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Inside IHG’s debut Hotel Indigo property in Cyprus

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Inside IHG’s debut Hotel Indigo property in Cyprus

The 40-key Hotel Indigo Larnaca marks IHG Hotels & Resorts first Hotel Indigo and the second IHG property in Cyprus…

Days after announcing its arrival in Verona, IHG Hotels & Resorts opens Hotel Indigo Larnaca, which is the first and only Hotel Indigo in Cyprus. 

Each of the hotel’s 40 guestrooms are all uniquely designed and inspired by Cyprus’s craft heritage with balconies overlooking the picturesque city of Larnaca. Just a five-minute drive from the airport, the hotel is centrally located in one of Larnaca’s most historic areas, near the church of St. Lazarus and close to Finikoudes and Mackenzie beaches.

Image credit: Hotel Indigo

Within walking distance to the beach, the hotel combined two traditional Cypriot beach homes into a new hotel, marrying design elements from both old and new. The guestrooms have a modern yet contemporary feel by merging raw concrete with locally – made, brightly – coloured traditional textiles and light wooden furnishings. The en-suite bathrooms have spa-like rain showers, with brushed concrete flooring and original Cypriot tiling. All the balconies are fitted with traditional Mediterranean yellow shutters, reminiscent of old Cyprus, and mimicking the sunset amongst the surrounding mountains.

Hotel Indigo Larnaca also offers a stunning rooftop pool and Kampana Pool Bar with breathtaking views of the sea. The regionally inspired onsite restaurant, Avli, and the Oinotelia wine bar, are conveniently situated on the ground floor and are a destination for locals, tourists, and guests.

Image credit: Hotel Indigo

Mr. Savvas Kakos, President and CEO of Quality Group, said: “At Quality Group we are extremely happy and proud to welcome one of the most renowned hotel groups to the city of Larnaca. Unique and intriguing by definition, and one of the world’s largest boutique brands, Hotel Indigo is now part of the wider area of Saint Lazarus and a perfect addition to the heart of the city. On behalf of Quality Group, I convey my strong faith and certainty that this brand-new and organic collaboration with IHG and Hotel Indigo will leave its mark on the hotel industry in Cyprus.”

Inspired by the neighbourhood around each property, just as no places are alike, no two Hotel Indigo properties are the same. Each Hotel Indigo property features thoughtful design touches and vibrant restaurants and bars connected to the spirit of the local neighbourhood. Hotel Indigo Larnaca takes in the rich history of the Agios Lazaros area and is ideal for romantic getaways and caters to the most seasoned traveller. 

Hotel Indigo Larnaca will operate under the international agreement between IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group), one of the largest hotel groups in the world, Sunnyseeker Hospitality which is the fastest growing hotel management company and Quality Group, one of the largest companies of land development and investment on the island.

There are currently 119 Hotel Indigo properties open globally including the recently opened Hotel Indigo Verona – Grand Hotel Des Arts, with another 104 in the pipeline to open in the next three to five years. 

Main image credit: Hotel Indigo/IHG

PRODUCT WATCH: Aqualisa zones into the smart bathroom

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
PRODUCT WATCH: Aqualisa zones into the smart bathroom

The use of technology as part of the hotel bathroom experience has taken a giant leap forward with Aqualisa, the showering innovation brand…

Personalisation is the mantra and while bespoke services surely must lie at the heart of the modern hotel offering, the bathroom has lagged behind in terms of an enhanced personal experience, which is surprising when showering and bathing have always been such significant differentiators when it comes to  guest evaluation of hotel quality.

Of course, coronavirus too has accelerated the need for technology solutions that will give guests greater peace of mind in terms of personal safety and control, especially when it comes to zero touch facilities.

With the introduction of the first truly smart shower, Aqualisa has developed a genuinely contactless shower and bath fill solution that will completely change the hotel bathroom experience. Full wifi connectivity that allows activation from anywhere and a smart app menu to control flow, temperature and duration at last aligns the hotel bathroom experience to what consumers are increasingly demanding in their daily lives. “Turn on my shower” will be heard more and more in a hotel environment that will have to focus on private rather than communal areas to provide the premium customer experience.

Aqualisa’s leadership in digital showering, based on groundbreaking touch technology, dates back to 2001 and now takes showering forward into the smart revolution based on mobile and the IoT. Two smart ranges, the Quartz and Q Collections, both offer a full menu of shower settings which can be individually selected and managed from a smart device. A variety of modern and compact product design options, all connected and voice activated via Google Home and Amazon Alexa, will look good in all types of room style.

Image credit: Aqualisa

As well as the sheer convenience and indulgence, there are some clear commercial advantages of smart showering in terms of both installation and running costs. The intelligent Aqualisa SmartValve, which is the brains of the system, is sited away from the showering area for easy access but also freeing up more space in the showering area itself. It makes retrospective upgrades easy and straightforward as well as improving the design aesthetic. Perhaps even more compelling in the post Covid economy is the ability of hotel management to centrally monitor water usage and costs, if necessary, adjusting the water flow through hotel bathrooms

If millennials expect smart technology, future generations won’t know anything different and the hotel bathroom, always the litmus test for comfort and well-being, is where the opportunity lies to create an experience zone which plays to the increasingly personal needs of paying guests.

If you would like to talk more about smart showers contact Colin Sinclair on 07801 579958. For further information on Aqualisa’s smart shower collections visit the website or email projects@aqualisa.co.uk.

Main image credit: Aqualisa

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

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

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

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

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

Image credit: Atlas Concorde

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

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

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

Colours

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

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

Formats

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

Decorations

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

  • GROVE 120×278, thickness 6 mm

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

  • PAINT 120×278, thickness 6 mm

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

  • LEAVES 120×278, thickness 6 mm

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

  • HEX MOSAIC

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

  • SHAPES MOSAIC

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

  • 30×30 MOSAIC

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

  • MINIBRICK 5×30.5

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

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

Main image credit: Atlas Concorde

PRODUCT WATCH: The Air-Reviver

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
PRODUCT WATCH: The Air-Reviver

Air-Reviver has introduced a range of air purification and disinfection systems that benefits from state of the art virus, bacteria and parasite eradicating technology…

One of the only available products of its type in the UK, Air-Reviver products clean and disinfect the air, creating a much healthier environment for enclosed spaces while also providing peace of mind due to its ability to neutralise harmful particles.

The Air-Reviver Technology

The Air-Reviver technology is a unique system based on patented BIpolar Ionization technology. It generates positive and negative ions, just like those found in nature. When it’s released in the air and mixes with existing H20 this causes a chemical reaction that neutralises harmful parasites, bacteria and viruses – the team are currently are awaiting tests on how this relates to the Covid-19, however, it is highly likely it can remove this virus as well. 

Diagram to show how the product works

Image credit: Air-Reviver

Tested by World-Renowned Institutions

The Air-Reviver technology has been tested in renowned laboratories around the world. Its efficiency has been scientifically proven and some of the impressive test results include:

  • Removes 99 per cent of Highly Pathogenic Influenza H5N1
  • Removes 98 per cent of Influenza Virus H1N1
  • Inactivates Staphylococcus Aureus by 99 per cent
  • Inactivates E.Coli by 91 per cent

Six layers of filtration

All the Air-Reviver units include a six layer air filtration system that allow the units to clean and disinfect the air, solving a wide range of air pollution issues.

  1. Antibacterial Pre Filter – removes all pollutants bigger than one micron
  2. Medical grade HEPA Filter Infused with Carbon – traps 99 per cent of particles greater than PM2.5
  3. Charcoal Infused Filter that contains antibacterial agents
  4. UV Light – UV radiation is widely in hospitals as an effective and safe disinfection system
  5. Silver Ion filter – Kills bacteria and viruses by destroying their inner DNA
  6. Air-Reviver Module – releases positive and negative Ions making all bacterias and viruses dormant

Image credit: Air-Reviver

Convenient smart control boxes and Wifi functions

Add-on smart functions which perform 24-hour monitoring of outdoor and indoor air quality, self-adjusting fan speed functions and customisable dashboards can be used on a large screen monitor, for instance in an office or hotel, giving staff and visitors a peace of mind.

The Air-Reviver Module

The Air-Reviver ranges include a standalone module, easily integrated with any air conditioning or ventilation unit, which can also be purchased with a Duct Fitting case, allowing the technology to be integrated in any duct ventilation system.

The Air-Reviver Stratus Unit

The Stratus Units is wall mounted or freestanding and comes in four models with different power and room size capabilities, ranging from 20sqm to 120sqm per unit.

The Air-Reviver Cumulus Unit

A modular system that can be combined together to suit any size room. A single unit can be placed on a desktop and room sizes range from 15sqm (One unit) to 90sqm (Six units)

The Air-Reviver Cube Unit

Freestanding, wall or ceiling hung, the cube comes in three models that are extremely quiet and elegant.

The Air-Reviver Peura Unit

The compact unit can be desktop wall or ceiling mounted and just requires a standard mains point. Each unit refreshes up to 60sqm of air, 2.5 times every hour.

Main image credit: Air-Reviver

Rosewood brand to arrive in Spain in 2021 as part of European expansion

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Rosewood brand to arrive in Spain in 2021 as part of European expansion

The iconic Hotel Villa Magna in Madrid is, in 2021, to become the first hotel in Spain to operate under Rosewood Hotels & Resorts…

Following the group’s recent announcement to take over Le Guanahani in St. Barth, Rosewood Hotels & Resorts has been selected by RLH Properties to manage the iconic Hotel Villa Magna in Madrid, Spain.

The hotel, which is situated in the heart of Madrid, on the revered Paseo de la Castellana, will  become Rosewood Hotels & Resorts’ first property in Spain and the fourth operation in Europe, where the group is sensitively expanding into other prime locations.

The beloved property will debut as Rosewood Villa Magna following a refurbishment, during which the property will remain open, that will incorporate a contemporary design, displaying an inspired interpretation of Spain’s capital city.

Exterior of Hotel Villa Magns

Image credit: Hotel Villa Magns

The hotel is centrally located, immediately neighbouring the prestigious Serrano shopping district, and other well-known nearby landmarks such as the Golden Triangle of Art, home to the Prado, Thyssen-Bornemisza and Reina Sofía Museums. Villa Magna is currently closed as a precautionary measure due to COVID-19 and will reopen on September 1, 2020 operating independently until Rosewood assumes management once the refurbishment works have come to an end towards late 2021.

“As one of the world’s most alluring cultural capitals, Madrid is an ideal destination in which to raise the Rosewood flag, and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to join together with our valued partners at RLH to breathe new life into one of the city’s most prolific properties, Villa Magna,” said Sonia Cheng, chief executive officer of Rosewood Hotel Group.  “A mecca for arts, culture and cuisine that perfectly balances the old with the new, Madrid offers the perfect canvas for our guiding A Sense of Place philosophy. We look forward to bringing our differentiated approach to ultra-luxury hospitality to Spain with this special hotel.”

With a refreshed contemporary sense of style and service that speaks to today’s travellers, Rosewood Villa Magna will feature 150 thoughtfully appointed guestrooms and suites, distinct dining experiences and an inspired Sense, A Rosewood Spa.

“The iconic Villa Magna plays an important part in Madrid’s history, and as such we are proud to embark on this new journey with our exceptional team at the Villa Magna and together with Rosewood Hotel Group towards enhancing this unique asset that enjoys an irreplaceable location and taking it to the next level of luxury. We are excited to add our third Rosewood property to the RLH portfolio, alongside sister resorts Rosewood Mayakoba in Riviera Maya, Mexico and the upcoming Rosewood Mandarina in Riviera Nayarit, Mexico,” said Borja Escalada, CEO of RLH Properties.

Rosewood Villa Magna will add to Rosewood’s network of distinctive European properties, which currently includes Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco in Tuscany, Rosewood London and Hôtel de Crillon, A Rosewood Hotel in Paris.  Additional properties set to open within the next three years include Rosewood Vienna (2022), Rosewood Munich (2023), Rosewood Venice (2023) and Rosewood Hotel, Grosvenor Square, London (TBD).

Main image credit: Hotel Villa Magna

USM introduces its first online shop to the UK

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
USM introduces its first online shop to the UK

For the first time, customers in the UK will be able to order furniture directly from the USM website…

A carefully curated selection of beautiful pieces from USM, such as credenzas and bedside tables, can now be ordered in the UK and delivered directly in just three weeks.

USM Haller celebrates its 55th birthday in 2020 a testament to the timeless qualities of this exceptional modular furniture system. The success of USM is due to its simple yet ingenious design. From a few basic components a beautiful and iconic piece of furniture is built, USM Haller has been designed to grow with its environment ever changing needs, no matter what room it has been designed for.

It is the Swiss precision in which the components are made that give the furniture the strength, versatility and clean lines that have made USM Haller a design classic. Launched on to the market in 1965 the USM Haller system has become a watchword for timeless design all over the world. In 1988 it was decided in Germany for the first time ever that the USM Haller furniture system is a work of applied art and should be protected by copyright. Its acceptance into the Design Collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York (USA) at the end of 2001 was a high distinction and confirmed the artistic character of the product. The design classic is used in offices, hospitality and public buildings and increasingly in the style conscious home.

Image credit: USM

The USM online shop offering consists of 24 built pieces of furniture, ranging from a small bedside table to a two unit wide and three unit tall credenza. All products are available in the signature 14 colours which range from monochromes to pops of colours including golden yellow and a gentian blue. The collection also features three pieces of Haller E furniture, Haller E is the newest innovation for USM integrating light and energy directly into the structure of its furniture – completely wirelessly. Dimmable lighting elements can be discreetly retracted into the moving rods to serve a wide variety of purposes: they can light shelves and display cases from the inside or effectively cover a wall in light to set the scene – choosing from a daylight glow or a warm white ambience. Light is not the only integral aspect of USM Haller E – mobile devices can also be charged directly from the structure. Just like the light sources, USB chargers can be attached wherever needed – plugged into pre-defined recesses, they are fully integrated into the rods and barely visible.

Once purchased the furniture can be reconfigured if desired with additional panels and tubes purchased through the USM London showroom.

USM Modular Furniture 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: USM Modular Furniture

Lighting Case Study: Designing The Bristol

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Lighting Case Study: Designing The Bristol

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

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

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

Luxury lighting in a residential style suite

Image credit: The Bristol Hotel/HVLG

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Main image credit: Hudson Valley Lighting Group

CASE STUDY: Breathing new life into a ruined monastery in Naples

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
CASE STUDY: Breathing new life into a ruined monastery in Naples

Kaldewei bathroom solutions perfectly blends a stylish mix of historical and modern styles inside this restored monastery in Naples, Italy…

It took one year and two months and a handful of premium Kaldewei bathroom products to restore a ruined monastery in Naples into a stylish, modern residential abode.

From the terrace, your gaze sweeps across the mountainside vineyards, olive groves and lemon trees, across the “lower town” of Naples to Vesuvius, the harbour and the Gulf of Naples as far as the island of Capri.

In the midst of this unique landscape, on Vormero Hill, Giovanni and Janine have turned their dream home into reality. They bought the ruined 14th century monastery, completely restored it and fitted it out with a stylish mix of modern and a timeless design. For the bathroom and guest WC, the couple chose Kaldewei’s steel enamel bathroom solutions that connect the historical and modern in a very unique way.

Image caption: The exposed shell of the 14th Century monastery before its sensitive renovation

Image caption: The exposed shell of the 14th Century monastery before its sensitive renovation

Even as a teenager, Giovanni knew that one day he wanted to live with his family, right beside his parents’ home on Vormero Hill. Vormero is the 13th district of Naples and is known as the “upper town”. The houses stand on a green hill and can only be reached by cable car and, in part, only via steep stairs. This is where Giovanni grew up, and this area is still home to three generations of his family. “La famiglia” was also the reason why, after studying and working abroad, he returned to Italy. He and his wife Janine, whom he met on a trip to Rio de Janeiro, began with renting a small house next door to his parents’ home. When the hunt for a suitable property, for his own growing family produced no results, he decided to buy a ruined monastery nearby and rebuild it as a family home.

Special challenges: preservation order and logistics

After thoroughly checking the terms of the preservation order and establishing that the monastery had indeed been used as a residential property in the past, Janine and Giovanni started turning their dream into a reality. The restoration of this ancient building presented the young couple with many challenges. The strict provisions of the preservation order, for instance, specified that the same materials used to build the monastery around 700 years ago, such as chalk and regional sandstone, also had to be used for the restoration – no cement was used at all. In addition, the hilltop location, surrounded by vineyards, called for some special logistical solutions. 150 steps had to be scaled when transporting the required building materials and products. As a result, throughout the entire construction period of 15 months one person was solely employed to constantly drive up and down the hill with a tracked vehicle.

Giovanni gave up his job and devoted himself to managing the building site for a year. To help them implement their ideas, the couple called in the architect Antonio Gravagnuolo, who specialises in listed projects, and the German interior designer Stephan Poeppelmann. Together, they created a unique house that skilfully blends the past and the present.

“The colours are restrained and are reminiscent of the vineyard landscape.” – interior designer Stephan Poeppelmann

When tradition and modern collide

“We wanted to retain the character of the ruined monastery. That’s why it was particularly important for us to use traditional materials as much as possible both for the building and the internal restoration and to work with suppliers from the local region,” Janine says. The interior planning corresponded with those wishes: restrained and respectful of the ruin’s history – but at the same time incredibly brave.

Talking about the concept, Poeppelmann says: “In keeping with the building’s past life as a monastery which was now to be restored as a home and be a part of the landscape, we didn’t remove corners and niches in existing walls, for example, but used them as spaces to integrate shelves or seating. The colours are restrained and are reminiscent of the vineyard landscape. The main colours are a delicate pastel green and warm shades of brown.” Ancient floor tiles which were salvaged, undamaged during the building work were also used in the interior design concept, as were lots of little apothecary bottles made of coloured glass, some of which have been integrated into the walls, or serve as decorative elements and vases around the house.

Kaldewei bathroom solutions: perfect match between product and room design

“Today’s bathroom is a multi-purpose space with the highest standards of design. The harmonious fusion of architecture, design, functionality and perfect light produce the optimum solution in the bathroom,” adds  Poeppelmann, describing the design approach for the bathroom.

Modern, quirky bathroom

Image credit: Kaldewei Cono

In fitting out the spacious bathroom, the designer was inspired by the former monastery’s distinctive vaulting. “Naturally, we were impressed by Kaldewei’s natural and classical yet modern shapes. Since we had a round-arched ceiling in the bathroom, we wanted to pick up on that shape with the bath and the washbasin. That’s why we decided on the Centro countertop washbasin, whose interior echoes the rounded shape, and the Meisterstück Classic Duo Oval bath,” says Janine, explaining the decision behind their choice. With its seamless panelling, the bath, made of elegant Kaldewei steel enamel, is the classic archetype of the freestanding bath. The Centro countertop washbasin with its spacious surround, designed by Anke Salomon, also exudes a sense of purity and simple elegance.

luxe bath on colourful tiles

Image caption: Kaldewei Meisterstueck Classic Duo Oval bath

The Kaldewei trinity in the bathroom is completed with the floor-level Scona shower in a restrained Pearl Grey matt. This shower surface fits harmoniously into the colourfully tiled floor, while the round, centrally-positioned waste cover made of steel enamel also picks up on the round-arch shape. The space-saving wall-hung Cono washbasin works well in the guest WC. The characteristic design element of this rectangular washbasin is the square waste cover which is also enamelled. “With the Kaldewei steel enamel bathroom solutions we have created a perfect match between product and room architecture,” says Stephan Pöppelmann.

Image caption: Kaldewei Scona

Image caption: Kaldewei Scona

Whether for a new-build or refurbishment, Kaldewei shower surfaces, washbasins and baths are a hit with builders worldwide. The enamelled bathroom solutions meet high aesthetic standards and, thanks to the huge range of different designs and sizes, they fit perfectly into virtually any room. As a material, Kaldewei steel enamel is exceptionally long-lasting and low-maintenance. Poeppelmann enjoys working with Kaldewei bathroom solutions: “The products are robust. At the same time, they have smooth, seamless lines. Thanks to the wide range of colours, I can pick up on current trends, if required. In addition, high-end design with a modern look should also always take functionality and the day-to-day habits of its users into account.”

Kaldewei 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: Kaldewei

CASE STUDY: Lighting The Hoxton Southwark

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
CASE STUDY: Lighting The Hoxton Southwark

A stone’s throw from the River Thames and London’s South Bank, the Hoxton Southwark opened its doors in September last year. The design team at Ennismore specified lighting products from Heathfield & Co to create a vibrant interior design scheme…

Hoxton Southwark, which opened last year, became the eighth property in the brand’s series.

The new-build hotel contains 192 rooms, various meeting and events spaces, and its two popular restaurants; Albie, an all-day dining spot and Seabird, a rooftop seafood restaurant with spectacular views across the capital.

Alongside owners Ennismore, Heathfield & Co’s experienced team of project managers, product designers and engineers worked on this incredible project for a year, supplying bespoke lighting across the hotel’s public areas. Aimed at creating a vibrant and welcoming space, the clients brief included vintage references and classic styles, which the team designed, developed and manufactured, resulting in 22 completely bespoke pieces, from table lamps and wall lights, to multiple ceiling fittings and pendants.

Unique materials and specialist finishes come together in the production of this beautiful collection of bespoke lighting, each manufactured and assembled in Heathfield’s UK warehouse. A custom brass finish created specifically for the project will organically develop over time, harnessing the natural antiquing process.

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

Main image credit: Hoxton Southwark/Ennismore

 

Signbox creates new social distancing signs and graphics for hotels

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Signbox creates new social distancing signs and graphics for hotels

The signage company Signbox has adapted its portfolio to include stylish social distancing signage and graphics for when the hospitality industry reopens…

As many venues start to reopen their doors to their employees and guests in readiness for the ‘new normal’, Signbox, the award-winning signage designer and manufacturer, is helping them ease back into business with a collection of exciting new social distancing signs and graphics.

The Hey! Collection of social distancing signs, graphics and stickers are ideally suited to hotel environments where staff and visiting guests can be welcomed calmly and coherently whilst allaying any potential stress following the restrictions imposed due to COVID-19. The collection represents a series of vital, yet informal reminders to stay alert and keep social distancing in mind as part of the national effort to keep the R below 1 and save lives.

The Signbox exclusive Hey! collection of signs and graphics for social distancing is backed by the organisation’s specialist wayfinding and safety signage design expertise that are designed to help hospitality venues welcome their workforces, visitors and guests back, safely and without stress.

Social distancing signs to reassure and inform

The Hey! Collection comprises fresh, vibrant design and typography and a friendly style that makes for an intuitive, reassuring user journey. The whole range of social distancing signs and graphics cover every touchpoint to create a socially distanced flow of people who can move seamlessly across any built environment.

The Signbox social distancing graphics collection can be used as a complete signage, messaging and safety package across any hotel and hospitality environment. The key for employers and building owners is getting the right safety messaging in place as early as possible in the process to ensure everyone knows what to expect when they return to their venue.

They Signbox Hey! messaging is calming and straightforward – the range includes guidance from workstation cleaning and hygiene advice, safety information and precautions, safe movement directions and safe distance guides that can be fitted and displayed across the hotel or hospitality venue. These social distancing signs and graphics are designed to motivate those in the hotel industry to adhere to government guidance in order to keep themselves and their colleagues and guests safe and protected.

Safety messaging floor stickers, spray-on stencils and ‘welcome back’ graphics 

The Hey! collection includes digitally printed, laminated and anti-slip, self-adhesive vinyl safe distancing floor stickers with UV protection. You can also use social distancing stencils by spraying them directly onto walls and floors along with social distancing graphic signs for stairways and ‘welcome back’ safety messaging for welcoming reception areas.

Signbox has covered everything in this collection, including the integration of branding and corporate identities across the entire social distancing sign scheme – this presents a familiar, reassuring boost at a time when most workplace behaviour is far from seeming normal. Personalised signs can also be designed and, if and when the government’s guidelines are updated, Signbox can modify any signage schemes with a quick refresh to ensure compliance continues to confirm to new rules. All Hey! social distancing signs can be NFC (Near Field Communication) enabled with tags and links to website URLs to give real-time information through a straightforward, safe and contactless tap on a smartphone.

Signbox 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: Signbox

INDUSTRY INSIGHT: The ‘anything is possible’ approach in interior design

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INDUSTRY INSIGHT: The ‘anything is possible’ approach in interior design

Timothy Oulton is a British designer who has mastered the ‘anything is possible’ approach greater than most when it comes to interior and product design. Hotel Designs gets comfortable in the Apollo to learn its secrets… 

Nothing epitomises the ‘anything is possible’ ethos that Timothy Oulton Studio is famous for better than Apollo.

It is a unique environment modelled to scale on the Apollo 11 spacecraft, encapsulated in a polished stainless steel shell and featuring luxurious, fully customisable interiors created in-house and by hand by the brand’s skilled cohort of makers and craftspeople.

Image caption: Apollo by Timothy Oulton Studio

Recent research points to just 16 per cent of holiday goers now considering trips abroad, yet the urge to escape the new normal is a powerful force. For the luxury and ultra-luxury hotelier the question of how best to create an experience capable of satisfying this desire, wherever in the world, is more pertinent than ever.

As a commercial interior design studio serving the hotel and hospitality industry, this question is one the Timothy Oulton Studio team has considered from its own perspective. Since the global Covid-19 pandemic took hold, studio founders Timothy Oulton and Simon Laws have been asking themselves what the changed future looks like for a market as vital as the travel and hospitality industry, and for the individual businesses that operate within it.

“Marry the impulse to be transported to another world with a sensitivity to the needs of this one.”

The practice is responsible for delivering unforgettable design concepts that enable its clients to attract, engage and wow visitors – impacting revenue streams by offering unmatched experiences. A potential answer to the question of what next? Marry the impulse to be transported to another world with a sensitivity to the needs of this one. 

An outdoor iteration of the Apollo is something Timothy Oulton Studio has been asked for on numerous occasions. Now, after a year of research, development and prototyping, it is ready to be bought to market and – when the ability to be outdoors in small numbers holds great influence over decisions about where we go and how – the launch seems appropriately timed.

“A design like Apollo can pivot existing businesses in so many ways.”  – Simon Laws, co-founder, Timothy Oulton Studio

For hotels with surrounding land or existing glamping facilities the outdoor Apollo creates a phenomenal point of difference in the luxury market, while larger businesses can use it is an attention-grabbing centrepiece inside or out. At Gordon Ramsey’s Bread Street Kitchen the Apollo is used as a private dining space, enabling small group to drink and eat separately within the buzzy atmosphere of the wider restaurant – this is something that the studio team is expecting more of, as Laws explains. “Now more than ever people want to get away, both physically and metaphorically, and I think perhaps hoteliers are seeing an opportunity to facilitate that for people within their own countries, removing the need to jump on a plane,” he says. “A design like Apollo can pivot existing businesses in so many ways. 

“Being so unique and visually impactful also helps clients understand the value of this particular design – Instagrammability is front of mind for almost everyone in the industry. If it was prevalent before the pandemic it can only be more so now our circumstances have changed and we are out and about less frequently. You only have to take a glance at the breadstreetkitchen hashtag to see what a difference this kind of design makes to the popularity of a business.”

The Apollo can be viewed and bought at Timothy Oulton, Bluebird, 350 King’s Rd, Chelsea, London SW3 5UU.

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

Main image credit: Timothy Oulton Studio/Image caption: Apollo by Timothy Oulton Studio

FEATURE: The benefits of bespoke when designing fitness areas

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FEATURE: The benefits of bespoke when designing fitness areas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Main image credit: Gym Marine

CASE STUDY: Creating the art scheme for Great Scotland Yard Hotel

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CASE STUDY: Creating the art scheme for Great Scotland Yard Hotel

Months after it’s official opening, Hotel Designs gains access inside London’s Great Scotland Yard Hotel for an ‘Unbound’ look into what it took art consultancy firm Elegant Clutter to complete a bespoke artwork scheme…

Most people associate Scotland Yard with the London Metropolitan Police. For some, the words are almost interchangeable.

This is explained by the fact that the original Metropolitan Police Headquarters in Whitehall Place had a rear entrance on a street called Great Scotland Yard. This became the public entrance to the police station and over time the street and the Met Police became synonymous.

It may come as a surprise that Scotland Yard is no longer technically in Scotland Yard. It is less of a surprise that the original 1820’s Grade II listed building, situated only three minutes walk from Trafalgar Square, has been turned into a luxury hotel. It is now proudly the first UK hotel in Hyatt’s Unbound Collection. The renovation has been dramatic and art has played a big part in the hotels development. We take a look behind the scenes at what was involved in creating, curating, handling and finally placing the extensive artwork collection on the walls of this striking hotel.

Image credit: Elegant Clutter

Elegant Clutter was appointed to be part of the team responsible for the transformation of this iconic building. Discussions on how best to deliver the artwork strategy were ongoing for more than two years. The team at Elegant Clutter were required to survey, scope, cost and re-cost in order to help the client plan budgets, feasibility and time scales. With such an iconic London landmark at the heart of the project everyone was focussed on ensuring the content was perfectly matched to the venue and its many backstories.

The first thing to mention is that no two of the 152 bedrooms are the same. And then there are the 15 individually appointed suites that were to be marketed as ‘enjoying a bespoke art selection that celebrates the historical element of your memorable stay’. Whilst this contributes to the hotels appeal and makes the guest feel they are staying somewhere truly unique is poses many challenges to the artwork company. (image – no 2 rooms the same)

The gauntlet was well and truly cast down. Whilst relaxing on their bed, taking in the sumptuous surroundings the guests will have no idea the lengths to which Elegant Clutter went, to make sure the artwork selection and positioning was ‘just so’. The rooms and suites benefit from a collection of investment art from artists such as Belinda Frikh and Nicola Green, bespoke framed by Elegant Clutter as well as custom made and designed artworks by Elegant Clutter themselves.

Image credit: Elegant Clutter

One of the bedroom artworks was inspired by Richard Hamilton’s renowned 1950s pop art piece crafted from painted and layered timber to create a 3D relief. Elegant Clutters highly stylised version picked on references from the period of Robert Peels premiership to create an imaginary London street scene – with a humorous twist. The traditional ‘bobby on the beat’ being replaced by a modern security camera in partnership with the emblematic blue police box. It perfectly fitted the brief from the hotel to fuse its rich history and tradition with modern luxury.

The subtle colours of the various artworks needed to be considerately paired together so that each room had its own mini-collection that worked as one. With all the rooms being so different the artwork selection had to be sympathetic to the colours, shape and layout of each one.

Elegant Clutter developed luxury feel frames for limited edition art and their relationship with the Tate enabled them to print Graham Southerland originals onto luxury silk scarves to be presented in acrylic boxed frames. The spreadsheet required to manage the accurate installation would have been more at home in an accountants office than a fine art studio. The invisible, behind the scenes work is just as important a part of the process as creating the art itself.

Image credit: Elegant Clutter

A key appeal of the hotel is that its historic and cherished buildings hold more hidden stories than any other kind in London. The role of the artwork in the public spaces was also to expose some of those stories but had to remain highly bespoke with a luxury finish.

Elegant Clutter was granted access to the London Metropolitan Polices historical records and memorabilia. These were used to help create story filled installations to give a contemporary museum like experience around the main entrance. Intriguing artefacts were carefully curated and floating display cases were designed and hand made to house them. The feature was brought together by using a metallic digital mural background made up of a rogues gallery of past ‘guests’ of The Yard. What you see as a result is an opulent history wall with multiple layers of interest. What you don’t see is the work involved with making a completely different sized box to house a different item requested by the client at the eleventh hour.

Equal care was taken in the framing of the collectable originals to the same part of the hotel. Pride of place on the ground floor is an imposing Belinda Frikh portrait. Its impact has been boosted with a hand-made frame, non-reflective glazing and a gold leafing to ensure an authentic luxury feel. Gold leafing is sometimes perceived as dying art but Elegant Clutter have painstakingly taken the time to hand gilt frames and even the artwork itself for a variety of luxury hotels. The result is impressive but very few would be aware of the time and diligence taken in the studio to achieve it.

Image credit: Elegant Clutter

With artwork this valuable and unique the Elegant Clutter art handlers insist on a white glove service. It’s an important detail for a project such as Great Scotland Yard where the artwork must be protected at all costs. And it’s not just the art that needs protecting. A 200 year old building must be respected too so an understanding of the walls themselves and the most appropriate fixing solutions is imperative. No one wants to accidentally drill into a lath and plaster wall for a grade II listed building because they haven’t done their homework. An art consultancy needs to be trusted for what they don’t do as well as what they do do. It may not be visible – but its all part of the service.

Image credit: Elegant Clutter

Elegant Clutter 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: Great Scotland Yard Hotel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rosewood Hotels & Resorts to manage Le Guanahani St. Barth

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Rosewood Hotels & Resorts to manage Le Guanahani St. Barth

The iconic Caribbean resort on St. Barth will reveal a comprehensive refurbishment under the Rosewood flag, which is expected to be completed and revealed in Spring 2021…

Rosewood Hotels & Resorts will manage St. Barth’s renowned retreat, Le Guanahani, which is set to reopen in Spring 2021 following an extensive restoration of the fabled property.

Closed since 2017 due to the effects of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, the property will reopen as Rosewood Le Guanahani St. Barth with a property-wide rebuild and refurbishment that preserves the unique spirit of the resort and perfectly embodies Rosewood’s A Sense of Place philosophy, wherein the local sensibilities of the destination inspire the resort’s many offerings. Rosewood Le Guanahani St. Barth will mark the growing ultra-luxury brand’s third property in the Caribbean and first in the French West Indies.

Ideally situated over eighteen lush and secluded acres on a private peninsula overlooking two stunning beaches, Marigot Bay and Grand Cul-de-Sac, Le Guanahani originally opened in 1986 and quickly established itself as one of the most iconic resorts in the world celebrated by both families and couples for its incredible beaches and relaxed style that complements St. Barth’s chic ambience. With stunning architecture by David M. Schwarz Architects and unique interior design by Luis Pons Design Lab, the new Rosewood Le Guanahani St. Barth will evoke the rich and authentic French Caribbean heritage of the island with its signature colorful style featuring vibrant design hues of turquoise inspired by the Caribbean water, yellow reflecting the tropical sun and lavender as a nod to the South of France.

“We are honored to steward Rosewood Le Guanahani as it sets a new standard of luxury on St. Barth and around the world.” – Sonia Cheng, chief executive officer of Rosewood Hotel Group.

“A legendary resort cherished for its rich offerings, memorable service and captivating landscape, Le Guanahani is a jewel within the Caribbean and an idyllic destination for Rosewood’s affluential explorers,” said Sonia Cheng, chief executive officer of Rosewood Hotel Group. “We are honored to steward Rosewood Le Guanahani as it sets a new standard of luxury on St. Barth and around the world.”

Upon opening, Rosewood Le Guanahani St. Barth will debut with the complete renovation of all 66 guestrooms, suites and villas, many with new private pools. As the only full-service resort on St. Barth, the property will offer a range of updated amenities including a distinct beachfront dining concept and new pool, a Rosewood Explorers children’s club, fitness center, tennis court, Sense, A Rosewood Spa and dedicated event spaces. Surrounded by two beautiful beaches, including a reef-protected lagoon, and just a short distance from the dynamic downtown, Rosewood Le Guanahani St. Barth will further deliver endless opportunity for guests to discover all St. Barth has to offer through a myriad of watersports, hiking, and sea and town excursions.

Rosewood Le Guanahani St. Barth will continue to operate under the leadership of Managing Director Martein van Wagenberg, who has managed the property for the past six years. This marks the return to the Rosewood family for van Wagenberg, who previously held Managing Director positions at Rosewood Little Dix Bay and Las Ventanas al Paraíso, A Rosewood Resort.  “For more than 30 years Le Guanahani has been renowned for its unique guest experiences and sustainable approach to hospitality – a true reflection of the destination,” said van Wagenberg. “Rosewood Hotels & Resorts is the perfect partner and one that shares our core values through their A Sense of Place philosophy, demonstrated through an unwavering commitment to our associates and community. This is an extraordinary opportunity for the Le Guanahani team to join Rosewood’s global network and stand alongside sister properties such as the iconic Hôtel de Crillon, A Rosewood Hotel in Paris, Las Ventanas al Paraíso in Los Cabos and The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel, in New York City. We are delighted to launch a new chapter of Le Guanahani’s storied legacy with Rosewood by our side.”

Rosewood Le Guanahani St. Barth will join Rosewood’s portfolio of distinguished Caribbean and Atlantic properties, which currently includes Rosewood Baha Mar in The Bahamas, Rosewood Bermuda, and Rosewood Little Dix Bay in Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands. Additional projects underway in the region include Rosewood Half Moon Bay in Antigua, set to open in 2023.

Main image credit: Rosewood Hotels & Resorts

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

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

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

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

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

Following his appointment, I caught up with winter.

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

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

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

woman walking down modern staircase

Image credit: The Middle House, Shanghai

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HK: What does 2021 look like for Swire Hotels?

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

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

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

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

QUICK-FIRE ROUND

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

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

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

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

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

Main image credit: Swire Hotels

GROHE achieves carbon-neutral production

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GROHE achieves carbon-neutral production

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

#1: Saving energy starts at the wash basin

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

#2 Sustainable showering

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

#3 Filtered drinking water straight from the kitchen tap

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

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

Main image credit: GROHE

FEATURE: The ever-growing importance of biophilic design

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FEATURE: The ever-growing importance of biophilic design

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

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

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

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

How biophilic design can be applied in a hospitality setting

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

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

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

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

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

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

Directly introduce nature into a space

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

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

Make it easy for people to access the outdoors

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

Introduce natural motifs

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

Make the most of natural materials

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

Consider the colour temperature of your lighting

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

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

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

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

PRODUCT WATCH: Energy-saving Cheetah by Quintex

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
PRODUCT WATCH: Energy-saving Cheetah by Quintex

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

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

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

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

What it does

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

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

How the technology works

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

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

Is Cheetah suitable for your kitchen? 

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

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

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

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

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

Main image credit: Quintex

SPOTLIGHT ON: The role of landscape architecture in ‘glamping’ resorts

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
SPOTLIGHT ON: The role of landscape architecture in ‘glamping’ resorts

A Glamping resort is usually sited within a picturesque location whether forest, beach, lake, mountain, botanical or even an urban rooftop with a primary focus of ‘back to nature’ experience. Bushtec Safari Asia explores landscape architecture…

As a designer we have come across seven main landscape typologies (however there are probably more or even subsets):

  • Traditional Resort compound with highly ornamental plantings, flexible lawns spaces, sculptures with drop-off, restaurant and lobby
  • Natural Aesthetic to blend with or be part of the natural surrounds
  • Animal reserves and Zoological parks providing the time past safari experience
  • Themed Landscapes – most recently we have been developing a pet focused tented resort with agility course, dog pool, sand hill and even a cat climbing gym
  • Botanical which typically focusses on organic farming practices, wellness lifestyle choices and communal gatherings
  • Urban settings such as on rooftops with spectacular views
  • Pop-up Glamping which responds to short term events and festivals where tents are stored and reused year on year.

Image credit: Bushtec Safari Asia

There is as much skill, if not more, to touch the ground lightly and create a landscape aesthetic which looks part of natural surrounds however even more important, landscape architecture critically allows the tents to sinuously bring the outdoors indoors through 4 of the senses

  • sight-siting of tents to maximise vista’s and even lighting for nighttime effects,
  • touch-directing natural breezes through the tents,
  • smell-carefully selection of aromatic scents of flora and
  • sound-bird attracting plants, flowing water elements and selecting rustling trees.

Image credit: Bushtec Safari Asia

To enable a greater understanding of the role of landscape in glamping resorts a case study has been selected – Tiarasa Escape.

The site is located in Janda Baik, Mukim Bentong. Janda Baik (incidentally means good widow) is a small village about 50 km from Kuala Lumpur, capital of Malaysia.

The site included existing fruit trees (durian, rambutan, jackfruit and mangosteen), fish farm and located adjacent to a small river, Sungai Nerong and surrounded by vegetable gardens owned by the local villagers.

Image credit: Bushtec Safari Asia

Our approach is to take advantage of its special qualities, not imposing on the setting but enhancing and directing attention to the features of the landscape. The path, tents & buildings are sculptured fit into the site with minimum disturbance and embrace the rocks and slopes and trees, not see them as obstacles. The beauty and integrity of the landscape and its special qualities shine through each tent location. We have created the design for Glamping and treehouse within as an integrated construction process, adjusting pathway design as we discovered each rock and preserve the beauty of the natural site.

Creating places

As more travelers explore the world so does the expectation to create unique local experience. Our approach to any site is to take advantage of its natural qualities, not imposing on the setting but enhancing and directing attention to the landscape features. The buildings fit into the site with minimum disturbance and embrace the rocks, slopes and trees, not see them as obstacles. The beauty and integrity of the land and its special qualities shine through each concept. Tiarasa Escape resort is intended to “touch the earth” lightly, “teach the stories of the forest” and “discover the life withing a traditional kampung setting” all within a modern luxury escape.

Integrated within the site

Each of our glamping resorts has a design vision.  We take the basic elements we know make resorts work and mix them with unique elements as well as specific client requests to create one overall feeling through the landscape and outdoor spaces. The landscape is designed at multiple scales so a guest will get a certain feeling upon arrival and continue discovering special features throughout their stay. Private spaces and large scale gathering areas both envelop the guest in the landscape which surrounds.

Immerse in nature

We subscribe to the belief that plants make the space. Our planting design is based on extensive understanding of the local environments and the desire to enhance native communities while inviting human inhabitation and enjoyment. Native fruit trees, productive planting and a focus on endangered species create places and enhance the environmental significance.

The planting design at Tiarasa Escapes glamping, pictured here, is based on the concept of the ‘Rainforest Orchard.’ Previously a kampung orchard, the site has mature Durian, Longan and Mangosteen trees which were all protected during construction. Further planting of native rainforest fruiting trees supports the enjoyment of the guests as well as ecological benefits for the other floral and fauna communities.

Landscape is a sensory element and critical to a glamping resort’s design aesthetic. It is about curating a holistic outdoor experience and landscape must always have a purpose. It’s more than just eye candy. It’s important that it looks beautiful but it must also convey a story, an underlining purpose and make a great contribution to physical environments by emphasising the protection of natural character and cultural identity.

Bushtec Creations 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: Bushtec Safari Asia

Hamilton Litestat to sponsor technology seminar at Hotel Designs LIVE

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hamilton Litestat to sponsor technology seminar at Hotel Designs LIVE

As part of its ongoing support as a solutions provider to the hotel sector, Hamilton Litestat will sponsor Hotel Designs LIVE, a one-day virtual conference for the hotel industry, to be held on June 23, 2020…

Hamilton Litestat will sponsor the technology seminar at Hotel Designs LIVE, which takes place on June 23.

The online conference consists of a series of engaging seminars featuring leading figures from the international hotel design sector, covering hot industry topics along with innovations that support the guest experience.

Hamilton will sponsor Hotel Designs LIVE’s first seminar, ‘Technology’s role in tomorrow’s hotel’, where Jason Bradbury, tech influencer and former presenter of The Gadget Show, will be in conversation with Hotel Designs’ editor, Hamish Kilburn. The pair will discuss products and innovations, and how technology will influence hotel design in the future.

“For decades, Hamilton has been supporting the hotel industry with technology and solutions that enhance the guest experience, and we’re pleased to support this discussion of innovation and the future of hotel design,” says Gavin Williams, Hamilton’s Sales & Marketing Director. “There are so many simple, easy to use and effective solutions that can make all the difference to a guest and keep them returning time and time again.”

With hotel rooms working as a multifunctional space – accommodating relaxing, sleeping, and often working – Hamilton will present its technologies to support the guest experience in suites and communal spaces. Its Smart Lighting Control solutions aid the versatility of these rooms, helping to transform them between the functional uses with just the touch of a button or swipe of a finger. Lighting in a hotel reception can really make a statement and set the mood for a stay, while pre-set lighting schemes can create an ambience that takes dining areas from breakfast to cocktail hour and through to cosy evening meals.

Hamilton’s smart lighting and audio control solutions are supported by a vast portfolio of on-trend decorative wiring accessories that can be selected to suit any hotel design scheme or functionality requirement, with a bespoke service also available to provide just the right finishing touch.

Designers, architects, hoteliers and developers who wish to attend the free conference can do so by registering online here (registration closes June 19 at 5pm (BST)).

Main image credit: Hamilton Litestat

#HotelDesignsLIVE

PRODUCT WATCH: Vegas lighting by MASIERO

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
PRODUCT WATCH: Vegas lighting by MASIERO

Italian artisanal manufacturer MASIERO has collaborated with industrial designer Marc Sadler to create a glamorous new contemporary yet classic lighting collection called Vegas…

The Vegas collection by MASIERO is all about luxury and high-end design. The striking pieces are very in tune with the contemporary yet also emanates a timeless quality.

As the name suggests, it was inspired by the bold, eye-catching styles and flamboyant energy of Las Vegas.

The Vegas collection is the result of a collaborative effort between lighting design firm MASIERO, and industrial designer Marc Sadler. Sadler is a French citizen who was born in Austria, and currently resides in Milan. Having graduated in 1968 from the ENSAD in Paris, he is an industry veteran whose career has taken him across Europe, Asia and North America. Sadler’s eclectic background and technical design prowess mean that today he works as a design consultant for a variety of companies across numerous industries. His work has been recognised with many international design awards, including four times being the recipient of the Compasso d’Oro ADI.

Image credit: The Vegas collection by MASIERO

The lighting collection brings together the two materials which are key for MASIERO: glass and metal. Rows of transparent glass strips are perfectly positioned and attached around a metal structure. The creation of invisible eyelets and an ultraviolet gluing process allows the strips to be held in place without the need to drill the glass or use visible screws. The bases, stems, and internal structure are made from metal which has been beautifully gilded in champagne gold leaf. Customers can also order other metal finishes to suit the look they desire. Illumination comes from LED strip lights that run along with the frame and sit behind plexiglass to ensure it is easy to clean. Most models have dimmable LED lights.

This is an opulent and refined collection. The use of soft gold and a clear textured glass succeeds in giving it the desired classical feel. The strips of glass look much like ice, but also precious and jewel-like when lit. It is sculptural and there is a sense they are suspended delicately on the exterior of the lights.

The band of the inner metal structure provides the lights with a clean geometric form. Seen through the glass strip the metal has a lovely rippled gold effect, which adds depth. This is most striking on the curved vertical wall lights where the light shines from behind on both sides.

Each individual glass strip is completely unique. The ‘rock’ effect is created using a special process that deliberately deforms the thick glass pieces using heat. They each have a similar feel with imprisoned bubbles of air, yet no two will deform in precisely the same manner. It is a technique which the designer says gives the glass “an emotional allure that refers to the workings of the great glass masters.”

The Vegas collection boasts an extensive range of individual pieces. The design of the overall collection is strictly unified through materiality and the repeated use of curved rows of the glass strips nestled over a gold band.

Pendant styles are available in single lights as well as circular clusters of three or five lights. The single pendants range from 12cm all the way up to 60cm in diameter, and the largest cluster is 80cm in diameter. Rows of pendant lights in rectangular alignment come with three, five, or seven drops. There are also variations with multiple vertical tiers. The longest piece is 175cm in height, with a fine and elegant 27cm diameter.

To stretch the length of dining tables or for use in billiard rooms, choose from sweeping oval shapes with vertical glass strips, or long tubular forms that run horizontally and echo the tiered drops. The collection also includes curved vertical wall lights and ceiling variations, plus an oval table lamp.

Experimentation and commitment to the design concept allowed this collection to be developed into an array of very refined shapes. This makes the range extremely versatile for use in both commercial and residential settings.

Masiero 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: Masiero

GROHE’s digital shower wins German Innovation Award 2020

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
GROHE’s digital shower wins German Innovation Award 2020

The innovative head shower GROHE Rainshower 310 SmartConnect was awarded a German Innovation Award 2020in the category “Excellence in Business to Consumer – Heating & Bathroom”…

The interdisciplinary jury of the German Innovation Award 2020 has named GROHE Rainshower 310 SmartConnect “Winner” in the category “Excellence in Business to Consumer – Heating & Bathroom”, believing it to be an innovation advancing the industry through its originality, implementation and effectiveness.

GROHE Rainshower 310 SmartConnect offers innovative water control. The head shower is connected via Bluetooth to a battery-powered, round remote control which enables users to select different spray patterns. Users can choose from the ActiveRain spray which is a powerful jet perfect for rinsing away shampoo or loosening tense muscles; and PureRain which delivers larger, softer droplets for a more luxurious, relaxing shower experience. Each spray can be activated by pushing the relevant pictograph on the control, with a third icon allowing you to combine both sprays at once. The wireless remote control can be conveniently positioned in an easily accessible place, either inside the shower enclosure or just outside, up to 10m, and can be screwed or glued onto the wall. The head shower is available in a round and a square design, has a comfortable diameter of 310mm and can be easily and quickly mounted on an existing standard size shower arm. GROHE Rainshower 310 SmartConnect impresses with flexibility and comfort and is a technical highlight in every modern bathroom.

Digitisation has fundamentally changed many areas of public and private life in recent years. As a result, digital solutions are increasingly finding their way into private living spaces, merging physical and digital dimensions. This development does not exclude the bathroom. Consumers are specifically looking for smart technologies with intuitive operation that enrich everyday bathroom routines. “Intelligent technologies are not a solution in themselves, but should be seen as ‘enablers’,” emphasises Thomas Fuhr, COO Fittings LIXIL International and CEO Grohe AG. “Whenever we develop new technologies or product innovations, we ask ourselves: What is the purpose? How will it affect consumers’ lives? Will it solve a problem and make life easier? For us, users and their needs are clearly the focus of attention. Because only with this customer-focused mindset we can develop technologies and products that offer real added value.”

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

Main image credit: GROHE

INDUSTRY INSIGHT: ‘Togetherness’ is the new luxury post-pandemic

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
INDUSTRY INSIGHT: ‘Togetherness’ is the new luxury post-pandemic

‘Togetherness’ is a new phrase emerging as self-contained serviced apartments are in high demand as old friends and extended family seek to reconnect as lockdown eases…

As travel restrictions begin to relax, serviced apartment brands have seen a spike in bookings as the demand for self-contained apartment hotels increases. As a result, a new trend is starting to emerge: “togetherness”, which is being seen as the new luxury.

One of these brands that are seeing their bookings rise in the wake of the pandemic is SKYE Suites, developed by Crown Group. The group’s Chief Operating Officer, Pierre Abrahamse said the emergence of the “togetherness as the new luxury” trend would replace the focus on experiential travel that had prevailed in the luxury hotel market over the past decade. “Togetherness is emerging as the biggest trend for 2020 and beyond,” he said. “People want to reconnect with those they have been separated from for the past few months and hotels are responding.

“Guests are calling to ask can they book co-joining apartments so that they can enjoy a holiday with their kids and the grandparents in the one place, or so they can have friends who live in regional areas finally able to join them in the city for restaurant or gallery outings,” he said.

Image credit: SKY Suites

SKYE Suites offer spacious one-bedroom and two-bedroom hotel apartments sized from 43sqm to 80sqm, in Sydney, Green Square and Parramatta, each with open-air balconies or courtyards to take in fresh air. Guests can do their own cooking and washing with SMEG appliances and Vittoria or Nespresso coffee machines, or head out to the array of restaurants that have opened their doors again in the city.

There are ‘virtual concierge’ tablets in each suite for guests to access hotel services. Guests can also catch a movie or watch Netflix by streaming their own content to huge in-room TV screens. Sleeping Duck bedding allows them to choose mattress firmness on each side of the bed.

SKYE Suites opened its third hotel above Green Square train station in April 2020, which offers 90 luxurious apartments in a precinct designed by globally renowned Koichi Takada Architects and offering 18 retail and dining offerings including Butcher & The Farmer, Nam2 pho, Bashan noodles, KFC, McDonalds and Gong Cha bubble tea.

Image credit: SKY Suites

The SKYE SUITES brand first launched in August 2017 with the opening of the stunning SKYE Suites Parramatta, part of a mixed-use residential, retail and hotel development, V by Crown Group.

The building was designed by Allen Jack + Cottier and Koichi Takada Architects and Crown Group’s signature resort facilities including a beautiful outdoor pool area, well-equipped gym and expansive foyer.

The second SKYE Suites opened in October 2018 as part of the stunning Arc by Crown Group residential tower at 300 Kent St. This luxe and inviting enclave in the heart of the city was also designed by Koichi Takada Architects whose “ice cave” themed lobby and lap pool have become one of Sydney’s most Instagrammed spaces.

The building has become known for its eye-catching brickwork and glass and steel towers that soar dramatically into the city skyline. It has 73 plush and inviting hotel apartments.

The Sydney and Parramatta hotels have earned accolades at the HM Awards two years running, for Best Serviced Apartment Property and Best Tech Hotel.  

Main image credit: SKY Suites

The Backhausen Bespoke Service – the fabrics dreams are made of

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
The Backhausen Bespoke Service – the fabrics dreams are made of

The Backhausen Bespoke Service allows designers to explore a world of fabric possibilities. Hotel Designs explores…

Backhausen, as highlighted in previous articles, is renowned for its luxurious fabrics which are immersed in heritage, craftsmanship and quality.

Its dedication to innovation, individuality and exclusivity is represented by its venture into research and development for innovative technologies, as well as for its flexibility and capacity provided by the company’s exclusive bespoke service.

Backhausen offers designers and creative artists the opportunity to develop and produce custom-made fabrics together with its design team and expert weavers, translating any particular vision into unique, high-quality fabrics.

Image credit: Backhausen

The Backhausen bespoke service is exclusive, but most importantly it offers a high level of flexibility to accommodate key partners expectations, requirements and desires; before, during and after the fabric creation process. This personalised service is dedicated to exploring a new world of textiles, where the experience and craftsmanship of Backhausen is combined with the unique requests of its customers, in a coordinated and straightforward process, which is unusual in the world of textiles.

At the same time, the mission of Backhausen’s bespoke service is to strengthen and highlight the important, major role that fabrics play in different industries, as well as in our daily life.

Image credit: Backhausen

Selecting the right fabrics can add numerous technical characteristics to every design –textiles can be used as insulation tools, they can control and absorb humidity, they optimise acoustics and also bring ultimate comfort. Fashion is another industry hugely influenced by fabrics — this raw material is one of the most important elements when designing a new piece of apparel. In addition, fabrics have a strong influence on movies, as set designers carefully choose the right fabrics to communicate and create an exceptional mood via the screen.

Throughout various industries, fabrics also need to comply with specific strict regulations and certifications to be used for interiors. For these industries, among other certified fabrics on their collections, Backhausen has created a wool-viscose FR fabric. This natural fabric is specifically for curtains that gives the possibility for designers to maintain the aesthetics and quality of the wool, while still being high-performance. In addition, this innovative product has passed with great result the strict EASA aviation burning vertical test.

Right from the start of the bespoke service process, the expert design team and the advice of our experienced weavers are at the disposal of the client. The bespoke service involves a detailed approach and specifications to provide solutions encompassing quality standards, budgets, designs and time. Furthermore, the Backhausen’s bespoke service also focuses on sustainability, by offering its customers a choice from a range of natural fibres and materials such as silk, wool, cotton, and linen, as well as viscose.

The possibilities are endless with the Backhausen bespoke service and every request for bespoke fabrics varies depending on the customer, industry and design.

The Bespoke service process explained:

1) The customer interested in the service shares his/her ideas and visions for the bespoke fabric with the design team.

2) The design will then be reviewed to make sure that it is technically possible to proceed with the production of the fabric. Consequently, a form is filled out by the customer with further specifications and details – quantity (50m minimum), colors and materials.

3) If necessary, the design team advises on design development and improvements. The first sample is developed, which is then sent to the customer for approval and reviewing (approximately 1-3 weeks).

4) If further development is needed, the sample will be re-done according to the new information given, and the new sample will be sent again for approval and reviewing.

5) Once the customer approves and orders the fabric, the production operation starts and finishes (4-6 weeks) and the fabric is ready for shipment.

The development of individual fabric designs, and the support of the Backhausen team from the beginning of the process right to the final stage of shipping is enabled thanks to the flexibility of Backhausen’s own mill, located in north-eastern Austria.

Furthermore, the impressive archive owned by Backhausen, which dates back to the 19th century, opens up unlimited design and pattern possibilities. This incredible resource, composed of over 5,000 original patterns and designs from the Art Nouveau and the Wiener Werkstätte era, is also at the customer’s disposal as a reference for their custom projects.

The goal is to achieve a design which is unique to each customer, developing their vision, ideas and creativity into fabric while combining functionality and high- performance.

This flexible service is perfect for designers that are looking to create their individual designs and translate their visions into fabrics, also creating a unique experience for their clients.

Backhausen itself takes advantage of its own flexibility. This year Backhausen was able to produce a fabric made of 100 per cent ÖKO-TEX cotton for its sustainable, reusable non-medical masks during the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, Backhausen is going back to its roots with a contemporary twist by bringing back old, heritage fabrics that were designed by renowned artists of the 19th and 20th centuries. These fabrics are being converted into sustainable art, by being manufactured once again, but this time using natural fibres and materials following the brand’s recent shift and focus.

Backhausen 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: Backhausen

Geberit launches premium flush plates for maximum design flexibility

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Geberit launches premium flush plates for maximum design flexibility

Bathroom supplier Geberit has launched a new selection of flush plate finishes, offering hotels an even wider choice for enhanced design flexibility in hotel washrooms…

The new colourways of Geberits new flush plates will expand into four of its flush plate collections – the Sigma 21, Sigma 50, Sigma 20 and Sigma 30 – offering a range of different styles to suit every taste and space. 

An industrial-inspired concrete and natural wood finish has been added to the Sigma21 and Sigma50 collections, allowing developers designers to incorporate the latest interior trends in the washroom.

Both new flush plates will also be available with a choice of brass, red gold and black chrome metal detailing. 

With a host of sleek colourways available in addition to its latest launches, the black, white, mustang slate and customisable designs can be personalised with the new metal features. 

Geberit has also expanded its Sigma20 and Sigma30 flush plate collection to include stylish matt black and matt white, combining aesthetics with a unique texture.

These new finishes join nine existing colourways, including white gloss chrome, black gloss chrome, matt chrome, gloss chrome and brushed stainless steel. 

Geberit’s Head of Product Management, Peter Davis, said: “We are delighted to introduce Geberit’s new flush plate finishes, created with the latest interior trends in mind. Whether developers designers are specifying for hotels featuring a contemporary or traditional style, each elegant model brings a luxurious finishing touch to help transform the bathroom washroom into a sanctuary space. 

“With more than 34 flush plate finishes available, Geberit flush plates are renowned for uncompromising functionality and high-quality craftmanship, meaning developers designers can be rest assured that whichever style or finish of flush plate they opt for, they offer unrivalled reliability as well as trendsetting style,” he added.

Geberit’s extensive range of flush plates complement its leading bathroom washroom innovations, including the revolutionary AquaClean shower toilet which is found in some of the UK’s top hotels, the Sigma concealed cistern and Duofresh odour extracting extraction technology. 

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

Main image credit: Geberit

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

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

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

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

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

Conrad Punta de Mita

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

Image credit: Conrad Hotels/SB Architects

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

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

One&Only Madarina

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

Image credit: One&Only

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

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

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

Main image credit: One&Only

Judges announced for Surface Design Awards 2021

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Judges announced for Surface Design Awards 2021

Steve Webb of Webb Yates Engineers and Basha-Franklin’s Creative Director, Nicola Osborn, have been appointed as Co-Chairs of the  Surface Design Awards for 2021

Steve Webb and Nicola Osborn have joined the judging panel of the Surface Design Awards 2021, and will be joined by a multi-disciplinary team of fellow judges selected from the architecture and design communities.

The Co-Chairs invite their own team of design industry colleagues to join them on the judging panel. Steve Webb has invited Sarah Castle from IF_DO; Joseph Henry of GLA’s Regeneration Team and Architecture Initiative’s Lee Mainwaring.

“I am delighted that Sarah, Joseph and Lee have joined my team of judges, they bring a wealth of design knowledge and skill,” comments Steve Webb. “I know from being part of the 2020 judging team that they face an exciting and challenging task!”

Nicola Osborn has drawn on her contacts in the interiors world to bring together Nic Fallows of BNF Capital; Simona Auteri and Sofia Steffenoni from Matter of Stuff and Kresse Wesling MBE from Elvis + Kresse.

“I really enjoyed my experience of judging the Awards in 2015,” said Nicola Osborn. “I wanted to bring together a diverse team, so have invited a design-led property investor, a contemporary design & manufacturing consultancy and an environmental entrepreneur…judging day should be fun!”

For the 2021 Awards, greater emphasis will be paid both on the selection process for the different surface materials used in the entries and on their sustainability credentials with each entry being accompanied by a statement and calculation for the carbon footprint kgCO2/m2 of the cladding/material surface.

London’s Business Design Centre will be Sponsoring the 2021 Supreme Award – the project selected by the judges as being ‘the winner amongst winners.’

“The Awards Presentation is taking place at the Business Design Centre on Thurs 11 Feb next year and we are delighted once again to be sponsor of the Supreme Award,” said Max Bull, Executive Director of Venue Sales at the BDC. “The BDC is home to many design-led businesses and we are keen to support the sector.”

The 2021 Surface Design Awards will open for entries in June 2020 with a closing date of Friday 25 September 2020. The Awards Presentation ceremony will be on Thursday 11 February 2021 as part of the annual Surface Design Show taking place in London’s Business Design Centre from 9-11 February.

The Supreme Winner of the 2020 Surface Design Awards went to the Krushi Bhawan building in Bhubaneswar, India by Studio Lotus.

Other winners included Sterling Prize winner Goldsmith Street by Mikhail Riches with Cathy Hawley; Nobu Hotel in London by Ben Adams Architects; CF Toronto Eaton Centre Bridge by WilkinsonEyre and Zeidler Architecture and University of Sheffield Concourse by Arup Lighting.

Entries are now OPEN! Head over to the website to read more.

Main image credit: Surface Design Awards

FEATURE: When architecture and lighting design collide

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
FEATURE: When architecture and lighting design collide

Hotel Designs learns the story and latest lighting collection from Buster + Punch, a British home fashion label, founded in 2012 by Architect Massimo Buster Minale…

It all started in a garage in East London, building custom motorbikes. Buster + Punch innovates with solid metals, to transform ordinary functional fittings into extraordinary interior details for residential, hotels and commercial projects.

The brand is deep rooted in London’s fashion, music and sub-culture scene and harnesses this energy to elevate the products.The horizontal range of products comes in a limited palette of unique finishes to help designers specify with confidence and ensure a perfect match.

Exhaust is a new collection of the trailblazing interior spotlights inspired by motorbike exhaust just launched. The range features four new products; a fixed, an adjustable and a track spotlight, alongside a pendant light. Decorative yet functional, Exhaust is designed to elevate task lighting to a new level, providing directional illumination to interior surfaces and architectural detailing.

Image credit: Buster + Punch

Each Exhaust spotlight is fitted with a beautifully machined, solid metal baffle designed to capture and diffuse light. The unique baffle design features Buster + Punch’s unmistakable new linear knurl pattern and signature torx screws, alongside a precision-cut honeycomb grill, engineered to create a delicate metallic glow whilst also emitting a precise, non-glare, directional light.

“Exhaust finally puts functional lighting back in the spotlight,” explained Massimo Buster Minale, founder and creative director. All too often forgotten as back- ground lighting, we wanted to create a compelling range of decorative task lights that would fit seamlessly into any home or hospitality space, whilst remaining memorable – much like the roar of a motorbikes exhaust.”

Developed by the Buster + Punch design studio, Burnt Steel is an innovative/ fashion-forward finish first launched in Spring 2020. When a motorbike exhaust runs lean, the excessive heat turns the metal into a stunning rainbow of blue, purple and yellow. Harnessing an oxide effect, when applied to marine-grade stainless steel the result is a highly original and unique metal effect. Burnt Steel leads the way in new metallics and unlike an applied finish, the cutting-edge process means that no two finishes are ever the same.

Buster + Punch 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: Buster + Punch

CASE STUDY: How Page8 Hotel has made its air cleaner

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
CASE STUDY: How Page8 Hotel has made its air cleaner

The ‘new normal’ in hospitality and hotel design will largely revolve and evolve from a demand for clean environments, which goes beyond wipe-clean surfaces, as Page8 Hotel has learned after installing Blueair purifiers…

In a YouGov survey commissioned by leading air purification brand Blueair, it was found that there is consumer demand for clean air hotels, with 54 per cent of Brits considering air quality to be important when choosing a hotel.

Prior to the government-stipulated lockdown, Page8 had begun its soft launch and was on the front foot thanks to its status as the first ‘clean air’ hotel in central London, a title it claimed by placing a Blueair air purifier in all 138 rooms.

Experts from the Swedish brand Blueair tested the difference in air quality before and after using an air purifier in the rooms of Page8 Hotel. Thanks to the efficiency of Blueair’s unique HepaSilent™ filtration technology, airborne particles were reduced by 96 per cent after using an air purifier for only one hour, making the air in the hotel rooms as pure as the Swedish Archipelago.

Philip Chan, Project Development Manager of Butterfly Hospitality Group explains why Page8 has opted for air purifiers and the importance of clean air for both guests and hoteliers alike.

Every little thing we do is to improve the experience of our guests – even if this is invisible.

Air quality is directly related to the quality of our health and environment. After a long day of activities, Page8 which is located in the heart of London, welcomes urban explorers back to the hotel with the purest air, detoxing them from the pollution of the city and providing a hygienic, clean environment for a quality night’s sleep. All 138 rooms, from single to family rooms, are equipped with a Blueair air purifier to ensure our guests are breathing the purest air throughout their stay.

Our urban explorers travel with a health-concerned state of mind.

By partnering with the best air purifier brand in the world, Page8 promises to provide the best indoor air quality for guests. A cozy well-designed hotel room is essential for a pleasurable trip, while breathing clean air in the room is an added value which is not commonly offered to guests of a hotel. Given now the world’s pandemic, we wish to provide the best confidence to our guests that we are dedicated to providing sanitised rooms with the best possible air quality resulting in less germs. Using a Blueair air purifier that removes airborne pollutants will go a long way towards helping our guests stay healthy by breathing cleaner air.

A great night’s sleep is everything.

Breathing pure air definitely improves your sleep quality and helps you to relax in a new sleeping environment. Blueair works so quietly that you can enjoy the best air quality without even hearing it. We aim to provide every guest with the best night’s sleep in the heart of London.

Page8 Hotel opted for Blueair’s Blue Pure 411 air purifiers. Based on Blueair’s proprietary HepaSilent™ technology, these air purifiers remove at least 99.97 per cent of airborne particles as small as 0.1 microns in size from the air. These compact air purifiers effectively clean the air while taking up little space and the colourful pre-filters can be changed to suit the décor of any hotel room!

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

Main image credit: Blueair

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

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

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

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

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

Arrival experience, luxury

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Luxury spa area that frames unspoilt view through rustic blinds

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

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

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

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

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

Large, oversized swimming pool

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

QUICK-FIRE ROUND

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

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

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

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

HK: What’s your biggest indulgence when travelling?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Restaurant overlooking ocean in the Maldives

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

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

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

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

Main image credit: Jean-Michel Gathy/Denniston

TIG becomes headline partner for Hotel Designs LIVE

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
TIG becomes headline partner for Hotel Designs LIVE

Technological Innovations Group (TIG) has been confirmed as the headline partner for Hotel Designs LIVE, which takes place on June 23…

With less than two weeks until Hotel Designs goes live to the world on June 23 with its first ever virtual conference, TIG, which offers technology solutions from world-class brands such as Crestron, Black Nova, Embrava, Gude, Hoylu, Oblong, NFS and Salamander Designs, has been announced as the event’s headline partner.

Headed up by industry stalwart Robin van Meeuwen, TIG is an EMEA sales agency offering an ecosystem of compatible AV, UC, IT and control solutions from brands at the forefront of leading-edge technology development. The company specialises in engaging customers across all verticals including consultants, integrators and specifiers, to deploy fully integrated, tailor-made and future-proof smart spaces in any environment. With a hugely experienced leadership team and staff in locations across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, partnering with TIG gives organisations – whether in corporate, marine, education, residential or other smart spaces – a real edge over the competition.

During Hotel Designs LIVE, TIG will face editor Hamish Kilburn for a Quick-fire Q&A. “Considering that TIG is relevant for all of our four seminars that we have planned for Hotel Designs LIVE, it feels very fitting to welcome the technology company as our headline partner,” explained Kilburn. “I am excited for the quick-fire Q&A, which will allow the audience to understand more about TIG, while aptly serving as a warm-up during my editor’s welcome ahead of our first live seminar that is entitled: Technology’s role in tomorrow’s hotel.”

TIG is respected within the hotel design industry for pushing the boundaries of technological integration for Smart Spaces and, as a result, is able to create amazing experiences for the designer to integrate into the consumer journey.

Click here to see the line-up of Hotel Designs LIVE | Click here to secure you seats in the audience.

“TIG is excited to attend Hotel Design Live as the solutions TIG represents touch on every aspect of Hospitality,” said Petra van Meeuwen, Director of Media Relations at TIG. ” Innovation is key at TIG and with its ecosystem of world-class solutions from high tech brands combined with a long standing experience in the sector, TIG brings true innovation, collaboration, efficiency, security and safety to create smart hospitality spaces. 

“TIG has just launched a virtual experience space to give visitors an engaging, life-like experience showcasing all its solutions whilst we are working hard to open our real Experience Spaces in London, Frankfurt, Paris, Jo’burg and Moscow when it is safe to do so.”

The Virtual Experience Space is an immersive online space as part of TIG’s new website that has been carefully designed to welcome and deliver an engaging and life-like experience for consultants, integrators, specifiers and end-users. By embarking on a ‘walk-through’ tour of the virtual space, accompanied by vocal explanations, visitors will understand how the ecosystem of solutions available from TIG integrate to transform smart spaces in any corporate, residential, hospitality, education or healthcare environment.

If you are a designer, architect, hotelier or developer and would like to join the live conversations on June 23, click here to secure your virtual seats in the audience.

Main image credit: TIG

Helping hotels heal: The service bringing re-opening advice directly to the door

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Helping hotels heal: The service bringing re-opening advice directly to the door

In the wake of editor Hamish Kilburn interviewing Katie McCarthy, the founder and design director of Design Equals, Hotel Designs asks the firm to explain more about its Design= in a box

In the absence of government guidance Design Equals, an agency network of creative experts for the hotel industry, has launched a new support service which will provide on-going business advice to the industry as it navigates the roadmap of re-opening.

The recovery package consists of initiatives – including a monthly subscription service to expert advice – to aid recovery of the hospitality industry, helping independents and small chains to rebuild their business, attract high-value guests and optimise cash flow.

Katie McCarthy, founder and design director at Design Equals, is behind some of the North’s most well-known hotel interiors, including the Lake District’s Storrs Hall and Cheshire’s boutique Ryland’s Hotel.

Image credit: Design Equals

She said: “The industry has unexpectedly evolved, almost overnight, due to Covid-19. The way our customers must experience hotels and short breaks will not be the same for some time, maybe never even the same again. We are working with our community, our partners, leading experts and from our European and are cascading that information to businesses in a simple, creative way – through Design= in a box.”

With a recent survey from Design Equals finding that 72 per cent of businesses saw increased footfall and 54 per cent saw a rise in profits following a refurbishment it’s now more important than ever to ensure that whilst hotels are adhering to new social distancing rules, they are retaining an appealing interior.

“There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution for recovery.”

Image credit: Design Equals

There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution for recovery, however with their eclectic team of creatives the company are able to offer a tailored approach to businesses, ensuring their unique core values are met and creative concepts of venues aren’t compromised.

There are three options for businesses to choose from, each offers different levels of guidance and addresses the main areas of priorities such as safety, space and style.

The most popular option is the ‘Back to Business’ subscription box which retails at £59.99 per month and will keep you up-to-date of the latest guidance and advice regarding Covid-19. It will also share details of design ideas, products and discounts to help you prepare for your re-opening. As well as interior design advice you will also receive operational guidance and insights into individual business’ plans, the Back to Business subscription box will ensure you’re well informed and prepared for the big open day.

‘The Essentials’ support box (RRP £180) is a one-off purchase which provides an extensive guide on preparing and prioritising your space for re-opening.

This includes a one to one consultation with a designer to discuss space, cost effective solutions such as revised use of seating arrangements, flow of operation safe spaces and flexible partitions for creating safe distancing.

The full-service ‘Invest In Your Future’ support kit (RRP £999) is a fully personalised business solution which is developed with you by a team of experts. Customers will receive three meetings with a dedicated DESIGN=creative team specifically selected with skill sets considered to the venue type.

The five biggest benefits seen by the hospitality industry from an interior design refurbishment have been revealed as:

  1. Increased footfall (72 per cent)
  2. Increased turnover/ profits (54 per cent)
  3. Ability to increase prices/ improve margins (37 per cent)
  4. Attracting a new, more desired customer base (36 per cent)
  5. Attracting competitors customers (33 per cent)

The team are set to reveal the latest addition to their support package with their ‘S is for Safety Book’ in the coming weeks. The documents will explore how businesses can meet new safety measures while not compromising on style.

Katie added: “We wanted to launch a solution that would help hotel owners prepare for re-opening, including being ready to open their doors whilst adhering to new guidelines. We need to act now to be ready to successfully re-open. Our message to outlets is whilst your doors are closed be open to change.

“We have an army of creatives who are working together to provide sensible, educated and affordable ideas for the industry which will arm them with the knowledge and products to a successful re-opening.

“These Design Equals packages are the first step in our long journey to rebuild a more resilient, inclusive and sustainable hotel industry. We are all incredibly eager to return to this new normality awaiting us but we have to be responsible to protect yet survive to thrive once more.”

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

INDUSTRY INSIGHT: Shining light on cordless luxury for 2020

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
INDUSTRY INSIGHT: Shining light on cordless luxury for 2020

While new technologies are coming to the surface as the industry starts to emerge from lockdown, Hotel Designs asks Voltra Lighting to explain why designers are switching their attention to cordless luxury…

What is it about a luxury hotel that makes it so desirable to the discerning traveller? Be it the Six Senses, Waldorf Astorias or Four Seasons of the world, all of them exude a distinct aura – an elegant mix of ambience, design and attention to detail.

Design experts will agree that it takes strategically designed light installations to effectively tie all these elements together and truly elevate the hotel experience.

This is why high-end brands are constantly innovating to deliver more exclusive and advanced luxury lighting options. Currently, there is a big focus on fast-tracking a wireless lighting future. As legendary designer Philippe Starck puts it: “Everything that can disappear has to disappear [sooner or later].”

Designer brands that fabricate new-age portable lights, such as Voltra Lighting, can be found in some of the finest hotels in the world. Their iconic lamps are intelligently engineered and carefully crafted to enhance the ambience of the space. Inspired by the gentle flickering of a candle-light, Voltra’s elegant range of lamps are perfectly suited to deliver an atmosphere of intimacy and richness.

Insight into a new generation of luxury cordless lamps

As with most things in the world of design and technology, the wireless lights too will be constantly reimagined to enthrall the new generation of hotel patrons.

According to Voltra’s team of master designers, here are the cordless lighting trends that will feature in many a luxury hotel premises in 2020 and beyond:

  1. Soft colors for added opulence: Ambient light diffusers in brushed gold, muted nickel and antique bronze are shades that are seen to work really well in delivering a rich glamorous look.
  2. Go all natural : Increasingly, elegant and intimate cordless light-sources are being fashioned out of naturally available materials such as wood, bamboo and cork. Voltra’s Totem range is unique in its use of precision cut alabaster stone that offers a handcrafted look and creates even illumination.
  3. The future is outdoor: Battery-operated outdoor lighting needs to be able to brave the elements and yet sport a slick design. Spearheading this trend is Voltra’s range of IP65-rated lamps that are resistant to both water and dust damage.
  4. Circular lighting: Be it lighting up your bathroom vanity or hotel lobby, these circular vessels of light tend to also stand out as a central decorative object owing to their unique design.

Journey from a world of wired to battery-powered

The cordless movement began way back in the late 1980s. In those times, wireless lights came in rudimentary designs and delivered low power output – making them unlikely candidates to grace living spaces of luxury properties. But, today, since these lamps have evolved to deliver higher lumen output per watt; the status quo has completely changed.

Especially when seamlessly and tastefully integrated into the property’s architectural and interior design, the right lighting is seen to transform hotel spaces into an oasis of comfort and splendour.

So, when adding new lighting fixtures into the hotel suite or speciality restaurant, what must designers and hoteliers keep in mind?

For one, the lighting fixture should be a joy to behold – both for its form and function. Thoughtfully and intelligently curated and situated, it can create a strong impression in the minds of discerning travellers. Secondly, it needs to be able to adapt to the ever-changing luxury hotel interiors.

On both counts, high-end cordless lighting can deliver. The sheer mobility offered by ambient wireless lights also creates a flexible atmosphere and mood that can be hyper-personalised to each high-net worth guest.

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

Main image credit: Voltra Lighting

PRODUCT WATCH: TIG launches Virtual Experience Space for smart spaces

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
PRODUCT WATCH: TIG launches Virtual Experience Space for smart spaces

Technological Innovations Group (TIG) the EMEA sales agency offering integrated technology solutions for residential and commercial smart spaces…

On the same day the company has been announced as headline partner of Hotel Designs LIVE, TIG has launched its Virtual Experience Space to showcase the impressive portfolio of AV, UC, IT and control solutions it represents.

The Virtual Experience Space is an immersive online space as part of the company’s new website that has been carefully designed to welcome and deliver an engaging and life-like experience for consultants, integrators, specifiers and end-users.

By embarking on a ‘walk-through’ tour of the virtual space, accompanied by vocal explanations, visitors will understand how the ecosystem of solutions available from TIG integrate to transform smart spaces in any corporate, residential, hospitality, education or healthcare environment.

Visitors will also benefit from TIG’s technical specialists, who are on hand to support them as they specify futureproof deployments, by recommending the most appropriate suite of solutions. TIG’s range of solutions have been chosen to complement one another to create superior, fully integrated and tailor-made smart spaces – whatever the client’s brief.

The world-class brands that TIG represents include:

  • Collaboration and residential smart space technology from Crestron
  • Remote monitoring and power distribution solutions from GUDE
  • Innovative tools and software from Hoylu for remote collaboration and accessible digital group learning
  • Stylish control panels for the hotel and home from Black Nova
  • Multi-user, multi-screen, multi-location visual collaboration platform from Oblong
  • User-friendly yet advanced meeting scheduling and management software from NFS
  • Made-to-order furniture from Salamander Designs that fits in perfectly with specific AV products
  • And, most recently, Embrava, whose Desk Sign and Blynclight ranges display employee and workspace availability, and indicate whether desks have been recently disinfected before next use

Robin van Meeuwen, TIG’s CEO, told Hotel Designs: “Here at TIG, we have been able to bring together experience, people and innovation through a collaboration with some of the finest technologically advanced brands to create a portfolio of class-leading solutions. These brands have been carefully selected for their contribution to the creation of tomorrow’s smart spaces – whether they are in the workplace, a university, a hotel, a hospital, or any other home, leisure or business environment.

“Our Virtual Experience Space will exhibit the best AV, UC, IT and control solutions for the constantly evolving way in which we live and work. It provides a solutions-based approach to answering how we can futureproof our smart space deployments, with a focus on efficiency, adaptability, safety and security. We look forward to welcoming our valued partners and customers to this revolutionary digital space!”

Amid the Covid-19 crisis, the opening of TIG’s ‘real-life’ Experience Spaces in London and Frankfurt has been rescheduled for September 2020. To explore the new Virtual Experience Space, visit the website. Following this, visitors are invited to arrange a more detailed ‘real’ visit, hosted one-to-one by one of our expert salespeople, by emailing.

Main image credit: TIG

PRODUCT WATCH: Kaldewei Cayonoplan Multispace receives Red Dot Award

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
PRODUCT WATCH: Kaldewei Cayonoplan Multispace receives Red Dot Award

The jury at the Red Dot Awards were “won over” by Kaldewei’s certified shower surface with integrated room for manoeuvre. Hotel Designs gets a closer look…

It is not only bathroom professionals, architects and builders who are captivated by Kaldewei’s world-first for barrier-free mini bathrooms.

At the Red Dot Award: Product Design 2020 the exceptional innovation and aesthetic of the Kaldewei Cayonoplan Multispace made it the winner of one of the most important international competitions for product design and architecture. The Red Dot Award is presented annually by a 40-member expert jury for the best designs in the areas of aesthetic, chosen materials, crafting of the surface structure, ergonomics and functionality; it is one of the most prestigious quality checkmarks for outstanding design.

Image credit: Kaldewei Cayonoplan Multispace in lava black matt with Secure Plus

“By giving us this award, the jury has highlighted the design quality of our new bathroom solution. For us, it is an affirmation of a very special combination of materials. With Kaldewei steel enamel, steel and glass form a long-lasting, hygienic and sustainable bond which is what the Kaldewei brand has stood for, for decades,” says Yvonne Piu, Director Marketing at Kaldewei. “There are  a great  many  small bathrooms at last, with the Cayonoplan Multispace they too can be made into barrier-free yet design-oriented spaces – with all of the associated benefits for bathroom professionals and builders. Alongside the distinctive aesthetic, the advantages include maximum comfort and bathroom design in line with prescribed standards so grant applications for barrier-free bathroom refurbishments can be made with confidence.”

Barrier-free design for mini bathrooms

The Kaldewei Cayonoplan Multispace for floor-level installation is the first certified enamelled shower surface that meets all requirements relating to barrier-freedom; furthermore, 60 per cent of its surface area can be counted as room for manoeuvre in the bathroom. With Kaldewei’s shower system, even tiny bathrooms with an area of just four square metres can be easily equipped to meet accessibility requirements. The Cayonoplan Multispace is available in all twelve shades of the Coordinated Colours Collection and comes with the anti-slip Secure Plus finish as standard.

The Cayonoplan Multispace – truly excellent

“The winners of the Red Dot Award have proved that they have created truly excellent products that possess not only an exceptional aesthetic but are also uniquely functional. The award winners have raised the benchmark within their industry with their designs. I sincerely congratulate them on their success,” says Professor Dr. Peter Zec, initiator and CEO of Red Dot.

The Kaldewei Cayonoplan Multispace which was honoured at the Red Dot Award: Product Design 2020 will be installed on 22 June at the “Design on Stage” exhibition at the Red Dot Design Museum Essen which presents the winners selected from 18,000 entries.

Kaldewei 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: Kaldewei

CASE STUDY: Lighting the facade of Radisson Blu Hotel, Larnaca

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
CASE STUDY: Lighting the facade of Radisson Blu Hotel, Larnaca

The Radisson Blu, Larnaca was to be illuminated externally with dynamic lighting supplied by illumination Physics, and designed by Archtube, to draw attention, as well as provide a sense of arrival, which was critical to the marketing of the property…

The pace of development in Cyprus is rapid. The influx of ex-patriot investment and the opening of casinos for the first time has created an exciting yet competitive market.

Developers must therefore make strong visual statements if they are to stand out in the rapidly changing business landscape.

The Radisson Blu, Larnaca was no exception, and a statement was required. Therein lay the genesis of the lighting design that was conceived of by Cypriot lighting designers Archtube.

Image credit: UNSEEN VIEWS (Charis Solomou Architectural Photography)

The property consists of two towers connected by a podium. The façade containing the main entrance is entirely populated with guestroom windows and other balconies. This face of the building would be naturally illuminated and did not require external treatment other than signage. It was the slab sides of the building that required illumination as well as the façades of the main tower and secondary tower that face each other across what would be otherwise very dark space. Illumination Physics’ instruction was to produce a synchronised dynamic display of indirect illumination that would be as homogeneous as possible given the limited locations that could be used to mount the light fixtures.

The dimensions of the building are modest; it does not exceed 18-storeys in height for the main tower and four less for the secondary tower. This meant that even the tallest façades would fall into the range of two new illumination Physics light fixtures – the IP Circular Wash Quattro (a 270-watt RGBW wash light) and the IP Rectangular Wash Mono (a 220-watt RGBW wash light).

The new powerful circular wash light uses heat pipe technology to cool the LEDs and represents a significant step forward for a powerful light fixture in such a compact and attractive package. Where appropriate rather than using a powerful circular fixture, illumination Physics choose rectangular fixtures producing a rectangular beam to add to the overall illumination.

Mounting the luminaires was illumination Physics’ greatest challenge, particularly for the two banks of twelve 270-watt lights that would illuminate the two prominent façades of the main tower.

The lights would be mounted into a frame designed by illumination Physics so that the grouping and spacing were fixed according to their optimal calculations.

The lighting of these two façades was complicated by the fact that the achievable and very shallow set-back was different on one side to the other and two focusses were required. To achieve this, overlapping beams of light with different lens angles were used.

In addition to the façade lighting, illumination Physics supplied the flag pole lights in white light. The IP Circular Series – Quattro 3-6 (25-watt) was ideal. Flag poles are a standard requirement of Radisson for all their hotels worldwide.

Martin Opolka, illumination Physics’ European manager, and illumination Physics partner and Technical Director, Peter Kemp, attended the on-site testing and commissioning, accompanied by illumination Physics’ own programmer who commissioned and programmed the control system. Illumination Physics’ work also included testing and the rectification of all data connections, including the aiming/focusing of all lights and the installation and setup of the complete control system.

Prior to the system being installed, an illumination Physics representative attended the site to instruct the installers on the installation of the data network and other requirements for their systems.

The control system illumination Physics set up provides a very useful control for a hotel client. Preprogramed scenes/sequences can easily be manually selected by the client via the large buttons on the laptop touch screen, which can be labelled with specific names and colours for easy identification. The standard sequence is programmed in consultation with the client and automatically runs every day, activated by the time of day or sunrise/sunset using Quadcore’s astronomical clock function.

This level of care is typical of illumination Physics’ inclusive project management in which they can guarantee a perfect outcome by controlling all aspects of the work.

The lighting effect exceeds the promise of the initial design and the ambition and intent of the lighting designer and their client. The value is such that plans have already begun for the illumination of the second Cypriot hotel of the same brand, currently under construction.

Illumination Physics 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: UNSEEN VIEWS (Charis Solomou Architectural Photography)

INDUSTRY INSIGHT: How smart technology can save energy

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
INDUSTRY INSIGHT: How smart technology can save energy

The experts at Quintex explain smart technology beyond what the consumer sees and experiences…

Room temperature and light control via apps and voice recognition are just a few examples of Smart Technology starting to be integrated into the hotel industry, to not only enhance the user experience but also to save energy.

However, Smart tech isn’t just in front of the house but, a big player behind the scenes in saving huge amounts of energy. In this article, I would like to highlight the impact Smart Tech can make in hotel kitchens around the world.

When you think about saving energy in the kitchen, the initial appliances that spring to mind would be ovens, grills, fryers and fridges, all very commendable choices but one area is unknowingly overlooked and that’s extract and supply fans. We are talking big workhorses, keeping the kitchen balanced and safe. Surveys have historically shown that most kitchen fans are running 24/7 in hotel kitchens when nine times out of 10 this is not needed. In a busy hotel kitchen, there is little to no time for the kitchen user to turn fan speeds up and down in line with kitchen activity.

Image credit: Quintex

Demand Controlled Ventilation (DCV) is slowly but surely becoming, a top priority in saving money in the commercial kitchen space. We’re finding that it is fast becoming a mandatory requirement in many new build specifications to keep in line with the various governmental guidelines, from the recent ESOS scheme, and looking further into the future and reaching the Net Zero by 2050 campaign. This is something we will see evermore increasing in business and operations as the months and years roll on to meet those targets set.

So, what is DCV, and what can it do to make an impact in my hotel I hear you ask!?

Demand Controlled Ventilation essentially is a fully automated system, that does not require any user input, that modulates the Extract and Supply fans in line with the activity on the cookline at any time during the day or night.

Image credit: Quintex

Cheetah, the market-leading DVC control in the EMEA, boasts some of the most comprehensive patented technology. This included high-end optical and temperature sensors to ensure the user is getting the highest degree of modulation and pick up to manage the fans appropriately and yield the highest level of energy-saving!

This smart technology is unlike any other technologies in the market that use inaccurate thimble sensors in conjunction with BMS systems that use broad set points and don’t offer the same level of saving as Cheetah. Due to the intricate design of Cheetah it can offer savings on energy consumption to up to 80 per cent depending on, kitchen design, fan sizes and other variables.

Cheetah is the market-leading DCV control and is recognised in the hotel market across Europe and the UAE. Cheetah’s installed across various estates in the hotel world, one of the systems biggest users, Marriott hotels, reduced their annual energy consumption across 45 hotels in Europe by 65 per cent, saving €500,000 a year on energy costs across those hotels. It’s not just the large savings on offer but the appetising payback timeframes with Cheetah. Marriott ROI for this project was just over a year, and this isn’t an unusual ROI found within kitchen hotels.

The product manufacturer Quintex are happy to talk further on how Cheetah can help save money, energy and improve kitchen conditions with smart technology.

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

Main image credit: Quintex

Europe’s hotel construction pipeline continues to expand despite pandemic

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Europe’s hotel construction pipeline continues to expand despite pandemic

Analysts at Lodging Econometrics (LE) report that at the close of the first quarter of 2020, Europe’s hotel construction pipeline expanded to near-record highs with 1,840 projects and 294,047 rooms, a 10 per cent increase in projects and a 15 per cent increase in rooms, year-over-year (YOY)…

Projects under construction in Europe stand at 878 projects, with an all-time high of 142,185 rooms; while projects scheduled to start construction in the next 12 months stand at 522 projects with a record-high 82,229 rooms. Projects in the early planning stage have 440 projects/69,633 rooms; up significantly at 27 per cent and 44 per cent respectively, YOY. During the first quarter of 2020, Europe opened 84 new hotels with 10,469 rooms.

The United Kingdom leads the construction pipeline with 342 projects with an all-time high of 52,231 rooms, and then Germany with 323 projects/58,935 rooms. France follows with 172 projects/21,070 rooms. Next is Portugal with 120 projects and a record 13,049 rooms and then Poland with 92 projects/14,529 rooms. 

The cities in Europe with the largest pipelines are London with 96 projects and an all-time high 18,055 rooms, Dusseldorf at 58 projects/11,290 rooms, and Paris at 39 projects/6,108 rooms. Next is Hamburg, with 34 projects/7,294 rooms and then Lisbon with 33 projects/3,116 rooms. 

Accor Hotels is the leading franchise company with the largest European pipeline by projects with 238 projects/32,763 rooms; followed closely by Marriott International, with 227 projects/37,764 rooms. Hilton Worldwide is next with an all-time high of 195 projects/30,289 rooms, then InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) with 160 projects/25,632 rooms. These four global franchise companies account for 45 per cent of all projects in Europe’s pipeline.

The leading brands for these four companies are Accor Hotel’s Ibis brands with 108 projects/13,779 rooms and then Novotel and Mercure Hotels with 25 projects/3,890 rooms and 25 projects/3,177 rooms, respectively. Marriott International’s top brands are Moxy with 75 projects/13,386 rooms, Courtyard by Marriott has 28 projects/4,892 rooms, and Autograph Collection with 20 projects, and an all-time high 1,909 rooms.

Hilton Worldwide is led by Hampton by Hilton at an all-time high of 81 projects/ 12,736 rooms, Hilton Garden Inn with 42 projects/7,093 rooms, and DoubleTree by Hilton with an all-time high 28 projects having 3,354 rooms. IHG’s top brands include Holiday Inn Express with 70 projects/10,844 rooms, Holiday Inn with 31 projects/7,196 rooms, and Hotel Indigo with 16 projects/1,661 rooms.

Similar to other pipelines around the world, Europe’s hotel construction pipeline is experiencing temporary delays of approximately two to four months. Hotel construction across the region varies by country; some countries have resumed construction while others are still waiting for guidance on precautionary measures, guidelines and start dates. 

Countries across Europe are working on plans to safely reopen existing hotels, with plans varying by country. Some countries have partially reopened under strict guidelines, while others plan to roll out “phased reopenings” through June and into July. 

Main image credit: Pixabay

PRODUCT WATCH: Horo by Masiero

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
PRODUCT WATCH: Horo by Masiero

Taking cues from vintage style, Horo by Masiero is a striking new lighting collection featuring glass discs and brushed brass…

The sun is an ancient and enduring source of inspiration. Tapping into this, the design for Horo took the depiction of the sun as a circle and related icons like the Sun god Ra as its starting point.

The distinctive illuminated discs form a perfect archetypal representation of the sun and give this collection an eternal and graphic quality.

Horo is part of the Dimore Collection by MASIERO, and designed by Paris based interior designer Pierre Gonalons. In 2002 he graduated from École Camondo, which offers a five-year program in interior architecture and object design.

MASIERO is committed to the use of high-quality materials and material innovation. Horo is no exception.

The main diffuser is a sandwich construction, which comprises two circles of prismatic glass held together by an outer brass metal frame. An LED strip is placed inside the frame and shines between the two layers of glass. The diameter of each diffuser is 30cm.

To increase the luminance, Horo also features a second light source. This sits within a smaller brushed brass circle perpendicular to the main form.

The overall design is sleek and modern, whilst the finishes feel more vintage. Despite the very slim profile, Horo has a remarkably three-dimensional quality. Illuminated more brightly at the edges, the disc can appear almost globe-like.

The double light sources of Horo give it a unique look – a diffused glow as well as a soft directed light.

The glass itself is textured with a diamond pattern. This gives it a “vintage flavor that I like so much,” says Gonalons. The collection is available in various glass colors: transparent, green, powder pink, light blue and smoke. Gonalons explains that the colors reflect a desire for a contemporary palette, yet also take inspiration from the 1950s Italian style.

The design of Horo features two materials which are particularly important for MASIERO: glass and metal. The firm has extensive experience and a strong skill base in metalwork. Glass is an iconic material which is historically linked to nearby Venice and also widely sought after in lighting.

The material choices support and enrich the design concept.

Horo is a stunning collection that will sit equally well in domestic as well as commercial contexts. As a simple design that effectively balances the decorative with the functional, it could easily become a sought after classic fixture which interior designers readily incorporate into their projects.

The range includes wall, table, floor and hanging lights and it is available in several glass colors: transparent, pink, green, light blue and smoke.

Masiero 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: Masiero

Work begins on Hotel Brooklyn’s second property

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Work begins on Hotel Brooklyn’s second property

It is being described as the city’s new ‘lair’, Bespoke Hotels’ Hotel Brooklyn is slated to open in Leicester in 2022…

Hotel Brooklyn is set to open its second design-led hotel in Leicester in summer 2022, following the successful launch of its Manchester sibling in February.

Located beside the expanded Welford Road Stadium – home to the famous Leicester Tigers rugby team – Hotel Brooklyn, Leicester will boast 191 stylish guestrooms and once again push the bar when it comes to beautifully-designed accessibility for all.

Image credit: Bespoke Hotels

“We are thrilled to have secured this fantastic site in Leicester – right next door to the Welford Road Stadium”, commented Robin Sheppard, Chairman of Bespoke Hotels. “Being built by our trusted partners Marshall CDP, with whom we have worked several times before, we believe Hotel Brooklyn is a perfect fit for Leicester. It will bring a destination hotel into the heart of the city, attract a new audience of customers and, we hope, become a business of which the city will be truly proud’.

Designed by Squid Inc – the team behind renowned Hotel Gotham and Hotel Brooklyn, Manchester – the new Hotel Brooklyn will offer high-class corporate hospitality, versatile dining showcasing both European and American influences, and atmospheric accommodation with a number of skyline suites. Inclusive design of the hotel will again be driven by the design statement capability of Motionspot, the UK’s leading accessible design company, unashamedly positioning itself as Leicester’s most accessible hotel. 

Hotel Brooklyn is a pioneer in accessible design – leading the way in Europe with its adaptability features: a trailblazer in accessible, sexy and modern design for all. Public spaces, including the reception, restaurant, bars, lifts and communal loos, will also entail an accessible design element.

“This hotel has a very unique neighbour in the form of ‘Leicester Tigers’ rugby club and will most definitely add a little extra inspiration into the design,” explained Oliver Redfern, Lead Interior Designer of Squid Inc. “Architectural features, such as the striking central atrium stretching over five floors, will allow us to take the Brooklyn ethos – a palpable anti-slick, anti-corporate sensibility – to a whole new level. This hotel will be irresistibly familiar: a place where outsiders become insiders, and a destination of true hospitality.”

Main image credit: Bespoke Hotels

VIRTUAL ROUNDTABLE: The role of UV lighting in hotel design

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

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

On the panel: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NA: How visible are these units?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CASE STUDY: Designing sleek bathrooms inside The Audo

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
CASE STUDY: Designing sleek bathrooms inside The Audo

The Audo is a unique design hybrid which now marries elegant design with work, hospitality and community in one sophisticated setting. When designing the bathrooms, it called for Unidrain’s sharp and contemporary bathroom products…

Unidrain is renowned for its work with leading architects and designers, whose imagination and insight enables them to create elegant, quirky, unique and always excellent structures.

The original Unidrain concept was the brain child of an architect so it comes as no surprise that an historic, bold red building located in the heart Denmark, once belonging to the Russian Trading Co is the latest project to incorporate Unidrain within their designs.

The Audo; a unique design hybrid which now marries elegant design with work, hospitality and community in one sophisticated setting including a restaurant, café, concept store, material library, work and event area, plus hotel.

There are 10 suites in total and each of the bathrooms is equipped with Unidrain’s HighLine Custom solution, providing an almost invisible drain that blends elegantly with the large bathroom tiles. Stylish, discrete with a slight industrial air, Unidrain was the only choice for this project.

Image credit: The Audo

After a devastating fire almost destroyed the building, leading brand design agency, MENU teamed up with Norm Architects to restore it and create The Audo. It was the perfect platform for their new concept, at the start of the 19th century Copenhagen was moving on from beautiful neo-classicist architecture and embracing the dawn of early modernism. The original building was elegant on the exterior but internally it was an industrial concrete structure which willingly lent itself to this transformation.

Not only is the Audo MENU’s headquarters, but a hotel, whose cosy, earth-toned rooms double up as show spaces for MENU’s new furniture and homeware collections. “We wanted Menu to take a new approach to running a design business through openness, knowledge-sharing and collaboration,” explained Joachim Hansen, director of MENU. “By showing our collection in different contexts within hospitality we will make the collection become more alive,”

Image credit: Unidrain

To create the event area and showroom space most of the pre-existing partition walls were knocked through, forming a vast, open-plan ground level with concrete tile floors and perforated black metal ceilings. Adjacent to this is the hotel store, a small cafe and restaurant.

A large circular staircase leads to the Menu offices and communal workspace, which are hidden by glazed black-framed panels. Guests take a lift up to their rooms, which tucked away in the building’s former attic and situated underneath the original timber ceiling beams.

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

Main image credit: Unidrain

Editor Checks In: “And we’re going live in 3, 2, 1…”

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Editor Checks In: “And we’re going live in 3, 2, 1…”

During the COVID–19 pandemic, the team at Hotel Designs have announced initiatives to help further create conversations like no other. It’s safe to say that the editorial team have been anything but taking it easy during lockdown, as editor Hamish Kilburn explains… 

I have come to the conclusion this month that there are two types of people at the moment: those who are twiddling their thumbs or baking banana bread as a result of being furloughed and those who are practically performing CPR on their brands and businesses in order to maintain a strong pulse of exposure.

To be honest, neither camps are principally inviting, as there really is no middle ground in between these two extreme circumstances.

“If the pandemic was a storm, we are in the eye, while hospitality is preparing to rebuild and adjust its thinking in order to live up to the hefty demands of tomorrow’s modern travellers.” – editor Hamish Kilburn.

Our job at Hotel Designs has been simple: to compliment the incredible ideas and campaigns that the hospitality industry has conjured up during the time its doors were forced shut. And while we have done this to the best of our ability, by following Hospitality For Heroes campaign and checking in on a handful of our leaders during lockdown, I have also wanted to ensure that we don’t lose sight of conversations we were having before. For example, this month we asked  Senior Associate at HBA EMEA Erica Pritchard to investigate why sustainability needs to remain high up on the industry’s agenda, while also keeping our focus on the latest product innovations.

Only by thinking outside the box and by creating robust media platforms can we really help the industry as a whole sail through these turbulent waters. If the pandemic was a storm, which I have heard it metaphorically referred to a number of times in recent days, we are in the eye, while hospitality is preparing to rebuild and adjust its thinking in order to live up to the hefty demands of tomorrow’s modern travellers.

Now, I believe, is the perfect time for the launch of a one-day virtual conference that will shelter meaningful conversations around how we move the market forward. Cue the launch of Hotel Designs LIVE, which is taking place on June 23 and aims to define the point on international design by putting four of the most relevant topics (technology, public areas, sleep and wellness) through the editorial lens. With world-renowned speakers confirmed such as Jason Bradbury (former presenter of The Gadget Show), Simon Naudi (CEO of Corinthia Hotels), Emma King (Head of Design at IHG (EU)), Greg Keffer (Partner-In-Charge at Rockwell Group) and many more, we have searched far and wide in our quest to bring together a wealth of experience and knowledge for our first ever virtual conference in order to find solutions to today’s problems.

In addition to the live seminar sessions – and to ensure that the event is bridging the gap between hospitality suppliers and designers, architects, hoteliers and developers – the conference will also include structured ‘PRODUCT WATCH’ pitches around each session, allowing suppliers the opportunity to pitch their products and services in a ‘live’ environment to the hospitality buyers that are tuned in.

What’s more, Hotel Designs LIVE is free to attend. So if you are a designer, architect, hotelier or developer and would like to be part in the audience, please register in order to save your complimentary seat in the audience.

In the meantime, feel free to keep in touch with our team on TwitterFacebookInstagram or LinkedIn, because one of the biggest lessons that Covid-19 has taught me is that the industry is stronger when its components work together.

Editor, Hotel Designs

Main image credit: ACT Studios

Is UVC lighting on your design agenda for the post-pandemic world?

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Is UVC lighting on your design agenda for the post-pandemic world?

Lighting brand humanlumen has introduced Clean Air Series, UVC lighting that actively reduces bacterial and viral charge. Hotel Designs investigates…

humanlumen, a lighting brand that prides itself for having a uniquely human-centric approach, has introduced the Clean Air Series, a range of UVC Air Sterilisation Units.

The Clean Air Series is a range of efficient UVC lighting devices that actively reduce the bacterial and viral charge of the air in closed environments, such as offices, classrooms, hotel rooms and healthcare environments.

The International Ultraviolet Association (IUVA) believes that UV disinfection technologies can play a role in a multiple barrier approach to reducing the transmission of the virus causing COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2, based on current disinfection data and empirical evidence.

Image credit: humanlumen

UVC Air Purification Unit

The powerful UVC radiation is totally isolated inside the Air Filtration System (AFS) as exposure of UV light, of any type, in high dosage to the naked eye will cause potential long-term health issues.

The system draws in contaminated air and removes all bacteria through a series of integral filters and then delivers clean air back into the space. Each unit cleanses up to 3,000 cubic square metres of open office space and is a simple plug and play system with no integration into the existing mechanical systems.

The clean air units work like an air purifier, but instead of filters it uses the UVC technology to eliminate the viruses. The fan located in the bottom of the fitting sucks in the air of the room and channels it through a series of UVC light canals that have the UVC lights. The UVC kills the viruses and the clean air is released in the room through a carbon filter.

The carbon filter’s main purpose is to clean the odours from the air, with an additional dust filter at the entrance of the fan, neither is essential to kill bacteria, this is the role of the UVC light.

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

Main image credit: humanlumen

Osaka Hotel sets sights on a summer unveiling

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Osaka Hotel sets sights on a summer unveiling

Palace Hotel Management Company’s first property to open under a new hospitality brand Zentis is being designed by Tara Bernerd of Tara Bernerd & Partners

With a pedigree that flows from the acclaimed Palace Hotel Tokyo and designs on rewriting the playbook for lifestyle brands, the management arm of Palace Hotel Co. Ltd. has announced plans for a Q3 opening of Zentis Osaka, the first property of its new hospitality brand.

Internationally renowned UK designer, Tara Bernerd of Tara Bernerd & Partners, has been tapped for the property’s modern interiors while Café Co. – the esteemed Japanese food & beverage operator behind the one Michelin-starred CRAFTALE in Tokyo – will develop and operate the hotel’s restaurant, bar and lounge. A top-flight team of seasoned staffers from Palace Hotel Tokyo, the first Japanese-brand hotel to achieve the prestigious Forbes Five-Star rating, will guide the standards of service.

“We see an opportunity to really elevate expectations for service, accommodations and F&B in the upper reaches of the select-service category,” said Daisuke Yoshihara, president of Palace Hotel Co. Ltd. “We believe those critical aspects of the stay experience are what will emerge as key standouts to our guests, truly differentiating our brand from those already in the market.”

Image credit: Palace Hotel Management Company

With Zentis’ strong focus on design, the new property is a member of Design Hotels – a curated selection of independent hotels with a passion for genuine hospitality, cultural authenticity, thought-provoking design and architecture. “We are truly privileged to collaborate with Palace Hotel Management Company to bring Zentis to the Design Hotels community. I am certain that our trend-forward and design-conscious travelers will be inspired by this sophisticated lifestyle addition to our portfolio – and our first for Osaka,” said Jinou Park, Vice President of Asia Pacific.

An entirely new build, the 16-storey property’s contemporary yet laid-back feel flows from a natural colour palette of raw materials, including exposed brickwork and timber beams. A stone staircase anchors a lobby wrapped in floor-to-ceiling windows where a double-sided fireplace creates a focal point and connects an intimate lounge space with the landscaped green space that surrounds.

One floor above is the hotel’s bar and main dining area as well as an airy lounge and outdoor terrace featuring lofty, seven-meter-tall ceilings. Also on the second floor is the hotel’s fitness center – outfitted with Life Fitness equipment and accessible 24 hours.

Taking inspiration from the modular design and intuitive functionality of bento boxes, the 212 guestrooms feature the same fresh palettes that are found throughout the hotel. Polished wooden floors, muted tones and splashes of mustard as well as art on the walls commissioned from a local Japanese artist define spaces that make ingenious use of otherwise snug square footage.

At the helm of UPSTAIRZ – the hotel’s dining venue that is likely to emerge as a destination not only for guests, but also discerning locals – will be Executive Chef Shinya Otsuchihashi, who, after having honed his culinary skills over the last two decades in both Japan and France, will be closely overseeing the eatery’s concept and menus from his base at CRAFTALE.

Zentis Osaka is situated where the picturesque, riverside area of Dojimahama and the high-end business entertainment district of Kita-shinchi meet. Nakanoshima, an islet home to some of the city’s premium attractions – including the Osaka Science Museum and the National Museum of Art, Osaka – is a leisurely three-minute stroll from the hotel while Osaka Station, the city’s main rail hub, is a mere five-minute taxi ride away. The two major airports that service Japan’s third largest city – Kansai International Airport and Itami Airport (Osaka International Airport) – are located less than an hour’s drive away.

Main image credit: Palace Hotel Management Company

PRODUCT WATCH: Ulster Carpets’ design portal

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
PRODUCT WATCH: Ulster Carpets’ design portal

Whether you are an interior designer, an architect or hotelier finding that all important inspiration is key, and that is where Ulster Carpets’ Design Portal can make all the difference…

Inspiration comes in many forms. It could be a stunning view from the top of a mountain, a sparkle that catches your eye in the mundane grey of a city’s concrete jungle or these days your own abode.

Packed full of more than 9,000 designs, the company’s online archive is easy to use and is a great way to get those creative juices flowing.

You can get a sense of what is currently on-trend by taking a look at some of the most recent designs from the brand’s creative teams based across the world or browse the Gallery, where Ulster Carpets showcases some of our stunning installations.

Image credit: Ulster Carpets

If you want some ideas for organic designs, Japanese form or mineral styles, then you can browse the comprehensive Collections that have been expertly curated by the company’s own archivist.

Styles also have a habit of returning, so the archive is also a great place to look. It contains thousands of different designs ranging from Abstract and Art Deco to Classical, Floral, Contemporary and many more.

Design Portal is also fully searchable using key words or by design numbers while you can also create your own favourites to keep for future reference.

Image credit: Ulster Carpets

Once you’ve found the design you want, you can even recolour it to suit the project you’re working on. If we have created a custom design for you, then these can also be uploaded into your individual collection. You can then use our standard or neutral tuft boxes to choose from more than 650 colours and recolour to your heart’s content. A sample of your new creation can be requested on the fast three-day turnaround to assist you with your project development.

In terms of designs and colours, Design Portal offers an abundance of choice and a plethora of inspiration, so why not make the most of it?

If you would like to be inspired and enjoy the benefits of Design Portal but don’t have an existing username and password email marketing@ulstercarpets.com to find out more.

Ulster Carpets 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: Ulster Carpets

5 Minutes With: Talking modern spas with designer Beverley Bayes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Quick-fire round

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

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

HK: Where is next on your spa bucket list?

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

HK: What is your go-to treatment?

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

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

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

HK: What does luxury mean to you?

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

Image caption: Cottonmill Club at Sopwell House

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Main image credit: SparcStudio

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

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

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

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

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

Image credit: HBA EMEA

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

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

Image credit: HBA EMEA

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

Main image credit: HBA EMEA

INDUSTRY INSIGHT: Creating individual style with bespoke design

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
INDUSTRY INSIGHT: Creating individual style with bespoke design

In the incredibly competitive hospitality market, setting your hotel brand apart from the rest is everything, as Cheeky Chairs’ Felicity Randolph explains…

From large brands to small independent boutiques, there’s so much choice for the consumer that any element of differentiation can be an advantage.

When customers look for a hotel, more often than not, they’re seeking luxury and a sense of indulgence, while still having that all important feeling of a home-from-home. The interior design trends of popular Airbnb properties and the rise in Instagram interior design trends have led people to expect a certain standard from hotels that’s more personal and bespoke. But how are hotels using bespoke design to evoke a feeling of comfort while still offering high quality accommodation? They are turning to brands like Cheeky Chairs to create an individual interior style that breaks a few rules and delivers what people want from a modern hotel.

Bespoke furniture

Individuality is at the heart of any luxury property and one of the most successful ways of achieving this is through bespoke furniture. By including pieces that are made to order and designed to suit the space, boutique hotels are able to set themselves apart from the competition and create an ambience that’s all their own. For example, Cheeky Chairs produce stunningly crafted chairs and bar stools coupled with seriously comfortable seats upholstered in luxury designer fabrics for a look that’s completely unique and wonderfully comfortable. Each of the designs is bespoke and ties in with décor trends, such as their SS2020 Collection which comprises selected ikats, prints and woven designs. This balance of comfort with high quality materials and elegant design creates a truly artisanal appearance.

Breaking the rules with fabric

Hoteliers are increasingly seeking ways to find a balance between furniture and fixtures that match the standards expected of the industry while still providing a personal touch for a residential feel. Some of the ways they’re achieving this is through finer details like fabric choices. For example, opting for carpets and plush rugs over cold hardwood flooring is one way of softening the look and feel of a room. Woven tapestries, upholstered furniture with luxury fabrics, and scatter cushions or throws on the bed are all ways of playing with fabric and doing the unexpected, both with the choice of fabric and the colours used.  Fabric serves as a great way of creating a warmer space that puts an end to the clinical, austere hotels of years gone by. It is also about breaking some rules! Cheeky Chairs work with leading names like Kit Kemp of Firmdale fame who is no stranger to bending and outright breaking stayed interior design rules when it comes to tone, texture and more. Hotels are now finding that pushing away from middle of the road design is liberating them and creating unique spaces people love.

Clashing colours

Many hotels put function above all else, leading to an overly formal interior. But the popularity of truly bespoke interiors and unique styles has shown, people are favouring informal and cosy spaces where they can truly relax over awkward formality that feels cold, detached and frankly boring. Blending colours and textures is a great way of creating that desirable carefree vibe that still evokes a level of luxury typically reserved for high-end hotels. By breaking the rules with fabric and colour and embracing texture, you can create a space that gives customers a memorable sensory experience. Layering colours and clashing fabrics both play a part in the Cheeky Chair raison d’etre and that of many boutique luxury hotels like the Pig Group and more.

More and more interior designers, producers and manufacturers are creating relationships with hotels that are looking to push away from the traditional path and Cheeky Chairs are leading the charge when it comes to pairing stunning fabrics with comfortable chairs for beautiful boutique hotels!

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

The brand’s sustainably sourced frames are carefully selected for their design and quality; each seat is meticulously upholstered using natural materials for supreme comfort; its designer fabrics are of the highest quality.

The company offers an array of colour and luxury fabric combinations but will also work with customers’ own fabric selection and Cheeky Chairs’ specialist polishing team can create any finish to match a chosen interior.

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

INDUSTRY INSIGHT: Specifying tiles for hotel pool and spa areas

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
INDUSTRY INSIGHT: Specifying tiles for hotel pool and spa areas

As Hotel Designs continues to position pools and the modern spa under the spotlight, CTD Architectural Tiles takes the reins to explain what designers and architects should consider before and when specifying tiles in wellness areas…

Anyone working within the hotel industry understands the risks associated with high-traffic areas, particularly around a spa or pool area.

Commercial flooring must not only withstand a high volume of footfall and be easy to maintain on a daily basis, but must also look good too – the hospitality industry demands some of the most aesthetically pleasing environments in the sector. This is where tiles have a vital role to play – with a huge variety of designs to choose from, they can also be especially practical for use around wet or slippy areas.

Image credit: CTD Architectural Tiles

Anti-slip tiles are the most practical solution to reducing the risk of injury in a heavy footfall hotel area. Made effective by their slightly textured surface, anti-slip tiles are a perfect complement to other materials, such as stone, wood and concrete.

As well as their practicality, anti-slip tiles now offer stylish solutions of their own. Long gone are the days when anti-slip offered only a limited range of design options. Instead, anti-slip surfaces are now available in an enormous range of on-trend designs, colours and formats, providing interior designers with the option of versatility when it comes to high traffic area tile choices. This is of particular importance in a hotel, where first impressions and appearance are everything.

Offering a striking balance between functionality and design, anti-slip tiles now provide a variety of matt and natural finishes, as well as many patterns, textures and sizes. Styles differ from rustic to modern and while some are warm and welcoming, others are cool and contemporary.

Hotel spa environments

When it comes to hotel leisure facilities, the pool is at the heart of generating a complete tranquil, relaxed and safe atmosphere in a spa environment. There are a number of options to consider when choosing safe, beautiful tiles for a spa and one particular trend that has emerged over recent years is wood effect tiles.

Image credit: CTD Architectural Tiles

Phenomenal advances in ceramic technology over recent years have created incredibly realistic wood-inspired designs in porcelain tiles, with a number of advantages. They provide a sustainable, durable, slip resistant and easy to maintain solution, whilst being available in a huge range of styles to suit the demands of the project. CTD Architectural’s Nolan and Woodmania collections both offer natural looking, wood-effect products that are sure to suit any spa-style environment.

Hotel outdoor areas

In the swimming pool area of any hotel, the specification of anti-slip tiles is paramount, as people tend to be walking around barefoot in high-traffic wet conditions. CTD Architectural’s Porcelain Pavers collection offers a range of exterior anti-slip tiles, which recreate architectural materials such as cement and stone – all with a sleek thickness of just 20mm.

Along with the excellent technical qualities of thick porcelain, the products feature high breaking strength and a natural look – important qualities for all types of outdoor use within hotels. In addition, the tiles in this collection are hygienic, easy to clean and resistant to chemicals.

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

Main image credit: CTD Architectural Tiles

CASE STUDY: Lighting the iconic Britannia Hotel

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
CASE STUDY: Lighting the iconic Britannia Hotel

Following an extensive three-year renovation, the iconic Britannia hotel reopened in April 2019 as a luxury five star hotel and member of The Leading Hotels of the World. The complete refurbishment was designed by leading interior architects Metropolis, working with renowned lighting designers Stokkan Lys

Metropolis’ clear attention to detailing and use of quality materials have resulted in 22,000 square metres of contemporary classic style, dressed with continental and local references.

Selected to deliver highlights in the contemporary classic aesthetic, key Heathfield lighting can be found throughout the 257 hotel rooms. Junior, Superior and Deluxe suites feature Amelia or Antero bedside table lamps in their bestselling Antique glass finish, completed with an Andro desk lamp in each room.

Heathfield  & Co’s Czarina Old Gold chandelier forms the central feature of the high-end Signature suite, whilst a pair of Herzog Champagne table lamps draw focus in the inviting conference centre lounge.

Image credit: Britannia/Heathfield Lighting

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

Main image credit: Britannia/Heathfield Lighting

HD launches a one-day virtual conference, Hotel Designs LIVE

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
HD launches a one-day virtual conference, Hotel Designs LIVE

Hotel Designs LIVE, which takes place online on June 23, will consist of engaging seminars by the leading figures on the international hotel design scene, while also putting the latest products and innovations under the spotlight…

If you are designer, architect, hotelier or developer, secure your complimentary place at Hotel Designs LIVE here.

Hotel Designs, the leading international hotel design website, has launched Hotel Designs LIVE, a one-day virtual conference to serve the industry during the Covid-19 crisis.

The inaugural Hotel Designs LIVE, which takes place online on June 23, will define the point on international hotel design’s most relevant topics with the help of some of design, architecture and hospitality’s leading figures as well as identifying the latest product innovations on the market.

“Not even lockdown will prevent Hotel Designs from creating conversations like no other,” explains editor Hamish Kilburn who will host the virtual event on June 23. “The concept of Hotel Designs LIVE is to use a new method to engage with our audience, and will so do that by hosting  thought-provoking discussions and identifying the latest products on the market in a concise and meaningful way.”

Designers, architects, hoteliers and developers who wish to attend the free conference can do so by registering online. The seminars, which will be divided into four relevant sections throughout the day (technology, public areas, sleep and wellness), will include discussions and insights from leading individuals on the international hotel design scene.

What’s on the agenda? 

 

In addition to the live seminar sessions – and to ensure that the event is bridging the gap between hospitality suppliers and designers, architects, hoteliers and developers – the conference will also include structured ‘PRODUCT WATCH’ pitches around each session, allowing suppliers the opportunity to pitch their products and services in a ‘live’ environment to the hospitality buyers that are tuned in.

If you are a designer, architect, hotelier  or developer and would like to find out more about Hotel Designs LIVE, or book on to any or all of the above sessions, you can do so by visiting the event page.

If you are a supplier to the hotel design industry and would like to promote your latest product or services to the Hotel Designs LIVE audience, please contact Katy Phillips via email or call +44 (0)1992 374050.

PRODUCT WATCH: Bisque’s Optic bathroom towel warmer

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
PRODUCT WATCH: Bisque’s Optic bathroom towel warmer

Iconic British design firm, Bisque (part of the wider Zehnder Group) has added a new radiator to its already extensive range of bathroom products…

The Bisque Optic towel warmer by Bisque is now available in its flagship store in Islington and across the UK through Bisque’s network of dealers.

The square-tubed towel radiator is ideal for contemporary and modern homes. Offering a simple yet contemporary design, the Optic was produced to further the brand’s bathroom offering, and works seamlessly in en-suites, family bathrooms and cloakrooms. It is available from stock in three colourways – matt black, traffic white RAL 9016 and classic chrome – all of which have been chosen to complement popular bathroom accessories.

The matt black finish has a soft surface for an uber luxurious feel, and is still hugely popular in today’s interiors market. Meanwhile its popular chrome finish has a glow-reflecting shine. It is also available in a timeless white, providing a clean, crisp finish to complement existing tiles, baths and other bathroom fixtures. This Optic is also available via Bisque’s colour-matching service, which can cater to popular paint brands such as Farrow & Ball and Little Greene.

Following the recent launch of Bisque’s first-ever traditional range, the addition of the Optic solidifies its status as the market leader of towel rails and radiators for both classic and contemporary bathrooms. Bisque prides itself on offering its customers the greatest choice, whether that be through its wide range of colours and finishes, or its bespoke, made to measure sizes.

Bisque 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: Bisque

Gessi’s approach to wellness in outdoor spaces

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

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

The free-standing shower columns of the Gessi Outdoor Wellness Sy­stem were specifically conceived for outdoor spaces. They offer innova­tive combinations of materials, finishes and treatments, with the goal of recreating the stylistic and functional pleasure of the Gessi Private Wellness System outdoors, for a private oasis of wellbeing or in public spaces such as spas and resorts.

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

Gessi outdoor wellness line G01

With an elegant, modern and discreet appearance, the Gessi G01 outdo­or shower gives spaces a refined and contemporary style. Self-standing and created in stainless steel, this model is a winner thanks to its slim and essential design, and gives a special atmosphere to terraces, gardens and pools, the geometric angled tubular structure terminates with a directio­nal shower head equipped with special holes for a rich rainfall jet. The shower head is available with a smooth surface treatment or in 4 different knurled patterns, while the vertical tubular body is equipped with elegant ring-shaped controls in tone-on-tone or contrasting finish, available in smo­oth or knurled texture. For greater practicality, this model features a design hand shower with magnetic attachment. Also for the outdoor world, Gessi offers customisable details and coordinating elements.

Image caption: Gessi G01 | Image credit: Gessi

Gessi outdoor wellness line G02

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

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

Main image caption: Gessi G02 shower | Image credit: Gessi

INDUSTRY INSIGHT: Should business hotels go ‘FIFO’?

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
INDUSTRY INSIGHT: Should business hotels go ‘FIFO’?

No, it’s not a rendition of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ “Hi ho hi ho it’s off the work we go”. Instead, designer Peter Mance, the director of MAAPS Design and Architecture, explains how hotels in the hospitality industry could adapt the ‘Fly in/fly out scheme…

FIFO (Fly In/Fly Out) is a common workforce rostering concept employed by the gas and mining communities.

With the move into our “Stay Alert” phase in the UK it may be the opportune moment for business focused hotels to explore and offer a FIFO business model to corporate and institutional teams. Expanding and adapting the concept of a family “Social bubble” to a new “Corporate bubble” which allows a way out of lockdown and a return of business to city-based hotels.

I see three converging drivers that may open up the concept of city FIFO arrangements for business travel and workforce accommodation in the short to medium term:

  • Workers desire from an emotional and financial well-being perspective to return to work. In this I am noting Salesforce’s Marc Benioff recent remarks that the general anxiety about the coronavirus coupled with the isolation of being alone at home took an emotional toll on their workforce, with 36% saying they were experiencing mental health issues.
  • The ongoing concerns around the control of virus spread, reduced public transport availability, concerns about environment pollution and the promotion of walking and cycling.
  • And to ensure that teams, personnel, and wider social networks are kept safe throughout their day.

Perhaps the other question to be explored at this time is whether brands that operate off a smaller room footprint will be at a disadvantage because of this pandemic.

Return to work

You may have already noticed that five weeks into lockdown there has been a noticeable drop off in remote working productivity, incremental erosions of morale and collegiate purpose. Something is missing. Our experience with remote working has seen colleagues using Microsoft Teams and WhatsApp to keep a constant chat lines open throughout the day. A casual desktop presence so that colleagues can simply spend time (albeit virtually) close with one another, aware and sharing the incidental routines of the day, the coffee break, the toilet break, the cat wandering across the keyboard. Whether it is due to lack of decompression space at home, or anxieties piled on by housemates, parents or partners, I know that some of our younger staff are noticeably itchy to return to their desks and are asking “why isn’t our office our home as well?”.

Image caption: A model of what fly in/fly out could look like.

Image caption: A model of what fly in/fly out could look like.

With the likely staggered returns, staggered days, and rotation of previously furloughed staff FIFO working methods could well become an effective way for institutional and corporate businesses to safely rebuild and reconnect teams over the evolving “Covid Secure” protocols which will be required until a vaccine is available.

Location, location, location

If we are to accept scientific and government advice, then Covid-19 will remain a continuing risk for many months to come. Given that this will be a slow and cautious readjustment I can readily imagine a scenario where both business and budget hotels or hostels can provide collegiate “Bubble Bookings” for companies. The same logic that has anchored many hotels to key transport nodes may for the short term provide the ideal FIFO workforce dormitory location. Allowing what are effectively “quarantined” staff to walk or cycle to their place of work and retreat at the end of the day to a secure, controlled, safe and hospitable environment.

We must anticipate that there will be a mixed degree of workforce acceptance or willingness to return to work. Many anxieties will remain about protecting loved ones at home. Over and above the basic guidance from our government, companies will be speaking with staff to agree how they can safely work, protect themselves, protect colleagues and families while starting to re-engage and drive our economy back to life. My sense is that the offer of a trusted hotel room for key staff can be one of the ways that we can bring people back to work, allow an appropriate level of protection and keep vital businesses going.

In know that hotels, in the absence of prescribed government guidance, will define their own pathway back to accepting guests. As has always been the case, it will be the operators and owners that carry the risk and responsibility for guest safety and will therefore look to transform and lead the way forward from the front foot. Happily, one of the paradoxes of the pandemic is that it will be an impetus for, not an impediment to, innovation.

Covid protocols

Hotels have already demonstrated they can successfully operate within the Covid climate and maintain impeccable hygiene standards. The first wave and initial lock-down saw the likes of Best Western, Hilton, Holiday Inn, Travelodge, Whitbread’s Premier Inn, Ibis, Mercure, Novotel and Adagio opening their doors to the NHS and other government mandated key workers, in addition to working with local and national government agencies during the repatriation of Brits returning home to the UK. Let us pivot this capability and knowledge to reassure future guests and demonstrate that business hotels remain an attractive option to businesses.

As a result, there may be future development opportunities for hotel operators to utilise their collective hospitality and logistical capabilities to provide “pop-up” accommodation within larger offices. Perhaps converting a couple of floors, or dormant retails spaces, and bringing in housekeeping resources and cleaning expertise to keep things in order.

Hotels will have already focused on upgrading their hygiene skills. Working with AHCP (Association of Healthcare Cleaning Professionals) to certify staff and institute improved procedures and protocols. I’m also aware of the many examples of patient hotels in Scandinavia and their expertise in maintaining a healthy comfortable environment with impressively low incidents of infections. Much as I am suggesting for FIFO work rostering to help the UK’s return to work, many of the patient hotels provide accommodation for doctors on six-month training periods at adjacent hospitals. It is therefore clear to me that the necessary level of preparedness and resources within the hospitality world already exist to keep guests and staff safe.

The size of rooms

It will not be about size of the guestrooms. It will be about the journey to it.

In my opinion hotels with compact room forms and long-stay options will be adept at welcoming guests back business guests. They will in fact have the advantage as their essential mode of operation is their studied efficiency, often with a stripped-down aesthetic, which will be eminently easier to clean and protect.

Image credit: MAAPS Design & Architecture

Much as it is being explored in the workplace arena, strategies for safer hotels and hostels post-Covid, will be using simple and cost-effective measures such as staggered room allocation to reduce density and the redesign of circulation routes to allow for one-way directional movement through the hotel. Adaptability will be key, with the ability for spaces and guest rooms to flex to accommodate perhaps a duel use – part guestroom, part office. With Club Quarters Hotel LIF Club Level guestrooms, we have explored similar transitional room concepts which are achieved through creative, yet uncomplicated, design solutions. Where shuttered internal windows between rooms and corridors provide visual outward connections. Now might the very moment that these experimental guestroom thoughts find traction.

Initial hotel concerns will focus on improvements to increase ventilation capacity and filtration, along with enabling one-way guest circulation through the hotel and guestroom levels. While there will be a reluctance to drop room count, hotels will have to reduce density for operational reasons. While we may not be able to stretch corridors, and until the pandemic passes, it should be feasible to identify new stacked cores through which to tread a new stair and ductwork network. With lifts then designated for upward distribution and stairs are down.

Closing thoughts

As I mentioned above, our younger design team members are craving for the incidental connections of life and a return to work. They would like nothing better than for us to provide the means, accommodation and safety of our own “Corporate bubble” close to work. Life in lock-down has thrown many things into relief. Among them the spaces in which we work, stay, and how they are purposed. Particularly, and in some instances painfully realised, as many of us have asked homes to carry the combined weight of work, sanctuary, school and gym. The FIFO accommodation model may help both business and hospitality transition back to an integrated life and foster lasting connections with location and community.

Oh, and you’d be well advised to plan for lots of additional bike storage!

MAAPS Design and 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. And, if you are interested in also benefitting from this  three-month editorial package, please email Katy Phillips by clicking here.

Main image credit: MAAPS Design and Architecture

INDUSTRY INSIGHT: The art of designing safari tents

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

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

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

Image credit: Exclusive Tents international

That one inspiring idea

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

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

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

Image credit: Exclusive Tents International

Living the life

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image credit: Exclusive Tents International

Bringing people and nature together

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image credit: Exclusive Tents International

New designs

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

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

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

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

Main image credit: Exclusive Tents International

INDUSTRY INSIGHT: Organising large, open-plan spaces

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
INDUSTRY INSIGHT: Organising large, open-plan spaces

Hotel Designs asks design studio Design By Deborah to explore the challenges and solutions when designing large, open-plan spaces that have different functions and moods…

There has been a movement in both the residential and commercial market towards open plan spaces. No longer do we want rooms dedicated to one purpose. Instead, we want to have flexibility in how we use the space and we want the airy and light feeling that attracts many people to open plan living and working.

Of course, there are those hotels that are in old premises and part of their character are the hidden corners where someone can feel cosseted and hidden away and these characteristics should be embraced. We love them for it.

Open plan spaces can present challenges. At the heart of the hotel you may well have the reception area, bar area, lounge and access to other parts of the hotel. This may also be where you serve meals either as a restaurant or as bar food. This may sound obvious, but guests need to know quickly and easily where these zones are. This is particularly important if your guests are not generally repeat customers.

There are many ways of creating zones. The most obvious is how the furniture is laid out. Placement of the furniture can create aisles, direct the flow of traffic by creating entrance and exit points. The style of furniture can also help the guests understand the function of each space. This does not just apply to the seating but other occasional furniture such as side and bar tables, coffee tables and consoles. Plants and if you have space, trees can create screens helping define zones too and introduce something natural and calming in what can be a busy and noisy space. It is important to create conversation groups of varying sizes and style to not only create interest, but also various guests will be attracted to different zones for different reasons.

Flooring can be used to define areas, using different colours, textures and style. The floor is often the largest visible surface, however it is often overlooked. The nature of the floor can transform a space and has a big impact on your initial impression. Contrast a heavily patterned carpet, irregular wooden planks and fine marble tiles. Each has a very distinct personality.  If you have high ceilings this can also be an opportunity to absorb sounds and create a sense of coziness. Don’t forget that suitcases don’t run well across different floor surfaces.

Lighting is another area of definition that is often used in the interior design of large open spaces. It can not only define areas but create moods that can be altered throughout 24hours. The style, level and colour of lighting are all very important. Lighting can come from many different sources not just lamps and ceiling lights. There are areas where decorative lighting is needed such as chandeliers and pendant lights, but sometimes it is not the source of light that is important but the area that is being lit. It could be the floor, wall, artwork, fireplace, seating, wooden beams, in fact any feature that you want to highlight, even a vase of flowers. A good interior designer will layer lighting and this can be the difference between a good interior and an amazing space.

Design By Deborah 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: Design By Deborah

Duravit takes c-bonded technology to a new level

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Duravit takes c-bonded technology to a new level

Bathroom manufacturer Duravit has taken the c- shaped technology one step further in the Happy D.2 Plus c-bonded range, in collaboration with sieger design…

With Happy D.2 Plus, Duravit teamed up with sieger design to realise current trends in colours, design and finishes. The archetypical open oval of the Happy D. design classic runs through the elements of this new, supplementary range.


Above-counter wash bowls with precise lines, stand-alone consoles and matching semi-tall cabinets as well as circular mirrors combine to create perfectly harmonised washing areas.

Innovative technology, highest possible precision

In 2020, the series was extended by a new development – Happy D.2 Plus c-bonded. The innovative, patented c-bonded technology was developed by Duravit in order to meet the highest design requirements in the bathroom. The furniture washbasin is connected almost seamlessly to the vanity unit in a complex process so ceramic and furniture merge to form a single unit. This special look produces an exceptionally-sleek washing area.

Image caption: Specifically developed for the characteristic shape of the Happy D.2 Plus series, for the first time, the patented c-bonded technology enables the practically seamless connection of rounded ceramics with the new floor-standing metal console in Black Matt with integrated towel rail. Faucets from the C.1 series | Image credit: Duravit

Rounded c-bonded version for Happy D.2 Plus

For the first time, c-bonded now comes with a rounded outer edge. The frame can be in the same colour as the vanity unit or match the metal console in Black Matt. This continuation of the Happy D.2 Plus series guarantees that the ceramic washbasin and furniture run in perfectly parallel lines with no overhang or recess and a precise gap of 4 mm.

The basins come with a narrow, typically flat edge and harmoniously integrated tap platform. They are available in three widths (575, 775 and 975 mm). A white acrylic cover conceals the fittings beneath the basin, guaranteeing perfect aesthetics from any angle.

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

A choice between console version and vanity unit

The floor-standing, height-adjustable metal consoles in Black Matt with integrated towel rail can be delivered with an optional shelf or built-in drawer. A further option is a seat (width 625 mm)featuring an integrated drawer that can be added as a practical extension of the console on the left or right. Duravit also offers a cushion in matching Greige made from a woven fabric suitable for wet rooms.

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

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

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

Image credit: Duravit

PRODUCT WATCH: TOTO’s weightless bathing experience

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
PRODUCT WATCH: TOTO’s weightless bathing experience

TOTO offers a health-promoting and meditative bathing experience…

In Japan, a bath is said to be where you cleanse your soul, not just your body. Toto’s bathtubs provide a luxurious place for wellness and relaxation. A bathtub in which people can experience near total weightlessness is more than just extremely relaxing – it has been proven to help relieve chronic fatigue and put the bather in a meditative state.

Toto calls this unusually calming bathing experience Zero Dimension. This is achieved through a specific reclining position, where the legs are slightly bent – in a similar posture to astronauts floating in zero gravity. The result is extremely deep muscle relaxation that calms both body and spirit.

A futuristing bathroom setting with a TOTO bath in the centre

Image caption: The Comfort Round Flotation Tub by TOTO

Toto conducted extensive research on the impact of water pressure on the body, and developed the devices necessary to measure it – all to determine the healthiest position for the body. This process of relaxation and regeneration in the bath is further intensified by massage jets and an ergonomically shaped pillow. Warm water flows out of a narrow opening in the pillow, covering the bather’s neck and upper body in soothing warm water.

The innovative bathroom brand received the Society Award from the Japanese Society of Mechanical Engineers and the Essay Award from the Japanese Society for Medical and Biological Engineering for the remarkable research and  findings that went into developing this healthy, stress-relieving bathing experience.

The Flotation tub is the original bath that Toto developed over many years and which has won multiple accolades, most recently the prestigious Red Dot Award 2020. The innovative Zero Dimension technology allows the body to assume an ideal reclined position, inspired by the natural movement of the human body in weightlessness. This promotes deep relaxation. It has built in hydro-hands massagers, waterfall adjustable headrest and concealed low level lighting. It is also ideal for wellness zones and comes in at a generous 2200 x 1050 x 785mm.

The latest  designs, the Recline Comfort, are more compact versions available in two shapes: round and square – also making them ideal companions to Toto’s latest Washlet shower toilets – the RW & SW. These new baths use much of the research from the Flotation bath with a shaped interior similar to the Zero Dimension bathtub.

The inner shape of the two new baths offer the ultimate in comfort. The bathtubs are designed to relax the back and bring the legs into a comfortable position, ergonomic hand grips add to the luxurious sensation of reclining in this bathtub. The baths are also made from Galalato a soft touch material.

TOTO 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: TOTO

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image credit: Snøhetta/Plompmozes/Miris

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image credit: Snøhetta/Plompmozes/Miris

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

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

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

Main image credit: Svart/Snøhetta/Plompmozes Miris

Hotel being formed from train carriages on bridge in Africa

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hotel being formed from train carriages on bridge in Africa

The train hotel, which will be called Kruger Shalati, is under construction on the Selati Bridge in South Africa’s Kruger National Park…

Talk about a one-off travel experience. Unmatched views of the South African wildlife in Kruger National Park will soon be spectacularly framed from the vantage point of a new 31-key luxury hotel that will be formed from a set of 13 restored train carriages on a disused bridge.

Kruger Shalati is expected to offer a unique luxury accommodation in the re-envisioned train which will pay homage to the guests who explored the park nearly 100 years ago while welcoming new explorers from near and far. The hotel’s location marks where the first visits to the iconic park were allowed in the early 1920s (the train would park overnight in the exact spot where Kruger Shalati will be positioned.)

Render of train on bridge

Image credit: Kruger Shalati

Renderings of the new hotel show how the carriages will merge together and perch over the Sabie River on the Selati Bridge. The glass-walled, large train rooms will allow for infinite views along the length of the majestic river below, while the style of the train is a celebration of African design in collaboration with local art and crafting skills. Despite the architectural challenges, its renderings suggest that the hotel will feature decking, carious view points and even a private plunge pool.

African-inspired Interior design in luxury guestroom.

Image credit: Kruger Shalati

“Even though we’re experiencing a nationwide lockdown, the excitement of the outdoors grows stronger and stronger,” the hotel wrote in a statement on Instagram. “We’re looking forward to heading back to construction on the Kruger Shalati Train on a Bridge. and experiencing the beauty of its surroundings.”

The hotel, which is described on its website as “an express entryway to freedom, relaxation and meaningful connection,” is still under construction.

Main image credit: Kruger Shalati

PRODUCT WATCH: Kaldewei’s hygienic wash basins with glass surfaces

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
PRODUCT WATCH: Kaldewei’s hygienic wash basins with glass surfaces

Bathroom brand Kaldewei preempts a post-pandemic consumer demand for more hygienic bathrooms as it highlights the qualities of wash basin products made with non-porous surfaces…

During the past few months in what effectively became an unprecedented global lockdown, it became apparent that frequent hand-washing was a key preventative measure against the spread of coronavirus COVID–19.

This also meant the washbasins used for hand-washing needed to be cleaned effectively too. Products with non-porous surfaces, such as Kaldewei steel enamel washbasins and bowls came to the fore during this time. It is standard for every glass surface on Kaldewei products to have a specific easy-clean finish, meaning that dirt and germs are rinsed away when washing your hands.

The surfaces on Kaldewei products aren’t standard glass, in their factory the steel and glass are fused together into superior Kaldewei steel enamel, a process that was developed over 100 years which now forms the perfect alliance for modern bathroom solutions. Steel is resilient and keeps its shape, whilst enamel is beautiful in look and feel and has the added advantage of being ultra-hygienic and easy to clean. It is these properties that enable Kaldewei steel enamel to meet the exceptionally high standards of hygiene that were vital then and continue to be so now.

This has been confirmed by two independent tests commissioned by Kaldewei; a study by Dr. med. Klaus-Dieter Zastrow1 and one conducted by TÜV Rheinland2 came to the conclusion: Kaldewei enamelled bathroom solutions can be cleaned with ease and speed, leaving no residue – an obvious advantage when hygiene is paramount.

Image caption: Kaldewei's Silenio Washbasin Alpine White With Easy-Clean Finish

Image caption: Kaldewei’s Silenio Washbasin Alpine White With Easy-Clean Finish

Independent studies confirm the material’s superiority with regard to cleaning and maintenance, and come to the same conclusion: steel-enamelled bathroom solutions from Kaldewei can be cleaned with particular ease and speed, leaving no residues.

Steel and glass, fused together into superior Kaldewei steel enamel, form the perfect alliance for modern bathroom solutions. Steel keeps its shape and is resilient. Enamel, in addition to a beautiful look and feel, has the advantages of being ultra-hygienic and easy to clean.

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

Main image credit: Kaldewei

IN PICTURES: New photography emerges of ME Dubai at the Opus

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
IN PICTURES: New photography emerges of ME Dubai at the Opus

Photographer Laurian Ghinitoiu has shared new images of Opus, an innovative glass-façade building that was designed by Zaha Hadid Architects…

Home to newly opened ME Dubai, the Opus, which conceptualised in 2007 by Zaha Hadid Architects, explores the balance between solid and void, opaque and transparent, interior and exterior.

The late Zaha Hadid herself presented this project as the only hotel in which she created both its architecture and interiors, which gives it a special significance among the architecture firm’s portfolio of work.

“The cube has been ‘eroded’ in its centre, creating a free-form void that is an important volume of the design in its own right.”

Spanning 84,300 square metres (907,400 square feet), the Opus was designed as two separate towers that coalesce into a singular whole – taking the form of a cube. The cube has been ‘eroded’ in its centre, creating a free-form void that is an important volume of the design in its own right. The two halves of the building on either side of the void are linked by a four-storey atrium at ground level and also connected by an asymmetric 38 metre wide, three-storey bridge 71 metres above the ground.

Striking architecture of the cube like building

Image credit: Laurian Ghinitoiu

“The precise orthogonal geometries of the Opus’ elemental glass cube contrast dramatically with the fluidity of the eight-storey void at its centre,” explained Christos Passas, project director at Zaha Hadid Architects.

The cube’s double-glazed insulating façades incorporate a UV coating and a mirrored frit pattern to reduce solar gain. Applied around the entire building, this dotted frit patterning emphasises the clarity of the building’s orthogonal form, while at the same time, dissolving its volume through the continuous play of light varying between ever-changing reflections and transparency.

Image credit: Laurian Ghinitoiu

The void’s 6,000 square metre façade is created from 4,300 individual units of flat, single-curved or double-curved glass. The high-efficiency glazing units are comprised of 8mm Low-E glass (coated on the inside), a 16mm cavity between the panes and two layers of 6mm clear glass with a 1.52mm PVB resin laminate. This curved façade was designed using digital 3D modelling that also identified specific zones which required tempered glass.

During the day, the cube’s façade reflects the sky, the sun and the surrounding city; whilst at night, the void is illuminated by a dynamic light installation of individually controllable LEDs within each glass panel.

Furniture by Zaha Hadid Design is installed throughout the hotel, including the ‘Petalinas’ sofas and ‘Ottomans’ pods in the lobby that are fabricated from materials ensuring a long lifecycle and its components can be recycled. The ‘Opus’ beds are featured in each guestrooms, while the ‘Work & Play’ combination sofa with desk are installed in the suites. The bathrooms incorporate the ‘Vitae’ bathroom collection, designed by Hadid in 2015 for Noken Porcelanosa, continuing her fluid architectural language throughout the hotel’s interiors.

Modern, angular guestroom

Image credit: Laurian Ghinitoiu

The ME Dubai hotel incorporates 74 rooms and 19 suites, while the Opus building also houses offices floors, serviced residences and restaurants, cafes and bars including ROKA, the contemporary Japanese robatayaki restaurant and the MAINE Land Brasserie.

modern bathroom

Image credit: Laurian Ghinitoiu

Sensors throughout the Opus automatically adjust the ventilation and lighting according to occupancy to conserve energy while ME Dubai follows Meliá Hotels International initiatives for sustainable practices. Hotel guests will receive stainless-steel water bottles to use during their stay with drinking water dispensers installed throughout the hotel. With no plastic bottles in guest rooms, and a program to become entirely plastic free in all areas, the hotel is also reducing food waste by not serving buffets and has composters to recycle discarded organics.

Main image credit: Laurian Ghinitoiu

The Brit List Awards shortlisted for AEO Awards 2020

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
The Brit List Awards shortlisted for AEO Awards 2020

The Brit List Awards, Hotel Designs’ premium annual awards ceremony, has been shortlisted for the AEO Excellence awards in the ‘Best Live Event’ category… 

Following last year’s successful live event, The Brit List Awards 2019, Hotel Designs is up for an AEO Awards, which “represents the best that the events industry has to offer”.

“We are thrilled to have been shortlisted for this award,” said publisher of the brand Katy Phillips. “The Brit List Awards has developed new elements each year since its inception in 2017 and this has been very much in response to the way the hospitality market has transformed in this time.

“Our 2019 awards was arguably the most successful, with more designers, hoteliers and architects in attendance than ever before. We had a world-class judging panel coupled with an impressive and worthy winners list. 

“So much work goes in to The Brit List Awards behind the scenes – we have an amazing team who come together each year to deliver our most prestigious event of the year. This acknowledgement from the AEO is a real boost for us during these difficult and uncertain times.” 

The Brit List Awards 2020 will return to London later this year. In addition to crowning the winners of eight separate award categories, Hotel Designs will also for the first time unveil The Brit List 100, which is a published list of the top influential British-based designers, architects, hoteliers and developers who are currently operating in the international hotel design arena.

 

Details on how to send in your free-of-charge applications will emerge shortly. In the meantime, if you would like to know more about the various sponsorship opportunities, please contact Katy Phillips.

Headline Partner: Crosswater

Event Partner: Hamilton Litestat

Industry Partner: BIID

Art logistics company helping to reconfigure offices post-lockdown

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Art logistics company helping to reconfigure offices post-lockdown

Momentous Global, a leading art logistics company, has announced that it will help offices to reconfigure their workspaces so that they are adhering to social distancing measures…

There are whispers that the the UK government will ease the current lockdown measures from next week onwards.

With workplaces, such as design and architecture studios, preparing to open their doors post-lockdown, companies will need to adhere to new social distancing measures following the COVID–19 pandemic.

Many brands are already thinking about adopting agile working, flexible collaborations, and creating new ways for employees to work seamlessly between the office and remotely.

Art logistics company Momentous Global’s workplace team have been helping organisations to reconfigure their offices to meet the demands of today’s agile workforce and COVID-19 working. The company has been offering the following: 

  • Internal re-shuffle or re-stack of floors
  • Office moves and crate hire
  • IT relocation and desktop decom/recom
  • Floor box moves
  • IT sanitising (cleaning of equipment post move)
  • Flexible storage
  • Home working set up including delivery and collection
  • Space occupation studies
  • Furniture audits and up-recycling

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

Main image credit: Pixabay

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

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

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

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

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

Arctic Bath, Sweden

Establishing shot of the spa on a frozen lake

Image credit: Arctic Bath Hotel, Sweden

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

W Ibiza, Spain

Outdoor pool

Image credit: Marriott Hotels/W Hotels

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

Equinox Hotel New York

Light and bright pool area in the spa

Image credit: Equinox Hotels

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

Cottonmill Spa at Sopwell House, England

Outdoor pool

Image credit: Cottonmill Spa at Sopwell House

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

COMO Shambhala Estate, Bali

Outdoor pool surrounded by jungle

Image credit: COMO Hotels & Resorts

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

7123 Hotel, Switzerland

thermal bath overlooking mountains

Image credit: 7132 Hotel

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

Kagi Maldives Spa Island, Maldives

Birds eye view of villa with pool by the ocean

Image credit: Kagi Maldives Spa Island

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

Hôtel Chais Monet, France

luxury hotel pool

Image credit: Hôtel Chais Monet

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

Main image credit: COMO Hotels & Resorts

Architect designs hotel prototype of the wardrobe purifier

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Architect designs hotel prototype of the wardrobe purifier

A new battery-powered wardrobe purifier that is suitable for hotels has been designed by Carlo Ratti Associati, which uses ozone to help remove most micro-organisms, bacteria, and viruses from clothes…

It is anyone’s guess as to what the ‘new normal’ will be like after the COVID–19 pandemic has passed. And while it is, for some, too far-fetched to suggest that hotels will permanently introduce new hygiene measures, others believe that the pandemic has opened the hotel door to welcome in innovative new hygiene products.

One architect who has taken the lockdown as as an opportunity to create something purposeful is Carlo Ratti, who is the brains behind a new battery-powered wardrobe purifier.

Currently developed as a prototype, Pura-Case is a portable wardrobe purifier that uses ozone to remove most micro-organisms, bacteria, and viruses from clothes and fabric. The project aims to address the needs of the “new normal” – that is, the emerging changes brought forward to our domestic life by COVID-19. The product was commissioned by Scribit, the tech startup which recently converted part of its production line to respond to the current pandemic. Once a piece of garment is hung inside the case, an air purification system by ozone treatment cleans and deodorises the fabrics.

render of modern wardrobe

Image credit: Pura-Case/Scribit

Viruses or bacteria can survive on clothes for long periods. Ozone, a naturally-occurring triatomic form of oxygen (O3), is commonly used in the health and textile industry to sanitise fashion items, objects, and spaces. Pura-Case brings this technology safely into the household. It uses ozone to sterilise clothes while reducing the need for unnecessary washing and thus the consumption of water. Employed together with public health guidelines of the World Health Organisation, Pura-Case would help contribute to a more hygienic environment in the house.

“As the entire world adjusts to a new normal in terms of health and hygiene, Pura-Case aims to promote top sanitation standards in the key interface between us and the environment – clothes,” says Ratti. “Pura-Case is an alternative to large-sized devices currently being used in hospitals. It can play a vital role in the post-pandemic world next year as we regain our old social life.”

The product can be installed in a domestic setting and complete a cycle of purification in about one hour. Users can place the clothes inside the case, which accommodates up to four hangers and close it with an air-tight zipper. Using only a small amount of power, an imperceptible discharge will activate the ozone to penetrate the fabric and purify it while at the same time removing its odour. Once the cleaning cycle is completed, the ozone is reduced to oxygen through a natural decay process, ensuring the case is safe to open. The entire process can be started and controlled either via the LED-lit top panel or remotely through the Pura-Case mobile app.

Main image credit: Pura-Case/Scribit

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

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

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

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

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

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

image credit: Conrad Playa Mita/SB Architects

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

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

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

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

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

Main image credit: Conrad Punta de Mita/SB Architects

Ruby Hotels to open first property in Stuttgart, Germany

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Ruby Hotels to open first property in Stuttgart, Germany

Ruby Hotels‘ 10th property in Germany, which is slated to open in the spring of 2023, will shelter 1,700 square-metres of co-working space…

Following its recent London debut, Ruby Hotels has announced that it will open its first property in Stuttgart, which will take the brand’s portfolio in Germany into double figures.

The 150-key hotel, which is slated to open in the spring of 2023, will be situated in Central Stuttgart’s Gerber Shopping Mall, and has been designed with both the modern traveller and the city’s locals in mind. For the first time since the brand launched in 2013, Ruby will combine its lean luxury philosophy for a hotel and a co-working space under one roof. The new urban hotel and ‘Ruby Works’ co-working space (with approx. 190 workstations) forms part of an ambitious expansion plan to unveil a total of seventeen new properties by 2023, which will include new properties in Munich, Hamburg and Asia. 

Lounge area

Image credit: Ruby Hotels

It is the second time a Ruby Hotel has been integrated into a shopping mall and the first time actual retail space has been converted for this purpose. The challenging conversion work of the 8,000 metre-squared space is scheduled to start in the autumn of 2021 in collaboration with the Stuttgart architecture firm, BWK Architekten, and will be designed sensitively by the brands Head of Design, Matthew Balon

Image credit: Gerber Shopping Mall/Ruby Hotels

 “As a conversion of former retail space right in the heart of the city, the Gerber project represents a ground-breaking milestone for us,” commented Michael Struck, CEO and founder of Ruby Group. “We have created completely new room types for this project, adapted to the challenging floor layouts. The excellent location, high ceilings and unusual style of the building are a perfect match for our lean luxury philosophy and the project therefore represents an attractive new addition to the Stuttgart hotel market.”

All of the 150 guestrooms, from ‘Nest’ rooms to expansive ‘Loft’ rooms, will showcase the brand’s sleep-scientist-approved formula for a peaceful night’s sleep, with full soundproofing, blackout curtains, high-quality linen and extra-long and wide custom mattresses.