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Kimpton De Witt

HĂ´tel de Crillon

The typically outlandish designs of Marcel Wanders bring a cacophony of pattern and colour to Doha

American-born Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants plants its first flag in Europe

A delicate balance between conservation and transformation at Rosewood’s Parisian palace

STAND & DELIVER A desk light in its most elemental form, the Enna maintains an elegant stance thanks to its pure architectural structure, while a fully adjustable head allows perfect illumination of the task at hand. Because good design demands simplicity.™ Model: Enna Desk



1997 - 2017

Inside Sleeper NOVEMBER | DECEMBER 2017


Hotel Reviews


Cover Story

055 Lews Castle Stornoway

038 Meeting Matteo Thun Ahead of the opening of Waldhotel at Bürgenstock Resort Lake Lucerne, Matteo Thun talks of the merging of hotel and medical centre that has shaped his concept.

046 Mondrian Doha SBE and Marcel Wanders venture into the Middle East with a typically outlandish design, embodying Arabian culture through a modern lens, whilst retaining strong sense of respect for the region’s past.

062 Kimpton De Witt Amsterdam 071 Myconian Kyma Mykonos 076 Hôtel de Crillon Paris 087 Made New York 092 Hotel Eden Rome 100 Hotel Indigo Nowy Świat Warsaw 109 Yooma Urban Lodge Paris 117

Villa Brown Jerusalem

123 Location Report... India With a projected 17% rise in foreign tourist arrivals this year, India’s allure remains undiminished. A host of new openings in the northern part of the country sees both homegrown and international groups cater to a new generation of traveller.

Departments 022 Check In 024 Drawing Board 044 Brand Standards Yotel 167 Business Centre Hotel Analyst 172 Business Centre STR 181 Events 192 Events Radical Innovation Award 205 Company Profile Roca 211 Product Profile Fabrics, Wallcoverings & Surfaces 229 Product Profile Beds, Mattresses & Linens 235 Specifier 258 Check Out



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HEAD OFFICE KETTAL / CONTRACT BARCELONA: Aragรณn 316, 08009 Barcelona, Spain. T. (34) 93 487 90 90

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e all suffer from tunnel vision from time to time, focusing so intently on the task-in-hand that we forget to take stock of what’s going on around us. This is often true of the hospitality industry. While some had their heads buried in the balance sheet, others were developing new concepts, borrowing innovations from other sectors to help propel the industry forward. It began with self-service check-in kiosks, already a common sight at the departures lounge yet equally suited to the hotel lobby. CitizenM and Yotel were amongst the early adopters, catering to a new generation of travellers for whom technology comes second nature. Designers and developers have also looked to the retail and office sectors to create multi-use spaces, where guests are as comfortable grabbing a quick bite as they are setting up shop and tapping away on their laptop. When Sleeper met with Matteo Thun recently, he spoke of the blurring of lines between wellness and hospitality. His new project, the soon-to-open Waldhotel at Burgenstock Resort Lake Lucerne, sees architecture meet cuttingedge medical standards. But it’s not just a design story. Thun pointed out that the traditional low season for holidaymakers could be converted to a high season for medical tourism, resulting in a better return on investment. Cross-sector practices were also highlighted at Radical Innovation Award, in which student winner Brandan Siebrecht presented a hotel concept based on transport design. Drawing from Elon Musk’s Hyperloop One – a highspeed transportation system – his idea sees shipping containers repurposed as travelling guest suites. The transport sector on the whole has been a notable source of inspiration, with the limited square footage of luxury train cabins, cruise liners and aircrafts resulting in creative, space-saving solutions that have gradually found their way into the guestroom. At The Annual Hotel Conference in Manchester, Lee Penson – newly immersed in the hotel industry having recently worked with AccorHotels on its new Jo & Joe brand – spoke of the need to look outside the industry for inspiration. Drawing on his design experience in retail, F&B and office spaces, Penson revealed that the starting point for the concept was to think of it as a hotel, but rather a series of zones that borrow from other sectors. With the hospitality industry often under fire for its lack of innovation – due in part to the long lead times of projects – it’s crucial that we don’t lose sight of what’s going on around us. Sometimes, inspiration can be found in the most unlikely of places.

Catherine Martin | Editor


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“Transitioning into regions where a higher level of luxury is expected, we saw an opportunity to really focus on refining the brand to a state of sophistication,” explains Ave Bradley, Creative Director and Global Senior Vice President of Design at Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants. The group has recently planted its first flag in Europe with Kimpton De Witt, occupying five adjoining buildings in Amsterdam.

Sam Gelin enters the hospitality market with his inaugural project, Made. Located in New York’s thriving NoMad district, the hotel combines local craftwork with plush fabrics, vintage furniture and a home-grown ethos. Alongside 108 guestrooms, Made features local hotspot Paper coffee shop, Good Behaviour rooftop bar, and Ferris, an American seasonal restaurant with Greg Proechel at the helm.

Ora ïto founded his sculptural design studio in 1997 with an underlying philosophy of simplexity, reinventing streamlining to meet the desires of contemporary society. The French designer has since collaborated with a number of product manufacturers including Cassina, Cappellini and Zanotta, and has also tried his hand at hotel design. His latest project is Yooma Urban Lodge in Paris.

With 40 years’ experience in the design industry, Kelly Hoppen has worked on commercial projects spanning hotels , ba rs , rest au ra nts and private residences, from exclusive addresses in China’s Shen zhen Bay to lu x u r y interiors for Celebrity Cruises. Most recently, Hoppen has collaborated with Brintons to create a range of bold contemporary woven carpets for the contract market.


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Ahead of revealing their concept for Sleep’s destination bar, Moscow-based Sundukovy Sisters take a fantasy break in a Wes Anderson masterpiece.

Where are you? New Zealand, a country we haven’t yet been to. How did you get there? Teleporter. We spend a lot of time travelling and sometimes it would be nice to be teleported to a destination instead of taking long-haul flights. Who is there to greet you on arrival? Someone who is welcoming yet unobtrusive. They know when to assist, and when to leave us to explore. And who’s at the concierge desk? We’re millennials, so as long as we have Wi-Fi and plenty of Apps, we rarely ask a concierge for help. We’re much more likely to get recommendations from the bartender. Who are you sharing your room with? Our beloved family. Is there anything you would like waiting for you in your room? Chilled champagne, coffee and chocolates. Describe the hotel, your room and the view... The room has panoramic views of the landscape, where we can observe mountains, sea, sun and endless sky. Interiors are elegant, yet comfortable,

and are so well planned that we take photos of every detail. The hotel itself is grand, but not pretentious, built and designed with high quality materials and finishes. There are a variety of different public spaces and community zones to experience. Who designed it? Wes Anderson. The characters from his movies inhabit the hotel, and Wes himself is not only the architect, but also a director of this amusement. What’s the restaurant and bar like? The restaurant has delicious cuisine, distinguished interiors, subdued lighting and a relaxing atmosphere. The space is organised in a way that you can escape to a quiet corner and people-watch. For us, the essential for any bar is a sociable and charismatic bartender – they should make guests want to stay longer.

Would you like something to drink with that? Red wine. What’s on your nightstand at bedtime? Our reliable assistant – a laptop. As even in the most wonderful hotel in the world we can’t put our work and passion aside. Would you like a newspaper or magazine in the morning? No thanks, we prefer to check the internet for news. What toiletries would you like to freshen up with? We need many things, but our kit is compact. Travelling all the time, we have a special beauty case that we keep only for travelling. Early morning alarm call or late check out? Late check-out.

Who are you dining with this evening? Wes Anderson; Japanese architect Tadao Ando; designer India Mahdavi; and graffiti artist Banksy.

Bath or power shower? We have different opinions. A shower for Olga, and a bath for Irina.

Who’s manning the stoves? A young, unknown chef who is ambitious and has curated their own menu.

Full English, continental or something different? We prefer breakfast a la carte, perhaps it does not have many variations, but it is special.

And what’s on the menu? Seafood, since we are by the sea.

Swimming pool, spa or gym? Swimming pool.

Name: Irina and Olga Sundukovy | Position: Founders, Sundukovy Sisters Design & Architecture Studio | Notable hotel projects: Pullman Berlin Schweizerhof, Germany; Hotel Le Louis Versailles Château MGallery by Sofitel, France; Ibis Styles Tbilisi, Georgia.


Mui Dinh Eco-Resort VIETNAM

Chapman Taylor has announced that its masterplan for Mui Dinh Eco-Resort has has received approval from the Vietnamese government. Comprising six resorts and a boutique hotel for a total of 7,000 guestrooms, the mixed-use development is located on the east coast of Vietnam, 300km northeast of Ho Chi Minh City. Designed by Chapman Taylor’s Bangkok office to reflect key elements of the surrounding area, the scheme is inspired by the rich local history of Mui Dinh, particularly that of the Cham tribal culture and the lost world of the last dynasty. The 1,100,000m2 masterplan also includes also a theme park, casino, beach club, mountain clubhouse and 500 ocean facing villas. The smaller buildings

are set around the mountain to better integrate them into the surroundings, whilst the larger facilities will be situated further inland to minimise impact on the environment. Sustainability principles will be at the forefront of the development, with cross ventilation and water reuse systems incorporated into the design to create a pleasing climate with minimal waste. Oscar Martinez, Director of Chapman Taylor’s Bangkok studio, comments: “We are delighted that the Vietnamese government has given its full support to our masterplan and this ambitious and unique eco-development, which will transform this beautiful coastal area into a new exciting sustainable destination and give an economic boost to this region of eastern Vietnam.”

Rosewood Grosvenor Square LONDON

Rosewood Hotels & Resorts has been appointed by global real estate investment firm Qatari Diar to manage a new, ultra-luxury hotel on Grosvenor Square in London’s prestigious Mayfair district.

will bring new life to this iconic building. The prestigious Mayfair neighbourhood embodies elegance, culture, and sophistication, making it the ideal location for Rosewood’s second property in London,” comments Sonia Cheng, CEO, Rosewood Hotel Group. “As one of Europe’s most coveted travel destinations, London strikes a special balance between the historical charms of the past and the contemporary comforts of the present, catering to a multitude of experiences that often cannot be found in one place. We look forward to providing guests with a property that is equally as captivating, and that will serve as a backdrop for the rich and authentic adventures that the city affords.” The announcement comes on the heels of the reopening of Hôtel de Crillon in Paris, solidifying Rosewood’s expanding presence in Europe and around the globe.

Housed in the iconic building that currently serves as the US Embassy, the hotel will offer 137 spacious guestrooms as well as a variety of dining and entertainment spaces, including five gourmet restaurants. It will also feature a signature spa, six flagship retail spaces, and a grand ballroom for up to 1,000 guests. Esteemed British architect Sir David Chipperfield has been selected to oversee the design process, which will reimagine the mid-20th century building through elegant interior upgrades while maintaining its integrity through the preservation of the original Grade II-listed façade. “We are thrilled to embark on this exciting new venture, which


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Kimpton Resort Haitang Bay SA N YA

InterContinental Hotels Group has signed three management contracts to introduce Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants to Asia.

The first Kimpton in Southeast Asia, Kimpton Bali, will open in 2019 on the picturesque Nusa Dua coast. With 50 luxurious villas, the hotel blends with the local Balinese culture, delivering an authentic experience reflective of the locale. This will be followed by Kimpton Shanghai Jing’an, featuring 150 guestrooms and 120 villas that originally belonged to the British-American Concession. Finally, Kimpton Resort Sanya Haitang Bay is slated to open on the southeast coast of Hainan Island in 2021. The oceanfront property with direct beach access will house 251 guestrooms, a rooftop pool, and vibrant gardens. The new signings extend the global footprint of Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants to Asia following its expansion to Europe with the opening of Kimpton De Witt Amsterdam and the signing of Kimpton Paris, earlier this year.

Announced at the Hotel Investment Conference Asia Pacific (HICAP), the first Kimpton properties in the region will be located in prime markets in Southeast Asia and Greater China. “Our Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants brand is incredibly unique and we’re thrilled to see our plans to take it global continue to gather pace,” comments Keith Barr, CEO, IHG. “This is the right time to introduce Kimpton to Asia, where we see more and more travellers looking for a sophisticated, yet personalised lifestyle travel experience. The hotels we have signed are in highly sought-after destinations in Bali, Shanghai and Sanya in China, and provide a fitting introduction to Asia for this iconic brand.”


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Bankside LONDON

Plans have been announced for a new hotel on London’s South Bank, forming part of the One Blackfriars development masterminded by award-winning architect Ian Simpson.

spaces are relaxed and free-flowing, with floating room dividers inspired by Alexander Calder’s famed mobiles. Sculptural shapes and unconventional spaces play with the light to create the feel of a gallery or museum, rather than a traditional hotel space. Bankside’s restaurant, Lilly & Skinner, aims to be a true neighbourhood hangout with a seasonal menu, playful interiors and an informal atmosphere, while inspiring live-work lounges will provide a home for nomadic global creatives. Additional facilities include a first-floor library serving artisanal snacks, and a large gallery-style space inspired by New York’s White Box, providing a versatile and flexible space for private events and meetings. Set to open in September 2018, Bankside is being developed by St. George, a subsidiary of the Berkeley Group, and will be operated by Amerimar Enterprises.

The six-storey hotel has been designed with an affection for the world’s most respected art studios in an emerging London neighbourhood, with a strong sense of community and inspiring calendar of design, art and food events. The interior design team is led by film-setproducer-turned-interiors-architect, Dayna Lee of Powerstrip Studio, with her cinematic vision creating a dynamic destination for stylish accommodation and inviting social, co-working and event spaces. The 161 guestrooms and seven suites feature handpicked furniture and eclectic artworks, complemented by flashes of colour in the form of richly textured rugs and textiles. The light-filled communal


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Unscripted Central Hall BIRMINGHAM

Dream Hotel Group has announced plans to debut Unscripted Hotels – a lifestyle brand designed for the progressive, creative traveller – in the UK in 2020.

restoration project. Designed by architects Ewan Harper & James A. Harper, the three-storey, Edwardian red brick and terracotta Grade II*-listed building opened in 1905, and its distinctive tower remains a recognisable part of the Birmingham skyline. The new hotel will feature 135 guestrooms alongside five dining and nightlife venues. “We are very excited to announce Unscripted as the centerpiece of this landmark redevelopment,” comments Vedrana Bilanovic Riley, CEO, Ciel Capital. “We needed a completely fresh take on hospitality, one that would bring action back to the location, and Unscripted was the right match for us.” Dream Hotel Group plans to sign another 30 hotels and resorts worldwide across all its brands – Dream Hotels, Time Hotels, The Chatwal and Unscripted Hotels – over the next four years, continuing to solidify its global portfolio.

Unscripted Birmingham Central Hall will set a new benchmark for hospitality in the West Midlands and follows the launch of the brands flagship in Durham, North Carolina, earlier this year. “Driven by hyperlocal food and beverage, innovative design and a culture of friendly service, Unscripted gives adventurous travellers what they want in a lifestyle brand – an authentic experience that delights the senses and enhances their lifestyle,” explains Jay Stein, CEO, Dream Hotel Group. The latest signing – with London-based Ciel Capital – will be situated in the renovated Methodist Central Hall as part of a wider


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W Hotel ROME

W Hotels Worldwide has announced plans to open W Rome in 2021, marking the debut of the design-led lifestyle brand in Italy.

“This latest signing shows that even in mature markets like Rome, W Hotels is fortunate to collaborate with visionary developers such as the Omnam Group who are equally passionate about creating an exciting and original hospitality experience,” comments Carlton Ervin, Chief Development Officer, Europe, Marriott International. “The choice of W Hotels for their prime development reflects our shared confidence that the brand’s inimitable offer will be perfectly attuned to this spectacular city to meet the needs and desires of future travellers to the Italian capital.” The announcement reaffirms the growth of the brand in Europe, where W Hotels currently operates seven properties. Ten new W hotels are planned in the region with the arrival of W Tel Aviv in 2018, followed by Madrid, Belgrade and the Algarve in 2019, and Prague and Budapest in 2020.

Occupying two 19th century buildings in the Via Veneto neighbourhood – close to the Spanish Steps and fashion boutiques of Via Condotti – W Rome is being developed by Omnam Group through a real estate fund managed by Kryalos SGR. Originally intended for residential use, the historic buildings previously operated as a hotel, as well as offices for government ministries and private companies. The structures will be carefully renovated and re-imagined to refresh the historic elements while infusing the W brand’s bold and inspiring design philosophy. Once complete, the hotel will feature 159 guestrooms and suites, two restaurants, 120m2 of event space, and a rooftop destination bar.


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Zuri Hotels & Resorts has announced the 2018 opening of Zuri Zanzibar, a design-led beach resort in the Indian Ocean.

Dining venues include The Upendo Restaurant, overlooking the entire resort and serving up international cuisine with an African twist; Maischa Pool Restaurant & Bar, decorated in a chic African style; and Bahari Grill & Bar, which embraces its natural surroundings with an authentic vibe. The Peponi Bar, meanwhile, reflects the atmosphere of the resort, situated on a wooden deck with ocean views, whilst the exclusive Dhow Bar caters to guests in the private villas. Ahead of the launch, Zuri Zanzibar has also outlined a philosophy of social responsibility and sustainability. Focused on education, environment and waste management, the grounds incorporate a spice garden and a spice garden house offering Swahili cooking classes, and the opportunity to discover the technology related to the Zuri project. Functioning as both leisure areas and educational venues, these spaces characterise the dual-nature set to define the resort.

Located in Kendwa on the the idyllic northern west shores of Zanzibar’s Spice Island, the 13-acre resort will feature 55 stylish bungalows, villas and suites, all with private terraces overlooking a 300m stretch of private beach. A member of Design Hotels, Zuri Zanzibar is being designed by London-based Jestico+Whiles with interiors that blend contemporary features with traditional African touches, from handcrafted furniture and traditional Zanzibar carved doors to locally curated art. At the centre of the resort will be a lush tranquil spice garden brimming with an array of indigenous plants and trees, complete with dedicated relaxation pods, ideal for meditation and yoga.


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Š Nacho Alegre


Matteo Thun Italian through-and-through, product and interior designer Matteo Thun talks of the influence of his home city throughout his illustrious career. Words: Molly Dolan | Photography: Courtesy of Matteo Thun & Partners


riginally studying under Oscar Kokoschka at Salzbourg Academy, Thun achieved his degree in architecture from the University of Florence in 1975. Three years later, he relocated to Milan and co-founded Memphis alongside his friend and contemporary, the late Ettore Sottsass. Fast-forward 20 years and a plethora of accolades including Red Dot Awards for product design, and Thun is in 2001, setting up Matteo Thun + Partners. Still based in Milan – but with an outpost in Shanghai and subsidiary in Munich – where we met on a rooftop at sunset in true Milanese style. We’re here to celebrate the launch of Very Wood’s Capri collection, designed by Thun himself. The designer credits the role of the city in his studio’s success. “Milan holds significant importance to the practice. The flexibility in this town is fantastic: we have an unbelievable network of suppliers for our rendering, for prototyping, for printing, for everything. On top of that, is the city’s reputation.” Thun goes on to explain that the age-old reputation of high-quality Milanese design and production remains. The studio’s team is a mixture of ethnicities, races and cultures, with an Italian and Spanish at the helm: Luca Colombo and Antonio Rodriguez. Thun continues: “The area brings significant inspiration to our staff. The team is completely international, yet they are all trained

here in Milan. They must stay here for at least one year and learn the holistic, Milan approach.” They affectionately call it the ‘Milan school’, a term coined in the 1950s by the likes of Achille Castiglioni. According to Thun, this era saw architects begin to try their hand at product design: “In Milan, they have had very little to do in terms of architecture. Italy has a lot of old buildings and so, in the 1950s and 60s, industries turned to architects for lamps, chairs, and so on.” He quips: “That is how ‘Made in Italy’ became famous worldwide, because all good design is done by architects, not designers.” Reflecting on his earlier work, Thun marvels at the success. Perhaps through surprise, but more likely through gratitude for those involved. Opened in 2000, Side Hotel in Hamburg put him on the map in the hotel design world. “It is a big deal, but not because of my performance,” he recalls. “I asked Robert Wilson to work on the lighting design. He is not a lighting designer, but he had a fresh mind, so I thought, maybe someone from the theatre could give me new, simple ideas.” Thun interrupts his nostalgia for another observation. “I don’t trust specialists. I like the originality of outsiders. You have to reinvent yourself every project, and make every project a new experience. That is what I try to do.” This re-inventive ethos allows Thun’s portfolio to span a complex variety of projects, from one-off atelier pieces to strategic partnerships

“I don’t trust specialists… I like the originality of outsiders.”


Above: Waldhotel Health & Medical Excellence features local limestone along the exterior for seamless landscape integration Opposite: Thun’s studio is currently overseeing the re-launch of InterCity Hotels, which are set to feature his ‘Zero Design’ approach

with leading suppliers, from wellness retreats to urban hotels. One such partnership is with InterCityHotels, a brand currently undergoing a re-launch, with Thun’s studio overseeing 12 of the properties under construction. The brand’s flagship, located in Frankfurt, is set to be the third international InterCityHotel featuring the conceptn he calls ‘Zero Design’. This approach involves simplifying the lines of objects as much as constructions, seeking iconic shapes destined to become solid, timeless designs rather than concepts catering to fleeting trends. Thun explains: “Today, the world’s leading hotel chains are asking for turnkey solutions with a recognisable personality to develop their brand portfolio. Timeless design entails creating solutions that can be replicated effortlessly and easily adapted to different styles and locations, without paying lip service to passing fads.” Another new project is Side Hotel in Hamburg. Thun’s first hotel project is now undergoing a refurbishment that will see its 190 guestrooms and suites upgraded to sensual, urban elegance. Keeping with the idea of zero, Thun applies the philosophy of the three zeros to the Vigilius Mountain Resort in Meran, Italy. “This is the first ‘Three Zero’ resort, both in its construction and subsequent management. This means zero kilometres in terms of nearness of construction materials, zero CO2 emissions and zero waste through life-cycle management in the building process.”

Looking to the future, Thun’s face lights up at the mention of his latest project – and fascination – Waldhotel Health & Medical Excellence at Burgenstock Resort. “The Latin word ‘hospes’ translates as guest, so hospitality and hospitals are not that different,” he starts. The five-star concept focuses on the relationship between the physical space and human wellbeing with exceptional wellness facilities accompanying medical care and treatments in a setting of unspoiled nature, just between the mountains and Lake Lucerne. He continues: “The very clever business idea is that the low season becomes high season. Low season is the ideal time for small surgery procedures, weight loss or treatments related to the body, but is typically quiet for hotels.” The 4,800m2 project aims to accompany the healing process in an optimal way and patients are treated like guests. The nine-storey, building with 161 suites, has been conceived with the lowest impact on the landscape and with highest energy efficiency. Setting architectural standards, the façades is partially designed with gabion baskets filled with limestone recovered from the excavation. The result is a perfect synthesis as surrounding walls retain the original stone, while the green, naturally insulated flat roof allows a seamless landscape integration. Meanwhile, the external lattice structure has been created using local larch wood, resulting



Above: Waldhotel Health & Medical Excellence in Burgenstock utilises wood aplenty alongside neutral, calming tones

in a brise-soleil that not only deflects the glaring sun during summer months, but also acts as a barrier to Switzerland’s rain and snow throughout the harsh winter months. Inside, neutral tones complement vast natural views with every suite boasting a south-facing private balcony, while accents in muted green tones create a sense of warmth. The hotel is finished with loose furniture by Matteo Thun Atelier. Aiming to make the experience as similar to a hotel stay as possible, Thun speaks about the guest experience: “There are very precise hygiene regulations, but other than that, this is exactly the same as hotel design.” Speaking of the merging of industries, he continues: “In general, the point of departure is the respect for the individuality of the brand and the soul of the place. We want to ensure design with a long life-cycle, which is particularly crucial when it comes to substantial hotel projects.” Another major factor in every one of Thun’s projects is sustainability. “This is key to my work in every aspect, it always was,” he tells. “I think creating sustainable, long-lasting projects and products is the responsibility of an architect. We aim for innovation, saving resources and energy, and taking the cost of engineering seriously. We do not want to be recognisable by a special architectural handwriting, but by a sustainable, durable design.” Touching on the need for sustainable products, Thun nods to

the industry that gave him his first successes. As well as gaining international acclaim for his hospitality work, Thun also leads the way in product design, with a portfolio listing collaborations with the likes of Klafs, Baxter, Artemide and Very Wood. Initially collaborating in 2013 for JW Marriott Venice Resort & Spa, Very Wood and Thun’s relationship is a deep and layered one. Very Wood’s understated classic chairs were specified to enhance several of the deluxe rooms and suites and it soon became apparent that the two brands share a common flair: Zero Design. The collaboration continues within the upcoming Waldhotel Health & Medical Excellence where Very Wood’s collections feature in both indoor and outdoor areas, delivering enhanced ergonomics in a design reminiscent of the natural surroundings. Thun concludes: “The design industry is doing well because they stopped trying to design; they stopped making fictional products. Real products are made through necessity and are usually made by architects. The industry needs to slow down the lifecycle of consuming products. It is so much cheaper to invest than buy cheap. The new generation of millennials are very wise in terms of consuming.” Looking forward, Thun promises to pursue his fascination with the merging of industries, shunning traditional design and seeking out the next innovative shift. Long may it continue.


“If we don’t get lost, we’ll never find a new route.” — Joan Littlewood

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A strategic partnership YOTEL | STARWOOD C APITAL GROUP

Yotel announces a $250 million strategic partnership with Starwood Capital Group to accelerate expansion on an international scale.

Hubert Viriot CEO, Yotel Hubert Viriot joined Yotel in 2014 with an aggressive growth strategy targeting key cities and international airports in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North America. Yotel will continue its global expansion with an opening in San Francisco later this year, followed by London in 2018, which marks its debut city centre property in Europe. Multiple developments including Yotel Amsterdam, Miami and Dubai, as well as YotelAir Singapore Changi Airport, are scheduled for 2019.

What has been happening at Yotel HQ? Yotel has embarked on a rapid expansion over the last few years. We have been fortunate to sign new developments with a number of partners across the world but have always thought that to further enhance our company, both from an operational and development point of view, setting up a partnership with a strategic investor was the way to grow. This brought us to discuss such an opportunity with Starwood Capital Group. After months of discussion, we agreed a partnership whereby Starwood Capital Group will take a 30% stake in the business, committing to invest in hotels operated by Yotel to help to facilitate and accelerate our expansion. What was the driving force behind the partnership? We have a significant number of leads to create new Yotels around the world, with many developers excited to work with us. The missing piece is the capital. The fact that we now have a fund allocating part of its investment towards our group will facilitate closing such opportunities, allowing us to develop more Yotels in the short and medium term. What else will Starwood Capital bring? It also gives us access to a global team of hotel experts who understand what we do, and therefore not only contribute in capital, but with expertise in various fields from development to distribution and technology. Do you foresee any changes to the Yotel model? Our core business has been reorganised in the last couple of years by clearly differentiating our airport and city hotels under two sub-brands: Yotel and Yotel Air. We see a slightly faster expansion under the Yotel brand than Yotel Air for the very simple reason that there are many more markets for Yotel; that is unlikely to change. What we’re going to add to this is a third segment, the extended stay, a strategy that we have already embarked upon and plan to


continue going forward. The ability to scale up the brand across a different segments – Yotel Air for stays of just a few hours, Yotel for three or four nights, and our future extended stay offer that will target stays of one week and above – makes for a compelling product. Which locations do you have your eye on? I have set my team a target of 60 hotels by 2023 and right now we’re focused on Europe and Asia. We have recently signed a hotel in Amsterdam and hope to announce new Yotels in Edinburgh and Glasgow, and also outside of the UK, in Italy and France. Elsewhere in Europe, Portugal and Spain are markets of interest. In Asia, we have just opened Yotel Singapore and are actively looking for new development opportunities, specifically in Australia, Japan and Hong Kong.

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Mondrian DOHA

SBE and Marcel Wanders venture into the Middle East with a typically outlandish design, embodying Arabian culture through a modern lens, whilst retaining strong sense of respect for the region’s past. Words: Molly Dolan | Photography: Couresy of Mondrian Doha


he capital of Qatar, Doha is the country’s fastest growing city and houses over 50% of the Qatari population in and around its centre. The former fishing village has experienced radical growth over the past few years, gradually transforming into a business hub and tourist destination, as symbolised by the successful 2022 FIFA World Cup bid. As a result, hotel development is up with names such as Pullman, Mandarin Oriental and JW Marriott establishing a base in the city. Offering a nod to Arabic culture with a strong sense of respect for the past, Mondrian Doha makes its priorities known from the off. Upon approach, the shape is clear. Emulating a falcon – the national bird – the structure stands tall above the skyline and wraps its wings around itself in an illuminated pattern of light and shade. A symbol of force and courage, the emblem is referenced inside the hotel, too. “This project was a wonderful experience,” explains Marcel Wanders, tasked with masterminding the interior scheme. “I was introduced to so many new ways of thinking and cultural traditions. I wanted to honour each and every one of them.” “The design process was not altogether that much different in regard to how we approach spatial interior design, but the region is

so rich with heritage that it brought a heightened sense of reverence and responsibility to this project.” SBE’s latest opening also marks its inaugural property in the Middle East, for both operator and designer. Alongside South West Architecture – the architectural company of record for Mondrian Doha – Wanders has created the ultimate destination for international travellers and locals alike. Speaking to Sleeper, he explains: “The opportunity set before us was to create an incredible destination. We wanted a luxurious hotel that you would never want to leave, as all desires are catered to.” And catered to they are – the hotel boasts eight restaurants and bars alongside its 270 keys, 2,000m2 grand ballroom, state-of-the-art spa and rooftop pool. Upon entry, guests are immediately thrust into Wanders’ world of the extraordinary. The lobby features an oversized gold leaf bell alongside a crystal chandelier that celebrates their arrival. Wanders chimes enthusiastically: “In the lounge, we’ve placed a surreal white forest highlighted by giant Trees of Life.” Yet the sense of place is always nearby; the hotel embodies Arabia through a modern lens, mirroring the reality of Doha. “When I work on a project, I allow everything in the local culture to influence,


Above: Resting atop the building, a mesmerising glass dome reflects magical hues throughout the day Opposite: ESPA at Mondrian Doha offers both a female and male spa with Klafs equipment and crystal rain showers

Puck, while Japanese chef Masahuru Morimoto combines western and Japanese ingredients for his first outpost in the Middle East. Other offerings include rustic burger joint Hudson Tavern; Shisha lounge Walima; New York’s renowned Magnolia Bakery; and Black Orchid, a nightclub featuring handcrafted speaker doors, goldframed mirrors, two bars and an oversized DJ booth. The essence of One Thousand and One Nights – a collection of Middle Eastern folktales – has influenced the wider design and private spaces of Mondrian Doha. Detail-orientated and complex, with a number of facets and layers, the design is unapologetically Wanders combined with the Mondrian ethos. A contemporary classic, interiors feature locally-inspired fabrics and materials alongside bespoke items that connect to local culture. This level of custom-made creation continues through to the guestrooms, which fall into five distinct categories ranging from standard to penthouse, all featuring universal design details such as Swarovski crystal chandeliers, Laufen bathrooms and bespoke furniture in hues that mirror the desert. The patterned carpet – named Desert Dune – emulates the waves created by wind on sand, while Arabic mosaic-style walls offset the otherwise pared-back style. One of the largest suites, The Opal Suite caters to Doha’s wedding market: crystallised mirrors flank the entrance, while a hallway of

from customs and clothing styles to architecture and language,” he continues. “Everything is considered. When you look closely at a place you can see patterns, colours, shapes and societal arrangements that are unique to every location.” Wanders also spoke with as many local Qataris as possible, gaining a sense of the local spirit and learning what makes the region distinctive. The crown of the falcon at the 27th floor houses a mesmerising stained-glass dome atop a striking four-storey black spiral staircase. Juxtaposing the rest of the hotel’s interiors in its minimlaist tone, the staircase appears to lead up to the sky, yet only reaches a platform offering views spanning the capital. Also soaring above the city and inspired by the colours of the sky, is Rise, the rooftop bar. Magical hues reflect through the day then come nightfall, the mood changes and furniture is moved aside to make way for a dancefloor. In other places oversized columns accompany golden eggs, while falcon video art, ornate stained glass and intricate mosaic tiling reference the locale. Mondrian Doha is a culinary emporium, bringing a number of restaurants to Qatar for the first time. Middle Eastern cuisine is, of course, at the heart of the hotel’s offering, along with internationally renowned chefs. Wolfgang Puck brings his concept Cut by Wolgang





Left: Japanese chef Masahuru Morimoto opens his first outpost in the Middle East

jewels leads to a number of lavishly decorated rooms including a bridesmaid suite, walkthrough closet and en-suite master bedroom. The suite also offers a 24k gold-sculpted caged elevator, descending directly to the Moonstone Ballroom for a truly dramatic entrance. Continuing with the fairytale theme, ESPA at Mondrian Doha offers both a female and male spa, featuring Klafs equipment, with the female space offering crystal rain showers. The gym is set inside a poolside tower, encased in black and white, and offering cutting edge equipment alongside stunning views. Concluding, Wanders comments: “What I enjoy most about the hotel is something you cannot see – the experience guests have in their minds. The many layered themes and individual spaces allow guests to weave a volume of stories to keep forever. Each part of the hotel connects to the whole experience. I am so proud of the entirety of the project and what it means to the people of this region.”

EXPRESS CHECK-OUT: 270 guestrooms | 5 restaurants | 3 bars | 2,000m2 ballroom, 500m2 event space, 4 meeting rooms | ESPA Spa, gym, pool Operator: SBE | Architecture: South West Architecture | Interior Design: Marcel Wanders |


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Lews Castle S TO R N OWAY

From vacant monument to luxury hotel, Lews Castle enters a new era with Natural Retreats, where a reimagined design blends past and present. Words: Kristofer Thomas | Photography: Courtesy of No Chintz


erving through the 20th century as a hospital, school and college – and before that as luxurious country home to a trade fortune heir – Lews Castle now enters a new era as a meticulously restored hotel for holiday rental collection Natural Retreats. Overlooking Stornoway Harbour in the remote Outer Hebrides, the Gothic revival structure has been ushered into the present through considered interiors by No Chintz and intricate restoration work by Simpson & Brown and Malcolm Fraser Architects. With construction commencing on-site in Summer 2013, the property has been long in gestation, but is now open as a scenic retreat for travellers and

vibrant social hub for locals. Comprising 23 guestrooms across 11 configurations – from spacious apartments to more traditional bedrooms – alongside The Storehouse Café, The Whisky Bar, a retail outlet, and lavishly appointed event spaces, this new lease of life sees the castle instilled with contemporary sensibilities whilst retaining its distinctively heritage spirit. Nestled amongst 270 hectares of community-owned woodland and landscaped gardens, the Grade II-listed building now has its sights firmly on the future and an international draw, but has kept locality and history close to heart.


Above: The Whisky Bar combines crushed velvet, marble surfaces and smoked mirrors for a mid-century feel

Having worked previously with Natural Retreats on its compact John O’Groats hamlet and Yorkshire Dales lodges, Manchester-based studio No Chintz undertook the Lews Castle project with a keen understanding of what the final result should represent. “One of the most important things is that it feels like a home-from-home,” explains Lucy Goddard, Creative Director of No Chintz. “When we worked on the John O’Groats and Yorkshire Dales retreats they had much more of a lodge feel, but the brief for Lews Castle was a lot more premium.” As such, the studio has combined the operator’s luxury ambitions with elements of the castle’s storied past, blending contemporary and legacy aspects for a product that stands as one of the more outwardly stylish in the Natural Retreats portfolio. The ground floor – housing the bar, café and event spaces – channels a traditional and more conservative tone, appealing to day visitors, tourists and locals seeking a taste of the opulent past, whereas the maze of corridors and guestrooms above feature a more playful and forward thinking aesthetic. This idea is perhaps best embodied in the materials on show. “The finishes on the ground floor had to respect the building’s heritage,” Goddard continues. “We installed hardwood floors that transition to white tiles through geometric patterns, so the materials are heritage, but the way that they contrast and interact is a new interpretation.”

A wealth of brushed brass detailing also appears throughout the lower floor; whilst the restoration work sees an ornate star motif from the original ceiling design make a carefully painted return. Elsewhere, The Whisky Bar features marble surfaces, smoked mirrors and crushed velvets, emphasising the mid-century influence through stylish furniture by Friends & Founders, +Halle and Menu. Dining chairs were created bespoke in Italy using a range of local fabrics as inspiration. “We wanted to be respectful as this is a key tourist destination on the island and attracts many day visitors in addition to those who choose to stay overnight at the castle,” says Goddard. Upstairs is a different story, one characterised by reinterpreted takes on traditional ideas. In place of the great chandeliers one would expect from a castle estate, it eschews convention by opting instead for oversized lampshades made from compressed fabric. “You get the language of grandeur, but the materials themselves are very contemporary.” Goddard muses. Meanwhile, Muuto and Normann Copenhagen furnishings juxtapose the formality of the ground floor, channelling Scandinavian sensibility and returning to Goddard’s assertion that, across all Natural Retreats properties, function is key. Along with a consistent combination of functionality and aesthetics, No Chintz also sought to create and maintain a strong relationship with the local community, a goal achieved through close


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This Page: Guestrooms juxtapose the formality of the ground floor, channelling Scandinavian sensibility with furnishings from Muuto and Normann Copenhagen. Some feature tiled headboards made using Johnson Tiles in grid formations




product concept + design: sieger design

Above: Larger guestrooms feature a sleek kitchen in unexpected colourways, such as forest green or cobalt

collaboration with Harris Tweed and its factory on the island. “One of the main things we do with Natural Retreats is to use as much local resource as possible,” Goddard says. “We’re both really passionate about community consultation.” Locally woven Harris Tweed headboards, upholstery and trimmings feature prominently across the upper three levels, threading this desired sense of locality throughout the scheme. In shades of muted blue, granite, peach and rapeseed they complement the wider palette, which seeks to bring the outdoors in. “The idea of locality was also very important in terms of the colours, and there’s influences drawn from the landscape and fauna,” Goddard confirms. “The palette reflects what you see from the window.” Ocean and woodland vistas spill in by way of forest green fixtures and cobalt blue pillowcases, with each shade heightened by the white base it appears against and the inclusion of subtle floral and botanical prints. Further, each guestroom is composed around its windows, with furniture directed to optimise the scenery and encourage guests to take in the expansive grounds.

Thanks to a historically complex floor plan, guestrooms vary in both size and contents. Some feature tiled partition headboards baring notes of the colour palette in place of their fabric counterparts, whilst others find space for sleek kitchen islands, freestanding bathtubs and sections of checkerboard flooring, meaning that returning guests can, if they wish, experience a different backdrop with each visit. Staple fixtures present in all guestrooms include a central living area and chevron-style hardwood floors. The hotel has already established itself as a popular destination for weddings, with ceremonies taking place in the lavishly appointed event space under a ceiling of painted stars. Meanwhile, an appearance on Channel 4’s Restoration of the Year series is sure to pique the interests of a wider audience keen to soak up the revamp. Considering that just 20 years ago the castle stood vacant and unloved, it is all the more impressive that the structure now houses a hotel that will not only draw an international clientele, but contribute to the island through charming design and cultural sensitivity, for years to come.

EXPRESS CHECK-OUT: 23 guestrooms | 1 restaurant | 1 bar | Ballroom | Retail | Operator: Natural Retreats | Architecture: Simpson & Brown; Malcolm Fraser Architects | Interior Design: No Chintz


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Kimpton De Witt AMSTERDAM

American-born Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants plants its first flag in Europe with an elevated product designed for an international clientele. Words: Renee Perenchio | Photography: © Laure Joliet


n May 2017, Kimpton De Witt opened its doors as Amsterdam’s newest boutique hotel, simultaneously marking a new era for the US operator. Carefully crafted to introduce the brand to the European market, the 274-key sanctuary was formed through an extensive refurbishment of five interconnecting buildings, three of which date back to the Dutch Golden Age. Founded by Bill Kimpton in 1981, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants has become a firm favourite over the years, growing to become a collection of 130 independent hotels and restaurants, each known for its design, personality and undeniable charm. It wasn’t until 2014, when IHG stepped in and acquired the group for US$430 million, that Kimpton has been able to venture overseas. For its migration across the pond, the brand’s core principles remain, but are presented in an evidently elevated manner tailored to new international clientele. “Transitioning into regions where a higher level of luxury is expected, we saw an opportunity to really focus on refining the brand to a state of sophistication that is appropriate for the European market,” explains Ave Bradley, Creative Director and Global Senior Vice President of Design at Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants. “This progression into the luxury segment reflects where we’ve been taking the brand and was a natural fit for this property. “In the States, we’ve become known for each property’s uniqueness and deep integration within our surrounding neighbourhoods,” she

This Page: Standard guestrooms are cosy and personal, with a calming palette of grey and walnut paired with satin brass accents and pops of blue and emerald. In the lobby, blue-and-white encaustic tiles are designed as a modern take on traditional Dutch flooring, while lighting comes courtesy of Astro’s Eclipse wall lights



Above: House Bar, a sultry craft cocktail hideaway, offers a contrasting ambiance to the lobby and guestrooms

extend outside, where an internal courtyard draws visitors in with its hanging chairs, festoon lighting and abundant plantlife. In the lobby, a polished reception desk, crisp white marble and minimalist Vibia Pin lights are countered by quilted Moroso sofas and bold, blue-and-white encaustic tiles designed as a modern take on traditional Dutch flooring. A collection of intimate enclaves with stylish furnishings surround a sleek, central communal table displaying books on art, travel, and local culture that add the thoughtful, locally engrained details Kimpton guests have come to expect. Antiques and accessories – sourced from local outlets such as de Weldaad, Mendo and Prinsheerlijk Antiek – also feed into the history and personality that Bradley so desired. “One of the most meaningful incorporations of Dutch culture is one that is likely unbeknownst to even locals themselves,” she remarks. “To ensure De Witt did not feel new and pristine, we layered in a collection of eclectic, orphaned artwork from a nearby gallery. We really enjoy the deeper sentiment that these artists’ works are modestly displayed at the hotel as a mysterious contribution, with no need for recognition. It feels very aligned with genuine Dutch demeanor.” The orphaned pieces are joined by custom works curated by art consultant Soho Myriad. Charm and attention-to-detail carry up into the hotel’s guestroom floors. Corridors gleam with an assortment of brass doorknockers,

continues. “In addition to exemplifying a clear sense of approachable luxury, Kimpton De Witt needed to be welcoming and honour Dutch heritage in an authentic and impactful way. We want locals to know we aren’t just outsiders trying to interpret their culture.” Research by way of senses, Bradley spent days walking, tasting and watching how locals live their lives day-to-day. “There was this clear appreciation for things that are natural and beautiful,” she explains. “I felt an overwhelming ease from the way windows are left wide open and people stop their bike to buy fresh cut flowers. These sweet sentiments helped shape the hotel’s intricate narrative.” Bradley partnered with London-based Michaelis Boyd Associates to help bring this vision to life. “We too felt it was important to create an aesthetic for Kimpton De Witt that truly captures the character of Amsterdam; a design that is playful yet timeless and celebrates the layered history of the hotel’s intertwined buildings,” states Tim Boyd, founding partner of Michaelis Boyd Associates. Challenges and surprises were a given with an architectural structure as eclectic as the city that surrounds. Three of the hotel’s interconnected buildings date back to the 1640s, fused together with two from the late 20th century. The sprawling ground floor was gutted and reconfigured into a series of engaging spaces that includes a retail outlet, a sultry craft cocktail hideaway, Wyers Bar & Restaurant and Miss Louisa’s Beignet & Coffee window. Public spaces also


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Above: Designed by Studio Modijefsky, Wyers Bar & Restaurant features plastered walls and industrial tracks of metal piping

creating an integrative dining experience inspired by its former life as the Dutch textile factory of Firma Wyers. Reminiscent of a luminous thread, custom lighting weaves through the interior above the olive green banquettes, dark finishes, and plastered walls, while industrial tracks of metal piping designed to mimic weaving machines flow up the mirrored back bar, forming the display shelving and wrapping around the ceiling. Helmed by American Chef Sammy D, the menu filters in a few classic Dutch dishes with clever takes on modern American comfort food. As the brand continues to expand, Europeans will soon come to recognise Kimpton’s consistent delivery of dining destinations that both stand alone and serve as an integral part of the experience. Looking ahead, IHG and Kimpton have their sights set firmly on expansion. The brand will open in the Opéra district of Paris in 2020, while three management contracts have been signed to introduce Kimpton to Asia. According to the group, the first properties in the region will be located in prime markets in Southeast Asia and Greater China, further solidifying its appeal to a global audience.

each shaped like a different insect as a hint to the sweet touches waiting on the other side. Standard guestrooms are cosy and personal, with a calming palette of grey and walnut paired with satin brass accents and pops of blue and emerald. Playful touches include the geometric bird-shaped reading lamps and floral print Gubi chairs, while a local flavour can be seen in the Dutch porcelain tea sets, Leff Amsterdam brass Bluetooth speakers, and bathrooms clad in Delft-inspired tiles. The building’s 17th century character comes to life in the nine suites, which nestle beneath original pitch beamed ceilings. While the penthouse boasts a fireplace, spiral staircase and private terrace with expansive city views, it is the ‘Little House’ that is most in-demand. Described as a house within a hotel, the three-storey suite is the childhood home of Dutch playwright P.C. Hooft. Back on the ground floor, Wyers Bar & Restaurant, offers a contrasting ambiance, luring guests in with intrigue and edge. Kimpton commissioned local interior design firm Studio Modijefsky to tear open the space, exposing the raw mechanical ceiling and

EXPRESS CHECK-OUT: 274 guestrooms | 1 restaurant | 2 bars | 600m2 event spaces | Fitness centre | Operator: Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants and IHG | Architecture: Kentie en Partners | Interior Design: Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants in-house; Michaelis Boyd; Studio Modijesky (F&B) | Lighting Design: Deerns







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Myconian Kyma MYKONOS

The Daktylidis family enlist GM Architects to expand their portfolio, creating three new hotels on the Greek island of Mykonos. Words: Catherine Martin | Photography: Courtesy of Design Hotels


leisurely stroll from the picture-postcard windmills of Mykonos, a new resort comprising three individual properties stretches out across the hillside. Each with its own unique style, Kyma, Korali and Naia form part of the Myconian Collection, a family-owned group that has a longstanding reputation for hospitality on the island. Occupying a prime site overlooking the Aegean Sea, the complex is made up of almost 200 guestrooms, six F&B venues and multiple leisure facilities. Despite its scale, and the fact that it’s a newbuild, the resort is inconspicuous amongst the whitewashed houses of the

surrounding hamlets. So well does it reflect the local vernacular, that even the town’s narrow, winding alleys have been replicated, leading the way to guestrooms. For Marios Daktylides, it was imperative that the new resort be in harmony with the traditional Cycladic style of the island, having spent his childhood in the hotel that stood here before. Opened by his parents George and Eleftheria in 1977, it was a true family affair, with George using his contacts in the cement trade to begin construction, and Eleftheria taking charge of the cooking and housekeeping while raising their young sons. Having spent their weekends carrying


Above & Opposite: Furniture from B&B Italia, Driade, Flexform, Moroso, Tribu and Vondom punctuate the guestrooms and public spaces

luggage or helping out behind the bar, Marios and his brothers built the foundations for a career in hospitality, and were packed off to Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne to learn their trade. Once all four brothers were back on the island, they were tasked with growing the business, and set about creating a collection of hotels at Elia Beach. The Utopia, Avaton, Imperial and Royal resorts, as well as Myconian Villa Collection – all five-star – were built over a 10-year period, strengthening the group’s reputation. With the new additions in operation, it was decided their father’s founding hotel was in need of an upgrade. “Two years ago, the project at Elia completed so we took a decision to come back to this area where we had K Hotel – it still existed as a three-star property – and demolish everything to create a new experience,” explains Daktylides. “This is a prime location close to Mykonos town with fantastic views; we felt it was a letdown to have a three-star hotel here.” Rather than a straightforward refurb, Daktylides envisioned a trio of properties, each catering to a limited number of guests. “It’s not a five-star experience when you have to share the breakfast room or swimming pool with 300 other people,” he continues. “We create hotels with no more than 100 rooms and that’s what makes the client feel special.” Of course, it would have been far easier – both in construction and operationally – to create a single resort, but for Daktylides, there’s

a strong belief that smaller is better. As a result, each property has its own reservations department, back of house and guest amenities, with an on-site laundry being the only economy of scale. Each also has its own affiliation – Naia to Preferred Hotels & Resorts, Korali to Relais & Châteaux, and Kyma to Design Hotels. For the masterplan, architecture and interiors, Daktylides needed someone who was familiar with the style and traditions of Mykonos, and so turned to friend and regular guest Galal Mahmoud of GM Architects. “I’ve been coming to Mykonos for the past 40 years and have built numerous houses on the island,” Mahmoud explains. Looking to Mycenaean and Cycladic culture, he devised a new scheme that makes the best of the sloping site, maximising the views and creating an contemporary Greek experience. Myconian Kyma has been designed to reflect the architecture of Mykonos town, with guestrooms occupying a series of low-rise whitewashed buildings accessed via a warren of alleyways. “Our approach was to blend the Cycladic way of life, colours and style with a contemporary attitude in-line with guest expectations,” says Mahmoud. “My inspiration came from everything that characterises the beauty of the island; the different shades of blue and turquoise from the sea, the contrast between the purity of the dwellings and harshness of the landscape, the endless bays and curves around the island, and the laidback lifestyle of the locals.”



Above: The restaurant features rustic stone walls juxtaposed with contemporary dining chairs in vibrant cerise

Mahmoud worked closely with Marios, who took a hands-on approach to everything from construction to design, ordering and approving samples and installing the finishing touches. In the lobby – an elongated space with windows that run the entire length – sofas and lounge chairs allow for seated check-in, with pieces from B&B Italia, Driade, Flexform, Moroso, Tribu and Vondom punctuating the adjoining lounge and restaurant. “We fused mid-century furniture, local art and modern designs,” continues Mahmoud. “It’s a relaxing and contextual feel in direct contact with the beautiful sea views of the town, the windmills and the other islands around.” This landscape has informed every design decision, with interiors characterised by sweeping curves and organic forms. Mirrors in the guestrooms are circular; the headboard follows the patterns of the sea; and sunbeds on the terrace have rounded corners. Kyma itself means ‘wave’ in Greek. Guestrooms stay true to the island’s ideals of beauty with open spaces, clean lines and pure white finishes, while the restaurant – a steakhouse – features rustic stone walls juxtaposed with contemporary dining chairs in vibrant cerise. Here, special emphasis is placed on

both food presentation and the locale. Time-honoured relationships with local suppliers sees the restaurant offer some of the best cuts on the island, served on olive wood boards together with a small cleaver. Fruit, vegetables and aromatic herbs are grown on the resort’s own farm while salt is harvested on the nearby island of Delos. For those preferring Mediterranean or Greek cuisine, Korali and Naia also have their own restaurants with guests encouraged to sample the services of the other properties on site. Daktylides – who can be regularly seen greeting new arrivals – takes great pleasure in seeing his guests move between the hotels and being able to offer a variety of experiences. Yet what is most impressive is the speed at which the trio of hotels came to market. From demolition to completion, the resort was built in just six months. “That’s how we do all our projects, we don’t let time pass us by otherwise it takes longer to make a return on the investment,” says Daktylides, who used his own capital to fund the project. “It has to be done fast and done properly.” This pragmatic approach to business, together with an eye for design and a family culture so deep-rooted in hospitality, is sure to pay off.

EXPRESS CHECK-OUT: 81 guestrooms | 1 restaurant | 1 bar | Spa, swimming pool | Owner: Marios Daktylides | Operator: Myconian Collection | Architecture and Interior Design: GM Architects | Lighting Design: Artemide


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Hôtel de Crillon PARIS

A delicate balance between conservation and transformation, Hôtel de Crillon undergoes a total renovation, returning to its status as timeless Parisian landmark. Words: Guy Dittrich | Photography: Courtesy of Rosewood Hotels & Resorts


ôtel de Crillon is part of the very fabric of Paris. A grand palace with an unsurpassed location on Place de la Concorde, it was commissioned by King Louis XV in the middle of the 18th century. Its symmetrically ordered façade of columns, colonnades and triangular pediment is typical of French Classicism, and the hotel rings with history. Marie Antoinette learnt to play the piano here. The first Declaration of US Independence and the League of Nations Covenant were signed here. And comments from heads of state litter the guest book. Home to the Duke of Crillon’s family for several generations, it was first transformed into a hotel in 1909 when purchased by Société du Louvre, held by the Taittinger family. In 2010, ownership was transferred to Mutaib II bin Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, a senior Saudi royal, making the hotel one of several landmark properties to have benefitted from foreign – mostly Arab – investment in recent years. Following a change in the rules for classifying so-called palace hotels, several properties – including Crillon – lost their status. These stipulated minimum room sizes and service standards, and crucially, the necessity of having a spa – criteria the former Crillon did not meet. So began a total renovation.

Above: Les Ambassadeurs, a glorious marble temple and the most emblematic room of the hotel, has been converted into the bar

of the Year; Tristan Auer of Atelier Tristan Auer, Wilson Associates Paris; and Cyril Vergniol, who was responsible for the guestrooms and corridors. Given the scale of the project, there was plenty of scope for each of Asmar d’Amman’s ‘dream team’ and an evident mutual respect and harmony that comes from already knowing one another. And there were more. Karl Lagerfeld created two connecting suites, Couture and Concorde in Les Grands Appartements. Add in the owner’s representatives and the significant hotel experience of project manager Lionel Anidjar and it’s quite a crew. All participants seem to have revelled in the complementary way in which they each work. “We were not competing at all,” states Auer, “rather I learned from the others.” Their task was not without its challenges. Built around two courtyards the majority of guestrooms face inwards, hanging off long corridors with relatively low ceilings. Working in the tradition of the perfect Parisian apartment, Vergniol’s guestroom design has a coherent tension between old and new. Within the existing architectural structure he has woven new materials and neutral paint finishes with a high level of intricacy. There are moments of delight at every turn – book-matched marble slabs in the bathrooms; a scaled replica of Citroën DS (the hotel’s house car) restored by car-fanatic Auer; delicate mouldings; and Deco lamps. There are special spaces too. Amongst them Les Ambassadeurs, “a

In 2013 Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, a private subsidiary of Hong Kong-based New World Development, was awarded the management contract, and the hotel is now officially known as the Hôtel de Crillon, A Rosewood Hotel. A total gut job saw huge cranes standing in the middle of each of the hotel’s two courtyards and site offices obstructing its façade. Planned for two years but taking four, the programme required the reinstatement of the hotel’s public spaces back to their 1909 layout and a reduction in the room count from 147 to 124. Architect Richard Martinet saw to the restoration of the façade and heritageprotected grand salons – museum-class meeting rooms overlooking the Place de la Concorde. The interior design was shared amongst four Paris-based designers and led by the effervescent Aline Asmar d’Amman of Culture in Architecture. Having worked on residential projects for the new owner, she was charged with the artistic direction of this 17,000m2 project. Originally a hôtel particulier – a private townhouse – Asmar d’Amman took a residential approach, respecting the legacy but moving the spaces forward. “The red thread was to mix the 18th century with the 21st century, a forward-thinking reinterpretation creating that residential vibe,” she describes during a panel discussion hosted by Sleeper at Maison & Objet in September. Joining her were Chahan Minassian, Maison & Objet’s Designer



Above: Located on the sixth floor, the Bernstein Suite is named after the great composer Leonard Bernstein, who was a frequent guest at HĂ´tel de Crillon Left: Karl Lagerfeld created two connecting suites, Couture and Concorde in Les Grands Appartements




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Above: The Marie Antoinette Suite takes inspiration from former French Queen and the era in which she reigned

delicate rose touches, such as the rose gold Collection O brassware from THG Paris in the bathroom. This suite’s courtyard terrace links it to the Suite Jardin, notable for its green marble bathroom. Here, and throughout the property, sanitaryware comes courtesy of Geberit and Villeroy & Boch. It was Auer who had the pressure of making the all-important first impression. The entrance, through grand doors, is memorably palatial – gold leaf and crystal chandeliers as per the heritage listing. Guests are actually welcomed in a private room at the entrance. The side porte-cochère of 1909 has been reinstated, and a dropped floor section reflecting the original carriage access is now the conciergerie. The subsequent public spaces are lengthy rather than vast. “I wanted to keep the attention of the guest so I used different sized spaces and different decors,” explains Auer of the layered design story here. By introducing a series of pauses, there is a welcoming sense of progression. An open reception room with seating around a stone fireplace; display cases for the hotel’s incredibly beautiful daily pastries; two retail salons; and a members-only cigar lounge complete with stitched, eel-skin bound lockers and a neat little serving hatch. The Gentleman’s Grooming Salon sees Auer re-purpose two seats from an Aston Martin, while the entrance to the Brasserie D’Aumont is beside a boudoir-style cognac display.

glorious marble temple and the most emblematic room of the hotel that previously only diners could see,” says Minassian, who oversaw its conversion to a bar. The outcome is a tremendously popular space that looks purpose-built. The original ceiling mural, now carefully hidden, has a new more dynamic sky scene from which modern chandeliers hang. Linking the bar and fine-dining restaurant L’Ecrin, is the Jardin d’Hiver, the walls of which Minassian has lined with delicate shining mica. Suffering from a listed, red marble floor, now covered by a very large rug, this is a beautifully relaxed spot to enjoy the hotel’s delectable pastries. L’Ecrin itself was another awkward space – “a room no-one wanted”– cites Minassian. Now, a ceiling with a modernist chandelier and graphics overlooks an intimate space for 22 with antiqued mirrors, Murano-glass wall lamps and a residential collection of objet d’art. On the top floor, former offices with mansard ceilings allowed Minassian a little more freedom to create a series of suites with new layouts, the Ateliers d’Artistes. “Arriving on the 7th floor with a touch of modernity, the rooms are quirky,” he describes. There are several other suites but two with interiors by Asmar d’Amman are worthy of mention. The pearl-grey of the Marie Antoinette Suite, with private access to the salon of the same name, is subtly complemented with


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Above: The Gentleman’s Grooming Salon sees designer Tristan Auer re-purpose seats from an Aston Martin

The Brasserie sits at the heart of the hotel between the two courtyards and sees vertical detailing reference the hotel’s façade. A lozenge pattern taken from the front door is introduced in the form of mirrors and the stone banquette seatbacks in the courtyard. Auer’s work ends with the spa entrance and an incredibly contemporary passage with plaster walls hand-carved to look like flowing hair that leads to the salon. The spa itself sees one of the few transition zones amongst the designers, their different styles clear. The corridor leading to the pool and gym, equipped by Technogym, is a thing of beauty with a pale aquamarine colour fading gently towards the crown of its arched ceiling. The pool is a different experience. “Creating a space that didn’t exist to give an internal courtyard is very special,” comments Minassian of the 12.8m-long pool lit by a skylight in the courtyard above. The pool and surround are lined with golden écailles tiles, interlocking like fish scales. It’s a work of art, and there’s real art on the walls with an incredible ceramic mural by Peter Lane. Hôtel De Crillon, A Rosewood Hotel has been reborn in a manner

fitting its heritage. The owner’s wish to capture the DNA of the original has been well achieved and the hotel delivers a Parisian experience like no other. Many areas could not be changed due to their protected status but nonetheless every single part of the hotel looks new. Stone cleaned. Plaster replaced. The quality of materials and workmanship incomparable. The artisan craftsmen of France who brought their savoir faire to the hotel must have been grateful to practice their skills in this seemingly money-no-object project. The level of investment is undisclosed, with numbers spanning a huge range between US$200 and US$500 million. The interiors undoubtedly deliver a sense of modernity, but fashionable this hotel is not. The design is timeless, enduring. Every space is intense, offering pockets of experience that will only reveal themselves over time. The importance of this hotel to those who helped create it should not be underestimated. This is perhaps best summed up by Auer, sat on one of the banquettes he designed for the Cour d’Honneur courtyard who states: “For me there is a life before Crillon, and a life after Crillon.”

EXPRESS CHECK-OUT: 124 guestrooms | 3 restaurants | 1 bar | 3,670m2 event spaces | Spa, fitness studio, swimming pool | Operator: Rosewood Hotels & Resorts | Architecture: Affine Design | Interior Design: Aline Asmar d’Amman; Chahan Minissian; Tristan Auer; Cyril Vergniol; Karl Lagerfeld (Les Grands Appartements) | Landscaping: Louis Benech | Main Contractor: Bouygues


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The latest addition to NoMad’s hospitality scene, Made opens with interiors from Studio Mai, local craft pieces and skyline views. Words: Molly Dolan | Photography: © Lester Ali Photography


ade is Sam Gelin’s inaugural hotel. Three-and-half years in the making and the sleepless nights have paid off. The hotel is set back on 29th Street, just doors down from Ace, and around the corner from The NoMad hotel. The area is a hotbed for design-led hotels and places-to-be-seen, making it a difficult neighbourhood to crack. But Made has already made an impact with its on-site coffee shop proving popular with locals. What is apparent immediately is layering; from the tone on tone plaster walls, to the vintage furnishings and countless varieties of wood, creating an immediate sense of comfort.

“The layout is completely different to what you would expect from an efficiently laid out coffee shop,” starts Gelin, gesturing to Paper’s oversized central table. “It’s supposed to feel like a kitchen table. In New York City, whenever you go to a house party, the kitchen is the place you typically spend most time and meet new friends.” With Gelin’s other projects including NYC Coffee Festival and a sister event in San Francisco, it’s no surprise that the hotel’s current brew-on-rotation from Devoción comes highly recommended. “It’s important to provide delicious coffee, something you don’t often find at a hotel,” he continues. “This has been carefully chosen.” And the


Above: Coffee shop Paper features an abundance of wood in varying types and textures alongside independent brews on-rotation

hand-selected ethos continues, as Gelin fetches Kinto ceramics behind the counter: “If you put that in your hand, it is lovely to touch.” He found the brand through his coffee exhibition, too. The space is full of different types and textures of wood. The table is cypress wood, while walnut lines the floor and ceiling alongside teak accents and ash wood shelves, juxtaposed by hand-painted tiles. “The idea is to create a layering that is subconscious and makes you feel comfortable,” Gelin continues, speaking of the wider lobby space. “It is all either custom or vintage.” To the back of the lobby, and past the compressed sandstone bar, is the garden – a rare find in central New York. Behind blackened steel sliding doors created by a female welder from Minneapolis rests a haven for hotel guest use only. “It is really intimate, and the best part about this space is here,” he says, gesturing at the seemingly generic back alley exterior of another New York building. “This is Tin Pan Alley, the birth of the American music scene.” Originating around 1885, the area was home to some of the country’s greatest composers and lyricists including Irving Berlin, Scott Joplin and blues legend Stevie Ray Vaughan. “This is a landscape that you literally won’t get anywhere else.” Intrigued by the collaborative nature, conversation moves to the soon-to-open Ferris restaurant, and the involvement of chef Greg Proechel of Le Turtle and Charles Seich of Dirty French and Sedelle’s.

“I assembled my favourite people in the F&B industry for what is a 40-cover, intimate restaurant. We have beautiful French wallpaper alongside French and American oak, with handmade stools and Petit Granit countertop. You’re supposed to feel like you’re walking in to Granny’s kitchen.” Gelin is mid-way through working on Ferris’s private entrance, which sits below street level and, again, features wood in abundance. The white cedar will smell incredible on rainy New York days, offset by a plethora of greenery. Heading up to Gelin’s favourite spot, Good Behaviour is the hotel’s rooftop bar. But it’s not his favourite for reasons you may think. “The views are tremendous, and this is the space with my favourite exposure, to the south.” In front stand innumerable water towers, an image synonymous with the city’s skyline. “I haven’t been able to count them all, but I’ve gotten to well over 50,” he quips. Indoors, the shape of the building emulates the surrounding turrets. The space uses redwood from water tanks, occasionally planed down and sometimes left weathered, alongside tone on tone green plaster and vintage Californian tiles that line the bar. Spaces have been carved for charging points: it is 2017. Gelin’s passion for collaboration is palpable as he talks about metalsmith Jordan Griska, whose work features sporadically throughout – demarcating the rooftop bar and greeting guests in the



Above: Located on the rooftop, Good Behaviour features reused redwood alongside vintage Californian tiles

form of a door handle at the hotel entrance. “He produces large scale commissions, and has this one piece, Wreck. It is a full size replica Mercedes car that has been in an automobile accident. The geometry is so beautiful.” It is this attention to detail that sets Made apart. “Everything in the hotel is tactile, everything begs to be touched,” Gelin continues. And nothing feels thrown together. The cohesiveness continues through to the guestroom experience. The rooms are customisable with wooden shutters, adjustable desk and drawers located beneath a Sapira by Leesa Sleep bed. Frette have provided crisp linens that sit alongside a woven bedspread and Nanimarquina rug, while Byredo candles emit the hotel’s signature scent. Bathrooms are separated by a wall, with small glass sections to create cohesion yet not destroy privacy altogether. An oversized freestanding sink rests atop a stone counter, while metal taps by Brooklyn-based Watermark complement the warmly lit mirror and Davines amenities provide a touch of Italian luxury. “This project was very much an evolution,” he describes. “I didn’t just wake up one day with this idea. Everything, from the brand to the design to the feeling was a very purposeful evolution. I think this

has worked itself into the guest experience too, which feels evolved. From the moment you walk in, to how you’re greeted and the guestroom experience, it is a true reflection of how generationally we want to travel.” Gelin’s insight has resulted in a hotel that promotes luxury without elitism. General Manager Brian Fahey comes to the hotel from The Crosby Street Hotel, bringing a refined hospitality approach that you might not expect from such a layered, cosy property. Meanwhile the hotel’s MCs – front desk staff are billed as Memory Curators – come from a variety of backgrounds, from skateboarder Eddie – whose non-profit organisation provides children in Mongolia with skateboards, to Iman, who is an artist in his own right and acts as a one-stop-shop for anything art related. “These are the people curating your experience,” Gelin states. It is a unique lens to view the city through. Each MC has been hand-selected to ensure that we all subscribe to delivering the warmest guest experience. You have to love people!” Made’s narrative is that of a community, bringing together consciously-moving influencers. The result: an urban retreat with intrigue, luxury and homeliness woven through every layer.

EXPRESS CHECK-OUT: 108 guestrooms | 1 restaurant | 2 bars | Owner: Sam Gelin | Operator: Real Hospitality Group | Architecture: Gene Kaufman Architect | Interior Design: Studio Mai


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Hotel Eden ROME

Dorchester Collection enlists the design talents of 4BI & Associés and Jouin Manku to breathe new life into its Roman mansion. Words: Catherine Martin | Photography: © Niall Clutton


orchester Collection acquired the hotel in 2013 with one mission and one mission only; to give to Rome the finest hotel it has ever seen,” declared Luca Virgilio at the preview of Hotel Eden earlier this year. Appointed as General Manager shortly after Dorchester’s takeover, Virgilio has witnessed first-hand the transformation of the city landmark. Located in the heart of Rome close to the Spanish Steps and picturesque Villa Borghese, Hotel Eden dates back to 1889, when Munich-born hotelier Francesco Niestelweck converted the former mansion with the help of his wife. For over a century, the hotel has been a marker of Roman hospitality, attracting dignitaries, heads of state and royalty with its style, elegance and charm. It is these attributes that continue to seduce guests today, thanks to extensive works that have seen the property restored to its former glory. “The fact that we were able to operate the hotel for a few years before embarking on this journey ensured that we understood its soul, its spirit, and were able to preserve it,” continues Virgilio. The event, hosted by Dorchester Collection’s CEO Christopher Cowdray, was a rare opportunity to bring together operator and design team, and to experience the fruits of their labour.

Blending contemporary features with classic Roman style, the allnew Hotel Eden is the vision of Bruno Moinard and Claire Bétaille of 4BI & Associés, together with Patrick Jouin and Sanjit Manku of Jouin Manku. The team has previous form, both with eachother and Dorchester Collection, having worked side-by-side on the redesign of the public spaces at Plaza Athénée in Paris. Both firms have also been involved in the recent upgrades at London’s The Dorchester, with 4BI & Associés appointed to refresh The Grill restaurant. “In terms of design, our state of mind is very compatible; it’s always a pleasure to work together,” says Bétaille of the close working relationship. “We make a good team,” adds Manku. “The different spirits we bring together is something that works very well for Dorchester Collection.” The longstanding relationship has led to a mutual respect across all parties. “After so many years working with Dorchester Collection, we have this trust from Mr Cowdray that allows us to be more imaginative with the designs we are producing,” continues Bétaille. “The bathrooms at Hotel Eden for example are unlike any other in terms of quality; this wouldn’t have been possible in a new relationship.”


Above: With the ground floor lacking any daylight, warmth comes from the red ochre of the columns and golden touches on the ceiling

In fact, the quality across the project is second-to-none, with Dorchester Collection keen to maintain the standards set at Le Meurice in Paris and Principe di Savoia in Milan. In Rome, the brief was to create a hotel that was worthy of its setting, with 4BI & Associés appointed to oversee the restoration of the lobby, guestrooms and suites, and Jouin Manku entrusted with the restaurants and spa. “The hotel was in a state where the location was incredible and the views were really spectacular, but it didn’t have a story to tell,” says Manku. And so the team set about finding a story, uncovering the Eternal City’s hidden treasures and translating them in a contemporary way. The façade of the building has been given the necessary refresh, with quaint window boxes of neatly pruned plants nodding to the nearby gardens of Villa Borghese. A curvilinear canopy marks the main entrance and adds adds a sense of grandeur, though the team is quick to point out that the building wasn’t a palazzo, but a private home, therefore the scheme is more residential than palatial. Welcoming guests in the lobby is the ‘Alive Art’ concept, which sees Moinard and Bétaille developing designs of the past rather than imitating them. Taking inspiration from stylistic and architectural details of Rome through the ages, interiors strike a balance between old and new. Fresco paintings and an intricately carved reception desk – sculpted from a colossal slab of marble – contrast with the black-

and-white floor in a pattern inspired by those seen at various sites across Rome. With the ground floor lacking any daylight, warmth comes from the red ochre of the columns and golden touches on the ceiling. To the rear, La Libreria is again residential in style, featuring sumptuous sofas positioned around an original fireplace. Come evening, guests can take their pick from the elegantly displayed collection of spirits, and sup to the soothing notes of the grand piano. Changes to the floorplan included reducing the room count by 20%, resulting 98 spacious guestrooms and signature suites. Here, the natural light of the city is accentuated, making for bright, airy spaces thanks to the high ceilings and tall windows. The hues of the Roman skies were an important consideration across the project, with Bétaille bringing fabric samples on every visit to experiment with the interplay between texture and colour. Fine fabrics from the likes of Rubelli, C&C Milano and Zimmer + Rohde have been used in curtains and upholstery, while special touches come in the form of the bespoke headboards, created together with Dedar. There are moments of surprise too, such as the interior of the wardrobe, lined with designs from Pierre Frey’s Braquenié collection. “These are the details that make a space richer after every visit,” says Bétaille. Original artwork depicting Moinard’s own encounters with Rome


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Above: La Libreria is residential in style, featuring sumptuous sofas and an elegantly displayed collection of spirits Left: A more casual dining experience is on offer at Il Giardino, designed by Jouin Manku as an indoor garden


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Above: In the guestrooms, the natural light of the city is accentuated, making for bright, airy spaces thanks to the high ceilings and tall windows

fresco wall, comprising layers of specially treated glass etched with Roman characters and landscapes, adds intrigue, while the menu, overseen by executive chef Fabio Ciervo, uses fresh and seasonal produce to focus on the nutritional aspects of the ingredients. A more casual dining experience is on offer at Il Giardino, designed as an indoor garden and providing a welcome respite from the busy streets below. The restaurant plays on the views, mirroring the greenery of Villa Borghese with a large abstract green wall, or vertical garden, made from glass and metal foliage. Jouin Manku’s fresh palette also features in the spa, where vaulted ceilings honour typical Roman Bath architecture. While the interior styles of 4BI & Associés and Jouin Manku are markedly different, their approach and vision for the project is somewhat similar. Manku notes that it’s not necessarily a rolling dialogue between the two studios that makes for a balanced scheme, but the trust between them, along with a sense of discovery for their counterpart’s work. “Figuring out how to do things that are harmonious, yet different,” he concludes. “That’s what works.”

decorate the walls while casegoods, both in the guestrooms and public spaces, have been custom-made by Molteni & C’s contract division. The classic Italian heritage and craftsmanship continue in the bathroom, inspired by traditional Roman baths and decorated in white and gold with marble vanities and mosaics. Modern luxuries include walk-in rain showers, Bottega Veneta toiletries, Bang & Olufsen TVs, and sound systems with Bluetooth connectivity. Signature suites follow a similar design scheme with the added bonus of space and scenery. The 94m2 Villa Malta Suite offers views of the church of Trinità dei Monti, while the Aurora Terrace Suite benefits from a sprawling outdoor terrace. Up on the top floor, the scheme takes on a more contemporary ambiance, marking the change in design team from 4BI & Associés to Jouin Manku. La Terrazza is the jewel in Hotel Eden’s crown offering spectacular vistas across Rome. Innovative tilting windows wrap around the space, while interiors draw on traditional Italian craftsmanship with high gloss varnished wood combined with elegant dining chairs designed by Patrick Jouin for Pedrali. Philippe David’s

EXPRESS CHECK-OUT: 98 guestrooms | 2 restaurants | 2 bars | 3 meeting rooms | Spa | Owner / Operator: Dorchester Collection | Architecture: Genius Loci Architettura | Interior Design: 4BI & Associés; Jouin Manku (restaurants and spa) Lighting Design: Metis Lighting | Project Manager: JLL | ME&P Consultant: B.R.E Engineering


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Hotel Indigo Nowy Świat WARSAW

Blending old and new, and marrying a homegrown attitude with international style, Hotel Indigo’s entry into the Polish capital sees a boutique hotel rise from the ashes of history. Words: Kristofer Thomas | Photography: © Piotr Gesicki


arsaw is a city rebuilt. After a bombing campaign during the Second World War that saw 85% of the Polish capital in ruins, great care was taken to reconstruct its urban space in the image of what was lost, earning it the endearing title of The Phoenix City. Rising from the ashes to retain its distinctive architectural aesthetic – a melting pot of Neoclassical, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque – the Old Town remains old, rebuilt with the rubble of its destruction, whilst entire districts were faithfully restored through reference to painted cityscapes by 16th century artist-to-the-Polish-King Bernardo Bellotto. As such, the Warsaw of today is linked to its past in a striking manner – behind a façade of old, though inherently connected to the new. Each street bares intricately recreated layers of historical edifice alongside a slate of newbuilds, with imposing Gothic and communist structures adjacent to modernist skyscrapers designed by Norman Foster, Marek Budzynski and Zbigniew Badowsk, combining to generate discourse between past, present and future. Nowy Swiat Street, one of the main historic thoroughfares running through the city, perhaps embodies this idea best. Roughly

Above: Portraits that, when viewed closely reveal playful details, adorn monochorme corridor walls, inspired by a mosaic that survived the war

translating to New World Street, it acts as one of the capital’s oldest touchstones, though holds a name that looks ahead and beyond. Situated where the street branches towards the Old Town – within the palatial former Branicki Residential House at Smolna 40 – is Hotel Indigo Warsaw Nowy Swiat, a 60-key boutique hotel from the IHG subsidiary that smartly integrates the city’s thematic spirit into its design. Comprising a 24-hour wellness centre and six conference and meeting rooms alongside a bourbon lounge bar and the MiddleEastern-inspired Florentin restaurant, the hotel has been designed by local firm 2Kul in collaboration with Henry Reeve, Director of Design & Innovation at IHG. Unfolding around an enclosed central courtyard and a colossal four-tonne, 900-bulb chandelier, the hotel blends local authenticity and regional context with Hotel Indigo’s boutique leanings. Originally built in 1903, the Branicki Residential House hosted artists and poets alongside the family of owners, and was one of many completely demolished by the Nazis. As a building of particular historic and cultural value it was gifted special attention, reconstructed using a combination of detailed archival images and personal insight from the Branicki clan. However, strict regulations mean that any new additions to a heritage structure must be contemporary, and

clearly visible, yet correspondent with existing features. As such, to enclose the courtyard and create the welcome experience that greets guests, the building had its top floor removed and replaced with a glazed roof, a skilfully integrated and simply executed mark of modernism atop the old. “The idea behind the design, the aesthetic and the whole building was that we wanted to create a new, modern style of townhouse,” says Roma Stanislwaska of developer Budizol. “It was an elegant and luxurious residential building, but we wanted to give it a more contemporary feel,” her sister, Karolina Stanislawska, adds. “We wanted to give it a twist. It should not just be a place for guests, but also for locals, hence the bar in the lobby and the open, designoriented space.” Arranged to resemble a painting or puzzle board when viewed from the mezzanine above, the lobby brings together geometric, jewel-toned furnishings by Swedish brand Lammhults, with a series of multicoloured Arco sofas, Fritz Hansen armchairs and Tom Dixon tables. This ensemble cast is framed within Marcel Wanders’ Fool’s Paradise carpet for Moooi, introducing guests to a precise aesthetic that continues throughout. Either side sits the reception desk and bar, both designed by 2Kul, bringing Polish presence to the largely international space.


“We tried to make it minimalist, so there are different colours and shapes, but it’s also quite geometric, even and open,” Roma explains. “It’s very different from other Hotel Indigo spaces, designed to complement the old and new parts of the hotel but never to interfere.” The focal point, however, is the aforementioned chandelier. Installed over 12 days by a group of mountain climbers, the large-scale piece was inspired by a similarlysized installation by Bocci at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum. Phasing through 15 different patterns, with each bulb operated individually, it forms a remarkable spine around which the hotel is composed. The four levels of corridors above, containing guestrooms that face into the courtyard as well as those with outward, cityscape views, juxtapose the vibrancy of the lobby with a more formal, monochrome scheme. Portraits of historical figures adorn the walls that, when viewed closely, reveal playful contemporary details, and the chequerboard motif hinted at around the lobby’s fringe – inspired by a mosaic that survived the bombs – here takes centrestage, evolving into a patterned interpretation along the carpet that informs the wider palette.


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Above: Guestrooms feature jewel toned furnishing designed by 2Kul and manufactured in Poland, bringing a local presence to every space

wherein a brutalist-style ceiling structure negates the need for load bearing columns, meaning that views remain unbroken. As deep as it is tall, the four levels below ground house a series of conference and event spaces – all named after Polish inventors in a nod to the national innovations in construction, design and science that made the hotel possible – as well as the gym and soon a subterranean car park. Even here, in the minutiae, there is evidence of considered and contextual design. In a blink-and-miss-it detail that encapsulates the hotel’s spirit – the bringing together of Warsaw’s historic past with a contemporary boutique quirk – the iron bars that appear throughout the stairway, from top to bottom, feature a distinctive red twist in the metal, tastefully interrupting the conventional metal with an unexpected block of colour and reinterpreted shape. A collection of subtle hints and restrained eccentricities, old and new, make up Hotel Indigo Warsaw Nowy Swiat, underscored by a defiantly homegrown Polish attitude. Blending historic and modern, local and international, whilst filling a storied building with a new generation of occupants, the phoenix has well and truly risen.

Guestrooms are a more colourful affair, featuring a reprise of the jewel tones in the form of bold 2Kul-designed and Polishmanufactured armchairs, pouffes and sofas in blue and green. For guestrooms looking inwards, a palette of muted grey creates an intimate atmosphere, whilst a brilliant white base seems to expand the interior space of those that face the city. Three types of guestroom, each calling for an individual design thanks to complex variations in shape and size, channel the desired townhouse feel through 19th century-style mouldings and decorative wood, whilst momentary hints of gold, vibrant artwork and the occasional minimalist white seat offsets with a modern sensibility. For guests on the top floor, select rooms here feature a ceiling that slides away to reveal an expansive view up to the sky. However, for all its contemporary leanings, in every room there is an accent from Warsaw: “Be that a small detail or views of the entire city,” Karolina muses. Flos and Vibia lighting, linear and angular in style, creates the desired metropolitan tone that threads throughout the property, with Vibia’s Pin model adding an architectural touch that never feels intrusive. This characteristic is accentuated within select guestrooms

EXPRESS CHECK-OUT: 60 guestrooms | 1 restaurant | 1 bar | 6 meeting rooms | Gym | Owner: Budizol | Operator: Hotel Indigo, IHG | Interior Design: 2Kul


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Yooma Urban Lodge PARIS

Designed by Ora ïto in artistic cooperation with Daniel Buren, a new concept from Pierre Bekerich targets the growing group travel sector. Words: Guy Dittrich | Photography: © Sebastien Veronese (unless otherwise stated)


he transformation of an office block into a family-focused hotel was the challenge Pierre Bekerich, founder of Yooma Urban Lodge, set himself. Enlisting the help of architecture firm Calq, site-specific artist Daniel Buren, and product designer Ora Ïto, they have created an eye-catching complex within the love-it-orhate-it brutalist concrete architecture of the Beaugrenelle district in the 15th arrondissement. Adjacent to the River Seine, the area of high-rise residential towers is unlike any other in central Paris. In the shadow of the Eiffel Tower makes for a great location, and Yooma, a play on the

word ‘humanity’, shares the somewhat soulless neighbourhood with several competitors. Set within a five-storey podium that wraps around a much taller residential tower, for Ïto the context of the hotel and its integration with the locale is important. “The hotel is really the junction of architecture, art and design,” he explained in a Sleeper-hosted conference session at Maison & Objet in the lead up to the hotel’s opening. Buren’s striking composition, entitled Blue Rhythm, sweeps over the façade amidst curving panels of stainless steel and vertical windows, eventually impregnating the interiors. Outside and in,


This Page: Daniel Buren’s striking composition, entitled Blue Rhythm, sweeps over the façade amidst curving panels of aluminium to impregnate the interiors. Outside and in, deep blue areas are interspersed with portions of Buren’s signature black-and-white vertical strips, while furniture is designed bespoke by Ora Ïto















© Francis Amiand

Above: Larger guestrooms sleep six and feature bunks, or pods, with individual storage, USB ports and sliding panels for privacy

largest in Paris. Tiers of flower and vegetable beds that provide fresh produce for the hotel are maintained by Belgian-based Peas & Love, who also rent plots to neighbours from which they can harvest. The final component of the hotel’s programming is art. A permanent collection decorates the staircases whilst the bright and open lobby has a huge digital display that presents an ever-changing selection of works curated by Daylighted, French-founded and based in San Francisco. A tablet helps guide guests through the gallery, which has artworks tailored to the time of day – cartoon-like creations during the day transition to more grown-up scenes by night. Two floors below are studios for rotating artists-in-residence. In the lobby, an airport lounge feel is enhanced by the royal blue upholstery on the sinuous sofa by fabricators SIF and the Dune range by Estel Group, both designed by Ïto. Step-up booths look on to a linear reception desk that morphs into the bar counter, itself leading to the entrance of the large restaurant with a glazed wine display opposite a greeting stand. Here the open kitchen serves 130 covers in a bright but somewhat acoustically challenged space. Beside the Heldu wooden tables by Jean Louis Iratzoki for Alki, are a handsome collection of designer chairs, each labelled with a QR code for those eager to know the creator of their perch. Within the guestrooms, space is tight; these are former offices

deep blue areas are interspersed with portions of Buren’s signature black-and-white vertical strips. Describe by Ïto as “communicative architecture” the effect is created using high-quality plastic film from German experts Renolit. For Bekerich, previously an investment fund advisor, there are two main ideas behind Yooma, a brand of Euragone Group. Firstly, to provide a place to stay for groups, for whom traditional hotel models are impractical and expensive. Secondly, to create a hotel that is more than just a place to sleep. Yooma has 106 guestrooms with a total of 440 beds, but Bekerich is at pains to point out: “We are a hotel not a hostel. We don’t have any shared rooms, all are private.” Larger rooms sleep up to six, and those with more than four beds have a separate WC with a basin set deliberately low for younger guests. There are also two baby-friendly rooms, complete with changing facilities, a small bathtub sunken into a counter, and a kitchenette for preparing food. There is even a shower room to cope with the bathtime rush. For parents dining in the downstairs restaurant, videophone monitors are available. Bekerich has ambitious plans to make Yooma “a place to live”. These include a purpose-built, multi-station cooking school adjacent to several flexible meeting spaces. And there’s the hotel’s own rooftop garden featuring a cultivated urban farm; at 1,400m2 it is one of the


Left: Beside the Heldu wooden tables by Jean Louis Iratzoki for Alki, are a handsome collection of designer chairs, each labelled with a QR code for those eager to know the creator of their perch

after all. Ïto has created a micro-architecture of totally bespoke casework that sees clever foldout desks and double mattresses sliding apart revealing a single table in the middle. Rooms with more beds have bunks, or pods, with individual storage, USB ports and sliding panels for privacy. The colourways are bold – red, blue, green, yellow – giving a decidedly Mondrian feel. Materials are super hardwearing, Bekerich was insistent on this per Ïto. Linoluem floors and Ad Lucem polished concrete on walls. Bathrooms see space-saving towel-ready Irsap radiators with the German trio of Grohe, Duravit and Villeroy & Boch completing the ensemble. Yooma is an ambitious project, well delivered; a great deal of thought has gone into the creation of a landmark – not easy in a city of landmarks – and a guestroom style that packs a real punch.

EXPRESS CHECK-OUT: 106 guestrooms (440 beds) | 1 restaurant | 1 bar | 170m2 event space | Fitness room | Owner / Developer: Euragone Group | Operator: Yooma Urban Lodge, Euragone Group | Architecture: Calq Architecture Façade Design: Daniel Buren | Interior Design: Ora-Ïto


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Brown Hotels continues its expansion with the restoration of an Ottoman-era villa in the Holy City. Words: Catherine Martin | Photography: Courtesy of Brown Hotels


ince making its debut in 2010, Brown Hotels has carved a niche for itself in creating boutique lodgings that are true to the style and charm of Israel. The collection, a brand of Leon Avigad’s Leopard Hospitality, has made waves in Tel Aviv with the opening of Brown Urban Hotel and Brown Beach House, and recently caught the eye of the experiential travel community for its transformation of a lifeguard tower into a pop-up suite. The venture was launched in collaboration with the tourism ministry in a bid to boost the country’s image, affected in part by the geopolitical situation of the wider area. Such schemes, coupled

with new infrastructure, have gradually bolstered tourist arrivals. The signing of an Open Skies agreement with the EU has seen the introduction of new flight routes from across Europe, while a highspeed railway – set to open in 2018 – will link Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport with Jerusalem in less than 30 minutes. As a result, homegrown brands are expanding their portfolios in the Holy City and a small number of international operators are actively seeking new opportunities. For Avigad, it was a natural progression for Brown Hotels, and also a personal ambition. “Jerusalem has been a passion of mine for many years, since my days as a bellboy and


Above & Opposite: The original fabric of the building, including walls of exposed Jerusalem stone, remains intact

team also masterminded the addition of two new floors to house guestrooms and a rooftop terrace, complete with open-air Jacuzzi. Interiors are the work of Ariela Gluck, who worked with Avigad on his previous ventures. The design scheme here is a multi-layered interpretation of Jerusalem during the British Mandate, bringing together Neoclassical and Ottoman styles with contemporary influences. Gluck opted for tactile velvets and heavy drapery in rich jewel tones of ruby and emerald, adding accessories sourced from within the Old City walls. The candles in the lobby for example come from the Christian Quarter, while prayer stands are from Mea Shearim, one of Jerusalem’s oldest Jewish neighbourhoods, and serve as the check-in desks. Other flea market finds sit alongside fabrics from Frette, Elitis and Fendi, as well as lighting by Eichholtz and Tel Aviv-based Dori Kimhi. A selection of bathroom amenities come courtesy of Molton Brown. In the guestrooms, a welcome offer of wine and chocolate served on a Damascus tray pays homage to the traditions of the three religions that live together in Jerusalem – the wine being a Jewish blessing to life; the chocolate in reference to the Christian ritual of the breaking of bread; and the tray, engraved with phrases from the Quran, coming from the city’s Muslim Quarter. For the public spaces, the challenge for Gluck was to incorporate the required amenities – a bar, dining room, meeting room and library

concierge at the legendary King David Hotel,” he explains. “Slowly, the city is becoming a legitimate lifestyle destination, and we at Brown Hotels are a key player.” With its ancient history and sacred sites, Jerusalem’s vibe is perhaps more conservative than liberal Tel Aviv, calling for an altogether different offer. Sharing the same DNA as the other hotels in the portfolio, Villa Brown is a grown-up version of its carefree counterparts, positioned as the grand dame of the collection with more sumptuous interiors and a luxury quality. “We had to adapt our Tel Aviv temperament to the sacred ambiance of Jerusalem,” confirms Avigad, noting that vibrant public spaces are still very much part of the experience. The first of those spaces is the elegant veranda to the front of the property, topped with shrubbery, lanterns, mirrors and wrought iron furniture to create an enchanted garden. From here, guests can enjoy a local take on high tea while marvelling at the villa’s Jerusalem stone façade. Located on Ha-Nevi’im Street close to the Old City walls, the building dates back to the 19th century, and was once home to an eminent doctor at the city’s prestigious Rothschild Hospital. The original fabric of the building, including walls of exposed stone, remains intact, with restoration undertaken by Jerusalem-based architects Galit Shifman Bar-Natan and Michal Cohen Magen. The



Left: Interiors feature tactile velvets and heavy drapery in rich jewel tones of ruby and emerald, alongside accessories sourced from within the Old City walls

– into the limited floor plate. The library, a signature element of Brown Hotels, features a cosy fireplace and curated collection of design and lifestyle books, while the dining room – serving up a feast of Israeli and Mediterranean breakfast dishes – fits neatly beneath the arches of the veranda. The bar meanwhile is hidden in the depths of the basement, which once served as the water cistern. Here, a velvet banquette, deep-buttoned pouffes and delicately carved brass tables decorate the cave-like space. Villa Brown marks a new aesthetic for Brown Hotels, which also counts the Karim Rashid-designed Poli House as part of its collective. According to Avigad, there’s a lot more to come from the group with each property promising to have its own unique identity. Next up is Dave Hotel in Tel Aviv, described by Avigad as Brown Hotels’ rebel child. The affordable boutique offer, designed for fun loving urbanites, looks set to once again bring something new to Israel’s burgeoning hospitality scene.

EXPRESS CHECK-OUT: 24 guestrooms | 1 restaurant | 1 bar | Boardroom | Investors: Nir Weizman; Leon Avigad | Developer: Leopard Hospitality | Operator: Brown Hotels | Architecture: Galit Shifman Bar-Natan and Michal Cohen Magen Interior Design: Ariela Gluck



The Lalit Hotel, restored and renovated by S&T UK.

INDIA As North India comes into its own with a host of design-led openings, development across the county picks up pace, making for a healthy pipeline. Words: Neena Dhillon



The southern state of Telangana is the location of the next major opening from one of India’s largest homegrown luxury hotel chains. As a conglomerate with other interests in consumer goods, packaging, agriculture and IT, ITC is the only company in the world to be carbon positive, water positive and solid waste recycling positive, with its diversified businesses supporting six million livelihoods. This ethos stretches to its hospitality division, ITC Hotels, under which its flagship collection, owned and operated by the group, boasts LEED Platinum Certification across the board. Under the ITC branded collection, a new property is slated for completion in Hyderabad by December. The second ITC hotel in this IT hub, ITC Kohinoor is inspired by the eponymous diamond with a design that seeks to invite in light from all directions by Malaysia-based firm DesignWilkes. Built over five acres, the mixed-use project will boast 27-keys, serviced apartments, six restaurants and a Kaya Kalp spa. The 12th property for this luxury brand, hotels will follow in Kolkata and Ahmedabad as part of an expansion strategy that comprises 40 hotels in the pipeline across the division’s four brands. Apeejay Surrendra Park Hotels – another homegrown company – celebrated the 50th anniversary of its five-star Park Hotels brand this year and begins 2018 with a 28-key property in North Goa plus the conversion of an old palace into an 18-room heritage property in Chettinad, Tamil Nadu. Bolstering its resort portfolio, meanwhile, Taj unveils a 30-acre property in the Andaman Islands next year, featuring 75 luxurious rooms. Taj Exotica Resort & Spa is designed by an in-house team of architects and designers, who have taken their inspiration from the architectural forms typical of the indigenous Jarawa tribe of the Andamans. International brands are also busy with an imminent opening in the Kerala market from Hyatt India. Comprising 265 rooms, Grand Hyatt Kochi Bolgatty involves masterplanning and architectural design by WATG while interiors come courtesy of Hong Kong’s Peter Silling & Associates and London’s Wilsdon Design Associates.

ncredible India’s allure remains undiminished with the country attracting 8.8 million overseas visitors in 2016. Projections based on January to June figures suggest the increase in foreign tourist arrivals could be as high as 17% this year. India’s rising middle class, meanwhile, continues to support burgeoning growth in domestic tourism, which stood at 1.61 billion visits to all states and union territories in 2016, according to the Ministry of Tourism. As a result, hotel development continues at pace. Data specialist STR identifies 255 hotels in the pipeline, comprising approximately 41,000 new rooms. The openings covered in this report reveal a strengthening of the hospitality offering in northern India, with the Punjab benefiting from the arrival of two of the county’s most prestigious hotel groups. In 2018, development is just as strong in the south, as the forthcoming projects show. Undoubtedly one of the hottest hospitality stories for 2018 is the entry of The Chedi brand to India. Rajesh LifeSpaces, one of Mumbai’s most respected real estate companies, diversifies from residential into hospitality with Singapore-based General Hotel Management (GHM) as its venture partner. Featuring 312 guestrooms, seven innovative dining venues, extensive meetings and events facilities and a holistic spa, The Chedi Mumbai is situated close to Powai, an enclave for a diverse expatriate community, and represents a striking architectural addition to the skyline. Spanning a plot of 2.68 acres, the building’s architectural design is by Hafeez Contractor with the façade conceptualised by Singapore’s P&T Group. The architect’s vision – to create a space that speaks of a luxurious lifestyle while capturing the essence of a home-away-fromhome – has resulted in a construction embodying the philosophies of the modernist era with an emphasis on ergonomically efficient and sustainable design, futuristic yet elegant and minimalist. Rooms and suites are positioned above the 20th floor for unobstructed views, and interiors by Singapore’s HBA in collaboration with Indonesia’s IU Design are contemporary with distinctive Indian touches.





Year-to-date 2017

Year-to-date 2017

255 hotels







17.1% Source: STR


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Alila Fort Bishangarh JAIPUR

Transforming a centuries-old warrior fort into a unique heritage property called for a brave vision balancing integrity of character with thoughtful reinvention. Words: Neena Dhillon | Photography: Courtesy of Alila Hotels & Resorts


arakeets chatter contentedly from the safety of their perches within the imposing turrets of a 230-year-old warrior fort, as swallows swirl in joyous rhythms over a granite hillock found in the midst of a Rajasthani expanse of the Aravalli Range. Overlooking the rural village of Bishangarh in Jaipur District, this is an historic fort with near-mythical presence, its history preserved in the memories of ruling families and local villagers rather than in formal written records, its position affording commanding 360-degree views over the charming rustic terrain. Of course, almost 250 years ago, when the same territory was subject to internal power struggles and endless conflict, the construction of such a formidable outpost would have been essential to the defence of Jaipur Kingdom, held by the ruling dynasty of Amber in alliance with the Mughals until the empire’s disintegration at the close of the 18th century. Heads of state and military leaders would have resided here during times of warfare but as their grip on power weakened, the structure’s function would have quickly become defunct. And so it is unlikely that this majestic warrior fort has been able to serve its true purpose for some 200 years. It was in this abandoned state, a decade ago, when architect

Sandeep Khandelwal first made its acquaintance. Approached by one of its three owning partners – the trio includes Rao Rajendra Singh, a Rajput leader whose forefathers have held proprietorship of the site before him – Khandelwal roamed among the bats and monkeys that called the fort home, exploring its light, openings, access points and niches for days. Returning to his Jaipur-based practice – Sthapatya Architects, co-founded with his wife – Khandelwal considered the best way forward to achieve its adaptive reuse for hospitality purposes. “The owners, Sandeep and I all quickly decided in sync that we did not want to take a palatial approach on this project, adding colour, pattern and layers as is typical with heritage properties in Rajasthan,” reveals Ritu Khandelwal. “Instead we wished to derive an architectural vocabulary integral to the original structure, retaining its character, not interfering with it, and opting for a simple and stark design with glimpses of heritage where appropriate.” The architectural tradition is in the Jaipur Gharana style, an amalgamation of Rajput and Mughal influences, with core elements such as Jharokha windows, Tudor and cusped arches. But before the design direction could be finalised by the husband-and-wife duo, the fortress threw up some immense challenges that needed to


Above: Interiors respond to the fort’s inherent character, weaving in Rajasthani elements such as jaali screenwork, handpainted frescoes, tarkashi decorative objects and block printed fabrics. Doors replicate traditional designs found in Rajasthani, forts but all are customised here with iron nails and a lion-faced knocker

be overcome, not least strengthening the structure, constructing a road, identifying vertical circulation at multiple levels through the three-metre-thick walls, and deciphering how best to plan services and amenities in an unconventional building lacking a single 90-degree wall. “It was like an operational jigsaw puzzle because we retained existing stairwells, entrance portals, columns, arches, railings and screens,” Khandelwal confirms. “We spent a great deal of time experimenting with different plaster finishes to ensure the same appearance as the original walls, opting for a mix using local ‘cracked’ stone dust.” Existing granite boulders have been preserved as an integral part of the resort’s lower levels, while stone and marble is local, the familiar white used sparingly alongside the more prevalent grey Kota stone and cream-hued slabs. With the addition of Alila to the team – who shared the same passion and vision for the project – it was decided that 59 suites should be created from the turrets, the spatial planning maddeningly calling for 23 different room configurations in response to irregular floor layouts and tapering external walls. “Even in the same turret, you couldn’t rely on the same plan because the walls would be different dimensions,” explains Khandelwal. “In the end, we marked out features such as daybeds by hand for the masons, making 100 visits alone just to get the romantic room layouts right.”

Interiors respond to the fort’s inherent character, offering luxury through space, uncluttered and spartan in effect, yet judiciously weaving in attractive Rajasthani elements such as jaali screenwork, handpainted frescoes, tarkashi decorative objects and block printed fabrics. Having found old sleeper wood at the ground floor arrival point, the designers responded by incorporating timber from Jodhpur and millwork into the interior vocabulary to round off edges in rooms, as seen in ceilings and walls. Niches mirror the styles of the arches present on the property, surprisingly Tudor in places because this architecture influenced Mughal shapes at the time. Doors replicate traditional designs found in Rajasthani forts, but all are customised here with iron nails and a lion-faced knocker. Corridor wall sconces feature metal jaali work, resulting in an atmospheric dispersal of light, while an appealing embroidered metal technique is employed as embellishment on select furniture pieces and decorative panels. “With neutral walls, furniture that is not ornate, and muted hues throughout the interiors, we asked ourselves how guests might perceive craftsmanship in the design,” Khandelwal notes. “This technique of cladding brass sheets over wood conveys a certain delicacy and beauty, which we introduced as decorative value to the scheme.” Natural teak furniture is customised as a reflection of a native vernacular style with touches of both the British colonial and


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Above: Outdoor restaurant Nazaara maximises views of the magical landscape from its open-air terrace

Mughal. There is no shine in the upholstery, which favours linens and cottons in nuanced colours but displaying traditional patterns. Although there is little evidence that women would have stayed in the original fort, the royal living quarters are now home to Amarsar restaurant, which showcases both Araish plaster – a dying Rajasthani art that gives wall finishes a glistening effect – and ornate Thikri inlay mirrorwork, particularly splendid in silver and blue shades over the private dining banquettes. Local entrepreneur Kunal Choudhry put together the artisanal team behind these specialist crafts. Madhuveni bar houses some wonderful antiques, artworks and oversized vessels while its elevated cigar lounge retains the wall openings through which hot oil and muskets would once have been launched at invading armies. Outdoor restaurant Nazaara maximises views of the magical landscape from its open-air terrace, serving hunter cuisine derived from traditional sandpit cooking, while Kachchawa Lounge is elegant in ambience, its outdoor deck a route that would have been used, once upon a time, as a royal escape. Indeed the fort accommodates a veritable treasure trove of events and dining spaces,

with secret passages that lead off a central open courtyard, and cellars and kitchens reinvented for modern entertaining purposes. At the bottom of the hill meanwhile, a purpose-built Haveli presents a series of sophisticated spaces in which to relax, not least a restaurant, outdoor swimming pool, fitness centre and verdant lawns. A suggested addition by the Alila team, it is the arrival experience for all guests and offers an absorbing view of the fort above. “We’d actually located our temporary office at the foot of the hill and noted how it became a natural arrival and departure point for all visitors,” says Khandelwal. “The Haveli provides a natural release from the fort’s imposing structure during the day and, so, as a contrast, we included in its architectural form a tented structure. This communicates the idea of the impressive tents that were erected when armies were on the move or when royalty went hunting.” Preserved and revived with reverence and dignity, Alila Fort Bishangarh’s heritage and history shine through every nook and cranny of this surprisingly different property, brought lovingly back to life through a meticulous 10-year revival process.

EXPRESS CHECK-OUT: 59 guestrooms | 3 restaurants | 2 bars | 21 event spaces | Spa, swimming pool, fitness centre | Owners: Rao Rajendra Singh, Suneet Bagai, Atul Kapur | Operator / Development Consultant: Alila Hotels & Resorts, Two Roads Hospitality Architecture and Interior Design: Sthapatya Architects | Lighting Design: Vinayak Diwan | Landscaping: Mukul Goyal | Structural Engineer: J. K. Verma


The Ned, City of London This Grade I-listed building has been transformed from the former Midland Bank into a stylish venue providing contemporary hotel accommodation, restaurants, bars and extensive leisure and spa facilities. EPR Architects worked in collaboration with Soho House & Co and Sydell Group to realise this inspiring scheme which seamlessly transitions between the old and the new using the finest materials to create a beautifully conceived series of interior spaces.

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Image courtesy of The Ned


Craftsmanship and three-dimensional art feed into a hotel characterised by generous space and surprising scale, conveying the spirit of the new India. Words: Neena Dhillon | Photography: Courtesy of Hyatt Hotels & Resorts


eing the only luxury lifestyle hotel in Aerocity gives Andaz an edge,” comments Kurt Straub, Vice President of Operations India, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts. “Uniquely integrating traditional elements, colours and flavours into a modern design inspired by Indian craftsmanship, Andaz Delhi delivers personalised experiences for the high-end traveller and a close connection with local food, customs and sights.” In many ways, the Andaz brand is one tailor-made for India’s proliferating hospitality market. The word, which means ‘style’ in Hindi, is instinctive and familiar here. The brand’s non-scripted

approach to service feels natural to Indians too, who equate hospitality as something that can only be properly delivered at home. There is also a hunger in cosmopolitan cities for concepts that break long-held traditions and redefine what being Indian means, and in the hotel business, this has equated to moving away from over-reverential service and finding a new expression of luxury. Announced back in 2010, when the Andaz brand had only landed in the UK and USA, the Delhi property has been several years in the making. Its location, close to the national airport, may make strangers scratch their head, but Aerocity offers a convenient meeting


Above & Opposite: Key to Virgile + Partners’ non-traditional approach is the feeling of air and space throughout the property

point between downtown Delhi and key areas of the NCR (National Capital Region), while keeping guests free of the infamous traffic queues clogging up the capital’s roads. As the first lifestyle brand in Delhi, Andaz has sought to bring the city’s diversity to its doors, plugging into the power of storytelling, art and craftsmanship to pull together ‘401 Reasons to Fall in Love With Delhi’. Highlighting everything from cultural and heritage sites to creativity, sports, cuisine, icons and nature, the reasons each equate to one of the hotel’s guestrooms, the link expressed by a curated piece of art hung on the wall of each abode. There is a backstory behind each, all of which have been integrated into a book written by Love Travel Guides founder Fiona Caulfield and displayed in every room. Alongside the artisanal amenities – minibar snacks and drinks from Indian suppliers raise a fond smile among Delhiites – cotton robes, jute slippers and in-room videos highlighting the city’s everyday heroes (gardeners, wrestlers, parkour champions and rappers to name a few), guests can get a flavour of modern Delhi without leaving the hotel. London-based Virgile + Partners, no strangers to India, drew on their experience to not only find an interior design concept that would appeal to the mixed international guest profile but also to the demanding local market. “The Andaz brand was starting to be developed when we got involved so we had an exciting initial ‘open’ brief from Hyatt,” recalls Director Carlos Virgile. “There was a carte

blanche opportunity to devise a new contemporary kind of luxury without the traditions of materiality and stuffiness generally linked to it, as well as to deconstruct the richness of Indian culture to find simplicity in its textures and colours.” Key to this non-traditional approach is the feeling of air and space throughout the property, not minimalist as such according to Virgile, but without a multitude of formal elements and clichéd Indian motifs and patterns. This intention is made clear from the outset in the lounge, infused with a relaxed residential ambience, an informal kitchen on one side and library to the other. From here, spaces flow organically one into the other, much of the public areas characterised by natural split-faced Tranciato Limestone and Osuna Grey flooring, complemented by locally sourced timber furniture and intriguing features such as the ‘gravitational’ table at the centre of the lounge. Sculptural in nature, arranged in separate pieces, and lit at night to appear almost as if floating, the table is a point of curiosity, designed to naturally pull visitors its way and break down barriers between them and staff. The 37,000ft 2 events space is another case in point, near intimidating in its physicality, yet required to adapt as easily to weddings as to corporate events. Ewald Damen, a partner at Virgile + Partners, explains how much of the work to the oval-shaped, pillarless ballroom is invisible, poured into the innovative ceiling



Left: Andaz has sought to bring the city’s diversity to its doors, plugging into the power of storytelling, art and craftsmanship to pull together ‘401 Reasons to Fall in Love With Delhi’ – expressed by a curated piece of art hung on the wall of each guestroom

with its succession of drop-down panels that can accommodate a variety of lighting and technological systems, allowing the expansive arena to be customised. Studios come complete with homely lounges, informal open kitchens and terraces, while street access is wide enough to allow an elephant or luxury car direct entry to the property. The second core element in the firm’s design concept is the considered integration of contemporary art, achieved in collaboration with consultant Rajeev Sethi, a man with his finger on the pulse of upcoming artists. “To achieve synergy between the environment and art on display, we worked together from the early stages of the creative process, sharing imagery and ideas,” reveals Virgile. “As control freaks, we were worried because we didn’t want the art to look like an afterthought, but Rajeev curated artists whose work speaks of Indian craftsmanship, displaying a real purpose, as well as communicating a sense of joy.” The pieces selected are eye-catching three-dimensional installations. They include a suspended atrium mobile conceived as a metaphysical representation of the Kashmiri Gate; a vintage cabinet that houses a depiction of the city’s ancient brick abodes; a pictorial carousel of memories; an unfolding multipanelled storyboard, the circular installation crafted by a husband-and-wife team; a mystical wedding shrine summoning up the five elements; and a double helix-structured


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Above: In AnnaMaya food hall, multi-coloured glass screens inject vibrancy, their positioning in front of external windows filtering light

limestone brick artwork conveying the seven stages of Delhi’s evolution, replete with corresponding carved landmarks. Of the rooms, which were prototyped many times, Damen says the firm was “encouraged to break the mould in India” by producing peaceful, cool and calm environments with an almost minimal quality. The only concession to patterning comes via the main wall treatment inside the rooms, achieved through prefabricated concrete walls panels that integrate a subtly textured motif. As social hubs designed to bring together visitors and locals, Andaz Delhi’s dining offer includes the stylish and communal Juniper Bar and AnnaMaya food hall, developed to reflect an Indian community spirit albeit in a contemporary way. Borrowing from the vernacular design of European foods halls with active cuisine counters, open kitchens, ingredients and artisanal products displayed for sale, the aesthetic is informal yet dynamic. Tiled flooring contrasts with unusual concrete wallcoverings while daring multi-coloured glass screens are introduced to inject vibrancy, their positioning in front of external windows not only filtering light but also creating interesting

reflections. There are specially commissioned three-dimensional sculptures reminding diners of the country’s indigenous and edible fruits and flowers while doors are suspended from the ceiling as decorative objects, once more alluding to the famed gates and doors of India in a quirky fashion. Tableware is purposefully mismatched, with accents of copper, brass and coloured glass, just as you would find in a typical Indian home. Serving as a destination in its own right, the newest addition to Andaz Delhi is the Hong Kong Club, a three-storied entertainment venue comprising a Cantonese restaurant, lounge and nightclub. With an impressive sweeping staircase at its heart, complemented by a 12m brass-clad column forming a central library bar for the display of objects, bottles and curiosities, the colour palette here conveys a new Chinese tradition as do the decorative joinery pieces, just one of the art effects selected for this immersive space. As with the rest of the hotel, this venue conjures a sense of progressive intrigue, harnessing different textures, perspectives and craftsmanship to stimulate plenty of interest.

EXPRESS CHECK-OUT: 401 guestrooms | 2 restaurants | 2 bars | 37,000ft2 event spaces | Spa, swimming pool, gym | Owner: Juniper Hotels Private Limited | Operator: Hyatt Hotels Corporation | Architecture: Bauer Latoza Studio | Local Architect: SWBI Architects Interior Design: Virgile + Partners | Landscape Design: Cracknell



The Oberoi Sukhvilas Resort & Spa NEW CHANDIGARH

Oberoi Hotels & Resorts’ newest luxury opening harmoniously blends palatial architecture, mystical courtyards and landscaped gardens, echoing a glorious past. Words: Neena Dhillon | Photography: Courtesy of Oberoi Hotels & Resorts


n Indian city unlike any other, Chandigarh’s tree-lined boulevards, self-contained neighbourhoods and sprawling squares provide a welcome relief to travellers who have become more accustomed to the chaos typical of urban environments here. Masterplanned to a grid system by Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier in response to Jawaharlal Nehru’s vision of creating a town ‘symbolic of the freedom of India, unfettered by the traditions of the past,’ Chandigarh was completed as Punjab’s new state capital in 1951 following the trauma of partition. Today, the green city remains one of the country’s best-known experiments in urban planning and modernist architecture. Located at the foothills of the Shivaliks, an outer range of the Himalayas in northern India, Chandigarh is the arrival gateway for most visitors to The Oberoi Group’s latest opening in the country. On the outskirts of the old city in the verdant surroundings of the Siswan Forest Range, The Oberoi Sukhvilas Resort & Spa nestles within more than 8,000 acres of protected natural woodland, bringing to the Punjab the first luxury retreat to authentically prioritise health, wellbeing and nature, complete with its own

Above & Opposite: Handpainted frescoes, jaali work in stone, Thikri inlay mirror art and a traditional plastering technique incorporating egg whites are a few examples of the specialised techniques that called for artisans to work on-site for months

works and limewash or sandstone applied in various forms. Cusped arches, colonnades, verandas, Jharokhas and ornate plaster work all feed into the aesthetic character with one impressive recurring element in the form of majestic polished brass and teak wood doors. Originally the scheme called for just one of these handcrafted doors to stand as an example of the craftsmanship that would have been seen in historic palaces, but Mr Oberoi liked them so much he asked for more to be repeated through the public spaces. To ensure guests are given abundant views of the forest, buildings have been arranged so that openings face out directly to the nature around them. Indeed the species of the forest have also informed the landscaping of the resort’s abundant grounds, another significant feature of the overall layout. Fragrant tree- and plant-lined meandering walkways connect a series of courtyards in which reflection pools, water fountains and traditional gas torches play a central role. These are carefully cultivated gardens that any Mughal leader would have been proud of, incorporating as they do a flavour of Persia. Baradari pavilions, where regal families would have taken rest when on the move, are the signature entrance feature of courtyards around which clusters of villa guestrooms are arranged. Handpainted frescoes, jaali work in stone, Thikri inlay mirror art and a traditional plastering technique incorporating egg whites are a few examples of the

destination spa. Oberoi Hotels & Resorts has a near-cult following among travel aficionados who seek out the group’s award-winning properties, the flagships in particular renowned for their sumptuous architecture. So how has India’s prestigious hotel group approached the design of its first leisure-oriented – or Vilas-branded – property to be launched in India for 14 years? Generously spread across 25 landscaped acres on a former kinnow plantation, the resort is first and foremost the vision of Executive Chairman P.R.S ‘Biki’ Oberoi, who wanted in his own words “a design concept based on the philosophy of height, light and space”. Having worked previously with Ravi Kumar Gupta on two Vilasbranded hotels, the group turned once more to the architect to realise the vision. His instinct was to turn to the past glories of architectural development in his country’s history, a world away from Corbusian ideals. “The main design inspiration is the palatial architecture and planning principles of days gone by,” he confirms. “The resort has stylistic elements resembling those of the 17th and 18th centuries when the Mughal Empire was constructing monumental structures in India and neighbouring Rajput, and Sikh rulers were creating similarly inspirational buildings. Such richness was a sight for sore eyes.” Materials pick up on this architectural legacy of yesteryear, with façades layered in local coarse sand plaster to allow for projected relief



Left: Al fresco dining is available on the veranda, with its white wicker furniture and overhead fans that communicate a hint of the colonial past

specialised techniques that called for artisans to work on-site for months, adding layers of detailing to both exterior and interior spaces. Inside, the tranquil guestrooms benefit from expansive ceilings under which classically styled teak furniture is matched by bone inlay cabinetry, shimmering wall sconces and artworks that tell stories of a regal history. No stranger to tented accommodation, The Oberoi Group has taken advantage of the forest setting to offer a second tier of guest accommodation compromising Royal Tents, inspired by the majestic caravans that housed royalty overnight during long journeys, hunting and warfare, especially during the era of the British Raj. Triple canopied and lavishly furnished, they have subtle junglethemed interiors with teak wood floors and generous-sized bathrooms, while “full height doors-cum-windows are inserted at regular intervals to invite in natural light and afford forest views from every corner,â€? says Gupta. Seamlessly taking their cue from the façades, interiors follow a palatial theme punctuated with arched openings, relief arches, plaster mouldings and elaborate high ceilings of awe-inspiring scale, finished with oversized


Above: The Oberoi Group has taken advantage of the forest setting to offer a second tier of guest accommodation compromising Royal Tents

cornices. This emphasis on volumetric grandeur is evident in all-day dining restaurant Anant Mahal, where intricate gold leaf wall murals hand-painted by the award-winning artist Ghanshyam Nimbark, and stamp paper paintings complement custom-made furniture that adopts a combination of colonial and classical styles. They all sit on a backdrop of stone flooring with a weave pattern incorporating a dash of red for extra punch. Along with the fireplace, blown glass wall sconces and chandeliers lend ambience to the room, the fixtures casting varied patterns in response to the etchings on their surfaces. Al fresco dining is another option here, in the adjoining veranda with its white wicker furniture and overhead fans that communicate a hint of the colonial past. Raunaq Bar, meanwhile, also benefits from its own atmospheric terrace, this time strategically overlooking the resort’s formal gardens. The interior pays homage to Sikh warriors through ornamental sword displays and an incredible hand-painted fresco framed by a traditional wainscot rendered in Araish plaster. A final word should be devoted to the destination spa, spatially planned as the highest complex in the resort. With stunning hand-

painted frescoes evoking a natural theme, medicinal gardens and perfumed courtyards, the elegant interiors once again glow with light and space, incorporating fire and water features and offering verdant views. There is a regal rhythm to the interiors of the public spaces, achieved in great part by recurring features such as dramatic lighting fixtures influenced in shape and form by palatial buildings of northern India. Stone flooring, including Kadappa Black offset by Gwalior Mint, is another unifying element, adorned in places with oversized rugs displaying traditional block patterns and colours common to the region. Indeed the overall design concept – through artworks dedicated to Sikh heritage and leadership, architectural and landscaping details that speak of the Mughals, and Rajasthani crafts and techniques associated with the Rajputs – manages to convey the three main cultural influences that have come to define this land. In so doing, The Oberoi Sukhvilas Resort & Spa captures the spirit of a glorious architectural past yet offers contemporary comfort in its commitment to a philosophy of height, light and space.

EXPRESS CHECK-OUT: 60 guestrooms | 2 restaurants | 1 bar | Ballroom, business centre | Spa, swimming pool, fitness centre | Owner: Metro Eco Green Resorts Limited | Operator: Oberoi Hotels & Resorts | Architecture: Ravi Kumar Gupta | Interior Design: Oberoi Hotels & Resorts in-house team | Lighting Consultant: Be Lit | Landscaping: Plandscape (PLA) | Structural Consultant: Dr I.C. Syal



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The Golden Temple, local traditions and ancient handicrafts are all reflected at Taj’s newest property, contemporary in style yet embodying rich Punjabi culture. Words: Neena Dhillon | Photography: © Jaideep Oberoi


s a major commercial and cultural hub in the northern state of Punjab, home to the Golden Temple, Amritsar is enjoying a burgeoning reputation as both a tourist hotspot and emerging business city. This development story has proven irresistible to Taj Hotels Palaces Resorts Safaris, whose portfolio of properties now stretches to 98 in 61 locations around the world. “Attracting more than 100,000 tourists on weekdays alone, Amritsar is on its way to becoming an IT hub as well, amplified by great infrastructure at its backbone and strengthening commercial activities,” says Sumeet Taneja, General Manager, Taj Swarna. “Synonymous with fiery

spices, vibrant colours and the timeless tranquillity of Sikh’s spiritual home, the city offers travellers a holistic experience. Our hotel seeks to pay homage to that cultural and spiritual identity through an amalgamation of the old Amritsar, embodied by its history, art and heritage, and the cutting-edge modernity of the new Amritsar with contemporary art and clean lines.” Having contributed to Taj Group’s landmark hospitality projects in India since the 1980s, RKA (Rajinder Kumar & Associates) was a natural choice of architect. “Our brief was to create a contemporary luxury hotel that would accommodate the needs of all sets of people


Above: Guestrooms follow clean and comfortable lines, subtly enlivened by golden, green, silver and red hues

visiting Amritsar, be it for business, pleasure or worship,” notes Ramesh Koul of the Delhi-based firm. “Superior banqueting facilities were also required to host sizeable functions and weddings.” On a site area of 3.4 acres, Taj Swarna’s building design takes its inspiration from the sacred Golden Temple, as Koul confirms: “We tried to capture its serenity and brilliance, the quality of light, the courtyard experience and the reflections in water that tend to mesmerise all those who visit the holy site.” With this in mind, all public areas have clear glazing to ensure uninterrupted views of the external landscaping. The lobby is awash in Crema Floriana marble in tribute to the shrine, while the simple white reception desks are offset by a Golden Temple-inspired dome, interpreted and implemented in a contemporary style using gold mosaics. Architectural panels and glass screens convey the same influence, this time with patterns that pay homage to the intricate floors of the landmark site. Around the spa reception, the finishing of screens in white lacquer again speaks of a modern interpretive approach. Colours, fret motifs and artworks either reference the architectural language of the Golden Temple, or give a nod to broader and ancient Punjabi handicrafts. Phulkari weaving, for example, is highlighted by vibrant fabric displays in the lobby, and the contemporary floral pattern expressed in Dark Emperador marble on the lobby floor as well as being incorporated into the oversized, elegant, central rug.

Metal and wooden wall art found in the guestrooms and public spaces speak of old traditions although these handicrafts are modern in both style and technique. Block prints show women sewing dupattas, men engaging in martial arts, historical figures resplendent in regal dress, rows of multi-coloured bangles and other slices of Punjabi life. Even the metal and marble pots of the external landscaping, impressive in their stature, pick up on ancient Punjabi skills such as mud pottery. Guestrooms follow clean and comfortable lines, subtly enlivened by golden, green, silver and red hues. Specialised brass handles adorn customised furniture and console pieces, including the minibar, which is finished in leather panelling. Executive Suites benefit from Italian marble-clad walls and floors, the shower ablaze in striking red mosaics from Palladio; red is the colour of celebration across the Punjab. Up in the Presidential Suite, velvet-clad dining chairs complete with a jewel embellishment surround the Santos Rosewood veneer table, customised with a sunburst motif. Lighting too has been given special attention across the hotel, used particularly effectively in some of the large public areas to enhance the ambience. Sourced from Enliten, the chandeliers of the pre-function and banqueting spaces are made from crystal and blown glass, realised in customised designs suited to an international clientele. In all-day dining restaurant, Grand Trunk, the high ceiling is broken up with formations of large decorative glass pendants, allowing


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Left: In speciality restaurant The Chinese Room, the interior design looks further east. The screen work and geometrical motifs are lifted from a Chinese vernacular with tints and shades of bronze and copper complemented by rich wood panelling

for both openness to be reflected during the day, and a more sophisticated atmosphere to be achieved in the evening. Over in The Peg Bar – designed in two separate zones, a highenergy space connected to the al fresco terrace contrasting with the low-energy lounge – lighting once more plays its part in evoking the right mood. Surrounded all around by large glazing panels, it was decided that the bar itself should be differentiated with a dark ceiling, decorated here with amoeba-shaped lighting fixtures made of diffused stretched fabric and suspended with seamless hanging wires for a floating effect. Only in speciality restaurant The Chinese Room, does the contemporary aesthetic take a new twist. Aptly, the interior design here looks further east, the screen work and geometrical motifs lifted from a Chinese vernacular with tints and shades of bronze and copper complemented by rich wood panelling. The venue’s entrance is given additional interest by a chopstick lighting fixture. As a hotel that must cater to travellers visiting for a variety of reasons, Taj Swarna strikes a balance between acknowledging the heritage and culture of Amritsar while manifesting the Taj approach to hospitality. In doing so, it sets a new bar of luxury in the city it calls home.

EXPRESS CHECK-OUT: 157 guestrooms | 3 restaurants | 1 bar | 7,000ft2 event spaces | Spa, salon, swimming pool, fitness centre | Owner: PIEM Hotels, a subsidiary of Indian Hotels Company | Operator: Taj Hotels Palaces Resorts Safaris | Architecture: RKA | Interior Design: TID International



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Zone by The Park JODHPUR

A homegrown social catalyst brand with a dynamic design identity, Zone by The Park is on track to vigorously expand its footprint over the next three years. Words: Neena Dhillon | Photography: © Shamanth Patil


aunched over two years ago in Tamil Nadu’s second largest city of Coimbatore, Zone by The Park was developed by hotelier Priya Paul and her team to fill a gap in the market. “We noticed a hunger for a new type of hotel suited to a new kind of traveller who aspires to move up the ladder and connect with an upscale designand price-conscious brand,” explains Paul, Chairperson of Apeejay Surrendra Park Hotels. “We are choosing locations in fast-growing and emerging Indian cities, largely second- and third-tier markets, as well as suburbs and peripheries of some of the country’s major cities. The focus is on technology hubs, central business districts and tourist

destinations where there is demand for socially dynamic hotels in which people can refresh and recharge themselves. Since the entire concept is based on interactive spaces, contemporary design and a bazaar-like atmosphere, Zone often becomes the entry point to these lesser-known cities for modern business and leisure travellers.” With seven locations already open, the plan is to have 20 operations in business by 2020 with hotels in Surat, Gurgaon, Indore and Lucknow slated for 2018 alone. Gurgaon represents a good example of how the brand targets destinations, serving as it does as a satellite to Delhi and a financial and technology hub in its own right.


High occupancy in existing locations such as Jaipur, Chennai and Raipur is testament to how the brand has struck a chord with domestic travellers in particular. Such a fast expansion strategy has called for savvy thinking when it comes to conceptual design and Paul’s solution has been to turn to London-based Project Orange to create a masterplan. “Since most hotel sites are by-and-large rectangular, we were able to propose a common design blueprint for a generic location that has been applied to the various properties with our additional input,” reveals Director James Soane. “Representing the building blocks, there are eight main elements to the public spaces, including a reception desk, autorickshaw, work zone and a bazaar-style lounge into which other areas flow, connect and overlap, complemented by a sample guestroom of which we have provided four options for colourways.” As one of the most recent openings, Zone by The Park Jodhpur adopts the brand’s


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Above: Bazaar cafeteria is equipped with vibrant displays of typical Indian vessels, food items, trinkets and kitchenware Previous Page: The hotel adopts the brand’s signature colours of orange and turquoise, seen in the guestroom corridors and events spaces

signature colours of orange and turquoise, welcoming visitors with a reception desk displaying objects that speak of the cultural destination, and a technicolour tuk-tuk that doubles as a small shop window for locally sourced products. Hardwearing fabric finishes are instantly recognisable, as are vibrant patterns on soft furnishings while local stones and hardwoods are specified for lobby finishes. Inspired by traditional markets that bring together people in a friendly and informal environment, there is an around-the-clock Bazaar cafeteria, equipped with vibrant displays of typical Indian vessels, food items, trinkets and kitchenware, some for sale, and a street cart on wheels from which fresh omelettes are made. In response to a collection of old movie posters owned by Paul, Project Orange has designed a digitised collage of these images, turning it into signature wallpaper for Bazaar, complemented by patterned tiles handmade in India. Banquet halls, meanwhile, feature the same boldly geometric patterned rugs, wood panelling and standout lighting fixtures while meeting zones are more like creative studios.

“There is a base pack that applies to each hotel and the on-site teams can refer to our drawings for elements such as floor and furniture finishes,” explains Soane. “But this is not to say all Zone properties are cookie-cutters. The local team sources art and artefacts to convey the character of the destination, and we’ve seen the staff in India take ownership of their hotels in this way.” Each Zone by The Park aims to present a good nightlife offering, catering to residents who want to relax in their own hometowns of an evening. In Jodhpur, this has meant introducing a new restaurant concept to the hotel’s generous rooftop space, in an adaptation of Project Orange’s original design concept. “You can say we extrapolate the core elements of the conceptual template for each location,” says Paul, picking up the story. “But depending on the space and city requirements, we will make tweaks to the template and if we see an opportunity to streamline functionality. Beyond a superior room and service experience, we have imagined Zone by The Park as a hub of social interactivity, rooted in creative and playful interiors.”

EXPRESS CHECK-OUT: 90 guestrooms | 2 restaurants | 1 bar | 7,500ft2 banquet hall | Owner / Developer: Jawaharlal Moondra | Operator: Apeejay Surrendra Park Hotels | Architecture and Interior Design: Project Orange




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27/10/2017 11:42


Accor’s treble AccorHotels announced three deals in the space of a week, giving it access to the Orient Express brand, acquiring distribution group Gekko and making a bid for Mantra Group, Australia’s second-largest hotel group. The agreements see the group extend its reach both globally and through the chain scales as it continues to pursue its three pillar strategy. In Australia, Accor made an offer of AUSD3.96 per share share, giving the deal an enterprise value of about AUSD1.24bn (USD900m). Mantra said it was allowing Accor to conduct due diligence “to determine if a transaction can be agreed and recommended unanimously by the Mantra board.” Accor already had a position in Australia, having acquired Mirvac Group’s business in 2011 for AUSD320m. Sébastien Bazin, chairman & CEO, AccorHotels, said: “We are delighted to have come to an agreement to acquire the Mantra Group. This operation will underpin our long-term growth in the Asia Pacific region. Mantra’s portfolio would offer AccorHotels additional accommodation formats and a strong customer base to complement our successful hotel portfolio in Australia. We are confident that the transaction terms are attractive for shareholders of both groups.” It is thought that Mantra has

other people can look at it and see genius. Accor has demonstrated a real ability to think laterally and be innovative which means that they look at things quite differently from others. “If you look at this deal in terms of overall strategy and consider what companies like Frasers and Ascott have achieved globally in the serviced apartment space over the last 10 years – how these brands and products have developed, the right to manage this type of accommodation takes on a very different dimension. The serviced apartment business has certainly come of age and segmentation between a hotel and serviced apartment products has become blurred.” “Mantra’s biggest weakness is that it doesn’t have brands that are recognised outside Australia. It’s only recently pushed into Indonesia and Hawaii. For Mantra to build an international brand which can exploit the available opportunities will take years. Accor can do it now not only under the Mantra brands but under Accor’s excellent brand stable. “Apart from positioning in the Australian market, Mantra also offers well developed systems and marketing capability in relation to a product class that major brands are not strong in, and in a product class that’s becoming more relevant to the market – witness Airbnb. Accor can use its global marketing power to exploit this product class in a way that is extremely efficient and effective and which delivers real

been subject to increasing interest from potential buyers since March, with Marriott International, InterContinental Hotels Group, HNA Group and Hyatt Hotels Company all rumoured to have considered a move. Mantra operates 127 properties mainly in Australia and also has businesses in New Zealand, Indonesia and Hawaii. Mantra does not own any of the properties but manages the hotel operations through leasing and management letting rights. Its properties range from luxury retreats and coastal resorts to serviced apartments and hotels, under three key brands: Peppers, Mantra and BreakFree. According to the company’s 2017 annual report, 64.3% of Mantra’s rooms were under management letting rights, with 18.6% under lease rights and 11.6% under management agreements. The remainder are split between hotel management rights and marketing services agreements. Danny Farrugia, principal, Aequus Counsel, told Hotel Analyst: “Management rights are not the same as a hotel management contracts. Management rights give the holder the right to manage the letting and maintenance of units in strata title or condo schemes, under legislation that originated in Queensland and has spread to other Australian states.” The apparent complexity of the portfolio has caused some observers confusion. Farrugia said: “It’s a bit like art – some people can look at a Kandinsky and see nothing and


competitive advantage to Accor.” Accor indicated that it was keen to extend its global marketing power with its purchase of Gekko, which offers search and reservation solutions via an interface connected to more than 500,000 hotels worldwide, ranging from budget to luxury. Its turnkey management tools allow business travellers to manage their online payments, offering them the option of tracking and optimising their costs. The deal valued Gekko at EUR100m. Thibault Viort, chief disruption & growth officer, stated: “We are very pleased to have Gekko’s team join our group. AccorHotels’ extensive global footprint, together with Gekko’s technological leadership, today paves the way for the creation of a global leader in B2B hotel distribution. Since business travellers represent a key segment in the group’s business, our capacity to respond to the specific requirements of this segment across the entire value chain is a factor that really sets us apart.” The deal was followed by the announcement that the company had acquired a 50% stake in Orient Express from SNCF, which Bazin described as cementing the alliance “of two major French players in the world of travel for a shared purpose, that of giving fresh impetus and international standing to an historic and world-renowned brand. Thanks to this partnership, our customers will be able to enjoy a prestigious range of services and exceptional experiences based on a portfolio of luxury brands”.

Accor is to develop a new collection of hotels under the name. SNCF will retain ownership of the iconic train cars, which Accor said would provide “a new and exceptional setting for events, which may be held in collaboration with AccorHotels’ other businesses such as Potel & Chabot, Noctis and John Paul”. The company told us that further details of the deal and its strategic impact were not available at this early stage. HA Perspective (by Katherine Doggrell): Yes, Accor has a chief disruption & growth officer, in case anyone was in any doubt. His first act can only have been tearing the bell which sounds with every deal off the wall before everyone goes deaf. The company continues to leave others in its wake as it builds those three pillars, pushing the hotel sector out into the wide world in an attempt to stay relevant to consumers which are as happy to use Airbnb as a conventional hotel and will book it through any route they fancy. The response of the sector to these latest deals, other than an expression of permanent shock, is now what is of interest. Accor was not thought to have been alone in its interest in Mantra, no matter how disparaging some observers might be of the group (“box of crap” indeed), as the growing number of visitors to Australia, particularly from China, calls for a meaningful footprint. The response of Belmond, which

outdated measure of performance. “Much of the gains in revpar have been due to better occupancy,” he said, adding: “The industry is slowly catching up with trevpar and goppar as valid measures.” Langston noted that while revpar figures delight those measuring them, they don’t tell a true story around profitability: “Hotels are working harder for less returns.” And the warning of watching the wrong ball was reinforced by Paul Slattery, co-founder & director, Otus & Co, who noted that many hotel professionals suffered from “the fatal flaw” of believing that hotels are only about renting bedrooms. Too many properties have meetings and events space that is very poorly utilised, delivering woeful returns. London hotels are particularly poor, when compared with other mainland European city markets, he said; though all in all, the niche was poorly benchmarked, with few comparables available. Despite the perceived growth in revenues, profits were currently harder to come by, said Langston. Many hotels were spending more than ever on third party marketing costs, notably with the OTAs, while non-rooms revenues have largely diminished. “Revpar has its place as a tactical indicator,” he warned, but didn’t give the full story. He illustrated that city markets such as Vienna and Prague had barely recovered to the profitability peaks of 2007, despite apparently good revpar growth in recent years, and strong occupancy. The cost of going to market was clearly noted as owners and

launched as a brand in 2014 after not renewing the licensing deal with SNCF in 2014 for Orient Express, will also be of interest. Last year saw Belmond announce plans to use its balance sheet to expand and try to gain critical traction for the brand. The company has turned also to management contracts for growth – how many owners are now considering Orient Express? The launch of the Belmond flag came with the defence at the time that customers were searching less for the brand name and more for the iconic hotels, such as the Cipriani, making the Orient Express name less relevant. Accor clearly feels that this is not the case and has added the brand to its expanding luxury division – adding too the lure of iconic trips for its loyalty programme members. It feels somewhat inevitable to suggest that the emotion currently being felt by the sector towards Accor is murderous. But the deals train rolls on.

Profits slip as managers miss opportunities Hotels too often watch the wrong metrics, and miss opportunities to improve profitability. The pursuit of revpar and bedroom revenues can lead to fundamentals being overlooked, warned speakers at the Hotel Distribution Event, hosted by Hotel Analyst in London. Jonathan Hotstats,

Langston, founder, declared revpar an


operators debated the current marketplace. Tom Magnuson said his Magnuson Hotels brand had a clear focus: “Our job is to provide the most effective, lowest cost business platform for the owner.” And he sees OTAs “as a partner channel, but I think it’s not a sustainable strategy to rely on them long term.” Genevieve Materne, regional VP of distribution strategy, Hyatt, said the OTAs were part of the marketing mix. “We all have to recognise where we sit in the ecosystem.” She said the Hyatt loyalty programme was a big part of the group’s marketing effort, but it could be challenged for a smaller player, with patchy global coverage among the sub-brands: “To the loyalty members, we are selling the overall brand.” Simon Teasdale, managing director, Lapithus Hotel Management, called Booking. com “a phenomenal brand”, and noted that the hotel sector “has always been behind – where we are today, you have to accept the cost of the OTAs.” But he is optimistic about the future. “I think the bigger brands, where they are with technology, are going to catch up.” Stephanie Gosling, head of revenue, Amaris Hospitality, wondered whether would become a rival for corporate business. Assembled solution providers on her panel had bad news, all noting the OTA is agnostic about the source of its customers. “I can’t see why won’t go for corporate business, they want to process more transactions,”

summarised Cendyn’s John Seaton. Back in the conference room space, Slattery said the blame for excess meeting room capacity was partly down to hotel brands, which insisted on certain facilities in branded properties. They were also facing changing user habits, plus other rivals in the space such as serviced offices. But the problem was compounded by the analogue nature of space rental, and opaque pricing. His research suggested a large hotel would only win 5% of quoted business, in a process that was highly inefficient. David Taylor, chief commercial officer, GLH Hotels, agreed that selling conference space could be a challenge, with inquiry levels in London falling. Often, the true costs of a meeting event, and associated bedroom and food sales were poorly split between departments. Slattery suggested some hotels would be better off converting underused meeting rooms into more bedrooms. Ciara Crossan, founder of WeddingDates, noted that hotels have failed to effectively market their wedding venues, something that led her to create a web-based platform making it easier for engaged couples to find venues. And Felix Undeutsch, head of MICE and groups for Expedia, wondered: “Maybe it’s too early to speak about digital distribution.” HA Perspective (by Chris Bown): Langston’s warning is a stark one – chasing occupancy at the expense of selling at the right price is killing profits. That and failing to sweat the other assets in the building,

from meeting rooms to the food and beverage offer, means many opportunities to make money are being missed, every day. Some of this starts with accounting systems that prioritise what is easy to measure. But it is also symptomatic of the owner/ manager/brand split, where responsibilities are split: the brand earns commission for getting punters to the door, when the manager’s work starts trying to get them to spend at the premises. And in the process, those lost bits of real estate that are not bedrooms, don’t get any focus at all. Contrast this with an integrated operator such as Whitbread, where Premier Inn room sales sit on the balance sheet a few lines up from food and beverage volumes, both receiving similar management focus. Breakfast and evening meals remain a key part of the offer, a profit opportunity and not simply a grab’n’go option. The problem of working out where the profit is, is not unique to hotels. New hostel brands, for example, spend disproportionately on common areas and they see this as key areas for driving profitability. This is not going to show up on a revpar measure. Senior executives have previously opined that a measure of revenue per square metre of an overall building might be a sensible metric to compare. Taking a look specifically at meeting rooms, hotels have once again stood still as the market moved. Online booking options are plentiful – and enterprising serviced office companies have muscled in

alongside hotels, to promote their wares. Some hotels still cling to the idea that their conference space helps sell rooms, but in a big city, this is rarely enough to validate keeping underutilised meeting rooms on ice. The brands need to wake up to this changing environment in their brand standards. Time to take Slattery’s advice – call in the architects, and work out how many bedrooms could take their place.

OTA impact flattens Has the hotel sector reached “peak OTA”? There was speculation at this year’s Hotel Distribution Event that this may be the case. In the strong UK market, the OTAs’ share of bookings has not increased according to data from Travelclick, reassuring many, as fears over the impact of Airbnb were also played down. Hotel Analyst editorial director Andrew Sangster opened the conference quoting Phocuswright figures that the OTAs’ share of the online travel market was expected to rise from 39% in 2016 to 41% by 2020. Steffen Doyle, managing director, co-head of European real estate investment banking, Credit Suisse, told attendees that online penetration in general was expected to continue, to reach 40% in 2020, but that it was not expected to climb “infinitely” given that much of the market using it was leisure oriented and that the corporate


market continued to use a wealth of other methods to acquire its rooms. Sangster also pointed to a lot of travel still being “transacted offline and a lot of B2B, which [potential entrants such as] Amazon cannot disrupt”. Doyle described a buoyant market, which put hotels in a strong position when selling rooms. Doyle said: “Demand is far outstripping supply – in Europe supply is at 0.9%, very low, with demand at 4%, driving revpar growth.” He added that, echoing the US, the brands were “going to increasingly penetrate Europe and that will change the OTA penetration in the region”. Faith in the ability of the brands to drive revenue was shared by Jerome Wise, VP, enterprise clients, TravelClick, who said that the direct and OTA channel mix in the UK were the same this year as last – with bookings up by 0.2 percentage points. A small, but, he said, not insignificant increase. Counting “reasons to be cheerful”, Wise said: “In a strong market hotels should be taking control of their rates and channels, hopefully hoteliers are leaving enough inventory to be able to provide rooms right up to the last minute without having to drop rates.” Both Doyle and Wise warned that hotels were far from being able to rest on their laurels, calling on them to employ the customer data they had to drive loyalty and pull the consumer back from the OTAs. Doyle said: “Hotels have been very poor at using the data that

they have – but the good news is that, culturally, change is coming.” While Wise said: “Where the battle can be won with the OTAs is CRM, providing a personalised offering. It doesn’t happen yet but hotels should use the data they have. It’s not big data, it doesn’t have to be scary.” The issue of hotels not sharing data within the organisation was raised throughout the day. Wise commented: “There is not enough alignment across the departments, still. It’s wrought with problems. Is your organisation aligned with where the business is coming from? Are you aligned with your cost of sale? If you can get to a position where your cost of sale is truly aligned, it doesn’t matter where it’s coming from.” There was some hope that an increase in the number of distribution platforms in the market would help cut costs, with Doyle adding: “The business models of the disruptors are built on them expanding their markets, by pushing down prices. The new aggregators – Airbnb and the like – are more of a threat to the OTAs than to the hotels.” Looking at the influence of the additional supply emanating from Airbnb, Doyle took the three million rooms on the platform and cut them down to 1 million “once you take out the shared bathrooms”. He commented: “I don’t see this getting out of control,” describing

how the platform represented 10% of rooms in London, but 4% of the revenue. “They’re not destroying the market, you would see an impact on occupancy and we have a phenomenal market,” he said. Doyle looked at the sector’s response to the sharing platform, highlighting Hilton’s launch of Tru, which he said was designed to take on Airbnb, but at a premium price.

responses when under duress, but Hotstats’ co-founder Jonathan Langston warned later in the day that, when facing falling profits, finding ways to edge them up 1% here and there was the best way to see a 10% increase and the message of the event was that suddenly replacing all your staff with robots wasn’t going to see a rapid return either, but employing the creativity and emotional intelligence which is expected to see us remain employed when the machines take on our grunt work. For hotels, this is about relationship building with customers with meaningful loyalty schemes and decent service. Lacking in glamour, perhaps, but heavy on incremental gain.

HA Perspective (by Katherine Doggrell): No need to panic then, the OTAs have said their piece and, as several speakers pointed out over the course of the day, they can hardly be described as disruptors any more, but more established players, partners if you will. But really, the kind of partner who charges a rate for access to the market and won’t fork over your customers’ contact details seems like a partner who could yet stand to modify their behaviour and, really, hotels would be better off without them. Plus, if there’s anything that hotels haven’t learned over the past decade, it’s that the OTAs are always up to something and most likely that will be snaffling away the business market. During the event rumours started to swirl that Airbnb was doing a deal with WeWork, making those evenings in hotel rooms working in silence at a desk with an occasional break to stare at the wall look even less appealing. Hotels can be prone to dramatic

As product brand companies, hotel chains will find it useful to maintain an effective retail channel but more and more volume looks set to be transacted by the retail specialists. There is a big difference between investing to create an effective retail channel and investing to be the dominant retail channel: the former is achievable but the latter, in my view, is not achievable for hotel companies in the longterm.

Additional HA Perspective (by Andrew Sangster): I think it should be made clear that the hotel industry has not reached “peak OTA”. Whilst there are challenges to the hegemony of OTAs, these challenges are not coming from hotel companies. The message remains the same: hotel companies know how to brand the hotel product but they are very much on the back foot when it comes to being the main distributor, particularly online. The online retailing is done much more effectively by technology companies and it is very hard to see how, given the vastly superior resources of technology companies, hotel groups will be competitive.

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


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Asia Pacific

+322k Rooms 1,265 Projects

Top 10 pipeline and RevPAR Performance STR’s September 2017 Pipeline Report shows 2,706 hotel projects currently under





accounting for 625,359 rooms. To put these figures into perspective,


this represents a 14% increase to


the market’s existing room supply. China leads the region in supply


development, with 1.3k projects and


322k rooms in the pipeline, followed by Indonesia (59k rooms) and India (41k rooms). Looking at performance levels for the countries with the largest pipelines,

+41k Rooms 255 Projects



hotels in Malaysia posted a 12.4% increase in RevPAR based on August

+21k Rooms 96 Projects

year-to-date data, followed by Vietnam (RevPAR +11.3%). At the other end of the spectrum, South Korea recorded the sharpest decline (RevPAR -12.3%), likely due to geopolitical tensions.



+59k Rooms 324 Projects *Markets are ordered by the number of confirmed rooms currently registered in each pipeline



+2.5% South Korea





+17k Rooms 67 Projects

1 RevPAR




+15k Rooms 54 Projects

+14k Rooms 41 Projects 7





9 5

+28k Rooms 92 Projects






+27k Rooms 111 Projects


2 RevPAR

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+32k Rooms 177 Projects

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15 March 2018 - Andaz Singapore

27 June 2018 - Faena Forum Miami

JUDGING PANEL ANNOUNCED The first judges for AHEAD Asia 2018 have been announced. Representatives from the continent’s leading hotel companies, interior design practices and architectural firms join respected consultants to ensure that all aspects of the hotel design and experience are considered throughout the selection process. Further judges will be announced soon.



Creative Director Designphase DBA

Founder AFSO

COO Alila Hotels & Resorts





Managing Director Proof & Company

Vice President Design Services, Asia Pacific Hyatt Hotels Corporation


ED NG Co-founder and Principal AB Concept


JINOU PARK Vice President Asia Pacific Design Hotels

Editor Sleeper

COLIN SEAH Founder and Director of Design MOD

Associate Vice President Wimberly Interiors

JOYCE WANG Principal Joyce Wang Studio

15 March 2018 - Andaz Singapore 15 March 2018 - Andaz 27Singapore June 2018 - Faena Forum 27 June Miami 2018 - Faena Forum Miami



Taking place on 15 March 2018, AHEAD Asia has announced Andaz Singapore as its new host venue. Situated near Marina Bay and at the crossroads of the Kampong Glam, Little India and Bras Basah Bugis cultural districts, Andaz Singapore rests at the heart of alleyways filled with atmospheric colours, textures and flavours. Housed within the DUO skyscrapers designed by German architect Ole Scheeren, Andre Fu’s AFSO has completed the contemporary interiors. The property features a floor dedicated to events, enlivened with bold artworks by artists Monica Delgado and Ahmad Abu Bakar, making the space as distinctive as its surroundings. On the events floor, the Glasshouse is a 8m-high space, comprising floor-to-ceiling windows garnished with full timber slatted partitions, typical of modern Asian aesthetics. Meanwhile, the Garden Studio is an events venue that opens onto a vast adjoining outdoor terrace, decked with potted fan palms. Architecturally, the studio includes a standalone pavilion within the sandstone-clad volumetric space to provoke a play of indoor and outdoor spaces.

Taking place in Miami on 27 June 2018, AHEAD Americas will open for entries on 1 December 2017. Accepting hotel projects completed between November 2016 and December 2017 inclusive, the event is set to celebrate the region’s most renowned hotel designs. The awards will see a variety of design aspects covered, including Landscaping & Outdoor Spaces, Lobby & Public Spaces, Urban Hotel Conversions and the recently introduced New Concept and Visual Identity awards. Winners at each of the four regional AHEAD ceremonies will be automatically entered into the global biennale, where they will compete to be crowned as overall winner in their category. Previous winners at AHEAD Americas include Arlo Hotels NYC for its overall concept, 11 Howard in New York for its restaurant Le Coucou, Chablé Resort in Chocholá for its landscaping and outdoor spaces, Hotel Criol in Santiago de Querétaro for its conversion, and 2017 Hotel of the Year Faena Hotel Miami Beach. The deadline for AHEAD Americas entries will close on 31 January, with the shortlist published on 30 March 2018.

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01/11/2017 09:32

Meetings & Events T H E M E E T I N G P L AC E F O R T H E H O S P I TA L I T Y I N D U S T R Y

7-8 NOV

12-13 NOV

13-18 NOV

15 NOV

Deloitte EHIC London BDNY New York Dubai Design Week Dubai AHEAD MEA Dubai

15-17 NOV

20 NOV

21-22 NOV

9-12 JAN

WAF Berlin AHEAD Europe London Sleep London Heimtextil Frankfurt


12-15 JAN

14-16 JAN

14-16 JAN

19-23 JAN

Domotex Hannover Table London Top Drawer London Maison & Objet Paris

13-18 NOV

Design for all ages

Shaping forces



Returning on 13-18 November to celebrate the region’s best in design and creativity, Dubai Design Week has announced the line-up for this year’s citywide events programme. Staged in partnership with Dubai Design District, the six-day event is set to attract more than 50,000 visitors including architects, designers, thought-leaders, and influencers, with a series of more than 200 events. “The programme is testament to the talent and commitment that exists within Dubai and interest that has been generated globally through previous editions of Dubai Design Week,” comments William Knight, Managing Director and Head of Design at Dubai Design Week. “The team has been thrilled to work with an incredible range of designers, companies and sponsors to stage an event that is bursting with possibilities for visitors from near and far.” The live events programme will open with a keynote by architect Sir David Adjaye in conversation with Emirati commentator Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi, and feature global design influencers such as PepsiCo Chief Designer Officer Mauro Porcini, and Elmar Mock, co-inventor of the Swatch Watch. In addition, daily workshops will be staged in association with newly launched d3 co-working space Re: Urban Studio. The region’s leading design trade show, Downtown Design, will also be held at the d3 Waterfront, doubling in size to exhibit over 150 international brands from 25 countries. Commissioned installations include Prologue, a crystal adorned piece by London-based design studio Fredrikson Stallard for Swarovski, and The Silent Call, designed by Khalid Shafar for Lasvit. Meanwhile, a series of live events and indoor pop-ups at Downtown Design feature a keynote from Fredrikson Stallard, along with speakers such as Abbie Chung, Senior Associate at 5+ Design, and a panel discussions with George Fleck of Le Meridien, Renaissance and Westin.


12-13 NOV

More than 100 thought leaders from the worlds of hospitality design, purchasing, management and development will share their perspectives on the forces shaping the industry at the Boutique Design New York (BDNY) trade fair and conference, taking place in November at Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. Kicking off the conference programme at the two-day event, the ‘New in New York’ panel will take attendees behind the scenes of numerous hospitality projects in the boroughs of the city. Panellists include Christopher Alvarado of Two Roads Hospitality, which debuted 50 Bowery in May; Timothy Griffin of Ennismore, set to open The Hoxton in Brooklyn later this year; and Hung Luk, Executive Director of The Lam Group; which is developing the first Virgin Hotel in New York. Examining worldwide projects, hospitality firms such as SBE, Hyatt Hotels, CitizenM, Hilton and Marriott International feature on ‘Brand Central’, discussing what they look for in a design partner. Elsewhere, Vicki Poulos, Senior Director, Global Brand Managment of Moxy Hotels, will explore where the development pipeline is taking hospitality projects and concepts in ‘Lifestyle Leaders’. Expanding again this year to 125,000ft 2 of exhibition space, the event will also feature and 700 manufacturers of furniture, lighting, wallcoverings, and other design elements, with over 7,800 hospitality professionals from the USA, Canada and Europe expected to attend.

Dinner is served TABLE

14-16 JAN

Taking place at London Olympia on 14-16 January, Table will bring together leading tableware brands and F&B purchasers. Featuring a presentation of 30 collections, as well as live debates, the show’s focus will be on quality and design. Organised into Cook & Dine, Interiors and Food, the designled event will attract an international audience of hospitality buyers, operators, and interior designers, while confirmed exhibitors include Wedgwood, Nick Munro and Alessi. The concept enables buyers to meet directly with manufacturers, designers and specialists in bespoke items suitable for F&B applications. Organised by Clarion Events with support of Supper, the event is co-located with long-established international trade show Top Drawer.



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9. – 12. 1. 2018

Sleep 21-22 NOVEMBER 2017

Returning with the theme ‘Loyalty: Lessons in Love’, the 2017 Sleep event explores how hospitality surroundings and experiences can spark and strengthen loyalty.


leep’s two-day, free-to-attend conference draws hospitality design and development visionaries from around the globe to address the challenges and aspirations driving the industry, and tap into the undercurrents influencing its future. Four headline presentations will shape the tone. Parisian interior architect Tristan Auer opens day one with ‘Revival of a Myth’, outlining his approach to returning prestigious storied buildings to their former glory. Principal of Atelier Tristan Auer – the haute couture design studio of Wilson Associates – notable projects include Hôtel de Crillon and Hôtel Les Bains.That afternoon, New York-based architect Jeffrey Beers will deliver ‘Emotional Modernism’, revealing his passion for uniting artistry and strategy to evoke emotional responses through spatial designs as seen in hotels such as Fontainebleau Miami Beach. Architect Eero Koivisto, co-founder of Claesson Koivisto Rune, kicks off day two by revealing how ‘Space Manipulation’ in projects such as Hotel Zander K in Bergen, Norway, subtly implants positive, unexpected symbols that tap into a guest’s subliminal visual memory to create nostalgic connections. Later in the day, Maria Warner Wong and Chiu Man Wong, Principals of Singapore-based WOW Architects and Warner Wong Design, present ‘New Concepts of Luxury’, a look beyond the idea of memory creation, giving back and participatory design as evidenced in their designs at Vivanta by Taj Whitefield, Bangalore. Additional sessions will investigate loyalty and love through a spectrum of hospitality specialities. On day one, ‘Fast Food’ sees Bob Puccini from Puccini Group, San Francisco; Ido Garini of Studio Appétit, Amsterdam; and Simon Rawlings

from David Collins Studio, London, explore new dining concepts such as the rise of the slow food movement. Next, Candice Madrid-Dahlqvist from Millkeeper Studio, Stockholm; Matt Utber of The Plant, London; and Kate Cox from GA Brand Design with offices in the UK, Hungary, China and Malaysia, consider ‘Design Beyond Space’ and the influence of graphics and brand identity in hotels. Key opinion leaders including Eric Jafari of Saco and Brian Willis from Principal Hotel Group join moderator Jamie Chappell of Horwath HTL in ‘Development Loyalty’ to debate loyalty schemes and choosing the right brand versus creating one. The ‘Development Roundtables’ follow, with attendees receiving one-on-one attention from global influencers including Philip Camble, Whitebridge Hospitality; Daniel Englender, Benjamin West; Daniel Johanssen, Campbell Gray Hotels; Florian Kollenz, 25hours Hotels; Blanche van Berckel, Fairquest & Partners; Catrina Molen Runnas, Nordic Property Management; Piers Read, The Time + Space Co; and Youssef Nassar, Travelling Goldmund. The Sleep Set design competition returns with international teams interpreting the event’s theme into built guestrooms. On the morning of day two, each will reveal their take on how design creates experiences that effectively turn loyalty into love. Presenting their concepts to the audience and judging panel before the winner announcement are: Stonehill & Taylor from New York; Londonbased MKV Design; Il Prisma, with studios in London and Italy; and 1508 London. This year’s challenge was developed in collaboration with Ipsos Loyalty, a global leader in customer experience, satisfaction and loyalty research. Hannah Carter Owers of Universal Design


Studio and James Soane of Project Orange, London, explore ‘Post Cool’ hotels and how being ‘cool’ is no longer on-trend. Wrapping up Sleep are ‘Slow Design’ panellists Quentin Danté of Studio Q, Bali; Motti Essakow of Rythms by Design, London; and Ilse Crawford of Studio Ilse, London, who will illustrate how balancing individual, sociocultural and environmental needs enhances wellness. Loyalty and love are also under the microscope as Moscow-based design and architecture studio Sundukovy Sisters bring to life this year’s Sleeper Bar, the networking hotspot on the top gallery level, with their design suggesting “loyalty is born out of our inner and outer worlds coming together”. Glion Institute of Higher Education UK is originating with Sleep a research paper studying whether hotel membership programmes are essential to creating loyalty, or if ‘true love’ can arise through brand DNA. With one-third from Europe and beyond, the exhibitor mix reflects loyal favourites and enticing newcomers including Ercol, Ligne Roset, Alpi, De Poortere Deco, Etching Print Design, Jo Downs Architectural Glass, Roger Pradier and World of Rare Books. Returning for 2017 is ‘Spaces’, a thought-provoking showcase where visitors can experience environments specially created to replicate hospitality settings. Amongst others, Bang & Olufsen, Bushboard, Crosswater, Fabio Alemanno, Roca UK, 10Deka, CaberlonCaroppi and YPRT will create installations ranging from bathrooms to lobbies and outdoor spaces. Grohe is the Sleep’s founder sponsor and host of the VIP Lounge.

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London Design Festival 16-24 SEPTEMBER

Expanding into nine design districts, London Design Festival showcases pioneering creativity with its exhibitions, features and installations. Words: Ben Thomas


eturning for its 15th year, London Design Festival provided a stage for the international design industry to come together with its installations, destinations, talks, workshops and exhibitions. Encompassing Designjunction, 100% Design, Decorex, Focus and London Design Fair, in addition to installations at the newly opened Design Museum, the citywide event attracted record numbers, with hundreds of new festival partners and debut exhibitors amongst the line up. Over 450 projects and events were on offer in nine design districts across London, with venues such as Somerset House playing host

to the work of international designers in Design Frontiers, while Exchange Sqaure placed a landmark project from textile designer Camille Walala centrestage. Elsewhere, a 4m-high series of colourfully tiled gates by Turkishceramics dominated Kings Cross’ Granary Square, showcasing the region’s ceramic history. “London Design Festival is a fantastic event which brings together designers from across the globe and underlines London’s position as a cultural powerhouse, which attracts the very best creative minds and talent,” commented Sadiq Khan, Mayor or London.



100% Design

Set on Kings Cross’ Granary Square, Designjunction landed with an overarching theme of Where Design Meets. Fronted by Turkishceramic’s Gateways by Adam Nathaniel Furman, a popularly shared project on social media, the event attracted a record breaking 28,000 visitors and featured 200 leading international design brands across five spaces, while a talks programme comprised more than 50 speakers. Playing home to the festival’s established and emerging brands, trade destinations Cubbitt House and newly developed Cubbitt Park presented product launches from furniture manufacturers Allermuir, Ton and Morgan, as well as contemporary fabrics from Kirkby Design. Elsewhere, Tala’s introduced its Voronoi sculptural bulb collection, while Blackbody presented their light and porcelain collaboration with French brand Haviland. Reinforcing the exhibition’s theme, neighbouring festival partner The Office Group hosted workshops and talks from the likes of Tina Norden, Director at Conran & Partners, and RIBA and renowned architect Arthur Mamou-Mani, exploring the effect of technology and politics on the design industry. Adjacent to Cubbitt House, The Canopy featured products from 75 premium pop-up shops including textiles, leather goods and prints. “The success of this year’s show is a true reflection of how designjunction continues to grow in synergy with King’s Cross,” comments Show Director Will Sorrell. “The event took a significant step forward in 2017, with spectacular, memorable installations that cemented the area’s reputation as London’s design hub; an impressive selection of UK and international exhibitors; and a new and hugely popular talks programme.”

Adopting a theme of Elements, 100% Design returned to London’s Olympia to welcome cutting-edge exhibitors, with newly appointed Content Editor Max Fraser curating its centrepiece feature. Up to 27,000 attendees visited the event, where more than 400 exhibitors were spread across five sections including Interiors, Workplace, Kitchens & Bathrooms, Design & Build and Emerging Brands. Welcoming visitors to the show, 100% Design’s entranceway installation took a selection of products from exhibitors, highlighting the technical design intricacies, research, and development of design process. In a three-storey stand located near the Central Bar, an installation from Scandinavian innovators Framery displayed a wide range of soundproof work booths, while bathroom brand Kaldewei presented elements of its Cayanoplan and classic Meisterstuck collection, with an enamelled shower surface featured as an extension to the Cayono model range. Meanwhile, lighting brand Vita Copenhagen’s lampshades embodied the current trend for botanical forms, with the floral Vita Carmina and Vita Aluvia, as well as Vita Eos Up, made from all natural goose feathers. Returning for a second successive year, adjoining show Design London highlighted design, detail and craftsmanship, with Michael Young’s discoinspired Roxanne chairs for Gufram taking centrestage. Portuguese brand Branca also debuted and drew interest with its range of expertly crafted wooden furniture from native producers. Finally, the 100% Design talks programme returned alongside the Arper’s Bloggers Lounge, welcoming industry figures to explore trends in contemporary practice, with speakers including Michael Young, Ross Lovegrove, Lee Broom and Naomi Cleaver.



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Decorex Celebrating 40 years of design, Decorex returned to Syon Park for a four-day showcase of interior design, furniture and lighting exhibitors. Welcoming over 14,000 trade and consumer delegates to a show guided by the central theme of Disruptive Dining, four unique dining scenes brought together the worlds of fashion, floristry, set and interior design. Created by Larry Walshe, EligoStudio, Matthew Williamson for Osborne & Little and Beata Heuman with Fromental, scenes included a summer garden party, a geometric sunset dinner, an architect’s working meal and a casual floral feast. Elsewhere, the Shalini Misra-designed Champagne Bar acted as the show’s centrepiece, featuring a 6,000-crystal chandelier designed by Erfre for Clartes and inspired by the world’s first exhibition at Crystal Palace in 1851. Running parallel was the Future Heritage strand, wherein 15 makers including ceramicist David Marques and furniture designer Richard Lowry exhibited designs commissioned exclusively for Decorex, whilst at the Decorex Design Awards Lasvit walked away with the Best International Exhibitor award and Dedar won Best Stand.

Design Districts

Design Museum

Following organic growth over the 15 years of London Design Festival’s history, this year saw the official Design Districts grow to nine members, with the debuts of Mayfair and Pimlico Road adding to the citywide event. Returning for its third year, Bankside Design District ran east-to-west along the South Bank of the Thames, showcasing ‘The Spaces in Between’, a planted installation by Carly Ray Flowers as part of CitizenM’s annual Secret Garden series. Likewise, Modern Design Review collaborated with Ace Hotel for Ready Made Go 3 at Shoreditch Design Triangle, a collection of products specially commissioned from London-based European designers for permanent use throughout the property. Elsewhere, Chelsea and Clerkenwell Design Quarters drew on historic interior themes, exploring influences in product design since 1917 to celebrate 100 years of Roca, while Vitra paid tribute to the iconic Eames chair. Focusing on the present day, Islington Design District showcased the work of 12 designers to curate PlantPot, an exhibition by Smug founder Lizzie Evans, while Brixton Design Trail focused on identity. Finally, Mayfair and Pimlico Road drew inspiration from heritage and craftsmanship, with the likes of Christian Liaigre presenting a Japenese-inspired collection Asia in Silence, and Robert Kime exploring the history behind a range of Turkish handwoven Ikat fabrics.

Design Museum opened in its new home of Kensington in November 2016, and played host to a showcase of contemporary decorations from Stellar Works and Laufen during London Design Festival. The 1960s modernist building, converted by leading architectural designer John Pawson, hosted Stellar Works’ Indigo: A Cultural Iconography – a special exhibition presenting the brand’s new Ming chair, which draws on the past to inspire the present to reveal how ancient dyeing techniques are transformed into a contemporary manufacturing process. Elsewhere, Laufen explored the concept of a threedimensional platform of art with a series of high-tech, abstract and craft objects. Featuring the works of 12 international designers and studios including Patricia Urquiola and Konstantin Grcic, the art show seeked new forms and manufacturing techniques using ceramics.


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Radical Innovation Award 4 OCTOBER 2017

A project suspended from the treetops by multidisciplinary firm EoA scoops the coveted first prize at Radical Innovation Award’s 11th edition. Words: Molly Dolan


ver 150 guests from the realms of hospitality, finance, design, Julia Monk, Senior Vice President and Director of Hospitality at branding, and development, gathered at the New Museum HOK – whose Toronto office won last year’s prize – comments: “I in New York City in October for the 11th annual Radical have been attending Radical since the beginning in a large, Las Vegas Innovation Award. ballroom with a small group of interested designers. It is amazing In keeping with this year’s theme – Even More Radical – a how the event has grown to a sell-out crowd in New York at the New record number of practices competed for the $10,000 grand prize Museum. Every year, the design creativity becomes more sophisticated with finalists named as: Living the Till by and entries more competitive. I’m amazed EoA; Play Design Hotel by its namesake that the same criteria, year after year, results company; and Vertical Micro-Climate by in such radically different ideas.” Arno Matis Architecture. Throughout the A treetop hotel resort concept, winning evening each finalist presented their concept, project Living the Till is inspired by the air fielded questions from the floor and awaited plant Tillandsia, which lives in harmony their fate as the audience voted for their with a host tree. Conceived as a temporary favourite project. nomadic structure, the Till can be assembled Julia Monk, HOK Living the Till took home the night’s top and taken down in pristine, coveted areas honours, while Play Design Hotel received the runner-up recognition by a small team of climbers using simple tools that don’t impact of $5,000. The student winner, Brandan Siebrecht, is a recent the surrounding environment. Allowing for seasonal inhabitation in graduate of the University of Nevada, and was awarded $1,500 for such remote lands as the forests of Ecuador, Malaysia, Borneo, the his concept, Hyperloop Hotel, as well as the chance to pursue an Amazon, Australia or Japan, the unique proposal promises all that assistantship towards his studies at UNLV’s School of Architecture, camping has to offer but on a hovering, transparent magic carpet. where he plans to pursue a Master’s degree with a concentration in “Living the Till reflects the desire to create an abode that respects Hospitality Design. Caspar Schols, a student at the London-based the environment, while paying tribute to it,” says John Hardy, CEO Architectural Association School of Architecture, also received an of The John Hardy Group and founder of Radical Innovation. “The honourable mention for his Garden House project. Till is the perfect escape from city-dwelling.”

“Every year the design creativity becomes more sophisticated and entries more competitive.”



Hans Meyer, founder of Zoku and previous winner, adds: “The cabins that eliminate the need for artificial climate control and idea to create a non-invasive solution and lift a hospitality venue 30 feet dissolve the barrier between inside and out. above the ground, offering an escape from everyday life by immersing Jurors found Garden House a guest-centric, flexible solution to yourself in pristine woods. That is an outstanding experience.” spatial issues, with Claude Amar, Managing Director of John Hardy The professional runner-up, Play Design Hotel is an inhabitable Group commenting: “This is very interesting in terms of use as well design gallery based in Taipei, Taiwan. The hotel functions as both as design. It is easy to replicate and develop, and I could think of an incubator and living lab for local designers. These designers are many ways to use it. The competition is getting better each year. First connected to international travellers, who, in turn, are connected because of the audience, second because of its organisers.” to the country’s culture through design. Interior furnishings and Meyer affirms: “Radical is very important to the industry. It’s the accessories are selected from brands with cultural significance only award in its category with global coverage. In a sector that is or interesting narratives, and are carefully curated for lodgers to well-known for its lack of innovation, these initiatives are crucial to experience first hand. push the international hotel industry forward. It’s a great platform Monk continues: “This project offers to stimulate innovative thinking and control over one’s environment while creative solutions for current and learning about the leading edge of design future challenges.” in Taipei. Imagine this concept curated in different cities throughout the globe!” The Radical Innovation Award jury The third finalist, Vertical Microcomprised: Claude Amar, Managing Climate, is a resort concept that would Director, The John Hardy Group provide a year-round tropical destination International;Wing T. Chao, Founder, in the Canadian mountains thanks to Wing T. Chao Global Advisors; John Hans Meyer, Zoku natural thermal and solar technology. Hardy, President and CEO, The John Speaking of the project’s cultural Hardy Group; Michael Medzigian, relevance, Monk adds: “This is a sophisticated, environmental Chairman and Managing Partner, Watermark Capital Partners, LLC; design response to create a cultural shift in pre-conceived ideas of Jena Thornton, Managing Director, Magnetic ERV; Simon Turner, cold climate getaway.” Managing Director, Alpha Lodging Partners; and James Woods, Head The winning student project, Hyperloop Hotel, draws from Elon of WeLive, WeWork. Musk’s Hyperloop One technology – a high-speed transportation system – using sustainable, modular design in the form of shipping Radical Innovation was produced by The John Hardy Group with containers that double as travelling guest suites. The containers are support from founding sponsor Global Allies, official partner Sleeper, customisable in terms of layout and design, and would dock at one and media partner Architizer. The evening was moderated by Tara of 13 designated hotel destinations across the USA. Mastrelli, President, Studio Tano, and the Radical Innovation trophy Based on an existing prototype, student honourable mention was designed by Chris Hardy. Garden House, is a resort concept involving dynamic, insulated

“In a sector that is well known for its lack of innovation, these initiatives are crucial to push the international hotel industry forward.”



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The Annual Hotel Conference 11-12 OCTOBER 2017

Gathering hospitality leaders in Manchester, The AHC explored the industry’s changing face, offering insight into how to adapt to the next generation of guests. Words: Kristofer Thomas


elcoming over 800 delegates to the Hilton Manchester Deansgate, The Annual Hotel Conference 2017 navigated the murky waters of a changing market. Now under the ownership of Questex Hospitality Group, the event combined dynamic conference, workshops, panels and networking elements to explore a central theme of ‘Embracing Change, Seizing Opportunities.’ Opening with a keynote speech from Greg Dyke, former Director General of the BBC, the event kicked off with a lesson on the importance of leadership. Dyke, who recently entered the sector with his firm Saxon Hotels, explained: “The hotel business isn’t easy, and what I’ve discovered in this short time is that experienced management is essential. Operating hotels is complicated, and successful hotels need to be run by people with knowledge of intricate financial systems. Everything needs to be maintained at a high level if the business is to survive and thrive.” From this foundation the conference proceeded to explore topics including future trends and technology, the threat of cyberattacks, increased pressure from OTAs, and the latest developments in the world of F&B, amongst others. CRUNCHING THE NUMBERS Providing a general economic overview, Trevor Williams of TW Consultancy highlighted global challenges including rising protectionism, slow GDP growth and political uncertainty. He remained optimistic, however, noting that a global recovery is under way thanks to a 60% drop in oil prices and loose monetary policies throughout the developed world. “The fact is, the

world economy has been recovering for the past few years,” he assured. “But this is the first year that forecasts made the previous year have not been downgraded.” A return to growth has been observed in established markets including the US, Japan and Germany, whilst emerging markets such as Brazil and Russia also demonstrated jumps from negative to positive. The UK, however, has fared worse, singled out as the slowest growing nation of the G7 due to factors such as an ageing population, low productivity, and the Brexit shaped elephant in the room. In CBRE’s hotel-specific market rundown, David Bailey and Joe Stather explained that occupancy has climbed 1.6% to 77% for the year-to-date to 77%, and that, from this base, hoteliers have converted continued demand growth into rate and RevPAR uplifts of 3.4% and 5.6% respectively. “Total revenue growth continues to lag slightly behind rooms at 3.5%,” Bailey explained, “but despite some cost inflation, gross operating profit has grown by 4.2%.” Edinburgh (+17.2%) Belfast (+16.8%) and Cardiff (+10.2%) all experienced the highest change in UK RevPAR, whilst data from AM:PM Hotels predicted a nationwide guestroom increase of 2.3% and 2.5% in 2017 and 2018, respectively. Turning attention to investment Stather offered: “After dominating real estate in 2016, Chinese outbound investment has slowed significantly. However, expect to see an increasingly diverse spectrum of Asian investors from countries such as Singapore, Japan, Korea and Malaysia, who are capitalised and confident enough to pursue outbound investments.


THE OPERATOR’S VIEW Focusing on the UK, ‘State of the Nation: An Operators View’ saw David Taylor, CEO, Principal Hotels, noting the developments made by competing agents like Airbnb – whose new business service has poached valuable groups of conference attendees nationwide – as well as the growing issue of recruitment. “Recruitment has now become a sales role, we’re falling over ourselves to hire,” he explained. “We have to create spaces that people want to work in, and we’re going to have to change the way we staff.” Apprenticeships, improved flexibility and a clear career path were the agreed routes to success. The panel, further comprising Karan Khanna, Vice President, Operations, UK & Ireland, IHG, and Nicholas Northam, Managing Director UK, Interstate Hotels, then looked to Brexit, with Taylor concluding on a note of optimism. “Going forwards we can make the most of Brexit. It’s an opportunity for independent hoteliers to develop a unique identity, and for us to define what makes us different.” HOT RIGHT NOW In an overview of the trends set to challenge how hotels are designed, Tracey Fellows, founder of Futuremade, outlined the elements that future consumers will seek out. “The biggest shift that both reflects and affects the consumer is that we are moving from a service to an experience industry. People are searching for more purposeful and meaningful experiences and hotels need to embrace this.” She went on to explain that authenticity, augmentation and holistic approaches would soon

define the industry, emphasising the importance of surprise in design. She also stressed that hoteliers must create a genuine sense of place, working with community members and data firms alike, whilst embracing augmented tools such as digital personal assistance and connected spaces that make life easier without sacrificing the human touch. Wellness will continue to dominate the market thanks to a desire to balance busy work lives with improved personal care, whilst holistic experiences will see wellness move from a secondary consumer need to a commercial driver. “Consumers are thinking about the connections between health, body, mind and soul, and they’re looking for products that will facilitate that,” Fellows concluded. A keynote interview with athlete Chris Penn, co-founder, Steel Hotels, centred on his approach to business, and how an extreme understanding of physiology has contributed to the Steel Hotels model. “My driver has always been that your mind controls your physical output,” he noted. “People rarely tell you about the incredibly complex role of the mind, and how that fundamentally controls what you achieve in life.” A balance between physical and mental wellbeing is key from Penn’s perspective, an idea he has instilled into his work ethic. “I’ve found that the discipline of sport, when transferred into business, helps you achieves goals and creates a real solution of how to achieve better performance in a wider sense,” he continued. A later session entitled ‘Taking Stock, What’s Happening in the Hotel Food & Beverage Market?’ addressed topics from the advent of limited-service and select-service hotel operations to the decisions around menu variety and how to keep returning guests interested. “I think food and beverage within hotels is generally getting better,” mused MPS Puri, Chief Executive, Nira Hotels & Resorts. “In some instances this is because of the involvement of celebrity chefs or outside experts, but the independent restaurant scene has improved greatly on its own.” With a panel comprising Craig Bancroft of Northcote; Robbie Bargh of Gorgeous Group;

Richard Downs of Casual Dining Group; and Aleksander Johansen of Somerston Capital, the session was dominated by a debate on whether to allow Deliveroo drivers to enter the lobby. Puri admitted he did not enjoy their presence, whilst moderator James Hacon of Thai Leisure Group noted that some hotels offer a separate entrance for drivers. Puri commented: “I would not allow them through my door. If you’re running a good hotel, having someone turn up to make a delivery is not on.” Burgh retorted: “Nine out of ten hoteliers don’t do it well enough though, so why shouldn’t the guest have the freedom to choose?” TIPS & TRICKS Attendees at the session ‘Real Life Stories of the Pitfalls of Hotel Development & Operation’ were given insights from leading industry figures regarding what they would have done differently given the chance. From the dangers of following heart instead of head, to the importance of retaining complete control, the panel spoke candidly of their near misses and surprising hits. “At the end of the day, you really need to get into the guts of what your guests want and design around them,” Peter Banks, Managing Director, Rudding Park Hotel, Spa & Golf offered, whilst Andy Jansons of Jansons Property noted the importance of finding the right design-and-build team. “You need to know you’ve got those safe hands going forward,” he explained. “If you’ve got the right contractor then that crystallises the deal.” Elsewhere, ‘Hunting High and Low’ pondered the hidden opportunities of a crowded market. “There are opportunities everywhere, but I think we run the danger of jumping to generalities,” commented Richard Candey of Cushman & Wakefield. “We have to look at them from the perspectives of risk appetite, and the person putting the money in, not just pipeline or supply, but future pipeline as well.” Likewise, ‘To Brand or Not to Brand’ considered the dilemma of branding an overpopulated sector presents. Looking to the ongoing battle with booking agents, and the decision of


which audience to court, Tim Walton, Regional Vice President, Western Europe, International Development, Marriott International, commented: “I don’t think there is a brand solution for every hotel, there are hotels that are simply too small to be economic, and there are hotels that are intrinsically un-brandable because the needs of the brand cannot be met. I think we have to be disciplined with ourselves when it comes to looking at hotel opportunities to make sure they’re the right ones for us.” EMBRACE THE CHANGE Concluding with a panel directly addressing the event’s theme of embracing change, Thomas Dubaere, COO, AccorHotels UK & Ireland; Dr. Jesus Molina, Director of Business Development, Waterfall Security Solutions; and Lee Penson, CEO of Penson and designer behind Accor’s Jo & Joe concept, investigated the changing face of hospitality operation, security and design. “We have over 1.2 billion travellers, and by 2030 we’ll have 1.9 billion,” Dubaere explained. “We are growing our supply and demand is high, we are in a good place. However, if this industry does not open its eyes to what new customers really want, then I’m afraid some of us will not be long for this business.” Discussing the digital revolution, the panel agreed that technology could be applied more effectively to staff than guests, allowing them to provide better service as opposed to isolating the sleepers with convenience. Rounding off the event, Penson – newly immersed in the hotel industry after the launch of Accor’s Jo & Joe – offered: “I think its time for a reset. People want fun and experience and we need to tug the heartstrings. For Jo & Joe, I started from the baseline of it not being a hotel, and I think it’s what it’s not that really matters in this industry. The fact that there is a new generation coming through that want to feel better, and have a better life, is something we need to take note of, just like the office sector did in 2006.”

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Tece: European Design & Networking Event 25 SEPTEMBER 2017

Tece’s design and networking forum returns with leading industry names in an exploration of the guestroom of the future.


erman sanitary designer and manufacturer Tece hosted some of the industry’s leading decision makers in September for an evening of discussion at AIT Architektur Salon, Munich. The 2nd annual European Design & Networking Event saw a panel explore the evolving guestroom experience and increasing focus on wellness within hotel design. Opening with a keynote from Sabine Kober, Managing Partner at Kern Design, alongside hotel marketing consultant Hanna Kleber, the initial discussion covered increasing globalisation, the need for a sense of locale, and the increasing diversity of guest profiles. Kober stated: “The hotel must not only meet the needs of far-travelled guests, but also be integrated as a hotel in the direct living environment. The locals must come as well, so that it works both economically and socially.” Following this, a panel continued the discussion of increasingly global guests. Michael Struck, founder and CEO of Munich-based Ruby Hotels, comments: “The key is affordable design with a focus

on the modern needs of frequent travellers: make yourself fresh, be connected and sleep.” The need for authenticity – in the form of storytelling – was addressed by Antoine Bourrissoux, Senior Vice President for Economy and Midscale Brands Europe, Accor. Bourrissoux noted the need for refined narratives, and criticised “clumsy, overstretched concepts”. Struck opposed this notion, viewing the hotel as a stage “where guests are invited to play out the stories”. Looking to the future, the talk concluded with an exploration of technology. According to Robert van der Graaf, Senior Director of Business Development, The Rezidor Hotel Group, nothing should be too complicated, and the future looks bright for intuitive, spokencommand technology in design. Concluding, Struck comments: “The hotel room of the future must understand the guest, not the other way around.”












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Globally Local ROCA

Celebrating a century of production, Roca has grown from family-run radiator company to global bathroom pioneer whilst retaining a compassionate human touch. Words: Kristofer Thomas


lobally local is the term Roca has coined to describe its approach to design, production and the bathroom space. A world leader in taps and sanitaryware, with over 23,000 employees working across 170 countries, the Barcelona-based company this year celebrates a century of production, though has not forgotten its people-oriented roots, nor the philosophy that brought it success. With a finger on the pulse of both aesthetic and social shifts, and a process that forefronts research, development, and more recently sustainability, Roca’s aim to meet new demands whilst honouring its historic legacy results in a global brand with a local feel. “At Roca, we design and develop products for people,” explains Josep Congost, Director of Design & Innovation. “The essential elements of our design must always meet the expectations of our market, with aesthetic aspects changing depending on culture,

geographic areas and trends. The key elements at the heart of Roca are comfort and ergonomics, user-friendly interfaces and watersaving technology.” Established in 1917 during a time of economic and civic unrest, the brand blossomed from its Gavà factory on the outskirts of Barcelona. Initially producing radiators, then boilers, Roca forged a space in the market providing comfort to those living through a harsh post-war era. It wasn’t until 1929 that it would venture into the sector for which it is best known today. Having studied the Spanish architectural vernacular and produced its radiators around these elements, Roca’s marrying of thoughtful design and reliable performance was present from the start. When modern domestic hygiene habits became commonplace in the mid1950s and the market was opened up to a wider selection of social


Above: The Inspira collection – comprising a basin, unit and toilet in interchangable round, soft and square design lines – was launched at ISH 2017

classes, Roca saw its presence spread whilst entering new sectors such as brassware. Throughout the 1980s the designs took on an air of sophistication. Amura, a distinctively curved faucet, characterised Roca’s involvement in the era’s design boom, whilst its playful advert became ubiquitous in Spanish print media and the newly proliferated medium of television. However, it was the 1990s, and the company’s purchase of Swiss ceramic specialist Laufen, that saw it go global. With Laufen being the fourth largest bathroom manufacturer in the world at the time, the acquisition altered the industry landscape. Strengthening its market position in the UK, Germany, Italy, Russia, Morocco, Argentina, Brazil and China, this period of expansion resulted in the doubling of business. Laufen now covers the premium and luxury sectors, whilst Roca has since moved into more mainstream territory. “Luxuries that once appealed to all travellers are no longer as attractive to new generations,” Congost continues. “Instead, ease-ofuse and instant gratification from products are perhaps the new focus for these people. Travellers are looking for experiences that they can document and share on social media, so, to a certain extent, products must not only satisfy basic needs, but must also incorporate certain unexpected surprises.” Showcasing from an OAB-designed gallery in the heart of

Barcelona, which appears to shimmer like water when the lights are turned on at night, Roca champions the coming together of design, function and performance. The Inspira collection – comprising a basin, unit and toilet in interchangeable round, soft and square design lines – was launched at ISH 2017, the culmination of a focus on personalisation across the breadth of its portfolio, whilst Baia, the latest release from Armani/Roca – a collaborative effort that highlights the brand’s big name draw – tangents off into modernist forms and the incorporation of new technology. Splitting the bathroom space into three separate areas – washpoint, interface and wellness – has further allowed Roca to lead the way in terms of new trends and emerging cultural movements. Wellness, particularly, has been a catalyst for a number of its most forwardthinking systems, including its Smart Toilet, which places the hygiene of its user centrestage with an integrated wash and dry function, responding to the global lean towards personal wellbeing. Likewise, the Armani/Roca Wellness Shower Area enables users to configure spray settings, jet pressure and lighting elements for an intimate shower experience. Across all these releases, despite their broadly differing functions, is a clean and slim design language. However, design alone is not enough, and so research has been poured into interface technology and water reuse strategies.


Above Left: At the heart of Roca’s technological push, the In-Wash toilet is operated from a remote control for improved hygiene Above Right: Baia – part of Roca’s collaboration with Armani – features modernist forms and the incorporation of new technology

Appearing throughout bathrooms within properties ranging from Sheraton Huzhou to the classically influenced Hostal de la Gavina, Roca’s versatile aesthetic has been adapted to suit a wide spectrum of interior visions. For Sheraton Huzhou, a project that channels futuristic charisma through an abundance of technology, the Khroma collection adds a gentle, human touch. In the reverse, the presence of the Antonio Bullo-designed Thesis faucets alongside Ramón Benedito’s linear Kalahari range brings discreet modernity to the traditionally styled Hostal de la Gavina. On home turf at W Barcelona, guests can observe the diversity in Roca’s offering, with the minimal Diverta basin contrasted against the more industrial sensibilities of the Loft faucet. Looking ahead, Roca predicts further immersion into technology, though will seek not to sacrifice the intimacy and locality that defines it. With plans to take integrated tech present in its wellness products and apply it to mirrors – to create Minority Report-style interfaces that can display daily news and reminders – and to toilets, so as to analyse the health of users, Roca refers to its relationship with the technological revolution as one of grounded innovation. Science will also drive its commitment to sustainability, a selfenforced responsibility that aims to care for the planet’s water, and, by extension, its userbase. As well as connecting disadvantaged populations to clean water through its We Are Water foundation, it

also curates talks, events and festivals to raise awareness globally. An ideology of sustainability also characterised the brand’s 2017 oneday design challenge, wherein a slate of young bathroom designers showcased their talents as part of an event that sought to usher in a new generation of creativity. With a century of production marked by a retrospective exhibition that charted Roca’s evolution – a process characterised by its definitively human aspect – its history clearly informs the present. Members of the Roca family still have a say in board appointments and mergers, resulting in a growth procedure that buys up smaller companies not to eliminate competition, but to better understand the people it caters for and the countries it enters. Roca believes that the bathroom is a temple, and with a striking presence in major cities – such as the Zaha Hadid-designed London gallery and the newly opened Beijing showroom envisioned by MAD – a clear passion for aesthetics shines through. However, a temple is not a temple just because it resembles one. Instead, it is a compassionate touch, and one-hundred years of grounding legacy, that will see Roca users returning to worship for one-hundred more. Congost concludes: “As we celebrate our first century, our next challenge is to capture the needs of the millions of users who use our products, and who allow us to design the bathroom of the future.”



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Heimtextil’s annual Trend Report looks to research and development agencies to forecast the coming trends of 2018.


The colours being introduced as a result are largely based on the s the fashion industry releases its collections bi-annually, history of indigo dyeing. The dye is being reintroduced, with its the world of fabrics does the same. Come spring, leading rich hues, graduated tones, and the beautiful imperfections created fabric houses will look to Heimtextil for the latest in trends, through the process. innovations and style. Following this, Till listed Soft Minimal as the third major trend At an invite-only preview ahead of Heimtextil 2018, Caroline Till, for 2018. Introducing textures, it considers the decreasing size of co-founder of research, design and forecasting studio FranklinTill, spaces within inner city environments, and explores the techniques spoke about what to expect for the year ahead. Her insight follows being used to make these spaces feel homely or warm. Textiles such Heimtextil’s annual trend table, which brings together leading as wool, felt, linen and boucle yarns visionaries to predict upcoming trends lend a sense of tactility and comfort and shifts in the market. to an area, while the tones used to For 2018, Till presented five strong design and colour themes, with a complement are understandably warm, number of them already evident. soft neutrals with accents of green, grey Kicking it off, Relax/Recharge sees and black. the singular use of colour, namely red Till’s fourth observation responds to and blue, to incite emotion. According an increased trend in nomadic living. to Till and contrary to popular belief, It is inspired by an industrial aesthetic the colour red calms psyche and is with all unnecessary components described as a sedative, while blue is stripped, and techniques following Caroline Till,Franklin Till used to energise. This total immersion a simplified process such as simple trend sees one specific colour being stitching. Examples of this utilitarian used for walls, floors, furnishings and fixtures, and was realised by approach can be found in Room Mate Guila designed by Patricia Note Design Studio at Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair 2017. The Urquiola. In terms of colours, the palette is mostly neutral alongside concept saw the exhibition-cum-restaurant channel a temperate zone bold, primary accents. in shades along the red spectrum, from light pink to deep burgundy. The final ideology surrounds the current digitised lifestyles and Also following the juxtaposing red and blue forecast is the Perfect/ a yearning for a connection to nature. Urban Oasis sees designers Imperfection trend, as listed by Till. She comments: “This trend is aim to bring nature in the interior environment elements mimicking borne out of a reaction to an over-saturation of mass produced goods. botanical forms in a palette of dark forest greens alongside dusky People want to feel a sense of revived traditional craft technique, as roses. Till concludes: “This final trend sees a raft of green and large well as a sense of narrative. It is very much about the embodiment scale botanical prints become relevant again. The urban aesthetic of the Japanese philosophy wabi sabi, accepting imperfection of is feminised as pink provides a soft accent and velvets and velours materials and products bearing craft marks.” provide a luxurious finish.”

“It is very much about the embodiment of the Japanese philosophy wabi sabi, accepting imperfection of materials and products bearing craft marks.”


ARTE Flavor Paper Arte has joined forces with Flavor Paper, an American company specialising in handmade wallpaper, to create a bold collection inspired by movements and figures from pop art to Van Gogh. The Belgian wallcoverings producer selected 14 designs in partnership with external studio Kravitz Design, converting them into a rotary screen-printing version, marking the coming together of two distinctive styles and philosophies.

COLE & SON Contract Driven by colour and pattern, Cole & Son’s contract collection offers quality non-woven wallcoverings, as well as specially developed vinyl substrate that retains the integrity and aesthetic of design. With 28 designs, including Type II Vinyl Wallcoverings, the range exuberates confidence with bold colour palettes, while paying homage to a strong heritage of family craftsmanship.

MORRIS & CO Archive For the fourth volume of the Archive series, the Morris & Co studio has explored founder William Morris’ role as a collector of Persian carpets. Inspired by patterns of the East and the craftsmanship of the past, the collection includes adaptations of the hand-knotted carpets, and has been coloured in an authentic palette of indigos and forest greens, while three classic semi-plain weaves have been introduced to add breadth and versatility.



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CAESARSTONE Rugged Concrete The latest addition to Caesarstone’s Concrete series features an urban inspired design accentuated by dark grey tones and a tactile textured finish. Embracing industrial dÊcor and raw materials used in design, it comprises numerous Quartz finishes that achieve the coarseness of concrete. The surfaces are scratch- and stain-resistant and require little maintenance, offering a hygienic and environmentally friendly material for bathrooms. Rugged Concrete will join existing ranges of Sleek Concrete, Raw Concrete, and Fresh Concrete.

BLUEPRINT CERAMICS Poetry Poetry derives from ancient Venetian terrazzo influences, promoting the concept of historic Italian craftsmanship. The poetic love for material and age-old skills are echoed through the porcelain stoneware collection, with shades from grey through to white, and high impact quartz effect fragments. Presented in matte and polished finishes with a range of formats including a large 1200x1200mm option, the terrazzo flooring can transform a variety of spaces.


Drapilux has recently completed work on the Royal Lancaster London, a 411-key hotel designed with a focus on contrasting its original 1960s style with modern elements. Providing all textiles, the brand supplied a total of 4,500m custom-made fabric, using a special width of 300cm for modern blinds in guestrooms.

Inspired by the geometric and architectural codes of the 1920s, Casamance pays tribute to Swiss designer Ernest Boiceau in its latest collection. Repeated patterns, stylised forms, and perpetual motion feature to evoke a freedom of expression. Plains also work harmoniously alongside geometric jacquards, while a two-tone raphia weave offers a unique texture within the series.

DRAPILUX Royal Lancaster London


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ROBENA The Ned London Robena has recently completed the bespoke make-up and installation of curtains and soft furnishings in the guestrooms and public areas of The Ned, London. The luxurious pelmets, blinds and cushions for the 250 guestrooms and suites have been installed by Robena’s highly skilled workforce to complement the former Grade I-listed building’s historic architecture.

ROMO Renzo Inspired by the architectural structures and geometry of urban environments, Renzo is a collection of statement vinyl wallcoverings featuring finishes evocative of distressed concrete and polished plaster. Opulent flashes of metallic including rich brass and lavish copper inject verve whilst balancing style and practicality.

HAKWOOD Wall Tiles Newly launched from Hakwood, this collection of wall tiles enables designers to create a vertical statement. The pre-fabricated duoplank wood tiles are available in a variety of designs and dimensions, as well as being customisable by colour and depth. Used as a single strip, grouping, or floor-to-ceiling feature, the tiles are suitable for a multitude of uses, from reception backdrops to guestroom headboards.


All the rage The skaiÂŽ digital collection enhances your creative options. Equip individual

projects with bespoke designs digitally printed on high-quality upholstery material, 17 motifs are available. These designs are impressive with their intensely brilliant colors and unique 3D-effects. What is more, literally any design can be converted to digital direct printing. See for yourself @thesleepevent, stand M29a.

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LINWOOD Tango The latest launch from Linwood sees a new range of prints, weaves, wallpapers and plain velvets for the autumn season. Tango is an expansion on the tropical theme that evokes nature, patterns and handmade crafts, featuring statement botanical and floral prints matched with strong geometric woven patterns. Linwood’s fabrics and wallpapers work cohesively with contract upholstery and soft furnishings, featuring a stain resistant finish, high rub test and Crib 5 as standard.

GLAMORA Fresh Inspirations Similar to contemporary bas-reliefs, Fresh Inspirations comprises three-dimensional graphic effects to add texture and tactile emotions to surfaces. Glamora’s wallcoverings are interchangeable on different surfaces depending on their use, setting and aesthetic. The collection includes vinyl-coated Glam Décor, metallic architectural surface Glam Metal, sound-absorbing Glam Acoustic, and innovative performance fabric Glamtec. The materials are also fire-resistant and eco-friendly.


Camira has launched a new hospitality collection featuring fabrics finished in a range of colours, compositions and designs. From plain and semi-plain dobbies, to jacquard weaves and prints, and leather, vinyl and PUs, the series evokes luxury and functionality. At the Sleep event, Camira will showcase Individuo, a tiedye effect fabric inspired by artisan trends.

Clarke & Clarke has collaborated with artist Emma J. Shipley to present a menagerie of coordinating fabrics and wallpapers, incorporating rich velvets, satins and shimmering effects in its latest furnishings collection. Animalia’s designs include Tigris, Extinct, and Amazon, depicting dark and dramatic colours that reflect the intensity of the jungle.

CAMIRA Individuo


Metal Mosaics For Opulence & Elegance T 0121 268 3240 E

DESIGNERS GUILD Bellevista As part of its Autumn/Winter offering, Designers Guild has launched Bellevista, a wide-width super soft linen-look voile, woven with a unique 100% flame retardant inherent yarn. Washable and available in 32 colourways, from contemporary neutrals to signature shades, the midweight voile is suitable for a spectrum of interior and contract settings.

SEKERS Ontario Inspired by the cities and landscapes of Ontario, Sekers’ new upholstery collection is a versatile mix of three designs including Toronto; a small scale random geometric pattern; Ottawa, a classic herringbone; and Niagara, a textural semi-plain. Available in a palette of 26 colours including neutrals, jewel tones and black and white, Ontario is woven with a micro chenille yarn and is supplied in a Crib 5 backing with an abrasion of 50,000 Martindale.


Designer Oliver Redfern has selected Helen Moore’s Lady Grey from a collection of over 30 soft faux fur fabrics to feature in the Hotel Gotham, Manchester. Employed as a foil to the clean lines of modern design, the fabric injects warm accents, acting as a perfect complement to room schemes.

Inspired by an English country house style, Matthew Williamson’s latest series for Osborne & Little is named in honour of Belvoir Castle in Leicestershire, the ancestral home of the Dukes of Rutland. Ceramica, a collection of illustrated porcelain plates, is arranged on a patterned background evocative of a colourful small-scale kilim or a semi plain textured ground. Available two colourways, the designs are digitally printed on a non-woven base.



BRENTANO GRID Inspired by the De Stijl movement of the early 20 th century, Brentano Design Director, Iris Wang has created the 2017’s Grid collection. Based upon linear principles of design, the graphic assortment introduces 18 versatile patterns and textures. The Piet and Theo designs feature complementary scales of the grid concept, providing the foundation for the rest of the series. In addition, three of the patterns introduce Brentano’s new Tri-sistant finish, which is chemically bonded to the fibres in the fabric, producing durable stain-resistant surface.

WONDERWALL STUDIOS Taxi A tribute to Manhattan, Taxi uses rectangular blocks sculpted from rosewood to represent New York’s strict street pattern while undulating radical colours symbolise the city’s lifestyle. Wonderwall Studios’ reclaimed wood panelling comprises contemporary design with sharp lines and geometric shapes, adding organic layers to create deep purple tones and rich hues, resulting in a smoother finish without sacrificing character or depth.


Agua Fabrics has launched performance upholstery fabrics in leather effects to coordinate with its traditional soft fabrics and faux styles. The original Oregon Hyde can be married with the new Alberta Hyde in high traffic areas to create a tactile yet seamless finish. The collection is fire-retardant to Crib 5, antimicrobial, and supplied with a waterproof, stain-resistant finish.

Newmor has unveiled nine new wallcovering designs, from largescale skeletal leaves to subtle woven textures and stone effects. Loom, a contemporary grass cloth effect in 16 earthy tones, is inspired by the autumnal Welsh countryside surrounding Newmor’s factory, and is supplied on 130x30cm rolls. Each of the wallcoverings is commercial quality, wide-width fabric-backed vinyl and suitable for high traffic spaces.

AGUA Royal Lancaster London


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WHISTLER LEATHER Bordeaux Bordeaux is a classic full aniline leather featuring a rich colour palette and oil finish. The series follows Whistler Leather’s Vancouver, Luxor, and Portland collections, which introduce a warmth to interiors for winter. Used in an installation at The American Bar at Gleneagles Hotel, the fabric is supplied in a hide size of 50ft 2 , and is available in a Crib 5 format.

SPRADLING EUROPE Hitch Launching in a Crib 5 format, Hitch is a geo-texture coated fabric suitable for seating and surface application, featuring a fine texture and modern style that imitates a sophisticated woven structure. Finished with a metallic tip print, the textile comprises a distinctive deepness with a refined two-tone aspect. The fabric also delivers performance with fire resistance, antibacterial qualities, and stain-resistant protection.


Featuring an authentic textile design and contemporary style, Dynactiv 160 is designed to blend into any environment. Available in 28 colours, with palettes that range from bold yellows to subtle natural tones typical of Scandinavia, the solvent-free material is abrasion resistant, easy to clean and complies with Crib 5 standards.

Developed according to the characteristics of human skin, Laif VyP is a breathable synthetic upholstery fabric. As a hybrid material, the collection combines vinyl and polyurethane qualities to become durable, abrasion-resistant and robust, as well as offering comfort and a visual elegance. T he permeable surface also features sustainable ingredients such as water-based solvents, and is available in a range of colours.

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EGGER Perfect Sense Bringing an air of exclusivity and luxury, Perfect Sense is a series of high gloss and matte MDF lacquered boards by Egger. The collection is suited to high-end commercial spaces, using a unique ultraviolet coating to create a scratch resistant and robust surface. Anti-fingerprint technology and muted colours convey a reserved, high-quality atmosphere in the brand’s matte range, while a high degree of reflectivity on the PerfectSense gloss is comparable to glass and acrylic.

PRODITAL LEATHERS 3D Leatherwalls Combining Italian craftsmanship with technological innovation, Prodital Leathers has introduced its new 3D leatherwalls and headboards. The customisable wall panels feature geometric and floral patterns, and are realised using a combination of CNC machines and automatic leather cutting machines. The 3D surface is also pressed on foam for a softer touch that is easy to install. The leatherwalls will launch at Sleep in November.


Celebrating Lincrusta’s 140-year anniversary, Fanfare is a timeless and elegant Art Deco design inspired by historic archives from the 1920s. Supplied on a 10m roll as a plain, the sculptural wallcoverings focus on geometric patterns and organics popular in the era and can be painted in customised colours, creating contrasts that add dimension and depth to hospitality spaces. Featuring a new fireretardant formula rated to Class B, the designs were launched at Decorex in September.

SOFARSONEAR Couture SoFarSoNear has chosen to use flame retardant Trevira CS fibres and yarns for its draperies and upholstery. Aisha and Boutique, along with the new Couture range, will feature specialist materials to meet the stringent international standards on fire safety. The textiles use a mix of design, drapery fabrics, and a variety of yarns, all supplied in double width.













17-20 SEPT


17-18 OCT






Visual Identity of the Year Award


21-22 NOV

Designed for Sleep Hypnos creates beautiful long-lasting beds and sofa beds, with sublime comfort and versatile hidden features to maximise occupancy and revenues, guaranteeing your guests have a memorable night’s sleep. Working in partnership with hoteliers to deliver tailored sleep solutions including installation and old bed disposal services... Campbell Gray Crowne Plaza Marriott Corinthia Premier Inn Soho House Holiday Inn The Rocco Forte Collection InterContinental The Royal Horseguards, London Skibo Castle, Dornoch Stoke Park, Stoke Poges The Chester Grosvenor, Chester Calcot Manor, Tetbury One Aldwych, London Great Northern Hotel, London Hotel Football, Manchester Grosvenor House, London Tavistock House Hotel, Devon Linthwaite House, Windermere The Ned, London The Royal Automobile Club, London St. Pancras Renaissance, London The Lanesborough, London

T: +44 (0) 1332 497111 | E: | Hypnos is proud to be Carbon Neutral, complying with PAS 2060.

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With the stresses of modern life eating away at healthy sleep patterns, hotel operators are taking steps to ensure that guests rest easy no matter what. Words: Kristofer Thomas


onsidering sleep takes up half of a person’s life, there is still surprisingly little known about it. With the repercussions of a bad night’s rest felt in just about every part of the body, physically or otherwise, debate concerning the optimal amount, the perfect position and the overall function rages on. A recent poll by Travelodge revealed that the average British guest sleeps for roughly six hours-a-night, two less than the recommended amount, and that Britons collectively fork out around £8 billion-ayear on sleep aids or products to counteract the effects of sleep loss. 41% of adults regard their sleeping pattern as poor or worse and only one in ten polled believe they regularly get a good night’s rest. How, then, to combat this? Hotel groups from Travelodge to Mövenpick have launched initiatives seeking to improve guest slumber, with the former commissioning its bespoke Dream Bed – comprising luxury coil springs, a micro-fibre duvet and down pillows – as part of a £75 million investment, whilst the latter created the Sleep Individually Different series of guestrooms in collaboration with YouBed. “Studies reveal that nothing has a greater impact on customer satisfaction than a comfortable bed,” says Mattias Sörensen, founder and CEO of YouBed. “Given that all guests have different comfort needs, it is groundbreaking that Mövenpick now offers rooms with a one-bed-fits-all solution. Each guest can fine tune different parts of the bed to achieve a perfect personalisation.”

Guests require healthy rest to make the most of their stay. With a good night’s sleep now a hot commodity, operators and designers are taking actions to ensure guests rest easy. BED, BASES & BEYOND At the heart of good rest is a premium mattress. Guests can be immersed in complete darkness, and have all external stimuli cancelled out, but if the bed is uncomfortable, lumpy with springs and sagged in the middle from years of use, then it may prove difficult just to nap. The prerequisites for a hotel bed, however, go beyond that of a residential setting, with it constantly accommodating a variety of shapes, sizes, weights and heights. Hästens’ Vividus – comprising pinewood frame, steel springs, layers of flax, horsetail hair, cotton and wool batting – features soundproofing qualities as well as hand-braided materials and innovative, temperature regulating airways, whilst Duxiana’s Dux Bed can help align posture through its continuous coil system. Similarly, many of Sealy’s beds include both its posturetech component, counteracting weight and movement to avoid motion disruption, and edge guard, a high-density foam strip surrounding the sleep surface for edge-to-edge support. Vispring’s Victoria Mattress marries a layer of hand-nested calico pocket springs in premium Vanadium steel with British fleece wool, cotton and horsehair, to generate improved air circulation


Above: FreshBed’s climate-centred offer quietly delivers filtered and temperature controlled air through an ergonomic mattress

and cultivate a fresh awakening. Hypnos, meanwhile, employs development techniques including pressure mapping, sleep surveys and load tests to ensure the durability of its products, with its sofa beds stylishly expanding guestroom capacity and contributing to the overall design scheme. Also utilising these methods – to challenge the notion that temporary or pull down beds leave backs aching – British brand Delcor’s luxury Boxer, Sundance and Lofa models marry hardwood beech frames with fully sprung memory foam mattresses and hand-pleated details. Lastly, for guests that sleep best simply knowing their mattress is sustainable, Naturalmat’s Natural Fibre range layers cashmere, lamb’s wool and mohair atop coir and latex springs for a bed that is environmentally-friendly from head to toe.

FreshBed’s climate-centred offer – comprising a silent ventilation system and Hepa air filter – quietly delivers filtered, temperaturecontrolled air through an ergonomic mattress, maintaining consistent levels of heat whilst regulating humidity levels, and encouraging guests to discover the climate at which they sleep best. Hygiene too, is a primary consideration, with natural and breathable materials taking centrestage in premium products. Hypnos’ use of organic wool and camel hair, and Mühldorfer’s hydrotransport system, which sees natural moisture quickly absorbed and released, both characterise this idea, whilst Lago’s practical Fluttua suspended bed allows housekeeping to clean more effectively beneath. ANDROIDS & ELECTRIC SHEEP The proliferation of personal smart devices with integrated sleep analysis tools – from Fitbits to the Apple Watch – has also seen a rise in automation and intuitiveness, as well as an increase in personalisation elements that allow users to customise their bedspace. YouBed’s hotel-specific service navigates the individual perceptions of comfort with a one-bed-fits-all solution that guests can fine-tune from a remote control, providing a means to specify key support zones and the firmness of the mattress. And, partnering with Lark Technologies, Westin Hotels & Resorts launched an initiative to

BACTERIA & BED BUGS Wellness has become a driving force in bedding design, particularly in the context of hypoallergenics. SleepAngel’s Hotel Pillow, for example, incorporates a filtration system that blocks and prevents bacteria from contaminating it. Air is allowed to pass through freely, and the seamless fabric remains soft after extended use, but the apprehension guests may harbour towards using a recently slept-on pillow is neutralised, and the bedbug nightmares avoided. Likewise,


Above Left: Vispring’s Victoria model marries hand-nested calico pocket springs with British fleece wool, cotton and horsehair Above Right: Frette’s Paola Navone Collection and The Fine Bedding Company’s Smartdown pillows contribute to both aesthetics and guest wellbeing

mark the 15th anniversary of its longstanding Heavenly Bed, which saw guests invited to test out experimental equipment such as sleep monitors and silent alarm clocks. Through rooting something as natural and automatic as sleep in scientific process, the presence of technology in the bed space has arguably both improved sleep, and, if nothing else, given guests valuable insight into their own patterns and preferences.

With busy lifestyle demands eating into the nation’s healthy sleep, and work routines becoming ever more challenging, the role of the hotel bed has arguably become more prominent than ever. With every guest requiring different conditions, technology could play a large part in its improvement, though, until the inevitable launch of the SmartBed, the presence of service could perhaps bridge the gap. Dukes London for example has LUXURY LINENS taken the concept of a pillow menu a A bed is not just the mattress alone, with step further. The Beditation Butler – a linens and toppers playing a major role. wellness focused room service initiative The Fine Bedding Company’s Smartdown launched in 2017 – sees guests offered duvet and pillow emulates the sensation of a curated selection of herbal teas, goose down, but uses recycled PET bottles specialised playlists, aromatic candles Mattias Sörensen, YouBed to create fibres that offer hypoallergenic and instructions for breathing exercises qualities, conveying an eco-friendly that help even the most alert drift off – message. Further, it’s zip’n’link mattress topper addresses the storage alongside luxury accessories by Liberty Fabrics – to clear minds and and practicality issues of conjoined beds, and can be used as one leave the strain of modern life behind. super-king topper or conveniently split into two. Combining traditional physical elements like the bed, its mattress Frette’s Paola Navone-designed collection of linens combines extra and a comfortable duvet, with experiential influences drawn from the fine white percale cotton with an intricate cursive design, contributing wellness movement, may prove to hold the key to the perfect night’s both comfort and a pleasing decorative element. sleep, and have guests lying in past lunch.

“Studies reveal that nothing has greater impact on customer satisfaction than a comfortable bed.”




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HDE2018 The Leading Hospitality Design Show in China

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Shanghai Hospitality Design & Supplies Expo 2018 26 – 29 April 2018 | SNIEC, Shanghai, China

Concurrent Events: Design Week Shanghai Expo Lighting for Commercial Properties Organised by: UBM Sinoexpo Ltd.

Supported by: China Tourist Hotel Association China Association of Lighting Industry

Contact Us: Tel: +86 21 3339 2113 (Ms. Rosie Fan) Email:

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

TALA Porcelain Tala’s Porcelain collection is centred around four shapes – Oval, Oblo, Enno and Noma – and features individually mouth-blown and sandblasted bulbs moulded from matte glass. Designed as a foil to the industrial aesthetic, Porcelain breaks up spaces with calm orbs of white light.


GIRA E2 Presented in a silver satin finish, Gira’s E2 switch is rust-free, weather- and heat-resistant, and naturally antibacterial. Designed to complement the System 55 range and offering over 300 combinations when paired, E2 protrudes 3mm from the wall and is manufactured from shatterproof, UV-resistant thermoplastic.

AQATA DS490 Aqata’s DS490 bath screen features a frameless design and clear seals, is constructed from 10mm toughened glass and can fold inwards 180 degrees. Detailed with polished chrome finishes, the screen is available with a grey, bronze or green tint, along with adjustable wall profiles and slimline aluminium channels.

GASSER CHAIR COMPANY Logan Available as a side chair, armchair or full width chair – and with chrome or powder metal finishes – Gasser Chair Company’s Logan collection features delicate visual lines offset by its rugged construction. Balancing form and function, the steel frame and hardwood maple arm caps form a striking combination.


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BRINTONS Kelly Hoppen Collection Kelly Hoppen’s debut collaboration with Brintons showcases bold contemporary woven carpets for the contract market, introducing an aesthetic that eschews the swirl and block patterns for which the commercial sector is traditionally known. Inspired by a range of diverse influences, from geometric shapes to elements found in everyday surroundings such as cracks in the pavement and splashes of paint, the dynamic collection comprises 13 geometric and organic designs in colourways that reflect the designer’s eastmeets-west style and pared-back aesthetic. “Carpet is an interesting product to design. There is an array of materials and textures and it’s a challenge to design a carpet that is hardwearing but also luxurious, beautiful and comfortable,” comments Hoppen. “Although you think of it as a flat surface, it is threedimensional so the design process is complex. You have to think carefully about scale too, as the design needs to work in large expansive areas as well as narrower spaces such as guestrooms and corridors.” Each Kelly Hoppen by Brintons design can be woven to order in the full range of specifications that combine Brintons’ patented blend. Suitable for hospitality applications including hotels and cruise ships, the collection is set to launch at Sleep.




Traditional & Contemporary Decorative Lighting • Large stock for excellent service • 2,500+ products in our latest catalogue Visit our showroom: Elstead House, Mill Lane, Alton, Hampshire, GU34 2QJ Contact: • +44 (0)1420 82377

SKY-FRAME Pivot Sky-Frame’s frameless sliding door system has evolved to include the Pivot element, an axis that expands the architectural space. With dimensions of up to 2.5m wide and 4.5m tall, Pivot provides architects and designers more creative freedom, incorporating a slim 40mm frame and thermally isolated profiles whilst bringing a touch of Bauhaus inspiration through its minimalist aesthetic.

CASSINA Baleno Designed by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec for Cassina, Baleno is a minimalist, graphic shelving system. Decorating walls with two ledges that meet at a central element, and constructed from versatile thermoplastic, Baleno adapts and blends according to the weight applied. A flexible and functional object of interest, it forms part of Cassina’s accessories range and can hold a maximum weight of 4kg.

CURTIS FURNITURE Holiday Inn, Shepperton Curtis Furniture has worked with Holiday Inn Shepperton to manufacture, deliver and install a range of headboards with frame detailing, deskback panels, mirrors concealing LED lights, bespoke single and double wardrobes, vanity units and television panels. Working closely with the main contractor, Curtis further provided bespoke pieces that appear throughout the hotel.


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CHELSOM Soho Wall Light A signature fitting from Chelsom’s Soho collection, the Soho Wall Light is a statement piece featuring deep vertical ribbing in polished aluminium and curved metal shades in satin black. Emitting an attractive spill of up and downlight to create an ambient effect, it can be adapted to suit both classical and contemporary interior design schemes.




Extending its Shelf range to include a series of Northern European-inspired design pieces, MLE Lighting’s Shelf family now includes a range of reading, floor and suspension lights designed by JOI Design. Featuring a mix of burnished and natural brass, the pieces emanate warmth and opulence. Shelf is suitable for both guestroom and public spaces, with seven different models of wall lamp available.

Designed by Matteo Thun Atelier and manufactured by Very Wood, Capri is an outdoor collection that responds to design requirements across the contract, hospitality and restaurant settings. A lounge seating system comprising sofas, armchairs, dining chairs, stools, tables, ottomans and sun loungers, the collection is characterised by the use of natural or untreated iroko wood.

Approaching its half centenary of manufacturing in 2018, design-led British brand Geometric Furniture has launched Rivington, a new collection of handcrafted contract furniture. Comprising a distinctive lounge chair, armchair and occasional table, the bespoke series is available in polished, painted and external timber finishes for use in both indoor and outdoor spaces.


One of the UK’s leading interior contractors EESmith contracts operate successfully in a variety of sectors ranging from prestige hotels and commercial interiors to exclusive private residences.

Morris Road Leicester LE2 6AL Telephone:0116 2706946 Email:

Facsimile:0116 2701515

LUTECA Eugenio Chair Designed by Jorge Arturo Ibarra, Luteca’s Eugenio chair is available with a frame in walnut, mahogany, maple or black oil, and upholstered in leather, velvet or the user’s own material. Combining an angular architectural profile with mid-century inspiration drawn from the design of Mexico’s Universidad Autonoma Chapingo, the seat brings a modernist touch to lobby, guestroom or public spaces.



PRECIOSA Geometric

Constructed from a single block of marble and brought to life through metal construction and fibreglass bodywork, Fabio Alemanno Design’s Heated Marble Loungers use infrared technology to warm the body. Inspired by the practice of warmth therapy, the sculptural pieces are designed specifically for hotel spas, bringing sensual comfort to wellness, hammam and steam bath facilities.

An exploration of masculinity through shape and profile, Stellar Works’ James collection comprises a chaise, desk, stool and bar trolley, each featuring a bold, ergonomic shape. Constructed from black metal, walnut wood and sable-tone matte leather, and designed by Yabu Pushelberg, the range seeks to turn negative space into an intriguing aesthetic feature.

Designed by Ekaterina Elizarova, Preciosa’s new Geometric crystal pendant is created through two types of glass cutting techniques combined with three surface finishes. The resulting product features clear crisp lines and an intimate glow that offers warmth to spaces when installed as a standalone element, and a statement of elegance as an ensemble due to the purity and simplicity of its geometry.



Image: Rüya, Grosvenor House Dubai Photography: Hyku D Photography

Showroom Openings


MODULEO Impress Moduleo’s luxury vinyl flooring range Impress has been expanded with a new series of embossed designs. Featuring grains, knots and grooves, and with an aesthetic that mimics the surface texture of wood or stone, Impress combines authentic structures with intriguing motifs. Organised into Impressive and Expressive categories, the former gives each plank its own unique design, whilst the latter boasts abstract patterns.

Merlyn’s Showering Studio – located within London’s Business Design Centre – features a series of lifestyle settings to help guests best experience its products. Showcasing the Arysto collection alongside existing craft pieces, the space further boasts dynamic audiovisual inspiration brochures.

MOOOI Set on the banks of the Riddarfjärden in Stockholm, Moooi’s new showroom lands in the heart of the Scandinavian design scene. Displaying the brand’s lighting, furniture and carpet collections across three floors, this new location seeks to inspire.

B&B ITALIA Located in a charming Lyon neighbourhood, B&B Italia’s latest opening sits alongside antique dealers, artisans and interior designers. Presenting across areas from minimalist to decorative, the layout emphasises an interplay between structure and design.

ERCOL Lara & Luca Ercol’s Luca table and Lara chair collections combine sections of solid ash timber with fine details for a practical yet light range. Featuring a curved-edged profile, rounded corners, turned legs and graphic circular details, the seats are finished either in a clear or black lacquer.


MINOTTI Located in Chengdu’s financial district, the Minotti Flagship store occupies 400m 2 of space and showcases pieces curated by Rodolfo Dordoni. Featuring a dynamic mix of shapes, colours and materials, it unfolds across a single floor, and features a dedicated area for the brand’s collaborative ranges.




Ligne Roset

Cocoon Maldives

Le Tsuba Paris

Italian furniture brand Lago has collaborated with Indian Ocean tourism specialist Azemar to fit-out Cocoon Maldives, a resort defined by its cultural sensitivity. Situated on the island of Ookolhufinolhu, the project comprises 145 guestrooms across four categories, as well as a reception area with forest swings and a restaurant with a 20-metre wide community table. It marks Lago’s first venture into hotels. Including tailored spaces with a minimal impact on nature, interiors feature pieces designed to maintain a constant relationship with the landscape. The lightness of the furniture generates a dialogue with the surroundings, whilst materials vary with the change in location, from a villa on the forest border to an apartment built on piles in the sea. The project includes Lago’s Talking Furniture technology, which sees a futuristic chip attached to fixtures and linked to guests’ smartphones to remind and notify them of activities, events and initiatives. Cocoon Maldives falls under Lago’s Design Network initiative. Launched in 2014, the concept is rolling out projects under the Lago Welcome name, a dedicated hospitality project comprising hotels designed with the detail of high-end residential spaces.

Ligne Roset’s Didier Gomez-designed Voltige armchair has been specified throughout the lobby of Le Tsuba Hotel Paris to create a chic Parisian atmosphere. Inspired by the decorative handguard of a traditional Japanese sword, the hotel has been designed by Sybille Holmberg and Victoire Blocman of the Views Architecture Agency who revisit the spirit of the Art Deco era. Located in the heart of the Ternes in the 17th arrondissement, the 82-key hotel features a subtly oriental aesthetic alongside minimalist interiors decorated with ceramic and gold leaf. Voltige’s muted shades complement the prominent mix of taupe, cream and gold across the colour scheme, whilst its rounded profile adds a casual tone. The bright lobby, punctuated by a bar and cosy lounges, sets the tone with a casual entrance and further incorporates materials including marble, wood, linen and velvet for a touch of luxury. A reinterpretation of the traditional wing chair model, Voltige integrates with the design thematically, the hotel itself characterised by contemporary takes on a bygone era. Retaining the original model’s padded back, but adding a distinctive concave to the lowered armrests, the chair contributes a restrained presence and refined aesthetic.


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Pablo Escob-art CASA MALCA, TULUM

At the height of his powers, Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar was rumoured to be raking in over £300 million a week. This absurd fortune – £23 billion according to some sources – remains the stuff of legend, with much still allegedly hidden or buried. Though guests at Casa Malca – an art-centric hotel within a mansion rumoured to have been built for Escobar – may not stumble upon a mountain of secret riches, the project gives them a taste of what life would be like if they did. Located in Tulum, Mexico, Casa Malca is the work of art collector Lio Malca, and features priceless pieces at every turn. Boasting works by Basquiat, Kaws, Muniz, Rower and Scharf, the

20,000ft2 hotel seduces with its double-helix staircase, expansive outdoor and underground swimming pools, and polished cement floors. Remodelled by Mexico City-based studio Latinta, renovations sought to restore the character of the original construction, defined by its broad proportions and high ceilings, whilst transforming each of the house’s former rooms into spacious master suites. With interiors featuring industrial installations, Persian rugs and both rustic and modern furnishings alongside indulgent details such as antique dental chairs, shoe lasts and vintage collector dolls, Casa Malca sees guests living out filthy rich fantasies in digs fit for a multi-billionaire.



by Ekaterina Elizarova


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Sleeper November/December 2017 - Issue 75  
Sleeper November/December 2017 - Issue 75  

The Sleeper brand – comprising a beautifully presented magazine, and our website – is targeted at all those involved...