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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Main image credit: Marriott International

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image credit: Academia of Athens, Autograph Collection_Suite

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

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

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

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

Championing Individuality through Distinct Perspectives on Design

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SPOTLIGHT ON: April’s features announced

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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Social should reflect what makes you unique

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

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

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

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

Advertising features are a powerful aspect of social media

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

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

Having a clear strategy

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

Main image credit: Arise/Shutterstock

Anantara to debut in Mauritius

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Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas is entering the luxury hospitality sector on the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius with the announcement of Anantara Mauritius Resort – a new luxury property on the South Eastern coast which is scheduled to open in Q4 2019…

Part of an integrated coastal development, a new Anantara resort located near Blue Bay Marine Park will arrive at the end of this year.

Anantara Mauritius Resort will feature 164 guestrooms and suites, with eight luxury pool villas – two with two bedrooms and six with four bedrooms – to be added in the first half of 2020. Facilities at the resort will include Sea.Fire.Salt – a specialty grill and seafood restaurant with courtyard and beach dining, an all-day dining restaurant, private dining with a wine cellar, a healthy wellness-focused cafe, two bars – one by the poolside and one facing the beach, a 30-metre ozone-based swimming pool, a gym and a signature Anantara Spa.

The look and feel of the new resort have been created by award winning Ground Kent Architects,  Australia, in collaboration with the Office of Global Architecture in Mauritius, alongside Abacus Design interior designers of Thailand. The design reflects the melting pot history of the country, drawing influences from the rich architectural heritage seen in the capital Port Louis and around the island. Natural, locally-sourced materials take precedence, harmoniously anchoring the buildings in their natural setting. Taking inspiration from local colonial architecture, the overall effect effortlessly evokes the vibe of a relaxing, tropical beach house, yet one with a distinctly modern feel.

modern guestroom overlooking the beach

Image credit: Anantara Mauritius

The use of scattered light, basalt and volcanic stone, drift wood, wave-and-ripple patterns and neutral sandy colours blur the line between the indoor and the outdoor. Fabrics and art selected for the rooms are a contrasting combination of accents of orange, deep ultramarine and royal yellow as a nod to Blue Bay’s crystal waters, sandy beaches and legendary sunsets.

With the resort’s dining options ranging from traditional creole cooking to fine dining, guests can expect a gastronomic experience rooted in an exotic blend of European, Asian and African influences. Most of the ingredients will be harvested locally since Mauritius benefits from incredibly fertile soil, while the ocean is the source of the freshest seafood and fish.

As part of Anantara’s commitment to sustainability, the resort will incorporate solar technology for water heating in all guest rooms, to reduce the usage on energy. Other green initiatives include planting endemic flora within the hotel landscaping, reusing water for irrigation and cleaning as well as incorporating recycled materials into resort décor. The property will be plastic straw-free, an Anantara standard, and where possible organic farming methods will be encouraged throughout its restaurant supply chain.

An island nation in the south western Indian Ocean, Mauritius is known for its varied flora and fauna, with many species endemic to the island. Famously the only known home of the dodo, an avian species which became extinct back in the 1600s, the island offers nature-centred activities both onshore and offshore. Visitors can charter a boat for deep sea fishing, paddle over serene blue waters in a glass-bottomed kayak to go snorkelling, embark on bird-watching walks on nearby islands, explore botanical gardens and more.

Main image credit: Anantara Mauritius Resort

25hours to arrive in Denmark in 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

Main image credit: 25hours

GROHE Shapes the Future of Water 500 innovations at ISH 2019

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

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

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

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

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

Changing requirements as consumers become creators

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

Dramatic setting with tap

Image credit: GROHE

GROHE helps customers in seeking simplicity – creation without complexity

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

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

A new connected eco system for water security and water management

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

Largest innovation push of GROHE to date at ISH

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

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

Main image credit: GROHE

Orangebox refocusing hotel smartworking at CDW 19

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

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

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

birdseye view of workplace

Image credit: Orangebox

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

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

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

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

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

Main image credit: Orangebox

Duravit wins iF DESIGN AWARD for XSquare bathroom furniture range

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

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

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

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

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

Modern bathroom

Image credit: Duravit

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

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

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

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

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

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Kimpton Hotels arrives in Scotland

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Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel brings a new, approachable luxury hotel offering to historic Edinburgh…

IHG has announced the opening of the first Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants in Scotland, Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel, as it continues to invest in Scotland as a luxury destination.

Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel is in one of Edinburgh’s most beautiful squares in the Georgian New Town, a UNESCO world heritage site. With a view of Edinburgh Castle and historic hotspots just a short walk away, the hotel is at the perfect intersection between old and new. The 184 rooms and 15 suites are part of seven interconnecting Georgian townhouses which showcase Kimpton’s bold and playful design.

Last year IHG and Covivio entered an agreement to rebrand and operate 12 hotels (and one pipeline hotel) operating under the Principal and De Vere brands. The Principal Charlotte Square is the second of these properties to rebrand as a Kimpton, following the successful opening of Kimpton Fitzroy London in October 2018. The opening of Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel marks IHG’s return to the luxury market in Edinburgh, as the first branded luxury hotel in Scotland in over a decade. This year will see a continuation of this momentum with additional Kimpton hotel openings in Glasgow and Manchester and an InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts opening in Edinburgh.

Hotel guests will enjoy Kimpton’s signature perks such as in-room yoga mats and Kimpton’s ‘Forgot It, We’ve Got it’ service offering important guest essentials. Guests can also meet fellow travellers at Kimpton’s daily social hour in the hotel’s BABA Bar, take part in free fitness and wellness classes at the recently refurbished, state-of-the-art gym, or enjoy a relaxing treatment at The Spa.

“Kimpton has built its brand on the belief that heartfelt human connections make people’s lives better. We inspire curiosity and embrace people exactly as they are, creating truly meaningful guest experiences,” said Johan Scheepers, General Manager, Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel. “Each Kimpton hotel is an escape from the ordinary, and Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel will offer a vibrant Scottish service full of charm and personality, in one of the world’s most historic cities.”Karan Khanna, Managing Director, UK & Ireland, IHG commented: “We are very excited to build our presence in the luxury market in Scotland as we introduce the Kimpton brand. Edinburgh has a real demand for a lifestyle luxury brand and I’m confident that Kimpton’s relaxed approach to luxury will suit the market well.”

IHG currently has 345 hotels* operating under eight brands in the UK, including: InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, Hotel Indigo, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts, voco, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express and Staybridge Suites, with another 29 in the pipeline.

*Numbers as at 31 December 2018.

Main image credit: Kimpton Hotels/IHG

LAUFEN collaborates with studio EOOS

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LAUFEN collaborates with studio EOOS that created the Austrian contribution to the XXII International Exhibition of La Triennale di Milano with an ecological project…

LAUFEN has made a contribution to the initiative of Austria at the XXII International Exhibition of La Triennale di Milano. Broken Nature: Design Takes on Human Survival is the title of the thematic exhibition that explores the bonds between mankind and the natural environment, bonds that over the course of time have been deeply compromised or even destroyed.

Through projects of architecture and design on different scales, the exhibition explores the concept of design reparation as a solution through which to reinterpret the relationship between human beings and the context in which they live. This year for the first time La Triennale assigned the Bee Awards, created to reward the three worthiest international contributions to the XXII Triennale. Austria is the winner of the Black Bee, for its profound interpretation of the theme and the quality of its presentation.

“LAUFEN has made a substantial contribution to the project and to the video CIRCULAR FLOWS: The Toilet Revolution!”

A leader in its sector with over 125 years of experience, LAUFEN worked together with highly acclaimed Vienna-based design studio EOOS to develop an innovative project that promises to become an important breakthrough on the global scene. Thanks to its exceptional expertise in the design and production of bath fixtures, driven by constant research and technological experimentation, LAUFEN has made a substantial contribution to the project and to the video CIRCULAR FLOWS: The Toilet Revolution!. Supported by the Federal Chancellery of Austria and commissioned by MAK, the Museum of Applied Arts of Vienna, it all started with the long-term research of Eawag, the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, and the grant of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The studies demonstrate that current practices of waste water treatment play a significant role in unbalancing the nitrogen cycle, with major repercussions on the ecosystem and the health of human beings and other living things, consequences that will become more evident over the short term. New hygienic-sanitary solutions represent the future in the construction of intelligent cities with more healthful, sustainable characteristics.

The collaboration between studio EOOS and LAUFEN has led to save!, a revolutionary toilet prototype for the separation of urine, offering an effective solution in the battle against the global problem of excess nitrogen, in line with the principles of systemic design. The separate treatment of urine means reducing – in an intelligent, economical way – the quantity of nutrients (such as nitrogen and phosphor) and pollutants released in the waters of the planet.

Up to 80 per cent of the nitrogen found in sewage can be removed from the wastewater stream, which will in turn reduce the resources required to operate treatment plants. Where others have failed in the past, save! represents a design challenge successfully met, raising excellent prospects for the future. In the achievement of these objects, the contribution of LAUFEN to the project has been fundamental, thanks to the deployment of unprecedented know-how. The Swiss company relies on an extremely advanced research and development centre, the only one in the world capable of developing such an innovative idea. At the same time, it boasts a production system capable of making the save! into the toilet of the future, according to the most advanced industry standards.

Main image credit: LAUFEN

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HOTEL OPENING: Lincoln Plaza London’s design inspired by London Docklands

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By taking note of the exciting and vibrant spirit of the London Docklands area, RPW Design was the design firm that sensitively designed the 129-key Lincoln Plaza London… 

Based in the heart of Canary Wharf, RPW Design has announced the opening of its most recent project, Lincoln Plaza London. Conveying its location into the hotel, the experienced RPW Design team, led by Nicola Romanelli and Richard Snow, has maintained a unique and luxurious experience through the guestrooms, function and meeting spaces while staying true to the location. RPW Design took Canary Wharf as a treasure trove of inspiration; from the historic shipping and dockland past to the present day, high tech, modern, business, luxury residential living and extraordinary architecture.

When approaching the design for a property in such a vibrant area of the city, RPW Design was inspired by a quote from the design brief for the new Hilton Curio Brand: “Hotels with a special character you can’t duplicate. They’re part of the fabric of their cities: true locals, each embodying the spirit of their home”.

For Richard Snow, Senior Designer at RPW Design, this quote really stood out and inspired the design story for Lincoln Plaza London. “We drew on the rich industrial past of the area using rusty tones and finishes alongside the design of joinery and FF&E pieces with exposed metal framework,” he told Hotel Designs. “At the same time, conscious of the hotel brand and surrounding residential developments, we included quality finishes such as natural stone in the bathrooms and on joinery, as well as statement pieces like the rusty/burnished gold wall covering to the bed head wall.”

Image credit: Main image credit: Lincoln Plaza London/Curio Collection by Hilton

Lincoln Plaza London’s focus on luxurious lifestyle facilities has been seamlessly translated throughout the 129 guest rooms. The layout of the rooms was creatively developed to move away from the standard hotel offering by incorporating the vanity into the main lobby area of the room, creating a sense of space and openness in the room. A decision to remove the traditional hotel room desk was made, and instead RPW designed a multi-use table at the right height for either a work space or dining table whilst seated at the armchair. These changes allow a more residential feel. From the bespoke shelving units made of blackened steel and antique brass, through to the marble rainfall showers, all elements work together harmoniously. The guestroom artwork was carefully curated in collaboration with RPW Design’s Art Consultant, Peter Millard and Partners, in order to show some of the East End’s most famous and unique artists: Gary Hogben; Julian Bray; Kyra Cane; and Tom Clark. Meanwhile, individual sculptural pieces by Simon Bingle, positioned in every floor lift lobby, hark back to the industrial landscape still visible around the hotel. This particular bespoke artwork conveys RPW Design’s attention to details that is inherent in their projects.

Canary Wharf is a more recent business hub for London, and the Hilton Curio offers 465 square metres of event space that is distributed across seven meeting rooms.  With sleek design details, RPW Design implemented a blend of “old industrial” and contemporary design. RPW Design has created a popular new space in this centre of commerce and it is a truly unique destination for the Docklands.

Image credit: Main image credit: Lincoln Plaza London/Curio Collection by Hilton

The reflection of the historical and industrial shipping dock is continued throughout the hotel, from the lower-ground meeting and function spaces to the fitness centre. Lincoln Plaza’s fitness centre is designed to be simple and modern, reflecting the location’s industrial heritage with a concrete reception desk formed out of concrete and rusty metal effect laminate in the joinery.

Lincoln Plaza’s meeting areas can be reached by a feature staircase that is formed of shuttered concrete, poured in situ, with an exposed timber imprint remaining on view, contrasted by a polished concrete floor. The rough concrete is offset by a luxurious brushed brass handrail and stair treads, with concealed lighting to add drama. This is diffused into the pre-function space, with a concrete render-effect wall covering and rich, dark timber doors.

Image credit: Main image credit: Lincoln Plaza London/Curio Collection by Hilton

The function areas are versatile spaces that may be configured dependent on the client’s needs and meeting planners’ specifications. The large function room can be divided into thirds when required and the buffet counters housing TV and tea/coffee facilities in the individual meeting rooms can also be concealed, thus enabling various uses from one space. A central area with a communal work table, features iconic pieces of furniture from Poltrona Frau, Walter Knoll and Porada. The cranes, such a familiar sight in the Docklands, are reflected in the pattern of two large metal work screens, dividing the pre-function area. The walls of the function rooms are designed with contrasting finishes, featuring geometric patterned wallpaper and bespoke lighting, continuing the theme.

Andrew Hart, Chairman of interior fit-out contractor Fileturn, commented: “This project was one which used all the skills of the team on site to incorporate the new designs within the existing structural shell. The fit-out areas designed by RPW included public areas, conference and meeting room facilities as well as bedrooms. The end results have produced a striking hotel in keeping with its surroundings and one the team here at Fileturn can deservedly be proud of”.

RPW Design worked alongside Fileturn to make the design become a reality, creating the perfect addition to the Curio Collection by Hilton.

Main image credit: Lincoln Plaza London/Curio Collection by Hilton

LOCATION SPECIAL: Mexico sees significant increase in hotel investment

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Investment management company JLL has released findings, proving that hotel investment in Mexico is sharply on the up… 

Following the opening of Viceroy Los Cabos and the awaited arrival of Nobu Hotel Los Cabos, Mexico’s lodging market is being viewed as more sophisticated and liquid, reflected by a 26 per cent transaction volume increase year-over-year, a study from JLL has shown.

From bustling urban locations to relaxing resorts, Mexico’s lodging market has experienced strong growth over the past six years, averaging an annual compounded revenue per available room (RevPAR) growth of nearly 5.3 percent in U.S. dollar terms, which illustrates the country’s resilient tourism industry and ability to weather unforeseen situations such as hurricanes or travel advisory warnings. Although investors are exercising caution due to the uncertainty regarding the political environment and policies, investors are anticipated to continue exploring strategic lodging opportunities in Mexico.

Light and bright guestroom

Image credit: Nobu Hotels/Studio PCH

“In recent quarters, Mexico’s lodging market has been viewed as more sophisticated and liquid,” says Carolina Lacerda, JLL Senior Vice President, Investment Sales. “The quality of lodging supply has improved and investors, particularly domestic groups such as FIBRAS, funds, and local families, are increasingly active.”

Total transaction volume at year-end 2018 reached $980 million, a 26 per cent increase over the prior year. Additionally, 2018 recorded a price-per-key average of $466,000 – the highest annual average in the past 10 years, driven by several luxury hotel sales, such as the September 2018 sale of JW Marriott Mexico City, which JLL brokered for $183 million.

“Mexico’s hotel market is estimated to deliver nearly 23,000 new, quality rooms over the next five years.”

Travel to Mexico is driving much of the growth, with the majority of visitors heading to locations like Mexico City, Los Cabos and Cancún. According to Tourism Secretary Miguel Torruco Marques, tourists are anticipated to spend approximately US$23.2 billion in 2019, a nearly four percent increase over the prior year. Three hotel assets seem to be the current preferred types among investors and owners:

  • Hotels with a mixed-use component located in cities with a strong corporate presence, such as Mexico City, Monterrey, and Guadalajara. Beyond capturing the business travel segment, having a retail or office component is viewed as a diversification strategy.
  • Hotels located in vacation destinations such as Cancún, Riviera Nayarit, and Los Cabos. Additionally, some of these hotels with a branded residential or rental component allow developers and investors to achieve more attractive returns.
  • All-inclusive resorts in international destinations with a strong vertically-integrated business model.

In response to strong tourism numbers and in turn, strong hotel fundamentals, Mexico’s hotel market is estimated to deliver nearly 23,000 new, quality rooms over the next five years, per Smith Travel Research (STR) data1. Cancún/Riviera Maya, Los Cabos, Riviera Nayarit and Mexico City are slated to see the largest increases in total incoming supply, predominately in the upper-upscale and luxury segments.

“Mexico is witnessing unprecedented growth in branded lodging supply across major resort markets and gateway destinations,” says Wendy Chan, JLL Senior Vice President, Strategic Advisory and Asset Management. “The arrival of new and different-tiered brands to the marketplace is improving the quality and maturing the overall tourism and lodging infrastructure nationwide.”

Chan also points that continued international and domestic route development and infrastructure investment in key gateway cities will be essential, as this will contribute to the further growth of the lodging industry, especially with the anticipated supply increases in the near term. “While the investor sentiment in 2019 is generally cautious given recent changes in the political landscape and growth in incoming supply, the industry should start witnessing RevPAR growth across select markets in Mexico in the coming years.”

“Driven by revenue growth in U.S. dollars and operating expenses in its devalued Mexican Peso currency, investors are able to find attractive high margins,” says Lacerda.

[1] Reflects hotels under construction or final planning only (Jan 2019). 

Main image credit: Viceroy Los Cabos

MEET UP LONDON: 3 weeks to go

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Calling all designers, architects, hoteliers and suppliers: Meet Up London takes place on March 28 at Minotti London… 

Designers, architects and hoteliers can purchase tickets here.
Suppliers can purchase tickets here.

There are just three weeks to go until the industry will gather together for Hotel Designs’ Q1 networking event, Meet Up London.

Taking place on March 28 at Minotti London, the evening event is designed to bridge the gap between designers, architects, hoteliers and key-industry suppliers.

Meet Up London will be attended by more than 200 hospitality professionals. As well as providing the perfect networking stage for professionals who are working on the hotel design scene, the event will also pay special attention to young designers as it will unveil Hotel Designs’ 30 Under 30 (the shortlist can be accessed here).

The latest names to the guest list include designers, directors and 30 Under 30 shortlisted finalists from the likes of B3 Designers, Yasmine Mahmoudieh Design Studio, Scott Brownrigg and M Studio.

They will join designers and directors from leading studios such as Richmond InternationalHBA LondonGenslerJestico + WhilesGoddard LittlefairProject Orange and WATG who are among the names that are also confirmed to attend.

Agenda for Meet Up London: 

 

How to attend Meet Up London 

If you are an interior designer, architect, operator or hotelier and would like to attend Meet Up London, click here to book your place.

If you are a supplier to the hospitality industry looking to attend the event, contact Zoe Guerrier on 01992 374059 or on z.guerrier@forumevents.co.uk – or click here to book your place.

For more information about becoming a Hotel Designs Meet Up sponsor, contact Zoe Guerrier on 01992 374059 or email z.guerrier@forumevents.co.uk.

ISH PREVIEW: In Conversation With Utopia Projects on bathroom design

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

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

Image credit: South place Hotel London

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image credit: Kimpton Fitzroy London

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image credit: Pullman Hotels

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HK: Which bathroom trend do you hope never returns?

Both SA and HJ agree: Avacado bathroom suites!

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

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

Main image caption: Stuart Adamson & Howard Jones

 

Naumi Hotel Singapore launches Gen-Z design initiative

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With the aim to work with young designers in order to achieve a fresh perspective design, Naumi Hotel Singapore is partnering with local businesses on a new student design initiative to unveil at Singapore Design Week 2019

Naumi Hotel has partnered with local design businesses to nurture the next generation of creatives. The project is a satellite programme partner of Singapore Design Week 2019. Inviting students from local design institutions to compete, the Singaporean owned hotel has tasked interior design students to create a brand-new concept for one of their hotel rooms every quarter. Named Project #210, after the room number, the up and coming talents will have a blank canvas to create their vision. Supported by Goodrich Global, XTRA, Guerilla X and Matsushita, the esteemed local businesses will work closely with the students during the process and provide all the materials required for this project. Set to be the next ‘Instagram-worthy’ space in Singapore, the pop-up room will be in addition to the current inventory of four designer-themed rooms available at the hotel.

Speaking about the project Founder and Managing Director, Naumi Hotels, Surya Jhunijhnuwala said “At Naumi Hotels we have always had an ethos of creating unique experiences through art and design so I am delighted to launch this initiative. We are honoured to give the next generation of aspiring designers the opportunity to transform our hotel. Each design will transport us into the imagination of its creator, offering their own fresh take. Education and giving back to the community are key pillars for all of our hotels, and I can’t wait to see this project come to life.”

As the main partner of Project #210, Chief Operating Officer of Goodrich Global, Yasushi Furukawa said: “As Asia’s leading supplier of interior furnishings, we are delighted to be part of this initiative with Naumi Hotels. Our company philosophy is to be positive agents of change whether it’s supporting education programmes or helping the next generation of designers realise their dreams. With this in mind we are proud to partner on such a fantastic project, which hopes to give nurture Singapore’s newest design talents.”

The first team to win the coveted opportunity is Nurul Hanis, Nia Astira, Nuri Khairiyyah and Tracy Lim, who are final-year Retail & Hospitality Design students from Temasek Polytechnic. The opening concept for Project 210, which will launch during Singapore Design Week (March 4 – 17 2019) and is inspired by Tyler The Creator, a creative personality in music, TV and fashion.

The concept hopes to catch the attention of the next generation of travellers with its bold style using colour-blocking, lightings and designer furnishing from Muuto. Much of Tyler The Creator’s work is taken from 1970s street style, hip hop and skate culture, and a result the designers are looking to create a vibrant, and above all, playful space.

Naumi Hotels was founded and established in Singapore by Surya Jhunjhnuwala and to date, still remains a family business and a brand synonymous with modern luxury and prime locality. The hotels’ USP is in design, focusing on a non- cookie cutter style that reflects each vibrant city. Every hotel from Auckland to Singapore features artwork from local and international talents, creating a living gallery for guests within the hotel.

Hotel Designs will also be bridging the age gap in international hotel design by unveiling its 30 Under 30 at Meet Up London on March 28 at Minotti London. There are limited tickets available and can be purchased here.  

Sustainable design transforms London boutique hotel

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Each guestroom of the newly renovated Fuller’s Fox & Goose has been consciously designed to allow for the highest degree of sustainable and ethical sourcing…

Interior architects Sibley Grove has completed work on a collection of hotel guestrooms for the brewery, Fuller, Smith & Turner at The Fox & Goose business hotel in Ealing, London.

All products and materials used in the project have been assessed on five fundamental principles: aesthetic quality, build quality, value, environmental impact and social impact. The bespoke joinery has been designed for disassembly making it easier to reuse the materials in the future. Meanwhile, the upholstery and dressing items have been created using fabric with recycled content from mills in the UK or mainland Europe. Cradle to Cradle CertifiedTM products have been used throughout, including suspended ceilings from Armstrong, Tiles from Mosa and carpets from Ege Carpets.

Sibley Grove strongly believes that design should be a vehicle for positive change – both environmentally and socially. “A chair that looks great, is affordable and well made, but achieves this through being manufactured in a factory with poor employment rights and a lack of safety equipment is a failed product,” says Sibley Grove director, Jeremy Grove. “Likewise, a product from a great factory using sustainable materials that is poorly made and overpriced is an equally failed product.”

“We’re making a continuous effort to tackle some of the issues that are rife in the design industry.

“In today’s world, regardless of budget, it’s unacceptable to knowingly create stuff that is harmful to the environment or reliant on an exploited labour market. Cradle to Cradle is a great system for designers to measure and manage the impact of the products they specify as it takes into consideration material health, renewable energy, water stewardship and social fairness.”

Image credit: Sibley Grove

Key materials used in the project:

Major suppliers include Castlebrook (furniture), Mosa, Ege, Hansgrohe, Armstrong and recommended supplier Chelsom Lighting.

Reading lighting on side of headboard

Image caption: Chelsom Lighting were used as a sustainable lighting product for the project

The project uses materials, fixtures and fittings that are considerate of the environmental and social impact, with no additional cost to the client. The guestrooms are light, bright and open space with contemporary detailing. In addition, the space is functional and practical, perfect for business customers.

 

Sibley Grove is an interior design studio founded by Kate Sibley and Jeremy Grove, based in Totnes, Devon. The company has a deliberately open and collaborative approach to design, bringing together local suppliers with global companies and clients who share our commitment and ambition to design things better.

 

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SPOTLIGHT ON: Technology products to look out for in 2019

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Ahead of Hospitality Tech & Innovation Forum which takes place on March 25 – 26, and to launch this month’s Spotlight On Technology, Hotel Designs has identified interesting technology products to look out for in 2019… 

Predicting the future is something that the team at Hotel Designs has become used to since the growing demand for designers and architects wanting to know all about the latest tech products that are on the market. Here are some slick examples of tech products that are taking international design into the future.

1) Bang Olufson – Beosound Edge

The speaker on a pink carpet

Image credit: Bang Olufsen

Described as “the perfect circle”, the Beosound Edge is a speaker and minimalist design object in one. Designed by Michael Anastassiades, the product has been conceptualised for intuitive touch and motion so that it’s an unbroken circle of clarity and beauty. Ideal for the contemporary hotel where design can be personalised, the product has been engineered to move and to be moved.

> Read more about Beosound Edge here

2) Hamilton Litestat – Smart Multi-room Audio System 

Modern kitchen with Hamilton's smart switch on the right

Image credit: Hamilton Litestat

Hamilton Litestat produces high quality decorative electrical wiring accessories, circuit protection, smart lighting controls and multi-room audio systems, designed and manufactured to meet the project demands of architects, interior designers and installers. Ideal for high-end suites, its Smart Multi-room audio system enables up to four separate music sources to be connected and controlled in four separate rooms or zones.

> Read more about Smart Multi-room Audio System here

3) Punkt – DP01 cordless phone

red phone sideways on

Image credit: Punkt

“I consider the voice a to be powerful instrument in human communication. Face-to-face conversation is best, but giving someone a call comes a close second,” said Petter Neby, founder of Punkt. With real, physical buttons, the DP01 is a mains-operated cordless phone that comes in three colours (white, black and red).

When the DP01 is not in use it sits face up in its cradle, so incoming calls can be viewed at a glance and outgoing calls can be dialled without picking it up. And its physical form is designed to allow it to sit stably on a desk without wobbling around: much more convenient for hands-free operation.

> Read more about Punkt’s DP01 here

4) Nokia Advanced Sleep Tracker

Image credit: Jason Bradbury

Mentioned during tech expert Jason Bradbury’s review of Eccleston Square Hotel, Nokia Sleep is a Wi-Fi enabled pad that fits under the mattress and provides insight into the quality of the sleep experience while offering environment control through IFTTT, an automation service for all internet-connected things. The new sleep sensor includes:

  • Sleep cycle analysis: sleep duration and interruptions; light, deep and rapid-eye-movement phases; and snoring tracking.
  • An individualized Sleep Score is provided to indicate how restorative a night’s sleep was, and educate users about what makes a good night’s sleep and how they can improve night after night.
  • Smart Home control via the IFTTT home automation platform. Nokia Sleep acts as a switch to automatically control lights, thermostats and more by getting into and out of bed. For example, users can automatically dim the lights when they get into bed.
  • Nokia Sleep synchronizes automatically with the Nokia Health Mate app so users can have all their health data in one place. The app provides data history, personalized advice and coaching programs, including one developed specifically around sleep.

> Read Jason Bradbury’s review of Eccleston Square here

5) DLAppTap

screenshot of the app

Image credit: Design Life/ DLAppTap

DLAppTap is an innovative iPhone and iPad app that allows hotels to easily sell their beautiful products to guests in their properties without the need for in-house retail operations. With DLAppTap, hotels can capitalise on new revenue streams, achieve ROI from refurbishments and improve and provide higher levels of guest-centric services.

The new hospitality-focused tool is an extension of the soon-to-be-launched DesignLife App, which, as the video below demonstrates, was developed to showcase residential products. The iOS app becomes a platform for individual hospitality venues thanks to encoded Near-field Communication (NFC) labels, which are discreetly attached to items available for purchase. After downloading DLAppTap, guests can view the specifications, measurements, costs, lead times, shipping and payment options for any labelled item they “tap” with their mobile devices. Purchases can even be added to their guestroom bills. Orders are automatically sent to manufacturers, with the hotel receiving 25 per cent commission.

> Read more about DLAppTap here

6) Modio – Guestroom Acoustic Control 

Sleeping girl on bed in front of product

Image credit: Modio

Made for hotels, MODIO introduces a continuous soothing background sound into the room, allowing guests to control its ambience the same way they control temperature and lighting.

The sound is similar to soft airflow, designed for comfort and engineered to cover a wide variety of hotel noises. Far superior to white noise apps or clock radio style products emitting nature sounds, MODIO is a commercial-grade device designed, manufactured and supported by a company with more than 40 years’ experience in the sound masking field.

Hotel guests will benefit from the same world-leading technology used by our corporate, healthcare and military clients.

> Read more about Modio here

7) Moasure 

Image credit: Moasure

Ideal for all designers and architects, Moasure’s patented technology uses motion to make measurements, leveraging inertial sensors and a proprietary algorithm to deliver an innovative new way to measure.

> Read more about Moasure here

8) Sumnuva

Image credit: Sumnuva

Somnuva has been designed to be as user friendly and intuitive as possible, and as such, the screens presented are as simple as possible whilst still allowing as much flexibility within the product as possible.

Somnuva worked with Cambridge Industrial Design to seamlessly blend innovative acoustic technology with a beautifully designed product that naturally fits in any living space.

The aesthetics of the hard sub-frame with delicate fabric sleeves were designed to  ensure that the directional acoustics weren’t affected, but that the users have flexibility to tailor and personalise their Somnuva

> Read more about Sumnuva here

 

Main image credit: Nokia Sleep/YouTube

Is this hotel California’s most luxurious beachside retreat?

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Rosewood Miramar Beach has opened as the first ultra-luxury beachside resort in Southern California to offer guestrooms set directly over the sand…

Located in Santa Barbara’s picturesque Montecito community, Miramar, meaning ‘to behold the sea,’ Rosewood Miramar Beach has opened. Taking its name from its remarkable location on one of the most beautiful and pristine beaches in California, a fitting setting for Rosewood’s first property in Southern California, the hotel shelters 124 guestrooms and 37 suites.

Owned and developed by Caruso, the company behind some of the world’s most acclaimed shopping, dining and lifestyle destinations, the hotel embodies the brand’s commitment to creating properties that reflect the unique fabric of the communities in which they live.

“Rosewood Miramar Beach is the pinnacle of design, setting and service.” – Sonia Cheng, CEO of Rosewood Hotel Group

“Rosewood Miramar Beach is the culmination of years of hard work and dedicated service to the Montecito community. What makes Miramar Beach so special, beyond the incomparable setting, is its history as a beloved icon of hospitality – it’s simply embedded in the land,” said Rick Caruso, owner, Rosewood Miramar Beach, and founder and chief executive officer, Caruso. “We’re honored to now usher in a new era of hospitality and welcome locals and travelers back to this cherished retreat.”

Inspired by the beautiful homes and grand estates of Montecito, and true to Rosewood’s signature residential-style, Rosewood Miramar Beach provides guests a truly unique experience – as if being hosted in a private home – across all guest touch-points; the resort is residential in style, service and sentiment.  The property was manifested from Rick’s idea of a sprawling Montecito estate that grew over time, in tandem with the growth of a family – a homage to the genesis of the original property.

“Rosewood Miramar Beach is the pinnacle of design, setting and service,” said Sonia Cheng, chief executive officer of Rosewood Hotel Group. “It is a true jewel not only in the rich hospitality landscape of Montecito and Santa Barbara, but across the globe. Guests will delight in the relaxed atmosphere of coastal California while enjoying Rosewood’s intuitive service and our modern, ultra-luxury approach to the resort experience.”

At the heart of the property is the magnificent Manor House where a dramatic stone-paved driveway leads up to a striking single-entry, solid-wood front door that opens into the home’s grand foyer.

The centerpiece of the residence is its luxuriantly-curved staircase – a tribute to an original design by esteemed Southern Californian architect Paul Williams, remembered by many as an architect to the stars. Williams’ work and vision is distinctly Southern Californian and has influenced residential and hospitality design worldwide. His original drawings are on display within the property’s entryway, showcasing a number of sketches, including the inspiration behind the resort’s spiral staircase.

Image credit: Rosewood Hotels & Resorts

Three signature suites reside in the Manor House including The Founder’s Residence, The Miramar Suite and The Ambassador Suite. Each provide the utmost in luxury, space and style, infusing distinctly residential design details throughout the resort – the product of collaboration with Rick Caruso’s personal interior designer, Diane Johnson. Boasting spectacular views and distinct décor and design, the signature suites can be combined with king-sized guestrooms to form an entirely private, seven-bedroom retreat within the Manor House.

Complementing the grandeur of the Manor House, spread more than 16 acres of lush landscaping, are the Bungalows and Lanai House guestrooms. Each guestroom accommodation is light-filled and spacious and offers a furnished balcony or patio, a roomy dressing area, and awe-inspiring views of the garden, ocean or mountainside. Lavish bathrooms provide every indulgence with elegant marble finishes, freestanding soaking tubs and separate his-and-her vanities.

A focal point of the estate is the Cabana Pool, one of two pools on property. Another nod to Paul Williams, the pool’s distinctive, serpentine-edge design draws inspiration from the architect’s work for the now-demolished Arrowhead Springs Hotel in Central California. Nineteen luxurious cabanas, each topped with a stylish black and white valance, complete the pool’s polished yet playful footprint.

A carefully curated art collection beautifully bolsters the residential quality of the resort, with more than 600 pieces hand-selected by the owner Caruso himself thoughtfully placed throughout the property. The one-of-a-kind collection combines archival images, traditional works and fine modern pieces to produce a distinctive and distinguished art narrative. Capturing the rich history of the property’s privileged site on the stunning Montecito coast, as well as the signature spirit of the new resort, the collection includes original works by Norman RockwellFernando BoteroMel Bochner and Hans Burkhardtand fine photography from Jim McHugh, Slim Aarons, and more.

Anchoring the property are the resort’s 26 oceanfront Beach House suites, studios and guestrooms which feature private terraces directly over the sand, an unparalleled offering in Southern California. In addition to the breath-taking ocean views, Beach House guests enjoy several exclusive services to complement the beachfront experience, including access to a complimentary evening cocktail trolley, monogrammed pillowcases and robes along with personalised amenities from arrival to departure.

“Combining the comforts and intimacy of a family home with the world-class amenities and seamless service of a luxury resort, Rosewood Miramar Beach has been meticulously designed to provide both guests and locals with an experience unlike any other,” said Seán Carney, managing director of Rosewood Miramar Beach. “We feel incredibly privileged to continue the legacy of the former Miramar by the Sea and bring to the Montecito community a new ultra-luxurious retreat and a past sense of the magic that was – and will be – Miramar Beach.”

With its prime positioning directly atop Montecito’s pristine sands, Rosewood Miramar Beach is the only resort in the region that offers guests all-encompassing beach service with complimentary access to chairs and umbrellas, food and cocktail services and activities and programs for both sand and sea.  Enjoy the cool crash of the Pacific’s waves aboard surf and paddleboards available by way of the resort’s beach attendants or watch the tide rise high from the Miramar Beach Bar.

Rosewood Hotels & Resorts now manages 25 luxury properties in 15 countries, with 22 new hotels under development.

Main image credit: Rosewood Hotels & Resorts

Marriott to add more than 30 luxury hotels internationally in 2019

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Hotel giant Marriott International plans to add hotels across its eight luxury brands…

Marriott International has announced that it is projecting to open more than 30 luxury properties in 2019, furthering the company’s global perspective on luxury travel with its ensemble of eight distinct luxury brands. Through the world-renowned hospitality hallmarks of The Ritz-Carlton, Ritz-Carlton Reserve, St. Regis, W, The Luxury Collection, EDITION, JW Marriott and Bulgari, Marriott International continues to push boundaries, creating new guest experiences which meet the needs of the evolving luxury traveller.

With hotels in more than 60 countries and territories, the hotel giant is poised to expand its luxury footprint with more than 200 properties in the development pipeline, representing 20 new countries for the company’s luxury portfolio, from Sri Lanka to Bermuda and Morocco to Kenya.

“Our eight unique luxury brands provide distinct experiences that appeal to different types of luxury travelers, no matter if your priority is residing at the best address in town, completely immersing yourself in your destination, or prioritizing your wellbeing,” said Tina Edmundson, Global Brand Officer and Luxury Portfolio Leader, Marriott International. “From the world’s most iconic destinations to the ultimate undiscovered gems, we are focused on elevating travel with highly contextualized, nuanced brand experiences that signal the future of luxury by allowing our guests to indulge their passions while sparking personal growth.”

A global luxury study, conducted in partnership with creative agency Team One, revealed that luxury travellers of today are travelling not just to discover the world, but also to discover something about themselves. Edmundson continued: “When it comes to experiences, people today are seeking more meaning and personal significance rather than just the opportunity to indulge. Travellers have become active participants in the trips they are taking – they are more engaged and vested than ever before. Ultimately, global luxurians are becoming ‘creators’ in every aspect of their travel experience and for this group, travel is no longer a departure from reality, it is the reality.” With a rapidly growing global footprint and eight distinct luxury brands, Marriott International is uniquely positioned to deliver on these new expectations, inviting globally-minded travelers to look at the world through a new lens. “For our guests, we strive to go beyond offering moments of delight, to creating experiences that will profoundly inspire and transform,” said Edmundson.

Ritz-Carlton to set a new standard of luxury 

Known for its legendary service and refined design, The Ritz-Carlton will continue to set the standard for luxury. With six openings anticipated in the year ahead, the iconic luxury brand also expects to celebrate the opening of its 100th property. The brand is expected to make its return to Australia with the debut of The Ritz-Carlton, Perthand is slated to grow in China with the opening of The Ritz-Carlton, Xi’an. Showcasing the beauty of the Moroccan landscape and culture, The Ritz-Carlton Rabat, Dar es Salam is set to offer an oasis in the country’s vibrant capital, while The Ritz-Carlton, Mexico City will invite guests to experience the city through a new perspective. With a mission to inspire travel and create memories for its guests, the brand also expects to see the completion of a major renovation of The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park and to continue to work towards the inaugural voyage of The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection in February 2020.

St. Regis anticipates grand debuts in global hotspots

Currently offering more than 40 hotels in 20 countries and territories, St. Regis recently celebrated the renovation of The St. Regis Rome along with the opening of The St. Regis Zhuhai, China’s premier tourist destination on the Pearl River Delta. In the coming year, St. Regis is planning to debut the André Fu-designed St. Regis Hong Kongwhere the award-winning designer will blend the brand’s timeless elegance with silhouettes representative of the city’s architectural and cultural diversity. The brand is also set to expand its footprint in Europe with The St. Regis Venice, which is ideally situated on the Grand Canal and offers a central location from which to explore the historic city. Finally, St. Regis is also expecting to bring its modern glamour and bespoke service to Cairo, a destination that has captivated travelers for generations and one which is quickly reclaiming its place as a hot spot for the global explorer.

W Rewrites the rules

Trailblazing its way around the globe, W broke the norms of traditional luxury in destinations including Brisbane, Amman and Costa Rica in 2018. The luxury rebel also rewrote the music festival rules, taking the festival experience off the field and onto fabulous hotel grounds with the global launch of WAKE UP CALL. Bringing people closer to the music than ever before, the brand’s signature music festival series made stops at W Hollywood, W Barcelona and W Bali. This year, the brand will live out its mission to fuel guests’ lust for life with eight hotels projected to open, ranging from Aspen and Ibiza to Muscat and Melbourne. W skillfully balances the power of a global brand with the relevance and personality of a local insider and continues to revitalize its global portfolio with multi-million-dollar renovations planned or underway at more than half its properties in North America, including W Washington D.C. and W San Francisco.

EDITION continues growth in iconic destinations

In 2018 the EDITION brand doubled its footprint, growing from four properties to eight with openings in Shanghai, Bodrum, Barcelona and Abu Dhabi. The in-demand lifestyle brand was created through a collaboration between boutique hotel creator and innovator Ian Schrager and Marriott International, which offers sophisticated design, a curated taste of the destination and modern service. Next up, the brand expects to redefine luxury with its recent opening in New York City’s Times Square and will bring its distinct perspective to West Hollywood with a scheduled opening in Q2 2019.

The Luxury Collection brings authentic charm to new destinations

Offering the promise of unique, authentic experiences, The Luxury Collection is a rapidly growing ensemble of 110 hotels in more than 30 countries and territories around the world. In 2018, the brand made its debut in Savannah with the opening of Perry Lane, expanded its footprint in Paris through Hôtel de Berri and brought distinct resort design to Los Cabos with Solaz, among other exciting debuts. With each hotel serving as a portal to the destination’s indigenous charms and treasures, The Luxury Collection anticipates debuting nine properties this year in coveted locations such as Okinawa, Cesme, Buckinghamshire, and Budapest.

JW Marriott Inspires the Passions 

JW Marriott offers differentiated luxury experiences at 84 hotels and resorts in nearly 30 countries and territories, including the recent opening of JW Marriott Nashville. Inspired by its legendary namesake, JW Marriott is committed to curating uplifting experiences for guests, delivering experiences and environments that help guests be fully present and bringing people together to celebrate life’s most meaningful moments. This year, JW Marriott anticipates continuing to bring its distinct style of warm service to established and emerging destinations with planned openings from the Maldives and Shanghai to Savannah, GA.

Marriott International currently encompasses a portfolio of more than 6,900 properties in 30 leading hotel brands spanning 130 countries and territories. Marriott operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts all around the world.

Main image credit: EDITION/Marriott International

Ruby Hotels to open first Nordic hotel

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The 142-room property in Finland’s Helsinki is the latest installment in ‘lean luxury’ hotel brand’s expansion plan…

Ruby Hotels, since unveiling plans for UK and international expansion at the end of last year, has announced plans for its first Nordic property in the Finnish capital, Helsinki, to open in the first quarter of 2021. The new hotel forms part of an expansion plan for Ruby Hotels to unveil a total of nine new hotels by 2021.

Set within a historic 19th-century building, in the same plot which housed Finnish national poet Johan Ludvig Runeberg, the new hotel will be located in Helsinki’s charming Kruununhaka district. Enjoying a central position between the city’s main railway station and the hip district of Kallio, guests will be just steps from hotspots including the harbour and marketplace, Helsinki cathedral and the beating heart of the local nightlife, Tori Quarters.

A collaboration with Finnish project developer ICON Real Estate, the hotel will house 142 guest rooms, ranging in size from cosy ‘Nest’ rooms (13-15m²) to expansive ‘Loft’ rooms (23-38m²), a stylish 24-hour bar and breakfast area, a spacious outside terrace and – in a nod to traditional Finnish culture – Ruby Hotels’ first in-hotel Sauna.

“This works because we accommodate luxury in a relatively condensed space, similar to luxury yachts, and we forego unnecessary services,” explains Michael Struck, Ruby Founder and CEO. “Thanks to proprietary technical innovations, we plan, build and organize ourselves differently from conventional hotels. To be precise, we plan and build in a very modular way and centralize as well as automatize processes behind the scenes wherever possible. This helps us create a luxurious and unique hotel experience at an affordable price.”

A laid-back, contemporary design will take inspiration from the area’s Jugendstil art-nouveau style, with quirky touches such as the inclusion of a Marshall guitar amp in each room. Guests will be able to use the amp with their own guitar or one borrowed from reception, and will enjoy ‘Ruby Radio’, the hotel group’s own internet radio station.

Cutting-edge technology will be on offer throughout the property; in each room guests will find a personal tablet PC and smartphone pre-loaded with Ruby Hotels’ carefully-curated Helsinki city guide, social media apps and unlimited data and calls to use throughout their stay. A state-of-the-art self-check-in system will make use of tablets to reduce check-in time to under one minute, leaving guests free to make the most of their stay.

Just like the group’s other houses, the new hotel will follow Ruby Hotels’ ‘Lean Luxury’ philosophy: a top location, high-quality fittings, and outstanding design. All of this is offered at an affordable price by rigorously cutting out the superfluous and focusing on the essential.

The Ruby Helsinki development is a part of a half-city-block-sized (10,000m2) real estate project which will revitalise the neighbourhood, with a further 50-60 luxury apartments ranging from studios to 4-bedroom apartments also under construction next door.

Main image credit: Ruby Hotels

Victoria + Albert Baths introduce a new colour service

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The new colour finishes from Victoria + Albert Baths will be officially launched this month at ISH Frankfurt and London Design Week at Design Centre Chelsea Harbour…

In response to a strong demand for bespoke colour finishes, luxury British bathing brand Victoria + Albert Baths, is proud to now offer 194 RAL colour exterior finishes across the entire collection of freestanding QUARRYCAST baths and basins. This follows in the footsteps of the brand’s six popular standard paint finishes, launched in 2016.

Creating a bathroom to reflect your individual sense of style has never been easier – with the new colours and feet finishes, Victoria + Albert’s tubs are fully customisable. They are now able to offer more than 28,000 variants of their baths, and more than 5,000 basin variants. Customers can choose between gloss or matt finishes, offering an even greater choice.

The exterior paint finishes contrast with the crisp white QUARRYCAST interior of the freestanding baths and basins. Renowned by homeowners and designers alike for its durability, QUARRYCAST is naturally white, beautifully strong and easy to clean.

Living Coral coloured bath

Image credit: Victoria + Albert

The addition of a brightly coloured, freestanding bath or basin is the perfect way to inject colour into any bathroom space and creates a striking focal point. Whether you’re tapping into the botanical trend with deep greens and earthy tones, or are looking for a vibrant and eye-catching finish, such as this year’s Pantone Colour of the Year, Living Coral, Victoria + Albert Baths now offers an incredibly wide selection to choose from.

Each finish is multi layered using a specialist catalysed paint and is hand polished between applications. This technique results in an exceptional depth and lustre to the finish and is considerably more durable than hand painted surfaces. The full selection of available RAL colours will be available to view on the Victoria + Albert Baths website from March.

Main image credit: Victoria + Albert

CASE STUDY: Furnishing Grand Central, Belfast

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Hastings Grand Central is more than a hotel, it’s an ode to a spectacular city. Recommended Supplier Style Library Contract explains how it helped to style the hotel in Belfast that everyone is talking about… 

Standing tall in Bedford Street, the 22-storey Hastings Grand Central, which opened in June last year, fuses glamour and grandeur with a uniquely Belfast spirit. Comprising of 300 luxurious guestrooms and suites, restaurant, bar, conferencing facilities and retail space, it is a jewel that sits at the heart of Belfast’s Linen Quarter.

RPP Architects was involved in the design of every aspect of the hotel, from the external envelope which involved the design of prominent and distinct signage, a bespoke cladding system to the different bedroom, suites and all of the public spaces. Meanwhile, the interior design was developed with Grahams construction and the Hastings Hotel group during a series of design workshops.

Situated on the ground floor, the Grand Café will catch your eye as you walk by but when you step inside you’ll want to stay. An everyday place with an easygoing elegance, it reflects the whole ambience of being “beautifully simple and simply beautiful”.

Sumptuous suite

Image credit: Hasting Hotels

Quality exudes from every angle of the bar and restaurant space; from the phenomenal cuisine and cocktails to the lavish fabrics and fittings. The art deco nods, high ceilings and sense of space add a distinctive drama and the vibe inside shifts as the day rolls in and the sun rolls round. Located on the 23rd floor, the Observatory is an aweinspiring cocktail lounge with spectacular, unique views of Belfast and beyond. The decadent décor combined with the stunning vistas make the inside feel intimate, and the outside infinite. Each of the 300 guestrooms and suites are designed for absolute comfort and relaxation. Each room has been lovingly created as an oasis of calm; a thoughtfully crafted cityscape sanctuary teeming with touchable, tactile fabrics and state of-the-art finishes.

entrance lobby

Image credit: Hasting Hotels

Mark Higgins, Associate at RPP Architects explains how they selected the materials and craftsmen for this project: “The interior design utilised local craftsmanship where possible sourcing marble and quartz from Ballymoney, specialist joinery and bedroom casegoods from Ballymena, bespoke upholstery and front of house furniture was manufactured in Carrickfergus and bespoke carpet from Portadown.

“We chose to work with Style Library Contract because of the wide selection and high specification of their fabrics and wallcoverings. Being able to specify products from across their brands enabled us to create the look we wanted for each distinct space. Products include: Zoffany curzon belvoir, Zoffany elswick paisley, Anthology veda, Harlequin mesh and sgraffito, Scion toma, Harlequin momentum aves paprika, William Morris snakeshead paper in the bar and various Anthology papers in the suites.”

Carolyn Mitchell, Group Contracts Sales Director at Style Library Contract adds, “We are delighted to have worked with RPP Architects and Hastings on this exquisite project. Our job is to provide clients with the means to create beautiful, design-led interiors. In house manufacturing and design expertise in contract specification fabrics, wallcoverings and paint, means we can be relied on for a complete project solution.”

Style Library 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: Hasting Hotels

Introducing Constellation from Chelsom

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Recommended Supplier Chelsom unveils new orb-inspired lighting product as part of Edition 26 collection…

Constellation by Chelsom is an organic design giving a random pattern of arms and Matt Opal glass globes creating a striking selection of statement centrepiece ceiling fittings emitting warm white light for an ambient effect. Glasses have threaded inserts which screw on to Brushed Brass metal frames for a durable fixing ensuring perfect alignment. Custom designs and sizes can be manufactured on request.

More than two years of in-house design led by Robert and Will Chelsom has resulted in the launch of Chelsom’s brand new collection, Edition 26. The collection wholly reflects Chelsom’s brand image in showcasing a multitude of beautifully designed lighting products specifically put together for the global hospitality and marine interior design marketplaces.

Read the exclusive interview with the father-and-son duo here.

Moxy NYC Chelsea opens an urban design jungle

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Refined yet playful, hand-crafted yet modern, the 349-key Moxy Chelsea reimagines the urban jungle, blending botanically-inspired design with Italian romance…

Rising 35 stories high into the New York City skyline, Moxy NYC Chelsea, the micro-room, macro-amenity hotel, developed by Lightstone and part of Marriott International’s experiential Moxy Hotels brand, has officially opened. Inspired by the surrounding Flower District, the hotel blends a botanically-influenced design with Italian romance and a touch of playful wit – perfectly timed to welcome guests on Valentine’s Day.

Creating an environment that appeals to both today’s modern traveller and locals, Moxy Chelsea was developed with a collection of public spaces designed to meet the community’s dining, drinking, and co-working needs—while providing guests access to New York City at a neighbourhood level. The 349-room hotel marks the second collaboration between Yabu Pushelberg, Rockwell Group, and architects Stonehill Taylor, the designers behind Moxy Times Square and three of the industry’s most admired firms.

The newly-constructed building’s architecture riffs off the neighborhood’s retro-industrial style and feels harmonious with its location, in the heart of the Chelsea Flower Market. The hotel blends into the lush flower shops that surround it, with a soaring three-story glass atrium revealing the vertical gardens within. Guests enter through the overgrown Putnam & Putnam Flower Shop, designed by Yabu Pushelberg, which is envisioned as a “botanical library,” with planter boxes suspended from the 15-foot wall, reachable by a wheeled ladder. The shop is run by husbands Darroch and Michael Putnam, whose couture approach to floral arrangements over the years has made them a staple at celebrity weddings, including the recent nuptials of Gwyneth Paltrow and Brad Falchuk.

Image credit: Michael Kleinberg/Moxy Chelsea/Marriott International

The guestrooms are drenched in sunlight and feature floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall windows. For the design, Yabu Pushelberg replicates the clever functionality they created for Moxy Times Square, leavened with wit and humanised with a sense of craft. In all three room types — King, Double/Double and Quad Bunk — the furniture, which includes a writing desk and chair/luggage rack, can be folded up and hung up on Moxy’s signature peg wall when not in use. Other space-saving gambits include under-bed storage and a lava-stone sink and vanity area placed outside the bathroom. Tiles in the shower stalls are printed with cheeky phrases like “SOME REGRETS” and “WILD THING,” while a bulldog-shaped beer bottle opener hangs on the door. Additional bedroom features nod to the Flower District, like reading lamps that resemble garden lanterns and faucets that recall hose reels. Unique to Moxy Chelsea is the over-the-top MONDO Suite, an entertainment suite located on the 32nd floor. With soaring, double-height 18-foot ceilings and a wall of industrial-style windows looking out onto the Empire State Building, the room is equipped for entertaining and socialising. The suite can be combined with one or two adjoining king rooms to create a place to party and sleep.

The lobby atmosphere is enlivened by a design that reflects Moxy’s trademark cheekiness, such as classically sculpted figurines making unexpected poses, like twerking, taking selfies, and wearing sunglasses. A life-size, toga-clad Roman statue rests on a column, one arm extended so it can hold a guest’s phone and pose with them for a selfie. Throughout the lobby, ample seating options invite co-working and socializing, including modular meeting studios that morph seamlessly from daytime workplace to evening social space.

Decadent rooftop bar

Image caption: The Fleur Room – credit: Michael Kleinberg/Moxy Chelsea/Marriott International

TAO Group and Rockwell also collaborated on The Fleur Room, Moxy Chelsea’s rooftop lounge, topping off the hotel on the 35th floor with panoramic 360-degree views of the Manhattan skyline, from the Statue of Liberty to the Empire State building. The design features a copper-clad bar, glass chandeliers that resemble giant water droplets, and a massive disco ball salvaged from the notorious 1980s L.A. nightclub Vertigo. The real showstopper: The lounge’s glass walls descend at the touch of a button, transforming the space into an alfresco sky veranda.

“We’ve all read about how the modern traveller wants to satisfy their curiosity with unique experiences and personalised, insider access,” says Mitchell Hochberg, President of Lightstone. “Nobody really expects that at the Moxy price point. With Moxy Times Square, we proved we could flip the script; and with Moxy Chelsea, we’re taking it to the next level: We’ve doubled down on that formula—affordable rates, rooms with character, distinctive public spaces—and made it even more personal, more local, more genuinely New York.”

“With the opening of Moxy Chelsea, the Moxy Hotels brand continues to boldly reinvent the hospitality scene,” says Toni Stoeckl, Global Brand Leader, Moxy Hotels, and Vice President, Distinctive Select Service Brands, Marriott International. “When you walk into a Moxy, you know you’re getting a killer bar experience with fun, playful programming; an in-the-know Crew; stylish and functional bedrooms; and experiential moments you’ll want to share with friends during your trip. Moxy Chelsea offers all of that, with a distinctly bold, New York twist.”

The Moxy brand now has 30-plus experiential hotels open across North America, Europe and Asia. Moxy is expected to open 20-plus more hotels in 2019*, in destinations including Paris, Nashville and Boston.

*subject to change depending on hospitality landscape and market conditions

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

GROHE unveils universal solution of concealed shower installations

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GROHE Rapido SmartBox is now compatable with more than 170 different GROHE trim designs…

Since its initial launch in 2017, the GROHE Rapido SmartBox in combination with the SmartControl Concealed trim sets has ensured the easy installation and premium performance of concealed shower systems, helping to support the trend for minimalist interiors in both residential and commercial projects. With its “push, turn, shower” functions, it offers individual and intuitive control combined with a space-saving and slim design.

Now, the Rapido Smartbox can be used as a universal shower solution thanks to its compatibility with more than 170 different GROHE trim designs, offering architects, designers, specifiers and installers freedom of planning and efficient installation when working on projects. Plus, with an installation depth of only 75mm, the GROHE Rapido SmartBox fits into every kind of wall, even particularly narrow ones. Furthermore, its recent successful WRAS accreditation pays testament to its high standards when it comes to compliance with water regulations. The esteemed approval by the Water Regulations Advisory Scheme also enables the Rapido Smartbox to be specified by housebuilders for property development.

The Rapido Smartbox now matches perfectly with three different styles of trim set; two-handle thermostats, single-lever mixers and the SmartControl Concealed, all of which are available in an array of colours, finishes, shapes and sizes. All three styles offer varying functionalities, aesthetics and price points, catering for all projects regardless of space, size and budget.

Rapido Smartbox: Efficient, universal installation

The extensive range of trim set designs which allows greater freedom over aesthetic and functionality for customers is made possible by the exciting innovations that lie behind the wall within the Rapido Smartbox. With three outlets, the Rapido Smartbox facilitates a wider range of showering options, for which previously two rough-ins would have been required. This helps to make the complexity of concealed showering more accessible for both installers and customers alike. In addition, the GROHE Rapido SmartBox makes adapters dispensable as it has ½ inch outlets to which all standard tubes can be connected. Designed with easy installation in mind, the Smartbox is equipped with inlets that connect from below, allowing a direct connection to the hot and cold water supply. Therefore the use of 90-degree fittings is eliminated.

This innovative shower mechanism also provides many other benefits for installers including:
• Subsequent adjustment of the trim set by six degrees post-installation to perfectly align with tiles and joints is possible thanks to long holes in the unit.
• Optional service stops for retrofit allow installers to gain complete access over the water supply in just a few steps. During maintenance, each of the Smartcontrol or Smartbox fittings can be closed directly and separately.
• The GROHE Rapido SmartBox can be retrofitted with a safety protection against backflow and meets the EU standard 1717 when installed with an integrated bath-fill and overflow unit.
• Easy on-site installation is made possible thanks to the helpful brass outlets which allow connection to the pipes to be installed with the use of a pipe wrench. This means mounting can be carried out quickly and easily on-site and a bench vice is not necessary.

SmartControl Concealed: Ultra-thin design for additional space in the shower

For bathrooms where space is extremely limited, GROHE offers a particularly “slim” solution: GROHE SmartControl Concealed in combination with the new GROHE Rapido SmartBox. The installation of the behind-the-wall technology combined with the ultra-slim design of the trim which projects just 43 mm from the surface of the wall, creates a minimalist look and gives the feeling of additional space in the shower. SmartControl Concealed is controlled using intuitive push-and-turn technology to individually select the preferred shower spray type and control water volume. Each shower trim, available in a round or square design, can operate up to three functions from head shower to hand shower and bath filler to body jets, for a truly customised shower that meets the demands of each individual bathroom’s needs. In addition, several styles are available: a classic Chrome finish or a discreet, elegant MoonWhite acrylic glass design. The SmartControl shower mixer trim is also available in SuperSteel and Brushed Hard Graphite and as of May 2019, there will be seven other metallic finishes on offer, complete with GROHE’s unique PVD coating which provides long-lasting colour and durability.

Two-handle thermostats: Simple operation delivers precise control

The new two-handle thermostats have been designed to offer convenient temperature and water flow control, using the same iconic visual icons as the SmartControl. They are compact, space-saving and combine precise performance with a slim, minimalist design. GROHE thermostats excel in delivering ease of operation, safety, comfort and above all, a relaxing shower experience. Equipped with leading technology, the GROHE TurboStat thermostat reacts within fractions of a second to pressure and temperature fluctuations. The mixing ratio of cold and hot water is continuously adjusted so that the temperature selected remains constant. Both head shower and hand shower can be controlled by intuitive rotation of the Aquadimmer handle, the upper control on the trim set. Turning the upper control slightly to the left will activate the hand shower, and by simply continuing to turn to the left, the water flow and power of the spray will increase. When the head shower is required, simply switch the control to the right and once again, increase volume by continuing to turn.
The two-handle thermostats are newly available in a slimmer profile, with only 43mm projection from the wall, and are offered in both round and square designs. In addition to the single-function models, models with two functions are now available, with clear pictograms used to indicate head and hand shower or shower and bath filler.

Single-lever mixers: Comfortable and simple operation for unlimited showering pleasure

GROHE single-lever mixers are designed for functionality and offer a stylish, sleek look that will prove popular with consumers. The latest additions to the range now make three-way functionality a reality, where only single and two-way systems were possible before. Users can now choose from three different types of spray pattern using the upper button on the mixer; from a powerful jet spray, to a relaxing rainshower or a practical hand shower. Meanwhile, the lower handle provides comfortable and intuitive temperature and water control. The trim sets, which have been designed to match all GROHE brassware ranges to ensure coordinated design in bathroom projects, are easy to install thanks to GROHE QuickFix, which reduces fitting time by up to 50 per cent.

FIRST LOOK: Apex unveils Insta-worthy London suite

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Apex Hotels has unveiled the Temple Suite in London that has been designed with Instagram in mind… 

Following the Hotel Designs’ series, Designing Instagrammable, Apex Hotels has revealed a sneak peek at the fabulous, ‘Instagrammable’ interiors that lie within the £6 million extension to its hotel on London’s Fleet Street.

The Temple Suite is considered the jewel in the crown of the multi-million pound extension, which also boasts four deluxe Grand Suites. Each one is perfect for those looking for a new type of luxury in the capital, and those who want to witness #interiordesigngoals first-hand.

While the Grand Suites are already available to book, the outstanding Temple Suite has been kept under wraps – but now the first images have been released, showing exactly what potential guests can expect when the space opens for booking on March 3.

It includes original fireplaces, bespoke furnishings in rich jewel tones, luxury linens and a bathroom (complete with underfloor heating) that’s just begging for mirror-selfies to be snapped.

Image credit: Apex Hotel

Set within a Grade II listed building on the capital’s Fleet Street, dating back to 1912, the Temple and Grande Suites sit alongside ‘The Amicable Society of Lazy Ballerinas’ – a brand new stylish, decadent wine bar – and private dining rooms to really give guests a taste of the ‘suite’ life.

Guests can cosy up in the coolest of surroundings in the Temple Suite, which features a sophisticated grey colour palette that is injected with warmth thanks to the original parquet flooring and wall panelling.

There’s a chance to relax on Scandi-inspired, bold furniture upholstered in rich velvets and textured wools, whilst snapping away at contemporary features including striking pendant lighting, and the intricately detailed glassware and accessories dotted throughout.

Image credit: Apex Hotels

Before languishing in luxury with access to a personal concierge service, guests can be whisked straight into their suite for a private, queue-free check-in before settling in with a welcome drink, testing out the luxury linens and making the most of the sumptuous surroundings – including a totally personalised mini-bar.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to reveal the striking Temple Suite which, along with our Grand Suites, has come as a result of a meticulous, multi-million pound restoration and refurbishment of the stunning Grade II listed building situated right next door to our original Fleet Street hotel,” Karl Mitchell, General Manager at Apex Temple Court Hotel. “Not only are each of the suites entirely Instagram-worthy, with beautiful furnishings and facilities masterminded by our architects, ISA; each and every guest who stays within the suites will enjoy a totally bespoke stay – from a private check-in and access to a personal concierge, to a mini-bar stocked with their favourite tipples and much more. No two stays will be the same.

“Just imagine lazing in front of the fire with your favourite drink from the personalised mini bar…it’s just one of the blissful ways our guests can spend a stay at our magnificent suites.”

Guests looking for a new type of luxury in London can now book to stay at the 115 square metres of pure, opulent relaxation that is the stand-alone Temple Suite – or at one of the four Grande Suites.

 

Morgan makes a colourful splash

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New commissions from Morgan Furniture showcase appetite for bold and bright colours ahead of SS19…

With the 1970’s vibe in full swing, designers are looking to colours and patterns that arouse and inspire the imagination. Morgan, contract furniture and manufacture, shares two recent commissions that perfectly encapsulate the current taste for vivid, post-Scandinavian palettes.

A family of Chevy dining and meeting chairs brings the seventies into the 21st century with rich gemstone colours. While the collection itself owes its inspiration to the styling and elegance of an earlier era, its timeless silhouette can adapt to any aesthetic sensibility and contract environment. Turned timber legs and a fully wrapped seat detail combine to create a picture of comfort and simplicity.

The Chevy collection brings together five chairs and seven modish coffee tables, available in three heights.

Image caption: Chevy by Morgan Furniture

A pattern reminiscent of the 1980’s Memphis Group’s abstract geometry and Keith Haring’s pop stylings gives these Goodwood lounge chairs punch. Here the collection piece uses upholstery to showcase the graphic motif from fabric designer GP & J Baker.

With customisable arms and an optional high or low back, the Goodwood range invites guests to sit back and relax. The collection has ten chairs and four tables, available in two heights, three top sizes and a choice of glass, timber or marble inset.

Commenting on the two collections, Morgan’s Design Director Katerina Zachariades said: “When we’re developing the concept for a chair design, we look for inspiration in fashion, nature and architecture. This encourages us to use shapes that are enduring, as opposed to transient styling.

“All Morgan furniture is made to order for clients. Upholstery choices help designers’ visions to be brought to life while scale and base options allow for the chair design to be suitable for a variety of uses.”

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

Image caption: Goodwood range by Morgan Furniture

 

Avani Hotels & Resorts to enter Cambodia

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Following the opening a hotel in Koh Sumui, Avani Hotels & Resorts prepares to open its first hotel in Cambodia… 

Avani Hotels & Resorts has announced its entry into the Cambodian market with the launch of ‘FCC Angkor – Managed by Avani’. Following an extensive seven million USD renovation which includes the addition of 60 new rooms, the hotel is set to reopen its doors in the second quarter of 2019. The FCC Angkor is one of Cambodia’s best-known hotels and features authentic French colonial architecture intrinsic to the historic and cultural fabric of Siem Reap. FCC Angkor creates an inspiring ambience for remarkable experiences and unforgettable stories in the heart of Siem Reap.

“Avani Hotels & Resorts’ first entry into Cambodia signals our ongoing commitment to offering an upscale experience to all intrepid travellers,” said Dillip Rajakarier, CEO of Minor Hotels, the parent company of Avani Hotels & Resorts. “We believe FCC Angkor will be home to the intrepid traveller seeking an authentic experience in the social hub of Siem Reap.”

Located across from the Royal Independence Gardens and Royal Residence, FCC Angkor evokes the timelessness of Siem Reap for guests who want authentic experiences during their journey. The property centres around the former ‘Mansion’ of the French colonial governor, which became the renowned Foreign Correspondence Club and a popular meeting place for local and international journalists, celebrities, and travellers from around the world seeking to explore Siem Reap. Their stories echo and permeate every corner of the FCC Angkor, encouraging visitors to embrace their inner global adventurer.

“We are excited to be working with Avani Hotels & Resorts as they are exceptional operators of lifestyle hotels, and well aligned to promote and position the FCC Angkor and FCC Collection brand. The new FCC will also be a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, joining us in the commitment to deliver extraordinary, engaging and unique experiences to our global guests,” said Susan Devine, Owner’s Representative, FCC Angkor – Managed by Avani.

The hotel enhancements have perfectly blended the colonial structures with contemporary designs inspired by Cambodia’s natural beauty and Khmer culture, which extend across the pedestrian bridge to the newly built extension. Throughout the property, the exotic environment of verdant gardens, Khmerinspired contemporary art, and exclusive European design accents create a sophisticated, residential feel, a signature concept for the heritage property.

Main image credit: Avani Hotels & Resorts

How Living Coral can energise your hotel

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Hotel Designs’ recommended supplier Signbox explores how to make the most out of Pantone’s colour of the year, Living Coral… 

Since the 1960s, Pantone has been influencing creatives who rely on its standardised colour reproduction system for design and print continuity, consistency and inspiration. Every year it unveils a new Pantone Colour of the Year to reflect a new season of trends and influences that will fire the imagination of product developers and purchasers, designers and retailers; in 2019 that task falls to the incoming Colour of the Year: Pantone 16-1546 Living Coral.

Described by Pantone as ‘sociable and spirited…the fusion of modern life…a lively presence’, Living Coral looks set to make a rapturous impact on the work of the signage industry’s more ingenious manufacturers – and that means energised workspaces, invigorated teams and an altogether happier working environment.

This isn’t just marketing parlance; according to Pantone, there’s a psychological connection to be had with Living Coral and it could just be the game changer that business owners are looking for if the wellbeing and productivity of their workforces need a lift.

The Pantone Colour Institute is the unit that forecasts global colour trends and advises companies on product and brand visual identity colour palettes to leverage the power of colour – so it knows a thing or two about emotional responses to colour.

“Living Coral’s flamboyant, lively and effervescent shade will mesmerise the mind and create an aura of confidence, energy and positivity.”

“Vibrant, yet mellow Living Coral embraces us with warmth and nourishment to provide comfort and buoyancy in our continually shifting environment’, explains Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Colour Institute. “In reaction to the onslaught of digital technology and social media increasingly embedding into daily life, we are seeking authentic and immersive experiences that enable connection and intimacy. Sociable and spirited, the engaging nature of Living Coral welcomes and encourages light-hearted activity. Symbolising our innate need for optimism and joyful pursuits, Living Coral embodies our desire for playful expression.”

Translate that to a workplace or hotel environment and Living Coral’s flamboyant, lively and effervescent shade will mesmerise the mind and create an aura of confidence, energy and positivity. Consider the impact of Living Coral’s hue on branding, wayfinding, environmental graphics and glass manifestation, for example, and it’s easy to see how powerful an interior design scheme can be as a motivating force. It’s a colour that encourages communication too, so expect to see leadership spirits fired and employees galvanised.

The power of colour when it comes to branding

Never underestimate the power of colour to create an emotional relationship with a brand and its physical space. With the capacity to affect us physically, intellectually and emotionally, colour is a critical component when it comes to applying a brand identity and an interior workplace scheme that reflects it.

Take digital wallpaper. It can be a big, bold and exciting step that can transform your office vista. But, don’t just choose a show-stopping image to project across your walls and place your order; consider first how your colour palette will influence your team, your partners and clients – the decisions they make and activities they undertake can have a serious effect on your business. Set them up for success with a colour that suits your environment, your market sector and the mood you want to induce.

A perfect colour for hotel and leisure environments

Take Living Coral. It’s comprised of red, yellow and orange – colours that can increase workplace productivity and inspire workforce wellbeing. What’s not to love?

  • Red is a physical colour that represents courage, strength and excitement – a great colour to use in work areas that demand physical exertion.
  • Yellow is an emotional colour that represents creativity, friendliness, optimism and confidence. Incorporate it when you want to stimulate positivity, creativity and happiness.
  • Orange blends the physicality of red with the emotion of yellow to create a sense of comfort and nurturing.

So, when you’ve assessed the impact that colours like Living Coral can have on the human body and its emotional relationships with space, you can apply it to the most appropriate areas. Living Coral can inspire transformative change in areas where creativity or physical activity needs an added stimulus – think design studios and gyms, for example. Since it also stimulates socialisation, it could work wonders in hotel and leisure environments – places where you want your clients to linger for longer and spend more perhaps.

If you want more advice on how to use colour to energise, inspire or motivate, talk to Signbox about impactful environmental graphic solutions on +44 (0)1784 438688, click here for our electronic brochure or send us your requirements. If you’d like guidance on what architectural signs or graphics will help your organisation perform better, an on-site consultation will give you the answers you seek.

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

Tarkett confirmed as Event Partner for Meet Up London

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Flooring company Tarkett, with more than 130 years’ experience in the industry, has been confirmed as an event partner for Hotel Designs’ exclusive Q1 networking event, Meet Up London… 

As leading designers, architects, hoteliers and suppliers prepare to attend Hotel Designs’ Meet Up London on March 28 at Minotti London, flooring company Tarkett has been confirmed as an event partner.

Mark Burton, National Sales Manager for Retail and Hospitality at Tarkett said about the announcement: “Tarkett has more than 130 years of experience in the flooring industry – with an impressive range of multi-purpose flooring options to suit any hospitality space “In the hospitality sector, it’s all about designing for a memorable experience. Tarkett believes that floors are the ideal playground on which to deliver this, by creating a truly experiential space for visitors. Designers can explore and personalise Tarkett LVT and wood, alongside DESSO carpet flooring ranges, to strengthen brand positioning and enhance customer experience, ultimately attracting and retaining guests and customers. We are delighted to partner with Hotel Designs at this prestigious event.”

In addition to welcoming leading figures of all ages in international hotel design, Meet Up London will also carry a light theme to support young creatives. Attending the evening, courtesy of Hotel Designs, the 40 shortlisted finalists for Hotel Designs’ 30 Under 30 initiative will find out on the night who among them have made the final 30 Under 30.

About Meet Up London

 

Meet Up London, which is being styled exclusively by Minotti London, will provide a unique opportunity to network over drinks and canapés with the largest names in hospitality, interior design and architecture.

Venue:
Minotti London Showroom,
77 Margaret St, Fitzrovia, London, W1W 8SY

Date: March 28, 2019

 

Evening agenda:

18.00: Guests arrive
18.30: Welcoming speech from editor of Hotel Designs’ Hamish Kilburn
18.45: Unveiling of Hotel Designs’ 30 Under 30
19:00: Presentation by London School of Architecture’s James Soane (topic TBC)
19:15 – 21.00: Networking over complimentary drinks and canapés

How to attend

If you are an interior designer, architect, operator or hotelier and would like to attend Meet Up London, click here to book your place.

If you are a supplier to the hospitality industry looking to attend the event, contact Zoe Guerrier on 01992 374059 or on z.guerrier@forumevents.co.uk – or click here to book your place.

For more information about becoming a Hotel Designs Meet Up sponsor, contact Zoe Guerrier on 01992 374059 or email z.guerrier@forumevents.co.uk.

Exclusive style partner: Minotti London

Exclusive headline partner: Hamilton Litestat

Event partner: Tarkett

Leading designers and architects confirmed to attend Interior Design & Architecture Summit

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Two months before the inaugural Interior Design & Architecture Summit, the event has unveiled who among the architecture and design community will be attending… 

Following the announcement of the ‘Rising Ceiling of Creativity’ panel discussion at the event, the Interior Design & Architecture Summit (IDAS) has just announced the attendees list for the meet-the-buyers event.

Dexter Moren Associates, EPR Archtiects, Goddard Littlefair, MKV Design, ReardonSmith Archiects and Zannier Hotels are all among the leading design firms that have confirmed to attend IDAS as delegates.

The event, , is aimed to bridge the gap between designers, architects, hoteliers and key-industry suppliers.

About IDAS

The one-day event, which will take place on April 29 at Hilton Tower Bridge London, is designed to connect senior executives working within the sector with product and service suppliers for face-to-face meetings and business networking.

The Summit aims to support the design and architecture sector with a unique platform to help create long-lasting and mutually beneficial business connections.

The design and architecture companies confirmed to attend IDAS are:

Aaron Chetwynd Architect Studio
Abode Architecture
Ana Engelhorn Interior Design Ltd
Anita Rosato Interior Design
Brompton Cross Construction
Burke Rickhards Ltd
Burrell Mistry Architects
CMT Design & Construction
CS Design
Dexter Moren Associates
DesignLSM
EPR Architects
Fiona Barratt Interiors
FL Interiors
Forster
Gauri Dole Design Studio
Goddard Littlefair
GA Design
GA Architect
Gereghty Taylor Architects
Gunter & Co Interiors
Harp Commercial Interiors
Hartmann Designs Limited
Harriet Forde Design
HBA London
Henry Prideaux Interior Design
Hyphen
InD Creations
Je Ne Sais Quoi
JPA Design
JCC
Jo Berryman Studio
Koubou Interiors
Kim Partridge
KCA International Designers Ltd
Lambart & Browne
LDA Design
LXA Projects
Materialise Interiors
Mangera Yvars Architects
MKV Design
Natalia Interior Design
NBBJ
NSI Design Ltd
Nine Yard Club
One Creative Environments Limited
Panache Interiors
Project (SW) Ltd
Rebecca James Studio
ReardonSmith Architects
Run for The Hills
RWD
Sapphire Spaces
Suited ID
Stop and Smell the Roses
Studio Mica
Tara Bernerd and Partners
Toca
Temza
Twinning Design
Wilson Associates
Watson Batty Architects
Woods Bagot
WS Design
Yasmine Mahmoudieh
Virserius Studio
Zannier Hotels

If you are an architect or interior designer and would like to attend the Summit, there are very limited spaces available. Please contact Kerry Naumburger on k.naumburger@forumevents.co.uk – or click here to book your place.If you are a supplier to the hospitality industry looking to meet the top architects and interior designers, contact Victoria Petch on v.petch@forumevents.co.uk – or click here to book your place.

Click here for more information about IDAS.

Media partner: Future Contractor & Architect

London School of Architecture confirmed as headline speaker for Meet Up London

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James Soane, Director of Critical Practice at the London School of Architecture, will speak at Meet Up London which takes place on March 28 at Minotti London…

Meet Up London has confirmed James Soane, Director of Critical Practice at the London School of Architecture, as its headline speaker for the networking event which takes place on March 28 at Minotti London’s showroom.

In addition to welcoming leading designers, architects, hoteliers and suppliers of all ages, Meet Up London will also carry a light theme to support young creatives. Attending the evening, courtesy of Hotel Designs, the 40 shortlisted finalists for Hotel Designs’ 30 Under 30 initiative will find out on the night who among them have made the final 30 Under 30.

“Our aim for this event has always been very clear; to support young designers and architects who are proving themselves to be rising stars on the international hotel design scene,”  said Hamish Kilburn, editor of Hotel Designs. “It is therefore my honour to invite James Soane to speak at the event in order to share his experience of working with and supporting young talent within in our industry. We hope that by having James speak at this event it will help to further bridge the age gap between designers, hoteliers, architects and suppliers.”

About Meet Up London

More than 200 hospitality professionals are expected to attend Hotel Designs’ highly anticipated Q1 networking event, Meet Up London.

Following the success of previous networking events, such as The Brit list 2018 and Meet Up North, Hotel Designs’ Meet Up London will adopt the theme of 30 under 30. The leading hotel design website has asked its readers to nominate designers, architects and hoteliers of the age of 30 and under who are fast climbing the ranks to become leading practitioners.

Meet Up London, which is being styled exclusively by Minotti London, will provide a unique opportunity to network over drinks and canapés with the largest names in hospitality, interior design and architecture.

Address: 77 Margaret St, Fitzrovia, London, W1W 8SY

Evening agenda:
18.00: Guests arrive
18.30: Welcoming speech from editor of Hotel Designs’ Hamish Kilburn
18.45: Unveiling of Hotel Designs’ 30 Under 30
19:00: Presentation by London School of Architecture’s James Soane (topic TBC)
19:15 – 21.00: Networking over complimentary drinks and canapés

If you are an interior designer, architect, operator or hotelier and would like to attend the Hotel Designs Meet Up London: 30 Under 30, click here to book your place.

If you are a supplier to the hospitality industry looking to attend the event, contact Zoe Guerrier on 01992 374059 or on z.guerrier@forumevents.co.uk – or click here to book your place.

For more information about becoming a Hotel Designs Meet Up sponsor, contact Zoe Guerrier on 01992 374059 or email z.guerrier@forumevents.co.uk.

 

Exclusive style partner: Minotti London

Exclusive headline partner: Hamilton Litestat

 

 

 

ISH Preview: Laufen to exhibit collaboration with Patricia Urquiola

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At the upcoming edition of ISH, Laufen will present SaphirKeramik in all its forms with the return of Sonar, the refined collection designed for the Swiss company by Patricia Urquiola…

Laufen is enthusiastically preparing to participate at the upcoming iteration of ISH, the indispensable biennial event in the field of bath furnishings.

Always on the front lines of research and experimentation, Hotel Designs Recommended Supplier Laufen brings its finest innovation to Frankfurt: SaphirKeramik. High-tech and ecological, this ceramic material patented by the company has launched a new trend in the world of bathroom design, which has continued with growing success since 2013, in applications for both the residential and contract sectors.

The technical characteristics of SaphirKeramik are enviable, and never cease to amaze due to the infinite range of potentialities yet to be fully explored. Qualities like extreme strength, lightness and slimness have stimulated great designers to work with SaphirKeramik, in collaboration with Laufen, in an unprecedented exploration of form with a spirit of boundless creativity. Alongside the other collections, visitors will rediscover the allure and elegance of Sonar, designed for Laufen by Patricia Urquiola.

Winner of the iF Design Award 2018 in the Product category, Sonar has proven its capacity to bring out the exceptional qualities of SaphirKeramik. Based on a creative process full of stimulating ideas, the pieces in the collection embody a sculptural aesthetic through symmetrical volumes, minimal lines and a sophisticated balance of angles and curves. The thin, bright and lightweight surfaces of Sonar give rise to an innovative, sophisticated design that perfectly combines beauty and functional quality. Another feature also enhances the refined forms of the collection: the very fine three-dimensional texture created by Patricia Urquiola to add a decorative sign to the ceramic material. Inspired by sound waves that spread in water, the motif on the external walls of the basins runs vertically, also producing a pleasing tactile sensation.

The Sonar collection is composed of freestanding or wall-mounted, single or double washbasins in SaphirKeramik, a bathtub in Sentec, and a series of wooden cabinets. Technology is a constant presence in Laufen’s products, and once again in this case Swiss quality translates into painstaking attention to detail. Thanks to intensive design research, the flow of water is optimised and perfectly channelled, facilitating operations of cleaning and maintenance, in solutions that guarantee maximum functional performance and sustainability.

Main image credit: Laufen

Woven Image adds on-trend colours to popular geometric upholstery collections

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Inspired by tangrams, an ancient Chinese puzzle, Woven Images adds five new colours to its upholstery collection… 

Woven Image has added five new directional colourways to both Quiz and Zip upholstery fabrics in celebration of classic design. The upholstery, which can be used indoor and outdoor, will launch this September as part of Woven Images’ ‘Refined Ambiance’ product release.

The inspiration for both designs originated from tangrams, an ancient Chinese puzzle that interchanges seven angular forms to create a range of different shapes and structures. As well as this, there is reference to the architectural style of Dutch fashion designer Iris Van Herpen.

Quiz and Zip are produced from 100 per cent solution-dyed polyolefin, allowing for excellent performance characteristics which include outstanding colour fastness to light, UV stability as well as easy-care and maintenance with a bleach solution. From an environmental perspective, solution dyed textiles are considered to be optimal as this method allows for reduced water usage and emissions compared to conventional dyeing processes. Quiz and Zip are also produced using certified green energy (100 per cent renewable resources) and the yarn holds an
Oeko-Tex certification.

five colours

Zip is the larger scale pattern of the two, featuring bold intersecting line-work which creates irregular, angular forms. The five new Zip colourways incorporate a classic neutral latte combination, as well as on-trend azure, olive and sunshine hues accented with a subtle duck egg blue completing a total palette of 12 colourways.

The smaller scale design, Quiz, combines up to four yarn colours per colourway creating a combination of both tonal and contrasting options which coordinate back with the Zip palette.

The new colourways of fashionable blossom, azure, coral, latte and duck egg re-fresh the Quiz collection saluting classic contemporary design.

The geometric fabrics are suitable for both commercial and residential uses; from break-out office spaces to poolside furniture.

In Conversation With: Tom Lindblom, Gensler

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Lifting the curtain to peak inside one of the largest architecture firms in the world, editor Hamish Kilburn heads to Gensler’s UK headquarters to catch up with hospitality leader, Principal and Brit List 2018 finalist Tom Lindblom…

“Designing a hotel is a theatre production,” Tom Lindblom, hospitality leader and Principal at Gensler explains. “If you have ever been backstage at a theatre show, and have seen all the activity that’s going on, you will understand how many strings need to be pulled to ensure that what’s happening on the stage – front-of-house in our case – is going smoothly and flows seamlessly. The magic has to happen without the guests being aware how it is made.” This carefully chosen metaphor used to describe the realities – and often challenges – that modern architecture practices face is my first opportunity to really understand the man behind the vision of many projects in the UK, Europe and in the Middle East.

If we are to continue the theatre theme then I feel as if I have a front-row seat, exclusively invited to the opening night to critique Gensler’s award-winning performance. While the narrative explains how the company came to be one of the largest architecture firms in the world, the lead role is certainly up for interpretation. Lindblom, formally a museum and lighting designer, is one of 15 principals at Gensler and his stage is very much sheltered in the company’s London base in St Katherine Docks, with major plans for expansion. “Our expression is deliberately ‘one firm firm’, which suggests that we, the more than 6,000 employees at Gensler, are one team working across 48 offices around the globe,” he explains. “As a result of this shared mindset, our London office is able to share relationships with others around the world in order to eventually work on projects that would have otherwise gone to other architecture practices – it really is a key element to our global success.”

Gensler_Four Seasons_Kuwait

Image caption: Gensler’s Four Seasons Kuwait

Although the project briefs may change as the demands from operators and owners evolve, one thing remains constant in Lindblom’s eyes; team work really does make the dream work. “As an architect, the sooner you are working with an interior designer on a hotel project, the better the end result will be,” he says confidently. “Many see our industry as a triangle, but in actual fact it is a square,” he says. “That shape is between the owner, the operator, and the two designers – architecture and interiors – everyone needs to be reading off the same script.”

“The landscape of the hotel is as important as the architecture.” – Tom Lindblom

Whether we should design hotels that are Instagrammable is a topic that we are used to debating, I am keen to understand how, in Lindblom’s eyes, social media is dictating the design of the modern hotel. According to him, the pool in a resort hotel tends to be the ‘wow’ moment. “For a luxury resort hotel we designed in Croatia, for example, the ‘wow’ moments are a pool bar and grill and the water-front adult pool,” he explains. “The landscape of the hotel is as important as the architecture, and that’s why we work closely with landscape architects as well. At Gensler, we are very fortunate to have in-house landscape designers, which is often absolutely integral to the success of the project.”

Render of a pool and bar area outside

Image caption: Brizenica Bay Four Seasons Croatia Pool Bar / Credit: Gensler

Some of Lindblom’s most memorable curtain-call openings include St Regis Langkawi, Malaysia and the unforgettable unveiling of Four Season Kuwait at Burj Alshaya. Closer to home, though, since becoming one of the finalists at The Brit List 2018, Lindblom has been working on the interiors for a Hilton hotel project in Woking, Surrey. “There will be a great rooftop bar and restaurant, which is our answer to the operator’s brief, wanting to create certain ‘Instagrammable moments’,” Lindblom explains. “Our aim here was to open up the public areas to amazing panoramic views that can become an attraction for both guests and outside visitors.”

Gensler’s recently published Hospitality Experience Index concludes that hotel public spaces are changing. “Single-use public spaces are dead,” Lindblom claims. The report concludes: “The best hotels know that designing for today’s everything/everywhere customer doesn’t mean being everything to everyone -but it does require a new approach to understanding what guests want that goes far beyond business vs. leisure or millennial vs. boomer.” In response to this, Lindblom says: “Before we start drawing the shape and design of the building, we should be asking what experience we are trying to create.”

Quick-fire round:

Hamish Kilburn: What would you say, in your opinion as an architect, is the best designed city in the world?
Tom Lindblom: I love Paris and New York, but the city that made a big impression on me recently was Ljubljana, the Capital of Slovenia.

HK: What would you be if you weren’t an architect?
TL: A Sculptor

HK: What, in your opinion, is the worst designed hotel?
TL: There are too many to list

HK: What is your biggest bugbear when travelling?
TL: Wheely bags! I hate them!

HK: What is your favourite colour?
TL: Anything with stripes!

HK: Do you have a favourite project?
TL: They are all special, but I am really proud of the Four Seasons in Kuwait – I feel as if we need end credits to list all the people who brought that vision to life, all led by an amazing client.

Exterior shot of the hotel

Image caption: St. Regis Langkawi / credit: Gensler

There is a certain ignorance that comes from reviewing hotels, one that typically completely ignores the foundation of what is, as Hilton Hotels puts it, the heart-of-house. “The back-of-house, or backstage of any hotel performance, has to be designed around functionality,” Lindblom explains. “Our job here is to design an area that will maximise service and overall productivity, which in turn leads to a seamless guest experience. Although these areas won’t have all the finishes that you see in front of the staging, they are a vital part of the production.”

In the backstage access-all-areas interview, I am eager to learn what it takes to be cast as one of the leads at Gensler. “Believe it or not, listening is the fundamental skill to be a good leader,” Lindblom says. “When we are failing, we are not listening, which interestingly is the same for both staff and clients”

For this interview’s dramatic final scene, Lindblom explains how his past experience as a lighting designer has helped him to sketch and create some of the world’s most impressive design hotels. “There is just way too much artificial light in the world,” he explains as he points to the light directly above our heads, which creates glare while we are speaking at the table. “The starting point for a lighting designer should be darkness. Then you build up from there, considering the light sources, the times of day, colours and finishes, and ultimately the intention for the spaces.” And like any hit Broadway or Westend show, the production fades on a cliff-hanger conclusion as we wait to witness the unveiling of Gensler’s next hotel project.

Marriott International teams up with Manchester United

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The hotel giant Marriott International partners with Manchester United to offer its members a range of one-off experiences…

Marriott International and Manchester United has announced a multi-year marketing partnership, giving the 120 million members of the Marriott Bonvoy travel programme exclusive opportunities for once-in-a-lifetime Manchester United football experiences – including the chance to become the club’s Stadium Announcer or Kit Manager for the day.

The new partnership launches today with a film that features players from the Manchester United first team and team management, bringing these magical moments to life.

“Marriott International is the leader in its field and we’re excited to be partnering with them as Marriott launches its new travel programme, Marriott Bonvoy,” said Manchester United, Group Managing Director, Richard Arnold.” Together we look forward to creating some unforgettable moments for Marriott Bonvoy members, inspired by the thrill and excitement that only Manchester United can create for fans around the world.”

With the Marriott Bonvoy travel programme, members have access to its extraordinary portfolio of global brands and properties in 130 countries and territories, as well as unmatched memberbenefits and exclusive Marriott Bonvoy Moments’ experiences.

“We are thrilled to offer compelling benefits to Marriott Bonvoy members, now expanded to include unique Manchester United experiences,” commented Marriott International’s Global Marketing Officer, Karin Timpone. “This marketing partnership enables our members to access special VIP game experiences by using the points they’ve accumulated during hotel stays for unprecedented, exclusive experiences.”

Marriott Bonvoy Moments enables members to redeem points to purchase any of 8,000 lifestyle, entertainment, sport, culinary and more experiences globally. Exclusive Manchester United Moments that members can bid points for include:

‘Stadium Announcer’ Experience – Marriott Bonvoy members will have the chance to go behind the scenes at the iconic ‘Theatre of Dreams,’ shadowing the stadium announcer with their pre-match preparations. Prior to the game, the member and a guest will soak up the atmosphere pitch side, before enjoying VIP hospitality, including match tickets and a meet and greet with a former player.

Welcome the Team on arrival at Old Trafford – Members and their guest arriving at Old Trafford on matchday will head pitch side to meet a Manchester United legend before making their way to the player’s tunnel to be in prime position to welcome the team as they step off the coach and head into the dressing room to prepare for the game.

‘Kit Manager’ Experience – Members will be able to add a final finesse to the home dressing room at Old Trafford pre-game as they shadow the first team Kit Manager. The member and a guest will help prepare the match kit ahead of the players’ arrival before heading pitchside to be met by a Manchester United Legend. After the hard work is done, the member will be able to sit back and relax whilst enjoying pre and post-match VIP hospitality.

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MINIVIEW: Lough Eske Castle Hotel, County Donegal, Ireland

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MINIVIEW: Lough Eske Castle Hotel, County Donegal, Ireland

Guest reviewer Stuart O’Brian checks in to the only five-star hotel in County Donegal…

The first indication of the attention to aesthetic detail that runs through the entire Lough Eske Castle hotel site is the six-foot bronze dragon that greets visitors at the top of its long, winding, forest driveway entrance.

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The hotel has experienced a recent change of ownership away from the Solis brand, but thankfully the new owners have seen fit to keep this magnificent beast on its staff roster, along with a dozen or so other animal (and human) sculptures dotted around the grounds.

This corner of Ireland’s North West coast is abundant in natural beauty, something the Lough Eske Castle hotel’s original architects, and its current custodians, kept front of mind when considering exterior and interior décor. On this visit in December 2018, with the mist hanging in the woods around the site and the outdoor winter wonderland Christmas lights outside, the sense of seclusion was palpable.

The ‘castle’ building itself has some history, built as it was by the local O’Donnell family in the 1400s, rebuilt in the 1860s, burned to the ground in the 1930s and then renovated in its current form in the mid-Noughties.

Aesthetically, the exterior has the feeling of two personalities – the restored grandeur of the castle building and the more contemporary dining/function rooms, plus courtyard and garden accommodation that sit somewhere between the two. In fact, if you approach from the ‘alternative’ rear entrance and its views of the new-build accommodation building you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d accidentally stumbled into a different hotel.

Internally, the same merging of classic and contemporary styles, plus Gaelic flourishes, is to the fore. The public spaces are a mix of high-ceilinged larger rooms and cosy nooks, while the 98 guestrooms contain bespoke furniture and commissioned artworks, with décor neutral with wood panelling and space (especially in the huge MEPA-appointed bathrooms) in abundance. All rooms have oak furniture and the majority feature dramatic four poster beds.

freestanding bath in the middle of a modern bathroom

Image credit: Lough Eske

There are actually multiple room styles on offer, each sharing the same design cues but managing to feel very distinct – the Castle Suites are all regal flourishes, bare stonework, antiques and lead-lined windows, the Courtyard Rooms are converted stables, while the Garden Suites were built in 2007 during the renovation with a more modern touch.

Spas are a given in the world of five-star and Lough Eske Castle has a well-appointed annex in its gardens dedicated to wellbeing, with a glasshouse waiting/relaxation area, indoor pool with hydrotherapy/sauna facilities and secluded treatment rooms – all flooring here is either sandstone or wood, adding to the sense of class and closeness to the natural world.

And, of course, being in Ireland the hospitality on offer in the contemporary Cedars Restaurant (clean lines, floor to ceiling windows, views of the castle grounds) and Gallery Bar (floor to ceiling drinks cabinet, leather seating, oak tables) is casually exceptional.

Main image credit: Lough Eske

Editor’s round-up of Surface Design Show 2019

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Taking place from February 5 – 7 at Business Design Centre London, the Surface Design Show gave a platform to more surface material and lighting specialists than ever before. Editor Hamish Kilburn was there and reports…

More than 5,000 architects, designers and specifiers from 47 countries descended on London earlier this month for the much anticipated Surface Design Show. Over the course of three days, the show provided a packed schedule of insightful and entertaining panel discussions, informative CPDs and talks, trend forecasts and allowed exhibitors to display new products.

Presenters included New London Architecture and RIBA who hosted the Opening Night Debate; Chris Dyson who presented the PechaKucha Evening; Hannah Malein of Colour Hive; Oliver Heath of Oliver Heath Design and Daniel Hopwood representing Design Guild Mark, all kept visitors engaged as they educated on ways of thinking about materials, current industry issues and trends.

crowd gathering around the stand

Image credit: Surface Design Show 2019

There were a number of stand-out motifs among the 150 exhibition stands that displayed a positive look at where surface design is heading. The most prominent themes were:

Acoustic walls 

The surface experts at Armourcoat were at the show unveiling its new Acoustics Plaster System, which is designed with hotels and restaurant designers in mind with the aim to optimise the acoustics of interior spaces. While many acoustic surfaces are often bulky and not stylishly flexible, The Acoustic Plaster System offers a clean and smooth mineral surface that can be applied seamlessly over large expanses such as hotel lobbies or restaurants.

Meanwhile, anne kyyro quinn, which produces bespoke three-dimensional acoustic walls coverings, supplied the backdrop for the main stage. The handmade textile wallcoverings are natural, durable, versatile and are therefore suitable for commercial as well as residential projects.

Sustainability

Ethically handmade by master craftsmen, the premium patchwork cowhide rugs from Mosaic that were displayed on the stand were fabricated with 100 per cent recycled hides. Unlike other vendors which buy in full leather hides, Mosaic only use recycled hides from off-cuts of the luxury furniture and leather goods industry. The result, aesthetically, is a completely unique and customisable rug ideal for boutique hotels seeking characterful floors.

Elsewhere, Friends of Wilson displayed its Tessellate acousitic wall panel, which is made from 100 per cent polyester fibres containing a minimum of 60 per cent post-consumer recycled material (PET bottleflake).

Taking this concept into new territory were you designers Poppy Pippin and Emma Raybould over on the Spotlight Surface Live stand. Pippin’s Moss Tiles product has been designed specifically to encourage moss growth in order to improve air quality in the urban environment by absorbing carbon dioxide. Raybould’s silicastone design, displayed at the show, is an eco-architectural alternative to quarried stone for solid surfaces, which was developed at the University of Central Lancashire.

Since 2013 the Show has hosted the Surface Design Awards, now recognised as one of the most respected events in the design calendar. The 2019 Awards received 197 entries from 22 countries,
including America, Italy, China and India.

In a ceremony held over breakfast, the beautiful new Maggie’s Centre St Barts, London was declared the Supreme Winner, capturing the hearts and minds of the stellar panel of judges from the world of architecture and design. A beacon of design in the charity sector, the building by Steven Holl Architects was shortlisted in the Public Building Exterior category, gaining acclaim from the judges, including architect Christophe Egret of Studio Egret West, who stated “You really feel that a person dealing with cancer might feel elevated in this space”.

The 2019 awards ceremony was presented by architecture and design writer Aidan Walker, who cited the specialist focus of the show as key to its success now and for the future: “Surface Design has become one of the most compelling areas of innovation and imagination in design and architecture in the last few years. Driven by technology on one hand and the imperative for sustainability on the other, the application of new techniques and materials to cladding, walls, floors and ceilings has enlivened practice in a way unimaginable 10 years ago. Surface Design Show is perfectly positioned to express, exploit and support this rich seam of imagination and creativity. I see a great future for both the show and its Awards scheme.”

Hotel Designs was a proud media partner for the event.

Main image credit: Surface Design Show 2019

SHORTLIST ANNOUNCED: Hotel Designs’ 30 under 30

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SHORTLIST ANNOUNCED: Hotel Designs’ 30 under 30

Hundreds of entries have been whittled down to just 40 talented designers and architects under 30… 

Following its search to find the industry’s next rising stars, Hotel Designs has announced the shortlist of its 2019 30 Under 30 initiative…

Nominations, which closed on February 15, came in from many leading design firms such as HBA London, The Gettys Group, WATG, Richmond International, Gensler and many more.

Further to being recognised as rising stars on the international hotel design scene, the shortlisted finalists will also be invited, courtesy of Hotel Designs, to Meet Up London to network among a sea of other leading leading names in the industry.

“Our aim for the 30 Under 30 initiative is really to bridge the age gap between designers, hoteliers, architects and key industry suppliers,” said Katy Phillips, publisher of Hotel Designs. “Our events are often attended by directors and principals of studios, but we would like to extend the invitation now to include the young talented individuals who are shaping the future of our industry.”

The shortlisted finalists are:

Adam Charlap Hyman – Charlap Hyman & Herrero

Adam  Crabtree – Chelsom

Alaa Mohamed – Pallavi Dean Interiors

Ali Bacon – The Gettys Group

Amber Peters – Bluehaus

Andre Herrero – Charlap Hyman & Herrero

Anya Gordon Clark – Dexter Moren Associates

Beatrice Fischel-Bock – Hutch

Catherine van der Heide – HASSELL

Charlotte Roe – WISH London

Daniela Anedda – M Studio London

David Jelensky – M Studio London

Gina Langridge – WATG

Gioia Corrada – M Studio London

Harry Allnatt – Richmond International

Jen Lees – HBA London

Jodie Hatton – Brintons

Jordyn Dickson – The Gettys Group

Josh Piddock – Project Orange

Karolina Samuilaite – Modus

Kate Jarrett – Scott Brownrigg

Kay Jones – Brintons

Lauren McEwen – Goddard Littlefair

Lily Kwong – Studio Lily Kwong

Lisa Liu  – WATG

Mahesh Parekh – ARA Design

Marion Pierru – Wilson Associates

Natasha Ahmed – Lulie Fisher Design Studio

Nicola Brook – Nicola Brook Design

Omar Nakkash – Nakkash Design Studio

Patrick McCrae – ARTIQ

Rasha All-Tekreeti – MMAC Design

Rebecca Quickfall – Jasper Sanders + Partners

Reem Moussalli – Dress The Space F.Z.E

Rosalynn Youdan – Jestico + Whiles

Sarah Murphy – Jestico + Whiles

Scarlett Supple – Soho House Design

Simona Miron – Gensler

Stephanie Riedl – B3 Designers

Yasmin Farahmandy – Gensler

Yosola Akinwumi – HBA London

About Meet Up London

More than 200 hospitality professionals are expected to attend Hotel Designs’ highly anticipated networking event, Meet Up London.

Following the success of previous networking events, such as The Brit list 2018 and Meet Up North, Hotel Designs’ Meet Up London will adopt the theme of 30 under 30. The leading hotel design website has asked its readers to nominate designers, architects and hoteliers of the age of 30 and under who are fast climbing the ranks to become leading practitioners.

The event, which is being styled exclusively by Minotti London, will provide a unique opportunity to network over drinks and canapés with the largest names in hospitality, interior design and architecture.

Address: 77 Margaret St, Fitzrovia, London, W1W 8SY
Time: 6pm – 9pm

For more information about becoming a Hotel Designs Meet Up sponsor, contact Zoe Guerrier on 01992 374059 or email z.guerrier@forumevents.co.uk.

To purchase your tickets to Meet Up London, click here.

Exclusive style partner: Minotti London

Exclusive headline partner: Hamilton Litestat

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SPOTLIGHT ON: March features announced

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Hotel Designs has officially dropped its March editorial features, which are Technology and Guestroom Lighting… 

Throughout March, Hotel Designs’ Spotlight On features will look at two highly topical features, namely Technology and Guestroom Lighting. These topics, which marry up nicely in many of the debates rippling through conversations in the industry, will be explored throughout the month in a series of editorials.

Technology 

Image of in-room ipad next to lighting controls

Image credit: Ecclestone Hotel London

Now that the industry seems to be doing away with gimmicky tools that serve little purpose for anyone checking in, the way has been cleared for sophisticated tech products to launch with the aim to amplify the overall guest experience. “Arguably, this topic has never been more relevant than it is today, which is why are exploring it so early on in the calendar.” commented editor Hamish Kilburn.

Guestroom Lighting

chandelier in a modern guestrooms

Image credit: Chelsom Lighting

Back by popular demand, Hotel Designs will continue March by shining the spotlight on lighting in the guestroom. “Thanks to certain advancements in lighting technology, we predict that guestroom lighting in 2019 will see some serious innovation,” Kilburn commented. “At the heart of this evolution, LED is still king!”

If you wish to find out more, or know of a product that we should be talking about, please contact Zoe Guerrier on 01992 374059 or z.guerrier@forumevents.co.uk

Main image credit: Moritz Waldemeyer

Miraval Group unveils second hotel in Texas

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Miraval opens its second wellness destination in Texas Hill Country…

Hyatt brings its nationally acclaimed Miraval spa and wellness brand to Austin, Texas with the opening of Miraval Austin.

Set on 220 acres of picturesque land overlooking Lake Travis, Miraval Austin is the brand’s second wellness resort to open outside of its flagship property in Tucson, Arizona.

“We are incredibly proud to open Miraval Austin as we embark on an exciting period of expansion at Miraval,” said Marc W. Ellin, global head of Miraval Group. “For more than 20 years, Miraval has been dedicated to inspiring total mind, body and spirit wellness by offering guests authentic experiences rooted in mindfulness.  As we open Miraval Austin, we look forward to welcoming Miraval’s loyal guests, as well new audiences to experience the fulfillment, pleasure and growth that come with a Miraval experience.”

Image credit: Miraval Austin/Hyatt Hotels

Miraval Austin’s 117 guestrooms and suites designed by award-winning firm Hart Howerton are relaxing havens built in harmony with nature. Using a soft neutral color palate, guestrooms combine bespoke furniture, specially-selected fabrics and local, hand-crafted accessories and art to create a restorative atmosphere. In keeping with the Miraval brand’s ethos, the rooms have been designed to enhance guests’ sleep experience with Miraval bedding, black out shades and sleep-enhancing amenities, including Miraval’s signature cell phone sleeping bag.

Image credit: Miraval Austin/Hyatt Hotels

Conceptualised by renowned designer Clodagh, the Life in Balance Spa at Miraval Austin draws inspiration from the surrounding Balcones Canyonlands Preserve to create a serene environment that promotes relaxation, balance and a sense of wellbeing. The 20,000 square foot Life in Balance Spa boasts 30 treatment rooms, a spa pool, relaxation rooms, salon, sauna, steam room and spa retail boutique.

Developed at Miraval Arizona over 20 years ago, the brand’s famed equine programming will also be central to the Miraval Austin experience. The Cypress Creek Ranch at Miraval Austin offers an expertly developed curriculum that expands upon Miraval Arizona’s original programming with new workshops.

Main image credit: Miraval Austin/Hyatt Hotels

Mr. C Hotels to unveil first property in Q2 2019

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The new 100-key luxury property, which will be designed in conjunction with architecture firm Arquitectonica and Brit List winner Martin Brudnizki Design Studio, will open in Miami this spring…

The highly anticipated Mr. C Coconut Grove, the first Mr. C Hotel to debut in Florida from the fourth-generation hospitality leaders, brothers Ignazio and Maggio Cipriani, has announced that the property will open in spring 2019.

“It is with great pleasure that we are able to unveil Mr. C Coconut Grove to the community this spring,” said Ignazio Cipriani, Founder/President of Mr. C Hotels at the announcement. ” Our partners and associates have enhanced our vision and helped to bring this exciting project to life in such an iconic neighborhood as Miami’s Coconut Grove.”

Modern guestrom with palette of light blue and light oak

Image credit: Mr. C Hotels

Mr. C Coconut Grove is situated in the heart of one of Miami’s most notable neighborhoods and is set to provide guests with unmatched views of Biscayne Bay and the Coconut Grove skyline.

From its interior, the hotel draws inspiration from Italy’s iconic coastal style and hints at the aesthetic elements of a classic yacht. Interior design includes high gloss timber paneling, leather-upholstered blue and caramel headboards, nautical style dressers, playful and comfortable sofas and armchairs in a range of soft and airy blue, and white and pink fabrics throughout the space. Acclaimed architecture and design firm Arquitectonica, in conjunction with the Martin Brudnizki Design Studio, combined the stylish European glamour and nautical aesthetic Mr. C Hotels are best known for with the tropical surroundings of South Florida.

In addition to its 100 guestrooms and suites with private outdoor terraces, Mr. C Coconut Grove also features the Bellini Restaurant and Bar, on the hotel’s top floor. The restaurant boasts a refreshing new Italian dining concept inspired by Ignazio and Maggio Cipriani’s travels throughout Italy, and offers indoor and outdoor seating that exudes the intimate old-world atmosphere of coastal Italy while embracing a sleek and soothing Miami modern style.

Rooftop pool render

Image credit: Mr. C Hotels

For corporate meetings and social events, Mr. C Coconut Grove offers guests a top floor ballroom with panoramic views of the Biscayne Bay. The space can accommodate a seated dinner for approximately 150 guests and cocktail reception for 300 guests, with an additional pre-function space. A covered event space is also available in the hotel’s ground floor for up to 720 guests.

Other statement features include a rooftop pool and pool deck with private cabanas and a pool bar, state-of-the-art gym equipment with personal trainer and yoga classes available upon request, a Lobby Lounge with indoor and outdoor garden seating, and a private spa suite with a relaxation area, sauna and treatment room which can be reserved through the concierge team.

Main image credit: Mr. C Hotels

Four Seasons Hotel Montreal incoming this spring

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Architects Lemay and Sid Lee Architecture and interior design firms Gilles & Boissier and Atelier Zébulon Perron will complete Four Seasons Hotel Montreal this spring…

Heralding the city’s world renowned festival season and the biggest sporting event in Canada, the all-new Four Seasons Hotel Montreal has announced that it is confirming reservations for arrivals beginning June 1, 2019.

“We are so excited to join with our community in welcoming Formula One fans from around the world for the 2019 Montreal Grand Prix taking place June 7 to 9. The event virtually takes over the city, and we’ll be right there in the middle of it,” says Four Seasons General Manager Gonçalo Monteiro. “And that’s just the beginning of what promises to be a summer to remember in Montreal.”

Image credit: Four Seasons Hotels

The design-led hotel is the result of a collaboration between architects Lemay and Sid Lee Architecture and interior design firms Gilles & Boissier and Atelier Zébulon Perron. The 169-key luxury Four Seasons Hotel Montreal is located downtown in the city’s Golden Mile Square, connected to Holt Renfrew Ogilvy. Just ten minutes by foot from the city’s Bell Centre, the hotel is ideally located for international visitors, regional weekenders and business travellers. In addition to MARCUS restaurant and bar, the hotel will offer an intimate spa and state-of-the-art fitness centre, a skylit indoor pool and a stunning fifth floor ballroom with outdoor terrace.

The guestrooms and suites will feature avant-garde opulence complete with chaise lounges, floor-to-ceiling windows, oversized beds and boldly designed bathrooms. The pièce de résistance is the two-bedroom presidential suite, which is positioned on the top floor.

The new Four Seasons hotel is one of nine luxury statements that the hotel group plans to open this year, including hotels in Bangkok, Athens and Costa Palmas.

The hotel group currently has 111 hotels and resorts in 47 countries – including recent openings in Desroches Island, Seychelles; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; and São Paulo, Brazil.

Main image credit: Four Seasons Hotels

GROHE to shape the future of water with record number of innovations at ISH 2019

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GROHE, a Hotel Designs Recommended Supplier, will showcase a record number of innovations at ISH 2019, the world’s leading trade fair for the responsible use of water and energy in buildings…

For the first time, GROHE will position itself as a leading global brand for complete bathroom solutions, kitchen systems and intelligent water management at ISH 2019. The bathroom brand will reinforce its philosophy Water. Intelligence. Enjoyment by bringing the element of water to the forefront of its new innovations.

The event will open with a keynote speech from GROHE CEO Michael Rauterkus sharing his vision of how GROHE actively shapes the future of water; including, amongst other things, digitisation and intelligent water management.

GROHE strives to be a driving force in the sanitary industry’s digital transformation In recent years, GROHE has evolved from a premium brassware expert into a driving force of digital transformation within the sanitary industry, even offering its own Internet of Things (IoT) products. The smart water controller GROHE Sense Guard has arrived in the world of the smart home and secures the brand a place among the Top 100 Insurtechs in the Digital Insurance Agenda1. Digitisation is always impacting new areas of our lives. The change from a smart home to an intelligently connected home will be the subject of discussion at the Intelligent Living Summit, a high-profile ISH panel discussion that will take place on Wednesday 13thMarch as part of the show’s agenda of events. The Intelligent Living Summit will see GROHE partner with German companies Miele and Viessmann to discuss how your home can support your life in various and intelligent ways.

“Visitors to the GROHE booth at ISH 2019 will find inspirations to create their own personal at-home spa.”

New ceramic lines and a vast range of colours and materials The bathroom is being increasingly considered as a ‘living space’; somewhere we relax and unwind at the end of a long day. Therefore, more bespoke requirements and concepts are needed. Visitors to the GROHE booth at ISH 2019 will find inspirations to create their own personal at-home spa. These include minimalist ceramic lines that perfectly match GROHE brassware products in both form and function, as well as the GROHE Colours Collection, a range of GROHE taps and accessories in ten different colours and finishes that allow the utmost possible creative freedom for individualising the kitchen and bathroom.

Simply Universal – GROHE Rapido SmartBox Even behind the wall, GROHE can offer innovations with considerable added value to both installers and end users. The new GROHE Rapido SmartBox provides installers, architects and planners with an infinite number of solutions, using just one flush-mounted unit. It can be used universally for all of GROHE’s final assembly sets, regardless of whether that is a single-lever mixer, thermostat or SmartControl product. The GROHE Rapido SmartBox features three outlets for a wider range of shower options and a tailored showering experience. Installation is easy thanks to inlets for hot and cold water that are connected from below. It also offers subsequent adjustment options by up to six degrees, a minimum installation depth of only 75mm and other benefits that visitors can experience directly at the booth.

GROHE set to inspire visitors with a new booth concept GROHE can be found in the FORUM hall at Messe Frankfurt. Using three themed environments and putting the consumer at the centre of the experience, GROHE will present intelligent and sustainable solutions which have been integrated into a multitude of individual design options for the bathroom and the kitchen. Visitors will be able to experience GROHE products and innovations on all levels of the transparent, elliptical glass construction – live, interactively and with the help of multimedia.

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

Main image credit: GROHE

Top stories of the week: design love from Bangkok, hide and seek architecture and a new hotel chapter

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With architecture and construction firmly in the spotlight, Hotel Designs has witnessed another jam-packed week full of interesting stories that highlights our love in design and architecture. Breaking down these headlines is editor Hamish Kilburn… 

New York, New York! Is there anywhere else on the planet quite like it? In the original metropolis where possibilities soar high above the bustling streets below, the hotel scene is staggering. It’s latest luxury neighbour is situated on 701 Seventh Avenue on the corner of 47th Street, Times Square, and features 452 guestrooms. With four levels of public space, the hotel is, much like the area it surrounds has already done over many decades, evolving with the trends to cater to the modern man and woman.

Changing perceptions has been a theme that has stitched together this week’s headlines – and I have been fortunate enough to be the first to tell many of this week’s main features. From spending quality time in the company of interior designer Celia Chu as she prepares to complete Rosewood Bangkok, to continuing to follow Nicky Dobree on her quest to open her first hotel; it’s been a great week to be part of the industry. To top it off, we are hours away from closing the applications/nominations process for our 30 Under 30 initiative. As a young editor (26 years old), I am personally proud to support this scheme – to support young talent in our industry – with every fibre of my body.

Here are the top stories of the week:

1) EDITION arrives in New York’s Times Square

black armchair infront of black wallcoverings

Image credit: EDITION Hotels

“The Times Square EDITION is an entirely new lens on Times Square. From an aerie above the hubbub below, you can engage, observe or withdraw. The hotel is an oasis of sophistication brought to you through the insight of the incomparable Ian Schrager, my friend and partner. There is simply nothing like it,” said Arne Sorenson, President and CEO, Marriott International.

> Click here to read the full story

2) The interior designer behind Rosewood Bangkok

open and airy suite with peculiar angular architecture

Image credit: Rosewood Hotels

As its highly anticipated opening is imminently on the horizon, the Rosewood Bangkok’s interior design story is one yet to be unveiled in detail. We caught up with interior designer Celia Chu to establish the narrative told within the walls of the soon-to-open 159-key luxury hotel.

> Click here to read the feature

3) Six Senses joins IHG

Aerial shot of a Six Senses hotel in the ocean

Image credit: Six Senses

The milestone moment, where IHG aquired Six Senses happened on Wednesday. As part of the IHG family, Six Senses is expected to expand to 60 properties within the next 10 years. This includes incredible new Six Senses hotels and resorts from a restored 14th-century fort in Rajasthan, to villas on a private island in Cambodia, and the brand’s first hotel in North America – a contemporary duo of twisting towers designed by Bjarke Ingles near the High Line in Manhattan’s West Chelsea.

> Click here to read the full story

4) Camouflaged hotel architecture of the 21st century

glass structure in the woods

Image credit: treehotel

As we continue putting architecture and construction in the spotlight, Hotel Designs reveals some of the world’s most spectacular hidden architectural gems.

> Click here to read the full story

5) From Concept to Completion: Restoring a 19th-century house to create Plaza 18 (part two)

Moodboard of ideas

Image credit: Nicky Dobree

In part two of our From Concept to Completion series, where we are closely following the design story of Plaza 18, Dobree’s first hotel project is beginning to take form. The building’s design is approaching the final stages before the grand reveal this Easter. Meanwhile, interior designer Nicky Dobree is able to step away from the project for five minutes – something I believe the designer is not accustomed to – in order to explain more about her relationship with the soon-to-be hotel.

> Click here to read the feature

Main image credit: Rosewood Hotels

 

Kobe’s is pretty in pink

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It’s confirmed, the hottest shade of the year is officially pink!

The global authority on colour, Pantone has announced its ‘Colour of the Year’ 2019 as Living Coral, a vibrant pink alternative, while paint manufacturer, Farrow & Ball has released its must-have shades for 2019, one being the moodily-named Sulking Room Pink.

Luxury fabric specialist Kobe is focusing its attention on the wide variety of fabrics in the must-have hue.

“Pink is a great colour for brightening up a décor and Pantone’s Colour of the Year has always been an interior trend setter,” said David Harris, md at luxury fabric specialist Kobe. “Living Coral and Farrow & Ball’s Sulking Room Pink, a dusky variation of the colour, is the ideal shade for decorative accessories and soft furnishings and complements a whole host of other colours such as grey, cream and the popular ‘spiced honey’ spectrum.”

Kobe’s Shantung curtain fabric features an extensive selection of 50 shades, three of which meet the Living Coral and Sulking Room Pink criteria.

Kobe’s most established collection, Scala, boasts 205 fabric shades, including a whole section dedicated to Pantone’s colour of the year. Suitable for curtain use, Scala is a cotton, polyester and viscose mix featuring a beautiful drape, guaranteed to zest up a tired looking interior.

Suitable for upholstery and soft furnishings, Volterra is Kobe’s matte-look velvet and will add a serious sense of luxury to a drab space. With 54 shades to choose from, there are also several Living Coral variations in hues 42, 43 and 44.

The pictured sofa is upholstered in Kobe’s Real fabric.

Kobe’s UK operation is based in Crowthorne, Berkshire. The company has been supplying UK interior design and soft furnishing customers for 20 years and has a reputation for outstanding quality, innovative design and excellent customer service.

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

Main image caption: Kobe

Make hotels more instagrammable with UNILIN

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A recent British survey suggests that more than 40 per cent of millennials choose their holiday destination based on its Instragammability, so what can you do to make hotel interiors more instagrammable? UNILIN explains…

To find out, UNILIN, division panels, makers of Evola decorative panels have turned to Kel Wouters of So Buzzy, a social media marketing agency that counts Crowne Plaza Antwerp and Hotel BLOOM, among its clients.

“Instagram can give your hotel additional awareness and reach, and often just a small investment can have a major impact,” begins Wouters. “Hotels that are shared frequently are ‘top of mind’ and people will want to stay there and populate their own feed from the same place. It’s a positive circle for any hotel that can crack Instagram.”

Starting small can often reap surprising rewards. A simple yet amusing slogan on the wall of the entrance to washrooms at The Hotel’s (Brussels) restaurant reading ‘men to the left because women are always right’, became one of its most Instagrammed spots. Designers can use UNILIN Evola panels to such effect, choosing from 168 designs as the perfect backdrop to a ‘grammable’ slogan, or even creating a unique ‘selfie spot’ with custom digital print technology available on UNILIN’s HPL, melamine and edging tape.

Wouters continues: “Check what your audience is sharing and looking at on Instagram and respond to that when designing your spot. Think about light in the area and test it out beforehand. Ensure there’s an obvious link to your hotel. If guests are sharing your selfie spot but no one knows that it’s in your hotel, then it’s a wasted opportunity; share your account at the location and encourage people to use a hashtag.”

UNILIN can offer office space designers a flexible way to approach the entire fabric of their Instagram spot – walls, partitions, furniture and surface treatment – with different looks that all possess the same low-maintenance, splash-proof, scratch-resistant, fade-resistant and durable finish. perfect for giving any selfie spot a ‘loveable’ look and joining Evola in 106 matching decors, ClicWall is UNILIN’s instantly transformative wall panel system.

“Interior designers also need to look at what’s currently popular on Instagram, although they need to be careful with temporary trends. Replaceable accessories are the key. The ball chairs at Hotel BLOOM! regularly get new cushions in different colours to create a whole new vibe, and arty objects throughout the hotel are replaced at regular intervals,” concludes Wouters.

UNILIN Evola and ClicWall panels can be used as the perfect, lasting backdrop for any hotel looking to make itself more Instragammable.

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

The Sound Hotel opens to celebrate all senses in Seattle

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The Hotel Group and Hilton have announced the grand opening of The Sound Hotel Seattle Belltown, Tapestry Collection by Hilton. Woven into the fabric of Belltown, one of Seattle’s most vibrant and centrally located neighborhoods, The Sound Hotel celebrates the sights, sounds and tastes that are unique to Seattle. It occupies the first 10 floors of the 42-story Arrivé tower, one of the first mixed-use properties, featuring rental units, in the market.

“We are thrilled to see The Sound Hotel open its doors as the brand’s first hotel in the Pacific Northwest, particularly in a city like Seattle that is known for innovation, great restaurants and a thriving arts scene,” said Jenna Hackett, global head, Tapestry Collection by Hilton. “Just as Seattle is one of the fastest-growing cities in America, Tapestry Collection continues to rapidly expand as The Sound Hotel also marks the collection brand’s first of many 2019 openings.”

Design firm Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA) immersed itself into the hotel’s neighborhood, visiting local hotspots and meeting with the community, to create an authentic Belltown experience. Upon arriving at the hotel entrance, guests are immediately welcomed into an artist’s studio as stretched canvases, murals and finished concrete floors flow towards the reception desk. Guest rooms feature warm, wood-toned floors, echoing the feeling of a musician stepping onto a stage. Dark, moody bathrooms are reminiscent of backstage dressing rooms, with microphone lights, plush robes, metal accents and rich black linear tiles setting the perfect backdrop.

Modern guestroom in hotel

Image credit: Hilton Hotels Worldwide

Artistic elements are also featured on the exterior of the hotel. Watkins commissioned Seattle graffiti artist Weirdo, a.k.a. Jeff Jacobson, to paint an original mural on an exterior brick wall facing several of the guest rooms, effectively turning those rooms into some of the most desirable in the hotel. This larger-than-life piece features Jacobson’s signature vivid, post-Internet hyper-realism style and beautifully tells the story of The Sound Hotel through art.

The Sound Hotel features 142 exquisitely designed guestrooms with expansive views of the downtown Seattle skyline and Puget Sound, a ground level restaurant, Currant Bistro.

“The hotel’s design drew directly from the Belltown neighborhood’s deep roots in the arts and local music scene, mixed in with the natural beauty of the Puget Sound region,” said David Watkins, general manager, The Sound Hotel. “Warm, rich textures in our rooms offer visitors an authentic Northwest experience, while the artistic elements reflect Seattle as a bustling hive of creativity.”

Image of modern bathroom with large sliding wooden doors

Image credit: Hilton Hotels Worldwide

The building’s seventh-floor Lupine Room offers 770 square feet of divisible meeting space, ideal for groups of up to 35. Featuring plenty of natural light, it can easily transform into an event space to accommodate an intimate gathering. In addition to the Lupine Room, Sound Bite Lounge is a relaxed, post-meeting gathering spot with a seasonal outdoor sundeck offering stunning views of the Space Needle.

Main image credit: Hilton Hotels Worldwide

 

PRODUCT WATCH: Retro chic lighting from Chelsom

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Inspired by Art Deco designs, the elegant Capri table lamp by Chelsom exudes retro chic that would look at home in any interior…

Available as part of a wider collection of coordinated wall and ceiling lighting, Capri is one of the stand out ranges from Chelsom’s latest collection, Edition 26, as designed by father-and-son duo Robert and Will Chelsom.

Capri features heavily ribbed Opal glass globes secured with metal threads onto knurled decorative double-stepped caps. The table lamp has a rotary dimmer switch with integral dimmable warm white LED light sources.

Pictured here in Black Bronze, the fitting is also available in Brushed Brass in addition to a number of alternative finish options available to special order for minimum quantities.

> Click here to read Hotel Designs’ exclusive interview with Robert and Will Chelsom.

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

How hotels can utilise this year’s bathroom trends

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With the bathroom trends for 2019 well and truly forecasted, interior designer Charlie Willaims from Heritage Bathrooms explains how hotels can inject these into the modern hotel…  

Luxurious, modern bathrooms are right at the top of the wishlist for homeowners right now, with many of these individuals now increasingly expecting to see this design-led approach when they book a hotel stay.

We have taken a look at this year’s five of key trends and how you can incorporate them to ensure your bathrooms remain at the cutting edge.

Mixed metallics

Metallics have been in vogue for a number of years now, and this trend is showing no sign of slowing down. The key to making it work in 2019 will be to vary the use of metals to create a standout look that will impress your guests.

Choose a distinctive metallic bath or statement copper brassware. Also consider using accent textures and shade with a traditional chrome mirror frame like Heritage’s arched mirror for a classic finish.

Biophilia

Pink bath in front of a floral wallpaper

Image credit: Heritage Bathrooms

For the uninitiated, biophilia involves bringing a little bit of the outside in – creating warm and welcoming spaces combining plants with natural woods and neutral tones.

A key way to bring this into a hotel space is to maximise natural light. Minimise blinds and curtains to allow the sunlight to pour in and then build a bit of colour on top of the neutral tones by adding an array of low-maintenance plants, or some nature inspired wallpaper.

Memphis Design

Image credit: Heritage Bathrooms

The 1980s is alive again and experiencing a bit of a renaissance thanks to the Memphis Design movement.

It doesn’t need to be difficult to incorporate this trend, which makes the most of primary colours and geometry, in a subtle way. Pair a colourful roll top tub, like the Buckingham from Heritage, with some funky towel designs for a bit of pattern and intrigue.

Colour layering

Layered tiles in the bathroom

Image credit: Heritage Bathrooms

Bringing a range of colours and shades into a bathroom space can make it feel warm and welcoming, while adding a little bit of interest and intrigue.

Make sure that you include a common thread which ties the room together if you’re going to implement this trend. A good example would be to layer a range of accessories in soft hues on top of a monochrome bathroom suite. This will also enable you to alter your colour scheme according to the different seasons.

Bold black bathrooms

Croc-scaled bath

Image credit: Heritage Bathrooms

Dark shades can help bring a spa-like quality to a bathroom, creating an indulgent, high-end guest experience.

Make a statement by including a dark freestanding bath, such as the hand finished Alderley Croc Skin Effect from Heritage Bathrooms. Pair it with patterned tiles or wallpaper for an elegant finish.

Main image credit: Heritage Bathrooms

Final call for entries: Shaw Contract Design Awards 2019

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The deadline for entries is March 1, 2019…

A global programme, the Shaw Contract Design Awards recognise the creative vision of the architects and designers who inspire new ways of living, working, learning and healing. The Awards place a spotlight on a diverse range of talents from across the globe, celebrating design in action and purposefully rewarding the innovative and truly inspiring work being done by the architecture and design community.

The Shaw Contract Design Awards programme is open to all professional interior design firms, architecture firms and end users. Projects must feature a Shaw Contract product as the predominant flooring in the space and must have been completed between February 2017 and February 2019. There is no cost to enter you just need to submit your design story by March 1, 2019.

Supporting a cause

In its 14 years, the Shaw Contract Design Awards Programme has given nearly $200,000 to non-profit and charitable organisations around the world. Each year, the final winners and People’s Choice Award winner select a charity of their choice to donate $2000 USD as part of their prize winnings. This allows designers the opportunity to make an impact beyond the built environment.

Fokkema & Partners Architecten Bv, the Netherlands-based firm whose work drew the judges’ attention for a win in the Small Office category, chose a cause that was near and dear to their firm. A former colleague oversees the construction of schools in Tanzania, and the firm chose to support her work with their winnings.

RossTarrant Architects, the People’s Choice Award winner, designed Western Kentucky University, USA and chose to give back to the Institution’s science and experimentation programmes.

For a chance to win the 2019 Design Awards and support the cause that matters most to your practice or company, please enter here.

EDITION arrives in New York’s Times Square

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The Times Square EDITION is the brand’s second hotel to open in New York…

There simply has never been anything like it before in New York City’s famed cultural and entertainment mecca. Ian Schrager, in partnership with Marriott International, has introduced the sophisticated The EDITION Times Square, which will shelter the first Michelin-starred chef ever to grace the neighborhood, along with the creation of a new form of Cabaret theatre and a complete reinvention of billboard art.

Throughout the decades, Times Square has seen myriad changes and has taken on many iterations. By World War I, it was the center of culture, nightlife and entertainment. By the 40’s and 50’s, the Latin Quarter Nightclub presented festive floor shows that featured chorus girls and can-can dancers, Frank Sinatra, Frankie Laine and the Andrew Sisters. There was Tin Pan Alley, the Copacabana and the Theater District. There was Roseland, Birdland, Ella Fitzgerald, marathon dancing, hot jazz, Doo-Wop and the pop rock of the Brill building as well as the invention of the now gossip columns. It was a democratic “meeting place” and nothing exemplified the disorder of the city or the dichotomy of high and low art than Times Square. Sadly, however, the Great Depression and World War II took its toll on the area and Times Square began its decline. From the 60’s onward, the area was riddled with adult entertainment, prostitution, drugs, and crime. It wasn’t until the mid-80’s when the Marriott Marquis opened its doors and Disney debuted The Lion King at The New Amsterdam Theatre that the clean-up began with the redevelopment of new theaters, retail, hotels and eateries.

Despite Times Square’s notorious reputation, it has managed to maintain itself as a symbolic global, geographic and cultural icon. It had long been home to media giants as well as the center for theater, music, culture and entertainment. This adventurous mold-breaking, however, has disappeared. Today, Times Square and its overindulgent commercialisation that lacks the substance and sex-appeal that once distinguished its streets. It is hungry for a Renaissance and The Times Square EDITION will usher in a new era. The hotel and all of its unique offerings seek to preserve the essence of the area during its Golden Age when it was the microcosm of the best New York City had to offer.

“The Golden Age of Times Square elicited the feeling that anything was possible. New York was the City of Dreams, Times Square at its heart, where everyone came together with a common purpose,” said Schrager. “The Times Square EDITION is the embodiment of this storied past, resurrected for the present, providing hope for the future of this most beloved neighborhood.”

black armchair infront of black wallcoverings

Image credit: EDITION Hotels

From the moment you enter the hotel’s doors on 20 Times Square at West 47th Street, guests are transported to another world—a decompression zone. A long ivory hall with venetian plastered walls and ceiling and a floating custom green mirrored stainless sphere inspired by Anish Kapoor and the colors of Jeff Koons await you. Once gusts arrive at the Lobby and Lobby Bar, a series of black and white spaces, which is worlds away from technicolour scenes located on the streets. Each of these two extremes serves the other yet each stands on its own. But together, something new, original, and even stronger is created. Indeed, with this alchemic symbiosis, a new reality and a virtual fourth dimension is created. As guests move in and out continuously, the space becomes boundaryless. This clash of worlds, this surreal sense of space and time is best experienced on the outdoor terraces, appropriately named the Bladerunner Terraces, that frame the various public space floors. On the terrace off the Lobby Bar, guests can choose to be in your own private oasis escaping in a cocoon-like area or face the brilliance of flashing light and color of Times Square for the best light show in the world.

“The hotel is an oasis of sophistication brought to you through the insight of the incomparable Ian Schrager, my friend and partner.” – Arne Sorenson, President and CEO, Marriott International.

Off the Terrace Restaurant, a similar feeling awaits on expansive terraces that were inspired by the L’Orangerie at Jardin des Tuileries in Paris. The outdoor space in totality with thousands of plants, trees and ivy is perhaps the biggest indoor landscaping effort in the country was designed by Madison Cox and is literally, multi-level gardens in the sky. The public space interiors with their rich woods, lush velvets, waxed leathers, polished marbles and smooth metals are combined to create a chic, simple, hip, serene and luxurious setting, an antidote to the hectic life just outside the hotel’s doors.

“The Times Square EDITION is an entirely new lens on Times Square. From an aerie above the hubbub below, you can engage, observe or withdraw. The hotel is an oasis of sophistication brought to you through the insight of the incomparable Ian Schrager, my friend and partner. There is simply nothing like it.” Arne Sorenson, President and CEO, Marriott International.

The first Michelin-starred chef ever in Times Square, John Fraser, is spearheading the food and beverage at the hotel to create a cacophony of dining experiences. The fine dining restaurant named 701 West is a gastronomic gem in a jewel box-like setting that is an explosion of color.

The Terrace Restaurant and Outdoor Gardens is an original take on a four meal, 18 hour-a-day restaurant inspired by traditional French brasseries and American chophouses but taken in a completely new direction by Chef Fraser.

The entrance to the Terrace restaurant will host the debut exhibit of specially curated candid portrayals of “the real New York City”, the one not seen by visitors, capturing energetic, gritty and poetic street and neighborhood scenes by renowned photographers Helen Levitt, Elliott Erwitt, Bruce Davidson, Ruth Orkin, Arthur Leipzig and Cornell Capa to name a few. The following exhibit will shift to more current street scenes illustrating the culture and diversity that pervades the city today. The space will continue to house rotating photography and art exhibits by various well-known photographers and artists.

The Paradise Club is an inventive, chaotic, high production spectacle perfectly suited for Times Square. The brainchild of Anya Sapozhnikova, Justin Conte, Matthew Dailey and Kae Burke of House of Yes in Bushwick, Brooklyn, this edgy and provocative modern-day Cabaret manifests the disorder of the City and adds a whole new dimension to the hotel and to Times Square.

The shows will be part theatre, part performance art with talent across many disciplines including dance, voice, aerial acrobatics, choreography, costume design and magic. There will be a regular ongoing performance based on William Blake’s The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. With no formulas, rules or any specific structure, but not for shock value, each performance at Paradise Club will be different from the previous one and different from the next. For a new twist on dining and entertainment, the menu will be original and creative from hot dogs to caviar and everything in between.

“Paradise Club is a place of aspiration… Invention and reinvention… A refuge to enjoy life and forget life and the perfect place to escape into fantasy,” said Schrager.

This one-of-a-kind cultural entertainment space also features the most sensational, immersive, colorful and kinetic lighting effects designed by Tony and Academy Award-winning Fisher Marantz of Studio 54 fame and inspired by a Lenny Kravitz video, as well as bespoke hand painted murals inspired by Bosch and Dali–a modern successor to the world famous Maxfield Parrish’s King Cole mural on Fifth Avenue. Perhaps the most spectacular element of the space is the full-blown production studio and control center that allows for live simulcasts and broadcasts around the world, as well as locally to a “Best in Class” 17,000 sf-8K-8mm Jumbotron outside of the building and a high definition digital screen on the stage. The exterior Jumbotron will also display rotating art by current video artists, cinematographers and animators.

Main image credit: EDITION Hotels

Camouflaged hotel architecture of the 21st century

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As we continue putting architecture and construction in the spotlight, Hotel Designs reveals some of the world’s most spectacular hidden architectural gems…

Following our search to unveil impressive architectural drawings that are currently on the boards, this week Hotel Designs is investigating architecture’s largest, most impressive, magic trick; to make a building disappear.

With hotel owners and operators around the world competing with one another to open in eye-catching buildings, and sustainability more considered than ever before, here are a few examples of buildings that impressively blend into their surroundings.

1) Shipwreck Lodge, Namibia

Image of one of the lodges blending into the surroundings of sand dunes.

Image credit: Shipwreck Lodge

Crafted around the enigmatic shipwrecks that line Namibia’s Skeleton Coast, there’s nowhere on the continent – or the world – quite like Shipwreck Lodge. The raw and rugged shells of each shack is matched in the interiors with shabby blinds and rough wooden walls. Adding comfort, the soft furnishings and fur throws make the inside feel cosy – almost a home-from-home. The impossibly remote slice of African wilderness, where towering dunes and wind-swept plains roll as far as the eye can see, is buffeted by the icy Atlantic seas.

> Read more by clicking here

2) Whitepod, Switzerland

Image of the pods on the slopes

Image credit: Whitepod

Nestled in the Swiss Alps, the eco pods at Whitepod, complete with electricity, heating supplied by a pellet stove and fully fitted bathrooms, are quite literally on the side of a mountain. Each pod has been designed to be ecologically friendly.

> Read more by clicking here

3) Keemala Phuket, Thailand

Villa that is hidden in the woodland

Image caption: Tree Pool House at Keemala Phuket in Thailand

Categorised into four different tribes, the rooms and interiors at Keemala Phuket have been evenly designed to offer comfort and reflect Phuket’s rural beginnings.

Clay Pool Cottage – it is believed that people of this tribe excel in agriculture and have a strong bond to earth. The furniture is made from carved wood and clever patterns are imprinted to tell the tale of the tribe’s art and culture.

Tree Pool House – Living life at high levels, the people of this tribe can be found in trees. The interiors, therefore, include hanging furniture with embedded patterns throughout.

Tent Pool Villa – Seeking adventure through the art of hunting has been inspired in the design of this style of property. This reflects the tribe that is a born wanderer. The fabrics reveal ease of mobility while dark leather represents stalking instincts.

> Read more by clicking here

4) ÖÖD house – Rood Wood of Mayfield 

Image credit: Round Wood of Mayfield

The ÖÖD house – a stunning, 18 sq/m mini home/hotel facility clad in mirrored glass which blends to its natural surroundings – has been added to Round Wood of Mayfield’s collection of high end outdoor structures.

Originally envisaged as a “pop up” hotel guest room or Airbnb pad by Estonian company ÖÖD, it is now exclusively distributed and assembled by the timber and landscape specialists across the UK.

The stand-alone living space for both commercial and domestic clients, which also make ideal office spaces, guest accommodation or even yoga studios, blends beautifully into any setting courtesy of the striking insulated glazing that covers the front and sides.

> Read more by clicking here

5) Matetsi Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Interior Designer Kerry van Leenhoff fused together design and nature effortlessly. The Zimbabwean created spaces that encompassed the concept of ‘life on the river’ using locally sourced material throughout. The resort, which Hotel Designs reviewed in October of last year, sits alone on a 123,000-acre plot of game reserve.

The future of Matetsi is bright: “We are working on a few things at the moment, which are really exciting projects,” van Leenhoff told Hotel Designs. “The design direction and our aim is to strike the balance between feeling isolated and feeling safe.” The new plans will further challenge conventional luxury lodges in Africa with a real focus on opening up the guests to undisturbed nature.

Read more by clicking here

6) treehotel, Sweeden

a camouflaged mirrored cube in the trees

Image credit: treehotel

The Mirrorcube was launched as an “exciting hide-out among the trees, camouflaged by mirrored walls that reflect their surroundings.” Its base consists of an aluminum frame around the tree trunk and the walls are covered with reflective glass.

The interior is designed from plywood with a birch surface. The total of six windows provide a stunning panoramic view. A 12-meter-long bridge leads up to the tree room.

> Read more by clicking here

Main image credit: treehotel

Hyatt Regency Valencia completes multi-million dollar renovation

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The 244-key hotel’s renovation in Valencia California has been designed for the modern traveller in mind… 

Hyatt Regency Valencia and Dimension Development has announced the completion of an expansive renovation of Hyatt Regency Valencia, and the introduction of Greater Pacific, a destination dining experience. Focusing on providing guests with a modern and effortless travel experience, the project enhanced all 244 guest rooms and suites, the lobby, public spaces, and all indoor and outdoor meeting spaces.

The new welcoming lobby opens to the sights and scents of Greater Pacific’s bar. Guestrooms feature modern design elements with a focus on premium style and comfort. Guests will enjoy large work desks, ergonomic chairs, and spacious bathrooms with upscale amenities and glass enclosed showers. Select rooms feature balconies, or views overlooking the pool, golf course or mountains.

The hotel’s 16,000 square feet of meeting space has been updated with energy-efficient lighting and each indoor ballroom features 20 foot ceilings adorned with grand chandeliers. Newly redesigned outdoor meeting space includes lush flower gardens, vine-covered terraces and manicured greens.

The hotel’s new signature restaurant, Greater Pacific, features contemporary décor with Asian and Californian influences and brings fresh fare to the community well beyond the traditional restaurants in the area. Greater Pacific’s menu illuminates a rich variety of approachable flavors and boldly crafted recipes of this country’s most fruitful state.

Main image credit: Hyatt Regency

Melia Hotels International opens first property in Prague

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Meliá Hotels International, Spain’s largest hotel brand, unveils INNSiDE Prague Old Town, its latest property and first hotel in the Czech capital…

Designed by Spanish architect Meritxell Cuartero, INNSiDE Prague Old Town will open in March as the first Meliá Hotels International’s hotel in the Czech capital.

The hotel marks a new era for the INNSiDE by Meliá portfolio, fitting perfectly into the brand’s evolution of design-led lifestyle and resort hotels, to give guests more freedom to relax and explore, whether they are travelling for work or leisure.

Living/lounge area with low seating and contemporary wooden bookshelf

Image credit: INNSiDE by Meliá

With a key focus on sustainability, INNSIDE Prague Old Town Hotel will provide 90 modern guestrooms, all featuring the attributes of the INNSiDE by Meliá brand. This includes in-room amenities, such as bathrobes, slippers and flip flops, a luxurious coffee machine, complimentary minibar, with fresh juices and local beer and Smeg fridges packed full of healthy treats, drinks and snacks. Superior+ rooms will also have high-end sound systems, complimentary streaming services and complimentary bike rental to encourage guests to explore the local area.

“INNSiDE Prague Old Town will be one of the first hotels to offer all of the new attributes and sustainable features of this stunning and fast-growing brand, which adds up to the attractiveness of this amazing city,” said Gabriel Escarrer, Executive Vice President and CEO of Meliá Hotels International.” As the leading leisure hotel Group worldwide, our brands are also extremely successful in an increasingly leisure-inspired urban market, where the city of Prague stands out.”

With health and wellness a key focus point for the brand, INNSiDE Prague Old Town will offer a gym with state-of-the-art fitness suites and the latest digital fitness software. The hotel will have an open lobby space for meetings, whether social or business, as well as boasting creative meeting room spaces including a cinema, wellness studio and recording studio, which can be hired for events and functions.

The INNSiDE by Meliá brand portfolio already has 38 hotels in 20 countries, 20 in operation and 18 in the pipeline.

Main image credit: INNSiDE by Meliá

Maggie’s St Barts awarded Supreme Winner at Surface Design Awards 2019

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13 awards were presented to the winners of Surface Design Awards 2019… 

The winners of the 2019 Surface Design Awards have been announced, hailing the best and most impressive use of materials in, and on, architectural projects from around the globe.

The beautiful new Maggie’s Centre Barts, London has been declared the Supreme Winner, capturing the judge’s hearts and minds. A beacon of design in the charity sector, the building by Steven Holl Architects’ was shortlisted in the Public Building Exterior category, gaining acclaim from the judges, including Christophe Egret, who stated “You really feel that a person dealing with cancer might feel elevated in this space.”

Across 13 categories entrants to the Awards comprised a who’s-who in architecture and design from around the world. Zaha Hadid Architects, Steven Holl Architects, Studio Egret West and Chris Dyson Architects from the UK, Rockwell Group from the USA, and Kengo Kuma & Associates from Japan were among the shortlist.

Contemporary view of the lobby

Image credit: Zaha Hadid Architects

The Surface Design Awards, announced at the annual Surface Design Show, recognise and celebrate the best use of innovative surface materials in architecture and design internationally.

Launched five years ago, the Awards have grown year-on-year to become one of the most respected accolades in the design awards realm. The 2019 shortlist consisted of an impressive 43 projects from 9 countries, each entry an exemplary example of creative and innovative use of materials and lighting in both interior and exterior schemes. Some projects won nominations across several categories, resulting in 48 finalists.

The 2019 judging panel was co-chaired by Christophe Egret, Founding Partner at Studio Egret West, and Paul Priestman, Chairman at PriestmanGoode. The full panel comprised Cany Ash, Partner at Ash Sakula Architects; James Soane, Director at Project Orange architecture & interior design; Jeremy Offer, Chief Creative Officer at future-focused vehicle designers Arrival; Katie Greenyer, Creative Talent & Network Director at Pentland Group; Paul Edwards, Head of Creative Design at Airbus and Roz Barr, Director of Roz Barr Architects.

The Surface Design Awards 2019 winners in full:

Award: Retail Interior
Project: Aesop flagship store
Designer: Snohetta

Award: Retail Exterior
Project: Lava Stone Shopfront
Designer: STAC Architecture

Award: Public Building Interior
Project: Writ in Water
Studio Octopi with Mark Wallinger

Award: Public Building Exterior
Project: Maggie’s Centre St Barts
Studio: Steven Holl Architects

Award: Commercial Interior
Project: The Veil
Studio: Giles Miller Studio & Orms

Award: Commercial Exterior
Project: Morpheus Hotel
Studio: Zaha Hadid Architects/ Isometrix Lighting Design

Award: Temporary Structure
Project: TED Theatre
Rockwell Group

Award: Sustainable Interior
Project: SGS Berkeley Green
Studio: Hewitt Studios

Award: Sustainable Exterior
Project: Cultural Village
Studio: Kengo Kuma & Associates

Award: Light & Surface Interior
Project: Gymbox Mopheus Hotel Atrium
Studio: Zaha Hadid Archtiects/ Lightivity Lighting Design/ Isometrix Lighting Design

Award: Light & Surface Exterior
Project: Black Prince Road Story Wall
Studio: Michael Grubb Studio/ AF Lighting

Award: Housing Interior
Project: Powis Cloud
Studio: Lily Jencks Studio

Award: Housing Exterior
Project: Fajal House
Studio: Mole Architects

Main image credit: Surface Design Show Awards/Maggie’s Centre St Barts/Steven Holl Architects

W Hotels arrives on The Palm, Dubai

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The 350-key W Dubai – The Palm opens, complete with disruptive interiors, to design its own narrative and lead the ever-changing hospitality scene in the Middle East forward… 

“The desert just got hotter,” is how W Hotels Worldwide, part of Marriott International Inc., announced the opening of W Dubai – The Palm, located on the Palm Jumeirah, the largest man-made island in the world and one of Dubai’s most iconic attractions.

With its electrifying style, evocative design and eclectic destination restaurants, W Dubai – The Palm is the newest W Escape, the W brand’s playful spin on the traditional resort experience, is set to add a new beat to the already dynamic and pulsating city.

Guestroom overlooking Dubai

Image credit: W Hotels Worldwide

“Much like W has redefined modern luxury, Dubai is a city that is firmly in charge of writing its own narrative, fearlessly embracing the future through design, technology and global culture,” said Anthony Ingham, Global Brand Leader, W Hotels Worldwide. “The energy and marvel of this incredible city make it the perfect destination for a W Escape – our unique take on a resort holiday – where the bold style, iconic service and signature scene of W come to play.”

“It begins with the hotel’s iconic “W” sign patterned to resemble an evaporated desert river bed.”

The dynamic design of W Dubai – The Palm celebrates the evolution of one of the most dynamic cities in the world, seamlessly juxtaposing the organic, natural curves of sand dunes and coastline with the marvel of the geometric lines of the city’s skyscrapers. It begins with the hotel’s iconic “W” sign patterned to resemble an evaporated desert river bed and the WHEELS (valet) area reminiscent of a falage, a cavernous riverbed covered by palm fronds. Leading guests into the hotel is a stunning display of Orsoni glass tiles in colors inspired by overgrown foliage which reflect the golden sun on the horizon. A head-raising, five-story atrium envelopes the Welcome Desk, a nod to desert fortresses and citadels of long ago. Golden trusses comprised of framed boxes sparkle throughout the space, representing different stages of modern construction in Dubai, a common sight of the ever-changing cityscape, and sit upon carpets that depict the island’s surrounding waters reflecting both construction and clouds. Completing the dramatic entrance is “The Soundwave” – a 6.5 ton, 30m long visual vector that represents a W sound wave. With 640 glass pieces, the towering fixture puts on a show of its own, illuminating in alternating intensities and colors to reflect the beats of the DJ in the neighboring W Lounge.

View of the pool and exterior of the building in Dubai

W Hotels Worldwide

The W Lounge (lobby) is a stage to see and be seen and celebrates the city’s well-known love of opulence with several geometric fixtures that mimic the raw, natural form of gold. An artistic interpretation of a traditional fire pit sits in the center of the W Lounge, signifying the bonfires that Bedouin tribes would gather around during their desert travels years ago. Connecting the W Lounge to the nearby VIP Lounge is a 13.5-meter sofa in muted earth tones, representing a desert mountain range – the skyscrapers of the past.

Vibrant bathrooms at W Dubai - The Palm

Image caption: Vibrant bathrooms at W Dubai – The Palm

All 350 guestrooms and suites offer uninterrupted views and dreamy amenities. Curved walls are intricately tiled to glisten like the lights and colors of the sea at various times of the day, bringing the shoreline into each room. Modern graffiti adorns the walls of every room, featuring lyrics in Arabic from an iconic song by Lebanese singer, Fairouz.

Arial perspective of a render of the W Dubai - The Palm site

Image cation: Aerial perspective of a render of the W Dubai – The Palm site

The hotel features a multiple of pools that sit in a wave-like pattern in the center of the Escape to form the W brand’s iconic WET® Deck experience, beach-facing, with views of the Dubai skyline. The W brand’s signature AWAY® Spa invites guests to ‘Stroll in and Strut out’ offering ten treatment rooms, a steam room, sauna, experiential showers, a hammam and a couples’ suite. Guests are treated to a design inspired by the underwater perspective of a pearl diver, where iridescent shells reflect the sunlight that peeks through the ocean above. Lastly, guests can sweat it out at FIT (gym) which boasts state-of-the-art equipment overlooking the WET Deck, beach and skyline views, featuring abstract art inspired by the graceful forms of both jellyfish and the parachutes of adventure-seeking skydivers.

“As our first W Escape in the region, W Dubai – The Palm combines the city’s unique allure with the brand’s bold design and dynamic lifestyle and gives it a locally relevant twist.”

W Dubai – The Palm is set to infuse even more decadence into Dubai’s booming, multicultural culinary landscape with six beverage and food destinations. Translated as “I will be right back,” Torno Sobito is the first restaurant outside of Italy by global culinary genius, Chef Massimo Bottura – whose Osteria Francescana has been feted as the “World’s Best Restaurant.” The dishes and design of Torno Subito lean in to Dubai’s reputation for all things playful. Guests dig into Massimo’s favorite bites inside converted rescue boats and pedalos (paddle boats) and can choose a flavor from the roving gelato cart. Massimo, like W, has an eye for irreverence, which is evident in the options for decadent pasta bowls ordered by size: medium and large. Guests dine in a 60’s-esque wonderland, decked with woven green chairs, life sized beachfront imagery, bold metallic accents adorning the ceilings and walls, and lighting reminiscent of dressing rooms and marquees from the golden age of Hollywood.

Torno Subito at W Dubai - The Palm

Image caption: Torno Subito at W Dubai – The Palm

“We are excited to bring the W brand to Palm Jumeirah with the highly anticipated opening of W Dubai – The Palm,” said Alex Kyriakidis, President and Managing Director, Middle East and Africa, Marriott International. “As our first W Escape in the region, W Dubai – The Palm combines the city’s unique allure with the brand’s bold design and dynamic lifestyle and gives it a locally relevant twist. With game-changing style, amplified entertainment and innovative culinary offerings, this W Escape will inject a fresh vibe into the local hospitality scene and offer the most sought-after luxury getaway for locals as well as global jet-setters.”

SoBe (short for South Beach) is an adults-only playground inspired by the eclectic and vibrant spirit of Miami. This is the only rooftop bar in Dubai where guests can watch the sun sink into the Arabian Sea with 360-degree views to watch as the Dubai skyline lights up each night. Serving up eclectic live DJ performances, imaginative cocktails, and even tattoo artists, there will be nothing else like it in the city.

LIV offers guests greener, lighter, fresher and brighter options for breakfast, lunch and dinner and was designed using only upcycled materials, meaning no new materials were created to build the venue. The restaurant is sprinkled with artwork inspired by the patterns left on beaches by sand bubbler crabs, the official mascot of W Dubai – The Palm.

W Dubai – The Palm adopts a bold approach to take events from ordinary to extraordinary. Featuring more than 2,000 square meters of event space, W Dubai sets the stage for any elaborate occasion. The sprawling 1,215-square-meter Great Room boasts an extraordinary oval shape, sensually designed with rotating walls letting in (or blocking out) the dazzling Arabian sun. Custom lighting features allows W Dubai to personalize each event, lighting up the scene with a myriad of colors. The Green Room serves as a holding area for events and weddings and features light pendants reminiscent of wedding bands and carpeting adorned in henna-like patterns.

Editor’s round-up of MAISON&OBJET Paris and Deco Off 2019

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With the aim to unearth new talent among the sea of exhibitors, as well as identifying emerging trends in all markets, editor Hamish Kilburn reviews MAISON&OBJET Paris 2019…

The streets of Paris at any time of the year ooze chic style, sophistication and a certain ‘je-ne sais quoi’. During January, though, it is a bustling haven for designers seeking inspiration on emerging trends, new pieces and exhaustive conversations. Between both Deco Off, which in my eyes is Paris’ answer to Clerkenwell Design Week, and MAISON&OBJET, an ocean of exciting products displayed from a plethora of exhibitors, Paris in January is quite simply unlike anywhere else on the design globe.

Despite the social unrest in France recently, more than 84,000 visitors from 160 countries dodged yellow vests when descending on to the City of Light for the 21st edition of MAISON&OBJET Paris.

“2,910 exhibitors in total where represented at the show, 603 of which were new exhibiting brands.”

With each MAISON&OBJET fair traditionally exploring a key trend, this year’s exhibition pinned the Excuse My French! concept to the walls in order to challenge designers to highlight the Parisian influence, which is once again being felt across the world. The immersive experience offered in the Trend Forum set the scene for the unmistakably French art of cultivating paradoxes and twisting classics. It confirmed the creative excitement generated by French-made brands and a whole new generation of creators.

Stand at the show

Image credit: MAISON&OBJET

2,910 exhibitors in total where represented at the show, 603 of which were new exhibiting brands. Although it was impossible to have visited every stand, it was clear that on the surface there were common themes on what was expected to be popular in 2019. Nonetheless, each supplier pushed its limits to unveil to the world what was new in 2019. Above anything, it’s inspiring how ‘trend forecasts’ have been read but not necessarily adhered to. Here are a snippet of our highlights.

Let there be light

Combining functionality with decorative excellent, there were a number of lighting brands at the show that exhibited a range of innovative designs. Design By Us was among the leading exhibitors with its New Ocean Wave Optic Wall Lamp that provided a spectacular lighting installation, which glowed unapologetically outside its perimeters.

Door to the right and the Design By Us light to the left

Image credit: Design By Us

Elsewhere in the show, attendees were drawn the elegant stand of Glammfire. Its Thales pieces where centre stage of the stand, creating a dramatic ambiance. Whatsmore, the company also displayed the result of an interesting and colourful collaboration with artist Luio Onassis. With a sculptural design and simply charismatic, Thales is the world’s first suspended fireplace with a bioethanol automatic burner, designed from the drawing of a circle, is a versatile and adjustable piece that reveals the beauty of the integral view of the flame.

Husband and wife duo Verglass Luminaires exhibited bespoke lighting products such as Azur, Pop, Lotus and Cal. Established is 2007 by Scottish-born Julie Johnson and Eric Lemarie, there was a sense of personality on the stand.

Light in the middle of a kitchen

Image caption: POP by Verglass

Portugese-based Villa Lumi impressed attendees at the show with its Pendent that stood out not as lighting, but more as a piece of art which one can imagine would sit effortlessly on a mantlepiece, alone, in a quirky hotel lobby.

Meanwhile, Voltra Lighting, which was among the stand-out lighting companies that emerged in many of the London fairs in 2018, displayed its new generations of table-level lamps, which created a warm, intimate environment with the subtlety of candlelight – a welcome break from the harsh exhibition lighting.

Retro-fitting the future of lighting

Image caption: Delightfull’s Botti

There seems to be a influx in lighting specialists designing products that blend into their surroundings; perhaps this is the result of consumers becoming more savy around lighting and becoming more reactive when experiencing bad lighting (design suicide to many). Delightfull’s Botti sent sound waves of excitement through the hall as it was displayed on the company’s ever-colourful stand. The embodiment of the most famous wind instrument of them all, Botti mid-century table lamp was inspired by a classic trumpet. Its unique shades are handmade in brass with a gold-plated finish to resemble the instrument. The base can be produced in Nero Marquina or white marble, as well as black nickel or any other finish of your choosing. It is a tall table lamp, very hard to miss, with almost 55 pounds, making it the ideal choice for a classic living room design.

Celebrating imperfections in design

Attendees at the show questioned the definition of perfection at many areas of the show. What was concluded was that there’s a clean line between precision and perfection. While Tom Dixon’s precise craftsmanship never ceases to amaze new audiences, it was the imperfection that impressed visitors at the stand as the London-based studio unleashed a range of new collections. Swirl, one of the accessories launched at the show, is a mysterious new material that resembles 3D-marbeled paper yet has the weight of a stone. Perhaps the most interesting quality of this product is that no two pieces will ever be the same, giving each product its own personality. Displaying its qualities on apt newspaper was a touch that brought with it class, sophistication and a sense of headline-grabbing drama.

Storytelling on the walls, in the furniture and in the carpets

2018 closed with opinions being divided around which colours will dominate over the coming 12 months. While many companies amplify their answer to ‘the colours of the year’, wallcovering expert Arte decided to narrate the story of extinct animals. Partnering with Moooi, the company launched Extinct Animals, which brings the walls to life. Launched at its showroom in Saint-Germain-des-Prés during Deco Off, the showroom was a jungle of designers getting up close to animals that time had forgotten.

image of jungle wallpaper

Image credit: Arte/Moooi

Just down the road at Holland & Sherry’s showroom, the focus was on fabrics, colour and layers. Its signature weaving tradition has come to life in nine elegant handwoven designs. In addition, the showroom presented an array of unique trims that have been purposefully designed to compliment the company’s core fabric collection.

Back over at MAISON&OBJET, storytelling took many shapes and forms. From experimental lighting company Lumneo presenting neon mirror lamps to rug company Slinke displaying, as the name suggests, slinky-inspired patterns in pastel colours, each stand had its own narrative to tell. Wallpeper on the other hand took art outside the frame to be able to sustainably display in unique wallpaper.

Striking design of wallpaper on the walls

Image credit: Wallpepper

Meanwhile, using denim in a contemporary format, Japanese company Shin-Denim emerged to display a series of hard-wearing products. From a residential-styled reclined sofa to a striking wall partition, the material used in this way gave each product an usual, yet fresh, style.

Contract furniture company SCP exhibited a variety of design collaborations from the likes of Piet Hein Eek, Faudet-Harrison, Matthew Hilton, Reiko Kaneko, Phillipe Malouin, Donna Wilson and Jasper Morrison. Meanwhile, Pedrali opted for simple luxury displaying a glimpse of its SS19 collection with its latest modern colour twist on the classic Nolita range.

Green grass, yellow umbrella and chairs

Image credit: Pedrali, Nolita

Bringing the indoors outdoors

Following on from last year’s dominant trend to blur the lines between areas, many outdoor furniture companies were further muddying the waters by exhibiting indoor-looking outdoor furniture. The designs of which were determined on consumer behaviours, as Hugo de melo Lourenco from Sachi explained: “I don’t look at trends too much, because I prefer to understand behaviour and ergonomics of our products. Research has shown us that the luxury market is currently looking for outdoor furniture that is slim and minimalist.” Other companies that displayed new lines of outdoor furniture collections included Skyline Design, 10Deka, Tucci, SUNSO and Mobika Garden.

Image credit: Manta

While many exhibitors displayed sun loungers and shade options, handmade stone specialist Manta exhibited something out of the ordinary, an oversized outdoor (or indoor) marble seat as part of the company’s melting collection. The one-of-the-kind product oozed character and a high level of personality. Also adopting the same theme, Domani displayed a large selection of robust outdoor pots which stacked together to demonstrate the scale of different designs suited for a variety of spaces.

Once again, MAISON&OBJET has set the industry up for an exciting year of developing trends and themes. My time at the show would not be complete without a sneaky exclusive interview with the fair’s Designer of the Year, which this year was awarded the multi-talented Sebastian Herkner. All that is left to say is Bon Voyage, Paris, for another year – the journey into the world of 2019 interiors continues.

Main image credit: MAISON&OBJET

Kaldewei unveils new digital stand concept for ISH

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Kaldewei’s forum delivers an interactive brand experience, demonstrating its role as a digital pioneer. The leading bathroom manufacturer is exhibiting at ISH on stand D79 – Hall 3.1…

Kaldewei will be exhibiting on stand D79 – Hall 3.1 at ISH from March 11 – 15 with a completely new stand concept, demonstrating its unrivalled position as a leading bathroom manufacturer.

At its stand, divided into five themed zones, Kaldewei will be demonstrating its expertise in the area of design and functionality. The stand will be displaying its international references, flexible solutions as well as the latest trends. These will include; bathroom solutions in exclusive colours, revolutionary shower concepts and new installation and drainage solutions. Visitors will also be able to see for themselves the diverse digital services that Kaldewei has to offer. At the heart of the interactive stand, Kaldewei will be presenting a new app which will network and support trade partners better than before.

“Trade visitors will have the chance to see first-hand how Kaldewei sets industry trends.”

Kaldewei Forum: The exceptional deserves a special stage

Trade visitors will have the chance to see first-hand how Kaldewei sets industry trends with its bathroom solutions, raises standards and creates unique solutions for bathrooms of every size. The stand design – reminiscent of the iconic architecture of the Elbphilharmonie building, Hamburg – is divided into five themed zones and will deliver an interactive brand experience. At its heart, the Forum features a huge sphere which will provide visitors with a multi-sensory show. Lecterns and tiered seating in an open circle invite visitors to interact. Visitors can test the diverse digital options available, including the new app, using digital columns and tablets. Arndt Papenfuß, Director Marketing at Kaldewei, says: “The new Kaldewei Forum not only reflects our core competence of providing the highest-quality bathroom furnishings with individual, customised solutions made of superior
steel enamel, but also the structure and design elements of the new Forum highlighting our company’s strategic position, and – just like our product development does – actively placing our customers’ ideas and needs centre-stage.”

“At ISH, Kaldewei will be presenting a new app that brings all of these services together.”

Digital features for trade partners

As a digital pioneer in the bathroom industry, Kaldewei has been supporting its partners for years with a wide range of online services such as its Product Configurator, an interactive planning tool. It is also one of the very first bathroom manufacturers to provide BIM data – the new standard with regard to projection, coordination and cost control in construction. At ISH, Kaldewei will be presenting a new app that brings all of these services together. With this app, bathroom planners and on-site professional installers will be able to connect even faster with Kaldewei, giving them easier access to the premium bathroom manufacturer’s tools for planning, installing and assembling Kaldewei bathroom solutions.

Image of Kaldewei's shower tray

Image credit: Kaldewei

Global partner: Kaldewei iconic bathroom solutions

At ISH 2019, Kaldewei will be presenting its international references and flexible solutions for different markets worldwide, highlighting its expertise as a global partner for Iconic Bathroom Solutions. In addition, other walk-through areas of the Forum will present corporate themes such as sustainability – as a key element of Kaldewei’s identity – and will demonstrate the superiority of Kaldewei steel enamel.

System Expertise: Groundbreaking shower solutions

As an expert for floor-level shower surfaces, Kaldewei will also be presenting new options for customising its unique NexSys shower concept which skilfully combines the advantages of a seamless enamelled shower surface with the design of a tiled shower area with shower channel. Working closely with bathroom professionals, Kaldewei has continued to expand its trusty assembly system with new installation and drainage solutions – making the installation of floor-level showers even simpler, flatter and more flexible.

Exclusive Shades in the Bathroom: the most beautiful combination of form and colour

Kaldewei opens up a new dimension of bathroom design with the sophisticated matt shades of the Coordinated Colours Collection. Any move away from classic white is a positive step in the bathroom and a distinctive hallmark of individuality.
Kaldewei recently extended its exclusive colour world to its washbasin segment – allowing for an even more harmonious and personalised room design. Trade visitors can see for themselves how the coloured bathroom solutions – from the revolutionary NexSys shower system to the washbasin bowls from the Miena range – can be integrated elegantly into the overall design concept of modern bathrooms or, equally, be skilfully placed as visual highlights.

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.

Technology expert Jason Bradbury reviews Eccleston Square Hotel in the future

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Technology expert Jason Bradbury reviews Eccleston Square Hotel in the future

Healing heating, holographic entertainment and a toilet that tells you your food printer what snacks to make, technology expert and futurist Jason Bradbury spent a night future gazing in the technologically enhanced 19th Century luxury of Eccleston Square Hotel, London

We’re living back to front. As technology marches inexorably forward, gaining speed at an exponential rate, it seems that the simple and the authentic have more value than ever before.

The resurgence of vinyl is a great example of this, independent coffee shops and organic grocers too – and so is a certain type of boutique hotel. In order to understand what a night in the hotel room of the future might be like, it’s necessary to appreciate why many of the standout disruptors in the current market are looking backwards, hiding their high-tech flaunts and instead focussing on experiences and simply good service.

Eccleston Square Hotel in London was the setting for my experiment in hotel room time travel. It’s a fine example of how well integrated smart technology can enhance a stay. Notable in-room features include LED clear-to-opaque glass in the bathroom, gestural lighting controls, a massaging bed and an improbably positioned outside/inside courtyard. All of these elements are design decisions that will have echoes in the rooms we will choose to book in the year 2049 (although few will have the Eccleston’s claim of being mere steps away from Winston Churchill’s front door).

Image of in-room ipad next to lighting controls

Image credit: Ecclestone Hotel London

 “The hotel room of the future will still rely heavily on technology, but it will be engineered for invisibility.”

30 years from now, the Artificial Intelligence (AI) that is currently the subject of deep moral conjecture will be commonplace. All retail, education, medicine, travel and data-centric areas of our lives will be handled by our personal Block-Chain driven A.Is. Much of our entertainment will be virtual visualisations; what we now call Augmented and Virtual Reality, immersive movies and games so convincing they’ll be indistinguishable from reality. It’s logical, therefore, to assume that when the mundane in life is handled by our personal A.I assistant and our persistent screen experience digital, we’ll seek out authenticity as an escape.

The hotel room of the future will still rely heavily on technology, but it will be engineered for invisibility. The down-lighters and wall switches that are currently in hotels will be replaced by neuro and mood interpreting imaging, ambient and natural light emulation, aimed at inducing calm and/or focus. Glass wall room dividers won’t just switch to opaque, they’ll transform into shimmering living jungle walls or expansive movie screens or personalised news feeds created by holographic projection. Think Minority Report, but without the need for gloves.

Modern bathroom

Image credit: Eccleston Square Hotel, London

In order to get a handle on all this future gazing, it’s sometimes helpful to have tangible examples to hand. The recently launched Magic Leap mixed reality headset offers insight into how a futuristic hotel room could be brought or augmented with ultra-high definition virtual assets. By 2049, several exponential leaps up the curve, the headset might be unnecessary, imaging handled by a projector and a glass room divider infused with highly refractive silver particles.

That’s entertainment, but what about the health and wellness opportunities offered by the hotel room of the next decade?

“Beyond just heating, far infrared light offers all manner of health benefits including immune system support, helping to alleviate stress, psoriasis and relieving joint and muscle pain.”

Astectherm is an example of an advanced technology that predicts the kind of hybrid between practical and health orientated benefits that might find itself in the guestroom in 10 years from now. I was able to install a working sample of this thin, flexible infrared thermal heating fabric between the electrically operated curtains during my Eccleston Square Hotel stay. More usually, lengths of Astectherm would be installed in walls or under floor and ceilings. Beyond just heating, far infrared light offers all manner of health benefits including immune system support, helping to alleviate stress, psoriasis and relieving joint and muscle pain. This system is an excellent example of an invisible technology that could offer in-room, spa-like health and wellness advantages for the future hotel room user checking in.

Hyper-personalisation will drive much high-end retail and leisure experiences in the future. The 3D printers that are still mainly the preserve of industry today will perhaps print bespoke, nutritionally focused meals in the kitchens of tomorrow. In order to compete, a morning in an Eccelston Square Hotel room circa 2049 will, for example, have to offer a high-end personalised breakfast and coffee experience. To give a sense of where our future caffeine fixes might come from, I tested the Ikawa Personal Coffee roaster in my room. As well as infusing the suite with a gorgeous aroma of freshly roasted green coffee beans, the tiny app-controlled machine offers concrete insight into the quick, delicious and bespoke snacks and meals we will come to expect in the near-future. In future in-room coffee machines, the ingredients will be determined by a stool and urine analysing toilet and other health monitoring wearables. If your morning bathroom routine flags a rise in your inflammatory markers, you might find turmeric in your freshly-roasted, non-dairy latte.

Image caption: Ikawa Personal Coffee Roaster – thanks to coffee gurus @Steampunkcoffeemachine & @Anyalou and Ben from imperialteas.co.uk

While we currently have the Apple Watch, in the future we’ll see far more discrete wearables, which will offer a much deeper insight into our general wellness. Take sleep for example, a critical part of any hotel room experience. At the moment, Some hotels offer a vague ‘good night guarantee’ based on little more than firm pillows. Eccleston Square Hotel already takes its bedtime more seriously than most, but as well as a mood lighting and an electronically adjustable bed, in 10 years time its beds might map guests’ REM and movement signatures. They high-tech beds might compare them to a block-chain powered pattern from thousands of my previous nights’ sleep, cross-referenced with a range of biological and psychological markers, blood sugar readings from bathroom analysis and wearables and even neurological data. And if this is all sounding a little too Sci-Fi, I took the liberty of installing a Nokia Smart Sleep sensor in my Eccleston Square hotel bed.

“The app data showed a high ‘Sleep Quality’ score of 90 per cent, only twenty seconds of snoring and a longer period of ‘deep sleep’ than on previous nights at home testing it.”

Perhaps it was exhaustion from setting up all the gadgets- or the massage – but the app data showed a high ‘Sleep Quality’ score of 90 per cent, only twenty seconds of snoring and a longer period of ‘deep sleep’ than on previous nights at home testing it. This level of detail, while insightful today will seem laughably trivial in ten years, but again, Nokia’s gadget is a fine example of where we’re heading.

Image Caption: Nokia Sleep Sensor. 2. Bed’s Massage Remote Control

The Eccleston Square Hotel has several rooms with distinctive private outdoor spaces. It achieves this by cleverly slicing up what would be larger areas and then giving each outdoor triangle the perception of space with large mirrored walls. This is another precursor to a future trend; the use of spacial sensory imaging, both auditory and visual, to create outdoor experiences, but on a considerably smaller scale. Looking beyond 2049 and it’s not implausible to imagine something like a Star Trek holodeck that transforms a tiny 24m² courtyard into an infinite forest in which you can jog by virtue of a 360° treadmill.

Image caption: Courtyard in Eccleston Square Hotel Room showing outside mirrored wall

It’s a contradiction for sure, but technology will deliver what the hotel guest of the future will desire most, authenticity. The design ethos, eco and energy awareness, food and customer service expectations of the discerning hotel guest a decade hence will still be central to their choice. What will change is the availability of bespoke, luxury personalised services, many of which will have echoes of a bygone age, a time when the gadgets that distract us today hadn’t been invented. Of course there will be no obvious gadgets in the hotel room of the future, just ‘real’ services and experiences. And when reality can’t be delivered, we’ll be happy to accept the perception of it.

Jason Bradbury can booked for futurology talks at jla.co.uk and found on YouTube  & Instagram. Thanks also to the lovely staff at Eccleston Square Hotel. 

 Main image credit: Twitter @JasonBradbury/Eccleston Square Hotel London

Crosswater becomes headline partner for The Brit List 2019

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Following the success of last year’s event, leading bathroom manufacturer Crosswater has become the headline partner for The Brit List 2019…

The Brit List, which is Hotel Designs‘ nationwide search to find the top interior designers, hoteliers and architects, has confirmed that Crosswater, part of Bathroom Brands‘ portfolio, will be the headline partner for the 2019 event.

“Operating in the UK, with its vibrant design community is an honour,” said Mike Bone, Director of Group Projects at Bathroom Brands. “So much of our success, as a business, is generated together with the creative visions developed by this community. Furthering our brand and products in the hearts and minds of designers and architects is critical to our future success.

“Our decision to participate as headline partner at this year’s Brit List is a demonstration of our commitment to support, celebrate and recognise the very best of interior designers, architects and hoteliers today.”

Attended by more than 200 interior designers, hoteliers, architects and key-industry suppliers, The Brit List 2018 was hailed a success among the industry’s finest practitioners:

“The Brit List recognises the UK’s best Hotel Design talent and we at IHG are proud to be recognised for the hard work we have done to the interior design of our brands in recent years. We are humbled by the huge amount of design talent amongst the other winners. Congratulations to all involved.” – Emma King, Head of Interior Design Europe, IHG

“We are truly honoured to be included in the Brit List” – Bee Osborn, Creative Director, Osborn Interiors

“Some moments in your life are special.  Some are more special than others, so it was a very very special moment for me to receive the Brit List 2018 Outstanding Contribution to the Hospitality Award.  I propose to enjoy the moment as Britain remains the very heartbeat of stylist design of the globe.” – Robin Sheppard, CEO, Bespoke Hotels. Winner of Outstanding Contribution to the Hospitality Industry

“I am delighted to have been recognised as one of Britain’s top 25 hoteliers in The Brit List 2018. My team and I are proud of our continued hard work and extraordinary attentiveness to our customers’ satisfaction here at The Gainsborough Bath Spa. It is important to me to go the extra mile for both my guests and staff to ensure everyone has an enjoyable and memorable stay with us in beautiful, historic Bath” – Brian Benson, General Manager, The Gainsborough Hotel and Spa

With further details around The Brit List 2019 to be unveiled soon, including how to nominate and how to apply for this year’s list, the concept will return to London this November. Venue and date TBC, for now.

Headline partner: Crosswater

Hotel Designs closes January with online traffic record

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The leading international hotel design website closes January with a record-breaking 67, 792 readers…. 

By exploring hotel openings and spas as its Spotlight On features during January, Hotel Designs has smashed its online monthly traffic record, which was previously hit in November, by amassing more than 67,000 readers to the website.

Hotel Designs, which last year attracted more than half a million readers, engaged readers with the following most-read stories during January:

Spotlight On: Major hotel openings for Q1 & Q2 2019
Inside the world’s first hotel room that determines room rate based on social media addiction
Nobu Hotels to arrive in Warsaw
In Conversation with Yasmine Mahmoudieh
Hotels at New Heights

“This is a fantastic start to 2019,” said publisher Katy Phillips. “I am absolutely thrilled that, yet again, I am being asked to comment on Hotel Designs smashing another online traffic record. As well as showing that our editorial team have their finger on the pulse when it comes to covering hot topics in our industry, this is a clear indication that this market is engaging positively with the content we publish.

“One area that Hotel Designs has always been strong in is having a face-to-face relationship with our audience. We are therefore looking forward to our next networking evening, Meet Up London: 30 Under 30 on March 28, which are aim will be to bridge the age gap in international hotel design.”

The news comes as the website steers its Spotlight On features to cover Surfaces and Architecture and Construction, two widely debated topics within international hotel design.

Click here to read editor Hamish Kilburn’s ‘Editor Checks In’ where he spends some time reflecting on January as a time when two worlds seamlessly collide.

 

5 awe-inspiring hotel architecture projects currently on the boards

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5 awe-inspiring hotel architecture projects currently on the boards

To kickstart our month shining the spotlight on architecture and construction, Hotel Designs highlights five groundbreaking projects that are currently in planning… 

Long before the Burj Al Arab made its magnificent entrance onto the shores of Dubai in 1999, architects have competed with one another to break into the clouds of possibilities within international design.

Although there have always been groundbreaking architectural projects to rise from the earth, the advancement of technology over the last 20 years in particular has enabled practitioners to take architecture into a new era. The result is game-changing. No longer are guests’ first impressions made in comfort the hotel lobby. Instead, mass opinions are divided when the architects, who strive to constantly push the boundaries of what is possible, unveil their masterplans. To celebrate the architects are the top of their game, here are five projects that are currently in construction, which will shelter luxury hotels.

1) Rosewood Bangkok 

Skyline of Bangkok, which clearly shows the Rosewood Bangkok building

Image credit: KPF Architects

The award-winning building, designed by KPF Architects, was inspired by the graceful Thai hand gesture of the wei. The distinct slant of the building has opened up the opportunity for terraces, shrinking floorplates, and unique, occupiable spaces. With interior design by Ceilia Chu Design, the 30-storey high-rise tower will feature two restaurants, two bars, a luxurious spa, an outdoor swimming pool and a fitness centre. In addition, the hotel will shelter residential-style meeting and function space and the top-floor Sky Villa event venue will boast panoramic views of the capital’s iconic skyline.

> Read more about the project here

2) art’otel London, Battersea Power Station 

Birdseye render of the site

Image credit: Foster + Partners

Phase three of a major part of the regeneration of the Battersea Power Station site has been designed by Gehry Partners and Foster + Partners. In addition to 1,300 new homes, the new development will include the 160-key art’otel London. The Skyline, which is the building designed by Foster + Partners that will shelter the hotel, will feature an outdoor rooftop pool and bar overlooking the chimneys of the iconic Battersea power station.
> Read more about the project here

3) Four Seasons Golf Resort and Residences, Goa

Render of striking public areas on the coast

Image credit: WATG

Architecture and design firm WATG were appointed to create the exterior of the 125-key hotel in order to include design details that celebrates the history of Goa through Colonial Portugese structure and contemporary form. The hotel has been designed to attract erudite travellers from around the world to experience beauty, relaxation and Indian hospitality. Using the rugged coast as an architectural reference, the firm’s renders tell a quintessential local design story that, when completed, will anchor the architectural theme throughout.

> Read more about the project here

4) KoolKiel, Germany 

Render of the complex which depicts the two high-rise buildings

Image credit: MVRDV

The most recent update on this project is that the mixed-use development building’s form will be determined in consultation with the community. The Koolkiel complex, which is being designed by MVRDV, will include two buildings that will be wrapped by customisable concrete panels. With the aim to amplify the city’s creative edge, each of these silhouette-like panels can be cast in different shapes. Although the brand and name is yet to be announced, a 250-key hotel will be sheltered in the complex.
> Read more about the project here 

5) Murcury Tower, Malta

View of Murcury Tower in Malta

Image credit: Zaha Hadid Architects

The renovation and redevelopment of Mercury House, led by Zaha Hadid Architects, integrates residential apartments and boutique hotel within Malta’s most dynamic urban environment. Creating new public spaces and amenities for the island’s residents and visitors, the design responds to Paceville’s key urban challenges by investing in its civic realm and increasing its limited housing supply.

Derelict for more than twenty years, the 9,405 sq.m. site includes the remaining façades of the old Mercury House that date from 1903. Two underground vaults created during the Cold War are also within the site’s boundary.

The 31-storey tower of residential apartments and hotel is aligned at street level to integrate with Paceville’s existing urban fabric and to reduce its footprint, maximizing civic space within the new piazza.

Conceived as two volumes stacked vertically, the tower incorporates a realignment that expresses the different functional programmes within.

> Read more about the design here

Main image credit: WATG

Top 5 stories of the week: Lighting the mood, surface trends and Meet Up developments

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Concluding January and looking ahead to the future of lighting, surfaces and hotel development, Hamish Kilburn writes the top five stories of the week…

As January turns to February, there is much anticipation in the air around developing trends. The must-watch lists of hues, textures and materials that landed in my inbox on January 1 have filtered subtly into the designs of new hotel spaces. Designers working outside the box establish how they can create a timeless statement scan the floors of the trade shows. The next in the calendar is the Surface Design Show in London (February 5 – 7). Ahead of the show, this week we took a closer look at the trends on the walls, floors and ceilings. Closer to home, Hotel Designs had some developments of its own to announce. Here are the top five stories of the week.

1) 6 trends to look out for at Surface Design Show 2019

dark bathroom design

Image credit: SIBU

Taking place next week in London’s Business Design Centre, Surface Design Show will showcase the latest products and technology in surface design. Ahead of the event, as Hotel Designs is a media partner of #SDS19, here are top surface trends to be mindful of.

> Read more about the trends here

2) Meet Up London: 30 Under 30 Announces Early Bird Tickets

Until February 7, designers, architects, hoteliers and suppliers will be able to purchase early bird tickets for Hotel Designs‘ highly anticipated Q1 networking evening, Meet Up London: 30 Under 30.

Exclusive style partner: Minotti London

Exclusive headline partner: Hamilton Litestat

> To book your tickets, click here

3) One-third of consumers believe lighting helps to eliminate January Blues

A study has revealed that one in three people believe that lighting is important to creating a relaxed and calm atmosphere before bed.

As the January blues well and truly set in for some, new research has revealed how lighting can have direct impact on mood and wellbeing in the hotel environment.

> To read more about the study, click here

4) SUSD gains planning consent for hotel and members club on the River Thames

render of the exterior of a manor-like building

Image credit: SUSD

SUSD, the developer behind two of London’s most successful hybrid destinations, The Curtain Hotel & Members Club and Devonshire Club, has just won planning consent, subject to finalising the S106 Agreement, for a third development, this time on the banks of the Thames near Pangbourne, Berkshire.

> To read more about the plans, click here

5) Editor Checks In: January ’19

To round up January – and to help understand the crossroads many designers are at – it felt appropriate to use the metaphor of two worlds colliding. I am, of course, referring to the opportunities that result from authentic collaborations.

> To read my editor’s letter, click here

If you would like to be kept up to date with the latest happenings and news in international hotel design, subscribe to receiving our newsletter here.

Main image credit: ITC Natural Luxury Flooring

Editor checks in: January ’19

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When two trendy worlds collide in January…

Excitement and optimism are both thick in the January air. My train carriage on the Eurostar is full to the brim of creative people. Half the passengers on board are interior designers on their way, like me, to Maison&Objet. The other half are fashionistas, bloggers and journalists preparing to arrive at Men’s Paris Fashion Week. Two worlds collide to converge in conversations around this season’s must-see designers and emerging trends to keep an eye on. It reminds me of yesterday when I published my exclusive interview with lighting designer to the stars, Moritz Waldemeyer. In 2007, the young, enthusiastic Waldemeyer found himself in the same unfamiliar setting when fashion legend Hussein Chayalan asked him to create a lighting installation unlike any other for one of the shows.

11 years on from Waldemeyer’s first dip into high fashion and, while trends have shifted, the core of our creative business remains concrete; we are never afraid to knock on doors to chase inspirational ideas.

Ever since 1995, when the show first launched, Maison&Objet has powerfully set the industry up for the year. Yes, recently have witnessed somewhat more of an upsurge in attendees compared to early years, but the show has always given apt context to many of the discussions that ripple through the rest of the 11 months as things undoubtedly develop from the ‘trends’ that ping through to our inboxes on January 1.

“Investigating three separate luxury travel markets over three weeks (aviation, rail and cruise ships), we launched the series Hotels At New Heights.”

Altering course for a moment in order to explore which other worlds are in fact colliding, the cruise industry in recent years has been reaching out to more and more hotel designers to imagine the interiors of future fleets. Investigating three separate luxury travel markets over three weeks (aviation, rail and cruise ships), we launched the series Hotels At New Heights with the aim to understand how our industry can benefit from coming together with other markets.

At the core of all of these topics, bringing the loose strands of ideas together through conversation, is networking. Following the success of Meet Up North and The Brit List 2018, I am proud to announce that our Meet Up London: 30 Under 30 event will take place in Fitzrovia’s trendy neighbourhood on March 28 at Minotti London’s stylish showroom. The deadline for suppliers, designers, hoteliers and architects to claim their early bird tickets is fast approaching (February 7), so click here to purchase your tickets.

I look forward to continuing this adventurous journey with you as Hotel Designs itself prepares to enter a new chapter.

Editor, Hotel Designs

Hamilton litestat confirmed exclusive headline partner for Meet Up London: 30 Under 30

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Hotel Designs has confirmed that Hamilton Litestat will be the exclusive headline partner at Meet Up London: 30 Under 30, which takes place at the showroom of Minotti London on March 28…

Hotel Designs has confirmed that Recommended Supplier Hamilton Litestat has become the exclusive headline partner of Meet Up London: 30 Under 30.

The event, which takes place on March 28 at Minotti London’s showroom, is expected to bridge the age gap between designers, architects, hoteliers and key-industry suppliers by putting the spotlight on supporting young, emerging talent. 30 of the industry’s most inspirational practitioners will be invited with complements of Hotel Designs to attend the networking event.

“Hamilton Litestat is a keen supporter of young, up-and-coming talent and we’re delighted to be working with Hotel Designs to support talent rising through the ranks in interior design, architecture and the hotel industry,” said Gavin Williams, Head of Marketing, Hamilton Litestat. “As an Industry Partner of the British Institute of Interior Design, we’re keen to develop lasting relationships with those that understand the importance of getting the finishing touches of an interiors project just right.

“We hope to build awareness through our partnership with the 30 under 30 Meet Up events and foster long-term collaborations with the next generation of talented industry leaders.” – Gavin Williams, Head of Marketing, Hamilton Litestat

“Through both functionality and aesthetics, quality decorative wiring accessories and lighting control can achieve this. We hope to build awareness through our partnership with the 30 under 30 Meet Up events and foster long-term collaborations with the next generation of talented industry leaders.”

Suitable for all hotels, Hamilton Litestat produces smart lighting controls and multi-room audio systems designed to enhance the hotel guest experience.

Early bird ticket prices for Meet Up London: 30 Under 30

Suppliers: £99 + VAT (£150 + VAT after early bird offer expires after February 7)
Designers, hoteliers and architects: £10 + VAT (£20 + VAT after early bird offer expires after February 7)

To purchase your tickets, click here.

Venue:
Minotti Showroom,
77 Margaret St, Fitzrovia, London, W1W 8SY

Date: March 28, 2019

How to apply for the 30 Under 30 list

If you are/or know of a deserving designer, architect or hotelier who is 30 years old or younger, please send in your application/nomination to: h.kilburn@forumevents.co.uk with the following:

  • 200-400 word bio, which acknowledges achievements to date and why you/he/she deserves to be recognised
  • Name of company you/he/she currently works for
  • Profile image

The final 30 will be confirmed to attend the event with Hotel Designs‘ compliments and the winners will be notified in due course ahead of the networking evening.

How to attend Meet Up London: 30 Under 30

If you are a supplier to the hospitality industry looking to attend the event, contact Zoe Guerrier on 01992 374059 or on z.guerrier@forumevents.co.uk – or click here to book your place.

If you are an interior designer or architect and would like to attend the Hotel Designs Meet Up London: 30 Under 30, click here to confirm your attendance.

Exclusive style partner: Minotti London

Exclusive headline partner: Hamilton Litestat

One-third of consumers believe lighting helps to eliminate January Blues

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A study has revealed that one in three people believe that lighting is important to creating a relaxed and calm atmosphere before bed…

As the January blues well and truly set in for some, new research has revealed how lighting can have direct impact on mood and wellbeing in the hotel environment.

A survey of 1,000 UK adults carried out by lighting supplier LED Hut, as part of the Brighter Britain report, found that one in three people believe that lighting – both natural and artificial – plays a crucial role in how they feel, encouraging feelings of comfort, security, and happiness.

More than one-third (31 per cent) believe that lighting is important when creating a relaxed and calm atmosphere before going to bed in the evening, which assists with their sleep.

Furthermore, 38 per cent feel that lighting in the bedroom during the morning can also allow them to feel alert, energises and ready for the day ahead.

The survey follows the hotel industry putting more and more focus on lighting in guestrooms. Last year, leading design firms such as Richmond International identified lighting as the next area within the hotel design that will see a vast transformation because of the advancement in technology. This adds to more and more hotel operators desiring to create environments that are naturally warm and inviting.

“Considering how important natural light is to generating vitamin D, and even assisting the circadian rhythms which govern our natural sleeping patterns, the potential lighting has to improve our wellbeing in a number of ways is clear,” said Paul Garner, ecommerce and marketing director at LED Hut“While it might be obvious that natural light helps to boost our mood, not everyone knows that artificial light also plays an important role when natural light isn’t an option.”

“There are new concepts emerging everyday around LED experimental lighting.”

The possibilities around lighting design in the hotel guestroom are almost endless. There are new concepts emerging everyday around LED experimental lighting, such as the Mortiz Waldemeyer Studio’s personalised lighting installation at Focus 18, which was named the Journey Of Colour. Sensational launches like these suggest that there is some movement on how we light the hotel guestroom of the future to balance functionality, wellness and excitement in all the right places.

If you would like to have your say on this topic ahead of Hotel Designs covering it as a Spotlight On feature in March, please tweet us @HotelDesigns.

Main image credit: Pixabay

6 trends to look out for at Surface Design Show 2019.

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Taking place next week in London’s Business Design Centre, Surface Design Show will showcase the latest products and technology in surface design. Ahead of the event, as Hotel Designs is a media partner of #SDS19, here are top surface trends to be mindful of…

The Surface Design Show, taking place on February 5 – 7, will again provide architects and designers with an exciting and inspirational range of surface designs and materials.

Speaking before the show opens trend forecaster and curator of the Show’s Surface Spotlight Live feature, Sally Angharad enthused: “There are a number of distinct trends coming out of Surface Design Show that visitors will pick up. Once again the Show will set the scene for the next year in terms of design ideas.”

Here are some of the 2019 trends to look out for are:

Scallop Shapes
Scallop shape tiles create decorative patterns in a combination of solid colours and patterned finishes. Blueprint Ceramics, Finsa and Viuva Lamego will both be exhibiting scallop shapes

Sumptuous Neutrals
Warm neutrals replace grey with shades of brown adding depth to tactile surfaces. Look out for Saint- Gobain, Off the Wall Coverings and ITC Natural Luxury Flooring.

Image credit: ITC Natural Luxury Flooring

Dynamic Patterns
A combination of tile formats creates complex designs for statement features. Exhibitors include Blueprint Ceramics and Viuva Lamego

Patina Effects
Weathered metals inspire luxurious patina effects on a variety of surfaces from flooring to finishes. PowderTech (Corby), MUUNA and Finsa will be stands to visit.

Indulgent Darks
Dark colours are key for glazed and tonal finishes to create dramatic yet welcoming effects. SIBU Designs, Grestec Tiles and Sterling Studios will be exhibitors to seek out.

dark bathroom design

Image credit: SIBU

Nature/Nurture
Organic materials translate into surfaces for walls and lighting that bring comforting textures indoors. Exhibitors include Freund, Innerspace Cheshire and PHEE. A range of new materials, prototypes and innovations can be seen on Surface Spotlight Live curated in collaboration by trend expert Sally Angharad and trend, colour & material forecast agency; Colour Hive.

Surface Design Show opens on February 5 from 6.00pm – 9.00pm; February 6 from 11.00 -9.00pm and February 7 from 11.00 – 5.00pm.

Main image credit: Blueprint Ceramics

Domus launches new colourful glazed porcelain tile collection designed by Studiopepe

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The Pittorica collection by Domus is suitable porcelain tile for interior walls and floors…

Launching in the UK in February exclusively at Domus, Pittorica is a new colourful glazed porcelain stoneware collection suitable for interior walls and floors, designed by Studiopepe creative directors Arianna Lelli Mami and Chiara di Pinto. Research by the two designers led to the creation of a collection comprised of 14 plain solid colours in three palettes – neutral, background and bold colours, and available in three different shapes, a triangle, a square and a brick shape.

In a silky matt finish, the tiles are mutually compatible and can be used singularly or coordinated to create complex and highly creative decorative layouts, bringing out the full, modern spirit in expressive colour. With a retro feel, the colours span from dark shades to soft greys and neutrals along with pink, blues, green and terracotta shades, expressing the universe of colour though an extremely current palette, offering elegance and modernity to any interior space.

Suitable for both walls and floors, the decorative ability of Pittorica is enhanced by the rectified formats which guarantee layouts and installation with minimum grout lines where the colour stands out. The statement triangular shape formats are a key feature statement in the collection and guarantee a decorative capacity to characterise interior surfaces. The solid matt colours give the collection a silky consistency, which is further enriched with a textured canvas weave print which is stamped into each tile. Each tile has a unique, subtle, almost imperceptible variation.

Studiopepe proudly describe their collection, saying: “The mystery of colour in the game of perception and illusion. Pittorica is the poetry of the imagination, rhymes of graphic patterns and hues of colour put together in freedom and fun.”

Main image credit: Domus Tiles

Top stories of the week: Trending interiors, suites at sea and anti-social hotel rooms

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Following a bustling Maison&Objet and Deco Off, interior trends have been trending throughout this week’s headlines. Hamish Kilburn breaks down the top stories of the week…

Whoever thought that January was a soft landing was seriously mistaken – or didn’t work in the hotel design arena. My inbox over the last 25 days has been inundated with press releases from hotel groups announcing their vast expansion plans. This week alone, Melia Hotels International, Nobu Hospitality and Kimpton Hotels all announced dramatic plans to open new luxury properties in new destinations. Suggesting a serious change in travellers’ behaviour, the hotel industry is not the other luxury market that is adapting its strategy to cater towards the modern traveller. Concluding our series, Hotels at New Heights, I spoke to the hotel designers that have turned their heads towards the cruise industry.

Here are the top stories of the week.

1) Nobu Hotels announces plans to arrives in Poland

Exterior shot of the hotel. a new building located at Wilcza Street, designed by the Polish architectural firm, Medusa Group,

Image credit: Nobu Hospitality

Nobu Hospitality, a global luxury lifestyle brand founded by Nobu Matsuhisa, Robert De Niro and Meir Teper, has announced its continued global expansion into Warsaw, Poland…

On track to have 20 hotels within its portfolio globally by 2020, Nobu Hotels has announced plans to open Nobu Hotel Warsaw.

2) Inside the world’s first hotel room that determines room rate based on social media addiction

Light glowing red next to the bed of a hotel

Image credit: The Check Out Suite, Hotel

That’s right, a hotel in Gothenburg, Sweden, has launched a new policy where the room rate is determined by how much time guests spend surfing on social media…

With the number of social media users worldwide in 2018 reaching a staggering 3.196 billion, up 13 per cent year-on-year according to Smart Insights, it was only a matter of time before hotels would launch schemes in order to help guests reconnect with the world around their screens. With the aim to take this initiative further, a hotel in Gothenburg, Sweden, has actually launched a hotel room where its rates will be determined by how much the guest spends on social media platforms.

3) Top 14 most tagged interior design trends on Instagram

With so many interior design trends, it can be difficult to choose a style that fits a particular space best. While most of these trends intertwine, some are undoubtedly more popular than others.

4) Hotels at New Heights: suites on the high seas

Render from Richmond International of Balcony Cabin

Image caption: Render from Richmond International of Balcony Cabin

To conclude our series, Hotels at New Heights, I investigate why more and more hotel designers are taking to the seas to design the luxury cruise vessels’ suites of the future.

5) Meet Up London: 30 Under 30 launches early bird tickets

Until February 7, designers, architects, hoteliers and suppliers will be able to purchase early bird tickets for Hotel Designs‘ highly anticipated Q1 networking evening, Meet Up London: 30 Under 30.

Main image credit: Image credit: Seabourn Ovation/Adam Tihany Studio

Anthology launches Wallcoverings Volume 6

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Anthology launches wallcoverings Volume 6, a evocative collection of eight statement wallcoverings inspired by brutalist architecture and organic land forms for SS19… 

Anthology has presented volume 06, a stunning collection of wallcoverings inspired by industrial spaces, fabricated walls and the trend for polished natural and man-made surfaces, apposed with soft colours and delicate, feminine accents. Innovative production techniques have been used throughout with the Anthology studio contrasting plaster, concrete, burnished and hammered metals alongside polished, raw and aged facades.

“Anthology Wallcoverings 06 is an expression of how natural and manmade forms work together to create something quite exceptional,”  said Linda Thacker from the Anthology studio. “We wanted to focus on how these forms change over time and how their interaction with man modifies them further. By using materials such as poured concrete alongside bespoke techniques, we have created a compendium of organic textures, juxtaposed with how man’s involvement impacts on an element’s overall look.”

“Embosses and embellishments add a luxurious textural detail to this eye-catching collection.”

Oozing international glamour, Anthology Wallcoverings 06 comprises of eight wallcoverings, manufactured using the most technically advanced machines and state of the art production methods. Embosses and embellishments add a luxurious textural detail to this eye-catching collection which works in harmony with Anthology’s range of fabrics.

Minimalist room with colourful wallpapers

Image credit: Anthology

A wide array of colours has been used across the collection with names such as Limestone, Pumice, Ruby, Gold, Aventurine and Quartz chosen to reflect how minerals and natural surfaces contrast and complement with the metal ores and precious stones found in mined materials that shape our environment and habitats.

Continuing with the collection theme, Anthology’s design names include Anthropic, which represents the interaction of man in the making of fabricated surfaces and the impact time has on materials, Metamorphosis, emulating the geological changes impacting on rock and stone and Pozzolana, one of the constituent parts of plaster and concrete.

Main image credit: Anthology

The ultimate balancing act: Practical considerations for luxury hotel interiors

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Walking the tightrope to find the luxury balance, Director of Ponsford Ltd Angus Ponsford explains how designers can achieve a dynamically designed hotel that is also practical… 

Flawless aesthetics are fundamental to creating the impression of opulence in any luxury hotel interior. However, it’s easy to become overindulgent in your interior choices, subsequently sacrificing the function of a space – and of course, these elements are just as vital when striving for the very best customer experience in any hotel.

Here’s how designers can pull off the ultimate balancing act by ensuring a hotel remains both practical and stylish through smart and considered design choices.

Less is often more

When it comes to interior design, less is often more – and this is certainly the case when it comes to hotel decor. Take the luxury resort of Le Massif, for example, which has officially opened its minimalist doors in the Italian ski resort of Courmayeur.

While there is an understandable temptation to be gluttonous when approaching luxury interiors, taking a contrasting minimalist angle can achieve the desired effect with an equally great success rate. As the hotel industry continues to evolve to meet customer expectations that far surpass a place to simply rest your head, a striking minimalist interior is an effective way of creating a luxury ‘wow factor’ from the moment the guest walks through the door.

What’s more, this is often at great practical advantage too. From the foyer to the guestrooms, de-cluttering these areas will obviously create more space, thus providing a more accommodating room fit for large quantities of guests and baggage.

With this, though, comes the risk of becoming ordinary and unforgettable. Maison & Objet’s Designer of the Year, Sebastian Herkner, recently unveiled to Hotel Designs that his biggest bugbear at the moment is when designers play it too safe when opting for a Scandinavian, minimalist look and he suggests that minimalist does not always have to look plain and boring.

There are various different approaches you can take to incorporate a minimalist design in your hotel without it stripping away the personality in order to successfully create a luxury interior that values both aesthetics and function.

Chalet vibes in the new hotel, with wood and log fire burning around contemporary furniture

Image Credit: Italian Hospitality Collection

Use statement furniture (sparingly)

Over-decorating a room can easily create a sense of claustrophobic chaos within interiors. Instead, designers should be smart and sparing with decorative items in communal and private areas.

In the lobby or reception room, a striking piece of large wall art or a complementary grandiose lighting feature is enough to add a touch of elegance to the space without sacrificing your simplistic style.

For guestrooms, suites and penthouses, furniture can also create striking statements. From striking wardrobes to fashionable yet practical occasional tables made for a plethora of uses, pick an item or two that will optimise the guest experience while maintaining a consistent stylish aesthetic.

 Invest in easy-clean luxury materials

When taking a minimalist approach to interior design, its important to let the space do most of the talking. As such, investing in high-quality materials with opulent connotations is an effective way of conveying luxury in any hotel space. This is particularly true in the communal areas, where guests’ first impressions are often formed. With practicality at the forefront, designers should be smart with material choices and pick those that require minimal maintenance and are easy to clean – ensuring a high-quality guest experience in all areas.

Stone is perhaps the most obvious choice, varying the type you use by its function and aesthetic benefit. For example, marble would be an elegant addition to any reception or lobby area, while picking up little dirt from the consistent traffic of guests leaving and arriving each day. Furthermore, using granite for worktops in breakfast dining areas will maintain a sleek look, all while minimising the post-dining cleaning efforts that are sure to benefit hotel staff and guests alike.

In the best luxury hotel examples, aestheticism and practicality balance effectively to create an unforgettable guest experience. Following these design tips will ensure your hotel boasts function and opulence, leading to a five-star stay from beginning to end.

Main image credit: Pixabay

Creating the authentic UNILIN Evola surface

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The desire to make Evola decorative panel surfaces ‘true to life’ saw the UNILIN product design team look to where it all begins: with the original materials…

Working from original materials was the key to the authenticity of UNILIN Evola panels. The design team was packed full of discoveries from the natural world, trade shows and even personal purchases that inspired new decors in HPL and melamine-faced chipboard. Working from these original materials, the UNILIN design team began a process of experimentation.

“If we put our Evola panel next to the real thing, we don’t want to be able to see a difference.”

Ann De Blanck, Evola product manager, explains: “We needed variation, so we started to treat the genuine specimens; for example, adding a patina or saw marks to the decor. That is a job for the specialists, because it’s a very fine line between attractive authenticity and over doing it. Our ultimate goal is always very clear: if we put our Evola panel next to the real thing, we don’t want to be able to see a difference.

“That takes an awful lot of skill. By that, I mean that our team experiments and tries things out by hand, day in and day out. For example, when the ‘reclaimed trend’ was all the rage, we created a decor with cracks in the panel. We did that using a drum that we threw nails and screws into; as the drum turned, they made scratches in the decor. Yet another conscious choice and essential if you want to bring unique products to the market.”

This meticulous attention-to-detail sees UNILIN Evola panels beautifully replicate natural materials. From the deep grain and knots of Nordic Pine’s rustic texture to the subtle, super-matt surface of White Birch, each décor is a true-to-life recreation of original materials. This realism is not only down to the experimentation of the design team, but also through using production technology to develop surface structures synchronous with the design underneath.

“As well as an authentic look, the feel also needs to be right, and this has become more-so in recent years. That’s why we have specialised in developing surfaces where the structure follows the pattern beneath perfectly. This gives a realistic design, hardly distinguishable from solid wood or veneer. A realistic, budget-friendly and sustainable alternative for real material,” explains Blanck.

The UNILIN Evola collection is available in 168 different looks available in HPL, melamine and edging tape. Promising life-like wood decors and authentic embossed textures in concrete and metallics, as well as plain; it is a well-rounded collection that brings beautiful authenticity in scratch and stain-resistant panels for commercial use.

In Conversation With: Moritz Waldemeyer, lighting designer to the stars

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Lighting designer Moritz Waldemeyer speaks to editor Hamish Kilburn about 2019 trends, the power of lighting therapy and how one moment in time can dramatically change the direction of a creative’s career…  

Anyone who has had the pleasure to spend more than five minutes in the company of the multi-talented Moritz Waldemeyer will agree with me when I say that he is a breath of creative, fresh air. Despite having designed LED pieces for major players in popular culture such as music icons Ellie Goulding, WillIAm, Take That and fashion design hero Philip Treacy OBE, Waldemeyer’s head has always remained cool when working on many creative platforms.

Following a career-defining moment of lighting a costume collection for the closing ceremonies of both the 2016 Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games, Waldemeyer’s recent gaze in the hospitality industry saw him at the centre of many interesting conversations at London Design Festival last year. His personalised lighting installation entitled Journey of Colour at Focus18 raised eyebrows among designers from around the world on the potential of lighting within hotel design. “Timing is everything,” Waldemeyer says. “My knowledge of technology, which is an area that has always interested me, placed me in the design sphere with a unique skillset at the right time.”

WAVE chandelier in Intercontinental Davos, which is 1,400 hand-blown glass spheres swirl in a playful shape of a gust of snow,

Image caption: WAVE chandelier in Intercontinental Davos, which is 1,400 hand-blown glass spheres swirl in a playful shape of a gust of snow,

Waldemeyer’s journey in the world of fashion, design and lighting started with an early interest for technology. Following his studies on mechatronics at Kings College London, Waldemeyer began experimenting with his passion for lighting – and after graduating, he gained experience working for Phillips in the product development team. It was at this moment in time, while other employees were working the nine-to-five, when Waldemeyer started to experiment with lighting and its boundaries. His forward-thinking attitude soon sparked the attention of the fashion world, which led to what was arguably his first major career break.

Virtual Reality – Moritz Waldemeyer for Philip Treacy

Image caption: Virtual Reality – Moritz Waldemeyer for Philip Treacy

Paris Fashion Week 2007 witnessed Hussein Chayalan showcase dresses impregnated with servo-driven lasers that were engineered and programmed by Waldemeyer. With the aim to create a sensational atmosphere that captured the attention of the world’s media, Chayalan turned to Waldemeyer to emit laser beams from the dresses on the models who strutted spectacularly down the catwalk. “It’s a great, indescribable feeling to be part of fashion history,” Waldemeyer shares. “And it was after this show I realised just how revolutionary this was when figures in the music industry got in touch asking me how I could work with them to create visual experiences.”

“I am looking at animated lighting, which is super retro and exciting.”

Waldemeyer’s dip into the world of high-fashion, I believe, gives him a unique leverage when it comes to helping to transform lighting within hotel interior design spaces. But when it comes to looking ahead, it seems as if Waldemeyer is left wondering like the rest of us what defines a ‘trend’. “It’s really difficult to look at trends on a year-by-year basis, because I believe that the development isn’t that fast in lighting,” he comments. “However, from my point of view, we have yet to establish the limits of LED potential. I am looking at animated lighting, which is super retro and exciting.”

Flos presented this stunning collaborative project during the Milan Salone 2009 which involved no less than 5 well known contributors: design by Philippe Starck, text by Jenny Holzer, execution by Flos, crystal by Baccarat and custom electronic design by Moritz Waldemeyer.

Image caption: Flos presented this stunning collaborative project during the Milan Salone 2009 which involved no less than five well known contributors: design by Philippe Starck, text by Jenny Holzer, execution by Flos, crystal by Baccarat and custom electronic design by Moritz Waldemeyer.

Following on from our insight into how the public areas of hotels are changing, there has been many debates about how the lobby and the guestroom can continue to evolve into new eras. Technology within lighting has unlocked the door to welcome in the opportunity of more atmospheric areas within the hotel, which is arguably the key to create the personalised hotel of the future. “Considering that the lobby is the first area that guests walk in to, I believe there is room for designers to be more playful,” he explains. “When it comes to the guestroom, though, I believe we as lighting experts need to ensure that we are creating intuitive lighting that works with the user. It’s a challenge to ensure we are creating seamless lighting experiences that don’t hinder the overall guest experience. It’s sometimes easy to forget when working on large pieces to view the experience from a guests’ point of view, but this is so important when it comes to the design of the lighting.”

“We deliberately use a lot of colour, which is arguably therapeutic with the aim to bring people back to themselves.”

One area within the interior design of hotels that continues to divide opinions is understanding the fundamental purpose of lighting in the guestroom. While designers aim to firmly establish lighting’s functional properties as well as its decorative qualities within the guestroom, there are questions rippling through the industry on how wellbeing can be incorporated within hotel design, and Waldemeyer may have the answer. He explains: “We deliberately use a lot of colour, which is arguably therapeutic with the aim to bring people back to themselves. Art pieces that use light to encourage calmness ­– similar to watching a roaring open fire – somewhat sedates the tone of the room and the guests’ minds. Using colour in this way has the complete opposite reaction to what happens when we as consumers stare mindlessly at our phones or devices.”

Moritz Waldemeyer's personalised lighting installation, Journey of Colour, was exhibited at Focus 18.

Image caption: Moritz Waldemeyer’s personalised lighting installation, Journey of Colour, was exhibited at Focus 18.

Waldemeyer strikes me as someone who is constantly looking ahead to establish new ways to be creative with lighting. “I’m excited about craftsmanship, which is really big on our agenda at the moment,” says Waldemeyer. “Travelling the world has allowed me to establish new avenues and my task at the moment is to understand how we can present traditional craftsmanship in lighting to a modern audience, which is challenging but also so rewarding at the same time.”

Waldemeyer’s own ‘journey of colour’ is, I believe, still in the very early stages when establishing what is possible within the future of commercial lighting. I leave the creative with focused lenses, now being able to zoom in to understand further the emotional links between our minds and how our hotels are lit. One of the largest conclusions, though, is seeing how outside influences, from areas such as fashion and popular music, can absolutely shed some light on the direction our industry should be heading when it comes to forward-thinking an innovation.

Moritz Waldemeyer Studio 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: Moritz Waldemeyer Studio

Beneath the surface of the Surface Design Show 2019

Hamish Kilburn

With less than one month before the Surface Design Show 2019, Hotel Designs identifies what to look out for at this year’s event… 

From February 5 – 7, Surface Design Show 2019 will take place at London’s Business Design Centre to provide a platform for architects, designers and specifiers to explore the best in interior and exterior surface materials, lighting design, development and innovation.

For more than ten years Surface Design Show has been the place where industry professionals immerse themselves in the latest materials for the built environment, gain new insights and network with like-minded designers, architects and suppliers. More than 150 exhibitors will showcase an exciting range of products including natural stone, acoustics, recycled materials, living walls and architectural lighting.

Exhibitors returning to the Show include ColourGrain SurfacesSoundspace and Pixalux UK, whilst amongst those making their debut are Artistic LicenseOber SurfacesTrocellen and Greenlam.

Surface Design Show 2019 also features some 40 talks from over 50 industry professionals, all designed to engage and inspire.

Extreme close up of 3-d surface which looks like a flower

Image credit: Anne Kyyro Quinn

The Opening Night Debate returns from 6.30pm on the first day of the Show, Tuesday February 5. Organised in association with the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and New London Architecture (NLA) it will discuss whether factory-made housing can provide Londoners with better places to live. The panel will be chaired by Peter Murray of NLA, with Ben Derbyshire of HTA Design and RIBA President, Carl Vann of Pollard Thomas Edwards and Hazel Rounding of shedkm debating the topic ‘Factory-made Housing: is this the solution to building better homes long term?’. The debate is sponsored by Bruceshaw.

Also returning for 2019 is the ever popular PechaKucha Evening, hosted by Chris Dyson of Chris Dyson Architects on February 6 from 6.30pm, sponsored by Parkside. Speakers include Nigel Ostime of Hawkins Brown; Soraya Khan of Theis and Khan Architects; Alex Scott-Whitby of ScottWhitbyStudio; Stuart Piercy of Piercy and Co; Simon Fraser of Hopkins Architects; Alison Brooks of Alison Brooks Architects; Lucia Berasaluce of Haptic Architects and Ben Cousins of Cousins & Cousins Architects. Presenters will discuss ‘Identities and Boundaries: site specific responses to modern architecture’ in an exciting and inspiring format using 20 images, each discussed for 20 seconds. Sponsored by Parkside.

Stone Gallery, which is officially supported by Stone Federation GB whose Stone Knowledge Hub forms a focal point for the event, will also be returning to Surface Design Show 2019. Stone Gallery, which is also supported by media partner Tomorrow’s Tile & Stone, is an industry-leading event for architects and designers to meet and specify natural stone. The Stone Hub stage will host a series of presentations curated by Arup.

Now in its fifth year, Light School is the home of architectural lighting, allows architects and designers to touch, compare and learn about innovative lighting and technology products. The Light School arena, Light Talks, will return once again supported by the Institution of Lighting Professionals and LED Linear.

Since 2013 the show has hosted the Surface Design Awards, now recognised as one of the most respected events in the design calendar. The awards distinguish the best and most interesting exterior and interior surfaces for different sectors of design. The 2019 awards received entries from across Europe, the USA, Australia, China, Korea and India. The shortlist consists of an impressive 43 projects across seven categories. A multi-category Finalist is the Morpheus Hotel by Zaha Hadid Architects and Isometrix Lighting Design. The hotel, which is in China, was praised by all judges, with James Soane commenting: “I can’t help but admire the mastery, it is extraordinary, I am drawn to it.” The awards presentation at #SDS19 will take place on the morning of Thursday February 7.

Free registration to #SDS19 is available via this link.

5 boutique wood corridor flooring trends to watch in 2019

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Perfect for boutique hotels, UK Flooring Direct predicts five wood flooring trends that can help lift the hotel corridor…

In between the check-in area and the guestroom, connecting each area within the modern hotel are the hotel corridors, which, for many reasons including a lack of lighting, awkward surfaces and narrow channels of blandness, fill many designers with dread. Selecting the right style of flooring, however, can help to transform these no-mans-land walkways into interesting spaces that can further amplify a hotel’s theme or style.

A flooring refresh can work wonders in turning a gloomy corridor into a bright, inviting space. In our quest for stunning surfaces, UK Flooring Direct has rounded up five fabulous styles that can to take the boutique hotel corridor from drab to fab.

1) Extra-wide planks 

Large-scale planks are the latest flooring look and are ideal for creating a sense of drama in open-plan living areas and larger rooms. In a beautiful golden-brown shade that will inject instant warmth into any space, Vantage Wood 14mm Laminate Flooring Sunset Oak features an authentic-looking rustic grain and 244mm extra-wide boards that are a breeze to fit thanks to a 5G click installation system. With an AC5 Commercial rating and a 35-year warranty, this stunning floor will keep its good looks for years to come.

2) Scandi Noir

Dark wood scandi style flooring in walkway

Seductive and decadent, Scandi Noir is the latest, dark twist on Scandinavian style, with deep greys and black replacing pale wood and white. It still champions simplicity and functionality, though – and Parquet Vinyl Victoria Black Plank Luxury Vinyl Click Flooring definitely delivers on both counts. This stormy grey LVT floor offers a bold, contemporary update on the oak look, and features an ultra-stable rigid core that makes it likely to indent and mark. Boasting a 35-year warranty, it’s safe to use with underfloor heating and in areas exposed to UV rays.

3) Cool chocolate

2019 is going to be all about ash-toned woods, and Audacity 12mm Laminate Flooring Coastal Oak comes in a cool brown shade that complements a wealth of colours – in particular, Spiced Honey, Dulux’s Colour of the Year. Its toughness and high level of water resistance makes it a great fit for hallways, kitchens and other demanding areas – its stain- and scuff-resistant surface means spills, dirt and accidents can simply be wiped away – while its 35 per cent more stable core means it can be used across the largest of spaces without the need for unsightly room profiles.

4) Modern rustic

Light wood in homely walkway

Painting walls and woodwork brilliant white can help prevent a hallway looking dingy, but if you’re looking to introduce some warmth into the scheme, Home Choice Engineered European Rustic Oak Flooring is a fantastic choice. Packed with character, its classic-size boards feature eye-catching grain markings, knots, sapwood, mineral streaks, and have been sanded smooth and finished with high-quality UV lacquer to give an attractive subtle sheen and fantastic protection against the rigours of boutique-hotel life. This tough floor features a three-layer construction for fantastic stability and a 2.5mm real wood wear layer for long-lasting good looks.

5) Colour variation

Mixed tones in wood flooring

Planks in different shades of brown – from pale sand to chocolate – give Aqualock 12mm Laminate Flooring Harlequin Brown Oak genuine wow factor, but with added protection against moisture and spills, this striking, traditional floor is as practical as it is beautiful.  With on-trend colour variation, this look is set for big things in 2019.

Editor checks in: December 2018

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Colouring outside the trendy lines…

The sun is falling on 2018 – and this particular sunset is filtered in a warm, peachy orange glow, also known as Living Coral or Pantone 16-154.

Despite December traditionally being a month of reflection, it’s also a time to sprinkle a hint of optimism on the horizon as the industry turns its head to leading international colour experts to understand next year’s dominant shade predictions.

Dulux settled for Spiced Honey, a versatile hue that signifies warmth, positivity, purpose and transformation. Pantone, on the other hand, divided opinions by opting for Living Coral, a colour that it describes as an “animating and life-affirming coral hue with a golden undertone that energises and enlivens with a softer edge.” Having listened to both sides of the argument as to whether this is just another marketing ploy or something more significant, I have my own opinions. I believe that, regardless of anything, this colour choice has the power to raise much-needed awareness that 60 per cent of the world’s remaining reefs are now at risk of being destroyed by human activity. As far as I am concerned, a shade with that much competence in the wider context is a shade to stay. It wasn’t long before contract companies unveiled their sneak peek into how they are splashing Living Coral into their 2019 products.

“This month, Hotel Designs took its eagle reviewer eyes across borders and into the African wilderness.”

From colour to design in all five continents, one trend that isn’t going anywhere anytime soon is the timeless look and feel that many luxury hotels strive to achieve while balancing character and personality. This month, Hotel Designs took its eagle reviewer eyes across borders and into the African wilderness to unearth an unassuming luxury hotel in Zimbabwe. Matetsi Victoria Falls is the country’s answer to luxury in the bush. I will never forget the feeling of checking out of technology, checking in with myself and opening my eyes to the great outdoors in all its splendour. Leaving my phone on airplane mode for the duration, I captured one-off moments that will stay with me forever; we even saved an elephant’s life (a detail that was left out of the main review). My conclusion of Matetsi is that it is a hotel that through design evokes one-off experiences, which is the real ‘luxury’ in luxury travel.

As the year closes, and before we start layering peachy orange hues all over our walls and in our furniture, one cannot help but look back on 2018 as one of significant change. It’s been a sheer delight editing our ultimate throwback (part one and part two) to highlight this year’s most game-changing product launches. From Milan to Paris; London to New York and Dubai to Singapore, over the last 12 months, hotel design suppliers have drip-feeded us with inspiring new products that have helped our industry leap into a new era.

Exciting times are ahead of us at Hotel Designs. Optimism has been left hanging in the air since we reached more than half a million readers over the last 11 months, breaking several monthly traffic records along the way. Not only are we debuting new meet-the-buyers events next year (IDAS, HTI, CES), but we are also bringing you more juicy news and features, all of which will be displayed on a newly designed website as we continue to be the leading international hotel design website for designers, hoteliers, architects and key-industry suppliers.

Here’s to 2019!

Editor, Hotel Designs

 

Top 5 stories of the week: Controversial colours, London reloaded and a Manchester arrival

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With 2019 on the horizon, and the focus in the international hotel design market being firmly fixed on what the future brings, Hamish Kilburn reviews the week’s headlines… 

Who would have thought that a colour – especially one that is as calming as Living Coral – could create so many divided opinions? Now that we have thrown it back to review this year’s major product launches, Hotel Designs is looking ahead to understand how the future predictions in trends will effect the look and feel of hotels around the world.

This week’s headlines have been full of colour. Hotel Indigo finally arrives in Manchester, Condé Nast Traveller highlighted its editors’ favourite hotels who one London-based hotel even unlocked the door to a guestroom that resembles the womb. It’s never a dull moment on the editorial desk at Hotel Designs, and here are the stories that grabbed the attention of the industry over the last five days.

1) Design-led NHow Hotel to arrive in London in Summer 2019

Image credit: Project Orange

Designed by Project Orange, the 190-key nhow London will arrive in the British capital in summer 2019. Located between Islington and Shoreditch within the ‘250 City Road’ development designed by acclaimed architectural firm Foster + Partners, the four-star hotel will be NH Hotel Group’s second property in the UK.

2) Inside the London guestroom designed to resemble the womb

Image credit: Simba/Cuckooz/ Billy Bolton

Launching today, Cuckooz has opened unlocked to a new sleeping experience by launching a guestroom that has been designed to resemble the womb.

The nine-month project, which resulted in The Zed Room being opened, was inspired by the safety and ‘snugness’ of the womb and comes complete with muted lighting, soft-pink walls and a high-tech mattress.

3) Pantone’s colour of the year divides opinions

Image credit: YouTube/Pantone

Pantone determined that 2019’s colour of the year will be Living Coral, or Pantone 16-1546. Since then, though, there have been suggestions that the peachy orange shade, which is a clear and defiant move away from this year’s colour of choice, Ultra Violet, has been compared to cheap bridesmaid dresses or budget toilet roll, as well as it being considered as 60 per cent of the world’s remaining reefs are now at risk of being destroyed by human activity.

4) Condé Nast Traveller reveals its editors’ all-time favourite hotels from around the world

Image credit: Four Seasons Hotel at the Surf Club, Miami

With 78 hotels ranging from game-changer Heckfield Place in Hampshire, to the romantic Castello di Vicarello in Tuscany, the nostalgic St. Regis New York and plenty to choose from in far-flung destinations, Condé Nast Traveller shines a rather bright and dynamic spotlight on the most wonderful places to stay next year with The Gold List 2019:

5) Hotel Indigo arrives in Manchester

Image credit: Hotel Indigo

Hotel Indigo® Manchester – Victoria Station has arrived, marking the brand’s debut in one of the UK’s largest cities, which was described earlier this year as a hive for hotel design. Famous for its cotton mills and its role in the industrial revolution, Manchester is a vibrant city that is rapidly expanding and regenerating, complementing its historical setting and its quirky contemporary feel.

If you would like to be kept up to date with the latest happenings and news in international hotel design, subscribe to receiving our newsletter here.

Main image credit: Ellerman House, Cape Town

Leading integrated design firm predicts 2019 design trends

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WATG’s Muriel Muirden, Executive Vice President and Global Director of Strategy, forecasts the top hospitality and design trends to look out for in 2019…

WATG, which has been breaking ground on the hotel design scene for more than 73 years, has revealed its forecast of the hospitality and design trends for 2019. As another year ends, and 2019 beckons, Muriel Muirden, Executive Vice President and Global Director of Strategy, shares the top trends in the hospitality and travel sectors, that will be shaping the year ahead, including women-only journeys, ‘Voluntourism’, the return of ‘Slow Travel’ and hyper-personalisation.

Girl power

Women are heading out of their comfort zone and seeking new high-octane adventures, including women-only journeys that empower and provide an opportunity to develop new skills and passions. This includes a growing interest in women-only ‘voluntourism’, that support local women in remote and undeveloped communities around the world. A 2018 survey of US women identified that 73 per cent of women felt that travel makes them stronger. Now, 75 per cent of cultural, adventure and nature travellers are female.

The road more travelled

By 2030 a mind-boggling 1.8 billion tourists will be on their road to discovery, impacting on heritage icons, must-see cities and outstanding natural environments across the world. A key topic for the year ahead will be how to maximise economic benefits while managing environmental and social downsides everywhere from Maya Bay in Thailand to the Everglades National Park in Florida; this is a global dilemma. Dispersing travellers to new icons and managing flows will require new investment in infrastructure, tourism and hospitality assets and pioneering marketing. Hoteliers need to join forces with governments and have a strong voice in developing solutions and innovative strategies.

It’s all about me

Hyper-personalisation and the discovery of bespoke experiences will rise in 2019, as craving the unconventional and the dazzling Instagram moment will be rocket fuelled. From private dinners with influential local figures to obscure local festivals and events in breath-taking locations, the creation of the ‘one-of-a-kind’ will have strong resonance in the year ahead. Celebration travel will grow at a rapid pace and become stronger and more innovative in content.

Back to the future

In unsettled times, nostalgia comes back into vogue. In this uncertain and somewhat crazy world, we believe it is back to the future with strong growth in slow travel for 2019 – river cruises, railway journeys, and heritage hotels are all hot topics. Even in the much-stereotyped China market, we are seeing shiny modern hotels losing out to heritage hotels, reflecting a desire to understand and embrace history in a rapidly changing built environment.

Refurbish, repurpose and recycle

As the sharing and resale economy grows apace and we increasingly reject the built-in obsolescence of so much of what we buy, product designers are reassessing product lifespans. So, what are the implications for the hospitality sector? Could 2019 see the first refurbishment strategy where 100 percent of the redesign is built upon repurposed and recycled furniture and fittings? We know of more pipeline brands in concept evolution that will connect with the market through their eco-values.

Other trends for the forthcoming year include brands facing an ‘Identity Crisis’, as well as consumer’s entering a period of ‘Food Fanaticism.’ Lastly, WATG highlights a trend in hotel resort’s landscape using colour therapy gardens to calm guests.

Main image credit: King Abdullah Economic City/WATG

Kaldewei produces more than 50,000 varieties of shower products

750 530 Hamish Kilburn

With 100 years of shower expertise, bathroom specialist Kaldewei prides itself on having a shower product for almost any design… 

With consumers becoming more and more discerning with regard to modern bathroom design, shower design has taken somewhat of a leap forward recently and leading bathroom specialists are having to extend their portfolio arm to match. One of those leaders, which has collected more than 150 accolades because of its innovative design, is Kaldewei and has just announced that it produces more than 50,000 ways of designing the modern shower.

Since the company launched its first shower, more than 60 years ago, it has continued to develop its ‘original shower’ made of steel enamel with new lines, features and system components. The focus of Kaldewei product developments, both in the past and present, has been for the benefit of the end user and the ease of assembly for plumbers. Today, the enamelled shower surface segment alone takes in ten model lines, five different surfaces, 34 colours and 57 different sizes across 50,000 exciting product versions made of superior Kaldewei steel enamel. From classic shower tray to absolutely flat floor-level enamelled shower surfaces, rectangular, square or specially shaped – Kaldewei delivers the right model of shower for bathrooms of every size and style, and, of course, the right assembly solution for every position in a room be it for a new-build or a refurbishment.

“The trend for floor-level shower areas calls for systems that work well with minimal built heights.”

Simple, flat, flexible: integrated system for every requirement

These days shower solutions must not only be persuasive in terms of design but should also be able to respond flexibly to different installation situations. The trend for floor-level shower areas calls for systems that work well with minimal built heights. Kaldewei, not only meets the latest standards here, but actually sets them: with innovative combinations of shower surface, waste fitting and assembly systems that are easy and safe to install, allow extremely low built heights of just 61 millimetres and which, thanks to flexible variation options, can be integrated into every part of the room. The ESR II installation system and the KA 90 waste fitting, for instance, have demonstrated their practical benefits. Meticulously thought out down to the last detail and perfected over sixty years, complete solutions from Kaldewei offer flawless shower design.

With a portfolio of more than 600 shower surfaces, washbasins and bathtubs, the premium manufacturer provides perfectly coordinated solutions for project business and private clients – featuring a uniform material throughout and harmonious design.

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.

In Conversation With: BISQUE’s Ellie Sawdy on 2019 colour trends

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Ever since Bisque first came on our radar, we have been impressed with how the company has taken a very practical – and historically mundane – item and used it to lift a whole interior space. The brand’s marketing manager, Ellie Sawdy, talks us through major colour trends, radiator pitfalls and 2019 surprises… 

Ever since its humble beginnings in 1979, after Geoffrey Ward stumbled across a towel radiator (a product that was revolutionary at the turn of the decade) on his travels and was struck with idea of pioneering attractive radiators in the UK, BISQUE has made a major impact on the interior design scene.

This year has been one of significance for the brand as it settles into a new home and is now able to welcome designers to experience the products at its showroom in the heart of London’s design hub, Islington Business Centre. But what’s next for the company that is always seen to be ahead of the curve – and can a radiator really have the power to change an interior design space? I caught up with the marketing manager whose natural trend radar is helping to steer the company into the future.

Various ranges of colour

Hamish Kilburn: How are radiators more than just heating appliances?
Ellie Sawdy: No longer do you have go with a simple towel rail or a pressed steel panel radiator. With so many options you can now make a bold statement with your radiators. For example the Bisque Arteplano etched copper or brass finishes are like a work of art! Each one is individually acid etched making it completely unique. Its products like these that appeal to those boutique hotels or décor that is going for the wow factor.

“Other trends include brass taps in kitchens and bathrooms.”

HK: What major trends are you seeing for 2019?
ES: We are seeing an increase in earthy tones for 2019, colours such as Spiced Honey which is Dulux’s colour of the year is a versatile colour perfect for a space that you want to be timeless. Bisque’s colour matching service means that we can match to colour like this to have a radiator that blends into your interior. Other trends include brass taps in kitchens and bathrooms. This finish helps you add warmth and shine to your interior. Depending on the finish of the brass you can have an industrial look or and polished clean finish.

“So many colour trends have popped up throughout 2018.”

HK: What can we expect to see in the products launching next year?
ES: Next year Bisque are really focusing on their special finishes. Designers are mixing metals and adding shades of colour steering away from Chrome. With taps, showers and even light switches coming in materials such as polished brass or antique bronze we want to complement these shades to help designers create one seamless look. Our new bathroom products for 2019 work perfectly with traditional bathrooms with matching valves sets to complete the look, all of which are available in a variety of finishes.

Coloured radiator

HK: What are some major pitfalls designers fall down when it comes to selecting the radiators?
ES: With so many beautiful designs you no longer have to try and hide the room radiator or towel rail, why not make it a feature? We allow designers to have something practical and stylish which are often timeless designs.

HK: Can you explain a little bit more about Bisque and its entrance onto hotel design scene?
ES: Bisque has always had a clear mission – to offer beautiful but practical radiators in the most exciting styles, colours and finishes. We have worked with both established designers to create innovative designs and no matter what they style, good design and quality are always paramount. This allows us to work with hotels to create a bespoke offering and provide world-class standards beyond minimal compliance with UK building regulations.

HK: What was the biggest trend surprise of 2018 in interior design?
ES: Colour is here to stay! So many colour trends have popped up throughout 2018 and all have been well received. Colour is creeping into people’s home and making an impact, people have lost the fear of committing to bold patterns and colour.

In almost 40 years, through generation changes and shifting trends, BISQUE has continued to remain at the top of its interior design game by leading the luxury radiator industry into a colourful future. As one major anniversary approaches, we are watching this space carefully to see what’s next.

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.

Featured image caption: Skye Brackpool

 

Sekers launches two new sophisticated fabric ranges

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Fabric specialists Sekers launch BRAEMAR and PATAGON, two new fabric collections suitable for luxury curtains… 

Sekers announces the launch of BRAEMAR, a wide width textural linen look plain suitable for contract curtains and accessories. Available in a palette of 25 sophisticated shades including stylish neutrals and soft vegetable hues, BRAEMAR is a versatile addition to any interior and is an ideal choice for the designer specifying for the hospitality and leisure markets.

Woven in 100 per cent polyester, BRAEMAR is washable and is suitable for all aspects of the contract market. Meeting all relevant UK & USA standards for curtains and accessories, the collection is the perfect selection for any contract application.

PATAGON – Bora, Canterbury, Khamsin, Marin, Pampero, Shamal, Zephyr & Zonda.

The new range is a versatile collection of wide width sheers, including linen effect semi-plains, a dramatic texture with a subtle twist of metallic thread and a large scale decorative geometric design. PATAGON is available in a diverse palette ranging from sophisticated neutrals and cool metallic tones to a bold black & white colour combination. With a refined drape and a variety of textures, PATAGONis a handsome addition to any interior and is an ideal choice for the designer specifying for the hospitality, leisure and marine markets.

The PATAGON collection is fully FR tested and is suitable for all aspects of the contract market from hotels to cruise ships. Meeting all relevant UK and US FR standards for curtains, this washable collections is the perfect selection 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.

“There’s no place like home,” or not according to latest survey

Hamish Kilburn

Gen z (18 – 24-year-old) travellers have visited more places overseas than UK destinations, a recent survey reveals…

Travellers aged 18-24 have visited more overseas destinations in the last five years than they have in the UK, according to a new study by Best Western Great Britain, suggesting that more attention needs to be made into the design direction – and facilities – of hotels in Britain.

The research explored UK travel trends, revealing the holiday habits of the nation and the main influences on their choice of holiday destination.

The study found that people between 18 and 24 years old have seen more destinations abroad than they have in the UK. This generation, on average, has visited four places overseas, while only visiting two locations in their home country.

It’s not all bad for Blighty though. In general, one in four people surveyed (25 per cent) say they have visited three UK destinations in the past five years, whilst a similar amount (24 per cent) said that they haven’t visited any overseas destinations, indicating that UK tourism is still alive and well, despite global travel taking priority among younger travellers.

People aged over 55 years are the most likely to have not visited a destination abroad in the last five years (29 per cent). This decision could be down to the price difference between a UK and international break, with this age group stating price as the main influence that persuades them to visit a UK tourist destination.

The research also explored Brits’ major motivations for choosing their holiday destination. Over half (57 per cent) of those in Yorkshire stated that they are most influenced by price when considering a vacation – just higher than the national average of 54 per cent.

The top 10 influences on booking a UK break are:

  • Price (54 per cent)
  • Attractions/landmarks (52 per cent)
  • Views (49 per cent)
  • Hotels / accommodation (39 per cent)
  • Weather (39 per cent)
  • Food and drink (29 per cent)
  • Culture (23 per cent)
  • Accessibility i.e. good transport links (22 per cent)
  • Proximity to home (19 per cent)
  • Nostalgia (19 per cent)

Rob Paterson, CEO at Best Western Great Britain, said: “It was fascinating to learn which factors Brits consider the most when choosing where to travel.

“Sometimes we can be guilty of prioritising overseas travel and forgetting about the wonderful places closer to home. Staycations allow you to get away and explore our beautiful country, without the usual high costs and stress of travelling abroad. There is more to explore in Great Britain so for your next holiday, why not consider visiting some of our own brilliant destinations?”

The survey launches after another study concluded that 95 per cent of travellers would, these days, rather spend money on a luxury experience rather than a luxury product. 

Main image credit: Pixabay

The BIID celebrates successful annual conference

Hamish Kilburn

The British Institute of Interior Design (BIID), which is the proud industry sponsor of The Brit List 2018, held its eighth annual conference exploring many engaging hotel interior design design topics… 

Guests from across the design spectrum, last week attended the eighth British Institute of Interior Design (BIID) conference, Inside Knowledge 2018: The BIID Business Success Conference. Taking place at 30 Euston Square, London, delegates enjoyed a packed programme of diverse, inspirational talks led by industry experts.

This year, the conference featured five sessions on the theme of business success, providing interior designers with real, actionable advice that guests were able to take away from the event and apply straight into their own business.

Following a welcome and introduction from BIID President, Gilly Craft, the audience was captivated by the first thought-provoking session of the day, the Keynote Conversation with Olga Polizzi. Hosted by Studio magazine’s editor, Kate Burnett, this engaging conversation offered key insights into the acclaimed hotelier and interior designer’s career, her design philosophy, personal life, recent projects, career advice and what led her to become one of the country’s most successful designers.

The first business success case study of the day saw interior designer, John Evans, explain to the audience how dividing his company into two distinct brands, John Evans Interior Architecture and Design Ltd (residential) and JE+1 Interiors (retail), transformed his business. He explained how this separation benefitted him and allowed him to retain clients and target different audiences more successfully, with advice for interiors designers on how to balance this in the best possible way.

The lively panel discussion hosted by Daniel Hopwood, ‘Finding My Niche Market,’ provided attendees with valuable insights from BIID members including May Fawzy of boutique interior architecture practice MF Design, who specialises in commercial workplace interiors, April Russell of The Art of Interiors, who blends art with interior design, and Rhian Barker of high-end residential practice Accouter Design, who offers their clients a 15 working day turn around on FF&E Projects. The mix of specialisms allowed for a thought-provoking debate on how to grow professional expertise in a specific market, how it enables businesses to stand out, and the challenges this generates compared to a broader ‘generalist’ approach to interior design.

For the second business success case study of the day, the audience heard from Seana Clarke from leading residential practice Holland Green on how integrating interior design and architecture benefitted her design projects. She shared her experiences of working collaboratively with architectural teams to offer a holistic design service and explained how this can improve interior designers’ value and the relationship with their clients.

Interior Designers were taken on whistle-stop journey through the apps and technologies in use by design studio teams today, in the quick-fire panel discussion, ‘The App That Changed My Life.’ Hosted by Susie Rumbold, each of the seven speakers took it in turns to explain why their favourite app should be part of every interior designers working tool kit, including Kia Stanford on Basecamp, Simone Suss on Instagram, Peter Staunton on Sketchfab, Natalia Shchyra on Kubity, Sarah Ahluwalia on Estimac, Harriet Forde on Pinterest, and Gilly Craft on Xero.

Interior designer and sustainability and wellbeing expert, Elina Grigoriou, discussed how becoming a SKA rating assessor has added to her skills as an interior designer in her business success case study at the conference. She explained why the issue of sustainability is important for interior designers and how her training in this sector has allowed her business to grow.

“The aim of the event is to inspire and motivate interior designers and design professionals, and to provide advice and guidance to support their professional development,” said Gilly Craft, BIID President. “I’d like to thank all of our incredible speakers who gave up their time to share their knowledge, our fantastic supporters who made the event possible, and for all of the attendees who joined us on the day.”

BIID Past President, Charles Leon, closed the day with a panel discussion on ‘The professional design buyers view: a client perspective of working with interior designers.’ With experiences shared from Emma King, Head of Interior Design at InterContinental Hotels Group, Andy McLoughlin, Director Capital Projects, Hilton, and Lester Bennett, BIID Director and Design Consultant, the audience gained a wealth of insight and practical advice to take away for future projects.

Inside Knowledge 2018 was supported by Conference Partner, Tradelinens, and Official Supporters; Craig & Rose, eporta, Havwoods, James Latham, MAISON&OBJET.

Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour prepares for Asia Week

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As Hotel Designs continues to focus the Spotlight On Art and Photography, Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour launches exhibition from November 5 – 9, celebrating the influence, culture and creativity of Asia…

East meets west as Asia Week arrives at Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour. The exhibition, in association with Asian Art in London, is a multi-dimensional exhibition that will run from 5 until 9 November 2018. Attracting top designers, architects, international collectors, art-lovers and style-seekers, it will celebrate the influence of Asian art, culture and creativity from across the region.

Featuring seven galleries showcasing the work of artists from China, Korea, Japan, The Philippines and Nepal, Asia Week at Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour will explore the enduring appeal of the Asian aesthetic and why it resonates today. Artistic interpretations of the history, philosophy and culture of individual countries will offer a unique perspective to the work on show.

Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour’s famous architecture will provide a dazzling space for an impressive rollcall of emerging and established names. Work by Japanese artists will be represented by Kamal Bakhshi. These include those by the grande dame of Japanese printmaking Toko Shinoda; painter, printmaker and multi-media artist Daniel Kelly (his work can be found in permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art New York, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the British Museum) and renowned printmakers Morimura Rei and Yoshitoshi Mori who specialized in ‘kappazuri’ stencil prints.

ArtChina, which represents Chinese printmakers and contemporary artists, will show a selection of artworks, prints and ceramics that combine traditional techniques with a modern aesthetic. They include woodblock prints by Wang Chao, screenprints by emerging artist, actor and producer Kelly Mi and lithographic prints by Wei Jia, a representative of artists born in the 1970s. From Korea will be ceramic pieces from The Han Collection including those by pottery painter Oh Man-Chu.

The selling exhibition will include work by South East Asian artists, represented by Singapore Art Garret Gallery (SAGG), such as those by Singaporean watercolourists Ng Woon Lam and Don Low, renowned glass sculptor Ramon Orlina from The Philippines and Indonesian painters Indra Dodi and Hari Gita. The October Gallery will showcase contemporary work by Nepalese artist Govinda Sah, Chinese artist Tian Wei and celebrated Japanese artist Kenji Yoshida. Genrokuart will explore female beauty and the history of pre-modern Japan.

Previously unseen in the UK, visitors can also view the Hugentobler Collection of Modern Vietnamese Art, featuring paintings and drawings by two Vietnamese modernist masters, Bùi Xuân Phái and Nguyễn Tư Nghiêm. It belongs to a private collector who discovered Hanoi’s hidden art scene when he travelled to Vietnam in the early 1990s as the country was opening up. The work is not for sale but has come from its current home in Switzerland, especially for the exhibition.

The inclusion of the NIO EP9 supercar will quicken the pulse of design lovers and automotive collectors alike. The fastest electric car in the world, carbon fibre is coupled with advanced technology in the design of this high-performance vehicle from China-founded EV company NIO. With its futuristic aesthetic, the EP9 has the looks to match its performance.

Generating a deeper understanding of design from both cultures is at the heart of the events programme, bringing a connection in an increasingly cosmopolitan world. From talks, workshops ad masterclasses and discovery tours, they will explore the crossover between East and West.

 

Top five stories of the week: New sponsors, a fresh motto and social media success

Hamish Kilburn
Following the Independent Hotel Show, and with less than four weeks until the industry gather at The Brit List 2018Hamish Kilburn reviews the week’s headlines live from Africa…

As weeks go, this one has been rather sensational, unforgettable in fact. Following an insightful Independent Hotel Show, I have spent the majority of the last seven days checked in to one of Zimbabwe’s finest hotels, Matetsi Victoria Falls (review on Hotel Designs coming soon), to really understand the design journey – from the birth of a concept to completion – of creating a luxury hotel.

While being ‘in the bush’ – and understanding the challenges faced when creating luxury in 132,000 acres of safari reserve – I have been corresponding back home with the editorial team in order to report on this week’s top headlines. At the top of the news chain is unsurprisingly Hilton Hotels, as this week it unveiled a new ‘affordable lifestyle’ brand to the world. Meanwhile WATG, of whom its UK Managing Director, Martin Peace, is shortlisted for The Brit List 2018, announced its completion on yet another five-start hotel in Asia. Hotel Designs passed the four-weeks-to-go mark before the highly anticipated Brit List 2018 by announced yet another sponsor. And laying down some serious style, Recommended Supplier Kobe had a message to deliver to the industry: “Go bold or go home.” Here is our top five stories of the week.

1) Hilton announces innovative new hotel brand

Motto by Hilton

Hilton has unveiled the launch of Motto by Hilton, its newest affordable lifestyle brand that will empower guests by giving them the freedom to create their own experiences in the world’s most sought-after cities…

Motto by Hilton takes a fresh approach to modern travel culture. It is a micro-hotel with an urban vibe in prime global locations.

2) Hotel Designs reveals a new event sponsor for The Brit List 2018

As the industry prepares to celebrate the leading British influencers in hotels, interior design and architecture, Hotel Designs is proud to welcome the flooring experts Tarkett, which will sponsor the Inspiration in Design – Interior Designer of the Year award.

3) WATG unveils five-star Ayana Komodo Resort in Asia

Set across a 1.4-hectare site, the hotel is surrounded by a lagoon and its marine life, where guests can soak up the 180-degree views of the Flores Sea…

Design firm WATG has opened the doors to its brand-new contemporary hotel in Indonesia, The Ayana Komodo Resort, Waecicu Beach, marking the third Ayana property across Asia.

4) 7 ways to promote your hotel on social media 

The world of social media is constantly evolving, making it crutial for hotels to stay ahead in the market. Serena Dorf, a content writer from Los Angeles, shares her top tops to help hotels remain competitive in the digital sphere.

5) Kobe brings back the retro trend of colour blocking 

Hotel Designs  recommended supplier Kobe has gone crazy for bold accents. Influenced by the catwalk, colour blocking is making a comeback…

If you are interested in attending this year’s Brit List, there are still limited tickets available. Click here to secure your place

 

HD Brit List

Colour trend: Are neon and avocado bathrooms the future?

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Throwbacking it back to the ’70s, one design firm believes that neon and avocado bathrooms are coming back…

Following this year’s London Design Festival (LDF), which saw a rise in bathroom colour with the launch of a new collection by Laufen, architecture and interior design firm Boundary Space has gone further to propose neon and avocado may soon be colour trends in the modern hotel bathroom.

Throwing it back to the ’70s, the suggestion comes as clients are moving away from the ‘Scandi’ monochrome and bleached timber look that has dominated the last few years. In it’s place, colour, which is a way for people to express themselves, will be used to create personality and character into the bathroom. “There has been a move away from seeing a bathroom as just a utilitarian ‘living’ machine to a bathroom that is a space of luxury and peace,” states a press release from the brand. “Bathrooms are becoming closer to boudoirs, with clients wanting the space to be the same pretty standard as their beauty products. We feel the trend for spaces is becoming more maximalism and our avocado and neon pink bathrooms reflect this.”

Boundary Space is an innovative architecture and luxury interior design practice based in London and working internationally. The company creates dynamic residences, bespoke retail and boutique retreats with a sense of place and modern flair.

The same colourful inclination was unveiled during LDF when designer Roberto Palomba unveiled his latest collection for the bathroom manufacturer which was inspired by colour of dim sum dishes, creating an interesting east-meets-west bathroom collection.

Have your say by tweeting us @hoteldesigns 

 

Four statement features for your boutique hotel

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Alex Jones, content creator for specialist antiques and collectibles auctioneer Featonbys explains how to bring character into your boutique hotel…

The word ‘boutique’ is symbolic of something that extra bit special. Therefore, when looking to create memorable rooms, making sure each of them features a design, theme or piece of furniture that aids their originality is key to transforming your residence from a basic place to stay to a special boutique hotel.

We’ve explore four different ways to incorporate statement features into your hotel guestrooms – no matter your style – in order to make the most of the space and experience your hotel has to offer.

1) Implement a theme for every room

When searching for a hotel on an online site such as Booking.com or Trivago, one of the main criteria your guests look to before even considering your residence is how it appears within the first few images – and, in particular, the rooms they could expect to stay in. This makes it crucial to grab potential guests’ attention with an interior that surprises and intrigues them into clicking through to your hotel. A recent article in Hotel Designs explains just how technology is now allowing guests to ‘step in before check in’.

By having each room host a different style or colour scheme under a wider theme, your boutique hotel is highlighted as an interesting and unique place to stay – with character to match the city guests are visiting. Give your guests some context about the local area by making each room’s decor synonymous with different time periods of that area, city or even country.

Swap paintings with photographs dating back to your seaside town in the 1950s, or switch the flat screen TV hanging on the wall with a television set from the 80s – as giving your room a historical touch will not only interest your guests, but make them feel more comfortable in their surrounding area.

2) Upcycle for a modern twist

Upcycling old furniture and home features offers a cost-effective solution for creating a bespoke interior, while minimising waste. Instead of replacing old – and arguably unfashionable – furniture, utilise its frame to create something better suited to your hotel’s particular style.

Old shutters and window frames act as solid structures that can make impressive feature pieces to hang up on walls. Because of their size, this works well as a renovated and painted stand-alone feature – however, it can also be used as a frame to house paintings, photos and other pieces of quirky art as a replacement for the old panes of glass. Alternatively, inject their practical purpose back into them by replacing their old glass with a mirror that not only acts as a necessary addition for your guest’s experience, but allows the room to both look and feel bigger and brighter.

3) Incorporate an industrial feel to your cosy room

Surface experts have predicted a rise in industrial-chic in international hotel design trends for later year year and beyond.  A simple way to accentuate your hotel rooms’ comfortable qualities is to contrast them with more industrial features. Not only does this allow your guests to embrace the centrepiece of most rooms – the bed – but it gives your room a fresh and unique feel.

Image credit: Dekton by Cosentino

Strip your room back to its bare bones by exposing brickwork to create a strong statement wall that compliments cooler tones in your room. Don’t stop there: instead of neatly hiding away light fixtures and bathroom piping, expose it in a tasteful, safe way that works with your cosy interior to provide a perfect balance between a warm home and a quirky industrial setting. Don’t be afraid to alter it further if the brassy tones don’t coordinate with the rest of your interior. Paint your pipes in bold colours and decorate your hanging bulbs with vine leaves to add your own unique touch to this modern and much-loved technique.

4) Contrast old and new with antique gems

Provide your guests with a home-away-from-home by creating a glorious ‘lived in’ feel in their rooms. By making use of antique items as decorative ornaments, your room is lifted from somewhere associated with short stays, to a room that tells its own story.

Including antique furniture in your modern room can create an instant luxurious feeling in your hotel room, as guests appreciate the stark contrast between their velvet-covered chaise lounge and the minimalist lighting fixtures. Get creative with antique items and use old clocks to tell the time from destinations all over the world while using vintage signs to tell a story about the place your guests are visiting.

When it comes to tailoring a room for your boutique hotel, there is only one rule – there are no rules. The beauty of boutique means that the concept of symmetry can be abolished and, instead, each one of your rooms can feature obscure design elements and quirky colour schemes that highlight each room’s individuality – thus ensuring your guests fall in love with your hotel from the moment they walk through the door.

Image credits: Unsplash

 

Industrial-chic kitchen

TREND ALERT: Daniel Germani predicts rise in industrial-chic surfaces

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The surface experts behind Dekton by Cosentino predict the industrial-chic surface trend to continue to boom in FW18 and beyond…

The ultra-compact surface, Dekton by Cosentino, is responding to popular demand with the development of four matte concrete inspired offerings to expand its Industrial Collection, which launched last year ahead of the curve. The four new colours have once again been designed in collaboration with the renowned Argentinian designer and architect, Daniel Germani, and are the result of careful innovation and research.

The four new colours, Laos, Soke, Kreta and Luna, will launch in the UK from October 2018, and offer a calm and considered aesthetic to suit a range of interiors – from those who wish to fully embrace the industrial look, to those who wish to add a hint of this aesthetic to their design scheme.

Laos – With a nod to industrial materials, Laos is a reinterpretation of cement. Dark in colour and with a weathered appearance, Laos has a matte finish with grey veining and golden tones.

Soke – Inspired by poured concrete, Soke is rich in detail, with realistic ‘cracks’ and grain adding to its aged appearance.  A soft blend of grey hues ensures its versatility in a range of settings, providing a true urban look.

Lunar – Ideally suited to contemporary décor, Lunar is a new take on conventional cement.  Its white base gives it a harmonious and balanced appeal, whilst attention to detail is present in the carefully considered yet seemingly random graining running across its surface.

Kreta – A soft and calming hue, Kreta is uniform in its design, with a sense of depth and an authentic concrete aesthetic.  Offering subtle sophistication, it is perfectly suited to minimalistic environments, from Scandi spaces through to industrial lofts.