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INDUSTRY INSIGHT: enhancing guestrooms and suites post-pandemic

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
INDUSTRY INSIGHT: enhancing guestrooms and suites post-pandemic

While public areas in hotel design are having to adapt in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak, Hotel Designs asks the experts at Billiards how their products can add entertainment in suites and large guestrooms…

With the hospitality industry seeking creative responses to the short and long term effects of the Pandemic, Hoteliers and Interior Designers are looking especially at the division between public and private spaces, and the need to make significant changes to appeal to guests in the first place, and to provide an ideal environment for them when they arrive.

The need for Social distancing creates challenges in Public areas in particular, so one area of focus will be on expanding and enhancing the Private areas, and providing entertainment within these, that might previously have been features of the Public areas. Key to attracting guests, for extended stays especially, will be to offer them ways to enjoy spending more time with family and fellow travellers in their own space, without the need to socialise more widely, and thus less safely.

Imagine the option of a home away from home in a fabulous location, the opportunity to enjoy a luxury ‘staycation’ with all the comforts of home, or, even better, with more. What better way to entice your wealthier guests, than to provide them with luxury leisure items, in the comfort and security of their own Rooms, Suites or Apartments. By doing so, you significantly enhance their experience of the Private area, and therefore of their entire holiday.

Snooker tables and Pool tables, whether in a Bar or dedicated billiard or games room, have long been a staple piece in many hospitality venues.  At the luxury end of the market especially, bar-owners, and interior designers have often chosen to make a statement of quality, and personality, at the same time as creating a focal point for social entertainment, with a truly bespoke, well-designed and hand-crafted table, like the ones made by Sir William Bentley Billiards, at its workshops in Marten, England.

Ranging from carefully restored antique billiard tables, through strikingly contemporary pool tables, to dual-purpose dining & conference tables, examples of the company’s work can be found in hotels and bars as far afield as Macau, Singapore, Dubai & New York, and as close to home as Mayfair and the West country. Every piece is uniquely specified and finished to suit the room it is being made or restored for; and, although most have been purchased outright, for commercial clients, the company also offers tables on a rental basis.

The majority of its tables, however, will be found in the homes of discerning private clients. For more than 40 years, Sir William Bentley Billiards has been the choice of Interior designers and private clients seeking to furnish their games rooms, dining rooms or open-plan living spaces with unique, bespoke Snooker, Pool and dual-purpose dining tables. It is this experience of providing truly personalised pieces of furniture that makes them so unique, and so suited to the ‘boutique’ or independent hotel.

During the lockdown, we have all been made to realise how important our living space can be to us; what we’re lacking, and what we’re so lucky to have. Those whose homes already had a focus for social entertainment such as a Pool table or Table tennis table, have appreciated it more than ever. And many who haven’t, have begun to realise how valuable something of this sort might be. As a result, in residential environments at least, there is now an even greater perception of the value of a Pool or Snooker table – for those who have the space for a games room – or a multi-purpose Pool-dining table, for those who want or need to make better use of a dining room or open plan living space.

For hotels and resorts, therefore, and especially lifestyle hotels, and those at the higher end of the market place, there is an opportunity to take advantage of this desire for luxury social entertainment, and provide your guests with a reason to escape the public spaces and indulge their private spaces with a friendly frame or two of Snooker or Pool.

Billiards is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here.

Main image credit: Billiards

Hotels at New Heights: suites on the high seas

800 533 Hamish Kilburn

To conclude our series, Hotels at New Heights, Hamish Kilburn investigates why more and more hotel designers are taking to the seas to design the luxury cruise vessels’ suites of the future…

Somewhere between Myanmar and Phuket, in the Andaman Sea, my perception of luxury cruises shifted from that of a cliché to feeling very much part of an exclusive club. In what felt like a blink of an eye on board Seabourn Sojourn, while watching an unpolluted starry sky meet the horizon, I realised that I was in my own little ‘one-off experience’ moment, which was totally unmatched by any hotel on the planet – no matter how luxurious.

In just a handful of days, our short voyage took us to four countries until we eventually arrived in the bright lights of Singapore. We docked just in time to attend the naming ceremony of Seabourn’s latest ship, the Encore. With interiors imagined by award-winning designer Adam Tihany, who is best known for working on hotel projects such as The Beverly hills Hotel, Mandarin Oriental London and Four Seasons Dubai Financial Centre, it was clear that the luxury cruise liner was daring to be different in order to cater to the growing demand for luxury travel.

Seabourn Encore/Ovation

From impeccable finishes and bespoke fittings to the hand-picked art, the Encore was the beginning of a new design direction for the Seabourn brand with a few elements remaining the same, such as the iconic hot tub positioned on the bow. Tihany’s sharp vision provided comfort and familiarity of an on-board living room. The atrium included an elliptical double-helix staircase that connects seven floors and was complete with a six-storey art installation that, again, reiterated the design inspiration of Seabourn’s effortless luxury style.

Public areas that are large with a mix of furniture

Image credit: Seabourn Ovation/Adam Tihany Studio

Ever since then, the industry has evolved and expanded as a result of travellers being prepared to go further to explore beyond just one beach, city or a destination. In 2017,  a total of 25.8 million passengers boarded cruise ships to travel, which is 4.9 million more passengers than in 2012.  With this great demand comes great responsibility. The leading luxury cruise liners as we knew it had to, with a splash of irony, charter themselves into new waters in order to seek inspirational interior designers to work on creating their up-market future fleet of ships.

“‘Experience’ has become the buzzword for the hospitality industry. Guests are no longer focused on traditional expectations but are looking for interior spaces that have been tailored to their own unique interests and aspirations,” explained Tihany when discussing how the latest design-led cruises are changing the hospitality arena. “Whether it be within the comfort of a suite or through a transformative dining experience, the changes within the cruise world bring to light a current momentum I call the Age of Design, which continues to move the dial in all areas of hospitality.”

Suite on board Seabourn Ovation with large bed and calming interiors

Image credit: Seabourn Ovation/Adam Tihany Studio

While Tihany continued to wave his interior designer wand on Seabourn’s luxurious fleet, with the launch of Ovation last year, other celebrated hotel designers were also receiving ambitious briefs in order to take luxury cruise ship design to new heights.

P&O Britannia / P&O Iona

Richmond International became the first interior design firm to be selected to help reimagine the interiors for P&O Cruises directly because of its impressive luxury hotel portfolio. Director Terry McGillicuddy was given the somewhat unusual task to design the entire interiors for the P&O Britannia vessel, which took its maiden voyage in 2015. “This opened up opportunities for a whole-ship holistic integrated design approach,” he explained. “And allowed us to integrate a consistent design thread whilst maintaining the individuality and integrity of each space.”

“Richmond loved this challenge after decades in land based hospitality design; this has become a huge part of our business.” – Terry McGillicuddy, Director, Richmond International.

Despite the firm having led interior design projects such as The Beaumont, Langham London and Sandy Lane in Barbados, the team were required to adapt their design processes in order to comply with certain marine regulations, as McGillicuddy explains: “We needed to learn the specifics to Marine Works Regulations and certifications, respecting International Safety of Life at Seas (SOLAS) rules, and a whole new ‘ship’ language.

Render from Richmond International of Balcony Cabin

Image caption/credit: Render from Richmond International of Balcony Cabin on board P&O Iona

“It was also crucial to understand the differences between the interior fit out process of the ship, which is a metal construction ‘panel’ based system throughout. We had to appreciate the limitations in terms of space constrictions and minimal ceiling heights, and design the interior around these issues.

“Due to restrictions on weight and different fire regulations, material specification was also a challenge. We looked at new suppliers and manufacturing processes, which have the approved IMO certification for marine use.

“All of these new parameters were exciting to learn whilst respecting the very tight turnaround times in the build program. Richmond loved this challenge after decades in land based hospitality design; this has become a huge part of our business.”

Following the success of P&O Britannia, Richmond International, together with interior design and architecture firm Jestico + Whiles, were awarded the opportunity to design the interiors for the new ship, Iona. Expected to launch in 2020, with the distinct aim to “bring the outside in,” Iona is expected to feel more like a large resort than a conventional cruise ship. With a glass dome roof and spacious layout throughout, the vessel will be flooded with natural light. “Guests are now expecting more state-of-the-art vessels, exclusive destinations and authentic ‘memorable’ experiences; interior design must respond to and support these demands,” said McGillicuddy. “This can result in cruise ships evolving to a more ‘resort’ like experience and the design more focused on the deployment markets or passenger origins. This can bring in local and cultural design requirements which we can leverage from our hotel heritage.”

Straddling both interior design and architecture, Jestico + Whiles, unveiled its design for a new atrium concept on board P&O Cruises’ next generation of ship, Iona. The design of the soaring triple-height Grand Atrium is described as the heart of the vessel, complete with panoramic views across ever-changing waters. “The sea becomes the focus of the triple-height space; the sinuous curves are shaped around it, framing and complementing the views to the outside, said James Dilley, Director of Jestico + Whiles. “Despite the challenge of such a large space, we have worked closely with P&O Cruises to make the Grand Atrium harmonious with the separate venues, making the space both open and intimate.”

Render courtesy of Jestico + Whiles showing the large atrium inside P&O Cruises' Iona

Image caption: Render courtesy of Jestico + Whiles showing the large atrium inside P&O Cruises’ Iona

An elegant, arcing staircase of Italian marble with a polished, filigree silver balustrade serves as the centrepiece to the space, evoking the glamour of the iconic cruise ships of the 20th century. Designed as a piece of sculptural architecture, its curving form guides guests on a journey through the decks offering changing views and perspectives of the sea and activity within, encouraging everyone to explore the variety of destinations on board.

Celebrity Edge

Following its maiden voyage on December 9 from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, all eyes seem to be focused on the Celebrity Edge cruise ship. The 1,467 staterooms, including 176 suites, on board have been designed by the award-winning luxury interior designer Kelly Hoppen. In addition to the laid-back luxurious accommodation, Hoppen also designed the Retreat Sundeck and The Retreat Lounge and Luminae, which is the suite-class restaurant.

“Celebrity Edge is definitely a ship of the future – nothing like this has ever been done in this industry before. I was so honoured to be part of something this groundbreaking and it was a challenge for me to do something that no one had ever done before,” explained Hoppen. “The craftsmanship and quality that Celebrity Cruises follows is second to none and their reputation for innovations in the industry is already renowned so it was an incredibly exciting project to work on.”

Hoppen’s stylish interiors proved so popular that they are now being rolled out across the fleet as part of a $500 million investment called the Celebrity Revolution.

Iconic Suite Cat IC - Master Bedroom - Room #12100 Deck 12 Forward Starboard Celebrity EDGE - Celebrity Cruises

Image caption: Iconic Suite Cat IC – Master Bedroom – Room #12100 Deck 12 Forward Starboard
Celebrity EDGE – Celebrity Cruises

The architect on the project, Tom Wright, whose impressive portfolio includes projects as grand as the Burj Al Arab, pushed design boundaries by unveiling the world’s first cantilevered deck on the vessel. The elevating deck, or Magic Carpet as it is being called, can move up and down the ship’s exterior with the ability to dock at four separate levels. The concept of its interiors, designed by Hoppen, transforms into many settings. When it is positioned at Deck two, for example, it becomes a luxury entrance foyer. However, when it moves to Deck 16, it becomes a high-dining experience.

Designed by architect Tom Wright, the Magic Carpet is the world's first cantilevered deck

Image credit: Designed by architect Tom Wright, the Magic Carpet is the world’s first cantilevered deck

Design studio Jouin Manku also worked on the interior spaces inside Celebrity Edge. On board, the studio imagined The Grand Plaza, which is the Main Dining Atrium as well as the connecting circulation spaces.  Designers Sanjit Manku and Patrick Jouin came to the Celebrity Edge project with a sense of excitement and wonder, and the desire to capture the magic of travelling by sea. Inspired by the glamour and adventure of the pre-war era of travel, they sought to transform this experience for the 21st century.

Meanwhile, the three-storey Eden bar and restaurant stretches across the stern of the vessel and is complete with striking spaces of dark greens, brass and palms.

Aside from the water slides, zip-wires and other sensational headline-grabbing features on board the giants of the seas, there is a larger picture. With the cruise industry now leaning on leading hotel designers to imagine their future fleets, the lanes between luxury hotel design and luxury cruise ship design are coming together. In August of last year, the cruise industry hit new records, reporting a total of 113 ships on the orderbook to be introduced between now and 2027, with Seabourn, Princess, TUI and Lindblad among them. With the demand for cruise ships at an all time high, more and more award-winning hotel designers are seeing this market as one of ample opportunity, taking international hotel design on its maiden voyage for an unforgettable journey.

Throughout this series, Hotels at New Heights, we have investigated how other luxury markets are working to design their future territories. The aim of this series has been to understand how hotel designers and architects can continue to challenge conventional design in order to help lead the hospitality market with clear innovation and thinking outside the box.

To read article one, Hotels at New Heights: Suites in the Sky, click here. To read article two, Hotels at New Heights: Rooms on rails, click here.

If you would like to collaborate on future series’ and articles that are similar to these, please tweet us @HotelDesigns

Main image credit: Celebrity Edge/Kelly Hoppen 

Hotels at New Heights: Rooms on Rails

800 537 Hamish Kilburn

In the second article in the series, Hotels at New Heights, Hamish Kilburn investigates how the luxury train industry is seeing somewhat of a renaissance for plush suite travel following an uncertain journey on the rails…

The year was 1914. Woodrow Wilson was the President of the United States of America and the greatest war the world had ever seen was brewing in the air. Although the year is nowadays referred to in the history books as the beginning of a bloody war, WW1, it was also a year of huge significance within the travel industry. In January 1914, the world’s first fixed-wing airliner took to the skies for the very first time. Despite the short journey between  St. Petersburg, Florida, to Tampa, Florida, the monumental defiance of gravity set the scene of the aviation industry becoming commercialised.

Up until then, luxury travellers relied on boats and to a certain extent trains – both of which were uncomfortable and long when navigating from one destination to the other. Watching the world disappear over the horizon from above the clouds became an experience that began to dominate the luxury market. What used to take days on a train or boat could now take hours in the air.

Fast forward more than a century, and aviation today is at an all-time high, with more than four billion of the world’s population taking to the skies every year. But as the bulk of the world fastens their seat belts for take-off, the luxury train industry is seeing somewhat of a renaissance, which is largely being led by the demand for one-off high-end experiences. As travellers around the world become more adventurous on their explorations, so too does their preferred method of transport. For some, luxury trains are in an unmatched league of their own. At the core of that splendour is arguably the beautiful, painstakingly detailed interiors that no airline in the world, past or present, can match.

“Travelling by rail has become a prestigious novelty for the few who had the luxury of time on their hands when exploring the world.”

Realistically, with time being the luxury in most peoples’ busy lifestyles, the thought of boarding a train from London to Venice is somewhat a waste of time. But when the method of transport becomes the experience, as opposed to simply the necessary endurance of a journey to get from A to B, the journey becomes a prestigious once-in-a-lifetime memory.

As the aviation industry continued to grow to cater to the expansive demand to travel to all corners of the globe, travelling by rail has become a prestigious novelty for the few who had the luxury of time on their hands when exploring the world. Today, hundreds of trains on the rails that claim to have luxury rooms – and here are just a few to be inspired by.

Ravos Rail

Carrying a total of 72 passengers, Ravos Rail, guests can take one of seven African itineraries, but the most popular is Pretoria and Cape Town. The wood-panelled locomotives take guests to the Big Hole and Diamond Mine Museum, but it is arguably the timeless interiors that keeps guests comfortable in their suites. The Royal Suites occupy half a carriage and come complete with a full bathroom and double bed, as well as luxuriously spacious living quarters.

Venice – Simplon Orient Express

Luxurious suite with mahogany surfaces and light soft furnishings

Image credit: Belmond

Steeped in history, the Venice-Simplon Orient Express is polished perfection when it comes to luxury trains. Expect Lalique glass and wood panelling in the dining area; the Orient Express transports guests, slowly, from London to Venice, via Paris. Cabin suites include two interconnecting rooms and mosaic-tiled lavatories. Wimberley Interiors has been appointed to design three new suites on board, to enhance luxury and reflect each destination along its legendary route (Paris, Venice and Istanbul).

“It was extremely important when developing the design concept, that we embraced the unique story and history of the brand. To capture the epitome of classic luxury travel that the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express exudes,” comments Rachel Johnson, Vice President and London Studio Director, Wimberly Interiors. “We focused on moments within each city, inspiring visual cues and the overall Belmond guest experience. It was an exciting challenge to use this inspiration to recreate the essence of Art Deco glamour in a graceful and timeless design.”

Belmond Andean Explorer

Train carriage with blue seating

Image credit: Belmond

Proving that not all luxury hotels have to transport you back to the glamour days of the 1920s is the Belmond Andean Explorer. Designed by Muza Lab, which was co-founded by Inge Moore and Nathan Hutchins, it has been emotively designed to be simple and not overly stuffy. As a result, the neutral colour scheme throughout all the cabins opens up the interiors with areas of excitement popping through in the soft furnishings and light-violet lampshades. The rooms, meanwhile, combine contemporary furniture with soft, light oak framing the beds.

It seems that what really stands out among the high-earning travellers is the one-off décor and detail. Just like what defines luxe in the luxury travel industry, these one-off experiences are totally unmatched by competition and painstakingly precise when it comes to creating a certain ambiance.

As we delve deeper into the series – and into other industries in the search for inspirational interiors in different arenas – we discover just how parallel these sectors really are. Travelling the same routes, but perhaps on different tracks, the ever-expanding hospitality market is fast taking design to new heights. In the next article in the series, Suites on the Seas, we will be revisiting why so many hotel designers are being tasked to design the next era of cruise ships.

To read last week’s article in the series, Hotels at New Heights: Suites in the Sky, click here

Main image credit: Belmond

Sleek interiors at London Marriott West India Quay

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

1024 576 Hamish Kilburn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image credit: Marriott International

Modern suite with statement lighting and understated TV

Corinthia Hotel London launches new suites

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Interior design firm GA Design was appointed to create the new London and Garden Suites in one of London’s finest hotels…

Corinthia Hotel London has launched 11 new ‘Garden’ and ‘London’ suites, available to book from 11 June 2018, offering guests a wider range of luxurious suites to choose from when staying at the flagship property.  These new suites are the first product enhancement at the property since its opening seven years ago.

“We service a discerning traveller who wants something unique alongside the most up to-date technology,” says Corinthia Hotel London’s Managing Director Thomas Kochs. “It’s about an intelligent use of space.”

“We have become known for our fabulous River and Penthouse suites and seven years on from opening, we want to continue to strengthen our position and present a new product in the market,” continues Thomas.  “We are a hotel that never stands still and continually upgrades our product to suit our guests’ evolving tastes and needs.”

Designed by G.A. Design, the new suites complement the existing suites and seven penthouses which evoke an elegant residential style, with expansive outside terraces complete with exceptional and previously unseen views across the capital.

The London Suite is inspired by a day in the capital; the light, fresh interior pays homage to modern living, with contemporary amenities and state-of-the-art facilities.  Art is a key focus and featured artwork and sculptures from the Cubism era grace the 105m²dual aspect suite.  The space has been designed with privacy in mind, and for guests wishing to entertain there are doorways to each functional space and the option of two further adjoining bedrooms.

The Garden Suite is designed with a nod to the quintessential British garden and overlooks a beautifully landscaped courtyard.  Accents of verdant green, in soft furnishings and live planting, create a tranquil setting.  The botanical colour scheme and texture runs throughout the 67m² suite encouraging guests to relax as the doors open directly into a living area with a feature fireplace and the main seating area which sweeps around it.

“We created a world-class, five-star luxury hotel for the 21st century in the style of a grand English home,” explains Edward Davies, Managing Director of G.A. Design London.  “We set out to create two new and unique types of suites offering contemporary amenities and state of the art facilities to attract the most discerning of client.   Art is a key focus of both new suite categories, with feature artwork and sculptures. G.A have curated a set of artistic spaces which we plan to build over time into a full-blown art collection.” he adds.

GA. Design worked hard to create spaces that feel homely, refined, understated and elegant.  The new suites are grand in design, using luxurious textiles, wallcoverings, butter-soft leathers and beautiful crafted woods.  All furniture has been manufactured in the UK and lighting fixtures are from Wales.  A personal butler service, separate living room, oversized bed, marble bathroom with underfloor heating, built-in TV over the bathtub and a tropical rain shower are just some of the features that travellers can expect.


Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski La Habana celebrates 2017 World Travel Awards win

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Kempinski is delighted to announce that the Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski La Habana has been honoured by the 2017 World Travel Awards. The new deluxe hotel is the winner of the award for Cuba’s Leading Hotel Suite 2017 – for the Suite Presidential Lorca.

The most luxurious and spacious space in the hotel, Suite Presidential Lorca, overlooks the Central Square and Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes. The Suite Presidential Lorca consists of a large living room with four large French doors/windows, a separate dining room, a guest toilet and a small kitchenette. The bedroom features one king size bed, a large walk-in closet and a large bathroom with a Jacuzzi bathtub, separate rain shower cabin, two sinks and a bidet. The suite connects to a Gran Deluxe Twin Room. Room amenities include high ceilings, flat-screen TV, work desk, coffee and tea facilities, and safe. The Suite Presidential Lorca measures 150 square metres or 1,615 square feet.

The World Travel Awards was established in 1993 to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all key sectors of the travel, tourism and hospitality industries. Today, the World Travel Awards brand is recognised globally as the ultimate hallmark of industry excellence.

“We are most excited about this win and what it means for our property. Kempinski is one of the most famous luxury brands in the world that represents the best in quality and the highest standards in European hospitality. We are confident in saying that the Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski La Habana has already began to set new standards for hospitality in the Caribbean. When making every decision, we strive for excellence and individuality, and we deliver. Cuba hasn’t seen a luxury hotel like the Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski La Habana,” says Xavier Destribats, Chief Operating Officer The Americas,

Guests can choose from 246 luxury rooms and suites, ranging in size from 40 to the stunning presidential suite’s 150 square metres – all with ceilings of four to five metres. The rooftop terrace and swimming pool, with views over the old town, are just one of the property’s many dazzling features.

Sleeperz Hotels, the innovative UK budget hotel operator, has completed a 43-room expansion of its Cityroomz Edinburgh hotel with a new wing accessible via Princes Street

Sleeperz unveils Princes Street expansion at Cityroomz Edinburgh Hotel

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Sleeperz Hotels, the innovative UK budget hotel operator, has completed a 43-room expansion of its Cityroomz Edinburgh hotel with a new wing accessible via Princes Street.

Sleeperz has converted Princes House, a former three storey office block, into a deluxe wing made up of superior double, family and cabin rooms; as well as ten suites with kitchenettes and lounges. David Myers, chief executive of Sleeperz Hotels, said: “Sleeperz is excited to unveil an additional 43 high quality hotel rooms, including our first-ever suites, right in the heart of Edinburgh.

Our guests can stay next door to one of the UK’s best shopping streets, in a world-famous Capital city, for a great-value price – a formula we’re confident will be successful – and deliver important growth in Edinburgh’s visitor economy.”

Cityroomz Edinburgh Suite Princes Street Wing (1000x666)
The Cityroomz suites are the first to be introduced across Sleeperz’ portfolio of affordable design-led hotels in Cardiff, Newcastle and Edinburgh and are aimed at attracting business travellers, families and couples seeking longer city breaks.

The suite bathrooms feature flooring printed with a city street map of Edinburgh, showing landmarks and locations including Shandwick Place. The expansion increases bed-stock to 115 rooms at Cityroomz Edinburgh, which is located on Shandwick Place between Waverley and Haymarket stations and close to Edinburgh International Conference Centre.

Cityroomz new superior double2017 (1000x666)
The development comes before Sleeperz Hotel open a new 120 room hotel above Dundee Railway Station, opposite the new V&A Museum, in 2018. The new hotel is part of a £1bn programme to regenerate Dundee waterfront.

Cityroomz Expansion – STATS
43 new rooms
10 Suites (including kitchenettes, dining area, sofas and living space)
22 Superior Double rooms
6 Family rooms
3 Accessible rooms (including 1 Family room)
2 Cabin Twin rooms

Edinburgh City Map bathroom flooring Cityroomz (1000x666)Suites you Edinburgh
Cityroomz suites are fitted with kitchenettes, Smeg appliances, en-suite bathrooms, dining space, living area, sofas, wall-mounted flat screen TV’s, super-king and king-size beds, bespoke custom made Sleepeezee mattresses, laptop safes and tea and coffee facilities. Glasgow architects Maith Design was appointed to transform the disused office block into stylish and affordable living spaces. The expansion was delivered in partnership with Town Centre Securities PLC, a leading UK property and investment company.

Family roomz at Cityroomz Princes Street Wing (1000x666)
Colin Steele, acting on behalf of Town Centre Securities, said: “We are delighted to have worked with Sleeperz on this exciting project, the development of Princes House completes the regeneration of this part of Shandwick Place and will bring further footfall into the West End of Edinburgh.” Cityroomz Edinburgh opened in May 2013 with 72 rooms and a rooms-based limited service philosophy. Guests enjoy stylish interior design, custom made pocket sprung beds, free and fast Wi-Fi and a continental breakfast available daily.

Sleeperz Hotels was advised by Jonathan Sutton of Lewis Sutton property consultants.

Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa

Four Seasons Maldives at Kuda Huraa unveils new water suites

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Four Seasons Maldives at Kuda Huraa has unveiled their much-anticipated water villas; two-bedroom suites, three-bedroom suites and the family water villas. The new accommodations are now open for booking.

Each of the new water villas offers luxurious indoor and outdoor living and dining areas, vast wooden decks with shaded loungers, overwater hammock nets, infinity pools, direct lagoon access and lightly air-conditioned interiors featuring designs inspired by the vibrant colours of Kuda Huraa.

Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda HuraaThe Two-Bedroom Water Suite give guests the choice to choose their layout; swim towards the horizon or float adjacent to it with two different pool and deck orientations; parallel and perpendicular to the sea. The Three-Bedroom Water Suite is designed to let guests live their fantasy escape through private spa treatments and yoga in the comfort of their own ocean-view deck.

Finally, the new Family Water Villa is designed to keep everyone in the family delighted, said the resort. Guests can keep a close eye on their little ones in the gorgeous sunken children”s room located a step down from the lounge with a wall of windows framing the endless turquoise lagoon beyond.

Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda HuraaThe enchanting garden island of Four Seasons Maldives at Kuda Huraa lies a half-hour speedboat ride from Velana International Airport, offering 96 thatched beach and water villas. In addition to the Island Spa sanctuary located on its own private island, Four Seasons Maldives at Kuda Huraa has four restaurants and two bars that are complemented by private dining options, including sandbank barbeques and private over-water gazebos.

The new Bargello Suite - Hotel Brunelleschi

New Bargello Suite at Brunelleschi Hotel, Florence

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Florence is a city made to be admired, photographed, portrayed, contemplated in all its aspects. The Hotel Brunelleschi affords panoramic views of incomparable beauty: guest rooms and suites have postcard views onto the main monuments and symbols of the city center, allowing one to live the atmosphere of the Florence of old. Staying there it is possible to enjoy a unique privilege, an experience that alone is worth the trip.

Since late January the new Bargello Suite was added to the collection of views of the hotel, boasting sophisticated crimson red interior décor and overlooking the old city centre dominated by the iconic Basilica of Santa Croce, related to the origin of the famous “Stendhal syndrome”.

The new Bargello Suite - Hotel Brunelleschi

Hotel Brunelleschi is located in the heart of the city. It is truly unique because it includes in its architectural structure two historic buildings and affords different magnificent views from the rooms onto the main monuments: Brunelleschi’s Dome, Giotto’s Belltower, the thirteenth-century tower by Ghiberti, Palazzo Vecchio. And since a few days also the Basilica of Santa Croce and the Bargello building, hence the name of the latest Suite.

The new Bargello Suite
The latest renovated suites at Hotel Brunelleschi is called Bargello from the view out of one of its windows onto the medieval monument that was once the seat of the military chief and later of the mayor. Now the site houses one of the most important museums of Renaissance sculpture in the world. But the most significant is the view onto the façade of the magnificent Basilica of Santa Croce, so iconic as to be the origin of the famous “Stendhal syndrome”.

The new Bargello Suite - Hotel Brunelleschi

The renewal of the new Bargello Suite was finished in January 2017: its sumptuous and sophisticated interiors are characterized by crimson red. Each of the suites is different, dominated by a colour palette that differentiates it from the others and sets the tone for the atmosphere.

The space of 45 square meters has a warm oak flooring. The decoration is in the unique style of this boutique hotel, that combines classic charm with contemporary décor, characterized by exclusive custom-made furnishings. The décor is marked by an extreme lightness with comfortable velvet sofas, beds with upholstered headboards, matching pillows, elegant chairs, while the windows are framed by precious silk curtains. The finishes are made of top quality materials.

The new Bargello Suite - Hotel Brunelleschi

The comfort of the room is absolute: the bright, spacious marble bathroom has both a tub and a shower with color therapy; the bed is a king size bed of 76×80 in. At disposal, safe, minibar, LCD TV 42″ with 60 digital and Sky channels, Nespresso machine, tea kettle, audio Ipod docking station, scented bath products by Dr. Vranjes and other optionals.


Il Sereno Lago di Como

Sereno Hotels announces opening of Il Sereno Lago di Como

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Sereno Hotels is pleased to announce the grand opening of Il Sereno Lago di Como, the first new hotel on Lake Como in decades, designed by famed Milan-based architect and designer Patricia Urquiola. The all-suite hotel features 30 suites, all with their own furnished terraces and lake views.

Il Sereno is the third property to join the Sereno Hotels portfolio after Le Sereno Hotel & Villas in St. Barthélemy and Villa Pliniana, also located on Lake Como. Decorated Milan restaurateur and Michelin star chef, Andrea Berton, is at the helm of the hotel’s signature restaurant, Ristorante Berton Al Lago, featuring an exquisite menu inspired by the region. Rounding out the all-star team, acclaimed botanist Patrick Blanc contributed his signature vertical botanical gardens throughout the property, including a spectacular “green sculpture” work of art.

Il Sereno, Lake Como

“We are thrilled to open the doors of the much-anticipated Il Sereno Lago di Como,” said Luis Contreras, owner of Sereno Hotels. “This project has been a true labour of love between Sereno Hotels and Patricia Urquiola; and we are excited to introduce an entirely new design concept to Lake Como. We know devotees of Sereno Hotels and new guests alike will enjoy the exquisite design coupled with unparalleled attention to detail, amenities and relaxed service our brand is known for.”

In keeping with the Sereno Hotels philosophy of opening intimate, design-driven hotels in highly desired destinations, Spectacular views of Lake Como and scenic mountain ranges greet guests in airy lounge areas that seamlessly integrate the interior and exterior of the accommodations. At the centre of the hotel, Urquiola designed a stunning, original stairwell that serves as one of many focal points around the property.

RELATED: Sereno Hotels launches Patricia Urquiola-designed Il Sereno

Made with natural materials including walnut wood, the large steps are encased in bronze and effortlessly “float” as the lobby’s centerpiece. The dark and beautiful veins of the walnut wood complement the ceppo di grè stone found throughout the hotel. Guests will also find beautiful marble walls with bas-relief patterns that mimic the patterns found in the Venetian terrazzo floors of the restaurant. The hotel features just 30 spacious luxury suites, each with its own waterfront terrace and unobstructed views of Lake Como.

Il Sereno, Lake Como

Modern and custom furnishings created by Urquiola complete the elegant and sophisticated design, with understated earthy tones of grey and walnut with touches of blue and green hues to incorporate the colors found in the surroundings of the iconic Italian Lake. Suite amenities include robes and towels made by D. Porthault for Il Sereno and bath toiletries by Ex Voto Paris, a private bar, 24-hour room service, cutting-edge technology including complimentary Wi-Fi, cordless telephones, flat screen TV’s and blue-tooth music systems. In-room spa services are also available.

“Sereno Hotels has perfected the art of providing luxury service in a relaxed manner and we look forward to introducing our brand of service to Lake Como,” said Samy Ghachem, Managing Director of Sereno Hotels. “Guests will have access to not only the best in design, amenities and cuisine, but will also find an attention to detail that is unrivalled.”

Il Sereno, Lake Como

Urquiola’s collaboration did not end with the physical aspects of the hotel. Lake Como has been producing the world’s finest silks for centuries and Urquiola also designed silk scarves, or foulards, that are produced locally for hotel staff uniforms; in addition to a custom design that will be available for guests.

Blumen Haus Lech

Blumen Haus Lech, Austria to open in December

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Blumen Haus Lech will soon offer the ultimate Alpine retreat in the Austrian mountains, when this extraordinary nine suite hotel launches on 1 December 2016.

Blumen Haus Lech is British businessman Andrew Flowers’ first foray into the hospitality world and will redefine the luxury landscape in Lech, raising the bar for boutique hotels in Austria and beyond.

Blumenhaus Lech lounge

Commanding an outstanding position in the heart of one of the world’s premier ski destinations, Blumen Haus Lech will surpass all expectations with its nine super-suites, fine dining restaurant, indoor infinity pool, high-altitude hypoxic chamber, contemporary works of art and official partnership with high-end ski brand, Indigo.

Effortlessly blending the best of the old with the new, Blumen Haus Lech has been thoughtfully designed by Reinhard Strasser to combine tradition with exceptional style, comfort and state of the art technology.

Blumenhaus Lech - reception

Clad with reclaimed wood from the Tyrolian region and with a copper roof according to Alpine tradition, this is a hotel that pays respect to its history, yet understands its guest’s desire for unsurpassed modern luxuries.

The sumptuous bedrooms, living spaces and wet-room style bathrooms will feature the finest furnishings from Italian studio Minotti; luxurious Egyptian cotton bed linen and intuitive touches include state of the art fireplaces, Loewe TVs with access to NetFlix, Revox sound-systems and iPad wall activations to control everything from the lighting to air conditioning or heating. To disconnect, guests can step out onto a private balcony and terrace for stunning mountain views.

Marmotta Suite - Bumen Haus Lech

Blumen Haus Lech is an Alpine retreat for year round enjoyment. The destination is best known for its phenomenal skiing and is soon to be Austria’s largest interconnected ski area, owing to new lift connections. Yet it is also a beautiful destination to visit in the summer for hiking, painting, high altitude training or simply savouring its pastures and peaks at their uncrowded best. Blumen Haus Lech provides an idyllic base from which to explore the beauty of Lech, all year round.

Baron Villa at Regnum Carya

Regnum Carya Golf & Spa Resort opens fifteen new luxury villas

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Regnum Carya Golf & Spa Resort, an all-inclusive retreat on the southern coast of Turkey, has unveiled fifteen new luxury villas this month. Two ‘King Villas’ and thirteen ‘Baron Villas’ add to the resort’s extensive accommodation offerings, from the elegant rooms and suites in the main hotel, to The Golf Residences, overlooking the resort’s championship golf course.

Sporting sprawling views of the Regnum Carya Golf Club, the Baron Villa offers travellers the upmost in style, comfort and accessibility. Complete with sun-drenched decking area and heated infinity pool, the 350sqm properties are hedged, offering more intimacy. From the three spacious bedrooms and the chic living area to the American kitchen and luxury bathrooms, each villa is furnished with stone-washed, neutral hues, peppered with splashes of Regnum’s signature blue, reminiscent of the Mediterranean Sea, which boarders the south side of the resort.

Baron Villa at Regnum Carya

The neighbouring King Villa, housing a swimming pool and open-air hot tub, boasts five bedrooms, including a master-suite with Jacuzzi, living room, kitchen area and five bathrooms, each equipped with luxury amenities and Bulgari cosmetics. When guests aren’t lounging by the pool, they can take advantage of the villa’s spa and gym, complete with treatment area and state-of-the-art fitness equipment.

Baron Villa at Regnum Carya

The new villas add to the resort’s already comprehensive accommodation offerings, from the 438 elegant rooms and suites located in the main hotel, each offering either a sea or golf course view and a balcony, to The Golf Residences, comprising of 100 stunning private villas, each with a private swimming pool. The jewel of the resort is the Crown Villa, a 3,500 sqm space that includes 5 luxury bedrooms, 5 private bathrooms and dressing rooms, meeting rooms, bar and entertainment area, 440sqm heated outdoor pool, Jacuzzi area and panoramic views of the Championship Golf Course.


Il Sereno, Lake Como

Sereno Hotels launches Patricia Urquiola-designed Il Sereno

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Il Sereno presents a new era of luxury hotel for the iconic destination of Lake Como with an ethos of understated elegance. Designed by Patricia Urquiola, Wallpaper* Designer of The Year 2015, the all-suite hotel will have 30 spacious rooms, ranging from 65-square-metres to The Penthouse at 200+ square metres, all with floor-to-ceiling windows and all of them on the waterfront.

London restaurateur Giuliano Lotto (La Petite Maison, Il Baretto) will operate the hotel’s indoor-outdoor Restaurant Il Sereno. Guests can also relax at the hotel’s full-service spa, situated under original arches dating back centuries.

The property will feature a private beach, as well as a dock, allowing guests to arrive by one of the hotel’s boats custom-built by Ernesto Riva. One of Il Sereno’s show stopping features will be the 60-foot-long freshwater infinity pool suspended over the water and the large sundeck.

Il Sereno, Lake Como

Highly sought-after Milan-based architect and designer Patricia Urquiola will create a stylish modern look at Il Sereno, moving away from the Faux Renaissance and Neo Classic design that dominate in the area. Urquiola is one of the leading names in design today and has been commissioned by brands including Louis Vuitton, Baccarat, Panerai and Missoni, amongst many others.

Urquiola will create a relaxed, peaceful sanctuary for guests, drawing inspiration from Lake Como’s culture, lifestyle and the history of the region. Every space on the property will offer a panoramic view of the lake and mountains with the hotel being sensitively designed to complement and showcase its surroundings. Il Sereno is made largely from natural materials, including wood, stone, wools and other fabrics, to create an aesthetic full of personality, whilst remaining timeless.

Il Sereno, Lake Como

Joining Urquiola on the project is noted botanist Patrick Blanc, who will create two vertical gardens to ensure that the hotel blends with its surroundings, as well as landscaped gardens on the property. This project is of special importance to Urquiola with the hotel being close to her home town, Milan, one of the design capitals of the world, particularly for furniture.

Key to the design has been to instill the same principles that have made LeSereno St. Barths a success. The Serenoguest expects a hotel that has a strong sense of place, a very well developed design sensitivity and that solves the challenge to provide exclusive, sophisticated and very high-end services in a relaxed and simple manner. A central brand promise is that no matter how luxurious or well designed, there is no substitute for views and space.

Sereno Hotels has partnered with celebrated London restaurateur Giuliano Lotto to launch Restaurant Il Sereno. Lotto is currently involved in several of London’s most acclaimed restaurants, including La Petite Maison and Il Baretto, and has recently opened Restaurant Le Sereno, St. Barths.

Il Sereno, Lake Como

Luis Contreras, owner of SerenoHotels, said about the opening: “We are thrilled to announce a new hotel under the Sereno brand. We believe that Lake Como, alongside St. Barths, is the perfect setting for an idyllic, luxury property. We are also extremely honoured to be working with Patricia on such a unique concept.”


Ikos Olivia

Brand new beach-front suites at Halkidiki hotel Ikos Olivia

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Ikos Olivia, a contemporary and stylishly designed hotel on Greece’s Halkidiki coast, is set to open four new, two-bedroom beach-front bungalow suites this year.

Each suite has a private garden and offers views of the Aegean Sea, while also offering the perfect accompaniment to the nearby Aristotle Walking Trail.

The brand new ultra-spacious suites are ideal for the larger family, featuring two stylishly elegant bedrooms and separate lounge for extra privacy in contemporary and luxurious style, combined with a bathroom with tropical shower complete with Anne Semonin bathroom amenities. These beachfront suites come with a furnished balcony or a private garden complete with sun-loungers and just in front of the hotel’s beach.

These suites are set to complement the existing 142 bedrooms and junior suites, as well as the 145 private bungalow suites.