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Colourful and quirky lobby/lounge in hotel with blue furniture and industrial stairs

Colour trends: A return to nature is calling

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Colour trends: A return to nature is calling

A year after hospitality lost its colour due to the outbreak of Covid-19, we’ve asked brand strategist Emma Potter to inject our pages with some vibrancy. Here, she explores colour’s role in post-pandemic hospitality and hotel design…

Colourful and quirky lobby/lounge in hotel with blue furniture and industrial stairs

The pandemic has created a seismic shift in human behaviour. We have adapted well to new ways of working and new ways of communicating with our friends, family and colleagues, but how will the hospitality industry connect with the post-corona consumer? Through colour and savvy design is how.

I think it’s fair to say that the last year has been a rollercoaster of emotions from worry and anxiety with the announcement of the first lockdown in March 2020 to frustration and confusion with the ongoing uncertainty as we enter a new year. Arguably it is in times like these where we are able to see just how powerful a tool colour is – used correctly and purposefully, it has the ability to control the emotional noise that surrounds us.

Image of pink colour on walls and black outdoor furniture indoors

Image credit: Stefen Tan/Unsplash

Like many other sectors, the hospitality industry has been hit exceptionally hard all over the world but I’m sure the appetite that many have to travel, see and experience new destinations remains pretty solid. Having been cooped up in our homes and restricted to our local areas (in some cases only a 5km radius from our front door) as human beings, we are craving a change of scene; to get away from our daily routine, and to have shared experiences with loved ones that help us reset, recharge and refocus.

As we continue to move through 2021 – a year of optimism and solutions – I believe colour will play an increasingly significant part in hotel design. Whilst the world is undergoing one of the largest global ‘resets’ in decades – with many people re-evaluating their lives, how they use their homes, where they want to live, their choice of career, right down to the way they wish to show-up and be present in the world – this is also a tremendous opportunity for hotels to ‘reset’ and re-open refreshed and reinvented.

In some instances, that may be a guest that’s looking for a high-end, luxury and high-tech experience that gives them the power to control and operate everything contactless. For others, who crave environmentally values, they will want to immerse themselves in nature and find a destination that has focused on bring the outdoors in, adopting a more biophilic style to their architecture and design. Moreover, perhaps hoteliers have taken this time to become more conscious to source all their products locally and from sustainable sources. In all cases, the two types of customers are very different and demand a different colour schemes and design style – and yet, they are often sheltered in the same hotel, which creates somewhat of a challenge for the design team. But it’s not impossible. One hotel that manages to perfectly balance both sustainable approaches and extreme luxury is Jade Mountain in Saint Lucia, which was reviewed in 2019 by Hotel Designs.

Image of Jade Mountain and the Pitons

Image credit: Jade Mountain

Given the fact we’ve had so much screen time in the past 12 months, post-pandemic it’s likely we will see a surge of the environmentally values based consumer – and the hoteliers and designers who inject this feeling with purpose will the ones who come out on top.

“Choosing a colour scheme for a hotel is an expensive decision to get wrong.” – Emma Potter.

In addition, just as colour has the ability to create an effective and productive workplace, it also has the authority to evoke an emotion and a positive memorable experience during a guest’s stay. Remember, guests are making decisions based on their emotions and therefore colour can often influence our emotions and change our behaviour – so it’s imperative for a hotel to get their colour scheme right to establish true, meaningful connections with their guests.

Common pitfalls to avoid when choosing colour

Choosing a colour scheme for a hotel is hugely complex and an expensive decision to get wrong. It’s important to think about what the hotel brand stands for; who their ideal guest is (who do they want to appeal to), what do they want their hotel to offer that others don’t, what behaviours do they want to elicit, what feeling’s do they want to evoke, what memories do they want their guests to take away with them – all of these elements and more need a huge amount of consideration.

“Choosing a colour scheme because it’s ‘on trend’ means you’re following someone else’s version of ‘good’ or ‘great’.” – Emma Potter.

So, when choosing a colour scheme, consider this:

  • Brilliant white – I would recommend that you avoid choosing brilliant white to paint a space, whether it’s big or small. From a psychological standpoint, white may be perceived as perfection to bring a sense of calm and quite; yet on the flip side it makes a space feel sterile, cold and lifeless. It reminds me of stark, clinical hospitals. Instead, check out the brands, such as Arte, that celebrate imperfection in nature.
  • Over saturation – Just as it’s important not to saturate a space with brilliant white, it’s equally not advisable to saturate a space with any ‘one’ colour. All colours, with the exception of pure greys, have positive and negative psychological aspects. Of course, grey may make us feel safe because it has the capacity to help us blend in with the background but for me it’s quite non-descript and when surrounded by it for too long depletes my energy levels, resulting in me feeling drained and lethargic. Equally if I was immersed in a red space initially, I may feel energised and excited but if I remain in a red room for a long period of time, I’m likely to become agitated and annoyed because I’ve been over stimulated by the colour.
  • Think about the space as a whole – When designing for a space it’s easy to get carried away with the colour scheme on the walls, but it’s important to think about the space as a whole. There are many elements to consider, from the walls, carpets, and cabinetry, to soft furnishings (including fabric type and textures as well as the construction of and / or print pattern), to lighting, glassware and the many accessories that adorn and embellish an environment. Think about the design journey and space as ‘one’ and the experience you with so take your guests on will flow.
  • Tonal harmony – A colour scheme will always come together and be a success when the colours chosen relate and come from the same tonal group. When colours don’t harmonise it generally creates a sense of confusion or disharmony which guests will pick up on innately, but what they won’t always be able to identify or articulate is ‘why’ they feel this sense of discomfort. In essence it all comes down to selecting a colour palette that has tonal harmony.
  • Trends are not timeless – I imagine that, certainly when it comes to residential design, opting for a colour scheme because it’s ‘on trend’ is more common than we realise – perhaps a client has picked out the colour because they have seen it in a magazine. Yet to help us choose the right colour scheme it would be good to understand how, as humans, we relate to colour – be that psychologically, personally and symbolically. Additionally, it makes senses to understand the influence of both the positive and negative traits, plus the application and proportion of colour used to create the desired results. Choosing a colour scheme because it’s ‘on trend’ means you’re following someone else’s version of ‘good’ or ‘great’, and not tuning into your intuition to discover your own. There are many well-respected paint-manufactures who make trend predictions at the beginning of every year like Pantone, Dulux, Farrow and Ball or Benjamin Moore – these are great places to go for inspiration, but in the end, make sure you select a colour palette and design style that’s right for your brand and the experience you wish to create – in the end it’s all about creating an immersive and memorable customer journey.
  • Create sense of place – Achieving a strong sense of place in hotel design without straying into cliché territory is often a major challenge in any project. Colour can be a subtle way to reflect the natural landscapes as well as the personality of the destination. Take the newly opened Moxy Miami South Beach, for example. Gregg Keffer, Partner and Studio Leader at Rockwell Group delibrately chose a vibrant colour and design scheme that broke boundaries while capturing the “bright, carefree sophistication” of South Beach.
Image of ensuite in stylish Moxy room

Image credit: Moxy Hotels

Clever ways of injecting colour to enhance wellbeing  

The idea of connecting hotel design and hospitality with nature is not new, yet in response to the pandemic there has been some discussion of the re-emergence and rise of biophilic design – it’s become mainstream! This builds on the idea that as humans we have an innate attraction to, and love of, the nature world. This would possibly explain why people will happily pay more for a room with a view of never-ending, undulating mountain ranges or the expansive horizon of the sea because these vistas will most likely deliver an incredible glowing sunrise to start your day whilst sipping on a delicious cup of freshly brewed coffee or tea, or to end your day with a mesmerising sunset whilst enjoying a chilled glass of rose or perhaps a gin and tonic as a sundowner.

Jungle-inspired interiors showcasing various tones of surfaces

Image credit: CTD Architectural Tiles

In essence, ‘biophilia’ means ‘love of life’, however, when it comes to biophilic design this does not mean putting in a few plants as a token gesture. It means embracing all elements of biophilic design, a true engagement of all our senses – sight, taste, hearing, touch and smell – to help us understand and absorb what’s going on around us. Take art outside the frame, using tiles from the likes of CTD Architectural Tiles. Use natural materials such as wood, maximising natural light, making organic shapes a priority, and using a range of plants to create a sense of the great outdoors – all of which helps to balance our emotions and support our emotional wellbeing whilst introducing a natural range of tones, shapes and colours.

Blue colour on walls with rattan bed

Image credit: Conran and Partners

In this way, not only do we create a space where guests feel safe and secure, we enable them to better connect with themselves by creating a peaceful, tranquil environment, making it a memorable meaningful experience that they’ll want to come back for, time and time again, year in, year out. After all, that is the end goal, right?

Main image Upsplash

A moodboard of both masculine taps and feminine taps

New bathroom products from Gessi explore gender in design

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
New bathroom products from Gessi explore gender in design

New bathroom products from Gessi cater for designers trying to achieve masculine and feminine design aesthetics in wellness spaces. Editor Hamish Kilburn explores…

A moodboard of both masculine taps and feminine taps

Variety is the spice of life, is the message we are receiving when hearing all about Gessi’s latest news. The bathroom brand has made a name for itself by challenging convention in wellness spaces – think spotlight shower and spa-like bathrooms. But it’s recent launch goes another step further to look at shapes, furnishings, and colours associated to both masculine and feminine spaces – all while putting an emphasis on modern traveller demands, such as hygiene and wellbeing.

“Gessi has announced a shift in bathroom architecture to accommodate the emerging needs of living.”

Continuing the tradition of transformation started in 2002 with Rettangolo and the Private Wellness Program introduction, Gessi has announced a shift in bathroom architecture to accommodate the emerging needs of living. Gessi’s Private Wellness Program’s mission is to create spaces of wellbeing in the bathroom. The brand has expanded on this concept to offer separate bathroom areas dedicated to men and women’s distinctly different needs. In this vision, “the woman and man of Gessi” are conscious inhabitants of the contemporary home seeking exclusive areas, totally dedicated and reserved for themselves.

Anello_Ambiente#726 copia

Image credit: Gessi

In a statement, the bathroom brand explains the contrasting demands for men and women when it comes down to bathroom design. “Contemporary men and women relish their rituals of personal care and the need for moments of isolation and relaxation to unwind from the day’s stress,” the statement said. “While both genders seek peace, rebalancing, and regeneration in the bath space, their habits and use of this vital environment remain substantially different. The increasingly restricted shared spaces of domestic life create the need for a decompression room. In answer to this need, Gessi has introduced coordinated furnishing elements that offer men and women divided environments of wellbeing, personalised for their personality, daily rituals and style.”

In Gessi’s vision, wellbeing is achieved in the “appropriation of one’s own space by choosing its shapes, furnishings, and colours”. So everyone feels comfortable in a habitat that has been exclusively created for him/her. Like fragrances, jewellery, or clothing, the new Anello and Ingranaggio collections are designed differently to celebrate each gender and make the bathroom a place that honours men and women’s unique needs.

The design of Ingranaggio has a masculine soul and speaks of essential vigour. It reminds us that we are the perfect mechanism of our existence with its elegant handle shaped like a toothed wheel, evoking a gear in motion. The energy of a moving clockwork ideally transfers to the environment and to the user of this collection.

Ingranaggio_Ambiente#187 copia

Image credit: Gessi

Meanwhile, the Anello design has the feminine elegance and modern grace of a jewel and is notable for its distinctive circular handle. As a symbol of infinity and love, the ring becomes the promise of lasting beauty in her setting of peace and wellbeing.

An downward facing view of modern bathroom products

Image credit: Gessi

Each collection offers a variety of models and finishes perfect for further personalisation of your environment – “Anello, the woman of Gessi” and “Ingranaggio, the man of Gessi.” Gessi’s vision is to revolutionise the bathroom with products designed for men and women’s individual tastes that can also be combined harmoniously or switched to satisfy individual tastes, so to create one room with distinct wellness spaces for each.

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

Main image credit: Gessi

Main image for Hotel Designs LIVE Session 4

(In video) Hotel Designs LIVE: The revival of smart tech post-pandemic

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
(In video) Hotel Designs LIVE: The revival of smart tech post-pandemic

In the final session of Hotel Designs LIVE, editor Hamish Kilburn was joined by global industry experts to discuss the revival of smart tech after he checked in to a completely contactless hotel experience…

Main image for Hotel Designs LIVE Session 4

The final session that took place during Hotel Designs LIVE was entitled: The revival of smart tech post-pandemic – and was sponsored by Grohe, a bathroom manufacturer that is clearly leading the way when it comes to utilising technology to create innovative bathroom solutions.

To introduce the topic to the audience, editor Hamish Kilburn shared a video feature that showed him teaming up with Headline Partner Technological Innovations Group to explore technology’s role post-Covid. To do this, they checked in to Bloc Hotel Gatwick, which has just undergone an extensive technology renovation and now shelters a completely contactless hotel experience.

Here’s how they got on:

Following this immersive hotel review, which was produced by the event’s official videographers at CUBE Video, Kilburn was armed with relevant questions to put forward to his expert panel about tech solutions for a post-pandemic world.

On the panel:

Within this session, the audience heard PRODUCT WATCH pitches from Grohe, Technological Innovations Group, Aqualisa, Hamilton Litestat and a sponsored question from Duravit.

Since you’re here, why not watch all four sessions from Hotel Designs LIVE – sessions one, two and three – on demand?

SAVE THE DATE: Hotel Designs LIVE will return for a third edition on February 23, 2021. Session titles and speakers will be announced shortly. Once these have been announced, tickets for Hotel Designs LIVE will be available. In the meantime, if you would like to discuss sponsorship opportunities, focused PRODUCT WATCH pitches or the concept of Hotel Designs LIVE, please contact Katy Phillips or call +44 (0) 1992 374050.

Orb lighting in nail bar inside spa

Case study: taking Champneys Mottram Hall into a new design era

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Case study: taking Champneys Mottram Hall into a new design era

Sparcstudio, an independent, creative design studio with a reputation for excellence in the spa, wellness, hotel and resort sectors has collaborated on one of the UK’s most highly anticipated spa redevelopments for 2020, Champneys Mottram Hall

Orb lighting in nail bar inside spa

Champneys first property in the North of England at Mottram Hall in Cheshire opened this September following a £10m spa renovation. The updated 3,270sqm Champneys Health Club and Spa features 15 treatment rooms.

Sparcstudio were honoured to work alongside Champneys’ own in-house spa experts; Champneys owners, Stephen and Dorothy Purdew & Group Property Director Chris Maryon to help create and design the new spa – both from a space planning and interior design perspective, working alongside Architects Darling Associates.

Exterior of Mottram Hall

Image credit: Peter Kochia

“The result is without doubt the best hotel spa in the United Kingdom.” – Stephen Purdew, owner of the Champneys group.

“We are absolutely delighted, the design by Beverley and Tom at Sparcstudio is just incredible,” said Stephen Purdew, owner of the Champneys group. “With the ambition to build the very best spa for a Hotel in the United Kingdom, there was only one design practice to use, Sparcstudio. The result is without doubt the best hotel spa in the United Kingdom. The design and attention to detail, plus their enthusiasm, professionalism and cooperative working culture has all been a joy. Thank you to the Sparcstudio team, we at Champneys are so happy.”

Image of day beds on side of the pool

Image credit: Fleur Challis Photography

Embracing the concept of ‘barefoot luxury’, the team at Sparcstudio, led by Directors, Beverley Bayes and Tom Howell brings together a design palette to reflect refined nature, which is cosy, contemporary and effortlessly glamorous. The relaxed and informal vibe runs from reception through to the seamless merging of the inside and out throughout the spa. Sparcstudio has created a sense of anticipation in design throughout the guest journey, with glimpses of the spa experiences created throughout the project. In reception guests can see through to the Beauty Lounge, pool area, hexagonal spa café  and gardens beyond.

Image of round sun beds surrounding large pool

Image credit: Fleur Challis Photography

Bayes said: “For Champneys Spa Mottram Hall,  we looked to create a Glamorous contemporary country house vibe befitting to the Champneys brand incorporating lots of areas for lounging and socialising throughout the zones and spa experiences, furnished with grand scale bespoke designed organic  sofas, and including bespoke designed thermal cabins and pools.

“Champneys has always been ahead of the curve in terms of its philosophy of combining  health, beauty and wellbeing, so we paid particular attention to the design of the extensive fitness areas, which includes a timber lined gym with full height glazing overlooking a terrace and reflective pool, a spin studio and and first floor panoramic Studio.

“The palette includes Light oak fluted timber, washed timber ceiling and the use of natural cane to provide an instant connection with nature, offset with sumptuous leather, mohair and brass to create a sense of luxury and opulence.”

On entering, guests are immersed into a luxurious contemporary country house-style. The double-sided fireplace is the centrepiece of this space, providing a warm glow and comforting welcome flanked by double sided bookcases, twin bespoke curving fringed sofas They are greeted at the padded leather, cane and marble reception desk.

Reception at Champneys Mottram Hall

Image credit: Andy Griffiths

Light oak fluted timber, timber ceiling and the use of natural cane creates an instant connection with nature. Geometric diamond patterns on screens are repeated in the fabrics which help to connect the design throughout the spa. Elegant social spaces have been created with small gathering hubs backed by diamond fret cut screens. Carrara marble and satin brass fixtures create a textured, elegant and sumptuous look to the space.

Spa cafe inside Mottram Hall

Image credit: Andy Griffiths

The use of geometric patterns in the spa design create a natural connection to the hexagonal design of the spa lounge and cafe, all complemented Tom Dixon light fittings suspended from the ceiling and doors connecting to the Spa garden.

The light filled timber panelled fitness area has been designed by Sparcstudio to harmonise with the spa overall, reflecting the fact that fitness and wellbeing are an integral part of the Champneys offer. Sparcstudio have created a natural vibe with geometric tiles, herringbone timber floors and rubberised matting for functional and HIIT training make this a purposeful and contemporary fitness space, fret cut screens create mini-zones and breakout spaces for guests and the centrepiece is an aged olive tree, a focal point which connects the inside and out perfectly.

Outside the full height glazed windows of the gym runs a water feature to further connect the indoor and outside, with views to the grounds beyond. Two additional workout studios include one for spin classes and a pilates/yoga studio with  and panoramic views from the full height glazing.

In the changing rooms, Sparcstudio has installed luxurious vanity points, bespoke swivelling powder bar chairs, (by RHA furniture) marble lined showers and spacious, wood and brass lockers to craft a space that is contemporary, modern and private. Guests arriving for treatments can benefit from the Beauty Lounge with with nail bar and pedicure ‘throne’, Champneys’ first barbers and for individual treatments, each treatment room is finished with marble counter tops, brass circular mirrors and soft green walls to create a sense of serenity and calm.

Modern hair salon inside Mottram Hall

Image credit: Fleur Challis Photography

The first floor restaurant is light filled and has panoramic views across countryside and  features pale concrete wall rendering, timber wall paneling and flooring, created from wood and encaustic tiles with geometric patterns. Bespoke banquette seating backed with cane and crafted plush fabrics add a cosy touch with an added element of privacy.

The space features a ‘bris soleil’ screen and fluted timber paneling, bespoke artwork and lighting on each table by Northern Lights.

The pool area has been extensively upgraded with the addition of a  new elevated  oval Hydro pool , experience showers and elegant private cabanas. This leads through to a new Pool and Thermal zone building with a 20m pool top lit pool at its centre,  surrounded by full height glazing overlooking the spa garden. Sparcstduio designed a series bespoke thermal experiences (supplied by Dale Sauna) including a circular salt steam room, brechel bath, ice shute, cold room and organic sauna have been added. The organic sauna is designed with glazed fascia and etched natural pattern features views to the pool area and to the terrace outside.

Sparcstudio is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here.

Main image caption: Andy Griffiths

Product watch: N.A.P (Neuron Activation Pod) by WellTek

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Product watch: N.A.P (Neuron Activation Pod) by WellTek

WellTek, the leading London-based furniture company, has introduced N.A.P (Neuron Activation Pod) to the UK from Lo0ok Industries, a ground-breaking Finnish technology company…

The N.A.P pod uses Neurosonic technology to increase the user’s wellbeing by helping to improve sleep quality, reduce migraine problems, relieve stress and many more ailments both physical and mental.

N.A.P is not simply a silent capsule or traditional nap pod. The science behind this pod affects human natural relaxation and recovery mechanisms. The N.A.P technology guides the human body and mind mechanically to a meditation-like state that minimises and prevents stress-related symptoms. Sleep mechanisms are restored, and at the same time, many other stress triggers in the body and mind are corrected.

The Neurosonic technology is based on sensory tissue stimulation, built-in elements transmit a very low-frequency (20-100 Hz) sinusoidal vibration, which is targeted simultaneously to the whole body. As a natural mechanism, vibration affects your body calmly via the autonomic nervous system and the mind. The treatment brings a new dimension to fixing stress-based symptoms and is used to enhance quality of sleep, to ease stress, muscle tensions and swelling. It activates metabolism and assists in both physical and mental recovery.

Marco Kärkkäinen – Neurosonic Founder, Psychotherapist explains: “What does a zebra do when it has managed to escape the lion? It shakes itself. The purpose of this natural mechanism is to calm and relieve the stress reaction. Neurosonic produces this same natural effect – and thus takes relaxation and recovery to a completely new level.”

There are four key effects on the human body and mind, all linked to the influence the technology has on the Autonomic Nervous System, i.e the part of the nervous system responsible for control of bodily functions not consciously directed, such as breathing, heartbeat and digestive processes.

Sleep Quality: N.A.P has a calming effect on the human body. The production of stress hormones is reduced and sleep mechanisms are restored. You calm down and fall asleep more easily. Nightly awakening decreases, and sleep becomes more restful and effective. 

Pain Alleviation:  The neural network calms down, lymphatic circulation becomes more active and pain alleviates. Your body feels more relaxed and sleep mechanisms return to a more normal state, which causes many other things in the body and mind to be corrected.

Stress Relieving:  Positive changes take place in the neurotransmitter action and the neural pathways in the alarm state calm down. Stressed people are able to fall asleep more easily and at night, the wake-ups that are being monitored are reduced or completely gone.

Recovery:  Neurosonic relaxes your body effectively, by balancing the autonomic nervous system. At the same time, muscle circulation and metabolic restoration are restored at a faster pace. On average people report a 50 per cent reduction in recovery time from a strenuous run, work out etc.

Neil Jenkins, Managing Director of Office Blueprint says: “Our product portfolio is committed to supporting healthy and stress-free office environments and N.A.P is an inspiring addition. When your mind is full, it is difficult to find the mental capacity to help relieve the stress from hectic lifestyles. A research based proven and safe treatment with no side effects, N.A.P is a truly remarkable product with transformative effects that will help employee wellbeing whether mental or physical”.

WellTek is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here.

Main image credit: WellTek

IN VIDEO: Parkside’s discussion about colour & wellbeing

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
IN VIDEO: Parkside’s discussion about colour & wellbeing

To officially mark the launch of the brand’s new Matrix collection, Parkside Architectural Tiles invited editor Hamish Kilburn to get comfortable on the virtual sofa to discuss colour and wellness in design, architecture and hospitality… 

If the pandemic was a colour, it would arguably be a dull grey. While hospitality is reopening its doors, and designers are making their way back into studio life, the need for colour has never been greater than it is right now.

Cue the launch of Matrix collection by Parkside Architectural Tiles, which was inspired by the brand’s desire to create a range of colours that would allow the design community to curate co-ordinated looks or mix and match colours to create striking design statements.

Its launch has allowed us to question colour and its relationship to wellbeing in and outside the hotel. To start the conversation, Parkside welcomed experts in the international design and architecture arena to participate in an exclusive panel discussion where all colourful opinions were welcome, and indeed encouraged.

Chaired by Joanna Watchman from workinmind.org, the experts on the virtual sofa were Ben Channon, associate architect and head of wellbeing at Assael Architecture; Constantina Tsoutsikou, founder of Studio LOST, who brought a hospitality and public space perspective; Hamish Kilburn, editor, Hotel Designs, who was able view the topic through editorial lenses; and Vanessa Konig, Konig Colours, who collaborated with the brand to create the new collection.

Here’s the discussion in full:

Parkside Architectural Tiles 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: Parkside Architectural Tiles

Lighting

INDUSTRY INSIGHT: Human-centric lighting in hotels

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
INDUSTRY INSIGHT: Human-centric lighting in hotels

Never has it been a better time for a new lighting brand with a plethora of experience and a fresh ethos to enter the international hotel design arena. Cue the launch of humanlumen

Lighting

Coronavirus has swept through the world causing a trail of destruction to everyday lives everywhere – how and where we work, live, play and learn has been reimagined on an unprecedented scale.

Wellbeing has been high on the agenda for a good few years now, and as the human race begins to emerge cautiously from lockdown, the health and safety of individuals will be even more critical.

Designers of the built environment have always built spaces for people to thrive and flourish however now it is more overt in the integration of biophilia through green walls, as well as the technology enabled tuneable lighting which can impact on the circadian rhythm of humans.

As we all begin to inhabit public spaces such as airports and hotels once again, I believe that customers will increasingly seek experiences that have their wellbeing at heart. Increased assurance that operators are adhering to the highest standards of hygiene for example and the guarantee of todays most valuable asset in the health currency right now  – sleep.

Jet lag can be a debilitating condition for frequent flyers but imagine if the lighting in your hotel room could accelerate the adjustment to a new time zone?

This is how it would work: as you enter your hotel room, your key card tells the control system where you have arrived from and the lights then change to the ideal colour temperature to adjust your body to the new time zone. The lighting prescribed by the system would differ depending on where in the world you were, and where you had travelled from.

For example, if you are travelling east from London across more than eight time zones, you need to avoid morning light and actively seek out afternoon light for the first three or four days because dusk light delays the circadian clock, while morning light advances it.

There is an increasing body of evidence to suggest that the right light – at the right time – can stabilise hormonal rhythms, enhance night-time melatonin secretion, improve sleep quality, increase day-time vigilance and raise our resilience to stress.

The rule of thumb for alertness is that 30 minutes before you want to go to bed, you should minimise light exposure. But what’s the last thing most of us do before we go to bed? We stand in the most brightly lit room, the bathroom, looking into the mirror cleaning our teeth! A dial by the bathroom mirror which could change the lighting from blue-enriched to red-enriched before you go to bed, may help many of us sleep far more soundly.

Human centric lighting: benefits for hotels

The human-centric lighting system has plenty of benefits which hotels and restaurants.

Helps in Setting the Mood

The ideal lighting temperature and colour is very subjective, using HCL the lighting experience can be customised.

With the human-centric lighting system, you can easily adjust the brightness level of lights as per your every customer needs and offer a comfortable experience to everyone.

Cost-Effective 

HCL is incredibly energy-efficient, light is focused around where the user is and will automatically shut off and on when sensors detect human presence around them.

Stimulating environment

HCL allows for the creation of stimulating environments for all guests, operators can design bespoke decorative and ambient settings in accordance with the mood of customers.

Increase Productivity 

Conclusion: lighting has a well-documented impact on productivity, which hotel owners and staff can benefit from.

Humanlumen, which is based in Clerkenwell, is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here.

Main image credit: I-Stock

Modern lobby area with clean air

How hotels can shelter wellbeing with cleaner air

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
How hotels can shelter wellbeing with cleaner air

With hospitality re-emerging in England, hotels would’ve spent the last few weeks closely reviewing and creating Covid-19 policies so that hygiene and wellbeing are a top priority. Victor Kristoffersson, Business Development Manager EMEA at Swedish air purifier brand Blueair, explains the wellbeing benefits of clean air…

Modern lobby area with clean air

Due to restrictions on travel we will see a rise in “staycations” as more people opt to holiday in the UK rather than travel abroad. Clean air will become more important than ever before when it comes to choosing where to stay. By investing in air purifiers, hotels will stay ahead of the competition and show guests they are going above and beyond to ensure their safety and wellbeing. While an air purifier is great for your health, it can also benefit your skin, productivity and sleep quality.

What you can’t see in the air can affect your health

Indoor air is made up of a concoction of particles including dust, pollen, allergens, bacteria and viruses. Breathing in this fine dust or PM2.5 (also known as fine particulate matter) can penetrate deep into the lungs and cause respiratory difficulties, heart and lung problems and a host of other diseases, studies show. Even if you have no other underlying health issues, studies show that improved air quality is conducive to better productivity, sleep quality and a general sense of wellbeing.

Air purifier by the bed

Image credit: Blueair Classic 200

Clean air improves quality of sleep

Clean air helps to promote deep sleep, and people who live in areas with higher levels of air pollution are 60 per cent more likely to sleep poorly than those living in areas with cleaner air, according to a YouGov survey looking into global perceptions of air quality, commissioned by Blueair. A 2017 study by The American Thoracic Society also found that people who live in areas with high air pollution are up to 60 per cent more likely to suffer a bad night’s sleep.

Since we spend the majority of our hotel stays asleep, hotels should consider the role air pollution plays in this – especially those located in cities where air pollution will be higher. Blueair’s air purifiers are Quiet Mark approved so will not distract from a good night’s sleep while they silently remove airborne particles in the bedroom.

Protect your skin from air pollution

Atmospheric factors such as air pollution have been implicated in premature skin aging – this includes air pollutants such as smog, ozone and particulate matter. Studies also show a correlation between higher levels of PM2.5 with an increased number of people suffering from skin problems such as pigment spots and wrinkles, hives and eczema.

As air pollution can be up to five times higher indoors than outside, the negative effects of air pollution are intensified inside. Blueair’s air purifiers are designed to remove harmful particles and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the air. VOCs can be anything from aerosol sprays to fumes from paint. Invest in an air purifier to remove the particulate matter and VOCs that are harmful to your skin.

Blueair’s recommendation is to place an air purifier in every guest room no matter what they pay, as well as throughout the hotel in areas such as in the lobby where people tend to gather. By doing this, you are providing the cleanest air possible for your guests – you may not be able to travel but you can bring air as clean as the Swedish archipelago to your hotel.

Blueair is one of the brands that has taken advantage of our Industry Support Package. To keep up to date with supplier news, click here

Main image credit: Page8 Hotel

Why luxury spa linens need a lighter touch to be sustainable

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Why luxury spa linens need a lighter touch to be sustainable

With less than two weeks until it explores ‘wellness post-pandemic’ in Hotel Designs LIVE, Hotel Designs asks The Fine Cotton Company to explain what hoteliers and spa managers should consider when purchasing sustainable linens…

When choosing linens for luxury hotel spas, there’s a lot more to consider than just colour and quantity.

In an environment with oils and creams, pool water and frequent washing requirements it’s crucial to select the right towels and blankets that will perform well and last. That’s why leading luxury hotel spas like The Newt in Somerset Spa and The Spa at Carden come to  hospitality linen suppliers The Fine Cotton Company to source sustainable bath robes, towels, throws and blankets that work for the demands of a spa environment.

The challenges when choosing spa linens

The linens used in spas need to be practical, as well as sustainable, but crucially for luxury hotels, emulate the same qualities as the luxury bath robes and towels found in their suites. No mean feat when they have to go through far more rigorous use in a spa than a bathroom.

And with aesthetics key to many hotel spas’ guest experience, hotels will often want linens in a bespoke darker colourway to match their brand, so when washed regularly at high temperatures, must retain their colour for as long as possible.

The solution

1) Lighter-weight cottons to save energy and laundry time

Bearing in mind the high turnover and use of spa linens, The Fine Cotton Company’s team recommend a lighter-weight robe and towels. For The Newt in Somerset Spa this was engineered to match the design of the towels and robes they supplied to the hotel guest rooms for a consistent guest experience.

A huge cost and time saver, the specially designed lighter-weight robes mean laundry time is reduced as the laundry team can fit more robes into a single wash and a lighter-weight product will dry quicker too meaning less stock is required with faster turn-around times.

2) Washable coloured linens at higher temperatures

Traditionally, coloured bath robes and towels generally can only be washed at 40°C to keep them colour safe.

Working with their expert dye house in Portugal, The Fine Cotton Company used a newly formulated dye which had been specially engineered for use in Spas in Europe to enable spas to wash towels and bath robes at 90°C

In a spa environment, where linens are exposed to treatment oils and creams being able to wash them at a higher temperature from time to time will help remove residual oils and keep the towels feeling fresh, soft and looking good for far longer.

The products

Bath Robes designed to last

Image credit: The Fine Cotton Company

The Dark Grey Rimini cotton velour robes The Fine Cotton Company supply luxury spas are the same design as the company’s Luxury Ravenna 420gsm robes used in boutique hotel rooms, but specifically created in a lighter 380gsm.

These robes are a generous fit, mid-calf length  with a shawl collar and an  integrated towelling lining which offers great absorbency and a gorgeous cosy feel.

All seams are  flat-felled welted which give a very neat finish and adds to the strength and durability of the garment, which is especially important when investing in linens for any business.

Treatment towels that stand up to regularly hot washes

From jumbo spa towels for the treatment beds, bath mats to spa mitts, Th e Fine Cotton Company team supply lighter weight Amalfi 100% Cotton Spa Collection towels for spas which have been designed and engineered to withstand the rigours of spas use.

A simple narrow edge border design and lighter 450gsm weight contribute to a faster drying time and double stitched side seams strengthen and maximise durability in industrial laundering.

Light-weight spa pool towels

So that the design of pool towels match the rib detail of The Fine Cotton Company’s Como towels that are used in hotel bathrooms the team created a bespoke pool towel range, as they needed to be a lighter-weight than the Como 700gsm hotel towels, and are available in a popular dark grey colour which is forgiving in a spa environment.

The Como 550gsm pool towel with  the rib edge is  a combed 550gsm cotton with double stitched side seams for extra durability and are soft, strong and made to last.

Supplied together with a Como Dark Grey 800gsm bathmat they give pool and spa areas a consistent feel and are easy to maintain.

Cotton throws for treatment couches

For treatment couches, comfort and quality are at the forefront of hotelier’s requests when it comes to blankets. The Fine Cotton Company team create bespoke sizes of their white Kensington Floral Trail Matelasse designs, a light-weight and reassuringly tactile cotton blanket.

Made in Portugal, stonewashed for extra softness, they are pre-shrunk and washable to 60°C which reassuringly is the recommended temperature to wash hospitality linens to kill dust mites and allergens.

Portofino washable cotton throws

A popular new addition to The Fine Cotton Company’s spa range are their cotton waffle stone washed throws. These lightweight blankets have been designed specifically for use in Spa’s and Hospitality relaxation areas like The Spa at Carden.

Image credit: The Fine Cotton Company

Made with a fine cotton yarn to guard against snagging and designed with neat hemmed edges, these are no fuss throws that can be folded and put straight back into use as they come out of the dryer.

Being washable means it doesn’t matter if they get wet so they are ideal for use around pools, outdoor hot-tubs, or for use in relaxation areas both indoors and out.

“The Portofino waffle throws are an absolute joy to have in the Spa,” said Stephanie Parry, spa manager at The Spa at Carden. “Our clients love the soft cosy feel of the stone washed waffle and because the throws are washable it doesn’t matter if they get wet so they are ideal for use around the swimming pools, vitality pools as well as our outside seating areas, in the pods or around the firepit.

“The throws are wonderfully easy to care for.  There is no creasing and they maintain their shape so can be folded and put straight back into use as they come out the dryer.”

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

Main image credit: The Fine Cotton Company

PRODUCT WATCH: The new 8mm Shower Enclosure Range from Crosswater

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
PRODUCT WATCH: The new 8mm Shower Enclosure Range from Crosswater

Bathroom brand Crosswater’s new collection of 8mm shower enclosures in its premium bathroom range encompasses shower screen solutions, fittings and accessories, all designed to give customers the ultimate showering experience…

Combining modern design with superior functionality, the new Design 8, Svelte 8 and Infinity 8 collections by Crosswater provide an unrivalled choice of exceptional designs that will suit any contemporary interior, fitting effortlessly into a range of bathroom configurations and lifestyle requirements.

Each collection features Sliding, Hinged, Pivot, Quadrant and Walk-In designs that will add a designer aesthetic to the modern lifestyle hotel.

Svelte 8

Image caption: Svelte 8 by Crosswater

Manufactured to create maximum effect and crafted with a luxurious Stainless Steel finish, the contemporary Svelte 8 collection comes in an array of diverse styles that will fit into bathrooms of all styles and sizes. Svelte 8 not only offers a sleek design but it also has watertight magnetic seals, a clear glass open handle design, larger wheels for the smoothest and quietest running system and seamless wall profiles with concealed fixings – making it the ideal shower range for any bathroom.

Infinity 8

Image caption: Infinity 8 by Crosswater

Perfect for a shower tray or tiled floor installation, Infinity 8 takes showering luxury to a whole new level of sophistication. Each design across this exclusive range features smooth silent doors, watertight seals and seamless wall profiles with concealed fixings for easy and quick adjustment. Exceptionally crafted with a timeless fully-framed design and finished in Stainless Steel, this contemporary yet beautifully constructed range provides guests with a sleek and on-trend shower enclosure that will be at home in any modern or traditional bathroom scheme.

Design 8

Image caption: Design 8 by Crosswater

Introducing a refined and contrasting finish, Design 8 gives homeowners the option to be bold with design. Intelligently built across an extensive range of door options and sizes, the simple and sleek semi-frameless form with strong 8mm toughened glass offers complete durability. Cleverly designed with door seals and finished in Matt Black or Silver anodised aluminium coating, Design 8 delivers a supreme cutting edge look that is both functional and truly aesthetically pleasing.

Recognised as ‘The Home of Showering’, Crosswater is recognised as a leading supplier of premium shower enclosures, trays, bath screens and accessories. Each design from the 8mm range has been exceptionally crafted with high-quality materials and certified finishes as well as holding a lifetime guarantee, making for an exclusive new range for products of the highest possible calibre.

Crosswater, which is a Partner at MEET UP London, 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: Crosswater

SPOTLIGHT ON: Hotel spas that naturally self-isolate in style

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
SPOTLIGHT ON: Hotel spas that naturally self-isolate in style

Throughout May, Hotel Designs is putting Spas and Outdoor Style under the spotlight. We continue with an editor’s round-up of some of the world’s most awe-inspiring spas. Hamish Kilburn writes…

Before the COVID–19 pandemic, and I am guessing long after the turbulent waters become calm again, architects and designers globally will question and creatively challenge the conventional spa and wellness experience in and out of hotels.

Despite pretty much all travel around the globe currently being on hold, the desire for quality treatments and checking in to relaxing escapes will return. With more and more hotel groups and brands developing their strategy around the rise in demand for wellness and wellbeing, Hotel Designs takes a look at the most dynamically designed hotel spas around the world.

Arctic Bath, Sweden

Establishing shot of the spa on a frozen lake

Image credit: Arctic Bath Hotel, Sweden

Designed by architects Bertil Harström and Johan Kauppi, the Arctic Bath in Sweden was opened recently following much anticipation. The spa, sheltered in the bath house that floats on the frozen River Lule, was designed using natural woods and stone to create an eye-catching ‘birds nest style’ structure.

W Ibiza, Spain

Outdoor pool

Image credit: Marriott Hotels/W Hotels

“When we first entered the building, which is positioned on the beach front, we couldn’t even see the sea,” the founders of  BARANOWITZ + KRONENBERG, Irene Kronenberg and Alon Baranowitz, told Hotel Designs when explaining how the concept of W Ibiza was born. “There had been no thought as to how guests would and should use these public spaces.” The energy of the water, unsurprisingly, became the design concept of the 167-key hotel’s public areas. By opening up the space to become a flexible social hub, the hotel becomes a place that nurtures human connections, and through the use of subtle levels creates touchable distance between each functional area. “The idea is that the energy descends into the unconventional pool area,” adds Baranowitz. “As you move up levels, the lobby/lounge area becomes more reclined, but the open architecture scheme allows for a clever connection between all spaces.”

Equinox Hotel New York

Light and bright pool area in the spa

Image credit: Equinox Hotels

In the summer of last year, Equinox – the brand that made its name for opening and managing a tight-knit community of exceptional fitness and wellbeing clubs in major cities dotted around the world – opened its first ever hotel. Designed by David Rockwell and Joyce Wang to evoke comfort, creativity and focus, the ‘world’s fittest hotel’, as Hotel Designs labelled it ahead of its opening, is sheltered in a 14-storey limestone and glass skyscraper designed by architecture firm SOM. The hotel’s immersive 27,000 square foot spa area, which was the brainchild of Joyce Wang Studio and spa design and consultancy firm TLEE, maximises the most valuable commodity, time. The luxury wellness facilities include tailored treatments, an indoor salt water pool, hot and cold plunge pools, and our E.scape Pods — private relaxation areas that capture unparalleled views of the Hudson River.

Cottonmill Spa at Sopwell House, England

Outdoor pool

Image credit: Cottonmill Spa at Sopwell House

Following a £14m investment, Cottonmill’s three-storey, state-of-the-art, private members’ spa at Sopwell House in Hertfordshire is a break away from the conventional hotel spa. Designed by Sparcstudio, the spa has embraced the growing role of technology in the wellness world, with both the Dornbracht luxury shower, Sensory Sky, which recreates the sensation of showering in the open air, and the ELEMIS Biotec machine, which works to switch skin back on, increasing its natural cellular energy. Outside, award-winning garden designer Ann-Marie Powell created a space to enrich the soul. The botanical theme works around three secluded outdoor hot tubs and a swim-in/out hydrotherapy infinity pool.

COMO Shambhala Estate, Bali

Outdoor pool surrounded by jungle

Image credit: COMO Hotels & Resorts

Set in a tropical rainforest in Bali – the hotel is nestled in a clearing above a jungle-covered gorge beside the River Ayung – COMO Shambhala Estate remains unmatched, major player on the world’s wellness scene for its effortless approach to wellbeing. Architect Cheong Yew Kuan worked with interior designer Koichiro Ikebuchi to create the estate, combining local stone, wood and traditional alang-alang roofing to build sophisticated spaces that are at once contemporary and thoroughly traditional.

7123 Hotel, Switzerland

thermal bath overlooking mountains

Image credit: 7132 Hotel

7132 Hotel, a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, is described best as a ‘luxury hotel and design hotel wrapped into one’, and was designed by world-famous architects including Tadao Ando, Kengo Kuma, Thom Mayne of Morphosis, and Zumthor. The crown jewel of the hotel is the award-winning thermal spa by Peter Zumthor, constructed from 60,000 slabs of local quartzite. The unique atmosphere and the highly mineralised water that comes out of the St. Peter spring at a pleasant 30° Celsius creates a deeply relaxing and natural experience.

Kagi Maldives Spa Island, Maldives

Birds eye view of villa with pool by the ocean

Image credit: Kagi Maldives Spa Island

The 1,500-square-metre wellness centre, slated to open in September 2020, is designed by architect Yuji Yamazaki, who was the mastermind behind the world’s first underwater villa. The 50-villa property is said to provide “a 360-degree wellness experience” with a fully-integrated wellness hub that sits at the centre of the island. This area will be complete with an open-air, teardrop-shaped sky roof its core, and will appear to float atop the island’s turquoise lagoon waters.

Hôtel Chais Monet, France

luxury hotel pool

Image credit: Hôtel Chais Monet

The luxury spa hotel was described as a “modern take on traditional French luxe” when Hotel Designs first caught wind of the project in 2016. In simple terms, an extensive restoration project to convert the wine cellars into a luxury hotel has given the buildings on site a new lease of life. Beneath the guestrooms and suites, the hotel’s spa wellness facilities include an impressive 25-metre indoor and outdoor pool, which allows guests to soak in the natural landscape while enjoying R&R from exploring the city. In addition, the spa also features a modern jacuzzi, a sauna, a handful of massage therapy rooms and a state-of-the-art gym.

Main image credit: COMO Hotels & Resorts

INDUSTRY INSIGHT: Designing fitness spaces after the pandemic

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
INDUSTRY INSIGHT: Designing fitness spaces after the pandemic

Hotel Designs continues putting ‘Spas’ under the spotlight by asking Flair Studio how the design of fitness spaces will change post-pandemic…

The fitness industry has been badly hit as a result of the COVID–19 spread and in the current situation it is exploring innovative ways to save itself from being irrelevant through online apps and zoom sessions from home.

And while training equipment sales for the private consumer are booming, gym clubs, fitness and wellness studios are all going to remain closed for the foreseeable future.

In fact, going to a club and exercise is no longer safe for obvious reasons as people couldn’t use the same equipment unless everything is wiped out, the air conditioning is turned off and some distancing measures are put in place.

The current situation could give designers the opportunity to reimagine the fitness experience and the spaces in which it will take place after the Virus has become more contained and manageable. Obviously, exceptional hygiene measures have to be put in place and paired with air treatment systems which favour the usage of outside air ventilation and the increase of air exhaust.

empty fitness studio

Image credit: Pixabay

At the beginning, design opportunities will probably start from smaller, independent and community integrated boutique fitness centres rather than the larger clubs. This is also due to most of the large clubs being usually located into dark basements wit forced air systems and artificial lights, something that was well epitomised by Simon Rawlings, creative director at David Collins Studio, even before the lockdown: “I want somewhere that feels inspiring,” he explained. “I don’t want to work out somewhere that’s like a nightclub but spend time somewhere that’s calming. I like daylight – it soothes my brain.”

Another important design aspect will be to bring in residential elements into these spaces not only to smooth the transition and create a sense of comfort but also to provide wellness experiences that the users can feel their own. As personal training and one-to-one sessions will be probably more common during the short term, the environment will focus more on authenticity, easiness, intimacy and understatement, rather than on brand awareness and bold, theatrical features.

I am sure people will go back to exercise together at some point as doing the same work out from your living room can become a bit boring and the weather to exercise in the park can be unpredictable.  I am also confident that initially, smaller boutique wellness and fitness centres which are more integrated within their communities will be able to regain business sooner by reconnecting with their customers and delivering a more comforting ant authentic experience.

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

Main image credit: Pixabay

MEET UP London announces headline speakers

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
MEET UP London announces headline speakers

MEET UP London, under the theme ‘Inspiring Creativity’, will welcome two award-winning visionaries to explore the concept of using sensory experiences in international hotel design… 

Hotel Designs has invited an award-winning sound designer and functional music innovation expert Tom Middleton and award-winning research entrepreneur Ari Peralta to become headline speakers at MEET UP London.

“The visionaries will respond to MEET UP London’s theme by immersing our audience into a sensory experience like no other before.”

The event, which takes place on May 13 at Minotti London, will be carry the theme of ‘Inspiring Creativity’, and will further bridge the gap between designers, architects, hoteliers, developers and suppliers.

Applying principles of neuroscience, behaviour and psychology, the visionaries will respond to MEET UP London’s theme by immersing our audience into a sensory experience like no other before. This will be followed by an engaging talk, entitled: “Amplifying Wellness: Using Sensory Experiences To Innovate International Hotel Design”. The talk will discuss how and why sound should be considered when designing the hotel of the future. From Jet Lag to Mindfulness solutions, their unique collaboration represents the synergy and creativity needed to future-proof hospitality.

“As the boundaries of our industry widen, designers, architects, developers and suppliers are willing to reach new depths to find innovative and meaningful ways to evolve the hotel experience,” said editor Hamish Kilburn who will host the evening’s event. “I believe it is, therefore, perfect timing to invite both Tom and Ari to share their wealth of knowledge and experience in this subject with the aim to inspire the leaders of our industry to think beyond conventional architecture and interior design.”

The pair, who in 2019 gave a powerful keynote on the ‘future of wellness’ for Innovation Day’s (ID19) at Marriott International HQ, are on a mission to engage with the hoteliers, designers and architects to highlight how the sensory experience could enhance the overall guest journey. 

About the speakers

Tom Middleton headshot

Image caption: Tom Middleton in the studio

Tom Middleton is a true polymath who literally wears many hats, including a pioneering electronic musician, award-winning sound designer, DJ and producer, a certified Sleep Science Coach, trained in Mental Health First Aid, and Co-Chair on the AFEM Health Group. He has toured the world and performed to millions observing the positive affects of sound, and has shared the stage with Mark Ronson, Lady Gaga and Kanye West.

Middleton regularly speaks on panels covering sensory customer and guest experience, immersive wellness, sound architecture, how to sleep better, workplace wellbeing and mental health.

Creator and innovator of empathic science-backed functional music and soundscapes for mental, physical and emotional health and wellbeing, relaxation, mindfulness, focus and productivity. 

His mission is to rescore the soundtrack to life with functional, transformational soundscapes, music and immersive experiences to help tackle stress, anxiety, burnout and sleep deprivation. Middleton aims to do this by applying principles of the neuroscience and psychology of sound, listening, breathing and human behaviour. 

As YOTEL’s chief Sound Architect for eight years, he developed smart and cohesive soundtracks to optimise guest experience.

His most recent work includes content for meditation and sleep app Calm, a collaboration with Nissan to create a zero-emission lullaby and Breathonics for Silentmode –  the first passive fitness platform for guided breathwork and music on the Appstore.

Middleton believes the science of sound, combined with mindful listening and conscious breathing within holistic multisensory environments can help us relax and reduce stress, be more happy, healthy and productive.

Headshot of Ari

Image caption: Ari Peralta

Ari Peralta is an international award-winning research entrepreneur working alongside a global network of scientists, immersive technologists and artists, developing wellness-led sensory initiatives across a wide range of industries.

By 2019, after two decades working in media research (Nielsen), medical marketing (ALO), immersive and strategic development (ProFix), he co-launched Arigami, an independent innovation consultancy dedicated to helping organisations design healthier and happier environments. 

Today, Peralta is a Forbes recognised provider for wellness and sensory-based strategies within hospitality, mobility, retail and healthcare. Arigami powers holistic innovation programs for startups, corporates and academic labs seeking to mitigate anxiety by developing transformative immersive and service design solutions for complex human problems within wellness, sleep and human performance. Besides leading his firm, Peralta dedicates much of his time guest lecturing at universities, speaking at international conferences and volunteering for organisations that promote STEM education for children.  

How to attend

EARLY BIRD SUPPLIER TICKETS*: £99 + VAT (expires on March 31)  | CLICK HERE to purchase your tickets.***
EARLY BIRD BUYER  TICKETS*£10 + VAT (expires on March 31) | CLICK HERE to purchase your tickets.***

Exclusive headline partner: Hamilton Litestat

Exclusive style partner: Minotti London

Event partner: Crosswater 

* Those eligible to purchase Supplier Tickets must be industry suppliers.
** Those eligible to purchase buyer tickets must prove that they are an interior designer, architect, hotelier or developer.
***Hotel Designs’ Early Bird promotion ends on March 31. After this time, tickets for designers, architects, hoteliers and developers will inflate to £20 + VAT and supplier tickets will inflate to £150 + VAT. 

Center Parcs unveils luxury spa following £6m refurbishment

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Center Parcs unveils luxury spa following £6m refurbishment

Design consultancy firm Sparcstudio collaborated with Center Parcs on one of the UK’s most highly anticipated spa refurbishments, Aqua Sana Longleat Forest…

Reimagined as a ‘Forest Spa’, with the creation of 24 spa experiences that draw inspiration from different aspects of nature and the surrounding landscape, Aqua Sana Spa at Center Parcs Longleat Forest, UK has relaunched following a £6m refurbishment.

Sparcstudio worked alongside Center Parcs’ own spa experts to help create and design the new ‘Forest Spa’ concept for Center Parcs which is inspired by the tranquil and therapeutic properties of the forest environment. It follows in the footsteps of the first Forest Spa at Aqua Sana Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire and the acclaimed Aqua Sana Longford Forest, Ireland.

“We are delighted to have had the opportunity to work with Center Parcs again on such a transformational and creative project,” said Neil Fairplay, Director at Sparcstudio. “Center Parcs have put their trust in Sparcstudio to deliver the best possible innovative and stimulating spa experience; we couldn’t be happier with the outcome. We focused hard on creating a seamless and intuitive guest journey to provide a more comprehensive and complete spa offer.’’

Following the restyle, the spa’s footprint has increased by 40 per cent and is spread across five themed zones – Nordic Forest, Hot Springs, Volcanic Forest, Forest Immersion and Treetop Nesting – all of which are designed to take guests on a journey through different aspects of nature using multi-sensory experiences, each with a unique, temperate feel, aesthetic and soundscape, inspired by the cold ice climate of the Nordic regions, Volcanic geothermal landscapes and Japanese Mountain Onsens.

living wall in coridor next to salon

Image credit: Center Parcs/Sparcstudio

“From the outset, we imagined a double-height cave environment with an opening in the roof, allowing natural light to flood in, with trailing foliage and gentle mists adding to the ambience,” Fairplay added. “It’s hard not to be wowed by this experience; I think we’ve really pulled it off.”

Guests can enjoy more than 20 hot, cold, herbal and meditative experiences and a multitude of light and dark, immersive and stimulating relaxation spaces 24 treatment rooms and a huge range of steam rooms and saunas, a heated outdoor pool, hot tubs, an ice cave, a selection of relaxation rooms and reflexology foot baths. Two new exclusive experiences have been created the Moonlight Steam Room and the Forest Cavern, replicating a cave hidden deep within a forest, (the region around the site is well known for its caves) this gently warming experience helps to balance mind and body.

sauna looking outside

Image credit: Center Parcs/Sparcstudio

“Our Forest Spa concept has been a huge success at our Sherwood Forest and Longford Forest sites and we wanted to bring that same high quality design and innovative approach to Longleat Forest,” explained Paul Kent, Development and Construction Director at Center Parcs. “We wanted to create a space where the positive benefits of the outside environment fed into the décor, design, experiences and overall atmosphere – a place which is effectively an extension of the forest setting.”

biophilic design in restaurant

Image credit: Center Parcs/Sparcstudio

With the spa now holding up to 125 guests at a time (or 175 including the Vitale Café Bar, treatment and outdoor areas), a sense of space and a clear journey became a major priority for the project. The result is a modern, biophicially designed wellness and wellbeing interior scheme that utilises all areas to create a seamless and intuitive guest journey through the space.

Main image credit: Center Parcs/Sparcstudio

MINIVIEW: The Spa at South Lodge

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
MINIVIEW: The Spa at South Lodge

Following a thread of rave consumer reviews, Hotel Designs travels to the scenic countryside of West Sussex to take a dip inside the nature-inspired spa at South Lodge…

Opened in the Spring 2019 to become a contemporary wellness extension for the luxury hotel, The Spa at South Lodge was designed sensitively by Sparcstudio in partnership with architecture studio Felce and Guy.

Situated within the grounds of the hotel, The Spa at South Lodge follows the natural contours of the land and provides a haven away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Surrounded by wildlife, nature and peace, and perched above the rolling hills of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. the 44,000 sq. ft. spa champions the estate’s landscape.

The natural theme continues throughout the Spa’s interior, with a colour palette of beige, white, pale blues and greens across the walls, floors and soft furnishings. Natural light floods into the wide, open spaces and carefully placed lighting guides guests down the stairs and through to the workout areas, 14 nature-themed treatment rooms and changing rooms. Luxurious brushed-brass hardware and plush chairs give the expansive changing areas a personable touch, complemented with the very best in grooming equipment, including premium brands such as Dyson Supersonic hairdryers and Paul Mitchell hair straighteners.

Image credit: South Lodge Hotel

Relaxation is at its best in The Spa’s treatment rooms encourage deep relaxation, with heat, light and sound mood pods. A variety of thermal experiences include a private mud room and infused sauna, as well as marble-lined salt steam and jasmine herbal steam rooms.

Outside, lounge chairs lead the way to a vitality hydrotherapy pool and beyond, the spa boasts a serene heated wild swimming pool, with an attractive wooden bathing platform inviting guests to take a revitalising dip. In colder months, the 22m x 10m indoor infinity swimming pool is the place to swim against the dramatic Sussex landscape.

New-York style gym area with punch bag and weights area

Image credit: South Lodge Hotel

A New York loft-style fitness gym slots right into the West Sussex countryside, where beaten-leather punch bags, retro-inspired boxing gloves and state-of-the-art Technogym equipment compliment all kinds of fitness programmes. An adjoining terrace provides space for alfresco training and first-class fitness instructors are on hand to ensure workout goals are met.

Outdoor hydrotherapy pool on wooden decking

Image credit: South Lodge Hotel

The hotel’s spa has been meaningfully designed to combine the best of luxe interiors with the natural, untouched geology of the surrey countryside. What really sets it aside from others, though, is its answer to the rise and evolving demands of modern travellers in regards to wellness and wellbeing. For that reason, The Spa at South Lodge is a timeless gem, perfectly placed in England’s pleasant land.

Main image credit: South Lodge Hotel 

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

Goa is about to welcome a 17-key luxury hotel designed to shelter holistic wellbeing

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Goa is about to welcome a 17-key luxury hotel designed to shelter holistic wellbeing

Slated to open in early 2020, Kings Mansion, Goa will combine heritage, architecture, design, Ayurvedic philosophies, state-of-the-art medical aesthetics and a global approach to holistic wellbeing…

Located in northern Goa, an area rich in tropical forests, historic Portuguese architecture, avenues of Banyan Trees, and vast, unpopulated sandy beaches, King’s Mansion will open early next year.

Recognising that today, wellness refers to a holistic state of being, where one’s mental, physical, spiritual and emotional health are in balance, the defining experience of King’s Mansion will be one of mindfulness, transformation, recovery and wellbeing.

Modern yet sympathetic architecture and interior design are key elements at the boutique hotel that not only honour Goa’s legacy and culture, but also serve as a welcoming nod to the growing international interest in India as an exciting and evolving luxury and wellness destination.

Image credit: Red Architects

The Indian entrepreneur and Bollywood star, Sachiin Joshi, bought the property in 2017. He is also the Chairman of corporate company, Viiking Ventures, a multi-faceted business working across various industries including film production, fin-tech and charter aviation; Moss Wellness, a leading spa consultancy with experience developing international five-star brands including Aman resorts and Four Seasons. Responsible for the overall design is Indian film producer and interior designer Gauri Khan and Rajiv Parekh, founder of Red Architects, who is bringing a new energy to a modern day India with his past and future projects on the boards.

The 17 luxury suites, which are set over 2,800m2, are being designed as private retreats. Each room will utilise the natural light with floor to ceiling windows, which will stretch out to views of private lush gardens. The large ensuite bathrooms will continue to balance a timeless and luxurious look and feel with the renderings showing a strong use of marble as well as statement matt-black fittings.

Covered pavilions and thickets of Frangipani Trees create pockets of rest and shade in the landscaped gardens, which are set against 50 metres of unspoiled golden coastline and the Arabian Sea.

Five dining and social areas offer guests the chance to explore India’s Ayurvedic culinary culture and international fusions. The hotel’s chefs will create daily menu plans for internal health and harmony, but with an understanding that food and satisfaction are not mutually exclusive. Continuing the theme, food will be cooked using fresh, locally sourced produce.

At the heart of the wellbeing experience will be the spa, which will open as a hidden oasis within the property. With five luxury spa suites, a large hydrotherapy pool, and indoor and outdoor relaxation areas, guests will discover a safe space to surrender, gain awareness and achieve conscious rest and peace.

Image credit: King’s Mansion

Designed to offer personalised, results-focused wellness programmes, the hotel will aim to further help travellers rejuvenate, reset and recover.

Main image credit: King’s Mansion

indoor outdoor theme at Istanbul hotel

New design hotel opens as tranquil retreat above bustling city of Istanbul

800 534 Hamish Kilburn

Autograph Collection Hotels has welcomed Sofa Hotel Istanbul to its portfolio of boutique design-led hotels… 

Challenging the design of existing hotels in the area, the newly opened Sofa Hotel Istanbul is a chic retreat situated in the historical heart of Turkey. Boasting contemporary interiors and a private collection of thoughtfully curated artwork, the 82-key hotel evokes its enviable location in the heart of Istanbul’s chic shopping district, Nişantaşı. The boutique property joins Autograph Collection Hotels’ unique portfolio of one-of-a-kind hotels around the world that share the brand’s values of vision, design and craft.

“As Autograph Collection Hotels’ first property in Turkey, Sofa Hotel Istanbul proudly exemplifies our commitment to providing guests with exactly like nothing else experiences,” said John Licence, VP Premium & Select Brands Europe at Marriott International.” As the official sponsor of Istanbul’s Contemporary Art Fair, Sofa Hotel celebrates the city’s art scene, showcasing the works of local and international artists throughout the building for guests to enjoy.”

modern guestroom with dark interiors

Designed by renowned Turkish architect, Hakan Kiran, the hotel’s interiors are tranquil and relaxing, offering a contrast to the city’s bustling streets. Sleek lines, custom-designed furniture, bespoke artwork and modern light fittings complete the 82 guestrooms, which are decorated in grey tones with splashes of deep red, mustard and copper throughout. Five suites and a selection of terrace rooms with private balconies offer more space as well as stunning city views. Each guestroom offers a large marble bathroom with standing shower and luxurious separate bathtub.

Alongside bespoke pieces of artwork throughout the hotel reception rooms and guestrooms, Sofa Hotel hosts Turkey’s leading annual art fair, Contemporary Istanbul. Now in its 13th year, the prestigious art fair in September offers a platform for the city’s thriving art scene, as well as access to the best contemporary art from the wider region. As part of a permanent exhibition, the hotel also offers art-enthusiasts the opportunity to view exclusive works by celebrated Turkish artist, Ekrem Yalçındağ during their stay, truly showcasing Sofa hotels support of the art world and commitment to its ‘mark of craft’ celebrating the hotels individuality.

Located on the first floor, Sofie Restaurant is a 24/7 hotspot providing gourmet breakfast, lunch and dinner. Highly acclaimed Frankie Istanbul, one of Istanbul’s hottest rooftop destinations, offers an elegant and energetic ambiance alongside a unique fusion menu of innovative Mediterranean dishes and local cuisine. Guests can also soak up spectacular views of the city at the stylish bar and lounge area, and enjoy the impressive wine list on offer.

For those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, the Green Spa is an oasis of wellbeing and tranquility utilising the latest Asian and European wellness therapies. Spa-goers can chose from an array of body and beauty care, from Indian healing massages to hot stone therapy and traditional Turkish Hammams. The signature treatment – the ‘Sultans Special’ – is a traditional Turkish scrub that originates from the Ottoman era. As well as personalised treatments, guests can revive in the relaxation pool, Jacuzzi and luxurious Turkish bath.

Meetings and events are expertly catered for in the hotel’s two meeting rooms equipped with the latest technology. A flexible area for bespoke events, 300 people can be accommodated throughout the meeting space.

The Farm at San Benito - Philippines

Luxury Hotels Group adds The Farm at San Benito to collection

1000 595 Daniel Fountain

Adding to its growing global portfolio of distinctive, one-of-a-kind properties, Luxury Hotels Group is delighted to announce its newest member this month.

Deep in the tropical forests of Batangas in the Philippines, The Farm at San Benito is a renowned luxury retreat with unrivalled health and wellness credentials. Describing itself not as a hotel but a healing journey – a ‘must-have’ in every individual’s life at least once a year, The Farm brings together a holistic approach to well-being with the feel and facilities of a five star resort. Built around a 250-year-old mango tree said to possess healing powers, it’s a beautifully landscaped oasis where nature redresses the imbalances of modern life.

The Farm’s exquisite luxury villas reflect the pristine natural setting. Entry category Sulu Terrace villas reference the area’s traditional rice barns with thatched roofs and wood beamed ceilings, while others combine rustic chic with contemporary design cues, including The Lakan, a jaw-dropping, design-led hideaway complete with koi ponds in the private gardens and hydro jets in the heated pool. Dotted around the grounds, most villas also feature an open-air bathroom experience, and all benefit from WiFi, iPod docking stations, yoga mats and handmade bath amenities produced from the resort’s organic coconut plantation.

Much of the produce for the award-winning restaurant Alive! is also sourced from The Farm’s own organic garden, with vegan and raw food dishes a stand-out speciality. Spa treatment programmes are all-encompassing, with everything from stress reduction to circuit training and ayervedic yoga to aqua aerobics offered by highly trained therapists. The resort also features a 27-hole all-weather championship golf course.

Increasingly popular with small corporate groups and incentives as well as affluent spa aficionados, this holistic healing hub has consistently glowing reviews, and is ranked among the world’s best health resorts. Vivek Thadhani, VP Sales & Marketing for Luxury Hotels Group, said of the new partnership: “We’re thrilled to be working with The Farm at San Benito. It’s not only a beautiful product, but also a true pioneer in the luxury wellness market. This kind of individuality and unique appeal is the perfect fit for our portfolio”.

Rouel Guanzon, General Manager of The Farm at San Benito, agreed, commenting: “From our first meeting with Luxury Hotels Group it was clear they understand the challenges and opportunities of our market, and their bespoke approach is important for us. We’re delighted to have found such a good fit for our business”