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    Upscale

    COMO Cocoa Island reopens in the Maldives

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    COMO Cocoa Island reopens in the Maldives

    The iconic resort in the Maldives makes a powerful statement about luxury to enhance simplicity, wellness and balance…

    COMO Cocoa Island will reopen to guests after a substantial renovation on January 9 2020. The resort’s 2019 renovation emphasises the island’s natural elegance, while giving guests even more space and time to focus on their wellbeing. “The moment I first encountered Cocoa, something about its spirit snagged me,” says Christina Ong, owner of COMO Hotels and Resorts.

     “When I walked to the end of the island, and looked back along its sandbank, it felt so graceful and healing — an effect I wanted to amplify for every guest when I first created the resort in 2002.”

    The island had previously belonged to a German photographer called Eric Klemm. Since the 1970s, Klemm had let the palms grow. The wild hibiscus was thriving. The lagoon was so healthy, its waters were favoured as a breeding nursery by the islands’ marine life.

    A new Pilates studio has been added. The yoga studio, which sits in an elevated position to take in the 360-degree lagoon views, is open-sided to allow for the natural flow of sea breezes. The hydrotherapy pool is now among the most significant such facilities in The Maldives, and is used for specialised water-based treatments, including joint-mobilising massage and injury- free exercise.

    Image credit: COMO Hotels and Resorts

    The Retreat’s spa manager, with the company since 2002, will continue to design every guest program from the moment of arrival. This is made possible by the intimate size of the resort: just 34 overwater villas, all of which have been recast top-to-bottom with clean-lined, contemporary interiors by Singapore-based Lekker Architects.

    “Natural materials have been used throughout: kajan thatch roofing, Maldivian coral-rock walls, and wood.”

    Clean villa that uses natural materials in its design

    Image credit: COMO Hotels and Resorts

    Natural materials have been used throughout: kajan thatch roofing, Maldivian coral-rock walls, and wood. The clean-lined, light-soaked aesthetic makes for meditative spaces to relax, sleep and recover. Some rooms have pools; all have platforms from which guests can step directly into the lagoon.

    To complement the wellness experience, COMO Shambhala Cuisine is available on all menus, allowing guests to pursue vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, nutritionally-rich and additive-free wellness diets during their stay.

    “The Maldives have become a highly competitive market,” says Olivier Jolivet, CEO of the COMO Group. “Luxury hotel companies keep raising the ante, from building ‘reclaimed islands’, to tunnelling out underwater wine cellars. Sometimes we forget that nature is powerful, and simplicity has a very important role to play in modern luxury. COMO Cocoa Island is like a jewel in the COMO Group portfolio: it has a unique soul, which we strive to match with the grace and passion of our staff.”

    When it opened in 2002, Cocoa Island became COMO’s first private island in the Maldives. In 2014, the company expanded into Thaa Atoll with the opening of COMO Maalifushi. This is a much larger, family-oriented resort, and the first five-star property in this more remote area, which is a 60-minute seaplane flight from Malé.

    Main image credit: COMO Hotels and Resorts

    The Brit List Designers of 2019 (Part 2)

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    The Brit List Designers of 2019 (Part 2)

    In the coming weeks, Hotel Designs will be profiling the individuals who made it into The Brit List 2019. We continue by profiling The Brit List Designers of 2019 (in alphabetical order)…

    The Brit List 2019 is Hotel Designs’ annual nationwide search to identify the top 25 designers, top 25 architects and top 25 hoteliers who are operating in Britain. The Judges, which are made up of experts in all pockets of the industry, gathered to decided who was eligible to make this year’s list.

    The industry’s leading figures then gathered on November 21 at Patch East London, where The Brit List 2019 was unveiled and the individual winners were announced. 

    Following on from the first 10 designers we profiled the other day, here are The Brit List Designers of 2019…

    Marcus Barwell, Managing Director – Soho House Design

    Leading the interior design team to create timeless interiors with personality, Marcus Barwell has been the managing director of Soho House Design for seven years and counting. His most recent projects include Soho House West Hollywood, Soho House Greek Street, Babbington House, Soho House Mumbai and Soho House Paris. In addition, Barwell has led his team to unveil a new concept of motel-diner experiences called Mollies.

    Maria Vafiadis, Managing Director – MKV Design

    The founder and managing director of MKV Design, Maria Vafiadis is an established thought-leader within the interior design sphere. With her body of work totalling more than two decades, Vafiadis’ ‘every project is one-off’ approach reflects her constant quest for new ideas andinnovation on the international hotel design scene.

    One of the studio’s recent projects is situated on Mykonos’ west coast, which has been described as the “perfect setting for rare moments of romance, luxury and personalised service.” Mykonos Riviera Hotel & Spa is a new 44-key boutique hotel that overlooks the Aegean Sea and adorns sharp, dynamic design moments throughout.

    Nicky Dobree, Design Director – Nicky Dobree Interior Design

    Award-winning, globally published designer Nicky Dobree completed her first hotel design project in July of 2019 in Vejer de laFrontera, Andalucia.

    Plaza 18, which is serviced and managed by adjacent The Califa hotel, opened as a new home house hotel. Its effortless design is made to feel like a luxurious home-from-home with furnishings by Ralph Lauren, Eichlotz, De la Couna & Nicky Dobree Collection among others.

    Philip Watts, Design Director – Philip Watts Design

    25 years of commercial interiors delivered with wit and wisdom have seen Philip Watts transform the look of many iconic high street favourites. From Greggs to Ibis, and Yo!sushi to Mercure, all have been part of the designer’s vision to inject personality everywhere possible.

    Rachel Johnson, Senior Vice President – Wimberly Interiors

    With a diverse design career spanning more than 20 years, Rachel Johnson is a stalwart of the British interior design industry. As studio director and senior vice president of WATG’s Wimberly Interiors in London, her contribution to the discipline can be felt not only throughout the firm, but from much farther afield.

    Her acute eye for detail and authentic approach can be witnessed throughout an array of projects, which include St. Regis Astana in Kazakhstan, Abu Dhabi EDITION and Belmond Venice Simplon-Orient-Express.

    Russell Sage, Director – Russell Sage Studio

    Under Russell Sage’s direction, each member of the team at the studio is passionately committed to the creation and delivery of truly authentic, compelling interior schemes, which aim to engage and surprise all who experience them. Hotels that have completed this year in Sage’s portfolio include The Fife Arms and Belmond Cadogan Hotel, and last year he completed the design of Fitz Bar at Kimpton Fitzroy London.

    Shawn Hausman, Director – Shawn Hausman Studio

    The newest collaboration between SHD and the Standard Hotel is the international debut of the Standard brand. Located in King’s Cross, the Brutalist building once served as Camden Council government offices. In contrast to its origins (and the notorious grey skies of London above), the newest Standard features a bright and bold colour scheme throughout the interior. Drawing inspiration from the early 1970s, Shawn Hausman described the team’s concept: “We tried to take over in a friendly way –keeping the essence, but almost as if California rebels had taken over a government building and made it more free-spirited.”

    Simon Rawlings, Creative Director – David Collins Studio

    As creative director of David Collins Studio, Simon Rawlings has overseen the realisation of some of the world’s most iconic hospitality, residential and retail spaces. A passionate believer in “creating luxury through quality”, Rawlings has always been a committed advocate of craft, supporting artisanship while encouraging design innovation. Functionality remains a cornerstone of his design philosophy. This, combined with a profound understanding of brands, and an acute sense of the way people live, enables him to design spaces they can use and inhabit in total harmony. This year, the studio completed the third phase of The Delaire Graff Estate, which incorporates bespoke materials and soft furnishings, whilst the walls are adorned with original art by both contemporary and modern African artists – each piece shared from the collection of Laurence Graff.

    Terry McGillicuddy, Director – Richmond International

    Terry McGillicuddy is an invaluable asset to Richmond International. In addition to working on a number hotel projects, McGillicuddy leads the studio’s work in the luxury cruise ship space. Several years ago, Richmond were asked to design a Lotus spa on Princess Cruises Royal Princess. The design revolutionised spa concepts on board cruise ships and has won many accolades and awards.

    McGillicuddy embraced the challenge of delivering the entire interior for the magnificent behemoth that is P&O’s Britannia. This achievement, delivered in 2015, set the designer and consequently Richmond up as a market leader delivering more subtle and refined cruise ship interiors. Richmond has carved a new, growing niche in luxury cruising interiors and is constantly working with brands such as Cunard, P&O and Princess.

    Terry McGinnity, Executive Design Director – GA Design (London)

    Originally trained as an architect in Australia, Terry McGinnity moved to London to continue his career. After assuming the role of managing director of G.A Design in 1998, he has turned it into one of the most dynamic and interesting interior design firms working out of the UK. He has recently moved into the position of global executive design director where he oversees the creative output for all G.A projects.

    To read The Brit List 2019, click here.

    Surface Design Show brings back ‘New Talent’ to support emerging creatives

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Surface Design Show brings back ‘New Talent’ to support emerging creatives

    Back by popular demand at Surface Design Show, ‘New Talent’ supports emerging creatives, specialising in producing interior and exterior surface materials and lighting design…

    Surface Design Show, which takes place from February 11 – 13, will bring back New Talent, with the aim to support emerging talent in surface materials and lighting design. The area offers attendees the chance to see the next big innovations in surface design.

    New Talent is curated by Chief Creative Director at Trendease International Jennifer Castoldi. All of those chosen to exhibit in New Talent have been in business for five years or less, and with 37 exhibitors showcasing, compared to 16 last year, the section has grown substantially.

    “We are thrilled to have collaborated with Trendease International; Jennifer has brought togethersome of the most exciting new designers with the freshest ideas in material design to New Talent,” said Christopher Newton, Director of Surface Design Show. “We can’t wait for visitors to immerse themselves in New Talent’s designs, textures and materials.”

    Many of the New Talent exhibitors are using traditional craft techniques and combining them with contemporary design. Charlotte Relf is an experimental embroidery artist who uses exaggerated stitches to add detail and energy while Royal School of Needlework graduate Frances Stone uses various experimental embroidery techniques such as gold work, crewel work and beading to create her range of foot stools, chairs and cushions. Charlotte Clayton Design, meanwhile, combines knitting with automotive interior design for her surface designs and Farr Designs marries photography and contemporary design using hand screen prints and digital technology.

    The sheer wealth of approaches to surfaces is one of New Talent’s strengths from Janine Partington’s emphasis of carving and hand painted leathers to Trifold, a company which has designs constructed of thermal and acoustic layers, folded via means of a traditional origami tessellation to research-based designer Megan Cowley, who creates mild steel moulds using water jet technology, which are then transferred onto glass.

    Wallcoverings are well-represented in New Talent this year, Olenka’s luxury British wallpapercollection features natural motifs of leaves and flowers whilst Catherine Griffiths’ work takes in boldwallpaper designs as well as fabric and cushions with inspirations as eclectic as Celtic mythology, the Renaissance period and European architecture. West by Design specialises in intricate hand-painted wallpaper inspired by the English countryside and King Kong Design creates site-specific corporate wall art and custom wall panels for retail, public and residential installations.

    It’s no surprise given the current climate emergency that exhibitors in New Talent are focussed on nature or sustainability. This focus is reflected throughout the whole of Surface Design Show with its theme of Close to Home: looking beyond aesthetics and designing with a conscience. Jonel van Schalkwyk uses a painterly style to create surface designs featuring human-sized plants while designer Paula Nerlich has a strong focus on circular biomaterials and exploring vegan compostables

    and foams from industrial and household food waste. Atticus Durnell, the brains behind the That’sCaffeine brand, has created a material made from recycled coffee grounds, that imitates granite stone. Brussels-based Studio Gilles Werbrouck also takes a novel approach to material reuse, making knitted textiles from unconventional material such as video tape or dead stock from fashion designers.

    Tickets are free to professional and trade visitors. Register here.

    Main image credit: Surface Design Show/King Kong Design

     

    CASE STUDY: Designing the carpets for Tewkesbury Park

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    CASE STUDY: Designing the carpets for Tewkesbury Park

    Brintons Carpets, together with ADS design, have designed stunning, high-performance axminster carpets for independent luxury country resort, Tewkesbury Park…

    The resplendent 18th century manor house, Tewkesbury Park, with some later additions, sits proudly above the historic riverside town of Tewkesbury, which is famous for its battle in 1471. Over the last couple of years, under new ownership, the hotel has undergone a major renovation and refurbishment, resulting in a wonderfully intimate yet stylish space for guests torelax and unwind.

    The modern glass fronted extension by Bristol architects Childs & Sulzmann with interior design overseen by ADS Design, includes a £3 million suite for conferences and events such as weddings. Built in just under a year, it was the fourth stage of the independent hotel’s £9 million investment. ADS Design worked on the new Cotswolds Suite and Berkeley Bar. The overall brief was to design a timeless yet luxurious and welcoming hotel. Brintons was commissioned by the design firm to create bespoke carpets for the new conferencing areas. “Our aim was to create an exciting, multi functional space for events, appealing to both corporate clients and weddings,” said interior design at ADS Design, Rachel Eaton. “The large conference room with full height glazing has amazing views of the Gloucestershire countryside and features a Cotswold stone wall to add texture and depth, these tones are reflected in the carpet design. The space can be divided into smaller spaces for a variety of functions and works well with the adjoining Restaurant and Bar which feature deeper colours, subtle plaids and rich velvet upholstery, the flexible lighting changes to create a daytime or evening atmosphere.”

    The Cotswolds suite is a large function room and exclusive-use bar accommodating both wedding and business functions. It is a largely glass structure that provides panoramic views of the countryside. The design theme is classic and timeless incorporating a colour palette of steely blues and golden honey hues, reflecting the generous sense of light and space.

    “The pattern has Gothic undertones helping to link the story back to the old manor house.” – Senior creative designer at Brintons, Jane Bradley-Bain.

    “We selected Stacey Garcia Dark Fairy Tale for its classic design but treated in a contemporary way, by using a modern neutral colour scheme it combined the two areas giving a flexible interior that spans classical and modern themes equally suitable for all events,” said senior creative designer at Brintons, Jane Bradley-Bain. “The pattern has Gothic undertones helping to link the story back to the old manor house.”

    Brintons worked alongside Eaton to create an inviting and opulent atmosphere supplying bespoke carpet for the recently refurbished function rooms, meeting rooms, corridors and Berkeley bar. Sumptuous designs from the Stacey Garcia Dark Fairytale collection were selected to complement the upscale interiors. The collection offers designs embellished with shadowy imagery, forest tones and dark feminine motifs which complement the history of the surrounding area and are reflected in subtle elements of Tewkesbury’s medieval past.

    Manufactured using Brintons signature axminster blend of 80 per cent wool 20 per cent nylon to provide a durable and stylish carpet that will withstand footfall over a prolonged period of time. Brintons’ carpets contribute to the intimate and welcoming ambience that ADS Design aimed to create.

    Main image credit: Tewkesbury Park

    CASE STUDY: 99 Acres adopts new technology solutions

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    CASE STUDY: 99 Acres adopts new technology solutions

    Australian property, 99 Acres Bangalow, achieves operational efficiency by choosing STAAH technology for managing rates and inventory through one single-login…

    99 Acres Bangalow sits upon the highest point of a stunning Byron Hinterland property with encapsulating 360-degree views. The property has been in the same family for two decades and has now been opened as a luxury retreat from where guests can discover all that the region has to offer and relax amid the scenic sub-tropical rural landscape.

    Need for Robust and Advanced Technology 

    The bangalow was looking for a streamlined solution to aide their online distribution needs; and a system that could cater to their unique needs along with providing quality support. The property was also looking to access their inventory through one single dashboard, and also be able to set up seasonal rates on their rooms.

    99 acres bangalow chose STAAH for it was simple and effortless to use.

    The property uses STAAH Max Channel Manager, which is an advanced system that is completely customisable and scalable, designed to meet the unique needs of a property.

    The MAX Channel Manager helps grow consumer confidence and direct bookings with real-time and quick updates to all channels, ensuring rate parity. The system also gives the option for dynamic pricing, with up-to-the-minute market information available at fingertips, so you can charge and optimal price for your room, not losing revenue and increasing yield.

    The property also uses STAAH Max Booking Engine, providing for one platform to manage all bookings. Simple & easy to use, it is available in multiple currencies and languages, allowing varied search options and advanced features like booking a trip itinerary.

    STAAH has ticked the boxes for the property’s unique requirements with its flexible yet advanced solutions. While Max Channel Manager helps grow the property’s reach, the Max Booking Engine is popular with hoteliers for its conversion-driven features that drive bookings and increase profitability.

    Apart from innovative products, what has set STAAH apart is its stellar support. A dedicated account management approach and local support ensures customer service is prompt and the technology development agile.

    Main image credit: 99 Acres

    The Brit List designers of 2019 (Part 1)

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    The Brit List designers of 2019 (Part 1)

    In the coming weeks, Hotel Designs will be profiling the individuals who made it into The Brit List 2019. We start by profiling The Brit List Designers of 2019 (in alphabetical order)…

    The Brit List 2019 is Hotel Designs’ annual nationwide search to identify the top 25 designers, top 25 architects and top 25 hoteliers who are operating in Britain. The Judges, which are made up of experts in all pockets of the industry, gathered to decided who was eligible to make this year’s list.

    The industry’s leading figures then gathered on November 21 at Patch East London, where The Brit List 2019 was unveiled and the individual winners were announced. 

    Here are The Brit List Designers of 2019…

    Akram Fahmi, Design Director – 1508 London

    Following seven years at ReardonSmith Architects (four years as an associate project architect), Akram Fahmi joined 1508 London earlier this year as the London-based studio’s design director, bringing with him his expertise in high-end hospitality and residential projects.

    Fahmi is predominantly focused on luxury hotel design, space planning, brand standards, feasibility and viability consulting, technical design and delivery in the UK and abroad.

    Amanda Rosa, Director – Amanda Rosa Interiors

    Having created award-winning design concepts for hotels including One Devonshire Gardens, Malmaison, Gleneagles, Columbus Monaco and Aviator, Amanda Rosa has recently completed Dakota Manchester, a 137-key luxury hotel in the heart of the city. With sophisticated interiors,and the city’s largest and boldest penthouse suite, the hotel has injected a subdued atmosphere inbetween the Nortern Quater’s ever-evolving hotel scene.

    Ariane Steinbeck, Managing Director – RPW Design

    With an award-winning career that has spanned throughout the United States, Asia and Europe, Ariane Steinbeck, managing director of RPWDesign, has built on the studio’s considerable worldwide recognition since her appointment in 2015. Steinbeck is an active contributor to the hospitality and interior design industry, serving as a frequent elquent speaker and mentor to many.

    Completed projects in 2019 include Lincoln Plaza London and Mezemiso, London, and ongoing projects include: the guestroom refurbishment at InterContinental London Park Lane, Four Seasons Hampshire, the Marriott Tbilisi, Les Ambassadeurs Casino, London and Malta Marriott Hotel & Spa, all under construction at the time The Brit List 2019 went to print.

    Caroline Smith, Founder/Head of Creative – WISH London

    Overlooking The Strand in a restored Edwardian building, the 57-key The Nadler Covent Garden has opened as the hotel group’s fourth luxury boutique hotel in London.

    Architecture rm PJMA designed the hotel over six floors. Meanwhile,its stylish and thoughtfully designed guestrooms were imagined by The Brit List 2018 winner Caroline Smith of WISH London. Each guest room and suite offers chic accommodation that, as per the company’s ethos, delivers on comfort, convenience and features aesthetically dynamic spaces throughout.

    Charlie North, Design Director – Ennismore

    Charlie North is the design director of Ennismore. His position involves leading the efforts of the interior design studio at the premium developer/operator firm. His portfolio includes working with the likes of David Collins Studio and Alexander Waterworth Interiors, among others.

    The multifaceted approach to his design style has led to the completion of recent projects such as Gleneagles Strathearn (following the unveiling of Ochil House) and Hoxton Portland.

    Christopher Ash, Director – Project Orange

    Christopher Ash is currently designing new residential projects in the UK and Russia, as well as working to complete nhow’s first hotel in London.

    Ash chairs the RIBA Premises Committee, was a member of the RIBA Finance and Operations Committee and has organised and contributed to the annual RIBA Guerrilla Tactics Conference promoting small practice.

    Constantina Tsoutsikou, Creative Director – HBA London

    Constantina Tsoutsikou joined HBA London 14 years ago and has since led many prestigious and internationally acclaimed hotel projects from concept to completion.

    As well as completing an awe-inspiring set at Sleep & Eat 2018 in collaboration with the Natural History Museum. One of her recently completed hotels is situated in Zagreb, Croatia. Amadria Park, which previously served as a bank, features bespoke interiors that combine the original and the new with a deft touch, embracing the building’s historiccharacter as a signi cant example of Secessionist architecture.

    David Mason, Director of Hospitality – Scott Brownrigg

    Just three years after joining the studio, last year David Mason was promoted to director of hospitality at Scott Brownrigg.

    Among other hotels that have launched this year, Scott Brownrigg completed the interior design of Hard Rock Hotel London in Marble Arch, which provided London with its latest destination venue. Mason and his team designed all the public spaces for the hotel and worked closely with both Hard Rock International and glh Hotels in order to create a unique concept tailored for the UK hospitality market.

    Edward Davies, Managing Director (London) – G.A Group

    Working as the managing director at G.A Group (London), EdwardDavies is a dynamic and energetic individual who runs the day-to- day management of the 100-strong London-based studio, whilst also acting as Principal across a number of high-profile interior design andarchitecture projects worldwide.

    Current projects overseen by Davies include a 184-key hotel in Mayfair, which will have a distinct focus on laid-back luxury and sustainability, with all materials and suppliers being sourced from the UK. In addition, he is also working on a number of new designs for Corinthia Hotels, following a long-standing relationship with the group that started when the rm designed its flagship hotel in London.

    Henry Reeve, Director of Interior Design – IHG (Highly Commended: Interior Designer of the Year 2019)

    The sharp and charismatic Henry Reeve has reshaped and redefined the upper upscale boutique Hotel Indigo brand for IHG, taking it to anenvious position as a brand with multi-award winning hotels that define and go on to lead in the local market in which they sit.

    Working collaboratively with numerous design agencies across the European region, Reeve creates a partnership between interior designagency, operator and owner to create brand-defining and truly uniquehotels. In addition to work on Hotel Indigo, the designer has successfully launched Kimpton in Europe with iconic openings, such as Kimpton De Witt Amsterdam, Fitzroy London, Charlotte Square Edinburgh, Blythswood Square Glasgow, and more to come in Manchester, Paris, Rotterdam and Frankfurt.

    James Soane, Director – Project Orange

    As well as being a director at Project Orange alongside Christopher Ash, James Soane is also the director of Critical Practice at the LondonSchool of Architecture. Soane’s projects include the €60m fit-out of the new Raddisson Farnham House Hotel in Ireland and the Park Hotel in Navi Mumbai, India. Recently, he completed the dining rooms for the Whitechapel Art Gallery in London and a concept room for the Hoxton Hotels. Busy as ever, Soane is currently working on an exciting new concept hotel in India, a new-build house in Moscow and a large housing project in London.

    Jeremy Grove, Director – Sibley Grove

    Rather than perpetuating the waste problem, Jeremy Grove strongly believes that designers need to rethink their role and be a vehicle for positive change.

    The Fox & Goose is an excellent example of an eco-hotel, which was completed by Sibley Graven November 2018. Sheltering 73 rooms, the hotel features environmental and social benefits without compromising cost, style and guest experience. All products and materials used in the project were assessed on five fundamental principles: aesthetic quality, build quality, value, environmental impact and social impact.

    Jo Littlefair, Director and Co-Founder – Goddard Littlefair (WINNER: Interior Designer of the Year 2019)

    Layering inspiration from her travels into the studio and sharing her passion for new and exciting dining, dwelling and hospitality experiences, Jo Littlefair is a naturally born design leader with an effortlessly focused eye. Leading from within the pack, her curious and observant nature quickly recognises coming evolutions in consumer, industry and design trends, which is evident in the stuido’s impressive portfolio.

    Recent completed projects include the Presidential Suite at The Lowry Hotel Manchester and Juliet Rose, a new striking destination bar sheltered inside Hilton Hotel Munich.

    Kate Jarrett, Senior Designer – Scott Brownrigg*

    Kate Jarrett, who was named in Hotel Designs’ 30 Under 30 this year, is a young creative designer who thrives in all elements of the design process, from initial concept to project management and site installation. Having joined Scott Brownrigg in 2016, she has excelled in winning the respect of every client she works with. Jarrett has worked closely with glh Hotels and Hard Rock in delivering the public areas for the exciting new hotel located in London’s Marble Arch. She has also been intrinsic in creating afun, young and Instagramable hotspot and destination 10th- oor bar onthe edge of Leicester Square. A key strength is Jarrett’s all-round ability to communicate extremely well with clients, design team, consultants and contractors, with an end goal to produce an exceptional and innovativenal product.

    *Kate Jarrett has recently joined David Collins Studio.

    Katie Edgar, Designer – SpaceInvader Design**

    This year, Katie Edgar has been an invaluable member of the SpaceInvader team and a key designer within the hospitality, leisure andresidential sectors. With a wealth of knowledge and experience, Edgar headed up the hospitality division, working on projects that include the development of a new hotel brand in the UK, development of new scheme for hotels in Europe, as well as several F&B projects across the UK. The fresh-thinking designer has worked with most of the major hotel brands nationally and internationally and has a deep understanding of these sectors.

    **Egdar has recently joined Qbic Hotels.

    To read The Brit List 2019, click here.

    MINIVIEW: The Biltmore Mayfair, London

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    MINIVIEW: The Biltmore Mayfair, London

    In the heart of London’s leafy neighbourhood, The Biltmore Mayfair, London has had a £60 million renovation – and it is unrecognisable…

    The red-brick facade of The Biltmore Mayfair reopened its doors in September of this year as Europe’s first LXR Hotels & Resorts property. The 307-key hotel’s recent renovation has resulted in the building – and its interiors sheltered inside – becoming a new jewel in the prestigious neighbourhood, uniting 20th century grandeur with modern architectural details throughout.

    The hotel combines exquisite contemporary accommodation, stunning views across the gardens of Grosvenor Square, and innovative culinary concepts by Michelin Star restaurateur, Jason Atherton, creating the ultimate urban sanctuary in the heart of Mayfair.

    Red-bricked exterior of the hotel

    Image credit: The Biltmore Mayfair

    Guests looking for an elegant escape can book into one of the 57 quintessentially British suites. Designed to reflect the iconic area, each suite’s panelled walls and distressed mirrored headboards feature references of leafs and nature. As well as referencing a timeless location, the hotel guestrooms also feature modern touches, such as Ruark audio systems that sit on the bedside tables. The dark furniture of red and blue creates a deep luxe scene, while accents of colour in the soft furnishings adds a sensitive layer. The layout of each room has been sensitively designed so that guests can take in the vistas of Grosvenor Square.

    Quintessentially British suite

    Image credit: The Biltmore Mayfair

    The bathrooms, specified by Utopia Projects, continue the luxury theme with marble surfaces complimenting muted gold towel rails. Clever spot lighting has been added either side of the twin vanity basins to create meaningful statement as guests demand for wellness evolves.

    Luxe bathroom with marble and large bath tub

    Image credit: The Biltmore Mayfair

    The Biltmore Mayfair is also home to the capital’s most sought-after new restaurant concepts from world-renowned restaurateur Jason Atherton:

    • The Betterment features a seasonally driven menu, from locally-sourced fish and meats that are wood-fired, to signature salads and plant-based dishes.
    • The Pine Bar operates as a sophisticated bar with classic cocktails, exceptional wines and delicious bar snacks, including home-cured charcuterie.
    • The Tea Lounge, located within the hotel lobby, is ideal to enjoy one of London’s finest afternoon teas, and indulge in a selection of homemade sandwiches.  Guests can also enjoy sweet delicacies including a Dorset spice apple cake and lemon and lavender macarons, in the Writer’s Corner.
    • Finally, within the heart of the hotel is The Terrace. Open all year round, the relaxed, alfresco area is surrounded by stunning floral arrangements, sweeping greenery and glimmering fairy lights, making it the perfect spot to drink and dine under the stars.

    “We are delighted to be opening The Biltmore Mayfair, Europe’s first LXR Hotels & Resorts property, on London’s prestigious Grosvenor Square,” said Simon Vincent, President, EMEA, Hilton when the hotel opened in September. “Bringing contemporary luxury to Mayfair, guests will experience outstanding hospitality, including dining by Chef Jason Atherton, in remarkable surroundings that truly capture the spirit of London and British luxury.”

    With a host of iconic landmarks and neighbourhoods on its doorstep, including the home of bespoke tailoring, Savile Row, and exclusive retailers on Bond Street – the hotel is a decadent retreat to experience the best that London has to offer.

    Main image credit: The Biltmore Mayfair

    W Hotels Arrives In Abu Dhabi

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    W Hotels Arrives In Abu Dhabi

    Rev up your engines, W Abu Dhabi – Yas Island is the only hotel in the world to be located on a Grand Prix racetrack…

    Buckle up… W Hotels Worldwide has announced the highly anticipated debut of the W brand in the UAE capital with the opening of W Abu Dhabi – Yas Island. Located in the heart of Abu Dhabi’s bustling entertainment epicentre, the hotel is the brand’s second W Hotel to open this year in the United Arab Emirates after W Dubai – The Palm, and has the bragging rights to be the only hotel in the world located atop a Grand Prix racetrack.

    W Abu Dhabi – Yas Island is surrounded by iconic landmarks, located just 15-minutes from Abu Dhabi International Airport at the doorstep of the famed Yas Marina Circuit and Yas Marina. The hotel is also in close proximity to Ferrari World, Warner Brothers Studios and Abu Dhabi’s biggest shopping center, the Yas Mall. W Abu Dhabi – Yas Island is set to provide front row seats to the glitz and glamour of the vibrant metropolis, be it on or off the track.

    YAS Island's iconic building and racetrack

    Image credit: W Hotels

    “W Hotels seeks dynamic destinations that are multi-dimensional and ever-evolving, and Abu Dhabi, with its cultural DNA that honors a millennium of tradition while boldly embracing what’s new and next, is an ideal fit for the brand,” said Anthony Ingham, Global Brand Leader, W Hotels Worldwide. “The arrival of W in Abu Dhabi marks a new chapter for both the brand and the capital. While paying tribute to the essence and spirit of the city, the hotel creates a modern, energetic and stylish escape unlike anything else.”

    “The design draws inspiration from traditional and artistic surroundings complementing the natural landscape of the Emirate.”

    W Abu Dhabi – Yas Island reveals the best of the destination’s history, heritage and culture while infusing elements of its modern future. From the barren desert to the burgeoning concrete metropolis, Abu Dhabi boasts one of the most unique and diverse landscapes, all celebrated by the hotel’s tone-setting vibe. The design draws inspiration from traditional and artistic surroundings complementing the natural landscape of the Emirate. All architectural elements are influenced by symmetry, intricate detail, parallel beams and optical illusions, creating silhouettes and shades inspired by the region’s natural lakes, wetlands, salt flats and fossilized sands and dunes – the hidden natural gems of the UAE.

    Guests are greeted by Bedouin-inspired tents, large columns and seating inspired by local mangroves. Custom-designed Welcome Desks mimic the form of oil droplets and jewel tone furnishings, depicting the colors of liquid gold, a distinctive historic trade in Abu Dhabi. Show-stopping Whatever/Whenever desks are canoe-shaped, a visual reference to the Abu Dhabi waterways and once the mode of movement across the city.

    The hotel’s vibrant 499 guestrooms and suites offer plush amenities and floor-to-ceiling windows with spectacular views of the Grand Prix racetrack or the Yas Marina. The EWOW Suite (the brand’s over-the-top take on the traditional Presidential Suite), boasts 409 square meters (about 1,342 square feet) of ultimate luxury spread over two floors. Guests can soak it up in the suite’s private lap pool, sauna and enjoy jaw-dropping, 180-degree views of Yas Island.

    Image credit: W Hotels

    The W brand’s iconic poolside experience features the stunning scenery of the Yas Marina Circuit as guests swim, sun and enjoy signature beverages while listening to live DJ performances. WET is sure to become the hottest place to cool off, take a dip and make a splash in the city. W Abu Dhabi – Yas Island will embody the brand’s signature work hard, play hard philosophy, with FUEL-focused activities (fitness and wellness programming) including weekly workouts, healthy cuisine and amazing adventures.

    Main image credit: W Hotels

    Year In Review: Hotel Designs’ top products of 2019 (Part 1)

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Year In Review: Hotel Designs’ top products of 2019 (Part 1)

    Hotel Designs starts December as it means to go on; looking back to reflect on some of the major statement products of 2019 (edited by Hamish Kilburn)… 

    It has finally happened. ‘Trends’ is now a ‘dirty word’ on the international hotel design scene. In its place, meaningful design is allowing creativity to run freely through the unclogged veins of design studios, which is resulting in each project to have its own personality. Designers and architects are able to choose their tools carefully in order to create the hotels and cities of the future.

    As a result, there’s a greater desire to cut through the noise in order to identify the game-changing products that have recently launched.

    Since January, Hotel Designs has put a a different topic under the spotlight each month in order to identify the most innovative products and services. 11 months later, here’s what we found…

    1. The Cleanet Navia shower toilet by Laufen
    Orange set with WC toilet in the middle

    Image credit: Laufen

    The new Cleanet Navia by Laufen is an upgrade in comfort compared with a classic designer WC. It impresses with a compact design, simple functions and with a gratifying price.

    “My aim with the Cleanet Navia was to create a classic designer WC with a minimalistic, timeless look, that has another ace up its sleeve when you take a closer look,” explains Swiss designer Peter Wirz, who created the shower WC for Laufen. The technology is fully integrated into the compact all-ceramic body and reduced to the essentials. Thus, Keramik Laufen has succeeded in developing a shower toilet with an excellent price-performance ratio, which is also suitable for use in commercial buildings.

    2) The Balmoral collection by Bisque

    Soft pink radiator and amenities

    Image credit: Bisque

    Pioneering designer radiator brand Bisque has, for the last four decades, represented the pinnacle of cutting-edge, contemporary design; however, for the first time, the luxury firm has announced its inaugural range of traditional towel radiators for use in classic bathroom designs for 2019.

    The collection – comprising the Buckingham, Osbourne and Balmoral – was designed with a timeless appeal, without compromising on performance or output.

    In particular, the Balmoral radiator. Its centre section, conventionally a timeless white, can now be ordered in Bisque’s selection of stock finishes or, for when only an exact shade will do, can be colour-matched to popular paint brands such as Farrow & Ball, Mylands or Little Greene. This makes it a fantastic option for those who prefer to add a pop of personality to an otherwise fairly neutral scheme, and complements many bathroom brands’ latest offerings of colourful baths, basins and brassware.

    Bisque’s Balmoral Radiator colour-matched to RAL 6005.

    The addition of a colour finish further adds to the Balmoral’s flexibility. Traditionally a radiator for period homes or vintage-inspired bathrooms, this sleek update means it sits right at home in contemporary settings, too.

    3) GROHE Plus Single-Lever Mixer M-Size with LED temperature display

    Tap with digital display on faucet

    Image credit: GROHE

    Take your bathroom to a place as technologically sophisticated as the rest of your life with the GROHE Plus basin mixer with LED temperature display. Its slim, D-shaped form, designed to complement both traditional and contemporary bathrooms, contains a range of user-friendly technology. The upper surface of the spout in chic white acrylic hosts an LED temperature display, which shows the exact water temperature as it flows. The tap also employs infra-red sensors to switch smoothly between a sustainable standard spray (5.7l/min) and even greater water-saving with the Spray function (4l/min). Just wave your hand in front of the lit icon on the spout to activate. The large size of this tap offers the space for a more user-friendly, comfortable experience. It features a GROHE SilkMove ceramic cartridge, offering smooth, precise control via the tactile solid metal lever handle. The swivel spout with easy docking system turns through 90° for added ease of use, while an integrated GROHE AquaGuide lets you adjust the spray angle of the spout with ease and precision. The SpeedClean aerator can be wiped free of limescale with just your finger.

    4) Timeless lighting pieces in the Edition 26 collection by Chelsom

    Image desk and lamp shade

    Image credit: Mr C Coconut Grove/James McDonald

    For nearly two years, Chelsom’s Edition 26 collection has been inspiring designers and architects to add statement in lighting. This year, Hotel Designs has identified the design potential of some of its products in the collection, such as Orb, Criterion, Icicle, and one of the editorial team’s favourite, Roma, which is an industrial-chic masterpiece.

    Creativity is in the cooker as the lighting experts at Chelsom prepare for a busy 2020 with the launch of its next collection.

    5) Morgan’s award-winning Rakino

    One chair on top of the other behind white background

    Image credit: Morgan

    The family of lounge chairs and tables, which feature crisp timber detailing that is emphasised by a clean linear structure, has just won Product of the Year at the FX Awards 2019.

    Interviewed by Hotel Designs shortly after the collection dropped, Tim Rundle said about the collection: “The Rakino collection stands out due to its striking timber architectural frame, with a strong, square, clean aesthetic, combined with a soft sculpted and slim line upholstered shell that is held within the frame. The frame is very open and honest and is a reflection of Tim’s eye for detail and our passion for precision CNC manufacturing and a hand-crafted finish.”

    7) Luxe bathrooms inside Stock Exchange Manchester by Utopia Projects

    Luxe marble bathroom overlooking Manchester

    Image credit: Stock Exchange Hotel Manchester

    In a recent study it was revealed that more than 70 per cent of designers and architects fear the bathroom most when designing a hotel. For those professionals, there’s Utopia Projects that has unrivalled relationships with suppliers and an acute eye for detail when it comes to designing meaningful bathroom spaces. The bathrooms inside Stock Exchange Hotel Manchester are an excellent example of this. Hotel Designs’ got the concept-to-completetion exclusive of the challenges and triumphs for this hotel, which opened recently.

    If you know of a product you believe should be involved in PART 2 of Hotel Designs’ ultimate throwback, please email h.kilburn@forumevents.co.uk

    Main image credit:

    Editor’s round-up of Sleep & Eat 2019

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Editor’s round-up of Sleep & Eat 2019

    Rounding off this year’s show season, editor Hamish Kilburn attends Sleep & Eat 2019 on the search for new product launches, sensational design concepts and more brands under one roof than in any other hotel design trade show in Europe…

    It is often said that the sequel is never as impactful as the prequel. And although that may well be the case in the film industry, design is different. For the second year running, Sleep & Eat 2019 went west to found shelter at Olympia London, a hotly debated venue but a popular one no doubt during show season.

    The show opened its doors on November 19 to offer designers, architects, operators and owners a unique chance to learn from the game-changers, while discovering new products and expand their thinking.

    On the surface Sleep & Eat’s success from last year was matched with many of the same exhibitors taking the same positions as in 2018. The most significant statement from the 2019 show, however, took place in the lecture theatre, where a mix of interesting and colourful insights and debates became the highlight for many.

    Amar Lalvani, CEO of Standard International, opened day one by sharing his experience oftransforming an ‘ugly’ and unloved building in London into a hotel that is now headline news around the world. Christoph Hoffman, CEO of 25Hours Hotels, opened day two and, in conversation with Conference Moderator, Heleri Rande, talked about the importance of “soul”. While his group has so notably charted its own course, hedeclared himself inspired by the great luxury hotels of the world. “It’s about keeping the stories alive,” he said. Josh Wyatt, CEO of NeueHouse, also delivered a captivating keynote. “More than ever before,design is essential to survive as the world becomes more crowded. Design is a defensive necessity,” he told the audience. “In NeueHouse, we are forging places where commerce and creativity collide, where new enterprises that will shape our futures will be conceived by our users.”

    Image credit: Rob Jones

    Panel topics were diverse and layered, from hotel F&B trends to managing and designing flexible public spaces and the meaning of eco in the luxury hotel experience, but all with an eye not just to the hospitality scene today but in the future. Architect, Richard Coutts, and engineer, Ben Fitzgerald, took the audience to the under- and above-water frontiers of their work, presenting a project destined for Hobart Harbour – an underwater hotel with public park on top – and the Under restaurant off the Norwegian coast. The knowledge, skills, vision and technology exist to harness our lakes, rivers and oceans for greater hospitality experiences, claimed the duo Design maverick and disrupter, Johannes Torpe, considered the future of hospitality in space but, despite his collaborations with NASA and his passion for space movies, he argued that there was still much work to do before space could be accessible for most of us. Instead, he called on the audience to create unearthly places on Earth, citing his Red Mountain resort project in Iceland, a spa and wellness retreat that will offer complete escape into Icelandic nature.

    Sleep, Eat and Party in this year’s Room Sets

    This year’s event theme of “Social FlexAbility” explored the power of hospitality to stimulate human interaction in our age of digital isolation. It proved to be just the challenge that six international architectural and design firms needed to create concept guestrooms, a bar and a restaurant which were inspiring in vision, intriguing in detail and astonishing in execution.

    Yuna Merge, unveiled the VIP Area entitled ‘Gather’. The designer transformed Olympia Club Room into a whimsical flora and fauna-inspired space.

    London-based hotel design practice twenty2degrees designed a concept guestroom to explore hospitality’s power to stimulate human interaction in our age of digital dislocation. Complete with a fully retractable bed and a tap that poured chilled negroni, the set utilised space, senses and colour.

    “The process of designing the concept guestroom has been fascinating,” says Joe Stella, Creative Director and Partner of twenty2degrees. “Essentially, we were our own client freed from the usual constraints of commercial hotel design. We followed certain paths of thought, then found new sources of inspiration and were able to flip the aesthetic. We hope that the result of this creative license will be ideas that operators, owners and other visitors to our pop-up will want to take away with them and adapt for real-life projects.”

    Other Set designers were HAT Design (guestroom), SpaceInvader (bar) and NAME Architecture (restaurant).

    In the exhibition hall

    Image credit: Rob Jones

    More than 160 design-led suppliers – established and up-and-coming manufacturers, artisans and fit-out companies – chose Sleep & Eat 2019 to showcase their products and launch new collections. Some highlights included:

    GROHE returned to Sleep & Eat for the 14th year and presented its most eclectic and diverse product offering yet, including its ground-breaking Icon 3D metal-printed taps on their first official UK outing.

    Image credit: Rob Jones

    Following Hotel Designs’ interview with designer Marcel Wanders one day prior, the team from Laufen unveiled the curtain on its latest collection, The New Classic.

    Ammique, the world’s most technologically advanced bed, was at Sleep & Eat for the first time. The company launched its Platinum limited edition bed with a choice of three sensual fabrics created in collaboration with textile designer, Hannah White. Marlene Greenhalgh, Co-Founder of Ammique,says: “Having thought long and hard about taking space, we are utterly delighted that we decided to. We would unequivocally recommend anyone in the industry to consider investing in a stand at Sleep & Eat. It really is a show that delivers.”

    Hansgrohe, which was an Event Partner at The Brit List Awards 2019 later in the week, launched its Rainfinity range and Sunbury Design launched Perception Collection in collaboration with renowned print designer, Amelia Graham. Meanwhile, both Bette and Kaldewei gave visitors the opportunity to test their materials themselves, with wire brushes, hammers, nail varnish and naked flames.

    Morgan, which has just won Product of the Year at the FX Awards, unveiled a new stripped-back sustainable furniture collection, Kaya, which finds its roots in the openness, honesty and purity of trees.

    Showing the design world it’s place as a premium shower supplier was Aqualisa, which was also an Event Partner at The Brit List Awards 2019. The company, which was the first to launch the digital shower to the hospitality market, was making noise with a range of new high-tech products.

    There were cause of celebrations on the Knightsbridge stand as the British furniture company announced its 80th anniversary. In apt fashion, the brand displayed its design-led Caravelle collection, which was redeveloped to celebrate theanniversary and its rich history, taking influence from a past mid-century piece of furniture.

    Also new to Sleep & Eat, Marie Martin, the range of exclusive lighting by the Dutch company Lumière, presented its lush and extravagant lighting fixtures. Stemming from a passion for interiors, this collection arose from the desire to unite a love for antiques, Paris, colour and fully decorated spaces.

    Bette’s new Red Dot award-winning basin and luxurious circular bath made their UK debut at the show.

    Image credit: Rob Jones

    Other familiar brands at the show included: Astro Lighting, Roca, Interna UK, Chelsom, Grok, Northern Lights and Perrin & Rowe. Newcomers included Eichholtz, ILIV Contract Textiles and Absolute Lifestyle.

    As tradition, Sleep & Eat presented two awards for best-designed stands, this year judged by designers, Constantina Tsoutsikou, Yasmine Mahmoudieh and Ben Webb together with architect, Angela Dapper and event director, Mark Gordon. Hospitality artwork suppliers, Verdigris Art, with artist in residence, Marcus Aitken, was awarded Best Stand, and luxury wallcoverings manufacturer, Arte, was the recipient of the Best Space-Only Stand Award.

    Following the two-day event, industry experts gathered for an after-party style awards ceremony, The Brit List Awards 2019, which is where this year’s winners of seven individual awards were crowned, as well as where The Brit List 2019 was unveiled.

    With rumours circulating, it is down to interpretation whether or not Sleep & Eat’s second year at Olympia London was as or more successful than its first year. Whether or not the show ‘hit the mark’ in your opinion, there was no denying that it was a engaging two-days of talks, networking opportunities and interesting product launches.

    Have your say by tweeting us as @HotelDesigns. What was your highlight of Sleep & Eat 2019?

    Main image credit: Rob Jones

    Designer Anna Busta unveils newly refurbished Oceana in Santa Monica

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Designer Anna Busta unveils newly refurbished Oceana in Santa Monica

    Following a nearly $30 million transformation, the newly reopened all-suite Oceana now delivers a rare private residential experience in Santa Monica’s most coveted neighbourhood…

    Interior designer Anna Busta, of Busta Studio in NYC, has completed a project to renovated Oceana to become a peaceful and private luxury escape in Santa Monica, LA.

    The new Oceana is a 70-suite seaside retreat that combines the impeccable service of a world class hotel with authentic personal connections, making the boutique property feel like a fully staffed beach house.

    Oceana provides a rare opportunity to experience Santa Monica like a local resident of the coveted beach district. Driving along Ocean Avenue, the first vision of Oceana is the hotel’s stately, ivy-clad facade, quietly at home among the neighbourhood’s other beautiful residences. Upon entering the stunning two-story living room-inspired lobby, guests are personally greeted by the hotel’s thoughtful staff and welcomed to their home-away from home without having to undergo the traditional hotel check-in process.

    Each room features a secluded entry nook adorned with fragrant dried lavender and a playful tufted leather porch swing. Inside, the suites are outfitted with one-of-a-kind furnishings to evoke a true sense of warmth and comfort. From rich, deep velvet sofas and sleek suede lounges to a four-poster bed outfitted with sumptuous Loro Piana bedding and Frette linens, each suite feels like a private guest house at an impeccably designed home. The luxurious experience is completed by extravagant spa-inspired bathrooms with Bottega Veneta bath amenities and state-of-the-art technology, including personal iPads that control everything from temperature to light settings and allow guests to order room service with the swipe of their finger.

    “This new phase of Oceana is a unique, standalone offering unlike any other found in Santa Monica,” said Alex Landy, Senior Vice President of JRK Property Holdings, Inc. “We combined all the comforts of a private beach home with the convenience of a five-star hotel to curate an unmatched experience with truly unforgettable service. Guests will arrive and immediately feel relieved as they escape the hustle and bustle of downtown Santa Monica, and the private experience will follow throughout their stay. It’s inviting, comfortable and staying true to the lifestyle we’ve come to love from the neighbourhood.”

    Image credit: Lisa Romerein.

    Designer Busta oversaw the hotel’s design, ensuring no detail was overlooked. Her modern design captivates the senses across every inch of the coastal home-away-from-home, and includes soothing colour palettes, gold metal accents, bold geometric patterns and extensive wood finishes. The design is punctuated by a beautiful collection of original works by local L.A. artists and international photographers.

    Throughout their stay, guests are invited to enjoy a bespoke culinary experience curated by Santa Monica restaurateur Raphael Lunetta. Open exclusively for hotel guests, the dining spaces feature Lunetta’s signature take on seasonal Californian cuisine rooted in hyper-local ingredients from the world-famous Santa Monica Farmers Market. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are prepared to guest specifications and can be served in the beautifully designed Dining Room or at the poolside veranda.

    Surrounded by lush greenery and blooms from landscape architecture firm Perry Guillot of the Hamptons, the extraordinary veranda offers a comforting yet stylish daytime lounge for sunbathing, and a posh evening escape for al fresco dining. The expansive, freeform pool, situated at the heart of the property, is lined with rich olive trees and oversized daybeds. Guests who want to truly take in their seaside surroundings, can head upstairs to the picturesque third floor terrace for a sunset cocktail by the outdoor fireplace.

    Beyond the courtyard, is the all-new fitness studio equipped with state-of-the-art machines from Peloton and Technogym. The adjacent spa treatment room offers a full-service spa menu.

    Oceana provides guests their own private sanctuary; secluded from the outside world yet still within close proximity to the liveliness of Santa Monica, Malibu, Beverly Hills and Venice Beach. Residents are granted the solitude they desire, but also given a sense of belonging where true refined elegance and brilliantly executed designs embody a whole new level of intimacy. The tranquility and peace make it feel not like a hotel at all, but a home that caters to a guest’s every need. The calm is found at every turn, offering virtual silence throughout – aside for maybe the sounds of crashing waves in the distance.

    Main image credit: Lisa Romerein

    What makes Versa Wallcovering sustainable without sacrificing style?

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    What makes Versa Wallcovering sustainable without sacrificing style?

    Launched in 1999, Versa Wallcovering is a leading wall covering brand for commercial interiors, finding the balance to find the perfect formula to create sustainable and stylish surfaces. Business Development Manager Paul Gibson explains… 

    Innovative, creative, sustainable, classic to contemporary and subtle to sensational are the driving principles for Versa Wallcovering. Our award winning design studio continues to develop new proprietary embossings, as well as a balance of core classic textures, with more specialty patterns for healthcare and hospitality.

    Our products are classic, affordable, yet sophisticated and on trend. Unique embossings have always been the focus for the brand, along with a broad distinctive range of silks, linens, and textural patterns.

    Versa has always been the industry leader in sustainability, from the first to switch to low VOC water-based inks, to the award winning Second-Look reclamation and recycled content program, to the first manufacturer to certify to NSF/ANSI 342, and part of the global industry wide EPD.

    All Versa Wallcovering products are low VOC, meeting CA01350; produced with an environmentally preferable non-ortho phthalate; and utilize recycled inks. The company has implemented an aggressive waste reduction program, minimising manufacturing material scrap and reducing overall energy and water consumption through improved operational efficiencies.

    Versa Wallcovering is the only US brand to manufacture base film from raw materials. This allows most products to have colour thru film, which enhances durability and overall performance.

    The company has a strong international global presence, with a distribution network spanning more than 70 countries and a world-class manufacturing facility in Suzhou, China.

    VersaGuard and Versa Impact are part of Versa Wall Protection. We are the only company to offer specifiers an option in wall protection products.  With the addition of Versa Shield 20in early 2020, Versa will have three different levels of wall protection based on budget, and need for any interior space.

    Versa PVC-Free will be another industry first, with a non-PVC product which performs extremely well, is cost effective, and takes color and embossing like vinyl. PVC-Free Impact will be a first, in a flexible attractive wall protection product.

    Versa Wallcovering 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: Versa Wallcovering

    Morgan’s Rakino wins Product of the Year at FX Awards 2019

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Morgan’s Rakino wins Product of the Year at FX Awards 2019

    The award-winning furniture collection by Morgan was designed by Tim Rundle and was launched earlier this year at Clerkenwell Design Week…

    Contract furniture brand Morgan has won Product of the Year at the 2019 FX Awards, which took place on November 27. Prior to Sleep & Eat where Morgan unveiled the Kaya collection, the British furniture brand launched Rakino, which juxtaposes soft sculpted upholstery with a strong, low line frame.

    The family of lounge chairs and tables feature crisp timber detailing, emphasised by a clean linear structure.

    Interviewed by Hotel Designs shortly after the collection dropped, Tim Rundle said about the collection: “The Rakino collection stands out due to its striking timber architectural frame, with a strong, square, clean aesthetic, combined with a soft sculpted and slim line upholstered shell that is held within the frame. The frame is very open and honest and is a reflection of Tim’s eye for detail and our passion for precision CNC manufacturing and a hand-crafted finish.”

    “It’s been a pleasure working with Tim, who brings an international perspective to Rakino,” said Katerina Zachariades, design director at Morgan back in May. “His experience in furniture, lighting and interior design enables him to develop new product ideas with an understanding of commercial demands. We have enjoyed developing this chair and refining our production methods to achieve the light, simple structure that defines it.”

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

    Hamilton Litestat: Inspired by nature

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Hamilton Litestat: Inspired by nature

    Hamilton Litestat explains how to perfect finishing touches for interiors to capture the spirit of natural surroundings…

    Interior design trends come and go, but one reoccurring theme that always feels fresh is interiors inspired by nature. Bringing the natural world inside has an energising effect, while also bringing a wholesome feeling of calm that is particularly important for today’s focus on self-care.

    Currently, the botanicals trend is particularly prominent, while some boutique hotels are being inspired by the landscapes within their local vicinity. Whichever way the outside is brought inside – natural or faux plants, wall hangings, soft furnishings or accessories with botanical or nature-inspired prints – Hamilton Litestat is offering a selection of carefully crafted wiring accessories that perfectly complement natural themes.

     When striking wall finishes showing bold leaves and flowers shouldn’t be interrupted, Hamilton’s Perception CFX is the perfect choice. The clear plate allows your selection of wallpaper to be inserted resulting in an almost-invisible finish. The contemporary switch plate has eight insert designs and concealed fixings to make it disappear and allow the wall covering to take centre stage, such as the ATADesigns.com bold wallpaper, Kews Dramatic Roses in green.

    Alternatively, Hamilton’s Paintable range allows you to pick a colour from the wallpaper, or even a contrasting hue from the room’s soft furnishings, and have the switch plates painted to exactly match. These can be pre-painted by Hamilton ahead of installation or can be primed ready to paint on site. This option is available in the stylish Hartland CFX and Sheer CFX designs.

    One hotel inspired by its local area is Hotel Indigo Cardiff, a 122-room boutique hotel designed by Matthews Mee Interior Design to evoke classic Welsh heritage. The greatest attention has been paid to crafting unique spaces throughout the hotel that reflect the history and vibrancy of the Welsh capital.Hamilton’s Hartland collection of box-fix decorative wiring accessories was nominated as the perfect match for the interior design theme. In the 72 ‘Made in Wales’ rooms and the 31 ‘Welsh Industry’ rooms, the decorative accessories were finished in Matt Black with Copper switches and Matt Black inserts. Meanwhile, the 19 ‘Music’ rooms feature Hartland products finished in Antique Brass with Antique Brass switches and Black inserts. All bathrooms are fitted with Hartland plates finished in Satin Steel with White inserts.

    Image credit: Hotel Indigo Cardiff

    Whether the look is lush green jungle or inspired by the diverse colours of the Welsh hills, Hamilton offers a variety of decorative wiring solutions that will perfectly complement and complete the look.

    Main image credit: Hamilton Litestat

    Checking in: Anse Chastanet and Jade Mountain, Saint Lucia

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Checking in: Anse Chastanet and Jade Mountain, Saint Lucia

    With his aim fixed on understanding how one jaw-dropping location can harbour two very different – but no doubt both luxury escapes – editor Hamish Kilburn travelled to Saint Lucia to review the wonders of Anse Chastanet and Jade Mountain…

    On the western stretch of Saint Lucia, an island that last year welcomed more than 1.2 million visitors, two incredible design gem stones can be found. While the two hotels are very different in style, the experience of Anse Chastanet and Jade Mountain comes as one.

    Not only are the hotels two of the region’s most sought-after places to check in to, but they also stand as a permanent reminder of an unforgettable journey, which is full of discovery, challenges and sustainable solutions that is still ongoing for husband-and-wife team Nick and Karolin Troubetzkoy.

    “I’m a man that looks for logic,” says the critically acclaimed architect Nick Troubetzkoy as he peers over the evening’s dinner menu to take in the sweeping views of the sun disappearing over the edge of the horizon. The last of the day’s light reflects off the luscious jade-green mountains, which are commonly referred to as The Pitons. Jade Club literally takes the concept of fine-dining to new heights, as it is perched majestically on the hotel’s top floor. It doesn’t matter where you sit, you somehow always manage to catch the postcard perfect perspective of the twin mountains. Nothing here has been designed by coincidence, which is refreshing. “Designing a hotel requires logical and thoughtful steps throughout the entire process,” Troubetzkoy smirks as he leaves a pause in the air for effect. “The game rugby on the hand is not a logical game – you pass the ball backwards for starters” And just like, as England prepares to execute its World Cup campaign, I catch my first glimpse of the legendary architect’s sense of humour, and his dislike for design without purpose.

    Image credit: Jade Mountain

    For guests checking in, the adventure of both Anse Chasanet and Jade Mountain starts shortly after the plane touches down on the island’s soil. For the Troubetzkoys, though, the adventure started in the ‘70s, when the couple visited the tropical destination and fell in love with the island’s pristine, Caribbean Sea-facing, west coast.

    Drivers in Saint Lucia don’t lie. When warned that you’re going to endure a bumpy ride, that’s a cue to buckle up. The exact location of both hotels is the first indication that these magnificent properties have been designed meaningfully, from concept through to completion, in order shelter ultimate and unquestionable privacy and luxury. That kind of treasure comes at a cost, which in this case is an uneven road and a toe-curling drive over a cliff-edge. It’s the only road that has access to the hotels and it’s a thread that connects them from the heart of Soure Friee, a charming and friendly town, which is home to many of the staff – and prevents trespassers.

    Anse Chastanet

    Anse Chastanet sits at the foot of the mountain and is, in part, hidden within the surrounding forest that covers a staggering 77 per cent of the island. The hotel’s open-air design in both the public and private areas invites nature in at every opportunity. This is where the Troubetzkoy’s quest began, to create and develop the luxury hotel experience. Purchased in the ‘70s, the 49-key hotel was the Troubetzkoy’s debut luxury resort. Their plans to redevelop the hotel was in order make room for a new level of premium accommodation in Saint Lucia, the Caribbean, and indeed the world.

    Image credit: Anse Chastanet

    B.T. (Before Troubetzkoys), the Anse Chastanet was a collection of a few huts scattered along the beach, reflecting a conventional and arguably unmemorable Caribbean hotel. Years later, the Troubetzkoy family transformed it into a thriving multi-award-winning resort that operates as one of the Caribbean’s most premium destinations – and for good reason. “As far back as when we first opened, I remember asking our guests why we didn’t see very much of them outside their one-with-nature rooms,” says the architect. “I was told by them, that they were simply relaxing, breathing in the air, basking in the surroundings and enjoying a wonderful sense of calm and peace. When you compare that experience to being boxed into a traditional glass enclosed hotel room, breathing recirculated, machine-processed air, the difference is enormous.”

    There is no doubt about it, the resort is of its time, but that’s also its charm; a space that feels lived-in with a warming home-from-home character that is amplified further by the caring and considerate staff. A home that has no boundaries between interiors and exterior, designed to reflect the topography of the land. A home that celebrates literally the very definition of nature in design. Anse Chastanet is a wonderful, colourful, playful and unpretentiously luxurious hotel – and it was here where the idea for Troubetzkoy’s next project, Jade Mountain, was born.

    Image credit: Anse Chastanet

    There are references of the same design ethos in the foundations of both Anse Chasanet and Jade Mountain. The Royal Palm, Anse Chasanet’s most premium suite, is an excellent example of this, and is located half way up the mountain where the two hotels almost meet. The open-air concept carves out an understated premium scene, very much opening up the space to allow for the 260-degree views to do the hard work, while the Caribbean-infused interiors frame nature and sense of place in all its majesty. Famous art pieces by both local and international artists add personality into the space. The walls in the are covered with vibrant paintings by postmodernist German painter, Elvira Bach. But what is most impressive, in my opinion, is how the structure of the suite, including the bathroom, has been carved out in such a way, with a logical eye, so that, just like Jade Club, guests can almost always see The Pitons from each and every corner, which adds scrutiny and challenges to the standard cookie-cutter approach when it comes to designing luxury suites.

    “One day, while the plans for the hotel were still in early development, he looked at his collection, turned towards me and commented that ‘Jade Mountain’ had a nice ring to it.” – Karolin Troubetzkoy

    Jade Mountain

    “Do you know why we called it Jade Mountain?” asks Karolin Troubetzkoy who, as well as being the co-owner of the resort and is very much the brains behind its incredible initiatives, is also the current President of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism. “Everyone always gets it wrong. They think it was simply the views of The Pitons. But actually, for years my husband created and collected these amazing miniature mountains, which were a luscious shade of jade. One day, while the plans for the hotel were still in early development, he looked at his collection, turned towards me and commented that ‘Jade Mountain’ had a nice ring to it.”

    Image credit: Jade Mountain

    What makes the hotel unique to any other design story – or any other hotel around the world for that matter – is how decisions were made, and quickly changed. “I wanted to create individualised spatial environments that would enable guests to forget about the furniture or the fact that they’re in a hotel room,” explains Nick Troubetzkoy. “In essence, I want our guests to forget about everything but experiencing the psychology of the space on an emotional almost spiritual level.”

    Image credit: Jade Mountain

    The term ‘jewel of the crown’ feels appropriate when describing its position on site. The magnificent structure of rough concrete imbued with locally quarried stoneappears once guests make it up the stairway to heaven by either foot or complimentary shuttle bus, and walk across the long, suspended private bridges that lead to what the hotel describes as ‘sanctuaries’.

    Editor Hamish Kilburn soaking in the views from JD1 Galaxy Suite at Jade Mountain

    All 29 sanctuaries frame the unparalleled vistas of The Pitons. While each area has been individually designed, they all share a few common themes. The lack of right angles in the design, for example, removing the fourth wall and creating an open-air concept helps keep the relationship between guest and nature together, while the interior walls are finished in a crushed blush toned coral plaster quarried in Barbados. Because of these indoor and outdoor moments working in harmony, there is a natural rhythm to guests’ stay without the need for clocks or televisions. Almost all sanctuaries feature infinity pools – and, by far, the most impressive spaces are the Galaxy Sanctuaries. JD1, which became my luxe home-from-home (and my handstand hangout) felt like an oversized luxurious penhouse apartment. Following my move up the mountain from Anse Chasenet, it’s the first time during my trip where I recognised luxury manufacturers and suppliers, such as Duravit W/Cs and premium seating by Janus et Cie and Dedon.

    And that’s not all. At Jade Mountain, unlike many other luxury hotels that claim to be eco-friendly, sustainability is a core value and not greenwashed simply as a marketing tool. While Anse Chasanet shares the same ethos, the living areas of each sanctuary in Jade Mountain are finished with more than 20 different species of tropical hardwood flooring and trims harvested in an environmentally meaningful way. The resort’s technicians actually visited the Rain Forest of Guyana and personally chose which trees to be used. A multitude of hardwoods have been used including Purpleheart, Greenheart, Locust, Kabukali, Snakewood, Bloodwood, Etikburabali, Futukbali, Taurino, Mora and Cabbage Wood.

    The consciousness of the resorts stretches beyond the design. 30 per cent of all produce at both Anse Chastanet and Jade Mountain is grown on site, just a few miles away from the hotels. It’s also here where the resort grows its own coco beans, so that both properties can make their own mouth-watering chocolate for guests to enjoy.

    While hotel designers continue striving to cater to the heavy demands of the modern traveller, perhaps there is something to be said in stripping away unnecessary technology and opening up interiors to nature to ultimately allow the natural experience of a pocket of paradise to stand the test of time.. After all, luxury will never go out of style.

    Main image credit: Jade Mountain/Anse Chastanet

    The Kixby Hotel opens in New York

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    The Kixby Hotel opens in New York

    Rockwell Group completes The Kixby Hotel, which is located in a storied Beaux-arts building in Herald Square, New York…

    Rich in history, pulsing with life, and constantly changing, Herald Square feels like the true crossroads of Manhattan — a neighborhood whose often-overlooked architectural splendor reflects its Gilded Age roots.

    Now, with the rebirth of one of its storied buildings, Herald Square is about to get the hotel it deserves.

    Kixby reclaims the stunning 1901 building that housed a legendary luxury hotel, the Collingwood, a century ago. With public spaces designed by Rockwell Group, Kixby will bring sophistication, history, and wit to Herald Square — along with a sense of intimacy, warmth, and the personal attention of a true boutique hotel.

    “Herald Square has always been the heart of New York, and, at this time of resurgence, Kixby will give guests a prime place to experience it,” said co-owner and managing partner Justin Arest, whose family has operated a hotel on the site since 1995. “The area, known to many as being home to the Macy’s flagship and once to the New York Herald, has been reinventing itself over the past two decades.” It has become the ideal mix of history, energy and personality, drawing the best traits from neighboring NoMad and Times Square. Kixby will reintroduce many to the neighborhood that, in the early 1900s, was a stone’s throw to the flagships of Tiffany & Co., B. Altman & Co., and Gimbels.” Today, Kixby’s location puts the Empire State Building, shopping, Broadway theaters, the High Line, Grand Central Station, Bryant Park, Hudson Yards and many other attractions within a walk or easy commute.

    Black Tap, whose prize-winning burgers and CrazyShake milkshakes have earned raves worldwide, opened the brand’s first flagship location inside Kixby, with their signature NYC-inspired dining room where graffiti and neon meet black and white tiles and exposed brick. Like Kixby, Black Tap offers a smart spin on tradition with inspiration from classic burger joints and an old-school New York vibe. Designed by Rockwell Group, the restaurant features a stand-alone CrazyShake Bar, an installation made of 4,000 custom-designed cassette tapes, and an oversized neon boombox.

    On the hotel’s roof with the Empire State Building as its backyard Julie Mulligan and Chris Barish from the Black Tap team partnered with Kixby on The Lookup, a rooftop bar with smart bar bites and cocktails curated by mixologist Pamela Wiznitzer, formerly of the Seamstress and the Dead Rabbit. Both the restaurant and the rooftop lounge mix a playful edge with sophisticated, old-world style that syncs perfectly with Kixby’s spirit.

    A green wall with a neon sign greets guests in The Lookup. The three-season space has a summery, crisp, and clean aesthetic, with black and white elements that draw the spirit of Black Tap up to the roof. Tabletops and furniture in bright colors give the space a playful feeling.

    Image credit: The Kixby Hotel

    In its previous life as the Hotel Metro, the hotel earned a loyal repeat clientele from around the world. Many on the hotel’s team, including its general manager, head of housekeeping and director of sales, have been with the property for 25 years and will stay to welcome guests at Kixby. Arest’s partners in Kixby are Ira Drukier and Richard Born of the renowned BD Hotels, which owns some of New York’s most stylish lodgings.

    A namesake character will also animate Kixby. Mr. Kixby is a compilation of the known and imagined characters that have lent themselves to Kixby’s history. He was a resident of the original Collingwood and tended bar there in the early 20th Century. Local lore paints English-born Mr. Kixby as a fabulous raconteur, pioneering artist, and inventive mixologist — a dapper, whimsical, slightly rakish presence.

    Kixby takes inspiration from his name and his spirit; its understated luxury blends Beaux-Arts splendor with clean, modern style that embraces and energizes guests from the minute they enter.

    Kixby’s fresh, forward-looking spin on history starts in its lobby. Working with Arest, Rockwell Group crafted an atmosphere that has a modernised members-only club feel, with a mix of classic elements, such as rich hardwood floors and fluted dark wood paneling. Modern takes on traditional furniture in plush fabrics like velvet and leather nod to the hotel’s past. A feature wall comprised of bronze screens a latticed work of art inspired by New York’s classic metal elevator gates illuminates the room.

    “Rockwell Group had an amazing opportunity to create a collection of spaces that brings a new social experience to the hotel,” says Shawn Sullivan, Partner, Rockwell Group. “Juxtaposing modern and traditional, our design concept embraces the building’s history while adding a contemporary layer that feels vibrant and relevant today.”

    Image credit: The Kixby Hotel

    Guests are greeted at a front reception desk crafted with warm woods and reflective slatted metal. Kixby associates will be ready with iPads to offer swift check-ins and answer any guest questions. Walking through the lobby, past a curated “book cabinet featuring New York-themed books, leads to the hotel’s cocktail lounge, Lot 15, which is also operated by the Black Tap team, and offers guests and locals a destination to experience old-New York mixed with elegant yet approachable cocktails and delicious fare. Executive Chef Stephen Parker curated a menu that evokes nostalgia through classic dishes with modern-day twists, such as a bite-sized Hot Honey Crispy Chicken Skins and Wagyu Steak Sandwich, as well as a Sweet Tooth section. The cocktail menu by Mixologist Cameron Shaw showcases familiar yet elevated options like a vegan Whiskey Sour with bonded bourbon and aquafaba, and the Airmail, a Daiquiri and French 75 lovechild with honey.

    Lot 15 has a gritty, sophisticated feeling, with a dark palette that features gold accents, exposed brick and charred black wood walls in a chevron pattern. With black leather banquettes, high-top seating, custom drapery, art installations by contemporary muralist Fumero, and even its own DJ booth, the space is a destination in itself unlike anything else in the neighborhood.

    Guestrooms feature a stylish palette of periwinkle blue and charcoal gray. For the hotel’s clean-lined furniture, Arest sought out a unique source: Amish and Mennonite craftspeople in Ohio, who worked with him to customize the Kixby’s solid oak furniture. The cleverly designed dressers conceal a hotel safe and a mini-fridge. Side tables, next to the hotel’s plush beds outfitted in MATOUK linens, feature two electrical outlets and two USB ports each — a thoughtful detail that’s often overlooked in some hotels. Even the numbers on each room have been hand-selected by Arest; crafted in solid brass, they also capture the hotel’s fusion of classic and modern. Bright, elegant marbled bathrooms feature Brizo fixtures with rain shower heads and hand showers, as well as lighted mirrors, bath amenities by New York-based apothecary MALIN + GOETZ and luxurious bathrobes made by Frette.

    Main image credit: The Kixby Hotel

    Brintons unveils latest in-house design collection, The Parlour

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Brintons unveils latest in-house design collection, The Parlour

    Britons has announced its latest axminster design collection inspired by collaboration and communal creative spaces, The Parlor.

    Born from a drawing game Surrealist artists played to pass time and unlock the true creative essence of the unconscious, The Parloris a collection of one of a kind axminster designs with surprising linear transitions.

    Glowing neon hues contrast with moody velvet textures calling us to our local watering holes and reminding us of the intimate social spaces occupied by literature + art’s greats.Inspired by a space defined by community, The Parlorhinges on successful collaboration and exists as a conduit for unapologetic creation.

    Woven in Brintons signature 80 per cent wool, 20 per cent nylon yarn blend, designs from the collection will be fully customisable to suit the parameters of any flooring project. Following the rules of an age-old artist’s game called the Exquisite Corpse, Brintons designers joined forces to produce unique hand drawn works of art. Each designer was tasked with completing a quarter of a drawing and shipping it to the next player in the game.

    Las Vegas based Brintons designer, Sam Hoeffer comments on the process: “It was reminiscent of art projects we used to do in college which served as a nostalgic reminder that no matter wherewe are in our creative careers, we’re all still students of art.”

    Image credit: Brintons

    The next player is tasked with continuing the previous designer’s work by only exposing a half inch of the drawing. The game leaves us with unexpected transitions between each drawing as the result of creatives expressing themselves while also leaning into collaboration. Likening the development process behind The Parlorto a manufacturer’s rolein the interior design industry, Hoeffer explains: “Sometimes we forget that our carpet is a humblecomponent of a larger project.It is important to be mindful of how the carpet has to relate to the architecture,light fixtures, furniture, fabrics, etc. It’s like the Exquisite Corpse idea in that we arecreating one smaller piece among other unknown smaller pieces. All ofthose things come together as one whole cohesiveentity.”

    The inky illustrations traveled across North and South America, finally making their way back to the home office in Atlanta, GA where they were photographed. The digital files were then distributed to different groups of designers to be translated into woven axminster carpet.

    Four symbiotic drawings and twelve one of a kind woven axminster carpets are the collateral of a collaborative exercise leaving us to question the rules of line + colour.

    Committed to the concept of thinking globally and acting locally, Brintons has design studios, offices and agents in all of the major markets around the world.Brintons Carpets product portfolio includes premium woven axminster and wilton broadloom carpets, carpet tiles, machine-made rugs and hand-tufted rugs. The company operates wholly owned ISO 14001 accredited facilities.

    Brintons 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: Brintons

    Kimpton Hotels to make its Spanish debut in early 2020

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Kimpton Hotels to make its Spanish debut in early 2020

    Kimpton Vividora in Barcelona will shelter bold Barcelona-inspired design and the brand’s signature heartfelt hospitality, along with creative Mediterranean dining and a rooftop pool…

    Located in Barcelona’s famous Gothic Quarter, with 156 beautifully appointed guest rooms and three distinct restaurants and bars, Kimpton Vividora Hotel is poised to be the most exciting hotel opening in Barcelona in 2020.

    Kimpton Vividora Hotel’s design has been overseen, in part, by Henry Reeve, Head of Interior Design at IHG and who won Highly Commended in the Interior Designer of the Year category at The Brit List Awards last week. The interiors in the hotel are inspired by the textures, colours and historic details of the city. Kimpton’s Creative Director and Global SVP of Design, Ave Bradley, collaborated with local design agency El Equipo Creativo to infuse all spaces with an authentic Barcelona feel, contemporary details and local artwork.

    Perched one floor above the lively streets, Fauna restaurant will welcome guests into a warm space reminiscent of an elegant Barcelonian home. Chef Ferran López’s menu is rooted in Mediterranean flavours and family recipes with a creative, Kimpton twist.

    On the hotel’s ground floor, floor to ceiling windows offer a look at Cafè Got which will offer locally-roasted artisan coffee and light bites by day, and natural wines, artisanal vermouth and cocktails by night.

    The rooftop bar, Terraza de Vivi, will feature a beautiful pool with sun loungers, elegant lighting, pergolas and lush greenery. The rooftop bar offers clever cocktails paired with creative small plates and expansive views of the city centre.

    Mike Robinson, a native of Washington, D.C. has been appointed General Manager of the first Kimpton property in Spain. Mike will oversee the opening of the 156-room hotel, including three restaurant and bar outlets.

    “We are very excited to bring Kimpton to Spain for the first time. From the thriving diversity and inclusiveness, to the passion for gastronomy and the arts, we couldn’t think of a more fitting first city than Barcelona. We are honoured to be Gothic Quarter’s new neighbour and member of the community, as well as becoming Barcelona’s best loved hotel,” said Mike Robinson, General Manager, Kimpton Vividora Hotel.

    Kimpton spaces and experiences centre on its guests, offering inspiring design that evokes curiosity, to forward-thinking flavours that feed the soul. Every detail is thoughtfully curated and artfully delivered, so that guest experiences remain meaningful, unscripted and luxurious without the fuss.

    Main image credit: IHG/Kimpton

    New hotel opens to put Germany’s answer to the Hamptons firmly on the map

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    New hotel opens to put Germany’s answer to the Hamptons firmly on the map

    Holistic architect and designer Yasmine Mahmoudieh has injected new life into a building in Usedom, Germany, by completing the restored Strandhotel Atlantic & Villa Meeresstrand. Editor Hamish Kilburn writes…

    Germany is not known for its islands, nor is it famous for its sugar-white sandy beaches.

    However, on the northern tip of the country sits the island of Usedom. The coastal escape is blessed with untouched coastline, a royal history and recently a new boutique design-led all-suite hotel.

    As the modern traveller seeks adventure to untapped new locations, the island’s secret has been unveiled, drawing in more crowds than ever before. The increase in visitors has been the driving influence to restore a building on the Bansin stretch to become a luxury boutique hotel, known today as Villa Meeresstrand.

    Barely adrift on the Baltic Sea, where Germany meets Poland, Usedom stretches about 30 miles from end to end and has been a popular summer resort since the late 19th century. Nicknamed Berlin’s Bathtub, its connection with Germany’s capital is as legendary as that of Brighton to London, and the Hamptons to New York City.

    Yasmine Mahmoudieh, a well known designer on the international hotel design scene, was tasked to work on the project that became a labour of love following extensive research. The designer and architect delved into the lives of people of its past to add just the right amount of sense of place, while merge the impressive history between the current and modern time. “I took portraits of famous writers such as Maxim Gorky and Leo Tolstoi and imprinted them in a pixel like fashion on wallpaper in the rooms and their positive quotes are printed on suspended ceilings above the hotel beds.” The result of this adds a deeper nod to the building – and island’s – past becoming, which has become the motif of the overall design concept.

    In order to mindfully design areas to retain the location’s charm, while also blending in one-off experiences, Mahmoudieh has played on more than just the sense of two-dimensional sight to explain the building’s past. “Once you enter the hotel there is a projection of a video artist,” she says, “commissioned to tell the story about the rich past and this is projected against a three dimensional entrance wall, that distorts the viewing and melts past and present once more.”

    Subtle hints of bringing nature indoors run throughout the hotel. For example, the lighting above the bar is imitating the seagulls seen all over outside which are part of the natural landscape to be found everywhere on the island.

    Meanwhile, a three dimensional wall of bottles from the French company Elitis defines the fine dining area and seating benches are diving the restaurant between the a la caret and general restaurant.

    The lounge area, which also includes a magnitude of books from other celebrated Russian writers, also picks up on the spectacular sunsets outside, by a touch of violet to be found in fabrics, melted with the rather natural colour scheme that depicts all hues directly from nature.

    Going forward, the hotel owner, which currently owns 16 hotels on this island, in reaction to the crisp design scheme. “We are going to redesign three more hotel buildings for the same owner and like to give this area a sense of a new identity that will attract once more an international crowd of hotel guests,” explains Mahmoudieh.

    Villa Meeresstrand is located on the beach promenade, and is regarded among those who stay there as ‘a real gem on the Baltic Sea’.

    Main image credit: Strandhotel Atlantic & Villa Meeresstrand/Yasmine Mahmoudieh

    Winners of The Brit List Awards 2019 announced

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Winners of The Brit List Awards 2019 announced

    Guests flooded into Patch East London last night where the winners of The Brit List Awards 2019 were announced in spectacular fashion…

    For three years now, Hotel Designs has invited the industry’s finest together in November, after Sleep & Eat, to celebrate the climax of its year-long  nationwide search to find the leading designers, architects, hoteliers and suppliers operating in Britain today.

    Last night, The Brit List Awards 2019 took a monumental leap forward to welcome more leaders and visionaries in the venue at the sold-out event than any other year before.

    Returning as the evening’s host for a second year was editor of Hotel Designs Hamish Kilburn, who opened the night with a heart-felt message to the audience and the industry the media platform serves. “I am totally overwhelmed and equally incredibly proud to have the responsibility of hosting such an occasion in front of so many legends in both design and hospitality.” he said. “Editing Hotel Designs – and organising the judging panel of The Brit List – would not be the same without the injection of flair, personality and character that each designer, architect, hotelier and supplier who we are celebrating this evening puts into their roles. After reading The Brit List 2019, I hope more than anything that our colourful industry – made up of so many people here tonight – will not primarily remember this year as perminantly stained in politics, but also see it as I do: a complex yet completed puzzle that is made up of many awe-inspiring projects and people.”

    This year’s handpicked judging panel were selected because of what they can each bring to panel from different areas of the market, and were able to therefore see each candidate through different lenses. The judges were:

     

    The evening was divided into two sections. First came the formal unveiling of The Brit List 2019, which is the award’s official printed publication that references this year’s top 75 designers, architects and hoteliers who have proven themselves to be the industry’s most creative and innovative individuals operating in Britain today. “From the hundreds of quality free applications and nominations that we received, the judges have gone above and beyond to agree on the final 25 individuals within each category (designers, architects and hoteliers) who should be included on The List,” added Kilburn. “Each person referenced within these pages is keeping Britain a leading hotel design and hospitality hub.”

    You can read this year’s edition of The Brit List 2019 by clicking here.

    The event then continued to announce the seven individual award winners. Sponsors, partners and judges of The Brit List Awards 2019 took it in turns to open the envelopes and reveal the names of this year’s winners, who are:

    Interior Designer of the Year

    Highly Commended: Henry Reeve, Head of Interior Design (Hotel Indigo/Kimpton), IHG
    Winner: Jo Littlefair, Goddard Littlefair

    Architect of the Year

    Highly Commended: Geoff Hull, EPR Architects
    Winner: Simon Whittaker, Orms

    Hotelier of the Year 

    Highly Commended: Stephen and Jose Baker, Carbis Bay Hotel & Estate
    Winner: Thomas Kochs, Corinthia London

    Best in Tech 

    Highly Commended: FUTURE Designs
    Winner: Eccleston Square Hotel

    The Eco Award 

    Highly Commended: Harris & Harris
    Winner: Heckfield Place

    Best in British Product Design 

    Highly Commended: Bisque
    Winner: Naturalmat

    Outstanding Contribution to the Hospitality Industry Award
    Winner: Kit Kemp, Firmdale Hotels

    The Brit List Awards 2019 concluded with an unparalleled ‘after party’ style networking scene that further bridged the gap between designers, architects, hoteliers, developers, owners and suppliers.

    Please share your social media posts on Twitter and Instagram, @hoteldesigns, by using the hashtag #TheBritListAwards2019. More official images of inside The Brit List Awards 2019 will follow shortly… 

    Event Partner: Hamilton Litestat

    Event Partner: Hansgrohe

    Event Partner: Aqualisa

    2019 Industry Partner: BIID

    Videography Partner: SYS Visual

    Behind Crosswater’s colourful AW/19 message

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Behind Crosswater’s colourful AW/19 message

    As the headline partner for The Brit List Awards 2019, Crosswater has a pretty UNIQUE message when it comes to colour in the bathroom…

    Bathroom manufacturer Crosswater’s high-quality signature finishes and textures enable hotels to express their own brand through their bathroom designs. Combined with lighting and interior design elements, each bathroom can be created to perfectly suit the personality of the hotel, often without the need to change existing sanitaryware.

    I am. Indulgent

    Combining exceptional manufacturing with contemporary design, Crosswater’s collection of high-quality signature finishes and textures presents an extensive range that can be used to design an indulgent, luxurious bathroom.

    Bringing together a collection of products that is both raw and refined, Crosswater provides hotels with the opportunity to create a luxury, personal spa environment, with exquisite detailing, finishes and feature lighting. This opulent bathroom space offers guests a place to escape and unwind; a place to feel rejuvenated and inspired.

    Utilising a combination of darker tones and industrial details, the final scheme is edgy and versatile, on-trend and desirable. Black marble floors are paired with wood surfaces, and dark tones are complemented by natural accents throughout the bathroom. Pops of colours are brought in with plants and brass accessories.

    Paying homage to the materials, colour schemes and accents used in older industrial interior designs also bring a taste of indulgence into the bathroom. Clean lines, metallic shades and eye-catching pieces are the finishing touches to create a minimal feel that has maximum impact.

    Crosswater offers a range of darker, more industrial style products to complete an indulgent bathroom scheme.

    I am. Divine

    Bringing together a collection of products that integrates the traditional with the modern, Crosswater’s range of high-quality signature finishes and textures presents an extensive range that can be used to create a divine, romantic bathroom scheme.

    Using an enchanting combination of subtle pastel shades, neutral white and bold signature brassware, a romantic bathroom is expressed through soft colour, textures and patterns, along with tasteful accessorising – bringing to mind light evenings, pink flowers in bloom and sunshine through the windows.

    Gold, rose and blush are used in harmony with distinctive terrazzo, herringbone and marble-effect surfaces, which complements metallic finishes and pops of pink and white. Soft furnishings, upholstered in materials such as green velvet with gold detailing, are used to bring additional colour into the room and accentuate natural elements such as leafy houseplants.

    Make use of neutral white furniture for extra storage space, as well as creating a truly eye-catching finish when paired with gorgeous brushed brass or matt black brassware. Calming, elegant and surprisingly versatile, this overall finish will bring warmth, glamour and elegance to the hotel – a statement bathroom that has maximum impact.

    I am. Brave

    Dare to be brave with the ultimate in contemporary, bold bathroom design from Crosswater. Utilising a mixture of deep colours, bright patterns and retro styling with daring brassware finishes, a bold bathroom expresses personality through colour, texture and pattern.

    The bathroom scheme is brought to life with a bold botanical print and monochrome pattern tiled floor. The brushed nickel brassware stands out against the dark wallpaper and complements the stylish marble gallery basin. The grey furniture provides practical storage while also being a neutral, subtle grounding feature within this bathroom, as is the white wall hung WC. The entire style is finished with a stunning illuminated mirror and dramatic pendant lighting to make a real style statement.

    Other ways of introducing this bold aesthetic into a bathroom design can include featuring eye-catching accessories, such as towel warmers and green plants.

    By also incorporating a statement patterned wallpaper, bold colours and darker tones, any hotek is able to achieve a bold bathroom scheme. The overall finish is one that is creative, unique and playful – a statement room that has maximum impact.

    I Am. Mindful

    Bringing together a collection of products that creates a natural, ethical and organic environment, we offer products for a hotel bathroom that replicates a bright, light spa, with a neutral colour palette and natural wood tones. This relaxing bathroom is a place to breathe, meditate and let the day’s worries go.

    Utilising clean, simple lines, the mindful hotel’s bathroom is an uncluttered space in which to think clearly and promote wellbeing. Neutral tiled floors are paired with wood surfaces, statement pendant lighting and brass overtones. Pops of greenery are brought into the scheme with plants, wall art and botanical touches.

    Crosswater offers a range of light, modern products and furniture to complete a mindful bathroom scheme for hotels.

    In Conversation With: Marcel Wanders – “bathroom design can be poetry”

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    In Conversation With: Marcel Wanders – “bathroom design can be poetry”

    Ahead of Sleep & Eat 2019, editor Hamish Kilburn speaks to acclaimed designer Marcel Wanders to understand how he hopes his new collection and collaboration with bathroom manufacturer Laufen will create long-lasting poetry in the modern bathroom…

    Designing interiors and designing an interior design product are two very distant things that should not be confused with the other. They both require two separate methods, and most of the time, two separate designers.

    For an individual to be able to effortlessly switch between the two disciplines shows great versatility, creativity and passion. Combine these three elements together and you have something close to Marcel Wanders’ drive, determination and dedication when it comes to creating timeless interiors. “Designing a product is much like creating a new word in an empty sentence,” Wanders explains. “Depending on how the words are curated will determine the dynamics of the sentence, and in effect, the quality of the poem it becomes. I love seeing what sentences and poems designers will create with my empty words.”

    “I wanted The New Classic to break into a new territory, which I think makes it interesting.” – Marcel Wanders.

    If Wanders’ latest collection was to be described in one word only, he would use simply the adjective of ‘contemporary’, which balances both sides of the coin when it comes to sensitively depicting the delicate, classic lines with modern architectural details that seems to be the DNA strand within all the pieces in Lauren’s The New Classic collection, which first previewed in Milan earlier this year. “I wanted New Classic to break into a new territory, which I think makes it interesting,” Wanders explains.

    The collection, which makes its UK debut at Sleep & Eat 2019, is complete with washstands, countertop and vanity washbasins, WCs, faucets, bathtubs, showers and furniture to match, and arrives on UK soil after a healthy amount of anticipation in the build-up to the event, making it one of the most exciting product launches of this year’s two-day show.

    “The idea is not about throwing away the past,” adds Wanders. “Instead, it is about trying to blend the past into the now and the future. I started with the concept of a table you would find in your Grandma’s home, for example, and used that as a strong metaphor to create the structure of the range,” explains Wanders. “I then added some soft, elegant shaping and the whole collection started to take form.

    “Like all architectural fittings, The New Classic had to feel timeless and designed with purpose. I kept imagining these pieces in a house that’s just been sold. I wanted the new owners to feel as if they didn’t need to change the fittings, because they become the foundation of its design. Bathrooms are not meant to feel disposable or stuck in the past. The durability of the materials, therefore, was paramount.”

    Originally, Wanders had designed this collection to be made from ceramic, but Laufen’s unique SaphirKeramik gave the design – and its creative process – unmatched strength. “SaphirKeramik is differnet because it allows you as a designer to create thinner products that don’t loose their strength,” says the designer. “Considering the design concept was to create elegant pieces, it was the perfect material.”

    The major challenge when designing the new iconic statements was to ensure that the idea and design approach was also functional. “We are talking about minuscule changes that can totally change the way in which the product performs,” adds Wanders. “For me, this area of product design is interesting as well as complicated – and it takes time to perfect.”

    QUICK-FIRE ROUND

    Hamish Kilburn: If The New Classic was a music artist, who would it be?
    Marcel Wanders: Puccini, because I think opera can also be contemporary.

    HK: What item can you not design with?
    MW: Honestly, I can design without anything. It is all in my mind.

    HK: What would you say has been the most bizzare collaboration you have worked on?
    MW: Antiques Capellini, because I don’t think anyone was expecting something so bold.

    HK: Which bathroom trend to you hope will never return?
    MW: Trends in general!

    HK: What is the secret to a successful collaboration?
    MW: Mutual respect.

    For a designer who is well-known for entering meaningful collaborations, I am intrigued to know more about what makes this particular project special and memorable among the more than 1,500 other projects to his name. “I love to work,” Wanders projects. “It’s been the first time we have done a serious project of scale in the bathroom. I am so excited to see my designs injected into projects around the world.”

    In regards to the humble designer behind Lauren’s The New Classic, I believe this collection has the narrative and strength to win the hearts of designers and specifiers and to become the great bathroom love story sheltered in many hotel projects in all corners of the globe, that we, as industry, will reflect on decades from now as a significant moment in bathroom design.

    Laufen, which will be showcasing The New Classic collection on stand L10 at Sleep & Eat, 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: Marcel Wanders

    CASE STUDY: How YOTEL utilised space in design and hospitality

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    CASE STUDY: How YOTEL utilised space in design and hospitality

    In the wake of a plethora of announcements regarding hotel openings to expand the YOTEL portfolio, editor Hamish Kilburn sat down with the hotel brand’s CEO, Hurbert Viriot, to understand more about the company’s ethos and methods to grow… 

    It’s safe to say that the international hotel design and hospitality scene transformed dramatically in 2007 and 2008 – the exact cause of this is still up for discussion.

    Undeniably, though, it was influenced by the financial crisis and driven largely by a change in behavior among frequent travellers, which resulted in the industry having to rethink its foundations.

    One hotel group to react to this was YOTEL, which opened its debut property strategically within Gatwick Airport, the UK’s second busiest airport which last year recorded 46.1 million passengers pass through its terminal doors. “The original concept of YOTEL Air Gatwick was quickly followed by hotel openings in Heathrow and Amsterdam Schiphol,” said Hubert Viriot, CEO of YOTEL. “Essentially, it was in these three hotels where the business DNA was set.”

    “Hotels that were built 10 years ago and beyond, they are very inefficient pieces of real estate.” – Hurbert Viriot, CEO, YOTEL.

    Today, YOTEL is known globally for its comfortable and affordable hospitality offering; a modern hotel experience, it calls it, that shelters smart thinking, smart design and smart prices. The design concept is compact, and functional without changing lanes to look or feel budget. This design ethos of what the brand calls its cabins was led by the unique demand of a guest checking in to an airport or urban hotel. “Most people travel several times per year, and the average length of stay in our hotels is very short,” Viriot added. “They travel looking for an experience, and they are very well informed with access to smart phones etc. Their budget accommodation has reduced because people travel more often, and the structure of a ‘budget hotel’ is different. Formally, the bulk of your travel costs was transport and accommodation – and consumers would save a proportion of money left over for pleasure. That has changed, which is driving the industry to change with it.”

    Image credit: YOTEL NYC

    The launch of a fresh design hotel concept to cater for short-stay travellers looking a low-price point flipped the current hotel model on its head. “Hotels that were built 10 years ago and beyond, they are very inefficient pieces of real estate,” explains Viriot who is talking about large guestrooms and non-essential, low-income-generating retail and F&B areas. “Once we remove those areas and make the room or cabin design more compact without taking away the quality, then we are able to keep our room rates low.”

    When it comes to the design details of any short-term hotel experience, the most important element to get right is bed. Inspired the lay-flat beds inside modern planes, YOTEL believed that including an adjustable smart bed, complete with cool action gel memory foam mattresses, was something its guests would appreciate.  “The beds and mattress meet our customer requirements,” said Viriot. “You can recline and adapt the bed to your liking, so we had to find a mattress that also adapted in this way, as well as regulating the temperature of the body to ensure for a good night’s sleep. Ultimately it [YOTEL] is about providing those essential luxuries.”

    Image credit: YOTEL

    Since the success of the modern airport hotels, the group has expanded into the hearts of cities, taking with it the compact design of guestrooms to ensure the room rates remain lower than competitors. But what is arguably more impressive is the group’s ability to design sustainable spaces, which is none more so apparent as it is inside the newly opened YOTEL Amsterdam Noord.

    The brand’s first hotel in mainland Europe, YOTEL Amsterdam Noord is at the epicentre of the up-and-coming Buiksloterham neighbourhood, built on the sunny bank of the Tolhuis Canal. Home to start-ups and creative businesses, the area is also brimming with hip bars, experimental festivals and modern architecture, making it an ideal base for modern travellers.

    As well as featuring the space-saving adjustable beds, the cabins are also equipped with refreshing amenities from Urban Skincare, rejuvenating rain showers, adjustable mood lighting, free super-fast WiFi, HD SMART TVs with Chromecast and much more.

    At the centre of the action, guests will find KOMYUNITI, which is something new for the brand. The hotel’s relaxed all-day social space spills out on to an alfresco waterside deck. The light and airy restaurant and bar will offer a menu of small and large plates, sharing platters and snacks with ingredients sourced from local partners and coffee seasonally selected by speciality roaster, Workshop Coffee. An inviting place for guests and locals to both work and play, KOMYUNITI will also run a programme of neighbourhood events such as yoga and running clubs along with film screenings under the stars at its cosy outdoor cinema.

    Developed by Being Development,and designed by Studioninedots, also based in Amsterdam Noord, the hotel also boasts top notch sustainability credentials. Benefitting from a unique water system which collects, stores, filters and recycles water, the hotel also utilises energy saving LED lighting and sensors to ensure nothing is kept running when not in use. Guests who arrive by electric car will also be able to charge their vehicles at one of the hotel’s 10 charging points.

    Image credit: YOTEL

    So, what’s next for the outward-looking brand? Well, there seems to be no end to YOTEL’s vision. Considering that aparthotel growth is currently outpacing hotel expansion, the hotel group has launched YOTEL PAD, it’s answer to combine the best of serviced appartments with the hotel experience, again limiting unnecessary cost for both operator and guest. It has taken its deisgn DNA to expand the process, injecting compact design, while utilising space.

    The new concept has already been rolled out across North America and soon to enter on the European scene in Lake Geneva. “The Lake Geneva region is a natural location to introduce YOTELPAD into Europe,” explains Viriot. “Centrally located and concentrating an unusually high proportion of global organisations, the region is home to an exceptionally mobile, dynamic workforce and welcomes frequent international business travellers, visiting their headquarters or attending conferences at the UN or elsewhere.”

    YOTEL currently operates seven airport hotels in London Gatwick, London Heathrow, Amsterdam Schiphol and Paris, Charles de Gaulle, Istanbul Airport (2), Singapore Changi and seven city centre hotels in New York, Boston, San Francisco, Washington D.C., Singapore, Edinburgh and Amsterdam. YOTEL is expanding rapidly with new projects under development globally, including Porto, Glasgow, London, Dubai, Geneva, Long Island City, Miami, Park City, Mammoth, Atlanta and Melbourne.

    Main image credit: YOTEL

    Conrad Maldives Rangali Island debuts redesigned villas

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Conrad Maldives Rangali Island debuts redesigned villas

    Conrad Maldives Rangali Island, the luxury destination resort located on the picturesque setting of Rangali Island in the Maldives, is redesigning a unique set of villas available on the property…

    Just more than year after Hotel Designs interviewed the designers and architects behind the world’s first underwater hotel suite, the same hotel, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island has unveiled the design details of its new mix of villas.

    By next month, the resort will introduce five new room types including the Two-Bedroom Deluxe Beach Villa, Grand Water Villa with Pool, Grand Water Villa, Two-Bedroom Grand Water Villa with Pool and Two-Bedroom Grand Water Villa, encouraging all travellers – groups, families and couples alike – to find the room best suited to fit their every need and desire.

    Yuji Yamazaki, principal of Yuji Yamazaki Architecture PLLC, NYC and design collaborator on the underwater THE MURAKA residence will apply his signature style of simple paired back luxury to the updated accommodations. The design of the villas will feature a clean and minimalist aesthetic, giving the space a natural, bright and airy feel intended to focus on the beauty just outside of the villa. The new design will promote a sense of harmony with the surrounding environment, awakening but not overwhelming the senses and providing absolute privacy and exclusivity.

    “Our pioneering innovative hospitality to cater to the passion points and needs of our guests is the cornerstone of this resort,” said Stefano Ruzza, General Manager of Conrad Maldives Rangali Island.“We are thrilled to debut new villa categories to discerning travellers, marking the beginning of the next chapter of Rangali history and our commitment to driving the evolution of travel to the Maldives.”

    The Deluxe Beach Villas were refurbished throughout 2018 and 2019. A selection of villas have recently been converted into new luxury Two-Bedroom Deluxe Beach Villas to offer the ideal space for any Maldivian holiday. The Two-Bedroom Deluxe Beach Villas will feature a new design with a private garden and pool, indoor state of art bathroom, a private outdoor rain-shower and floor-to-ceiling glass windows that illuminate the villa with natural light. Set amongst the tropical greenery, the standout feature of the newly designed villa is the addition of the second bedroom adjacent to the main villa, which has been purposely designed to accommodate a twin bedroom with luxurious floor-to-ceiling glass windows.

    Image credit: Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

    In addition to the Two-Bedroom Deluxe Beach Villas, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is reinventing the Retreat Water Villas into two villa types – Grand Water Villa and Grand Water Villa with a pool. A popular room category, the Water Villas are set on stilts above the gentle ocean waves where guests can discover the true meaning of indoor-outdoor living. The redesigned villa will greet guests with a large living room, which can be converted into a second bedroom, along with views of the outdoor deck complete with a Jacuzzi or pool. Featuring clean lines and muted natural tones, the villas are located in the Spa Retreat, 100 meters off of the tip of the main island Rangali Finolhu, with vistas across the Indian Ocean to the resort’s second island, Rangali.

    The in-demand Family Water Villa will also be transformed into two villa types and renamed Two- Bedroom Grand Water Villa and Two-Bedroom Grand Water Villa with pool. The design of the Two- Bedroom accommodation will be similar to the Grand Water Villas, but will offer two bedrooms, instead of one and can host any group of guests. Set on stilts over the Indian Ocean, the villas offer views of either the lagoon or ocean and a sunset or sunrise view and can sleep a maximum of four persons – two adults and two children, or four adults.

    Set across two islands connected by an open-air overwater path, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island plans to announce additional enhancements in 2020 offering guests a Maldivian playground full of possibilities.

    Main image credit: Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

    New report reveals impact of washroom design of wellbeing

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    New report reveals impact of washroom design of wellbeing

    A new study, commissioned by Armitage Shanks and led by chartered architect and academic at the Belfast School of Architecture, Dr Saul Golden, has looked into the wellbeing impact commercial washroom design can have on user experience…

    Bathroom manufacturer Armitage Shanks has published a new report that has concluded that wellbeing is the number one social factor that designers think will impact washroom design over the next five years.

    The report, ‘Creating better washrooms’, found that nine in 10 office washroom designers believe this space can have an impact on end users’ wellbeing – a view that is shared by three quarters of office workers themselves. Sixty-four per cent of office workers surveyed even said that workplace washrooms affect their general job satisfaction.

    The findings of the report demonstrate a strong link between commercial washrooms and employee health and wellbeing – an increasingly vital asset for organisations looking to attract and retain the best employees and improve their brand image.

    “In the UK, around 73 per cent of designers agreed that washrooms are the most difficult rooms to design and plan in commercial projects.”

    As one of the leading manufacturers of private and public bathroom solutions, Armitage Shanks commissioned ‘Creating better washrooms’ as part of its commitment to working across urban development, architecture and residential design to provide washroom solutions that shape the future of modern living. In the UK, around 73 per cent of designers agreed that washrooms are the most difficult rooms to design and plan in commercial projects.

    The report was launched in front of media and customers during the company’s ‘Washroom Week’ – a series of insight-led events aimed at the architecture and design communities. The launch event featured an expert panel talk examining the findings and their implications on the world of washrooms. The panel comprised Dr. Saul Golden, renowned ceramics designer, Robin Levien, leading architectural consultant, Hsi Sung Thomas and design historian, Libby Sellers. The group, chaired by London Design Guide editor, Max Fraser, discussed the conclusions and focused on changes around sustainability, gender, social media and technology within the washroom space.

    The unique study surveyed 2,000 office workers and 400 commercial washroom designers from across Europe on a range of topics, including wellbeing, gender, sustainability, technology and social media. This data was then compared with global studies to outline how designers can deliver more effective and impactful spaces that meet the needs of end users – now and in the future – in light of changing work-life patterns, demographics and technological innovation.

    Uses of workplace washrooms

    The study highlights that the global trend towards urbanisation and flexible working patterns means people are using workplace washrooms for a wider range of reasons, with them spending an increasing amount of time in these so-called ‘backstage microspaces’ to prepare for their ‘front stage appearance’.

    When comparing designers’ and end users’ priorities, the study found that, while there are broad similarities, end users rate aspects such as privacy and space more highly than designers think.

    Commenting on the findings, Dr Golden said: “With commercial washroom quality increasingly acknowledged as an important contributor to people’s workplace satisfaction and consumer choice, this research provides timely insights for washroom designers to better adapt their projects from short-term trends to longer-term shifts in user demand.

    “The findings offer new insights into people’s views on washroom hygiene, health and comfort, as well as a holistic view of the environmental, economic and technological aspects of washroom design. They therefore aim to help designers deliver value-added washrooms that not only act as more competitive comfort-driven, accessible and inclusive spaces, but also contribute to company brand image and potential ROI.”

    “The way people use commercial washrooms is undoubtedly changing as society becomes increasingly centred on city-based living, working and leisure activities,” said Stephen Ewer, Managing Director of Ideal Standard UK (Armitage Shanks’ parent company). “Given the evidence linking washrooms to improved job satisfaction and productivity, it’s also clear that there must be a move away from design that focuses solely on hygiene and utilitarian features, and towards design that considers personal comfort and other factors that affect wellbeing.

    “This study forms part of our wider commitment to positively impact the future of modern living through evidence-based design and provides a clear demonstration that there needs to be a greater focus on washroom quality in line with end user expectations. The key to achieving this is through sustained collaboration; only by working closely with architects, designers and construction companies, as well as end users, will we be able to deliver impactful washrooms that go beyond mere function and rightfully play a central role in improving wellbeing and enhancing the lives of those who use these vital everyday spaces.”

    Main image credit: Armitage Shanks

    PREVIEW: Surface Design Show 2020

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    PREVIEW: Surface Design Show 2020

    The show, of which Hotel Designs is a proud media partner for, is celebrating 15 years of bringing the best in innovative surface design, manufacturing and development to the UK…

    Surface Design Show will once again be bringing the best in surface material innovation to London’s Business Design Centre from February 11- 13 2020, with a focus on the trending topic of ‘Close to Home.’

    Now in its fifteenth year, the show is a must-visit for architects, designers and specifiers looking for material inspiration from the UK and around the world. As well as over 170 exhibitors, visitors can also enjoy a packed programme of talks, plus the ever-popular Opening Night Debate supported this year by the RIBA and the lively PechaKucha evening, which will be hosted by Chris Dyson of Chris Dyson Architects, with speakers including: Daniel Campbell, director at Stiff + Trevillion Architects; Luke Tozer, director at Pitman Tozer Architects; Joe Morris, founding director of Morris+Company; Richard Wilson RA, a renowned sculptor Burrell Foley Fischer; and Stella Ioannou, director of Lacuna.

    The ‘Close to Home’ theme will look beyond aesthetics and into manufacturers’ impact on theenvironment, from the processes used in mining or manufacture, through to the carbon footprint sustained during sales and distribution. Designing with a conscience will also be examined, fromreusing waste materials to looking at what happens at the end of a product’s life cycle.

    Returning exhibitors to the 2020 Surface Design Show include market-leading finishes specialist Armourcoat, family-run tile firm BluePrint Ceramics, Innerspace Cheshire, which connects designers with a wide range of design-led materials, James Latham, distributor of timber and wood-based panel products in the UK and Tile of Spain, a Spanish tile company encompassing more than 100 tile manufacturers.

    Among the new exhibitors joining this edition of the show are British art studio Aster Muro, which produces stunning contemporary frescoes, solid surface supplier KULA and Croatian decorative glass producer Bokart, reflecting the global appeal of the exhibition.

    Surface Spotlight Live is a section of the show which is wholly focused on the ‘Close to Home’theme. Curated by trend expert Sally Angharad and forecasters Colour Hive the exhibit will take a look at what the future holds for materials. Stone Gallery also returns for 2020 accompanied by the Stone Knowledge Hub, supported by the leading industry body Stone Federation GB, which will form a focal point for the event where architects and designers can interact with, and learn more about, specifying natural stone.

    In addition to materials for indoor and outdoor use, Light School is key component of the show,reflecting the fact that London is the world’s capital for lighting design specification. Here, leading manufacturers will demonstrate the relationship between light and surfaces, as well as showcasing the latest architectural lighting products and innovations in lighting technology. Light Talks, a series of sessions supported by the Institution of Lighting Professionals and collated by Rebecca Weir from Lightbout. IQ will underpin this knowledge sharing.

    Surface Design Show 2020 will host approximately 30 presentations from 50 speakers across the purpose-built stages: Light Talks, Stone Knowledge Hub and Main Stage. One of the highlights of the show is expected to be Biophilic Materials in Surface Design, which will be hosted by editor Hamish Kilburn and will hear from Jeremy Grove (head of design and director, Sibley Grove), Richard Holland (director, Holland Harvey Architects) and Fraser Lockley (architectural consultancy manager, Parkside).

    As well as established brands, Surface Design Show is dedicated to supporting promoting up-and- coming designers in the materials sector with its New Talent section appearing once again, curated by internationally acclaimed speaker and forward-thinking chief creative director at Trendease International Jennifer Castoldi. The New Talent area allows designers, who have been in the industry five years or less, to have a devoted exhibition area, giving them the opportunity to showcase to and engage face-to-face with a hard-to-reach and targeted audience. The 45 exhibitors here includeThat’s Caffeine, a start-up that creates products from waste coffee grounds and knitted textile specialist Charlotte Clayton. Appearing for the first time is New Talent Plus, a section of the show that bridges the gap between emerging material talent and existing manufacturers.

    The Surface Design Awards, now in their sixth year, are an intrinsic part of the show, with this year’sedition attracting 107 entries from over 21 countries. The judging panel is co-chaired by Paul Priestman, designer, co-founder and chairman of global design consultancy PriestmanGoode, and Amin Taha, chairman of Groupwork and director of Amin Taha Architects. The remaining judges are Nikki Barton, head of digital design at British Airways; Sean Griffiths, artist, architect and academic practicing at Modern Architect; Charles Holland, principal at Charles Holland Architects; Glenn Johnson, director of design at the Advanced Design Group of Collins Aerospace; Daniel Mota Veiga, global head of product design for KEF / GP Acoustics; and Steve Webb, co-founder of Webb Yates Engineers. The winners will be revealed during a breakfast reception on 13 February at Surface Design Show.

    For all things innovative in surfaces and materials, Surface Design Show provides the perfect platform for architects, designers and specifiers to explore.

    Tickets are free to professional and trade visitors, and registration is now open.

    Main image credit: Surface Design Show

    Urban development completes to welcome Hoxton Southwark

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Urban development completes to welcome Hoxton Southwark

    Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands completes a new kind of hotel in London, the Hoxton Southwark

    Architecture firm Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands has completed work on an ambitious mixed-use development in Southwark, which shelters Hoxton Hotel’s third property in London, Hoxton Southwark.

    Complete with 192 rooms as well as restaurants, bars and function rooms and 4,000 m2 of flexible co-working office space, the facilities that are stacked within are shelters in a slender 17-storey building.

    Owned by Ennismore, the hotel, which is clad in precast brick panels, is situated on the busy Blackfriars Road, nicknamed ‘Blackfriars Boulevard’ because of the way in which it has gradually become a destination in its own right over the past few years. The narrow site sits just to the south of a Grade-II listed, 1950s church and charming church gardens. The Colombo Centre – a small community sports hub lies to the west.

    The basement contains logistics and kitchens with the ground and first storeys given over topublic areas that include restaurants and bars, banqueting and conference rooms plus a terrace that looks over the churchyard. Six floors of hotel rooms provide rooms of different sizes – ‘Shoebox, Snug, Cosy, Roomy and Biggy’ – ranging from 16-25m2. A further six floors of flexible office space provide new offices for start-ups and sole traders with the taller ceilinged 13th floor and winter garden breakout/crossover space for co-workers to mingle. HVAC and other plant is on the interstitial 14th floor and the top (15th) floor features a high-quality seafood restaurant and sky-barwith spectacular views over London.

    Image credit: Lidschutz Davidson Sandilands

    “The Hoxton has always set out to do things differently, and we are continually evolving as a brand in response to guest demands and the trends we’re seeing among travellers,” said Chief marketing officer of Ennismore, Martina Luger. “We’re quite unique as a hotel as we set out to position ourselves as a destination for both guests and locals, with everything from our open-door lobby culture to our events programme, Hox Friends initiative and destination restaurants being designed with both in mind. Working From_ will bring a whole new experience to the space and enhance our offering, helping us to continue to evolve.”

    The building has a very permeable, active and attractive ground and mezzanine floor on the street with abundant planting and sitting out spaces that are sheltered by awnings and heaters for all season use. Chiming with Hoxton’s open-door policy, visitors are welcome to enter the building without having to check in and go up to the mezzanine function rooms and bar, the co-working suites or the sky bar and restaurant.

    Alex Lifschutz, Director of LIfschutz Davidson Sandilands commented: “The hospitality sector is transforming in an interesting way and companies like Hoxton are at the forefront of an evolution. They are providing great places to stay, in a buzzy ecosystem, which makes them appealing environments to hang out and work, cleverly extending the concept of co- working.

    “As architects we had to create internal layouts that enabled this, incorporating workspaces with lots of amenity space – relaxed lounge areas as you walk in…bars, restaurants, even a gallery. Combining all these elements to create an exciting new urban community that works for the people inside the building and for members of the local community to come in and exchange ideas and inspiration.

    “We delivered a raw, warehouse aesthetic both externally and internally, presenting a facade that is in sympathy with the conservation area that the building stands in and also in keeping with the Hoxton brand.”

    Following the building’s completion, LIfschutz Davidson Sandilands’ Catarina Pina-Bartrum and Ennismore’s Charlie North have been shortlisted for The Brit List Awards 2019, which takes place next week.

    Main image credit: Hoxton/Ennismore

     

    A wealth of benefits using walnut in surfaces, says Unilin

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    A wealth of benefits using walnut in surfaces, says Unilin

    With the popularity of mixed wood and metal finishes, UNILIN, division panels, is making sure that designers can source authentic surfaces without the expense and complexities of genuine materials…

    Aspirational interiors continue to play a key part in furniture and interior design. Combinations of luxury brushed and gloss metals, cool alabasters and rich wood pairings are prevalent in many top global design projects within the high-end commercial and hospitality sector.

    While material combinations are not a new trend, it feeds an ongoing focus on reinventing retro elements into modern and contemporary schemes. The inclusion of metals to a wood scheme provides an edgy modernity, while introducing wood to metal schemes provides warmth and comforting luxury.

    Lorenzo Walnut, one of the 168 decors available in the UNILIN Evola surface collection, brings the delicate fine grain and silky-smooth attributes of solid walnut into a versatile surface finish.

    What’s more, thanks to the adaptability and durability of UNILIN Evola HPL and melamine, Lorenzo Walnut can be used on everything from wall panels and column features to reception desk fascia, café tables, work desks, bar and work surfaces.

    It’s all-round performance and ease of maintenance makes it a more cost-effective option than solid walnut.

    “There are tactile and aesthetic assets from walnut that provide an exciting material partner for metal and stone finishes,” said Sofie Coulier at UNILIN division panels. “Its distinctive structure and weathered patina give that detailing that sets it high on the luxury scale.

    “This almost architectural wood gives the soft, sleek and high-end finish that is popular with key designers throughout the interiors sector and works perfectly with our brushed metal and stone decors in the Evola range.”

    Scratch and stain-resistant, safe from fading and easy to wipe down. All Evola melamine-faced chipboard panels are made from 100 per cent circular wood, including a minimum 85 per cent recycled content. Not only great performing, Lorenzo Walnut delivers a more sustainable solution to extracting raw material from natural resources.

    Free A4 samples of all Evola decors can be ordered from the UNILIN, division panels website.

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

    Main image credit: UNILIN

    10 reasons why glazed titanium-steel is the material for the hotel bathroom

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    10 reasons why glazed titanium-steel is the material for the hotel bathroom

    Bette explains some of the benefits of using glazed titanium-steel for baths, shower trays and washbasins…

    What makes glazed titanium-steel so perfect for hotel baths and should more hotels be choosing it for shower trays too? German manufacturer, Bette, has been supplying hotels with baths and shower trays made of its glazed titanium-steel, for many years. Here are its top 10 reasons why glazed titanium-steel is the best material for hotel bathrooms, including why it’s the perfect material for shower trays, as well as baths and washbasins.

    1 – So durable Bette has BBQs in its baths!

    Bette baths and shower trays are so durable and scratch resistant that the company has BBQs in its baths to prove how indestructible its glazed titanium-steel is! Once the charcoal has cooled and the bath has been cleaned it looks as good as new. While you might not go that far, durability is key to choosing a product that will stay looking great for many years, with no amount of hotel guests and regular cleaning diminishing its shine and flawless finish. It’s all down to the perfectly uniform thickness of the titanium-steel and the precision of the enamel glaze, which makes it super-strong. Bette is so confident about the durability, that all its glazed titanium-steel products come with a thirty year warranty.

    2 – Easy to clean

    The surface that makes Bette’s products so durable, is also what makes them so easy to clean. It is so hard and smooth (like glass) that dirt simply washes off, as it has no scratches or texture to cling to. No special cleaning formulations are needed. Cosmetics and coloured shampoos and shower gels won’t mark the surface and even nail varnish can be removed easily.

    3 – Sustainable, natural and 100% recyclable

     With a growing focus on the environment and desire to reduce the use of plastics, Bette offers the natural, non-plastic/acrylic alterative. Bette baths, shower trays and basins are made from only natural materials and are 100% recyclable, which means they can be a more sustainable choice. Bette’s sustainability is confirmed by an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) based on the ISO 14025 and EN 15804 standards.

    4 – Invisible, easy-clean anti-slip

    Bette’s Anti-slip Pro finish isn’t like the ‘gritty’ anti-slip finishes of the past. It’s almost invisible, so you’d hardly know it’s there, even after years of use, and is fully enamelled for easy cleaning. What’s more it’s been tested and meets one of  the highest levels of slip resistance.

    Which is why it makes sense to choose Bette glazed titanium-steel for shower trays too. Bette offers a wide choice in hundreds of sizes and colours, including matt colours to coordinate with flooring.

    Image credit: Bette

    5 – Strong material meets strong design

    Bette has a strong design focus and this, together with the strong titanium-steel, means that Bette products include many clever features, like super-slim rims on baths and washbasins, steep sides for more standing or lying room and ultra-comfortable lying areas.

    6 – Tailored to you  

    Not only does the Bette range offer a large choice of sizes and styles, including space-saving designs, but the manufacturing process means that Bette can tailor products to fit a space perfectly. So, if there’s an awkward space, like a recess, that needs a perfectly sized shower tray or bath, Bette can create it. No compromise required.

    And the hand-crafted element of Bette’s manufacturing process also means that shower trays and fitted baths can be ordered with BetteUpstand to the exact measurements required. So you can say goodbye to silicone where the product meets the wall tiles.

    7 – A choice of 500 Colours

    Because Bette products are made from titanium-steel and then the surface is enamelled there are around 500 colours to choose from. There are matt options, as well as gloss, Bette can colour-match to ceramic items, and for larger projects, Bette can even create bespoke colours.

    8 – A warm, comfortable bath

    Glazed titanium-steel is the perfect heat conductor, taking on the temperature of the room and then of the bathwater, to provide a truly comfortable bath, including around the neck area.

    9 – Quiet with special sound-proofing

    Bette’s expertise extends to clever installation systems that reduce the transmission of noise from the bath or shower tray to the building, so making for a more relaxing experience for everyone.

    10 – UV Resistant

    Bette’s special surface is colour and light-fast so, even after years of use, will be as bright and shiny as new.

    Bette 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.

    EXCLUSIVE ROUNDTABLE: Meaningfully differentiating luxury in hotel design

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    EXCLUSIVE ROUNDTABLE: Meaningfully differentiating luxury in hotel design

    To continue Hotel Designs’ series of articles to put sustainability under the spotlight, editor Hamish Kilburn chairs an exclusive editorial roundtable, in collaboration with Minotti London, to understand how today’s leading designers are sensitively working to create a more meaningful luxury hotel design landscape. Joining us on the Minotti sofa to discuss this topic:

    With the aim to conceive and design meaningful luxury hotels, there is undoubtedly a question mark on how designers and architects can differentiate their projects to stand out as timeless jewels. With the rise in technology and social media, competition for hotel operators and developers is no longer limited to a single neighbourhood; we have very much entered a global arena. But how are today’s leading designers confronting the evolving hospitality landscape, and just how significant is sense of place when approaching sensitive luxury projects? We invited a handful of the industry’s most distinguished innovators to Minotti London‘s alluring showroom in Fitzrovia to find out more.

    Hamish Kilburn: What are the largest misconceptions when it comes to designing luxury?

    Jo Littlefair, Director and Co-Founder, Goddard Littlefair: Travelling globally, and understanding global attitudes towards luxury is so important. We have clients that have huge misconceptions to whatever project they are developing. We still struggle when clients associate harsh golds and marbles with luxury, for example. I find it really disheartening, because for me, a non-material object like ‘time’ is a luxury. When approaching the design of any luxury hotel, it’s really important to keep in mind the attitude you are trying to create.

    Hamish Brown, Partner, 1508 London: There are a few buzzwords that keep coming up in the studio. We don’t have a ‘house style’ as such, therefore we are really trying capture and create sense of place within each projects. It’s not about fashion but about style. If you look at the great Hollywood movie stars now and compare them to images of themselves 30 to 40 years ago, quite often they will look as relevant now as they did then. That is certainly to do with style over fashion. We look at ways in which classical details and proportions can manifest themselves within a design.

    David Mason, Head of Hospitality, Scott Brownrigg: The definition of luxury is not the same for everyone. Some may see luxury in technology, while others believe it is in the foundations of a hotel. In our studio, we don’t necessarily design the ultra six-star luxury hotel, but many of our clients are interested in ‘luxury’, which can come from anything from the service down to the attention to detail. What is luxurious to one person is different to another.

    Constantina Tsoutsikou, Creative Director, HBA London: I think luxury is also about being generous as a designer. You always give more than what is expected and make sure that the spaces are comfortable and also have longevity. Where I can, I try to avoid anything too shiny. It’s becoming more apparent that the days of clients wanting to the interiors to show off wealth are behind us. Instead, well-designed luxury interiors are more honest and truthful. That in itself is a luxury mindset.

    “We have realised that clients want luxury but almost on a shoestring budget.” – Constantina Tsoutsikou, Creative Director, HBA London

    Image caption: (centre) Hamish Brown, (right) Jo Littlefair

    HK: When did your clients start accepting a shift in consumer demands when it comes to luxury?

    HB: I think it massively goes back to what that hotel means within its location as well as the characteristics of the building. There is certainly more of an acceptance from both sides. Some clients believe that what they want is a grand, sweeping entrance, whereas to really differentiate themselves and to make their hotel work within its location and to be relevant to the building, we suggest to park pre-conceived ideas and think about what would work for that particular hotel.

    CT: We have realised that clients want luxury but almost on a shoestring budget. If you compare it to a good few years ago, budget expectations are certainly getting lower. Perhaps it is a sign of the times. At the same time, palettes are becoming more concise, that’s a good thing because designs are cleaner. There’s still a layering there, but the money that was being spilled into a hotel project before the 2008 crisis is not there anymore. However, the expectation certainly is. So, as designers, we have to work out how to manage that.

    JL: Also, you cannot ignore the noise and influence of social media – it has a lot to answer for. That inaccurately convinces clients and developers that design is easy and disposable, and that it doesn’t take five minutes to produce a moodboard. But in reality, especially when considering sense of place, you’re thinking about a building and a brand. Putting these elements together requires a real curation of things. Otherwise, I have seen it when people go off on tangents and throw details into the canvas. Nothing ends up gelling and it becomes a messy clash of ideas.

    “Trying to get the balance between the soft, the elegant while making these spaces feel comfortable places to work, sit and socialise is a challenge.” – David Mason, Head of Hospitality, Scott Brownrigg

    HK: One of the most obvious changes in hotel design, and in the demand from guests, is in the public areas. How has this changed the way in which you specify furniture?

    CT: Everybody is working from everywhere. We have a beautiful resort project, which is currently on the boards. As a result of the direct demand from modern travels, we are thinking about putting USB charging sockets on the day beds next to the pool. Generally, I think this is a positive step forward for hotels, which have a life on their own. I think it’s wonderful – and a real stamp of approval from the community – when the neighbourhood becomes part of the life inside a hotel. After all, nobody likes a dead public space.

    “All of our furniture is designed at a deliberate height so that each piece can gel with other elements. As opposed to creating one iconic piece, we wanted to create a design DNA.” Digby Summerhill, Director, Minotti London

    DM: It’s a hard balance to strike. When our commercial interior designers get asked create these multifunctional spaces, the way in which they design is very task oriented. Trying to get the balance between the soft, the elegant while making these spaces feel comfortable places to work, sit and socialise is a challenge.

    Digby Summerhill, Director, Minotti London: We’ve always had modular systems that are flexible. All of our furniture is designed at a deliberate height so that each piece can gel with other elements. As opposed to creating one iconic piece, we wanted to create a design DNA; something that runs through an interior design scene. It’s not a coincidence that no individual item stands out in our collections. One thing I think is interesting is that we didn’t design any of these pieces with hospitality necessarily in mind. Instead we very looked at consumer behaviour and understood the demands of consumers within public areas.

    HB: We are often trying to design public spaces to not look like public areas. The idea of a lobby/lounge going against what people would expect in a conventional hotel, to shelter intimate spaces, private nooks where people can work, is very appealing to me. I agree that idea of the community coming in and using the hotel is huge, but perhaps this is something that London has not got right in the past. In other cities there is much more fluidity and it works beautifully. Allowing furniture to adapt to how people are using is a big part of this, and an idea that is really exciting.

    Image caption: (Left) David Mason, (Right) Jo Littlefair

    HK: Let’s talk about sustainability. A study recently showed that 76 per cent of guests believe that hotels could be greener. Is consciousness the new luxury, as I suggested in my recent editor’s letter?

    JL: We’ve been really encouraged recently to have had two projects come to us with sustainability at their hearts. Absolutely every decision has to have a sustainability angle. What we hope is that it continues through to the final touch points, because there will be financial implications along the way. Having filter taps in the room so that hotel guests can refill water bottles is a fresh approach that I love. The design utilities recycled parts of the existing building, giving a whole new meaning of injecting life back into a hotel. We are really thinking about those elements, including timelessness. I agree that it is about style. For us, it’s not about having a hemp interiors, it’s about creating luxury that has a slight assured sense of elegance and quality that has a higher purpose.

    DM: The best way to differentiate luxury when it comes to sustainability is to be clever. Having a brief like this is rare, let alone working on two. So, designers, it is our responsibility to educate our clients and specify materials and items that don’t harm the environment or the end user. Behind this, it’s therefore so important that we understand the products and materials and what sets them apart from others in the market.

    “Luxury is not just about design, it is about service as well and so many other things that are intrinsically layered on top.” – Hamish Brown, Director, 1508 London

    HK: To me it’s very transparent when hotels use words without actions when it comes to sustainability. Is it the designer’s responsibility to ensure clients avoid greenwashing?

    CT: You have to remember, we are designing spaces that will open in three years time. It’s a long time, and things change very quickly. You have to be ahead of the game and lead in that way so that the hotel is relevant when it opens. You have to ensure that the strategy you have in place is looking ahead and avoids the need for significant last-minute changes. On the other hand, as designers, we have a responsibility to influence the clients. But I think soon, it will become a necessity across the entire industry. I predict this will happen faster than we think, and it’s already started with wider conversations with local suppliers.

    HK: What are you all doing at the moment to try and differentiate your luxury projects from others?

    CT: I am always asking myself, how do I position this hotel in the current market, or in a wider sense, how do I position this hotel for an international clientale? This is because the competition is no longer just the hotel’s neighbour, it’s a global arena.

    DM: I suppose it is now about experience. People desire luxury experiences. A hotel group has just bought the Fort of India. How incredible would that be; to stay and experience something totally unmatched like that. Travellers want authenticity and they consider that to be luxury.

    HB: Sense of place cannot be underestimated. The definition of luxury differs from place to place and demographic to demographic, and you have to respond, beneath the surface, to understand what is happening in those locations. Luxury is not just about design, it is about service as well and so many other things that are intrinsically layered on top. When those elements and concepts interlock, that’s when you have a seamless luxury experience when service and design sit side by side and are harmoniously linked.

    HK: Consumer demands of public areas have spilled out into outdoor spaces. Has this changed the way in which you design these areas together?

    JL: We love integrating the outdoor areas so that they becomes a seamless flow where we can. I would say this is especially the case in food and beverage sector. We have recruited designers that only specialise in those areas so that we can get the operational flow right. That connection to the outdoor is integral to our overall wellbeing. Humanity is an element of luxury that we have not touched upon, because our disassociation with human relationships is becoming more enforced by our use of technology. I feel that human touch – it can be as simple as eye contact, and/or just being understood in a different country – is really important that we deliver with hospitality. And first and foremost, design and architecture should enable this.

    “Usually I will use the sustainability angle as an added value and not the primary reason why we are specifying, unless the brief has an eco-friendly thread in its core.” – Jo Littlefair, Director and Co-Founder, Goddard Littlefair.

    HK: Sustainability is becoming a buzzword that some would argue is losing its meaning. What makes a piece of furniture sustainable for you?

    JL: At the end of the day we, as designers, have to ensure that the furniture looks fantastic – and it meets all the needs and demands from our clients as well as regulations. But it really does come down to how we communicate this with the client. We do have to choose our words carefully, but that’s the same as when pitching any idea to the client. Usually I will use the sustainability angle as an added value and not the primary reason why we are specifying, unless the brief has an eco-friendly thread in its core.

    DM: Different cultures are going to be more interested than others, that is for sure. It is all about baby steps, and we do as much as we can.

    Technology and manufacturing has been a massive help. Sustainable products and materials are now at a price point that works for a client and a luxury brief. To then specify a product that is eco-friendly and longer lasting than another becomes a no-brainer. I really believe it is changing. Clients are more aware of the value of reclaimed or reupholstered furniture. Having said this, it is also a balancing act. I am working on a hotel at the moment with the aim to reupholster the casegoods and the beds, and sadly it is actually almost as expensive as buying new pieces.

    “I think if you can justifiably explain how a decision adds value, then cost can sometimes be reconsidered.” – Hamish Brown, Director, 1508 London.

    HK: In regards to luxury, do you believe value outweighs cost?

    HB: It’s a lovely idea, and my view is that value does outweigh cost. If you look at today’s market and the economy, there is a huge sense of getting value. It’s not always about cost. I think if you can justifiably explain how a decision adds value, then cost can sometimes be reconsidered.

    JL: We get closer to understanding the deal that the developer has struck and the budget that has driven the deal, which underpins the whole project. Basically, our client has a figure that they cannot deviate from. So yes, it is common sense, and I do value beautiful furniture, and we do have to be ambassadors that push for quality so that these pieces don’t end up in landfill, but there is a bottom line figure discussion. As a designer, you are the piece of magic in the middle having to constantly and consistently value engineer the project.

    HB: The most successful projects that we work on are the ones where everyone involved is upfront and honest with cost and there is a real transparency there.

    HK: Has the weight on where the budget is spent in the hotel changed?

    DM: It’s always in the ceiling!

    CT: I have seen that generally, not enough budget is left for the finishing touches.

    JL: For me, it’s artwork.

    Following the exclusive panel discussion, the leading designers and architects were able to browse the showroom, which showcased, in an apt setting, Minotti’s 2019 collection of timeless indoor and outdoor furniture.

    Minotti London will be the venue of Hotel Designs’ Meet Up London, which will take place in Spring 2020. More details will follow.

    If you are interested in hosting our next editorial roundtable, please email Katy Phillips or call +44 (0)1992 374050. 

    Checking in to Inhabit Hotel, sheltering a new level of eco design

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Checking in to Inhabit Hotel, sheltering a new level of eco design

    During the London hotel’s soft launch period, editor Hamish Kilburn checks in to discover Inhabit’s debut property, which in the process earns his eco stamp of approval…

    Last year, an insightful study revealed that the city of London had the eighth highest level of pollution in the world, making the sky 67 times brighter than it would be without the contribution of humans. In the same study, it was highlighted that a staggering 84 per cent of Brits spend less than 10 minutes a day enjoying peace and quiet.

    Armed with these statistics, it came with great delight reading about a new hospitality concept of a fresh urban hotel perspective, where wellbeing and sustainable design was at the core of everything. Where the aim is for guests to leave feeling lighter, more free and inspired by taking the pace of life down a gear or two. Where time is luxury. Where Inhabit Hotel becomes a home-from-home.

    After a chaotic experience navigating the London Underground, which I politely consider to be ‘the pits’ of all public transport with it being the most polluted place in the city, I arrived at Paddington’s new boutique hotel in the same state of mind as I imagine most guests do; slightly stressed showing early symptoms of rush-hour rage. Juxtaposing the hustle and bustle of the city’s zone 1, the hotel’s understated is guests’ first indication of a new kind of hotel.

    The sixth-floor urban sanctuary is the brainchild of Nadira and Rihim Lalji, and is the cousins’ first hotel within the portfolio. Created by architecture firm Holland Harvey Architects and Caitlin Henderson Design, the 90-key hotel is designed with busy travellers in mind. My arrival experience feels more as if I am staying with warm hosts rather than a hotel. The lobby sits in perfect harmony between the F&B area, named Yeotown, and book-filled library.

    The check-in desk is down-played, and marries nicely into the laid-back luxury design concept. While checking in, my eyes are drawn to a timetable that I am not familiar with; a yoga and mediation schedule, which I am told launched only this week but was very much part of the core plan for the hotel. “Wellness is at the heart of our brand,” says Nadira Lalji. “Every aspect of our hotel is aligned with what being well means to us. We think of wellness as more than a physical state, but a way of being. Our brand pillars, which stand for social connectedness, intellectual expansion and environmental responsibility, reinforce this belief.”

    The ground-floor library is Inhabit’s answer to the rise in demand for public areas designed with bleisure in mind. The space encourages residents and members of the public to unwind, work and be inspired. The noise-free corner is complete with LED bulbs, which are 80 per cent more efficient in terms of energy used than traditional lighting. Occupancy sensors ensure that no energy is lost and guests are seen in their best light when they require it.

    Image credit: Inhabit Hotel

    Yeotown, is an innovative and thoughtful F&B area, perfect for guests on the move or as a venue for casual meetings. By partnering with food-wastage apps Karma and Too Good to Go, the area allows non-guests to pick up perfectly edible bargains which would otherwise be put into waste. The tables and chairs, made also by Holland and Harvey, have been created using materials honestly and in their natural state. “At Inhabit, we have specified oak flooring and joinery, all finished with a natural sealant to show off their natural colouring and tones,” said architect Richard Holland. “The floor is a natural stone from Fired Earth, which has beautiful variations and tonal differences.”

    Upstairs, the sustainability story continues, which is most impressive when considering that the hotel is sheltered within a Grade II listed building. From Casper eco-friendly mattresses to the REN amenities that are made from recycled plastic – even the soft toilet paper is 100 per cent recycled – the guestrooms and bathrooms are quite obviously designed with conscious guests in mind. But on close inspection, it becomes apparent just how high up on the agenda sustainability is for the hotel. Taking the concept of ‘escapism’, one step further, each room comes complete with Studio ND phone charge and stowaway boxes, made from scrap materials, so that guests can break away from their devices.

    Perhaps it was my perfectly timed stay to sit in-between speaking about this very topic on stage at the Independent Hotel Show – more likely it’s simply the sheer statement of an urban hotel having such an eco-focused message – that has put on a smile on my face when checking out following one of the best night’s sleep I have had in London for a while. I can’t help but feel totally relaxed and reassured that the bottom line of profit is not the only value when it comes to successfully operating a hotel. And it was this that inspired my latest Editor Checks In online column, where I argue that consciousness could very well become the new luxury.

    Main image credit: InHabit London

    Morgan to unveil a stripped-back sustainable furniture at Sleep & Eat 2019

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Morgan to unveil a stripped-back sustainable furniture at Sleep & Eat 2019

    Morgan will unveil the Kaya lounge furniture collection next week at Sleep & Eat on stand C60…

    Taking its name from sacred forests spread along 200 km of the Kenyan coast, Morgan’s new Kaya lounge collection finds its roots in the openness, honesty and purity of trees. The crafted timber frames, gentle curve and soft upholstery are designed to provide relaxed luxury.

    Simplicity is further embodied in the upholstery, which features only the most essential elements, sculpted and fitted to provide enveloping comfort. Juxtaposing soft informality with timber’s clean geometry required a precise balancing act.

    With an emphasis on space and light, the collection evokes an atmosphere of ‘komorebi’, the Japanese word for the sunshine filtering through leaves. As with a lush woodland, Kaya’s serene frame finds strength in numbers. Individual timber sections have been kept small with multiple lightweight supports in place of a single, larger component.

    While Kaya draws inspiration from nature, technology played a crucial role in its production. The frame’s smooth, curving lines were made possible with Computer Numerical Control (CNC). Morgan uses any timber which is removed to help heat its manufacturing facility with a biomass boiler.

    “Relying on trends in the design world means whatever you produce will be bound by the tastes of a certain point in time,” Katerina Zachariades, Morgan’s design director, commented. “At Morgan, we like to look to things which have stood the test of time, from artwork of various styles to elements of the natural world.

    “With Kaya, we wanted to look beyond the heavy materials and density of the built environment, peeling back the surface to reveal the pure form within.”

    The Kaya collection is versatile, intended for interiors from hospitality through to the workplace. While the smaller lounge chair caters to projects requiring a smaller footprint, the larger lounge and high back chairs maintain a greater presence and impact within spacious environments such as lobbies, breakout areas and gallery spaces.

    Main image credit: Morgan

    Aqualisa confirmed as Event Partner for The Brit List 2019

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Aqualisa confirmed as Event Partner for The Brit List 2019

    With just days until the leading designers, architects and hoteliers will gather for Hotel Designs’ annual award ceremony, The Brit List Awards 2019, Aqualisa is announced as an Event Partner… 

    The Brit List 2019, which is Hotel Designs’ nationwide search to find the top designers, architects and hoteliers operating in Britain on the international hotel design scene, has secured Aqualisa as an Event Partner.

    The bathroom manufacturer, which will also exhibit its latest products at Sleep & Eat in the days leading up to The Brit List Awards, will attend Hotel Designs’ sold-out premium awards ceremony along with 300 other industry professionals.

    The nationwide search to find the most influential designers, architects and hoteliers operating in Britain began months ago when Hotel Designs opened up nominations and applications to readers.

    Since then, an independent panel of expert judges have gathered to select this year’s individual award winners and also to confirm the 75 individuals who have made it into The Brit List 2019.

    “We are delighted to be involved as an Event Partner for The Brit List 2019,” commented Jerry Gorman, Head of Specification at Aqualisa. “In particular, this unique event concept combining an awards ceremony with a superb networking opportunity is really attractive to Aqualisa  as our brand continues to build a strong position in this sector.  We very much look forward to meeting and connecting with the leading designers, architects and hoteliers that the awards demonstrably attract.”

    At Sleep & Eat, of which Hotel Designs is a proud media partner for, Aqualisa will be exhibiting new products, such as double, triple outlet mixer showers in the Mian range, as well as tech-driven digital showers, such as Rise, Q Edition, Hiqu.

    #TheBritListAwards2019

    Headline Partner: Crosswater

    Event Partner: Hamilton Litestat

    Event Partner: Aqualisa

    2019 Industry Partner: BIID

    Videography Partner: SYS Visual

    The Brit List Awards 2019 is now sold out! The only way now to attend The Brit List Awards 2019 is to become the event’s last remaining partner, which can be secured by contacting Katy Phillips by email or by calling +44(0)1992 374050.

    Main image credit: Aqualisa

    MINIVIEW: Balancing heritage and playful design inside Maximilian Hotel

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    MINIVIEW: Balancing heritage and playful design inside Maximilian Hotel

    Known locally as one of Prague’s most established boutique hotels, redesigning the 71-key Maximilian Hotel called upon experienced minds and skilful to sensitively reimagine and redesign the hotel’s interiors. Editor Hamish Kilburn checks in for a sneak peek…

    Situated on Haštalská Street facing the Haštal Church – close to Prague’s Old Town Square, Maximilian Hotel was first opened in 1995, and was last last renovated by Czech architect Eva Jiřičná in 2005.

    Since then, an evolving demand among international savvy travellers has called for a new kind of F&B areas. Combine this with the rise of the urban ‘hometel’ hotel, the hotel was in drastic need of tender, love and meaningful care.

    Commissioned by the owners, Christian and Rudolf Ploberger, Conran and Partners was given the task to sensitively restore the hotel to its former glory, adding a modern mix of personality and character without diluting its charm – something that, considering the architectural shells of the hotel, was easier said than done.  “Maximilian presented us with interesting challenges,” says Tina Norden, Partner, Conran and Partners. “It consists of two different buildings with different architectural styles, which are connected on the ground floor by a linear series of previously underutilised public areas. Our challenge was to open up and unify these spaces to create a coherent and engaging journey for guests and visitors.”

    Previously, only a limited food and beverage offer existed in the front-of-house areas. The design team have added a café and bar at the main entrance, which animates the building’s façade and engages with the adjacent streetscape, including a small tree-lined paved area directly in front of the church opposite.

    In addition, the ground floor spaces were re-worked to include a brasserie within the new living room hub at the heart of the hotel, providing social spaces for guests and visitors. The Plobergers have teamed up with innovative Austrian restauranteur Marco Simonis to create the F&B concepts for the hotel.

    Martina Honcikova, Maximilian’s Creative Director, adds: “The new brasserie is a wonderful additon to the Prague gourmet scene and the reconfigured spaces within the hotel will allow us to host a range of private and public events. The design approach is highly creative – yet practical – and has helped to confirm Maximilian’s position as one of Prague’s leading hotels.”

    Conran and Partners’ design approach for the 71-key hotel reflects the cultural and architectural heritage of its urban context, referencing Czech modernism and the progressive art movement influenced by famous avant-garde artist and architectural writer, Karel Teige. Teige developed a version of the modernist principle that was based on much softer elements than many of his peers; his poetic modernism embraced elements such as texture and colour as well as more playful elements also represented in his many surreal collage works.

    The design team wanted to retain a strong element of Teige’s poetic modernism while creating sense of place rooted in the city and the neighbourhood. This involved drawing upon the iconic pastel colour palette of Prague’s architecture and local crafts – including weaving and glass-making – for the materiality of the design.

    “By respecting the heritage of the original building and through an inspiring collaboration with Conran and Partners, we have created a chic, contemporary urban dwelling that brings together the best of Czech tradition, culture and design with brasserie-style food,” says Rudolf Ploberger, co-owner of Maximilian. “The new design will allow us to focus on the needs of our guests to ensure that they experience a truly memorable time while in Prague.”

    “Each area of the hotel is highlighted in a different pastel tone.”

    Bold use of colour is the defining element of the design approach. Each area of the hotel is highlighted in a different pastel tone, referencing the colourful architecture of Prague’s inner city. This ranges from light green tones on entry, to pinks in the historic stairwells and a deep blue for the guestrooms. Overlaid on this are elements of local craft, made bespoke for the hotel, and a carefully curated selection of contemporary and classic furniture pieces in similar soft and colourful shades.

    Bespoke lighting elements designed by Conran and Partners, and made by Czech manufacturer Sans Souci, feature throughout the public areas and a contemporary chandelier crafted from handmade Czech glass was created for the living room and library spaces. The popular basement spa has been optimised and refreshed throughout using gentle pastel paint colours, bespoke artwork murals by local design company Lavmi and warm ambient lighting to promote relaxation.

    “The bespoke headboards reference the local craft of basket weaving.” Tina Norden, Partner, Conran and Partners

    “We have created an approach which is playful, provocative but also functional,” says Norden. “Colour features very strongly in the rooms as well, combining a deep blue with softer highlights and warm oak joinery, textured glass, mirror and brass details. The bespoke headboards reference the local craft of basket weaving, while the artwork celebrates the Czech avant-garde movement, including photomontages by Karel Teige. The terrazzo in the bathroom areas is both decorative and functional. Each room has a window bench seat – some looking out onto the church opposite – to offer guests a direct connection with the city and outside. Our aim was to redefine Maximilian with a clear and compelling personality which is grounded in the local context and re-establish it as a prime design destination hotel for the city.”

    Image credit: Matthias Aschauer

    Artwork plays a key part in the design, based on pieces the owners had already, combined with prints of iconic Teige collages and contemporary works inspired by his playful, surreal and intriguing works. The Teige pieces were sourced through the Czech archives with the new pieces curated with Dais Contemporary in London.

    Conran and Partners’ design approach for the rooms has sought to optimise the spaces across various guestroom layouts, which include quirky rooms with curved ceilings within the roof space, and give them a contemporary yet warm and residential feel.

    Main image credit: Matthias Aschauer

    Design studio twenty2degrees creates social flexible pop-up for Sleep & Eat 2019

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Design studio twenty2degrees creates social flexible pop-up for Sleep & Eat 2019

    twenty2degrees is one of six studios creating a concept guestroom pop-up ‘Sleep Set’ for this year’s Sleep & Eat 2019…

    London-based hotel design practice twenty2degrees has designed a concept guestroom in a response to Sleep & Eat 2019′s theme of “Social FlexAbility”, which explores hospitality’s power to stimulate human interaction in our age of digital dislocation.

    “We are not suggesting that human beings should return to a world without digital devices – far from it – but it’s a question of balance and making non-digital elements more fun so they can compete with smart phone obsession,” says Nick Stoupas, Founder and Partner of twenty2degrees. “We’ll be incorporating a music playlist and dynamic lighting as well as using a lot of bold colour, and materiality will be important. Then we are shaking it all up. Think neon illumination and timber, an industrial style black floor with a richly designed rug depicting fantastical flying creatures.”

    “We followed certain paths of thought, then found new sources of inspiration and were able to flip the aesthetic.” – Joe Stella, Creative Director and Partner of twenty2degrees

    twenty2degrees has worked closely with Ulster Carpets in the creation of the rug. Other supplier partners are: Hansgrohe (Brassware), Contardi Lighting, Tarkett (flooring), Solus Ceramics (stone marble), Hamilton (sockets & switches) and Altrock Surfaces (vanity unit). Peter Millard and Partners is supplying artwork, Bang & Olufsen the sound system and the build partner is Viriato Hotel Concept.

    “The process of designing the concept guestroom has been fascinating,” says Joe Stella, Creative Director and Partner of twenty2degrees. “Essentially, we were our own client freed from the usual constraints of commercial hotel design. We followed certain paths of thought, then found new sources of inspiration and were able to flip the aesthetic. We hope that the result of this creative license will be ideas that operators, owners and other visitors to our pop-up will want to take away with them and adapt for real-life projects.”

    twenty2degrees’ concept room, one of six Sleep & Eat Sets, will be located on the gallery level of Olympia London’s Main Hall.

    Main image credit: twenty2degrees/Sleep & Eat 2019

    Chelsom to exclusively preview Edition 27 at Sleep & Eat 2019

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Chelsom to exclusively preview Edition 27 at Sleep & Eat 2019

    Chelsom will once again be exhibiting at the annual Sleep & Eat event, which takes place at Olympia London on November 19 -20, 2019…

    Lighting manufacturer Chelsom will be at Sleep & Eat 2019, Europe’s leading trade events for interior hospitality products providing an annual meeting for those at the forefront of hotel design, development and architecture.

    This will be Chelsom’s2ndconsecutive year at the eventand this year they will be exhibiting a selection of stunning products from the latest collections, Edition 26, created specifically for the international hospitality and marine sectors.

    In addition, Chelsom will also be providing an exclusive preview of brand-new pieces from the upcoming collection, Edition 27, as designed entirely in-house by Robert and Will Chelsom and will be available from May 2020 onwards.

    “Sleep & Eat is the numberone UK show in terms of interior design for the hospitality market and we are very pleased to be back again,” said Will Chelsom, Managing Director of Chelsom. “Being able to see what the wider market is up to is really inspirational and it’s a great environment for companies to showcase their latest product designs and innovations. The show has become a key date in the diaries of many leading hospitality professionals so it’s exciting for us to be promoting a selection of new pieces from what is undoubtedly set to be our most eclectic collection to date.”

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

    Manchester’s Hotel Brooklyn to open in February 2020

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Manchester’s Hotel Brooklyn to open in February 2020

    The doors to Manchester’s highly anticipated Hotel Brooklyn will open in February 2020…

    Designed by Squid Inc – the team behind renowned Hotel Gotham – the long-awaited Hotel Brooklyn is scheduled to open in February 2020. The 189-key hotel is inspired by the New York Borough and chosen for its resonating similarities to Manchester, in terms of its buzzing industrial growth, as well as its strength of identity and culture.

    The hotel will pay homage to Brooklyn’s history from early 20th century to the present day, with the inclusive design of the hotel being overseen by Motionspot, the UK’s leading accessible design company. Positioning itself as Manchester’s most accessible hotel, Hotel Brooklyn will be a trailblazer in championing accessible, sexy and modern design for all.

    “We believe Hotel Brooklyn is a perfect fit for Manchester” – Robin Sheppard, Chairman of Bespoke Hotels

    Squid Inc’s starting point was to create a distinctly Mancunian destination that resonated with the characteristics of its counterpart, Brooklyn: the sense of neighbourhood, the grittiness of its culture and edginess of its people. Brooklyn residents, from Mel Brooks to the Beastie Boys, have helped inspire this vibe.

    “It was an honour to work with Bespoke Hotels again on creating another iconic Manchester hotel with a strong identity and character,” said Olly Redfern, Lead Interior Designer of Squid Inc. “Weaving the lines between Manchester and Brooklyn is a bold and inspirational project that draws many parallels and it was incredibly fun to do, partnering with some of the best local suppliers to create the finished look.”

    Beautiful Victorian brownstone buildings have become icons of both Brooklyn and Manchester and Squid Inc have been driven by the ambition that the architects of Brooklyn showed when repurposing an area which had fallen out of favour, transforming it into one of the most exciting parts of town.

    The brownstone idea is explored from the moment guests enter the hotel, with the industrial feel of the architecture softened by the lobby interior and designed to recreate the sense of journeying down a Brooklyn avenue, with brick stone and trees lining the walls.

    Image credit: Bespoke Hotels/Hotel Brooklyn

    Beyond the lobby is a flight of wide-paced steps, designed to provide a communal space to hang-out – paying homage to the iconic stoops of Brooklyn, and the sense of community these have inspired in film and art.  

    The Snug is designed to be a playful, contemporary twist on the traditional.

    Harking back to historic Victorian brownstone buildings and their expansive drawing rooms, The Snug is designed to be a playful, contemporary twist on the traditional.  This space is cosy and intimate – a sanctuary from the hubbub – with an open fireplace and a record player spinning vintage records from the Manchester music scene.

    “Bathrooms have been cleverly-angled to allow their back walls and semi opaque windows to look out across the guestroom.”

    The aesthetic of the 189 guestrooms has been inspired by Brooklyn’s loft spaces, peppered with immaculate features that favour quality and high-spec finishes. Beds have brass adornments, while Turkish rugs have been designed to contrast with the concrete floors. Bathrooms have been cleverly-angled to allow their back walls and semi opaque windows to look out across the guestroom, while street art wall features finish off the bold design direction.

    Image credit: Bespoke Hotels/Hotel Brooklyn

    Bathroom amenities include organic bamboo toothbrushes and ethically sourced toothpaste, green soap and lotion dispensers with minimum waste.

    In addition, the hotel features 18 dynamically designed accessible bedrooms, each of which has been stylishly designed to complement the aesthetics of the hotel. “Accessible accommodation at Hotel Brooklyn features subtle details like basins with integrated hand grips, removable matt black grab rails, accessible bedroom storage and a hidden ceiling track hoist”, said Ed Warner, Founder & CEO of Motionspot. “We hope this high level of attention paid to inclusivity will make Hotel Brooklyn one of the most sought-after venues for guests of all abilities.”

    Hotel Brooklyn’s bar and restaurant, named Runyon’s after Damon Runyon, an American writer renowned for his depictions of Brooklyn characters, will present a diverse menu showcasing European and American influences. Paying respect to the remarkable industrial craftsmanship of the Brooklyn Bridge (immortalised in many iconic images), Squid Inc have taken the bridge’s tension lines as inspiration, giving Runyon’s a flavour of downtown Brooklyn – a mix of gangster and quality, purposeful engineering – adding a desirable irregularity to proceedings.

    On the top floor of the hotel, Salvation is the hotel’s dedicated events bar, featuring exposed brick work, pop art and neon lights to create a lively destination bar for the UK’s preeminent Northern city.

    “We are thrilled to have secured this fantastic site in the heart of Manchester’s historic industrial thoroughfare of Portland Street”, commented Robin Sheppard, Chairman of Bespoke Hotels. “We believe Hotel Brooklyn is a perfect fit for Manchester, not solely in terms of the architectural grandeur and convenience of its location, but the abundant character and feistiness of the city. Portland Street is experiencing a regeneration as the hotel strip of the city”.

    Image credit: Bespoke Hotels/Hotel Brooklyn

    Throughout the hotel, regional suppliers have been selected wherever possible. Deanhouse Interiorswere commissioned to fabricate the entire fit-out package, including cased goods from wardrobe and bedroom fittings, to the reception pods and 9th floor bar counter. Alongside this, PS Interiors sourced several key furniture pieces throughout, including the retro styled bedroom chairs, while sourcing New York street art was overseen by Elegant Clutter Artwork. In addition, Manchester-based The Knot Collective were commissioned to design two bespoke rugs for the hotel’s public spaces.

    Main image credit: Bespoke Hotels/Hotel Brooklyn

    FIRST LOOK: Inside Riggs Washington D.C., a new level of unrivalled luxury

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    FIRST LOOK: Inside Riggs Washington D.C., a new level of unrivalled luxury

    Ahead of the highly anticipated opening of the 181-key luxury hotel in Washington D.C., Hotel Designs takes a closer look inside…

    Lore Group, the international hospitality company behind renowned hotels, such as Sea Containers London and Pulitzer Amsterdam, has released model images of Riggs Washington D.C.. The new luxury hotel is the latest hotel development to hit the headlines, and is the brainchild of The Brit List 2019 judge Jacu Strauss, designer, architect and Lore Group’s creative director.

    In concepting and designing the property, Strauss, invoked the spirit of the former bank while preserving and restoring much of the property’s original design features to reimagine the storied building for the modern traveller. The 181-room property features playful nods to the building’s rich past, drawing on the parallels between the activities that take place in banks and at hotels to offer something personal and serendipitous around every corner.

    The hotel’s development, which was first explored by Hotel Designs in a exclusive interview Strauss when he described the Washington D.C. as: “a city with a particularly strong and quirky evolving hotel and F&B market.” As such, the design of Riggs has paid particular attention to the public areas of the hotel, with the aim to add sensitive statement on the hotel design scene in the US capital. In the original barrel-valuted lobby and cafe, restored expansive ceilings, corinthian columns, classic stonework and custom furniture set the scene for an eye-catching arrival experience. A medallion of Juno Moneta, the Goddess of Money, presides over the room, while original features have been given a new lease of life and the grandeur of the building embraced to create a welcoming and inspired hotel that is deeply rooted in D.C. and its impressive history.

    Image credit: Lore Group/Riggs Washington DC

    Upstairs, the 181 guestrooms – including 15 bespoke-designed suites are full with flair and personality. The marble-patterned headboards and wall coverings by Vousta blend together to create a thoughtful motif in each room. The interiors, balanced to create a romantic, sophisticated and calming oasis, have been inspired no doubt by Strauss’ love for travel.

    Image credit: Lore Group/Riggs Washington DC

    Catering to Washington DC’s ever-evolving social scene, the hotel’s 2,500 soft rooftop will offer panoramic views over the capital, and also feature a number of meeting, dining and events space.

    “Lore Group continues to explore ways to deliver inspired and approachable hospitality concepts to interesting places around the world,” said Billy Skelli-Cohen, group CEO. “With Riggs Washington D.C., we have created a hotel and F&B concepts that celebrate both the legacy of the building – and the history of the city – through unexpected details and a thoughtful approach to guest experience.”

    The arrival of Riggs comes an interesting time for Penn Quarter, which has been rejuvenated over the last two years. The new hotel is expected to further raise the level of luxury, creativity and innovative hospitality in the area – and Hotel Designs is keen to follow its progress.

    Main image credit: Lore Group/Riggs Washington DC

    GREEN WELLNESS CONCEPT: The eco-friendly luxury spa

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    GREEN WELLNESS CONCEPT: The eco-friendly luxury spa

    To continue the editorial team’s efforts to position sustainability firmly under the spotlight this month, Hotel Designs dives in to understand Recommended Supplier Starpool’s eco credentials in its wellness products…

    While recent statistics have highlighted that consumers are demanding for hotels to do more to become greener, luxury spa manufacturer Starpool believes that hospitality businesses could benefit from the brand’s various products and wellness solutions, all of which are sustainable in their concept and design.

    Biocompatibility

    All of Starpool’s products are designed with eco-sustainability in mind. For example, the sauna wood is 100 per cent natural and untreated. The special working of the slats and the construction system employed limits the use of adhesives in the installation phase, thus optimising the healthiness of the surroundings.

    Sustainable Production

    Starpool’s products are manufactured with a low environmental impact with limited energy consumption from clean and renewable sources, recyclable raw materials and external emissions equal to zero.

    Renewable materials

    The company is proud that more than 75 per cent of its materials that goes into each product are made from recyclable materials. In addition, the simple system for dismantling the components makes it easy to recover the raw materials at the end of a product’s life cycle.

    Natural, reusable packaging

    All products under the Starpool brand are dispatched in fir wood boxes from the Fiemme Valley that can be collected and reused many times over, thus reducing the use of new packaging materials.

    Image caption/credit: Sweet Sauna Vision/Starpool

    Green Technology

    The company uses software and hardware that adjusts and keep the temperature consistent. Its Green Pack includes self-closing doors and remote diagnostics, which enable approximately 20 per cent energy saving during standard operation and optimisation of energy loads. Controlling the power distribution allows you to avoid the overrun of the kW and obtain long- term savings.

    Making a difference

    Starpool sorts waste materials and, where technically possible, it regenerates the components of products that have been withdrawn and are no longer in use.

    The company’s products are manufactured to the highest standard, using only the top-quality materials to deliver exceptional eco-friendly spa and wellness facilities that represent true luxury.

    Main image credit: Starpool

    SO/ Paseo del Prado La Habana opens in Cuba

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    SO/ Paseo del Prado La Habana opens in Cuba

    Accor’s fastest growing luxury hotel brand, SO/I arrives in Cuba just in time to honor Havana’s 500thanniversary…

    Designed by the renowned French architect, Michel Regembal, SO/I Paseo del Prado La Habana has opened in Cuba. The 250-key hotel will showcase the brand’s ‘have-it-all’ lifestyle of rebellious luxury at its new residence in one of the most emblematic neighborhoods of the country’s capital city.

    “SO/ is one of the most high-energy, fashionable and edgy brands within Accor’s luxury portfolio, combining the vibrant energy of the locale, energizing entertainment and creative food and beverage experiences with modern luxury service,” said Heather McCrory, CEO, Accor North & Central America. “Avant-garde design and fashion are also at the heart of the SO/ brand, and the new hotel in Havana will be a welcomed and exciting addition to our fast-growing network.”

    Image credit: Accor

    SO/ Paseo del Prado La Habana is a masterpiece of luxury and style, designed by the renowned French architect, Michel Regembal. With design at the core of the SO/ brand, the hotel in Havana will unfold as a glamorous yet playful masterpiece featuring the creative signature of celebrated Spanish fashion designer Agatha Ruiz de la Prada – from the hotel’s emblem to the staff’s stylish uniforms. With 250 guestrooms on nine floors, including eight suites, the décor of each room is infused with the spirit of one of three dance styles – Classical Ballet, Salsa or Son Cubano – balanced with spectacular floor-to-ceiling views of the sea, the neighboring Malecón, Paseo del Prado and the hotel’s sweeping patio.

    “The life of SO/ Paseo del Prado La Habana begins in this special year, the 500th anniversary of Havana itself,” said Jean Philippe Hubau, General Manager, SO/ Paseo del Prado La Habana. “We feel this is a bright and exhilarating way to start, as our goal is to become the most sought-after lifestyle address in Havana – a city that captures the imagination like no other place on earth. The hotel provides a fascinating mix of social spaces, audacious experiences and distinct ‘Just Say SO’ services to celebrate the Cuban culture, surprise and amuse even the most sophisticated jet-setters, and captivate the hearts of Habaneros as well.”

    SO/ Paseo del Prado La Habana is located at the intersection of Paseo del Prado and Malecón, just a one minute walk from Habana Vieja (Old Havana), a World Heritage Site filled with ancient monuments, forts, churches and palaces. A seven-minute walk takes guests to Central Park and the Gran Teatro de la Habana, while a stroll along the Malecón boardwalk to the El Vedado district provides a glimpse into the city’s wide avenues, aristocratic villas and ubiquitous 1950s American-series cars.

    At the idyllic Cosecha Restaurant, guests of SO/ Paseo del Prado La Habana are invited to begin the day with organic and wholesome breakfast fare. The SO/ SPA, SO/ FIT gym and the infinity pool with a signature pool bar provide daily rejuvenation and wellbeing experiences. In the evening, the HI-SO bar brings the glamour to stylish guests who mingle to the DJ beats while taking in fashion shows, art events and glittering, celebrity-filled SO/ parties on a spectacular rooftop terrace with exclusive palapas from which to enjoy an artisanal sunset cocktail. If that’s not enough, the hotel’s Chocolate Shop, Origen, is a charming spot where guests and locals pop in for savory European-inspired pastries, artisanal chocolates and Cuban coffees; while the lobby bar, MIXO, attracts stylish Habaneros and international guests to enjoy a lively atmosphere set amongst great views.

    SO/ Paseo del Prado La Habana is the ninth property in the SO/ portfolio, which includes the recent additions of SO/ Auckland, SO/ Berlin Das Stue, SO/ Vienna and SO/ St. Petersburg. With an ambitious plan to expand its global footprint over the next few years, SO/ is one of the fastest growing brands in the luxury portfolio of Accor.  New SO/ properties in Kuala Lumpur, Koh Samui, Dubai, Paris, Melbourne and Los Cabos are scheduled to open over the coming years.

    Main image credit: Accor

    Swissotel aquires Hotel Allegro in Bern, to reopen property in Autumn 2020

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Swissotel aquires Hotel Allegro in Bern, to reopen property in Autumn 2020

    As part of this exciting next chapter for the property, Kongress + Kursaal Bern AG will invest approximately 16 million Swiss Francs on remodeling the property’s 171 guestrooms and public areas. 

    More than 20 years after opening, the Kursaal Bern enters a new chapter in its history. Kongress + Kursaal Bern AG entered into an agreement with Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts whereby, effective in autumn 2020, Hotel Allegro will then be operated as Swissôtel Kursaal Bern.

    Renovations inside the 171-key hotel will commence next January and are due to be completed by autumn 2020, and the hotel will remain open during the refurbishment process. Once complete, guests can look forward to clever design solutions, high-quality furnishings and a carefully thought-out sustainability concept, but also to traditional Swiss hospitality in the midst of one of the country’s most historic cities.

    “Our search for a strong international brand partner led us to Swissôtel. It combines genuine Swiss hospitality with intelligent design and a stimulating atmosphere. This makes us a perfect match,” said Kevin Kunz, CEO Kongress + Kursaal Bern AG. “Regardless of the change in brand, we will of course keep the proven management team in place and will continue offering traditional Bernese hospitality.”

    modern and contemporary guest room in a hotel

    Image credit: Swissotel

    Operating more than 30 hotels in 18 countries, Swissôtel, which will celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2020, has been part of the Accor group since 2016.

    The partnership agreement between the brand and Kursaal Bern is a landmark moment for the tourism sector in the city. Both Kursaal and the hotel will benefit from Accor’s global reservations system, the company’s worldwide sales teams, direct booking channels, and access to new, innovative technologies. Guests at Swissôtel Kursaal Bern will also have the opportunity to become a member in the ALL loyalty program that puts all Accor brands and businesses worldwide under one umbrella.

    “We offer a genuine expression of Swiss values and a steadfast commitment which is deeply rooted in quality, efficiency and reliability,” said Lilian Roten, Vice President Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts. “We are excited to add a third property in the brand’s birthplace. Our contemporary Swiss style combined with local characteristics creates a balanced environment for guests to relax and feel at home.”

    The renovation is led by architects Marazzi + Paul together with interior designer Nina Mair. “She uses high-quality, natural materials and has managed to win us over with well-conceived and confidently stylish functionality,” added Kunz.

    Roten adds: “Our alpine heritage has its roots in craftsmanship, sustainable design and a conscious, active way of life. This is exactly what Nina Mair’s design brings to the new Swissôtel Kursaal Bern. It’s through these approaches that we offer our guests a sense of well-being, energy and joy of life, which is perfectly in-tune with our brand promise ‘Life is a journey. Live it well.’”

    Main image credit: Swissotel

    Viceroy Residences at Ombria Resort wins prestigious sustainability award

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Viceroy Residences at Ombria Resort wins prestigious sustainability award

    Continuing our theme this month to put sustainability under the spotlight, Viceroy Residences at Ombria Resort has been recognised for its commitment to the environment, winning Best Sustainable Residential Development, Portugal at the European Property Awards… 

    Luxury real estate development Ombria Resort in the heart of the Algarve, which is slated to open in 2021, has been honoured at the 2019-2020 European Property Awards.

    Announced at the awards ceremony in London, the destination won the coveted new category recognising excellence in sustainability, the Best Sustainable Residential Development, Portugal, with the Viceroy Residences at Ombria Resort project.

    “We have definitely seen a shift across the last decade in the requirements of prospective buyers – they are much more focused on sustainability.” – Julio Delgado, CEO, Ombria Resort.

    The European Property Awards is considered one of the most prestigious and recognised programme celebrating the highest levels of achievement across the real estate industry. The Sustainable Residential Development category, introduced this year for the first time to reflect the importance of sustainability in real estate, judged developments on their economic, environmental and social responsibility with Ombria Resort demonstrating strong practices in each area.

    Reflecting the resort’s overall ethos Carved by Nature, Ombria Resort has a deep commitment to pioneering sustainable tourism; incorporating environmental, economic and socio-cultural values into innovative, everyday actions that will ensure the natural and cultural surroundings live on for future generations.

    “We are thrilled to win this prestigious achievement and be leading the way in sustainable residential developments,” said Julio Delgado, CEO, Ombria Resort. “We have definitely seen a shift across the last decade in the requirements of prospective buyers – they are much more focused on sustainability, the natural environment and supporting local ecosystems. Our commitment to sustainability and a respect for nature is at the heart of everything we do, so to have such an accolade to recognise our efforts is truly an honour.”

    The Viceroy Residences at Ombria Resort is a collection of 65 one- and two-bedroom freehold apartments serviced by Viceroy Hotels & Resorts, set within the Viceroy at Ombria Resort 5-star hotel, located in the heart of the development which spreads over 150 hectares in the inner Algarve. Ranging in size from 70 to 173 sq.m of gross internal area, the apartments are fully furnished and equipped to exacting five-star standards.

    Designed as an elegant Portuguese village with all the charm and character of a long-established settlement and blending seamlessly into the hills, the resort eature a unique, sustainable vision of NZEBs (Nearly Zero Energy Buildings), which will lead the way for the Portuguese market – including creating a national case study for the use of geothermal energy.

    Its pioneering shallow geothermal system will use water to transfer heat energy found just below the ground surface for climate control, hot water supply and swimming pool heating. Reverse heat pumps utilize the stable temperature of the ground as the main source of energy to produce heating in the winter, cooling in the summer and hot water throughout the year, safely and responsibly. The strategy for a sustainable, efficient Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system is based upon achieving high levels of user-friendly comfort while ensuring low energy consumption and maintenance costs.

    Bioclimatic architecture, both innovative and traditional, allows for energy to be conserved wherever possible, with heat gained or lost through materials with low heat transference coefficients and age-old design tricks to protect from the sun.

    Other innovative sustainable programmes at Ombria Resort include a comprehensive recycling programme, electric vehicle charging points and the conservation and cultivation of the local flora and fauna.

    Adopting and implementing sustainable trade practices and supporting local suppliers with many building materials such as stones, tiles, plasters and insulation materials sourced regionally and nationally, vastly reduces Ombria Resort’s carbon footprint. The overall aim is to become a member of the community and actively contribute to the preservation of local traditions, generating new jobs and business opportunities. Activities at Ombria Resort will include an area for organic farming, honey harvesting facilities, astronomical observatory, paths for nature walks, mountain biking, and other sports facilities.

    Main image credit: Ombria Resort

    The Brit List Awards 2019 becomes sold-out event

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    The Brit List Awards 2019 becomes sold-out event

    With less than three weeks to go until Hotel Designs’ premium annual award ceremony, The Brit List Awards 2019 becomes a sold-out event… 

    Following unprecedented demand, The Brit List Awards 2019, which takes place on November 21 at Patch East London, is now sold out. The event, which is Hotel Designs’ annual award ceremony, will be attended by the industry’s leading designers, architects, hoteliers, developers and suppliers.

    The only way now to attend The Brit List Awards 2019 is to become the event’s last remaining partner, which can be secured by contacting Katy Phillips by email or by calling +44(0)1992 374050.

    “The overwhelming demand to attend The Brit List Awards 2019 is a clear indication that Britain remains a strong creative capital on the international design and hospitality scene,” commented editor Hamish Kilburn. “We very much see the event as the after party of show season, and the whole team at Hotel Designs is looking forward to welcoming and celebrating the creative genius’ who are keeping Britain’s design hub an innovative and exciting place to operate – and write about!”

    The event, which is sponsored by Crosswater, Hamilton Litestat, the British Institute of Interior Design and SYS Visual, will be attended by more than 300 of the industry’s finest. These include individuals from the likes of David Collins Studio, Goddard Littlefair, Dexter Moran Associates, Jack Irving Design, Jestico + Whiles, 3D Reid, EPR Architects, Richmond International, ReardonSmith Architects, IHG, Eccleston Square Hotel, Great Scotland Yard Hotel, Inhabit Hotels and Rosewood London, among many others.

     

    The nationwide search to find the most influential designers, architects and hoteliers operating in Britain began months ago when Hotel Designs opened up nominations and applications to readers.

    Since then, an independent panel of expert judges have gathered to select this year’s individual award winners and also to confirm the 75 individuals who have made it into The Brit List 2019.

    Individual award categories:

    • Interior Designer of the Year
    • Architect of the Year
    • Hotelier of the Year
    • Best in Tech
    • The Eco Award 
    • Best in British Product Design – NEW CATEGORY FOR 2019
    • Outstanding Contribution to the Hospitality Industry

    The Shortlist for The Brit List 2019 can be viewed here.

    #TheBritListAwards2019

    Headline Partner: Crosswater

    Event Partner: Hamilton Litestat

    2019 Industry Partner: BIID

    Videography Partner: SYS Visual

    Eco gem: The Tongsai Bay, Koh Samui

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Eco gem: The Tongsai Bay, Koh Samui

    In search of eco gems, as we continue putting sustainability under the spotlight this month, journalist Sara Darling has committed to long haul, and Asia is firmly on her agenda. Removed from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok, Koh Samui is Darling’s next adventure as it is home to one of the world’s few fully sustainable boutique hotels, The Tongsai Bay…

    Koh Samui, just east of mainland Thailand, is a relaxed island, famous for its giant temple of the Big Buddha- a 39ft golden Buddha erected in 1792 at Wat Phra Yai. It is also the home of what I have found to be one of the world’s most sustainable boutique hotels.

    The Tongsai Bay, on the north east tip of the beautiful island, is a family run business which has been welcoming visitors since 1987, and is the ideal  tranquil break that is full of many sustainable and thoughtful moments thanks to its design, architecture and day-to-day operations.

    Nestled amongst 28 and a half acres of greenery, the secluded property consisting of low rise apartments, bungalows and cottages are spread in the valley of a private cove. Only 15 minutes from the airport, it is a short hop north of the popular Choeng Mon beach, and a ten minute transfer to the buzzy restaurants, bars and shopping in Fisherman’s Village.

    Paying attention to all the small details, the hotel has a modern rustic feel, which blends Eastern and Western philosophies with science and spirituality; However the subtle decor is more homely than pretentious and enhances the brand’s ethical stance. For example, the art throughout the property, which has been created by the hotel’s resident artist Mook, uses recycled materials – and paints my first indication of a sustainable and eco-friendly picture.

    Meanwhile, the elegant, airy villas have private pathways and pools which are interspersed amongst the greenery. Along with cottages, villas and suites, there are low rise blocks, all which maximise the uninterrupted sea views, and are designed to utilise the natural sun and shade within their open spaces.

    With a low-key, back-to-nature environment, the 83 chalets and villas that cascade down to a private beach on the Gulf of Thailand, have also been designed to enhance their natural surroundings, so guests can enjoy the birdsong, crashing waves and sound of crickets on their terrace. The terrace cottages all offer an outside “bath with a view”, four poster gazebo, bar, dining area and sun loungers, along with a freshwater plunge pool for ultimate luxury while feeling at one with the elements.

    “Dedicated to improving its carbon footprint, Tongsai Bay has abolished the use of all plastic – providing re-fillable glass drinking bottles and lemongrass straws for guests.”

    Great care has been taken to integrate the buildings into nature. They are furnished in contemporary Thai style – dark wood tables and beds, hardwood floors, along with modern showers, hairdryer and walk-in wardrobe.

    Dedicated to improving its carbon footprint, The Tongsai Bay has abolished the use of all plastic – providing re-fillable glass drinking bottles and lemongrass straws for guests. It also applies energy-saving measures throughout, stocks guestrooms with environmentally-friendly toiletries made by local supplier, and only changes bedding when requested.

    Other eco-conscious details include washing-up liquid and cleaning products produced from leftover peelings, and mosquito deterrent created with natural citronella and lemongrass. Staff are trained to be environmentally aware and the hotel prides itself on upcycling and composting everything it can- including the waste of the compost toilets for fertiliser, and recycling cooking oil.

    These simple approaches go a long way in making a difference to the future of the planet, and the ethos is subtly carried out across the site. From a bay that is free from mechanical water sports, to avoid pollution, to the two fresh water pools.

    Image credit: Tongsai Bay

    In regards to food, as much produce as possible is home grown for the Tongsai, at an impressive, off-site organic garden which provides ingredients for the bar, kitchen and spa, and is open to guests by arrangement. Packed with edibles including exotic fruits, herbs and vegetables, they are cared for using sustainable agricultural practices, and knowledgeable gardners.  The breakfast “Happy Juice” prepared by larger than life Khun Pu is an essential kick start to your day.

    A visit to Thailand is not complete without a massage, and the onsite Prana Spa provides a wide range of luxury, innovative treatments for a traditional  taste of Thailand. The scents and oils are provided by the same organic company as the bathroom products, and you can get transported to another world either in one of the cosy spa cottages or shady daybeds on the beach.

    For a deluxe stay in a hotel that really puts the environment first, along with friendly staff, The Tongsai Bay is a great place to escape from the rat race where guests can feel at one with nature and themselves.

    Main image credit: Tongsai Bay

    JW Marriott Maldives officially opens

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    JW Marriott Maldives officially opens

    The Maldives is booming as JW Marriott Maldives officially opens with what is being called the region’s most impressive culinary facilities, complete with a treetop restaurant, former Nobu chef and ultra-private supersize villas…

    Situated on the island of Vagary, Shaviyani Atoll, JW Marriott Maldives Resort & Spa has officially opened featuring 60 expansive beach and overwater villas all with private pools. Headed up by food and wine expert, general manager Marc Gussing, the resort has one of the most impressive culinary offerings in the Maldives.

    There are five restaurants as well as three fully-serviced bars, and a chef’s garden – an exceptional offering for a remote private island with only 60 villas.

    Guests can feast on a wide range of cuisine that includes and goes beyond classic Maldivian dishes. Highlights include vibrant Thai dishes created by a former Nobu Chef in a treetop restaurant, authentic Japanese Teppanyaki, poolside Woodfired pizzas made in a traditional pizza oven, and freshly caught seafood in a fine-dining, overwater restaurant. Meals are complemented with a choice of sake, Japanese whisky, rum cocktails, smoked cocktails, and both new and old-world wines.

    Image credit: Marriott International Hotel

    The villas start at 234sqm – larger than the average London flat. The resort places a strong emphasis on privacy with private decks and pools designed so they can’t be seen from the outside.

    “Each room draws inspiration from the natural surroundings and local Maldivian culture.”

    There are four ultra-expansive villa types, all with private pools. The two-bedroom, three-bathroom Duplex Beach Pool Villas sleep up to five guests and have upstairs living areas and direct beach access ideal for families, whilst the Duplex Overwater Pool Villas with upstairs living areas have unsurpassed views of the Laccadive Sea. Beautiful One-bedroom Beach Pool Villas and sunrise and sunset Overwater Pool Villas are also available.

    Each room draws inspiration from the natural surroundings and local Maldivian culture, incorporating colours and materials that highlight the island destination. Thatched roofs on villas are reminiscent of inverted Dhoni boats, the traditional Maldivian wooden fishing vessels, and slanted roof tips recall white herons dipping their heads into the water.

    Image credit: Marriott International Hotel

    Situated in the untouched Northern atoll of Shaviyani, the resort is a 55-minute seaplane flight to the north of Male. The island’s surrounding natural reef benefits from the island being far from Male and civilisation and is teeming with sea life. An on-site marine biologist ensures the pristine reef remains untouched and in perfect health whilst overseeing aquatic expeditions including diving and snorkelling.

    An iconic Spa by JW, overwater gym and an open-air yoga pavilion offers cutting-edge and indulgent spa treatments and a daily schedule of yoga and fitness activities.

    Main image credit: Marriott International Hotel

    Five emerging AW/19 interior trends to keep an eye on

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Five emerging AW/19 interior trends to keep an eye on

    Now that autumn has arrived, and winter is fast approaching, all eyes of the international hotel design world are focused on trends and new products as we gear up towards awards season and prepare to wind down for another year. Recommended Supplier Bisque has taken this opportunity to shine the spotlight on emerging AW trends to bookmark… 

    Leading radiator supplier Bisque has taken note of a few key A/W interiors trends on the rise.

    Trend: Tranquil Dawn

    Dulux’s Colour of the Year has been revealed for 2020 as Tranquil Dawn. A cool and calming tone selected by a panel of experts from around the world, this lusciously soft green works for all rooms in the house, no matter how big or small.

    Trend: Brown is the new black

    Image credit: Bisque

    Step aside black, brown is back! A versatile shade that ranges from beige to copper these brown hues – this doesn’t make sense? – it is time to bring these earthy tones back into your home to create a warm and welcoming feel.

    Trend: Dusky pastels

    Image credit: Bisque

    Adding pops of colour into your home, not only is a great way to put a stamp of your personality on a room but adds a statement piece to the room.

    Trend: Soft minimalism

    Keep it simple with soft neutral colours, creating a calming tone throughout your space. Also perfect for those renting out their homes, as it’s a theme that everyone can complement with accessories and soft furnishings.

    Trend: Maximalism  

    Image credit: Bisque

    Electric glamour and indulgent dual tones gives off a sense of power and strong personality. These bold schemes will fit in both traditional and modern homes and great for those also wanted a transitional look.

    Main image credit: Bisque

    ‘Must see’ brands at Sleep & Eat 2019

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    ‘Must see’ brands at Sleep & Eat 2019

    With less than three weeks until Sleep & Eat 2019, here are just a few brands and products to look out for… 

    More 160 design-led suppliers are now confirmed to be exhibiting at Sleep & Eat 2019, which takes place on November 19 – 20 at Olympia London. For many years now, the exhibition has been the place where both established and up-and-coming manufacturers not only choose to launch their collections, but where business is done and opportunities to network and socialise are numerous.

    Reflecting the growing convergence between hotel, restaurant and bar design, the exhibitor line-up includes many international companies which supply all three sectors, as well as cruise ships and spas.

    Following our sneak peek inside the doors of the company’s new UK headquarters, Laufen will launch The New Classic collection by Dutch designer Marcel Wanders. Utilising Laufen’s innovative SaphirKeramikmaterial, the designer created a collection combining gentle, feminine curves with angular, masculine elements. “For the first time, the ultra-modern SaphirKeramik has been moulded into a classic and iconic form,” commented Wanders. “This lightweight yet resilient material gave us the unique opportunity to celebrate the beauty of ceramics with our elegant, soft lines.”

    Dramatic view of the full The New Classic collection

    Image credit: Laufen/Marcel Wanders

    Morgan, the British designer and manufacturer of contemporary furniture, will be introducing its new Kaya lounge collection. Taking its name from sacred forests spread along the Kenyan coast, Kaya finds its roots in the openness, honesty and purity of trees. Morgan will also exhibit The Rakino collection of lounge chairs and tables designed by Tim Rundle, and The Goodwood collection designed by Katerina Zachariades in collaboration with artist Mark CcClure.

    A Sleep & Eat newcomer, Prestigious Textiles, will be debuting with a range of prints, jacquards and velvets alongside a rich diversity of plains, semi-plains and sheers. The company will also present its new bespoke service, giving customers the freedom to take their design of choice and translate it onto any print ground using the latest digital printing technology.

    Also new to Sleep & Eat, Marie Martin, the range of exclusive lighting by the Dutch company Lumière, will present its most popular lighting fixtures. Stemming from a passion for interiors, this collection arose from the desire to unite the love for antiques, for Paris, for colour and fully decorated spaces. Marie Martin’s range will feature lush materials – bronze, silk, brocade, and velvet – as well as abundant attention to detail and extravagant colour schemes.

    Spanish architectural and design surfaces producer and distributor Cosentino will be showing a range of its brands. These include Dekton ultra-compact surfaces, Silestonequartz and Sensa by Cosentino natural protected stone.

    German bathroom manufacturer, Bette, will exhibit its award-winning glazed titanium-steel baths, shower floors and washbasins, all of which come with a 30 year warranty. Available in an extensive range of sizes and colours, they are finished in BetteGlaze;  a durable, non-porous, scratch-resistant and easy to clean surface.

    Muted coloured washbasins

    Image credit: Bette

    AHK, the Turkish supplier of joinery and fit-out contractor, will feature its indoor and outdoor loose furniture range and latest case goods collection. AHK will also reveal the AW Simulator – the game-changing meeting room pod that immerses users in a unique experience. Its advanced technologies include a panoramic digital view, exclusively designed expanding table, state-of-the-art AV system, and unparalleled acoustics and soundproofing.

    Chelsom will showcase some of the dynamic and trend-driven designs within its extensive Edition 26 collection. Among the products are The Orb, The Icicle and Roma.

    GROHE will be returning to Sleep & Eat for its 14th year. This year, the brand will showcase its most eclectic and diverse product offering yet. This will include its ground-breaking Icon 3D metal-printed taps, taking pride of place on the stand for its first official showcasing in the UK. “Sleep & Eat is a key event for us, one which has helped us to build very strong industry contacts over the years and where we continue to push the boundaries of innovation,” said Raj Mistry, Marketing Director of GROHE UK.

    Image credit: Grohe

    Terratinta – manufacturer of high-end Italian porcelain stoneware, inspired by Scandinavian design enriched with fresh and unusual aesthetic effects – will display its newest ranges of ceramic tiles, including Sartoria Artigiana, Sartoria Romanza, Hexa Mosaics, and Ceppo.

    The Exhibition will also see the event debut of family-owned Irish manufacturer and fit-out specialist, Abbey Upholsterers, which works with numerous luxury hospitality brands as well as in luxury residential. At Sleep & Eat, the brand will be highlighting its hotel guestroom furniture collections.

    Omexco – the Belgian manufacturer of high-end wallcoverings, specializing in sophisticated printing and embossing techniques – will feature its latest designs, Arubaand Portfolio. Aruba collection, inspired by the exotic Caribbean isle, recognises craftsmen who respect natural materials such as weaves of waterlily and raffia with a range of linen yarns and ecological non-woven wallcoverings, whereas Portfolio collection pays tribute to Omexco’s heritage and features a variety of natural yarns including pure linen, multi-coloured silky cotton and viscose.

    Other familiar names exhibiting at Sleep & Eat will include Astro Lighting, Arte, Camira, Knightsbridge Furniture, Quasar, Roca and VitrA. An array of newcomers this year will include Absolute Lifestyle, Article London, Eichholtz, ELG Solutions, Iconic Images, ILIV Contract Textiles, Kaufmann Ceramics, Sahrai, Tarkett, and VICALVI Contract.

    The event also encompasses a complimentary Conference, Development Roundtables and nine specially designed pop-ups including concept guestrooms, restaurant and bar Sets, The Hub – a co-working space, the VIP Lounge and the Sleeper Bar.

    Sleep & Eat, November 19 – 20 in the National Hall, Olympia London. The show will be open from 10am on Tuesday 19 with an evening drinks reception until 8.30 pm, and from 10am-6pm on Wednesday 20. Click here to register.

    Main image credit/caption: Sleep & Eat/Abstract forms, texture and objects study

    MINIVIEW: Austin Proper to open in December 2019

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    MINIVIEW: Austin Proper to open in December 2019

    Austin Proper Hotel and Residences offers an artful immersion in lifestyle and well-being. Ahead of its official opening in December, editor Hamish Kilburn took a sneak peek inside..

    Following the opening of Santa Monica Proper in July, Proper Hotels has extended its portfolio with the launch of Austin Proper Hotel and Residences.

    Also designed by the acclaimed Kelly Wearstler, the hotel shelters 244 rooms and suites; 99 branded residences; four unique settings for dining and drink; a focus on wellness with a dedicated spa and fitness centre; plus a variety of atmospheric spaces for events. And it wouldn’t be Proper without a 5th floor pool deck offering small-batch tequilas and majestic lake views.

    This sculptural new construction also integrates the work of award-winning Handel Architects in a progression of atmospheres including two pools, 9,500 square feet of event spaces, and multiple dining concepts by McGuire Moorman Hospitality. In step with Austin’s natural lifestyle, LEED Gold certification minimizes footprint and maximizes sustainability. To promote wellness for those who stay and work with Proper, these rigorous environmental standards extend from water use (reclaimed irrigation systems, in-building chilled water loops, centralized boilers) to low-VOC paints, energy-efficient LED lights, and insulated dual-pane windows that save energy and block UV.

    Render of a private pool

    Image credit: Proper Hotels

    Wearstler’s creative direction for the site-specific design of Austin Proper has unfolded over three years. The layered, individualistic look mines a tradition of artistry and craftsmanship distinct to Austin. The historical influence of Austin’s most stately homes inspires eye-catching details, from a sculptural staircase installation of 60 patch worked vintage rugs, to the lobby’s monolithic wood-and-ceramic grandfather clock. Local artists and materials feature prominently throughout, with every surface adding textural interest: pots, trays and cabinet inlay tiles by ceramicist Rick Van Dyke; locally quarried travertine on the pool deck; Delta wood panelling; native elmwoods; and antique mirror finishes.

    With Austin as muse, each of the 244 rooms and suites has been carefully detailed by Kelly Wearstler for refined living and restful evenings. The design is deeply influenced by local craft and material, from raw travertine sourced at nearby quarries, to trays by Rick Van Dyke to original fibre artworks by Magda Sayeg. Well-considered appointments include Aesop bath amenities, Kelly Wearstler x Parachute Home robes and signature Proper beds layering Simmons Providence Mattresses, Fili D’oro and Bellino Fine Linens.

    Stylish and chic restaurant with glass barriers

    Image credit: Proper Hotels

    Leading Austin Proper’s dining front is McGuire Moorman Hospitality, the award-winning team behind many of Austin’s best dining and entertainment spots. At the landmark eatery, guests can savour Mediterranean–inspired foods and flavours. Mezze plates and wood-grilled fare are colourful, healthy and wholesome, paired with house-made pita from the wood-burning oven. On the rooftop pool deck, a coastal Mexican restaurant with raw bar offers wood-fired seafood and fajita offerings. Morning, noon or night, a ground floor Mediterranean coffee shop serves savoury items to-go and tempting treats like soft-serve Greek frozen yogurt, while the sunken bar is an elegant hideaway.

    In step with Proper’s commitment to wellness, this urban getaway begins with a private reception to discuss a client’s needs. The facility includes a soothing lounge, five spa treatment rooms, men’s and women’s locker rooms with steam showers, and wellness experts on call. A 2,000-square-foot fitness centre is also on property.

    An array of high-end amenities aim to refresh, whether with a challenging workout in the 2,000-square-foot fitness centre, borrowing a bicycle for a lakeside trail ride, or a dip into world-class wellness at the spa. Guests are encouraged to linger on property, perhaps set up your office for the day by the 5th-floor pool. Dining options satisfy a variety of moods, whether cafe grab-and-go, garden cocktails overlooking Shoal Creek; poolside suppers, or a full feast at the landmark restaurant.

    From well-appointed ballrooms to music gardens, Austin Proper offers more than 9,500 square feet of thoughtfully designed spaces for indoor and outdoor meetings, weddings and special events, and private dining. Adding distinction to the creative design, the Proper team and McGuire Moorman Hospitality specially curate menus and styles of service to match any occasion.

    Austin Proper rises above the waterfront of a 2nd Street District booming with creative offices, world-class design, conveniences and culture. Add in an easy-going lifestyle, and you’ve got a style forward epicentre of pedestrian activity.

    Main image credit: Proper Hotels

    The Mandrake welcomes new artist in residence

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    The Mandrake welcomes new artist in residence

    London’s Mandrake Hotel will welcome celebrated photographer Haris Nukem from November 2 – 11 as he takes up residency in Studio 5 as part of the hotel’s Artist in Residence programme…

    The Mandrake, known for its exquisitely designed spaces, provocative and thought invoking art, designed the Artist in Residence programme to celebrate both emerging and established artists and performers.

    The hotel extends guests’ artistic interaction from merely viewing the artwork by providing a unique opportunity to interact with artists and witness the creative process. Guest are often part of the work itself, whether that be paintings, photography, tattoo or mural. By involving guests in this unique process, the hotel truly honours its ‘stay beyond yourself’ philosophy.

    The programme, designed to allow guests and visitors an up close and personal account of the creative process of creating art, has hosted big names including Mark Mahoney, Azzi Glasser, Danny Minnick, Peter John De Villiers, Zoobs and Thomas Hooper.

    Image caption/credit: Dopamine and Leadership Qualities by Haris Nukem

    During his residency, Nukem will be creating one photoshoot per day within The Mandrake, where guests are able to interact and engage with Nukem and the creative process. The hotel’s dedicated art space, Studio 5, will showcase a selection of Nukem’s art for guests to view.

    For an insight into Nukem’s residency, follow @mandrake_air to get behind the scenes access.

    Main image caption/credit: We Need Heroes by Haris Nukem

    Exploring Roca, Armani/Roca, Laufen and Cosmic’s new UK headquarters

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Exploring Roca, Armani/Roca, Laufen and Cosmic’s new UK headquarters

    Editor Hamish Kilburn is invited up to Leicester where he is able to discover the treasures that lie within Roca Group’s new and improved UK headquarters…

    Some businesses would argue that, when reading that the country’s construction has fallen by 2.5 per cent from August to September, which is largely influenced by the unstable political landscape in the UK at the moment, now is not a wise time to invest in expanding UK assets.

    And then there are companies like Roca Group that would disagree entirely to the above statement. Claiming the title of market-leading bathroom manufacturer for more than 20 years, with more than 24,000 employees globally, Roca Group has recently opened a new and gleaming UK headquarters. Based on the outskirts of Leicester, the 145,000 sq-ft base, which also features one of the country’s largest bathroom showrooms, was the subject of my latest warehouse/factory tour.

    “Roca Group is all about the long-term goals,” Alan Dodds, the Managing Director of Roca Group UK, tells Hotel Designs. “Our products are inspired by materials. Therefore, research and design is paramount.”

    Peering over the interior balcony was the first time I grasped the sheer scale of Roca Group’s UK presence. The warehouse is colossal, complete with 12 dock level loading doors, two level access loading doors and 150 per cent more pallet locations than it sheltered in its previous UK base. “We had been at maximum capacity [in our old headquarters] for years,” adds Dodds. “And it’s refreshing, and it feels like the right time, to be able to bring all brands together under one roof.”

    Although the brands under Roca Group may capture a different segment of the market, the research and development team behind each product launched work in-house and operate across both Roca, Roca/Armani, Laufen and Cosmic equally. “It can take anything from six months to two years for a product to be developed and ready for the market,” explains Dodds. “We may not always be the first to launch new concepts, but we ensure that when we do, we are adding something different. Something that the consumers have demanded.”

    The latest shower toilets from Laufen are a solid example of this. Despite these W/Cs first being introduced in the ‘80s, the group has only recently launched them to the market, after investing time in careful and sensitive R&D. “We realised that consumers did not appreciate the chunkiness of this style of product originally, nor did they speak highly of the complicated and often unnecessary software when it comes to operating them,” said Richard Court, Laufen’s UK training manager. “Therefore, we launched our W/Cs to look discreet – like any other high-end toilet – and offer a one-button solution for operation that can, if preferred, also be adjusted by the remote.”

    In regards to showcasing the latest products on the market across all brands, the new showroom is one of the largest – and most impressive – bathroom showrooms in the UK. In true Roca Group fashion, the space has been dynamically designed to enhance each product’s value and unique selling points. It superbly compliments the group’s ethos to form ideas responsibly and with purpose.

    Often on the battlefield of bathroom manufacturers, one of the main challenges faced by bathroom manufacturers is differentiation. For Roca Group, each brand has its own position, aims and target market. However, all innovations are inspired by materials, form and function.

    Some of these materials used for sanitaryware from other manufacturers include china ceramic, titanium steel, and even cast-iron. However, in 2013, after half a decade of research and in true Swiss design style, Laufen launched a new material that became known as the world’s thinnest ceramic. “Sourcing SaphirKeramik was Laufen’s dining out card for some time,” explains Court. “It allows us to manufacture thin material without sacrificing on strength. It is still to this day the only material that can do so – and we are the only company that uses it.”

    The advantages of SaphirKeramik affect the availability of space. Put simply, less material is required without affecting the durability of the product. This could quite possible inspire future collections from Laufen that include smaller basins, for example, that would be impossible to recreate using any other material.

    In addition to the vast innovation, the brand’s bread and butter has always been valuable collaboration. In 1989/1990, Laufen introduced the first design collection developed with the Porsche Design Group with a press release headed “The bathroom that’s a PORSCHE”. Since then, the brand has partnered with renowned designers such as Patricia Urquiola, Roberto Palomba and Marcel Wanders to take the aesthetics of bathroom design to new heights.

    Next month at Sleep & Eat 2019 (stand L10), Laufen will unveil the result of its latest collaboration with Wanders. The New Classic collection interprets classical styles using Laufen’s SaphirKeramik to create soft, gentle feminine curves, alongside angular, masculine elements.

    Over in the Roca division of the showroom, while the brand is less focused on collaborations, there is one exceptional partnership that has been repositioned and readjusted under the spotlight recently following the brand announcing its second collection with fashion house Armani.

    Image credit: Roca/Armani

    Armani/Roca, as Giorgio Armani explains, “combines all the functional aspects of the bathroom space with elegance and subtly, providing an area that simultaneously provides comfort and wellbeing.” And the way in which the set has been curated within the new showroom with ‘that bath’ being taking centrestage, certainly does that bold statement justice. The latest products within the collection will also be showcased at Sleep & Eat on stand L20.

    “Each brand that is under the Roca Group umbrella is equally dedicated to stay within the confines of its own design lane.

    Adjacent to the Roca section within the showroom, the company displays yet another unique bathroom brand and style. Cosmic was created in 1985 and started by uniquely producing abstract bathroom accessories, such as the free-standing Saku collection. Designed by Ricard Ferrior, the products’ designs were inspired by plant forms which grow and evolve.

    The brand has recently expanded its offering, taking its inspiration from the rise in demand for industrial bathrooms, and included furniture, basins and a new range of lighting and mirrors. The Grid, also designed by Ferrer, is an excellent example of something different to launch in the bathroom furniture market. The parallel lines which frame the objects have been specifically designed for an architecturally engineered bathroom, something that neither Laufen nor Roca would compete to achieve.

    Image credit: Cosmic

    Considering how heavily congested the bathroom manufacturing market is, Roca Group seems to be able to jockey for position and noise within the market place effortlessly. “Roca keeps life very simple, allowing the products’ innovative qualities do the talking,” Dodds concludes. “But if you launch good products, present them in the right way, and have a good team, you will be heard regardless how busy the market place is.”

    Following my insightful trip to the group’s new UK Headquarters, one thing has become more apparent: each brand that is under the Roca Group umbrella is equally dedicated to stay within the confines of its own design lane. While all brands are inspired by outside influences and research, each and every decision is carefully considered to keep all brands at the forefront of the bathroom manufacturing market. Operating in 170 markets in all corners of the world, Roca Group’s long-term thinking has resulted in the launch of unconventional bathroom solutions for all designers.

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

    Main image credit: Roca Group

    Checking in to a urban landmark: The Edwardian Manchester

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Checking in to a urban landmark: The Edwardian Manchester

    The Edwardian Manchester, which joins The May Fair as Edwardian Hotels London’s second Radisson Collection property, has recently completed a £12m renovation. Editor Hamish Kilburn was invited to exclusive review the 263-room hotel… 

    A coherent blend of old and new is my first impression when, stood under a glass box that divides two buildings, I check in to the modern and contemporary The Edwardian Manchester.

    The Grade II listed The Free Trade Hall plays an integral role in the UK’s history and has long been an important spot for Mancunians. From the political, the Free Trade Hall was constructed in 1853–56 on St Peter’s Fields, the site of the Peterloo Massacre, to the cultural; a range of  iconic names have either performed or spoken at the property, from Charles Dickens to the Sex Pistols to Winston Churchill, the hotel embodies a sense of community and union.

    Edwardian Hotels London’s Design Team, led by Creative Director Rob Steul and Product Design Manager Krishma Singh-Dear, has successfully created a dynamic destination through smart, intuitive architectural design. Guests are drawn to a series of connected focal points throughout the building, with each location serving as a distinct purpose to enhance their visit. Their refusal to compromise on quality, and consistent attention to detail is apparent through the use of robust, yet luxurious materials and subtle highlights that consciously link spaces together.

    “The top-to-bottom renovation allowed the opportunity to marry the modern bedroom tower with the important heritage of the Grade II* listed original building,” says Steul. “The ground floor public rooms now create a coherent guest arrival leading to a varied and memorable flow of elegant spaces – layering materials, colour and lighting in a clear spatial sequence with texture and drama. It was critical in this building to get the balance of old and new right, allowing the memory of the Free Trade Hall, with its heroic façade, to live on as part of a confidently modern yet comfortable hotel. For me, the great surprise is the spa, gym and pool found below the entry level – a true urban resort in the heart of Manchester.”

    The lobby’s design is an excellent place to start. Balanced to reflect both the building’s heritage as well as the modern soul of Manchester. A large contemporary chandelier hangs in the entrance under a carefully curated mix of relaxed public seating. Meanwhile, above the long check-in desk, deliberately hidden from view upon arrival, are crests of honour, which reference the properties previous life.

    Peter Street Kitchen

    The ground floor restaurant, Peter Street Kitchen, serves hotel guests a fusion of Japanese and Mexican cuisine under a quirky and thoughtful design concept that aims to bring people closer together. The design team created a sequence of four distinctive spaces; a heroic scaled bar, an intimate circular dining room, a shared table area, and a relaxed lounge running the length of the barrel-vaulted colonnade overlooking the nightlife of Peter Street.

    “A varied palette juxtaposes smooth and textured materials to further define the space.”

    The unique menu inspired design features such as shared bench tables, a Hibachi inspired fire pit, and sumptuous leather-clad booths. Highly dramatic mood and feature lighting complements the stylish textures of natural woods, river stone, and sleek steel, with the historic carved stone arches and highly detailed plasterwork serving as a rich backdrop.

    A varied palette juxtaposes smooth and textured materials to further define the space. Circular marble mosaics and wood planking is used on the floors with historic stone with hand-crafted plaster framing circular mirrors and reflecting the shape and light of the arches opposite. The rough, raw timber exterior cladding of the bespoke dining banquets gives way to a supple white leather interior, further enhancing the powerful, circular form of the dining area.

    Image caption/credit: Peter Street Kitchen/Edwardian Hotels

    The Library

    Also situated on the ground floor, The Library has been curated by Assouline and is nestled adjacent to the welcoming lobby. The chic and contemporary dining concept includes neon lighting and considered bookshelves to create subtle boundaries. What is arguably most impressive, though, is the style of the menu. Designed around the theme of a recipe book, a clean image of the dish is the left of the page, while a precise list of ingredients is on the right page.

    “Mirrored nickel lamps project a warm glow over the navy velvet and dark woollen charcoal grey armchairs.”

    Complete with stunning, limited-edition books, the area, especially during the day, is a sophisticated space that encourages guests to sink into leather sofas and wingback armchairs to truly relax. Mirrored nickel lamps project a warm glow over the navy velvet and dark woollen charcoal grey armchairs, whilst the baby grand piano greets guests with a luxury setting to eat, drink and relax in, simultaneously capturing Manchester’s ties to art and culture. The property’s birch tree wallpaper has been used to mirror the exterior birch trees that line South Street entrance, bringing a connection and synergy between the two spaces.

    Wellness and wellbeing

    The lower floor of the hotel features the hotel’s gym and spa, which has been completely reimagined to manipulate ceiling heights, remove the appearance of walls and barriers, and create an open and fluid floor plan that provides clear sight lines between the defined spaces. The entire pool area is encompassed by a neutral palette of wood, concrete, marble and white flooring which aesthetically contrasts with the 12-metre pool’s aqua blue stone lining, creating an alluring lagoon. Crittall glass dividers are used to open the space and maximise light, while the swimming pool is further enhanced as a destination space with seven low cabanas creating a truly relaxing escape for guests.

    “The project allowed us to combine modern design influence with the property’s classic heritage.” – Product Design Manager, Krishma Singh-Dear

    Image caption/credit: The spa/Edwardian Hotels

    Guestrooms and suites

    The hotel’s guestrooms and suites have also been transformed, aligning with the contemporary design used throughout the property’s ground floor. Modern, yet relaxed and inviting, a pallet of greys mixes with black leather, smart dogtooth, marble, walnut and brass.

    Iconic images of Manchester and its history adorn each room, bringing flashes of colour alongside bespoke graphic prints designed exclusively for the hotel, while quirky details, such as the same checkered armchair seen in the lobby, add personality and form to each room.

    Image caption/credit: Modern guestroom/Edwardian Hotels

    “Aside from our ongoing work on the group’s first Super Boutique hotel The Londoner, the refurbishment of The Edwardian Manchester has been our largest and most complicated in-house designed and managed project to date,” explains Singh-Dear. “The project allowed us to combine modern design influence with the property’s classic heritage. I am very proud of the result and enjoy seeing our guests enjoy the spaces we have created.”

    Combining luxury, style and a rich history, The Edwardian Manchester has become one of the most established five-star hotels in the region as the brand prepares to open what is said to become one of the most environmentally friendly in the UK, with sustainability at its core.

    Main image credit: Edwardian Hotels

    Anantara to make its debut in Ireland

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Anantara to make its debut in Ireland

    By rebranding The Marker Hotel in Dublin, Anantara will open the brand’s first urban hotel in Europe…

    Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas will make its debut in the upcoming months in Ireland with the rebranding of The Marker Hotel in Dublin, one of the Irish capital’s most modern and luxurious buildings. The addition of the property in Dublin will represent the expansion of the luxury brand’s footprint into northwest Europe for the first time and also the first urban Anantara hotel in Europe.

    The hotel is located in the Docklands, one of the most attractive and dynamic areas of the Irish capital, in the heart of Silicon Docks, a nod to Silicon Valley on account of the high concentration of multinational high-tech companies located in the area. Close to the International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) and the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, the hotel is a perfect cultural and business epicentre for travellers’ keen to experience Ireland’s famous hospitality at its best. The Marker is the only five-star hotel in the area, which has recently emerged as one of the most vibrant and modern parts of the city for living, working and socialising.

    Image credit: Anantara

    Owned by Deka Immobilien, one of Europe’s leading real estate investment managers, and a member of Leading Hotels of the World, The Marker Hotel has a futuristic design and style and offers 187 contemporary guestrooms over six floors (166 deluxe rooms, 18 executive rooms and three suites) plus eight state-of-the-art event and meeting facilities.

    Image caption/credit: The Marker Hotel Dublin: Corner Suite/Anantara

    Services such as an award-winning spa, named Irish Tatler Dublin Spa of the year several times, and stylish rooftop terrace with stunning panoramic 360º views and the restaurant La Brasserie, recently named Best Hotel Restaurant in Dublin by the Restaurant Association of Ireland (RAI), are part of the experience of The Marker Hotel.

    “We are thrilled to announce the expansion of our luxury Anantara brand into northwest Europe in the fair city of Dublin,” commented Dillip Rajakarier, CEO of Minor Hotels, parent company of Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas. “The Marker Hotel is already known as one of the city’s leading hotels and bringing the reputation and luxury touch points of Anantara to the property will further elevate the guest experience.”

    In the surrounding area visitors to the city can enjoy a walk through the culture and heritage of the Docklands, which dates back to the eighteenth century, a wide range of options for foodie travellers, including extravagant cafés and high-end restaurants, shopping on nearby Grafton Street, boat rides along the river and in Dublin Bay or sporting activities from a relaxing yoga class to watching a game of Gaelic football at renowned Croke Park.

    “This agreement will enable us to bring a truly different value proposition to the Irish market for the first time,” comments Ramón Aragonés, CEO of NH Hotel Group, operators of Anantara in Europe, under the guidance and brand oversight of Minor Hotels. “The Anantara brand will connect travellers with genuine experiences in a privileged location in the city of Dublin.”

    The Dublin hotel will be the third Anantara in Europe, joining Anantara Vilamoura Algarve Resort in Portugal and the Anantara Villa Padierna Palace in Marbella, Spain.

    Main image credit: Anantara

    ARCHITECTURE GOALS: Architects unveil Japanese infused urban retreat in Sydney

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    ARCHITECTURE GOALS: Architects unveil Japanese infused urban retreat in Sydney

    The new development of five buildings in Sydney will feature new penthouses that will offer rare traditional Japanese design details…

    Australian developer Crown Group’s latest residential development, Mastery by Crown Group, will offer a rare infusion of Japanese design in Sydney, complete with traditional Japanese hinoki timber onsen style baths.

    The five towers are designed by three different architects, with a Japanese aesthetic and design scheme. The tallest, at 20-storeys, is designed by world-renowned Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, and features lush, timber-clad innovative design on the building’s green exterior emulating a ‘stacked forest’. Three further towers are the work of award-winning architect Koichi Takada Architects, while the fifth residential building is designed by established Sydney based architects Silvester Fuller.

    Prisca Edwards, Director of Sales at Crown Group said the apartments would have the most sophisticated Japanese-inspired interiors Sydney had ever seen, with a neutral palette and generous use of natural materials, timber tones and soft warm hues, inspired by the interplay of light (hikari) and shadow (kage).

    “Mastery by Crown Group has been designed with the most sought-after features drawing on an inspirational Japanese concept of simplicity, peace, and nature,” she said. “Koichi Takada himself conceptualised and curated the interior of every apartment. It’s very Japanese inspired, very minimalistic and also represents what Crown Group stands for.”

    The modern and sophisticated interior design varies between five buildings to complement the exterior architecture. In all residences, natural light takes centre stage. Landscaping on the facades relates to materials used inside the apartments.

    Edwards said the design created a natural urban retreat, incorporating the calming, zen design sensibilities of Japanese architecture and interiors.

    “We are giving penthouse buyers the option to have a hinoki wood bathtub — it is a traditional Japanese onsen style bath using the densest wood in the world,” she said. “Normally, wood disintegrates in the water but this type of timber is really unusual because it becomes hardened.

    “Natural oils with medical properties and soothing fragrances are released in the warm water for a sensation of extreme wellbeing when you soak in the warm water. Hinoki wood oil is also traditionally used to treat skin irritations and injuries thanks to its antibacterial and antifungal action. When inhaled, it acts as a decongestant of the respiratory system, used to cure asthma and as a tonic for the nervous system. So, we are going all out with this – soaking in a Japanese natural style – because they are limited and with a Japanese concept these are different.”

    Mastery by Crown Group, being developed in partnership with Mitsubishi Estate Group, will comprise 368 luxury apartments across five-tower residential towners. When completed in 2021, residents can access to Crown Group’s signature resort-style facilities including an infinity-edge rooftop pool, gym, spa, mini-cinema, community room and a ground-floor retail precinct comprising a mix of restaurants, cafes and shops, as well as Sydney’s first Japanese “eat street”.

    Main image credit: Crown Group

    Kempinski opens second luxury hotel in the Americas

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Kempinski opens second luxury hotel in the Americas

    Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski has opened, marking the brand’s debut in Dominica ahead of global expansion… 

    Nestled in Douglas Bay on the northwest side of the island of Dominica, the unparalleled luxury destination which now features Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski blends harmoniously the Caribbean hospitality with timeless European elegance of Kempinski.

    “Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski Dominica is an important addition to Kempinski fast-growing portfolio of iconic and luxurious hotels in the Caribbean, and further emphasizes our development strategy in the region,” said Martin R. Smura, Chairman of the Management Board and Chief Executive Officer of Kempinski Hotels S.A. “The beachfront hideaway is the perfect destination for luxury travellers looking for a different kind of resort experience in deep connection with nature, and combines the best of Kempinski European service with a keen respect for Dominica culture and traditions.”

    Commenting on the opening, Michael Schoonewagen, General Manager, Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski Dominica says: “We are excited to bring Kempinski rich heritage of impeccable personal service and incomparable hospitality to Dominica. Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski Dominica is the celebration of the destination’s pristine, untouched landscape and Kempinski European refinement. We look forward to welcoming all guests to experience this new pinnacle of luxury in the Caribbean.”

    “Dominica is the land of a variety of flora and fauna, including many rare plants, animals and bird species.”

    Found between Guadeloupe and Martinique, the lush, unspoiled island of Dominica is the Caribbean’s hidden gem. Unexposed to mass tourism, the island attracts both eco-adventurers and those simply wishing to disconnect from everyday life. Surrounded by Cabrits National Park, Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski Dominica has been designed to preserve the natural balance between land and the sea, whilst ensuring a modern contemporary guest experience.

    Dominica is the land of a variety of flora and fauna, including many rare plants, animals and bird species. The island is protected by an extensive natural park system that encompasses three national parks, two forest reserves and the Syndicate Parrot Reserve. Adventure seekers can enjoy eco-trekking on countless hiking trails, bird watching or simply observing wildlife in their natural surroundings.

    All of the resort’s 151 luxuriously appointed guestrooms and suites are generously proportioned and guarantee exceptional mountain or ocean views. From deluxe and superior rooms to spacious suites and two-bedroom duplexes, as well as villas, each is inspired by the island’s natural beauty and features a soothing palette of coastal colours, detailed wood accents and ample natural lighting, bringing the beauty of the outdoors in.

    Rooms are equipped with every modern convenience that a guest might need including flat-screen televisions and complimentary WiFi service to in-room espresso machines and luxurious bath amenities.

    For the ultimate Cabrits experience, the 426 sq m Presidential Villa features stunning ocean views, dedicated butler service, a private lobby entrance, two bedrooms, two and a half bathrooms, a dining room, a private spa room with sauna and a large, oversized terrace for outdoor dining, complete with a grill and private pool. A private chef is also available upon request.

    The selection of culinary treasures at Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski has been carefully thought out to give all the senses a feast. The resort is a culinary destination featuring both local and international cuisine as well as “farm-to-table” and “sea-to-table” dining.

    The hotel group currently operates 79 five-star hotels and residences in 34 countries, and has plans to add new properties in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and the Americas.

    Main image credit: Kempinski Hotels

    Permission submitted to integrate 400,000 plants within façade of new London hotel

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Permission submitted to integrate 400,000 plants within façade of new London hotel

    Set to radically change the city’s landscape and add to its eco hotel offering, hotel developer Dominvs Group and architecture firm Sheppard Robson have submitted permission for a living wall to be the façade of a new London hotel, with the aim to absorb more than eight tonnes of the city’s gaseous pollution each year… 

    Following Hotel Designs publishing the results of a new study that showed that 76 per cent of guests believed that hotels could be greener, the architecture firm of a new development in London has submitted planning permission to include 40,000ft² as part of its exterior shell.

    The hospitality-led, mixed-use project designed by Sheppard Robson for Dominvs Group is characterised by one of the largest green walls in the world, creating a distinctive architectural addition to a gateway City site, while absorbing eight tonnes of pollution annually and setting the standard for urban greening in London.

    Radical plans have been submitted to the City of London to create a 382-key five-star hotel, featuring the vertical landscaping, as well as 40,000ft2 of workspace, a sky-bar on the tenth floor, meeting and events space, spa and ground level restaurant and co-working space. Situated on a prominent site on Holborn Viaduct at the gateway of what will be the City’s “Cultural Mile,” the proposed building creates an opportunity to broadcast fresh ideas about how the built environment can address pertinent issues such as air quality, climate change and air pollution.

    “Dominvs Group is incredibly proud of our proposals for 61-65 Holborn Viaduct which aim to play a major role in the regeneration of the Smithfield area,” said Jay Ahluwalia, Director of Dominvs Group. “With the City of London’s vision for the area and the creation of the Culture Mile, we feel this project will support and enhance the overall ambition for this exciting, new cultural destination as the creative heart of the Square Mile.”

    “The wall will also significantly contribute towards improving local air quality, by trapping approximately 500kg of particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10) per year.”

    Coming after our successful opening of The Dixon at Tower Bridge and the recent breaking of ground at Creed Court, St Pauls we hope our proposals demonstrate our ongoing commitment to providing developments of the highest quality in Central London. We also believe the building’s proposed Living Green Wall, the largest in Europe, could be an exciting, innovative and celebrated addition to London for years to come.”

    By integrating 40,000 square feet of living wall within the façade, the building is projected to annually capture more than eight tonnes of carbon, produce six tonnes of oxygen, and lower the local temperature by three to five degrees Celsius. The wall will also significantly contribute towards improving local air quality, by trapping approximately 500kg of particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10) per year.

    The project engages with the Urban Greening Policy set out in the GLA’s draft New London Plan, incorporating strategies to encourage more and better urban greening, while adopting measures for an ‘Urban Greening Factor.’ The projected Urban Greening Factor score of 1.37 exceeds requirements by 45 times and has the highest greening score in Greater London.

    The development also includes new public green space, with the roof-top viewing gallery on the eleventh floor open to the public and featuring incredible views overlooking St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Grade I listed Holy Sepulchre, and over the city beyond. At roof level, the greenery continues to wrap around the building, with spaces designed for threatened native wildflower species to flourish.

    Dan Burr, Partner at Sheppard Robson, said: “On a site that is so prominent, there was a real drive to inject some fresh perspectives on how to grapple with some on London’s most urgent environmental issues, including air quality and noise and dust pollution. Rather than having an isolated patch of greenery, we felt that an immersive and integrated approach would have the biggest impact on the local environmental conditions and making a better and more liveable city, as well as articulating a clear architectural statement.”

    Hotel Designs will be exploring the topic of sustainability all next month. If you have story for the editorial team, please email editor Hamish Kilburn. 

    Main image credit: Sheppard Robson

    One month until The Brit List Awards 2019

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    One month until The Brit List Awards 2019

    Calling all hotel designers, architects, hoteliers, developers and suppliers: Tickets are selling out fast for The Brit List Awards 2019, which is just one month away… 

    There is just one month to go until Hotel Designs announces the winners of The Brit List 2019. The awards, which will be sheltered at Patch East London on November 21, is the climax of the publication’s nationwide search to find the UK’s top interior designers, architects, hoteliers and suppliers.

    Supplier tickets (£150 + VAT) can be purchased here.
    Delegate tickets (£20 + VAT) can be purchased here.

    Among the leading designers who have already confirmed are design directors and principals from Richmond International, Project Orange, Sibley Grove, Harriet Forde Design, Harris + Harris, RPW Design, Scott Brownrigg, David Collins Studio and IHG.

    In regards to architects attending The Brit List Awards 2019, Hotel Designs will welcome associates and directors from the likes of Zaha Hadid Architects, WATG, Jestico + Whiles, Holland Harvey Architects, EPR Architects and Dexter Moren Associates.

    Hoteliers confirmed to attend the annual awards ceremony include, among others, Heckfield Place, Good Hotel London, Limewood Group and Homegrown Hotels, Rosewood London, Cliveden House, The Athenaeum Hotel & Residences London, The Dixon, Bespoke Hotels, Great Scotland Yard Hotel, Eccleston Square, Inhabit London and Hotel Gotham.

    The nationwide search to find the most influential designers, architects and hoteliers operating in Britain began months ago when Hotel Designs opened up nominations and applications to readers.

    Since then, an independent panel of expert judges have gathered to select this year’s individual award winners and also to confirm the 75 individuals who have made it into The Brit List 2019.

    How to attend

    Suppliers:
    Click here if you are a supplier to the industry to secure your ticket for £150 + VAT.

    Designers, architects, hoteliers and developers:
    Click here if you are either a designer, hotelier, developer or architect to secure your ticket for £20 + VAT.

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

    #TheBritListAwards2019

    Headline Partner: Crosswater

    Event Partner: Hamilton Litestat

    2019 Industry Partner: BIID

    GROHE to showcase ground-breaking 3D printing concept at Sleep & Eat 2019

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    GROHE to showcase ground-breaking 3D printing concept at Sleep & Eat 2019

    GROHE will return to the Sleep & Eat 2019 exhibition for its 14th year in November, delivering continued commitment to the hospitality sector with new product innovations…

    GROHE will showcase its most eclectic and diverse product offering yet including the ICON 3D which has received international recognition since its launch in March 2019.

    This will be the first time the 3D printing concept will be on display in the UK, having already received multiple award-nominations including the Blueprint Awards 2019, plus specification in exciting European projects such as the new Under restaurant in Norway.

    With the launch of another ceramics collection earlier this year, GROHE will use Europe’s leadinghospitality design event to cement its status as a complete supplier of coordinated bathroom fittings offering a seamless and hassle-free way of working with specifiers in the hospitality sector.

    “This is an exciting time for GROHE as we mark our evolution from a sanitaryware brand to an all- encompassing bathroom brand that can offer hoteliers and specifiers a complete and coordinated design from one single, world-recognised supplier,” said Raj Mistry, Marketing Director at GROHE UK. “Sleep & Eat is a key event for us and one which has helped us to build very strong industry contacts over the years. As its founding partner in 2005 we continue to push the boundaries of innovation at the show.”

    GROHE will once again have fantastic placement and visibility within the exhibition space and its carefully curated stand can be found at M50. The stand will include new launches first seen at ISH 2019 earlier this year in Frankfurt, many of which will be showcased in the UK for the first time at the event.

    GROHE are 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, email Katy Phillips by clicking here.

    Main image credit: GROHE

    Aparthotel growth outpacing UK hotel market

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Aparthotel growth outpacing UK hotel market

    Serviced apartments and aparthotels are the fastest growing segment of the UK’s hospitality accommodation market, according to new research by commercial property consultancy Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH)…

    LSH’s latest hotel market research Va Va Vroom! reports that the serviced apartment sector, which includes aparthotels, currently represents just 3% of the total hospitality accommodation in the UK, a significantly lower level than in many international markets.

    In the US, the sector takes a 9% market share, the report says, suggesting that there is considerable room for growth in the UK.  Reflecting this potential, the sector is now expanding at an accelerated rate, with approximately 6,000 new units scheduled to open over the next two years – making up around 13% of the UK’s total active pipeline.

    While serviced apartments have historically been targeted at single travellers on long stays, Va Va Vroom! highlights that the sector is now appealing to a much broader customer base, with aparthotels increasingly popular for short-term stays.  Newer aparthotel concepts are tapping into the changing consumer demands of the Airbnb era, it says, by providing flexible accommodation that offers more of a ‘home-from-home’ experience.

    Innovative formats are also blurring the distinctions between serviced apartments, aparthotels and traditional hotels, it reports, with operators such as Native, Locke and Roomzzz developing increasingly stylish, design-led products.  Ideas from the co-working sector are also being introduced to create home-office hybrids.  While London has historically been the main focus for operators, key target markets for aparthotel operators now include regional centres such as Manchester, Glasgow and Liverpool.

    “The aparthotel sector is currently one of the most exciting parts of the market,” said Simon Stevens, LSH Hotels Director. “While the rise of the Airbnb sector is sometimes viewed as a threat to more traditional types of accommodation, it is actually benefiting aparthotels by making consumers more receptive to alternatives to conventional hotels.

    “With new brands being launched and established operators reinventing their products, serviced apartments and aparthotels will continue to innovate and grow. The sector will remain a melting pot for new ideas; borrowing from alternative concepts such as co-living and co-working to create inventive new hybrids.”

    Main image credit: Accor/Adagio

    Latest concept in hotel wellness design is the Five-Star Bedroom Spa

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Latest concept in hotel wellness design is the Five-Star Bedroom Spa

    The five-star private spa by Starpool is the latest concept in hotel wellness design that brings modernisation and beauty to the most ancient spa rituals…

    Inspired by luxury living, the private spa suites by Starpool offer unique relaxation experience for body and mindthat goes well beyond customers’ expectations in terms of functionality and design.

    Awarded with the ‘Best of the Best’ by Reddot Design Award, the iconic Starpool SweetCollection combines high technology and style for a tailor-made environment dedicated to wellness.

    The SweetSpa is designed exclusively for luxury hotels that aim to offer only the highest standard spaexperience to their guests. That is the company has incorporated its new sp.a_system to the SweetSpa, where guests can choose from four wellness paths for four wellness goals.

    Image credit: Starpool

    How sp.a_system works

    The sp.a_system helps the user by informing him/her on times and conditions of use of each spa facility. Just choose your goal from one of the four wellness bracelets (relax, tonic, purify, excite), put the bracelet on and follow the guidelines. The facilities in the SweetSpa are marked with a wellness sign that matches the ones displayed on your bracelet, so all you need to do is follow the wellness path and enjoy the private spa experience.

    Also, for those of your clients that are jet-lagged or looking for a stress relief solution, the SweetSpabedroom setting provides another luxury facility, designed exclusively for body and mind regeneration– Zerobody.

    Zerobody is a dry floatation cloud for deep relaxation and enhancement of sleep duration and quality. The Zerobody cloud is at the forefront of wellness technology, providing multiple health benefits such as muscle and joint pain reduction; improvement of memory capacity and skills; reduction of chronic insomnia and headaches.

    How Zerobody works

    During the floating experience, your body causes to regulate its temperature and gravitational alignment – two activities that alone absorb 90 per cent of our resources. Once on the Zerobody cloud, your body is free to use the extra energy for quicker muscle and jet lag recovery and reduction of mental pressure. All you need to do is lie down and enjoy the ultimate body and mind recovery booster.

    Image credit: Starpool

    In combination, Starpool’s new sp.a_system and Zerobody Relax make the SweetSpa unique wellness concept that brings the spa relaxation to the next level of five-star luxury.

    Starpool 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: Starpool

    Conran and Partners designs spin on flexible working spaces

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Conran and Partners designs spin on flexible working spaces

    Design firm Conran and Partners has completed new flexible working spaces within the lobby that are sheltered inside Crowne Plaza Paris – République…

    Conran and Partners has completed a significant redesign of the lobby spaces at Crowne Plaza Paris – République. The launch marks the first step in a wider roll-out of a new concept-design blueprint for the brand in Europe, aiming to deliver a distinctive guest experience globally.

    The lobby has been reinvigorated as the brand’s exible work and meeting concept, ‘Plaza Workspace.’ This contemporary hub was developed to meet the changing needs of modern business travellers seeking more comfortable public and semi-public spaces in which to work and relax. Regarded as the largest design innovation in the brand’s history, Crowne Plaza Paris – République is the first hotel to launch the Plaza Workspace in Europe.

    Throughout Plaza Workspace there is an abundance of tech savvy elements: tables feature integrated wireless phone chargers and high-speed Wi-Fi is available to address the growing trend in flexible work and life preferences and people’s desire to work from anywhere. Plaza Workspace also includes The Studio, a bookable-by-the-hour meeting space to cater for private meetings and events, complete with its own bar counter and break-out lounge seating. The studio’s design maximises the flow of guests through the spaces, allowing them to transition seamlessly between work and down time.

    The former main entrance of the hotel has been relocated from the Place de la République to one side of the building, giving the arrival experience a more private feel with access via a courtyard in the style of a traditional Parisian apartment block. The signature bar is now in a more prominent position closer to the outside terrace, which runs along the hotel’s principal façade.

    In contrast to a conventional arrival experience, guests are initially welcomed by a centrally-located monument wall. This wall – referencing the original Haussmann-era architecture of the area – serves to orientate the guest, dividing the space between the ‘plaza’ (the informal and relaxed bar spaces) and the ‘gallerie’ (the refined and elegant recep on and studio spaces). Among the book selection adorning the shelves of the lounge and Plaza Workspace are titles on Haussmann’s contribution to the remodelling of Paris.

    Conran and Partners have also completed the design of the European adaptation of the ‘WorkLife’ concept guestroom, a design patented in the United States, which will serve as the basis for the wider redesign of rooms and other non-public facing areas of the hotel in the future.

    The Place de la République is famous as the site of the statue of Marianne – the personification of the French Republic – commemorating the founding of the First Republic of France in 1792. The square is important as one of the key locations where Parisians congregate during times of national significance.

    The hotel occupies an exceptionally attractive and restored Haussmann building, formerly a department store, Les Magasins Réunis. It is located at the point where three different arrondissements (3rd, 10th and 11th) of the city meet. A couple of original Haussmann features are s ll visible, including the staircase, wrought-iron balustrade and doors onto the original caged lifts at higher levels. Conran and Partners’ design also responds to the different – yet complementary – feel of each adjoining arrondissement (‘Fashionable’ (3rd), ‘Bohemian’ (10th) and ‘Modern’ (11th).

    “Within the individual elements of a project there are always opportunities to work with manufacturers to create distinctive furniture commissions and bespoke materials,” said Simon Kincaid, Partner at Conran and Partners and a shortlisted finalist for The Brit List 2019. “For each new development, we study the locale and create a narrative, drawing on our experience of blurring the boundaries between work and leisure to create strong, characterful places.”

    Image credit: Anna Stathaki

    Conran and Partners’ approach was based on a thorough analysis of Crowne Plaza’s success in the Americas as well as among its European target market. The practice developed an architectural strategy focusing on key elements within a typical guest stay. A series of seating typologies and a hierarchy of signature elements was created which enabled key functional elements to be located, while defining specific design features and focal points. This has given hotel guests and visitors a wider variety of spaces to encourage more dwell time.

    The approach has also sought to reinterpret the idea of a ‘plaza’ as a place where people can meet and relax and applied this to the various spaces within the hotel, encouraging guests to move between different types of spaces. The design also responds to changing consumer behaviour, in particular exible working and the ‘always on’ and ‘on-demand’ workplace culture. Spaces and services have been created to facilitate more business- related functions within the plaza workspace, both formal and informal, as well as helping to bring people into the hotel.

    “The spaces in Place de la République are tech savvy, while acknowledging the need to embed humanity in the design to create a comfortable place to work and relax,” continues Kincaid. “The narrative we created for Crowne Plaza Paris- Republique is based on the concept of ‘New Modern’. It seeks to demonstrate that business hotels can be exciting by offering guests kind, personal touches, while introducing new, meaningful experiences for them to share and – above all – to appeal to the senses as far as possible.

    “Our design narrative has informed the choice of furniture and accessories and even the rug design and the artwork selection (developed in collaboration with Double Decker Artwork Consultants), which seek to reference the various key art movements and ar sts closely associated with Paris since the mid-nineteenth century. Materiality and palette are central to our design thinking.”

    Libby Escolme, Global Vice President, Crowne Plaza, commented: “I have always loved travel and staying at an inspiring hotel is o en why I am excited about a business trip. Today’s traveller wants to stay somewhere that inspires them, where innova ve design creates great spaces that work well. We have collaborated on this project with Conran and Partners, a best-in-class design rm, and I feel genuinely excited about how our new hotel spaces will enhance a guest’s stay with us.”

    Main image credit: Anna Stathaki

     

     

    Laufen expands BASE bathroom furniture collection

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Laufen expands BASE bathroom furniture collection

    Swiss bathroom manufacturer Laufen has extended its popular BASE bathroom furniture range, with the addition of new vanity units for the Ino washbasin collection. The extensive furniture range is timelessly simple and graceful and features Laufen’s trademark attention to detail in carefully thought-through functionality, high-quality materials and the latest colour schemes.

    Bathroom furniture helps to create a tidy, uncluttered atmosphere in the bathroom, allowing bathroom accessories and towels to be unobtrusively tucked away out of sight.

    The latest additions to Laufen’s BASE range are not only designed to complement the company’s fine-profile SaphirKeramik Ino washbasins, designed by French designer Toan Nguyen, but are cleverly created for an even more refined and sophisticated bathroom ambiance.

    A key detail of the new BASE furniture collection is the recessed inverted metal strip handles, which extend for the entire width of each unit. This ensures intuitive, safe handling and also prevents dust and grime from collecting. The handles will be available in two colour variations: anodised aluminium and black aluminium.

    The furniture itself is available in matt or gloss white, classic furniture colours which stand for purity and tranquillity. Other available colour variations are light elm and dark elm, plus the new colour option of traffic grey. For special bathroom designs, Laufen offers many other on trend colours in a matt finish on request. All furniture colours can be combined with either handle colour option.

    The range features high-end vanity units in a variety of dimensions, along with a generously proportioned tall column cabinet. For the 900 mm-wide Ino washbasin unit, Laufen offers a choice of a wall-mounted frame with one drawer or a floor-mounted frame with two drawers. Smaller washbasins can be combined with vanity units in two sizes with either a left-opening or right-opening door. Further storage space is provided by the matching tall column cabinet, with a vertical strip handle running the whole height of the cabinet.

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

    Main image credit: Laufen

    Coventry’s Telegraph Hotel unveils new interiors

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Coventry’s Telegraph Hotel unveils new interiors

    Operators behind the transformation of the former Coventry Evening Telegraph building into the city’s first four-star hotel have revealed the first completed interiors of Telegraph Hotel….

    The £20 million project on the Telegraph Hotel has seen an iconic 1950s building turned into an 88-key boutique hotel embracing its Mid-Century architecture. The hotel features a 160-seat convention room, meeting rooms, 110-cover restaurant and two ground floor bars as well as an expansive rooftop bar and events space which overlooks Belgrade Square.

    The released photographs show one of the smallest bedrooms, which has been prepared early as a sample room to enable the finessing of the design. The hotel will open in September 2020 ahead of Coventry being UK City of Culture and is already taking bookings.

    The hotel has been developed by Complex Development Projects (CDP) and operated by Bespoke Hotels, the UK’s largest independent hotel group which also operates Gotham Hotel and Oddfellows On The Park.

    The guestrooms and public space interiors have been designed by Squid Inc, highly praised for their recent work on Manchester’s award-winning Hotel Gotham. The company has taken inspiration from the building’s history as a thriving newspaper and printworks, as well as the Mid-Century architectural style for which Coventry is famed.

    The project is a flagship for the city’s drive to boost the tourist economy and will be one of the major physical legacies of 2021.

    “The Telegraph Hotel will bring something truly unique to the region and we have looked across Europe for our inspiration,” said Brian Harrabin of CDP. “ This is the first glimpse of the completed product.

    “This will be Coventry’s first four-star hotel since the Hotel Leofric, which was built in the rebirth of Coventry in the 1950s.  It is apt that we are restoring a much-loved 1950s landmark building and recreating the glamour of that Mid-Century era.

    “The hotel recaptures the optimism of the era for the renewed confidence in Coventry’s future that we will be celebrating in 2021. In many ways we wanted to signal to the outside world that Coventry has done it again – the improvements to the city in recent years have been immense.

    “All the en-suite rooms will be a treat to stay in, offering much more than merely a nod to the 1950s in styling. In a world where most hotels appear the same, it will be very different.”

    The project has been supported by the West Midlands Combined Authority.

    Main image credit: Telegraph Hotel

    Just for fun: What comedians really think about hotels

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Just for fun: What comedians really think about hotels

    With consumer demands ever-evolving, we asked Recommended Supplier STAAH to investigate the truth about what comedians really think about hotels…

    Buffet breakfasts, wake-up calls, tea and coffee making facilities and the five-star service, comedians from around the world go uncut and talk about what they think of staying at a hotel. Here’s what we found.

    Michael McIntyre

    An English comedian, writer, and television presenter, Michael McIntyre talks about Buffet breakfasts, wake-up calls, tea and coffee making facilities and the turn-down service.

    Amit Tandon

    Amit Tandon is a stand-up Comedian from India, who tells stories and makes observations about daily life. In this video he talks about how he gets excited about five star hotels, but never feel at home.

    Erik Griffin

    Erik Griffin is an American stand-up comedian, writer and actor known for such television series and films. In this video Erik Griffin has a couple of complaints for the hotels he frequents.

    If you have any funny experience staying at the hotel, feel free to share it with the team at STAAH. Email them at marketing@staah.com

    Main image credit: Pixabay

    In Conversation With: Britain’s design legend Martin Brudnizki

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    In Conversation With: Britain’s design legend Martin Brudnizki

    Last year’s crowned Interior Designer of The Year at The Brit List Awards, Martin Brudnizki, invites editor Hamish Kilburn to his Chelsea London studio to explain some of the major milestones in his career as well as how he logistically manages his time in a truly international market…

    Design gems are not hard to come by on the British hotel design scene. You have only to open the pages of last year’s edition of The Brit List – and this year’s shortlist for that matter – to find the top 75 influential designers, architects and hoteliers.

    However, design legends are less common. It’s not a question of talent or ability, but more a reflection of style, class, personality and being about to really set oneself aside from others in the heavily congested international hotel design market.

    There is only – and will only ever be – one Martin Brudnizki, for example. Last year, Hotel Designs’ The Brit List crowned the acclaimed visionary as its Interior Designer of the Year – and for good reason. “Brudnizki is an international leader, standing as an icon as well as inspiration to so many young aspiring designers,” commented last year’s expert judging panel. “His recent work in University Arms Cambridge is a credit to his studio’s ability to give a building a new lease of life in the most sensitive and creative way.”

    Image caption/credit: The Library designed by MBDS/University Arms Cambridge

    Almost one year later, while the editorial team at Hotel Designs are gearing up for yet another spectacular awards ceremony, I aptly caught up with the Brudnizki in his Chelsea studio in London to find out more about our ‘poster boy’s’ journey to become one of the world’s most celebrated interior designers of the moment.

    “I grew up in Stockholm; my mother was a stylist and my father an engineer and I think this blend of approaches to living and design, in particular, rubbed off on me,” Brudnizki explains. “My mother is incredibly stylish and filled our home with beautiful colours, patterns and objet. My father on the other hand, worked in a very precise and thought-through way. Both aspects of their personality has certainly informed the way I work today.”

    Brudnizki’s early career in design saw him working at the likes of David Gill Gallery and David Collins Studio before branching off and putting his own practice in 2000, Martin Brudnizki Design Studio (MBDS) in 2000. “I learned a lot during my time in other places,” he adds, “which has served me well when establishing my own studio.”

    “We have a number of up-coming projects that I also hope shape our studio’s story. It’s an exciting time.” – Martin Brudnizki

    Since then, MBDS has become one of the leading international design studios, with bases in London and New York and projects including The Beekman, University Arms and Four Seasons Athens. But, like all designers, Brudnizki remembers the milestone moments; the hotels and buildings that captured his and his team’s incredible imagination, usually sheltered in iconic shells. “All the projects we work on are exciting and help shape the future of the studio however, there are a few that really stick out as being pivotal,” the designer explains. “Scott’s in Mayfair presented us with the opportunity to design our first fine dining restaurant, it also cemented our relationship with Caprice Holdings, who have since become important clients of ours. Working with Nick Jones on Soho Beach House Miami was exciting as this saw us introduce the successful Soho House brand to a new region. The Beekman in New York opened in 2016 and helped stamp our mark on New York. It’s located in a beautiful building and we were lucky to garner a lot of attention from it. Finally, Annabel’s in London has proved incredibly popular for us. It’s such an iconic club so we felt very honoured to be asked to redesign its incarnation. We have a number of up-coming projects that I also hope shape our studio’s story. It’s an exciting time.”

    Dividing his time between both London and New York has given Brudnizki the unique freedom to position himself in two of the world’s most respected design hubs. “Both cities have very unique identities,” Brudnizki explains. “They are both are melting pots of culture and excitement and whilst very different, they both present wonderful opportunities to mark your mark.”

    “Luxury travel to me is being able to combine a sense of curated experience with spontaneity; finding new places but also the having the flexibility to be adventurous and go off piste.” – Martin Brudnizki

    From the outside looking in, the luxury market in hotel design may look like a desirable place to start when setting out to build a reputation as being a leading designer, but it also comes with risk to cater to the ever-changing demand of the modern luxury traveller. For Brudniki, the true art of luxury travel is a reflection of his own experience and personality. “Luxury travel to me is being able to combine a sense of curated experience with spontaneity; finding new places but also the having the flexibility to be adventurous and go off piste,” he defines.

    Since winning at The Brit List 2018, Brudnizki’s vision on a new hotel brand has come to life in the shape of Mr C Hotels, which opened in Miami earlier this year – and has, as a result, put him in the running for the second consecutive year for this year’s awards. “Mr C is situated in a modern new build in the green surroundings of Coconut Grove,” he explains. “New builds have many benefits, including up-to-date technology and no listed statuses to content with however, new builds often lack the characterful details of older properties. With this in mind, we often have to dig deeper to find a strong narrative to wrap the hotel’s design in. For Mr. C we looked to the landscape of the region and the glamorous boating heritage and incorporated elements of this into our scheme.”

    As well as technology, another area that has peaked recently in popularity among developers as well as designers and architects is the value of sustainability and designing consciously. “I think it depends on the project and the client, Brudnizki admits. “We are working with Six Senses on their new hotel and resort in Kitzbuehel Alps and the whole design is focused on sustainability and using organic and local materials. This is to mirror the brand’s values so we’ve had an interesting time researching new materiality and local artisans who can help reduce the hotel’s carbon footprint and up their sustainability accreditation.”

    Quick-fire round

    Hamish Kilburn: Where is next on your travel bucket list?
    Martin Brudnizki: Portugal.

    HK: What is the number one item you simply cannot travel without?
    MB: A silk eye mask.

    HK: What is the last item that will show up on your bank statement?
    MB: Probably food from Bayley & Sage.

    HK: What is your favourite place to unwind in London?
    MB: My home in Parsons Green. As a travel so much, it’s nice to just come home and relax in the peace and quiet.

    HK: What trend do you hope will never return?
    MB: International Beige.

    HK: Where are you travelling to next?
    MB: My New York Studio next week.

    Before I leave the designer in peace to create with his team the hotel interiors of the future, which include hotels in London, Austria, LA and Cape Town (among others), I am interested to explore, on the surface at least, new materials that have emerged on the designer’s radar. “I am really interested in straw marquetry at the moment; it’s such a beautiful natural fibre that can be used in the most unusual of places, such as walls and furniture,” Brudnizki says.

    MBDS itself is incubating a strong network of talented designers that will further position Britain as a globally regarded leading design hotspot. With his name on the door of two dynamic studios – and also in the minds of I would argue all aspiring interior designers – Brudnizki is leading the ever-evolving industry into new territory.

    The shortlisted finalists this year’s The Brit List have been invited to The Brit List Awards 2019, which takes on November 21 at Patch East London (Aldgate). To purchase limited tickets, click here

    Main image credit: Luca Marziale

    Lighted mirror, mirror on the lobby wall

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Lighted mirror, mirror on the lobby wall

    While it has become common to specify a lighted mirror in the hotel bathroom, Hotel Designs turns to new Recommended Supplier Electric Mirror to understand how the product can also be utilised in public areas… 

    In conclusion to Hotel Designs’ time putting lighting in public areas under the spotlight, we have noticed one company is looking to disrupt the conventional idea that the lighted mirror is reserved for the hotel bathroom.

    Electric Mirror, which is leading a clean and innovative path in lighting and mirror technology on the international hotel design scene, has taken the accessories to entirely new places and spaces, creating a memorable experience from the moment the guest enters the hotel.

    An Electric Mirror Savvy SmartMirror in the lobby connects guests with hotel features, nearby attractions, and airport schedules. A custom Cameo lighted mirror in the restaurant or lounge brings light and life to the room’s décor theme.

    Image credit: Electric Mirror

    Lighted mirrors suspended from the ceiling of the hotel’s salon provide optimal lighting to let stylists help their clients look their very best. Dimmable lighted mirrorsin the spa create a peaceful, tranquil space. Corridor lightingon the guestroom floors help guide the way to the guests’ rooms.

    Electric Mirrors are 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, email Katy Phillips by clicking here.

    For general enquiries, contact the team at +1 425.776.4946 or sales@electricmirror.com. For the Director of Sales, Europe, call +46.790195074 or email gelareh@electricmirror.com.

    Main image credit: Electric Mirror

    Solar-powered solution for exterior waymarking

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Solar-powered solution for exterior waymarking

    Combining the best in technology and sustainable design, Recommended Supplier Signbox has just unveiled the Smartscape Solar bollard… 

    With greenwashing being the hot topic of this week following new research that was published at the Independent Hotel Show, leading sign manufacturer Signbox has unveiled a sustainable and creatively designed waymarking product that will help to create a more conscious hotel exterior.

    The uniquely-designed solar system comprises; four integrated PV panels to ensure light is captured from all angles, an intelligent lithium-ion battery, two motion-detecting PIR sensors and two LED lights. One LED runs continuously at a low level to ensure that the bollard itself can be seen from a distance, and the other, a downlight reflector, is activated within 5m close proximity on each side of the unit by one of the PIR sensors which illuminates the pathway.

    As the bollard is solar powered by it’s own integrated PV panels, trenching (installation) and running costs associated with mains powered solutions are eliminated and maintenance costs are drastically reduced.

    The bollard is available in three housing material options to suit a range of applications; extruded aluminium, sustainable hardwood and performa-cast polymer. With both the aluminium and polymer versions offering a vast range of colour options, as well as the option of embossing the polymer housing, this versatile solution is perfect for any modern green sustainably focussed project.

    The SmartScape Solar Bollard is designed, developed and manufactured in a UK-based, ISO 9001:2015 accredited production facility.

    The standard product has a base plate mounting but there is an option on the aluminium finish and the polypropylene finish for a more cost effective root mounting fixing that can be buried and possible minded in place. We can send a technical specification on this if required.

    This product does comply with the new requirements for “bat friendly lighting”. Bats can not feed at night with light pollution in an upwards direction.

    Signbox are 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, email Katy Phillips by clicking here.

    Knightsbridge poised and ready for 80th Birthday celebrations at Sleep + Eat 2019

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Knightsbridge poised and ready for 80th Birthday celebrations at Sleep + Eat 2019

    2019 marks the 80thanniversary of Knightsbridge, the award-winning British furniture manufacturer. In order to mark this landmark the company they will celebrates its extraordinary history on stand number E92 at Sleep & Eat, Olympia London (November 19 – 20, 2019)…

    If you are planning on attending Sleep & Eat 2019, then make sure you head over to the Knightsbridge stand (E92) where the team will be celebrating 80 years strong as one of the leading British furniture design and manufacturing companies.

    Committed to British market-led design, Knightsbridge is one of the very few British contract furniture companies to invest in an in-house design and development team – and new collections for 2019 pay homage to its history taking inspiration from archive pieces.  

    Wellbeing has long been established as a benchmark in workplace design, with forward thinking companies providing biophilic, sustainable design that creates healthier environments for their employees. The properties of wellness and biophilic design are now being seen more and more in hospitality and hotel environments; indoor spaces are inspired by nature whilst furniture is designed to be ergonomic aswell as stylish. Knightsbridge will be reflecting this trend on its stand with furniture covered with beautiful fauna & flora designs.

    As hotel, bar and restaurant suppliers, Knightsbridge’s hospitality collection contains furniture designed to suit a variety of styles, needs and tastes. Crafted using timber from renewable sources, the company’s portfolio embraces a collection of style-forward products that are ideal for a wide range of environments such as waiting rooms, foyers, dining rooms and lounges.

    New to 2019, Knightsbridge will be exhibiting its Caravelle collection which was redeveloped to celebrate Knightsbridge’s 80thanniversary and its rich history, taking influence from a past mid-century piece of furniture. The Caravelle collection consists of an armchair, two-seater and three-seater settee that have the clean lines and organic curves that the period became renowned for. It’s deep seat cushion provides a luxurious seat whilst the beautiful clean styling allows it to be specified into workplace, hospitality and care sectors. The collection is covered with exquisite fabric featuring jungle creatures and foliage from visionary textile designers Timorous Beasties.

    Hotel Designs is a long-standing proud media partner for Sleep + Eat, and will at this year’s show to identify key product launches, emerging trends while catching the engaging talks and discussions that will be sheltered in one of Europe’s leading hospitality events.

    Main image credit: Knightsbridge

    UNILIN injects maximalist luxury vibes new finishes

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    UNILIN injects maximalist luxury vibes new finishes

    UNILIN develops products inspired by everything from reclaimed wood, through trending colours, to concrete and brushed precious metals such as gold to create an ideal setting for all hospitality scenes…

    Nothing can match gold for injecting glamour into our living and working spaces and the material is now a favourite for high-end interiors looking to deliver a maximalist luxury vibe. However, for most projects the ‘real deal’ is beyond grabs and this is when UNILIN Evola decorative surfaces come into their own.

    With UNILIN Evola’s brushed gold decor, space and furniture designers working in retail, hospitality, commercial office spaces and even high-end residential projects can capture the magic with versatile surface finishes in scratch, wear and stain-resistant HPL. Used to create ultra-luxe splashbacks and surrounds in washrooms to stylish feature panels on furniture, or even as a detail highlight on door handles; UNILIN Evola brushed gold brings the look without breaking the bank.

    “There’s no doubt that high-end luxury is a major driver in interiors and our brushed gold is the perfect way to get the look while keeping a lid on your budget,” says Jurgen Plas, marketing manager for UNILIN, division panels. “With decors such as brushed gold, marble, ceppo and brushed bronze, the Evola collection can answer the demand for glamour with highly-functional surfaces that are not only cost-effective alternatives, but also functionally better.”

    Teamed with the black of a UNILIN MDF door panel to create a fan inlay in radiant gold, offset beautifully against the marble of carrara creamy wall panels, brushed gold brings a look straight out of 1920s decadence. Or bonding it to shelf edges set against the walnut backdrop of Lorenzo, sees the very same elegant gold-effect take on a luxury modern edge: brushed gold can lift any space beyond the ordinary.

    With many of the 198 décors in the UNILIN Evola collection completely exclusive, UNILIN, division panels develops products inspired by everything from reclaimed wood, through trending colours, to concrete and brushed precious metals. All UNILIN Evola décors are available in HPL, melamine-faced chipboard and edging-tape; each product providing exceptional quality and a surface that is scratch and UV resistant, as well as easy to look after. With authenticity and practicality, UNILIN Evola is a serious alternative to natural materials.

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

    Main image credit: UNILIN

    St. Regis Hotels debuts on the Grand Canal in Venice

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    St. Regis Hotels debuts on the Grand Canal in Venice

    The 169-key St. Regis Venice has opened following a two-year, full-scale renovation on the building with the interior design project led by London-based interior design studio Sagrada… 

    St. Regis Hotels & Resorts has announced the debut of The St. Regis Venice, which is located steps away from Piazza San Marco and boasting the largest waterfrontage in Venice. The opening follows an extensive project to restore the grandeur of the former Grand Hotel Britannia, which originally opened in 1895 – the same year as the inaugural Venice Biennale.

    Many of the guestrooms and suites boast private terraces or Juliet balconies for sweeping views of Venice’s iconic landmarks. Situated across the Grand Canal from Punta della Dogana, the hotel marries its celebrated heritage with the St. Regis brand’s modern design and bespoke service throughout a unique collection of five Venetian palaces, with the oldest dating back to the 17th century. The hotel’s spacious secluded garden sets the hotel apart, making it a lifestyle destination where guests and locals alike can enjoy remarkable views of the Grand Canal. The St. Regis Venice marks the brand’s third location in Italy, joining The St. Regis Florence and The St. Regis Rome.

    “Venice is one of the world’s most inimitable cities; one which has inspired royalty, artists, merchants and jet setters alike for more than fifteen centuries,” said Jenni Benzaquen, Vice President of Luxury Brands – Europe, Marriott International. “The St. Regis Venice unites the captivating spirit of the city with the timeless sophistication and service of the brand, re-interpreting Venice’s rich history through a modern lens.”

    Throughout its storied history, The St. Regis Venice, in its various guises, has played host to a roster of illustrious guests, global influencers and tastemakers. The five ‘palazzi’ that make up the hotel enjoy a position of privilege overlooking the Grand Canal, with Badoer Tiepolo being the oldest palazzo, which dates back to the 17th century. By the 19th century, palazzi Tiepolo, Barozzi and Regina were converted into the Grand Hotel Britannia, more recently known as Hotel Europa & Regina.

    The Grand Hotel Britannia attracted notable intellectuals and socialites as well as renowned painters J.M.W. Turner, John Singer Sargent and Claude Monet, who in the autumn of 1908 was inspired by the hotel’s spectacular views during his stay as a guest and worked to capture the passage of light in his artwork. It is recorded in the book “Monet in Venice” by Philippe Piguet that Claude Monet’s wife, Alice, remarked in her daily letters to her daughter during their stay, “the views from our hotel room are the most magnificent of all Venice, and it’s all for Monet!” The hotel was also the first in Venice to have electricity in every room.

    “The St. Regis Venice unites the captivating spirit of the city with the timeless sophistication and service of the brand.” – Jenni Benzaquen, Vice President of Luxury Brands – Europe, Marriott International.

    Each room has been reverently furnished to cherish the artistic and cultural heritage of the building, while also embracing the evolution of La Serenissima and the St. Regis brand’s spirit of modern glamour. The exquisitely-designed suites include a two-bedroom, art-inspired Presidential Suite – a true contemporary artist’s residence overlooking the Grand Canal – and a three-bedroom Penthouse Suite with a wraparound furnished terrace showcasing extraordinary views over Venice from three separate viewpoints.

    The five Roof Garden Suites spectacularly combine garden-inspired interiors with uninterrupted vistas and contemporary touches while furnished terraces offer a quietly seductive atmosphere. Set against twilight tones, the Venetian Suites showcase crafted details of modern design, influenced by the artistic heritage of the city, while the colour palette of the Monet Suites pay homage to the reflection of light across the Grand Canal. As a hallmark of the St. Regis experience, all guests have access to the signature St. Regis Butler service. Honoured to maintain a long-standing tradition of making guests feel at home, the St. Regis Butler is poised to provide an ever-present, yet unobtrusive, serviceattending to guests’ every need.

    Inspired by the Venetian masterpieces of former guest and Impressionist painter Claude Monet, the interiors of the refined guestrooms showcase a distinctive colour palette that represents how light changes throughout the day from dawn to dusk. The design of the public spaces pays homage to Carlo Scarpa, one of Venice’s greatest artists and architects. Venetian styling is seen throughout the hotel in tailored fabrics and custom, handcrafted furnishings inspired by the gentle curves of gondolas, the patterns of the Doge’s Palace, the pavements of St. George’s churchyard and the water flow of the canal.

    An eclectic collection of artwork and sculptures will also be curated, bringing ancient Venice to today’s luxury travellers in a modern way. Paying homage to the hotel’s tradition of welcoming famed artists, The St. Regis Venice will host artists from around the world to take residence and create unique pieces inspired by the hotel and its beloved locale. The hotel’s first resident artist, Parisian Olivier Masmonteil, has been commissioned to create original artworks for the Grand Salon and the Monet Suites. The Venetian tradition of glassmaking also lives on, celebrated through a partnership with Glasstress. This unique partnership marries contemporary art and historical glass blowing techniques, inviting world class artists of various disciplines to collaborate with Murano Maestros (masters) to create one-of-a-kind glass works of art.

    The hotel opens as part of Marriott International’s strategy to expand its luxury portfolio with the addition of 30 new hotels in 2019. St. Regis Hotels & Resorts, part of Marriott International, Inc., has properties in more than 40 destinations around the world.

    Main image credit: Marriott International/St Regis

    INTERACTIVE HOTEL REVIEW: Monkey Island Estate, Bray-on-Thames

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    INTERACTIVE HOTEL REVIEW: Monkey Island Estate, Bray-on-Thames

    Unearthing eight centuries of history, editor Hamish Kilburn checks in to Bray-on-Thames’ Monkey Island Estate to interactively review a new kind of private countryside luxury…

    Travel upstream from London and you eventually arrive in the quintessentially British surroundings of Bray-on-Thames, a quiet suburban village that is arguably most for harbouring two of the UK’s five restaurants that hold three Michelin stars.

    But before the existence of award-winning gourmet F&B establishment, some 800 years prior, there quietly sat an empty island, which went on to soak up interesting eras. It was firstly an ideal setting for monks seeking peace on the banks of the river. It is said that after the Great Fire of London in 1666, materials from Oxfordshire, such as stone and brick, were transported down the river for rebuilding the city. On the vessels’ return, rubble would be spread around some of the Thames islands, which greatly reduced erosion and helped to strengthen the foundations.

    A few decades later, in 1738, the land was purchased by Charles Spencer, 3rdDuke of Marlborough, who was rumoured to have paid palladian architect Robert Morris £2,277 to erect the first two buildings on the island in order to indulge his hobby of fishing. It took Morri three years to complete, but his work marks an important milestone in the property and island’s history – and it is arguably here where the narrative of what is now known as Monkey Island Estate really begins. But it was only recently when the story took on a new narrative, complete with the introduction of new characters, to become a completely unique boutique hotel.

    In 2016, YTL Hotels acquired the land, and work began to restore the property into a modern and relaxed countryside abode. Inspired by the haunts of monks, monarchs, aristocrats and writers alike, New York-based Champalimaud Design was responsible to sensitively orchestrate the interior design of the hotel. Having completed the interior design of YTL’s debut UK property, The Gainsborough Bath and Spa, and more recently The Academy in London, the studio, while also sensitively restoring Raffles Singapore, was well-poised to develop the relationship further.

    Unlike any hotel project that lead designer Jon Kastl has faced before, the geography of Monkey Island Estate presented its own unique set of challenges. “You have no idea how difficult it is to work on a island that has no direct car access,” he explains. “Everything had to be carried over the footbridge onto the island. And then, the other challenge was the age of the buildings, and dealing with the neglect of the building. They were in pretty rough shape, almost falling into disrepair.”

    Guests’ first impression of the hotel is an understated – almost camouflaged – lobby area in a cosy ‘boathouse’ – the feeling of being taken away from the daily grind does not get much stronger than this so close to the centre of London. “The hotel is relatively small,” adds “

    The short walk over the footbridge from the unassuming lobby to the public areas is one of wonder. Architectural landscape designer AV Design has created a majestic garden that compliments the various buildings.

    Framing what should be in my opinion the postcard picturesque views of the River Thames, the pavilion building, which shelters the majority of the public areas, sets a relaxing setting – and echoes, on a balmy summer afternoon at least, the same peaceful scene that I imagine was once enjoyed by monks centuries ago.

    Caption: The Restaurant | Image credit: ACT Studios

    Although the bar and restaurant is, on the surface, seemingly conventional, the building has a few hidden gems. The Monkey Room, for example, stands true to its original form and structure – and even design. “The only thing we changed was the purple paint colours on the ceiling and add the furnishings,” says Kastl. The eye-catching murals on the panelling is all original which has been there from since when the building was first built.

    Caption: The Monkey Room | Image credit: ACT Studios

    Up the spiral staircase, The Whiskey Room is the latest area that has opened. Designed with the winter months in mind, the cosy and home-from-home atmosphere, complete with tactile wallcoverings, is an expected treat.

    It is because of the fact that the 41 guestrooms and one originally restored suite are sheltered in a grade I-listed building that makes the design story even more fascinating. The design of each and every one of the guestrooms utilises the entire space, with some stretching out onto terraces which look over the river, while carefully blending in a modern style that becomes timeless.  “We just had to accept the smallness of the rooms when designing them,” Kastl explains. “We did things like designing miniature shelves and additional service space. We designed rails that lined the rolls for guests to hang items from. Because there is such a limited closet space, we had to rely on these rails.” The furniture is scaled appropriately so that it fits in the limited space neatly. Meanwhile, the blinds and curtains, supplied by Concept Contract Furnishings are deliberately not heavy, and instead naturally flood the rooms with light to make them look and feel more expansive.

    INTERACTIVE tour of The Wedgwood Suite | Image credit: ACT Studios

    Despite the guestrooms being impressive – and adding to the overall interior design story (and challenges) – the masterpiece of the hotel is perhaps sheltered upstairs in the Wedgewood Suite. “The room, from the panelling to the ceiling, was very much intact,” explains Kastl. “One of the challenges was that it has windows on three sides, so from a layout point of view it created a few headaches.” The ensuite bathroom has been re-gutted and given a fresh and modern look. “ The suite is the coming together of old heritage design and the new.

    Moored on the river bank, the hotel’s spa is unlike any other in or around London. The facilities have been curated by Melissa Mettler who took inspiration from its riverine surrounds, past inhabitants in the form of royalty, liturgy and literary stars, as well as elegant architecture. The floating spa, which features two treatment rooms that are uniquely sheltered within a renovated barge, is a celebration of the power of water blended together with natural wellbeing and wellness.

    Image credit: ACT Studios

    I’m sure, for the designers as much as the operators, that the thought of completing Monkey Island Estate and opening again to the public was a distant day dream. But, considering the drastic rise in demand for wellbeing as well as wellness, the timing of YTL hotel’s countryside retreat could not have been more perfect. Checking out of Monkey Island feeling fully restored in mind, body and spirit myself, following a short by sweet trip to the floating spa before departure, the hotel locks in so many unique and thoughtful moments – and exceeds expectations to become one of the UK’s premium countryside retreats.

    Main image credit: ACT Studios

    LIGHTING WATCH: Berkley Collection from Christopher Hyde

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    LIGHTING WATCH: Berkley Collection from Christopher Hyde

    Christopher Hyde Lighting beautiful Berkeley table lamp was recently supplied in the lobby area of a luxury hotel in Moscow…

    The stunning and imposing table lamp allows the interior designer to put the finishing touches into their own five-star project. The design of the Berkeley collection features delicate cast brass details. Available in many different finishes from the ever popular french gold and antique silver to polished rose gold and soft bronze. Complimented by Christopher Hyde’s hand crafted silk lampshades the Berkeley table lamp is sure to brighten up any lobby.

    The Berkeley range is on display at the company’s showroom at the Design Centre in Chelsea Harbour, London.

    Christopher Hyde’s new catalogue is released soon and is available to order.

    Christopher Hyde 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: Christopher Hyde

    The Standard Hotels brand arrives in the Maldives

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    The Standard Hotels brand arrives in the Maldives

    The Standard, Huruvalhi Maldives opens as the brand’s second hotel outside America and its debut hotel in Asia… 

    Following the brand’s first venture outside The States to open in London, The Standard brand has spilled into Asia with the arrival of The Standard, Huruvalhi Maldives. With 115 stunning private pool villas, The Standard, Huruvalhi Maldives is a short sea plane ride away from Male, nestled between the Raa and Baa Atolls, on a naturally protected island.

    The goal of every Standard project — be it a hotel, a rooftop discothèque, or a magazine — is to defy conventions, up the aesthetic stakes, and deliver an experience that can only be had at The Standard. While the Maldives has traditionally been seen as a ‘couple’s destination’, the famed hotel brand has approached the development with a fresh set of eyes. The resort offers an unmatched combination of relaxation, dynamic social life and vibrant cultural programming that also welcomes groups of friends or singles looking to meet others or just reset and recharge in Paradise.

    Each of the 115 villas features its own private lounge deck and plunge pool, and guests can choose from one of six unique culinary offerings. The Standard, Huruvalhi Maldives presents culinary options that are inspired by the bounty and beauty of the Indian Ocean and guided by the brand’s commitment to authenticity. Both local and global cuisines are offered, and special, local ingredients – some grown on its very own island farm – are woven throughout the menu.

    The Standard Spa is a haven for recovery or reboot, offering a communal hammam, aroma cypress steam room, chromotherapy and contrast shower, and ten private treatment rooms. Guests are able to drop in to a daily yoga or personal training session, or chill out at the Spa Deck and Tonic Bar plunge pool.

    Of course, no Standard experience would be complete without nightlife, from tribal beats at a beach bonfire to a glass bottom nightclub. And a disco ball above your bath tub, for guests to enjoy their own private party.

    The hotel brand, which was created in 1999, now has six hotels within its portfolio, which includes properties in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, London and now the Maldives.

    Main image credit: The Standard Hotels

    Sleep & Eat unveils design details of this year’s VIP Lounge

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    Sleep & Eat unveils design details of this year’s VIP Lounge

    ‘Gather’ in the enigmatically designed VIP Lounge. Sleep & Eat announces collaboration with Megre Interiors to create a new design-led experience…

    Sleep & Eat, one of Europe’s leading design and innovation event for the hospitality sector, has revealed an enticing glimpse of its new-look VIP Lounge. Created for the first time this year by an international design firm, the lounge will be brought to life by Moscow-based interior design studio Megre Interiors. With this year’s theme of ‘Social FlexAbility’, VIP Lounge guests are promised an experience like never before.

    Named ‘Gather’ by the designers, the original oak panelled Olympia Club Room will be transformed into a whimsical flora and fauna-inspired space. Drapes, upholstery and even the flooring will be in a fabric depicting exotic flowers, specially designed for Sleep & Eat by Megre Interiors, cascades of fabric flowers will loop through the space and, in the epicentre, a large-scale light installation will flicker like a fire. This will be surrounded by orbicular seating –referencing the circular gathering places of human history and drawing a parallel to the primeval pleasure of coming together around a firepit.

    “In an age marked by the impersonal, it’s vital to trust people over brands.” – Yuna Megre, Founder and Principal of Megre Interiors

    Arriving in the entrance reception, guests will find themselves enticed into the space by a single thread of light. Inside, lighting remains low, shapes and forms are obscured and audacious texture and colour prevail. Collections of poufs as well as the circular seating will be underlit to glow like beacons. Vastly adaptable, this will be a room that gives its users the power to interact with it and alter as they wish, moving the seating around to suit their needs. It will be about the opportunity is to meet, talk, learn and relax, and to emerge better connected than before.

    “The human soul blossoms fully only when we meaningfully connect with one another,” says Yuna Megre, Founder and Principal of Megre Interiors. “In an age marked by the impersonal, it’s vital to trust people over brands. To meet, to see, to know each other and embark on the adventure of creation together.”

    The VIP Lounge will not be the only space at Sleep & Eat to be specially designed by an international design firm. Plans for this year also include the introduction of The Hub – yet to be revealed – as well as the much-loved Sleeper Bar which will host the late evening networking on day one and is this year being designed by Michaelis Boyd.

    Sleep & Eat, November 19 – 20 in the National Hall, Olympia London. The show will be open from 10am on Tuesday 19 with an evening drinks reception until 8.30 pm, and from 10am-6pm on Wednesday 20. To register for a complimentary pass, visit registration.

    Main image credit: Merge Interiors/Sleep & Eat

    100% not-for-profit luxury safari, Lepogo Lodges, opens in South Africa

    730 565 Hamish Kilburn
    100% not-for-profit luxury safari, Lepogo Lodges, opens in South Africa

    The safari Lepogo Lodges, joins the ‘Not-for-Profit Conservation Tourism’ Movement and pledges to offset each and every guest’s carbon footprint…

    Lepogo Lodges, one of Africa’s few entirely not-for-profit high-end safari lodges, has opened its very first lodge in South Africa’s Limpopo Province, Noka Camp, which is set within the 50,000-hectare, malaria-free Lapalala Wilderness Reserve.

    Lepogo Lodges is the very first luxury camp in Africa to offset the carbon footprint of every visiting guest, from the time they leave their home to the moment they return. Family-owned and operated, the project has been developed as part of a life-long dream to create a sustainable conservation legacy in Africa, with 100 per cent of any financial gains made re-invested back into the reserve for the benefit of wildlife, conservation and the local community.

    Image credit: Lepogo Lodges

    Noka Camp consists of five stilted villas, including one villa especially designed for families. The villas are joined by a main lodge comprised of dining room, bar, lounge area and sprawling outdoor terrace, all perched atop a 100ft cliff overlooking the winding Palala River below and the endless bush ahead. The camp is entirely off-grid, with all energy self-generated by a bespoke, 250msolar walkway.

    Lepogo Lodges have worked with award-winning Japanese Architect Yuji Yamazakion Noka Camp and its five stilted villas, designed to offer the highest level of luxury while bearing the lightest footprint on the surrounding environment. A glass-fronted design for the main lodge and villas maximises the incredible panoramic views seen at every turn, while the entire property has been built on small concrete pads, which ensure that no scars are left on the land.  Each villa is complete with heated plunge pool, unique ‘sky bed’ with glass floor over the ravine, sunken bathtub and underfloor heating.

    Lepogo Lodges have collaborated with Sarah Ord Interiors on the interior design of Noka Camp. Reputed for her use of colour and eclectic designs, Sarah’s vision was to enhance and reflect the natural colours of the reserve. Noka’s light-filled interiors were inspired by the vast horizon of turning leaves on the terracotta-coloured cliffs, where the sky meets Africa. Walls disappear through the use of expansive glass panes, with each vista becoming a framed work of art on a grand scale. Sarah has made use of sustainable and South-African products, crafts and textiles wherever possible.

    Lepogo Lodges will consist of two lodges, with a second property, Melote House, set to open in 2021. Ideal for multi-generational travel, Melote House will be an exclusive-use property sleeping up to 16 guests.

    Entirely energy self-sufficient thanks to the property’s very own solar walkway, Lepogo Lodges will be the first luxury lodge in Africa to offset the carbon emissions from all guests’ travel, from the time they leave their home to the moment they return. Guests can also participate in conservation efforts, community outreach, school visits and more.

    The owning family of Lepogo Lodges is committed to supporting community projects. For example, the Montebello Design Centre in Cape Town was founded by a close relative as a centre to support the disadvantaged, where students can learn valuable crafting skills and generate income to support their livelihoods. It flourishes today and has produced some remarkable talent, some of which Lepogo is proud to be able to showcase. Lepogo Lodges are also working closely with local communities, who have created bespoke soft accessories for the lodges, toys and clothing for the on-site curio shop and custom amenities including hydrating hair oil made from the fabled Baobab and Moringa trees.

    The family is particularly passionate about the conservation of cheetah, pangolin and rhino, having been attracted to Lapalala as one of the leading private rhino sanctuaries in Africa. Lepogo Lodges have funded research and are working with Lapalala to establish the reserve as a centre of excellence for the release of wild captured cheetah in conjunction with The Endangered Wildlife Trust. A pangolin re-introduction programme will also begin in the coming months and the family look forward to supporting and working with the world renowned Lapalala Wilderness School.

     Main image credit: Lepogo Lodges

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