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SLEEP & EAT: Sleep Set design and architecture firms unveiled

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
SLEEP & EAT: Sleep Set design and architecture firms unveiled

Sleep & Eat has confirmed the designers and architects who will create this years Sleep + Eat sets, two of which were finalists of The Brit List 2018… 

Sleep & Eat, which takes place in Olympia London on November 19 – 20, has announced the architecture and design firms that will create the 2019 Sleep & Eat Sets. The roll call reveals an intriguing roster of new and long-established, multi-cultural practices based in Paris, London, Manchester and Singapore.

The firms are twenty2degrees, Miaja Design Group, Hat Design and Barreca Tibblin, who will each create a concept guestroom. Meanwhile, NAME architecture and Space Invader will both realise a restaurant and bar Set. With the theme for 2019 of “Social FlexAbility”, the six design and architecture companies have been challenged to design flexible and engaging spaces in that guests can activate the social experience of their choice. Once again, the Sets – a cult favourite amongst Sleep & Eat visitors – are poised to provide a conceptual playground which, this year, will explore one of the major issues of our technology-enabled age – connection with other human beings.

twenty2Degrees is one of the most prolific hotel interior design firms in London today. “We are thrilled to be a part of the creative team of designers involved with this year’s Sleep & Eat sets,” says Joseph Stella of twenty2degrees who was last year a finalist in The Brit List. “We look forward to delivering a design that not only encapsulates our studio, but also responds to the challenge of this year’s brief. Our aim is to design a space that feels fresh, excites those who visit and inspires others in the way that we have been when visiting The Sets in previous years.”

Headquartered in Singapore, Miaja Design Group has been bringing artistic design to hotels & resorts, luxury residential and F&B developments since 1995. The founder, Isabelle Miaja, says: “I am very excited to participate in Sleep & Eat 2019. Innovation and inspiration have always been a driving force for me in creating my designs and this event embodies these precepts.”

Paris-based Hat Design already enjoys a hospitality portfolio across Europe. Anne-Marie Sabatier believes that their quest is to design destinations and new experiences of wellbeing that engage all the guest’s senses. “With the prodigious opportunity offered at Sleep & Eat, we will be sharing our vision of relaxed aesthetics and transformable social collaboration,” she explains. “Sleep & Eat is an opening for HAT to a global audience, prestigious representation where functional business design matters.”

Barreca Tibblin was founded in London just last year, an interior design company combining the Scandinavian and French heritage of creative duo Emilie Barreca and Maria Tibblin.Maria Tibblin. “’Tradition of the future’ is my inspiration when designing a space,” says Tibblin. “It honours our heritage and welcomes the next generation. A timeless design combined with the creative sense of tomorrow. When I visited the Sleep & Eat event last year, I was so inspired and eager to be part of the show to share my ideas with a wider audience.”

Based in London and Paris, NAME Architecture is an award-winning architectural practice led by Nathalie Rozencwajg, whose experience ranges from landmark museums to residential spaces and luxury hotels. Rozencwajg was also a finalist in last year’s Brit List. “We are looking forward to contributing to a leading event in the hospitality sector and sharing our vision for the future of the industry,” she says. “Sleep & Eat is a driving force that bridges today’s solutions with visions for tomorrow and designing a Set is a unique opportunity to contribute to the debate and explore the power of design to personalise a social experience through a spatial one.”

Katie Edgar is the interior designer behind Oddfellows On The Park, Hotel Designs’ most recent interactive hotel review. “At Space Invader, we are always looking for new ideas that inspire us as interior designers,” says Edgar. “The Sleep & Eat event is a must for us as it combines new products, thought leadership, opportunities to speak to key figures in our industry and a chance to soak up the buzzing atmosphere. The opportunity to design a Set was a no brainer and a chance for us to come together as a design studio and create something special.”

Sleep & Eat 2019 returns to the National Hall, Olympia London, on 19th-20th November. For more information or to register for a complimentary pass, visit www.sleepandeatevent.com/visit/register-your-interest.

Main image credit: Sleep & Eat

 

First AI powered luxury travel festival launches in Dubai

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
First AI powered luxury travel festival launches in Dubai

The world’s first AI powered luxury travel festival is coming to The Palm, Dubai in February 2020…

TFest, the world’s first AI powered luxury travel festival, is a bold new event concept from Private Luxury Events that waves goodbye to the traditional tradeshow format. On The Palm, Dubai, in February 2020, it will bring together the most influential buyers and sellers in luxury travel in a vibrant festival that uses technology to create an experience that is both large-scale and personal.

Throughout the three-day festival, AI matchmaking will help delegates connect with more people than ever before, giving them a personalised experience and a better return on their time and investment.

This new event is a free-flowing festival of connections, ideas and inspiration that brings the whole luxury travel industry together. TFest showcases the freshest brands, ideas, destinations and properties in luxury travel. It features inspiring workshops, insightful thought leaders and offers hundreds of connections for every attendee. By taking the guesswork out of making connections, AI opens the door to hundreds of extra connection opportunities that attendees would otherwise have missed.

Neon lights and festival

Image credit: TFest

“We launched TFest to make personalised connections happen on a larger scale and in real time, at a single celebratory event where our global luxury travel community can come together,” explains Richard Barnes, CEO, Private Luxury Events. “We believe AI matchmaking technology will reshape the networking industry and give delegates at our events a better experience, where they have complete control of every interaction and get a better return on their valuable time. It’s going to transform B2B networking by helping everyone get the outcomes they want.”Private Luxury Events has drawn on its 15 years of industry experience to take connecting further.

By harnessing its data from over 100 events in an artificial intelligence platform, it has found a way to radically improve the quality of meetings between buyers and suppliers.
Attendees still have guaranteed morning meetings with carefully matched buyers and exhibitors. But in TFest’s free-flowing afternoons, AI matchmaking technology empowers delegates to break free of rigid schedules through personalised recommendations, helping them meet the right people to take their business further.

The AI technology uses machine learning and advanced algorithms to make intelligent initial recommendations that get smarter over time. Every time someone uses the app, the more it learns and the better the recommendations become.

Main image credit: TFest

TRENDS: Eco-friendly design ideas for the hotel bathroom

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
TRENDS: Eco-friendly design ideas for the hotel bathroom

In the wake of protests in London, designers and architects have responded by becoming more conscious in their design decisions recently. Crosswater explains some of the benefits of an eco-friendly hotel bathroom…

Large or compact, traditional or modern, boutique or luxury, hotel bathroom design has become increasingly influenced by eco-conscious product innovations, in particular around the efficient output of water.

The hotel bathroom space is constantly evolving and guests and designers are looking for more than just basic fixtures and fittings. From rainfall showers, high-tech digital valves and multi-outlet systems that include the likes of body jets, dual-function shower flows and additional handsets, each of these products require hotel bathrooms to work harder than ever and use more energy to run.

In the current day and age, as energy is depleted at an increasingly alarming rate, it is more important than ever to find eco-friendly alternatives in hotel bathroom design that incorporate both water-saving and energy-saving features – designed to minimise the impact of the hotel industry on the environment. Although much of the waste is caused by bad habits, installing and maintaining water-saving bathroom fixtures is an enormously important step.

When it comes to specifying eco-friendly designs, Crosswater advises hotel designers to opt for products that are WRAS approved, as it is a calculable way to guarantee that bathroom suites will not only be saving water but also utilising it in the most efficient way possible.  These regulations require water fittings, such as valves and taps that do not cause waste, misuse, undue consumption or contamination of the water supply. Crosswater is dedicated to ensuring all of its products are as environmentally friendly as possible and over 200 of its products already proudly wear the WRAS badge of approval.

Designs such as the Neopearl shower flow regulators are the ideal option for hotels looking to make the next eco-friendly step. With amazing water-saving capacity, the functional regulator reduces water consumption to a maximum level whilst the unique flow regulator technology keeps the flow rate constant across the pressure and can be inserted directly into most fixed showerheads, handsets or basin monoblocs.

Eco-friendly toilets are also becoming an increasingly popular option as an easy and immediate way to save water in many hotels across the UK and globally. Installing eco-friendly   WCs   will   assist   in   conserving   natural resources as well as being environmentally friendly. The Crosswater Kai collection conforms to – and exceeds – required British and European quality, performance, sustainability and water saving regulations. The Kai WCs consume 33% less water by using the latest flush systems making them incredibly environmentally friendly.

The design of Crosswater’s Wild Rimless WC also makes for a fantastically economical option; the stunning collection of pure Italian designs are each expertly crafted with an innovative rimless bowl that is complemented alongside superior, tried-and-tested flush technology to ensure the very best in hygiene function, whilst reducing water consumption with an eco-friendly half or full flush. Featuring dual flush technology, it provides the option to regulate how much water is used, which helps to save even more water by simply adjusting the larger flush to the reduced water volume setting.

With hotel bathrooms continuously developing and improving their technology, it can be difficult to monitor the high volume of water used within bathrooms by guests. Installing rimless WC models can be a great way of avoiding water wastage and the rimless model is cleverly designed to get more flushing power out of less water. Additionally there are many other small ways to reduce environmental impact in hotel bathrooms.

Décor elements made of recycled material can assist in making bathroom spaces more eco-friendly as well as opting for taps and showers with aerators. The aerator is expertly designed to reduce the overall water flow by using pressure from air. It is also advised to swap bulbs with LED lights, this will help to save energy, and illuminated mirrors can also be used as a great alternative source of bathroom lighting. Crosswater’s Revive LED Illuminated Mirror is a highly innovative design that makes for a fantastic alternative to big lighting fixtures that consume far greater amounts of energy. In a hotel environment, this can be a great opportunity to create the option of mood lighting too.

In summary, there are many ways to transform hotel bathrooms to take a more eco-friendly approach. From recycling to using less energy, every little improvement adds up to change the world for the better.

Main image credit: Crosswater

INTERACTIVE REVIEW: Oddfellows On The Park

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
INTERACTIVE REVIEW: Oddfellows On The Park

Located on the fringes of Manchester, Oddfellows On The Park is quirky, timeless and in its own admission ‘a little bit odd’. Editor Hamish Kilburn writes about the hotel that was designed to be disobedient…

By the looks of Manchester’s hotel development pipeline, creativity in British interior design and architecture is not limited to London. Despite Brexit uncertainty, this year alone, 835 new guestrooms will be introduced into the industrial city – with a further 11 more hotels slated to open between 2020 and 2021.

The booming hotel design scene in the northern metropolis has resulted in more interest around the outskirts of the city, and it is here – less than 10 miles from the Manchester’s Piccadilly – where Oddfellows Hotels’ latest property is situated.

A lamp shining from the head of a life-sized model of a horse and a chandelier made from bicycle chains hanging above the check-in desk is the first indication that Oddfellows On The Park doesn’t like to play by the rules. Tasked with the aim to stylishly go against the grain was design firm SpaceInvader, which is dedicated to creating spaces which fulfill their true potential, while unlocking the power to enhance human behaviour.

Opened in 2017, the hotel is sheltered within an 1861 traditional Victorian Gothic building, which was named Bruntwood Hall. The shell of the now 22-key boutique hotel was designed originally by an industrialist, John Douglas, who was inspired by a Scottish home; the original ceilings in The Stud Room Bar are testimony to this with subtle thistle design. Today, the iconic structure stands in plain sight, nestled within endless playing parks which feature archery, a golf course, and even a BMX cycling track – hence the cycling chain chandelier in the lobby.

In its history, Bruntwood Hall has served many purposes – from being a town hall during the war to becoming home to a film company and fashion designer. Now, though, for the first time in its winding narrative, the building has been redecorated, reconfigured and reborn to welcome guests into a luxury boutique hotel like no other.

Katie Edgar who heads up hospitality at SpaceInvaders led the design throughout the project. She and her design team conducted thorough research into the history of the building, the location and the inhabitants of Bruntwood Hall, in order to understand how to thoughtfully reference the building’s past. “The approach focused on respecting the character and beautiful features of Bruntwood Hall,” explains Edger. “We were inspired by them, and wanted to enhance them to design a romantic scheme that celebrates the history of the building and its unique position.”

Image credit: ACT Studios

In addition to sympathetically restoring the building’s original features, the design firm worked with architect Tim Groom, in order to incorporate elements of innovative and playful design that has become a signature of Oddfellows Hotels. “The aim was to create a space that allows guests to lose themselves in their surroundings and feel that the Hall is theirs for the weekend,” adds Edgar.

“Original 1860s encaustic floor tiles were uncovered in the reception area and revived to their former glory.”

The public areas arguably give the most significant nod to the building’s heritage. While Edgar and her team were restoring the building as part of its transformation, original 1860s encaustic floor tiles were uncovered in the reception area and revived to their former glory.

The Stud Bar, which is sheltered adjacent to the lobby area, is a small and intimate space dominated by the original statement ceiling complete with beautiful Jacobean-style decorative plasterwork. “The furniture here has been based around complementing, rather than competing with the overhead design,” said Edger. Comfortable high back chairs, and a soft approach to seating encourage guests to enjoy both the view out to the parkland and the historical building features.

Meanwhile, the corridors that are staggered over three levels feature an array of abstract art, creating fun and creative moments throughout guests’ journey to their rooms and suites. Just like the corridors, the guestrooms and suites are layered with texture and each have their own personality. The Tower Suite, for example, is a two-tiered design gem that adorns contemporary finishes such as playful wallcoverings and portraits hung with human bodies and animal heads.

The bathrooms in all 22 rooms and suites have been designed by Utopia Projects, which specified all of the sanitaryware for seven different room types and the spa facilities for the hotel. “Having worked with these designers before, and therefore having an idea of what they like, made this hotel a dream to spec,” said project consultant, Stuart Adamson. ” It’s truly genius how the designers have maintained the buildings country style but modernised it with complimentary elements like the hexagonal mirrors and tiles, although our favourite piece has to be the roll-topped, freestanding baths we supplied completely in white.”

Image credit: ACT Studio

On the top floor, the suites compliment the natural architecture of the building, featuring wooden beams and, with high ceilings, compliment natural arch shape of the roofing. The guestrooms feature over-scaled carpet designs, which are a stylish riff on the decorative plasterwork.

In a nod to the building’s Scottish heritage, the design team included thoughtful elements throughout, including new tartan upholstery, wools and tweeds, and original decorative thistles that are on display. “Heritage colours were specifically chosen to accent walls throughout the bedrooms and public spaces,” explains Edger. “Muted shades of greens, blues, purples and blacks were considered room by room and provide a back drop to conversational artwork and decorative lighting.”

The use of taxidermy would have been expected in the interior of the building’s previous iterations. And so to layer this sensitively within interior scheme was important, but as with everything in the hotel’s design, the use of taxidermy was anything by ordinary. “In a twist on this concept, we included elements such as bike handlebars mounted on elaborate wall plates,” explains Edger. “These have been utilised to provide another link to the activities that can be enjoyed within the building’s surrounding 100 acres of parkland.”

The Pigsty is the hotel’s premium spa that sits in a separate building adjacent to the rest of the hotel. Fittingly, the intimate salon features its own mudroom as well as two treatment rooms and has an engaging atmosphere within the social salon quarter.

Now managed by Bespoke Hotels, the UK’s largest independent hotel group that also owns Hotel Gotham, checking in to Oddfellows On The Park is a journey that celebrates oddities in spectacular fashion. With the combination of amplifying a unique style and through clever marketing to promote it, the Oddfellows Brand is taking its place in the northern hotel charts and it continues to push the boundaries of modern hotel design.

Main image credit: ACT Studios

DESIGN CONCEPT: Hotel of 2119 imagined by Hilton

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
DESIGN CONCEPT: Hotel of 2119 imagined by Hilton

To celebrate the hotel group’s 100th anniversary, Hilton has just unveiled what it believes will be the hotel in 100 years from now…

Intergalactic getaways, fast-food nutrient pills, two to three hour working days and adaptable, personalised rooms that can transport guests everywhere from jungles to mountain ranges; in celebration of its 100th anniversaryHilton predicts the future trends set to dominate the travel and hospitality industry in the next 100 years.

In a report supported by expert insight from the fields of sustainability, innovation, design, human relations and nutrition, findings reveal how the growing sophistication of technology and climate change will impact the hotel industry in the future.

Key predictions for the hotel of the future include:

Personalisation is King

  • Technology will allow every space, fitting and furnishing to continuously update to respond to an individual’s real-time needs – the Lobby will conjure up anything from a tranquil spa to a buzzy bar, giving every guest the perfect, personal welcome
  • From temperature and lighting, to entertainment and beyond, microchips under the skin will enable us to wirelessly control the setting around us based on what we need, whenever we need it

The Human Touch

  • In a world filled with Artificial Intelligence, human contact and the personal touch will be more critical and sought after than ever
  • Technology will free up time for hotel staff to focus on what matters most: helping guests to connect with one another and building memorable moments

‘Sustainable Everything’ – The Role of Responsibility

  • Only businesses that are inherently responsible will survive the next century
  • Sustainability will be baked into everything about a hotel’s design – from weather-proofed domes, to buildings made from ocean-dredged plastic
  • Hotels will act as the Town Hall of any community, managing local resources and contributing to the areas they serve with community-tended insect farms and vertical hydroponic crop gardens

Menu Surprises and Personalisation

  • Our diets will include more plant-based recipes and some suprising sources of protein – Beetle Bolognese, Plankton Pies and Seaweed Green Velvet Cake will be menu staples!
  • Decadent 3D-printed dinners and room service will provide unrivalled plate personalisation
  • Chefs will be provided with biometric data for each guest, automatically creating meals based on preferences and nutritional requirements

Futuristic Fitness and Digital Detoxes

  • Outswim a virtual sea turtle in the pool, or challenge yourself to climb the digital face of Mount Everest, your exercise routine will be as unique as you are. What’s more, exercise energy generated from workouts will be used to power the hotel, providing a zero-impact, circular system. Guests could even earn rewards based on reaching workout targets
  • Pick up where you left off with trackable workouts and holographic personal trainers
  • Offline will be the new luxury as we seek to find moments of tech-free time

“100 years from now hotels will have to create opportunities to converse, collaborate and connect, delivering moments that matter, individually, to each and every guest.” – Gerd Leonhard.

“Since its inception in 1919, Hilton has pioneered the hospitality industry, introducing first-to-market concepts such as air-conditioning and in-room televisions. Last year, Hilton also became the first hospitality company to set science-based targets to reduce its environmental impact,” commented Simon Vincent, EVP and President, EMEA, Hilton. “We enter our second century with the same commitment to innovation, harnessing the power of our people and technology to respond to guest demands. Our research paints an exciting future for the hospitality industry, highlighting the growing importance of human interaction in an increasingly tech-centric world.”

Futurologist Gerd Leonhard said: “In 2119 we will still be searching for unique experiences, but they will be more personalised than ever. As technology shapes our lives we will seek out moments of offline connection with others, including hotel team members who will help us truly get what we need from our stays. 100 years from now hotels will have to create opportunities to converse, collaborate and connect, delivering moments that matter, individually, to each and every guest.”

The report launches following major announcements regarding Hilton’s growth plans, including debuts among its lifestyle brands in destinations such as Africa, the Caribbean, Asia Pacific and France.

Main image credit: Hilton Hotels

Hotel Designs becomes media partner for designjunction

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hotel Designs becomes media partner for designjunction

Hotel Designs has become a media partner for designjunction, which this year takes place in and around London’s King’s Cross between September 19 – 22… 

Hotel Designs has announced that it will continue its long-standing media partnership this year for designjunction. The four-day exhibition will present more than 200 international design brands across multiple King’s Cross locations surrounding the striking UAL Central Saint Martin’s building.

Presenting the latest in cutting-edge design each year during the London Design Festival, designjunction is described as London’s leading contemporary interior design show, facilitating connections between architects, interior designers, retailers and exhibitors. Encompassing the best in furniture, lighting, jewellery and home accessories, the event is a place for industry leaders to gather with the widest variety of influential and international designers.

“We are absolutely thrilled to be returning to this vibrant, connected part of London, and to once again be working closely with King’s Cross,” said designjunction’s Director, Mark Gordon in an earlier press release. “Coal Drops Yard has opened since we were last at this location, so there’s a whole new experience we can offer our visitors. This is an incredibly exciting year for designjunction and our return gives us the opportunity to continue working with the best designers in the industry to create fantastic installations.”

For eight years running, designjunction has attracted thousands of architects, interior designers, specifiers, retailers, buyers and consumers to its show doors. Each year its exhibitors make lasting connections with influential figures in the design industry, designed to create partnerships that are made to last.

Hotel Designs will be on the ground throughout London Design Festival with ‘LIVE FROM LDF’ capturing all the news from the exhibition as it happens.

Main image credit: designjunction

W London Leicester Square unveils tech-based renovation

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
W London Leicester Square unveils tech-based renovation

Sheltering the result of fashion designer Jack Irving’s debut interior design collaboration, W london Leicester Square has unveiled its new tech-savvy guestrooms and suites… 

W London – Leicester Square has unveiled a multi-million-pound transformation of all 192 guestrooms and suites. W’s quirky, glamourous and decadent look has been super-charged with the help of architecture firm Concrete, designer firm Krause Architects and fashion designer Jack Irving.

Furthermore, W London has partnered with fashion visionary and dynamic artist, Jack Irving, to create a one-of-a-kind ‘techorative’ pillow, along with a range of immersive in-room experiences.

“W Hotels has consistently been at the forefront of innovation – reinventing and rewriting the rules of hospitality wherever the W sign lands,” said Jenni Benzaquen, Vice President of Luxury Brands – Europe, Marriott International. “The transformation of W London – Leicester Square merges the latest technologies in hospitality and the music industry with boundarybreaking design, offering our guests the ultimate experience in-room, in our newly renovated public spaces, as well as connecting them with what’s new/next in this dynamic city.”

“Upon entry, music and lighting greet the guest to offer a truly immersive and memorable stay.”

Much like its guests, every room at W London is unique. Ever the rebel, the hotel is the first in the UK to embrace the full DigiValet technology – one of the most advanced tablet-based systems in the industry which allows each guest to be in control of their stay right from check in. Upon entry, music and lighting greet the guest to offer a truly immersive and memorable stay. All settings are adjustable and customisable to the guest’s preference and mood, whether getting pumped up for the night ahead or beginning to unwind before the next day’s meeting.

A user-friendly tablet controls the in-room temperature, lighting and media, including personal streaming services, at the touch of a button, while also showcasing a taste of the freshest beats being made and played across the city. W London has teamed up with Kobalt, a music tech company, to curate playlists showcasing London’s coolest up-and-coming artists, including W London’s own Music Curator, DJ/producer Olivia Dawn. Global music-lovers can tune in to hear what’s playing in real time at any of the 55 W Hotels worldwide through advanced music technology by Soundtrackyourbrand. The tablet also gives guests insider access to what’s new and next in London with an ever-evolving calendar of happenings including the hotel’s music programming and the latest dining and entertainment suggestions across the city.

Each of the property’s 192 rooms, including 28 suites, has had a bold makeover. Designed by renowned architects, Concrete, and kitted out by Krause Design, the rooms have benefitted from structural upgrades along with daring new feature walls, refreshed avant-garde furniture and atmospheric lighting. Sleek white details, photo-friendly mirrored walls, and party-starting disco balls complete the provocative new look. This renovation completes the hotel’s full transformation, following the redesign of the hotel’s bar and lounge, The Perception at W London, in 2017 and makeover of the hotel’s luxurious oasis, the AWAY Spa, in 2018.

“Over the years, our guests have made it clear that they want innovation, as well as both fashion and function, from their hotel room,” said Martijn Mulder, General Manager of W London –
Leicester Square. “The new room design is just that- substance, as well as that inimitable W style. We offer the latest tech available today in the hospitality industry for guests to easily control and personalise their stay, from mood lighting to music, in-room dining and entertainment.”

“When set with the task, I took inspiration from Soho’s creative energy and W London’s irreverent attitude.”

To amplify the re-imagined guest experience, W London has teamed up with daring fashion fantasist, Jack Irving, to create a limited-edition pillow collection. Best known for his eyecatching designs injected with a shot of engineered technology, Irving has dressed the likes of global superstar Lady Gaga. Taking inspiration straight from the catwalk and remixing it with the bold attitude of W London, the spiked pillows, available in every guestroom, appear muted to the naked eye until they are brought to life through the click of a camera flash. Through the lens, the smart fabric transforms into an iridescent masterpiece.

Image caption/credit: The spiked pillows, designed by fashion designer to the stars, Jack Irving,  appears muted to the naked eye until they are brought to life through the click of a camera flash. Through the lens, the smart fabric transforms into an iridescent masterpiece making it truly instagrammable/W Hotels

“It’s amazing to be working with W London for my first interiors collaboration, as the hotel’s unmistakable bold identity is a perfect match for my avant-garde designs,” said Jack Irving. “When set with the task, I took inspiration from Soho’s creative energy and W London’s irreverent attitude, to create a unique statement piece that unites the hotel fabulous new room design and upgraded functionality.”

The limited-edition pillow by Jack Irving and new Mini Mega Bar will be available to experience in all 28 suites from mid-June and will be rolled out to all guestrooms later this summer.

Main image credit: W Hotels

Four Seasons Resort Nevis enters final phase of sustainable renovations

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

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

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

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

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

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

Raw luxurious dining experience in shack-like structure

Image credit: Four Seasons Resorts

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

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

Render of beach and pool

Image credit: Four Seasons Resorts

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

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

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

The design chapter continues…

Main image credit: Four Seasons Resorts

Grecotel Group embarks on 42 million euro expansion plan

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

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

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

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

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

Image credit: Grecotel Hotels

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

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

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

Main image credit: Grecotel Hotels

In Conversation With: Senior designer Kate Jarrett on Hard Rock Hotel London

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
In Conversation With: Senior designer Kate Jarrett on Hard Rock Hotel London

Since becoming a Hotel Designs’ 30 Under 30, Kate Jarrett, senior designer at Scott Brownrigg has completed the Hard Rock Hotel London. Sitting down with editor Hamish Kilburn, Jarrett talks job satisfaction, preferred materials and the challenges that come with being a young designer in 2019…

The early summer vibes are in full swing; the sun is out over the capital and its latest hotel, Hard Rock Hotel London, has arrived.

Upon entering, the hotel is humming with activity. Guests are soaking in the iconic memorabilia hanging on the walls, while locals gather around the bar enjoying a post-work refreshment or two.

The Lobby Bar feels like an apt place to meet Scott Brownrigg’s Kate Jarrett, the senior designer on the project, who earlier this year became a Hotel Designs’ 30 Under 30. “This started with a passion for illustration, something I studied before moving to Brighton University to study Interior Architecture,” she says. “I then started as an interior designer and I haven’t looked back. I have worked across several sectors but my real passion is for hospitality design.”

“We have used drumsticks to create unique lighting over the concierge desk.” – Kate Jarrett

The completion of the new 900-key hotel, which is located a stone’s throw from Oxford Street, is the perfect stage for the designer to amplify what has become a milestone moment in her career. “We drew inspiration from the history of music and specifically instruments themselves, breaking them down in detail seeing how they have been made,” she says. “This was an unusual take on the obvious theme of ‘music’ and we never lost sight of this unique brief in our design. For example, we have used drumsticks to create unique lighting over the concierge desk.”

Drumsticks used as lighting in the hotel's lobby

Image credit: Philip Durrant

The hotel’s walls are plastered with memorabilia that reference the legacy of legends who stayed in Hard Rock Hotels in decades past, including Jimi Hendrix, Nina Simone, Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan, Diana Ross and Madonna. Balancing the history and heritage of the brand in a timeless style to avoid cliché moments was the first task for design firm Scott Brownrigg when confronting the motifs that will be sheltered in the new hotel. “We knew we had to represent the Hard Rock brand in an innovative way for the contemporary London market,” Jarrett explains. “The hotel scene here is competitive so we knew we had to create something that tied into London and Hard Rock’s music heritage, while still being completely contemporary.”

Contemporary bar

Image credit: Philip Durrant

The F&B structure at the Hard Rock Hotel London originally took its inspiration from the original art-deco style ceiling of the Lyons Corner House that original stood on the site in the early ‘90s. “Great F&B and bars are key to the success of a hotel as they offer a destination for non-hotel guests too,” explains Jarrett. “For that matter, the expectations of hotel customers on what they want from the hotel experience has also changed. They want it to feel like a home, workplace and a space to socialise; the brief is more open than it used to be.”

QUICK-FIRE ROUND

Hamish Kilburn: If budget was no object, what product would you include in a project you are currently working on?
Kate Jarrett: An incredible art collection

HK: Best thing about being a designer in London?
KJ: The constant source of inspiration

HK: Where is next on your travel bucket list?
KJ: Japan – it would be like an experiential mood board. I already have a list of places I want to visit

HK: Where was the last hotel you saw that took your breath away?
KJ: I recently visited the Beekman in New York, and it really impressed me. That central atrium is like something straight out of a 1920s novel.

HK: What does luxury mean to you?
KJ: For me it represents a space that I want to spend time in, a collection of pieces whether its furnishings, art etc. that make me feel like I can sit back and slow down.

HK: What’s the last item that will appear on your bank statement?
KJ: Most likely ASOS… or coffee, as I’m always running around at the moment!

Without a doubt, it’s her ability to let the project do the talking that has made Jarrett the designer she is today. But the challenges of being a young designer in 2019 are far deeper than simply securing projects, or belonging to a leading firm. “London has a lot to offer, however it also means that you have to shout louder, metaphorically, to get yourself heard and to stand out in the industry,” says Jarrett. “Platforms like the 30 Under 30 I find career-affirming as they enable us to get our names out there and really help to showcase the talents of young designers.”

With sustainability arguably as big a talking point as any other at the moment in interior design and trends, Jarrett is insistent, where possible, on using naturally sourced materials within her projects. “I really enjoy working with natural materials,” she says. “Specifically, I like working with the tactile qualities of natural timbers, stones and the effects achieves by a neutral palette.”

“Scott Brownrigg has been really supportive and encouraging with the projects I have worked on.” – Kate Jarrett

At the root of Jarret’s decisions and place in the market is a design firm that has incubated and supported the young designer’s creativity to ultimately develop better places to live, stay and work. “At Scott Brownrigg, we are all encouraged to enrich lives through the environments we design,” she explains. “Scott Brownrigg has been really supportive and encouraging with the projects I have worked on. As a young designer it can be hard to establish yourself in a company, but Scott Brownrigg has really been great at championing me every step of the way. We’re a friendly, social bunch so I have also make some great relationships with colleagues along the way which has really helped.”

Aside from the Hard Rock Hotel London, current projects that Jarrett is working on that on the boards are firm proof that she is anything but a one-trick pony in the race. “We are working on an exciting hotel project in Stratford,” she explains. “This area is having a surge at the moment with lots of new developments, particularly in the hospitality sector. There are also some further Hard Rock projects we are working on; it’s great to get repeat work as it means we are doing something right!”

The fresh and vibrant interiors that surround the new hotel that everyone seems to be talking about are a reflection of the designer that Jarrett is becoming, or arguably already become. Modest, calm-natured and enthusiastic, Jarrett is, in my opinion, a credit to the firm that has helped support her on her way.

Main image credit: Tash Busta Photography

Inside Hokkaido National Park’s latest luxury hotel

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Inside Hokkaido National Park’s latest luxury hotel

Design firm Wilson Associates unveils luxury condominium-hotel in renowned Japanese ski resort…

Interior architecture and design firm Wilson Associates, which this year made it onto Hotel Designs’ 30 Under 30, has unveiled the interiors of a modern hotel located in Japan’s Hokkaido National Park. The Skye Niseko ski resort shelters 100 apartments and five penthouses and is located on a picturesque mountainside with views of the surrounding landscape.

The firm was brought on board to complete the interior design of the five penthouses, lobby, corridors, spa, cafe deli and ski valet at the unique ski-in ski-out hotel.

The luxurious collection of condominiums, which officially opened earlier this year, is a blend of Alpine design and Japanese hospitality and culture. The design firm’s theme of minimalist, monochrome is filtered throughout the interior of the suites.

The privately-owned resort was designed by Australian-based Pike Withers and its shell has been conceived of as two interlocking L-shaped volumes, allowing each of the apartments and penthouses to benefit from both privacy and panoramic views.

Wilson Associates ensured the main lobby had plenty of WOW factor and guests are immediately greeted by a striking reception desk where a rough stone wall surface contrasts with the counter’s sharp and sleek metal immediately greets guests with a WOW factor.

The lighting strategy works in tandem with the bamboo lattices on the walls and slate paving on the floor to make everything in the lobby seem like it’s floating.

The penthouses are organised in arrangements of either three or four bedrooms and come complete with comfortable and cosy living and dining areas. They offer guests the ultimate in luxury and boast covered balconies and heated external spring pools overlooking the stunning landscape.

Modern spa area

Image credit: Skye Niseko Ski Resort

Meanwhile, the spa area has been sustainably designed so that its own onsen well draws mineral rich hot water from deep below the property.

The hotel describes itself on its website as: “More than just a place to stay, Skye Niseko has everything you need for your alpine getaway.”

Injecting sense of place in Koh Samui beach hotel

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Injecting sense of place in Koh Samui beach hotel

SALA Samui Chaweng Beach Resort, the luxury boutique beach resort on Koh Samui, briefed design firm Onion to divide the resort into two distinct parts in order to add architectural drama while creating an unforgettable sense of place.

The moon plays an integral role in Thai culture, with each phase of the lunar cycle holding deep significance. The presence of a full moon, half-moon or dark moon can dictate the timing of festivals, the schedule of planting and harvesting, and even the most auspicious dates in a person’s life.

More recently, they have provided the backdrop to the legendary full, half or dark moon beach parties of Koh Samui and Koh Phangan.

SALA Samui Chaweng Beach Resort, the luxury boutique beach resort on Koh Samui, has divided the resort into two distinct parts – the Oceanfront/Beach Wing and Garden Wing – each of which has been exquisitely designed to reflect the changing phases of the moon.

“The Garden Wing will complete our resort, not only in terms of its rooms and facilities but through the story of its design,” said Erwin van der Veen, General Manager, SALA Samui Chaweng Beach Resort. “Just as the moon moves through cycles, SALA Samui Chaweng Beach Resort will allow guests to journey through a series of spaces which are designed to reflect the different characteristics of the full, half and dark moons. Charming, intimate and atmospheric, our new Garden Wing will provide the perfect contrast to the bright and spacious vibe of the Oceanfront/Beach Wing,”

Image caption/credit: Inside the Garden Wing/SALA Samui Chaweng Beach Resort

Conceived by Onion, the Thailand-based architecture and design studio, the hotel allows guests to channel the energy of the full, half or dark moons through innovative design shifts – from the openness and high energy of the full moon, through smaller half-moon spaces, and into the more intense shades of the dark moon.

Blue and white decor in treehouse-like bar and restaurant

Image caption/Credit: Treehouse restaurant and bar/SALA Samui Chaweng Beach Resort

While the Oceanfront / Beach Wing reflects the energy of a full moon with the circular shapes incorporated into various design elements, from the façade to the aptly named Moon Pool – the new Garden Wing offers a collection of private spaces with an ambience elevated by verdant trees and plants that add a touch of natural tranquillity. The family friendly area includes 82 rooms, pool villas & pool suites, ranging from 45 to 181 square meters in size, with state-of-the-art IPTV and audio systems, and glamourous full-size daybeds. Also included is a Tree House Restaurant and Bar, 25-metre swimming pool, the Garden Pool Bar, SALA Gym, SALA Spa with six private treatment rooms and steam room as well as SALA’s first kids’ club, which includes indoor and outdoor play areas.

Global awards launches to challenge industry standards around accessible design

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Global awards launches to challenge industry standards around accessible design

The Blue Badge Access Awards launches and questions why accessible design is not as large a talking point as sustainability currently is. Editor Hamish Kilburn attended the launch event in London and writes…

Blue Badge Access Awards has launched raising some much-needed debates around the current industry standards around accessible design.

The launch of Blue Badge Access Awards – a combining of two major design competitions – the Bespoke Access Awards and the Blue Badge Style Awards – took place at Home Grown Club in Marylebone. The occasion explained the purpose of the new global competition, which is to celebrate thoughtful and stylish inclusive design worldwide. It aims to inspire designers, architects, operators and developers to work together in order to build exceptional business and venues that make everyone feel like a “first-class citizen.”

“No one would have dreamed that sustainability would be so high on the agenda as it is now and we want access to be high on the priority list.” – Robin Sheppard.

Speaking at the event was Robin Sheppard, Chairman of Bespoke Hotels, Hotel Sector Champion for Disabled People and in turn the winner of The Brit List 2018’s Outstanding Contribution to the Hospitality Industry. “It is important to make access a permanent addition to the agenda,” he said during a thought-provoking speech. “No one would have dreamed that sustainability would be so high on the agenda as it is now and we want access to be high on the priority list.”

With the support of charity Leonard Cheshire, the Blue Badge Access Awards aims to accelerate much-needed progress. This follows studies that show inclusive design gives businesses and venues access to a market of more than one billion people across the world, a group of more than 13 million people in the UK along with spending power of more than £250 billion.

Inclusive design has a history of inspiring great innovation, from the invention of the first typewriter, which was built to help a blind Italian countess write legibly, to the remote control, which was created to make life easier for people with limited mobility.

Categories include:

  • Arnold Fewell Award – The Most Inclusive Building/Interior Design
  • Best Hotel x 2 (Upmarket and Boutique, Bespoke Award)
  • Best Bar x 2 (Upmarket and Budget)
  • Best Restaurant x 2 (Upmarket – Conran award – and Budget)
  • Best Accessible Toilet
  • Ludicrous Loo
  • Above & Beyond (Includes Hospitality & Corporates)
  • Euan’s Guide Award
  • Best Venue in a Listed Building
  • Inclusive Employment Award (Leonard Cheshire)
  • Employee of the Year

“Nowhere can be 100 per cent accessible, but everyone can start somewhere,” said Fiona Jarvis, founder of Blue Badge Style. “There is a tremendous public interest in the area of accessible design, with a strong desire to honour and recognise businesses that go the extra mile for their customers.”

With categories ranging from Best Hotel and Best Bar, to the Leonard Cheshire Inclusive Employment Award, the Blue Badge Access Awards recognises the variety of ways that businesses can become more inclusive. The prize that nobody wants to win, ‘Ludicrous Loo’ demonstrates the challenges faced in a light-hearted manner, revealing bathrooms where accessibility is an afterthought.

Nominations of the Blue Badge Access Awards, which are open to anyone, anywhere in the world, are now open and close on June 30. Visit to website to cast your vote.

Winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on October 7.

Main image credit: Blue Badge Access Award/Bespoke Access Awards

EDITOR CHECKS IN: Running on empty in Clerkenwell

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
EDITOR CHECKS IN: Running on empty in Clerkenwell

Editor Hamish Kilburn explains some of the benefits that come with being a runner on the editorial desk – especially during Clerkenwell Design Week… 

I believe that nine problems out of 10 within this ever-evolving industry can be solved with a fresh perspective. Whether the issue is a lack of inspiration or perhaps you can’t decide which soft furnishings to purchase for a fussy client, there are times where you – and your project – could benefit from taking some time out so that your ideas and thoughts can authentically mature.

For most, the obvious ‘time out’ would follow booking 10 nights away in bare-foot luxury, and I must conquer that the undisturbed nature of this thought also appeals. However, if it’s simply a case of a blockage of traffic in the brain, then I suggest you hop onto the pavement. For me, it is often only after a gentle jog – at any time of day or night – where most of my editorial ideas for Hotel Designs stem from – or at least final decisions are made.

This month, I went one step further in my fitness therapy and signed myself up to complete what will be my third marathon. But while I have been there, done that and got the T-shirt twice before, one thing has changed – I am the busiest I have ever been. And so, like so many amateur runners who have or are pacing in my footsteps while balancing a career, finding the time to train is often the hardest challenge – a test that carries great unparalleled rewards, including being able to juggle time wisely.

“What’s running got to do with hotel development, design and architecture,” you may ask. Well it turns out, this month in particular, being able to confidently trot around town was an essential skill for those for those of us attending Clerkenwell Design Week as ‘Press’. Entering double digits, this year’s volume of celebrating of design, which witnessed hundreds of showrooms opening their doors to the public, was turned up to the max – and it was, undoubtably so, a fabulous festival to amplify to our readers. For the 10th year, it recognised the UK once more as an incubator for incredible design, architecture and ideas. Despite this, at times it was also like hitting the dreaded wall during a marathon, each showroom becoming more of a fuel station as we got further through the course. Passed the finish line, though, and we were able to reflect on the journey, which was like every long-distance race, full of unforgettable moments including witnessing art outside the frame at almost every turn.

Brick wall with loud and colourful mural of shapes bursting out

Image caption/credit: One of the many art installations at Clerkenwell Design Week 2019 | Sophie Mutevelian

In addition to clocking up the miles around the design hub that is Clerkenwell, my mini adventures on foot have allowed me to experience some pretty incredible places from an unmatched perspective; from the sandy beaches of Barbados to the cobbled streets of Amsterdam – and sprinting through New York’s Time Square at 5am. With the right pair of trainers – and the will power to get out whatever the weather, travelling to – and seeing – these places has been extraordinary.

“Each time I head out for a run in Manchester, usually between exhibitions or events, I notice a new building taking shape.”

Closer to home, Manchester is within my top five locations to go for a run in and around. Having spent a year living in the beehive, I fell in love with the ‘on the boards’ skyline and at times juvenile personality locked within its ever-expanding city walls. Given its striking façade, and spirited soul, it is no coincidence, therefore, that hotel development up north is booming. Each time I head out for a run in Manchester, usually between exhibitions or events, I notice a new building taking shape. Top Hotel Project recently reported that between 2020 and 2021, 11 new hotels will open – the majority of which will be for the luxury sector. In response to this, we’re taking our Meet Up North networking evening back to the city that everyone is talking about, this year taking over Hotel Gotham’s much-admired rooftop bar, Club Brass.

Today, my running shoes have taken me back to my hometown of Whitstable in Kent, a beautiful rustic and trendy town – think Shoreditch style but by the sea and with oysters. The gorgeous weather combined with a steady westerly breeze was all the motivation I needed to add a totally unplanned half marathon (13.1 miles) into this week’s training plan. It was all the motivation I needed to write and complete this column.

During June, Hotel Designs will be putting Hotel Groups and Software & Controls under the spotlight. If you would like to contribute to these topics, please do not hesitate to email me.

Editor, Hotel Designs

Kimpton EPIC Hotel in Miami undergos major renovation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image credit: Kimpton Hotels

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

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

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

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

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

Main image credit: Kimpton Hotels

Aloft Hotels arrives in Ireland

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Aloft Hotels arrives in Ireland

Aloft Dublin City in Ireland has opened and is expected to shake up the hotel scene in one of Dublin’s most historic and vibrant quarters…

Marriott International has announced the opening of the design-led Aloft Dublin City, the first Aloft hotel to open in Ireland. The hotel is located in the Blackpitts area of Dublin’s Liberties, one of the capital’s most dynamic quarters.

The Liberties is rich with heritage, formerly a trading site of textiles; fast forward and this rejuvenated district is the thriving home to media and tech hubs as well as Dublin’s top visitor attractions.

As a brand for music lovers and music makers, we are so excited to debut Aloft Hotels in Dublin, the city that shares our passion for live music,” said John Licence, Vice President Premium and Select Brands, Europe at Marriott International. “From the buskers on Grafton Street to shows in the National Concert Hall, the live music experience in Dublin is a special one and we can’t wait to add to the city’s buzzing night-time scene by inviting emerging artists to take the stage at our Live At Aloft series,”

Vibrant blue carpets in large guestroom

Image credit: Marriott International/Aloft Hotels

With its vibrant design and always-on public spaces, Aloft Dublin City brings a new beat to the city and bold approach to the guest experience. The brand’s signature W XYZ® bar anchors the social scene on the seventh floor with striking panoramic views of the city – from sky-piercing mountains to famous hotspots including the Guinness Storehouse and St Patrick’s Cathedral.

Each of the 202 spacious guestrooms and suites feature Aloft’s ultra-comfortable plush beds, complete with headboards designed by local Dublin Artist, Sketchy; custom amenities by Bliss® Spa; fast & free Wi-Fi; and 49-inch televisions linked to a Plug & Play connectivity panel.

Aloft Dublin City features Mobile Key — the industry-first keyless entry system that enables guests to use their smartphone or Apple watch as a room key. Additional amenities include the Re:chargeSM fitness center, and meeting facilities equipped with state-of-the-art A/V equipment and fast and free WiFi.

With now more than 150 hotels now open in more than 20 countries and territories around the world, Aloft Hotels, which first launched in 2005, delivers a fresh approach to the traditional staid hotel landscape. For the ‘always on’ next generation of traveller, the Aloft brand offers a tech-forward, vibrant experience and a modern style that is different by design.

Main image credit: Aloft Hotels/Marriott International

Sony reveals how TV has impacted the living room through the decades

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Sony reveals how TV has impacted the living room through the decades

Sony’s ‘Evolution of the Living Room’ report reveals how (TV) inch size does indeed matter for guests who are checking in… 

Despite changing décor, consumer behaviour, streamed content taking a leap forward and hoteliers wanting to steer guests to utilise public areas, the TV is still the heart of the guestroom according to the ‘Evolution of the Living Room’ report, released in conjunction with a survey of 6,000 European consumers and commentary from industry experts.

Informed by experts including Italian design duo Stefano Mich and Alessandro de Pompeis,Sonia Solicari the director of the Geffrye Museum of the Home and psychologist Emma Kenny, the report reveals how the living room has evolved to fit in with our modern-day lives and is centred around the TV, which has evolved with it – as have the designs of modern hotel guestrooms as a result.

The findings demonstrate how the modern-day television set now completes a living space, while also exploring the modern phenomenon of on-demand and streamed services, as well as the growing inch size of televisions.

Covering off topics such as how streaming has infiltrated the living room, the continued increase in TV size despite the increase in popularity of smaller, portable devices, it provides a unique insight into how technology and society have shaped its development.

“64 per cent of people said that they watch just as much or more TV now than they did 10 years ago.”

Since the first Sony TV was created in 1960, it quickly became a central and integral part of the living room as the popularity of TV grew – with a third (32 per cent) of people saying it is the most important item, coming second only to the sofas they watch it on. This trend is showing no sign of slowing down either, as 64 per cent of people said that they watch just as much or more TV now than they did ten years ago.

Sixty years ago, families huddled around an 8inch TV set but present-day living rooms now have a cinema-style feel – with TVs going up to 75 inches in size.

The report also found that people now prefer streamed content over watching scheduled TV. Reasons given for this include the flexibility streaming offers rather than be restricted to the show on TV (50 per cent), fitting programmes in around longer working hours (32 per cent) and being able to watch with friends/or a partner (31 per cent).

“Television isn’t simply a medium that enables you to enjoy a variety of content,” said UK TV psychological expert and media commentator, Emma Kenny. “It represents so many different variables, and reaches individuals in completely unique ways.”

While society has changed significantly since the introduction of the first TV to the present day – along with design innovations of the TV as a result of seamless collaborations – many of our social behaviours remain the same. We’re still social beings who value family time, and with a certain nostalgia linked to ‘TV time’ across Europe, it doesn’t surprise me that families continue to enjoy TV together as a shared experience.

Despite the increase in popularity of portable devices, TVs are getting bigger, with more than a third of people now wanting a TV more than 55 inches and 16 per cent desiring a 65+ inch set.

Almost half (48 per cent) of people want a bigger TV than the one they have now, but men are 10 per cent more likely than women to want a bigger TV.

Kenny adds: “Like it or otherwise, we associate owning items that really ‘stand out’ as a marker of success. The market for large TV’s has grown, and this has made it a competitive environment. If you want your home to appear modern and your lifestyle to seem successful, then status symbols are important. This bigger is better belief system has never been so prominent than in the world of TV.

“Living rooms are transported into home cinemas, making the viewing experience the best that it has ever been. Whilst for many of us affording a season ticket to watch your favourite football team is out of reach, yet you can feel as if you are at the match when you have a large, quality TV screen in front of you”

*Research of 6,000 Europeans carried out by One Poll in April, 2019

Main image credit: Sony

How colour is making a comeback in the bathroom

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Close up of tap fitting

Image credit: Crosswater

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

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

Close up of marble and gold fittings

Image credit: Crosswater

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

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

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

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

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

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

Crosswater is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, click here.

Main image credit: Crosswater

MKV Design completes chic hotel design in Mykonos

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
MKV Design completes chic hotel design in Mykonos

Design firm MKV Design has completed the interior design of Mykonos Riviera Hotel & Spa, a new 44-key boutique hotel that overlooks the Aegean Sea…

Described as the “perfect setting for rare moments of romance, luxury and personalised service,” Mykonos’ west coast has welcomed the arrival of a new boutique hotel,Mykonos Riviera Hotel & Spa, designed by MKV Design. Just as Hora tumbles down the centuries-old cliff face, so the white Cycladic buildings of Mykonos Riviera are also terraced down the rocky terrain.

With a stepped pathway running through the resort like its spine, and many spaces opening directly onto the pathway, the development resembles a series of little village houses, albeit revealing contemporary pared-back design and many luxurious features when the doors are opened.

“This has been a very special project for us, given our role over the years as interior designer at the Riviera’s sister resort, The Mykonos Grand Hotel & Resort,” says Maria Vafiadis, Founder of MKV Design and finalist of The Brit List 2018. “In this new project, we have created a retreat just a stroll away from the main town in which guests can feel completely connected with the most beautiful and transformative aspects of Mykonos – its natural landscapes, centuries old architectural character and its sense of simple luxury”.

A sunken pathway is the start of the journey through the site, leading to the reception lobby which sits below the elevated infinity pool, only opening out at the far end with a seating area and windows looking over the sea. The genius of the design in this space is the deep, glazed “windows” punched through the ceiling under the pool which transform the lobby into an ethereal underwater experience. By day, the space is constantly alive, shimmering with reflections of water and sunlight and animated by swimmers above. In the evening, it is illuminated by fibre optic lights embedded into the walls which shine upwards through the windows and pierce the water like hundreds of stars twinkling in the night sky. All this life is reflected and amplified by a fully mirrored reception desk, while a suspended sculpture plays with the notion of a diver plunging through the ceiling and recurring design features are established, such as polished concrete finishes and decorative marine rope.

Minimalist check-in desk with colours of turquoise in ceiling and reflection on floor

Image credit: Niall Clutton

The library is also directly off the sunken pathway. A fresh, calm room in which to relax or work, it is one of the very few spaces that looks inwards rather than out to sea. Above, the Blu Room is a space for small private events and guest breakfasts with a stunning custom-designed buffet table above which a parade of lights like elegant sunhats forms an eye-catching display. The Blu Room’s reversal of the island’s usual colour palette of white with blue highlights into a room of dense ultramarine blue emphasises its unique role within the resort as a semi-private facility.

Most of the guestrooms and suites overlook the Aegean Sea. Their interiors are bright, spacious and designed with a sleek nautical touch. A rope motif strung across the ceiling suggests rigging on a boat and splashes of Mykonian blue enliven the otherwise all-white palette; all the rooms enjoy an outdoor terrace. The bathroom area is finished in the iconic white marble of Naxos together with weathered timber, and the free-standing vanities are within the bedroom area, together with, in some rooms, a bath tub.

Bright, airy and clean guestroom

Image credit: Niall Clutton

Among the many room types, there are a number of suites raising the luxury experience to a further level, including suites with a heated jacuzzi on their terrace, duplex spa suites in which the lower floor is dedicated to pampering and fitness and the 70 sq metre Pool Suites, each with a private pool. A three-bedroom maisonette crowns the guest offering with its own infinity pool and a huge, fully furnished terrace.

The rooftop Pool Club restaurant and bar is the hotel’s all-day dining venue. Located opposite the pool and directly looking towards the sea, it offers a panoply of gently changing vistas, from the Mykonian sunset to the yachts and pleasure boats making their way in and out of harbour. The range of seating options is varied to suit loungers and diners, secluded contemplation and lively socialising. Once again, the colour palette is simple and belongs to Mykonos; the white ceiling of the pergola is criss-crossed with white rope and the bar is dressed in rope that sways in the Mykonian breeze.

Lafs, the Greek speciality restaurant, only opens in the evenings and its simple interior is therefore designed to feel cosy and be seen by the light of its many glass pendants and loosely woven raffia shades which cast shadows across the room. From its outdoor terrace overlooking Hora, diners feel like they can touch the town.  Lafs has the air of the best Greek in town – unpretentious, convivial and authentic.

View overlooking the pool and the bar

Image credit: The Mykonos Grand Hotel & Resort

The 500 sq metre spa includes six treatment rooms, a thalassotherapy pool with therapeutic showers, a hammam, sauna, relaxation room and hairdressing salon. The interiors are pure and simple with polished concrete finishes predominating embellished by pebble channels in the floor and a sculptural wall to one side of the pool; although the spa is sunken, natural light penetrates the space via a small outdoor courtyard.

Main image credit: Niall Clutton

London Design Festival unveils sneak peek of its 2019 collaborations and events

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
London Design Festival unveils sneak peek of its 2019 collaborations and events

At an exclusive press conference at the Victoria & Albert Museum, the organisers and close partners of London Design Festival lifted the veil on just some of the collaborations, concepts and talent that will be displayed at the week-long festival between September 14 – 22. Editor Hamish Kilburn writes…

As Clerkenwell Design Week comes to a close, London Design Festival has been waiting impatiently in the wings to share what’s new for this year’s event. Sheltered within an apt setting inside the Victoria & Albert museum, which is the world’s leading museum for design and art, members of the press were given unprecedented access into some of the major collaborations, installations and talent that will be displayed during the week-long festival.

This year also marks 11 years with the V&A as a collaborating partner and the official Festival hub. During the Festival, the world’s leading museum of art, design and performance will once again play host to a series of specially-commissioned projects by internationally-renowned designers.

london street with installation and colour

Image credit: Walala Lounge, Camille Walala,

“The 17th edition of the festival, which launched in 2003, is all about collaboration and bringing people together,” said Sir John Sorrell CBE, Chairman of LDF. Sir Sorrell explained that LDF 2019 has teamed up to work with Benchmark Furniture. The festival has already identified and paired together 10 cultural leaders with 10 visionary designers in order to celebrate the potential and opportunities that can result from seamless collaborations. The concept, entitled Legacy, will involve each designer and organisation working together to craft something inspirational out of Red Oak with the aim to promote raw, intelligent and sustainable design. The sustainable wood species grows abundantly in the American hardwood forests, and will be fabricated at Benchmark Furniture in Berkshire. The pieces will be presented as a group exhibition at the V&A in September, after which they will relocate to the homes or institutes of each of the commissioners.

The 10 designers and commissioners are:

  • Dr Tristram Hunt, Director of the V&A, will work with Jasper Morrison
  •  Sir Ian Blatchford, Director and Chief Executive, Science Museum Group, will work with Marlene Huissoud
  • Yana Peel, CEO, Serpentine Galleries, will work with Ed Barber and Jay Osgerby
  • Alex Beard CBE, Chief Executive, Royal Opera House, will work with Konstantin Grcic
  • Amanda Nevill CBE, CEO, British Film Institute, will work with Sebastian Cox
  • Tamara Rojo CBE, Artistic Director, English National Ballet, will work with Martino Gamper
  • Dr Maria Balshaw CBE, Director, Tate, will work with Max Lamb
  • Iwona Blazwick OBE, Director, Whitechapel Art Gallery, will work with Raw Edges
  • Kwame Kwei-Armah, Artistic Director, Young Vic, will work with Tomoko Azumi
  • Sir John Sorrell CBE will work with Juliet Quintero
image of designers and cultural leaders

Image credit: LDF Legacy

Among the other installations to look out for at the festival is Matthew McCormack’s Falling Sky. The Canadian designer will exhibit a multi-story design-art installation featuring countless deconstructed, frost-like formations, conspicuously positioned over the heads of its onlookers.

Meanwhile, British designer Paul Cocksedge is transforming Finsbury Avenue Square, Broadgate, with Landmark Project, Please Be Seated. Located in the heart of Broadgate – a diverse hub connecting innovation and finance – the project will be the most ambitious of British Land’s commissions to date.

led lights abstractly arranged with black backdrop

Image credit: Sony Design

Sony Design will translate innovation into perceptual experiences is the theme for the creation of this interactive robotic pendulum: Affinity in Autonomy, an immersive installation that will explore design, AI and robots.

Camille Walala will return to LDF in a characteristically colourful manner. The French-born designer has been commissioned by Grosvenor Britain & Ireland to energise and enliven South Molton Street, in the heart of London’s West End, with a bold and beautiful family of street furniture. Combining head-turning colour and geometric shapes in monumental proportions, the 11 unique benches of Walala Lounge will give visitors something unexpected to look at – and to sit on.

Director of the festival, Ben Evans, took to the stage to explain the value of the festival’s various different districts and destinations, including Focus19, Design, 100% Design, London Design Fair,  “Each exhibition and district during LDF has its own personality,” he praised. “London has the biggest creative economy in the world, and design is a key part of it. London Design Festival celebrates and promotes London’s design excellence in a period when showcasing creativity is even more important.”

Established in 2003 by Sir John Sorrell CBE and Ben Evans, LDF celebrates and promotes London as the design capital of the world. London Design Festival has since earned the reputation as a key calendar moment of London’s autumn creative season, alongside London Fashion Week, Frieze Art Fair and the London Film Festival, attracting the greatest thinkers, practitioners, retailers and educators to the capital, in a citywide celebration.

Main image credit: Paul Cocksedge

Man walking in front of light installation

Editor’s round up of Clerkenwell Design Week 2019

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Editor’s round up of Clerkenwell Design Week 2019

The streets of London’s Clerkenwell came alive once more for another three days of exhibitions, installations and product launches. Editor Hamish Kilburn rounds up Clerkenwell Design Week 2019 as the festival enters double digits…

There is no other design festival in the world that harnesses the natural swagger to be able to pull off taking over a much-loved iconic nightclub and a desolate crypt at the same time.

Man walking in front of light installation

But Clerkenwell Design Week is an anything but ordinary festival, taking over an entire district to celebrate London as a leading design hub that incubates ideas, creativity and talent. As a proud media partner for the festival as it turns 10 years old, Hotel Designs was in the centre of the action, and here are some of our many highlights.

Following on from last year’s incredible installation with Brinton’s Carpets on St Johns Square, Timorous Beasties’ iconic designs were this year in the Project tent. The design studio’s provocative textiles were woven into the fabrics of Knightsbridge’s stand. Celebrating 80 years of British manufacturing – which is a feat on its own – the furniture company’s design director, Jason Brown, designed a 60s inspired furniture set, combining rich mustard with Timorous Beasties jungle-like patterns. “Yesterday, today, tomorrow,” he said when asked to describe the timeless collection in three words.

From one iconic design brand to another, Zaha Hadid Design Gallery opened its doors to present ‘Shaping Reality Through Time’, an exploration of Fitz Hansen design evolution. As well as looking to the past, the exhibition also showcased a number of new products that were launched at Milan Design Week, including Plenum, which is Hansen’s first dedicated contract furniture piece.

Let there be more light

The feeling of celebration was in the air, which was arguably most felt in the Light exhibition that took over Fabric. The nightclub that famously closed its doors permanently a few years ago was taken over by striking light installations. Many of the new products on display were sustainably designed using materials such as cork and even cardboard in  both the base and shade.

Graypants’ latest flagship Scraplights, made from recycled cardboard and inspired by a collection of pebbles, are cut with a laser and are assembled by hand using non-toxic adhesive. In addition, each and every product is treated with a non-toxic fire retardant, making them ideal for hotel interiors.

Geometric light installation

Image credit: Black Edge Productions

Meanwhile, British lighting brand NOVE displayed its fresh approach on sustainability with pendants in the company’s Cork Collection. Also using the sustainable material was the stylish ARKKI SKIRT & DRUM lamps are lightweight and eco-frindly. The ingenious folding structure allows for a ”pearl necklace” to shine between the pieces, and the white inside of the shade makes it a good light source. There are several wood veneer finishes and a number of laminated paper colors to choose from, all applied on a folding structure of durable corrugated cardboard. The lamps are flat-packed for shipping and mount easily by joining the ends of the fan-like shade and adding a disk that completes the clever structure.

Living room with cardboard lightshades in different colours

Image credit: ARKKI Skirt and Drum

Another highlight from the exhibition – and no stranger to CDW – was Haberdashery. The lighting experts displayed the company’s personalised Dawn To Dusk lamps that evoke the memory of the rising and setting of the sun. As if you were lifting the sun from behind the horizon and placing it in the sky, the light transitions from off through deep red and warm white, to the bright light of midday.

Taking over what used to be the dance floor under the shadow of the main stage was a dynamic installation by LUUM, a company that prides itself on delivering spectacular light installations that stir a sense of wonder, excitement and energy – all of which was captured effortlessly this year with an interesting play on LED technology and geometric, abstract shapes.

Blending architecture with lighting, LEDS C4’s GROK exhibited in the walkway by showcasing its latest products that reacted perfectly with the nightclub’s rustic charm. Visitors were able to immerse themselves around the company’s latest collections such as Ely, the wall light designed by Luca Turrini, new pendants in the Voiles collection by Céline Wright and Circular, which was hung spectacularly over the stand.

Other brands in the Light exhibition included Optelma, atelje Lyktan, Bert Frank, EBB & FLOW, Syska, and XAL among many others.

Mood lighting

Elsewhere around the streets of Clerkenwell, the possibilities of lighting was a topic explored in full. For the duration of festival, artist Liz West took over Domus’ lower ground floor area with her latest work Live Colour. Working against a minimal backdrop of XL format Magnum slabs at Domus, West has imagined a space with blue, pink, green, red and yellow rotating washes of each colour, against white floor and walls, with ‘pure’ white light as part of the cycle to normalise the overall colour intensity.

Audience at seminar in showroom

Image credit: Sophie Mutevelian

The installation uses Rosco’s patented SL1 Mix LED technology to create accurate Rosco gel matches and intense, saturated colour. Through West’s multi-sensory art, visitors to Live Colour will experience pure colour in an immersive environment like never before.

“Live Colour’ plays with people’s individual perception of colour, challenging how they feel when immersed totally in one colour, then quickly drowned in another in deep contrast,” explained West. “Colour is a universal language that is understood by all, although we each bring to the work our individual memories and lived experiences of colour.”

Seamless bathroom style

CDW wasn’t the only birthday celebrated at the festival. Bathroom manufacturer Duravit marked one year in Clerkenwell by exhibiting its latest contemporary products, including the VIU range designed by Sieger Design as well as the masculine matt black furniture and basin options.

Meanwhile, hot off the heals from ISH 2019 and Hotel Designs’ exclusive with VP of Design Michael Seum, GROHE teamed up with tile experts at Mosa to display its latest collections.

Flexible and fresh working spaces

Following on from Hotel Designs’ panel discussion at the Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam entitled ‘Designing For Bleisure’, CDW opened the doors to practical workplaces and furniture that many hotels and hotel designers can draw inspiration from. The modern BOB by Bisley, for example, allows the user to detach and personalise the unit to each consumer’s preference. Also exploring this concept in the Platform exhibition was HEX from Intarc Design. The interactive furniture solutions transforms with every use and has the functional ability to store tables, shelves, drawers and even include power supplies. Another stand-out piece that further blurred the lines between workplace and hotel design was the NAAVA living walls, which were displayed in the Design Fields exhibition. The wall is the only smart and active green wall that revolutionises the air consumers breathe.

man in front of installations made of plastic bottles

Image credit: Sophie Mutevelian

Key elements

Nestled on St Johns Square, which won the award for best suntrap of the week, Elements at CDW brought together a leading selection of ironmongery, hardware, switch plates and architectural accessories. Stand-out pieces included contemporary and colourful radiators by BISQUE and personalised light switches, electrical wiring accessories, circuit protection, smart lighting controls and multi-room audio that was on display on the Hamilton Litestat stand.

Inspiration for all 

Among the many engaging talks and seminars that took place over the two days was Morgan Furniture, which opened its showroom to a flood of a designers, architects and students to hear Tom Raffield talk about his latest lighting collection – and the art of steam bending. “Biophilic design is so important,” Raffield said. “I am really inspired by the fact that there are no striaght lines in nature.” Other sessions that went beneith the surface of sustainable design included Jo Ruxton’s Plastic in the Ocean talk at Humanscale and Material Matters by Grant Gibson and Gareth Neal.

One of the many traditional highlights of the festival for many is the Platform exhibition, which takes shape in the House of Detention. The exhibition recognises some of the world’s most exciting up-and-coming design talent. Exploiting the venue’s atmospheric architecture, Platform creates a stunning backdrop for a curated collection of international and cutting-edge design. Among the stand-out stands this year was fabric brand Monkey Puzzle Tree, which launched a new colour of its Passion Flower wallpaper. “We worked with artist Alexis Snell, a printmaker who works with beautifully unique linocuts to create Passion Flower wallpaper,” explained the brand’s Charlotte Raffo. “Known for her strange, dark, angular illustrations that look as if they’ve just emerged from a fairytale, Alexis’s work can been seen illustrating many books and her designs have also been commissioned by the Victoria and Albert Museum.”

Other brands who exhibited underground and projected emerging talent included Spitfire Furniture that combines aviation engineering with design, Trouping Colour, STORE and Russel Bamber.

Something fun to take away

Robot pole dancing

Image credit: Giles Walker/FUTURE Designs

The designer and manufacturer of luminaires and bespoke lighting solutions FUTURE Designs displayed ‘Peep Show’, an installation by kinetic artist Giles Walker. The installation, which featured robotic sculptures that dance, was created as a comment on the perverseness of some advancing technologies and their surveillance capabilities. Peep Show went viral on social media shortly after being shown in its opening exhibition.“There are parallels with the themes that run through my work and the physical creative process,” said Walker about the display. “Over the past 27 years that I have been making moving sculptures there has been a direct correlation between the technological progression of my work and the technological progression in the recycled material available. A lot of the mechanics found in my sculptures still come from under the bonnet of scrapped cars. So not only do my sculptures allude to displaced, rejected and redundant themes surrounding society, but they are also made of this very thing”.

The robotic sculptures included parts from the FUTURE Designs factory that were recycled to help create these thought provoking moving figures.

The 10th edition of CDW has been a celebration of a decade spent in EC1. The three day festival continues to highlight and celebrate the extraordinary creativity housed across London’s historic Clerkenwell. Representing the area’s dynamic energy and creative diversity, CDW has become a show like no other – championing the local community, established and up-and-coming design brands. Hosting more than 200 exhibitors, including more than 100 showrooms, seven installations, seven exhibition venues and a series of workshops, talks and walking tours, CDW 2019 certainly delivered.

Main image credit: Sam Frost

In Conversation With: Felipe Ávila da Costa, CEO of Infraspeak

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
In Conversation With: Felipe Ávila da Costa, CEO of Infraspeak

Arriving in the UK, Infraspeak is a powerful platform that offers fully customisable, sustainable technology for the hospitality market. Hotel Designs sits down with the company’s CEO and co-founder, Felipe Ávila da Costa, to find out more…

For years, the industry has been crying out for a platform that has been developed to make buildings smarter. Cue the UK arrival of Infraspeak, a solution for chaotic hotels that would benefit from improved operational efficiency and reduced costs of maintenance.

From humble beginnings in Porto, Portugal, the company was very much born out of the concept to bridge the communication gap between C-level executives and managers on the ground. Infraspeak’s journey, like so many other innovative tech-driven products, started at university with the initial idea to reduce paperwork for service men by introducing a digital platform. “It was Luís Martins who had the lightbulb moment for his final project,” explained co-founder and CEO Felipe Ávila da Costa. “His lecturer encouraged him to progress the idea, and it was at this point when he developed the foundations of Infraspeak.”

“Infraspeak emerged from the wings to take centre stage – and fast become one of Portugal’s largest start-up companies.”

After graduating, Martins kept Infraspeak as a side project – a hobby if you like – while working on other things. In his downtime, the he grew the brand’s roots in its colourful hometown of Porto. Soon, the demand for the game-changing software grew to the point that justified investment, which involved bringing Ávila da Costa on board. Infraspeak emerged from the wings to take centre stage – and fast become one of Portugal’s largest start-up companies.

Fast forward four fascinating years, the company now has offices in London, Porto, Barcelona and Florianapolis and 180 customers in seven countries benefiting from Infraspeak’s regularly updated software packages. “Every three weeks we automatically update the software, taking on board customer requests and the shifting demands from consumers,” explained Ávila da Costa. “Our software ensures that everything behind the scenes runs smoothly so that the staff can offer seamless service.”

One of the most recent case studies is InterContinental Palacio das Cardosas, which opened in 2011. By using Infraspeak, the hotel’s maintenance manager has reported a substantial reduction in maintenance calls. “Instead of 40 maintenance calls per day, now I only get 10,” he told the company. “For me, one of Infraspeak’s main advantages is that it allows me to stop worrying about everything that’s happening. It displays everything I need to know in a single platform.”

As well as improving communication between maintenance staff and the hotel, Infraspeak is a communication tool that is now used in other areas of hotel, such as house keeping, F&B and even energy management. “Every three weeks we launch a new software on the product so that the product starts to become a platform for all operational elements,” says Ávila da Costa.

How Infraspeak works:

One of the many unique selling points of the software is its sustainable aims. In a press release from the brand, the company explains that a staggering “80 per cent of hotel administration is largely paper-based and excel is most commonly used to run all hospitality maintenance. Infraspeak completely removes the need for paper as all facility management can be logged and traced to completion through the software. In addition, the product’s intelligent software uses data to start to predict problems in advance, rather than simply reacting to issues when they arise. This predictive approach to maintenance means Infraspeak saves time, money and resources with a sustainable and efficient approach.”

Quick-fire round

Hamish Kilburn: What is your number one bugbear when checking in to a hotel? 
Felipe Ávila da Costa: Waiting too long

HK: Iphone or Android? 
FAC: Android 

HK: What did you want to be when you were growing up? 
FAC: I wanted to be a film director, and then a bridge engineer and then a software engineer – it’s been a journey! 

HK: What’s the best thing about Porto? 
FAC: By far the personality of the city 

HK: What has been your largest regret in business? 
FAC: I’ve made lots of mistakes, but none have been regrets 

Although from the outside, the journey for the pair looks a seamless one, the reality is quite the opposite. “There have been many, many challenges. The first challenge was for hotels to come on board with our thinking,” explains Ávila da Costa. “We were lucky enough to get one of the largest hotel brands in Portugal to work with us. With 35 hotels in their portfolio, we really needed to understand their needs.”

From airports to shopping malls and of course hotels, the widespread demand for reducing paper waste and incorporating a seamless communication technology has allowed the company to straddle many markets. “Infraspeak is designed to be flexible, but the demand for hotels is massive,” explains Ávila da Costa. “We currently have more than 250 hotels using the product.”

Recent headlines in the mainstream news have demonstrated the need for individuals and companies alike to think further outside the box in order to become more sustainable. Platforms like Infraspeak are looking towards the future, providing practical solutions that are reducing carbon footprints around the world.

Samsung joins Hotel Summit and becomes a Hotel Designs Recommended Supplier

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Samsung joins Hotel Summit and becomes a Hotel Designs Recommended Supplier

The leading technology company, Samsung, is the latest top supplier to announce that it is attending the highly anticipated Hotel Summit at Heythrop Park from July 8 – 9, 2019… 

From smartphones to TVs, WiFi to tablets, Samsung is unquestionably a leading technology supplier in the hotel design industry – and is the most recent company to announce its attendance to this year’s Hotel Summit, which takes place at Heythrop Park, Oxfordshire, from July 8 – 9.

By signing up to the Summit as a Gold Partner, the company automatically is given the benefit of becoming a Hotel Designs Recommended Supplier for one year. The premium company will now benefit from monthly coverage on Hotel Designs for 12 months, promoting the brand’s product launches as well as having the opportunity to comment in many of the relevant topics that are explored throughout the year, including features on technology and sustainability.

The Hotel Summit is specifically organised for senior professionals who are directly responsible for purchasing and procurement within their organisation, and those who provide the latest and greatest products and services within the sector.

A highly focused event that brings together hotel professionals and key industry solution providers, the Summit consists of one-to-one business meetings, interactive seminars and valuable networking opportunities; in less than two days!

How to register 

If you are a supplier to the hospitality industry looking to meet top hotel professionals, contact Jennie Lane at j.lane@forumevents.co.uk– or click here to book your place.

If you are a hotelier and would like a complimentary ticket to attend the Summit, please contact Liam Cloona on l.cloona@forumevents.co.uk – or click here to book your place.

Samsung is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, click here.

The value of considered materials in bathroom design

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Modern, sleek and clean lines in a contemporary white bathroom

Image credit: Utopia Projects

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

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

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

Utopia Projects is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, click here.

How one boutique hotel is attracting modern travellers to Africa

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
How one boutique hotel is attracting modern travellers to Africa

Urbano Hotel is the modern design inspired boutique hotel located in the heart of Osu, Accra’s most vibrant neighbourhood designed by architect Hussein Fakhry…

With its landmark I LOVE ACCRA sign at the entrance, focus on design, attention to customer care, healthy food options and coveted location surrounded by international quality grocery stores, casinos, sports bars, African craft market, and thriving nightlife, Urbano is making waves on the African hotel design scene.

The hotel is part of the new hospitality trend in Ghana focused on affordable luxury and improved customer service that led the country to be named one of the top tourist destinations in the world.

“When we designed Urbano Hotel, we wanted to bring the concept of “New Africa” to life, an experience that fuses traditional African design and art with a cosmopolitan aesthetic and amenities that our guests are accustomed to when they travel to NY, London, or Paris or other top markets in the world. Urbano Hotel feels youthful and fresh yet a business traveller or family can still find comfort,” shares Fakhry, the Managing Director of Urbano’s parent company, Roots International and co-founder of Key Architectural Group who has more than 22 years experience on prestigious and diversified designs and construction projects throughout the Middle East and West Africa.

Team outside the sign 'I LOVE ACCRA' at hotel

Image credit: Urbano Hotel

It was the love and conception of urban neighbourhoods which promoted Fakhry’s team to revive and refurbish what was formerly the Penta Hotel into Urbano, a modern aesthetic piece, both internally and externally to enhance the facets of Oxford Street. Urbano Hotel features 43 rooms ranging from standard to the luxury bi-level suite and mini-apartment, a multi-functional hall with a capacity for 60, The Arabian, an indoor open courtyard, state of the art gym, The Terrace Bar, and Zaytoun Artisan Cafe featuring Middle Eastern specialities.

“Our utmost vision was to make Urbano Hotel a compelling, “must visit” destination within Accra and we complemented this objective with the mounting of the colourful “I LOVE ACCRA” installation which stretches across one side of the building to welcome every visitor to this culturally charming and vibrant neighbourhood. The millennial traveller is constantly documenting their travel experience on social media and Urbano’s facade lends itself to capturing iconic images of a visit to Ghana,” adds Fakhry.

Fakhry is passionate about the growth and development of Ghana’s tourism and hospitality industry and the possibility of the country emerging as a center of sustainable design in Africa.

“This year there has been a noted spike in travellers to Ghana due in part to Ghana Tourism Authority’s Year of Return initiative and several international conferences, music festivals and celebrity-driven tours scheduled to take place in the country. We are thrilled that discerning millennial travellers from around the world are travelling to Accra for both business and pleasure and finding Urbano’s eclectic style in alignment with their own sense of design, function and adventure and Osu serving as starting point to better understand the culture, dynamics and people of Ghana!”

Main image credit: Urbano Hotel

Making a statement in the bathroom with luxe pieces and finishing touches

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Making a statement in the bathroom with luxe pieces and finishing touches

While Hotel Designs is putting the bathroom under the spotlight following ISH 2019, recommended supplier Heritage Bathrooms shares ways in which to make statement using luxe pieces and finishing touches… 

According to the latest hotels forecast from PwC, the number of UK hotel rooms has risen significantly, increasing competition within the industry and providing guests with much greater choice.

And when it comes to the bathroom, these guests are increasingly prioritising hotels which not only have a functional space, but also provide them with a luxury experience that will live long in the memory.

By following some simple steps, this careful balance between functionality and experience-led indulgence can be easily achieved – allowing your guests to enjoy a beautiful, high-end bathroom space made up of bold, statement pieces alongside striking luxe touches.

Modern, quirky bath in contemporary bathroom

Image credit: Heritage Bathrooms

Give the gift of spa-like indulgence

Spa-inspired bathrooms provide guests with a special place to retreat and recharge during their stay. Blurring the lines between vanity areas, bathing areas and the bedroom is key to creating a luxurious spa-like bathroom space.

A statement bath is the epitome of a boutique styling, and a popular choice among hoteliers for bathrooms of all types.

To elegantly combine traditional simplicity with on-trend opulence opt for a stunning freestanding bath such as Heritage’s Madeira. The cast-iron material is also paintable, allowing for designers to select a custom shade of their choice.

Alternatively, a bath with a metallic finish, such as the Hylton from Heritage, provides an instant style statement and is available in copper, gold and stainless-steel effect finishes. The bath is acrylic and a light-weight alternative to traditional cast iron.

For smaller spaces, opt for ‘baby’ versions of roll top baths, which are smaller than the standard size and provide spa style that fits the space without compromising on luxury. We recommend styling a freestanding bath in the centre of a bathroom alongside a display table with toiletries to hand.

Evoke boudoir glamour with a bold basin

Bathroom basins are often viewed as a basic essential and can be overlooked when considering statement styling. However, a bold, on-trend basin can provide a striking, but subtle, focal point for a washroom space. A period inspired basin is an easy way to add a traditional twist to a more contemporary space, creating a boutique styled finish.

Double console basins work well in guest bathrooms and are especially ideal for guests travelling as a couple, with dual sinks and taps helping to minimise stress and create a harmonious atmosphere. The Victoria double console basin from Heritage bathrooms is a beautiful example of this style. The design draws inspiration from the Victorian era with beautiful, curved sculpted legs which offer a striking upgrade to a standard pedestal, giving an on-trend twist to traditional styling.

Alternatively, for rooms where space is not an obstacle, two identical basins in a ‘his and hers’ formation can be used to create a Jack and Jill style arrangement.  Increasingly in demand, this design will not only aid busy morning routines, but each guest will also benefit from their own personal area and additional space for toiletries.

Single basins, such as the Blenheim Console Basin from Heritage, can also provide standout boutique bathroom styling. The Blenheim showcases a wider single basin with sleek, delicately tapered legs, combining sharp angles with sumptuous curves and is reminiscent of the Baroque era, evoking boudoir glamour.

A rainfall inspired shower is an invigorating addition to a bathroom space and a popular choice for those seeking to recreate a personal, daily spa-like experience. Choose a shower with a large eight-inch rose, such as the Avenbury exposed shower by Heritage Bathrooms, for a luxurious, drenching soak.

Image credit: Heritage Bathrooms

With wet-room styled showers becoming increasingly desirable, it’s worth considering replacing shower trays with simple tiling and a glass partition to create a stylish, open plan finish. This walk-in design has a number of benefits, providing guests of all ages with ease of access and plenty of space to bathe while also making a bold style statement.

While well-chosen sanitaryware is key to the styling of the room, the smaller accessories and finishes are also vital to achieving an overall feeling of high-end luxury.  It’s important to consider how the accessories will coordinate and add to the overall styling of the bathroom space.

Stylish brassware in unique finishes, such as Heritage’s Mother of Pearl inlayed Gracechurch taps, can play a key role in achieving a high-end look – transforming taps and showers from practical items into jewellery for the bathroom. Pairing these with soft pink hues and cooler colours like greys and mints is an ideal way to make your metallics shine.

Where possible, hoteliers should look to add practical items in on-trend colours to add interest and a more sumptuous feel to the space. Shelving, statement taps, toothbrush holders and mirrors are all small, but necessary accessories that can help to transform the ambience of a bathroom.

Using mirrors in the bathroom is not only practical, but also helps to bounce light around the room which is perfect for smaller bathrooms where there is no natural light. A plain mirror, white paint or white storage might seem like an obvious choice to keep a room feeling bright, but these will only add to the clinical feel. Instead, consider an oversized statement mirror which will add an element of boutique personality and charm to the space.

With a large mirror, it is important that it’s positioned to reflect and amplify your key statement piece. For example, if you have a statement freestanding bath like Heritage Bathrooms’ Penrose, then by placing a mirror behind it you create double the impact it would have on its own. They can also be used to showcase and accentuate statement wallpapers by reflecting the pattern back into the room.

Another way to turn a bathroom a place of luxury escapism for guests, is to create a blend of the bathroom and bedroom in the design. Complementing an opulent mirror with a gilded vintage upholstered chair, antique lanterns and warm metallic accessories can result in a stunning dressing room-come-boudoir space.

For more inspirational tips and Heritage Bathroom’s full range of gorgeous bathroom products visit www.heritagebathrooms.com

Checking in to Moxy Chelsea, New York

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Checking in to Moxy Chelsea, New York

Tucked into the hustle and bustle of Manhattan’s historic Flower District, Moxy Chelsea is an urban design jungle. Journalist Hannah Kaplan checks in to check it out… 

There is nothing quite like the pulse of New York – its heart beat can be felt from miles away. The thump of excitement and possibilities draw the worldly and well-travelled from near and far in search of great opportunities and the prospect of their dreams becoming reality.

The steady stream of humanity to Manhattan brings with it an expectation of all things beautiful. Manhattan’s Chelsea is not only the entry point for floral beauty, but is now home to the 35-floor oasis that shelters Moxy Chelsea.

“It’s often true that many of New York’s best kept secrets are hidden in pockets sometimes so small one could easily walk right by.”

Part of the Marriott International group and designed by the studio Rockwell Group – and developed by Lightstone – this chic new spot opened its doors three months ago and dares its guests to aspire to all things beautiful in a refreshingly modern environment.

It’s often true that many of New York’s best kept secrets are hidden in pockets sometimes so small one could easily walk right by. However, this is one you won’t want to miss. Tightly nuzzled between dozens of flower shops, guests and locals alike enter through the Putnam & Putnam flower shop designed by Yabu Pushelberg. This charming first visual functions as a sort of a botanical library and homage to the Putnam & Putnam flower shop.

If the astonishing arrangement of freshly cut flowers first draws you through the front door, it’s the palpable smell of Moxy’s signature scent that keeps one floating through the interior space. The rose-like aroma creates a unique ambiance that wafts through the lobby and second floor, drawing guests upwards and on.

The lobby entrance where guests check in is very simple and inviting. There are two floating front desk pods that suspend from the ceiling – a subtle effect that creates more space, while simultaneously drawing your gaze up to the electronic display on the ceiling. The attempt here is to play with one’s senses, to have guests stop, pause and merge into the building’s sensory pulse. The digital ceiling boards were designed with a young millennial perspective in mind, with written messages like “You should Instagram This” flashing across the screen. You can even hashtag the #MoxyChelsea and have your image pop up in the lobby area.

Simple and clean check in area with the words 'meet' and 'greet' hanging on the walls in neon lights

Image caption/credit: Minimalist lobby area at the hotel | Moxy Hotels/Marriott International/Michael Kleinberg

The architectural design of the building is very much influenced by its surrounding flower district, but equally important are the playful touches of modernism and hints of Italian romance scattered throughout. The theme trickles out as far as the street-styled Italian Feroce Café and the Feroce Restaurant – both are an extension of the hotel and serve as a sort of love letter to Italy – an important tribute from Italian chef Francesco Panella.

This ode to Italy continues as guests migrate from the lobby area up a set of charming concrete stairs to the second-floor lounge. The floor’s dimly lit ambiance is matched by the sparse yet modern décor and creates a space that begs to be explored.

There are small spots for the solo traveler who need a space to work and cozy corners for groups who need a small couch and a table to place cocktails between whispered conversations. On the wall above, guests can gaze up at the incredible 20-foot-high life-like green wall, reinforcing the idea of an urban jungle – bringing the outside in.

Towards the back there are even private spaces available to rent for events, dinners, or just to lounge in. The idea is to bring guests out of their rooms – socialise, eat, have a drink – and to make sure the multitasking lifestyle is a communal and immersive experience for all.

Subdued meeting studios

Image credit: Moxy Hotels/Marriott International/Michael Kleinberg

For the guests who want to continue their socialising, The Fleur Room is the next destination. Located on the 35th floor, the intimate rooftop bar is open to hotel guests and locals alike, but for the latter you’ll need to make sure your name is on the list. The alluring glow of light and color birth a heightened space of intimacy and mystery. The sofa material is embedded with a floral design and the bronzed furniture surfaces are smooth and polished. Sink back into the comfortable couches and let your eyes settle on an incredible view of one of New York’s most recognisable charms – the Empire State building.

Dark-lit, open-planned room with lavish bar

Image caption/credit: The Fleur Room | Moxy Hotels/ Marriott International/Michael Kleinberg

As one drifts through the lush lounge space, a set of elevator doors appears midway through. Each elevator bank was strategically positioned to run through the center of the building, giving all bedrooms access to large windows and a beautiful view of the Manhattan skyline.

The guestrooms are approximately 200-square-feet but equipped with floor to ceiling length windows that compensate for a new trend in hotel rooms – small and efficient living spaces. And for what it may lack in size, it makes up for in appearance. The urban sleekness of the room supports the space efficiency of modern travel. Clothes can be placed on the hooks that run alongside the wall, which conveniently are located next to collapsible furniture (e.g. a small table and chair) hung vertically on the wall to use at one’s leisure – a contemporary take on “glamping,” if you will.

Image credit: Moxy Hotels/ Marriott International/Michael Kleinberg

The compact tiled bathrooms offer quirky sets of phrases like “GET WILD,” giving the room a playful feel and reminding visitors that the pulse of New York City awaits them outside. And to remind guests of the ever-present and rejuvenating floral theme, each sink knob resembles a steel garden hose frame.

The bold and modern design of the Moxy has created a space that endeavors to reform the way we perceive the hospitality industry as a whole — in this case, through the small and efficient styled rooms offset by the thematic design that encourages guests to get out of their rooms. It is also the romantic sense of Italian Café life and the simple love of flowers that Putman and Putnam won’t let us forget; The Moxy Chelsea reminds us that beauty and efficiency can co-exist and serve as portal for everything in New York.

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

In Conversation With: Patricia Urquiola on Laufen’s latest bathroom collection

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
In Conversation With: Patricia Urquiola on Laufen’s latest bathroom collection

As Hotel Designs continues its month putting Bathrooms under the spotlight, editor Hamish Kilburn sits down with designer Patricia Urquiola to understand more about her latest collection reveal with Laufen…

Patricia Urquiola is no stranger to Laufen, as the Spanish designer celebrated at ISH 2019 the launch of her third – yes third – generation of SaphirKeramik, and by doing so has created the new collection, Sonar.

Rediscovering the formal scope of the bathroom – and designed to be insurmountable in bathroom aesthetics – the expressive Sonar collection has already gone on to win an iF Design Award. The material, SaphirKeramik, was first used by the designer for Laufen in 2013 in novel washbasin designs that were simply not possible using conventional bathroom ceramics. Six years later, the material has been used in the brand’s Sonar collection and now offers even greater variety thanks to the addition of more washbasins, WCs, a bidet, a new bathtub and a suite of bathroom furniture.

I recently sat down with the designer in order to understand the context of Sonar as well as what she thinks the future holds for international bathroom design.

Hamish Kilburn: Why do you think more attention is being payed to the design of the bathroom within international hotel design?
Patricia Urquiola: I think that more attention is being payed to all aspects of hospitality and not just bathrooms. Hotel design is now all about an experience that one wants to transmit to the unknown user, and bathrooms are no exception. The design of the bathroom in a hotel project is very important, it is part of the whole room space, of the experience that a certain room can offer in terms of relax and wellbeing.

modern bathroom with colour and slick design

Image credit: Laufen

HK: What are your thoughts on color in the bathroom?
PU: My approach to colour, for bathrooms and every aspect of a project, is not absolute; it very much depends on the project. At times, color is central and it is therefore given a lot of importance and space, it becomes essential for forms to come to life. Other times, palettes are a lot more intimate with very little color and more attention to textures or materials. For example, the bathrooms at Room Mate Hotel Giulia in Milano are extremely colorful, they reflect the language that we used throughout the whole project.  On the other hand, for a recent project in Mumbai in which we featured the Sonar collection, the focus isn’t on color but rather on materials and textures: marble and wood contrast beautifully with the ceramic of the collection.

HK: How has SONAR evolved? What’s changed, in regards to bathroom technology, since the first generation of SONAR?
PU: Sonar is manufactured using a high-tech ceramic material called SaphirKeramik, a material developed by Laufen that allows for the ceramic to be very thin for an industrial product. When I started my collaboration with the brand it had already been used for previous collections, what I wanted to do was to really exploit the material’s characteristics: strong yet light, it has a glow to it and a certain amount of detail can be incorporated. I wanted to work with all these positive aspects of SaphirKeramik and experiment with three-dimensional surfaces, to try and add spatial volumes to it.

“I think that in 30 years’ time things will be very different, from the houses we will live in, the cars we will drive, the hotels we will stay in…” – Patricia Urquiola

HK: The inspiration for your latest collection was ‘soundwaves that spread in water’…Was this a lightbulb moment, and if so – when and where were you at the time?
PU: Usually inspiration comes to me in waves of moments, images, trips, people… it is hard to pinpoint it to a specific time. The strictness of architectural minimalism was definitely on my mind, a sense of lines, purity and geometry. But also water, its energy and its dynamic movement that never stops. The meeting point of these two ideas is the inspiration behind the Sonar collection, sort of a game between such contrasting shapes, between softness and severity. The lines etched on the exterior of the pieces fade on one end, disappearing back into the material, just like the waves in the ocean.

HK: In your eyes, what does the bathroom of the future (say 30 years from now) look like?
PU: That is very hard to imagine! I think that in 30 years’ time things will be very different, from the houses we will live in, the cars we will drive, the hotels we will stay in… we are moving towards a smarter future, things will be more specialised, personalised, mobile. Frameworks and systems will become more complex and we all will learn to navigate them. We are already seeing a very big change in materials, in how we make them and reuse them and this will also affect architectural projects, the way in which bathrooms will be designed and built will change radically. Spaces and functions are becoming hybrid, they are being redefined because our focus is shifting towards functionality.

Laufen is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, click here.

The designer shaping the future of water at GROHE

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
The designer shaping the future of water at GROHE

Post-ISH, Grohe’s Vice President of Design, Michael Seum, sits down with Hotel Designs to explain how its latest innovations are vastly reshaping the bathroom industry. Editor Hamish Kilburn writes…

If one were to imagine the bathroom industry as a quiet, glass-like lake, surrounded by tranquil surroundings, then ISH 2019 was a competition between creatives on who could make the greatest and loudest splash with just one throw.

While some manufacturers opted to hurl large rocks at the water, GROHE on the other hand decided to make its impact in numbers, by launching more than 500 new innovations and arguably creating the largest ripple effect, which has ultimately disrupted conventional bathroom designs as we know them today.

Ensuring that each product that launched skimmed across the surface, GROHE had a strategic throw to avoid it become submerged in the noise of the show. Its latest collections were designed around five mega trends, ‘new living spaces’, ‘consumers become creators’, ‘simplicity seekers – the search for simplicity’, ‘taking control’, and ‘intelligent life management’. The man leading the innovation of each product is Michael Seum, the Vice President of Design at GROHE, who describes his role simply as “connecting the creative horsepower design team to a business need.”

Image credit: Grohe/ISH 2019

Seum, who is the bridge between the innovators and the board at the company, knows more than anyone that the bathroom products of today will help to shape the way in which all buildings and hotels that are conceived in the future. “We identified big shifts in society, technology and the rise in rejecting single-use objects,” he explains. “We wanted to understand the mindset of consumers and concluded that we should be giving consumers the ability to take better control over the environment and one large framework was built around looking at the consumer, identifying a problem or strain and coming up with a solution.”

Once the solution has been established and visualised, Seum can unleash his weapon; his world-class team of in-house designers to create a new direction in bathroom design. “We honestly go through about 100 prototypes before the end user sees the result of a finished product ready for market,” Seum explains. “Within these, we explore different means of technology and this really in the power of design at GROHE. In a low fidelity way, we can sketch and build a product that can help to get the industry flowing in a certain way.”

QUICK-FIRE ROUND

Hamish Kilburn: I now have in my head that your house is full of prototypes… Am I correct?
Michael Seum: That’s funny. Unfortunately not, my house is actually very minimalist – think Nordic and simple.

HK: What is your biggest bugbear in design?
MS: lack of originality. In our sector in particular, things are copied a lot

HK: Should designers strive to put more colour in the bathroom?
MS: Absolutely!

HK: What is the number-one travel item you cannot travel without?
MS: Books, my headphones and my sketchbook

HK: What is your favourite trend at the moment?
MS: Lightweight furniture!

HK: Where’s next on your travel bucket list?
MS: Surfing in Portugal!

HK: In your opinion, what is the number-one tool for success in this industry?
MS: Learning and understanding the customer experience!

HK: Sustainability is a huge driving force in what you are doing. Is there a hotel that stands out in your mind as being built purely to be sustainable?
MS: Yes, actually. Zuri Zanzibar, which was designed by Jestico + Whiles, is really cool!

The bathroom industry is arguably the most congested sectors in interior design. Staying ahead in such a landscape takes true innovation and not being afraid to disrupt the current lay of the land – something that Seum does with ease. “Our products are not inspired by the bathroom industry,” he says. “Instead, I am more interested to look outside the boundaries of bathroom design and towards wider trends in, for example, lifestyle, fashion and lighting.

Image credit: Grohe

With bathroom manufacturers specifically, there has been a rise in the number of companies that are welcoming outside renowned designers and architects to inspire the look of new collections, but for Seum who is a former design consultant himself, the demand for this at GROHE is non-existent. “I’m not critiquing the designers when I say this, but I am yet to find a designer who has worked on a collection with a bathroom manufacturer that has done anything to conserve water and/or to eliminate single-use plastics,” he explains. “Therefore, its clear that these collaborations are aimed to purely add aesthetics to a product.”

The result of GROHE’s presence at ISH is that the company has defiantly launched products that are tailored to the needs of consumers as well as architects, interior designers and hotel investors. Creating intelligent water solutions to transform lives for the better, Seum and his team is succeeding in providing products that have the power to help designers build and create more intelligent and sustainable hotels around the world.

Main image credit: GROHE

Bathroom specialist Utopia Projects rounds up ISH 2019

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Bathroom specialist Utopia Projects rounds up ISH 2019

To kick-start our month of putting bathrooms under the spotlight, Utopia Projects reviews ISH 2019 by sharing its highlights of the show… 

In March, the world’s largest bathroom and heating trade fair, ISH, took place in Frankfurt Germany. With the exhibition taking place every two years, ISH this year attracted around 190,000 visitors all in search for the latest innovations. We took a handful of our clients across for the event to see what some of the world’s leading bathroom manufacturers had on offer.

The most evident trend across many of the manufacturers was digital products with integrated home automation. As with many industries technology is becoming increasingly important, and it is clear that this will be a big feature in forthcoming bathrooms. It was great to see colour feature heavily in many of the displays, with several brands presenting various colour options within their ceramic ranges; Villeroy & Boch, Roca and Laufen ranges were all offering strong and subtle tones for sanitaryware.

Including colour into your bathroom is a fantastic way to put a twist on the monochromatic trend that has been sweeping the interior design world for the past few years. A popular colour choice was black; a bold way to create a sultry and high-end space. Colour accents didn’t stop there either, with many of the manufacturers beginning to increase their special finishes beyond just taps, to shower heads, wastes and accessories. Brands such as Gessi and Victoria & Albert have introduced strong metal finishes within their brassware collections, which will create some drama in public area specifications. Having a wide array of finishes to choose from allows every element of a bathroom to be personalised to specific taste. This is due to the Brassware ranges on offer being now being in such a wide variety of finishes.

“Using large format solid surfaces, such as quartz, is becoming quite popular.”

Seamless design was another trend which we saw beginning to come through, and using large format solid surfaces, such as quartz, is becoming quite popular. These bespoke solid surfaces offer infinite design possibilities allowing every bathroom surface to be manufactured from one material, with minimal joints, creating a visually stunning design.

From all the brands displayed at ISH, a stand that really stood out to us was Gessi. This was due to their fantastic designs, not only for their products. The stand was innovative and eye catching, helping you envision how you can push boundaries for design. Gessi’s themeing for its stand was seemingly avant garde, yet on trend, following the popular outdoor-indoor trend in terms of rain showers, deep basins and large plants to finish.

Dornbracht and Alape took a very different approach to their stand, but was nonetheless as enticing. Both of their approach was subtle in comparison, teasing you into wanting to see and know more about the products. A final stand we were inspired by was by Roca. The company displayed their products as complete rooms allowing us to see variation in products as well as visualise them from a designers prospective. The video demonstration we watched on the stand of one of the mirrors showed us how futuristic and advanced the technology of a simple product can be, which is very exciting from a design point of view. We also saw that Emco is offering a lighting system which can be fully customised, even down to the shaver mirror and mirror cabinet, by one switch, to create mood and ambiance for a totally unique bathroom experience.

A final point we found interesting whilst at ISH was something which is very prominent in society today. Taking the theme of sustainability in its stride was GROHE, which launched products following a close look at consumer behaviour. By launching no less than 500 new innovations, the company’s new collections challenges conventional design of bathroom products and offers sustainable solutions designed to give consumers the ability to take better control. Roca also talked about how it is appealing to make its showers more environmentally friendly. The company plans on integrating digital showers into hotels in order to offer an incentive for users to take shorter showers for discount on future hotel stays. Multiple companies, not just Roca, are interested in monitoring how we consume water in homes, hotels and businesses, resulting in a large impact on the environment.

In conclusion, ISH once again gave an impressive demonstration of its importance for German and international visitors and exhibitors. The next ISH will be held in Frankfurt am Main from March 22 to 26, 2021.

Utopia Projects is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, click here.

Main image credit: Messe Frankfurt/ISH 2019

Leading designers and architects spoke at the inaugural IDAS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Media Partner: Future Constructor & Architect

Media Partner: Treniq

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

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

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

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

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

The stereo-inspired shower unit

Image credit: GESSI

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

GESSI is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, click here.

Main image credit: GESSI

Clerkenwell Design Week 2019 launches and new designs to bookmark

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Clerkenwell Design Week 2019 launches and new designs to bookmark

Ahead of Clerkenwell Design Week, which takes place from May 21 – 23, Hotel Designs takes a closer look at some of the major product launches and new designs to look forward to… 

Now that the sun has set on Italy’s capital following yet another successful Milan Design Week, Hotel Designs is looking ahead to identify many of the major product launches and new designs that are expected to be unveiled during Clerkenwell Design Week.

Set across seven exhibition spaces, CDW venues include Fabric, The House of Detention, St James Church and Spa Fields. Each venue reflects the unique nature of the culturally rich area, with leading UK and international companies exhibiting and launching new products between May 21 – 23. From luxury interiors to innovative lighting, emerging talent and the best of British brands, the exhibition spaces at CDW encompass every facet of design.

British Collection

British Collection is located in the Crypt of St James’s Church and showcases designers from all over the UK. For the fourth year, quality materials, design excellence and craft techniques will be championed in the striking setting. Iconic British furniture brand, ercol will exhibit its new VON collection by Icelandic designer based in New York, Hlynur V. Atlason which caters for three areas – work, home and play. Following an evident rise in apart hotels, Kitchen designers Pluck will launch Spoke, a new modular shelving unit inspired by Victorian bamboo furniture available in 11 laminate colours including a new palette of fresh yellow laminate with intense fumed oak.

Benchmark, the powerhouse of British craft will be presenting new upholstered versions of the OVO collection designed by Foster + Partners in an ebony finish. Hand & Eye Studio, meanwhilewill present the O-Beam, a highly versatile light that suits a myriad of spaces with a unique texture inspired by ceramics. Other renowned names in the British furniture industry exhibiting include Brixton-based cabinet makers West & Reid, Forest & Maker and Nathan Furniture.

Image credit: Adam Dale

Design Fields

Situated at the northern end of Clerkenwell, Design Fields in partnership with Kitchen Architecture showcases leading furniture, lighting and product design from around the world. Kitchen Architecture’s new outdoor kitchen range by Roshult’s is a unique interpretation of cooking and socialising outdoors. Italian furniture brand Tacchini has chosen to showcase PASTILLES in collaboration with Studiopepe at CDW for the UK launch. The collection comprises of small armchairs, ottomans and coffee tables, with soft, enveloping shapes that bring back childhood memories of sweets. This year sees Bauhaus taking centre stage for its 100 year anniversary and Thonet will celebrate all things Bauhaus at CDW. The company will present new interpretations of the side table series MR 515 by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and a new colour concept for the iconic Coffee House Chair 214, both by Studio Besau Marguerre. Other exhibiting companies include Danish company True North Designs, La Cividina and Ondarreta from Spain and SilentLab, all displaying innovation and clever use of technology in their designs.

Light

The former cold-store turned nightclub, Fabric aptly hosts Light, an exhibition dedicated to top international lighting brands within its cavernous brick vaults showcasing spectacular stand-alone installations. Exhibitors include NOVE lighting, which specialises in contemporary products using only natural, sustainable materials including cork from Portugal. Award-winning British brand Bert Frank will also present new lighting designs.

Swedish company ateljé Lyktan will present new lighting for both outdoor and indoor use, whilst Austrian based company XAL will present its revolutionary MOVE IT SYSTEM. Other exhibitors include Graypants, John Hollington Design, Lomas Furniture, Syska and ARKKI by Lovi.

Two women looking at lighting stand at exhibition

Image credit: Sophie Mutevelian

Elements

Design is in the detail – and details are showcased at Elements which brings together a leading selection of ironmongery, hardware, switch plates and architectural accessories within a street-market style pavilion on St John’s Square, becoming a go-to destination for designers looking for the perfect finish.

This year, Australian brand TIRAR will showcase beautifully tactile solid timber door furniture designed and made in Sydney, whilst Harbrine will launch Geo hardware, inspired by geometric forms in classical architecture. Designer Doorware will present the multi award-winning Monte Timber Collection. English ironmongers The Beardmore Collection will showcase contemporary products, whilst their master pattern maker will demonstrate the lost-wax casting process for visitors to witness one of the oldest forms of metal working. Aston Matthews will be exhibiting for the first time, showcasing a diverse range of taps and shower fittings including the Acme collection in scuffed brass and Alto in bronze. Other exhibitors confirmed for Elements include Dowsing & Reynolds, Hamilton Litestat (Hotel Designs’ Recommended Supplier)and Carrson International among others.

Detail

For fine craftsmanship and high glamour, Detail at The Order of St. John celebrates the most prestigious names in luxury interiors. The venues crypt, cloister garden and church are the perfect setting for the finest designs. This year at Detail, Sinclair Till will present Swedish company Kasthall’s latest rugs and carpets. Bespoke wallcovering company, Muraspec will present new products including the Eternity textile and Everglades grasscloth collection. Arte have created the Vanguard collection, inspired by abstract art from the 1950s. The company has also collaborated with Moooi to create a luxurious wallcovering collection, Extinct Animals, which first launched at Maison & Objet earlier this year. Each pattern is inspired by characteristics of one extinct animal from Moooi’s Museum of Extinct Animals. Anna Hayman Designs will present maximalist, luxury homeware inspired by the Bloomsbury movement and the Biba era of the swinging sixties. Other exhibitors include Danish furniture brand Cane-Line, Samuel Heath, Artwood and Altfield.

Platform

Platform showcases new design talent in the infamous surroundings of The House of Detention, a former remand prison which opens for the public during CDW. Junction Fifteen  will make its first appearance at CDW to showcase their new Morf Collection, a contemporary furniture collection made using sustainable materials and local craftsmanship. Trouping Colour’s latest exhibtion will showcase uncovered design talent chosen by a guest curator. Gwendoline Porte Design will present a modular concept RAILS, inspired by the form of railway tracks and the concept of ‘journey’. These limited edition functional sculptures are playful, graphic and ergonomic. They can be stacked on top of one another to form a column, multiplied to form a hexagonal, or separated to become a stool, chair, coffee table or side table. INTARC Design will showcase a modular furniture solution which allows for individual or collaborative working environments within a flexible working space, whilst Takumi Woodwork takes inspiration from Japan to create  handcrafted wooden furniture. Monkey Puzzle Tree will also be presenting a selection of unique designs in collaboration with fine artists. The business has a strong social conscience, paying the artists a generous royalty and supporting British manufacturing. Other exhibitors include Arte&Stili, Olenka, Pete Hill Designs, Decimal Design and Glas Design.

Image of colourful door on a church with the numbers 66 written

Image credit: Alistair Ramage

Project

Set within the beautiful grounds of St James Church, Project brings together a leading selection of contract furniture and surface brands from around the globe.  Project’s first outing was so successful it was extended to cover two linked pavilions and will be even bigger for 2019. AllSfär, a brand dedicated to improving workplace wellbeing will showcase a new range of acoustic products including Muffle and DIFFUSE, an innovative range of modular acoustic furniture. Sixteen3 will present a carefully curated collection of upholstered seating, both new and established. Flooring company Modulyss will present a range of carpet tiles for the contract market, whilst Hawk Furniture will exhibit at CDW for the first time, launching two new products perfectly suited to modern workspace interiors. Other exhibitors include Guialmi, Burgess Furniture, aeris, Amtico and Rigg.

In addition to the pop-up appearances, there are also, as ever, an abundance of new showrooms that are expected to arrive in Clerkenwell including Optelma, Vescom, Fredericia, Workstories, Duravit, Abstracta, Piemme Industrie Ceramiche S.P.A, Haiken Ltd, Savile Row Projects, Parkside and JPMA Global. New Clerkenwell resident, Fredericia will officially launch new pieces by the Danish American designer Jens Risom, in the UK for the first time during CDW. Luxury lighting brand Bert Frank will also open its first showroom in EC1 during CDW.

Hotel Designs is a proud media partner for Clerkenwell Design Week 2019. The team will be on the ground during the event – and if you would like to arrange a meeting, please tweet us @HotelDesigns.

Main image credit: Sophie Mutevelian

‘Fittest hotel in the world’ to arrive in New York

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
‘Fittest hotel in the world’ to arrive in New York

Fitness and lifestyle brand Equinox will open its first hotel in June. The 212-key luxury property will throw open its doors in the heart of New York City…

Equinox, a lifestyle brand that is widely known for its high-end premium membership gyms around the world, will open its first hotel in June. The 212-key flagship hotel, designed by architecture firm Rockwell Group, will be the first of many Equinox-branded properties to open with the aim to disrupt the luxury hotel landscape.

The brand’s first ever Equinox Hotel will open in Hudson Yards, and is said to be a true culmination of Equinox’s brand promise that will redefine travel as the world knows it. “We have obsessively pursued our enduring mission of life maximisation, becoming iconic by bringing luxury to a place where none existed,” the brand explains in a press release. “Now we are redefining luxury experience once again as a seamless extension of a life well-lived, elevating fitness, culture, and community for those who rest and play as hard as they work. The result is a place that matches the scale of our ambitions and the ambition of the very people for which we built it.

“Equinox is uniquely positioned to define an emerging category that is disrupting the industry.” – Chris Norton, CEO of Equinox Hotels

“In hospitality, lifestyle hotels have grown up and luxury hotels have gotten younger in their outlook and experience,” said Chris Norton, CEO of Equinox Hotels, in a statement. “Now, as health becomes the new wealth, Equinox is uniquely positioned to define an emerging category that is disrupting the industry.”

The hotel’s guestroom features include what the brand describes as “the ultimate sleep chamber”, complete with total soundproofing, a total-blackout window system, CocoMat all natural fibre mattresses, and Scandinavian-style duvets that enable temperature regulation. In true Equinox fashion, each guestroom will come with a foam roller, yoga mat, blocks and straps, whilst the mini bar contains a juice press and magnesium-based sleep supplements.

Render of atmospheric room

Image credit: Equinox

The overall design of the brand’s debut hotel transcends hospitality and elevates the art and science of fitness. From the moment guests arrive, and throughout their stay, they are promised to be immersed in a world of infinite possibilities, including access to a membership-based co-working community space located within the building. Designed to amplify comfort, creativity, and productivity, the hotel is described as an ideal place to meet and connect. Extraordinary environments and thoughtfully chosen elements come together at Equinox Hotels, reimagining how guests move, eat, sleep, work, and live.

The brand’s debut hotel in New York City will be followed with properties opening in Los Angeles, Santa Clara, CA, Chicago, Seattle and Houston.

Main image credit: 35 Hudson yards via Related-Oxford

NH Hotel Group unveils hotel room of the future

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
NH Hotel Group unveils hotel room of the future

The innovative concept of The Mood Room allows guests to customise their guestroom using a tablet to control lighting, music, curtains and temperature to suit their emotions and specific needs…

NH Hotel Group, Signify and CYBEROBICS have launched Mood Room, the “room of the future”, at NH Collection Berlin Mitte, the first hotel to feature the concept since a pilot project at NH Collection Madrid Eurobuilding in Spain and now featuring new fitness options.

This follows technology expert Jason Bradbury’s hotel review with Hotel Designs where he identified future hotel design trends, one of which was intelligent rooms.  Designed around three parameters – personalising guests’ experience, connected technology and sustainability – Mood Room enables guests to regulate the lighting, music and temperature to adapt the mood to their own tastes. Using only the touch of a tablet, guests can choose between six main pre-set modes and 19 moods to help them sleep, work and relax better, and enjoy a unique technological experience.

“Digitalisation is already an intrinsic part of everyday life in many areas,” said Maarten Markus, Managing Director Northern Europe NH Hotel Group. “Hotels must not be left behind; we need to be even more determined to open the way to change, testing out new services and solutions and offering them to our customers. With the introduction of Mood Room in our offering, our Northern Europe business unit now has a magnificent new easy-to-operate product, making a hotel stay an even more pleasant experience”.

“Guests can choose between six main pre-set modes and 19 moods to help them sleep, work and relax better, and enjoy a unique technological experience.”

For Signify, too, this partnership is an excellent example of how interconnection is generating entirely new models in the hotel industry: “The four Mood Room at the NH Collection Berlin Mitte are like a window into the future”, says Karsten Vierke, PR Manager of Signify in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. “Smart lighting and interconnection are becoming the order of the day at home and at work. Naturally, these changes should not suddenly stop at the hotel door. For me, a really satisfactory hotel stay involves a combination of good service, atmosphere and convenience. By working with our partners in climate control, lighting, music and fitness, we’re showing how smart technology and automation can create a whole new hotel experience.”

One of the new and distinctive features of the Mood Room at the NH Collection Berlin Mitte is the sports and exercise settings provided by fitness and lifestyle brand, CYBEROBICS. By selecting the “Set the Tone” mood, guests can interface with CYBEROBICS’s workout exercises, choosing between four different fitness videos: Yoga Power, Six Pack Attack, Quick Fit or Just Relax. Again, the system chooses the right type of lighting and mood for the occasion.

For Oliver Schulokat, CEO of CYBEROBICS, the Mood Room ties in perfectly with the new move towards ‘on-demand fitness’: “Digitalisation will have wide-ranging consequences for the way people train in the future to improve their physical fitness,” he said. “Our goal is to promote with CYBEROBICS that evolution, making fitness available to even more people and in this way turning it into a natural part of their everyday lives. That’s why CYBEROBICS covers all areas of life—at home, at work and in the hotel when we’re away. We see the NH Hotel Group as a generator of innovation in the hotel industry, using digitalisation to take its guest experience to a whole new dimension. At this point we are seeing many points of contact with CYBEROBICS’s vision. We’re therefore very happy to be launching this partnership”.

The Mood Room project, presented for the first time at the NH Collection Madrid Eurobuilding, has taken sustainability, connectivity and customer experience into account as key factors. Thanks to Philips RoomFlex, the Mood Room™ has become a totally individualised stay experience. Philips RoomFlex is a fully programmable system for controlling lighting in the hotel rooms, which can be easily integrated into the sensor technology and other systems, such as heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, visual protection and booking software.

LIVE FROM MILAN Foster + Partners and LG unveil world’s first rollable LED TV

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
LIVE FROM MILAN Foster + Partners and LG unveil world’s first rollable LED TV

Architectural firm Foster + Partners has collaborated with LG to design and launch the world’s first rollable OLED TV during Milan Design Week…

Launching during Milan Design Week, architectural firm Foster + Partners has unveiled the world’s first rollable OLED TV in reaction to the rising demand for discreet technology. Raising the bar in consumer technology, the new LG SIGNATURE OLED TV R, the world’s first rollable TV.

The practice has designed the TV’s external geometry and finishes as well as playing an active part in creating specific internal mechanisms. The screen technology is set to redefine the idea of the television and the living spaces it occupies.

“The design is a creative response to the challenge of creating invisible technology that is unobtrusive with a quiet sculptural presence,” said Mike Holland, Head of Industrial Design at Foster + Partners. “It dematerialises the screen, which can be automatically rolled in and out of a discreet minimalist rectangular enclosure when needed, offering a sense of liberation to design interior spaces.”

The television is omnipresent in most living spaces, and with screen sizes getting bigger it often dominates a room even when not being used. The new LG OLED rollable screen allows freedom from walls and offers a sense of liberation to design interior spaces. It features a sculptural minimalist rectangular volume crafted from aluminium, which contains the rolling mechanism and integrated speaker, fronted by matching tonal fabric. The ultra-thin screen rises from the top of this box, supported by a sprung steel backing and slender arms. The minimal detail and simplicity of design allows it to become part of a variety of interior spaces.

The stand will be on display at Tortona Zone, Superstudio Più from April 9th to April 14.

Main image credit: Foster + Partners/LG

Milan Design Week 2019: What’s on

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Milan Design Week 2019: What’s on

This week, hundreds of designers from all corners of the world will descend onto Europe’s soulful design hub that is Milan for the Salone del Mobile furniture fair, the Euroluce lighting show and other events happening within the city walls. Editor Hamish Kilburn cuts through the noise to identify what to bookmark over in Milan…

Design lovers are arriving in Milan today to attend what is arguably the most significant event in the design calendar.

From April 8 – 14, the Italian city  centre transforms into a creative hub that witnesses product launches, emerging trends, which this year are expected to be themed around health and wellbeing, bringing the outdoors indoors and creating closer human interaction.

Salone del Mobile, which is arguably the main event of the week, will be split into three categories this year there are: Classic – Tradition in the Future, drawing on the values of tradition, craftsmanship and skill in the art of making furniture and objects; Design – products that transmit functionality, innovation and a great sense of style and finally xLux – the section you’ll want to spend most of your time at – the luxury section devoted to timeless objects in a contemporary key.

Meanwhile, Euroluce the International Lighting Exhibition. The show, which has run every two years since 1976, presents the most innovative solutions in the field of light for interiors and exteriors.

As the shows open their doors, here are a few events to bookmark:

Sebastian Herker – Milan man of the moment

Image credit: Sebastian Herkner/Freifrau

Hot off the heels of becoming Maison Objet’s Designer of the Year, Sebastian Herkner is moments away from launching new products in Milan. On the both upcoming shows Salone del Mobile and Euroluce in Milan, the studio will showcase new products for brands like Ames, Dedon, Emu, Freifrau, Gloster, Pulpo and Thonet as well as designs for our new partner Vibia.  The studio will also present collections for Schönbuch, Wittmann and Zanotta.

Turri – architectural furniture

Image credit: Turri

The furniture company has confirmed that it will launch a new collaboration with architect Daniel Libeskind who will be on the company’s stand at Salone del Mobile on Wednesday April 10 to discuss the new project with the company. Until then, the furniture company thats motto is ‘The Italian way to Beauty’ is keeping extremely tight-lipped about what we can expect.

Swedish Design Moves – HEMMA goes wild

Image credit: Swedish Design Moves

Swedish Design Moves returns to Milan this year with HEMMA gone wild – a sequel to the 2018 exhibition, HEMMA – Stories of Home.

Curated and designed by Joyn Studio, HEMMA gone wild invites visitors to experience an abstract and playful vision of home, from hallway to living room and onwards through an unfolding scenography that showcases the best of Swedish design, drawn by curiosity and a mood of mystery.

Humanscale – Human touch

Todd Bracher, long-time collaborator with Ergonomic leaders Humanscale, and Studio TheGreenEyl have designed an immersive, interactive experience. Bodies in Motion will invite visitors in to explore human movement, as represented through dramatic beams of light. The display can be seen in the historic vaults located under Milano Central Station, as part of the third edition of Ventura Centrale.

USM

The Swiss furniture innovator USM will be returning with their mega-structure at the Fair in collaboration with UNStudio. Visit their stand (A07/B06) in hall 20. If you’re visiting on Tuesday, CEO & Great-Grandson of USM’s founder Alex Schaerer will be on the stand, as will Ben van Berkel, UNStudio founder and Ren Yee, Head of Design/Strategies, UNStudio. If you would like an interview with Alex, Ben or Ren let us know and we will help make arrangements.

Minotti 

Returning to the fair, the Italian furniture company in familiar surroundings will launch its 2019 Collection of luxury and timeless pieces. The premium furniture brand, which was Hotel Designs’ Exclsuive Style Partner for Meet Up London, will unveil all on its stand. Minotti will premiew the new collection, coordinated entirely by Rodolfo Dordoni, which also includes some products designed by Christophe Delcourt. The collection is a return to its roots, but with a vision of the future, to innovate while staying true to our style and our traditions. The inspiration for a collection marked by an intriguing layering of influences and styles, for a timeless elegance that is nonetheless strikingly unexpected.

Brodie Neill – Plastic in the ocean

Image credit: Brodie Neill

Following the sustainable Gyro table – a circular table featuring a top made from inlaid fragments of recycled ocean plastic, designer Brodie Neill will launch yet another public statement to highlight climate change. He will unveil a contemporary hourglass filled with microplastic instead of sand during Milan Design Week in order to highlight the issue of ocean plastic pollution.

Nendo – Breeze of Light

The Japanese studio Nendo will present a new lighting display entitled Breeze of Light. This installation, in collaboration with Daikin, evokes the sensation of a comfortable breeze by the movement of light and shadows, not actual air. A virtual flower garden is illuminated using 115 individually-controlled spotlights directing light on 17,000 flower-shaped polarising films. Changes in shadow intensity of the flowers produce the effect of a breeze passing through the garden.

Tom Dixon

Going against the grain, Tom Dixon took the decision not be showcasing products at Salone del Mobile. Instead, he’s opening his own restaurant and his furniture, lighting and accessories will feature throughout the restaurant’s dynamic mise en scene.

Salone Satellite 

Exhibition hall

Image credit: Salone del Mobile

As Hotel Designs continues to support young emerging designers, the Salone Satellite is to place to be if you want to discover new talent. Back for its 22nd edition, this year’s theme ‘Food as Design Objects is aimed to challenge designers to debate climate change and

Ahead of the event, Claudio Luti, President of the Salone del Mobile, had this to say: “At this particular time of great success for Milan, it is important to consolidate the Salone del Mobile’s powersof attraction, offering its visitors not just a wide range of products, but, especially, opportunities for international interface and for reflection on the relationship between creativity and business.”

Milan, the moral capital of a thriving design hub, has opened its doors as designers, architects flood in. The small city with a large personality is ready to witness many moments that are about to written and no-doubt go down in design history.

Main image credit: Salone del Mobile

Duravit launches personal touches with Viu and Xviu

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Duravit launches personal touches with Viu and Xviu

The Viu and XViu series from Duravit, both giving the modern bathroom a personal touch, feature V-shaped profiles in Champagne Matt to introduce an individual and unmistakable design statement…

Duravit and sieger design present a complete bathroom range – Viu ceramics and XViu furniture plus matching bathtubs – which exudes forward-looking design. The post-industrial elegance of the pieces emerges from the interaction of soft, organic forms with a precise geometric detailed finished.

A sharply defined contrast arises from surfaces that combine the finest ceramics, glass and metal with matt lacquers or high-quality woods.

The new range includes the entire bathroom: the washing, bathing and toilet area. Significant design features and special details re-occur throughout and are the defining elements of the harmonious interior design.

The highlight is a washing area based on the patented Duravit c-bonded technology. The exterior is a strict rectangle, while the interior features gentle organic curves with a spacious inner basin and generous shelf. The edge running along the tap platform continues creating an outer line. The subtle detail of the horizontal overflow within the basin underlines the horizontal alignment of the external shape. The ceramic on the inside is reminiscent of the softness of water.

Some surprising details: The white ceramic cover of the push-open valve is flush with the inner basin in the open position. The prominent contour of the supporting metal console with its V-shape profile in elegant Champagne Matt or avant garde Black Matt creates dynamic interest. Uniquely individual combinations can be created thanks to the glass shelf which is available in four colours.

From a different angle, the three-dimensional feet of the metal console are visually transformed into fine lines. This level of perfection extends to the smallest detail. The acrylic panelling on the underside of the basin conceals the fixing structure, cables, and connecting hoses, with the result that the elaborate technology, for example for the D.1e electronic tap, does not impact the design.

Fully glazed from beneath, the Viu washbasins, available in five sizes, as well as a handrinse basin, are also ideally suited as individual solutions. Their shape follows the design of the c-bonded washbasin.

The alternative variants for the washing area, with furniture washbasin, built-in washbasin, or above-counter washbasin and matching vanity unit with pull-out compartment or two drawers, feature striking V-shaped lateral aluminium profiles.

These are also available in Champagne Matt and Black Matt and lends to the XViu furniture range’s striking contour. Tonal as well as contrasting options can produce different combinations. By using a variety of materials including a range of high-quality real-wood, lacquer and décor finishes you can create a wealth of stylish collections from “Silver” to “Dark”.

Door variants in semi-transparent smoked glass are available for tall and semi-tall cabinets, which have technically correct subtle, smooth hinge straps for a soft opening and closing of the doors.

The mirrors and the mirror cabinets with their fully-mirrored sides reflect the individual design language of XViu. The models fitted with a sensor switch offer dimmable lighting and the variant with icon control on the mirror surface, a first for mirror cabinets, also features the ambient light mode and colored light switching function: at a luminosity of more than 300 lux, the light color can be continuously adjusted from 2,700 (warm light) to 6,500 kelvin (cold light).

Heating is available for all mirrors and a standard feature for icon variants.

A further highlight of the XViu series is the free-standing bathtub, which creates an eye-catching centerpiece. Here, too, the prominent metal frame with the familiar V-shaped profile comes in Champagne Matt or Black Matt as a contrast to the high-gloss white acrylic.

It supports the free-standing bathtub (two sizes: 160×80 cm and 180×80 cm), which is a precise rectangle when viewed from above. It has an ergonomic and organic free form interior, with a precise finish and perfect aesthetics. It subtly integrates the outlet, which underlines the sophisticated design.

The interplay of the basic geometric shape, with precise lines and optimized gentle inner shape
is a key feature of the toilet in the range. Metal push buttons positioned on the sides allow the removal of the seat cover, making cleaning easier.

The technically-demanding realisation of the open flushing rim thanks to improved Rimless® technology ensures outstanding flushing performance. SensoWash Slim is available as an option for the toilet. The combination with the Duravit A2 electronic actuator plate and matching wall-mounted element provides operating comfort of the highest standard.

The new D.1 and D.1z faucets, along with the electronic D.1e variant, perfectly match the design. The XViu bathroom programme is available in 34 finishes and combines well with the ceramic series VeroAir, ME by Starck and P3 Comforts. Viu ceramics can also be combined with the XSquare, L-Cube and Brioso furniture series.

Duravit is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, click here.

Timothy Oulton unveils lavish SS19 collection

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Timothy Oulton unveils lavish SS19 collection

The luxury design company, Timothy Oulton, which prides itself on being an authentic and daring source of energy and inspiration, unveils its SS19 collection… 

Driven by a burning desire to create experiences that touch people in a significant way, while living by the motto that “life is better with a bowler hat”, Timothy Oulton has unveiled its SS19 Collection , an assortment of items that have been designed with the idea that truly authentic materials and human-scaled design have the power to change how people feel.

With the belief that great creativity is both enduring and yet perennially fresh, the SS19 collection sees Timothy Oulton bring its authentic handcraftsmanship approach to a gamut of new visceral and richly sensorial materials, which include seleneite crystals, printed velvets, sheepskin, deep handfinished leather and reclaimed Edwardian parquetry. “I like good design, whether traditional or modern,” Oulten said in press material around the collection. using original time-honoured techniques, the studio prides itself on using only the best traditional methods in its products.

The newly unveiled collection includes an update on Timothy Oulton’s innovative lighting range. Continuing last season’s foray into natural minerals and rocks is the Selenite collection of pendants and sconces. For the large Selenite pendant, more than 560 individual crystals are affixed by hand to create a dramatic stalactite-type effect.

“We look for the most authentic, sensory materials and then think how best we can use it.” – Timothy Oulton

Meanwhile, the Inception mirrors – now available in three separate sizes – give a nod to the ’70s. Inspired by the era’s infinity mirrors, each Inception piece lights up to reveal a seemingly endless line of reflections, appearing smaller and smaller as they fade into the distance. When turned off, it becomes an elegant, everyday mirror.

Timothy Oulton's Speakeasy Monaco Bar & City

Image credit/caption: Timothy Oulton’s Speakeasy Monaco Bar & City

“It always starts with the materials first, we look for the most authentic, sensory materials and then think how best we can use it,” said Oulton when commenting on the inspiration behind the new designs. “Great interiors have the power to change how you feel, so whether it’s down time or entertaining, it’s about engaging the senses and feeling alive. That’s an energy that we try to embody in all our products, and it was very much the driving force behind our 2019 Collection.”

Among the stand out pieces is the eye-catching Studio Sofa, an addition to the Metro collection, which can now be finished in Acid Jungle velvet fabric, which is, as Oulton describes: “an expression of modern-urban cool”. The new fabric, which depicts a jungle scene against a night-time backdrop, is deliberately not pattern-matched, meaning that no single item within the collection is the same.

Also new to Metro, is the smart and sophisticated City armchair, a leather swivel chair that can transform any room into a multifunctional space. And the rugged yet elegant new Milano chair, with its minimalist oak frame and luxuriously thick leather, is the perfect way to inject style into an urban apartment. The Milano takes its cue from the Italian design movement of Rationalism and in particular the work of Gruppo 7, a group of architects who wanted to reform Italy’s architecture in the 1920s to strike a balance between classicism and industrially-inspired design. The Milano chair embodies the movement’s simplistic yet well engineered furniture with its clean lines and modern, comfortable sit.

Building on the ruggedly refined palette of the Loft range, Timothy Oulton introduces for the first time the Buck’dN Brok’n leather onto the Westminster Button sofa, its classic Chesterfield model. Previously featured on the iconic Saddle Chair, Buck’dN Brok’n is characterised by its deep scores and scratches that evoke an aged and storied life. The idea of a life well lived is also embodied by the new Edwardian collection, featuring tables and mirrors fashioned from reclaimed parquetry oak and mahogany that originally formed the floors of Edwardian dance halls in the UK.

A warm, weathered oak frame and luxuriously thick leather bring a relaxed and welcoming feel to its minimalist silhouette. Milano is perfectly suited to
contemporary interiors and evenings by the fire, just make sure the whisky’s ready nearby.

Extending the range of Timothy Oulton’s offering, the collection changes gears with the wildly luxurious long-haired Yeti Sheepskin, newly available in black and brown. Yeti is showcased on the rustic new Cabin bench, inspired by the cosy feel of traditional forest cabins, and the Trio chair, a creative reinvention of a traditional slipper chair with generous proportions.

Timothy Oulton's Loft Vignette3 Cabana Yeti

Image credit/caption: Timothy Oulton’s Loft Vignette3 Cabana Yeti

While the new collection’s dynamic accessories arguably takes centre stage, the company is also dedicated to produce sustainable items with its Noble Souls collection, which launched last year. Including three sofas within the collection, all of which have different profiles, the feather-filled sofas come in a variety of fabric finishes.

With more than 40 galleries around the world – from New York to Hong Kong to Sydney, and a flagship in Chelsea, London – Timothy Oulton continues its plan of opening new stores in great cities around the globe, with recent additions including Seoul and Abu Dhabi.

In addition to launching innovative products, the studio has also been responsible for the completion of hospitality projects such as 1880 members’ club in Singapore, The Blue Room at the Los Angeles Athletic Club, and Glazebrook House Hotel in Devon, England.

The latest collection from the brand is a refreshing insight into the mind of the visionary behind the brand. Oulton’s journey, which started in 1976 when he set up his first boutique antiques shop that was owned by his father, has led him to become one of the industry’s most creative individuals. Continuing tradition, each Timothy Oulton piece in the SS19 collection is inspired by the past, but reconceived from a modern perspective, producing yet another uniquely authentic collection that further pushes the boundaries of interior design.

Main image credit: Timothy Oulton’s Metro Collection Studio Sofa with Acid Jungle velvet fabric 

Nobu Hotel Los Cabos opens

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Nobu Hotel Los Cabos opens

The opening of Nobu Hotel Los Cabos marks the hotel group’s debut into Mexico…

Officially open today, Nobu Hotel Los Cabos, debuts 200 stylish guestrooms and suites. Both WATG and Studio PCH have blended Japanese minimalism with locally sourced Californian raw materials, such as custom furniture pieces, wood-soaking tubs, teak and stone materials, shoji-inspired closet doors and Japanese inspired lanterns.

The first Nobu Hotel in Mexico, perched beachfront on the southernmost tip of the Baja Peninsula, houses elegant meetings and event spaces, a luxurious spa with Natura Bissé products and, what all Nobu Hotels must have…a spectacular Nobu Restaurant and Bar with ocean views, making this the third Nobu restaurant in Mexico.

Light and bright public dining area

Image credit: Nobu Hotel Los Cabos

The natural growth of Nobu Hospitality, built on service, image, and reputation, offers the complete spectrum of hotel, restaurant and residence management for unique projects around the world.

Founded by Nobu Matsuhisa, Robert De Niro and Meir Teper, with operations spanning five continents, the Nobu brand thrives in the world’s capitals as the ultimate destination lifestyle experience.

Also set to open in 2019 are properties in Barcelona and Chicago, with Warsaw recently announced for 2020.

Main image credit: Nobu Hotel Los Cabos

Accor’s Aparthotel brand Adagio arrives in London

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Accor’s Aparthotel brand Adagio arrives in London

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

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

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

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

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

Image credit: Accor/Adagio

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

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

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

Main image credit: Accor/Adagio

SPOTLIGHT ON: Vaughan unveils timeless wall lights for guestrooms

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
SPOTLIGHT ON: Vaughan unveils timeless wall lights for guestrooms

The lighting experts at Vaughan has recently unveiled a series of wall lights available in three different finishes… 

Vaughan have recently designed a collection of wall lights specifically for guestrooms called the Malden and Medway reading lights.

Vaughan’s recently unveiled reading lights are perfectly suited for directional bedside lighting. The products are available with either a stepped backplate (Malden) or flat backplate (Medway) and come in a choice of three finishes; brass, bronze or nickel finishes with optional covering in brown or black leather.

With a highly flexible and adjustable goose neck arm with an LED spot, the Malden and Medway reading lights have quickly become an essential requirement of a guestroom.

In a recent project, Vaughan assisted with decorative lighting for the stunning transformation of the beachside hotel, Carbis Bay Hotel near St Ives, Cornwall. Vaughan supplied a collection of Vaughan products perfectly suited for the light and spacious bedrooms with sea views and one of the key products in every guest room were the Malden and Medway reading lights.

For more information on the Vaughan collection, please contact the contract sales department – contract-sales@vaughandesigns.com

Vaughan is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, click here.

SPOTLIGHT ON: IHG pilots new lighting technology

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SPOTLIGHT ON: IHG pilots new lighting technology

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

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

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

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

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

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

Main image credit: IHG

FEATURE: “Industrial bathrooms are here to stay,” say bathroom experts

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FEATURE: “Industrial bathrooms are here to stay,” say bathroom experts

Following ISH this month, PR and marketing firm Esprit breaks down why industrial bathrooms are not going anywhere soon in international hotel design…

Historically a 20th Century style, the industrial trend has a new look and feel.

No longer relegated to offices or loft style apartments, industrial design elements can be seen all over the home even in the bathroom.

“This somewhat harsh, gritty, uniquely urban, style has evolved.”

The original industrial trend has been around for years; but this somewhat harsh, gritty, uniquely urban, style has evolved.  The most obvious aspects such as rough textures, weathered surfaces, concrete, exposed brick and pipe work can look a little harsh in the home.  The use of muted and matt colours, such cool greys, blacks and anthracite work well, helping to achieve a “softer” Industrial look.

The use of metals including steel and aluminium, in both product design and construction, sets the scene, whilst dim lighting and brushed metal drains with matching bathroom accessories completes the industrial vibe.

Image credit: Kaldewei

The versatile, Nexsys Shower Solution is an innovative, award-winning four-in-one system which can be installed immediately, there are 17 different surface colour options including Cantania Grey Matt and City-Anthracite Matt, these can then be combined with five different waste channels variants.

The delicate filigree design of the free standing Miena washbasin made from a single layer of Kaldewei’s superior steel enamel perfectly complements an industrial style bathroom, due to its simplistic form and shape.

The industrial look in the bathroom can be further enhanced with a radiator from VASCO.  Providing a combination of energy efficiency and warmth VASCO radiators are available in variety of contemporary colours and textures; including Metallic Grey, Grey Aluminium, Anthracite Grey and Slate Grey.

Select from edgier, textured radiators such as the Bryce or the Carre which can be supplied as a curved radiator and further endorses this trend with its narrow bar design.

Image caption: Happy D2 from Duravit

Dark, industrial colour accents never fail to impress. By adding a contemporary, monochrome element, AQATA’s Matte Black Collection is a new addition to their successful Design Solutions range, available on DS400 shower screens and DS440 double entry shower screens. As well as matte black profiles and steady bars, there are also three glass patterns; grid, horizontal and border designs available.

In collaboration with sieger design, Duravit’s latest Happy D.2 Plus series reflects current industrial trends in colours, design and finishes. The above-counter washbasins striking individuality comes from the new striking two-tone colour variants of Anthracite Matt and glossy White. The colour concept of Happy D.2 Plus extends to toilets and bidets, with the interior of the toilets finished in glossy Anthracite for optimum hygiene.

Duravit’s Stonetto shower tray is designed to give the appearance of stripped back, water–worn stone, available in lighter shades, when used in anthracite or concrete gives the bathroom an edgier industrial feel.

Image of various industrial products from the range

Image credit: Unidrain

Finally, for maximum impact, Unidrain’s award-winning Reframe Collection brings together the finishing touches to an urban bathroom with their Scandinavian inspired designer accessories including; soap shelf, towel bar, toilet brush. The Reframe Collection mixes sleek design with metallic tones, available in five different colours including; Black, Copper, Brass and Brushed and Polished Stainless Steel.

Hotel Designs will be focusing the spotlight on the bathrooms this May and is currently acccepting editorial ideas. To submit your news/feature ideas, please email the editorial desk.

Main image credit: Aqata

Rosewood Hotels arrives in Hong Kong

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A new global icon for Rosewood Hotels & Resorts is established at the most distinguished address in its home city of Hong Kong…

Rosewood Hong Kong has opened as a magnificent new ultra-luxury property in the heart of the Victoria Dockside district on the shores of Victoria Harbour. Situated on one of Hong Kong’s most significant waterfront locations in Tsim Sha Tsui – Kowloon’s dynamic, culturally compelling heart – the property is set to become a grand icon for the city, celebrating the area’s role as Hong Kong’s new creative and cultural epicentre.

The opening of Rosewood Hong Kong is a defining milestone for the group, solidifying its stature as one of the world’s most dynamic hotel brands and a leader in global style.  This showpiece of the brand’s highest aspirations epitomises Rosewood’s essence and represents the complete manifestation of a differentiated and modern expression of ultra-luxury hospitality.

Exterior of hotel

Image credit: Rosewood Hotels

From the brand’s inception 40 years ago as a fine private home that opened its doors to guests, each Rosewood hotel continues to be guided by A Sense of Place® philosophy and the concept of the hotel as a living canvas celebrating artistry in all its forms.  This spirit reaches its zenith at Rosewood Hong Kong.  Guests can experience the first urban outpost of the brand’s pioneering wellness concept; gastronomic innovation showcasing locally grown and artisanal ingredients; masterworks by the world’s most highly acclaimed artists; and supremely stylish, residentially natured gathering and living spaces – all within a masterfully designed and meticulously curated journey in architecturally bold environs commanding the harbour.

“The site is the former Holt’s Wharf, dating back to 1910.”

Rosewood’s opening in Hong Kong marks the evolution of another meaningful historic legacy.  The site is the former Holt’s Wharf, dating back to 1910, which subsequently became New World Centre, a lifestyle magnet for the city in the 1980s, which holds a unique place in the hearts and minds of local residents as a place of discovery and wonderment.  New World Centre – a proud expression of Hong Kong’s evolution – was the creation of Dr. Cheng Yu-tung and Dr. Henry Cheng, the grandfather and father (respectively) of Rosewood Hotel Group Chief Executive Officer, Sonia Cheng.

“With Hong Kong evolving from a business and financial centre to become a true global cultural capital, I wanted to create an iconic property that not only showcases the city’s rich history but also reflects its bright future,” says Cheng. “New World Centre was conceived as my grandfather’s ultimate gift to Hong Kong, a celebration of its progress, vibrancy and spirit.  I hope that Rosewood Hong Kong enhances this legacy and helps fulfill his and my father’s vision for the city that they loved. Rosewood Hong Kong sets bold new benchmarks for design, guest experience, cuisine, and culture. Our ambition is to create a new world standard for ultra-luxury hospitality and a focal point of the vibrant Hong Kong lifestyle, reflecting its incredible dynamism, style and diversity.” 

The Kohn Pedersen Fox-designed, 65-storey exterior pays homage to the city’s impressive verticality.  Renowned hospitality designer who designed the London property Tony Chi of New York studio tonychi has created an immersive experience for a new age of elevated residential hotel living. An homage to Rosewood’s origins as an aristocratic manor, Chi has conceived the entire hotel as a “vertical estate” which incorporates significant green spaces and outdoor areas throughout.

“More than 80 per cent of Rosewood Hong Kong’s rooms boast standout harbour vistas.”

Masterful and important art throughout the property includes works by internationally acclaimed artists Henry MooreDamien Hirst and Bharti Kerr, as well as China’s Wang Keping and homegrown Hong Kong artist Wilson Shieh. Significant works are juxtaposed with an eclectic, whimsical approach to decorative arts throughout the hotel.

More than 80 per cent of Rosewood Hong Kong’s rooms boast standout harbour vistas, with the remainder featuring verdant Kowloon Peak views overlooking the fabled Lion Rock and scenic mountains. Generous “salons” on each guestroom floor from the 24th level up feature carefully selected objets that reflects Hong Kong’s richly layered past.

“For me, Rosewood Hong Kong is the majestic ‘estate on the harbour’ that pays reverent homage to the great founding family that built and operates it, and also the legacy of its surrounding community,” says designer Tony Chi. “Having designed Rosewood London — an elegant mansion in a royal city — and being in the process of refreshing The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel, in New York, an iconic residence in Manhattan’s Upper East Side; there’s a remarkably rich and overarching sense of continuity and a sense of place that binds all these properties together.”

Generous space and residential luxury are the hallmarks of Rosewood’s 322 light-filled guestrooms, which start at 53 square metres and include the Grand Harbourview Rooms, boasting panoramic views of Hong Kong Island. Elevated homely comforts include curated interior details, considered amenities, generous marble bathrooms with a freestanding soaking bath, separate, freestanding vanities and twin showers, as well as spacious walk-in closets.

Rosewood Hong Kong is home to the highest number of suites of any Hong Kong luxury hotel and also some of the largest.  The 91 suites, starting from 92 square metres, offer carefully curated stays, bespoke services, and inspired interiors. Suite guests enjoy exclusive services including access to Rosewood’s Manor Club executive lounge, personal butler service, monogrammed pillow cases and robes, and personalised amenities from arrival to departure. On each floor, the 123-square-metre Grand Harbour Corner Suites offer glittering panoramic harbour views from every vantage point.

Rosewood Hotels Cafe

Image credit: Rosewood Hotels

In addition, Rosewood Hong Kong features 18 of the most outstanding signature suites in the metropolis, each with its own unique character. The crowning jewel amongst them, the 1,000-square-metre Harbour House boasts spectacular views from private sky terraces on the 57th level and unique décor and design. Enhancing the lavish interiors, a garden oasis features harbour view sun decks and private lap pools.  Located on the same floor, the Harbour House and Garden House can be combined, offering an entirely private five-bedroom retreat complete with state-of-the-art private gym.

Extended stays will be catered to by 186 exclusive Rosewood Residences, set to launch this Spring.  Uniquely designed for longer-term stays, the Rosewood Residences will offer a separate private entrance and dedicated club facilities, including an indoor swimming pool and private fitness centre, along with a host of special services and amenities for guests.

 

Main image credit: Rosewood Hotels

Marriott International announces three-year growth plan

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The hotel giant Marriott International’s growth plans include the openings more than 1,700 hotels around the world… 

Marriott International has presented the company’s three-year growth plan, which includes opening more than 1,700 hotels around the world, at its meeting with institutional investors and security analysts at the New York Marriott Marquis.

The hotel giant has outlined its plan to add between 275,000 and 295,000 rooms by 2021, supported by the strength of its record 478,000-room pipeline, including roughly 214,000 rooms already under construction. The company disclosed that its new room openings during this period could contribute $400 million in fee revenue in 2021 and $700 million annually when stabilised. The company’s three-year growth plan assumes, but does not forecast, comparable hotel revenue per available room (RevPAR) growth of one and three per cent, compounded annually.

“Starwood has made us a more formidable competitor, providing a more valuable loyalty program, brands with strong appeal to loyalty members and owners, talented associates, terrific locations, particularly in the fast-growing Asia Pacific region, significant cost synergies and meaningful scale,” said Arne Sorenson, Marriott International president and chief executive officer. “We launched our newly branded loyalty program, Marriott Bonvoy, just last month. The program reached 125 million members as of year-end 2018 adding roughly 50,000 members per day.”

Given the assumptions for its three-year plan, the company could produce the following results:

  • Diluted earnings per share of $7.65 to $8.50 by 2021, a compound growth rate of 11 to 15 per cent over 2018 adjusted results;
  • Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (adjusted EBITDA) increasing by six to nine per cent compounded, with net income increasing by five to eight per cent compounded, each compared to adjusted results in 2018;
  • Cash available for shareholders could total $9.5 to $11 billion for the three years (2019 through 2021);
  • Shareholders could see $1.9 to $2 billion in dividends, assuming a continued 30 percent payout ratio, and $7.6 to $9 billion in share repurchases over the three-year period.

Marriott’s growing pipeline of new hotels is fueled by the strong profitability of its hotels, the broad selection of powerful brands available for development, its rich loyalty program, lower costs from the company’s meaningful scale, and the strong confidence of its owners and franchisees. The company disclosed that 70 per cent of its portfolio of open and signed pipeline projects is held by owners with multiple Marriott properties, and roughly one-third is held by owners with ten or more Marriott branded hotels. Marriott’s development pipeline reflects an increasing number of legacy-Starwood branded hotels. Since the merger date, the pipeline of legacy-Starwood brands has increased nearly 25 per cent to represent nearly one-third of the legacy-Starwood portfolio’s system size.

“In 2018, Marriott launched a new Sheraton brand strategy, guestroom prototype and design approach.”

The company will also discuss its success improving the Sheraton brand. With more than 155,000 rooms, Sheraton is the company’s most geographically diverse brand and the company’s third largest brand globally measured in both rooms and fees. The brand contributes significantly to Marriott’s overall scale and effectively reduces costs for all the hotels in Marriott’s worldwide system. More than one-quarter of Sheratons are already under renovation or committed to a renovation. In 2018, Marriott launched a new Sheraton brand strategy, guestroom prototype and design approach, and just a week ago, unveiled the new Sheraton logo, signaling change to owners, operators, guests and Sheraton associates. Since the acquisition, Sheraton’s RevPAR index has improved to over 100.

“Our new three-year plan, with Starwood fully integrated, demonstrates how our fee-based, asset-light business model generates even stronger and more sustainable cash flows. This allows us to invest profitably in our core business at high rates of return and also return significant amounts of capital to shareholders,” said Leeny Oberg, Marriott International’s executive vice president and chief financial officer. “Our proven business model combined with opportunities to leverage our significant scale from the Starwood acquisition uniquely position us for additional shareholder value creation.”

Main image credit: Marriott International

Autograph Collection Hotels to grow by 25% in Europe in 2019

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Autograph Collection Hotels to grow by 25% in Europe in 2019

Autograph Collection Hotels set to grow in europe by more than 25% this year, debuting in 10 new destinations…

Autograph Collection Hotels, Marriott International’s diverse and dynamic portfolio, has announced plans to welcome 12 one-of-a-kind hotels to its European portfolio this year, each hand-selected for their distinct perspective on design and hospitality.

Hotels set to debut as part of Autograph Collection Hotels this year, include: Aegon, Mykonos, a stunning beach resort complete with harmonious spa and private beach club; Hotel Universo, a sixteenth-century palace in the medieval walled city of Lucca near Florence; Schloss Lieser, a fairy-tale castle in Germany’s Moselle region, an idyllic landscape famed for its wine-growing; Academia of Athens in Greece, with design inspired by Greek Philosopher Plato; and The Shelbourne, the enduringly iconic hotel that’s been at the heart of Dublin society since opening in 1824. Each hotel truly is a product of passion and a personal realisation of its individual founder’s vision, making each one singular and special: Exactly Like Nothing Else.

Launched in 2010, the hotel brand has become a pioneer in the independent hotel space and has rapidly grown from five hotels to more than 160 in nine years. Continuing to grow around the globe, Autograph Collection’s global pipeline comprises nearly 100 properties.

Image credit: Academia of Athens, Autograph Collection_Suite

“With the depth and diversity of Autograph Collection Hotels, we have the unique opportunity to create one-of-a-kind, memorable experiences for travellers,” said John Licence, VP Premium & Select Brands Europe, Marriott International. “The brand’s significant growth momentum throughout Europe solidifies it as an established leader in the independent hotel space, and we are thrilled to welcome 12 exceptional hotels to our European portfolio in 2019.”

At a time when Booking.com revealed that 53 per cent of global travellers plan to take more weekend trips in 2019, Autograph Collection Hotels is offering travellers rich immersive moments that leave a lasting imprint, with five restored architectural gems slated to join Autograph Collection Hotels in Europe this year.

Exemplified by the latest addition to Autograph Collection’s portfolio of London hotels, The Dixon – just opened in January – was originally designed as a Magistrates’ Court and police station in 1905 by John Dixon Butler. The building has undergone extensive restoration to restore its original features, including its spectacular grand courthouse. A stunning interior design concept showcases the hotel’s passion for art with curated artworks set against a backdrop of contemporary and heritage design.

Situated in the Moselle region of Germany, Schloss Lieser resides in a breath-taking castle originally built in 1885. Linked to pivotal moments in both German and Dutch history, previous owners include Clemens Freiherr von Schorlemer-Lieser, a wealthy politician who was related to the Dutch Royal Family. Over the centuries, politicians regularly gathered at the castle to discuss the future of Germany. In 2007, the castle was transformed into the independent, boutique hotel it is now.

Championing Individuality through Distinct Perspectives on Design

Autograph Collection hotels advocate for the original and individual through unique perspectives on design, enabling travellers to make a serious travel statement, even on the shortest of getaways. Academia of Athens, set to become Autograph Collection’s third property in Greece when it opens later this year, is inspired by its namesake, historical landmarks and the vibrant culture of the contemporary city. Global design and architectural firm HOK juxtaposes the heritage of the city of Athens with a bold and modern exterior. Inside there are visual cues from ancient Greek scholar Plato’s Three Orders; Science, Philosophy and Arts, with each principle brought to life throughout various spaces within the hotel.

“Ten of the 12 planned openings in 2019 will mark the brand’s debut in new cities and resort destinations.”

Autograph Collection Hotels Expected to Debut in 10 New European Destinations This Year

Autograph Collection Hotels is set to continue adding to its existing roster of 47 properties across 17 countries in Europe, with new destinations that provide one-of-a-kind hotel stays for even the most discerning global traveller. Ten of the 12 planned openings in 2019 will mark the brand’s debut in new cities and resort destinations, offering more choice and trip inspiration than ever before. New destinations include Lieser, Germany; Athens and Mykonos, Greece; Lucca, Italy; Montreux, Switzerland; Paris and Reims, France; and Seville, Spain.

The planned opening of Sapphire House late in 2019 in the vibrant city of Antwerp will mark Marriott International’s first hotel in the city. Expected to provide travellers with insight into the city’s traditions and fascinating past in gem-trading, Sapphire House will invite guests to discover the quirks of this inconspicuous destination. Occupying the site of the city’s original Royal Exchange, known as Den Grooten Robijn (The Great Ruby), Sapphire House will be a stunning addition to Antwerp’s boutique hotel scene.

Autograph Collection Hotels Leave a Lasting Impression with ‘The Mark’

Ensuring every stay is unique, Autograph Collection Hotels’ handpicked portfolio of properties each offer their own unique ‘Mark’ – a signature moment within the hotel that is bespoke for each property and enhances the guest experience. No two hotels share the same story and therefore none share the same Mark.

Scheduled to join the brand in autumn 2019, Hotel Querencia de Seville, in the Old Town of Seville will perfectly represent the Mark concept. The hotel’s unique offering of music, arts, crafts, creative gatherings and artisanal workshops will bring a flare of Spanish craftmanship and everyday life to visitors, guaranteeing guests a genuine cultural experience.

The anticipated spring opening of La Caserne Chanzy in the heart of Reims will provide guests with an immersive environment to explore the gastronomy of Reims. A restored firehouse will be transformed into a new restaurant – La Grande Georgette – offering reinvented local gastronomy, signature dishes and cocktails using evocative smoke, and even a food truck fashioned from an old fire engine.

Main image credit: Aegon, Mykonos, an Autograph Collection Hotel 

MINIVIEW: Joyze Hotel Xiamen Curio Collection by Hilton

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MINIVIEW: Joyze Hotel Xiamen Curio Collection by Hilton

Opened late last year, Joyze Hotel Xiamen Curio Collection by Hilton, with all its unique design qualities, is a mere shadow of the stereotypical chain hotel you would expect check in to. Editor Hamish Kilburn dives deeper into its Chinese design story to uncover how the boutique 104-key hotel came to be… 

As a boutique hotel, the concept of a ‘floating city on the sea’ can be seen throughout the hotel design of Joyze Hotel Xiamen Curio Collection by Hilton. Combining the local cultural elements of Minnan with urban design techniques, the hotel narrates the historical changes of “the fishing village” that it neighbours. Tasked to merge architecture with interior design was Hong Kong-based design firm CCD (CHENG CHUNG DESIGN).

Image credit: CCD/Cheng Chung Design (HK)/Curio Collection by Hilton

Surrounded by mountains and seas, with the Dongping Mountain in the North, and the coastline of Huandao Road in the South, the hotel enjoys the best of both worlds. The villages in Zengcuoan are divided by walls, and the houses in the villages are scattered around. The floor plan of the hotel follows the arrangement of the villages, as different zones are divided by walls and intersected by landscapes between different areas. Look down from the above; each area is like a box, representing a household with different personalities and designs. Guests enter the hotel as if they are on a village tour, complete with alleys, walls and landscapes.

Image credit: CCD/Cheng Chung Design (HK)/Curio Collection by Hilton

The entrance of the hotel incorporates the local culture of ‘brick wall’, which is a very unique way of building a wall in Minnan architecture that uses stones and bricks of different shapes to overlay and build simple and beautiful walls.

According to the legend in the end of the Ming Dynasty that, there was a major earthquake occurred in the Southern part of Minnan region. After the earthquake, the native people used the local materials such as bricks, stones, tiles and gravels collapsed from the natural disaster to build the unique wall. And thereby, this way of wall-building has been widely practiced and followed in the region.

Image credit: CCD/Cheng Chung Design (HK)/Curio Collection by Hilton

The designer also used the mansion method to design the hotel lobby. The first sight of the guest after they get off from the drop-off area and enter the hotel is not the hotel lobby, but a door that is several meters wide, and if they are entering a mansion house. Then they will see the brick wall, followed by cultural exhibition area, then other landscapes and finally the lobby bar and reception.

“Under each box, there is a light to create a sense of levitation.”

The design concept of “Floating City on the Sea” is expressed through the subtle design method.The façade of the wall is constructed with boxes, and it transforms from empty to solid, presenting a feeling of ‘floating’, the orderly change of the gradient also presents a sense of rhythm swinging with the current. A corner of the reception desk floats into the air, becoming a warm chandelier, floating on the sea, and the entire hotel is like a floating city on the sea.

In comparison to the hotel, every box in the space is the composition of the hotel as a floating city. Under each box, there is a light to create a sense of levitation.

“The design of the guestrooms are natural, warm and cosy, creating a sense of home.”

The design incorporates natural comfort and childhood memories, vintage chandeliers, metal-trimmed glass doors, wooden tables and chairs; it brings guests back to the restaurant where they used to go with their parents. Here, the curious people walk into the old days of Xiamen.

Image credit: CCD/Cheng Chung Design (HK)/Curio Collection by Hilton

The design of the guestrooms are natural, warm and cosy, creating a sense of home. Meanwhile, it also tries to open the space as much as possible as to form a transparent visual experience. Getting rid of the traditional framework, and strengthen the interaction of spatial functions through subtle design, so that each area can be used alone and connected.

After the entrance is the cloakroom and the luggage rack, which is designed to make the walkway more functional and to make the largest use of space. In detail, it also closely follows the concept of floating city, as the wash table and the bed are suspended from the ground.

The city view and beach outside the window is one of the hotel’s business cards. The wash table, mini bar and operating desk form a small living room, so that guest can sit in the living room and enjoy the scenery with tea, just like the local residents. The texture of the old buildings in the city is projected onto the walls of the guestrooms, and the patterns of the old buildings in Gulangyu are carved into ceramic tiles, which become time fragments to record the traces of the years.

Main image credit: CCD/Cheng Chung Design (HK)/Curio Collection by Hilton

Sekers launches KOROWAI

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Fabric specialist Sekers has announced the launch of KOROWAI, a new inherently FR curtain collection inspired by the pristine rainforests of West Papua New Guinea…

Drawing inspiration from gently swirling water found in quiet bends of a meandering river, raindrops striking the surface of a stream during a tropical downpour and the structures of the rainforest itself, Korowai from Sekers is a varied and sophisticated offering of four elegant designs.

Available in a flexible palette of 25 colours, ranging from vibrant turquoise and lime to classic neutrals and cool metallic tones, Korowai is the perfect addition to any contract interior.

Woven in 100 per cent inherent FR polyester, the Korowai collection is suitable for all aspects of the contract market from hotels to cruise ships. Meeting all relevant UK and IMO standards for curtains, accessories and bedding, as well as German, French and US standards, this washable collection is the ideal resource for any contract application.

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

In Conversation With: Damien Perrot on defining ibis Hotels’ new design era

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The world’s most iconic budget hotel brand is undergoing a major redesign following the growing demands of the modern traveller. To understand all the design details of the new generation of ibis Hotels, editor Hamish Kilburn sat down with Damien Perrot, Senior Vice President, Design Solutions for Accor, to find out more about how the new ibis was conceived in three separate designs…

With more than 1,170 economy hotels open worldwide, ibis has become somewhat of a trailblazer in the congested budget sector of the hotel industry. Opening up in neighbourhoods that before the ‘70s may well have not existed for the modern traveller, the company’s aggressive expansion into tier two cities bridged the gap between travellers and the freedom to explore the world while on a budget.

With the aim to ‘shake up budget hotel standards’, the brand, which is known for its basic and standardised design, is now in the process of reinventing itself to become more flexible to cater to a wider demographic. Using interior design as its tool, Ibis’ latest face lift includes new guestrooms, F&B areas and living spaces. “Its transformation is primarily based on customer behaviour and how guests instinctively use the spaces,” said Steven Taylor, Chief Brand Officer at Accor in the official statement from the brand. “Today, the brand is a truly vibrant place where travellers and non-staying and local customers alike can dine, sleep, work and feel welcome.”

Leading the extensive brand renovation is Damien Perrot, Senior Vice President, Design Solutions for Accor. “I wanted to achieve a design that was living, vibrant and real,” he told Hotel Designs. “The objective, in terms of design, is to attract people and allow our guests to have a great experience that will naturally encourage them to return.”

“Perrot launched competitions in America, Asia and Europe in order to garner inspiration from all corners of the world.”

The design, marketing and brand team came together with the ambition to rethink ibis as if it was created today. “The simple fact was that we felt obliged to confront the way in which our guests’ behaviour and lifestyles have changed,” explained Perrot. “Our idea was not to radicalise the form, but instead to create a concept in line with that of the modern travellers’ needs of today.” In order to keep the thoughts open and fresh, Perrot launched design competitions open to all in America, Asia and Europe in order to garner inspiration from all corners of the world. “The brief being light in context around what we wanted was key as we did not want to restrict the designers’ creative flow,” adds Perrot. As a result, the brand was able to handpick the designers who put forward realistic and brand-worthy solutions to the challenge.

Following the competition, the new ibis was to be divided into three concepts drawn up from three separate design studios. Studio Innocad from Europe, Studio FGMF from Latin America and Studio Soda from Asia together were Perrot’s answer to the new generation of ibis hotels.

Studio Innocad – Europe

Flexible living area with hammocks by entrance - blue and while tiles

Image credit: INNOCAD Architecture

The concept is a modular, flexible and customisable approach for architecture and interior, for renovation as well as new construction of ibis hotels. Designed around the fluid transition between inside and outside, the different settings of social spaces invite travellers and locals to explore several atmospheres and areas and are importantly not limited to be in one design during their customer journey.

Studio FGMF – Latin America

Modern Scandinavian room with flexible living spaces

Image credit: FGMF/ibis hotels

Urban living comes to the heart of the hotels with the design concept from Studio FGMF while the street outside becomes an integral part of the lobby. Unveiling a new pedestrian walkway, the hotel concept is gallery of local inspiration.

Meanwhile, the guestrooms have been imagined to be comfortable in a modern style, featuring a bookshelf as a centrepiece. A functional layout opens up new possibilities for guests to relax in the home-from-home setting.

Studio Soda – Asia

Modern, opening living areas

Image credit: Soda Studio/ibis hotels

Flexible, modular and contemporary, the concept that was imagined by Studio Soda is one that offers everything the modern guest is looking for; comfort combined with warmth. The lobby has been specifically designed to welcome the outside world, with a terrace area that extends out onto the street. The result is a public area that is welcome and free for guests to eat, relax, work or play.

“When we are rethinking ‘the new’, it is essential to forget what it is today,” explained Perrot when confronting the challenges of the project. “After the big idea in terms of design, the question is how can we apply that into our existing hotels. That’s a really big challenge, but I think we have succeeded.

Portrait of Damien Perrot

Image caption: Damien Perrot, Senior Vice President, Design Solutions for Accor

“The other challenge is to not be distracted by trends. Each design concept that was accepted stayed true to the DNA of the brand, which is very modern. Throughout the project, I want to demonstrate that modernity is in line with a new way of living.”

With the ambitious plans to redesign all hotels in the ibis portfolio by 2022, the aim is not for all hotels to be identical to one another. Instead, each property is aimed to have its own quirky personality. “Each concept is not 100 per cent defined. But the designer will apply the concept on projects and select different furniture and lighting to suit the hotel,” said Perrot. “In order to be able to roll this out globally, we have to have guidelines and style book. Each document helps the designers to roll out this concept. In those guidelines, we explain the boundaries that can and can’t be broken to achieve the final design of the individual hotel.”

Each hotel to adopt the new design concept will be better equipped and better designed to personalise the overall guest experience. The refreshing, and very different, designed concepts suggest heavily that ibis strongly believe a good hotel experience is much beyond experiencing a good night’s sleep. To achieve that overall home-from-home experience, the brand has redefined its public areas, F&B environment and guestrooms allowing its guests to tailor-make their own travel experience when checking in.

Main image credit: FGMF/ibis hotels

Kohler announces plans for Milan Design Week 2019

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Bathroom brand Kohler has lifted the lid on its sensory plans for Milan Design Week from April 9 – 13…

Kohler will return to Milan Design Week to host an enticing sensory experience inside the historic Palazzo Del Senato (via Senato, 10, 20121 Milan, Italy). The large-scale immersive exhibit will showcase the bathroom brand’s bold approach to design and its products through an artful combination of water, technology, texture, and color. The installation will be open April 9 through April 13 from 10am – 7pm daily.

“Milan Design Week is the ultimate celebration of creativity and innovation among the global design community,” said Jim Lewis, Vice President of Kohler Kitchen and Bath Global Marketing. “The energy and spirit of the event make it the perfect place to explore new ideas and celebrate our latest design expressions with an inspirational audience of designers from around the world.”

Nature will play a pivotal role with the inclusion of a “digital garden” at the entrance of the exhibit as well as an infinity garden that whimsically juxtaposes Kohler’s Smart Home collection. Kohler’s space will also feature a bar and lounge area for guests to relax and recharge.

Additionally, Kohler will use the Palazzo as the platform for the launch of the company’s second global design theme, Experiential Luxury, an examination of the details and layers that create rich and dynamic environments.

Products featured at this year’s exhibition include the latest from Kohler Co. brands KOHLER, KALLISTA and ANN SACKS.

Image credit: Kohler

Smart home/Smart hotel

Intelligent Toilets offer the perfect combination of sophisticated design and unmatched technology to deliver the finest in personal comfort and cleansing. Extensive customisation – from ambient lighting and wireless music to temperature control, create a truly personalised experience.

Digital Showering transforms users’ daily routine by allowing customisation down to the tiniest detail. It invites users to orchestrate spray experiences, steam, music and lighting to create a personalized escape. Kohler’s portfolio of Smart Room products help create the world’s smartest bathrooms.

Color, material, finish

With a full range of colors, Kohler finishes visually set the tone for any space’s story and convey a unique personality. A two-tone finish with etched patterns – launching on the Components Collection – offers a beautiful, subtle gradient between two finishes with a precise graphic pattern. A wide range of colors and detailed graphics continue to draw the eye in for a beautiful, decorative impact.

Steeped in Japanese culture, Kensho conveys the story of decorative stitching known as sashiko by using patterns etched in stone. It also leverages the Italian etching technique known as acqueforti, marrying metals and marbles to create a distinctive level of ornamentation. The shape is gorgeous, the real stone adds texture and variation, and the decorative techniques are stunning.

With precise cuts and ultra-flat surfaces, the Parallel Collection of faucets and accessories brings sophistication to the modern bathroom through controlled expression. The dichotomy of round and square forms is unified by characteristic angles that deliver beautiful reflections and precise alignment. Smaller details deliver character originality and heighten the collection to a higher level of sophistication.

In partnership with parent company, Kohler Co., ANN SACKS debuts The Crackle Collection by Kohler WasteLAB, an innovative tile series that employs Kohler’s unfired pottery cull as its medium, transforming the waste into a responsive tile body. Handcrafted in the WasteLAB located in the Kohler, Wis. enamel factory, the bespoke collection was one of the initiatives spun from the Kohler Innovation for Good program.

Main image credit: Kohler

 

Oceana to debut in Q2 following $25 Million transformation

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Already underway with a $25 million head-to-toe transformation, the current Oceana Beach Club Hotel has announced it will re-emerge as the all-new Oceana in May 2019

A secluded haven for world travellers, celebrities and titans of industry since opening across from the beach on fabled Ocean Avenue in 1996, Oceana Beach Hotel is expected to shake up the West Coast scene this summer as it reopens its doors.

The new Oceana will evoke a stunning beachside home-away-from-home and deliver a rare private residential experience in Santa Monica’s most coveted neighborhood north of Wilshire Boulevard – where the sun-kissed ocean meets the prestige of walkable Montana Avenue. Oceana will feature an all-new entrance and lobby; 70 striking guest suites with ocean views and custom high-end furnishings; a private indoor-outdoor restaurant and bar curated by a famed Santa Monica restauranteur; lush outdoor courtyard lounge with swimming pool and stylish social gathering space; a state-of-the-art fitness studio and spa; and space for intimate events.

“We are thrilled to soon welcome world travelers to the new Oceana that will offer exclusive access to the best of Santa Monica’s celebrated beach lifestyle,” said Jim Lippman, Chairman & CEO of owner and operator JRK Hotel Group. “With an authentic take on intimate, residential-style luxury steps from the Pacific Ocean, Oceana will bring a new caliber of five-star hospitality to the iconic beaches of Southern California.”

“The lobby will feature mesmerising views of the Pacific Ocean”

Oceana’s new design from interior designer Anna Busta of Busta Studio in New York City will see elegant modern design captivate the senses across every inch of a beachside home-away-from-home. Busta, which specialises in high-end home interior design, will employ the design principals from her private residence work to bring Oceana to life with custom high-end furnishings commissioned for the hotel; a rich yet soothing color palette where soft ivories, silvers and blues meet blackened steel and gold metal accents; bold geometric patterns and extensive wood finishes; and a custom art program in collaboration with Los Angeles artists and international photographers.

A grand two-story entrance clad in ivy will usher guests into the privacy of this intimate Santa Monica hideaway. The lobby will feature mesmerising views of the Pacific Ocean and outdoor courtyard lounge with pool while offering a stunning living room setting with a hanging glass light installation by Alison Berger, contemporary fire pit and cerused oak wood ship lap paneling.

Seventy guest suites – many offering ocean views – will feature hanging swings beside front doors; a sumptuous color palette with soothing neutrals, blues and bold geometric patterns; all custom high-end furnishings and accent pieces including rich velvet sofas, four-poster beds, luxe minibar cabinets and hand-tufted rugs from Nepal; captivating artwork commissioned from Los Angeles artists and international photographers; Loro Piana bedding and Frette linens; spa-inspired bathrooms with Bottega Veneta amenities; and a state-of-the-art technology package.

Guest suites with living rooms average a spacious 850 square feet and eight room types range from studio suites (500 square feet) to two-bedroom ocean-view suites (up to 1,700 square feet). Select suites will feature ocean-view balconies and amenities including luxury soaking tubs, walk-in closets, pull-out queen sofa beds, fully-stocked kitchens and connecting options.

A sleek indoor-outdoor restaurant and bar curated by a notable Santa Monica restauranteur will be a members-only destination unto itself that is available exclusively to hotel guests. Fashioned in soft pastels inspired by ocean sunsets that paint the sky just beyond its windows, the restaurant will serve New American cuisine rooted in hyper-local ingredients from the world-famous Santa Monica Farmer’s Market. Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be available as well as an overnight room service menu.

An outdoor courtyard lounge will evolve from a chic daytime relaxation and social gathering space to a posh evening hideout available exclusively to hotel guests. Framed by lush greenery and blooms from landscape architecture firm Perry Guillot of the Hamptons, the outdoor courtyard lounge will offer a swimming pool, alfresco dining and cocktails, fire pits and James Perse upholstered teak furniture.

 

Oceana is owned and operated by JRK Hotel Group, a division of Los Angeles-based JRK Property Holdings which is a real estate investment firm specializing in the ownership, management, leasing and redevelopment of properties in primary and secondary markets throughout the U.S.

TECHNOLOGY FEATURE: It pays to be social

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We are living in an era in international hotel design where it pays to be social. To put social media under the spotlight, digital specialists in social media and web design at Arise explain how to use social media platforms effectively… 

When it comes to generating sales for your hotel, direct bookings are often much more profitable and valuable in terms of returning customers than bookings made via Online Travel Agents (OTAs) such as Booking.com or Expedia. OTA commission rates seem to creep up each year, with some sites charging as much as 30 per cent in commission.

While third party booking sites have their uses, direct bookings are key for maximising your profits and giving your guests a taste of your establishment before they even arrive. Of course, driving your customers to book directly with you is easier said than done…

One of the most effective, but criminally underutilised tools you can use to drive new customers to your website is social media. We often find that the clients we work with are overwhelmed by the prospect of digital marketing, unaware of its potential or unable to devote the amount of time needed to launching and maintaining effective marketing campaigns.

“We managed to increase the revenue generated via their website by an incredible 823 per cent in just four years.”

To demonstrate just how powerful social media can be when used as a marketing tool for hotels, let’s take a look at Losehill House Hotel & Spa. Four years ago, this luxury hotel and spa located in the beautiful Derbyshire Peak District was not present on social media at all. They did have a website, but it was nowhere near the standard that guests could expect from such a high-end, reputable establishment. After creating a new website for the hotel, and giving them a presence on Twitter and Facebook, we managed to increase the revenue generated via their website by an incredible 823 per cent in just four years.

Social should reflect what makes you unique

Setting up social accounts and including a link to your website in your bio/about section is a first step, but this alone does not make up a social media strategy. Each hotel is different, and as such will need a unique approach to social media which not only reflects the hotel as a brand, but also achieves everything they want to in terms of sales and marketing. In the case of Losehill House, we focused our efforts on showing off the unique aspects of the hotel, spa and award winning restaurant, while trying to connect with customers looking to book imminently, and cultivating an audience of potential guests.

Getting potential guests onto your website can be something of an effort, but it’s one worth putting in. The ultimate aim of social media activity is getting the right people onto your website, and converting them into paying guests. Having high-quality and (most importantly) relevant content on your website is a key asset when piquing an audience’s interest, this content could include:

  • Exploring the unique aspects of your establishment
  • Information about the local area
  • Exclusive offers

You’re adding value to the guest experience, you are developing your brand voice and you are giving people another reason to visit your website.

Advertising features are a powerful aspect of social media

Getting the type of customer you are looking for to click on your content is not easy without being able to manage your different social platforms’ built-in advertising functions. Having a social advertising budget is highly advisable, but depending on the size of your hotel, this doesn’t need to be large at all. Providing you have accurate targeting parameters, it’s not difficult to make the most out of a modest budget. Facebook and Instagram in particular allow for highly tailored adverts, enabling you to reach users with the same demographics as your ideal guests. If, for example, you are a luxury hotel , you can target users that have expressed an interest in specific luxury brands and destination travel, narrowing by age, location and profession. This power to put your hotel right in front of the eyes of the exact people you are looking to connect with should not be underestimated.

A strong social media presence allows you to build an audience, and keep them engaged with your brand. This has obvious benefits for new customers, but also helps you to develop a relationship with existing customers in order to capture repeat bookings. This is especially important for destination hotels or resorts, as guests are more likely to choose a hotel based on your brand, reputation, customer service and unique features. Different social channels allow you to work on all of these factors.

Having a clear strategy

Over the past five years we’ve discovered that in this industry a clearly defined social media strategy, when carried out consistently, pays real dividends. If you’re conspicuously absent from social platforms then it’s not too late to jump on the bandwagon, or if you are already on social then make sure you have confidence in your social media strategy and the resource to put (and keep) it in place – this way you’ll be on the path to freedom from unnecessary OTA commission and able to reap the benefits of an engaged social media audience.

Main image credit: Arise/Shutterstock

25hours to arrive in Denmark in 2021

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Adding to its 13 hotels in Europe, 25hotels signs a milestone contract to unveil a new hotel in Denmark designed by Martin Brudnizki Design Studio…

Hotel Group 25hours Hotel Company is preparing to expand its arm deeper into Europe by signing a long-term lease agreement with the Hines real estate company for a building in Copenhagen’s Old Town that will offer 243 rooms, a wellness area and a large, landscaped courtyard.

“We are currently aiming to open in June 2021,” said Florian Kollenz, chief development officer of the 25hours Hotel Co. “Copenhagen has always been a favored destination…We have extensively studied the hotel market for the past five years and have reviewed a number of projects. It has finally worked out for us after several attempts and we couldn’t be happier. The combination of location, size of the property and development partner is simply unique.”

The former university building—next to the Round Tower—was home to the Faculties of Theology and Law until 2017, and was the Royal Porcelain Factory from 1775 and a printers and paper factory from 1885. All these influences will be reflected in the hotel concept. Local architects from BBP Arkitekter in Copenhagen and British interior designers from Brit List winner Martin Brudnizki Design Studios are working on this with the support of the in-house creative team.

James Robson, Hines’ Nordic regional head, said 25hours Hotels will “offer something unique” in central Copenhagen. “Købmagergade’s popular location and the dynamic combination of brands we are looking to partner with will create an attractive destination for international tourists and the domestic market,” he said. “This is a very positive investment in Copenhagen and reflects the city’s growing appeal as an international destination.”

The company already has hotels in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and France. In 2020, the company is set to open the 25hours Hotel Firenze and the 25hours Hotel Dubai.

Main image credit: 25hours

GROHE Shapes the Future of Water 500 innovations at ISH 2019

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GROHE welcomed guests to its innovative stand showcasing the ‘Future of Water’ at ISH 2019… 

Consumers are fundamentally changing how they define and use their living spaces in both the home and in the hotel environment. GROHE has identified five mega trends as consumers have risen from passive consumption to taking control over the creation of new living spaces and have become creators themselves in seeking simplicity and intelligent product solutions. Today, more than ever, product innovation and design depend on an empathetic understanding of these trends as consumers are inclined to choose integrated solutions over single products. GROHE gave an impressive account of its journey in reflecting the five mega trends in its offering to consumers and customers during its keynote event at the start of the ISH trade fair in Frankfurt, Germany. With a record number of 500 single new products GROHE surprised its customers and consumers with solutions that actively shape the future of water.

3D metal-printing will revolutionise the water experience in the home

A unique formula of granules has been exclusively developed by GROHE for its 3D metal-printers located at its Hemer manufacturing site in Germany. “The design of our new faucets GROHE Atrio Icon 3D and GROHE Allure Brilliant Icon 3D are beyond belief. They make the unthinkable possible,” Michael Rauterkus, CEO GROHE AG, said. “What you see is the future of design. For consumers, it’s the future of their own creativity and ultimate personalisation. We believe that 3D metal-printing will revolutionise the water experience in the home. It’s the ultimate blend of customisation and industrial production.”

 “Consumer expectations are changing to a great extent”- Michael Rauterkus, CEO, GROHE AG

Changing requirements as consumers become creators

The boundaries between the individual living areas are becoming more blurred. The kitchen is often part of the living room, the bathroom opens up to the bedroom and both are becoming important living spaces instead of purely functional ones. When designing their own living space, consumers pay much more attention to detail in the bathroom and the kitchen than ever before. Consequently, bathroom and kitchen products have become household furnishings that allow consumers to express their individual style and preferences. As the first European leading sanitary brand to launch 3D metal-printed faucets, GROHE breaks with the old principle of form following function and combines cutting-edge technology with spectacular design. It is an impressive statement of GROHE’s willingness and ability to shape the future of water and accompany its customers and consumers on their journey to create the living spaces they desire. “Consumer expectations are changing to a great extent”, said Rauterkus, as he delivered his keynote speech in front of 350 international journalists and invited guests. “GROHE is shaping the future of water, in terms of design and innovation, both analogue and digital, giving our customers and our consumers the building blocks they need to harness the power and the beauty of water – as a tailored experience wherever they enjoy water.” Whilst new living spaces evolve around the bathroom and the kitchen, consumers are often confronted with an unwanted complexity in the creation process.

Dramatic setting with tap

Image credit: GROHE

GROHE helps customers in seeking simplicity – creation without complexity

The search for simplicity in terms of easy and intuitive solutions is met with a new minimalism to people’s homes. GROHE clearly positioned itself as a leading global brand for complete bathroom solutions, supporting consumers in becoming creators without having to deal with complexity. Its products combine quality with a stunning range of colors and materials: from faucets, showers and ceramics, to kitchen faucets, sinks, accessories and flush plates. “Nobody else offers, across the whole product range, the quality and durability in so many colors that bathrooms and kitchens require”, emphasised Rauterkus. Essence, GROHE’s newly introduced and first ceramic line that includes bathtubs, is a perfect showcase of the new minimalism and search for simplicity, showing beauty in its purest form. The design line’s characteristics are its gentle organic forms that are based on their reduction to the essentials. But minimalism by GROHE goes far beyond design, it means also the intuitive handling and easy installation of products. The new GROHE Rapido SmartBox provides architects, planners and installers with an infinite number of possible solutions with just one concealed installation solution: For maximum efficiency and planning flexibility, the concealed installation can be combined not only with the innovative shower system GROHE SmartControl but also with thermostats and single-lever mixers, offering a universal solution for all requirements.

“Overall GROHE introduced a record number of innovations and more than 500 single new products that address the five mega trends.”

A new connected eco system for water security and water management

At ISH two years ago, GROHE launched its first Internet of Things (IoT) solution, GROHE Sense and GROHE Sense Guard. Today, GROHE is pioneering digitisation in the sanitary industry and extends its competence well beyond sanitary hardware solutions. At the ISH 2019 keynote, GROHE announced a new generation of GROHE Sense water sensors and the launch of GROHE Sense Guard Pro, which is optimised for use in multi-family homes and high-rise residential buildings. Installed on both the cold and hot water pipes, it offers water security and provides accurate water consumption data directly onto mobile devices via the GROHE Sense App. This also means that there is full visibility of water and energy consumption, allowing consumers to take control. Moreover, with the combination GROHE Sense Guard and Sense Guard Pro, the global brand is now able to help prevent water damage in 90 percent of the residential market. The GROHE Sense system has created a disruptive new business model for GROHE as well as for installers and new business partners such as insurance and property management companies. “We are creating an intelligent platform, the biggest ecosystem for water security and water management, which will allow our industry partners worldwide, such as insurance companies, to implement new business models”, said Rauterkus.

Largest innovation push of GROHE to date at ISH

Overall GROHE introduced a record number of innovations and more than 500 single new products that address the five mega trends ‘new living spaces’, ‘consumers become creators’, ‘simplicity seekers – the search for simplicity’, ‘taking control’, and ‘intelligent life management’. It is the biggest innovation push of GROHE so far – tailored to the needs of consumers as well as professional partners such as architects, installers, insurers and smart home experts. “As GROHE stands for Water, Intelligence, and Enjoyment, we are creating intelligent water solutions that transform lives for the better”, highlighted Michael Rauterkus. “Most importantly, we are transforming the experience of water itself”.

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, click here.

Main image credit: GROHE

Orangebox refocusing hotel smartworking at CDW 19

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Leading workplace furniture brand Orangebox is preparing to exhibit new smart workplace solutions ideal for the modern hotel at Clerkenwell Design Week 2019…

With the aim to refocus smartworking, while identifying and examining disruptive technologies, furniture brand Orangebox is using innovation to design the workplace of the future. Demand has never been higher  for flexible and adaptable public areas within the modern hotel, and Orangebox has year after year offered freshly designed furniture for the workplace that is productive, innovative – and above all, flexible.

For Clerkenwell Design Week 2019, Orangebox will present an updated smartworking landscape designed to address the challenges and opportunities of disruptive technologies in order to meet the needs of 2020 and beyond.

birdseye view of workplace

Image credit: Orangebox

During the three-day festival of design and innovation in London, the company will showcase several new products framed by a clever smartworking narrative. As expected from previous years, it will also share its latest research and insight, with Jim Taylour, Head of Design & Wellbeing, and Nathan Hurley, key member and research & insight team, presenting their latest projects in a series of talks. These talks will be entitled:

The Magical Wellbeing Mystery Tour – Jim Taylour and James Pack will present an immersive session that explores some facts and myths that surround the largest revolution in office real estate.

SmartLearning: How iGen’s educational experience will impact the new workplace
– Nathan Hurley will lead a presentation on the changing world of higher education and the impact that iGen students will have on the contemporary workplace.

If you are interested in attending either of these presentations and/or would like some more information, please email events@orangebox.com to reserve your place.

Orangebox is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, click here.

Main image credit: Orangebox

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Checking In: MOB Hotel Paris, where it all started

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Checking In: MOB Hotel Paris, where it all started

On the doorstep of Paris’ infamous flea market, MOB Hotel Paris – the original MOB – is designed ‘for the people’. Editor Hamish Kilburn checks in to see where the MOB Hotels story started…

In order to understand MOB Hotels’ style, ethos and energy you must first, in my opinion, meet the man behind the brand.

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Cyril Aouizerate, the CEO of MOB Hotels, is a gentleman who eats, sleeps and breathes MOB Hotels, which he created last year and believes that a great hotel is designed around great people. “My desire to was create movement,” he told me when describing the brand’s origins. “My objective is to use the hotels in our portfolio to create a new vision in the world that a hotel is more than just a bed for the night. That is why, for me, understanding the culture of each of our hotel’s location is so important.” That movement started in Paris and has since moved into Lyon as well as there being plans for a 2020 opening in Washington D.C.

Hidden among red and orange buildings, the entrance to the 92-key MOB Hotel Paris is surprisingly understated and worlds away from the stereotypical view of postcard Paris. Instead being among of chic neighborhood of shops and cafes, the hotel is in the heart of an urban adventure, located just south of the Saint Ouen, north of the city centre. It’s not immediately obvious that the two buildings, which were disused telecom factories only a few years ago, would shelter a quirky design-led boutique hotel. But expecting the unexpected is something that all guests should prepare when joining the MOB way of thinking.

Much like the Flea Market that borders the property, the architecture firm BBC Architecte created MOB Hotel Paris around the raw energy and creativity of the brand. The lobby inside is complete with wooden trunks as pod-like reception desks and very wears a bohemian personality. Simple yet productive, the space is a relatively empty shell that is curated only with stylish pop-up-store merchandise.

Image credit: Mob Hotels

The first real indication of Aouizerate’s unravelled creative mind comes when walking through the lobby and into the open-planned, lounge-like restaurant. With interiors by Kristian Gavoille et Valérie Garcia, the walls tell a story of comedy with fruits and vegetables being personified and remembered with plaques – my personal favourite among them being “R.I.P Mister Eggplant, who died for Baba Ganouche.” Furthermore, the large curtains that separate the restaurant from the conservatory, at first, look like they are printed references of The Last Supper. However, on closer inspection, all is not what it first seems. Famous faces in both the design world, from the likes of Philippe Starck, and significant figures in popular culture, such as Barak Obama, have been printed on the fabrics to add character and offer a further reference to Aouizerate’s involvement in the design process and decisions.

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Image credit: Aldo Paredes

Upstairs and although the comedy is softened, the style of each guestrooms is equally as edgy while also remaining thoughtful to the needs and requirements of guests checking in. In the bathrooms, which are tastefully positioned without creating too many unnecessary barriers, include Duravit fittings, Geberit WCs and Villeroy & Boch showers. Although the mustard yellow carpets and peachy pink walls in the guestrooms may not be to everyone’s taste, the unique headboards that are made to reference theatre stage curtains cannot be ignored as a quirky and unique feature to entice guests to tell their own narrative.

Complete with a Fatboy beanbag, low-level furniture from IKEA and mobile spotlight lighting, the guestrooms are idiosyncratic to say the least, but also balance within them a sense of play and can adapted to suit the needs of whoever is checking in. With a strong message to bring guests together, there are deliberately no TVs in each of the rooms, but projectors and iPads can be provided on request.

Sneak peak into the bathroom

Image credit: Mob Hotels

The dictionary definition of mob is “a large crowd of people, especially one that is disorderly and intent on causing trouble or violence.” Although the brand isn’t planning on causing any violence or trouble, it certainly is ready to cause a scene. With plans for the brand to broaden out as far as Washington D.C., the Paris MOB is also expanding. Just down the road, the skeleton of a new kind of MOB is taking form. MOB House, which is expected to open in January 2020, will pride itself on a sheltering a different style. The hotel’s interiors are being imagined by non-other than award-winning designer and long-term friend of Mob Hotels, Phillipe Starck.

Other suppliers

Furniture in the restaurant: Tonet/Drucker
Outdoor furniture: Fermob
Furniture in guestroom: Fatboy/Sempre

Main image credit: Aldo Paredes

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Ritz-Carlton, Berlin reopens after 40m Euro renovation

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The recent renovation of Ritz-Carlton, Berlin showcases a chic, elegant design evoking 1920s Berlin with creative details and references to the golden era of German cinema…

The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin has announced the culmination of a 40 million euro renovation. The meticulous refurbishment, largely funded by its ownership Beisheim Group, heralds in a new era of elegance through refreshed guestrooms and suites, conference, wellness, lobby and lounge areas and the addition of POTS, a new restaurant. Each space evokes a vision of Berlin in the 1920s, with guests encountering creative details and thoughtful references to the golden era of German cinema.

“The recent completion of this meticulous 40 million euro renovation at The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin marks a momentous occasion for this hotel, whose storied location has sat at the epicentre of history for over a century,” said Jenni Benzaquen, Vice President, Luxury Brands – Europe, Marriott International. “Present throughout the hotel in details large and small, the new design beautifully captures the gilded glamour of Berlin in the 1920’s, while celebrating the city’s ever-changing spirit. Our Ladies and Gentlemen will continue to provide legendary service to our luxury travellers during their visit to one of the most unique cities in Europe.”

The hotel’s imaginatively redesigned guest rooms and suites are the work of G.A. Design’s Budapest team, as is the grand entrance guests experience in the lobby upon arrival. An ornate sweeping marble and ironwork staircase makes a statement, while sparkling crystal chandeliers evoke the flurry of flashbulbs that punctuate the annual Berlinale Film Festival. Radiating 1920s flair, one wall gleams with stylised champagne glasses while guests will find one of the recurring motifs of the new design at reception: an abstract representation of a screen, reminiscent of film star’s cloakrooms.

“It is wonderful to see how the architecture of the building, with its light sandstone façade, compliments the elegant interior design, forming a harmonious whole,” said Robert Petrović, General Director at The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin. “We wanted to make our new Art Deco design story as personal as possible – our guests are our focus.”

Image credit: Matthew Shaw

In the style of early 20th century literary salons, the spacious lobby is the ideal place for guests to relax, exchange ideas or enjoy a game of chess. An eye-catching marble fireplace replaces real flames with a bold sculpture, while She Represents, a 1928 painting by artist Jeanne Mammen, hangs above the mantelpiece – a declaration of love for the vitality of Berlin women. The adjoining space, flooded with daylight, features views of Potsdamer Platz, providing an ambience of a retreat where guests can take a break from the bustling city.

The lovingly redesigned guest rooms and suites of The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin are epitome of modern luxury. Day meets night in the contrasting colours of full-height headboards, while geometric patterns symbolise the historical significance of Potsdamer Platz. As with the lobby, the rooms also echo the city’s great film heritage. Elegant wash and make-up tables suggest the wardrobes of early silver screen icons while the sleek honour bar offers a nod to their classic wardrobe boxes”. State of
the art technology is also thoughtfully woven into the experience, including touchscreens controlling all in-room electronics and convenient charging stations built into seating. In the Carlton Club Suite, shades of blue represent the moon and Berlin nightlife and in The Ritz-Carlton Suite, warm golden tones are a nod to the city’s sunny sides.

The Lounge creates the heart of the hotel, shining in new splendour with dazzling mirror accents across its marble floor.  Designed in the style of a South American hacienda, a Living Room lies in the heart of the bar with a stage for live music.  A vision in red and gold, the Fragrances Bar is home to the high art of mixology, centred around scents and where Heissen enthrals guests with his “fragrant” cocktail creations. An interactive experience, guests choose their favourite cocktails from a walk-through bar menu, the Hall of Fame, where each drink is inspired by a top-quality gourmet perfume. The bar’s design is based on elaborate perfume flacons with ingredients and spirits arranged in pharmacy bottles, reflecting the mixologist’s experimental work. Dark mirrors underscore the sensual approach and mystical character of the space, with six avant-garde Golden Age-inspired drawings by local artist Tina Berning lining the walls.

Re-envisaged by interior expert Carbone Design, the hotel’s newly modernized wellness space brings a hint of glamour to the workout and wellness experience. Guests can also take advantage of two saunas, a cosmetic treatment menu and state-of-the-art fitness equipment. The divisible ballroom of the Beletage conference area is ideal for lavish parties as well as corporate events. Inspired by the 1920s nightlife, Czech lighting designer Lasvit created large Bohemian glass lamps in striking shapes, giving special dimension to the space. Seven additional event rooms featuring state-of-the-art technology have a total area of 1,800 square metres.

Main image credit: Matthew Shaw

Duravit wins iF DESIGN AWARD for XSquare bathroom furniture range

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Duravit continues to confirm the success of its innovative bathroom products by winning an iF Design Award… 

Duravit was among the winners at this year’s iF DESIGN AWARD; the award went to the XSquare bathroom furniture series, created by Duravit in conjunction with the designer Kurt Merki Jr.

The XSquare furniture range is both impressive and striking, with contemporary, elegant style. The quadrant-shaped chrome profile which edges the furniture emphasizes its characteristic design. On the floor-standing model, the transition from the body of the furniture to the base is absolutely seamless.

The chrome profile accentuates the frame of both floor standing and wall hanging variants and continues around the corner radius of the washbasin, creating harmony and at the same time a distinctly unique touch. The vanity units, mirrors, and mirror-cabinet solutions from the range are also designed with the elegant chrome profile, enabling a luxurious washing area to be created.

Three new, special furniture finishes (Matt Light Blue, Matt Concrete Grey, and Satin-Matt Aubergine) plus the linen décor finish, complete the wide colour palette; there are 28 furniture finishes in décor matt or lacquer; satin-matt or high-gloss are also available.

Modern bathroom

Image credit: Duravit

The console panel is available in one of the cabinet colours or additionally in solid Natural Walnut which creates a variety of completely new and individual colour combinations for XSquare.

Two or even three colours can be used in combination with the lacquer finish, chrome profile and console panel creating new contrasts and high-class designs.

Handle-free fronts with push-to-open technology subtly highlight the elegant and inspiring overall design. The new furniture range has a striking effect, creating clearly structured features in the room.

For 65 years, the iF DESIGN AWARD has been a recognised trademark for outstanding design all over the world. The iF DESIGN AWARD is one of the most prestigious awards in the world. It is awarded once a year by the world’s oldest independent design institution, iF International Forum Design GmbH in Hanover. The 67-strong, independent, international expert jury selects the winners of the coveted quality seal from among 6,375 entries from 52 countries.

Duravit is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, click here.

ISH PREVIEW: In Conversation With Utopia Projects on bathroom design

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With the increase in demand from hotel operators and owners for the bathroom to become the statement areas within the modern hotel, Hotel Designs’ editor, Hamish Kilburn, sits down with Utopia Projects’ project consultant, Stuart Adamson and director Howard Jones to break down how to create the perfect hotel bathroom… 

Having designed bathroom in hotels such as South Place Hotel London (the hotel that was the set of the NTA award-winning drama series, The Bodyguard), Kimpton Fitzroy London, Pullman London – while currently working on the highly anticipated The Brooklyn in Manchester, Utopia Projects has seen bathroom design go from a necessary facility within a hotel to an area of real design potential. With ISH just around the corner, I sat down with Stuart Adamson and Howard Jones Howard from Utopia projects to understand more about the company and its unique offering.

Image credit: South place Hotel London

Hamish Kilburn: Can you give us an example, from start to finish, on how you help designers create a hotel bathroom?

Stuart Adamson: The same process applies to each project from the earliest possible start, concept stage for new build is ideal. For refurbishment  projects, as early in the process as possible we sit with the designer to review proposed layout drawings and dimensions and discuss functionality, style, colour and budget before we issue a proposal with images and descriptions of all products, and review again as a fine tuning process.

“The three- to four- star projects are driven much more by water-saving products.” –  Stuart Adamson, Utopia Projects

HK: How are wellness trends changing the design of the modern hotel bathroom?

SA: Wellness trends are very much budget driven for the contemporary hotel bathroom. The likes of shower toilets are desired, especially to attract foreign visitor, into major tourist hubs. However, this is driven usually by five- or six-star hotels. The three- to four- star projects are driven much more by water-saving products tied to a good experience from the shower and a good aesthetic. Hoteliers look at maintenance issues also in relation to wellness trends. If there is the possibility of introducing product that is not tried and tested or with great warranty and service package attached, there can be a reluctance to commit to product that has an effect return on investment.

Howard Jones: I think there is more and more technology coming into bathrooms, bidet toilets are almost common place within most manufacturers offerings and certainly being asked for by clients in London. LED lighting under toilets, in shower door profiles, behind mirrors, inside vanity units etc. Bluetooth mirrors with built in speakers, digital showers.

Image credit: Kimpton Fitzroy London

HK: How is the evolution of technology changing the design of modern hotel bathrooms?

SA: Digital showers and hands-free functions for shower toilets are the main areas we have experienced. Push-button fittings for showers are becoming popular too. Anything that the user can use intuitively is a requirement. Simplicity is key!

HK: Can you share any tips in achieving the luxury look on a budget? 

SA: Give Utopia Projects a call and we will talk you through the process. Don’t be put off by brands that can appear expensive at retail cost, our relationships and contract led pricing mean that your budget can go along way with Utopia Projects.

HJ: Minimal/timeless designs on taps, showers etc. Large format wall tiles marble effect give the appearance of a marble slab.

“The most common pitfall is selling a design to a client before they know it’s a workable function.” – Stuart Adamson, Utopia Projects.

HK: What would you say were the most significant product launches of last year?

SA: Not sure they were many last year but the Kit 40 intelligent waste for Victoria & Albert is great! They allow for free-standing that usually comes without overflow to be able to be specified in the hotel market. The intelligent waste is also the overflow giving peace of mind that the bath won’t flood the room. This offers freedom of design that was previously restricted.

Image credit: Pullman Hotels

HK: In your experience, what are the most common pitfalls in bathroom design, and how can designers avoid them?

SA: The most common pitfall is selling a design to a client before they know it’s a workable function. That’s why we recommend early dialogue with Utopia Projects. We can talk through what is actually possible with you and allow the design team to propose a working solution that meets design and budget ER’s.

HJ: Answering from a residential perspective, not thinking about the drainage in the bathroom. Bathrooms tend to be drawn out as boxes with generic toilets, basins and baths plotted in the room. If more though is put into the location of each item with the drainage then its quite easy to achieve a simple layout which works.

HK: We recently worked with Jason Bradbury to help us understand what the hotel room of the future might look like. Can you predict for us what the hotel bathroom of the future will look like?

SA: Many manufacturers are looking to offer an integrated solution fabricated off site for shower cubicles/basin vanity units, using solid surface materials as a bespoke solution. So I see the future as simplicity of design, integrated fittings and accents of coloured brassware.

HJ: High-end hotels will be filled with automation, services similar to Amazon Alexa enabling voice control for your shower or bath fill. I think there will be more pod style hotels appear too as the demand increases.

HK: What’s the most bizarre brief you have worked on?

SA: One-off residential projects are the most bizarre as the client does not really know what they want and the architect pushes through to us to provide a solution; we then have to interpret clients’ tastes and style.

“Colour trends change so quickly that often by the time the room is installed the next trend is developing” – Stuart Adamson, Utopia Projects

HK: What has been the most challenging project to work on – and why?

SA: The most challenging was probably a refurbishment projects I did for a number of hotels for an international brand. The project was a partial refit of bathrooms over several sites. The challenge was site inspecting every room (more than 1,000) and recommending product to the current design and cost team; then communicating this to the six contractors that were awarded the projects.

Each project adapted as the work commenced on site, our expertise was used to lead the design and contract teams to find the solution to the product selection on site as they developed. It was challenging, particularly as communication across client/design team/cost consultants and installers/contractors all had to be managed along with their expectations on budget and timescale.

HJ: Two private residences in London. Each project had unique products in every bathroom. There was a total of around 20 bathrooms with the majority of the brassware being supplied bespoke by THG Paris.

HK: Colour in the bathroom, what are your thoughts on this?

SA: Accents of colour is the key. Simple and discreet to enhance the designer’s overall package. Colour trends change so quickly that often by the time the room is installed the next trend is developing. Stick to classic chrome/nickel or black.

HJ: I think its here to stay. Matt black has been around a number of years and is still popular, bronze, brass, copper all seem very popular too. The technology of the PVD plating now I think has given people new confidence in colours, gone are the days that gold would fade if sprayed with CIF.

HK: Which bathroom trend do you hope never returns?

Both SA and HJ agree: Avacado bathroom suites!

SA: Sanitaryware colours in general really date a bathroom. I always try to keep the bath as a no tap hole and use wall mounted bath fillers either concealed or exposed, or overflow fillers from a concealed valve. I hate with a passion to see deck mounted product on the bath, dirt traps and hard to clean. Toilet brush holders, as well, get rid of them! They’re unsanitary and ugly!

Utopia Projects is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, click here.

Main image caption: Stuart Adamson & Howard Jones

 

IHG announces voco arrival in the Netherlands

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Strong momentum for IHG’s newest upscale brand in Europe continues with signing in The Hague in the Netherlands…

The InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) and UBM Development AG have announced the signing of the first voco hotel in the Netherlands which is planned to open in 2020. The signing is the first publicly announced signing in Continental Europe underscoring the strong momentum of the voco brand in the region since its launch in June 2018.

voco – Kneuterdijk 8 will be set in a beautiful building located in the city centre of The Hague that formerly housed a bank. The hotel will be in close proximity to the town’s famous sights, several museums, parks and the shopping mile.

Launched in June 2018, voco — inspired by the meaning ‘to invite’ or to ‘come together’ in Latin — combines the informality and charm of an individual hotel with the quality and reassurance of a global and respected brand. The signing of voco The Hague – Kneuterdijk 8 follows the recent openings of the first three voco hotels in the world — voco Gold Coast in Australia, voco Cardiff and voco Solihull in the UK – and continuing the strong momentum for IHG’s newest upscale brand in Europe.

With a listed façade dating from the 1920s and an expansive atrium, the property is quite an impressive sight to behold – naturally, all historic features will be retained and very carefully renovated. Inside, the hotel will be no less awe-inspiring – containing more than 200 exquisite rooms and suites.

“After its completion in 2020, the new hotel will serve as an exceptional meeting point for all.”

The new voco The Hague combines a very laid-back comfort, a relaxed approach and individual hospitality – which will be evident in both the culinary offerings of the hotel, and in every aspect of the Kneuterdijk 8 location. It will have direct access to the pedestrian area of Noordeinde welcoming tourists and locals alike. After its completion in 2020, the new hotel will serve as an exceptional meeting point for all, becoming a centre for travellers as well as a very accessible gastronomic and life-style hotspot.

Mario Maxeiner, Managing Director Northern Europe, IHG, comments: “The voco Kneuterdijk 8 in The Hague marks the first publicly announced signing of our new brand in Continental Europe. This signing continues the accelerated growth of the voco brand since we first launched it last June and we are looking forward to bringing its upscale offerings to more travellers who seek a reliably different guest experience. We see lots of potential for voco in Europe and are excited to expand its presence further across the region.”

“UBM Development is the leading hotel developer in Europe with more than 50 hotels realised over the past 25 years,” said Rolf Hübner, Managing Director of UBM Hotels Management. “This is our third hotel in the Netherlands as well as a very special project. Our business relationship with IHG started many years ago and has already resulted in the completion of 14 hotels. It is a sign of their trust and a reflection of our previous successful cooperation that they have also decided to cooperate with us on their first voco hotel in the Netherlands. voco is a perfect fit with UBM because it stands for individuality, and we, as a developer, demand the highest quality in terms of guest experience.”

voco is IHG’s newest upscale brand, launched in June 2018. It can be used for new builds, but it is also designed to be particularly suitable for owners to use as a conversion brand. It strengthens IHG’s offer in the $40 billion upscale segment, which is expected to grow by a further $20 billion by 2025. The new brand will drive significant incremental growth for IHG, with an expectation to open more than 200 voco hotels in attractive urban and leisure locations over the next 10 years.

Main image credit: voco/IHG

Sustainable design transforms London boutique hotel

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Each guestroom of the newly renovated Fuller’s Fox & Goose has been consciously designed to allow for the highest degree of sustainable and ethical sourcing…

Interior architects Sibley Grove has completed work on a collection of hotel guestrooms for the brewery, Fuller, Smith & Turner at The Fox & Goose business hotel in Ealing, London.

All products and materials used in the project have been assessed on five fundamental principles: aesthetic quality, build quality, value, environmental impact and social impact. The bespoke joinery has been designed for disassembly making it easier to reuse the materials in the future. Meanwhile, the upholstery and dressing items have been created using fabric with recycled content from mills in the UK or mainland Europe. Cradle to Cradle CertifiedTM products have been used throughout, including suspended ceilings from Armstrong, Tiles from Mosa and carpets from Ege Carpets.

Sibley Grove strongly believes that design should be a vehicle for positive change – both environmentally and socially. “A chair that looks great, is affordable and well made, but achieves this through being manufactured in a factory with poor employment rights and a lack of safety equipment is a failed product,” says Sibley Grove director, Jeremy Grove. “Likewise, a product from a great factory using sustainable materials that is poorly made and overpriced is an equally failed product.”

“We’re making a continuous effort to tackle some of the issues that are rife in the design industry.

“In today’s world, regardless of budget, it’s unacceptable to knowingly create stuff that is harmful to the environment or reliant on an exploited labour market. Cradle to Cradle is a great system for designers to measure and manage the impact of the products they specify as it takes into consideration material health, renewable energy, water stewardship and social fairness.”

Image credit: Sibley Grove

Key materials used in the project:

Major suppliers include Castlebrook (furniture), Mosa, Ege, Hansgrohe, Armstrong and recommended supplier Chelsom Lighting.

Reading lighting on side of headboard

Image caption: Chelsom Lighting were used as a sustainable lighting product for the project

The project uses materials, fixtures and fittings that are considerate of the environmental and social impact, with no additional cost to the client. The guestrooms are light, bright and open space with contemporary detailing. In addition, the space is functional and practical, perfect for business customers.

 

Sibley Grove is an interior design studio founded by Kate Sibley and Jeremy Grove, based in Totnes, Devon. The company has a deliberately open and collaborative approach to design, bringing together local suppliers with global companies and clients who share our commitment and ambition to design things better.

 

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SPOTLIGHT ON: Technology products to look out for in 2019

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Ahead of Hospitality Tech & Innovation Forum which takes place on March 25 – 26, and to launch this month’s Spotlight On Technology, Hotel Designs has identified interesting technology products to look out for in 2019… 

Predicting the future is something that the team at Hotel Designs has become used to since the growing demand for designers and architects wanting to know all about the latest tech products that are on the market. Here are some slick examples of tech products that are taking international design into the future.

1) Bang Olufson – Beosound Edge

The speaker on a pink carpet

Image credit: Bang Olufsen

Described as “the perfect circle”, the Beosound Edge is a speaker and minimalist design object in one. Designed by Michael Anastassiades, the product has been conceptualised for intuitive touch and motion so that it’s an unbroken circle of clarity and beauty. Ideal for the contemporary hotel where design can be personalised, the product has been engineered to move and to be moved.

> Read more about Beosound Edge here

2) Hamilton Litestat – Smart Multi-room Audio System 

Modern kitchen with Hamilton's smart switch on the right

Image credit: Hamilton Litestat

Hamilton Litestat produces high quality decorative electrical wiring accessories, circuit protection, smart lighting controls and multi-room audio systems, designed and manufactured to meet the project demands of architects, interior designers and installers. Ideal for high-end suites, its Smart Multi-room audio system enables up to four separate music sources to be connected and controlled in four separate rooms or zones.

> Read more about Smart Multi-room Audio System here

3) Punkt – DP01 cordless phone

red phone sideways on

Image credit: Punkt

“I consider the voice a to be powerful instrument in human communication. Face-to-face conversation is best, but giving someone a call comes a close second,” said Petter Neby, founder of Punkt. With real, physical buttons, the DP01 is a mains-operated cordless phone that comes in three colours (white, black and red).

When the DP01 is not in use it sits face up in its cradle, so incoming calls can be viewed at a glance and outgoing calls can be dialled without picking it up. And its physical form is designed to allow it to sit stably on a desk without wobbling around: much more convenient for hands-free operation.

> Read more about Punkt’s DP01 here

4) Nokia Advanced Sleep Tracker

Image credit: Jason Bradbury

Mentioned during tech expert Jason Bradbury’s review of Eccleston Square Hotel, Nokia Sleep is a Wi-Fi enabled pad that fits under the mattress and provides insight into the quality of the sleep experience while offering environment control through IFTTT, an automation service for all internet-connected things. The new sleep sensor includes:

  • Sleep cycle analysis: sleep duration and interruptions; light, deep and rapid-eye-movement phases; and snoring tracking.
  • An individualized Sleep Score is provided to indicate how restorative a night’s sleep was, and educate users about what makes a good night’s sleep and how they can improve night after night.
  • Smart Home control via the IFTTT home automation platform. Nokia Sleep acts as a switch to automatically control lights, thermostats and more by getting into and out of bed. For example, users can automatically dim the lights when they get into bed.
  • Nokia Sleep synchronizes automatically with the Nokia Health Mate app so users can have all their health data in one place. The app provides data history, personalized advice and coaching programs, including one developed specifically around sleep.

> Read Jason Bradbury’s review of Eccleston Square here

5) DLAppTap

screenshot of the app

Image credit: Design Life/ DLAppTap

DLAppTap is an innovative iPhone and iPad app that allows hotels to easily sell their beautiful products to guests in their properties without the need for in-house retail operations. With DLAppTap, hotels can capitalise on new revenue streams, achieve ROI from refurbishments and improve and provide higher levels of guest-centric services.

The new hospitality-focused tool is an extension of the soon-to-be-launched DesignLife App, which, as the video below demonstrates, was developed to showcase residential products. The iOS app becomes a platform for individual hospitality venues thanks to encoded Near-field Communication (NFC) labels, which are discreetly attached to items available for purchase. After downloading DLAppTap, guests can view the specifications, measurements, costs, lead times, shipping and payment options for any labelled item they “tap” with their mobile devices. Purchases can even be added to their guestroom bills. Orders are automatically sent to manufacturers, with the hotel receiving 25 per cent commission.

> Read more about DLAppTap here

6) Modio – Guestroom Acoustic Control 

Sleeping girl on bed in front of product

Image credit: Modio

Made for hotels, MODIO introduces a continuous soothing background sound into the room, allowing guests to control its ambience the same way they control temperature and lighting.

The sound is similar to soft airflow, designed for comfort and engineered to cover a wide variety of hotel noises. Far superior to white noise apps or clock radio style products emitting nature sounds, MODIO is a commercial-grade device designed, manufactured and supported by a company with more than 40 years’ experience in the sound masking field.

Hotel guests will benefit from the same world-leading technology used by our corporate, healthcare and military clients.

> Read more about Modio here

7) Moasure 

Image credit: Moasure

Ideal for all designers and architects, Moasure’s patented technology uses motion to make measurements, leveraging inertial sensors and a proprietary algorithm to deliver an innovative new way to measure.

> Read more about Moasure here

8) Sumnuva

Image credit: Sumnuva

Somnuva has been designed to be as user friendly and intuitive as possible, and as such, the screens presented are as simple as possible whilst still allowing as much flexibility within the product as possible.

Somnuva worked with Cambridge Industrial Design to seamlessly blend innovative acoustic technology with a beautifully designed product that naturally fits in any living space.

The aesthetics of the hard sub-frame with delicate fabric sleeves were designed to  ensure that the directional acoustics weren’t affected, but that the users have flexibility to tailor and personalise their Somnuva

> Read more about Sumnuva here

 

Main image credit: Nokia Sleep/YouTube

Marriott to add more than 30 luxury hotels internationally in 2019

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Hotel giant Marriott International plans to add hotels across its eight luxury brands…

Marriott International has announced that it is projecting to open more than 30 luxury properties in 2019, furthering the company’s global perspective on luxury travel with its ensemble of eight distinct luxury brands. Through the world-renowned hospitality hallmarks of The Ritz-Carlton, Ritz-Carlton Reserve, St. Regis, W, The Luxury Collection, EDITION, JW Marriott and Bulgari, Marriott International continues to push boundaries, creating new guest experiences which meet the needs of the evolving luxury traveller.

With hotels in more than 60 countries and territories, the hotel giant is poised to expand its luxury footprint with more than 200 properties in the development pipeline, representing 20 new countries for the company’s luxury portfolio, from Sri Lanka to Bermuda and Morocco to Kenya.

“Our eight unique luxury brands provide distinct experiences that appeal to different types of luxury travelers, no matter if your priority is residing at the best address in town, completely immersing yourself in your destination, or prioritizing your wellbeing,” said Tina Edmundson, Global Brand Officer and Luxury Portfolio Leader, Marriott International. “From the world’s most iconic destinations to the ultimate undiscovered gems, we are focused on elevating travel with highly contextualized, nuanced brand experiences that signal the future of luxury by allowing our guests to indulge their passions while sparking personal growth.”

A global luxury study, conducted in partnership with creative agency Team One, revealed that luxury travellers of today are travelling not just to discover the world, but also to discover something about themselves. Edmundson continued: “When it comes to experiences, people today are seeking more meaning and personal significance rather than just the opportunity to indulge. Travellers have become active participants in the trips they are taking – they are more engaged and vested than ever before. Ultimately, global luxurians are becoming ‘creators’ in every aspect of their travel experience and for this group, travel is no longer a departure from reality, it is the reality.” With a rapidly growing global footprint and eight distinct luxury brands, Marriott International is uniquely positioned to deliver on these new expectations, inviting globally-minded travelers to look at the world through a new lens. “For our guests, we strive to go beyond offering moments of delight, to creating experiences that will profoundly inspire and transform,” said Edmundson.

Ritz-Carlton to set a new standard of luxury 

Known for its legendary service and refined design, The Ritz-Carlton will continue to set the standard for luxury. With six openings anticipated in the year ahead, the iconic luxury brand also expects to celebrate the opening of its 100th property. The brand is expected to make its return to Australia with the debut of The Ritz-Carlton, Perthand is slated to grow in China with the opening of The Ritz-Carlton, Xi’an. Showcasing the beauty of the Moroccan landscape and culture, The Ritz-Carlton Rabat, Dar es Salam is set to offer an oasis in the country’s vibrant capital, while The Ritz-Carlton, Mexico City will invite guests to experience the city through a new perspective. With a mission to inspire travel and create memories for its guests, the brand also expects to see the completion of a major renovation of The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park and to continue to work towards the inaugural voyage of The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection in February 2020.

St. Regis anticipates grand debuts in global hotspots

Currently offering more than 40 hotels in 20 countries and territories, St. Regis recently celebrated the renovation of The St. Regis Rome along with the opening of The St. Regis Zhuhai, China’s premier tourist destination on the Pearl River Delta. In the coming year, St. Regis is planning to debut the André Fu-designed St. Regis Hong Kongwhere the award-winning designer will blend the brand’s timeless elegance with silhouettes representative of the city’s architectural and cultural diversity. The brand is also set to expand its footprint in Europe with The St. Regis Venice, which is ideally situated on the Grand Canal and offers a central location from which to explore the historic city. Finally, St. Regis is also expecting to bring its modern glamour and bespoke service to Cairo, a destination that has captivated travelers for generations and one which is quickly reclaiming its place as a hot spot for the global explorer.

W Rewrites the rules

Trailblazing its way around the globe, W broke the norms of traditional luxury in destinations including Brisbane, Amman and Costa Rica in 2018. The luxury rebel also rewrote the music festival rules, taking the festival experience off the field and onto fabulous hotel grounds with the global launch of WAKE UP CALL. Bringing people closer to the music than ever before, the brand’s signature music festival series made stops at W Hollywood, W Barcelona and W Bali. This year, the brand will live out its mission to fuel guests’ lust for life with eight hotels projected to open, ranging from Aspen and Ibiza to Muscat and Melbourne. W skillfully balances the power of a global brand with the relevance and personality of a local insider and continues to revitalize its global portfolio with multi-million-dollar renovations planned or underway at more than half its properties in North America, including W Washington D.C. and W San Francisco.

EDITION continues growth in iconic destinations

In 2018 the EDITION brand doubled its footprint, growing from four properties to eight with openings in Shanghai, Bodrum, Barcelona and Abu Dhabi. The in-demand lifestyle brand was created through a collaboration between boutique hotel creator and innovator Ian Schrager and Marriott International, which offers sophisticated design, a curated taste of the destination and modern service. Next up, the brand expects to redefine luxury with its recent opening in New York City’s Times Square and will bring its distinct perspective to West Hollywood with a scheduled opening in Q2 2019.

The Luxury Collection brings authentic charm to new destinations

Offering the promise of unique, authentic experiences, The Luxury Collection is a rapidly growing ensemble of 110 hotels in more than 30 countries and territories around the world. In 2018, the brand made its debut in Savannah with the opening of Perry Lane, expanded its footprint in Paris through Hôtel de Berri and brought distinct resort design to Los Cabos with Solaz, among other exciting debuts. With each hotel serving as a portal to the destination’s indigenous charms and treasures, The Luxury Collection anticipates debuting nine properties this year in coveted locations such as Okinawa, Cesme, Buckinghamshire, and Budapest.

JW Marriott Inspires the Passions 

JW Marriott offers differentiated luxury experiences at 84 hotels and resorts in nearly 30 countries and territories, including the recent opening of JW Marriott Nashville. Inspired by its legendary namesake, JW Marriott is committed to curating uplifting experiences for guests, delivering experiences and environments that help guests be fully present and bringing people together to celebrate life’s most meaningful moments. This year, JW Marriott anticipates continuing to bring its distinct style of warm service to established and emerging destinations with planned openings from the Maldives and Shanghai to Savannah, GA.

Marriott International currently encompasses a portfolio of more than 6,900 properties in 30 leading hotel brands spanning 130 countries and territories. Marriott operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts all around the world.

Main image credit: EDITION/Marriott International

Ruby Hotels to open first Nordic hotel

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The 142-room property in Finland’s Helsinki is the latest installment in ‘lean luxury’ hotel brand’s expansion plan…

Ruby Hotels, since unveiling plans for UK and international expansion at the end of last year, has announced plans for its first Nordic property in the Finnish capital, Helsinki, to open in the first quarter of 2021. The new hotel forms part of an expansion plan for Ruby Hotels to unveil a total of nine new hotels by 2021.

Set within a historic 19th-century building, in the same plot which housed Finnish national poet Johan Ludvig Runeberg, the new hotel will be located in Helsinki’s charming Kruununhaka district. Enjoying a central position between the city’s main railway station and the hip district of Kallio, guests will be just steps from hotspots including the harbour and marketplace, Helsinki cathedral and the beating heart of the local nightlife, Tori Quarters.

A collaboration with Finnish project developer ICON Real Estate, the hotel will house 142 guest rooms, ranging in size from cosy ‘Nest’ rooms (13-15m²) to expansive ‘Loft’ rooms (23-38m²), a stylish 24-hour bar and breakfast area, a spacious outside terrace and – in a nod to traditional Finnish culture – Ruby Hotels’ first in-hotel Sauna.

“This works because we accommodate luxury in a relatively condensed space, similar to luxury yachts, and we forego unnecessary services,” explains Michael Struck, Ruby Founder and CEO. “Thanks to proprietary technical innovations, we plan, build and organize ourselves differently from conventional hotels. To be precise, we plan and build in a very modular way and centralize as well as automatize processes behind the scenes wherever possible. This helps us create a luxurious and unique hotel experience at an affordable price.”

A laid-back, contemporary design will take inspiration from the area’s Jugendstil art-nouveau style, with quirky touches such as the inclusion of a Marshall guitar amp in each room. Guests will be able to use the amp with their own guitar or one borrowed from reception, and will enjoy ‘Ruby Radio’, the hotel group’s own internet radio station.

Cutting-edge technology will be on offer throughout the property; in each room guests will find a personal tablet PC and smartphone pre-loaded with Ruby Hotels’ carefully-curated Helsinki city guide, social media apps and unlimited data and calls to use throughout their stay. A state-of-the-art self-check-in system will make use of tablets to reduce check-in time to under one minute, leaving guests free to make the most of their stay.

Just like the group’s other houses, the new hotel will follow Ruby Hotels’ ‘Lean Luxury’ philosophy: a top location, high-quality fittings, and outstanding design. All of this is offered at an affordable price by rigorously cutting out the superfluous and focusing on the essential.

The Ruby Helsinki development is a part of a half-city-block-sized (10,000m2) real estate project which will revitalise the neighbourhood, with a further 50-60 luxury apartments ranging from studios to 4-bedroom apartments also under construction next door.

Main image credit: Ruby Hotels

Victoria + Albert Baths introduce a new colour service

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The new colour finishes from Victoria + Albert Baths will be officially launched this month at ISH Frankfurt and London Design Week at Design Centre Chelsea Harbour…

In response to a strong demand for bespoke colour finishes, luxury British bathing brand Victoria + Albert Baths, is proud to now offer 194 RAL colour exterior finishes across the entire collection of freestanding QUARRYCAST baths and basins. This follows in the footsteps of the brand’s six popular standard paint finishes, launched in 2016.

Creating a bathroom to reflect your individual sense of style has never been easier – with the new colours and feet finishes, Victoria + Albert’s tubs are fully customisable. They are now able to offer more than 28,000 variants of their baths, and more than 5,000 basin variants. Customers can choose between gloss or matt finishes, offering an even greater choice.

The exterior paint finishes contrast with the crisp white QUARRYCAST interior of the freestanding baths and basins. Renowned by homeowners and designers alike for its durability, QUARRYCAST is naturally white, beautifully strong and easy to clean.

Living Coral coloured bath

Image credit: Victoria + Albert

The addition of a brightly coloured, freestanding bath or basin is the perfect way to inject colour into any bathroom space and creates a striking focal point. Whether you’re tapping into the botanical trend with deep greens and earthy tones, or are looking for a vibrant and eye-catching finish, such as this year’s Pantone Colour of the Year, Living Coral, Victoria + Albert Baths now offers an incredibly wide selection to choose from.

Each finish is multi layered using a specialist catalysed paint and is hand polished between applications. This technique results in an exceptional depth and lustre to the finish and is considerably more durable than hand painted surfaces. The full selection of available RAL colours will be available to view on the Victoria + Albert Baths website from March.

Main image credit: Victoria + Albert

Moxy NYC Chelsea opens an urban design jungle

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

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

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

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

Image credit: Michael Kleinberg/Moxy Chelsea/Marriott International

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

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

Decadent rooftop bar

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

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

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

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

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

*subject to change depending on hospitality landscape and market conditions

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

FIRST LOOK: Apex unveils Insta-worthy London suite

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Apex Hotels has unveiled the Temple Suite in London that has been designed with Instagram in mind… 

Following the Hotel Designs’ series, Designing Instagrammable, Apex Hotels has revealed a sneak peek at the fabulous, ‘Instagrammable’ interiors that lie within the £6 million extension to its hotel on London’s Fleet Street.

The Temple Suite is considered the jewel in the crown of the multi-million pound extension, which also boasts four deluxe Grand Suites. Each one is perfect for those looking for a new type of luxury in the capital, and those who want to witness #interiordesigngoals first-hand.

While the Grand Suites are already available to book, the outstanding Temple Suite has been kept under wraps – but now the first images have been released, showing exactly what potential guests can expect when the space opens for booking on March 3.

It includes original fireplaces, bespoke furnishings in rich jewel tones, luxury linens and a bathroom (complete with underfloor heating) that’s just begging for mirror-selfies to be snapped.

Image credit: Apex Hotel

Set within a Grade II listed building on the capital’s Fleet Street, dating back to 1912, the Temple and Grande Suites sit alongside ‘The Amicable Society of Lazy Ballerinas’ – a brand new stylish, decadent wine bar – and private dining rooms to really give guests a taste of the ‘suite’ life.

Guests can cosy up in the coolest of surroundings in the Temple Suite, which features a sophisticated grey colour palette that is injected with warmth thanks to the original parquet flooring and wall panelling.

There’s a chance to relax on Scandi-inspired, bold furniture upholstered in rich velvets and textured wools, whilst snapping away at contemporary features including striking pendant lighting, and the intricately detailed glassware and accessories dotted throughout.

Image credit: Apex Hotels

Before languishing in luxury with access to a personal concierge service, guests can be whisked straight into their suite for a private, queue-free check-in before settling in with a welcome drink, testing out the luxury linens and making the most of the sumptuous surroundings – including a totally personalised mini-bar.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to reveal the striking Temple Suite which, along with our Grand Suites, has come as a result of a meticulous, multi-million pound restoration and refurbishment of the stunning Grade II listed building situated right next door to our original Fleet Street hotel,” Karl Mitchell, General Manager at Apex Temple Court Hotel. “Not only are each of the suites entirely Instagram-worthy, with beautiful furnishings and facilities masterminded by our architects, ISA; each and every guest who stays within the suites will enjoy a totally bespoke stay – from a private check-in and access to a personal concierge, to a mini-bar stocked with their favourite tipples and much more. No two stays will be the same.

“Just imagine lazing in front of the fire with your favourite drink from the personalised mini bar…it’s just one of the blissful ways our guests can spend a stay at our magnificent suites.”

Guests looking for a new type of luxury in London can now book to stay at the 115 square metres of pure, opulent relaxation that is the stand-alone Temple Suite – or at one of the four Grande Suites.

 

5 ways to use storytelling to increase hotel revenue

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As consumers become more and more design savvy when checking in to a hotel, marketing expert Chloe Bennet from UK Services Reviews explores ways in which hotels can increase their profits with the perfect narrative… 

Storytelling is an invaluable component of any hotel marketing strategy. Sharing the right narrative is perfect for content marketing as well as creating a bio that allows hotels to connect with their audience. Here are six ways to use storytelling to increase hotel revenue.

People tell stories, and listen to stories, every day without even realising it. “Stories resonate with customers on a deep, human level. In order to succeed in this industry, your marketing efforts must go beyond simply selling hotel rooms at a certain price. You need to connect with your customer base on an emotional level, so that you can make yourself stand out in an overcrowded and competitive market,” suggests Jose Guenther, storyteller at Academized. The digital age has created a ton of opportunities for marketers to use storytelling, which is fortunate because many customers are wary of conventional marketing tactics.

“It’s all about weaving together the different strands to create an interesting and engaging narrative.”

1) Visual storytelling and hotel marketing online

So how do we go about using online storytelling to increase hotel revenue? It’s all about weaving together the different strands to create an interesting and engaging narrative. Guests checking in are a lot less concerned with basic elements such as amenities and information about the room. It’s not that these things aren’t important, it’s just that in the digital age, guests are looking for visuals of what a hotel has to offer. Whenever you can, tell your story through high resolution photographs, combined with riveting narratives. Hotels should focus on interactive storytelling whenever possible, using things like short videos that shows off the hotel’s best features. It’s hard to go wrong with video content, as long as you keep in mind how short attention spans are online.

2) Shaping your digital story

A hotel’s number one job when crafting its story is to create a connection with its audience. Consumers tend to make purchasing decisions based on how they feel, not how they think. If a hotel wants to connect with its audience in this way, it has to get to know its guests first. Target the right segments, learn what they’re looking for, and create content that appeals to them and their needs. Segments and groups will respond differently to different forms of content, so don’t take a shotgun approach that tries to market to everyone at once. A great story told through the wrong kind of content will not be as effective.

3) Make your stories authentic

A hotel’s stories should feel real and have a natural flow to them. If a hotel can include stories from its guests, then that is even better. There’s no reason for a hotel to make stories up, instead hotels should have a wealth of stories and experiences to draw from. Make the story align with the strongest aspects of the hotel, whatever that may be.

4) Storytelling methods

There are a ton of different ways to tell your story, and you’ll probably find there are multiple ones that work for your situation and audience. Will you take advantage of the two-way communication that using social media offers? Maybe you’ll even put the call out to your audience to create some original content. Each hotel’s methods will depend on its audience and its goals. It’s critical that hotels have a goal that can be measured, so they can determine how effective its storytelling is. Data collecting should work to steer the storytelling strategy back on course if it needs correcting or adjustments.

5) Tell better stories by improving your writing skills

To use storytelling to increase your hotel revenue, you’ll need to be writing at a decent level. A lot of people don’t even realise where their writing weaknesses lie. Thanks to the online age, though, there are a number of effective websites out their to help professionals start writing the first chapter:

  • ViaWriting and MyWritingWay – Use these grammar resources to check over your copy for grammatical errors. Don’t risk leaving in mistakes that can discredit you and make you look like an amateur.
  • Big Assignments and Assignment Help – Check out these editing tools, they’ve been reviewed positively by Revieweal and can make your life a lot easier.
  • WritingPopulist and LetsGoandLearn – Read through these writing blogs and improve your knowledge about the writing process. Even if you’re an experienced writer you can find some helpful suggestions and tips here.
  • OXEssays and AustralianReviewer – These online proofreading tools, recommended at BestBritishEssays, are the perfect solution to leaving typos in your copy. Why risk leaving an error in when there are tools that can help?
  • SimpleGrad and State Of Writing – Try out these online writing guides. If you’re struggling with storytelling, there’s a good chance it’s because you’re rushing out drafts without following the proper writing process.

Guests have a myriad of options when it comes to hotels, so it’s crucial to get creative. Good storytelling can differentiate a hotel from the crowd and allow it to form an emotional connection with your audience by sharing its unique personality.

Main image credit: Pexels

Morgan makes a colourful splash

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New commissions from Morgan Furniture showcase appetite for bold and bright colours ahead of SS19…

With the 1970’s vibe in full swing, designers are looking to colours and patterns that arouse and inspire the imagination. Morgan, contract furniture and manufacture, shares two recent commissions that perfectly encapsulate the current taste for vivid, post-Scandinavian palettes.

A family of Chevy dining and meeting chairs brings the seventies into the 21st century with rich gemstone colours. While the collection itself owes its inspiration to the styling and elegance of an earlier era, its timeless silhouette can adapt to any aesthetic sensibility and contract environment. Turned timber legs and a fully wrapped seat detail combine to create a picture of comfort and simplicity.

The Chevy collection brings together five chairs and seven modish coffee tables, available in three heights.

Image caption: Chevy by Morgan Furniture

A pattern reminiscent of the 1980’s Memphis Group’s abstract geometry and Keith Haring’s pop stylings gives these Goodwood lounge chairs punch. Here the collection piece uses upholstery to showcase the graphic motif from fabric designer GP & J Baker.

With customisable arms and an optional high or low back, the Goodwood range invites guests to sit back and relax. The collection has ten chairs and four tables, available in two heights, three top sizes and a choice of glass, timber or marble inset.

Commenting on the two collections, Morgan’s Design Director Katerina Zachariades said: “When we’re developing the concept for a chair design, we look for inspiration in fashion, nature and architecture. This encourages us to use shapes that are enduring, as opposed to transient styling.

“All Morgan furniture is made to order for clients. Upholstery choices help designers’ visions to be brought to life while scale and base options allow for the chair design to be suitable for a variety of uses.”

Morgan is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, click here.

Image caption: Goodwood range by Morgan Furniture

 

Tarkett confirmed as Event Partner for Meet Up London

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Flooring company Tarkett, with more than 130 years’ experience in the industry, has been confirmed as an event partner for Hotel Designs’ exclusive Q1 networking event, Meet Up London… 

As leading designers, architects, hoteliers and suppliers prepare to attend Hotel Designs’ Meet Up London on March 28 at Minotti London, flooring company Tarkett has been confirmed as an event partner.

Mark Burton, National Sales Manager for Retail and Hospitality at Tarkett said about the announcement: “Tarkett has more than 130 years of experience in the flooring industry – with an impressive range of multi-purpose flooring options to suit any hospitality space “In the hospitality sector, it’s all about designing for a memorable experience. Tarkett believes that floors are the ideal playground on which to deliver this, by creating a truly experiential space for visitors. Designers can explore and personalise Tarkett LVT and wood, alongside DESSO carpet flooring ranges, to strengthen brand positioning and enhance customer experience, ultimately attracting and retaining guests and customers. We are delighted to partner with Hotel Designs at this prestigious event.”

In addition to welcoming leading figures of all ages in international hotel design, Meet Up London will also carry a light theme to support young creatives. Attending the evening, courtesy of Hotel Designs, the 40 shortlisted finalists for Hotel Designs’ 30 Under 30 initiative will find out on the night who among them have made the final 30 Under 30.

About Meet Up London

 

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

Venue:
Minotti London Showroom,
77 Margaret St, Fitzrovia, London, W1W 8SY

Date: March 28, 2019

 

Evening agenda:

18.00: Guests arrive
18.30: Welcoming speech from editor of Hotel Designs’ Hamish Kilburn
18.45: Unveiling of Hotel Designs’ 30 Under 30
19:00: Presentation by London School of Architecture’s James Soane (topic TBC)
19:15 – 21.00: Networking over complimentary drinks and canapés

How to attend

If you are an interior designer, architect, operator or hotelier and would like to attend Meet Up London, click here to book your place.

If you are a supplier to the hospitality industry looking to attend the event, contact Zoe Guerrier on 01992 374059 or on z.guerrier@forumevents.co.uk – or click here to book your place.

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

Exclusive style partner: Minotti London

Exclusive headline partner: Hamilton Litestat

Event partner: Tarkett

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

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

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

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

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

About IDAS

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

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

The design and architecture companies confirmed to attend IDAS are:

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

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

Click here for more information about IDAS.

Media partner: Future Contractor & Architect

In Conversation With: Tom Lindblom, Gensler

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Lifting the curtain to peak inside one of the largest architecture firms in the world, editor Hamish Kilburn heads to Gensler’s UK headquarters to catch up with hospitality leader, Principal and Brit List 2018 finalist Tom Lindblom…

“Designing a hotel is a theatre production,” Tom Lindblom, hospitality leader and Principal at Gensler explains. “If you have ever been backstage at a theatre show, and have seen all the activity that’s going on, you will understand how many strings need to be pulled to ensure that what’s happening on the stage – front-of-house in our case – is going smoothly and flows seamlessly. The magic has to happen without the guests being aware how it is made.” This carefully chosen metaphor used to describe the realities – and often challenges – that modern architecture practices face is my first opportunity to really understand the man behind the vision of many projects in the UK, Europe and in the Middle East.

If we are to continue the theatre theme then I feel as if I have a front-row seat, exclusively invited to the opening night to critique Gensler’s award-winning performance. While the narrative explains how the company came to be one of the largest architecture firms in the world, the lead role is certainly up for interpretation. Lindblom, formally a museum and lighting designer, is one of 15 principals at Gensler and his stage is very much sheltered in the company’s London base in St Katherine Docks, with major plans for expansion. “Our expression is deliberately ‘one firm firm’, which suggests that we, the more than 6,000 employees at Gensler, are one team working across 48 offices around the globe,” he explains. “As a result of this shared mindset, our London office is able to share relationships with others around the world in order to eventually work on projects that would have otherwise gone to other architecture practices – it really is a key element to our global success.”

Gensler_Four Seasons_Kuwait

Image caption: Gensler’s Four Seasons Kuwait

Although the project briefs may change as the demands from operators and owners evolve, one thing remains constant in Lindblom’s eyes; team work really does make the dream work. “As an architect, the sooner you are working with an interior designer on a hotel project, the better the end result will be,” he says confidently. “Many see our industry as a triangle, but in actual fact it is a square,” he says. “That shape is between the owner, the operator, and the two designers – architecture and interiors – everyone needs to be reading off the same script.”

“The landscape of the hotel is as important as the architecture.” – Tom Lindblom

Whether we should design hotels that are Instagrammable is a topic that we are used to debating, I am keen to understand how, in Lindblom’s eyes, social media is dictating the design of the modern hotel. According to him, the pool in a resort hotel tends to be the ‘wow’ moment. “For a luxury resort hotel we designed in Croatia, for example, the ‘wow’ moments are a pool bar and grill and the water-front adult pool,” he explains. “The landscape of the hotel is as important as the architecture, and that’s why we work closely with landscape architects as well. At Gensler, we are very fortunate to have in-house landscape designers, which is often absolutely integral to the success of the project.”

Render of a pool and bar area outside

Image caption: Brizenica Bay Four Seasons Croatia Pool Bar / Credit: Gensler

Some of Lindblom’s most memorable curtain-call openings include St Regis Langkawi, Malaysia and the unforgettable unveiling of Four Season Kuwait at Burj Alshaya. Closer to home, though, since becoming one of the finalists at The Brit List 2018, Lindblom has been working on the interiors for a Hilton hotel project in Woking, Surrey. “There will be a great rooftop bar and restaurant, which is our answer to the operator’s brief, wanting to create certain ‘Instagrammable moments’,” Lindblom explains. “Our aim here was to open up the public areas to amazing panoramic views that can become an attraction for both guests and outside visitors.”

Gensler’s recently published Hospitality Experience Index concludes that hotel public spaces are changing. “Single-use public spaces are dead,” Lindblom claims. The report concludes: “The best hotels know that designing for today’s everything/everywhere customer doesn’t mean being everything to everyone -but it does require a new approach to understanding what guests want that goes far beyond business vs. leisure or millennial vs. boomer.” In response to this, Lindblom says: “Before we start drawing the shape and design of the building, we should be asking what experience we are trying to create.”

Quick-fire round:

Hamish Kilburn: What would you say, in your opinion as an architect, is the best designed city in the world?
Tom Lindblom: I love Paris and New York, but the city that made a big impression on me recently was Ljubljana, the Capital of Slovenia.

HK: What would you be if you weren’t an architect?
TL: A Sculptor

HK: What, in your opinion, is the worst designed hotel?
TL: There are too many to list

HK: What is your biggest bugbear when travelling?
TL: Wheely bags! I hate them!

HK: What is your favourite colour?
TL: Anything with stripes!

HK: Do you have a favourite project?
TL: They are all special, but I am really proud of the Four Seasons in Kuwait – I feel as if we need end credits to list all the people who brought that vision to life, all led by an amazing client.

Exterior shot of the hotel

Image caption: St. Regis Langkawi / credit: Gensler

There is a certain ignorance that comes from reviewing hotels, one that typically completely ignores the foundation of what is, as Hilton Hotels puts it, the heart-of-house. “The back-of-house, or backstage of any hotel performance, has to be designed around functionality,” Lindblom explains. “Our job here is to design an area that will maximise service and overall productivity, which in turn leads to a seamless guest experience. Although these areas won’t have all the finishes that you see in front of the staging, they are a vital part of the production.”

In the backstage access-all-areas interview, I am eager to learn what it takes to be cast as one of the leads at Gensler. “Believe it or not, listening is the fundamental skill to be a good leader,” Lindblom says. “When we are failing, we are not listening, which interestingly is the same for both staff and clients”

For this interview’s dramatic final scene, Lindblom explains how his past experience as a lighting designer has helped him to sketch and create some of the world’s most impressive design hotels. “There is just way too much artificial light in the world,” he explains as he points to the light directly above our heads, which creates glare while we are speaking at the table. “The starting point for a lighting designer should be darkness. Then you build up from there, considering the light sources, the times of day, colours and finishes, and ultimately the intention for the spaces.” And like any hit Broadway or Westend show, the production fades on a cliff-hanger conclusion as we wait to witness the unveiling of Gensler’s next hotel project.

Editor’s round-up of Surface Design Show 2019

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Taking place from February 5 – 7 at Business Design Centre London, the Surface Design Show gave a platform to more surface material and lighting specialists than ever before. Editor Hamish Kilburn was there and reports…

More than 5,000 architects, designers and specifiers from 47 countries descended on London earlier this month for the much anticipated Surface Design Show. Over the course of three days, the show provided a packed schedule of insightful and entertaining panel discussions, informative CPDs and talks, trend forecasts and allowed exhibitors to display new products.

Presenters included New London Architecture and RIBA who hosted the Opening Night Debate; Chris Dyson who presented the PechaKucha Evening; Hannah Malein of Colour Hive; Oliver Heath of Oliver Heath Design and Daniel Hopwood representing Design Guild Mark, all kept visitors engaged as they educated on ways of thinking about materials, current industry issues and trends.

crowd gathering around the stand

Image credit: Surface Design Show 2019

There were a number of stand-out motifs among the 150 exhibition stands that displayed a positive look at where surface design is heading. The most prominent themes were:

Acoustic walls 

The surface experts at Armourcoat were at the show unveiling its new Acoustics Plaster System, which is designed with hotels and restaurant designers in mind with the aim to optimise the acoustics of interior spaces. While many acoustic surfaces are often bulky and not stylishly flexible, The Acoustic Plaster System offers a clean and smooth mineral surface that can be applied seamlessly over large expanses such as hotel lobbies or restaurants.

Meanwhile, anne kyyro quinn, which produces bespoke three-dimensional acoustic walls coverings, supplied the backdrop for the main stage. The handmade textile wallcoverings are natural, durable, versatile and are therefore suitable for commercial as well as residential projects.

Sustainability

Ethically handmade by master craftsmen, the premium patchwork cowhide rugs from Mosaic that were displayed on the stand were fabricated with 100 per cent recycled hides. Unlike other vendors which buy in full leather hides, Mosaic only use recycled hides from off-cuts of the luxury furniture and leather goods industry. The result, aesthetically, is a completely unique and customisable rug ideal for boutique hotels seeking characterful floors.

Elsewhere, Friends of Wilson displayed its Tessellate acousitic wall panel, which is made from 100 per cent polyester fibres containing a minimum of 60 per cent post-consumer recycled material (PET bottleflake).

Taking this concept into new territory were you designers Poppy Pippin and Emma Raybould over on the Spotlight Surface Live stand. Pippin’s Moss Tiles product has been designed specifically to encourage moss growth in order to improve air quality in the urban environment by absorbing carbon dioxide. Raybould’s silicastone design, displayed at the show, is an eco-architectural alternative to quarried stone for solid surfaces, which was developed at the University of Central Lancashire.

Since 2013 the Show has hosted the Surface Design Awards, now recognised as one of the most respected events in the design calendar. The 2019 Awards received 197 entries from 22 countries,
including America, Italy, China and India.

In a ceremony held over breakfast, the beautiful new Maggie’s Centre St Barts, London was declared the Supreme Winner, capturing the hearts and minds of the stellar panel of judges from the world of architecture and design. A beacon of design in the charity sector, the building by Steven Holl Architects was shortlisted in the Public Building Exterior category, gaining acclaim from the judges, including architect Christophe Egret of Studio Egret West, who stated “You really feel that a person dealing with cancer might feel elevated in this space”.

The 2019 awards ceremony was presented by architecture and design writer Aidan Walker, who cited the specialist focus of the show as key to its success now and for the future: “Surface Design has become one of the most compelling areas of innovation and imagination in design and architecture in the last few years. Driven by technology on one hand and the imperative for sustainability on the other, the application of new techniques and materials to cladding, walls, floors and ceilings has enlivened practice in a way unimaginable 10 years ago. Surface Design Show is perfectly positioned to express, exploit and support this rich seam of imagination and creativity. I see a great future for both the show and its Awards scheme.”

Hotel Designs was a proud media partner for the event.

Main image credit: Surface Design Show 2019

SHORTLIST ANNOUNCED: Hotel Designs’ 30 under 30

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SHORTLIST ANNOUNCED: Hotel Designs’ 30 under 30

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

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

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

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

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

The shortlisted finalists are:

Adam Charlap Hyman – Charlap Hyman & Herrero

Adam  Crabtree – Chelsom

Alaa Mohamed – Pallavi Dean Interiors

Ali Bacon – The Gettys Group

Amber Peters – Bluehaus

Andre Herrero – Charlap Hyman & Herrero

Anya Gordon Clark – Dexter Moren Associates

Beatrice Fischel-Bock – Hutch

Catherine van der Heide – HASSELL

Charlotte Roe – WISH London

Daniela Anedda – M Studio London

David Jelensky – M Studio London

Gina Langridge – WATG

Gioia Corrada – M Studio London

Harry Allnatt – Richmond International

Jen Lees – HBA London

Jodie Hatton – Brintons

Jordyn Dickson – The Gettys Group

Josh Piddock – Project Orange

Karolina Samuilaite – Modus

Kate Jarrett – Scott Brownrigg

Kay Jones – Brintons

Lauren McEwen – Goddard Littlefair

Lily Kwong – Studio Lily Kwong

Lisa Liu  – WATG

Mahesh Parekh – ARA Design

Marion Pierru – Wilson Associates

Natasha Ahmed – Lulie Fisher Design Studio

Nicola Brook – Nicola Brook Design

Omar Nakkash – Nakkash Design Studio

Patrick McCrae – ARTIQ

Rasha All-Tekreeti – MMAC Design

Rebecca Quickfall – Jasper Sanders + Partners

Reem Moussalli – Dress The Space F.Z.E

Rosalynn Youdan – Jestico + Whiles

Sarah Murphy – Jestico + Whiles

Scarlett Supple – Soho House Design

Simona Miron – Gensler

Stephanie Riedl – B3 Designers

Yasmin Farahmandy – Gensler

Yosola Akinwumi – HBA London

About Meet Up London

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

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

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

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

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

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

Exclusive style partner: Minotti London

Exclusive headline partner: Hamilton Litestat

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SPOTLIGHT ON: March features announced

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Hotel Designs has officially dropped its March editorial features, which are Technology and Guestroom Lighting… 

Throughout March, Hotel Designs’ Spotlight On features will look at two highly topical features, namely Technology and Guestroom Lighting. These topics, which marry up nicely in many of the debates rippling through conversations in the industry, will be explored throughout the month in a series of editorials.

Technology 

Image of in-room ipad next to lighting controls

Image credit: Ecclestone Hotel London

Now that the industry seems to be doing away with gimmicky tools that serve little purpose for anyone checking in, the way has been cleared for sophisticated tech products to launch with the aim to amplify the overall guest experience. “Arguably, this topic has never been more relevant than it is today, which is why are exploring it so early on in the calendar.” commented editor Hamish Kilburn.

Guestroom Lighting

chandelier in a modern guestrooms

Image credit: Chelsom Lighting

Back by popular demand, Hotel Designs will continue March by shining the spotlight on lighting in the guestroom. “Thanks to certain advancements in lighting technology, we predict that guestroom lighting in 2019 will see some serious innovation,” Kilburn commented. “At the heart of this evolution, LED is still king!”

If you wish to find out more, or know of a product that we should be talking about, please contact Zoe Guerrier on 01992 374059 or z.guerrier@forumevents.co.uk

Main image credit: Moritz Waldemeyer

Mr. C Hotels to unveil first property in Q2 2019

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The new 100-key luxury property, which will be designed in conjunction with architecture firm Arquitectonica and Brit List winner Martin Brudnizki Design Studio, will open in Miami this spring…

The highly anticipated Mr. C Coconut Grove, the first Mr. C Hotel to debut in Florida from the fourth-generation hospitality leaders, brothers Ignazio and Maggio Cipriani, has announced that the property will open in spring 2019.

“It is with great pleasure that we are able to unveil Mr. C Coconut Grove to the community this spring,” said Ignazio Cipriani, Founder/President of Mr. C Hotels at the announcement. ” Our partners and associates have enhanced our vision and helped to bring this exciting project to life in such an iconic neighborhood as Miami’s Coconut Grove.”

Modern guestrom with palette of light blue and light oak

Image credit: Mr. C Hotels

Mr. C Coconut Grove is situated in the heart of one of Miami’s most notable neighborhoods and is set to provide guests with unmatched views of Biscayne Bay and the Coconut Grove skyline.

From its interior, the hotel draws inspiration from Italy’s iconic coastal style and hints at the aesthetic elements of a classic yacht. Interior design includes high gloss timber paneling, leather-upholstered blue and caramel headboards, nautical style dressers, playful and comfortable sofas and armchairs in a range of soft and airy blue, and white and pink fabrics throughout the space. Acclaimed architecture and design firm Arquitectonica, in conjunction with the Martin Brudnizki Design Studio, combined the stylish European glamour and nautical aesthetic Mr. C Hotels are best known for with the tropical surroundings of South Florida.

In addition to its 100 guestrooms and suites with private outdoor terraces, Mr. C Coconut Grove also features the Bellini Restaurant and Bar, on the hotel’s top floor. The restaurant boasts a refreshing new Italian dining concept inspired by Ignazio and Maggio Cipriani’s travels throughout Italy, and offers indoor and outdoor seating that exudes the intimate old-world atmosphere of coastal Italy while embracing a sleek and soothing Miami modern style.

Rooftop pool render

Image credit: Mr. C Hotels

For corporate meetings and social events, Mr. C Coconut Grove offers guests a top floor ballroom with panoramic views of the Biscayne Bay. The space can accommodate a seated dinner for approximately 150 guests and cocktail reception for 300 guests, with an additional pre-function space. A covered event space is also available in the hotel’s ground floor for up to 720 guests.

Other statement features include a rooftop pool and pool deck with private cabanas and a pool bar, state-of-the-art gym equipment with personal trainer and yoga classes available upon request, a Lobby Lounge with indoor and outdoor garden seating, and a private spa suite with a relaxation area, sauna and treatment room which can be reserved through the concierge team.

Main image credit: Mr. C Hotels

Four Seasons Hotel Montreal incoming this spring

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

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

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

Image credit: Four Seasons Hotels

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

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

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

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

Main image credit: Four Seasons Hotels

GROHE to shape the future of water with record number of innovations at ISH 2019

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GROHE, a Hotel Designs Recommended Supplier, will showcase a record number of innovations at ISH 2019, the world’s leading trade fair for the responsible use of water and energy in buildings…

For the first time, GROHE will position itself as a leading global brand for complete bathroom solutions, kitchen systems and intelligent water management at ISH 2019. The bathroom brand will reinforce its philosophy Water. Intelligence. Enjoyment by bringing the element of water to the forefront of its new innovations.

The event will open with a keynote speech from GROHE CEO Michael Rauterkus sharing his vision of how GROHE actively shapes the future of water; including, amongst other things, digitisation and intelligent water management.

GROHE strives to be a driving force in the sanitary industry’s digital transformation In recent years, GROHE has evolved from a premium brassware expert into a driving force of digital transformation within the sanitary industry, even offering its own Internet of Things (IoT) products. The smart water controller GROHE Sense Guard has arrived in the world of the smart home and secures the brand a place among the Top 100 Insurtechs in the Digital Insurance Agenda1. Digitisation is always impacting new areas of our lives. The change from a smart home to an intelligently connected home will be the subject of discussion at the Intelligent Living Summit, a high-profile ISH panel discussion that will take place on Wednesday 13thMarch as part of the show’s agenda of events. The Intelligent Living Summit will see GROHE partner with German companies Miele and Viessmann to discuss how your home can support your life in various and intelligent ways.

“Visitors to the GROHE booth at ISH 2019 will find inspirations to create their own personal at-home spa.”

New ceramic lines and a vast range of colours and materials The bathroom is being increasingly considered as a ‘living space’; somewhere we relax and unwind at the end of a long day. Therefore, more bespoke requirements and concepts are needed. Visitors to the GROHE booth at ISH 2019 will find inspirations to create their own personal at-home spa. These include minimalist ceramic lines that perfectly match GROHE brassware products in both form and function, as well as the GROHE Colours Collection, a range of GROHE taps and accessories in ten different colours and finishes that allow the utmost possible creative freedom for individualising the kitchen and bathroom.

Simply Universal – GROHE Rapido SmartBox Even behind the wall, GROHE can offer innovations with considerable added value to both installers and end users. The new GROHE Rapido SmartBox provides installers, architects and planners with an infinite number of solutions, using just one flush-mounted unit. It can be used universally for all of GROHE’s final assembly sets, regardless of whether that is a single-lever mixer, thermostat or SmartControl product. The GROHE Rapido SmartBox features three outlets for a wider range of shower options and a tailored showering experience. Installation is easy thanks to inlets for hot and cold water that are connected from below. It also offers subsequent adjustment options by up to six degrees, a minimum installation depth of only 75mm and other benefits that visitors can experience directly at the booth.

GROHE set to inspire visitors with a new booth concept GROHE can be found in the FORUM hall at Messe Frankfurt. Using three themed environments and putting the consumer at the centre of the experience, GROHE will present intelligent and sustainable solutions which have been integrated into a multitude of individual design options for the bathroom and the kitchen. Visitors will be able to experience GROHE products and innovations on all levels of the transparent, elliptical glass construction – live, interactively and with the help of multimedia.

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, click here.

Main image credit: GROHE

Top stories of the week: design love from Bangkok, hide and seek architecture and a new hotel chapter

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With architecture and construction firmly in the spotlight, Hotel Designs has witnessed another jam-packed week full of interesting stories that highlights our love in design and architecture. Breaking down these headlines is editor Hamish Kilburn… 

New York, New York! Is there anywhere else on the planet quite like it? In the original metropolis where possibilities soar high above the bustling streets below, the hotel scene is staggering. It’s latest luxury neighbour is situated on 701 Seventh Avenue on the corner of 47th Street, Times Square, and features 452 guestrooms. With four levels of public space, the hotel is, much like the area it surrounds has already done over many decades, evolving with the trends to cater to the modern man and woman.

Changing perceptions has been a theme that has stitched together this week’s headlines – and I have been fortunate enough to be the first to tell many of this week’s main features. From spending quality time in the company of interior designer Celia Chu as she prepares to complete Rosewood Bangkok, to continuing to follow Nicky Dobree on her quest to open her first hotel; it’s been a great week to be part of the industry. To top it off, we are hours away from closing the applications/nominations process for our 30 Under 30 initiative. As a young editor (26 years old), I am personally proud to support this scheme – to support young talent in our industry – with every fibre of my body.

Here are the top stories of the week:

1) EDITION arrives in New York’s Times Square

black armchair infront of black wallcoverings

Image credit: EDITION Hotels

“The Times Square EDITION is an entirely new lens on Times Square. From an aerie above the hubbub below, you can engage, observe or withdraw. The hotel is an oasis of sophistication brought to you through the insight of the incomparable Ian Schrager, my friend and partner. There is simply nothing like it,” said Arne Sorenson, President and CEO, Marriott International.

> Click here to read the full story

2) The interior designer behind Rosewood Bangkok

open and airy suite with peculiar angular architecture

Image credit: Rosewood Hotels

As its highly anticipated opening is imminently on the horizon, the Rosewood Bangkok’s interior design story is one yet to be unveiled in detail. We caught up with interior designer Celia Chu to establish the narrative told within the walls of the soon-to-open 159-key luxury hotel.

> Click here to read the feature

3) Six Senses joins IHG

Aerial shot of a Six Senses hotel in the ocean

Image credit: Six Senses

The milestone moment, where IHG aquired Six Senses happened on Wednesday. As part of the IHG family, Six Senses is expected to expand to 60 properties within the next 10 years. This includes incredible new Six Senses hotels and resorts from a restored 14th-century fort in Rajasthan, to villas on a private island in Cambodia, and the brand’s first hotel in North America – a contemporary duo of twisting towers designed by Bjarke Ingles near the High Line in Manhattan’s West Chelsea.

> Click here to read the full story

4) Camouflaged hotel architecture of the 21st century

glass structure in the woods

Image credit: treehotel

As we continue putting architecture and construction in the spotlight, Hotel Designs reveals some of the world’s most spectacular hidden architectural gems.

> Click here to read the full story

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

Moodboard of ideas

Image credit: Nicky Dobree

In part two of our From Concept to Completion series, where we are closely following the design story of Plaza 18, Dobree’s first hotel project is beginning to take form. The building’s design is approaching the final stages before the grand reveal this Easter. Meanwhile, interior designer Nicky Dobree is able to step away from the project for five minutes – something I believe the designer is not accustomed to – in order to explain more about her relationship with the soon-to-be hotel.

> Click here to read the feature

Main image credit: Rosewood Hotels

 

Kobe’s is pretty in pink

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Kobe is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, click here.

Main image caption: Kobe

Make hotels more instagrammable with UNILIN

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A recent British survey suggests that more than 40 per cent of millennials choose their holiday destination based on its Instragammability, so what can you do to make hotel interiors more instagrammable? UNILIN explains…

To find out, UNILIN, division panels, makers of Evola decorative panels have turned to Kel Wouters of So Buzzy, a social media marketing agency that counts Crowne Plaza Antwerp and Hotel BLOOM, among its clients.

“Instagram can give your hotel additional awareness and reach, and often just a small investment can have a major impact,” begins Wouters. “Hotels that are shared frequently are ‘top of mind’ and people will want to stay there and populate their own feed from the same place. It’s a positive circle for any hotel that can crack Instagram.”

Starting small can often reap surprising rewards. A simple yet amusing slogan on the wall of the entrance to washrooms at The Hotel’s (Brussels) restaurant reading ‘men to the left because women are always right’, became one of its most Instagrammed spots. Designers can use UNILIN Evola panels to such effect, choosing from 168 designs as the perfect backdrop to a ‘grammable’ slogan, or even creating a unique ‘selfie spot’ with custom digital print technology available on UNILIN’s HPL, melamine and edging tape.

Wouters continues: “Check what your audience is sharing and looking at on Instagram and respond to that when designing your spot. Think about light in the area and test it out beforehand. Ensure there’s an obvious link to your hotel. If guests are sharing your selfie spot but no one knows that it’s in your hotel, then it’s a wasted opportunity; share your account at the location and encourage people to use a hashtag.”

UNILIN can offer office space designers a flexible way to approach the entire fabric of their Instagram spot – walls, partitions, furniture and surface treatment – with different looks that all possess the same low-maintenance, splash-proof, scratch-resistant, fade-resistant and durable finish. perfect for giving any selfie spot a ‘loveable’ look and joining Evola in 106 matching decors, ClicWall is UNILIN’s instantly transformative wall panel system.

“Interior designers also need to look at what’s currently popular on Instagram, although they need to be careful with temporary trends. Replaceable accessories are the key. The ball chairs at Hotel BLOOM! regularly get new cushions in different colours to create a whole new vibe, and arty objects throughout the hotel are replaced at regular intervals,” concludes Wouters.

UNILIN Evola and ClicWall panels can be used as the perfect, lasting backdrop for any hotel looking to make itself more Instragammable.

UNILIN is one of our recommended suppliers. To keep up to date with their news, click here. And, if you are interested in becoming one of our recommended suppliers, click here.

The Sound Hotel opens to celebrate all senses in Seattle

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The Hotel Group and Hilton have announced the grand opening of The Sound Hotel Seattle Belltown, Tapestry Collection by Hilton. Woven into the fabric of Belltown, one of Seattle’s most vibrant and centrally located neighborhoods, The Sound Hotel celebrates the sights, sounds and tastes that are unique to Seattle. It occupies the first 10 floors of the 42-story Arrivé tower, one of the first mixed-use properties, featuring rental units, in the market.

“We are thrilled to see The Sound Hotel open its doors as the brand’s first hotel in the Pacific Northwest, particularly in a city like Seattle that is known for innovation, great restaurants and a thriving arts scene,” said Jenna Hackett, global head, Tapestry Collection by Hilton. “Just as Seattle is one of the fastest-growing cities in America, Tapestry Collection continues to rapidly expand as The Sound Hotel also marks the collection brand’s first of many 2019 openings.”

Design firm Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA) immersed itself into the hotel’s neighborhood, visiting local hotspots and meeting with the community, to create an authentic Belltown experience. Upon arriving at the hotel entrance, guests are immediately welcomed into an artist’s studio as stretched canvases, murals and finished concrete floors flow towards the reception desk. Guest rooms feature warm, wood-toned floors, echoing the feeling of a musician stepping onto a stage. Dark, moody bathrooms are reminiscent of backstage dressing rooms, with microphone lights, plush robes, metal accents and rich black linear tiles setting the perfect backdrop.

Modern guestroom in hotel

Image credit: Hilton Hotels Worldwide

Artistic elements are also featured on the exterior of the hotel. Watkins commissioned Seattle graffiti artist Weirdo, a.k.a. Jeff Jacobson, to paint an original mural on an exterior brick wall facing several of the guest rooms, effectively turning those rooms into some of the most desirable in the hotel. This larger-than-life piece features Jacobson’s signature vivid, post-Internet hyper-realism style and beautifully tells the story of The Sound Hotel through art.

The Sound Hotel features 142 exquisitely designed guestrooms with expansive views of the downtown Seattle skyline and Puget Sound, a ground level restaurant, Currant Bistro.

“The hotel’s design drew directly from the Belltown neighborhood’s deep roots in the arts and local music scene, mixed in with the natural beauty of the Puget Sound region,” said David Watkins, general manager, The Sound Hotel. “Warm, rich textures in our rooms offer visitors an authentic Northwest experience, while the artistic elements reflect Seattle as a bustling hive of creativity.”

Image of modern bathroom with large sliding wooden doors

Image credit: Hilton Hotels Worldwide

The building’s seventh-floor Lupine Room offers 770 square feet of divisible meeting space, ideal for groups of up to 35. Featuring plenty of natural light, it can easily transform into an event space to accommodate an intimate gathering. In addition to the Lupine Room, Sound Bite Lounge is a relaxed, post-meeting gathering spot with a seasonal outdoor sundeck offering stunning views of the Space Needle.

Main image credit: Hilton Hotels Worldwide

 

FINAL CALL FOR ENTRIES: 30 Under 30

970 403 Hamish Kilburn

The deadline for entries for Hotel Designs’ 30 Under 30 initiative is tomorrow…

Time is running out for interior designers, architects and hoteliers to submit their entries for the 30 Under 30 list that will be unveiled at Meet Up London: 30 Under 30.

Styled by Minotti London and hosted at the luxury furniture company’s luxury showroom, the event has launched the list with the aim is to bridge the age gap between interior designers, architects, hoteliers and key-industry suppliers.

How to apply for the 30 Under 30 list

If you are/or know of a deserving designer, architect or hotelier who is 30 years old or younger, please send in your application/nomination to: h.kilburn@forumevents.co.uk with the following:

  • 200-400 word bio, which acknowledges achievements to date and why you/he/she deserves to be recognised
  • Name of company you/he/she currently works for
  • Profile image

Deadline: February 15, 2019

The final 30 will be confirmed to attend the event on March 28 with Hotel Designs‘ compliments and the winners will be notified in due course ahead of the networking evening.

How to attend Meet Up London: 30 Under 30

If you are a supplier to the hospitality industry looking to attend the event, contact Zoe Guerrier on 01992 374059 or on z.guerrier@forumevents.co.uk – or click here to book your place.

If you are an interior designer or architect and would like to attend the Hotel Designs Meet Up London: 30 Under 30, click here to confirm your attendance.

Exclusive style partner: Minotti London

Exclusive headline partner: Hamilton Litestat