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Petter Stordalen


Naguib Sawiris and AW2 bring a new level of luxury to Grenada befitting of the island’s natural beauty

The ‘rock star’ hotelier talks prioritising people and pushing boundaries at Nordic Choice Hotels

Jacques Garcia transforms a former London Baptist church into a hedonistic hideaway

Because good design demands simplicity. ™

British lighting design since 1997

Inside Sleeper JANUARY | FEBRUARY 2019


Hotel Reviews


Cover Story

042 Capella Ubud Bali

034 Meeting… Petter Stordalen Following his showstopping acceptance speech at AHEAD Europe, the founder of Nordic Choice Hotels talks strawberry selling, pushing the boundaries and crash-landing at a hotel launch on his jet ski.

084 Silversands Grenada Designing a resort befitting of Grenada’s natural beauty, French studio AW 2 combine natural materials and a scheme inspired by the surrounding landscape for a new benchmark of luxury on the island.

145 Company Profile… RH With the opening of its six-storey New York gallery space kicking off a new era for RH, the American furniture manufacturer completes a stylistic and operational transformation thirty years in the making.

© Magda Biernat Photography

052 L’Oscar Hotel London 063 The Murray Hong Kong 070 Joali Maldives 079 Bankside Hotel London 090 Perry Lane Hotel Savannah 096 My Arbor South Tyrol

Departments 022 Check In 024 Drawing Board 103 Business Centre Hotel Analyst 108 Business Centre STR 111 Events AHEAD 126 Events HI Design Asia 130 Events Deloitte EHIC 134 Events Sleep + Eat 151 Product Profile Floorcoverings 162 Product Profile Access Systems 165 Specifier 178 Check Out


Cala Collection by Doshi Levien H Pavilion by Kettal Studio

HEAD OFFICE KETTAL / CONTRACT BARCELONA: Aragรณn 316, 08009 Barcelona, Spain. T. (34) 93 487 90 90 SHOWROOMS KETTAL BARCELONA - LONDON - MARBELLA - MIAMI - NEW YORK - PARIS LONDON: 567 Kings Road SW6 2 EB. T. (44) 20 7371 5170


A NEW PERSPECTIVE ON HOSPITALITY. Minotti’s attitude to think about living solutions, rather than focusing only on single products, finds its distinctive expression in Hospitality. Minotti brings its contemporary spirit and multidisciplinary approach to convey its international lifestyle to top-of-the-range hotels and residential projects. The company vision finds its way in a realistic architectural project that emphasizes the quality of good design furnishings and their flexibility in customization, in order to meet the highest functional, technical and safety requirements of the Hospitality industry. Thought as a rationalist framework, defined by the contrasts between black and white and between volumes and transparencies, the building recalls the Japanese and Scandinavian design philosophies thanks to its rarefied and minimalist atmosphere. Arranged with lobby areas, lounges, bars, restaurants and a penthouse, the project accommodates an unusual winter garden, framed by a transparent glass box, as well as an oasis to relax outdoor and by the pool. Offering suggestions and visual cues for meaningful settings, the aim of the concept is to showcase the variegated ensemble of the new products while creating a connection between the 2018 Collection and an architecture immersed in greenery.




A Liquorice-tinted wooden flooring alternates with medium-grey concrete slabs, while the natural light enters through the full-wall windows, which are outlined by minimal framings. For an unexpected and contemporary mood, far from decorative excesses. The interiors and exteriors are inhabited by design pieces, carrying a firm personality, which are taken from the 2018 Indoor and Outdoor collections, then customized with specificities to meet the needs of the Hospitality sector. Even though the individual furniture pieces reflect the signatures of the various international designers from Rodolfo Dordoni to Christophe Delcourt, from Nendo to Marcio Kogan, the collection is strongly coordinated to harmonise together the multiple languages and express the codes that define the Minotti identity.



The Quadrado modules can be combined to design organic compositions. The suspended square platforms follow the scheme of the traditional teak duckboard used in the yachting world to facilitate the outflow of water.


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01/09/2016 10:09:33



wards season is upon us. It’s that time of year when the world’s great directors, storytellers and supporting cast come together to celebrate excellence in their industry, vying for the ultimate accolade to be named best-of-the-best. No, not the Golden Globes, BAFTAs or even the Oscars… it’s AHEAD Global. Following regional heats to determine the best new hotels across Asia, Americas, MEA and Europe over the past two years, the winners will now go head-to-head in a global competition. Spanning all corners of the globe, from the bright lights of LA to the winelands of Australia, via Copenhagen, Cape Town, Tbilisi and the Maldives, finalists have already undergone a rigorous and thorough process to win an AHEAD regional award, with a panel of judges assessing projects on creative excellence, operational success and commercial viability. Now, in a worldwide celebration of hospitality experience and design, each regional winner has submitted a short film demonstrating why it is worthy of an AHEAD Global award. So while we might not be talking Spielberg, Scorsese or DiCaprio, there is a cinematic element to the competition. Some of the films tell the story of the hotel from concept to completion, highlighting the craftsmanship of artisans; others showcase the creative cocktails and artistic plating of cuisine. There’s timelapses, fly-throughs and action shots, as well as drone footage to show how the property harmonises with the landscape around it. Some are accompanied by soundtracks in tune with the brand identity, others feature soundbites from the design teams involved. The Global judging panel is currently in the process of reviewing the films, and will meet in January to debate the merits of each project before casting their final votes. Furthermore, we’re giving you the chance to have your say by opening up voting to the design community for the first time. The winners will be decided by an aggregation of public and judges votes, and will be announced on 28 January at simultaneous events in London and New York, as well as being live streamed online at and The films are available to view online and voting is now open, so grab the popcorn and settle in for an afternoon of entertainment and inspiration.

Catherine Martin | Managing Editor


Guest Book


© Marte Garmann




© Sitki Kosemen





“Our ambition has always been to be pioneers; we are constantly looking for oppor t u n it ie s to evolve , change and grow,” says Petter Stordalen, founder of Nordic Choice Hotels, on establishing the brand some twenty years ago. Dubbed the rock star of the hotel industry thanks to a number of headlining antics, Stordalen recently accepted the Outstanding Contribution Award at AHEAD Europe.

Since co-founding Istanbulbased design studio Autoban with Sefer Çaglar in 2003, Seyhan Özdemir Sarper has forged a reputation for blending sophistication and minimal forms with rich materials and craftsmanship. The firm has recently completed the interior scheme at Joali Maldives, where villas are layered with custom-made f u rnishings, organic curved shapes and tactile materials.

“The client wanted to take Grenadian hospitality to a different level from anything else on the island,” say AW 2 partners Reda Amalou and Stéphanie Ledoux of their latest project, Silversands. Having designed hotels in Cambodia a nd V ie t n a m , t he duo turned their attention to The Caribbean, collaborating with businessman Naguib Sawiris to create a resort befitting of Grenada’s natural beauty.

In collaboration with the Natural History Museum, HBA London’s Creative Director C o n s t a n t i n a Ts o u t s i ko u awakened the curious explorer in us all with a Sleep Set inspired by the beauty of the natural world. On display at the Sleep + Eat event last November, the installation encouraged visitors to connect with the great outdoors, uncover hidden treasu res and experience hospitality in a new way.


Ph. Marco Mussi


Bartoli Design


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Four Seasons, Megève – Mood Clubchair by Studio Segers

Living the good life outside. Love it, live it, share it.


© Mark Cocksedge

Bryan O’Sullivan B RYA N O’SU LLIVA N S T U DI O

Having recently completed hotels in Dublin, Cambridge and Girona, architect Bryan O’Sullivan escapes the crowds for a fantasy break at a remote tropical hideaway.

Where are you? Isla de Providencia; somewhere hot and far from the crowds. The sleepy island belongs to Colombia, but is 700km from the coast in the Caribbean Sea. It’s a throwback to the kind of Caribbean island many think no longer exists. How did you get there? I sailed on a fabulous Eos Yacht built by Lurssen. Who is there to greet you on arrival? Dorothy Draper herself greets me. She’s not a hotelier but has designed some incredible hospitality spaces. And who’s at the concierge desk? Knut Wylde, General Manager from The Berkeley. Stretching the boundaries a little here, but he’s wonderful – charming, professional, welcoming, and a fountain of knowledge. Who are you sharing your room with? My fiancé, James. Is there anything you would like waiting for you in your room? Chateldon sparkling water. My fiancé’s extremely glamorous grandmother introduced me to it in Burgundy; it’s delightfully refreshing. And plenty of local fresh fruit. Describe the hotel, your room and the view... The hotel is a series of elaborate beach hut structures nestled into the landscape. There are around 20 guestrooms, each featuring a living area, veranda and hidden spaces to explore, all with a hint of

Hollywood Regency. Stunning views take in the white sand beaches and azure sea, as well as the verdant tropical plantlife of the island’s interior. My room is an exceptionally well-planned suite with a separate area for dining and a comfortable lounge, not forgetting the terrace from which to enjoy sunset or late-night stargazing. A serene palette of whites and neutrals with touches of green is accompanied by an eclectic mix of traditional and mid-century furniture and beautiful lamps in just the right places. Sleep is golden, which means a Savoir No 1 mattress and fine percale bed linens please. There’s a small pool for a quick dip, and access to a gym. Steps down to our own private beach connects us to the quintessential tropical scene of coconuts washed up on the shore, swaying palm trees and a swing to laze on. Who designed it? The hotel is a collaboration between interior designer Dorothy Draper and architect Richard Neutra. I love Draper’s use of colour and the romantic Hollywood Regency style of her work, which contrasts nicely with the clean lines of Neutra’s elaborate beach hut structure. What’s the restaurant and bar like? It is elegant yet relaxed, with views to the ocean, and serves fresh, locally sourced produce. There’s a cosy bar too, serving 1950s cocktails and mocktails. Who are you dining with this evening? Salvador Dali; singer and actress Bette Midler; Mexican artist Frida Kahlo; my fiancé James; and Elton John.

Who’s manning the stoves? Martin Hallissey, chef at Packie’s restaurant in Kenmare, my home town in Ireland; it’s handsdown my favourite restaurant. The menu is mostly based around local seasonal produce; incredible seafood very simply cooked and served. The food is exquisite, and you can expect everything from freshly caught lobster, to the best lemon madeleines I have ever tasted. And what’s on the menu? Gubbeen smoked bacon, Cashel Blue cheese and seasonal leaves to begin, followed by breadcrumbed fried scallops with lemon butter, and hazelnut meringue with fresh strawberries to finish. What’s in the mini-bar for a night cap? Fresh mint tea. What’s your essential travel companion? My iPhone camera. I constantly take photos and find inspiration for design everywhere. MULTIPLE CHOICE: Bath or power shower? Can I have both? Full English, continental or something different? Full Irish breakfast. Swimming pool, spa or gym? Swimming pool, and a good masseur!

Name: Bryan O’Sullivan | Position: Owner, Bryan O’Sullivan Studio | Notable hotel projects: The Tamburlaine, Cambridge; Lavida Hotel, Girona; The Green, Dublin; The Cigar Bar at The Berkeley, London (in progress)


Crossroads MALDIVES

Crossroads, a multi-island integrated resort featuring new Curio Collection and Hard Rock-branded hotels, has announced a staggered opening throughout 2019. Located a 15-minute speedboat ride from capital city Malé, the expansive project will feature hotels, retail space, fine-dining venues and entertainment facilities within the dedicated marina leisure island. The 200-key Saii Lagoon Maldives, Curio Collection by Hilton, will be set across a short stretch of water from Hard Rock Hotel Maldives, affording guests a choice between two prominent operators and a pair of distinct hospitality experiences. Inspired by a combination of local Maldivian culture and contemporary design, Hard Rock Hotel Maldives will feature a music and entertainment-focused offer by way of in-room Fender guitars and Croslet record players, as well as a full-service Rock

Spa, merchandise shop and kids club. On-site F&B options range from a pool bar and all-day dining to Pan-Latin cuisine at The Elephant & The Butterfly and a signature Hard Rock Café. Meanwhile, the 200-key Saii Lagoon Maldives will channel a more tranquil atmosphere through beachfront and over-water villas and a modern, artisanal interior scheme. Dining experiences here include Café del Mar, seafood at Miss Olive Oyl, the Mediterranean-inspired Seafood Grill & Bar, and a pair of Thaiinfluenced venues in Mr Tomyam and Eatery. Developed by Singha Estate – an operator in investment and real estate under Boonrawd Brewery Group, who is overseeing the completion of the wider project – Crossroads marks the most comprehensive tourism initiative undertaken in the country thus far, and seeks to elevate and expand the tropical nation as a destination for medium to upscale family and lifestyle guests.


Zoku has announced plans for two new properties in Amsterdam and Vienna, both slated to open in 2020.

Zoku Copenhagen will be situated on Amager Island, comprising 160 lofts to mark the largest project in the brand’s portfolio thus far. The hotel will share space with an organic-focused supermarket and co-working concept Woods. Zoku Vienna, meanwhile, will open in the Leopoldstadt district, in close proximity to the University of Economics and Business. Comprising 131 lofts, the project will seek to contribute to the creation of a dynamic, modern neighbourhood. Hans Meyer, co-founder and Managing Director at Zoku, adds: “In the digital era, offline interactions have never been more important, and we actively facilitate those human connections at Zoku. We’ve worked closely with our target audience to put people at the centre of our design so we can deliver maximum value and relevance to our guests. We want to grow internationally, help build the cities of tomorrow, and push the world forward with smarter solutions.”

These developments follow the opening of Zoku Amsterdam in 2016, and its introduction of a new category to the hospitality sphere emphasising a combination of elements drawn from hotels, homes and co-working spaces. Partnering with developers NREP/Tetris in Copenhagen and IG Immobilien in Vienna, the brand will adapt its concept to suit the specific needs of each location. “It’s clear that the future of urban developments must be more ambitious than just traditional, single-use buildings,” says Marc Jongerius, co-founder and Managing Director at Zoku. “Our ambition is to partner with the best developers in each market to create a fresh and unique destination that fits with the local context.”


Bespoke lighting by Chelsom at Jin Gui, Hamburg Designer: Joyce Wang Studio

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14/12/2018 15:50

Hotel Ottilia COPENHAGEN

Brøchner Hotels has announced the mid-January opening of Hotel Ottilia, a boutique property within Copenhagen’s former Carlsberg brewery buildings.

Danish history. As an authentic boutique hotel commands, we bring the history of the buildings into the design of the hotel. The grain silos and industrial elements are incorporated in the interior and essential to the new purpose and story of the buildings and the hotel.” Situated within a Carlsberg City District currently undergoing a phase of urban renewal, the hotel will be in close proximity to Copenhagen Zoo and cultural hub Vesterbro’s restaurants and bars. Meanwhile, Brøchner’s sustainable ethos will touch elements from the organic breakfast to low emission room temperature levels. “We are creating unique hotels and experiences that reinvent the hotel stay, and in our opinion the Carlsberg City District is one of the most unique areas in Copenhagen,” Nielsen adds. “Hotel Ottilia offers both guests and locals a one-of-a-kind experience in many ways, as this hotel is much more than just a hotel.”

Reinterpreting the industrial architecture whilst preserving original unpolished details of the structure throughout, the 155-key project is clad in a façade adorned by 64 gold shields on one side, and 64 large round windows on the other. Elsewhere, the structure’s retained tower holds suites with multi-sided turret windows. Hotel Ottilia also incorporates conference facilities for up to 200 people within the former brewing space, a spa and bath concept, and a rooftop terrace hosting an Italian restaurant. Karim Nielsen, CEO at Brøchner Hotels, comments: “We are very aware that the buildings we are creating Hotel Ottilia in are a part of


POINT, S.L. Partida Planet, s/n 03727 Jalรณn (Alicante) Spain T. +34 966 480 132 Fax +34 966 480 358

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DALMATIA New Collection Design: Nika Zupanc

11/12/18 13:22

Savoy Palace MADERIA

Savoy Palace, a Leading Hotels of the World property, has announced its June 2019 opening in the Maderian capital of Funchal.

Guestrooms all include balconies, as well as distinct leisure and work areas set against contemporary interiors with customised fabrics and made-to-measure furniture. Elsewhere, the design of the 3,000m² spa has been inspired by the Laurissilva Forest – Madeira’s UNESCO World Heritage site and the largest surviving laurel forest in the world. A signature restaurant named Terreiro will be set in a standalone building taking inspiration from traditional Maderian architecture, and includes a brasserie, cocktail bar, water bar and chef’s farm. In the main building there will be a further fine-dining restaurant, along with two buffet restaurants and a poolside eatery. In addition, the resort will have five bars – including a Sunset Bar, Lobby Bar and Garden Bar – with various live music events and DJs set to appear across each.

Designed by Nini Andrade Silva with RH+ Architects, the 352key project will incorporate an 11-room spa, 226 apartments, five restaurants and bars, and a large rooftop venue with panoramic views over the Atlantic. Situated in close proximity to the city’s Old Town, the aesthetic is inspired by the surrounding landscape and culture of the island, with the Belle Epoque period referenced throughout. Set within a curved structure, interiors bring together visual elements drawn from volcanic landscapes, local embroidery, traditional wickerwork and Madeiran fortified wine. Common areas emphasise colour and curves to suggest plant forms, and are punctuated by Art Nouveau-style ornaments.


118 Downtown Dubai Designed in collaboration with HBA Dubai


Hyatt Hotels Corporation has won the bid to operate a new spa and conference hotel at the Edinburgh Marina development.

opening a new era for the company and creating a great new tourism opportunity for Edinburgh.” Residences have been designed and fitted to the same specification as the hotel rooms, affording guests the service and amenities of a Hyatt property with the benefits of a self-contained residence. The hotel’s F&B programme will offer breakfast, lunch and dinner, morning, noon and evening, generating a degree of flexibility for both casual and business guests, whilst the 20,000ft2 wellness and fitness facility will feature boutique classes alongside restorative therapies. Hugh Taylor OBE, CEO of Michels & Taylor, a hotel management company that advised developer Edinburgh Marina Holdings, adds: “This is great news for Edinburgh and a huge boost to its tourism industry. Hyatt is a highly regarded international hotelier and is a perfect fit for this luxury waterfront development.”

Marking the brand’s first hotel in Scotland, the 187-key project will feature spa and fitness facilities, a 10,000ft2 conference and banqueting centre, and several restaurants and bars, along with 98 Hyatt Regency Residences serviced apartments. The hotel will overlook the new 340-berth Edinburgh Marina, a forthcoming leisure and residential development north-west of the city centre. Commenting on the announcement, Guido Fredrich, Hyatt’s Regional Vice President Development, Europe, says: “I am thrilled that we will be opening our first hotel in Edinburgh as part of the exciting new Edinburgh Marina development. The Edinburgh Marina is the perfect springboard for us to launch our brand in Scotland,



Ulster Carpets, Unit 1 Compton Courtyard, 40 Compton Street, London, EC1V 0BD Tel: 020 7017 0040 | Email:


© Peter Brinch


Petter Stordalen Following his showstopping acceptance speech at AHEAD Europe, the founder of Nordic Choice Hotels talks strawberry selling, pushing boundaries and crash-landing at a hotel launch on his jet ski. Words: Lauren Ho | Photography: Courtesy of Nordic Choice Hotels (unless otherwise stated)


t’s late morning on a Monday at the Oslo headquarters of Nordic Choice Hotels. The offices are humming with post-weekend activity as staff members dart in and out of the art-filled, wood-panelled rooms of the stately building that was the former home of Ivar An Christensen, a Norwegian ship owner. We are sitting on the mezzanine level in an open-plan space that looks down onto the bustling lobby and Petter Stordalen, the company’s owner, is enthusiastically talking about his sidekick, Öbbe, a huge German Shepherd with inquisitive eyes, who looks eager to come and greet me. “I have someone in Sweden who trains my dogs for the first year of their lives; Öbbe is not allowed to greet people without my permission and I can activate him in a split second,” he says, snapping his fingers as he shoots Öbbe a look that sends him skulking back to sit at his master’s feet. In an entirely befitting all-black ensemble of a low-cut t-shirt, skinny jeans and steel-tipped boots, his hair casually flopping over his forehead, in person, Stordalen is exactly as expected. Dubbed the rock star of the hotel industry thanks to a number of headlining antics – one of which involved descending in a giant disco ball while playing the drums at the opening of Gothenburg’s Clarion Hotel

Post – the billionaire hotelier, environmentalist, philanthropist and all-round businessman is, well, energetic to say the least. After all, it’s not often a hotel owner arrives thundering – and subsequently crashing – on a jet ski, wearing a flash handmade Balmain jacket, for his new hotel launch. No doubt, it’s this freewheeling spirit that has resulted in Stordalen’s success as the owner and president of one of Scandinavia’s largest hotel chains, now with over 190 hotels in its portfolio serviced by 16,000 employees, and which at one point grew so fast, it is said 50 people were added to the payroll every 10 days. “People nearly fell of their chairs laughing when I said I was going to build the largest hotel chain in Scandinavia,” chuckles Stordalen. A man from much humbler beginnings, Stordalen grew up in the city of Porsgrunn, about an hour or so south of Oslo. The son of a grocer, his business nous became apparent when, at the tender age of 12, he began selling strawberries at the local market. As the story goes, Stordalen, envious of the other sellers who had fresher, larger berries, was told by his father to ‘sell the berries you have, because they are the only berries you can sell.’ On this advice, by the age of 24, he had graduated to running and then owning shopping

“Today the berry symbolises more than the legacy of my father. It represents the people and companies, that with their bold ideas and determination, have created my business universe.”


Above: At Six in Stockholm forms part of Nordic Hotels & Resorts, a collection of independent properties across Scandinavia

centres. Some 30 years later, the simple strawberry has become a symbol for a lucrative empire – called Strawberry – that, along with hotels, comprises 11 companies, that span across real estate, finance and art. “My father’s quote became the ‘Strawberry Philosophy’,” says Stordalen emphatically. “Today the berry symbolises more than the legacy of my father. It represents the people and companies, that with their bold ideas and determination, have created my business universe – Strawberry.” As for his foray into hospitality, Stordalen admits it happened by chance. “It was a bit of a coincidence that I invested in hotels,” he reveals. “I was intrigued by the combination of people, property and operations and, for me, the hotel industry represents everything I love: people, culture and food.” This ‘coincidence’ began in 1996, when – after leaving his position as CEO of the real estate company Steen & Strøm Invest – Stordalen and his business partner at the time became the majority shareholders of the Scandinavian operations of Choice Hotels, the American hospitality company behind the brands, Comfort, Quality and Clarion. From there, over a three-year period, it is said they

snapped up, on average, a new hotel every other week across Norway, Sweden and Denmark, resulting in a collection that rivals global chains like Hilton and Sheraton as the go-to brand within Scandinavia. Of course, not one to sit on his laurels, Stordalen then used his hospitality knowhow to explore the industry further, and in 1999, he launched his first independent hotel, Stenungsbaden Yacht Club, a laidback property on a marina, just half an hour north of Gothenburg. This was followed by Yasuragi, a Japanese-inspired spa hotel on the island of Värmdö in Sweden’s Stockholm archipelago, and now includes 26 hotels that sit under a separate arm called Nordic Hotels & Resorts. Art-centric The Thief in Oslo, as well as Stockholm’s At Six and Hobo – adjacent properties designed by Universal Design Studio and Studio Aisslinger respectively – also form part of the collection. “Our ambition has always been to be pioneers; we are constantly looking for opportunities to evolve, change and grow,” explains Stordalen. “Our independent hotels allow us to push the boundaries in terms of service and standard, and allow us to create destinations with a strong identity, with variety and personality.”

“I was intrigued by the combination of people, property and operations and, for me, the hotel industry represents everything I love: people, culture and food.”


© Erik Lefvander

Above: Hobo in Stockholm and Copperhill Montain Lodge in Åre showcase the variety and personality across the portfolio

But despite the earlier authoritarian performance with his dog, Stordalen, surprisingly, doesn’t micro-manage, preferring instead to let his team get on with doing what they do best. “My only job is to put together the right people and give them the freedom to create something,” he says graciously. “If you think a 50-somethingyear-old man is the one that creates new hotels, you’re wrong. Even though I think I am young and that I completely understand the next generation, I don’t. So, it’s important for me to bring on board people who do.” This is most apparent with Amerikalinjen, the group’s newest hotel in downtown Oslo, which Stordalen’s crack team have, in a first for the city, successfully transformed into a thrumming hub with a series of restaurants and bars that are sure to be packed with locals and visitors from the moment the first early morning plate of eggs are served, to last orders at night. “I wanted this to be a hotel not only for guests, but for everyone,” explains Stordalen. Located on Jernbantorget Square, adjacent to Oslo Central Station, the hotel occupies a listed Neo-Baroque pile originally built in 1919 by Norwegian architects Andreas Bjercke and Georg Eliassen for Norwegian America Line, the now expired cruise company that

transported the many hopeful Norwegians to the The Land of Opportunity. A grand international statement at the time, on the outside, the building is adorned with maritime-themed copper and stone reliefs, decorative carvings, figurines and sculptures, while interiors are characterised by high vaulted ceilings, ornate mouldings and magnificent staircases. Here, both the concept and the décor of the hotel take their cues from the building’s history, with a subtle adventure theme and references to New York. For example, the hotel’s brand colours are inspired by the blue and red on both countries’ flags, the green of the Statue of Liberty and the pink hues of the early morning sky as you first sail into the Big Apple; and Pier 42 – the cocktail bar named for the first point of entry once given the nod to enter the United States – has a menu that shows a stylised drawing of the original building’s steel-framed arched windows. Meanwhile, in the 122 guestrooms, Helsinki-based firm Puroplan has created a contemporary canvas to highlight the classic Norwegian furnishings – including the Veng armchair by Torbjørn Bekken and the modernist Birdy table lamp by Birger Dahl – that have been reproduced by local companies Eikund and Northern.

“Our ambition has always been to be pioneers; we are constantly looking for opportunities to evolve, change and grow.”


© Mattias Hamrén

Above: The Thief in Oslo features a standout lithograph of the Marlboro Man by Richard Prince Opposite: Due to open in March, Amerikalinjen sees the transformation of a listed Neo-Baroque pile into a thrumming hub with a series of restaurants and bars

Of course, this would not be a Stordalen hotel without a strong modern art angle. Unlike the grand statements at The Thief with its standout lithograph of the Marlboro Man by Richard Prince, or the giant marble head by artist Jaume Plensa at Stockholm’s At Six, the company’s go-to art guy, Sune Nordgren has taken a subtler approach, instead choosing to layer the public spaces with artist Alex Katz’s distinct colourful portraits. But then again, with the biggest art collection in Scandinavia, both private and business, Stordalen’s hotels are like one collective gallery, which Nordgren – the former director of Norway’s National Museum – has the freedom to curate and adjust accordingly. “The art is something you remember at our hotels,” says Stordalen. “Interior architects often want something to fit in with the colours, but I like to have a contrast and for Sune to curate something that stands out.” Up next will be the opening of Sommerro, a neighbourhood hotel in Oslo, housed in an Art Deco building that used to be the headquarters for Norway’s Electric Company. But, ever the pioneer,

Stordalen’s wider vision is to create the most sustainable hotel brand in Europe, which is not surprising given his personal environmental activism, which includes breaking into a UK nuclear plant and chaining himself to the bridge for nine hours in protest of discharging radioactive waste into the sea. Philanthropically, he has also donated large amounts of money to various charitable organisations – particularly within environmental and climate change or scientific research – through The Stordalen Foundation, which he set up with his wife Gunhild, a doctor and environmentalist. Further proof, then, that this self-made businessman – who recently won the gong for Outstanding Contribution at the AHEAD Europe awards – might be unconventional, but he is certainly a force to be reckoned with. “We are as eager to grow today as we were when we first started,” emphasises Stordalen. “Our recipe is simple: people! The right people with the right attitude, and the diversity in our company is the reason why we are successful. This, along with our values: energy, courage and enthusiasm.” Enthusiastic, indeed.

“Our independent hotels allow us to push the boundaries in terms of service and standard, and allow us to create destinations with a strong identity, with variety and personality.”



Capella UBUD, BALI

Brass monkeys play on tented roofs, the swimming pool is a giant cistern, and mealtimes tantamount to an eating-and-drinking museum experience – it can only be a Balinese camp dedicated to evoking 18th-century spice-trade adventures in Indonesia as conjured by the ever-inventive Bill Bensley. Words: Juliet Kinsman | Photography: Š Dewandra Djelantik




theatrical storytelling of the spice trade through the East Indies is a touching one. In an era of Instagram and a lightning-fast dissemination of ideas, it’s a thrill to enjoy an environment that is genuinely original, borne from wild ideas and an obsessive attention to detail. Bill Bensley doesn’t do derivative. He doesn’t allow dumbing down. And in these risk-averse times when every decision is assessed on algorithms and ROI, this iconoclasm is particularly refreshing when under the banner of a respectable luxury hotel brand. Bensley’s brazen approach to design is also incredibly sensitive – congratulations are due alone for Capella Ubud’s construction process, which saw no trees cut down for the camp’s creation. They often appear as part of the construction, and in many cases, what looks like a structural timber is, in fact, a living trunk. “The project began as a 120-room Accor hotel with a local architect, with us drawing the gardens and interiors,” Bensley explains, his energy and enthusiasm evident. A master of moreis-more, he is incredibly down-to-earth, believing in minimal intervention, particularly poignant somewhere such as Bali. “When I first came here some 35 years ago, it was an untouched gem of exotic, exuberant nature, which coexisted beautifully with the local architecture. As the years have gone by and tourism and development have exploded, buildings that take no care to fit into the surroundings are the norm,” he laments.

umans are unique in that we explore for the sake of exploring – we’re the only creatures that travel, not simply in search of shelter or food, but to see, discover and taste new things. Alas, there are few corners of our planet that remain truly mysterious, so it’s a gift when a seemingly secret patch of a popular destination can still genuinely surprise. Take a bow, Capella Ubud. Designed by Bangkok-based Bill Bensley, this fantasy camp of 23 tented suites with big personalities brings to life 18th-century escapades. As their illustrated map of the 3.8 hectares shows, each of the onebedroom tented retreats and the two-bedroom lodge are all cleverly perched on this seriously steep compound of riverside rainforest, all with private decks, many with saltwater pools. Cross the bouncy suspension bridges and step into the soaring canvas abodes – it’s a lesson in period-piece set-design, without being kitsch or ersatz. Huge beds piled with pillows of all sizes. A belted trunk opens to reveal a generous drinks cabinet with cut-glass crystal. There are bespoke pony-skinned armchairs and giant leather-trimmed wooden thrones for toilets (although outcries from hygiene-aholics mean they will reconfigure the seats using resin). Even those who baulk at the idea of a ‘themed’ look can’t fail to be charmed by the eccentricities at every turn. Colonialism is a sensitive subject – but Capella Ubud’s tales of the trails of bygone explorers make a fascinating history lesson – and


SWOOSH Rug By Esti Barnes

Above & Opposite: Tents and public spaces reference Balinese traditions and feature handicrafts and antiques sourced by Bensley and Gunawan

The local architect that had initially been engaged on the project had come up with a plan that would have, as Bensley puts it, obliterated the natural beauty of the site and generated an eyesore for the surrounding neighbourhood. While Bensley was grateful for the project, the brutal architecture was too much for the studio to support. “So we changed it bit by bit until the local architect threw up his hands and walked away, leaving us in charge to pursue something more environmentally suitable.” As a result, they scaled the brief down to 20 tents to keep the forest untouched, and instead built around the trees. “The result is tents appearing almost organically amid the terraced landscape and dense forest.” A dozen or so trees had to be moved – and unfortunately, since some of them were old, those ones didn’t survive, the owner tells me with rare transparency. The owner, Suwito Gunawan, is a steel magnate from Jakarta and this his first foray into hospitality. Speaking to this softly-spoken avid art collector in the camp’s main lounge, the Officer’s Tent, we’re surrounded by an unrivalled collection of curios. He explains that he and Bensley bonded while hunting together. Just as I choke on my Jamu cocktail at the thought of them killing critters for sport, he elaborates that this meant them going to many auctions in Holland and around Indonesia – he was referring to their passionate search for antiques. At this moment, Simone Broekhaar, one of the driving forces behind the launch of this extraordinary escape, takes down one of the

100-year-old books on display, explaining that every day the pages of them must be turned to keep them in decent nick. Little wonder this hotel has already been declared one of the world’s most exciting by Forbes. So why choose Capella Hotel Group to operate this property – which is more akin to a safari lodge in Africa than a south-east Asian hotel – when they have no background in tented camps or sustainability? Gunawan explains modestly that as a newcomer to the industry, his thinking was simple; he believed Capella was the right boutique brand to nurture and manage the camp as they have a good understanding of the high-end niche market to which this property is suited. During the construction, the Singapore-based operators suggested they thought something urban might be a good direction. “But for us, the odder it was, the better – Bill is a mad genius. Just like me, he loves art and antiques – it was a wonderful collaboration,” says Gunawan. It’s usually the owner who has the out-of-control ego – and then if the designer has very different ideas, it’s an impossible union. However, the chemistry was great, and Bensley is a team player, as illustrated in the porch of the camp’s entrance, where tongue-in-cheek ‘hunted’ deer heads are labelled with the names of all those who helped in creating the camp. References are made throughout to Balinese traditions, such as in the black-and-white checked fabric, or saput poleng, which covers the



Above: The four-poster beds are custom-made with engraved headboards and sashes of fabric floating down from the tent-top

daybeds, and striking handmade batiks and ikat textiles, all enhancing the distinct sense of place. The four-poster beds are custom-made Bensley creations with their engraved headboards and delightful sashes of fabric floating down from the tent-top. Unmistakeable treats for modern-day sybarites come in oversized pillows and cute little cushions so you can create your own feather-filled installation. “At home, I like lots and lots of pillows, and we always karate chop them in the middle to give them that bunny-ear look. I adore a pillowscape that screams ‘Come sleep with me, darling…’” continues Gunawan. And there’s no denying the successful come-hither effect – another touch that makes the term ‘glamping’ woefully inadequate for this camp deluxe. “At the studio, I school my architects in the understanding that a great hotel stems from having a great DNA,” picks up Bensley. “What we do is like movie-making: we create a narrative that engages and surprises the audience, which they can relate to and become a part of. It becomes easy to create a place that transports people into another time and place – and the story we’re telling really happened a couple of centuries ago.” One of the characters the team has profiled, who gives the main tented restaurant its name, is Mads Lange. “A Danish explorer nicknamed the White Rajah of Bali, he came to Bali around 1840 after a stint in Lombok, becoming a fantastically successful trader of coffee, rice, spices and suchlike,” the designer explains.

Meanwhile, Api Jiwa is the robatayaki affair where the chef prepares next-level eight- to 10-course tasting menus. Tempting folks to plan repeat visits, each abode has its own distinct personality and paraphernalia, with cunningly clashing colour schemes and props riffing off different characters and their roles from those early-1800s explorations. Even prosaic items inspire smiles – such as the ‘survival kit’ backpacks with a plaster, mosquito spray and earplugs. The Captain’s Tent is an ode to the camp commander with a map evoking how they planned routes from coast to jungle and zoology, and botany is showcased in the Naturalist’s Tent. Not missing a chance to entertain, there’s a Toy Maker’s Tent, displaying drums, games and wooden playthings and a Puppet Master’s Tent extolling Indonesia’s dalang heritage of leather shadow puppets. Many tents also have private saltwater pools reached by spiral staircases, which jut out over the rainforest. A secret weapon in bringing much to life has been their carpenter extraordinaire. “Pak Wawan is magic – just magic,” gushes Bensley. “He takes our primitive sketches and makes them many times better. Having worked with us on the King’s Palace in Malaysia for years, he knows what I like. The teak floors in each tent were handmade in Central Java, and will last decades, the patina getting more beautiful from the footsteps of visitors from around the world.” As General Manager Simon Dornan explains, the team wanted




product concept + design: sieger design

Above: Many tents have private saltwater pools that jut out over the rainforest

to reflect everything from the era they were honouring, using handcrafted ceramics and natural materials such as stone, glass and wood. “We custom-made all the operating supplies and equipment,” he tells. “We’d just jump in the car, head towards Tanggalan and meet artisans along the way, which is how we found a knifesmith out on the road who made some pieces for us. We chose Gaya Ceramics for their edginess and gold flecks, and Kevala to create the earthy solid crockery. Glass bottles appear antique and for the cutlery, we wanted a pewter-like look from Europe since back then they would have forged their own cooking utensils.” The tribute to tactile authenticity extends to the cottons, linens, and semi-recycled papers in the collaterals – to paint the ceiling art in the restaurant in a Kamasan style, they even used local natural plant dyes. Every detail demonstrates this is a sanctuary of style and substance – as witty as the menu is in its descriptions, the back-ofhouse integrity deserves a doff of the cap, too. There, Executive Chef Matthew McCool’s F&B techniques honour age-old times. He uses a pestle and mortar, ice is hand crushed, there’s no plastic in sight,

almost everything is biodegradable and many of the alcohols are house brewed and barrel aged. As flamboyant as Bill Bensley’s interiors are, Capella Ubud is tuned into nature and mindful of having a positive legacy. Having started as a landscape designer, Bensley has seen to it that the greenery at Capella Ubud promotes the indigenous horticulture. When you hear the designer’s American childhood as one-of-five involved lots of camping in a tent and hand-built trailer, it makes sense how he got it all so right. “Dad’s trailer – which he named Home Maid – was small and basic, but just the idea of getting out into the wilderness was marvellous; other kids didn’t have mums and dads as adventurous.” His parents, both great readers, would share stories by the campfire. “Perhaps that was a catalyst for my storytelling?” he questions. “Camping back then was ever-so different from what we’ve created at Capella – but in some ways, it’s the same. There’s something to be said for just a layer of canvas between you and the elements, especially when it’s raining like hell, and the sound is deafening. That cosiness beats the pants off any city hotel.”

EXPRESS CHECK-OUT: 22 tents | 2 restaurants | 1 bar | Spa, gym, swimming pool | Owner: Suwito Gunawan | Operator: Capella Hotel Group | Architecture and Interior Design: Bill Bensley | Lighting Design: Lumina Group Landscaping: Bensley Studio, Kumala Dewata | Main Contractor: Hegar Sumber Kreasi | Project Manager: Made Susil, Neil Sofyar



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Transforming a former sanctuary into a hedonistic London hideaway, Jaques Garcia channels Oscar Wilde for the seductive, art-laden L’Oscar Words: Guy Dittrich | Photography: © Courtesy of L’Oscar



ark, moody, opulent and decadent, the interiors of L’Oscar hotel in London’s Holborn closely follow one of the many epigrams of playwright Oscar Wilde: ‘Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess’. Indeed, the hotel is a riot of quality materials and patterning that has been paradoxically incorporated within the former London headquarters of a most puritanical order, the Baptist church. What was once a sanctuary is now a hedonistic bolthole. However, the original building – designed by Arthur Keen and completed in 1903 – was a not a study in reductivism. Far from it, the style of the day being Edwardian Free Baroque with its exaggerated façade detailing, lively silhouettes and central domes. Keen drew together a mixture of influences including the Arts & Crafts movement’s finer touches and ornate plaster ceilings with stone fireplaces and extensive wood panelling. As such, the property is Grade II-listed by Historic England; only 2% of their listed buildings holding this highest status. Overlaying this history are the new sumptuous interiors by Parisian designer Jacques Garcia, who knows a thing or two about luxurious hospitality environments. His work at Hôtel Costes in Paris has been a reference point in the field of boutique hotel design for the last quarter century, and his studio’s work ranges from grand dames such as La Mamounia in Marrakech to the NoMad projects of the

Sydell Group. The building was acquired in 2012 and is owned by a consortium of international investors, primarily Triangle Hotels & Resorts led by Duncan Shakeshaft. Shakeshaft invited Garcia to create his “seductive interiors”, showing him three possible London alternatives with the Holborn property selected. The brief was put together by Shakeshaft but the design intent is Garcia’s interpretation. Nevertheless, Shakeshaft has been involved in certain details of the project – selecting the restaurant’s china and influencing the Fashionizer-designed uniforms which meld the old-school elegance and formality of velvet smoking jackets for the male waiters, and shimmering organza fabrics adorned with feather brooches for the ladies. Shakeshaft even sourced the stylised peacock motif doors that lead to the Baptist Bar from a scrapmetal dealer in France, whilst British firm PPS aided in the sourcing, procurement and installation of all FF&E and OSE items, as well as the wide variety of furniture, upholstery, fabrics, and ephemera. Interpreted across wallpapers, upholstery and murals are aviary motifs, with the peacock especially prevalent. So too aubergine tones, dominant in the overall dark palette. General Manager Michael Voigt quips: “If you don’t like peacocks and aubergine then L’Oscar is not for you.” This is a hotel with a point of view. And Garcia’s point of view is based on a number of convictions. He was taken by the history of the building, and revisited the Oscar Wilde ideas he first used at


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Above: Aviary themes recur throughout L’Oscar, most notably in the form of peacock pattern motifs and some 500 Lalique-style frosted glass birds

Millard. Newly commissioned busts of the Bloomsbury Group’s Woolf, Carrington and Keynes adorn the busy lobby shelving. The artworks required special attention when it came to lighting due to the hotel’s overall dark ambiance. As Sally Storey of Lighting Design International (LDI) explains: “By day the hotel had to be quite moody. By night even moodier.” For LDI, whose remit was for all lighting except for decorative elements, it was a major challenge to meet this brief whilst still ensuring guest and operational safety. For example, in the staircase the luminousness of the central light feature was still unknown, so skirting strip LEDs were introduced to light the treads. Of particular note are the spectacular back-lit onyx bar in the street-level Café L’Oscar, and the warm amber sparkle points on its geometric, antiqued mirrored ceiling panels. The lobby is a good illustration of the breadth of LDI’s skills with coffer ceiling lights, downlighters illuminating artworks and seating, linear LEDs shining on the silk aubergine drapes and shelving, as well as the incorporation of dozens of up-lit frosted glass birds. Designed by Garcia, some 495 of these Lalique-style pieces were fabricated by Zonca of Milan, a favourite of Garcia’s. Other repeating elements by Zonca include delicately pleated lampshades for wall, table, pendant and standard lamps. The historic aspects of the property threw up some ingenious

the Hotel des Beaux Arts in Paris two decades ago. “The concept design is a blend of the structure and history of the building and the modernity of new colours, fabrics and so on,” explains Garcia. “Really important was the use of colours that you wouldn’t think about mixing.” Indeed, alongside the aubergine fabrics by Osborne & Little and Pierre Frey are flashes of crimson, deep yellow and vivid blue ceilings to highlight the white original stucco. Adding to the peacock motifs is an extraordinary amount of patterning, in the rugs by Tai Ping, the silk rope bannisters and tassels, the embossed detailing of the leather wallpaper by Atelier Meriguet that was applied in 0.5m2 ‘patches’, and the literal thousands of dome-headed metal upholstery studs. “The mood boards were an improbable combination of colours and patterns but have come together as a piece of art,” describes Voigt. Indeed, artworks are writ large across the property. “We wanted to weave a story about the original period of the hotel and its location connected to the Bloomsbury Group,” explains Peter Millard of art consultancy Peter Millard & Partners. Having worked with Garcia before at the Vagabond Singapore, Millard knew the richness of Garcia’s aesthetic, selecting and commissioning pieces to fit. The artwork reflects the late Victorian and early 20th-century eras; even the frames are “period perfect” asserts


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Left: Café L’Oscar features an illuminated onyx bar and decor inspired by the oldest café in Venice

solutions: a guestroom is linked by a glazed walkway to its bathroom in a separate turret; the use of huge, upholstered screens to create bathrooms where permanent structures were not allowed; and the incredible cupola of the original chapel that soars above the Baptist Bar & Grill has its ‘Tree of Life’ stucco detailing accentuated using uplighters carefully inserted by LDI. The whole dome can be lit in different colours to change the atmosphere. Elsewhere, a selection of lighting solutions by Chelsom – including guestroom and bedside LED lighting as well as the large side-lit bevelled mirrors in bathrooms – were designed with a touch of decadence to complement Garcia’s seductive scheme.


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Above: Listed elements including historic fireplaces and moulds have been integrated as lavish heritage elements within guestrooms

The original structure sees two major interventions, one being the creation of an additional two floors, and the second being the new mezzanine balcony that separates the ground-floor bar, with its crackled glass-fronted counter, and becomes the restaurant above. Helmed by Executive Chef Tony Fleming, the food is outstanding, served gueridon-style at the table-side. This culinary skill has helped the success of the event spaces – The Committee Room and Library, both stacked with historic elements. Taking some six years to be realised the hotel feels complete and rounded, and even in the details there are moments of interest. Silver napkin rings sourced from Sandbury Antiques Market in Kempton Park are brought to life beside the hotel’s feather emblem, seen in collateral but also waste-bin detailing, whilst toiletries by Englishborn Roja Dove are centred on Wilde’s favorite flower, the carnation. There is also a deliberate humility in the overwhelmingly lavish interiors. Some of this comes from the listed elements, such as the simplistic graphics of the Arts & Crafts tiling around guestroom

fireplaces. And there is a calmness in bathrooms whose relative decorative sparseness, barring the magnificent array of marbles used, provides a relief to the extravagance elsewhere. L’Oscar is another new landmark on London’s ever-burgeoning hotel map. As dramatic as, but also dramatically different from The Mandrake, and like the Nobu Shoreditch, it also has a brand proposition, with Shakeshaft envisaging the global expansion and development of L’Oscar International, with projects shortlisted in Europe and the Caribbean. Garcia asks for his work to be treated as haute couture, a description of which Wilde would have approved. And it is convenient to conclude with another of Wilde’s epigrams, originally regarding the nature of man, but applicable here to hotels, too: ‘It is absurd to divide humans into good and bad. They are either charming or tedious’. The absurdity of L’Oscar within a Baptist church has the hotel “a little on the edge” remarks Voigt, but there is no doubt the finished product is in the charming camp.

EXPRESS CHECK-OUT: 39 guestrooms | 2 restaurants | 1 bar | 2 meeting rooms | Owner: Triangle Hotels & Resorts plus a consortium of international owners | Interior Design: Jacques Garcia | Lighting Design: Lighting Design International Purchasing Agent: Professional Purchasing Services | Branding Consultant: Inaria | Art Consultant: Peter Millard & Partners


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The Murray HONG KONG

Foster + Partners convert one of Central Hong Kong’s architectural landmarks into a new flagship for Niccolo Hotels. Words: Catherine Martin | Photography: © Michael Weber Photography


ith real estate on Hong Kong Island amongst the most expensive in the world, new hotels here are few-and-farbetween. Shiny new skyscrapers are reserved for financial institutions or mixed-use developments with high-end shopping and luxury residences, while older buildings with conversion potential seldom come along. So it’s rare then to find that the Central district’s newest hotel occupies all 25 storeys of an architectural landmark at one of the most prized addresses in the city. Standing proud on an island site between Cotton Tree Drive and Garden Road, The Murray is the new flagship of Niccolo Hotels, the

luxury brand of Hong Kong-based Wharf Hotels. Owning company The Wharf Holdings fought off stiff competition from a dozen-or-so bidders to secure the property, shelling out a reported HK$4.4 billion for the purchase and the same again for the conversion and fit-out. The former government building was designed in 1969 by British architect Ron Phillips and was deemed an early exemplar of sustainable and energy efficient design, due in part to its sunreflecting recessed windows positioned at a 45-degree angle to the façade. The building’s most arresting feature however is its distinctive arches, rising three storeys from the base and instrumental in the


Above & Following Page: Public spaces and guestrooms focus on quality materials with Minotti, Absolute Lifestyle, Dornbracht and Tuuci amongst the suppliers

arrival experience. A private forecourt with the historic cotton tree – a protected landmark of which The Murray is particularly proud – marks the vehicular drop-off, with guests entering beneath the majestic archways into the lobby. Here, materials take centerstage with black and white marble polished to a high shine lining floors, and captivating bronze rods rising the height of the space, eventually drawing the eye to a charcoal installation by Back Seon-Ghi. The restoration of the building, as well as its interior design, was entrusted to Foster + Partners, with Colin Ward in Hong Kong and Armstrong Yakubu in London taking the lead. With the project forming part of Hong Kong’s Conserving Central initiative, which set out guidelines to preserve the architectural merits of the building, the team consulted with Phillips, now in his nineties, who was understandably delighted that his design would see a new lease of life some 50 years on. For Ward and Yakubu, the key was to bring heritage elements together with the Niccolo brand’s contemporary, sophisticated and fashion-oriented approach. “We wanted to create a dialogue between the old and the new; a building that is familiar but has been given a new purpose,” explains Ward. And that purpose is to offer a lifestyle destination for both business and leisure travellers, with The Murray’s location in the Central Business District bringing in corporate guests, and its proximity to The Peak Tram and Hong Kong Park appealing to the leisure market.

Despite its whereabouts, the building was largely inaccessible on foot, leading to the development of new access points; there’s now no less than five different ways to enter the hotel. “One of the central aims of the project was to reconnect the building with the city, creating a new street frontage on Garden Road, with open routes at ground level,” explains Ward. “There are transparent and welcoming ground floor spaces extending out to the landscaped grounds and the rooftop has been designed as a transparent glass pavilion with a roof terrace, bar and café overlooking the city.” With a total of five restaurants and bars, The Murray is looking to its F&B package to attract the local market. The Garden Lounge, which extends out to a serene terrace almost incomprehensible in this bustling district, is a light, airy space popular for its afternoon tea offer, while The Tai Pan continues the scheme’s signature bronze highlights, accompanied here by crimson leather dining chairs. Both spaces are located on the hotel’s garden level, named for its outdoor landscaping, and connect via an open-air walkway to Guo Fu Lou. Occupying a standalone pavilion, the Michelin-starred Cantonese restaurant is operated in partnership with Fook Lam Moon Group, a well-respected enterprise with its original branch in nearby Wanchai. Interiors here were the responsibility of André Fu’s studio AFSO, and marry authentic design features with contemporary chic. Back in the main hotel building, Murray Lane caters to the after-





Above: Indoor and outdoor events spaces occupy a unique space beneath the majestic arches

work crowd, serving up craft beers, cocktails and small plates. Adjacent to the lobby on the ground floor, it offers a decidedly different experience to the outlets on the garden level, with a lowered ceiling, highly reflective surfaces and subdued lighting working together to bring a clubby vibe. The metallic accents are still present of course, this time seen in the Gold Lips artwork by LA photographer Giuliano Baker and co-ordinating soft furnishings. Rounding out the F&B offer, Popinjays on the hotel’s top floor is an upscale restaurant showcasing modern European gastronomy, together with a lively bar that picks up pace come nightfall. Furnishings follow suit and see a vibrant colour scheme in the bar with splashes of orange, yellow and turquoise that compete with the neon lights of the city skyscrapers. Guestrooms meanwhile celebrate Phillips’ original architecture and once again bring materials to the fore. “We wanted our design to express a sense of integrity,” explains Yakubu. “We’ve stripped the building back to its original form, revealing the clean lines and volumes that are characteristic of the property. Our design also takes

advantage of the building’s geometry to create uniquely orientated room layouts that give The Murray a distinctive character.” Generously proportioned, guestrooms and suites benefit from an abundance of natural daylight. Furnishings are in line with Niccolo’s elegant aesthetic and defined by marble floors and polished metals together with quality fabrics and Minotti furniture. “The concept was to showcase the inherent beauty of the materials,” confirms Yakubu. “There are no applied finishes such as paint; all the materials are expressed honestly and come together to redefine luxury.” While Wharf Hotels has an established presence in China with its Marco Polo brand, Niccolo Hotels is a relatively new addition, The Murray being the fourth in the collection following Chengdu, Changsha and Chongqing. With modest brand awareness, it may come as a surprise that the flag was overlooked in the naming of the hotel, but for Managing Director Duncan Palmer, who’s been travelling the globe to showcase the property, it was a natural decision: “We felt that this is a one-off, iconic landmark that warrants special positioning; it’s the diamond in the crown if you like.”

EXPRESS CHECK-OUT: 336 guestrooms | 4 restaurants | 2 bars | Meetings and event spaces | Spa, gym, swimming pool | Owner / Developer: The Wharf Holdings | Operator: Niccolo Hotels, The Wharf Hotels Management | Original Architecture: Ron Phillips | Architecture and Interior Design: Foster + Partners; AFSO (Guo Fu Lou) | Main Contractor: Gammon Construction | Project Manager: Harbour City Estates








Turkish developer Gürallar tasks Autoban with the design of its debut resort in the Maldives. Words: Lauren Ho | Photography: Courtesy of Joali (unless otherwise stated)


hen it comes to first impressions, Joali, the debut Maldivian property from Turkish company Gürallar, certainly knows how to make an impact. For starters, the arrival jetty with its undulating thatched roof, said to be inspired by the rise and fall of the ocean, rests almost ecclesiastically on the bluest of waters. Second is the resort’s architectural blueprint – masterminded by Cüneyt Bükülmez of Istanbul-based firm Atölye4N – which is defined by a 1.3km boardwalk that snakes out into the ocean as far as the eye can see. Located on Muravandhoo island on the Raa Atoll in the northern Maldives, the result is an intimate, considered property that is shaped by the natural landscape. For example, Bükülmez says the boardwalk is determined by the contours of the surrounding coral, with the over-water villas only appearing after a lengthy 300-metres so as not to disturb the circulation of the water’s current. “We worked with local architects and an official advisor, who directed us towards the right places to build,” he explains.

© Firat Meric

Š Firat Meric


Š Firat Meric


Above: Autoban has layered the 73 villas with custom-made furnishings, hand-carved wooden panels and tactile materials

Meanwhile, the private beach villas and public spaces are strategically scattered further inland amongst the island’s canopy of long-established coconut palm trees. “As we were inexperienced about building on a tropical island, the local teams advised us on the tides, the winds and the rising of the sea,” Bükülmez continues. “After that, our main priority was to respect the land, and to keep as many of the 3,000 trees as possible.” Technical details aside, Bükülmez felt strongly about striking the right balance between intimacy and seclusion, opting for a spacious villa layout and creating a hub for the majority of the public spaces. “In many resorts, the public spaces are separated, creating a sense of detachment,” explains Bükülmez. “We grouped these spaces together, making sure that at least one is visible at all times – particularly from the over-water villas. It’s important to instil a feeling of confidence, and to know that something is out there between you and the sea – especially at night.” Bükülmez further highlighted this concept through the resort’s exterior architecture, using lots of timber and traditional thatching. “We wanted the look to be as natural as possible,” he explains. “But also, if the staff feel at home, this feeling of trust is transferred to the guests, who will automatically feel safe and comfortable.”

In contrast, the modern interiors are entirely befitting to the Joali brand, which places a sophisticated and confident feminine spirit at its core. As such, the Istanbul-based firm Autoban has layered the 73 capacious villas with custom-made furnishings, organic curved shapes and tactile materials, such as terrazzo flooring, rattan-lined ceilings, bottle-green marble and hand-carved wooden panels inspired by the work of Romanian sculptor, Constantin Brâncusi. Beach and over-water villas – some with private decks and infinity pools – make up the majority of the key count, while the threebedroom Private Ocean Residence boasts almost 1,000m2 of indoor and outdoor living space as well as two pools, butler service and an on-call dhoni to whisk residents to the main resort. The graceful colour palette is dominated by neutral tones, which shine through in blush pinks and copper details, while blue and green accents highlight the colour of the sea outside. The theme continues to the resort’s airy and open public spaces, which – particularly at Vandhoo, the main restaurant – have been given a dramatic boost with details like wooden abacus separators, and bamboo ceiling beams, from which a cluster of basket pendant lights hang. “We really enjoyed the challenge of understanding the Maldivian spirit, the exotic climate and the island culture while creating a unique story




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© Fethi Izan P Blok

Above: The Manta Ray Treehouse is a dramatic sculpture perched among the treetops, designed by Cape Town-based artist Porky Hefer

with local materials and techniques, in a contemporary way,” says Autoban founding partner, Seyhan Özdemir Sarper. Tokyo-based Studio Glitt – the firm behind numerous Zuma restaurants from London to Abu Dhabi – meanwhile, is behind Saoke, the resort’s over-water Japanese restaurant. Here, its founder, Noriyoshi Muramatsu took his cues from a Japanese garden floating on the sea. This translates to swathes of timber and low-key concealed lighting that highlights carefully composed rocks, open water channels and a ceiling constructed from a jumble of wooden blocks that creates a dramatic Jenga-like effect. Arguably the best spot to indulge in one of the famous Maldivian sunsets, the restaurant has been smartly assembled so that all the tables face towards the view. “It was important to create a design that does not overshadow the beauty the Maldives has to offer,” explains Muramatsu. Of course, along with the resort’s four main restaurants, which includes Italian eatery Bellinis, are a range of immersive experiences, from personalised culinary classes for guests to learn how to cook local Maldivian recipes, to a liquid nitrogen ice cream bar and artisanal chocolate store. There’s also a community table designed

bespoke for Joali by American artist Misha Kahn, and a private dining space housed within the Manta Ray Treehouse, a dramatic sculpture perched among the treetops created by Cape Town-based artist Porky Hefer. The art is, in fact, one of the highlights at Joali. Curated by duo Zeynep Ercan and Asliala Onur of Istanbul-based outfit NoLab, specially commissioned pieces by an international roster of artists – from Nacho Carbonell to John Paul Phillip – can be found casually dotting the island with the aim, as the duo say, to “create an immersive experience”. US artist Chris Wolson’s playful terracotta chairs, for example, sit nonchalantly outside the gift shop, a colourful ceramic corral-like sculpture by LA-based Israeli artist Zemer Peled takes centrestage in the spa, and glass objects by Istanbul-based artist Feleksan Onar can be found in the guestrooms. If that weren’t enough, diversions include snorkelling with manta rays, wakeboarding, and chartered yacht and dhoni excursions. Although, the best spot in the house is with a cocktail, besides the inky pool, whose organic shape has been defined by the seductive curves of the island.

EXPRESS CHECK-OUT: 73 guestrooms | 4 restaurants | 1 bar | Swimming pool | Owner / Operator: Gürallar | Architecture: Atölye4N | Interior Design: Autoban; Studio Glitt


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Bankside Hotel LONDON

The team behind St. Ermin’s Hotel join forces for a new addition to Marriott’s Autograph Collection, where collaboration and community take centrestage. Words: Catherine Martin | Photography: © Peter Jackson


ver the past two decades, the south bank of the Thames – between Westminster Bridge and Tower Bridge – has seen significant redevelopment, with new attractions such as the Tate Modern, the London Eye and the revitalised Borough Market joining Shakespeare’s Globe and the National Theatre. Despite its tourist appeal, there was, until recently, very little in the way of quality accommodation. CitizenM was amongst the first on the scene when it landed on Bankside in 2012, soon followed by a newbuild Hilton just a few streets away, and high profile openings such as Mondrian at Sea Containers and Shangri-La at the Shard.

At around the same time, construction was starting on a mixed-use development known as One Blackfriars, having been delayed by years of objections, revisions and changes in ownership. The project finally came to fruition in 2018, featuring 274 apartments with interiors by Tara Bernerd & Partners, various retail and leisure facilities, and a 161-key hotel operated under Marriott’s Autograph Collection. Designed by Simpson Haugh, the cluster of buildings are set around a public plaza and include a landmark 170m tower housing the private residences, alongside a six-storey glazed structure forming the hotel. In bringing the project to life, the owners once again turned


Above & Opposite: Bankside Hotel’s art programme includes works by Benni Korzen, Laura Carlin and Helen Gorill

to US-based Powerstrip Studio, having worked with the team on the repositioning of St. Ermin’s Hotel in 2011. Taking the lead, film-setturned-interior-designer Dayna Lee looked to the surrounding area for inspiration, with the hotel’s proximity to the Tate Modern being a natural starting point. “With further research beyond the Tate, I realised that we’re in very artistically inclined area that’s not only about fine art but writing and theatre too,” explains Lee. “This is a real originating point for creativity in London.” And it’s this idea of origins that Lee has explored in the interiors, opting for a ‘first works’ theme to show the early endeavours of both new and well-established artists. There’s art by Dwight Ripley, Benni Korzen and Ru van Rossem, as well as a series of portraits by Helen Gorill, who enhanced historic masterpieces with elements of Bankside. Shakespeare, for example, poses with a skateboard in reference to the area’s Undercroft skate park, while other icons are reimagined as present day residents. Lee describes her vision for the hotel as “art school without the dust” and personally hand-picked or commissioned the assorted works on display. “We’ve collaborated with a variety of artists and makers, and collected works from different time periods and disciplines,” she continues. “So for instance we have contemporary fashion illustrations alongside paintings in the style of Matisse.”

Sculpture, ceramics and ornaments – some made in local studios, others found in antique shops – form part of the collection, and Bankside has further enhanced its creative credentials through a Makers-in-Residence programme. In partnership with Contemporary Collective, a gallery that represents up-and-coming artists, the hotel has named Luke Irwin as its first maker-in-residence, giving the urban landscape painter a dedicated studio to work in. “We play a supporting role to those who want to partake in creative endeavours and we’ve had fun celebrating the local artistic community,” says Lee, pointing out playful pieces such as the sparkly pants collage on display by the restaurant – a wearable version of which is available in the hotel’s own vending machine. There’s a work-in-progress feel to the lobby too, where refined and unrefined co-exist to create what Lee describes as an “art-school experience on a luxury level”. Cast concrete wall blocks and tables made from recycled plastic sit alongside handcrafted furniture by Galvin Brothers and George Smith, while shelves are dressed with clay pots that look as if freshly emerged from the kiln. Other elements channel a mid-century aesthetic, such as the Alexander Calderinspired sconces that wrap around pillars, glazed pottery sourced from specialist collectors, and the Gio Ponti-style wall and floor tiles in the restaurant.



Above: Guestrooms continue an appreciation for mid-century furnishings and the arts

The aptly-named Art Yard is the hotel’s all-day dining restaurant and bar, where head chef Lee Streeton has created a menu of healthy home comforts along with a selection of indulgent extras – the layered dripping chips are a real treat. Diners are seated beneath a canopy of angled lights designed by Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec for Flos, their cables wrapped loosely around a metal frame suspended from the ceiling. The space evokes the feeling of an art gallery, with a variety of works neatly lining the walls, while a mural of hand-painted tiles by illustrator and ceramicist Laura Carlin adds a touch of whimsy, telling the story of the hotel and its surroundings. Guestrooms continue an appreciation for mid-century furnishings and the arts, and feature a calming palette complemented by splashes of colour in the soft furnishings. Casegoods crafted by Fleetwood Fine Furniture sit on a solid wood floor, topped with a richly textured rug for comfort underfoot. For Lee, functionality was crucial, meaning various lighting scenes, seating options to support both work and relaxation, and sockets and USB ports aplenty. In the bathroom, matte graphite fixtures from Gessi feature alongside

deep-stained oak vanity units and pale textured tiles reminiscent of a blank canvas. Despite the lengthy gestation period of the hotel, the fit-out for guestrooms, public spaces and back of house facilities was completed within a challenging 21-week time frame, with UK-based specialists Zenith taking the lead to ensure the design concept was delivered to a high standard. Along with a focus on art, Bankside’s vision aims to put people and community at its heart. The hotel has worked closely with Bouteco, a social enterprise that helps hotels make a positive change, to build social and sustainable initiatives into its brand story. The team has formed partnerships with local organisations and charities to recruit personnel; created a map to guide visitors around South Bank’s lesserknown spots to eat, drink and shop; and produced a series of short films to tell the stories of those involved in the making of Bankside. In a district that’s set to see an influx of new supply – The Hoxton and a newbuild Premier Inn are under construction nearby – a property that cultivates a sense of belonging for its guests could well be the secret to standing out from the crowd.

EXPRESS CHECK-OUT: 161 guestrooms | 1 restaurant | 1 bar | 3 meeting rooms, gallery | Gym | Owner: Amerimar Enterprises and Realstar Group | Investor: Wells Fargo | Operator: Marriott International | Developer: One Blackfriars | Architecture: Simpson Haugh | Interior Design: Powerstrip Studio | Main Contractor: Zenith | FF&E Procurement: Benjamin West | Graphic Design: Roar Image


Bankside Hotel, London. Bankside Hotel, London.

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Silversands GRENADA

Businessman Naguib Sawiris brings a new level of luxury to Grenada, enlisting the talents of AW2 to design a resort befitting of the island’s natural beauty. Words: Emma Love | Photography: © Magda Biernat Photography


ompared to other destinations in the Caribbean, Grenada has remained remarkably unspoilt and, until now, firmly under-the-radar. As you might expect of an island that is one of the world’s largest exporters of nutmeg, the landscape is lush, with a forest-clad mountainous interior and white-sand beaches. But it was the contented nature of the people that made as much of an impact on Egyptian telecoms tycoon Naguib Sawiris when he first visited on the insistence of a friend six years ago, snapping up a 10.5-acre plot of land at the north end of Grand Anse beach. “As clichéd as it is, Naguib fell in love with the island,” says Chief Development Officer Abdullah Bakr. The result of that visit is the US$125 million Silversands Grenada hotel, which took 3.5 years to build and opened in December. “The project became so personal and important to him; what you see is a real reflection of his style.” Sawiris enlisted architects Reda Amalou and Stéphanie Ledoux of Paris-based practice AW², whose roll call of hotels includes Six Senses Con Dao in Vietnam and Phum Baitang in Cambodia. “The client wanted to take Grenadian hospitality to a different level from anything else on the island and create something new that shows

Above & Opposite: Guestrooms and villas feature furniture by Expormim, Kettal and Molteni & C, as well as bathroom vanities by Apaiser

what Grenada could become in terms of character,” says Ledoux, who took her design cues from the location of the site. This translates to clean lines and floor-to-ceiling glass throughout the 43 guestrooms and suites, which are spread across two white buildings each clad with bulletwood slats. “The bulletwood is an important element because it evolves, turning silver over time, so it will integrate fully into the landscape,” she continues. “In the future, the aim is that you won’t be able to see the hotel from the ocean and we’ve almost achieved that already,” adds Bakr. “The idea is to have these contemporary lines that are broken up with the warmth of the wood.” Rooms and suites, which range from 721ft² to the 2,787ft² penthouse, each have a balcony with beachfront views and inside, a light palette of pale oak panelling, Calacatta marble and white walnut floors, and white walls. There are also nine residential villas (five on the beach at 6,000ft², four on the hillside at 5,000ft²) that reference traditional Asian architecture in their layout: an entrance courtyard leads to the main building, which has a kitchen and open-plan living space furnished with Expormim’s Senso dining chairs positioned around a sleek marbletop table. Furniture by Molteni & C and Kettal blends with bespoke elements such as the bathtubs – made to a specially-designed mould by Apaiser – and the bronze metal door handles. “I originally budgeted for highend commercial handles but Naguib was inspired by brass handles

he had seen in the Bottega Veneta boutiques. He wanted them to be bespoke so we found a factory in Italy to make them for us. That level of precision is in every detail,” explains Bakr. Both in the rooms and throughout, modern art from the owner’s private collection is a real feature. The current count, which includes a handful of colourful painted wooden outriggers at the entrance and two life-size bowing figure sculptures made from woven palm leaves by Egyptian artist Ahmed Askalany, stands at around 700 pieces. Without doubt, one of the most-talked about aspects of the hotel is the 100m pool, the longest in the Caribbean, which stretches from the lobby down to the ocean. “In resort design, the wow factor is important,” agrees Ledoux of the pool, which is framed by cabanas and a row of intimate seating areas. It became the lynchpin that the rest of the site was based around. “Placing the pool at the entrance gives guests the feeling that they are at the centre of something special and emphasises the relationship between them and the ocean from the moment they arrive.” There is also Puro, the rum and cigar bar, and two restaurants: the first is the outdoor Grenadian Grill which has a casual, beach club-vibe with a sail-like white tent that floats above marble tables and wooden bench seating dotted with teal cushions. The second is the more formal dinner-only, Asian-fusion Asiatique, where a gently looping wood veneer and latex sculpture is suspended from



Left: The 100m swimming pool, the longest in the Caribbean, stretches from the lobby down to the ocean. Villas are also positioned around their own private pools

the double-height ceiling and glass doors that open to the terrace. “What was important in the design is to make sure that there is no boundary between the indoors and outdoors; what’s beautiful is when your eyes aren’t stopped by anything,” continues Ledoux. “All the big glazing elements are here to create a perspective that never ends.” The majority of the fruit and vegetables used at both restaurants are sourced through the GRENROP initiative (Grenada Network of Rural Women Producers), which provides farming jobs to a network of 50 single mothers on Grenada (the hotel has committed to a monthly guarantee purchase). Decorative lighting throughout is another carefully considered element, from the oversized silk shades by Aqua Creations that look like lily pads in the lobby, to the striking installation of white Foscarini lights above the pool at the stand-alone Espa spa. “In the spa, we wanted to create the feeling of a cloud. It’s a space where guests can feel private but also relax in the fresh air and look at the sky above.” And relaxation is what this island is all about. Now is Grenada’s time to shine.

EXPRESS CHECK-OUT: 40 guestrooms, 9 villas | 2 restaurants | 1 bar | Spa, swimming pool | Owner: Naguib Sawiris | Architecture and Interior Design: AW2 | Landscaping: Grenada Ornamental Nurseries | Main Contractor: Creative Designs & Building Construction FF&E Procurement: Hill International | Spa Consultant: Hydroconcept | Pool Consultant: Watershape Consulting | Signage Consultant: TGA Design


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Fontal. Dining chair. Oscar Tusquets Blanca ——

Perry Lane Hotel SAVANNAH

Marrying southern hospitality with modern sensibilities and a wide-ranging collection of art, Perry Lane Hotel brings Marriott’s Luxury Collection to the sleepy coast of Georgia. Words: Ayesha Khan | Photography: Courtesy of Perry Lane Hotel


avannah’s unassuming tranquility belies its strong sense of artistic expression and architectural rigour. One can meander for days through its 24 quaint squares without ever noticing that they are the cornerstones of America’s first – and one of the world’s most lauded – urban plans, named for its mastermind, James Oglethorpe. And walking through these same tree-lined streets, with the sweet smell of azalea hanging in the air, it’s difficult to fathom that some of the country’s most promising artistic minds reside here, at the famed Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). It is in this southern town, and indeed due to its dichotomous nature, that New York-based developer Jon Kully of Flank, a real estate and architecture firm, decided to set his first hotel project – and the latest addition to Marriott’s Luxury Collection – Perry Lane Hotel. “Savannah has an allure; it’s a combination of the rich history, the architecture but most importantly the vibrant and unique people that bring it to life,” he explains. “We began collecting antiques and art, studying southern homes and how Savannians entertain, labouring over every last detail to make sure Perry Lane Hotel is something that not only we can be proud of, but that the entire Savannah community can be proud of.” And just as the multi-layered story of Savannah unfolds through its squares, so too does it at Perry Lane, thanks in part to a pair of creative linchpins – New York-based hospitality design firm AvroKO, and Denver-based art consultancy Nine Dot Arts, both of which

hold strong narratives close to heart. As such, the story behind the city’s first five-star hotel was, fittingly, that of a fictitious Savannahian socialite named Adelaide Harcourt. “She comes from a long line of financiers with a penchant for collecting, and as the sole living member of her family she’s determined to gift the arts legacy of her heritage to the city of Savannah through sharing her collection of family heirlooms, travel mementos and contemporary works at Perry Lane,” explains Nine Dot Arts’ CEO Martha Weidmann, who hand-picked the 3,600-strong collection of objects and antiques, 1,200 artworks, and over 175 original pieces throughout the project, including work by Paul Gauguin amongst others. Knowing that collaborations with SCAD talent would be essential to this narrative, Weidmann further enlisted some 81 artists with links to the city’s art school. In keeping with the mandates of the Oglethorpe plan, where residential tithe lots were to be separated by small alleyways, Perry Lane is split into two towers and separated by the lane for which it is named. Therefore, there are two separate lobbies – one housing the reception area, whilst the other hosts a boutique store and the intimate Wayward Bar. “The overall ground floor layout strategically deploys an internal streetscape based on Savannah’s unique urban plan, where everything is situated around town squares. Spaces read like a collection of related buildings, defining inner yards and the edges of alleys,”


Above: A sense of bespoke utility reigns supreme in guestrooms, which feature diamond-cut pendant lights, valet panelled walls and rich espresso leather

explains AvroKO Principal Greg Bradshaw, alluding to the fact that the chequerboardfloored, colonnaded lobbies conjure a Savannahian front porch. Plantation blinds, low-slung seating set on sisal-inspired area rugs and palm blade fans overhead all interpret this notion. Through a framed opening off the north lobby, two decidedly residential seating areas come into view. “Split between two rooms, the lounge and library capitalise on southern architectural remnants of a found Savannah mansion,” explains fellow AvroKO Principal Kristina O’Neal. While one room features a marble fireplace, nude walls and low-slung furniture set in velvet, the next is decidedly moodier, with olive-green panelled walls, hand-picked antique rugs and custom millwork which houses Harcourt’s curated collection of travel totems from around the world. A colourful portrait of the muse herself, painted by Deborah Brown, holds court here.



Above: Rooftop bar Peregrin affords commanding views over the laid-back southern town, and becomes a hive of activity by night

In the guestrooms, a sense of bespoke utility reigns supreme. A board and baton-lined entry foyer features a custom-designed mirror and utility hooks. Further in, a bespoke minibar armoire and custom diamond-cut pendant lighting are set against valet panelled walls, while TV recesses and headboards are backed with rich espresso leather. In lieu of the conventional desk or side tables, AvroKO chose here to instead divide the standard queen-queen configuration with a bespoke leather bench. O’Neal says this encourages “a salon environment where people can socialise and enjoy drinks. Everything ultimately comes back to creating a space that is inspired by the historical southern home of a collector that is enveloped in southern hospitality, including curated art and trinkets that have been collected over time.” Back down in the lobby, Emporium, the hotel’s market-style dining room and artisanal food shop recalls the vibrant city markets of yore, with sweeping blackened metal arches and divider shelves; mosaic flooring and found curiosities lining the walls. At Wayward, the hotel’s speakeasy, the space has been deliberately designed on an

alley-sized footprint to be, according to O’Neal, “a narrow-shaped incubator for debauchery”. Scalloped walnut wood panels adorn the walls while black-and-coffee-shaded blinds shield the bar from the façade to maintain its ‘found speakeasy’ mystique. A working motorbike suspended overhead adds an air of dive-bar whimsy. The design and art come to a crescendo at Peregrin, the hotel’s rooftop bar and pool, which were inspired by Adelaide’s travels during America’s golden age of Pan Am and TWA. A firepit, omnipresent greenery and a green turfed game area complete with hammock add to the lighthearted mood, while the white and charcoal flooring is a nod to the lobby six stories below. Indigo glazed tile at the bar recalls Savannah’s mercantile roots, but the ultimate whimsical punch is packed by the double-height Tropicalia mural painted onsite by SCAD alum Kipper Millsap. As the sun sets over the sweeping church steeples and lush emerald squares, Perry Lane comes alive like a beacon – a hive of activity and pulsating design vigour in this otherwise laid-back, chilled-out artsy Southern town.

EXPRESS CHECK-OUT: 167 guestrooms | 2 restaurants | 1 bar | Event spaces, ballroom | Swimming pool, gym | Owner / Developer: Flank | Operator: Sage Hospitality | Architecture: Flank; Hansen Architects | Interior Design: AvroKO | Art Consultant: Nine Dots Arts Landscaping: Fernando Wong Outdoor Living Design



Local businessman Markus Huber opens a treetop resort in the mountains of Italy’s South Tyrol, where guests can live at one with nature. Words: By Renee Perenchio | Photography: © Benno Prenn


ising from the spruce-covered slopes of Mount Plose in Bressanone, Italy, a new wellness resort emerges from the landscape, its treehouse form aiming to fully immerse guests in the surrounding mountains. The brainchild of local businessman Markus Huber, My Arbor is the realisation of a long-held aspiration to elevate South Tyrol as a tourist destination and celebrate the region’s inherent geography and culture. In bringing his vision to life, Huber commissioned local architect Wolfgang Meraner, together with Paul Seeber of Architektur Plus, to create an alpine resort that looks as if it grew naturally out of the hillside; a place where guests feel as if they’re living in the forest. Naturally, the project started with the trees, and the team opted for much of the site to remain untouched. But Meraner took the connection with nature a step further, and over the course of the changing seasons, suspended himself in the trees to feel the sway and motion of the wind firsthand. The resulting resort is a feat of engineering, in which the building is perched atop 66 tree-trunk pillars creating a refined treehouse experience that casts guest into a sense of escapism.

Above: Pendants by Secto Design are suspended over the restaurant, while Bover has lit the outdoor spaces

“Mr. Meraner believed that building rooms at a certain height would make guests feel like they are living within the rhythm of nature, free in the forest,” explains Gerhard Tauber, lead interior designer of My Arbor and founder and head of Tage Architect. Despite the challenges presented by the pillar supports and a long, harsh winter that paused development for several weeks, construction took just 14 months, with the hotel opening in May 2018 complete with 104 guestrooms, a bar, restaurant and spa. More than a name, ‘arbor’ is a concept that carries through each and every component of the resort. “When you have a clear concept, you have to play it out in every single detail, in every corner of the canvas,” says Tauber. “The tree is our main inspiration and the lobby is the first opportunity to make an impression. This was our space to play and make guests feel free, like a bird in the trees.” With its floor-to-ceiling windows, the double-height lobby invites guests to stop and take in the alpine views towards Eisack Valley. Inside, a sleek, central fireplace draws eyes up to the ceiling, where 48 slender spruce trunks dangle above in a compelling installation. A network of granite and warm, multi-toned oak flooring expands from the natural light-filled lobby bar, down the mysterious spiral

staircase and to the oversized reception desk, fashioned from a 240-year-old spruce found in the neighbouring village of Vandoies. The lobby eventually opens out to a covered patio lined with Ethimo and Bellini contemporary outdoor seating and tables, a perfect spot to take in the scene. In contrast to the grandeur of the arrival experience, meeting rooms and the My Arbor Restaurant were designed to offer privacy and intimacy. A maze of high-backed, custom banquettes weave through the all-day restaurant and create semi-private and private booths, while a swirling trellis of glowing Swiss pine sweeps above and brings fluidity to the segmented space. “The private booths were important to guarantee privacy and help soften the noise of the 220-person restaurant,” says Tauber. “Guests do not want to listen to other conversations and they do not want to be observed while eating.” The dining offer comprises ‘My Breakfast’ and ‘My Dinner’ – a choice of three different five-course meals nightly – included with each stay, while ‘My Lunch’ and evening wine tasting courses are available as added extras. Guests are also invited to focus on ‘My Well-Being’, with programming choices ranging from forest yoga



Above: The lobby opens out to a covered patio lined with Ethimo and Bellini contemporary outdoor seating and tables

sessions and daily spa infusions to personal training. “Guests who come to this region are active and enjoy being in nature, but are also seeking relaxation,” states Tauber. “Thus, a spa of this scale and an involved fitness programme were fundamental.” Found at the base of the lobby’s central spiral staircase, Spa Arboris spans two levels and 2,500m2. Designed in collaboration with Rizzato Spa Consulting, it boasts eight treatment rooms, five saunas, multiple relaxation rooms, a yoga sanctuary, a state-of-the-art fitness room, an indoor/outdoor infinity pool and a Jacuzzi overlooking the surrounding Dolomites. Neutral tones, natural stone water features and the scent of fresh oak and spruce abound through the expansive wellness hub. The elements also make their way into the treatments, with the signature Arboris Tree Ritual involving a body peel and massage using harvest from the forest. Perched above the lobby, the treehouse’s guestrooms are accessed via lift or an entrancing black steel staircase softened with Belakos carpet and a delicate grouping of teardrop lighting by Lichtstudio Eisenkeil. Dark, hushed corridors with rustic wood doors and warm

lighting inspire a sense of seclusion as guests travel to their hideaways. An undeniable contrast sets in as guests step through to the airy larch and spruce laced guestrooms that expose the open valley through floor-to-ceiling windows. Ranging in size from 35-130m2, the 104 guestrooms include the entry-level Nest, the larger Hangout suite with separate living area, and sprawling My Arbour suite, with its own south-facing terrace and outdoor whirlpool. All share a similar design concept in which the different woods take centrestage. For the furniture, Tauber worked closely with a local carpenter to design each individual piece, including the woodblock beds and ‘hangout nook’ daybeds, positioned by the window for treetop lounging. Charcoal textiles and floating sunburnt wood panels carry through each guestroom and into the spa-like bathrooms, some with a sensory shower, others with a freestanding tub or private sauna. “I wanted nature to feel as close as possible,” explains Tauber. “The large windows, balconies, and hangout nooks were built to distract people from TV and everyday life – they demand you take the time to observe nature from your cosy, protected nest amongst the trees.”

EXPRESS CHECK-OUT: 104 guestrooms | 1 restaurant | 1 bar | Private events space | Spa, swimming pool | Owner / Operator: Markus Huber | Architecture: Wolfgang Meraner Architekt; Architektur Plus | Interior Design: Tage Architect Visual Identity: Studio Dia | Project Manager: Michaeler & Partner | Landscaping: Ivo Gasser


design Patrick Norguet —

Nicolette chair Showroom Milan / Rome / Viterbo Paris / Cannes

Contacts +39 0761 300 444 Ph Bernard Touillon

“Trueisart, when it happens to us, “Color my day-long obsession, joy and challenges thetorment.” “I” that we are.” — Claude Monet

— Jeanette Winterson "Orbit" by Kat Morgan © Kalisher

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10/17/18 10:08 AM


AccorHotels to “unleash” its potential AccorHotels used its capital market day to describe its “numerous acquisitions” as behind it, as it focused on its strategy to “unleash the group’s full potential”. The comments came the day after the company announced an offer for the 47.31% of Orbis which it did not already own. The group said that it was aiming to increase its rate of opening from one hotel every 33 hours last year to one hotel every 24 hours in the midterm. It was looking to increase growth in its fees by 1.7 times over the same period. AccorHotels said that it had “a clear path” from EUR626m in Ebitda in 2017 to EUR1.2bn in 2022. In a presentation to investors, Sebastien Bazin, chairman & CEO, AccorHotels, described the various players in the sector as “intertwined across the hospitality value chain”, pointing to the rising role of Airbnb as a distributor, the global hotel companies moving into the private rental market and moves by Expedia and Trivago to manage in-stay experiences and restaurant booking. Bazin described AccorHotels as the “most diversified” in the hotel sector, with 33 brands, with rooms split 41% in the economy segment, 34% midscale and 25% luxury and upscale. In terms of geographical diversity, 49% were in Europe, 30% Asia Pacific, 9% MEA, 8% South America and 5% North America and Canada.

The CEO said that the company had the leading position in Europe, with 30% brand penetration and 45% of rooms in the top five chains. It also described its position as leading in Asia Pacific (excluding China), MEA and South America, having expanded its network by 40% between September 2015 and September 2018. These regions, Bazin said, were also those with the most potential. Bazin said that the company would look to accelerate its growth in China, while also “selectively” expanding in North America. He also identified the “opportunity” in lifestyle, F&B and events. In China, the company has set the target of growing its Chinese traveller roomnights outside the country by 3.5 times by 2020, against its 2017 levels. The company indicated that it had not abandoned acquisitions entirely, with Guarav Bhushan, global CDO, describing the company’s expansion strategy as combining both organic growth and “strategic M&A as a key lever”. His key objectives were to increase the pace of organic openings while increasing the fee per room through the higher fee yielding segments of luxury, leisure and lifestyle. Between 2015 and 2018 the company had increased its pipeline by 15%, with a 75% increase in luxury rooms. AccorHotels said that it now had the “most comprehensive brand portfolio in lifestyle in the industry” and held 2% of supply, with 10% of pipeline. Chris Cahill, deputy CEO responsible for hotel operations,

illustrated the shifting focus towards luxury as well as towards management, with the Sofitel brand accounting for less than 3% of the number of hotels, but 8.4% of fee income. Between 2017 and 2018 the company went from 41% of its rooms under management contract to 61%, with franchised remaining at 33%, squeezing ownership back from 26% to 6%. Bazin said: “AccorHotels has gone through a major transformation over the last few years. This was evidenced by numerous acquisitions of brands and new ancillary business activities, the strengthening of our digital platforms, and the shift to an asset-light model with the sale of a majority stake in AccorInvest.” “These major steps behind us, we are now focused on executing on our strategy to unleash the group’s full potential. Our targets are ambitious yet achievable. AccorHotels is more agile, more profitable, and more global, with a well-balanced brand portfolio. These assets are unique in the industry. Combined with a rigorous management, this will enable the group’s to create sustainable value for our shareholders, our clients and our employees.” At Orbis, the offer for 21.8 million shares was priced at 87 zlotys per share, putting the bid at just over USD500m. AccorHotels plans to delist Orbis if successful. Bazin told analysts at the capital markets day that the deal was the “continued rollout of the assetlight strategy, replicating the value creation at AccorHotels through the monetisation of assets”.


Bazin said: “As its largest shareholder since 2000, AccorHotels has fully supported Orbis’ growth in Poland, then across Central Europe since 2014, where Orbis has become today a formidable leader. The proposed transaction will enable AccorHotels to accelerate its development in the region. In addition, it will enable AccorHotels to further implement its active asset management policy.” The group said that the deal would allow it to consolidate its leadership in Central Europe and improve optionality on Orbis’ asset portfolio management, including replication of the active asset management strategy implemented by AccorHotels for several years. HA Perspective (by Katherine Doggrell): And so it is with terrible sadness that we note AccorHotels’ plan not to buy everything in sight and keep us hacks constantly entertained. Say it ain’t so. There is hope. As Bhushan pointed out, there is still room for “strategic” deals and a little strategy can go a long way. Bazin made much of the group’s primary challenge being digital technology, the need to quickly prove to customers that AccorHotels could offer them the best hotel at the best price wherever they went. He ruefully told L’Echo that the hotel sector should have bought platforms like, Expedia or Tripadvisor when they were not so expensive. The current digital strategy was aligned, as with the other operators, around loyalty, with an appreciation

that the company also needed strong partners, such as Huazhu. The group was investing in using the knowledge it had on the guest to improve personalised service, something Bazin appreciated the group had not focused sufficiently on in the past. By looking to its luxury brands for growth, the company is looking to a segment where loyalty is more easily gained as the opportunity for exceptional service is more readily available. It is the economy and midscale – both markets it needs to build on in China – where going that extra mile is harder to achieve without stressing the bottom line. Additional HA Perspective (by Andrew Sangster): Accor is the smallest of the four biggest global majors (in room number order the others are Marriott, Hilton and IHG) and it has struck out on a distinctive course. Firstly, it is far more focused on management than the other three. While the big US players can be seen as hospitality brand companies, Accor is much more of a hospitality services company. This is an important distinction in markets which are fragmented – pretty much everywhere outside of North America. Secondly, it has been prepared to fail in its rush to buy things and try things: Accor Marketplace was a complete flop, and Onefinestay has been written down. The failure has been embraced, and it has been far more prepared to try new things than its rivals. It is now signalling, however, that

Meliá joins Amazon’s shelves

this push into new niches is over and the focus is going to be its core hotel business going forward. Thirdly, Accor is a true global player. While it does dominate its home market of France, it has proportionally far greater exposure outside of its domestic markets than the other three global majors (and we’re treating IHG as a US player for these purposes). This ought to give it an edge in the higher growth emerging markets. The final point about Accor is its relationship with Jin Jiang which is the single biggest shareholder at 12.3%. The Qatar Investment Authority has 10.1% and Kingdom Holding has 5.7% (as a result of the Fairmont Raffles deal). Now that Jin Jiang is the world’s second or third largest hotelier following its takeover of Radisson, a combination with Accor would be a compelling proposition. Could Accor move from being predator to prey? Probably not. A takeover of Accor is likely to attract the attention of the French authorities and CEO Bazin is well connected politically as the presence of former French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Accor’s board demonstrates. More likely is a further deepening of Accor’s China ties. The relationship with Huazhu, the former China Lodging, is more friendly than that of Jin Jiang and may result in a deeper union.

Meliá Hotels International has claimed a first in the hotel sector by selling gift cards loaded with loyalty points on Amazon. The operator joins other hotels in using Amazon, as the sector has sought to attract more users to its loyalty schemes. Meliá will sell accommodation and experiences through the e-commerce website by offering two types of MeliaRewards gift cards – one worth 35,000 points and the other worth 55,000 points. Gift cards will be available for sale in the UK, Spain, France, Italy and Germany and can be exchanged for stays at any of Melia’s hotels, along with other services offered by the group and its partners across airlines, car rental, leisure, retail and financial services, among others. MeliaRewards members will also be able to exchange points they’ve earned for Amazon gift vouchers. While Meliá was the first hotel to sell points on Amazon, other operators have turned their attention to the market place. Hilton Worldwide told us that, although it did not sell Hilton Honors gift cards on Amazon Hilton Honors was the firstever guest loyalty programme to participate in Amazon Shop with Points which gives Hilton Honors members the ability to pay for purchases “of just about anything at” using their Hilton Honors Points. This is only available through at


the moment, so while UK customers can use it, they would need to pay international shipping fees. Up to three Honors accounts can be linked to one Amazon account. According to Amazon, 500 Hilton Honors Points will equal one dollar on Honors members earn 10 Base Points for every US dollar spent on room rate and other eligible room charges, including telephone calls and room service. Mark Weinstein, Hilton’s SVP & global head, customer engagement, loyalty and partnerships, said: “At Hilton, we are always looking for ways to deliver unique experiences to customers. By teaming up with Amazon, we are able to offer our Hilton Honors members yet another choice in how they redeem their Hilton Honors Points. Amazon Shop with Points gives our members greater flexibility with their Points and the chance to offer more of what matters most to our Hilton Honors members.” Magnuson Hotels also launched its rewards programme with the offer of a USD25 Amazon gift card for every 10 nights booked direct. It said that the offer was aimed at capturing and converting guests visiting on bookings made via OTAs. The company said that, until the end of the year, guests that register directly at a participating hotel during their visit would get all the nights from that stay as credit, even if the booking was made via an OTA. Those members would just need to book direct in future to redeem the gift card. A year and a half since the launch, Tom Magnuson, CEO, told

Hotel Analyst: “It’s going really, really well, the statistic which has surprised us the most is that 20% of our users are active users, which tells us that it’s working. The big loyalty schemes talk about how many members they have, but how many of them are active is the most important metric. “The reason why it’s taken off is because it’s so simple and straightforward. There are no blackouts or restrictions. The other side is that the owners are liking it – so much of our growth is through conversions and according to CBRE 27% of franchisers revenues are derived from loyalty schemes. They are very expensive for owners to support. The whole point of loyalty schemes is to go direct and offset the OTAs, but that means that the average hotel spend 5% of their GRR on loyalty schemes. Simplicity and transparency is why our scheme has taken off. “We’re also starting to see a lot of non-leisure travellers using us. The corporate traveller spends the year building their points so that they can take their family somewhere sunny, but then it comes to the point and they are left broken-hearted because they can’t get what they want. This scheme is much more simple.” HA Perspective (by Katherine Doggrell): In this age of experience over ownership, it is surprising how hard it is to buy someone a holiday and give them all those Instagrammable moments their phone is itching to share. The big operators do offer the chance to buy gift cards, which can

be used on both stays and on food and experiences on the property, but Meliá has become the first of the hotel groups to almost offer the ability to buy rooms through Amazon. Amazon has thus far been used as an incentive, but is now creeping towards what would be its third – or fourth, we forget – attempt to sell holidays and hotel rooms on its platform. At the moment, working with loyalty points means that Meliá is retaining control of the product, with the consumer booking direct and not being distracted by other hotels. Should Amazon start listing hotels, consumers will be able to buy rooms with Amazon gift cards and the familiar questions of commissions and rankings will have to be addressed with a whole newish platform. Amazon is a ‘when not if’. Operators would be wise to make like Meliá and start building that relationship now.

Amazon makes its play in the travel business. The guessing game is about where and when, not if. The airline industry is fairly well insulated, both by government regulation and by effective monopolies on most routes. Unless Amazon wants to start its own airline, it is hard to see how it is going to seriously disrupt the retailing of air travel. Similarly, car rental is more about the used car business than it is the provision of car transportation. The big players generate their profits through smart buying and selling of cars, rather than renting them to consumers. Amazon is unlikely to be interested in entering such an oddly structured industry. Accommodation, however, is a potentially huge prize. Online sales are now of sufficient scale to truly excite Amazon where it can deploy its massive data warehouse of consumer insight. Jeff Bezos is going to lean across his desk at some point and say: “Alexa, buy me a travel company” and most likely it will be in the accommodation space.

Additional HA Perspective (by Andrew Sangster): Amazon has been playing around the edges of the hotel industry for years. Four years ago there was a market rumour that the e-commerce giant was about to launch a booking service. But in the end, nothing much, apart from a few special offers, appeared on the site. Travel is not a business that Amazon will ignore forever. And when it does decide to make a move, it is likely to be big. In the grocery market, the acquisition of Whole Foods by Amazon devastated the share prices of incumbents. You can expect similar disruption when

Trademark passes 100 Wyndham Hotels & Resorts announced that its Trademark Collection by Wyndham had reached 100 hotels with its latest signings. The market for soft brands has continued to grow, with Hilton due to launch another, with the name LXR. Trademark, which is aimed at


the upper midscale and above, was launched 18 months ago, when Chip Ohlsson, Wyndham Hotel Group’s chief development officer said: “The explosion of soft brands in the last several years has been focused on luxury and upscale hoteliers – with demand still growing at a rate of nearly 20% – leaving a market void for independent hoteliers in the upper-midscale segment, the largest segment accounting for 18% of rooms in the US. “Wyndham is the only hotel company positioned to champion u p p e r- m i d s c a l e - a n d - a b o v e independent hoteliers so they can compete in an ever-changing distribution environment with brand-backed support and guest recognition and loyalty.” Commenting in reaching its century, Greg Giordano, VP, brand operations, Trademark Collection by Wyndham, said: “This global momentum is a testament to Trademark’s mounting appeal as one of the most compelling softbranded offerings for independent hoteliers across the globe. “These recent landmark additions, located in some of Canada’s most coveted travel spots, underscore what it means to be a Trademark hotel – unmatched character, charm, and individuality. These hotels are now backed by the global distribution power of a leading hospitality name in Wyndham, and a team passionate about driving more travellers through entrepreneurial hoteliers’ doors every day.” James Bland, director, BDRC Continental, told us: “Does the

world need another collection brand? Probably not. Is there space for another? Without doubt. I think that’s the point – they exist not to occupy space, but to boost system. They’re not intended to make lasting impacts on the mass-market, their purpose is to avoid violating competition territory restrictions, appeal to a broader consumer base, flog a few more rooms in a hotel that perhaps finds itself under the radar and – of course – diversify corporate risk should any particular brand turn toxic. “Brand awareness (which seems to come and go more quickly than ever before) is still the key to the door for the biggest players, but outside of that is not really the main battleground anymore; preference (resulting in conversion) is perhaps more important now, plus price premium and in both cases, there is sometimes something to be said for scarcity; especially when serious volume isn’t really an option.” At Hilton, July saw the company announce a franchise deal on three hotels in Dubai, with one to be rebranded the Habtoor Palace Hotel, LXR Hotels & Resorts. The group has yet to make a formal announcement, but described the hotel as operating “as an independent property as it joins the upcoming luxury collection brand from Hilton”. Khalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor, founding chairman of Al Habtoor Group, added: “Dubai is a safe

haven for tourism and investment. The decision of Hilton to choose Dubai as one of the first locations for its upcoming luxury collection brand is a confirmation of Dubai and the UAE’s robustness and appeal.” At Marriott International, the company now has what it has called a “three-tier collection strategy” that includes The Luxury Collection, Autograph Collection Hotels and Tribute Portfolio brands. Tony Capuano, EVP & global CDO Marriott International, said: “Independent hoteliers have more options to leverage Marriott’s powerful loyalty and distribution channels, whether through a new build or conversion hotel, depending on the location and physical product. “We’re seeing increased demand for Marriott’s collection brands given consumers’ desire to stay at properties with unique stories and independent hotel owners realising that Marriott’s size and scale can drive significant value to their properties.” There remain other options for independent hotels. Last month saw Global Hotel Alliance raise investment to strengthen its platform, taking on the brands and OTAs for a less expensive, more collaborative take on distribution. Chris Hartley, GHA’s CEO, told Hotel Analyst that he was confident of the GHA’s niche, commenting: “I’m not aware of any of our brands

who have talked to the megabrands. They’re simply too expensive – it’s a similar price to a hard brand to join a soft band. We don’t have the distribution they do, but we’re infinitely cheaper and the big brands tend to exaggerate the difference that they make with a luxury or upscale asset – it’s likely to be only a few points in occupancy. As you get to the very, very high end of the market there’s not even that.” One alternative that isn’t likely is a soft brand from the OTAs, with Expedia Group CEO Mark Okerstrom telling attendees at its annual partner conference: “We’re not building a soft brand, we’re going to try and find ways to leverage the platform to help our hotel partners manage revenues and manage costs.”

and colossal, is that that customers will follow the former and emit true brand loyalty and, for the latter, that being part of the wider loyalty programme is enough to bring repeat bookings. For independent hotels, the plan is to try and do both at the same time. As Hartley pointed out, the cost of doing this must be carefully weighed up.

HA Perspective (by Katherine Doggrell): Here at Hotel Analyst we are coming to terms with the idea that you should have really more brands than anyone can name, recognise or, really, care about. We don’t get grumpy with Cadbury’s for adding more chocolate bars, far from it. As one wag commented to this hack recently: they’re not brands, they’re selection criteria. We’re entering, or have entered a phase, of niche brands we know and recognise and those that are part of massive brand stables with distribution front of mind. The hope for both parties, niche

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



Bali Performance stands out in the Asia Pacific region October 2018 produced hotel performance growth throughout the Asia Pacific region with a 1.6% increase in occupancy, a 1.5% lift in average daily rate (ADR) and a 3.0% jump in revenue per available room (RevPAR), when reported in US dollar constant currency. STR data tells many interesting stories among the markets and submarkets but perhaps none more so than Bali, the Indonesian island displaying impressive capacity for supply growth and a resilience to potential negative impact events. Following terror attacks in Surabaya in May 2017, 14 countries issued travel advice for Indonesia, yet this had little impact on Bali’s hotel demand and RevPAR. On the other hand, volcanic eruptions from Mount Agung between September and November 2017 did cause a substantial drop in demand for December 2017 (-35.1%) and January 2018 (-21.1%). Bali has since shown its powers of recovery. June to October of 2018 produced 50% of the market’s top 10 absolute occupancy months since 2012. October was the market’s performance pinnacle, as meetings of the Board of Governors of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group helped Bali achieve a 20.0% increase in demand over the prior year period and a record-breaking October ADR of IDR1,890,946.89. New inventory has been a constant, with supply growing at a CAGR of 5.2% and increasing year-on-year in every month since 2013. The appetite for developing new supply is showing little sign of slowing in the market. Indonesia currently has 55,216 rooms across the construction and planning phases of the pipeline, and over 10,000 of these sit within Bali.

Performance October 2018 Year-to-Date

Occupancy 75.6% 18%

RevPAR IDR1,429,016.40 64.1%

ADR IDR1,890,946.89 39.0%

STR is the source for premium global data benchmarking, analytics and marketplace insights, tracking 8 million rooms worldwide.

Rooms in Pipeline Indonesia 55,216 Bali 10,221

collection INSOLENCE pattern SWING

contract@arte-inter |

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AHEAD MEA WINNERS ANNOUNCED AHEAD MEA announced its 2018 winners in a November ceremony at The Meydan Hotel, Dubai. Owing to the host venue’s racecourse location, the evening took on a theme of ‘A Night at the Races’, with 300 hospitality professionals donning the finest fascinators, top hats and millinery to celebrate hospitality design and guest experience in all its forms. Kicking off the ceremony, Marc Dardenne, chair of the judging panel, spoke of growth throughout the region: “These awards are a reflection of the continued development and maturity of the hospitality design scene across the region. Since my return to the Middle East, I have been impressed with the ever-increasing diversity of hotels emerging here. At the top end of the market, developers and designers are embracing new forms of luxury, while we are also seeing new lifestyledriven concepts.” Opening with the award for Bar, Club or Lounge, Flair No.5 at The RitzCarlton, DIFC, Dubai took the stage as the evening’s inaugural winner. Designed by LW Design, the casual lounge sees cabanas rest alongside art and foliage to create an urban retreat for locals and visitors alike. Meanwhile, an interplay of floor lanterns and curated accessories create a residential feel. Following was the first award of many for The Bulgari Resort Dubai, starting with the Event Spaces accolade. Situated on Jumeirah Bay, the hotel’s spaces offer sweeping seaside views angled towards the sunset. Inside, Italian design by Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel offers an earthy, lush alternative – complete with a secret lemon tree garden – to the surrounding urban spaces. One of the most coveted categories, Guestrooms, saw Renaissance Downtown Dubai stave off competition with its WA International-created concept. The urban hotel offers a strong sense of place, with a colour palette based on the surrounding natural elements of sand and water, materialised in the form of rich fabrics and natural wood. Representing Oman, Kempinski Hotel Muscat was next up to accept the award for Landscaping & Outdoor Spaces. The diamond-shaped property – designed by Woods Bagot – features a combination of Omani influences and architectural cues from traditional designs that inform the outdoor spaces. Looking to Lobby & Public Spaces, the work of P&T Architects and Yabu Pushelberg was celebrated as Five Palm Jumeirah Dubai was crowned winner. The hotel’s towering glass cube lobby offers a series of intimate spaces gathered around a 60-metre statement pool. A category specific to the MEA region, the award for Lodges & Tented Camps followed, presented to Bisate Eco Lodge, Ruhengeri, Rwanda. Combining the wisdom of Plewman Architects & Associates

and the design acumen of Artichoke, the lodge is rooted in Rwandan tradition. The spherical, thatched structures echo the surrounding landscape, while interiors champion colourful textiles and an abundance of textures. The Renovation, Restoration & Conversion prize marked the first of two awards for The Silo. A converted grain elevator located in Cape Town, the building’s façade has been reimagined by Heatherwick Studio, featuring the addition of ingenious glass windows that complement the geometry of the hotel floors. Interiors by Liz Biden act as a tribute to timeless glamour and contemporary luxury. Shortly after was the award for Resort Hotel, which saw The Bulgari Resort Dubai return. Judges commended the façade’s coral-like suncreens and material sensitivity. A showstopper, Stickman Tribe’s Little Miss India scooped the Restaurant award. The concept driven eatery is located at Fairmont The Palm and revolves around a female character, her family home and vintage collectibles. Classical colonial elements have been adopted in a contemporary and refined form alongside vintage patterns and traditional motifs throughout a cosy dining room and show kitchen. Meanwhile, a second win for Five Palm Jumeirah Dubai acknowledged Yabu Pushelberg’s Spa & Wellness creation. The spa’s entryway is a sequence of arches adorned with hand painted artwork, while standalone treatment cubes are scattered among palm trees, each with their own identity. For its third win, The Bulgari Resort Dubai scooped the Suite award for its 120m2 eponymous suite. Praised for its sense of home, the spacious living area is accompanied by an intimate work space and stunning wraparound terrace. Finishing the evening’s Entered Awards was the crowning of Urban Hotel, awarded to Form Hotel Dubai. The only member of Design Hotels in the Middle East, Form is billed as a real alternative to the standard hotel, owing to its customisable guest stays and refined design by Architecture-Studio. Closing the ceremony was AHEAD’s Select Awards. First up was Visual Identity of the Year, a second win for The Silo. Judges appreciated the carefully curated art collection and considered, locally-inspired interiors. The New Concept of the Year was presented to FORM Hotel Dubai, largely owing to its focus on guest experience and original photography of Nina Dietzel, which was commissioned specially for each room. Finally, the anticipated AHEAD MEA Hotel of the Year was presented to The Bulgari Resort Dubai, marking the project’s fourth win. The winners of AHEAD MEA 2018 will now go on to compete in AHEAD Global, which opens for public voting on 3 January 2019 at




THE BULGARI RESORT DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES Meraas Holding / Bulgari Hotels & Resorts / Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel


FIVE PALM JUMEIRAH DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES Five Holdings / P&T Architects & Engineers / Yabu Pushelberg


BISATE ECO LODGE, RUHENGERI, RWANDA Wilderness Safaris / Nicholas Plewman Architects & Associates / Artichoke / Inzuki Designs




THE SILO, CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA V&A Waterfront / The Royal Portfolio / Heatherwick Studio / VDMMA / RBA / JPA / Liz Biden



KEMPINSKI HOTEL MUSCAT, OMAN Omani Hospitality Company / Kempinski Hotels / Woods Bagot / WSP

THE BULGARI RESORT DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES Meraas Holding / Bulgari Hotels & Resorts / Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel





LITTLE MISS INDIA AT FAIRMONT THE PALM, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES IFA Hotels & Resorts / Fairmont Hotels & Resorts / Stickman Tribe

THE SPA AT FIVE PALM JUMEIRAH DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES Five Holdings / P&T Architects & Engineers / Yabu Pushelberg


BULGARI SUITE AT THE BULGARI RESORT DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES Meraas Holding / Bulgari Hotels & Resorts / Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel


FORM HOTEL DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES Dubai Contracting Company / KAY Real Estate Development / Smartotels Hospitality International / Architecture-Studio

THE SILO, CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA V&A Waterfront / The Royal Portfolio / Heatherwick Studio / VDMMA / RBA / JPA / Liz Biden

FORM HOTEL DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES Dubai Contracting Company / KAY Real Estate Development / Smartotels Hospitality International / Architecture-Studio


THE BULGARI RESORT DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES Meraas Holding / Bulgari Hotels & Resorts / Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel





AHEAD EUROPE 2018 WINNERS The winners of AHEAD Europe 2018 were revealed in a ceremony at Park Plaza Westminster Bridge, London, marking the end of the AHEAD cycle for 2018. Themed Psychedelic Chic, the awards attracted some 900 leading hospitality professionals – sporting the finest Sixties attire – to celebrate design in all its forms and the guest experience it creates. Welcoming the crowd, Javier Hortal, Regional Director of Technical Services EMEA, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group and chair of the judging panel, commented: “The innovators of our industry have once again excelled in creating a magnificent crop of new hotel destinations. Our judging panel has had a great pleasure in discovering and experiencing the fruits of your work; and for that you have earned our sincere appreciation and admiration.” Opening with the Bar, Club or Lounge category, The Whiskey Room at Hotel Roomers Munich kicked off the celebrations with its concrete-designed den. Diverging from the typical hotel offering, the hidden bar features an illuminated cassette ceiling above booths in scarlet tones, red wood and soft red panelling. Up next, the Event Spaces award was presented to Ochil House at Gleneagles Hotel, a historic property with interiors by Ennismore Design Studio. Paying homage to Scotland’s illustrious history, the finest materials rest alongside bespoke craftsmanship and traditional country house design. Designed by noa*, Zallinger in Saltria, Italy scooped the 2018 Guestrooms accolade for its chalet-inspired spaces complete with knitted pillow cases, felt upholstery and views spanning the surrounding UNESCO World Heritage site. Next, the Hotel Renovation & Restoration award was presented to Hotel Sanders of Copenhagen. Conceived by Lind + Almond, the hotel’s design experience is immediately apparent as stately details accompany rich, deep colour schemes and grounding wicker samples sit alongside tartan fabric cuts and artwork. Scooping the award for Landscaping & Outdoor Spaces was The Mandrake, London. Commended by judges, the vision of owner Rami Fustok and creativity of Bureau Bas Smets culminates in the courtyard’s three-storey hanging curtain of Jasmine and passion flowers, cloaking the surrounding building and scenting the entire space. Looking inside, the next category to be presented was Lobby & Public Spaces, where Nobu Hotel Shoreditch was crowned winner. Conceived by Studio Mica, the interiors channel a Japanese garden, with natural wood set against polished river pebbles, stacked cork tiles, structural concrete and patinated metal. Representing Greece, Vora Villas, Santorini scooped the award for best Resort Hotel, with the design by k-studio not only acknowledging, but working with the surrounding landscape. Two contrasting contextual elements inform the interiors,

with volcanic rock and Santorini’s traditional whitewashed vernacular combining to create a sensitive and considered tone. Moving on to the Restaurant category, Hotel Roomers Munich returned to the stage for Izakaya, the concrete-designed Japanese restaurant complete with backlit bartop, warm yellow marble and wooden lamellas. Another win for noa*, Hotel Seehof received best Spa & Wellness offering. Connecting structurally with the surrounding landscape, the spa creates a natural unity between indoor and outdoor spaces while interiors feature neutral tones and natural materials. Marking a shift in the industry, the 2018 Suite prize was awarded to Belmond Venice Simplon-Orient Express, a sleeper train where three individually designed suites take cues from the train’s various destinations. Designed by Wimberly Interiors, the suites retain as many original features as possible and draw inspiration from the romance, adventure and style of each location. Features include glass chandeliers and intricate timber marquetry wall panels, evoking true luxury. Looking to the Urban Hotel Conversion category, 1898 The Post, Ghent was selected due to the delicate preservation of the building’s Louis Cloquet architecture, while optimising the spaces within. Zannier Hotels’ design sees period pieces remain alongside carefully selected materials, textures and locallysourced antiques. Meanwhile, the Urban Hotel Newbuild trophy was presented to The QO Amsterdam, a property with strong sustainability focus. Judges praised the hotel’s responsive façade and rooftop greenhouse. Moving on to the Select Awards, first up was the Visual Identity of the Year presented to Hôtel Les Roches Rouges, Côte d’Azur for its clean, modern lines of French Riveria architecture and regional tones of azure blue and red ochre, designed by The View Magnifique. The New Concept of the Year was awarded to Stamba Hotel, Tbilisi, Georgia, which sees design – by Adjara Arch Group – complement local brutalist architecture whilst giving a new lease of life to the area. Returning for its second win, Hotel Sanders scooped the sought-after Hotel of the Year, described as a mingling hub for the creative scene, judges lauded the combination of Parisian flair, English eccentricity and Danish design cool. The Outstanding Contribution award was presented to Petter Stordalen, CEO and Founder of Strawberry Group and respected philanthropist. Stordalen entertained the crowd with a speech, before The Bootleg Beatles, surrounded by an assortment of McQueens flowers, closed the ceremony. All regional winners will now compete to be crowned worldwide winner at AHEAD Global on 28 January 2019. AHEAD Global will open for online public voting on 3 January 2019.


THE WHISKEY ROOM AT HOTEL ROOMERS MUNICH, GERMANY Gekko Group / Roomers / Concrete / TSSB Architekten Ingenieure / Ingenieure


OCHIL HOUSE AT GLENEAGLES HOTEL, AUCHTERARDER, SCOTLAND Ennismore / Gleneagles / 3DReid / Ennismore Design Studio



THE MANDRAKE, LONDON, ENGLAND Newman Assets / Pistache Hospitality Group / Manalo & White / Bureau Bas Smets / Tala Fustok Interior Design / Culture In Architecture


NOBU HOTEL SHOREDITCH, LONDON, ENGLAND MA Hotels / Willow Corp Sarl / Nobu Hospitality / Ben Adams Architects / Ron Arad Associates / Studio Mica

ZALLINGER, SALTRIA, ITALY Berghaus Zallinger / Burger Markus & Schenk Luisa / noa* network of architecture




HOTEL SANDERS, COPENHAGEN, DENMARK Alexander Kølpin / Kølpin Hotels / Lind + Almond

VORA VILLAS, SANTORINI, GREECE Yannis Bellonias / K-studio

IZAKAYA AT HOTEL ROOMERS MUNICH, GERMANY The Entourage Group / Izakaya / Concrete / TSSB Architekten Ingenieure



HOTEL SEEHOF, NATZ-SCHABS / NAZ-SCIAVES, ITALY Hotel Seehof / Family Auer / Noa* network of architecture

STAMBA HOTEL, TBILISI, GEORGIA Adjara Group / Adjara Arch Group





1898 THE POST, GHENT, BELGIUM Mr. Postman / Zannier Hotels / Zannier Hotels Interiors


THE QO AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS Amstelside and Borealis Group / IHG / Mulderblauw Architects / Paul De Ruiter Architects / Tank / Conran+Partners


HÔTEL LES ROCHES ROUGES, CÔTE D’AZUR, FRANCE Perseus Hotel Group / Festen Architecture / The View Magnifique



HOTEL SANDERS, COPENHAGEN, DENMARK Alexander Kølpin / Kølpin Hotels / Lind + Almond

7 MARCH 2019

18 JUNE 2019



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

8-11 JAN

11-14 JAN

14-20 JAN

18-22 JAN

Heimtextil Frankfurt Domotex Hannover IMM Cologne Maison & Objet Paris

28-30 JAN

28 JAN

5-9 FEB

4-6 MAR

ALIS Los Angeles

4-17 MAR

AHEAD Global London / New York


Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair Stockholm


IHIF Berlin






Singapore Design Week Singapore HI Design MEA Colombo Design Shanghai Shanghai AHEAD Asia Singapore

13-15 JAN

The Hospitality Trail

18-22 JAN


Table, the luxury tableware presentation for the global hospitality industry, is set to return to Top Drawer for its second edition in January. Moving into the Modern Home hall at Olympia London, the three-day event will bring together specialist manufacturers and designers with buyers seeking to explore the latest in design-led tableware. Embodying a theme of ‘Out of the Ordinary’, the show will present a design-informed programme aimed at meeting the evolving demands of the modern consumer, with brands set to showcase creatively designed and commercially appealing products with a focus on originality. Also new to the agenda for 2019, the Hospitality Trail will guide buyers through a curation of hospitality-focused collections from key exhibitors, highlighting sectors from glassware, tableware and serveware to luxury leather aprons and interior accessories. Amongst the brands set to appear are Alessi, LSA International, Stelton, Studio William, Eva Solo, Blomus, Zaim Design, Sue Pryke, Guzzini and Elia. “I’m delighted to see the return of Table at Top Drawer this January,” says Ian Rudge, Business Development Director at Clarion Events. “With its prime new location in the Modern Home hall, and the introduction of the Hospitality Trial, Table will provide key decision makers within the hospitality industry with the opportunity to engage with specialist manufacturers and brands, whilst also offering buyers the additional opportunity to source a wide range of all typed of hospitality friendly, design-led products from across the show.”

Excuse My French MAISON & OBJET

Paris-based forecasting agency NellyRodi has revealed the inspiration behind the theme for Maison & Objet 2019. Set to be presented at the Trend Forum – brought to life using theatrical décor inspired by the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles – ‘Excuse My French’ will combine the latest consumer trends with a focus on the country’s design evolution, using a selection of handpicked products to embody the new Gallic spirit. “There’s a renewed curiosity about the French abroad, a sort of fascination at the moment,” comments Vincent Grégoire, Creative Director of NellyRodi. “In a world where things are becoming standardised, people are looking for something different.” Meanwhile, Sebastian Herkner has been named as Designer of the Year following collaborations with Moroso, Dedon and Thonet. The German designer will unveil some of his latest creations during the show whilst highlighting the manufacturing processes closest to his heart. “I am interested in the manufacturing processes used in fashion, and understanding how colours are put together,” Herkner explains. “Colour is often the very last thing designers think about. For me, it’s always the starting point for the whole design process... though it can take years to find that perfect colour combination.” Maison & Objet is set to attract over 90,000 visitors in January, with more than half of those hailing from outside of France. Along with product showcases from 3,000 exhibitors, the five-day event will promote emerging design talent and deliver insight on current hospitality trends.


HI Design Asia 7-9 NOVEMBER 2018

HI Design welcomes influential buyers and innovative suppliers to the eastern shores of Bali for the 10th anniversary of its Asia edition. Words: Ben Thomas | Photography: © Richard Pereira


early a year on since DMG Events acquired the HI Design portfolio, its third and final event of 2018 welcomed attendees to Bali’s southern enclave of Nusa Dua for a well-rehearsed programme of one-to-one meetings, networking opportunities and supplier showcases. Hosted at Grand Hyatt Bali, one of the island’s longest standing resorts, the three-day event delved into place-making and experiential design during a series of conference sessions curated by Sleeper’s Editor-at-Large Guy Dittrich, while STR analysed the development of Asia Pacific with performance and pipeline data. Design directors from the likes of Accor Hotels, IHG, Four Seasons and Hyatt flew in from across the region, while senior representatives from Hilton, Radisson Hotel Group, Wyndham and MGM Resorts further contributed to the 100+ buyers in attendance. Leaders from international design studios were present too, with HBA, Wilson Associates, Conran + Partners and Wimberly Interiors all in search of the latest product innovations for their forthcoming hotel projects. Representing a range of interior sectors from furniture, lighting and art to textiles, flooring and wallcoverings, suppliers included Astro Lighting, Warisan and Laufen, as well as Villeroy & Boch, Stellar Works and Roca. Equipped with their latest collections, the suppliers arrived to present their wares during a tightly-packed schedule. Welcoming delegates to the opening reception after an adrenalinefuelled rafting tour earlier in the day, Joel Butler, Portfolio Director of DMG Events, began by reflecting on the year gone by: “It’s been nearly a year since DMG Events acquired this incredible portfolio of events and what better way to end our first cycle than with the much celebrated and cherished HI Design Asia. We hope that this year’s selection of buyers and suppliers will make for vigorous meeting schedules, packed seminars and lively networking.”

Following an evening of greetings, the forum was kick-started by Jesper Palmqvist, Area Director Asia Pacific for STR, who opened with a summary of the region’s highlights in hotel performance, brand growth and shifts in profitability, before providing a look to future pipeline. Palmqvist began by analysing global RevPAR change for the year-to-September 2018, before underlining the growth of branded hotels in the region. With RevPAR up by 3.5% in Asia, and chains now possessing the larger share of the region’s market, Palmqvist noted the impact of Chinese-owned groups such as Huazhu Hotels Group, Homeinns and Jinjiang Holding – who recently acquired stakes in Groupe du Louvre, Radisson, Plateno and Vienna Hotels Group. The popularity of intra-travel was also credited in helping to boost the continent’s figures; Vietnam seeing the sharpest increase (27.2%) in international visitors after welcoming 7.9 million in the first half of 2018. Bali itself recorded mixed figures, with the southern districts of Jimbaran, Pecatu and Ungasan enjoying 9% supply growth over the last year; tourist hotpots Kuta, Canggu and Ubud boasting positive demand growth; but resort-heavy areas such as Nusa Dua and Sanur subject to a fall in demand. Nevertheless, the island’s numbers were boosted significantly during the IMF meeting in October, with an overall RevPAR increase of 160.9%, while ADR and occupancy up were also up 105.4% and 26.7% respectively. Nusa Dua, the host district for the event, performed particularly well with RevPAR soaring by 363.2% and occupancy up 30%. In the development world, Asia Pacific’s upper and upper-upscale markets held over 40% of the projects in the pipeline, while the economy segment recorded just 1% growth following several years of new supply. Though supply growth was at it’s lowest since 2013



in the region, Tokyo and Osaka recorded promising numbers with over 10,000 rooms each under contract in the lead up to the 2020 Summer Olympics. Overall, the forecast suggested that growth is set to continue for the region’s stable markets, while Indonesia, Vietnam and the Maldives were highlighted as areas at risk of over-supply. Later that afternoon, Steve Leung, founder of his eponymous design brand, shared insight on how design adds value to the guest experience and business. With over 30 years of interior design knowhow, as well as experience as an investor and operator of a designdriven hospitality brand, Leung examined the impact of layouts on operational efficiencies and the guest experience, before stressing the importance of materials, location and learning from mistakes. “Design doesn’t just mean the interiors or lighting, we want our whole brand to be design-driven,” he began. “To be design-driven is to drive the holistic experience, starting from when a customer calls our restaurant to make a reservation. It should be like shooting a movie, you have the screen and the story, and when people arrive the experience should be tailor-made for them.” During the seminar, in which he presented recent works including Yuan at Atlantis The Palm, Dubai, and The Eight at Grand Lisboa Hotel in Macau, Leung also revealed some of his favoured tricks, including rethinking service stations and carefully positioning seating arrangements. “Of course, all of the details count in design, but the costs count too. So in order to make a restaurant profitable, not only do you need to create a great design concept, but you must also make very accurate calculations.” The second day of proceedings saw sculptor, landscape architect and masterplanner Dr. Colin K. Okashimo explain how he uses meditation, contemplation and reflection to learn about the essence of a site and interpret that into meaningful design and artwork. Okashimo reinforced his presentation with a series of case study videos exploring completed and in-progress projects from Provoked Calm – a portfolio that features Hotel Maya in Malaysia, Pullman Mandalay Hotel in Myanmar and Belle Mare Plage in Mauritius. “My manifesto is a call for calm,” he noted. “A call that we must take back time, not lose time. If you’re truly going to get a feel for a site, you’ve got to spend the time there. Time can be our enemy, and if we don’t allow for it, we’re not only shortchanging ourselves and the process, but also the product and ultimately the end user.” The architect also talked of how to remove distractions from the design process, as well as the difficulties he faces in scaling up ideas from small-sized moulds to larger sculptures and pieces of artwork.

The final session saw speakers from interior design practices Scott Carver, Ara Design and White Jacket join Stephen Luk, Regional Vice President, Design Services, Asia Pacific at Hyatt to further examine the role of design in the overall guest experience. Each shared their knowledge on crafting design experiences across all categories, as well as understanding how to maintain those experiences across brands in managed and franchised properties. “The guest experience can be described in many ways, but from a design standpoint, we see hotels are moving from globalisation to localisation,” opened Patricia Ho, Design Director at White Jacket, who has overseen hospitality interior projects both in Singapore and overseas. “Hotels are working on creating a shared different experience rather than something that is very generic. For example, at White Jacket we will start by creating an individual story for a project, and will use a model guest to develop that design story, because at the end of the day we are designing for a real person.” On achieving a balance between experiential design and continuity with global hotel brands, Angela Biddle, who worked with Yoo Hotels & Resorts before joining Sydney-based firm Scott Carver, concluded: “It can be a struggle collaborating with brands because you don’t always have that same level of engagement with them. But I think in a way, it’s our responsibility as designers to understand the real essence of a brand and figure out how we can maintain that continuity across each new project.” As the end of the second day drew closer, buyers and suppliers were given the opportunity to network amongst themselves, discuss upcoming projects and share success stories before making their way to the farewell dinner. This year’s Asia edition was particularly special for HI Design, marking not only its tenth anniversary but also its first year of proceedings under the ownership of DMG Events. During his closing speech on the final night, Butler honoured both milestones before looking ahead to the future: “This week’s event has demonstrated exactly what the HI Design brand is all about; the right people discussing the right projects whilst being inspired and having fun. Next year’s destinations include Colombo, Sardinia and Bangkok, and the team are already working on perfecting the delegate experience.” HI Design Asia 2019 will take place at Shangri-La Hotel Bangkok, Thailand, from 30 October – 2 November, while the next MEA forum will be held in Colombo, Sri Lanka, from 6-8 March.


Deloitte: European Hotel Investment Conference 7 NOVEMBER 2018

Now in its 30th year, Deloitte’s annual hotel investment conference returns for a look at the future of the hospitality industry. Words: Catherine Martin


head of what could be the UK’s most challenging year in recent times, hospitality leaders gathered at Deloitte’s annual hotel investment conference in November to consider the risks and opportunities facing the European hotel industry, and, perhaps most importantly, the possible impact of Brexit following the nation’s withdrawal from the EU. Despite the impending transition, the conference challenged delegates to think beyond the coming months and consider how the industry could change over the next five years or more, whether that be through geopolitical developments, demographic shifts or the role of technology. “Today is very much about looking forward to where the industry is heading, but it would be remiss of us not to spend a minute looking where we’ve come from,” began Andreas Scriven, Head of Hospitality & Leisure, Deloitte, before a video outlined the trends and shocks that have impacted the industry since the firm’s first conference some 30 years ago. ‘As the pace of change accelerates, how will you balance the focus on the customer and their experience, and the bottom line?’ it asked, sharing an array of thought-provoking statistics: by 2100, over 80% of the world’s population will live in Africa or Asia, yet there are five countries in Africa with no branded hotels; the 60+ age group will more than triple by the

turn of the century; and by 2050, an additional 1.8 billion people will live in cities compared to 2018 – how will this impact the cost of land and development of hotels? Having given the audience a wake-up call, Scriven went on to present the results of the preconference survey, revealing that Amsterdam retains the top spot for the most attractive European city for investment in 2019; London has climbed back up to second place but is challenged by Paris in third; while Barcelona – previously one of the most desirable markets – slipped to sixth place owing to the moratorium over hotel development. In terms of investment, respondents expected traditional bank debt to be the dominant source of financing (53%) in 2019, followed by private equity (44%). In answer to one of the most frequentlyasked questions of the year – where are we in the investment cycle? – Scriven revealed that almost 50% of respondents believe the UK to be at its peak, while 25% feel the nation is already experiencing a downturn. “The general sentiment for continental Europe is all a bit more positive, with a couple of markets that still have some way to go in terms of growth,” he added, naming Greece, France and Spain as countries thought to be in the upturn. When asked about risks to the UK hotel


industry over the next five years, there were no prizes for guessing that Brexit topped the list of concerns, followed by a shortage of skilled labour and lack of economic growth. In Europe, the perceived threat of terrorism to hotels has dropped significantly from last year thanks to the absence of recent major attacks, while overtourism appeared in the top-five for the first time following protests in the Balearics. In closing, Scriven looked to transaction activity as a measure of the industry’s health, stating: “Between 2016 and 2017, Europe saw 22% growth in terms of hotel transaction volumes. On a 12-month rolling average for the first half of 2018, that slowed quite dramatically, up just 5.8%. I think there’s still some opportunity out there, but we’re certainly in a tough market.” Following on from Scriven’s scene-setting, Trevor Williams, founder of TW Consultancy, took to the stage for an examination of the wider economic outlook, taking in global challenges such as a slowdown in China, the views of the US president and the continuing crisis in the Middle East. “Global risks are rising but markets remain sanguine,” he explained, pointing out that world growth is forecast to remain solid. “Growth is still occurring across many parts of the world, particularly in countries that have slowed over the last few years, such as Brazil and Russia. Virtually

every region is seeing some sort of economic growth and the good news is that it looks like it may last for a couple of years.” Williams also looked at the rapidly-changing global GDP rankings, with Indonesia, Mexico and the Philippines expected to climb the top-ten, and examined Brexit-specific challenges such as volatility in asset prices, political uncertainty, trade agreements, migration and labour flows. Switching focus to the hospitality industry, STR’s Managing Director Robin Rossmann presented a performance review for the previous year, as well as a look at the trends set to impact the future. First addressing the ongoing debate as to whether there are too many brands, Rossmann said: “The data actually shows that people love brands, and that they’re growing faster than independent hotels. Branded hotels account for 60% of the 100,000 properties that have opened in the past 50 years and that’s only accelerating.” STR’s data confirmed that over the past 10 years, the proportion of branded to independent hotels has changed fundamentally, with brands making significant gains in every region, particularly Asia Pacific, and proving to be the greater source of growth. With much of the growth being in the select service and economy segment, Rossmann revealed that in the UK, Travelodge and Premier Inn dominate, while in Europe it’s Ibis and Louvre. In China, Japan and India, select service brands such as Jinjiang Inn, Toyoko Inn and Oyo have each grown to over 1,000 hotels within a short space of time, signifying that the industry should never underestimate the power of a local brand. In terms of hotel performance for the year-toSeptember 2018, Rossmann reported that overall, Europe has had a good year, with an average 5% RevPAR growth. Istanbul (+77%), Moscow (+60%), Paris (+17%) and Brussels (+12%) all recorded gains, though Barcelona fell short with

declines of 9%. Performance across the UK varied, with RevPAR up in Glasgow (+8%), Liverpool (+6%) and Nottingham (+5%), while Manchester and Edinburgh showed negative results, a trend that could continue due to the amount on new supply coming to market. Referencing data from AM:PM, Rossmann showed future hotel openings as a percentage of existing inventory, with Liverpool (+16%), Plymouth (+12%) and Edinburgh (+11) set to see significant new supply that could impact performance.

“What’s difficult for hotel companies today is that customer expectations are continuing to rise at pace, putting pressure on differentiation, consistency of experience and innovation.” Keith Barr, IHG

Elsewhere in Europe, Rossmann predicted that Paris is expected to continue its strong recovery; the EuroMed will have a difficult year; while Berlin, Hamburg and Munich will see significant new supply growth. “Looking to the long term, what does the future hold?” he asked. “Yes there will be a downturn, yes there’ll be disruption, but for me there’s no doubt that the fundamentals of our industry are undeniable.” The following View from the Top session provided the opportunity to hear first-hand from two hospitality leaders on the issues facing the


industry today. Keith Barr, CEO, IHG and Federico Gonzales, President and CEO, Radisson Hotel Group spoke on issues such as growth, technology and guest expectation, as well as ways in which to plan for the future. “It’s an extraordinary time in this industry when you look at all the tailwinds that are out there today,” began Barr. “It’s amazing to see the demographic shift and wealth creation that’s happening globally; purchasing power continues to grow and that pushes into travel and hotels, and causes our businesses to continue to grow.” While social and economic issues were high on the agenda, it was the needs of the guest that dominated much of the conversation. “No matter what is happening from a geo-political standpoint, we have to look at how the consumer is behaving,” explained Gonzales. “That is one of the biggest challenges we face and it’s going to be increasingly complex to satisfy guests’ needs.” Barr agreed, adding that a key objective is to create memorable experiences. “What’s difficult for hotel companies today is that customer expectations are continuing to rise at pace, putting pressure on differentiation, consistency of experience and innovation,” he explained. “Fundamentally we have to create value for owners and we have to create experiences that mean something to customers.” Both CEOs warned that as an industry, there was a lot more to be done to keep pace with the customer of the future. “We’re going to have to invest more in technology, consistency of delivery and understanding different cultures around the world,” commented Barr. “It’s exciting, but it is daunting.” Keeping with the theme of ‘experience the future’, the afternoon’s sessions addressed three key topics set to shape the hospitality sector over the coming years. Technology, customer experience

and the availability of labour were explored by a series of panels and presentations, offering insight into the mindset of the industry’s major players. Paul Godman, Senior Industry Manager for Google’s Hospitality division spoke on the impact of technology, explaining that in 2010, mobiles accounted for just 1.5% of all web traffic; a figure that has risen exponentially, with more than 50% of Google queries now made via a mobile device. Godman also revealed that 76% of travellers have abandoned a booking when the check out time was longer than 1 minute, illustrating the importance of a frictionless online experience. He cited Google’s work with Kempinski, stating that an overhaul of the group’s online booking systems resulted in an 11% increase in conversions. In closing, Godman challenged the audience to think about how they can use technology to make meaningful connections beyond the transaction, affirming that those who make the investment will gain the competitive advantage. This was a perspective shared by Guy Langford, Vice Chairman US Travel, Hospitality & Leisure Leader, Deloitte, in his presentation on the guest of the future, in which he encouraged the industry to master the digital world. “The players who can stitch different data sets together in a compelling way to provide relevant personalised engagement will be the ones to win the customer,” he explained, adding that the digital footprints left by every guest present a huge opportunity to build loyalty. Technology also became the focus for the operator’s panel, with senior executives from AccorHotels, Marriott, Hilton and CitizenM sharing how they use technology and big data to develop their respective businesses. Michael Levie, COO, CitizenM told how the group has invested in middleware to decrease dependency on the property management system and make smarter

use of dashboards. He also revealed ways in which technology-assisted processes can drive loyalty, such as simple visual cues that alert personnel to greet repeat guests accordingly. Simon Vincent, President EMEA, Hilton, talked about the development of Motto, its new affordable lifestyle brand, explaining: “The product cycle is getting so much shorter and it comes back to big data and technology. The technology sector has taught us that we have to

“The players who can stitch different data sets together in a compelling way to provide relevant personalised engagement will be the ones to win the customer.” Guy Langford, Deloitte be more agile and responsive, and we have to innovate in real time.” Panelists spoke of a desire to digitalise the entire customer journey, from the booking process to check-out, stressing that there’s still work to be done to make better use of technology. “For all of us, one of the most important uses of technology is data mining,” confirmed Andrea Jones, Senior Vice President International Development, Marriott. “We have an incredible amount of information on our customers and it’s only going to get more sophisticated with AI. How we use that technology to continue to be customer-centric is really important.”


Turning attention the shortage of skilled labour – one of the biggest risks to the hotel industry over the next five years according to the pre-conference survey – a number of panelists tackled the issue of how to attract people to the sector, develop and retain them. Kate Nicholls, CEO, UK Hospitality, was quick to point out that it’s a not a skills shortage, but a labour shortage we’re facing, a factor intensified by Brexit and that a significant proportion of the hospitality workforce in the UK are EU nationals. Mentoring schemes and ways to change the perceptions of working in the industry were pitched as ways to drive more people into the sector, while Heather Jacobs, Senior Vice President of People & Culture at Four Seasons endorsed a focus on the employee experience. Ennismore’s Julia Ingall, Chief People & Culture Officer shared the view, describing how the group’s adoption of Workplace by Facebook has instilled a sense of community through which employees can connect, share knowledge and view live chats with the CEO. As the conference drew to a close, a recap reminded delegates of the topics of the day and the questions asked in the morning’s video: ‘How do you scale up authenticity? How can you improve operations and empower your staff? Where will your growth come from? Do you know your guest of tomorrow? What kind of experiences do they want?’ Conversations throughout the conference may well have presented more questions than they answered, but the message was clear; the industry must prepare for the future. Deloitte’s next European Hotel Investment Conference will take place on 5-6 November 2019.

SAN JAVIER, MURCIA Bonded Faรงade System concealed with Town White and Misuri tiles from Butech and Urbatek by PORCELANOSA.

Sleep + Eat 19-20 NOVEMBER 2018

Following changes in both format and scope, the new-look Sleep + Eat welcomed guests to its new home with a programme of insightful discovery. Words: Kristofer Thomas and Ben Thomas


THE EXHIBITION Hosting over 150 exhibitors and providing a platform for new collections and ranges, the product showcase saw the exhibition floor populated by leading names representing a host of key product categories. Bathroom brands such as Sanipex, Laufen, Roca, Kaldewei and Merlyn came equipped with their latest innovations, whilst furniture manufacturer Knightsbridge showcased its Bebop Modular collection, and Burgess Furniture introduced CasuElle, a versatile swivel chair with five different base designs. Further product highlights included Perrin & Rowe’s Hoxton collection, comprising a bath-shower mixer, shower set, basin mixer and accessories in chrome, nickel and pewter finishes, as well as four other glosses including satin brass and 24-carat plated gold. Sanipex showcased a series of new colourways as part of its Monroe Three Ways range alongside a Versailles Cast Iron Bath, whilst Victoria & Albert Baths highlighted the contrasting Cheshire tub with a deep Victorian roll-top and the more contemporary Barcelona 2. Kaldewei’s stand, meanwhile, allowed guests to test the durability of its steel enamel with hammers, wire brushes and bunsen burners, as well as highlighted more traditionally presented combinations like the Nexsys shower system and the Anke Salomon-designed Miena washbasin. Over at Chelsom’s stand, the British lighting manufacturer exhibited choice cuts of its recently launched Edition 26 collection including the distinctive Icicle, Constellation and Orb models. Roca’s Maxi range was introduced as a space-maximising bathroom solution comprising 550mm, 500mm and 450mm models with the choice of wall-hung or floorstanding options, whilst elsewhere, returning for its 13th consecutive year as Founder Partner

ith the 2018 edition of Sleep + Eat marking the hotel design show’s first to include a new F&B portion as well as its debut in the larger London Olympia space, change was in the air. Much like the evolving hospitality industry, the two-day event has expanded its scope to consider new possibilities and welcome more guests, seeking out fresh perspectives to inspire an audience of operators, designers, architects, developers, manufacturers and service providers for the year ahead. Welcoming a record number of delegates including a 24% increase in international visitors, and curated under the theme of ‘recognisable but new’, Sleep + Eat once again collaborated with founding partner Grohe to present the brightest and best in hospitality design. Comprising the recognisable Sleep Sets, conference, exhibition and Sleeper Bar elements whilst introducing a series of F&B-focused counterparts, the show highlighted rising talent alongside prominent names, and settled into the new venue thanks to a core of returning figures and companies, as well as a selection of strong debuts from international brands looking to make an impact. Taking place from 19-20 November 2018, the show was well-positioned to assess the year just gone whilst looking to what will likely be an uncertain year ahead with the presence of Brexit looming large and a simmering pot of social, technological and economic ingredients looking ever closer to boiling over. Welcoming the press on Wednesday morning, new Brand Director Mark Gordon encouraged attendees to explore both the new and established elements of the event, explaining that “for us to develop and move forwards, the change is necessary, especially with the interdependence between hotels and their restaurants we see today”.


Clockwise from right: Priya Paul, Chairperson of The Park Hotels, delivers her keynote; speakers at the dedicated Eat Conference venue; Yasmine Mahmoudieh talks attendees through the design process of her Sleep Set; Perrin & Rowe showcase its new collections; the busy exhibition floor; Victoria & Albert Baths’ Barcelona model; Dornbracht’s Aquamoon shower; HBA London’s Natural History Museum-inspired Sleep Set


and host of the VIP lounge, Grohe showcased its innovative Grohe Red system, which delivers kettle-hot water straight from the tap using an energy-efficient titanium boiler, in addition to the Atrio series, Sensia Arena toilet and Euphoria SmartControl shower system. IIna Sielemann, General Manager, Grohe UK, noted: “Sleep + Eat 2018 has provided another year of resounding success for our brand, with plenty of opportunity to develop exciting leads, build new business relationships and continue to forge our presence within the hospitality sector. Our decision to strengthen brand awareness around all of our products aligned perfectly with the expansion of the show’s vision.”

through the brand, and a place where you’d really want to be.” With a pastel palette and circular profiles inspired by macaroons, an internal space for a dedicated selfie wall and subtle printed branding, the space drew together the studio’s multi-layered style with the inimitable seduction of Hermé’s delicacies. British architectural practice Denton Corker Marshall collaborated with West Ham FC for its contribution, with the resulting sky-blue and claret setting channelling both the physical aesthetic of the club and the history, community and philosophy surrounding it. Featuring a floor print of retold stories and memories from fans in the centre, and a secluded sleeping nook amidst space architecturally modeled to recall terraces, the distinctive effort drew from match-day experiences and interpretations alike. Combining collective group experience with more personal and individual moments, the space was sparse and restrained, but dense with allegory, tone and texture. Lastly, a set by HBA London styled around the wonders of the Natural History Museum saw Creative Director Constantina Tsoutsikou and her team assemble a space based around discovery and culture. Looking to the format of museum exhibitions for layout inspiration, the space drew together Misty collection flooring by Hakwood with unexpected trinkets and moments of wonder including a large stone pillar with an embedded mirror. “We tried to make conscious selections regarding the materials, injecting it with hitech, long-lasting features and a sense of sustainability,” Tsoutsikou stated. “We wanted to make this a place where guests would feel good, and it was also an opportunity for us to be playful.” Eschewing the usual competition format this year in favour of a more exploratory approach, the Sleep Sets were joined by three takes on restaurant spaces as part of the complementary Eat Sets, giving the same level of attention to the integral F&B element of this year’s show. Three additional installations including two sets from 3Stories – a café and an immersive virtual reality environment – and a nightclub by Shalini Misra saw the new side of the show come alive. 3Stories put a modern twist on the traditional British café concept, updating the iconic model for a new age of digital sociability. In the spirit of ‘the caff’, the designers aimed to foster a sense of community for exhibitors and attendees, displaying memorable messages on a café-style menu board for all to see. In their second installation, the London-based agency explored the future of dining through a number of virtual-reality environments designed to alter, challenge and possibly even change guest perceptions of food and drink as well as the way they eat. Elsewhere, following the recent demise of many clubbing venues across the UK, Misra decided to provide people with a place to party. Inspired by the bold colours, playful patterns and pop music

SLEEP + EAT SETS Sleep + Eat’s room set design challenge made a return this year, tasking a series of prominent designers working within the hotel sphere with the creation of interactive and explorable concept guestrooms under a guiding theme. Working to a brief of unlikely collaborations, each studio was assigned a different, unexpected institution to interpret as a built space, with the relative freedom afforded to each resulting in a collection of disparate final products. Paired with publisher Penguin Modern Classics, Yasmine Mahmoudieh and her eponymous studio channelled ideas of literature – specifically motifs drawn from Penguin works including Rumi’s Selected Poems, Plato’s Symposium, and Elizabeth von Arnim’s Elizabeth and her German Garden – to create a guestroom fit for both seasoned hotel guests and vicarious readers such as herself. With the set’s different sections taking cues from each work, Mahmoudieh’s space incorporated an organic bathroom with floral nods to the German Garden, a bedroom dedicated to the love and passion of Plato, and a workspace modelled on Rumi’s wisdom. Tying the strands together with ambient mantra sound and wafting fragrance, Mahmoudieh explained: “The main element here was to work on a complete multisensory experience, where everything is activated in a very positive way.” A comforting pod-shaped bed, décor incorporating sections and passages of the books and soft indirect lighting completed the ambient scenario, whilst a patented soundsystem within the curving wall created an immersive effort. Hong Kong-based studio AB Concept, headed up by design duo Ed Ng and Terence Ngan, chose to interpret famed Parisian pâtisserie Maison Pierre Hermé Paris, with this season’s sweets as well as some crowd favourites informing the aesthetic. A personal friend of monsieur Hermé, Ng commented: “It was our first choice; we started with a lot of sketching and told ourselves this has to be an experience for everyone. For the first time there was no operator over my shoulder, so from the layout to the details we created a journey


Clockwise from top left: Shilani Misra’s nightclub-inspired Eat Set; florals abound at HBA London’s Sleep Set; macaroon-shaped mirrors and curved furniture within AB Concept’s Maison Pierre Hermé Paris-channelling effort; Yasmine Mahmoudieh’s reader-friendly Penguin Modern Classics set; 3Stories’ take on the British café


of the 1980s, the designer paired nostalgia with new technologies to create a hedonistic escape featuring glossy surfaces, neon shades and compelling optical illusions.

and offer a thoughtful guest experience with an eye towards all of the touchpoints and services.” Outlining the four conceptual pillars of collaboration, F&B, architecture and design that the group creates hotels upon, Selman stressed the importance of building an affinity with guests to drive both commerce and loyalty. Discussing the acclaimed NoMad brand, he noted that the project was inspired by the European residential style, and a combination of “classic design and modern luxury”, whilst the collection’s distinctive identity is one that can subtly adapt and respond to each property’s character. Reminding the audience that “at the heart of every great hotel experience is the people”, Selman closed with a look to the group’s future, predicting that “the bigger we get, the smaller we’re going to have to think”. Following this was London Rising, which saw Dittrich joined by Linda Boronkay, Design Director at Soho House; Mark Bruce, Director of EPR Architects; and Bruce Robertson, Managing Director of Standard London, to discuss the palpable buzz and excitement around the UK capital’s burgeoning hotel scene. With top-billing properties announced or opening with such regularity – from Kimpton Fitzroy, The Ned and White City House to The Standard, NoMad and The Old War Office – Bruce gave his thoughts on why developers are continuously enticed by The Big Smoke, calling on the influence of its existing architecture and newly-rejuvenated districts: “London has a huge history. You’ve got heritage buildings that can be reinvented, former industrial sites that are available for conversion and also areas that are maturing like King’s Cross. That’s why it is special, and the reason why many developers see it as a place of opportunity.” Further, Boronkay praised the impact of London’s diverse neighbourhoods on its hotel scene, before reinforcing the growing importance of micro-locations to Soho House when working in the city: “Our design is always inspired by the existing architecture, the history and the social fabric of an area, and that’s what allows it to be so unique and relevant in London.” As part of the Design Duos series, Dittrich sat down with Nathan Hutchins and Inge Moore, co-founders of design studio Muza Lab, whose projects include Switzerland’s Alpina Gstaad and Hotel Maria Cristina San Sebastian in Spain, as well as the Belmond Andean Explorer sleeper train in Peru. Covering diverse topics including the importance of work/life balance and each designer’s respective beginnings, conversation moved briskly from project to project. Answering an audience question regarding their approach to conveying emotion through hotel design, and the psychological side of the practice, Moore commented: “It is so important to consider

THE SLEEPER BAR Occupying a central spot at Olympia’s National Hall, this year’s Sleeper Bar was designed by Brooklyn-based creative studio Crème/ Jun Aizaki Architecture & Design, which transported its distinct experiential approach across the pond whilst exploring plant-based dying processes and celebrating the colour indigo. “The ancient, natural, plant-based material has inspired us for years,” says Jun Aizaki, owner of Crème. “Our design for The Sleeper Bar used the traditional wood stain in unconventional ways, showcasing the intensity and beauty of the indigo finish.” Flanked by sculptural lighting from Cameron Design House and dotted with Indigo stools from Stellar Works, the bar formed a hub from which visitors could network, conduct meetings and rest their feet. The space also hosted the launch of the biodegradable HyOCup, for which Crème developed a process to grow gourds in moulds as a sustainable alternative to disposable cups. “The HyO-Cup is our quest to create a product that is 100% biodegradable. We call it nature’s cup,” Aizaki continues. “Gourd is a plant that originated in South America and has been utilised across the globe for storing goods, but our idea was to marry its sustainable qualities with technology using 3D-printing techniques.” THE CONFERENCE The longstanding conference element, curated by Sleeper Editor-atLarge Guy Dittrich, featured a line-up of major industry names with insight into the current landscape, as well as experts in fields beyond hospitality bringing new perspectives to the mix. Running parallel, the Eat conference, hosted by Supper Consulting Editor Heleri Rande, offered similarly illuminating discussion within a space on the exhibition floor designed by Wilson Associates’ London studio and its Design Director Juan Carlos Rodriguez Artigas to resemble a rooftop garden and bar. Kicking the schedule off, Jeremy Selman, Managing Partner and President, Sydell Group, talked the audience through the brand’s approach to the creation of acclaimed properties including The Ned and the newly opened NoMad Las Vegas, as well as ongoing projects such as the evolution of Freehand and The Line brands. “Over the last few years we at Sydell have gone through a period of incredible growth and expansion,” he began. “With each new property we have tried to create experiences that are rooted in locality, provide a feeling of multi-layered discovery and exploration,


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your audience and design for them, but also equally vital to guide them and decide how the space will be experienced.” Discussing the impact that sensory design is having on the guest experience in The Sense of Design panel meanwhile, Perkins + Will Director of Hospitality Tom Hupe; alongside Sally Storey, Managing Director at Lighting Design International; and Tom Middleton, Sound Architect at Sonux, explored the notion beyond the realms of the guestroom as well as circadian rhythms and acoustic insulation, focusing on the place of lighting and sound quality in the hotel environment and guest experience. Questioning why sound is often overlooked in favour of other sensory experiences when designing hotel spaces, Middleton noted: “Sound is the second most memorable sense after smell in terms of engagement, and is on a par with vision, so why are we not utilising it at the same level of detail as we are tactile surfaces, olfactory and taste?” Strengthening Middleton’s claim further, Hupe argued that in a digital world where consumers are looking for “an anecdote of increased sensory stimulation and human interaction”, the hospitality sector must begin to make better use of multi-layered design schemes that not only enhance the guest experience but also build greater brand awareness. “Creating an experience that delivers on the promise of the best night’s sleep must have some kind of focus on human-centric elements, utilising science and research and integrating that with a holistic approach to sensory design,” he said. Later that afternoon, Priya Paul, Chairperson of The Park Hotels and winner of the AHEAD Asia 2018 award for Outstanding Contribution, graced the stage to tell her story of design creativity and innovation. At the forefront of the design-led hotel revolution from the Indian sub-continent for the last 50 years, The Park Hotels were one of the first to adopt ideas such as curated art and music, personalisation and farm-to-table menus. Speaking on the development of the Indian market in recent times, Paul observed: “The Indian market is huge. We’re talking about 500 million people travelling to small, medium and larger cities, and they are all using different brands. The current economic growth is strong, and ultimately the reason why the country needs more branded hotels across all segments.” Having collaborated with the likes of Conran & Partners, Project Orange and Michael Veal alongside local talent to create a portfolio of seven The Park Hotels, eight upscale properties branded Zone by The Park Hotels, and the newly launched The Park Collection in India, Paul concluded that perhaps now was the time to venture overseas: “I’ve always fancied it, but if you had asked me that question ten years ago, I don’t think we would have been ready as we didn’t have enough hotels in India – now we have almost 20. Today, there are many opportunities for us in Asia, and by that I

mean countries around India like Sri Lanka, Thailand and Dubai, because they are geographically easier to reach for our consumer.” Closing the conference, Kristofer Thomas, Assistant Editor of Sleeper and its new sister title Starboard, was joined by Rachel Johnson, Vice President and London Studio Director for WATG; Tom Lipscombe, Senior Project Manager at PriestmanGoode; and Jonathan Bell, Editor-at-Large for Wallpaper* to take a look at how hospitality transport designers are gearing up to update the past and take on the future, including the advent of space tourism and Hyperloop technology. For PriestmanGoode, which recently collaborated with Whitbread to create the budget-friendly Zip by Premier Inn concept, transport design is continuing to intersect with the hotel sector. “The principle is the same, it’s often a constrained environment where you need good design, beautiful interiors and clever uses of space,” Lipscombe explained. “The Zip by Premier Inn concept is designed for people travelling to big cities who don’t necessarily want to stay in a youth hostel. It’s a cheaper hotel with constrained spaces that provide everything you need, much like a sleeper train.” Johnson, who oversaw the interior design of three luxurious private Grand Suites aboard the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, finished with her take on how both emerging and established modes of transport from trains to cruise ships and planes could adapt their offer to meet the demands of a new generation: “People want to escape, they want to get away and they want nostalgia. The Orient Express is a journey but also happens to be a hotel on the move, so that’s the difference. The train has one member of staff per carriage as well as a personal butler, so it’s a completely different sphere to transport. The guests want the staff there; they want to feel looked after. It’s just one of those places where the passenger is made to feel incredibly special and part of the experience.” Rounding out the show, and celebrating both a successful move and expansion, Brand Director Mark Gordon thanked attendees, exhibitors and participants, noting: “Sleep + Eat 2018 was a pivotal moment in the show’s 13-year history. Not only did we relocate to Olympia London, but we introduced the restaurant and bar design element and it appears that our timing was spot on; 73% of our attendees stated they were interested in both hotel and in R&B design. I am delighted with the tremendous feedback we have received from the entire hospitality design community and look forward to building on the show’s amazing success for 2019.” The next Sleep + Eat event will take place at London Olympia from 19-20 November 2019.


© BE - Hof ten Damme, Kallo Photography by Yanick van Weydeveldt (Our Love Story)


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Gallery of Change RH

With the opening of its New York gallery marking a new chapter for RH, the American furniture maker completes a transformation two decades in the making. Words: Kristofer Thomas


hen entering RH’s New York gallery, visitors are presented with a carefully arranged visual motif. Through a frame of four pillars and as many chandeliers, the gaze is drawn to a central welcome desk, then to the column of a glass elevator beyond as it ascends to the building’s canopy. Mezzanines run parallel either side, emphasising a singular corridor of perspective, whilst the furniture showcases closest to the door are mirrored in placement. Down to the elevator cords, the image is one of exceptional symmetry, all precisely calculated to focus the viewer’s eye on this specific moment before their subsequent mapping of the gallery’s various settings, spaces and facilities. Whilst visual correspondence and equilibrium are nothing new in retail design, this specific moment has roots in a value that has perhaps driven much of RH’s success since the turn of the millennium.

“I saw all these buildings and intersections and things where I thought: those are the proportions I want. That’s what I like,” explained Gary Friedman – RH CEO since 2001 – to The New York Times in 2012, in reference to trips taken to Paris, Florence and Rome, and the enlightenment, of sorts, which the European style provided. “It gave me a lot of confidence in the way I saw the world. I was Vitruvian before I even knew about Vitruvius.” Elsewhere, in a letter on the RH website, he expands this angle with reference to the wider company: “We, like Vitruvius, believe the most pleasing environments are a reflection of human design. They are a study of balance, symmetry and perfect proportions. It’s a discipline of addition through subtraction, where less becomes more, and calm is created through continuity. The result is a design where the whole becomes more valuable than the parts.”


Above Left: The perfect symmetry of the New York Gallery takes guests on a journey through one of RH’s most valued philosophies Above Right: RH Yountville may differ in tone, but still achieves a strong sense of balance between retail and experience

Preoccupied not only by visual symmetry, but human symmetry – that is, how human beings interact with the presence of balanced proportions – RH has chosen to begin the journey through its store with this image not simply to stun its customers, but, in a way, to wear its heart on its sleeve. As such, more than a simple handshake introduction before the shopping begins, stepping into RH New York, The Gallery feels more like a dive into the ideas at the core of the brand – a gleaming, six-storey portrait of the American furniture company’s current iteration. Set on a corner of Manhattan’s quickly rising Meatpacking District amid repurposed factories and former industrial structures, RH’s latest gallery finds something of a spiritual home in the borough’s southern portion, with both the surrounding area and the company having undergone significant change over the previous three decades. Where the Meatpacking District saw crime and drug activity flourish after the industrial decline of the 1980s, the 1990s and onwards saw a flock of high end boutiques and young professionals claim the area, with the zone now host to the trendy Whitney Museum of American Art, Soho House’s New York outpost and some of the highest rents in the city. In parallel, RH – previously Restoration Hardware – has undergone a similar degree of transformation. Established in 1979 by founder

Stephen Gordon as a source for affordable, high-quality fixtures, the company expanded to some 50 stores before it began trading publicly in 1998, then to 100 by 2001. However, with sales falling and the need for a new perspective becoming more pressing, Friedman – fresh from being passed over for the CEO position at home and kitchen giant Williams-Sonoma – joined to unlock RH’s full potential. Following a change of hands and Gordon’s stepping away, Friedman took to implementing a steady programme of transformation. As such, the years since have seen a rebranding that had RH shed all but its two key initials, as well as expansion into the outdoor, children’s and contract sectors. Following executive announcements in 2010, the brand topped-out this phase of change with an entirely new focus, and a redirection into more upmarket styles and price points. Now firmly established in the upper crust of international interior design thanks to product presence in acclaimed hotels, residences and public spaces worldwide, the opening of RH New York, The Gallery marks the culmination of a narrative that has seen Friedman help the company to really flourish. The gallery itself is the product of a seven-year design-and-build process, and, along with the similar-in-concept but far-removed-intone RH Yountville – where the gallery portion is complemented by a prominent food-and-drink element – now forms the latest venture in



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Above: Topping the New York showroom, a restaurant overseen by Brendan Sodikoff adds to the experiential element of RH’s gallery concept

one on their way to a project meeting with RH collaborators, whilst the others headed to lunch on the rooftop, where a glass-enclosed space lined with small trees and chandeliers – outfitted with prime cuts from the floors below – tops the project. As much as it is an exercise in retail, the gallery is also a depiction of the intangible values of symmetry, balance and human experience that Friedman and RH value so, and with a mix of shoppers casually browsing, designers hurrying to meetings and the company’s own presence through the embedded design firm, the space captures a genuine, layered social buzz. However, the change is far from over. Across the road, visible from the east wall of the leafy restaurant, is an old brick building from the district’s industrial past. Taking place within is a hidden process that will see it transformed into what is currently rumoured to be the first RH Guesthouse, bringing together the gallery’s retail achievements with the experiential offer unique to hospitality. Details are currently scarce, as they were for the gallery during its conception, but by tapping into a quickly evolving hotel sector the move could not only see RH add another major facet to its brand, but the presence of a new player on the hospitality scene – one with detailed knowledge of hotel design through its contract arm – which could prompt major players to reassess how they balance commerce and human experience – an act of delicate symmetry in itself.

RH’s quest for perfect balance. Both join existing gallery experiences in Chicago, Toronto, Palm Beach, Boston and Portland amongst others, but feel like a step up in terms of scope. The curious thing is this: in a retail landscape that has largely told us bricks-and-mortar is dead, here is a company in the process of building these kinds of legacy projects around the globe, and performing better than ever despite the gloomy outlooks of those around it. With levels dedicated to each of RH’s sub-brands in RH Interiors, Modern, Baby & Child, Teen, and Outdoor, the 90,000ft2 space sees visitors guided through room-sets and showcases formed entirely of its own designs. The symmetry of its entrance shot is translated within these rooms off the main atrium as stylish living spaces, foyers, dining areas and study sets, most drawing prominently from the current source book – the brand’s seasonal bible outlining its expansive catalogue of pieces. The Thaddeus Forged Brass collection, the wooden bamboo range of richly finished tables by Wyeth’s John Birch and Timothy Oulton’s Cloud sofa all make appearances. As much as it is a space for guests and visitors, members of the RH Interior Design team have taken up postings here too, occupying a sleek office on the second floor and presentation rooms nearby. Further, the space’s achievements have drawn members of the design community in too. Exploring the gallery’s various floors, Sleeper encounters two prominent designers working within the hotel sphere,


All our shown and mentioned decors are reproductions.

Join Egger at Material Lab EGGER’s decorative collection is now on display at Material Lab. A one stop shop for surfaces, the collection offers a cost effective solution without compromise. Visit the EGGER Specification team and discover EGGER’s wide range of products including laminate, MFC, edging and worktops. Just call in or book an appointment in advance at » Find us at Material Lab, Great Titchfield Street, London, W1W 8B

The Composite Collection by Studio Elke for Brintons brings the Australian industry leader in the fashion and design worlds creative vision to the commercial carpet sector. Known for its unique jewellery and accessories Studio Elke, a multi-disciplinary design studio led by founder and Creative Director Elke Kramer, is respected for its emphasis on pushing the boundaries of originality and its exploration of unique materials, experimental fabrications and new forms. Composite is a collection of wall-to-wall carpet designs that references Studio Elke’s decade-long archive of jewellery collections, translating Elke Kramer’s artistic and cutting-edge print designs into large-scale interior surfaces all reimagined in Brintons special blend of 80% wool and 20% nylon.

Suitable for a wide variety of hospitality applications including hotels, casinos, cruise ships and airports, each Composite Collection by Studio Elke for 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.

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Wood flooring comes to the fore as designers continue to create spaces that blend rustic and contemporary elements.


rom pale smooth ash to a dark, rustic oak, wood flooring is a classic choice when perfecting an interior space. Stylish, hardwearing and long lasting, the age-old surface has struck the right note with interior designers and specifiers over the years thanks to its variety of stains, colours and grades, which allow for greater versatility when fashioning new schemes for hotels. In recent times, flooring imperfections such as mineral streaks and knots have proven popular in generating a more rustic aesthetic, while fumed wood is on the rise due to its rich colour and luxurious grain – achieved without any sort of staining after the wood is placed in a chamber where airborne ammonia are released to cause a

reaction and colour change. On top of that, designers are making use of longer and wider planks at different widths to create less uniform, more bespoke surfaces that nod to reclaimed antique styles, as well as Chevron and Herringbone patterned layouts that add a unique twist to contemporary spaces. Though improvements in technology have resulted in an influx of wood-look flooring options including laminate, vinyl and tile, with faux flooring growing in recognition due to its affordability, the demand for hardwood continues to flourish year-on-year – an indication that sustainable natural resources remain the desired choice in an increasingly artificial world.

HAKWOOD Floor Tiles Two years after launching its Wall Tiles range, Hakwood has introduced the new Floor Tiles series, which uses the same decorative designs and rich wood finishing as its predecessor. Suitable for hotel lobbies, guestrooms and other public spaces, the collection offers a multitude of design possibilities using a mix-and-match of all types of wood, grades, shapes, colours and textures in one pre-finished parquet tile, which can then be rotated, flipped or mirrored into a repeated pattern.

CLAYBROOK Art Deco Inspired by mid-century designs, the Art Deco collection from Claybrook is crafted from fine marble and features classic repeat decorative patterns that nod to traditional British bathroom design. The 24 pattern and colour options include Teague, Parquet, Maze and Trident, as well as Corbusier, Lempicka and Hood, whilst bespoke options are also available on request.

SHAW CONTRACT Forum Featuring a subtle palette of light, neutral tones interspersed with calligraphic lines in rich black, Shaw Contract’s Forum series blends a set of 17 broadloom patterns with ten 18x36-inch carpet tile patterns. Contemporary clean lines combine with soft painterly edges, while bold curves and strong graphical elements make it highly adaptable at all scales. In addition to the broadloom and tile patterns, the collection explores shape and form through four distinctive rugs.



ICE INTERNATIONAL Palms Casino Resort ICE International has collaborated with Avenue Interior Design on a series of custom designed rugs for Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas. The Los Angeles-based design firm supplied the artwork and patterns as a source of inspiration, with ICE turning these into contemporary rugs featuring bright accents for the Penthouse Suites. Made from New Zealand wool, the collection is custom hand-tufted and makes use of bamboo silk elements for added lustre.

TOPFLOOR BY ESTI Floria Part of a new fast turnround bespoke rug collection, Floria from Topfloor by Esti is tufted in either wool or faux silk, and can be handfinished in a range of designs from sumptuous plains to intricately carved surfaces. The range has debuted alongside Go-Go, the brand’s new Wilton weave runner collection that brings a sense of retro-chic to stairs, corridors and public spaces, as well as Footloose, a bespoke series featuring six tufted designs with a distinctly mid-century flavour.


Part of a degrade and 3D collection designed in-house, Ferreira De Sá’s Rocktail Rug is produced in botanical silk or mohair, with colours chosen individually to create perfect pattern systems. Comprising three different styles – mirror effect, pattern gradients and simple patterns – the series can be deployed to complement existing schemes or provide a vibrant visual anchor.

Celebrating craft and colour across five designs and 16 colourways, Alternative Flooring’s Boutique collection has been created in collaboration with luxury fabric house Zoffany and comprises distinctive patterns including the geometric Dunand, the natural Serpentine and the linear Seizo, with each seeking to channel a sense of elegance and prestige.




Inspired by the beauty of minerals and the timeless elegance of cement, the Cementi Click mineral tiles collection is an ode to Architectural Modernism. Subtle marble or stone, ethereal graphic decors, and natural clay tone effects create a pure and refined architectural atmosphere. To learn more about our Cementi Click collection, go to

Introducing a new mineral flooring

LOLOEY Matteo Thun Italian manufacturer Loloey has collaborated with Matteo Thun to create a series of botanically-inspired rugs, transforming the Milan-based designer’s personal watercolours into carpets adorned with natural motif patterns depicting herbs, watermelons, berries and agave. Made from natural yarns such as wood, bamboo silk and linen, the rugs are also available in wall-to-wall Axminster versions.

BRINTONS Composite Brintons has collaborated with Australian multi-disciplinary firm Studio Elke to create the Composite series. The wall-to-wall carpet designs reference founder and Creative Director Elke Kramer’s decade-long archive of jewellery collections, and translate her artistic print designs into large-scale interior surfaces reimagined in Brintons’ special blend of 80% wool and 20% nylon. Each of the designs can be customised and is woven to order in a full range of specifications.

TARKETT Desso Sense of Marble Combining the classic look of marble with the warmth and comfort of soft carpeting, the Desso Sense of Marble collection from Tarkett is offered in a choice of ten different types of marble, each of which features its own unique colour and pattern. Available as a printed broadloom carpet or bespoke rug, the series comes in an extensive range of geometric shapes and sizes including circles, triangles, rectangles and hexagons.


BOLON Elements Bolon’s Elements collection features a range of nature-inspired flooring designs which seek to bring the harmony of the natural world to interior spaces. Reflecting the tonality and textures of the environment, its two warp threads feature a grey and beige base woven into weft threads with shades of linen, oak, ash, cork, birch and marble. Based around a new type of yarn, the backing is also made from up to 33% recycled material, while the new profiled H-thread also features a soft aesthetic.

EGGER Pro Design Egger’s Pro Design Flooring is thermo-stable, PVC-free and waterresistant, meaning it provides a reliable and robust surface for high traffic hospitality spaces. Available in 26 decors including woodgrain that boasts an authentic finish, the collection features self-repair and micro-scratch resistant technology that enables it to be long-lasting, mark-free and recover well from impressions made by furniture, footwear and falling objects.


The Fusion collection from Mandarin Stone mimics the characteristics of several natural stones such as marble, limestone and granite, combining them to create one unique porcelain surface. Suitable for both floors and walls, the series is available in five different shades including grey matte, while numerous large formats and chevrons are also offered.

Made entirely with hand-spun hemp, Nanimarquina’s Herb range stems from an admiration for nature and a respect for fibres in their pure state. Available in four shades: natural, brown, black and yellow, the collection is resistant, durable and lightweight, while its insulating properties mean it can act as a source of heat. The fibre also presents natural antibacterial properties, and is biodegradable and free of toxins, with no harmful chemicals used during cultivation.



LISTONE GIORDANO Fabrique Natural Genius Designed by Marc Sadler, the Fabrique Natural Genius collection by Listone Giordano is crafted from birch fibre and transforms panelling into a wooden fabric. The multi-layered wooden surface is available in six colours including Fumée Noir, Graphite and Corde, all of which feature an Oleonature finish – based on natural air-dried oils that provide a high level of protection – and Crystalcare antibacterial technology, which automatically defends the surface from microbes and pathogens.

DEIRDRE DYSON Plumage Deirdre Dyson’s Plumage range comprises nine new treatments that combine bright shades of violet blue, cherry red, slate blue and black. The Harlequin design takes cues from the abstract markings of a male sea duck, while Eagle is an impressive 3.4 metres wide and depicts the wingspan of the majestic bird – the large scale allowing the brand to include intricate feathery detail and create a three-dimensional effect through directional colour grading.

CRUCIAL TRADING Sisal Grand Herringbone

Ulster’s Vescent is an eclectic collection featuring six contemporary designs: Linea, Arbor, Nebula, Calx, Vapor and Nexus. Woven in nine-row Axminster quality – 80% wool and 20% nylon – the series uses a neutral colour palette throughout, its 21 colourways combining harmoniously with modern fabric and wallpaper designs.

The Grand Herringbone collection from Crucial Trading comes in a choice of six different colours and can be used in high traffic areas including stairs and corridors. Offering a contemporary take on a classic design, the series is true to the brand’s values of only working with natural fibres, using materials such as sisal, coir, jute, sea grass and wool to achieve a neutral palette.



Add intrigue with our natural collection of Sisal, Seagrass or Coir, each with an individual charm and rustic tactility. Either as a fully fitted floorcovering or bespoke rug, these collections are hard-wearing and make a simple yet stylish statement that remains extraordinarily true to their original plant fibre. Visit us at

SALTO SYSTEMS | AElement Fusion

ONITY | Trillium

Salto Systems’ AElement Fusion model features a JustIN application for mobile access, Salto Bluenet wireless technology for real-time access control management and Salto Virtual Network (SVN) dataon-card technology. The electronic lock also boasts a small, customisable light ring reader that eliminates the need for lock hardware on the door by encasing all components inside the frame itself. Offered in black or white, the reader’s minimalistic design makes security virtually invisible, allowing hotels to combine an access solution with varying interior décors.

Designed to complement modern hotel aesthetics, Onity’s Trillium lock series is available in three versions: mag stripe, RFID with Mifare Plus technology and RFID with DirectKey module, enabling mobile access via a hotel’s smartphone app.


Mobile key solutions are on the rise as hotel guests continue to demand convenience without sacrificing security.

JUNG | Corridor Unit

ASSA ABLOY | VingCard Essence

Recently launched in a high-grade glass version, Jung’s Corridor Unit enables greater communication between hotel guests and staff, featuring ‘do not disturb’ and ‘make up room’ signs by way of coloured backlighting within the rocker.

The VingCard Essence system from Assa Abloy Hospitality combines a sleek and minimalist design with advanced technology, boasting a stylish reader and housing its electronics inside the door to provide a wider range of design options for handles. Geared towards contemporary schemes, the electronic locking solution is available with both wireless online capabilities and Assa Abloy Hospitality Mobile Access, allowing guestrooms to be opened via a digital key on a smartphone or watch, while an innovative RFID reader with improved reading distance adds to the hassle-free access experience.


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Born in London. Renowned worldwide

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

ASTRO Boston LED Wall Light Astro Lighting’s new Boston LED wall light features a simple geometric cuboid shape with integrated circular glass rods for a sense of intriguing minimalism. Exuding vintage, mid-century sophistication, Boston is available in either a polished chrome or bronze finish and holds an IP44 rating, making it particularly suited to bathroom environments and wetrooms.


MORGAN Porto Light, minimal and versatile, Morgan’s Porto collection features an ergonomic design and foam specification selected for comfort in both dining and lounge configurations. Comprising three armchairs that can be customised with an upholstered base, a show wood timber base or a steel frame base, the collection is available in shades of rose, silver, turquoise and mustard amongst others.

KALDEWEI Nexsys Comprising a waste channel, sloping support, sealing and an enamelled shower surface, Kaldewei’s Nexsys is a complete 4-in-1 system enabling for a simple and quick installation process. The design of the narrow waste channel and its brushed stainless steel cover complements the floor-level surface’s restrained aesthetics, whilst the whole range comes as standard with a 30-year guarantee.

JC HOSPITALITY Fusion Cabinet Bringing together white Calacatta marble, ebonised oak and solid brass, JC Hospitality’s Fusion Cabinet features a sleek combination of modern and classic aesthetics. Cut-out drawer handles display brass detailing within the marble, whilst a sense of elegance is created through functional lines and a chic presence within a variety of room schemes, from classically-leaning spaces to distinctive modernist themes.


Radisson Edwardian, Manchester • 0116 270 6946 •

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NICHOLAS HASLAM The Montparnasse Collection Nicholas Haslam’s Montparnasse Collection of lamps has been designed to reflect the aesthetics of abstract, expressive and modernist paintings and statues, with a combination of plaster and fibreglass giving them each a raw, sculptural texture which can be finished in white, painted bronze and verdigris.

PALECEK Nora Arm Chair Featuring a black metal frame wrapped with natural rattan peel, US-based furniture manufacturer Palecek’s Nora Arm Chair can be enhanced with fabrics including muslin or leather to suit a wide spectrum of settings and schemes, and continues the brand’s longstanding focus on natural materials.

DRAPILUX Jacquard Drapilux has expanded its Jacquard fabric collection to include a blended yarn with a wool look, woven entirely in the weft and featuring a stylised floral design. Available in six different shades of a colour family per design, the wool look is created with use of a Trevira CS yarn featuring a colour-fast cross-dyeing black component.


Experience the future of hospitality Š 2018 Deloitte LLP. All rights reserved.

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PRECIOSA Muutos Conceived as a modern take on the graceful forms of traditional glassblowing shapes, Preciosa’s Muutos collection has been designed by Jaroslav Bejvl to emphasise fluid lines, flexibility and tactility. The distinctive base draws influence from the century-old wooden moulds used in glassblowing, whilst Preciosa’s handblown centrepiece creates a cycle of gentle reflections.

FOSCARINI Plena Showcased at Boutique Design New York in 2018, Foscarini’s Plena is large in scale yet visually light, with the unconventional form developed to produce soft, intense light that reflects upwards as well as on the surface below. Designed by Eugenio Gargioni, the light was exhibited alongside further new launches including the Spokes collection of suspended lights and the cast concrete Aplomb.

BURGESS SmartRocks Burgess’ SmartRocks range comprises a series of modular, coastalinspired low stools and benches with optional charging points. Pebbleshaped with smoothed edges for a playful profile, the SmartRocks can include matching power towers in either glass or high-pressure laminate. The range can be finished with single shade fabric or a dual-tone option for either matching or contrasting interiors.




Dernier & Hamlyn


The Mandrake

Kimpton Fitzroy London

British bespoke lighting specialist Dernier & Hamlyn was selected by designer Lara Bohinc to create a unique chandelier for The Mandrake’s Penthouse Suite. Comprising hundreds of handformed brass tubes – each finished in nickel and mechanically fixed to the piece’s aluminium frame – the chandelier was designed to be as light as possible to aid installation, and is fitted with over 30 LED G9 lamps. Inspired by the medicinal properties of the plant from which the Fitzrovia boutique takes its name, The Mandrake was designed to channel the vibrant, eclectic vision of owner Rami Fustok, and features a programme of carefully curated artwork and sound design that seeks to thoroughly engage guests on multiple sensory levels. Selected for its ability to respond to the difficult brief, the London-based lighting design studio’s Penthouse centrepiece draws together aesthetics from industrial settings and a profile at contrast with the surrounding space, but which integrates effectively amongst other similairly bold interior touches throughout the space, such as a marble slab headboard, a goldtrunked tree with white feather leaves and a pair of decorative bison horns.

A mixture of bespoke and off-the-shelf lighting creations by Chelsom have been selected to illuminate spaces within Kimpton Fitzroy London, the reimagined offer within Charles Fitzroy Doll’s historic former Hotel Russell. Guestrooms and suites incorporate a selection of Chelsom pieces including current collection highlights such as the Boston wall light in a black bronze finish, as well as the swing floor lamp and Criterion ceiling pendant, generating an aesthetic that pays homage to the property’s storied past. Working with designer Tara Bernerd & Partners, Chelsom also developed a series of custom designs for corridors, creating special takes on existing pieces to suit the unique identity of the reimagined project. Black bronze and English brass tones are prevalent throughout, whilst profiles are contemporary yet classical to both fit the period work and heritage elements whilst nodding to the forward-thinking nature of the Kimpton brand. Chelsom’s inclusion comes as part of an ambitious collaboration between Bernerd, EPR Architects and Russell Sage Studio to usher the hotel into the 21st century, encompassing interior and exterior alterations which saw the unloved property given a new lease of life.


EXQUISITE WEAVING PATTERN The modern Jacquards from drapilux evoke contemporary luxury in commercial properties. Six discerning designs in many on-trend colours. Tried-and-tested fire-retardant properties and a versatile range of applications. More at:

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Phone: +44 (0)20 8760 0900 Email: Web:


The Mandrake

Showroom Openings

HASTENS Marking the Swedish bed manufacturer’s third showroom in London, a new 358m 2 Notting Hill location is the first to showcase its Sleep Spa concept encompassing sound, lighting and design details to relax guests, remove distractions and engage the senses.


Carina Buhlert


Senior Design Manager, Brand Environments, Grohe

With 2018 marking Grohe’s 13th year as Founding Partner of Sleep + Eat, Carina Buhlert discusses the design of the global bathroom brand’s dedicated VIP space. What was the design inspiration behind Grohe’s VIP Lounge at Sleep + Eat 2018? Our approach is centred on how hospitality is evolving following the influence of disruptive brands and new types of accommodation like Airbnb. The whole industry has had to rethink its ideas and the needs of the consumer, so now when you create a lounge space, there needs to be an element of experience. This year’s show theme is ‘Recognisable and New’, was that a key element when designing the space too? Yes definitely. The brand itself has to be recognisable, but we also have to understand that our consumer is a human being and will evolve. That’s one of the reasons why we want to try new things and explore emotional spaces to create immersive experiences for our consumers. With this space, we set out to achieve semi-transparency so that passers-by could peek in at the bar space and seating. Where do you see bathroom design heading in the future? It’s difficult to say exactly where it is heading as there are many different segmentations. The maximalist, for example, wants luxury, elegance and a playful environment, which we can address using our Spa Colours, while others are looking for ritual-like experiences and spaces to find their own peace.


Harbinger has opened its doors in NY Design Center, featuring a number of prominent brands including Hector Finch Lighting, china and porcelian specialist Wedgwood and wallpaper manufacturer Fromental – alongside some of Harbinger’s own products – all in one space.

BAROVIER & TOSO Occupying a unique site on the banks of Venice’s Rio dei Vetrai, lighting designers Barovier & Toso’s Palazzo showroom has been designed by Calvi Brambilla to take guests on a journey through the brand’s 700-year history and a selection of its most acclaimed products.

TIMOTHY OULTON Set within London’s famous Bluebird Garage venue on King’s Road, Timothy Oulton’s new London showroom combines old and new across a 7,200ft 2 gallery space, highlighting the British designer’s furniture ranges alongside a curated collection of unique antique pieces.



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Advertising Index Absolute Lifestyle


Kohler 125

Albrecht Jung


Laufen 180

ALIS 163

Ligne Roset


Aliseo 049

Living Design


Alternative Flooring

Loloey 157


Architonic 171

Mandarin Stone


Arte 110



Astro Lighting


McQueens 164

Beck Interiors




Brintons 150

MLE Lighting


Chelsom 027

Modio by Logison


Crucial Trading


Muzeo 129

DĂŠcor Walther


North 4 Design


Deloitte 169

Penta Light


Dernier + Hamlyn

Perrin & Rowe



Drapilux 173

Point 029

EE Smith

Porcelanosa 133


Egger 149



EPR Architects

Professional Purchasing Services


Ethimo 101

PS Interiors


Expormim 089

Restoration Hardware

Feelgood Designs


Shaw Hospitality


Ferreira De Sa Rugs



144 095



Hakwood 107

Stellar Works

Hästens 051

Tarkett 155

HI Design


ICE International




Tribu 021

IHIF 177

Tuuci 078

Janus et Cie

Ulster Carpets


Vincent Sheppard


JC Hospitality

008-009 014-015

Kalisher 102

Waterbury 175

Kettal 004-005

Zenith 083


The 22nd International

Hotel Investment Forum 2019 4-6 March 2019 | InterContinental | Berlin, Germany

The meeting of global collaboration

Partnering for Peak Performance The International Hotel Investment Forum (IHIF) is the most influential and globally diverse meeting place for the hotel industry. Now in its 22nd year, IHIF continues to be the most influential and globallyattended meeting place for the hotel investment community. The three-day event, attended by over 2,350 hospitality and tourism decisionmakers 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

• Lawyers

• Hotel Owners

• Designers

• Lenders

• Architects

• Hotel Chain CEOs and Executives

• Consultants

• Financial Advisers

• Timeshare Developers

• Real Estate Agents

• Tourism and Government Officials

Register today to benefit from three days of unrivalled networking opportunities, outstanding evening receptions, an exhibition and the very best educational programme.

Register today at



The International Hotel Investment Forum

@IHIF_News #IHIF2019


Ever visited Paris only to wish it had more of a beach scene? Or a paradise island only to crave the buzz of the city? Travel often calls for choices between desirable traits, but for those who would rather avoid these exceedingly tough decisions, Design Hotels’ latest initiative could be a gamechanger. From 29 December to 3 March, the hotel collective will bring two of its more disparate properties together, transferring Parisian boutique Les Bains to the Caribbean shores currently occupied by Papaya Playa Project, where a pair of pop-up venues marrying the former’s cosmopolitan-leanings and the latter’s lush Mayan traditionalism will appease guests who just

can’t seem to choose. Les Bains Paris Cabaret will see interiors by Denis Montel built within an authentic palapa structure – with guests served French cuisine by Bruno Grossi of Les Bains’ Roxo restaurant – whilst Les Bains Rivage, a hidden beachfront restaurant, will be outfitted with retro-inspired French-leaning decor and is set play host to a revolving cast of the Paris hotel’s slate of resident DJs. So, if the choice this year is between the sunny shores, sandy beaches and cloudless skies of Tulum or the city of lights’ inimitable romance and enlightening culture, then you might just be in luck, because – through the magic of brand synergy – you can have both.







MAISON & OBJET . PARIS . 18. - 22.01.2019 . HALL 6 . STAND P 48 | ISH . FRANKFURT . 11. - 15.03 2019 c

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Profile for Mondiale Media

Sleeper January/February 2019 - Issue 82  

Sleeper January/February 2019 - Issue 82  

Profile for mondiale