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guitar shaped hard rock hotel in las vegas

Hard Rock Hotels to transform the Las Vegas strip

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hard Rock Hotels to transform the Las Vegas strip

Following in the footsteps of the worlds first guitar shaped hotel in Florida, Hard Rock Hotels plans to bring the iconic shape to the Las Vegas skyline with its new development in the city…

guitar shaped hard rock hotel in las vegas

Hospitality and entertainment company Hard Rock International, has announced its agreement to acquire The Mirage Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas from MGM Resorts International. Having made history in 2019 with designing the first ever guitar-shaped hotel for its Florida expansion, Hard Rock is planning to add to its guitar collection by building  its second guitar-shaped hotel, this time on the famous Las Vegas Strip. The guitar shape is synonymous with the brand, as, beginning with an Eric Clapton guitar, Hard Rock now owns the world’s largest and most valuable collection of authentic music memorabilia at more than 86,000 pieces, which are displayed at its locations around the globe.

“We are honoured to welcome The Mirage’s 3,500 team members to the Hard Rock family,” said Jim Allen, Chairman of Hard Rock International. “When complete, Hard Rock Las Vegas will be a fully integrated resort welcoming meetings, groups, tourists and casino guests from around the world to its nearly 80 acre centre-Strip location.”

Prior to 2020, Hard Rock International had no previous involvement with the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. HRI purchased the licensing and naming rights for Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas in May 2020 and vowed to bring the iconic brand to the Las Vegas Strip when the right opportunity presented itself.

> Since you’re here, why not check out Hard Rock Hotel New York?

Main image credit: Hard Rock Hotels

The technology products that hit and missed at CES 2022

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
The technology products that hit and missed at CES 2022

From lifelike ‘humanoid’ robots to the latest TV and projector technology – and all the software to convince even the most stubborn technophobes out there that the metaverse era is imminently approaching – the hotel technology unveiled at CES 2022 was a reflection of today’s hospitality scene. Editor Hamish Kilburn reviews the ‘hit’ and ‘miss’ products from the largest technology show on earth…

Quiet floors, a lack of international travellers and it all coming to close a day early due to the organisers facing pressures from travel restrictions and the Covid-19 crisis: is this really the same CES that dominated the world’s attention every January with the biggest tech show on earth? Well, the answer is ‘no’ but for good and healthy reasons for the hotel technology sector.

Regardless of physical numbers – many visitors and exhibitors opted to host or attend virtually – the hardcore travel-sanction-avoiding ‘tech ninjas’ among our community who were able to make the trip to Las Vegas last week were promised great things. And, we would argue strongly that the event delivered a true, somewhat stark, reflection of where hotel technology is heading.

Before we go into the physical robotics and telecommunication devices that hit and missed this year, to paint a clean picture, let’s start by looking at some of the key movements that emerged to the surface throughout the show.

The most obvious trend was the lack of hotel tech. Don’t be alarmed, though, as this was to be expected. For years, modern travellers have demanded for hidden tech within luxury and lifestyle hospitality. More recently, that demand has mutated into insistence for tech-free spaces, amplified somewhat by a rise in wellness trends. Given what was on display at CES 2022, I think it’s safe to say that tomorrow’s hotel will be judged less on the technology it offers and instead more on whether the hotel can support consumer software and hardware.

When it comes to buzzwords, there was one that roared loudest in Las Vegas in early January. The metaverse, which in its currently state is swinging somewhere between impossible and inescapable, is fast transforming from Mark Zuckerburg’s dream into reality. For an industry like hotel design and hospitality that has long strived towards authentic, one-off travel experience, the thought of a 3D, interconnected virtual space that allows users to ‘feel’ the real world is terrifying and seems equally unrealistic. However, so did Facebook once upon a time. If the metaverse does take off, which it looks like it will sooner rather than later, then it will undoubtedly impact the behaviours of modern travellers.

What hit and what missed at CES 2022? 

The new era of hotel TV and projector technology – HIT

Every year at CES, the latest TVs are unveiled, which is always met with a gasp from tech enthusiasts. 2022 lived up to the same expectation, with the likes of LG, Sony, TLC and Panasonic unveiling QD-LED, OLED Evo, micoLED and even miniLED. But, aside from impressive render displays, it was in fact a projector that stole the show. With its compact design that looks more like a spotlight than a portable screen, the Samsung Freestyle is a powerful and compact projector, smart speaker and ambient lighting device all rolled into one lightweight package that weighs just 830 grams. The product would be ideal for hotel guestrooms and suites, transforming F&B spaces into sensory experiences or for last-minute outdoor cinemas.

The space hotel – HIT

With the increased awareness around sustainability and materiality, the days of pop-up hotel have somewhat been erased in hospitality history. However, when it comes to forward-thinking technology at CES, exhibitors have their vision fixed on the future. Looking the farthest forward by a long way this year was Sierra Space, which displayed a series of giant inflatable houses on the moon. It sounds far-fetched (and it is) but the launch of LIFE Habitat got us thinking about folded up hotels that could, if consciously designed, offer an extraordinary travel experience that can continuously evolve.

The smart door – MISS

Render of a Smart Door

Image credit: M-Pwr Smart Door

We are all for hotel concepts that challenge conventional approaches to hospitality here at Hotel Designs. And by our judgement of the smart door, we are not saying that we don’t rate the contactless hotel – we do! However, the idea of a smart door, for us, is one gimmick too far in an era when hoteliers and designers are striving for paired-back approach to technology. Having said that, we can’t argue that the M-Pwr Smart Door is not a clever evolution from the smart doorbell.

Sci-fi baths – HIT

A stillness bath by Kohler

Image credit: Kohler

Kohler is never a brand to disappoint at CES. Following the Amazon Echo shower that was unveiled a few years ago, the bathroom brand that is always ahead of the curve when it comes to hotel and bathroom technology, arrived at CES 2022 with its answer to the future of wellness in residential and hotel design. Available in a variety of sizes, the Infinity Experience Freestanding Bath comes complete with LED lighting effects, and relaxing fog that has been inspired by Japanese hot springs. The bath is surrounded by a hinoki wood base and uses PerfectFill technology that maintains the ideal temperature and water level.

Humanoid robots – HIT and MISS

A surprised robot - CES 2022

Image credit: Engineered Arts/Ameca

Robots have long been a contentious topic among hoteliers globally – Aloft robot butler called ‘Botlr’ that showed up in 2014 threatened taking away the human interaction in hospitality and therefore never really landed. Since then, other robots have tried and failed to takeover hotel technology. Challenging the opinion that robots will never replace face-to-face service is Engineered Arts. The company have launched a new robot called Ameca, which first made contact with the public at CES 2022 with its surprisingly vivid and emotive facial expressions using no less than 17 motors inside its head.

Ameca, with a grey non-human metal and plastic body that is deliberately genderless, has been designed with eerily lifelike mannerisms, but goes down as a ‘miss’ from us as it can’t yet walk or move around, making it null and void for today’s hospitality landscape (phew).

In-room robot vacuums – HIT

Notwithstanding our tasteful dissing of the hotel robot, one android we do believe has a place in at least the boutique hotel environment is the robot vacuum, which has developed extensively since becoming popular domestically in recent years. The S7 MaxV Ultra moves a step close to being sufficient. And with 30 per cent faster charging, reliable coverage, compact docking and detailed 3D mapping, the technology is becoming more and more relevant for hotel commercial use during a time when housekeeping is at a minimum due to social distancing.

The Amigami Ham Ham – MISS

Amagami Ham Ham soft toy with finger in mouth

Image credit: Yukai Engineering

We seem to be the only media platform that is not giving its thumbs-up to Amigami Ham Ham, the cuddly animal robot that ‘melted hearts’ at CES 2022 with its ability to nibble fingers (we are not making this up). The unusual product uses ‘play biting’ as a method of providing comfort.  If we are really pushed to offer some credit, we are impressed by the soft toy’s ability to automatically engage its motor and algorithm (or hamgorithm) so that no bite feels the same. We’ll leave how this would possibly be utilised in a hotel setting down to you.

Since you’re here…

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Main image credit: Engineered Arts/Ameca

Hotel suite bedroom with pink accents on bed and mosaic floor, in Fauchon L'Hotel Paris

Fauchon L’Hotel Paris: Where rock & roll, design and luxury hospitality meet

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Fauchon L’Hotel Paris: Where rock & roll, design and luxury hospitality meet

Briefed to expect the unexpected, Gareth Thomas sets off on a Parisian adventure – far removed from chichés but still in the beating heart of the action – and checks in and checks out Fauchon L’Hotel Paris, where a bold interior design scheme juxtaposes heritage architecture in the heart of the city…

Hotel suite bedroom with pink accents on bed and mosaic floor, in Fauchon L'Hotel Paris

Ahhh Pareee! (Paris!) – La Ville Lumiere (the City of Light) – the undistributed home of haute couture, elegant interior design and a historical destination for those seeking that ‘je ne sais quoi’ when it comes to matters of the heart.

While being a traveller in Paris comes naturally to most – people watching from a corner café isn’t exactly a difficult lifestyle to adapt to – operating a hospitality business amongst the city’s backdrop is anything but simple. Any new-kid-on-the-block hotel (even for Fauchon L’Hotel Paris, which is owned by one of France’s most iconic confectionary luxury brands) therefore needs to work hard in order to make a statement in a city littered with luxury hotels. Fauchon L’Hotel Paris shouts loudly, yet elegantly, by aiming to seamlessly harness and blend Parisian fashion cues, confident design aesthetics and even a nod to a rock-and-roll mindset, all housed in a traditional and effortlessly beautiful Haussmanien building.

The hotel’s natural playfulness and signature hot-pink touches are boldly and sensitively injected alongside the original design by renowned architect Richard Martinet who worked together with Atelier Paluel-Marmont. The juxtaposition of ‘new design meets old architecture’ feels intentional, and is further heightened when guests walk through the doors to experience celebrated French artist commissions that are hung throughout the public spaces, by names such as Aristide Najean and Monica Nowan.

Since opening in the summer of 2019 – the last travel season before the pandemic brought global travel and hospitality to its knees – Fauchon L’Hotel Paris unveiled itself as a house of innovation and excellence. The boutique hotel, which has remerged from the pandemic with bounds of character, lives up to its reputation by being a feast for all the senses that capture first impressions.

The sensory mood is set from arrival, within an elegant yet fun library that is complete with roaring digital fireplace and cosy intimate seating arrangements, with those signature hot-pink accents evident throughout. Champagne and delicious macarons – the only cliché, I promise – tantalise the tastebuds. Beyond what you can see, the hotel’s rich, indulgent, and very captivating, bespoke fragrance lingers delightfully in the air, further proving that attention to detail is paramount in the desired aim to deliver on this full sensory experience.

The public areas – from the discreet seating located throughout the public spaces to the exquisite dining room adorned with further art and sculptures that gives guests a more private gastronomic experience away from the elegant but busting Fauchon Café – further help communicate and elevate the brand’s contemporary yet refined hospitality experience.

Each of the hotel’s immaculately designed and decorated 54 rooms and suites frame the classic Parisian city view, with some extending to include a balcony view of the Eiffel Tower – truly la crème de la crème!

The rooms themselves are spread across two interconnected buildings and this is where the triad of fashion, design and unapologetic rock and roll truly meet through the hotel’s defining concept of G.L.A.M:

  • Gourmet – gastronomy is the signature Fauchon experience that is the focal point of the brand experience
  • Location – located in the heart and soul of central Paris, there is no escaping the energy and delights of the city
  • Attention and experiences – bespoke is the name of the game, each room is unique, and each guest deserves a unique and special experience.
  • Mesdames – femininity is celebrated and prioritised at every stage of the hotel design experience.
A Deluxe room inside Fauchon L'Hotel in Paris, with gold headboard

Image credit: Fauchon L’Hotel Paris

Guests checking in to one of the split-level suites on the top floor of the hotel will be provided with a 360-degree living experience. A lower ground-floor bedroom, with queen-sized bed is complete with punches of colour on the linens, which give way to a sizeable and well-thought-out bathroom designed for the discerning traveller in mind, complete with a walk-in shower area with full rain shower experience and complimentary mood lighting around a generous vanity mirror.

Within each room, the sound system is a timeless reminder of what music used to mean. A modest record player sits, harmoniously adding value to the authentic hospitality experience, while creating further texture to the overall design scheme. A selection of classic vinyl albums are also available to either listen to, either in private serenity or while throwing open the multiple balcony doors. There is something aptly satisfying about usurping digital experiences we have all grown accustomed to in favour of an analogue process that is more grounded, more tactile, and more expressive. It may be an obvious reminder of the rock-and-roll personality (depending on which album you select) the hotel presents to its guests – but this particular guest loved every second!

Split-level suite, featuring guitar on the wall and record player

Image credit: Fauchon L’Hotel Paris

The playful quirkiness of the Fauchon brand extends upstairs into the living area of the suite where the famed mini bar is displayed pride of place. Less functional drinks cabinet, more exhibition focal point, the elegant, custom-designed pink armoire installation designed by Sacha Lakic is stylishly graphic on the outside with a metallic multi-faceted finish, whilst the interior houses all the goodies and you would expect from a hotel belonging to the house of Fauchon.

From one memorable gastrnomy experience to another (though tempting to not leave the beautiful suite), The Grand Café Fauchon is a dining spectacle that awaits both guests and loyal Parisian diners and imbibers. Its design and service pays homage to the founder, Auguste Fauchon, whose legacy is celebrated here each day through Fauchon’s passionate commitment to pleasure, quality and fierce dedication to ensuring the quality of the products used and sold are from the best producers in France. These pillars, keeping the hotel relevant in the congested luxury hospitality arena of Paris, are upheld by the culinary mastery of the Fauchon chefs – three of France’s finest: François Daubinet, Head Pastry Chef; Frédéric Claudel, Executive Chef du Grand Café Fauchon and Sébastien Monceau, Executive Chef de la Maison Fauchon.

As day turns to night, the hotel’s restaurant comes to life with an eye-catching chandelier display that seems to dance above diners in what look like fishnets. This area allows guests a more secluded and private eating experience, away from the energetic and bustling public Cafe location. The design of this space reflects that intention with a relaxing yet opulent colour palate with nods to classical design sitting in harmony with the signature Fauchon modern touch.

Fauchon L’Hotel Paris, refreshingly not simply defined by its F&B offerings, is more than a base during your time in this vibrant city. It is a hotel that confidently matches – dare I say even contributes to the energy of – the awesomeness of Paris. The hotel earns its right to be a ‘destination’ in its own regard and cleverly achieves its aim to bring together the worlds of fashion, design and music, collectively which deliver its unique personality. If you are looking for a hotel experience that is distinctly Parisian but at the same time distinctly unique then Fauchon L‘Hotel Paris is for you.

> Since you’re here, why not check out our editorial series on the hottest hotels to open in 2022?

Main image credit: Fauchon L’Hotel Paris

Render of lady in nest-like space in front of an outdoor pool and modern villa

7 hotel trends shaping hospitality in 2022

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
7 hotel trends shaping hospitality in 2022

As we start look past the crisis period of Covid-19, and start to settle into a ‘new normal’, the definition of hospitality has a new meaning – one of comfort, security and escape. International architecture firm SB Architects has identified which key hotel trends are shaping hospitality design in 2022 and beyond…

Render of lady in nest-like space in front of an outdoor pool and modern villa

SB Architects has released insights into the most significant influences that informed design in 2021, and what trends will pick up even more momentum this year.

“During 2021, when the concept of ‘home’ became synonymous with home office, gym, entertainment centre, and space to retreat and relax, we saw the growing importance of incorporating flexibility in residential design,” explained Scott Lee, President and Principal of SB Architects. “Flexibility also became paramount for hotels and creating a less-defined program – such as multi-purpose public space and reimagined spaces for F&B, lounge, and lobby – will continue to be advantageous in the future. Overarchingly, creating opportunities for people to decompress in urban environments, enhancing physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and social wellness, and quenching a thirst for the outdoors will be key drivers for architects and designers in 2022.”

Here are seven solid trends that are steering hospitality and hotel design, globally, on a new path:

‘Home officing’ 2.0

A hotel lobby/lounge area with armchairs and independent co-working spaces

Image credit: Telegraph Arts/SB Architects

The pandemic and ensuing work-from-home phenomenon sparked new desires for residential design. Dens are no longer to be relegated to the back of units with little or no access to natural light. Instead, residents want these spaces connected to living rooms and acting as integrated offices or flex spaces. Working from home is also changing multifamily design, where a new kind of amenity is taking shape in the form of reservable rooms for work and study, connected to communal meeting spaces where residents can both host team meetings and socialise. The ‘business centre’ model of multifamily residential projects is evolving and will be more marketable if versatile and engaging.

Here to stay: ‘Bleisure’ travel

Render of busy hotel F&B space with block of residential flats next to it

Image credit: Grand Hyatt Limassol/SB Architects

With more employees working remotely, hotels need to cater to a new segment of ‘bleisure’ travellers who are taking advantage of their newfound workplace flexibility by extending vacations that blend work, exploration, and leisure. With guests looking to spend more time in destinations, design that is experiential and deepens connections to the location and its underlying character will be key. Developers and operators will be searching for ways to differentiate their offerings from the many repositioning’s or new openings that are coming online in 2022, and hyper-local environments where guests can immerse themselves authentically into the surrounding locale and have experiences creatively tailored to a specific ethos and set of interests will be the most competitive.

Integrating experiential programming for children and configurations such as two-bedroom suites with kitchens will also help hotels cater to guests booking longer stays and traveling with their families.

Alternative stays/glamping woven into resort destinations

Image caption: A render of a resort in the Middle East, in the desert.

Image caption: A render of a resort in the Middle East. | Image credit: SB Architects

The alternative holiday/travel experience – via treehouse stays, yurts, and glamping – is becoming more and more ingrained into hospitality, and resorts are embracing glamping as an experiential element that can be integrated into the overall offering. Adding these unconventional components to a traditional resort development can deliver the connection to nature that gives guests a sense of emotional and mental well-being, while creating the kind of authentic experience and immersive atmosphere that today’s discerning travellers are craving.

Getting outside

With pandemic-era concerns about indoor air quality and social distancing deeply embedded in our psyches, the outdoors represents an escape and safe haven, and is a key element to mental health. Travellers will seek uninterrupted sightlines to the outdoors, access to fresh air and open space in 2022. Integrating outdoor spaces in urban environments, such as rooftop amenities, will be a big driver for both hotels and residential developments in the future. Rooftop amenities create a sense of escapism in which residents or guests are nestled in an outdoor environment, perhaps with natural elements, but views to a city skyline are within reach.

The rise of the urban resort

Render of busy dining space at Innovation Station

Image credit: Rivana at Innovation Station/SB Architects

Prior to the pandemic, the urban resort concept was on the rise, with brands like Aman Hotels and Six Senses Hotels and Resorts embracing the model as part of their growth strategy, and the trend will continue to grow in 2022, as lines between work and leisure continue to blur and more guests want to experience the decompression and escapism of a resort even when in an urban environment.

By tapping into sensibilities that one might leverage in a horizontal resort environment, and applying them to an urban context, designers can create spaces where people can ‘get away from it all’ while remaining in the middle of it.  Urban resorts deliver immersive experiences through rooftop experiences and iconic, place-defining food and beverage, and although in urban settings, they prioritise connections to nature, seamless transitions between indoor and outdoor spaces, natural light, and, of course, guests’ health and wellness. Special landscaped zones sprinkled throughout sites as places to host events and celebrations, and enhanced wellness experiences where spa and fitness components are sized after those of a destination resort are among the design features trending for urban resorts.

Rethinking the all-day dining concept

The pandemic pushed many (if not all) hotels to adapt their F&B offerings, as under-utilised space in an all-day dining outlet became more apparent during periods of low occupancy. Many new hotels have been breaking down the all-day dining restaurant into multiple ‘micro’ restaurants that can be sectioned or closed off depending on the time of day, to prevent the all-day dining space from being underutilised or only used during breakfast. The traditional buffet style dining that is standard in all-day dining outlets became prohibited due to Covid-19 regulations in many areas, giving rise to alternative strategies such as customised room service for breakfast. Many hotels are leveraging the specialty restaurant or lobby lounge for those seeking a more traditional hotel breakfast experience.

In the future, instead of just serving as a convenient dining outlet for internal guests, more hotel dining outlets will be regarded as valuable revenue-generating spaces independent of the hotel, with unique concepts, menus, and designs that will entice both hotel guests and locals in the community.

Capturing the baby boomer audience 

The Baby Boomer generation is mindful of how precious meaningful life experiences are and have a pent-up desire to reconnect with loved ones since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. Hotels should take note of this affluent, educated, and active audience in 2022. With so many people aged 65 and over fully vaccinated, this group is ready for reunions with family and friends, and they have the time and resources to truly immerse in experiential travel. Boomers are more likely to travel for a week or longer, and their excitement for educational, interactive, and locally inspired experiences as well as activities with multi-generational appeal should not be overlooked.

So, it seems that the pandemic has left its coffee-mug stain on this year’s trends. However, unlike in recent years, it seems as if the industry’s robust strength is ensuring that all trends we are seeing emerge are less about recovery and more about growth, evolution and sustaining unmatched travel experiences.

> Since you’re here, why not check out our editorial series on the hottest hotels to open in 2022?

Main image credit: SB Architects

Hamish Kilburn, Editor, Hotel Designs

Editor checks in: A sense of change in hotel design

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Editor checks in: A sense of change in hotel design

Making the best out of a disruptive situation – day eight of 10 into quarantine after testing positive for Covid-19 – Editor Hamish Kilburn finds the time (and the words) to explore in his final editor’s letter of 2021 how sensory design and togetherness could help fuel hotel design and hospitality into a new yet-to-be-written chapter…

Hamish Kilburn, Editor, Hotel Designs

Can you feel, smell, hear, touch or taste it? Don’t worry, this isn’t a new variant symptoms check. There’s a transformation happening. It’s affecting the way we work. The way we communicate. Even my tone seems dissimilar (perhaps more honest) as I write this, uncomfortably pessimistic, in day eight of a 10-day quarantine after testing positive for Covid-19 the day I landed back from reviewing a recent cluster of hotel design projects in Spain.

Whether we like it or not, we have no choice but to embrace new ways of living and working. As frustrating as this ‘new world’ may feel at times, we cannot always alter our surroundings. What we can adjust, however, is how we react. In great depression comes new prospects. When we accept a remodelled status quo, we can move past the practical hurdles and start to see how a change in landscape creates a transformation in behaviour, which in turn can lead to new breakthroughs in design, architecture and hospitality.

If you are struggling to see it, look no further than The Brit List 2021, which was unveiled in November at a spectacular, glitter-filled awards ceremony. The publication includes 75 individual examples of people at the forefront of our industry who are utilising this situation, which is becoming to feel more long-term as the months draw on. Take Robin Hutson, the Founder of The PIG Hotels, for instance, who won Hotelier of the Year at The Brit List Awards 2021. During a time when hospitality was forced to be on hold, Hutson started A Seat At The Table campaign in order to give the industry – formally under-represented – an unapologetic voice.

Another example is Tina Norden, Partner at Conran and Partners, who recently completed projects include the new five-star Park Hyatt hotel in Auckland; FEAST within Hong Kong’s iconic EAST hotel and the Peninsula Boutique and Café in Hong Kong. Norden was crowned Interior Designer of Year because of these projects as well as her selfless efforts to support the industry through lockdown, saying ‘yes’ to any opportunity to help raise the profile of British and global hospitality and design at its best. And instead of wallowing in self-isolation despair, I’ve just realised that I am interviewing both leaders in just a few days (note to self: use this time locked away from the world wisely in order to work on thought-provoking questions).

Logically, design and creativity during this period should have suffered, when human interaction and supplies chains have been damaged. Okay, it’s taken longer, and designers have been forced to, at times, sacrifice global FF&E, but it has allowed our community to do what it does best; find solutions to problems. Interior designer Álvaro Sans was tasked to steer one of Seville’s most iconic hotels, Meliá Gran Hotel Colón, into a modern era at a time when it was illegal for citizens to leave their houses. The delivery times of materials was a great task to manage,” he told me. “We had to change some furniture items because they did not arrive after five months of delay.” Sans recently unveiled this project, and it is, in my opinion, genuinely one of the most impressive public area renovations in recent history.

So, you see, change on this kind of scale can be a pivotal part of the overall narrative – we are turning the page of a gripping novel. Well, I have a confession to make. I read ahead and skipped a few chapter, and – spoiler alert – I have to tell you what I found before I read backwards. Waiting for us on the other side is an industry, scarred and not broken, which sets a holistic and more meaningful setting. The textured scene is layered with colour for personality, sound to create atmosphere, touch to make it personal and the smell of fresh bread from the bakery. It’s a sensory fusion of all the things we lost during dark times – a coming together of new skillsets we learned when restrained to the parameters of our homes. I’m not the only one who is reading ahead. At a recent panel discussion I moderated at Independent Hotel Show, Mark Bruce, Main Board Director at EPR Architects; Sound Designer Tom Middleton and Marie Soliman, Co-Founder of Bergman Design House discussed all the possible senses that will take hospitality forward – and no area, even the often forgotten hotel corridors, were off limit. “The gaps between the experiences are just as important as the experiences themselves,” said Bruce. “Those few metres can be thoughtful in themselves.”

The answer to many (if not all) of our problems comes in the form of collaboration, which has long been a fuel for the sector. I’m not talking about interior designers working with lighting designers or architects forming partnerships with sound architects. Instead, I’m suggesting two (or more) interior designers – AKA competitors – actually working together on a brief.

We saw this recently at HIX, in a wonderful display by the three design studios worked together to create Hotel Tomorrow. In this space, Conran and Partners injected the energy of community. Meanwhlile, Areen Design created an art installation-style safe cocoon nest that brought down the heart rate. stroop design, very much inspired by its own situation of launching recently with no physical base, was inspired by nature – and unveiled its co-working pod as a walk-in-the-park experience. Outside these three pods, the studios worked together, using visuals and sounds as tools for transformation from one area of the show to another – and as a result, intentional or not, they helped redefine the traditional trade show into an insightful experience.

Elsewhere in the show, a new revolution came to the surface in the wellness ‘living moodboards’ that were created by Sieger Design, Studio Carter, and Studio Corkinho – think hemp walls, spa-like suites and silent architecture. These concepts that were inspired with the 12 principles of design by Nestwell proved that the world is truthfully our oyster, and there is little we cannot achieve through constructive research and development (R&D).

“Yes, close the laptop lid and prepare to round-off another year on the international hotel design scene with a sense of pride from what we have created in a difficult year.” – Hamish Kilburn, Editor, Hotel Designs.

Render of organic guestroom designed by Studio Carter

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

I would like to evolve R&D to add a new ‘R’: ‘rest’, which is unreservedly an integral element with innovation in design and hospitality. It’s the same with writing. Leaving an idea or an article to mature is all part of the process, which cannot sometimes be rushed, nor forced. Resetting the scales allows you time to exhale. When the writer returns, the space they’ve created allows the opportunity to add value to whatever was created previously.

And with that, several drafts later of attempting this column, it’s time to ‘switch off’ and turn on our Out of Office automatic replies. Yes, close the laptop lid and prepare to round-off another year on the international hotel design scene with a sense of pride from what we have achieved in a difficult year. I hope that when we return in 2022, we will find it in our hearts to embrace togetherness; to take on, in harmony, new opportunities and challenges.

To spur on this sense of change, I pledge to amplify on these pages bold, genius and non-conforming concepts next year and beyond. Revise the recipe – we’re craving spice and flavour here on the editorial desk – and please help us take hotel design and hospitality forward in beautiful, authentic, and disruptive ways. So, who will feature in the next chapter, I wonder?

Stay tuned…

Editor, Hotel Designs

Main image credit: Dish Creative/James Munson

Render of Rosewood Riyadh

Rosewood to open second hotel in Saudi Arabia in 2025

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Rosewood to open second hotel in Saudi Arabia in 2025

Rosewood Hotels & Resorts accelerates its strategic global growth with the announcement of Rosewood Riyadh, a new-build luxury hotel, which will open in 2025 within a progressive mixed-use development project…

Render of Rosewood Riyadh

Situated adjacent to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of At-Turaif, Rosewood Riyadh, slated to open in 2025, will be located within Diriyah Gate, a mixed-use development project poised to become the country’s leading cultural and lifestyle destination. The 250-key hotel is destined to bring a new level of luxury to the local and regional hospitality landscape and present an exceptional opportunity for both business and leisure travellers to immerse themselves in one of the Middle East’s most important cities. 

Rosewood Riyadh is the latest expression of Rosewood’s ambitious global expansion strategy, which currently includes 25 properties in the pipeline in areas such as Mexico City, LondonMadrid and Japan. The hotel will mark the brand’s second property in Saudi Arabia, joining Rosewood Jeddah, and fourth in the region, including Rosewood Abu Dhabi and Rosewood Doha opening in 2022.

“We are thrilled to further our presence in the Middle East with an opening in Riyadh, a historic trade hub and exemplar of 21st century vision, that is now a major destination for international business and cultural exploration,” said Sonia Cheng, Chief Executive Officer of Rosewood Hotel Group. “The Diriyah Gate development is bringing the destination to an expanded international audience of discerning travellers and we’re excited to be a part of the city’s continued evolution and commitment to redeveloping heritage areas for future generations.” 

Rosewood will bring a level of refinement to Diriyah, mirroring the past whilst providing guests with the excitement of the future, in the same way Diriyah will lead travellers from Saudi’s historical past to the present,” said Jerry Inzerillo, Group CEO of DGDA. “The exclusive nature of the Rosewood experience will bring excitement to Diriyah through the development of their renowned wellness offerings, famed Explorers Club and F&B talent. Guests will be immersed in a cultural journey spanning the centuries through the joint efforts of Diriyah and the Rosewood team; we are excited to unveil more in the coming months.”

The largest city on the Arabian Peninsula and the political and administrative centre of Saudi Arabia, Riyadh is a dynamic destination rich with history. Boasting myriad cultural institutions from forts and palaces to museums and marketplaces, the metropolis attracts a wide range of nearly five million visitors each year. Nestled around the city’s UNESCO World Heritage Site of At-Turaif, Diriyah Gate is set to underscore Riyadh’s status as a Middle East magnet for travellers.  It also provides a perfect canvas for the Rosewood brand to express its A Sense of Place concept and celebrate its unique location. 

In addition to Rosewood, the inspired set of heritage, hospitality, education, retail and dining experiences at Diriyah Gate will include a culinary centre, cinema, art academy and more, with all buildings showcasing their own interpretations of the destination’s iconic Najdi style. By honouring this traditional architectural typology while incorporating modern principles of New Urbanism, the development aims to revitalise the area for locals and tourists alike while protecting its history. 

The hotel itself will occupy a standalone building boasting 250 ultra-luxury accommodations, including 202 guestrooms and suites and 48 Wadi Suites ranging from one to three bedrooms. The property will further feature four restaurants and bars; Asaya, Rosewood’s integrative well-being concept; and Rosewood Explorers, the brand’s culturally inspired children’s club. Additional recreation will span a state-of-the-art fitness center and expansive meetings and events spaces including a ballroom. Visitors will enjoy exceptional access to many of the city’s key landmarks, lifestyle activities, and corporate destinations via Rosewood Riyadh’s prime positioning within the development. 

Rosewood Riyadh adds to Rosewood Hotels & Resorts’ impressive global growth plan and is the eighth property opening announced by the brand in 2021, a testament to the hospitality group’s vitality and vision. Additional projects that have recently been added to the pipeline include Rosewood properties in Rome, Miyakojima, Hangzhou, Chongqing, Mexico City, and San Francisco.

Main image credit: Rosewood Hotels & Resorts

Collage from AHC in Manchester 2021

Show review: What you missed at The AHC in Manchester

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Show review: What you missed at The AHC in Manchester

Out with the old (venue) and in the with the new. On November 22 – 24, The Annual Hotel Conference (AHC) took shelter under a new roof, Manchester Central Convention Complex, where it welcomed more than 800 senior delegates to learn, network and party. Editor Hamish Kilburn was there to soak it all in…

Collage from AHC in Manchester 2021

For years, The Annual Hotel Conference (AHC) has been a major calendar event that has attracted leading investors, developers and operators from across the UK hospitality sector. In fact, the event has become so popular now, with more than 800 delegates to shelter safely that it required a venue change, from the familiar territory of Hilton Manchester Deansgate to where it is now held in the Manchester Central Convention Complex.

At the epicentre of the new venue was the auditorium, where more than 100 industry-expert speakers took to the stage over the two-day event, including senior leaders from global hotel brands. These included: Adela Cristea, Vice President, Head of Business Development UK & Ireland, Radisson Hotel Group; Satya Anand, President, EMEA, Marriott International; Stephen Cassidy, Senior Vice President & Managing Director UK, Ireland & Israel, Hilton; Philip Lassman, Vice President Development Northern Europe (UK&I, Benelux & Nordics), Accor; Dimitris Manikis, President & MD EMEA, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts; Karin Sheppard, Senior Vice President & Managing Director Europe, IHG and Camil Yazbeck, Senior Vice President, Head of Development Northern Europe, Accor.

Speakers took turns to deliver their views, strategies and visions for the future across four stages: vision, collaboration, innovation and transformation that represented the four pillars that underpinned this year’s theme ‘Change for Good.’ Amnd it was clear that there was a real sense of collective excitement and energy, and a renewed optimism for not only the recovery but also the opportunity to reset and reconsider the hospitality industry as a whole. People’s passions have seemingly been reignited. The conversation around ‘responsible recovery’ was discussed throughout the event, and seemed to spill into the discussions at the number of after parties around the city.

The hospitality industry is emerging from the pandemic with a long list of changed priorities. Values – in contrast to value for money – are creating new challenges for the hospitality industry. Sustainability and ESG (Environmental, Social Governance) are becoming ever-more important priorities for customers, operators, employees and owners.

Three inspiring leaders, Satya Anand, President EMEA, Marriott International; Dimitris Manikis, President & MD EMEA, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts and Karin Sheppard, SVP and MD Europe, IHG, discussed the characteristics of a ‘good brand,’ how people are increasingly conscious of ESG and that travel has become more purposeful. “ESG brings a unique opportunity to bring back young people into this sector,” said Manikis. “The future leaders of our industry — doing the right thing for humanity will bring the right people back.”

Karin Sheppard followed this up with the strong statement: “The best we can do today, is not the best we can do tomorrow. Be humble that we are all here to learn and we don’t have all the answers but without steep ambitions nothing will ever change.”

ESG came into sharp focus during the ‘Serviced Living — Capturing the New Demand’ session when Robert Godwin, Managing Director, Lamington Group made clear his strong feelings “with passion and intent there are ways to deliver truly sustainable buildings” and shared his company’s mission to deliver fully net zero carbon hotels in its portfolio.

Image caption: Robert Godwin, Managing Director, Lamington Group speaking passionately about truly sustainable buildings. | Image credit: Simon Callaghan Photography

Image caption: Robert Godwin, Managing Director, Lamington Group speaking passionately about truly sustainable buildings. | Image credit: Simon Callaghan Photography

Lamington Group recently launched Room2 Chiswick, it’s first net zero carbon offering which is 89 per cent more energy efficient than other hotels in the UK. It’s 100 per cent electric, has a blue roof that can hold 50,000 litres of rainwater that filters down for use in the hotel and is covered with 200 tonnes of soil to grow a green roof to encourage biodiversity and insulate the building. Occupancy sensors inside the building manage heating lighting and cooling to provide energy efficiency savings.

Labour shortages are affecting the industry in a huge way and fixing the reputation of the hospitality industry is vital if staffing shortages are to be alleviated. The industry has an unfortunate association with long hours and low pay, something which was highlighted by keynote speaker Gary Neville, who owns GG Hospitality and runs the Stock Exchange Hotel and Hotel Football: “Hospitality staff have been treated poorly for far too long and the pandemic has highlighted that for me. People come first and they need trust and flexibility, empathy and compassion.”

Image caption: Gary Neville, owner of GG Hospitality, said that 'hospitality staff ghave been treated poorly for far too long.' Image credit: Simon Callaghan Photography

Image caption: Gary Neville, owner of GG Hospitality, said that ‘hospitality staff ghave been treated poorly for far too long.’ Image credit: Simon Callaghan Photography

In the ‘Power to the People’ session, Chris Mumford, Founder, Cervus Leadership Consulting, David Orr, CEO, Resident Hotels, Thomas Greenall, CEO, Bespoke Hotels and Harry Cragoe, Owner of The Galivant / Costel Hotels joined forces to address the supply of labour that has resulted in an awareness amongst hotel managers of the wellbeing of their staff.

Harry Cragoe said his business “is all about creating happiness” and he wants happy employees because it means guests are likely to be happy. “At The Gallivant, mini-bonuses of £10 are handed out each time a staff member is name checked by guests giving end-of-stay feedback. Monthly totals can be as much as £300-£400,” he added.

Nicholas Northam, who leads Interstate’s white-label operations at more than 120 hotels in the UK, Ireland, Continental Europe, Russia and CIS, said the labour shortage was less about the number of people available for work and more about the skills of potential employees. “We are looking at many different ways to find the talent we need,” Northam said. Among the programmes that may have previously fallen foul of a company’s behavioural sensibilities, Interstate has set up what he called “academies” in some UK prisons. Thanks to Interstate, Northam said, inmates were receiving instruction on kitchen and housekeeping roles.

Chris Dexter, CEO of Kew Green, in a directly political appeal to the UK Government about relieving pressure in the labour market said: “Open up the visa channels.” Pay rates were rising, he said, but jobs remained unfilled because there were insufficient numbers of people available for work.

Whilst the audience enjoyed hearing the anecdotal insights from the industry’s leading minds and the opportunity to learn from how they re-strategised following such a difficult period, cold hard numbers always win the day.

Thomas Emanuel, Director of STR hosted ‘Decoding the Revenue Data’ in which he gave comprehensive industry analysis — including how the UK has consistently outperformed Europe as a whole, and that Q3 UK occupancy had returned to pre-Covid levels: however, London and other large cities lag behind due to decreased international travel.

Meanwhile, in ‘Profits & Pricing’ Michel Grove, Chief Operating Officer at HotStats and Joe Stather Director, OPRE, Hotels, CBRE Hotels, asked do hotels still appeal to the investor community? Their discussion drew the conclusion that investor demands actually outstrip supply, which is supporting relatively buoyant pricing and in turn an increased number of deals is expected in 2022. They identified that profitability is weakest in London and the gateway cities, however these markets are seeing the strongest investor demand. The growing interest in alternative real estate is also being fuelled by increased investor demand.

Looking ahead, The AHC 2022 will take place on October 3 – 4 at The Manchester Central Convention Complex.

Main image credit: Simon Callaghan Photography

Hamish Kilburn, Tina Norden, Balkaran Bassan and Vince Stroop on stage at HIX

HIX panel discussion: Designing hospitality for the ‘WFHotel’ generation

730 565 Pauline Brettell
HIX panel discussion: Designing hospitality for the ‘WFHotel’ generation

One of the stand-out moments from HIX 2021 was undoubtedly the installations that were displayed in the Hotel Tomorrow gallery. Designed collaboratively by Conran and Partner, Areen Design and stroop design, the aim was to reflect the coming together of co-working spaces and hotels. Editor Hamish Kilburn, who spent six months following the designers, moderated the panel discussion on the HIX Talks stage that explored every corner of the concept in detail. Pauline Brettell writes…

Hamish Kilburn, Tina Norden, Balkaran Bassan and Vince Stroop on stage at HIX

HIX 2021 has been two years in the making – like the entire hospitality industry, the event was subjected to Covid-19 cancellations and delays – but finally, last week saw the experiential trade show in the spotlight at London’s Business Design Centre. True to its manifesto and guiding principles, HIX presented us with not only new products and practical design solutions to marvel over, but it also opened discussion and debate around issues of direction, design and, of course, sustainability.

The spaces in which this spirit of debate and conversation were most visible, were the two installations, along with the discussions that were taken to the HIX Talks stage as a result.

The first of these immersive settings was the WFHotel installation, which presented designers with the challenge of re-looking at the hotel as a “new productive, fluid and well workplace”, and all that that means. It was a collaborative installation by the design studios of Areen Design, Conran & Partners, and stroop design. The three hand-selected studios worked together to present us with emerging possibilities. The designers representing the studios,  Balkaran Bassan, Tina Norden and Vince Stoop joined forces with editor Hamish Kilburn on the HIX Talks stage to explain the process and discuss the thoughts and ideas that resulted in the set, and just how the conversation developed into one that hopefully initiated debate and discussion rather than coming up with a formulaic answer or response. “The access we had into these studios was unprecedented,” said Kilburn. “It allowed us to follow the process from concept through to completion, to understand how each area of the installation evolved and mutate over time. “For me, though, the most inspiring element of this project was how it changed from being a competition between three studios to a purposeful collaboration, which really helped enforce this year’s theme of HIX: ‘all together now’.”

Although the project was a collaborate effort, each designer was able to create their own section within the overall installation. While there is clearly a need to overlap and integrate, the installations and the conversation that followed could be broadly divided into community and function, comfort and cocooning and wellness and nature. “It was inspiring to see how each design studio approached the brief differently,” Kilburn explained. “Conran and Partners injected the energy of community when they decided to launch workshops on their pod on the hour so that the space would transform in time. Meanwhlile, Areen Design created an art installation-style safe cocoon nest that brought down the heart rate. stroop design, very much inspired by its own situation of launching recently with no physical base, was inspired by nature – and unveiled its co-working pod as a walk-in-the-park experience. Outside these three areas, the studios worked together to help set the scene, using visuals and sound as tools for transformation from one area of the show to another.”

Discussing the question of community and function, Conran & Partners developed an interactive and community based focus to the design question. As explained by Tina Norden, while hotels have clearly always had to design for people, this concept took it a step further, encouraging the people using the space to define it and refine it, according to function and needs. Rather than over designing a space, the circular workspace was stripped back to allow for flexibility – flexibility of space and design being a key them throughout the discussion – to allow the people using the space to use it according to their needs in that moment.

The theme of wellness was explored by stroop design. Identifying the ‘work from wherever’ fluidity that has emerged out of the pandemic, and combining it with the importance of nature, especially in the urban built environment, was the focus. Stroop spoke about the need to maximise the ‘pockets of nature’ presented to us, along with the importance of nature in our wellbeing and therefore the importance of integrating that into the workplace and in so doing, ensuring a work, wellness balance.

Becoming a lot more introspective, and really championing the ‘circle of life’ motif that ran through all three installations, Areen Design created a soft and fluid quiet space, a space to cocoon. It was a place for thought, which provided an important counterbalance to the busy communality of the other spaces. Heightened by soft surfaces and lack of colour interference, this space gave a heightened sense of calm, and was a design devoid of unnecessary distraction.

“Not long after being presented with the brief and exploring initial ideas, the conversation soon developed from one of competition into one of collaboration – and this ethos was a positive note that sounded throughout the discussion.”

Having identified the differences, it was soon clear in discussion that the overall installation was all about collaboration and commonality. It was a process that, as mentioned by Kilburn, started out as a competition; a call to arms for three design studios to compete and establish who could come up with the best workplace solution. However, not long after being presented with the brief and exploring initial ideas, the conversation soon developed from one of competition into one of teamwork – and this ethos was a positive note that sounded throughout the discussion.

There was, as already mentioned, a clear theme or key word which emerged out of this discussion; flexibility. The need for flexible spaces and flexible design, to accommodate flexible purpose and mood. Coming out of the pandemic, lines and boundaries have been blurred as our personal spaces have had to be more multi-functional. We are now projecting those experiences onto what we want from public and hospitality spaces, specifically when it comes to design requirements around our co-working space. All three designers discussed at length the need for the need for that concept of flexibility to be applied to the design process as much as to the design itself. People have had to find the ‘space’ at home for work, play and wellness, and now expect hotels to deliver the same. A successful co-working space is about more than providing a socket to charge your phone, people are demanding a place that allows them to be creative, to work, to be responsive.

Tina Norden, Balkaran Bassan and Vince Stroop on stage at HIX

Image caption: Balkaran Bassan, Tina Norden and Vince Stroop were on the HIX Talks stage last week, explaining how their WFHotel concepts developed. Image credit: HIX

Another key theme of this discussion was that, along with the spirit of partnership, there developed an understanding of what we have in common rather than differences, so while on the surface the studios offered three very different design solutions, there was, as discussed by Tina Norden, Conran and Partners, “the red thread that ran through the designs”. The points the installations had in common were as important as their differences, and in fact ideally, aspects of all were required for a successful WFHotel space. The singularity of purpose, that red thread, strengthened the individual designs as they all presented us with different aspects of that flexible new space.

All three designs brought something different into the mix and highlighted the different elements that are required when we are looking critically at hotel design for tomorrow, a tomorrow which is rapidly becoming today. As with a lot of subjects, the questions around co-working spaces and design requirements where already happening before society got locked down, but Covid-19 and the ensuing shifts in society have accelerated this discussion. The WFHotels installation can therefore be seen as a starting point, and possibly even a challenge to start thinking more critically. As Bassan, succinctly put it, these installations should be seen as “conceptual thought bubbles,” that float into other conversations rather than a prescriptive solution.

The entire installation was described by stroop design as a “palette cleanser” from the main exhibition hall – it was a place to decompress after the hard sell of the main event where people where visually vying for space. In this space it was palpably quieter, and a lot calmer. There was a sense of community and common purpose, yet within that there remained space for so many different threads to be followed and discussions to be had.

If it was about creating an experience, then the circle of life swathed in fabric by Areen Design certainly did that, and as you walked into and quietly took time to explore the folds of fabric, you were confronted with the words of Haruki Murakami; “you won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm is all about”

The storm isn’t over, and the world is certainly not the same, but the conversation about what that means for the industry is certainly taking place as we try and work out exactly what the storm is all about. Hopefully, we are able to take back the narrative, and ensure that with some conscious and considered design we can somehow  charge the conversation with an increased positivity and energy.

And the suppliers…

The designers have expressed their sincere gratitude to the companies that and people who helped them throughout this process (and in some instances at very last minute) to achieve each their visual goals. Below is a nod to those brands; the often forgotten or at the very least, under-amplified, manufacturers that are vital part of the puzzle.

Conran and Partners: Alt Collective, Table Place Chairs, Matter of Stuff, Foresso, Fredericia, Carl Hansen & Son, Double Decker, Tomoko Kakita, Muuto
Areen Design: Alt Collective, Table Place Chairs, The Romo Group, Villa Nova, Latham Timber
stroop design: Technogym London, Elite Wallcovering by Article, Leaflike, Gubi, Ligne Roset, Astro Lighting, Romo Fabrics, Solid Surfaces, The Alt Collective, The Sunbeam Group

Main image credit: HIX

The Brit List Awards 2021 Winners story

Winners of The Brit List Awards 2021 unveiled

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Winners of The Brit List Awards 2021 unveiled

On November 3, The Brit List Awards 2021 welcomed more than 500 interior designers, architects, hoteliers, developers and suppliers when it took over London’s famous cabaret venue, PROUD Embankment, for an awards ceremony unlike any other, which crowned nine individual winners and celebrated the UK remaining a leading international hotel design and hospitality hub…

The Brit List Awards 2021 Winners story

Hotel Designs’ annual nationwide search to find the top designers, architects, hoteliers and suppliers operating in Britain came to a dramatic climax on November 3, when more than 500 of the industry’s top names came together at PROUD Embankment for a night of celebration, timeless glamour and frivolous fun: The Brit List Awards 2021 – the awards ceremony had arrived.

“Welcome to PROUD,” roared editor Hamish Kilburn who hosted the awards ceremony, “a relevant emotion that I sincerely hope you are all feeling right now as we gather, scarred and not broken, to celebrate the UK remaining a leading international hotel design and hospitality hub.”

The shortlist, which was unveiled in September, included the names of 130 individuals and projects – the most finalists in the campaign’s history – across nine categories. From here, the judges whittled down the not-so-short shortlist in order to confidently decide this year’s winners.

Following Publisher Katy Phillips and Kilburn’s opening addresses, the evening was divided into two sections. Following tradition, first came the formal unveiling of The Brit List 2021the official publication, produced by Hotel Designs, which includes the profiles of the top 25 interior designers, architects and hoteliers who are a operating in Britain.

In addition the individual awards, The Brit List 2021 can be read here.

The event then continued, with the event’s partners and sponsored invited on stage to announce each winner.

And the winners are… 

INTERIOR DESIGNER OF THE YEAR

The Brit List Awards winner Tina Norden and Maximilian Hotel in Prague

Highly Commended: Geraldine Dohogne, Founder, Beyond Design
Winner: Tina Norden, Partner, Conran and Partners

ARCHITECT OF THE YEAR 

Mark Bruce, Architect of the Year 2021 and a render of NoMad London

Highly Commended: Mark Kelly, Partner, PLP Architecture
Winner: Mark Bruce, Director, EPR Architects

HOTELIER OF THE YEAR 

THE PIG guestroom and Robin Hutson, Hotelier of the Year 2021

Highly Commended: Olivia Richli, General Manager, Heckfield Place 
Winner: Robin Hutson, Founder, THE PIG Hotels

BEST IN TECH

L11 Tuneable white light engine by Franklite

Highly Commended: Sonance audio systems
Winner: L11 Tuneable white light engine, Franklite

THE ECO AWARD

Two seperate images of beds from Silentnight Group

Highly Commended: The Global Collection, manfucatured by Mosa Tiles (supplied by CTD Architectural Tiles)
Winner: Silentnight Group Hospitality

BEST IN BRITISH PRODUCT DESIGN

Close up and lifestyle shot of the Metamorphis collection by The Monkey Puzzle Tree

Highly Commended: Hypnos Contract Beds
Winner: The Metamorphosis collection, The Monkey Puzzle Tree

THE RISING STAR AWARD

A design moodboard and image of Sophie Sheppard, The Rising Star Award winner of 2021

Highly Commended: Matthew Maganga, University of Kent
Winner: Sophie Sheppard, Junior Designer, Concorde BGW Group

THE INTERNATIONAL AWARD

Bill Bensley, Founder, BENSLEY, winner of International Awards, The Brit List Awards 2021

Highly Commended: noa* network of architecture 
Winner: Bill Bensley, Founder, BENSLEY

OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY

Design-led kitchen and Ariane Steinbeck, winner at The Brit List Awards 2021

Winner: Ariane Steinbeck

> Since you’re here, why not also view the ‘in pictures’ story from The Brit List Awards 2021?

Thank you to our Partners!

Headline Partner: Crosswater


Roundtable: The art of lighting

Live roundtable: The art of lighting

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Live roundtable: The art of lighting

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

Roundtable: The art of lighting

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

Meet the panel:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Image credit: The Wigmore/Dernier & Hamlyn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Key takeaways from the discussion:

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

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

Main image credit: Dernier & Hamlyn

Bamboo wall lantern

Product watch: Vaughan presents the Ellisfield Collection

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Product watch: Vaughan presents the Ellisfield Collection

Lighting and furniture brand Vaughan unveiled its latest range, the Ellisfield Collection, at Focus 21 in September. Here’s our editor’s pick of our favourite pieces…

Featuring renditions of beloved classics, such as the Bamboo Lantern and the Windermere Chandelier, as well as contemporary pieces, the Ellisfield Collection by Vaughan is a British design masterpiece.

Bamboo wall lantern

From the tapered legs of the Colemore chest of drawers to the compelling simplicity of the Thackam bookcase, the collection artfully combines beautiful and practical design.

“Throughout lockdown, creativity has been such a source of comfort and joy to me, the result you can see in the pieces here today” explained Lucy Vaughan, Chair and Co-Founder, Vaughan. “From a familiar table that I would see in my grandmother’s house, to a chest of drawers that for years has been placed next to our sitting room, each design brings me a feeling of being at home. Inspired by the aesthetic of the arts and crafts movement, as well as containing considerable Japanese and Chinese influence, the pieces we’ve made have come from a wealth of different backgrounds – undoubtedly adding to their uniqueness ands complexity.”

Editor’s pick

Here’s what stood out in the collection among the editorial team at Hotel Designs:

Leckford table lamp

Leckford table lamp by Vaughan

Image credit: Vaughan

Large in scale, this table lamp has a sophistication and monumentality to it. Initially modelled in clay by our design team, this ceramic piece is then given a striking antiqued finish glaze.

Windermere chandelier

Windermere chandelier in gilt

Image credit: Vaughan

Based on an original antique, this chandelier focuses on a foliate design and has been decorated with individually pressed and formed maple leaves in a gilt finish.

Morestead table

Morestead table by Vaughan

Image credit: Vaughan

Based on an original antique found in Lucy’s grandmother’s house, this piece centres around an Arts and Crafts aesthetic. Composed of two tiers, it has a wonderful decorative feel to it thanks to the knurled legs, and is finished in acacia wood.

Compton table

Based on an antique original Lucy and Michael bought at auction, this table harks back to the Aesthetic Movement, and has a personal link – ideal when giving character to a lobby/lounge. Available in both an ebonised wood and a light oak finish, it is finely decorated with fretwork detailing.

> Since you’re here, why not read about the Chawton Collection by Vaughan?

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

Main caption: The Bamboo Lantern. | Image credit: Vaughan

Skip to main contentSkip to toolbar About WordPress Hotel Designs 341 WordPress Update, 29 Plugin Updates, 4 Theme Updates 1,7011,701 Comments in moderation New View Post Smart Slider Insights Copy to a new draft Hi, Hamish Kilburnmm Log Out Screen Options Help WordPress 5.8.1 is available! Please update now. Please activate your copy of the Ultimate Addons for WPBakery Page Builder to get update notifications, access to support features & other resources! Edit Post Add New Note: Envato official solution is recommended for theme updates using the new Envato Market API. You can now update the theme using the Envato Market plugin. For more information read the related article in our documentation. Dismiss this notice Dismiss this notice. This theme recommends the following plugins: Envato Market, MailChimp for WordPress, Osmosis Demo Importer and WooCommerce. 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Last edited by Hamish Kilburn on 22 October 2021 at 8:44 am Move upMove downToggle panel: Format Post Formats Standard Gallery Link Quote Video Audio Move upMove downToggle panel: Publish Preview (opens in a new tab) Status: Draft Edit Edit status Visibility: Public Edit Edit visibility Publish immediately Edit Edit date and time SEO: Unavailable Copy to a new draft Move to Bin Move upMove downToggle panel: Categories All Categories Most Used Uncategorised Editor’s Picks In Conversation With Industry News 1st mpu news 2nd mpu news 3rd mpu news 4th mpu news bottom section news Job Section Designers Featured Job Industry Latest Hotel Review 1st mpu review 2nd mpu review 3rd mpu review 4th mpu review bottom section review Main Slider Member News 1st mpu members 2nd mpu members 3rd mpu members 4th mpu members bottom section members Member News Homepage Most Read Spotlight On Supplier News + Add New Category Move upMove downToggle panel: Tags Add New Tag Separate tags with commas Remove term: 2021 2021 Choose from the most used tags Move upMove downToggle panel: Featured image Set featured image Move upMove downToggle panel: The Grid - Item Format Move upMove downToggle panel: Insert script to Move upMove downToggle panel: Custom HotSpot Hotel Development Move upMove downToggle panel: Configure Rich Snippet Move upMove downToggle panel: WPBakery Page Builder WPBakery Page Builder PreviewUpdate Custom [page_title] Mexico’s wine country in Baja California will become home to Banyan Tree Group’s fourth property in the region. Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe Resort, Spa and Winery is slated to open in 2023. In the meantime, we here's a sneak peek of what to expect inside... [thumbnailnew] Banyan Tree Group is on a mission to expand its presence across Mexico, with the announcement that it will manage Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe Resort, Spa and Winery, which is set to open on the hills of Mexico’s emerging food and wine region in Baja California during the 2023 harvest season. The 30-villa ultra-luxury resort will mark Banyan Tree Group’s fourth hotel in Mexico. Valle de Guadalupe is a rapidly growing tourism market that continues to gain international recognition as one of Mexico’s emerging destinations and one that Banyan Tree Group is focused on for development. Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe will join the global brand’s iconic collection of properties across Mexico, from Riviera Maya and Merida to Acapulco. The group's legacy as pioneer of the all-pool villa concept and sustainable, wellbeing-focused travel will be infused into the Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe experience. The luxurious enclave, designed by the office of renowned Mexican designer Michel Rojkind and developed by Grupo UBK, will boast striking villas that draw in the valley’s natural surroundings with a sense of place that connect guests with the beauty around them. The property sits on nearly 39 acres of land and will be home to Banyan Tree Group’s first proprietary winery featuring vineyards, rooms for fermentation, barreling and aging, a winemaking laboratory, tasting room and underground cellar. The winery will work with talented locals for the production of wines to ensure the preservation of the environment, a key component of the business model for the community. "Banyan Tree has been exploring the area around Valle de Guadalupe for quite some time,” says Peter Hechler, SAVP, Head of Regional Operations for the Middle East, Europe, Africa and Americas. Primed to be Mexico’s next most sought-after destination, Valle de Guadalupe is a quick hour-long drive for travelers in Southern California looking to spend a few days in a culinary mecca amongst Mexico’s best vineyards that are well worth the journey. “We strongly believe this is a thriving destination with a bright future and one that is already making a name for itself amongst the top locations to explore in Mexico. We are very excited and honoured to be the first luxury brand to set foot in the area." Valle de Guadalupe’s agricultural spirit, New World wines and impressive culinary scene will be woven into the fabric of the guest experience at Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe. Nestled amidst olive oil groves and grapevines, five food and beverage venues are found in the centre of the resort, including a terrace restaurant, fine-dining eatery, cocktail bar, coffee house and a hilltop rooftop concept featuring breathtaking views of the valley. On the food and spa menus, guests will be able to spot seven varieties of medicinal plants indigenous to the area such as hoja santa and white sage, that were grown steps away at its onsite bio-endemic garden sanctuary, as well as freshly pressed olive oil that is harvested and produced at the winery itself. Known as a sanctuary for the senses, Banyan Tree’s signature award-winning Spa comprises four treatment rooms, sauna, a state-of-the-art fitness centre and both indoor and outdoor swimming pools. Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe is the latest addition to Banyan Tree Group’s ambitious growth plans of strategic expansion in Mexico. With a proven track record success in operating Banyan Tree Mayakoba, Banyan Tree Cabo Marqués in Acapulco and Hacienda Xcanatun by Angsana in Merida, the Group’s vast knowledge of the market and keen ability to choose desirable destinations for growth will propel the resort and the region of Valle de Guadalupe to new heights. In addition, new signing announcements in the pipeline by Banyan Tree Group are set to be unveiled soon. Main image credit: Banyan Tree Group Move upMove downToggle panel: Excerpt Excerpt Excerpts are optional hand-crafted summaries of your content that can be used in your theme. Learn more about manual excerpts. 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Banyan Tree Group expands portfolio in Mexico

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Banyan Tree Group expands portfolio in Mexico

Mexico’s wine country in Baja California will become home to Banyan Tree Group’s fourth property in the region. Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe Resort, Spa and Winery is slated to open in 2023. In the meantime, we here’s a sneak peek of what to expect inside…

Skip to main contentSkip to toolbar About WordPress Hotel Designs 341 WordPress Update, 29 Plugin Updates, 4 Theme Updates 1,7011,701 Comments in moderation New View Post Smart Slider Insights Copy to a new draft Hi, Hamish Kilburnmm Log Out Screen Options Help WordPress 5.8.1 is available! Please update now. Please activate your copy of the Ultimate Addons for WPBakery Page Builder to get update notifications, access to support features & other resources! Edit Post Add New Note: Envato official solution is recommended for theme updates using the new Envato Market API. You can now update the theme using the Envato Market plugin. For more information read the related article in our documentation. Dismiss this notice Dismiss this notice. This theme recommends the following plugins: Envato Market, MailChimp for WordPress, Osmosis Demo Importer and WooCommerce. The following plugins need to be updated to their latest version to ensure maximum compatibility with this theme: Go Pricing - WordPress Responsive Pricing Tables and Revolution Slider. Begin installing plugins | Begin updating plugins | Dismiss this notice Dismiss this notice. Post draft updated. Preview post Dismiss this notice. Add title Banyan Tree Group expands portfolio in Mexico Permalink: https://hoteldesigns.net/uncategorised/banyan-tree-grou…tfolio-in-mexico/ ‎Edit Classic ModeFrontend EditorGutenberg Editor Add Media Add Slider Add Form VisualText Paragraph Word count: 673 Draft saved at 8:47:04 am. Last edited by Hamish Kilburn on 22 October 2021 at 8:44 am Move upMove downToggle panel: Format Post Formats Standard Gallery Link Quote Video Audio Move upMove downToggle panel: Publish Preview (opens in a new tab) Status: Draft Edit Edit status Visibility: Public Edit Edit visibility Publish immediately Edit Edit date and time SEO: Unavailable Copy to a new draft Move to Bin Move upMove downToggle panel: Categories All Categories Most Used Uncategorised Editor’s Picks In Conversation With Industry News 1st mpu news 2nd mpu news 3rd mpu news 4th mpu news bottom section news Job Section Designers Featured Job Industry Latest Hotel Review 1st mpu review 2nd mpu review 3rd mpu review 4th mpu review bottom section review Main Slider Member News 1st mpu members 2nd mpu members 3rd mpu members 4th mpu members bottom section members Member News Homepage Most Read Spotlight On Supplier News + Add New Category Move upMove downToggle panel: Tags Add New Tag Separate tags with commas Remove term: 2021 2021 Choose from the most used tags Move upMove downToggle panel: Featured image Set featured image Move upMove downToggle panel: The Grid - Item Format Move upMove downToggle panel: Insert script to Move upMove downToggle panel: Custom HotSpot Hotel Development Move upMove downToggle panel: Configure Rich Snippet Move upMove downToggle panel: WPBakery Page Builder WPBakery Page Builder PreviewUpdate Custom [page_title] Mexico’s wine country in Baja California will become home to Banyan Tree Group’s fourth property in the region. Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe Resort, Spa and Winery is slated to open in 2023. In the meantime, we here's a sneak peek of what to expect inside... [thumbnailnew] Banyan Tree Group is on a mission to expand its presence across Mexico, with the announcement that it will manage Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe Resort, Spa and Winery, which is set to open on the hills of Mexico’s emerging food and wine region in Baja California during the 2023 harvest season. The 30-villa ultra-luxury resort will mark Banyan Tree Group’s fourth hotel in Mexico. Valle de Guadalupe is a rapidly growing tourism market that continues to gain international recognition as one of Mexico’s emerging destinations and one that Banyan Tree Group is focused on for development. Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe will join the global brand’s iconic collection of properties across Mexico, from Riviera Maya and Merida to Acapulco. The group's legacy as pioneer of the all-pool villa concept and sustainable, wellbeing-focused travel will be infused into the Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe experience. The luxurious enclave, designed by the office of renowned Mexican designer Michel Rojkind and developed by Grupo UBK, will boast striking villas that draw in the valley’s natural surroundings with a sense of place that connect guests with the beauty around them. The property sits on nearly 39 acres of land and will be home to Banyan Tree Group’s first proprietary winery featuring vineyards, rooms for fermentation, barreling and aging, a winemaking laboratory, tasting room and underground cellar. The winery will work with talented locals for the production of wines to ensure the preservation of the environment, a key component of the business model for the community. "Banyan Tree has been exploring the area around Valle de Guadalupe for quite some time,” says Peter Hechler, SAVP, Head of Regional Operations for the Middle East, Europe, Africa and Americas. Primed to be Mexico’s next most sought-after destination, Valle de Guadalupe is a quick hour-long drive for travelers in Southern California looking to spend a few days in a culinary mecca amongst Mexico’s best vineyards that are well worth the journey. “We strongly believe this is a thriving destination with a bright future and one that is already making a name for itself amongst the top locations to explore in Mexico. We are very excited and honoured to be the first luxury brand to set foot in the area." Valle de Guadalupe’s agricultural spirit, New World wines and impressive culinary scene will be woven into the fabric of the guest experience at Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe. Nestled amidst olive oil groves and grapevines, five food and beverage venues are found in the centre of the resort, including a terrace restaurant, fine-dining eatery, cocktail bar, coffee house and a hilltop rooftop concept featuring breathtaking views of the valley. On the food and spa menus, guests will be able to spot seven varieties of medicinal plants indigenous to the area such as hoja santa and white sage, that were grown steps away at its onsite bio-endemic garden sanctuary, as well as freshly pressed olive oil that is harvested and produced at the winery itself. Known as a sanctuary for the senses, Banyan Tree’s signature award-winning Spa comprises four treatment rooms, sauna, a state-of-the-art fitness centre and both indoor and outdoor swimming pools. Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe is the latest addition to Banyan Tree Group’s ambitious growth plans of strategic expansion in Mexico. With a proven track record success in operating Banyan Tree Mayakoba, Banyan Tree Cabo Marqués in Acapulco and Hacienda Xcanatun by Angsana in Merida, the Group’s vast knowledge of the market and keen ability to choose desirable destinations for growth will propel the resort and the region of Valle de Guadalupe to new heights. In addition, new signing announcements in the pipeline by Banyan Tree Group are set to be unveiled soon. Main image credit: Banyan Tree Group Move upMove downToggle panel: Excerpt Excerpt Excerpts are optional hand-crafted summaries of your content that can be used in your theme. Learn more about manual excerpts. Move upMove downToggle panel: Yoast SEO SEO Social Focus keyphraseHelp on choosing the perfect focus keyphrase(Opens in a new browser tab) Snippet Preview URL preview:https://hoteldesigns.net › uncategorised › banyan-tree-group-expands-portfolio-in-mexicoSEO title preview: Banyan Tree Group expands portfolio in Mexico • Hotel Designs Meta description preview: Oct 22, 2021 ⋅ [vc_row padding_top="35"][vc_column width="1/3"][vc_column_text el_class="newposttitle"][page_title][/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Mexico’s wine country Mobile previewDesktop previewEdit snippet SEO analysis Enter a focus keyphrase to calculate the SEO score Add related keyphrase Cornerstone content Advanced Move upMove downToggle panel: Send Trackbacks Send trackbacks to: Separate multiple URLs with spaces Trackbacks are a way to notify legacy blog systems that you’ve linked to them. If you link other WordPress sites, they’ll be notified automatically using pingbacks, no other action necessary. Move upMove downToggle panel: Discussion Allow comments Allow trackbacks and pingbacks on this page Move upMove downToggle panel: Slug Slug Move upMove downToggle panel: Author Author Move upMove downToggle panel: Revolution Slider Options Choose Slide Template Move upMove downToggle panel: Plugin Organizer Move upMove downToggle panel: AddThis Tools Select "Off" to stop the AddThis plugin from automatically adding tools above and below this entry. On Off Move upMove downToggle panel: Post Options Layout Select post content and sidebar alignment. Default is configured in Theme Options - Blog Options - Single Post. Sidebar Select post sidebar. Default is configured in Theme Options - Blog Options - Single Post. Sidebar Background Color Select sidebar background color. Default is configured in Appearance - Customize - Colors - Sidebars - Post Sidebar Background Color Fixed Sidebar If selected, sidebar will be fixed. Disable Title If selected, title will be hidden. 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Dismiss Close dialogue Featured image Upload filesMedia LibraryExpand Details Filter mediaFilter by typeFilter by dateSearch Media list ATTACHMENT DETAILS BTG_VDG-Room-Rendering-3.jpeg 22 October 2021113 KB 730 by 565 pixels Edit Image Delete permanently Alt Text Room Rendering of guestroom inside Banyan Tree htoel in Mexico wine region Describe the purpose of the image (opens in a new tab). Leave empty if the image is purely decorative.Title Room Rendering of guestroom inside Banyan Tree htoel in Mexico wine region Caption Description File URL: https://hoteldesigns.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/BTG_VDG-Room-Rendering-3.jpeg Copy URL to clipboard Smush 13 images reduced by 25.3 KB (4.8%) Image size: 112.8 KB Restore | View Stats Required fields are marked * Category All CategoriesMost Used + Add New Category Tag All TagsMost Used + Add New Tag Selected media actions Set featured image

Banyan Tree Group is on a mission to expand its presence across Mexico, with the announcement that it will manage Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe Resort, Spa and Winery, which is set to open on the hills of Mexico’s emerging food and wine region in Baja California during the 2023 harvest season.

The 30-villa ultra-luxury resort will mark Banyan Tree Group’s fourth hotel in Mexico. Valle de Guadalupe is a rapidly growing tourism market that continues to gain international recognition as one of Mexico’s emerging destinations and one that Banyan Tree Group is focused on for development. Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe will join the global brand’s iconic collection of properties across Mexico, from Riviera Maya and Merida to Acapulco.  

The group’s legacy as pioneer of the all-pool villa concept and sustainable, wellbeing-focused travel will be infused into the Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe experience. The luxurious enclave, designed by the office of renowned Mexican designer Michel Rojkind and developed by Grupo UBK, will boast striking villas that draw in the valley’s natural surroundings with a sense of place that connect guests with the beauty around them. The property sits on nearly 39 acres of land and will be home to Banyan Tree Group’s first proprietary winery featuring vineyards, rooms for fermentation, barreling and ageing, a winemaking laboratory, tasting room and underground cellar. The winery will work with talented locals for the production of wines to ensure the preservation of the environment, a key component of the business model for the community.  

“We strongly believe this is a thriving destination with a bright future and one that is already making a name for itself amongst the top locations to explore in Mexico.” – Peter Hechler, SAVP, Head of Regional Operations for the Middle East, Europe, Africa and Americas.

“Banyan Tree has been exploring the area around Valle de Guadalupe for quite some time,” says Peter Hechler, SAVP, Head of Regional Operations for the Middle East, Europe, Africa and Americas. “Primed to be Mexico’s next most sought-after destination, Valle de Guadalupe is a quick hour-long drive for travellers in Southern California looking to spend a few days in a culinary mecca amongst Mexico’s best vineyards that are well worth the journey. We strongly believe this is a thriving destination with a bright future and one that is already making a name for itself amongst the top locations to explore in Mexico. We are very excited and honoured to be the first luxury brand to set foot in the area.”   

Valle de Guadalupe’s agricultural spirit, New World wines and impressive culinary scene will be woven into the fabric of the guest experience at Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe. Nestled amidst olive oil groves and grapevines, five food and beverage venues are found in the centre of the resort, including a terrace restaurant, fine-dining eatery, cocktail bar, coffee house and a hilltop rooftop concept featuring breathtaking views of the valley. On the food and spa menus, guests will be able to spot seven varieties of medicinal plants indigenous to the area such as hoja santa and white sage, that were grown steps away at its onsite bio-endemic garden sanctuary, as well as freshly pressed olive oil that is harvested and produced at the winery itself. Known as a sanctuary for the senses, Banyan Tree’s signature award-winning Spa comprises four treatment rooms, sauna, a state-of-the-art fitness centre and both indoor and outdoor swimming pools.   

Banyan Tree Valle de Guadalupe is the latest addition to Banyan Tree Group’s ambitious growth plans of strategic expansion in Mexico. With a proven track record success in operating Banyan Tree Mayakoba, Banyan Tree Cabo Marqués in Acapulco and Hacienda Xcanatun by Angsana in Merida, the group’s vast knowledge of the market and keen ability to choose desirable destinations for growth will propel the resort and the region of Valle de Guadalupe to new heights. In addition, new signing announcements in the pipeline by Banyan Tree Group are set to be unveiled soon.   

> Since you’re here, why not read about Banyan Tree Group’s first luxury resort to open in Krabi in 11 years?

Main image credit: Banyan Tree Group

Virtual roundtable - bathroom specification

Virtual roundtable: Concept vs reality in bathroom specification

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Virtual roundtable: Concept vs reality in bathroom specification

With new demands from modern travellers asking for heightened wellness and wellbeing experiences sheltered inside hotels, designing a timeless bathroom has become even more of a challenge in recent years. Hotel Designs’ latest roundtable, in association with Utopia Projects, welcomes leading interior designers to help us separate concept over reality when it comes to specifying bathroom elements…

Virtual roundtable - bathroom specification

There’s a lot more to bathroom specification than simply selecting products, on budget, that will create the exact look and feel you were trying to achieve. In 2020, Ideal Standard undertook some research to establish exactly what interior designers’ thoughts were regarding bathroom design. The results showed that 73 per cent of designers agreed that washrooms are the most difficult rooms to design and plan in commercial projects. Some would argue, with new consumer demands around wellness and wellbeing, if the same survey was taken today then that number would be much higher.

In order to understand the challenges – and more importantly the solutions – when it comes to specifying bathrooms in 2021, we launched a roundtable with the help of Utopia Projects, which offers a unique service, working with designers to specify the appropriate products for their projects at the best prices, after the layout of a bathroom has been established. To cut through the noise, and to really understand the industry’s top tips when it comes to designing the bathroom, we were joined by industry-leading interior designers.

On the panel: 

Hamish Kilburn: How much of the design is driven by function and how much is driven by the form of the design? 

Craig McCkie: As hospitality designers, I believe we like to get the foundations right first – and a great shower experience is a great place to start.

When working with hotel chains, there are certain bathroom brands that we naturally gravitate towards because they meet brand standards. What is encouraging to see is that those brands give us the luxury to explore different finishes, colours and other qualities. I think the industry has really benefited, aesthetically, from the drive for suppliers to bring down the cost of these additional services.

Vince Stroop: For seven years or more, hotel bathroom design has been following certain trends taken from the residential sector. In order for that to happen, brands that supplied to the hospitality industry had to keep up. As a result, there are now more options out there that, importantly, also function really well. Generically speaking, there are two things any guest is after when checking in to a hotel: a comfortable bed and a decent shower. If you don’t get those elements right then you will lose out on getting repeat business. To be competitive, brands and independents have had to step up.

Nick Hickson: In addition to budget, it’s also important to consider the amount of space allocated to bathrooms – I have seen bathroom space allocated in hotels grow over the years, as it [the bathroom] has become a more of a feature within the overall aesthetic. In some ways, we are now trying to open the bathroom up or have a visible window from this area into the bedroom in order to pinch some of the space back. Ultimately, this comes down to designing the bathroom intelligently so that there is a cohesive language in both areas.

HK: How much of the overall budget is typically allocated towards the bathrooms in hotel design?

Joey Goei-Jones: With the clients we’ve been working with, they are all starting to realise the importance of the bathroom within the offering of the guest experience. If there is a complaint, more likely than not, it will come from the bathroom. In cities such as London, there are a lot of older properties so bathrooms tend to be outdated. What we try to do is encourage clients to considering things as a whole when making budget decisions.

A lot of the time, we see clients allocating about 20 – 25 per cent of the per-room budget on the bathrooms. I always say that realistically they are not going to be refurbish the bathroom regularly so we would much prefer to throw everything at the bathroom in order to future-proof it, which is such an important element.

Also, as consumer demands evolve we have had to consider other things, such as shower or WASHLET toilets. Traditionally, we would never intentionally put electric products too close to water for obvious reasons. Therefore, making sure the infrastructure is up to a quality standard is vital.

Stuart Adamson: One of our driving factors when working with designers is that we look at those elements, and when considering future-proofing the reliability factor creeps in because aesthetics is one thing. Most manufacturers will tell you that they can meet the water pressure requirements and the flow requirements that you need to reduce flow but without sacrificing performance. What we have realised is that some manufacturers are better than others when it comes to producing really good spares availability for a long time after the product has been discontinued. We are constantly searching for the brands that really shine in this area to ensure that the products we specify really are future-proofed.

HK: Why aren’t more brands that are well known in the residential market more popular among hotel designers?

CM: We can be very limited because certain hotel groups already have their list of preferred suppliers.

NH: Reliability is key and many of the German brands have really proven themselves in this area. From our brand, being more Italian, we just like to look at collections that (I have to say) are just so much better looking.

We are working on a project at the moment where we are working closely with a supplier to modify and adapt a particular range they already have on the market so that it is more relevant for a spa environment. Yes, there’s a longer lead time – in fact, it takes more time for everyone involved – but there is a uniqueness about that project.

DH: I think it’s true, in the last five or six years, clients have been wanting everything to feel more bespoke and they are wanting to have something unique in their design. We are finding this more and more, which is very closely linked to the rise in lifestyle brands and hotels. Everyone is seeing that movement influence design and considering the interface guests have with these products. Therefore, bespoke design is finding a larger role.

Luxury bathroom in the Maldives

Image credit: Kuda Villingili

HK: In an industry that is full of collaboration, what is holding designers back when it comes to working with a bathroom consultant?

JGJ: Certain suppliers will be a bit louder about their brands ­– and therefore we only really here from the suppliers and not the bathroom consultants who are able to give us all the ranges. We view Utopia Projects as experts and they are able to give us immediate information.

VS: We have a similar situation. Also, we are working with a lot of consultants already on a project, but it would be great to work with a bathroom consultant just so that we can then flex our design muscle a bit stronger. Also, it’s really helpful to be able to have that impartial, non-biased voice when it comes to advice.

HK: In a previous roundtable, we focused the spotlight on ethical design – and it was pretty shocking to realise that major brands are unknowingly partnering with factories that have terrible ethical values in the race to label their products with competitive prices. With this in mind, how much research do you, as designers, put in to finding out the methods of manufacturing and the materials used in the production stages?

JGJ: In the bathroom area, especially, a lot of brands have always been very open and have invited us to the factories. For me, that’s always been really valuable because you can meet the people who are making the products and see where the waste goes. In general, it just gives us peace of mind.

SA: We only work with brands who will release an ethical statement for the business. We will not work with brands where there is no traceability.

NH: I tend to look at bathroom design like architecture design because you are looking at so many different elements and materials that have to fit together and meet solutions. These are things that any designer, looking at that aspect, has to be very aware. When things go wrong, they go wrong badly. When you understand the architectural conjunction, you prevent where possible running into those issues. Following on from that, understanding the ethical decisions, we somewhat take it for granted that these brands are doing everything they can to ensure we are operating in an ethical arena.

Bathroom inside Six Senses Ibiza

Image credit: Six Senses Ibiza

HK: How far can we push the boundaries of bathroom design, which as you mention, has to be very technically accurate? 

NH: It’s a juggling act, and what we try to is break down these established rules. It’s not always easy and it can take up a little more space but that develops new solutions within those spaces. For us, it’s just a creative process that we really enjoying working in. As a result, it enlivens the guests experience and allows for a more enriching experience.

CM: Going back to budget, the vanity space can be as important in a room than any of the FF&E. A nice piece is a nice piece. It blurs the line where you are spending the money. If you bring the bathroom into the guestroom then, then you are creating multi-purpose spaces. In terms of longevity, a vanity piece is going to be made of more robust material – so that makes a lot of sense.

HK: What would say is the biggest challenge that modern designers face when creating bathroom spaces?

JGJ: A lot of the time it will come down to budget, but brands are developing so quickly to launch new products. It can be difficult to be up to date on the latest products, and that’s where a consultant can really help. Clients are starting to gauge on the technical side and we are all learning – and that naturally lends itself well to working with experts.

NH: Some of the challenges are unavoidable. The bathroom is probably the area within the hotel that changes the most from concept to completion. This is because of all the connections with all the services within the building. Especially on new-builds where space is a premium, you spend a good amount of time just formatting the rises that are coming into the building.

VS: And the layout of the bathroom is actually one of the biggest aspects – and it is a huge challenge for designers, to ensure, from an operational perspective, that these areas are accessible to get to. On top of that, you have to design a unique experience for your guests. If designers go too trendy in their design then they are potentially lowering that space’s longevity. I approach bathroom design like a puzzle and try to find the right parts that fit.

HK: When you’re pitching, how many of those boxes when it comes to bathroom design are ticked?

DH: I think it’s really key, when you are pitching, that you put forward something that is forward-thinking and that is different. It is important to push yourselves and your perspective clients to think differently. Of course, budget is a consideration, but if you sell the big idea of a particular part of a bathroom that becomes an integral part of the design, you can manage the budget in different ways to ensure that it happens.

NH: As designers, we are presenting good ideas but sometimes a client can run away with your idea. Therefore, I think it’s wise to be suggestive. There is a very fine line there, and we tend to be a bit more conceptual in our pitches.

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

Main image credit: Utopia Projects/Hotel Designs/University Arms Cambridge

Zany project insitu

Product watch: L11 tuneable white light engine by Franklite

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Product watch: L11 tuneable white light engine by Franklite

Introducing lighting brand Franklite’s latest development in LED technology, the L11 tuneable white light engine, which has been shortlisted in the ‘Best in Tech’ category at The Brit List Awards 2021…

Franklite remains at the forefront of the lighting industry as a result of the hard work and dedication of its technical team, who continue to develop the latest in technology and custom design projects. The UK-based brand’s latest unveil takes LED technology to a whole new lighting level, the L11 tuneable white light engine.

Zany project insitu

The product is an innovative and unique take on a traditional candle lamp – designed and manufactured at the brand’s factory in Milton Keynes and tested in our in-house laboratory. The technology offers a smooth transition between amber and cool white from 1,700 to 3,650 kelvin.

Designers now have the capability to easily control the transition of light colour temperature wirelessly through an app or hard-wired within a building management system. With a dimming range from 100 per cent down to one per cent, users are able to create the perfect ambience with a simple touch of a button all while providing customers with the ultimate sensory experience.

The L11 tuneable white light engine is designed to fit a wide range of decorative fittings including chandeliers, lanterns, pendants and wall brackets. The technology can be replicated into the manufacturing of our LED plates for Franklite’s Woburn shade family, and custom designed projects.

Other benefits to using the light engine include a high quality of light across the whole CCT spectrum, increase in light output which exceeds retrofit LED lamps available on the market, longevity and reduced maintenance costs. This dedicated LED technology contributes significantly to energy efficiency with an 80 per cent saving using only 11W.

Franklite L11TW Overview

Image credit: Franklite

Franklite only partners with reputable brands such as eldoLED, Bridgelux and CASAMBI and as a member of the Lighting Industry Association Quality Assurance our quality system and product compliance are audited yearly to ensure it maintains the high level of standard expected.

The L11 tuneable white light engine can also be accompanied by maintained emergency gear within Franklite’s extensive range of wall brackets and flush ceiling fittings. With the essential functionality uniquely hidden, users are still able to comply with health and safety guidelines whilst providing guests with the ultimate luxury experience.

> Since you’re here, why not read about what else is new from Franklite?

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

Main image credit: Franklite

Lanserhof in Sylt bathroom and suite

Lanserhof to open first island hotel in Spring 2022

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Lanserhof to open first island hotel in Spring 2022

Lanserhof, Europe’s leader in innovative health, has announced that it will open its first island hotel in 2022. Located in Sylt, the 55-key luxury hotel will be designed by internationally renowned architect Christoph Ingenhoven, and will shelter a cutting-edge wellness experience under a contemporary roof. Here’s what we know…

Lanserhof in Sylt bathroom and suite

Arriving in 2022 in Sylt – AKA the ‘Hamptons of Germany’ – Lanserhof, a leading brand in innovative health, has unveiled that its debut island hotel will feature just 55 rooms and shelter design by internationally renowned architect Christoph Ingenhoven.

Sylt, an island in the Frisian archipelago in northern Germany, has long been treasured for its famous healing climate and restorative sea air, which can provide significant relief for allergy and respiratory disease sufferers. Reachable by air via Düsseldorf year-round, with just 15,000 inhabitants, the island offers 40 kilometres of fine sandy beach and three shifting sand dunes, the only ones left in all of Germany. Set on UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Wadden Sea, Sylt is home to some of the continent’s most astonishing wildlife and flora and fauna; whale watching is possible during the summer months while harbour porpoises can be spotted off the coast year-round.

Render of shoreline at Lanserhof Sylt

Image credit: Ingenhoven Architects

Lanserhof Sylt, a €120 million project more than five years in the making, will offer the brand’s signature approach, which combines cutting-edge diagnostics with natural healing methods, overseen by Medical Director and Cardiologist Dr. Jan Stritzke, a specialist in cardiological rehabilitation for acute and chronic illnesses. “At Lanserhof Sylt, the magic of a new beginning can not only be felt but experienced,” explained Dr. Stritzke. “Surrounded by the unique and ever-present nature of Sylt, the new health resort awaits guests in a place where modern, flowing and natural architecture radiates tranquillity and at the same time combines modern cutting-edge medicine with the help of state-of-the-art equipment and alternative naturopathy. The natural and traditional combined with the new and modern are thus reflected in both the architecture of the resort and at the same time in the medical concept. This is something very unique. For this new Lanserh of experience we have built a great team of physicians, therapists, sports and nutrition scientists and beauticians. I can’t wait to introduce it to our guests.”

Wellness pool inside Lanserhof Sylt

Image credit: Ingenhoven Architects

Housing 55 rooms and suites beneath Europe’s largest thatched roof, the resort will have a combined guest area of more than 20,000m2. In addition to the main building, the resort will feature two interconnected saltwater indoor and outdoor pools complete with counter-current system and a five-story freestanding spiral staircase centrepiece. A continuous glass facade, the largest on Sylt, will give the impression that the thatched roof floats above, giving the property a weightless character that blends seamlessly into the rolling dunes and landscape beyond.

Render of luxury bedroom inside Lanserhof Sylt

Image credit: Ingenhoven Architects

The guestrooms range upwards in size from 39m2 double rooms and all feature their very own private balcony cut into the thatched roof of the building. These balconies are the first of their kind, creating an abundance of light within the room while providing a tranquil spot for guests to enjoy the healing sea air amidst panoramic views of the sea and sand dunes ahead. Selected rooms will feature beds with innovative FreshBed technology to ensure the perfect night’s sleep, in addition to a unique, human-centric lighting concept to keep guests in harmony with the natural biorhythm.

The hotel has been constructed using entirely sustainable, non-emitting materials. The design finds inspiration from the surrounding area and climate, as well as in the construction of Frisian houses, which typically feature low storeys, glass, wood and thatch. Natural, curved shapes mirror the island’s sand dunes, while a pared-back aesthetic featuring wood, earthen tones and organic materials allows the magnificent setting to take centre-stage.

The timeless, unique nature of Sylt in combination with the new, modern Lanserh of property with its flowing, corner-less architecture has a health-promoting effect on body, mind and soul, just like the traditional naturopathy and state-of-the-art cutting-edge medicine contained in the Lanserhof Concept.

Main image credit: Ingenhoven Architects

Hotel Designs | A mint and soft pink tonal tiles in the kitchen

Surface design trend: Tonal tiles in all shapes & sizes

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Surface design trend: Tonal tiles in all shapes & sizes

As we pivot into a new design season, we take a look at CTD Architectural Tiles’ latest tonal collection, which is right on trend…

As interior design schemes in the commercial and hospitality sectors become more adventurous and demanding in terms of aesthetics, interior designers, architects and developers are calling for a breadth of co-ordinating product choice when it comes to surface design.

Hotel Designs | A mint and soft pink tonal tiles in the kitchen

Offering its customers true design value and flexibility, CTD Architectural Tiles boasts a vast and varied product portfolio comprising of numerous co-ordinating collections, ensuring project briefs can be achieved with ease. Corresponding colour palettes, textural contrasts and pattern arrangements can work in harmony across different collections, producing schemes that deliver both style and practicality.

 

The Varadero patterned hexagon tile collection and the colourful Poitiers range are often specified thanks to their corresponding tones. From the cool mint hues and soothing blue shades to more neutral greys, the collections pair effortlessly. The contrast in the finish from glossy to matte and pattern to plain colour ensures the completed scheme will have the ideal balance of character and style whilst still co-ordinating exquisitely.

Inspired by the warmth and colours of the Mediterranean, the BOW and Terra collections complement each other exceptionally well. The soft terracotta tones of Terra, available in a range of formats for a variety of layout options, and the pops of colour and curved shape of the BOW tiles provide the perfect solution for walls and floors in hospitality, commercial, retail and residential projects alike.

Hotel Designs | Minimalist design of room with tonal design scheme

Image credit: CTD Architectural Tiles

Enhance a scheme by adding complementary colours and patterns to these ranges through the popular Poitiers and Varadero collections. For an effortless earthy palette with a hint of inspiration from nature, introduce a deep green and soft blues to the clay tones of Terra, or for a more daring approach, combine tonal variations of pink and red with a neutral grey base for a statement scheme that’s guaranteed to add wow-factor.

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

Main image credit: CTD Architectural Tiles

A subdued design scheme inside Ace Hotel Sydney guestroom

Ace unveils design details for its debut hotel in Australia

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Ace unveils design details for its debut hotel in Australia

Atelier Ace has announced that Flack Studio is the primary design partner for Ace Hotel Sydney, which will open in 2022. The 264-key hotel will be housed inside the site of one of Australia’s first ceramic kilns – we wonder where the designers will source their inspiration from…

A subdued design scheme inside Ace Hotel Sydney guestroom

Muti-disciplinary interior design and architecture firm Flack Studio, founded in 2014, has been announced as the primary design partner for Ace Hotel Sydney, which, when it opens in 2022, will mark Ace’s first stake in the southern hemisphere.

With a ground floor restaurant, bar and cafe in the hotel’s communal lobby and a restaurant and bar on the rooftop, Ace Hotel Sydney will invite the ready rhythm of Surry Hills inside — an active commons for culture, commerce, art and community. The hotel itself will be housed in the area’s historic Tyne House brick factory — the site of one of Australia’s first ceramic kilns.

“Though its culture and character are all its own, we’ve always felt a strong a affinity with Australia — its intrepid optimism and renegade spirit resonates with Ace’s roots on the Pacific Coast of America,” said Brad Wilson, President, Ace Hotel Group. “We love the country’s distinctive brand of modernism, particularly in the use of local organic materials, and were lucky enough to find a perfectly modernist partner in Flack Studio. David’s eye for colour and space is completely singular — a dream design collaborator for our first hotel in Australia.”

“Flack Studio embraced organic materials to create spaces honest to this history.”

Inspired by the rich history of Surry Hills and the warm, cinematic colour palette of the Australian landscape, the design of Ace Hotel Sydney acts as a call and response with the city’s past — superimposing its eras and evolutions in a contrast of natural textures and tones. From the razor gang wars and underground liquor trade of the 1920s and 1930s, the modernist art boon of the 1960s and through to the Gay Solidarity Group protests of the 1970s, the neighbourhood has long served as home to the most trailblazing and resilient voices of modern Australia — a culture coalesced from Surry Hills’ vibrant migrant communities. Flack Studio embraced organic materials to create spaces honest to this history — from the acoustic textural straw walls of the hotel’s guest rooms to the striking ochre red off-form concrete staircase in its lobby.

A respect of craftsmanship is threaded throughout the building, with many of its furnishings, artworks and interior details created uniquely for this project. Guestroom furniture, joinery and lighting have all been carefully custom designed by the design studio, with textile-adorned window seats designed to invite conversation in each space.

“Surry Hills has been home to so many culturally important movements and people, and has always been a home for creatives and migrating cultures,” added David Flack, Founder and Director of Flack Studio. “We wanted to preserve the creative, slightly renegade energy of the space since its origins as one of Australia’s early brickworks. We were committed to creating a warm space that brought together Australia’s cultural history with Ace’s unique, community cultivating approach to hospitality.”

> Since you’re here, why not read about the opening of Ace Hotel Brooklyn?

Still to come… Ace Hotel Sydney will be announcing the full details of its food and beverage program — including the additional design partner for the rooftop restaurant and bar. Stay tuned for further details in the coming months.

Main image credit: Anson Smart

The Other House Club Flat Kitchen in blue and mustard

Video exclusive: The making of The Other House (part 1)

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Video exclusive: The making of The Other House (part 1)

The first video in our exclusive concept-to-completion series with The Other House takes a tour inside what will soon be its first hotel – AKA, residents’ club. Editor Hamish Kilburn speaks to the brand’s CEO and the design team, which including Bergman Design House and architecture firm Falconer Chester Hall, to understand more about the design narrative that will be sheltered inside…

The Other House Club Flat Kitchen in blue and mustard

A new era of hospitality is on the horizon. The Other House is an innovative concept that we first explored earlier this year, which, right on cue, has raised some eyebrows recently. Since joining a panel discussion on ‘a new era of lifestyle’ at Hotel Designs LIVE in May, CEO & founder Naomi Heaton – a self-confessed newcomer into the hospitality arena who aims to disrupt conventional approaches to hotel design and development – has invited our cameras in to capture the concept-to-completion story behind brand’s first property. Sheltered inside Harrington Hall, a heritage property, The Other House South Kensington will offer 200 Club Flats – all of which will feature signature, fully fitted and contemporary design – for leisure travellers and corporate visitors alike. 

With less than one year until the first residents’ club opens, here’s what we discovered when we took a sneak peek inside the building. During our access-all-areas visit, we spoke to Heaton about the pillars of the brand. In addition, we caught up with the architect at Falconer Chester Hall, Alastair Shepherd, who is responsible for carving out the body of the hospitality experience. And, to make things really interesting, we even made a visit to Bergman Design House to speak to Marie Soliman, the interior designer tasked to bring her sketches and renders to life, while sourcing as much as she possibly can locally and sustainably.

Who’s who? 

Elevating the traditional long stay and serviced apartment models, the new brand will combine beautifully designed apartments – complete with fully fitted kitchens, living and sleeping areas – with a private club exclusively for residents and members to relax and enjoy, complete with two bars, spa and fitness studio. For a local vibe, the bold public spaces will include a destination bar and all-day dining bistro (renders of these areas will be available shortly).

While targetting an audience that is conscious and cares deeply about the environmental impact hotel development can have on the planet, sustainability was one of the first pillars for The Other House. “We take a sustainable approach to renovating existing buildings and is committed to making a positive impact on the community, our employees and the environment,” explained Heaton in an earlier interview with Hotel Designs. “Our residents will be a part of our environmental journey so they can make a measurable, personal difference. There will be a focus on health and wellbeing at all the guest touchpoints and we will be using, for example, recyclable packaging, healthy, sustainably produced food and British-made furniture.”

With eight categories of Club Flats – Club Town, Club Garden, Club Courtyard, Club Mezz, Club Class, Club Vault, Club Turret and Club Access – the units range from 258 sqft (24sqm) to 581 sqft (54sqm), as well as two-, three- and four-bedroom options. The intelligent use of space revolves around the living area (rather than the bedroom) just as it does in the home, which was key for the brand to create a real sense of place and comfort.

What’s more, despite all the noise around the new era of luxury suggesting a paired back, even removed, stance on technology is the way forward, central to The Other House will be a downloadable app that offers personalisation and control through on-demand access to hotel-style services. The software, which, if seamless, meaningful, discreet and easy to use, will become a revolutionary element of the hospitality experience at The Other House. It will enable residents to manage their entire stay andexperience; tailoring their hospitality journey to their own specific needs and requirements. As a result, the software will certainly answer to modern demands that are calling for more personalised experiences.

For long-stay guests, The Other House will provide a new alternative to renting, offering any length stays, around the clock security, access to hotel style services and the very best of city living. The first of this type of accommodation that the UK has seen, it will also offer flexibility for residents to book in and out. With stays bookable from a day to a year, The Other House offers a stylish solution for those looking for a city base. And services such as clothes and luggage storage between trips makes it perfect for guests looking for a regular London pied-à-terre a few days each week.

Establishing itself as a ‘one to watch’ on the glabal hospitality scene, with a forward-thinking concept and immersive design scheme, The Other House South Kensington is the first residents’ club to be launched. The brand is on track to open in other ‘villages’ throughout central London, including Covent Garden by 2023, before rolling out internationally. 

In the next video in our exclusive concept-to-completion editorial series with The Other House, produced by CUBE, we will rejoin the development and design team ahead of the opening of the brand’s first residents’ club. In this video, we will explore more about the technology behind-the-scenes, as well as understand how the drawings, sketches and renderings have been brought to life. By then, we may also have more news and exclusive design details about the interior scheme behind the heavy doors of the brand’s second property in Covent Garden. 

Main image credit: The Other House | Video credit: CUBE

The Brit List Awards 2021 shortlist

The Brit List Awards 2021: Shortlist announced

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
The Brit List Awards 2021: Shortlist announced

The shortlist for The Brit List Awards 2021 has been announced, with more than 130 individuals and projects – the most finalists in the campaign’s history – selected across nine categories. The winners will be unveiled in spectacular style at the awards ceremony, which takes place on November 3 inside London’s famous cabaret venue, PROUD Embankment…

The Brit List Awards 2021 shortlist

Regarded and respected globally as the industry’s most widespread campaign to identify the leading interior designers, architects, hoteliers and brands, The Brit List Awards 2021 has unveiled this year’s shortlist, which includes more than 130 individuals and projects.

The finalists, listed below, have been invited to attend The Brit List Awards’ annual award ceremony, which, following last year’s virtual affair, will take place live in the extravagant cabaret venue, PROUD Embankment. At the event, as well as the individual winners being announced, The Brit List 2021, a publication that will profile the top 25 designers, architects and hoteliers, will also be unveiled.

The Brit List Awards is Hotel Designs’ the nationwide search to find the most influential interior designers, architects, hoteliers and brands operating in Britain.

Now in its fifth year, The Brit List Awards is Hotel Designs’ the nationwide search to find the most influential interior designers, architects, hoteliers and brands operating in Britain. This year’s meticulous process began months ago when Hotel Designs opened up nominations and applications to its loyal readers. Since then, the expert judging panel have taken over to whittle down the shortlist as well as decide upon the individual winners.

“As I cast my eyes down this year’s shortlist, I am reminded once more that Britain is, and will no-doubt remain, a major pin on the design, architecture and hospitality map.” – Hamish Kilburn, editor, Hotel Designs.

“One only has to look at this year’s entries to be able to see that Britain is a melting pot for creative design and authentic hospitality,” explains editor Hamish Kilburn who will take the microphone on November 3 to host this year’s awards. “It’s sensational to see, despite obvious adversities, that the design, architecture and hospitality industry has risen to the challenge, once more, to present forward-thinking solutions in the global arena. As I cast my eyes down this year’s shortlist, I am reminded once more that Britain is, and will no-doubt remain, a major pin on the design, architecture and hospitality map. Here, on this tiny speck of land, we incubate innovation, nurture talent and amplify meaningful initiatives that challenge conventional approached to hotel design and hospitality.”

Adding more sparkle to this year’s live awards ceremony will be the sponsors and partners. They are: Crosswater (Headline Partner)Hamilton Litestat (Event Partner)Duravit (Event Partner), Schlüter Systems (Showcase Partner), Leaflike (Decorative Partner), GROHE (Broadcasting Partner), NEWH (Industry Partner) British Institute of Interior Design (Industry Partner) and CUBE (Videography Partner).

The shortlisted finalists for The Brit List Awards 2021 are: 

Interior Designer of the Year

Name Studio
Alan McVitty M STUDIO LONDON
Alex Kravetz Alex Kravetz Design
Beverley Bayes Sparcstudio
Clare McDonald Design Command
Clara Mason Dexter Moren Associates
Craig McKie Bell & Swift Ltd
Dale Atkinson Rosendale Design
David Mason Scott Brownrigg
Dennis Irvine Dennis Irvine Studio
Ed Warner Motionspot
Fiona Thompson Richmond International
Geraldine Dohogne Beyond Design
Hamish Brown 1508 London
Hayley Roy Harp Design
Henry Chebaane Blue Sky Hospitality
Hilary Lancaster Fusion Interiors Group
Ilse Crawford StudioIlse
Jeremy Grove Sibley Grove
Jouin Manku Jouin Manku
Kirsty Vance I Am London
Marie Soliman Bergman Interiors
Mark Bithrey B3 Designers
Neil Andrew Perkins&Will
Nicholas J Hickson THDP
Ravi Lakhaney Bailey London
Robert Angell Robert Angell Design International
Sally Proctor Majik House
Samantha McCulloch ICA
Sara Browett Sara Copeland Interiors Ltd
Scott Torrance 3DReid
Simon Kincaid Conran and Partners
Simon Rawlings David Collins Studio
Solomija Bogusz Interior Designer
Suzanne Garuda Garuda Design
Tina Norden Conran and Partners

Architect of the Year

Name Studio
Adam Hall Falconer Chester Hall
Alastair Shepherd Falconer Chester Hall Architects
Alexandra Birmpili Kappa planning Ltd
Ali Alammar Alamar Architects
Amrit Naru ADP Architects
Ben Adams Ben Adams Architects
Catarina Pina-Bartrum LDS Architects
Cathryn Crisp Randell Design Group
Christos Passas Zaha Hadid Architects
Doug Pearson 3DReid
Ed Murray Dexter Moren Associates
Gordon Ferrier 3D Reid
Graham Barr jmarchitects
Herbert Lui Dexter Moren Associates
James Dilley Jestico + Whiles
Jen Samuel 3DReid
Jonny Sin ReardonSmith Architects
Julie Humphryes Archer Humphryes Architects
Luke Fox Foster + Partners
Mark Bruce EPR Architects
Mark Kelly PLP Architecture
Matthew Salter HGP Architects
Metehan Apak Dawson Design Associates
Nicholas de Klerk Translation Architecture
Richard Coutts BACA Architects
Richard Holland Holland Harvey Architects
Sarah Murphy Jestico + Whiles
Simon Whittaker Orms
Tom Lindblom Principal, Architect
Tony Kho Trehearne Architects
Yasmine Mahmoudieh Yasmine Mahmoudieh Studio

Hotelier of the Year 

Name Hotel
Andrew Hollett Kettering Park Hotel and Spa
Charles Oak The Londoner
Conor O’Leary Gleneagles
David Connell South Lodge Hotel & Spa
Dominic Sauls Qbic London City Hotel
Edward Workman The Newt
Elli Jafari The Standard London
Federico Ciampi Mayfair Townhouse
Franck Arnold Savoy, London
Gareth Banner The Ned
Grace Leo The Relais Henley
Guillaume Marly Hotel Café Royal
Hector Ross The Mitre, Hampton Court
James Clarke Hilton Bankside London
John Scanlon 45 Park Lane
Julian Hudson Fellows House Cambridge – Curio by Hilton Collection
Marie-Paule Nowlis Sofitel London St James
Michael Bonsor Rosewood London
Michael Mason-Shaw Hyatt Place London City East
Murray Ward Soho Farmhouse
Olivia Richli Heckfield Place
Paul Bayliss Hotel Brooklyn, Manchester
Paul Skinner DUKES LONDON
Robin Hutson THE PIG Hotels
Sergio Leandro Sea Containers London
Simon Mahon The Grand York
Stuart Geddes The Lanesborough, London
Thomas Agius Ferrante The Grove of Narberth
Will Ashworth Watergate Bay Hotel

Best in Tech

Brand Product/project
Lutron Athena
SONANCE Peninsula London
Majik House Absoluxe Suites
GROHE/LIXIL GROHE Plus
Franklite L11 Tuneable

The Eco Award 

Brand Product/project
Harrison Spinks The Sprint Collection
Hypnos Contract Beds Various products
Leaflike Pan Pacific London
GROHE/LIXIL Cradle to Cradle certified products
Video Tree Re Charge
CTD Architectural Tiles The Global Collection
Yasmine Mahmoudieh Flow
Clarke & Clarke Eco Sustainable Weaves
Ozone Clean OC Range
Well-Lit Various products
Barber Osgerby AXOR One
Siminetti Seasons Collection
Silentnight Group Hosptiality Various products

Best in British Product Design

Brand Product/project
Newmor Wallcoverings Healthcare Collection
Franklite Perry Range
Franklite L11 Tuneable
Hypnos Contract Beds Various products
SMD Textiles, ILIV Exotic Garden
Edelweiss Pianos The Solis
The Monkey Puzzle Tree Metamorphosis
The Collective Agency Swell
Ziad Alonaizy Eileen Cabinet
Dernier & Hamlyn Bespoke lighitng for Nobu London Portman Square
Wandsworth The Baton (and other) switches
Morgan Rakino
Morgan Kaya

The Rising Star Award (new for 2021)

Name Brand/Studio/University
Adam Wardale Middletons Hotel, York
Aleksandra Tredez The Lost Poet (Cubic Studios)
Matthew Maganga University of Kent
Sophie Piggot Concorde BGW Group
Sarah Yuma Dexter Moren Associates

The International Award (new for 2021)

Name Brand
Wilderness Safaris Wilderness Safaris
Bill Bensley BENSLEY
DLR Group Madinah Gate
noa* network of architecture noa* network of architecture
YES.design.architecture YES.design.architecture
Royal Mansour Marrakech Royal Mansour Marrakech

There is no shortlist for the award for Outstanding Contribution to the Hospitality Industry, which will be the final award presented at the exclusive ceremony.

How to attend The Brit List Awards 2021 – the awards ceremony 

All designers, architects and hoteliers that have been shortlisted will receive an email asking them to confirm their complimentary ticket to attend the awards ceremony on November 3 at PROUD Embankment. Outside of the shortlist, designers, architects, hoteliers and developers can purchase tickets here (£10 + VAT per ticket if purchased before September 10)*. Suppliers, and anyone else wishing to attend, can click here to purchase their tickets (£99 + VAT per ticket if purchased before September 10)*.

*After September 10, tickets for designers, architects and hoteliers will inflate to £20 + VAT per ticket. For suppliers, tickets will inflate to £150 +VAT per ticket. There are limited number of tickets on sale, which will be issued out on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Main image credit: The Brit List Awards 2021/Hotel Designs

Bed trends: A post-pandemic insight into future guestrooms

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Bed trends: A post-pandemic insight into future guestrooms

One of the hardest-hit trades during the pandemic has been the hotel industry, however things are looking up with bookings for UK staycations jumping by a record 300 per cent following the announcement of the lockdown roadmap in February[1]. To celebrate our ‘beds’ feature for August, we ask Richard Naylor, Group Sustainable Development Director at Hypnos Contract Beds, to share his expertise on design and materials trends and offers insights into how hotel design could adapt as we begin to welcome guests back…

As we begin to move to a ‘new normal’ it’s time to consider how the events of the last 12 months will have an effect on factors like design, as interior designers are encouraged to think outside the box to deal with the challenges posed by the post-pandemic hospitality industry.

Materials

Learning to adapt their designs according to post-pandemic lifestyles, interior designers may re-evaluate some of the more common items or materials traditionally used in their hospitality projects. Considerations such as replacing rugs and carpets with tiles and stone, will make open spaces easier to manage and clean during busy customer change-over times, whilst still retaining style thanks to the vast array of options on the market.

In addition, opting for antimicrobial textiles and bleach-cleanable fabrics on larger items like beds and upholstery will ensure peace of mind for visitors whilst choosing materials with natural antimicrobial properties like copper, brass, bronze, or copper-nickel for high-touch surfaces such as light switches, sockets and door handles, will safeguard them from germs, keeping both staff and hotel guests safe.

Hypnos Residence mattress

Image caption: Hypnos Residence mattress

Although the pandemic has made us hyper conscious of cleanliness and hygiene, the basics shouldn’t be overlooked as restrictions ease, especially when it comes to guest room beds. Fitting a mattress protector that encapsulates the top and sides of the mattress will help to prevent stains and odours and ensure the bed lasts longer.

The pandemic has also encouraged many of us to re-connect with nature, and this is something that should be a consideration for designers as they look to incorporate elements of Biophilic design into their hospitality design schemes. Opting for natural materials like the ethically and sustainably sourced wool used in Hypnos’ Beaumont and Ashbourne and Lansdowne Cashmere ranges is one way to bring elements of the natural world into guest bedrooms without compromising on the luxurious feel that guests seek from a hotel stay.

Utilising in-room tech

Smart technology is something that has emerged within the hospitality industry, but we could begin to see a rise in the use of these kinds of technologies in a post-pandemic world.

Reducing the need for contact with surfaces like upholstery or switches will be of increasing importance in room design. Technology like voice activation is ideal in this ‘new normal’ world as it would enable guests and housekeepers to control everything from blinds and curtains, to lights and electrical items, without needing to physically touch surfaces. All great for reducing the spread of potential germs.

Image caption: Hypnos Beds were specified inside Corinthia London. | Image credit: Corinthia London

Image caption: Hypnos Beds were specified inside Corinthia London. | Image credit: Corinthia London

Furthermore, single point controls whereby guests control all room features from a single tablet, or from an app on their phone, is another way to minimise contact. Similarly, infrared taps in bathrooms and self-cleaning sanitary ware offers a no-touch solution for guest bedrooms, empowering guests to feel reassured of their safety and comfortable in their environment.

Add to this the provision of technology to minimise contact during check-in, which is something that is already in place in some hotels, and it could really help guests to feel safe and at ease.

For hospitality establishments that don’t already have it, moving over to check-in apps and keyless door entry, which negate the need for larger, manned reception desks, will allow them to rethink existing spaces and re-work them for the needs of the modern, hygiene-conscious hotel guest.

Image caption: Hypnos Sanctuary mattress

Air quality & space

Something that shouldn’t be overlooked in the overall design and layout for a hotel or guest room is ventilation and space. Ventilation and air quality, whether that’s through natural ventilation and increased access to private outside areas like balconies, is of the utmost importance.

The addition of advanced air filtration systems to ensure clean, sanitised air in both public areas and private guest spaces is something that more hospitality establishments need to factor in to their design or consider investing in.

Whilst guest bedroom design and layout will always be important, communal hospitality areas, such as lobbies, could see some of the biggest changes, with designers opting for more open, spacious schemes, allowing greater room for social distancing and wider thoroughfares for guests.

Sustainable design

An undeniable benefit of the last year has been the reduced environmental impact that has resulted from people across the globe having to stay at home. With sustainability once again in the spotlight, it is clear that it will continue to be a key booking decision for guests and consequently should be front of mind for interior designers working on hospitality projects.

Whilst products and décor should be robust and hygienic, the provenance of where they come from or how they’re made shouldn’t be overlooked. By working with moral companies with a sustainability focus, hoteliers can ensure that they are doing their part in creating safe but also ethical interiors, something of increasing importance to consumers.

As the world’s first Carbon Neutral bed manufacturer and only bed manufacturer to have been certified for a decade, Hypnos has led industry change on carbon reduction and was recently awarded ‘The Planet Mark – Carbon Neutral Certification’ and a Queen’s Award for Enterprise for Sustainable Development for its commitment to environmentally-friendly design, sourcing transparency and ethical bedmaking. The company was also awarded the Global Recycled Standard which is given to companies who use recycled materials from socially and environmentally responsible manufacturing processes.

By specifying products like Hypnos’ no-turn Beaumont mattress, designers can not only reinforce the significance of making sustainable choices, but design choices like this are also another way to maintain high hygiene standards. The low-maintenance design of the Beaumont means that housekeepers can limit contact with the hotel bed, ideal for post-Covid life where cleanliness, safety, and attention to detail will be of utmost importance. The mattress needs only seasonal rotation and has been manufactured to be 20% lighter than Hypnos’ other hotel mattresses meaning it can be turned with ease when required. The sewn-in topper guarantees a luxurious feel for hotel visitors, and when coupled with the versatile design of Hypnos’ Zip and Link beds which can be quickly and easily split from a king-size to two single beds, this will limit the need for room changes and allow for flexibility with room allocation.

Working with the right partner

Whether designing for a boutique hotel, or an up-scale international branded hotel, managing refurbishments and new furniture installations effortlessly and efficiently with cost, safety, timings and logistics in mind can be challenging, especially with the added pressures of the pandemic.

Understanding the complexity behind renovations and refurbishments, particularly for large scale developments Hypnos works closely with hospitality providers and designers to offer its unique Eight Step Sleep Plan – a thorough consultation and step-by-step process which supports hospitality provider’s or designers from their initial enquiry right through to completion.

These changes may be a departure from pre-pandemic hotel design but nevertheless, are important considerations for hoteliers and designers to ensure a safe and stylish environment for visitors and tourists to return to the hospitality sector.

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

Main image caption: Hypnos was specified inside a wildlife reserve in Kent, England. | Image credit: Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve

The Brit List Awards 2021

The Brit List Awards 2021 – entries close on Friday!

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

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

The Brit List Awards 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Main image credit: The Brit List Awards

A private outdoor bathroom and sunbeds overlooking sea

In pictures: The Royal Senses Resort, Curio Collection by Hilton

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
In pictures: The Royal Senses Resort, Curio Collection by Hilton

Following the highly anticipated opening The Royal Senses Resort, Curio Collection by Hilton, Hotel Designs gets its hands on the official images, which highlight the design scheme that aimed to celebrate the “timelessness of the Cretan soul in a contemporary way”. Editor Hamish Kilburn explores…

A private outdoor bathroom and sunbeds overlooking sea

Situated on a serene, undisturbed coast outside the picturesque village of Panormos, a brand-new haven awaits the modern nomad. Combining Crete’s rich heritage with exceptional experiences of the here and now, the Royal Senses is the latest chapter in lifestyle hospitality from the Troulis Royal Collection.

Positioned right next to its sister property, the recently renovated seafront Royal Blue with its 100-acre premises, the Royal Senses makes its mission to go above and beyond that of a typical luxury family resort. As a true ambassador of Crete’s rugged beauty, the Royal Senses is deeply intertwined with the landscape of the island and the character of its people, while still maintaining a cosmopolitan aura.

Villas and guestrooms at the Crete hotel

Image credit: The Royal Senses Resort, Curio Collection by Hilton

Built with togetherness as a guiding principle, the resort’s 179 suites and villas connect seamlessly with their natural surroundings. Accommodations range from spacious 35-square-metre rooms, where undisturbed sea views and natural furnishing materials bring to mind a private cove, to ultra-luxurious 200-square-meter villas with amenities such as private infinity pools organically carved from the rock that surrounds the island. Ever present is the element of water: the four large communal pools and the 74 private infinity pools lined with elegant sun loungers and cabanas seem to cascade from level to level, creating a sense of motion that stirs the soul of the traveller.

For Zacharias, Kostas and Manolis Troulis, co-owners of the Troulis Royal Collection, this project showcases their lifelong dedication to Crete. “We are fully committed to our responsibility to the island, its people and our cultural heritage,” they said. “We wish to show guests all sides of the Cretan identity and embed ourselves purposefully into the texture of the island.”

The celebration of Cretan roots has been the main driving force behind the resort’s overall architectural and design approach. “The landscape’s rough beauty creates a wonderful juxtaposition with the clean, minimal lines of the buildings,” said Nikos Peppas and Katerina Tsiolaki, of Peppas N Architects, when describing the project. “We designed and positioned all buildings in such way that ensured unobstructed views to the endless blue of the Aegean Sea, wherever you are.”

The interior design project was awarded to Constantina Tsoutsikou while she was Creative Director at Hirsch Bedner Associates (HBA) London. Following her departure from HBA, Tsoutsikou became the founder and creative director of the new London-based high-concept practice, Studio Lost. Her task, outlined in the original brief, was to showcase the owners’ genuine commitment to local authenticity in a modern way.

Since you’re here, why not listen to our podcast episode with Constantina Tsoutsikou?

“We wanted to create a destination that benefits local communities,” explained Tsoutsikou, who briefed local artisans in their workshops and on-site. “I found a wealth of excellent craftsmanship and local techniques that informed the design as we went along. We created handcrafted bespoke furniture, repurposed items, objects and artwork that celebrate the artisanal skills of the islanders throughout.”

Pastel colour scheme in luxury hotel guestroom

Image credit: The Royal Senses Resort, Curio Collection by Hilton

The rooms and suites, all flowing towards their outdoor terrace, are built to remind the contemporary globetrotter exactly where they are — with framed views of the Cretan sea setting the tone. Earthy and textural, every guest room features carpentry and furniture from highly skilled local third-generation craftsmen (many of whom make their living by building traditional fishing boats), while furnishings, such as the cushions, are entirely made by hand in traditional motifs from the local women weavers association. The walls, treated with softly textured paint and cornices, are subtly marked out with traditional Cretan patterning, whereas the juxtaposition of rough and smooth surfaces mirrors the untamed character of the island itself.

All rooms maximise the time spent outdoors celebrating views and private pools, while the dark metal finishes and details such as leather wrapped door handles add an extra layer of depth in the overall look and feel. The open, boundless, layout connects the indoors with the outdoors and invites guests to enjoy these generous, calm spaces in their entirety.

At the Royal Senses, the traveller is called to connect with a community of kindred souls and experience a renewed sense of ancient mindfulness. This sense of community is highlighted by the fact that guests can seamlessly traverse across both resorts. Experienced in tandem, the Royal Blue’s private beach and marina and the iconic hilltop views of the Royal Senses set the tone for a holistic exploration that goes beyond the beaten path. Here, Crete’s multifaceted culture and ceaseless joie de vivre can be taken in at one’s leisure.

Sunbeds overlooking pristine sea

Image credit: The Royal Senses Resort, Curio Collection by Hilton

As celebrating locality is of the utmost importance for the resort, the three restaurants (two of which offer la carte menus) and the various pop-up food bars at the Marketplace honour Crete’s rich culinary tradition in various ways. Along with four bars, these dining locales create the perfect backdrop for precious moments together.

True to the spirit of engagement and togetherness, the resort provides travellers a plethora of distinctive experiences to help them connect with the island and one another. At the farm, visitors can stroll the fragrant hillside, discover a cornucopia of local herbs and harvest their own fruits and vegetables. Guests may also enjoy the resort’s unique Marketplace – a home to curated selections from small-farm producers and local artisans, blending tradition with a contemporary shopping experience.

Last but by no means least, guests can luxuriate at an activity spa offering therapies that exclusively utilise Cretan herbs, as well as a heated pool, leaving them radiating with serenity and relaxation.

Rustic, authentic, joyful and proud, the Royal Senses Hotel & Spa is above all a contemporary interpretation of the Cretan soul.

Main image credit: The Royal Senses Resort, Curio Collection by Hilton

Design London

Design London to make its London Design Festival debut in September

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

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

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

Design London

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

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

Discussions

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

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

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

Exhibitor highlights

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

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

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

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

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

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

Main image credit: Design London

The Design Museum's Charlotte Perriand exhibition

Accor has partnered with the Design Museum in London this Summer – here’s why

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Accor has partnered with the Design Museum in London this Summer – here’s why

Hotel brand Accor, which, as far as we can see, is on track for world hospitality domination, has partnered with the Design Museum in London to support and celebrate its summer exhibition, ‘Charlotte Perriand: The Modern Life‘…

On June 19, the, the Design Museum’s brand-new exhibition, “Charlotte Perriand: The Modern Life”, launched in partnership with ALL: ACCOR LIVE LIMITLESS, Accor’s free to join loyalty program.

The Design Museum's Charlotte Perriand exhibition

The exhibition explores the life and works of French architect and designer Charlotte Perriand, whose pioneering designs shaped the 20th century with many of her modern ideas still found in the way we live today and in hotel design around the world.

As well as celebrating the groundbreaking designer, Accor’s partnership also highlights the importance of design and ease of living across the hotel’s brands, in particular ibis Styles, where design and style is at the very core. Both Accor and the Design Museum share an understanding of the power of design to improve lives. Every ibis Styles hotel has its own unique design and theme, offering functional living space whilst still adding personality and style to each room, echoing Perriand’s functional design ethos.

The Design Museum's Charlotte Perriand exhibition in London

Image credit: Felix Speller

Members of ALL will be able to book a Design Museum package, which gives the opportunity to receive complimentary tickets (worth £18) to the new exhibition when booking an overnight stay in a participating hotel in London. Guests who are not yet a member can sign up to the free to join lifestyle loyalty program and enjoy the member perk straight away.

As well as at the London ibis Styles hotels, the Design Museum package will also be available at Sofitel St James, Pullman St Pancras, Novotel London Blackfriars and Mercure London Bridge.

The Design Museum’s “Charlotte Perriand: The Modern Life” runs until September 5, 2021. Curated in collaboration with the Perriand family and the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris, the exhibition falls on the 25th anniversary of Charlotte Perriand’s last significant presentation in London, held at the Design Museum in 1996. Featuring large-scale reconstructions of some of Perriand’s most famous interiors, as well as original furniture, her photography and her personal notebooks, the exhibition sheds new light on Perriand’s creative process and her place in design history.

Main image credit: The Design Museum/Felix Speller

Crosswater Scnadi bathroom

Trend alert: Scandi style in the bathroom

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Trend alert: Scandi style in the bathroom

Thanks to its unique perspective over the industry – not to mention access to bathroom brand’s premium products – UKBathrooms qualifies in our hearts to give us an accurate trends special on how designers can inject Scandi style in the bathroom… 

Scandinavian interiors have taken the design world by storm as minimalist trends take inspiration from a blend of textures, soft hues, and sleek modern décor to encapsulate this sought-after style.

Crosswater Scnadi bathroom

Discover the following ideas that celebrate clean lines, utility and simple furnishings that are functional, beautiful, and serene.

Image credit: Bette

Combine statement shades and brass fittings

Introduce this season’s metal of the moment into your bathroom and provide an air of extravagance with distinctive palettes and dazzling finishes. Channel the epitome of scandi-style flare and paint a blank canvas as muted hues give a seriously calming vibe with neutral undertones that capitalise on natural lighting and a minimalistic feel.

Incorporating gilded furnishings and shiny brass accents present a serious sense of luxury into any room. Crosswater’s Gallery 10 Brushed Brass Walk-in Recess Shower Enclosure works wonderfully against moody hues, as warm metallics set against deep-tone backdrops. Rich jewel tones and shadowy neutrals evoke a luxury appeal and complement each other beautifully. Pair this with the Britton Hoxton Basin Mixer Tap, which promises to add a touch of style and elevate your bathroom. 

Master the minimal look with wall-hung accents 

“Scandinavian minimalism showcases simplicity, purity, and calmness and encourages your interiors to do the talking,” comments Graeme Borchard, Managing Director, UKBathrooms. “Exercise restraint in your décor choices, as this style speaks to tidy tendencies and a desire to live in an inviting and comfortable setting. Include light colour palettes and cosy accents, which is an approved trend in Nordic countries.”

Villeroy and Boch Subway 2.0 Compact Rimless Wall Hung WC is a chic option, creating room for extra space due to its wall-hung design creating a clutter-free environment. Compliment this with the Ideal Standard Tempo Wall Hung Vanity Unit in a beautiful white finish to help you make your “hygge” bathroom a reality. Hanging wall mirrors are also a renowned Scandi-inspired trend, as clean lines create a bold statement as they reflect light and make spaces appear more open.

Modern scandi bathroom

Image credit: VitrA

Introduce monochromatic colours and moody accents 

Borchard continues: “Marry these pieces with distinctive backdrops as moody Nordic-style bathroom fully clad with black accents provides a visual contrast to white fixtures as black adds drama to any space.  A black exposed shower kit is a great way to bring a touch of inky indulgence into your bathroom. Pair this with a matt black basin tap to radiate a showstopping theme you can carry throughout the bathroom.”

Say ‘yes’ to pops of colour and patterned flooring 

Mint greens and beautiful blues make a clever colour combination with their ability to brighten up a room and radiate timeless versatility as stark white walls, warm wood textures, and pops of colour are all solidly Scandinavian in flavour.

A contemporary white bathtub is a popular favourite, creating an environment that promotes positive energy, adding ambience to your bathroom space.  The Victoria and Albert Monaco freestanding roll top bath makes a stunning showpiece for any bathroom, oozing elegance and offering classic, neat lines that will seamlessly slot into any bathroom. Wooden units are an ultra-stylish way to bring a touch of texture into interior designs. Villeroy & Boch’s Avento large vanity unit in a gorgeous wooden finish, is a stylish space-saving option, creating a clutter-free laid back and airy ascetic. To complete this look, uncover a distinctive yet daring Scandinavian trend and opt for some patterned floor tiles.

Image credit: Villeroy & Boch

Incorporate understated accessorise 

Finally – invest in some wooden mats, tree stumps, cabinets, woven baskets, and boxes for added storage and incorporate some stone-style décor. Harness a stylish connection to the outdoors and ground yourself with natural colour schemes and plenty of plants, as bringing the outdoors into your home could decrease stress and blood pressure levels. Plants are also the perfect way to incorporate colour and natural touches into your interior and sets the scene for your Scandinavian-inspired sanctuary.

UK Bathrooms is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package and Crosswater, Bette and Villeroy & Boch are all Recommended Suppliers. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here

Main image credit: Crosswater

45 Park lane collage

Checking in to experience The Spa at 45 Park Lane

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Checking in to experience The Spa at 45 Park Lane

“All this time, I had been looking in the completely wrong direction when trying to understand how 45 Park Lane can stand out from its older sibling – and neighbour – The Dorchester.” Editor Hamish Kilburn is among the first to explore the luxury hotel’s new spa, which shelters a clever biophilic design narrative as well as the largest pool on Park Lane, London…

45 Park lane collage

For any hotel operating in close proximity to a sibling property, the need to do something different is innate. In the case of 45 Park Lane, whose sister (and neighbour) is The Dorchester, which in style as well as service is one of London’s most iconic hotels, standing out is essential. Luckily for 45 Park Lane, though, its 1920s design scheme along with its effortless ability to serve up London’s finest pre-dinner negroni followed by an award-winning steak has kept the property on the map – and as such an integral member of The Dorchester Collection.

With arguably less weight on its shoulders than that of The Dorchester to preserve a deep-rooted legacy, the design scheme inside 45 Park Lane is given space to play. That’s not to say for one minute that it does not feel like a Dorchester Collection hotel, because it very much does with the same attentive service that threads together all properties within the collection. The smaller (in size, not personality) hotel stands up to The Dorchester as a younger, confident and slightly more masculine sibling. The General Manager, John Scanlon, who first joined the hotel in 2015 and who was profiled in The Brit List 2020 as one of Britain’s leading hoteliers, is totally committed to ensuring that guests have the best possible stay experience, immediately upon entry. Scanlon’s hospitable nature is undisputed – I caught him, on several occasions, warmly greeting and seating guests. Aside from his cordial style of leadership, it is his passion for art that is simply refreshing.

As I check in, what would be a conventional check-in experience becomes a conversation between myself and the front desk about who is responsible for the colourful art installation that is on show around the public areas. “The artist is called Nat Bowen,” I am told – and to my delight that Scanlon has just extended her artist residency. Perhaps it’s the times we are living in, or my admiration for hotels with traditional values creating scenes that juxtapose pre-conceptions – more than likely it’s a mixture of both – but as arrival experiences go, 45 Park Lane delivers the goods.

Image caption: The lobby lounge at 45 Park Lane sets the tone for an unparalleled luxury experience. | Image credit: The Dorchester Collection

Image caption: The lobby lounge at 45 Park Lane sets the tone for an unparalleled luxury experience. | Image credit: The Dorchester Collection

In just 10 years since it originally opened, the hotel has carved out its own niche, sheltering a members’ club-like interior design scheme that attracts those who want luxury served in more contemporary glassware.

“After a few years of making my way through the cocktail, wine and steak menu, I have no regret to admit that I had been looking in the complete wrong direction before.”

But, despite being a stunning hotel that naturally beats its own rhythm, I can’t help but feel, with just a decade of experience on the London hospitality scene, that it has been wrongly overlooked for more obvious and iconic properties nearby. Well, not anymore.

I have always wondered how a hotel like 45 Park Lane can differentiate itself from not only its neighbouring sibling but also other luxury hotels in the neighbourhood. After a few years of making my way through the cocktail, wine and steak menu, I have no regret to admit that I had been looking in the complete wrong direction all this time. The answer to how 45 Park Lane can remove itself from the cold-morning shadow of its older sister is in fact situated in what was, until recently, a building being used as offices.

Located on the lower levels of the hotel, and reached via its very own lift (which I haste to add is completely accessible for people of all abilities), the hotel has recently opened a spa, designed by Joubin Manku and developed by Clivedale London, that will simply take your breath away – and transport you worlds away from the hustle and bustle of London. “The major challenge was making the spa feel like it is not below ground and a separate destination to the Residences and 45 Park Lane,” explains Steven Blaess Head of Interior Design, Clivedale London.

The Spa at 45 Park Lane

Image caption: The Spa at 45 Park Lane is a botanical dream designed by Joubin Manku. | Image credit: The Dorchester Collection.

Its clever design utilises space while allowing guests the pleasure to meander through wellness and wellbeing heaven, where the walls are adorned with hand-placed mosaic tiles to inject a sensitive nod to biophic design and where the length of the pool is (almost) endless, by Park Lane’s standards at least.

But with any underground spa comes the challenge of light. “The intention for the spa spaces was to create a sense of calmness and tranquillity,” says Blaess. “The subtle glistening of light onto the glass mosaics is a reminder of water droplets on foliage. Dappled lighting was dispersed to help create the illusion of walking through a leafy canopy of light.”

I’m told that Manku, when taking on the project, conducted a brief study of other spas in central London and what was missing from all was a sense of nature and connectedness. “These other spas were usually designed with hard architectural materials and more formal in their layout and approach, adds Blaess. The important thing for the spa was to address both the 45 Park Lane guests link and the residences direct access, without making one or the other less important. It was about creating a unique yet somewhat separate experience for both.

“The Spa Lounge, for example, is the hub of the entire level, where people want to naturally either start their journey or end their spa experience, relaxing on over-sized sofas and armchairs set around a central feature fireplace. Visual glimpses onto the swimming pool provide a connection to water while also providing swimmers with privacy.”

The overriding theme and concept developed by Manku was a connection to Hyde Park and therefore bringing into the interiors natural references of leaves, native grasses and wild flowers. “The glass mosaics were conceptualised by Manku to reference a liberty-style, decorative design pattern, that were successfully mass manufactured as part of the Industrial Revolution,” adds Blaess. “The glass mosaics were made in Venice with one of the regions oldest family mosaics manufacturing companies.” Natural feeling timber was also used to reference woodland trees on wall and ceiling slatted panels with leaves, grasses and native wildflowers designed into the glass mosaics.”

Image caption: The hand-placed mosaic tiles are a unique theme throughout the spa areas that inject biophilic design into the space. | Image credit: The Dorchester Collection

Image caption: The hand-placed mosaic tiles are a unique theme throughout the spa areas that inject biophilic design into the space. | Image credit: The Dorchester Collection

The Spa at 45 Park Lane is undisputedly beautiful, but I would go one step further. The addition of the spa inside the hotel has actually elevated the entire hotel experience for guests checking in. Pre-spa era, the hotel’s rooms and suites were aptly stylish, timeless and complete with their own details (as you would expect from a hotel within the collection). While these areas continue to marry together a voguish collection of art with a distinct 1920s soul that comes through in the interiors, many modern travellers feel as if a luxury experience is not absolute without a destination spa to match. Interestingly, for me, the spa has put more of a focus on wellbeing. As such, even the bathrooms, which always have been beyond perfect – complete with walk-in showers, sumptuously deep baths and hidden TVs in the mirrors, now feel that much more special.

As with all good and meaningful renovations, there wasn’t anything particularly wrong with the hotel before. However, the addition of the spa has, I believe, helped keep 45 Park Lane on the radar of luxury travellers by offering an experience unmatched by any other hotel on Park Lane.

Today, as the hotel re-opens up to welcome a new chapter of hospitality – one where the demand for wellness is and will remain off the scale – the existing hotel that shelters timeless decor remains an invigorating blend of art and landmark architecture in the middle of classical London. The spa feeds the demand of luxury travellers, while also cleverly staying true to the Dorchester Collection’s undisputed hospitality style.

Main image credit: The Dorchester Collection

Weekly digest: The struggling generation & the latest hotel openings

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Weekly digest: The struggling generation & the latest hotel openings

The struggle is real in this week’s round-up of our top stories, as we celebrate the launch of a campaign to help young designers and architects on their feet while networking events are brought back to IRL (in real life). Meanwhile, there seems to be a new hotel opening on the hour, at the moment. Editor Hamish Kilburn here – ‘struggling’ to keep up – but determined nonetheless to serve up your weekly digest…

For many reasons – catching up on my emails following a few frantic yet fantastic days out of the office being one of them – I am accosting this week’s round-up, or ‘digest’ as we have recently rebranded it,  around the theme of ‘struggle’. Taking my sprints between meetings, speaking events and much-welcomed hotel reviews to one side, the struggle young designers and architects are facing at the moment is immeasurable – and it’s time to address this situation head-on. Cue the launch of our new campaign, which will allow newcomers into the arena to interview established A&D professionals (with no question off limit) – thus bridging the gap between generations, allowing authentic mentorships to form and for all of us to start really understanding the challenges that young people face when leaving the safety reef of education.

Also in this week’s digest, we share with you our hottest hotel openings expected this month, unveil a case study that takes biophilic design to a whole new meaning and find out why fashion brand PrettyLittleThing is dipping its toe into UK hospitality.

Without further a due, here’s this week’s news in one article:

A young architect’s Q&A: Jestico + Whiles’ James Dilley

Gif James Dilley and James Ingram

If you read nothing else this week, please ensure you take the time to read young architect James Ingram’s interview with Jestico + Whiles’ James Dilley. This interview, which really left a personal impact on me (as I’m sure it will you, considering we have all had help at some stage in our careers), marks the launch of a wider campaign in order to help bridge the gap between generations within hotel design.

Read more.

VIP Arrivals: Hottest hotels opening in July

The Tawny Hotel is one of our most anticipated hotels opening in July

Image credit: The Tawny Hotel

As momentum and demand builds for the industry to reopen fully and for travellers to enjoy one-off travel experiences once more, it seems as if the hospitality landscape is updating its infrastructure with newly designed hotels, in both new and existing properties, standing to welcome the new era of modern travellers. Here, we take you through the hottest hotels opening in July…

Read more.

Marriott International opens 70th hotel in Japan

Aloft Osaka Dojima

Image credit: Marriott International

With the opening of Aloft Osaka Dojima, Marriott International now has 70 properties in Japan, which means that, with 18 brands in 21 prefectures, the hotel group leads with brand offerings in the country – and there are still more hotels in the pipeline.

Read more.

Wellness in design: tips from designer Shalini Misra

Shalini Misra

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

Read more.

And finally… Fashion brand PrettyLittleThing launches UK hotel

Pool inside PrettyLittleThing Hotel

Image credit: PrettyLittleThing

While staycation demand has increased 14,400 per cent, and as the boundaries between lifestyle and luxury continue to blur, it’s not a huge surprise to read that that global fashion brand PrettyLittleThing has entered the UK hotel market.

Read more.

Since you’re here…

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

Click here to sign up to our newsletter.

Aloft Osaka Dojima

Marriott International opens 70th hotel in Japan

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Marriott International opens 70th hotel in Japan

With the opening of Aloft Osaka Dojima, Marriott International now has 70 properties in Japan, which means that, with 18 brands in 21 prefectures, the hotel group leads with brand offerings in the country – and there are still more hotels in the pipeline…

A few months ago, Marriott International opened its 800th hotel in the Asia Pacific region. A few months later, the hotel group announced that it would add 100 new hotels to that impressive portfolio between then and the end of the year.

Aloft Osaka Dojima

And now, the hotel group has reached yet another milestone by opening Aloft Osaka Dojima, which becomes the group’s 70th property in Japan. With this opening, Marriott International continues its solid growth in Japan as the hotel chain with the most brand offerings. The company has 70 properties across 18 brands in 21 prefectures including major cities such as Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto, as well as other lesser known gems like Tochigi, Gifu and Wakayama. With a pipeline of more than 30 additional hotels, including three hotels expected to open later this year, the portfolio is poised for continued growth in Japan.

“We remain confident in the future of travel.” – Rajeev Menon, President, Marriott International Asia-Pacific (excluding Greater China).

“Expanding our presence and bringing more brands and experiences to Japan has been a priority for us,” said Rajeev Menon, President, Marriott International Asia-Pacific (excluding Greater China). “We remain confident in the future of travel and look forward to welcoming both domestic and international guests with new and exciting travel choices when they are able to travel again.”

The opening of Aloft Osaka Dojima, Marriott International’s 70th property in Japan, is emblematic of its select-service brand category growth in the country, with the number of open hotels nearly tripling since 2019. The brands in the category such as Fairfield by Marriott, Courtyard, Aloft Hotels, and Moxy Hotels to name a few, offer distinct value for travellers with streamlined services and amenities, paired with casual, convenient dining options and warm hospitality — all at an approachable price point. The new Aloft property is centrally located at the crossroads of entertainment, shopping, dining and business in Osaka. In addition to vibrant urban centres, many of the select-service hotels are opening in Japan’s lesser known areas and are expected to offer easy and comfortable stays for travellers exploring less travelled, yet attractive locations.

The “Michi-no-eki” portfolio – which now comprises 13 Fairfield by Marriott hotels in prime locations near roadside rest stations in Japan – is a key driver of growth in the select service category in the country. Earlier in 2021, five Fairfield by Marriott hotels opened across picture-perfect destinations including Odai in Mie, Minamiyamashiro in Kyoto, Nikko in Tochigi, Kushimoto in Wakayama, and Susami in Wakayama. Later this year, an additional new Fairfield by Marriott hotel is slated to open with the arrival of Fairfield by Marriott Gifu Takayama Shokawa. The new hotels are situated close to national parks and UNESCO World Heritage Sites, providing guests a gateway to secluded destinations and local gems across the country.

This summer, the highly anticipated opening of Japan’s fourth Moxy Hotel, Moxy Kyoto Nijo, is expected to add a stylishly playful twist to Kyoto’s bar and social scene, celebrating youthful nonconformity, open-mindedness, and originality above all. Located in the Kyoto Nijo historic district near the World Heritage site of Nijo Castle, it is set to be a buzzing new location to play and explore.

Meanwhile, the recently opened Hiyori Chapter Kyoto, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel, is the Tribute Portfolio brand’s second property in the country, and welcomes guests from near and far to craft their own story and live like a local on a journey of exploration in picturesque Kyoto.

Earlier this year Marriott International celebrated the opening of Japan’s very first W hotel with the arrival of W Osaka, which, thanks to design influence from design and architecture studio concrete Amsterdam, brought the brand’s singularly bold attitude and a playground of new possibilities to the city’s already-vibrant hospitality scene.

The iconic lifestyle luxury brand EDITION will further expand with the expected opening of The Tokyo EDITION, Ginza later this year. The hotel is slated to be the second EDITION property in Japan following The Tokyo EDITION, Toranomon, which opened in 2020.

A sedated interior scheme inside the guestroom of the hotel

Image credit: Tokyo Edition/Marriott International

“We are gratified to see the strong growth of Marriott International in Japan, and appreciate the confidence of our owners and franchisees in our vision for the future of hospitality in the country,” said Karl Hudson, Area Vice President, Japan and Guam, Marriott International. “Like us, our owners believe that the future of travel lies in providing what travellers truly want, based on lifestyles, interests and preferences. Marriott’s strong and differentiated portfolio of brands cater to the individual requirements of travellers, and this is how our guests know they can count on us to provide what they want, wherever they may travel to.”

With today’s announcement, Marriott International is well-positioned in Japan with 70 hotels across 18 distinct brands, aimed at serving differentiated experiences across traveler segments. The brands currently operating in Japan include: JW Marriott, St. Regis Hotels & Resorts, The Ritz-Carlton and Ritz-Carlton Reserve, W Hotels, The Luxury Collection, and EDITION in the luxury segment; Marriott Hotels, Sheraton, Westin, Autograph Collection, Tribute Portfolio, and Renaissance in the premium segment; Courtyard by Marriott, Four Points by Sheraton, Fairfield by Marriott, Aloft Hotels, AC Hotels by Marriott, and Moxy Hotels in the select service segment.

Main image credit: Marriott International

Morgan seating

A look at Morgan’s latest product launches

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
A look at Morgan’s latest product launches

British contract furniture designer and manufacturer Morgan has let us in to take a look at the brand’s latest new products, which arrive to add further choices to its already successful Porto and Kyoto collections…

While the streets of Clerkenwell start to echo with life again, we are excited for the plethora of brands in the neighbourhood that have opened their showrooms to shelter the latest designs and innovations in the market. One of those brands is Morgan, which continues to unveil products that are eco-friendly, ahead of any trend and timelessly suited for the hospitality industry.

Morgan seating

Following the launch of new table tops to the Goodwood and Rakino collections, get comfortable as we share what else in new in the London showroom.

The Porto collection is light, minimal and versatile. Ergonomically designed to ensure comfort in both dining, lounge and work configurations. Customisable by design, the newest addition to our Porto collection expands its versatility even further; introducing the Swivel base. Available across the five Porto dining chair options, the light aluminium base compliments the minimal upholstery to give a modern luxurious feel to any working environment.

Image caption: Porto collection from Morgan has unveiled a swivel-based chair to the range.

Image caption: Porto collection from Morgan has unveiled a swivel-based chair to the range.

Featured at their London showroom, Morgan have now made their seat pads a standard offering within the Kyoto collection of dynamic linear intersecting benches. These simple, yet striking seat pads are highly versatile, turning window sills, steps and other surfaces into seating areas.

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

Main image credit: Morgan

VIP Arrivals - July

VIP arrivals: Hottest hotels opening in July 2021

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
VIP arrivals: Hottest hotels opening in July 2021

As momentum and demand builds for the industry to reopen fully and for travellers to enjoy one-off travel experiences once more, it seems as if the hospitality landscape is updating its infrastructure with newly designed hotels, in both new and existing properties, standing to welcome the new era of modern travellers. Editor Hamish Kilburn takes you through the hottest hotels opening in July…

VIP Arrivals - July

In this extended, unpredictable period, where countries continue to play chess with travellers’ freedom to travel, one thing is for certain: when the world finds its equilibrium following the pandemic, we will all need (and fully deserve) a holiday. While we are metaphorically stuck on the tarmac due to global travel restrictions, our research into the latest hotels opening (for the time being, at least) will have to come from behind our monitors on the editorial desk.

In order to make a bit more sense of the hotel development landscape – from London to Rome, Ibiza to Morroco – here the hottest hotels opening this July.

MAALOT Roma

Located in what was the residence of Gaetano Donizetti (1797 – 1848) famous Italian opera composer of Don Pasquale, Lucia di Lammermoor and Maria Stuarda, MAALOT Roma aims to attract a young and more seasoned clientele looking for a vibrant and cosy place for gathering and being in the know in the most central part of Rome. “My team and I are thrilled about this new opening and we can’t wait to open the doors to the first hotel of the MAALOT brand,” said Edoardo Officioso, the hotel’s general manager. “This first property, located just few steps from Trevi’s fountain, aims to become the new ‘lounge’ in Rome where [guests can] meet, share a drink or taste the gourmet experience. After these last months we hope to offer locals and travellers a special place to gather and find the pleasure to socialise again.”

Mondrian Shoreditch London 

Dubbed, by us, as on of ‘Shoreditch’s hottest hotels opening in 2021’, Mondrian Shoreditch London will open inside the existing Curtain hotel. With interior design by none other than the team at Goddard Littlefair, the 120-key lifestyle hotel will sit in the midst of Shoreditch, East London’s creative and cultural hub: an area that captivates the energy and playful DNA of the Mondrian brand. The hotel will collaborate with local personalities and brands to highlight their lifestyle approach to hospitality, via partnerships including artistic pop-ups and live performances in The Screening Room, a private room and bar. The property will also offer a premium co-working space, visionary dining and mixology concepts and boasts a rooftop pool and lounge by an award-winning team, just in time for the summer – a rarity for Londoners and always in high demand.

Mama Roma

Redner of restaurant in Mama Shelter in Rome

Image credit: Mama Roma

Scheduled to open in July 2021, Mama Roma, which we recently covered a sneak peek of, will be located in the elegant Prati district, on the right bank of the Tiber river. The 217-key hotel will welcome guests (local and travellers alike) to experience – in true Mama Shelter style – its eccentric, fun and accessible approach to hospitality. Spread over six floors, Mama Roma’s rooms have been conceived by the group’s in-house design team, Mama Design Studio. With other major hotels opening and hotel brands scheduled to debut in Rome over the next few years suggest that Rome is fast-becoming a hotel development hotspot – Mama, it seems, got in there first… 

The Tawny Hotel, Peak District

Located in the heart of rural Staffordshire, The Tawny Hotel is set within the 70-acre grounds of the restored wild garden of Consall Hall Estate – and is certainly one of the hottest hotels in England re-opening this summer. The hotel comprises of 55 immaculately designed Shepherds Huts, Treehouses, Boathouses, Retreats and the Lookout, each inspired by its surroundings and sympathetically designed by one of the owners, Sarah Reeves, with luxurious touches that intertwine with the natural environment.

With a rich history dating back to 1246, Consall Hall Estate and Gardens is considered a local treasure. Three years ago, locals Fran & William Scott-Moncrieff and Ben & Reeves embarked on a joint venture working with local conservation architects, ctd architects, to provide an economically viable and sustainable future for the gardens, ultimately creating The Tawny Hotel. Prior to their ownership, the site was the home of engineer, Mr William Podmore, who spent 50 years transforming the gardens, creating a space overflowing with life, a place to be discovered and enjoyed.

Today, considered design is present throughout the project; the cabins have been discretely and sensitively placed throughout the grounds in harmony with the rolling landscape and with care given to ensure the ecology of this very special estate continues to thrive. The project aims to be an exemplary showcase of responsible and sustainable tourism and this shines through all elements, be it the wood cladding used on the cabin exteriors, the foundations engineered to not harm the tree roots, the food waste utilised as fertiliser throughout the grounds and the outdoor bathtubs which require no chemicals, just fresh warm water.

Six Senses Ibiza 

Talk about timing, as the UK government decides to place Ibiza on the ‘green list’, Six Senses Hotels & Resorts is preparing to make its arrival on the island. But what is arguably more impressive is that the property, on the north shores of the island, will become Ibiza’s first sustainable resort – Six Senses Ibiza will be the first sustainable BREEAM certified resort and residential community in the Balearics. The resort will offer 116 guest accommodations, villas, suites and beachfront caves and a number of Village Residences with intimate terraces, lush gardens and pools – perfect for those looking for a permanent hideaway in the Mediterranean.

Hyatt Regency Koh Samui

Hyatt’s first hotel in Koh Samui will open in early July – but what’s really tickled our design senses is the collaborative architecture and design narrative. Three of Thailand’s top design names — architects The Office of Bangkok Architects (OBA), interiors specialist August Design Consultant and acclaimed landscaper PLandscape (PLA) —  were responsible for ensure that the resort is strong on both style and substance.

Architectural highlights include a showpiece lobby, the longest lobby arrival point in Koh Samui, where numerous skylights allow for natural illumination by the sun and the moon. Other standout features inside the 140-key hotel include plush accommodations that showcase terrific ocean views to the largest pool zone on the island, a collection of four pools, each cascading down from the main pool on the upper deck of the resort.

Airelles Saint-Tropez, Château de la Messardière

Acquired in May 2019, the property has joined Airelles’ prestigious hotel collection and has undergone extensive renovation work over the last two years, with highly acclaimed French architect and interior designer, Christopher Tollemer, overseeing the redesign.  Opening in July as Airelles Saint-Tropez, Château de la Messardière, the property, with its trademark domed cupolas and turrets, is Saint-Tropez’s largest hotel, occupying 25 acres of glorious grounds overlooking the Côte d’Azur and Provençal countryside.

Fairmont Taghazout Bay

Fairmont Taghazout Bay, designed by Wimberly Interiors, is the new property that is set to become the ‘new social nexus’ in Morocco for luxury travellers within the leisure sector. Its breath-taking coastline will introduce guests to a new and yet authentic destination. A wide range of distinctive features and activities designed to reflect the surrounding nature and local culture will cater to both the consumer and the corporate luxury hospitality industries. Located 17km north of Agadir, the property features 146 spacious accommodations featuring ocean view rooms, suites and villas, and a wellness facility that will shelter a wide range of treatments and experiences. 

Since you’re here…

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

Click here to sign up to our newsletter.

Weekly Briefing 25 06 21

Weekly briefing: design departures, hotel development & a new era for F&B

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Weekly briefing: design departures, hotel development & a new era for F&B

Editor Hamish Kilburn here, reporting for duty to patch up your week with a round-up of the hottest news and features that have emerged in the hotel design and hospitality industry over the last few days. This week’s briefing includes an emotional farewell, a look into the future of F&B hospitality and a glimpse at some of the major hotel development projects that will complete in the coming months. Scroll down and enjoy…

Weekly Briefing 25 06 21

In the latest Hotel Designs newsletter, sent out yesterday, I summed up this week’s news as ‘bitter-sweet’. In the same week we bid our fond farewell to a design studio that led the charge in hotel design for 30+ years, we also gathered some of F&B hospitality’s world-renowned experts in order to explore how the dining experience will evolve in 2021 and beyond. What’s more, we shared features on lighting, a hotel lobby unlike anything else we have seen and a look inside Viceroy’s debut hotel in Europe. It’s been a wild week, here on the editorial desk, so here’s our snapshot of the hottest, most-read stories:

Farewell for now: A look back on RPW Designs’ iconic projects

Image credit: RPW Design

In case you haven’t heard, leading hospitality design firm RPW Design became the latest casualty of the pandemic recently after its Managing Director Ariane Steinbeck announced that she had put the company into administration. With Steinbeck’s blessing, we reflected (past and present) on some of the hospitality design studio’s most iconic projects…

Read more.

EXCLUSIVE // Roundtable: How F&B hospitality is evolving in 2021 & beyond

For all brands working in hospitality, shutting up shop due to Covid-19 was a hard pill to swallow. But could F&B hospitality emerge from this crisis evolved and better shaped for the new demand of modern travellers and locals alike? Hotel Designs, in association with LUQEL, gathers some of the UK’s leading figures in the industry to find out.

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Lobby goals! Inside Graduate Hotels’ debut property in New York

Lobby inside Roosevelt Island hotel

Image credit: Steve Freihorn

Designed by Stonehill Taylor and SnøhettaGraduate Roosevelt Island becomes the Graduate Hotels’ 29th property and marks the brand’s arrival in New York City. With an arrival experience unlike any other (literally with a 12-foot sculpture greeting guests checking in), let’s take a look inside the 18-storey, 224-key design-led hotel.

Read more.

Inside Viceroy Kopaonik Serbia, the brand’s debut hotel in Europe

Arriving on the European hospitality scene for the first time, Viceroy Hotels & Resortshas just opened the 119-key Viceroy Kopaonik Serbia, a luxe mountain resort rich in culture, natural beauty and boundless adventure. Let’s take a look inside.

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New renders released of W Rome, months ahead of its opening

W Rome - Wet Deck

Image credit: W Rome

W Hotels Worldwide is preparing to make a bold arrival in Italy this autumn with the debut of W Rome. Located on Via Liguria, next to the Spanish Steps, the historic palazzo-turned-luxury-lifestyle-hotel will offer an unapologetically Italian experience, where guests can live in the moment and anticipate the future of the Eternal City.

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(in video) Hotel Designs LIVE: Workspace design trends in hospitality

In the final session of Hotel Designs LIVE on May 11, 2021, we positioned the spotlight on workspace design trends and how they are impacting hotel design and hospitality. In an exclusive panel discussion, editor Hamish Kilburn welcomed leading figures in residential, workspace and hospitality design in order to confront the topic from three separate perspectives.

Watch more.

Since you’re here…

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

Click here to sign up to our newsletter.

RPW Design: A look back on its iconic hotel design projects

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
RPW Design: A look back on its iconic hotel design projects

In case you haven’t heard, leading hospitality design firm RPW Design became the latest casualty of the pandemic recently after its Managing Director Ariane Steinbeck announced that she had put the company into administration. With Steinbeck’s blessing, editor Hamish Kilburn reflects (past and present) on some of the hospitality design studio’s most iconic projects…

Over the course of 31 years, RPW Design earned its title as one of the leading international interior design practices within the realm of hospitality. Having created unique interiors for luxury hotels, cruise ships and private members’ clubs around the world, the studio has helped steer hospitality, from many perspectives, into several new eras of luxury and lifestyle. With an impressive portfolio of projects and awards, the firm became renowned for its technical prowess and sensual alchemy. In short, each project RPW Design undertook become memorable for its coherence and elegance.

During the pandemic, the studio helped us narrate as much as navigate the ever-evolving hotel design and hospitality scene – Ariane Steinbeck herself joined us on several virtual roundtables, including discussions on hygiene, wellness and sleep.

“While we mourn the loss of RPW Design Ltd, our team will remain a [resourceful and] reliable force in our industry.” – Ariane Steinbeck, Managing Director, RPW Design.

Over the weekend, however, Steinbeck, who in 2015 was passed the reins by Jan Wilson to become Managing Director – I still remember the fabulous Octoberfest-style event she arranged to mark her arrival – took to social media to share that the company had gone into administration. “It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that I must announce the closure of RPW Design Ltd after three decades of serving the hospitality industry,” she wrote. “Try as we might, we could not overcome the compounding effects of Covid-19 on our business… While we mourn the loss of RPW Design Ltd, our team will remain a [resourceful and] reliable force in our industry – some of whom have already found new ‘homes’ elsewhere.”

Our heartfelt, respectful nod (more of a bow actually) to the studio’s legacy comes as we look back to some of RPW Design’s iconic projects that added colour, texture and deep meaning to the hospitality landscape worldwide. From one of my first features I wrote as a design journalist – the unveil of London Marriott Hotel County Hall – to its most recent projects that are still in development, including working on what will be Sofia’s tallest building and the much-loved Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire, here’s an edited selection of jewels that, thanks to considered interior design approaches, boldly put (and kept) RPW Design on our radar.

London Marriott Hotel County Hall
Design team: Elizabeth Lane, Heather McLellan and Alessandro Tessari

In 2014, RPW Design was tasked to take one of London’s most iconic riverside buildings, which first opened in 1933 opposite the Houses of Parliament, into its next chapter in hospitality. The studio steered the London Marriott Hotel County Hall through its multi-million pound renovation under the watchful eye of Elizabeth Lane, Heather McLellan and Alessandro Tessari.

Re-emerging and re-opening with crisp, new interiors – far removed from the maroon and green colour scheme that the hotel brand was once known for – while also appropriately making sensitive nods throughout to the building’s colourful past. In short, RPW Design helped the hotel take back its status as one of London’s finest hotels, while showcasing a modern and contemporary Marriott International brand.

Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire
Design team:
Elizabeth Lane, Poppy Lindley (now at Martin Brudnizki Design Studio), Richard Snow and Alessandro Tessari

Image credit: RPW Design/Four Seasons Hampshire

Last year, RPW Design unveiled the renovation of Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire’s conference and banqueting spaces. The refreshed interiors of the hotel’s meeting and event spaces seamlessly breathed fresh life into the historical Georgian property, adding a stylish sense of sophistication. In order to appeal to both the social and business clientele at the hotel, the design studio artistically designed different identities for each of the conference and banqueting rooms. To ensure the hotel remained quintessentially British, the team chose to specifically work with British manufacturers and suppliers.

The Capital Suite inside InterContinental London Park Lane
Design team: Ariane Steinbeck, Richard Snow and Poppy Lindley

RPW Design designed The Capital Suite

Image credit: Will Pryce

Designed to suit the needs of todays’ top executives and boasting state-of-the-art facilities, the inspiration for the design concept for The Capital Suite was drawn from the nature and history of Hyde Park, which surrounds the hotel and its storied location. Accompanying the use of natural materials, every detail has been individually designed to adhere to the leitmotif. Design touches contain tasteful homages to London’s greenery such as bespoke bronze handles evocative of tree branches for the cabinetry. Artwork and accessories draw on Hyde Park’s equine traditions and the historic location of the hotel. Bespoke stitching details of the Plane, the tree that populates and represents London’s Royal Parks, are incorporated into the headboard design. The green landscape of the park even inspired textures, patterns and themes within the carpet designs and artworks.

The suite, spanning 335sqm on the first floor, is the ultimate haven for the international business and leisure traveller a like – you feel taken away from the Capital, which is somewhat ironic considering its majestic name and non-cliché British design touchpoints and references.

Malta Marriott Hotel & Spa
Design team: Elizabeth Lane, Alessandro Tessari and Poppy Lindley

Earlier this year, RPW Design unveiled the new Presidential Suite of Malta Marriott Hotel & Spa, which, following an investment of more than €30M, epitomises the splendour and elegance of the recently renovated five-star St Julian’s property. Not only has RPW Design created a harmonious atmosphere but functionality was also at the forefront of the design process to form a space that is adaptable to modern travellers’ transition from daytime business meetings to leisurely evenings.

Situated on the 12th floor of the hotel, guests can enjoy unique panoramic views of Balluta Bay, which are visible from the entire 170 sqm suite. These vistas can be enjoyed on the expansive terrace, balconies and windows which run the whole length of the spacious room.

Sheraton Schiphol Airport (under construction)
Design team: Elizabeth Lane, Alessandro Tessari, Richard Snow and Heather McLellan

The project, which is still in motion, is a full refurbishment of the guestrooms and corridors in the airport hotel. It was integral to hit the right notes as this project is an early adopter of the new branding for Sheraton. The team were inspired by aerial views of the tulip fields and surrounding Land Art Park Buitenschot, built not only for recreations but also to reduce noise from the airfield. 

Sofia Marriott (under construction)
Design team: Ariane Steinbeck and Heather McLellan

Sofia Marriott will become the tallest tower in Sofia, Bulgaria. Unfortunately, we are unable to share much more than that at the moment – we don’t even have images to tease you with for the time being. All that we can confirm is that the talented individuals at RPW Design will be responsible for the contemporary interior design scheme that the building will eventually shelter.

Madrid Historic Apartment (expected to complete in 2022)
Design team: Ariane Steinbeck, Richard Snow and Alessandro Tessari

Image credit: RPW Design/Smallbone Kitchens

Image credit: RPW Design/Smallbone Kitchens

It may not be a hotel, but it does give you an idea of what the team are currently working on. The ‘piano nobile’ in a stately, Haussmannian-style building on one of Madrid’s most revered boulevards, is located steps from the Prado Museum and Retiro Park in the Salamanca neighbourhood. Built in 1919, and having had only a few owners in its history, the team at RPW Design are in the process of restoring and carefully re-shaping the “villa” into a spatial arrangement that makes sense for today’s lifestyles. The designed have put a large emphasis on the kitchen as a centrepiece as preparation of food and the joy of cooking and entertaining is paramount for this client. Assisted by Smallbone of Devizes, Steinbeck (who’s passion for cooking, I’m told, comes close to her love of design) and the former RPW Design team have come up with a solution that is adaptable to the family’s needs and unconventional in its approach.

Although this is a sad farewell to a company who has, for three decades, led with such poise, precision and passion, I can’t help but feel optimistic for Ariane Steinbeck, Heather McLellan, Alessandro Tessari,  Poppy Lindley, Richard Snow and Elizabeth Lane. As we close the door on this unforgettable chapter, I urge you to keep your eyes fixed on the corridor to see which other doors creep open. Behind them will no doubt be more masterpieces from the talented individuals – perhaps sheltered under different studios  – who together were RPW Design. Watch this space.

Main image credit: RPW Design

Giant sculpture in Lobby in Graduate Hotel Roosevelt Island

Inside Graduate Hotels’ debut property in New York

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Inside Graduate Hotels’ debut property in New York

Designed by Stonehill Taylor and Snøhetta, Graduate Roosevelt Island becomes the Graduate Hotels’ 29th property and marks the brand’s arrival in New York City. With an arrival experience unlike any other (literally with a 12-foot sculpture greeting guests checking in), let’s take a look inside the 18-storey, 224-key design-led hotel…

Giant sculpture in Lobby in Graduate Hotel Roosevelt Island

Created for travellers who seek memory-making journeys, Graduate Hotels is a hand-crafted collection of hotels that reside in dynamic university-anchored towns across the country and expanding into the U.K. in summer 2021. Each property celebrates and commemorates the optimistic energy of its community, while offering an extended retreat to places that often play host to the best days of our lives. The brand’s latest hotel – and debut property in New York City – shelters 224 guestrooms inside a 18-storey building on Roosevelt Island.

Positioned at the entrance of the Cornell Tech campus, the hotel has been designed by internationally renowned design firm Snøhetta, hosptiality-focused architecture firm Stonehill Taylor and Graduate Hotels’ in-house design team. Blending together Old School charm and New Age, the design team took inspiration from the rich history of Roosevelt Island and the future of technology that the Cornell Tech campus embodies. The futuristic and functional meld to create a space that’s bright, open and always interesting.

“We’re thrilled to make our debut in New York with the first ever hotel on Roosevelt Island and proud to join the innovative Cornell Tech campus,” said Ben Weprin, founder and CEO of Graduate Hotels. “Each of our hotels are rooted in the communities they serve, and we took great care in creating a highly customised hotel experience that honours the island’s rich history and has an authentic connection to the Cornell Tech campus. Now more than ever, there is a new appreciation for exploring what’s in your own backyard and we look forward to welcoming locals and visitors looking to experience New York from a fresh and unexpected vantage point.”

The arrival experience has been designed to add personality and drama into the check-in element of the hospitality journey. Upon entering, guests are greeted with a custom 12-foot statement sculpture created by Hebru Brantley that reinterprets his iconic Flyboy character and a neon Graduate sign situated above the reception desk, which is a reimagined vintage apothecary cabinet.

Lobby inside Roosevelt Island hotel

Image credit: Steve Freihorn

In this area of the hotel, collaboration between the firms was integral. Stonehill Taylor, which recently took part in a panel discussion about the new era of lifestyle, ensured that the design of the ceiling connected the interior space to the exterior as part of the full campus experience. The ceiling’s unique trapezoidal wedge shape points upward towards the East River and Manhattan and aligns with the exterior soffit and façade planes to convey the sense of a mass floating above the ground. Unobstructed by lighting, the ceiling is reflectively lit by a fixture along the space’s perimeter. Three-quarters of the wall are glass windows and when paired with hard floors, the acoustics of the space proved challenging. Therefore, the architecture firm employed materials that would both soften the soundscape and accommodate the ceiling’s complex, three-dimensional shape. The wall opposite the floor-to- ceiling windows features 5,000 square feet of shelving with uplighting built into it that bounces off the ceiling above and surfaces below.

book shelf framing seating in lobby with deep red sofas in lobby of Roosevelt Island hotel

Image credit: Steven Freihorn

Nods to the island’s storied history can be seen through the corridor behind the front desk, which features a gallery of black and white photographs of the Roosevelt family. The spacious lobby is lined with 5,000 linear feet of textbooks and floor-to-ceiling windows to create a bright and airy space warmed up with Persian-inspired rugs, mid-century light fixtures and pops of Cornell Big Red hues throughout. The lobby is also home to the hotel’s full-service, all-day restaurant with a statement wraparound bar anchoring the space and a variety of inviting lounge seating.

The 224 guestrooms and suites include a Presidential Suite spanning more than 1,100 square feet. Contrasting the modern architecture with warm design details, the guest rooms offer a familiar, residential experience paired with unrivalled views of the East River and Manhattan skyline.

The décor plays with technology throughout the ages as seen through lamps with a Morse code of the Cornell fight song on the base, a neon light fixture inspired by a science project from a Cornell alum, floating glass desks and integrated audiovisual devices. Local elements and nods to Roosevelt Island are also incorporated throughout the guestrooms.

A soft, contemporary guest room overlooking the river in New York

Image credit: Steven Freihorn

Design highlights include benches upholstered with oil painting-like tapestry of Dutch colonial life, custom art pieces created by Matt Buchholz and Brooklyn-based artist Ashley Cunningham and a thoughtfully curated gallery wall showcasing unique pieces including portraits of prominent figures in the island’s history such as Nellie Bly and Mae West.

Los Angeles-based hospitality team and New York City natives, Med Abrous and Marc Rose of Call Mom are the exclusive food and beverage partners at Graduate Roosevelt Island, marking the duo’s homecoming and their third collaboration with Graduate Hotels, which also includes Graduate Seattle and Graduate Nashville. The hotel includes the full-service restaurant, Anything At All, on the ground level; The Panorama Room, an extraordinary indoor-outdoor rooftop bar and lounge with unobstructed, sweeping views of the city; and, more than 3,000 square feet of onsite flexible meeting space all conceived and operated by Abrous and Rose.

Abrous and Rose have tapped a talented, female-led team including Executive Chef Ja’Toria Harper, Pastry Chef Lindsey Verardo and Beverage Director Estelle Bossy to oversee all food and beverage programs. Opening later in June, Anything At All will serve breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner. Rooted in a vegetable-forward, farm-first approach to contemporary comfort food, the light-drenched indoor-outdoor space features a sustainable synergy between the kitchen and the bar whose playful, creative frozen drinks and seasonal spritzes will take centre stage at brunch.

Situated atop the hotel, The Panorama Room, is the stunning 168-seat rooftop bar and lounge designed by James Beard Foundation Award-winning design firm, Parts and Labor Design. Opening in July 2021, the crown jewel of the property will evoke a sense of cinematic drama inspired by futurism creating a true destination for fashion-forward elegance in an intimate space all set against unobstructed city views.

The hotel’s third floor features a variety of distinct multi-use meeting and event spaces set against clear skyline views, offering the perfect venue for every occasion from weddings to off-site corporate meetings. This summer, Graduate Hotels has transformed its ballroom into a space for collaboration inspired by the iconic film BIG. Known as “The Loft” at Graduate Roosevelt Island, this pop culture moment creates an opportunity for families, local businesses and private groups to catch up on lost time in a space that sparks creative energy and taps into the power of nostalgia.

A light and bright meeting space inside the new york hotel

Image credit: Steven Freihorn

What makes this project that much more impressive is its sustainability initiative. The hotel furthers the campus’ ongoing commitment to sustainability through its LEED-rated architecture and the use of highly efficient materials and energy saving systems throughout the property. Graduate Roosevelt Island’s many sustainability initiatives include the LEED-certified architecture, use of recyclable materials, highly efficient heating, cooling and LED lighting systems, reduced water consumption, waste reclamation programs, healthy indoor air quality and more. The food and beverage operators are equally committed to creating environmentally conscious restaurant operations and culinary programs including: composting food scraps, recycling programs for restaurant waste, no single-use plastic products, minimising food waste and purchasing sustainable, locally-sourced ingredients and products.

Main image credit: Steve Freihorn

Weekly briefing: Rediscovering British hospitality & unveiling Rosewood’s plot twist

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Weekly briefing: Rediscovering British hospitality & unveiling Rosewood’s plot twist

You’re just in time to catch today’s performance of the Weekly Briefing. My name’s Hamish Kilburn, and allow me to show you to your seat. This week’s cast of stories includes our latest podcast episode that explores creativity crafted, nhow taking unconventional design and art to a whole new level, our latest hotel review that took us on a trip down memory lane and all you need to know (and more) about Rosewood’s latest venture into the private members’ arena. “Talent to the stage, talent to the stage, please…”

If Hotel Designs was a theatre production – and what a show that would be – the main theme of the overall performance this week would be variety. The editorial team’s inbox has been flooded with vibrancy, colour and stories that have simply put a smile on our face. Although many of the travel industry’s audience members haven’t quite made act one, as Covid-19 continues to put pressure on hospitality globally, we have been reassured that the narrative will improve by the development that continues to happen during these turbulent times.

This week, as well as recording out next virtual roundtable that explores the future of F&B hospitality (stay tuned), I was able to publish my first hotel review in a while – I checked in to The Grove Hotel in Hertfordshire following an incredible renovation by British designer Martin Hulbert – which made me realise, thanks to a nudge from good friend and PR queen Lara Good (Grifco PR), that local performances in British hospitality aren’t all that bad after all.

Work perks aside, here are our top stories from the week… but first, why not read this article while listening to the latest episode of DESIGN POD, which welcomes the ladies from Carden Cunietti to take the mic?!

Hotel review: Checking (back) in to The Grove Hotel, Hertfordshire

Image caption: In one of the lounges, the designer even commissioned a large gold beam to hang on the ceiling because, well, why not? | Image credit: The Grove Hotel, Hertfordshire

Image caption: In one of the lounges, the designer even commissioned a large gold beam to hang on the ceiling because, well, why not? | Image credit: The Grove Hotel, Hertfordshire

Socially distanced from London’s hustle and bustle, but still within 20 miles of the city, The Grove is a country estate set within 300 acres of glorious Hertfordshire countryside. Its most recent renovation, led by British designer Martin Hulbert, answers only to nature and ushers the hotel into a new era – perfect for those seeking a luxury staycation within reach of the Capital – as I learns when I become the latest Hotel Designs editor to check in…

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Rosewood Hotel Group launches ‘new breed’ of private members’ clubs

The Reading Room

Image credit: Rosewood Hotel Group

Rosewood Hotel Group, which has been loudly expanding its global portfolio during the pandemic period with hotel development in destinations such as RomeAmsterdamLondon and most recently Mexico City, has just changed the narrative once more by announcing the opening of Carlyle & Co., a landmark private members’ club in Hong Kong designed by British designer Ilse Crawford. Here’s what we know…

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Editor checks in: What it’s actually like for young designers

In my latest column, I addresses an issue that is resulting in young designers and architects missing out on a fair opportunity to succeed. Can we do more to help students to become the next generation of A&D professionals? You tell me…

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nhow Brussels Bloom Hotel opens with a colourful twist

Van in lobby inside nhow Brussels

Image credit: HD Hotel Group

NH Hotel Group’s unconventional lifestyle hospitality brand, nhow, expands its portfolio with the launch of its seventh hotel; a contemporary hub that has been designed with a different art form on every floor, including a floor designed by London designer Jessica Thacker. Sunglasses on, folks things are about to get colourful…

Read more.

Meet the women who are pioneering a new wave of design-led motels

The June April Brown and Srah Sklash

Image credit: Lauren Miller Photography

With a penchant for ‘great wine and good vibes’, The June is a female-led motelier that was founded by best friends, April Brown and Sarah Sklash. Following our bow to International Women’s Day, I sat down with Brown and Sklash to learn more about how the due are using design into to evolve The June into a leading lifestyle brand…

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And finally… we unveiled our speakers for Hotel Designs LIVE

Hotel Designs LIVE - speakers

Following four successful virtual events, Hotel Designs LIVE, which is completely free for designers, architects, hoteliers and developers, will return on August 10, 2021. In order to confront ‘zoom fatigue’ with meaningful content, we have just announced the global line-up of speakers who will appear in a series of four engaging panel discussions throughout the day…

Read more.

Since you’re here…

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

Click here to sign up to our newsletter.

nhow Brussels colourful guestrooms

nhow Brussels Bloom Hotel opens with a colourful twist

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
nhow Brussels Bloom Hotel opens with a colourful twist

NH Hotel Group’s unconventional lifestyle hospitality brand, nhow, expands its portfolio with the launch of its seventh hotel; a contemporary hub that has been designed with a different art form on every floor, including a floor designed by London designer Jessica Thacker. Sunglasses on, folks things are about to get colourful… 

nhow Brussels colourful guestrooms

nhow Brussels Bloom has opened, sheltering an immersive world of creativity and inspiration that takes art completely outside the frame. Located in the Botanique area, the cultural centre of Brussels, the hotel is a place where business, leisure travellers and artists come together to share their passion for art and find new inspiration. Sitting under the “nhow” umbrella, NH Hotel Group’s unconventional lifestyle brand, the hotels follows on from the successful opening of nhow London last year.  

nhow London used it’s location as a major source of inspiration – think back to the London park-themed corridors and who can forget that rocket-launching Big Ben?! Meanwhile, nhow Brussels Bloom chose unconventional art as a concept that would help bring together people from all over the world. Introducing the The Creative Hub, which is a place within the hotel where all different types of creativity come together, just like different people come together: locals, tourists and business travellers. Anyone who appreciates unconventional creativity will feel at home in this hotel.

Van in lobby of nhow Brussels

Image credit: NH Hotel Group

The guestrooms are decorated like an artist’s studio: upon entering, there is an explosion of colours and prints, while the sleeping area is just like a blank canvas waiting for its art to arrive. Each room has a unique painting, which steals the attention due to its neutral surroundings. The bathrooms are inspired by the photographer’s workplace, the darkroom: mysterious, dark, and with a splash of colour here and there. Creativity is added by various Polaroid photos on the wall, inviting guests to create their own nhow bathroom moments. 

Each floor is inspired by a different art form. The moment you step out of the elevator, you are completely immersed in the specific art theme. Jessica Thacker, London artist, designed the seventh floor with her abstract music-inspired paintings. nhow Brussels Bloom will open its other floors to more upcoming artists in the future. 

In addition to 305 hotel rooms, the hotel has 12 meeting rooms for approximately 350 people. With the largest screen in Brussels, an amazing 17 by 4 metres, it is ideal for digital and hybrid events. Guests can have breakfast in the hotel restaurant or enjoy a drink and bitesized streetfood in the bar and restaurant. The hotel restaurant is a creative experience in its own. Diezijner x With Jeej has covered the walls, pillars and the cheat day station, in which you can get all sorts of pancakes and waffles, surrounded by unique graffiti art. Jeroen van der Knaap from With Jeej explained: “I just loved taking over the breakfast restaurant while the hotel was still under renovation and to get full freedom to turn the breakfast experience for guests into a creative one.” You can go for your daily work out on the eighth floor in a fully equipped gym, with a beautiful view over the city. Guests can order an easel and a paint kit via room service to get creative during their stay. 

Every nhow hotel aims to be inspiring, surprising and adapts to its surroundings like a chameleon. That’s why the embodiment of the nhow brand has arrived in Brussels: Patch, the colourful eight-metre-long chameleon, who previously brightened up both London and Amsterdam with its presence. With its impressive appearance, the chameleon represents the brand values of nhow: self-discovery, change and creativity. Patch is placed on the façade of the hotel and will be lit up at night.     

The nhow brand, which currently has hotels in Milan, Rotterdam, Marseille, London, Amsterdam and now Brussels, shows no sign of slowing down. The brand will welcome its second hotel in Germany in 202 and hotels in Rome, Santiago de Chile and Lima will follow in the next three years. 

Main image credit: NH Hotel Group

Image of blue modern chair next to cork wallpaper

Connect your walls to nature with Granorte

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Connect your walls to nature with Granorte

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

Image of blue modern chair next to cork wallpaper

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

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

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

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

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

Main image credit: Granorte

Hotel Designs LIVE - speakers

Speakers announced for Hotel Designs LIVE in August

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Speakers announced for Hotel Designs LIVE in August

Following four successful virtual events, Hotel Designs LIVE, which is completely free for designers, architects, hoteliers and developers, will return on August 10, 2021. In order to confront ‘zoom fatigue’ with meaningful content, we have just announced the global line-up of speakers who will appear in a series of four engaging panel discussions throughout the day. Editor Hamish Kilburn, who will host the event at Minotti London, reveals all… 

Hotel Designs LIVE - speakers

Hotel Designs LIVE, the one-day conference which is free to attend if you qualify as a designer, architect, hoteliers or developer, will return on August 10 to serve up a series of online panel discussions with the aim to keep the industry connected and the conversation flowing during the on-going pandemic.

The four topics that have been confirmed for the virtual event, which was recently shortlisted shortlisted in the ‘Best Webinar Series’ category at the Digital Event Awards, are senses, sleep, surfaces and social.

Editor Hamish Kilburn will host the event from the comfort of Minotti London’s Fitzrovia showroom. “For more than a year now, Hotel Designs LIVE has been meaningfully serving the international hotel design and hospitality community by simply keeping the conversation following,” Kilburn explains. “It feels very fitting, considering our previous networking collaborations the luxury Italian furniture brand and its relevant to all of our four panel discussions, to welcome Minotti London as our headline sponsor.”

There are limited spaces available. Simply click here to secure your place in the virtual audience (booking form takes less than two minutes and entry is free for designers, architects, hoteliers and developers).

Meet the confirmed speakers (so far): 

The agenda: 

1st session Hotel Designs LIVE

Click here to participate.

1st Session - Hotel Designs LIVE

Click here to participate. 

Hotel Designs LIVE - sleep session

Click here to participate. 

Hotel Designs LIVE – surfaces session

Click here to participate. 

Session 4 - Hotel Designs LIVE

Click here to participate. 

If you are a designer, architect, hotelier  or developer and would like to secure your complimentary seats in the audience, click hereIf you are a supplier to the hotel design industry and would like to promote your latest product or services to the Hotel Designs LIVE audience, please contact Katy Phillips via email or call +44 (0)1992 374050.

Main image credit: Oladimeji Odunsi/Unsplash

Weekly briefing 4th june

Weekly briefing: Sleep masterclass, award winners & art outside the frame

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Weekly briefing: Sleep masterclass, award winners & art outside the frame

Allow me, Hamish Kilburn, to walk you through this week’s top design and hospitality stories. The weekly briefing was designed with busy on-the-go designers, architects, hoteliers and developers in mind – so kick back, relax and scroll down to read a snapshot of this week’s happenings…

It’s been a turbulent week – in fact year – for the travel industry, as the UK government continues to play chess with tourism boards that rely heavily on UK tourism.

Weekly briefing 4th june

With the latest ‘check’ against Portugal now being moved off the ‘green list’ it’s becoming more and more likely for the industry to lose yet another season due to new variants of Covid-19.

However, that hasn’t stopped or hindered plans for brands to re-open showing solidarity and strength – as can be seen in our latest VIP arrivals story, which takes a closer look at this month’s hottest hotel openings. It also hasn’t affected young designers’ creativity, as seen in this year’s shortlisted entries for the Accor Design Awards, which concluded this week.

To round off yet another week, while the sun is still shining the UK – good news for staycation businesses – here are what we believe are this week’s top stories…

Accor Design Awards – and the winners are…

Overall winner: Nomadish

Overall winner: Nomadish

Our most-read story of the week comes from Accor’s spectacular, global campaign to find the world’s most talented design students. First launched in in 2016, the Accor Design Awards aim to rethink the future of hospitality in collaboration with design students the world over. Their creativity blended with Accor’s know-how, provide unique solutions and new concepts for the hospitality industry. I had the privilege of sitting on this year’s judging panel – and what an experience it was… Finally, we can now announce the winners.

Read more.

VIP arrivals: Hottest hotels opening in June 2021

White room inside OMMA Santorini

Image credit: OMMA Santorini

A few weeks ago, restricted by green, amber and red lists – it’s as if we are at a junction and the traffic lights are broken – we on the editorial desk at Hotel Designs unveiled the best design hotels to visit in Portugal. But, as you know, we are a global platform and have over the last few months been publishing our VIP Arrivals series, which takes a closer look at the latest hotels opening on the hotel design scene.

For the June edition, things are hotting us as the summer season approaches. Although (for the time being, at least) many desirable destinations remain untouchable, we thrown down the metaphorical towels on the sun loungers for you at the new hotels we have recently added to our own travel bucket list. Here’s our editor’s pick of the must-visit hotels opening in June.

Read more.

Judges have been announced for The Brit List Awards 2021

The Brit List Awards judges 2021

Now that the free nominations/applications process is open for The Brit List Awards 2021, it’s time to meet this year’s judges. The 2021 panel consists of respected travel journalists and international experts in the design, architecture and hotel development arenas. The judges will gather to select the winners ahead of the awards ceremony on November 3 at PROUD Embankment, London.

Read more.

EXCLUSIVE // Virtual hotel design masterclass: The science of sleep

Image credit: YOTEL

In a recent article exclusively published on Hotel Designs, Hannah Shore, sleep expert at Silentnight Group, shared an ‘experts guide on the science of a good nights’ sleep’. In this article, she explored the optimum environment to enhance the best sleep performance, which included looking at temperature, lighting and comfort – or ‘TLC’ as she puts it.

Following this insightful piece, it felt natural for us to extend an invitation out to a cluster of designers and hospitality experts to explore with the professionals at Silentnight Group, the science of sleep.

Read more.

(in video) Hotel Designs LIVE: Art outside the frame

Following two engaging panel discussions looking at a new era of lifestyle and bathrooms beyond practical spaces, the third debate virtually sheltered under Hotel Designs LIVE was around challenging conventional portrayal of art in hotel design. Sponsored by Elegant Clutter, which prides itself on offering a professionally different approach to art consultancy, this chapter of the event addressed new demands from public areas and clever ways to inject branding and sense of place in hospitality establishments.

Read more.

M Social arrives in New York

M Social NY terrace night view

Image credit: M Social

Ever since checking in to M Social Singapore, designed by the one and only Philippe Starck, a few years ago, I was convinced that this brand would thrive in the concrete neighbourhood of Manhattan. With the opening of a 480-key hotel located at 226 West 52 Street  –literally in the heard of Times Square to you and I – it’s about time (and it’s better late than never).

Read more.

In Conversation With: Alex Tredez on designing The Lost Poet

Image credit: The Lost Poet

“We felt that there was a gap in the market for accommodation which offers high quality service, attention to detail and professionalism synonymous with the hotel experience – but also offering an authentic local experience which guests love about Airbnb-like residences,” Alex Tredez, lead designer of The Lost Poet, explains to me as we start to discuss one of West London’s most anticipated hotel openings this year.

Read more. 

Since you’re here…

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

Click here to sign up to our newsletter.

Roundtable - sleep

Virtual hotel design masterclass: The science of sleep

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Virtual hotel design masterclass: The science of sleep

In late May, 2021, Hotel Designs invited a handful of designers and hotel experts to speak at a virtual roundtable on sleep performance, in association with Silentnight Group. Editor Hamish Kilburn, who moderated the session that naturally turned into a masterclass, writes…

Roundtable - sleep

In a recent article exclusively published on Hotel Designs, Hannah Shore, sleep expert at Silentnight Group, shared an ‘experts guide on the science of a good nights’ sleep’. In this article, she explored the optimum environment to enhance the best sleep performance, which included looking at temperature, lighting and comfort – or ‘TLC’ as she puts it.

Following this insightful piece, it felt natural for us to extend an invitation out to a cluster of designers and hospitality experts to explore with the professionals at Silentnight Group, the science of sleep.

Key panelists

Also on the panel:

  • Angela Moran, Product Strategy Director, Silentnight Group
  • David Lawrenson, Sales Director, Silentnight Group

Hamish Kilburn: Angela, could you just kick us off please with a bit more context on Silentnight Group and what the brand is currently working on from a product perspective…

 Angela Moran: Where do I start? Silentnight Group is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. We’re the leading consumer brand in the UK and the largest bed manufacturer in the UK. We mainly operate out of our site in Barnoldswick in England and we also have a partnership with Comfy Bedding – and we can do a whole sleep package with them including air filtration systems within the bedroom.

Sustainability is one of our pillars at the brand, and one of my deep passions in my role. We are really pleased that we make all of our products in the UK and 70 per cent of our raw materials are also come from the UK and many are within two hours of our HQ.

In terms of product design, our key principles are:

  • Comfort – looking at how we can offer the best nights’ sleep
  • Cleanliness – everything from antiviral treatments
  • Durability – we want our products to stand the test of time without a decrease in comfort
  • Sustainability – we do a lot of work in this area. One area we are really focused on is recycling. We have a 97 per cent recycle rate.

In all the research that goes in during product development, we are always balancing those four areas.

HK: Jeremy, given your expertise in this area around sustainability – assembly to dissemble mind-set on all your projects – how difficult has it been in the past with beds at the end of their life cycle?

 Jeremy Grove: We think about that in relation to every product and beds were a problem. Over the last two or three years we have started to find solutions. I think it’s something like 13 million mattresses go to landfill every year. Currently, it’s very limited to what’s out there, but I do see that changing.

Joanna Knight: I think it’s very important. We are working on a large project at the moment where we are changing out 614 beds and mattresses and we are very keen not to send the old products to landfill – and we are working with Silentnight Group on how we best do this.

Emma King: Hygiene and materiality are both so important right now. And by that I mean the whole sleep experience, what is happening when it comes to recycling duvets etc. From a brand point of view, the first thing to be removed when Covid-19 hit was the soft furnishings and cushions because everyone, it seems, wants a clean, white bed right now. I believe the consumer will want to be more informed, from now on, about where materials have come from and what they are sleeping on.

Image credit: Kimpton DeWitt Amsterdam Hotel. Interior Design. Photography. Laure Joliet

Image credit: Kimpton DeWitt Amsterdam Hotel. Interior Design. Photography. Laure Joliet

HK: Does what bed and mattress you specify change depending on where the project is geographically?

Ariane Steinbeck: To a certain extent, yes. Interestingly, we find that the Asian market prefers to specify a firmer mattress. I remember travelling in mainland China not so long ago and wherever we stayed in a non-internationally branded hotel the mattress was rock solid!

Frank Esmeijer: At YOTEL, we call our rooms ‘cabins’ and we believe they are very unique. The bed in each of our cabins takes a leading role. Our model is very different, and our bed has to have the functionality to fold up.

Image credit: YOTEL

HK: So often when we future gaze to what the hospitality and hotel design landscape might look like in the future, the bed is often depicted as something out of a sci-fi movie. And yet we today are grounding the conversation around materials and sustainable methods. Where do you then draw the line between what’s a gimmick and what’s meaningful?

AS: I try to stick to the science and when I am travelling, I would like things to be simple and clean. If we are working with someone independently and we have more of a voice on what gets specified, all the information available is very helpful as decisions are easier to make when they are informed. Personally, I want to know whether or not sleeping on material that is ‘natural’ is better for you…

HS: We always have this argument over natural vs synthetic. Every material that goes into a mattress has its pros and its cons. Natural materials, for example, have really great thermal regulatory properties and are extremely breathable. However, the downsides to natural materials include that they might settle a bit more and generally be less durable. On the other side, synthetic material is probably more durable but does not offer as good breathability. So, as you can hear, it all just completely depends what the end consumer wants.

“The reason why polyester is such a valuable material is that it is arriving as someone else’s’ waste and is approved by the Global Recycled Standards (GRS).” – Angela Moran, Product Strategy Director, Silentnight Group.

Image credit: Silentnight Group

AS: Has it been proven that there is off-gassing by using non-natural materials?

AM: I recently had a call with leaders from the bed industry and we are looking at how to move the industry forward for the societal good. In terms of foam, I have completely changed my view. I initially thought that it may be durable but it is an oil-based product. However, I have now realised, due to the work that Hannah has done, that the mattress is a sustainable option because it just lasts so long. And, at end of life, synthetics are very easy to recycle over the natural materials that, while they are compostable, there is no infrastructure in place to recycle so they are unfortunately going into landfill. The reason why polyester is such a valuable material is that it is arriving as someone else’s’ waste and is approved by the Global Recycled Standards (GRS). In five years, I believe that every mattress material will be able to be recycled, at scale!

“We were finding that many mattresses were passing durability tests in the lab and yet failing in real life scenarios.” – Hannah Shore, Sleep Expert, Silentnight Group.

HK: How do Silentnight test their latest products?

HS: Let me introduce you to Robbie, he is our climate machine who was created as a result of a widespread research collaborations between ourselves, universities and institutions. He heats up to about 75 per cent humidity. We did a bit of research under the duvet, creating our own microclimate. Using Robbie, we can apply heat and moisture in different ways. We can manipulate the settings to match realistic climates in the bedroom. We were finding that many mattresses were passing durability tests in the lab and yet failing in real life scenarios. If you add heat and moisture, as you would have in a real setting, then the fibres were collapsing more. As a result, that can decrease the lifespan of a mattress by up to 30 per cent. So, although we test everything in the lab, we also use Robbie as an in-depth testing method. Another way we can use Robbie is to measure how quickly that heat and moisture goes through the different layers of the mattress. The key finding we found was that the heat and moisture management was in the top five centimeters of the mattress.

Daniel Englender: When it comes to sleep performance, I think everyone has been interested in the science over the last few years especially. What I am interested in understanding more about is the on-going maintenance of the mattress, as in how much they need to be turned etc?

AM: Our learning has been that in a hotel environment it has be easy care and there are a few things to consider. A lot of mattresses these days can come single-sided, so that you don’t have to think or worry about ‘turning’ the mattress continually – and again, that’s where foam really rates highly.

On the other side, the piece of kit that Hannah referred to has allowed us to completely reinvent our fibre specifications. Some of the innovation in the polyester front has been, instead of just horizontally laying fibres, we can now vertically lap them so that they mimic foam more. It ensures that fibres are more long-lasting. From all of this, my conclusion would be that single-sided mattresses are best suited for hotels because you can put more on the top.

Image credit: RPW Design/Marriott International

DE: What’s the magic formula for a zip and link bed to feel like a regular mattress?

David Lawrenson (Sales Director, Silentnight Group): It’s interesting because the zip on a zip-and-link product is a hugely contentious topic in the hospitality industry. Depending on where you have the zip, it can cause the materials to separate and if it is too high up then it becomes uncomfortable for the user. We are working on new technology and products that offer a solution.

“Interestingly for us to fall asleep, our core temperature needs to drop 1 degrees. A lot of people think that wrapping up warm and cosy is the answer, but science has exposed that to the be a myth.” – Hannah Shore, Sleep Expert, Silentnight Group.

HK: Hannah, in a recent article we published from you, you said that 75 per cent of Brits admit to not having good nights’ sleep. 30 per cent of those asked rated their sleep as ‘bad’ Why is this stat so high? 

HS: We live in a 24-hour world at the moment where we don’t shut off with our phones and a zoom call never too far away. These scenarios emit a blue light, which is not conducive for sleeping. It depresses melatonin, which is fundamental for us to fall asleep. Something that I do mention in the article is ‘TLC’, and by that I mean temperature, lighting and comfort. Interestingly for us to fall asleep, our core temperature needs to drop 1 degrees. A lot of people think that wrapping up warm and cosy is the answer, but science has exposed that to the be a myth. Lighting is fundamental, and comfort is a big factor. There are lots of people who are not sleeping on the right mattress. From a hotel perspective, all you have to do is go onto the TripAdviser website to see the amount of comments that reference bad nights’ sleep.

HK: What are your clients’ thoughts, and concerns, when it comes to specifying the bed?

JK: Most of our clients are focused on providing a good sleep experience and it is beneficial to get repeat business. We are led by brand standards, when working for brands such as Radisson Blu and Hyatt, and these standards are generally very high.

HK: When it comes to lighting when talking about sleep performance, there is a lot a talk on circadian rhythm. Are there affordable products out there that offer a quality solution?

JK: I think the price will come down as products become wider developed. To be honest, it [circadian rhythm technology] is not something a lot of the brands who we work with are looking at the moment, but I think it is a very interesting concept. In 20 years alone, there have been a lot of innovations that started being only accessible for luxury brands with deeper pockets that has filtered down into other sectors of the market. So much technology has become widespread now.

Cozy bedroom

Image credit: Silentnight Group

AS: What is the single most element for good sleep, is it the mattress or is the pillow?

HS: You need to get a good combination of both. Both the mattress and the pillow contribute to your spinal alignment. Comfort is subjective – what one person finds comfortable, another will not. So, when we measure comfort, we try where possible lead with objective science. An important factor I look at is spinal alignment. Your mattress provides a lot of support, but if you sleep with the wrong pillow, this can affect your alignment in your neck and down your mid spine.

And that brings me on to talk about Zoning. Working with our partners, we were able to test for optimum spinal alignment. We looked at soft, medium and firm and there were differences. What is more important when looking at a large group of people of all different shapes and sizes to cater to is the zoned part of the mattress. If the centre-third of the mattress is slightly firmer it supports our hips and our lower back. That part of the body needs that little extra element of support. So, a well-zoned mattress with the right pillow is key for sleep performance.

FE: I think there could be an opportunity there. We all remember the days of pillow menus. Ultimately, how do you. There are levels of comfort that you can customise, such as lighting and sound – and as a guest you can optimise your experience. But there are some elements in a room, like a mattress, you cannot customise.

EK: I think we need to bring the pillow menu back. If we are specifying an average mattress (depending on brand), then we can make the pillow the individual differentiator that I had not necessarily thought of.

JK: Does the base and having a sprung base have any baring?

AM: Yes, because it affects the softness. Whatever you are specifying you should always try it on the base that is also being specified.

HK: How do you create a cosy and calm setting in bedrooms that are awkwardly sized?  

JG: We’ve never been a company that really disrupts the conventional bed. It’s an element within the room that is generally based on comfort rather than appearance, depending on the hotel. In awkward spaces, it’s about trying to sprit back to the bare minimum so that you can have a bed that doubles up to be a bedside table. It’s about making these spaces easy to navigate. For mid-level brands, it’s about getting the basics right such as full black-out curtains. These are the annoying details that end up on trip advisor if not thoughtfully implemented.

FE: Space has become a premium these days and I think it’s important to draw out the important elements of the design and try to inject them in first. We are constantly trying to figure out new ways to utilise the space without compromising on comfort and experience.

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

Hotel Designs LIVE - art outside the frame

(in video) Hotel Designs LIVE: Art outside the frame

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
(in video) Hotel Designs LIVE: Art outside the frame

In the second session of Hotel Designs LIVE on May 11, 2021, we looked at art outside the frame. In an exclusive panel discussion, editor Hamish Kilburn welcomed Harry Pass, Creative Director, Elegant Clutter; Rob Wagemans, Founder, Concrete; Federico Toresi, Global Vice President Design – Luxury & Premium Brands, Accor and photographer Mel Yates to explore unconventional ways to portray art and branding in the hotel design process…

Hotel Designs LIVE - art outside the frame

Following two engaging panel discussions looking at a new era of lifestyle and bathrooms beyond practical spaces, the third debate virtually sheltered under Hotel Designs LIVE was around challenging conventional portrayal of art in hotel design. Sponsored by Elegant Clutter, which prides itself on offering a professionally different approach to art consultancy, this chapter of the event addressed new demands from public areas and clever ways to inject branding and sense of place in hospitality establishments.

Editor Hamish Kilburn welcomed a mix of designers, architects, art experts and even a leading photographer to capture the topic through a slightly different lens,to join him on the virtual sofa. Taking what was learned in the early conversations, the panel looked holistically at art’s role in hotel design.

On the panel:

Here’s the full video of the panel discussion (on demand), produced by CUBE, which includes Product Watch pitch from Elegant Clutter.

We have also published the full recordings of session one and session two from Hotel Designs LIVE . The full recording of the final session on workspace design trends will be available on-demand shortly.

SAVE THE DATE: Hotel Designs LIVE will return for a fourth edition on August 10, 2021. The topics explored will include surfaces, sleep, senses and social and speakers will be announced shortly. Once these have been announced, tickets for Hotel Designs LIVE will be available. In the meantime, if you would like to discuss sponsorship opportunities, focused Product Watch pitches or the concept of Hotel Designs LIVE, please contact Katy Phillips or call +44 (0) 1992 374050.

Since you’re here…

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

Click here to sign up to our newsletter.

M Social arrives in New York

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
M Social arrives in New York

“It’s about time,” editor Hamish Kilburn reacts to Millennium Hotels & Resorts opening of M Social New York, which marks the brand’s understated yet very dynamic arrival in the United States…

“Ever since checking in to M Social Singapore, designed by the one and only Philippe Starck, a few years ago, I was convinced that this brand would thrive in the concrete neighbourhood of Manhattan,” says editor Hamish Kilburn. “With the opening of a 480-key hotel located at 226 West 52 Street  –literally in the heard of Times Square to you and I – it’s about time (and it’s better late than never).”

M Social NY terrace night view

Image credit: M Social

The hotel’s distinctive, contemporary rooms are designed for all types of travellers to rest and re-energise in style with guest’s practical needs in mind. We’re told that each room has unparalleled Times Square, river or city views and each comes equipped with modern workspaces and ergonomic chairs, Serta mattresses and streaming-capable 4K smart TVs.

Guestroom inside M Social New York

Image credit: M Social

A hub for explorers, M Social features spaces that are designed to be accessible, comfortable and practical, including outdoor venues with some of the best views of the city. M Social New York is home to the vibrant bar and lounge, Beast & Butterflies, a private oasis perched above Times Square boasting unobstructed views of the city and the perfect vantage point for the iconic Times Square Ball Drop. Guests of Beast & Butterflies can indulge whilst eying New York City’s sparkle on a 7500 square foot wrap around terrace adjacent to an indoor glass perch. Beast & Butterflies is designed to be a vibrant space with a highly curated cocktail menu and light bites.

The hotel is adorned with an eclectic art collection and pairs its unique architecture with contemporary, avant-garde designs that illustrate a story based on New York City’s main characteristics. The lobby showcases a digital art installation which combines architecture, contemporary art and technology to create an unexpected and dynamic experience. 32 digital screens continuously display a curated library of digital art, transforming the space into an immersive living narrative that incorporates elegant display pieces throughout the area. Specialised art consultants also helped inject their own quirks throughout the hotel with installations such as the 600 sq ft lobby art wall, designed to enhance the aesthetic and spatial designs of the Times Square property.

The M Social brand was launched in Singapore in 2016. Millennium Hotels and Resorts is exploring ways to grow the brand in more cities, to capture diverse stories and build up a community that shares itself with authenticity, an open mind and giving heart.  M Social New York will be the third location for the brand with other outposts in Singapore and Auckland. 

Main image credit: M Social

In Conversation With: Alex Tredez on designing The Lost Poet

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
In Conversation With: Alex Tredez on designing The Lost Poet

In an exclusive interview, editor Hamish Kilburn meets Alex Tredez, the lead designer of The Lost Poet, a new boutique hotel that shelters oodles of quirky and local personality. Ahead of it opening as a ‘modern interpretation of a traditional guest house’ on London’s Portobello Road, we took a sneak peek inside…

“We felt that there was a gap in the market for accommodation which offers high quality service, attention to detail and professionalism synonymous with the hotel experience – but also offering an authentic local experience which guests love about Airbnb-like residences,” Alex Tredez, lead designer of The Lost Poet, explains to me as we start to discuss one of West London’s most anticipated hotel openings this year.

Deeply rooted in its surrounding area, The Lost Poet, a hotel that is expected to open its doors this month following much anticipation, comes from the team at Cubic Studios – a local property design studio, born and bred in Notting Hill. The townhouse, located at Number 6, Portobello Road in London’s quaint Notting Hill neighbourhood, is a poetic love letter to the area, celebrating its creativity and dynamism through four individually designed bedrooms. The design harnesses the colour and playful curiosity of Portobello Road and takes inspiration from the market, mixing the old with the new. I was lucky enough to see beyond the colourful sketches to get a sneak peek and interview with the project’s lead designer.

The Lost Poet illustration

Image caption: An illustration of the exterior of the hotel

Hamish Kilburn: How will the hotel’s design challenge conventional London hospitality?

Alex Tredez: The Lost Poet is a modern interpretation of a traditional guest house. As far as we know, there is nothing quite like it. 

We felt that there was a gap in the market for accommodation which offers high quality service, attention to detail and professionalism synonymous with the hotel experience – but also offering an authentic local experience which guests love about Airbnb-like residences. 

It’s a concept that we thought is perfect for a city stay as it gives the traveller the best of both worlds. The guest house is an experience / destination on its own but it’s also very much rooted in the local area. The idea was to create accommodation for those who want to explore and experience the neighbourhood but also want a comfortable and characterful space to retreat to and relax in. Notting Hill is such a lively area with so much to offer we’d like to think we can encourage guests to explore it and enjoy. 

The small scale of the property and technology used through-out give the guests maximum privacy and flexibility. For example, the online check-in feature allows the guests to submit necessary information ahead of their stay, keyless access enables them to open the accommodation simply using their mobile phone. No matter what time the guests arrive at the property they are able to just walk in straight into the room. The receptionist and online support are there to answer any queries and provide assistance. The guests are free to have as little or as much face to face contact with the guest house staff as they choose. 

 We believe it is The Lost Poet’s unique mix of qualities is what will challenge the conventional hospitality. 

HK: With so much history in that area of London, how did you narrow down the interior design scheme?

AT: Embracing the rich history and character of the area was a huge part of the brief and a challenge we very much enjoyed. We felt it was important for this rich mix of culture and history to translate into the interiors. Our other objective was for the scheme to feel coherent and polished and have the same attention to detail that we strive to achieve on our residential projects. Having worked in Notting Hill for many years, this project is close to our hearts.  

The iconic pastel terraces of Portobello and nearby roads definitely inspired us. For this we drew from the classic proportions and timeless elegance of Georgian buildings in Notting Hill. Their construction uses a limited palette of materials such as yellow brick, stucco and stone and is what gives these streets coherence and harmony. However, instead of using a complex multi coloured palette throughout the property we decided to use different palette for each room. Our objective was to convey the vibrancy and playfulness of the area in The Lost Poet as a whole but have each bedroom feel more tranquil creating for the guests a welcome break from the surrounding bustle.

Using the colour as the tool adding individuality to the rooms also allowed us to use same architectural features and a similar overall design approach in each room so that they all feel like they belong in the same property but also have individual character. 

“We opted for mid tone and dark wood to add warmth and really tie the antique and retro furniture together.” – Alex Tredez, lead designer, The Lost Poet.

For eclectic and layered interior we used a mix of elegant classical inspired detailing and proportions, luxury traditional materials, modern forms as well as contemporary patterns. We opted for mid tone and dark wood to add warmth and really tie the antique and retro furniture together. Reclaimed and natural  materials add comfort and create domestic/ informal feel. Asymmetrical balance adds playfulness, visual interest and relaxed vibe. 

HK: How do you predict the pandemic will change the way modern travellers explore? 

AT: The pandemic has made many people really think about the way we travel and why we travel. We suspect it will change the way we explore. For starters, customers will put extra value on smart solutions such as online check-in and keyless access which can add the feeling of safety as well as flexibility. Travellers are looking for a more personal connection which values quality over quantity. Bespoke and meaningful experiences will be even more valued and by a wider portion of the market – the discerning traveller will make conscious choices, people having to really research and plan, less impulse decisions. Travellers may be willing to stay in one place for longer. For us this means longer stays, taking things at a slower pace which in turn means more time to explore the area. Guests are more conscious about sustainability, and we expect to see an increase in eco and wellness tourism.

I also think that we may see an increase in last minute bookings – still considered plans but confirmed shorter lead times than what the industry standard was in 2019.

HK: What’s the scene like on Portobello Road? 

At the moment? We are happy to see many restaurants and bars are and have been adapting well. We are seeing increased number of al-fresco dining and dining options. Some businesses have been burned though the pandemic and have since blossomed (just one example is Buns from Home). 

In general? We love that there are so many small businesses and restaurants on the street. You can wine and dine here for a week and not have to go to the same place twice. You can find everything from Moroccan sweets, through to Michelin starred restaurants as well as highly specialised vendors (vintage glasses, unique blends of tea, bespoke perfume etc). 

HK: Now more than ever design and service must answer each other. How is this the case inside The Lost Poet? 

AT: The Lost Poet thrives on its attention to detail. Since the inception of the design phase of the project to the thought put into the guest experience, the devil has been in the detail. The Lost Poet is Cubic’s love letter to Notting Hill, it’s part of the community, in the coolest neighbourhood in London. We want our guests to experience that, to feel and love the quirkiness and the friendly embrace of Portobello. The design of the rooms is intended to feel like home, we want our guests to be able to come ‘home’ to The Lost Poet and the end of their day. The service will be reflected in that. We only have a few rooms so which allows us to provide a much more personal experience and adapt to ever-changing guest needs. Everything from toiletries to our seasonal breakfast offering has been carefully considered.  

“We know how we arrived at the name but feel that just like with poetry sometimes it is best to leave these things open to interpretation.” – Alex Tredez, lead designer, The Lost Poet.

HK: How do the bathrooms inside the property go beyond just being practical spaces

AT: We have put a lot of thought into making sure they are very special, each bathroom is as unique to the room (different finish on the sanitaryware, different wallpapers, different layouts). We have closely considered how guests would get ready and added seating where possible and wall lighting to help elevate this experience, creating a beautiful space where you can still enjoy your daily rituals. We wanted to create that ‘wow’ moment and the special feel you’d expect from a luxury spa with loads of added character to match the feel of the property.  

HK: Who is ‘the lost poet’? 

AT: Notting Hill is said to have had an artistic association since the end of 19 century, we feel it’s still very prominent. You can feel it in the area and we love it and think it is one of the things that makes it so special. We know how we arrived at the name but feel that just like with poetry sometimes it is best to leave these things open to interpretation…  

Main image credit: The Lost Poet

The Brit List Awards judges 2021

The Brit List Awards 2021: Meet the judges

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
The Brit List Awards 2021: Meet the judges

Now that the free nominations/applications process is open for The Brit List Awards 2021, it’s time to meet this year’s judges. The 2021 panel consists of respected travel journalists and international experts in the design, architecture and hotel development arenas. The judges will gather to select the winners ahead of the awards ceremony on November 3 at PROUD Embankment, London…

The Brit List Awards judges 2021

Right on cue – and continuing tradition – the next step after nominations and applications have opened for The Brit List Awards is for us to announce this year’s judging panel.

This year, as well as continuing our firm relationship with the British Institute of Interior Design (BIID) by welcoming both the President and the Past-President as judges, we have also included an award-winning travel journalist and a cluster of respected hospitality and hotel design experts to join this year’s panel.

(Free to apply/nominate) To nominate/apply for The Brit List Awards 2021, click here.

Without further a due, the judges for The Brit List Awards 2021 are:

Lindsey Rendall, President Elect, BIID

Image credit: Rendall & Wright

Lindsey Rendall is the soon-to-be President of the BIID. After graduating Lindsey Rendall worked for Designers Guild, the internationally renowned home furnishing brand before continuing her design career with Cameron Broom, based in south London. During her five years with the company, Rendall became principal designer and designed a wide range of projects including more than 90 domestic properties, five offices, three commissions for The Hurlingham Club and the complete renovation of 28 Portland Place, a beautiful historic building dating from 1775.

Rendall enthusiasm, attention to detail and ability to identify with her clients has ensured repeat business and many recommendations and referrals. In 2010 Lindsey was granted full membership of the British Institute of Interior Design. Lindsey joined forces with Helen to set up Interior Design practice Rendall & Wright in 2006. This dynamic duo, bring together design expertise and seamless project management, providing a personal and professional service.

Lester Bennett, President, BIID

Image credit: BIID

As a registered interior design with more than 30 years’ experience, Lester Bennett will be the Past President of the BIID during the judging process of The Brit List Awards 2021. Joining the panel for a second year, Bennett has covered many areas of design from running his own practice to being Design Director for the residential development company Westcity. He has built up a stunning portfolio of high profile residential developments both in the UK and overseas.

Lisa Grainger, Deputy and Travel Editor, Times Luxx magazine

Image credit: Twitter (@LisaGrainger4)

Viewing this year’s entries from a different perspective over the likes of design and architecture professionals, Lisa Grainger is an award-winning travel journalist who has worked for The Times – from the arts and news desks to The Times Magazine and LUXX – since 1995. Grainger, who has become a well-known figure on the luxury travel scene and an influential voice which is amplified regularly in her authentic reviews, is a regular contributor to panels on conservation and luxury travel.

Frank M. Pfaller, President, HoteliersGuild

Image credit: Frank M. Pfaller

Image credit: Frank M. Pfaller

Frank M. Pfaller, the Founder and President of Hoteliers Guild joins the panel with his ‘no two people are alike’ attitude. Impressed by the accessibility of The Brit List Awards 2021, Pfaller believes that  while every property must meticulously reach and maintain highest standards of quality and personalised guest services, none should have to bear the dull stamp of conformity. HoteliersGuild was created with this mentality, and has become a private and independent society of active luxury hoteliers with the aim to connect the best of the hospitality community in a place that encourages the exchange of ideas and personal friendships.

 

Dereck & Beverly Joubert, filmmakers and owners, Great Plains

Image credit: Great Plains

Dereck and Beverly Joubert are world-renowned wildlife filmmakers and are the founders of Great Plains, an authentic, unique and iconic leading tourism conservation organisation. The pair will capture this year’s entries through their unique lens to capture, hopefully, the hotel projects that push boundaries in architecture, design and hospitality. Great Plains consists of 16 prestigious owned and partner safari properties in Botswana, Kenya and Zimbabwe – and offers exceptional safari experiences built around bespoke, caring, meaningful and considerate values.

Ngahuia Damerell, Senior Design Project Manager – Premium & Luxury Brands Design Solutions, Design & Technical Services, Accor

Image credit: Accor

Ngahuia Damerell, on the Board of Directors for the NEWH Paris Chapter, will join the panel to assist in the judging for the Rising Star Award, following Accor’s commitment to support young talent with the Accor Design Awards.

Damerell earned a bachelor’s degree in textile design with a focus on interior textiles from Massey University in Wellington, New Zealand. Her professional journey has taken her to Sydney, London, New York and now, Paris, where she works as the Global Senior Design Project Manager for Accor’s Luxury & Premium brands, including Raffles, Sofitel, Pullman and Movenpick.

Hamish Kilburn, Editor, Hotel Designs

Editor Hamish Kilburn headshot

Image credit: Hotel Designs

Completing this year’s panel, Hamish Kilburn, editor of Hotel Designs, will return for a fourth consecutive year to act as head judge for The Brit List Awards.

In his role on the leading online publication, Kilburn sensitively narrates the industry’s development. As well as travelling the globe, to far-flung destinations, in order to review some of the world’s most impressive hotels, he has also interviewed the masterminds behind their creations. “The Brit List Awards has become a valuable tool for the industry to understand who the real leaders and visionaries are among us,” he said. “In our meaningful search, we are looking for people and brands going beyond what is conventional – and in the four years I have held this position, the industry has never disappointed in showing us projects that are, quite simply, incredible.”

Most recently, Kilburn become the host of DESIGN POD, a new podcast for the A&D community and was also part of the team who masterminded Hotel Designs LIVE, a series of virtual online conferences for designers, architects and hoteliers in order to keep the industry connected and the conversation flowing. As a result, he has gained a detailed understanding as to what it takes to be at the forefront of the industry’s development and evolution.

So there you have it, your judges for The Brit List Awards 2021.

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

If you would like to discuss various sponsorship packages available, please contact Katy Phillips via email, or call 01992 374050.

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