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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

Improving guest wellbeing with fire

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Improving guest wellbeing with fire

Jonathan Smith, product marketing manager – Flame Technology, Glen Dimplex Heating and Ventilation, explains the wellness benefits of incorporating fire in interior design… 

Fire has always played an important part in our lives. Evolutionary speaking, it was vital for our development as it provided a source of light, warmth and protection from predators.

Move forward a million years and fire still featured heavily in domestic lives. It provided a social gathering point for families, all heating and lighting, and the ability to cook.

With the innovation of the chimney came the fireplace. Often, these fireplaces were used as a symbol of power and wealth, but still, their main function was to provide heat and warmth, as well as remaining a focal point of the room. With the advent of central heating and cookers, the fireplace was no longer a necessity. However, we find it hard to break our evolutionary ties with fire — it’s something which still gives us a strong sense of well-being.

This is certainly true in the hospitality sector. Hotel lobbies can often be grand and overwhelming spaces, but some hotels do use fireplaces to create a dramatic and welcoming feel. These lobbies are spaces which can either make visitors feel relaxed and welcome, or intimidated and anxious. Obviously, the first emotions are preferable in creating a positive experience for guests — a fireplace can help to achieve this.

Indeed, the hospitality sector is witnessing a trend towards smaller, more welcoming and intimate spaces. Think of it as guests getting more of a ‘living room experience’.  Malcolm Berg, founder of EoA, a hospitality design firm, says: “What this means for hotel design, especially hotel lobbies, is more spaces of cross-pollination, spaces that offer a blend of public and private options for people who want to be in a public area but also have their privacy, to spaces where people can gather as a group to eat, dine, work or communicate.” Again, a fireplace can help to create a focal point for people to gather, relax and socialise.

Health benefits of flame

A wealth of evidence exists to support the positive psychological effects of fire. Research scientists in Japan found by investigating alpha brain wave patterns, that watching flame movements helps to improve levels of human comfort and satisfaction.

“The longer people watched the fire, the more relaxed they became.”

Additionally, in a study for the University of Alabama, Dr. Lynn discovered that watching a fire, complete with sound effects, consistently lowered high blood pressure. The longer people watched the fire, the more relaxed they became, and the experience also seemed to make the participants more sociable. This could be related to prehistoric times when keeping a fire going would have been a very important job that required cooperation. Dr. Lynn suggests that because of this, when we’re sitting by a fire, all our senses become absorbed in the experience. This focus of attention could explain our reduced blood pressure and anxiety.

With this ability to make us more relaxed, more sociable and therefore more likely to linger, surely all restaurants and hotels should make fires a focal point within their common areas. However, its not always easy, or even possible to install a real fire in some spaces. And that’s before the potential health and safety issues are even addressed.

The problems with real flame

Fires can enhance the aesthetic appeal of a space. However, in recent research commissioned by Glen Dimplex Heating & Ventilation, 79 per cent of architects and designers stated concerns about using fire and flame within their projects, with health and safety, energy efficiency and cost among their primary worries.

These health and safety concerns are not unfounded. Aside from the obvious issues around installing an open fire in a public space, there are also less obvious threats to health. Burning wood in an open fire releases small particles which can be absorbed by the lungs and enter the bloodstream. Scientists in Italy found that these particulates can lead to dangerous heart problems and King’s College, London has found a link to particulate pollution and Alzheimer’s. Asthma is another health problem made worse by wood combustion.

So, while fires may help us psychologically, do these benefits outweigh the physiological issues to our health?

Mitigating the negatives with flame technology

One way to alleviate the concerns posed by fire, while still achieving the desired psychological benefits, is through the use of electric flame technology. Modern electric fires provide all the same effects as real flame — a focal point for any room and they go a long way towards creating the right atmosphere for a space, making it welcoming and hospitable.

Three-dimensional flame technology gives such a believable illusion that the same state of relaxation and comfort can be achieved as with any real fireplaces. However, because there is no combustion, there are no open flames and no particulates produced — meaning health and safety concerns are no longer a worry.

Another benefit of electric flame technology is that these fires are quick and easy to install. They don’t need a working chimney or flue or create any heat; they can be installed in any space and used all year round to add ambience, character and a welcoming feel to any space.

Electric flame for the future

When fire was first “invented”, it played a very simple role; it was a lifeline. You needed a fire for warmth, for safety, to cook, to live. Today, the concept of a fire or fireplace isn’t any of these things as they’ve all become secondary function nice-to-haves. And yet, when we see a fire, we feel warm and not just in the physical sense.

While electric flame effects do not provide a living flame, the cost, safety, and flexibility benefits considerably outweigh this. They add ambience and warmth; allowing hoteliers and restaurateurs to put their own creativity and style into a space that will be enjoyed, and remembered, by many, now and in the future.

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

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

Nature and citizenM’s typical design meet at in citizenM Kuala Lumpur

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Nature and citizenM’s typical design meet at in citizenM Kuala Lumpur

Design and architecture firm concrete has completed the design of citizenM Kuala Lumpur Bukit Bintang…

Design and architecture firm concrete, which joined editor Hamish Kilburn on stage in May at the Independent Hotel Show, has unveiled the design story of its latest completed project, citizenM Kuala Lumpur Bukit Bintang.

The architecture firm, which stands at the cradle of every citizenM, designed the interior of the hotel and redesigned the architecture in typical citizenM style while being inspired by local nature and art.

Located in Bukit Bintang, a lively area in the centre of Kuala Lumpur that is characterised by many restaurants, shops and Jalan Alor street just 100 metres away from the hotel, citizenM opens the door to the epicentre of Kuala Lumpur for food, fashion and entertainment. The car-free street, with open-air restaurants and terraces on both sides, is mainly visited by locals and known for their food and a great spot to get to know the local culture and atmosphere.

“Only the construction of the building has been preserved, both the façade and the entire interior have been newly designed and built.”

The existing building of the former Sky hotel has been stripped completely and has been rebuilt as a 210-key citizenM. Only the construction of the building has been preserved, both the façade and the entire interior have been newly designed and built. The first floor was removed to increase height, light and air in the lobby on the ground floor and the therefore created void now hosts societyM and meeting rooms.

The ground floor houses the disruptive check-in kiosks, iconic citizenM living rooms with a tribute to the city by local artists Azizi Latiff en Afiq Faris, canteenM for 24/7 food and beverages and collectionM, a one-of-a-kind retail shop. The internally located rooms have a view on the courtyard, which brings daylight in the rooms and the centre of the building. Just like in the lobby on the ground floor, structural beams characterize the space and protrude through the large space. Large planters and green hanging plants give the space atmosphere and create privacy for the guestrooms.

Dog accessory used as a bookstop

Image credit: CitizenM

Eye-catching moments within the hotel’s design include a colorful painted art ceiling in the lobby, which presents the colors and lush nature that Malaysia is known for. A colorful patchwork conceals the parking garage located in the façade and makes citizenM visible on street level.

CitizenM launched in 2008 at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. The brand, which now welcomes guests in 10 different country’s “to a new kind of hotel” now has 13 properties around the globe within its growing portfolio, with plans to unveil a hotel in Zurich soon.

Main image credit: CitizenM

 

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

Tapestry Collection by Hilton to debut in the Caribbean

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Tapestry Collection by Hilton to debut in the Caribbean

Hilton’s latest signing of a 168-key hotel in Jamaica marks Tapestry Collection by Hilton’s debut in the Caribbean…

Hilton has announced the signing of ROK Hotel, Kingston, Tapestry Collection by Hilton, representing the brand’s debut in the Caribbean. Slated to open in 2020, the 168-key property, owned by PanJam Investment Limited, sits in a multi-purpose complex on the Kingston Waterfront and will include retail, on-site entertainment and commercial office spaces.

“Strategically focused on our expansion across the Caribbean and Latin America, we value the opportunity presented with Tapestry Collection by Hilton,” said Juan Corvinos, Vice President, development, Caribbean and Latin America, Hilton. “With Tapestry Collection, we open the door to owners with unique, upscale hotels, who seek to maintain their property’s distinctive character, but also seek the benefits of the Hilton engine and our award-winning Hilton Honors program.”

Under redevelopment to further revitalise the Kingston Waterfront, the 12-storey building originally opened in 1977 as the Oceana Hotel. Now, it is being transformed into ROK, Kingston, a contemporary hotel in Downtown Kingston, offering guests convenient access to the National Gallery of Jamaica and the historic landmark, Port Royal.

“Following a year of impressive growth since the brand’s launch, including the signing of our first two properties in Peru, we are energised by our expansion in the Caribbean and Latin America,” said Jenna Hackett, global head, Tapestry Collection by Hilton. “With its deep roots in the community, the ROK Hotel, Kingston will offer guests an authentically local experience coupled with the warm and welcoming hospitality of Jamaica.”

Enviably located on Ocean Boulevard overlooking the Kingston Harbour, the seventh largest natural harbour in the world, the property will feature an expansive pool deck on its first floor, as well as a fitness center, lounge area, restaurant, cafe and bar. ROK, Kingston will offer flexible space for meetings and events, and will also serve as an accommodation option for guests attending events at the Jamaica Conference Centre just across the street.

“The company continues to pursue additional growth opportunities in the region and currently has a robust pipeline of nearly 90 hotels throughout the Caribbean and Latin America.”

“As Hilton continues to expand its presence throughout the Caribbean, we are excited to have the opportunity to support their growth and debut the Tapestry Collection brand in the region,” said Stephen Facey, chairman and chief executive officer of PanJam. “We recognise the value in collaborating with a well-respected global hospitality company such as Hilton, particularly as we work together to introduce travelers to authentic Kingston experiences, while offering them the brand’s upscale accommodations.”

Hilton currently has a portfolio of nearly 150 hotels and resorts open to welcome travellers in the Caribbean and Latin America, including more than 20 hotels across the Caribbean. In its 100th year, the company continues to pursue additional growth opportunities in the region and currently has a robust pipeline of nearly 90 hotels throughout the Caribbean and Latin America, including two Tapestry Collection properties in Peru – Hotel Bel’Arte Lima and Hotel Museo de Osma slated to open in 2021.

Main image credit: Hilton Hotels

Starwood unveils new disobediently designed hotel brand

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Starwood unveils new disobediently designed hotel brand

Starwood Capital Group’s latest iconic brand, Treehouse Hotels, will debut in Q4 of 2019 with a 95-key luxury hotel in London…

Hotel visionary Barry Sternlicht, original founder of W Hotels, and Chairman and CEO of Starwood Capital Group, has once again worked his magic to reinvent the hotel experience by launching Treehouse Hotels. Described by Sternlicht as “the little brother of the 1″, the Treehouse Hotels brand is less serious – think more torn jeans and t-shirts and infinitely accessible.

Treehouse Hotels are about freedom and each property will shelter sunny, homey, witty and fun spaces. The brand has been designed with the wondrous feeling we each had as kids climbing into a treehouse and making our own “clubhouse” rules. Inside, it’s about friendship, community and shared secrets. Inspiring, boho and nostalgic, guests will find surprisingly intimate spaces, simple toys, books, nooks, games and a bit of magic.

“Treehouse, with its truly sensational rooftop lounge and bar, will fill a void in the London marketplace which is missing a hotel that revels in the fun of it all.” – Barry Sternlicht

Like all hotels in Sternlicht’s portfolio, Treehouse will embrace sustainable protocols. “It’s all about getting back in touch with ourselves, with each other and remembering all the simple things that used to make us smile, giggle and embrace,” he explains.

Abstract art in the middle of a bare modern room

Image credit: 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge

Treehouse London will be the first of the brand’s portfolio to open in late 2019, with additional locations in the U.S. and beyond. “It’s really exciting to showcase our first property in one of the great travel markets in the world, London,” said Sternlicht. “I believe this Treehouse, with its truly sensational rooftop lounge and bar, will fill a void in the London marketplace which is missing a hotel that revels in the fun of it all and doesn’t take itself too seriously.”

Located directly across the street from the BBC Headquarters, Treehouse London will feature 95 guestrooms, including 15 suites, a penthouse restaurant, and the spectacular rooftop bar boasting 360-degree skyline views. The restaurant and bar will be operated by The Madera Group, an L.A.-based international hospitality group that owns and operates venues in Southern California and Arizona, including Tocaya Organica and Toca Madera.

“Partnering with industry pioneer Barry Sternlicht is an honor for us and aligns exceptionally well with our mindset of innovation and striving to raise the experience of our guests to new heights,”  said Aneil Handa, Director at Cairn Group. “Our landmark location on Regent Street will provide the perfect stage to spearhead a new type of hotel experience and we look forward to delivering the global showcase of the first Treehouse hotel in the world with our new partners Starwood Capital Group and SH Hotels & Resorts.”

Treehouse London will be open to all guests, from business and weekend travellers to locals seeking refuge from the busy streets of London. Located at 14-15 Langham Place, Marylebone, London W1B 2QS, UK, Treehouse London is scheduled to open in Late 2019.

Image credit: 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge

Luce interiors with rustic villa furniture

Andronis Arcadia opens in Santorini

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Andronis Arcadia opens in Santorini

Offering “unrivalled luxury”, earthly Andronis Arcadia shelters 53 design-led pool suites on Santorini, Greece, all with striking vistas towards the Aegean Sea and the island’s unforgettable sunsets…

Andronis Arcadia is the latest addition to the Andronis Exclusive family of five-star hotels and villas. The hotel, which is named after the mythical home of Greek God Pan, is situated on the fringes of Oia, a place of natural harmony and pastoral enchantment.

Luce interiors with rustic villa furniture

Andronis Arcadia’s rustic and earthly-luxe interiors bring elements of nature indoors, from the succulents and plants, to local wood and materials. The Greek forged cement coating technique used throughout, has existed for centuries and creates a minimalistic look. Around 85 – 90 per cent of the furniture is handmade locally and has been constructed inside the hotel. The exterior heavily uses stones, drawing on the colours and textures of the volcano and its lava.

Close up of woven chair and a glass of white wine

Image credit: Carley Rudd Photography

The hotel has 53 suites of six categories including Eden Villa, the largest villa on the island complete with six bedrooms over three floors, plus its own spa, fitness centre, private chef and two pools. All suites have sunset and sea views plus a plunge pool, and guests additionally have access to the 450m2 infinity pool surrounded by cabanas. The suite interiors have geometrical-style design alongside square recesses on the walls, and natural fabrics throughout including linen to give the ultimate sense of light and space.

Evexia Spa is Andronis Arcadia’s Spa & Wellness Centre, developed in partnership with founder of luxury skincare brand ila, Denise Leicester, and Dr Zulia Frost, who pioneered the non-invasive hair profiling test. The largest spa on Santorini, Evexia Spa has five treatment rooms with the option for in-suite treatments.

Three restaurants and two bars occupy the space. Signature restaurant Opson spearheaded by Stefanos Kolimadis showcases dishes inspired by the tastes and ingredients of classical Greece through a several course tasting menu developed in consultation with a classical scholar. Contemporary cuisine and flavours of an ancient time are fused to bring together the best Greek food today with dishes known and loved by legendary forefathers including Aristotle, Plato and Omiros. Althea Restaurant features dazzling Mediterranean seafood as well as local dishes with ingredients grown in the Andronis gardens. Chef showcases the best flavours and produce of the Cycladic islands and wider Mediterranean. Oishii Sushi Bar uses the freshest ingredients fused with traditional Japanese techniques, serving exceptionally well presented and seasonally changing dishes.

View from the hotel terrace withColours of blue, orange, red and yellow in the sunset

Image credit: Andronis Arcadia

The sunset terrace, Senses Cocktail Bar, is a welcome return for island friends. Chic and convivial, it’s designed to be a premium Instagrammable setting. The hotel, which opens as the seventh property within the Andronis Exclusive portfolio, is said to be a game-changer on the island for style, gastronomy and understated luxury.

H-Hotels Group to add 11 hotels by 2020

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
H-Hotels Group to add 11 hotels by 2020

H-Hotels Group announces it will add 11 hotels in 2020 to its brand portfolio following sales in the group increasing to €436 million…

The H-Hotels Group has announced that it has seen strong growth for another year in a row. Revenues of €436 million for 2018 have marked a new all-time high in the company’s history. Occupancy figures have shown a similarly positive development, with an average of 73 per cent across the company’s 63 properties, and increased average room prices of €101 have paved the way for considerable profitability increases within the hotels themselves.

The continued growth of the brand can also be seen in both its operating locations and brand portfolio. Its newly opened H+ Hotel in Vienna not only marks a new regional presence on the H-Hotels map, but also demonstrates further expansion into other European countries. 2020 will see a new H2 Hotel opening in Budapest, as well as a Hyperion Hotel within the historic Palais Faber in Salzburg.

With the launch of its hostel brand H.ostels in the centre of Münster and the introduction of new serviced apartment brand H.omes, the H-Hotels Group’s portfolio has grown to incorporate six of its own brands. “With H.ostels and H.omes – Serviced Apartments, we have created a brand portfolio that covers the entire range of guest and location requirements,”  stated Alexander Fitz, CEO of H-Hotels AG.

All signs point to further expansion for H-Hotels in the years to come: with H4 Hotel Mönchengladbach in BORUSSIA-PARK, the Hyperion Hotel in Munich, the H2 Hotel in Olympia Park Munich and the Munich opening of H.ome Serviced Apartments, H-Hotels has already celebrated four new openings in 2019 so far. Autumn will also see the launch of its Hyperion Hotel and H2 Hotel double brand, which will open close to Leipzig central station. A total of 1572 new rooms will become available this year.

Further projects have already been signed for 2020, with a total of five new openings in the pipeline in Düsseldorf and Mainz, among others. 2024 will also mark the start of a double brand between H2 Hotel and H4 Hotel, with 501 new rooms set to become available in the terminals of Düsseldorf Airport. Discussions are now in the final stages for a number of short and medium-term acquisitions, as well as new projects such as H2 Hotels in Saarbrücken and Hamburg.

Main image credit: H-Hotels Group

In Conversation With: Jacu Strauss, designer & founder of Lore Studio

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
In Conversation With: Jacu Strauss, designer & founder of Lore Studio

An architect or a designer can become one of the most dynamic hoteliers, as editor Hamish Kilburn learns when sitting down with Jacu Strauss, the founder of Lore Studio and the mastermind behind some of the world’s most awe-inspiring hotels…

“Being a great storyteller is essential,” says designer Jacu Strauss as we start discussing what it takes to be a leader in design on the international hotel design scene.

It’s the first time we have caught up properly in a whirlwind three years. We catch up immediately where we left it in 2016, when the designer was putting the finishing touches onto The Pulitzer Amsterdam – an independent hotel project that allowed Strauss to break free with his creativity. “It was a once in a lifetime opportunity,” he says, “that through a cocktail of heavy research, team work and some brave risks turned out to be a tremendous success.”

Growing up in the diamond rich area of South Africa, Strauss moved to New Zealand to train as an architect at the University of Auckland before travelling to London to study at the Bartlett School of Architecture.

After graduating in 2008, Strauss worked as a senior designer at Tom Dixon’s Design Research Studio, and started to add major hospitality projects to his growing portfolio. “My architectural training and education proved helpful and I was responsible for the project from concept development through to completion,” explains Strauss. “As we won larger projects, we were eventually given the green light to design Mondrian at Sea Containers on London’s South Bank. It was there where I completed my first hotel and, eventually, I was offered an exclusive role as Creative Director of what is now called Lore Group.

“Designing a successful hotel is so much more than just choosing colours and fabrics.” – Jacu Strauss

Following the completion of The Pulitzer Amsterdam in 2016, which continues to capture the attention of the world’s media on a mass scale with its timeless yet quirky interiors, Strauss went on to not only design hotels, but also own them by becoming the founder of Lore Studio. “I have not so much changed as become more attune to what does and doesn’t,” he adds. “I have tried to refine how guests and visitors experience our hotels, so it is more than just the visual. It involves a balance of senses that when you get it right means an enjoyable and memorable experience.”

Image of the designer flicking through a book on the floor

Image credit: Emily Andrews

Today, in between jetting around the world being inspired by life’s movement, Strauss and his team are working to complete a new independent hotel, RIGGS Washington DC, a hotel, slated to open in heart of the city at the end of this year, sheltered in what was the Riggs National Bank building. “Washington DC is a city with a particularly strong and quirky evolving hotel and F&B market,” he explains. “So much so, in fact, that there may be another hotel in DC to join the portfolio, but it will be completely different to RIGGS Washington DC.

QUICK-FIRE ROUND:

Hamish Kilburn: What would you like to be if you were not a designer/architect/hotelier?
Jacu Straus: A jeweller

HK: What’s the first rule to learn when designing a hotel?
JS: You can only open the hotel once, so make everything count!

HK: Where is the next hotel design hotspot?
JS: There is a great need for more hotels in urban centres that act as calm retreats for peace from the hustle and bustle of dense cities, but without being gimmicky.

HK: What one hotel would you have liked to have designed/or would like to redesign?
JS: I would have loved to be part of the design team of the Negresco Hotel in Nice. It’s so crazy and magical – I love it.

HK: What is the number one item you cannot travel without?
JS: Tabasco! I always have little sachets of Tabasco in my travel wallet. The little bottles are cute but the sachets are more convenient for travel. Tabasco makes everything taste better.

HK: What trend do you wish would emerge again soon?
JS: Decent table manners.

HK: What was the last hotel you stayed in?
JS: Downtown hotel in Mexico City.

HK: Explain London in three words…
JS: Quiet, polite, multicultural.

HK: What’s your favourite colour this season?
JS: Rust. Something nice about earthier and natural  tones as we move away from sterile palettes.

HK: What’s the last thing that shows up on your credit card statement?
JS: Uber. It is the first item that appears and most of what is inbetween!

As someone as visual as Strauss, the urge the design came as almost a natural instinct. “I think I was always a designer,” he narrates. “My mother says I was always observing my surroundings as a child and I think to this day it’s perhaps one of the reasons that I am doing what I am doing. What I really think makes you a professional designer is being able to process criticism. That you learn over time and does not come naturally.”

“F&B, I believe, is once again thriving in hotels.” – Jacu Strauss

As we converse over cocktails in a rooftop bar overlooking east London, it feels apt to discuss the rise of food and beverage facilities within hotel design. “I think hotels have historically been an important “pillar” in a city or town or community,” he explains. “But towards the end of the last century hotels became massive and exclusive only to its guests, and that meant it became inaccessible to their neighbours. Hotels are unique to their locations and I think guests have become more interested in feeling like they are part of a community even just for a night, than staying at a non-descript hotel that is removed from its surroundings. F&B is a tell-tale sign of how it was once the place to eat and drink, before it then became sterile. F&B, I believe, is once again thriving in hotels – as we’re proving this afternoon – because hotels are opening up to locals as well as guests making it feel less like a “hotel restaurant” and more like a restaurant that happens to be in a hotel.”

In reference to the quick-fire round above, Strauss is a man that believes in detail. “I have realised how important it is to research a new market thoroughly and avoid having a cookie cutter approach,” Strauss explains. “Designing a successful hotel is so much more than just choosing colours and fabrics. It is about the neighbourhoods, the greater contexts of the city and its people, and ensuring the longevity of a product. There are always things to improve on, but we believe you only open a hotel once.”

For the designer who has just as much in the pipeline as what’s already on his impressive portfolio, what makes him stand out his ability to be different. “At some stage,” he adds, “you need to ignore what others are doing and focus on your own task at hand and making decisions based our own hotel and not what others are doing.”

Another distinct characteristic that quite clearly sets Strauss aside from other hoteliers, designers and architects is his ability to effortlessly – on the surface at least – to balance work and life. Living his best life through both travel and work and sometimes a combination of both, Strauss is anything but a one-trick pony, constantly absorbing ideas, concepts and themes that time and time again capture the world’s attention each time the ribbon is cut. And for those wanting a snippet of the inspiration behind his designs, you have only to follow him on Instagram account.

Main image credit: Patrick Meis

Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam to return in 2020

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam to return in 2020

The Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam, which debuted last month for the first time outside London, has announced that it will return to the Amsterdam next year on March 17 – 18… 

The Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam, of which Hotel Designs was an official media partner for, has announced that it will return to ‘The Dam’ next year. More than 2,200 hoteliers designers and architects visited the inaugural edition of the the show in Amsterdam to be inspired and informed about the current trends in the hotel industry.

In addition showcasing the latest products and services through its 120 carefully curated exhibitors and providing ample networking opportunities, the innovative event at RAI Amsterdam on May 8 – 9, provided a hotbed of new ideas with the very latest trends presented and covered across multiple touchpoints at the show.

“As this was the first edition in continental Europe, we had no idea what to expect, but the experience the past two days has exceeded expectations,” said Portfolio Director, Miranda Martin. “It was a delight to meet such a great collection of progressive and enthusiastic hospitality professionals and we look forward to welcoming everyone back to the 2020 edition in March!”

A Vision of the Future

The Hotel Vision Stage, the central education stage at the show saw hoteliers, trend forecasters and CEOs share their visions for the future of the hotel industry.

During a well-attended session, Dutch trend-watcher Vincent van Dijk shared a glimpse into the Hotel Room of the Future and presented the 10 important hotel trends for 2019:

  • Never wait at a counter again – checking in online or via an app is the new thing. And you’ll open your room via the smart key on your phone too. Easy does it!
  • The automation of in-room service is only going to get more popular, whether it’s simply closing the curtains or requesting the coffee machine prepare a cappuccino, everything will be managed via tablets and technology.
  • Tailored service based on big data is what it’s all about as every guest is unique!
  • Despite all the technology, personal communication remains important. If this isn’t via face-to-face interaction, consider instead a chat program that allows the guest to communicate with the hotel from the room.
  • Due to a lack of space, furniture will become increasingly flexible. For example, a coffee table that quickly becomes a desk where you can work on, or a TV which automatically becomes a mirror as you get closer.
  • Introduction of voice-controlled equipment in hotel rooms. “Hey Google, set air conditioning to 19 degrees!”
  • Shower toilets, as we already see them a lot in Asia, will become the new hygienic standard.
  • Due to air pollution in large cities, there will be an increasing need for systems that can provide clean air.
  • Eco-friendly and health conscious housekeeping without the use of chemical agents – healthy for employees and guests.
  • Green is the new gold! Key words for the hoteliers to keep in mind for the future are sustainability, low waste and water reuse.

A number of significant panel discussions also took place on the stage. Lead by STR Global, ‘The Year in Review’ saw, Eric Toren  (Hotel TwentySeven, Amsterdam) and  Gabriella Esselbrugge (Hotel De Dames van Jonge, Giethoorn) explore the need to spread tourists who come to Amsterdam throughout the country – something that fellow panellist René van Schie, who works on tourism development for the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area, deals with on a daily basis.

Elsewhere, Hotel Designs, which was an official media partner for the show, was on stage for a live debate on how the rise in ‘bleisure’ is dictating how the industry builds and renovates hotels and cities.

Three men on the Hotel Vision stage

Image caption: Editor Hamish Kilburn leading panel discussion entitled ‘Designing for Bleisure’

During a panel discussion, Gladys Camphuijsen (The Pulitzer, Amsterdam), Annemoon Geurts (Kazerne, Eindhoven) and Veerle Donders (Zoku, Amsterdam) explained how they involve the local community in their hotels, be it by placing a large Christmas tree that the entire neighbourhood benefits from (The Pulitzer) or by organizing neighbourhood parties with beer and bitterballen (Zoku).

Christiaan Uittenbosch, founder of Smart Travel Lab, challenged visitors to think in terms of solutions instead of problems and even use them as a unique selling point within your company. When traveling, guests, especially millennials, are looking for positively-minded brands that are actively working on sustainability. QO Hotels, but also start-ups like Rotterzwam, were named as companies that have built their business by finding solutions to existing problems.

The Independent Hotel Show was concluded with a keynote speech by ex-Radisson CEO, Wolfgang M. Neumann (strategic hospitality consultant and chairman of Hotel School The Hague). In his speech, he emphasized responsibility to the planet and the generations after us. Concluding with the memorable words: “If you think you’re too small to make a difference, you’ve never spent a night with a mosquito.”

The Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam will return for the second edition in the RAI on 17 and 18 March 2020.

Main image credit: Independent Hotel Show Amsterdam

The rise of tile trends in international hotel design

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
The rise of tile trends in international hotel design

Celebrating art outside the frame, CTD Architectural Tiles identifies tile trends that are emerging for 2019 and beyond…

From texture and pattern to size and the increasing need for sustainable solutions, the hotel industry has become an exciting creative arena for tile and surface trend developments. The desire for creating spaces that stand out, delivering on both aesthetic and practical qualities, has driven the demand for tiles that make unique and memorable design statements.

From wood and marble-effect flooring to new generation mosaics and botanical-inspired patterns, architects and designers have never had so much choice when it comes to specifying ceramic and porcelain tiles in hotel projects.

Nature-inspired patterned tiles

A celebration and seamless marriage between rustic handmade influences and the trend for contemporary biophilic design, the new Amazonia collection from CTD Architectural Tiles is guaranteed to bring any hotel project to life.

Jungle-inspired interiors showcasing various tones of surfaces

Image credit: CTD Architectural Tiles

Versatile and unique, Amazonia combines botanical patterns with a pared-back, nature-inspired palette to enliven spaces of all sizes. Suitable for both walls and floors, the tiles are available in two shapes: a small square format (138 x 138mm) and a larger hexagon format (320 x 368mm), in five colourways and designs. Offering endless opportunities to combine and mix the distinctive tiles, designers are able to choose from the subtle geometric patterns of Ethnic or the delicate leaf prints of the Tropic designs to create a standout space. From the lobby and hotel bars and restaurants to even the swimming pool areas, Amazonia offers a truly versatile tiling proposition to designers, specifiers and architects for the hotel industry.

3D textured tiles

From bold patterns to structured 3D shapes and designs, tiles have become an increasingly popular format of creative expression within hotel interiors. Advances in tile manufacturing have led to reinventions of trends and tile styles such as bohemian, baroque and mosaics. An increasingly popular choice, mosaics are extremely versatile as they are able to be applied to flat or curved surfaces as well as being suitable for dry and wet areas on both walls and floors. Offering a variety of colours, sizes and materials, the return of mosaics has seen the introduction of new finishes such as metal or wood-effect designs as well as striking hexagon and geometric patterns, ideal for those designers or architects looking to make a true style statement.

Image credit: CTD Architectural Tiles

Colourful Marble-Effect Tiles

Combining an urban aesthetic with trend-led designs, the Diesel Living tile collection delivers truly eye-catching tile solutions for contemporary hotel spaces. The ideal range for designers wanting to achieve a truly statement scheme, the Diesel Cosmic Marble collection is an exquisite marriage between marble-effect tiles and a cosmic-inspired colour palette. Suitable for both walls and floors, the aptly named range is guaranteed to leave a lasting impression. From the deep blue and gold hues of Venus to the radiant red swirls of Mars, Diesel Cosmic Marble is available in eight polished porcelain colourways and will work perfectly in lobbies and reception areas.

Wood-Effect Floor Tiles

 An effortlessly stylish addition to any space, wood flooring is renowned for its beautiful, natural finish. Although undeniably a popular choice, natural wood isn’t always practical in high footfall areas in hotels. With some ranges offering up to 40 per cent recycled content, wood-effect tile collections celebrate the unique beauty of the natural material and combine the importance of a realistic finish with the practical benefits of ceramic or porcelain tiles.

Image credit: CTD Architectural Tiles

An on-trend and practical solution for hotel spaces, a wood-effect tile allows you to evoke the natural character of timber, whilst promising a low maintenance and practical product that is ideal for modern environments. Complete with the distinctive knots and markings of organic wood, each and every tile is different to ensure an authentic look. Not just limited to floors, the wide range of glazed porcelain and ceramic tiles are suitable for a number of applications including walls, exteriors and wet areas, meaning that the design of a project is not restricted by the limitations of real wood.

By their very nature, hotels are stunning examples of unique design and luxury living. When it comes to product selection for a hotel project, designers want to be working with the very latest trends and innovative products to ensure that they’re able to achieve a statement scheme to remember.  From beautiful lobbies to carefully designed guest suites, CTD Architectural Tiles’ extensive product portfolio is guaranteed to provide the ideal surface solution no matter what the application. Offering unparalleled expertise and technical knowledge, the Specification Team at CTD Architectural Tiles works with industry leading, innovative manufacturers to offer a complete portfolio of ceramic and porcelain tile ranges to suit the boutique hotelier, architect, interior designer, developer and specification professional.

BISQUE launches competition for next generation of radiators

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
BISQUE launches competition for next generation of radiators

CALLING ALL DESIGNERS: Recommended Supplier Bisque has launched a competition to find the next generation of stylish radiators…

Pioneering British design brand BISQUE has announced an exclusive competition to find the ‘next big thing’ in luxury radiators and celebrate its landmark 40th anniversary.

Budding designers and Bisque fans alike will be invited to join the movement and make their mark on the design industry by creating the brand’s newest model.

The competition was previewed at Clerkenwell Design Week, before officially launching at London’s New Designers show in July. The final deadline for entries will then be in October. All entrants will be judged by a panel of industry experts, including journalists, designers and Bisque officials, before the winning model is unveiled during an exclusive preview in November. The winning design will be awarded a cash prize; plus, provided the design works technically, it will go into production*.

“We are thrilled to be launching this competition to commemorate four decades of innovative radiators,” said brand leader at Bisque Ellie Sawdy. “Here at Bisque we have always maintained that radiators don’t need to be boring, and this philosophy remains a core part of our brand’s ethos. We are equally excited by the fresh, young design talent the UK has to offer, so are incredibly excited to see what the British public comes up with”.

Eagle-eyed Bisque fans may recall the last time Bisque invited the public to design a new model to join its repertoire. The prize model, the Archibald – designed by Italian Leo Salzedo – went on to win the 2006 designboom competition and is still one of the brand’s most iconic and instantly recognisable radiators today.

Named one of The Observer’s CoolBrands three years in a row, Bisque paved the way for a radiator revolution. Notable models include the Leaf and Cactus radiators, while partnerships with the likes of Paul Priestman have kept Bisque at the forefront of cutting-edge radiator design ever since.

Further information on entering can be found at www.bisque.co.uk/radical40 or by searching #Radical40 on social media.

*Terms and conditions apply.

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

Main image credit: Bisque

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

PRODUCT WATCH: Industrial chic Roma from Chelsom

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
PRODUCT WATCH: Industrial chic Roma from Chelsom

Industrial chic Roma from Chelsom is one of the signature ranges from the latest collection Edition 26…

Roma from Chelsom is a selection of contemporary urban fittings that would be an impressive addition to a wide variety of hotel interior genres. The industrial chic light, which is part of the Edition 26 collection launched last year, is a timeless fitting ideal for luxury guestooms and suites.

Inspired by industrial designs, the Roma table lamp by Chelsom fuses cutting edge design with the latest technology. Available as part of a wider collection of coordinated wall, floor and ceiling lighting, Roma features tapered perforated metal shades finished in Golden Bronze with internal PVC Opal diffusers to give a dramatic and softly diffused light effect.

For further information or to request a catalogue please contact 01253 831404 or email sales@chelsom.co.uk

Chelsom 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: Chelsom

SPOTLIGHT ON: Inspirational design hotel bars and restaurants in London

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
SPOTLIGHT ON: Inspirational design hotel bars and restaurants in London

To round off our Spotlight On topic of Bars & Restaurants, Hotel Designs headed into London to pick out the best F&B facilities that are serving up a treat on the international hotel design scene… Editor Hamish Kilburn edits…

Since hotels became much more than simply a bed for the night, the in-house food and beverage scene globally has taken off. Here are a few London bars and restaurants that have emerged to be statement F&B areas within hotel design.

GMT Bar –  Hard Rock Hotel London 

Image credit: Roberto Lara Photography

Incorporating the Hard Rock “mantra”, which includes the global brands’ range of memorabilia, artwork, installations and lyrics, design firm Scott Brownrigg was tasked to complete the 900-room Hard Rock Hotel London. As well as designing quirky and edgy guestrooms, the design team, led by Senior Designer and Hotel Designs’ 30 Under 30 Kate Jarrett, also created what is now London’s latest Instagrammable statement bar, which acts as an inviting cocoon from the rest of the city.

The Monkey Bar – Monkey Island Estate

Image credit: Monkey Island Estate

Monkey Island Estate is located in Bray-on-Thames. The island, with its intriguing history dating back 800 years, has been the haunt of monks, monarchs, aristocrats and writers alike. Visitors from London and beyond are transported to their own private countryside escape steeped in stylish yet laidback luxury. Designed by award-winning Champalimaud, complete with its beautiful garden terrace, The Monkey Bar is elegant, contemporary and relaxed – just like the rest of the hotel.

Sloane Place Hotel London 

Long dining table with hanging pendents above

Image credit: Sloane Place Hotel

The 50-seat café-bar in the hotel, designed by JSJ Design, required extensive structural works to open up the space, making it more accessible for guests and local clientele alike. The interior design scheme combines bold teals,timber panelling, glass and brass, maximising light and space.

45 Park Lane

modern quirky bar in 45 Park Lane

Image credit: 45 Park Lane

While the world is all too familiar of the iconic bar inside The Dorchester, its younger sibling, 45 Park Lane, located next door, is the contemporary answer to luxury in the city. The hotel’s modern-chic bar, which serves London’s finest negronis, is described as: “the vibrant beacon of contemporary culture in a luxury hotel.” It is an invigorating blend of art and landmark architecture in the middle of classical London.

InterContinental London Park Lane

Once more, RPW Design strikes again on London’s leafy iconic Park Lane. The design firm’s latest refurbishment of the guestrooms and The Capital Suite in the InterContinental Park Lane compliments the work of David Collins Studio in the hotel’s restaurant, Ella Canta.

Hotel Cafe Royal London

Image credit: Hotel Cafe Royal London

Designed by Piero Lissoni and Atelier 27, the new F&B areas sheltered in Hotel Cafe Royal London are contemporary yet timeless. The Green Bar’s cocktail list is an invitation to explore tastes throughout the ages, divided into four eras spanning over 100 years. The interiors masculine, with hues of emerald green creating a dark and moody atmosphere to compliment the cocktails served.

Main image credit: Roberto Lara Photography

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

MINIVIEW: Hard Rock Hotel London

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
MINIVIEW: Hard Rock Hotel London

In spectacular fashion, as expected, Hard Rock Hotel London has opened its doors, adding 900 stylish rooms to the Capital’s hotel scene. Hotel Designs took a peak inside…

Positioned on the corner of Oxford Street at Marble Arch, Hard Rock Hotel London has arrived, catering to the needs of both business and leisure travelers from around the world. Designed by award-winning design firm Scott Brownrigg, the concept for the interior design was inspired from the heritage of the existing building, which was built in the mid 1700’s.

Drawing on the legacy of legends who stayed here in decades past, including Jimi Hendrix, Nina Simone, Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan, Diana Ross and Madonna, the new venue pays homage to the site’s rich history through stylish interior design and carefully curated music memorabilia displays. It also is an inspiration to those who have yet to write their own story – Hard Rock Hotel London stands alone as a hotel haven for music lovers everywhere.

Image credit: Roberto Lara Photography

Hard Rock Hotel London accommodates two vibrant bars and a lively Hard Rock Cafe – the second Hard Rock Cafe to open in the Capital City. With 370 seats, the hotel’s Cafe is set to be the ultimate Central hang out. Combining elevated food and drink offerings with weekly live music performances that celebrate both local London and international talent, the Cafe offers an electric atmosphere, perfect for all occasions – from lunch meetings to after work drinks.

“As the original birthplace of Hard Rock, we are delighted to open a new hotel in London, the brand’s spiritual birthplace,” said Ian Fletcher, general manager of the hotel. “In true Hard Rock style, the property offers stylish and contemporary design, incredible in-room amenities, fantastic food and unparalleled service, with the thread that unites them all – music. We know all our guests have an unforgettable experience.”

Image credit: Roberto Lara Photography

Meanwhile, the 42-seat Lobby Bar takes its inspiration from the original art-deco style ceiling of the Lyons Corner House, which originally stood on the site in the early 1900’s. As well as celebrating the site’s unrivalled heritage, the bar embodies Hard Rock’s musical roots, with an abstract installation designed to reflect a master disc and record player. Memorabilia, in true Hard Rock fashion, is suspended in the bar from the walls through guitar strings to replicate a ‘larger than life’ fret board.

‘It has been a great experience working with two established brands, glh hotels and Hard Rock International,” said Kate Jarrett, Interior Designer at Scott Brownrigg who was also credited as a Hotel Designs 30 Under 30 earlier this year. “We have enjoyed collaborating with them to create a unique and sophisticated offer for the London market. Combining the history of the central London location with the iconic musical heritage of the Hard Rock brand.”

With venues in 73 countries including 184 cafes, 237 Rock Shops, 28 hotels and 11 casinos, Hard Rock International (HRI) is one of the most globally recognised companies – and the hotel brand’s most recent opening fittingly returns to where it all began.

Main image credit: Roberto Lara Photography

Canopy by Hilton to make its debut in France in 2020

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Canopy by Hilton to make its debut in France in 2020

Canopy by Hilton is poised to make French debut with two hotels in Paris (2020) and Bordeaux (2021)…

Hotel giant Hilton has announced its intention to introduce its upper upscale lifestyle brand, Canopy by Hilton, to France. Two new hotels – Canopy by Hilton Paris Trocadero and Canopy by Hilton Bordeaux Chartrons –  are set to welcome their first guests before the end of 2021, following management and franchise agreements.

“Paris and Bordeaux are exceptional destinations, and these new hotels are meticulously designed to celebrate their respective neighbourhoods,” said Patrick Fitzgibbon, Senior Vice President, Development, EMEA, Hilton. “Hilton’s expansion in France is gaining further momentum, with plans to triple our portfolio in the next five years. The introduction of new brands including Canopy by Hilton is testament to the quality of partners we are working with to grow across the country.”

Canopy by Hilton hotels are thoughtfully curated to appeal to travellers seeking a locally inspired experience, with unique interiors that are influenced by the culture and history of the neighbourhood. Guests are welcomed by friendly Enthusiasts with expert local knowledge and recommendations and are invited to immerse themselves in the experience with local food and drink tastings and use of the complimentary Canopy by Hilton bicycles to explore the city.

“Travellers want a hotel to help them get the most out of travel and experience the best of a great neighbourhood – Canopy by Hilton allows our guests to do just that,” said Gary Steffen, Global Head, Canopy by Hilton, Hilton. “Designed with their immediate surroundings, local art, culture and cuisine in mind, Canopy hotels redefine the lifestyle hotel category.”

Canopy by Hilton Paris Trocadero

The 123-key Canopy by Hilton Paris Trocadero is scheduled to be the first Canopy by Hilton to open in France. Slated to open in mid-2020, the hotel is located in sight of the place du Trocadero and Palais de Chaillot in the 16th arrondissement of Paris, a cultural hotspot with several galleries and attractions such as the Palais Galliera and Palais de Tokyo museums.

Construction has already started on the property, which is being transformed into an open and inviting space in touch with Canopy’s local design influences.

The hotel is owned by a French institutional investor and will be operated by Hilton under a management agreement. The hotel is located at 16 Avenue d’ Eylau, Paris.

Canopy by Hilton Bordeaux Chartrons 

Canopy by Hilton Bordeaux Chartrons is expected to open in early 2021. The new-build property will be constructed in the Chartrons neighbourhood, overlooking the Garonne River. Chartrons is famous for its waterside bars and dining, antique shops and vintage boutiques.

The hotel will offer multiple dining options, including a spectacular rooftop restaurant, bar and pool overlooking the river and Bordeaux’s city centre. The hotel’s design will draw on the area’s history as an industrial hub, made famous by its eponymous wine, which is produced in vineyards around the city.

The hotel is owned by SAS RE Hotels, an affiliate of SAS Groupe Reaumur France, and will operate under franchise agreement. The hotel is located at 85 Quai des Chartrons, Bordeaux.

The introduction of Canopy by Hilton in France marks Hilton’s fourth brand entry in France in as many years, following the debut of Curio Collection by Hilton in 2017, Hilton Garden Inn in 2018 and Hampton by Hilton in 2019. The new Canopy hotels join spectacular European properties in Reykjavik and Zagreb, with a further hotel under construction in London.

Main image credit: Canopy by Hilton

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

Hyatt Centric brand to enter into Greater China

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hyatt Centric brand to enter into Greater China

Located on the eastern side of Hong Kong Island, the hotel will mark the Hyatt Centric brand’s entry into Greater China…

Following China being identified as a major international hotel design hotspot, Hyatt Hotels Corporation has announced that a Hyatt affiliate has entered into an agreement with an affiliate of Sun Hung Kai Properties Limited to rebrand the 665-key Hotel VIC on the Harbour to Hyatt Centric Victoria Harbour Hong Kong by the third quarter of this year.

The newly branded property will be the first Hyatt Centric hotel in the Greater China region, joining the brand’s inaugural property in Asia, Hyatt Centric Ginza Tokyo which opened last year.

“We are delighted to grow our relationship with our anchor owner Sun Hung Kai Properties with this exciting project in Hong Kong after our successful collaborations with Park Hyatt Hangzhou and Hyatt Centric Minhang, Shanghai,” said Stephen Ho, president of Greater China, global operations, Hyatt. “We look forward to introducing the Hyatt Centric brand to Hong Kong and providing more distinctive experiences to our guests. With the hotel’s convenient waterfront location and proximity to cultural and leisure hotspots, Hyatt Centric Victoria Harbour Hong Kong will be an ideal base for savvy, in-the-now guests to explore all that this dynamic gateway city has to offer.”

Tailored for socially connected guests seeking shareable moments, the hotel’s social areas and food and beverage concepts were designed by Hong Kong-based architect and interior designer, Andre Fu while the 665 harbor-view guestrooms feature designs from Hirsch Bedner Associates.

“We decided to work with Hyatt after careful consideration and are excited to debut the first Hyatt Centric hotel in Greater China,” said Tasos Kousloglou, chief executive officer of the Hotel Division of Sun Hung Kai Properties. “The Hyatt Centric brand’s young and dynamic profile will fit perfectly with the vibrant neighborhood. The hotel benefits readily from the landmark integrated development with the premium residential towers of Victoria Harbour and the retail complex of Harbour North, which, together with the hotel’s retail space has a total area of over 200,000 sq ft. Guests will also enjoy the new magnificent waterfront garden promenade and the lifestyle offerings within the hotel’s quintessential Hong Kong neighborhood. By joining hands with Hyatt, we will be able to leverage its world-class knowledge, excellence in food and beverage, wealth of hospitality experience, and global marketing and sales network to make Hyatt Centric Victoria Harbour Hong Kong the preferred choice for socially-connected travelers and locals. We will also reach a broader audience of savvy travelers worldwide and elevate guest experience.”

Following the brand ethos to connect guests to the heart of the action so they never miss a moment of adventure, the hotel is located in the dynamic North Point district on the eastern side of the Hong Kong Island.

Main image credit: Hyatt Hotels

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

GROHE and Mosa partnership celebrates success at Clerkenwell

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
GROHE and Mosa partnership celebrates success at Clerkenwell

GROHE enjoyed its second taste of Clerkenwell Design Week in partnership with tile manufacturer, Mosa…

Following a successful collaboration in 2018, GROHE and Mosa reunited once again to celebrate their common heritage around the topic of sustainability. “We are delighted to be able to share our passion for delivering sustainable solutions to the architect and design industry with a like-minded brand such as Mosa“, says Glenn Payne, Head of Projects UK at GROHE.

“Our partnership at Clerkenwell Design Week has highlighted our commitment to sustainability to key figures in the industry, whose influence could pave the way to more eco-aware specification in the future. We felt we offered a real point of difference to the customers and visitors who joined us across the three days, and are excited about the new prospects the event will bring“.

GROHE‘s dedicated projects team met with hundreds of visitors at the festival, from self builders and specifiers to architects and designers, generating some promising new business leads. The festival proved an excellent platform for the brand to leverage its already strong position in the A&D community, to reach new heights. As well as opening its showroom to the thousands of visitors who flocked to the festival last week, GROHE and Mosa also hosted several evening parties and events, including an exclusive dinner presented by GROHE’s partnering chef, Ed Baines.

The bathroom manufacturer has an ever-growing presence in Clerkenwell and thanks to the permanent displays newly revealed at Mosa’s showroom last week, the brand has now firmly cemented its place in the design-centric district.

Hotel Designs recently caught up with Grohe’s Vice President of Design, Michael Seum, following the company exhibiting at ISH 2019.

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.

Social hotel brand to arrive in Malaysia

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Social hotel brand to arrive in Malaysia

Ormond Group’s new social hotel brand, MoMo’s, will debut in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia in October of this year… 

MoMo’s, Ormond Group’s new playful hospitality concept, will launch its first property in central Kuala Lumpur within the eclectic Chow Kit neighborhood this October. Home to 99 guest rooms, MoMo’s KL will be a newly renovated, exciting hangout in the city, providing a fun and laid-back multi-dimensional space where visitors and locals can collide in harmony.

MoMo’s celebrates creative collaboration whilst offering a design-led lifestyle hotel at a value-for-money price point. Alongside micro rooms, MoMo’s KL will provide guests with a dynamic social space that engage with creative communities and urban nomads. The hotel has been designed to inspire memorable moments, through fun creative programming and a unique food and beverage offering.

MoMo’s hosts will ensure that guests have unrivalled access to Kuala Lumpur’s hidden gems, experiencing the city as a local would. Stepping away from the traditional notion of front-of-house staff, hosts are on hand to greet guests on arrival, make them a coffee or cocktail whilst checking them in for their stay. Embracing Asia’s open house culture, MoMo’s prides itself on its informal environment in which guests are encouraged to relax and have fun, feeling totally at home.

Render of minimalist lifestyle area

Image credit: MoMo

“MoMo’s is bringing a fresh personality to Kuala Lumpur, offering young, culturally driven travellers a design focused and value-concious experience,”  said Gareth Lim, CEO of Ormond Group. “Social interaction is central to MoMo’s ethos and look forward to being part of the regeneration of the Chow Kit neighbourhood.”

On the ground floor, MoMosita’s – a new casual concept from leading Malaysian F&B operators Christian Bauer and Eddie Chew of Troika Sky Dining, is a fun, gritty, self-serve dive bar serving tacos and snacks alongside draft beer and bottled cocktails. Open in the evenings throughout the week, with late night music programming on Fridays and Saturdays, MoMosita’s is the ultimate low-key hangout for guests and locals to let loose and mingle.

Reframing the hotel narrative from being a place to get a good night’s sleep to each hotel acting as a springboard to guests’ city experiences, MoMo’s KL encourages guests to live, play and stay. The traditional lobby is replaced by a social space that acts as the central hub of activity, The Playground. The Playground, located on the ground floor, is the hotel’s main events space which will host a series of weekly events from performance art, workshops and exhibitions to DJ sets and live gigs. The Playground was conceptualized to encourage the best creative minds from the city and abroad to mingle.

Render of minimalist dining area

Image credit: MoMo’s

The micro-rooms feature bespoke amenities, plush beds, smart TVs and a safe with a self-pick-up style room service facility. Inward facing rooms look out onto a large gallery lightwell which provides the rooms with a curated moving image space. The design palette throughout the rooms and the communal spaces are made up of simple, honest materials with raw concrete, laminated timber and combed plaster featuring throughout. Notes of dusty pinks, washed greens and aged brass are consistent throughout the furnishings, fabrics and ornaments that bring MoMo’s design focused, yet approachable, character to the fore.

Sydney based interiors and architecture studio, Akin Atelier, has led the design of MoMo’s Kuala Lumpur bringing founder, Kelvin Ho’s, renowned style to this unique property. The Australia based architect and interior designer has brought MoMo’s KL to life using the multi-faceted and playful character of Kuala Lumpur as the inspiration for the design. The public spaces have been conceptualised to feel like an experiential gallery where food, art and music are expressed in its rawest forms to elevate and juxtapose them from the simple rooms.

MoMo’s will open next door to The Chow Kit – An Ormond Hotel, another new launch from Ormond Group. A second MoMo’s hotel is slated for a 2022 opening in Melbourne, Australia.

Main image credit: MoMo

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

5 examples of art outside the frame at Clerkenwell Design Week

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
5 examples of art outside the frame at Clerkenwell Design Week

Clerkenwell Design Week once again inspired designers, architects and Londoners alike to celebrate London as a creative design hub. Editor Hamish Kilburn identifies five installations that took art outside the frame…

In seven exhibitions across London’s much-loved design district, exhibitors at Clerkenwell Design Week displayed the latest products and emerging trends on the market.

But in between each tented venue, creepy crypt and a deserted nightclub were a number of artists, designers and architects reflecting their creativity on the city’s streets. CDW showcased commissioned site specific installations across Clerkenwell. For CDW’s 10 year anniversary, visitors were asked to expect the most exciting street spectacles yet, and here were just a handful of the main attractions.

Once Upon A Time

Main image credit: Sophie Mutevelian/Once Upon a Time

The installation took inspiration from the rich and sometimes dark historical tales of Clerkenwell. For the initiative, CDW collaborated with Chelsea College of Arts, BA Graphic Design Communication students to create a series of graphic installations inspired by the stories relating to the significant locations. The six winning entries were selected by a judging panel including; Max Fraser, CDW Content Editor; Priya Khanchandani, ICON Editor, and David Barnett, Chelsea College of Art Course Leader, BA Graphic Design Communication. In conjunction with the project, Lansdown’s London hosted a number of historical walking tours during CDW exploring its past as a centre of making, from clock-makers to gin distillers.

Decade

Man looking at the installation on the streets of Clerkenwell

Image credit: Hakwood Adam Dale/Decade

The piece was a dramatic trail of 10, three metre high candle like beacons designed by pioneers within the creative industry. The installations, symbolic of birthday candles also formed part of CDW’s wayfinding strategy to help guide visitors across the exhibition route. With a nod to the area as London’s creative heart, each installation showcased the designers’ individuality and imagination.

Reflect Us

Created by Beau Kerouac in collaboration with ‘The Big Issue’, the installation intended to bridge gaps in society by confronting visitors with 10 door-sized gateways to eyes that are sometimes hard to look into, telling the stories of vendors from our city streets. Using AR technology, Beau Kerouac invited visitors to question how an act of respect; simply making eye contact, can change someone’s day for the better through shared experience.

Scale Rule

The large installation, which was displayed at St John’s Gate arch, responded to the theme of history and heritage by proposing a new structure that subtly draws on the historic form whilst bringing in materials and geometries that reference the design culture of Clerkenwell today.

The concept played with the idea of space and enclosure, by inserting a densely built timber structure within the void of the archway.  This was then carved away to allow a route through and to frame the historic features of the site. The timber frame was filled with moments of colour that intensify towards the top of the arch, drawing visitors’ gaze upwards towards the historic architecture. The colour was created by using recycled materials and fabrics that reference the design identity of the area.

While on the site, the pavilion highlighted details of the archway and drew parallels to the 10 year anniversary of CDW.  When moved to a new location, the pavilion will take with it the geometry of the archway to act as a casting of the original site.

Pareidolia

Man walking past light-like installation

Image credit: Jestico + Whiles

For their second CDW collaboration, Jestico + Whiles and Porcelanosa Group teamed up with Studio Fractal and Architainment Lighting to display a new and experimental immersive experience, which was entitled Pareidolia.

The immersive installation explored concepts of movement, memory and pattern with an impressive large-scale digitally fabricated installation made of Krion, a Porcelanosa product derived from natural minerals.

Hotel Designs was a proud media partner for Clerkenwell Design Week 2019. To read the editor’s round up of the entire festival, including news of the major product launches during the three-day-show, click here.

Main image credit: Sophie Mutevelian

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

New ‘super boutique hotel’ in London to become leader in sustainability

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
New ‘super boutique hotel’ in London to become leader in sustainability

Edwardian Hotels London has secured a £175 million Green Loan from HSBC UK that will help make its new ‘super boutique hotel’, The Londoner, one of the most environmentally friendly in the UK, with sustainability at its core…

Edwardian Hotels London has secured a £175 million Green Loan from HSBC UK to ensure its new super boutique hotel, The Londoner, situated in Leicester Square will be one of the greenest hotels in the UK.

The deal with HSBC UK breaks new ground in sustainability for the hospitality industry. It is the first Green Loan in the sector that meets the Green Loan Principles, which were set out in March 2018 to encourage and facilitate environmentally-friendly economic activity. The funding will be used to ensure the new hotel doesn’t just meet but exceeds the BREEAM Excellent category in building environmental and sustainable performance.

Thanks to the Green Loan, The Londoner’s impressive green credentials will range from use of construction materials with a low environmental impact, to new technologies including an innovative liquid film which will reduce evaporation and energy loss from the hotel’s swimming pool.

The hotel is also aiming to contribute to the sustainability of its neighbours by including a heat network connection. Initially, this will be linked to the Edwardian Hotels London-owned hotel next door to The Londoner, The Radisson Blu Edwardian Hampshire, but could also be extended to the surrounding area in the future. In total, the hotel is set to use 30 per cent less carbon than regulations demand.

 “Since its inception we have always had bold ambitions for The Londoner to write itself into the very fabric of the city, said Jasminder Singh OBE, Chairman and Founder of Edwardian Hotels London. “We have been dedicated to delivering a high-quality, sustainable, integrated hotel and this Green Loan supports that vision. We are delighted that this new property, designed to celebrate the character of the capital, has become the first in the hospitality industry to secure this.”

Rob King, Head of Sustainable Finance at HSBC UK, said: “HSBC has made a commitment to provide US$100bn of Sustainable Finance by 2025 to help businesses transition to a lower carbon economy. We are very pleased to have supported Edwardian Hotels London with a Green Loan to support the construction of this high profile hotel with very strong sustainability credentials.  Green Loans are an exciting development in Sustainable Finance which will encourage the investment urgently required to meet our carbon emission reduction targets.”

The Londoner is in a new hotel category of one. Boutique in feel, yet staggering in scale, at 15 storeys, the property will offer a multifaceted experience through its 350 exquisite rooms and suites, signature restaurants and dining offerings and with the bespoke meetings and event spaces infused with London character. It is scheduled to open in Spring 2020.

Main image credit: Edwardian Hotels

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.

CDW PREVIEW: Zaha Hadid Gallery to unveil exhibition with Fritz Hansen

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
CDW PREVIEW: Zaha Hadid Gallery to unveil exhibition with Fritz Hansen

For Clerkenwell Design Week 2019, Fritz Hansen partners with Zaha Hadid Design to present ‘Shaping Reality Through Time’, an exploration of Fritz Hansen’s design evolution…

To celebrate a decade of Clerkenwell Design Week, design studio Zaha Hadid Gallery has partnered with Fitz Hansen to exhibit ‘Shaping Reality Through Time’, which will be held at the Zaha Hadid Gallery, 101 Goswell Road, London between May 21 – June 13.

On Tuesday May 21, to celebrate the opening of the exhibition, a talk will take place between Fritz Hansen head of design, Christian Andresen and Zaha Hadid Architects head of interiors, Kar-Hwa Ho.

The story of Fritz Hansen’s design evolution can best be told through the series of chairs produced since the cabinet maker Fritz Hansen obtained a trade license in 1872, before beginning his own furniture production company.

‘Shaping Reality Through Time’ will offer a rare glimpse at aspects of the Heritage Exhibition, brought to the UK for the first time from Alleroed, Copenhagen – home to the original factory plant and current Head Office.

This London exhibition will include anniversary pieces, early examples of the signature laminated technology still in use today, original prototypes and limited editions, alongside newer pieces launched at this year’s Milan Design Week.

Hansen has worked with Zaha Hadid Design to co-curate and edit the exhibition with a specific focus on chairs carrying a shared aesthetic and design DNA, typified by sculptural form and organic lines.

‘Shaping Reality Through Time’ will also see pieces revealed in the UK for the first time, following their launch at Milan’s Salone del Mobile, April 2019 including ‘Plenum’, Fritz Hansen’s 2018 first dedicated contract furniture piece. Arne Jacobsen’s ‘Little Giraffe’ was first produced in 2019 but created 60 years ago for the S.A.S Royal Hotel, Copenhagen; A new piece by Jaime Hayon will also mark ten years of Hayon’s ongoing collaboration with the brand and heritage pieces will include the limited edition PKO – Fritz Hansen’s first collaboration with Poul Kjaerholm as well as Henning Larsen’s ‘Kar’.

Much of Hansen’s furniture begins life as an imaginative sketch before being transformed into functioning reality through impeccable craftsmanship, precise technology and excellence of materials. Pieces such as the original Swan, Drop, Egg – as well as Nendo’s more recent N01 and Hayon’s earlier Ro – perfectly illustrate the continued evolution of sculptural and at times almost flamboyant expression. The exhibition will be further bought to life with original sketches and drawings as part of an illustrative timeline supporting the historical journey.

Hotel Designs are proud media partners for this year’s highly anticipated Clerkenwell Design Week

Main image credit: Zaha Hadid Gallery/Fritz Hansen

THE Park Hotels unveils THE Park Mumbai

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
THE Park Hotels unveils THE Park Mumbai

India’s contemporary hotel group, THE Park, has opened the 60-key THE Park Mumbai, which is strategically located opposite Asia’s first Soho House…

THE Park Hotels, pioneers of luxury boutique hotels in India, brings its renowned design vocabulary to the city of dreams, Mumbai, with the launch of its latest hotel. Situated on Juhu Tara Road, framing unmatched sea views, THE Park Mumbai is set to bring contemporary design, rejuvenating spaces, innovative dining and sensuous entertainment into this vibrant part of the city.

Located opposite Asia’s first Soho House, close to sprawling Juhu Beach, the hotel is an uber-cool retreat in this urban hub. A striking charcoal facade by top architect Sanjay Puri is punctuated by burnt orange and fuschia windows that perfectly reflect the spectacular sunsets. The hotel’s eclectic exteriors are completed by stunning interiors designed by Singapore-based firm Ong & Ong.

The 60-key design hotel has six categories of rooms; with spectacular views of either the Arabian Sea or city while some overlook the historic Juhu airfield. The rooms and studio suites have been designed with a monochromatic colour palette with world-class amenities.

Image credit: THE Park Hotels

 Meishi, an elegant space off the lobby is an Asian inspired all day dining fusion restaurant – Japanese, Thai, Chinese, and a hint of Indian; using fresh and organic ingredients and currently open to resident guests.

The Saffron Room, a 2500 sq. ft. banqueting space on the first floor is a perfect place for social events and corporate meetings. The hall has two different types of lighting to enhance and make events even more spectacular.

Contemporary hotel room, framing the sea and palm trees

Image credit: THE Park Hotels

“We are excited to add the new striking address to our collection of hotels, said Speaking about the launch, Priya Paul, Chairperson of Apeejay Surrendra Park Hotels. “Mumbai is a city of interesting contrasts and THE Park Hotels will add to it by bringing immersive and Anything But Ordinary experiences. Our vision is to have a slice of THE Park in every city people travel to.”

Mr. Vijay Dewan, Managing Director, Apeejay Surrendra Park Hotels, added:, “We are happy to launch THE Park Mumbai today. It is our first managed hotel under THE Park Hotels portfolio. Mumbai is India’s key metropolitan cities and a business hub, and we are delighted to expand our footprint here. The hotel is not only targeted at the business travellers looking for a perfectly calm and rejuvenating experience, but this area is also for media, entertainment and other industries.”

Opening soon is a dramatic whisky bar with a cosy alfresco patio. as well as the addition of more rooms, a Presidential Suite, a spectacular poolside bar on the rooftop, a gym and a spa.

Main image credit: THE Park Hotels

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

Hotel Indigo stylishly arrives in Venice

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hotel Indigo stylishly arrives in Venice

The new hotel, designed by the in-house design team at IHG, debuts in the undiscovered Venice neighbourhood of Sant’Elena…

Hotel group InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) is has announced the opening of Hotel Indigo® Venice – Sant’Elena, which marks the brand’s debut in Venice, Italy. From palaces to piazzas, gondolas to gelato and canals to carnevale – there is no destination quite so magical as Venice. Filled with beauty and world-famous sights, the city that surrounds the new hotel made up of 55,000 residents attracts more than 30 million annual visitors.

Despite its immense popularity, there are still pockets of the city yet to be discovered, such as the Sant’Elena neighbourhood. Sant’Elena is a global hub for modern art and culture, close to the home of  the Venice International Film Festival and the Murano Glass Factory. The neighbourhood will introduce guests to a side of Venice that few tourists see.

Hotel Indigo® Venice – Sant’Elena is located in the heart of the iconic Italian city, next to the canal Rio Sant’Elena. Formally a 1930’s monastery, the 75 room Hotel Indigo® Venice – Sant’Elena is a peaceful sanctuary reflective of its former heritage that exudes an almost spiritual calm, the perfect place to retreat from the bustle of San Marco square. Composed of two wings joined in the centre by a former chapel, the hotel boasts an interior courtyard and large windows with high ceilings, which is evocative of the local neighbourhood and existing architecture. The hotel also has a private garden, a rarity in Venice, where guests can sit and enjoy a refreshing cocktail and relax after a day of exploring.

Plush guestroom with large bed, velvet headboards

Image credit: Hotel Indigo/IHG

The interior design brings to life the building’s original features with oriental influences inspired by Venice’s traditions and history, with touches of modern elements contrasting with the classic Venetian style. Plush velvet pillows layered on leather seating and brass lighting scattered throughout the hotel contrast the deep wood panelling on the walls in the lobby and the emerald green marble bar top. Ebru paintings are dotted in the public areas, bringing to life Venice’s history of introducing the marbleized papers into their famed repertory of woodblock prints, copperplate engraving and book leather binding.

“The hotel is the perfect example of how Hotel Indigo draws inspiration from the local neighbourhood, bringing to life the historical importance of the building through design while also providing the ideal getaway from the busyness of Venice,” said Marco Costa, Hotel Manager of Hotel Indigo Venice – Sant’Elena. “Just a 15-minute walk from all the main attractions, including St Mark’s Basilica, the Bridge of Sighs and the Doge’s Palace in San Marco, the hotel is the ideal choice for those coming to visit our beautiful town.”

Large leafy parks are a rarity in Venice, but a short walk to the north is the Giardini della Biennale, a park commissioned by Napoleon Bonaparte when Venice was under French rule at the start of the nineteenth century. The park is a year-round hub for modern art and culture, although it really comes alive during the Venice Biennale, which, as its name suggests, takes place every other year.

Vienna House Wroclaw hotel to open following bleisure boom in Poland

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Vienna House Wroclaw hotel to open following bleisure boom in Poland

Vienna House plans to open a 240-room hotel in the centre of Wroclaw. The group’s seventh hotel in Poland is slated to open in Q1 of 2022 following a rise in the country’s bleisure market…

Following the acquisition of 17 city hotels from hotel brand arcona, Vienna House has announced plans to open its seventh hotel in Poland, further utilising on the destination’s booming business traveller market.

The new smart-casual city hotel is part of a redesigned building complex which surrounds a historically listed bakery. Vienna House Easy Wroclaw will be a base for business and leisure traveller alike, featuring a vibrant restaurant, lifestyle lobby and bar, modern fitness facilities and spacious conference area. Guests will receive a warm welcome from the famous Wroclaw dwarves’, an insight into the city’s history and unique culture. The complex in which the hotel sits also features a student apartment concept from the BaseCamp brand.

“Wroclaw is an exciting, growing market, and the location in the city centre, near the botanical garden, is ideal, ” said Rupert Simoner, CEO of Vienna House, in a press release. “The combination of the casual, service-oriented Vienna House Easy and the lively student concept fits very well together and will develop into a fresh, lively meeting place.” Vienna House Easy Wroclaw, the Austrian hotel group’s seventh hotel in Poland, underscores the enormous interest in the Polish market.

Rendering of modern guestroom with dark-green wallcoverings and twin beds

Image credit: Vienna House

The hotel will be operated by Vienna House under a lease agreement from ST Wroclaw Sienkiewicza Sp. z o.o., which offers student apartment solutions with BaseCamp in Poland, Denmark and Germany.

Vienna House Easy Wroclaw offers 236 double rooms along with four suites. The rooms come with extra-long, super comfortable beds, modern writing and seating solutions, and bathrooms with walk-in showers. The hotel also has a 360 m² meeting and conference area, ideal for working. The fitness area features state-of-the-art exercise equipment, in addition to a massage area.

Vienna House Easy stands for smart casual design, hospitality DNA within our employees, established analogue services and meaningful digital offerings. These include televisions with connectivity for guest devices, high-speed WiFi, mobile concierge, self-check-in/check-out and much more. The hotel lobby provides a cosy meeting place, inviting reception area, cool bar and lounge all rolled into one.

Main image credit: Vienna House

Concept to Completion: Nicky Dobree creating Plaza 18 (part three)

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Concept to Completion: Nicky Dobree creating Plaza 18 (part three)

While Hotel Designs is exclusively following Plaza 18’s creation, editor Hamish Kilburn checks in on designer Nicky Dobree as the project is just weeks from completing…

With her sleeves rolled up, designer Nicky Dobree is on the home straight in the race to design her first hotel project. The finish line, which is getting closer and closer by the day, is nestled within Vejer, which is one of the many white towns of Andalucia.

The new six-key boutique hotel will shelter a home from home, adjacent to the palm-filled Plaza de Espana landmark. Inspired, in part, by Dobree’s travels, the authentic surrounding landscape and even the smell of orange blossom, the boutique jewel will shelter an unmatched luxury setting.

While the full details of the project are heavily under wraps (for now at least), part three of Plaza 18’s concept to completion feature focuses on the final preparations to create an unmatched home-from-home boutique hotel.

Hamish Kilburn: How does travel influence your interpretation on design? 
Nicky Dobree: Travel hugely influences my design and expands my creative perspective. I am fortunate to have travelled extensively and to have lived abroad for many years. I therefore find that I regularly draw on my love of travel to add to the layers of my design. Inspiration can come from anything and everything, be it the local smell of the orange blossom in Vejer to its moorish architectural roots.

HK: How far in the process are you with Plaza 18? 
ND: The end is in sight and we are receiving bookings for the summer.

HK: What can go wrong and what are the major challenges at this stage in the project?
ND: Hopefully not a lot can go wrong at this stage that we are not able to resolve. Timing is key. We’ve just had Easter, which the Spanish take very seriously so the team will break for a couple of weeks. On the positive, the team have returned with a fresh eye to complete the finishes ready for us to install and open.

HK:Do you ever find it difficult to leave a project behind once it’s completed? 
ND: I always find it difficult leaving a project behind and handing it over. It’s like giving birth and handing over your baby. With Plaza 18, I hope that many get to enjoy it and look after it as if were their own.

Various images of bedrooms, door fittings and art

Image caption: Moodboard for Plaza 18

HK: This is your first hotel that you have designed, will there be others? 
ND: I very much hope so. I have really enjoyed the new challenges this project has given me. I really love the art of creating a space and above all an atmosphere that will hopefully make people want to return.

Hotel Designs has been following Dobree on the completion of her first ever hotel. Click here to read part one. Click here to read part two.

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.

Lighting contemporary bathrooms with Vaughan

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Lighting contemporary bathrooms with Vaughan

The Vaughan bathroom wall light collection offers a wide selection of carefully designed and engineered IP44 rated wall lights in a variety of decorative styles…

Whether a project requires contemporary designs either side of a wash basin or a more classic decorative scheme – the Vaughan wall light range offer designs to cover all schemes. The Sudbury bathroom wall light, available in brass, nickel or chrome is a popular design from the Vaughan range.

Defined by its classic scroll arm and oval fluted and scalloped backplate, this wall light is designed to be used with a lampshade to achieve a soft, diffused light.

The Sudbury has recently been chosen for bathrooms in two leading London hotels, The Ned and The Goring, and also internationally in the Hotel Sacher in Salzburg and Le Bristol in Paris.

The Art Deco inspired Olympia bathroom wall light has also featured in many recent hotel projects, such as the Blakeney Hotel in Norfolk and Hotel d’Angleterre in Geneva.   Available in nickel or chrome, both designs have opaline frosted glass to diffuse and soften the light.

To view the entire bathroom wall light collection, please visit the website.

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.

NH Hotel Group to unveil new boutique property in the heart of Rome

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
NH Hotel Group to unveil new boutique property in the heart of Rome

Slated to open during the third quarter of 2019, NH Collection Fori Imperiali in Rome will become the Group’s sixth property in the Eternal City…

NH Hotel Group is preparing to open its sixth property in Rome this summer, the boutique-style NH Collection Fori Imperiali. The upper-upscale property will be located within a stone’s throw of the city’s most famous historical sites, including the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Spanish Steps, Castel Sant’Angelo and the Vatican.

Built in a magnificent palazzo decorated in 19th Century style, within one of the most important archaeological sites in the world, the hotel will be infused with the hallmark elegance and sophistication of the NH Collection range.

The NH Collection Fori Imperiali will have 42 guestrooms (nine of which will be suites) decorated in a contemporary and luxurious style, with most offering direct views over some of Rome’s most prized archaeological and architectural treasures. The boutique hotel will also feature a rooftop bar on a terrace, from which visitors can admire the Roman Forum and the Vittorio Emanuele II Monument.

The agreement reached with the owner of the historical palace, in which the hotel is located, will allow NH Hotel Group to fortify its benchmark position in the city’s centre, where it will boast six establishments, of which five will be within the NH Collection brand.

The NH Collection Fori Imperiali, which will be operated under a lease regime, consolidates the tremendous growth of the NH Collection brand in Italy where the company has opened 12 hotels under this trademark in the last four years. The opening therefore cements NH Hotel Group’s positioning in the upper-upscale segment in the city of Rome, where it also operates the NH Collection Roma Palazzo Cinquecento, NH Collection Roma Centro, NH Collection Roma Giustiniano, NH Collection Roma Vittorio Veneto and the NH Roma Villa Carpegna. Between them, these establishments offer more than 1,000 rooms located in a range of emblematic buildings which retain their local authenticity and are a source of inspiration for guests looking to discover the ‘eternal city’ from a privileged base.

Main image credit: NH Collection

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

BESPOKE DESIGN: Italian boutique hotel inspired by natural elements

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
BESPOKE DESIGN: Italian boutique hotel inspired by natural elements

Design studio Boxx Creative has completed the interior design of Miramonti, a 21-key boutique hotel in the Italian mountains. Editor Hamish Kilburn writes…

Inspired by its natural surroundings, Miramonti, meaning mountain view, draws its name and design from nature. A deep terracotta facade, which dates back to 1958, evokes the changing seasons and rich natural Italian colour palette.

When it first opened just over a decade after the second world war, the five-storey Albergo Miramonti was the first building in town to feature hot water in every room and it quickly gained in popularity among tourists as well as locals as a place for ultimate relaxation. The new guestrooms, which are divided into five categories over three storeys, feature – in true Miramonti spirit – calming green and blue colour schemes, punctuated with deeper accents.

Design firm Boxx Creative’s first step in its transformation was to maximise every square foot to increase guestroom numbers, providing flexibility of room use and creating defined room types for couples and families. The Deluxe Doubles provide an appealing space for couples to relax in comfort inside the room or outside on the balcony. The spacious Family Suites meanwhile have the option to connect through to en-suite bunk-bed rooms, which comfortably accommodate a family of six.

“Materials were selected for their authentic properties and link to the surrounding environment.”

The firm redesigned each floor of the hotel and created the interior schemes; drawing on the elements of: earth, fire, air, water, wood and metal. Materials were selected for their authentic properties and link to the surrounding environment and feature in the natural stone wash basins, carved wooden bedframes, solid trunk coffee tables, round metal bedside tables and soft natural fabrics.

“We always focus on quality and environmental impact in our work,” said Nicola Keenan, interior designer and Co-founder of Boxx Creative. “All design details have been fully considered across the hotel. Carpet made from recycled fibres line the corridors and is inlaid within the sustainable, hand-crafted wooden flooring. Locally sourced and sustainable materials were used wherever possible and the build contractor was chosen for his energy saving principles and employment of workers within the area.”

Understated living area of the guestroom

Image credit: Mariell Lind Hansen

The majority of the furnishings were made completely bespoke by a talented artisan in his local workshop. The bedrooms feature wooden headboard panelling, metal framed open cabinetry storage and sturdy desks, each thoughtfully hand-crafted. The unique hand-made wooden flooring with individually controlled underfloor heating system, adds warmth and grounding to each room. Beautiful reeded glass panelled doors with curved frame detailing provide privacy to each en-suite and rippled wooden under-sink cabinets hang beneath attractive natural stone basins.

“Lighting was incredibly important to the client,” added Nicola Lindsell, also an interior designer and Co-founder of Boxx Creative. “We chose Italian designed, Flos feature pendants in each of the en-suites and Scandinavian inspired adjustable wall lights to create an appealing focal point in the bedrooms.”

Soft, minalist lobby area. Natural materials, such a stone, used in the casegoods and furniture

Image credit: Mariell Lind Hansen

“When we decided to redesign the hotel we were conscious of finding a suitable partner that matched our values and design style,” said the owner of the hotel. “We loved working with Boxx Creative as they had a great knowledge of suppliers and longterm sustainable options. Throughout the redesign they presented options which reflected our sustainability goals as well as our overall artistic vision for the hotel.”

The hotel has always been within the family and today the management has passed on to the third generation, with strong hope to continue and build upon that original idea, creating an authentic escape for locals and travellers alike.

Main image credit: Mariell Lind Hansen

MINIVIEW: Hotel Indigo, Warsaw

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
MINIVIEW: Hotel Indigo, Warsaw

As Poland becomes a thriving hotel design hotspot, Hotel Designs checks out one of Warsaw’s boutique hotels, Hotel Indigo Warsaw, to understand the combination of colourfully decorated rooms with bathroom solutions from Recommended Supplier Kaldewei…

When historic architecture and modern interior design are skilfully combined, the result is inspiring rooms – perfectly demonstrated at the Hotel Indigo Warsaw Nowy Świat in Warsaw.

This stylish four-star boutique hotel, owned by the InterContinental Hotels Group, is housed in a listed building, more than 100 years old, on cosmopolitan Nowy Świat Street. Later contemporary extensions, some with wraparound glass, afford not only a magnificent view of the old town and the Polish capital’s skyline from all the rooms, but also provide a suitable frame for a minimalist interior with vibrant splashes of colour. As the perfect complement to the interior decoration, the hotel has chosen enamelled bathroom solutions from Kaldewei which guarantee a comfortable showering and bathing experience in the 60 rooms.

The building, Smolna40, which features playful decorative facade elements, was once the residence of Count Branicki and is in one of the city’s most picturesque areas which links contemporary and historic Warsaw. Destroyed during the Second World War, it was rebuilt in the 1950s and later a modern mansard roof and an annex with wraparound glass and a terrace were added based on a design by architect Bogdan Kulczyński. This produced an attractive mix of styles that runs through the entire hotel. Bright rooms with elaborate stucco and elegant columns contrast with the 60 bedrooms that embrace a more minimalist look in plain shades of white and grey. Throughout the hotel, coloured furniture creates exciting highlights that put their own spin on the palatial style of 19th century mansion flats.

Distinctive bathroom design with Iconic Bathroom Solutions from Kaldewei

The bathrooms reflect the property’s exclusivity and individuality. The Hotel Indigo chose bathroom solutions from Kaldewei which offer the perfect fit for the bathroom, thanks to their design language and superb quality. The baths from Kaldewei’s clean-lined, minimalist Puro line possess a persuasively unfussy elegance and, like all bathroom solutions made of Kaldewei steel enamel, are made of an exquisite material. As a highlight, the freestanding Meisterstück Centro Duo Oval brings timeless elegance and calm into the bathroom of the Superior Premium room. In a further 47 rooms, the Conoflat floor-level shower surface ensures a luxurious showering experience, while offering the greatest safety underfoot: because the shower surfaces in the matt shades of Lava Black and Alpine White from the Coordinated Colours Collection feature the anti-slip properties of Kaldewei’s Secure Plus finish.

Modern bathroom with Kaldewei products

Image credit: Hotel Indigo Warsaw/Kaldewei

Worldwide expertise: Kaldewei a winner with international hotels

Kaldewei shower surfaces, washbasins and baths are chosen for top hotels all over the world. The enamelled bathroom solutions, not only meet the highest aesthetic requirements of hoteliers and their guests, but are also extremely cost-efficient thanks to Kaldewei steel enamel’s longevity and ease of maintenance. Another point in their favour is: the intelligent surface finishes such as anti-slip Secure Plus which can optionally be annealed – heated and allow to cool slowly – in order to remove internal stresses and toughen it onto the steel enamel surface and which ensure the greatest possible safety underfoot in the shower.

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

Main image credit: Hotel Indigo Warsaw/Kaldewei

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

Former Metropolitan Police headquarters transformed into luxury hotel

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Former Metropolitan Police headquarters transformed into luxury hotel

The historic landmark building, which was developed by Galliard Construction, has been transformed into The Great Scotland Yard Hotel, a 153-key luxury lifestyle hotel…

The former Metropolitan Police headquarters in London’s Whitehall has been converted into the 153-key The Great Scotland Yard Hotel, which is operated by Hyatt under the group’s Unbound Collection brand and was developed by Galliard Construction.

Working in association with Galliard’s in-house team along with HBA, and EPR Architects, The Deluxe Group was appointed to manufacture and fit all front of house areas, for the high-end hotel, including double height vestibule, grand entrance lounge, concierge, main cocktail bar, palm court style lounge, whiskey bar/clubroom, signature restaurant, library, gymnasium, 120-seater main conference room/ballroom, meeting rooms and function/private dining rooms. The firm also produced the luxury hotel’s sample bedroom, as part of the multi-million-pound development, which is expected to open later this year.

The bespoke joinery project, which was worth £5.5 million was completed in just six months, with all work completed on schedule and within budget.“We are delighted to have been part of the team which has sympathetically developed this building to give a classic period interpretation, reflecting the immense history of such a landmark site,” Commented Colm Connolly, Director of The Deluxe Group. “We used the highest quality, detailed joinery and luxury finishes throughout all front of house and public areas, with individually themed areas providing a stylish homage  to the crime and policing history of the building.”

“Our commitment to delivering the best in bespoke joinery with the greatest attention to detail and client servicing, ensured the finished project was a true reflection of the client’s vision.”

Luxury public area

Image credit: Great Scotland Yard Hotel

Constructed in 1910, the iconic Edwardian building served as the Royal Military Police headquarters and the British Army Recruitment Office. It later became the Ministry of Defence Library until 2004.

The famed landmark is known for its rich history, providing guests the opportunity to stay in the location where Metropolitan police pursued some of the country’s most notorious criminals, including Jack the Ripper and the 40 Elephants all-female crime syndicate. Reflecting on this, the distinct historical character of the building has been preserved throughout the renovation, including maintenance of its original façade.

Main image credit: The Great Scotland Yard Hotel

PRODUCT WATCH: Thermostatic shower valves from Crosswater

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
PRODUCT WATCH: Thermostatic shower valves from Crosswater

Making a statement, Union by Crosswater welcomes thermostatic shower values into the Vanguard Collection… 

Challenging the traditional concept of bathroom fittings, the UNION collection from Crosswater has been engineered to provide unparalleled functionality and designed to make a statement.

Presenting Italian artisan brassware craft at its finest, each piece is cast, precision machined, polished and perfected to offer an elevated bathing experience.

The latest addition to Crosswater’s luxury Vanguard collection, UNION offers a complete range of brassware that includes basin mixers, bath fillers, and an exposed valve with kit and shower head. A premium selection of thermostatic shower valves has also been introduced to the range, which includes multi-flow options for those looking to control additional outlets such as a handsets and body jets.

Designed for the individual, UNION is available in five signature finishes that are offered across the entire collection. Timeless bright Chrome and Brushed Nickel work to add a touch of industrial elegance to bathrooms, whilst those seeking a design statement can opt for the on-trend Brushed Brass and Brushed Black Chrome finishes. For an added design detail, the shower valves are offered with a choice of Lever or Wheel handles, and for those with a penchant for bold colour, there’s also a Red option, which is designed to coordinate with the high-shine Chrome finish. All five unique surfaces are complemented alongside distinctive knurled detailing that is expertly machined as accents onto each individual piece in the collection.

Transforming everyday bathing into an extraordinary experience, UNION takes inspiration from the industrial era and brings it boldly into the 21st century. Smart on the inside, each piece in the collection is manufactured using the most advanced brassware engineering techniques and the latest in cartridge and thermostatic valve technology to offer complete water flow control. Intuitive, high performing and built to last, the stunning UNION brassware collection is guaranteed to command attention in any bathroom.

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

First integrated resort in the Maldives to open in June

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
First integrated resort in the Maldives to open in June

Crossroads project, which will span a 7km-long lagoon and nine islands in the Maldives, will open in June 2019 and will become the largest integrated resort in the Indian Ocean…

Crossroads Maldives has announced that it will be welcoming guests from June 2019, set to be the first integrated multi-island resort destination of the island nation.

Said to be one of the most comprehensive investment tourism projects to have been undertaken in the Maldives, the project will include the highly anticpated openings of Hard Rock Hotel Maldives and SAii Lagoon Maldives, Curio Collection by Hilton.

At the heart of the Emboodhoo Lagoon, Hard Rock Hotel Maldives will inject music-infused energy, engaging experiences and feel-good vibes into the Maldives. The resort will fuse tropical atmosphere and contemporary design, topped with curated music memorabilia and a regionally inspired twist. 178 expansive family suites, chic beach villas and unspoilt one and two-bedroom overwater villas lie in wait, alongside show-stopping activities and brand-signature amenities that will bring the signature Hard Rock experience to the Maldivian atolls.

SAii Lagoon Maldives, Curio Collection by Hilton, meanwhile, will offer guests something different, with a personalised journey from start to finish. Upon arrival, guests are welcomed with the chance to create their own bathroom amenities using natural ingredients from the resort’s Aroma Lab, a place to synchronise with the resort’s signature scents of Relaxation, Refreshment, Rejuvenation and Energy. An Aroma Specialist is on hand to explain the benefits of each scent and the precise techniques used to mix the ingredients. Using this knowledge, guests then are able to handpick from a selection of twelve scents, including cedarwood, lavender and rosemary, combining several of these to create their own delectable bathroom amenities. Once guests are settled, they are invited to drop by Snap: Snack Box and pick up complimentary refreshments.

Render of green shack-like guestroom in the Maldives

Image credit: Curio by Hilton

198 spacious guestrooms, beach villas and overwater villas are dotted across the tropical island, surrounded by al fresco spaces, spacious interiors and personalised comforts, all created with an eclectic yet artisanal touch. Located within walking distance to The Marina @ CROSSROADS, the resort is ideal for families, couples or friends looking for a unique escape.

Crossroads Maldives, a multi-island integrated leisure and entertainment project, will aim to redefine holidays in the Maldives and transform the Greater Malé Region when it opens. In addition to the new hotels, the project will feature a luxurious 30-berth yacht marina, 11,000 square metres of retail space and world-class facilities such as Café del Mar beach club.

Main image credit: Curio by Hilton

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

Floral interior design trends to fall in love with for SS19

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Floral interior design trends to fall in love with for SS19

Ahead of the inaugural Interior Design & Architecture Summit next week, VIP Buyer Delegate Partner TRENIQ has identified some of the major SS19 floral interior design trends…

2019 has announced floral maximalism as an emerging trend and a big favourite among designers. In the wake of such verdicts, we can’t help but rejoice. What’s not to love about lovely and luscious floral designs stealing the limelight in what could otherwise be a boring set up?

To commemorate this trend, TRENIQ has put together a few big ways in which you can bring this trend into hotel design projects. Be it a cosy nook in a living room or a large splash in a dining area, there is a floral design for everyone, it seems.

Floral interior decor available only on Treniq

Quintessentially speaking, cutlery is the most effortless item in every household. Everyone finds comfort in the good old white China, while some are adventurous enough to opt-in deeper hues of cobalt, teal and mustards. But floral cutlery? Now that’s a trend setter right there! We love this Spring inspired brunch tableware in Mandarin rose, for it is both elegant and classy while being fun and quirky.

Floral interior trends on Treniq

One of the easiest tried and tested ways to bring in the trend is by piling on printed cushions on a neutral sofa. Not only does it bring to life the whole room and the sofa itself but it also adds a fun and refreshing touch to any decor plan.

Binge on floral luxe

Floral interior trends on Treniq

Not all florals are bold, quirky and effervescent, some are regal, royal and elegant too. This room is a delightful blend of fun colours against soft Persian floral designs that are a classy variation to a usual bold look. The soft prints are an ode to a palatial interior set up.

A carpet of flowers

Floral interior trends on Treniq

We love how rugs have taken on a rather interesting personality off late. These floral variants to the otherwise classic looks are absolutely refreshing and a tad bit unusual. Pair these with gorgeous floral artwork on the walls and you have for yourself a winner of an interior design.

Treniq  is an international interiors network where you can buy or sell luxury interior products, discover design professionals, connect and build relationships, trade using easy and efficient tools. Create your free trade account today or contact us for more information at customercare@treniq.com.

Main image credit: Pexels

 

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.

Spotlight On: May’s features announced

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Spotlight On: May’s features announced

Hotel Designs has officially dropped its May editorial features, which are Bars and Restaurants and Bathrooms… 

Throughout May, Hotel Designs’ Spotlight On features will look at two highly topical features, namely Bars & Restaurants and Bathrooms – both areas of which are transforming drastically in order to cater to modern travellers’ demands.

Bars and Restaurants

Colourful and lavish restaurant

Image credit: Dukes Dubai

With Gastronomy evolving to be a major travel trend, the design of a bar and of a restaurant has never been so important. Hotels are recreating and reopening these areas to become just as much of an experience as checking in or walking into a stunningly designed guestroom or suite. Instagrammable moments can now be captured in a design hotel’s dining areas, once a space reserved for guests-only, which is now desired to be the life and soul of the city open for all to enjoy.

Bathrooms

Modern bathroom in a shell of wooden structures

Image credit: Kaldewei

With our highly regarded Recommended Suppliers, we will explore, post-ISH, the heavily congested arena of bathroom design. Will colour finally find its way into the modern bathroom, and will the bathroom spa become a popular choice for designers who want to recreate amazing spaces? We will go beneath the surface to uncover all the hottest bathroom trends and we will try to discover what the hotel bathroom of the future will look like.

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: The Cow Hollow Hotel, Manchester

New bathroom designs join Crosswater’s affordable Essentials Collection

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
New bathroom designs join Crosswater’s affordable Essentials Collection

For more than 20 years, the Crosswater brand has been associated with quality bathroom solutions. Its new Essentials collection continues this strong tradition by presenting a range of modern and stylish products at an affordable price point. 

The latest designs are brought together to offer customers a top-to-bottom product offering that makes choosing a bathroom suite and fittings simple, without ever compromising on quality or function.

From user-friendly sanitaryware solutions and brassware designs for bath, basin and shower, to those all-important finishing touches, Essentials combines everyday functionality with on-trend appeal to ensure that each product meets the demands of the modern bathroom.

Smarter product design and efficient manufacturing processes conform to and exceed required British and European quality, performance, safety, sustainability and water-saving regulations. This dedication and confidence ensures that you can enjoy a genuine Crosswater experience at an approachable price point.

Joining the Essentials collection for 2019 is a new range of brassware, sanitaryware and towel warmer designs:

NORTH – Contemporary brassware with signature Matt Black and Chrome finishes

Catering to the increase in demand for statement bathroom brassware, the new North collection is offered in a trend-led Matt Black finish. The range includes basin monobloc taps in three size options and a thermostatic bath / shower mixer with additional handset. A classic Chrome finish is also available.

NOVA – Modern form with everyday functionality

Simple lines and gently curved edges are brought together in the new Nova brassware collection. With practicality at its core, this simple yet modern selection of basin and bath taps is designed to complement the choice of Essentials sanitaryware.

KAI TOWEL WARMERS – A warming bathroom solution

The new range of Kai towel warmers offers a suitable heat output for every bathroom size, from large family suites to small cloakrooms. Choose from classic Chrome or contemporary Anthracite finishes across four width and height options to ensure your space is warm and your towels are toasty.

KAI S TOILETS – Designs for every modern bathroom

A combination of style and function, Essentials toilets are all made in Europe to the same exacting standards. The new Kai S WCs come in a range of both close-coupled and back-to-wall designs, all complete with soft-close seats; the close-coupled option comes with an ‘Eco-flush’ function.

KAI BASINS – Quality materials and design for everyday practicality

Manufactured using the latest casting techniques, each Kai basin is produced in durable vitreous china and available in a range of designs and installation formats. Six new designs join the collection, including a compact corner style and smart inset option for pairing with a coordinating furniture unit.

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.

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

designjunction to return to Kings Cross

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
designjunction to return to Kings Cross

The highly anticipated trade and consumer event, designjunction, will return to Kings Cross, London from September 19 – 22…

designjunction, which annually arrives fashionably late for London Design Festival, will return to Kings Cross in London from September 19 – 22. The trade and consumer event, which last year for the first time in its history took place on the city’s Southbank and was attended by more than 27,000 visitors across five days, will present more than 200 global design brands across multiple King’s Cross locations surrounding UAL Central Saint Martin’s building.

Following mass transformation to the area, King’s Cross is home to Coal Drops Yard, which is a shopping and restaurant district designed by architecture firm Heatherwick Design Studio. The area is now the home for 67 acres of inspiring businesses including Google, Universal Music Group and Tom Dixon Studio. With an annual footfall of approximately 20 million people, the area has become a vibrant cultural scene.

Presenting the latest in cutting-edge design each year during the LDF, 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. “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.”

Cubitt House will be the go-to-place to see more than 100 international furniture and lighting brands. The Canopy will shelter a curated mix of design-led products and high-end accessories to cutting-edge tech, jewellery, ceramics and stationary. Cubitt Park will become the discovery area, where the show will present the latest cutting-edge design alongside eateries, bars and 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.

Main image credit: designjunction

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

SPOTLIGHT ON: Fabric interior design trends

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
SPOTLIGHT ON: Fabric interior design trends

As part of Hotel Designs’ month of putting interior design in the spotlight, Mitre Linen breaks down some of the emerging trends in fabric design… 

Sustainability, classic neutral tones and tactile fabrics are key themes in interior design this year. The hospitality industry continues to adopt an environmentally friendly approach to all aspects of business operations. Warm and understated palettes complete this trend, projecting a calming and relaxing atmosphere for guests, which can be augmented with a luxurious touch of velvet.

Sustainability

Recent research from Mitre Linen reveals that 75 per cent* of hoteliers believe that environmental initiatives are now expected by guests and the desire to be more ethical in source has reached furnishings, with sustainable fabrics increasing in demand.  The new Mitre Eco range was developed in response to exactly this business need. The soft 100% per cent organic cotton bed linen has a 200 thread count, while the duvets and pillows are filled with hollowfibre created from 100 per cent recycled plastic, redirecting plastics from landfills and oceans. Mitre Linen’s Eco duvets and pillows also complies with OEKO-TEX 100, certifying the range’s skin-friendly properties.

Warm Neutrals

The return to a classic neutral palette is a subtle shift from the dominance of cooler grey tones that have pervaded colour schemes in recent years.  Creating a warmer ambiance within a hotel, these colours offer a timeless and stylish touch.  Mitre Linen recently launched two new soft furnishing ranges: Deco and Tundra, to allow a larger choice of colourways for hoteliers wanting to update their rooms.

Velvet Touch

Texture has a striking impact in a room and there is no other fabric quite like velvet to impart an opulent feel. A velvet cushion or bed runner will immediately convey luxury and indulgence.  The rich colours of the Mitre D’Arcy range of velvet cushions complement this material perfectly and work well to add a touch of luxe to natural colourways.

*Mitre connects research with 142 hoteliers conducted in March 2019

Mitre Linen 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: Mitre Linen

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 

BRITISH STYLE: Questioning design like Ilse Crawford

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
BRITISH STYLE: Questioning design like Ilse Crawford

To launch the new chapter of Hotel Designs, Hamish Kilburn investigates how one woman, her editorship and her questions over convention helped to change modern international hotel design by challenging the very foundations it sits on…

Every now and then, the world is introduced to a design icon who, through making their visions into reality, helps to shift attitudes by challenging conventional forms.

For Ilse Crawford, the founding Editor-In-Chief of British Elle Decoration, the design world was somewhat lacking reference of everyday movement when she decided to step into the shoes of her designer readers.

In 1997, a decade on from founding British Elle Decoration, Crawford asked the world to “liberate your senses and change your life” when she published her first book, Sensual Home, which mapped out how the living environment can engage us sensually as well as visually from the perspective of sight, sound, taste, touch and smell. And was, for Crawford, the start of a new journey.  “Writing the book was the ‘ah-hah’ moment, because it wasn’t the current understanding of design,” she explained in the Netflix documentary, Abstract: The Art of Design. “The days of being a two-dimensional person were over.”

The defiant leap from narrator to creator came one year later after she signed off as Editor-In-Chief. Having completed her mission to launch a contemporary magazine for a wide audience, Crawford worked for Donna Karan and getting her hands dirty, she became a maker. Crawford’s first hotel interior design brief was presented to her immediately after she left Elle Decoration when she was asked to convert a stately home for Nick Jones of Soho House into what we now know of as Babington House. “Nick originally wanted this place to look and feel like a stately home, but I was very clear that that’s the last thing it should be,” Crawford explained in Abstract: The Art of Design. “My proposal was that it should be a very informal place where you could just treat as if it was your own, like a family house of a friend where the parents had gone away and left the key the drinks cabinet.” Breaking the rules of the time, Crawford’s design stole the headlines and her journey as an interior design began.

“The project saw the transformation of a former industrial building in the Meatpacking district into a 27-key design hotel.”

From the rural British countryside to the bustling scene of Manhattan, Crawford’s skillful and sensitive approach was called upon to create the first outpost of Soho House outside the UK. The project saw the transformation of a former industrial building in the Meatpacking district into a 27-key design hotel, including bars, a restaurant, cinema and rooftop pool. Soho House New York opened to become the definitive third space for the transatlantic media crowd.

Her aim as an interior designer is to put human needs and desires at the centre of all that she does. Working in commercial and residential design, and blurring the lines between both, Crawford has changed many environments for the better of those who use them. Ett Hem Hotel was a conversion project of a former arts and crafts building. The 12-key guesthouse is described by Crawford as “a place to stay for the modern traveller, a home-from-home, where flexibility of space and function is central to the hotel’s operation,” she says. “There is no division between front and back of house – anything can happen anywhere at any time.”

Residential style in the hotel

Image caption/credit: Ett Hem Hotel. Interiors by Ilse Crawford

As someone who truly lives and breathes the industry in which she used to curate on the pages of Elle Decoration, Crawford wears many hats as a modern designer. In her own admission to Interior Design magazine, she confessed that “the line between my work and life is thin to non-existent.”  Working from her London studio, which is directly below her home, Crawford’s knowledge in interiors has allowed her to extend her portfolio to include product design. The Sinnerlig Collection for IKEA includes 30 pieces of of furniture, lighting and tabletop collection. “They explore natural materials and are simple,” Crawford explains on her website. “They are helpful, background pieces, not showstoppers.” Tactile materials such as cork, ceramic, glass, seagrass and bamboo appealed in the design concept because they felt as good as they looked.

“Maison&Objet awarded Crawford the prestigious title of Designer of the Year 2016.”

The Together Table was another design that challenged existing products on the market. Confronting the design of conventional four-cornered tables, Crawford simply rounded the edges of the table, which as a result naturally invited people to move around it more freely.  The Ilse Sofa was the result of a collaboration with British furniture brand George Smith. The height and depth of the product’s arms and back were calculated and tested to ensure that the sofa supports as many sedentary habits of modern life. “We like to think of it as a room within a room,” Crawford explains when describing the tactile experience.

Beige modern, long, thin table

Image caption/credit: The Together Table by Ilse Crawford

Two years after she was awarded an MBE in recognition for her work in design, Maison&Objet awarded Crawford the prestigious title of Designer of the Year 2016. Since then, the modest designer has continued to evolve the hospitality landscape with completing projects such as The Lounge Plaza 66, Cathy Pacific’s iconic airport lounge in Hong Kong and the warm and inviting home-from-home that is Bukowskis.

Crawford’s philosophical visions to challenge the norm leaves a clear path for young designers who aspire, like her, to make a difference through design. As the founder of the department of Man and Wellbeing at the Design Academy Eindhoven, Crawford’s mission as a visionary is explained on her website as “nurturing a new generation of students to always question why and how their work improves the reality of life.” Her philosophy to improve the future through considered design is what makes her the leader she undoubtably is today. Her work – and her working style – is a simple, effortless reflection of the questions she asks of the designs of today and the possibilities that are garnered by second guessing what the future should look and feel like.

Crawford, an ever-evolving icon of British and international design, has metaphorically cut the ribbon to launch Hotel Designs’ new website by being the subject of the first editorial feature of the title’s new era. The newly launched slogan “defining the point of international design” is a pledge from the editorial team to its readers to cut through the noise to publish conversation starters that will filter into many debates on the hotel design scene that we all know and love. That conversation starts here, with a question that Crawford asks herself when confronted with a new project: “How can design strategically make things better?”

Main image credit: Ilse Crawford/StudioIlse

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.

New Skopos decorative upholstery fabrics

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
New Skopos decorative upholstery fabrics

Recommended Supplier Skopos launches new decorative upholstery collection featuring a maze-like relief twist… 

Soft, meandering upholstery fabrics with a subtle vintage look and elegant decorative feel, Amaze is the most recent upholstery quality to join the Skopos portfolio. Aimed at hospitality and leisure interiors, the collection adds a simple decorative finishing touch, without being too elaborate or ostentatious.

The collection of 22 SKUs is produced using tactile chenille yarns, with a ‘maze’ design textured relief twist. The palette is a sophisticated mix of heritage colours.

Amaze (pictured) has been specifically designed for contract furniture and is back-coated to Crib 5 (BS5852) and achieves IMO standards, ensuring its suitability for marine and all contract environments. Amaze achieves 100,000+ Martindale rubs, providing longevity in high traffic areas, meeting the needs for severe contract.

With more than 45 years’ specialist experience, Skopos provide high-quality flame retardant fabrics and soft furnishings to the contract market.

Defining the signature styles of many flagship hotels and cruise-liners, Skopos are dedicated to design, service and best performance. Our full service or fabric only option provides choice for our customers, with expertise in design, make-up (curtains, cushions and bedding), fitting and installation. Our Bespoke design and colour matching service provide the opportunity to create unique solutions.

The Amaze collection officially launches in Spring, with samples available immediately.

View the Amaze collection on the Skopos website:  skoposfabrics.com

Skopos 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: Skopos

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

Heritage Bathrooms blends eras to create the wow factor in the bathroom

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Heritage Bathrooms blends eras to create the wow factor in the bathroom

Heritage Bathrooms’ bold mix and match styling of the Victoria Suite has been recognised as one of the stand out images at this year’s Best of Houzz Awards…

The inspirational design and interiors from Heritage Bathrooms put a spotlight on the statement design, which is a stunning example of how to blend old and new interiors styling.

This look is on trend and full of character, creating a beautiful and timeless space that your guests will simply want to while away the hours during their stay. As evidenced by the Houzz-awarded design, it looks beautiful paired with bold, Baroque floral wallpapers.

In honour of this trend, Charlie Williams, interior designer at Heritage Bathrooms, shares her top five tips on how hoteliers can create stunning bathroom spaces for guests by blending traditional and contemporary design.

Image credit: Heritage Bathrooms

Work with prints & patterns

Elegant florals and bold botanical wallpaper prints can bring a traditional twist to even the most ultra-modern of bathroom suites. This image of the Victoria Suite by Heritage Bathrooms, which featured in Houzz’s Best of 2019, is a beautiful example of how patterned wallpaper can be used with a standard basin, toilet and fitted bath to create a sleek and charming look.

Alternatively, traditional pieces, such as a Victorian style high-rise basin, can be off-set with on-trend geometric patterned tiling. Classic chequer board tiling is also guaranteed to bring a timeless aesthetic to any style of bathroom suite.

Heritage Bathrooms 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: Heritage Bathrooms

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

800 528 Hamish Kilburn

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

The Luxury Collection debuts in Armenia

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The Alexander, a Luxury Collection Hotel becomes the first international luxury hotel in Armenia…

Following plans to open 30 new luxury hotels this year, Marriott International has annoucned the opening of The Alexander, a Luxury Collection Hotel. Owned by Tsupani CJSC., the hotel proudly brings The Luxury Collection’s rare, indigenous and captivating experiences to the capital of Armenia – one of the world’s oldest cities and a noted historical intersection between the East and West. As the country’s first internationally-branded luxury hotel, The Alexander joins a portfolio of more than 100 Luxury Collection hotels around the world. The brand’s new footprint in Yerevan also further cements the hotel group’s strategy to meet the growing demand for experiential luxury in emerging markets.

“Armenia is a destination with a deeply rooted history and rich culture, which has until now remained a mostly unchartered destination for our Global Travelers” said Anthony Ingham, Global Brand Leader, The Luxury Collection. “The Alexander will allow our guests to connect with the fascinating capital city of Yerevan, marked by grand Soviet-era architecture and historic landmarks such as the Matenadaran library, and truly engage in the authentic traditions of Armenia.”

“Led by Alexander James Interior Design, the decor draws upon intricate Armenian motifs, alongside contemporary flourishes.”

Set in an enviable location in the heart of Armenia’s capital, The Alexander is mere moments away from the city’s famous Republic Square, and is a brief stroll to numerous landmarks and cultural sights. The striking hotel reflects the city’s distinctive architecture, cleverly incorporating an 18th century façade at its entrance to hint at the indigenous charms found within. Led by Alexander James Interior Design, the decor draws upon intricate Armenian motifs, alongside contemporary flourishes that bring to life the history and modernity of the destination within the property’s opulent public spaces.

Roof top restaurant

Image credit: Matthew Shaw.

“Shaped by rich traditions, coveted treasures and a storied history, the city of Yerevan truly encapsulates the spirit of The Luxury Collection,” said Jenni Benzaquen, Vice President of Luxury Brands, Europe at Marriott International. “The Alexander will provide sophisticated, independently-minded global explorers and locals alike with an unparalleled level of luxury in this fascinating destination. The unique destination experiences offered by The Luxury Collection, combined with Armenian hospitality, is also the perfect way to introduce our luxury portfolio to the region.”

The Alexander offers 114 guestrooms and suites, many of which include private balconies. The magnificent Presidential Suite is celebrated as a standout highlight of the property, occupying an entire floor and spanning over 1,700 square feet. An equally alluring feature is the Alexander Spa by Anne Semonin, providing guests with an inviting haven of wellness experiences and personalized treatments designed to relax, heal and rejuvenate. The hotel also features a state-of-the-art fitness centre, a full-service beauty salon, and the city’s first indoor pool, which boasts breath-taking vistas of the snow-capped peak of Mount Ararat.

Main image credit: Matthew Shaw/Marriott International

Marriott International announces three-year growth plan

960 597 Hamish Kilburn

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 

SPOTLIGHT ON: April’s features announced

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HD

SPOTLIGHT ON: April’s features announced

Hotel Designs has officially dropped its April editorial features, which are Interior Design and Outdoor Style… 

Throughout April, Hotel Designs’ Spotlight On features will look at two highly topical features, namely Interior Design and Outdoor Style. Although on the surface these topics suggest that we will be investigating separate areas of the hotel, with the major indoor/outdoor trend showing no signs of slowing, the editorial team will instead look at areas in which the two areas can collide to create timeless hotel interiors.

Interior Design

In our quest to find the most influential designers from around the globe, we will be examining which colour trends are having a moment while looking into which designers are taking risks to keep hotel design edgy, fun and full of life. In line in with our in-house event Interior Design and Architecture Summit, editor Hamish Kilburn will take to the stage at the event on April 29 at London Tower Bridge London to host the panel discussion The Rising Ceiling of Creativity.

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.

Outdoor Style

Image credit: Round Wood of Mayfield’s ÖÖD house

A regular April feature here at Hotel Designs, Outdoor Style will look at how the whole hotel’s design can be utilised. While looking at ways in which designers and landscapers can create statement outdoor areas, we will also highlight which hotels are leading the way when it comes to what is becoming the ever-lasting indoor-outdoor trend.

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: Alila Ubud

Crown Group’s third SKYE Suites hotel to open in Sydney

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Crown Group will open its third luxury serviced apartment hotel, SKYE Suites Green Square, Sydney, in Q3 of this year as part of the iconic $575 million development Infinity by Crown Group… 

Designed by globally renowned Koichi Takada Architects, Infinity by Crown Group will shelter 326 premium apartments, a convention centre, a new retail and dining precinct with 20 outlets and a 90-key hotel called SKYE Suites Green Square.

The 20-storey building has captured the public’s attention with its iconic looped design, situated on the corner of Botany Road and Bourke Street. The development forms part of the $13 billion Green Square redevelopment that has transformed the town centre into an exciting new destination and will add a new train station and aquatic centre.

“SKYE Suites is redefining the boundaries of the luxury hotel experience.” – Crown Group Director of Hotels and Suites, Wayne Taranto

SKYE Suites Green Square will feature 90 luxurious studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments with Kevin Murphy toiletries, complimentary mini-bar and the ability to choose individual mattress firmness on each side of the bed. There will also be keyless entry and ‘virtual concierge’ tablets in every suite for guests to access all hotel services. A STARCast system will enable guests to stream in-room entertainment from personal devices.

Image credit: Crown Group/Koichi Takada Architects

Crown Group Director of Hotels and Suites, Wayne Taranto, said SKYE Suites were renowned for being situated in new buildings with iconic architecture, sophisticated interiors and for delivering bespoke service with attention to detail. “At SKYE Suites, we endeavour to differentiate ourselves by offering creative and inspirational spaces to our guests, making their stay comfortable, enjoyable and memorable,” he said. “SKYE Suites is redefining the boundaries of the luxury hotel experience with the seamless combination of the atmosphere of an urban resort, the convenience and comfort of an apartment and the amenities of a hotel.”

Render of the atrium of the property

Image credit: Crown Group/Koichi Takada Architects

The first SKYE Suites opened in August 2017 at Parramatta, with 72 stylish hotel apartments offering Crown Group’s signature resort facilities including an outdoor pool, gym and expansive foyer. It also has conference rooms, vibrant alfresco dining, retail piazza and the chic rooftop cocktail bar Nick and Nora’s by Speakeasy Group. The hotel is situated within the award-winning V by Crown Group residential tower, designed by Allen Jack + Cottier and Koichi Takada Architects.

The second SKYE Suites opened in Sydney in November 2018, a beautiful new destination in an iconic building on Clarence Street, Sydney. The hotel offers a luxury experience in the heart of the city, within the 25-storey residential apartment tower Arc by Crown Group, also designed by Koichi Takada Architects. SKYE Suites Sydney has 73 well-appointed hotel apartments and features an ice cave-themed lobby, “Insta-worthy” indoor swimming pool and a gym.

Main image credit: Crown Group/Koichi Takada Architects

Zuri Zanzibar becomes first hotel awarded EarthCheck’s Sustainable Design Gold Certification

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Zuri Zanzibar, the recently launched design-led resort has become the first hotel in the world to be awarded EarthCheck’s Sustainable Design Gold Certification…

EarthCheck has awarded Zuri Zanzibar, the stylish beachfront 13-acre Jestico+Whiles-designed resort, a Sustainable Design Gold Certification. The resort, which is located in Kendwa, on the the idyllic northern west shores of Unguja, provides a seamless blend of contemporary design, sustainable architecture and authentic African flair offering world-class gastronomy, wellness and responsible tourism.

“We’re extremely proud of being the only resort globally to receive Gold Certification in EarthCheck’s highly-esteemed Sustainable Design Programme,” said Jean-Francois Laporte, the Zuri Zanzibar Project Director comments on receiving the award. “This accolade reflects our unwavering commitment to sustainability, by making positive changes to reduce our environmental footprint and improve social impact

“This award is also testament to the fantastic team behind the construction of Zuri who all shared the joint vision of creating a truly magical resort with ecology at its heart, without compromising on design and style.”

Striking views over the coast

Image credit: Zuri Zanzibar/Adam Letch

The EarthCheck BPDS Final Certification Report found that “Sustainable design principles were integrated from the outset with the building concept respecting the original terrain configuration and utilising local materials and local architectural traditions.”

EarthCheck is the world’s leading scientific benchmarking, certification and advisory group for travel and tourism. Zuri Zanzibar achieved a Gold certification in EarthCheck’s Design Programme which facilitates environmentally, socially and economically sustainable design and construction management of collective buildings and associated infrastructure. Results are determined by operational data from global clients which benchmark their environmental, social and economic performance.

As part of the certification process, the resort was assessed by an independent third-party auditor who appraised Zuri Zanzibar against the ten key performance areas of sustainability approach, energy, water, solid waste, land use planning & biodiversity, sustainable materials & resource conservation, indoor environmental health & pollution control, transport, social, cultural & economic wellbeing and innovation.

Stewart Moore, CEO and Founder of EarthCheck stated: “Achieving EarthCheck Design Gold places Zuri Zanzibar as an industry leader that has benchmarked its design and sustainability performance against internationally recognised criteria and demonstrated responsible business practices across their operation.

“This award highlights the long-term commitment that Zuri Zanzibar has shown to the communities and environment of Zanzibar and has allowed the resort to take practical, meaningful action to provide a quality holiday experience for their guests. We look forward to continuing to support their environmental efforts for years to come.”

Main image credit: Zuri Zanzibar/Adam Letch

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

 

OPINION: Designing hotel lighting with a different perspective

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To launch our Spotlight On Guestroom Lighting, Recommended Supplier Chelsom shares its knowledge on what designers should consider when lighting the hotel guestroom… 

Designing good lighting for hotels is about more than creating stylish products that are on trend and look the part. It’s about top quality products that provide efficient lighting and enhance the guest experience, whether through multifunctional guestroom lighting or bold public area statement pieces.

Lighting really does make or break the traveller’s hotel experience, something which is illustrated by recent extensive research suggesting that of 10,000 recent hotel reviews in London most guests complained about the dim, bad and sparse lighting in their rooms. Accordingly when we design either our standard lighting collection or bespoke pieces, we do so from multiple perspectives; from that of the hotelier, the interior designer and above all else the guest.

Aesthetics

The first thing to consider is the aesthetic of the product, does it look the part and fit in with the overall design concept? Interior designers are pushing the boundaries more than ever before, always looking to create unique interior schemes for hotels that offer something different and inevitably lighting is an essential part of that. We are often asked whether table or floor lamps can make a difference in a guestroom. They most certainly can by adding ambient lighting and creating atmosphere in what has become an increasingly multifunctional space.

Following the latest industry trends and ultimately trying to pre-empt them is a critical part of the design process. Nobody wants to specify outdated products so we try to recognise emerging trends as early as possible and use them to inspire our collection. Indeed we always want to lead the market working closely as we do with some of the world’s top hospitality interior design practices.

 “We have helped several hotel chains to create their brand standard light levels following guestroom lux level surveys carried out by our technicians.”

 Let there be (enough) light

Lighting is more than just about creating the ‘wow factor’ and needs to rank higher up the designer’s list of priorities. One of the biggest complaints to concierges is that guestrooms are insufficiently lit to work, put make up on or to simply see so it’s our job as lighting specialists to work with the designers and hoteliers to light guestrooms and public areas successfully. We have helped several hotel chains to create their brand standard light levels following guestroom lux level surveys carried out by our technicians. A hotel room is no longer just a room to sleep in, it has become multifunctional, a place to eat, sleep, work and relax and the lighting scheme needs to reflect the variety of uses and generate the correct light levels to meet all those functions.

Quality and functionality

As hoteliers expect stylish design and quality whilst working to a tighter budget, it should be a given that both are essential for contract use. Products need to be designed to withstand frequent and often forceful handling because those of domestic quality aren’t going to last 2 minutes in the hotel environment. We need to provide clients with products that reflect the highest standards of engineering and finish at the right blend of price and quality. Guests want hotels to feel like a luxurious home away from home and they want their hotel lighting in particular to reflect this, to be stylish yet functional. For example, most guests have dimming functionality at home and expect it in hotels, but they want it to be clearly visible on the product and most of all usable. I have lost count of the number of times I have heard stories of the concierge being called up to the room to explain how to dim the lights, illustrating there needs to be a distinct balance between design and functionality. Our latest colour coordinated push and toggle switches provide the guest with clear switching options. The Dock range of bedside reading lights give the option of a push switch or a neat ‘docking switch’ when the LED directional head is recessed away.

Efficiency

Blending cutting edge style with the latest technological developments is becoming more important than ever and we constantly need to ask ourselves whether we can make the lighting experience better for the hotelier by saving money on running and maintenance costs. LEDs are now an essential light source in many hospitality spaces as sustainability moves to the forefront of the minds of developers and designers. Whilst they don’t answer every possible lighting requirement, the option of LEDs has offered increased design possibilities when integrating this technology into our fittings for future energy saving. Whilst I still believe sustainability is at the top of most people’s list along with design and price, it is important to recognise the need to go green as the wave of the future. It’s imperative that lighting companies are moving with the times and demonstrating commitment to taking sustainability seriously.  That is why we have made every product in our latest collection available with an LED light source.

Budget

Creating bespoke product for clients is becoming increasingly more common and is a large part of what we do so it’s important that we have the necessary budget guidance. We can make a desk lamp from £29 to upwards of £299 and both will illuminate the desk and be of contract quality but it’s the combination of design, detail and light source that ultimately define the price level. For us budget level doesn’t mean chopping quality, it means being flexible and clever in manufacturing to give the same general look whilst hitting lower priced targets. Conversely we love introducing the highest levels of design, quality and materials when working with the most prestigious designers and the world’s leading hotels. 

Chelsom 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 need for tip top linen in hotel design

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Recommended Supplier Tip Top Linen explains the need for quality linen in all hotels. Hotel Designs dives a little deeper to find out more about what the company offers… 

The real indication of any hotel is rated on how well its guests’ sleep. As well as considering a decent bed, and comfortable soft furnishings, the overall sleep quality will be factored on the quality of the bed linen. We caught up with recommended supplier Tip Top Linen recently to understand more.

Hotel Designs: What material testing / testing process do you employ to ensure that your linen is of the highest quality for the hotel market?

Tip Top Linen: We have many different style of linen. Selecting which one is suitable for each hotel very much depends on which tier the hotel is. We have 70/30 cotton rich or we have 100 per cent cotton, we have suppliers who serve the likes of The Savoy and have history who have industry knowledge about the quality of the linen products

HD: How long do your linens tend to last in a hotel environment and how often should a hotel replace their linens?

TTL: This question has so many factors from the hotel cleaners and managers to the hotel owner having an input on their own quality, look and feel. linen can be changed on a daily basis which will have an impact on the life span of the product to clients changing weekly basis so one/two washes a week so the product will last longer.

The serviceable lifespan of textiles is not easy to specify as it can depend on a number of factors. The most important being the number and severity of the wash processes along with the degree of abuse by the end user. Stock control also has a significant bearing on the life of the individual product. For example, if the hotel is issued with 50,000 clean sheets in six months and the provider has to purchase 500 sheets to make up for losses, then the average textile life is 50,000/500 = 100 wash and use cycle

HD: What linen colours do you work with and why? And, are some colour fabrics better suited to certain parts of the hotel than others i.e. bedroom vs. restaurant?

We work with only white linen for hotels. And table linen varies on customers choice.

Established in 1988, Tip Top Linen Services Ltd has a track record second to none in meeting the needs of restaurants, hotels, event organisers, catering companies and airlines.

With more than two decades of providing linen of high quality to the hotel and catering industry, meeting the needs of these businesses with particular taste and requirements, Tip Top Laundy & Linen hire has learned that attention to detail is everything, from timely deliveries to ease of ordering.

Tip Top Linen 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: Tip Top Linen

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

800 534 Hamish Kilburn

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