JANUARY | FEBRUARY 2018
Ian Schrager returns to New York with his first independent hotel concept in a decade
A rainforest resort honouring Malaysian traditions lands in Langkawi
Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel Architects bring a slice of Italy to Dubai
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Inside Sleeper JANUARY | FEBRUARY 2018
038 Public New York
092 Brand Standards... Hilton Curio Following the opening of The Trafalgar St. James in London, Mark Nogal – Global Head of Hilton Worldwide’s Curio Collection – talks of the individualistic spirit that characterises each property.
038 Public New York Designed by Herzog & de Meuron, guestrooms at Ian Schrager’s recently opened Public hotel are inspired by the layout of cruise ship cabins. Custom-made beds are contained within a wire-brushed oak window box, concealing all manner of amenities in its framework.
046 The Ritz-Carlton Langkawi 055 Hotel Liberty Offenburg 060 Bulgari Dubai 069 Renaissance Downtown Dubai 074 Address Boulevard Dubai 080 Hotel EMC2 Chicago 087 Sir Nikolai Hamburg
103 Events… AHEAD A joint venture between Soho House and Sydell Group, The Ned won big at AHEAD Europe – the awards for hospitality experience and design. Winners, along with comments from the judging panel, are announced in full.
022 Check In 024 Drawing Board 095 Business Centre Hotel Analyst 100 Business Centre STR 119 Events Diary 124 Events HICAP 126 Events HI Design Asia 130 Events Deloitte EHIC 134 Events Sleep 143 Company Profile Dornbracht 149 Product Profile Floorcoverings 161 Product Profile Access & Door Furniture 167 Specifier 178 Check Out
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t’s rare that an individual has such a profound effect on hotel design, particularly in a way that spearheads a new way of thinking and continues to influence the industry today. So when John Portman designed the Hyatt Regency Atlanta in 1967, it’s unlikely he ever imagined it would make architectural history. Reimagining the confines of typical urban environments, the hotel was built around a soaring 22-storey atrium. And rather than a soulless, enclosed elevator, Portman insisted on glass-cabbed elevators to provide a journey to the guestrooms, reveling in the jubilant reaction of those who rode to the upper floors. “We must learn to understand humanity better so that we can create an environment that is more beneficial to people, more rewarding, more pleasant to experience,” he is quoted as saying, long before the industry-wide focus on the experiential stay. The design was a game-changer for both Hyatt and Portman, who went on to incorporate glass elevators and multi-storey atria in hotels the world over – from Marriott Marquis New York to Marina Mandarin Singapore – as well as in mixed-use developments with public spaces, convention centres and offices. He was renowned for his understanding of people, and how their response to space translated to enhance environments. Believing that “buildings should serve people, not the other way around”, Portman spent over five decades creating award-winning architecture, guided by a mission to better the experience of life through design. His impact was perhaps greatest in his hometown of Atlanta, where as architectturned-developer, he was instrumental the city’s growth, often using his own funds to realise designs that would be of benefit to the local community. Portman’s recent purchase and renovation to hotel-use of a building within the Peachtree Center – some fifty years after he developed the Atlanta Merchandise Mart on the site – brings his career full circle. Portman never retired. He passed away on 29 December 2017 at the age of 93. And while vast lobbies are a thing of the past in many new hotel developments, Portman’s associates have vowed that his legacy – through a design approach firmly rooted in the notion of buildings serving people – will live on.
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Having designed a series of boundary-pushing structures i n A si a , i n c lud i n g t h e M a h a Na k hon sk ys c rap er in Bangkok and Duo towers in Singapore, German-born architect Ole Scheeren has released renderings of his latest project. Located in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Empire City is a mixed-use, three-tower complex containing residences, offices, an observation deck and a five-star hotel.
“Public is probably my most important idea in the hotel business to-date,” says Ian Schrager on the opening of Public New York, his first truly independent hotel concept in a decade. Having redefined the nightclub scene with Studio 54, then introducing the world to the boutique hotel category in the 1980s, Schrager’s latest venture combines typically provocative aesthetics with affordable, accessible luxury.
As the founder and CEO of Europe Hotels Private Collection, Liran Wizman currently operates ten hotels across three brands – Sir Hotels, Max Brown Hotels and Park Hotel. He recently opened Sir Nikolai, bringing a sophisticated, artisanal charm to the Nikolaifleet canal in Hamburg’s old town. 2017 also saw the opening of Sir Joan in Ibiza, bringing the Sir Hotels collection to five.
H av i n g f ou n d e d mu lt i disciplinary design studio C oncre te i n 1997, Rob Wagemans has spent the past 20 years creating the architecture, interiors and branding of some of Eu rop e’s most innovative hotels. With projects including Zoku, CitizenM and Roomers Munich to his name, Wagemans was duly recognised at AHEAD Europe 2017 for his outstanding contribution to hospitality design.
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Lucy Goddard & Natalie Gray NO CHINTZ
The Creative Directors of design studio No Chintz travel back in time to the heady days of Ian Schrager’s Studio 54, for a fantasy stay in a New York loft.
Where are you? Studio 54, New York. 1987. It’s 23.59 on New Year’s Eve and the countdown has begun. As the clock strikes and the disco ball drops, glitter pours down on us in the middle of the dance floor. How did you get there? After celebrating the end of 1987 (for the first time) in London with friends just five hours ago, we kept the party going on-board our supersonic Concorde jet into JFK. Who is there to greet you on arrival? Andy Warhol is waiting on the runway in his limo, ready to dart us across Manhattan. And who’s at the concierge desk? A small, neat and curious package arrived three weeks ago by air mail. Inside is a handwritten note, a set of keys and a beautifully illustrated map showing the secret route from the dance floor to our secluded loft space above the club. It also features a list of local figures in the neigbourhood who can be our trusted go-tos for all that we need during our visit; the best coffee spots, hang-outs, boutiques and hot dog vendors. Is there anything you would like waiting for you in your room? In the open wardrobe hang two handmade garments from young fashion designer Marc Jacobs, who in 1987 is turning heads with his statement pieces.
Describe the hotel, your room and the view... The large loft looks out across a sea of windows, each telling their own story and offering a glimpse into the diverse lives of those who have come to call New York home – a 24-hour reality show of city life. In the relaxed and spacious room, a steel spiral staircase takes us up to the mezzanine where two of the largest beds we have ever seen await. Works from graffiti artist Jean-Michel Basquiat adorn the walls, juxtaposing the calm and understated interiors with bold flashes of colour. Who designed it? Patricia Urquiola, at the start of her career, has designed a classic space for simple, comfortable but inspired living. What’s the restaurant and bar like? Sitting several floors below is a speakeasy with a warren of cosy hideaways for disappearing into the night. Warm, atmospheric and welcoming – time is forgotten and chance encounters shape the evening. Who are you dining with this evening? Andy Warhol; singer-songwriter Grace Jones; musician Jarvis Cocker; the late, great David Bowie; and 80s icon Debbie Harry. Who’s manning the stoves? The Brazilian chef Alex Atala, of D.O.M. in São Paulo. He has created an assortment of small plates that are passed around the intimate crowd.
And what’s on the menu? Platters of sushi showcase Alex’s signature style; blending different culinary techniques and flavours, each mouthful is as memorable as the last. Would you like something to drink with that? Dirty Gin Martini. What’s in the mini-bar for a night cap? Minature bottles of Bannahabhain whisky. What’s on your nightstand at bedtime? A handmade silk eye mask and ear plugs to dull out the early morning city noise. What’s your essential travel companion? Each other of course! Would you like a newspaper or magazine in the morning? No thanks. If Instagram had been invented we would have settled for that! Full English, continental or something different? Heuevos rancheros and a Bloody Mary. What toiletries would you like to freshen up with? Launched earlier this year overseas, we have access to the first bottles of Aesop. Swimming pool, spa or gym? We begin the New Year with a hot-tub on the roof.
Name: Lucy Goddard & Natalie Gray | Position: Creative Directors, No Chintz | www.nochintz.co.uk Notable hotel projects: Lews Castle by Natural Retreats, Stornoway; The Masons Arms Hotel, Louth, Lincolnshire; The Inn at John O’Groats, Scotland
Empire City HO CHI MINH CITY
Büro Ole Scheeren has revealed its design for Vietnam’s Empire City, a mixed-use, three-tower complex containing a five-star hotel. Located on the Saigon River, at the heart of Ho Chi Minh City, the three skyscrapers will rise from a garden-like podium, encompassing residences, retail elements, co-working and public spaces, offices and an observation deck. Developed by Empire City LLC, a multi-national joint venture between real estate firms Gaw Capital Partners, Tran Thai, Tien Phuoc Real Estate and Keppel Land Vietnam, the project marks Scheeren’s first project in the country, and his fourth in Asia following Bangkok’s MahaNakhon skyscraper, the Duo Towers complex in Singapore and the Guardian Art Centre in Beijing. At 333m tall, the central Empire 88 Tower will host the hotel and observation deck elements. Featuring a series of vertical gardens amidst cantilevered terraces stretching out in different directions from the central axis, the tower and its multi-levelled sky forest will seek to create a journey through Vietnam’s tropical landscape. Topping the structure, the Cloud Space will act as a public area with unparalleled views over the city. Spanning 14.5 hectares, the complex is intended as a city within a city, providing residents and guests alike with an environment combining leisure, work and educational components. Swimming pools, gyms, pavilions and a collection of engaging F&B concepts will complete the offer. Details on the hotel element are currently still under wraps, with more set to be revealed through 2018.
The Retreat at Blue Lagoon ICELAND
The Retreat at Blue Lagoon – a hotel extension of Iceland’s popular geothermal spa – is set to open in 2018.
Envisioned with comfort and wellbeing in mind, the hotel further incorporates Moss Restaurant and its locally-sourced reinterpretation of Icelandic cuisine, and The Suite, a bi-level sanctuary complete with terrace, private lagoon and heli-pad. The spa meanwhile, will be built directly into an 800-year old lava flow and is set offer treatments centred around signature elements including silica, algae and minerals. With Sigthórsdóttir overseeing its design, the extension is set to build on the lagoon’s existing aesthetic combination of natural environment and synthetic forms, surrounding guests with mineral rich waters, whilst enhancing the overall experience through equally considered service. The project will be carried out in phases, and is set to be completed in the first half of the year, with the main visitors’ area remaining open throughout.
With architecture designed by Sigridur Sigthórsdóttir of Basalt Architects – who has worked with the Blue Lagoon project for almost two decades – the anticipated 62-key expansion will be carved into volcanic earth at the centre of the Reykjanes UNESCO Geopark. The venture seeks to create an experience built upon four pillars: a refreshing spa, luxurious accommodation, a culinary journey, and the concept of exploration. Featuring interiors by Design Group Italia that emphasise the presence of the surrounding landscape through expansive floor-toceiling windows and balcony access to the water, guestrooms will seek to blur the lines between man-made and natural wonders.
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Mandarin Oriental Hanover Bond LONDON
Mandarin Oriental has been appointed to manage a new hotel and residential complex on London’s Hanover Square, marking its second property in the UK capital.
fitness centre and an intimate spa providing Mandarin Oriental’s renowned wellness services will also be on offer – all of which can be accessed by residence owners. “We are delighted to be opening a second Mandarin Oriental property in London, and look forward to extending the group’s legendary hospitality to another of the city’s most exclusive addresses,” comments James Riley, Group CEO, Mandarin Oriental. “Operating two complementary hotels in a single destination is something that the group has already done successfully in Hong Kong.” Tarun Tyagi, CEO, Clivedale London, adds: “As a company, we share Mandarin Oriental’s unwavering commitment to quality and service. Together we are setting a new precedent for architecture, design and lifestyle in a world-class location, and we look forward to bringing the best of both worlds to our discerning clientele.”
Marketed as Hanover Bond and developed by Clivedale London, the venture is situated between Bond Street and Regent Street, one of the city’s most exclusive residential, retail and fashion districts. It will include 80 Mandarin Oriental Residences available for purchase, as well as a fully integrated 50-key Mandarin Oriental hotel. Set to open in 2021, the complex will be housed within architecture by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners and features interiors by Danishborn designer Thomas Juul-Hansen. Facilities include a vibrant finedining restaurant, a lobby lounge, stylish bar and a private roof terrace with bar overlooking Mayfair. An indoor pool, comprehensive
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IHG together with Malaysia’s Cornerstone Partners Group have announced plans for Kimpton Taipei, the brand’s first hotel in Taiwan.
bar and restaurants, Kimpton hotels channel playful design and a personal approach to service. Kent Sun, Chief Development Officer, IHG Greater China, comments: “IHG has a growing distribution in Taiwan, where we see a rapidly growing demand for boutique hotels. We already have one of the world’s leading lifestyle portfolios and look forward to delivering a sophisticated and glamorous hotel that will become iconic in Taiwan and a landmark property for IHG globally.” Jason Chong, CEO, Cornerstone Partners Group, adds: “Taiwan reflects the holistic integration of cultural diversity, with continuous growth in recent years that has attracted significant foreign capital to return to the Taiwanese market. This cooperation between Cornerstone Partners Group and IHG to introduce Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants will put Taiwan in the spotlight again.”
Scheduled to open in 2018, the 14-storey property features 129 guestrooms and suites, as well as a 12th floor rooftop deck. Nestled in central Taipei, the hotel’s design will reflect the hustle and bustle of the city through an integration of urban features and soft greenery. Restaurants and bars, meanwhile, will be designed by Hong Kongbased JIA Group. This marks the latest signing for the Kimpton brand in Asia, and follows recent agreements for locations including Shanghai, Sanya and Bali. IHG also signed a Kimpton hotel in Paris earlier last year, and recently opened Kimpton De Witt in Amsterdam, the brand’s first property outside of the Americas. Recognised for its distinctive
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Curio Olympic Park LONDON
Hilton Worldwide’s Curio Collection has revealed plans for its third UK hotel, a 285-key project within London’s Olympic Park.
Stratford into the design we feel that we have created something that is iconic and will be a unique experience for the guest.” Rising from a curved two-storey podium, the building’s exterior is covered with copper-coloured fins that allow the hotel’s appearance to change throughout the day as shadow and light shifts. Interiors meanwhile, will celebrate the contrasts between raw and luxurious, hard and soft, and rough and pure. Details including a reclaimed chandelier set alongside velvet-clad furnishings will highlight these juxtapositions, with ICA also working to break the grandeur of the space down into smaller, more intimate pockets. Warren Malschinger, Director of Gantry Group, the developers behind the project, comments: “ICA were the only choice for us on such an important project. Together we were able to find expression to a vision that we are immensely proud of.”
Designed by ICA, the 18-storey building will feature neighbourhood bars and restaurants, as well as a sky bar with views across the London skyline. The hotel is being developed alongside a new Adagio Aparthotel – again designed by ICA. Both are set to open in 2020. Drawing inspiration from Stratford’s market town past and the surrounding area’s industrial heritage, the design of the Curio property will blend these elements to create a hotel that reflects historical nuance through materiality, aesthetics and function. “It was great to work closely with a client whose vision was to create a landmark hotel which had the local neighbourhood at its heart,” says Chris Fegan, Director, ICA. “By layering the heritage of
Le Relais de Chambord CHAMBORD
The French government and entrepreneur Frederic Jousset have teamed up to reimagine an historic relais in Domaine de Chambord.
The only hotel to reside on the expansive site, design details including floor-to-ceiling windows and a reimagined slate façade inspired by the Château’s original roof, will seek to cultivate a country house atmosphere. The restaurant, meanwhile, will serve up a combination of French country cooking and game-inspired dishes, in line with the structure’s original function as King Francis I’s hunting lodge. Surrounded by a 32km wall, the estate is roughly the same size as central Paris, and the largest enclosed nature reserve in Europe. Guests at Le Relais de Chambord will have access to the Château at all times of the day, as well as a network of canal, cycling and walking circuits. Characterised by its Renaissance-era architecture, the restoration and renovation of the property has been billed as a labour of love with heritage and legacy at its heart.
Set deep in the Loire Valley and just a stone’s throw from the Domaine de Chambord UNESCO World Heritage Site and its fabled Château, the 55-key Le Relais de Chambord will be designed entirely by Jean-Michel Wilmotte and operated by Marugal Distinctive Hotel Management, the team behind Cap Rocat in Mallorca. Comprising a spa, gym, library and fine-dining restaurant, the estate’s hotel element will reside within an existing 19th century structure, whilst a new wing – constructed from local materials to ensure its integration with surroundings – will expand capacity. Set to open in March 2018, the redesign will see the building injected with a sense of contemporary comfort throughout.
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The Dixon LONDON
Dominvs Group has announced the 2018 opening of The Dixon, the latest member of Marriott International’s Autograph Collection.
pieces and a collection of curated artwork. All guestrooms will be bathed in natural light, whilst the Courthouse Café will seek to establish itself as a social hub for guests and locals. Jay Ahluwalia, a director at Dominvs Group, comments: “Travellers no longer want just a comfortable night’s stay, they want to be immersed in the local community. The Dixon will offer a unique take on the boutique hotel experience offering guests a neighbourhood feel in the heart of the capital.” In addition, The Dixon will work to support a variety of local arts including a diverse cultural programme comprising live events, musical guests, art exhibitions and creative contributions selected by the hotel’s own Cultural Committee. Guests will also have convenient access to the local theatres and studios surrounding the hotel’s Tooley Street location.
Situated in Tower Bridge, London, in close proximity to Tate Modern and Shakespeare’s Globe, the 193-key hotel will seek to incorporate the neighbourhood’s cultural offer through interiors by Twenty2degrees and regeneration work by Northern Ireland-based contractor McAleer & Rushe. Originally designed as a Magistrates’ Court and police station in 1905 by John Dixon Butler, the building will undergo an extensive restoration including the reconstruction of its historic courthouse. Within, a blending of heritage and contemporary elements will feature details including simple brickwork, expansive windows, and modern furniture sourced from British designers, alongside classic
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Public NEW YORK
Landing in its creator’s hometown, Ian Schrager’s Public – his first truly independent hotel concept – underscores affordable, accessible luxury with inimitable style. Words: Kristofer Thomas | Photography: © Nicholas Koenig
an Scharger is part of New York, woven into the illustrious tapestry, a near character in its folklore. As co-founder of Studio 54 he redefined the city’s club scene – creating a storied hub at the heart of Seventies hedonism – then, as hotelier, introduced the world to the boutique sector with Morgans on Madison Avenue. His Royalton and Paramount hotels followed, becoming destinations in their own right and providing a then fresh-faced Philippe Starck with his first hotel canvases. But Paramount would mark his last New York hotel until the opening of The Hudson at the turn of the millennium, with a return to nightclubs, and ventures into the residential sector, as well as the conceiving of Edition with Marriott International, filling the gaps between. In 2005 Schrager sold the Morgans Hotel Group he founded with late partner Steve Rubell in favour of a more personal enterprise, owning, developing and managing hotels as Ian Schrager Company. And so, thirty years since the opening of Paramount, New York’s prodigal son returns to the city’s hospitality scene with his first truly independent hotel concept, Public. Debuting in 2011 with Public Chicago, the brand endured something of a false start. After the property’s hushed sale and subsequent rebrand in 2016, some believed the hotelier’s independent dream to be over, and Public an underwhelming footnote in an otherwise celebrated career. However, what could have been the difficult second project has instead spent a six-year gestation period refining and clarifying its offer and values.
Above: Lined with ten-foot-tall Taxus hedges and English ivy, Chrystie Park welcomes guests to an urban oasis hidden from the bustling street
“Public is probably my most important idea in the hotel business to-date,” Schrager explains. “There’s something very attractive to me about making sophisticated, upscale luxury available to anybody and everybody who wants it. I’ve always loved the idea of bringing really cool and refined details to people of all different ages and strata of wealth. This kind of experience isn’t just for the rich.” Initially shrouded in mystery, the enigmatically titled 215 Chrystie Street was originally intended as a new brand, but landed instead as the second coming of Public, blending urban oasis with a vibrant nightclub spirit. Positioned on the Lower East Side, just a short walk from the Williamsburg Bridge and Schrager’s old Brooklyn stomping ground, the mixed-use project – also containing 11 John Pawsondesigned residences – has been designed by Herzog & de Meuron together with Ian Schrager Company’s in-house design studio to channel inimitable cool whilst remaining roundly accessible. Guests are greeted by a Tuileries-inspired, Madison Cox-designed landscaped garden – separated from the bustling street by an English Ivy-covered privacy fence and lined with ten-foot-tall Taxus hedges – then guided through an oversized revolving glass door. Dramatic escalators up to the lobby, enclosed in reflective custom coppershaded stainless steel, capture guests within an infinity effect on ascent, refracting custom incandescent LED lighting strips as a neonlit tunnel. Steel then gives way to concrete, and a more industrial tone
to introduce the lobby. From here, the scheme splits off into several distinct moods: the warm, rustic charms of dining venues Louis and Public Kitchen; the smoky members’ club vibe of intimate bar Diego; the light-bathed public areas; and a dark, seductively lit hallway leading to guestrooms above. “We wanted to do something that was young-at-heart and didn’t rely on traditional luxury finishes,” Schrager continues. “We used a lot of plywood and concrete, but tried something new in their use and treatment that would elevate them and make for a more refined feel.” Subtly illuminated by the Philippe Starck-designed Rosy Angelis lamps from Flos, the public spaces and lobby bar feature bespoke pieces including a billiards table in solid, hand-rubbed bronze, and Herzog & de Meuron-designed tiered seating that spans the entire length of the space against a wall of backlit louvers in richly toned Douglas Fir plywood. A curated collection of antique furnishings includes a full-sized Bison rug, whilst an Ivan Navarro light sculpture provides modernist juxtaposition at the heart, as do aluminium and steel Drop chairs by Japanese firm Sanaa. The dining experience meanwhile, is characterised by a blend of homeliness and industrial charm. Against a backdrop of exposed brick, Public Kitchen features rustic textures in the form of stained Beachwood and American black walnut, whilst three custom-designed hearths clad in honed Statutorio brick contain a smoker, wood-
Left: Herzog & de Meuron’s bespoke cabinetry helps to integrate the Laufen sink within the wider guestroom, creating additional space throughout
burning oven and grill. Situated adjacent, the hotel’s coffee shop, luncheonette and markethybrid Louis contains Arebescato marble tables with blackened steel bases paired with caned Thonet armchairs. Housed a floor below, the hotel’s artistic, cultural and social space Public Arts channels a condensed resumption of the Studio 54 spirit. Set amidst built-in banquettes upholstered in Brazilian leather, vintage Persian area rugs and a theatrically lit baroque curtain from the Paris Opera House, the avant-garde space hosts a year-round programme of screenings, live performances and musical guests. Upstairs, 367 guestrooms channel lighter, softer aesthetics, though remain most notable for their intelligent use of space. Inspired by the layout of cruise ship cabins, these environments feel minimal yet miss none of the essentials. With 11 configurations available, from compact Queen to expansive Penthouse, each features salvaged and reclaimed sunken oak flooring and exposed concrete ceilings with the imprints of structural framework, as well as a bespoke bed constructed from wire brushed oak and illuminated by a halo of warm incandescent light. The considered approach to layout means that, even in the smallest configurations, guestrooms feel substantial, and in some cases larger than they should. The Laufen-designed sink – an engineering feat manufactured in the brand’s innovative Sentec material – is separated from the gold-amber glass mirror bathroom enclosure, sitting instead within the main guestroom and custom-designed cabinetry in blanched oak. With this shift, the designers toy with the room’s width in order to extend its length.
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Image courtesy of The Ned
Above: The Roof features views over Manhattan and a scheme of steel, bronze and wood elements drawn from the environments below
Bathrooms meanwhile, feature custom Hansgrohe rain showers and mixing valves in champagne finish, alongside Laufen toilets. “We wanted the rooms to be cool, interesting and smart all at the same time, like a cabin on a yacht providing everything you need and nothing you don’t,” Schrager notes. “It’s all incredibly efficient.” A restrained collection of furnishings including an American black walnut stool that doubles as nightstand, and fluted blanched oak bench, may seem sparse, but what these spaces subtract in physical fittings they make up for in technological presence. An Evolve in-room control system, with precise switches for lighting, drapery and temperature, allows guests to customise their environment, whilst 12 subtly integrated USB ports mean there’s no lack of universal power. “It feels like we in the hotel world have been the last to respond to new technology,” Schrager laments. “I’m not talking about an iPad in your room, I’m talking about technology that makes your stay much less expensive and much more convenient. But it can’t be contrived – it can’t be technology for technology’s sake – it has to be meaningful.”
Higher still, and topping the project is The Roof, Public’s crowning jewel. Accessed by an elevator lit with kinetic neon blues at night in a call-back to Schrager’s nightclub days, the bar appears to float in the sky thanks to unobstructed views through floor-to-ceiling windows. Punctuating a steel, bronze and wooden scheme are pieces including a distressed marine bronze bar with tarnished gold finish, and details such as walls panelled in fluted black and woven horsehair. “When you create a hotel, you’re supposed to manifest the place and time you’re in,” Schrager concludes. “I view New York as a very energised place, communal and always socialising. Unlikely people of all different ages sit and eat next to each other, dancing and talking, and that eclectic mix is what I really tried to capture.” With plans to roll-out “a bunch” more Public properties in the coming years, the concept itself may still be relatively young, but one suspects that Schrager’s vision for it stretches back long before the launch. Building on the visual provocation of his early work with service and accessibility to match, Schrager’s latest is a hotel where the city that never sleeps can rest its weary head.
EXPRESS CHECK-OUT: 367 guestrooms | 2 restaurants | 3 bars | Event spaces | Gym | www.publichotels.com Owner/Operator/Developer: Ian Schrager Company | Architecture: Herzon & de Meuron | Interior Design: ISC Design Studio; Bonetti/Kozerski Landscaping: Madison Cox | Graphic Design: Baron & Baron | Lighting Design: Arnold Chan; Core; Fisher Marantz Stone
The Kelly Hoppen by Brintons collection brings the designer¹s unparalleled eye for trend-leading design to the commercial carpet sector. Consisting of 13 geometric and organic designs in on-trend colourways, the collection reflects the designer¹s award-winning design style and pared back aesthetic. Kelly Hoppen took inspiration from diverse influences ranging from geometric shapes to elements found in everyday surroundings such as cracks in a pavement and splashes of paint.
Suitable for a wide variety of hospitality applications including hotels, casinos, cruise ships and airports, each Kelly Hoppen by Brintons design can be customised and is woven to order in a full range of specifications. Whichever direction is chosen, Brintons’ highly skilled design team will help to adapt the concept to ensure it matches the creative brief perfectly while complying with all the practical requirements.
W W W. B R I N TO N S . N E T
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The Ritz-Carlton LANGKAWI
The Ritz-Carlton taps into the experiential travel market with its latest opening â€“ a rainforest resort honouring Malaysian traditions. Words: Catherine Martin | Photography: Courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton Langkawi
estled in a centuries-old rainforest overlooking a sandy cove in the Andaman Sea, The Ritz-Carlton Langkawi has re-set the bar for idyllic island escapes since its arrival late last year. After years of domination by Four Seasons and The Datai (currently closed for refurbishment), newcomers such as St. Regis (opened in 2016) and The Ritz-Carlton have sought to shake up the Malaysian archipelago’s luxury sector. Located just 30km off the mainland, the tropical island – known as the jewel of Kedah – has long been a draw for both beach bums and adventure-seekers thanks to its white sands, crystal clear waters and acres of dense jungle teeming with wildlife. For its first resort destination in Malaysia, The Ritz-Carlton has found its own slice of paradise, fronting a private bay that’s within easy reach of the airport and various leisure attractions. Developed in harmony with the surrounding landscape, the resort is designed by Tropical Area, taking cues from traditional Malay architecture as well as Chinese, Indian and Indonesian influences, signifying the region’s diverse ethnic and cultural make up. Much like the nearby villages, known locally as kampongs, buildings use a simple timberframe structure and sit on stilts above ground; pitched roofs with deep overhangs to provide shade from the mid-day sun, while high ceilings aid ventilation.
Each building has been designed to harmonise with the rainforest, with nature often taking priority over man. The walkway to Langkawi Kitchen – one of four restaurants – for example, twists and turns through the forest to avoid the larger trunks, ensuring no trees were harmed in the making of this resort. In fact, two thirds of the site has been left untouched, with each building positioned to minimise its impact on the ecosystem. With long-tailed macaques, dusky leaf monkeys and over 200 species of bird life in the vicinity, respect for this natural habitat was of utmost importance to both owner and operator. The layout of the resort is also guided by nature, with the larger structures – housing the lobby and entry-level guestrooms – invisible from the water’s edge so as not to detract from the setting. In total, 114 accommodations span the site, including rainforest suites and beach and oceanfront villas. All offer uninterrupted views from the balcony or terrace, with the suites benefitting from private pools, sundecks and outdoor living spaces topped with lounge furniture by Janus et Cie and Jonathan Charles. Guestrooms and suites are largely open-plan with every perch offering vistas of the sea, rainforest or mountains. The surrounding jungle creates natural screening between the villas for a sense of seclusion and privacy, and makes its way inside in the form of an
This Page: Langkawi Kitchen, with four live cooking stations, is modelled on the traditional longhouses of Borneo, its long, narrow footprint allowing for a higher proportion of window seats
enclosed garden in the beach villas, further blurring the line between indoors and out. Even the bathrooms have direct sightlines to the jungle, allowing for an immersive bathing experience from the comfort of Claybrookâ€™s statement tubs. Interiors are contemporary, with Malaysian accents seen in the soft furnishings and accessories. Elaborate wood carvings, locallymade fruit bowls and decorative sambal pots feature alongside pottery from Gaya Ceramic, handmade in Bali using earth from Langkawi. Artwork is by renowned Malaysian artist Tham Siew Inn, his watercolours depicting scenes of local life. The majority of furniture is by Jonathan Charles, a British-born, Vietnam-based designer who works with artisans to produce finely crafted pieces. Armchairs, sofas, foot stools and ottomans feature throughout the guestrooms and public spaces, alongside
RUGS TO LIFE
GRAND HOTEL KEMPINSKI RIGA, LATVIA
Above: Villas benefit from private pools, sundecks and outdoor living spaces topped with lounge furniture by Janus et Cie
consoles, stools, side tables and oak-framed mirrors, all finished in materials selected to represent the location as well as withstand the island elements. The authentic touches continue in the F&B venues, where vibrant batik pieces crafted using age-old techniques decorate the spaces, along with environmentally-friendly textiles woven from pandanus trees in another display of artisanal craftsmanship. The four restaurants, designed by Strickland, cater to all manner of tastes serving up Malay, Chinese and Indian cuisine as well as western favourites. The adults-only Horizon perches above natural rock formations and is the ideal setting for sundowners, while Langkawi Kitchen, with four live cooking stations, is modelled on the traditional longhouses of Borneo, its long, narrow footprint allowing for a higher proportion of window seats. Completing the line-up, Hai Yen – a Mandarin phrase meaning banquet by the sea – is an authentic Chinese restaurant on the water’s edge illuminated with 500 lanterns, while the alfresco Beach Grill, constructed from natural stone and wood, sits at the far end of the site for uninterrupted views of the Andaman.
The resort also has a sizeable kids club – housed in two giant ‘toadstools’ – as well as a programme of events curated to foster a connection between the guest and their surroundings. Batik painting, traditional folk dancing and rainforest treks are amongst the experiences on offer, along with the more conventional leisure facilities such as a fully-equipped gym, tennis court, infinity pool, and outdoor yoga studio. It is the Ritz-Carlton’s spa however, that’s the real crowd-pleaser thanks to its Instagrammable form. Home to five cocoon-shaped pavilions that appear to float above the sea, the spa is designed to resemble Malay Bubus – the intricately woven fish traps that have been used by local fishermen for centuries. Connected by over-water walkways, each pavilion is surrounded by a circular platform with panoramic ocean views. In line with the rest of the resort, treatments have been inspired by the indigenous healing and beauty ceremonies practiced by local shamans on the island. It is this connection to the locale that will undoubtedly create the authentic guest experience that so many travellers crave, and ultimately set the resort apart.
EXPRESS CHECK-OUT: 114 guestrooms | 4 restaurants | 2 bars | Ballroom | Spa, gym, outdoor swimming pool | www.ritzcarlton.com Operator: The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company | Architecture: Tropical Area | Interior Design: Tropical Area; Strickland (F&B)
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Hotel Liberty OFFENBURG
A former prison in Germany’s southwest is reborn as a hotel, with original jailhouse features integrated into the new design. Words: Guy Dittrich | Photography: © Jens Pfisterer / Courtesy of Design Hotels
arrived on a cold, dark November day and the place smelt like a prison,” narrates Marc Aeberhard, General Manager of Hotel Liberty in Offenburg, a trading town in one of Germany’s wealthiest states. The 38-room property occupies two sturdy buildings designed in 1840 by renowned architect Heinrich Hübsch. Constructed from the same red sandstone that was used for the cathedrals of Freiburg and Strasbourg, they were in penal use until as recently as 2009, and as anticipated, weren’t particularly warm or welcoming. “We had to change a place where people wanted out, to somewhere guests want to stay,” continues Aeberhard.
Following a successful factory conversion, local businessman Christian Funk was persuaded by the town’s mayor to take the two buildings and create a hotel. Initially, that concept was watered down to guesthouse use, but Aeberhard, a veteran of luxury hotel openings including the exclusive Fregate Island Private in the Seychelles, convinced Funk to run with the original plan. The concept and planning was supported by Knoblauch, a studio based in Markdorf on Lake Constance. This initial role was expanded to include the creative and construction management and general contracting responsibilities for the entire hotel. The development
Opposite: Guestrooms occupy former prison cells with vaulted ceilings of exposed brick, accessed via the original cell doors of oak-covered steel
was implemented and completed within just six months. Knoblauch, appointed off the back of a retail project completed in the town, also developed the furnishing concept with much of the furniture custom-made. The property has undergone numerous fortifications and renovations over the years, and the key to unlocking its potential has been in the glazed ‘bridge-building’ that spans the former exercise yard and links the jailhouses. This creates space for the restaurant and lobby. “We call it the glass cube,” explains Katja Scharnagel, interior designer at Knoblauch, of this modern counterpart to the historical buildings. Aberhard adds a more poetic view of replacing the heavy with the light to “liberate emotion”. Within the cube, amidst the high, barred windows of one former exterior wall, now washed by downlighters emphasising its rough stone texture, is a bright neon message reading ‘Liberty is the key to feel... free’. The connecting structure has concrete floors with six pillars supporting a 12-metre-high ceiling. Within this huge volume are two terraced mezzanines overlooking the main entrance, where the low-slung lounge seating maximises the effect of the spectacular fullheight space. The first ‘terrace’ is a library reached via a staircase, behind which is a tower bookshelf, while the upper level is occupied by a meeting room. The ceiling has a stucco finish to help with the acoustics, but also incorporates heating and cooling elements
by Metawell that, together with automated blinds, contribute to a successful climatic result. What Hotel Liberty lacks in leisure facilities, it makes up for in F&B with Wasser & Brot – in reference to the restricted diet of the former inmates – a central attraction within this wine-growing region adjacent to the Black Forest. Here, the pièce de résistance is the show kitchen. “The idea of the show kitchen arose from the initial intention to have a steakhouse – assuming that the prisoners, mainly male, would have loved to have a steak instead of water and bread. This was developed into the concept of a quality restaurant with a show kitchen,” explains Scharnagel. The finishing grill of Michelinstarred chef Jeremy Biasiol is topped with a standout, gold-covered ventilation hood. Behind low glass screens, he and his team finish incredible dishes for truly memorable degustation menus prepared in the kitchen below. Guestrooms occupy two or more former prison cells with vaulted ceilings of exposed brick. These historic parts of the hotel were subject to some restrictions from the heritage authorities – Amt für Denkmalschutz. On each floor, at least one cell door was to be re-used. As the floors had to be raised to allow for services, this means a step down to these particular doors. Many of the other doors have been retained for decorative purposes. At 120kg of oakcovered steel, this was a job not to be taken lightly. Barred windows
Left: Public spaces feature time-worn sofas and distressed leather dining chairs by Scandinavian brands including Norr11, Carl Hansen, Hay and Republic of Fritz Hansen
were also preserved. Permission was given to extend the high windows of the cells vertically downwards, keeping in harmony with the original layout. Guestrooms themselves are refined with oak floorboards and grey and black colourways. Headboards are black leather. The casework, rugs and drapes, a mélange of greys. Even the bathrooms, behind sliding doors of smoked mirror, get in on this sophisticated look featuring locally manufactured Axor Citterio E collection brassware in a new, special surface finish called Black Chrome. Citterio’s subtle mix of the angular and the curved is a further representation of the old and new of Hotel Liberty. Washbasins are from the Axor Urquiola collection and, like the freestanding tubs of larger rooms, their moulded mineral forms echo the buckets and tubs of a time gone-by. Small details such as brass edging, coat hooks and enameled steel beakers accent the rooms. Hotel Liberty is a simple product of rooms with a restaurant – urbane rooms and an outstanding kitchen. The open, linking space is beautifully juxtaposed to the thick walls and solidity of the guestroom buildings with their cosy and enveloping environments. Unlike the former inmates who couldn’t wait to get out, today’s guests will find little incentive to leave.
EXPRESS CHECK-OUT: 38 guestrooms | 1 restaurant | 1 bar | 1 meeting room | www.hotel-liberty.de Owner: Christian Funk Holding; Dietmar Funk | Investor: CDF Immobilien | Operator: Liberty Betriebsgesellschaft | Developer: Trendconcept Architecture: Knoblauch; Grossmann Group | Interior Design: Knoblauch | Contractors: Planungsbüro Eichhorn + Engler; CS Planungsbüro
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Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel Architects bring a slice of Italy to the Middle East, with the newest Bulgari hotel opening in Dubai. Words: Lauren Ho | Photography: ÂŠ Tommy Picone
hen it comes to location, Bulgari Hotels & Resorts is very particular. So particular in fact, it has taken close to 15 years to open just five properties. “It’s a luxury to be able to wait,” says Silvio Ursini, Group Executive Vice President, who goes on to explain that their business is an image exercise rather than being reliant on churning out an annual quota of hotels. “If the location isn’t flawless, then it will fire back,” he comments. “We’ve gone ten years without a new hotel, which can be frustrating, but when you finally open and see you were right about the location, it pays out.” And in the case of the brand’s newest launch in Dubai, which took nearly a decade to complete, it seems good things do come to those who wait. Located on Jumeira Bay, a seahorse-shaped manmade island a little further north of the Palm archipelago, the resort is Bulgari’s first Middle Eastern property, as well as the first with a marina and yacht club. Spread over 13 hectares, across two bays on the south of the island, the hotel’s low-rise architecture is the work of Milan-based Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel who, also behind the group’s other properties, have once again carved out a little slice of Italy with a design that is inspired by the country’s intimate marinas. “There isn’t a marina like this in Dubai,” says Ursini. “You know, Italian and small, not a huge parking lot for boats. It’s a show marina, a place you go to be seen; you come with your boat, you get out, you go for dinner, people look at you… the Italian way.”
Indeed, the 50-berth harbour is flanked by a travertine promenade that is lined, like a precious stone necklace, with a string of soon-toopen high-end restaurants and coveted residences and beyond that, the Bulgari Yacht Club. Here, a palette of teak, chrome and creamy leather unfolds over a dining room – that serves up a mainly seafood menu – lounge, bar, boardroom and swimming pool. Vintage navalinspired staff uniforms, custom-designed chinaware by Italian firm Richard Ginori, and antique photographs of celebrities aboard Riva yachts complete the 1960s Italian Riviera vibe, which Ursini says, was a bit like putting together a theatre production. At the heart of the property, separating the two inlets, the fourstorey main hotel building adds to the luxury quotient with a gleaming white Carrara marble façade that creates the perfect backdrop for the dappled sunlight that filters through the latticed horizontal layers. Taking their cues from the hotel’s seaside location, the designers say: “The idea is inspired by transparency and the natural light that comes through coral – we wanted to create something completely different to what has been done in Dubai so far.” Inside, an almost entirely Italian line-up of furnishings from Maxalto to Flos, B&B Italia and Flexform is tempered with details that subtly nod to a sense of place, while veering away from the usual Middle Eastern design tract. This includes a bronze lattice-work mesh – bearing the Bulgari ‘Maglia Pantheon’ motif – that evokes the
Above: The 101 guestrooms and suites are an understated mix of woven textiles and natural fibres
perforated jaali screens found in Islamic architecture, and wild-wool Beni Ourain rugs from Morocco. Upstairs, the 101 guestrooms and suites are an understated mix of woven textiles and natural fibres that have been worked through the low-slung furnishings, wallcoverings and accessories, such as the Bulgari cashmere blanket by Enzo dgli Angiuoni. Each has its own private balcony from which to soak up the views; some overlook the yacht-speckled Arabian Sea and beyond that, the impressive Dubai skyline, while others face the bay, a quiet sandy stretch of beach lined with 20 villas. Here, a similar low-key, indulgent sensibility unfurls over the bedrooms, dining space, kitchen and private pools. Of course, this wouldn’t be a Bulgari hotel without a spa. And with this property reported to be the most expensive in Dubai, there is certainly no scrimping on the luxuries; grey Vicenza stone walls, green book-matched onyx from Iran, and Turkish Aphyon marble swathes seven treatment rooms, a hammam and, the jewel in the crown, the 25-metre indoor pool, which is surrounded by magnificent ocean and city views and backed by a vitality pool lined with shimmering green and real gold mosaic tiles inspired by the Bulgari Diva collection.
And while the property might be located just on the other side of a 300-metre bridge that is connected to downtown Dubai, in-house distractions are aplenty. Rejuvenated after a day of pampering, head to Il Bar for an aperitivo, the local spot to see-and-be-seen, where black Portoro marble shimmers against the panoramic backdrop of the seaside promenade, before moving next door to Il Ristorante. Here, Michelin-starred chef Niko Romito serves up modern versions of Italian classics that are best finished off with a digestif or a shisha at the poolside restaurant, La Spiaggia. Since branching out into the hospitality business in 2004, the Italian jewellery brand has certainly followed through with its meticulous plan to craft an intimate portfolio of properties in the ultimate locations. In the next two years, taking its collection to just seven properties, are openings in Shanghai and Moscow, with Paris, Rome, New York, LA and Tokyo in the pipeline. As Ursini states: “The location is like a rough stone that you need to cut and polish to make it look like a fine jewel. It has to have a glamorous address, natural features and the right privacy and size. And it has to be exceptional – otherwise it will not be a Bulgari hotel.”
EXPRESS CHECK-OUT: 101 guestrooms | 4 restaurants | 1 bar | Spa, fitness centre | Meeting room | www.bulgarihotels.com Owner: Meraas | Operator: Bulgari Hotels & Resorts | Architecture & Interior Design: Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel
CANCAN rug by Esti Barnes
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Renaissance DOWNTOWN DUBAI
WA International takes inspiration from the locale for Marriott’s first Renaissance in the emirate. Words: Molly Dolan | Photography: © Hakan Akdemir
et in the heart of Dubai’s bustling downtown district, Marriott’s latest opening in the emirate presents understated luxury and internationally-renowned cuisine for a one-stop experiential stay. An all-glass front welcomes guests to Renaissance Downtown Dubai, offering a peak into interiors that create a prominent sense of place. Dominating the lobby – and setting the tone for the rest of the hotel – Lasvit’s hand-blown glass chandelier emulates the shape of sand dunes in the desert, while raw materials define the overall concept. Designed by WA International, interiors reference Dubai’s
evolution at every turn, nodding to a city initially built from sand and now home to many of the world’s architectural wonders. An emphasis is placed on materials in their natural state, with wood used alongside concrete and metal. Claire Craig, Design Director at WA International comments: “The colours of the chandelier represent the black oil and gold souqs in Dubai, while the lobby artwork depicts the city’s skyline that has grown from the desert dunes.” Following a path through the public spaces, metal chain curtains delineate social seating areas, creating privacy without block
Above: Concrete is the prominent finish throughout guestrooms, softened by plush oversized rugs and polished tiles Opposite: Bhar – the Arabic word for spice – features a vibrant injection of colour
divisions. Visible through the chains is Basta – one of two food outlets by David Meyers – offering an urban interpretation of a traditional Roman trattoria. Décor is industrial; black metal and brushed bronze chairs with plush leather seats rest atop wooden floors, while Edisoninspired bulbs hang from the exposed ceiling above. The restaurant’s focal point is a brick wall adorned with a Sophia Loren portrait. Craig continues: “David Meyers opened his first restaurant in Los Angeles, and it was this connection with Hollywood and the concept of painting film posters directly on the city’s walls that inspired us to paint Italy’s most famous actress on the end wall of this doubleheight space.” Meyers’ second offering is Bleu Blanc, a vision inspired by southern French farmhouses. Due to structural challenges – the restaurant is located on a mezzanine level – Craig created a new entrance for the fine-dining venue. A statement in itself, the arrival features a sapphire door, herb garden and antique workbench acting as maître d’ counter. A momentous addition to the dining portfolio is the much-anticipated Morimoto Dubai, Masaharu Morimoto’s first outpost in the Middle East. The statement interiors are inspired by modern Japanese flavours, while the lights are based on popular firework displays and festivals. Rounding off the hotel’s comprehensive F&B offering are Grounded, Poppy and Bhar, a coffee shop, opium-den inspired bar
and Middle Eastern restaurant respectively. Craig comments: “Bhar – the Arabic word for spice – was fun to work on. It is one of the only areas where we could inject colour and vibrancy.” The restaurant features statement Nub chairs from Andreu World and coloured-glass chandeliers, affirming Craig’s vibrant injection. Moving up through the hotel’s 25 storeys, gold waves cover elevator entrances, again referencing the surrounding desert sand. Floor number signage features a split, emulating the dry cracks that appear on the desert floor as it becomes baked beneath the unrelenting sun. Concrete is the prominent finish throughout guestrooms, softened by plush oversized rugs and polished tiles. Craig continues: “Polished concrete walls, concrete tiled floors and glass mosaics are the main ingredients of our guestroom finishes.” An open-plan space, the vast sanctuaries average 60m2 in size and feature floor-to-ceiling windows with views including the winding Dubai Water Canal. The colour palette remains neutral, with blue tones representing the water below and sky above. Desks made from one complete piece of wood undulate beneath a recessed TV, while opposite lays a plush, oversized bed. All lighting is controlled via panels, with one conveniently resting beside the bed. Adding a touch of whimsy, canvas images by local photographer
Left: Bathrooms epitomise luxury with Sanipex Group fixtures alongside polished marble and brushed metal
Nicholas Dumont depict close-up portraits of either a camel or flamingo, while 3D line artworks hang above the bed, taking Picasso as inspiration. Bathrooms epitomise luxury: a freestanding bath, often with views of the city, takes centrestage while a rainshower caters to those with less time to spare. Sanipex Group fixtures feature alongside polished marble and brushed metal, reiterating the importance of natural materials. Completing the hotel’s offer, a Six Senses Spa is located on the fifth floor. Each of the six suites is dedicated to a different sense – sight, taste, sound, touch, smell and intuition – presenting a balance of calm and sensory experiences. With a palette of beige, sand and light tones, the décor is enhanced by the hotel’s statement floor-to-ceiling windows, providing skyline vistas. Uncommon for a spa, this abundance of daylight adds to the experience. Alongside holistic therapies, the spa also features a hammam, sauna, yoga platform and floatation pool. The first Renaissance in Dubai, the hotel is set to act as a staple in establishing the brand as a coveted lifestyle destination in the region.
EXPRESS CHECK-OUT: 298 guestrooms | 4 restaurants | 1 bar | 1 coffee shop | Ballroom, forum, 3 meeting rooms | Gym, swimming pool, spa | www.marriott.com Owner: Rashid Darwish Al Ketbi | Operator: Marriott International | Architecture: Janine Margaret Eaton | Interior Design: WA International | Lighting Design: Neolight Design Signage: Limah Design | Structural Engineers: Meinhardt MENA
BLACK - THE NEW CHROME
Address Boulevard DUBAI
Emaar Propertiesâ€™ latest Address hotel has a distinctly residential feel with an array of specially commissioned artwork taking centrestage. Words: Matt Turner | Photography: ÂŠ Nicolas Dumont
iven its name, thereâ€™s an irony in the difficulty some Dubai taxi drivers seem to have in locating the Address Boulevard. Though in fairness, their confusion is understandable. This is the fifth Address hotel to launch in the Emirate, the third in Downtown Dubai specifically, and one of two Address hotels directly linked to the Dubai Mall. Moreover, the 72-storey curvilinear tower that houses it is more or less identical to that of the Address Downtown, currently under reconstruction following the fire that engulfed it on New Years Eve 2015. No doubt the taxi drivers will soon get used to finding the right Address. And guests who do make their way to this newest addition to the portfolio will find a hotel that, on the inside at least, is significantly different not just to its sister properties, but anything else in the Dubai hotel market. This is the most lifestyle driven of the Address Hotels to-date. Its interiors are calm, cool and elegant, with an extensive array of artworks bringing the scheme to life. Comprising 196 guestrooms and 532 serviced residences, the project was developed by Emaar Properties with Atkins and Norr Consultants as architects. HBA Dubai designed the majority of
Above: The lobby features chandeliers by Lasvit alongside artworks such as Heike Weber’s Cut and Transcend by Petr Weigl
the hotel spaces, with Virgile & Partners and Meraki & Modus collaborating on the restaurant. “Address Boulevard is inspired by European finesse while demonstrating old world, understated elegance and luxury,” according to Emaar. “A particular theme of the hotel is the notion of timeless elegance with its Art Deco architecture. The interiors are influenced by the era of luxurious travel while exquisite craftsmanship is evident in public areas, giving the property the feel of being surrounded by someone’s private art collection, making family and business guests feel perfectly at home.” Art consultants Soho Myriad have curated 251 original pieces, by 48 different artists, ranging from paintings and sculptures to bespoke lighting pieces. On the hotel forecourt, two seven-metre-tall sweeping sculptures by Cornish artist Ben Barrell entitled Wings – their fluid forms hinting at a pair of entwined dancers – mark the entrance. Overhead, Felicity is just one of 46 chandeliers by Lasvit located throughout the hotel. Designer Jana Ruzickova’s Spirit of Timeless Luxury collection is inspired by the sophistication, glamour and style of cultural icons like Audrey Hepburn. In total 22,000 crystal pearls, more than 6,000 bespoke cut crystal prisms, over 3,500 handcrafted glass rods and 4,500 hand-blown glass pearl drops were used for the collection, which was created in just seven-and-a-half months from conception to final installation.
Other significant artworks in the lobby include Cut by Heike Weber – a deceptively fragile piece composed of cut-out acrylic coated paper; Dubai by Matthew Picton – a three-dimensional cartographic piece illustrating the transformation of the emirate through a combination of sculptural forms with traditional Nabati poetry; and Mappa Mundi Dubai by Ewan David Eason – a circular image of Dubai with names removed, over a square of hand gilded 24-carat gold leaf. Behind the reception desk, Petr Weigl describes his porcelain ceramic installation Transcend as “a peaceful contemporary work capturing a complex blend of philosophy, emotion and self reference which draws inspiration from Mother Nature’s mathematical patterns, the psychology of people and how they interact.” The residential feel of the lobby continues in the hotel’s sole, signature restaurant. Simply entitled The Restaurant at Address, it has been designed to feel like the luxurious European apartment of a well-travelled family in the 1920s, comprising a variety of distinct modular dining spaces – both communal and private – within one coherently designed envelope. With no separate service times for breakfast, lunch or dinner, the restaurant offers food and drink 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week. Fine oak panelling, parquet flooring, marble and bronze finishes combine to create an eclectic yet harmonious mix of styles: “The
Above: The Dressing Room is amongst the various residential-style spaces that comprise The Restaurant at Address Boulevard
brief was to reinvent the traditional tried-and-tested idea of a hotel’s all-day-dining restaurant and its generally underwhelming experience,” explain Virgile & Partners. “The concept is a luxury residential apartment setting where the imaginary owners enjoy their surroundings and interesting social life. It is created by a number of interrelating semi-open rooms: The Collection – a circular room full of antiques and objects – is at the core of the plan; linking to the Lounge; the open Dining Room; The Dressing Room integrating fashion and jewellery displays in its glass cabinets; The Kitchen, and even a intimate Secret Room to be discovered for dinner for two. Each room has its own personality but still feels part of an integrated approach. The twelve different spaces – not just rooms and lounges but exterior terraces - present different situations and experiences establishing a design tension that feels natural and exciting as well as subtlety theatrical.” Adjoining the main restaurant and dining areas, three connecting lounges extend out to the main terraces, where Tuuci has provided its Plantation Max parasols to shade from the mid-day sun. The Jazz and Blues Room, the Games Room; and the Main Library are social
spaces in which guests can relax on comfortable sofas, surrounded by art and books. An entire floor of the Address has been dedicated to its wellness facilities. The Spa at Address spans some 700m 2 and features a swimming pool, ten dedicated single treatment rooms, private couple’s treatment suite, manicure and pedicure areas, and a private vitality pool. Other amenities include relaxation lounges, male and female thermal suites, steam rooms, saunas, rhassoul and hammam, experience showers and ice fountains. The hotel’s meeting facilities are similarly extensive. The Boulevard Ballroom can accommodate up to 250 guests, whilst The Atelier show kitchen is suited to social gatherings of friends, family or work colleagues. Five additional event spaces offer a variety of settings from an auditorium for theatre-style events to private meetings. With the brand now well established in Dubai, Emaar are now looking further afield for future development. The group recently opened its second property in Egypt – Address Marassi Beach Resort – and future openings are in the pipeline for Makkah in Saudi Arabia, Istanbul and Bahrain.
EXPRESS CHECK-OUT: 196 guestrooms | 1 restaurant | 1 bar | Ballroom, meeting rooms | Spa, gym, swimming pool | www.addresshotels.com Owner: Emaar | Operator: Address Hotels + Resorts | Interior Design: HBA Dubai; Virgile & Partners; Meraki & Modus (F&B)
Hotel EMC2 CHICAGO
Joining Marriott International’s Autograph Collection, Hotel EMC2 celebrates the convergence of art and science through design, cuisine and guest experience. Words: Giovanna Dunmall | Photography: Courtesy of Rockwell Group
hen Scott Greenberg, President of SMASHotels and owner of Chicago’s The Wit, told Rockwell Group of his vision to base Hotel EMC2 on Einstein’s theory of relativity, partner and studio leader Greg Keffer admits to being momentarily worried. “This might be a little strange as a hotel,” he recalls, laughing. Fortunately, Greenberg – who had embraced the idea of a strong narrative and was willing to take risks – worked with the design team to layer and refine the concept, leaning on the convergence of science and art for more considered inspiration. “It’s always intrigued me that people distinguish art and science as two different disciplines; I see them as one in the same,” commented Greenberg, ahead of the opening. “Our unique hotel will pay homage to the symbiotic relationship of these fundamental concepts and transcend the traditional hospitality experience. It will educate, inspire and ignite imagination and innovation at every turn, challenging guests to expand their understanding of how everything is connected.” Picking up the story, Keffer continues: “We started talking about what made science exciting, and that’s when we introduced this idea of art meets science, and the poetic nature of that kind of matching.” While the theme may at first seem arbitrary, the Streeterville
Above & Opposite: The Albert features banquettes and stools upholstered by Fil Doux, alongside dining chairs by Tiger Leather. Elsewhere, wallcoverings are by Arte and lounge rugs by The Rug Company
neighbourhood in which the hotel is located is in fact known for its biotech start-ups and medical research institutes. It’s also walking distance from the Museum of Contemporary Art, Alder Planetarium and the Museum of Science and Industry, where hands-on exhibits aim to get the creative juices flowing. On arrival at Hotel EMC2, a typographic design with the words of Renaissance man Leonardo da Vinci reads ‘Study the science of art. Study the art of science. Develop your senses – learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else’, setting the scene for what lies ahead. “The idea of collecting and gathering information was seen as something that both a scientist and artist would indulge in,” explains Matthew Nadilo, Associate Interior Designer at Rockwell Group. And so accordingly, at the heart of the public spaces on the ground and first floors, is an enormous freestanding bookcase lined with rows and rows of leather-bound books, forming a divider between the restaurant and bar on one side, and lobby and lounge on the other. Constructed by local set designer Jason Haag, the bookcase is composed of an eclectic mix of antique Jacobean armoires, reclaimed metal cabinets and custom-made units to create a scaled, textured landscape as well as nooks and crannies on both sides that bring warmth and character to the double-height space.
In the restaurant – known as The Albert in a nod to the theoretical physicist – Executive Chef Brandon Brumback experiments with flavours and artistic plating, again inspired by art and science, to produce a variety of inventive dishes. Elsewhere in the dining room, a grid-like structure above the copper-clad bar is filled with glass beakers that wouldn’t look amiss in a chemistry lab, but double as handy infusers for house-made cocktails. The piece works as an alternative chandelier and helps – along with informally stacked surrealist works by West Coast painter Paul Bond and cartoonish murals by local artist Jonathan Plotkin – to make the voluminous space feel more intimate. Up one floor, the mezzanine lounge operates as a business centre and morphs into a private events space by night, replete with a leather and rose gold vintage steamer trunk that opens to become a custom-made cocktail bar. The flexible 2,000ft2 space honours Emmy Noether, one of the greatest maths minds of all time, and the principle of symmetry, while the meeting rooms follow a classroom aesthetic, with installations by British mathematician, artist and scientist Dr. Eugenia Cheng featuring chemical and mathematical formulae scrawled captivatingly on large blackboards. Creative expression continues in the 195 guestrooms, influenced by 1920s laboratories. Theatricality and unique touches abound,
Above: In the guestrooms, polished rose gold finishes around mirrors, beds, desks and lighting allude to copper and its conductive properties
from the illuminated magnifying glass through which to read the room number, to the floor-to-ceiling pole on which an old-school phonograph speaker amplifies music from a guest’s own smartphone. “It references the science lab utility poles from which you get your gas supply or clamp your test tubes,” says Nadilo of the quirky feature. Its polished rose gold finish – replicated around mirrors, beds, desks and much of the lighting – alludes to copper and its conductive properties but also adds a touch of luxury to the narrative. The drinks cabinet and fridge with its perforated mesh metal doors and orb light within is also inspired. “Like the shower, it becomes another beacon or lantern in the room, casting light rather than just being a dark object,” says Nadilo. The illuminated shower cubicle is fully glazed allowing views through to the bathroom and circular mirror with its double-framed lighting effect. “The shower was very much about transparency and making the room bigger,” adds Keffer, though a luxuriant deep blue curtain featuring Da Vinci-esque sketches of the human form can be drawn for privacy.
Above the bed’s tufted leather headboard, a framed artwork printed on metal features an atmospherically cloudy scene and the outline of a human face that speaks of the dream-like half-awake state where an inventor or artist is said to feel at their most creative. It echoes the interactive artwork above the lift doors that shows a storm brewing and becoming more intense with bolts of lightning as the lift arrives and the door opens. Greenberg is clearly an adventurous and open-minded client. As well as an Amazon Echo gadget in every room, be has purchased two three-feet-tall robots for the hotel, rather endearingly called Leo and Cleo, who make housekeeping calls. It is hoped that these technologies will free up staff for more pressing matters, such as human interaction with guests. As experiences go, Hotel EMC2 is pretty memorable; especially for guests who find themselves in the elevator with a robot in tow after they’ve made one of their room service calls. The design execution is playful, and, as is often the case with Rockwell Group, richly and intelligently mined throughout the property.
EXPRESS CHECK-OUT: 195 guestrooms | 1 restaurant | 1 bar | 2 event spaces | Gym | www.hotelemc2.com Owner / Developer: SMASHotels | Operator: SMASHotels and Marriott International | Architecture: KOO | Interior Design: Rockwell Group Lighting Design: BOLD | Main Contractor: Pepper Construction Chicago
“True art, when it happens to us, challenges the “I” that we are.” — Jeanette Winterson
“Future Mirror” by Hannah Stewart © Kalisher
12/8/17 2:27 PM
Sir Nikolai HAMBURG
Continuing to expand across Europe, Liran Wizman’s one-of-a-kind Sir Hotels docks at Hamburg’s Nikolaifleet canal. Words: Guy Dittrich | Photography: Courtesy of Europe Hotels Private Collection
ir Nikolai is a captivating hotel in the centre of Hamburg with a beguiling charm that belies its former use as an office. The 94-room property is one of the growing stable of Sir Hotels developed by Europe Hotels Private Collection (EHPC), which also includes the Max Brown Hotels and Park Hotel brands. Liran Wizman, CEO of the Amsterdam-based management company speaks of three principles that make his projects work – collaboration, balance and innovation. “With each hotel, I surround myself with various points of views and tastes,” he tells. “I balance these elements with a high level of service and strong F&B concept.”
In Hamburg, Sir Nikolai ticks all the boxes. Its quirky and homely interiors reference the locale in a vibrant yet subtle way; the visual identity of the property continues the cutesy imaging and humorous language of the brand; and the ongoing collaboration with The Entourage Group, co-founded by Wizman, sees Izakaya Asian Kitchen & Bar occupying a good portion of the ground floor to great success. The design point of view comes from Colin Finnegan at Amsterdambased FG Stijl, who is also working on another EPHC property, Park Hotel in The Hague. Finnegan brings his aura of effortless style,
Opposite (bottom left): A long communal table in Izakaya is furnished with the New Legacy Donna Chair by Stellar Works
generously filling spaces with a luxurious comfort. He creates a mélange of pattern and colour, of unpredictable artworks, finishes that will patinate over time, and materials made to last. There is clever use of space in the retractable roof creating a conservatory from a light well, and the effectively separate entrance to the restaurant and bar aimed at attracting passing trade. “There is a layered approach which means you can keep on looking, keep on discovering,” Finnegan relates. Like other hotels in the Sir collection, the original brief was related to a fictional guest. Sir Nikolai is a well-travelled aristocrat with a trading background typical of the harbour city. In this case, the name is taken from Nikolaifleet, the small tidal basin on to which the hotel backs. Wizman gives wider scope, explaining that “the design of each Sir is based on its surroundings,” which is not only hits the zeitgeist but allows more flexibility as the brand expands. Finnegan’s approach necessitates a local and connected design. Far from opting for a seafaring pastiche, he has understandably opted for a more intriguing concept that picks up on the broader, well-travelled theme. Walls are dotted with framed historic maps of the city, exotic fauna and flora, and Japanese-inspired woodblock landscapes. Along the entrance to Izakaya are tattoo-related photographs by Patricia Steur that reference the art form’s historic associations with both sailors and Japanese irezumi tattooing; Izakaya’s menu is a fusion of
Japanese and South American cuisines, hence the Japanese references. Patterned oriental carpets are in abundance; Hamburg is a key global carpet trading city. And local is also seen in craft beers (Ratsherrn, brewed appropriately on Lagerstraße in the Karolinen quarter of Hamburg) and gin (Skin Gin in ‘reptile’ covered bottles distilled in nearby Steinkrichen). Somewhat squeezed along an unremarkable side street in a partresidential part-office neighbourhood, the hotel is right on the water’s edge. Nikolaifleet is connected to Hamburg’s docks, the second busiest port in Europe. While there’s no access from the water, getting approval for the two small terraces overhanging the canal was crucial in Finnegan’s eyes. As was covering over the courtyard, formerly a desolate light well, with the retractable roof. Together they provide outdoor seating choices for diners in summer months. The key idea of the F&B spaces is that guests can look through from the courtyard to the water. Emphasising this and running the length of a communal table is a reflective steel ceiling panel mirroring the canal outside. Other nautical references include tables topped with brass, and the bar counter covered with horizontal black steel strips with a ripple effect. Along with dining chairs by Stellar Works, the restaurant features a wide variety of seating options, with Gubi’s Beetle chairs fronting a sushi counter, curved banquets opposite a fireplace in the atrium, and high seating built alongside the bar.
Above: FG Stijl has created a mélange of pattern and colour, finishes that will patinate over time and materials made to last
The hotel’s entrance posed something of a dilemma however. Entering through a decorative arch leads immediately to the barreled ceiling of a tiny lobby. Here, a doorman directs guests upstairs to either the restaurant and bar, or to the reception area. Guests reach a cosy lounge lined with bookshelves and are greeted at an island table by standing staff. This provides a very intimate and personal welcome before being shown to their rooms. This and the 24-hour doorman are a significant expense, but as Finnegan points out, guests of a Sir hotel expect service. The story of materials is told through the floor treatments. Terrazzo at the entrance is typical of when such buildings were originally constructed, this one as a warehouse. The lobby and guestrooms have dark oak floors, while the atrium is laid with black Belgian stone. Additional to the local art elements, guestrooms have many luxurious touches. Velvet and Alcantara upholstery. Drawer minibars and brass drinks trolleys are both well stocked. Vases have fresh flowers. Marshall Bluetooth speakers are on bedside tables. Colour tones are relatively masculine, enhanced by the dark wood flooring,
and offset by gentle lighting from pleated lampshades. All fixed casework has been designed bespoke by FG Stijl. Nevertheless most rooms are compact. Even suites have sliding doors. Some have freestanding bathtubs. Standard are Grohe fittings in marble-effect showers and solid stone sinks from the US with trough-like taps from the Rettangolo Cascata collection by Gessi. Deep marble-topped windowsills hide wall radiators and are home to unobtrusive aluminum window frames, a legacy from the former office use. Rooms looking on to the atrium space have steel shutters thoughtfully fixed at appropriate angles to give privacy amongst rooms, especially those at corners. The hotel has seen significant investment and when quizzed over which design element gives the best return, Wizman wisely covers all bases: “There is no one design element that we identify as having a great return on investment, we focus more on authenticity which in itself is a pleasing design element.” There is certainly a genuine feel to the interiors and the overall experience of Sir Nikolai is one of great service and comfort.
EXPRESS CHECK-OUT: 94 guestrooms | 1 restaurant | 1 bar | www.sirhotels.com Owner: Liran Wizman | Investor / Developer: Europe Hotels Private Collection | Operator: Europe Hotels Private Collection; The Entourage Group (F&B) Interior Design: FG Stijl | Lighting Design: RTLD | Contractors: Evo Design; Lachman Interior Design
Individualistic spirit CU R I O CO L L E C T I O N | H I LT O N WO R L DW I D E
With the opening of The Trafalgar St. James London, Hilton’s Curio Collection makes its UK debut, introducing its independent design philosophy to a new audience.
Mark Nogal Global Head Curio Collection Mark Nogal has held a variety of leadership roles during his 27 years with Hilton Worldwide, and was responsible for pioneering the Hilton Garden Inn brand. As Global Head of Curio Collection, he oversees the strategic direction and growth of the brand, its 40 existing proeprties, and the additional 50 it has in the pipeline. Curio will open its second London property in 2018, following the opening of its UK debut, The Trafalgar St. James, London.
A brand defined by individuality Transforming the historic Cunard Steamship Company offices into a 146-key upper-upscale hotel, the newest addition to Hilton Worldwide’s Curio Collection continues to channel the independent ethos of its predecessors: hand-selected for its authentic sense of heritage and instilled with a property-specific design. Launched in 2014, and now over 40 properties strong with another 50 in the pipeline, Curio Collection’s portfolio ranges from the 1000-key Diplomat Beach Resort in Florida, to Connecticut’s intimate 32-key Madison Beach Hotel. European presence includes Aleph Rome Hotel, along with the recently renovated Gran Hotel Montesol in Ibiza. What’s the concept? Despite the disparity in style between the collection’s members, some constants remain. “Each hotel is completely unique,” explains Mark Nogal, Global Head, Curio Collection. “They’re independent hotels that have their own style and design but, more importantly, they all have their own story to tell.” Turning to local designers who understand the fabric of the destination, the collection has amassed a group of properties that convey to guests a true sense of place through design. Historical significance is also a desired characteristic of Curio Collection members, with the Cunard offices known for being the first to break the news of Titanic’s sinking. “We’ve got all these truly iconic properties,” Nogal adds. “And this is really important in the context of what travellers today are seeking when they look for an independent hotel experience.” Capturing London’s maritime heritage Designed by London’s SHH architecture and interiors studio, The Trafalgar St. James sees its maritime heritage translated into a contemporary cruise ship-inspired aesthetic as part of a top-to-bottom renovation. “The design engages guests in different ways and makes them
think about what they’re doing in London,” Nogal offers. London-centric artwork along with locally-sourced furnishings reinforce the distinctly British identity. What’s next for Curio? A second London property – Lincoln Plaza – is set to open in 2018 in Canary Wharf. “It has a different story behind it because its part of a mixed-use project, but it will still have all the Curio hallmarks,” Nogal concludes. Elsewhere, the soon-to-reopen Hotel Saranac will usher in 2018 with a new look that seeks to restore its golden age grandeur, whilst new additions in Lagos, Playa del Carmen and Reykjavík signal global intentions. Finally, the March opening of Maison Astor ticks off another storied capital, and combines Parisian chic with the spirit of John Jacob Astor IV.
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THE INTELLIGENCE SOURCE FOR THE HOTEL INVESTMENT COMMUNITY
IHG follows loyalty out of hotels InterContinental Hotels Group has become the latest operator to extend its loyalty programme further outside rooms and into the consumer’s daily life. The company is offering the chance to earn points when using Grubhub and OpenTable for ordering delivery to the hotel or dining on or off property, as long as its channels are used to make the booking. The programme, in the US, will see customers able to order food for delivery via Grubhub at more than 1,000 hotels under the Holiday Inn Express, Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites brands. The OpenTable integration is global, with IHG Rewards Club members accessing OpenTable via IHG channels and booking reservations at any OpenTable restaurant in the US, including those at select IHG hotels. The restaurant options will expand to the UK and Australia by the end of the 2017. Members will earn 500 IHG Rewards Club points for their first completed OpenTable reservation via IHG channels. With each subsequent completed reservation via IHG channels, they will earn 300 points for dining at a restaurant at an IHG hotel or 150 points for any other restaurant reservation. This is in addition to the existing benefit for IHG Rewards Club members to earn 10 points for every dollar spent at restaurants at IHG hotels and billed to their folio. Members will earn 500 IHG
Rewards Club points the first time they order via IHG channels with Grubhub and 250 IHG Rewards Club points for each subsequent Grubhub transaction via IHG channels. To earn points, members must order or book through IHG channels; including the IHG app IHG website and IHG Connect. Liz Crisafi, head of loyalty, partnerships and portfolio marketing, The Americas, IHG, said: “Our members have told us that they want more ways to earn while dining with us, and now these innovative programs with OpenTable and Grubhub are an easy way to get rewarded, whether ordering delivery to their hotel room, dining at the in-hotel restaurant or grabbing a bite on the road. These new benefits now give our members the ability to create an even better food and beverage experience and represent another great way we are evolving our programme to meet their needs throughout the entire travel process.” The launch followed a move by Marriott International earlier this year to help push its F&B, by combining combining Club Marriott, Eat Drink & More, and Star Privilege, its dining loyalty programmes in the Asia Pacific region, into one single paid membership programme, Club Marriott. Members can claim 20% off F&B and best available room rates at all participating hotels in Asia Pacific in addition to offers and access to special events. At the time of launch, the programme had 200,000 members.
Peggy Fang Roe, chief sales & marketing officer, Marriott International, Asia Pacific, said: “With the new portfolio of brands under Marriott International, loyalty is the key driving force that will allow us to cut through the competition. Club Marriott gives us the platform to drive loyalty that extends even beyond a stay, via rewarding and recognising the ‘local member’ through exclusive benefits and memorable experiences across a vast variety of brands.” Bart Buiring, chief operations services officer, Marriott International, Asia Pacific, added: “By offering locally relevant benefits to members, we aim to continue having a sharp focus on positioning our hotels as ‘the favourite destinations where locals go to meet, eat and drink’.” Marriott International’s efforts appear to have been rewarded, with Marriott Rewards coming out top in the JD Power Hotel Programme Satisfaction Study, released last week. The marketing group said that: “Having a diverse portfolio of reward options with hotel loyalty rewards programmes is a key driver of member satisfaction.” Rick Garlick, travel & hospitality practice lead at J.D. Power, said: “Flexibility in how to redeem points and the ease with which customers can redeem those points are the key drivers of customer satisfaction in this space, which makes forming strong partnerships with third-party service providers a priority for hotel loyalty programmes.” The importance of recent shifts by hotel operators outside the
property were further underlined by the survey, which reported that overall satisfaction was higher among members redeeming rewards for product purchases at retailers. Satisfaction was also higher for redemptions involving special events, car rentals, and dining. Redeeming for hotel stays added only four points, on average, to loyalty members’ overall satisfaction with a programme, against 124 for special events. HA Perspective (by Katherine Doggrell): As we heard from AccorHotels, hotel loyalty programmes are not just for staying in hotels. First they tried to get all over our booking funnels (with only limited success, compared to the OTAs) now they are looking to get into our everyday lives, something the OTAs can only fantasise about but, presumably, strategise for. Having appreciated that the consumer sees loyalty points as worthless in terms of earning free hotel rooms, programmes are now looking to throw themselves at the earn-and-burn culture which has been fostered by coffee houses (and hotels.com) teaching us that 10 of something leads to one of something for nowt. These are trying times and the prospect of a reward in the foreseeable future is enough to motivate most of us and help foster that loyalty around which the programmes are named (even if that is now inappropriate). There is the added potential that if more points are going up in smoke as lattes, they won’t be lingering around on the balance sheet,
although as John Lewis has found, even a latte can make a dent. For IHG and Marriott International, there is also the hope that their own F&B might get used from time to time, by locals, hearkening back to an era before the rise of high-street restaurants, where a meal at a local hotel was a bona fide treat and not just the chance to eat alone in a forgotten cave. This echoes the drum that Sébastien Bazin has been drumming all year, bringing hotels back into the centre of the community. Airbnb’s role as influencer continues.
UK deals continue despite costs threat Starwood Capital is reported to be investigating the sale of its Principal and De Vere hotel brands. The news came as Crerar Hotels Group confirmed that talks with Fico Castle had ended, as the deals market in the UK remained buoyant despite concerns over profits. Starwood Capital has hired UBS to advise on options that could include sale or refinancing, according to The Times. At the privately-owned Crerar Hotel Group, the company said: “Following a period of extended reflection we can confirm that we are no longer continuing discussions for the sale of Crerar Hotels or easy-breaks.com with the Thai-backed Fico Castle or their operating management company Jupiter Hotels.” “Plans are being finalised to make
substantial investments throughout our portfolio of hotels to solidify our already strong reputation and enhance our trading opportunities with the developing international market.” The deal was announced in July, for an undisclosed fee. Paddy Crerar, CEO, told Hotel Analyst that the group was in discussions with other potential buyers. The 13-strong group said that it expected net turnover for 2017/18 to top circa GBP30m. In 2015 Fico and Singha Estate acquired the 26-strong Jupiter Hotels portfolio from Patron Capital and the Royal Bank of Scotland, giving it a platform of largely Mercure-branded hotels in the UK to which it added a further three regional hotels last year. At the time of Fico’s first move into Europe, in Germany in 2014, the company had mooted building a portfolio with the intent of listing it in London. There was no sign that the UK regions are losing their attraction, with LXi REIT forward purchasing a Premier Inn hotel for GBP6.9m, representing a 5.2% initial yield. The move meant it has now spent the GBP60.2m raised in an October equity issue. The hotel, in the East Midlands, will be let to Whitbread on a 25year lease. The rent was subject to five yearly upward only reviews index-linked to the Consumer Prices Index (collared and capped at 0% p.a. and 4% p.a. compound). Premier Inn joins tenants including Aldi, Starbucks and Travelodge at LXi.
The latter has also joined the latest round of transactions, with Aprirose selling the Travelodge Hotel at Tower Bridge for GBP47.1m, representing a net initial yield of 3.61%, to CCLA Investment Management on behalf of Local Authorities Mutual Investment Trust. Mark Bruce-Lockhart, director at Philips Lockhart, which represented Aprirose, said: “The hotel market is very buoyant at the moment and an asset of this calibre in such a good location is hard to come by. We are pleased to have facilitated this sale for Aprirose. “The sale of this asset is the epitome of the strong position of the hotel market, helped by the weakness of sterling which is encouraging increased tourism and investment into the UK, and we expect confidence to remain high in this sector.” According to JLL’s latest research, investment activity in the leased hotels market continued to outperform expectations envisaged at the start of the year, with strong interest and unsatisfied investor demand. JLL’s Leased Hotels Autumn Bulletin reported that the largest deal in Q3 was Aprirose’s acquisition of the QHotel portfolio, for a reported GBP525m. Commenting on the market, Richard Servidei, director in JLL’s Alternative Investment team, said: “Whilst a number of key transactions have completed, there are several deals rumoured to be under offer underpinning the strength of the leased hotel market and investors continued attraction.”
JLL also says that benchmark pricing continued to be reached through extreme competition and a lack of available stock. Servidei said: “Interest remains keen in the leased hotels market and whilst the world continues to monitor the interplay of politics with economics, UK institutions actively seek to place funds in this competitive sector.” While interest remains keen, HVS chairman Russell Kett, commenting on the Hotel Bulletin Q3 2017 published by HVS, AlixPartners, STR and AM:PM warned: “The UK hotel industry has faced a stream of headwinds in recent years, including rising costs, supply growth, terrorist attacks, and the evolution of thirdparty distribution and sharing economies. However, the five-year trend suggests that hotel operators will continue to adapt and innovate to drive continued growth and profitability, and thereby value. “It is unlikely that investor interest will ever wane substantially for hotels in London, although it might start to taper off in the provinces. Performance continues to grow, albeit at a slower rate, and even though profitability may be adversely affected through rising operating costs, hotels still remain very profitable, particularly when operators are talented, diligent and nimble.” HA Perspective (by Katherine Doggrell): There can be no doubt that investor’s mouths are still watering for assets in the UK, with Marc Finney, head of hotels & resorts consulting, Colliers
International, telling us that the UK remains more popular than mainland Europe, and that he was seeing “almost excessive demand” Some of this, Finney said, was the fall of Sterling and some was that, for Asian investors who were only getting 2% to 3% returns at home, 5% was attractive, as long as the underlying assets were strong. Finney described the influence of the fall in Sterling as having “some negatives in terms of inflation and some positives in terms of more people coming here”. The picture was echoed by Pandox CEO Anders Nissen, who told the assembled at EHIC that Brexit was a financial hedge for hotel investment – if it was a success then values rose, if it failed then currency declined and more tourists came. The issue now for hotels is one of rising asset value against rising costs. With increased labour costs – and the increased cost of acquiring labour – alongside inflation, rising interest rates and the cost of importing raw materials, profits are facing a significant threat. Jonathan Langston, co-founder of HotStats, told us: “I don’t think I’m calling the top of the market, certainly in terms of performance, but if you’re buying now you have to be sure there is some different way you’re going to be operating if you want to show a profit on exit in three or four years’ time.” Revenue managers will be key to managing costs. Michael McCartan, managing director, EMEA, Duetto, told us: “Being able to drive higher revenues and capture a greater share
of the market will translate to more profitability, and make your hotel asset more valuable. Hotels should focus on understanding guest value. This includes total non-room spend as well as the room rate.” Langston’s ‘different way’ has been driving many to consolidate and safety is sought in numbers. Whether any deals done now look expensive this time next year depends on how revenue managers and their colleagues can manage the looming challenges.
Nobody really knows when the cycle will turn but we are just about due a negative inflexion point. Whether it is next year, the year after or even 2020, it’s next to impossible to call. More sense can be obtained by predicting the shape of the downturn. The big macro investors are increasingly expecting a move soon (which means over the next couple of years or so). Take Jeremy Grantham of GMO, the founder of one of the largest asset management firms in the world. He has an enviable track record of calling out asset bubbles, doing so in the internet boom and the Global Financial Crisis. This cycle he is predicting a very slow correction, most notably last year in a note called “not with a bang but a whimper”. This June, when speaking about whether markets will revert to previous means, he said: “We should be braced for a long-drawnout and painful flight path back toward the old ratios we know so well”. He does add, however, that the “certainties” he had in 2007 and 1999 are “sadly lacking”. For the UK hotel market much of this insight surely applies. But hotels still have a few aces when compared to many other asset classes – yields are higher, giving a little more headroom, and they usually continue to generate cash however bad the recession. Provided the underlying capital structure is not too racy, hotel investments look a good bet.
Additional HA Perspective (by Andrew Sangster): One of the challenges of being a journalist is interpreting what people say to you and what it is that they really mean (and then do). This is not to imply that people are liars (most are too smart to be caught out telling outright porkies) but simply reflects that people have an agenda they wish to put into the market. So, for example, you will hardly ever hear a property broker say we are at the top of the cycle and it is time to sell even if that is exactly what they are thinking. And so it is with the US private equity houses who seem to be very keen to unload UK property but who will make soothing noises about how attractive the UK market remains. In the medium to long-term the UK is likely to be a sound investment. But the next few years look tough and if you have fiveyear money buying now, unless you have a very sound secular business case, it looks a challenge if you’re seeking double digit returns on your investment.
Snoozebox nods off Snoozebox has gone into administration, after announcing that it felt that it would be unable to agree a suitable debt servicing plan or longer-term capital structure with its main lender. The move, which the company described as “very disappointing” came after a number of attempts to reinvent the business, mostrecently moving into local authority housing. Snoozebox has been in discussions with its primary lender, SQN Asset Finance Income Fund, but said that, “despite constructive discussions and a number of proposals being made”, it was now the directors’ view that the company and SQN would be unable to agree a suitable debt servicing plan or longer-term capital structure and that, without SQN’s support the company was unable to continue as a going concern. Snoozebox said: “The significant debt burden taken on by the company in 2014 has been one of the largest challenges given the poor financial and operational position of the company when the directors commenced restructuring in early 2016.” The group initiated discussions with its primary lender in April last year seeking an amendment to its debt servicing obligations. In November 2016, the group announced amendments to its debt servicing obligations and in June, the board agreed a debt capital and interest repayment holiday
in respect of the four quarterly payments due in July 2016 to April 2017, inclusive. SQN is currently restructuring its portfolio after the bankruptcy of solar panel manufacturer Suniva, where it was the leading creditor. SQN said: “Following discussions with multiple interested parties, the board of SQN can confirm it is in the final stages of negotiations regarding the repositioning of Snoozebox’s core assets. This is consistent with the restructuring plans, as previously announced to the company’s shareholders, to ensure the longevity of the core assets and a full amortisation of capital with payment of interest to SQN.” Moore Stephens will administer the company. The group’s most-recent contract was announced in August, providing workforce accommodation in “a remote area of the UK” for an initial period of 12 months. Chris Errington, chairman, Snoozebox, commented at the time: “I am delighted to announce this workforce accommodation win. We will be providing 80 high quality en-suite rooms configured as temporary accommodation in
a remote area of the UK that will serve as a base for the customer’s workforce. The hotel will be deployed within a short two-week period demonstrating just how rapidly we can respond to demands for such accommodation.” In the half year to 30 June, the company reported a £400,000 adjusted Ebitda loss, with revenue of GBP900,000, down from GBP2.2m in the same period the previous year. Net debt at that point was GBP6.7m, up from GBP5.5m at the end of the first half of 2016. In May CEO Lorcán Ó Murchú, after just over a year in the role and the group initiated a review of the business, looked to secure longterm deployment of stock on semipermanent contracts. The group had increasingly focused on its semi-permanent operation, which has seen it work with local authorities on easing housing shortages and looking at overseas building sites. It described the events-driven business which it launched with as suffering from historically low margin. Snoozebox said that semi-permanent revenues were the primary driver for the group and, that, due to the relatively weak pipeline, it expected revenues
to decline for the remainder of 2016 unless new customers were secured. Other strategies attempted by the group included providing its modular accommodation product to Ealing Council for social housing. At the time the company split its business between Hotelz – which saw rooms committed on a semi-permanent basis – and Eventz, which was event-driven At the end of 2015 it signed an agreement with the Dutco Group, looking at events such as Dubai Expo 2020 and World Cup Qatar 2022, in addition to the continuing high levels of infrastructure investment in the region. At the time it was described to us as “more of a marketing partnership to help secure events” and not something the company was investing its own resources into.
down by losing contracts to house oil workers in the Falklands – and by a lack of appetite on the part of an investor who appears to have gone an innovation too far. Pop-up accommodation seemed like a great idea (other than in Dubai, where shipping-container living sounded like a terrible idea), so great that others have done it better. Events such as music festivals, where the company looked, are being served at the higher end by glamping companies, with cheaper – and more aesthetically pleasing – teepees and pods, while Airbnb has shown itself to be everyone’s flexible friend, providing rooms when demand peaks. That just leaves the oil workers and, other than in Donald Trump’s America, their days too seem numbered.
HA Perspective (by Katherine Doggrell): As Langton Capital’s Mark Brumby said: “Snoozebox called in administrators – its zombie status had persuaded us that it had effectively done so in spirit some time ago.” The company, which used to have David Coulthard on its promotional material, was eventually brought
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: www.hotelanalyst.co.uk or call +44 (0)20 8870 6388
“The rooftop bar staff’s natty cardigans make them the best dressed waiters in town” - The Evening Standard London
UNIFORMS OF DISTINCTION 25 years of exceptional design
North America RevPAR
Top 10 pipeline and RevPAR performance
+3.6% +11k Rooms 66 Projects
STRâ€™s October 2017 Pipeline Report shows 5,070 hotel projects currently under contract in North America, accounting for c.622k rooms. To put these figures into perspective, this represents a 10.3% increase to the marketâ€™s existing room supply.
New York leads the region in supply development,
and approximately 25k rooms in the pipeline, followed by Dallas (c.19k
+14k Rooms 97 Projects
rooms) and Orlando (c.16k rooms).
Los Angeles / Long Beach
Looking at performance levels for the
Riverside / San Bernardino
countries with the largest pipelines, hotels in Central Mexico posted a 12.2% increase in RevPAR based on October year-to-date data, followed by Orlando (RevPAR +9.0%). At the other end of the spectrum, Miami recorded the sharpest decline (RevPAR -2.5%), due to significant supply increases as
well as weakened demand due to the
Zika virus and hurricanes.
+10k Rooms 80 Projects *Markets are ordered by the number of confirmed rooms currently registered in each pipeline
+25k Rooms 146 Projects
+19k Rooms 145 Projects
1 New York
+14k Rooms 109 Projects
+11k Rooms 83 Projects 6 2
+16k Rooms 62 Projects
7 Miami / Hialeah
+13k Rooms 75 Projects
+16k Rooms 145 Projects
STR is the source for premium global data benchmarking, analytics and marketplace insights, tracking 7.4 million rooms worldwide. For more information and to subscribe visit: www.str.com
SICILY - DIMORA DELLE BALZE MORE ON WWW.VINCENTSHEPPARD.COM
The reimagining of Sir Edward Lutyens’ iconic Midland Bank, a converted department store in Stockholm, and a vineyard retreat were amongst the winners at the inaugural AHEAD Europe. Taking place at Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London, the event celebrated design in all its forms and the guest experience it creates in hospitality projects worldwide. An esteemed judging panel comprising leading hoteliers, architects and interior designers and chaired by Javier Hortal, Regional Director of Technical Services EMEA, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, assessed entries on their aesthetic excellence, guest experience and commercial viability. Upon arrival, guests indulged in a sci-fi meets cyberpunk theme, with the venue brought to life with lasers, LEDs and a soundtrack of futuristic funk curated by Music Concierge. With over 900 attendees travelling from across Europe and beyond, every aspect of hospitality was represented, from architects and designers to owners and operators, specifiers to contractors.
The night was hosted by Sleeper’s Editor-at-Large Guy Dittrich, with Awards Director Matt Turner opening proceedings before introducing Hortal. Addressing the crowd, Hortal extended an empowering plea to entrants: “Designers, please keep challenging convention and innovating. Developers, please keep bravely investing into ventures. Contractors and suppliers, please keep delivering us with inspiring hotels.” The night’s big winners were Huus Hotel in Gstaad and At Six Stockholm, taking home two awards each, while The Ned won three accolades and was named The AHEAD Europe Hotel of the Year for its holistic approach in successfully transforming a challenging historic building. For 2017, the Outstanding Contribution Award was given to Rob Wagemans in recognition of his achievements within hospitality design, notably CitizenM, a game-changer designed for the urban traveller, and Zoku, a home-office hybrid concept that caters to mobile professionals.
BAR, CLUB & LOUNGE THE LIVING ROOM AT HUUS, GSTAAD With design by Swedish firm Stylt Trampoli, The Living Room at Huus is an authentic experience that embraces multifunctional design while focusing on the Alpine atmosphere in which it surrounds itself. The property has been thoughtfully designed to create a relaxed, luxurious bar with a dynamic and youthful vibe. Overlooking the Bernese Alps, the hotel’s primary public space now features as a lounge, terrace and bar, as well as a library stocked with more than 500 books from Alpine countries. Judges commented: “Stylt Trampoli has created a space in which the energy and fun are perfectly in tune with the character of the hotel and its surroundings.”
GUESTROOMS AT SIX, STOCKHOLM For At Six Stockholm, Universal Design Studio has worked with Nordic Choice Hotels to convert an old store into an innovative hotel concept. Situated in Brunkebergstorg Square, the property’s urban guestrooms are designed to maximise space using a functional layout, and blend mid-century furnishings, subtle tones and bespoke details such as an in-room cocktail corner. Judges observed: “With its stunningly classic styling, thoughtful use of materials and elusive palette, this project was a great entry and a worthy winner in its respected category.”
EVENTS SPACES THE NED, LONDON A restrained treatment of an existing building by Soho House & Co, The Ned is the solicitous reinvention of Sir Edward Lutyens’ iconic Midland Bank. Nestled into the evolving business district of Bank in London, its location is billed to resemble Madison Square North in New York. Boasting period features including walnut panelling and vintage chandeliers, as well as ample domed windows that invite an abundance of natural light, meeting rooms range in size from 21165m2, and can accommodate between four and 200 people. The Saloon, catering for up to 120 guests, is an opulent and stylish ballroom dominated by an 18th-century chandelier sourced from London’s Devonshire House, and glories in ornate chalk frieze and a restored parquet floor. Judges praised The Ned’s design team for allowing the grandeur of the original building to speak, and for creating a unique setting for meetings and events, stating: “The beautiful existing rooms have kept their original glamour throughout this project, exemplifying a restrained approach in adding new elements. The results are upscale, high-end and plush, exactly what is expected of an events space.”
HOTEL RENOVATION & RESTORATION PULITZER, AMSTERDAM Originally built as 25 interlinked Golden Age townhouses, Jacu Strauss has designed Pulitzer Amsterdam to combine heritage and architectural splendour with contemporary style. Located in the city’s UNESCO World Heritage canal district, the boutique hotel blends quintessential Dutch elegance and modern craftsmanship effortlessly. Judges commented: “Pulitzer Amsterdam demonstrates a strong focus on individual design that nevertheless balances the authentic with the contemporary.”
LANDSCAPING & OUTDOOR SPACES EKIES ALL SENSES RESORT, VOURVOUROU Designed to blend harmoniously with its surrounding landscape, Ekies All Senses Resort skilfully captures an informal sense of natural barefoot luxury. The work of Fytron Landscapes, outdoor spaces at the Greek retreat are beautifully executed to reflect crystal waters and pine tree forests in abundance, delivering an environment of intimacy and privacy. According to judges: “The project brilliantly captures a natural outdoor lifestyle, and is beautifully executed in its human scale.”
LOBBY & PUBLIC SPACES ROOMERS, BADEN-BADEN Described as intriguing, dramatic and theatrical, the lobby and public spaces at Roomers Baden-Baden create a memorable arrival for guests. Nestled into a prosaic German spa town, Piero Lissoni and KPH Architecture’s design sees minimal exteriors juxtaposed with an eccentric lobby adorned with unique artworks, lighting and quality materials. Judges stated: “Fabulous artworks, dramatic lighting and exquisite materials are combined to great effect throughout this space.”
RESORT HOTEL SAO LOURENCO DO BARROCAL, MONSARAZ São Lourenço do Barrocal, with a design that offers a serene ambience in-keeping with its roots, embraces its Portuguese heritage and creates a legacy. Authentic and of its place, the hotel celebrates its simplicity and enhances its farmhouse provenance to bring the local community back to life. Applauding its originality, the judges commented: “The bold simplicity and authenticity of this hotel stood out from all others. It is true to its origins and provides a unique guest experience.”
SUITE SPLIT LEVEL SUITES AT CASA COOK, RHODES Inspired by the nomadic way of life, the split-level suites at Casa Cook Rhodes truly encompass the bohemian spirit, with interiors featuring muted tones, natural materials and plants in abundance to create a cosy atmosphere. Designed by Annabell Kutucu, each space combines architecture and interior design for the next generation traveller using Instagram-worthy boho chic dressing and organic amenities from Korres. Judges stated: “The suites deliver a luxury guest experience based on authenticity, open space and harmony with the environment.”
SPA & WELLNESS NED’S CLUB RELAX THE NED, LONDON Located in the heart of London, this sanctuary is built around a 20-metre indoor pool, and features a sauna, steam room, traditional Moroccan hammam and eight treatment rooms. The spa extends with marble-clad changing areas, and a library-style Club Room for post-treatment refreshments from The Mint Bar. Judges were impressed by the sheer scale and variety of health, leisure, beauty, grooming and wellness facilities at Ned’s Club Relax: “This project significantly demonstrates the ambition and vision of the Sydell Group.”
RESTAURANT MILLIE’S LOUNGE AT THE NED LONDON Taking home its second award of the evening, Millie’s Lounge at The Ned was praised for cleverly retaining the features of the Grade I-listed building, including the original banking counters and columns in the cavernous ground floor of the former Midland headquarters. Designed by the Soho House team and set amongst a plethora of bars and restaurants, each with their own unique theme, the 24hour brasserie channels the mood of early 20th century – serving British and American classic dishes alongside English sparkling wines, craft ales and seasonal cocktails. Nestled amongst an ornate dining space complete with high ceilings, leather banquette seating and marble columns, the dining venue exudes an old-world ambiance, featuring bespoke Burleigh china sets to serve traditional afternoon tea amindst the Grand Banking Hall. Discussing the project, judges praised ambition of the phenomenally successful F&B operation, on a scale that few would challenge: “Millie’s creates a cosy atmosphere in a large-scale space, using intricate attention to detail and exquisite materials to create a richly layered dining venue.”
URBAN HOTEL CONVERSION AT SIX, STOCKHOLM At Six Stockholm, with architecture and design by White Arkitekter and Universal Design Studio, is a project converting a brutalist office block into a boutique hotel with elegance and style, whilst thoughfully retaining the building’s original characteristics. Judges appreciated the coherence of the interiors with its Scandinavian surroundings: “The calmness of the design perfectly aligns with its Stockholm location, and the project is a truthful reaction to the property’s former purpose.”
URBAN HOTEL NEWBUILD CITIZEN M TOWER OF LONDON Designed in a district where planning authorities are exceptionally strict, Citizen M Tower of London creates a balance of scale and surface texture while respecting its urban context, achieved by multidisciplinary studio Concrete. The interiors evoke flexibility, with judges particularly impressed by the double-height event and meeting space, SocietyM, which caters to a number of creative communities. They said: “This is a great piece of architecture in a city where planning can be a challenge.”
NEW CONCEPT OF THE YEAR LA GRANJA, IBIZA For La Granja, Armin Fischer of Dreimeta Design Studio worked with Claus Sendlinger and Design Hotels to create a farmstead concept, drawing inspiration from the Japanese principles of wabi-sabi to embrace heritage and honour rustic simplicity. Judges applauded the project for combining both cultural engagement with organic farm-to-table F&B, stating: “La Granja presents an innovative and holistic hospitality experience, and showcases the future evolution of travel.”
VISUAL IDENTITY OF THE YEAR HUUS HOTEL, GSTAAD The design process for Huus Hotel was narrative-driven, with designers Stylt Trampoli placing emphasis on telling a unified and authentic story. Delving further than interior design, into graphics and branding, Huus enhances the guest experience with a well-considered visual identity spectrum, perfectly in tune with the character of the hotel and its surroundings. According to its designers, much of this was inspired, similar to the architecture, by the Alpine traditions and way of life.
The inaugural Awards for Hospitality Experience and Design for the Middle East and Africa took place in a magnificent ceremony at W Al Habtoor City, Dubai on 15 November. Celebrating the best that the region has to offer, over 300 of the industry’s leading names gathered for an evening of aerial artists, a Middle Eastern-inspired feast and dazzling awards ceremony. Opening the ceremony, AHEAD Director Matt Turner spoke of the significance of Dubai as a host city, stating: “Increasingly, Dubai is becoming the region’s design capital. It has been thrilling to witness the rapid development of the design scene here – when we visited for Dubai Design Week last year and saw how D3 was developing, it sealed our decision to host these awards here at this time.” For this region, an additional classification was introduced to acknowledge the area’s burgeoning lodges and tented camps offering. The properties are typically located in a conservation area or region of natural
beauty, and promote guest experience beyond the hotel. The new category marks a trend in the market: the diversification of what a hotel is, or can be, and the increased desire for luxury, experiential hotel design. In addition to winning the Urban Hotel category, Four Seasons Hotel Dubai International Financial Centre scooped the AHEAD MEA Hotel of the Year accolade. The project features just 106 luxury accommodations and has positioned itself as a smart, social destination complete with four restaurants, bars and lounges. According to the esteemed panel of judges, the winning hotel was the most coherent and consistent illustration of the collaborative nature of design, delivering an incredible guest experience. Turner concludes: “This is not just a celebration of design for design’s sake. We were overwhelmed with the quality of entries for our inaugural AHEAD MEA awards. The judges had a tough job on their hands selecting winners as the standard was exceptionally high across the board.”
BAR, CLUB OR LOUNGE CUBANO LITO AT IBIS ONE CENTRAL HOTEL, DUBAI A new concept at Ibis One Central Hotel by Bishop Design, Cubano Lito was commended for its use of authentic textures, furniture and lighting to create a contemporary take on the traditional Havana townhouse. From concrete flooring to the chessboard inlaid table surfaces to dominating red and blue colours, a staple of Havana, the space celebrates everything that is Cuban. In addition to creativity via material use such as reclaimed palettes, and eclectic furniture sourced from architectural salvage, a locally commissioned artist rounds off the concept with striking artwork and intriguing use of text.
GUESTROOMS JUMEIRAH AL NASEEM, DUBAI Jumeirah Al Naseem marks a new generation of urban resorts from Jumierah. Making the most of the tropical desert climate, emphasis is placed on flexible indoor/outdoor spaces, with each guestroom featuring an enclosed balcony that functions as a lounge and is fully air conditioned. The design concept, by Dsgn Design, marks a bold move for Jumierah, with focus on style, luxury and glamour in a restrained manner. Calming hues and textures create a relaxed experience, while furniture evokes a curated collection, reminiscent of home.
EVENT SPACES ROVE DOWNTOWN, DUBAI The first of a new brand from Emaar Hospitality Group, Rove Downtown was admired by the judges as a new concept for the Dubai market, with designers Stride Treglown International taking a fresh approach to the propertyâ€™s communal and customisable event spaces. Meeting spaces break the conventional mould with functional, yet beautiful steel structures, sliding doors and retro style lockers. Championing innovation, the spaces promise stress-free and creative event planning within a comfortable yet functional flexi-space, with the brandâ€™s website offering an interactive booking service. Open 24-hours a day, the spaces are flexible, and total 354m2 in floor space. The aim of the Rove brand is to create a home-grown, affordable Dubai brand that is contemporary, yet inspired by the urban culture, geography and heritage of the neighbourhood to which it belongs. Judges applauded the project, hailing it a new touch and concept to the Dubai market that is low-key but ergonomic and communal.
HOTEL RENOVATION & RESTORATION KEMPINSKI SUMMERLAND HOTEL & RESORT, BEIRUT The reopening of Beirut’s iconic Summerland Hotel sees an infusion of Kempinski’s values and refined European design by HBA. Beige flooring features a Rub el Hizb pattern, derived from the traditional Muslim symbol, while a water wall captures the essence of flowing mountain streams. A nod to Lebanese history, intricate arabesque motifs are etched into wood planks adorning the walls, while an original art collection sourced from Lebanese artists adds a contemporary edge.
LANDSCAPE & OUTDOOR SPACES SIX SENSES ZIL PASYON, SEYCHELLES Set on Félicité in the heart of the Seychelles archipalego, Six Senses Zil Pasyon rests within a 652-acre tropical expanse. The architectural vision by the in-house team and Studio RHE is bold and environmentally conscious: majestic rock formations promote natural energy for spa therapies, while the island promotes habitat restoration. Threatened ecosysytems are supported by ridding the island of invasive species and propagation of rare, local plants.
LOBBY & PUBLIC SPACES LE ROYAL MERIDIEN BEACH RESORT & SPA, DUBAI A spacious, light-filled space, the LW-designed lobby at Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort and Spa sets the tone for the entire property. The focal point of the space is Airwave, an art piece by commissioned British artist David Begbie. In terms of colour palette, beach-inspired tones accompany grey timber and grey stone, while soft greens and yellows accent. Judges commended the contemporary, seaside chic feel created, hailing it a beautiful transformation of an old Dubai icon.
LODGES & TENTED CAMPS BELMOND EAGLE ISLAND LODGE, OKAVANGO DELTA A name synonymous with extraordinary experiences, the redesign of Belmond Eagle Island Lodge has created the ultimate safari lodge that is both artisanal and experiential. Muza Lab created 12 tented guestrooms, each with a large terrace and plunge pool; a dining pavilion; a two-level lounge pavilion; and camp fire area. Meanwhile, the inspiring surroundings have been translated into a journey of discovery, with each area revealing interpretations of the natural world through features, materials and patinas.
RESORT HOTEL JUMEIRAH AL NASEEM, DUBAI The second win for this urban resort, Jumeirah Al Naseem has positioned itself as an authentic offering for both international resort and Middle Eastern business travellers. Interiors create a sophisticated, contemporary environment that resonates with luxury guests’ aspirations, while the attention to detail and infusion of local essence has created a tranquil beach resort with the energy of an urban city hotel. Judges applauded the “gorgeous resort, which is an ode to understated luxury and art of fine detailing”. They also commended the project’s forwardthinking focus that evolves the Jumeirah brand.
SPA & WELLNESS ANANTARA AL JABAL AL AKHDAR RESORT, NIZWA Anantara Jabal Akhdar is perched 2,000 metres above sea level on the curving rim of a great canyon in Jabal Al Akhdar, Arabic for The Green Mountain. The luxury resort features traditional Omani architecture and interiors alongside unique design elements, including the heart of the spa. Within the space, a mysterious rough stone cube shields the hammam, perpetuating the philosophy contrast used by the designer, Atelier Pod. The project was commended for taking advantage of the clifftop location to create a sublime and sensational spa.
RESTAURANT RÜYA AT GROSVENOR HOUSE HOTEL DUBAI An enticing new F&B concept, Rüya – meaning dream in Turkish – explores the rich history of Anatolian food led by Executive Chef Colin Clague. The space, designed by Conran and Partners, presents a vibrant restaurant, lounge and bar featuring traditional Turkish design reinterpreted alongside modern details. The meeting of eastern and western cultures, from the Byzantine and Ottoman empires to present day, are reflected through an eclectic palette of materials, patterns, textures and colours. Candle-lit corners accompany faded Arabic rugs and chic modern furniture, resulting in a casual, romantic atmosphere. The expansive open kitchen encourages sociability and acts as a focal point, while the outdoor terrace backs on to Dubai’s marina. The brainchild of the people behind Coya, La Petite Maison, and Zuma, Rüya aims to turn ageold ideas upside down, resulting in passion- and personality-filled culinary creations. Judges commented: “Rüya presents a holistic design solution with carefully curated FF&E, complete with a subtle nod to Turkish cuisine. It is the overall package, with the terraced area acting as the stand out feature.”
SUITE VILLA SUITES AT SIX SENSES ZIL PASYON, SEYCHELLES Returning to the stage for the second time, Six Senses Zil Pasyon scooped the award for its sustainable luxury suites, designed by Studio RHE. Each suite features vaulted ceilings and walk-in closet, while bow windows expand to offer an immersion in raw nature. Outside, each suite offers a private sundeck, an infinity pool and tropical vegetation to ensure privacy. Located near the water, the Oceanfront Pool Villas allow guests to listen to the ocean waves and feel the Indian Ocean breeze.
URBAN HOTEL FOUR SEASONS HOTEL DIFC Located in the city’s prestigious business community, Four Seasons Dubai International Financial Centre is evocative of a private members club. Featuring just 106 guestrooms, including 28 suites, the interiors by Tihany Design are intimate, art-filled and calm. With four F&B outlets, emphasis is placed upon a juxtaposition of exclusivity and increasing social interaction. Located within a pedestrian enclave of the city, the hotel’s neighbourhood-feel makes it an ideal destination for urbanites.
VISUAL IDENTITY OF THE YEAR ROOM MATE EMIR, ISTANBUL, TURKEY Designed by Barcelona-based interior designer Lázaro Rosa Violan, Room Mate Emir was recognised for its clear and consistent visual identity. The judges felt that each of the hotel spaces enriched the narrative that defines the hotel, and added texture to the guest experience in a tactile way. Further, the project is emblematic as it has restored the splendour of two historic buildings in the Beyoğlu neighbourhood that were previously in ruins.
NEW CONCEPT OF THE YEAR ROVE HOTELS A new mid-scale brand from Emaar Hospitality Group, Rove Hotels is designed for the next generation traveller who appreciates value, connectivity and culturally-inspired surroundings. The brand has positioned itself as a homegrown lifestyle brand that is contemporary, yet inspired by the urban culture and heritage of the neighbourhood to which it belongs. Judges praised the concept for its refreshing approach and the lifestyle-inspired guest experience its offers.
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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
Heimtextil Frankfurt www.heimtextil.messefrankfurt.com Domotex Hannover www.domotex.de Table London www.tablelondon.com Top Drawer London www.topdrawer.co.uk
IMM Cologne www.imm-cologne.com Maison & Objet Paris www.maison-objet.com
ALIS Los Angeles www.alisconference.com
Hotel Investment Forum India Mumbai www.hifi-india.com
Surface Design Show London www.surfacedesignshow.com Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair Stockholm www.stockholmfurniturefair.se HI Design MEA Bahrain www.hidesign-mea.com IHIF Berlin www.berlinconference.com
A gastronomic gathering AMBIENTE
Taking place at Messe Frankfurt, Ambiente – the consumer goods trade fair for design-led HoReCa product lines – is set to attract over 140,000 visitors in February, with suppliers showcasing an assortment of tableware, glassware, crockery, cutlery and more. Investors, planners, designers and consultants from across the F&B industry will gather for five days of product innovation, networking and talks, fueling the development of new bars, restaurants and cafés worldwide. The exhibition space will once again be divided into the key themes of Dining, Giving and Living,
while a specialist contract area is dedicated to the fitting out of hotels and cruise ships. The trade fair will also offer exclusive guided tours and talks by bora.herke.palmisano, the studio responsible for researching and curating Ambiente’s trends feature. Having scoured the international fashion, design, art and architecture scenes for new trends, the team will present their findings in the four themed worlds of Modest Regenerations, Colourful Intentions, Technological Emotions and Opulent Narrations, as well as in a book available at the fair. www.ambiente.messefrankfurt.com
Channelling individuality LONDON DESIGN WEEK
London Design Week at Design Centre Chelsea Harbour will make its return in March, bringing with it over 100 immersive experiences, showroom events and bespoke pop-ups. Visitors can discover the latest offerings from exhibitors such as Arte, Cole & Son, Dedar and Perrin & Rowe, while on the main stage, international speakers share their knowledge at the Conversations in Design series. In addition, new initiative ‘Legends’ will see connoisseurs from the worlds of design and decoration, art, fashion and architecture collaborate to transform an array of showroom windows and showcases. Claire German, Managing Director, comments: “London Design Week 2018 promises a magical combination of design encounters and ways to connect with 600+ leading international brands, unseen anywhere else, all contributing to the many elements which will make this an unmissable week.” www.dcch.co.uk
DMG Events acquires HI Design DMG Events Middle East, Asia & Africa has acquired boutique business forum organiser Atticus Events Ltd, the owner and operator of the HI Design forums. Focused specifically on the interior design of luxury hotels, HI Design majors on specialist business meetings between key buyers from active hotel projects, and a curated selection of international FF&E suppliers. With each event held in a different hotel location every year, HI Design forums currently run annually in Europe, Asia and MEA. HI Design EMEA – now Europe – ran for the first time in 2006 in Stockholm, while HI Design Asia was launched in 2009 and the MEA edition debuted in 2017. Key features include a pre-arranged oneon-one meetings programme, a worldclass seminar programme, a supplier product showcase and an abundance of networking opportunities. “The HI Design forums dovetail perfectly with the work our teams do with Index and the growing selection of Hotel Shows,” comments Andy Stuart, Vice President of Design & Hospitality, DMG Events. “The acquisition of HI Design gives us another way to serve our market, bringing suppliers together with buyers from four- and five-star hotel projects in a well-controlled atmosphere primed for doing good business.” DMG Events is part of the broader Daily Mail and General Trust PLC and operates around the world from offices in Dubai, London, Singapore and Calgary. Amongst others, they own and operate The Hotel Show, Index and the Big 5 series of exhibitions. HI Design will complement this existing hospitality and design portfolio. Atticus Events founders Jonathan Needs and James Burke will be involved in delivering the forthcoming HI Design MEA in Bahrain, before handing over to DMG in April.
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Hotel Investment Conference Asia Pacific 18-20 OCTOBER
With key performance indicators pointing to growth, HICAP explores the region’s investment opportunities and development hotspots for the year ahead. Words: Catherine Martin
eaders from the hotel investment and development community gathered at InterContinental Hong Kong in October, for Asia Pacific’s largest meet up dedicated to networking, information sharing and deal making. The 28th HICAP marks the first edition under the remit of Northstar Travel Group, following its acquisition of Burba Hotel Network’s hotel investment event portfolio in May 2017. With BHN, Horwath HTL and Stiles Capital Events still involved with the delivery of the event, it was very much business as usual for the 800 attendees eager to hear from the analysts on the year’s performance so far. SETTING THE SCENE HICAP’s plenary sessions opened with two scenesetting presentations offering an overview of the region’s political and economic landscape, as well as its hotel performance. First up, Robert Broadfoot, Managing Director, Political & Economic Risk Consultancy, spoke of the importance of Asia’s role in global economics. “Asia’s footprint on the world is increasing,” he said, stating that the region’s share of GDP reached 33% in 2107, up from 19% in 1980. According to Broadfoot, much of Asia’s growth has been fuelled by a rise in trading, with its share of global exports now at 39.4%. Also of note was the growth of intra-Asia trading. “If you look at where Asia is exporting to or importing from, almost every country is exporting more to other Asian countries and importing more from other Asian countries than ever before,” Broadfoot commented, adding that a rise in wealth could have a positive impact on travel and tourism, and therefore hotel performance.
To confirm whether this is in fact the case, Jesper Palmqvist, Area Director, Asia Pacific, STR, took to the stage to present the latest performance data, collected from 9,000 hotels across the region. “The majority of markets in Asia Pacific are booming, with most reporting positive growth in terms of RevPAR,” he commented. RevPAR for year-to-August 2017 saw an increase of 3.3% over the same period the previous year, while occupancy rose by 3%. Palmqvist also highlighted the region’s strong demand growth of 6.3%, outweighing a 3.3% increase in new supply. Taking a closer look at the performance of individual countries, New Zealand topped the table due to increasing tourist arrivals and limited new supply, followed by Malaysia and Vietnam, the latter said to be one of the fastest growing markets in the region. HICAP’s host nation of Hong Kong was also on the up, recording RevPAR growth of around 5%. According to STR’s data, only three markets were negative, namely South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore. Delving deeper into select markets, Palmqvist revealed that Beijing has recorded its highest RevPAR in ten years, while Hokkaido (9.1%) and Kyushu (9.5%) are the fastest growing markets in Japan. Sydney continued to produce good results with room revenue up 4% for the year-to-date, however there was concern for the Maldives given the amount of new supply coming. “In 2018 we expect to see growth of between 3-4% in key markets such as Beijing, Hong Kong, Singapore, Sydney and Tokyo,” he concluded. “So overall, it’s hard not to be positive.” THE INVESTMENT OUTLOOK With 2017 shaping up to be a better year than
2016, attention turned to investment and the opportunities for new development across the region. Vietnam was once again named as the one to watch, with Kenneth Gaw, President and Managing Principal, Gaw Capital Partners, outlining the nation’s impressive turnaround. A great tourism offer and positive hotel performance have put Vietnam in good position going forward, said Gaw, adding that the predicted growth in tourist arrivals pointed to huge potential. Also with a focus on Vietnam was Peter Meyer, CEO of Lodgis Hospitality, having recently formed a platform sponsored by Warburg Pincus in partnership with Vina Capital, one of the country’s leading investment management and real estate development firms. “All the economic fundamentals are lining up,” confirmed Meyer, stating that the coastal city of Danang could one day compete with the likes of Bali and Phuket. The CEO also believed that the strength of its joint venture would be key, with the local partner helping navigate through the difficulties and challenges of the market. Panellists showed renewed interest in Thailand, described as one of the region’s most resilient markets due to its continued growth despite military coups, natural disasters and terrorist attacks. Suchad Chiaranussati, founder and Managing Director, SC Capital Partners Group, favoured Japan for its ease of doing a deal, while Richard Weissmann, Partner, KSL Capital Partners believed China to be the land of opportunity. “By the 2022 Winter Olympics, 100 million Chinese will have learned how to ski,” he explained. “Even if it’s only a fraction of that, that’s dramatic growth in the ski resort industry.”
HICAP PRESENTS In a series of special presentations throughout the course of the event, HICAP invited three keynotes to the stage to talk about a given topic relating to the challenges and opportunities of hotel development in Asia Pacific. Marc Dardenne, Chief Operating Officer, Jumeirah Group, addressed the issue of size, particularly pertinent given the increased consolidation in the hospitality industry. Size clearly matters in terms of distribution, Dardenne stated, pointing to the booking systems of large hotel groups and OTAs. However when it comes to guest experience, he felt that small operators such as Aman were doing a good job. Moving on to the topic of loyalty, Dardenne urged the audience to come up with new ways to reward the repeat guest. “Can you really buy loyalty with a points reward system?” he asked. “I’m not convinced, particularly in the luxury sector.” In the second HICAP Presents session, Mieke De Schepper, Vice President APAC, Expedia Group, took to the stage to speak on the future of hotel distribution in the region. “Changes in technology continue to happen, and with new technology there will be more disruption,” she began. “The question is, what does it mean for all of you here as hoteliers?” De Schepper went on the describe the ways in which technology is changing how consumers search for and book their accommodation, and engage with a hotel during their stay. She also outlined how operators can take advantage of new technologies, particularly when it comes to distribution. With OTAs, metasearch engines and booking direct options, De Schepper said that the key to success was utilising a mix of channels and understanding which brings the best value. The final presentation of the series tackled the issue of talent, with Jennifer Cronin, President, Wharf Hotels, stating that finding and retaining staff is the biggest challenge facing the industry
today. While some roles can be replaced by technology, automation and robotics, there’s no substitute for the human touch, she said. Cronin also highlighted the importance of leadership, noting that those who follow the directives of transformational leadership – through motivating and empowering employees – would be more successful than transactional leaders. DEALS & DEVELOPMENT A number of owners, operators and developers took the opportunity to announce new deals and openings throughout the conference, cementing predictions of growth ahead. In partnership with Dynasty Investments, Club Med announced plans to open its first resort in Vietnam. Club Med Ho Tram, a 90-minute drive from Ho Chi Minh City, is scheduled to open in 2021 and will feature 300 guestrooms along with a host of activities and experiences to enjoy the cultural and natural landscape. Meliá Hotels International also showed its commitment to Vietnam, revealing plans for Meliá Ba Vi Mountain Retreat to the west of Hanoi. During a tour of the region, Executive Vice President and CEO Gabriel Escarrer Jaume signed agreements for several new hotels with local partners, taking its total number of hotels in Asia Pacific, in operation or pre-opening phase, to 45. InterContinental Hotels Group meanwhile signed three management contracts to introduce its luxury boutique hotel brand, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, to Asia. The 50-villa Kimpton Bali will open on the Nusa Dua coast in 2019, followed by Kimpton Shanghai Jing’an and Kimpton Resort Sanya Haitang Bay in 2021. Also in China, Rosewood Hotels & Resorts announced it has been appointed by developer Saiho Group to manage a new property in Chengdu, slated to open in 2023. The ultra-luxury hotel will occupy the top floors of a 300m mixeduse tower in the city’s central business district.
AWARDS SEASON HICAP’s closing lunch, held in InterContinental’s grand ballroom, provided a final opportunity for networking, and was also the setting for the annual awards. Four Seasons Kyoto was named Reggie Shiu Development of the Year, beating off stiff competition from Alila Fort Bishangarth in Jaipur and Bawah Private Island in Indonesia. The 123-key property, designed by Kume Sekkei and HBA, was commended for both its architecture – in respect of the traditional urban landscape – as well as its interiors, said to introduce a new interpretation of Japanese design. There was a tie in the M&A Deal of the Year, with both China Lodging Group’s (Huazhu Hotels) acquisition of Crystal Orange Hotel Holdings and V Hotel Management’s acquisition of Premier Inn’s Thai portfolio named as the winners, while Hyatt Regency Osaka was named Single Asset Transaction of the Year. Acquired for JPY16 billion by Hoshino Resorts REIT from Hong Kong-based Gaw Capital Partners, the deal represents the largest non-sponsor REIT hotel transaction in Japan to-date. And finally, the HICAP Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Larry M.K. Tchou, Senior Advisor, Greater China for Hyatt Hotels & Resorts. As one of the first employees of Hyatt in Asia, Tchou was instrumental in introducing Hyatt to mainland China over 27 years ago, and has played a key role in establishing the group’s stronghold in the region. As the conference drew to a close, organisers announced that the event will move to Kerry Hotel for 2018 while InterContinental undergoes a major upgrade. HICAP’s networking gala offered a preview of the new opening, and with the city’s largest pillarless ballroom on offer, along with events spaces taking in harbour views, it’s sure to live up to expectation. www.hicapconference.com
HI Design Asia 1-3 NOVEMBER 2017
Bringing together premium suppliers with influential buyers, HI Design took its innovative forum concept to the island of Borneo for the 2017 Asia edition. Words: Kristofer Thomas | Photography: © Richard Pereira
billion international tourists that flocked to the ASEAN region in 2017 is expected to rise to 1.6 billion by 2030. China and Thailand entered the top ten most popular tourist destinations globally at four and ten respectively, with Little noting that the majority of this tourism is still inter-regional – predominantly from China – as opposed to international. “Vietnam and Thailand are especially hot inbound markets,” he explained. “But Asia as a whole is also a strong source driving a lot of growth elsewhere.” In terms of performance, Singapore emerged as a clear leader at year-end 2016, with RevPAR of US$217 and 79% occupancy, whilst Bangkok trailed behind at US$105 RevPAR and a slightly higher occupancy of 82%. According to STR’s sample data, the Maldives – with its impressive US$563 RevPAR and 75% occupancy – dominated the resort market, whilst Sanya followed at 74% occupancy but a significantly lower RevPAR of US$138. Elsewhere, Danang, Phuket and Kulala Lumpur were touted as popular investment options moving forward. Highlighting that 2016 had been a particularly active year in terms of deals, Little reassured the audience that the lower rate of signings in 2017 had been expected, with the region registering 700 hotels and 120,000 guestroom acquisitions, down from 900 hotels the year previous. “China has been a powerhouse of recent global tourism growth and this has benefitted Asia first and foremost,” he explained. “But we can’t discount the contributions of low-cost airlines, an increase in highly valued mixed-use projects, and the wider area’s growing economic strength.” Next up, Ed Ng, Co-founder and Principal of Hong Kong-based design studio AB Concept, took to the stage for a conversation with Dittrich about his origins and the creative approach he employs.
nitially set to take place in Bali, ominous rumblings from the Mount Agung volcano forced HI Design Asia 2017 into a last minute relocation across the Java Sea to Kota Kinabalu, Borneo. Hosted at Shangri La’s Rasa Ria Resort & Spa on the island’s northern shores, the three-day event brought together premium suppliers with some of the region’s most influential buyers. From 1-3 November, 320 hand-picked delegates participated in fast-paced, speed-dating style meetings as well as networking sessions and product showcases, whilst, running parallel, a programme of four insightful conference sessions moderated by Sleeper’s Editor-at-Large Guy Dittrich covered topics from Asia’s market performance to neuroscience, biophilia and creative thinking. Buyers comprising interior architects and designers alongside project leaders from across the Asia Pacific region included InterContinental Hotels Group, Benjamin West and Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, whilst suppliers such as Vight, 7Oceans, Stellar Works, Jonathan Charles and Claybrook pitched their latest products in pre-selected meetings throughout the day. Welcoming attendees to the opening beach dinner following a preevent trek across the mangroves of nearby Gaya Island, Jonathan Needs, Director, Atticus Events, thanked guests for their patience and flexibility before insisting that the venue was the only change, and they could expect the same dynamic and vibrant format as usual. The following morning, Damien Little, Director, Horwath HTL Asia Pacific, opened the seminar programme with a look at the region’s yearly performance and an exploration of potential future opportunities. Beginning with a broad market overview before focusing specifically on the hotel sector, Little explained that the 1.2
“We always insist on drawing with pencil and paper because it’s in-touch with your instincts,” he began. “This way the idea can flow directly from your mind to the paper without anything in-between. You can’t lie with a drawing.” Addressing new and emerging design trends, Ng offered: “The Instagram moment is just a new name for the focal point, an idea that has been around for a long time but which we must keep in mind regardless. Functionality is still vital, but it also has to be interesting and make money. The design has to be attractive enough to bring the customer in, then functional enough to keep them there.” He also touched upon AB Concept’s recent work with Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, including the Mei Ume restaurant within Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square, explaining: “Ten Trinity Square was very challenging because we didn’t have any experience working with heritage buildings, and a lot of the material choices were difficult. But it was an incredibly valuable lesson for us.” Marking the start of day two, science journalist and author Caroline Williams talked the audience through her research into the concept of neuroplasticity, as well as the brain’s creative side and how to harness it. Neuroplasticity – the idea that the brain can rewire itself and adapt to new roles and functions – formed the basis for a series of trips Williams took in the search of methods that could improve cognitive abilities, including her attention span, sense of direction and creative capacity. Suggesting that there are ways for humans to enhance the creative element of the brain, and perhaps for designers to elevate their designs, she noted: “You want your creative ideas not just to be out of the box, but to be useful as well. This is the real challenge.” Williams went on to note that sensory deprivation, contact with nature and the avoidance of stress can all markedly improve the quality of creative work, concluding: “The key appears to be not trying very hard, taking your foot off the gas and finding a relaxed focus. This can put you in a better state of mind for both creativity and staying attentive. People who have better control over this balance are more capable of creating things that are both innovative and useful.” A final panel saw Su Seo, Partner, LTW Designworks; Shannon Kim, Corporate Director of Technical Services, Plateno Group; Greg Farrell, Executive Director, Aedas; and Adrian Battisby, Associate Director, LW Interiors Hong Kong, participate in a lively debate on the increasing crossover between interior and exterior design. Addressing themes of sustainability, biophilic design and the growing popularity of rooftop spaces, the speakers considered both operational challenges and experiential benefits.
“As much as it’s about materiality, it’s also about the masterplan,” Farrell offered. “If you have a hotel where only half of the rooms get a beach or green-facing experience then you need to rethink the layout of the site to get the most revenue out of it.” Seo added: “Whether inside out, or outside in, it all depends on the context of the design. There’s no right or wrong approach, but space is often very scarce, and we should be designing for integration only if it’s relevant.” Joining the conversation, Battisby spoke of the technological demands involved in the proper upkeep of these environments. “They can be beautiful but they do require maintenance. Indoors especially, where greenery demands lighting that can sometimes be too bright for guests. They need specific lux levels to survive, and you can’t just put them anywhere and hope for the best, they require planning from the architectural stage.” As the final meetings in the hall adjacent drew to a close, product showcases were replaced with dinnerware ahead of the night’s final meal and guests retreated to their suites to don suits and gowns. Soundtracked by a lively local band with a penchant for cover versions, the farewell dinner carried on long into the night at the resort’s numerous bars, with Needs again thanking the crowd and encouraging everyone to enjoy their last evening in the Borneo heat. Despite the initial threat of natural disaster and some unforeseen organisational stumbling blocks to manoeuvre around, HI Design rounded off the programme with another widely enjoyed instalment. However, this year marked the final involvement of founding organiser Atticus Events, with DMG Events having recently acquired the company. Jonathan Needs and James Burke, co-directors of Atticus Events, commented: “Having nurtured and grown the HI Design events into the leading forums they are today, we look forward to seeing the next stage of their development. We are extremely proud of how HI Design has established itself over the last 12 years, developing and growing in different parts of the world, and during some very challenging global economic times. We have enjoyed our time immensely working with this wonderfully creative industry and will of course miss the many friends we have made. But now is the time for a new chapter and we hope that the many supporters of HI Design around the world will continue to support it for many years to come.” Volcanoes permitting, HI Design Asia 2018 will take place at Grand Hyatt, Bali, from 7-9 November, whilst the forum’s next venture will take it to Bahrain for the MEA edition. www.hidesign-asia.com
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Deloitte: 29th European Hotel Investment Conference 8 NOVEMBER 2017
With European hotel performance well ahead of previous peaks, the industry meet in London to explore investment opportunities, development hotspots and the effects of technology. Words: Catherine Martin
n a year that has seen lengthy debate on whether or not the industry has reached its peak, Deloitte’s European Hotel Investment Conference returned for its 29th edition, presenting a leading line-up of speakers to help make sense of the economy, the market and the outlook. Hotel owners, operators, lenders, developers and investors gathered at London’s The Dorchester for a day of presentations and panels, each exploring the challenges and opportunities driving the industry forward. Opening proceedings, Andreas Scriven, Deloitte’s new Head of Hospitality & Leisure, offered his take on the landscape, stating: “The industry’s increasing focus on technology and the re-shaping of established business models is a strong indicator that we will soon be witnessing the emergence of ecosystems and platforms that deliver a new level of value and opportunities for guests, investors and operators.” Addressing the all-important question of where the industry is in the investment cycle, Scriven presented findings from Deloitte’s pre-conference survey. “Over half of you think the UK is at its peak right now, while there’s a little more head room in some of the major markets such as Spain, Ireland and Germany,” he revealed, noting the nervousness in the room. Despite this, the survey showed that there was still appetite for investment, with European and North American money seen as the dominant source of capital in 2018, closely followed by Chinese funds. Amsterdam retained the top spot as the most attractive European city for investment while London slipped to fourth place behind Barcelona and Dublin. In the UK,
Edinburgh topped the list as the most attractive regional city, with Manchester taking second place. “The UK remains highly attractive, particularly to overseas investors,” Scriven commented. “It’s a highly transparent market, there’s a lot of demand generated, a huge number of leisure attractions, and the FX has moved in the right direction.” Scriven also summarised the year’s transactional activity, revealing that for the first half of 2017, volumes were up 6% year-on-year. Notable deals include Invesco Real Estate’s acquisition of a 13-hotel portfolio from Apollo Global Management; the £525m purchase of Q Hotels by Aprirose; and large single asset transactions such as the sale of Hilton London Metropole to Henderson Park Capital. With concerns that the increase in mergers and corporate acquisitions has resulted in a market that is too consolidated, Scriven noted: “If you look at it on a cross-industry basis, this is simply not true. The hospitality industry is currently around 15% consolidated, meaning that the top three players control 15% of supply.” He went on to compare the sector with the tobacco and soft drinks markets, attesting: “We remain a highly fragmented industry.” On that note, Scriven handed over to the day’s first speaker, economist Roger Bootle. Returning once again with an analysis of the global economy, the Managing Director of Capital Economics began with some welcome news, confirming that the world economy is recovering. The UK and USA remain robust, hard-hit Russia and Brazil have stabilised, and even the Eurozone is showing growth. Bootle also revealed that many of the emerging economies continue to push ahead,
adding that since 2008, the Chinese economy has grown by the amount equivalent to the GDPs of France and Germany combined. Despite his optimism, Bootle warned of risks ahead, including the threat of a new financial crisis in Europe. The weakening of the Sterling – beneficial to some – has raised inflation and squeezed real earnings and spending power, he said. On the plus side, the predicted downturn following the Brexit vote didn’t happen, and according to Bootle, a ‘no deal’ wouldn’t necessarily be a disaster for the UK, as most trade with the EU will continue. “I’m optimistic about the world economy,” Bootle continued. “The Eurozone is doing well, and in the UK, the squeeze on consumers is about to end. There’s a doubt about whether Brexit is even going to happen, but if it does, I’m confident we’ll be fine,” he concluded. “I’m less confident about the political future of the EU, which I think faces some very serious challenges. And my last warning is about monetary policy; we’re entering a very different world to the one we have inhabited the last few years.” The world economy undoubtedly has an effect on travel and tourism, and to put these fluctuations into context in the hospitality sector, STR’s Managing Director Robin Rossmann returned to the conference to present the latest in performance and pipeline statistics. Using data collected from 58,000 hotels worldwide, Rossmann revealed the largely positive RevPAR growth for the year-to-September 2017. North Africa showed astonishing growth of 41.8%, however this was said to be coming off a very low base and driven
by the devaluation of the Egyptian pound. “The real story is Europe with 6.5% RevPAR growth; that’s almost double any other region,” explained Rossmann. “It’s not often you see Europe at the top of the leaderboard.” Benign supply growth (0.9%) coupled with a 3.5% increase in demand has contributed to strong performance, the effects of which can also be seen in occupancy levels. “September 2008 was the peak of the European hotel industry, and since then we’ve had the great recession, the rise of Airbnb and other peer-to-peer rentals, and the impact of significant terror attacks across Europe,” commented Rossmann. “Despite all these headwinds, occupancies are 10% higher than what they were a decade ago. That is a very important statistic.” With European hotel performance well ahead of previous peaks, a look at where year-to-date growth is coming from showed RevPAR gains in thriving markets such as Lisbon (20%), Madrid (19%) and Barcelona (15%), as well as growth in recovery markets including Istanbul (32%), Brussels (19%) and Paris (9%). Echoing Roger Bootle’s earlier truths on the not-so-negative impact of Brexit, Rossmann revealed that London has in fact been one of the top performing cities in the world, partially due to the devaluation of the pound. UK tourist destinations such as Belfast and Edinburgh were also said to be benefitting. Elsewhere in Europe, Rossmann said that the Mediterranean was showing strong growth for 2017, particularly in the resort markets of the Algarve and the Canary Islands, and that the recent terrorist attacks in Barcelona, London, Berlin and Manchester had absolutely no impact on RevPAR. “The fundamentals for our industry are incredibly strong,” Rossmann confirmed. “People are focused on experiences, they want to travel more, and while the economy remains stable, I expect it to continue growing.” With the industry in good shape according to the data specialists, attention turned to the CEOs in the much anticipated owner/operator panel. Olivier Chavy, CEO, Movenpick Hotels
& Resorts, and Anders Nissen, CEO, Pandox, were put through their paces across a range of topics including challenges, opportunities and the value of a brand. While both CEOs were positive about the state of the industry on the whole, Chavy expressed concern about the effects of the geopolitical situation in the Middle East, where Movenpick has a growing portfolio. Nissen meanwhile revealed he continues to see opportunities in The Netherlands, Germany and the UK, and has aspirations to enter Spain, where Pandox currently has no presence. As talk moved on to the industry’s increasing focus on technology – a recurring theme throughout the day – Chavy told of Movenpick’s partnership with Oracle Hospitality, resulting in it becoming the first chain to deploy a cloud-based property management system across its entire portfolio. The multi-functional system is able to analyse a guest’s stay, and generate information that encourages repeat visits and improves direct bookings. “Being able to focus on the guest experience across the portfolio is key for us,” commented Chavy. “Having this one-to-one interaction with the clients is key to remaining competitive.” Nissen also spoke of the effects of new technology on business, stating that digitisation, automation and robotics are a challenge, but one that presents new opportunities. Taking a look at where the industry is going in the long term, Chavy discussed the trends he witnessed during his previous role as CEO at Wilson Associates. “The guestroom is for sleeping while the lobby and public spaces have become much more community-based, where guests spend most of their time,” he explained. “So the physical plan for the hotel of the future, at least for Movenpick, will change dramatically in terms of space planning and where investment is spent.” The evolution of the traditional hotel model was also addressed in the following panel, in which speakers were asked to define the new era of hospitality. “We’re moving from a hotel mass market to a mass of niches,” believed Hans Meyer, co-founder and Managing Director of Zoku. “If you can find the right niche with the right target
audience and create an entire experience around it, you can be extremely successful,” he continued, going on to describe the thinking behind his new hospitality venture. “Zoku is a new category in our industry; it’s a hybrid between a home and an office, topped with hotel services,” he explained. “We wanted to move away from the traditional model of putting heads in beds and distinguish ourselves from other players in the market.” Meanwhile Coley Brenan, Partner at KSL Capital Partners, revealed that the private equity fund has found its niche in health and wellness and family travel, as exemplified in the acquisition of Village Hotels in the UK. Brenan also talked about the importance of data for KSL. “Data has become so readily available and insightful that we study it for consumer behaviour patterns,” he explained. “What we learn from the data, we put into our investments, whether that be new products or renovations.” Joining the discussion, IHG’s Chief Operating Officer Stephen McCall – who recently brought US brand Kimpton to Europe – said that even the well-known lifestyle model is evolving. “Design, which was one of the characteristics of lifestyle hotels a few years ago, is now effectively table stakes for all brands,” he noted. “People want memorable experiences and you can’t get that just from design.” Talk of creating memorable experiences continued into the following session, in which panelists from some of the newer hotel brands took to the stage to discuss their concepts. Charlie MacGregor, CEO of The Student Hotel, spoke of his student-housing-meets-boutiquehotel offer currently taking Europe by storm, while Christopher Norton, CEO of Equinox, revealed details of the upscale fitness company’s new venture into luxury lifestyle hotels. “Health is the new wealth. The idea of feeling good and being healthy has become super important,” he explained, adding that the first hotel is expected to open in New York in 2019. Identifying that the most difficult time to stay active is whilst travelling, the brand aims to enable guests to continue their regime on the road, through the key pillars of movement, nutrition and regeneration.
Addressing a diverse range of topics including the guest experience, return on investment and product differentiation, Florian Kollenz, Chief Development Officer, 25hours Hotels, outlined the core values of the unconventional brand, stating: “Guests don’t want standardisation any more, they want a local, authentic experience.” With a growing number of properties across Europe, Kollenz believed that the group has been able to make an impact through its collaboration with a variety of creatives – including storytellers, interior designers and film studios – to build a portfolio of truly individual hotels. Proving that the big players can get in on the act, Christian Giraud, Senior Vice President of Development, Europe, AccorHotels, spoke of the sector’s potential and the diversification of Accor’s portfolio. “For Accor, lifestyle hotels represent around 1% of our existing supply but 10% of the pipeline,” he explained. “That’s why we decided to create a specialised lifestyle division.” The division, with stakes in Mama Shelter and 25hours Hotels, also includes the new Jo & Joe brand, created by Accor’s innovation lab. “We take the best of three worlds: the local touch from Airbnb, the experience and social element of hostels, and the quality of security of hotels,” described Giraud of the millennial-focused hybrid, adding that he sees great potential for the brand. Turning attention to investment, the final panel of the morning explored opportunities and risk associated with Europe’s development hotspots. With the pre-event survey naming Amsterdam, Barcelona, Dublin, London and Madrid as the most attractive markets, Brad Hyler, Managing Director, Brookfield Property Group, commented: “It’s not surprising, they’re all phenomenal markets with corporate demand as well as transient leisure demand. But we’re value investors, so when everyone else likes those markets, it makes it challenging for us.” Hyler named Paris and Berlin, as well as smaller markets such as Lisbon and Copenhagen, as potential targets for Brookfield, but admitted he was nervous about the unknown. The sentiment was echoed by Gael Le Lay, Deputy CEO of Fonciére des Régions, who said that the group had been badly affected by the terrorist attacks in Paris. “We are still in strong investment mode
in France, but the objective is also to diversify and invest in Germany, Spain and Benelux,” he commented, believing that the key solution to such risk is to have a diverse portfolio across segments and markets. Mai-Lan de Marcilly, Head of Hotels, KKR, was also optimistic on fresh investment opportunities, stating: “We remain really positive, we love the sector and we believe there’s a lot of growth ahead. We’re cautious but positive, and want to continue investing heavily into hotels.” However Steffan Doyle, Head of Hotels & Real Estate, Credit Suisse, believed growth was being hampered by a dearth of product. “In the prime market, there’s so much capital available that if anything there’s a scarcity of opportunity; distressed buyers rather than distressed sellers,” he quipped. With the morning sessions on performance and investment producing lively and largely optimistic debate, the afternoon focused on the equally thought-provoking topic of technology. First to the stage, Jonathan Witter, Chief Customer Officer, Hilton Worldwide, presented on the digital trends of tomorrow, offering insight into the increasingly digitally connected world. “We are in the early stages of the greatest period of economic and social transformation since the industrial revolution,” he began, stating that omnipresent connectivity has changed the way we live in just a few generations. Hilton’s strategy, Witter explained, begins with “great data and analytics” as well as a truly integrated digital experience for the customer. “Core to our belief is the marriage between the physical experience and the digital experience,” he concluded, referring to the idea of ‘phygital’ – the buzzword we can expect to hear a lot more of when talking about technology and the guest. The following panel continued the discussion around opportunities through technology, with Geraldine Calpin, Chief Marketing Officer, Hilton Worldwide, stating that technological advancements must make life easier, and enhance a guest’s stay. “It’s not about the technology per se, but the customer experience and how technology enables that,” she confirmed, while Richard Robinson, Vice President of the commercial arm of Cambridge Analytica, added that hotel groups could be doing more to utilise data to streamline
operations. “There’s a fundamental shift in recognising the power of data and how that can impact a business,” he explained. “The insight that you get from that data that is transformational, and hotel groups are starting to realise that it could be a competitive advantage.” Ruairidh Roberts, Industry Head of Travel, Google, believed that hotel groups could be more forward-thinking and innovative when it comes to technology and data, however others felt costs constraints were inhibiting development. Cody Bradshaw, Managing Director and Head of European Hotels, Starwood Capital, revealed that with a number of hotel groups creating their own PMS and CRM software, it was becoming increasingly expensive for owners footing the bill. The final session of the day – controversially titled ‘Owning the Customer’ – continued on the theme of using technology to personalise the guest experience. “Hotel groups are merely trying to deliver a personal experience that ultimately turns the customer into an advocate for the brand,” explained Osama Hirzala, Vice President of Sales & Distribution Europe, Marriott International. “By doing so in a compelling way, you get to the sweet spot where the customer prefers your brand over others.” Arguing that customers don’t want to be owned, Carmen Hui, Commercial Director, Owner Partnerships, Booking.com, believed that with advances in technology, power lies in control of the individual. “We consider ourselves an online global marketplace where every day we’re trying to match the millions of customers that come to our site with the most relevant and best value accommodations to meet their needs,” she explained, revealing that every click is used to create digital biographies that store preferences aimed at enhancing the booking experience. As the conference drew to a close, Scriven reminded attendees that the long-term outlook for the hospitality industry remains positive. “There are so many variables but one to highlight is this continual shift away from the consumption of products towards the consumption of experiences; that will continue to play very much into the hands of our industry,” he concluded. “With that in mind, it’s hard not to be excited about the sector that we’re in and where we’re headed.”
9. â€“ 13. 2. 2018
Can form and function embrace one another. Do we want diverse or diversity when we dine. Can you feel quality with a touch of your hand. Dining is the sense of companionship â€“ a place where creativity is lived, where diversity pulsates.
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Sleep 21-22 NOVEMBER 2017
Hospitality heavyweights and pioneering exhibitors explore loyalty and love in hotel design, development and operation at Sleep 2017. Words: Molly Dolan, Kristofer Thomas and Ben Thomas | Photography © Beth Crockatt
ith imaginative designs and thought-provoking debates, the 12th annual Sleep – Europe’s hospitality design and development event – returned to London’s Business Design Centre from 21-22 November. Attracting a record number of visitors from Europe and beyond, this year’s edition explored the central theme of Loyalty: Lessons in Love through a spectrum of hotel space installations, conference sessions and over 160 international exhibitors.
in cooperation with Ipsos Loyalty, the global leader in customer experience, satisfaction and loyalty research, the 2017 theme was uniquely interpreted by each studio. The eventual winner of the competition was Stonehill Taylor, a New York-based hospitality architecture and design studio that partnered with interior specialist YPRT from Istanbul to bring to life Irus, a highly customisable space that balances the outward focus of being an open-minded citizen of the world, with the inward perspective of self-love and remaining loyal to one’s values. Speaking to Sleeper after the win, Vince Stroop, Principal, Stonehill Taylor commented: “We feel beyond amazing to have won this year’s Sleep Set. It’s an emotional time, as we’re so passionate about this project and we had so much fun working with our partners in Istanbul.” Hospitality interior architecture and design specialist MKV Design was highly commended for The Conserve, a room set examining how, in an industry that takes more from nature than it gives back, travel and hospitality must help create a healthy, sustainable future by showing loyalty and love for our planet. Other entrants included Italian architecture and interiors company Il Prisma, with the emotional-based living concept The Lovers, and 1508 London with a beautifully detailed concept that illustrated how design inspires emotional connections and meaningful memories.
THE EXHIBITION Sleep’s exhibition space was packed with leading names representing the industry’s key product categories. Brands such as Laufen, Roca, Sanipex and Unidrain represented the bathroom sector, while Chelsom, Astro, Leds-C4 and Sans Souci offered the latest lighting designs. In terms of furniture, French brand Ligne Roset accompanied British manufacturers Morgan and Dare Studio, while the world of soft furnishings was represented by Designers Guild, Italian brand Malcusa and Drapilux, amongst others. Product highlights came in the form of Laufen’s innovative SaphirKeramik and Loloey’s natural New Zealand wool and bamboo silk rugs by Karim Rashid, while Style Library Contract won the Best Stand award. Meanwhile, Grohe, Founder Sponsor and host of the invitation-only VIP lounge, presented its Colours brassware along with the SmartControl concealed shower system, featuring a brand new Smartbox three-way diverter and clever push and turn button control. Over in the Sleeper Bar, Bang & Olufsen’s Beo Sound system flanked the entrance, transporting visitors through sonic dimensions with its immersive sound staging, while the Sleep Sets saw a number of leading suppliers, including Hakwood, contribute to the room set designs.
THE SLEEPER BAR Hosting the announcement of the Sleep Set winner, this year’s Sleeper Bar was designed by the Sundukovy Sisters – Irina and Olga – and their eponymous Moscow-based studio. Translating the overarching theme of loyalty into a physical design, the bar took the form of a long communal table surrounded by an enclosure of mirrored surfaces and flanked by full-size swings. Lit by Leds-C4 and unfolding atop flooring by Amtico, the elements combined to create a modernist bar with an emotional grounding. “Loyalty is born out of pleasant feelings,” Olga explains. “Therefore, we created the bar as a space where people who don’t
THE SLEEP SETS The annual guestroom design competition saw four international design studios try their hand at creating the ultimate Loyalty: Lessons in Love interiors. Sponsored by Kohler and developed
GEORGE CLARKE JOINS METHVEN know each other can strike up an impromptu dialogue and find common emotional ground. We used mirrors to give the impression of an endless table that unites mankind, and swings to take guests back to their childhood to recall happy memories.” Irina adds: “The mirror also reflects each guest, suggesting that loyalty is born from a combination of both the hotel bar and the inner world of each individual.” With visitors gathering around the abstract bar throughout the day for networking, meetings and swing-selfies, the design proved as popular as the sisters hoped. “The Sleeper Bar became the point of attraction,” they conclude. “The crowd had very positive comments, enjoyed their drinks and posted lots of reactions on social media. We created a bar that people liked to revisit, invite their friends to, and network in. We created loyalty.” THE CONFERENCE Running parallel to the exhibition was Sleep’s conference programme, featuring keynote presentations, interviews and panels. Tristan Auer, Principal of Atelier Tristan Auer and Wilson Associates’ haute couture Paris studio opened the conference with an in-depth exploration of his likes, dislikes and recent projects for Revival of a Myth. Auer described both his personal design process and how he applied this to the interiors of the newly reopened Hôtel de Crillon. “As a designer you never know where you’ll find inspiration,” he explained. “You have to open your senses and be open to new experiences. The definition of a good designer is not someone who knows exactly what to do – I never know what to do – I start with a blank piece of paper and I go from there.” Up next was Fast Food, which saw Sleeper Editor Catherine Martin sit down with Bob Puccini, founder of Puccini Group; designer and chef Ido Garini of Studio Appétit; and Simon Rawlings, Creative Director at David Collins Studio, to explore new dining concepts, sourcing local, and the rise of the slow food movement.
Reinforcing an ethos that hotel F&B is about more than what is on the plate, Puccini began: “You can’t taste above good. To get to great, it’s about the experience.” Garini shared this ideology, expressing the fact that designers need to platform F&B concepts in order to create layered advertising, stating: “Food can be so much more than eating.” Delving further into culinary experiences, the panel discussed difficulties in an ever-changing landscape. “Food today is news. It is content that is ongoing,” Garini noted, which led the conversation onto the future of hotel F&B, where fast casual concepts have gained prominence. Rawlings concluded: “Guests want more round-the-clock convenience, with Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s coffee shop at Public New York an example of the grab-to-go movement. Hotels are restaurants with rooms nowadays, not rooms with restaurants.” Following this, Design Beyond Space saw conference curator, host and Sleeper’s Editorat-Large Guy Dittrich joined by Matt Utber, Creative Director of The Plant; Candice MadridDahlqvist, Design Director of Sweden-based Millkeeper Studio; and Kate Cox from GA Brand Design, to delve into more than physical space and investigate the influence of graphics, signage, fonts and collateral in the hotel realm. Opening with the inspiration behind hospitality branding, Madrid-Dahlqvist talked selling an experience as opposed to a product. Utber agreed, explaining: “For us its about the story, we look at the history, the location, and we try to find something that is really unique. That story then becomes the hotel’s positioning.” Utber continued to express the difficulty major hotel chains face to create concepts that are genuinely new, suggesting smaller sub-brands are often their alternative. Further, Cox reinforced that hotels have historically been branding ‘instinctively’ rather than overtly, concluding: “There is a lot of opportunity for monolithic brands to invest in branding and visual identity, particularly in a competitive market where there is
George Clarke Brand Ambassador Methven How did your partnership with Methven come about? The partnership with Methven stemmed from using the Satinjet shower while in New Zealand filming Amazing Spaces. I have since experienced the Aurajet Aio shower, and I admire the company’s dedication to design and innovation. How does Methven’s ethos align with your own? Perfectly. I always try to push the boundaries of design, trying to innovate, but at the same time to be green and ecological. If you look at the amount of research and development that Methven puts into these products, it’s fantastic. They are the perfect brand to be associated with. To what extent does innovative design impact the guest experience? Guests want quality and comfort. They want a shower head that’s going to provide good pressure, and unfortunately they are often not thinking about energy-saving for the hotel. It’s the hotel that’s thinking about the energy-saving. Finally, what does the future of the partnership hold? The main objective is brand awareness. The business has stayed true to its roots, with a focus on the environment, design, and innovation, and I’m looking forward to working with them in the coming months.
SEBASTIEN CONRAN PRESENTS VITRA’S ETERNITY a degree of similarity in what hotels are offering.” In the second keynote, NewYork-based architect Jeffrey Beers – a student of both Oscar Niemeyer and I.M. Pei – took to the podium for a look back at a 30-year career and some of his favourite projects. “Loyalty, love and warmth. All of these emotions are very much part of hospitality,” he began. “We desire and expect them, and it’s important to be genuine and sincere about these things.” Recounting design lessons imparted by his mentors, he emphasised the importance of courage. “The most powerful thing I learnt was to have emotional courage, to always aim high and never give up. My mentors instilled in me the confidence to be myself, to take artistic risks, and become my own person, as both an architect and an artist.” Talking the audience through design choices made at The Cove Atlantis in Bahamas, Beers stressed the importance of considering not just landscape but landscape character, whilst explaining how his longstanding passion for glass design helped him depict a form of emotional sincerity in his work. “You use a glass mirror to see your face and works of glass art to see your soul,” he finished. The last panel session of the day saw Eric Jafari, Managing Director, Saco Property and creator of Locke Hotels, and Simon Willis, Brand Director, Principal Hotel Group join Jamie Chappell, Global Business Director, Horwath HTL to explore the ever-changing scope of guest needs and how to retain loyalty. Highlighting brands that have flourished in the past five years, including 25hours Hotels and Mama Shelter, Jafari observed the investment by big companies in these boundary-pushing concepts. His acknowledgement confirmed that they must be doing something right. Discussing the differentiation between designled properties and corporate, Jafari stated: “Inevitably, you’re either competing on price or experience. The question is, who is your target market? What is it that you want them to experience? What emotions do you want to evoke
with that experience? And finally, what do you want them to do with those emotions? That is, in essence, what drives design.” Elaborating on the development of taste and guest needs, he commented: “I think we’re entering a new era, a tribal era,” affirming Sleep’s ahead-of-the-curve 2016 theme of tribes. “We’ve come to the realisation that other people don’t value the same things that we do.” Speaking of loyalty, and Principal’s Applause scheme, Willis noted: “The industry is failing massively – mostly due to software – when you compare it to the likes of online retailers Amazon, Asos and Alibaba. What we do have, in abundance, is people. So we choose to invest our money here.” He continued: “Loyalty can not be bought. You can use technology to support these systems, like Applause, because some people want to get the financial recognition, but does this gain loyalty? I think that emotional loyalty is more powerful.” Following his evening at AHEAD Europe, where Villa Terminus in Bergen, Norway was nominated in the Urban Hotel Conversion category, Eero Koivisto, co-founder of Swedish design practice Claesson Koivisto Rune opened day two with his keynote Space Manipulation. Koivisto’s talk was punctuated with humour and insight as he reviewed his portfolio , including the recently-opened Villa Terminus in Bergen – with meticulous detail. In terms of furniture design, Koivisto champions the Scandinavian craftsmanship of the 1950s, choosing to include many vintage pieces throughout the project. For the duration, Koivisto emphasised his work with craftspeople, choosing to build friendships with talented creators. Discussing the The Post-Cool Hotel concept, meanwhile, Universal Design Studio Director Hannah Carter Owers, alongside James Soane, director at Project Orange, and Henrietta Thompson, Editor-at-Large of Wallpaper, explored what’s next for hospitality design, and how a more caring attitude enriches the guest experience. Soane set the tone for the debate, stating that what constitutes ‘post-cool’ is the attitude in which
Sebastien Conran Associate Vitra How did you start working with Vitra? Vitra approached me about 12 years ago – after I’d done a range for Villeroy & Boch – and I went to see them in Istanbul. I love them as a company and they’re fantastic people to work with, so we stayed in contact. Then, three years ago I dropped in to see them and said let’s do a project! What is the Eternity range? We saw there was a gap in the market for elegant and aspirational accessory items – not only wall-mounted but freestanding too. There isn’t really anything like that on the market, and the things we could see have either been around for a long time, are very expensive and achingly modernist, or lack that lovely aspirational element you used to get with Edwardian bathroom fittings. We didn’t want to produce something retro, but we wanted something in that spirit and part of that ethos. What was the design process like? I always approach a project from a form follows fabrication, form follows function, then form follows fashion perspective. Most important, however, is the question of what the function will be. We’ve really addressed some key issues here and built in more resistance for a compact and connected range that touches on problems everyone has. A lot of thought has gone into this range to ensure that it functions well, including ergonomics and quality materials.
GROHE DISCUSSES GROWTH AND LOYALTY designers take to projects. “The whole sense of what is cool is lost as soon as it becomes labelled,” to which Carter Owers added: “I think we have moved past a time where design can embody cool on its own, hoteliers must now create a whole dynamism to a space.” Discussing the ethos of layering stories, and creating a community through collaborative design, Soane stressed the importance of giving back a sense of ownership to the people running the hotel. Citing hotel staff as a key aspect of experiential projects, Thomspon added: “It means that the experience of a hotel is going to be completely unique.” Concluding on a more technological topic, the panel further digressed on whether the industry should be designing hotels to achieve the snapshot Instagram moment, with Carter Owers noting that hotels such as 25hours are implementing analogue experiences due to the over-stimulation of technology. Soane summarised: “Ten years ago the coolest thing you could do is put the latest technology into guestrooms, and now the most uncool thing to do is install gadgets that don’t work.” Following this, Sleep Talking with WOW Architects | Warner Wong Design saw principals Maria Warner Wong and Chiu Man Wong in conversation with Dittrich. Speaking of the company’s 2016 Sleep Set entry, Chiu Man Wong said: “Because the tribe was intellectual, we looked at how you think, feel and process should be challenged. We use that approach across a lot of our work.” Discussing their roles as contemporary designers, the duo touched on the relationship between fiscal responsibility and environmentally-friendly practices, drawing parallels between saving money and saving materials and energy, whilst explaining to Dittrich that as their reputation has grown, they have grown in sync as designers. On their place in the industry now, Wong noted: “I think it’s important for designers to have a vision, but you also need to know how to exercise your craft in such a way that it influences the outcome without stepping on too many toes.”
“We like to get involved very early, now, during the business development period and the vision,” Maria added. “That level of involvement has given us a sense of trust with our clients, to work with us in creating new ideas. I think one of the hallmarks of what makes a project exciting to us is creating the whole end-to-end experience.” Examining the Slow Design movement, and closing the conference, Ilse Crawford, Owner, StudioIlse; Quentin Dante, Managing Partner, Studio Q; and Motti Essakow, Natural Capitalist and Chief Imagineer, Rythms by Design, took turns in interpreting the approach. “It’s about ending the glorification of busy,” Essakow noted, looking to slow processes in cooking, wellbeing and nature for slow design inspiration. “Luxury today is a commodity of time,” he added. Crawford offered: “The people who commission design are usually in a hurry, but the best thing we can do is to take the time to consider and examine the evidence, and then come up with something that will stand the test of time.” In a world moving ever faster and being perpetually busy acting as a badge of honour for some, the panel stressed the importance of taking a step back, conceptualising, and creating an end product that has value, as opposed to one that simply meets a deadline. “It’s only after taking it slow that you really learn how to talk and listen to each other,” Dante concluded. 2017 marked the final Sleep at London’s Business Design Centre, with the event moving to London Olympia in 2018. Joel Butler, Brand Director of Sleep, concludes: “With memory-making installations, a finely curated group of exhibitors and a conference where hospitality trailblazers shared fresh perspectives, the 2017 Sleep event excelled at every level. Our industry is thriving and evolving, as reflected in this year’s record number of visitors from across the globe who recognised that Sleep is a ‘can’t miss’ opportunity to form new connections, catch up with friends and discover new ideas to inspire the mind and creative spirit.” www.thesleepevent.com
Chris Barger SVP Global Projects Grohe Has there been an area of particular growth in 2017 for Grohe? For us, ceramics is the last piece of the puzzle for offering a full bathroom solution. Up until now there’s always been a conversation; people love Grohe taps and accessories, but when it came to the washbasin or regular toilets they had to call somebody else. Now we can service those customers. What new products are you showcasing at Sleep this year? What I’m most excited about is our new colours programme – PVD quality finish across ten colours. We’re definitely seeing the results of that pipeline coming in. It’s more than a trend, it’s where the business is going, because it allows customisation, and so designers can bring something besides polished chrome to the built environment. It’s a game changer. With the theme of Sleep being loyalty, how does Grohe approach this concept? We’ve been at it for a while now, and we find that a lot of our customers come to us for design and manufacturing excellence. So for us, loyalty is to keep innovating, to keep the architects and designers packed full of fresh ideas, allowing their creativity to flourish. When it comes to loyalty we’ve got a longstanding, decades-old business. We’re dedicated to it, and the thousands of men and women I work with have a mission in life to keep Grohe going and delivering those products.
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Culturing Life DORNBRACHT
In the age of the health conscious guest, Dornbracht looks to conceptualise the holistic approach of wellness environments through bathroom design. Words: Ben Thomas
ulturing Life is an expression that Dornbracht has coined to cultivate the habitats of the bathroom space since its inception in 1950. A global leader in premium fittings, the Germanbased company has exerted considerable influence over the cultural importance of design, architecture and technology in the bathroom. With an eye on both aesthetic and social shifts, as well as products that deliver intuition and functionality, Dornbracht is now focusing on integrating health-enhancing water applications in the context of bathroom architecture. “At Dornbracht, one of our major drivers is to create intuitive products,” explains Managing Director Andreas Dornbracht. “With hotels attracting many different guests, we have the chance to impress with our product design and quality.” Founder Aloys. F Dornbracht and his son Helmut initially ran the
small-scale manufacturing business from a shack in Iserlohn on the outskirts of Dusseldorf, tussling with local wholesalers over pricing issues before gaining a foothold in the market. Differentiating itself through user-friendly products, Dornbracht created the extendable spout – a pivoting faucet aiding those filling bathtubs with buckets of boiled water. Simplistic in nature, the invention marked a new era for industrial design and kick-started the brand’s instinct for tapping into social and cultural shifts. Continuing his father’s strive to push the boundaries of design, Helmut Dornbracht further distinguished the brand’s identity with the launch of Edition 2000 in 1969, a distinctive gold faucet exuding luxury over its chrome counterparts. At first panned by industry critics, the fitting piqued the interest of design-conscious consumers and shaped a new market segment for Dornbracht.
Above: Small Size Premium Spa – a spatial structure featuring innovative technology and numerous functions within 6m2 – was exhibited at ISH 2017
During the 1980s, Dornbracht was to concentrate its portfolio on designer fittings with the help of long-standing partner Sieger Design, injecting industry-first matching applications and coloured faucets in the form of the Domani series. However, it was the 1990s, the company’s rebrand and introduction of Tara, that ushered in a new era of product design. A progressive concept with geometrically based symmetry, Tara’s minimalist shaping and varied colourways became ubiquitous with architects and interior designers alike. Venturing beyond their pioneering role in the high-quality designer fittings segment, brothers Andreas and Matthias inherited the company with a thirst for innovation greater than just form and function, quickly establishing the five design principles of proportion, precision, progressiveness, personality and performance. Collaborating with branding agency Meiré & Meiré, they explored the idea of rituals, translating cultural demands into architectonic concepts in The Statements series. The findings were channelled into the development of an elementary bathroom aesthetic, which focused on the needs of individuals and mental orientation in an increasingly complex world. “Studies evidenced that the time awake in a hotel guestroom was mostly spent in the bathroom,” Dornbracht continues. “We identified a trend for larger bathrooms, particularly in luxury hotels, so our core focus for the future has therefore shifted to the in-room spa.”
Catering to the hospitality industry, Dornbracht commissioned Sieger Design to convert the blueprints into concept spaces and room sets, which can be experienced first-hand at their Iserlohn headquarters. Overcoming the challenges of minimum square footage in metropolitan design, the Small Size Premium Spa – comprising intelligent spatial architecture and a functional arrangement of elements – was amongst a series launched in response to a global lean towards wellbeing. Pouring into suites within properties ranging from Mandarin Oriental to The Peninsula Paris, the concept’s versatile aesthetic has adapted to suit a plethora of interior styles. A focus on digitalisation together with scientific research – investigating intergrated technology and connectivity in the bathroom sphere – furthered Dornbracht’s design process and enabled the brand to meet new cultural movements. Technology, particularly, has acted as a catalyst for a number of its health-driven systems, including the Ambience Tuning Technique, which measures lighting and temperature using a nanotech control system, responding to guest demand for sensory experiences. Likewise, the lie-down Horizontal Shower enable users to enjoy individual treatments with choreographed balancing, invigorating or relaxing effects. Despite their differing functions, all of the releases cultivate hydrotherapy – or Kneipp therapy – with technology their driving force.
DISCOV ER US AT T U U C I . C O M Artwork TUUCI for SLEEPER 1-2018.indd 1
Above Left: Classic elegance and modern minimalism, the Vaia series features a contemporary avante-garde style Above Right: Vertical Shower – part of Dornbracht’s health-enhancing range – features WaterFan and WaterCurve massage jets for hydrotherapy treatments
“Focusing on hotels, we see that the spa area is becoming just as important as the restaurant and the bar,” explains Christian Sieger. “This creates a driving element for the bathroom as guests are realising that they need somewhere to recharge, especially in the Western world where we have the capacity, time and money to think about our health.” Looking ahead, Dornbracht predicts further immersion into technology and the in-room spa, and envisions a growing demand for holistic experiences through health-oriented bathroom and spa design. Reacting to the mega-trend, the brand showcased Life Spa – a carefully curated selection of matching products and applications arranged in a trail and placed in open architecture – at ISH 2017. Merging connectivity and health through its Smart Water ideology, while introducing updatable hard and software for its shower systems and fittings, the choreographed treatments can augment a user’s personal health strategy and in the long term, make a relevant contribution to improving wellbeing. With plans to magnify its focus on integrated tech and wellness, the significance of water efficiency too has emerged a potential hurdle. Fuelled by its commitment to sustainability and water knowledge, a self-enforced responsibility that aims to care for the planet’s water, Dornbracht has responded by reducing its water usage by 30% in
the last six years – aided significantly by cutting 80% of water used during its manufacturing process. An ideology of sustainability has also inspired the brand to investigate grey water recycling and reuse strategies, in which hotels could manage water consumption through Dornbracht technology. “We foresee that for the hospitality industry, which we have discussed with various hotel operators, guests could be given a water budget. We are not talking about penalising, but incentivising, using our faucets to measure usage levels,” continues Dornbracht. “However, this requires additional investment, and many are simply shying away from the idea right now.” Individual rituals shape the bathroom of today and tomorrow for Dornbracht, and with wellness its cultural focal point today, the shack-operator-turned-market-leader must look to balance pioneering technology with sustainability in order to succeed in a society where water and sqaure footage are becoming increasingly precious commodities. Dornbracht concludes: “The focus used to be very much on the hardware – the product and the architecture. The major challenge for the future is to go beyond this and occupy ourselves with the software – the water.” www.dornbracht.com
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Ride with the tide FLOORCOVERINGS
Nature’s staying power is acknowledged as the latest international floorcovering trends nod to Mother Earth and her wellbeing properties.
s witnessed for many previous trend cycles, bringing Abstract, but equally as relevant is Monsieur Cristian Lacroix’s the outside in is not only aesthetically pleasing, but recent collection for Ege: Atelier. One of three sub-themes, Mineral also beneficial to health. Colour psychology can be takes the lead from Lacroix’s passion for collecting stones, one of used to demarcate areas, create an illusion of space, and most nature’s most elemental materials. The natural beauty is brought impressively, improve wellbeing through the creation of a safe to interiors through a theme embracing beautiful mosaics of beach environment. Humans need stability to relax, and the references stones, chaussé stones and quarry tiles. Speaking to Sleeper at the to natural world via brown tones, green accents and natural launch, Lacroix commented: “When I started collaborating with Ege, materials – or indeed imitation materials that evoke the real thing I discovered that anything is possible. I entered a limitless world. – that are being introduced by leading brands such as Ege, Domus To me the carpet is a way of communicating; it’s like words, it’s and Nanimarquina, satisfy this need like music. It changes the surface, and for being in touch with nature. can transform a space to make it seem Acknowledging the increasing larger, wider or smaller.” need for natural wood, engineered Jaime Hayon’s latest design for laminate and vinyl planks, UK-based Nanimarquina meanwhile was inspired Domus has recently dedicated an entire by a birds eye view on the earth during showroom floor to the specification of a flight between Perth and Sydney, Pergo solutions. The wood products Australia. Hand-tufted and with a Begüm Cana Özgür, Designer are available in a variety of grading, base tone of calming beige, the designs colours and formats, from a pale, depict Hayon’s imagination: fish, lips, smooth ash to a dark, rustic oak, while the engineered laminate turtles and half man-half bird figures, all comprised using woollen collection offers 80 decors and seven different surface textures to fluid lines and organic compositions. enhance the authentic look of wood and stones. Finally, the vinyl Staying with the Barcelona-based brand, its Shade collection offering presents 40 wood and stone-effect designs with an innovative, also takes inspiration from the natural world. Designer Begüm naturalistic embossed texture and true-to-life detail. Cana Özgür speaks about the influence of natural design aspects Looking to textiles, Ege’s ReForm Legend Broadloom combines the on physical wellbeing: “The handmade flatweave rug generates an layered, organic textures of the forest floor with sustainable production. incredible and well-rounded diffusion of colour. The surface releases a All of Ege’s ReForm ranges are Cradle-to-Cradle Certified Silver and sense of tranquillity and wellbeing that is balanced by the penetrating created using Aquafil’s Econyl yarns, produced from used fishing nets. vibration of colours.” The Legend collection is a contemporary interpretation of folklore and Far from a passing trend or fad, nature continues to influence enchanted woods, with the multi-level loop texture inspired by tree interiors, cementing its place in the mind of interior designers and bark laying beneath a blanket of simple, organic pattern. specifiers alike.
“The surface releases a sense of tranquillity and wellbeing that is balanced by the penetrating vibration of colours.”
MANDARIN STONE Chicago Renowned for its comprehensive natural stone collection, Mandarin Stone has recently launched its porcelain range. Introduced this year, Chicago offers an industrial feel for open-plan spaces, with the solution being more practical than a poured concrete floor. Numerous sizes are available, including an extra large 120x120cm, and two authentic concrete shades. The collection also includes a decor tile and mosaic options. www.mandarinstone.com
ICE INTERNATIONAL Shangri-La, Dubai One of the leading hotels in Downtown Dubai, Shangri-La features interiors by HBA Atlanta, and an abundance of hand tufted carpet by ICE. For the elegant refurbishment, ICE supplied 100% wool, handcarved designs for the hotelâ€™s lobby lounge and coffee station. www.rugs.nl
DOMUS Loop Loop is an artisanal, tactile product with a textural look that replicates the striking appearance of end-grain wood flooring. Available in a black or white natural finish, the character and irregularities of end-grain wood are key aspects of the design. Size options include one regular size or a modular size mix. Loop is an extruded handcrafted product made from natural raw materials, enhancing the individual aesthetic, differentiating it from standard industrial products. www.domustiles.co.uk
NANIMARQUINA Shade Designed by Begüm Cana Çzgür, the Shade collection is inspired by magical moments in nature where colours melt and speak for themselves. A complex technical process is used to achieve the density, regularity and fluidity of the design, which sees two gradients converge in each rug, one vertical and one horizontal. The rugs are handmade and flat woven, generating a well-rounded diffusion of colour and tranquillity. Shade is available in three ombré palettes: turquoise to eggplant, russet to Klein blue, and raspberry to forest green. www.nanimarquina.com
DESSO Desso&Ex Comprising 115 designs, Desso&Ex takes inspiration from the world of art in muted, weathered colours and multi-layered patterns. Each combination of colour and pattern presents a unique ambience, whether it is a calm and soothing backdrop in quiet areas or a more vibrant and upbeat atmosphere in social spaces. All Desso rugs can be seamlessly combined with Tarkett’s LVT and wood flooring, offering increased flexibility for a variety of interior design schemes. www.desso.co.uk
EGE ReForm Terra
A collaboration with Kit Kemp, this made-to-order range introduces nine designs that draw from an array of inspiration within folklore, architecture and botanical motifs. Speaking to Sleeper, Kemp comments: “Our aim was to bring a handcrafted feel into mass production. With the new loom at Wilton, we could explore a new look to give the same impression that a hand-blocked or Batik fabric would give in colour, scale and feel.”
Inspired by looking at earth – in Latin, terra – the latest collection from Ege references wild forests that transform into a palette of greens, blending in an abstract, organic shaped motif. Oceans meet in dramatic and extremely powerful bluish points, while dry desert mixes all shades of orange, red and brown. The multidimensional carpet construction adds a textural look and feel to the design, which is available in nine colours and as broadloom or tile. ReForm Terra is made of Econyl yarns, produced using fishing nets and waste material.
WILTON CARPETS Kit Kemp Range
FORBO Flotex Following the installation of a new stateof-the-art digital printer at Forbo, the latest Flotex flocked flooring range features enhanced vibrancy and depth throughout its colour palette. With the hardwearing durability of a resilient floorcovering, yet comfort of a textile, the range is available in either plank, tile or sheet format and features 70 million fibres per m 2 . The Flotex Vision design is a prime example of the brand’s evolving capabilities, with the product featuring digitally printed designs, from realistic pebble beaches to contemporary floral patterns to custom designs. www.forbo.com
AXMINSTER Brasserie Blanc Located at Highcliffe Marriott Hotel in Bournemouth, Brasserie Blanc features a modern yet casual décor complete with mural wallpaper and deep-buttoned sofas. Axminster Carpets has create a contemporary twist on a classic, respecting the history and characteristics of the location to create a carpet with engaging, monochrome stripes, echoing the vibrant atmosphere. www.axminster-carpets.co.uk
TOP FLOOR Fanfan One of two new rug designs from Topfloor by Esti, Fanfan is handtufted in black and charcoal using wool and bamboo silk in alternating rays. Acting as the yin to the yang of Topfloor’s Cancan design, both rugs have been made using Wools of New Zealand’s Glacial yarn technology, thus allowing whiter wool without the damaging effects of bleach. Both designs are customisable and can be ordered in any size, shape or colour. www.topfloorrugs.com
Jurys Inn Brighton Waterfront | Design Squared
BRINTONS Hotel Walther Pontresina, Switzerland In celebration of its 100 th anniversary, Hotel Walther Pontresina in Switzerland commissioned Brintons to translate the elaborate designs of interior designer Virginia Maissen into woven Axminster rugs and fitted carpet, complementing the refurbishment of the hotel. The concept was to create a modern, inviting and comfortable feel in the grand hotel, resulting in 17 bespoke designs that are abstract in a colour palette of reds, greens and yellows, referencing the alpine surroundings. www.brintons.co.uk
HAKWOOD European Oak Following a request from a local designer, Hakwood has recently launched a European Oak complete with random brass inlay that can be used to create a chevron pattern. To be flexible in installation, the solution can be used with multiple other designs including chevron, plank and more. www.hakwood.com
STARK CARPETS Sapphire A collaboration with some of the worldâ€™s most talented rug artisans, Sapphire presents a commitment to the beauty, individuality and vitality of the hand-knotted rug. Meticulously woven, the rugs are indicative of the industryâ€™s technological advances, and represent the utmost quality in floorcovering design. www.starkcarpet.com
FERREIRA DE SÁ Grand Hotel Kempinski Riga Originally built in the 19 th century, Grand Hotel Kempinski Riga is situated in the heart of the Latvian capital and features 141 luxury guestrooms and suites. The carpet throughout was individually designed with distinctive organic geometry, typical of the secession style. All pieces are made to measure in the Portugal factory, allowing Ferriera de Sá complete control over each detail. www.ferreiradesa.pt
DEIRDRE DYSON Horizons Set to launch at Maison et Objet Paris, Deirdre Dyson’s 2018 collection places emphasis on colour grading techniques and a combination of Chinese silk and Tibetan wool to reflect the textures and varying light found in nature. Horizons comprises five designs including Seascape: a seven-metre wide carpet depicting the colours of the sea, from its depth to its shallows, with flashes of light reflected on the water’s surface. Meanwhile, Skyscape will measure five-metres wide and illustrate the colours of cool skies with a glimmer of sunlight shining through. www.deirdredyson.com
HAVWOODS INTERNATIONAL Herringbone Taking inspiration from the herringbone pattern dating back to to the Roman empire, Havwoods International’s latest range presents a modern twist on a traditional design. The collection is available in light and dark finishes, and is ideal for fine intricate patterns including basket weave and heritage, as well as the classic herringbone. www.havwoods.co.uk
One of the UKâ€™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: email@example.com www.eesmith.co.uk
BISAZZA Marmo Dedicated to the timeless elegance of marble, Marmo is Bisazza’s first collection made using the luxurious material. The range is available in nine colour variations and 16 geometric patterns, including rhombus, square, hexagon, slat, spine, trapezium and triangular. www.bisazza.com
PORCELANOSA Par-ker Porcelanosa’s Par-ker ceramic parquet floorcoverings take inspiration from natural wood, yet without the high level of maintenance and care usually required. A new covering with an extremely realistic appearance, Par-ker features veins, colours and textures to accurately replicate one of nature’s finest materials, with the technical advantage of a ceramic metal. www.porcelanosa.com
CRUCIAL TRADING Hospitality Collection Innovative creators of residential carpets and rugs for over 30 years, Crucial Trading has launched a hospitality collection made from 100% wool. The range provides a diverse variety of choice, high quality materials, hardwearing longevity and supreme comfort, including 40 different wool structures, from single loop to complex patterns, that can be customised in a choice of 35 colours. www.crucial-trading.com
A unique range with striking patterns and colourways, Fusion has been created to make an impact. As the name suggests, the inspiration for this collection is a fusion of rediscovered classic designs that have a resonance in many different areas of interior design. The chevron Reverb has roots in architecture, while dogtooth design Tone originates from tweed fabrics. Finally, Sonic echoes ikat textiles and slub yarn designs. Available in four-metre width, the combination of wool and nylon is designed to withstand heavy wear. www.ulstercarpets.com
Reaching new heights The 21st International
Hotel Investment Forum 2018
5-7 March 2018 | InterContinental | Berlin, Germany
The meeting of global collaboration
Where the global hotel industry meets The International Hotel Investment Forum (IHIF) is the most influential and globally diverse meeting place for the hotel industry. Now in its 21st year, IHIF continues to be the most influential and globally-attended meeting place for the hotel investment community. The three day event, attended by over 2,000 HOSPITALITY AND TOURISM DECISION-MAKERS from over 80 COUNTRIES is the place where deals are done and important industry decisions are made. IHIF attracts a very senior gathering and among them nearly every major hotel chain CEO, influential global tourism ministers and the largest group of investors and hotel owners. Over 70 COMPANIES SPONSOR the event which is testament to the amount of business and new opportunities IHIF can deliver. Over 200 SPEAKERS take part in the educational programme, all chosen because they have something important to say
and advice to give. IHIF focusses on delivering opportunities to anyone who currently operates within the hotel and tourism industry or who wants to do business in this sector, including: • INVESTORS • HOTEL OWNERS • LENDERS • HOTEL CHAIN CEOs AND EXECUTIVES • FINANCIAL ADVISERS • REAL ESTATE AGENTS • LAWYERS • DESIGNERS • ARCHITECTS • CONSULTANTS • TIMESHARE DEVELOPERS • TOURISM AND GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS
Through three days of unrivalled NETWORKING opportunities, outstanding EVENING RECEPTIONS, an EXHIBITION and the very best EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMME, IHIF delivers important networking, information and contacts and our attendees and Sponsors, will agree that IHIF is an un-missable event in their diaries.
I love coming to IHIF every year. Everybody that is important in the business is here and there is a great exchange of ideas and trends. It helps me have a better understanding of what is going on in the industry and what is ahead for the year to come. CHRISTOPHER J. NASSETTA, PRESIDENT & CEO, HILTON WORLDWIDE
HELPING YOU EXPAND ACROSS THE GLOBE… JOIN US AT OUR OTHER EVENTS Design
REGISTER NOW TO BENEFIT FROM OUR EARLY-BIRD RATE ATTENDING IHIF COULD BE YOUR MOST PROFITABLE THREE DAYS OF THE YEAR!
THE ANNUAL HOTEL CONFERENCE (AHC)
ASIA PACIFIC HOTEL INVESTMENT CONFERENCE (APHIC) www.questexevent.com/IHIF/2017hk/
HOTEL ROI SERIES www.hotelroi.com
HOTEC DESIGN NORTH AMERICA www.hotecglobal.com/design
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Unlocking the future ACCESS & DOOR FURNISHINGS
With connectivity paramount to today’s society, even the simplest of hotel functions are undergoing a tech evolution. Words: Ben Thomas
onsidering smartphones have developed into social companions, it comes as no surprise that hotel operators are exploring ways to maximise integrated connectivity. With traditional access features evolving, door furnishings could soon shed their physical form altogether, ushering in a new era of hotel entry that aims to eradicate lengthy queues at check-in. According to mobile entry brand Openkey, 85% of hotel guests use their mobile devices when travelling, while E-marketer estimates that in 2017, 40% of all digital travel sales in the US were made on mobile devices. With connectivity and travel becoming increasingly interlinked, how, then, to effectively utilise this within the hotel? Operators from Holiday Inn Express to Yotel have invested in keyless technology to improve the arrival experience, with the former commissioning Openkey – a mobile application granting keyless access and check-in – as its experience-focused technology platform, whilst the latter partnered with Dormakaba to integrate IOS and Android-compatible RFID locking systems at its Boston property. “Guests need no longer anticipate being slowed down at the start of their stay with a lengthy check-in process at the front desk,” says Ravi Godhwani, General Manager of Holiday Inn Express Spring Hill. “Times are changing and we appreciate the guest desire for an arrival experience that is truly seamless.” Today’s traveller requires an intuitive network of services to be
truly satisfied with their stay, meaning operators and designers need to keep a finger on the pulse of the next technological trend that enhances the guest experience and meets reshaping standards. DITIGAL DEMOGRAPHIC At the core of keyless mobile entry is a quality radio-frequency identification system, or RFID. Hoteliers turned their attention to the electromagnetic tags soon after the digitalisation of locking systems, sprucing up the arrival experience with a hi-tech framework that brought in new levels of convenience. VingCard’s Signature RFID – a contactless electronic locking system installed at Sheraton Grand Hotel in Edinburgh – was introduced back in 2010 and has since developed mobile compatibility at properties such as Skye Hotel Suites Parramatta in Sydney under new owners Assa Abloy Hospitality, while Onity launched its DirectKey mobile access solution at The Hotel Show 2015 in Dubai, allowing guests to securely download room keys to their smartphone through hotel loyalty apps. In a bid to capture the next generation of guest, the entire hotel spectrum has invested heavily in integrating digital key systems into their brand, with Hilton Worldwide looking to its Honors programme to entice guests with keyless access to rooms, elevators, fitness centres and even parking facilities. Likewise, electronic
Above: Quantum Pixel – part of Dormakaba’s Smart Design Access technology – is compatible with the RFID electronic locking systems at Yotel Boston
locking solutions brands such as Salto are seizing the opportunity to work with hospitality heavyweights, designing an increased level of cloud-based access controls. XS4 One, for example, integrates wireless real-time Bluenet technology, while the Salto JustIn mobile app enables guests to receive their room key online, anytime and anywhere. And for the guest who is conscious of sustainability, the upsurge of connectivity will result in less plastic, and therefore less waste for operators.
outside world. North 4 Design’s range of single glazed vision panels, including Uno, characterise this idea, bringing additional visibility to doors and interiors. Offering a streamlined contemporary aesthetic, the portholes can feature in guestrooms, restaurants and lobbies and shed light onto whether tech-controlled artificial ambiance will ever live up the real thing. CYBERSECURITY CONUNDRUM The proliferation of keyless technology has nonetheless triggered debate on cyber security, as well as concerns over escalating data intrusion. With hospitality one of the top five industries subject to network breaches, hotel operators must understand the security risks of mobile keys prior to making large investments, as well as developing contingency plans for system failures. While technological advancements often make life easier for consumers, hotel operators could be plagued with potential setbacks, forcing them to weigh up whether traditional styles would better suit their interiors. Carrson International’s Sun Valley Bronze collection – featuring the Lift series, designed in collaboration with Carney Logan Burke Architects – embodies these traditions, using the textural qualities of bronze to bridge the gap between rustic and modern sensibilities. Further, its slender and curved silhouette pairs effortlessly with the simple aesthetic of its organic material.
CUSTOMISABLE CONTROL Individualisation and functionality have become driving forces in the hotel guestroom, particularly in the context of technology. The pervasiveness of mobile devices has relegated conventional hotel room features, demanding that the entire guestroom experience be controlled from one central hub. Jung’s Key Card Switch, for example, incorporates KNX technology that can control atmospheric lighting and acclimatisation while creating optimum energy efficiency for operators. Working with RFID cards, the switch features both a shut-off delay and specific light functions, enabling guests to customise the ambience of their space to provide convenience and aesthetics in equal measure. Natural light however, is also primary a consideration within public spaces in particular, essential in reconnecting hotel guests with the
Assa Abloy Hospitality
Advanced. Secure. Wireless.
VingCard Essence With the new VingCard Essence, you get the most advanced technology in a clean, minimalistic design that seamlessly blends with any hotel decor. And now the industryâ€™s most uniquely beautiful and functional locking system is even smarter than ever. Available with wireless online capabilities, VingCard Essence is now compatible with ASSA ABLOY Hospitality Mobile Access, allowing guests to bypass the front desk, using their smartphone or watch as a secure digital key. Learn more today www.assaabloyhospitality.com/essence
The global leader in door opening solutions
Above Left: Rocky Mountain Hardware’s Edge model marries minimalism with unique textures to create a tactile furnishing for doors Above Right: Carrson’s Lift collection and North 4 Design’s Uno series bridge the gap between rustic and modern interiors
The role of materials has arguably become more prominent in brass and features a ringed surface to add further dimension the the door furnishings sector, with Turnstyle Designs amongst an ironmongery offering. Meanwhile, the Industrial collection mirrors abundance of ironmongery companies nodding towards tactile the rejuvenation of 19th-century design styles within hospitality, and craftsmanship and quality finishes rather than intergrated technology. can be tailored to the taste of designers and hotel operators with ten The Stitch finishes for example, use soft leather to encase various finishes to suit a plethora of interiors. handle shapes, adding a feeling of luxury Despite all of its plaudits, technology at every touchpoint. continues to be the biggest challenge for Rocky Mountain Hardware also the hotel industry. It comes as no surprise produces handle sets that venture that tech-heavy guestrooms continue to further than just aesthetics. The Edge divide travellers, with some preferring series – a narrow escutcheon launched simplicities in an age saturated with the for contemporary interiors – brings two latest gadgets. However, forward-thinking textured finishes including Wire, a tactile companies are looking to bridge the gap Ravi Godhwani, Holiday Inn Express tangle of lines enwrapping the surface, by integrating technology within existing and Moonscape, a bronze handle exuding locking systems, retaining original design fluidity. Reflecting a minimalist aesthetic, both collections provide styles whilst creating a seamless arrival experience for guests. a sharp finish, embodying a ‘less is more’ design principle to place With much of the keyless technology still in its infancy, the global materials as paramount. hotel industry must strive to invest in connectivity at every angle and Likewise, Oliver Knights has featured textured finishes on a increase capabilities. Irrespective of who amalgamates the technology number of its recent collections, including incorporating leather and first, it will be operators offering a truly connected experience – from varying metals into its bespoke designs. Its Brastius series, presented arrival to departure – that attract and retain the all-important loyalty by SDS London at 100% Design in 2017, is manufactured from solid of the next generation.
“Times are changing and we appreciate the guest desire for an arrival experience that is truly seamless.”
CONTACT TO ADVERTISE OR SUBSCRIBE: SUPPER@MONDIALE.CO.UK TEL: +44(0)161 476 5580 WWW.SUPPERMAGAZINE.CO.UK
Image: RÃ¼ya, Grosvenor House Dubai Photography: Hyku D Photography
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
LAUFEN Val Constructed from its signature SaphirKeramik material, Laufenâ€™s Val collection features elegant washbasin, toilet, bidet, bathtub and brassware components. Characterised by geometric forms, the collectionâ€™s freestanding bathtub boasts a seamless construction and understated aesthetic. www.laufen.com
KARAK TILES Nord Embodying Karak Tiles’ rigorous and dynamic design philosophy, the latest addition to its KuQua series of patterned tiles is glazed with a unique in-house oxide blend that produces vibrant, fluid tones. Infinitely repeatable and reliably strong, Nord explores the relationship between Eastern and Western design traditions through handcrafted geometry and digitally developed patterns. www.karak.at
MUZEO Hôtel Molitor Paris – MGallery by Sofitel
Created in collaboration with designer Benjamin Hubert, Allermuir’s Axyl features a geometric aesthetic, A-frame typology and a mid-century Danish wrap-around shell. Comprising a chair and barstool, with more to come, Axyl is constructed from a recycled die-cast aluminium frame topped with an injection-moulded shell. Stackable and symmetrical, Axyl is available in a variety of low-impact materials.
Origami is the latest wide-width, Trevira CS fire-retardant collection from Skopos. The collection offers six new contemporary designs based on geometric influences contained in the art of paper, origami. The collection includes a multi-coloured wave design, a luxury embroidered diamond, tonal holographic hexagon and texture with a raised 3D quality.
Working with Jean-Philippe Nuel, Muzeo’s bespoke artwork package for Hôtel Molitor Paris – MGallery by Sofitel integrates wayfinding and signage solutions into a large-scale vinyl wallcovering. Telling the hotel’s story though 80 years of artistic movements, the package comprises both Art Deco and street art styling, employing a wide variety of materials to create a unique visual history.
Heading into thin air? www.deloitte.co.uk/thl ÂŠ 2017 Deloitte LLP. All rights reserved.
J12803 mw EHIC Sleeper Advert.indd 1
EXHALE Bladeless Ceiling Fan Distributing air evenly throughout a space, Exhale’s Bladeless Ceiling Fan silently ventilates entire rooms whilst eliminating moisture that could lead to mould and bacteria. With the airflow directed around a 360o arc as opposed to the traditional downward configuration, engineers have worked to ensure that there are no visible screws or bolts, making the fan as decorative as it is functional. www.exhalefans.com
JC HOSPITALITY Natural Cocktail Table
HECTOR FINCH Tom Wall Light
A cover plate for Tece’s urinal electronics, TeceFilo can match a wide variety of the brand’s flush systems and is available in stainless steel, glass and plastic. With its minimalist design and anti-fingerprint coating, the plate can be applied flat against a wall whilst the glass and plastic versions can be embedded. Running from mains or battery power, TeceFilo also features functions that save water and increase hygiene.
Inspired by natural island elements, JC Hospitality’s Natural Cocktail Table is put through a coating process to protect it from outdoor climates. The solid antique brass table features a marble top with vein and mineral details, and with a low rise form is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. The wider collection is characterised by neutral colours and hand-woven rattan.
Hector Finch’s Tom Wall Light is a retro-inspired fitting combining style with simplicity. Featuring a spun aluminium shade that can be custom painted to suit any project, the shade is attached to a brass arm on a swivel joint that can also be custom coloured. The Tom Wall Light can be used as a wall mounted desk lamp, over a bed as a reading lamp, or as a picture light. The range is available in reading light and swing arm models.
THE LOBBY – A HOTEL EXPERIENCE 18-20 MARCH 2018, DENMARK
THE MEETING PLACE FOR YOUR INDUSTRY
Invite your colleagues to Foodexpo 2018 – the largest food trade fair in the Nordic countries. Get three valuable days with inspiration and showcasing of solutions for the hotels of tomorrow.
DON’T MISS OUT ON:
• Around 600 exhibitors • Trend researcher Mads Arlien-Søborg’s new hotel concept, The Lobby – A hotel experience. Meet the industry and get inspiration for the hotels and restaurants of the future • Three ECO-halls filled with activities, exhibitions and stories about organic agriculture from farm to fork • Foodexpo News – the latest news from exhibitors Follow Foodexpo on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn
PRINT FREE ADMISSION CARD UK.FOODEXPO.DK
SANIPEX GROUP Harlem Named after its American Oak finish, Sanipex’s Harlem storage range channels the industrial trend across components including drawers, an open shelving unit, wooden framed mirrors and wall mounted accessory bars. Featuring accents of matte black and slim, linear handles, the range further incorporates a pronounced grain pattern to create a rustic, traditional aesthetic. www.sanipexgroup.com
TINEKHOME Bamboo Collection Designed by Tine Kjeldsen and constructed from 100% natural material, Tinekhome’s Bamboo Collection can be deployed as a statement outdoor piece or subtle accenting detail. Characterised by a rustic aesthetic and linear profile, the collection comprises a chair, couch, table, bed, and various decoration accessories. Fabric covers and cushions are available in shades of grey, white and stone. www.tinekhome.com
VICTORIA + ALBERT BATHS Gordano 6032 Victoria + Albert’s Gordano 6032 marks the brand’s first venture into built-in baths, and combines sophisticated lines with design flexibility for an easily installed tub. Featuring a 32° angle of recline, integrated arm rests and adjustable feet, the bath is crafted from the brand’s signature Quarrycast material. Each model is hand-finished with a glossy white shine, and can be fitted as drop-in or under-mount. www.vandabaths.com
The Ritz-Carlton Chicago
Meraki Design has specified brassware from the St. James Collection by Marflow throughout Lympstone Manor’s 21 guestrooms and suites. Forming part of the Grade II listed Georgian manor’s two-year transformation, Marflow pieces complement guestrooms by channeling classic aesthetics through luxurious fittings including Victorian bath shower mixers for roll top baths and antique gold taps with brass accents. Michael Caines, Proprietor and Chef, Lympstone Manor, comments: “With the St. James Collection providing the finishing detail, our bathrooms were in-keeping of the high-quality standards we endeavoured to complete the hotel project with.” Caines, a three-time Michelin starred chef, has overseen the reimagining of Lympstone Manor, a contemporary country house hotel overlooking the Exe Estuary. Set amidst 28 acres of gardens and parkland, and with a new dining experience headed up by Caines, the manor has been comprehensively transformed. “The team at Marflow presented the perfect solution with a practical and simple to operate design that’s needed within a hotel environment,” Caines concludes. “The overall sense of our bathrooms has been well received by our guests and their stylish and practical design has proved to be a great success.”
Set within The Ritz-Carlton Chicago’s lobby and inspired by its Lake Michigan views, Lasvit’s Flying Wave sculpture sparkles by day and reflects by night. Designed by Maria Culenová, the piece appears to levitate, mimicking the movement of waves with a colour gradient ranging from smoky blue to clear, whilst the bubble texture within enhances refraction. Metal-coated glass components below create a secondary layer of reflection, creating a distinct sense of fluidity across 616 separate hand-blown glass elements, resulting in slightly indented spheres that look to have been pressurised by water. “The overall design has a truly liquid and organic feel, but it required a unique technical approach,” Culenová explains. “We engineered a special mounting system using a net rather than a steel plate. This fine, nearly-invisible, net structure allows natural light from the skylight to permeate the space and reflect in the glass components.” Created as part of The Ritz-Carlton Chicago’s renovation programme – further including re-fashioned suites, guestrooms and corridors – the sculpture welcomes guests to the 435-key hotel with a design that respects the building’s modernist heritage whilst creating an elegant sense of locale.
KVADRAT Designed by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, Kvadrat’s Copenhagen showroom features a linear and geometric combination of brick and glass, and is host to a versatile shelving and hanging system that can transform the space through a rotating cast of fabric and colour.
Displaying over 2,000m 2 of marble, onyx and natural stone amidst specially created backlit panels, Italian marble specialist Elite Stone’s first UK showroom is situated in Central London and explores how its products and sculptural carvings interact with different levels of light.
Located in Bellvei, a small coastal village in the Catalan province of Tarragona, Kettal’s new manufacturing plant has been designed to resemble an office or gallery space as opposed to a conventional factory floor. Comprising two connecting blocks fully equipped to meet production demands, the factory is well-lit, spacious and fronted by a 1000m 2 glass façade that ensures ample natural light. Further, the entire building has been structured to avoid direct sunlight reaching the interior, preventing the greenhouse effect and colour warps. The higher of the two blocks contains offices and showrooms, whilst the production sequence unfolds across the lower section. The elevated location of the upper block allows both staff and client a commanding view of the efficiency below, whilst the production segment contains a service area and test lab. The entire sequence on the lower floor has been designed so that products can pass from hand-to-hand without ever touching the floor, from raw material to finished piece. In the making since 2014, the finished factory emphasises the bespoke and personal philosophy at Kettal’s heart, with expert craft and a distinctly human element informing its design.
VESCOM Occupying a building designed in 1963 by architect Juan Manuel Ruiz de la Prada Sanchiz, the exterior of Vescom’s new Marid showroom complements the brand’s modernist leanings, whilst new interiors by Bas van Tol highlight a focus on structure, colour and mood.
MISURAEMME Italian-based bespoke furniture company MisuraEmme‘s first Beijing showroom in the city’s exclusive Easy Home centre pays tribute to Italian style and elegance across 300m 2 of space , and features products including the TaoCrossing shelving unit and Gramcery table.
Create a feelgood environment.
indoor • outdoor | residential • hospitality • commercial chairs • stools • lounge chairs • tables firstname.lastname@example.org • +31 6 430 30 426 • www.feelgooddesigns.eu
Introducing Our New Range:
PROJECT With clean lines and modern styling, our Project range not only looks beautiful but is extremely versatile, seamlessly adapting to most styles of bathroom.
Visit us at Sleep 2017 stand G14 | The Hotel Design Event & discover our high quality bathroom accessories
TEL | +44 (0) 121 333 6062 FAX | +44 (0) 121 333 6459 email@example.com www.waterbury.co.uk
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The future’s flexible (W)EGO, AMSTERDAM
The Netherlands has emerged as something of a hotbed for innovative hotel concepts in recent years. Disruptive game-changer Zoku ran with a synergy between work and stay when it opened back in 2016, whilst hybrid properties by The Student Hotel have blurred lines between term-time accommodation and boutique hotel. Now, Rotterdam-based studio MVRVD has entered the ring with (W) ego, an interactive concept that explores the relationship between hospitality and the changing city landscape. Created for Dutch Design Week in collaboration with The Why Factory, MVRDV’s inhouse research lab, the habitable installation – dubbed The Future
City is Flexible – comprises nine guestrooms that can be repositioned to different configurations. In a world experiencing dramatic climate change, declining resources, rapid population growth and substantial consumption of space, it aims to show that future urban dwellings are capable of adapting to users’ needs. Each room is unique and designed to fulfil idealistic yet egoistic perspectives; one features a bed suspended from the ceiling while another is made entirely of stairs. The resulting interactions between guests form a continuously changing whole, channelling notions of flexibility and negotiation. Thus, ego becomes (W)ego.
A TRADITIONALLY CRAFTED, CONTEMPORARY VISION OF LIGHT Shadows and Whistle with new Brokis connectors for increased ease of installation and maintenance.
IMM COLOGNE 15. — 21. 1. 2018 BROKIS STAND M-018, hall 2.2
MAISON&OBJET 19 — 23. 1. 2018 F27, hall 7
LIGHT+BUILDING 18 — 23. 3. 2018 D20, hall 1.1
BROKIS LIGHT VISIONS at DAS HAUS by Lucie Koldova hall 2.2. BROKIS AT LIGHT LAB Featured Editions by Stylepark H-021, hall 2.2
Sleeper inzerce-2018_236x275_0.2.indd 21
The Sleeper brand – comprising a beautifully presented magazine, and our website www.sleepermagazine.com – is targeted at all those involved...
Published on Jan 17, 2018
The Sleeper brand – comprising a beautifully presented magazine, and our website www.sleepermagazine.com – is targeted at all those involved...