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Exclusive Tents: working with nature to create one-off luxury experiences

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Exclusive Tents: working with nature to create one-off luxury experiences

To conclude a three-part editorial series, Hotel Designs understands Exclusive Tents’ unique relationship with nature when its comes to designing luxury tented accomodation …

Exclusive Tents International could easily be considered the perfect evolution for Paul Zway’s philosophy, following his long experience as a Kruger Park ranger.

Indeed, the African heritage of these luxury products is reflected in their names with most of the tents named after the legendary elephants of Africa, mainly past and some still present. Zway’s vision is to apply Exclusive Tents’ experience, skills and enthusiasm to the accomplishment of his clients’ dreams.

Landscape showing tents and mountains

Image credit: Exclusive Tents

The appeal of a stronger, more fundamental link with nature is often a factor shared with their clients. It is a joy for Zway and his team when clients invest wholeheartedly in the adventure and go the extra mile to work with all that nature can offer. The most rewarding projects seek to integrate their natural assets as much as possible with their living spaces, even going so far as to reintroduce indigenous wildlife and replant species that have been driven out or endangered by human activity.

Alternative forms of accommodation are gaining popularity around the World, and Glamping is foremost amongst them. For those not familiar with African luxury safaris, the versatility and potential of these large, beautiful, ruggedly elegant, traditional real canvas tents requires reevaluating most, if not all, of the core elements of a project that might otherwise be taken for granted. It is a refreshing and eye-opening process that can and should encompass all aspects of a project.

Deciding to use tents rather than main-stream construction solutions can prove to be beneficial and advantageous for a number of key reasons – both aesthetic and financial. If you are reading this article there is a good chance that you are already intrigued by the possibilities that luxury tents might offer. Of course, the romance of a closer link with nature, the exhilaration of creating something exotic, seductive and sexy is foremost in the mind. Yet other key factors are equally important.

Image credit: Exclusive Tents

Development time and costs can both be significantly reduced. The tents can be in production whilst the project site is being prepared, with tent installation time being very quick – normally a few days for accommodation lodges, and a couple of weeks for the largest of the main tents. All Exclusive Tents’ products are made to client’s order such that each tent is configured with the desired materials, colours, door and window placements, etc., that best serve the project. Whilst this means that they are bespoke products, all fabrication is exclusively in-house with typical dispatch for delivery in only eight-10 weeks.

On-site preparation can also become most efficient. Exclusive Tents recommend installing the tents on raised decks – most often timber, but sometimes masonry depending upon the environment. The advantage of raised timber decks is that they can be quickly installed with little or no ground works, gliding above the natural topography, providing raised views, an elegant presence, and minimal impact upon the site.

“Exclusive Tents will never be the cheapest source of tents, but their mission is to offer the best “value-for-money”.” – Paul Zway, Founder, Exclusive Tents.

Price is important, and good quality genuine luxury tents are not cheap per se, but remain significantly less expensive than hard-construction of a comparable quality. It should go without saying that the sourcing of the tents is fundamental to success: they should be of the highest quality, providing not only beauty but also technical performance, longevity and practicality. Exclusive Tents will never be the cheapest source of tents, but their mission is to offer the best “value-for-money”: High quality, robust, durable, beautiful traditional real canvas luxury tents at a fair price. It is often worth remembering the saying: “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten” or, as once reminded, “The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot, it cannot be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run and if you do that, you will then have enough to pay for something better”.

For any commercial venture the cornerstone is ROI (Return on Investment): Successful resorts offer a quality experience & service at an attractive ROI. Luxury tent resorts embody this principal with the advantage of a quicker and potentially better ROI. Of course, any resort project depends on much more than just choosing what type of guest accommodation to offer or how to embody the resort facilities. However, reduced development costs, reduced construction time, low maintenance costs, and (almost always) higher room rates than for their main stream or hard-construction equivalent are strong arguments in favour of opting for a luxury tent resort.

Tent on terrace in rural area

Image credit: Exclusive Tents

…And, that’s before remembering the exquisite charm of creating a project where magnificent vistas and a unique experience are enjoyed from the nature-infused deck of a beautifully made and furnished luxury tent! Even in trickier climates, the whole experience of staying in a luxury tent, relaxing on a beautiful terrace and enjoying the surroundings is invigorating.

Glamping has evolved a lot in the short time since the name was coined. Exclusive Tents are at the forefront of this wave, constantly innovating, improving, and showing the way forward in all variety of environments, climates, and conditions.

For example, all the tent designs are now available with a new frame wall system for harsh climates or where increased thermal and/or acoustic insulation are desired. The system gives a new clean aesthetic to the tents and incorporates a minimum of 50mm thermal / acoustic insulation without external or internal wood poles, steel legs, or outriggers, although these can be integrated into the design if desired. Furthermore, the tents can be enhanced with increased insulation and fully integral (hidden) hard-walls.

As the glamping movement evolves, Exclusive Tents are also providing an ever-larger range of delightful tent designs, with the Mabarule and Dida tents having recently been unveiled. The Mabarule is a subtle blend between the traditional safari tent with the more modern designs. At its heart is an opening in the roof, a pivotal focal point between the internal volumes and the spacious covered veranda. Light cascades through the opening in the roof, reinforcing the connection with the outside, and lends itself to creating a water or plant ‘art-scape’ coming up through the deck.

Exclusive tents is as much an adventure as a business, being pursued passionately by Zway, his wife and business partner Angelika, and Johan Maree. Their tight knit team includes their children and colleagues spread across the globe. For the team, the biggest reward to emerge from the adventure is the bonds they have forged with amazing clients and talented professionals who have become close friends.

Every project, no matter how big or small, is driven by the passion and desire of its owner. Luxury tents and glamping appeal to those of us willing to look beyond the established order of things and welcome a challenge. Some of the most exciting projects come to Exclusive Tents as an essentially blank canvas (pun intended!) where the painting of the dream and vision commence.

Many new clients will, quite logically, start with little knowledge about tents (especially large, genuine canvas tents – as opposed to stretch fabric tents and canopies), and may be unaware of the versatility that they embody. For example, some of the key considerations for a luxury tent project:

  • The guiding vision for the project.
  • Location: Desert, tropical, savanna, forest, open countryside, hilly, mountainous, coastline, semi-urban or even urban, and so on.
  • Topography and geology.
  • Climatic conditions, proximity to the ocean, and how to best harness the local meteorology.
  • What are the requirements for the project accommodation and facilities, and how can tents satisfy them?
  • Design features, desired internal and external spaces.
  • Materials, finishes, performance.
  • What is possible? What isn’t?
  • What is recommended, and what should best be avoided?
  • Tent model selection, configuration, or bespoke custom design.
  • How to integrate resort design and tent design?
  • Adapting interior design to suit luxury tents.
  • Common area tents and staff accommodations – pros and cons.
  • Density of development.
  • Soft or hard openings
  • Off-grid solutions, rain water collection, etc.

Exclusive Tents is a close knit two-family run business that believes passionately in what they do: They will enthusiastically inform and guide clients and their consultants. Importantly, they also offer expertise and alternative solutions working hand-in-hand with equally passionate and diligent partners: The clients and friends mentioned earlier, such as Valentin of four Rivers Floating Lodge and Emanuela of Sandat and Canonici di San Marco, and consummate professionals including the uniquely talented architect Patrice Belle who creates wonderful designs and succinct solutions, for example Telal Resort in the UAE, and has a complete understanding of luxury tents within the wider context of project design.

As a team, they will not systematically propose tents for all and every situation. Instead, their philosophy is to advise their client and provide to the project exciting, beautiful solutions in the context of short, medium and long-term project objectives.

While we are all looking forward to a bright, natural and healthy future, Zway welcomes you to share Exclusive Tents’ vision, mission and passion!

Exclusive Tents International 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: Exclusive Tents

TREND ALERT: Natural stone in hotel design lighting

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
TREND ALERT: Natural stone in hotel design lighting

With designers and architects looking for new innovative ways in which to inject biophilic design, Voltra Lighting takes a look at beneficial properties of natural stone…

Cappadocia, an ancient district in Turkey, never fails to capture the imagination of discerning travellers with its high-end rock-cut hotels that exude pure elegance and character. Everything from the hotel fireplace to floating shelves and even the bathroom fittings tend to transport visitors into the lap of luxury, by virtue of being carved out of timeless and all-natural stone.

Be it luxe beach stays in Greece or heritage hotels in India, there are many such examples where floor-to-ceiling natural stone designs add a distinctly tasteful texture to the interiors. So much so that avant-garde designers are increasingly considering richly patterned accent walls of stone to be works of art in itself; doing away with the need for additional wall hangings and paintings.

Oftentimes, even a few accent pieces fashioned from natural stone can transform ordinary spaces into extraordinary interior marvels. One such decor essential is the precision-cut alabaster lamp by luxury cordless lighting brand Voltra. This vessel of light is designed to create an ambience of heightened intimacy and sophistication.

The allure of natural stone explained

Hotels can choose to adorn their interiors with the likes of stylish Italian marble, delicately polished granite, or beautifully layered slate – each of which has an inherently unique appeal.

But, here are the features that make natural stone decor elements universally captivating:

Sustainable: Luxury hotel properties that have an environmentally conscious bent will find ethically sourced natural stone decor pieces to be great for the triple-bottom-line – being extremely recyclable and fabricated in a zero-waste industry.

Classic and timeless: At a time when trends and forecasts dominate, handmade stone decor pieces will always be an elegant choice. Especially when it’s just the right balance between design and craft, stone is perfectly suited for both traditional and contemporary decor themes.

Easy to maintain: Being able to resist rot, mold, extreme temperatures and water damage, makes natural stone particularly great for high-end bathrooms, outdoor spaces and kitchens.

Incredibly durable: Trust mother nature to produce some of the most resilient and exquisite building materials there is. Classy natural stones materials such as granite and quartz are known for their durability and longevity.

Unique: Just like a snowflake, the intricate designs and colors of no two stones occurring in nature can ever be exactly alike. You may choose from variants that have delicate golden sparkles, different colors, subtle textures and complex veins. This natural diversity of form makes it possible for you to design your hotel interiors to be exclusive and distinctive.

Keeping it trendy with natural stone

The versatility of natural stone has ensured that it remains a symbol of luxury and refinement for decades now. To help your hotel interiors to stand out from the crowd, here are the latest stone-based trends for 2020:

Source local: Hotels in Brazil can use local quartz, those in Italy can choose Calacatta marble, while Lundhs Larvikite can be the stone of choice for Norwegian properties. These indigenous stone varieties, if used with vernacular architecture as inspiration, will not only tick the sustainability box but really add to the cultural richness of your space.

Super-size the tiles: The latest trend is to have large tiles, on flooring, walls or even centre tables; at sizes starting from 60x60cms. This is ideal for creating that modern, sleek look.

Experiment with stone statement pieces: Eye-catching yet understated designs of table lamps, showerheads and planters, made of natural stone, can establish tasteful imagery. Even one exquisite stone art installation can help create a one-of-a-kind look for your interiors.

Luxuriously distressed: Gone are the days when the stone had to be polished to be ready. Nowadays, a well-worn rustic look is in vogue. These distressed materials, with stunningly life-like details, are a classic choice to really suit your garden and outdoor design.

Aim for earthy vibes: Natural stone intimately connects your interiors with nature and the earth to generate versatile and old-fashioned opulence. Unify your decor by pairing your stone decor feature with plants, soil, wood, water and fire.

Voltra Lighting 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: Voltra Lighting

Wellness is boundless with Rainfinity by hansgrohe

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Wellness is boundless with Rainfinity by hansgrohe

The bold innovative qualities of Rainfinity by Hansgrohe have taken wellness in the bathroom up a notch to not just meet but exceed the expectations of modern travellers, argues editor Hamish Kilburn… 

Since 1901, leading luxury bathroom manufacturer hansgrohe, has continuously pushed the boundaries of bathroom design and manufacturing to create products that combine intelligent functionality, outstanding design and enduring quality.

With its aim of helping people enjoy the beauty and simplicity of water, its latest range Rainfinity represents a new benchmark in modern shower design, marrying superior engineering with innovative technology and contemporary finishes. Offering the ultimate in showering indulgence, Rainfinity is truly unique.

The bathroom is increasingly the place to unwind and relax. With functional, clinical aesthetics being replace by spaces that enhance wellbeing, bathroom design is having to adapt to meet the demand. Due to its large circular showerhead and adaptable wall connection, Rainfinity offers the flexibility to envelop the entire body in soft cocooning water. The innovative wall connection allows the shower head to be tilted between ten and 30 degrees, eliminating the need for a conventional shower arm, making for a more comfortable showering experience and enabling the user to keep the head and face dry if required. The shower experience is further enhanced by Rainfinity’s slightly concave surface and its diffused arrangement of jet disc holes. This combination ensures spray isn’t limited to the head and shoulders but softly showers the entire body with aerated droplets.

Rainfinity’s shower head has three spray modes, designed to transform the daily shower routine into an extraordinary wellness experience at the simple click of a button. Inspired by the warm, misty droplets of the rainforest, PowderRain provides maximum relaxation. Thanks to six fine openings in every jet outlet, water is transformed into a fine spray that wrap the body in an ultra-quiet blanket of water for a velvety-soft sensation. Located in the centre of the jet disc, the Intense PowderRain mode uses a more concentrated jet of ultra-fine droplets to make light work of rinsing out shampoo. The invigorating RainStream mode delivers consistently high spray intensity through targeted jets, perfect for massaging the shoulders and back after a long day.

“The Rainfinity collection also comprises a comprehensive range of hand showers, available in either the traditional or geometric rod shape.”

The unique shower head design is available in the strikingly minimalist matt white and classic chrome finishes, with contrasting graphite spray discs. The Rainfinity collection also comprises a comprehensive range of hand showers, available in either the traditional or geometric rod shape. The range also boasts streamlined shoulder showers which enhance relaxation by sending powerful rain jets directly at the shoulers. Keeping the head and face completely dry, these shoulder showers come with integrasted shelving and concealed controls for a truly cohesive bathroom aesthetic. All parts come with the standard five-year manufacturer’s guarantee as an assurance of quality.

International, industry-wide recognition for Rainfinity confirms its quality and function are unparalleled. Its success in being awarded the ‘Best of Best’ Red Dot Award in 2019, iF Design Award 2019 and ‘Best of Best’ Iconic Award 2020, heralds Rainfinity as the shower range for discerning wellness and design enthusiasts.

Main image credit: hansgrohe

PRODUCT WATCH: Boost Pro, the new collection from Atlas Concorde

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
PRODUCT WATCH: Boost Pro, the new collection from Atlas Concorde

The new Boost Pro collection from Atlas Concorde is designed with urban chic spaces in mind…

In line with the latest trends in contemporary living with an urban chic style, Atlas Concorde presents Boost Pro, a collection of porcelain floors tiles and white body wall tiles designed to decorate indoor and outdoor spaces with a metropolitan appeal.

Boost Pro complements the range of the Boost collection, based on the “cool” tones of the concrete effect, adding five warm colours. Produced using the same surface structure, they offer a unique colour palette in terms of breadth and variety, allowing architects, interior designers, and planners to create new, personalised combinations.

Image credit: Atlas Concorde

Ideal for the renovation of former industrial buildings transformed into residential lofts, workspaces, art galleries or places for hospitality and entertainment, Boost Pro underscores the structure’s industrial character with its strong personality and soft colours developed from earthy and powdery tones, from ivory to brown, giving rooms a lived-in charm.

For the floor, the slight “spatula” effect evokes the authenticity of craftsmanship, increasingly popular in contemporary design projects where the imperfection of a “handmade” look is an expression of value and attention to detail. For walls, the accents of Mustard and Powder Blue allow for strong creative discontinuities accentuated by the availability of material and graphic decorations with a strong visual impact.

In fact, the walls can also be transformed into spectacular three-dimensional frescoes thanks to the use of large porcelain slabs covered with tropical forests, Nordic forests and metropolitan views. Of the numerous formats available, the new 37.5×75 cm takes the classic 30×60 cm to a larger size. The availability of the 20 mm thickness also allows for outdoor use, for coordinated total-look projects.

Colours

On the floor: Ivory, Cream, Clay (light tones), Taupe and Tobacco (dark tones).

On walls: Ivory, Cream, Clay (light tones), Mustard and Powder Blue.

Formats

The exceptionally wide range includes different large formats, from 120×278 cm to 160×320 cm (in the colors of the collection and in the decorative version). The different thicknesses – 6, 9 and 20 mm – allow for their application in different design settings, both indoors and out. The white-body wall tiles are available in the classic 40×80 cm format in two different versions, natural and 3D Urban relief.

Decorations

The extensive range of Boost Pro decorations makes it possible to respond to different design requirements, even in combination with numerous other Atlas Concorde collections.

  • GROVE 120×278, thickness 6 mm

A forest of beech trees designed in graphite in Clay and Taupe tones.

  • PAINT 120×278, thickness 6 mm

Spatula-effect surfaces, marked by time, with strong material contrasts.

  • LEAVES 120×278, thickness 6 mm

The watercolor technique recreates the intensity of a tropical forest for spectacular walls with a green effect.

  • HEX MOSAIC

Colored Murano glass and classic hexagonal tiles add style and depth to Boost Pro walls.

  • SHAPES MOSAIC

Tiles with different shapes and irregular shades create a surprising, original overall effect.

  • 30×30 MOSAIC

The minimalist simplicity of the classic mosaic and the warm tones are ideal for covering floors and walls of bathtubs and showers.

  • MINIBRICK 5×30.5

The rigour of the small rectangular tile for universal interior walls embellished with reflective inserts can be used in any room with all the colors of the collection.

If you want to get more information regarding our products please visit our website www.atlasconcorde.com  or contact us at projects@atlasconcorde.it .

Main image credit: Atlas Concorde

Lighting Case Study: Designing The Bristol

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Lighting Case Study: Designing The Bristol

The 65-key hotel The Bristol, designed by Earl Swensson Associates (ESa), has a unique lighting story that includes specified pendants and chandeliers by Hudson Valley Lighting Group

The Bristol was born in 2015 when a commercial office building with historical character was marked for demolition. The Charlestowne Hotels group acquired it, hiring ESa (Earl Swensson Associates) to redesign and restore it, developing the eight-story brick building into a 65-key hotel.

Bristol is a town on the border of Virginia and Tennessee, and is commonly recognised as the birth place of country music: In 1927, Ralph Peer of Victor Records went out there to record some folks by the names of The Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers. The rest is history. That’s why the address of the The Bristol is 510 Birthplace of Country Music Way. With such an eclectic location and history, The Bristol was going to have to incorporate those influences into its design.

Luxury lighting in a residential style suite

Image credit: The Bristol Hotel/HVLG

The designers from ESa gathered together various pictures and mood boards that evoked the look and feel they were hoping to achieve and shared them with their HVLG source. The brand’s dedicated contract and hospitality representative in the area had a long-standing relationship with the lead designers, as well as a deep familiarity with the product.

As one of the standard products selected, Hudson Valley Lighting’s Humphrey pendants and chandeliers adorn many of the rooms. HVL’s contemporary classic feel meant these fixtures look as at home in the brand new rooms as they may have in the flourishing Art Deco period when the building was first constructed. Providing the ambient layer of light, these exquisite fixtures also contributed to a higher level of decorative sophistication for the space.

Corbett fixtures also enhance visitors’ experience; with their impressive scale and hand-applied leaf finishes, which the brand often says of its Corbett pieces that they have to be seen in person to be believed.

Additionally, the HVLG Contract Custom team got to work on designing a few special pieces, such as pendants for The Bristol’s awesome rooftop hangout, chandeliers for its banquet room, and a series of sconces for its conference room area. ESa reviewed initial drafts of the designs and made some adjustments. Once they were completely happy with the plan, the lighting brand proceeded to build these one-of-a-kind fixtures on time and on budget.

Sitting eight stories up in a town without a lot of high-elevation buidings, The Bristol’s special rooftop relaxation zone, Lumac, has a beautiful view of the surrounding environs — the painted brick sides of old buildings, the nearby hills, twinkling downtown lights, and the town’s charming entry gate. Originally built in the twenties, the whole thing feels almost like something out of a Baz Luhrmann film, with a distinct slice of heartwarming Americana. HVLG designed a custom outdoor pendant for this beautiful rooftop bar area, adding to its singular charm.

The Bristol Hotel is a good example of how HVLG can be your one-stop shop for a hospitality lighting project. Combining world-class standard product from across its four distinct brands (Corbett and Hudson Valley in this case) with custom pieces, the lighting specialists were able to satisfy this project’s requirements while providing lighting that elevated the environment.

Hudson Valley Lighting Group 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: Hudson Valley Lighting Group

PRODUCT WATCH: A floor for tomorrow’s hotel

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
PRODUCT WATCH: A floor for tomorrow’s hotel

Granorte’s Trendcollection makes the beauty, sustainability and performance of cork flooring accessible to today’s hotels. From traditional cork tiles right through to printed designs using the latest solid rigid core technology, it’s a formidable collection that brings cork right up to date…

Nowhere is this better captured than in DESIGNTrend, a floor that combines the latest technology with cork’s natural, sustainable and renewable status.

Through direct digital print and a textured WEARTOP finish, DESIGNTrend brings the look and feel of wood with the ease of LVT without cutting down trees or containing any plastic.

Updated for 2020 with new looks, DESIGNTrend uses proven Uniclic joints for fast and easy installation, just like any laminate or click LVT, but also features a high-density natural cork composite wear layer and 1mm cork base layer for a warmer and quieter home. Treated with Microban® anti-bacterial protection, DESIGNTrend provides homes with a floor that’s not only easy to live with and kinder on the planet, but more hygienic too.

Paulo Rocha, product and R&D manager, Granorte, says: “Cork is a great material to work with, with numerous applications, and is certainly a material that resonates with today’s homeowners. Cork is no longer just about the ‘old fashioned’ glue-down tiles of old, it is a material that offers genuine benefits and designs that not only break convention but perhaps more importantly, fit with convention.

“DESIGNTrend exemplifies cork’s adaptability with the wood effects made popular by LVT and laminate, but without using any plastic and bringing all the acoustic, thermal and sustainable benefits of natural cork. As a plus, there’s no compromises in fitting, performance or ease of living either.”

DESIGNTrend is now available in 16 wood effects with oak in a wide-ranging palette of oak and the exclusivity of Larch Spice. Comfortable, quiet, warm, hardwearing, hygienic, telegraph-free and plastic-free; this is a collection made for today’s environmentally conscious hotels.

Granorte 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: Granorte

FEATURE: The benefits of bespoke when designing fitness areas

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
FEATURE: The benefits of bespoke when designing fitness areas

In the post-pandemic world, hotel spas and fitness areas will need to work harder in their meaningful design schemes to meet modern travellers’ demands for safe and clean environments. The wellness designers at Gym Marine explain the benefits of designing bespoke…

Fitness facilities within the hospitality sector are often stuck between that of a commercial environment and a luxury environment.

A public area, gyms are often a prime reason people book a hotel and are particularly important if the hotel wants 5-star credentials as they need a gym. Therefore, it can’t be an area that lets the rest of the design down because the equipment is made for a 24hr gym rather than a luxurious environment. This can be a struggle for hotels, as traditional gym equipment is designed for commercial settings, where aesthetics is second to function. However, with the demand for luxury gym equipment continuously increasing, manufacturers are making equipment that is as beautiful as it is functional.

As part of their brand identity, hotels will have specific colours which form part of the property’s design. Boutique hotels are very reliant on interior design to differentiate themselves and get guests through the door. Incorporating their brand and unique interior style into their gym design will ensure a cohesive feel throughout the hotel, enhancing both their profile and guest’s experience.

One range of gym equipment that has been designed with luxury environments in mind is GM Custom. Created by the specialist wellness designer Gym Marine, their years of experience of designing and installing gyms in high-end locations gave them the insight on how to produce unique fitness equipment. First to be launched was the Classic and Diabolo Dumbbells, since then the range has been continuously expanding and now includes a Rack, Bench and Wallbars.

Each piece is bespoke, with a choice of materials to choose from such as woods and metals which are popular within many interiors and will complement the décor of the hotel. Alternatively, if there is a specific design element that features throughout the hotel, this can be featured within the GM Custom equipment as well. For that complete customisation, the kit can be branded with a hotel name or logo, adding an element of exclusivity whilst strengthening the brand.

Alongside the GM Custom range of items is the made-to-order aide of business where they undertake custom equipment designs for hotel gyms. Essential when an off the shelf solution doesn’t work. A few years ago, whilst working on the gym at the Mandarin Oriental in Hyde Park, Gym Marine were asked to incorporate a half rack and lifting platform into a space overlooking the swimming pool where there was a glass alcove. The alcove was slightly too small for a traditional half rack, in as much as you couldn’t get around the side of the frame to take the weight plates off. In this instance, they were able to create a bespoke piece which was slightly slimmer than usual and had angled weight plate holders to ensure easy access.

The principles of gym design which they incorporate across all of their projects are perhaps best suited to hotel designs – striking the perfect balance between luxury finishes and creating a functional space which has training options for everyone. GM Custom as a range helps solve this problem, as the freedom to offer bespoke pieces allows to break free of limitation to designs caused by aesthetic or space requirements.

Gym Marine 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: Gym Marine

How hotels are keeping sustainability front and centre

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
How hotels are keeping sustainability front and centre

To celebrate sustainability in practice, Hotel Designs asks Paisley Hansen to investigate what hotels are doing today in order to preserve tomorrow…

Everyone strives to be as kind to the environment as they can and hotels are no exception. As a matter of fact, with the amount of traffic they receive, hotels going green has been a significant inspiration for other businesses to follow suit.

To keep up with changing times, hotels have implemented many environmentally-friendly practices.

Utilising the power of the sun

There’s no doubt about it–solar energy is hot. If you’ve ever received a money-saving solar quote, or switched over yourself, you know how well it works. Hotels have made the same choice and decided it’s worth their while to invest in eco-friendly energy sources. Solar power is a no-brainer and it’s smart business to implement it now.

Image credit: Pixabay

Doing less laundry

Years ago when you’d book a hotel, you would get clean sheets and towels each day. Many hotels are now frowning on this wasteful practice, unless you specifically request it. Towels can be left to dry and reused the next day. This uses less water, detergent and saves the hotel money.

Lathering up in Bulk

Remember when you were a kid and hotels had all those fun little amenities? Although people loved to collect miniature bars of soap and tiny shampoo bottles, many hotels have opted to install bulk shampoo and soap dispensers. This is popular in Europe where each shower contains a press container that releases gel to be used as shampoo and body wash. These containers mean less packaging and plastic waste.

Economical lighting solutions

Hotels are changing the way they provide lighting to reduce their carbon footprint. Many have decided to install LED lighting throughout the property. You may also come across motion sensor lights that turn on as you walk down a hallway, much like what you see in a supermarket freezer section. You may even find these upon entering your room, which is a big help if you check in after hours.

Image credit: Pixabay

Watching waste

Many hotels offer a continental breakfast and the patrons love the money they save on a meal. In the past, a lot of trash was generated by the use of paper cups and plates, so now, many hotels use glass dishes and coffee mugs with a tub to collect dirty dishes. This reduces an incredible amount of trash. Hotels are also placing recyclable bins around the property to collect plastic, metal and glass items, so don’t throw them in your regular trash can!

Going Chameleon

In many parts of the world, you’ll find hotels that are virtual chameleons. What this means is that they blend in seamlessly with their surroundings for many specific reasons. These hotels have made a conscious decision not to mar the landscape and instead, keep the area looking pristine. This practice is also animal-friendly as it doesn’t disturb, or interfere, with the rhythm of wildlife in the area.

Recycling water

Along with doing less laundry, more hotels are opting to save water through a process called greywater recycling. This procedure allows lightly used water, such as that used in showers or sinks, to be reused again for non-drinking purposes like irrigation or toilet flushing. Other hotels worldwide also collect and reuse rainwater in much the same manner.

Cleaning with a conscience

All these improvements sound wonderful, but what happens at the hotel when you’re not there? Green practices are now taking place at hotels behind the scenes, as well. That’s where environmentally-friendly cleaning products come into play. Hotels no longer feel that they need to use harsh, caustic chemicals when cleaning rooms. Many products have been developed that are made of lemon, vinegar and plant-based sources that still kill germs and sanitise rooms.

It’s everyone’s responsibility

Environmentally-friendly practices in hotels are becoming the norm, as they well should. From solar energy, to water recycling and protecting natural habitats, looking for better options is everyone’s responsibility. Using hotels as an example, find out how you can live greener in your own home.

Main image credit: Pixabay

Hotel Designs LIVE: Technology’s role in tomorrow’s hotel with Jason Bradbury

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hotel Designs LIVE: Technology’s role in tomorrow’s hotel with Jason Bradbury

On June 23, Hotel Designs hosted its first ever virtual conference. To kickstart Hotel Designs LIVE, sponsored by Technological Innovations Group, editor Hamish Kilburn welcomed tech influencer and the former presenter of The Gadget Show Jason Bradbury to discuss technology’s role in tomorrow’s hotel…

Following a warm welcome from editor Hamish Kilburn to officially launch Hotel Designs LIVE – and quick-fire Q&A round with the event’s headline partner, Technological Innovations Group – Jason Bradbury made a dramatic entrance, on a hover board (we wouldn’t expect anything less). The former presenter of The Gadget Show, who has built an international career as a futurology and tech-trends corporate speaker, took the microphone to start the conference’s debut session entitled: Technology’s role in tomorrow’s hotel.

“The last 10 weeks have defined the next 10 years of innovation.” – Jason Bradbury

Sponsored by Hamilton Litestat, the session started by Bradbury suggesting that the current coronavirus crisis  – and indeed all cultural changes in the past – opened up an opportunity for new technology to be utilised in the hotel experience. Using the case study of Bainland Park, which is a luxury escape just a few miles from his home in Lincoln, Bradbury explained how the resort is redesigning its concept to dissolve the conventional public areas altogether. “Bainland Park is completely self-sufficient, ideal for the post-corona consumer, and the architecture and design really does set the scene,” he said. “Before lockdown, the owners were intending to renovate the public areas. However, as a result of the pandemic, and the change of consumer demands, they are now eliminating the the communal areas completely. What’s most interesting is that this change has been driven in the last 10 weeks alone.”

“Technology that offer peace of mind and wellbeing are going to be central to the buying experience from consumers.” – Jason Bradbury

Another case study that Bradbury referred to when predicting technology’s role in the future hotel experience was Eccleston Square, a tech-savvy  boutique gem that sits in the heart of London. With the aim being to understand where technology is heading in hotel design, in 2019, Hotel Designs asked Bradbury to review the hotel 30 years in the future. “The technology in Eccleston Square is almost invisible, if you exclude the media lounge,” he explained, “which results in a seamless experience for the guests. However, post-pandemic, I wonder if in the future we are going to see more overt instances of technology [when it comes to cleaning], because that will make us feel safer as consumers.

During the seminar, Hotel Designs LIVE featured a PRODUCT WATCH segment, which allowed the audience to hear from key-industry suppliers within within the technology sphere to ultimately find out about the latest innovations and products that have appeared on the hotel design scene recently.

Below is the full seminar (in two parts), with PRODUCT WATCH pitches from Hamilton Litestat, Technological Innovations Group, NT Security, Air Revive and Aqualisa.

In part two (see below), Bradbury continued to explore, through technology lenses, what he believes will likely be the hotel of the future. In addition, he answered some tough questions on which piece of technology he believes should never have been invited, what tech item he simply cannot live without and how long he could go living without technology…

Born in the chaotic realms of the coronavirus crisis, Hotel Designs LIVE, sponsored by Technology Innovations Group, is Hotel Designs’ way to simply, meaningfully and virtually keep the industry connected while keeping the conversation flowing. Bradbury’s future-gazing session, where he predicted technology’s evolution in the hotel experience, kickstarted a full day of insightful talks and panel discussions on topics such as Public Areas, Sleep and Wellness, which will all be published shortly.

In (Lockdown) Conversation With: Dean Winter, Managing Director, Swire Hotels

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In (Lockdown) Conversation With: Dean Winter, Managing Director, Swire Hotels

Following his recent appointment as Managing Director of Swire Hotels, Dean Winter sits down (virtually) with editor Hamish Kilburn to explain the brand’s change of direction…

Swire Hotels, which shelters luxury and lifestyle brands The House Collective and EAST, has recently announced a new Managing Director.

Dean Winter, who first started working with the hotel group in 2006, has more than 25 years’ experience as a hotelier and restaurateur in destinations such as London, Hong Kong and Singapore. Taking over from Toby Smith, who will now sit as Deputy Chairman for the group, Winter’s new role is part of a wider internal restructuring of management for the group with the aim to continue to inspire teams across the brands.

Following his appointment, I caught up with winter.

Hamish Kilburn: Dean, congratulations on your new role! What are you most looking forward to as Managing Director at Swire Hotels?

Dean Winter: People are central to what we do at Swire Hotels – both our guests and our dedicated team members – and their personal satisfaction is a main priority for me. By training our team and then empowering them to make decisions, we enable them to exceed expectations and build personal relationships with guests and other team members.

This dedication to service is core to our ethos at The House Collective and EAST, Hotels and I couldn’t be more excited to continue to support the people and guide the beliefs of a company that I’ve been part of for over a decade.

woman walking down modern staircase

Image credit: The Middle House, Shanghai

HK: How much does the design of the hotel affect the guest experience of Swire Hotels?

DW: Design lies at the heart of Swire Hotels and its brands. First impressions matter to our guests. When you walk into a hotel, its interior design can affect the way you feel and can influence your mood.

Each hotel within The House Collective all have their own identity, which boast some of the best design signatures in the industry. For example, behind The Opposite House’s unique design as an art gallery-inspired hotel there is visionary architect Kengo Kuma, who made our hotel one of Beijing’s hottest spots to visit.

HK: What are the key characteristic differences between Swire Hotels’ brands, The House Collective and EAST?

DW: All our hotels provide an extremely personalised service with each guest treated as a valued individual. The House Collective is all about design-led homes away from home, each with its own identity rooted in the destination, and a spirited, cultural soul. EAST is adapted to the new business traveller experience in destinations like Hong Kong, Beijing and Miami, blurring the line between business and leisure and enabling authentic experiences through art and design. At EAST, creating spaces that effectively accommodate guests at various points of life or of their day is also and important element. Examples of this would be the Domain spaces at our EAST hotels which function as cafés, meeting spaces, co-working zones and early evening bars; Sugar the rooftop bar is a popular nightspot for guests as well as locals and BEAST with well equipped gym, pool and wellness programmes helps keep our guest fit.

HK: Can you give us an overview of Swire Hotels’ commitment to sustainability?

DW: Swire Hotels is committed to making a positive impact on the environment and in order to manifest this change, we start from our people. What we envision is creating a healthy ecosystem of people who embody our values and care about our impact on the environment. We’re always looking to create meaningful initiative across our properties focusing on reducing water wastage, energy savings and better waste management. Some of these initiatives include removal of single-use packaging, amenities made of recyclable or biodegradable materials, paperless check-in and at EAST Miami, we have a smart pump that regulates water pressure throughout the hotel in order to reduce water usage. We are determined to find new ways to improve the sustainability of our properties, for our guests and the community around us. This way, we can continue delivering wonderful experiences not just for right now, but for many years to come.

“We have been taking advantage to accelerate some planned projects for both in terms of rooms and restaurants enhancements or systems development.” – Dean Winter, Managing Director, Swire Hotels

HK: What does 2021 look like for Swire Hotels?

DW: Overall I think everyone will have a more positive attitude towards travelling given how 2020 has unfolded. This year we’re celebrating the 10th Anniversary of EAST Hong Kong with new packages available to book directly from the hotel’s website and The Opposite House exciting new relaunch with the completion of an extensive renovation of the restaurant and bar spaces will have the celebration continue into the new year.

During the recent downtime, we have been taking advantage to accelerate some planned projects for both in terms of rooms and restaurants enhancements or systems development. So there will be more new spaces to reveal in 2021. We have also embarked on an expansion plan to grow both our brands, The House Collective and EAST, through management contracts throughout Asia Pacific and hope to have some announcement in 2021.

HK: Are you able to give us an insight into any new openings?

DW: We do have some evolving plans for new restaurant spaces next year. I’m excited by these opportunities and how we can continue to demonstrate our creativity on what is a core competency for the group.

QUICK-FIRE ROUND

HK: Where’s next on your travel bucket list?
DW:
Montenegro; I’m facinated by the history and the architecture. Followed by a drive along The Adriatic; ideally in a classic sports car!

HK: What’s one item you cannot travel without? 
DW: A great novel!

HK: Can you describe the Swire Hotels ethos in three words?
DW: Innovation, design, people.

HK: How have Swire Hotels and its two brands been preparing to welcome guests back following the health crisis?

DW: The relationship between The House Collective and EAST, Hotels and our guests have always been centred around trust – we are dedicated to providing the best for our guests, and will continue to uphold our standard of service moving forward from this pandemic. We have already been hosting guests from neighbouring cities to our destinations and are looking forward to welcoming guests from all over the world again. We have introduced various prevention and control measures since the very beginning of the health crisis, such as temperature and travel history checks for all guests upon arrival including our staff members, increased frequency of deep cleaning as well as preparing care kits for our guests with hygiene wet wipes, hand sanitiser and face masks.

Main image credit: Swire Hotels

GROHE achieves carbon-neutral production

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GROHE achieves carbon-neutral production

Achieving carbon-neutral production is an important milestone in GROHE’s 360-degree sustainability strategy, and is now working to ensure that all sales offices are climate-neutral by 2021…

As one of the first leading manufacturers for full bathroom solutions and kitchen fittings, GROHE has now achieved carbon-neutral production, achieving its pledge the brand announced in November 2019, a pivotal milestone in its long-term commitment to sustainability.

“The initiative ties in seamlessly with the numerous measures in our plants that promote the reduction of the carbon footprint and conserve resources. We are very proud to be a pioneer in our industry with GROHE goes ZERO,” said Thomas Fuhr, COO Fittings LIXIL International and CEO of Grohe AG. “And we are directly aiming for the next step: by the end of 2021 we want to make all our sales offices worldwide climate-neutral.”

The initiative also contributes to a central goal of parent company LIXIL’s sustainability strategy, of which GROHE has been a part of since 2014: by 2050, achieve net-zero carbon emissions from housing and lifestyle solutions as well as operations.

In order to achieve its goal of carbon-neutral production, GROHE has been using green electricity since July 2019 at all five LIXIL EMENA production sites, which produce exclusively for the global brand, and in the German logistics centres. In addition, the brand is investing in solar technology, combined heat and power plants, and innovative manufacturing processes such as 3D metal-printing that save materials to ensure they are creating a value chain that conserves resources. In addition, its state-of-the-art dedicated testing laboratory in Hemer coupled with increased recycling of materials is also helping contribute to the steady reduction of its carbon footprint. As a result, GROHE has been able to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by around 40% since the introduction of its 2014 sustainability programme, while at the same time increasing its energy efficiency by 24%. As a result, the original targets of 20% respectively by 2021 have been significantly exceeded ahead of schedule.

To offset any CO2 emissions it has not yet been able to reduce, GROHE provides significant investment into two global compensation projects: operational support of a hydroelectric power plant in India, which eliminates the need for coal-fired power plants, and a project in Malawi, which involves the repair and maintenance of boreholes used for drinking water abstraction.

As part of its carbon strategy, the sanitary brand intends to pursue the proven three-pronged approach of “avoid, reduce, compensate” and increase its energy efficiency every year by its own means, thereby reducing the share of compensation.

GROHE’s approach for a reduction of CO2 in consumers’ everyday lives

GROHE always strives to increase sustainability, not only with regard to its own production but through its intelligent technologies which can also help consumers to minimise their personal carbon footprint:

#1: Saving energy starts at the wash basin

Eco-conscious products designed for the family bathroom not only save energy but can also be easy on the wallet. Technologies such as GROHE SilkMove ES allow solely cold water to flow from the tap when the lever is positioned in the middle. Unnecessary hot water consumption can therefore be prevented and, for a four- person household, save approx. 279kg CO2 and around 31,412 liters of water per year.

#2 Sustainable showering

For many, a refreshing shower in the morning is a great way to start the day. However, people often wait unnecessary lengths of time to start their shower until they have found the ‘perfect’ shower temperature – hence valuable energy and water are then wasted in the process. GROHE thermostats equipped with its TurboStat technology provide a more sustainable showering experience, delivering the desired shower temperature within a fraction of a second and maintaining this for the duration of the shower.

#3 Filtered drinking water straight from the kitchen tap

Bottled water is ubiquitous in everyday life, but it is certainly harmful to the environment. Up to 600g CO2 are emitted during the production and transport process of one litre of bottled mineral water. One solution for consuming water more sustainably is the investment of water systems for the home such as GROHE Blue Home, a kitchen tap that supplies you with filtered and chilled water in still, medium or sparkling options. A family of four using a Blue Home water system can save up to 800 plastic bottles each year and reduce their CO2 emissions by up to 61 per cent.

GROHE 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: GROHE

FEATURE: The ever-growing importance of biophilic design

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FEATURE: The ever-growing importance of biophilic design

While sustainability remains high-up on the agenda, and following editor Hamish Kilburn’s panel discussion at the Surface Design Show on biophilic materials in surface design, Nest explores the importance of bringing nature in…

If there’s one thing we’ve noticed over the past few months, it’s been how much people have been connecting with nature.

In times of stress, we crave a relationship with the natural world – whether this be walking through our local park, filling our homes with houseplants or being able to relax in our gardens. Exposure to nature and the colour green has been shown to provoke the release of good endorphins; it can even help people heal faster. Mental health charities across the world also recommend spending more time outdoors to combat problems such as anxiety and depression.

So, with nature’s proven impact on our mental health and physical wellbeing, could biophilic design principles hold the key to creating sustainable and inviting spaces in the post-pandemic landscape?

How biophilic design can be applied in a hospitality setting

Wellbeing is huge industry that will only continue to grow. Spaces that can improve our health and wellness will play an ever bigger part as the hospitality sector looks to entice people back to international travel.

Biophilic design principles suggest that humans have an innate connection with the natural world. Through bringing elements of nature into our interiors, we can elevate the well-being of those inhabiting the space.

“Oliver Heath suggests that guests are willing to pay 23 per cent more for rooms with views of biophilic elements.”

As shown in many studies show, biophilia has the potential to be very powerful within a hospitality setting. A cost-effective way of improving the experience for guests, Oliver Heath suggests that guests are willing to pay 23 per cent more for rooms with views of biophilic elements. This is something that can be clearly seen in the link between the price of hotel rooms and whether they have a sea view.

But biophilic design is not just about views or introducing plants to your spaces. Materials, textures, colour, shape, lighting and ventilation all combines in well-designed biophilic spaces to create an environment which is calming and inviting.

We’ve picked out a few key ways in which you can start to introduce biophilic design principles into your interiors:

Directly introduce nature into a space

Whether this be through framing a striking view out of the window or simply displaying a bunch of fresh flowers in a statement vase, bringing the great outdoors inside is easier than you may think. Layer up your greenery to create a statement feature or even invest in dried flowers if keeping plants watered is too much to handle. This is an easy and often affordable way to introduce biophilic design principles into a space.

Image caption: Nest’s Fritz Hansen Lily Chair | Image credit: Nest

Make it easy for people to access the outdoors

As well as providing glimpses of nature within your interiors, consider how your building allows people to access the outdoors. Could you introduce outdoor seating onto a patio to create a place of refuge outdoors? Does your courtyard encourage people to spend time in it? An inviting outdoor space may well be key in a socially distanced future.

Introduce natural motifs

A pattern in the wallpaper, the form of a vase or the curves in a chair – organic forms that suggest shapes from nature are a great way to introduce another nod to nature into your interiors.

Make the most of natural materials

Textures that tempt our fingertips – combining materials such as cork, rattan, wool and wood in a space creates a natural material palette which can put us at ease. Tactile stimulation has been shown to help reduce our cortisol levels (which cause stress) and trigger the release of oxytocin (the love hormone) helping us to feel happier and more relaxed.

Consider the colour temperature of your lighting

Lighting can have a huge impact on our mood and alertness. There are now a number of circadian lighting systems on the market which mimic natural daylight through colour-changing LEDs. By subtly removing the stimulating blue spectrum of light in the mornings and evenings, these lighting systems help to improve both alertness and sleep quality by creating a more adaptable space.

As many of us continue to spend more time indoors, spaces that support us both physically and mentally will only continue to grow in importance.

Nest is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here. And, if you are interested in also benefitting from this  three-month editorial package, please email Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image caption: Nest’s Hashira Table Lamp | Image credit: Nest

PRODUCT WATCH: Energy-saving Cheetah by Quintex

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PRODUCT WATCH: Energy-saving Cheetah by Quintex

It has been described as “Europe’s leading on-demand energy saving control”, Cheetah is a high-impact smart technology for a busy hotel kitchen. Hotel Designs explores…

The Cheetah system by Quintex has been saving energy and making a huge impact in hotels across Europe for more than 15 years – Claridges in London reported a reduction of 30 per cent in its kitchen ventilation energy costs after installing it.

The technology not only boasts financial savings (thousands per annum) but dramatically reduces a properties carbon footprint and improves the kitchen environment by reducing noise levels.

Cheetah is designed and manufactured in the UK and takes great pride on its robust ‘best of breed’ sensor technology and ‘proof in the pudding’ energy saving credentials.

What it does

Extract and supply fans in commercial properties are two of the biggest energy consumers in commercial kitchens and Cheetah offers one of the only proven technologies to effectively reduce their consumption while still offering the necessary level of performance.

Cheetah takes full control of the extract and supply fans in the kitchen and sensitively modulates them in relation to cooking activity; the higher the heat, smoke, or steam level the faster the fans will run and vice versa. Thus, meaning during periods of inactivity on the cookline the fans speeds will lower, reducing energy waste and therefore monetary waste. This is called demand-controlled ventilation (DCV).

How the technology works

After more than a decade of engineering and more than 8,000 systems in action worldwide, Cheetah were the first in Europe to patent the high-end optic and sensor components. This give the very best identification of variables in the canopy such as, steam, smoke, gases, and precise temperature changes to command the fans to act accordingly within seconds.

One of the systems unique selling points is its ability to remotely dial into the system to identify how it is performing and give energy savings data without the need for personnel to visit the site.

Is Cheetah suitable for your kitchen? 

The beauty of Cheetah is that it is versatile in many ways. The system can be fitted into already existing kitchens that could even be decades old but can also be integrated with state-of-the-art HVAC designs in new build projects, the options are endless.

The manufacturer Quintex Systems offer a free site survey as part as the initial process. One of their qualified and knowledgeable HVAC engineers would attend site to carry out a full 360-degree report on the safety, suitability, and savings opportunity in that particular property.

In the last three months, Quintex Systems have made it even easier to purchase and implement the system, offering clients their Q Finance option. This allows new and existing business to explore the option of a financing deal to spread the overall cost and lower the initial capital outlay.

Cheetah has saved clients like Hilton, IHG, Radisson, and Marriott thousands of kilowatts and therefore thousands of pounds while also reducing their carbon footprint to achieve their sustainability goals. Will you be the next to make the step forward to a carbon neutral world?

Quintex 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: Quintex

Avani Kalutara Resort unveils full renovation

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Avani Kalutara Resort unveils full renovation

Originally designed by Geoffrey Bawa in collaboration with furniture designer Rico Taravella, Avani Kalutara Resort in Sri Lanka has completed an impressive renovation, revealing new facilities and refreshed guestrooms and suites, and F&B areas…

Avani Kalutara Resort has emerged from the pandemic with a new look, which includes fully-renovated suites and lobby, refreshed outdoor spaces as well as introducing brand new pool suites and dining venues and a 360-degree grand ballroom with panoramic views.

Originally designed in 1994 by Geoffrey Bawa, one of Sri Lanka’s most significant architects, in collaboration with furniture designer Rico Taravella, the vision of the entire Resort was to define a spacious amphitheatre which is achieved through a triton-like layout, as the accommodation wings expand off at angles from the centre. The 105-key resort sits where the Kalu Ganga (River) diverges into a lagoon and the Indian Ocean. The surrounding scenery amplifies the new look of the Resort, which stays true to the tropical modern aesthetic while refreshing the property with crisp, bright touches.

A completely revitalised look and vibe awaits guests at the Avani Ocean View Suites with their tropical airy layout, the brand new Avani Ocean View Pool Suites equipped with private plunge pool and two spacious terraces, and the Avani Deluxe Ocean View Rooms with views of the Indian Ocean and lagoon.

Bringing colour and cool to Sri Lanka’s southwest coast, Avani Kalutara offers a few culinary hotspots; Karadiya Bar provides a picture-perfect backdrop with a new pool bar experience, Miridiya Bar serves up refreshing drinks and bites by the riverside, the Mangrove Restaurant continues to feature the freshest, locally sourced ingredients brimming with local and international delights, along with the brand’s signature deli concept Pantry by Avani for visitors on the go, which offers freshly brewed coffee cold-pressed juices, artisanal sandwiches, and local tea flavours that the country is renowned for. For a more exclusive dining experience, resort chefs are ready to create in-room seafood feasts with Sri Lankan flair.

The brand new Ganga Ballroom, with an ode to its name, features stunning 360-degree views which encompass the Indian Ocean, Kalu Ganga and lagoon. Designed to cater up to 300 guests, a dedicated events planner oversees décor, catering, and logistics to ensure every wedding, party, meeting, or seminar runs smoothly and successfully. 

Recreational facilities include a swimming pool surrounded by coconut palms, the 24-hour AvaniFit inspired gym, a Glider Adventure Tower for ziplining, climbing and abseiling, and water sports on the lagoon. Guests can also access adjacent sister property Anantara Kalutara Resort, including the award-winning Anantara Spa with Ayurvedic treatments.

Main image credit: Avani Kalutara Resort

INDUSTRY INSIGHT: Visualising the future of F&B spaces in hotel design

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
INDUSTRY INSIGHT: Visualising the future of F&B spaces in hotel design

Hospitality will awake from the pandemic to face new challenges when it comes to designing F&B spaces. Hotel Designs turns to the CGI experts at North Made Studio to try and visualise the future of these public-facing outlets…

With the industry on a hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be some important future choices to make for hoteliers.

These choices will need to be made in all areas, but may become most stark within the F&B spaces of their hotels.

Until government guidelines are released, exactly how this sector of the hotel industry will proceed is a mystery. Dictating dates for reopening and the easing of certain measures will be crucial to define how the industry needs to adapt.

Should measures not be eased enough and distancing remain in place for the foreseeable future, questions will need to asked about profitably for certain spaces in a ‘socially-distanced’ world. Within the hotel sector F&B spaces may not be deemed a profitable use of available space.

From a visualisation perspective there may be more focus put on the finer details of a F&B space. Viewpoints centred around individual seating areas, up-selling the attributes of the table setting, rather then focusing on the overall aspect of the whole F&B interior area.

Some hoteliers my choose to get ahead of the game and move F&B spaces outdoors, allowing the potential for these spaces to open sooner. Over the last few years interior design for the luxury F&B sector has tried to bring the outdoors in, with Biophilia becoming a growing trend. This potential move of F&B spaces from indoor to outdoors would switch this around. Visually this could allow for outdoor F&B spaces to be depicted with extensive greenery, using the current trend and taking it beyond what was capable within an indoor environment. Or the alternative could happen, and a drive to bring the indoor aesthetic to outdoor spaces could become a trend.

The visualisation sector is geared up to work with both interior and exterior spaces, minimising any differentiation between the CG imagery produced in terms quality or realism.

Another possibly trend for F&B spaces within the hotel sector may be to move more than just the seating/eating areas outdoors. With the popularity of street food kiosks, van and trailers, There is the potential to move the complete catering service outside. Providing an innovative feature to the hotel experience that also opens up the F&B space to the general public, increasing potential custom.

Another great possibility of this is that the catering trailer/van can easily be switched out, to provide customers will different food and drink offerings on a regular basis. Incredible engaging visualisation can be produced for these kinds of external spaces. Creating the scene is just the start, population elements can be embedded within the scene to built a complete visual that includes food trailers, tables, chairs, different demographic of people. Finer details can also be added such as drinks on tables, litter bins. The more detailed the space is visualised, the more realistic and engaging it can be.

To further explore the future of F&B spaces in hotel design, we need to take things back to a pre-COVID stage. Many companies are simply waiting out the Coronavirus pandemic, putting projects on hold, in the hope that things will return to some semblance of normality. For these type of businesses the visual aspects of their F&B spaces will continue to follow current trends.

Experiential

Customers need to be enticed to utilise the F&B facilities within the hotel, creating engaging design with attractive styling is key. Sell these experiences during the early phases of a project with 360 degree viewpoints and visual reality tours can be a great way of boosting interest and getting designs approved.

Convenience

A core factor for F&B spaces in hotels is their convenience. Ensuring the spaces are easily accessible and positioned close to heavy footfall areas, will help to increase their usage. Positioning and ‘eye-catching’ features can be showcased via traditional still CG images, assisting the planing and development phases.

Variety

No two hotel customers are the same, with hotel spaces being used for both business and pleasure, the needs of specific customers will vary. Offering a variety of services with a F&B space will accommodate for ‘on the go’ customers as well as those customers who have more time to sit down and have a full meal. Showcase these innovative features via the use of cameo shot visuals.

Adaptability

The ability for a F&B space to be multi-purpose is vital. Catering for breakfast, lunch, snacks, dinner and drinks allows for the capture of more customers throughout the day.

With the core features of the space remaining the same, the F&B space can be created in CGI for visualisation purposes, and redressed several times to show the adaptability of the space.

Image credit: North Made Studio

Overall F&B spaces within hotels are facing some challenging times. But whatever happens in the future regarding reaction to COVID, these spaces will always be required  in some form. And the visualisation sector will be there to assist with what changes to the design ethos are needed. If new ways to communicate a space are required, the technological advancements in virtual reality could be the key to creating ongoing engagement in the future.

North Made Studio is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here. And, if you are interested in also benefitting from this three-month editorial package, please email Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: North Made Studio

PRODUCT WATCH: ‘popham design’ by Casa Ceramica

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PRODUCT WATCH: ‘popham design’ by Casa Ceramica

The idea for popham design was simple: to celebrate and maintain a traditional artisan craft, while updating it with modern patterns and colour combinations….

Founded in 2007 by Americans Caitlin and Samuel Dowe- Sandes, popham design is a design studio and bespoke tile workshop based in Marrakech, Morocco.

The company designs and manufactures handmade concrete tiles that are exported throughout the world, adorning luxury hotels, restaurants and residences from San Francisco to Sydney. The idea for popham design was simple: to celebrate and maintain a traditional artisan craft, while updating it with modern patterns and colour combinations. The collection draws inspiration from Morocco and its rich history of pattern, along with influences as diverse as the pattern of raindrops cascading down a windowpane, the shadow cast by a palm tree under the blazing African sun, or a delicate crescent moon aloft in a velvety sky.

Concrete tiles are part of the cultural and artistic heritage of Morocco. popham design is fortunate to have an enviable team of master artisans, many of whom have 20+ years experience in their craft. Each tile is lovingly hand made to order (three to five minutes per tile). Each tile is unique with subtle variations in colour and line. These “imperfections” distinguish a handmade product from a mass-produced one, lending depth, movement and character to installations. Tucked away in an olive grove on the road to the Atlas Mountains, the popham design workshop aims to respect the Moroccan countryside, treading as lightly as possible on the earth, and strives to implement eco-friendly policies wherever possible. This includes water filtration and rainwater reclamation systems, over 95 per cent locally sourced materials, recycled packaging, and solar-heated showers for the team.

Image credit: popham design/Casa Ceramica

popham design tiles are pressed in a hydraulic press, not kiln red like ceramic tile, so very little energy goes into their production. The tiles are cured and then air dried, and contain no lead or other harmful toxins. They are suited for commercial and residential applications – walls and floors – and perform very well partnered with radiant heat. The tiles are durable, functional, and easy to care for, and can be used indoors and out.

All patterns are available in any colour combination from the popham design palette, and all shapes are available in a single colour. Please note that custom colour tiles do have longer lead times.

Casa Ceramica is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here. And, if you are interested in also benefitting from this  three-month editorial package, please email Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: Casa Ceramica/popham design

INDUSTRY INSIGHT: How to embrace the artisan revival

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INDUSTRY INSIGHT: How to embrace the artisan revival

With the modern consumer more aware than ever before when it comes to sustainability, and clients willing to broaden their imagination when it comes to signing off new materials and products that can stand the test of time, the era of artisan is having a moment. Felicity Randolph from Cheeky Chairs explains why the demand for artisan is more than a trend…  

One of the leading interior ‘trends’ of 2020 has been a return of traditional textiles and techniques. As the world increasingly turns to a more sustainable way of living, the culture of throwaway items has begun to fade and, in its place, there’s a growing emphasis on artisanal furnishings that will last. Consumers now want products that will stand the test of time, seeking furniture and furnishings that are made from natural materials and built using traditional methods. Within the hotel industry, this celebration of craftsmanship evokes a more unique style and allows brands to tell a personalised story through interior design.

The artisanal renaissance takes inspiration from history, embracing the natural methods and materials of the past. Hotels can achieve this look in a number of ways, from opting for authentic ornaments, ceramics and wall hangings to seeking out natural upholstery fabrics and working with companies that champion bespoke designs. Handcrafted décor items play a large role in achieving this look, creating a unique style that is warm, inviting and filled with personality.

“The bland and soulless designs from mass-produced pieces are increasingly being replaced with innovative products from creative designers.” – Felicity Randolph, Cheeky Chairs.

Choose tactile furniture 

Furniture can make or break the overall look of a room, so it should be the first port of call in celebrating artisanal makers. The bland and soulless designs from mass-produced pieces are increasingly being replaced with innovative products from creative designers. As a result, the idiosyncrasies and nuances of craftsmanship has a new appeal for the public who are embracing the original and personal nature of artisanal pieces. The artisanal trend also lends itself well to tactile furniture, such as through textured fabrics, warm natural woods and soft furnishings that invite visitors to explore.

Three wooden chairs next to green plants

Image credit: Cheeky Chairs

For example, Cheeky Chairs create hand-crafted framed chairs with traditionally upholstered seats that make use of natural materials such as coir, hessian and wool. Each of the designs produced by Cheeky Chairs is made using tried and tested methods to create a product that is built to stand the test of time. These include using traditional joinery techniques. Compared to modern joinery which relies on the use of bindings, adhesives and fasteners, traditional joinery depends only on wooden elements for a strong and sturdy result. The use of natural materials helps to bring a more organic and calming atmosphere to any space – something that is of particular importance in hotels where you want your guests to feel relaxed and at home from the moment they arrive.

Historic details

Details can add unique touches to a space that are subtle yet effective. For example, architectural joinery such as well-considered skirting boards, door panel moulds or creative architraves. These details can improve the feel of a room immensely and provide a pop of individual style as well as a nod to the past. There’s also an opportunity to evoke certain eras with such detailing – for example, bobbin chairs are an example of traditional renaissance style that evokes the look and feel of this time period while also working well with modern furnishings. Using classic joinery techniques, such as those adopted by Cheeky Chairs, helps to create these more traditional finishes. For example, steam bending and hand-carved spindles such as those features on the Darwin or Elkin models, or the elegance of the smooth wooden style of the Marco chair, bring luxury to any space. The use of texture through smooth wooden spindles and backs, as well as different colour and types of wood grain, can create a warm and rustic look that pairs beautifully with cosy wools and natural materials for a welcoming ambiance.

Image caption: The Marco Armchair upholstered in Morrison’s Andean Vertical Stripe alongside Sanderson’s Linnean Indigo | Image credit: Cheeky Chairs

Image caption: The Marco Armchair upholstered in Morrison’s Andean Vertical Stripe alongside Sanderson’s Linnean Indigo | Image credit: Cheeky Chairs

Design for guests

When interior designing, it’s important to remember that you’re designing for people, so emotions play a big role. Looking to artisans and traditional crafts is a great way of achieving an emotional response in a way that can’t be attained through off-the-shelf items. The tactility of good-quality, handmade items, whether that’s a carved frame chair, ceramics or a sumptuous artisanal blanket will remind you of luxurious spaces. Much like having a bespoke item of clothing elevates an outfit, using customised pieces in interior design creates a unique environment that can’t be found elsewhere. Artisan features with a hand-crafted look and feel are great for personalising a space and helping shift the eye around the room to create a comfortable yet interesting feel.

Image caption: Darwin Pavillion Set | Image credit: Cheeky Chairs

The desire for unique, traditionally-crafted furniture and classic textiles has led to an artisanal revival, both in residential properties and in businesses around the world. The hotel sector, in particular, as adopted this trend as a way of adding character and personality, using natural materials and traditional methods to create inviting spaces that are individual, creative and deliver a sensory experience. Thanks to innovative designers, handcrafted items are enjoying a second wave and the hotel industry is perfectly positioned to embrace this wonderfully creative trend.

Cheeky Chairs is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here. And, if you are interested in also benefitting from this three-month editorial package, please email Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: Cheeky Chairs

 

LOCATION WATCH: Hot hotels opening soon in Riviera Nayarit, Mexico

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
LOCATION WATCH: Hot hotels opening soon in Riviera Nayarit, Mexico

Ever since Hotel Designs started the concept-to-completion article series with SB Architects to cover the honest journey to design and build Conrad Punta Mita, Riviera Nayarit has been on our editorial team’s radar. Here editor Hamish Kilburn discovers which other hotels are opening in the area soon…

Mexico’s Riviera Nayarit, a remote 192-mile-long coastline that frames the majestic Sierra Madre mountains, is tipped to be in hot demand once travel restrictions have lifted. Later this year, the region will welcome two new five-star luxury properties for those looking for isolated remote escapes whilst keeping hygiene, health, and wellness front of mind.

Riviera Nayarit is welcoming two unrivalled luxury hotel openings (Conrad Punta Mita and One & Only Mandarina), that will complete its extensive luxury hotel offering, in preparation to be one of the most anticipated destinations of 2021.

Conrad Punta de Mita

Accepting reservations now and opening in October, Conrad Punta de Mita is a new 325-key property that will offer a tranquil retreat for guests, surrounded by palm trees and the Pacific Ocean. Explored by our team throughout its design and build, the hotel draws influence from Mexico’s rich history and unique culture, indigenous artwork integrates with the luxurious amenities to create an environment that will allow visitors to connect authentically to nature and to the sophisticated, contemporary architectural design.

Image credit: Conrad Hotels/SB Architects

Dovetailing with the dramatic scenery, resort bungalows, pavilions, and cabanas are nestled in coastal vegetation and all boast views of the aquamarine ocean, with suites offering fully-furnished kitchens and living rooms, perfect for larger groups, large patios, plunge pools, freestanding soaking tubs and outdoor showers.

Hilton’s first Conrad-branded resort property in Mexico will be set in the same private development as the Litibu Golf Course, an 18-hole experience designed by Greg Norman. 

One&Only Madarina

One&Only Mandarina is located just north of Punta Mita, on a spectacular cliff-side overlooking the Pacific Ocean with dramatic vistas and a lush rainforest setting. Blending chic interiors amid the lush jungle wilderness, the resort offers a combination of 104 free-standing villas that float above the treetops or perch against the cliffs – each with their own private plunge pool. 

Image credit: One&Only

Allowing nature to take centre stage, One&Only Mandarina has been designed and built to respect and blend with the environment. Experts were consulted on the development of the resort to minimise the effect on the existing natural landscape, and careful low-density planning has preserved the ecological importance of the destination. 

In addition, the resort will feature 54 Private Homes, among the first One&Only residences in the world. Available to own, One&Only Mandarina Private Homes offer privacy, seclusion, and comfort with unparalleled service – offering luxury resort living for a privileged few. 

The hotels will join an already thriving luxury hospitality scene and will sit alongside St. Regis Punta Mita Resort, Imanta Resorts Punta de Mita and other luxury hotels and villas.

Main image credit: One&Only

In (Lockdown) Conversation With: Design legend Jean-Michel Gathy

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
In (Lockdown) Conversation With: Design legend Jean-Michel Gathy

If the renders on the boards are anything to go by, Jean-Michel Gathy, who is widely considered as one of the industry’s finest, has embarked on one of his most ambitious hospitality projects to date, to design Amaala Island. Editor Hamish Kilburn learns more…

There is not a hotel designer or architect alive today who has not heard of the name Jean-Michel Gathy, and for good reason. The creative mastermind, who doesn’t just design but more reinvents hotel experiences, has been repainting the backdrop of luxury for what is coming up to three decades.

Not shy of his ambition – he once stated that he wanted to be the first person to design a hotel on the moon – Gathy’s approach to a project is all-encompassing, allowing him to further push (and at times break through) conventional barriers.

Arrival experience, luxury

Image credit: Capella Sanya, designed by Jean-Michel Gathy/Denniston

His latest project, Amaala Island will be an ultra luxury resort destination spanning three sites, a first for the region of Saudi Arabia. Designed to evolve and elevate the very best in travel, the island is an ultra-luxury destination that focuses on curating transformative personal journeys inspired by arts, wellness and the purity of the Red Sea.

To find out more about the project, and in homage to the designer’s award-winning career, I managed to speak to the architect/designer.

Hamish Kilburn: Jean-Michel, how will the ultra-luxe Amaala Island – aka the “Diamond of the Red Sea” – challenge conventional island developments?

Jean-Michel Gathy: The development of ‘The Island’ will be an immersive and interactive art-inspired jewel. Its lifestyle components, its landscaping, the museums, and art installations together with the art community will transform this island into the “Diamond of the Red Sea”. It will feature many different venues for permanent installations or temporary exhibitions and artistic performances. The graphic layout of its spine will be distinctive from the air and will be recognised internationally as an iconic landmark. The project features all elements programmed and reflects the areas, numbers and facilities. This is truly unique, nothing like it has ever been planned before.

“It’s not a matter of a specific place; it is the fact that when you travel, your mind is continually challenged by the happenings around you.” – Jean-Michel Gathy

HK: How does your approach differ when designing a destination from you’re designing a hotel?

JMG: Constant travel is a huge part of the job. It allows me to observe and to be constantly inquisitive about my surroundings. Travelling builds a subconscious library of ideas, which are expressed in my work and helps my ideas remain innovative and fresh. It’s not a matter of a specific place; it is the fact that when you travel, your mind is continually challenged by the happenings around you. It’s not about where you travel, either – what counts is that you explore. No matter where you are, every country has something new to offer in terms of inspiration.

Luxury spa area that frames unspoilt view through rustic blinds

Image credit: Image credit: The Chedi Muscat, Oman, designed by Jean-Michel Gathy/Denniston

HK: What have been some of your design highlights in your career?

JMG: Perhaps the one for which I am most renowned is the overwater hammocks or ‘basking nets’, which I initiated in the Maldives at the One&Only Reethi Rah in 2000. Until then, you would find balustrades around the terraces of villas. I decided to alter that – if anyone was going to fall off the terrace, they could fall on to the nets. And I put scatter cushions on them.

Image credit: One&Only Reethi Rah Maldives, designed by Jean-Michel Gathy/Denniston

Today, just about every hotel uses this idea. Another pioneering step was turning standalone tents for safari-style camps into a commodity. The accommodation at these hotels used to be basic but this started to change after I designed luxurious tents for the Amanwana in 1990. I am also known for my oversized, dramatic swimming pools such as the one on the roof of Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.

Large, oversized swimming pool

Image credit: The Setai Miami, designed by Jean-Michel Gathy/Denniston

QUICK-FIRE ROUND

HK: What has been the most demanding request you have received from a client to date?

JMG: I guess I take every client that I work with as a challenge more than a demanding request.

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

JMG: I would love to travel to Iceland to see its rugged landscapes, glaciers, rough seas, hot springs and volcanoes. I’d also like to visit the south of Chile and the peninsula of Kamchatka in Russia, which has extraordinary wildlife and endless forests.

HK: What’s your biggest indulgence when travelling?

JMG: Collecting art – I like to collect and invest in local artwork whilst on my travels.

HK: What lesson would you teach to your younger self?

JMG: The pathway to success is never easy, it takes hard work, dedication and passion.

HK: If you could design a hotel anywhere in the world, where would it be?

JMG: I’d love to design a hotel in Antarctica. There’s an ice hotel in Sweden, but that’s only open four months a year, so I want to do one that permanently remains ice.

HK: What’s been your favourite year on the international design scene?

JMG: To be honest, every year working with my team at Denniston has been and is special to me.

HK: What’s one item you cannot travel without?

JMG: I travel light, but I always ensure I have a cashmere scarf for the plane, and a sweater (I’m a big cashmere fan). I also travel with my camera, a Canon EOS 5D Mark III.

“The hotels where you arrive and lay on the beach and do nothing have progressively disappeared.” – Jean-Michel Gathy.

HK: How is the perception of luxury changing – and how is this evolving the way in which you create spaces in the luxury arena?

JMG: Before, hotels were just a place where you go and relax. Today, guests are connected: they want spas, they want food and beverage, they want activities, they want things to do. The hotels where you arrive and lay on the beach and do nothing have progressively disappeared, because life is such that people have become more and more active. I think luxury property clients are now asking for more than simply great rooms. They want retail facilities, a cinema, an extraordinary spa, award-winning F&B offerings and outdoor activities all integrated into the hotel.

“In terms of reliability, price strategy, and brand positioning, Toyota is a fantastic commercial car – but I prefer a Bentley.” – Jean-Michel Gathy.

HK: What’s the value of having designers and architects in your practice?

JMG: There are many good architects, but we have a specific niche. I’m going to compare us to branding: thousands of people buy Toyotas, but few people buy Bentleys. I believe that we are more Bentley than Toyota. This doesn’t mean that a Toyota is not a good car. In terms of reliability, price strategy, and brand positioning, Toyota is a fantastic commercial car – but I prefer a Bentley. Designers are the same; many prefer commercial projects and properties, because their interest is financial. They just want to make money, which means they’re not romantic about their projects. Then you have other designers, which is where I belong, who are more interested in the success of the project, the excitement of the journey of designing a hotel, and having the pride of making something fantastic, even though you earn less money.

Restaurant overlooking ocean in the Maldives

Image credit: One&Only Maldives, designed by Jean-Michel Gathy/Denniston

HK: Has the way in which you source inspiration changed over the years?

JMG: I’m someone who designs from the heart so my style is one that’s charismatic. It’s not an ego trip like the architects who design for themselves. I design elements that are a composition of dramatic effect; I create large and dramatic space, in opposition to intimate areas, so the space is always dynamic. Secondly, I design for the sensation you get out of it. I want every space in the hotel to be comfortable and for my clients to come back and say, I like this space. Sometimes they don’t know why they like it, but if they walk in and feel good, I know I’ve succeeded.

And succeeded Gathy has in widening the path of innovative hotel experiences in far-flung destinations around the world. While his past hotel projects have firmly etched his name into the architecture, design and luxury hospitality history books, his latest ideas and concepts that are currently on the boards highlight Gathy and Denniston’s ambitions. Inspired by his worldly perspective of design and architecture, I believe that Gathy’s aspiration is yet to peak as he continues to think big with the future landscape of luxury international hotel design patiently waiting in his sketchbook for its cue to emerge.

Main image credit: Jean-Michel Gathy/Denniston

PRODUCT WATCH: Sileather – a technical revolution in sustainable faux leather

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
PRODUCT WATCH: Sileather – a technical revolution in sustainable faux leather

Robert Walton, Managing Director of The Lindhurst Group, explains a break through technology in faux leather. Sileather is a sustainable, durable solution in the post-pandemic hospitality arena…

The Lindhurst Group has more than 50 years’ experience in identifying and finding solutions for issues experienced by operators in the hospitality sector with furniture and soft furnishings.

This has led to the discovery of break-through technology in faux leather. Whilst total lockdown due to Covid–19 put a halt to real life presentations, designers, specifiers and operators who have been working from home have taken the time to look at, and understand, these new technologies. Cue the discovery of Sileather.

“Sileather breaks all the conventions in that it is constructed of 100 per cent Silicone carried on recycled polyester backing without the use of any added chemicals.”

The challenges being presented by global warming have brought about the necessity for all businesses to review their activities and consider products being used within their supply chain. When it comes to the credentials for faux leather, Sileather breaks all the conventions in that it is constructed of 100 per cent Silicone carried on recycled polyester backing without the use of any added chemicals. Silicone is a recyclable product, and even the backing cloths are made of recyclable materials.

Image credit: Gantley Hall/The Lindhurst Group

​The process for recycling silicone fabrics can be attained by separating the silicone from the cloth and recycling the two parts individually – silicone can even be reused in electronics!

​Silicone is a unique material because of its sustainable qualities – it is one of the most common elements found in nature. Not only is the material less intrusive on the environment, but the production of the silicone is less taxing on natural resources. It takes less water, raw material, and electricity to produce compared to PU and PVC.

Image credit: The Lindhurst Group

​​Sileather has been developed to create a fabric that is not only beautiful, stylish and with high performance but is also sustainable and eco-friendly. The innovative and cutting-edge techniques for designing the silicone leather fabrics to perform to high standards has allowed the use of environmentally friendly methods.

From its beginning as simple quartz sand that is found everywhere in the world, silicone is a product that has its origins from nature itself. Once it is processed, it becomes a more familiar material that is seen everywhere: baking mats, oven gloves, baby bottle nipples, and now, silicone leather. Silicone products save nine times the quantity of greenhouse gases used in production and disposal by enabling energy saving technologies and a more efficient use of energy and materials

Whilst ticking all the boxes environmentally it is important that the material works from a practical viewpoint when presented through the supply chain to include interior designers, specifiers, furniture manufacturers, operators and , importantly, the final user. The key performance characteristics listed below serve to underline the benefits of this material across the chain:

  • inherently fire retardant to Crib 5 and IMO part 8 – no additional treatments required
  • naturally stain resistant to biro, denim bleed, coffee, red wine, ketchup, suntan lotion, mascara etc. wtc
  • weather resistant – remaining cool in the sun but able to withstand temperatures down as low as -40°C without losing felxibility
  • salt water resistant – for use on Cruise Ships and by the sea
  • chlorine resistant – for use around swimming pools
  • alcohol resistant
  • non toxic – safe to use on children’s furniture
  • highly durable – resistant to scuffing from buckles and belts
  • easy clean – biro can be wiped off with just a damp cloth

Pre-coronovirus these attributes had obvious advantages for all areas of the market but now the parameters are being challenged further to ensure that premises are doing all they can to regain the confidence of the customer by practicing strict cleaning regimes using strong disinfectants that will kill the virus.

In addition to these disinfectants, which can include concentrations of ethanol up to 95 per cent and bleach solutions using up to 10,000ppm of available chlorine, there will be copious hand sanitising stations using alcohol gels. Consideration needs be given to the durability of the fabrics selected and their ability to withstand such stringent regimes. Being constructed of a very stable material, Sileather is designed to withstand these regimes and maintain it’s appearance and structure for a long time.

Prior to Coronovirus, Sileather was gaining a reputation as the “magic” material to withstand staining from biro and denim bleed whilst also being sustainable and eco-fiendly. In a Coronavirus world Sileather retains these benefits buts adds it’s durability to withstand extreme cleaning practices.

The Lindhurst Group is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here. And, if you are interested in also benefitting from this  three-month editorial package, please email Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: The Lindhurst Group

VIRTUAL ROUNDTABLE: The role of UV lighting in hotel design

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
VIRTUAL ROUNDTABLE: The role of UV lighting in hotel design

With the industry’s attention focused towards possible solutions following the Covid-19 crisis, Hotel Designs, in collaboration with the human-centric lighting brand humanlumen, has brought together a handful of industry experts to discuss UV lighting’s role in the post-pandemic world. Editor Hamish Kilburn moderates… 

On the panel: 

Recently, humanlumen switched on our attention at Hotel Designs to focus our editorial gaze, during pandemic paralysis, towards the possibilities and boundaries of architectural lighting design. The launch of the brand’s Clean Air Series inspired us to investigate how figureheads of the industry are reacting to UV Lighting.

No question was off limit as the panel of interior designers and lighting designers put humanlumen through its paces to understand Clean Air Series and UV lighting’s role on tomorrow’s hygienic hospitality scene.

Hamish Kilburn: Andrew, so that everyone can familiarise themselves with the product, can you briefly explain humanlumen’s Clean Air Series?

Andrew Boydell: We have invested a lot of time and money in the new technology around UV lighting and its effects on bacteria in the workplace as well as in hospitality spaces. We believe that UV lighting in these areas is going to be fairly revolutionary going forward. From a hospitality point of view, we have developed Clean Air Series, a purification product that integrates a high level of UV light within the system. This allows up to 300 cubic-metres of air to be cleaned in four hours – think of it as a remote AC unit with multiple UV light chambers. 

Image caption: humanlumen’s Clean Air Series UV Lighting unit.

Mark Elliott: There has been a lot of research around the risks attached to UV lighting around eyesight and artwork, for example. One of the benefits of using LED lights over halogen lights is that the reduced UV prevents issues such as degrading artwork/finishes. How have you considered this in Clean Air Series?

AB: The product that has gone to market is a completely sealed unit. There are nine high intensity UV bulbs within a purification unit, which is basically an aluminium housing. Within that unit is a motor, a cooling unit and a number of chambers. The air is passed through the chambers, and no UV light is exposed to the outside world. It has been a major consideration of ours, as well as an engineering challenge.

“As manufacturers and designers, we all need to start looking and thinking outside the box now!” – Chris Peach, Principal lighting designer, FUTURE Designs.

HK: Mark, has UV Lighting been on your radar as a lighting designer?

ME: From our perspective, to be honest, it’s not something we have been investigating, which is probably because our focus as lighting designers is the beautification of spaces while enabling task-based solutions. However, it’s interesting to hear how lighting is being used to create more sterile environments.

Chris Peach: As manufacturers and designers, we all need to start looking and thinking outside the box now! With the ability to integrate the UV element within a luminaire could have major benefits. UV lighting is used throughout hospital environments, and there has to be a way of integrating that in hospitality.

Ariane Steinbeck: I want to continuously led by science. What I know that has been proven is that the detectability of the Covid-19 virus continues for between two and three hours in an aerosol format. What scientists don’t know yet is how much virus is needed to make you sick. From a practical standpoint, when this lighting is switched on out of hours, and the virus has settled on different surfaces, what does your product do to eliminate it?

AB: There are three elements: airborne particulates, surface particulates and particulates carried on the person. Airborne has been tackled with a continuous clean air unit that will run 24/7. Essentially, you will leave that in a hospitality space throughout the day. The surface element is different. The exposed UV light’s role, to be used when someone is not in that space, will help to clean the surfaces, and be used in harmony with the cleaners. We have been investigating an exposed UV product that will clean 25 square-metres of space. Of course, there would have to be a very clear protocol of use and we are looking at this to be linked to a control system so it can be activated when the room is not active. For a typical hotel room, we are estimating that this process will take an hour.

HK: What are the pitfalls in today’s lighting design?

Dylan Wills: Across the board, everyone would value in being more educated in lighting technology. Too often is lighting an afterthought behind the interior design itself.

David Mason: A lot of clients realise the benefits of lighting designers. There was a time where we would only ever use lighting designers in high-end projects. Now, though, we collaborate with lighting designers for most of the hotel projects we work on. 

“As soon as we all started to save energy and technology advanced, lighting design became a lot more convoluted.” – Mark Elliott, Global Creative Director, FPOV.

Neil Andrew: I worked on a project once where they didn’t have a lighting consultant. When I had won the argument to bring one on, they ended up removing 30 downlights, which of course saved a lot of money.

ME: As soon as we all started to save energy and technology advanced, lighting design became a lot more convoluted. As a lighting designer, keeping up-to-date with tech every day is very complex. That has driven designers to realise that they are not experts in that area.

HK: From a wellbeing perspective, how is lighting climbing up on the agenda in hospitality?

ME: I think we can take inspiration from the aviation industry. There have been studies carried out on how significant lighting can be to help combat jet lag. I’m not sure about UV lighting, but there are certainly applications at the moment on lighting being used to enhance wellbeing in hospitality.

NA: In terms of mental health, it’s hard to know the impact of Covid-19 right now, but I guess in general the big one for me is circadian lighting systems. The research and technology that will allow a room to intuitively adjust the lighting to where you have travelled from in order to aid jet lag is pretty impressive.

DM: We were working with a hotel chain to design windowless rooms. The idea behind the lighting was so that you could adjust the lighting to time zones. This also worked around your circadian rhythms.

HK: In these sessions, we always try to look at these new innovations and conversations with clients and budgets in mind. How realistic is it therefore for you to pitch these new innovations to clients?

DW: In this exact moment in time, the focus should be on the businesses that are having to reopen hotels in cost-effective ways. Adding new products that will incorporate expenditure will be a big focus. We have been speaking to hotel operators who are just moving furniture around and changing the lobby configuration because they simply don’t have the money to spend.

I can see UV lighting being integrated into new-builds. However, with existing buildings it will be difficult considering the financial positions of developers and operators at the moment.

ME: I believe there are two sides in this. On the one side there are people who are trying to cut corners, while others are trying to find a unique sales point. Also, the more a piece of technology gets adopted, the cheaper it becomes. When that happens, the benefits are then able to be used on a wider scale.

AS: I believe, at this point, everyone is trying to ‘out market’ their cleaning protocols. Personally, I doubt it will inspire the consumer to choose one brand over the other. There was a big opportunity missed to do something unanimous across all brands in all countries to inspire confidence. In terms of mandating improvements, it will be difficult because hotel owners are struggling to pay the bills.

HK: So Andrew, is the product better suited to new-builds?

AB: Not necessarily. We were approached yesterday by a boutique chain with nine hotels. They were looking for us to fit the UVC light units and the centric lighting units in their existing properties

DW: There is another sector of the market that we should highlight, and that’s distressed assets. As we move forward, we will see hotel operators purchasing those struggling hotels and rebranding them to become new products. There, I see the UV lighting working and it will instil security in consumers’ minds.

AS: What is the cost of one of these units?

AB: It’s variable depending on the volume. But if you work between the parameter of 1,200 – £1,700 per unit.

NA: How visible are these units?

AB: The best way I can describe them is similar to a free-standing water dispenser. The unit is mobile and will sit in the corner of the room.

Matthew Voaden: I’m assuming that you are looking at exposed UV units in guestrooms and the purification in public areas?

AB: The exposed UV will benefit the turnaround, for sure. The air purification unit will give a constant purification of the space.

HK: Where do you see lighting in hospitality going in the future?

“One of the main elements I see being a focus of innovation in the future is control systems.” – David Mason, Director and Head of Hospitality, Scott Brownrigg.

DM: The margin between too much lighting and not enough lighting is very small. Most guests, I would argue, checking into a hotel want something simple.

ME: David’s right, people want flexibility. They want it to be intuitive. It’s a challenge to operate all those functions and not have a complex control system as a result. It’s a mass quandary. One of the main elements I see being a focus of innovation in the future is control systems. I can see these systems using tech that is embedded in each fitting so that the consumer can control each light from one device.

DM: That, as well as Covid-19, will steer more things being operational from your own device.

ME: Lighting is a constant; it is everywhere. Development of lighting will be multiple carriers of different things, which as a result simplifies ceilings. A good lighting solution is tailored to work around any space.

DW: Lighting design and interior design have to work hand-in-hand. Decisions have to be communicated throughout the entire process.

DM: This is going to be a catalyst in a lot of industries. I believe there is going to be a lot more collaboration between other industries to discover purposeful solutions.

HK: What lighting solutions are you integrating into the projects you are working on at the moment?

ME: David and I are working on a hotel where in the public spaces there will be a focus on day to night technology.

DM: We wanted to create a particular experience in the corridors, which are currently long and bland. Together with FPOV, we developed and prototyped a light fitting and it will now be manufactured and installed. Together we were able to get the client on board with this and it really does come down to designers working closely together to produce the best solution.

AS: Making things simpler is our objective. If we can add benefits that are automatic then that’s even better and I am looking forward to seeing what added value UV lighting can bring to the table.

HK: So there you have it, collaborations between designers, manufacturers and specialists are allowing the industry to navigate a clean path forward in hospitality for a post-pandemic world. In case there was any doubt, UV lighting is now on the agenda as today’s hotel designers are looking for new ways to functionally adapt spaces so that they meet the hygienic demands of tomorrow’s travellers with the ever-evolving demands for characterful, design-led spaces. If you would like to have your say on UV Lighting and other lighting solutions, please tweet us @hoteldesigns.

humanlumen, which is based in Clerkenwell, is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here. And, if you are interested in also benefitting from this  three-month editorial package, please email Katy Phillips by clicking here.

INDUSTRY INSIGHT: An ode to sustainable refurbishments

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
INDUSTRY INSIGHT: An ode to sustainable refurbishments

Designer and architect from Flair Studios Federico Schilling explains the challenges and solutions regarding sustainable refurbishments…

Until the lockdown, we have seen a strong momentum for environmental causes culminating with the Extinction Rebellion movement and more industry-specific calls to action (including the RIBA Climate Challenge).

Architects and interior designers are called to take responsibility for the climate change by applying a more ethical approach and achieving a substantial reduction of carbon emissions, with special focus on the regeneration and adaptation of the existing buildings.

But making sustainable refurbishments which are also financially viable is a task that architects and interior designers can’t take on alone. The shortage of government funding or incentives to promote more sustainable alternatives still plays a deterrent in the U.K., especially for the consumer market. At the same time, the lack of legislation and implementation of building regulations allows for obsolete products and technologies to keep dominating the market. On the other hand, and although thanks to the above-mentioned campaigns the interest is growing more and more, not all clients are interested to embark on sustainability for refurbishment projects and especially when this involves more costs and complexity, sustainability has been often viewed as a nice-to-have item. Also, new measurement parameters for green refurbishments should be introduced, which are easier and less expensive than the industry standard (Breams and Leed) certificates.

“If development, design and government doesn’t join forces, unite as a powerful lobby and face the challenges ahead, we may stumble into a future in which the real value of everything we’ve built is nothing”, writes Christine Murray

Of Course, design professionals can play a huge role as specifiers by limiting the impact that a new building or a refurbishment has on the environment. They can do so by implementing and embedding more sustainable choices within the procurement route and by educating the client on the benefits in the medium and long term for more ethical and environmental choices. Unfortunately, and especially for commercial and hospitality projects, it is sometimes frustrating to see these solutions value-engineered out of the final build specification. In order to prevent this, design professionals should establish strong relationships with their clients and try to include a commitment to sustainability already at briefing stage, by establishing a link between sustainability and added value and explaining the advantages in terms of efficiency and well-being for customers or end-users.

Refurbishing a building or a space which then becomes more performant, ethical and desirable, as well as functionally and aesthetically appealing, is sometimes still seen as an hassle within the industry but should become a major priority instead. Sustainability can then become the driving factor to combat both climate change and the coronavirus crisis as it can contribute decisively to an environmentally friendly post-lockdown economic recovery.

INDUSTRY INSIGHT: Air quality and your guests

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
INDUSTRY INSIGHT: Air quality and your guests

Over the past few months, the majority of us have been forced into our homes with the door locked. And while the planet is enjoying a quality break from pollution, is the inside air we are breathing safe? Hotel Designs asks air purifier manufacturer Blueair to explain…

Did you know indoor air can be up to five times more polluted than outdoors?

Improved air quality is also conducive to a great night’s sleep which for most, if not all hoteliers, is the number one priority for their guests and patrons.

Polluted indoor air can trigger allergies and asthma, affect child development, disrupt sleep and more. Clean air improves our health and wellbeing, and it helps us to lead happier and healthy lives by improving sleep, concentration and physical performance. A Blueair air purifier, as used by top hotels in London such as the Page8 hotel, improves air quality for a better night’s sleep.

Image credit: Blueair

In a post Covid-19 world both business and leisure customers will be scrutinising hygiene and air quality much more closely as a deciding factor in where to stay. An air purifier in a hotel room not only massively improves the quality of air, but also gives peace of mind that guests are breathing the best possible air they can. For hoteliers, air purifiers should – and will be – a serious consideration for guest rooms going forward.

“Blueair’s air purifiers are designed to clean the air in a room up to five times an hour.”

Inspired by the fresh air of the Stockholm archipelago, Blueair’s purpose is to help protect us from the invisible threats of poor indoor air quality. More than two decades ago, Blueair’s Swedish founder built his first air purifier to protect the health of his new-born daughter, and consequently set out to make the world’s best air purifier.

By bringing together a team of talented designers and filtration experts who shared his passion for sustainability, quality, and design, the Blueair air purifiers were born. Since then, Blueair has expanded into one of the world’s leading producers of air purification solutions for home and professional use. Blueair delivers innovative, best-in-class, energy efficient products and services to consumers and commercial buildings such as hospitals, embassies and schools in over 60 countries around the world.

Blueair’s air purifiers are designed to clean the air in a room up to five times an hour. Thanks to proprietary HepaSilent™ technology, Blueair’s air purifiers remove at least 99.97 per cent of all airborne particles as small as 0.1 microns in size. This includes pollen, smoke, dust, mould spores, germs, pet allergens and microplastics.

Blueair was founded on the firm belief that freedom to breathe is a basic right and this should not be compromised when on holiday or staying away on business. Air pollution is the single biggest environmental threat to human health, and to the health of our planet. This is especially the case in busier cities where air pollution is much higher and smog and fumes from cars can enter buildings through ventilation. Hotels that invest in air purifiers are ensuring guests can breathe as nature intended. Blueair’s air purifiers are also whisper silent and so will not distract from a good night’s sleep.

Blueair’s air purifiers are among the most awarded in the UK. They have highly respected third party endorsements from Which?, Good Housekeeping Institute, Asthma Allergy Nordic and Quiet Mark, as well as awards from Ideal Home, IndyBest and MadeForMums.

Blueair is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here. And, if you are interested in also benefitting from this  three-month editorial package, please email Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: Blueair

5 Minutes With: Talking modern spas with designer Beverley Bayes

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
5 Minutes With: Talking modern spas with designer Beverley Bayes

With pools and spas dominating the headlines on Hotel Designs this month, editor Hamish Kilburn has five minutes with Beverley Bayes, Director of Sparcstudio, which is responsible for the design schemes inside Cottenmill Spa at Sopwell House, The Spa at South Lodge and many more luxury wellness hubs that have challenged convention… 

Earlier this month, Sparcstudio kindly shared its insight on how the current pandemic will affect wellness in hotels going forward.

Although the feature was honest, engaging and informative, it left us and our readers with wanting to know more. Considering the significance of COVID–19, and its long-term affect on the perception of wellness, I caught up the studio’s director, Beverley Bayes, ahead of Hotel Designs LIVE on June 23, where she will be on the panel as we discuss the The Future of Wellness Post-Pandemic.

Hamish Kilburn: Beverley, some would argue that spas and wellness areas are a breeding ground for viruses. Is that a fair statement?

Beverley Bayes: There is a lot of debate about this topic and it’s even more relevant today as spas consider their reopening strategies. I don’t believe it is a fair statement. There are very strict cleaning and hygiene protocols already in place and spas adhere to these stringently. But good design is absolutely key in creating a spa that is easy to maintain and it’s all about the detail. Sadly there are examples of bad detailing even within luxury spas. A common one is not designing in good ‘falls’ to flooring in wet areas, the sloping floor detail enables water to drain off rather than pooling, which around a pool deck is critical. Get it wrong and you face either having your staff constantly going around with squeegees to get rid of excess water , or resorting to the installation of anti-slip matting (as recently witnessed in an otherwise beautiful spa that shall remain nameless!)

Going forward, when spas are given the green light to reopen, I would advise businesses to refer to their equipment and wet and thermal suite suppliers for additional advice on maintaining health and hygiene in a COVID-19 world. I am already seeing suppliers issue new guidance of cleaning rituals that will help to protect guests and staff, so it’s a case of liaising with your current suppliers and following their advice.

Image credit: The Spa at South Lodge, designed by Sparcstudio

HK: How can a hotel sensitively inject its style and branding into the spa/wellness areas?

BB: ‘Sensitively’ is the key word here. I think it’s a real missed opportunity when a spa feels like a continuation of a hotel environment, with similar materials and finishes and maybe a sense of ‘formality’ that you might experience in the Hotel public spaces. For us a Hotel Spa is a chance to enter another more sensuous world where guests can kick off their shoes and ‘let their hair down’ !

For that reason, We always strive to create an informal ‘bare foot luxury‘ vibe to the spas that we design. This can be achieved by adding playful elements, for example at Sopwell Spa where we created a central relax area in the Garden relax room with a group of suspended Swinging chairs arranged around a panoramic fireplace overlooking the fabulous spa Garden. (The garden was expertly designed by Ann-Marie Powell )

Style and branding elements that Hoteliers can inject into a spa include a great service ethic and service style and also a passion for food and beverage, For example at South Lodge Spa, the Exclusive Collection team led by Danny Pecorrelli, applied their passion for F & B to create a  unique 80 seater relaxed all day dining concept for the Spa called ‘Botanica’ (Working in conjunction with the ‘Gorgeous group’ and Sparcstudio for the interiors).

The restaurant offer is designed to complement the other more formal dining options at the Hotel and is open to all hotel, spa users and external guests and is based on botanical, largely plant-based sharing plates utilising ingredients from local suppliers from the south downs.

Image credit: Aqua Sana Spa County Longford, designed by Sparcstudio

HK: From a lighting perspective, has LED lost its place to natural lighting in the spa?

BB: Sparcstudio director Tom Howell, is responsible for all of our lighting design, ‘Being well lit in a spa is key to a sense of wellbeing. We do design spaces to utilise natural light where ever possible, but LED lighting in linear strip or curving tape form concealed in a wall floor or ceiling or joinery feature, provides subtle washes of indirect light and enables us to create great effects. The key with spa lighting is to be mindful of the lighting source position and the guest position which is often in a lying down / facing up position, so the ‘old school’ style ceiling mounted halogen spotlights are definitely  to be avoided in order to prevent uncomfortable glare for guests’.

HK: What will the spa look like in 50 years? 

BB: High tech … low tech. I think the ancient traditions and rituals developed by the Romans in terms of bathing, washing and thermal experiences in a social setting will still be at the core of the spa experience, together with ‘hands on treatments’ reflecting the power of human touch, which will always have a place in spa.

Technology will no doubt have a big role to play in terms of treatments. Fully immersive Virtual reality experiences will no doubt be on the menu, but designed to appeal to all of the senses, including sound, touch and smell, giving wellbeing, as well as cosmetic benefits.

Given our precious link to the natural world, Spas that celebrate unique settings, will be an important part of worldwide Spa Tourism. For example, the world’s first ‘energy-positive’ hotel, Svart, will open in Norway’s Arctic Circle in 2022.

Image caption: The Spa at South Lodge, designed by Sparcstudio

Image caption: The Spa at South Lodge, designed by Sparcstudio

HK: How do you find out about new products on the market?

BB: Word of mouth, trade shows and social media and we are also lucky to be kept updated with the latest innovations and cutting edge products that are being developed by the suppliers themselves. We also relish the opportunity to create bespoke individual designs – be it furniture,  (for example the double lounger with integral lighting at Sopwell’s Cottonmill Club spa) light fitting or heat cabin and thermal suite, all of  which helps to add to a Spa’s feeling of authenticity and uniqueness.

Quick-fire round

HK: What’s the biggest misconception about being a designer who specialises in spas and wellness areas?

BB: That we design ‘spa pools’- those lovely big injection moulded plastic ‘people soup’ models spring to mind! A common mistake is to design a series of spa ‘spaces’ without really understanding or thinking through the journey and how they connect.

HK: Where is next on your spa bucket list?

BB: Aman Kyoto, Anada in the Indian Hymalas and Aro Hā  (Overlooking the ‘otherworldly’ expanse of Lake Wakatipu) in New Zealand’s Southern Alps.

HK: What is your go-to treatment?

BB: A Hammam. A recent Couples Hammam in Bodrum was amazing – the facial loofa part was a bit scary at the time but was amazingly effective!

HK: What has been the most significant innovation on the wellness scene in the last five years?

BB: I would say one of the largest innovations, which is much more low-tech, is the rise of the Spa Garden, particularly here in the UK.

HK: What does luxury mean to you?

BB: Uninterrupted time away from technology and work/ home life distractions relaxing in a tranquil, stimulating/ sensuous environment that is ‘authentic and unique’ and beautifully / thoughtfully designed of course!

Image caption: Cottonmill Club at Sopwell House

Image caption: Cottonmill Club at Sopwell House, designed by Sparcstudio

HK: How is social media driving a change in the way in which wellness spaces are being designed?

BB: Social media is a powerful influence in the world of spa. Hotels and wellness spaces are very visual and this links perfectly to a social media platform like Instagram as it is all about the perfect picture. What we are seeing, in some instances, is that spas are creating experiences that are very obviously designed to create an ‘Instagram worthy shot’. An over the top (but often used) example is the placement of pink flamingoes in a spa or pool area, or a snug area that is branded and decorated with flower walls. You see this a lot in resorts in the Indian Ocean. The difficulty is that these experiences don’t place wellness or the guest experience at the heart of it. Following short term trends can be a problem as they are short lived and aren’t durable. They will quickly look outdated as Instagrammers hunt the next big thing, leaving your wellness space looking tired and past its sell-by date.

HK: There is a difference between wellness and wellbeing, how can modern spas evoke both in their design? 

BB: Wellbeing is the experience of health, happiness, and prosperity. It includes having good mental health, high life satisfaction, a sense of meaning or purpose, and ability to manage stress Good Spa Design should create a sense of wellbeing by providing experiences that appeal to the senses and are ideally related to natural elements, and provide an escape from the stresses of work and everyday life.

Wellness, the quality or state of being healthy in body and mind, especially as the result of deliberate effort. Fitness/ wellness facilities are an increasingly important element of a spa offer, in the form of yoga studio or outside Yoga deck, a well-designed gym (sensitively designed to fit with the Spas over-all ambience).

We also anticipate that there will continue to be overlaps or a blurring of the lines between fitness, wellness, spa and medical facilities. High end gyms such as ‘Third Space’ integrate spaces for relaxation and wellbeing with the inclusion of thermal suites and relaxation spaces. The sensuous Hot yoga studio that we designed at the Tower Bridge site has shaker style panelling and end grain Juniper log panelling that emit a soothing aroma when heated.

Sparcstudio, which will be involved in Hotel Designs LIVE on June 23, is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here. And, if you are interested in also benefitting from this  three-month editorial package, please email Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: SparcStudio

INDUSTRY INSIGHT: Striving for a more sustainable future in hotel design

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
INDUSTRY INSIGHT: Striving for a more sustainable future in hotel design

With Covid-19 taking up much of the industry’s attention at the moment, it’s important to keep sustainable design high on the agenda, as Senior Associate at HBA EMEA Erica Pritchard explains…

It wasn’t all that long ago that hotels could be praised for putting in LED lights, or banishing plastic bottled water from the mini bar. Yet in more recent times, the world has become focused on sustainability in an insistent way, and in no other industry has this been more apparent than in the world of travel and hospitality. Modern day travellers are seeking to travel more sustainably, and for hoteliers, sustainable credentials have become a necessity. But whilst offering eco-friendly straws and reducing towel washing is certainly commendable, ensuring sustainability is at the core of a hotel or restaurants design vision, and is fundamental in futureproofing it for generations to come.

Broadly, to be sustainable means to organise all human activity in support of the natural systems that ultimately give us life. In our field, to be sustainable means to integrate the processes of development planning, architecture, engineering, interior design, and construction in a way that will also support the natural systems in which we live. As such, sustainable design simply cannot come as an afterthought. Rather it requires intensive forethought to emerge from being an aspirational trend to having sustainability credentials that stand up. The most successful projects are those that have sustainability written into the brief as a core objective and where the whole design team are working together in carbon lifecycle thinking, along with the help of a dedicated sustainability consultant.

Image credit: HBA EMEA

Often simple planning decisions that need to be thought through early in the design process can be make or break for how sustainable a building is. For example, if you open-up aspects that are southern facing, you minimise the need for artificial heating. Similarly, look at optimising natural ventilation to reduce the need for mechanical cooling – it may be obvious to us as designers, but it is all too easily overlooked.

I’ve already touched on the dreaded plastic bottle – a permanent fixture at the hotel bedside and in every mini bar for the last few decades. Not so in vogue anymore but quite difficult to phase out given guests need for fresh water. Hospitality spaces are more commonly adding water stations now, which of course negates the need for plastic bottles but also gives the guest a feeling of generosity. The same goes for the mini bar: in its current iteration it is surely a prime example of unsustainability and has reached its lifespan. However, by stocking it with earth-friendly products that are prepared and purchased locally it becomes an eco-warrior and champion of locale. And let’s face it, not everyone wants Pringles!

Image credit: HBA EMEA

As designers we are just one piece of the puzzle and it is important to acknowledge the value of suppliers in the quest for eco-friendly design. We rely heavily on having strong relationships with suppliers and procurement, and the expert knowledge they provide. There are some amazing companies doing the heavy lifting of research for designers and such partnerships with these enterprises are invaluable as we work together to deliver sustainable hospitality spaces.

Companies offering a level of bespoke craftsmanship that hold their suppliers accountable will hopefully enforce the cause. For example, Christophe Delcourt a Parisian furniture designer offers pieces that are made from natural materials, timber, ceramic, metals and because of the quality they have an extended lifespan, aging with integrity. Like Christian Liagre’s furniture, they are instantly contemporary heirlooms. In the genre of lighting, Alison Berger Glass Works creates lighting that is based on, “the visual vocabulary that societies create to manifest their beliefs, desires and rituals…Like memory itself, these glass objects, sculptures and furnishings transcend time and place.”

Dodds&Shute, a furniture procurement company, are leading the way in putting the carbon footprint of their products at the heart of their work. They have also partnered with Cordillera Azul National Park project in Peru and are offsetting their carbon on projects by buying forest credits. Other companies are offering a level of bespoke craftsmanship that Having companies hold their suppliers accountable will hopefully enforce the cause.

Of course, the mechanics and materials of a building are fundamental in how sustainable it is, however we are also responsible for making such spaces beautiful and inspiring, particularly in the luxury sector. The key here is timeless design. Much like fast fashion, designing for trends is undoubtedly one of the biggest contributors to the world’s sustainability issues. Trends are disposable and thus, so are the materials that are used. The focus should always be on designing for quality and longevity, and recyclability.

Whilst sustainability has been high on the agenda for some time now, the current pandemic has meant it has acquired a new meaning for us all. Hoteliers, restaurant owners and operators find that the sustainability of their business model itself is being radically challenged. Looking ahead beyond the current shutdown future guests will, first and foremost, expect assurances that a hotel or restaurant can sustain the basic health and wellbeing of patrons and staff. In this complex context, interior designers alone cannot ensure a project is sustainable. However, interior designers can play a crucial role in reassuring guests, helping solve the problems of the ‘new normal’ and futureproof such buildings.

It strikes me that we are entering the Age of Responsibility, forced into sharp focus by this pandemic. It includes a principle of life cycle assessment: cleaner production, sustainable consumption, and cradle to cradle concepts. This is not wishful thinking, but a practical strategy for achieving sustainability and responsibility, economically, socially, and environmentally. We know how to green deserts, purify air, seed the rain, and create an abundance of food. We know how to enhance soils rapidly and build healthy and completely natural shelters. How can we, as the present generation, weave regenerative life methodologies together to enable future generations to enjoy a more sustainable environment?

 

One example, albeit extreme, of regenerative values are the Bridges of the Khasi people located in Northeast India. High in the mountainous plateau near the border with Bangladesh, this matrilineal society has been growing and stewarding living root bridges grown from the roots of the banyan tree. These bridges over their high mountain gorges and rushing rivers grow stronger with time, unlike our modern-day concrete and rebar structures. It takes 15 – 20 years just to cross one of these gorges, and maybe another decade before the bridge can bear the regular weight of a passing human. While many of the bridges that are planted are by people who will never walk on them in their lifetime, they are planted and tended to for future generations.

Sustainability clearly isn’t a one-step equation, but a multifaceted process towards making a lasting change. The 7th Generation Principle of Design is a lens through which to measure a design’s effectiveness at maintaining continuity through time – in other words, will it still be performing its intended functions 150 years from today when your grandchildren’s grandchildren’s children are born?

On the surface, to create a sustainable design appears to be a longer and more expensive process, but it doesn’t have to be. The more we adopt sustainable designs, the more such an approach becomes normalised. Sustainable design can be achieved in a way that takes it beyond that of an aspirational trend and towards an embedded cultural change. This is something we need to both inspire and educate our clients on. As designers, we research our market, the setting, and its context. The market will soon be pushing us even further in terms of sustainability as we re-enter a world post-pandemic and we need to be ambassadors of this information, feeding it to clients so that it becomes a core objective for all the stakeholders involved. We must be rigorous in creating holistic hospitality spaces, places that inspire, are differentiated in the marketplace but most importantly, can thrive for generations to come.

Main image credit: HBA EMEA

Gessi’s approach to wellness in outdoor spaces

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Gessi’s approach to wellness in outdoor spaces

Internal and external, closed and open, domestic and nature scale: the Gessi Outdoor line eliminates barriers to create a single grand dimension of physical and mental wellbeing…

The free-standing shower columns of the Gessi Outdoor Wellness Sy­stem were specifically conceived for outdoor spaces. They offer innova­tive combinations of materials, finishes 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 refined 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.

Gessi outdoor wellness line G01

With an elegant, modern and discreet appearance, the Gessi G01 outdo­or shower gives spaces a refined 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 shower head equipped with special holes for a rich rainfall jet. The shower head is available with a smooth surface treatment or in 4 different knurled patterns, while the vertical tubular body is equipped with elegant ring-shaped controls in tone-on-tone or contrasting finish, available in smo­oth or knurled texture. For greater practicality, this model features a design hand shower with magnetic attachment. Also for the outdoor world, Gessi offers customisable details and coordinating elements.

Image caption: Gessi G01 | Image credit: Gessi

Gessi outdoor wellness line G02

With an elegant, modern and discreet appearance, the Gessi G02 outdo­or shower gives spaces a refined 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 structure characterised by a rectangular tube presents a directional shower head equipped with special holes for a rich rainfall jet. The shower head is available with a smooth surface treatment or in four diffe­rent knurled patterns, while the vertical rectangular body is equipped with elegant ring-shaped controls in tone-on-tone or contrasting finish, available in smooth or knurled texture. G02 is easy to install and use according to the client’s needs, and can be applied to a square architectural block in corten steel or stone, with coordinating accessories. For greater practicality, this model features a design hand shower with magnetic attachment. Also for the outdoor world, Gessi offers customisable 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 caption: Gessi G02 shower | Image credit: Gessi

INDUSTRY INSIGHT: The art of designing safari tents

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
INDUSTRY INSIGHT: The art of designing safari tents

For more than 16 years, and with international celebrities, boutique resorts and government departments as its customers and friends, Exclusive Tents International has become one of the leading global suppliers of safari style camps and accommodation in every shape and size. Writer Donnie Rust, the founder of Lost Executive, explores the family business…

This wonderful family business, Exclusive Tents International has reached this level by the simplest approach of style, quality and authenticity and as founder Paul Zway reveals, there is very little stopping them.

Image credit: Exclusive Tents international

That one inspiring idea

“The creative process begins with getting one solid idea and building on that,” Zway explains. “Everything else is just decoration and details until you have that one brilliant and inspiring idea that makes you want to start to build something. That is where everything begins.”

This period of the project, where ideas are harnessed, is Zway’s favourite part, and has become a fundamental part of his business around which all that Exclusive Tents offer revolves. The man is, by nature, an incredibly forthcoming and friendly person who takes the time to know his clients, his staff and suppliers on a first name basis. He is a man who loves the details of things and thrives on the challenge that an ever increasing and developing hospitality world throw at him and his company.

“Whether a project needs a tent to be constructed entirely from scratch, or if a tent style we already have meets the physical requirements, each and every project is unique because a client’s dream is unique. And dreams always come with challenges,” he adds. “Some of these challenges can be spotted and solved ahead of time. This is where experience is crucial because it allows us to spot challenges before they become problems for clients. It also makes you very able to handle issues when they pop up unexpectedly.”

Image credit: Exclusive Tents International

Living the life

Clients of Exclusive Tents International have described the company with words such as “industry leader” and “pioneer” and they have the results to back up such praise. They’ve been involved in designing and setting up tent structures for as varied a client base as glamping sites, safari lodges, five star award winning hotels and environmentally fastidious eco-lodges.  It could be argued that their “never say never” approach to challenges has helped such industries as glamping and safari to reach their lofty standards on “out-of-the-ordinary-accommodation”. An entire industry has sprouted around the idea that safe, eco-conscious and versatile accommodation can exist anywhere on the planet and one man’s inability to turn down a challenge is partly to blame.

This may seem hyperbolic, but Zway spends a great deal of time flying across the world and speaking to CEOs, hospitality moguls and millionaires who have an idea that seems impossible but they want it made into reality.

“You can never mislead a client or tell them something can be done just to make them happy,” he says, “Truth and transparency is something my whole company values. However, you have to believe that there is a way to get to the end result. It may take a bit longer than a client would like or it may be more expensive, but there is always a way.”

Zway has spent most of his adult life in or around tents. As a professional game ranger specialising in anti-poaching, a career he devoted seventeen years of his life to, he spent many nights sleeping in tents. Some would say that the founding of Exclusive Tents International was almost inevitable. His son, Zane, is also a vital part of the business which revolves around thinking differently and always looking at things from a different perspective.

“This is why we can offer revolutionary designs and superior products,” Zway explains, “We all travel extensively and I live in one of my own tents! So, call it an insider’s perspective, but while a client may be thinking of their vision we’re thinking about the material needed to survive the weather conditions, or what sort of wear and tear can be expected. How will all the details affect the final result and how well it will age?”

It’s no surprise that the company offers over sixty designs and customisable options which is one of the largest selections in the market today. Always fabricated with the finest materials, erected with the best expertise and then backed up with the best after-sales service. Something that he is proud of is that their products are not produced on a soulless conveyer belt and that he has been able to craft a business where quality and that personal touch counts for so much.

“We’ve never had a problem with aftersales service,” Zway remarks, “We treat our clients like family and every client feels that they’ve got the full strength of Exclusive Tents International behind them. Every one of our engineers, interior designers, architects, set up specialists and consultants are there for them to see their vision through.”

Image credit: Exclusive Tents International

Bringing people and nature together

“There is a romance that comes with sleeping in a luxury tent that you will not find anywhere else,” Zway says, “It can bring you right up against nature without actually dropping you in it.”

The ultimate ‘have your cake and eat it’ scenario, Paul is passionate about helping people connect with nature and to better understand their parts of the world. He reveals that a big part of his business has always been to find ways of marrying living spaces with nature and the environment. He believes that this is a fundamental human need that we naturally seek out whenever we can and that industries like glamping were destined to grow. Glamping offers peace, space, tranquility and the chance to connect with nature without being engulfed in a crowd.

Thanks to this he believes that these boutique and creativity-driven sectors like glamping and eco-camping, are in a great position to see a resurgence of popularity post Lockdown that will outclass other groups in hospitality.

“Travel is going to be centred around escaping cities and apartment buildings for a while with people wanting to get back into nature,” he says, “Glamping offers a great chance for this to happen as well as offering the freedom of space.”

Additionally, thanks to many glamping sites promoting privacy and solitude as part of their offering, Paul points out that social distancing will be able to be affected without seeming to be enforced.

“People will be able to enjoy open space, reconnect with nature and spend some precious time looking up at that massive sky and just breathe in the fresh air,” he says.

Image credit: Exclusive Tents International

New designs

Innovation as a tool to meet a client’s current needs and to predict and prepare for their future ones is important. Zway is a big advocate for natural product evolution and change based upon the research and responses from clients. He is also a big believer in making hay while the sun shines. During Lockdown they made time to innovate and craft a new family tent design that has a new look and feel. The tent, named Mabarule after one of the legendary wild African elephants will be available by the end of May and it’s going to be a gamechanger.

In the same regard as this period has all been about keeping the family safe Marabule is a continuation of that. Paul explains that they have the most robust roof frames on the market to handle snow and wind loads and the best performing acoustic and thermal insulation available. Master planning and expert interior design is available for the inside living space which also comes with a number of containerised solutions including hybrid power, kitchens, sanitation, water purification and desalination.

“Marabule really is a masterpiece, and a credit to the incredible resilience and flexibility of the Exclusive Tents team,” Zway says, “There is an endless list of innovation that has gone into this new design which has made it easier to erect yet more secure. The metal components are even more rust resistant yet still being aesthetically pleasing. The material is completely flame retardant and, using unique sandwiching techniques is extra insulated to keep out the elements and keep the comfort in. It is a marvellous accomplishment by a team I am very proud to be involved with.”

Exclusive Tents International is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here. And, if you are interested in also benefitting from this three-month editorial package, please email Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: Exclusive Tents International

SPA SPECIAL: A new age of sub-zero wellness travel

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
SPA SPECIAL: A new age of sub-zero wellness travel

As Hotel Designs continues May by positioning Spas and Outdoor Style under the spotlight, editor Hamish Kilburn learns more about a new pioneering spa concept, located in the Arctic Circle, which is expected to open in 2022…

Last week, the editorial desk was appropriately focusing its attention on the present, with an unprecedented pandemic shaking the industry to inspire us to look at the hotel spas around the globe that are naturally self-isolating in style.

As we continue our month discovering the flowing world of spas extraordinary outdoor style, we are looking ahead (towards uncharted waters, if you like) to the possibilities and the role of wellness in tomorrow’s luxury hotels. And there is no better example of pioneering wellness hotels on the boards than Svart, the 99-key hotel in Norway’s Artic Circle that has created waves in the luxury travel press recently as it is billed to become the world’s first energy-positive hotel.

More than ever before, by 2022, consumers are predicted to value and seek sustainable travel which incorporates health awareness, mindfulness and wellness. Designed by architecture firm Snøhetta, Svart will aim to offer travellers a new means of conscious escapism. 

Image credit: Snøhetta/Plompmozes/Miris

The Svart Spa and Wellness Clinic will provide a personalised, outcome-focused wellness plan which will underpin the guest experience. Taking individuals on a journey to ‘Climatise, Condition and Evolve’, programmes will target the mind, body and skin and will be individually-tailored to support, strengthen and optimise the outdoor pursuits of the adventurer. 

The 1,000 square metre indoor-outdoor wellness hub will comprise of treatment rooms with outdoor bathing facilities, a relaxation lounge, swimming pool, fully equipped yoga and sound-healing studio, steam rooms and state-of-the-art gym.

Treatments and therapies will range from massages and facials using locally-sourced, sustainable ingredients and indigenous Nordic elements, to sound-healing, reflexology, cryotherapy and transformative health and nutrition coaching incorporating cutting-edge wearable technology.  

A variety of holistic treatments will be on offer, from the traditionally Norwegian – encompassing native Nordic methods – to the medically and technologically cutting-edge. All Svart therapies will use 100 per cent locally-grown natural products, herbs and marine ingredients. 

Upon arrival, guests will have a one-to-one consultation with the expert Spa team and resident health concierge to discuss and select a unique programme of services, therapies and supplements. The treatment plan will be individually-tailored to support and enhance the outdoor activities guests wish to pursue during their stay.

From the cutting-edge spa and adventurous activities offering – which will target physical and mental wellbeing – to the nutritional-focused dining offering, wellness will flow through every element of the hotel. 

A balanced and considered blend of human interaction and sensory attention, within an immersive and comforting atmosphere will aid guests to optimum success in their evolution of wellbeing.

With non-invasive technology available such as wearable devices, guests will also have access to useful data to better understand themselves and enhance goal-orientated efforts. 

“Our aim was to create a truly immersive and purpose driven experience for guests, enabling them to become more in tune with themselves as they take in the natural wonders of Norway’s incredible Svartisen,” explained Felicity Leahy, Svart’s appointed Spa & Wellness Consultant and Co-Founder of iMPACT-Business Health, a leading management consultancy to the medical aesthetics and private healthcare sectors.  

Image credit: Snøhetta/Plompmozes/Miris

A collaboration between property firm MIRIS and leading Norwegian companies, Svart will be the world’s first ‘energy-positive’ hotel, meaning it will produce more energy than it uses. It aims to be fully off-grid, carbon neutral and zero waste within the first five years of operation.

To add to its stellar eco-credentials, the project will be funded by Green Bond, a sustainable investment fund recently launched by MIRIS.

Green Bond provides an opportunity for investors to build wealth responsibly, investing in the future of travel, property and technology while safeguarding the planet for generations to come.

Main image credit: Svart/Snøhetta/Plompmozes Miris

SPOTLIGHT ON: Hotel spas that naturally self-isolate in style

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
SPOTLIGHT ON: Hotel spas that naturally self-isolate in style

Throughout May, Hotel Designs is putting Spas and Outdoor Style under the spotlight. We continue with an editor’s round-up of some of the world’s most awe-inspiring spas. Hamish Kilburn writes…

Before the COVID–19 pandemic, and I am guessing long after the turbulent waters become calm again, architects and designers globally will question and creatively challenge the conventional spa and wellness experience in and out of hotels.

Despite pretty much all travel around the globe currently being on hold, the desire for quality treatments and checking in to relaxing escapes will return. With more and more hotel groups and brands developing their strategy around the rise in demand for wellness and wellbeing, Hotel Designs takes a look at the most dynamically designed hotel spas around the world.

Arctic Bath, Sweden

Establishing shot of the spa on a frozen lake

Image credit: Arctic Bath Hotel, Sweden

Designed by architects Bertil Harström and Johan Kauppi, the Arctic Bath in Sweden was opened recently following much anticipation. The spa, sheltered in the bath house that floats on the frozen River Lule, was designed using natural woods and stone to create an eye-catching ‘birds nest style’ structure.

W Ibiza, Spain

Outdoor pool

Image credit: Marriott Hotels/W Hotels

“When we first entered the building, which is positioned on the beach front, we couldn’t even see the sea,” the founders of  BARANOWITZ + KRONENBERG, Irene Kronenberg and Alon Baranowitz, told Hotel Designs when explaining how the concept of W Ibiza was born. “There had been no thought as to how guests would and should use these public spaces.” The energy of the water, unsurprisingly, became the design concept of the 167-key hotel’s public areas. By opening up the space to become a flexible social hub, the hotel becomes a place that nurtures human connections, and through the use of subtle levels creates touchable distance between each functional area. “The idea is that the energy descends into the unconventional pool area,” adds Baranowitz. “As you move up levels, the lobby/lounge area becomes more reclined, but the open architecture scheme allows for a clever connection between all spaces.”

Equinox Hotel New York

Light and bright pool area in the spa

Image credit: Equinox Hotels

In the summer of last year, Equinox – the brand that made its name for opening and managing a tight-knit community of exceptional fitness and wellbeing clubs in major cities dotted around the world – opened its first ever hotel. Designed by David Rockwell and Joyce Wang to evoke comfort, creativity and focus, the ‘world’s fittest hotel’, as Hotel Designs labelled it ahead of its opening, is sheltered in a 14-storey limestone and glass skyscraper designed by architecture firm SOM. The hotel’s immersive 27,000 square foot spa area, which was the brainchild of Joyce Wang Studio and spa design and consultancy firm TLEE, maximises the most valuable commodity, time. The luxury wellness facilities include tailored treatments, an indoor salt water pool, hot and cold plunge pools, and our E.scape Pods — private relaxation areas that capture unparalleled views of the Hudson River.

Cottonmill Spa at Sopwell House, England

Outdoor pool

Image credit: Cottonmill Spa at Sopwell House

Following a £14m investment, Cottonmill’s three-storey, state-of-the-art, private members’ spa at Sopwell House in Hertfordshire is a break away from the conventional hotel spa. Designed by Sparcstudio, the spa has embraced the growing role of technology in the wellness world, with both the Dornbracht luxury shower, Sensory Sky, which recreates the sensation of showering in the open air, and the ELEMIS Biotec machine, which works to switch skin back on, increasing its natural cellular energy. Outside, award-winning garden designer Ann-Marie Powell created a space to enrich the soul. The botanical theme works around three secluded outdoor hot tubs and a swim-in/out hydrotherapy infinity pool.

COMO Shambhala Estate, Bali

Outdoor pool surrounded by jungle

Image credit: COMO Hotels & Resorts

Set in a tropical rainforest in Bali – the hotel is nestled in a clearing above a jungle-covered gorge beside the River Ayung – COMO Shambhala Estate remains unmatched, major player on the world’s wellness scene for its effortless approach to wellbeing. Architect Cheong Yew Kuan worked with interior designer Koichiro Ikebuchi to create the estate, combining local stone, wood and traditional alang-alang roofing to build sophisticated spaces that are at once contemporary and thoroughly traditional.

7123 Hotel, Switzerland

thermal bath overlooking mountains

Image credit: 7132 Hotel

7132 Hotel, a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, is described best as a ‘luxury hotel and design hotel wrapped into one’, and was designed by world-famous architects including Tadao Ando, Kengo Kuma, Thom Mayne of Morphosis, and Zumthor. The crown jewel of the hotel is the award-winning thermal spa by Peter Zumthor, constructed from 60,000 slabs of local quartzite. The unique atmosphere and the highly mineralised water that comes out of the St. Peter spring at a pleasant 30° Celsius creates a deeply relaxing and natural experience.

Kagi Maldives Spa Island, Maldives

Birds eye view of villa with pool by the ocean

Image credit: Kagi Maldives Spa Island

The 1,500-square-metre wellness centre, slated to open in September 2020, is designed by architect Yuji Yamazaki, who was the mastermind behind the world’s first underwater villa. The 50-villa property is said to provide “a 360-degree wellness experience” with a fully-integrated wellness hub that sits at the centre of the island. This area will be complete with an open-air, teardrop-shaped sky roof its core, and will appear to float atop the island’s turquoise lagoon waters.

Hôtel Chais Monet, France

luxury hotel pool

Image credit: Hôtel Chais Monet

The luxury spa hotel was described as a “modern take on traditional French luxe” when Hotel Designs first caught wind of the project in 2016. In simple terms, an extensive restoration project to convert the wine cellars into a luxury hotel has given the buildings on site a new lease of life. Beneath the guestrooms and suites, the hotel’s spa wellness facilities include an impressive 25-metre indoor and outdoor pool, which allows guests to soak in the natural landscape while enjoying R&R from exploring the city. In addition, the spa also features a modern jacuzzi, a sauna, a handful of massage therapy rooms and a state-of-the-art gym.

Main image credit: COMO Hotels & Resorts

Concept to Completion: Designing Conrad Punta de Mita (part 2)

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Concept to Completion: Designing Conrad Punta de Mita (part 2)

In the second article of the concept-to-completion series with SB Architects, Hotel Designs learns about some of the challenges that emerged when designing and creating Conrad Punta de Mita, which is slated to open later this year…

The design process, from concept to completion is often lengthy and you are almost always guaranteed to come up against challenges and obstacles along the way.

Challenges call for creativity and innovation; the best architecture is a product of a little friction and creative tension. Facing and overcoming any bumps in the road, expands the design possibilities and ultimately makes for a richer, stronger project.

“We wanted to embrace the remarkable landscape, celebrate it and highlight it throughout the design.” – Ana Ramirez, Senior Associate, SB Architects.

image credit: Conrad Playa Mita/SB Architects

A tranquil respite from Mexico City’s energetic pace, Riviera Nayarit not only boasts more than 200-miles of sun-kissed beaches, but it is one of the only places in the world where you can find all four groups of mangroves; White, Red, Black and Buttonwood, so, as you can imagine, the mangrove reserves on-site at the Conrad Punta de Mita were completely protected. Ana Ramirez, Senior Associate, SB Architects, explains: “The mangroves add a natural magic to the resort, we wanted to embrace the remarkable landscape, celebrate it and highlight it throughout the design.”

In an effort to harness the natural beauty of the site, SB Architects situated the Specialty Restaurant next to one of the largest mangrove reserves and worked within the local government regulations to sensitively construct the space, creating a transformative, captivating experience for guests. In future phases of the project a nature trail through the mangrove preserve will be curated, aimed to educate guests about the fauna species around the natural lagoon, instilling a deeper appreciation and sense of curiosity in hotel guests and positioning the property to make long-lasting impressions.

The Conrad Punta de Mita is situated on a relatively large site, so, one of our main challenges was to break down the scale and reflect a more intimate ambience. The existing on-site building had a narrow opening, limiting the view. In collaboration with landscape designers, EDSA, SB Architects opened the view corridors from the lobby into the landscape and out over the pool, towards the ocean. An efficient circulation path creates a walkable resort for the guest and reduces the feeling of distance in the built environment. At the start of the project, the design team attempted to salvage a large existing pool on the beachfront, but it didn’t feel in-sync with the circulation flow throughout the resort, so the decision was made to redesign.

Throughout the architecture, SB Architects created a direct connection to the outdoors, crafting spaces that invite the natural landscape into the built environment. All exterior doors have been designed to open wide, and lush tropical vegetation, open corridors and contemporary and coastal decor is incorporated throughout the resort.

The 324-key Conrad Punta de Mita is slated to open later this year.

Main image credit: Conrad Punta de Mita/SB Architects

PRODUCT WATCH: Granorte launches vingtage-style cork wall tile collection

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
PRODUCT WATCH: Granorte launches vingtage-style cork wall tile collection

Groovy is the latest cork wall tile from cork innovator Granorte, bringing a stylish vintage edge to contemporary spaces…

Made entirely from 100 per cent post-industrial recycled cork, Groovy’s linear design is CNC grooved into its face then dyed in one of seven colours, or as an all-over treatment in the super cool look of Groovy Night.

Building a hexagonal motif across the wall, Groovy’s air of retro is equally balanced by cork’s natural aesthetic for a look that feels entirely modern. Treated with Granorte’s water-based Corkguard finish for protection from stains, Groovy is suitable for residential and commercial interior projects. In a 600mm x 300mm glue-on format CNC machined from agglomerated cork, the tile contributes to improved acoustics, insulates against heat loss and is simple to maintain.

“Groovy is one of those designs that’s deceptively simple and fiendishly difficult to achieve well,” explains Paulo Rocha, product and development manager for the Portuguese company. “We went through several iterations of the design before we got it working and the pattern looking sophisticated and not pastiche. We’re super-pleased how it’s worked out and we’re looking forward to seeing Groovy used in some beautiful interiors.”

Granorte has been innovating in cork since 1972 and remains a family-run company to this day. Investing heavily in technology has allowed the company to create cork floor and wall products, alongside other innovative applications for the material including NuSpa sanitary ware, the recently launched Moon coffee table and more.

Groovy is the latest in a range of sculpted and formed wall tiles including 3DForms, Modular, Bebop and Tatami and the raw bark of RustiCork.

Granorte is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here. And, if you are interested in also benefitting from this  three-month editorial package, please email Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: Granorte

Editor Checks In: Emerging from pandemic paralysis

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Editor Checks In: Emerging from pandemic paralysis

As the lockdown measures continue to the halt the industry’s reawakening from its slumber, editor Hamish Kilburn confronts the pandemic from a new vantage point…

The front cover of this month’s US Condé Nast Traveler has managed to harmonise the opinions of the uncertain, and no-doubt anxious, hospitality, design and travel industries worldwide.

“See the world in a new light” was the entirely relevant theme that the always forward-thinking Editor-in-Chief, Melinda Stevens, chose to run. I like to imagine the decision was made while working from home, after a new-found mindset enabled the self-isolating editorial desk to take a deep exhale before thinking about future issues, both in print as well as the complexities that lie ahead for the now-suffering travel industry.

“My role, I feel, is to identify how we, the international hotel design and hospitality industry, can emerge from the hibernation with a positive mental attitude when looking towards the future with (dare I say it) optimism.”

I say this because, as well as cheerleading Stevens’ sharp and at-times eccentric writing style from afar, I too am trying to broaden my horizons to look past the pandemic paralysis. My role, I feel, is to identify how we, the international hotel design and hospitality industry, can emerge from the hibernation with a positive mental attitude when looking towards the future with (dare I say it) optimism. As I write this, I am reminded by a friend that Issac Newton discovered the law of gravity while in self-isolation from the Great Plague of London. The point being that a change of focus – a welcome break from studio life, commuting hell and general disruption from our typical weekly routine – may just allow us to bury our heads into new drawings to metaphorically sketch the route towards a fresh, creative destination that is waiting on the other side.

Going back to drawing board is not only relevant for designers and architects, but also hoteliers in order to maximise service with design. In this month’s exclusive roundtable, it was mentioned that many hotels are using this time to enter a ‘re-opening’ mindset. For some leading luxury establishments, which opened nearly a decade ago, their doors being forced shut is an opportunity to confront challenges and to tweak and enhance the hotel’s design and service so that when it reopens, it is more relevant to tomorrow’s travellers and their hefty demands.

There are still a lot of unanswered questions about how the pandemic will impact the industry in the long-term. But one thing, among others, is  crystal clear: post-pandemic, the definition of hospitality as we know it will change, perhaps permanently, to become more of an inclusive lifestyle where formalities are dissolved. Many designers, of course, such Geraldine Dohogne, the former Head of Design at Zannier Hotels, have caught on to this already, and are using this time to plot the ambiance of hospitality and lifestyle brands that will arrive in the future to challenge the conventional shells of yesterday’s luxury hotels.

Exhibitions, as we know them, are being forced to confront the inevitable change of scenery that lies ahead in the next chapter. HIX, for example, has themed its debut event ‘All together now’. The all-new interiors event that takes place in November at the Business Design Centre is encouraging designers to go as far as “unlearning what they know about industry” in order to explore new behavioural patterns and shifting perceptions that are dictating tomorrow’s hotel design landscape. The aim, with a dynamic exhibition line-up and inspirational speakers, is to inspire new and meaningful concepts to allow our industry the freedom to continue churning out boundless possibilities for tomorrow’s hotel guests. Sleep & Eat has also announced its return to London Olympia in November with its focus being on collaborations. “As we emerge from the crisis, there will be a vital need for new collaborations, new engagements and different ways of doing things,” explained the show’s director, Mark Gordon.

During the turbulent times that we are currently self-isolating in, Hotel Designs is committed to ensure that the industry is supported. Therefore, in direct response to the COVID–19 pandemic, we have launched an ‘Industry Support Package’ to help brands to engage with the hospitality sector spanning designers, architects, hoteliers, developers and those that supply to the industry. The exclusive package includes, among other benefits, three pieces of editorial content. If you would like to learn more on how you can take advantage of this one-time offer, please email Katy Phillips.

As the pandemic forces us to get used to a ‘new normal’ and to, as Stevens puts it: “see the world in a new light”, Hotel Designs has launched its official podcast. Six months in planning, DESIGN POD is the contemporary podcast for all on-the-go interior designers and architects globally– and will launch episode 1 shortly after the lockdown measures are relaxed.

In the meantime, the editorial team will keep you updated on all the latest developments in the COVID–19 crisis, while also supplying you with some inspirational content to speed up that much-needed change of perception. And, just for laughs, here are some images that capture freer times…

We will be released back into the wild again shortly… In the meantime, feel free to keep in touch with our team on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn, because we are all in this fight together.

Editor, Hotel Designs

Main image credit: Zannier Hotels/tibodhermy

SPOTLIGHT ON: The challenges of creating the modern spa

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
SPOTLIGHT ON: The challenges of creating the modern spa

Spas are often considered an essential part of a hotel offering. To kickstart Hotel Designs putting ‘spas’ under the editorial spotlight this month, Beverley Bayes, Creative Director at Sparcstudio explains how to create a modern spa in 2020 and how to avoid the common pitfalls of design and build…

Spas are synonymous with luxury and over the past decade have become an essential ingredient for many investors who are planning major hotel developments and refurbishments.

As we enter a period that looks beyond the post-COVID-19 lockdown, the desire for spas to provide space and light with the ability to relax in nature will become even more important factors within the remit of spa design.

In our drive to create spas that are authentic, unique and inspiring with a real ‘sense of place’ there are a number of key considerations.  Firstly, the move away from standardisation of the spa experience reflects the path that hotel brands are increasingly taking which is driven by guests desire for authenticity (which also accounts for the rise in popularity of AirBnB).

Authenticity and uniqueness are established at the early concept stage in terms of developing the experience and the guest environment. There maybe elements about the site or historical factors that inform the concept, for example the botanic references throughout The Spa at South Lodge were inspired by botanical history dating back to the 1800’s. Frederick DuCane Godman, a British naturalist and plant collector built the original house and surrounding gardens with over 360 species of trees and plants sourced from the Azores, Caribbean and Central & South America. This helped to layer the build with authenticity and great storytelling.

Image caption: The Spa at South Lodge, designed by Sparcstudio

Image caption: The Spa at South Lodge, designed by Sparcstudio

The selection of materials and finishes that are relevant to the location and the creation of bespoke designed elements, such as furniture and lighting also adds to the feeling of authenticity. The curated spa can also act as a great gallery environment – involving the commissioning of local artists and Artisans add to the uniqueness of the spa and its sense of place.

Location, location, location

The positioning of the spa itself is key if you want to take full advantage of the vistas, natural light and links to outside spa space, gardens or a even a roof terrace. Thankfully spas have largely emerged from being consigned to the hotel basement, reflecting their increasing importance as part of a hotel’s overall wellness offer and the rise in global spa tourism where spas are destinations in their own right. The Aqua Sana Forest spa concept that we helped develop transformed the Aqua Sana space – planning model from inward facing experiences, to experiences that reached out into the forest with the inclusion of in-out pools and panoramic saunas surrounded by trees. At the Sherwood Forest site, we created the first sauna on stilts which takes ‘forest bathing’ to a new level.

Image caption: The outdoor pool at Aqua Sana Longford Forest

Image caption: The outdoor pool at Aqua Sana Longford Forest

Well considered space planning

This is the ‘bedrock’ of a successful modern spa, which I liken to a giant multi-layered jigsaw puzzle, where in order to create a unique and beautiful customer focussed journey and experience, a comprehensive understanding of the operational and technical issues is required.  The siting and sizing of staff/back of house spaces as well as air handling, pool and thermal suite plant is as important to the location and flow of guest spaces and experiences and is essential in the delivery  of a smooth running seamless and profitable operation.

We always look to create an intuitive guest journey obviating the necessity for lots of signage. We also strive to minimise corridors and build in glazed vistas into experiences to help orientate and build sense of anticipation. Special attention needs to be paid to the creation of  ‘signature spaces’ AKA ‘the money shot’. This could be the main pool area or perhaps a feature cabin and is the ‘go to’ shot for spa press, travel writers and beauty editors.

How have spas changed recently

We are witnessing a shift within luxury spa design away from formal, minimalist spas, towards spas that have ‘heart and soul’ that are about comfort, relaxation and reconnecting with nature, and are designed to appeal to the senses; aroma, fire, water, light and planting which are all key elements to incorporate. These trends draw on the concept of ‘barefoot luxury’ and are all delivered in a way that is inspiring, yet practical in a European setting by bringing the outside – in.

Image caption: Dormy House Veuve Clicquot Nail bar, designed by Sparcstudio

Image caption: Dormy House Veuve Clicquot Nail bar, designed by Sparcstudio

The concept of luxurious materials has changed away from plush and bling. Use of natural, raw materials will become more commonplace as spas aim to recreate the kind of ‘barefoot luxury’ that guests experience on luxury, island resorts. The design style will reflect this ethos with the use of marbles such as ‘Forest Green’ in a honed finish (rather than the highly polished black and white marble) recycled end grain timber panelling and green slate and Terracotta tiles in interesting formats. New luxury is about nurture and care, handmade and bespoke design.

New additions, design developments, and how this caters to new customer demand.

Spas have changed massively  A contemporary spa design is far less regimented and is freeform, natural and personalised. Thankfully we are moving away from deep relax rooms that have rows of beds (referred to as ‘chapels of rest’ by some therapists!) to a greater choice of relax zones and experiences scattered throughout the spa.

Image caption: The Whisper Room inside Cottonmill Spa at Sopwell House, designed by Sparcstudio

Embracing far greater usage of external garden spaces and natural chemical-free experiences is also key. This could be as simple as relaxing in a herb garden or by a wood burning fire, stargazing from a hot pool as can be seen at the most recent spa development to open in the UK at Carden Park.

Thermal suites and pools are evolving to offer bespoke experiences, rather than standardised designs formed from modular components. There is a move away from thermal suites that are a series of doors leading to enclosed heat cabins, into thermal suites that are light filled glazed spaces, as can be witnessed by the rise of the ‘panoramic saunas’ – such the organic bespoke sauna we designed at ‘South Lodge’. It’s curving forms were inspired by the rolling hills of the Sussex South Downs, over which it looks.

“We also look to connect wherever possible to the surrounding landscape and outside bathing continues to rise in popularity” – Beverley Bayes, Creative Director, Sparcstudio.

Water, water, everywhere

Water will of course continue to play a key role in spa, with its subliminal calming influence.

In a spa the body is fully immersed in water – we spend a lot of time considering this cleansing and the healing processes involved. We also look to connect wherever possible to the surrounding landscape and outside bathing continues to rise in popularity, whether in be in large bespoke hydropool, an in-out swim pool or individual Japanese style hot tubs.

Image caption: Entrance to the in-out pool and lounge area at Cottonmill Spa at Sopwell House, designed by Sparcstudio

‘Natural’ swimming pools also offer a sense of freedom and escapism whilst tapping into the popularity of ‘wild swimming’. These fresh water, naturally filtered pools and ponds are set to become an essential element for any forwarding thinking, eco-conscious spa developer. These are friendly to the environment and a unique spa experience for all guests keen to embrace the outdoors.

“We also anticipate that there will continue to be overlaps or a blurring of the lines between fitness, wellness, spa and medical facilities.” – Beverley Bayes, Creative Director, Sparcstudio.

Changing face of spa – the spa as a private members club

Undoubtedly post lockdown there will be an even greater desire to be fit and well. ‘Health is the new wealth’ will be the new mantra, and spa and wellness facilities will have a bigger role to play . Spa design will need to adapt and evolve to meet new requirements and sensibilities, which will include a requirement for more personal space. We also anticipate that there will continue to be overlaps or a blurring of the lines between fitness, wellness, spa and medical facilities. High-end gyms such as Third Space integrate spaces for relaxation and wellbeing with the inclusion of thermal suites and relaxation spaces.

Image credit: Third Space hot yoga room

Image credit: Third Space hot yoga studio, designed by Sparcstudio

The sensuous Hot yoga studio that we designed at  the Tower Bridge site has shaker style paneling and end grain Juniper log paneling that emit a soothing aroma when heated. Whilst a more natural sensuous spa environment can transport  users from a world of work and worry, the integration of intelligent use of technology in a discreet enabling way, will be even move important in the post Covid world, Touch technology via wristband enables hand-free access to zones and areas, can open a locker and pay for lunch or products.

Moving away from the concept of a spa as a once in while treat, we anticipate that there could be an increase in the Spa as a Private members club similar to the model that can be experienced at The Club at Cottonmill Sopwell House Hotel, where spa becomes as regular a  visit  as the traditional gym.

Sparcstudio is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here. And, if you are interested in also benefitting from this  three-month editorial package, please email Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image caption: Dormy House raised infinity pool, designed by Sparcstudio

Virtual roundtable’s response: “Personal and social hygiene awareness has increased exponentially”

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Virtual roundtable’s response: “Personal and social hygiene awareness has increased exponentially”

Following the expert opinions being amplified in Hotel Designs’ first ever virtual roundtable, exploring the long-term impact of COVID–19 to the hospitality and design industry, Room To Breathe shares its response from a hygiene perspective…

The virtual roundtable discussion on the future of the hospitality industry after the COVID–19 pandemic raised several serious questions and issues and made us think about what is on the horizon.

Few markets have felt the full force of this global pandemic more than the hospitality sector; it has decimated trade, scattered the labour force and threatened the very existence of the supply chain. It has also had a huge effect on working practices and will have for many years to come.

“Personal and social hygiene awareness has increased exponentially, with a growing scepticism of what and what is not clean.”

Michael Bonsor, the Managing Director of Rosewood London, explained it perfectly: “This pandemic will reset how we think about travel and will require us to confront problems such as mass tourism and over tourism in many destinations around the world.” Never before have travellers, holiday makers and businesspeople been faced with such unpredictable circumstances making it difficult for them to seek satisfaction and reassurance that their wellbeing is being addressed. Personal and social hygiene awareness has increased exponentially, with a growing scepticism of what and what is not clean.

Whether we are at our workplace, attending leisure facilities or travelling for business or pleasure, we all now have a heightened awareness of how we interact and will now expect and demand a higher level of service from Providers that takes cognisance of the perceived risks as a result of this. Capturing this feeling of assured safety every time must be the focal point for customer satisfaction.

standard hotel room

Image credit: Pixabay

When it comes to the future of public spaces and their design, we must understand the effects of Social Distancing and how much it has affected the perceptions of consumers. Fiona Thomson said: “Sustainability is such an important topic and it should be engrained into mindsets enough now that there is no reason for it to be shelved, especially when it comes to designing projects.”

The hospitality sector must do something to insulate itself from the aftershock of COVID–19 and prepare for the inevitable increase in customer fears and ultimately demands for their wellbeing. Is carrying out the same cleaning protocols more frequently by an already stretched Housekeeping department going to provide the reassurance required? In a word, no. By taking steps to show commitment to your customers health is now, for hoteliers, more than ever, of paramount importance.

Imagine the cost of a deep clean between every guest. This is neither practical nor affordable. A new approach to a new problem must be the way forward. It needs to address the worries and concerns of your customers but must, just as importantly, be cost effective.

Discussing sustainably and it’s future, Bonsor highlighted: “Respecting the world around us has never been so important.” An important element is the very need of removing harsh chemicals and disinfectants from the housekeeping protocol and procure alternative solutions that are safer, more sustainable and environmentally friendly.

“Future-proofing your customers environment is more that just fogging.”

After all the dust settles from COVID19, will there be any winners in the hospitality sector? Not sure that the word ‘winners’ is appropriate, but those that look into the future wishes of their customers, their health and their wellness will be the ones who will see the benefits. Bonsor went on to mention that they were engaging with a company that fogs large areas of public spaces. He suggested that: “The fogging treatment protects the area for up to 30 days. This product lands on surfaces and protects them.” This is very true, to be honest, and is the only the first stage. There are other key factors that need to be considered, especially the training aspect for Housekeeping staff. Future-proofing your customers environment is more that just fogging.

At Room to Breathe UK our system provides ongoing, continual, long term management of viruses, bacteria, moulds, fungi, VOC’s and allergens. Systems that offer the ’28 day’ efficacy tend to be electrostatic spaying of a chemical solution. This will be wiped away when the surface is cleaned! Whereas our antimicrobial coating is permanently bonded and produces a mechanical kill which again avoids the use of toxins, poisons or leaching effect chemicals.

man steaming curtains

Image credit: Room To Breathe

Our comprehensive four-step process covers every aspect of deep cleaning but most importantly it looks at prevention which is key in future-proofing all environments for your customers.

The first step involves an initial industrial air purge followed by a combination of steam cleaning above 40℃, ultra-low-penetration air (UPLA) vacuuming and the application of our unique decontamination fluid which is deadly to pathogens (but is safe to all higher living organisms) is fogged into the area ensuring every surface coated. Additionally, by using innovative UV technology we can rid mattresses, pillows and soft furnishings of undesirable micro-organisms within seconds.

Step Two is where our antimicrobial coating “BioTouch”, will be is applied. The BioTouch formula bonds to a clean surface and when viruses and bacteria land on the protected surface, the cellular structure is ruptured (not poisoned) and becomes defunct. The only way BioTouch can be removed is by it being chipped off. Where there is a risk of this, on door handles, light switches for example, we can easily reapply to maintain the coatings efficiency.

When it comes to bedding and soft furnishings the third step of our process involves using our own unique formula, Protext solution provides a layer of invisible protection which permanently interrupts the life cycle of dust mites and bed bugs. Our method avoids the use of toxins so whilst lethal to bugs and mites does not pose a risk to the client. This is also applied to all fabrics and soft furnishings.

For full prevention and reassurance, we install filterless air signifiers providing the final level of protection, this final stage secures continuous air sanification. Using technology originally developed by NASA, our sanifiers seek out contaminants and pathogens within the air and on surfaces and neutralise them.

By applying this four-step process, we not only eradicate 99.99 per cent of viruses and bacteria, we also provide a continuous level of protection in between our deep clean processes.

On completion certification is provided and displayed either outside or within the room to provide that peace of mind to Customers and employees alike. A Room Information Pack is provided for guests to simply explain the RTB system, providing that peace of mind.

In order to maintain the certification, Steps One and Two are carried out every four months in accordance with our terms & conditions. On-site training is also provided to Housekeeping staff in order to ensure the efficacy of the RTB system is maintained. This is no more onerous to staff and in fact will simplify their cleaning protocols.

Room To Breathe is one of Hotel Designs’ 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: Room To Breathe

Hotel Designs launches its official podcast for designers & architects

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hotel Designs launches its official podcast for designers & architects

Six months in planning, DESIGN POD is the contemporary podcast for all on-the-go interior designers and architects globally…

Hotel Designs’ official podcast, DESIGN POD, will be presented by editor Hamish Kilburn and interior designer Harriet Forde

The topics and personalities amplified on the podcast will give texture and perspective on the key issues that face modern A&D professionals as deadlines become tighter and briefs become narrower.

“I am so very excited to be starting DESIGN POD with Hamish,” says Forde, “and I am looking forward to discussing some interesting topics with great guests.”

In each episode, Kilburn and Forde will welcome influential designers, architects and experts to share their opinions on the conversations and challenges that are shaping our industry. Together, they will embrace innovation while balancing the important issues we all face as modern designers and architects, but are often too busy with life to explore fully.

“Since November, we have been working on the concept of DESIGN POD, in order to introduce an engaging and entertaining media platform for the industry,” explains Kilburn. “I cannot think of a better co-host than Harriet Forde, interior designer and the current President of the British Institute of Interior Design (BIID), who always makes me think, smile and laugh when we discuss our fabulous industry.”

Episode 1: Choosing your lane in design, architecture & business (coming soon)

Whether you are working for a brand, independently or are about to embark in a new journey, choosing your lane – your style, if you like – is an integral and pivotal moment of any design/architecture process. With the COVID–19 crisis adding further uncertainty to all industries around the globe – and arguably hitting the hospitality, building and construction industry the hardest – balancing consistency with creativity is key. To explore this topic in depth, from a creative and business perspective, DESIGN POD welcomes the former Creative Director of HBA London, Constantina Tsoutsikou, onto the show, who has recently launched her own venture: Studio LOST.While we are surrounded by a plethora of voices in design, it is very important to differentiate oneself and take a stand, like Hamish and Harriet are doing with DESIGN POD,” explains Tsoutsikou. “Focus on the values that are important to you, and in time , your work will be an illustration of these, and become what you are known for.”

During lockdown, please tweet us at @HotelDesigns if you have a topic you would like to us to explore.

Cheeky collaborations in Britain’s material world

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Cheeky collaborations in Britain’s material world

When it comes to collaborations between designers and furniture brands, British suppliers are arguably in a league of their own. To celebrate the industry working together, Hotel Designs takes a closer look at some of Cheeky Chairs’ most meaningful partnerships…

The British textile industry is thriving, and its success is driven by a range of factors, one of which is todays eco-conscious zeitgeist that has triggered a desire to buy sustainable, local and authentically sourced materials.

More significantly, there is an emerging renaissance in traditional British manufacturing skills and techniques.

This artisan revival has led to an abundance of traditionally crafted textiles and natural textures. Raw weaves with pronounced warps and wefts, stubby fabrics in rustic checks and bouclés that resemble cloth cut from an artisan weaver’s loom. Traditionally block-printed fabrics featuring abstract art with loose brushstrokes and playful daubs or ikats and motifs. Richly embroidered weaves and tapestries on all manner of natural fabrics including linens velvets and wool.

But the real driving force behind the resurgence in British textiles is a new crop of British textile artists creating vibrant and distinctive prints and weaves forinteriors. This new breed of designers is not only creative, but tech and marketing savvy and so able to run their own businesses, heavily driven by social media. They have skilfully incorporated the unique strengths of British textiles such as heritage, quality and traditional skills to create innovative fabric collections for today’s interiors obsessed consumer seeking a story and provenance behind their purchase.

Cheeky Chairs’ designer fabric collection showcases some of the best British designers. Their stunning and luxurious creations are central to the beauty of the chairs and stools the brand create. Here are four of our favourites.

Kit Kemp – Winner of Outstanding Contribution to the Hospitality Industry at The Brit List Awards 2019

Image caption: Marco Chairs upholstered in Hippie Green and Chubby Check by Kit Kemp

Image caption: Marco Chairs upholstered in Hippie Green and Chubby Check by Kit Kemp | Image credit: Cheeky Chairs

Award-winning interior designer Kit Kemp has been developing inspiring, vibrant interiors for almost three decades. With a background in graphic design, this self-taught creative has created her own quintessential British style.

Kemp is the creative force behind the hugely successful Firmdale Hotel group, a boutique collection of hotels renowned for their unique character and stylish use of colour. Her distinctive quirky designs have led her to collaborate with big names including Christopher Farr Cloth to create an inspiring range of totally unique fabrics and wallpapers.

Cheeky Chairs’ selection of Kit Kemp Weaves and prints draws on her whimsical style. It is a carefully curated collection of colourful eclectic patterns and joyful textured weaves to create luxurious chairs and bar stools that are as beautiful as they are comfortable.

Penny Morrison

Image caption: The Marco Armchair upholstered in Morrison’s Andean Vertical Stripe alongside Sanderson’s Linnean Indigo | Image credit: Cheeky Chairs

Image caption: The Marco Armchair upholstered in Morrison’s Andean Vertical Stripe alongside Sanderson’s Linnean Indigo | Image credit: Cheeky Chairs

Penny Morrison is one of the most sought-after Interior Designers in Britain and around the world. Penny is renowned for creating unique designs through seemingly clashing combinations. Pairing unexpected patterns and palettes, her designs are a visual feast brimming with colour and exuding spontaneity and sophistication in equal measure.

Her collection of luxury prints and weaves is a rich accumulation of inspiration from cultures around the world, from Turkish embroidery and Japanese textiles to Anglo-Indian symbols and Ancient Greek motifs.

Andean Vertical Stripe and Anni Orange are stunning colourful designs that ensure the brand’ chairs and bar stools will make a statement in any space.

Margo Selby

Image caption: The Chloe Chair upholstered in Margo Selby’s Motown | Image credit: Cheeky Chairs

Image caption: The Chloe Chair upholstered in Margo Selby’s Motown | Image credit: Cheeky Chairs

Margo is a world renowned British textile designer. Her Jacquard woven textiles have pushed the boundaries of weaving to create contemporary upholstery fabrics that are brimming with colour and style.

Cheeky Chairs’ selected weaves from her Memphis collection brings together a diverse and distinctive range of woven fabrics that are both decorative and luxurious. These jacquard weaves in harmonious but contrasting colours sit beautifully against a multitude of fresh paint colours to create chic and stylish chairs and bar stools to make a vibrant addition to any interior.

Korla

Image caption: Aquamarine Chloe upholstered in Korla’s iconic Kyoto Koi | Image credit: Cheeky Chairs

Image caption: Aquamarine Chloe upholstered in Korla’s iconic Kyoto Koi | Image credit: Cheeky Chairs

Korla, named after a town in China on the Silk Road, create gorgeously graphic fabrics mixing bold colours with strong patterns. All their fabrics are designed, woven and printed to the highest quality entirely in the UK.

Their collection of colourful and contemporary textiles is bold, fun and cheerful. Korla designs feature geometric shapes, small patterns, zigzags and scallops that are wonderfully light-hearted and frivolous. Their colour palette of bright, summery and cool shades is as striking as it is original.

The brand’s pair of signature Korla prints with their eye-catching paint finishes is effortlessly cool and will bring a fresh contemporary look to any style of interior.

Cheeky Chairs is a boutique collection of beautifully crafted wood framed chairs and bar stools that have naturally soft seats upholstered in luxury fabrics. Each Cheeky Chair is made to order and a unique combination of model, designer fabric and colour to create a truly original statement piece.

The brand’s sustainably sourced frames are carefully selected for their design and quality; each seat is meticulously upholstered using natural materials for supreme comfort; its designer fabrics are of the highest quality. The company offers an array of colour and luxury fabric combinations but will also work with customers’ own fabric selection and Cheeky Chairs’ specialist polishing team can create any finish to match a chosen interior.

Main image credit: Cheeky Chairs

Checking in: Hôtel Chais Monnet, Cognac

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Checking in: Hôtel Chais Monnet, Cognac

Four years after Hotel Designs got the on-the-boards industry sneak peek of Hôtel Chais Monnet, editor Hamish Kilburn checks in to the luxury hotel in the heart of Cognac…

Positioned in close proximity of Cognac’s Charente River, Hôtel Chais Monnet took chief architect Didier Poignant of Paris-based Ertim Architects four years to plan, and a further 26 months to convert into a reality.

Built in the 19th century, the site that was the childhood home of Jean Monnet, one of the founding fathers of the European Union. The building had sat uninhabited since 2004 before the decision was made to transform the trading house into a majestic, five-star getaway, combining traditional architecture with cutting-edge contemporary design.

The luxury spa hotel was described as a “modern take on traditional French luxe” when Hotel Designs first caught wind of the project in 2016. In simple terms, the restoration has given the buildings on site a new lease of life.

I would go one step further, though, to say that it has reopened up the destination’s history books, perhaps to a different chapter. For starters, during the restoration process, the architectural plans included adding a new contemporary structure ­­– a rare find in and around the low-level city of Cognac.

Image caption: The arrival experience allows guests to capture the two original buildings on the site that used to be wine cellars | Image credit: Hôtel Chais Monnet

Image caption: The arrival experience allows guests to capture the two original buildings on the site that used to be wine cellars | Image credit: Hôtel Chais Monnet

Despite the property being centrally located – only a ten-minute walk down to some of the great cognac houses in the region – the hotel’s space is not sacrificed, nor is it limited in its ambitious design. Guests arrive through a long driveway, past two retro Citroen 2CVs, and enter the hotel via a walkway that cuts through the two original limestone buildings, which used to be wine cellars. Bridging together these structures at the end of the pathway is a magnificent glass-box building. Inside, the lobby, which evokes a strong first impression and proof that architecture styles of different eras can, in fact, work in harmony.

Image caption: The hotel is a classic tale of old and new architecture meeting in harmony | Image credit: Hôtel Chais Monnet

Although this was very much a heroic rescue operation to retain the site’s heritage, the layout of the hotel allows for a modern design scheme to filter into all areas. Separated off the side of the lobby, making it ideal for locals as well as guests to enjoy, is the characterful Cognac Bar. As well as serving more than 400 varieties of the spirits (I counted them), the bar features quirky lighting, residential-style furniture and idiosyncratic artefacts for good measure.

Image caption: The Cognac Bar | Image credit: Hôtel Chais Monnet

The majority of the hotel’s facilities – the 92 guestrooms, 13 suites, a wellness area and two restaurants – are sheltered in new-build glass structure that is covered with corten steel tendrils. The striking and unrestrained design of the framework compliments the contemporary, light and airy interiors that can be found in each guestroom and suite. With a safe colour scheme of whites, cream and the occasional accent of red in the soft furnishings, the rooms very much channel the spirit of Cognac to evoke a home-from-home, relaxed residential look and feel. Elements such as a rose-gold clocks from Karlsson and arresting chandeliers above the beds add a contemporary layer to the design, while subtle biophilic references in the artwork inject the strong sense of place, far removed from metropolis life.

Image caption: One of the hotel's stylish guestrooms | Image credit: Hôtel Chais Monnet

Image caption: One of the hotel’s stylish guestrooms | Image credit: Hôtel Chais Monnet

The bathrooms, complete with geometric-patterned surfaces and large bath tubs, are contemporary spaces. Quality brands in these generously sized areas include Kohler and Allia Paris basins, Grohe taps and showers and quality WCs from Ideal Standard.

Beneath the guestrooms and suites, the hotel’s spa wellness facilities include an impressive 25-metre indoor and outdoor pool, which allows guests to soak in the natural landscape while enjoying R&R from exploring the city. In addition, the spa also features a modern jacuzzi, a sauna, a handful of massage therapy rooms and a state-of-the-art gym.

Image caption: The 25-metre indoor and outdoor pool inside the hotel | Image credit: Hôtel Chais Monnet

In the two restaurants below, the sites heritage – and its connection to wine – is deeply ingrained in the design scheme. In the gourmet brasserie, Le Distillerie, a wooden ceiling and beams evoke a casual dining experience that is aptly centered around seasonal eating and using fresh, locally sourced produce. The hotel’s fine-dining option, meanwhile, is located on the lower level. Les Foudres, provides an unparalleled entrance that welcomes guests to dine amongst ancient Cognac barrels in the building’s historic Chais.

Since opening its doors in 2018, Hôtel Chais Monnet has become rooted into the community that surrounds it. There’s no better example of this than its recent initiative to freshly prepare and deliver 365 cooked meals to the town’s hospital during the COVID–19 pandemic. Cognac-born pastry chef Isabelle Bovy has paired up with the hotel’s very own pastry chef Camille Roché to create a substantial yet balanced menu to sustain and satisfy these health workers.

The two chefs created a delicious menu which included a starter of quinoa salad, followed by a main course of beef and Grenailles potatoes and finishing with a sweet and sticky lemon cake. “We have enough kitchen space to ensure that everyone can cook safely,” commented Hôtel Chais Monnet’s General Manager, Arnaud Bamvems. “If we can help those in need, let’s do it!”

My conclusion of Hôtel Chais Monnet is that looks can often be deceiving. Its compelling old-meets-new architectural style has unlocked the opportunity for a modern luxury hotel to operate seamlessly on a historic site. Its carefully and sensitively curated design scheme allows for an effortless flow between all areas so that guests and locals alike can be part of the renaissance of Cognac.

Main image credit: Hôtel Chais Monnet

Hypnos receives prestigious Queen’s Awards for Sustainable Development

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hypnos receives prestigious Queen’s Awards for Sustainable Development

Ethical British bedmaker, Hypnos, is celebrating after receiving the prestigious Queen’s Awards for Enterprise in Sustainable Development for its pioneering commitment to sustainable and ethical manufacturing…

Hypnos has been awarded The Queen’s Awards for Enterprise in Sustainable Development. 

This respected achievement is the second Queen’s Award for the company after it won one in 2017 for International Trade.

Hypnos’ latest accolade comes after a decade long commitment to sustainable production and operation, and in recognition of a series of ground-breaking sustainable innovations and design. Indeed, Hypnos’ beds are some of the most sustainable in the industry being 100 per cent foam free and 100 per cent recyclable. They also use only natural and sustainable materials, such as FSC and PEFC certified timber, meaning its beds need never go to landfill sites. 

Highly celebrated, the Queen’s Awards is only given to those who can demonstrate outstanding sustainability achievements and whose environmentally-sound products and management of the company benefits the environment, society and the economy.

Image credit: Hypnos

James Keen, Chief Executive Officer at Hypnos, said: “Through passion, dedication and commitment we have created a wide-ranging, impactful sustainability plan that is industry-leading and reaches every area of the business. We are incredibly proud that our work here has been recognised with this Queen’s Awards, our second within three years.

“Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do and we’re not afraid to challenge the way the bed industry does things for the benefit of the environment and communities around the UK and the world. In fact our Partnership with Red Tractor is a prime example of this. This industry-first collaboration with them has allowed us to use 100 per cent British wool that’s traceable right back to Red Tractor assured farms, creating a new level of authentic traceability.” 

Image caption: Hypnos uses 100 per cent British wool that’s traceable right back to Red Tractor assured farms | Image credit: Hypnos

The ethical manufacturer’s green operating practises were also taken into consideration as part of the award win. Hypnos was the first bed maker to comply with the internationally recognised PAS2060 Carbon Neutrality standard, as well as the ISO 14001 environmental management systems. In addition the company has installed a biomass heating system to help save around 74 tonnes of carbon a year, all of which were seen favourably as part of its sustainable efforts.

 James Keen, adds: “This award is a great honour and really shows the value of investing in and in operating your business ethically. It’s certainly inspired us to do even more to develop our sustainable plans for the future and we’re already working on some interesting concepts for the years ahead.”

Hypnos is one of Hotel Designs’ 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: Hypnos

FEATURE: Specifying tiles for outdoors areas & public spaces

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
FEATURE: Specifying tiles for outdoors areas & public spaces

With Hotel Designs focusing its attention on ‘Public Areas’ this month, CTD Architectural Tiles writes about making the right choices when it comes to specifying durable tiles that look the part…

When it comes to design, the hospitality industry demands some of the most aesthetically pleasing outdoor environments in the commercial sector.

From luxurious outdoor swimming pool areas to glamorous receptions, restaurants and bars, the flooring and surface choices that are made within exterior hotel design will play a vital role in the success of the overall appeal of the hotel.

From large luxury projects to smaller boutique hotels, CTD Architectural’s approach to service and design remains the same. Thanks to its ever-expanding portfolio of exterior tiles, CTD Architectural is able to source the latest products to deliver premium quality for both appearance and performance.

Image caption/credit: CTD Architectural Tiles” Porcelain Pavers collection

20mm porcelain tiles for outdoor environments

20mm porcelain is increasingly used in designs for luxury commercial and public realm projects, including swimming pool surrounds, balcony decks and pedestrian walkways – particularly in the hotel industry.

An extensive range of 20mm-thick porcelain tiles, the Porcelain Pavers collection by CTD Architectural is specially suited to outdoor environments. Recreating architectural materials such as cement and stone, the range comprises 22 different tiles to meet all the technical and design requirements for exterior applications.

For a variety of inside / outside combinations, the Porcelain Pavers collection is guaranteed to deliver on practical and aesthetic qualities. Along with the excellent technical qualities of thick porcelain, the Porcelain Pavers collection is extremely durable and resistant to breaks and scratches as well as being fade and frost resistant. Boasting a +36PTV (wet) slip-resistant structured surface, the tiles are also extremely low maintenance thanks to their exceptionally low porosity.

Offering the added benefit of easy installation, the 20mm ranges can be installed in a number of different formats depending on the environment and project requirements. Providing the ultimate flexibility, the products can even be loose laid onto gravel, sand or pedestals, making them both accessible and re-usable.

Image caption/credit: CTD Architectural Tiles’ Albaroc range

Anti-Slip tiles for swimming pools

Made effective by their slightly textured surface, anti-slip tiles are the perfect complement to other materials, such as stone, wood and concrete. An essential for high-traffic public areas, particularly around outdoor swimming areas, CTD Architectural’s range of anti-slip tiles has all the technical qualities to meet any project requirement without compromising on aesthetics.

From natural stone-effect finishes to imitation wood designs, each of the collections are guaranteed to help architects, interior designers, developers and specification professionals deliver on any manner of swimming pool project brief.

CTD Architectural’s stylish Albaroc range is inspired by the hard dolomite stone found on the Mediterranean coast. Available in three natural stone-effect colours and two different surface finishes, this collection includes a full range of complementary stair treads, risers and strips – ideal for creating a fully cohesive, effortlessly classic look in exterior and interior spaces of all sizes, and offering peace of mind where safety is a must.

Image credit/caption: CTD Architectural Tiles’ Natural collection

Tiles inspired by nature

Nature has been a source of inspiration for designers for a number of years and has now developed into all areas of interior design, including surfaces. A seamless marriage between rustic influences and the trend for contemporary design has inspired a number of CTD Architectural’s most recent tile designs, to enliven outdoor spaces of all sizes.

An effortless stylish addition to any outside space, wood flooring is renowned for its beautiful, natural finish. Although undeniably a popular choice, natural wood isn’t always practical in high footfall public areas. Wood effect tiles 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.

Offering the warmth and beauty of real wood, CTD Architectural’s Natural collection of wood-effect exterior tiles promise a refined finishing touch to any outdoor scheme. Available in three different light, mid and dark wood tones, the collection is comprised of matching edge profile and angle pieces for swimming pools with skimmer systems and boasts an anti-slip finish of R11C Class for total safety.

To replicate the classic beauty of natural stone in any outdoor space, CTD Architectural offer two beautiful ranges: Petra and Roca Polar. Petra has a timeless appeal with a choice of three different colours, along with the added benefit of an anti-slip Class C porcelain surface.

Reproducing the exquisite characteristic features of natural quartzite stone, Roca Polar is an exceptionally beautiful collection. Available in either a matt or structured finish, the simply yet elegant tile is ideal for those looking to create a luxurious outdoor space and comes complete with corresponding pool edge and stair fitting pieces and corners for a truly unified scheme.

When it comes to specifying tiles for outdoor and public areas for all sizes of hotels, CTD Architectural is able to provide products and technical solutions for architects, designers and specifiers to help ensure the project runs smoothly, looks impressive and conforms to the highest technical standards.

CTD Architectural Tiles is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here. And, if you are interested in also benefitting from this  three-month editorial package, please email Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: CTD Architectural Tiles

Naturalmat wins the Queen’s Awards for Sustainable Development

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Naturalmat wins the Queen’s Awards for Sustainable Development

The Devon-based company, Naturalmat, has won the prestigious award for sustainable development just months after winning The Eco Award at The Brit List Awards 2019…

Following its memorable win at The Brit List Award 2019, Naturalmat has won the Queen’s Award for Sustainable Development.

Naturalmat’s committed team, based in Devon, have been quietly crafting organic, beds and mattresses from sustainable and renewable materials in Devon for more than 20 years. Its mission is to create a healthier sleep environment to benefit not only the health and well-being of those using the products, but also a greener supply, manufacture and disposal process to benefit the wider environment.

The Queen’s Award for Sustainable Development is awarded for commercially successful products, services and management that benefit the environment, society and the economy.

The business grew from the founders – Mark Tremlett’s and Peter Tindall’s desire to harness the luxuriousness of natural materials and avoid the synthetic man-made materials prevalent in the industry. Initially creating mattresses for the marine industry, they saw the poor quality of the plastic foam mattresses used on high spec boats, and developed an alternative that was comfortable, sustainable, organic and all-round superior, making use of local resources. When Mark Tremlett had his own child, they realised that the situation was shockingly the same in the nursery industry, with babies sleeping on polyurethane foam pads covered in plastic. Safer Sleep Guidelines are still clear about reducing the risk of babies overheating – so a breathable, natural fibre mattress from Naturalmat remains a safer choice for parents in the UK and abroad looking for a healthy alternative. Once Naturalmat was established in the worlds of marine and nursery, the business started manufacturing larger mattresses – up to emperor size – for adults looking to furnish their own bedrooms with organic materials, and hotels looking for sustainable alternatives to the mass-produced mattress industry.

Two men holding either side of a mattress in a factory

Image credit: Naturalmat

By developing products that use raw materials from sustainable, renewable resources we drastically reduce our reliance on the petrochemical industry. The majority of the global bed and mattress industry uses synthetic foams and fabrics such as polyurethane foam, polyester and other materials that are derivatives of oil. Not only are these materials not sustainable, they are not as efficacious in their application as natural fibres, which are inherently more breathable allowing heat and moisture to dissipate, making for a healthier sleep environment by reducing the risks of overheating or allergen build up. Unlike much of the UK mattress industry, Naturalmat does not use fire retardant (FR) chemicals in products and are proud to have developed a product range that meets the relevant British Fire Safety Standards without the use of any FR additives.

The company works with local organic farms within a 50-mile radius of its factory in Topsham, Devon to source all of the wool it requires, ensuring a local resource is used in a local product. Wool is a is an extremely versatile material; not only is it a perfect natural insulator, keeping you cool when it’s warm and warm when it’s cold, but it is also a natural fire retardant. Wool slows down the burn rate of the fabric significantly, which means it adheres to the British Fire Safety Standard but does not give off any toxic gases and it will naturally biodegrade at the end of life. This reduces air, water and soil pollution, contamination and ultimately deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals.

Naturalmat’s organic and sustainably made offering is unique, which is why more and more consumers in both the UK and internationally choose to buy from Naturalmat. Naturalmat supplies organic beds and mattresses to the hotel industry all over the world, with clients including Hoxton Hotels, Z Hotels, Qbic, as well as working with the very large international hotel chain in Six Senses Resorts, which leads the way in sustainable, luxury tourism. Through exporting its products Naturalmat is promoting British wool and driving foreign wealth back into the British economy. Overseas customers are willing to spend with Naturalmat as they are reassured by its quality, reputation and sustainable credentials.

Naturalmat is one of Hotel Designs’ 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: Naturalmat

PRODUCT WATCH: Jackie by Granorte proves to be no wallflower

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
PRODUCT WATCH: Jackie by Granorte proves to be no wallflower

Inspired by geometric forms, the pop art shapes of Jackie by Granorte bring sustainable chic to walls…

2020 sees four new designs from the STORYWALL collection of cork wall tiles from Granorte. STORYWALL is inspired by traditional designs from cultures across the globe which are then applied onto cork using direct digital print graphics.

One of these new ranges is the modern-day pixel construction of Jackie. Designed by Carlos MedonVa, Jackie plays on the simplistic form of geometrics. Inspired the iconic pop art images of the 1950-60’s, each tile consists of contrasting half circles and backgrounds dissected by a pinstripe. In a choice of two on-trend colour combinations – Jackie Soul and Jackie Blues – that delicate line details draw the eye vertically and horizontally conjuring a balance between engagement and peaceful aesthetics.

Jackie is created from 100 per cent agglomerated cork which is then sliced before being sanded, printed and finished with CORKGUARD, a matt water-based lacquer. The tile’s lightness makes it a safe and easy to use material that can be applied in both domestic and commercial settings. The use of cork on walls improves acoustics and helps to retain warmth while providing a natural biodegradable and recyclable option.

“We have seen a demand for calming interiors that provide a comforting retreat for end users,” explains Paulo Rocha, R&D, Granorte. “Jackie is a prime example of how our wall tiles can achieve this through thoughtful design without compromising on sustainability, something that is core to Granorte’s values.”

Available in 300 x 300mm format and 4mm depth, each panel is treated with CORKGUARD for a wall tile that provides an easy to maintain, sealed surface. The range also holds an AGGLOPURE accreditation, meaning no harmful formaldehyde is added at any stage of the manufacturing process.

Main image credit: Granorte

Zen by Woven Image: Inspired by the calm and simplicity of Japanese gardens

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Zen by Woven Image: Inspired by the calm and simplicity of Japanese gardens

Woven Image has introduced Zen, a beautifully tactile three-dimensional acoustic wall panel as part of the Tangible Alignments collection, referencing textural vertical surfaces…

Zen by Woven Image is an innovation in non-woven wall panelling, Zen is specially designed to provide a floor to ceiling acoustic solution for commercial office interiors.

Suitable for standard direct fix wall applications as well as functional operable walls where panels could be installed double-sided, Zen provides a high quality solution with a beautiful tactile surface.

The design of Zen mimics the lines, curves and grooves of a Japanese zen garden evoking a sense of simplicity and calm. The concept of Zens peaks and valleys echos architectural corrugated surface details such as timber slats, stainless steel batons and textured cement or plaster feature walls.

Zen is available in nine colourways from essential neutral tones of cream, frost and onyx to directional mid tones of blush and forest accented with on-trend ivy, indigo and deep burgundy hues.

Whilst the product can be easily machine or hand cut for installation, at 2800mm high, Zen panels can be installed without a floor-to-ceiling join line. Furthermore, to assist with ease of installation, Zen is trimmed on all edges with a subtle beveled cut that allows for easy butt joining along a continuous wall with minimal visible seams.

Performing to commercial Industry standards for interior wall linings, Zen achieves excellent environmental credentials, including Global GreenTag (GreenRate Level A), with the use of post-industrial waste streams and low VOC emissions.

Zen provides acoustic benefits with an NRC result of 0.30 for a direct fix application. Increased performance in high demand acoustic applications can be achieved via an acoustic infill such as Woven Image Aire panel.

Main image credit: Woven Image

In Conversation With: Geraldine Dohogne, former designer at Zannier Hotels

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
In Conversation With: Geraldine Dohogne, former designer at Zannier Hotels

The designer behind many of Zannier Hotels’ authentic properties, Geraldine Dohogne, is expanding her horizons to go solo on the international design scene. Speaking exclusively to editor Hamish Kilburn, the designer unveils the truth behind her unorthodox arrival into the industry, discusses the challenges she encountered when designing many of Zannier Hotels’ success stories and explains why the meaning of ‘lifestyle’ in design is rapidly changing…

It comes as somewhat of a surprise – I was almost lost for words – when Geraldine Dohogne tells me that she didn’t have any design experience whatsoever prior to when she was handed the reigns to become Zannier Hotels’ Head of Design. In fact, she was not a designer at all, nor was she some talented ‘inner designer’ who was trapped in an architect’s title, which is not uncommon in this industry. Armed with simply an international business degree and a naturally acute eye for detail, Dohogne proved that you didn’t require a design degree to become a top-notch designer.

Open air design, with bath overlooking desert

Image caption: The open-air design of Zannier Hotels Sonop allows a connection between nature and its guests | Image credit: Tibodhermy for Zannier Hotels

That’s not to say that anyone can be a designer – far from it. Spending time with Dohogne, who accurately, in my opinion, describes herself as a designer by passion, allows one to see beyond the brilliant brand her name has been aligned to for years.

We meet in Mayfair’s The Conduit, an airy private members club that was once described by GQ Magazine as a place that provides the brightest minds with the opportunities to meet up and thrash out new ideas. It all sounds wonderfully fitting as it has also become one of Dohogne’s favourite places to work from in recent years.

“I was Zannier Hotels’ first employee.” – Géraldine Dohogne.

Although it may read shocking to some that a curious mind with no design background was asked to lead an entire luxury brand’s design ethos, Dohogne, for many reasons, was the perfect person for the job. For starters, she arguably knew the DNA of Zannier Hotels better than any established designer on the scene did. “I was Zannier Hotels’ first employee,” she explains. “I started in development and also did my time in operations before working in the design department. I mostly worked on my own, doing all the ordering and specifying by myself. It was at this point when I truly believe that my degree in international business kept me organised, focused and on track.”

It’s hard to believe that the premium hotel brand that has been so influential on the luxury travel and design scenes only launched its first property in 2011. It all started in The Alps with the opening of Le Chalet in Megéve. However, considering at the time the brand had already purchased land, properties, and had projects on the drawing boards in Asia and Europe, Zannier Hotels was considered an international player from the moment it was born.

“Without even knowing it, I was always interested in and inspired by design,” – Géraldine Dohogne.

Its unorthodox approach to luxury in both design and service soon gave it its esteemed award-winning reputation. The same way of thinking, I see, is shared – dare I say inspired – by the designer who is sat casually and confidently in front of me in a cosy beige jumper and blue jeans. “Without even knowing it, I was always interested in and inspired by design,” she says, “My curiosity in interiors and luxury travel was married up to the brand’s vision.”

For all designers, however many years’ experience they have amassed (or not), all projects come with a number of different challenges. One of Dohnogne’s most memorable projects was 1988 The Post, an intimate hotel in Ghent, Belgium, that shelters no more than 38 keys. The boutique hotel has been inspired by the old post office building’s 19th century architecture and charm. “Inside, all the fabrics, materials, lighting and colours were inspired by the atmosphere of a post office and from the building period,” the designer explains. The rooms were decorated in a warm style – with high ceilings, dark green walls and antique furniture – complementing the building’s former life.

Masculine looking luxury room

Image caption: 1988 The Post became one of Dohogne’s most challenging design briefs, because of the building’s irregular architecture and heritage in Ghent, Belgium

Although each hotel under the Zannier umbrella is unique to the destination, each follow the same journey of discovery when it comes to establishing the interior scheme and overall narrative. “We always look beyond the obvious,” says Dohogne. “Most of the antiques are sourced locally, which can be harder in some places than others.” For the brand’s most recent hotel in Namibia, more than 550 antiques were handpicked by Dohogne and injected into the property’s interiors that were uniquely constructed on stilts atop of natural boulders in the middle of the Namib desert.

Right when you thought Zannier Hotels had reached its limit of creativity, it is about to open the authentic doors of its next hotel, which will be situated in Vietnam. It’s 75 suites and villas will be sheltered under three various architectural styles, each of them melting into the lush natural background while referencing the local Ede and canal houses that are culturally embedded in Phu Yen (Vietnam). “Most of the villas and suites will have private pools and the public areas will be on the 1km-stretch of beach,” she explains. “The restaurants will really re-discover Vietnamese cuisine.”

Minimalist nature-infused public areas

Image caption: A sneak peek of the interiors inside the soon-to-open Zannier Hotels Phum Baitang, designed by Dohogne | Image credit: Zannier Hotels

While Dohogne continues to piece together Zannier Hotels’ vision of future properties with timeless interiors, in January 2020 embarked on a new, personal and profession journey; branching off to become a solo designer no restricted to hotel design. “It’s a new challenge,” she says, “but when you are challenged, you can bring much more to the drawing board. There is a gap in the market for high-end lifestyle projects in Europe and beyond.”

Quick-fire round

HK: What’s a trend that you hope will never return?
GD: I believe that if you want a project to be ‘timeless’, it should not follow a trend.

HK: What’s the most difficult project you have worked on?
GD:
1988 The Post was challenging because it was an existing building.

HK: What is the one item you cannot travel without?
GD: My Swimming costume and my noise-cancelling Bose headphones.

HK: What does luxury mean to you?
GD: A place where you can disconnect with technology and the world, and where you can feel at home.

HK: Where’s next on your travel bucket list?
GD: Antarctica, Japan and Argentina.

HK: What’s the biggest lesson you have learned in your career?
GD:
Always show your work to a lot of people, and always question yourself until you are 100 per cent sure.

HK: When you pitch an idea, do you keep an open window?
GD: Yes, because the world has changed so much from the beginning of a hotel project to the end.

For more than year now, Dohogne has been setting up the foundations of her own design studio. What strikes me is the link between the authenticity of Zannier Hotels’ expansion and the journey that the designer is also on. Although there is yet a comment as to what projects she is working on, it is clear that Dohogne is meaningfully expanding her reaches to purposefully design a new era of high-end lifestyle social areas and workspaces. Her journey in design continues…

Main image credit: Géraldine Dohogne

It’s never been easier to check a hotel’s energy consumption

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
It’s never been easier to check a hotel’s energy consumption

To find out what hotels could be doing to become more energy efficient, editor Hamish Kilburn sits down with Utility Team’s CEO, Delvin Lane…

Design and service have equal roles to play in the hospitality arena, with neither being able to shine in the spotlight without the other. Therefore, it comes as somewhat of a surprise to hear that a large number of hotels are inefficiently heating and cooling their hotels – and losing some serious money in the process of doing so.

Utility Team is an end-to-end energy consultancy solutions business that works with hotels and venues to help them better understand how to use less energy, and pay the right amount for the energy used. By simplifying the process, the company shows its customers how to take advantage of current market conditions whilst being mindful of an ever-changing regulatory landscape.

To make sense of energy consumption and the solutions available on the market, I spoke to Utility Team’s CEO, Delvin Lane.

Hamish Kilburn: How many hotels, would you say, are getting energy consumption wrong?

Delvin Lane: Firstly, approximately 30 – 40 per cent of all business energy bills are wrong. With our customers, we start by making sure they are paying the right amount for the energy they use.

Secondly, and this is how our business has evolved over the years, we help our customers understand how they can use less energy. The simple fact remains true that if a hotel can use less, it will pay less and a reduction in operating costs will have a positive impact on a hotels bottom line.

HK: How valuable can a change of energy consumption be to a hotel?

DL: Ideally, incorporating energy efficient design features in a new-build hotel and retro- fitting existing building can deliver tangible commercial benefits.

Historically, energy saving measures came at a high cost. However, where the market is currently, there are so many more options to integrate energy efficiency in design that actually enhance the overall performance and comfort of the hotel while also adding to its commercial value.

We manage hundreds of properties in London, for example, and as a result of their increase of energy efficiency, their commercial value has risen often in excess of four – six per cent.

HK: What new energy sources are available today?

DL: The decarbonisation of the electricity grid has opened the door for new sources of energy. We have seen a rise in nuclear in addition to a three-fold increase in solar and wind-generated electricity. Coal, a traditional source of energy, has almost vanished. Gas still makes up a significant part of the fuel mix but to meet global carbon targets we will need to ramp up the transition away from natural gas as a fuel source.  Depending on climatic conditions,  renewables are providing somewhere between 30 – 50 per cent of energy generation, which is really positive to see.

Image caption: Utility Team work with its customers individually so that they can offer a personalised solution that works for them | Image credit: Utility Team

HK: What should hotels be considering when becoming more energy efficient? 

DL: What’s important is that there is not one solution for all hotels. We work with our customers individually so that we can offer a personalised solution that works for them. As a starter, we will typically ask if they have considered things like solar panels, ground-source heat pumps and EV charging along with the more traditional energy efficiency measures such as building controls, LED lighting and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) reductions.

Image credit: Pixabay

HK: Why should hotels incorporate EV Charging facilities?

DL: The government has said that by 2035, there will be no new petrol or hybrid vehicles. With people only being able to purchase electric or hydrogen cars and vans, once the ban comes into effect, then guests are also going to demand these charging facilities in hotel car parks.

HK: Why are hotels getting heating so wrong?

DL: I don’t think I have ever walked into to a cold hotel. The first thing I do once I have checked in to my room is turn down the temperature. What can hotels do to make that more efficient, I ask?

Usually there are huge boilers churning out excess heat – I would suggest that hotels are losing anywhere between 10 – 12 per cent just on overheating their hotels. I would also suggest that heating and cooling is probably the third largest cost in a hotel after staff and produce. Metering where and when heating is being used ineffectively will allow hotels to make measures to become more energy efficient.

HK: Why should hotels consider all generations when implementing changes?

DL: Today’s students are tomorrow’s hotel guests, and they are more conscious and aware about climate change. They will be making choices on carbon and energy credentials. Ignore that at your peril.

HK: What part does green energy play in the transition to a low carbon economy?

DL: There are different interpretations on what makes green energy. Firstly, hotels should know where energy is going and how much they are using.

Secondly, hotel owners and managers should understand how they can become more efficient, and what the cost and benefit of doing so will be. It is  imperative that Hoteliers move away from traditional fossil fuel such as gas boilers. Instead, the need to have to have transparency of usage in each area of the hotel, the ability to have full controls of all energy using elements of the hotel and we all need to be generating our own power.

Once a hotel knows it’s efficient and is generating what it can, then it has some residual power and can decide on whether or not it should buy ‘green’.

HK: In all of this, hotels should avoid from greenwashing. But how?

DL: The more a hotel understands about its own energy usage, the less likely it will ‘greenwash’. For example, if you want to avoid greenwashing, don’t go to the market and buy green power for the sake of being green while your hotel is not operating efficiently. If you do this, then you are simply throwing money away.

HK: What does the future energy hold in the hospitality industry?

DL: Hotels are becoming more energy independent as markets fluctuate. With the decarbonisation of the energy grid, it no longer makes business sense to install gas boilers in new-builds. The obvious alternative to gas is heat pump technology which Utility Team are keen advocates of having recently joined the Heat Pump Association. A requirement to install increasing numbers of Electric Vehicle charging points will also becoming increasingly important to Hotel which present a unique set of challenges as grid capacity is already constrained.

There is no panacea to the carbon and energy challenge, so I’d suggest employing an expert to help you identify, prioritise and deliver your initiatives. A roadmap to netzero is already being discussed in many boardrooms. It absolutely will become a topic in yours at some point.

I would like to conclude by saying that it’s okay to do nothing, it really is, but all the data indicates travellers are becoming increasingly conscious when making plans and, in an extremely competitive sector, if you chose to do nothing at  least do nothing with all the information.

Utility Team 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: Utility Team

Morgan puts new spin on furniture with classic materials

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Morgan puts new spin on furniture with classic materials

Natural materials such as cane and terrazzo are now available in Morgan’s latest furniture collections…

Morgan, one of the UK’s most respected contract furniture designer and manufacturers, has announced new material options, terrazzo and cane, available for the Modena, Rakino and Kaya collections.

In 2020 and beyond, traditional, natural materials are experiencing a renaissance as designers reimagine and reinvigorate these beloved styles, embracing feelings of nostalgia while adding a contemporary twist. Morgan’s latest introductions directly correlate to this movement.

Terrazzo has experienced a resurgence. Over the past few years, sustained popularity from the European design community has seen the development of more variations, many offering the potential to have a customised colour palette.

Now available, a terrazzo tabletop in the Rakino and Modena collections, is made of recycled marble chip materials, offering a new, sustainable option.

Collection of white tables and benches

Image caption: The 70’s are back! Morgan’s Modena and Rakino collections are now available in terrazzo

“Originally seen in Renaissance Italian architecture, terrazzo has always had a ‘Mediterranean’ feel,” explained Katerina Zachariades, Morgan’s Design Director. “Since the 70s when it was last popular, terrazzo had lost its appeal and glamour. Not anymore… it is now back on trend as it is environmentally sustainable, it can be cast as well as poured and as a surface, it is extremely hardwearing. We have opted for two standard colourways that work well with timber. Both have a neutral background, but different marble chip composition.”

A return to natural and sustainable materials has also created a new popularity for rattan and cane in interior settings. These materials are tactile, warm and relink contemporary design to traditional artisanal techniques. Launched in November 2019, the Kaya lounge seating range is also available with a cane back. Featuring in Morgan’s Goodwood collection as well, the delicate texture juxtaposes beautifully with both collections’ distinctive timber frames.

Main image credit: Morgan

Crown Group secures land for debut project in the USA

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Crown Group secures land for debut project in the USA

The $500 million mixed-used development plans for Crown Group‘s 43-storey tower high-rise in downtown Los Angeles include 160-key hotel…

Australian residential developer Crown Group has taken the next steps in its first move into the US market, where it plans to develop a $500 million mixed-use high-rise condominium and hotel tower that will bring a touch of the enviable Aussie lifestyle to LA’s burgeoning Downtown district.

Crown Group is progressing entitlements with Los Angeles City Hall for the proposed tower, which is earmarked for the southeast corner of South Hill and 11th streets at the convergence of Downtown’s financial, fashion and South Park districts. Crown Group has formed a joint venture with a Singapore-based company, Magnus Property Pte Ltd, and one of Indonesia’s biggest property developers, ASRI, the premium lifestyle brands division of Agung Sedayu Group, which has won 20 awards for 33 projects since they were founded in 1971. Some of ASRI’s most notable developments include The Langham Jakarta (the first in Southeast Asia), The Langham Residences (the first Langham-branded residence in the world), as well as premium estates such as Fatmawati City Center and District 8 in the heart of Jakarta’s CBD. The joint venture group settled on the Downtown site in November 2019.

“We want to humanise tall buildings.” – Archtiect, Koichi Takada

The striking 43-storey tower, designed by world-renowned architect Koichi Takada, is destined to redefine the Downtown skyline and will embody Crown Group’s philosophy of melding inspired architecture with a futuristic vision of a new way of living, to become an iconic landmark for the city. The project at 1111 Hill Street is expected to be completed in 2024. 

“It is our desire, through a nature-inspired approach to architecture, to transform an old warehouse district into a living breathing neighbourhood in LA,” Takada explained. “We want to humanise tall buildings, to celebrate the pedestrian activities and consider how people experience it,” he said. “We want our tall building designs to be more engaging for the public, and to contribute to the community by activating and creating a connection with the neighbourhood.”

The high-rise sections of the building will comprise 319 condominiums with an exclusive residents’ retreat over the top two floors and a façade design that references California’s gigantic ancient redwood trees. A dramatic street canopy will ground the tower and incorporate a “breathing green wall”, designed to improve the city’s air quality and introduce a unique landscaping feature to the Downtown streetscape.

Crown Group’s LA office is also in discussions with several luxury hotel brands to incorporate a 160-key hotel in the low rise of the building, which is set to become one of the city’s’ most desirable getaways.

Crown Group CEO Iwan Sunito said the flourishing Downtown district of LA had experienced a significant transformation over the past decade. This is evidenced by LA Live’s expansion, Warner Music and Spotify establishing offices, headline retailers such as Apple, Vans and Paul Smith launching flagship stores, a bevy of iconic restaurants opening venues and numerous residential, hotel and commercial developments underway.

“It’s rare to find the central district of a large cosmopolitan city on the verge of such significant change,” he explained. “Downtown is experiencing a once in a generation revival – led by the heightened convergence of tech, media and entertainment in Los Angeles. There’s a great deal of investment and it’s exciting to think of what Downtown will be like in another few years’ time. It will be a highly sought-after place to live.”

Crown Group Head of US Development Patrick Caruso said the development would offer an appealing point of difference for buyers in Downtown LA and bring a new version of condominium living to the district.

“It’s a fast-evolving part of the city yet there is limited choice when it comes to well-designed homes,” Caruso added. “We anticipate that this new mixed-used development, which will offer attainable luxury living with never before seen facilities including an exclusive rooftop residents’ retreat, collocated with a quality branded hotel will be very well received by those looking for a new condominium.

“It’s clear that buyers are seeking more diverse offerings, so our fresh and unique Australian approach of functional resort style-living melded with sophisticated architectural design will fill a significant gap in the market.”

Established in Sydney in 1996, Crown Group has built its reputation on delivering iconic luxury developments and today has a $5 billion pipeline spanning five cities and two continents. 

Crown Group and Koichi Takada Architects are the creative pairing behind a series of major residential apartment projects in Australia including a stunning condominium and hotel tower called Arc by Crown Group in Clarence Street Sydney, which has won numerous international awards.

In 2019 they completed the sell-out Infinity by Crown Group, with its famous looped shape, at Green Square, just 4km from Sydney centre. Koichi Takada has also gained worldwide recognition for designing the stunning interiors of the National Museum of Qatar in the Middle East, which were unveiled in 2019.

Main image credit: Crown Group/Koichi Takada Architects

Duravit presents world exclusive “c-shaped” technology

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Duravit presents world exclusive “c-shaped” technology

Bathroom manufacturer Duravit has unveiled its new patent-pending c- shaped technology…

The brand-new c-shaped technology from Duravit has been created as an extension of the Happy D.2 Plus series by sieger design.

This evolution of the patented c-bonded process guarantees that the ceramic washbasin and furniture run in perfectly parallel lines with no overhang or recess and a precise gap of 4mm. Made entirely of DuraCeram and specially finished, c-shaped has all the benefits of a ceramic glaze, it’s robust and easy to, whilst at the same time offering new scope for bathroom design within the wet environment.

Happy D.2 Plus is available in two new versions and is a continuation of the elegant, expressive style of the collection which offers a lighter or darker mood.

c-shaped is available with a ceramic, glossy white outer edge in combination with a vanity unit or metal console in chrome. c-bonded now comes with a new, rounded outer edge in the same colour as the vanity unit or to match the metal console in Black Matt. In each case they are based on basins with a narrow, typically flat edge and harmoniously integrated tap platform. The basins are available in three widths (575, 775 and 975mm). A white acrylic cover conceals the fittings beneath the basin, guaranteeing perfect aesthetics from any angle.

Image caption: Happy D.2 Plus bathtub in Graphite Super Matt (80), c-bonded vanity unit and metal console in Black Matt, furniture unit in Brushed Walnut (69), mirror in Radial finish and C.1 faucets | Image credit: Duravit

The floor-standing, height-adjustable metal consoles with integrated towel rail can be delivered with an optional shelf or built-in drawer.

A further option is a seat (width 625 mm) featuring an integrated drawer that can be added as a practical extension of the console on the left or right. Duravit also offers a cushion in matching greige made from a woven fabric suitable for wet rooms.

Wall-mounted vanity units with two drawers provide additional storage space. These are available in a total of eleven carcass surfaces, one can choose between luxury wood or matt surfaces in light or dark. The Graphite Super Matt variant also comes with an anti- fingerprint coating. A high-class interior furnishing system in Maple or Walnut can be selected as an option.

The new washing area variants can be ideally combined with all elements from the Happy D.2 and Happy D.2 Plus design series, ensuring a consistent design for the all bathroom furnishings. Happy D.2 Plus offers a consistent colour concept with toilets and bidets in Anthracite as well as bathtubs with seamless panelling in Graphite Supermatt – harmonising perfectly with the black metal console and dark furniture surfaces.

Earlier this year Duravit was due to unveil the stunning new additions to its Happy D.2 Plus series. As trade shows and exhibitions have been postponed, Duravit is presenting a preview of the products that will now available in the UK from July this year.

Duravit 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: Duravit

“COVID-19 pandemic will put sustainability on hold,” experts warn

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
“COVID-19 pandemic will put sustainability on hold,” experts warn

Analysts at GlobalData have predicted that the global outbreak of COVID-19 will steer the UK consumer’s attention off sustainability…

Sustainability was the buzz word of 2019 and would have continued to increase in prominence in 2020. However, the COVID–19 pandemic will bring progress to a halt, according to GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

“Making changes to materials, logistics and production processes to improve the sustainability of products and operations will slow, as sustainability is no longer top of retailers’ and consumers’ agendas,” commented Emily Salter, Analyst at GlobalData. “This is due to long-term adjustments being costly and many non-food retailers will be financially unstable as they emerge from this crisis after a significant period of low or no sales.”

Sustainability and single-use plastic will be less important to many consumers in the short term where hygiene and cleanliness is more of a priority to prevent the spread of the virus. Prior to the outbreak, shopping habits were starting to shift – 74 per cent of nationally representative UK consumers surveyed in 2019 said they would prefer to shop at a retailer that has more loose fruit and vegetables. However, the prioritisation of health over the environment has led to a drastic increase in sales of anti-bacterial gel and hand wash in plastic bottles, with little regard for plastic-free alternatives or refills that may be available.

Salter continues: “Another issue is the problem of unsold stock that retailers will be stuck with, as all non-essential stores and some websites have ceased trading temporarily. Some items and ranges could be able to be sold at a later date, but this may not be the case for highly seasonal and trend-led pieces, raising questions about how these items will be disposed. Given Burberry came under fire for burning stock in 2018, retailers must be careful how they deal with this issue. Acting quickly, Kurt Geiger has announced it plans to donate some of its stock to NHS staff, clearing through the excess while also generating positive press.”

Additionally, during the outbreak consumers will be less likely or unable to buy second hand items – sales via some Facebook neighbourhood groups for instance are being discouraged or stopped, and willingness may decline after the crisis is over due to lingering concerns about the hygiene of used products.

Salter concludes: “Although sustainability will slowly become more important again once the spread of COVID-19 has ceased, the increased awareness of cleanliness and germs is likely to remain at the forefront of shoppers’ minds and will continue to hinder the growth of sustainability initiatives, such as refill stores.”

Image credit: Pixabay

Bill Bensley has designed a ‘human zoo hotel’ concept

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Bill Bensley has designed a ‘human zoo hotel’ concept

Architect Bill Bensley responded to a hotel brief by designing a hotel where guests are caged while wild, exotic animals roam free…

Known for his bohemian and brilliant ideas when it comes to sustainability, architect Bill Bensley has perhaps new creative heights by designing a concept to flip the idea of a zoo on its head, allowing animals to run free while humans in put in cage-like rooms.

CNN reported that the first phase of the eight-year WorldWild project, which will consist of several different top branded hotels, is slated to open in as early as 2023.

The ‘human zoo’ hotel concept, which will be targeted to luxury travellers who are seeking for unparalleled experiences, will shelter 2,400 ‘human cages’ that will actually look more like high-end, design-led guestrooms that frame an uninterrupted and uncorrupted view on natural the wildlife below.

The site where the hotel is being conceived is situated on a 2,000-hectare plot, which will reinstate wetlands to encourage biodiversity.

With the concrete aim being firm to free wildlife from captivity, Bensley’s concept has recently reached a milestone, gaining approval from Southern China’s Communist Party to relocate abused animals from zoos in the country, to be released onto the roughly 2,000-hectare piece of land where the ‘human zoo’ will be located.

Bensley’s latest wild concept will give animals the luxury of 95 per cent of the land to roam about in, while humans will reside in just five per cent of the grounds in the hotel.

Turning the Zoo concept on its head when designing a new hotel approach has raised further questions as to how hospitality can help to educate people on how to conserve areas that would not otherwise be protected.

Main image credit: Bensley

FEATURE: COVID–19 pandemic is forcing an evolution in wellness

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
FEATURE: COVID–19 pandemic is forcing an evolution in wellness

When we eventually return to ‘normal’ life following the worldwide pandemic of COVID–19, we will all have become acutely aware of how Mother Nature can rapidly alter the status quo and severely affect each and every one of us; where we go, who we see, what we do. Room to Breathe gives Hotel Designs an insight on what might change…

There’s no doubt about it, the personal and commercial effects of the current outbreak will be felt for years to come.

Personal and social hygiene awareness has increased exponentially, with a growing scepticism of what and what is not clean.

Whether we are at our workplace, attending leisure facilities or travelling for business or pleasure, we all now have a heightened awareness of how we interact and will now expect and demand a higher level of service from providers that takes cognisance of the perceived risks as a result of this. Put simply, COVID–19 will change the way we work, how we live and how and where we travel.

Image credit: Room to Breathe

Few markets have felt the full force of this pandemic more than the hospitality sector. It has decimated trade, scattered the labour force and threatened the very existence of the supply chain. Travellers, holiday makers and businesspeople alike will now become even more difficult to satisfy and will seek to be given as much reassurance as possible.

A single night stay becomes your biggest issue as each and every night your new customer requires that peace of mind that your room is as safe as possible for them to stay in. Failure to address these new concerns could result in the long-term repeat visitor more likely to ‘go somewhere else next time’.

“By taking steps to show your commitment to your customers’ health and wellbeing is now, more than ever, of paramount importance.”

Family on bed

Image credit: Room to Breathe

Capturing this feeling of assured safety every time must be seen as the focal point for Customer Satisfaction.

What can be done?

So what can the hospitality sector do to insulate itself from the aftershock of COVID–19 and prepare for the inevitable increase in customer demands? What can be done to provide that ‘peace of mind’ that is desired?

Is carrying out the same cleaning protocols more frequently by an already stretched housekeeping department going to provide the reassurance required? In a word, no.

By taking steps to show your commitment to your customers’ health and wellbeing is now, more than ever, of paramount importance.

Image credit: Room to Breathe

A cleaner solution

A new approach to a new problem must be the way forward. It needs to address the worries and concerns of your customers but must, just as importantly, be cost effective. Imagine the cost of a ‘deep clean’ between every guest. This is neither practical nor affordable.

This is where Room to Breathe comes into its own. By providing a room that can demonstrate continuous and permanent ‘self-cleaning’ provision, you can provide customers with an unrivalled level of service and commitment to their needs and concerns.

“Room to Breathe also kills 99.99 per cent of viruses and bacteria, including coronaviruses.”

Originally developed to provide safe, clean accommodation for the millions of travellers who have a hypersensitivity to various toxins, pathogens and allergens, Room to Breathe also kills 99.99 per cent of viruses and bacteria, including coronaviruses (incl. influenza, SARS, MERS).

Step One – deep clean

An initial industrial air purge followed by a combination of steam cleaning above 40℃, ultra-low-penetration air (UPLA) vacuuming and the application of our unique decontamination fluid which is deadly to pathogens (but is safe to all higher living organisms) is fogged into the area ensuring every surface coated.

Additionally, by using innovative UV technology we can rid mattresses, pillows and soft furnishings of undesirable micro-organisms within seconds.

Fogger in room

Image credit: Room to Breathe

Step Two – Anti-microbial coating

Once the area has been decontaminated, our antimicrobial coating ‘BioTouch’, will be is applied. The BioTouch formula bonds to a clean surface and when viruses and bacteria land on the protected surface, the cellular structure is ruptured (not poisoned) and becomes defunct.

The only way BioTouch can be removed is by it being chipped off. Where there is a risk of this, on door handles, light switches for example, we can easily reapply to maintain the coatings efficiency.

Step three – Bedding and soft furnishings

Using our own unique formula, Protext solution provides a layer of invisible protection which permanently interrupts the life cycle of dust mites and bed bugs.

Our method avoids the use of toxins so whilst lethal to bugs and mites does not pose a risk to the client. This is also applied to all fabrics and soft furnishings.

Step Four – continuous air sanification. 

Installing filterless air sanifiers provides the final level of protection. Using technology originally developed by NASA, our sanifiers seek out contaminants and pathogens within the air and on surfaces and neutralise them.

By applying this four step process, we not only eradicate 99.99 per cent of viruses and bacteria, we also provide a continuous level of protection in between our Deep Clean processes.

Certification

On completion certification is provided and displayed either outside or within the room to provide that peace of mind to Customers and employees alike.

A Room Information Pack is provided for guests to simply explain the RTB system, providing that peace of mind. In order to maintain the certification, Steps One and Two are carried out every four months in accordance with our terms and conditions.

On-site training is also provided to Housekeeping staff in order to ensure the efficacy of the RTB system is maintained. This is no more onerous to staff and in fact will simplify their cleaning protocols.

Cost 

Based on an occupancy of 72 per cent, our cost model demonstrates that a ROI of 100 per cent can be achieved in the first year with a surcharge of just £15 per night per room.

We truly believe Room to Breathe is the next step in the evolution of the hospitality market. Our processes not only provide protection from unseen pathogens but are also proven to improve cognitive function, enable better quality of sleep and promote overall wellbeing.

So whether you are wanting ensure the highest level of protection for your customers or are looking to capture the untapped market for those travellers with intolerances or allergies then Room to Breathe could well be the answer.

Room to Breathe 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: Room to Breathe

MINIVIEW: A story of sustainable design inside Heritance Aarah, Maldives

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
MINIVIEW: A story of sustainable design inside Heritance Aarah, Maldives

The recently opened Heritance Aarah resort was the first property to be awarded gold for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. Hotel Designs takes a peak inside the sustainable masterpiece…

Opened last year in the  Raa Atoll of the Maldives, Heritance Aarah has not sacrificed style or design in its quest to become the most sustainable hotel in the region.

The resort is owned and managed by Aitken Spence Hotels, which currently operates 23 hotels and resorts across Sri Lanka, Maldives, Oman and India, which are reflected under the Heritance, Adaaran and Turyaa brands.

Image credit: Heritance Aarah

Four years in the making, the 150-key Maldivian resort shelters a design scheme that compliments the uninterrupted views that stretch across the horizon. The overall aesthetic, created by architect Mohamed Shafeeq, follows a strict approach of sustainability. With the aim to outshine other luxury hotels in the area, the hotel has implemented components such as fuel-saving generators, energy-saving LED lighting, water-saving fixtures and energy-efficient air conditioning.

Image caption: Beach Villa, complete with energy-saving technology | Image credit: Heritance Aarah

These operational achievements, married with thoughtful design, enabled Heritance Aarah to become the first ever property in the Maldives to be awarded the internationally recognised Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification, which complies with the US Green Building Council rating system and is awarded to properties that save energy, water and resources; generate less waste; and support human health.

“We are honoured that Heritance Aarah has been presented with numerous accolades after just a few months of opening,” said Stasshani Jayawardena, Executive Director of Aitken Spence PLC and Chairperson of Aitken Spence Hotels. “Aitken Spence Hotels are known for distinction in the culinary field and Heritance Aarah’s 11 dining and drinking outlets introduces guests to flavours from across the world.

“Furthermore, our strategies to expand are led by guests’ expectations and design- led refurbishments to enrich the experience at our properties. A key priority is to ensure our resorts contribute positively to protect and preserve the environment and the ecosystems we operate in so we are proud that Heritance Aarah has been named as the first LEED Gold certified property in the Maldives.”

The resort’s 150 villas allow guests to wake up either atop of the turquoise ocean or beside it on the soft, sun-drenched shores – either way, the ocean is never far away. The intimate villas and suites, each with thatched roofs and calming interiors, seamlessly blend indulgent comforts with traditional aesthetics, adding a further layer to the unique sense-of-place.

Scattered around the property are the dynamically designed, contemporary F&B areas. The six restaurants and five bars, which have collectively won a total of 130 medals, house open-air dining options to once again frame the postcard-perfect views.

Image caption: The interiors inside Falhu Bar, one of the 11 F&B options in the resort | Image credit: Heritance Aarah

The Medi Spa, with six treatment rooms, is situated Situated above tranquil lagoon waters. Its scaled-back design not only compliments the laid-back luxury approach of the resort, but also allows nature in to offer a holistic wellness experience.

Image caption: The main pool | Image credit: Image caption: The interiors inside Falhu Bar, one of the 11 F&B options in the resort | Image credit: Heritance Aarah

Image caption: The main pool | Image credit: Image caption: The interiors inside Falhu Bar, one of the 11 F&B options in the resort | Image credit: Heritance Aarah

Like all hotels at the moment (in all sectors), Heritance Aarah is feeling the effects of the COVID–19 pandemic – and recently released a statement on its website on this. In these no-doubt turbulent times, one thing is as clear as the waters that surround Heritance Aarah: the luxury nest, situated in one of the world’s most desired far-flung destinations, is waiting to welcome its next sea plane of luxury travellers (whenever that may be).

Main image credit: Heritance Aarah

Outstanding Property Awards’ 2020 winners announced

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Outstanding Property Awards’ 2020 winners announced

Outstanding Property Award London (OPAL), which Hotel Designs is a media partner of, has announced the winners of this year’s international awards…

Outstanding Property Award London (OPAL)’s global search to find the best architecture, interior design and property development projects from around the world has come to a close as the winners have been announced.

With entries from all over the world, each project was anonymously peer-reviewed by the distinguished OPAL jury panel comprised of international industry experts, rating each project according to their individual merits. The final winners were chosen based on the overall score of all the Jury votes.

“Being on the judging panel for the inaugural OPAL has been an enlightening experience from beginning to end,” commented editor of Hotel Designs and OPAL jury member Hamish Kilburn. “The quality of projects that were submitted this year, in all categories, is a true reflection of the boundless creativity that our industry is famous for. As a result, OPAL has emerged as a prestigious international award that celebrates mind-blowing and functional design, which will inspire designers and architects around the world to reach new heights.”

OPAL’s ‘Project of the Year’ trophies were awarded to who the jury voted to be the single best projects in three categories:

Architectural Design of the Year: The Shed
Design/architecture by: Diller Scofidio + Renfro / Rockwell Group

Image credit: The Shed/Diller Scofidio + Renfro (lead Architect) And Rockwell Group (collaborating Architect)

Image credit: The Shed/Diller Scofidio + Renfro (lead Architect) And Rockwell Group (collaborating Architect)

The Shed is dedicated to commissioning, producing, and presenting original works of art, across all disciplines, for all audiences. The building is designed to physically transform to support artists’ most ambitious ideas. Its eight-level base building includes two levels of gallery space, a versatile theatre, a rehearsal space, a creative lab, and a skylit event space. A telescoping outer shell can deploy from its position over the base building and glide along rails onto an adjoining plaza to double the building’s footprint for large-scale performances, installations, and events.

Interior Design of the Year: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Designed by: Shenzhen Wanjing International Design Consultant Co., Ltd.

Image credit: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon/Shenzhen Wanjing International Design Consultant Co., Ltd.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is located in Suichang, Zhejiang Province. It is a tea garden village with a thousand-foot cliffs of Jiulong Mountain. The minimalist design of the property was inspired by the local culture and craftsmanship, using natural materials to enhance a strong sense-of-place.

Property Developer of the Year: One Manhattan West
Developer: Brookfield Properties

Render of glass skyscraper

Image creditL Brookfield Properties/
One Manhattan West

Manhattan West is a seven-acre mixed-use development located in the heart of Manhattan’s Hudson Yards district. The 2,117,000 Sq Ft project completed in 2019 demonstrates our multi-faceted development capabilities – site assembly, master planning, development, leasing and operations. The site sits directly between the busiest train station in North America and New York City’s first subway extension in decades.

Speaking about OPAL’s award program, Jesper Thomsen, OPAL’s co-founder, commented: “Our esteemed jury members have worked hard to select the best projects. We are proud to present the winners of our inaugural year, celebrating the creativity and talent of incredible design projects from around the world, giving them the global exposure they deserve.”

Each winner receives the coveted OPAL Winners Seal to promote their award, a Winner’s Certificate, and a permanent profile on the OPAL online Winner’s gallery. OPAL has decided to postpone the Awards Ceremony due to the unfortunate Covid-19 situation until further notice and hope all are staying safe during these troubled times.

The full list of winners can be accessed on the OPAL website.

Main image credit: The Shed/Rockwell Group

Hotels that are self-isolating in style (part 3)

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hotels that are self-isolating in style (part 3)

The editorial series continues with part three, as editor Hamish Kilburn mentally checks in to some of the best hotels that are self-isolating in style…

The weeks are starting to feel like years. As the number of cases of COVID–19 increases day-by-day, so too do our social restrictions. From our new-found goldfish bowl perspective on the world, travel is beginning to feel like a distant memory.

Following on from parts one and two in this series, Hotel Designs continues to start the week during lockdown with some Monday motivation, – a non-permanent day-dream, if you like – to explore some of the world’s hidden luxury gems. Here are a handful of hotels that are naturally self-isolating in style.

Dharana at Shillim, in the Western Ghats of India

Lounge overlooking greenery

Image caption: Spa Pool Villa’s Living Room | Image credit: Dharana at Shillim

Spread over 3,000 acres of its own fertile valley, Dharana at Shillim used a completely local work force to respectfully build 23 rooms and three Presidential Villas within the forest. Each room celebrates the nature they’re in while also paying homage to Indian local design. The roofs are made out of tin, as a reflection of the village homes surrounding Shillim, and also to heighten the sound of the rain during monsoon season, reminding guests that nature rules here.

Treehotel, Sweden

Glass-mirrored structure hanging from trees

Image credit: Treehotel Sweden

The mirrorcube structure was launched as an “exciting hide-out among the trees, camouflaged by mirrored walls that reflect their surroundings.” Its base consists of an aluminium frame around the tree trunk and the walls are covered with reflective glass. The interior is designed from plywood with a birch surface. The total of six windows provide a stunning panoramic view. A 12-meter-long bridge leads up to the tree room.

Matetsi Victoria Falls

Luxury suite with sensitive interiors

Image credit: Matetsi Victoria Falls

Nestled within a 123,000-acre (55,000 hectres) wild game reserve, Matetsi Victoria Falls is arguably the most self-isolated hotel in the world. The hotel has been constructed to blend into its natural surroundings. The interiors, designed by local designer Kerry van Leenhoff, have been sensitively created to evoke sense-of-place at every turn.

Artist Helen Teede spent much time on site at Matetsi in order to find the inspiration of a unique collection of 18 paintings entitled ‘Mapping Matetsi’. Having done extensive walks and drives in the area, Teede divided the cartographic map of Matetsi unit seven into 18 parts and drew it to scale on each canvas, adding her own impressions of the river, the landscape and the pathways walked in the area, both man and animal-made. These 18 paintings hang separately in each suite. However, put together and these pieces of art actually form the aerial map of the reserve.

Severin*s – The Alpine Retreat

Luxury pool inside the hotel

Image credit: Severin*s – The Alpine Retreat

Severin*s is an uber-luxe hotel in Lech, situated in the Arlberg region which is part of Austria’s largest inter-connected ski areas. It set a new design standard in an otherwise predominantly traditional hotel landscape – Severin*s oozes James Bond glamour with pine interiors, fires in the rooms and fur throws.

The luxury hotel shelters just nine exclusive super-suites, each with private terraces and mountain views, a private four-bed Residence and an indoor luxury spa. 

Heritance Aarah, Maldives

Luxury pool on stilts in the middle of ocean

Image credit: Aitken Spence Hotels

The design of Heritance Aarah compliments the group Aitken Spence Hotels’ policy of sustainability by implementing components such as fuel saving generators, energy saving LED lighting, water saving fixtures and energy efficient air conditioning. The premium all-inclusive resort boasts 150 villas, six restaurants, five bars, a PADI dive centre and the first of its kind IASO Medi Spa.

Main image credit: Dharana at Shillim

PRODUCT WATCH: Atlas Concorde’s debut decor collection by Piero Lissoni

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
PRODUCT WATCH: Atlas Concorde’s debut decor collection by Piero Lissoni

The global specialist in premium porcelain tiles and wall tiles, Atlas Concorde, has unveiled the new Reverse Canon collection with Piero Lissoni

Atlas Concorde presents the new Reverse Canon collection. The collection is signed by Piero Lissoni, architect and designer known for his unmistakable style and the elegance of his creations.

Canone Inverso reflects a combination of fluidity, materiality and interprets the vision that Atlas Concorde had given Piero Lissoni: create decorative elements for wall and floor tiles.

The designer explains: “The four compositions of the Canone Inverso collection are the variants of a model, a scheme that is composed and recomposed to create a harmonious relationship that like in a musical score is formed by the assembly of different notes, or rather the forms that make it up”.

Image credit: Ceramiche Atlas Concorde S.p.A.

The company adds: “we gave the designer our range to be freely mixed and matched, to create a ‘decor collection’ to be presented individually or to be used in combination with our different collections and surfaces.”

The project is divided into four porcelain tile mosaics inspired by the world of cement and minimalist stones, in shades ranging from warm white to beige with traces of clay and dove grey, from greys in cooler and lighter tones to the darker anthracite and smoke.

Each module of Canone Inverso’s four mosaics has its own particular geometry, in some cases deliberately asymmetrical to create new patterns. Each module also constitutes a colour in the collection, obtained by mixing hues of similar shades selected from the Atlas Concorde range of minimalist cement-effect and stone-effect designs: Boost and Dwell (cement effect), Raw (cement plaster effect), Arkshade (minimalist cement effect), Kone (minimalist limestone effect).

The graphics of the individual tiles recall the cement and stone concept and refer to the collections they derive from, in perfect colour and stylistic harmony. Aesthetically, the surfaces have an almost smooth touch or a slight three-dimensional structure with a perfectly matte texture.

Image credit: Ceramiche Atlas Concorde S.p.A.

An important added value of Canone Inverso is the possibility of creating refined combinations of each mosaic with Atlas Concorde collections.  In particular:

Canone Inverso 1 matches the colors that compose it: Kone White, Arkshade White, Boost White and Dwell Off White.

Canone Inverso 2 goes well with the nuances of Arkshade Dove, Kone Beige, and Arkshade Clay.

Canone Inverso 3 combines with Kone Pearl, Kone Silver, and Raw Pearl.

Canone Inverso 4 reflects the color moods of Dwell Smoke, Boost Smoke, and Arkshade Lead, obviously in any format and in the matte version.

Canone Inverso finds its natural application wherever there is not only the need to decorate floors and walls, but above all, a desire to redesign spaces with decorative elements that act as furnishing elements.  A new tool to interpret ceramic tiles in a creative and personalized way, in line with the latest demands of high-end interior design.

Atlas Concorde 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: Ceramiche Atlas Concorde S.p.A.

CASE STUDY: Creating ‘sense-of-place’ in nhow London carpets

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
CASE STUDY: Creating ‘sense-of-place’ in nhow London carpets

Carpet manufacturer Brintons were asked by design studio Project Orange to help them capture the theme of ‘London Reloaded’ in the carpets inside nhow London…

Brintons supplied carpets for key public areas and the Royalist Suite within the UK’s first nhow hotel, a four-star property under NH Hotel Group’s design and lifestyle brand, which is situated on the fringe of Shoreditch.

The hotel, which Hotel Designs was the first to check in to, exploded onto the London hospitality scene earlier this year. Themed ‘London Reloaded’, the interiors were designed by architect James Soane, combining “British icons with unconventional contemporary elements”.

Brintons worked with James Soane at Shoreditch-based design firm Project Orange; together creating carpets to suit both the business traveller and tourist guest of the hotel. The bold, floral carpet designs seen throughout the corridors and staircases of the eight-floor hotel reflect the Walk in the Park theme, while the sharp modern ‘space invaders’ houndstooth that forms the design in the three meeting rooms called Laboratories enhance the hotel’s modern structure.

“Working with the creative brief ‘London Reloaded’, Project Orange continued their long-time collaboration with Brintons to develop original and playful designs that tell a story,” said James Soane, Director at Project Orange. “The guest corridor was pictured as a Walk in the Park – where the bedroom doors are painted different bright colours complete with brass door knockers along with a dark green carpet strewn with roses. This romantic and theatrical experience offers the guest an immersive experience unlike any hotel and is truly unique.”

Image caption: Brintons supplied thew carpets for the Royalist Suite inside nhow London

Image caption: Brintons supplied thew carpets for the Royalist Suite inside nhow London

The East End’s coolest new hotel, plays homage to both the area’s industrial past and technological future. Throughout the hotel, bold and fresh design takes inspiration from traditional British icons, such as the Royal Family, London landmarks and the underground. This quirky new offering is the fifth property in the nhow portfolio, joining hotels in Milan, Berlin, Rotterdam and Marseille.

Image caption: Brintons supplied carpets for all the meeting rooms inside nhow London, including the Tech Lab.

Image caption: Brintons supplied carpets for all the meeting rooms inside nhow London, including the Tech Lab.

Loughton Contracts were commissioned to install the carpet for the project. “It was great to work with Brintons on such an amazing project,” added Craig Anstey, Divisional Director at Loughton Contracts. “The vibrant and luxurious carpet design worked perfectly with the eclectic and industrial look of London’s first nhow Hotel. I can’t wait for the next collaboration between Loughton Contracts and Brintons.”

nhow, commissioned Brintons to supply custom axminster carpets to run throughout the corridors, staircases and meeting room areas, and to create a bespoke axminster rug for the Royalist Suite, each echoing the contemporary feel of the hotel setting.

Main image credit: Brintons

IN PICTURES: Kagi Maldives Spa Island reveals all ahead of opening

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
IN PICTURES: Kagi Maldives Spa Island reveals all ahead of opening

The 1,500-square-metre wellness centre is slated to open in the Maldives’ North Male Atoll in September 2020…

New images have been released to show what the five-star Kagi Maldives Spa Island will look like when it opens later this year.

The 50-villa property will is said to provide “a 360-degree wellness experience”, which we first discovered a few weeks ago, has been designed by esteemed architect Yuji Yamazaki, who was the mastermind behind the world’s first underwater villa.

Outdoor pool overlooking ocean

Image credit: Kagi Maldives Spa Island

Set within a 1,500-square-metre, purpose-built wellness centre, Kagi’s Baani Spa will provide a personalised, outcome-focused wellness experience. Taking guests on a journey to ‘Release, Restore and Regain’, offerings will range from reiki, crystal and sound-healing, holistic health coaching and transformative ‘Wellness Sabbatical’ retreats. 

The fully-integrated wellness hub will sit at the centre of the island, and will be complete with an open-air, teardrop-shaped sky roof its core, the spa will appear to float atop the island’s turquoise lagoon waters.

outdoor bathroom

Image credit: Kagi Maldives Spa Island

Guests will be able to choose from three room types, a Beach Pool Villa, a Lagoon Pool Villa or an Ocean Pool Villa, all of which will be distinguished by their unique locations and will house a private pool, a sun deck and an expansive indoor-outdoor bathroom.

Contemporary guestroom

Image credit: Kagi Maldives Spa Island

The spa takes its inspiration from the ocean, with its name, ‘Baani’, translating to ‘The Ocean Swell’ in the Maldivian Dhivehi language. Just as the waves slowly lap onto the shore, gently slowing down, guests will arrive at Baani Spa to slow down, unwind, release the stress of mundane life and start to restore their inner balance. Through the treatments, programmes and facilities on offer and like the swell of the ocean gaining momentum, one regains their energy and vitality. 

Main image credit: Kagi Maldives Spa Island

INDUSTRY INSIGHT: Multi-sensory design in hotel bathrooms

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
INDUSTRY INSIGHT: Multi-sensory design in hotel bathrooms

Awareness of mental and physical wellbeing has never been greater, yet many of us still struggle to find the time, freedom and sanctuary we need to recover from the stresses of everyday life – until, that is, we check into a hotel. Sophie Weston, channel marketing manager at Geberit, explores the role that architects and designers have to play in sensory bathroom design in hotels, and examines, in particular, the issue of noise and its impact on our wellbeing…

According to Geberit research, nearly three quarters of us struggle to find the time to relax with the same amount telling us that they felt so stressed that they have been overwhelmed or unable to cope. It’s a damning snapshot of modern lives dominated by technology and our ‘always on’ culture. Good design is, therefore, increasingly less about how spaces look and more about how they make us feel.

Reimagining a new hotel space

We know from our research that the bathroom is the most popular place of escape from the pressures of modern life so perhaps, then, the role of the bathroom in hotel design should be even more crucial. A hotel bathroom or washroom should no longer be designed as a purely functional zone but as a relaxing space to unwind and one that appeals to all our senses. To do this, designers must understand the four key senses of auditory (sound), visual (sight), kinaesthetic (touch) and olfactory (smell) before applying this understanding to specify the bathroom solutions that can help mitigate the impact of each.

Solutions to a multi-sensory approach

There are many innovations and product solutions to help meet the demands of the senses in hotel bathroom design. For example, preventing overstimulation of the visual sense through simple orientation lighting, which helps preserve the sanctuary of sleep by eliminating the need to switch on additional lighting. Manufacturers have also developed solutions to support designers in meeting kinaesthetic demands, such as clean lines, sleek corners and the use of natural materials. Meanwhile, modern, efficient odour extraction technologies address the challenge of smell. Yet, it was the role of auditory that we were particularly interested in when we undertook a YouGov survey to establish the impact of unwanted noises on our wellbeing.

Noisier than ever?

Our ears work even when we’re asleep, with the brain continuing to process the sounds it detects, albeit in a different way. And when we are awake, we need to consider the impact that irritating sounds could have on our mental wellbeing – a dripping tap or flushing toilet, for example.

We surveyed more than 2,000 adults across the UK to get a greater insight on the impact of unwanted internal noise and, in particular, bathroom noise. As part of this research, we found that almost a third (30%) of respondents who had stayed in a hotel in the last 12 months had been disturbed by bathroom noise at night. What was clear, too, from our research was the impact of this; more than half (51%) of respondents cited unwanted internal noise as having a negative impact upon their wellbeing.

Noise is clearly an issue. So what solutions are available for architects and designers to meet these very obvious challenges?

From acoustically optimised pipework with noise reducing properties, to decoupled pre-walls for added noise insulation, manufacturers are constantly innovating sound-proofing solutions that help to mitigate the age-old issue of sound from flushing toilets and other unwanted bathroom noise. Acoustics is one of Geberit’s ten core research areas and our unique building technology and acoustics laboratory enables our team of acousticians to research products and technologies.

Wall-hung toilets with concealed cisterns and pre-wall frames decoupled from the construction, for example, prevent noise from travelling down the wall and through the floor. Opting for a toilet mounted using a frame such as Geberit Duofix can almost halve the decibels produced by a traditional floor standing toilet.

Likewise, sound optimised drainage piping can reduce noise transfer from flushing water, washbasins or showers. Geberit Silent db-20 is manufactured with mineral reinforced polyethylene for a denser materials and fittings to dissipate noise at impact zones.

Selling experiences

As the trend for selling ‘experiences’ and creating an escape for guests continues, so too does the value of creating a unique, positive guest experience to help build stronger memories and ensure customers keep coming back.

As we focus ever more on physical and mental health and wellbeing to help combat the stresses of modern life, it’s clear that good design in the bathroom or washroom space could be the key to unlocking better lives. And it is critical for designers to be aware of this opportunity.

Geberit 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: Geberit

PRODUCT WATCH: QUADRADO modular seating by Minotti

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
PRODUCT WATCH: QUADRADO modular seating by Minotti

The Quadrado range sits in the Lifescape Collection by Minotti, which reflects a new approach to outdoor living without compromising on comfort, quality and aesthetics…

Each piece of furniture in Minotti’s Lifescape Collection is characterful and elegant, and ties in with natural settings, with unexpected patterns and colours creating a landscape in dialogue with the architecture, in the name of pure relaxation.

Collection after collection, Minotti’s vast outdoor selection offers a range with an increasingly versatile international style, taking design motivation and inspiration from leading designers and architects, interpreters of diverse styles and features. As unique outdoor solutions of guaranteed quality in increasingly high-performing materials, they not only fit their natural residential context, including smaller urban outdoor spaces, but are also perfect for exclusive hotels, spas and yachts: spaces characterised by an approach to interior design that references the domestic one.

Living wall behind the outdoor furniture collection

Image caption: A range of the QUADRADO range of furniture pieces within the Minotti Outdoor collection

Designed to perfectly complement each other stylistically, in order to meet the needs of different spaces with originality and versatility, the various furnishings stand out for their formal details and refined aesthetic, as well as finish and texture.

Colelction of furniture above striking views of a lake

Image caption: The collection of generous sized furniture is stylish, original and versatile to many luxury interior schemes

In this regard, the design interpretation of Marcio Kogan / studio mk27 with the Quadrado modular seating system, launched in 2018, offers generously sized seating with modules of 102x102cm that can be assembled together, to furnish large open spaces. Floating bases in natural teak, backrests enveloped in a special woven fibre and soft cushions mark this out as an extremely appealing seat.

Inspired by the classic teak duckboard used in the yachting industry to facilitate the outflow of water, the Brazilian architect Marcio Kogan developed Quadrado, a modular system consisting of suspended square platforms that furnish outdoor spaces with exceptional lightness and flexibility.

Twi backs of armchairs

Image caption: The furniture pieces include floating bases in natural teak, backrests enveloped in a special woven fibre

A flexible and dynamic furnishing, of undisputed quality and comfort, which perfectly dialogues with the surrounding environment: a young and contemporary proposal that invites informal and original solutions.

The wooden bases welcome comfortable padded cushions with backrests in a special fibre woven with wicker-effect, available in Mud colour or plain Liquorice colour. The sitting elements are interspersed with wooden surfaces that feature trays or candle holders, that can be arranged as desired with a surprising interlocking effect. A circular armchair joins this outdoor landscape characterised by its broad compositional freedom.

For the concept, Kogan was inspired by the Japanese Metabolist architecture of the Fifties and Sixties, defined by modular volumes. Originally conceived for large living areas with 102×102 cm modules, Quadrado now integrates within its range a new, more compact version with 87×87 cm modules that can be combined together to adapt to more limited urban, residential and Hospitality contexts.

Minotti London, which is exclusive style partner at MEET UP London, 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.

PRODUCT WATCH: Edgy ‘Seville’ floor lighting

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
PRODUCT WATCH: Edgy ‘Seville’ floor lighting

The Seville floor lamp by Christopher Hyde Lighting will add an edgy, contemporary look and feel to an interior design scheme…

Christopher Hyde Lighting is renowned for timeless design and quality, and has excelled at providing lighting for a wide range of interiors for more than 25 years.

Its handmade lights have been installed across the world, from luxury yachts, grand hotel, to Royal Palaces at home and abroad. The company’s range of products has recently been refreshed, bringing a new perspective to the proud heritage of the long-established brand.

“These edgy lights are part of a unique collection of floor lamps and table lamps which includes the popular spiral shaped ‘Granada’ lights.”

The company’s contemporary range of products brings a fresh outlook to the proud heritage of the long-established brand. The ‘Seville’ floor lamp with white exterior and its delicate warm copper leaf interior complete with a dimmer switch is shown here in a beautiful airy Los Angeles apartment. You can also purchase the ‘Seville’ table lamp can be also be supplied with a black exterior and silver leaf interior. These edgy lights are part of a unique collection of floor lamps and table lamps which includes the popular spiral shaped ‘Granada’ lights. Designers can pick and choose which exterior finish, black or white, that they would like to have with their chosen internal leaf gilt, copper, silver or gold and is now available with a short lead time.  These exciting pieces will compliment and be a talking point for all interior projects.

“They use 90 per cent less energy than traditional incandescent light bulbs and can pay for themselves through energy savings in just a couple of months.”

The Seville and Granada lights have captured a different take on the Christopher Hyde Brand and come with LED lighting technology. LEDs are the most energy-efficient bulbs. They use 90 per cent less energy than traditional incandescent light bulbs and can pay for themselves through energy savings in just a couple of months.  Whether a standard or bespoke light fitting we can produce LED designed candle with DALI or 1-10V and emergency light options are available also.

This range of floor and table lamps are featured in the new Collection 8 catalogue which has recently been launched. Collection 8 catalogue has a fresh take on the hugely popular traditional collections familiar to Christopher Hyde Lighting’s clients and shows how the brand has evolved with its distinctive contemporary collection.

Main image credit: Christopher Hyde Lighting        

Company debuts first hypoallergenic hotel rooms

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Company debuts first hypoallergenic hotel rooms

Months ahead of Hotel Designs putting accessibility under the spotlight in a panel discussion at Hotel Summit, Room To Breathe has given the industry a sigh of relief by unveiling a six-step hypoallergenic process of cleansing air in hotel rooms… 

Regardless of size and status, all hotels with any sense will be putting in place harder measures around cleaning protocols in both the guestrooms and public areas.

The coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak is putting a burden on hotel owners and exposing those who are falling below the increased standards that consumers expect. As the pressure grows, the industry is in demand for a reliable solutions to cleanse the air in hotel rooms.

Cue the arrival of Glasgow business Room To Breathe, which Hotel Designs welcomed a Recommended Supplier last week as the company is transforming the hotel industry by launching the first hypoallergenic room.

With more  than two in five British adults suffering from allergies – and children being at greatest risk  of developing them – Room to Breathe looks to combine new and innovative technologies to offer a cleaner, less toxic, safer alternative to regular hotel rooms.

Man steam cleaning a curtain in a hotel

Image credit: Room To Breathe

“Room To Breathe have worked to create a new specialised six-step process of cleaning hotel rooms, including air purification, antimicrobial protective coatings to all surfaces and hypoallergenic bedding.”

The idea was the brainchild of Gordon Bruce, director of Insite Specialist Services. “So many people think that just a microfiber mattress cover and a good old fashioned hoover make a room hypoallergenic,” he told Hotel Designs. “But that’s just not true. You can’t exactly take your hypoallergenic pillows and air purifiers with you whenever you travel, and it means allergy sufferers end up with a stuffy nose and red eyes on holiday or on a business trip – not ideal.

“Working at construction services company Insite Group, I thought there must be a better way: and that’s how Room To Breathe came to be.”

Room To Breathe have worked to create a new specialised six-step process of cleaning hotel rooms, including air purification, antimicrobial protective coatings to all surfaces and hypoallergenic bedding. Their allergy friendly solution uses only non-biological cleaning products and environmentally friendly processes, removing up to 99.99 per cent of allergens, mould, germs, influenza, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and odours.

Technology originally developed by NASA is used to remove bacteria, mould and compounds from the room, before an innovative UV technology is applied to rid surfaces and textiles of micro-organisms. An environmentally and allergy friendly antimicrobial surface coating is then applied to all hard and soft surfaces in the room, alongside a dust mite and bed bug treatment. A technologically advanced Air Purification system and hypoallergenic bed protectors are the final touches to create a fully hypoallergenic room.

Having perfected its innovative technique, the new company is now beginning the process of finding its first hotel partners, driving the next evolution in travel wellbeing.

Main image credit: Room To Breathe

Hotels that are self-isolating in style (Part 1)

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hotels that are self-isolating in style (Part 1)

While the entire world is feeling the effects of COVID-19 pandemic, Hotel Designs is here to start your week with some stunning hotels that are naturally self-isolating in style. Editor Hamish Kilburn emerges from his quarantined slumber to write part one… 

In uncertain times, it can become easy for designers and architects to lose focus on a creative vision.

The outbreak of the recent coronavirus COVID-19 is taking its toll on all creative industries, and has resulted in a number of major events, such as Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam, Hotel Summit and Salone Del Mobile Milan, to postpone all activity until later in the summer.

With the aim to simply lift spirits and steer those who are lacking Monday motivation back on course, here are a handful of remote hotels that will allow you to escape from the madness, even if it’s for just a minute.

Lepogo Lodges’ Noka Camp, Limpopo Province, South Africa

Large bedroom overlooking the African wilderness

Image credit: Lepogo Lodges’ Noka Camp

Lepogo Lodges, one of Africa’s few entirely not-for-profit high-end safari lodges, has opened its very first lodge in South Africa’s Limpopo Province, Noka Camp. Just a short air transfer or a three-hour drive from Johannesburg, Noka Camp enjoys a remote spot within the 50,000-hectare, malaria-free Lapalala Wilderness Reserve, home of the ‘big five’.

Lepogo Lodges is the very first luxury camp in Africa to offset the carbon footprint of every visiting guest, from the time they leave their home to the moment they return. Family-owned and operated, the project has been developed as part of a life-long dream to create a sustainable conservation legacy in Africa, with 100% of any financial gains made re-invested back into the reserve for the benefit of wildlife, conservation and the local community. 

Jade Mountain, St Lucia

walkway to suites

Image credit: Jade Mountain St Lucia

On the western stretch of Saint Lucia, an island that last year welcomed more than 1.2 million visitors, two incredible design gem stones can be found. While the two hotels are very different in style, the experience of Anse Chastanet and Jade Mountain comes as one.

Not only are the hotels two of the region’s most sought-after places to check in to, but they also stand as a permanent reminder of an unforgettable journey, which is full of discovery, challenges and sustainable solutions that is still ongoing for husband-and-wife team Nick and Karolin Troubetzkoy. 

Zannier Hotels Sonop, Nambia

Image credit: Zannier Hotels/Tibod Hermy

Arnaud Zannier’s inspiration for Zannier Hotels Sonop’s design was conceived during his very first trip to the site and first view from the top of the boulders. Arnaud recognised that he had been fortunate enough to discover somewhere very special, likening the feeling to an old explorer discovering a destination for the first time – hence the property was designed to resemble a 20th Century tented camp for explorers.

The construction process was challenging due to the hotel’s remote location and protected surroundings. All building materials and interiors were manually transported up the huge boulders, by expert craftsmen from Namibia. Zannier Hotels only used a limited number of existing roads to the site, to ensure the human impact on the fragile flora was minimal. In addition, each piece of furniture, including twelve 30kg handcrafted four-poster beds, had to be carried by hand over the rocks and boulders thereby avoiding the use of disruptive machinery.

Hotel Chais Monet, France

Image of old and new architecture blending into one frme

Image credit: Hotel Chais Monet

The project was reported to have cost €60 million, and was the brainchild of chief architect Didier Poignant of Ertim Architects. But the result of the sensitive restoration to transform the traditional Cognac trading house site into a 15,000m2 luxury spa hotel, offering what it was described back then as a “modern take on traditional French luxe”, has given the buildings a new lease of life.

I would go one step further in saying that it has reopened up the destination’s history books, perhaps to a different chapter. In the process, it has added a new contemporary architectural jewel ­­– a rare find in and around the low-level city ­– one that is sensitive to its surroundings.

Four Seasons Nevis

Recently, the Four Seasons hotel underwent a complete renovation, which was led by TAL Studio. The hotel is situated on the pristine beaches of the remote Caribbean island where building regulations state that no building is allowed to be taller than a palm tree.

The hotel’s latest chapter of renovations includes 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.

The Farm at Cape Kidnappers, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand

Image of restaurant overlooking green countryside

Image credit: Cape Kidnappers

The Farm at Cape Kidnappers is just that: a working farmstead of arable land and sheepherding, poised on the edge of a scenic bluff on North Island’s east coast so dramatic, idyllic and untouched that the views – and best enjoyed from the outdoor swimming pool or Jacuzzi. The hotel’s design is one that is considered to blend in harmony with the natural beauty of the area. 

Image credit: Zannier Hotels

5 reasons to attend Hotel Summit 2020

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
5 reasons to attend Hotel Summit 2020

Hotel Summit, the original hotel meet-the-buyers event that last year was shortlisted at the Indy Awards, is gearing up to once again bridge the gap between hotel operators and suppliers with engaging talks and networking opportunities throughout… 

For more than 20 years, Hotel Summit has been bridging meaningful relationships between suppliers and hotel operators alike.

While uncertainty surrounding recent headlines is forcing industries to consider and control numbers at networking events over the coming months, Hotel Summit’s successful meet-the-buyer concept is an event that is capped to 150 people.

Here are five reasons to attend this year’s event:

1) The speakers

Hotel Summit 2020 speakership line-up

Hotel Designs is proud to be curating this year’s speakership programme, and has deliberately put certain subjects, such as accessibility, technology and sustainability, at the forefront of conversations. Editor Hamish Kilburn will chair a panel discussion entitled: Designing accessible spaces for modern travellers with the multiple award-winning hotelier Robin Sheppard and accessibility design expert Ed Warner. Alexandra Tollman, Director of Sales at Red Carnation Hotels, will speak to the audience about how to tackle sustainability to make travel matter, and to lift the spirits The Summit will also welcome happiness guru, Danny Bent, to explore the ‘happiness of being you’. The full line-up of speakers can be accessed on the Hotel Summit page.

2) Valuable pre-arranged meetings with suppliers

Qualified buyers (hoteliers, operators and procurement managers) attending Hotel Summit, Hotel Summit, which includes overnight accommodation and a gala dinner, are able to attend free of charge. The two-day event consists of a number of pre-arranged face-to-face meetings with key-industry suppliers of products that buyers have specified in knowing more about. These are carried out throughout the event, in-between seminars, and are designed seamlessly to benefit both supplier and buyer alike. To find out if you qualify as a delegate, please email Kerry Naumburger.

3) The venue: Five Lakes Colchester

establishing shot of hotel around countryside

Image credit: Five Lakes Colchester

Balancing the requirement for the event to be sheltered in an interesting venue that is easily accessible, Hotel Summit this year will take place in the serene Five Lakes Resort in Colechester, Essex. The 194-key spa and resort is run by AB Hotels group. The four-star hotel is located in 320 acres of parkland between Colchester and Maldon, has two restaurants, an indoor pool and spa and two 18-hole golf courses, which sits alongside a large exhibition hall and has 18 purpose-built meeting rooms.

4) Quality suppliers on board

Hotel Summit’s supplier list (so far) is full of key-industry brands from all corners of the industry; from technology software to fitness equipment, lighting to bathroom solutions. They are:

Portable Floor MakersAirwaveBirchall TeaVictoria + AlbertADI TradingCole & SonSicoLUQELJames Alexander Bespoke FurnitureRuark AudioMatrix FitnessMeikoHCIGood EnergyFalcon Contract FlooringSchluter and NT Security

5) Forum Events’ professional approach to synchronise business

Forum Events is respected and well-known for being one of the leading meet-the-buyer forums and summits providers in the industry today. Putting its clients first to create experiences that synchronise business, the company has been the root to many meaningful relationships that have formed in all sectors. The quality reputation of the company is enforced by a dedicated team for each brand. Everyone attending Hotel Summit is briefed prior to the event so that they are aware on who they will be meeting and when, to ensure that The Summit is facilitating relevant meetings that are business appropriate for both buyers and suppliers alike.

How to register for Hotel Summit 2020: 

If you are a supplier to the hospitality industry looking to meet top hotel professionals, contact Jennie Lane at j.lane@forumevents.co.uk– or click here to book your place.

If you are a hotelier and would like to attend the Summit for free, please contact Kerry Naumburger at k.naumburger@forumevents.co.uk – or click here to book your place.

*Please contact Kerry Naumburger for complete delegates list.

Large, luxe suite

Luxury hotel opens in Portugal with focus on art, wellness & design

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Luxury hotel opens in Portugal with focus on art, wellness & design

Led by local interior designer Sofia Andrez, the hotel’s design creates a sense of simplicity, serenity and balance, reflecting Longevity Wellness Worldwide’s core principles of restoration and regeneration…

Through its ground-breaking architecture and its minimalist interior design, the newly opened Longevity Health and Wellness Hotel offers guests the perfect space to focus on their health and wellbeing.

Large, luxe suite

A ground-breaking health and wellness property set in the western Algarve, with panoramic views of Alvor Bay, the property offers a world-class dedicated health & wellness clinic over two floors. The hotel has a total of 70 guestrooms and suites, combining simplicity and elegance with a contemporary and natural eco vibe, giving a primary attention to comfort and quality.

Open and spacious public area

Image credit: Longevity Wellness Worldwide

With wellness at the heart of the project, it was important to create a space where guests can improve their health and wellbeing, from the architectural features to the interiors. The distinct wave-like structure of the building symbolises Longevity’s focus on guests’ harmony and balance, as well as the water used in the spa (Salus per Aquae) as a source of health. Meanwhile the interior concept aims to create a sense of serenity and tranquillity through the use aqua-marine colours and neutral sandy tones inspired by the neighbouring sea and beach.

“This type of connectivity between your emotions and mind is transcendent and also extremely beneficial for your mental wellness.” – Nazir Sacoor, CEO of Longevity Wellness Worldwide.

Longevity Health and Wellness Hotel’s focus on ‘Art as Wellness’ is showcased through its partnership with local art gallery Lady in Red who will be exhibiting pieces throughout the hotel. LiR – Galeria de Arte is located in Adega de Lagoa winery and showcases a range of works from local, national and international artists. For Longevity Health and Wellness Hotel, the gallery has carefully curated a selection of works from a roster of artists. The 51 canvass and 12 sculptures works exhibited in the hotel include stunning water colour and oil paintings, sculptural busts and photography.

“Creativity expressed through art has the power to heal us and improve our overall mental wellness on a large scale,” said Nazir Sacoor, CEO of Longevity Wellness Worldwide. “This type of connectivity between your emotions and mind is transcendent and also extremely beneficial for your mental wellness. By unleashing our creativity and establishing human connection, art has an amazing power to boost wellness which should be a major priority in modern society.” 

Luxe, clean and simple hotel bed with glass bathroom

Image caption: Junior Suite

Interior designer Sofia Andrez approached the entire building as a place of wellbeing, ensuring synergy between the spaces of the hotel, from the guest rooms to the restaurant and treatment areas. Whilst meeting the different technical and functional requirements of each part of the hotel, the designer ensured the entire property fulfilled the brief.

The guest bedrooms have been designed to emphasise the hotel’s stunning views. The designer introduced shades of grey, white and beige which are complemented with simple touches of blue in the decorative cushions and bed throws.

In the restaurant, the designers have created an intimate atmosphere by introducing some darker tones and elements including the table bases, which offset the sand-coloured tops. Additionally, the wood-panelled buffet area and bench seats create a warm and inviting setting.

Within the spa, Andrez used organic materials such as the wooden floor lanterns and macramé ceiling lanterns that both help producing a relaxing atmosphere.

The colour scheme and sense of tranquillity has also been reflected in the furniture created exclusively for the hotel. The designer introduced bespoke pieces throughout the property, with 80 per cent of the furniture made in Portugal. By carefully selecting the right materials, fabrics and colours, the designer achieved an elegant and simple aesthetic. Whilst also reflecting the views and surrounding areas, it was important for the interiors to complement the unique architecture of the hotel. The use of curvaceous furniture such as the round sofas in the lobby mimic the wave-like structure of the building, creating a synergy between the interior and exterior of the hotel.

By focusing on simplicity, serenity and balance, the hotel’s design relates to the key pillars of the Longevity Wellness Worldwide brand. These five pillars are: treatments that are preventive, personalised, holistic, integrative and regenerative.

Main image credit: Longevity Wellness Worldwide

7 interior trends to emerge from London Design Week 2020

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
7 interior trends to emerge from London Design Week 2020

During London Design Week 2020, Design Centre Chelsea Harbour is sheltering many of the product launches, teasers and conversations that are expected to make a noise on the design scene this season. Editor Hamish Kilburn identifies some of the prominent styles, colours and trends to look out for… 

“We champion creative excellence,” said Becky Metcalfe, Head of Content at Design Centre Chelsea Harbour (DCCH). “And we have certainly seen a move towards inform choices.”

Now that there is more demand among consumers for conscious and meaningful designs to compliment seamless service, hotel designers are widening their lenses to understand the narrative, craft and creative vision of new collections launched.

It is this change in behaviour that is enforcing most, if not all, of the strong styles that I discovered during my time at London Design Week 2020.

1) Botanical paradise on earth

With biophilic design being put front and centre at the moment around the world, conversations and the products that are launching are finding the balance between indoor space and the great outdoors – think exotic gardens where fragrance and sound are depicted in patterns and colours. Sanderson’s floral showroom, which houses hundreds of new designs this week, highlighted the creative possibilities that can emerge when designers open the door to outdoor influence with purpose. Other brands to leverage nature in design include Pierre Frey’s enriched wallcoverings, Abbott & Boyd’s capture of birds and Bec Brittain’s Taxonomy collection seen in the Tai Ping showroom that explores unexpected paradoxes inspired by the minutiae of insect anatomy and pleating techniques.