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Wimberly Interiors

Viceroy at Ombria in the Algarve, Portugal

Adaptation is the design trend to celebrate in 2021

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Adaptation is the design trend to celebrate in 2021

Hotel Designs goes behind the scenes of one of the leading design firms, Wimberly Interiors, to understand what hotel designers are expecting to be the major design trends of 2021…

Viceroy at Ombria in the Algarve, Portugal

Since 2021 started, we have deliberately put an emphasis on trends – from surface design trends to architecture trends and recently predicting what colour palettes will be popular this year and in the future. Instead of rolling our eyes, which is often the reaction when the trends are mentioned, we are embracing new ideas and meaningful solutions following what has been the largest disruption to hospitality in living memory.

In order to understand how designers worldwide are thinking right now about the future, we have heard from seven leading professionals from Wimberly Interiors. Here are their predictions…

“I would say personalised boho. A lot of natural, raw materials and earthy palettes with an emphasis on plants brought indoors in any shape or form, to take us back to nature after being locked in for so long.” – German Mendoza, Associate and Senior Designer, London.

library/lounge in Rosewood Baha Mar, reflecting soft design trends

Image credit: Rosewood Baha Mar

“My interiors prediction for 2021 is ADAPTATION! As this year has laid down in front of us a path of restaurant, hotel and venue closures and abandon, 2021 will be the year of taking those left behind spaces and turning them into something new, exciting and hopeful.” – Josh Held, Vice President and Director of Entertainment, New York.

“After being part of Fortis 2019 [WATG and Wimberly Interiors’ internal rising star program], my eyes have been opened to the need for resilience in interior design. More than just a trend, it is gaining momentum and is ultimately about the use of materials – tactile, natural, honest and, most importantly, local. Interior design is moving rapidly towards a sense of place and appreciation of available materials and products with a low carbon footprint. It is this availability of resource that is key to the future of design beyond trends.” – Damien Follone, Senior Associate and Senior Designer, Restaurant and Bars, London and The Brit List 2020 Designer.


Image credit: EDITION Hotels

“After a chaotic 2020, we’re predicting that 2021 will be all about calm and comfort.

“Natural and organic materials and cool neutral colours with touches of earthy tones are on the way in. Think stone, wooden finishes, recycled and plant-based woven fabrics, and touches of greenery.

“We’re also going to see more open, uncluttered spaces that balance a minimal aesthetic with comfort, warmth, and a feeling of ‘home’ – especially in hospitality design. Objects that are both beautiful and functional, or possess special meaning rather than being purely decorative, will take prime position.

“Blending old and new with curated feature pieces will also continue to dominate the interior design space. Over the past few years, we’ve seen consumers move towards buying better made, longer lasting statement pieces as opposed to their faster, in the moment or ‘on trend’ counterparts.” – Rachel Johnson, Senior Vice President and Studio Director, London.

A soft interior scheme and trends reflected in lobby/lounge of Kempinski Jinan

Image credit: Kempinski Jinan

“Wellness has topped trends lists for years – and not just in the travel and hospitality industries. As we begin contemplating our post-pandemic (or next-pandemic) world, wellness is going to be bigger than ever and take on a much more holistic form: health, safety, and resilience will become one, and we’ll see designers collaborating more freely with new and unexpected industries and professionals. In the short-term, it’ll mean opening windows in guest rooms, saying goodbye to individually packaged plastic bottles for products or water, and ensuring a better relationship between the indoors and out through integrated design.” —Margaret McMahon, Global Director, Wimberly Interiors

“Within hotels, I think there will be a real move towards creating spaces where people feel private and protected. Interior design will feel cozier and more residential, while still providing all the finishing touches that guests have come to love from hotel environments versus the home. Luxury hospitality in particular already has a head-start on this, with spaces often designed with exclusivity in mind.” —Liana Hawes, Creative Director, Wimberly Interiors New York.

“2021 will bring a consciousness of how we conceive private spaces by giving them more flexibility. Think ‘light furniture’ that adapts to different situations with concealed extra functionality to accommodate luxury, comfort and purpose, such as a chair that doubles for dining and working. As many continue to spend increased hours at home, the role of the artwork, textured and natural materials, and botanical wallcoverings will become extremely important – especially in spaces that have prolonged hours of use. As Joan Miró said, ‘A simple line painted with the brush can lead to freedom and happiness.” – Paolo De Simone, Associate and Senior Designer, Wimberly Interiors Singapore.

Main image credit: Wimberly Interiors

Wimberly Interiors completes ‘Diamond Residences’ in all-suite hotel in Crete, Greece

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Wimberly Interiors completes ‘Diamond Residences’ in all-suite hotel in Crete, Greece

Elounda Peninsula All Suite Hotel in Crete, Greece, has opened two new luxurious ‘Diamond Residences’, which have been designed by Wimberley Interiors… 

As part of a recent €500,000 refurbishment project by Elounda SA Hotels & Resorts, design firm Wimberly Interiors has completed a two new two-bedroom seafront Diamond Residences.

Part of Elounda SA Hotels & Resorts, the exceptional Elounda Peninsula All Suite Hotel enjoys striking views across the iridescent Aegean Sea and Sitia mountains. Perched on the water’s edge, the hotel has been famous over the years for having the finest beach area on the island of Crete, flaunting crystal clear waters and smooth sandy shallows. The new ‘Diamond Residences’ are situated just by the resort’s private sandy beach, being the hotel in Europe to offer this.

Taking its main source of inspiration from the resort’s beautiful landscape, nestled around a natural bay, the Cretan setting creates a stunning backdrop to the two new Diamond Residences at Elounda Peninsula. Upon entry into the residences, the prominent feature is the incredible view out to the bay and mountains beyond.

“The use of a simple yet timeless palette within each room exudes the luxury and sophistication sought by an international clientele,” says Rachel Johnson, Senior Vice President at Wimberly Interiors and a finalist in the The Brit List 2018. “From the modern take on the built-in sofas and placement of Cretan benches in the dining area, to the use of local artisans for the artwork and accessories, the choice of design showcases the island’s rich history and culture.”

Two-tier modern suite that looks out at pool and bay

Image credit: Elounda Peninsula All Suite Hotel

Each of the two residences have two master bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms, a large sitting room with dining area, kitchenette and bathroom. The furniture in the residences are tailor made, using top quality interiors, fabrics and materials. The new rooms give access onto a unique, 90sqm terrace with a private heated pool, seating area, loungers and outside dining. Steps from the residence’s terrace provide access to the resort’s private sandy beach.

“The juxtaposition of old and new, along with the smoothness of the marble alongside the softness of the textiles, all craft an eclectic residential feel,” adds Johnson. “Implementing two levels to the residences has intensified the drama of the suites and created natural and easy definition to the areas. Features include a long, low built- in sofa and the soft palette, accented with soft blue hues.”

The two new Diamond Residences encompass timeless elegance, infusing a contemporary international aesthetic with local references of Crete. Purposefully complimenting the elegance of the architecture with the interiors, the design embraces panoramic sea and mountain views of Elounda Peninsula All Suite Hotel.

Main image credit: Elounda Peninsula All Suite Hotel

The Brit List 2018 – Designers profiles

676 433 Hamish Kilburn

In the coming weeks, Hotel Designs will be profiling the 75 finalists in the Hotel Designs Brit List 2018. We continue with profiling our winning designers in alphabetical order…

This year’s The Brit List 2018 concluded on November 22, when leading designers, hoteliers and architects gathered at BEAT London to find out which of them made it on to this year’s The Brit List 2018. The hundreds of nominees and entries were whittled down by the event’s five judges, who were:

  • Gilly Craft, President of the British Institute of Interior Design
  • Charles Leon, founder of Leon Black Architecture and Interior Design
  • Gerri Gallagher, former associate editor, Tatler
  • Lysbeth Fox, founder and director of Fox PR
  • Hamish Kilburn, editor, Hotel Designs

Top designers

Rachel Johnson – vice president, studio director of the London Studio, Wimberly Interiors

Rachel Johnson brings to the team at Wimberly Interiors more than 20 years’ experience in the hospitality industry. Her appreciation for design and pragmatic approach to interior renovation has led to her working with some of the most celebrated hotel brands such as Bellagio, St. Regis, Hard Rock and Nobu among others.

As a senior interior designer, Johnson is proficient in meeting the needs of the client and advising on new innovative design techniques that introduce individuality to the project. Her acute eye for detail has been cultivated from extensive experience in the design industry. Having worked as a contract manager accompanied by more than 10 years’ experience in design management, Johnson has a strong understanding of the hospitality industry and the processes involved in project development.

Rebecca Hunt – Director, Suna Interior Design 

Suna Interior Design is an award-winning boutique interior design consultancy, which provides interior services for property developers and the hospitality industry. Rebecca Hunt and Helen Fewster head up the London-based studio ensuring that a high level of attention is dedicated to each client and project.

Tara Bernerd – Founder, Tara Bernerd & Partners 

Interior Designer, Tara Bernerd pictured in The Turbine Hall at Tate Modern, London, U.K.Thursday, Aug. 20, 2015. Photographer: Jason Alden for The Wall Street Journal for The Wall Street Journal
Photographer: Jason Alden

British designer Tara Bernerd is the founder of Tara Bernerd & Partners, a leading international interior architecture and design practice based in London’s Belgravia. Having cut her creative teeth under Philippe Starck at his YOO design studio in the 1990s, Bernerd has earned a reputation as one of the world’s foremost interior architectural designers.

An avowed design crusader, she believes that design can and should make a difference. Working on projects across the globe, Bernerd and her team strive to create a feeling of authenticity for each property by establishing a distinct design DNA that is true to both the location and the people who will make it their home. Whether in a hotel lobby, a restaurant, or a private residence, they seek to create meaning and connection through a distinct sense of place.

Terry McGinnity – Global 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 GA Design in 1998, he has turned the studio into one of the most dynamic and interesting interior design firms working out of the UK.

He has recentlymoved into the position of global executive design director where he oversees the creative output for all GA projects. GA Design deserves its place in the Brit List 2018 following the completion of iconic interior designs such as The Corinthia London, W Taipei, Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam and more recently W Shanghai.

Tim Murray – Creative Director, Helen Green Design

Since the sad passing of Helen Green in 2012, the DNA of Green’s legacy is evident in the designs that have come out of the London studio in recent years. Leading that legacy now is Tim Murray. With more than 20 years’ experience of working in some of the UK’s most well-known interior design houses, Murray heads up the team of 20 at Helen Green Design Studio’s Knightsbridge residence. Spearheading the future creative direction and
development of the company, Murray’s love of design was influenced by his mother who was a fashion journalist and his father who was also an
interior designer. His role at Helen Green Design offers the opportunity to ensure the firm continuously evolves on a creative level – while also remaining artistically flexible to meet client needs.

WATG unveils design of the first Bellagio to launch outside Vegas

720 515 Hamish Kilburn

Opening outside of Vegas for the first time, Bellagio Shanghai’s 162 guestrooms and 22 suites have been designed to maximise the panoramic views of the Pudong skyline and famous waterfront…

WATG and Wemberly Interiors has revealed the design of the new Bellagio Shanghai, which will be Bellagio’s first ever hotel outside of Vegas. Wimberly Interiors worked alongside the hotel brand to “raise the bar of ultra-luxury hotel design in shanghai” as documented in a press release from the design studio.

WATG and Wimberly Interiors have taken a sensitive yet dynamic approach to the design in order to balance both the cultural and architecture heritage of Shanghai. Clad in warm beige granite stone and accented with bronze metal and stone ornamental elements, the architecture is a reference to its location near the Bund district.

Plush guest bedroom

Image credit: WATG

“The architecture style is a fitting gesture to the new-classical buildings across Suzhou River but the Bellagio still remains a contemporary appeal due to its clean, crisp and subdued geometric lines of its Art Deco style,” explained Rogar Gaspar, associate vice president and senior project designer at WATG.

Image credit: WATG

At its southern side, the ten-storey hotel follows the direction of the adjacent Suzhou River in a rhythmic movement of stepped facades and vertical towners. The towers and grand porte cochere are punctuated by a procession of elegant Art Deco-inspired columns, while a signature tower highlights the front corner of the building.

“The design for the hotel is expressed through the lens of couture fashion, with reinterpreted silhouettes, textures and embellishments,” said Oz Ekviriya, associate vice president and creative director of Wimberly Interiors. “We are thrilled to be part of such a monumental project for Bellagio and Shangahi.”

Striking lobby

Image credit: WATG

The focal point of the hotel’s interiors is the lobby. An impressive grand staircase, handcrafted with Italian marble, is highlighted by a chandelier constructed from precious Czech crystals. The colour palate features a dramatic contrast of creams, blacks, accented with champagne-coloured detailed and bold emerald fabrics. The staircase leads to a four-storey atrium and muli-function events space, complete with modern technology.

Elsewhere in the hotel, an all-day brasserie and multi-level Chinese restaurant is complete with vintage steamer trunks and signature red chandeliers.

The Bellagio Shanghai opens in the same month as Zaha Hadid Architects completes the much-anticipated Morpheus in Macau.

Image credit: Bellagio Shanghai

Bedroom with wooden beams and soft interiors

Viceroy at Ombria Resort unveils first design phase

800 566 Hamish Kilburn

Ombria Resort has unveiled the design ethos behind its first phase with WATG’s Wimberly Interiors at the design helm…

With an initial investment of €100 million, Ombria Resort’s first development phase in the Algarve will welcome the arrival of a new five-star Viceroy hotel.

The overall design aesthetic has been developed in partnership with WATG who are responsible for the landscape architecture, WATG’s interior design firm Wimberly Interiors, and Portuguese architects Promontorio. ‘Carved by Nature’ vision draws inspiration from the features, forms, material and themes of the authentic Barrocal sub-region of the Algarve.

All designers and architects involved are operating with the same shared aim: to create a new sustainable luxury destination, promoting and supporting the heart of the Algarve area, enhancing the area’s culture and traditional heritage.

Imagined as an elegant Portuguese village with all the charm and character of a long-established settlement, the graceful and considered design of Viceroy at Ombria Resort hotel and Viceroy

Residences will reflect the surrounding architecture of the interior of the Algarve, while echoing the style of nearby traditional towns.

“We really wanted to bring in the warmth and texture of the surrounding environment. Our modern interpretation, embraces the local design and culture, maintaining the distinct Portuguese spirit,” said Liana Hawes-Young from Wimberly Interiors.

The hand plastered walls in the hotel evoke memories of traditional Portuguese design, whilst the colour scheme of blue and white patterns pay homage to the traditional tiles found throughout Portugal and are inspired by the local tiles sourced for the lobby seating and guest staircase. Locally sourced materials are used throughout, opting for reclaimed materials wherever possible. The exterior draws inspiration from traditional Portuguese craftsmanship with extensive use of rammed earth walls, manual fire-baked terracotta and lime plaster.

Large bathroom

Local Portuguese architects, Promonorio implemented the architecture that WATG  has designed. The firm draws up a holistic approach to architecture, creating places that are implicitly sustainable with a preference for locally sourced materials.

The hotel is excepted to open in 2020. It aims to set the bar as a new generation of low-density report development where sustainability, the environment and support of nature lie at the heart of the foundations.