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Fontevraud L’Hôtel

Brad Wilson

Lanserhof Tegernsee

Monastic modernity from Jouin Manku in the Loire Valley

The hotel group President on Ace after Alex Calderwood

Ingenhoven Architects create a resort with medicinal purpose in Bavaria


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Inside Sleeper JANUARY | FEBRUARY 2015


Hotel Reviews


Cover Story

042 The Beaumont London

036 Meeting… Brad Wilson The Ace President opens up about the loss of Alex Calderwood, and what the future holds for one of the industry’s most creative hotel groups.

030 Fontevraud L’Hôtel Pays de la Loire A winner at the European Hotel Design Awards, Fontevraud L’Hôtel reveals its transformation from historic priory to hotel. In a project spanning twenty years, architect Gabor Mester de Parajd oversaw the breathtaking conversion.

052 Raffles Istanbul 061

Park Hyatt Vienna

066 Sofitel Dubai Downtown Dubai 073

Hilton Istanbul Bomonti Istanbul


Regent Porto Montenegro Tivat

086 Sofitel So Singapore 090 Ruby Sofie Vienna 094 Lanserhof Tegernsee Marienstein

118 Events European Hotel Design Awards 2014 Celebrating exceptional hotel design and architecture across the continent, the winners of the 2014 European Hotel Design Awards are announced.

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Brand Standards Radisson Red


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12/23/14 1:33 PM

DESIGNERS, DISRUPTORS, CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVERS, CATEGORY CREATORS: WANTED. RADICAL INNOVATION 9 COMES TO NEW YORK Have a vision for what the future of the hotel could be? Radical Innovation’s 9th edition puts your ideas in front of an elite audience of hotel insiders. Enter your forward-looking hotel concept on this spring to be considered by the Radical Innovation jury. Follow us on Facebook for contest announcements. If chosen as a finalist, you will have the opportunity to present your idea in front of a room of hotel industry influencers at the New Museum on September 30, 2015. There, you will have a chance to incubate your hotel concept and win a $10,000 cash prize.






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2014 WINNERS GRAND PRIZE: GREEN AIR HOTEL Studio Twist, China There is a current air pollution crisis in China, and hotel guests are trapped in outdated, generic buildings in urgent need of an upgrade. This hotel concept has interior and exterior green lungs--where greenhouse gardens act as air filters to remove harmful toxins in the air and replenish it with oxygen.

RUNNER UP: HOTEL 2020 Code Design Studio, USA Furnished with 3D-printed interiors, this hotel offers guests an augmented reality where the user can interact with the space through computations. The 3D-printed parts, reinforced with latest composite materials, not only enhances the “buildability” of structures, but also takes into account different emotional states of guests to increase the impact of the design.

HONORABLE MENTION: S_LOT Natalie Kwee & Caio Barboza, USA Short for “small lots”, this modular system will occupy unused vertical parking structures, allowing each guest to easily modify their experience using interchangeable amenities. The pods can be shifted up and down to create a variety of facades, and the system can be expanded upon or shrunk depending on the urban site it inhabits.

STUDENT WINNER: SKY LOFTS Evelyn Choy and Evelyn Hartojo University of Melbourne With the abandonment of monorail beamways in Sydney, Sky Lofts is the upcycling of these structures into pedestrian- and bike-friendly boardwalks with prefabricated accommodation, cafes and reception lofts.



Sleepover is an invitation-only event for the innovators creating new hotel projects worldwide. This year’s event takes place in Istanbul, one of the world’s most dynamic cities for new hotel development. Guests will be accommodated at Mama Shelter, and will be amongst the first to experience the new Soho House Istanbul – an exclusive new venue in a converted palazzo overlooking the Golden Horn. We have created a programme of tours, talks and networking events that celebrate Istanbul’s unique position as a cultural crossroads where East-meetsWest. You can find more information and apply for reservations via our website




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nnovation was everywhere at the Sleep event which took place in London at the tail-end of 2014. Before visitors had even walked through the doors of the Business Design Centre, they had the opportunity to experience pop-up hotel Snoozebox and a prototype roomset from Hub by Premier Inn, Whitbread’s new compact city centre hotel concept. Inside the venue, the usual array of exhibitors was complemented with features such as The Sleep Sets – where responses to the brief of ‘Simplexity’ ranged from a hotel room constructed entirely from cardboard by Dreimeta, to the winning design by SKM Design, inspired in equal measure by such varied sources as Sir Isaac Newton, Pink Floyd and sci-fi film Tron. Elsewhere, a Digital Lounge showcased the latest technologies in Building Information Modelling (BIM) including an igloo-like dome, where visitors could don virtual reality headsets to experience 360˚ immersive renderings of future hotel projects. In the coming months, Sleeper will be encouraging further futuristic insights through a new strategic partnership with Radical Innovation, a movement that challenges the hotel industry to elevate the guest experience using new thinking in design and operations. Produced by The John Hardy Group for the past nine years, this annual competition invites entrants to come up with the next big concept in hotel design. Submissions are reviewed by an esteemed judging panel of influencers and investors, and finalists are selected based on their design, creativity and potential impact on the industry. These ideas are then presented on stage during the Radical Innovation live event, where an audience vote determines the winners. Each year a $10,000 cash prize is bestowed upon the winner – since 2007, Radical Innovation has awarded nearly $100,000 to progressive architectural and hospitality-minded thinkers. But perhaps the most tantalising prospect for entrants is the opportunity to be mentored by industry experts, and the possibility of their ideas being developed into real-life hospitality projects. The launch of the 2015 competition marks a fresh direction for Radical Innovation. In partnership with Sleeper, the event is moving to New York, to the SANAA-designed New Museum, a home for contemporary art and an incubator for ideas, with the programme culminating in a networking evening and awards presentation on 30 September, further details of which will be announced in due course. The competition will be open for entries from early February, and more information can be found online at www.

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Working with architect Gabor Mester de Parajd, Patrick Jouin and Sanjit Manku were responsible for the interior design of Fontevraud L’Hôtel, an historic priory that has been transformed into a hotel for the 21st century. Fontevraud won an accolade for its architectural conversion at the European Hotel Design Awards in November, while Jouin Manku spoke about the challenges of the project at Sleep.

After years of searching for the right opportunity, restaurateur Jeremy King and his business partner Chris Corbin have fulfilled their ambition of opening a hotel. Their first venture, The Beaumont, is located in an Art Deco-style building in London’s Mayfair. King was responsible for the narrative behind the design scheme, based on a 1920s fi ctional character known as Jimmy Beaumont.

The Beaumont also features the fi rst inhabitable work of art by British sculptor Sir Antony Gormley. Known as ROOM, the series of rectangular blocks perched on a plinth on the building’s façade reflect the shape of a man sitting on his haunches with his arms folded on his knees. Inside, the vertiginous 10m high void is in fact the bedroom of a unique suite, featuring only a bed and four wooden coat hooks.

Accor has joined forces with fashion royalty Karl Lagerfeld for the branding of Sofitel So Singapore. Pictured with Bobby Hiranandani, Managing Director of owning company Roya l G roup H old i ng s , Lagerfeld was responsible for designing the hotel’s Lion Seal emblem, seen throughout the interiors. In addition, pieces from his eponymous fashion collection are worn by frontof-house staff.


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09/12/2014 14:36


Bruno Moinard 4BI AGENCY

Currently working on the restoration of London’s landmark Ten Trinity Square, Bruno Moinard takes to the skies to visit his fantasy hotel in the clouds.

Where are you? A hotel in the clouds.

The light is soft. The hotel holds a different, slower rhythm and pace after the supersonic flight.

5. Daft Punk 6. Mozart – Messe en ut mineur

How did you get here? By supersonic rocket.

Who designed it? Someone careful who pays great attention to detail… a Japanese pâtissier perhaps.

What’s on the movie channel? 1. Barry Lyndon (Stanley Kubrick) 2. Les Tontons Flingueurs (Georges Lautner) 3. Mulholland Drive (David Lynch) 4. La Captive du Désert (Raymond Depardon)

Who’s at the concierge desk? Jerome from Hôtel Plaza Athénée in Paris. And the owner / manager? François Delahaye, Chief Operating Officer of Dorchester Collection.

What’s the restaurant / bar like? There is a large historic oak table, a concrete wall, and Chiaroscuro décor. The back bar sparkles magnificently and is filled with floating bottles on lit shelves.

Is there anything you would like waiting for you in your room on arrival? A lighting ambience created by Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson.

Who are you dining with this evening? Stanley Kubrick, Alain Ducasse, French art collector François Pinault, graphic designer and illustrator Jean-Paul Goude, and Rita Hayworth.

Who are you sharing your room with? An antique sculpture.

Who’s manning the stoves? Japanese chef Okuda San.

Describe the hotel, your room and the view... The building is hidden within the clouds, you cannot even see it from the ground. The hotel is like a home, with a previous history but updated in a contemporary way. Authentic, minimalist with a mixture of precision and comfort. It is shrouded in warmth, worn as the sky is by the weather. The wooden tables are patina coated, the concrete floor tempered by textiles, and corners are rounded. There are hints of leather, crystal and cedar. Through the clouds, apple blossoms form a pink haze against a blue and white background.

And what’s on the menu? Starter: Urchins Main: Lobster Dessert: Whatever the chef chooses!

Early morning alarm call or late check out? Late check out.

Would you like something to drink with that? Grand Vin de Château Latour, 1982.

Bath, jacuzzi or power shower? Power shower.

What’s playing on the iPod? 1. Philip Glass 2. Wood Boy 3. Leonard Cohen 4. Paul McCartney

Full English, continental or something different? One coffee, two slices of toast.

And a book at bedtime? Les 100 Mots du Luxe (100 Words of Luxury) by Christian Blanckaert. What’s in the mini-bar for a night cap? A glass of champagne. Would you like a newspaper in the morning? No reading in the morning. What toiletries would you like to freshen up with? Simply rainwater.

Swimming pool, spa or gym? Swimming pool.

Name: Bruno Moinard | Position: President, Interior Architect and Designer | Company: 4BI Agency | Notable hotel projects: Hôtel Du Marc Veuve Clicquot, Reims; The Diaoyutai Boutique, Chengdu; Hôtel Plaza Athénée, Paris; Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square


Tri SRI LANKA Billed as Sri Lanka’s first truly sustainable luxury design hotel and masterminded by award-winning architect Raefer Wallis of A00 Architects, Tri is set to open in Galle in summer 2015. Mirroring nature’s ubiquitous Golden Ratio, Tri spirals ten unique suites around an island hill flanking Sri Lanka’s serene Lake Koggala. Sequential spaces emanate from a central water tower that captures spectacular 360-degree views, while living walls, green roofs, solar arrays, recycled wood and entirely local materials unify accommodations and landscape. The resort will also feature a spectacular 21m cantilevered pool with multiple decks and terraces, and tree-top Yoga Shala.

Virgin Hotels NEW YORK

Virgin Hotels and owner/developer Lam Group have unveiled designs for Virgin Hotels New York, slated to open in 2017.

a ground-up development designed to support business and leisure travellers’ needs and wants, while providing an active spot for locals. It will be the perfect venue to encourage creativity, connectivity and celebrating.” VOA Architecture NY Managing Principal, Len Cerame adds: “The 38-storey hotel is a unique site and design opportunity for VOA, with a massing that expresses the hotel’s internal functions including active rooftops as well as a staggered cantilevered façade that enhances room views on all four sides. Virgin Hotels New York’s distinctive look is sure to play a key role in the neighbourhood’s transformation process.” Virgin Hotels has a pipeline of properties in the works. Virgin Hotels Chicago is slated to open early 2015, while Nashville will follow in the summer 2016.

Located on the southeast corner of 30th Street and Broadway in the NoMad neighbourhood, the newbuild property is expected to break ground in early 2015. VOA Architecture has been enlisted to oversee the architecture and interior design of the development, which includes 475 guestrooms, high-end retail space, multiple concept suites, food and beverage outlets, a rooftop bar, plus an outdoor pool and spa. Virgin Hotels CEO Raul Leal comments: “We are ecstatic to partner with Lam Group and VOA to bring New Yorkers a dynamic new hotel whose aesthetic will be completely unique to the hotel scene, yet functional and intuitive for everyone. The property will be


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8/19/2014 3:41:22 PM

Greenland Tower CHENGDU

Construction has begun on the 468m Greenland Tower in Chengdu, set to become southwestern China’s tallest building and the fourth tallest in the nation.

podium includes 14,000m2 of retail, a 16,000m2 conference centre with bridge connection to the main tower, and an 8,000m2 exhibition centre. There is also a roof garden with 360-degree views of the city. The design for the complex interprets and integrates Chengdu’s urban structure, local culture and Chinese traditional feng shui theory in a modern form. Its goal is to create a comfortable garden city environment with convenient traffic patterns for vehicular, pedestrian and metro transportation. The design fully considers the structural requirements of supertall buildings in high seismic zones, utilising a geometrical plan, tapered form and a high-performance damper bracing system to ensure stability and efficiency. The building façade, MEP and other systems are designed with high-efficiency sustainability features, creating a new generation of high-performance supertall building.

Located in the centre of Chengdu’s Dongcun district and designed by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, the tower is inspired by the unique ice mountain topography around the city. Like the mountain ridges reflecting the light of the sky and the valleys reflecting light from the earth, the tower will perform as a sculpture to diffuse light, creating a connection between sky and earth. The main tower comprises 120,000m2 Class A office space in the lower zone, a 51,000m2 luxury hotel in the middle zone, and 42,000m2 of CEO suites in the high zone. Two smaller towers of 116m and 147m accommodate high-end apartments. A six-storey


Yoo2 Botafogo RIO DE JANEIRO

Yoo Hotels & Resorts has announced Yoo2 Botafogo will open in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in December 2015.

include a striking bar, dining area, and a variety of seating areas carefully lit and made up of moveable modular furniture pieces by Yoo Studio. Contemporary in style, the interior design concept combines colourful accents, patterns and textures to reflect Rio’s vibrant culture. Yoo2 Botafogo is the first of many hotels to be launched in partnership with InterCity Hotel Group, with whom Yoo Hotels & Resorts has recently formed an alliance. One of the fastest growing hotel companies in Brazil, InterCity will manage all Yoo2 properties in South America under the guidance of the brand to ensure the right design, vibe and personal service details are aligned with Yoo’s ‘Human Luxury’ philosophy. According to the group, there are a further five Brazilian properties in the pipeline, including one in Porto Alegre, opening in 2016.

Designed by Yoo Studio and forming part of Yoo Hotels & Resorts – two components of Yoo owned by John Hitchcox and Philippe Starck – the boutique property will feature 144 guestrooms and suites, a dramatic entrance and lobby lounge, and a stunning rooftop terrace with views of the bay and Sugarloaf Mountain. Located in a beachfront neighbourhood south of Rio, Yoo2 Botafogo has been designed in tune with its exotic destination and local culture. The 108 guestrooms and 36 suites feature original details and innovative design touches synonymous with Yoo’s design approach, while the Yoo2 Lounge – a staple feature of every Yoo2 hotel – is a boldly created space to eat, drink and relax. Key elements




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The Lanesborough LONDON

Oetker Collection has announced the signing of its first UK management contract, The Lanesborough, London, slated to re-open in spring 2015 as a new Oetker Collection Masterpiece.

Room and the Library Bar, housing a collection of vintage cognacs. Tucked away at the rear of the hotel is the Garden Room, described as the most luxurious cigar terrace in Knightsbridge. Furthermore, The Lanesborough offers seven individually designed private dining rooms, with the largest accommodating 180 guests for a reception. Frank Marrenbach, CEO of Oetker Collection – which owns and manages eight hotels worldwide – comments: “The Lanesborough is clearly a landmark within the European hospitality landscape with an exceptional heritage and a strong and unique identity, and it will fit perfectly in our collection of masterpiece hotels.” Other properties in the portfolio include Le Bristol Paris, Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc, Chateau Saint-Martin & Spa, Fregate Island Private, Palais Namaskar, and L’Apogée Courchevel. Villa Stephanie at Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa will open in January 2015.

Currently closed for refurbishment, the renovations will honour the building’s architectural heritage as one of London’s most revered Regency landmarks while incorporating the latest in contemporary luxury and technological innovations. The new design will embody the signature style that has become synonymous with The Lanesborough over its long history, signed by late interior designer Albert Pinto. The plans mark Pinto’s final project before his death in 2012, and will see his legacy live on. The hotel comprises 93 guestrooms and suites as well as a spa and extensive dining options including Apsleys, the Withdrawing


Puro Hotel GDANSK

London-based interior design practice DeSallesFlint has unveiled designs for Puro Hotel Gdansk, set to become the fourth property in the Polish group’s portfolio.

Taking Granary Island’s old grain warehouses as inspiration, DeSallesFlint has produced a design that reflects contemporary eclectic style with local influences. As well as a place to stay, Puro Hotel Gdansk aims to be elegantly modern, simple yet sophisticated, providing a home from home, as well as a hub for experience and connection to the city, putting guests at the centre of what is happening, be it culture, art or events. Launched in 2011, Puro Hotels is Poland’s first lifestyle hospitality brand created to provide guests with more than just a stay. With properties in Wroclaw, Krakow and Poznan, the group has established a collection of design-led hotels fused with state-of-the-art technology. DeSallesFlint has also been selected to design the new flagship Puro Hotel in Warsaw, the fifth in the collection, expected to open later in 2015.

The newbuild hotel will be created in two phases, with the first – comprising 89 guestrooms – set to open in spring 2015. Phase two will be completed 14 months later, adding a further 130 guestrooms and suites. Public spaces include an atrium lobby, café, bar and lounge, and conference space. The hotel is being constructed on the famous Granary Island in the heart of Gdansk old city, which was completely destroyed in World War II. It is only now that Granary Island is being regenerated into a vibrant, sought-after location, contributing to the development of Gdansk as a major hub for tourism and business.


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Project Rosewood London Executive Architect EPR Architects Interior Designer Tony Chi

+44 20 7932 7600


Fontevraud L’Hôtel PAYS DE L A LO IR E

In a project spanning twenty years, architect Gabor Mester de Parajd has transformed an historic priory at the heart of Fontevraud Royal Abbey into a hotel for the 21st century. Words: Guy Dittrich | Photography: © Fontevraud / Nicolas Matheus


quidistant between Saumur and Chinon, the village of Fontevraud lies on the L’Arceau River, a small tributary of the Loire. This is middle France and the heart of the Loire Valley’s vine lands. Dropping down from rolling hills into the wooded valley all is peaceful. A perfect place for an abbey and monastic community. Turning off the main village street into a high-walled alley, visitors to Fontevraud L’Hôtel are greeted at the gates by an electric buggy and transported past the imposing volume of the 12th century abbey – the burial site of Richard the Lionheart. Following the French Revolution the abbey went from monastery to penitentiary, and the hotel, a few metres to the south of the abbey, has a similarly chequered past. The former Saint Lazare priory was once home to monks looking after lepers, then a hospice for nuns before becoming the prison hospital. “Fontevraud is no heritage destination but continues to write history,” explains David Martin, Director General of the abbey. “We use space to make life.” And to help him make the best use of that space is architect Gabor Mester de Parajd, who has worked on the larger abbey project for the last twenty years.

Hungarian-born Mester de Parajd specialises in the architecture of historic monuments and has an encyclopaedic knowledge of his many projects from châteaux to museums to private residences. “The challenge here was to fit a four-star hotel within a classified historic building,” he explains. “We needed to know the history of the building to discover the areas we could make interventions.” Consequently, the elevator is located at the junction of the cloister building with a 19th century extension, an area where there are no old walls. Using this knowledge, Mester de Parajd was also able to bring the floor levels into line on the hotel’s corridors – a joy for housekeeping and no mean feat. Nor is the disabled access to the majority of the hotel. Several areas of the renovation have returned the priory closer to its historical dimensions. The layout of La Bourdonnaye dormitory has been restored to its original 1504 plan, and the floors of the former chapel, now L’iBar, are back to their archaeological levels. Furthermore all the reconstruction is reversible. The reinstatement of the floor in L’iBar with pale, local Tuffeau stone also allowed for the addition of underfloor heating, counteracting


Above: A communal table dominates the long refectory hall where a wall of folding triptych panels mirror a series of large vaulted windows

the cooling effect of the voluminous 12-metre-high vaulted ceilings. Here the interventions of interior designers Jouin Manku also come into play. The French duo have integrated underseat heating in the central bar and large acoustic screens that line the walls of the chapel, effectively concealing the ventilated heating outlets. The six slim wooden A-framed screens are upholstered in a dark grey, quilted fabric. Several metres high, they are micro-architectural features that also provide an indirect light source and absorb damp. Additionally, guests can wrap up in the monk-like habits that provide further acoustic improvements whether worn or hanging from their coat hooks near the entrance. The central axis of the chapel is dominated by a massif wood block secured by steel bands that is the work of local contractor CAA. It’s a real box of tricks and an illustration of Fontevraud’s engagement in digital technology. There are a number of integrated touchscreens that provide information about the hotel, the abbey and its surroundings. These are in the tabletops of the built-in booths and also pop-out horizontally from its side together with fold down

seating. This allows for wheelchair-bound guests to use them and be part of the idea of a chapel being a place of community. Jouin Manku’s contribution has other architectural elements developed in conjunction with Mester de Parajd. The galleries around the cloister garden had been fully enclosed in the last renovation. Now, a seamless glass wall offers diners at the hotel’s gastronomic restaurant the chance to eat inside or out on the purpose-built cocooning banquets. Additional seating for the 88-cover restaurant is in the sunken Chapter Room where monks and nuns would sit on a perimeter stone bench to be read a chapter of their Order’s rules. Here counter-high seating puts all today’s diners on the same level. A communal table dominates the adjacent long refectory hall, where a wall of folding triptych panels upholstered with soundabsorbent fabric mirror a series of large vaulted windows. Beneath are slim wooden storage units where beautifully crafted spare seats hang. Purpose-designed by Jouin Manku, they double as a further decorative element and provide a place for an additional ambient light source.



Above: Each guestroom is a cosy refuge featuring high-quality bedding, contemporary oak furniture and warming fabrics against a deliberately restrained palette

These are just some examples of the richness of detail to be discovered. “Fontevraud has such a level of calmness that our challenge was to create a contemporary space that does not put you to sleep,” explains Sanjit Manku. Layers of design see to that. The hessian-like bedhead upholstery of the sober yet beautifully appointed guestrooms. The fish scale motif borrowed from the roof of the abbey’s smokehouse used to perforate the metal TV covers. And the automated incense dispenser in reception that blows out a little puff of smoke every now and then. The 54 guestrooms – some are duplexes, others under the eaves, and some are in the former nuns’ dormitories – continue the unassuming ambiance and are fitted out with great respect for the past. Each is a cosy refuge featuring high-quality bedding, contemporary oak furniture and warming fabrics against a deliberately restrained palette of colours. The cost of the project was approximately €14m paid for by the regional authority, Pays de la Loire. Wherever possible local trades

and suppliers, from soap to ceramics, are used. And the taxpayers can expect a payback of 10-12 years. But Fontevraud L’Hôtel is already reaping the rewards. It was triumphant at the European Hotel Design Awards last November, winning the architecture prize for Adaptive Re-Use. Its success lies in the retention of its heritage values without detriment to a new contemporary face, along with the seamless integration of architectural aspects in the interiors. According to the 17-strong judging panel: “This is a risk-taking initiative that brings an historic building firmly into the 21st century without compromising its heritage context… It has shown real skill in the use of volumes and scale, with modern elements delicately inserted into the monastic shell of the building.” General Manager Pascal Bailly, who has extensive hotel experience with major groups, gives practical testimony with his comment: “This was the easiest opening I have experienced due to the well thoughtout design.” Amen.

EXPRESS CHECKOUT: 54 guestrooms | 1 restaurant | 1 bar | Event space for 10-800 people | Owner: Région Pays de la Loire | Architecture: Agence Gabor Mester de Parajd | Interior Design: Jouin Manku For full photography of this project and details of the companies involved visit



Brad Wilson In London to accept a European Hotel Design Award on behalf of the late Alex Calderwood, President Brad Wilson looks to how the collaborative approach of Ace Hotel’s co-founder will shape its future. Words: Catherine Martin | Photography: Courtesy of Ace Hotel Group


ts approach has always has been unorthodox, but Ace has done much to reinvent the way we see hospitality. When Seattle friends Alex Calderwood, Wade Weigel and Doug Herrick initially dreamed of entering the hospitality market, they wanted their hotel to be linked to the local culture, a living part of the community, like the experience of staying with friends. The first Ace opened in Seattle in 1999. The recipe involved taking an old building in an emerging location, a small budget requiring lateral thinking and some clever industrial salvage, and a design aesthetic that mixes uncluttered comfort with a bohemian vibe. The new concept quickly caught on and the second Ace opened in Portland in 2007, a bigger and more ambitious project with 79 guestrooms, a restaurant, coffee shop, exhibition and event space. Ace Hotel New York and Ace Hotel & Swim Club in Palm Springs, California, followed in 2009, demonstrating how the brand’s core value of incorporating a sense of place from the surrounding environs can express itself in wildly different ways. 2013 brought further growth with the opening of a property in Downtown Los Angeles. It also marked the beginnings of a global expansion. The first portfolio project – the American Trade Hotel – made its debut in Panama City, and Ace Hotel London Shoreditch opened its doors. But just weeks after the official launch, Alex Calderwood, founder and self-styled cultural engineer of Ace Hotel Group, passed away. His untimely departure rocked the industry. Alex was arguably the industry’s most creative thinker of a generation, his influence on the hotel world unquestionable. In November 2014, a year after his death, Calderwood was posthumously honoured with the outstanding contribution award at the European Hotel Design Awards. It was Brad Wilson, Ace Hotel Group’s President, who accepted on Alex’s behalf. “I have to tell you, it’s not easy accepting this award, so bear with

me,” he began, his voice audibly breaking with emotion. “I wish so much that Alex were here to see the recognition that he’s receiving for what he’s done. He was a very quiet man, and I think in many ways, he underestimated his own brilliance. In fact, in all the time I knew Alex I don’t think he ever said ‘I’ once. And because of that, if anything, he would want tonight for us to celebrate the partners and the people who help put together Ace, many of whom are in this room.” He continued: “Alex was about ‘we’. He was about collaboration. And those who knew Alex, knew that his task in life was really to identify talent and bring it together on a project. Hopefully, some of that is recognised.” It was a moving tribute by a man affected by the death of not only his colleague, but one of his best friends. Earlier that day, Sleeper met with Wilson in Shoreditch, at the hotel’s new 7th floor events space overlooking the city. It is a property that is close to Wilson’s heart, having been a regular haunt of Alex’s in its previous incarnation. “When we first came here we loved Shoreditch but felt that the Crowne Plaza was this strange obstacle in the midst… It was so wrong for the neighbourhood,” he explains.“When we heard it was on the market, we knew it was the one.” The 258-room hotel continues with the Ace ethos of breathing life into existing buildings and restoring a sense of community by collaborating with local innovators. “We believe in inclusive spaces and we believe in people,” Wilson explains. “We like to build communities and bring people together,” an ethos that culminates in Ace’s lobby, a hub for social interaction that has quickly become a favourite amongst Shoreditch locals. Wilson joined Ace Hotel Group in 2011, having worked with the likes of Hilton, Park Hyatt and Westin. He was recruited to launch the first W Hotel in 1997 and helped guide the brand’s early days,


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Above: The first portfolio project – the American Trade Hotel – made its debut in Panama City in 2013 Opposite (bottom right): Ace Hotel London Shoreditch recently opened its 7th floor events space

rising to Vice President of Operations. But by his own admission, he felt there was something missing. Creativity. “I found that with Ace,” Wilson reveals. “A lot of what we do is authentic and creative so we’re much more a collaborative than a hotel company.” In his remit as President, Wilson’s role is a varied one. Working alongside co-partner and Chief Brand Officer Kelly Sawdon, he oversees the growth and operations of Ace Hotels through Atelier Ace, the creative company behind the brand. He is also closely involved in the design and development of each of the hotels, supporting a 50-strong team of multi-talented individuals. “Even though everyone has defined jobs, we’re a collaborative, so a lot of the needs and the ideas are shared and discussed, figuring out the best way to do things,” he explains. “We don’t really have much of a hierarchy so everybody works together. It’s a very creative atmosphere. It’s not unusual that a revenue manager might have an idea that we use in a hotel.” As Wilson explains, Atelier Ace’s approach is simple. “It starts with figuring out which project we want to do, which is really important to us. We have to make sure that some of the elements we

love form part of the project. It’s usually about the neighbourhood, the community, the building and the environmental and cultural aspects,” he explains. “We’re selective because we don’t want to do that many projects, and when we do, we want to make sure that it’s something we love and feel other people are going to love.” This is the same vision that Calderwood instilled in his team, many of whom worked with him for over a decade. “Alex was a collector of people,” Wilson explains. “A lot of people know him as a curator, and whether that be curating spaces or curating people, his real secret, the thing he loved to do more than anything, was gather interesting people and bring them together to do great things.” While Atelier Ace is sure to continue with Calderwood’s vision, Wilson is keen to point out that the brand will change with the times. “What’s interesting is that Alex never did anything twice. He was always evolving. We’ll remember his teachings and processes, but we’re not locked into what Alex would have liked last year, or the year before.” So what’s next for Ace? “We have a bunch of things in the pipeline,”

“A lot of what we do is authentic and creative so we’re much more a collaborative than a hotel company.”


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Above: Two of the most recent openings are Ace Hotel London Shoreditch and Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles

says Wilson, revealing that the group’s eighth property will open in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in a matter of months. And by all accounts its arrival is once again aimed at bringing life back to a neglected part of the city. “We were able to acquire the former YMCA building in an area called East Liberty, and so we’re working with some local partners there,” he continues. “It’s the same kind of concept of saving a neighbourhood and recycling old buildings.” Currently on-site, the 63-room hotel will be designed entirely in-house, with inspiration coming from the surrounding steel city. Wilson also reveals that Atelier Ace is working on another upmarket project, the second in its luxury portfolio, but remains tight-lipped as to when and where it might appear. Contrary to the numbers put out by some of the larger hotel groups, Ace’s development plans are more about quality than quantity. “We’ve always said we’d like to open a couple of hotels a year,” Wilson explains. “Our process is very involved and takes a lot of thought and a lot of effort. In essence, we’re a hands-on, crafted company. We care about the details. We want to grow, so long as we don’t have to mass produce.” There are some who can’t comprehend such a strategy. “I’ve had people say to me, ‘put together a brand standards manual and you can grow so much faster’, but that’s not our goal. It’s so far from what we do. You can’t standardise non-standardisation. For us, it’s more

important that the projects are great, than we end up being the biggest hotel company in the world. We don’t have any desire to do that.” Nevertheless, further international expansion is on the cards. “We’re looking at key global cities, and are very interested in Japan,” explains Wilson, adding that one of Calderwood’s first entrepreneurial ventures was buying vintage blue jeans in the US and selling them on to fashion companies in Tokyo: “Because of that, he was very engaged in the Japanese culture and adored it, so there’s a tribute that we owe to Alex.” In the immediate aftermath of his death, many tributes flooded in from around the world. Friends, colleagues, collaborators, even housekeeping staff publicly paid their condolences. But it was a call from another visionary that offered some clarity. “Ian Schrager called to say he was so sorry to hear about Alex, and he said something to me that will always guide our future at Ace,” Wilson recalls. “Remember Alex and where he wanted to go, but continue to evolve.” And over the past 12 months, that’s exactly what Ace has done: honour the core values set by its founder, while bringing fresh ideas to its new hotels. “It was good advice,” concludes Wilson. “That’s what Alex would have wanted. It’s absolutely what he would have wanted.” Alex Calderwood 1966-2013 –


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The Beaumont LONDON

Renowned restaurateurs Corbin & King achieve their long-held ambition of opening a hotel, which also features the first inhabitable work of art by leading British sculptor Sir Antony Gormley. Words: Catherine Martin and Guy Dittrich | Photography: Courtesy of Corbin & King

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erched on a plinth to the south side of The Beaumont is a series of rectangular blocks harmonious with the geometry of Wimperis & Simpson’s original Art Deco façade. They reflect the shape of a man sitting on his haunches with his arms folded on his knees. A primordial position of vulnerability, but also basic comfort. Yet this is no ordinary man. It is both a public work of art and a hotel suite. Created by British sculptor Sir Antony Gormley, the cuboid creation was commissioned by Chris Corbin and Jeremy King for their first hotel project, located London’s swanky Mayfair. The architectural addition was welcomed by the local planning authority, the City of Westminster, which stipulates every new construction include a piece of public art. King worked closely with Gormley to develop the idea that it be truly intrinsic to the building, cleverly combining the sculpture with habitable accommodation. And so ROOM was born. It’s fair to say ROOM is amongst the more extraordinary suites you will ever come across. The sculpture’s proportions are based on those of its creator, and like much of Gormley’s work, reflects the

relationship of the human body to space. Behind a standard hotel door is a modest sitting room furnished in the hotel’s Art Deco style. At Gormley’s request, all the artwork is abstract, which speaks to what lies ahead. Adjacent is a bathroom, similar to those of the rest of hotel but finished in a pure white marble. From here, a short flight of steps lead to a black curtain. Behind is a dark space within the sculpture, where the human eyes take a moment to adjust. Gormley elaborates on the dark, contemplative interior, describing it as “both the cave and the man who withdraws into the cave”. The only visible light source – part of a scheme by IlluminationWorks – is reflected off the white linen of the bed. Above, is a vertiginous 10m-high void lined in fumed oak. The inside of the crouching man is an extraordinary volume. Slowly a few details appear. An alcove with the mandatory telephone. Four wooden coat hooks. And a shuttered window high above the bed that only allows for a sky view beneath the sculpture’s crossed arms. Gormley took the deliberate step of revealing a cross-section of


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Above: Taking its lead from the classic grill rooms of New York, The Colony features blood-red leather banquettes, period furniture and studded chairs

the structure, showing the insulation foam sandwiched between the exterior 8mm plate steel and the 35mm plywood and oak interior. Gormley personally selected the wood from the Black Forest in Germany before joiners EE Smith Contracts assembled the lining using dovetail joints, a process that took several months and is a work of art in itself. Thanks to Gormley’s sculpture, The Beaumont experienced a wave of publicity before its doors even opened. But ROOM is just one element of the hotel. Behind the original façade is a newly constructed, yet seamlessly integrated building that houses 73 guestrooms and suites, a bar, restaurant and private residents’ lounge. The hotel’s opening marks the realisation of a long-held ambition for Corbin & King, who have sought to enter the luxury hotel sector for over a decade. The right opportunity finally came with Grosvenor as part of its ongoing investment in North Mayfair, a project that also includes the redeveloped Brown Hart Gardens on which the hotel sits. Of course, this isn’t Corbin & King’s first venture in the wider realm of hospitality. Far from it. Having worked together for over thirty years, Corbin – who started his career at Langan’s Brasserie in the mid-seventies – and King – a former merchant banker – have developed, owned and managed some of London’s most successful

restaurants. They acquired Le Caprice in 1981, later followed by The Ivy and J. Sheekey, establishing a reputation for turning tired restaurants into award-winning concepts. Corbin and King sold their company, Caprice Holdings Limited, in 1998, but returned to the market five years later with The Wolseley, fulfilling an ambition to open a European-style brasserie. The Delauney followed in 2011 to critical acclaim. A £21m cash injection from Graphite Capital funded expansion of the portfolio to include Brasserie Zédel, Colbert and Fischer’s, the latter of which opened as recently as 2014. Despite their success, Corbin and King aren’t ones to rest on their laurels. King thinks of himself as restaurateur rather than restaurant owner, a hotelier rather than a hotel owner. As such he is regularly seen walking the tables or hanging around the lobby, having been seduced by the industry. A long-held belief that decisions made from the boardroom compromise the ethos of an establishment has also served King well. Speaking at Sleep last November, he explained: “I’m often asked by my staff, what are the essential ingredients of a successful restaurant, and they expect me to say location or the chef or whatever. But I always tell them two things: heart and soul. And of course the way it looks.” Indeed, design has played an important role in the success of


Seamless Integration of Light into Architecture The Beaumont A luxury 73-room hotel occupying a historic 1926 building overlooking Brown Hart Gardens in Mayfair, London. “We had the challenging task of creating a lighting scheme that appeared to have been designed for the original building in the 1920’s, while functionally befi tting a 21st century 5-star hotel. Lighting plays a vital role in transporting the guest into the Art Deco atmosphere. Functional and decorative elements integrate with discreet detailing to visually organise the hotel into one cohesive mood.” Chad Rains Managing Director IlluminationWorks

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Above: The America Bar is lined with monochrome photographs of 1930s personalities. Each one could have been a friend of Jimmy Beaumont

Corbin and King. The pair worked with David Collins from the early days up until his passing in 2013, and credit him for being “a guiding light” in a lot of what they’ve done. Guidance for their first hotel project came from ReardonSmith Architects and Richmond International, both well versed on the ins and outs of completing a successful hotel. “We wanted to work with people who knew the real detail of how a hotel should work,” explains King. “It is an extraordinary world of design and there are things that would never have occurred to me,” he continues. “I’m a debutante, I’m new to it. What do I know?” As lead architect on the project, ReardonSmith’s role involved the conversion of a Grade II-listed Art Deco-style building, originally designed as a garage to service Selfridges shoppers and more recently occupied by Avis Rent-A-Car. Works included the demolition of the structure behind the retained façade, resulting in what is effectively a new building, as well as a sensitive extension to the existing north wing, two additional floors on the roof, and two new basement levels. ReardonSmith was commissioned alongside Richmond International, enlisted to undertake the interior design of the 73 guestrooms and suites, The Colony Grill Room, The American Bar and The Cub Room. The project was completed in close collaboration with King, responsible for the initial design concept. “Although Grosvenor are the client, Jeremy very much was the lead on the

project and had the vision of what the hotel should be,” explains Fiona Thompson, Principal of Richmond International, adding that King’s clear ideas and exacting standards were key to the level of detail seen throughout the property. “He wanted it to feel like it has always been there, and that we’ve refreshed it and renewed it,” she continues. That this was Corbin & King’s first hotel, also meant that the brief was less prescriptive, allowing for an exploration of ideas. King’s vision is based on Jimmy Beaumont, the New York hotelier who fled to London in the 1920s during the US Prohibition. If you’re wondering why you haven’t heard of Jimmy before, it’s probably because he doesn’t exist. “James Beaumont is a figment of my imagination, a fictional character,” explains King. “I was bemoaning the fact that it’s so much easier if you have an existing building and an existing history. So I thought, well in that case, let’s invent a history.” As the project progressed, Jimmy Beaumont’s story unfolded and his character was embellished, so much so that every design decision hung off what Jimmy would have done. If there were differences of opinion over materials or finishes, the all-important question was asked: what would Jimmy do? “Jimmy Beaumont became our guide,” continues King. “He bought the paintings; the photographs are people he knew; and the caricatures are people he knew.” King’s narrative was instilled in each and every consultant, contractor and collaborator working on the project, resulting








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Above: In the guestrooms and suites, polished rosewood wardrobes and sliding room partitions feature alongside timber headboards, bronze mirroring and geometric wool carpets

in a truly authentic scheme. Chris Garrod Global undertook the procurement of all FF&E and OS&E; S&T UK London produced the casegoods, which included over 300 bespoke items of furniture for the guestrooms and suites; and IlluminationWorks was tasked with creating a lighting scheme that appeared to have been designed for the original building in the 1920s, yet was befitting of a 21st century hotel. As such, cove lighting, a feature of many period properties, was used to limit the visibility of modern light sources. Those that are visible, include Art Deco-style pieces by Dernier & Hamlyn, Chelsom and Heathfield. Dernier & Hamlyn also produced a statement chandelier for the lobby. Cast in brass and finished in antique bonze, it sets the tone for the rest of the property. Soft Art Deco details continue in the guestrooms. Polished rosewood wardrobes and sliding room partitions feature alongside timber headboards, bronze mirroring and geometric wool carpets, while marble, chrome and glass are present in the bathrooms. Naturally, The Colony Grill Room and The American Bar form the central hub of the hotel. The check-in desk is intentionally tucked

away to the right of the lobby so that the first thing a guest sees as they enter is the F&B. Double doors lead to the bar, lined with monochrome photographs of 1930s film stars, actors, politicians and writers. Each one could have been a friend of Jimmy Beaumont. As with all of Corbin & King establishments, art plays an important role in The Beaumont. King, himself an avid art collector, worked with Artefact Hotel Art Consultants to amass more than 1,600 pieces of artwork including paintings, photographs, and lithographs, not one the same. Sculptures, antiques and vintage pieces can also be found throughout. Beyond another set of double doors, The Colony transports diners to another era. Taking its lead from the classic grill rooms of New York, the restaurant features blood-red leather banquettes, period furniture and studded chairs. Specially-commissioned murals by San Francisco-based artist John Mattos illustrate the various sports that were popular in America in the 1930s, while an eclectic collection of caricatures “people the place.” As King concludes: “Our hotels, our restaurants, they’re about people ultimately.”

EXPRESS CHECKOUT: 73 guestrooms | 1 restaurant | 2 bars | Spa | 1 meeting room | Owner / Developer: Grosvenor | Operator: Corbin & King | Architecture: ReardonSmith Architects | Interior Design: Richmond International For full photography of this project and details of the companies involved visit


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Located in the Zorlu Center mixed-use development, Raffles’ new Istanbul hotel features designs by HBA Atlanta and The Gallery HBA London. Words: Matt Turner | Photography: © Eric Laignel


affles is perhaps best known for its luxury hotels in historic buildings, from its iconic fl agship in Singapore to the Philippe Starck styled Le Royal Monceau in Paris. Yet the latest Raffles, in Istanbul, is a different proposition entirely. The 181-room hotel is part of the Zorlu Center, a brand new mixed-use development described as a ‘next generation bazaar where fashion, performance, and art converge’. The complex, designed by Emre Arolat Architects and Tabanlıoglu Architects, comprises four towers, connected at the base by a shopping mall and convention centre, sat amidst angled walkways, landscaped gardens and a new public square at the intersection of the Bosphorus Bridge and one of Istanbul’s major thoroughfares, Büyükdere Caddesi. Five primary functions had to be organised around this zigzagging piece of architecture. A performing arts centre hopes to bring the biggest theatrical productions, from Broadway and beyond, to Istanbul. Retail outlets include the new concept store of domestic fashion label Beymen alongside global brands such as Apple, Prada, H&M and Louis Vuitton. Office elements are arranged around internal green spaces, with luxury residences

Above: HBA The Gallery London designed the Arola Restaurant and its adjacent Chamapgne Bar as a ‘feast of discovery’. Opposite: Designs for the spa include a spectacular chandelier, custom-made by Lasvit from swirls of glass to emulate the currents of the Bosphorus

available in either the surrounding towers or the terraces beneath them. The hotel sits at the heart of the development, its entrance forming an integral part of the arrival journey to the complex, and its tiered swimming pools and lawns providing a centrepiece to the internal aspect. Conceived around the slogan ‘The Dream of Istanbul’, the hotel reflects the new face of its host city as a fashion-forward European capital, with various shapes and patterns in the design originating in motifs and detailing from the world of couture. Fittingly, for a hotel in a city known as a cultural crossroads, no less than four offices from one global design practice – Hirsch Bedner Associates – were involved in the design. HBA Atlanta designed the hotel’s guestrooms and suites, lobby, all day dining restaurant Rocca, pastry shop, Long Bar, Writers Bar, the ballroom, meeting rooms, as well as all prefunction and circulation areas. The Gallery HBA London designed the Raffles Istanbul Spa, Arola restaurant, and the adjacent Champagne Room. Two of HBA’s partner companies – art consultancy Canvas and lighting design practice Illuminate – completed the project team. Explains lead designer, Sandra Cortner of HBA Atlanta: “The fi rst question was: ‘What would a guest coming into this landmark building expect?’ It would not be historical, classic interiors, for sure. Neither would the space be aggressively contemporary. It was

decided to make it transitional, timeless. We needed to connect it with the destination to give the sense of place.” Their design approach has been inspired by the surrounding city with the interiors reflecting the jewels of the Byzantine era, only worn by the Emperor and Empress of the time. These jewel tones are referenced throughout, in the colour palette and selected artworks. Mosaic tiles, a popular Byzantine decorative element, are found in nearly every space. On arrival for example, guests pass through an onyx vestibule with a stunning gold mosaic floor under foot and a sparkling crystal chandelier overhead. The vestibule opens to a grand lobby with refl ecting pools that fl ank the Lobby Lounge. The focal point here is ‘Lavinia’, a monumental abstract bronze sculpture by artist Martin Dawe inspired by the famous Turkish poem of the same name. The lobby is dominated by a bespoke Preciosa chandelier, and a huge artwork of Dolmabahce Palace, commissioned from internationally-recognised French hyper-photo realist JeanFrancois Rauzier who describes his work as a “long-forgotten dream come to life”. Says Matthew Whitaker, Director of Canvas: “The art collection in the public areas is a thoughtful blend of international and locally commissioned artwork. A third of the artists featured are from Turkey. Moreover, many of the works at Raffles Istanbul have been



Above: Guestroom headboards feature custom murals depicting Istanbul landmarks such as the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque

specially created. There are direct references to Turkey’s history and Istanbul’s iconic landmarks, using Byzantine era mosaics and jewels, fashion, and referencing whirling motions associated with the Dervishes.” “Art is part of the fabric of every Raffles hotel – incorporated into the overall design, seamlessly, which is how we came to our concept ‘The Dream of Istanbul’,” continues Cortner. “Not everything has to be literal; you may have abstract sides to it. You wake up in a room with a bed backdrop inspired by the chandeliers of the Hagia Sophia but they are not photographs – they are soft and volatile, painted on canvas.” The Gallery HBA’s design for the Raffl es Spa draws upon Istanbul’s richly layered history and the waters of the Bosphorus. Throughout the space, the concept of fl owing water creates a harmonious ambience: whether it’s a chandelier made from swirls of glass that emulate the currents of the Bosphorus; pendant bubble lights hung from the ceiling like droplets of water; or a water sculpture featuring lotus plants as a link to the lotus flower, the Raffles Spa icon. There are four dining venues, including the all-day dining Rocca, signature restaurant Arola with its private Champagne Room, and Raffles’ staples The Long Bar, and Writers Bar. The Gallery HBA’s design concept for Arola and its Champagne Room has been imagined as a “feast of discovery”, with fi nishes and furnishings selected to build an ambience of anticipation and

mystery. In the entry vestibule, walls are clad entirely in sparkling mirrors. The 74-seat dining area mixes the dark lustre of Turkish black salt with a selection of lighter colours and deep lacquered navy blue, brass and red accents. Natural textures are juxtaposed with those that are more refi ned. Weathered timber has been laid herringbone-style on the floors and, on the walls, is used as wide horizontal planks between narrow strips of brushed brass. Nested amongst the tables is an oval column clad with stone mosaics in an undulating pattern. On the ceiling, cut-outs based on kilim tapestry patterns have been backlit to cast layered shadows across the tables. And as a nod to the restaurant’s Spanish influence, the Arabic style diamond patterns of the curved upholstered feature walls in both the main and private dining rooms are reminiscent of those seen at the Alhambra. Inge Moore, Principal and Creative Director of The Gallery HBA, elaborates: “Our aim when designing Arola, as well as the spa, was to reflect the energetic new vibe of Istanbul – avant-garde, cosmopolitan and full of optimism. Modern interpretations of ancient artistry and rituals create fresh and welcoming spaces that are in tune with today’s forward-looking guests”. Just off the main dining area is the Champagne Room, a glistening, opulent space where an extended bar seats eight guests within the room and then continues through the wall into the neighbouring Long Bar. Mirrors at each end of a 7.5m long counter make it appear to extend from the adjacent Champagne Room.


...where the stylish, innovative design is born out of the craftmanship of whole generations of glassmakers


Above: In the Long Bar, a chandelier by Preciosa resembles the fizz of bubbles from a champagne bottle. Mirrors at the end of the bar make the counter appear to extend from the adjacent Champagne Room, located behind an illuminated display case of champagne bottles which connects the two rooms

Simon Berry, Partner with Illuminate, adds: “The Long Bar is an interesting space. There is a very big, dramatic chandelier hanging over the counter area. In here, it’s about playing with layers. Running from a calmer atmosphere where guests sit, to a more energetic feel on approach to the bar. At one end, where champagne is stored and displayed, we have used integrated lighting to light up each of the champagne bottles, which has created a visual statement in its own right, pulling your attention to where the Champagne Room is located the other side of the wall. Then ceiling lighting makes the crystal of the chandelier sparkle and it suddenly becomes the highlight, like the fi zz of bubbles coming up out of the bottles.” By contrast, The Writer’s Bar is a warm, cognac coloured space, steeped in wood and timber. Indirect lighting behind art installations and inside book cases creates a soft wash. The library shelves are populated with ceramic books by Turkish artist Ismail Oklugil, while the bar’s back wall features a custom cast glass installation of fiery yellow and orange tiles.

The vision of ‘The Dream of Istanbul’ culminates in the guestrooms, in a custom mural depicting the dream derived from a combination of iconic landmarks like Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque. Ethereal blues and greens anchor the dreamy palette, as do hand-woven Turkish carpets on elegant hardwood floors. Every room has a huge balcony for panoramic views of the city. The Grand Ballrooom also features fashion motifs in the guise of pleated, upholstered walls. Outside there are three cast glass and woven metal mesh Kaftans by Turkish artist Yasemin Aslan Bakiri. An elegant and gently winding staircase, adorned with a delicate tumbling of crystal stars, descends from the lobby to the Grand Ballroom, where the ceiling is illuminated with 2,316 crystal stars strewn across it to resemble the Istanbul night sky. General Manager, Tarek Mourad concludes: “Raffles Istanbul is the perfect expression of the ‘new’ Istanbul: avant-garde, cosmopolitan and full of energy and innovation, but utterly in touch with the city in which it stands and its rich heritage.”

EXPRESS CHECKOUT: 181 guestrooms | 3 restaurants | 3 bars | 3,000m2 Spa | Ballroom, 8 meeting rooms | Owner: Zorlu Gayrimenkul | Architecture: Emre Arolat Architects / Tabanlioglu Architects | Interior Design: HBA Atlanta / The Gallery HBA London For full photography of this project and details of the companies involved visit


The Fine Art of Hospitality

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Park Hyatt VIENNA

FG Stijl preserve the history and charm of a former bank in its transformation into the first Hyatt hotel in Austria. Words: Tamara Thiessen | Photography: © Matthew Shaw


esurrecting an imperial Viennese building with modern panache while appeasing stalwarts of tradition is no mean task. And in Vienna’s history-laden Innere Stadt, a newcomer needs to carry a certain weight to land among the first district’s elite club of imperial palaces, mighty cathedrals, grand literary cafés and gilded shopping arcades. Looming alongside baroque churches in Am Hof square, the classical limestone façade and green copper mansard roof of Park Hyatt Vienna now form part of the recently baptised Goldenes Quartier of luxury labels. Built in 1913 as headquarters of a grand

national bank, the late Austro-Hungarian Empire building is redolent of many Ringstrasse icons, with its mix of architectural styles from Greek pillars and pediments to Renaissance ornamentation and sash windows. The era was one of the most decadent in European history and this is reflected in the rich interiors of the property, curated courtesy of Amsterdam-based practice FG Stijl. While turn of the 20th century Viennese Secession artists and architects broke with tradition, FG Stijl co-founders Colin Finnegan and Gerard Glintmeijer chose to stick with it in their transformation of the bank into a 143-room hotel.


Above: In the ballroom, 28 different types of wood are incorporated in the original wall panels creating the feeling of an historic salon

Their inspiration came from a mélange of Viennese design influences including Imperial Austria, the Secession and associated Wiener Werkstätte furniture workshop. Mod twists are left largely up to new materials and technology. “It is important in Vienna to create new traditions from old ones and we were very conscious of that during the design phase,” says Finnegan. “To be successful, the hotel had to be instantly loved by the Viennese, they have been coming here for one hundred years,” he continues. “We paid great attention to reinstating the original entrance in order to maintain that awesome sense of arrival in a beloved Am Hof building for locals.” Clad in marble of varying ivory to ebony shades and bold geometric forms, the vestibule is crowned by a creamy plaster ceiling with scallop-edged wooden inlays. Unfurling between its golden pillars, a burgundy woven wool landing carpet by Spanish firm Alarwood bears a gold vegetal pattern inspired by a 1903 book cover by Jugendsti (Art Nouveau) protagonist, Kolomon Moser. Geared to woo strong local patronage, the street level Pearl Bar on Bognerngasse gives priority to Viennese visitors, Finnegan quips, with the hotel lobby placed above. The Coco Chanel inspired bar’s black leather and steel chairs and inky mother of pearl topped bistro

tables echo the beauty and function of greats such as Josef Hoffmann. Other striking visual elements include book-matched onyx slabs serving as space dividers, a wrought iron and mother of pearl staircase, and a 4.5-metre-high sculpture – “a swirl of silver leaves” as Finnegan describes it – a tribute to a brooch designed by Secession artist Carl Otto Czeschka. Working in close consultation with the Antiquities and Monuments Office in Vienna, and some 200 artisans, significant effort went into balancing the former bank’s graphic masculine aspect with feminine details in the interiors. Objets d’art – replicas of period tortoiseshell hair combs – deck the hotel corridors, while art and accessories in public spaces and guestrooms draw on vintage brooches, hairpins and jewellery. “We wanted to bring in more of the exuberant style and elegance of Vienna in 1913 and Art Nouveau atmosphere,” continues Finnegan. “The jewellery of the Viennese women of the epoch was absolutely stunning.” The materials came from Cravt Original (formerly DK Home) – sourcing magicians according to Finnegan. “They get everything we like, from wall finishes to mother of pearl handmade in India and inlaid with semi precious stone. And being Dutch, they did it for a good price.”



Above: Furniture is designed by FG Stijl and created by Robert Wolte & Partner and List. Lighting is by Lights of Vienna

All furniture throughout the hotel is designed by FG Stijl and created by Viennese hotel interior company Robert Wolte & Partner and furniture maker, List. “The rooms are based around the Imperial style of an apartment, with double doors after double doors,” continues Finnegan. Walnut and maple wood commodes and washstands with pearl inlay are Jugendstil remakes, while the digitally-controlled temperature touch buttons on the marble tubs and rain showers definitely belong to this age. “Original colours and patterns have been used in the fabrics and furniture, and individual furnishings are either custom-made replicas or inspired by the period, such as dark walnut framed chairs upholstered with rich royal blue and silver leathers. In the ballroom, 28 different types of wood are incorporated in the original wall panels – among the few that survived.” The idea, says Finnegan, was to create the feeling of an historic salon.

The throwbacks do not exclude high tech, though the latter touches are discreet, such as intuitive lighting panels, flatscreen monitors in meeting rooms fitted in marble fireplaces, and TV’s concealed in bathroom mirrors. In The Bank restaurant located in the original banking hall, wall and floor slabs of cream and gold veined marble, Art Nouveau black metal framed windows, and brass candelabra wall lights are offset by glittering globe lamps of white crystal daisies by Lights of Vienna, potted in Secession-like cupolas of bronze filigree laurels leaf. Even in the spa, the past is revisited with plucky contemporary style. The golden glass floor of the swimming pool evokes the basement’s former days as a gold vault. The bid to integrate as much old world cachet as possible almost ran aground when fire destroyed a chunk of the building during the architectural stripping and salvage, but the end result reflects a meticulous design process.

EXPRESS CHECKOUT: 143 guestrooms | 2 restaurants | 2 bars | Spa | 800m2 event space | Developer: Signa | Operator: Hyatt Hotels Corporation | Interior Design: FG Stijl For full photography of this project and details of the companies involved visit




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Sofitel Dubai Downtown DUBAI

Wilson Associates has completed Op-Art inspired designs for a new Sofitel in Dubai’s fast developing Downtown district Words: Matt Turner | Photography: © Bova Photography


iven that it came close to defaulting on its debts in 2009, the recovery of Dubai has been quick and comprehensive. At the tail end of 2014, it completed the last of its major debt negotiations, bringing an end to five years of complex corporate restructuring, aided in no small part by a $20bn bailout from its neighbour Abu Dhabi. Despite the slowdown, construction continued, and nowhere is this more evident than the Emirate’s Downtown district, the flagship development of Emaar, where the level of Dubai’s ambition is inescapably encapsulated in the towering presence of the world’s tallest building – the Burj Khalifa. Around the manmade lakes and fountain at the foot of the Burj, shopping malls, residential towers, and hotel have continued to proliferate in this fast developing district. One of the most recent openings is the Sofitel Dubai Downtown, the third hotel in the Emirate for the French brand alongside its existing properties on The Palm and Jumeirah Beach. It is located on Sheikh Zayed Road, directly opposite the Burj Khalifa, alongside the Dubai Mall metro station and The Dubai Mall, to which it is connected via an air-conditioned glass bridge.

Above: Lasvit supplied six bespoke chandeliers, including a centrepiece in the lobby. Al Ain Marble supplied 8,000m2 of marble throughout the hotel

Wilson Associates’ design team was asked to create a completely novel design aesthetic that was timeless, contemporary and memorable. In response to the challenge set by Sofitel’s Design Director, Isabelle Maffre, the Wilson Associates designers conceived an ‘art hotel’ based on the Op Art movement created by HungarianFrench artist Victor Vasarely in the 1950s. Says James Carry, Senior Vice President and Principal at Wilson Associates: “The client and consultant team wanted to create an outstanding hotel with a distinctive personality and discover a haven of luxury and privacy. A place to relax, work, and celebrate as you like, when you like. The general concept was for a contemporary French design with the use of abstract geometric shapes and bold colours.” A material palette of bamboo timber, gypsum, marble and crystal white stone is accentuated with lime green pops of colour. Chandeliers add a sense of sophistication to the circulation areas and the geometric carpet designs bring a modern flair. Leather and acrylic panels, glass art and back-lit platforms create an energetic environment, with Carry describing the hotel as “a dynamic, tactile art house, where each space is infused with the unexpected.”

In the lobby, a bespoke chandelier by Lasvit features 1.4m pieces of crystal, suspended above marble floors inset with a circular Op Art motif. The hotel is home to three restaurants, three bars and a patisserie. Dining options include Thai fare at The Green Spices, French grill cuisine at The Red Grill steakhouse and all-day international dining from the open kitchens of Les Cuisines. In The Red Grill, the dark hardwoods and dim lighting typical of traditional steakhouses are contrasted with vivid pink cowhide seating. The Green Spices is organised around a circular, central island kitchen where guests can watch chefs creating the street food inspired dishes at close quarters. Les Cuisines is an airy space with vivid yellow and pink ceiling features, and brightly coloured furnishings contrasting with the white acrylic food service stations. The 31 Rooftop Bar is a dark, brooding lounge which maximises the exterior views. Cloud-shaped chandeliers and French poetry carved into the mirrored pillars add interest to the interiors. The views from here are of course stunning, but perhaps the real highlight is the Mosaic Pool, with its adjacent Above Bar, where guests can



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Above: Guestrooms are spacious by Dubai standards and offer stunning cityscape views, Over 19,000m2 of carpet were supplied by Ulster Carpets

swim in a 60m infinity pool or relax in a recliner, marvelling at the feat of engineering that is the Burj Khalifa. The hotel’s 350 guestrooms are unusually spacious by Dubai standards, and offer incredible views of the Burj Khalifa and coast, even from the large spa-like bathrooms where the shower and tub rest against a frosted glass window that overlooks the cityscape. Interiors showcase Op Art design and all rooms offer deluxe French amenities such as Lanvin and Hermes along with Sofitel’s signature MyBed all-feather bed with extra light down duvets. The SoSpa is similarly grounded in neutral tones yet accentuated with pops of colour. Based around fleur-de-lis motifs, guests enter through a giant iron gate woven with hundreds of lilies, whilst a custom glass chandelier has been designed to resemble the seed pods of a lily. Furniture is mostly white and modern, with colour introduced through the vibrant artwork and floral displays. Walls are comprised of dark stacked stone, with gentle backlighting softening the contemporary architecture. As guests are taken to their treatment

rooms, they walk down a corridor with white Venetian-plastered walls on one side, the other side a continuation of the natural stacked stone in the reception area. Free-standing acid green and pink glass sculptures add flair. The neutral palette flips in the Hammam where the main colours are charcoal and black. A white basin sits in the centre of the space, again representing the lily motif. The Hammam is complete with a giant mosaic mural that showcases graphic microphotography of lilies, incorporating green and pink hues drawn from the flower. Wilson Associates worked closely with local fitout contractor Alec Fitout and the client’s consultant teams to realise the concept design, and maintain the high quality of finish throughout the hotel. In total, the hotel features more than 10,000 separate items of furniture and lighting, manufactured, purchased and shipped from 35 different manufacturing houses in 15 countries, with other finishes specified from local suppliers. The end result is a design which blends French art de vivre with the dynamic energy of modern day Dubai.

EXPRESS CHECKOUT: 350 guestrooms | 3 restaurants | 3 bars | Spa, Outdoor Pool, Gym | 14 meeting rooms | Operator: Accor | Interior Design: Wilson Associates | Fitout Contractor: Alec Fitout For full photography of this project and details of the companies involved visit


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Hilton Istanbul Bomonti ISTANBUL

GA Design completes Istanbul’s largest hotel and conference centre, spearheading a revival of the former Bomonti Brewery site. Words: Catherine Martin | Photography: Courtesy of Hilton Hotels & Resorts


nce a wasteland of derelict warehouses and factories, the neighbourhood of Bomonti is seeing something of a resurgence. Located just 3km from Taksim Square, the area was, in its heyday, the industrial heart of Istanbul’s Sisli district, thriving with manufacturing. It was perhaps best known as home to the Bomonti Brewery, established in 1890 as the first distillery in Turkey to use modern production techniques. The factory produced its last brew in 1991 and was left vacant for a number of years before new transport links led to interest from investors and developers. The site was linked with a number of luxury brands before Hilton

staked its claim and signed a management agreement with Turkish group IC Holding. The resulting property, Hilton Istanbul Bomonti Hotel & Conference Center to give its full name, is one of great scale. As Istanbul’s largest hotel, it features 829 guestrooms, 85 of which are suites. Its 12,000m2 events and banqueting space is unrivalled anywhere in the city, able to accommodate in excess of 6,350 guests at any one time. And despite the design and quality challenges often associated with a project of such size, it’s fair to say that Hilton Bomonti exceeds expectations.


Above: The 12,000m2 events and banqueting space includes and Istanbul’s largest pillarless ballroom

The interior scheme was undertaken by GA Design, who worked closely with the client on every aspect of design and specification. The brief was to create a classic European feel, avoiding clichéd references to local culture. To strike a balance with the modern architecture by Turkish practice Mimarlar Han Tumertekin, the design team injected a cosmopolitan city vibe, which manifests itself in the form of a rooftop bar. Contemporary features also include a number of lighting installations by Preciosa. In the lobby, intertwining bands of cut crystal cascade from the ceiling and create a focal point for the vast space. And in places, the classic curves are replaced with Art Deco angles. “In the lobby, detailing is hard-edged,” explains Paul Woods, Managing Director of GA Design’s Budapest studio who took the lead on the project. “The columns for example, have a rectangular motif on them. Interestingly, this became a feature of the hotel, reflected on menu covers and used on uniforms.” It is such attention to detail, at the request of the client, that sets Hilton Bomonti apart. “The hotel is large scale, so small detailing makes the areas feel a bit more intimate,” continues Woods. But of course, the process wasn’t without its challenges. Carpet designs were reworked several times before final approval, FF&E selections changed throughout the course of the project, and the late appointment of a lighting consultant meant that adjustments had

to be made. “Overall, the final project well and truly exceeds the expectation of the brand in terms of luxury and comfort,” confirms Woods, adding that the client’s exacting requirements resulted in a higher quality product. His appreciation for Ralph Lauren style of interior is evident in the lobby for example, where signature pieces from the fashion brand’s home collection sit alongside its occasional tables and brass floor lamps. The lobby’s masculine colour palette of browns, greys, contrasting blacks and subtle blues, continues down a spiral staircase to the sprawling events space, designed to cater to the growing number of business travellers to the city. According to the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), Istanbul is rapidly emerging as a conference destination and in 2013, was ranked eight in the world for the number of meetings it hosted. This ranking could well be bolstered by the addition of Hilton’s facilities, which includes a total of 30 flexible meeting rooms, each with state-of-the-art technology such as digital check-in screens and iRoom applications for event planners. Multiple breakout spaces, an outdoor terrace furnished by Janus et Cie, and the largest pillarless ballroom in Istanbul complete the offer. The hotel also boasts the largest Eforea Spa in Europe. Spread across three levels, the 3,300m2 space offers immediate respite from the chaos of the city. A scheme of wood, marble and stone


Above: In Cloud 34, a lighing installation by Preciosa adds sparkle to the otherwise masculine décor. Upholstery here and throughout the hotel is supplied by a range of international names including Moore & Giles, Dedar, Romo and P/Kaufmann

is punctuated by highlights of calming turquoise throughout the lounge and poolside, while the obligatory hammam offers a spectrum of colour therapy. Facilities include a gym, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a hydrotherapy bath, 15 treatment rooms, and multiple saunas and steam rooms. Back in the lobby, the F&B offering begins with a residential style lounge featuring a large central fireplace. Adjacent, The Grand Bar is inspired by a classic club lounge. Wood paneling and atmospheric lighting provide the backdrop to a sitting area defined by club chairs and winged armchairs. Residing on the top floor, Cloud 34 is a contemporary bar and lounge serving up an international menu of cocktails and spirits alongside locally-inspired meze. Another of Preciosa’s creations – made up of hundreds of individual prism-shaped pendants – snakes across the ceiling adding sparkle to the otherwise masculine décor. The space is furnished with low-level seating and pouffes upholstered in deep brown, tan and red leather from which to take in the panoramic views of Istanbul and the Bosphorus.

Subtle references to the city’s position, perched on the axis between two continents, continue in the all-day dining restaurant. A place where east meets west, The Globe serves an array of local and international cuisine and features live cooking stations each with its own identity. As the hotel’s only restaurant, GA Design was tasked with creating a warm and inviting space while maximising the floorplan to accommodate as many diners as possible. As such, the team employed a number of techniques to break up the expanse, from the addition of private dining rooms suitable for small groups, to the positioning of intricate lattice partitions to create niches. That this is the hotel’s only eatery may come as a surprise for a property of such scale, but there’s good reason. IC Holding also owns the former Bomonti Brewery building, which is currently being transformed into a new shopping and entertainment destination. Expected to open later in 2015, it will provide additional dining options for Hilton’s guests while attracting other tourists to the developing area.

EXPRESS CHECKOUT: 829 guestrooms | 1 restaurant | 3 bars | Spa, fitness centre | 12,000m2 events space | Owner: IC Holding | Operator: Hilton Hotels & Resorts | Interior Design: GA Design For full photography of this project and details of the companies involved visit


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Regent Porto Montenegro TIVAT

Adriatic Marinas’ luxury lifestyle development on the Dalmatian coast – anchored by a new addition to the Regent Hotels portfolio – puts Montenegro firmly on the tourist map. Words: Catherine Martin | Photography: Courtesy of Regent Porto Montenegro


ince making its debut in 2009, Porto Montenegro has undoubtedly played a role in the nation that set its sights on becoming an elite tourist destination. Nestled on the palm-lined shores of Boka Bay, the €300m development – billed as the Mediterranean’s leading luxury yacht homeport and marina village – is home to a wealth of high-end boutiques, restaurants and waterfront cafés, as well as residential units and the recently opened Regent hotel. It’s location, on the Montenegrin Adriatic, was a popular tourist destination in the 1980s, but the break up of Yugoslavia and

subsequent wars deterred visitors and damaged the image of the country for a number of years. It wasn’t until the 2000s that the industry began to recover and has since experienced a high rate of growth. So much so that in 2011, the World Tourism and Travel Council named Montenegro as one of the fastest growing Travel & Tourism economies in the world for the decade ahead. A strategic development plan put together by the government has attracted significant investment, yet there are still only two internationally branded hotels in Montenegro, the first being the island resort of Aman Sveti Stefan. It is a surprising statistic given the


Above: The 51 guestrooms and 35 suites and residences make use of sumptuous fabrics while classical detailing is present throughout Opposite: Along the colonnade are the indoor/outdoor spaces of Gourmet Corner and The Dining Room

There are also 130 residences across five buildings, all sold out. Porto Montenegro’s residential component is as individual as that found in any traditional town, comprising townhouses, apartments, penthouses and duplexes in individually designed buildings. In fact, the entire village has an organic, natural quality, avoiding the uniformity of most modern development. Instead it replicates the style of a typical Montenegrin village, with waterfront promenades and winding streets. The masterplan and architecture is by ReardonSmith Architects, working closely with Adriatic Marinas as developer and Mace Group as project manager. The design team travelled extensively along the coast looking for inspiration to create something that was indigenous to the area. Elements of the Montenegrin vernacular combine with Mediterranean features resulting in a low-rise development that remains sympathetic to the Venetian and Ottoman styling of local architecture. Buildings are clad in locally quarried stone and topped with terracotta roof tiles, while outdoor features include balconies, gardens and terraces. At the centre of the development is Regent, its design inspired by grand palazzos of the Italian lakes as evidenced in the distinguished ochre façade and Italianate features. An arched colonnade that wraps around the hotel is typical to the region, while landscaped gardens,

country’s picture postcard good looks and accessible location, served by no less than three airports. At the southern tip of Dalmatia, Boka Bay’s 100km coastline dotted with sandy beaches and medieval towns easily rivals that of neighbouring Croatia. But it was the depth of the seabed that actually attracted Peter Munk, a Canadian businessman who made his fortune in gold mining. Having noted a rise in the number of superyachts – that’s vessels over 30m in length – Munk found there were very few marinas able to accommodate them. This isn’t a problem in Tivat, the deepest natural harbour in southern Europe. And so the vision of Porto Montenegro was born. The 24-hectare development – with an additional 65 hectares on the water – is built on the site of a former Yugoslav naval facility, previously catering to war ships. The marina opened with 85 berths in 2009 and has since grown to the current capacity of 400. In total, some 850 berths are planned by project completion. On land, the facilities are just as impressive. As well as specialist services that cater to captains and their crew, Porto Montenegro integrates 3,500m2 of retail space. But rather than the usual suspects in luxury shopping, there’s a dynamic mix of well-established names together with independent boutiques, al fresco cafés and stylish bars.



This Page: Regent’s design is inspired by grand palazzos of the Italian lakes

again by ReardonSmith, also play a key role. On the south-facing side, a tranquil Italian garden – a real labour of love – provides an events space with marina views. Ornamental shrubs, flowering foliage and candle-lit pools complement the outdoor terraces that accompany each of the F&B venues. Interiors take their inspiration from the tones and shades of the surrounding environment and are the work of Tino Zervudachi of Mlinaric, Henry and Zervudachi. The 51 guestrooms and 35 suites and residences make use of sumptuous fabrics while classical detailing is present throughout. Two four-bedroom penthouses, each with a plunge pool and wraparound terrace, top the sea-facing wings. Along the colonnade are the indoor/ outdoor spaces of the main lobby, Gourmet Corner and The Dining Room, all of which are decorated in a Mediterranean style. The Library Bar meanwhile is a different offering entirely. Its open fireplace and rich colour scheme make for a cosy ambiance best suited to the winter months. A subtle nautical theme infused throughout is demonstrated


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Above: The Library Bar’s open fireplace and rich colour scheme make for a cosy ambiance

by the twisted rope that circumnavigates porthole-like mirrors; the chandeliers that look as if made from rusting steel found in the shipyard; and the framed blueprints that were indeed salvaged from the former arsenal. A grand staircase connects the lobby to the first floor, which accommodates the main function space. Extending the length of the hotel between the two wings, the ballroom looks onto the marina beyond a 20m infinity pool. With limited facilities along the coast, the ballroom and spa – complete with indoor and outdoor swimming pools, experience shower, sauna, steam room and hammam – are key to Regent’s bid to become a year-round destination. It is also hoped that plans for an 18-hole golf course in the vicinity will come to fruition, extending the short summer season. And the plans don’t end there. The sold-out Ksenija Residences will open in summer 2015, while the plot directly adjacent to the hotel is next to be revitalised. In fact, only around a third of the site has so far been developed.

Despite its luxury credentials, Porto Montenegro has a lot more to offer than first meets the eye. What could be mistaken for a vanity project – a playground for the rich and famous – it is actually an urban development project that also serves the people of Tivat. Granted, some facilities will only appeal to the well-heeled yachter, but regular amenities such as a grocery store, bakery, pharmacy and dry-cleaner are aimed at the local community. Porto Montenegro is also home to an international school, a heritage museum, sports centre, and lido, and there are plans for a medical facility in the near future. Free ‘English for Tourism’ language courses are held twice a year, and since its conception, the development has acted as a catalyst for job creation. According to the Regent’s General Manager, two thirds of the hotel’s 150-strong work force are local. There are rumoured to be other luxury brands eyeing up sites on the nearby coastline, creating more jobs and further reinforcing the country’s position as an emerging high-end tourism destination. But none are as all-encompassing as Porto Montenegro.

EXPRESS CHECKOUT: 86 guestrooms | 2 restaurants | 2 bars | Spa | 2 events spaces | Developer: Adriatic Marinas | Operator: Regent Hotels & Resorts | Architecture: ReardonSmith Architects | Interior Design: Mlinaric, Henry and Zervudachi For full photography of this project and details of the companies involved visit



Miaja Design Group has combined French elegance with Singaporean modernity for the interiors of the latest Sofitel So, in a 1920s heritage building in the heart of the Lion City. Words: Matt Turner | Photography: © Jorg Sundermann


he first hotels from Accor’s Sofitel So brand have seen the French hotel group collaborate with some of the biggest names in haute couture. For Sofitel So Mauritius, Japanese designer Kenzo Takada acted as artistic director. In Bangkok, Christian Lacroix designed the ‘Tree of Life’ motif around which the hotel’s design schemes were created. And similarly for So Sofitel Singapore, the third hotel in this emerging sub-brand, Karl Lagerfeld created a ‘Lion’s Seal’ emblem in reference to the Singa Pura – or Lion City – after which Singapore was named following its foundation by Prince Sang Nila Utama in 1299. Lagerfeld may have designed the logo, but it was Miaja Design Group – another company with French origins – who were enlisted to handle the interior design of this converted 1920s heritage building on Robinson Road, originally home to Singapore’s Telecommunications Authority. It’s easy to see what attracted savvy real estate investors Royal Property Group to the building. Located near Raffles Place in the heart of Singapore’s Central Business District, Sofitel So is minutes away from some of the city’s best known landmarks and various

Above: Sofitel So Singapore is housed in a 1920s heritage building, formerly home to the Singapore Telecommunications Authority Opposite Page: (TOP LEFT AND BOTTOM) Guestrooms feature three-metre-high ceilings, inset with images of palatial glass cupolas (TOP RIGHT) The rooftop pool is lined in gold mosaic tile

public transport links, not to mention its proximity to Lau Pa Sat, a refurbished hawker centre originally built in the 19th century by British architect George Coleman. 134 guestrooms are divided between the newly-built ‘So Hip’ wing and the historical ‘So Heritage’ wing, linked by a narrow lightfilled atrium that also provides the backdrop to ‘L’Hexagone’ – a honeycombed light installation created by Lasvit, stretching from the ground floor to the roof. “Crystal beads lend a feeling of elegance and purity to this stunning artwork, designed as a ‘sparkling beehive’,” explains Isabelle Miaja. Commissioned objects throughout the hotel bear the Lagerfeld designed emblem: doorhandles in the So Heritage Wing, bookend art pieces and the embroidery of bespoke bathrobes in all bedrooms. A small library alongside the lobby bar is stocked with a collection of books curated by Lagerfeld, and front-of-house staff wear uniforms from his eponymous collection. The guestrooms are similarly dressed to impress, combining an

aura of 19th century French elegance with 21st century modernity. Three-metre-high ceilings are adorned by bespoke light boxes, inset with images of the palatial glass cupolas of traditional European architecture in the heritage rooms, and more recent Singaporean constructions such as Gardens by the Bay and Singapore Sports Hub in the modern rooms. The nine opulent ‘So Lofty’ suites are complemented by regal balconies flanked by antiquated columns, reminiscent of traditional Parisian apartments. Room number signs are in 18th century ‘figurine de Sevre’ porcelain. Orchids, the national flower of Singapore, appear on headboards, while walls are adorned with funky graffitied portraits of Napoleon. Xperience, the ground floor restaurant and lobby bar, is an eclectic space combining striped upholstery to its dining chairs with a polished steel light fixture across the ceiling, whilst exclusive rooftop bar, HI-SO, has the feel of a beach club amongst the skyscrapers with its 360-degree views of Singapore’s urban skyline, cabanas, and gold mosaic tiled swimming pool.

EXPRESS CHECKOUT: 134 guestrooms | 1 restaurant | 2 bars | Swimming pool, Gym | Owner / Developer: Royal Group | Operator: Accor | Architecture: DP Architects Pte Ltd | Interior Design: Miaja Design Group For full photography of this project and details of the companies involved visit



Ruby Sofie VIENNA

Hotelier Michael Patrick Struck transforms a dilapidated concert hall into the first of a new group of ‘lean luxury’ hotels. Words: Regina Winkle-Bryan | Photography: Courtesy of Ruby Hotels & Resorts


t the beginning of the 21st century, Vienna’s second district lost a legend. The Sofien Säle burned down ending over 150 years of history and leaving little more than a skeletal structure in the ash. Built as a bathhouse-turned-public-pool in the mid-1800s, Sofien Säle later became one of Vienna’s most prominent ballrooms; its excellent acoustics linked to the empty swimming pool beneath the dance floor. In the 1990s the venue was used for rock shows, and then became a popular stop on the city’s clubbing circuit. Hotelier, interior designer and founder of Ruby Hotels, Michael Patrick Struck, frequented the concert hall in his youth, and acquired

the property with the aim of opening a new hotel that incorporated the venue’s diverse past. Opened in May 2014, the hotel shares the renovated Sofien Säle building with a fitness club, restaurant, offices, and apartments, plus the remodelled dance hall. Unlike other design hotels in Vienna, Struck’s approach is ‘lean luxury’, which boils down to maximising the hotel’s 2,500m2. “Lean luxury, in a nutshell, is that we have small, well-equipped, and hopefully nicely designed rooms that we offer at a surprisingly low price point,” he explains. “We can do this because we economise on services and room set-up which are not required by our guests at


Above: Worn record players, curled horns, and smooth violins peek out from black bookshelves

a location like this.” There’s no gym or spa, no on-site parking, no restaurant, no conference rooms, and no formal reception area, for example. Instead, Struck aims to provide services that guests really need, as well as a few quirky extras such as free bike hire and guitars to use during their stay. Public spaces are multi-functional with the check-in desk also serving as the bar. The Café & Bar zone presented something of a challenge for Struck because of its narrow footprint and lack of natural daylight. What light does enter comes in through windows, which open not onto the street, but into Sofien Säle’s ballroom. As such, Struck opted to embrace the darkness and painted the café’s walls charcoal black, adding typography accents in white. Candles and lamps, including vintage pieces, spotlights and stage lighting are a nod to the building’s original purpose, as are the many antique instruments placed throughout. Half a piano hangs at hotel’s entranceway beneath several glittering, period-piece chandeliers. Worn record players, curled horns, and smooth violins peek out from black bookshelves. Struck also used vintage furnishings in common areas and rooms, primarily sourced from Austria, Germany, the UK, and the Netherlands, the majority from the early 1900s. Jewel-red fabric was used to re-upholster sofas and armchairs, the Ruby brand’s signature colour. Throughout the hotel, there’s a feeling of being a VIP guest

backstage at a gig, or hanging out in the wings in a theatre on Broadway. This is especially true in the crow’s nest mezzanine, a library and work-centre which extends above half of the café. Here again Struck began with a black canvas and added a mock fireplace with tall, flickering candles, a wooden table from the 1800s, stage lights shining in opposite directions, and lengthy theatre curtains which hang from the ceiling, traversing the mezzanine to land softly on the café’s floor far below. Struck’s use of inky shades and penchant for the dramatic continues upstairs in Ruby Sofie’s 77 guestrooms. Corridors and carpets are entirely in black and reflect the edgy clubbing era at Sofien Säle, but were also implemented to create a wow factor when guests open the door to their predominantly white room. The contrast of dark to light makes small rooms seem spacious. Guestrooms range between 15-30m2 and are the best example of Struck’s ‘lean luxury’ approach. Working with an architect, Struck drew up 44 different layouts in order to make the most of the meagre metres. Like the lobby, rooms contain multi-purposes fittings, such as a glossy shelf that supports the television but is also an extension of the bathroom countertop. Ruby’s bathrooms are especially innovative in that they are within the guestroom rather than separate spaces. The shower and toilet are both contained within glass boxes, and in some cases the shower can


This Page: Candles and lamps, including vintage pieces, spotlights and stage lighting are a nod to the building’s original purpose, as are the many antique instruments placed throughout

only be accessed through the toilet section via a swinging glass door. While the toilet is encased in opaque glass, the shower is surrounded in clear glass, which adds to a sensation of openness in a compact environment. A white curtain outside the shower can be closed to create privacy for modest bathers. Walls, drapes, night tables, headboards, and linens are all bone white. Even the oak floorboards are painted with a white varnish. Struck used real wood in the hope that natural wear will add character to rooms over time. “I wanted the materials in our rooms to be warm and to have a life of their own. All the materials used were chosen because they will eventually develop patina,” he explains. Touches of colour in otherwise bleached rooms come from cherrywood wall paneling, silver Bourgie lamps by Philippe Starck for Kartell, and vintage office chairs. A tenbulb dressing room mirror fit for a starlet is fastened over the bathroom sink, another wink at Sofien Säle’s history. Above the bed are photographs of musicians on stage, always shot from the vantage point of the performer. The idea is that, like the entertainer in the photo, at Ruby the guest is the celebrity. This is their show. For visitors who want to take the superstar notion a step further, Marshall amplifiers are included in all rooms and electric guitars are available in the café. Thus, the show goes on at Sofien Säle, but with a new set of minstrels and modified set.

EXPRESS CHECKOUT: 77 guestrooms | 1 café | 1 bar | Owner: Michael Patrick Struck | Operator: Ruby Hotels & Resorts | Interior Design: Michael Patrick Struck For full photography of this project and details of the companies involved visit


THE TRIPLE BURNT COLLECTION Burnt three times to produce a rich, charcoal finish with impressive depth unachievable using standard stains and finishes. Shown: Organic side tables Coffee tables and dining tables also available. New York | Chicago | Boston | London | Berlin

Lanserhof Tegernsee MARIENSTEIN

Triumphant at the European Hotel Design Awards, a new resort by Ingenhoven Architects combines hotel facilities with state-of-the-art medical care, catering to the growing number of health and wellness tourists. Words: Guy Dittrich | Photography: Š Egbert Krupp (unless otherwise stated)


anserhof Tegernsee is a place of calm. A health resort with beautiful proportions and generous scale secreted amongst the lakes and rolling hills of Bavaria. The medical wellness treatments offered – die Kur, or the cure – are based on the cleansing of the digestive system as proposed by Austrian naturopath Dr. F.X. Mayr. Such purification also extends to the hotel’s design. The deliberate use of a reduced colour palette and limited range of natural materials devoid of patterning, produce a contemplative atmosphere that complements this regenerative and preventative medicine. Dusseldorf-based Ingenhoven Architects were responsible – with the help of a host of contractors – for the architecture, interior design and landscaping at Lanserhof Tegernsee. A seamless continuity is self-evident. Planning regulations required the newbuild resort to be hidden, so a natural hollow was deepened with the removed soil used to create low surrounding mounds enhancing the deception: today’s ground floor would have previously been underground. Sliding panels of slatted larch cover the façade. Untreated, they will silver with age further integrating the building within its surroundings.

Ingenhoven Architects refurbished the first Lanserhof centre in Lans near Innsbruck some ten years ago, before being approached by the manager of the owning consortium, Christian Harisch. Harisch has other hotel interests in Austria, as well as the golf course and associated hotel that lie above the crystal-clear waters of Tegernsee. Three holes of the golf course were appropriated for the new property. Ranging from railway stations to high-rise towers, the work of Ingenhoven Architects is elegant, refined and veers towards the reduced. Monastic principles therefore come easily and were the basis of the hotel’s main structure. “It is a basic and silent, concentrated type of architecture,” describes Principal Christoph Ingenhoven. The inner cloister garden well reflects the inward looking focus on the renewal of body and mind. The garden’s 40-year-old sculpted solitaire pines preside over waves of dark yew that give depth and a sense of the local landscape from the surrounding patios. A black brick path sweeps through, Zen-like, linking the social areas of the entrance lobby, lounge and restaurant to the two wings of the 7,000m2 medical wellness area.



© Hiepler & Brunier

Above: Furniture and lighting from Flexform, Kettal, Manutti, Vitra, Artemide and Flos can be seen throughout Lanserhof Tegernsee. More vital are the few but carefully selected materials used

Above are two floors of guestrooms. Adjacent and reached via an underground walkway is the Badehaus, or Bathing House, home to the sauna, pool and fitness areas. “The biggest luxury for me is space,” explains the affable Ingenhoven. And with a gross floor area of 21,000m2 there is plenty of space for all guests at the 70-room hotel. Indeed even the smallest rooms are at least 50m2. There is a sound reason for this that reflects Ingenhoven’s significant personal experience of the process of die Kur. For effective treatment, the minimum length of stay is seven days and guests spend most of that time in something of a fast. The cleansing process and lack of food means guests may not be at their sparkling best and will likely spend a lot of time in their room. Privacy is a must. Furthermore, without leaving too much to the imagination, so too is a good toilet. And Lanserhof has the most advanced toilets around. Made by Toto, the Neorest Washlet senses when approached and lifts the lid automatically. The toilet seat is heated and the whole process is hands-free with integrated bidet and drying functionality.

The contemplative aura of Lanserhof Tegernsee is enhanced by the simplicity of the interiors that are nevertheless luxurious. For the architectural purists there are precision shadow gaps of which Pawson would be proud. For the design junkie there are furniture design classics from Eames, Saarinen, Le Corbusier and Starck in tasteful abundance. More vital are the few but carefully selected materials used. The larch of the façade, the wide pale oak floorboards, white plaster and concrete are complemented by the soft greys of corridor carpets, loose rugs and Alcantara upholstered wall panels. “We wanted the materials to be what they are, keeping their expected colours for instance,” describes Ingehoven. The only discernable pattern is created by the vertical run of lamella-like larch timber that begins outside the entrance and continues within where it incorporates a bookcase and tea station. This backbone to the interiors appears to be uniform, but in fact no adjacent pieces of wood are either the same width or depth. “The spa is serious and doctor-driven, so we tried to bring in a few luxurious details,” continues Ingenhoven, referencing the clinical and


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Above: The spa is clinical and meticulously white, with the only colour being a highly pixelated image of honeyed light refracted through drops of water on an autumn leaf

meticulously white corridors off which hang the 36 treatment and consultation rooms of the 7,000m2 wellness area. The floor-to-ceiling windows to the courtyard or countryside are lined with gold curtains and the glass wall and door to the corridor are coloured with a highly pixelated image of honeyed light, refracted through drops of water on an autumn leaf. Together they bring a great sense of warmth to the health and beauty therapy experiences. The focus of the spa reception area – furnished with Apple Macs and Vitra furniture – is a long, curved petrol-blue sofa where guests meet treatment staff. Representative of a typical Bavarian summer sky, the sofa has great views of the landscape, from the terrace to the Badehaus and its outdoor saltwater pool. Heated year-round the brushed metal appearance of the pool comes from its perlgestrahlt or bead-blasted steel. The pool is overlooked by a sauna and steam

room complex that focuses on a fireplace lounge, and a tiered resting room of Kettal loungers appropriately called the Silentium. “We had nothing to follow. Everything had to be invented from scratch,” states Ingenhoven of the challenge of time and budget in this one-off project. An intense two-year period has delivered an architecture that is bold and elegant and combines beautifully with the interiors and the landscaping. This is a total project that through its serenity and order, fully supports the raison d’être of guests’ visits. Cementing its credentials, Lanserhof Tegernsee was the landslide winner of the architecture award for Adaptive Newbuild at the European Hotel Design Awards in 2014, plus winner in the Spa & Wellness category, and deserving winner of the prestigious Hotel of the Year. Three awards and three cheers for a property that dares to do something different in a niche sector.

EXPRESS CHECKOUT: 70 guestrooms | 1 restaurant | Spa | Owner / Operator: Lanserhof Marienstein GmbH & Co KG | Architecture: Ingenhoven Architects For full photography of this project and details of the companies involved visit


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With aspirations of following in the footsteps of Radisson Blu, Radisson Red introduces ‘a new attitude to hotels.’ Words: Alexandra Murdey


ith the millennial consumer demographic set to represent over 35% of the world’s travelling population by 2020, hotel groups are increasingly competing to attract the next generation of traveller. Carlson Rezidor, one of the world’s largest and most dynamic hotel groups, has launched a new brand specifically designed to cater for the demographic, but what exactly is Radisson Red and when will it make its debut? Radisson Red is an upscale lifestyle brand with a strong focus on design and detail, creating an engaging and meaningful guest experience that leverages the technologies of tomorrow to anticipate and serve individual needs and preferences. The key elements to remember are that its heart lies with the millennials, but its reach is

far wider than a single generation. Its style is artistic, energetic, nontraditional and proactive; a move away from the traditional model. Speaking at the Asia launch in Hong Kong in October, Thorsten Kirschke, President of Carlson Rezidor, Asia Pacific, explains why they decided to launch the new brand: “It was a decision that was close to 10 years in the making,” he explains. “We see an ever-growing impact of the changing consumer demographic, impacting the way hotels are being used, and we knew we had this up our sleeves…really the driving force is the changing consumerism in the hotel sector that has been behind it.” Gordon McKinnon, Chief Branding Officer for Carlson Rezidor, adds: “We’ve seen for a long time that the traditional model just wasn’t sustainable from an investment point of view and it wasn’t


what people were looking for either.” Kirschke continues: “The pyramid of demographic segments is literally being turned upside down, and that has massive impact on the way in which hotels are relevant to those new consumers that will soon make up 35% of all travelling population. Those are really significant game changers, and if you add to that the more design-savvy, technology-savvy and demanding consumer, you can’t get to those future customers with a product of the past.” Radisson Red is both a newbuild and conversion product, set to appear in metro cities, resort destinations, and as part of mixeduse projects in both urban and suburban locations. The first signed property is Radisson Red Shenyang Hunnan in Northeast China, 300key newbuild that forms part of a twin hotel development. There are also plans to convert properties in the United States and Europe, which could be among the first to open. Kirschke says: “There will be a period of 6-12 months starting Q4 2015 where we will probably be able to get the first 10 or 12 properties to the market in quick succession. And that’s just the beginning; Carlson Rezidor hopes to have 60 properties operating globally by 2020. Building on the success of Radisson Blu, Radisson Red sees the emergence of well-designed upscale hotels that come with an affordable price tag. There is a focus on art and technology for the connected consumers, with open ‘Hi All Gallery’ on arrival and keyless mobile check-in. McKinnon explains: “We are not for a minute saying we are reinventing the wheel, but a lot of the cornerstones that you would normally expect in a room have gone. So the desk and office chair have gone, replaced by table and chairs and a comfortable sofa. There’s different technology in terms of accessibility as well, so it’s all about bringing your own device and accessing your own content.” In the renderings revealed by the brand, a giant, sleek white honeycomb in the public areas takes centre stage, acting as a focal point to gather, sit, socialise and take in the art. The art theme continues upstairs in the ‘Studios’, allowing sufficient space to sleep, relax, play work and eat, while the exterior façade is a gallery in itself, with graphic, striking, modern architecture. Although each property has been intentionally designed to be consistent in its approach, there are elements that inject a local flavour, giving the impression that each hotel is unique. In the guestrooms for example, walls double as a canvas, with digital art allowing guests to select their own wallcoverings. Facilities that will feature in every hotel include the ‘Ouibar’ and ‘Redeli’, designed for simple food that can be eaten on the go, ‘Redface’ gym, ‘Meet Event Studios’ and ‘Big Connect’. Optional features include a pool, quiet zone and ‘Van Rouge’, a mobile deli service. Guestrooms will be 29m2 minimum with at least 100 rooms per hotel. The birth of Radisson Red will be interesting, seeing how its nonconformative approach appeals to the market beyond the milliennials. And its commercial viability certainly sounds attractive. Kirschke concludes: “It is an upscale product by design and quality but it comes at a much lower construction cost driving higher operating margins with a guest experience that is in no way inferior to the traditional full service model.”







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Accor backs edgy new brand Mama Shelter Accor has bought a 35% stake in edgy French hotel brand Mama Shelter, in a bid to grow its brand portfolio. The investment will allow Mama Shelter to increase its pace of growth. It also promises to give the new brand access to the Accor group’s distribution system, just as it starts to expand internationally. Mama Shelter was established less than six years ago in France. Today the brand has properties open in Paris, Marseilles, Lyon, Istanbul and Bordeaux, a portfolio totalling 633 rooms. The concept was created by the Trigano family, who helped build the Club Med concept, with support from Michel Reybier and design collaboration from Philippe Starck. The company combines accommodation with a strong food and beverage offering, which delivers 65% of revenues. Interiors at Mama Shelter are busy and colourful, drawing on the existing interior of the converted buildings used. In Marseilles, the reception was once a butcher’s shop. The bedrooms are small yet funky. While the accommodation offering is at an economy price - from EUR79 a night in Paris reviewers note that the extras, such as the restaurant offerings, are less keenly priced. Without Accor’s help, the brand was already heading international, with a first overseas opening scheduled for Los Angeles next February. The team is already

eyeing up Lille, a second Paris property, with Zurich, Mexico, Seoul, Amsterdam, Barcelona, New York and London on the expansion list. “This agreement is the outcome of a beautiful encounter and a shared desire to learn from our respective talents,” said Accor CEO Sebastien Bazin. “I am very happy to be embarking on this new adventure. Thanks to this partnership, Accor is enriched by the original knowhow that has made Mama Shelter such a splendid success.” In a press interview, Bazin has revealed he has stayed at the hotels as a guest over the last few years, adding: “I was absolutely convinced the brand has some initiative about it.” Bazin also noted that “the population going to Mama Shelter is coming from many different origins both in terms of culture and wealth because it’s affordable and it’s fun.” He also added that most appeared to be younger than 45. The deal will give Mama Shelter the support of Accor’s development and distribution network, with the likelihood that openings will accelerate. But Bazin has said the decision to only take a one third interest is based on preventing Mama Shelter’s innovative ideas from being watered down. “The minute we’re integrating too much into their system, we may defeat those fresh eyes that they have, which is part of their success.” “We are pleased and proud to welcome Accor alongside us,” said Mama Shelter general manager Jeremie Trigano. “Their presence will allow Mama to benefit from a

major international platform and to share our philosophy with an even greater tribe.” HA Perspective (by Chris Bown): While several of the US based hotel groups have been busy launching a plethora of new brands, Accor has been quiet until now. It has, however, spent considerable resources in the last couple of years tidying up and rebranding its economy offerings into a tripartite Ibis family. The move to buy into Mama Shelter looks to have been inspired by Bazin’s own mystery shopping. Buying something that is working is a sensible way to add new brands to the portfolio, without the hassle and expense of developing and focustesting new concepts. While growing the chain, the challenge will be keeping the corporate hands off, so that Mama Shelter keeps its edgy feel: as others have noted in the hostel space, the target audience is almost anti-brand and if forced to book through an Accor branded site, will probably be off elsewhere before too long. Developed with wilful design, and no corporate hotel executive in sight, Mama Shelter seems to be delivering what Millennials want, without mentioning the word. Small, basic but comfortable bedrooms are balanced with edgy, exciting bars and restaurants downstairs. Squint at a picture of the ground floor areas at Marriott’s new Moxy, and there are similarities. Where things are different is in the confident food and beverage offer, which provides the majority of the revenue. As several reviewers


comment, it is easy to match the cost of the room with a bill run up eating and drinking. But the basic accommodation cost is kept low, so that guests have more to spend on enjoying themselves. In the experiential age, isn’t that what the target audience want? The question remains as to how well Mama Shelter’s preoccupation with a great food and beverage offering will travel. France has proudly protected its culture of fine dining, resisting the onslaught of fast food outlets across the country. But if Mama Shelter has discovered the secret formula of making its bar and restaurant hip places to hang out, whatever the location, then it could be on to a winner.

Snoozebox secures new finance Snoozebox has announced a new lease finance package for up to GBP15.6M with SQN Asset Finance Income Fund. The company said it expects to draw down around GBP10m of the facility in the next quarter, using the funds to increase its level of investment in new hotel room stock and accelerate its growth plans. Chairman David Morrison said: “Whilst the benefit of the facility will have more of an impact in 2016 than 2015 the additional financial muscle of the company will have a notable effect on our ability to capitalise on the strong demand we continue to see.” Neil Roberts, investment

manager, SQN Asset Finance Income Fund Limited, said: “Modular accommodation is an area which we are familiar with and our evaluation concluded that Snoozebox represents an attractive lending proposition, linked to a significant market opportunity.” The company has also bolstered its senior management team, appointing Kate Ferguson as CFO, joining from the Carbon Neutral Company and James Latham as head of hotels. Latham joins Snoozebox after over 17 years at Whitbread where he held a variety of operational and business development roles, developing and rolling out Whitbread brands. The announcements were made as the group reported that it had narrowed its first-half loss, reporting a loss of GBP2.3m, against GBP5.1m in the same period last year. The company said it had achieved consistently high occupancy levels, with room rates ranging from GBP160 to GBP330 per night. Lorcán Ó Murchú, CEO, said: “I believe the progress made in the underlying operating model in the first half of the year, combined with the launch of the Next Generation Portable Hotel in the second half provides a platform on which to transform the performance of the business in 2015 and to scale the business in 2016.” Shortly prior to the results and funding announcements, Snoozebox confirmed that it had signed a preliminary agreement to provide portable hotels at the 2018 World Cup in Saransk, Russia, allowing

it to undertake a feasibility study and further negotiations. According to a report in the Moscow Times, Snoozebox will provide a temporary complex called Snoozebox Football Village, with a series of modified shipping containers providing 2,000 rooms on the shore of the Lukhovka reservoir. It is also in active discussions for events including 2016 Rio Olympic Games and 2022 World Cup in Qatar. In December the company announced the results of a strategic review in which it said that, in the UK alone, there were over 10,000 events each year, worth over GBP11bn in sleeping accommodation. At the time it said that, in order to maintain leadership of this market, it would require investment “on a scale that warrants future funding”, something it has now achieved. In the near term the company plans to grow the business in the UK and European markets, but is also looking to South America and the Middle East. In addition to events, it is seeing interest from a range of sectors including construction, energy, healthcare and local authorities. As previously reported in Hotel Analyst, 2013 was a tumultuous year for the company, in which it reported a full-year pre-tax loss of GBP4.4m, with founder and CEO Robert Breare stepping down on the day of the announcement. The results themselves were delayed by auditor BDO, which is thought to have raised concerns over the way some revenues were to be reported. The group said that

the shortfall was “related to the requirements for recognition of income under IFRS”. CFO Chris Upton also resigned, to be replaced by Lorcán Ó Murchú, who moved into the CEO position in February 2014. In the first half of the year the group took the decision to limit the number of events it attended in order to overhaul the operating model and refine service delivery. The group is not only looking at one-off events, but said that its strategy of long-term deployment for the current generation of Snoozebox hotel rooms meant that it was confident that the existing hotel room stock would be placed on a “semi-permanent” basis by the end of 2014. The group said that the new hotel rooms were more flexible and efficient than the original stock, which would reduce deployment costs substantially and increase the size, scope and viability of the company’s events market. Planning permission for a 60-bedroom Snoozebox hotel at the Eden Project, in Cornwall, has been secured. The hotel will be deployed for an initial period of two years and opened in October 2014. In its May 2012 IPO, the group raised GBP12m, which, together with a further placing in the following November that raised GBP8.4m, enabled the group to manufacture a total of 578 rooms. The group offers two different models for those looking to add accommodation at their events; one with a fixed price per room which includes everything from delivery and operation, which sees


the user fix the rate and receive all the revenue; and the other where the brand takes space at an event and then returns a guaranteed percentage of the room revenue (with potential for extra from food and beverage). HA Perspective (by Chris Bown): Snoozebox was an idea that promised much, but to-date appears to have been dogged by a series of one step forward, two steps back moves. Renting out equipment shouldn’t be that complicated, and whether that’s temporary lighting, portable toilets or hotel rooms in boxes, logic suggests there ought to be some common issues - and plenty to copy. High utilisation, minimum downtime, and shipping and setup costs that are factored into overheads appear to be the key issues for rental. So Snoozebox’s focus on some longer term contracts appears sensible; but the idea of shipping 2,000 portable rooms to Saransk looks harder to make a business case for. Closer to home, research suggests that the festivals market will continue to grow, while the music industry has rediscovered live events as a way to recoup revenues lost by the demise of album sales. With ageing hippies now looking for a more comfortable way to enjoy such events, Snoozebox could do worse than teaming up with one of the big boutique brands, to help access more guests with up to GBP330 per night spending power, who prefer Egyptian cotton to a sleeping bag.

KSL hopes the grass is green for Village KSL Capital Partners is reported to have acquired the Village hotel chain from the De Vere Group, for around GBP480m. The news came as KSL reaffirmed its commitment to its Hotel du Vin brand with the purchase of the Cannizaro House hotel in London for the conversion to the flag, with rumours persisting that it is also planning to buy the Great Scotland Yard site for Malmaison. The deal with De Vere brings to an end a protracted sales process, which has seen a number of potential buyers step into the ring. KSL is thought to have outbid investors including Starwood Capital, KKR and Blackstone Group, beating the GBP450m the chain had been expected to sell for. For De Vere, the deal is the latest move in what has been a significant cut in size since its peak, as it works to reduce its GBP1.1bn debt with Lloyds. The bank has controlled the group following a GBP650m debt for equity swap in 2010. Earlier in 2014 saw the GBP232m sale of its Venues business to Starwood Capital, and, with reports suggesting that the sale of six De Vere golf resorts, including Cameron House, to Bain Capital’s Sankaty Advisors for a rumoured GBP160m is due to be finalised, the sale of the 25-strong Village Urban Resorts brand means that the breakup is complete. KSL itself has already been involved with the company, buying

the Belfry, which is currently managed by De Vere. KSL is also thought to have bid on the group of six golf hotels, which it is likely to have folded into its international golf resort portfolio. The future for Village is unclear, although, with a series of refurbishments in 2012 as it was prettied up for sale, a major capital spend is unlikely to be the first point of business. KSL made its presence felt in the UK last year with the GBP200m purchase of Malmaison and Hotel du Vin from MWB Group. The company said at the time that it would provide significant funds to help with refurbishments, and help support further expansion internationally. News from the brands has since been limited as the new owners took the helm, but recent months have seen Village CEO Gary Davis telling observers that the company was looking at adding two sites for each brand, with due diligence under way on five sites, including one in London. Speculation suggests that one property is the site of the former headquarters of Scotland Yard, which is currently being converted into a luxury hotel by Galliard. Reports have suggested that KSL was to pay around GBP200m for the site, which is expected to be completed in 2016. As previously reported in Hotel Analyst, Galliard is thought to have held talks with representatives of sovereign wealth funds and ultra high-net-worth private investors from the Gulf states, including Qatar and Kuwait, but with KSL leading the running. While the sale process at Scotland

Yard continues, KSL has acquired the Cannizaro House hotel in London for a figure believed to be around GBP20m. The site will be the 16th for the Hotel du Vin brand and the first for the flag in London. It will reopen as part of Hotel du Vin in 2015, following a GBP1m refurbishment. The deal comes 20 years after the opening of the brand’s the first site in Winchester. Gary Davis, CEO of Hotel du Vin, said: “We are delighted to continue to grow our portfolio of hotels with the opening of our first hotel in the prestigious location of Wimbledon, London. Set within beautiful grounds the hotel is well connected to central London making it a great place for a leisure break, a business meeting or a wedding. We will invest a further GBP1m into the hotel over the coming months to bring our own style of chic accommodation and destination dining here and we look forward to becoming a vital and integral part of the local community.” Cannizaro House, which dates back to 1819, has played host to Lord Tennyson, Oscar Wilde and the last Maharajah of the Punjab. KSL must hope that its auspicious past will herald in a more vibrant future for a brand which has so far failed to meet its early promise. HA Perspective (by Chris Bown): The Village chain was a worthwhile prize. Its hotels are in good condition, trading well, and come with the benefit of a modest development pipeline too. Health clubs and Starbucks cafés help bring in a constant stream of


visitors; while the recent marketing of the brand has effectively already distanced it from the De Vere name. One thing that is missing, however, is any immediate synergies, in terms of customer offer, with Malmaison or Hotel du Vin. The addition will nevertheless give KSL’s UK management platform more to handle; expect websites to start cross selling, in just the same way as Starwood Capital has done with its Principal Hayley, De Vere Venues and Four Pillars sites. In common with the other brands, Village also lacks London presence, something the KSL management team will now undoubtedly be considering alongside their search for sites in the capital for Hotel du Vin and Malmaison. HA Perspective (by Andrew Sangster): The sale of Village Urban Resorts marks the end of another extraordinary piece of heavy lifting by De Vere CEO Andrew Coppel. Having spent 10 years at the basket case that was Queens Moat Houses, most would have walked away from De Vere. But Coppel has squared up to the job and this time delivered the sell-off in four years. The differences between De Vere and QMH are instructive as to the type of recession we have had this time around. While QMH’s problems had been initiated by the discovery of dodgy accounting, the net effect had been the same as at De Vere: over-leveraging. But the banks this time appear to have given Coppel more latitude and he has delivered to them what looks to be a better result.

In both cases, Coppel took over from hubristic management and faced what many thought was an impossible task in trying to turn around the businesses. A tough operating discipline has, in both cases, seen the businesses survive, albeit after significant write-offs (about £1bn in the case of QMH and a £650m debt for equity swap at De Vere). Only those privy to the accounts know the full extent of the pain but without Andrew ‘Lazarus’ Coppel both businesses might well have been forced into a much more painful receivership process. Coppel’s only problem now is that given the recovery there looks to be no obvious candidate for his healing magic. Or is there...

Hearn takes over at troubled Hotel Collection Grant Hearn, former Travelodge CEO, has taken over from Hotel Collection CEO Fredrik Korallus, two months after joining the group as chairman. Concurrently with his ascendancy, the group announced the sale of two hotels from the 21 strong chain, with properties in Basingstoke and Buxton placed on the market with Christie + Co. This has been swiftly followed by Savills being instructed on a third disposal, in Cheltenham,

while there are rumours the group’s Bath property is also about to be marketed. The company underwent a restructuring earlier this year and is now looking towards investment in its estate and what Hearn described as “big plans”. In announcing the expanded role for Hearn, the company said that it had now boasted “remarkable growth in revenue, profit and market share”. Korallus, who had been at the group for two years, said: “The Hotel Collection is a formidable group with a bright future. My exit from the business is entirely amicable and I wish the team much success.” Hearn, added: “We have big plans for The Hotel Collection moving forward and we look forward to building on the fantastic foundations that Fredrik has laid.” Korallus has spent the last two years guiding the group, formerly Puma Hotels, through an administration and financial restructuring. The company has been through a busy year, beginning in March when it saw itself become part of US investor Lone Star Fund’s aspirations in the regional UK hotel market with the acquisition of the majority of the Project Rock and Project Salt debt portfolios. The deal included the thenPuma Hotels debt, which stood at GBP325m, secured against the portfolio which, in mid-2014, was valued at GBP185.7m, suggesting a

loan to value ratio of around 175%. The company saw its fortunes turn when Spanish operator Barcelo, which had signed long term leases to run the hotels from 2007, decided to terminate its agreements in 2012, paying a GBP20.25m penalty to quit. The aggressively structured leases, whose rent had underpinned the valuations of the Puma properties, proved unworkable, leaving Puma to appoint local manager Chardon. Under Lone Star, the group dropped its name in favour of The Hotel Collection. August saw Lone Star turn ownership of the debt into ownership of the chain, as a pre-pack administration affecting parent company UK Group of Hotels plc was enacted. September saw the appointment of Hearn, as well as operations director Peter Manby, previously revenue director at Travelodge; Andrea McKay as marketing director, formerly at Hilton; and new human resources director Helen Smith, who joined from Menzies Hotels. One month later saw the addition of Richard Kiersey as technical services director, with responsibility for The Hotel Collection’s property development, refurbishment and maintenance programmes. The appointment marked the next phase in the move forwards for the company, with Kiersey’s CV including property director at Guoman Hotels, where he managed

a GBP150m refurbishment programme for 17 hotels. Kiersey commented that he was “very excited about the challenge of developing this great portfolio of unique assets”. The job is expected to be a challenge indeed, with the hotels a disparate group of lightlybranded sites, including some historic sites, such as Shrigley Hall in Cheshire and the Lygon Arms. HA Perspective (by Chris Bown): The rate of change at THC is accelerating following the sale of its debt and Lone Star’s intervention. What looked the epitome of a “zombie company” is now very much alive. With four of the group’s 21 hotels up for sale – presumably after a strategic review of their situations – it would appear the new management team is taking steps to steady the ship. All of the hotels are being sold free of any wish from the group to continue running them, suggesting Hearn and his team has decided on the new direction for THC. But what colour to paint the prow?

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


Event Diary & News 14-15 JAN

Hotel Investment Forum India Delhi

23-27 JAN

Maison & Objet Paris

12 MAR

Asia Hotel Design Awards Singapore

14-17 JAN

Heimtextil Frankfurt

2-4 MAR

International Hotel Investment Forum Berlin

13-16 MAR

IFFS Singapore

17-20 JAN

Domotex Hannover

10-14 MAR

ISH Frankfurt

13-16 MAR

Hospitality 360 Singapore

19-25 JAN

IMM Cologne

10-13 MAR

Maison & Objet Asia Singapore

18-19 MAR

HICAP Update Singapore


14-17 JAN

Theme Park

Gateway to Asia


IFFS 13-16 MAR

Heimtextil will put the spotlight on hospitality at a new feature planned for its forthcoming event. Theme Park brings a new inspirational forum to Hall 4.0, creating a space for the staging of designoriented themes relevant to the sector. Here, flagship projects from the hotel industry and the world of architecture will be presented. In addition, Heimtextil is inviting decision-makers on a tour of the trade fair to gain an overview of furnishing trends in the hotel and contract business. The tour will be led by Corinna Kretschmar-Joehnk, Managing Director of Hamburg-based architectural practice JOI Design, and Henning Weiss, Chief Development Officer of 25hours Hotels. Elsewhere, Heimtextil will be presenting textile

27-30 MAR

furnishing concepts for the contract sector. “Many of the more than 2,700 international exhibitors have product ranges available specifically for the contract business,” explains Olaf Schmidt, Vice President, Textiles & Textile Technologies at Messe Frankfurt. “This means that Heimtextil is now well established as a crucial global forum for the hotel and architecture sectors.” Furthermore, Heimtextil offers a comprehensive events programme for those with a particular interest in contract business. It also produces a Contract Guide featuring information on market developments and listings of exhibitors offering products solutions for contract furnishings.


Design Shanghai is set to double in size following its 2014 debut, said to be the most successful design trade event launched in China to-date. This year, the Shanghai Exhibition Centre will feature more than 300 exhibitors, as well as a host of special features. Top international brands on show include Swarovski, Moroso, Vitra, Magis, André Fu, Foscarini, Hay, Jaime Hayon in association with Fritz Hansen, Bo Concept, and many more. Mike Dynan, co-founder of Media 10 and Event Director of Design Shanghai, comments: “The show will act as a platform to showcase the world’s most successful design brands to this incredible marketplace, while also promoting Chinese designers, makers and creative talents in what we aspire to become a world leading design event, opening the world’s eyes to see the possibilities and potentials of the design industry in China.”


With just a few months to go, preparations for the International Furniture Fair Singapore 2015/32nd ASEAN Furniture Show, The Décor Show, and Hospitality 360° are well under way. Returning to Singapore Expo from 13-16 March 2015, the trilogy of design-led events will feature a comprehensive range of furniture presented by a diverse portfolio of quality exhibitors. “The show’s primar y objective has been to facilitate conversations and create business opportunities between manufacturers and designers, distributors, retailers, and hoteliers,” comments Ernie Koh, Chairman of IFFS. “Each year, the team endeavours to make the event even better and more relevant for all attendees. And for 2015, buyers can look forward to a wider off ering with the addition of exhibitors from two new countries, while those seeking inspiration can keep their eyes peeled for our new SingaPlural Design Hall.” This year, organisers have noticed a significant increase in the number of exhibitors from Europe, reporting a 20% jump from 2014. Visitors can look forward to viewing collections from Manutti, Ligne Roset and Umbrosa to name but a few. As Asia’s leading sourcing platform, IFFS promises to be a truly international event that features the best of furniture and furnishing products from prominent manufacturers across the globe.

-SCARFES BAR at ROSEWOOD LONDONDesigned by Martin Brudnizki Design Studio

© James McDonald




The Winners In a glittering ceremony attracting the crème de la crème of the industry, the European Hotel Design Awards 2014 revealed its winners.


aking place in November 2014, the European Hotel Design Awards celebrated exceptional hotel design and architecture with over 800 guests from across the continent including renowned interior designers, architects, hotel owners and operators, as well as high profile industry insiders. Held at Park Plaza Westminster Bridge, London, the evening was hosted by BBC arts presenter Katie Derham and Sleeper’s Editorat-Large Guy Dittrich, and continued the precedent set in 2013 of offering a theme to the black-tie event. Stepping back to the 1950s and 1960s, the ceremony adopted characteristics from popular TV series Mad Men, with accents cropping up throughout the dinner, ceremony and drinks reception as well as in the accompanying soundtrack curated by Music Concierge. Commemorating her first year as Chair of the judging panel, Celia Geyer, Senior Director of Architecture & Design – Europe, Hilton Worldwide, took to the stage to celebrate the incredible standard of nominees in the diverse shortlist. The coveted Outstanding Contribution Award was presented posthumously to Ace Hotel Group co-founder Alex Calderwood, acknowledging his pioneering influence on the hotel industry. Accepting on behalf of Calderwood, Brad Wilson, President of Ace Hotel Group, stated that Calderwood “underestimated his own brilliance”. The recently opened Ace Hotel London Shoreditch also picked up an award for its architectural renovation.

The big winner of the evening was Lanserhof Tegernsee, designed by Ingerhoven Architects, who scooped three awards including Architecture of the Year for Newbuild, Interior Design of the Year for Spa & Wellness, and the highest accolade; European Hotel Design of the Year Award 2014. Commenting on this year’s ceremony, Matt Turner, Editor-in-Chief of Sleeper, said: “Once again, the European Hotel Design Awards have recognised the incredible diversity of talent and the ingenuity of the hospitality sector today. Our overall winner, Lanserhof Tegernsee beat off intense competition from runners up such as The London Edition, Aman Canal Grande and the Chedi Andermatt. The panel agreed that the design had created a new paradigm in hospitality, combining hotel, wellness resort and healthcare facility. On a personal note, it was particularly gratifying to see Ace Hotel London triumph and that we were able to honour the memory of its creator, Alex Calderwood. This is another genuinely innovative project that has moved the industry forward, reinvented the hospitality experience and contributed to its local community.” Sleeper would like to thank the the following for their support of the European Hotel Design Awards: Alger-Triton, Arup Foresight, Beck, Grohe, Latitude, Laufen, Keramag Design, McAleer & Rushe Group, Music Concierge, Preciosa, Sleep, Top Hotel Projects.



Clockwise from above: Lanserhof Tegernsee Marienstein, Ace Hotel London Shoreditch and Fontevraud L’Hôtel






By Gabor Mester de Parajd

By Ingenhoven Architects

By EPR Architects

At the heart of an historic abbey complex, Fontevraud L’Hôtel is the result of an adaptive re-use project spanning two decades. Overseen by Gabor Mester de Parajd, it involved the transformation of the former Saint Lazare Priory into a hotel for the 21st century, complete with 54 guestrooms and a gourmet restaurant. As with every listed monument, all of the contemporary requirements, functional, prescribed and technical, especially the accessibility of all rooms, have been carried out. The interior design was undertaken by Parisian design agency Jouin Manku, working closely with Mester de Parajd.

Opened in January 2014, Lanserhof Tegernsee in Marienstein is a unique health resort whose sustainable architecture successfully combines exquisite hotel facilities and state-of-the-art medical care. The 21,000m2 complex features 70 guestrooms and suites as well as consulting surgeries, treatment rooms, a bathhouse, sauna, fitness zone and heated salt-water outdoor pool. Architecture and interior design follow the ‘less is more’ approach in support of the various treatments and facilities on offer. Simple forms, natural materials and the deliberate use of daylight play an important role in the overall design scheme, while wood and warm colours and help create a contemplative ambiance.

A renovation of the existing Crowne Plaza in Shoreditch created Ace Hotel Group’s first property outside the United States. EPR Architects were appointed to implement a design scheme that reflects the spirit and soul of the Ace brand, whilst remaining true to the existing building. A soft refurbishment was carried out on 258 guestrooms with an extensive remodelling of the façade and public areas to provide a variety of spaces that work on a functional hotel basis as well as engaging the local community. A key aspect of the project was the opening up of the façade and addition of retail units in order to bring life back to the high street.

Judges’ Comments: ”This is a risk taking initiative that brings an historic building firmly into the 21st century without compromising its heritage context. Architect, Gabor Mester de Parajd has been working on this conversion of a 12th century priory for over twenty years. It has shown real skill with modern elements delicately inserted into the shell of the building. The architectural aspects are perfectly integrated with the interior design by Jouin Manku.”

Judges’ Comments: “This is pure architecture – a bold and contemporary yet elegant design, as beautiful today as it will be in 30 years’ time. The architects have created a unique combination of hotel, healthcare facility and wellness resort. This serene environment is perfectly suited for its introspective use. The material palette of wood and metal will only get better as they patinate.”



Judges’ Comments: “An incredibly tough category with just one vote separating first from second place. Ace has created a new destination with its conversion of an unremarkable chain hotel. EPR Architects and Universal Design Studio have collaborated to bring the spirit of Shoreditch into the hotel. The judges felt the building had been completely transformed, creating a great legacy for its creator Alex Calderwood.”






By Martin Brudnizki Design Studio

By Denniston

Martin Brudnizki Design Studio (MBDS) was appointed to create a design for the refurbishment of an existing bar that would re-launch as Scarfes Bar at Rosewood London. The design brief was to transform the existing space into a warm and vibrant bar, whilst incorporating and maintaining the Grade II-listed features of marble columns and wall paneling. MBDS took inspiration from the atmosphere of a drawing room and sophistication of a gentleman’s club, optimising the heritage of an Edwardian Belle Époque building. MBDS worked closely with Beck Interiors to complete the project. The bar is named after the renowned British artist and caricaturist Gerald Scarfe, who was commissioned to provide a collection of amusing and conversation-provoking paintings to become permanent features within the bar. Scarfes Bar has not only been well received by the hotel guests, but it is also hugely popular with the public.

For GHM’s first European property, the Asian brand synonymous with style, service and serenity, chose renowned architect Jean-Michael Gathy of Denniston to design its 122 spacious guestrooms and suites. Traditional materials such as warm woods and natural stone create intimate yet visually striking accommodations with captivating views of the Swiss Alps, Andermatt Village or Schöllenen Gorge. The colour scheme is a mix of light oak and walnut timber, honed blue stone, oyster grey leather and blackened steel. Bathrooms are separated by a timber lattice, which when open, allows the guest to watch TV or enjoy the fire from the comfort of the bathtub. All design choices aim to combine an Asian aesthetic with Alpine chic.

Judges’ Comments: “Denniston have successfully translated their trademark Asian style to an Alpine context. Their designs for the guestrooms at Andermatt bring warmth, comfort and luxury to this modern take on the traditional Swiss chalet aesthetic. Much thought has been given to creating a unique guest experience. Traditional materials are used with subtlety to achieve modern accents throughout.”

Judges’ Comments: ”The designers have created a bar that feels like it could have been here for decades – one that locals enjoy as much as hotel guests. It is cosy, comfortable yet stylish and phenomenally successful from a commercial point of view. Martin Brudnizki has mixed vintage pieces with bespoke elements to great effect. The Gerald Scarfe murals are the icing on the cake, creating a point of interest which is relevant to the brand, and a use of artwork in harmony with its surroundings.”



Clockwise from above: Berners Tavern and Punch Room at The London Edition, Generaor Venice and The Roseberry at Mandarin Oriental London







By GA Design International

By DesignAgency

By Yabu Pushelberg / ISC Design Studio

Conceived as an elegantly relaxed morning room, the renovation of The Rosebery at Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London, takes the essence of the original tearooms and transforms it into a light-filled, sparkling destination. Subtle and sympathetic contemporary detailing freshens and enlivens the space, creating a light volume that embraces the history while being very much of its time. The wall between the two original rooms has been opened up to allow them to connect and flow into a single, cohesive space. Reflecting on the proximity to Hyde Park, the colours are fresh, vibrant and pastoral while the forms are soft and refined.

Together with local project architect Progetto CMR, DesignAgency worked under the watchful eye of the Venice Fine Arts Committee to renovate an 1855 Palazzo to Venice’s strict city bylaws, uncovering the romance and beauty of the historical building. This is the setting of Generator Venice, a ‘jewel box’ of design that offers a variety of social spaces. On the main floor, an expansive lounge contains a breakfast area, bar and flirtatious nooks and crannies that encourage mixing and mingling. Guests meet, dine and hang out in spaces that draw on the magic and romance of the city of Venice.

Yabu Pushelberg worked with Ian Schrager on the design of Berners Tavern and Punch Room at The London Edition, operated by Marriott. Two large custom bronze chandeliers inspired by New York’s Grand Central Station scale down the original 5.5m ceilings to make the space more intimate, bringing focus to walls hung with a curated series of photographic portraits, landscapes and still lifes in the manner of a private collection. The zinc-topped bar is paired with custom leather upholstered bar stools and sits in front an illuminated, amber-backed display. This gastronomic gem is under the direction of Executive Chef Jason Atherton, boasting 140 covers, serving guests breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Judges’ Comments: ”This is an energetic revival of a historic space that exudes energy. A sensitive re-imagination of this space had created a destination for all-day dining that sits alongside Dinner by Heston Blumental and Bar Boulud. GA Design’s scheme refreshes rather than overwhelms the building’s classical framework, and one that has provided a missing piece of the jigsaw for the iconic Mandarin Oriental. One judge likened it to an elegant lady with an innate sense of style.”

Judges’ Comments: “Again, hot competition in this category. The winner is a fun, flexible space attractive to the wide demographic the brand seeks to attract. It is innovative, intelligent and great value for money, wrapped up with style. Generator, with its backers Patron Capital, are reinventing the hostel, making incredible design both accessible and affordable for a new generation of travellers.”


Judges’ Comments: “Ian Schrager knows about theatre and Yabu Pushelberg have created a space that works as well at night as it does for breakfast. The judges described this restaurant as a fabulous, fun and friendly feast for the senses. Berners Tavern is a beautifully-dressed room that makes the guests as much of an attraction as the design. A huge commercial, as well as creative, success.”










Clockwise from above: Aman Canal Grande, Lanserhof Tegernsee Marienstein







By Ingenhoven Architects

By Denniston

By Ingenhoven Architects

A second award for Lanserhof Tegernsee, the spa – again designed by Ingenhoven Architects – is at the heart of the development. In addition to the medical facilities and treatment rooms, a separate bathhouse offers a sauna, fireplace lounge and an innovative fitness area. The year-round outdoor saltwater swimming pool features underwater music and magnificent views of the surrounding Alpine landscape. Other public spaces include heated outdoor terraces and a spacious roof terrace. Full of natural light and warmth, Lanserhof Tegernsee is designed to engage simultaneously with the minds and bodies of its guests and the beauty of the surrounding Bavarian landscape.

Designed by Denniston, each of the 24 suites at Aman Canal Grande is unique, with its own size, location, history and identity. Some have been designed over centuries by extravagant architects, and have a strong identity in terms of existing architecture and decoration. The interior design style is contemporary, with each suite treated lightly and delicately to bring freshness into the historically heavy environment. Pure lines are used, combined with few colour tones accompanying the finest materials and finishes.

Judges described Lanserhof Tegernsee, as a step change in architecture and interior design for the specialist medical tourism sector, and a bold, elegant and refined design that exudes calmness and serenity.

Judges’ Comments: “A real step change for resport/wellness destinations, very focused on its purpose and yet working as an extremely elegant and sympathetic intervention in a beautiful natural setting.”

Additional Judges’ Comments: “The hotel’s blend of interior, exterior and landscape is subtle but compelling, creating a hotel that dares to do something different in a niche market.” “A leader and innovator in an emerging specialist market… and very well designed.”

Judges’ Comments: “This is a landmark project in every sense – an incredible restoration project that has brought a new breed of luxury to a destination already saturated with 5 star hotels. Denniston has managed to create a perfect blend of heritage and modernity.”

“This is the future of wellness design: a great balance of the ideals of health and beauty.” “Diffused lighting, perfect sense of calm, and clean detailing, combine to create extraordinary guest experiences – complete immersion in a spa hotel.” “Lanserhof is a destination that promises “life changing stays”. This is a “re-set” destination in today’s 24/7 world – away from everything!”











Dexter Moren Associates is announced as winner of Tomorrow’s Hotel 2014, the design competition that asks creatives to showcase their vision for the hotel of the future.


n ongoing collaboration between Arup and Sleeper, future will deal with sourcing food both on-site and locally within Tomorrow’s Hotel investigates the future of hospitality a densely populated urban environment,” comments Dexter Moren design. The thought-provoking competition invites architects Associates. “In response to our own brief we have developed the and designers to showcase their vision for the hotel of the future with concept for a self-sufficient hotel which can generate its own food reference to a specific theme. source by design. It was out of this that The Edible Hotel was born.” The theme for 2014 was food, an idea developed at a workshop The idea of urban farming serves to make food as locally sourced hosted by Dr. Chris Luebkeman, Director for Global Foresight and as possible in city environments, as well as decreasing the food miles Innovation at Arup. Held at an events space above the world famous associated with long distance transportation as produce is grown Noma restaurant, the interactive session in close proximity. By mitigating the supply formed part of Sleepover Copenhagen last chain, the steps of processing, distribution April, and encouraged attendees to consider and retail would be omitted, allowing food how issues surrounding food might impact to go directly from production to consumer. future hotel design. The Edible Hotel features an openCompetitors were then able to investigate plan lobby space, merging the reception, and discover how this particular theme may kitchen and bar areas with an edible wall, impact the future of the industry, using their arguably the most eye-catching feature own creative vision. Concepts such as popof the entire project. The structure of the up food stalls, the relevance of room service wall uses vertical farming technologies of and development of urban farming all came hydroponics and aquaponics to produce Dexter Moren Associates under scrutiny as every aspect of F&B in enough food to subsidise two thirds of the hospitality was explored. hotel’s meals. The level of shortlisted entries was of Many of the ideas used in the Tomorrow’s extremely high quality, with presentations made to Arup in the lead Hotel projects reflect the innovation of Arup Foresight, an internal up to the winners announcement. Shortlisted entries included A think-tank and consultancy which deals with built environment Table for Tomorrow by Raise Design, Local Taste by B&K Blue, The and society at large. Foresight describes a set of approaches and Edible Hotel by Dexter Moren Associates, and Tomorrow’s Hotel by skills, enabling individuals and organisations to explore and shape Rethink Interiors. the future, including understanding drivers of change, possible Presented at the European Hotel Design Awards, the winning projections into the future, and the implications of change in specific project was announced as The Edible Hotel by Dexter Moren contexts. Associates, a design with an edible wall and aquarium at its heart. Tomorrow’s Hotel participants are now tasked with incorporating The aim of the concept was to consider how food within hotels could future projections into their real-life designs, and adapting be improved in order to create an awareness around food sourcing, respectively to create not only an innovative project, but develop a and influence a move away from ready-made mass production. new understanding of design. “We set ourselves the challenge of addressing how a hotel of the

“We have developed the concept for a selfsufficient hotel which can generate its own food source by design.”


Sleeper x 10 and Concrete CITIZENM TIMES SQUARE – NEW YORK

The Sleeper x 10 events continued across the Atlantic, where Concrete joined as co-host to celebrate winning the Gold Key Designer of the Year Award. Words: Molly Dolan | Photography: © Jorge Reinozo, PhotoGeek Pro


ontinuing a series of international events to celebrate Sleeper’s official 10th anniversary, Sleeperx10 held it’s latest gathering in New York at CitizenM Times Square. Co-hosted by Concrete, the event also served as an afterparty to the 34th annual Gold Key Awards for Excellence in Hospitality Design, in which the practice – headed up by Rob Wagemans – won the Designer of the Year Award.

Many of the architects and designers nominated for awards, including friends of Sleeper, Concrete and CitizenM, were in attendance, taking in the city skyline from the hotel’s rooftop bar. The Amsterdam-based group was also category winner of the Best Lobby Luxury award for W Verbier. Other winners included Commune, Design Agency, GA Design, HBA, HOK, JOI-Design, Stonehill & Taylor, and Universal Design Studio.

Row 1: Erikjan Vermeulen, Rob Wagemans, Lisa Hassanzadeh and Sofie Ruytenberg at Concrete; Chelsi Patterson at Wilson Associates, Rebecca Lee, Maral Sarisozen and Yuni Rosita at Studio Gaia; Matthew Goodrich and Lemor Moses at AvroKO Row 2: Anwar Mekhayech, Matt Davis, Allen Chan at Design Agency; Jason E. Goldberg and Celia Fitch at Benjamin West, Ahmed Akudi at Robena Contract Furnishings Row 3: Derrick Debose at Prime Realty Oakland, Sandra Cortner, Tina Heath and Chrissy Hyatt at HBA; Diana Facci, Carol Vanderkloot, Julia Monk and Angeline Yang at HOK; Carl Michel at Generator, Tim Miller formerly at Edition Hotels Row 4: Asli Cakin and Sezen Öktem at Metex Design Group, Matt Turner at Sleeper; David Smith at RobertDouglas, Florian Kollenz at 25hours Hotels; Lora Spran at Walt Disney Imagineering, Philip Byrne at Wool Solutions Inc, Tara Mastrelli at Studio Tano, Jordan Mozer at Jordan Mozer & Associates.




Sleep 26-27 NOVEMBER 2014

Once again, Sleep has excelled itself with a show-stopping culmination of hotel designers, architects and senior industry executives. Experiential, thought-provoking and eye-catching, Sleep 2014 spanned two jam-packed days at London’s Business Design Centre. Words: Molly Dolan | Photography: Courtesy of Sleep


osting more than 150 industry-leading exhibitors ranging a digital design process combined with modular manufacturing from well-established names to up-and-coming new brands, production can reduce development costs, as well as enhance quality. Sleep attracted some 4,000 visitors from around the world in Exploring outdoor design, an increasingly popular focus in yet another record. Visitors from Germany, Italy, Spain and France, hospitality, was Above & Beyond. Located indoor on the Gallery the Russian Federation, the USA, South East Asia and the Middle Level, the space blurred lines between indoor and outdoor spaces, East, travelled to The Business Design Centre for Europe’s only another trend that has seen a rise in popularity over the past few years. dedicated hotel design exhibition, signifying “Increasingly, exterior spaces are becoming the global reach of the London-based event. as high-spec as those indoors,” commented Hotel design excellence was on display the set’s designer, Phil Jaffa of Scape Design at every corner, combined with a host of Associates. “I hope that Above & Beyond intriguing features. As well as exhibitors, will offer an opportunity to show how an visitors were treated to three forwardoutdoor area can be used for an array of thinking installations in the form of entertainment possibilities. By having a Snoozebox, Above & Beyond and Polcom dedicated area, we hope to stimulate debate Modular. Set up on the forecourt, the muchand inspire more developers and designers anticipated portable hotel accommodation to become excited about the issues and Snoozebox was first unveiled at the British opportunities on offer.” Kettal’s Outdoor Grand Prix 2011, where it provided guests Collections graced the Above & Beyond Kali Nicholson, Brand Director for Sleep and organisers with compact, intricately set, with a varied range of outdoor furniture designed en-suite hotel rooms in a nondesigns on display. conventional manner. The new generation, Sitting just below the Gallery Level showcased at Sleep, offered an insight into the increased flexibility and was the Royale Agricultural Bar, the go-to destination designed by efficiency of the innovative accommodation. Designed by Tangerine Swedish-based practice Stylt Trampoli in association with Sleeper. and manufactured by A. Smith Great Bentley and John Dennis, the Inspired by The Business Design Centre’s former life as The Royal portable hotel room is set to be brought to the hotel market in the Agricultural Hall, the concept displayed lush green walls comprised near future, says Lorcán Ó Murchú, Chief Executive at Snoozebox. of artificial greenery supplied by Vistagreen, alongside playful Adjacent to this was Polcom Modular, a full-size model hotel wooden swings and crates. Juxtaposing the agricultural theme and guestroom concept designed by London interior design consultancy indoor garden haven was a zap of technology from Aircharge, whose JSJ Design, transported from Poland exclusively for the event. A wireless charging solution proved invaluable to visitors. collaboration between Polcom, Peter Dann and studioånyo, the Speaking of the concept, Erik Nissen Johansen, Creative Director model demonstrated how BIM technology can create a streamlined at Stylt Trampoli explained: “The Royale Agricultural Bar is an solution from concept to manufacture and construction, a hot-topic example of how storytelling can combine with customer insight to at this year’s Sleep Conference. Visitors were invited to explore how create an experience that engages and inspires. We wanted to revive

“Sleep is like a precious watch in which all the hand-crafted elements rotate around one another to create a unique piece”



Above: SKM Design scooped the coveted Sleep Set prize Opposite (clockwise from top): Yabu Pushelberg joined Catherine Martin to discuss upcoming projects, including Edition Times Square; Jouin Manku spoke of their ‘anything is possible’ philosophy; Restaurateur turned hotelier, Jeremy King, opened the first day of talks, discussing his first hotel project The Beaumont; the Hot Hostels panel discussed the increasing success of hostels in the industry

the simplicity and grand spectra of nature and invited visitors to step into our imaginary garden.” Not only acting as a place of escape, the bar was also host to late night networking, complete with complimentary drinks and the announcement of 2014’s Sleep Set winner. Four teams of designers participated in this year’s Sleep Set competition, which had a theme of Hotel Simplexity. Nigel Coates Studio, Dreimeta, NoChintz and SKM Design all took up the creative challenge to create a guestroom for a new hotel brand which takes “simplexity” as its core value. The emerging theory of a relationship between simplicity and complexity asks, why have simple things become so complex? Designers aimed to explore how this trend can be reversed, with SKM Design scooping the coveted prize. Judged by Conrad Smith, Managing Director at ReardonSmith Architects, Katherine Blaisdell, Vice President at Belmond, and Marco Nijhof, Founder of Yoo Hotels, the winning concept referenced inspirations from Isaac Newton and Pink Floyd, as well as iconic 1980’s sci-fi film Tron. A cantilevered, floating bed acted as a focal point, adding to the rooms simplicity. Headline sponsor Grohe hosted the Sleep 2014 VIP Lounge, situated near the Sleep Conference which featured a programme bursting with top industry names and insightful topics. Opening the two-day programme moderated by Guy Dittrich, was a talk with

restaurateur-turned-hotelier Jeremy King, CEO at Corbin & King. Discussing his inaugural hotel, The Beaumont, King advised that “good design should not shout for attention, but withstand scrutiny”. At the other end of the spectrum, a panel of expert speakers took to the stage to discuss Hot Hostels, the emergence and increasing success of hostels in the industry. Josh Wyatt, Director of Hospitality and Leisure at Patron Capital, commented: “Nothing happened with hostels for 30 or 40 years, now it’s all taking off. The youth and budget consumer who wants a fun space with design will continue to increase.” Anwar Mekhayech, Creative Director at Generator and Principal at DesignAgency, echoed this prediction, stating: “There is a special mindset in hostels, I think the supply is going to be massive.” A definite highlight, Sleep Talking with Agence Jouin Manku saw Parisian-based design duo Patrick Jouin and Sanjit Manku take to the stage as Guy Dittrich explored the modus operandi of the awardwinning practice. Describing themselves as realistic dreamers who like to believe anything is possible, they demonstrated the secrets to their worldwide success. Another duo-based highlight on the second day of talks came in the form of Yabu Pushelberg, as George Yabu and Glenn Pushelberg attended Sleep exclusively for the discussion, chaired by Sleeper Editor Catherine Martin. The lively talk covered all areas of hospitality


Above: Inspired by The Business Design Centre’s former life, The Royale Agricultural Bar by Stylt Trampoli displayed lush green walls

design including divulging an insight into their vision for the new Edition in New York’s Times Square, a project with Ian Schrager set to open in 2015. Pushelberg commented on the upcoming hotel: “Edition Times Square will be the antithesis of what everyone thinks a Times Square hotel should be. We’re doing a series of open air outdoor spaces and gardens that will be romantic. Yabu concluded: “In the middle of Times Square, it’ll be a different route form the noise, a more zen like approach. There is so much colour from the billboards, so this will be in black and white.” One prominent topic throughout the event was the growing importance of BIM technology, as demonstrated with the outdoor Polcom Modular prototype and Digital Lounge. Rob Charlton, CEO at Space Group spoke of the Digital Revolution and BIM, exploring the benefits to the design process from virtual design. 2014’s Sleep Round Tables, hosted by Daniel Englender, Managing Director at Benjamin West London, also proved a success as senior executives from the hotel development, investment and operator community fielded questions from table guests in a personal environment. On the exhibition floor, new exhibitors included Designheure, Gira, Jacuzzi, Moroccan Bazaar, Orangebox, Sara Newman Design, Toto Europe and Ultrafabrics, while previous newcomers Punkt made a return. Says Jonathan Hinton, Managing Director of

Ultrafabrics Europe “The response to Ultrafabrics first showing at Sleep was amazing, and the interest in our product far exceeded our expectations. Such was the interest we were getting calls the following day from designers asking when we would be able to visit them in their offices. As an international company, the level of strong interest from outside of the UK was also very pleasing. We will certainly be returning in 2015.” The industry’s favourite brands were once again well represented with Grohe, Acrylic Couture, Agua Fabrics, Bette, Chelsom, Crosswater, Ena Shaw, Jaymart, Keramag Design, Naturalmat, OW Hospitality, Umbrosa and Wilton Carpets unveiling their latest designs. For many exhibitors, both new and returning, the show is an opportunity to connect face-to-face with existing clients and discuss project requirements, as well as to engage with potential new ones. “The huge diversity of the many elements of Sleep means that both participants and visitors can take away with them so many different memories and ideas, let alone new contacts and renewed acquaintances” says Kali Nicholson, Brand Director for Sleep. “Sleep is like a precious watch in which all the handcrafted elements rotate around one another to create a unique piece that perfectly tells the time – in our case ensuring our exhibitors do great business and our visitors are inspired.”



THE ULTIMATE CONNECTOR TO THE HOSPITALITY DESIGN INDUSTRY Step inside the doors at HD Expo and discover a world of fascinating new products for hospitality. With over 260,000 square feet of exhibits, 40+ conference sessions and Clodagh as our keynote speaker, you’ll find more ideas and inspiration than you can imagine!


Register at with code SLEEPER for your free expo pass. Presented by

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Sleep Afterparty in association with Sleeper x 10 MONDRIAN LONDON AT SEA CONTAINERS

The recently-opened Mondrian London hosted the first Sleep afterparty, held in conjunction with Sleeper’s tenth anniversary celebrations. Words: Molly Dolan | Photography: Courtesy of UBM


rawing to a close a series of international events, Sleeperx10 partnered with Sleep, the hotel design exhibition, to host an official afterparty. The ticket-only gathering was held at the Rumpus Room of Mondrian London at Sea Containers, Tom Dixon’s inaugural hotel project which opened its doors in 2014. A handpicked guest list of the most influential people in hotel design, development and architecture sipped cocktails on London’s South Bank while enjoying views of the

River Thames and London beyond. The event also allowed industry names to network and socialise following a busy day at the Sleep exhibition and its associated conference. The Sleeperx10 celebration finale concludes a series of events in various locations including London, Manchester, New York and Singapore, marking Sleeper’s tenth anniversary, a magazine and website redesign, and expansion of the European Hotel Design Awards into Asia.

Picture Opposite: Christopher Barger at Grohe, Ahmed Akudi at Robena Contract Furnishings, Paul Flowers at Grohe, Simon Hudspeth at Hotel Investment & Asset Management, Eugene Staal at The Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, Conrad Smith and Patrick Reardon at ReardonSmith Architects, Charles Leon at Leon Black, Jessica Ansell at Sleep, Nir Gilad at Nous Design, Erik Nissen Johansen at Stylt Trampoli, Billy Skelli-Cohen at Deerbrook Group, Nick van Marken at Deloitte, Alexis Gouilly-Frossard at Kettal.





Born and raised WITH Maison&Objet petite friture, at m&o SINCE 2010


iNFO@SAFISALONS.FR SAFI Organisation, a subsidiary of Ateliers d’Art de France and Reed Expositions France / trade only / design © be-poles - image © FRANçOIS COQUEREL

HI Design Asia 5-7 NOVEMBER 2014

Asia’s hotel design community meet in Kota Kinabalu for a packed programme of business meetings, networking and product specification. Words: Catherine Martin | Photography: © Richard Pereira


of results with RevPAR rises in North Eastern Asia (1.3%), South Eastern Asia (0.1%) and Australia and Oceania (4.1%), against a RevPAR fall in Central and South Asia (-0.1%). There was also considerable variation in occupancy in selected cities. Shanghai and Mumbai led the way with occupancy growth for year-to-September 2014 of 5-10%, followed by Auckland, Sydney, Osaka, Beijing, Manila, Tokyo and Bali, showing 0-5% growth. Bangkok meanwhile was the biggest loser with a dramatic 23% fall in occupancy. Looking to the future pipeline, of the 1,344,000 rooms under contract globally, 38% – the largest proportion – are in Asia Pacific. In fact, China, Indonesia and India have the largest pipelines in the world after the USA. Notably, Myanmar is expected to see doubledigit growth as it opens its doors to tourism and investment. Asia Pacific also has the most luxury hotels in its pipeline. The fastest growing international brand in the region was named as Hilton, followed by Holiday Inn and Ibis. It was also revealed that the two brands with the most openings outside the USA were China-based 7 Days Inn and Jin Jiang Inns, signifying the power of Chinese brands over the past four years. Continuing the event’s seminar programme, expertly hosted by Guy Dittrich, the afternoon session saw keynote speaker Lyndon Neri, founder and Principal of Neri & Hu Design and Research Office, take to the stage for an entertaining journey through the firm’s projects. Highlights included a look at designs for a number of Asia’s leading hotels including The Waterhouse at South Bund in Shanghai, and East and The Opposite House in Beijing. Neri also showcased some of the furniture lines the interdisciplinary practice has created for various manufacturers.

eturning for its sixth successive year, HI Design Asia took place at Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa in Kota Kinabalu last November, attracting a record number of delegates from the region’s hotel design community. The winning formula of face-to-face meetings, networking, product sampling and seminars has been a firm favourite since it launched in Asia in 2009, building on the well-established HI Design EMEA, which will celebrate its tenth anniversary in Dubrovnik this June. Dubbed the decision makers’ forum, the event brings together hotel operators, interior designers, purchasing companies and suppliers and offers an unrivalled opportunity to develop relationships within the entire supply chain. For 2014, HI Design Asia attracted 113 buyer delegates from 77 companies including Chris Garrod Global, Eco-Id, FRHI Hotels & Resorts, Grey Matters, InterContinental Hotels Group, Mandarin Oriental, Noor and P49 Deesign. Also in attendance were 144 supplier delegates from 83 companies including Alger-Triton, Dyson, Flos, Hansgrohe, Laufen, Janus et Cie, and many more. In keeping with the dynamic nature of the event, some 35% of attendees were new to HI Design. As always, an optional pre-event excursion allowed early arrivals to get acquainted before a welcome reception in the hotel’s tropical gardens. Proceedings proper kicked off the following morning with a scene-setting presentation from Christy Megawati, Business Development Manager at STR Global. Based at the firm’s Jakarta office, Megawati put the region in a global context, revealing that RevPAR in Asia Pacific for the year-to-September 2014 was up by just 1%, compared to a 15% rise in Latin America. Focusing in on Asia Pacific, Megawati revealed a “mixed bag”



Arguing against all of the above, Ariane Steinbeck, Managing Director/Principal at The Gettys Group, Hong Kong, believed that following a trend is detrimental to good design. She warned against gimmicks such as food-serving robots and acrobatic waitresses and instead encouraged the designers in the audience to be leaders in design, not followers of trends. And finally, Dan Bube, Design Director & Artisan at Design Bube, unveiled his concept to filter and bottle clean drinking water in resorts, saving on costly shipping and wasteful resources. The final seminar of the day tackled the powerhouse that is China. Topics such as copyright in design, development opportunities, and catering to large family groups were addressed by a panel made up of an interior designer, a procurement specialist, and senior representatives from two hotel groups currently expanding in the region. Paul Wiste, Regional Director of Development – Design, Asia Pacific, Jumeirah, revealed that the Dubai-based group has seven projects in the pipeline in China in the destinations of Sanya, Macau, Guangzhou and Hangzhou amongst others. He noted a number of opportunities in both resort and urban locations, indicating there is still room for growth. Sascha Lang, Vice President, Design and Technical Services at Langham Hospitality Group, was also optimistic about future opportunities, believing that the new high-speed rail network would create transport hubs and in turn attract investment and hotel development. Despite growth being lower than forecast, China, and indeed the rest of Asia, looks set to continue on an upward trajectory, proved not least by this sell-out event.

In closing, Neri treated the audience to some unseen residential projects, plus an exclusive for HI Design delegates, previews of forthcoming hotel projects in London, New York and Miami. Throughout the day, delegates were engaged in a meticulously planned timetable of meetings in which to forge new business relationships and develop existing ones. According to post-event surveys, the proven method regularly results in a high percentage of buyers specifying the products of suppliers they meet at HI Design. In a change to the usual format, day two kicked off with a stimulating session on trends. Prior to the event, attending designers were asked to submit what they see as the most influential trend in hospitality design today. The brief was intentionally open to encourage a wide range of ideas, with six eventually selected. Designers were given five minutes to present their trend before facing questions and comments from the floor. Tina Norden, Associate Director at Conran & Partners spoke about the blurring of lines between residential and hospitality interiors. Hotel owners are looking for a residential feel, while home owners seek to emulate the design of their favourite boutique hotel, she explained, adding that the best hotels are like home, only better. Matthew Shang, Creative Director at Singapore-based Distillery Studios, presented on the nostalgia trend, seen in many 2014 openings, while Catherine Mocke, Portfolio Director at DWP, explored the “affordable boutique” movement. Already established in Europe with the likes of CitizenM, Ibis Styles and Moxy, Mocke’s research showed that many of these brands are in the process of building a presence in Asia. Javier Rojas-Rodriguez, Design Director of Hospitality at Orbit Design Studio, titled his trend as ‘Eating Alone, Together’ and spoke of the way in which changing consumer habits have transformed the lobby into a revenue generating space through the addition of a communal coffee shop, restaurant, canteen or lounge bar.

According to post-event surveys, a high percentage of buyers regularly specify the products of suppliers they meet at HI Design.

The next HI Design Asia will take place at Shangri-La, Kuala Lumpur, from 4-6 November 2015. Meanwhile, HI Design EMEA will take place at Hotel Dubrovnik Palace, Croatia, from 3-5 June 2015.


SINGAPORE / MARCH 10-13, 2015 SAN D S E X P O AN D CON V ENTION CENTE R marina bay sands singapore


INFO@SAFISALONS.FR SAFI ASIA PTE, a SAFI “Salons Français et Internationaux” subsidiary. SAFI is a subsidiary of Ateliers d’Art de France and Reed Expositions France / trade only / design © be-poles - image © greg sevaz

Hotel Investment Conference Asia Pacific 15-17 OCTOBER 2014

The 25th annual HICAP highlights pockets of opportunity for future deals, despite mixed performance across the region. Words: Catherine Martin


hen HICAP was established in 1989, it attracted 133 delegates looking to make new contacts, strengthen existing relationships, and perhaps even orchestrate a deal. Now, 25 years on, over 800 of Asia Pacific’s most influential owners, developers, lenders and advisors flock to what is widely regarded as the ultimate gathering place for the region’s hotel investment community. Held at the InterContinental Hong Kong and hosted by BHN, Horwath HTL, and Stiles Capital Events, the 25th annual Hotel Investment Conference Asia Pacific once again delivered on its promise to provide educational sessions and excellent networking opportunities. In his welcoming address, Robert Stiles, Principal and Managing Director of RobertDouglas, highlighed the changes the region has seen over the past 25 years, drawing attention to the emergence of boutique hotels, the growth of the gaming business, and a dramatic rise in the number of Chinese outbound travellers, predicted to be in excess of 100m in 2014. Nowhere in the world has the industry changed so much as in Asia Pacific, he noted, describing it as the epicentre of new hotel development. The theme of celebrating 25 years continued into the opening plenary session, with HICAP

regular Robert Broadfoot, Managing Director at Political & Economic Risk Consultancy, offering an outsider’s perspective on the wider economic situation. Broadfoot revealed that the most significant event in the year that HICAP launched was the invention of the World Wide Web, perfected by Sir Timothy Berners-Lee, which has

“Asia Pacific delivered a 1% rise in RevPAR for the year-to-August 2014, the smallest increase of all the world regions.” Jesper Palmqvist, STR Global

radically changed the industry in recent years. He continued to report that the past two decades have seen a variety of situations impact Asia Pacific and its hotel industry, be it positively or negatively. There was the 1997 Asian financial crisis; the return of Hong Kong and Macau to China resulting in soaring gambling revenues; the Bali


bombings in 2002; and the Indonesian tsunami in 2004. According to Broadfoot, events over the next 25 years could be just as significant. There are expected to be more than 350 new airports across the region; Singapore will become a true international business centre; and more urban areas will reach megacity status, each housing more than 10m inhabitants. Focusing on the hospitality industry, Jesper Palmqvist, Area Director Asia Pacific at STR Global, presented the latest benchmarking data from across the region. He revealed that the majority of global markets have recovered, and demand is on the increase, in some cases outpacing supply. Asia Pacific delivered a 1% rise in RevPAR for the year-to-August 2014, the smallest increase of all the world regions leading Pamqvist to describe it as “a diverse market”. Positive occupancy and RevPAR data for Australia and Oceania was driven down by poor performance in Central and South Asia. Looking to key markets, Palmqvist noted that Beijing has seen an occupancy rebound, rates in Singapore are gradually rising, and Hong Kong is holding rate particularly well. The Maldives and Indonesia were shown to be the top ADR performers, while India and China were the only countries to see a fall.

Palmqvist also examined the world’s pipeline, noting that Asia Pacific has the largest pipeline in the luxury sector. Within the region, Indonesia was the fastest growing country, expecting a 31% increase in room count based on existing supply. In a change to the usual CEO panel, HICAP adopted a new approach for 2014 and asked five hospitality leaders to present on issues that are affecting the industry. Geoff Balotti, President and CEO at Wyndham Hotel Group, spoke about engaging the hearts and minds of industry associates on corporate social responsibility; Symon Bridle, COO of Rosewood Hotel Group, tackled the topic of how hotels are adapting to the needs of Generation Y guests; and Gerald Lawless, President and CEO of Jumeirah Group, explored the challenges of human capital in travel and tourism, a sector that employs 10% of the world’s labour force. “Our industry’s single, most important element is people,” stated Lawless, before urging others to offer training and nurture new talent. Breakout sessions throughout the two days addressed a variety of subjects and offered an insight into investment opportunities, deals, trend forecasts and management agreements. The hot topic of OTAs was also on the agenda in a session entitled ‘Game Changers’. Panelists from TripAdvisor, Facebook, Agoda and Travelmob revealed that bookings from mobile devices are growing faster than any other channel, and in some cases, account for 50% of all bookings. Closely linked to this was the issue of social media, which was deemed to have both advantages and disadvantages, the crucial factor being how hotels react to it.

A session on mixed-use developments also proved interesting. The practice of combining office, hotel, residences and retail has become hugely popular in Asia, particularly in destinations where there’s a lack of infrastructure. There was said to be no hard-and-fast rules as to which combination of elements works best, however, according to one panelist, developers prefer to tiein with high-end brands that enhance the value of

“Our industry’s single, most important element is people.” Gerald Lawless, Jumeirah Group

the development. While a hotel delivers the lowest yield, its presence was thought to be crucial in driving residential sales and attracting the right mix of retail brands. Offering advice from a planning and design perspective, Ralph Shelbourne, Principal at FSC Architects, stated that there should be a synergy between each of the individual components, however a hotel requires its own distinct arrival experience. Looking at trends in mixed-use developments, panelists noted that Asia was seeing an increase in sky lobbies, and the positioning of signature F&B at the top of a vertical development to allow for a destination restaurant. The event closed with a lunch and awards ceremony, honouring significant deals of 2014.


The winner of the Reggie Shiu Development of the Year was The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto, in Japan, designed by Nikken Sekkei with interiors by Peter Remedios and Spin (F&B). Billing itself as a luxury Ryokan, the 136-room property sits on the banks of the Kamogawa River and reflects the time-honoured traditions of Japanese hospitality. Developed for a reported US$200m by Sekisui House, a lease deal was originally preferred, but operator Marriott International tailor-made the deal structure to bridge a lease and management deal to create a win-win scenario for both parties. The winner of the Single Asset Transaction of the Year was The Westin Singapore, part of the Asia Square Tower 2 development in Marina Bay. The property was acquired by a private Japanese buyer for a reported SGD$468m, matching the SGD$1.5m per key record for a Singapore hotel. The property is expected to perform well, given its premium location – one that is attracting stronger and stronger office tenants. Finally, the winner of the Merger and Acquisition of the Year was the acquisition of Tourism Asset Holdings Ltd (TAHL). In the largest M&A transaction of the period, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) acquired Australia’s largest hotel owner in a deal reportedly valued at AUD$745m. TAHL owns 31 hotels located throughout Australia’s major markets, all of which will continue to be operated by Accor. The next HICAP will take place at InterContinental Hong Kong from 14-16 October 2015. Meanwhile, HICAP Update will take place at Pan Pacfic Singapore from 17-18 March 2015.

The 18th International

Hotel Investment Forum 2015 2-4 March 2015 | InterContinental | Berlin, Germany

The Meeting of Global Collaboration

Scaling new heights The International Hotel Investment Forum (IHIF) is the most influential and globally diverse conference for the hotel industry. It has firmly established its reputation as the leading and most important meeting place in the world and is attended by over 1900 hospitality and tourism professionals from over 70 countries. It is a very senior gathering and among them nearly every major hotel chain CEO, global tourism ministers and the largest group of investors and hotel owners. Every year the most influential people in our industry use our conference as their meeting place, and leading companies sponsor the event because they know it is the best way to reach out to the industry. Whatever area of the industry you currently do business in or wish to expand in to, IHIF can open up business opportunities and partnerships for you.

IHIF is focused on delivering opportunities to anyone who currently operates within the hotel and tourism industry or who wants to do business in this sector, including: • Investors • Hotel Owners • Lenders • Hotel Chain CEOs and Executives • Financial Advisers • Real Estate Agents

• Lawyers • Designers • Architects • Consultants • Timeshare Developers • Tourism and Government Officials

Now, more than ever, it is important to meet the right people, liaise with key players; hear the latest economists’ projections; and know about new business opportunities, if you think this applies to you and you are serious about the developmentof your business we look forward to seeing you at the IHIF next March.

“I’ve been coming to and sponsoring this event for ten years, it’s the premier hospitality event in the world. Ithas excellent networking, great education, you really hear what is going on and what is coming and I wouldn’t want to miss it. Every year it is a key date in my agenda.” WOLFGANG M. NEUMANN – PRESIDENT & CEO, THE REZIDOR HOTEL GROUP


Deloitte European Hotel Investment Conference 11-12 NOVEMBER 2014

Appetite for investment and a raft of deals point to a healthy future for Europe’s hotel industry. Words: Catherine Martin


host of the industry’s leading lenders, investors, owners and developers met in London in November for Deloitte’s 26th annual European Hotel Investment Conference. The programme for the invite-only event was structured to the theme of ‘The Only Way Is Up?’ signalling the strong investment appetite seen across Europe and the UK over the last 12 months. An opening video montage highlighting significant deals and new openings confirmed why 2014 could well be a record year since the 2007 peak. According to Deloitte, the first quarter of 2014 was dominated by provincial portfolio deals including the sale of the Four Pillars portfolio for £90m and De Vere Venues for £232m, both acquired by Starwood Capital. London led in terms of deal size with the sale of The London Edition to Abu Dhabi Investment Authority for in excess of £150m, while US REIT Strategic sold the Marriott Grosvenor Square for £125m to Joint Treasure – a private equity firm backed by Hong Kong-based Chow Tai Fook, the Singapore Wee Cho Yaw family, and David Chiu of Far East Consortium. Elsewhere, Pandox Hotels sold its Swedish portfolio to Fastighets AB Balder; Fairmont St. Andrews was sold to US-based Kennedy Wilson Europe Real Estate for more than £32m; and Accor acquired a 35% stake in lifestyle brand Mama Shelter. Meanwhile, high profile new openings included

Ham Yard, Mondrian, Shangri-La Hotel at The Shard, The Beaumont and Chiltern Firehouse in London, as well as The Peninsula Paris, Hard Rock Hotel Ibiza, Raffles Istanbul, Mandarin Oriental Bodrum and Four Seasons Hotel Moscow, to name but a few. Opening the conference, Nick van Marken, Global Head – Advisory, Travel, Hospitality & Leisure, Deloitte, set the scene with an overview of current performance. He revealed that, according to data from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the global growth forecast for 2015 currently stands at 3.8%, with growth predicted in all of the world’s regions. It is a somewhat different picture to 2007 however, with a shift in power as China overtakes the USA to become the world’s largest economy, five years earlier than expected. Despite this, America has seen a remarkable turnaround with its economy 6.6% larger than pre-recession levels. The UK was also said to be performing well: unemployment is at its lowest since 2008; confidence is at a three-year high; and absolute consumer spending is back at 2007 levels. However, the future of the Eurozone isn’t so bright. van Marken reported that, according to the IMF, the crisis-prone Eurozone has a 40% chance of slipping into a third recession. The outlook certainly remains challenging. The only nation shown to be storming ahead was Ireland, which saw 7.7% GDP growth in the year-to-June 2014.


With a focus on the hospitality industry, Elizabeth Winkle, Managing Director of STR Global, delivered the news that for the first time, all global regions reported positive RevPAR growth for the year-to-September 2014. Demand in the USA, UK and Eurozone was also said to be strong, measuring 10% above 2007 levels despite new supply coming to the market. Having said that, new supply has remained at a stable 3.2% and, coupled with tired stock being forced out, has had little impact on performance. Returning to the stage, van Marken examined Europe’s recent hotel investment activity, describing it as a phenomenal mix of transactions. Of the c.€10bn transaction volume in Europe, some 40% was spent in the UK due to a surge in portfolio deals and an influx of money from Qatari investors. “It feels like the entire UK hotel industry is being bought and sold again,” he commented, listing the landmark deals and transactions of the year. He also took the opportunity to present findings of a new survey designed to ascertain key trends and how they will shape the industry in 2015. According to the senior hospitality industry figures who took part, London is the most attractive hotel investment destination in Europe with over half of respondents ranking the UK’s capital ahead of Paris (33%), Barcelona (30%) and Amsterdam (23%). And appetite shows no sign of abating. European hotel transaction activity

is expected to be dominated by international investors underpinned by North America (58%), China (53%) and the Middle East (52%) in 2015. The survey also found that, against the backdrop of a stagnant European economy, upscale hotels (33%) are the preferred product segment, however, midscale (25%) and budget (22%) are also attracting interest. Respondents anticipate continued investment appetite from private equity, whilst trophy assets will be dominated by high net worth individuals. van Marken commented: “There is significant appetite for hotels in Europe and the UK in particular. In recent months, US private equity buyers have taken advantage of low interest rates and a strong uptick in sentiment.” Outside London, the Scottish cities of Edinburgh (60%) and Aberdeen (38%) were voted the most attractive to investors, followed by Manchester (33%) and Bath (19%). Continuing the predominantly upbeat sentiment, Roger Bootle, Managing Director at Capital Economics, offered his take on the global economy and how it could affect hotel investment in the future. The falling value of crude oil and an easing of commodity prices contributed to a healthier world economy and an uncharacteristically bullish address from Bootle, who also delivered the news that the UK is performing particularly well. While many nations continue to struggle out of recession, GDP in the UK has risen above pre-2008 levels. The plunging rate of unemployment was also said to have been a boost to the economy. But it wasn’t all so encouraging. The UK housing market continues to be overvalued, and there remains a question mark over interest rates as to when they will rise and by how much. Furthermore, the Eurozone economy was described as “dire” particularly in Greece where GDP is currently 25% below pre-recession levels. Despite this, the hotel industry’s big players all reported RevPAR growth for Q3 2014. With the focus back on hospitality, the hotly anticipated CEO panel saw two relatively new leaders take to the stage to discuss their first 12 months in the job. Despite vast differences in the companies they run, Sébastien Bazin, Chairman and CEO of Accor and J. Allen Smith, President and CEO of Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts – both appointed in August 2013 – approached

their respective roles in a similar way. Bazin has spent the past year immersing himself in the company, talking to staff across all levels and putting together a new strategic vision. He has redesigned the group’s business model around two divisions – HotelServices and HotelInvest – with a view to boosting operational efficiency and sustainable growth. Bazin also felt that Accor was overly Paris-centric, and so gave additional decision-making power to regional executives. In a similar way, J. Allen Smith, President and CEO, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, spent time getting to know associates before embarking on plans for a clearer strategic direction. Both CEOs spoke of the importance of people, particularly when it comes to using customer service as a way of differentiating from the increasingly well-designed midscale products.

“It feels like the entire UK hotel industry is being bought and sold again.” Nick van Marken, Deloitte

Bazin reported that Accor is currently enjoying good times in the Middle East, and will continue to grow in Europe, where 20% of its pipeline lies. He also touched on the recently announced deal with Mama Shelter, in which Accor acquired a 35% stake in the design-led brand. The partnership gives Mama Shelter access to Accor’s development and distribution network and will allow it to accelerate its development pipeline. Smith meanwhile confirmed that Europe is very much a focus for Four Seasons, with a desire to plant flags in cities such as Rome, Barcelona, Vienna and Venice. Looking to the budget sector, representatives from a range of European brands discussed what is fast becoming the industry’s hottest market. According to the panel, consumers are becoming more and more value conscious, whether in


their weekly shop, travel or hotel stays. The key requirements – a good shower, a comfortable bed and a hot breakfast – are amenities the budget sector does well, and at an affordable price point. Panelists also noted changes in the sector. Carlton Ervin, Chief Development Officer, Europe, Marriott International, which has recently opened its first Moxy hotel, said that the definition of value is changing with people willing to sleep in smaller rooms so long as they’re stylish. Peter Gowers, CEO, Travelodge, argued that so-called budget hotels aren’t always budget for the guest, but rather a low-cost operating model. The afternoon’s sessions focused on the UK market with representatives from Starwood Capital, Kew Green Hotels, Topland Group and Lone Star Europe sharing details of their latest acquisitions and openings, and a performance round up from STR Global. Elizabeth Winkle returned to the stage with news of a strong regional recovery, partly due to a number of high profile events such Scotland’s hosting of the Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup. RevPAR for the year-to-September 2014 was 10.6% for regional UK with Glasgow (23.9%), Cardiff (15.6%), Liverpool (12.7%) and Manchester (10.9%) named as the top performers. London’s 3.2% RevPAR growth was also impressive given the amount of new supply to the market. Midscale and economy hotels were said to be lead the growth. Looking to the future, the UK has a healthy pipeline of 41,000 rooms under contract, of which 18,000 are in London. Outside the capital, Manchester was the driving growth with 3,900 rooms due to come online. With a resurgent US economy, record international arrivals, Travel & Tourism growing faster than the world economy, and appetite for investment showing no sign of abating, the future looks bright for the hotel industry. But as always, it is not without risk. A lack of economic growth across the Eurozone, mixed results from emerging markets and global geopolitical issues are all concerns. The next Deloitte European Hotel Investment Conference takes place from 4-5 November 2015.


With production facilities across Europe, Forbo specialises in the sustainable manufacturing of luxury vinyl tiles, taking eco-friendly production to the next level. Words: Molly Dolan | Photography: Courtesy of Forbo


ounded in 1928, Forbo is the result of a merger between three linoleum manufacturers from Germany, Sweden and Switzerland. Over the decades, the group – originally trading under the name Continentale Linoleum Union – increased in size, joined by various other European companies. Continentale Linoleum Union began to diversify its business from specialising in linoleum in the 1950s, venturing into carpet and vinyl flooring, something for which it is now renowned. This wider portfolio of activities continued until 1974, when the company rebranded as Forbo, and evolved into the worldwide group as we know it today. Following the previous move to separate its adhesives from linoleum, the group made a concerted decision to merge the two yet again, creating Forbo Flooring. A further branding overhaul came in 2007, when its growth strategy was then separated into three core

divisions of adhesives, belting, and of course, Flooring Systems, all operating under the Forbo name. Throughout its journey, Forbo’s focus has always been on sustainable, quality products, with design playing an equally integral part. Situated in Coevorden, in The Netherlands, the Forbo factory exerts the brand’s philosophy from the entrance, where the lobby is tiled with quality product. This particular production facility is one of twelve, each specialising in different aspects of the various flooring applications on offer. Here, resilient flooring collections aimed at the residential and commercial sectors – including Novilon, Eternal and Allura – are produced, and the company is set to increase focus on the commercial market, becoming specialist. The values of Forbo are presented as clearly as the product on the walkways. Innovation drives the brand, aiming to inspire and


Above: New carpet tile collection, Tessera Contour, responds to an increase in demand for an evolution of the popular linear effect Left & Below: The production process incorporates offcuts from other products into floorcoverings such as Allura, decreasing the need for virgin raw materials


create individual environments through the use of design and everadvancing technologies. Another core value is “Our Planet”, which Forbo aims to protect and invest in, creating a better environment for interiors the world over. Touring the factory, this hub of innovation demonstrates the importance of sustainability. Each individual ingredient is carefully selected, with Life Cycle Assessment used throughout the production process. This open and transparent method measures each product’s complete environmental performance. Also utilised are the Green Design Principals, which aim to reduce the use of virgin raw materials, instead seeking environmentally appropriate solutions. By incorporating these values from the outset, sustainable practices are the norm for the company. When creating familiar products such as Allura, sustainability is always at the forefront, with ‘reduce, reuse, recycle and renew’ being integral to the process. An example of the importance placed on the four Rs is apparent as employees collect offcuts from premium products, which are then repurposed into new products. This action results in 100% of all waste being recycled back into the production line, thus decreasing the need for raw materials. The aspect of renewability also comes to the forefront as we learn of the production facility’s electricity consumption, as Allura is produced using 100% electricity from renewable sources. A specialist plant, Coevorden accounts for 50% of Forbo’s vinyl sales. Focus is placed upon heterogeneous flooring, comprising of multiple levels of functioning layers. The result is a product that has increased functionality while also being more design-led, which is crucial for hospitality, the market that Forbo is aiming to conquer. Looking back to the early 2000s, the brand was marketed entirely to the residential sector; however this has now shifted to

40% residential with 60% occupied by the commercial market. This change in direction has allowed the project business to increase rapidly. The transformation has also allowed the process flexibility, increasing the portfolio to a wider range of products. Although producers of multiple types of flooring, the Luxury Vinyl Tile aspect of the business continues to grow at a promising pace. The Allura collection has responded to demand for new products that push the boundaries of manufacturing capabilities and design, offering ranges that are authentic and reflect current trends. European manufacturing advances have allowed for new sizes and formats, meaning that the collection features plank sizes of up to 1.5m, a rare feat in the LVT market. The natural effect of the flooring is then increased, as pattern repeats are less frequent in sizeable areas such as hotel lobbies and public spaces. Once again, Allura complies with in-house ecoregulations, its backing comprising 30% controlled recycled waste. Always looking for ways to diversify design possibilities, many of Forbo’s ranges complement one another, including Allura and Tessera Contour, a new carpet tile collection. The new range responds to an increase in demand for an evolution of the popular, often-used linear effect, yet takes a more subtle approach. The linear design is softened by the use of texture, while the muted tones of the yarns offer a progression from dark, to very pale. Lighter shades of Tessera Contour achieve high Light Reflectance Values, creating an illusion of larger, open spaces. As Forbo continues its expansion plans, growth in the commercial and hospitality markets is inevitable. The company seeks to build upon its reputation with focus remaining on quality, innovation and sustainability. Sure grounds for success.

The Luxury Vinyl Tile aspect of the business continues to grow at a promising pace.


Floorcoverings T E C H N O L O G Y TA K E S OV E R

Gone are the days when durability was a sole requirement for commercial floors. Floorcoverings are designed to help to create atmosphere, aid acoustics and define spaces.


fter a period of design-led development, which saw flooring LVT is another obvious benefit, ensuring that hotel floors have a designs advance and improve significantly, the market is now longer replenishment cycle, thus lowering costs. “LVT is able to demanding that innovation and technology play a role too. maintain its beauty without splitting or cracking when walked on “In 2014 we have seen a rise in popularity for something totally by thousands of visitors each day,” says Barratt. “The Karndean unique,” comments Paul Barratt, Managing Director at Karndean LooseLay range also offers enhanced acoustic properties reducing Designflooring. “Whereas specifiers would have previously been the noise travel between floors.” led to adopt a cookie-cutter approach in order to maintain brand Acoustic aid is another function that is expected of LVT, minimising consistency, they’re now quickly moving away from this method.” disruption between guestrooms without the need for costly underlay. Previous attempts at clean, contemporary design, including linear Continuing with the theme of increasing functionality, carpet laying patterns have decreased, as designers and hotels seize the manufacturer Desso has created a light transmissive floorcovering, opportunity to create something unique, an area or space that is complete with Philips LED lighting underneath. This enables specifiers distinctive and memorable. “There has and designers to create atmosphere been a real trend of late with designers with varied lighting effects, display moving away from traditional straight safety information such as emergency laying patterns,” explains Barratt, “and exits and directions, as well as the instead, looking to make a statement ability to relay current affairs, news and add character with random panel updates and weather information in and parquet designs.” hotel public areas. “Specifiers have looked to “We’re regularly working with incorporate sweeping curves, rug architects and interior designers to Paul Barratt, Karndean Designflooring effects and borders around key areas develop artisan sensibility unique to to add interest. Most recently the each location,” states Barratt. “We are Radisson Blu Waterfront Hotel in also predicting a drive towards higher Jersey opted to use the distinctive design of our Opus Magna against slip ratings, as architects and specifiers are under pressure to reduce existing carpet and tiles to guide guests around different spaces.” the risk of litigation for their clients without compromising on the The technique of utilising design flooring to define spaces looks look of real wood and stone. As a response to this, we are launching set to increase alongside the ability to produce larger vinyl tiles. the new Opus Enhance range, featuring eight of our most popular Enlarged tile sizes not only create fewer seams, but add to the illusion Opus designs with an increased slip resistance.” of open space, where design details can then be added as required. With design requirements ever evolving, one constant in the market The increasing use of open plan public spaces, for example open has been the demand for sustainable products. “As a leading global lobby plans, has led to designers looking at all components for the supplier of LVT, we are committed to improving our manufacturing creation of atmosphere. The muted shades of flooring manufacturer processes to ensure sustainability. We have never had to compromise Forbo’s latest Tessera Contour carpet tile range comprise high quality or performance to comply with legislation,” concludes Barratt, Light Reflectance values, enabling open spaces to create a bright outlining the needs for floorcovering manufacturers to embrace every atmosphere and the illusion of increased area size. aspect of the evolving market, whether it be innovative technology, Luxury Vinyl Tiles are a practical choice for specifiers, especially stringent safety requirements or the basic need for a durable, with new designs being developed continuously. The durability of comfortable product underfoot.

“There has been a real trend of late with designers moving away from traditional straight laying patterns.”


GERFLOR Creation With more than 70 years’ experience of design-led development, Gerflor’s expertise in Luxury Vinyl Tile design is represented with the Creation range. Seven unique designs within three modern trend concepts enable the creation of stylish interiors. The collection includes more than 90 realistic wood and mineral fi nishes with a wide array of formats, grains and colours.

EGE CARPETS Fields of Flow Fields of Flow reflects the area of tension between traditional Asian culture and Scandinavian design, a strong fusion based on the respect for Feng Shui symbols, envisioned through the eyes of a young Danish designer. The design process combines traditional and modern techniques. The collection consists of five design themes with independent designs, varying from small scale to large, vivid patterns. Each design theme allows an interconnected floor design from room to room, enabling strong, coordinated expressions.

“As hotels continue to move away from carpet, LVT is a practical choice” – Karndean DESSO Luminous Carpets

ESTHEC Terrace Terrace is a high quality decking that can be used for a variety of outdoor applications, and Esthec has added a new colour to the range. Weathered grey shade, Essence, not only adds a new dimension to the floorcovering but has the added benefit of maintaining a low temperature under direct sunlight. Additionally Esthec has recently partnered with Eye Leds to provide the option of incorporating lighting into deck design.

Designed using LED lighting from Philips with light transmissive carpet developed by Desso, Luminous Carpets provides a new level of functionality. Transforming the way guests interact with space, it turns flooring into a canvas that engages with senses and natural inclination to seek out light. Designers can create different moods instantly, altering décor and ambience at the touch of a button. From pointing out safety exits and giving people directions or information, to creating a fully immersive experience, Luminous Carpets offers countless possibilities.


MODULEO Impress Offering exclusive wood designs on luxury vinyl flooring, the Impress range by Moduleo features five new wood designs with 22 colour options. Featuring registered embossing, all products in the collection present realistic, nature-inspired design. Impress is an addition to Moduleo’s existing Select and Transform collections.

TOP FLOOR Ottomania The rich culture of the Ottoman Empire is the inspiration behind Esti Barnes’ collection of six rug designs for Top Floor. The pairing of soft materials including silks, wools and bamboos with a variety of specialist weave techniques such as cut pile motif raised above a tapestry-quality loop pile background, give the collection a textural quality. The design is intentionally reminiscent of the handmade embroideries of the Ottoman period.

“The link with nature and sensory changes people experience means the commercial environment is bridging the gap, bringing the outside in” - Forbo

FORBO Tessera Contour

Front London, made up of award-winning design duo Jan Kath and Michaela Schleypen, has launched Ocean Stone. The new design captures the fleeting motion of pebbles on a seabed. The hand-carving techniques also incorporate a combination of looped pile and cut pile creating movement, texture and depth.

A practical new carpet tile collection of ten muted colourways, Tessera Contour is inspired by both urban and natural environments. A move away from strong colour palettes, Contour leads the way with a tonal progression of diffused muted shades ranging from very dark to pale, the latter of which achieve high Light Reflectance Values. Contour can be fitted in a variety of styles from monolithic, nondirectional, tessellated or half-drop, allowing complete design flexibility.

FRONT Ocean Stone


KARNDEAN DESIGNFLOORING LooseLay Series Three LooseLay Series Three features sophisticated new wood designs in stylish hues, following the trend for oak tones, rustics and deep greys. Inspired by nature, the collection’s six new woods feature light, blonde hues through to striking, warm ginger ones. The innovative format of the luxury vinyl flooring features enhanced acoustic properties and environmental credentials.

SHAW HOSPITALITY GROUP The Studio / Painting A collaboration between Shaw Hospitality Group and Farmboy Fine Arts, the latest collection explores the process of an artist mastering a single work, juxtaposing control with spontaneity. Corridor, rug and field carpet patterns reflect the liquidity of paint and artist’s detail with patterns such as tilt, flow, daub, ink wash and brush stroke. The broadloom and carpet tile products, constructed in Eco Solution Q Nylon, and manufactured with recycled content.

“In 2014, we have seen a rise in popularity for something totally unique” – Karndean DesignFlooring

BEAULIEU FLOORING SOLUTIONS Hospitality II Carpet Collection Beaulieu Flooring Solutions group has launched a new hospitality carpet design collection under its Carus brand. The new chromojet-print design collection is built up around three themes offering more than 200 possibilities. The Urban & Lounge designs are inspired by city-life and the base cloths are adapted for modern living. The natural softness of the Blossom & Spring designs aims to create a welcoming environment, while Style & Elegance is a selection of all time classics.

ALTERNATIVE FLOORING Daisy by Ashley Hicks International interior and furniture designer Ashley Hicks has designed two distinct pattered carpets for Alternative Flooring. Chainmail and Daisy each present three timeless colour combinations. Daisy is a vintage tile-like floral, inspired by wall decoration in an old temple in Sri Lanka, while Chainmail is a geometric created in an original, new guise with a palette named after different kinds of chain links.


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[ W]www. newmor . c om [ E]enqui r i es @newmor . c om [ T]+44( 0)1938551990



BRINTONS Padstow Inspired by Pop Art and geometrics, Padstow is a fresh, modern and flexible range from Brintons. The airy palette is influenced by the seaside, featuring soft, ice-cream inspired shades. The range comprises designs such as spot, houndstooth, point and gingham designs, with 11 colourways across the collection

COSENTINO Dekton by Cosentino Five new colours have been added to the Dekton by Cosentino range’s palette, highlighting the beauty of natural stone. Aura, Edora, Irok, Kairos and Vegha (pictured) have all been added into Dekton by Cosentino’s Natural Collection, due to the natural look that they present. With this addition, the range now has 15 colours, divided into three different collections: Solid Collection, Natural Collection and Tech Collection.


BOLON Missoni

Bespoke matting and flooring specialist, Jaymart, combines technology with design to present a variety of practical, stylish mats. With the brand’s wide range of colours and the accuracy of computerised cutting, brand logos can be produced within a mat that also acts as a barrier to walk-in dirt. The nature of in-laid mats means that the logo is durable, and the synthetic fibre of In-genius and Raincheck logo mats afford superior colourfastness.

The collaboration between Swedish design company Bolon and Italian fahion house Missoni continues with the introduction of Missoni’s classic Zigzag pattern. This pattern is debuted alongside Flame Patch, as well as updates of the Optical and Flame patterns. Warm, passionate colours combine to create a collection exuding joy and confidence. All designs are available in rolls, except Flame Patch, which is available exclusively as 50x50 tiles.


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Specifier P R O D U C T S & S E R V I C E S F O R H O S P I TA L I T Y D E S I G N

GROHE Eurodisc Joystick Launched at Sleep, Eurodisc Joystick demonstrates form and function by combining stylish design with easy operation. The joystick acts as the focal point, with superior ergonomics combined with Grohe’s SilkMove cartridge technology, allowing precise fi ngertip control. The integrated Grohe EcoJoy water-saving technology promotes responsible and sustainable water and energy consumption. The full range of tap variants includes single-lever mixers with three different spout heights as well as flat, wall-mounted two-hole variants, which perfectly match the chosen wash basin. The line is available in Grohe StarLight Chrome and Chrome/Moon White.


LASVIT Crystal Rock



Designed by Arik Levy, Crystal Rock is a fusion between nature and man, light and reflection, transparency and mass. The characteristics are gathered within a perfectly cut, roughly sculpted silex, which is suspended in the air. Crystal Rock’s LED source highlights the artistic glassmaking process and advanced gluing techniques, allowing multiple reflections and deflections on its inner curved surfaces and defi ning form on cut facets.

One of the latest additions from Newmor is Eden, a hand drawn peony print. The stunning floral design is full of detail and delicacy whilst retaining a strong commercial practicality. The colour palette features sophisticated dove greys, rich copper and gold metallic highlights and the on-trend silver and denim. Newmor’s in-house team enables the company to develop a unique wallcovering that fits perfectly to the needs of each project, both aesthetically and technically.

Design-led brand Allermuir’s new furniture designs have been unveiled to include the Paver sofa system with seam detail, and the Mimosa lounge chair, inspired by retro mid-century design. Combining comfort with aesthetics, Allermuir has also launched Scholes, a chair designed specifically to support and enable collaborative work settings. The generous proportions and wraparound back provide comfort in any position.


HANSGROHE Axor Citerrio E Philippe Grohe and Antonio Citterio have introduced a third bathroom collection for Axor. The Axor Citerrio E fi xtures are characterised by a balanced contrast of smooth shapes, clean lines and precious surfaces. Soft and slender mixer handles characterise the collection’s design, as the single lever mixer features an upright joystick handle, or the three-hole mixer with its classic cross-handles. All 37 products that comprise the collection share a harmonious look that complements a variety of styles from art nouveau to modern urban. The collection is available in six highly scratch and cleanserresistant PVD-treated surface fi nishes, polished or brushed, including chrome, gold optic, rose gold, black chrome, nickel or bronze.

MORGAN FURNITURE Oslo Table Made from walnut and oak, the new Oslo and Lucca tables are designed by Morgan Studio, and complement a wide array of original Morgan seating collections. Characterised by freeform shapes and a delicate organic structure, the designs subtly reference the style of the 1950s. Classic materials are used in a modern way, including marble top options and brass detailing.

BETTE BetteFloor Side / BetteUpstand Bette has introduced four extra-large sizes into its innovative enamelled steel BetteFloor Side flush-to-floor shower area range, as well as providing the option of ordering the product with BetteUpstand, which eliminates the need for silicone where the shower floor meets the wall. BetteFloor Side is permanently waterproof and hygienic, combining seamlessly with BetteUpstand to ensure a hygienic, durable and easy to clean edge to the wall.



ASTRO Joel Grande


The launch of VitrA’s Rim-Ex collection follows the brand’s introduction of its fi rst truly rimless WC for the M-Line range last year. The new Rim-Ex concept now makes it possible to obtain any of VitrA’s most popular ranges with a rimless WC, including Nest, Shift, T4 and M-Line, allowing increased hygiene levels and ease of cleaning. Each RimEx WC incorporates special design features, and the rimless bowl features an easy clean surface and no rims where germs can collect.

Astro has extended its Joel collection, comprising retro table lamps, wall lights, floor lamps and pendants. The latest addition, Joel Grande, offers new dimensions and features to the cohesive range. A contemporary reincarnation of an Astro original, the design is based on classic mid-century lighting, available in both wall and table lamp options. The range is LED-compatible and the integral shade is available in polished chrome, black and cream.

The Piccadilly shower temple combines style and functionality. The air-boosted rain shower features water mixed with air, giving an invigorating spray without waste, thermally toughened safety glass and high quality fittings. The classic brassware and base provides a traditional reference, while the glass surround and plated nickel fi nish offer a contemporary take. The shower is raised from the floor, adding a regal feel.

KERAMAG DESIGN Xeno 2 The new Xeno2 collection is designer Robin Platt’s debut range for Keramag Design. The design is informed by the trend identified as ‘soft geometry’ in bathroom ceramics, embodying contemporary design yet expressing it in a softer style of minimalism. The basin shapes include distinctive asymmetrical designs and are a fusion between an architectural building block and a surprisingly soft organic. Xeno2 offers a comprehensive range of products, available in three contemporary fi nishes of white gloss, matt grey and scultura grey woodgrain with a subtly textured fi nish.



AGUA FABRICS Sark Collection

SKAI Soshargo

Elstead Lighting has partnered with USA manufacturer Stiffel to introduce 28 models of handcrafted lamps. Influenced by the 1920s to 1950s, each Stiffel lamp is original and created by skilled designers and craftsmen in New Jersey before being wired to CE specification by Elstead Lighting in the UK. Many of the lamps are large scale, and are available in various fi nishes including Antique Nickel, Pewter, Roman Bronze and Milano Silver. The lamps can be viewed in the new Elstead Lighting catalogue.

Comprising 16 alluring colours, the Agua Sark Upholstery Fabric Collection features a wide range of tones, from warm mauve and wine, to the cool tones of zest and sky. The integration of a subtle twotone effect aims to bring out style and sophistication to upholstery projects in a wide range of environments.

Following the belief that a comfortable feel is as impressive as an exclusive look, Skai presents Soshagro. The extravagant material allows designers to create exclusive accents with the manta ray-look, and is therefore well suited for use on furniture in public spaces, guestrooms and suites. Used in high-quality contract areas, Skai can also be used on walls and large surfaces, creating a statement.

CLAYBROOK Stone Natural stone specialist Claybrook has a strong tradition in stone and stone mosaics, supplying decorative stone products to premium hospitality projects around the world. Claybrook pairs advanced technology with traditional mosaic assembling techniques to create products that reference the past and are customisable to each individual project.


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Dramatic fabric for panels and indoor upholstery The Mystique collection comprises 7 stunning designs for a multitude of applications. Available in rich metallic tones, the Titan design offers plain yet textured-look vinyl available in the modern browns, greys and silvers while Atlas, Gems, Bamboo, Pegasus, Troll and Fleur present a modern twist with contemporary patterns. The combination of plains and patterns in this collection, lends itself well to mix and matching, creating stunning and eye catching furniture, as depicted in the Newbury Side Chair by JA Upholstery with the combination of Atlas Copper with Gems Copper.

Gems Copper

Atlas Copper

For further information and samples T: +44 (0)20 8205 0050 |

Upholstered in Mystique collection

Mystique collection

MINOTTI Collar Designed by Rodolfo Dordoni, Collar is a seating system that melds the rationality of design with function, placing technology at the service of the user. The Collar seating system is distinctive in that the armrests and backrest can be moved independently into three different positions due to technology developed by Minotti Studio. A decorative shaped, pewter colour metal detail outlines the part of the armrest and backrest that can be moved.

KETTAL Mesh Kettal Mesh collection recalls architectural faรงades, which fi lter the surrounding environment without stopping the light and airflow. Expanded metal is used for the backrest of the sofas and tables, giving a feeling of lightness while acting as support for wooden and marble tops. The slight bending of the sofa arms gives a delicacy to the industrial frame, promoting comfort. Meanwhile, the solid wooden bases and voluminous upholstery resemble indoor living.

HARLEQUIN Amazilia The Harlequin Studio has produced Amazilia, a collection of fabrics and wallcoverings based on extravagant tropical motifs in vibrant colourways. Channeling the current trend for bringing the outdoors in, the collection creates a feeling of both sanctuary and escapism. The designer-luxe collection comprises seven printed fabrics, four weaves, eight wallpapers and a spray-dyed velvet.


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Mattresses made by hand from natural, sustainable and organic materials

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M R . L I G H T 1 1





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Innspec PROJECT DIRECTORY Innspec is the new online platform for hotel design and specification from Sleeper. Below is a small representative sample of companies involved in some of the projects reviewed in this issue. For the complete list of all those involved, and full photography of all projects, please visit

FONTEVRAUD L’HÔTEL, PAYS DE LA LOIRE Interior Designer: Jouin Manku Supplier (Furnishings): Ligne Roset Consultant (Acoustic): Peutz et Associes Contractor (Woodwork & Metal): CAA Operator: Fontevraud Resort

PARK HYATT, VIENNA Architect: Neumann + Partner Interior Designer: FG Stijl Supplier (Carpets): Alarwool Supplier (Lighting): Lights of Vienna Operator: Signa Development

SOFITEL DUBAI DOWNTOWN Interior Designer: Wilson Associates Supplier (Carpets): Ulster Carpets Consultant (Cost): KEO Contractor: Alec Fitout Operator: Accor

HILTON ISTANBUL BOMONTI Designer: GA Design Supplier (Fabric): Romo Supplier (Outdoors): Janus et Cie Contractor (Fitout): Papyrus Operator: Hilton Hotels & Resorts

REGENT PORTO MONTENEGRO, TIVAT Architect: ReardonSmith Architects Supplier (Sanitaryware): Hansgrohe Consultant (Spa): Design for Leisure Contractor (Building): Yu Briv Kotor Operator: Porto Montenegro Hotels

SOFITEL SO SINGAPORE Architects: DP Architects Pte Ltd Interior Designer: Miaja Design Group Supplier (Technology): DirectStreams Consultant (Landscape): DP Green Pte Ltd Operator: Accor

LANSERHOF TEGERNSEE, MARIENSTEIN Designer: Ingenhoven Architects Supplier (Furnishings): B&B Italia Consultant (Façade): DS Plan AG Contractor (Interior Fit-Out): Hagenauer GmbH Operator/Owner: Lanserhof Marienstein GmbH & Co

RUBY SOFIE, VIENNA Interior Designer: Michael Patrick Struck Supplier (Sanitaryware): Duravit Supplier (Furnishings): Kartell Consultant (Project Management): Ehret + Klein Operator: Ruby Hotels & Resorts

THE BEAUMONT, LONDON Architect: ReardonSmith Architects Interior Designer: Richmond International Supplier (Furnishings): S&T Interiors Supplier (Lighting): Dernier & Hamlyn Operator: Corbin & King

To see the complete list of suppliers, contractors, consultants, designers and owners, please refer to or contact the team at or

Advertising Index Agua Fabrics


JT Kalmar GmbH


AJP Bathrooms


Janus et Cie

Albrecht JUNG GmbH & Co KG


Jaymart Rubber & Plastics Ltd


Aliseo GmbH




Allermuir Ltd


Ligne Roset


Andrianna Shamaris Inc


Maison & Objet Asia




Maison & Objet Paris


Astro Lighting Ltd


Minotti SpA


Beaulieu International Group


Modular Arts


Beck Interiors Ltd




Bette GmbH & Co KG – UK




Burgess Furniture Ltd




Chelsom Lighting Ltd


Preciosa Lighting


Chorus Group Ltd


PS Interiors


Claybrook Interiors Ltd


Radical Innovation Award



Rak Ceramics UK






Dixon Turner Wallcovering Ltd


Sanipex Group


EE Smith Contracts Ltd


Services & Trade Co LLC




Shaw Contract Group


Ehrlich-Leder GmbH


The Stone & Ceramic Warehouse


EPR Architects Ltd


Top Floor UK Ltd


HB Design


Ultrafabrics Europe Ltd




Umbrosa NV


HI Design

123 & 125

Vincent Sheppard


004 & 005

006 & 007



Vista Green






Interface Europe Ltd






In 1960, Arne Jacobsen created what is widely regarded as the world’s first design hotel, now known as Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Copenhagen. The Danish visionary was not only responsible for the façade of the iconic property, but everything inside, right down to the cutlery used in the restaurant. While much of the hotel has undergone several changes over the years, Room 606 remains exactly as Jacobsen designed it. In recognition of its creator, Radisson Blu has now redesigned Room 506 together with Spanish designer Jaime Hayon. Inspired by Jacobsen’s classic palette of subtle colours with a few well-placed bright accents, Hayon has created a new look for

the room, designing the furtniture, artwork and bedding with great respect for the original. Nordic touches come in the form of Hayon’s Favn sofa, Ro easy chair, and Analog table, all manufactured by Republic of Fritz Hansen. The Danish design house has also reissued Jacobsen’s Drop chair, given a new, sophisticated upholstery by Hayon. Created exclusively for the hotel, The Drop was originally produced with the Swan and the Egg – also by Jacobsen – but it was never put into standard production. In 2014, The Drop was reproduced in a range of contemporary colours and materials and available to the public for the first time.





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Sleeper January/February 2015 - Issue 58  

Sleeper Magazine Hotel Design Development Architecture The Sleeper brand – comprising a beautifully presented magazine, and our website www...

Sleeper January/February 2015 - Issue 58  

Sleeper Magazine Hotel Design Development Architecture The Sleeper brand – comprising a beautifully presented magazine, and our website www...

Profile for mondiale