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Casa Bonay

Faena Hotel

Ace Hotel

Creative talents collaborate on a ‘house of friends’ in Barcelona’s emerging design quarter

Patterns galore meet a cacophony of colour at Alan Faena’s Miami Beach masterpiece

Roman and Williams capture the spirit of New Orleans in the latest outpost for Ace

LIT BY GEOMETRY The Rio LED plaster wall light is a study in clean lines. The smooth plaster finish and crispness of profile deliver a pure architectural simplicity that brings a solidity and sense of luxury to any interior. Because good design demands simplicity. Model: Rio 325

Inside Sleeper J U LY | A U G U S T 2 0 1 6


Hotel Reviews


Cover Story

038 Ace Hotel New Orleans

110 Events… Sleepover Miami For its first adventure outside Europe, Sleepover heads Stateside to Miami to explore the historic architecture of South Beach, as well as the new design districts shaping the city’s future.

030 Casa Bonay Barcelona With a distinct Catalonian feel, Casa Bonay from debut hotelier Inés Miro-Sans combines the talents of emerging and established artisans, makers and manufacturers to shape a new collective approach to hospitality in the city.


The Hall South Beach, Miami


Faena Hotel Miami Beach


Haymarket by Scandic Stockholm


Generator Amsterdam


Alma Lusa Lisbon

081 SLS Las Vegas

126 Events… The Sleep Set Round Table Ahead of Sleep’s annual competition to design a guestroom of the future, the five participating teams meet in London to discuss this year’s theme – The Science of Tribes.

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24/07/2014 10:23:23



t may have been a talking point for months in advance but few could have predicted the fallout from Brexit. On Thursday 23 June, in a landmark referendum that sent shockwaves around the world, Great Britain voted to leave the European Union. In the immediate aftermath, $2 trillion was wiped off global markets, the pound slumped to a 30-year low against the dollar, and the Prime Minister David Cameron resigned. Brexit’s impact has also had a rippling effect on the hospitality industry. The reaction has been mixed, ranging from anger and disappointment to renewed confidence, but – initially at least – there was an overwhelming sentiment that Brexit is bad news. Firstly, there are concerns in the construction industry, with virtually all materials used in the UK being imported from the continent. The end of free-trade agreements between the UK and the EU, along with the pound’s reduced purchasing power, could mean that architectural quality suffers as a consequence. Then there’s the people – the hospitality industry’s most important asset. Industry leaders have been vocal about potential limitations on travel to the UK for EU citizens, as many of the nation’s hotels, particularly in London, are staffed by a pan-European workforce. Amongst the predictions of economic doom, a glimmer of optimism comes with the depreciation of the pound. Initially, a weaker currency will make the UK cheaper for visitors leading to a rise in tourist arrivals; there has already been an uptick in travel bookings from the US. But hospitality is a long-term business; we can’t rely on temporary currency advantages as a route to success. While some believe that a weaker pound will result in increased investment from overseas backers hoping to get more bang for their buck, others see it differently – that investment in the UK right now is risky business. The powers that be could put decisions on hold, or cancel transactions altogether. The truth is, the UK is facing years of uncertainty. It’s too early to know what impact the decision will ultimately have, but let’s not forget that the hospitality industry is resilient. So for now, the resounding message is, the UK is open for business.

Catherine Martin | Editor


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Karim Rashid is one of the most prolific industrial designers of a generation with over 3,000 designs currently in production. He fi rst turned his hand to hospitality design in 2004, injecting his own style of sensual minimalism into Semiramis in Athens. His latest project is the multimillion dollar refurbishment of the all-inclusive, adult-centric Temptation Resort & Spa in Cancun, Mexico.

New York-based interior designer Robert McKinley has recently completed The Hall, Miami, a new property from Commune Hotels + Resorts under its Joie de Vivre brand. The project has transformed a 1940s Art Deco classic into a bohemian boutique hotel with touches of Tropical Modernism. The Hall was the host hotel for Sleepover Miami, the fi fth in Sleeper’s series of inventive events for hotel innovators.

Building on the success of his first hotel in Buenos Aires, Argentine hotelier Alan Faena has expanded his eponymous brand to the US, with the opening of Faena Hotel Miami Beach. Designed with input from Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin, the 169key property forms part of the Faena District, a mixed-use development comprising oneof-a-kind cultural, residential, retail and public environments.

A sp e a ker at Sle epover Miami’s breakfast talk, Jason Pomeranc is co-founder of Sixty Collective, an international hospitality company with ambitions to re-imagine the boutique hotel experience. The collective currently comprises five properties across the US, including Nautilus – A Sixty Hotel, originally designed by famed architect Morris Lapidus to his trademark M iami Modernist style.


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15/02/2016 12:19


A digital detox in the Mexican jungle beckons for the leader of Woods Bagot’s global hospitality portfolio, as he takes a break in his fantasy hotel.

Where are you? Tulum, Mexico, along the east coast of the Yucatán Peninsula; home to one of the last cities built and inhabited by the Maya. How did you get there? Seaplane. Who is there to greet you on arrival? Jonathan Adler. Although not a hotelier, he has considered everything; the classic glassware for a refreshing cocktail on arrival, traditional woven face towels cooled to perfection, and fresh fruit served on wood-fired clay trays. And who’s at the concierge desk? Jorge, a local, who has organised a secret swim in the nearby Gran Cenote. Who are you sharing your room with? My partner; we lead busy lives and there are few moments together. Is there anything you would like waiting for you in your room? Chilled guava juice. Describe the hotel, your room and the view... The resort is a small compound of six seaside pavilions, largely untouched since their construction in 1952. There is no reliable cell phone signal and Wi-Fi can be spotty; we don’t care. Expansive

slate floors lead from the porte cochère to shaded terraces that overlook the ancient Mayan ruins and coastline. Walls seem to dissolve into the landscape in true modernist style. Our pavilion suite is located away from the main hotel complex and is furnished with classic post-war furniture that Bauhaus founder Marcel Breuer would be at home in. There is little-to-no decoration except for vibrant locally sourced woven fabrics for seating and upholstery. Materials are understated and refined. Slate floors and wood-lined soffits frame the dramatic view while stone walls magically fold away to reveal the outdoor spaces. The room has direct access to a private white sand beach and there’s a hammock on the terrace – perfect for absorbing the luxurious paradise of the Mexican jungle. Who designed it? Greta Magnusson-Grossman, the Swedish designer and architect known for her furniture designs during the forties and fifties. Her pieces were an early proponent of post-war industrial-produced furniture constructed from the combination of tubular steel, upholstery and timber. What’s the restaurant and bar like? The restaurant sits above the hotel entrance on an outdoor terrace with 360-degree views of the jungle, sea and ancient Mayan ruins. The space is a simple affair, with only four tables and a rectangular trellis to filter the midday sun. The menu of locally caught fish and the setting sun are the stars.

Name: Wade Little | Position: Global Hotel Sector Leader and Principal, Woods Bagot | Notable hotel projects: Ivy, Sydney; Primus Hotel, Sydney; The Ville Hotel & Resort, North Queensland (in progress)


Who are you dining with this evening? My partner; designer Joseph Dirand; and actress Julianne Moore. Who’s manning the stoves? Rick Stein is here for the season. And what’s on the menu? We start with a ceviche of octopus followed by a Mayan favourite of banana leaf wrapped fish with pibil spice mix and tamales, and finish off with churros. Would you like something to drink with that? Côtes du Provence Rosé. What’s in the mini-bar for a night cap? Coconut Mojitos. What’s on your nightstand at bedtime? Nothing. This resort is low-tech, no Wi-Fi, no radios and no TVs. What’s your ultimate luxury item? I can’t have a hotel stay without a bath. What toiletries would you like to freshen up with? Aesop, all natural and organic. Would you like a newspaper in the morning? No, I have unplugged. The world can wait!

Corinthia at Meydan Beach DUBAI

Corinthia Hotels has signed an agreement with UAE-based Meydan Group to provide technical services and manage a new beachfront resort under construction in Dubai. Due to open in 2019, Corinthia at Meydan Beach is being built on the site of the former Meydan Beach Club. Comprising 300 guestrooms and 60 high-end serviced apartments, it is the latest in a series of mega developments being undertaken by the group. The scheme features a 55-storey tower atop a stepped podium and incorporates extensive indoor and outdoor leisure and dining facilities, a luxury spa, a club and banqueting amenities. Internationally-renowned American design firm AE7 has been appointed architect and interior designer. “We are immensely proud of our association with Meydan and of our first Corinthia Hotel in Dubai,” comments Corinthia Chairman Alfred Pisani. “The energy, vision and quality of resources assembled for this project by Meydan, and now including Corinthia, will ensure this will be another landmark milestone for us, and for Dubai.”

Becici Beach Hotel Resort MONTENEGRO

London-based design studio Mixity has won an open competition to masterplan and design a hotel resort community on Montenegro’s Adriatic coast.

fragmented building volumes with natural materials, a lush landscape and an abundance of water. The masterplan makes use of the site’s natural topography, ensuring that all accommodations capture the expansive sea views. The jury describe the scheme as having an “extraordinary quality, which resonates well with the architecture of the Adriatic Coast,” and being a “unique solution, which shows an excellent understanding of the current development trends in the hotel industry.” Project leader and Mixity’s Managing Director Pierre Baillargeon comments: “The Mixity team felt truly inspired to take advantage of the unique location, rich in heritage and beauty, at Becici Beach near Budva. In collaboration with Capital Estate we hope to realise the next leading Mediterranean destination.” An operator for the resort is yet to be announced.

Sponsored by the government of Montenegro and landowner Capital Estate, the competition attracted entries from a number of international practices, with Mixity going on to win the top prize and the opportunity to deliver their concept. Located at Becici Beach, a popular tourist destination on the Budva Riviera in the south of Montenegro, the 67,000m2 site will include a 280-key, five-star hotel, 150 apartments, dining and leisure destinations, sports facilities, a landscaped garden bridge linking an upper and lower property, and 250m beach front. Mixity’s vision is defined by a low-rise village combining




©2016 KOHLER CO.


Ennismore, the team behind The Hoxton, has announced a new hotel brand that aims to challenge the status quo of the budget sector.

Sharan Pasricha, CEO of Ennismore – which acquired Scotland’s Gleneagles in 2015 – comments: “We’ve created NoCo to challenge the status quo of today’s budget brands. Travelling habits and demands have changed; as has the way that people now use hotels. Our aim is to raise the bar for affordable hotels and provide business and leisure travellers with a stylish alternative to the bland, cookiecutter hotels so often found in cities outside of London.” Ben Russell, Acquisitions Director at Ennismore adds: “We have shortlisted several key cities, beginning in the UK, and are looking to work with progressive property partners on leasehold opportunities to roll-out the NoCo brand. We believe our exciting plans for the product coupled with our track record with The Hoxton makes Ennismore a strong proposition for local developers looking to build out hospitality assets.”

Combining state-of-the-art technology, great value and stylish design, NoCo will open 25 hotels in key cities across the UK with the first scheduled for 2018. Setting out to prove that budget doesn’t have to be boring, each NoCo site will have 150-200 guestrooms, with nightly rates under £100. Booking and check-in will be via a bespoke app, guestrooms will be compact yet comfortable, and bars and eateries will be destinations in their own right. Ennismore will craft creative communal spaces by partnering with local restaurant operators so that guests can enjoy an energetic atmosphere, exciting food and drink offerings and music programming, regardless of whether they are staying in the hotel.


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Park MGM and NoMad LAS VEGAS

MGM Resorts International and New York-based Sydell Group have announced a partnership to reimagine and rebrand Monte Carlo Resort & Casino on the Las Vegas Strip.

F&B, Sydell Group will once again team up with chef Daniel Humm and restaurateur Will Guidara, the creative and culinary forces behind the NoMad restaurant in New York. Park MGM is a new concept conceived to target a younger, welltravelled demographic seeking unique experiences and innovative design. The 2,700-room resort will reflect a residential feel signature to Sydell’s hospitality experiences. Working with British designer Martin Brudnizki, Sydell Group and MGM will transform the resort’s public areas with a beautiful and casually elegant design. Clean lines will define the architecture of each space, combined with classically inspired European furnishings and a robust art programme. Construction at Park MGM and NoMad Las Vegas is expected to commence in late 2016 and conclude in late 2018.

The $450 million transformation will include two distinct hotel experiences: a Las Vegas version of Sydell’s widely acclaimed NoMad Hotel, and the launch of a new luxury property named Park MGM. Sydell will collaborate with MGM Resorts on the transformation of all guestrooms and public spaces, including the food and beverage offerings of both hotels. The NoMad Las Vegas will draw upon the success of the original, with a distinctive luxury experience designed in collaboration with legendary French designer Jacques Garcia, the visionary behind Parisian hotels such as Royal Monceau and Hôtel Costes. For the




The Wellington LONDON

Robert De Niro, Capital & Counties Properties (Capco) and BD Hotels have submitted a planning application for a new luxury hotel in London’s Covent Garden.

adjacent buildings and aims to retain and incorporate many of the historical façades and architectural features. “London is one of the most exciting and cosmopolitan cities in the world. It makes perfect sense to develop a hotel that represents all of that in the heart of this city in Covent Garden,” says De Niro. “The Wellington Hotel would honour the heritage of the area, while bringing the best of what we’ve done in New York to London.” Since acquiring the estate 10 years ago, Capco has transformed Covent Garden into a vibrant destination with retail and restaurant brands such as Chanel, Dior, Balthazar and Ivy Market Grill. SarahJane Curtis, Director of Capco Covent Garden, comments: “This would be our first landmark hotel for the estate and a new icon for the city, continuing our commitment to enliven Covent Garden with bespoke offerings from both global and British brands.”

If accepted, development will begin in 2017, with construction finished by 2019. The plans would see De Niro, Ira Drukier and Richard Born – the team behind The Greenwich Hotel in New York – open their first hotel outside of the US. The ambitious scheme includes 83 guestrooms, luxury spa facilities, two restaurants, a deli/café and a members’ club, all of which will be built around a central courtyard conservatory. Bounded by Wellington Street, Tavistock Street, Burleigh Street and Exeter Street, the project would rejuvenate a whole block within the Covent Garden Conservation Area. The Wellington Hotel spans six


Bloc Grand Central BIRMINGHAM

Bloc Hotels has revealed plans for a multi-million pound development to transform the Birmingham skyline.

With a pared-down approach to luxury, Bloc aims to provide guests with a stylish and affordable hospitality experience. Its designers, in conjunction with innovation partners Samsung, have developed a high-tech, smart hotel that matches the aspirations of the area. Glenn Howells, Director, Glenn Howells Architects, comments: “We are delighted to be working with fellow Birmingham-based company Bloc Hotels on a bespoke building for the heart of the city. The building is situated at an important gateway site within Birmingham city centre and offers the opportunity to define a benchmark for the future regeneration of this part of the city.” Rob Morgan, Managing Director, Bloc Hotels, adds: “Bloc Grand Central will be a defining moment in the company’s ambitious growth strategy. Our first hotel was in Birmingham and we want to continue to invest in the city where the brand was born.”

Funded by private investors, the 25-storey Bloc Grand Central is designed by Glenn Howells Architects and will help realise Birmingham City Council’s vision of making the Southside district a vibrant and attractive destination for visitors. Located by the Spanish Steps entrance to New Street Station, John Lewis and the Grand Central shopping precinct, Bloc’s 238-key flagship will be built on a site currently occupied by a vacant 1960s office block. It will create 40 full-time jobs in the area and support scores more ancillary workers. The hotel will be Bloc’s second in the city following the group’s 2011 debut in the Jewellery Quarter, where it is soon to launch apart-rooms for longer stays.


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Debut hotelier Inés Miro-Sans has collaborated with a host of creative talents to open a ‘house of friends’ in Barcelona’s Eixample district. Words: Matt Turner | Photography: © Metrixel Arjalaguer / Nacho Alegre


i casa es su casa’ would be an appropriate, if obvious, slogan for this new Barcelona property, described not so much as a hotel as ‘a house of friends’ by its co-founder Inés Miro-Sans. It is very much a collaborative project, one which harnesses the talents of a multitude of creative minds from its locality and beyond. Miro-Sans has commissioned a variety of emerging and established artisans, makers and manufacturers to shape a new collective approach to hospitality in the city. But rather than opting for a Catalonian interior design firm, she chose to work with Brooklyn-based Studio Tack to reinterpret this restored 19th century mansion: “If we had gone to a local interior design firm we would have ended up with something that looked like it belonged in New York,” she says. Ironically, bringing in a New York designer has given it a more distinctive local feel: “They looked at the project from a completely fresh perspective.” Miro-Sans was involved in the development of Ace Hotel New York before embarking on the Casa Bonay project with her business partner, seasoned hospitality executive Luis Rullán. The influence of Ace is undeniable – both in the collaborative approach (the



Above & Opposite: Guestrooms feature original mosaic tiles, handpainted room numbers, furniture from AOO, and bespoke blankets by Teixidors

partnership with local coffee producer Satans and cold-press juice makers Mother being a case in point) and in details such as the wall-mounted pump-action dispensers in the bathrooms. Yet this is a project with its own distinctive identity, one that feels firmly rooted in its Barcelona location. Originally the home of the Bonay family, a wealthy Catalan industrial dynasty, it was designed in 1869 by Francisco Batlle. Studio Tack’s approach was to respect the building’s architecture, ensuring that irreplaceable original details were maintained and restored, whilst introducing simple, clean furniture and finishings to the rest of the spaces. From the entrance on Gran Via des Corts Catalanes, one of the city’s main arterial links, a majestic original marble staircase leads on to a series of archways, past banana trees and potted plants, to Libertine, the voluminous main lobby, bar and restaurant area. Here, communal workbenches – another nod to Ace – sit alongside vintage sofas, patchwork rugs, cane furnishings and bistro tables, with statement light fixtures by Santa & Cole hanging overhead. The ‘panot’ street tiles which decorate Barcelona’s pavements are used here as a floor surface which connects the hotel interior to the city outside. In the guestrooms, contemporary furnishings and custom textiles

with green and blue accents complement the original mosaic flooring. Daylight floods in from the rooms’ windows, balconies and terraces. Situated near the cosmopolitan El Born and Poble Nou neighbourhoods, Dreta de l’Eixample is emerging as a vibrant design district in the city, and Miro-Sans has enlisted many of the quarter’s young creatives to bring her visions to life; from fashion designers to coffee roasters, independent publishers to furniture craftspeople. Most of the furniture has been designed or supplied by Marc Morro of AOO (Altrescoses Oltrascosas Otherthings). Bespoke, handcrafted blankets on the beds are by Teixidors – a not-for-profit textile supplier which employs people with learning difficulties to create high quality fabrics from the finest natural materials using traditional looms. Lighting throughout the hotel has been curated by Nina Maso, founder of Santa & Cole: “Inés sought to build harmony among the entire team, for us to share ideas, talk and bring in our own vision,” says Maso. “The Santa & Cole product range, which shares the warm Mediterranean feel that the hotel was after, therefore became part of this project. From the start I totally understood the concept Inés was looking for. I really identified with how she imagined her hotel – it’s the vision I would have had if I’d set up my own hotel in Barcelona. Feeling at home – that was the interesting bit.”



Above: Elephant Crocodile Monkey offers chef Estanislao Carezo’s menu of small plate interpretations of traditional tapas dishes

Garden designer Alejandra Coll of Asilvestrada has given life to the interior spaces with plants that can be found hanging from balconies, in travertine bathtubs in the hallway, and throughout the corridors. Biodynamic bathroom amenities are by Las Lilas, whose founder Ana Gayoso makes products from herbs and plants cultivated in her own garden in the mountains of Alt Empordà. Artists Max Rippon and Ausias Perez were commissioned to handpaint the room numbers and signage throughout. The vivid tropical designs of the Batabasta shirts sold in the hotel reception area also find their way onto drinks coasters, cushion fabrics, wallpapers and staff uniforms. Blackie Books have curated the hotel library, also located in the foyer. Casa Bonay’s F&B programming is an equally important part of its connection to the local community. Elephant Crocodile Monkey has a separate entrance from the street and is headed up by biologistturned-chef Estanislao Carenzo, who has created a menu of small plates combining traditional tapas dishes made using artisanal ingredients with Asian influences.

In a bid to capture lunchtime trade, Tet is a Vietnamese barbeque concept that operates from Elephant Crocodile Monkey to provide a cuisine hitherto under-represented in Barcelona. Grilled pork, chicken and fresh vegetables are served alongside steaming bowls of pho and deep fried nem ran. Breakfast is served in Libertine from a menu conceived by Satan’s Coffee Corner founder Marcos Bartolomé, whose original café in the Barri Gotic is a popular destination for coffee aficianados. Casa Bonay is the location for his second Barcelona outlet, alongside the Mother Juice bar, which serves cold-pressed juices and smoothies made exclusively from local and seasonal ingredients. Many of these are grown on the hotel’s recently opened rooftop garden, a 150m2 open-air space which is also home to an additional restaurant and bar, El Chiringuito de Bonay. Yoga classes are offered during the day, whilst evenings see a programme of events including weekly ‘asaditos’ hosted by restaurants from around the world. It’s a homegrown, holistic approach to hospitality that’s sure to make Casa Bonay many more friends in the future.

EXPRESS CHECKOUT: 67 guestrooms | 3 restaurants | 2 bars | Coffee shop, juice bar | Rooftop Garden | www. Developer: Ines Miro-Sans and Luis Rullán | Interior Design: Studio Tack | Landscaping: Asilvestrada


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16/06/2016 15:30


The ninth property in the Ace family embodies the brand’s identity while also referencing the hotel’s immediate surroundings. Words: Dan F. Stapleton | Photography: © Fran Parente (unless otherwise stated)


ow does a hotel group create distinctive local properties while maintaining a unified vision across its portfolio? It’s a question that Ace Hotel, the Portland-headquartered group with nine locations across the Americas and the UK, has been grappling with since its foundation in 1999. Guests stay at Ace properties because the atmosphere – upscale yet fun, with amenities tailored to young professionals – is consistent. But this demographic also expects authenticity when it travels, so each new addition must reflect its location and make guests feel truly at home. The 234-key Ace Hotel New Orleans has been carefully designed to meet these requirements. It is housed within an iconic Art Decoera building and offers easy access to many of the city’s defining attractions. But it also feels distinctively Ace, with an aesthetic that references the brand’s beginnings in the Pacific Northwest as well as its more recent forays into overseas markets. At the helm of the project were Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch, two principals from New York firm Roman and Williams, which also interior-designed Ace’s Manhattan outpost. The pair refer to their work on the property in almost spiritual terms. “This

Opposite Page: Projecting a feeling of quiet luxury, guestrooms feature custom-designed Smeg refrigerators and paintings by Daniel Christensen

project creates a real opportunity to voice the soul of the city of New Orleans, to respond to this fractured American moment where people are becoming ever more detached and mediated,” says Alesch. “We strove to embrace – in a fluid and perhaps more feminine way – some of the dischord and the complexity that New Orleans has always managed to weave together.” The starting point was the site of the former Max Barnett Furniture Store: a nine-storey building dating back to 1928 that was lauded at the time for its size and striking features. Ace commissioned local architects Eskew+Dumez+Ripple (EDR) to expand the property’s footprint with a new wing that integrated seamlessly, both inside and out. Within this framework, Standefer and Alesch designed a hotel that took its cues from the sultry climate of New Orleans as well as its diverse ethnic heritage. Rich fabrics and dark green and grey tones abound, making the property’s public spaces feel deeply atmospheric. “We wanted to connect with nature in an unabashedly romantic way that was inspired by the artistic environment of New Orleans,” says Standefer, “beyond the clichés and into climate and geography, the intoxication of nature in its greens and overgrown gardens and foliage. It is literally in the water there. This was anchored by the democratic ethos we share with Ace, which is about soul and artistic culture helping to create community spaces.” The pair also recognised that, for many of Ace’s target audience,

a visit to New Orleans is about leisure and even decadence. The property’s dining and leisure spaces – which include a rooftop pool and lounge, a trinket-filled lobby bar, and a large brasserie helmed by chefs Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman – echo a big-city Art Deco feel, with bold, chunky shapes and flashes of gold and red. “Celebration is such a strong part of New Orleans culture so we’ve added that into the mix,” Standefer continues. “But one can’t be too overt. Nuance and subtlety are so valued – there is a wry humour here, almost a bit of flirtation – and that informed the palette we chose as well as the elegant curves of the custom furniture, the height of the ceilings, and the places of cool calmness.” Stumptown Coffee, one of the Pacific Northwest’s most celebrated brands and a longtime collaborator with Ace, has opened its first Southern outlet at the New Orleans property, providing a jolt of familiarity for guests. But the café, in a high-ceilinged room with a black ink-stained oak floor, walnut-panelled bar and black slate countertop, echoes the French heritage of New Orleans rather than the windswept vistas of Seattle or Portland. Elsewhere, the city’s embrace of both France and the Carribbean play out in voluptuous curtains, velvet drapes, and deep-green skirting boards. “The angularity and geometries of the Afro-Caribbean influence helped us to disrupt, poke at and play with our French influences so that they didn’t become too static,” Standefer explains.


© Simon Watson

© Simon Watson


© Simon Watson



This Page & Previous: The hotel’s dining and leisure spaces – which include a rooftop pool and lounge, a trinket-filled lobby bar, and a large brasserie helmed by chefs Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman – echo a big-city Art Deco feel, with bold, chunky shapes, rich fabrics and dark green tones

As striking as the common areas are, it’s the hotel’s guestrooms that best embody the brand’s dual aims. While not five-star in their size or amenities, each room projects a feeling of quiet luxury that will no doubt resonate with Ace fans. Muntined windows with deep jambs frame large interior painted wooden shutters – a signature of New York’s Ace, but also reflective of New Orleans style. Large format cork plank flooring is cool and springy underfoot. Marble vanities, glossy grey tiles in the bathrooms and Art Nouveau ceiling lamps are both unfussy and elegant. Nature paintings by Daniel Christensen depict the swamps and bayous of Louisiana, making explicit the designers’ inspiration. But it is the custom-designed Smeg refrigerators in a bespoke shade of French Quarter green, that promise to elicit the highest praise from visitors. These stylish additions neatly sum up the guest profile that Ace targets: selfsufficient, youthful travellers who covet good design and bespoke objects. “People crave domesticity in their hotels,” says Alesch in summary, “but they also want to have a sublime, transcendent experience.”

EXPRESS CHECKOUT: 234 guestrooms | 1 restaurant | 2 bars | 6,500ft2 event space | Owner / Developer: Domain Companies | Operator: Ace Hotel | Architecture: Eskew+Dumez+Ripple (EDR) | Interior Design: Roman and Williams Lighting Design: Sean O’Connor Lighting



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27/06/2016 00:28


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Commune’s latest opening transforms a 1940s Art Deco classic into a bohemian boutique hotel with touches of Tropical Modernism. Words: Molly Dolan | Photography: Courtesy of The Hall South Beach


n the heart of Miami’s South Beach bordering the two main thoroughfares of Washington and Collins, the latest opening from Commune Hotels + Resorts under its Joie de Vivre brand sits just one block from the ocean. Recently acquired by Rockwood Capital, The Hall is a conversion of the former Haddon Hall hotel – for which the original signage remains – and the adjacent 45-unit Campton Apartments. New York-based designer Robert McKinley was brought on board two years ago, tasked with reinventing the property in keeping with its distinctive Art Deco style. “Miami is very strict in terms of

historical preservation,” he explains of the original architecture of L. Murray Dixon, now part of the Miami Beach Architectural District and the US National Register of Historic Places. “This was built in 1940 and has an unusal Gothic style. I wanted to keep that, along with hints of Tropical Modernism.” Influenced by the neighbouring islands of Cuba and The Bahamas, the hotel feels distinctly bohemian, not only in its approach to hospitality, but its décor, fluid layout and eclectic curios dotted around the public spaces. Entering via Collins Avenue, it is clear that McKinley has fully


Above: Spike Mendelsohn’s Sunny’s restaurant epitomises bohemia, serving all-day beach eats Opposite: The evening cocktail lounge, Holiday’s, is a more formal space with a dark green palette and heavily patterned fabrics

immersed himself in Miami Beach culture circa 1960, with a distinct lack of formality and prescribed spaces. The beatnik vibe is complemented by wooden tables and chairs that wouldn’t look out of place in a Cuban dive bar, low rise corner sofas, and artwork depicting the beach that beckons from across Ocean Drive. “With the lobby space, we tried to do something that is a bit edgy, something younger,” describes McKinley. “We sourced a variety of preloved items locally, taking advantage of Miami’s vintage scene.” In the transition space between the former Haddon Hall and Campton Apartments out back, Sunny’s awaits. The casual eatery and bar is Top Chef alumni Spike Mendelsohn’s first outpost in Miami, and adopts his grandfather’s name. The reggae-inspired space features natural, hand-crafted wooden tables alongside Colombian reclaimed rebar all-weather chairs and a Florida keystone bar. McKinley explains: “Although most of the furniture is sourced in Miami, many pieces were made by local craftspeople in Colombia.” Mendelsohn’s food offering is eclectic, featuring new interpretations of traditional fare that the chef has enjoyed while travelling. The Lifeguard Foccacia Myrtos Beach-Style features ripe cherry tomatoes, feta and dried oregano, while the Jersey Shore Pork Roll Breakfast Sandwich comes with a lighter offering of ham, American cheese, sunny-side-up egg and root vegetables.

Mendelsohn has also curated the menu for Campton Yard, the hotel’s ultimate hippie hangout. Anchored by a larger-than-life banyan tree – complete with hanging lamps for a simple transition into evening – the backyard retreat spans 5,000ft2 and features games such as Jenga, Connect Four and ping pong to encourage interactivity and socialising. “We wanted to make this space fun,” says McKinley. “It feels like a bar that you can belly up to, with rich mahogany and a jungle feel.” Not only does the yard provide an alternative leisure space to the hotel’s indoor offerings, it’s street access from Washington Avenue makes it the latest local hotspot. Back indoors, Holiday’s rounds out the hotel’s F&B offering in the form of an evening cocktail lounge. A more formal affair, the space features dark green, heavily patterned fabrics and a more sombre palette than the rest of the hotel. “This is Afro-Latin inspired,” describes McKinley. “The lights come down low. There is brass palm trees – a common theme throughout – and an old piano that converts into a DJ booth.” The three storeys above house The Hall’s 163 guestrooms. Here, the design is fresh, clean and, again tropical. A mural occupies one wall, epitomising the palm tree motif in the form of photography by Scott Rudin. “We worked with Scott to create this process of printing on



Left: Guestrooms feature an eclectic combination of original hardwood flooring, dip-dye walls and Art Deco accessories

plywood. We wanted it to be a very common material for a perfect framed piece of art, to create an underlying feeling that something is a little bit off,” says McKinley. The guestrooms feature a pastel palette, emanating an easy-going beach atmosphere with hints of Art Deco. Air plants in a custom Macramé hanger pot, vivid upholstery and white wicker vanity stools round off the hotel’s eclecticism. Juxtaposing the dip-dye walls is an original wood floor. “We had to really push to just resurface the floors, as they’re all original yellow pine, which is not a material seen down here anymore,” continues McKinley of the challenges with the preservation committee. “We didn’t want to just rip the soul out of the property, we wanted to restore and let it grow into itself, let it be lived in.”

EXPRESS CHECKOUT: 163 guestrooms | 3 restaurants | 3 bars | Meeting room | Fitness centre, outdoor swimming pool | Owner: Rockwood Capital | Operator: Commune Hotels + Resorts | Architecture: ADD Inc. | Interior Design: Studio Robert McKinley











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Working with filmmaker Baz Luhrmann and set designer Catherine Martin, Alan Faena delivers a theatre of ostentation, glamour and escapism at his new Miami Beach hotel, set in a neighbourhood with art and culture at its core. Words: Guy Dittrich | Photography: Š Nik Koenig (unless otherwise stated)

© Kris Tamburello


first where the penthouse went for a cool US$60 million. Like the other two residential towers that are under way, the sale proceeds will finance the rest of the development. The district also includes Casa Claridge’s, a Hispanic-style guesthouse; Bazaar, a unique retail zone designed by OMA/Rem Koolhaas; and Faena Forum, a cultural centre with a programme curated by Faena’s wife, Ximena Caminos. The new hotel occupies the former Saxony Hotel designed by architect Roy F. France. Completed in 1948 in the Miami Modernist style of the time, the angular, clean concrete lines and wraparound balconies were home to the then most luxurious hotel on the beach and the first to have air-conditioning. The floorplan is a loosely bowed L-shape with most rooms looking out to the beach. The building was totally derelict and despite the best efforts of the antiqued mirrors in the lifts, has been completely re-fitted. The design intention goes against the current grain of local and connected. “It is designed not with Miami in mind, but with the best in mind,” explains Faena. The hotel is a destination within its own neighbourhood and the interiors were envisioned by Faena to reflect his personal taste. Faena worked with filmmaker Baz Luhrmann and his Academy Award-winning wife, costume and set designer Catherine Martin on the interiors. With no previous hotel design experience, Faena

lan Faena is at ease in his design trailer on a small plot within Miami’s newest district. Surrounded by samples and artworks and dressed in his trademark all-white, he suggests we meet here before touring his latest masterpiece – the 169-room Faena Hotel Miami Beach. This much-anticipated opening is the sequel to Faena’s first hotel in Puerto Madero, Buenos Aires, a project that has stimulated development in this once neglected corner of the city. “It is great that 14 years later, a neighbourhood has been created,” Faena enthuses of the realisation of this ambition to elevate the city. Can he work the same magic in Miami’s Mid-Beach? Faena’s partner in Argentina, businessman Len Blavatnik, brought him to Miami having already purchased the derelict Saxony Hotel. The duo recognised the potential of the area – an oceanfront strip stretching north from 32nd Street to 36th Street, between the Atlantic Ocean and Indian Creek – and set about creating the Faena District. The mixed-use development with a total investment of US$1-1.2 billion will open in phases over the next three years and features one-of-a-kind cultural, residential, hotel, retail, restaurant, and public environments that have been conceived as dynamic expressions of art, design, nature, technology and service. Faena House, a Foster + Partners 18-storey condominium opened



Above: A gold-plated mammoth skeleton by Damien Hirst greets guests on the way to the beach Opposite: Tierra Santa Healing House features a range of brightly coloured furnishings by Argentinian designer Carolina Kleinman

liked that they had no preconceived notions. “I love people with the freedom to make decisions,” he continues. In tune with Luhrmann’s work on Moulin Rouge and The Great Gatsby, they have delivered a theatre of ostentation, glamour and escapism. With delights at every turn, guests are in a wonderland. The Faena Theatre, based on the grand music halls of old Europe, is a fabulously bourgeois venue. In Los Fuegos, beside the large Sea Grape tree installed by landscaper Raymond Jungles, columns are covered in incredible shell and coral – a feature by local artist Christa Wilm. And in the Living Room, the open bulbs of the chandeliers allegedly flicker in time with lightning strikes in the Argentinian pampa. The latter is also an art piece, Storms by Alberto Garutti. Art is an important component of the hotel. On the way to the beach, the gold-plated mammoth skeleton by Damien Hirst, Gone But Not Forgotten, makes the point. There is more, of course. The Way to Futopia, a series of eight murals by Juan Gatti in the Cathedral (as the entrance lobby is called) depicts in enormous detail allegorical scenes of adventure and quest within dramatic, fantasy flora and fauna landscapes. The hotel is a very particular design statement. Patterning galore – embroidered cushions sit on leopard spot upholstery – marries with rich colours and materials. Deep Faena red velvet is everywhere while

bathrooms are a mix of marble furnishings and cool, aquamarine tiles. And there is an unparalleled quality of delivery, as seen in the curved corners of the terrazzo flooring or the shellac finish on the walls and ceiling of even the gym. There is fun and glamour too; beach umbrellas come in five different patterns of candy red and white, whilst the gold leaf columns in the vast Cathedral, without a reception desk in sight, is testimony to a singular vision. “It is a big story but it is all about the detail,” explains Faena. This is a property that has been deeply thought through with an incredible amount of attention paid to each and every element. Altogether these bring the interiors to life. Larger than life it sometimes seems with the litany of Faena imagery – a fedora, crossed keys, unicorns and bees – subtly and less subtly decorating everything from paper coasters to floor mosaics. There are a variety of bars and restaurant across the property. The open-fire kitchen of Los Fuegos serves both an outdoor and more refined indoor seating area with a mainly carnivorous fare. An Asian-influence menu is available at Pao by Paul Qui in the only new construction in the hotel – a partially opened disc whose flying saucer-like appearance resonates with the Miami Modernist style. And accessible only for those in the know is El Secreto. As



Left: An Asian-influence menu is available at Pao by Paul Qui in the only new construction in the hotel Bottom Left: In Los Fuegos, beside the large Sea Grape tree installed by landscaper Raymond Jungles, columns are covered in incredible shell and coral – a feature by local artist Christa Wilm

the name implies this is a private bar with standing room only; a clandestine throwback to prohibition days. For a change in pace there is the Tierra Santa Healing House, a spa with 11 treatment rooms named after Faena’s ranch in Uruguay. The South American origins are seen in products and beyond. Argentinian designer Carolina Kleinman has produced a range of brightly coloured, hand-woven rugs, the fabric for upholstering the sofas and ottomans, and Peshtamal towels under her Carolina K brand. Furniture pieces made by Rafael Calvo from upcycled waste wood come from another Argentinian brand, Karmtika. The courage and self-belief to undertake such a project is admirable and the portents are good. The city’s alter ego of culture and commerce begins to come of age and create a stronger market. Alan Faena is part of this and has once again delivered a hotel project of undeniable note.

EXPRESS CHECKOUT: 169 guestrooms | 3 restaurants | 6 bars | Forum, theatre, private dining room | Spa, outdoor swimming pool | Owner / Operator / Developer: Faena Group | Architecture: Roy F. France (original architect) | Interior Design: Alan Faena


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Haymarket by Scandic STOCKHOLM

Inspired by the glamour of the Roaring Twenties, Koncept Stockholm restores a former department store to create a new landmark for the city. Words: Guy Dittrich | Photography: © Fotograf Birgersdotter


hotel opening is big news in Stockholm and city folk are at the new Haymarket by Scandic to see and be seen. Passersby take time out from buying flowers outside on Hötorget to have a look around, and the lobby feels like the first day of the sales – a fitting impression given that the hotel has appropriated the former PUB department store in the neighbourhood of Norrmalm. The entrance is how you might imagine a traditional grand store to be. A porte cochère opens out to a large, columned gallery with imposing stone staircases leading up to the shop floor, no longer stocked with goods but the hotel’s F&B offerings.

To one side, a lunchtime crowd are tucking into a smorgasbord of treats in the pale pink and cream of the palm court that is Gretas, and to the other, city workers enjoy a tipple in the sophisticated atmosphere of Americain, which transforms into a lively evening scene as the cocktails start to flow. Straight-ahead and reached by the staircase, is the glowing brass counter of the open kitchen at Paul’s, the hotel’s main dining venue. Influenced by the elegance of days gone by, the American brasserie is named after Paul Urbanus Bergström, the founder of PUB who in the 1880s assembled the five buildings that became the department store.


Above & Opposite: Interiors follow the motifs, rich colour palette and ornamentation of the Roaring Twenties

It is this edifice, its history and location that have provided the inspiration for Koncept Stockholm’s design scheme, along with an unlikely link to Hollywood. For it was here in the 1920s that Greta Gustafsson worked as a sales clerk before changing her name to Garbo and rising to stardom. Developing this narrative, Koncept Stockholm surrounds guests with subtle movie references. The bold red of the lobby and its staircase arrangement hint at Wes Anderson’s love of symmetry, as seen in the interiors of The Grand Budapest Hotel. Diamond patterns of crossed metal straps decorating walls and ceilings take their cues from the 1932 film Grand Hotel starring Garbo. Americain is named after Rick’s Café in Casablanca and the film’s palm tree imagery touches Gretas. Corridor carpets have the same pattern as the hotel in Stanley Kubrick’s horror-flick, The Shining. The porte cochère, lit with exposed halogen style light bulbs, adds movie premiere glamour to the entrance and the hotel even has its own cinema, complete with deep-cushioned velvet armchairs and a popcorn machine. This era of glamour and decadence, the Roaring Twenties, is just one of the threads in Koncept Stockholm’s design. It was a time when Art Deco flourished and interiors follow the motifs, rich colour palette and ornamentation of the genre. “Art Deco was an eclectic style and so relatively easy to

modernise,” explains partner Ann-Marie Ekroth, who had fun adding unexpected contemporary twists – or Lady Gaga elements – such as video installations and one-way mirrors. “Quite often we would ask ourselves, do we have enough Gaga?” she says. And there’s humour too. The pale pastels and pineapple lamps of Gretas speak of Miami Art Deco; palm print wallpaper in the gym transports guests to the tropics; Seletti’s monkey lamps clamber over the bar; and avian images decorate the showers. “Birds are the greatest travellers, so you greet a fellow traveller when you step into the shower,” laughs Ekroth. Graphics are an important part of the patterning and Koncept Stockholm worked with local studio 25AH to incorporate them into the design. The logo and typeface reflect both a playfulness and geometric quality adding to the wider Art Deco theme. The logo is repeated subtly in rugs and more obviously in corridor carpets, manufactured by Triwest and Ege respectively. Metal latticework screening to Americain incorporates the bar’s own logo, its linear approach consistent with the hotel’s insignia. Like the bespoke font created by 25AH for the room numbers, much of the graphic design is realised in brass. The sourcing for the project already reveals a great deal of customisation and this continues in the lighting and furnishings, with



Above: The hotel has its own 24-seat cinema, complete with deep-cushioned velvet armchairs and a popcorn machine

Ekroth clarifying that this gives a non-catalogue look. Light fittings in Americain are special Haymarket editions by Rubn. The bedside lamps that throw a delicate criss-cross shadow were produced by Frandsen to Koncept Stockholm’s design, as were the spectacular array of 400 disc, pendant lamps on the mezzanine meeting room level. Add in rattan Nest sofas from Cane-Line in Gretas and Utility Dining Chairs by Stellar Works in Paul’s and the idea of quality design choices is reinforced. As with any historic building, there were challenges. Differing floor heights resulted in the installation of steps and ramps – a housekeeping nightmare. And the depth of the building left no option but to live with some window-less cabin rooms. However space is smartly utilised and shows plenty of Koncept Stockholm’s skills. Each room is infused with a chic 1920s ambiance with features such as marble countertops, velvet couches and modern details. Keeping it local, colourways are inspired by the rose coloured façade of PUB and the dove blue of the Stockholm Concert Hall

opposite. Consistent with the public spaces, there is plenty of patterning, subtly done, along with bespoke and customised pieces. The freestanding cupboards have great starburst imagery printed on the front of their double-doors. Metal-framed chairs – the 430 by Verner Panton – match the customised desk, basin vanity and circular hanging unit on the entrance wall. And in the bathroom, the brassware is a unique rose gold developed by Tapwell for this project. Koncept Stockholm has created a grand hotel that both references the past and has fun today. It has a decadent charm achieved in a layered, coherent and subtle way; one that many guests will only see once they take the time to look. And Koncept Stockholm understands the value of looking good – to capture those Instagram moments. “Each area has its own personality so we can offer a rich palette of experiences for the guest,” concludes Ekroth. Glamour and consistency are not the easiest of bedfellows but Koncept Stockholm has married the pair with a sense of harmony that lets this lavish production sing.

EXPRESS CHECKOUT: 405 guestrooms | 2 restaurants | 1 bar | 6 meeting rooms, cinema | Gym | Owner: Axfast Fastigheter | Operator: Scandic Hotels | Interior Design: Koncept Stockholm | Main Contractor: Arcona | Lighting Design: AF Konsult Graphic Design: 25AH






Design Agency brings together a host of local talents to create a new hangout for Generator as the trailblazing hostel brand makes its debut in Amsterdam. Words: Catherine Martin | Photography: © Nikolas Koenig


redited with revolutionising the affordable hospitality sector, Generator Hostels has built quite a following since it announced plans to ramp up development back in 2007. The past decade has seen a flurry of openings across Europe thanks to an injection of cash from Patron Capital, who recognised that the hostel experience was in dire need of an upgrade. Their new concept of stylish, design-led, affordable and social accommodation has since found its way into the hippest areas of Paris, Copenhagen and Barcelona, amongst others, and 2016 marks yet another major boost to its bed count.

The first of three openings this year, Generator Amsterdam is located in the up-and-coming eastern side of the city. It occupies a former university building dating back to the early 1900s and is an excellent example of both historic preservation and adaptive re-use. Restoration of the red brick façade, which fronts onto Oosterpark – a public green space – was a major undertaking, as was the addition of two new guestroom storeys. Designed by local architectural practice Idea Ontwerp, the rooftop extension is entirely glazed, making it inconspicuous against its surroundings. Interiors are once again the work of Design Agency’s co-founder




Above & Opposite: Public spaces include an all-day dining café with outdoor terrace, as well as The Auditorium – the best-preserved areas of the hotel

Anwar Mekhayech, who is responsible for the overall creative direction of the brand. “We helped create the original concept for Generator, figuring out whether every property should look the same or whether they could exist within guidelines and be unique to each city and each building,” he explains. The team went down the route of authenticity and set about creating a framework for design. “We started developing a neutral palette of blacks, whites and greys along with exposed materials such as wood, brick and concrete,” he continues. “From there, it is dependent on the building and the city.” While these fundamentals continue to inform the concept, the brand has noticeably evolved over the years. “We have been intentionally and strategically upping the design as we go,” explains Mekhayech. “The logo has changed a few times, the branding has changed, and there’s been a real shift in positioning to somewhere between a hotel and a hostel.” Nowhere is this more evident than the latest opening. “Generator Amsterdam is much more like a hotel than the other Generators,” he continues, adding that, of the 168 guestrooms – accounting for 568 beds – one third are private twins or doubles. Even the shared rooms only sleep a maximum of four. There are other touches that make for a far superior experience. All rooms are en suite meaning there’s no more that four people sharing a bathroom. Premium rooms come with fluffy towels and complimentary toiletries. And there’s even a

two-bedroom suite with a separate lounge and kitchenette. Here, a feature armchair from Expormim is complemented by pieces from Andreu World, Muuto and Softline. Yet this spec isn’t just confined to the suite. In collaboration with procurement partner Benjamin West, Design Agency has furnished the hostel with products from the likes of Sancal, Tolix Vitra and Tom Dixon. While the guestrooms feature smart solutions such as privacy screens, convenient power points and personal bedside lamps, it is the public spaces that steal the limelight. “A big component of Generator is the common areas,” explains Mekhayech. “Whether it’s the café, the auditorium, the library or the terrace, we make it a priority to have common areas that show off cool design and give people places to hang-out. Obviously it’s important to have a good bed and a good shower, but Generator is a very social brand, we want to get everybody out of their rooms to explore, not only the hostel but the city too.” As with other Generators in the portfolio, it is the partnerships, local connections and events programming that really bring the spaces to life. There are a handful of references to classic Dutch culture but Generator’s influences run far deeper than tulip fields and Delft. “Connection with community is important, but community is not about Amsterdam, it’s about Oosterpark,” says Mekhayech. “It’s about what happens in this neighbourhood.”



Above: In collaboration with procurement partner Benjamin West, Design Agency has furnished the hostel with products from Sancal, Tolix Vitra and Tom Dixon

As such, the neighbourhood has been a strong source of inspiration. The hostel’s proximity to the park is manifested in the jungle-inspired wallpaper designed by Studio Job. The bottled beers served from the bar are brewed nearby at Brouwerij ‘t IJ. Even the coffee is local, delivered by bicycle from Stooker Roasting Co. just 500 metres away. The public spaces, named Nescio after a famous Dutch writer, include an all-day dining café with outdoor terrace, as well as The Auditorium and The Library – the best-preserved areas of the hotel. The Library, an intimate space to unwind, retains original wood shelving in homage to its initial function, but is updated with pops of colour and playful elements. The Auditorium also harks back to its previous life as a lecture theatre and references the sciences that were once taught here. Now a bar, the space has being sensitively restored with original features complemented by modern interventions. The tiered rows of seats remain, as does an original blackboard, now chalked with the cocktail list rather than scientific equations. Overhead, the science theme continues with a bespoke chandelier fashioned from glass beakers unearthed during the refurbishment. Everything here has a story and there’s a sense of history and

collaboration running through the property. The majority of lighting has been supplied by Blom & Blom, two brothers who have a passion for collecting and restoring industrial treasures. Mekhayech met the duo on one of his many research trips to the city, working with them to build a collection that can be seen in the public spaces. Art also plays an important role. Here, Mekhayech collaborated with Bright Side Gallery to commission a number of artworks and installations. Totem poles by Dutch artist Hans van Bentem stand at the entrance as custodians of the property, while wall murals by Kamp Horst and Graphic Surgery add energy. It is this idea of collaboration that Mekhayech enjoys most about designing Generator Hostels, and it’s impressive that a Toronto-based studio can forge such strong local relationships that undoubtedly contribute to the guest experience. With plans to grow its portfolio to 20 properties by 2018, Generator has openings lined up in in Stockholm and Rome in the coming months, followed by Madrid and Miami in 2017. For those tracking the affordable hospitality sector closely, it will be interesting to see what the next level of hostel experience brings.

EXPRESS CHECKOUT: 168 guestrooms, 568 beds | 2 restaurants | 3 bars | Library | Owner / Operator: Generator Hostels | Investor: Patron Capital | Architecture: Idea Ontwerp | Interior Design: Design Agency | FF&E: Benjamin West


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The first in a new collection of boutique hotels makes its debut in the historic heart of Lisbon, preserving the character of an 18th century mansion. Words: Catherine Martin | Photography: Courtesy of Alma Lusa Hotels


ucked away in a quiet corner of Praça do Município with a history that dates back to the 1700s, Alma Lusa is the latest opening in a destination that has become a hot favourite amongst city-breakers. Away from the capital’s commercial centre – where many of the large branded hotels can be found – the cobbled streets of Baixa and Chiado make for an enchanting old town. Locals spill out of cafés on the main drag, shoppers linger in the old-world stores, and rickety trams rumble by. The architecture is quite special too. In the wake of the 1755

earthquake that razed Lisbon to the ground, Joseph I of Portugal and his Prime Minister, the Marquis of Pombal, hired architects and engineers to rebuild the city. Their masterplan, which became known as Pombaline style, features wide avenues and generous plazas, lined with earthquake-resistant buildings, utilitarian in their design with Rococo details and a Neo-Classical approach to structure. As the city modernised, residents moved out to new neighbourhoods, leaving many of the period buildings to crumble. However a recent tourism boom has led to a revival, with former mansions being repurposed as bars, restaurants, high-end fashion stores and luxury


Above & Opposite: Many of the building’s original features remain, restored to their former glory and complemented by modern interventions

residences. Boutique hotels have also been favoured, leading to an influx of new supply in the historic centre. Like many hotels here, Alma Lusa occupies an independently owned property that has been passed down through generations; where it differs is in its approach to design. Built after the earthquake on the site of Lisbon’s former arsenal, close to where the royal palace once stood, the property is the brainchild of Miguel Simões de Almeida, a seasoned hotelier and co-founder of Aquapura Douro Valley. In search of his next venture, Simões de Almeida found that Lisbon’s boutique hotel sector was saturated with the minimalist look. He wanted to bring something different, so established Alma Lusa Hotels. The debut property is authentic; it has personality; and a certain charm that can only be found in places with a story to tell. Committed to preserving the character of the building, Simões de Almeida worked closely with Giano Gonçalves of Madeiran firm Ana d’Arfet to accomplish his vision. Many of the building’s original features remain, restored to their former glory and complemented by modern interventions and luxury amenities. On entering the hotel, the check-in desk sits at the end of a vaulted arcade, lined with framed black-and-white photographs that have been here long enough to be part of the fabric of the building. The original floor has been retained along with solid stone benches,

beautifully lit from below. Other than a few key pieces of furniture, there is little in the way of embellishment. Materials are natural and textured, while crumbling walls, in some cases exposing ancient fossils, add to the rough luxe feel. Elsewhere, damaged window shutters have been repurposed as a bar front; cracked mirrors left by the barbers shop that once occupied the ground floor now frame the open kitchen; and Moroccan tiles from a former showroom create a feature in one of the guestrooms. Spread over three floors, the 28 guestrooms range from standard to deluxe suite, the latter of which incorporates a lounge and kitchenette. Front-facing rooms have great views of the historic square and town hall, while those at the rear look out to a specially designed plant installation on the adjacent building. Each room is unique in its layout and design, though all are a contemporary take on Portuguese aristocratic style. Stately beds feature worn leather headboards with stud detail, and period armchairs sit around a weighty stone table. Adding texture are patterned carpets imitating the coarseness of stone, and a selection of wallpapers that look as if they’ve been sketched in pencil. The usual mod-cons such as high-speed Wi-Fi, 42-inch LED Smart TV and Revo SuperSignal Radios have been integrated, but Simões de Almeida has stopped short of unnecessary alterations. Guestroom doors are opened by the traditional lock-and-key for example, and



This Page: Alma Lusa is tucked away in a quiet corner of Praça do Município with a history that dates back to the 1700s

original window shutters rather than curtains or blackout blinds keep out the light. Alma Lusa doesn’t just rely on its connections with the past to capture the essence of the city; it also uses partnerships with Portuguese suppliers. Beds are topped with the finest mattresses from Colmol. Sumptuous towels are by Lima Mayer. Sanitaryware is from Sanindusa. Bath products are from Portobased Castelbel. Even the coffee is sourced from a local grinder. There are of course some international suppliers. The majority of lighting throughout the property is from British manufacturer Astro, who worked closely with local consultant Astratec on a scheme that took careful planning. Recessed spotlights have been neatly incorporated into ceilings while pieces from Astro’s plaster-finished Parma collection are a sensitive addition to the walls. Local partnerships have played an important role in Simões de Almeida’s vision and also extend to the hotel’s restaurant, Delfina. Operated by a Portuguese restaurateur with venues in Lisbon and Almancil, the 60-cover eatery celebrates regional cuisine with chefs using fresh, seasonal ingredients to craft Mediterranean inspired dishes. Simões de Almeida’s concept looks set to continue as the hotelier has confirmed plans for a collection of boutique hotels under the Alma Lusa name. A second property – due to open in 2017 – is well under way and further expansion is in the pipeline.

EXPRESS CHECKOUT: 28 guestrooms | 1 restaurant | Owner: Sembralo Real Estate Investments Company | Investor: Nosso Legado Investments & Management | Developer: Miguel Simões de Almeida Operator: Alma Lusa Hotels Management Company | Architecture: Neoplano | Interior Design: Ana d’Arfet | Contractor: Lucios | Lighting Designer: Astratec


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Meiré und Meiré

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Culturing Life


Part of the north Strip regeneration, SLS has recently joined Starwood’s Tribute Portfolio and will transform one of its towers into the first Vegas W Hotel. Words: Molly Dolan | Photography: Courtesy of SLS Las Vegas


he northern stretch of the Las Vegas Strip has suffered some inarguable hardships since the 2008 recession, halting the development of a number of new casino resorts. But the downturn didn’t hit everyone. It was during this time that, under a license agreement with SBE Entertainment Group, Las Vegas Resort Holdings embarked on the US$415 million conversion of the former Sahara Hotel. SLS Las Vegas opened in 2014 with over 1,600 guestrooms across three distinct towers, and is about to embark on its next phase of development. In late 2015, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide announced

its single largest addition of hotel rooms in North America since prerecession with the signing of the property. As such, SLS Las Vegas has rebranded under Starwood’s Tribute Portfolio and is soon to complete the conversion of the Lux Tower into the city’s first W Hotel. Occupying a site on Las Vegas Boulevard, the historic Sahara Hotel was one of the last remaining Rat Pack casino hotels, leaving only the Flamingo,The Riviera, Caesars Palace and The Tropicana. “This is an iconic property that has been around for 60 years; it is steeped in Las Vegas history,” states Scott Kreeger, President and Chief Operating Officer of SLS Las Vegas.


Above: The casino floor’s Center Bar features a captivating 3D visual installation overhead Opposite Top: Story Tower features industrial, loft-inspired design with flashes of colour Bottom: World Tower presents more muted, commercial design, complete with contrast lighting

In recognition of the Sahara and its legacy, the hotel’s design – completed by long-time SBE collaborator Philippe Starck in partnership with Gensler – offers glimpses of a time gone-by. “You’ll see many touches of old Vegas, without it being the focus,” Kreeger elaborates. “It is a modern interpretation of the 1950s, the most iconic era of the city. For example, the porte cochère pays homage to those times, offering a very stately sense of arrival and distinctly comfortable feel.” Further references to the property’s past include a custom chandelier crafted from original door-pulls of the Sahara, and the use of old photographs – depicting vintage Vegas and celebrity guests of a bygone era – reproduced on a non-repeating carpet in the public spaces. “Special mementos here and there make it what it is,” comments Kathleen Lynch, Senior Associate at Gensler. “The hotel is more personal than other properties on the Strip,” she continues, adding that the historic design touches have made for a more intimate, human experience. In contrast to traditional casino design, SLS has two entrances, allowing its youthful, affluent customer base access to the hotel’s three towers, without having to pass through the rows of slot machines. The main entrance, located on the Strip, features contemporary art installation Saam. The Philippe Starck accent is a caricature of SBE

CEO Sam Nazarian, and is indicative of the eccentricity that lies within. Further, Starck and Gensler opted to follow Vegas mogul Steve Wynn’s lead with Encore, allowing an abundance of natural light to flood the casino floor. During the planning phase it was decided that the hotel would not be demolished, as is common practice in Vegas, but rather stripped to its frame and renovated. “Often, the land is all that is left intact and a new vision is put on top,” explains Lynch. “So it is particularly exciting that an iconic property is able to live another generation.” Kreeger elaborates: “In a city that spends billions of dollars on architecture and design, you have to fight for a share of voice and recognition. The project really broke the mould of what you would expect from a new, emerging resort post-2012. We’ve accomplished a design that challenges the way things are traditionally done. It’s a much more user-friendly feel and is aligned with Starck and his design acumen.” Endeavouring to offer something for everyone, SLS’ three towers differ in concept: Story Tower consists of 203 fun, vibrant guestrooms with an industrial feel, while the World Tower – the largest with 1,121 guestrooms – is designed with a contemporary approach. Story Tower was one of the first constructed as part of Sahara, dating back to the 1950s. The size of the rooms remains the same,



Above: New York-based firm AvroKO has redesigned the Lux Tower’s lobby ahead of its rebranding as a W Hotel

smaller than what some may expect of Vegas, but compensates via the ergonomic, fresh design and layout. It offers an urban feel, with more European influence than is seen across other resorts in the city. Concrete adorns the ceilings, relatively untouched, accompanied by exposed lighting fixtures and wires, with the conduit bolted on. Bright tones juxtapose the sombre base and industrial feel, adding an archetypal Vegas touch, with yellow accents and an illuminated bed in the centre of the room. Due to space constraints, the layout is smart, with a sink doubling as make-up counter and wet bar, while sliding floor-to-ceiling mirrors move to reveal the bathroom and shower alcoves, offering a versatile, intimate space. Catering to a more conventional guest, World Tower is sophisticated and sleek. Guestrooms are traditionally appointed, complete with spacious work desk, ample seating area and contrast lighting. However, focus remains on the brand’s Lux Tower, which is currently being converted to a W Hotel. Reconsidered during initial construction, the tower was gutted and room sizes expanded, making way for a surprisingly elegant suite designed by Kravitz Design Inc.

New York-based firm AvroKO came on board in November 2015, tasked with designing the W lobby – known as The Living Room – in alignment with the brand, as well as creating an outdoor walkway experience to the new event tower, and the new rooftop wet deck – another W trademark. Greg Bradshaw, Parter at AvroKO comments: “Our role is mainly focused on creating different layers throughout the spaces, building on existing architecture. We also brokered artistic talent to embrace a concept that was inspired by both the desert and the idea of Las Vegas as an electric city.” He continues: “The lobby, for example, was completely rebuilt. It features a redesigned bar inspired by poker tables, dividing screens made of thousands of casino-grade dice, and mosaic tiles that reflect the colours of craps tables. The electric city element comes to light at night, when the neon garden art installation lights up, transforming the entire space.” The conversion is set to complete in January 2017, solidifying the strength of Las Vegas’ north Strip, and Starwood Hotel’s presence in Sin City.

EXPRESS CHECKOUT: 1,613 guestrooms | 7 restaurants | 7 bars | Casino | Swimming pool | Owner / Operator (SLS Las Vegas): Las Vegas Resort Holdings LLC (W Hotel): Starwood Hotels & Resorts | Architecture: Gensler Interior Design: Philippe Starck; Gensler, Kravits Design Inc (World Clyde’s Suite); AvroKO (W Hotel lobby, event spaces, wet deck)



Heralding new change After four successful decades of redefining luxury, we are well-positioned to take on the future by delivering Turnkey Solutions with a difference. Our new identity ref1ects S&Ts relentless pursuit of challenging the impossible and delivering exemplary craftsmanship every time. We invite you to be part of this brand new journey. Welcome to S&T. S&T(UK) Limited, 5 Prescot Street London, El SAY Tel:+44 (OJ 207 265 0428 I Linked In: stc-llc Email:contactuk@stcgroups.comI Oman UAE I QatarI BahrainI UK I France ItalyIIndia Sri LankaI Brunei

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Direct battle ‘in full swing’ Direct bookings are 9% more profitable than bookings which come via the online travel agents, according to a study by Kalibri Labs. Hotels were reminded that “this is too early to call a winner” as the OTAs work on ways to access the discounted rates being offered with loyalty programmes to drive direct bookings. Kalibri Labs reported that, when factoring in ancillary spend, profitability could be almost 18% better than OTA-booked guests. The study included commissions, transaction fees, loyalty fees, and any other direct channel costs. The report pointed to falling costs for direct bookings over time, when, as the loyalty roster grows, marketing costs are reduced, against the cost of an OTA booking, which remains constant no matter how often it is repeated. The study added that higher net ADR suggested that although some loyalty guests who had previously paid full rates were taking advantage of the discounts, many are not. The study concluded that third-party business from OTAs, metasearch, wholesalers and traditional travel agencies could be important but that a healthy balance was needed. The report follows recent claims by Expedia that hotel owners were paying the price for the direct book programmes, commenting that reduced exposure on the OTA’s sites and high loyalty programme costs

were seeing a fall in revenue per room of 8%. Dara Khosrowshahi, Expedia’s CEO & president, said the company was seeing some of the bigger chains that were introducing the rates lose share to independent hotels. The company said at its most-recent earnings call that it was looking to incorporate the loyalty prices in its own products. CFO Mark Okerstrom told analysts: “We’re testing link offs from our site on to the direct sites of some of our chain partners. We are willing to test promotions where we will try to sign up loyalty members for them.” The operators have so far been cautious when hailing the success of their book direct programmes, many of which are in their nascent stages. Early information has been enthused, but lacking in hard data. Hilton Worldwide, which has seen the highest-profile campaign to date, with its Stop Clicking Around push, commented that, since launch, HHonors enrolments had increased nearly 90% helping drive HHonors occupancy to a record 55% in the first quarter, an increase of more than four points versus last year. InterContinental Hotels Group said that changes in distribution strategy alongside offers for loyalty programme members had meant a 20% shift towards direct channels in 2015. The company has put in place new contractual arrangements with its wholesalers so that they have to live within its pricing strategy and move away from static, fixed-rate contracts. Charlie Osmond, Triptease’s chief tease, told us: “The battle for

direct bookings is in full swing. Big chains are out in force with better rates for direct bookers. And we’ve seen a retaliation by some OTAs who are playing with rankings and also ‘dimming’ certain hotels in their search results. Dimming is when they remove images or other features from a specific hotel so that it is less likely to be clicked on during an OTA-search. It is too early to call a winner. “OTAs manipulating search results are damaging their own consumer experience. They are also reducing the number of OTAbookings that a targeted hotel might get. In the short term a lower rate direct could even harm a hotel. However, the groups know they are playing a long-game here. The hoteliers are rebalancing a consumer misperception about OTAs having cheaper rates. It is going to take at least a year for the mindset to change among consumers. We’ll have to wait to see the full impact of these moves. I am certain they are beneficial for hotels in the long run. They just need to hold their nerve.” Enthusiasm for the new regime is not unlimited. Tom Magnuson, CEO, Magnuson Hotels, which offers a lower-cost model to bring hotels to market, told us: “There is a tremendous amount of debate but it’s time to really call it out like it is. We need to talk about loyalty in real terms and there is not a lot of loyalty in the hotel world. It is not like Mad Men – people do not stay in hotels with their magic loyalty cards which then allow them to take their families to Hawaii at the weekend.


“We as a brand don’t encumber our owners with the cost, we put our resources into other ways to drive direct bookings. But you do want to reward people for staying often and booking direct and we’re working with Amazon to create a rewards platform where, for every 10 nights stayed at one of our hotels you get a USD50 Amazon/Magnuson gift card. No restrictions.” Michael Schäffner, director, sales & marketing, Serenata IntraWare, commented that this was just the start. “All hotels now want loyalty alongside their CRM and what we are seeing is a move away from the classic loyalty schemes with redeemable points. “We are now seeing hotels use their loyalty programmes to offer truly personalised, dynamic pricing. So, as a member, when you log on you might get a discounted rate, or, because you have only booked suites in the past, it will only offer you suites. Or, if you travel on business, it will offer you a pickup from the airport. All this makes it much more likely that you will book – it is showing you what you want and saving time. “The OTAs offer you a way of booking very quickly, but now we can offer booking where all your details are already there apart from the credit card. “The next trend we see is that the loyalty scheme adapts to marketing, so that you can send people dynamic content dependent on their profiles. It is becoming ever-more complex.”

HA Perspective (by Katherine Doggrell): With hotels having taken over a decade to find a weapon, however blunt, to wield in the direction of the OTAs, the news that things are about to get a lot more complex will not fall on eager ears. The bluntness of this weapon must now be honed. Expedia has its eyes on the loyalty rates and, with its wide reach into the consumer, could make a compelling case for being able to drive the growth of rapidlyexpanding loyalty programmes. Historically, however, the OTAs have not been too good about sharing customer details, something hotels should try and remember. As both Magnuson and Schäffner point out, it’s not pricing alone which drives loyalty. If hotels stick with the discount model and take it no further, they are just playing the commoditisation game, but from a different angle. And getting a cheaper rate is less cash in the coffers no matter how you cut it. The OTAs succeed because they give the customer what they want, not just at a good price. They deliver convenience, which can be replicated. What hotels must now do is use loyalty programmes not just to deliver cheap rates, but as data sources to deliver what the guest wants. Think of Amazon, Magnuson said. They base recommendations on what you have already bought. While sometimes that can be thrown off by a Downton Abbey boxset for your aunt, it is, however hamfistedly, learning you as a customer. And that can breed true loyalty.

Additional HA Perspective (by Andrew Sangster): There is a perhaps apocryphal tale about the former Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai that when he was asked in the early 1970s what he thought of the 1789 French revolution, he replied: “It is too soon to tell”. And so it is with the direct booking campaign. This is a long term battle between hotel brands, intermediaries like OTAs, and other companies, ranging from giants like Google or Facebook to younger start-ups like Triptease, all of whom claim to be helping out hotels. The hotel brands are going to claim sweeping victories with their book direct campaigns, given data that shows a huge switch from OTAs to direct channels. But given that the OTAs are sticking it to the hotel brands by, for example, listing them on page 10 rather than the front page, it was inevitable that OTA bookings would go down among the big brands conducting book direct campaigns. But for the hotel owner, the much bigger question is what has happened to profitability? Have overall bookings gone down, with guests heading for properties nearby that are still listed on the front page of the OTA? Or have the reduced fees being paid increased profits? And indeed, does the hotel owner actually know how much is being paid in a particular channel? Sure, the marginal cost is obvious, but add in all brand affiliation fees and is the answer still so clear cut? The data from Kalibri Labs will nonetheless boost the book direct campaign and cause even more woe

for the OTAs. It looks like book direct is gaining real momentum. Hotel brands have struck a meaningful blow. How will the OTAs respond? The chances are it will be more of the same. If they believe a hotel is undermining the retail offer, they will favour other hotels. So far, this has been relatively subtle but they have the capacity to step-up how they penalise hotels that do little business with them. At the extreme it could become a direct showdown between OTAs and hotel brands, with owners having to pick a side. In such a scenario it seems likely that OTAs will move much further into the territory of what brands deliver to owners. It may lead to an OTA buying out one of the major brand companies altogether but more likely is that the OTAs build up their add-on services to ever more closely resemble a hotel brand. And if it’s a showdown fought on which side is best at demand generation – which from an owner’s perspective is what really matters – my bet is with the OTAs.

Supply hits revpar in London More than half of the 18,000 hotel rooms that have opened in London since 2012 have been in the budget sector, according to a report by JLL and London & Partners. The study came as revpar fell across the different hotel classes, suggesting that the post-Olympic


boom has hit performance in the capital. In addition, 33% of the 7,000 rooms due for completion this year will also be in the same sector. The London Hotel Development Monitor found that low-cost hotels now make up 20% of the total room stock across the city. Traditionally, investment in hotels in London has focused around central areas; however, this new report shows that high rents and values in the West End are leading to the expansion of traditional boundaries. The study reported that there were around 140,000 rooms in London by March, with 16,000 rooms expected by 2018. The majority of current hotel rooms are in the four-star sector, however budget sector brands such as Premier Inn and Travelodge now have the largest presence by the number of rooms in a single brand. Hilton leads the way when core brands Hilton and Doubletree by Hilton rooms are combined, with a total of 12,000 rooms across all their brands in Greater London. Looking ahead, the majority of new room supply will open in the budget sector (33%), followed by the four and five-star sector. According to data provided to Hotel Analyst by STR, as supply has risen across the classes this year, revpar has fallen. The most striking drops in revpar for April YTD have been at either end of the spectrum. The luxury sector, which has seen supply increase by 4.9%, has seen revpar drop by 5.2%, pulled down by a 6.1% drop in occupancy, with

ADR up by 1%. In the midscale and economy class, supply was up by 4.2%, with revpar down by 3.7%, dropping on a 2.5% fall in occupancy and a 1.2% drop in ADR. Rob Rossmann, managing director, STR, told Hotel Analyst: “Everybody knows that the hotel market is cyclical and when you look at the YTD for London it would be natural for people to be concerned. We’re definitely seeing performance go backwards in London, at the moment this is being driven by both supply and demand. We’re expecting a tough time this year, particularly given Brexit, with revpar likely to be down by 2% this year and probably some tough times next year. “Hotels are getting more aggressive with discounting – Accor has moved its summer promotions up by a month.” More rooms are set to come into the capital, with the GLA 2015 London plan seeking to achieve 40,000 net additional hotel rooms by 2036. Despite the weakening performance, the report maintained that the capital would continue to attract investment, with Graham Craggs, managing director in JLL’s Hotels & Hospitality Group, commenting: “The sheer weight of investment into the hotel sector in what was a record year in 2015, accounting for approximately 36% of total investment into the European hotel sector, has further underlined London’s importance as a global hotel investment market. While market indicators point to

a slowing of performance growth, the underlying fundamentals remain positive, with occupancy in excess of 80% and 2015 visitor numbers placing London atop the world’s most popular destinations. “2015 was an exceptionally strong year in terms of hotel transactions in London. Activity will remain high in 2016 and we expect the trend will shift towards singleasset transactions. Underlying market fundamentals continue to be positive and the outlook for hotel performance in London is good. “Hotel real estate markets already comprise some 10% of commercial real estate, and overall liquidity has been similar for offices and hotels in recent years.” The report addressed the issue of Airbnb, adding that the threat “was being countered by the continued growth in serviced apartments, which are generally recognised as a form of hotel accommodation and supported on this basis, as long as this does not result in the loss of existing residential accommodation.”

hotels are often the most volatile and cyclical of all hotel segments and the first to take a dive when times are bad due to a high cost base and high service levels.” In the event, some notable sites were pushed past the notional 2012 deadline, but the capital has seen a number open, several fuelling the boom in trophy transactions. Rossmann shared research covering the sector between 2007 and 2015, which showed that “if you look at midscale and economy, they have outperformed the rest of the market, both in the depths of recession and in the recovery. In the regions it has been budget and luxury which has done the best, while in London it has been budget. Upscale has done well, luxury was doing better than any other segment until 2012, when supply started to grow.” Sadly for fans of gold and marble, performance continues to favour substance over style.

Budgets look for growth

HA Perspective (by Katherine Doggrell): Prior to the Olympic Games, concerns had been rife that the capital would be flooded with luxury hotels. A study from PwC in 2011, which identified a possible 27% increase in luxury rooms in London by 2012, warned that: “While absorbing the new rooms may not be too much of an issue in central London post Olympics, it may be more difficult for sites further out of the central tourist core and business districts. Luxury

EasyHotel is “considering its funding options” after seeing more opportunities to grow its network than it had anticipated. The news came as Hostelworld warned that Europe had been trading below expectations, hit by terrorist fears, indicating that the more discretionary spenders were being affected by political concerns. At EasyHotel, the company said that its current owned and franchised


pipeline was expected to add more than 1,000 rooms over the next two years. Guy Parsons, EasyHotel CEO, told us: “In terms of our own development, our strategy is still to own everything. Additionally, we have a large number of franchisees approaching us. We are seeing a number of going concerns and conversions – we are getting a number of conversions all under another brand. It’s people choosing to sell to us, or a franchisee coming to us who has a going concern under another brand.” In terms of the funding options being considered, Parsons said: “We can look at bank debt, we can look at raising equity, and to the extent we can raise finance. I think that there is appetite to enable us to raise money. The question is one of timing, it’s when and not if. The movement from Remain to Brexit is causing some turbulence.” The company has seen an increase in business customers over the past year, from 40% to 45%, which Parsons attributed to an increase in brand awareness, rather than specific campaigning. Commenting on the results, Parsons said: “With more opportunities, both owned and franchise, available than had been expected the board is considering its funding options to take full advantage of these opportunities. The board remains confident that it can secure properties in major and regional UK cities as well as key European gateway cities whilst leveraging the strong brand to increase EasyHotel’s presence in

the growing branded super budget hotel segment.” Half-year results saw the company report adjusted EBITDA up 10.9% to GBP580,00, while pretax profit fell from GBP370,000 to GBP140,000, reflecting increased pre-opening costs associated with the increased development pipeline. The company said that trading had been “slightly ahead of expectations” as owned hotels started to benefit from a new revenue management strategy. Parsons said: “We looked at what the business was doing and put a room rate out 12 months out, which was expensive relative to, say, Travelodge and we got a larger number of bookings coming in late. So we reversed that – the further in advance, the cheaper the rate. “We have also launched a number of promotions and have started working with a couple of OTAs to fill the shoulder days. The combination of these and having people in the business who have experience in the sector has meant a real impact. There is now demand for the rooms at the right price – for example we are seeing GBP24.99 for Old Street.” The group said that the momentum had continued in the second half, with full-year trading expected to meet expectations. During the period the company had five owned hotel projects in progress with GBP4.59m of investment made during the period

and three new franchise hotels under construction in Brussels, Amsterdam and Bur Dubai. The latter is the first hotel to be developed under master development partnership signed with MAN Investments to develop EasyHotels in the UAE and Oman, which plans to add 600 rooms by the end of the year. The group has faced objections from EasyGroup founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, who has protested against rising costs. The company released a statement earlier this year commenting that growth at EasyHotel should be based on “profitable growth – based on a lean overhead and low unit cost philosophy”. At online booking group Hostelworld the company said that trading in the second quarter had been “at a level below our expectations”. It added: “Whilst Asia Pacific continued to be our fastest-growing destination region, driven by hostellers’ travel preferences and our increased supply in that geography, bookings into higher priced European destinations have been weaker.” The company said that the average booking value had been lower this year, “reflecting the evolving geographic mix, the continued higher proportional growth in mobile bookings, which tend to be of shorter duration, and exchange rate movements.” It lists over 12,600 hostels and approximately 21,000 other forms

of budget accommodation in more than 170 countries and includes the Hostelworld, Hostelbookers and flags. It remained confident in its future prospects, adding: “The strength of our brand and technology, underpinned by a growing marketplace, gives the board confidence in the group’s future prospects”, but cautioned “the year’s outturn will be dependent on a recovery in key European destinations over the important summer travel season”. A note from Numis, which saw the group downgraded from ‘buy’ to ‘add’ nonetheless said the company still offered good growth potential based on its brand, technology and marketing. The company raised more than EUR180m from its initial public offering on both the Irish Stock Exchange and the London Stock Exchange in October last year. The company said at the time that it planned to use the funds raised to push global growth.

halo effect of the Easy brand, which Sir Stelios has sought to apply to everything from pizza to car rental via, most-recently, home-selling. Sir Stelios may soon find himself eating his words regarding the group’s growth – not something which is terribly likely. As was seen with the efforts to curb executive pay, it is likely that the board will take the greater good of the company’s growth into account if he has any further objections. In the meantime, with EasyHotel in the ascendant, the other two big budget brands may find themselves looking over their shoulder, particularly when it comes to conversions, both from other building uses and other brands. An area more populated by Travelodge but one in which Premier Inn also dabbles. EasyHotel has so far concentrated its recent expansion efforts outside London, but extra funding may bring it into closer competition with the big two.

HA Perspective (by Katherine Doggrell): As Parsons said, outside it may be raining, but inside everything is bathed in a warming orange glow. After years of being side-lined, the brand is seeing interest from owners and, it appears, investors, and all it had to do was employ a team which had actually worked in the sector. The flag is now starting to see the

Hotel Analyst is the news analysis service for those involved with financing hotel property or hotel operating companies. For more information and to subscribe visit: or call +44 (0)20 8870 6388



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Guest Room Challenge your perceptions “This year’s ‘The Science of Tribes’ theme is particularly thought-provoking. By getting under the skin of today’s hotel guests visitors can learn and be inspired.” Nicola Law, Gensler, 2016 Sleep Set Competitor The Hotel 22-23 November 2016 Design Event Theinstallations Business Design Centre, London Comprising the exhibition, conference and including the Sleep Set competition, Sleep invites you to look again at hotel design. Register now at using code SLP1

The Hotel Design Event

22-23 November 2016 The Business Design Centre, London

Event Diary & News 12-13 JUL

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Serviced Apartment Summit London Maison & Objet Paris The Hotel Show Dubai Decorex London

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100% Design London

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Designjunction London


London Design Fair London


Hot.E London




12-13 OCT

SAHIC Guayaquil AHIF Rwanda Radical Innovation Award New York The AHC Manchester

17-25 SEP

LDF announces 2016 programme LONDON DESIGN FESTIVAL

London Design Festival, a citywide celebration of creativity, has announced its programme for 2016. Comprising over 400 events including major exhibitions, installations, seminars and product launches, the festival brings together a global community of architects, designers and artists. Partner events including 100% Design, Decorex International, Designjunction, Focus/16 and London Design Fair will take place at venues across the capital, while districts such as Bankside, Brompton, Chelsea, Clerkenwell and Shoreditch will host workshops, talks and tours. Notable installations include Foil by Benjamin Hubert, and The Smile, a 36m-long inhabitable

18-21 SEP

structure designed by the America Hardwood Export Council in collaboration with Alison Brooks Architects, Arup and Merk. In addition, Mathieu Lehanneur, the designer behind Pullman’s reinvented meetings spaces, will create a special feature at the Victoria & Albert Museum. The latest in his Liquid Marble series, the installation is made from a single piece of handpolished black marble and evokes a surreal vision of the sea, mimicking the look and feel of rippling water. Other festival highlights include The Global Design Forum, and the fi rst ever London Design Biennale held at Sommerset House.

Discover The Roots of Design at Decorex DECOREX

Decorex International has announced the line-up of designers that will bring this year’s special features to life. Westminster-based studio 1508 London is to design the champagne bar, while British furniture designer Tim Gosling will curate the main entrance. Embracing the theme, The Roots of Design, Gosling will document the link between interior design, architecture and the heritage of British craftsmanship through the ages in a showcase entitled The Heritage of Chair Making. Working with the historic collections from the Victoria & Albert Museum and The Frederick Parker Collection, Gosling will ask 12 leading British visual creators including Paul Smith, Jasper Conran and James Dyson, to choose their favourite piece and explain why it speaks to them.


Design for all BESPOKE ACCESS AWARDS The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), in association with Bespoke Hotels, has announced the launch of the Bespoke Access Awards, an international design competition that aims to make the hotel experience more inclusive for disabled people. The awards, the first of their kind, seek to challenge the perception of hotel facilities set aside for disabled people, which can often be viewed as joyless, poorly designed and over-medicalised. The scope of the competition is wideranging and includes three strands: Architecture, Product Design and Service Design. Prizes will be awarded for the most imaginative, innovative and feasible ideas and the shortlisted proposals will be published for the benefit of the public and for the hotel industry worldwide. Paralympic gold medallist Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, whose interest in design was fostered by her father, a professional architect, has been named as a judge, together with distinguished architect Alan Stanton, winner of the 2012 Stirling Prize for Architecture. “We are pleased to be leading the charge in making the hotel world a better place, not only for hotel guests with disabilities, but also for all patrons,” comments Robin Sheppard, Chairman of Bespoke Hotels. “The challenge we have set ourselves is a simple one: how to address the issues that aff ect the delivery of outstanding service for all guests. We aim to challenge the status quo and inspire the hotel industry worldwide to provide better experiences for all visitors.” The competition is currently open for entries and winners will be announced on 1 December 2016, ahead of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The first prize of £20,000 will be the Celia Thomas Prize and there are also awards worth a further £10,000

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Milan Design Week 12-17 APRIL 2016

A city-wide celebration of design, Milan Design Week returns with record numbers, installations and gusto. Words: Molly Dolan


Also launching new pieces at Salone was Pedrali, who presented Vic, with design by Patrick Norguet. The stand, Pedrali Urban Life, was designed by Migliore+Servetto Architects and hosted the latest chair collection. Vic presents an elegant, upholstered armchair with legs in solid ash wood and customisable backrest and seat, available in leather, fabric or both as a contrast. Sticking with Italian exhibitors, Cassina unveiled its first collection under the creative direction of Milan-based Patricia Urquiola, as well as a limited-edition version of the brand’s iconic 20th century designs by Gerrit Rietveld, complete with non-repeating upholstery by Bertjan Pot. 637 Utrecht C90 Limited Edition utilises fabric that has a unique, perfectly balanced pattern, in which the triangle combinations are never repeated. Venturing to the International Bathroom Exhibition, Bette revealed its latest design concept: a steel bath dressed in fabric. Combining hard and soft, the creation is a result of a collaboration between the German steel enamel specialist and Tessereux + Partner studio. The combination creates unfamiliar associations, bringing a new sensuousness to the bathroom, as well as a startling design aesthetic. Meanwhile, Antoniolupi presented a collaboration with Italian architect and designer Carlo Colombo. Bespoke, a modular system of bathroom cabinets, is a variety of configurations made from wood essence or laminated, combined with aluminium fronts, and complete with clear or acid etched glass tops in resin or wood. Compositional freedom is expressed through the varying range of finishes including a burnished or titanium aluminium frame, combined with Quarzomood, a revolutionary material by Antoniolupi.

ebranded as Salone del Mobile.Milano under the umbrella of Milano Design Week, the 55th edition of the world’s largest furniture fair took place in April following Milan’s international events of the past months, including Expo 2015 and the recently opened XXI edition of La Triennale di Milano. With Salone as the hub presenting more than 2,400 exhibitors, Milan Design Week also spanned satellite exhibitions, design districts such as Brera, Tortona and San Babila, showroom installations from leading brands, both Italian and international, and design collaborations aplenty. With an increase of 4% on the 2014 edition of Salone – the last biennial Eurocucina – the 2016 edition of the hospitality sourcing platform saw a total of 372,151 visitors from over 160 countries. Roberto Snaidero, President of Salone del Mobile.Milano commented: “With 67% of attendees from abroad, most of them high profile and with robust spending power, according to comments from exhibitors, this edition has yet again confirmed the strong international vocation and importance of exports as a crucial segment of the sector today.” Highlights came from the likes of Swedish brand Bolon, specialising in quality, innovative flooring, who launched Bolon By You. Speaking at the launch, Annica Eklund, Managing Director, stated: “We have six new designs with many variations, as it was extremely hard to limit them. Throughout the process, we invited interior designers and architects to the design studio in order to develop ideas.” Bolon By You is both a versatile jacquard collection and a design tool that takes the user through a simple three-stage process, leading to personally designed flooring.


Brera Design District


eturning for its seventh edition, Brera Design District now extends from the new area of Porta Nuova-Gae Aulenti to Via Broletto, from Via Legnano to Via Montenapoleone. With a 30% attendance increase on the previous year, 160 events with 295 exhibitors and 18 projects, the district presented a theme of Designing is Listening. Inspired by an awareness that the rigour of music composition and that of design thinking are particularly close to each other, the theme explored the idea that music and design starts from listening to functions, materials, objects and spaces. The theme also aimed to highlight the educational power of good, high-end design. Acting as an ambassador for the district, Matteo Thun commented: “Brera is my home, I have been living and working here for 30 years. During the Fuorisalone, Brera is livened by lots of

people, creativity, life and enthusiasm, there is a creative and effervescent atmosphere.” Brands such as Vitra, Daniel Libeskind Rug Collection for Loloey, Hay and VitrA launched products, while Stepevi presented Spring, a collection of nine exclusive rug designs. Inspired by springtime in the city of Istanbul, the designs reflect the natural world with a soft colour palette, with the colourway ranging from light shades of blue and green to grey and beige, evoking the tones of the transitional season. Meanwhile, an installation from Foscarini (pictured) centred on a Tunnel of Light, featuring a multi-coloured surface that experiments with size and proportion for a heightened visual experience. The surrealism was emphasised as the with oversized versions of its most coveted lighting designs such as Big Bang and Twiggy.


As well as exhibiting at Salone del Mobile. Milano, Kartell by Laufen opened its Brera store, with an installation based on atmospheres from the Far East, emphasising the brand’s international growth in the world of architecture and design. Over on Cappellini Point, where Via Solferino meets Bastioni di Porta Nuova, Milanese brand Cappellini presented a visual and cultural journey through the creations of designers such as Jasper Morrison, Nendo, Mac Stopa and Johan Lindstén. The installation demonstrated a continuous crossreference between industrial design techniques and new perspectives on ancient manufacturing arts, between elements of digital art and nature. Thun concluded: “We are a big family here in Brera, and during Fuorisalone it grows even bigger, which is beautiful.”

Tortona Design Week


ne of the major reference points of Fuorisalone, Tortona Design Week was one of the first districts to gather international brands and young upcoming talents across 60 industrial spaces. Futuristic, original and experimental, the leading names in international design combined with emerging talents in over 180 events spread across some of the city’s most renowned open spaces. Demonstrating the area’s diversity, designers hailed from the likes of China, France, Japan, England, Holland, Poland and Spain. Canadian duo Yabu Pushelberg launched Heath and Oiseau for Dutch brand Linteloo. Comprising simple, honest materials with a handcrafted quality, the designers’ first collection for Linteloo included tailored, curvilinear upholstered pieces under the Heath range. Contrasting, Oiseau

consisted of wood-frame dining and lounge chairs, accompanied by solid wood dining and coffee tables that represent a more rational, balanced design direction. Also representing The Netherlands, Piet Boon hosted a breakfast launch for its latest Bo Sofa concept. Round and playful, Bo’s versatility ensures that it is suited to any design setting, with its generous proportions and rich comfort. Organic lines interplay with muted tones to create an amiable, social result. Exhibiting at both Tortona Design Week and The Wallpaper* Arcade, Stellar Works presented Valet (pictured), its first collaboration with David Rockwell and his award-winning hospitality design firm Rockwell Group. Exploring a new furniture typology that supports everyday living, the collection features tactile and refined materials,


including full-grain saddle leather, American walnut, black steel and brushed brass. Rockwell commented: “The concept for Valet grew out of our needs as designers. It merges expressive materials, craftsmanship, functionalism, and elements of surprise to activate transitional spaces in residential and hospitality environments.” Tortona again hosted a slew of installations, created by leading industry names, including New! Now! Here by Maarten Baas, while Patricia Urquiola worked alongside Venetian glass specialist Barovier & Toso to explore colour. Meanwhile, Superstudio returned to the area with the second edition of its coveted SuperDesign Show, focusing on research, freedom of choice and contaminations between classic and avant-garde, industry and craftsmanship, tradition and future.

San Babila Design Quarter

Above (clockwise from left): The Axor WaterDream installation included collaborations with David Adjaye, Werner Aisslinger, Front, GamFratesi and Jean-Marie Massaud; B&B Italia presented The Perfect Density, designed by Migliore+Servetto Architects; BIG and Artemide teamed up to present the Alphabet of Light


s one of the most recent additions to Milan Design Week, San Babila Design Quarter hosted a plethora of high-end names, spanning Via Durini, Corso Monforte and Quadrilatero della Moda. Bathroom specialist Axor debuted five new spout concepts as part of its Axor WaterDream 2016 exhibition. The conceptual designs were created in collaboration with David Adjaye, Werner Aisslinger, Front, GamFratesi and Jean-Marie Massaud. Crafted using alternative materials into unconventional shapes, the installations built on the technological capabilities of Hansgrohe’s Axor U-Base, emphasising the value of the tap.

Meanwhile, B&B Italia celebrated its 50 th anniversary with an installation designed by Migliore+Servetto Architects. With a concept exploring The Perfect Density, eight vertical cages, pulsating and in movement, created a weave of beams projecting images and texts across the space. Meanwhile, two continuous bands scrolled across the walls revealing a video of micro-stories that depicted graphics, products and people who have helped to build the brand’s excellence. Further collaborations came in the form of Danish architect and design firm BIG with Italian lighting brand Artemide. The modular lighting system – Alphabet of Light – presented


customisable letters in a bespoke typeface. A series of wall-mounted letters formed from bent and straight elements of LED strip lights, joined together by magnets, the pieces are available in six varieties, including three curved at different angles. Jakob Lange, Partner at BIG commented: “Once the principles were established, the Alphabet font wrote itself. When the Alphabet of Light is fully developed, any user will be able to customise the light for any space within minutes.” Originally launched by Designjunction with Monoqi, the ever-expanding design quarter looks set to increase in significance and stature for 2017.

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17.06.16 10:12

Highlights AirBnB: Makers & Bakers

Specialist glasswork designers, Lasvit, showcased Via Lucis, a journey through unique and contemporary projects in glass. Housed within the Sale Napoleoniche of Palazzo Serbelloni, where Napoleon Bonaparte resided during his stay in Milan, the installation featured bohemian crystal chandeliers, restored and reinvented by the Czech brand and Fondazione Serbelloni team. Designers including Andre Fu, Mortiz Waldemeyer and Maurizio Galante reinterpreted Neoclassical chandeliers with a contemporary twist, combining Czech glassmakers’ artisanal skills and craftsmanship. In addition, Lasvit also premiered dynamic lighting sculpture Intergalactic, created by internal designers Petra Krausova and Libor Sostak.

The art of hospitality was the focus for an installation at Galleria Rossana Orlandi in which Airbnb invited guests to experience the notion of the shared table. Curated by Ambra Medda in collaboration with New Zealand-based interior designer Katie Lockhart, Makers & Bakers transformed Ristorante Marta into a place of interactive discovery. Diners were treated to tasty homemade delights baked by Marta Pulini, while the concept also provided a platform for 25 global designers hailing from Botswana, Japan, Germany, Uruguay, USA and Denmark, to showcase their work – products that enhance a communal dining experience – promoting conversation and connections. “Shared meals exemplify everything that is unique about Airbnb – immersive experiences, friends, both new and old, and invigorating conversation,” explained Joe Gebbia, co-founder and Chief Product Officer of Airbnb. “To be able to champion global emerging design around the concept of the communal table brings so much of what we value to the fore.”

Via Lucis installation by Lasvit

The Restaurant with Tom Dixon Also looking to the hospitality industry for inspiration, quartz manufacturer Caesarstone partnered with British designer Tom Dixon to present The Restaurant. Located in the historic Rotonda della Besana, the multi-sensory food experience featured four conceptual kitchens inspired by the elements – Air, Water, Earth and Fire. The Water kitchen reflected the jagged edges of frozen ice and was interpreted using a spectrum of Caesarstone grey and white tones, while the Earth kitchen incorporated brown tones of Caesarstone designs. Each kitchen served up a different menu curated by food design studio Arabeschi di Latte. Complementing the quartz surfaces, the 17th century cloister was also dressed with furniture and lighting from Tom Dixon’s latest collections including the Fade Pendant and Plane Chandelier. |


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Barber & Osgerby for Mutina

Ron Arad x Moroso

Building on a five-year relationship, Ed Barber and Jay Osgerby presented Puzzle for Mutina, a collection of tiles. “We’re three dimensional designers, so we were slightly apprehensive about creating tiles,” admitted Barber. “We weren’t sure what we could do with Mutina, and it wasn’t until we understood what was possible with their manufacturing process that we realised that what we’re making are essentially three dimensional.” Osgerby continued: “We did a lot of experimentation, as we wanted to produce a range that promotes variation and flexibility, so when you’re laying the tiles, it is never exactly the same. The colours of each family within the collection are the same, but you can configure them in any different way, so you never get the same design twice.” Puzzle was created by experimenting with geometric forms. The duo made a series of physical models, which enabled them to research compositions and develop the exact layout of potential patterns on the tiles. Combining these forms with colour and tone, the result is a rich and dynamic collection. “In a way, the varying configurations create a three dimensional feeling, because the way you look at the floor becomes totally changed and distorted, and there an undulating variation and change across the floor, making it feel animated,” described Barber. “It also allows the customers to become their own designer. You can create a design with obvious geometry, or completely random, or you can build a pattern floating within a plain tile.” Speaking of the success of the collaboration, and evident enjoyment, the pair confirmed another project with Mutina is in the pipeline.

Celebrating a 25 year anniversary of collaboration, Moroso’s Spring to Mind installation at the Marco Viola studio in Brera featured an insight into Ron Arad and Patrizia Moroso’s collaborative relationship. “The installation is about the 25 years that we’ve been working together,” Arad explained to Sleeper. “It’s a little bit like a museum, an installation showing exactly what we did with original sketches and archived materials.” An exploration that starts with the Big Easy chair – launched with Moroso in 1991 – Spring to Mind offered visitors an insight to the evolution. Speaking nostalgically, Arad said: “In the eighties, I did the big easy chair, and that was the trigger. I showed it one year in Milan, and the next year I made a joke and covered it with foam, and upholstered the joke, if you like. Patrizia came and got very excited about it, and asked if Moroso could produce it. I said no. I’m not interested in giving a piece to a company, so I proposed that we work together on a collection.” Following this, a genuine friendship blossomed and Arad continued his exploration of cutting-edge design. “I was interested in springs at the time,” he admits. “We were working without a masterplan, there was no networking, no social media, no PR, we just worked. I could do stuff with Vitra, develop it with Moroso, and give it to Kartell. It was freedom.” Speaking of the name for this year’s installation, Arad concluded: “Springs is how we started. It also describes that whatever springs to my mind, I talk to Patrizia and Moroso and say lets do it, then she says ‘Yes, fantastic!’”


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8/04/2016 14:15:47

Arabian Hotel Investment Conference 26-28 APRIL 2016

As the Middle East continues to rise out of the downturn, hospitality leaders gather in Dubai to discuss the future of the industry. Words: Catherine Martin


o the theme of ‘Eye on the Future’, the Middle East’s leading hotel investment conference took place in April, providing a platform for strengthening and growing the hospitality and tourism sector in the region. The Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC) returned to Dubai’s Madinat Jumeirah for its 12th edition, attracting 700 delegates for three days of networking, information sharing and doing business. In total, 120 speakers – including analysts and investors, hoteliers and CEOs, architects and interior designers – addressed the audience in a curated programme of keynotes, panels and roundtables. Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Airports, President of Dubai Department for Civil Aviation and Chairman and CEO of Emirates, AHIC opened with an address from Jonathan Worsley, Chairman of Bench Events. “This year’s event promises to be the most significant and successful for attendees to-date,” he began. “We have a diverse range of speakers who will offer exclusive insights and unveil new data for our industry as well as discussing hot topics such as oil price in relation to investment, how the industry should be dealing with the threat of terrorism and what that means for the world as a whole.” A series of roundtable discussions addressing topics such as third-party management, the MICE market and cyber security preceded the official conference opening, allowing early arriving attendees to gain insight from industry leaders in an intimate setting. The following morning kicked off with an economic and geopolitical outlook hosted by John Defterios, Emerging Markets Editor at CNN Money. Defterios stated that the newly released Vision 2030 blueprint outlining

Saudi Arabia’s plans to become an investment powerhouse and global hub would shape the entire region, while Richard Thompson, Editorial Director at Meed, added that the opening of Iran was also big news prompting increased interest from investors and developers. As talk turned to risk, the following panel addressed the challenges the industry is facing and ways in which to mitigate negative impact. In the current climate, in which the travel and tourism industry has been targeted by acts of terrorism, security was high on the agenda. Panellists from PwC and Control Risks stressed the importance of implementing security procedures that instill confidence, for example using technology rather than machine guns to create a safe environment. They said that floor plans and site layout would play an important role, and suggested working with architects from the outset to integrate security measures into the design of a hotel. The effects of terrorism on the travel industry was further explored by Olivier Jager, CEO of Forward Keys, who said that prior to the Paris and Brussels attacks, Europe led tourism rankings for international arrivals. In the months since, figures have plummeted by 4.4% and are predicted to fall further based on issued bookings. On the plus side, people are still travelling, said the analyst, explaining that international arrivals to the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Africa rose by 9.3%, 5.2% and 4.9% respectively, proving that tourists are looking to alternative destinations rather than cancelling travel plans altogether. Taking a wider look at trends in the travel and tourism industry, David Scowsill, President and CEO, World Travel & Tourism Council, presented new data and forecasts to the theme of Eye on the Future. He highlighted the importance of travel and tourism for the global economy, stating that


the industry generates 9.8% of world GDP and supports 284 million jobs. In the UAE, it generates 8.7% of national GDP, a figure that is expected to reach 11.2% by 2026. The following panel, featuring Thierry Antinori, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer, Emirates Group, and Gerald Lawless, Head of Tourism & Hospitality, Dubai Holding, further tackled key issues facing the region. The electronic visa system, declining oil prices and the imminent introduction of tax were all on the agenda, as was the rise of the domestic market. Alex Kyriakidis, President and Managing Director, Middle East & Africa, Marriott International, revealed that intra-regional travel is a major focus for the group and understanding the needs of the Arab traveller is key. The afternoon’s sessions focused on the hospitality industry both globally and regionally, beginning with a look at the stories that have hit the headlines over the past 12 months. Leaders from Wyndham, Accor and IFA Hotel Investments discussed a wide variety of topics ranging from the potential for mid-scale and economy brands in the Middle East, to the need for flexible, straightforward loyalty schemes that are of real value to the guest. The panel also spoke at length about mergers and acquisitions, a subject that is particularly pertinent this year with Marriott’s Starwood takeover. Gaurav Bhushan, Global Chief Development Officer of Accor Hotels – which is currently in the process of acquiring FRHI – said that consolidation is a great way to add scale, while Geoff Ballotti, President and CEO, Wyndham Hotel Group believed that it is a natural part of the growth cycle. “Every one of our 16 brands has been acquired and there’s room for more,” he quipped. A review of performance over the past 12

months followed with STR’s Managing Director Robin Rossmann presenting the latest data. The first quarter of 2016 saw a continuation of the trends recorded in 2015 with RevPAR declines of 11% in the Middle East, largely due to supply outpacing demand. This doesn’t reflect the region’s long-term growth however, which shows a staggering 51% rise in demand since 2010. According to global data, the Middle East continues to lead the way in new supply with Riyadh, Jeddah and Muscat named as the largest growth markets. Doha, Dubai and Manama are also expected to see significant growth. There were findings from a number of other research reports too: HVS Dubai shared its annual Middle East Hotel Survey, which named Dubai, Jeddah and Muscat as the most lucrative markets, managing to secure the highest regional RevPAR at USD180, USD172 and USD140 respectively. The report also forecast an investment of USD140 billion worth of projects in GCC for 2016 and expects 100,000 new rooms to open before 2020. Meanwhile, data unveiled by BLP from its MENA Hotels Survey – offering insight from 200 industry professionals surveyed in March this year – revealed that 43% of respondents believe that RevPAR will grow in the region, while 74% believe a third-party operator with a franchise brand could be a more profitable proposition for an owner than a brand managed hotel. The afternoon’s breakout sessions were split into three themes – The Owner’s Intelligence Den, Eye on the Future Forum and The Developer’s Den – each with a series of presentations, panels and Q&As. Highlights included a look at the added value a hotel brings to mixed-use schemes, and a round-up of trends affecting the future of the hospitality industry, from robotics to crowdfunding. A look at the emerging mid-tier and

budget segments in a market that has historically focused on luxury also proved interesting, with speakers from Yotel and Super 8 confirming their commitment to the region. The keynote of the day was a transatlantic interview with Arne Sorenson, President and CEO, Marriott International. Speaking live from Washington DC, Sorenson talked about his recent visit to Cuba, where Marriott is looking to build relationships with potential partners. He also discussed safety – “the biggest threat we have facing our industry” – as well as Marriott’s acquisition

“For me, the new normal is that there is no normal any more... We need a more flexible model to be able to respond to volatile markets.” Kees Hartzuiker, Roya International of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, a merger that will create the largest lodging company in the world. Without disclosing specifics, Sorenson said that the power of a joint loyalty programme made for a compelling deal, and that a newly combined programme offering the best of Marriott Rewards and SPG would launch in 2018. The final day of the conference commenced with Operating in the New Normal, addressing the effects of changing market and macroeconomic conditions. While the cyclical nature of the business is nothing new, panellists said that owners and operators must take a long-term


view and be better prepared for fluctuations. “For me, the new normal is that there is no normal any more,” said Kees Hartzuiker, CEO, Roya International. “We need a more flexible model to be able to respond to volatile markets.” Panel sessions continued throughout the day with topics such as Sharia-compliant financing, development opportunities, and the effects of oil prices all on the agenda. The future of online hotel distribution was also addressed with back-to-back sessions featuring speakers from BookBedder,, Airbnb and Fast Booking. Skye Legon, CEO and co-founder of BookBedder said that, while OTAs typically make it easier for a guest to book, operators are now fighting back with discounts for those who book direct. Once again AHIC provided a platform for which to do business and a number of hotel groups took the opportunity to sign new deals and publicise expansion plans. Marriott International announced a franchise agreement with Dur Hospitality to develop the first Courtyard by Marriott in Saudi Arabia. Wyndham Hotel Group signed new deals to expand into Oman and Iraq with two properties in each location. Starwood Hotels & Resorts revealed details of five new deals that will add 1,200 rooms in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Fairmont Hotels & Resorts signed two deals that will see its portfolio in the Middle East, Africa and India region grow to 20 hotels by 2020. And Yotel broke ground on its first property in the Middle East, a 582-cabin hotel in Dubai’s Business Bay. The volume of projects that continue to be announced, coupled with increased tourist arrivals and long-term strategies for growth, point to a healthy future for the Middle East.


Sleepover Miami 8 -10 M AY 2 016

For its first adventure outside Europe, Sleepover heads Stateside to Miami to explore the historic architecture of South Beach, as well as the new design districts shaping the city’s future. Words: Catherine Martin and Molly Dolan | © Sven Eselgroth


of the most exciting new hotels to have opened here in recent years, but beyond, to the new districts and neighbourhoods shaping the city’s future.” Florida-inspired juices and imaginative eats cooked up by celebrated chef Spike Mendelsohn followed, before The Beach and Beyond programme got under way. The first series of tours took in the hottest new openings on Miami Beach, including 1 Hotel, The Confidante and The Miami Beach Edition. The flagship property for Barry Sternlicht’s new eco-luxury brand, 1 Hotel focuses on nature as luxury, developed from the simple idea that those who travel the world care about it. The hotel’s designer, Will Meyer, co-founder of New York-based firm Meyer Davis, led guests around the public spaces and guestrooms, explaining the vision of channelling nature through design. After taking in panoramic views of the Atlantic from one of the hotel’s light and airy suites, guests headed north up Collins Avenue to the next design pit-stop: The Confidante. Formerly Thompson Miami Beach, the hotel was recently acquired by Hyatt Hotels Corporation and has been rebranded under The Unbound Collection. Led by John Oliver, Vice President and Managing Director of The Confidante, guests explored the three-towered property that pays homage to 1950s Miami. Designed by Martin Brudnizki, the hotel features 380 guestrooms and a variety of indoor and outdoor dining spaces. Pastel colours and mismatched patterns impressed, but the highlight for many came in the form of the 1930s House set in the hotel’s lush tropical gardens. The Hispanic hideaway originated as a family home across the street, and was relocated in the early 2000s to become a bar and lounge.

n 2014, Sleepover guests were amongst the first to bed down at SP34 in Copenhagen, just hours after the boutique hotel opened its doors. In 2015, attendees enjoyed exclusive access to the brand new Soho House in Istanbul. So in 2016, in true Sleepover style, it was only right that the invite-only event offered yet another first. Showing once again that it is at the forefront of the hospitality industry, Sleepover’s 120 innovators were given first-comer access to Campton Yard, Miami’s newest hangout. The al fresco retreat is the latest addition to The Hall, the recently opened boutique hotel from Joie de Vivre. It was here, beneath the larger-than-life banyan tree, that a select group of hotel owners, developers, operators, architects, designers and consultants gathered to embark on Sleepover’s first Stateside adventure. Following jaunts in Amsterdam, Berlin, Copenhagen and Istanbul – each with a bespoke programme created to reflect the host city – Sleepover Miami is the fifth in the series of inventive events for hotel innovators. Sleeper’s Editor-in-Chief Matt Turner welcomed guests from both sides of the Atlantic, as well as local trailblazers in the hospitality design industry, before revealing more about the activities of the 36 hours ahead. With previous events spanning a shorter timeframe, Turner explained the need for an extra 12 hours in the Sunshine State: “It seemed impossible to fit all of what Miami has to offer in 24 hours, so we have allowed some extra time to explore. “As in previous years, we hope to provide a platform for our guests to meet in a less formal environment than traditional hotel industry events, in inspirational surroundings. Our programme aims to take you not just to the beach, with tours and networking events at many


The final tour of the day saw guests explore The Miami Beach Edition, opened in 2015 by Ian Schrager in partnership with Marriott International. The hotel’s Director of Culture & Entertainment, Josh Wagner, led a tour of the “next-generation urban resort”, where interiors are the vision of Yabu Pushelberg. Wagner offered an enthusiastic insight into the brand’s ethos, emphasising the importance of locale, and inviting attendees into the protected Matador Room, a fusion of Caribbean, Spanish, Latin and South American influences. Guests were equally taken by the hotel’s basement, a multi-dimensional entertainment hub with bowling alley, ice rink and night club, reminiscent of Schrager’s Studio 54 legacy. Following the afternoon’s tours, guests were transported to The Freehand – described as the first upscale hostel in the US – for cocktail hour. For some, it was an opportunity to kick back and sample one of Bar Lab’s handcrafted elixirs, while others opted to tour the property’s Roman and Williams-designed interiors. The programme continued into the evening with a poolside dinner at Nautilus – A Sixty Hotel, yet another of Collins Avenue’s new additions, this time from Jason Pomeranc’s Sixty Collective. Day two kicked off with a trip to Faena District, the ambitious mixed-use project from Alan Faena and Len Blavatnik. Representing a US$1 billion investment, the entirely new neighbourhood with art and culture at its core has been created by an impressive line up of talents. There’s an 18-storey condominium by Foster + Partners, a groundbreaking art and cultural institution with programming by Ximena Caminos, and a unique retail experience designed by Rem Koolhas/OMA. The development also features two hotels, beachside guesthouse Casa Claridge’s, and Faena Hotel, the location for Sleepover’s breakfast talk. Having marvelled at the hotel’s public spaces, designed by Faena in collaboration with filmmaker Baz Luhrmann and costume and set designer Catherine Martin, guests headed down to Faena Theatre, a two-level performance space decorated in gold leaf and sumptuous red velvet. Three seminal industry figures – Laurent Fraticelli, General Manager of East Miami, Jason Pomeranc, co-founder of Sixty Hotels and Sandor Scher, co-founder of Claro Development – took to the stage for a discussion on the evolution of the Miami hotel scene, past, present and future. Hosted by Sleeper’s Editor-at-Large Guy Dittrich, the talk was based around Sleepover’s Beach and Beyond programme, looking at the ongoing redevelopment of South Beach,

as well as the new neighbourhoods and districts across the city. Fratecelli introduced the soon-to-open East hotel, which would be visited later in the programme, while Scher disclosed details of Claro’s refurbishment of The Raleigh, a project he is working on with fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger. From Faena, the afternoon tours commenced, with groups exploring The Wynwood Walls, Miami Design District and Brickell – three emerging districts shaping the wider city beyond the beach. The Wynwood Walls – conceived by the late Tony Goldman, a locally renowned community revitaliser – was a fascinating example of how art and design can be used to build a community. Since the project started in 2009, over 50 artists have covered 80,000ft2 of walls in graffiti, creating a tourist attraction and stimulating the development of independent bars, restaurants and retail stores. Meanwhile, over in a once-neglected area of Buena Vista, attendees explored Miami Design District, a neighbourhood where low-rise warehouses converted into boutique stores, art galleries, restaurants and cafés sit alongside sprawling showrooms from some of the biggest names in fashion, retail and design. The third and final destination, Brickell City Center, is one of the most anticipated large-scale projects in Miami. Sleepover guests were given an exclusive first-look at the US$1 billion development – comprising luxury condominiums, office space, retail and dining – currently in the final stages of completion. It was also an opportunity to see East, Swire Hotels’ first US venture, and sample cocktails at the property’s soon-to-open rooftop terrace. Local luminaires from the hospitality and design industries joined for a closing reception on the 40th floor lounge, networking into the evening. As the sun set over Miami, Sleepover’s time in the city also came to an end. The event was deemed a huge success by all that attended, having offered exclusive insight into one of the world’s leading hospitality destinations. Sleeper would like to thank the following for their support of Sleepover Miami: Alger-Triton, Dornbracht, Grohe, Janus et Cie, Lasvit, Laufen, LEDS-C4, Porcelanosa, RH Contract, Robena Contract Furnishing and Shaw Hospitality Group. For those who missed out, a video of the event, shot by The Creative Grid, can be viewed online.



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Boutique & Lifestyle Hotel Summit 2 3 -2 4 M AY 2 016

Industry leaders gather in London to discuss challenges and opportunities in Europe’s boutique and lifestyle hotel sector. Words: Molly Dolan


eld at The Montcalm, Marble Arch in London, the annual Boutique & Lifestyle Hotel Summit took place in May with a captive audience of owners, operators, designers, architects, developers and investors. Piers Brown, conference founder and CEO of Boutique Hotel Media, opened proceedings by addressing factors that have shaped the industry over the past twelve months. “Russia and the US are not travelling as much while Brexit issues and terrorism are affecting travel. Are we reaching breaking point?” he asked. In the opening panel, The GM Speaks, discussion covered issues such as the terror attacks in Paris and Brussels, as well as the US election and what this could mean for occupancy rates in the UK market. With news that London hotels have seen a 2% drop in ADR over the past year, speakers discussed the ever-evolving challenges of their role within properties both in London and the provinces. Picking up on Brown’s earlier point, Melissa Stoman, GM, The Draycott Hotel, commented: “The US market is slowing down due to the threat of terror and the US election; this affects us as the US loves the traditional nature of The Draycott.” That being said, not everyone was feeling the effects. Oliver Williams, who recently moved from Limewood to take up his first major GM role,

suggested that this issue is largely specific to cities, stating that Ellenborough Park – located in the Cheltenham countryside – is yet to suffer. “This hasn’t impacted us as much, but we’re focusing on growing the domestic market instead,” he said. “Our domestic market is 70-80%. With terror and ongoing airline issues, people are staying closer to home, so I’m feeling optimistic.” One way of maintaining good occupancy is with the personal touch, believed Eva Mount, GM, The Arch London. “I don’t think that we should lose sight of that,” she stated. “Particularly now, we need to be assuring loyalty, reminding guests it is better to book direct, especially those who may not know that a pre-paid reservation via an OTA can’t be as flexible.” Moving on to the age-old topic of brand versus independent, Jane Lees, Senior Director at CBRE Hotels, asked: Should a boutique hotel go it alone, or join one of the growing number of soft brands and marketing alliances? Philipp Weghmann, Executive Vice President Europe, Preferred Hotels & Resorts, observed: “The collaboration between Soho House and The Hoxton is a good example of brands that gained status very quickly. They are mutually beneficial.” Larry Spelts, Vice President of Business Development, Charlestowne Hotels, asked: “Will the brand add more than it extracts? The process


involves a very complex evaluation and analysis, because not all valuables are transparent initially. Some soft brands provide so much guidance that it borders on a hard brand.” Spelts also discussed the importance of getting the right fit between potential partners, stating: “You need to clarify if they have the ability to deal with the specific distribution requirements – the content and revenue management – that an independent needs.” Demonstrating the catch-22 that boutique properties often find themselves in – caught between the appeal of a brand’s distribution network, loyalty programme and worldwide sales system versus retaining authenticity and creative control – Nick Turner, Managing Director, Bespoke Hotels International noted: “Why should I take a 700-page manual on brand standards when I don’t need to?” Outlining the risk of branding partnerships that do not fit, Simon Lewis of The MindSmith Group described how he realised that his property, Eau Palm Beach Resort in Florida, wasn’t realising its potential under the Ritz-Carlton banner. He said: “We weren’t the right owner for the brand, and the brand wasn’t right for the owner.” In the following Design Round Table breakout, Marie Camara, Creative Director and founder of Creative Mapping, hosted an interactive discussion

exploring how to sympathetically incorporate both art and technology into boutique hotel design. Dr. John Holder of Spheres VR joined Camara for the session, with the resounding message being: virtual reality is the future. Holder stated: “The future is to use virtual reality for pre-sales, in-room marketing, meetings, sales tours, entertainment, meditation and gigs; the possibilities are endless.” Back in the main conference, leaders of other industries took to the stage to explore an alternative approach to hospitality, demonstrating what hotels can learn from different trades. Although the industry is not typically insular, it became apparent that hoteliers should not underestimate the importance of observing – and potentially borrowing skills from – other professions. Upon discussion, some of the prominent areas needing improvement were identified as social media and partnerships with other brands. Author, entrepreneur and co-founder of Kru Café, Colin Pyle, exclaimed: “Social media is something where big brands are typically just ticking a box, but in reality you need a different strategy for each platform. Going hard-sell won’t work, you need stories and to be hitting on emotion.” The panel explained that storytelling works well for boutiques, where they have a voice, a story, and an emotionally invested following for each individual property. Simon Taylor, Head of Business Development – International Restaurants, Condé Nast International summarised: “If it’s tough to manage all mediums, then choose just one channel and choose one conversation.” As well as brand image, the session also covered the collaborative nature of independents to boost each other in an ecosystem that is mutually

beneficial. Pyle continued: “The world is becoming overwhelming and influencers are so powerful because consumers don’t have time to venture outside, or look for alternatives. Millennials are so brand dependent.” A comment that not all audience members agreed with. A hot topic of the past few years, the lean luxury phenomenon, attracted a lively debate between audience members and panellists. Acknowledging the boutique and lifestyle industry’s influence

“Why should I take a 700page manual on brand standards when I don’t need to?” Nick Turner, Bespoke Hotels on wider hotel design, the panel explored the boundaries of what luxury is in 2016. Speaking of the evolution of luxury, James Dilley, Head of Interior Design, Jestico & Whiles commented: “The things that people want but don’t need have evolved away from material objects towards experience. Luxury has become more thoughtful.” Whether this is down to increased options, improved guest awareness or millennial attitudes – or all of the above – is anyone’s guess, but speakers confirmed that the industry is in the midst of a transformation. Roxane Gergaud, cofounder of Doris & Dicky offered: “Lean luxury means quality without the price tag. The notion of boutique is individualised to us, therefore guidelines of what luxury is varies.”


Finally, industry luminaries took to the stage in a panel entitled Meet the Leaders. Moderated by Carl Weldon of HFTP, the speakers included Robin Sheppard, Chairman, Bespoke Hotels, Claus-Dieter Jandel, Chief Development Officer, Steigenberger Hotels, and Ramesh Arora, Managing Director, Montcalm Luxury Hotels. Rounding up the day, topics spanned that of investment, brand, innovations in design, and the imminent launch of Sheppard’s Bespoke Access Awards, an international design competition seeking original ideas to improve access and provide an enhanced experience for hotel guests with disabilities. Jandel discussed the importance of pioneering concepts, offering insight into Jaz in the City, which recently made its debut in Amsterdam. “It is a new idea of hotel business. You can check in online via the App, and open your door with the same application. Also, we have a DJ on reception, who creates the correct music for the given crowd. This is all part of the concept. “We want the whole approach to be artistic. The brand is not solely about interior design, but you will always find references of the location throughout,” he added. Concluding, the conference highlighted areas for improvement, and outlined the industry’s need to collaborate with neighbouring professions. The next 12 months remain hard to predict, with Brexit concerns aplenty, US election woes ongoing and political unrest affecting international travel. That said, there remains a penchant for boutique and lifestyle hotels, which is set to increase along with staycations.

HI Design EMEA 1-3 JUNE 2016

Decision makers from the region’s hotel design industry gather in Lisbon for a packed programme of business meetings, seminars and networking. Words: Catherine Martin | Photography: © Richard Pereira


such as Conran+Partners, GA Design, Marcel Wanders Studio, Purcell, Richmond International, Scott Brownrigg, Simone Micheli, Superfutures and Twenty2Degrees. Between them, they are responsible for 2,200 hotel projects across the region, ranging from a 68-room boutique hotel in London, to a 3,600-key resort in Dubai. Hoping to be specified in any one of these projects were the 85 supplier companies representing major product groups in hotel fitout – from fabrics, wallcoverings and flooring to bathroom fittings, furniture and lighting. HI Design EMEA 2016 opened with the traditional pre-event excursion allowing early arriving delegates to get to know one another and their host city in an informal setting. Guided tuk-tuk tours took in the sights of Lisbon’s old town before a welcome reception back at the hotel’s outdoor terrace. The following morning kicked off with the seminar programme, hosted by Sleeper’s Editor-at-Large Guy Dittrich. In the opening session, Jamie Chappell, Global Business Director, Horwath HTL, and Rolf Schmidt, founder and Managing Owner, Top Hotel Projects, took to the stage for HI Design’s first joint presentation. Their collective data delivered an overview of the region’s hotel performance followed by a look at future development hotspots. Key indicators for year-to-April 2016 compared to the same period in 2015 showed a dramatic slowdown in some parts of the world. RevPAR has declined 11.8% in the Middle East and 11.6% in North Africa, the latter due to terrorist attacks in Tunisia and Egypt. Despite the downturn, the region continues to add new supply. According to Schmidt, there are 2,357 projects in the pipeline – 63% of which are in Europe – accounting for some 480,225 rooms.

enowned for its meetings programme that connects buyers with suppliers, HI Design has built a loyal following in its 10-year existence. Attracting owners, operators, architects, interior designers, procurement specialists, suppliers and manufacturers, the original forum for the hospitality design industry is an effective platform for building and maintaining relationships. Open to those actively working on new hotel projects across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, HI Design has grown considerably in recent years, so much so that its latest event was sold-out months in advance. This has prompted organisers to find new ways to cater to the industry’s needs. A few days before heading out to Lisbon, Atticus Events announced that from 2017, HI Design EMEA will become HI Design Europe and focus on the European market, while a new event, HI Design MEA, will concentrate on the developing Middle East and Africa region. The expansion, the first since HI Design Asia launched in 2009, will open up the event to more delegates than ever before and could well be a catalyst for hotel development in the emerging markets. This year’s event meanwhile, took place at the recently refurbished Epic Sana, an urban resort in Lisbon’s commercial centre. A total of 270 delegates from the region’s hospitality design community flocked to the city for a packed programme of business meetings, seminars, product showcasing and networking. Representing the buyers, design directors from Carlson Rezidor, FRHI, Hilton, InterContinental, Jumeirah, Marriott and NH Hotels were joined by senior project managers from Benjamin West, Chris Garrod Global and FEBC. Also in attendance were principals from leading architecture and interior design practices



Germany was revealed to be leading the region’s development with 301 projects in the pipeline, followed by the UAE and UK. The most active cities were named as Dubai, London and Riyadh. Taking a closer look at key markets, Chappell and Schmidt offered insight into long-term growth potential. In the UAE, an increase in low-cost airlines, the construction of several major theme parks, and government incentives for budget hotel development pointed to opportunity, while in the UK, ongoing Brexit woes were predicted to affect rate and occupancy. The afternoon’s session, a Q&A with Michael Bedner, was an opportunity to hear from one of the true legends of the hospitality design world. The former CEO and Chairman of HBA spoke with pride about his early career with Howard Hirsch, and revealed that after five decades in the industry, he still loves what he does. Bedner is now Partner at Apeiron – a hospitality company he co-founded with Horst Schulze – and is in the process of masterplanning a 22acre waterfront site in Miami. The development is set to include a 45-storey tower with 120 serviced residences, a 90-room boutique hotel, and state-of-the-art health and wellness facilities. Without disclosing specifics on the interiors of the development – “I don’t have a style, I have a quality level,” – Bedner explained that he isn’t just designing for the guest, but for the resort’s employees too. “If they have the passion, they will instil that in the guests,” he said, highlighting the impressive facilities on offer to staff. Showing no signs of slowing down, Bedner closed with news that Apeiron is currently looking at opportunities in Philadelphia and Havana, Cuba, for a roll-out. For much of the day, buyers and suppliers engaged in their personalised meetings schedule, devised by organisers based on prerequested appointments. The 20-minute slots were an opportunity to discuss new hotel projects and ultimately, build relationships. There was also a product showcase, a mini-exhibition in which the 85 supplier companies could display their products. Villeroy & Boch, Laufen, Roca and Dornbracht presented the latest innovations in the bathroom, while Spralding – a leading supplier of coated fabrics – showed new designs in its contract collection. Furniture manufacturers including Tribu, Vaughan Benz, Expormim and Andreu World had catalogues of their versatile ranges to hand, while the lighting sector was represented by LEDS-C4, Chelsom and Lasvit, amongst others. Day two followed a similar format with two seminar sessions breaking up the meetings programme. Offering a fresh perspective on the world today, Alan Moore, entrepreneur, author and lecturer, gave a thought-provoking presentation on the future of business.

“Disruption is coming to every industry on the planet,” he began, citing the likes of Airbnb, Uber, Alibaba and Facebook as the world’s major disruptors. “How we create value, how we make businesses work, and how we become attractive to suppliers is becoming more and more important,” he continued. “We are presented with a design challenge; how can we make business not only more efficient and effective but also more beautiful?” Moore cited Blitz Motorcycles – a maker of custom bikes – as a successful example of using social media, in this case Instagram, as a tool for promoting and selling their goods. The idea of combining technology and storytelling to build a community lends itself perfectly to hospitality, continued Moore, adding that if consumers have an emotional experience, they’re significantly more likely to recommend the company or product to someone else. In line with his new book, Do Design: Why Beauty is Key to Everything, Moore explained that great design, great experience and great beauty doesn’t need to cost the earth, you just need to be a master of your materials. The final session of the seminar programme was a fast-paced panel discussion on the future of F&B. Third-party management, celebrity chefs and sensory design were all debated, as was the allday dining concept, said to be the biggest challenge facing designers. When asked about factors that make a successful hotel F&B space, panellist were in agreement that attracting locals is key. “We should be creating restaurants that cater to locals not just hotel guests,” explained Martin Jones, Vice President, Food & Beverage Europe, FRHI Hotels & Resorts. This was an opinion shared by Damien Follone, F&B Project Designer at Wimberly Interiors, who said that the most effective way to attract the local community is to design spaces that have their own distinct identity. Meanwhile Afroditi Krassa encouraged the operators and designers in the audience to consider competition from local independent restaurants in addition to those in other hotels. “The key is differentiation,” she said. “We have to find ways to be different in what is a very crowded market.” HI Design EMEA 2016 closed with a five-course dinner at Montes Claros, a contemporary event space surrounded by lush gardens. Organisers and delegates celebrated another successful event and, in line with the forward-looking seminar programme, toasted to the next chapter of HI Design. HI Design Europe 2017 will take place from 7-9 June at Le Meridien Lav, Split, Croatia.


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Sleep 22-23 NOVEMBER 2016

Europe’s hotel design event reveals an exhibition packed with diverse talents, new products, first-time features and a richly international flavour.


he names of some of the companies already signed up to exhibit at Sleep this year have been announced, and once again they include a strong line-up of exciting young product designers, multi-national companies, newcomers to the event and a number of regulars who choose Sleep as the place to launch new products to the hotel design community year after year. Amongst the first-time exhibitors, Dutch company ICE International will be making a welcome debut to showcase its rugs and carpets, the likes of which grace luxury hotels and palaces around the world. Also from Holland, Quasar will be introducing its distinctive lighting collections, joined by another newcomer to Sleep, Fabbian Illuminazione from Italy. Expect some inspiring decorative lighting fixtures from a company whose work is a highlight in high-end hotels across Europe. British design company and manufacturer of award-winning bespoke furniture, JamesUK, will be launching a sofa collection alongside its beautifully crafted ranges of contemporary seating, while Hamilton Conte Paris, the artistic and artisanal furniture and accessories brand, will be introducing its culturally diverse collections. Amongst wallcovering manufacturers, Lincrusta Heritage Wallcoverings promises an inspiring insight into the art of creating remarkable hotel interiors. Not to be outdone, Cole & Son, the creator of bold and imaginative wallpapers, will be displaying its

new collection as well as examples from the recently launched Curio and Geometric ll ranges. Exhibitors returning to Sleep include Agua Fabrics, Contardi Lighting, Dornbracht, Egger, Hansgrohe, Laufen, LEDS-C4, Preciosa, Tuuci, Ultrafabrics, Vitra and Walker Greenbank. This year, Sleep will feature a different type of showcase, providing visitors the opportunity to experience products in a setting created by the supplier. The Entitled Spaces area will be located in the other hall – an engaging segue between the main exhibition hall and the gallery hosting the Sleep Set and Sleep Bar concept rooms. The area is proving popular with exhibitors keen to present their collections in a literal and immersive context. Roca will be creating bathroom sets, while Impey will produce a wet room. They will be joined by the designers and manufacturers of beautiful indoor and outdoor furniture, Very Wood and Gervasoni, and by Serralunga, acclaimed for its elegantly sculptural outdoor seating and lighting. Sleep will be held on 22-23 November at The Business Design Centre in Islington, London. The event combines the exhibition, a number of newly created installations including the Sleep Set and Sleep Bar, a conference and round tables, and plentiful opportunities to network with hotel design leaders. Sleep is free to attend for all visitors who pre-register.


Above: Amongst the first-time exhibitors at Sleep, Dutch company ICE International will showcase its rugs and carpets while Cole & Son will introduce new wallcoverings Below: Other newcomers include Fabbian Illuminazione from Italy, and UK-based manufacturer Lincrusta Heritage Wallcoverings


The Sleep Set Round Table THE SCIENCE OF TRIBES

Ahead of Sleep’s annual competition to design a guestroom of the future, the five participating teams meet in London to discuss this year’s theme. Words: Catherine Martin


ever has it been more important to know your guest. In an innovative Singaporean practice WOW. To the theme ‘The Science increasingly competitive market, a snapshot of a guest’s of Tribes’, each will design a 28m2 guestroom for one of the nine lifestyle, behaviour and preferences is arguably the most Milieus, or tribes, identified by Sinus. valuable tool a hotel has at its disposal. Such profiles can be used to Ahead of showcasing their final designs, the five competing engage with the guest, anticipate their needs, deliver a personalised practices met in London to take part in a workshop hosted by the experience, and ultimately, drive loyalty. institute. The aim of the day was to develop a better understanding Forward-thinking hoteliers are now looking to socio-demographic of the Meta-Milieus model and to start the design journey that will research to segment customers in new ways, subsequently developing ultimately lead to the Sleep Set. hotel concepts that cater to a specific target group. One of the Representing Sinus, Peter Martin Thomas, Director, and Matthias leading studies in this field is from Arnold, Senior Research Consultant, Sinus, a German institute with expertise offered detailed insight into the model, in psychological and socio-cultural explaining that the Sinus method of research. Their model, entitled Metadetermining target groups takes its cues Milieus, groups people based on their from an everyday-life analysis of society. lifestyle and is used by organisations Their research, which spans five decades, worldwide as an instrument for product shows that social order has undergone development, strategic marketing and a seismic shift in recent years, evolving communication. Its findings can also be from a simple society of upper, middle applied to the hospitality industry, and and lower classes, to a complex system as such will provide the framework for of societies. Matthias Arnold, Sinus this year’s Sleep Set. “As designers, you are facing this The annual competition – a key feature of Sleep – challenges ever-changing society on a daily basis, probably at the beginning of teams to design and build a fully-functioning guestroom that offers your creative process when thinking about who you are designing visitors a glimpse into the hotel of the future. The five competitors for,” Arnold explained. He went on to describe the hundreds of have been confirmed as international practices Aukett Swanke and possibilities to define target groups but warned against pigeon-holing Gensler, each represented by their London studio, Tokyo-based firm people by generation – i.e. baby boomers and millennials – stating Mitsui Designtec, specialist hospitality designers Studio Proof, and that these classifications are only appropriate for a limited field of

“As designers, you are facing this ever-changing society on a daily basis, probably at the beginning of your creative process when thinking about who you are designing for.”



application. Arnold demonstrated his point by comparing Prince cater to a group that is open to anything, loves to travel, and has Charles and Ozzy Osbourne, both British white males born in 1948: a strong desire to see the world. Members of this generation are “Their socio-demographics may be the same, but their lifestyles are creative, individual, and like to be connected 24/7. very, very different.” And finally, Aukett Swanke – currently working on Four Seasons Taking this into account, Sinus has developed a fresh approach Hotel at Ten Trinity Square – will design for the Sensation Oriented to identify target groups. Derived from ethno-anthropology, their Tribe. Nick de Klerk, Isabella Lonardi and Carolina Rodrigues Steiner method groups like-minded people based on an analysis of their will lead the project, focusing on the spontaneous, thrill-seeking and lifestyle, social situation and everyday values. It considers attitudes carefree guest. According to Sinus, this experience-driven class lives towards work, family, leisure, money and consumption as well as for the here-and-now, and travels to get away from the daily grind. upbringing, religion and cultural orientation. Having presented the five tribes and their characteristics, Sinus set Of the nine Milieus Sinus has identified, five tribes have been the design teams the task of creating a hotel concept for their target selected as a focus for the Sleep Set and assigned to a design team. group. Who is the guest and how do they like to travel? What are they The round table served as an introduction to the Meta-Milieus with doing in the hotel? What amenities do they want? What emotions will Thomas and Arnold outlining the they feel? Sinus asked of the designers. socio-demographics, characteristics, After an hour of brainstorming, aspirations and key values of each, the teams reconvened to present their as well as their travel profile and ideas. They outlined the ambiance, preferred hotel experience. materiality and design features of Mitsui Designtec, represented their guestroom, as well as the services by Shinichi Mitsuki and Masahito and amenities that would cater to the Takebe, will design their guestroom target guest’s needs. Joel Butler, UBM for the Established Tribe, described as Mitsui Designtec, WOW, Studio

“That’s why this year’s theme is so exciting. It has the potential to change the way people think about their hotel projects.”

being an older Milieu that has grownup children, high-value assets, and lives in a wealthy district. They like to travel to destinations of cultural interest and stay in high quality hotels. From Singapore, Chiu Man Wong and Alan Lai of WOW will design their guestroom for the Intellectuals Tribe. This group is highly educated with a high income, and likes authentic travel experiences that have a nature or wellness element. The third competitor, Studio Proof represented by David Morris and Isabel Ersa Hallerstedt, will design for the Performers Tribe. According to Sinus, this group is successful, ambitious and driven. They have an interest in architecture and design, seek extraordinary travel experiences, and opt for hotels with a vibrant F&B scene. From Gensler, interior designers Nicola Law and Claire Richmond will take on the Digital Avant Garde Tribe. Their guestroom must

Proof, Gensler and Aukett Swanke will spend the coming months developing their concepts before bringing them to life at Sleep in November. Visitors will be able to hear the designers make their case before a panel of judges before the winner is announced. For now, the designs are strictly under wraps, but they promise to make for an inspiring feature. “It is the chance for participants to make an impression and provoke thought and for visitors to learn and be inspired by challenging ideas,” concludes Brand Manager Joel Butler. “That’s why this year’s theme is so exciting. It has the potential to change the way people think about their hotel projects.” Sleep will take place at The Business Design Centre, London, from 22-23 November 2016.


Oxidised colour, seasoned by time.

© 2016 Shaw, A Berkshire Hathaway Company


Radical Innovation Award 5 OCTOBER 2016

Hoping to discover a new concept that has the power to change the hotel industry, Radical Innovation Award announces its finalists for 2016.


he Radical Innovation Award has selected HOK Canada and Paris-based MM Architects, Designers & Planners as the two professional finalists in this year’s competition, and Juan Orduz, a graduate of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, as the student winner, offering the three innovators the chance to change the hotel industry. All will be invited to New York where, on 5 October, they will present their ideas to an esteemed jury of hotel leaders and design experts. A live audience vote will decide which firm receives the grand prize of $10,000 to further their idea, and the runner-up will take home $1,500. Meanwhile Orduz will receive a full scholarship to the Hospitality Design master’s programme at UNLV. “Since we started out ten years ago, Radical Innovation has predicted many of the growing trends we see in the hospitality industry today,” says John Hardy, founder of the competition and CEO of The John Hardy Group. “Our finalists this year not only embody contemporary themes like completely customisable experiences and increased social awareness, but improve them with cutting-edge technology and innovative thinking.” HOK Canada’s concept, Driftscape, is a mobile hotel powered by

drone technology. Guests are able to roam and touch-down in diverse locations via their guestroom, or Driftcraft, allowing for unique vantage points unavailable with traditional, static hotels. MM Architects also marries the travel experience with nature but shifts the focus from remote locations to public recreational spaces. Its concept, Nesting, reimagines how people utilise urban parks and landscapes and proposes the introduction of completely customisable modular units that not only offer a unique travel experience but also fund and improve communities. The student winner, Juan Orduz, was selected for his concept Space View Inn, a form of space travel that is uniquely inclusive and democratic. While the competition has seen space hotel concepts in previous years, Hardy comments: “This is the most realistic and technologically feasible proposal for space travel we’ve seen yet.” In recent years, the competition has taken a turn towards concepts that are as feasible as they are creative, and have the potential to make real impact on the industry in the next 5-10 years. Last year’s winner, a hybrid home-work concept called Zoku, recently opened its first property in Amsterdam.


Above: HOK Canada’s Driftscape concept is powered by drone technology and allows guests to roam to diverse locations Below: Nesting by MM Architects, Designers & Planners reimagines how people utilise urban parks Opposite: Space View Inn, the winning design in the student category, is a technologically feasible concept for space travel


Urban Escape #04 D E S I G N CO N C E P T: H O B O

Following our look last issue at the proposals for At Six, one of two hotels within a central Stockholm urban regeneration project, we now look at the ideas of Studio Aisslinger for Hobo. Ensuing episodes will reveal the process leading to the opening of both hotels in 2017. Words: Guy Dittrich



ehind lengthy hoardings and street diversions in the Norrmalm neighbourhood of Stockholm, two adjacent hotels are taking shape. Immense lifting equipment and a vast, dusty construction site indicate the enormity of the reconstruction work. Both hotels will be independently branded and managed by large regional operator, Nordic Hotels & Resorts. Studio Aisslinger have been given the brief for the interior design of Hobo. The hotel may be the more affordable of the two, but its design narrative is equally compelling. Within a Brutalist concrete construction from the 1970s will be two floors of communal space, topped by 201 guestrooms over a further seven floors (plus a rooftop restaurant not in Aisslinger’s remit). The hotel’s name refers to the travelling worker, which with its visions of impoverishment was a major topic of discussion. Werner Aisslinger, founder of the eponymously named studio, argued that travellers are what hotels are all about. The travelling worker idea, which resonates with many of us today, can be enhanced to a more elegant level sees Aisslinger: “We want to create a pure travelling experience that is both rough and cosy at the same time.” Nordic Hotels & Resorts has added to the budget of the landowner, AMF Fastigheter, in order to get the right result. “They really care about style,” explains Aisslinger of the ongoing tweaks, from simple switches of material for a countertop to the wholesale change of a ceiling treatment from a Seventies lamella-style finish to an industrial look defined by open ducting – one that feels more in keeping with Studio Aisslinger’s approach and seen in their work at Michelberger Hotel and 25hours Hotel Bikini Berlin.

The scope of work sees the Berlin-based team, comprising Aisslinger along with colleagues Tina Bunyaprasit and Monika Losos, coordinating with other collaborators. “We helped with the selection of two local graphic designers,” explains Aisslinger of Karl Grandin and Björn Atldax, whose ideas for a ‘flip-book’ concept in the lifts and an interactive wall are currently under discussion. “It is important to have this local connection; it helps fill the hotel with authentic content and ensures not everything is imported,” he adds. Additionally Studio Aisslinger has developed a collection of seating with Italian manufacturer Cappellini, as well as a lighting range for local company, Wastberg. “Our client was surprised

Above are the guestroom floors where a mockup room is a work-in-progress. Its most distinctive feature is the ‘window funnel’, surrounded by a sloping wood-clad frame. “The loss of space here, at around 0.3m², is not an issue and is strongly overridden by the value of having the bed orientated towards the window,” states Aissligner. 48 cabin rooms with no natural daylight have a similar funnel approach but to a ceiling light panel above the bed. A bespoke seat-cum-shelving unit, the latest iteration in grey felt, provides flexible storage space while the bed, free from leg supports, is high enough to store bulky luggage underneath. The headboard is a broad steel grid from which two of the Wastberg lamps hang, and a Paul Smith bed throw adds a luxurious touch. Bathrooms were originally designed to be open-plan but dealing with the related humidity (two fans would have been required) was prohibitively costly so now there will be a closed-in shower with red or green-mirrored glass to the room, screened with a slatted wooden wall. New will be Aisslinger’s terracotta, tiered waterspout for Hansgrohe’s universal fixture, the Axor U-Base. Studio Aisslinger is really moving things forward. The funnel-window design particularly is a quantum step in “intensifying the window size,” as they put it. Ideas of urban farming, using local design talent, and creating bespoke pieces with quality suppliers, altogether look set to provide an elevated experience for the travelling worker.

“Our client was surprised that we would create bespoke products for the hotel, but this is one of the benefits of working with a studio that also does product design.” Werner Aisslinger, Studio Aisslinger

that we would create bespoke products for the hotel,” explains Aisslinger, “but this is one of the benefits of working with a studio that also does product design.” According to the studio’s concept, the lobby is open and welcoming with self-service check-in and low-level furnishings. The first floor is home to an informal community space with an open fireplace, a co-working area with sharing tables, a coffee lounge, bar and 40-cover restaurant. There’s also an urban farming and aquaponics zone (a system that combines conventional aquaculture with hydroponics). F&B planning has focused heavily on back-of-house efficiency and staff flows given the expense of human resources in the region.


In our next issue we take a look at how art has been programmed into the design as well as the brand identity process for both properties.

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07/06/2016 13:37


No longer following cyclical or fashion-led trends, hotel furniture must multi-task, comfort and connect its users.


In addition to forward-thinking trends that are indicators of rends are cyclical, this is nothing new. However, hospitality a user’s needs, cyclical factors refuse to go away. Benz elaborates design is now taking its influences from circumstance. As real “There has been a mid-century revival over previous years, but estate prices increase and guestroom sizes contract, furniture now the decades are creeping forward. There is a definite focus on design has never been more important. seventies styles at the minute.” David Benz, co-founder of Vaughan Benz comments: “The rise of Although popular now, most seventies tones would have been pod hotels has led to an evolution in design. Many guestrooms may shunned five years ago according to Benz, with colours such as be shoebox size with little natural light, but if the design is smart, with furniture that is multifunctional and orange, chartreuse and Daytona yellow of high quality, the size is less important.” making a resurgence alongside teak Another result of the increasingly wood. Combining materials also remains competitive hotel market is owners and popular, with Expormim and Morgan operators seeking more revenue per square championing the style. metre, shifting focus from guestroom design In terms of what comes next, Benz puts to the money-making lobby. “Hotels, his money on mauve making a return, a David Benz, Vaughan Benz particularly those in large cities, are definite staple of 1980s design: “The spending more money on the lobby as this world is not ready for it yet, but maybe area is more profitable,” continues Benz. in a couple of years.” The evolution of the lobby is also nothing new, with a well-designed The ergonomics of furniture has also seen a seventies revival, with space attracting guests and locals who will work, socialise or simply soft lines and low chair backs seen from Moroso, Piet Boon, Pedrali relax. The question is, what does this mean for furniture design? and Baxter. “People need to stay connected,” Benz continues. “So this means Meanwhile, hotels are also seeing an overdue evolution in the charging points, without compromising on design. We have a new choice of metallic accents. “For years, the choice of metal was on the table that is 26-inches high. Guests can sit at it, they can lounge, do silver spectrum, such as chrome or nickel. However, bronze tones are work, eat a meal. It is the epitome of versatility.” popular right now.” According to Benz, brass is set to follow once The integration of technology into design is no longer considered the bronze trend tires. ugly, with brands like Aircharge and Kube supplying to hotels. These With less prescribed trends, and hotels striving for that distinctive ports can be hidden with mechanical systems, or integrated into the approach, furniture design looks set to prioritise smart composition design of tabletop surfaces. over what’s hot right now.

“If the design is smart and multifunctional, a lack of space is less important.”


TON Leaf Throughout the Leaf collection, Ton combines ergonomic designs and construction strength with visual inspiration drawn from trees, wood and nature. Comprising chairs, barstools and a table, the collection gives the appearance of lightness, with stability ensured by bent solid wood frames. The seat is constructed from oak and beech and available in a rich upholstered version, whilst the Leaf table is instilled with a clean Scandinavian style and features elegantly rounded details.

EXPORMIM Kiri Mario Ruiz’s round coffee table designs for Expormim are constructed from rattan and available with solid wood, lacquer or natural stone tabletop options. With an aesthetically fluent design voice, Kiri provides a unique solution for evolving interior design trends, and whilst the range boasts a lightweight and supple frame, no durability or strength is compromised.

MORGAN Rio Morgan’s Rio collection explores the future of furniture craft by incorporating elements created through 3D printing into its designs. The chair features an intricate curved arm around its crest, constructed through a mathematical algorithm, and synergises traditional design practices with ultra-modern manufacturing processes. Meanwhile, the striking coffee table, available in varying transparencies, completes the set with a sleek visual silhouette.



SaphirKeramik, a high-tech material driving innovative design. With its precise, thin-walled forms and tight-edge radii, Laufen brings a new language to bathrooms. Collection VAL, design by Konstantin Grcic.

PEDRALI Vic Pedrali has collaborated with French designer Patrick Norguet to create a range of upholstered armchairs that exhibit classic shapes and bring together luxurious comfort with distinctive style. The legs are constructed from solid ash wood, with fabric or leather upholstery options available on the foam-injected backrest. The chair’s back lifts up from the seat, remaining tied only at the ends, making for easy handling and smooth functionality. Finishes include ash, black or grey stained wood.

PIET BOON Bo Sofa Round, playful and versatile, Bo Sofa is the latest launch from Piet Boon, revealed during Milan Design Week. All seating elements are balanced, with a strong organic interplay of lines to create the ultimate social design. Bo Sofa arose from the need to create a design that could adapt to various social settings, able to be placed in both an open and closed set up.

ARPER Catifa

Marrying artistry with innovation, Enrico Cesana’s latest designs for Calligaris can be integrated into a wide range of interior schemes or textures, and radiate a sense of elegance without compromising comfort or functionality. With an iconic shape and fully upholstered frame, the Sweet sofa continues Calligaris’ shift into the territory of graceful, simple furniture aesthetics.

With the Catifa range, Lievore Altherr Molina has created a widely customisable series of crisp and casual seating products for Arper. Combining a slim profi le with a spectrum of refreshing colour options including rose, petrol, yellow, ivory and smoke, the range allows for a large amount of customisation and can be used to either amplify or mute the atmosphere of a space. Originally created in 2004, the design has endured, and resurfaces here as a subtle option for a variety of hospitality settings.



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ORANGEBOX Coda A synthesis of functionality, design, manufacturing intelligence and sustainability, Orangebox’s new Coda range follows the belief that great design comes from condensing the complex into the essential. A range of chairs, stools and tables, Coda’s robust compositions and combination of shapes forms a range with a clear and lucid aesthetic voice, defi ned by efficient construction, rich colours, and extensive customisation.

MINOTTI Freeman Lounge Designed by Rodolfo Dordoni for Minotti, Freeman Lounge features reduced depth seats for flexibility to fit in settings of limited scale. One-piece seats – distinguished by decorative stitching that defi nes a uniform, graphic motif – can be grouped together, forming varying dynamic compositions.


Designed by Layer – Benjamin Hubert’s experience design agency – Cradle is a new family of furniture. Comprising a high-back chair, low-back chair and room divider, the collection was inspired by the Layer studio’s research into the construction of mesh materials and how traditional product typologies can be re-imagined to enhance performance.

T he Jo L it t lefa i r L ondon collection is the latest range from luxury furniture and accessories designer Jo Littlefair. A series of striking, versatile seating options, appropriate for a spectrum of different interior environments, the range consists of sofas, benches, barstools and chaises, tables, plinths and consoles, as well as a range of handcrafted accessories. Smooth curves and clean outlines are detailed with antiqued brass studs. Additional colourways will be revealed at Decorex 2016.



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FEELGOOD DESIGNS The C-Series Sustainable materials and processes form the spine of The C-Series, with natural rattan hand-woven onto the frames, and the shells of the outdoor seats made of recyclable PE. Combining traditional craftsmanship and forward-thinking aesthetics, these interchangeable lounges, chairs and stools are easy to maintain thanks to a UV resistant coating. Designed by Yuzuru Yamakawa, the range demonstrates classical style with the latest methods of environmentally friendly manufacturing.

ALLERMUIR Famiglia Designed by PearsonLloyd, Famiglia is a chair and table collection responding to dramatic changes in the role that furniture can take in hospitality environments. Offering a series of stools, chairs and side tables, the elegant and harmonious range is versatile in its application, supporting a range of tasks and activities from work to relaxation. All chairs are offered in multiple base options, from a sturdy base to more dynamic tilt mechanisms.


With a name deriving from its changing identity based on chromatic and material combinations, Gender presents an encounter between two formally independent shapes that make up its form. Designed by Patricia Urquiola, the armchair is dressed in layers, with textures and colours that meet and contrast to create an adaptable lexicon in relation to its surrounding environment.

The sensual tone of the Piccione armchair has been achieved by threading its fabric to its structure, enabling it to perfectly hug the contours of the armchair. Designed by Claudio Dondoli and Marco Pocci for Ligne Roset, sensuality is a consistent visual motif throughout the Piccione range, one that sees the French brand experimenting with texture and tone.



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STYLE MATTERS Margret Sofa Style Matters has announced its collaboration with Portugal-based Ottiu, Beyond Upholstery. Highlights from the collection include the voluptuous Margret sofa, presenting Hollywood glamour. Made by specialist craftsmen, the piece is like a work of art, built on a solid wood structure with intricate fi nishing details.

POTOCCO Velis Emphasising a seamless relationship between solid wood frame and padding, Velis presents fluid design. Comprised of an armchair and tub chair, the back of the pieces evoke a tensile structure secured to the seat, giving the collection its name.

LINTELOO Heath & Oiseau

Sam Baron’s armchair and sofa designs for Montbel’s Grace collection demonstrate a sophisticated minimalist sensibility, and are suitable for refi ned environments and restaurants alike. Available in two heights, the seats can be customised on demand, with upholstery options including fabric or leather. A moulded polyurethane foam shell sits in a solid wood frame, seeing its comfort matched by a consistently tasteful and modern aesthetic.

L au nched du ri ng t he 2016 edition of Salone del Mobile. Milano, Heath & Oiseau by Yabu Pushelberg for Linteloo presents two distinct groups. Complementing the turned wood pieces, the upholstered furniture – Heath – is refi ned, evolved, and features a distinct urban quality. A group of tailored, curvilinear pieces, the range includes multiple sofa configurations alongside a distinctive pair of amorphous stone-topped coffee tables.



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STELLAR WORKS Valet Drawing inspiration from the roots of the word ‘valet’, David Rockwell has crafted a range of customisable, streamlined, luxury lounge furniture that is user-friendly, multi-functional, and highly versatile. Ranging from seating to shelving, the 14 pieces in the collection feature bespoke embellishments including leather cords and matte brass hardware, and bring together pleasing design with efficient, innovative functionality. The range can be assembled in a large variety of compositions to create natural transitions in any hospitality setting, from entry, to work, to play.

ANDREU WORLD Reverse The Reverse system of tables expands with a new base height, 35cm, in accordance with the typology of a coffee table, thus permitting a larger tabletop. The occasional version of Reverse is also presented with new tabletop options: ceramic, marble, high pressure laminate and wood, in a variety of shapes.

BAXTER Greta Designed by Draga Obradovic and Aurel K. Basedow for Baxter, Greta was launched as part of the brand’s 2016 collection. Placing importance on experimentation, the collection features lines, materials and colours that evoke a seventies revival.


FRITZ HANSEN PK22 Celebrating 60 years of Danish carpenter Poul Kjærholm’s work, Fritz Hansen has revealsed PK22. The lounge chair is the epitome of elegance, featuring long lines in darkened steel and soft nubuck leather in rich, earthy tones with clean stitches. Crafted precisely as Kjærholm intended, the updated version features an electroplated anthracite fi nish. The new look adds a superior touch to the piece, resulting in a less industrial appearance.

PS INTERIORS Andaz London Liverpool Street PS Interiors has supplied luxury hotel Andaz London Liverpool Street with a mix of traditional and contemporary furniture for its 1901 Wine Lounge. Working with Ara Design London, the brand’s Ala chairs were specified for their distinctive design and customised capitone deep buttoned back. Complementing the chairs are Marlow and Seven sofas, as well as the Paris and Luigi chairs.

VAUGHAN BENZ Calvin Chair Showcasing a combination of quality, craftsmanship and tailoring, the Calvin Chair has been designed in-house by California-based Vaughan Benz. Drawing heavily on mid-century design, comfort is the main focus with a streamlined, sculptural seat resting on walnut wood legs. Designed to be appreciated from every angle, the chair mixes forms of classic and modern for a perfect balance.


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DOMUS Rombini Exclusive to the UK, Domus has launched Rombini, a new porcelain tile collection from Italian manufacturer Mutina. Designed by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, Rombini is the brothers’ second range for Mutina following Pico, their 2012 collection. With an exploration of colour at its heart, Rombini uses squares, triangles and diamonds, in a palette of white, grey, blue, green and red, to offer a wide variety and possible applications. Available in the range is CarrÊ, a 400x400mm slab produced in a mould of embossed diamonds, and Losange, a 275x275mm sheet of mosaic pieces.


BETTE Colour Update Enamelled steel specialist Bette has launched 22 new exclusive matte shades for its floors, shower trays and basins. While updating the matte options, it will also launch nine completely new colourways, available from September. The new matte colours are being introduced to coordinate with the latest trends in tiles, stone and wooden floors, and include grey, beige and anthracite.

LEDS-C4 Vintage Series Combining vintage aesthetics with technology, Lluscรก & Santolaria has designed Vintage, a collection of lighting solutions that substitutes fi lament bulbs for a subtle LED. The collection brings together dynamic design with forward-thinking technological and customisation features for a lamp and holder combination that can be dressed with exchangeable shades.

SILENT GLISS System 5600 Silent Gliss has launched System 5600, a quieter, quicker and more effi cient curtain track with a signifi cantly higher weight capacity than previous systems. The builtin touch-and-go element enables the curtain to be started by hand, and a manual override feature allows continued use in the event of a power failure.


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IMPEY Aqua-Dec Linear 3 Wetroom specialist Impey has revealed Aqua-Dec Linear 3, a threeway-fall floor former that enables neat placement of a linear drainage gate and complements the two- and four-way fall options already on offer. Black-metallic glass-top and a highly polished chrome grate are available, ideal for modern wetrooms.

SONNEMAN Suspenders Sonneman’s new LED structural lighting system concept, Suspenders, is a delicately scaled, modular system of interconnected elements and suspended LED components. Comprising three main components – a power bar, hangers and pendants – the system can be configured as individual lighting sculptures or as a tiered web, providing a customisable lighting solution that can be designed by the user to suit a variety of environments, both formal and casual.

MARFLOW St. James Collection A new range of thermostatic shower valves, Marfl ow’s St. James Collection features an integrated two-function valve diverter, offering the ability to switch between showerhead and handset. Available in both the traditional and classical St. James ranges, the new valve offers versatile showering across myriad configurations unique to this collection. The design is available in a variety of fi nishes.


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AXOR WaterDream Bathroom specialist Axor has debuted five new spout concepts as part of its Axor WaterDream 2016 exhibition. The prototypes have been created in collaboration with David Adjaye, Werner Aisslinger, Front, GamFratesi and Jean-Marie Massaud, and combine common materials with new forms and technology. The Axor WaterDream pieces build on the technological capabilities of Hansgrohe’s Axor U-Base to place focus on the value of the tap.

ADFORS Novelio Nature Offering an elegant and protective fi nish for a variety of hospitality environments, Adfors’ Novelio Nature range of wallcoverings provides an impact resistant and fi re-proof coating for areas subject to high volumes of traffic or abrasion. Available in four patterns including Charm, Flair, Grace and Pure, as well as six different colourways, Novelio Nature combines style and simplicity, and is both washable and repaintable, giving each wall several lives.

HARRISON SPINKS Skipton 5500 Championing the brand’s sustainable and innovative ethos, the Skipton 5500 mattress is layered with natural fi llings, many of which are grown on Harrison Spinks’ 300-acre farm. The sumptuous fillings include supersoft mohair, natural cotton, hemp and British wool, offering a variety of hygiene benefits. Meanwhile, the patented Sensa Intelligent pocket springs offer pioneering technology to contour to the shape of the sleeper’s body for postural support. Harrison Spinks also offers a bespoke service to hoteliers, with full height, width and length customisation available.


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LEFROY BROOKS Fifth A 1940s-inspired range, Fifth features hand-applied black lacquer panels framed by fine nickel. A single shared plinth characterises the basin set, while the streamline bath fi ller projects to create an arcing waterfall. The collection also includes concealed thermostatic shower systems. A full range of accessories completes Fifth, including ceramic soap dishes, rails and glass shelves.

JARDINICO CARACTĂˆRE Elegant Shade Marrying technical intelligence with high-quality materials in a statement design, Jardinico Caractère offers several models of umbrella, with central poles and sidepoles, a square or round canopy, in multiple sizes. All elements are octagonal, cultivating a consistent geometric elegance throughout the range.

TAI PING CARPETS Cold Cut Coasters The latest collection from Tai Ping, Cold Cut Coasters, explores the themes of anaphora and lexical repetition through a new take on wood resin and fabric. The fabrics incorporated include wool, cotton lace, linen, chenille, bamboo, lurex, PVC and delicate silk, and can be combined to create a unique and visually interesting series of high-end rugs.


DURAVIT ME by Starck A series that is at home in any bathroom – purist, elegant, natural or wild – ME by Starck for Duravit comprises washbasins, handrinse basins, toilets and bidets. The new 1300mm-wide double furniture washbasin harmonises with the matching L-Cube vanity, which is available in 30 fi nishes, with either one or two drawers.

FATBOY Parasolisido Designed by Dutch graphic artist Saskia van der Linden, Parasolasido has been created to enhance both lush landscapes and urban areas. The design is a vintage, romantic and poetic compilation of birds and flowers, with van der Linden’s characteristic illustrative touch matching perfectly with the Fatboy collection, which stands for iconic products with a unique twist.

VIBIA Algorithm Algorithm by Vibia has been designed to inspire and facilitate creativity. Created by Toan Nguyen, the design is composed of configurations of light globes suspended at different heights, anchored to the ceiling via a floating tubular steel structure. Manufactured from blown glass, the globes feature a striated concentric surface pattern.











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Chelsom Edition 25

Over 450 leading industry names gathered for the much-anticipated launch of Chelsom’s latest collection, Edition 25. Held at One Embankment, a deconsecrated church in the heart of London, attendees enjoyed exclusive previews accompanied by canapés and cocktails. Following more than two years of in-house design led by Robert and Will Chelsom, the catalogue is more than just a product selector, encapsulating the Chelsom brand image in addition to showcasing a multitude of new designs. The catalogue also features a number of classic pieces, spanning the breadth of tradition and modernism. Further, all are available as an LED option to accommodate the latest developments in lighting technology and energy efficiency. Robert Chelsom, Managing Director, comments: “In all my years working in the lighting industry never has there been a more exciting time to be designing lighting products. Triggered by the fashion cycle, interior trends are moving increasingly faster and in doing

so constantly stimulate new design directions when it comes to fi nishes and materials, which is something we have given careful consideration to when creating our latest designs. “Edition 25 has been a fantastic collection to produce, personally I think it’s our most groundbreaking to date. Will and I are proud to be able to say that all products have been designed in-house to create a diverse lighting collection that truly caters to all levels of the hospitality sector.” Designed with the international hospitality market in mind, Edition 25 is a truly eclectic lighting collection that harnesses and refi nes the latest trends in fi nishes and materials. From the retro inspired oversized Reflector floor lamp to the Nordic influence of the Stockholm table lamp, the innovative LED Revolution reading light to the assortment of sculpted hand-crafted ceramic lamps and Georgian hand cut crystal chandeliers, the variation is staggering.


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Interface Negative to Positive

As part of Interface’s ongoing journey to Mission Zero – to eliminate any negative environmental impact by 2020 – the global modular flooring manufacturer has launched its latest campaign, Negative to Positive. As part of this programme, the brand also launched its latest collection with the same approach. Designed by David Oakey of David Oakey Designs, World Woven draws on the uncomplicated, imperfect yet beautiful nature of traditional handcrafted materials. “When we started working with Interface in 1994, owner Ray Anderson declared that his company will become sustainable,” states Oakey. “I didn’t understand what sustainable hospitality design meant back then.” Following a steady progression over two decades, the company now sources over 90% of its energy from renewable sources globally, demonstrating that its nature-inspired designs are not just surface-deep. World Woven is made with 100% recycled

content nylon, in factories increasingly powered by clean energy. “These products lend themselves to a wide range of possibilities – from a simple, neutral background, or a composition of multiple textures to create diversity and movement like that found in the natural world,” explains Oakey. However, he stresses the importance of approaching hospitality design holistically. Concluding, he says: “Yes, we can bring in colours – green floorcoverings and wallpaper – but we will start to use technology to create hotel interiors that change as the day goes on. Why can’t we project patterns, create lighting that transforms from day to night? That’s how things change in nature. “The next generation of designers are going to be biologists, psychologists and fi lmmakers, as creating a realistic, natural atmosphere will be paramount.”




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50th Anniversary

The Great Northern Hotel

With 50 years of iconic designs under its belt, Kettal can celebrate a half-century of products safe in the knowledge that its luxury outdoor furniture has become a truly global product. The brand continues to cultivate a distinctly Catalonian identity and simultaneously expand its reach, with stores now present in Barcelona, Marbella, Paris, London and Miami. Since its inception Kettal has made bold statements in the context of its designs, and through collaborations with the likes of Patricia Urquiola, Rodolfo Dordoni, Hella Jongerlius, Jasper Morrison and Emiliana Design Studio, the brand has worked tirelessly to create products that aim to make a difference to the hospitality industry. Following the acquisition of Hugonet y Triconfort in the early 2000s, Grupo Kettal was formed, further solidifying Kettal’s position at the forefront of the industry. Now, though it may be a different approach, Kettal nonetheless still aims to offer the same high level of design and product quality that has long been its focus.

Recent renovations at The Great Northern Hotel at Kings Cross have seen updates that creatively evoke the property’s glamorous past whilst retaining its original Grade II-listed features. A dedication to both honour the cultural past of the building, and provide guests with spaces that correspond with the location’s heritage. As part of the central London project, specialist art consultants Artiq, and its Managing Director Patrick McCrae curated integrated art installations. Owner Jeremy Robson comments: “The art curated by Patrick beautifully complements the grace and timeless elegance of the hotel, whilst giving a playful nod to its origin amongst other Victorian industrial London landmarks.” Working closely together, the pair selected work from a variety of artists to decorate the walls of the hotel’s ground and fi rst floor public spaces, key stairwells, corridors and lift lobbies. Both established and emerging artists were commissioned to create a series of oil and spray paintings, sculptures and illustrations that reference the historic cultural relevance of the hotel.


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What would you do if you had the Eiffel Tower all to yourself for a night? That was the question posed by vacation rental company HomeAway as part of a competition to spend a night in the iconic landmark. Created in less than 48 hours, the temporary apartment was unveiled on the opening night of UEFA Euro 2016 and hosted four lucky winners during the course of the tournament, marking the first time the tourist attraction has been used as a holiday residence. Located on the tower’s first viewing platform some 57 metres above the city, the 2,000ft2 space was designed by Benoit Leleu, founder of M-Cube Architectures. Leleu drew inspiration from the Parisian

Haussmann style and combined it with modern touches to transform an empty conference room into the temporary living space, complete with a spacious lounge, kitchenette, urban greenhouse and two bedrooms, all featuring furnishings by Italian design house, Lago. Floor-to-ceiling windows offer guests a new perspective on Gustave’s iron lattice tower, as well as panoramic views of the city and Euro fan zone below. The #EiffelTowerAllYours competition saw winners enjoy a night filled with quintessential French activities and cuisine and also offered 500 tickets per day for design aficionados to visit the apartment.


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