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Yotel

Contemporary bathroom inside YOTEL Edinburgh framing views of the Old Town

Case study: Designing the bathrooms inside Scotland’s debut YOTEL

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Case study: Designing the bathrooms inside Scotland’s debut YOTEL

Scotland’s very first YOTEL, centrally located in Edinburgh’s bustling Queen Street, combines contemporary modern interiors with the classic design of the city’s famous ‘Old Town’ architecture. Its playful ‘cabin’ style rooms feature bathrooms using a bespoke solution and innovative solid surface material Surfex® exclusively from Roca

Contemporary bathroom inside YOTEL Edinburgh framing views of the Old Town

YOTEL Edinburgh is the brand’s first city centre opening in Europe. Its premium location is perfectly placed, allowing guests to experience all of the city’s historic charms and top attractions within walking distance of the hotel. The sleek and modern interior is testament to the ethos of the brand; creating an innovative, smart hotel for tech-savvy travellers.

The hotel has 276 compact cabin rooms, inspired by the feeling first class travel provides in terms of luxury and comfort. Each room is equipped with YOTEL’s signature features including luxury bedding, relaxing mood lighting and Smart TVs. This helps to enhance the smart experience YOTEL is renowned for and evokes contemporary style and convenience. The rooms are designed to have a modern feel, and its minimalist white interior highlights the brand’s close attention to detail.

“The main purpose of the cabin rooms at YOTEL is to provide guests with functionality, practicality and above all, high quality, “Stuart Douglas, YOTEL Edinburgh General Manager said during the launch phase. “The uncompromising design of the rooms and bathrooms ensures guests have the essential elements of luxury hotels but redesigned into a compact, smart space.”

Working closely alongside YOTEL at the design stage of the project, Roca created a bathroom solution that closely aligned with the brand standards. This included the Gap wall-hung WC and a bespoke vanity unit, in addition to bespoke washroom countertops for the public areas of the hotel.

Manufactured in Poland, the bespoke units were made using Roca’s innovative Surfex®, a malleable solid surface material formulated from a combination of minerals and resins. The unique properties of Surfex allow it to be poured into a production mould, enabling complex designs with no joints or seams. The materials properties also permit ‘on-site’ changes to the finished product, catering to different guestroom sizes and configurations. At YOTEL Edinburgh the advantages of Surfex were harnessed to create a wash basin bowl with an integrated unit that maximises countertop space, providing ample storage space for toiletries and grooming products.

Image of modern duel-basin sink

Image credit: YOTEL

The addition of The Gap wall-hung WC further complemented the design aesthetic. Created by renowned industrial designer Antonio Bullo, The Gap features modern and stylish lines whilst delivering both a compact and functional bathroom solution.

“We worked in close partnership with the YOTEL team to deliver a bespoke solution that fitted their requirements and those of their guests,” comments Jon Bond, Head of UK Projects at Roca. “The end result is a bathroom that seamlessly integrates the modern feel of the cabin rooms, with the contemporary ethos of the YOTEL brand.”

Roca 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: YOTEL

In the factory with sustainable bed & mattress manufacturer Naturalmat

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
In the factory with sustainable bed & mattress manufacturer Naturalmat

With its fascinating storyline stretching from luxury superyachts to international hotels, bed and mattress brand Naturalmat’s stamp of approval can be traced right back to the source, as editor Hamish Kilburn learns when he pays a visit to the brand’s HQ in Topsham, Devon…

The story behind the success of bed and mattress manufacturer Naturalmat, and its esteemed reputation for being a conscious brand, all started more than 20 years ago. The Tremlett family, boat builders at the time, were in their yard in Topsham, Devon, and realised that there was a void in the luxury marine industry.

Mark Tremlett and his father designed luxury superyachts for the super-rich, which were complete with high-end fittings and fixtures while flooded with innovative space-saving solutions. Each vessel that would come out of the yard was perfectly designed for its heavy pocketed owner.

And yet, the family realised that while the luxury marine industry had evolved into an exciting design-led arena, the pre-existing beds that were being specified within these floating abodes were not fit for purpose. “I saw that people were still sleeping on polyurethane foam mattresses underneath it all,” said Mark, who is the co-founder of Naturalmat, explained to Hotel Designs. “This is not a great material to use on a boat (or any bed) as it’s not breathable, leading to issues of damp and mould, and doesn’t give the most comfortable experience.” It was during this lightbulb moment when Naturalmat was born.

Image caption: The Rosemoor Bed | Image credit: Naturalmat

Image caption: The Rosemoor Bed | Image credit: Naturalmat

Five interesting facts about Naturalmat

  • The company saves approximately 40,000 kw per year through its various eco initiatives
  • Naturalmat offers three 100 per cent natural fibre mattresses, and three natural fibre plus pocket spring mattresses
  • Naturalmat uses the husk of a coconut within its mattresses, which gives the user a fairly straight, robust fibre. But if you twist these very tightly and unravel them, they retain that curl which is then perfect to tease into a pad —in the absence of metal coils, it’s the natural ‘spring’ layer that provides the structure and bounce on each mattress
  • Naturalmat does not use fire retardant chemicals in any of its products
  • As of last year, Naturalmat done away with using plastic in packaging, and now the various packaging across the business is either from potato starch, corn starch, sugar cane, unbleached cotton, recycled kraft boxes, paper bags, or large, infinitely reusable mattress-sized duffle bags.

A few years after all but conquering the marine and nursery industry with locally and intuitively designed mattresses, in 2008 the company was approached by Simon Woodroffe, founder of Yo! Sushi, who had just launched a new hotel concept, YOTEL. Naturalmat soon landed its first major hotel project, when Woodroffe specified the brand for YOTEL New York. With smaller sized rooms, which the hotel brand refers to as cabins, the meaningful partnership was stitched together. It was this leap into the hospitality market that allowed the Devonshire-based family business to boom on the international hotel design scene.

Following the extensive project inside the 669-key lifestyle hotel, more relationships between the bed manufacturer and hotel brands such as Qbic, Six Senses Resorts, Z Hotels, Hoxton Hotels forged as Naturalmat’s unique and fully sustainable manufacturing process complimented brand, sustainability and quality standards.

A bedroom inside Hoxton Southwark

Image caption: Hoxton Hotels specifies Naturalmat mattreses | Image credit: Hoxton Hotels/Ennismore

Following the bed and mattress brand winning Best in British Product Design at The Brit List Awards 2019, I headed down south to understand how each mattress is made, by hand. But before we dive in, first let’s explore where the materials are sourced from. The organic lambswool, used to create comfortable products that are unmatched, comes from Soil Association certified farms in Devon, Dorset and Somerset. The company purchases direct from organic farmers, not just to ensure the highest quality but also to give the farmers a better return than taking the wool to market. As a result, the company is consciously supporting the local farming community.

Once the wool has been purchased, here is the step-by-step process behind each and every handmade Naturalmat mattress:

  • First the roll of wool and cotton herringbone ticking is cut to the size of the mattress that has been ordered.
  • The company’s precise sewing team then stitch the handles onto the edge panels, as well as the Naturalmat label onto the surface.
A women sewing a mattress

Image caption: Anne is one of Naturalmat’s precise sewing team | Image credit: Naturalmat

  • Downstairs in the mattress making section of the factory, a team of two layer the mattress ‘sandwich’ starting with coir (or a spring unit, if being used), layering with natural latex, mohair, cashmere, or whatever else the ‘mattress recipe’ calls for.
Two men in the factory designing and making Naturalmat mattresses

Image caption: A team of two layer the mattress ‘sandwich’ starting with coir | Image credit: Naturalmat

  • When this stage is complete, each mattress and topper that is manufactured gets a top layer of organic lambswool, and the covers are loosely stretched out onto either side. The side panel is then rolled around the edges and loosely pinned.
  • This ‘sandwich’ is then moved to a large table where the brand’s expert upholsterer (who’s been making mattresses for more than 20 years) runs a clever tape-edging machine around it, which seals the mattress sandwich with the brand’s signature grey wool and cotton piping. The mattress is then flipped (bit tricky for Emperor-sized units), then the team tape-edge the other side.
  • Once the ‘sandwich’ is sealed, it’s moved across to a jig which props it up on its side, allowing the team to tuft all the buttons through the mattress. The tufting is what keeps all the natural fibres in place, as well as offers that bit of ‘puff’ for comfort.
  • The finished mattress is then slid into one of the company’s large, recyclable, sugar-cane derived packaging bags, sealed, then loaded onto a Naturalmat van ready for delivery.

What’s as impressive as the quality behind each product is the company’s passion around sustainability. From the very beginning, the company took a different approach to the rest of the trade. The factory, for example, that shelters this innovative manufacturing process is on its own an eco-friendly machine, complete with solar paneling that powers the building and the operations inside.

A blue bed in a modern room

Image credit: Naturalmat

From a materials perspective, Naturalmat could not understand why the majority of mattresses were made using man-made synthetic materials that were neither biodegradable nor from a sustainable source.

Most recently, the bed and mattress brand’s eco credentials caught the attention of Geetie Singh-Watson, a self-proclaimed warrior against greenwashing in hospitality, as she was designing The Bull Inn in Totnes. Singh-Watson was only interested in sourcing all products and services locally and researched each brand thoroughly before specifying each and every product within the eight-key pub/hotel.

A close up of a bed inside The Bull Inn in Totnes

Image caption: Naturalmat supplied the beds for The Bull Inn, Totnes credit: Rachel Hoile Photography

With the brand catching the attention of authentic independents and large chains – it is currently processing an order for the first urban Six Senses hotel, which will open in New York – the brand’s modern attitude matched with traditional ethos is going from strength to strength, and in turn is educating the hotel design and hospitality arena on the values of conscious design.

Naturalmat 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: Naturalmat

YOTEL inks deal to manage 451 room Istanbul New Airport hotel

1024 683 Katy Phillips

Site represents London-based YOTEL’s first foray into Turkey.

İstanbul New Airport (İNA) operator İGA and YOTEL have agreed an exclusive hotel management contract at the international connection hub.

The hotel, which the partners say will be one of the biggest airport hotels in the world, with both airside and landside access, will offer 451 rooms and will be located inside the main terminal building.

İGA sees the deal as an indication of İNA growing importance to holiday makers and business travellers, point out that the airport was ranked third in terms of total departing passenger numbers in Q1 2018.

The stats back this up – İNA is Turkey’s biggest ever infrastructure project and will replace Ataturk Airport when it opens in October this year. The capacity of İNA will be expanded up to 200 million people once all four phases are completed and will have a total of six runways and three terminals, hosting nearly 100 airlines.

İNA says it will set an example for the global airport architecture with its flexible and spacious terminal design rooted in Istanbul’s unique cultural and architectural values. Besides aesthetics, it will also have a ‘simple and practical setup with touches of traditional motifs’.

For its part, YOTEL says it will will introduce its design and technology in two zones – one airside (102 rooms) and one landside (349 rooms). Both parts of the new hotel will feature public spaces including YOTEL’s Club Lounge concept with smart vending, working and relaxing areas, wellness centres and planted glazed atriums.

In addition, the landside zone will include a restaurant, bar and 24/7 gym. The new hotel will also feature meeting spaces, which YOTEL says will be suited to small, large, formal and casual meetings.

The site will be YOTEL’s largest airport hotel – it currently operates four under the YOTELAIR brand at London Gatwick, London Heathrow, Amsterdam Schiphol and Paris Charles de Gaulle.

Making History

“We are delighted to have chosen YOTEL as our new airport’s exclusive air and landside hotel operator”, said Kadri Samsunlu, CEO of İGA Airport Operation. “We are making history with İstanbul New Airport, already in its construction phase a multiple-world record breaking project that is likely to change the transportation and aviation dynamics of a tri-continent region covering Europe, Asia and Africa, and certain to have a lasting impact far beyond this geography.

“YOTEL will contribute to our perfect passenger experience approach with unique innovative elemental luxury and technologically decked space.”

Hubert Viriot, YOTEL’s CEO, said: “We’ve witnessed Turkey’s and particularly Istanbul’s remarkable economic and urban development, transformation and its noticeably increased popularity over the past few years. İstanbul New Airport will only further increase Istanbul’s ever-expanding popularity and economy and YOTEL is delighted to be a part of it. The prevailing ambitious vision to make İstanbul New Airport the largest transit hub in the world made it very attractive for us to be there, and we are extremely honoured to be chosen for this exciting project. This city aspires to high growth success, just like YOTEL, so we are a perfect match.”

 

First Asian YOTEL opens in Singapore

First Asian YOTEL opens in Singapore

1000 650 Daniel Fountain

YOTEL Singapore, the first YOTEL in Asia, opened its doors to guests on 1 October 2017, offering 610 rooms known as ‘cabins’ across 30 floors.

By integrating the elements of luxury hotels into smartly designed spaces, YOTEL aims to provide a seamless and intuitive guest experience by giving guests everything they need and nothing they don’t.

With a wide variety of cabins on offer from a Premium Queen Cabin to a VIP View Suite, we have something to suit every budget and every traveller’s needs.

The cabins are equipped with signature YOTEL features such as the adjustable SmartBed™ with super comfortable Serta Gel mattresses as well as a Technowall with mood lighting and smart TVs for easy connectivity to your own devices. There will also be access to complimentary super-strength WiFi throughout the hotel.

Like other YOTELs worldwide, YOTEL Singapore is placed in a central and convenient location that offers guests easy access to the city’s main attractions.

YOTEL coming to Clerkenwell, London

YOTEL coming to London

720 450 Daniel Fountain

Yotel has announced plans to open its third property in the UK in late 2018 with a 212-cabin hotel in Central London’s creative quarter of Clerkenwell at 96-100 Clerkenwell Road. Regarded as the epicentre of London’s design and architecture scene and a leader in the UK’s Tech Nation programme, Clerkenwell is ideal for Yotel’s first city-centre hotel in Europe.

The project, developed by Medina Investments, has already broken ground and is set to open in late 2018. The hotel will offer 212 cabins which will be equipped with Yotel’s revolutionary technology-driven hospitality offering.

The compact but luxurious cabins will include Yotel’s signature space saving adjustable SmartBed™, monsoon rain shower, techno-wall features, which includes mood lighting and entertainment options, with smart TVs.

Additional facilities include a gym, bar, an independently operated dining outlet and Yotel’s Club Lounge concept, which offers flexible meeting and co-working spaces that will be designed in keeping with the surrounding area. All cabins and communal areas of the hotel will be served by super-fast and free WiFi connectivity.

YOTEL’s CEO Hubert Viriot, said: “We are more than ready to bring the Yotel city-centre concept home. Since the opening of our flagship in New York, we have been looking for the right opportunity and we finally found it in Clerkenwell. The mixed-use project, developed by Medina Investments, complements the Yotel brand perfectly. It’s dynamic, creative and forward-thinking and backed by a developer with acumen and vision.”

Developer Medina Investments will transform the current site into a mixed-use development that will embody Yotel’s innovative and technology focussed identity, yet sit comfortably within its historically significant surroundings.

Zain Hussain, Managing Director at Medina Investments, said: “We are delighted to be involved in such an exciting project, using our expertise to create an opportunity by looking beyond the obvious to identify undiscovered potential. We have many years’ experience in site acquisition, planning and development and our vision is to expand our investment and development activity with a sustainable strategy. Clerkenwell is a unique area that buzzes with creativity and this requires a similarly creative approach to development. I’ve no doubt that between our talented team and the Yotel brand – this hotel will be ‘the’ place to stay in the City’s coolest new neighbourhood.”

With sustainability and efficiency central to all of the parties involved, the hotel is carfree, encouraging guests to utilise the numerous alternative transport options in the area.

Clerkenwell is home to a number of professional services and is rumoured to have the highest concentration of architects and building professionals in the world, many of whom have offices in the area.

yotel.com/en/