-to-face meetings with suppliers, delegates joined to attend a speaker session with Marco Novella, Managing Director of The Lanesborough, followed by a short live interview where Kilburn delved into what it takes to be at the helm of one of London’s most prestigious luxury hotels. “It’s been important to react to the right trends,” explained Novella. “Wellness, for example, is a very important factor for The Lanesborough, and our aim with the club and spa was very much to lead wellness and wellbeing.”

Following a lavish gala dinner and entertainment, delegates and suppliers gathered for a second day of pre-scheduled face-to-face meetings.

Partners:

ADI Trading Ltd, Airwave Europe, Alchemy House of Design, Birchall Team, Brushbox, Castrads, Discover Kangen Water, Elavon, Fortune Brands, Gallant, Good Energy, HCI, Hotel Champ, iBal Designs, Landmark Specialist Solutions, Ligne Roset Contract, Matrix Fitness, Mitre Linen, Out of Edan, Parkside, Phillip Jeffries, Portable Floormaker & Barlock Bars, Project Blinds, Riskmonitor Limited, Samsung Electronics, Tevalis Ltd, Timage, Toothbuckle, Virdor, Zennio

Next year’s Hotel Summit will take place in April 27 – 28 at Five Lakes Resort, Colechester. If you are interested in exhibiting at the 2020 event, please contact Jennie Lane on 01992 374098 or j.lane@forumevents.co.uk.

Checking In: Zafiro Palace Hotel Palmanova

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Checking In: Zafiro Palace Hotel Palmanova

Past the old town of Palma’s cobbled streets sits a newly designed timeless hotel, Zafiro Palace Hotel Palmanova, which was designed by Marga Rotgeron. Chantal Borciani checks in to review… 

With almost guaranteed blue skies and sunshine for an average of more than 300 days per year year, it comes with little surprise that Zafiro Palace Hotel Palmanova on the island of Mallorca has been designed to make the most of natural light so that it floods in to the guest areas at every possible opportunity.

Upon entering the lobby, a double-height atrium with floor to ceiling glass ensures the connection between the interior scheme and the outdoors is seamless. Overlooking the hotel’s central garden and pools, as do all suites, restaurants and lounge areas, first impressions are that of a open and airy design scheme.

Located on the south west coast of Mallorca, 15 minutes from Palma Old Town’s cobbled lanes, Zafiro Palace Hotel Palmanova marries contemporary style with home-from-home comforts.

“The Zafiro hotel is imbued with a deep sense of connection to the island of Mallorca throughout.”

Run by the Mallorcan Plomer family, initially by Tomeu Plomer and now headed up by his daughter Antonia, the Zafiro hotel is imbued with a deep sense of connection to the island of Mallorca throughout. Native Mallorcan plants, for example, dot the gardens amid myriad swaying palms and the artwork, photography, fixtures and fittings have been selected from Mallorcan and Spanish purveyors.

Image credit: Zafiro Palace Hotel Palmanova

Opened in 2017, Antonia Plomer worked with Mallorca-based interior designer Marga Rotgeron on the hotel design, with an aim to deliver a Mediterranean look that is modern and stylish, ornamental yet not overloaded and practical for guests.

“Down the sweeping staircase from the reception, the cocktail bar takes centre stage.”

Down the sweeping staircase from the reception, the cocktail bar takes centre stage. This octagonal centrepiece is hewn from black marquina marble purchased from local suppliers and imported from Italy. Commissioned by the Plomers, a sculptural 3D art installation occupies the double height wall adjacent, imagined to reflect Mallorca’s foliage, nature and land. The pleated trellis is made from acebuche olive wood, and textured cottons, harmonised by gold and ochre tones. Designed and produced by Palma-based ABA ART LAB and F. Schalekamp, its form deploys branches, some bare and naked, others adorned by texture, and adds a note of drama to the bar area.

In a hotel ‘made for families, by families’ these rich artistic touches add intrigue and a sense of refinement that is usually the preserve of adult-only establishments. The choice of Edison light bulbs, large spherical white orb lights to illuminate the gardens, modernist wire chandeliers and sleek lighting in the a la carte restaurants, alongside the bespoke art afford this hotel a welcome contemporary edge and leave a long-lasting impression.

The hotel’s 240 suites range from spacious junior suites to penthouse suites, the latter equipped with a bedroom, lounge, roof terrace with private Jacuzzi and cabana daybed – the ultimate option for an adult getaway.

My room, a ‘swim up suite’, is on the ground floor and boasts a private garden terrace with direct access to the adjacent pool. There are a whopping 11 pools so guests opting for a swim up suite can largely find themselves in blissful solitude though the pool is not categorically private. A bali-style day bed sits snugly in the corner of the private garden area – a perfect spot to read and then pad down to the water’s edge.

Inside, the rooms are airy, bright and spacious, and can be configured to accommodate cots and beds for children. From a super-king bed, the restful view out drifts across the private terrace to the sapphire pool. The bathroom and bedroom in all suites are open-plan and offer both a shower and bath with high-end and pleasingly tactile fixtures and fittings. “The colour scheme that we chose is natural as we wanted to create a cosy and warm ambience throughout,” says Plomer. “We felt it created a nice contrast to more commonly used minimalistic white.”

image credit: Zafiro Palace Hotel Palmanova

Nature infuses the hand-picked art in the rooms – locally sourced framed art includes fern leaves mounted on manuscript backdrops while geometric mirrors and quality soft furnishings add a touch of luxury. All fabrics and linens are also locally sourced on the island and handy touches include microwaves in most rooms and USB chargers by the bedside.

At its heart, of course, this is a holiday destination and Zafiro Palace Hotel Palmanova doesn’t skimp on the attractions. Alongside the main pool, there are a multitude of smaller pools scattered around the gardens, giving guests a sense of space and exclusivity.  The children’s playground, bouncy castle and pirate ship are set away from the main gardens and pool area, meaning adults can relax in peace if desired. An adult’s only Oasis pool is also located on a raised terrace for ultimate seclusion and is lined with cabana beds. The delightfully squishy cabana day beds line many of the poolsides around the complex and are free to use for all guests, adding a feel of beach club luxury to proceedings. Complete with a swim-up bar in the main pool, and the al fresco poolside restaurant, the F&B areas have been created to enhance the overall guest experience.

The island connection continues in the lounges and restaurants where large artwork has been acquired from Art Mallorcan art studio & Gallery ABA Art, while photographic art throughout the hotel has been sourced from local artist Joan Sastre.

In the five a la carte restaurants, the interior design offers a nod to the cuisine or region of each dining concept, without (mercifully!) venturing into some theme feel.

El Olivo, for example, is the a la carte Mediterranean restaurant and adorned with foliage, which trails down from planters above the tables and has an airy, al fresco feel inspired by the Med. Meanwhile the Tastes & Sushi Bar Restaurant gives a hint of the east with hummingbird print wallpaper, blush seating, and gold accent mirrors.

It’s no mean feat to effectively cater for adults and families in the same establishment, but perhaps it’s the family hand on the tiller that steers Zafiro on the right course. The Plomers collaborate on every facet of the hotel’s design and operation and the result is all the better for it. Located in the busy Palmanova resort, the hotel will certainly suit families looking for a convenient haven close to the beach and hustle and bustle of Palmanova and nearby Palma. For vast vistas and a heightened secluded feel, the north of the island and perhaps the larger Zafiro Palace Alcudia will provide a restful alternative.

This is a hotel with proud family heritage and a deep-rooted Mallorcan connection. Be sure to take advantage of the on-site concierge – the owners are keen to share the beauty of the island with their guests and the concierge is a font of great authentic recommendations. Some of our favourites include tours of the small island wineries of the town of Binissalem and the best tapas and vermouth bars in nearby Palma Old Town, both activities offering that secret gem, local feel.

Zafiro Palace Hotel Palmanova is a hotel where adults can getaway and the kids can have lots of fun to boot. A step above many other family friendly hotels, this resort strives to deliver luxury with a home from home edge.

Main image credit: Zafiro Palace Hotel Palmanova

Four Seasons Hotel Singapore unveils botanical twist

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Four Seasons Hotel Singapore unveils botanical twist

Four Seasons Hotel Singapore goes botanical, unveiling reinvented interiors, including luxury suites, F&B and wellness areas…

Nestled within a city/country that is widely known as a modern metropolis that is leading the way in sustainable design and architecture, Four Seasons Hotel Singapore has lifted the lid on its newly completed interior design renovation, celebrating the natural, verdant flora that the island is unmistakeably known for.

Somewhat becoming a major source of inspiration for the design team, the hotel is situated amidst lush foliage on the fringe of one of the world’s largest shopping street, Orchard Road, a mere five minutes away from the a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Singapore Botanic Gardens. With the creative direction of celebrity Floral Art Director Nicolai Bergmann since April 2019, guests are greeted fresh florals in the Grand Lobby at arrival.

“Replacing deep, rich palettes are now contemporary interiors that feature a natural colour palette of dusty cool blue tones and lime green accents.”

The guestrooms and luxury themed suites alike were revamped in the last six to twelve months in preparation for the hotel’s Silver Anniversary. Replacing deep, rich palettes are now contemporary interiors that feature a natural colour palette of dusty cool blue tones and lime green accents, inspired by the water and tropical lotus leaves of the Singapore Botanic Garden’s Swan Lake. Each room also features a mural wall composition of traditional Peranakan tiles, adding an artistic touch and reminiscent of Singapore’s rich and multicultural heritage. Peranakan culture represents the union between two or more major ethnicities of the Straits Peninsula – a result of Singapore’s historical significance as a major trading port. Large floor-to-ceiling windows provide sweeping views of the city and surrounding greenery, while white-colonial style doors and windows with plantation shutters, reminiscent of Singapore’s once-agricultural history, allowing for the natural light to brighten the rooms.

Comprising four distinctive residences – the Royal Suite, Governor Suite, Ambassador Suite and the Presidential Suite – the quartet of luxury suites unfurl Singapore’s legacy through subtle design motifs, natural textures and serene palettes of subtle sophistication that portrays and acknowledges the Garden City’s dynamic, cosmopolitan storied history.

The passion for a nature-enlivened, tropical ambiance continues from the private areas to the restaurants and bar at the Four Seasons Hotel Singapore.

Relaunched in March 2019 after a month-long revamp, One-Ninety, the breezy, botanical modern Asian brasserie teases with its Asian twist on wholesome Provençal cuisine. The adjourning resort-style alfresco Terraza is perfect for unwinding with a classic in hand and weekend tete-a-tete over a tri-terraced Floral Afternoon Tea that intrigues with flora-infused treats, launched in end-May 2019. Embodying the concept of “Xiang Le Zhu Yi,” or the principle of enjoyment and happiness, newly minted Michelin-starred restaurant Jiang-Nan Chun is not only evocative of the pastoral lifestyle of Jiang Nan region’s traditional river villages through its rustic décor, but also through its authentic Cantonese cuisine.

Main image credit: Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts

Four Seasons Resort Nevis enters final phase of sustainable renovations

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Four Seasons Resort Nevis enters final phase of sustainable renovations

TAL Design Studios’ two-year reimagining of Caribbean luxury sheltered within Four Seasons Resort Nevis is slated to complete by Q4 of this year.. 

Situated on the undisturbed shores of a Caribbean island like no other, where regulations state that no building should be taller than a palm tree, Four Seasons Resort Nevis has officially commenced the final chapter of its multi-phase enhancement project.

The two-year enhancement plan, which has already seen the launch of re-envisioned guestrooms and suites, an updated look for the Great House lobby and the opening of new food and beverage outlets, EsQuilina and crowned monkey RUM BAR, is expected to be completed this autumn.

“We are excited to bring the entire resort enhancement full circle to fulfill our vision of a luxury Caribbean playground” – Gonzalo Güelman Ros, General Manager.

The latest chapter of renovations will include the redesign of the resort’s main signature pool, construction of a new restaurant concept – On the Dune – that extends out on to the sand and the unveiling of additional improved spaces around the property for guests to enjoy a variety of new experiences and amenities.

Raw luxurious dining experience in shack-like structure

Image credit: Four Seasons Resorts

“These new areas will continue to evoke the fresh take on a timeless Caribbean experience that we began rolling out in 2018,” says Gonzalo Güelman Ros, the Resort’s General Manager. “We are excited to bring the entire resort enhancement full circle to fulfill our vision of a luxury Caribbean playground, offering infinite perfect places in one perfect paradise.”

The resort’s signature pool will be completely reconstructed and raised to create one long sight line from the Great House lobby straight out to the Caribbean Sea horizon. Surrounded by lush new landscaping, the 3,300 square foot infinity edge pool will be the centerpiece of the resort, featuring 86 new loungers and four luxury pool cabanas fully-equipped with comfortable seating and furnishings, wi-fi connectivity and power. The pool’s 5,350 square foot hardwood deck will be made from fully-sustainable US grown resources, highlighted by a new feature fire pit that will be installed to the west of the pool, towards the beach.

Render of beach and pool

Image credit: Four Seasons Resorts

“The traditional Caribbean-style structure will utilise many natural materials”

Replacing the existing Cabana restaurant, On the Dune will be a 7,300 square-foot outdoor restaurant with 138 covers and additional capacity at the bar. The traditional Caribbean-style structure will utilise many natural materials, including heavy timber construction and, as much possible, sustainably-sourced resources.

The final stages of the redesign will sensitively enhance the island’s luxury offerings, while further rooting the destination as a place where love, harmony and its soulful spirit is ever-present. With 189 spacious rooms and suites and more than 50 luxurious villas, the resort has been delivering authentic Caribbean hospitality for more than 28 years.

The design chapter continues…

Main image credit: Four Seasons Resorts

Grecotel Group embarks on 42 million euro expansion plan

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Grecotel Group embarks on 42 million euro expansion plan

Grecotel Group’s expansion plans begin with the opening of  Casa Marron in the Peloponnese, and will include the renovation and expansion of five other luxury hotel complexes…

Greece’s largest luxury hotel chain, Grecotel Group, has implemented a 42 million euro business plan that begins with the unveiling of Casa Marron, which has been transformed into the ultimate destination, changing the game for summer holidays.

Grecotel’s renovated “third generation” hotel complex, combines modernity with the classic Mediterranean style, and takes inspiration from local architecture, both traditional and contemporary with exquisite exotic embellishment. The design displays the high aesthetics of the complex, whilst highlighting the beauty of Greek nature. Casa Marron borrows its name from the colour of the fertile Peloponnesian land contrasted against the blue waters of the Ionian Sea.

“We have invested in creating a special resort in one of the most enchanting places and favourite destinations throughout the Peloponnese,” said Mr. Vasilis Minadakis, Grecotel’s General Manager. “The radical renovation of the well-known Lakopetra Beach, brings together bohemian ambience and magical scenery.”

Image credit: Grecotel Hotels

On the golden beach of Lakopetra, in an area of ​​80,000 sq.m, set against a unique landscape surrounded by exotic palm trees, olive trees and colourful gardens complete with impressive swimming pools, Casa Marron is upgraded to a top tier choice for your summer holiday, harmoniously combining safety and freedom for the whole family.

The 172 guestrooms and suites in the main building and the 92 spacious bungalows with two bedrooms, terraces and private gardens with outdoor shower allow Grecotel guests to connect with nature and take in unobstructed views of the vibrant gardens. Here, indoors becomes one with the outdoors, creating a distinct zen aura.

After 45 years of dynamic presence in the country, Grecotel has grown to support 12 tourist destinations in Greece. Each of Grecotel’s 32 luxury hotels and resorts is a unique architectural experience and a paradise of opulent amenities, gourmet restaurants and elegant details embodying the essence of Greek hospitality.

Main image credit: Grecotel Hotels

The rise of tile trends in international hotel design

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
The rise of tile trends in international hotel design

Celebrating art outside the frame, CTD Architectural Tiles identifies tile trends that are emerging for 2019 and beyond…

From texture and pattern to size and the increasing need for sustainable solutions, the hotel industry has become an exciting creative arena for tile and surface trend developments. The desire for creating spaces that stand out, delivering on both aesthetic and practical qualities, has driven the demand for tiles that make unique and memorable design statements.

From wood and marble-effect flooring to new generation mosaics and botanical-inspired patterns, architects and designers have never had so much choice when it comes to specifying ceramic and porcelain tiles in hotel projects.

Nature-inspired patterned tiles

A celebration and seamless marriage between rustic handmade influences and the trend for contemporary biophilic design, the new Amazonia collection from CTD Architectural Tiles is guaranteed to bring any hotel project to life.

Jungle-inspired interiors showcasing various tones of surfaces

Image credit: CTD Architectural Tiles

Versatile and unique, Amazonia combines botanical patterns with a pared-back, nature-inspired palette to enliven spaces of all sizes. Suitable for both walls and floors, the tiles are available in two shapes: a small square format (138 x 138mm) and a larger hexagon format (320 x 368mm), in five colourways and designs. Offering endless opportunities to combine and mix the distinctive tiles, designers are able to choose from the subtle geometric patterns of Ethnic or the delicate leaf prints of the Tropic designs to create a standout space. From the lobby and hotel bars and restaurants to even the swimming pool areas, Amazonia offers a truly versatile tiling proposition to designers, specifiers and architects for the hotel industry.

3D textured tiles

From bold patterns to structured 3D shapes and designs, tiles have become an increasingly popular format of creative expression within hotel interiors. Advances in tile manufacturing have led to reinventions of trends and tile styles such as bohemian, baroque and mosaics. An increasingly popular choice, mosaics are extremely versatile as they are able to be applied to flat or curved surfaces as well as being suitable for dry and wet areas on both walls and floors. Offering a variety of colours, sizes and materials, the return of mosaics has seen the introduction of new finishes such as metal or wood-effect designs as well as striking hexagon and geometric patterns, ideal for those designers or architects looking to make a true style statement.

Image credit: CTD Architectural Tiles

Colourful Marble-Effect Tiles

Combining an urban aesthetic with trend-led designs, the Diesel Living tile collection delivers truly eye-catching tile solutions for contemporary hotel spaces. The ideal range for designers wanting to achieve a truly statement scheme, the Diesel Cosmic Marble collection is an exquisite marriage between marble-effect tiles and a cosmic-inspired colour palette. Suitable for both walls and floors, the aptly named range is guaranteed to leave a lasting impression. From the deep blue and gold hues of Venus to the radiant red swirls of Mars, Diesel Cosmic Marble is available in eight polished porcelain colourways and will work perfectly in lobbies and reception areas.

Wood-Effect Floor Tiles

 An effortlessly stylish addition to any space, wood flooring is renowned for its beautiful, natural finish. Although undeniably a popular choice, natural wood isn’t always practical in high footfall areas in hotels. With some ranges offering up to 40 per cent recycled content, wood-effect tile collections celebrate the unique beauty of the natural material and combine the importance of a realistic finish with the practical benefits of ceramic or porcelain tiles.

Image credit: CTD Architectural Tiles

An on-trend and practical solution for hotel spaces, a wood-effect tile allows you to evoke the natural character of timber, whilst promising a low maintenance and practical product that is ideal for modern environments. Complete with the distinctive knots and markings of organic wood, each and every tile is different to ensure an authentic look. Not just limited to floors, the wide range of glazed porcelain and ceramic tiles are suitable for a number of applications including walls, exteriors and wet areas, meaning that the design of a project is not restricted by the limitations of real wood.

By their very nature, hotels are stunning examples of unique design and luxury living. When it comes to product selection for a hotel project, designers want to be working with the very latest trends and innovative products to ensure that they’re able to achieve a statement scheme to remember.  From beautiful lobbies to carefully designed guest suites, CTD Architectural Tiles’ extensive product portfolio is guaranteed to provide the ideal surface solution no matter what the application. Offering unparalleled expertise and technical knowledge, the Specification Team at CTD Architectural Tiles works with industry leading, innovative manufacturers to offer a complete portfolio of ceramic and porcelain tile ranges to suit the boutique hotelier, architect, interior designer, developer and specification professional.

SPOTLIGHT ON: Inspirational design hotel bars and restaurants in London

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
SPOTLIGHT ON: Inspirational design hotel bars and restaurants in London

To round off our Spotlight On topic of Bars & Restaurants, Hotel Designs headed into London to pick out the best F&B facilities that are serving up a treat on the international hotel design scene… Editor Hamish Kilburn edits…

Since hotels became much more than simply a bed for the night, the in-house food and beverage scene globally has taken off. Here are a few London bars and restaurants that have emerged to be statement F&B areas within hotel design.

GMT Bar –  Hard Rock Hotel London 

Image credit: Roberto Lara Photography

Incorporating the Hard Rock “mantra”, which includes the global brands’ range of memorabilia, artwork, installations and lyrics, design firm Scott Brownrigg was tasked to complete the 900-room Hard Rock Hotel London. As well as designing quirky and edgy guestrooms, the design team, led by Senior Designer and Hotel Designs’ 30 Under 30 Kate Jarrett, also created what is now London’s latest Instagrammable statement bar, which acts as an inviting cocoon from the rest of the city.

The Monkey Bar – Monkey Island Estate

Image credit: Monkey Island Estate

Monkey Island Estate is located in Bray-on-Thames. The island, with its intriguing history dating back 800 years, has been the haunt of monks, monarchs, aristocrats and writers alike. Visitors from London and beyond are transported to their own private countryside escape steeped in stylish yet laidback luxury. Designed by award-winning Champalimaud, complete with its beautiful garden terrace, The Monkey Bar is elegant, contemporary and relaxed – just like the rest of the hotel.

Sloane Place Hotel London 

Long dining table with hanging pendents above

Image credit: Sloane Place Hotel

The 50-seat café-bar in the hotel, designed by JSJ Design, required extensive structural works to open up the space, making it more accessible for guests and local clientele alike. The interior design scheme combines bold teals,timber panelling, glass and brass, maximising light and space.

45 Park Lane

modern quirky bar in 45 Park Lane

Image credit: 45 Park Lane

While the world is all too familiar of the iconic bar inside The Dorchester, its younger sibling, 45 Park Lane, located next door, is the contemporary answer to luxury in the city. The hotel’s modern-chic bar, which serves London’s finest negronis, is described as: “the vibrant beacon of contemporary culture in a luxury hotel.” It is an invigorating blend of art and landmark architecture in the middle of classical London.

InterContinental London Park Lane

Once more, RPW Design strikes again on London’s leafy iconic Park Lane. The design firm’s latest refurbishment of the guestrooms and The Capital Suite in the InterContinental Park Lane compliments the work of David Collins Studio in the hotel’s restaurant, Ella Canta.

Hotel Cafe Royal London

Image credit: Hotel Cafe Royal London

Designed by Piero Lissoni and Atelier 27, the new F&B areas sheltered in Hotel Cafe Royal London are contemporary yet timeless. The Green Bar’s cocktail list is an invitation to explore tastes throughout the ages, divided into four eras spanning over 100 years. The interiors masculine, with hues of emerald green creating a dark and moody atmosphere to compliment the cocktails served.

Main image credit: Roberto Lara Photography

Kimpton EPIC Hotel in Miami undergos major renovation

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Kimpton EPIC Hotel in Miami undergos major renovation

Kimpton EPIC Hotel in Miami is about to embark on an extensive renovation inclusive of its guestrooms and suites, lobby, and pool area…

Situated in the heart of Downtown Miami, with unparalleled views of Biscayne Bay, Kimpton EPIC will be fully reimagined with Miami-inspired elements, while maintaining its beloved sophistication and high-end feel. The finishes, furniture, and amenities will be acutely refined, and elegantly minimal with an organic sensibility.

High-impact artwork will evoke several elements including the natural components of the Earth while speaking to the Miami landscape and personality in a modern and abstract manner.

“Hues in wheat, gray and white, with a layer of soft harbor blue, offer a modern and high-end beach palette in the arrival and reception area.”

Upon arrival, guests will experience a different approach to minimal and sophisticated elegance in the hotel’s reimagined lobby area. Hues in wheat, gray and white, with a layer of soft harbor blue, offer a modern and high-end beach palette in the arrival and reception area. Black and bronze metals, woven linen, marble and custom hardware featured throughout will exhibit the luxurious feeling that Miami evokes within.

Close up of modern furniture above abstract blue art piece in white suite

Image credit: Kimpton Hotels

Featuring eco-friendly materials, travellers checking in will notice driftwood-inspired slatted headboards, wood-look tile flooring throughout the guestrooms, marble base table and chairs and private patios with custom furniture, all overlooking Biscayne Bay. Art featured within the guestrooms will be local sourced, with a specific focus on highlighting Miami’s flourishing art scene.

Two EPICally detailed suites – a Hospitality and a Presidential, will both reside on the corners of hotel’s 30th floor. Complete with wrap-around balconies and sweeping views of the city lights, the bay, and ocean – both will feature curated, one-of-a-kind furniture, collected art and various functional considerations for entertaining and hosting.

“As with all Kimpton properties, the approach is a bespoke design.”

The high-end sophisticated feel of the property will extend into the hotel’s expansive 16th-floor pool terrace, with new European furnishes and a clean and modern color palette that has playful touches for an energetic pool vibe.

As with all Kimpton properties, the approach is a bespoke design. Virtually all furniture, lighting and artwork are custom and proprietary to the hotel. The hotel’s redesign, expected to be completed by the end of September, is masterminded by the talented in-house Kimpton design team under the helm of Ave Bradley, Creative Director & Global SVP of Design, and Diana Martinez, Senior Design Director at Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants.

Main image credit: Kimpton Hotels

Hyatt Centric brand to enter into Greater China

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hyatt Centric brand to enter into Greater China

Located on the eastern side of Hong Kong Island, the hotel will mark the Hyatt Centric brand’s entry into Greater China…

Following China being identified as a major international hotel design hotspot, Hyatt Hotels Corporation has announced that a Hyatt affiliate has entered into an agreement with an affiliate of Sun Hung Kai Properties Limited to rebrand the 665-key Hotel VIC on the Harbour to Hyatt Centric Victoria Harbour Hong Kong by the third quarter of this year.

The newly branded property will be the first Hyatt Centric hotel in the Greater China region, joining the brand’s inaugural property in Asia, Hyatt Centric Ginza Tokyo which opened last year.

“We are delighted to grow our relationship with our anchor owner Sun Hung Kai Properties with this exciting project in Hong Kong after our successful collaborations with Park Hyatt Hangzhou and Hyatt Centric Minhang, Shanghai,” said Stephen Ho, president of Greater China, global operations, Hyatt. “We look forward to introducing the Hyatt Centric brand to Hong Kong and providing more distinctive experiences to our guests. With the hotel’s convenient waterfront location and proximity to cultural and leisure hotspots, Hyatt Centric Victoria Harbour Hong Kong will be an ideal base for savvy, in-the-now guests to explore all that this dynamic gateway city has to offer.”

Tailored for socially connected guests seeking shareable moments, the hotel’s social areas and food and beverage concepts were designed by Hong Kong-based architect and interior designer, Andre Fu while the 665 harbor-view guestrooms feature designs from Hirsch Bedner Associates.

“We decided to work with Hyatt after careful consideration and are excited to debut the first Hyatt Centric hotel in Greater China,” said Tasos Kousloglou, chief executive officer of the Hotel Division of Sun Hung Kai Properties. “The Hyatt Centric brand’s young and dynamic profile will fit perfectly with the vibrant neighborhood. The hotel benefits readily from the landmark integrated development with the premium residential towers of Victoria Harbour and the retail complex of Harbour North, which, together with the hotel’s retail space has a total area of over 200,000 sq ft. Guests will also enjoy the new magnificent waterfront garden promenade and the lifestyle offerings within the hotel’s quintessential Hong Kong neighborhood. By joining hands with Hyatt, we will be able to leverage its world-class knowledge, excellence in food and beverage, wealth of hospitality experience, and global marketing and sales network to make Hyatt Centric Victoria Harbour Hong Kong the preferred choice for socially-connected travelers and locals. We will also reach a broader audience of savvy travelers worldwide and elevate guest experience.”

Following the brand ethos to connect guests to the heart of the action so they never miss a moment of adventure, the hotel is located in the dynamic North Point district on the eastern side of the Hong Kong Island.

Main image credit: Hyatt Hotels

Hotel Group IHG has signed a hotel in London’s Clerkenwell

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hotel Group IHG has signed a hotel in London’s Clerkenwell

The 151-key Hotel Indigo property is slated to open in London’s most-talked-about design district, Clerkenwell, in 2021…

Following the opening of Hotel Indigo Stratford Upon Avon and ahead of the openings of both Hotel Indigo Bath and Hotel Indigo Chester later in the year, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has signed a Management Agreement with Omenport Developments Ltd for Hotel Indigo London – Clerkenwell.

The 151-room hotel will be the fifth Hotel Indigo in London and is expected to open in early 2021. Located in the heart of the city, Hotel Indigo London – Clerkenwell brings a brand defining property to IHG’s pipeline.

Established in 2004, the Hotel Indigo is IHG’s upscale boutique brand and has more than 100 hotels across more than 15 countries around the world. The brand is set to double its portfolio presence over the next three to five years and continue its growth as one of the largest boutique brands.

The decision to arrive in Clerkenwell comes as the neighbourhood, arguably most known for its annual Clerkenwell Design Week, has strong travel links with Farringdon station, Barbican and Old Street all within walking distance, making it an increasingly popular location for both business and leisure travellers.

Just like no two neighbourhoods are alike, no two Hotel Indigo properties are the same. At the Hotel Indigo London – Clerkenwell, the current historic listed building of the Hat & Feathers pub will be added to by two newly-built modern wings. When it opens in 2021, the hotel will feature well-appointed guestrooms, an all-day restaurant and five meeting rooms, as well as incorporating the existing pub into the hotel.

“We are excited to bring Hotel Indigo London – Clerkenwell into portfolio,” said Jon Colley, Head of Development, UK&I at IHG. “We are seeing strong growth in the boutique market in the UK and this hotel strengthens our position in the capital. This signing will join the newly opened Kimpton Fitzroy London and Hotel Indigo London – 1 Leicester Square to build out our boutique presence in the UK’s capital.”

IHG has 15 Hotel Indigo properties in the UK and a further seven in the pipeline*. There is a strong momentum behind the brand as part of IHG’s UK growth strategy.

In total, IHG currently has 349* hotels operating under eight brands in the UK, including: InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, Hotel Indigo, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts, voco™ Hotels, Holiday Inn®, Holiday Inn Express® and Staybridge Suites, with another 26 in the pipeline.

*Numbers as at 31 March 2019

Main image credit: Hotel Indigo

How colour is making a comeback in the bathroom

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
How colour is making a comeback in the bathroom

To conclude our time putting bathrooms under the spotlight, Crosswater explains why colour is making a comeback in the hotel bathroom… 

The interior design of a hotel guestroom is extremely important. After all, this is effectively a home-from-home – a place of security to rest after a busy day. Just as universal as the concept of resting and relaxation, is the concept of colour to evoke a particular atmosphere or create a particular environment.

Colour is also one of the most visible aspects of hotel interior design, which has the ability to create a fantastic first impression. The options to do so are seemingly endless – from wallpaper to paint to accessories.

While certain colours usually evoke certain reactions in most people, shade and saturation can also dramatically change the aesthetic of a room. Generally speaking, light colours can make rooms feel lighter and bigger, while dark colours can create a mood of sophistication and intimacy. Blues evoke calmness and serenity, while green creates a vibrant, natural space. Yellow creates a sense of energy, while red can be warm and comforting if used well.

“Consumers are now being drawn to a strong and striking bathroom design.”

The trend for colour isn’t limited to hotel bedrooms, either. Increasingly so, colour is making a comeback in the bathroom too. The all-white bathroom scheme has been a safe and popular option over the years but, after such a long phase of beige, neutral and earthy tones, consumers are now being drawn to a strong and striking bathroom design – one which is more bold, personal and attractive.

Sleek, chic and opulent, a hotel bathroom should be synonymous with modern glamour. A place to relax and unwind in style.

Gold, platinum, brass and copper are being included as metallic accents and design highlights, while black is being used on its own, but also to create a contrast to richer tones.

Close up of tap fitting

Image credit: Crosswater

The key to taking the bathroom to the next level lies in the small, often overlooked, details. Focusing on accessories, taps, showerheads and rails can often create a great impact with a minor amount of bold colour.

The MPRO collection from Crosswater delivers the very best in brassware engineering and is available in a Brushed Brass finish, along with Chrome, Stainless Steel and Matt Black options. Combining superb function and precision design, the result is a complete collection of bathroom mixers, valves and showerheads that meets the exacting standard of today’s modern bathroom.

Close up of marble and gold fittings

Image credit: Crosswater

Celebrating simple lines and an on-trend brushed gold surface, MPRO brings a stylish update to any contemporary bathroom scheme.

A developing theme is that several colours are being used in coordination with each other that might appear, at first glance, to contradict one another in a mixture of styles. In this way, all traditional rules towards interior design and aesthetics have been overruled.

“Crosswater’s new Italy collection is offered in 49 colour combinations and gives life to true customisation in the bathroom.”

People are getting more adventurous and mix-and-matching in their homes, creating individual and bespoke schemes. One of the great things about this approach to hotel design is that it is extremely flexible, providing guests with the luxury of a variation of finishes within one room – plus the idea of mixing materials adds a special interest, richness and depth to a design scheme.

Crosswater’s new Italy collection is offered in 49 colour combinations and gives life to true customisation in the bathroom. Modern forms of the 1920s inspire this brand new range, which combines metals, natural stone and marble – creating a unique character. Designers are able to choose from eight base finishes and seven handle options, and the collection is available in a range of deck, wall-mounted and floor-standing basin, bath and shower mixers.

In this way, when it comes to hotel bathroom décor, designers can combine colours, materials and patterns to create an effect that reflects the hotel’s personality and unique style. Using colour can still be applied to the fine finishes, elegant fittings and timeless accessories to create that luxurious hotel-feel that guests desire – think big and these fearless design choices will help your hotel achieve a unique designer bathroom look.

Crosswater 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.

Main image credit: Crosswater

New destination bar opens at revamped Hilton Hotel Münich City

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
New destination bar opens at revamped Hilton Hotel Münich City

While Hotel Designs continues its Spotlight On Bars & Restaurants, Hilton Hotel Münich City opens Juliet Rose, a new destination bar…

Interior design firm Goddard Littlefair has completed a striking new destination bar called Juliet Rose at the Hilton Hotel Münich City. The city’s new place-to-be bar was inspired by the F&B concept of unusual botanical extracts and the importance of process in the creation of its singular drinks.

The scheme was inspired by the F&B concept of unusual botanical extracts and the importance of process in the creation of its singular drinks, which includes a range of signature cocktails and what is said to be the best coffee in Munich. The result is an exciting and theatrical zoned space with an alchemical, laboratory feel; a perfect back-drop for outstanding drinks to be made and delivered. The scheme both stands out from and also works subtly in harmony with the overall hotel, which has also undergone a thorough revamp by the Goddard Littlefair team.

The bar’s name, Juliet Rose, is taken from one of the most elite roses in the world, developed over a 15-year period by renowned rose breeder David Austin. As well as lending the concept connotations of craftsmanship and the long-term pursuit of perfection, the ‘Rose’ reference will also be easily understood by a local audience as a nod to Rosenheimer Strasse, the street onto which the bar’s dedicated entrance faces, as well as the Rosenheimer Platz metro station, on top of which the hotel stands.

Modern restaurant and bar

Image credit: Gareth Gardner

The generously-apportioned, 90-seat, 180 sq m bar is located on the hotel’s ground floor, with easy access from both the hotel’s spacious new reception, as well as via its own dedicated Rosenheimer Strasse entrance, introduced to maximise passing trade. Customers can additionally access the hotel and bar directly from the metro station and an adjacent car park below, arriving via a special circulation route through the ground floor of the hotel, offering intriguing glimpses of the back of the bar through semi-opaque windows, so that the bar is referenced and announced from every possible angle.

Juliet Rose is made up of four different seating zones, each with different stand-out features, plus two bars. The main ‘ceremony bar’ is a stunning, monolithic U-shaped design that guests coming from the hotel entrance see as soon as they enter the space, at the far end of a central approach. A second, smaller-scale coffee bar is made of the same dramatic moss-green and highly-polished granite, with the choice of material referencing the earthiness of botanical ingredients. The granite for the main bar has been book-matched to ensure dramatic textural veining from the front. Above and behind the main bar, the gantry structure is made up of brass sections, with an industrial/lab feel, underscored by an apothecary-style bottle display. The barman prepares cocktails at its centre, making full use of dry ice, bell jars and a sense of reveal.

‘The overall design approach for the space was based on form and order, with drama, freedom and an opposing sense of randomness created by the furniture and accessorising’, architect David Lee Hood, Associate at Goddard Littlefair, explained. ‘When it came to structure, we added a number of new elements to the space to give a feeling of overall order and symmetry, whilst also ensuring playful visibility between zones via glazed screens offering varying privacy levels.’

As visitors arrive from the hotel down the entry circulation route for example, they pass between two large-scale, floor-to-ceiling screens (with added ‘peep holes’), where a brass-effect structure features ribbed glass OLED panels with a striking inset palm print. The screens were bespoke-manufactured for the project and are just one of many bespoke items that ensure design integrity and exclusivity for the project. A second highly striking screen-wall faces the hotel entrance lobby, passed by guests on their way to either the bar or front reception, and is made up of a brass shelving structure with glass backlit panels where a textured opaque manifestation gives the impression of a linen-style finish and plays with light. The structure is decorated on the inner side with judiciously-placed planting.

Image credit: Gareth Gardner

As the existing columns in the space are quite dominant, the design team made a feature of them by using new cladding and mirroring. An existing ceiling was removed so that the space’s full height could be used, with a dramatic new lighting structure that uses brass pipes and large, exposed lamps to add to the geometric, laboratory feel. Inset mirrors within the ceiling area reinforce the structure, as well as adding reflection and sparkle. Architectural lighting for the scheme was created together with DPA Lighting, whilst the stand-out decorative pieces were all bespoke-designed by Goddard Littlefair, with advice from DPA, and manufactured by Peters Design. As well as the overhead grid structure, these include a stand-out ‘test tube’ style pendant light located over the main bar and a number of vertical, glass-clad wall lights, which refer to the test-tube decorative light in style. A number of mid-wall lights throughout feature a circular fitting with a pole attachment to each side. These add layering and create a lower-level light source to bring light to the tables. Flooring throughout features stained oak timber surround and inset panels, made up of a geometric pattern of small white mosaic areas, plus larger slices set at interesting angles.

The four main seating zones include a casual drop-in area, directly to the left of the entrance, primarily for daytime use for coffee and cakes. Further casual seating is to the right, whilst the two sections further back and along both sides of the bar, for day or evening use, feature a mixture of seating types, as well as a communal high table, for groups, cocktails evenings and special events. Planting is used throughout, both for biophilic appeal and to underline the ‘botanical ingredients’ bar concept.

Furniture throughout includes sofas in bottle green leather and loose seating upholstered in pale oyster pink or else in deep orange leather with thin brass upstands and dark turquoise seat backs. Tables are either a marble-effect silestone, a brass-edged timber-topped design or, for the higher communal table, a series of easily-conjoined tables featuring a print taken from a magnified gold-veined leaf print, supplied by Fameed Khalique and manufactured by the lead contractor on the scheme, Engels.

luxurious bar with pendent lighting

Image credit: Gareth Gardner

Four windows which look directly out onto Rosenheimer Strasse, alongside the bar, feature a special chain-mail curtain with a clip detail, playing once again with light and screening, whilst effectively obscuring the busy street view and ensuring customers are enveloped by the bar’s atmosphere.

Located behind the street entrance to the bar, on the other side of a draft lobby area, are two stand-out pieces of bespoke-designed joinery: a waiter station and a moveable cocktail bar, both in high-gloss lacquer with blue-green tones to work well with the planting and moss-green granite bars. The cocktail bar has a removable top with ice and a sink inside so that it can be moved around to cater to guests anywhere in the space.

The hotel reception lobby that connects with the bar features a design treatment in keeping with the overall hotel design scheme, inspired by German Expressionism and particularly Der Blaue Reiter art movement, which had its origins in the city. Stand-out design features in the reception area include feature lighting loops, designed by Goddard Littlefair and manufactured by LED-C4; a high-gloss hexagonal mosaic-fronted reception desk with brass edging; a striking reception back-wall with a pale grey wallcovering and bronze effect vertical dividing strips; a marble fireplace area and artworks chosen by art consultants ARTIQ, taking a cue from the dynamism and strong colour of early 20th century German Expressionism, but updating that for today’s context, with new artworks commissioned for the hotel from contemporary artists. The artworks that lead towards Juliet Rose are partly-abstracted paintings which reference a more natural theme, in keeping with the F&B concept, with bold and interplaying curved lines.

Main image credit: Gareth Gardner

The value of considered materials in bathroom design

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
The value of considered materials in bathroom design

Bathroom specialists Utopia Projects explains why designers and architects should select materials that can be used for any and all surfaces…

It’s becoming increasingly popular among clients to create bathrooms which are fluid in design, using materials which can be utilised for any and all surfaces within the room. Cosentino, a parent company for many own brand materials, have introduced a Bathroom Collection using two of their brands.

The first, Silestone, is the world’s leading quartz surface manufacture. This is mainly due to how durable it is, making it perfect for high traffic areas such as Kitchens and Bathrooms. Dekton is a revolution in stone surfaces, defined as ultra-compact this man made material is highly resistant to stains, impact, heat, pretty much anything.

One of the key characteristics that makes the Silestone & Dekton Bathroom Collection concept unique is its large format. Both materials allow for the creation of a complete bathroom in one single material, giving the space better harmony with aesthetic lines. The nature of these stone materials is low porosity, this combined with minimal joints ensures each surface is extremely hygienic; perfect for a bathroom.

Its collection triumphs with exclusive and revolutionary design in the world of bathrooms, offering custom-made shower trays and basins that fit like a glove into any available space. The sandblasted or soft sandblasted finishes ensure the shower trays’ anti-slip properties, making them completely safe. Silestone and Dekton offer a wide range of colours, enabling your customers to choose a shade that fits in perfectly with their colour scheme and to match their wash-hand basin.

The possibilities of design are endless as most colours are also available in large format tiles for wall and floor cladding, as well as matching niche inserts, shelves, vanity tops, window sills, bath perimeters; pretty much any surface you can think of can be made to match.

Modern, sleek and clean lines in a contemporary white bathroom

Image credit: Utopia Projects

Whether it’s for a single suite bathroom or communal WC, they have the perfect product to transform any bathroom into a warm, welcoming space.

We recently specified one of Cosentino’s basins for our client Hartford Homes, property developers based in the Isle of Man. Its homes are prestigious and completed only using luxury products. As with all Cosentino basins, each is custom made to order, to fit the customers space and design. The company’s specification for Westham Court was nothing less than opulent. With double vanity and walk in spa shower, as well as a freestanding bath which took centre stage in the room, this bathroom was something you would expect in a hotel suite. The specially designed double Reflection basin vanity, produced in Silestone Lyra quartz is seamlessly stunning.

Silestone and Dekton offer a wide range of styles, allowing your customers to choose the colours and textures they love from the 100+ range, whilst enjoying the peace of mind of knowing that the materials fulfil all of their requirements for quality, durability, and hygiene; a minimal number of joints, anti-bacterial protection, and low porosity.

Utopia Projects 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.

Lighting contemporary bathrooms with Vaughan

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Lighting contemporary bathrooms with Vaughan

The Vaughan bathroom wall light collection offers a wide selection of carefully designed and engineered IP44 rated wall lights in a variety of decorative styles…

Whether a project requires contemporary designs either side of a wash basin or a more classic decorative scheme – the Vaughan wall light range offer designs to cover all schemes. The Sudbury bathroom wall light, available in brass, nickel or chrome is a popular design from the Vaughan range.

Defined by its classic scroll arm and oval fluted and scalloped backplate, this wall light is designed to be used with a lampshade to achieve a soft, diffused light.

The Sudbury has recently been chosen for bathrooms in two leading London hotels, The Ned and The Goring, and also internationally in the Hotel Sacher in Salzburg and Le Bristol in Paris.

The Art Deco inspired Olympia bathroom wall light has also featured in many recent hotel projects, such as the Blakeney Hotel in Norfolk and Hotel d’Angleterre in Geneva.   Available in nickel or chrome, both designs have opaline frosted glass to diffuse and soften the light.

To view the entire bathroom wall light collection, please visit the website.

Vaughan 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.

BESPOKE DESIGN: Italian boutique hotel inspired by natural elements

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
BESPOKE DESIGN: Italian boutique hotel inspired by natural elements

Design studio Boxx Creative has completed the interior design of Miramonti, a 21-key boutique hotel in the Italian mountains. Editor Hamish Kilburn writes…

Inspired by its natural surroundings, Miramonti, meaning mountain view, draws its name and design from nature. A deep terracotta facade, which dates back to 1958, evokes the changing seasons and rich natural Italian colour palette.

When it first opened just over a decade after the second world war, the five-storey Albergo Miramonti was the first building in town to feature hot water in every room and it quickly gained in popularity among tourists as well as locals as a place for ultimate relaxation. The new guestrooms, which are divided into five categories over three storeys, feature – in true Miramonti spirit – calming green and blue colour schemes, punctuated with deeper accents.

Design firm Boxx Creative’s first step in its transformation was to maximise every square foot to increase guestroom numbers, providing flexibility of room use and creating defined room types for couples and families. The Deluxe Doubles provide an appealing space for couples to relax in comfort inside the room or outside on the balcony. The spacious Family Suites meanwhile have the option to connect through to en-suite bunk-bed rooms, which comfortably accommodate a family of six.

“Materials were selected for their authentic properties and link to the surrounding environment.”

The firm redesigned each floor of the hotel and created the interior schemes; drawing on the elements of: earth, fire, air, water, wood and metal. Materials were selected for their authentic properties and link to the surrounding environment and feature in the natural stone wash basins, carved wooden bedframes, solid trunk coffee tables, round metal bedside tables and soft natural fabrics.

“We always focus on quality and environmental impact in our work,” said Nicola Keenan, interior designer and Co-founder of Boxx Creative. “All design details have been fully considered across the hotel. Carpet made from recycled fibres line the corridors and is inlaid within the sustainable, hand-crafted wooden flooring. Locally sourced and sustainable materials were used wherever possible and the build contractor was chosen for his energy saving principles and employment of workers within the area.”

Understated living area of the guestroom

Image credit: Mariell Lind Hansen

The majority of the furnishings were made completely bespoke by a talented artisan in his local workshop. The bedrooms feature wooden headboard panelling, metal framed open cabinetry storage and sturdy desks, each thoughtfully hand-crafted. The unique hand-made wooden flooring with individually controlled underfloor heating system, adds warmth and grounding to each room. Beautiful reeded glass panelled doors with curved frame detailing provide privacy to each en-suite and rippled wooden under-sink cabinets hang beneath attractive natural stone basins.

“Lighting was incredibly important to the client,” added Nicola Lindsell, also an interior designer and Co-founder of Boxx Creative. “We chose Italian designed, Flos feature pendants in each of the en-suites and Scandinavian inspired adjustable wall lights to create an appealing focal point in the bedrooms.”

Soft, minalist lobby area. Natural materials, such a stone, used in the casegoods and furniture

Image credit: Mariell Lind Hansen

“When we decided to redesign the hotel we were conscious of finding a suitable partner that matched our values and design style,” said the owner of the hotel. “We loved working with Boxx Creative as they had a great knowledge of suppliers and longterm sustainable options. Throughout the redesign they presented options which reflected our sustainability goals as well as our overall artistic vision for the hotel.”

The hotel has always been within the family and today the management has passed on to the third generation, with strong hope to continue and build upon that original idea, creating an authentic escape for locals and travellers alike.

Main image credit: Mariell Lind Hansen

Edinburgh boutique hotel unveils completely new look

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Edinburgh boutique hotel unveils completely new look

The 49-key The Bonham Hotel in Edinburgh has received a multi-million pound makeover led by designer Nigel Howard… 

Following Edinburgh being named the UK’s number-one spot for hotel investment and development, The Bonham Hotel in the city centre has unveiled the result of a complete renovation.

Led by design firm Nigel Howard Creative, as well as the 49 guestrooms, the refurbishment also included the public areas. The hotel is now complete with and newly branded restaurant – No. 35 at The Bonham.

As well as the lobby and library, the snug – which is perfect for private dining and small events – has been fully refurbished to showcase many of its original features including wood panelling and stained glass windows as well as a stunning hand-painted ceiling.

“Old buildings tell us where we came from – both architecturally and socially,” said Bonham owner Richard H. Driehaus.  “Preserving their beauty enhances our lives, our environments and respects our heritage.  So it is with The Bonham.”

Exterior shot of the gothic-like hotel

Image credit: The Bonham Hotel

The interiors reference both the architectural heritage of the hotel and the soft highland hues that are typical of Scotland’s landscapes.  The colour palette is complemented with a rich choice of materials – including oak, brass, leather and velvet – to create some of the finest accommodations Edinburgh has to offer.

Douglas Campbell, general manager at The Bonham Hotel, said: “This multimillion pound refurbishment has seen our already stunning hotel transformed into a truly sophisticated property combining modern styling with our original Georgian architecture.

Image credit: The Bonham Hotel

“Guests staying in the newly refurbished rooms are already giving us great feedback and we look forward to welcoming even more visitors from near and far to experience a taste of elegance here in the West End of Edinburgh.”

Since the early 1980s, Driehaus has been a vocal advocate for the application of humanistic values in the built environment. International recognition includes receiving the INTBAU Visionary Supporter Award from HRH Prince Charles, being the first U.S. citizen inducted as an honorary member of the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in Madrid, and receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Institute of Architects.

Main image credit: The Bonham Hotel, Edinburgh

Leading designers and architects spoke at the inaugural IDAS

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Leading designers and architects spoke at the inaugural IDAS

Taking place yesterday at Hilton London Tower Bridge, the Interior Design & Architecture Summit sheltered some interesting debates for designers and architects – all of which looped back to the elephant-in-the-room topic, sustainability in our hotels and cities…

The sold-out inaugural Interior Design & Architecture Summit (IDAS) took place yesterday at the Hilton London Tower Bridge.

The event, which allowed visionary designers and architects the ability to meet face-to-face with key-industry suppliers, included a speakership programme curated with the aim to put relevant topics under the spotlight.

IDAS 2019 started with an engaging presentation by Constantina Tsoutsikou, the Creative Director at HBA London, who discussed ‘Playfullness & Personality in Hospitality Design’. In addition to referencing key projects to exemplify her points, Tsoutsikou made reference to creative boundaries of modern designers. “Many designers have forgotten how to sketch by hand,” she told the audience. “If we rely on computers then we have forgotten a skill that is very valuable.”

“The reality is that the brief from hotels, investors and operators is never – or very rarely – to build a sustainable hotel.” – Constantina Tsoutsikou, the Creative Director at HBA London

Joining the visionary on the sofa, editor Hamish Kilburn followed the presentation with a live Q&A and it became clear that sustainability was to be a dominating topic to be explored throughout the day. “The reality is that the brief from hotels, investors and operators is never – or very rarely – to build a sustainable hotel,” Tsoutsikou explained. “When consumers start choosing hotels on this credential then developers will follow, and this is happening slowly.”

The designer explained how an ‘open window’ approach during projects – ensuring that the hotels on the boards evolve with ideas and themes throughout from concept to completion – has allowed her and her team to really inject each property they touch with ample personality and, of course, apt sense of place. “Take Hilton Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, for example. It has a dutch soul,” she explained. We enriched the level of comfort in the atrium by creating ‘islands’, each providing a distinct experience within the Axis Lobby: reception, lounge library, tech lounge and cocktail bar. Each area is defined by a carpet with a design inspired by the sediment-laden islands and waterways between coastal dunes on the southern coast of the Netherlands.

From one inspirational creative to another, Yasmine Mahmoudieh was invited to take the second speaker session of the day, exploring Hotels of the Future. Following extensive research into the changing behavior of modern hotel guests, Mahmoudieh explained how she has seen – from both a design and an architecture point of view – a large demand in creating intelligent flexible spaces. Mahmoudieh explained that the hotels of the future will house all facilities – for working, living and socialising – under one roof. “New ways of living and working are being developed all over the world,” she said. “Therefore, the need for social interaction has never been as prevalent. It is partly due to social media and the alienation and the loneliness, especially young people feel.”

Returning back to the theme of responsible design, Mahmoudieh, when joined on the sofa by Kilburn, started to highlight the importance of sustainability in architecture and explained the value of finding new eco-friendly materials. “I-MESH, for example, is an innovative material invented to assume a leading position in the field of solar protection indoors/outdoors,” she said. “Its physical, technological, formal characteristics together with its high aesthetical potential makes it eligible as a proper architectural material. It outclasses metallic grids for its design versatility and sustainability; it’s an easily custom made mesh in line with the architectural thought, with the story of the commissioning client, with the brand.”

Following an afternoon of face-to-face meetings with suppliers from the likes of Marco Corona, Hamilton Litestat (recommended supplier), Mitre Linen (recommended supplier), Gessi (recommended supplier), Cole & Sons and many more, the audience gathered for the final session of the day. In the panel discussion entitled ‘The Rising Ceiling of Creativity’, Kilburn was joined on the sofa by Moritz Waldemeyer (lighting designer and recommended supplier), Charles Leon (architect and Past-President, BIID), Gilly Craft (interior designer and President, BIID), Yasmine Mahmoudieh (interior designer/architect) and Robin Sheppard (CEO of Bespoke Hotels). Looking at the creative boundaries faced currently by the industry as well as ‘futuregazing’ towards the hotel room of the future, the panel debated consumer behavior, sustainability in design and how to create authentic installations within hotel design.

Following the success of yesterday’s event, details around next year’s IDAS will be announced shortly.

Media Partner: Future Constructor & Architect

Media Partner: Treniq

GESSI launches bathroom showers inspired by ’90s Hi-Fi systems

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
GESSI launches bathroom showers inspired by ’90s Hi-Fi systems

Hi-Fi by Gessi unites design and technology in a contemporary and original collection, perfect for furnishing the bathroom as a room of wellness, beauty and living well, according to the brand philosophy…

With the creativity that distinguishes it, Gessi has created a product to “play” with the water in the search for its rhythm, through a selection system of functions, flow and thermostatic shower mixer that has the aesthetic of a 1990s stereo system.

A bit vintage, a bit futuristic, the new button operated embedded or external Hi-Fi systems are the right compromise between sophisticated technological research, minimalism and functionality. Pressing “play” allows guests to do just that – play, and with the product. Gessi brings its sound, its lightness and vitality to the home-from-home hotel with a pinch of irony that is already a promise of happiness.

The stereo-inspired shower unit

Image credit: GESSI

The Gessi Hi-Fi System shower columns, with its linear design, overturns the concept of the column, hybridising it with the typical form of the shower panel, but with totally external installation, without embedded elements. The column/panel section, in 4 mm thick glass, like the shelf, is offset from the latter, and contains the thermostatic controls, with a highly sophisticated architectural effect. Available with rainfall, waterfall and directional shower kit functionality, these sculptural wellbeing objects are also equipped with a handshower attacked with a magnetic and variable position system.

GESSI 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.

Main image credit: GESSI

Floral interior design trends to fall in love with for SS19

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Floral interior design trends to fall in love with for SS19

Ahead of the inaugural Interior Design & Architecture Summit next week, VIP Buyer Delegate Partner TRENIQ has identified some of the major SS19 floral interior design trends…

2019 has announced floral maximalism as an emerging trend and a big favourite among designers. In the wake of such verdicts, we can’t help but rejoice. What’s not to love about lovely and luscious floral designs stealing the limelight in what could otherwise be a boring set up?

To commemorate this trend, TRENIQ has put together a few big ways in which you can bring this trend into hotel design projects. Be it a cosy nook in a living room or a large splash in a dining area, there is a floral design for everyone, it seems.

Floral interior decor available only on Treniq

Quintessentially speaking, cutlery is the most effortless item in every household. Everyone finds comfort in the good old white China, while some are adventurous enough to opt-in deeper hues of cobalt, teal and mustards. But floral cutlery? Now that’s a trend setter right there! We love this Spring inspired brunch tableware in Mandarin rose, for it is both elegant and classy while being fun and quirky.

Floral interior trends on Treniq

One of the easiest tried and tested ways to bring in the trend is by piling on printed cushions on a neutral sofa. Not only does it bring to life the whole room and the sofa itself but it also adds a fun and refreshing touch to any decor plan.

Binge on floral luxe

Floral interior trends on Treniq

Not all florals are bold, quirky and effervescent, some are regal, royal and elegant too. This room is a delightful blend of fun colours against soft Persian floral designs that are a classy variation to a usual bold look. The soft prints are an ode to a palatial interior set up.

A carpet of flowers

Floral interior trends on Treniq

We love how rugs have taken on a rather interesting personality off late. These floral variants to the otherwise classic looks are absolutely refreshing and a tad bit unusual. Pair these with gorgeous floral artwork on the walls and you have for yourself a winner of an interior design.

Treniq  is an international interiors network where you can buy or sell luxury interior products, discover design professionals, connect and build relationships, trade using easy and efficient tools. Create your free trade account today or contact us for more information at customercare@treniq.com.

Main image credit: Pexels

 

Sofitel Rome Villa Borghese unveils hotel design by Jean Philippe Nuel

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Sofitel Rome Villa Borghese unveils hotel design by Jean Philippe Nuel

The redesign of Sofitel Rome Villa Borghese is said to be an elegant Roman retreat, fusing La Dolce Vita heritage with modern French art de vivre…

Located in the heart of Rome, Sofitel Rome Villa Borghese will reopen on July 1 2019, unveiling extensive renovations by contemporary architect and interior designer, Jean-Philippe Nuel.

Situated on a quiet street in the epicentre of Rome, this former 19th century Roman palazzo lies within walking distance of some of the city’s best-known cultural landmarks and parks, including the Trevi Fountain, Villa Medici and the Spanish Steps. Evoking the feel of a Roman home, guests will appreciate the hotel’s relaxed and laid-back atmosphere and the sense of being truly immersed in the essence of this picturesque Italian city.

The hotel will offer 78 guestrooms and suites, with the unveiling of larger suites, a new fitness centre and new well-being programme, and three large event rooms. Sofitel Rome Villa Borghese will also be home to Settimo, an elegant rooftop lounge and restaurant, offering panoramic views overlooking the picturesque Villa Borghese gardens and St. Peter’s Basilica. Adorned with eclectic furnishings and lush green interiors, Settimo will provide a botanical escape on the seventh floor and will serve contemporary Roman cuisine using locally-sourced ingredients. Paying respect to local mastery and heritage, while highlighting the personality of the hotel’s Executive Chef, Giuseppe D’Alessio, signature dishes will incorporate traditional Roman culinary styles such as ‘cucina povera’ and ‘Tripolina’.

Image credit: Accor Hotels

Jean Philippe Nuel’s chic redesigns will combine the heritage and classicism of ‘La Dolce Vita’, with the modernism and design of French ‘art de vivre’. The hotel entrance will feature an iconic display of chromatic counterpoints and vibrant colours, creating a modern lounge with a classical feel. Guest rooms will also exhibit an iridescent ceiling masterpiece, creating the illusion of the bright sky above.

At Sofitel Rome Villa Borghese, guests will feel instantly at home, with dedicated and personalised attention through thoughtful gestures and delightful surprises. The hotel will feature a dedicated candle ritual, inspired by the lighting of the streets of Paris during the reign of Louis XIV, which provided citizens with a sense of welcoming and safety. At sunset, the hotel will light giant candles outside the entrance to welcome guests back from their evenings out touring the city, accompanied by atmospheric music.

The ‘home away from home’ atmosphere with personalised wellness and fitness therapies with the SofitelFIT Wellness Programme, and the Sofitel MyBed Sleep Menu, a signature in-room service, transform the bathroom into a private sanctuary with luxurious options for relaxation. Guests can choose between two complimentary baths – a therapeutic Soothing Bath that invites a lazy soak with calming essential oils, or a Bubble Bath that injects fun into the bath time experience. Sofitel Rome Villa Borghese also provides guests with personalised bathrobes to enhance the bespoke nature of the experiences.

The French ‘joie de vivre’ and the Roman ‘carpe diem’ of the renovated hotel will create a uniquely sophisticated, yet simple and contemporary experience where desires are magnified after a day of exploring the historical Roman streets.

Main image credit: Accor Hotels

Laura Ashley guestroom

Coventry hotel to rebrand as a Laura Ashley Hotel

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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

 

 

 

Accor’s Aparthotel brand Adagio arrives in London

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Accor’s Aparthotel brand Adagio arrives in London

Hotel Designs attended the official launch party of Aparthotel Adagio London Brentford last night, which marked the brand’s official arrival in London, UK… 

Adagio has celebrated the opening of its first London property by hosting a show-stopping party that was attended by more than 150 people.

The 100-key Aparthotel Adagio London Brentford, which informally opened in October of last year, is located just a few miles from London’s main airport Heathrow and is the fourth hotel within in the brand to open in the UK, with more in the pipeline.

“This is an important milestone for us, with many more openings in the UK to be announced,” said Karim Malak, CEO of Aparthotels Adagio at the event. “Our target is to have 20 properties in the UK by 2023.”

Aparthotels Adagio London Brentford’s public spaces have been created as an open area for guests to meet and collaborate. Each apartment offers a fully equipped kitchen, spacious bedroom and living area with a flat-screen smart TV. Guests also have access to a bar, virtual concierge, fitness centre, laundry facilities, business services and onsite parking.

Image credit: Accor/Adagio

The West London property is part of Brentford’s Kew Eye Tower GWQ development. The aparthotel is the fourth UK opening for the brand following launches in Edinburgh, Birmingham and Liverpool. The aparthotel brand is planning further properties in London Stratford, Leicester (opening by the end of 2019) and Glasgow (opening by the end of 2020).

The opening of Aparthotel Adagio London Brentford emerges as part of the brand’s strategy to open 10 new hotels this year and to double the amount of properties it has within its portfolio by 2023.

Hotel Designs will be investigating the rise of aparthotels when it puts Hotel Concepts under the spotlight in August. If you would like to contribute to this topic, please get in touch with the editorial team.

Main image credit: Accor/Adagio

SPOTLIGHT ON: IHG pilots new lighting technology

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SPOTLIGHT ON: IHG pilots new lighting technology

The new lighting technology that is being piloted by IHG is designed specifically to help guests sleep better…

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has partnered with Healthe® by Lighting Science, a global leader in innovative LED lighting solutions, to pilot the use of state-of-the-art circadian lighting to help guests sleep better while travelling.

Crowne Plaza® Atlanta Airport will be the first IHG property to install the JOURNI™ Mobile Task Light in guestrooms. Designed using Healthe®’s patented GoodDay® and GoodNight® spectrum technologies, JOURNI allows access to the alertness and focus-enhancing spectrum during the day, and then easily change to the warm, sleep-enhancing spectrum at night. This versatile, dual-spectrum luminaire can help you to effortlessly bring energy-efficient, circadian lighting right to your hotel room.  Ultimately, JOURNI also helps to regulate the body’s circadian rhythm or 24-hour internal body clock which effects important biological functions such as sleep, hormone levels, body temperature and metabolism.

Committed to investing and leading the way in the latest innovations and technologies to help guests sleep better, IHG already has programs in place across its brands based including:

  • Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts Sleep Advantage™ Programme has been designed to improve the quality of sleep during hotel overnights, improving the quality of the following day. The bed linens provide unbelievable softness and the programme’s unique This Works aromatherapy line contains pure essential oils that help the customer to recover from the day’s stress and to sleep more soundly.
  • EVEN® Hotels lighting profiles allows guests to change the colour of the lighting in their rooms to blue, red, green or yellow to either energise or relax
  • The Holiday Inn® Pillow Menu gives guests the option to choose between a varied range of pillows, from firmness to type and even filling

“At IHG, we want to make sure our guests are getting the best night’s sleep possible across our 5,600 hotels and portfolio of more than 15 brands,” said Brian McGuinness, Senior Vice President of Global Guest Experience Shared Services, IHG. “We are continually testing ways we can enhance the guest experience, loyalty and ultimately, owner value. Our circadian lighting technology pilot is the latest example of the work we are doing to innovate the guest experience. We’re excited to be the first hotel company to pilot Healthe®’s JOURNI product and are already working on what’s coming next.”

Main image credit: IHG

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

Anantara to debut in Mauritius

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Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas is entering the luxury hospitality sector on the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius with the announcement of Anantara Mauritius Resort – a new luxury property on the South Eastern coast which is scheduled to open in Q4 2019…

Part of an integrated coastal development, a new Anantara resort located near Blue Bay Marine Park will arrive at the end of this year.

Anantara Mauritius Resort will feature 164 guestrooms and suites, with eight luxury pool villas – two with two bedrooms and six with four bedrooms – to be added in the first half of 2020. Facilities at the resort will include Sea.Fire.Salt – a specialty grill and seafood restaurant with courtyard and beach dining, an all-day dining restaurant, private dining with a wine cellar, a healthy wellness-focused cafe, two bars – one by the poolside and one facing the beach, a 30-metre ozone-based swimming pool, a gym and a signature Anantara Spa.

The look and feel of the new resort have been created by award winning Ground Kent Architects,  Australia, in collaboration with the Office of Global Architecture in Mauritius, alongside Abacus Design interior designers of Thailand. The design reflects the melting pot history of the country, drawing influences from the rich architectural heritage seen in the capital Port Louis and around the island. Natural, locally-sourced materials take precedence, harmoniously anchoring the buildings in their natural setting. Taking inspiration from local colonial architecture, the overall effect effortlessly evokes the vibe of a relaxing, tropical beach house, yet one with a distinctly modern feel.

modern guestroom overlooking the beach

Image credit: Anantara Mauritius

The use of scattered light, basalt and volcanic stone, drift wood, wave-and-ripple patterns and neutral sandy colours blur the line between the indoor and the outdoor. Fabrics and art selected for the rooms are a contrasting combination of accents of orange, deep ultramarine and royal yellow as a nod to Blue Bay’s crystal waters, sandy beaches and legendary sunsets.

With the resort’s dining options ranging from traditional creole cooking to fine dining, guests can expect a gastronomic experience rooted in an exotic blend of European, Asian and African influences. Most of the ingredients will be harvested locally since Mauritius benefits from incredibly fertile soil, while the ocean is the source of the freshest seafood and fish.

As part of Anantara’s commitment to sustainability, the resort will incorporate solar technology for water heating in all guest rooms, to reduce the usage on energy. Other green initiatives include planting endemic flora within the hotel landscaping, reusing water for irrigation and cleaning as well as incorporating recycled materials into resort décor. The property will be plastic straw-free, an Anantara standard, and where possible organic farming methods will be encouraged throughout its restaurant supply chain.

An island nation in the south western Indian Ocean, Mauritius is known for its varied flora and fauna, with many species endemic to the island. Famously the only known home of the dodo, an avian species which became extinct back in the 1600s, the island offers nature-centred activities both onshore and offshore. Visitors can charter a boat for deep sea fishing, paddle over serene blue waters in a glass-bottomed kayak to go snorkelling, embark on bird-watching walks on nearby islands, explore botanical gardens and more.

Main image credit: Anantara Mauritius Resort

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Ritz-Carlton, Berlin reopens after 40m Euro renovation

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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

S Hotel Jamaica opens in Montego Bay

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Making its highly anticipated debut, the new stylish S Hotel Jamaica in Montego Bay is poised as the ultimate trendsetting hotspot overlooking famed Doctor’s Cave Beach…

The inspiration for the newly arrived S Hotel Jamaica is as cosmopolitan as it comes, but the feeling is notably Jamaican as the country’s soul and culture swirl together to create this new multi-experiential hotel. Buzzing bars, a high-spirited pool scene, the Sky Deck for the exclusive use of those booked on concierge floors, an international restaurant, a café, spa, gym and guestrooms with an elevated design aesthetic, thoughtfully combine to create a modern and effervescent sense of place, reinvigorating MoBay’s irie Hip Strip featuring new shops, restaurants, entertainment and more.

Chris Issa, Jamaican entrepreneur and owner of the recently formed Crissa Hotels including Kingston’s iconic Spanish Court Hotel comments, ”We’re creating a new kind of hotel in Montego Bay, one that infuses modern Jamaican culture balanced with the sophistication of an urban hotel and the laidback style of a beach resort, appealing to international travelers and locals alike.”

Award winning, full-service, Miami-based luxury design firm, Antrobus Ramirez directed the interior design of the hotel with Jamaica-born designer Alison Antrobus and design partner Ruby Ramirez, spearheading the project. A towering 25-foot interior lobby walled with coral stone greet guests with a central ‘boardwalk’ made from local Jatoba hardwood physically and visually connecting the hotel’s many water elements from the stunning entryway water feature leading back to the central swimming pool, setting the stage for grand processions of hotel activity.

The main swimming pool is framed by lounge-worthy swim-out cabanas and white sand lines the area around the pool dotted with beach chairs and a sleek wood deck completing the resort-style atmosphere.

Image credit: S Hotel Jamaica

Jamaican historical and cultural design elements are at the forefront woven in with modern interpretations. Artisanal weaving techniques are used in unexpected applications such as the 20-foot screens made with rattan cane panels and “Cut Stone”, typically used in traditional Jamaican buildings, serving as inspiration and adorning the lobby walls. Dotted throughout the property, guests find the works of local Lumber Artist, Tamara Harding, whose pieces feature wood recycled from the trees removed from the property during construction.

Local artists contributed original pieces such as a hand painted mural and a dramatic photomontage of “faces of Jamaica” that adorn the hotel’s dining venues. A 14-foot antique dining table made by Mr. T.T. Jackson, a famous furniture maker in the 1950’s, also serves as a focal point.

A massive investment in Spain-based Dekton flooring by Cosentino is being used throughout and S Hotel is the company’s single largest project outside of Spain. Its durability, resistance to UV rays, scratches, stains, thermal shock and very low water absorption make this progressive surface perfect for the hotel’s outdoor and indoor use.

Clean, linear lines in the guestrooms

Image credit: S Hotel Jamaica

In the guestrooms, sleek interiors with an overarching monochromatic theme give way to gorgeous blue Caribbean Sea or lively city views, while oversized “wicker” wrapped soaking tubs stand out in the Spa Suites. The hotel’s signature Sky Suite soars above the property with 20-foot ceilings while the Presidential Suite features three bedrooms and a living/dining room. Other room categories range from The Essentials to Spa Suites that include various spa amenities while each room features turntables complete with a copy of Bob Marley’s iconic album “Legend”.

The pinnacle of the property is the Sky Deck, exclusive to Sky Club Suite guests. Boasting an enviable rooftop location with a glass enclosed pool surrounded by cabanas and loungers; this is the ideal spot for sunset to enjoy modern cocktails and a decadent tapas menu for refined revelry.

 

Image credit: S Hotel Jamaica

The new S Hotel is centrally located on Montego Bay’s irie Hip Strip, recently re-christened Jimmy Cliff Boulevard, just five minutes from Sangster International Airport and walking distance to nightlife, restaurants and shopping.

S Hotel is the second hotel project from Jamaican entrepreneur Chris Issa, owner of the newly created Crissa Hotels. The term Crissa is derived from the Jamaican Patois word, “Kriss” meaning “excellent.” The group includes the popular Spanish Court Hotel and the Spanish Court Worthington event venue in Kingston, and in Montego Bay, Usain Bolt’s Tracks & Records restaurant outpost located adjacent to the new S Hotel Jamaica.

Main image credit: S Hotel Jamaica

Nokia-sleep-sleeping-pad_13-768x451

SPOTLIGHT ON: Technology products to look out for in 2019

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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

Dexter Moren Associates wins planning to extend Bloomsbury hotel

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Dexter Moren Associates has won planning permission to extend Mercure London Bloomsbury…

Design firm Dexter Moren Associates (DMA) has won planning permission to extend the Mercure London Bloomsbury Hotel, increasing the number of guest rooms from 114 to 132 and improving the visitor experience with an updated food and beverage offer.

Working closely with client Fairview Hotels Ltd, DMA’s plan enhances the guest experience at the four-star boutique hotel, adding 586sqm of extra floorspace through new side, rear and roof extensions plus a bar extension.

Javier Ortega from DMA explains: “The main challenge was how to deliver the internal spaces to meet the client’s requirements whilst achieving an elegant series of extensions suitable for such a prestigious and sensitive site.”

DMA’s successful design uses high quality materials and architectural elements complimentary to the existing red and cream brick with Portland stone ornaments of the late Victorian / Edwardian hotel. Combined with a deliberate decluttering of miscellaneous distracting external elements, the new extension allows the hotel as a whole to engage more positively with the surrounding townscape and enhance the character and appearance of the Bloomsbury Conservation Area.

“As well as playing to our space planning expertise and creating spaces that will satisfy the expectations of the modern, savvy traveller, this project is another example of our contextual approach to design, rooting the hotel in its surrounding neighbourhood,” Continues Ortega.

The Mercure London Bloomsbury Hotel is the first of a series of Fairview Accor hotel projects on which DMA has been engaged to investigate expansion opportunities.

 

 

Moxy NYC Chelsea opens an urban design jungle

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Refined yet playful, hand-crafted yet modern, the 349-key Moxy Chelsea reimagines the urban jungle, blending botanically-inspired design with Italian romance…

Rising 35 stories high into the New York City skyline, Moxy NYC Chelsea, the micro-room, macro-amenity hotel, developed by Lightstone and part of Marriott International’s experiential Moxy Hotels brand, has officially opened. Inspired by the surrounding Flower District, the hotel blends a botanically-influenced design with Italian romance and a touch of playful wit – perfectly timed to welcome guests on Valentine’s Day.

Creating an environment that appeals to both today’s modern traveller and locals, Moxy Chelsea was developed with a collection of public spaces designed to meet the community’s dining, drinking, and co-working needs—while providing guests access to New York City at a neighbourhood level. The 349-room hotel marks the second collaboration between Yabu Pushelberg, Rockwell Group, and architects Stonehill Taylor, the designers behind Moxy Times Square and three of the industry’s most admired firms.

The newly-constructed building’s architecture riffs off the neighborhood’s retro-industrial style and feels harmonious with its location, in the heart of the Chelsea Flower Market. The hotel blends into the lush flower shops that surround it, with a soaring three-story glass atrium revealing the vertical gardens within. Guests enter through the overgrown Putnam & Putnam Flower Shop, designed by Yabu Pushelberg, which is envisioned as a “botanical library,” with planter boxes suspended from the 15-foot wall, reachable by a wheeled ladder. The shop is run by husbands Darroch and Michael Putnam, whose couture approach to floral arrangements over the years has made them a staple at celebrity weddings, including the recent nuptials of Gwyneth Paltrow and Brad Falchuk.

Image credit: Michael Kleinberg/Moxy Chelsea/Marriott International

The guestrooms are drenched in sunlight and feature floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall windows. For the design, Yabu Pushelberg replicates the clever functionality they created for Moxy Times Square, leavened with wit and humanised with a sense of craft. In all three room types — King, Double/Double and Quad Bunk — the furniture, which includes a writing desk and chair/luggage rack, can be folded up and hung up on Moxy’s signature peg wall when not in use. Other space-saving gambits include under-bed storage and a lava-stone sink and vanity area placed outside the bathroom. Tiles in the shower stalls are printed with cheeky phrases like “SOME REGRETS” and “WILD THING,” while a bulldog-shaped beer bottle opener hangs on the door. Additional bedroom features nod to the Flower District, like reading lamps that resemble garden lanterns and faucets that recall hose reels. Unique to Moxy Chelsea is the over-the-top MONDO Suite, an entertainment suite located on the 32nd floor. With soaring, double-height 18-foot ceilings and a wall of industrial-style windows looking out onto the Empire State Building, the room is equipped for entertaining and socialising. The suite can be combined with one or two adjoining king rooms to create a place to party and sleep.

The lobby atmosphere is enlivened by a design that reflects Moxy’s trademark cheekiness, such as classically sculpted figurines making unexpected poses, like twerking, taking selfies, and wearing sunglasses. A life-size, toga-clad Roman statue rests on a column, one arm extended so it can hold a guest’s phone and pose with them for a selfie. Throughout the lobby, ample seating options invite co-working and socializing, including modular meeting studios that morph seamlessly from daytime workplace to evening social space.

Decadent rooftop bar

Image caption: The Fleur Room – credit: Michael Kleinberg/Moxy Chelsea/Marriott International

TAO Group and Rockwell also collaborated on The Fleur Room, Moxy Chelsea’s rooftop lounge, topping off the hotel on the 35th floor with panoramic 360-degree views of the Manhattan skyline, from the Statue of Liberty to the Empire State building. The design features a copper-clad bar, glass chandeliers that resemble giant water droplets, and a massive disco ball salvaged from the notorious 1980s L.A. nightclub Vertigo. The real showstopper: The lounge’s glass walls descend at the touch of a button, transforming the space into an alfresco sky veranda.

“We’ve all read about how the modern traveller wants to satisfy their curiosity with unique experiences and personalised, insider access,” says Mitchell Hochberg, President of Lightstone. “Nobody really expects that at the Moxy price point. With Moxy Times Square, we proved we could flip the script; and with Moxy Chelsea, we’re taking it to the next level: We’ve doubled down on that formula—affordable rates, rooms with character, distinctive public spaces—and made it even more personal, more local, more genuinely New York.”

“With the opening of Moxy Chelsea, the Moxy Hotels brand continues to boldly reinvent the hospitality scene,” says Toni Stoeckl, Global Brand Leader, Moxy Hotels, and Vice President, Distinctive Select Service Brands, Marriott International. “When you walk into a Moxy, you know you’re getting a killer bar experience with fun, playful programming; an in-the-know Crew; stylish and functional bedrooms; and experiential moments you’ll want to share with friends during your trip. Moxy Chelsea offers all of that, with a distinctly bold, New York twist.”

The Moxy brand now has 30-plus experiential hotels open across North America, Europe and Asia. Moxy is expected to open 20-plus more hotels in 2019*, in destinations including Paris, Nashville and Boston.

*subject to change depending on hospitality landscape and market conditions

Main image credit: Michael Kleinberg/Moxy Chelsea/Marriott International

FIRST LOOK: Apex unveils Insta-worthy London suite

800 534 Hamish Kilburn

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.

 

Leading designers and architects confirmed to attend Interior Design & Architecture Summit

800 478 Hamish Kilburn

Two months before the inaugural Interior Design & Architecture Summit, the event has unveiled who among the architecture and design community will be attending… 

Following the announcement of the ‘Rising Ceiling of Creativity’ panel discussion at the event, the Interior Design & Architecture Summit (IDAS) has just announced the attendees list for the meet-the-buyers event.

Dexter Moren Associates, EPR Archtiects, Goddard Littlefair, MKV Design, ReardonSmith Archiects and Zannier Hotels are all among the leading design firms that have confirmed to attend IDAS as delegates.

The event, , is aimed to bridge the gap between designers, architects, hoteliers and key-industry suppliers.

About IDAS

The one-day event, which will take place on April 29 at Hilton Tower Bridge London, is designed to connect senior executives working within the sector with product and service suppliers for face-to-face meetings and business networking.

The Summit aims to support the design and architecture sector with a unique platform to help create long-lasting and mutually beneficial business connections.

The design and architecture companies confirmed to attend IDAS are:

Aaron Chetwynd Architect Studio
Abode Architecture
Ana Engelhorn Interior Design Ltd
Anita Rosato Interior Design
Brompton Cross Construction
Burke Rickhards Ltd
Burrell Mistry Architects
CMT Design & Construction
CS Design
Dexter Moren Associates
DesignLSM
EPR Architects
Fiona Barratt Interiors
FL Interiors
Forster
Gauri Dole Design Studio
Goddard Littlefair
GA Design
GA Architect
Gereghty Taylor Architects
Gunter & Co Interiors
Harp Commercial Interiors
Hartmann Designs Limited
Harriet Forde Design
HBA London
Henry Prideaux Interior Design
Hyphen
InD Creations
Je Ne Sais Quoi
JPA Design
JCC
Jo Berryman Studio
Koubou Interiors
Kim Partridge
KCA International Designers Ltd
Lambart & Browne
LDA Design
LXA Projects
Materialise Interiors
Mangera Yvars Architects
MKV Design
Natalia Interior Design
NBBJ
NSI Design Ltd
Nine Yard Club
One Creative Environments Limited
Panache Interiors
Project (SW) Ltd
Rebecca James Studio
ReardonSmith Architects
Run for The Hills
RWD
Sapphire Spaces
Suited ID
Stop and Smell the Roses
Studio Mica
Tara Bernerd and Partners
Toca
Temza
Twinning Design
Wilson Associates
Watson Batty Architects
Woods Bagot
WS Design
Yasmine Mahmoudieh
Virserius Studio
Zannier Hotels

If you are an architect or interior designer and would like to attend the Summit, there are very limited spaces available. Please contact Kerry Naumburger on k.naumburger@forumevents.co.uk – or click here to book your place.If you are a supplier to the hospitality industry looking to meet the top architects and interior designers, contact Victoria Petch on v.petch@forumevents.co.uk – or click here to book your place.

Click here for more information about IDAS.

Media partner: Future Contractor & Architect

In Conversation With: Tom Lindblom, Gensler

800 535 Hamish Kilburn

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.

Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi adds new tented jungle villas

800 535 Hamish Kilburn

The hotel’s safari-style Tented Jungle Villas, designed by Bushtec Safari are a unique alternative to over-water accommodation…  

With the trend for experiential travel continuing to evolve, luxury travellers are adapting a ‘carpe diem’ mindset, pursuing adventures that allow them to traverse the world in style. Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi has announced the launch of its safari-style Tented Jungle Villas, offering an authentic alfresco experience in the heart of the resort’s inland jungle, to unleash the explorer in every traveller. The Tented Jungle Villas, designed by South African luxury tent specialists, Bushtec Safari, house an outdoor rain shower, roll-top tub and locally sourced, rustic interiors throughout.

simple and luxury interiors

Image credit: Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi

Set in their own private wonderland of wilderness, the Tented Jungle Villas are built to mirror the beauty and diversity of the island’s verdant flora and fauna. Built with wooden frames, amber-toned interiors and walls swathed in white canvas, travellers have the opportunity to get closer to nature. A harmonious balance of space and seclusion, the Tented Jungle Villas house a master suite with Californian king-sized bed and en-suite bathroom, a spacious alfresco lounge, complete with handmade wooden furnishings, and a Sala for communal dining that overlooks the private pool and outdoor bath tub.

For film aficionados, private pop-up cinema screenings can be organised in the Tented Jungle Villas, showcasing cult classics and blockbusters under the stars, while adventurers can set sail to a nearby deserted island for a castaway picnic. Gourmands can head out to sea for a sunrise fishing trip and learn the art of Maldivian line fishing, before heading back to their jungle abode for a private BBQ where they can see how fresh seafood and traditional Maldivian dishes are prepared on the private decking area. Relaxation-seekers can luxuriate in a spa treatment in the privacy of the villa, or simply bask under the swaying palms and sounds of the canopy by the beach.

Opened in May 2018, Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi is the only resort on the pristine atoll offering 112 luxury villas, each with their own private pool. In addition to the luxury Tented Jungle Villas, the Beach and Water Villas are bohemian inspired, with rustic chic interiors, copper bathroom fittings and carved wood detailing.

Main image credit: Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi

Editor’s round-up of Surface Design Show 2019

800 532 Hamish Kilburn

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

SHORTLIST ANNOUNCED: Hotel Designs’ 30 under 30

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HD

SHORTLIST ANNOUNCED: Hotel Designs’ 30 under 30

Hundreds of entries have been whittled down to just 40 talented designers and architects under 30… 

Following its search to find the industry’s next rising stars, Hotel Designs has announced the shortlist of its 2019 30 Under 30 initiative…

Nominations, which closed on February 15, came in from many leading design firms such as HBA London, The Gettys Group, WATG, Richmond International, Gensler and many more.

Further to being recognised as rising stars on the international hotel design scene, the shortlisted finalists will also be invited, courtesy of Hotel Designs, to Meet Up London to network among a sea of other leading leading names in the industry.

“Our aim for the 30 Under 30 initiative is really to bridge the age gap between designers, hoteliers, architects and key industry suppliers,” said Katy Phillips, publisher of Hotel Designs. “Our events are often attended by directors and principals of studios, but we would like to extend the invitation now to include the young talented individuals who are shaping the future of our industry.”

The shortlisted finalists are:

Adam Charlap Hyman – Charlap Hyman & Herrero

Adam  Crabtree – Chelsom

Alaa Mohamed – Pallavi Dean Interiors

Ali Bacon – The Gettys Group

Amber Peters – Bluehaus

Andre Herrero – Charlap Hyman & Herrero

Anya Gordon Clark – Dexter Moren Associates

Beatrice Fischel-Bock – Hutch

Catherine van der Heide – HASSELL

Charlotte Roe – WISH London

Daniela Anedda – M Studio London

David Jelensky – M Studio London

Gina Langridge – WATG

Gioia Corrada – M Studio London

Harry Allnatt – Richmond International

Jen Lees – HBA London

Jodie Hatton – Brintons

Jordyn Dickson – The Gettys Group

Josh Piddock – Project Orange

Karolina Samuilaite – Modus

Kate Jarrett – Scott Brownrigg

Kay Jones – Brintons

Lauren McEwen – Goddard Littlefair

Lily Kwong – Studio Lily Kwong

Lisa Liu  – WATG

Mahesh Parekh – ARA Design

Marion Pierru – Wilson Associates

Natasha Ahmed – Lulie Fisher Design Studio

Nicola Brook – Nicola Brook Design

Omar Nakkash – Nakkash Design Studio

Patrick McCrae – ARTIQ

Rasha All-Tekreeti – MMAC Design

Rebecca Quickfall – Jasper Sanders + Partners

Reem Moussalli – Dress The Space F.Z.E

Rosalynn Youdan – Jestico + Whiles

Sarah Murphy – Jestico + Whiles

Scarlett Supple – Soho House Design

Simona Miron – Gensler

Stephanie Riedl – B3 Designers

Yasmin Farahmandy – Gensler

Yosola Akinwumi – HBA London

About Meet Up London

More than 200 hospitality professionals are expected to attend Hotel Designs’ highly anticipated networking event, Meet Up London.

Following the success of previous networking events, such as The Brit list 2018 and Meet Up North, Hotel Designs’ Meet Up London will adopt the theme of 30 under 30. The leading hotel design website has asked its readers to nominate designers, architects and hoteliers of the age of 30 and under who are fast climbing the ranks to become leading practitioners.

The event, which is being styled exclusively by Minotti London, will provide a unique opportunity to network over drinks and canapés with the largest names in hospitality, interior design and architecture.

Address: 77 Margaret St, Fitzrovia, London, W1W 8SY
Time: 6pm – 9pm

For more information about becoming a Hotel Designs Meet Up sponsor, contact Zoe Guerrier on 01992 374059 or email z.guerrier@forumevents.co.uk.

To purchase your tickets to Meet Up London, click here.

Exclusive style partner: Minotti London

Exclusive headline partner: Hamilton Litestat

Miraval Group unveils second hotel in Texas

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Miraval opens its second wellness destination in Texas Hill Country…

Hyatt brings its nationally acclaimed Miraval spa and wellness brand to Austin, Texas with the opening of Miraval Austin.

Set on 220 acres of picturesque land overlooking Lake Travis, Miraval Austin is the brand’s second wellness resort to open outside of its flagship property in Tucson, Arizona.

“We are incredibly proud to open Miraval Austin as we embark on an exciting period of expansion at Miraval,” said Marc W. Ellin, global head of Miraval Group. “For more than 20 years, Miraval has been dedicated to inspiring total mind, body and spirit wellness by offering guests authentic experiences rooted in mindfulness.  As we open Miraval Austin, we look forward to welcoming Miraval’s loyal guests, as well new audiences to experience the fulfillment, pleasure and growth that come with a Miraval experience.”

Image credit: Miraval Austin/Hyatt Hotels

Miraval Austin’s 117 guestrooms and suites designed by award-winning firm Hart Howerton are relaxing havens built in harmony with nature. Using a soft neutral color palate, guestrooms combine bespoke furniture, specially-selected fabrics and local, hand-crafted accessories and art to create a restorative atmosphere. In keeping with the Miraval brand’s ethos, the rooms have been designed to enhance guests’ sleep experience with Miraval bedding, black out shades and sleep-enhancing amenities, including Miraval’s signature cell phone sleeping bag.

Image credit: Miraval Austin/Hyatt Hotels

Conceptualised by renowned designer Clodagh, the Life in Balance Spa at Miraval Austin draws inspiration from the surrounding Balcones Canyonlands Preserve to create a serene environment that promotes relaxation, balance and a sense of wellbeing. The 20,000 square foot Life in Balance Spa boasts 30 treatment rooms, a spa pool, relaxation rooms, salon, sauna, steam room and spa retail boutique.

Developed at Miraval Arizona over 20 years ago, the brand’s famed equine programming will also be central to the Miraval Austin experience. The Cypress Creek Ranch at Miraval Austin offers an expertly developed curriculum that expands upon Miraval Arizona’s original programming with new workshops.

Main image credit: Miraval Austin/Hyatt Hotels

Four Seasons Hotel Montreal incoming this spring

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Architects Lemay and Sid Lee Architecture and interior design firms Gilles & Boissier and Atelier Zébulon Perron will complete Four Seasons Hotel Montreal this spring…

Heralding the city’s world renowned festival season and the biggest sporting event in Canada, the all-new Four Seasons Hotel Montreal has announced that it is confirming reservations for arrivals beginning June 1, 2019.

“We are so excited to join with our community in welcoming Formula One fans from around the world for the 2019 Montreal Grand Prix taking place June 7 to 9. The event virtually takes over the city, and we’ll be right there in the middle of it,” says Four Seasons General Manager Gonçalo Monteiro. “And that’s just the beginning of what promises to be a summer to remember in Montreal.”

Image credit: Four Seasons Hotels

The design-led hotel is the result of a collaboration between architects Lemay and Sid Lee Architecture and interior design firms Gilles & Boissier and Atelier Zébulon Perron. The 169-key luxury Four Seasons Hotel Montreal is located downtown in the city’s Golden Mile Square, connected to Holt Renfrew Ogilvy. Just ten minutes by foot from the city’s Bell Centre, the hotel is ideally located for international visitors, regional weekenders and business travellers. In addition to MARCUS restaurant and bar, the hotel will offer an intimate spa and state-of-the-art fitness centre, a skylit indoor pool and a stunning fifth floor ballroom with outdoor terrace.

The guestrooms and suites will feature avant-garde opulence complete with chaise lounges, floor-to-ceiling windows, oversized beds and boldly designed bathrooms. The pièce de résistance is the two-bedroom presidential suite, which is positioned on the top floor.

The new Four Seasons hotel is one of nine luxury statements that the hotel group plans to open this year, including hotels in Bangkok, Athens and Costa Palmas.

The hotel group currently has 111 hotels and resorts in 47 countries – including recent openings in Desroches Island, Seychelles; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; and São Paulo, Brazil.

Main image credit: Four Seasons Hotels

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

 

Kobe’s is pretty in pink

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It’s confirmed, the hottest shade of the year is officially pink!

The global authority on colour, Pantone has announced its ‘Colour of the Year’ 2019 as Living Coral, a vibrant pink alternative, while paint manufacturer, Farrow & Ball has released its must-have shades for 2019, one being the moodily-named Sulking Room Pink.

Luxury fabric specialist Kobe is focusing its attention on the wide variety of fabrics in the must-have hue.

“Pink is a great colour for brightening up a décor and Pantone’s Colour of the Year has always been an interior trend setter,” said David Harris, md at luxury fabric specialist Kobe. “Living Coral and Farrow & Ball’s Sulking Room Pink, a dusky variation of the colour, is the ideal shade for decorative accessories and soft furnishings and complements a whole host of other colours such as grey, cream and the popular ‘spiced honey’ spectrum.”

Kobe’s Shantung curtain fabric features an extensive selection of 50 shades, three of which meet the Living Coral and Sulking Room Pink criteria.

Kobe’s most established collection, Scala, boasts 205 fabric shades, including a whole section dedicated to Pantone’s colour of the year. Suitable for curtain use, Scala is a cotton, polyester and viscose mix featuring a beautiful drape, guaranteed to zest up a tired looking interior.

Suitable for upholstery and soft furnishings, Volterra is Kobe’s matte-look velvet and will add a serious sense of luxury to a drab space. With 54 shades to choose from, there are also several Living Coral variations in hues 42, 43 and 44.

The pictured sofa is upholstered in Kobe’s Real fabric.

Kobe’s UK operation is based in Crowthorne, Berkshire. The company has been supplying UK interior design and soft furnishing customers for 20 years and has a reputation for outstanding quality, innovative design and excellent customer service.

Kobe 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.

Main image caption: Kobe

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

 

How hotels can utilise this year’s bathroom trends

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With the bathroom trends for 2019 well and truly forecasted, interior designer Charlie Willaims from Heritage Bathrooms explains how hotels can inject these into the modern hotel…  

Luxurious, modern bathrooms are right at the top of the wishlist for homeowners right now, with many of these individuals now increasingly expecting to see this design-led approach when they book a hotel stay.

We have taken a look at this year’s five of key trends and how you can incorporate them to ensure your bathrooms remain at the cutting edge.

Mixed metallics

Metallics have been in vogue for a number of years now, and this trend is showing no sign of slowing down. The key to making it work in 2019 will be to vary the use of metals to create a standout look that will impress your guests.

Choose a distinctive metallic bath or statement copper brassware. Also consider using accent textures and shade with a traditional chrome mirror frame like Heritage’s arched mirror for a classic finish.

Biophilia

Pink bath in front of a floral wallpaper

Image credit: Heritage Bathrooms

For the uninitiated, biophilia involves bringing a little bit of the outside in – creating warm and welcoming spaces combining plants with natural woods and neutral tones.

A key way to bring this into a hotel space is to maximise natural light. Minimise blinds and curtains to allow the sunlight to pour in and then build a bit of colour on top of the neutral tones by adding an array of low-maintenance plants, or some nature inspired wallpaper.

Memphis Design

Image credit: Heritage Bathrooms

The 1980s is alive again and experiencing a bit of a renaissance thanks to the Memphis Design movement.

It doesn’t need to be difficult to incorporate this trend, which makes the most of primary colours and geometry, in a subtle way. Pair a colourful roll top tub, like the Buckingham from Heritage, with some funky towel designs for a bit of pattern and intrigue.

Colour layering

Layered tiles in the bathroom

Image credit: Heritage Bathrooms

Bringing a range of colours and shades into a bathroom space can make it feel warm and welcoming, while adding a little bit of interest and intrigue.

Make sure that you include a common thread which ties the room together if you’re going to implement this trend. A good example would be to layer a range of accessories in soft hues on top of a monochrome bathroom suite. This will also enable you to alter your colour scheme according to the different seasons.

Bold black bathrooms

Croc-scaled bath

Image credit: Heritage Bathrooms

Dark shades can help bring a spa-like quality to a bathroom, creating an indulgent, high-end guest experience.

Make a statement by including a dark freestanding bath, such as the hand finished Alderley Croc Skin Effect from Heritage Bathrooms. Pair it with patterned tiles or wallpaper for an elegant finish.

Main image credit: Heritage Bathrooms

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.

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

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In the second article in the series, From Concept to Completion, we delve deeper into the design story of Plaza 18. Interior designer Nicky Dobree speaks to editor Hamish Kilburn on the final stages of the journey to complete her first hotel…

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.

With just a couple of months until the scheduled opening, the bulk of challenges have been rectified and Dobree’s original sketches are taking shape. However, like with many of these projects, the journey hasn’t been a simple one. “The property was a listed building and we had to apply for a change of use too,” Dobree explains. “The combination of both these requirements made it a particularly difficult process and we had to sell our vision. The process has taken a frustratingly long five years. We had a clear view of what we wanted to achieve and have managed to open up the space to work as a hotel and avoid poky corridors and dark corners,” she adds.

Through the painful months which turned to years, Dobree was able to use the time as an opportunity to connect with the project, which leads me to ask the question all designers arguably fear the most. “My favourite area of the hotel,” she considers scanning the site. “I think it is probably the patio with its sweeping staircase and communal area at the heart of the building breathing air, light and vitality into the hotel. “It invites you to rest, take a breath, look up and around to absorb the structure of the building. Another favourite area is the roof top with its incredible views across towards Morocco.”

Considering the hotel’s location, with its strong sense-of-place local architecture and colours, blending design and functionality has been the starting point of every design decision when creating Plaza 18. “We have worked with the building and the spaces that it provides, accentuating its best features and incorporating the needs of modern living,” Dobree unveils. “The overall aesthetic is pure, elegant and comfortable,” which is a description I totally conquer with.”

In part one of the series, in a quickfire round, Dobree admitted that her biggest bugbear was non-surprisingly bad lighting. Therefore, I am eager to understand the lighting direction of Plaza 18 and how she has natural and artificial elements to highlight the hotel’s unmistakable personality. “We are lucky to be in a spacious and bright building, so daytime light plays its ways through the space as the sun moves through the day,” she explains. “The large central sky light in the patio lets the light pour in. There are windows on both the north and the south of the building too so nowhere is it dark and poky. To provide a soft evening light, we have used lamps and wall lights.”

“The overall aesthetic is pure, elegant and comfortable.” – Nicky Dobree

One of the most interesting elements about Plaza 18 is the fact that it will shelter just six bedrooms. “They are not six individual personalities per se but each room has been individually designed so that they each have their own personality,” explains Dobree. “The bedrooms are not, as in so many hotels, just a repeat of the room next door.”

Lifting the lid on the suppliers that she has used for her first hotel, Dobree explains: “Combined with marble and Spanish ceramics, we have used Lefroy Brooks in the bathrooms. We have kept the reclaimed tiles in the patio and laid timber floors elsewhere.  Regarding the fabrics, we have turned to Pierre Frey, Ralph Lauren, and many of our other favourite suppliers. In the bedroom, there is exquisite bed linen from Italy in which to sink into at the end of each day. The furniture, meanwhile, is a mix of vintage finds and more contemporary pieces.”

As Dobree continues to design Plaza 18 ahead of its highly anticipated opening, I am beginning to realise the personal connection Dobree has on all projects that she sensitively touches.

It’s a hat trick for Scape Design Associates as it completes three landscape design projects for Grecotel

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Internationally acclaimed landscape design practice, Scape Design Associates, has completed the refurbishment of three Grecotel resorts in readiness for the 2019 holiday season…

Design firm Scape Design Associates has recently completed renovations on Casa Marron in the Greek Peloponnese, Pella Beach in Halkidiki on Greece’s Cassandra Peninsula and the Corfu Imperial, located on the tip of the private peninsula of Kommeno on the island of Corfu. While the character of each resort is quite different, and Scape’s response completely bespoke to each project, the visions for each project share in the desire to connect with the natural landscape of the location and create numerous opportunities for guest engagement, entertainment and rejuvenation.

The very grand Corfu Imperial is set apart from other hotels on the island, not just by its stunning location surrounded on three sides by the Ionian Sea but by its Italian Renaissance-style gardens which take inspiration from the island’s historic links to Italy. Pella Beach, by contrast, is a modern family resort looking towards the Aegean Sea and Casa Marron, while also offering stunning sea views, is situated in an agricultural landscape.

“We have worked with Grecotels on numerous projects over the years, so it is very special to us when we can our philosophy to their beautiful properties,” says Philip Jaffa, Founder of Scape Design Associates and a finalist at The Brit List 2018. ”We strongly believe in a new kind of tourism that is not just about sustainability and preservation, although it includes both, but is a tourism of harmony, connection and restoration – living in conscious relationship with the earth. Landscape architects are in a unique place right now; we can be the ones who help build the bridge to connection by promoting a unique and harmonious relationship with the magnificent natural world we live in.”

Casa Marron – a modern interpretation of a Greek seaside village

Open bedroom onto green gardens

Image credit: Grecotel

Working closely with the client, Scape Design has master planned and revived Casa Marron as a luxury resort full of laid-back Greek charm, where a harmonious balance of function and aesthetics ensure contented tranquillity. Responding to the tradition of Greek communities where life takes place in the central square, the team has created a modern “village square” in the heart of this seaside destination, complete with dining pavilions, a performance area, pergolas to shade under and open-air seating terraces, all surrounding a reflecting water jet feature. The result is simple and inclusive. The square is complemented by two new beach side pools with undisturbed views of the sea, open lawn areas offering opportunities for play, retreat and reflection, and a new terraced dining pavilion which steps down to the beach.

The plan also sought to achieve better flow between the buildings across the 800,000 sq. m site, which had diminished over the years with successive additions. Starting with guest arrival, Scape Design created a new courtyard to formalise the moment, enable improved traffic management and frame the memory-making view – the new infinity pool and, beyond this, the sea. The entrance road was realigned into an olive tree lined driveway interspersed with water features and leading to a new palm tree-lined drop-off point. Service and delivery were separated from the guest experience by the addition of separate routes.

All the existing trees were preserved under a carefully considered transplantation plan, a new olive grove was planted on an extended open lawn area to provide areas of shade and avenues of trees were introduced to connect the three pools – the 40-metre main infinity pool, the 37-metre beach pool and the kids’ pool. New pathways and the central courtyard were constructed with locally sourced stone and laid in the traditional puzzle paving pattern. New white pergola structures reflect the traditional arches seen elsewhere in the resort and new timber structures echo traditional construction methods.

Pella Beach – a contemporary symbiosis of landscape, architecture and interior design

Light woods feature in one of the modern guestrooms

Image credit: Grecotel

Scape Design has redesigned the landscape of Pella Beach to harmonise with the updated building facades and refreshed interiors and to open it up to what is one of Halkidiki’s longest and most beautiful beaches. Now, generously proportioned modern pools with crisp edges are at one with the buildings and tree-lined avenues take the eye to sea and horizon, frame the green Sukabumi stone-lined pools and create an allusion of distance.

The previously outdated arrival has been transformed. A new walled courtyard offers immediate separation from the roadway outside, drawing guests into another world and, via shaded pathways, to the entrance lobby. The plan is simple and axial. One axis draws guests through the courtyard into the lobby and then beyond into the gardens and beachside restaurant. The other axis is central to the building and powerfully anchors the landscape with the architecture.

The two existing pools were replaced to match and reflect the simple, modern and clean spaces of the renovated interiors. The new restaurant pavilion and lobby bar terrace structures take inspiration from architectural forms, in particular the colonnades that flank the building. In order to ensure a view of both the garden and the sky to every guest, the restaurant has been designed as a garden courtyard surrounded by an open-air double colonnaded space. The roof slopes inwards so that during a rainstorm the internal space amplifies the effect and creates a dramatic rain garden spectacle.

The design team opted for a simple palette of materials. Large porcelain tiles, distinctive for their modernity and uniform textures, highlight the main axes of Pella Beach. In addition to the existing olive trees, new olive trees were planted and Washingtonia Palms were introduced to lend drama to the new avenues.

Corfu Imperial – a revival of the Italian Gardens

Palatial interiors in one of the guestroom at the hotel

Image credit: Grecotel

Set against a backdrop of the crystal-clear waters of the Ionian Sea, the natural beauty of the seven-hectare site, with panoramic views of the Marina and the island’s Old Town as well as the sea, sets this hotel apart. Scape’s mission was to enhance connection between hotel and landscape wherever possible, from new arrival courtyards built within characterful olive groves, to a new lower pool perched above the sea, to stylish garden pavilions. Every moment at the Corfu Imperial now offers unforgettable views far into the distance and closer at hand where the grandeur of the Italian-style gardens with its palette of Cypress trees, formal clipped hedges and colourful flowering aromatic shrubs is a feast for all the senses.

The existing upper pool was treated to elegant new cabanas and the rooftop terraces were refined.

The refurbished landscape now includes an enhanced beachfront promenade for shopping and dining and Il Boschetto – new family accommodation located within the gardens. The existing upper pool was treated to elegant new cabanas and the rooftop terraces were refined. When the Corfu Imperial re-opens this spring, guests will find a stunning juxtaposition of the elegantly modern with a classical jewel.

Main image credit: Grecotel

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

Melia Hotels International opens first property in Prague

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Meliá Hotels International, Spain’s largest hotel brand, unveils INNSiDE Prague Old Town, its latest property and first hotel in the Czech capital…

Designed by Spanish architect Meritxell Cuartero, INNSiDE Prague Old Town will open in March as the first Meliá Hotels International’s hotel in the Czech capital.

The hotel marks a new era for the INNSiDE by Meliá portfolio, fitting perfectly into the brand’s evolution of design-led lifestyle and resort hotels, to give guests more freedom to relax and explore, whether they are travelling for work or leisure.

Living/lounge area with low seating and contemporary wooden bookshelf

Image credit: INNSiDE by Meliá

With a key focus on sustainability, INNSIDE Prague Old Town Hotel will provide 90 modern guestrooms, all featuring the attributes of the INNSiDE by Meliá brand. This includes in-room amenities, such as bathrobes, slippers and flip flops, a luxurious coffee machine, complimentary minibar, with fresh juices and local beer and Smeg fridges packed full of healthy treats, drinks and snacks. Superior+ rooms will also have high-end sound systems, complimentary streaming services and complimentary bike rental to encourage guests to explore the local area.

“INNSiDE Prague Old Town will be one of the first hotels to offer all of the new attributes and sustainable features of this stunning and fast-growing brand, which adds up to the attractiveness of this amazing city,” said Gabriel Escarrer, Executive Vice President and CEO of Meliá Hotels International.” As the leading leisure hotel Group worldwide, our brands are also extremely successful in an increasingly leisure-inspired urban market, where the city of Prague stands out.”

With health and wellness a key focus point for the brand, INNSiDE Prague Old Town will offer a gym with state-of-the-art fitness suites and the latest digital fitness software. The hotel will have an open lobby space for meetings, whether social or business, as well as boasting creative meeting room spaces including a cinema, wellness studio and recording studio, which can be hired for events and functions.

The INNSiDE by Meliá brand portfolio already has 38 hotels in 20 countries, 20 in operation and 18 in the pipeline.

Main image credit: INNSiDE by Meliá

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

5 awe-inspiring hotel architecture projects currently on the boards

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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

Top stories of the week: Trending interiors, suites at sea and anti-social hotel rooms

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Following a bustling Maison&Objet and Deco Off, interior trends have been trending throughout this week’s headlines. Hamish Kilburn breaks down the top stories of the week…

Whoever thought that January was a soft landing was seriously mistaken – or didn’t work in the hotel design arena. My inbox over the last 25 days has been inundated with press releases from hotel groups announcing their vast expansion plans. This week alone, Melia Hotels International, Nobu Hospitality and Kimpton Hotels all announced dramatic plans to open new luxury properties in new destinations. Suggesting a serious change in travellers’ behaviour, the hotel industry is not the other luxury market that is adapting its strategy to cater towards the modern traveller. Concluding our series, Hotels at New Heights, I spoke to the hotel designers that have turned their heads towards the cruise industry.

Here are the top stories of the week.

1) Nobu Hotels announces plans to arrives in Poland

Exterior shot of the hotel. a new building located at Wilcza Street, designed by the Polish architectural firm, Medusa Group,

Image credit: Nobu Hospitality

Nobu Hospitality, a global luxury lifestyle brand founded by Nobu Matsuhisa, Robert De Niro and Meir Teper, has announced its continued global expansion into Warsaw, Poland…

On track to have 20 hotels within its portfolio globally by 2020, Nobu Hotels has announced plans to open Nobu Hotel Warsaw.

2) Inside the world’s first hotel room that determines room rate based on social media addiction

Light glowing red next to the bed of a hotel

Image credit: The Check Out Suite, Hotel

That’s right, a hotel in Gothenburg, Sweden, has launched a new policy where the room rate is determined by how much time guests spend surfing on social media…

With the number of social media users worldwide in 2018 reaching a staggering 3.196 billion, up 13 per cent year-on-year according to Smart Insights, it was only a matter of time before hotels would launch schemes in order to help guests reconnect with the world around their screens. With the aim to take this initiative further, a hotel in Gothenburg, Sweden, has actually launched a hotel room where its rates will be determined by how much the guest spends on social media platforms.

3) Top 14 most tagged interior design trends on Instagram

With so many interior design trends, it can be difficult to choose a style that fits a particular space best. While most of these trends intertwine, some are undoubtedly more popular than others.

4) Hotels at New Heights: suites on the high seas

Render from Richmond International of Balcony Cabin

Image caption: Render from Richmond International of Balcony Cabin

To conclude our series, Hotels at New Heights, I investigate why more and more hotel designers are taking to the seas to design the luxury cruise vessels’ suites of the future.

5) Meet Up London: 30 Under 30 launches 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.

Main image credit: Image credit: Seabourn Ovation/Adam Tihany Studio