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Editor checks in: ESG, let’s talk about it (consciously)

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Editor checks in: ESG, let’s talk about it (consciously)

Are you discombobulated with the various buzzwords that are circulating conversations around sustainability? Why are we being advised to use the term ESG, and what does it even mean? Editor Hamish Kilburn attempts to answer these questions when trying desperately to encourage people to be more conscious when using terminology on the global design and hospitality scene… 

Throughout my childhood, there was one saying over others that I remember most vividly. “Think before you speak,” my mother, teacher – even my gymnastics coach, would say. It’s been ingrained into my head ever since I received soap in my mouth after asking for the ‘effing’ marmalade at the breakfast table, when my grandparents were present.

As I grew up, careless back-chatting advanced into opinions being formed. Later, this transformed, as luck would have it, into a career of journalism where I have always found comfort and passion in sticking up for the unpopular and ethically addressing the formally unsaid or underrepresented (or both at times).

“ESG stands for Environmental, Social, Governance.”

With that in mind – and in the risk of sounding overtly negative in this already challenging era of design and hospitality – I would like to address the greenwashing effects of buzzwords. The latest of which, surrounding the topic of sustainability, is ESG, which stands for Environmental, Social, Governance. The decision was made (by whom, I am still not entirely sure) to replace the over-used term of ‘sustainability’ with ‘ESG’ in the hope of encouraging people to think about the wider context. But in doing so, the problem has in fact escalated. I have waited until now, adhering to the unspoken rule of thinking before I speak, to put forward my views on this matter, but I’m afraid my frustration has boiled over.

Lounge area at Inhabit queens park london with natural light filled interior and wooden crafted furniture

Image caption: When it opens later this year, Inhabit Queen’s Gardens will shelter a conscious design narrative, which is sustainable and innovative. | Image credit: Inhabit Hotel / Tim Evan Cook

“The truth is, I don’t care what words are use, so long as they are spoken or written with morality, understanding and meaning.” – Hamish Kilburn, Editor, Hotel Designs.

Having watched friends, colleagues, clients and brands blurt out the term without fully comprehending it, enough is enough. And they are not alone, nor do I blame them. Many people, quite understandably, assume (making an ‘ass’ out of ‘u’ and ‘me’ in the process) that the ‘S’ in ESG stands for ‘sustainability’, which voids the entire sentiment of using yet another acronym. Instead it stands for social; the social impacts of decisions.

In addition, admittedly fuelled by passion and good will, eco-warriors – of which I say with sensitivity as I put myself in the same category – unintentionally have amplified the stigma around sustainability that heavily suggests that if you’re not using the right terminology then you’re on the wrong side of history against the wider issue of climate change.

The truth is, I and many others who care deeper about the wider and devastating impacts of climate change, don’t care what words are use, so long as they are spoken or written with morality, understanding and meaning. I can get on board with ESG, but I do feel like there are other words that can be used that offer more clarity.

coastal bedroom designed using net zero principles and sutainable materials

Image caption: This month, Perkins&Will announced how it plans to go carbon neutral on its projects by 2030. | Image credit: Perkins&Will

I also fear that the industry’s strive to say the right thing, instead of trying to do everything we can to live and work more consciously, will camouflage those who are proposing and delivering very good and innovative work behind the scenes, which is where the attention should really be focused on. This month, we shone the spotlight on several of these, including Perkins&Will’s mission to become Net Zero by 2030, Harrison Spinks’ on-going journey to become carbon-neutral by 2023 and two hotels that, when they open, will seriously disrupt and challenge the current hospitality landscape. In just a few weeks, I will have the pleasure of joining industry legends from Interior Design Matters on stage at the Surface Design Show to discuss the significance of sustainability and why we all should act now to become better working citizens.

As we leave January behind – having explored hotel openings and smart tech – we move into investigating our upcoming features; surface design and lighting. 2022 is well and truly underway, folks and, during the next 11 months, I hope you will see how our committed team will discover the unsung heroes when finding those around us who are showing original and conscious concepts that will better people.

If hotel designers, architects, hoteliers and brands developed themselves while being conscious to those around them as well as the environment they are in, then the hospitality and hotel design landscape, on a global level, would be a much cleaner and greener place to sleep, work, play and eat.

Consciously yours (always),

Editor, Hotel Designs

Sekers Grandeur fabric as dramatic full length curtains

Product watch: Sekers launches two new collections

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Product watch: Sekers launches two new collections

Sekers has launched two new fabric collections, Grandeur and Munro, both referencing the brands Scottish locale as inspiration in the sheer weaves and textured neutrals…

Sekers Grandeur fabric as dramatic full length curtains

Fabric brand Sekers has launched its first sustainable collection woven in Global Recycling Standard certified polyester, whilst continuing to meet the necessary contract market requirements. The Grandeur collection features a textured plain with a complementary wide width sheer, woven in a refined palette of sophisticated neutrals, cool greys, attractive pinks and soft, dusky blues.

sekers fabric glamis from grandeur collection

Image credit: Sekers

Grandeur is made up of two designs; Glamis and Kinnaird. Glamis is composed of 53 per cent recycled polyester and 47 per cent polyester, and ideally suits being used to make contract curtains, bedding and accessories. This design has an elegant, raised strié effect which gives a subtle striped appearance on the fabric. The use of Glamis can add a hint of personality when used in an interior space, as it adds a textural element to the room which will not go unnoticed. The supporting plain wide width sheer, is composed of 100 per cent recycled polyester, making this collection the ideal choice for the environmentally conscious designers specifying for the hospitality and leisure markets.

Sustainability aside, this washable collection also has a delicate hand and fluid drape, proving Grandeur to be an elegant addition to any hospitality or leisure interior.

Munro, inspired by Scotland’s towering mountains, glistening lochs and golden beaches, is a striking collection of five decorative, wide width sheers. The five designs in this collection all clearly directing us to the source of inspiration, are Dorain, Lomond, Macdui, Nevis and Wyvis.
Dorain is a dramatic net textile with intertwining yarns, giving this design a bold, noticeable appearance. Lomond is a dense weave with a subtle lustre, while Nevis draws inspiration from the rippling water of Loch Eil which reflects the mighty peak of Ben Nevis. The fourth design, Macdui, resembles the plateau of the mountain which is covered with granite gravel and boulder fields. Its delicate texture flaunts decorative floats which display an attractive ombré effect. Finally, Wyvis shows off an exaggerated strié effect which mimics the grand cliff edges.

Much like Scotland’s landscape, this collection will take your breath away. Munro is available in a refined palette inspired by the natural world with a great selection of greys, whites and blues. Munro is an elegant addition to any interior and the ideal choice for the designer specifying for the hospitality, leisure and marine (with the exception of Dorain and Lomond) markets.

Sekers is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our Recommended Suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: Sekers

GROHE bathroom featuring Allure brassware in Cool Sunrise

GROHE identifies sustainability and wellness trends

730 565 Pauline Brettell
GROHE identifies sustainability and wellness trends

Patrick Speck, Leader LIXIL Global Design (parent of the GROHE brand) shares insights straight from the design studio into the trends that will emerge in 2022 and inform the designs that shape our homes…

GROHE bathroom featuring Allure brassware in Cool Sunrise

As many of us continue to incorporate hybrid ways of working with spending more time at home, and perhaps, sharing more of it on our social media channels, new trends are emerging for 2022. The kitchen and bathroom are leading the way when it comes to creating spaces which are both functional and well designed. Considerations such as sustainability, self-care, wellness, and multi-functionality are all high on the agenda for the year ahead, while style features and design nuances continue to play an important factor in renovation decisions.

Patrick Speck, Leader LIXIL Global Design discusses the trends forecasted for the year ahead while identifying the key factors and influences informing these trends. As more consumers continue to live and work from home, technology and luxury will go hand in hand to create a seamless design experience. At the same time, individualisation continues to reign supreme with different choices of finishes, colours and remaining popular. Impacting on all of this, is the forecast that a sustainable home has become an important priority for consumers and therefore one that all leading brands and designers need to take note of and prioritise.

GROHE bathroom lifestyle shot featuring Grandera shower, tap and bath filler

Image credit: GROHE

Taking these trends straight into the bathroom, it seems some spa-inspired luxury right at home is on all of our wish and search lists. Living through a pandemic, coupled with seeing more of each other’s homes on Instagram Reels and TikTok hacks, means we’re all looking to invite more moments of indulgence and wellbeing into our homes. With searches for ‘freestanding bath’ and ‘slipper bath’ increasing by 228 per cent and 237 per cent respectively in the last year according to Houzz, it’s clear that creating a spa-like bathroom is an ideal first step to inviting luxury into our homes. Think calming scents, greenery and thoughtful design, to Japanese style toilets and step in spa showers at the top end of the scale. Wall-hung units and sanitaryware make for a more streamlined bathroom, ideal for smaller spaces, while metallic-finished brassware and soothing rainfall shower heads add a premium touch.

While relaxing showers, minimalist wet room designs and slim-line taps are growing in popularity, easily sustainable homes have also become a top consideration for us, with our impact on the planet being highlighted more than ever. GROHE continues to enable homeowners to live more sustainably without compromising on design or features, with product innovations which include cold-start taps to help save energy, and technology to reduce water flow across taps and showers without disrupting usage.

GROHE’s flagship Cradle-to-Cradle Certified and Level Gold product ranges have been designed to work towards a circular economy, meaning each component can be broken down and re-used endlessly in future products – helping homeowners’ shop with a conscious.

GROHE Eurosmart kitchen basin mixer with Cradle to Cradle certification

Image credit: GROHE

While we might be saving hundreds of pounds a year forgoing a shop-bought coffee on our morning commute, filtered water to keep refreshed and hydrated throughout the day is a luxury we can keep, without the guilt of buying bottled water. GROHE has also used innovate design to ensure that we don’t miss out on that office cooler convenience as the shift from office to home is clearly here to stay. Swapping the office water cooler for your local tap water may not initially scream sophistication, but with GROHE’s Blue Home water system, the brand is encouraging the reduced use of plastic water bottles while enjoying the most convenient of refreshments. The system, which acts as a filter for tap water, refines the taste as well as offering chilled still, semi-sparkling or sparkling water in an instance. Staying hydrated throughout the day, without compromising on quality, has never been easier.

While both the kitchen and bathroom have always been of utmost importance when it comes to cleanliness, living through a pandemic has perpetuated the need for easy cleaning, and with that the demand for premium, hygiene-focused products. With GROHE’s infra-red taps, people can wash their hands without the need to touch any surfaces; offering efficient cleaning for the hygiene-conscious as it reduces the chance of spreading germs, with added water saving capabilities too. Complete with an adjustable temperature limiter to help save energy and cut the risk of scalding and low-energy electronics, the infra-red solutions are the go-to for those opting for more sustainable choices in the home. Plus, their slim profiles and sleek profiles make them the perfect design feature for smaller bathrooms and cloakrooms.

With the number of people regularly working from home and spending more time indoors continues to increase, coupled with taking inspiration from the home renovation industry’s micro-influencers, individual tastes are expected to be seen aplenty this year, especially in the realm of colour trends. Greens and neutral colours are expected take centre stage in the kitchen to help create the perfect hybrid space, while searches for coloured bathrooms are on the rise too – expect to see black finishes, darker tones and textures being incorporated into the bathroom as it continues to transition from functional room to a space of self-care and wellbeing. Metallic finishes, industrial design features and innovative technology are also on track to be in high demand, with hygiene playing a major part in home decisions for the coming years.

With all these options on the rise, along with the use of technology coupled with a concern for our environment, 2022 looks like it is set to be an interesting one on the design front, full of wellness and sustainability, not to mention some interesting colours and surfaces shifting the traditional kitchen and bathroom palettes into more interesting design territory.

GROHE is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our Recommended Suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: GROHE

leaflike pink floral ceiling display at rozu restaurant

Case study: Leaflike takes flower power to a whole new level

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Case study: Leaflike takes flower power to a whole new level

With Leaflike’s comprehensive and inspiring collection of colourful flora from full blown blooms to a subtle statement moss, no stone is left unturned, and no surface is left unadorned…

leaflike pink floral ceiling display at rozu restaurant

Adding colour and greenery can transform a space and Leaflike can provide a creative solution for almost any space or surface with its statement floral designs. In today’s hospitality design marketplace, restaurants in particular need to stand out visually and provide clients with an experience that is not just about the food but involves all the senses, and of course, all the social media platforms. With clients frequently requesting an instagrammable installation, Leaflike was able to create three spectacular flower walls for three very different restaurants. Despite their differences all three customer requirements were similar; to provide a flower wall in the restaurant that is both photogenic and a statement that will encourage guests to click and like and share! With this in mind, Leaflike took on the brief and created these unique floral and lighting displays.

In Rozu Restaurant, the brief took shape in the form of a floral green wall in the entrance along with dramatic pink floral hangings across the ceiling of the restaurant. Unique in design and well placed for guests to see, the results are all focused on achieving the same desired outcome. Ensuring a floral feature creates a stunning finish inside the venue, showcasing vibrant and colourful wall art, adding atmosphere and ambiance that enhances the guests arrival experience.

Despite their differences all three customer requirements were similar; to provide a flower wall in the restaurant that is both photogenic and a statement that will encourage guests to click and like and share! With this in mind, Leaflike took on the brief to create unique floral and lighting displays.

Image credit: Leaflike

The restaurant Salam also features a floral green wall that greets the clients, and makes the perfect backdrop for a post dinner selfie with its lush tropical ferns and foliage and pops of bright colour that certainly don’t require a filter!

Close up of neon light in flowers

Image credit: Leaflike

The display at Esabella’s becomes a creative backdrop to the branding and signage and its more muted palette adds a note of floral sophistication.

“The transformation is wonderful to see when working with these venues,” said Brandon Abernethie, Head of Design at Leaflike. “To see each display unique to the customer with their colour and style and know we have achieved what the customer wanted, it’s great PR for them via Instagram!”

From moss walls and flower ceilings, to biophilic design and sustainable planting, Leaflike continue to enhance the client experience in hospitality design through the use of creative and design-lead planting and floral displays, .

Leaflike is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: Leaflike

A modern bathroom with shower and glass screens overlooking skyline of city at night

6 smart bathroom technology products for 2022

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
6 smart bathroom technology products for 2022

With evolution of technology in the bathroom arguably out-running any other area of the hotel, Hotel Designs, in association with Plumb It, has identified six savvy and smart bathroom ideas that should be on the radar of all interior designers and architects…

A modern bathroom with shower and glass screens overlooking skyline of city at night

“Technology and water do not mix.” Never has a saying been more inaccurate than it is today when taking a glance at how smart hotel bathroom design is transforming. In fact, following the innovations that we launched at CES 2022, it’s safe to say that the bathroom is currently the epicentre of innovation, with tech influencing an evolution in function as well as form (and sustainable initiatives) in products such as toilets, showers, bathrooms, taps and even smart mirrors.

With new tech, though, comes confusion. This is why we, in partnership with Plumb It, have taken the time to identify six smart bathroom technologies that we believe have the power to challenge the conventional approach to bathroom design.

1) The shower toilet

Image of urban large bathroom

Image credit: Geberit

Although not an obvious nor new piece of technology, it’s remarkable to see how popular the shower toilet has become worldwide. Brands such as Geberit, Toto and Euro Bathrooms are providing a no-hassle, gentle and natural way to clean, which is far more sustainable. Geberit AquaClean products, for example, allow users to save more energy by individually adjusting the product settings, thus giving them the option to reduce their environmental impact even further. In standby mode (economy mode), all AquaClean models, which fulfil the European eco-design requirements (ErP directives), consume less than 0.5 watts of energy in total.

2) The spa bath

There was a lot of hype in Las Vegas earlier this month at CES 2022, where bathroom brand Kohler displayed its Infinity Experience Freestanding Bath, which comes complete with LED lighting effects, and relaxing fog that has been inspired by Japanese hot springs. Well, it seems Kohler is not alone in its predictions that the bathrooms of tomorrow will have an even stronger emphasis on experience. Two years ago, Toto launched its weightless bathing experience. More recently, the whirlpool and airpool system baths by Phoenix Bathrooms takes wellness to new levels by also using sensory design. The Ancona + System 3 luxury bath features underwater, fully rotating colour-kinetic LED lighting, variable three-speed airpool blowers that allow finite and customisable adjustment and an inline heater that maintains a consistent water temperature during bathing.

3) Smart eco showers

Hansgrohe EcoSmart handshower

Image credit: hansgrohe

A smart shower does not have to read you the news or play your favourite playlist while you are washing. For the sake of this editorial, smart means intuitive. The technology inside the hansgrohe EcoSmart happens behind the scenes. The showers and taps equipped with EcoSmart technology consume up to 60 per cent less water than conventional products. This not only means that you use less water, but also need less energy to heat the water – good news for the planet, and good news for your client’s pocket.

4) Mirrored art

The hotel design industry has seen the rise (and arguably the fall) of smart mirrors in the bathroom. When creating a tranquil space that encourages users to ‘switch off’, the idea of a smart TV becomes somewhat outdated. However, with the bathroom being predominantly a practical space, good lighting is an essential element. The Edison mirror by Origins Living, which comes in a variety of sizes, is more like atmospheric wall art than simply a reflective surface. Users can create their individual ambience with colour temperature control from warm to cool white lighting, adding texture and practicality to the bathroom experience.

5) Touchless demands

Even before 2020, prior to when the world become transfixed on hygienic solutions, touchless technology was a common element in public restrooms (in and outside the hotel arena). Since the pandemic, though, consumers’ demands for contactless has sky-rocketed – and brands such as Roca were prepared with resolutions. The Roca EM1 Flush Valve, for example, has been developed as a touchless option for either public or private bathrooms.

Thanks to an integrated infrared sensor, the flush button detects the movement of a hand and activates the flush automatically without contact, avoiding the spreading of viruses and the growth of bacteria. Roca’s EM1 mechanism allows you to choose between full and half flush volumes which can be easily adjusted to flush at 6/4, 4.5/3 or 4/2 litres, helping you to save your annual water usage with no electrical installation needed. It simply works on four AA batteries that provides more than 40,000 flushes.

6) Sustainable & durable baths

Crafted from Biolux, Ashton & Bentley has launched a freestanding bath that has been made from 100 per cent from an eco-friendly alternative to natural stone. The Biome Range is created for the eco-conscious and curated for harmony; a selection of modern classic freestanding baths and complementing countertop basins and freestanding washbasins. Roca’s designs are where engineering meets art – high impact visual statements of sculpted beauty created with Ashton & Bentley’s signature quality and craftsmanship. The gentle silhouettes and organic curves of the Biome Range connect contemporary ergonomic design with nature while nurturing sanctuary and wellbeing.

Plumb It is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our Recommended Suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: Kohler

Scandic climate neutral hotel guestroom

Scandic to open climate-neutral hotel in 2024

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Scandic to open climate-neutral hotel in 2024

Sweden’s Scandic Hotels puts sustainability high on the agenda as it is set to go climate neutral in its latest development. Here’s what we know about the plans for Scandic Sundsvall Central…

Scandic climate neutral hotel guestroom

Scandic Hotels has signed a long-term lease agreement with Skanska for a new 210-key hotel in downtown Sundsvall. The new hotel, located in the city’s harbour area and slated to open in 2024, will be built of wood giving it a very high environmental standard. The hotel will be called Scandic Sundsvall Central and will be ideally located next to Sundsvall’s harbour and railway station.

exterior of proposed new scandic climate neutral hotel

Image credit: Scandic Hotels

“We’ve been developing the hotel together with Skanska for the past two years and naturally, it feels extremely positive to be further strengthening our hotel offering in the city,” said Peter Jangbratt, Head of Scandic Hotels Sweden.

Along with the proposed guestrooms, it will have a restaurant and bar area on the ground floor. One floor up, guests will be able to enjoy the hotel’s spa and wellness facilities, gym and meeting rooms while taking in the spectacular view of the Bothnian Sea. The building’s frame, facade and interior will all be made of wood, meeting the requirements for the high-ranking environmental certification, LEED Gold. With its choice of energy-efficient materials and solar panels on the roof, the new hotel will maintain a very high energy standard and be 100 per cent climate-neutral during its lifetime.

“It is gratifying to now have Scandic as a tenant – a company that shares our values in terms of sustainability and with which we have worked closely in other projects,” added Joakim Åkesson, Regional Manager at Skanska Sverige.

Adding to its existing portfolio of two hotels in Sundsvall, this new addition to the Scandic family will be a modern and attractive meeting place ideally located in an exciting area where the brand has identified a growing demand for hotel accommodations.

Main image credit: Scandic Hotels

biophilic interior reducing carbon footprint

How the design scene is embracing Net Zero initiatives

730 565 Pauline Brettell
How the design scene is embracing Net Zero initiatives

With Net Zero fast becoming the buzzword of 2022, along with conversations around sustainability and the importance of working towards a circular economy, and brands such as GROHE, Harrison Spinks and Room2 pledging to become Net Zero, design studio Perkins&Will has published a report which identifies the steps it is taking – and what other design studios could be doing – to create Net Zero projects by 2030…

biophilic interior reducing carbon footprint

Before we start, all buzzwords in the design sphere need content if they are going to impact meaningfully. So, what exactly is Net Zero and how do we design in a net-zero era? It is a nuanced and, like most things, often subjective topic but, simply put, everything we do generates carbon. For a design brand to achieve Net Zero, it must reach a point of balance between what it uses and what it puts back. To do this we need to first measure how much carbon a company/project is putting into the atmosphere. We then need to reduce these emissions where possible. And finally, the crucial part of process is to then offset the reduced emissions by doing things, such as planting trees, that absorb carbon. If done accurately a net zero balance is achieved and the design is therefore more ethical – but clearly the starting point of measuring a carbon footprint is not only the key, but also the area most open to interpretation – there is no such thing as a perfect science!

To challenge both itself and the industry, interior design firm Perkins&Will has produced a report Net Zero Now. Hospitality. This document is a zero-carbon interiors pledge for its growing portfolio of hospitality projects and is spearheaded by the studio’s director of hospitality and regular Hotel Designs contributor Neil Andrew, who has designed projects for top international hotel brands like Marriott, Hilton, and IHG, he has also created pop-up bars for brands like Heineken and designed a pavilion for New York University.

“We have an obligation to ingrain sustainability into our design process, not only for the betterment of the planet, but also to educate others,” said Andrew. “This does not mean we have to compromise aesthetics. In fact, through applying this rationale to creativity we can produce our best work.”

coastal bedroom designed using net zero principles and sutainable materials

Image credit: Perkins&Will

The document is a detailed discussion that not only looks at the principles of zero-carbon design, but also outlines practical ways for these goals to be put in place across the board in the hospitality design sector. It is about collaboration and concern, imagination and implementation, and in many ways, is a call to arms for designers in the hospitality industry as the company invites designers to  ‘join us on our journey to Net Zero, now’.

Laying its ambition bare, the company boldly pledges that: “By 2030 all of our projects will be net-zero embodied carbon as demonstrated through a Whole Life Carbon Assessment”. The report goes on to say: “The desire to experience new places is deeply ingrained within human nature, but with the alarming acceleration in climate change we must question the impact that travel has on the environment. The hospitality sector needs to urgently adopt a Net Zero, or net-positive approach. Environmentally conscious tourists already seek out eco-friendly holidays, but, as we collectively become more aware of the critical importance of sustainability, all future travellers are going to possess a greater knowledge of their carbon footprint and expect carbon neutral hotels as standard.”

Although there is no hard and fast rule, hotels currently experience soft refurbishments around every five to seven years. This regular cycle of change means that we as an industry must look at how items can be reused, or recycled, and avoid throwing them into a landfill. When refurbishing a hospitality space that has not been designed with the whole life cycle of materials and FF&E in mind, it becomes more of a challenge to repurpose items. At the same time, as designers we must consider the constitution of man-made materials, if natural whether they are sourced sustainably, and the ultimate distance that they are transported over in order to reduce the project’s carbon footprint.

sustainable materials for net zero interior design

Image credit: Perkins&Will

Having launched the Net Zero Now pledge for interiors in October 2020, Perkins&Will has now set targets for hospitality projects which align with the interiors pledge. In practical terms the commitments are as follows. The studio will pledge that:

  • In Q3 2021, it will launch a consultation process with our key contractors, sub-contractors and supplier partners to ensure that its supply chain will meet our net-zero targets.
  • By September 2022, half of its projects will be designed to be 100 per cent circular. By 2025 all of its projects will be designed to be 100 per cent circular.
  • By 2030, all of its projects will be Net Zero embodied carbon as demonstrated through a Whole Life Carbon Assessment.”

These bold statements are inspiring, but we need to look at what practical steps can be taken to set the hospitality industry on this path. The report goes on to list some of the ideas and approaches designers can use to start this journey. “[Perkins&Will] will advise clients to adopt our net-zero approach and inform them about the benefits to the environment. We will reduce the occurrence of required refurbishments. We will design in adaptability of buildings and repurpose existing buildings when possible, rather than building brand new ones. In addition, we will request that clients appoint consultants who also adhere to net-zero practices. Imperative to this initiative, we will work with suppliers for materials on our ‘Now Database’ who meet our sustainability requirements and follow circular design principles and consider dismantling and modularity in our design so that buildings can act as material banks. And finally, we will minimise finishes and source locally when possible.”

sustainable materials moodboard working towards a net zero interior

Image credit: Perkins&Will

“Perkins&Will make it clear throughout this report that this is – or should be – an industry commitment rather than an individual pledge.”

The lifecycle or durability of a product is an area that is often overlooked – it is not only the material and design process that needs to be considered, but what happens after that – can the materials be re-used or re-purposed once the initial service life is over? Not only which materials are used, but how they are used and fixed in place. Operational carbon (the reduction of energy and water used in the running of a building, sourcing of food and beverage produce and OS&E items) is also key. “It is our responsibility to challenge our clients, hotel brands and partner consultants to do better in this area,” states the report. “We will consult with hotel brands to review their brand standards with respect to base build performance.”

Perkins&Will make it clear throughout this report that this is – or should be – an industry commitment rather than an individual pledge, and have added to their list of commitments the promise of a Now Database of approved suppliers to share with other designers. This database will list suppliers that have provided environmental credentials that meet with the goals and ambitions of Net Zero. The Now Database will be an open-source platform for environmentally conscious products.

a conscious use of materials is required when working towards net zero design

Image credit: Perkins&Will

“For real change to happen we need an institutional focus on making improvements throughout the construction industry,” Andrew states in the report. “We need small changes and big changes, from those making large new development plans through to those installing the carpet tiles.”

The report goes on to discuss the ‘four R’s’ – Resell, Repurpose, Recycle and Recover – and how to implement them in a practical way. “With the average renovation of a hospitality property currently being between three to five years, it is clear that designers need to find ways to increase that number, with the obvious solution being the use of high quality and durable finishes,” adds Andrew. “Sweeping into a new project with shiny new ideas and equally shiny new furniture might be a designer’s dream, but renovation and refurbishment are now becoming key to the design process.”

Having read through the report, it is clear that there is no simple design roadmap for a Net Zero journey, interior designers, architecture firms and brands need to consider and cover all eventualities in order to prepare for surprises along the way. Fundamentally, Perkins&Will is not being prescriptive, nor is it setting out definitive answers, in this new document. Instead, it has laid out a clear starting point with some practical solutions from design to operational choices that can be implemented on all stages of the hospitality design journey, in all corners of the industry’s arena.

Main image credit: Perkins&Will

Laucala island swimming pool within the lagoon

COMO expands private island portfolio with ‘island within an island’

730 565 Pauline Brettell
COMO expands private island portfolio with ‘island within an island’

COMO Laucala Island, an exclusive retreat in the South Pacific, is the brands newest addition to its private island collection, and shelters an exclusive 25 standalone residences, all surrounded by turquoise-blue sea, white sandy beaches, and the ultimate luxury of space…

Laucala island swimming pool within the lagoon

COMO Laucala Island offers guests the perfect island escape in a unique and carefully protected ecosystem, and is as much about the signature COMO design as it is about the location and lifestyle on offer. This is a resort where space is luxury: 25 residences, each with their own COMO butler, spread out on private beaches, above lagoons, atop hills and mountains. With a private airstrip, this exclusive sanctuary has been designed to unparalleled levels of luxury living on the northern shore of the island.

Laucala island aerial view of buildings using natural materials

Image credit: COMO Hotels and Resorts / Trey Ratcliff

The sympathetically designed spaces have kept the location central to design, both with the emphasis on views as well as the use of materials, and the construction has been carefully considered using local materials where possible. The Residences, all featuring private pools and ranging in size from 3,000 to 4,000 square metres, are built in a South Pacific style, which is blended seamlessly with COMO’s unmistakable contemporary flair. Interiors are softly curved and full of free-flowing shapes, allowing the space to flow freely between indoors and outdoors. Thatched roofs are made from the leaves of sago palms, floors are laid with local timber, and the spaces also feature ‘balabala’ fern stems and a traditional coconut husk weave known as ‘magimagi’.

natural materials and finishes in the villa interior at COMO Laucala island fiji

Image credit: COMO Hotels and Resorts

A first for COMO, the island features a tropical 18-hole David McLay Kidd designed golf-course, along with a wide range of land and water activities, from a fleet of jet-skis, sailing and game fishing boats to horse-riding, mountain biking, nature hikes and tennis. The emphasis throughout is about the heart of the island, its tropical rainforests, volcanic mountains, blue lagoons, mangroves and coconut groves, all fostering a unique habitat that is waiting to be explored by the guests.

COMO Shambhala Retreat, the island’s wellness centre, is the embodiment of COMO’s philosophy for holistic, healthy living. At this nurturing retreat, guests can expect physical fitness classes, yoga, and a fitness centre. Treatments make use of COMO Shambhala’s signature products, as well as the island’s herbs, spices, flowers, and fruits. COMO Shambhala’s signature Asian-inspired massages and body treatments using the island’s river stones, mineral crystals and rich volcanic soils are also provided.

laucala island restaurant designed with natural materials

Image credit: COMO Hotels and Resorts

To minimise its impact on the environment and in line with COMO’s farm-to-table philosophy, the island’s five dining options receive fresh produce from the resort’s 240-acre farm, cultivating a wide range of organic crops and livestock. Fresh seafood supplies are sourced exclusively from local fishermen, contributing to the island’s commitment to sustainability.

COMO Laucala Island joins resorts like COMO Parrot Cay and COMO Maalifushi as the brand continues to expand its signature design and luxury ethos that keeps, at its core, a focus on sustainability and wellness.

Main image credit: COMO Hotels and Resorts

a hypnos bed in guestroom at billesly manor

Case study: Simply the best for the beds of Billesley Manor Hotel & Spa

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Case study: Simply the best for the beds of Billesley Manor Hotel & Spa

Steeped in history, but with a very contemporary take on luxury, it made perfect sense for Billesly Manor Hotel & Spa to plump for a Hypnos bed when looking for the perfect nights sleep…

a hypnos bed in guestroom at billesly manor

Billesley Manor really is the perfect peaceful sanctuary from the outside world. Each guestroom and suite has been designed with luxury, style, and comfort in mind. So, when it came to selecting the beds, only the best would do, and specifying a Hypnos Bed fulfilled all the criteria.

Recently refurbished, the 16th-Century, four-star Billesley Manor Hotel and Spa boasts 71 beautifully designed guestrooms and sits in 11 acres of magnificent countryside just outside the medieval town of Stratford-Upon-Avon. Combining heritage charm with modern luxury is not the only thing this alluring Elizabethan Manor is famous for. Legend has it that in 1599, Shakespeare penned his comedy ‘As You Like It’ at Billesley Manor, having married Anne Hathaway at All Saints church which sits in the grounds, some years earlier.

four poster hypnos bed at billesley manor

Image credit: Hypnos / Billesley Manor

“As a hotel, sleep is one of the most important components of our guests’ stay, and so it was important that we got it right,” said Stephen Fearnley, General Manager FIH, Billesley Manor Hotel and Spa. “Hypnos Contract Beds were selected and asked to supply their most luxurious mattress, the Lansdowne Cashmere with Classic Divan Bases and Flexi Bases. This specification provides ultimate comfort and luxury for our guests and supports our mission to provide the very best in sleep in the UK.”

hypnos bed with floral headboard in guestroom at Billesley Manor

Image credit: Hypnos / Billesley Manor

“We believe it is incredibly important to opt for natural fibres where possible, said Carolyn Mitchell, Sales and Marketing Director, Hypnos Contract Beds. “Our Lansdowne Cashmere mattress combines wool and cashmere for the highest degree of comfort and luxury. Our mattress design allows independent movement of each pocket spring, meaning the mattress adjusts to the sleeper’s body shape. At the same time the natural fibres help regulate body temperature to create the perfect climate for quality sleep. We are delighted that Billesley Manor chose to provide their guests with the ultimate sleep experience.”

As the go-to name in sleep comfort, Hypnos Contract Beds is trusted to deliver the all-important component for a perfect nights’ sleep at hotels around the world. Hypnos believe in creating comfort with integrity and were the first UK bed manufacturer to become carbon neutral, an accolade achieved over a decade ago. In 2020 Hypnos received the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise for Sustainable Development.

So whether it’s the season for a midsummer night’s dream, or the winters tale, you can rest assured that this partnership will give you a perfect nights sleep along with everything else on offer at Billesley Manor.

Hypnos is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our Recommended Suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: Hypnos / Billesley Manor

Matt Black shower in contemporary bathroom. Products supplied by Kohler

Product watch: The modern Statement shower collection from Kohler

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Product watch: The modern Statement shower collection from Kohler

Complete with unique shapes, finishes and an array of sizes, the Statement shower collection from Kohler breathes new life – and technology – into the bathroom. The modern shower range is inspired by iconic design forms and offers an array of sensory stimuli, as Editor Hamish Kilburn explores…

Matt Black shower in contemporary bathroom. Products supplied by Kohler

The modern Statement shower collection from global brand Kohler brings a range of unique shapes and various sizes to the shower, breathing new, contemporary life into well-loved standards and marrying the latest in technology with enduring craftsmanship. Innovative sprays elevate the showering experience, and universal compatibility means the system works wherever in the world it is installed. Inspired by iconic furniture and home goods, and defined by soft, approachable designs, the collection carries an underlying familiarity while creating striking aesthetics within the space.

“Showering re-envisioned at the most basic level,” is how the brand is describing it. An oblong showerhead results in more enveloping water coverage for the whole body, and seven immersive spray experiences offered within the collection include a ‘deep massage’ spray composed of twisting jets that knead sore muscles and a cloud spray that swathes the body in a warm mist. Other spray options include a full coverage rain, a dense, wide sweep, and ribbon massage that cascades in an angled stream. Additionally, the collection offers an infinity spray – interlaced water streams create three experience zones in a single spray – the droplets closest to the nozzle rinse, while the middle zone massages, and the farthest stream provides coverage. Many components also make use of the gamechanging Kohler Katalyst technology, which enhances every droplet with air for a warm, luxurious cloak of water.

“Showering is so much more than just getting clean. It is a chance to feel rejuvenated, a moment to focus on self-care,” said Lun Cheak Tan, Kohler Vice President of Industrial Design. “A shower should provide a rich experience – through design-forward craftsmanship, meaningful functionality and un-compromised focus on the user.”

The global Statement Collection includes a showerhead, four styles of handshowers, four unique rainheads, and two bodysprays, all available in a range of sizes and shapes to best suit the décor and design environment. Finishes include polished chrome, brushed nickel, matte black, and brushed moderne brass (finish options may vary by region); all are aesthetically arresting and created to yield a natural interplay with other accessories and design elements.

Matt Black modern shower in contemporary bathroom. Products supplied by Kohler

Image credit: Kohler

To add to Statement’s overall ease of use and provide peace of mind to designers and specifiers, the components were designed to be universally compatible. The collection is designed – from thread size to flow rate – to work globally, no matter how different the local codes and standards may be.

Statement represents an evolution in modern showering, one that engages all the senses and elevates the everyday. Its handsome forms are matched by exceptional function that results in an indulgent, customised showering experience.

> Since you’re here, why not read about the latest hotel trends in hospitality?

Kohler is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our Recommended Suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: Kohler

PHASE_DANCE, an architectural structure, combining conrete and timber in Japan

Architecture structure ‘Phase Dance’ wrapped into the natural world

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Architecture structure ‘Phase Dance’ wrapped into the natural world

Nestled in a hilly forested area in Shizuoka, Japan, Phase Dance is an impressive architectural structure, designed by Takeshi Hirobe Architects. But the journey to create this masterpiece was not as effortless as the result itself, as editor Hamish Kilburn discovers…

PHASE_DANCE, an architectural structure, combining conrete and timber in Japan

The sloping location of Phase Dance, in Shizuoka, posed a range of challenges – not least the question of how the building should be positioned on site so that its architectural qualities can be admired while also remaining sensitive to the surrounding typography. To avoid an excessively large and deep foundation, a third of the floor space of the building was designed as an overhang, reducing the contact area with the ground. The basic structure from the basement to the ceiling of the second floor consists of reinforced concrete covered with wood.

Furthermore, the architects at Takeshi Hirobe Architects noticed an orangebark stewartia tree during their site visit. Calculations taking account of building-spacing regulations and other restrictions indicated that the tree stood at the centre of the area in which construction was possible. They decided to leave the tree intact and to design the structure of the building around it – as a tribute to the importance of nature, which – whether they intended or not – instantly created a new layer of the overall design narrative.

While the studio understood the tree to be central point, they were careful to avoid a symmetrical design with uniform angles in order to create unique, generously sized rooms. With that in mind, the architects sought to lend each room a cozy and playful air.

In the bathroom, the clear formal language of the Duravit washbasin from the Vero complete bathroom range blends perfectly into the overall ambience – as elegant as it is durable. The range, which launched in 2001, has found great popularity, especially among architects, thanks to its iconic rectangular character.

Large windows that follow the uneven contours of the walls afford expansive views of the green landscape and bring natural light into the interior.

The upper floor serves as a library and reading area. It has the same floor plan as the lower floor and includes a triangular roof. Although the roof is subdivided into multiple sections, it gives the impression of being a single piece that covers the building.

During the continuous decision-making process, Takeshi Hirobe Architects likened their reactions to the various phases and aspects of the project to a dance – and dubbed the project ‘Phase Dance’, inspired by the dynamics of the song of the same name by guitarist Pat Metheny.

>Since you’re here, why not read about the top bathroom products that launched in 2021?

Duravit is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our Recommended Suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: Phase Dance/Koichi Torimura

walk in shower with hansgrohe AirPower shower system

Introducing AirPower by hansgrohe

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Introducing AirPower by hansgrohe

AirPower is a unique shower experience, by hansgrohe, that is all about combining the practical needs to meet modern traveller demands, such as reducing water consumption, with stylish indulgence…

walk in shower with hansgrohe AirPower shower system

Bathroom brand hansgrohe, which recognises water is a valuable resource, has put extensive time and research into establishing AirPower technology to help reduce water consumption. The innovative technology enriches each water droplet with air, to produce plump droplets creating a velvety touch on the skin.

When using the shower, air is sucked in through the spray disc that stirs up the water. Enriched with fresh air, the droplets are noticeably lighter, creating more enjoyable showers whilst helping save both water and energy.

The AirPower feature can be found in an extensive range of hansgrohe products including collections Raindance, Vernis, Vivenis and Croma, through basin taps, overhead and hand showers and shower systems. When incorporated in the basin taps, the technology encourages them to work reliably by adding volume to every droplet of water whilst noticeably reducing splashing. The soft water droplets make for a pleasurable washing experience, whether that’s washing hands, washing hair or caring for children’s sensitive skin.

hansgrohe has prioritised developing innovative solutions for kitchens and bathrooms that combine intelligent functionality, outstanding design, and enduring quality. The AirPower joins the range of design led, energy saving solutions that are now an integral part to contemporary design requirements.

hansgrohe is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our Recommended Suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: hansgrohe

Atlantis, The Royal in Dubai on The Palm

Hottest hotel openings anticipated for 2022 (Q1 & Q2)

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hottest hotel openings anticipated for 2022 (Q1 & Q2)

Back with a bang, Hotel Designs starts 2022 with optimism and curiosity; shining the spotlight on the hotel openings and re-openings that will once again shift hospitality and hotel design into a new era. Editor Hamish Kilburn kicks things off with his edit of the hottest hotel openings to bookmark for Q1 and Q2…

Atlantis, The Royal in Dubai on The Palm

Each year, adhering to tradition, Hotel Designs starts January on a unique mission: to pinpoint the hottest hotel openings; the game-altering properties that will flex their muscles, challenge conventional approaches to hotel design and effortlessly take hospitality, on an international scale, forward.

If last year was about recovery, then 2022 will be defined by the designers, architects and hoteliers who are willing to put it all on the line for the sake of innovation and creativity – it’s time to show-off as we gather around the crystal ball once more to see which hotel openings of 2022 will make the biggest impact. And we start the two-part series by taking a glance at the hotels that are expected to arrive in Q1 and Q2.

xenodocheio Milos in Athens – opening in January, 2022

Within the thriving boutique hotel scene in Athens, xenodocheio Milos will be a place where ‘philoxenia’, the sacred art of making a stranger feel like home, derives from unparalleled taste and world class hospitality. The hotel is located in downtown Athens opposite Old Parliament, an area bursting with history and celebrates the best of Greek heritage, art and cuisine. Elegant and refined, this authentic culinary hotel experience is the very first luxury boutique hotel of the world-renowned Greek restaurant estiatorio Milos, carrying the inspiring story of Milos to its next chapter.

Inhabit Queen’s Gardens, London – opening in February 2022 

Lounge area at Inhabit queens park london with natural light filled interior and wooden crafted furniture

Image credit: Inhabit Hotel / Tim Evan Cook

Set across a crescent of mid-19th Century townhouses on a tree-lined square near Lancaster Gate (in London), Inhabit Queen’s Gardens, which we teased late last year, will be an intimate boutique hotel comprised of 159 uplifting guestrooms, along with carefully considered social spaces. Just like its sister hotel, which shares the same city as its home, Inhabit Queen’s Gardens has been created with a passion for wellbeing and living in a way that supports a healthy mind and body, as well as modelling responsible hospitality practices.

Four Seasons Resort Tamarindo – opening in Spring, 2022

Render of the exterior of Four Seasons Tamarindo, nestled within greenery

Image credit: Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts

Located on a private peninsula along the Pacific Ocean in the state of Jalisco, between the towns of La Manzanilla and Barra de Navidad, Four Seasons Resort Tamarindo has been designed by visionaries and experts, who envisioned a resort that blends seamlessly into the peninsula’s unique topography, supports ‘rewilding’ practices, and creates a perfect balance between the comforts of the indoors with the exceptional outdoor opportunities offered on the 3,000+ acres of private natural reserve.

The resort will offer four dining and beverage venues, including an ocean view bar and restaurant, beach bar and grill and golf club restaurant. The grounds will also feature three pools, a full-service spa set amidst a tropical forest and a fitness centre, young adults centre and lounge, water sports centre, tennis courts and more than 370 square-metres of meeting space.

The LaSalle Chicago – opening in March, 2022

Presidential Suite Bedroom inside The LaSalle in Chicago, which includes a modern design scheme with colours of rish blue and brushed gold.

Image credit: The LaSalle Chicago

Expect 1920s glamour, and dramatic interiors, from inside Chicago’s hotly anticipated The LaSalle Hotel, which opens this spring. Located in the heart of downtown Chicago’s Financial District, the hotel is a modern club-like escape that sits on the top five floors of a historically iconic landmark from architect Daniel Burnham. Rich in symbolism encapsulating the essence of time, the hotel pays tribute to The Hour Glass Lounge from the old LaSalle Hotel. The hotel will sensitively honour the building’s history by incorporating the hourglass icon brought to life through guest’s experiences delivering the hotel’s service culture and promise that ‘time at The LaSalle Chicago is time well spent.’

ROOST Apartment Hotel, at Asher, Florida – opening in March, 2022

A rendering of apartment-style hotel with urban, laid-back interior design scheme

Image credit: CG Rendering

Tampa-based real estate development firm Strategic Property Partners, LLC (SPP) has announced the imminent arrival of Asher, a dynamic, highly amenitised new apartment tower at 1050 Water Street in Water Street Tampa. The 56-acre neighbourhood is expected to ‘transform downtown Tampa’ into a walkable urban experience. In addition to offering a collection of rental residences, SPP has partnered with Method Co., to bring Tampa the first Florida location of its high-design extended-stay concept, ROOST Apartment Hotel, at Asher. Pre-leasing at Asher will begin in January with move-ins slated for March, and ROOST Tampa will open in the building in Spring 2022.

Designed inside and out by celebrated architecture firm Morris Adjmi Architects, the building offers a nod to Tampa’s industrial history with oversized divided-light windows that maximise natural light. Asher’s luxury rental residences will be located on the top 15 floors of the building, while ROOST Tampa will occupy the first six residential floors. Asher will offer 490 thoughtfully designed rental residences ranging from studio to two-bedroom homes.

Virgin Hotels Edinburgh and Glasgow – opening in April, 2022

Making headway this year, the Virgin Hotels brand is hopping over the pond to make its mark in the cultural hub of Edinburgh, closely followed by another hotel opening in the neighbouring city of Glasgow. Virgin Hotels Edinburgh will be located in the landmark India Buildings in Edinburgh’s Old Town near The Royal Mile. The new hotel will feature 225 Chambers and Grand Chamber Suites: multiple dining and drinking outlets, including Commons Club, Virgin hotel’s iconic cultural hub. In re-envisioning the building, the design team will work to preserve its notable elements while adding a sense of style and sophistication. The property promises a stunning mix of old and new to fully capture the uniqueness of the iconic city of Edinburgh. 

Just a few miles away, Virgin Hotels Glasgow will be the brand’s second Scottish hotel. The property will be located at 236-246 Clyde Street, a prime City Centre position. The panoramic river views will be a highlight of this location, as it overlooks the River Clyde in the heart of Glasgow’s shopping area, making it an ideal base to explore the city. The hotel will feature 242 Chambers and Grand Chamber Suites; meeting and event space; and multiple dining and drinking outlets, including the brand’s signature culinary experience Commons Club, a restaurant, bar and modern social club where guests can both work and play during their time at the hotel. The Funny Library Coffee Shop will also be a feature that guests can wind down and socialise. Here, an assortment of whimsical and funny books and games will surely keep guests entertained during their stay.

Atlantis, The Royal, Dubai – opening in April, 2022

Render of Atlantis The Royal The Palm

Image credit: Atlantis, The Royal, Dubai

It’s been a long time coming, but we are finally receiving the signal that Atlantis, The Royal, Dubai – arguably the most anticipated hotel opening in the Middle East this year – is almost ready to open its majestic doors. The hospitality and entertainment destination will span around 63 hectres, and will shelter 795 rooms and suites inside an iconic structure that rises above The Palm.

Lesante Cape – opening in May, 2022

The ebullient family behind the Lesante Collection are continuing in their mission to shine a luxurious spotlight on the isle of Zakynthos with the arrival of Lesante Cape.

Located within the historic Akrotiri village, yet uniquely with access to a private beach, the village-style resort will comprise 55 suites and 10 villas inspired by the traditional architecture of yesteryear, whilst neutral colours, natural fibres and local art will be at the heart of the soothing interiors.

Epicureans will, quite literally, get a true taste of traditional fare in one of three restaurants headed by Greek culinary marvel Aggelos Bakopoulos. For those who are seeking complete tranquillity during their holiday, Armonia wellness centre will provide a relaxing refuge for treatments and therapies harking back to ancient Mediterranean healing practices, whilst a dedicated Agora is the heart of the village with its artisanal shops, taverna and cultural museum.

WunderLocke – Sendling, Munich – opening in May, 2022

Opening with the aim to disrupt the Bavarian capital with a hospitality concept unlike any other in the city – and is the first Locke of its kind – WunderLocke will take will feature 360 spacious studio apartments, a large co-working area, meeting and event spaces, workout studio and outdoor heated swimming pool.

In addition, the hotel will shelter four food and drink destinations conceived by the founders of revered local Michelin-starred restaurant, Mural. The new concept – Mural Farmhouse – will include an urban farm that will supply fresh herbs and vegetables to a farm-to-table concept, and rooftop cocktail bar with panoramic views of the Bavarian Alps. WunderLocke is also home to several suites, which include roof terraces and large dining areas that can host dinner parties and business meetings.

WunderLocke will be a destination for locals, holidaymakers, and business travellers alike, providing a new creative hub in South-West Munich for the city’s burgeoning undercurrent of artists, creatives, and tech entrepreneurs. WunderLocke has been designed by acclaimed studio Holloway Li, which also completed Bermonds Locke in London, in September 2020. The property’s design-led apartments are peaceful, spacious and leafy, and all feature kitchens and seating areas – a hallmark of Locke design.

Hilton Bahrain – opening in June, 2022

We have been kept largely in the dark about Hilton’s development in Bahrain, but what we do know is that Hilton Bahrain is expected to open its doors this Summer. Located along Al Fateh Highway, the 348-key hotel will feature studios, one- and two-bedroom apartments with what the brand is describing as ‘all the comforts of home’ and a stunning view of the sea from each unit’s balcony. In addition, the hotel will shelter six distinct restaurants and lounges, nine meeting rooms and a luxurious spa.

Main image credit: Atlantis, The Royal, Dubai

white and blue guestroom decor at HOMA hotel Phuket

HOMA Phuket Town announces its opening

730 565 Pauline Brettell
HOMA Phuket Town announces its opening

HOMA, the pioneering new co-living concept, has announced the opening of its inaugural property in Thailand, HOMA Phuket Town, marking the start of an exciting new era of affordable, flexible and eco-friendly residential accommodation in Asia Pacific…

white and blue guestroom decor at HOMA hotel Phuket

Responding to current trends in both travel and work environments, HOMA Phuket Town is a 505-unit community that blends the benefits of a serviced apartment with the facilities of a four-star hotel. Guests will be immersed in a community atmosphere with a friendly neighbourhood vibe and plenty of space for families and pets. Meanwhile, high-speed Wi-Fi and a co-working space allow executives and entrepreneurs to stay connected – ideal for the new generation of digital nomads who do not need to be tied to the office.

This intuitive fusion of homeliness and high-spec hospitality will make HOMA Phuket Town an outstanding new option for short and long-term visitors alike. Irrespective of how many days, weeks or months they choose to stay, every guest will enjoy first-class facilities including a fitness centre, café and restaurant. Crowning the property is a spectacular rooftop deck and 80 metre infinity pool overlooking Phuket Town, which includes a 50-metre Olympic-size lap pool.

The fully furnished studios, duplexes, one, two and three bedroom residences are all spacious and finished with a fully equipped kitchen, along with high-end fixtures and fittings. Residents will be able to enjoy a great night’s sleep on beds featuring a dream mattress and high-quality cotton linen, while staying connected with complimentary Wi-Fi and a large flat-screen TV with phone screen mirroring function. Fully-equipped kitchens will enable everyone to make themselves at home, while housekeeping, laundry, “HOMA Host” concierge services and a 24-hour reception ensure complete convenience.

“I am delighted to announce the official opening of HOMA Phuket Town, our inaugural project, which introduces an innovative new style of living to Thailand’s hospitality scene,” said Luca Dotti, founder and managing director at HOMA. “By combining affordable, eco-friendly apartments with upscale amenities, we can successfully bridge the gap between home comforts and hotel facilities, while also creating a sense of community living. This pioneering concept will be ideally suited to Asia Pacific, and Thailand especially, where travellers are increasingly demanding spaces to work, rest and relax for extended periods. We look forward to welcoming our first residents and allowing local and international guests to ‘Live A Better Life’ at HOMA Phuket Town.”

turquoise and white design of restaurant in HOMA phuket

Image credit: HOMA

HOMA Phuket Town, in partnership with Bangkok Dusit Medical Services (BDMS), one of Asia’s most prestigious hospital networks, is also on track to become the perfect choice for medical tourists. HOMA Phuket Town will work together with Bangkok Hospital Phuket, Bangkok Hospital Siriroj and Dibuk Hospital to offer personalised packages for patients. Professional medical services and consultations can be combined with specially adapted units, with elements such as handrails and wearable devices connected directly with the hospital,to aid rest and recuperation. This collaboration is set to enhance Phuket’s already strong reputation as a regional hub for medical tourism.

Every guest can also rest assured that their stay is not having a negative impact on the environment. This innovative property embraces sustainable solutions such as rooftop solar panels, water recycling, energy-efficient appliances, LED lighting and air quality monitoring systems. These practices will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 325 tonnes each year – the equivalent of planting almost 5,400 new trees or removing more than 70 cars from the road! As a result, HOMA Phuket Town is pursuing the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certification, making it the first purpose-built residential project for rent in Thailand to achieve this important accolade.

Main image credit: HOMA

Inhabit Hotels biophilic bar design

Inhabit Queen’s Gardens in London slated to open early 2022

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Inhabit Queen’s Gardens in London slated to open early 2022

With the opening of Inhabit Queen’s Gardens, Inhabit Hotels is expanding its mission to create restorative, environmentally and socially conscious places to stay in the city. We take a (mindful) sneak peak inside…

Inhabit Hotels biophilic bar design

Set across a crescent of mid-19th Century townhouses on a tree-lined square near Lancaster Gate, Inhabit Queen’s Gardens is an intimate boutique hotel comprised of 159 uplifting guestrooms, along with carefully considered social spaces. It has been created with a passion for wellbeing and living in a way that supports a healthy mind and body, as well as modelling responsible hospitality practices. The public areas include a 70-cover, plant-heavy-menu restaurant and bar, comfortable lounge areas for socialising and working, and a noise-free library stocked with thought-provoking reads spanning wellness, meditation, social enterprise, holistic health, contemporary art, philosophy, local London, and nature. A subterranean wellness area provides treatment rooms, a fitness suite and yoga studio.

Mindfully designed for the modern traveller, everything at this new hotel has been curated with a genuine commitment to environmental initiatives and meaningful community partnerships. This ethos is not simply about providing guests with a recycled water bottle and the odd yoga lesson, it has been carefully thought through and penetrates every level, from design through to materials, from F&B offerings through to its business model and broader interaction with the local community.

lounge area at Inhabit queens park london with natural light filled interior and wooden crafted furniture

Image credit: Inhabit Hotel / Tim Evan Cook

The tranquil interiors of the hotel are a result of the work of Holland Harvey Architects, Caitlin Henderson Design and the art curators at Culture A. Its soothing style blends contemporary Scandinavian inspiration and Eastern philosophical awareness with a fuse of quintessential British design. The Inhabit Hotels ethos has been considered on every step of the design journey, and the hotel showcases the ingenuity and creativity of craftspeople, working with more than 30 makers and artists. Goldfinger, an award-winning social enterprise demonstrating that high-end design can and should be people and planet positive, has produced bespoke joinery for the hotel throughout the public areas and guestrooms.

Somerset House Studios and Makerversity offer artworks by emerging as well as established artists to complement and enhance the meditative mood of the interior scheme. For visitors and guests, inspiration awaits in works by artists such as AnneMette Beck, whose multi-textural art installation welcomes guests as it plays along the wall at reception. Hugo Dalton’s dynamic light drawings nudge visitors to consider nature from a new perspective. Freya Bramble Carter’s bespoke tactile ceramics are installed throughout the guest rooms. Social-impacting soft furnishings include Myanmar’s Kalinko Homewares and Studio 306 cushions from Aerende, made by people recovering from, and living with mental health illness.

bespoke art and calm interiors in the bedrooms at Inhabit queens gardens london

Image credit: Inhabit Hotels / Tim Evan Cook

Inhabit is a hotel brand founded on the belief that design should have a positive social impact, and they have focused on using sustainable materials throughout the building’s transformation. One such material is Granby Rock, a custom-made terrazzo produced by Granby Workshop using marble from the original site, which will now form a centrepiece fireplace in the reception. Granby Workshop is a manufacturer of architectural ceramics based in Liverpool, as part of a community-led effort to reinvigorate Granby, a neighbourhood within the city made derelict by decades of poor planning initiatives.

The understanding that wellness is not simply a physical state, but regarding it as a way of being, is what is at the heart of the Inhabit brand. The new hotel champions social connectedness, intellectual expansion, environmental responsibility, physical and emotional wellness and occupational enrichment. An engaging series of regular workshops, lectures and events will be curated by Maria Tsiarta, the Head of Wellness, to help guests recharge, invigorate, connect and learn. In keeping with the Scandi aesthetic, guestrooms and suites will be stocked with uplifting, full-size and refillable amenities from Skandinavisk, a Certified B Corporation.

‘Inhale at Inhabit’, the hotel’s wellness centre, hosts a programme of daily activities, including vinyasa flow, transformational Hatha and yin yoga, Pilates and complimentary morning meditation classes. The gym provides the essentials, as well as a Peloton Bike. Guests can join live classes with leading instructors, streamed directly from Peloton’s NYC studio, or choose from a library of studio workouts. There are also two treatment rooms which offer treatments by GAIA, a natural skincare brand handmade in Britain using traditional artisan production methods. Inspired by ancient Greece’s Mother Nature, the GAIA skincare range uses Fairtrade, certified-organic plant extracts sourced from small farms and producers. Inhabit Queen’s Gardens is the first London hotel to offer GAIA treatments.

scandi interior of the gym at Inhabit queens gardens

Image credit: Inhabit Hotels / Tim Evan Cook

The hotel brand has collaborated with Marc Francis-Baum, founder of London venues such as Mare Street Market in Hackney, and Moor & Mead at Montcalm East, to create The Kitchen at Inhabit. A 70-cover restaurant serving an imaginative all-day menu in a light-flooded space that is quite unique to this West London neighbourhood. At the charismatic marble bar, focus is given to English wine and small UK spirit producers, while new-gen, alcohol-free drinks are plentiful, too, from vegan sparkling wine through to the pre-requisite kombucha.

“It’s an exciting challenge opening a fully meat-free hotel in London,” said Craig Purkiss, Executive Chef, Barworks. “We’ve researched and developed a menu focussed on the quality of our produce, as well as the importance of sustainable dishes and practices. Ultimately, we let the produce do the talking.”

Not content with keeping sustainability on the surface of things, the hotel brand is working towards B Corps certification with the goal of being among the first hotel groups in the UK to achieve this eminent standard of corporate responsibility, an accreditation for businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability to balance profit and purpose. Importantly, along with these admirable ideals, is a commitment to design and hospitality, stylishly illustrating the point that prioritising both people and profit is in fact a possibility as we step into a new year excited by the possibilities that places like Inhabit Hotels inspire us with.

> Since you’re here, why not read our review of Inhabit Hotels‘ first property?

Main image credit: Inhabit Hotel / Tim Evan Cook

We are Harrison Spinks, The True Bedmakers copy

Year in Review: How Harrison Spinks will go Net Carbon Zero by 2023

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Year in Review: How Harrison Spinks will go Net Carbon Zero by 2023

World leaders in luxury sustainable comfort, Harrison Spinks is a heritage bedmaker that has been at the forefront of sustainable bed making for 180 years. Innovation drives our business and is contributing to saving the planet, with every decision made rooted in sustainability, as Editor Hamish Kilburn learns when reflecting on the brand’s year…

We are Harrison Spinks, The True Bedmakers copy

For some time now – 180 years to be precise – Harrison Spinks has been ahead of the curve when it comes to technology, sustainability and innovation in bed making. In 2021, the brand went further than it has ever gone in its commitment to the circular economy and announced that it will become Net Carbon Zero by 2023. And here’s how it’s going to achieve that ambitious task.

The brand’s Beyond Circular approach focuses on ethical and sustainable design, committing to an entirely recyclable, reusable and zero to landfill production to ensure we continue to lead the way in sustainability and change the way the world sleeps. This year, Harrison Spinks published our first annual Sustainability Report, proudly stating it is a Carbon Neutral plus manufacturer. It included details such as offsetting more than 3,500 tonnes of carbon in the last year but, even more importantly, it detailing how the brand is leading the way in sustainable innovation. From its circular-by-design approach to how it is reducing and recycling with the objective to become Net Carbon Zero by 2023.

Every handmade mattress manufactured is 100 per cent glue, foam and FR chemical treatment free and 100 per cent recyclable. Each product is handcrafted, in the brand’s factory in Leeds, England, to the highest standards by its master craftspeople using time-honoured skills and only the best luxuriously sustainable materials available.

Harrison Spinks Handcrafting copy

Image credit: Harrison Spinks

The Pocket Spring machines are designed in-house by the brand’s own engineers, which in turn allows the brand to manufacture its award-winning pocket and micro pocket springs, all with glue less technology, meaning each spring system can be fully recycled at end of life.

The Harrison Spinks sustainable story starts at the farm, just outside York, where the brand grows its own hemp and flax. In 2021, Harrison Spinks also partnered with British Wool to launch a new scheme that traces the origin of the wool used in its mattresses from farm to factory. This allowed consumers to fully understand where the wool in the products they are purchasing comes from and giving them peace of mind that the farmer has received a fair price.

The brand also uses synthetic fillings and these are all 100 per cent GRS, 100 per cent recyclable and made from recycled plastic bottles. In addition, it is the only bed manufacturer to weave the fabric it uses to cover our mattresses in house on our state of the art weaving looms. This fabric is 100 per cent FR chemical treatment free and adds a natural finish to the perfect night’s sleep.

Each year 5.8m mattresses in the UK end up being burnt or disposed of in landfill sites. In short, brands like Harrison Spinks want to put a stop to this. As a result, it has pledged to recycle all its mattresses that contain our Cortec spring technology. In 2021, the brand opened its own recycling centre, working towards our vision to be the most sustainable bed manufacturer in the world.

2021 has also been a hugely successful year with multiple product launches in our Hospitality division. The Sprint Collection, offering three mattress types featuring multiple layers of sustainable and synthetic fillings alongside the brand’s innovative pocket spring systems all available in a rolled format, should you wish, for ease of installation. The Signature collection, a range of six mattresses, all featuring sustainably and supremely comfortable natural fillings.

And in October the brand launched the Exclusive Collection, a range of four mattresses that are the ultimate definition of handmade luxury, with the very finest natural fillings, handmade to order, and all 100 per cent recyclable.

Harrison Spinks Hospitality Beds Division now offers the most comprehensive hospitality collection available with pocket counts from 750 through to 42,000, essentially a mattress to suit every hotel. Harrison Spinks works with some of the most prestigious names in the industry to understand their requirements, while helping every customer to improve their own green footprint our mission is to deliver the ultimate sleep experience for every guest.

With unrivalled sustainability credentials, 180 years of manufacturing excellence and multiple Queens Awards, Harrison Spinks are proving themselves to be “the true bedmakers” and will continue we hope to change the way the world sleeps in 2022 and beyond.

Harrison Spinks is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our Recommended Suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image: Harrison Spinks

open air jungle bedroom in banyan tree group hotel

How Banyan Tree Group will double its footprint of hotels by 2025

730 565 Pauline Brettell
How Banyan Tree Group will double its footprint of hotels by 2025

Banyan Tree Group is set to introduce five new brands into its portfolio, all flying the flag of purposeful travel. We take a look to see where they are headed…

open air jungle bedroom in banyan tree group hotel

Banyan Tree Group has announced that it is set to double its footprint of 54 properties across 23 countries by 2025, with the introduction of five new brands launching over the next 18 monthsAs a pioneer of purposeful stewardship and responsible tourism, this expanded global portfolio of 10 unique brands will allow the Group to increase its impact in the countries where it operates, whilst taking advantage of post Covid-19 growth opportunities in purposeful travel.

red parasols and an infinity pol on the edge of the jungle at Banyan Tree group hotel

Image credit: Banyan Tree Group

Through the Banyan Tree Global Foundation, all brands coming onboard will abide by the proprietary Stay for Good program, a structured framework that aligns with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Stay for Good embeds core stewardship values in operations and guest experience, promoting community engagement and partnership to drive long-term impact in the three core pillars of Environment, Society, and Governance (ESG).

Deepening this mission amidst expansion, Banyan Tree Group’s operation of Stay for Good across its multi-branded ecosystem ensures that each location, no matter how far apart, is unified in its commitment to regenerative and wellbeing practices.

“We have always believed that tourism can be a powerful force for driving positive change,” said Ms. Ho Ren Yung, Senior Vice President of Brand HQ. “Covid-19 gave us the impetus, pause and opportunity to reinforce our ethos of ‘Embracing the Environment, Empowering People’ in the context of today’s needs. It is our generation’s mission to build forward better together with our partners and guests, and redefine what essential, purposeful and responsible travel looks like in this next era.”

Throughout 2022, the Group will introduce new brands Garrya, Homm and Folio, as well as two new brand extensions of Banyan Tree named Veya, and Escape. Each of the five new brands to be released are responses to macro and regional trends in travel, accelerated by Covid’s impact, such as conversion opportunities in resort destinations, emerging second-tier tourism destinations, as well as a greater desire for wellbeing and sustainability-minded travel offerings.

“This expanded multi-brand ecosystem fortifies our stronghold in the lifestyle spectrum in Asia, while diversifying our offerings to meet the evolving needs of diverse, affluent travellers around the world,” said Mr. Eddy See, President of Banyan Tree Group. “As an independent, mission driven company with our core DNA in wellbeing and sustainability, we define what ‘good growth’ looks like. We are committed to being an exemplar and leader in our field, inspiring better living for our guests and associates in all the communities where we operate.”

With the soft-opening of Banyan Tree Veya Phuket scheduled for this month, the group plans a total of 19 openings across seven countries, throughout 2022   –  Maldives, Thailand, China, Indonesia,  Cambodia, Mozambique and Saudi Arabia – seeing new flags being planted in the latter three countries.

> Since you’re here, why not read about Banyan Tree Mexico?

Main image credit: Banyan Tree Group

Roca Ona in a contemporary bathroom with white and natural surfaces

Introducing Ona: The new bathroom collection from Roca

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Introducing Ona: The new bathroom collection from Roca

Inspired by the Mediterranean with soft shapes and geometric lines, Roca has launched Ona, its new collection that is all about simplicity and versatility…

Roca Ona in a contemporary bathroom with white and natural surfaces

In a typically innovative presentation, Roca went live from Barcelona with Ona, its new complete bathroom collection, in a round table launch that involved a broad range of some of the professionals involved in its design, development, and production processes as well as its communication campaign. The event included live link-ups to Roca factories in Anadia (Portugal) and Gavà (Spain) to learn about the production processes of the collection’s ceramic pieces and brassware.

The Ona Collection has “a timeless, highly functional and accessible design, respecting natural materials and having a transversal approach to sustainability,” said Marc Viardot Roca Group’s Corporate Marketing and Design Director, on revealing the first images of the complete range.

The range takes it inspiration from the Mediterranean way of life that is characterised by simplicity, care and connection. Reflecting a lifestyle that brings the outdoors into the home, the collection is about creating a relaxing retreat that connects the homeowner with nature.

“Ona is a Catalan word that means ‘wave’, a concept that takes us to the Mediterranean Sea, which is intrinsically linked to Roca,” said Danile Ayuso of Clase Bcn, the studio in charge of the art direction of the communication campaign.

Versatility is key to the collection, with its slim basins and subtle tap designs featuring a cylindrical and slender body with a flat rectangular handle, in perfect harmony with the shape of the spout. It considers the user needs on every level, from a comfortable WC height, to asymmetric design features that provide wider shelf space, along with soft close drawers for optimal storage. The gentle matt white colour can be complemented with furniture and accessories in the on-trend Mediterranean colours.

With innovation and sustainability at the core of the company ethos, designers were able to take advantage of materials like Fineceramic, which has been developed exclusively by Roca. Ona is a range that uses innovation in conjunction with design. It is designed as a collection that adapts easily to different spaces, and its clear and comfortable aesthetic make you feel at home across private and public spaces, creating a pleasurable, well-designed and safe place for family, hospitality and business clients.

With the launch of this new range, Roca continues to combine tradition and product knowledge with a passion for innovation and respect for the environment, all with the overriding aim of meeting people’s needs and contributing to the improvement of society’s wellbeing.

Roca is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our Recommended Suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: Roca

nestwell panel discussion at hix2021

HIX panel discussion: The next chapter of wellness in hotel design

730 565 Pauline Brettell
HIX panel discussion: The next chapter of wellness in hotel design

With quietness at its core, the nestwell installation at HIX explored the theme of responsible wellness in hotel design. The collaborative and multi-layered journey, spearheaded by nestwell, involved leading interior designers and architects from Sieger Design, Studio Carter, and Studio Corkinho, all of whom put forward concepts of slow design with wellbeing firmly on the agenda. The climax of the project was an insightful panel discussion that took place on the HIX Talks stage, moderated by Editor Hamish Kilburn. Pauline Brettell writes…

nestwell panel discussion at hix2021

Day two of HIX 2021 was again characterised by energy and innovation. One panel discussion in particular, entitled: Quietness with Attitude, went beyond convention and instead took the debate on wellness and wellbeing in hotel design to a whole new level. The session aimed to amplify the thought and passion behind the nestwell installations that were displayed at the show, and the design processes of the studios that were involved. Moderated by Hamish Kilburn, Editor, Hotel Designs, the discussion about wellness in hospitality became about a lot more than simply installing a power-shower in the ensuite.

“Wellness has been solidly on the agenda for years, and it’s significant that time and time again, at shows like HIX, we believe it’s our duty to stretch this topic and take it further than ever – be that through sensory design, immersive art and even as far as whole hotel concepts,” said Kilburn. “I know Covid-19 is a bit of a dirty word, but the pandemic was the catalyst we needed to elevate this topic beyond the spa and high-tech bathroom controls, to instead highlight the need to discuss mental health; to remove social taboos and evolve peoples’ definition of wellbeing. By unveiling, discussing and thus amplifying three separate hotel room themes, all of which share a human-centric approach to wellness and design, together it really feels like we are changing the narrative once and for all.”

designers etienne, yadev and sieger at HIX2021 panel discussion for nestwell

Image caption:  Cedric Etienne (Studio Corkhino), Hen’a Yadav (Studio Carter) and Christian Sieger (sieger design) discussing their sets on the HIX Talk stage. | Image credit: HIX

Introducing the concept to the audience was Motti Essakow in his role as Co-Founder of nestwell, and the driving force behind both the installation, and the philosophy behind it. Kicking off the discussion, Essakow went back to what was for him, a key point of inspiration, the spark that ignited nestwell, with this quote from 1972 when the country of Bhutan took the bold move to create the world’s first Gross National Happiness Index – where the wellbeing of the people and development of the country would no longer be measured based on economic indicators and instead based on happiness indicators: “Happiness and wellbeing is the concern for everyone. Whether or not you acknowledge it, this is the purpose of every human being”– Kingdom of Bhutan.

Fast forward to 2014, and WELL – the world’s first design and building standard to focus on enhancing people’s health and wellbeing through the built environment. In many ways this was the beginning of the conversation. Then came Covid-19, and like so many other conversations, lockdown, and all that came with it, made the industry look at theories of wellness with renewed interest and vigour. Inspired by how the WELL standard and Wellness Real Estate had become one of the hottest global lifestyle trends, while noticing how there was nothing similar occurring in the global – including London – hotel sector, the discussion on wellness and wellbeing was getting louder and looking for definitive answers.

It was this search for solutions that developed into nestwell, which took on the task of setting a new and pioneering industry framework for shaping and elevating ideas of wellness through design. “The solutions as presented and discussed by the panel of nestwell designers are about a multi-level approach to design, as well as about a multi-dimensional view of what we actually mean by wellness, and how that translates into a hotel room design,” explained Essakow. “Each studio developed a facet of the conversation and looked at three different types of experiential and sensorial rooms to illustrate the concept.”

The installation, which was inspired around the 12 guiding principles of nestwell, was divided into a space to Re-Charge (spa) by sieger design, an area for Tranquility by Studio Carter, and a suite to be Unplugged by Studio Corkinho.

“We want to bridge this gap and make the stay as pleasant, inspiring and relaxing as possible for business travellers.” – Christian Sieger, Owner and CEO, sieger design.

Re-Charge, designed by sieger design

Giving some background to the re-charge (spa) concept was Christian Sieger, Owner and CEO of sieger design, who spoke about the importance of the quality of the space rather than the quantity of space, the importance of being able to recharge, to be able to unplug while remaining connected. The bathroom is now the centrepiece in this concept rather than the add on, as it becomes all about harnessing the regenerative and therapeutic power of water. “I want to see the same quality I have at home in the hotel,” said Sieger. “In my experience, there were no hotel rooms that met my demands for comfort and furnishing. With the Re-Charge suite, we want to bridge this gap and make the stay as pleasant, inspiring and relaxing as possible for business travellers.”

sieger design spa hotel room

Image caption: sieger design unveiled its version of a spa hotel room at HIX. | Image credit: sieger design

“For me it was a wonderful experience to share our solution of a nestwell spa hotel room at HIX, to have a personal exchange with all those involved and interested in the vision of nestwell and to receive positive feedback directly from the audience. I am sure that, together with our and the other solutions, we made an impact to start a movement for better hotel room design. In the near future, these rooms will enhance our and the guests’ staying experience in hotels and make their stay as pleasant, inspiring and relaxing as possible.”

Tranquility, designed by Studio Carter

One of the recurring themes in this discussion was the importance of flexibility in design, (flexibility being one of the HIX buzzwords right across the event, including in the earlier panel discussion exploring the WFHotel concepts). On this platform, the conversation explored the idea of how to introduce flexibility into the hotel experience and the guestroom design. Hen’a Yadav from Studio Carter discussed this idea in some detail in relation to the Tranquillity suite. Having observed a significant change in her own post-pandemic lifestyle, and realised it was for the better, she considered how this could be integrated into design. “The boundaries between my work and my play hours were dissolving more and more,” she explained, “and though things remained fluid, an adaptive and flexible approach needed to be introduced.”

That is when the theme of “one room, many faces” was developed.

Render of organic guestroom designed by Studio Carter

Image credit: Studio Carter’s concept explored organic materials as well as fluid architecture to create an authentic sense of wellbeing. | Image credit: Studio Carter

Although as boundaries disappeared, some structure is then required, or to be more precise – a routine, a ritual. This lead Yadav to the idea of bringing this tailored and adaptive lifestyle concept to the hotel guestroom. That is when the theme of “one room, many faces” was developed. The importance of being able to design a guestroom with multiple faces, allowing the guest to configure the space according to their needs. The increased connection between work and play leads organically to the need for the guestroom to both reflect and accommodate choices and lifestyle. Yadav went on to discuss the importance of materials, and how a conscious and considered use of materials needs to be included in wellness design. All the installations were in fact characterised by both a thoughtful, and thought provoking, use of materials that considered the impact on the individual and the broader impact on the environment.

For Etienne and the Unplugged installation, it is quite simply about eliminating distraction in design.

Unplugged, designed by Studio Corkhino

Finally, discussing another key element of the nestwell concept – that of Quietitude (Quietness-With-Attitude) – in the Unplugged installation was Cedric Etienne from Studio Corkhino. The installation was inspired by the studio’s philosophy, which is all about reflecting on “the architecture of silence” and exactly what it is about a room, a building, that can bring about a sense of serenity and wellness. But how do all these very conceptual ideas about intentionality and contemplativeness actually translate into a practical experience? For Etienne and the Unplugged installation, it is quite simply about eliminating distraction in design, and using the principles of the architecture of silence to transform the guestroom experience into a sanctuary that will promote the essential concept of wellbeing. It is about being able to create a space that not only allows you to slow down, but also engages your curiosity and evokes enhanced physical, emotional and cognitive wellbeing.

A minimalist bed on the floor, with organic materials

Image caption: Studio Corkinho decided to strip back the conventional hotel experience in order to create pockets of quietness within architecture and hospitality. | Image credit: Studio Corkinho

All the panellists discussed these ideas of stillness and silence in relation to wellbeing and how a space can transform and alter a guests sense of time. As a result, this reduces the pressure of time so that the concept of ‘downtime’ becomes something more tangible. Ultimately, nestwell is about looking at practical solutions for some very philosophical concepts. It explores how to create a positive experience through innovative and flexible use of space, a conscious use of materials and a way of directing technology, whether in the form of water or light, to enhance the hospitality experience. It takes on all of these questions, and provides hotel designers with some meaningful answers along with some rather weighty food for thought.

The Quietness with Attitude panel discussion at HIX, moderated by Hotel Designs, was sponsored by Hansgrohe.

Main image credit: HIX

contemporary bathroom in glass and concrete with fittings by grohe

GROHE sponsors Water Research Prize 2021 at World Architecture Festival

730 565 Pauline Brettell
GROHE sponsors Water Research Prize 2021 at World Architecture Festival

Continuing to champion sustainability through technology and design, GROHE is proud to award the annual Water Research Prize to projects aimed at finding creative solutions for water in urban environments…

contemporary bathroom in glass and concrete with fittings by grohe

Supporting architects and designers around the world in creating healthier urban landscapes during and beyond the pandemic, GROHE is proud to be the main sponsor of the World Architecture Festival (WAF) 2021, a role taken on by the brand since the inception of the festival in 2008. As a founding partner, and a leading global brand for complete bathroom solutions and kitchen fittings, the company represents the unique role water plays for the design discipline, and helps shape innovative architectural visions and solutions around the element of water. During the challenging times of the past few years, GROHE has continued to support the architectural community by sponsoring this year’s WAF and the Water Research Prize 2021.

Greener, cleaner cities.
Now more than ever, ecological concerns regarding city planning, biodiversity and sustainability, demand the overall need to create healthier, safer surroundings. That is why this year’s festival theme is focused around “Resetting the City“. As concepts for sourcing clean energy, reducing pollution, and clean water supplies are now directly impacted by the effects of the pandemic, they are becoming the centre of urban planning strategies across the globe, and have also become the focus of this year’s festival. As a highlight of this year’s festival, architects from all over the world come together to compete with one another to win “The World Building of the Year”, an award which will be unveiled by GROHE on Friday 3rd December as the festival‘s grand finale.

Inspired by nature – a win to fight global water scarcity.
GROHE’s annual Water Research Prize is aimed at projects who are finding creative solutions for water in urban environments. This year’s award goes to Techlab laboratory and its “Aquasorbant Façade“. Inspired by the Namib desert beetle, the research team designed a façade using honeycomb-like modules which absorb and use moisture in the air to reach indoor thermal comfort. Designed with peaks and troughs on their surface the modules help retain water molecules from the air. The collected water will be stored in vertical tanks embedded in the façade on every storey. By adjusting the modules according to the optimal rainfall angle of every region, collecting water from both humidity and rainfall conditions will be possible in all climates around the world. The judging panel was delighted by this unique solution which tackles water scarcity around the globe.

“This innovative project tackles water scarcity and I particularly loved the inspiration directly taken from nature,” said Stefan Schmied, Leader, Business Unit Projects, LIXIL EMENA.

grohe awards water research prize 2021

Image credit: GROHE / WAF

The Water Research Prize has been part of World Architecture Festival since 2017, when the WAF X Manifesto was first published. The manifesto identified the most important challenges for architects within the next ten years, including water in relation to the urban environment. With this year’s festival focussing on the improvement of the quality of life in urban areas through greener, healthier infrastructures, the close connection to water is particularly striking. By sponsoring the award, GROHE has been supporting research in the field of unique architectural challenges around water for the past four years and is proud to continue doing so at this year’s festival.

GROHE is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: GROHE

santa in a moss green suit by leaflike

Leaflike turns Santa green at Hilton Birmingham Metropole

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Leaflike turns Santa green at Hilton Birmingham Metropole

Leaflike has swapped Santa’s traditional red suit for an on-trend moss-green alternative, and it’s attracting quite a lot of attention…

santa in a moss green suit by leaflike

Hot off the heels of its eye-catching display at The Brit List Awards 2021, as Decorative Partner, Leaflike has just unveiled yet another green-fingered installation as part of a spectacular festive display.

Each year, Leaflike creates seasonal showstoppers and festive floral displays, and this year is no exception as its creative ‘Green Santa’ display is stealing the show at the Birmingham Hilton Metropole. Creating a festive focal point in the lobby, its also becoming the most photographed Santa in town!

“The best thing about this Christmas scene is creating something different by design,” said Brandon Abernethie, Head of Design, Leaflike. “Watching the vision become a reality and most importantly making it a successful installation for the customer, ultimately enhancing the arrival experience for their guests and seeing the magic unfold when the public react by taking photos!”

Made from reused wooden reels, and then covered in live planting, the tree itself is sustainable and can be recycled and repurposed once the festive season is merely a memory. All this, together with a little Christmas magic and Santa in his environmentally friendly green moss suit, makes for the perfect green Christmas photo opportunity.

> Since you’re here, why not check out the biophilic design, created by Leaflike, inside Pan Pacific London?

Leaflike is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: Leaflike

Minimal white shower with wood accents and GROHE Tempesta 100 shower rail set - C2C Certified

Live from HIX: Grohe launches its cradle to cradle products

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Live from HIX: Grohe launches its cradle to cradle products

Marking the first industry exhibition for GROHE since the onset of the pandemic, HIX is also the first event where the brands newly accredited Cradle to Cradle Certified products are on show. We headed over to stand 7 to learn more…

Minimal white shower with wood accents and GROHE Tempesta 100 shower rail set - C2C Certified

Shortlisted at The Brit List Awards 2021 in The Eco Award category, the Cradle to Cradle (C2C ) concept by GROHE is a design process that can drastically reduce the use of new resources, as a product is designed and manufactured with the intent of using its components in its end-of-life-phase for the creation of new products. To coincide with the showcasing of their C2C products, GROHE is also launching the next module in its series of RIBA approved CPDs: Circularity in the bathroom and kitchen with Cradle-to-Cradle certification. Amongst the first sanitary ware brands globally to achieve C2C certification, GROHE has developed this informative and inspirational session to guide design professionals on how to achieve greener projects that offer C2C credentials. Hoteliers and other professionals can visit the Grohe stand at the show to be amongst the first to register for the new CPD session, hosted by GROHE’s team of experts.

“We are really excited to be a part of the very first HIX design show, a much anticipated event that is long overdue for the industry as we emerge from the pandemic,” said Ebru Bircan, Leader, Marketing Activation UK, LIXIL EMENA and GROHE UK. “Our stand and the innovations we are presenting focus on two very integral aspects of the current hospitality design landscape: wellness and sustainability. We want to continue to work with more and more hotel brands to provide sustainable solutions that offer tangible results in the reduction of water, energy, materials and waste. We’re also continuing to create this immersive narrative within the hotel bathroom around wellness and health through water. We see these two key design considerations to be integral to shaping the future of hotel design.”

GROHE is inviting guests to immerse themselves in the serene ambience of its spa-inspired room set, as part of a new premium spa and wellness-focused concept currently in development. The space will be created with re-envisioned designs of its popular Allure brassware range.

white ceramic handbasin and minimalist chrome mixer by grohe

Image credit: GROHE

Alongside showcasing its latest innovations designed to support sustainable and premium hotel projects, GROHE is also sponsoring the Meaningful Value keynote speech, presented by leading hospitality consultant, Horwath HTL’s James Chappell. The staged discussion will look at how brands and hoteliers can create hotel experiences that matter in the modern, post-Covid age.

GROHE is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: GROHE

the organic shapes and natural matrials of the criaterra tile collection by parkside

Live from HIX: Up close to Parkside’s new zero waste tile

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Live from HIX: Up close to Parkside’s new zero waste tile

Made from 100 per cent natural materials, Criaterra tiles are a new addition to the Parkside portfolio. We thought we  would get up close and personal on stand 52A and find out a little more about the design and production process… 

the organic shapes and natural matrials of the criaterra tile collection by parkside

Earlier this year, Parkside unveiled the Criaterra tiles, a new collection of 100 per cent natural, ‘zero waste’ wall tiles. And we have waited until now to get our hands on them. Fortunately for us, and those visiting the Business Design Centre this week, the team at Parkside have them on display on their stand.

Made from stone powders, clays and plant fibres cast in three-dimensional patterns that fuse geometric and organic forms, and available in colours derived from natural pigments, Criaterra is a unique decorative wall tile that challenges the conventions of production and design. Being 100 percent biodegradable, as strong as concrete and with six times the thermal resistance, Criaterra takes a bold step towards product circularity. The practicality of the tile, and its environmental credentials, along with its unique forms and natural palette, make it an exciting addition to the Parkside tile portfolio.

“We’re hugely excited to welcome Criaterra into our portfolio as it makes inroads in tackling the environmental challenges we face as an industry,” commented Brian Linnington, managing director, Parkside. “The tile’s ability to deliver performance as well as 100 percent product circularity is hugely impressive, but it is also incredibly beautiful to look at. Already gracing commercial interiors in EMEA, we’re looking forward to seeing how UK projects make use of the unique geo-organic forms and thoughtful natural palette.”

It’s not just about the material, but also how the tiles are made, and Criaterra have been developed with a 90 percent energy saving in production against ceramics, and using up to 70 percent upcycled quarry waste material, the tiles use Advanced Earth Technology, the result of an intensive five-year scientific R&D project. This innovative technology re-engineers the way tiles are manufactured and introduces a fully regenerative product, as well as replacing conventional high temperature firing with a low temperature process that reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

natural materials and colours along with organic shapes of the criaterra tiles

Image credit: Parkside / Criaterra Studio

Criaterra is available in eight geometric shapes which can be organised into limitless combinations in Quad or arranged through the irregular hexagon and concave form of Hex to reference the shape’s common occurrence in the natural world. A nine-strong palette of clay like tones, from pale Dolomit through to Onyx and Ruby, give a strong ‘from earth’ feel, making Criaterra well-suited to commercial interiors heavily influenced by natural materials. The square, rectangular and rhombus flat shapes of Quad also ground the tile well in more ordered contemporary schemes.

contemporary work surface and chairs with wood surfaces and criaterra tiles

Image credit: Parkside / Gidon Levin

Suitable for internal decorative wall use only and designed to work best without grout, Criaterra is a natural alternative to mass produced ceramic tiles.

Parkside, which won Best in British Product Design at The Brit List Awards 2020, is one of our recommended suppliers and regularly feature in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: Parkside / Criaterra Studio

contemporary Roca bathroom fittings in white by roca

Live from HIX: Roca showcases new smart products

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Live from HIX: Roca showcases new smart products

It’s all about smart design and sustainability on stand 4 with Roca – from the fabrication of the stand itself, to the brand’s latest products and projects on display…

Roca, known for design led bathroom products which combine innovation and product knowledge with a respect for the environment, have kept sustainability as its guiding ethos.

contemporary Roca bathroom fittings in white by roca

This is reflected not only through the products on display at HIX, but also in the fabrication of their stand, which has been designed with sustainability at the heart. Materials used include recycled copper, acrylic and plastics. Parts of the stand will also be repurposed for future events, to ensure its longevity.

The hospitality industry has seen an increased emphasis on hygiene with unprecedented demand for non-contact products in hotels and restaurants. Roca’s selection of products on display at HIX highlight the brand’s touchless solutions, such as the EP-1 and EP-2 electronic operating plates which offer touchless flushing capabilities for wall-hung and back-to-wall WC’s. With a stylish, contemporary design and easy installation, they are simply activated by the wave of a hand, providing an extra layer of safety and reassurance within the hotel or restaurant bathroom.

Roca’s range of electronic basin mixers, including the L70 and Loft collections, feature an infrared sensor which activates the water flow when presence is detected and shuts off automatically when the hands are removed, avoiding direct contact. The lack of contact not only improves hygiene, it also prevents the build-up of droplets and fingerprints on its surface, resulting in a cleaner product for longer. Roca’s electronic basin mixers offer a hygienic and effective solution to fight the spread bacteria and to reduce the use of water in hospitality settings.

A modern hotel bathroom not only stands out for its state-of-the-art technology, it also offers functionality, comfort and a stylish design aesthetic. The ground-breaking new In-Wash In-Tank toilet meets all three requirements and provides state-of-the-art technology, without compromising on its main function: bringing a total hygiene experience to the WC.

While coloured ceramics may remain a controversial subject, Roca’s luxurious bathroom collections are the ideal solution to create a harmonious and memorable space. Discover Roca’s Beyond, Inspira and Ruy Ohtake basins, available in unique colours and finishes, and designed with organic lines and a timeless aesthetic in mind. The result: beautifully sculpted exclusive basins, to transform any hotel bathroom into an elegantly completed space.

Roca also continues to innovate with its brassware portfolio thanks to the introduction of two new finishes to its stunning Insignia and Naia ranges. Complete with Everlux finish, the two new additions are now available in stylish rose gold and brushed titanium black. Also on display on Roca’s stand at HIX is the Carelia, Pals and Cala brassware collection in chrome. All these ranges offer unique and stylish design options.

“We’re delighted to be exhibiting at the much anticipated HIX event,” commented David Bromell, Head of Marketing, Roca. “We’ll be showcasing some of our latest products, including our innovative In-Wash In-Tank Smart WC, which combines the personal hygiene functions of In-Wash, with the unique integrated cistern of our In-Tank technology. These innovations sit alongside collections which embrace the latest possibilities in materials and colours, to support the design process through significant customisation options, and include our award-winning basin collection designed by Ruy Ohtake.”

While Roca’s Cratos shower trays manufactured in Senceramic® give us all the benefits of an extra-slim design, it also invites the user to enjoy different natural textures which are warm to the touch. The material Senceramic® is made of a unique mixture of high quality vitreous china and enamel, creating a textured finish in the production process. Not only are these shower trays beautiful to look at, but the textured surface also provides strong anti-slip properties.

Roca’s innovative Smart Shower is another product being showcased on their stand that combines design with technology and sustainability. It uses smart technology to provide a unique showering experience, with easy to use, customisable settings, the Smart Shower is a beneficial addition to any bathroom design.

Roca is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: Roca

tropical villa with infinity pool at gran melia lombok

Melia Hotels set to expand in Indonesia

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Melia Hotels set to expand in Indonesia

Already one of the hotel group’s most sought after destinations, the opening of Gran Meliá Lombok in 2024 will mark the second Gran Meliá property in Indonesia. Here’s what we know about the hotel that is expected to shelter ‘pure luxury’…

tropical villa with infinity pool at gran melia lombok

Meliá Hotels International is planning to bring a touch of Spanish luxury to Indonesia with the opening of Gran Meliá Lombok in 2024.  Meliá Lombok will be located at the beautiful Torok Bay in the south of the island, surrounded by green hills and a beach with crystal clear waters, the perfect destination to disconnect and relax. The hotel will boast 22 luxury beachside villas and another 105 villas on the mountainside, all with private infinity pools and stunning ocean views. Careful attention will be paid to the architectural design, utilising natural elements that represent the essence of the destination. The hotel will blend seamlessly with its natural environment, allowing guests to fully immerse themselves in the surroundings. An abundance of large windows will maximise natural light to promote the indoor/outdoor lifestyle, while elegant furniture and warm tones will convey a sense of pure luxury.

Luxury tropical villa featuring natural materials and textures on lombok

Image credit: Melia Hotels

Lombok is an island to the east of Bali with a pristine natural environment which has become increasingly popular as a travel destination over the past decade. Its immense rice fields, rugged landscape and the famous Mount Rinjani volcano all form part of the natural attractions of the island, which is surrounded by endless beaches, and turquoise waters ideal for surfers. The entire hotel has been designed as an authentic sanctuary for wellbeing. From the beachside YHI Spa offering relaxing rituals and treatments, to the well equipped fitness centre, Gran Meliá Lombok provides guests with everything they need to maintain their wellness routine. The hotel will also offer a kids club to keep children entertained and an extensive programme of activities designed for the whole family.

In keeping with the Gran Meliá brand, the hotel will feature world class dining options that combine the best local ingredients and techniques to offer guests authentic Indonesian dining experiences. The spacious lounge with scenic ocean views will provide the perfect setting for couples planning an exotic destination wedding.

Gran Meliá Lombok will become the second Gran Meliá brand hotel in Indonesia after Gran Meliá Jakarta, a flagship urban oasis situated in the Golden Triangle of the central business district of Kuningan, in Jakarta. The hotel boasts an iconic architecture inspired by Spanish heritage with renovated contemporary decoration, offering the finest dining experience, such as the awarded gastronomic offerings of Chef Tomoaki at Yoshi Izakaya Japanese restaurant.

Main image credit: Melia Hotels

luxury bedroom in shades of grey with orange accent

Cult Hotels and Hypnos collaborate in pursuit of sustainable luxury

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Cult Hotels and Hypnos collaborate in pursuit of sustainable luxury

Cult Hotels’ ambition to bring its game-changing new concept to the market includes providing guests with an exceptional sleep experience with Hypnos Contract Beds…

luxury bedroom in shades of grey with orange accent

Cult Hotels is the brainchild of Julian Dunkerton, Co-Founder of fashion giant Superdry and the highly successful Cotswold’s hotel and restaurant portfolio, The Lucky Onion. Dunkerton said it was his ‘ambition’ to bring a ‘game-changing’ new concept to the market, which included providing his guests with an exceptional sleep experience by working closely with Hypnos Contract Beds.

The George in Cheltenham is the first hotel within the design led Cult Hotels collection. Located across five Grade II listed Regency townhouses, the 46-key hotel has undergone a total refurbishment. You’ll still find sweeping staircases, ornate coving, and elegant panelling, but they’re now paired with bold colours, mismatched textures, and industrial design.

statement wallpaper in moody hues in a cult hotel guestroom

Image credit: No.131/The Lucky Onion

As someone who sees life as a world of opportunity, Dunkerton is clear that Cult Hotels, named after his first fashion brand, fills a gaping hole in the market. Centrally located with easy access to great restaurants, Cult Hotels aims to provide its guests with wonderful rooms at affordable price points. The quality of the refurbishment is impressive, and all their rooms feature top of the range Hypnos beds, epic showers, and super-fast WiFi. A moody palette of deep blues and greys, brightly tiled bathrooms and a selection of Penguin paperback classics at each bedside all add to the boutique vibe.

We’ve focussed on the raw ingredients and cut out the fluff,explained Dunkerton. “What we are offering is a truly amazing stay. Brilliant as boltholes for business travellers and anything-but-ordinary bases for weekend escapes.”

The Lucky Onion was founded in 2006, on the ethos of great design, high quality food and drink and exceptional service. “Cult Hotels and The Lucky Onion family are all about delivering an exceptional experience to their guests and we are delighted to be a part of their story,” said Carolyn Mitchell, sales and marketing director, Hypnos Contract Beds. “You can count on a fabulous night’s sleep in any one of their properties, as each room is furnished with a Hypnos Lansdowne Cashmere mattress for the ultimate in comfort and luxury.”

No. 131 is The Lucky Onion’s flagship hotel and restaurant, providing the perfect balance of sophistication and fun. A trio of beautiful Georgian townhouses set in the heart of Cheltenham, it is classic on the outside and contemporary British on the inside. The 36 guestrooms are all styled with bold, statement prints, period bathrooms and sumptuous Hypnos beds for a touch of old-fashioned luxury.

luxury hotel bedroom in shades of grey with bold patterned cushions

Image credit: Cult Hotels

Uniquely combining the luxury of a hotel with the independence of a bed and breakfast, No.38 The Park is a home away from home. The 13 individually designed guestrooms feature home comforts with luxury ensuite bathrooms. A peaceful setting for couples and families alike. The Wheatsheaf is an idyllic ivy-clad British Inn located at the heart of the beautiful sleepy Cotswold village of Northleach, providing the perfect countryside retreat. The 14 guestrooms are classically decorated with an industrial twist, again each with an enormous emperor size Hypnos bed, deep freestanding bathtub and beautiful period bathroom making them the ideal escape from the daily grind.

As well as its determination to deliver unrivalled comfort and hospitality, The Lucky Onion and Hypnos also share a commitment to sustainability. Dunkerton said: “Sustainability is important to me as a human being,” pointing towards the purchase of electricity from the right company as being a simple and easy way of making a huge difference to the environment. “I’m proud to say we were an early adopter of renewable energy. We use Ecotricity – what they do is spectacular. We all have an obligation to start this journey.”

The same ethos is applied when selecting bed suppliers to partner with. Hypnos Contract Beds was the obvious choice, it is an industry-leader when it comes to matters of sustainability and the environment, priding itself on producing beds which are 100 per cent recyclable and never need go to landfill as a result.

“We’re sustainable in every part of our business and we aim to help set the sustainability standards for the bed industry,” said Richard Naylor, Sustainable Development Director, Hypnos Beds. “We make the most comfortable beds in the world, and that comfort is delivered with the utmost integrity.”

As a pioneer of sustainable bed making, Hypnos was the first carbon neutral bedmaker in the world. As a family owned business and Royal Warrant Holder, Hypnos is committed to making beds in a way that can be enjoyed by generations to come. Each bed is handmade in England, using over 100 years of knowledge and passion in design and craftsmanship to build the most comfortable, stylish, and sustainable beds. In 2020, Hypnos was delighted to be presented The Queens Award for Enterprise for Sustainable Development.

Hypnos is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: Cult hotels

colourful parasols and canopies at hyatt island resort

Unveiled: The latest brands to join the Red Sea development

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Unveiled: The latest brands to join the Red Sea development

With the highly anticipated Red Sea Project getting underway, we thought we would take a look at the nine leading hotel brands who are now on board and set to join the Red Sea party…

colourful parasols and canopies at hyatt island resort

The Red Sea Development Company, the developer behind the world’s most ambitious regenerative tourism project, has announced the signing of nine hotel management agreements with international hotel brands to operate resorts in the first phase of development at The Red Sea Project. With the first phase of development on track for completion by the end of 2023, and with a total of 16 hotels set to offer 3,000 hotel rooms across five islands and two inland sites, we thought we would take a look at some of the latest developments.

The list of the hotels who have signed up reads like a who’s who of the international hotel world, and includes: EDITION Hotels and St Regis Hotels & Resorts, part of Marriott International; Fairmont Hotel & Resorts, Raffles Hotels & Resorts and SLS Hotels & Residences, all part of global hospitality group Accor; Grand Hyatt, part of Hyatt Hotels Corporation; Intercontinental Hotels & Resorts and Six Senses, part of IHG Hotels & Resorts; and Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts, a global luxury hospitality company.

Each brand at The Red Sea Project has embraced the vision of the project and have agreed to work together to collaborate in making the destination a success. The partners have welcomed the industry-pioneering sustainability standards of TRSDC and the broader commitment towards regenerative tourism development.

High on this list is Marriott International , who have plans to develop two of its flagship brands as part of the project, with both St Regis and EDITIONS set to enhance their footprint across the Kingdom.

“We are excited to be working with The Red Sea Development Company to introduce St. Regis Hotels & Resorts and EDITION to one of Saudi Arabia’s most-anticipated projects,” said Jerome Briet, Chief Development Officer, Europe, Middle East & Africa, Marriott International. “These milestone signings illustrate Marriott International’s commitment to the growth of the tourism sector in the Kingdom and highlight increased demand for lifestyle and luxury accommodations and experiences.”

crystal clear water at island resort of st regis in the red sea

Image credit: Marriott Hotels

The St. Regis Red Sea Resort marks the brand’s introduction in Saudi Arabia, and the continued growth of its portfolio in the Middle East. Situated on a private island, the resort is expected to feature 90 villas, two signature restaurants, an outdoor pool, fitness centre, and spa, in addition to a Children’s Club. Expected to open in 2023, the exclusive resort will offer the brand’s visionary spirit, avant-garde style and bespoke service.

contemporary architectural design of timber clad EDITION red sea hotel

Image credit: Marriott International

The proposed EDITION Hotel will be located on the Red Sea Project’s main island of Shaura. The Red Sea EDITION is slated to open in 2023 with 240 guestrooms, including one-, two- and three-bedroom suites. The property is set to reflect the best of its location’s cultural and social milieu and of the time. The hotel plans to offer two signature restaurants, a destination bar, beach bar, fitness centre, a swimming pool, and spa.

“It is with great pleasure that we welcome Marriott International to The Red Sea Development Company family,” commented John Pagano, CEO at The Red Sea Development Company. “Securing globally esteemed and recognized brands such as St. Regis Hotels & Resorts and EDITION operating our luxury resorts is a significant and positive step forward for our flagship destination. We are very much looking forward to working hand in hand with Marriott International to deliver unique and immersive guest experiences underpinned by a commitment to enhancing the environment and uplifting local communities as we endeavour to stay true to our regenerative promise.”

The Red Sea Project, one of the first ‘giga’ projects announced by Saudi Arabia’s government, is an ambitious regenerative landmark project, covering 28,000 square kilometres on the west coast of the country. The destination is expected to offer a new type of barefoot luxury experience and is being developed with the highest standards of sustainability. With an archipelago of more than 90 untouched natural islands, as well as dormant volcanoes, desert, mountains and cultural sites, the project is expected to deliver new levels of service excellence, using technology to enable a seamless personalized experience that aims to position Saudi Arabia on the global tourism map.

Main image credit: Grand Hyatt

palm trees and swimming pool at quinta do largo

Diving into the spirit of the Algarve at Quinta do Lago

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Diving into the spirit of the Algarve at Quinta do Lago

It’s all about the weather and wellness – sustainability and sunshine – in this corner of Portugal. Pauline Brettell checks in to The Magnolia Hotel to explore all that is on offer at the Quinta do Lago resort, where the natural beauty of the Ria Formosa Park combines seamlessly with contemporary design…

palm trees and swimming pool at quinta do largo

The Ria Formosa Natural Park in Portugal forms part of the protected coastal lagoon, which provides the context and backdrop to the Quinta do Lago, resort, and has been key to informing its commitment to sustainability and the environment, on all levels, throughout the resort – from critically assessing its landscaping and golf course management, to developing a culture of farm-to-table that has permeated all of the resort restaurants. The resort makes it clear that luxury can be sustained by sourcing locally, and integrating the local landscape rather than superimposing a resort onto it, and this is key to the ethos of luxury behind Quinta do Largo.

In the heart of the resort is The Magnolia Hotel – a stylish, family friendly boutique hotel designed by London-based Bryan O’Sullivan Studio, and modelled on the iconic motel designs reminiscent of Palm Springs. Driving through the entrance punctuated by the retro swimmer diving through the air, lit up in equally retro neon, the mood is set.

“The pool at its centre looks like it has been lifted straight out of one of David Hockney’s Pool series of paintings.”

There are bright sorbet colours as guests walk in nods to Hockney on the walls, and an abundance of palm trees that all contribute to the feeling of laid-back motel living with a note of luxury. The pool at its centre looks like it has been lifted straight out of one of David Hockney’s Pool series of paintings with its tiled reflections of the surrounding palm trees, and forms the focal point of the hotel, inviting you to dive straight into your holiday. Quality and comfort are the backbone to the vibrant and relaxed décor of this design, which is made up of a combination of 74 comfortable guestrooms, and a further seven vintage style cabins. The focus throughout is on laid back comfort, teamed with quality, along with a focus on wellness that runs throughout the resort. This wellness focus has been integrated on every level of design, from the bicycles at your disposal, to the Sleep Hub in your bedroom – I must confess to getting a little addicted to the sounds of waves crashing on my bedside table!

While The Magnolia Hotel is all about creating a relaxed family zone, the Reserva is a low-rise, cutting edge development made up of 26 luxury apartments. Designed by Portuguese architect João Cabrita, each unit has its own swimming pool, with panoramic sea views framed in a modernist composition of glass and natural stone. The Reserva complex remains true to the original plan of the resort with its low density design that is ecologically driven by its location on the edge of such striking natural scenery.

With wellness being the cornerstone to the entire resort, its state-of-the-art, multi-sports complex, The Campus, is an integral part of the experience, on both a design and a facilities level. The Campus is not simply about getting a bit of exercise in on your holiday, it is also about the lifestyle attached to that. The facilities are geared towards professionalism and performance, and are perfect for everyone, from high energy kids on holiday, right through to professional athletes needing to train in recovery, and pretty much everything in-between. For me, it was simply about a wonderful outdoor yoga session in the late summer sunshine, followed by a few laps in the comfortably heated pool.

state of the art sports centre

Image credit: Quinta do Lago

You can’t, of course, escape the golf course culture as you head down to the Algarve, as it is key to the hotel industry there. Importantly, Quinta do Lago has spent time looking critically at how their state of the art courses are impacting on the local landscape, and where possible, making improvements to minimise their impact. I am no golfer, so it was all about admiring the landscaping and negotiating the buggy for me, but if I was tempted to pick up a club or two, this would be the place to do it! The credentials and awards speak for themselves, as the South course on Quinta features regularly in Top 100 golf courses of Europe lists, and has also been awarded best golf course in Portugal on more than one occasion!

One thing is certain (and this is a subject I feel a little more qualified to offer an opinion on than golf), guests won’t be going hungry during their stay here! The resort is home to a wealth – 13 in total if I am sticking to the facts – of restaurants. Each one a signature aesthetic and ambience, created by different design teams appropriate to the concept. Again, design is considered in every nook, from craft-led crockery to locally sourced finishes.

japanese restaurant with jellyfish sculpture

Image credit: Laura Caroco

No where is the resort’s ethos of sustainability clearer than in the F&B experiences, as it is clear that all the chefs and their teams are passionate about sourcing and using local produce. On your way to your morning tee off you go right past the Quinta farm where chefs and gardeners collaborate to grow and develop fresh seasonal produce for all the restaurants.

We ended our stay at Quinta do Lago with an intricately crafted tasting menu at the Michelin-recommended Casa Velha. The attention to detail and the passion that head chef Alipio Branco puts into both the produce and the presentation, epitomises the ethos of the resort. The menu is inspired by the surrounding Ria Formosa as are the plates and bowls on which they are served, all sourced from local artisans and craft people, who, like all the designers and architects of this resort, take their inspiration from the dunes and the waterways of the estuary.

wooden boardwalk crossing natural lagoon at Quinto do Lago beach

Image credit: Quinto do Lago

“Sometimes when you look at a property you have an instant view of what you are going to do,” explains Andre Jordan, the man behind the idea that was to become Quinta do Lago, “I had to drive along trails and through pine woods until I came to a high point overlooking it, with the ocean on the horizon. Within 10 minutes I had the concept for the whole project in my mind. I wanted to create a high quality resort that reflected local character and style.” It is this idea of remaining a part of, while safeguarding, the local landscape that does in fact set Quinta do Lago apart. With the Ria Formosa running through it, and the strong sense of community as its foundation, Quinta do Lago has established itself as a leader in the world of low impact, luxury real estate, incorporating considered design at every turn.

Main image credit: Quinta do Lago

eclectic design of net zero hometel in chiswick london

room2 to open world’s first fully net zero hometel

730 565 Pauline Brettell
room2 to open world’s first fully net zero hometel

Setting new standards in environmental responsibility for the global industry, hometel brand room2 is set to open the world’s first fully net zero hotel in Chiswick, West London on December 1, 2021. We thought we would look a little closer at what this actually means…

eclectic design of net zero hometel in chiswick london

room2 is the UK’s first hometel brand, and aims to combine the best elements from Airbnb, serviced apartments and boutique hotels in a package that has been designed to appeal equally to corporate and leisure guests. Now set to open its third hometel in Chiswick, West London, this pioneering brand will offer its relaxed combination of home and hotel, while encouraging guests to embrace a sustainable lifestyle.

Forecast to use 89 per cent less energy per metre squared compared to typical UK hotels, room2 Chiswick is the first hotel in the world to fully account for its entire carbon footprint, making it ‘whole life net zero’. Being whole life net zero, means both embodied and operational carbon have, and will be, rebalanced throughout the entire hometel’s lifecycle. All emissions associated with the hometel’s production and construction, materials used, operations, maintenance, refurbishment, and including the eventual clearance of the building will equal zero.

contrasting textures, colours and surfaces in the design of room2 chiswick reception area

Image credit: room2

“Taking full accountability for our entire carbon footprint is room2’s baseline commitment going forward, investing in low energy and carbon solutions to align with our parent company’s Net Zero Roadmap by 2030.” says Robert Godwin who founded room2 with his brother Stuart Godwin. “Responsibility falls on all of us to make strides towards building a more sustainable future and keep the Paris Agreement’s 1.5-degree target within reach. We hope other hotel companies will join us in this urgent fight against climate change.”

To achieve these goals, room2 Chiswick embraces leading hardware and software technology from around the world to achieve pioneering energy efficiencies, with some of these being developed in house. Renewable energy is maximised on site with solar and ground source heat pumps, which convert 100 per cent of the energy needed for heating, cooling and hot water. Two lab rooms collect data on water and energy use, along with air quality, and learn from guest habits in order to refine and improve future efficiencies.

Ultra-low flow pressure showers use less water with aerated water fixtures and ultra-energy efficient lighting and appliances are combined with occupancy sensors across the building. The blue roof reduces localised flooding by slowly discharging up to 50,000 litres of rainwater, while the green roof boasts 200 tonnes of soil and wildflowers, planted to increase biodiversity and absorb CO2, along with beehives and bug hotels.

Inspired by the spirit of Chiswick’s 19th century arts and crafts heritage, which valued craftsmanship over a perceived decline in quality from mass factory production, each of the 86 bespoke guestrooms have been carefully crafted in collaboration with local artisans. From the marbled print wallpaper to handcrafted mirrors, guests can expect work from rising creative talent at every turn. All loose bespoke furniture was manufactured within 10 miles of the property, and made with Forest Stewardship Council timber. Fabrics and materials were all selected to promote reuse and a circular economy, beyond the current useful life.

 hotel guestroom design with fabric wall hanging and headboard

Image credit: room2

room2 Chiswick also has a zero-waste policy, and is the first UK hotel to introduce food waste into its in-room recycling bins. Unable to find a three-in-one recycling bin in keeping with the hometel’s philosophy for design and simplicity of use, room2 designed and manufactured its own bespoke bin to include waste, recycling and food waste, to ensure that 100 per cent of waste is recycled or converted into energy off-site.

Whether staying for two nights or two months, for leisure or for work, guests of all ages can expect the relaxed and informal room2 experience throughout their stay. Fully equipped kitchenettes, mattress menu and full 24-hour stay, with both check-in and check-out at 14:00, allow guests to personalise their visit, and stay more comfortably for longer. The new hometel also offers a laundry room, gym with Peloton equipment, as well as an independently run café by day and cocktail bar by night specialising in locally sourced organic food, coffee and wine.

“room2 puts a huge emphasis on our guest experience and connection to our local communities,” says Godwin. “With carbon emissions being the biggest threat to our planet, and with devastating impacts being felt across the world, we believe in our responsibility to prioritise our global communities and ensure our presence wouldn’t contribute further to the problem. We’ve done the hard work, so the guest has the full experience without the footprint.”

At a time when reducing the impact of climate change is more important than ever, room2 Chiswick has created an ideal destination for eco-conscious and responsible travellers looking for the ultimate stay in London, while at the same time, proving that sustainability doesn’t mean sacrificing style, convenience or comfort.

Main image credit: room2

hotel suite at Pan Pacific London with bespoke bed overlooking london cityscape

Case Study: Designing bespoke beds inside Pan Pacific London

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Case Study: Designing bespoke beds inside Pan Pacific London

With its proactive approach to environmental sustainability and wellness, Pan Pacific London gives centre stage to a bespoke bed in every guestroom and suite…

hotel suite at Pan Pacific London with bespoke bed overlooking london cityscape

Located in Liverpool Street, Pan Pacific London is the first European property from the Singaporean hotel group, and takes understated luxury to new heights – the 43-storey haven even incorporates a dedicated floor to wellbeing. The interiors are designed by world-renowned design duo George Yabu and Glenn Pushelberg, who honour Pan Pacific’s Singapore heritage for hospitality and connection with nature, by beautifully blending the refined charm of British design with a South-Eastern Asian artistic flair.

Pan Pacific London bedroom design

Image credit: Jack Hardy

In developing this sanctuary, the team at the hotel were committed to working responsibly and ethically to improve their sustainability credits, and to reduce the impact on the environment. This proactive approach to environmental sustainability and wellness can be seen in each of the 237 guestrooms and 43 suites. Each guestroom and suite has been designed as a haven from the bustling city. Curved walls and the neutral colour palette add to the peace and tranquillity of these private spaces. The art pieces add a further layer of calm, through the depiction of oak, elder, elm and maple trees. Centre stage is a bespoke Hypnos bed which provides the foundation for a perfect night’s sleep.

“We wanted to deliver an oasis of tranquillity in this wonderful bustling city of London,” said designer Glenn Pushelberg. “Pan Pacific London is intended to feel tailored, calm, and serene without falling flat on metaphors or symbolism. We wanted our guests to be immersed in a worldly outlook that is rooted in the warmth and comfort of the brands heritage.”

George Yabu adds: “Our design team conceived the hotel as a home, delivering a relaxed-yet-elevated residential feel. Qualities of an English manor house were reinterpreted with tailored modernity to serve as the bones of the project, while a twist of personality has been introduced through art and accessories, which layer in Eastern flair.”

Pan Pacific London luxury bedroom design

Image credit: Jack Hardy

“There is no doubt that Pan Pacific London was one of the most hotly anticipated hotel openings in London in 2021,” said Carolyn Mitchell, Sales and Marketing Director, Hypnos Contract Beds. We were delighted to work with the team to develop a bespoke mattress during a period when the hospitality industry was in lock down. It is so refreshing  and rewarding to finally see our hard work unveiled. We are a family business, dedicated to delivering sustainable sleep solutions and have been carbon neutral for over a decade. So, we are particularly proud to have worked with Pan Pacific London in delivering their vision of taking wellness and luxury into a new era. Our mantra at Hypnos is to deliver comfort with integrity – Pan Pacific London epitomises this perfectly.”

Pan Pacific London main plaza in central london

Image credit: Jack Hardy

Pan Pacific London is truly a serene haven away from the hustle and bustle, with every element carefully crafted and tailored to offer one of London’s most complete contemporary and luxury hotel experiences.

Hypnos is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: Jack Hardy

Roundtable: The art of lighting

Live roundtable: The art of lighting

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Live roundtable: The art of lighting

In Hotel Designs’ first live roundtable since the beginning of the pandemic, in association with Dernier & Hamlyn, editor Hamish Kilburn gathered leading interior designers to discuss the art of lighting in 2021 and beyond – from downlights to pendants and pitfalls in-between. Scroll down to meet the panellists and to catch the conversation…

Roundtable: The art of lighting

To celebrate Hotel Designs putting the spotlight on lighting this month – and following the recent virtual roundtable on ethical lighting – the editorial team along with Dernier & Hamlyn invited a handful of designers together to explore where designers’ are putting their focus when decoratively lighting hotel spaces.

Meet the panel:

Hamish Kilburn: What key elements should designers focus on when lighting public areas?

Darren Orrow: Lighting is an integral part of the guest journey and experience, it helps tell a story and create the ambience. Lighting treatments should be tailored to suit each area’s function and be controllable from morning to evening. The colour temperature and warmth of light must be considered in all areas but in particular areas for relaxation, lounging and dining.

With regard to architectural lighting it is about the light effect as opposed to seeing the light fixtures, downlights are often best kept to a minimum. Many fantastic lighting schemes are created from predominantly decorative and integrated lighting treatments, with accent lighting only used to highlight specific task areas and displays where they can add highlights and drama. Decorative lighting is so important in public spaces from both the point of view of their visual aesthetic and the contribution of light to the overall ambience. Table lights and standard lamps encourage guests to sit and relax.

There are a number of hotel operators with lighting guidelines that need to be followed for areas such as reception and check in, which need to be well lit to carry out admin tasks, often overnight when the rest of the lobby lighting is at a very low level / in sleeper mode. So, local lighting to such task areas is preferred in order to not overlight the area. Stair areas also have minimum light level and uniformity requirements.

Image caption: Editor Hamish Kilburn leading the conversation with leading designers on the art of lighting. | Image credit: Dish Creative/James Munson

Image caption: Editor Hamish Kilburn leading the conversation with leading designers on the art of lighting. | Image credit: Dish Creative/James Munson

HK: When pitching to clients, how much detail do designers go into regarding lighting schemes?

DO: I would say that in the last eight years, lighting designers are being engaged in the project really early on in the process. While the interior designer has an initial vision before we are involved – establishing the overall ambiance and decorative details –the best schemes are the ones where a lighting designer is involved in the concept stages of the hotel. Any later than that, then the opportunity to get really creative with lighting becomes limited.

Mimi Shodeinde: With a supplier like Dernier & Hamlyn, I would send them a concept that I have and then the team in the factory come back with suggestions. After this, I will go into the factory and we will together go through drawings and produce models. This is when the concept really develops.

Gemma McCloskey: I think when designers start to look at interior architectural plans and spaces, when they are establishing elements such as the ceiling and wallcoverings, they innately consider where the lighting is going to be integrated. Like Darren said, we also make a conscious decision to stay away from downlights. When looking at the layers of the interior/architecture you start realising which lights would work. Once you have that finalised, and FF&E you can then start allocating where the lighting can be placed before speaking to a lighting consultant in order to qualify how much light we need and advise us on technical details.

Una Barac: From my perspective, we try to get lighting designers on board as soon as we are appointed on large hotel schemes. We do explain to the client that, yes, we have engineers ourselves, but in order to get the successful layering you need a lighting consultant on board straight away. We also recommended that they are kept on board as a guardian role, especially when a contractor can really dumb it down. And if someone is not there keeping a watchful eye on value engineering then all that work can go to waste.

HK: Guy, you have completed simply stunning projects inside iconic, heritage buildings. What have been some of the challenges you have faced – and more to the point, what were the solutions?

Guy Oliver: I think there’s a tendency to over-light spaces. Everyone demonises downlights, but in a banqueting scenario, downlights are a good thing in order to make the food pop on the table. In a beautiful restaurant, they have remote control pin spots because they want to make, for example, the flowers or the food stand out. There are always these wonderful layers of lighting in heritage buildings, such as majestic chandeliers, wall lighting and these modern spots – it creates a really nice juxtaposition.

For me as a designer, it’s all about creating an atmosphere. He is the opposite, he likes to under light a lot of space. Take the Chiltern Firehouse, for example, you’re finding your way around because it’s deliberate to create a dark, moody and sexy ambiance. For me as a designer, I am designing a mise én scene.

I think strip lighting is overused. When you are sitting in a space for a long period of time, linear lighting can burn into your retina. There are other ways you can dramatically light a space, and there’s a hotel in Paris which is a perfect example. Instead of adding that harsh strip lighting under the bar, instead they just added decorative lighting on the shelves, which just highlights certain hotspots. Lighting does not have to be complex. I was in a beautiful palazzo in Malta, where I noticed a single light bulb in the entrance hall, and it was one of the most atmospheric places I have been to because it [the light] bounces off the paintings, mirrors and silver.

“Sometimes lighting can flatten a painting, and it’s really about getting the textures and layering into place.” – Guy Oliver, Managing Director, Oliver Law.

The Wigmore at The Langham London - Dernier & Hamlyn's luxury lighting

Image credit: The Wigmore/Dernier & Hamlyn

HK: Would you say art is a key area you are looking at when injecting sensitive lighting into a space?

GO: Don’t get me started on picture lighting… you could do a whole roundtable discussion on it. I think you should work with artists in spaces. Designers need to consider the period of the space they are in as well as the period of the object that they are trying to illuminate. Sometimes lighting can flatten a painting, and it’s really about getting the textures and layering into place. Sometimes, the painting itself can become the lighting source.

DO: It also depends on whether it’s framed in glass or the size of the piece. For us, it’s a nightmare when the artwork is chosen too late. The wall light needs to be ordered to match what art is going where. Ideally, we like to ask our clients to map out what’s been supplied and the materials being used.

HK: Does this then create a challenge when hotels want to shelter an art residency instead of having fixed pieces?

GO: Sometimes a client doesn’t know what they want, or, as you say it’s a hotel that wants to start an art narrative by launching a residency. Sometimes, clients are collecting art as they go. A simple and flexible solution for this is to put a clock point on a wall where the painting is roughly going to be. From there, you can get any painting and movie it around the clock point so that the picture light is on the frame. Often, I see spaces where the lighting is highlighting the wall and not the painting, which is a classic error in my opinion.

HK: How far can we take lighting in hotel design? It’s come a long way from simply being a decorative element in a room?

MS: Art was my first calling, and this has absolutely enforced my work. As designers, our minds are our largest tool. Essentially, if you can imagine it you can create it. I love working with bespoke products – it’s very rewarding seeing your concepts come to life. We are working on a few new lighting pieces with Dernier & Hamlyn. It’s a lot of fun, seeing my sketches come to life.

Akram Fahmi: I am working with an artist at the moment who made a paint that you simply cannot purchase. We are using this in a restaurant concept with the aim to really tell a story about this paint and artwork. For this, we have inversed the concept by playing with shadows instead of ‘light’, allowing this feature to become a dynamic statement, which changes as different light is added to it.

Working with the artist from the beginning has been a really nice journey. Often, we, as designers, will design a space not knowing exactly what the art is until later on in the process. However, this way, we were able to really ensure that the art, the colour and the lighting really weaved themselves into the DNA of the interior design scheme.

“Often with bespoke lighting we have to really do the leg work to find a supplier who will be able to design the product within the time frame while also being on budget.” – Alex Holloway, Co-Founder, Holloway Li.

MH: As a bespoke manufacturer, our boundaries are set by the imaginations of interior and lighting designers. Some of the more interesting projects we have worked on have included incorporating egg whisks into a pendant for a restaurant, believe it or not.  We’ve also used branches from the trees on a golf course to wrap around large parchment shades to help bring the outside feeling into a large space. And for another project we used scent bottles filled with different coloured waters for a perfumery company. We’ve also worked with a vast range of diverse materials such as Vellum, ceramic tiles, plaster, fibre glass, resins and the notoriously challenging shagreen.

Alex Holloway: In a lot of the hotel projects I worked on, we were not given the luxury of a lighting designer in the budget. We are also quite restricted on our FF&E budgets and our time on a project. Often with bespoke lighting we have to really do the leg work to find a supplier who will be able to design the product within the time frame while also being on budget. In one project, I remember speaking to four different manufacturers who simply could not make the lead time.

UB: Even on high-end refurbishment projects, we sometimes don’t get the luxury of a lighting designer. When we work on residential schemes, clients sometimes give us 12 weeks. We need to know, straight up, what your lead times are.

Mark Harper: It all depends how quickly we are brought into the team. If it’s left until the last minute, then of course we have still got to do all the research and development because a lot of what is being specified is unique. Research and development takes time. The sooner designers can get manufacturers on board, the better it is.

AH: What is great about the projects we get to work on is that as well as picking from the mix of decorative off-the-shelf products, you can also develop your own products within your projects. We have set ourselves a task each time we work on a project to create at least one bespoke element, which creates a unique language around the project. In addition to the aesthetic benefits, it also really allows our design team to understand a lot more about lighting as a result – it’s a fantastic learning curve.

“We are being asked to promote biophilic design, which is really looking at all senses.” – Una Barac, Founder, Atellior.

UB: It’s interesting. We have used lighting manufacturers to help us with lighting calculations and lighting advice when the client has chosen not to use a lighting designer. The reason being is that otherwise, engineers will just kill it – the first thing they would say is that decorative does not come into the deluxe level calculations and if you want to pass building control you have to have a certain amount of down-lighting. So, we have used friendly suppliers to help us when faced with these situations.

Image caption: Nobu Restaurant inside Nobu London Portman Square. | Image credit: Jack Hardy

Image caption: Nobu Restaurant inside Nobu London Portman Square (lighting manufactured by Dernier & Hamlyn). | Image credit: Jack Hardy

HK: There seems to be a louder conversation happening around sensory design at the moment. What’s lighting’s role in this movement?

UB: More and more we are being asked to promote biophilic design, which is really looking at all senses. When doing so, obviously, we have to look at utilising daylight and generally creating a better, healthier environment.

DO: We are also seeing this. The challenge we are seeing is that real plants need the right quality and amount of light in order to stay alive. And sometimes the light needed is not always the light you want in a moody bar or restaurant, for example. So sometimes, we have a different light to switch on when the restaurant is closed. We are also seeing a lot of clients using real plants where you can touch them and faux plants where you can’t, which makes the whole space easier to maintain.

GM: There is a line where it becomes too gimmicky, and sometimes it’s just best to let the light do what it naturally wants to do.

“We are now looking at really simple solutions like a tuneable, soft bedside light.” Darren Orrow, Director, into Lighting.

GO: Anyone who has control over the lighting, from an operational perspective, has to firstly understand atmosphere.

GM: If it’s suitable for the hotel brand, playing on the senses through lighting design can be really interesting. However, for most hotel brands, I fear it will enter a gimmicky territory.

DO: The whole circadian rhythm conversation is really interesting. It’s colour mixing white light. Controls can be expensive but it doesn’t have to be. In a hotel room, I believe the control should be with the guest, to be able to tune their lighting how they want it. We are now looking at really simple solutions like a tuneable, soft bedside light. For other hotel clients, we are looking at integrating the real flame effect from candles into the bathroom lighting scheme, creating a spa-like look and feel in the evening.

AK: I think you need to find a balance. You can inject high-tech software with a user-friendly interface. I think guests miss having a switch, and especially in a hotel, the controls need to be simple yet intelligent.

HK: And finally, what would you say are your biggest bugbears in lighting design?

DO: For me, as a lighting designer, the wrong lightbulb being used in a beautiful fitting. The specification of the lightbulb needs to come from the lighting design and/or the interior designer.

GO: Lighting lifts. Anything that comes as standard, forget it when lighting lifts. One of the cheapest tricks is to install a light panel, which literally look like you are in an operating theatre. If you put a panel under it, it softens the lighting. Sometimes people add lighting on the skirting, but it’s a very difficult space to light.

GM: Corridor spaces where designers don’t accept darkness, if that’s suitable for the space. Forcing lighting into spaces is often a big pitfall.

Key takeaways from the discussion:

  • Most designers prefer to have a lighting designer on board if budgets allow
  • Bespoke lighting manufacturers want to be involved at the earliest stages of a project
  • The wrong type of lightbulb can be a disaster
  • Getting the right balance between over and under lighting is key
  • The Wigmore in London does great chips!

Dernier & Hamlyn 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: Dernier & Hamlyn

granorte TRENDCollection

Meeting the demand for sustainability and style with TRENDCollection

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Meeting the demand for sustainability and style with TRENDCollection

The TRENDCollection from Granorte continues to push the boundaries in sustainable design, bringing four collections that showcase the versatility of cork at its very best…

From the collection itself, through to its website, brochures, point-of-sale and video; TRENDCollection spreads awareness that cork is a floor of the future designed perfectly for the modern hotel.

granorte TRENDCollection

TRENDCollection provides retailers with a comprehensive range to satisfy consumer demand for products that address a desire for sustainability and style with the added elements of durability and practicality.

The TRENDCollection boasts superior resistance and stability while combining the beauty of wood looks, the durability of vinyl, the comfort of cork and the ease of click installation. The range tackles the sustainability and material concerns of the most eco-conscious consumer, being created using recyclable and reusable materials and constructed without the need for Orthophthalate resins.

For homes looking to use cork’s powerful aesthetics as a driver in the interior, NATURTrend celebrates the many natural looks of pure cork with 12 nature inspired cork veneers. Its WEARTOP® finish provides a hard-wearing super matt surface and a 1mm cork layer adds thermal and sound insulation. From the cool grey poured concrete aesthetics of Fein grey through to the traditional warmth of Klassik, each is a perfect solution for millennial consumers.

DESIGNTrend sees high-definition direct digital print onto a cork décor layer with a click HDF core and cork base layer. Available in 16 designs, the range provides a wood effect floor from its white bleached looks of Oak blanc through to the dark grains of Oak rust and all spectrums of stylish greys and warm woods in between.

SOLIDTrend is available in 10 wood and two stone designs. Its rigid polymer core results in a stable waterproof product and a thin 5mm thickness makes it easy to install. The on-trend greys of Soho through to the warmer tones and grains of Timberland emphasise the ranges adaptability to cope with both modern loft living and the more traditional home.

VINYLTrend features 31 designs with a wide spectrum of wood looks, trend-focused concrete and textile-effect basket weave. Its vinyl core layer and 6,5mm swell resistant HDF core board construction creates a highly scratch and abrasion resistant floor. It truly engages with a broad style audience from minimalism to maximalism and retro through to contemporary.

“TRENDCollection showcases the variety of design and product available placing cork’s firm and clear benefits in the conscious of a new audience of homeowners and designers,” said Paulo Rocha, product and R&D manager, Granorte. “Significantly widening the appeal of this wonderful natural material, it’s a development that is sure to capitalise on the growing demand for natural and sustainable interior finishes.”

Retailers finding ways to keep up with the ever changing and increasingly demanding consumer can feel confident that the TRENDCollection not only focuses on today’s savvy consumer but provides longevity and adaptability for the consumer of tomorrow.

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

David mason interview - scott brownrigg | Hotel Designs

A young designer’s interview: Q&A with David Mason, Director, Scott Brownrigg

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
A young designer’s interview: Q&A with David Mason, Director, Scott Brownrigg

In the second interview in an exclusive series between Hotel Designs and NEWH UK Chapter, that aims to bridge the generation gap between designers and architects, editor Hamish Kilburn moderates an interview between young designer Marissa Miltiadous and David Mason, Head of Hospitality at Scott Brownrigg

David mason interview - scott brownrigg | Hotel Designs

 It’s a hard-knock life being a young designer in the current climate. Jobs for juniors are scarce, while opportunities for students entering the workplace are few and far between. However, it’s not like we haven’t been here before ­– meaning that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

David Mason, Head of Hospitality at Scott Brownrigg encountered a similar start to his career to that of today’s students. In the ‘90s, when Mason was optimistically graduating from university, somewhat naively expecting life to fall into place, the UK was heading into a recession. In short, the landscape for young designers looked pretty bleak. Determined to stay in the design profession, Mason took a role with a graphics company and through hard work, a bit of luck and saying ‘yes’ to almost every opportunities that would strengthen his portfolio, Mason found himself on the radar.

Following stints at Martin Brudnizki Design Studio, Fox Linton Associates, Woods Bagot and consulting independently, in 2016 Mason found ‘his people’ at Scott Brownrigg, entering the studio first as a Project Director, and later (in 2018) became a Director.

Now heading up the hospitality division at the company, he agreed to take part in our next young designer’s interview, this time with Marissa Miltiadous holding the mic, a post-graduate Part 1 designer who, in 2019 won an NEWH scholarship for her ‘studio of fresh thought’ concept.

Marissa Miltiadous: When did you first realise you wanted to be an interior designer?

David Mason: As a youngster, I enjoyed building things and I had an innate creative side. My parents were super supportive and let me follow my dream.

Interior design is so far from being just about decoration. I learned this when specialising in interior design at college. I then received an undergraduate degree from University of Birmingham. Looking back, it’s been an amazing and long journey, full of exciting and unexpected moments that have kept me on my toes and always growing.

“Young designers should not be disheartened by rejection.” – David Mason, Head of  Hospitality, Scott Brownrigg.

I graduated in 1993, just as the nation was in the throes of recession. It was a terrible time to enter the market but determined to stay in the design field which I loved I worked as a graphic designer. Two years later I went back to university to study for my masters and then, off the back of that, I applied to London firms. The rest is history. I recognise the hardest part is the first step. Young designers should not be disheartened by rejection, it can often be luck and timing. Interior projects are fast moving and we often need more people should a number of projects go live at the same time. The industry is opening up, albeit slowly, but it is still showing encouraging signs of recovery from the pandemic.

Hamish Kilburn: What about you, Marissa?

MM: I was 14 years old when I realised that I wanted to be an interior design ­– there were signs younger. [As a child], I would constantly move things around to make spaces look more exciting. I didn’t register at the time that I had a passion for how spaces looked. When I went to university it all fit and I was able to channel my natural instinct towards colour and take my passion further.

MM: What lessons did you learn when entering the workplace?

DM: To be honest, it’s a constant learning process. Every day is different. The most significant lesson I learned as a young designer was understanding that university only sets you up so far but the job is very different in the workplace. My university experience was about pushing students creatively. Our job, in reality, is hard. We are responsible for a lot of components and that’s what makes it great.

When you are design student, you don’t necessarily see the bigger picture. And then, when you enter the workplace, you have to all of a sudden see the large canvas.

Purple lighting in large, swanky bar in London

Image caption: Hard Rock Hotel London, designed by Scott Brownrigg | Image credit: Roberto Lara Photography

MM: How does Scott Brownrigg help young designers get the recognition they deserve?

DM: We celebrate our designers as part of a collaborative team. We include junior designers in our meetings ­– especially during lockdown with the use of seamless software to keep the team together. We also like to include our research and development team in many of our conversations so that we are always moving forward. Internationally, we present our work to our peers, and allow everyone the opportunity, regardless of job title, to have their input. That way, we ensure that everyone is part of the process.

We welcome opinions and everyones voice. We encourage these opinions. That’s where discussion leads to great design – and that, in my opinion, is how we can grow as designers.

MM: What is Scott Brownrigg’s approach to sustainability?

DM: It’s a massive topic for our industry – so much so that we actually have a sustainability and wellness team within our business to keep us on track. It’s always on our agenda. There’s still an outlay for the client – we work on research to ensure that it’s beneficial for the client. For some clients, sustainability is an absolute must and many recognise It goes beyond towel washing and removing miniatures from the bathroom. It’s much larger and starts earlier. We look at carbon-neutral building practice and analyse key factors and requirements to bring down our impact.  Being a multi-discipline practice, we have an advantage because we closely with our architects. We are finding that there’s a mutual synergy between everyone involved in our projects to produce buildings that have been designed consciously.

The more that this develops, the more the client starts demanding sustainable approaches, the quicker the costs will come down and that in itself will allow for sustainable design to be much more achievable. You have to get the client on board from the beginning. If you can take the client on a journey with you it allows them to see the the benefit for all.


MM: What advice would you give to designers beginning in their careers, particularly now during the pandemic.

DM: Let’s face it, you have been locked away, and that’s not natural. You should be clawing at the walls to get out to see and experience hospitality again – and that should not be limited to what social media wants you to see.

When I started as a junior designer, we read books, flicked through magazines and then went to see the latest new bar and restauarant openings and the spaces that inspired us ­– even if that meant just ordering a soft drink at the bar because we had no money. So, my advice would be to go and see everything and soak it all in again. As a result, it will not only broaden your mindset but also give you more to play with when it comes to interview. With everything opening back up again, it’s such an interesting time for hospitality and if you want to be part of designing the next era, you have to experience what is happening now!

Also, I know it’s hard at the moment, but keep applying for jobs! When I interview people, I want to know who they follow and who (and what) they are inspired by. People often can’t answer it, which surprises me.

Another big bugbear is when people don’t research our company. Do your homework. Visit the website, go see our projects. Ultimately though, don’t give up, it will happen.


MM: What challenges do you see impacting the industry? 

DM: For me, during the pandemic there were so many articles about where hotel design is heading – and a lot of them were quite negative. As far as I am concerned, now is such an exciting time for the design industry! Think about it… the festival of design post-war. They built the southbank and created this movement towards new development and design in the wake of a major depression. Now is the time to think completely outside the box. In a blink of an eye, our perspectives have changed. We made lockdown work; we adapted and now that we are coming out of lockdown, we can re-write design and what was ‘the norm’.

MM: What projects are you currently working on?

DM: We are working on a number of hospitality projects with two of our hotels about to start on site.. It’s great timing as it gives our team the opportunity to see the project develop, from demolition, 1st/2nd fix to completion. It’s the only way for the team to see  a hotel come together and truly understand what they are drawing. Site knowledge is invaluable, and lessons learnt will be carried through to future projects .

We have also just started on two master plans, one of which will be a major mixed use development with a hotel, ballroom, conference facilities, spa and F&B outlets  as well as an experiential project & hotel with a well known lifestyle brand.

MM:  Finally, tell me something about yourself that others may be surprised to know about you?

DM: I am grade two on the violin (you asked…)

> Since you’re here, why not read our first interview in this series, between James Ingram and James Dilley?

Main image credit: Scott Brownrigg

Hypnos Chillington Sept 2021_10879 1

Sustainability & comfort combined: A new mattress collection from Hypnos

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Sustainability & comfort combined: A new mattress collection from Hypnos

Experts in sustainable luxury, British bed maker Hypnos Contract Beds unveiled the next chapter of its sustainable story with the launch of its new ethical Origins collection for the hospitality sector at this year’s Independent Hotel Show. Editor Hamish Kilburn writes…

Hypnos Chillington Sept 2021_10879 1

With up to three-quarters of hotel guests willing to spend more per night to stay in a hotel that demonstrates authentic green credentials, The Hospitality Origins Collection by Hypnos Contracts Beds arrives right on cue. It represents a new era of sustainable sleep solutions for the sector, providing hoteliers with a truly eco-conscious bed for their guests.

No new comer to unveiling sustainable solutions in the industry – with its carbon-neutral certification and eco-packaging solution – the brand’s latest collection is a harmony of conscious design with supreme comfort.

Hypnos Chillington Sept 2021_9983_9982 - for social

Image credit: Hypnos Contract Beds

We’re told that the collection comprises of three luxury, durable mattresses. The first model, launched at the Independent Hotel Show last week is the Woolsleepers Elite – a hand-finished pocket sprung mattress, featuring 11 layers of sustainable comfort with each mattress including more than eight full fleeces of 100 per cent British wool. Considered a super-fibre, as well as being naturally antibacterial, wool is also incredibly breathable, responding to natural fluctuations in body temperature by wicking away moisture, making it a perfect material for beds.

Upholstered in beautiful unbleached, naturally fire-retardant woven cotton and viscose ticking, the mattress also benefits from 1,400 ReActivPro™ pocket springs and 3,000 Adaptiv™ springs that are designed to evenly distribute weight across the expanse of the bed, flexing to individual body shapes for optimum support and personalised comfort for hotel guests. 

Encompassing Hypnos’ decade long commitment to responsible sourcing and manufacturing, The Hospitality Origins Collection is a reflection of the company’s commitment to working only with likeminded ethical partners to ensure the provenance, authenticity and traceability of all materials. By only using wool from Red Tractor assured farms, hoteliers and those specifying for hotel projects can be confident that Hypnos is working with sheep farmers who are committed to animal welfare and regenerative farming and know that Hypnos is paying them a fair price, on time, something many brands don’t do. 

Hypnos also supports farming communities around the world through CottonConnect and the Better Cotton Initiative, with education and training ultimately leading to reductions in pesticides and water usage.  And their certified factories have met the Global Recycled Standard to ensure materials have been collected and recycled responsibly so they don’t pollute our seas and lands.

“With a rise in hoteliers opting to incorporate more natural elements into their properties through the use of biophilic design – which has become more important over the last 18 months, we are incredibly excited to share our latest vision which has once again pushed the boundaries for sustainable sleep,” Carolyn Mitchell, Sales and Marketing Director at Hypnos Contract Beds, told Hotel Designs. “Our aim is to support hoteliers by providing a luxury, ethical sleep solution. Our robust sustainable beds will appeal to consumers who’s environmental principles are increasingly driving their booking decisions.

“Through The Hospitality Origins Collection, we are continuing to champion sustainable, ethically sourced British materials and working with partners including Red Tractor Food and Farming Standards to ensure high levels of animal welfare and land management. The collection ensures that every part of the supply chain is accounted for ensuring that everything from the farm to the factory floor is as sustainable as it possibly can be.”

Hypnos is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: Hypnos Contract Beds

Hotel design | 60's inspired living room inside Turing Locke

Locke opens hotel in sustainable development in Cambridge

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Locke opens hotel in sustainable development in Cambridge

Locke, the pioneering lifestyle aparthotel brand from edyn, opens its ninth property. Turing Locke, a new 180-key hotel, is situated in the heart of Cambridge’s sustainable new development, Eddington….

Hotel design | 60's inspired living room inside Turing Locke

The opening of Turing Locke, in the heart of Cambridge’s sustainable new development, Eddington, marks the continued international growth of Locke (by edyn), which has opened four locations in London, Dublin and Munich so far this year.

“The aparthotel seamlessly combines mid-century design choices with modernist flares.”

Named after the revolutionary computer scientist Alan Turing, the aparthotel comprises 180 stylish apartments (including one- and two-bedroom apartments, up to 74sqm), which each feature Locke’s signature fully fitted kitchens, living and dining space – ideal for extended stay guests. The aparthotel also includes a restaurant, cocktail bar, coffee shop, retail space, co-working area, gym, meeting and events space for up to 150 guests, along with a seasonal rooftop terrace and central landscaped courtyard.

Designed by Stirling Prize-winning architects dRMM, with interiors by the globally renowned design firm AvroKO’s London studio, Turing Locke takes its design cues from the avant-garde movements established in Cambridge. The aparthotel seamlessly combines mid-century design choices with modernist flares, set against a calm and cosy colour palette of greens, pinks and teal.

Hotel designs | A soft and contemporary bedroom, with wooden headboard and insect art


Turing Locke will serve as a focal point for the new community of Eddington, which has been developed by the University of Cambridge as an exemplar of sustainable living. Sustainability has been a central focus in the construction and design of Turing Locke, which features on-site renewable energy sources, biodiverse landscaping, and responsibly sourced furniture, lighting, and timber – as well as 200 cycle parking spaces and 20 electrical vehicle charging spots. These measures have reduced the development’s carbon emissions by 20 per cent, and targets BREEAM Excellent certification. As part of a brand-wide initiative, Locke has partnered with climate positive procurement consultancy Dodds & Shute to source timber, furniture, and lighting from responsible suppliers. As a result, Locke has offset 116.53 tonnes of carbon emissions – equivalent to protecting 4,307 trees. 

“Our ambition is to create a new community hub in Cambridge and establish Eddington as one of the City’s most exciting new destinations.” – Stephen McCall, CEO, edyn.

“Turing Locke marks our ninth Locke opening, and a milestone in our commitment to sustainability,” said Stephen McCall, CEO of Locke’s parent company edyn. “It has been an honour to work alongside the University of Cambridge to create our new home in Eddington, which has enabled us to take significant strides towards becoming a more sustainably conscious business. Our ambition is to create a new community hub in Cambridge and establish Eddington as one of the City’s most exciting new destinations, where locals and visitors alike can meet, work and exchange ideas.”

Working with locally-renowned partners to create two new food and drink destinations – KOTA and Dutch – Turing Locke will firmly establish Eddington as the new hotspot in Cambridge, creating exciting opportunities for existing local businesses.

A contemporary walkway into soft pink living room

Image credit: Locke

KOTA expands across three areas of the building, including a restaurant, seasonal rooftop terrace and coffee shop. The main restaurant and courtyard area specialises in lazy brunches, barbequed flavours, cocktails and craft beer; while the coffee shop serves third wave coffee roasted in-house by London-based roasters Saint Espresso, alongside juices and light bites. On the seasonal roof terrace, KOTA showcases an innovative cocktail menu and small plates.

 Dutch features an extensive cocktail menu alongside expertly sourced spirits, wines and beers, plus locally sourced platters of British cheeses and cured meats and salads, tortillas and tapas-style small plates.

A permanent art installation by local artist, Fiona Curran, emboldens the courtyard space, which aims to connect the rich history of Cambridge with its progressive future by drawing on references from archaeology and astronomy. The destination will also host an evolving cultural programme, which will include regular talks, workshops, exercise classes and more, and will be available to attend to locals and guests.

Turing Locke co-habits the building with the new 150-room Hyatt Centric Cambridge – Hyatt’s tenth hotel in the UK and the debut of its lifestyle brand Hyatt Centric in the country. Turing Locke and Hyatt Centric Cambridge share the courtyard space and all communal areas, including the food and beverage offering at the hotel.

Main image credit: Locke

Virtual roundtable - ethical lighting solutions

Virtual roundtable: Ethical lighting solutions

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Virtual roundtable: Ethical lighting solutions

With the aim to put ethical lighting – and not just sustainability – under the spotlight, Hotel Designs’ latest virtual roundtable welcomes Chris Stimson, Founder of lighting brand Well-Lit, and a handful of leading designers and lighting experts to explore ethical product design. Editor Hamish Kilburn writes…

Virtual roundtable - ethical lighting solutions

For years now, the buzzword that is ‘sustainability’ has been a constant tone; a consistent and unavoidable noise ringing in the ears of every designer, architect and hospitality professional – like tinnitus. Despite the topic remaining important and in its infancy regarding us seeing real change, in order to really clean up our act when it comes to designing consciously, it is not the only subject we need to consider and, if needs be, expose.

To really one day achieve a totally ethical arena for designers, architects and hotel professionals – we live in hope here on the editorial desk – we must also place product design under the spotlight. To do this, designers must not be afraid to question how raw materials are sourced as well as how each element of the product they are specifying is made. But how do we, as an industry, realistically achieve this when deadlines become tighter, briefs become narrower and so many other details need to be addressed on a project?

In addition to advising designers to specify responsibly, after moderating the below roundtable discussion, I no longer believe it is acceptable for brands to be ignorant on how their products are being made. The reason why I say this is because the consequences of such naivety, which emerge thousands of miles away from the first-world problems we face in the western world, can be (and are) unequivocally devastating.

Image caption: Susan Lake's lighting design, sheltered inside Yotel Edinburgh. | Image credit: Yotel Hotels

Image caption: Susan Lake’s lighting design, sheltered inside Yotel Edinburgh. | Image credit: Yotel Hotels

Many brands, both large and small, that currently manufacture their products in Asia are (knowingly or not) fuelling modern slavery. One man who has seen the human cost of unethical manufacturing is Chris Stimson, Founder of lighting brand Well-Lit, who inspired the topic of our Hotel Designs next roundtable.

To panoramically explore ethical lighting solutions with might and purpose, we invited Stimson, along with a handful of designers and lighting experts, to discuss just how bad the problem currently is.

On the panel:

Hamish Kilburn: Chris, why is ethical lighting so high up on your agenda? 

Chris Stimson: It’s based on my own experience. Previously I was based in China, and worked as a sourcing agent for western brands that were looking for manufacturers. Before LED bulbs for domestic homes were known, I was watching the research, travelling to trade shows and meeting the people who were developing the technology. I successfully connected the manufacturers with brands – and that went well for about two years.

Then in 2010, there was a dramatic shift in the market as mass production entered, and the price of LEDs and what manufacturers could achieve fell. I was literally told over night to halve my prices or I would be out of a job. It was during that time when I witnessed things that rocked me to my core; I saw things that could not be unseen. Over the period of just six months I realised I facilitated it. I was part of the problem, so I decided that I was in a position to do better. And this is how we started the lighting brand Well-Lit.

Well-lit light bulbs

Image caption: Well-Lit are one of the few lighting brands that is actively ensuring that the manufacturing process to make its products and components is ethical.

HK: As lighting experts and designers, how aware are you all about non-ethical practices when it comes to manufacturing?

Charlotte Flynn: I’ll be honest, before we had an introduction with Well-lit, we were not aware of the unethical side of lighting manufacturing. It really was new to us. At least knowing that brands, such as Well-Lit, were willing to bring this forward was comforting, but it was also pretty unnerving to think that, despite working with brands who claim to be ethical and sustainable, we actually had no idea just how bad the situation was. The reality is that many designers are unknowingly specifying products that have been made in barbaric conditions.

Metehan Apak: As designers, I think we have all noticed prices of products come down as demand rises. What cannot be ignored are the demands among modern travellers for sustainable design and hospitality. As a result, our clients are getting on board with our thinking to source sustainable and ethical products.

Arianne Ghezzi: We do pay close attention to the suppliers we are working with. There are a few items that we really care about when specifying and that’s usually around what happens in the background. Clients start coming on board when they realise that these ethical decisions often end up saving money when it comes to running costs. More and more, I have seen, that clients are also asking about the lifecycle of products and the recycling qualities of each product.

I also think that manufacturing tours are very usable for designers to understand how components are made and put together.

Image caption: Ennismore recently set new standards to only work with brands that can prove their ethical value. | Image credit: The Hoxton Paris

Image caption: Ennismore recently set new standards to only work with brands that can prove their ethical value. | Image credit: The Hoxton Paris

HK: I can imagine, though, it is very difficult for designers who are working towards a brief for a space to be aesthetically pleasing while also remaining on budget and for the materials to be sourced ethically. Realistically, can all three demands be met?

Susan Lake: It’s a very difficult tightrope that as designers we have to walk. We have to think about the larger picture but we also have to consider the budget, time and aesthetics. It’s reassuring to see that there are brands out there that do source and manufacture responsibly. Equally, it is our responsibility to really demand these credentials when we are specifying products. When it comes to ethics, though, to produce in an ethical way will naturally result in the prices going up.

HK: How do you qualify what is ethical – and what is the human and social cost of unethically made lighting?

CS: The situation around fast fashion really brought awareness to other industries. Even Apple – one of the world’s most recognised brands in the world – has huge problems with their manufacturing in Asia. For example, the brand launched a huge campaign about ethics and manufacturing. Well, on the day they released their press statement, a video emerged showing footage from inside a Chinese factory where the manager was throwing workers’ name badges on the floor for them to pick up at the start of their shifts. It’s incredibly difficult and if a brand like Apple is struggling then you can imagine how challenging it is for everyone else.

“It’s almost like ‘made in China’ is a dirty phrase. And it usually is, but it doesn’t have to be. – Chris Stimson, Founder, Well-Lit.

Image caption: Public areas inside Hotel Zeppelin, designed by Dawson Design Associates. | Image credit: Viceroy Hotels

Image caption: Public areas inside Hotel Zeppelin, designed by Dawson Design Associates. | Image credit: Viceroy Hotels

In terms of my own experience and what I have witnessed, the social and human cost of manufacturing [unethically] in my industry is devastating. I am seeing migrants working hundreds of miles away from their families for very low pay – sometimes even refused pay. The working and living conditions in and around these factories can be disgusting and dangerous. They are being made to work inhumane hours and their jobs are threatened on a daily basis because they can be easily replaced. I have seen what that can do so someone’s physical and mental health and it is disturbing. It destroys people, and yet it still doesn’t get spoken about.

For a lot of brands, it’s almost like ‘made in China’ is a dirty phrase. And it usually is, but it doesn’t have to be. My beliefs are that we all live on the same planet and we should be treated equally. It is as important to discuss ethical sourcing as it is to highlight sustainability and carbon emissions.

“Sustainability seems to be the key word in the briefs but trying to find out information on how the products are manufactured and the conditions of the factories is very difficult.” – Glenn Campion, Partner, LAPD

Image caption: LADP Lighting Design's simple yet dramatic lighting scheme inside The Loft Restaurant. | Image credit: The Loft Restaurant

Image caption: LADP Lighting Design’s simple yet dramatic lighting scheme inside The Loft Restaurant. | Image credit: The Loft Restaurant

HK: In your experiences, are you being told the truth when brands tell you about their ethical credentials?  

Glen Campion: Finding and measuring metrics and data on the ethical standards of manufacturers is nigh on impossible. It’s not something that is published. Sustainability seems to be the key word in the briefs but trying to find out information on how the products are manufactured and the conditions of the factories is very difficult. I think there is a lack of accreditations. The only one I am aware of is the Green Alliance but I know that doesn’t cover everything, so there is a long way to go.

CS: That’s really important because there are no accreditations out there that define exactly what an ethical brand is. I can set up a brand tomorrow and convince a lot of people that we are doing everything the right way and it would simply not be true. The only time in my career that an organisation has really challenged me on what we do was when The Observer  were considering us for ‘ethical product of the decade’ in their ethical awards. They asked deep questions and requested evidence.

For designers, it is almost impossible to know if you are purchasing sustainable or ethically made products, it really is!

“It is impossible to find out in certain regions. We have tried, for years, and we can source about 85 per cent of our raw materials and then there is just a hole. – Chris Stimson, Founder, Well-Lit.

HK: It seems that price is a pretty good indicator then. How much more expensive are ethically sourced lighting products?

CS: When we designed the business, we asked how we could create an ethical product. We had to be a profitable, sustainable and ethical enterprise. By truly doing this, it became clear that there was no way we could afford large-scale PR or a large offices and teams in London. In fact, in 12 years, we have spent about £12,000 on marketing because every penny we have has to go into the design of the product.

What’s more is that we need to present our products at competitive prices to our competitors otherwise we are out of the game. The challenges of running a business like ours is extraordinary when competing against the large brands with deep marketing pockets.

Two big bulbs in lighting scheme for a bar

Image credit: Well-Lit

Glen was talking about supply chains and where raw materials come from. The truth is that it is impossible to find out in certain regions. We have tried, for years, and we can source about 85 per cent of our raw materials and then there is just a hole. Therefore, we cannot promote ourselves as a completely sustainable business – but we try everything we can to be as ethical and sustainable as possible, while being ahead of the technology curve when it comes to lighting innovation.

I also don’t think you can be a sustainable business without being an ethical business. The real sustainability crime is the sheer amount of the low quality, often broken, bulbs that we shipped from China to the western world. If you think about the carbon footprint of these products that end up faulty and subsequently replaced with another bulb that has done the same journey, it’s not an ethical solution.

We make everything by hand, and that gives us such a low failure rate. Yes, we suffer on the cost of that but there really is no other way for us to produce those products ethically.

HK: Charlotte, how have your conversations changed with other brands since learning about what Well-Lit does?

CF: When it comes to the supply chain of products, we have an in-house sustainability focus group. We set up a schedule and there are questionnaires sent out to our recommended suppliers about their supply chain of materials. And yes, we have seen the same, we manage to trace back materials half way and then it descends into a black hole. With lighting, Chris was the first to put this on our radar. We actually only work with Well-Lit at the moment because of our shared ethos around ethical sourcing.

Obviously, we do have the benefit of being in-house so we are able to make those pledges and they are transparently communicated and understood among the whole team here. However, I believe we can set a tone for the industry to follow. It’s been really key to ensure that this, sustainability and conscious sourcing, is within our brand standards at Ennismore.

HK: Why is more lighting not manufactured in the UK?  

SL: It really does depend project by project. Some clients, depending on their clientele and demographic, are more focused on ethics and environment than others. Those clients are willing to pay more for the products. It is easier to trace back materials when the products have been made in the UK, but it is tough because all businesses need to think about their profitability.

HK: Please tell me that brands can ethically manufacturer products abroad as well…

CS: Yes, it can be done – our brand uses very good factories in China while also manufacturing in the UK. There are certain items that you simply cannot manufacture in the UK, such as bulbs, while also retaining a price point that anyone would touch. One of the things that gets missed out in topics like these is that there are brilliant crafts people in Asia who are doing brilliant things. In terms of both technology and the governmental support given to these creatives, they are some of the best people in the world and yet their reputation is being tainted by the result of greed and poor quality mass production of products.

In terms of being able to manufacture in China, there is a lot of trust that come into it. There are just two or three factories that I would use because of genuine shared values when it comes to the manufacturing process and human ethical standards. The most important element for us is that the workers are passionate and buy into the products they are producing. If they are benefiting from the products they are creating, then they will produce better quality products. This ultimately results in a product that has more longevity.

HK: How has this situation become so out of control?

CS: In my experience, most LED bulb brands do not know what is happening. It’s not always that these companies don’t want to know but it’s more that they just assume everything is happening the way they think it is. The sourcing process for most companies is to meet suppliers while travelling to trade shows, perhaps stay on to visit a factory where samples can be made and prices can be agreed. They might do a factory inspection but a lot can be hidden and this process, in my experience, can be highly manipulated and deceptive.

HK: What can designers do to make the industry more ethical?

CS: Ask difficult questions and demand hard evidence. For suppliers, these questions should be directed towards the factories they are working with. Suppliers should know about the living and working conditions of the workers who are in these factories.

GC: I’ll be honest, when it comes to specifying, over the last 10 years the decisions from clients have been driven by cost. The choices on the lighting projects I have been involved in are around supply costs. There are so many components in lighting schemes that need to be measured and presented, so weighing them up against another product that is ethically sourced is not often asked for. It would be great, however, to promote ethical sourcing and really help to educate the industry on the effects of unethical manufacturing.

HK: I think you’re right, the more companies that put forward good, solid evidence around ethical production of products, the more the industry will naturally demand this being an essential. Ultimately, if all suppliers looked deep into their supply chain and if all designers were more inquisitive about the products they are supplying then the healthier the industry will become on a global scale.

Main image credit: Hotel Designs

A green-toned bedroom, with cork walls from Granorte

Cork surfaces: An authentic way to welcome in nature

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Cork surfaces: An authentic way to welcome in nature

NATURALS is a collection of elegant natural cork floors by Granorte for use in high-end residential and commercial interiors…

A green-toned bedroom, with cork walls from Granorte

Using a natural cork veneer and underlay with a strong and stable HDF core, NATURALS brings the unique natural aesthetic of cork in a floor with a high-performance construction that’s suitable for commercial use.

“NATURALS is constructed with 80 per cent natural raw materials and contains no PVC.”

At the heart of NATURALS lie eight decorative agglomerated cork effects such as Standard and Champagner that echo mid-century cork tiles and the expressive natural linear patterns of Linea and Split. Each is available in a range of colours ranging from white through to dove blue, terracotta, mocha and slate grey. The result is a collection of 28 cork floors that can be used to bring a unique natural aesthetic to projects.

Paulo Rocha, Granorte, explains, “The calming influence of natural surfaces is well spoken about is being used to support wellbeing in all kinds of projects. From commercial offices to hotels, natural surfaces are a dominant theme, but not everyone wants a wood floor. NATURALS brings an organic aesthetic in a broad range of decorative effects that can lift natural palettes out of the ordinary.”

Every NATURALS look is protected with Granorte’s WEARTOP® finish, a water-based PU lacquer that provides a durable and easy to maintain finish. Beneath, a cork underlay with Microban® antibacterial protection provides additional support, improved acoustics and underfoot comfort.

The floor comes in 910 x 300mm planks featuring a commercially proven Uniclic® glue-free joint for floating installation. Made by Granorte in Portugal using waste cork from wine stopper production, NATURALS is constructed with 80 per cent natural raw materials and contains no PVC.

Granorte is a Recommended Supplier. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here. And, if you are interested in also benefitting from being a Recommended Supplier, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: Granorte

Bathroom brand GROHE publishes third sustainability report

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Bathroom brand GROHE publishes third sustainability report

To the surprise of nobody at Hotel Designs, GROHE has smashed its sustainability targets, and has announced an even greater sustainability commitment to the areas of water conversation and avoidance of plastics. Editor Hamish Kilburn takes a deeper look at the bathroom brand’s unquestionable achievements…

Every minute, a lorry load of plastic ends up in our oceans. The health of the oceans often seems like a distant problem, but all life on earth depends on the marine ecosystem’s health – this becomes very clear when you consider that approximately 70 percent of the oxygen we breathe is produced by the oceans. To mark this year’s Plastic Free July awareness campaign, GROHE published its third sustainability report, which outlines the brand’s continued commitment and efforts to sustainability, covering all aspects from business model and products to processes, employees and suppliers.

As evident in the newly published report, GROHE has been able to reduce its water consumption in production by 38.7 per cent, not only significantly exceeding its target of 20 percent first set in 2014, but also achieving it ahead of schedule. With projects such as the Less Plastic Initiative launched in 2018, the brand has also set itself the goal of eliminating plastic from its packaging. As a result, up until June 2021, 32 million pieces of plastic packaging have already been saved.

The report also provides an in-depth behind-the-scenes look at sustainability management at GROHE and the successes of recent years. In 2019, for example, 21,306 tonnes of the main materials used in the production process were recycled materials – a weight comparable to more than 106 blue whales. In this way waste is avoided, and, in the end, water that would be needed to produce new materials is also saved.

From linear to circular – GROHE paves the way for the economic model of the future

Building on its comprehensive sustainability measures of recent years, GROHE is now taking its sustainability strategy to a new level with the recent launch of four of the brand’s best-selling products as Cradle to Cradle variants.

This means that all four products have been tested for the use of environmentally safe, healthy and recyclable materials. The Cradle to Cradle approach goes far beyond the conventional recycling of products, as a tap, for example, is already designed and manufactured with the intent of using its components in its end-of-life-phase for the creation of new products.

GROHE Cradle to Cradle visual diagram

The circular journey continues – take-back processes for discarded C2C products

GROHE has taken a decisive step towards a circular future with the certification of its first Cradle to Cradle Certified products, but the journey continues. The brand is working on take-back processes for its discarded C2C products – an important step towards avoiding waste and saving valuable resources to help maintain the fragile balance of our ecosystems.

GROHE is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: GROHE

The Brit List Awards 2021

The Brit List Awards 2021 – entries close on Friday!

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
The Brit List Awards 2021 – entries close on Friday!

FINAL CALL for all designers, architects, hoteliers and brands to submit their free entries for The Brit List Awards 2021 (scroll down to read more about the categories and how to claim a complimentary ticket to the awards ceremony). Entries CLOSE on August 6 (this Friday)…

The Brit List Awards 2021

Following months of campaigning, designers, architects, hoteliers and brands have until Friday August 6 to submit their free entry for The Brit List Awards 2021.

The Brit List Awards, sponsored by Crosswater, is one of the most prestigious awards campaigns for designers, architects, hoteliers and brands in the UK to be associated with. Each year, Hotel Designs opens up the nominations and the nationwide campaign begins to find the best hotel designers, architects and hospitality professionals.

CLICK HERE to submit your free-of-charge application/nomination.

This year, following last year’s virtual event, The Brit List Awards will climax with a spectacular awards ceremony, which shortlisted designers, architects and hoteliers will be given a complimentary ticket to attend – but you have to be ‘in it to win it’. “For many reasons, The Brit List Awards has become an event that we at Hotel Designs are extremely proud of,” explained editor Hamish Kilburn who will lead this year’s judging panel. “Not only does it seriously help to raise the profiles of exceptional designers, architects and hoteliers, but it also credits the individuals – whatever their backgrounds – who are ensuring that Britain remains a creative hub of design, architecture and hospitality.”

Here’s a reminder of this year’s categories:

*In addition to the individual awards that are up for grabs, the top 25 entries in the interior design, architecture and hospitality categories will be profiled in the prestigious The Brit List, Hotel Designs’ annual publication that references the top 75 most influential individuals in British design, architecture and hospitality.

Click here to read about last year’s winners. Click here to read more about this year’s event and timeline. Click here to read our FAQs about The Brit List Awards.

You can now purchase your tickets to attend the live awards ceremony, which takes place on November 3 at PROUD Embankment (designers, architects, hoteliers & developers, click here. Suppliers, click here).

Main image credit: The Brit List Awards

Collage of interior images of inside the Ace Hotel Brooklyn

Now open: Inside Ace Hotel Brooklyn

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Now open: Inside Ace Hotel Brooklyn

Following our cheeky sneak peek inside the hotel that was published earlier this year, Ace Hotel Brooklyn is open – with interior design by Roman and Williams , and architecture from Stonehill Taylor

From the brand who shook up conventional public areas and encouraged the rest of the hospitality industry to open their doors to the community as well as travellers, Ace Hotels has officially arrived in Brooklyn.

Collage of interior images of inside the Ace Hotel Brooklyn

Located in Downtown Brooklyn, the hotel stands on the cusp of Boerum Hill, above the ever-evolving intersection of everything: a geographical Venn diagram of intersecting energies, from the tree-lined streets and brownstones of Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens to the art and culture clusters of Fort Greene, and all the way down to the restless East River. The property offers 287 guestrooms, an expansive in-room art programme, a public lobby with multiple bars and an art gallery, plus additional food and beverage outlets on the horizon. Designed by Roman and Williams, with architecture by Stonehill Taylor, Ace Brooklyn’s unique facade welds seamlessly with interiors inspired by the raw artist studio spaces of the European modernists — with soothing and stylish custom furnishings outfitting its every alcove.

> Since you’re here, why not read a roundtable on the new era of lifestyle hospitality, featuring Stonehill Taylor’s Sara Duffy?

“We see Brooklyn as it’s own city, filled with so much hope, possibility and excitement for the future,” said Brad Wilson, President, Ace Hotel Group. Ace Brooklyn has been a labour of love — a gorgeous building in many ways a reunion and a reinvention, and one we’re delighted to share with our guests and neighbours as the evolution of Ace Hotel. We’re proud to have filled its spaces with the talents of many collaborators across art, design and culture; it’s a testament and tribute to the irrepressible creative energy of the borough, and a firm investment in its future.”

Made up of metal, glass and precast concrete elements, the building’s rough-edged façade celebrates the natural beauty of its materials, along with the rugged handiwork of the builders who brought them together. The facade’s dramatic centrepiece is a custom ceramic mural crafted by iconic modernist Stan Bitters, coupled with a sculptural light installation designed by Roman and Williams in homage to the Hotel Okura in Tokyo — a beacon of modernist hospitality designed by Yoshiro Taniguchi, which was sadly demolished in 2015.

Inside, interiors marry exposed concrete with other naturally textural elements — surfaces of douglas fir, oak, plywoods and leathers — to form organic, open shapes throughout. The lobby features vintage and custom seating throughout, with half moon windows illuminating the lobby bar in natural light. The bar is finished with an original wall sculpture from RW Guild artist Verdan Jakšić, and a discreet, large scale drawing by Tara Geer.

“After seven years, we are proud to unveil one of our most comprehensive architectural and interior commissions to date for Ace Hotel Brooklyn, our third collaboration with Ace Hotel,” added Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch, Founders and Principals, Roman and Williams. “We aimed to embrace a solid muscular design vocabulary, employing confident lasting construction methods and materials, ones with gravity and strength. A primitive modernist philosophy guided us, it is expressed in the tactile spirit of the design. From the building’s strong and unadorned facade, to the celebration of raw old growth timber in the public screens, to the honest plywood furniture collection in the bedrooms, we aspire to be as energetic and untamed as Brooklyn itself.” 

Drawing significant inspiration from Le Corbusier’s beloved workspace retreat Le Cabanon, the guest rooms at Ace Hotel Brooklyn were imagined as cabins of creative refuge: elegant and efficient, with the kind of breathing room that stirs up all sorts of possibilities. The furnishings are handcrafted from raw, understated materials — including custom sofas and chairs, classically-loomed cotton bedding and purpose-built, minimalist fixtures. Custom bed covers were crafted by Maine Heritage Weavers; bath products are from uka; in select rooms, acoustic guitars are provided by D’Angelico Guitars; turntables are made by Music Hall, with vinyl record selections courtesy of our friends at Rough Trade. Ace Brooklyn’s in-room art programme was curated by artist Niki Tsukamoto, and brings together a dream-woven assortment of original textile and fibre pieces from roughly two dozen artists, many based in the borough.

Guestroom inside Ace Hotel Brooklyn

Image credit: Ace Hotel Brooklyn

Throughout the rest of 2021, The Gallery at Ace Hotel Brooklyn will showcase works by artists featured in the guestrooms, starting with a show of textile works by Cynthia Alberto and Weaving Hand in July and August 2021. The hotel lobby’s Ace Shop will also be featuring custom home goods and jewellery from a number of the artists on an ongoing basis.

Main image credit: Ace Hotel Brooklyn

Design London

Design London to make its London Design Festival debut in September

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Design London to make its London Design Festival debut in September

Look alive, London! Design London will make its London Design Festival debut in creative Greenwich from September 22 – 25, 2021. Here’s what we know about the trade show…

Anticipation is building around the reopening of events and Design London is among the shows that are gearing up to showcase the best in design. The show will welcome the architecture and design community to the capital’s new favourite neighbourhood, North Greenwich, for its inaugural event.

Design London

Taking place from September 22-25, Design London, will be the largest official trade destination at this year’s London Design Festival marking a new phase for what was formerly known as 100% Design, the UK.’s longest running trade show dedicated to design. The dynamic and propelling show will be housed in Magazine London, a brand new, state-of-the-art venue on the Greenwich Peninsula overlooking Canary Wharf and just a short walk from North Greenwich Station and the shiny new Design District.

An essential platform for those looking to network and source the latest and most innovative furniture, lighting and design pieces during the annual festival, the four-day event boasts a jam-packed programme of engaging content and a highly curated selection of sought-after design brands from around the globe.


As part of the main programme there will be a timetable of talks curated by Katie Richardson, led by renowned industry influencers and thought leaders, each themed and addressing the most pressing topics to encourage debate. Design London is excited to announce British-Nigerian artist Yinka Ilori as its headline speaker and chief collaborator; he will open the talks programme on day one of the show and welcome guests through a kaleidoscopic tunnel of colour inviting them to take a seat in his joyfully designed auditorium, ‘Transparency in shades of colour’.

“I’m super excited to be part of Design London’s launch and to design my first ever dedicated talks space; meeting people and expressing my creativity is what I love most and this brings the two together,” says artist Yinka Ilori. “Community and creating spaces to make people feel safe and comfortable is so important, especially this year, and with Design London being the U.K.’s first major design show, it’s the perfect environment to unite, celebrate and uplift one another.”

Following months of grey, the show will offer visitors a welcome spectrum of colour through a vibrant lineup of speakers. Those who will succeed Ilori include Eley Kishimoto, and Pearson Lloyd. New London Architecture (NLA) will form a specialist panel to debate the future of our cities whilst commercial interior design studio Trifle Creative will join a workspace discussion. Dulux’s Creative Director, Marianne Shillingford will take to the stage with a cast of colour experts, Roddy Clarke will conduct a talk centred around sustainability in craft, and in a hospitality panel, speakers will discuss how hotels are reinventing themselves in a post pandemic world.

Exhibitor highlights

The expansive venue will house a multitude of international brands including Dutch furniture producers Artifort and Van Rossum; and esteemed Italian manufacturers Ethimo Design; Penta, and Artemide who will show their antiviral ultraviolet Integralis range alongside a selection of iconic pieces and new products from Bjarke Ingels (BIG) and Neri&Hu. The Association of Industries of Wood and Furniture Portugal (AIMMP) will present a Portuguese ensemble of brands; and Fritz Hansen’s focus on circularity will be complemented by a neighbouring pavilion of over 10 new Scandi names curated by Lifestyle & Design Cluster in conjunction with the Danish Embassy.

As part of a ‘world tour’ city-inspired collection, bathroom innovators Ideal Standard will create a cinematic experience; Industrial design label Buster + Punch is set to unveil a new look and a new line of home hardware; and bespoke sculptural lighting company Cameron Design House will reveal new contemporary brand Empty State as well as creating a spectacular installation with never-before-seen handmade chandelier, Kuulas.

[d]arc room will return to London for its fifth year with an established lighting area within Design London and a series of lighting talks led by experts. Exhibitors within this pop-up include Delta Light, John Cullen Lighting, Mesh, Nichia and Thorlux. Visitors to Design London can also expect to see work from award-winning London based design studio Haberdashery London; and architects and designers Beep Studio who will join forces with the show’s sustainability partner, Schneider Electric.

Brimming with festival-like content, Design London’s visitor experience will be enhanced by a series of street food vendors and designer bars by Campari which will line the banks of the Thames making it a one-stop shop during the busy London Design Festival.

“Greenwich Peninsula is one of London’s most fascinating and rapidly expanding neighbourhoods with a new Design District fuelled by creativity so we felt it was the best location for Design London,” explains Jedd Barry, Marketing Manager, Design London. “The district is peppered with public exhibitions and contemporary art installations and we’re excited to add to that with our cutting-edge content. We’ll be showcasing originality, diversity and innovation, and particularly look forward to celebrating the U.K. as one of the most important places for specification internationally.”

Hotel Designs is a proud media partner of Design London. The full Design London programme and list of brands will be announced in due course. For more information visit the website.

Main image credit: Design London

Collection of 3D-printed chairs

3D-printed furniture – it’s a thing now!

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
3D-printed furniture – it’s a thing now!

Architect and designer Yasmine Mahmoudieh, following years of studying sustainable design and materials, has designed a piece of 3D-printed furniture with partner Nagami that has been created out of 100 per cent plastic waste…

The flow chair from Impact Design Now, which is available in seven shades, is one of the first 3D printed pieces with partner Nagami that is created out of 100 per cent plastic waste.

Collection of 3D-printed chairs

The Slice and the TriVase is 3D-printed out of plastic bottles from the ocean where 10 per cent of the production goes to Parley of the ocean’s charity organisation. ‘Parley of the Ocean’ is heavily involved in clearing marine plastics.

Following the launch of the innovative pieces of furniture, it seems as if this is just the beginning for designer and architect Yasmine Mahmoudieh whose previous work includes Standhotel and a new education and hospitality concept that was unveiled at imm Cologne 2020. “The collection that I designed is only the beginning of our mission to make the world more sustainable in our chosen field,” she explains. “We will also be launching later this year an online marketplace to gather all the recycled and sustainable materials researched over decades from exceptional individuals and companies in order to make it accessible to the architecture and design industry. We have a collective responsibility to educate our clients and make them aware that sustainable materials are not necessarily more expensive than traditional materials. My mission and goal is to have a positive impact on our planet by creatively using materials that are not harmful for the environment and human beings.”

Responsibility for hotels goes far beyond using some natural wood and conserving energy and water. Instead of having fine exotic woods, especially in the luxury sector, which we should preserve and not touch, designers like Mahmoudieh are demanding that we recycle existing materials, repurpose, and choose organic materials from nature like cactus, vegan leather, or the skin of apple. There are excellent natural products that will conserve all limited resources we have on our planet. “We constantly are trying to find materials from all over the globe or artists that contact us already to have their products available for our hotel and hospitality projects that we are working on,” concludes Mahmoudieh.

Main image credit: Impact Design Now

GROHE bathroom room shot featuring infra-red touchless taps

Industry insight: Sustainability in luxury hotel bathrooms

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Industry insight: Sustainability in luxury hotel bathrooms

With sustainability running through the core of the leading bathroom brand’s DNA, GROHE is arguably most qualified to discuss conscious bathroom design. Karl Lennon, Leader for A&D Projects, LIXIL EMENA at GROHE, therefor, is here to explore how luxury brands can go a step further to create a premium, sustainable and impressionable experience for its guests…

GROHE bathroom room shot featuring infra-red touchless taps

The hospitality industry is wholeheartedly embracing the transition towards a more sustainable future, with many groups and independents alike implementing their own targets and policies to drive more responsible, environmentally conscious hospitality and tourism worldwide.

While the motive around improving sustainable practices focuses on doing more to use less, hotels in the luxury sector face the task of doing more and going further in order to uphold their reputation and retain the trust and assurance from their esteemed clientele. This needs to be balanced in equal parts with solutions that produce tangible results with positive implications for the environment without taking away from the luxury experience for guests.

It goes without saying that when guests visit a luxury hotel property, they expect every fine detail to be considered. The aesthetic, the ambience, the service, the sourcing of goods: each single element must be well-measured and thought-out. Over recent years, as we have all become increasingly more informed and aware of the need to prioritise sustainable habits in our everyday lives, discerning guests have become more scrupulous with their hotel choices when travelling. Sustainability therefore needs to be treated as an integral part of the overall guest experience – approached holistically – with every design choice and fitting having purpose, meaning and environmentally friendly credibility.
When working with clients on premium projects, we advise that sustainability not only be an add-on or after thought but a narrative and journey that is seamlessly incorporated into every element of the customer experience, carried through all touchpoints from arrival to check-out. In designing the luxury sustainable hotel experience, it is not only investing in the elements the guests can see but those that can’t be touched or seen too. In these instances, communication and reputation play an enormous role in helping to convey these more hidden features and their benefits to prospective guests.

At GROHE, we have recently taken the next step in our sustainability journey as a brand by achieving Gold level Cradle-to-Cradle certification in four of our best-selling taps and shower products. By specifying Cradle-to-Cradle certified fittings, hotels can begin to incorporate more circular practises into their business. The Cradle to Cradle® (C2C) design concept is a model that contrasts the take-make-waste system and enables manufacturers to drastically reduce the use of new resources. A product is designed and manufactured with the intent of using its components in its end-of-life-phase for the creation of new products.

Image caption: A visual of GROHE's Cradle to Cradle

Image caption: A visual of GROHE’s Cradle to Cradle products

Cradle-to-Cradle products consider the material health of each of the components in their creation as well as how these components can then be repurposed at the end of their life, to prevent unnecessary wastage.
Whilst the sustainable impact of Cradle-to-Cradle products may not always be overtly apparent to the guest, they offer viable sustainably sourced solutions that highlight a carefully considered approach to the interior design of a hotel washroom or bathroom suite.

Similarly, the use of 3D metal printing can be particularly resource-efficient, pushing and defying the boundaries of design to create fittings that use less material and equally, create visual spectacles that are well-suited for premium projects. Through GROHE’s own exploration of this manufacturing method with its Icon 3D-printed series of basin mixers, it has been found that energy used for producing a 3D metal-printed tap is about 20% lower compared to the production energy used for a brass cast tap body.

In addition to creating a sustainable storyline that forms an integral part of the luxury customer experience, implementing features that puts the control in the guest’s hands is another approach hotels can implement to inspire and empower its visitors. Giving guests the option to switch their shower to eco mode for example or use LED temperature displays to encourage them to reduce the temperature of their water, is a powerful way of enabling them to make sustainably minded decisions, and feel good about these choices, as part of their hotel experience. Empowering guests in this way can help to form an alliance between hotel and guest and build a customer’s trust and loyalty in a brand they know truly values sustainability.

Spa and wellness zones are synonymous with luxury hotel settings but outdated designs and fittings can result in unnecessary over-consumption of precious resources such as water and energy. We are seeing the shift for more spas and wellness zones to move into the privacy of the guest’s suite rather than a communal space, and this presents lots of opportunities for hoteliers to make smart specification choices that optimise customer personalisation and experience whilst using resource conservatively and considerately. In the future, new sustainably-focused solutions and technologies from brands will enable luxury hotels to offer a more enhanced and personal spa experience in the comfort of the guest suite.

Design innovation is playing an enormous role in providing solutions that can help hotels achieve their sustainability targets whilst still providing their guests with unique, luxurious visits. The introduction of these technologies and capabilities is still relatively new but offer lots of potential in really helping to progress the status quo for luxury sustainable tourism and hospitality.

GROHE is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

Main image credit: GROHE

Shalini Misra

Wellness in design: tips from designer Shalini Misra

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Wellness in design: tips from designer Shalini Misra

Ahead of her anticipated appearance at Hotel Designs LIVE, where she will join a panel of experts to discuss surface design, we caught up with interior designer Shalini Misra in order to understand how wellness and design are working together in this new era of lifestyle, luxury and wellness…

Shalini Misra

Interior designer Shalini Misra, who will be joining us on the virtual sofa at Hotel Designs LIVE in August in a panel discussion on surface design, recognises that her clients’ lifestyles are key to the design of the studio’s interiors and their wellbeing. Wellness is intrinsic to a successful and healthy lifestyle and the studio integrates it into their spaces by looking at the physical, emotional and aesthetic sides and drawing on effects for each of our senses – another topic we will explore at Hotel Designs LIVE. Wellness incorporates using sustainable natural materials, ample flow of natural light and air, intelligent use of artificial light, creating versatility in the layout to cater for social areas and pockets of privacy for personal reflection and headspace, adding value to clients’ existing pieces through upcycling, and using colour to fine-tune the mood of the spaces.

If you would like to attend Hotel Designs LIVE (free for designers, architects, hoteliers and developers, click here – booking form takes less than two minutes).

“Our surroundings affect how we feel on a daily basis and it has never been more important for us to embrace the concept of wellbeing – intrinsic, as it is, for our own happiness and ability to lead successful lifestyles in challenging times,” Misra says. “So for those of you who know us, you will not be surprised that as part of our styling process, and we place a great deal of emphasis on the idea of incorporating wellbeing into the projects we take on.”

Wellness not only relates to interiors but also to the wider environment, which the studio achieves through sourcing materials with sustainable attributes and using existing pieces such as vintage pieces.

Misra kindly shares her tips when injecting wellness in design – and which vital areas she looks at when designing her projects.


Sustainability and wellness in design travel together in parallel lanes. Opt for sustainable materials like linoleum, floral leather, cork for furniture and wall and floor finishes and incorporate existing pieces such as vintage items. The use of the latest technology also ensures efficient energy use in the spaces. Through computer calculations which map the sun’s movement you can decide how much cooling and heating is required for a space.

Healthy interiors

Colourful lounge inside Aberdare Gardens

Image credit: Aberdare Gardens/Shalini Misra/Mel Yates

Interior design can improve your health and wellbeing in so many ways. Ensure that the natural light and air flow of the spaces are effective. Create quiet peaceful private zones bringing nature inside. Always draw on natural materials and organise your space efficiently to create a smooth running of the environment. “We will always strive to ensure that our clients enjoy their homes and maximise their wellbeing by looking at the physical, emotional and aesthetic aspects of how the spaces in their homes work,” Misra says. “We will organise the space, in consultation with you, to forge its flawless running, using sustainable, natural materials wherever possible and ensuring an ample flow of air and natural light and also making the most intelligent use of artificial light.”

Colour and mood

The colour of a room can evoke certain emotions. Bold reds and yellows, for example, are known to be energising, stimulating and motivating. In contrast, blue is a soothing colour that calms the mind and promotes intellectual creativity, while green provides balance and harmony. Of course, neutral colours such as whites, greys and taupe, provide calm reassurance and a harmony between wellness and design. Through the use of colour a mood can be created which influences the clients’ emotional wellbeing. By using colour that is appropriate to the main use of each room, we can enhance the purpose of the space.

Making an impression is not only down to the first room you encounter, the whole design needs to have moments of impact whether through art, views through windows and internal spaces, architectural volumes or colour and texture.


With upcycling becoming such an integral part of any project, the studio looks at clients’ existing pieces and sees what can be repurposed, amended or relocated to ensure that no existing piece is wasted. This is an element of the sustainable side to our designs.


Through the intelligent use of lighting and the latest technology we create flexible moods for lighting, making the spaces versatile as well as beautiful.

Meditation areas

Image credit: Farm House project/Shalini Misra/Mel Yates

Image credit: Farm House project/Shalini Misra/Mel Yates

Depending on the size of your space, you may wish to dedicate an entire room to meditation. While turning an empty room into a holistic meditation space is certainly a great use of your environment, you don’t have to devote an entire room to wellness. Instead, you can carve out space in an existing room and create a versatile environment that lends itself to tranquillity and calmness.

Ideally, you’ll want to choose a ‘low traffic’ area, that will allow you to meditate undisturbed. This might be a corner of a bedroom or space in a spare room. You can even turn a quiet part of your living area – or lounge – into a holistic meditation space if you wish.

Having a dedicated meditation space can certainly enhance your practice and encourage you to meditate regularly, but you can easily extend the design and style of your meditation space throughout your entire home. By doing so, you’ll create a calming, welcoming and tranquil environment that consistently enhances your well-being and reflects your unique personality.

Main image credit: Shalini Misra/Mel Yates

GROHE Plus tap with digital temperature display

GROHE supports energy and water saving with first digitally enhanced tap

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
GROHE supports energy and water saving with first digitally enhanced tap

Global bathroom and kitchen fittings brand GROHE, with sustainability as one of its core pillars, has upgrades its GROHE Plus collection of basin taps, which now offer precise control of water temperature with integrated LED display, environmentally conscious water consumption thanks to sensor-activated Eco Spray and an architectural silhouette that makes a design statement at the bathroom…

GROHE Plus tap with digital temperature display

With bathrooms becoming more than just practical spaces and while hospitality is catching up to the ethos of designers and architects to inherently design and specify in an eco-friendly way, the launch of the GROHE Plus tap deserves its place in the spotlight. With this unveil, GROHE now offers users the possibility to accurately control the water temperature of their basin tap using the innovations of digitally enhanced design. The digital upgrade within the existing GROHE Plus collection not only enables safe water enjoyment, but also supports users’ increasing desire for sustainable living. Using the principle of “nudging”, a concept from behavioural economics, users are made aware through a visual colour change displayed on the spout of the tap when hot water is flowing – often unnecessarily – in order to encourage users to avoid wasting energy. This design approach promotes responsible use of the valuable resource of water and saves energy at the same time.

The eco-friendly functionality of GROHE Plus is reinforced by its accessible Eco Spray setting. To switch from the standard spray to the more refined Eco Spray of just four litres per minute, which reduces water consumption without compromising on user comfort or experience, users can simply swipe their hand over the lit icon on top of the spout to activate the sensor-controlled system which will change the water flow. The GROHE Plus collection is also future-oriented in its hybrid design language, which skilfully combines round and square elements. This makes the range a real statement for every modern bathroom, both in terms of sustainability and design.

The dynamic design language of GROHE Plus is inspired by the arc, which symbolises both strength and lightness. Combining circular shapes with the crisp, clean lines of a cube, GROHE Plus creates an exciting architectural silhouette. At the same time, the design supports ergonomic comfort and invites interaction. The 90-degree swivel spout also increases user-friendliness and caters for a variety of different interactions and uses.

The combination of cubic and organic shapes not only distinguishes GROHE Plus aesthetically, but also makes the tap collection the perfect counterpart to both square and round ceramic lines such as GROHE Essence or GROHE Cube – all according to personal interior design style. To complete the harmonious overall look of the bathroom, the two-tone surface of GROHE Plus’ LED display made of chrome and high-quality acrylic glass in MoonWhite can also be found in several of GROHE’s shower collections too, such as the GROHE SmartControl thermostat and GROHE Rainshower SmartActive head showers.

In addition to the new digitally-enhanced models, the GROHE Plus collection includes a wide range of classic single- lever mixers in different sizes and with additional functions such as a pull-out spout, wall-mounted 2-hole basin mixers, taps for shower and bathtub, and a visually striking freestanding bathtub option. For even greater design freedom that meets the growing demand for personalised style in the bathroom, GROHE Plus is available in Chrome, SuperSteel and Brushed Hard Graphite finishes, the latter of which is accompanied by a black LED display.

Main image credit: GROHE

Forest for changfe at Somerset House, London

Scape Design unveils sustainable landscape concept at Somerset House in London

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Scape Design unveils sustainable landscape concept at Somerset House in London

Philip Jaffa who as Founder of Scape Design, is best known for experiential and environmentally sensitive landscape design in the international hospitality arena, has created an urban forest which is the centrepiece of the London Design Biennale at Somerset House this month…

Forest for changfe at Somerset House, London

Working in close collaboration with acclaimed artist, designer and Artistic Director of the Biennale, Es Devlin, who conceived the project, as well as with urban greening specialists, Scotscape, landscape designer Philip Jaffa has shaped an extraordinary journey of contemplation for visitors as they wander the pathways of Forest for Change leading to The Global Goals Pavilion where they will discover an interactive display of the 17 UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development.

The forest will comprise more than 400 juvenile trees, the majority sourced from one of the UK’s leading tree growers. They have been individually selected for their differing canopy shapes, heights and forms to achieve a layered aesthetic and to shroud the glade where the Development Goals lie at the heart of the experience. To highlight the plight of trees in urban environments due to climate change, the team chose a diverse range of 27 nursery grown species with the aim of ensuring resilience in the London environment. These include many favourite common species such as Scots Pine, Hazel and Silver Birch.

Endorsing this decision, Tony Kirkham, MBE VMH, Head of Arboretum, Gardens & Horticulture Services, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, says: “The only way to ensure future resilience of our new forest and tree plantings is to plant as much diversity of species as possible.”

Since the existing courtyard floor is an unmovable hardscape of cobbles, the trees will remain in their containers for the duration of the event and these will be covered in bark mulch mounds underplanted with forest floor species such as periwinkle, ivy and ferns. A sculptural array of logs and branches will also be spread across the ground to suggest the sights and smells of centuries-old woodlands and the stroll through the forest will be made to the accompaniment of birdsong in a soundtrack curated by pioneering musician Brian Eno.

“The invitation to wander through Forest for Change will be an opportunity for each visitor to find their way using intuition as their guide,” says Philip Jaffa. “Our disconnection from nature is at the heart of the global climate crisis, with such terrible effect on our planet, but forests have long been held as places of transformation and our hope is that the experience of our forest will contribute to inspiring change. The irony of constructing a forest in a courtyard where Enlightenment principles meant trees were forbidden when Somerset House was built has not been lost on us. The forest represents a challenge to the presumption that we are here to dominate nature, rather than as an integral part of it.”

The environmental impact of Forest for Change has been an important consideration throughout. All the trees will be donated to and replanted in London boroughs as part of The Queen’s Green Canopy initiative, creating a durable legacy for the forest after the Biennale and the cork and bark pathways will be re-used or recycled. The project will be carbon positive, planting sufficient trees after the Biennale to offset its carbon footprint three times over.

Forest for ChangeThe Global Goals Pavilion is being presented in partnership with Project Everyone, a not-for-profit agency dedicated to furthering awareness and engagement with the Global Goals. Lighting design is by John Cullen Lighting.

Main image credit: Somerset House/Kevin Meredith

Image of blue modern chair next to cork wallpaper

Connect your walls to nature with Granorte

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Connect your walls to nature with Granorte

Mat is a textured cork wall panel from Granorte that brings a strong connection to nature. Harnessing cork’s unique and distinct natural aesthetic, Mat is a stylish way to welcome natural finishes to walls. Using a decorative cork veneer and agglomerated cork base, the 100 per cent natural wall tile is available in a range of neutral colours that deliver a premium look in commercial interiors…

Image of blue modern chair next to cork wallpaper

Mat’s 100 per cent cork composition retains all the benefits of cork, providing a comfortable finish that feels great to touch, insulates from heat loss and absorbs noise. With a lightweight construction, the wall tile can be glued to any vertical surface. It is finished with Granorte’s Corkguard protective layer that provides a durable surface that’s easy to care for in commercial environments.

“Mat is a unique wall tile that explores cork’s textural and visual language to bring commercial interiors a natural wall finish that’s unique in every way,” says Paulo Rocha, Granorte. “Through a palette of colours that allow muted tonal contrasts with other finishes, including natural tones, Mat allows a distinct language to be created, while connecting the interior to the positive influence of nature.”

Granorte has been making cork products from the waste of wine stopper production since 1973 and the family-run company has established itself as a true innovator in cork, finding new applications for the natural and renewable material.

With a wide range of wall and floor products to furniture like the Moon Coffee Table and the NuSpa sanitaryware collection that’s robotically cut from giant blocks of agglomerated cork, Granorte remains at the forefront of cork manufacture.

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

Island life: Kuda Villingili in the Maldives prepares to open

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Island life: Kuda Villingili in the Maldives prepares to open

Located in the North Malé Atoll, in the Maldives, Kuda Villingili is preparing its international entrance with what we are told an impressive line-up of gourmet dining options – including a take on the famous Singaporean Hawkers street food market – an idyllic beachfront spa, and world-class facilities for those with a penchant for an adrenaline rush. As demand for hotel development in the region soars, let’s take a look…

In just a few days time, luxury travellers will be able to check in to Kuda Villingili, a much-anticipated luxury island retreat in the Maldivian archipelago. The remarkable five-star property located in the North Male Atoll, Kuda Villingili is the Maldives redefined; a unique, experience-driven concept, home to an impressive line-up of gourmet dining options, an idyllic beachfront spa, and an azure, spacious 150-metre pool, encircled by stylish sunbeds, cabanas and bars – take it from us, it’s stunning! 

Conceived with nature in mind by the Maldivian architectural firm GX Associates in collaboration with the Singapore-based interior design company URBNarc, the resort boasts 95 luxury villas – 36 overwater and 59 beachside. All are inspired by the sprawling nature of the Maldives and offer panoramic views of the pristine ocean, allowing for the natural sounds of the sea to awaken the senses.

The resort’s interiors authentically reflect the natural beauty that surrounds the island. Traditional Maldivian art pieces and textiles are dotted throughout, and the expert use of natural materials enhance the harmony between water, light and wind. Inspired by the ocean and local fauna, interiors feature custom, eco-friendly furniture and fittings (including carpets manufactured from recycled plastic bottles). This mixed-use resort development also offers a variety of accommodation types to meet the needs of all – groups, couples, solo travellers and families.


The diversity of cultural expression is celebrated throughout the resort’s gourmet offerings. With views of the idyllic beachfront, the resort’s signature dining establishment – The Restaurant – serves the freshest, handcrafted food for breakfast and offers three menus at dinner: Fire, Earth and Ocean. Inspired by the traditional American Steak House experience, Fire explores the art of grilling meats to perfection. Earth is an Asian-inspired concept that celebrates organic ingredients to enhance classic dishes like noodles and dim sum creations, and Ocean is a fine-dining experience championing seafood specialties, prepared with a European sensibility.

Arival jetty Kuda Villingili

Image credit: Kuda Villingili

Relaxed, flavoursome and social, The Hawkers is an upscale three-stall street food market that sits poolside and serves up soulful, sharing style options. The open kitchen dishes up Indian-Arabic inspired flame-grilled kebabs, charcoaled tandoor, and mouth-watering shawarma, along with Thai-Japanese delicacies such as robatayaki grill and sushi, and Italian-Mediterranean favourites like savoury wood-fired pizza.

A South American take on the classic lunch beach menu is available at The Beach Club, together with daily live DJ sets and an extended list of refreshing frozen cocktails and rosé wines. The resort’s two bars, the Main Bar and the Poolside bar, both offer classic cocktails, mocktails and hand-crafted beers. And overlooking the lagoon, the resort’s cosy Cigar Lounge offers the finest international whiskies and cognacs and a wide selection of premium cigars in a warm, sophisticated and sumptuously leather-decorated ambience.

Over in the spa

Featuring oversized stone baths, organic and plant-based products by VOYA, the spa at Kuda Villingili is rooted in self-love, self-discovery and wellness. Boasting eight self-contained oceanfront spa villas, each promises a holistic journey to reclaim self-connection, self-care and balance through an array of therapeutic and mindful practices.

Image credit: Kuda Villingili

Restorative leisure pursuits include an elevated yoga pavilion, Technogym and a recreation centre with table tennis, billiards, karaoke & table games. There are two state-of-the-art tennis courts, beach volleyball and island excursions that range from surfing, scuba and stargazing to wildlife encounters, sandbank dining and big game fishing.

The hotel opens on June 6. As the Maldives continues to be on the ‘amber list’ for UK travellers, the opening has given modern travellers something to look forward to when non-restricted travel opens once more.

Main image: Kuda Villingili

In Conversation With: Architect Marcio Kogan, founder of Studio MK27

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
In Conversation With: Architect Marcio Kogan, founder of Studio MK27

To understand more about one particular new hotel in the Maldives, Xenia zu Hohenlohe, Founding Partner of Considerate Group, caught up with architect Marcio Kogan, the founder of Studio MK27

Architect Marcio Kogan is the founder of Studio MK27, leading a team of 30 talented individuals who he encourages to ‘rethink architecture’ and ‘place value on formal simplicity elaborated with extreme care and attention to details and finishings’.

With the its breadth of experience in hospitality design, the studio was asked to design a new resort in the Maldives. The brief was to design a shelter for a radical living experience; a temporary home in the exuberant infinite blues, wild life and open skies. “The volumetric answers are extremely delicate, respectful to its surroundings, trying to provide shadows and coziness,” it is explained on the firm’s website.” The aim was to ‘capture and amplify the landscape’s strength.”

Responding to the brief, Kogan decided that the architectural lines of the property must never break the horizon. “They speak low and elegantly,” he explains. “All buildings are visually permeable, melted, dematerialised, putting life and men in the centre of the experience.

And it is this experience that Xenia zu Hohenlohe, Founding Partner of Considerate Group, learned about when meeting the dynamic architect himself to understand more about what sets this hotel aside from other Maldivian hospitality gems.

Xenia zu Hohenlohe: What was your first thought when you were asked to design ‘yet another resort’ in the Maldives?

Marcio Kogan: In our office, we treat each new project as a precious gem, no matter the size. Of course, it needs to be of interest to us, but the main thing is, that the client is nice and we develop a good relationship with empathy.

I have never been to the Maldives before and when we began with the project, My colleague and I visited the islands with our client. We stayed in various resorts there so we had to travel with the sea plane everyday, which was not that much fun.

“My first idea for the project was inspired by a place where I used to go as a child.” – Marcio Kogan, Founder, Studio MK27.

XH: How did your Brazilian up-bringing – the connection you have to nature and your local tropical vegetation – influenced you when approaching the Patina project?

MK: When we visited the Maldives, it felt strange: I slept in rooms that could have also been in New York or in London or in Paris, very cosmopolitan but completely lacking the feeling of being in the tropics. That, however, is something that you always have in Brazil – you create something modern, contemporary, but always with the notion that you are at the beach. All Brazilians used to spend their childhood-vacation at the beach and my first idea for the project was inspired by a place where I used to go as a child. There, buildings are separated from the beach by a bit of woodland, giving the impression of a virgin island. This is the feeling that I wanted to bring to the Maldives.

Establishing shot to show architecture of Image credit: Patina Maldives, Fari Islands

Image credit: Patina Maldives, Fari Islands

“The space is meant to be a joyful experience for the senses.” – Marcio Kogan, Founder, Studio MK27.

XH: Could you describe the main characteristics of biophilic design and what is your fascination with it? And how important is this to guests or how will it make their experience at Patina a different one because of it?

MK: For this hotel we re-created the relationship between humans and nature that has existed for thousand of years. In our architecture, there is no difference between the exterior and the interior. It is like a see-through curtain that dissolves the borders between indoors and outdoors. We also brought nature into the rooms through a commissioned artwork by a Brazilian photographer. The space is meant to be a joyful experience for the senses brought to life by natural materials such as wood, stone and organic fabrics and special light pendants that we designed.

XH: How is the design in keeping with the local vernacular?

MK: It has a lot to do with the hidden architecture. When we first went to Maldives, we not only visited various hotels, but also a local house, which you normally don’t see, as they are rather small and hidden in the middle of the islands. The houses are very simple, coral walls holding a thatched roof, mostly build in the centre of the islands. The houses are very simple, coral walls holding a thatched roof, mostly build in the centre of the islands surrounded by local nature. So for us, it was important to integrate this simplicity and the connection to nature into the project in a sophisticated way.

Inside the Beach House at Patina Maldives, Fari Islands

Image credit: Patina Maldives, Fari Islands

XH: What does the term ‘hidden architecture’ mean to you? 

MK: One of our main goals of our project was to hide it. Everything must be very timid – nature is more important than architecture – like the Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer – our master- used to say: ”Architecture is not important, it is our family, our friends, life, the nature – that’s what counts.” The fantastic nature with the most beautiful sky and the impressive sea are the focus and it became our mission not to destroy any of the amazing surroundings.

XH: To what extent did you consider the subject of sleep quality in your design?

MK: First of all, it is very important to know, that all the interiors are customised in order to provide this special experience for the guests – including the bed, which is always the key element of the room. The bed forms the centre of the room, it has the best views and needs to be as comfortable as possible. At Patina, the headboard is soft, almost like a huge cushion that embraces you and the mattress base was designed as if it is almost floating.

In order to create the best possible interior, we set up a mock-up villa in Singapore with all details for the complete experience. It was a very detailed process with more than 200 items on the snagging list to be changed. Something that we never did before, but which proofed extremely important for the overall process.

“To be an architect, you need to know what is going on around you – you can’t be isolated.” – Marcio Kogan, Founder, Studio MK27.

XH: What travels inspired you in this project?

MK: Before the pandemic, I used to travel to Japan every Christmas season. This is not directly connected to the Maldives, but it’s one of the inspirations in my life. Another important place for me is Italy, which is another place that is inside my heart. There, I work with Italian brands and I also teach at Politecnico di Milano.

Everything in our life influences our work to some extent. To be an architect, you need to know what is going on around you – you can’t be isolated. You are a kind of sponge, that soaks up the influences around you, which I like very much. Once I was with a very important Brazilian architect, Paulo Mendes da Rocha, and he said to one of his students: “If you just read architecture magazines, if you only visit websites about architecture, you will never be a good architect. You need to know about everything else, too”.\

XH: The Maldives has a number of new luxury resorts, what makes this Patina stand out?

MK: When I visited the Maldives before starting our project, I had a very strange feeling. I was completely alone there, and it seemed that everyone else was on honeymoon. Therefore, the first idea that came to my mind was to create a village: a place where you have restaurants, shops, a space for children and art installations. A place to see and to be seen, a place where people come together, an experience for the whole family.

“Understandably, in Brazil and the Maldives, this combination of indoor and outdoor is easier to put in place.” – Marcio Kogan, Founder, Studio MK27.

XH: Looking forward, what role can architecture play in bringing nature back into our lives, making people understand that we are part of it and not separate and where can key interactions lie in colder countries where outdoor living is not as easy as in the Maldives or Brazil?

MK: All our projects are having an integrating nature. Sometimes you don’t know where the interior stops and exterior architecture begins. Understandably, in Brazil and the Maldives, this combination of indoor and outdoor is easier to put in place. However, we had a project in Canada, in the mountains, and nobody imagined that we could create something similar there, but we did. We built some sort of glass box with amazing views and inner patios. Ok – it’s easier in Brazil where you can open everything up, but it worked.

Even in our rooms in the Maldives, you can open all the windows and if you are in a sea villa, it feels as if you are floating in the ocean.

Main image credit: Studio MK27

Siminetti Seasons Collection

Product Watch: The Seasons Collection by Siminetti

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Product Watch: The Seasons Collection by Siminetti

During Hotel Designs LIVE on February 23, Siminetti, which was a Product Watch Pitch Partner at the event, unveiled the sustainable and luxurious Seasons Collection…

Siminetti Seasons Collection

Hotel Designs LIVE was a fantastic experience for us; seeing the best the hospitality industry has to offer all in one place,” said Simon Powell CEO of Siminetti. The leading sustainable surface brand held a presentation during the sustainability segment during the one-day virtual conference event. Discussing the importance of sustainability in the luxury sector and how the brand’s new Seasons Collection is both sustainable and luxurious. For those who were unable to attend; below is an overview of the collection and how Siminetti strive to provide luxury surfaces that are not damaging to the planet.

Since its founding in 2010, Siminetti has strived to provide their clients with luxury surface solutions that are not only beautiful but kind to the planet. The process began with establishing relationships with suppliers who could ensure only the finest raw materials with respect for the environment and the communities who inhabit the source locations. Every supplier is carefully selected to ensure the brand’s processes meet strict ecological standards and their materials are sourced from sustainable, farmed locations wherever in the world they are grown.

Image credit: Siminetti

Image credit: Siminetti

Siminetti now has a prospering network of suppliers all over the planet. The brand’s Saltwater Pearl is sourced from Pacific communities who depend on sustainable relationships with the ocean lagoons in which they farm pearls or harvest them as a food source. Harvesting is done in line with local Government Fishery laws and a constant communication with our suppliers ensure we are informed and accountable.

Siminetti’s freshwater mother of pearl is primarily sourced from Asia. They are the largest producer of freshwater pearl in the world! producing some 1,500 metric tons per year. The farms traditionally harvest the shellfish that produce our mother of pearl for the food industry, the shells are then discarded as waste to landfill, due to being incredibly hardwearing the shells would take many generations to breakdown.

Siminetti’s expert artisans take these raw shells and transform their rough appearance to create stunning decorative surfaces. In their latest innovation, Siminetti has transcended the expectations of mother of pearl by producing their seasons collection. A series of patterns with shapes previously perceived to complex to be crafted from mother of pearl.

The collection has been designed in conjunction with Chrisanna of London, it is truly the next generation of mother of pearl sustainable decorative surfaces. Consisting of twelve designs inspired by nature, available in either their Golden Promise saltwater pearl or Innocence saltwater pearl on a Bianco freshwater base. Below is a selection of never before seen close up photos of the seasons collection showcasing the expert craftsmanship that goes into every one of their handmade decorative surfaces.

Siminetti’s Mother of Pearl Mosaics and Decorative Panels decorate some of the Worlds leading hotels, resorts, private residences and super yachts. From the Burj Khalifa, to Hollywood Boulevard and Harvey Nicholls, the brand supports some of the world’s leading brands ensuring they remain at the top of their industry. With an enviable history in designing and supplying one of the world’s most luxurious, sustainable, surface materials, Siminetti is renowned for supporting architects and designers with technical know-how and testing documentation, ensuring their clients complete peace of mind whilst embarking on their stylish journey.

Siminetti 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: Siminetti

Weekly briefing: Nobu exclusive, Rosewood footprints & sustainability explored

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Weekly briefing: Nobu exclusive, Rosewood footprints & sustainability explored

Editor Hamish Kilburn here with your weekly briefing. This week’s round-up includes an exclusive lighting feature, details about Rosewood’s second hotel in London and how to watch out latest panel discussion on sustainability beneath the surface…

2021 is shaping up to be an extremely exciting year on the hotel design front. Already this quarter, we have seen Zaha Hadid Architects complete an incredible architectural marvel in Dubai, watched Moxy Hotels turn up the volume with a landmark opening in Miami and we have even published plans for hospitality to launch into space.

As impressive as that all sounds, this week, the international development plot has thickened, with Hotel Designs leading the narrative around sustainability and the future of hospitality at Hotel Designs LIVE, Rosewood dropping yet more news around its second arrival in London and a study being launched that cuts through the noise to reveal new demands from modern traveller following the pandemic.

So, without further a due, here are the top stories from the last few days.

The industry comments on International Women’s Day

Gif of strong women for International Women's Day

Our nod to International Women’s Day is more of a formal bow or curtsy. For this year’s IWD, we heard from leading female designers, hoteliers and architects about how far we have come and, crucially, how far we have still got to travel in order to operate in an equal and fair global arena.

Read more. 

EXCLUSIVE // Case study: The bespoke lighting narrative inside London’s Nobu hotel

Image credit: Jack Hardy

Inside Nobu Hotel London Portman Square – a hotel that has caused a lot of noise recently on the international hotel design scene – there is a bespoke lighting narrative that flickers unlike any other. We exclusively caught up with Lyn Newcombe, Head of Projects at Dernier & Hamlyn and Lewis Taylor, Design Director at David Collins Studio, to capture the full story.

Read more. 

Nearly half of Brits surveyed expect air purifiers in tomorrow’s hotel

A navy blue air purifier next to a navy blue bed

Blueair, which produces air purifiers that remove air pollutants like smoke, mold and allergens, recently participated as a Product Watch Pitch Partner at Hotel Designs LIVE. Here, the brand shares insights into how consumers feel about visiting hotels in a post-pandemic world.

Read more.

(In video) Hotel Designs LIVE: Sustainability beneath the surface

Collage of speakers for Hotel Designs LIVE Sustainability talk

On February 23, designers, architects, hoteliers and developers from around the globe tuned in to watch Hotel Designs LIVE. Following an engaging panel discussion on the future of hotel design and hospitality, the spotlight for the second session of the day landed on leading design and hospitality figures to debate sustainability, a topic that continues to be weighed down by heavy stigma. Sponsored by Grohe, a brand that inherently has sustainability running through its DNA – if recent accolades are anything go by – the panel was inspired by the recent Q&A between Hotel Designs LIVE and eco warrior, Bill Bensley.

Read more. 

Industry insight: Biophilic spa & wellness design

maggies by thomas Hetherwick

Image credit: Thomas Heatherwick

As wellness evolves as we enter a new era of hospitality, we invite Beverley Bayes, Creative Director at Sparcstudio, to discuss the growing trend for biophilic design in spa and wellness properties. It is inevitable that spa and wellness, post-pandemic will become an ever more important and integral part of our lives. We are entering a new era where ‘Health is the New Wealth’ and a healthy lifestyle is recognised as an important part of preventative medicine.

Read more.

In Conversation With: Lucienne Walpole, Vice President, SB Architects

Image of Lucienne Walpole

Since joining SB Architects in 2007, Lucienne Walpole has played a valuable role on the design team for a number of the firm’s most exciting hospitality projects. Combining her dual backgrounds in interior design and architecture, Walpole brings to the firm strengths in space planning as well as architectural design. Following Walpole’s participation in Hotel Designs LIVE conference, we caught up with the architect to learn more.

Read more.

The Chancery Rosewood, arriving in London in 2024

Render of Rosewood London in former US Embassy

Image credit: DBOX for Qatari Diar

Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, which currently manages 27 luxury properties in 16 countries with a further 21 hotels under development, has announced that its second hotel in London will be sheltered in the former US Embassy and will be named The Chancery Rosewood.

Read more.

And finally… 

If you haven’t yet had a change to listen to DESIGN POD, here’s the latest episode. Entitled ‘Choosing Your Lane’, we invite interior designer Constantina Tsoutsikou to join us as our first guest. Episode two, with guest Christos Passas, Director of Zaha Hadid Architects, goes live on Monday!

Since you’re here…

More than 40,000 readers per month enjoy the content we publish on Hotel Designs. Our mission is to define the point on international hotel design, and we are doing that by serving relevant news stories and engaging features. To keep up to date on the hottest stories that are emerging, you can sign up to the newsletter, which is completely free of charge. As well as receiving a weekly round-up of the top stories, you will also access our bi-monthly HD Edit –staying ahead of the curve has never been so easy!

Click here to sign up to our newsletter.

Image of natural looking hotel room

Product watch: Sustainable luxury surfaces from Siminetti

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Product watch: Sustainable luxury surfaces from Siminetti

As we have already established in our editorial series with the brand, Siminetti is renowned for its hand-crafted mother of pearl decorative surfaces. In the unprecedented circumstances of 2021, the brand’s products offer a unique form of decoration with qualities that enhance both public and private areas…

Image of natural looking hotel room

Siminetti produces luxury surfaces that are crafted with passion and viewed with awe. As explained in a Product Watch Pitch at Hotel Designs LIVE, all of its raw materials are sourced from ethically farmed and sustainable sources. This is to ensure our impact is with respect to the traditions of the people who inhabit the areas and ensure the environment is protected. Typically the shellfish industry farm foodstuffs, cosmetics and pearls for jewellery. Leaving the shells as waste material which is discarded to landfill. Siminetti takes this jewel in the rough to remove the harsh exterior and reveal the undisputable beauty within, resulting in not only a minimal environmental impact but a positive one reducing waste to landfill.

Image of bed in hotel room with Siminetti wallcovering

Image credit: Siminetti

The process in which the brand’s raw product is transformed into their beautiful surfaces however is not straightforward. All products are handcrafted with a key attention to detail. Rough imperfections are removed to reveal the stunning nacre. This is then cut into individual tesserae, hand-placed by artisans onto either mesh backings or paper sheet faces – for mosaics – or applied to one of their panelling substrates to create our inspiring decorative surface. Finally, the mosaic tiles and decorative surfaces are polished to bring out the stunning qualities of mother of pearl then sealed for increased strength, an enhanced finish and ease of cleaning.

Following the events of 2021, hoteliers and designers are looking for solutions to growing hygiene concerns. Siminetti’s decorative surfaces come made to measure up to a size of 1200mm x 2400mm with a strong panelling substrate. The substrate options include aluminium honeycomb, magnesium board or PVC foam in varying depths depending on your requirements. This results in an exact fitting solution that requires no grouting and is easily wiped clean in high traffic areas. The grout typically used with bathroom tiling can cause a bacterial build-up or capture viral pathogens. The brand’s paneling solution mitigates that risk whilst providing a luxurious aesthetic.

Image of luxury textured sustainable wallcovering from Siminetti

Image credit: Siminetti

This year, Siminetti unveiled its Seasons’ Collection. A series of decorative surfaces inspired by nature and kind to the planet. The collection consists of 12 designs which are all currently available in two colourway options; Innocence saltwater pearl or Golden Promise saltwater pearl with a Bianco freshwater base. These timeless designs will tie your décor back to nature, provide a hygienic – easy to clean surface, and inspire your customers.

The seasons’ collection entails a range of designs to complement any luxury setting. Breaking the traditions of what is assumed possible with mother of pearl. The inclusion of geometric, organic and abstract patterns sets the collection apart from any others on the market. Explore the twelve stunning designs on their website or their new brochure.

It is important to look at what can be taught by the disruption of 2020. Siminetti’s next generation of decorative surfaces present opportunities in the development of both luxury hospitality aesthetics and hygiene demands of more demanding guests. This benefit of improved maintenance and aesthetics, over traditional tiling, is furthered also by the surfaces ease of installation compared to traditional tiling.

Siminetti 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: Siminetti

ADP Third Space Concept

Feature: A green (and happy) recovery for hotels?

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Feature: A green (and happy) recovery for hotels?

If there’s one phrase that’s inspired equal parts optimism and frustration this year in hotel design, it’s the idea of a green recovery, writes Amrit Naru, Studio Director, ADP Architecture

ADP Third Space Concept

Last July, the UK government’s announcement of a funding boost to help with green industry was met with a mixed reception, and while the principle of green recovery has won wide support, there’s understandable skepticism about whether government and industry leaders can commit to going far enough.

And yet this looks like our best chance. It’s impossible to ignore the negative impact of the pandemic – but if we look forward, taking the new roadmap for lifting lockdown as a starting point for recovery, it’s possible that we can use it as an opportunity to build a very different kind of post-pandemic landscape.

The effects of climate change are increasing exponentially, from extreme weather events to desertification and species extinction. All industries participate in a system that’s allowed this to happen, and everyone therefore has a part to play in helping to stop it. The hospitality sector is certainly no exception: our work reaches communities all over the world, with more than 200,000 hotels generating an annual revenue of more than £400 billion, and employing people of every imaginable background. By interrogating how that money is raised, who it benefits, and what processes it drives, we can make sizeable and measurable change. And with the hospitality sector set to bounce back more dramatically than almost any other industry, we’re uniquely positioned to lead the way towards a sustainable, inclusive future for our planet and its people.

There’s another side to this story as well. Personal wellbeing has been one of the hardest-hit victims of the pandemic: the Centre for Mental Health estimates that up to 10 million people in the UK will need new or additional mental health support due to the crisis. I recently spoke on a panel addressing how hotels can support wellbeing in the future, with ideas ranging from room size and air quality to back-of-house facilities (a reminder that wellbeing is as important to staff as it is to visitors). It’s certainly my view that sustainability and wellbeing go hand-in-hand, and it’s this approach that ADP takes on many of our projects.

Image caption: Mixed-use leisure sketch scheme in Oxford. | Image credit: ADP ArchitectureIn fact, it’s precisely this idea which led to us developing a new tool that measures three key factors in the wider impact of a project: sustainability, belonging and engagement. The first is all about how a building relates to its environment. Does the project’s energy use support a zero-carbon strategy? Does the project support local wildlife, and encourage sustainable travel? The second – belonging – centres on the ways in which buildings connect people with places: a key consideration for any hotel. Thirdly, we consider whether a project is engaging, and whether it can provide that boost to wellbeing which is sorely needed in a post-pandemic world.

Answering these questions requires a degree of creativity in finding solutions, but it also demands honesty in acknowledging where we could have done better. This brings us back to that point about the green recovery – as an industry, we can be optimistic about our capabilities, but we need to be self-critical. It’s not enough simply to say that we support a green recovery, or even that we’re taking particular steps in that direction. We need to measure outcomes. We need to show that what we’re doing is actually making a difference.

This was a problem we encountered time and again when creating the SBE (“Sustainability, Belonging, Engagement”) toolkit. Identifying what needs to change is one thing; measuring it in an objective, consistent way is another. After months spent poring over research and testing our ideas against a range of our own projects, we created a toolkit which broke these “big issues” down into concise factors such as water use or connectivity to nature, and then broke each of these down further – creating a questionnaire which could output an easy-to-read score.

Questions cover every aspect of a project’s potential impact. Has the community been involved in the design? Are there measures to mitigate flood risk or the effects of climate change? What are the average floor-to-ceiling heights? The result is a robust and usable toolkit, one which ADP is now using on every single project we work on.

The SBE Toolkit is very much our own, but it reflects wider trends in the hospitality industry and beyond. One of these key trends – as I’ve already mentioned – is wellbeing. As we move out of lockdown and nationwide restrictions, hoteliers will need to think carefully about how they can balance safety measures with a sensibility that helps guests feel welcome and at ease. One approach is to use the WELL Building Standard, a certification process that takes a detailed account of the ways in which a building can promote health, safety and general wellbeing.

The advantage of using a recognised standard like WELL is that not only can you trust that the process is relevant and meaningful – your visitors and staff can, too. In fact, as tourists take a wider range of factors into account when looking for a hotel, it’s looking increasingly possible that measurements like the WELL Building Standard will become an important part of marketing. The ability to research a number of hotels quickly online has allowed people to consider factors like carbon footprint or media reputation in their search for the perfect stay – so it doesn’t seem far-fetched to expect wellbeing to play a growing role in the future.

A second key trend is flexibility. Working from home isn’t going away with the restrictions. Our experience living with Covid-19 has taught us that we can work from home more, and that doing so carries unique advantages in a society which is ever more globally connected. Hotels are going to play a special role in this “new normal” (apologies for using that phrase, but in this case it genuinely applies). As travel patterns resume, the technology which has allowed us to work from home will allow us to work from anywhere, including local coffee shops, leisure venues, and of course hotels. There will doubtless be a growing market here for co-working spaces built into the wider context of a hotel, as well as adjacent and related spaces such as serviced apartments, aparthotels, and long-stays.

Finally – and bringing us full circle – the word “sustainability” is going to be on everybody’s lips more than ever in the years to come. The pandemic has forced us to think more introspectively about the impact of our travel, and while the travel industry is predicted to come back strongly after restrictions lift, it’s surely a good thing that travellers will take that more thoughtful approach into the future with them. Thoughtful travel is bound to lead to more sustainable travel, and with sustainable travel comes a focus on sustainable hotels.

It’s therefore important that, as an industry, we’re as thoughtful as the people we serve. Hotels are currently among the most resource-intensive commercial buildings in terms of energy and water use per square foot. We need to work together to address this now, as we restructure our ways of operating for a post-pandemic world. We need to reach out to other areas of the tourism industry – from ecotourism to local workforces and communities – to form a united front against climate change. We need to be role models, even when it’s most difficult. The pandemic has presented unparalleled challenges for the hotel industry. As we emerge blinking into the light of a new world, it’s time to seize the opportunity to provide hotels which support the environment and the people they impact. If we meet this opportunity head-on, others are sure to follow us on the road to a green (and happy) recovery.

ADP Architecture 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 caption: ADP Third Space concept. | Image credit: ADP Architecture

Collage of speakers for Hotel Designs LIVE Sustainability talk

(In video) Hotel Designs LIVE: Sustainability beneath the surface

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
(In video) Hotel Designs LIVE: Sustainability beneath the surface

On February 23, designers, architects, hoteliers and developers from around the globe tuned in to watch Hotel Designs LIVE. In the second panel discussion of the day, editor Hamish Kilburn was joined by leading hospitality figures to discuss sustainability beneath the surface…

Collage of speakers for Hotel Designs LIVE Sustainability talk

With so much noise around sustainability at the moment, it was about time that Hotel Designs LIVE, which was launched last year with the aim to keep the conversation flowing during and after the Covid-19 pandmeic, hosted a panel discussion that allowed designers, architects and hoteliers to go beneath the surface of conscious design and hospitality.

The virtual event, which took place on February 23, led with the ambition to go further than it has ever gone in order to define the point on meaningful topics and conversations.

Following an engaging panel discussion on the future of hotel design and hospitality, the spotlight for the second session of the day landed on leading design and hospitality figures to debate sustainability, a topic that continues to be weighed down by heavy stigma. Sponsored by Grohe, a brand that inherently has sustainability running through its DNA – if recent accolades are anything go by – the panel was inspired by the recent Q&A between Hotel Designs LIVE and eco warrior, Bill Bensley.

On the panel: 

Hotel Designs LIVE sustainability panel

The discussion dived in head-first with editor Hamish Kilburn asking the panel what their thoughts were on greenwashing, before moving on towards establishing where sustainability in hospitality is heading and whether or not the pandemic has been a positive or negative catalyst for sustainable solutions and eco-savvy product development.

Here’s the full recording of the panel discussion, which has been edited by CUBE and includes Product Watch pitches from Grohe, Havwoods and Siminetti:

As well as recently publishing our highlights from the first session of Hotel Designs LIVE, the full recordings of the other two sessions (‘ ‘Safe & sound hotel design’ and ‘A new era of wellness’) will be available on-demand shortly.

SAVE THE DATE: Hotel Designs LIVE will return for a fourth edition on May 11, 2021. Session titles and speakers will be announced shortly. Once these have been announced, tickets for Hotel Designs LIVE will be available. In the meantime, if you would like to discuss sponsorship opportunities, focused Product Watch pitches or the concept of Hotel Designs LIVE, please contact Katy Phillips or call +44 (0) 1992 374050.

Image of panelists for first session of Hotel Designs LIVE

(In video) Hotel Designs LIVE: The hotel experience 10 years from now

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
(In video) Hotel Designs LIVE: The hotel experience 10 years from now

To kickstart Hotel Designs LIVE on February 23, editor Hamish Kilburn hosted a panel discussion with leading designers and architects entitled: Floor 20, room 31, which virtually checked in to the hotel experience 10 years from now…

Image of panelists for first session of Hotel Designs LIVE

On February 23, 2021, Hotel Designs‘ editor Hamish Kilburn returned to host the third instalment of Hotel Designs LIVE, which launched last year with the aim to keep the industry connected and the conversation flowing during and after the Covid-19 crisis.

The one-day conference welcomed world-renowned interior designers, architects and hoteliers to discuss the future of our industry in four engaging panel discussions, which were:

  • Floor 20, room 31, checking in 10 years from now
  • Sustainability, beneath the surface
  • Safe & sound hospitality & hotel design
  • A new era of wellness

The production of Hotel Designs LIVE took place while adhering to the current lockdown regulations and kickstarted with an editor’s welcome from Kilburn who explained the need for the virtual event. “The industry’s new swear word, Covid-19, has temporarily brought hospitality and tourism to its knees, but in these challenging times we have seen the real power of designers, architects, hoteliers, developers and suppliers all working together to invent and implement meaningful solutions,” he said. “Hotel Designs LIVE was born in those confusing times, and our aim is simple: to create conversations unlike any other and keep the industry connected.”

The first session of the day, which was sponsored by Hamilton Litestat, was designed to look ahead towards what hospitality and hotel design will look and feel like one decade on from today, and was curated to confront recent cultural shifts that have smudged the sketches, so to speak, as to what the hotel of the future will look like.

On the panel: 

The conversation began with Kilburn asking the panel how accurate previous predictions were regarding the ‘hotel room of the future’. It was concluded that the word ‘experience’, in all sectors of hotel design, was used 10 years ago in order to meet the then new demand among modern travellers who were expecting a deeper and more purposefully driven hospitality journey. Related to this, a new era of luxury lifestyle brands started to emerge to blur the lines in luxury travel, which, following the most testing year the hospitality arena has experienced in modern times, takes us to where we are now.

When the conversation turned to technology, interior designer Martin Goddard led the discussion to argue that moving forward, he expects modern travellers will be burnt out by technology and hotel design in many areas will encourage human connection once more as well as injecting meaningful sense of location, which was evident in Hotel Designs’ recent hotel review of The Mayfair Townhouse, which Goddard Littlefair recently completed steering clear to reference obvious clichés in the design. “One of the best pieces of feedback I’ve received from that hotel is that it always felt like a cosy winter’s day,” Goddard said.

Interior designer Albin Burglund was able to offer a unique perspective when it came to predicting the future of hotel design from both a luxury design as well as a wellness perspective. “I agree with Martin that the industry will be cautious to inject technology,” he explained, “and this will largely follow consumers putting more of a focus on their own personal wellness and wellbeing.”

Chris Lee injected qualitative research into the discussion following a campaign he and his team completed last year for Sleep & Eat, which involved collaboration with Chalk ArchitectureHotel Hussy and students from the University of West London, presenting an interactive render for a ‘2035 guestroom of the future’ based on the groups prestigious upscale Wyndham brand. As well as the project “capturing the imagination” of the modern traveller, the guestroom design and layout challenged conventional hotel rooms – and despite the focus being largely on the ‘Gen-Z traveller’, the product was actually carefully designed for all generations as it allowed guests to select their own scene settings to reflect their mood or preferred environment. Following research into understanding the DNA of the hotel guestroom experience, technology had to be seamlessly blended in to the design scheme.

The discussion soon veered towards Covid-19 and specifically the pandemic’s impact on future design and hospitality. Rob Steul, with more than 20 years’ experience in architecture and design, used the upcoming luxury hotel in Leicester Square, The Londoner, as a prime example of how the industry’s already high standards put hospitality design in good stead for when hospitality and travel returns in the post-pandemic world. “Long before Covid-19, we had already considered elements such as air flow,” he explained. Burglund agreed while also questioning the short-term purposes of event spaces and questioned how these could be utilised and used during what has no-doubt been a testing time for hospitality worldwide.

Here’s a highlights video of the panel discussion, which includes Product Watch pitches from Hamilton Litestat, Chelsom, PENT Fitness, Blueair and Yeames Hospitality.

The full recordings of the other three sessions (‘Sustainability, beneath the surface’; ‘Safe & sound hotel design’ and ‘A new era of wellness’) will be available on-demand shortly.

SAVE THE DATE: Hotel Designs LIVE will return for a fourth edition on May 11, 2021. Session titles and speakers will be announced shortly. Once these have been announced, tickets for Hotel Designs LIVE will be available. In the meantime, if you would like to discuss sponsorship opportunities, focused Product Watch pitches or the concept of Hotel Designs LIVE, please contact Katy Phillips or call +44 (0) 1992 374050.

Galvin at Windows_Hilton Park Lane

Bring your vision to life and make it sustainable

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Bring your vision to life and make it sustainable

Leaflike is on a quest to help customers with their sustainability agenda, switching to recycled planters, introducing hydroculture planting, flower rejuvenation programmes and green walls…

Galvin at Windows_Hilton Park Lane

Leaflike saw an increasing trend for sustainability within the Christmas packages last year, from a decorative tree made with recycled glass bottles at the Holiday Inn Camden Lock to beautiful wooden wreaths for Galvin at Windows, Hilton Park Lane.

Leaflike considers sustainability in every project delivered for customers, recognising that venues want to know where their products are from and that its ok to have them recycled and upcycled if it means they are more sustainable.

One customer has recently gone for all sustainability options including having herbs as table centre pieces and then using them in the kitchen for cooking thereafter. Using recycled plant pots made from either coconut shells or PCs, phones and microwaves. Plus, hydroculture planting using no soil or compost and a flower rejuvenation programme. These initiatives ultimately make them award winning and truly amazing with their global commitment to respect and preserve the planet.

In addition, we are launching a 40 by 40 initiative. Leaflike will plant 40 trees a year which in turn will provide 40 tonnes of carbon reduction over the next 40 years. We will be doing this through the national trust. You can track the company’s progress on its website.

The Waldorf Hilton has been a customer for more than five years and they recently adopted sustainable and recycled products in their venue including the famous Palm Court.

Guy Hilton, General Manager, The Waldorf Hilton explains how the brand has helped connect interior design with the outside world. “I have been working with Leaflike for five years at this venue and previous Hilton hotels as well,” he explains. “The key thing here was to establish the historical planting that takes it back to the glory days of 1908 when there was Tea Dance The room Palm Court, famous for its Tea Dance, we have worked hard with the team at Leaflike to bring palms back into the Palm Court! Across the hotel the plants and planting are in keeping with the style of the hotel.”

‘In these difficult times we have worked closely with Leaflike to consider interior planting that also covers the hygiene needs and distribution of hand sanitiser.’

Join Leaflike in its next webinar

Hear how Leaflike helps customers transform any space into something beautiful and place sustainable solutions in their venues. Visit www.leaflike.co.uk/cpd.

Leaflike 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: Leaflike/Hilton Park Lane