Hotel Designs Brit List 2019

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In a heavily congested international hotel design scene that, according to STR, has grown by 18 per cent in the last decade, I’ve realised that there will never be enough resources in the world for any publication to write about it all. As such, the fear of missing out (or FOMO for short) is a common symptom on the editorial desk that I have come to manage.

are operating in the great international design hub of Britain, which someone once described to me as an incubator of strong ideas and talent. Our annual nationwide search started earlier this year, when my inbox became overwhelmed by the quality and quantity of applications for this year’s list and awards. It was at that moment when I felt in my heart that The Brit List had truly arrived – and that this year’s judges, who you can meet on page 5, had their work cut out for them.

I don’t take it personally when I am quizzed on my method for securing content and how I commission the features, hotel reviews and interviews that are published on Hotel Designs.

The final 75 names referenced in this carefully curated list have proven themselves to be leading the interior design, architecture and hospitality scene in Britain and beyond.

Although the industry’s landscape has expanded, my technique as an editor remains, like the shelf life of the majority of this year’s ‘trends’, short and sweet. The truth is, I’m looking for a meaningful design story – and it is as simple as that. It can be a brave steer away from conventional design that captures my attention. Or perhaps it is a concept – a mere, raw and unpolished idea – that I take a risk on, believing it will be worth following from concept through to completion. But what never fails to inspire me – and what makes the best job in the world that much more thrilling - are the designers, architects and hoteliers I am privileged to meet along the way.

“Creating conversations like no other,” and “defining the point on international hotel design,” are two of our core values and aims of the newly branded Hotel Designs. Right now, in this moment, that is about turning the page and celebrating the individuals who are keeping our industry fresh of ideas, forging a clear path in the wake of legends for others to follow.

Hamish Kilburn

The pages of The Brit List 2019 are therefore reserved for the leaders of our industry who

Editor, Hotel Designs



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MEET THE JUDGES Harriet Forde Forde, President of the British Institute of Interior Design - Harriet Forde, who was recently interviewed by Hotel Designs, is the founder and director of Harriet Forde Design, which provides a comprehensive range of interior design services predominantly based in the commercial property and hotel industries, as well as the high-end residential housing market.

Jacu Strauss, founder and creative director of LORE Studio - Jacu Strauss, who was recently interviewed by Hotel Designs, is the creative director at LORE group and founder of LORE Studio. A qualified architect with a demonstrated history of working in the design industry, Strauss’ portfolio of projects includes The Pulitzer Amsterdam and Sea Containers London among many others. The architect and designer is now dipping his toe into the world of hospitality management and will soon be opening his first hotel in Washington D.C. Florence Rolfe, former deputy decoration editor, House & Garden - Florence Rolfe, who is a regular contributor to Hotel Designs, is an interior stylist and art director based in London. Her career began with Condé Nast on House & Garden where she spent several years producing their monthly features, leaving after seven years as deputy decoration editor. Since then she has worked with some of the most renowned interior photographers, producing & directing imagery for some of the largest luxury brands, and has had her work published in various national magazines including Vogue, GQ & Brides.

Edward Webb, director of development management, Nuveen Real Estate - Edward Webb is the director of development management at Nuveen Real Estate, which is a premier global investment manager that has been helping clients meet their goals for more than 100 years, making the world a better place along the way.

Mel Yates, photographer - Starting out as a portrait photographer working with a long list of subjects such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Javier Bardem, Jude Law, Keira Knightley, Tom Hanks, Mel Yates began to change direction and reconnect with his design background (originally trained as a product designer at Central St Martins) and now works internationally both as a stills photographer and video maker for numerous design related clients. In addition to photographing or filming designers such as Sir David Adjaye, Philip Treacy, Philippe Starck, Ron Arad, Tom Dixon, Yates shoots environments, people and objects for advertising, books, brochures, editorial and hotel clients, as well as interior and architectural projects. Hotel clients include The Four Seasons, ME and One & Only Resorts.

Hamish Kilburn, editor, Hotel Designs – Leading the panel is Hamish Kilburn, editor, Hotel Designs. Kilburn has reviewed some of the world’s most awe-inspiring hotels around the globe and has his finger on the pulse when it comes to identifying leading concepts, projects and individuals on the international hotel design scene.



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Akram Fahmi, Design Director - 1508 London Following seven years at ReardonSmith Architects (four years as an associate project architect), Akram Fahmi joined 1508 London earlier this year as the London-based studio’s design director, bringing with him his expertise in high-end hospitality and residential projects. Fahmi is predominantly focused on luxury hotel design, space planning, brand standards, feasibility and viability consulting, technical design and delivery in the UK and abroad.

Amanda Rosa, Director - Amanda Rosa Interiors Having created award-winning design concepts for hotels including One Devonshire Gardens, Malmaison, Gleneagles, Columbus Monaco and Aviator, Amanda Rosa has recently completed Dakota Manchester, a 137-key luxury hotel in the heart of the city. With sophisticated interiors, and the city’s largest and boldest penthouse suite, the hotel has injected a subdued atmosphere inbetween the Nortern Quater’s ever-evolving hospitatlity scene.

Ariane Steinbeck, Managing Director - RPW Design With an award-winning career that has spanned throughout the United States, Asia and Europe, Ariane Steinbeck, managing director of RPW Design, has built on the studio’s considerable worldwide recognition since her appointment in 2015. Steinbeck is an active contributor to the hospitality and interior design industry, serving as a frequent elquent speaker and mentor to many. Completed projects in 2019 include Lincoln Plaza London and Mezemiso, London, and ongoing projects include: the guestroom refurbishment at InterContinental London Park Lane, Four Seasons Hampshire, the Marriott Tbilisi, Les Ambassadeurs Casino, London and Malta Marriott Hotel & Spa, all under construction at the time The Brit List 2019 went to print.



Caroline Smith, Founder/Head of Creative - WISH London Overlooking The Strand in a restored Edwardian building, the 57-key The Nadler Covent Garden has opened as the hotel group’s fourth luxury boutique hotel in London. Architecture firm PJMA designed the hotel over six floors. Meanwhile, its stylish and thoughtfully designed guestrooms were imagined by The Brit List 2018 winner Caroline Smith of WISH London. Each guestroom and suite offers chic accommodation that, as per the company’s ethos, delivers on comfort, convenience and features aesthetically dynamic spaces throughout.

Charlie North, Design Director - Ennismore Charlie North is the design director of Ennismore. His position involves leading the efforts of the interior design studio at the premium developer/ operator firm. His portfolio includes working with the likes of David Collins Studio and Alexander Waterworth Interiors, among others. The multifaceted approach to his design style has led to the completion of recent projects such as Gleneagles Strathearn (following the unveiling of Ochil House) and Hoxton Portland.

Christopher Ash, Director - Project Orange Christopher Ash is currently designing new residential projects in the UK and Russia, as well as working to complete nhow’s first hotel in London. Ash chairs the RIBA Premises Committee, was a member of the RIBA Finance and Operations Committee and has organised and contributed to the annual RIBA Guerrilla Tactics Conference promoting small practice.



Constantina Tsoutsikou, Creative Director - HBA London Constantina Tsoutsikou joined HBA London 14 years ago and has since led many prestigious and internationally acclaimed hotel projects from concept to completion. As well as completing an awe-inspiring set at Sleep & Eat 2018 in collabroation with the Natural History Museum. One of her recently completed hotels is situated in Zagreb, Croatia. Amadria Park, which previously served as a bank, features bespoke interiors that combine the original and the new with a deft touch, embracing the building’s historic character as a significant example of Secessionist architecture.

David Mason, Director of Hospitality - Scott Brownrigg Just three years after joining the studio, last year David Mason was promoted to director of hospitality at Scott Brownrigg. Among other hotels that have launched this year, Scott Brownrigg completed the interior design of Hard Rock Hotel London in Marble Arch, which provided London with its latest destination venue. Mason and his team designed all the public spaces for the hotel and worked closely with both Hard Rock International and glh Hotels in order to create a unique concept tailored for the UK hospitality market.

Edward Davies, Managing Director (London) - G.A Group Working as the managing director at G.A Group (London), Edward Davies is a dynamic and energetic individual who runs the day-today management of the 100-strong London-based studio, whilst also acting as Principal across a number of high-profile interior design and architecture projects worldwide. Current projects overseen by Davies include a 184-key hotel in Mayfair, which will have a distinct focus on laid-back luxury and sustainability, with all materials and suppliers being sourced from the UK. In addition, he is also working on a number of new designs for Corinthia Hotels, following a long-standing relationship with the group that started when the firm designed its flagship hotel in London.



Henry Reeve, Director of Interior Design - IHG The sharp and charismatic Henry Reeve has reshaped and redefined the upper upscale boutique Hotel Indigo brand for IHG, taking it to an envious position as a brand with multi-award winning hotels that define and go on to lead in the local market in which they sit. Working collaboratively with numerous design agencies across the European region, Reeve creates a partnership between interior design agency, operator and owner to create brand-defining and truly unique hotels. In addition to work on Hotel Indigo, the designer has successfully launched Kimpton in Europe with iconic openings, such as Kimpton DeWitt Amsterdam, Fitzroy London, Charlotte Square Edinburgh, Blythswood Square Glasgow, and more to come in Manchester, Paris, Rotterdam and Frankfurt.

James Soane, Director - Project Orange As well as being a director at Project Orange alongside Christopher Ash, James Soane is also the director of Critical Practice at the London School of Architecture. Soane’s projects include the ₏60m fit-out of the new Raddisson Farnham House Hotel in Ireland and the Park Hotel in Navi Mumbai, India. Recently, he completed the dining rooms for the Whitechapel Art Gallery in London and a concept room for the Hoxton Hotels. Busy as ever, Soane is currently working on an exciting new concept hotel in India, a new-build house in Moscow and a large housing project in London.

Jeremy Grove, Director - Sibley Grove Rather than perpetuating the waste problem, Jeremy Grove strongly believes that designers need to rethink their role and be a vehicle for positive change. The Fox & Goose is an excellent example of an eco-hotel, which was completed by Sibley Grove in November 2018. Sheltering 73 rooms, the hotel features environmental and social benefits without compromising cost, style and guest experience. All products and materials used in the project were assessed on five fundamental principles: aesthetic quality, build quality, value, environmental impact and social impact.



Jo Littlefair, Director and Co-Founder - Goddard Littlefair Layering inspiration from her travels into the studio and sharing her passion for new and exciting dining, dwelling and hospitality experiences, Jo Littlefair is a naturally born design leader with an effortlessly focused eye. Leading from within the pack, her curious and observant nature quickly recognises coming evolutions in consumer, industry and design trends, which is evident in the stuido’s impressive portfolio. Recent completed projects include the Presidential Suite at The Lowry Hotel Manchester and Juliet Rose, a new striking destination bar sheltered inside Hilton Hotel Munich.

Kate Jarrett, Senior Designer - Scott Brownrigg* Kate Jarrett, who was named in Hotel Designs’ 30 Under 30 this year, is a young creative designer who thrives in all elements of the design process, from initial concept to project management and site installation. Having joined Scott Brownrigg in 2016, she has excelled in winning the respect of every client she works with. Jarrett has worked closely with glh Hotels and Hard Rock in delivering the public areas for the exciting new hotel located in London’s Marble Arch. She has also been intrinsic in creating a fun, young and Instagramable hotspot and destination 10th-floor bar on the edge of Leicester Square. A key strength is Jarrett’s all-round ability to communicate extremely well with clients, design team, consultants and contractors, with an end goal to produce an exceptional and innovative final product. *Kate Jarrett has recently joined David Collins Studio. Katie Edgar, Designer - SpaceInvader Design** This year, Katie Edgar has been an invaluable member of the SpaceInvader team and a key designer within the hospitality, leisure and residential sectors. With a wealth of knowledge and experience, Edgar headed up the hospitality division, working on projects that include the development of a new hotel brand in the UK, development of new scheme for hotels in Europe, as well as several F&B projects across the UK. The fresh-thinking designer has worked with most of the major hotel brands nationally and internationally and has a deep understanding of these sectors. **Egdar has recently joined Qbic Hotels.



Marcus Barwell, Managing Director - Soho House Design Leading the interior design team to create timeless interiors with personality, Marcus Barwell has been the managing director of Soho House Design for seven years and counting. His most recent projects include Soho House West Hollywood, Soho House Greek Street, Babbington House, Soho House Mumbai and Soho House Paris. In addition, Barwell has led his team to unveil a new concept of motel-diner experiences called Mollies.

Maria Vafiadis, Managing Director - MKV Design The founder and managing director of MKV Design, Maria Vafiadis is an established thought-leader within the interior design sphere. With her body of work totalling more than two decades, Vafiadis’ ‘every project is one-off’ approach reflects her constant quest for new ideas and innovation on the international hotel design scene. One of the studio’s recent projects is situated on Mykonos’ west coast, which has been described as the “perfect setting for rare moments of romance, luxury and personalised service.” Mykonos Riviera Hotel & Spa is a new 44-key boutique hotel that overlooks the Aegean Sea and adorns sharp, dynamic design moments throughout.

Nicky Dobree, Design Director - Nicky Dobree Interior Design Award-winning globally published interior designer Nicky Dobree completed her first hotel design project in July of 2019 in Vejer de la Frontera, Andalucia. Plaza 18, which is serviced and managed by adjacent The Califa hotel, opened as a new home house hotel. Its effortless design is made to feel like a luxurious home-from-home with furnishings by Ralph Lauren, Eichlotz, De la Couna & Nicky Dobree Collection among others.



Philip Watts, Design Director - Philip Watts Design 25 years of commercial interiors delivered with wit and wisdom have seen Philip Watts transform the look of many iconic high street favourites. From Greggs to Ibis, and Yo!sushi to Mercure, all have been part of the designer’s vision to inject personality everywhere possible.

Rachel Johnson, Senior Vice President - Wimberly Interiors With a diverse design career spanning more than 20 years, Rachel Johnson is a stalwart of the British interior design industry. As studio director and senior vice president of WATG’s Wimberly Interiors in London, her contribution to the discipline can be felt not only throughout the firm, but from much farther afield. Her acute eye for detail and authentic approach to international hotel design can be witnessed throughout an array of projects, which include St. Regis Astana in Kazakhstan, Abu Dhabi EDITION and Belmond Venice Simplon-Orient-Express. Russell Sage, Director - Russell Sage Studio Under Russell Sage’s direction, each member of the team at the studio is passionately committed to the creation and delivery of truly authentic, compelling interior schemes, which aim to engage and surprise all who experience them. Hotels that have completed this year in Sage’s portfolio include The Fife Arms and Belmond Cadogan Hotel, and last year he completed the design of Fitz Bar at Kimpton Fitzroy London.

Shawn Hausman, Director - Shawn Hausman Studio The newest collaboration between SHD and the Standard Hotel is the international debut of the Standard brand. Located in King’s Cross, the Brutalist building once served as Camden Council government offices. In contrast to its origins (and the notorious grey skies of London above), the newest Standard features a bright and bold colour scheme throughout the interior. Drawing inspiration from the early 1970s, Shawn Hausman described the team’s concept: “We tried to take over in a friendly way – keeping the essence, but almost as if California rebels had taken over a government building and made it more free-spirited.”



Simon Rawlings, Creative Director - David Collins Studio As creative director of David Collins Studio, Simon Rawlings has overseen the realisation of some of the world’s most iconic hospitality, residential and retail spaces. A passionate believer in “creating luxury through quality”, Rawlings has always been a committed advocate of craft, supporting artisanship while encouraging design innovation. Functionality remains a cornerstone of his design philosophy. This, combined with a profound understanding of brands, and an acute sense of the way people live, enables him to design spaces they can use and inhabit in total harmony. This year, the studio completed the third phase of The Delaire Graff Estate, which incorporates bespoke materials and soft furnishings, whilst the walls are adorned with original art by both contemporary and modern African artists – each piece shared from the collection of Laurence Graff.

Terry McGillicuddy, Director - Richmond International One of Richmond’s most senior and experienced designers, Terry McGillicuddy is an invaluable asset to the company. In addition to working on a number hotel projects, McGillicuddy leads the studio’s work in the luxury cruise ship space. Several years ago, Richmond were asked to design a Lotus spa on Princess Cruises Royal Princess. The design revolutionised spa concepts on board cruise ships and has won many accolades and awards. McGillicuddy embraced the challenge of delivering the entire interior for the magnificent behemoth that is P&O’s Britannia. This huge achievement, delivered in 2015, set the designer and consequently Richmond up as a market leader delivering more subtle and refined cruise ship interiors. Under McGillicuddy’s guidance, Richmond has carved a new, growing niche in luxury cruising interiors and is constantly working with brands such as Cunard, P&O and Princess.

Terry McGinnity, Executive Design Director - GA Design (London) Originally trained as an architect in Australia, Terry McGinnity moved to London to continue his career. After assuming the role of managing director of G.A Design in 1998, he has turned it into one of the most dynamic and interesting interior design firms working out of the UK. He has recently moved into the position of global executive design director where he oversees the creative output for all G.A projects.



Just months into her BIID presidency, and shortly after becoming a judge of The Brit List 2019, Harriett Forde sits down with editor Hamish Kilburn to discuss the importance of Hotel Designs’ annual awards ceremony…

I first met the delightful Harriett Forde at the Interior Design & Architecture Summit in April, just weeks before she was handed the metaphorical baton to become the president of the British Institute of Interior Design (BIID). Following her inauguration, she accepted my invitation to become a judge of The Brit List 2019. Considering the quality of this year’s nominations and applications, I’m keen to understand more about what British design on the international hotel design scene means to the designer.

HK: What are the most significant factors that are changing the way in which hotels are being designed?

Hamish Kilburn: What has been your highlight during The Brit List 2019?

HK: Why is Britain considered to be one of the world’s leading design hubs?

Harriet Forde: Seeing so much amazing work from our super talented British design companies. It did make the job quite tough!

HF: Britain has had such a long history of design and has an outward-looking position into the world. Our great design education attracts the best students who then go on to create excellent design companies, thus creating a virtuous circle. This, in turn, is very appealing to foreign students or designers who add to our increasingly cosmopolitan cities with their cultures and talents, thus giving us the high reputation we have in the design field.

HF: In my opinion, the way many of us are now combing work with leisure has changed or evolved. Hotels need to cater to this. We don’t want to sit in some depressing business centre in a basement to send our emails or get the best WiFi signal. We want the work environment to be well designed and enticing.

HK: How do you balance being an interior designer and the president of the BIID? HF: It makes for a busy life. But it’s a small price to pay for all the varied and interesting things I have been doing. I’ve met some great people and if that means a bit of weekend and evening work, then so be it!


THE BRIT LIST architects OF 2019


Ben Adams, Founder - Ben Adams Architects Ben Adams has more than 20 years’ experience of working on large scale and complex urban projects. His work demonstrates architectural and commercial consistency, but projects are individually distinctive and the result of bespoke thinking rather than formulaic solutions. Adams divides his time between guiding the overall design direction of the practice, generating new business, and R&D, providing a pivotal link between the studio’s design ethos, client requirements and future possibilities.

Ben Addy, Managing Director - Moxon Architects Ben Addy founded Moxon in 2004, and since then has cultivated the practice into an award-winning, cross-disciplinary architecture firm, with a varied portfolio encompassing infrastructure, residential, commercial and hospitality. Addy’s work combines design excellence, technical talent and a commitment to faultless delivery attracting major clients in a variety of sectors. Among them: Transport for London, HS2, Hauser & Wirth, the City of Westminster and Fife Arms Hotel in Braemar. Addy works closely with his clients to understand their needs and ambitions and strives to elevate them, resulting in distinctly individual work that is both clear in its purpose and appropriate to its context.

Catarina Pina-Bartrum, Project Director - LDS Architects Making her Brit List debut, Catarina Pina-Bartrum has recently completed a 27-key boutique hotel, The Moorgate, which has been developed by Epic Properties. The small yet complex site called for a coherent solution to resolve issues of access, circulation and internal space. In addition, it required a concerted effort to create somewhere that provides not just comfort and security but character and charm, with a place that speaks to both its historical context and contemporary city life. The Moorgate is recognisably contemporary yet of its time and place, celebrating its context to create comfort, character and delight.



David Lee Hood, Associate/Architect - Goddard Littlefair Associate and architect David Lee Hood joined Goddard Littlefair in 2013 and heads up the studio’s architectural department. As a flexible all-rounder, Lee Hood splits his energies equally between hospitality projects, including international hotel and restaurant schemes, such as the Restaurant & Bar Design Award-winning venue, The Printing Press for Principal or the award-winning refurbishment of The Gleneagles Hotel. He recently worked on the revamp of Hilton Munich City’s F&B offering, launching Juliet Rose to become the city’s new destination bar.

Geoff Hull, Director - EPR Architects Geoff Hull has more than 30 years’ experience specialising in hotels and hospitality including new builds, conversions, refurbishments, restorations and heritage schemes in listed buildings for budget, boutique and luxury brands. Hull was responsible for the multi award-winning Rosewood London, which was recently a winner at Conde Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards, receiving the top honour within its category. The architect continues to oversee a number of high-profile hotel projects of varying scale and complexity.

Gina Langridge, WATG - Project Landscape Architect Showcasing the full suite of the firm’s services, the project to renovate Mitsis Summer Palace included upgrades to the site’s restaurant and pool amenities. It incorporated strategy, planning and landscape architecture. “The hillside situation of the hotel, with expansive views across the Aegean, was the inspiration for creating a space which seamlessly connects the guest with the horizon,” said Gina Langridge of WATG’s London Landscape Architecture team who was awarded a Hotel Designs’ 30 Under 30 earlier this year. “In contrast to other pools on the island, we made a bold move with the colour palette and opted for a dark tile – something that is quite unique to the property, which has bold features throughout including teal sun lounges and coral accents in the restaurant.”




As former deputy decoration editor for House & Garden, working now as a freelance stylist for some of the most impressive design hotels, Florence Rolfe knows a thing or two about what makes a hotel design exceptional. Editor Hamish Kilburn catches up with our judge to find out more…

Hamish Kilburn: What, makes a hotel’s design stand out from the crowd?

every angle that you put the camera there was a pillar in the way. A very wide bed can sometimes be tricky to capture. You tend to have to shoot them from the corner of a room sideways with the bed in profile shooting straight over it. Ironing the bedding. It is really important that they don’t show any creases but it always takes a bit of time to get these looking immaculate.

Florence Rolfe: Impressive views and a good sense of interior style. I want to walk into that hotel and be wowed by something. Perhaps this is an impressive chandelier or the floor in the hotel lobby (the striking floor in the lobby of the Rosewood for example) or a beautifully designed bar or even just a view. The One & Only in Cape Town springs to mind here where you walk into the hotel reception and are immediately confronted by an outstanding view of Table Mountain. I think that really beautiful floral arrangements are also essential in a hotel.

HK: What were you looking for when judging The Brit List 2019? FR: Innovative design. HK:What has been your highlight of The Brit List 2019?

HK: What would you say is the largest pitfall when styling a hotel for press?

FR: Discovering new brands. I am feeling really excited by this. I have also come across some really wonderful people during the process. I am really sad not to be there for the awards themselves but want to congratulate all of this year’s Brit List winners.

FR: Not having enough option of props to work with. The design of the room can sometimes be difficult when it comes to photography. I did a shoot once where



Gordon Ferrier, Head of Hotels - 3D Reid Gordon Ferrier brings more than 30 years of hospitality design experience on a wide range of hotel projects, covering new builds, refurbishments and conversions. Ferrier is currently working on Goodwood Hotel, Gleneagles Club in Edinburgh, Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire, Malmaison in Edinburgh and Cameron House Hotel at Loch Lomond.

James Dilley, Director - Jestico + Whiles Having seen the London-based studio evolve over a quarter of a century, James Dilley holds a unique position at Jestico + Whiles. Specialising in both architecture and interior design of hospitality projects, Dilley has been responsible for creating some of the world’s most innovative hotels, including Zuri Zanzibar, which is the only hotel globally to be awarded EarthCheck’s prestigious Sustainable Design Gold certification. Dilley is currently leading his strong team of architects and interior designers to complete W Edinburgh.

John Harding, Partner - Dexter Moren Associates John Harding has been responsible for the delivery of a number of large and complex hotel and mixed-use developments. His excellent understanding of five star hotels, coupled with detailed technical knowledge and the ability to problem solve, means he is integral to the success of every project he works on. Most recently he has lead the team and has delivered the completion of L’Oscar in Holborn, London, and is currently the partner in charge to deliver phase three of the much anticipated art’otel, which will be sheltered at Battersea Power Station.



Hamilton Litestat, an Event Partner for The Brit List 2019, explains how designers can sensitively add sense of place into an interior design scheme…

Interior design trends come and go, but one reoccurring theme that always feels fresh is interiors inspired by nature. Bringing the natural world inside has an energising effect, while also bringing a wholesome feeling of calm that is particularly important for today’s focus on self-care. Currently, the botanicals trend is particularly prominent, while some boutique hotels are being inspired by the landscapes within their local vicinity. Whichever way the outside is brought inside – natural or faux plants, wall hangings, soft furnishings or accessories with botanical or nature-inspired prints – Hamilton Litestat is offering a selection of carefully crafted wiring accessories that perfectly complement natural themes.

the room’s soft furnishings, and have the switch plates painted to exactly match. These can be pre-painted by Hamilton ahead of installation or can be primed ready to paint on site. This option is available in the stylish Hartland CFX and Sheer CFX designs. One hotel inspired by its local area is Hotel Indigo Cardiff, a 122-room boutique hotel designed to evoke classic Welsh heritage. Great attention has been paid to crafting unique spaces that reflect the history and vibrancy of the Welsh capital. Hamilton’s Hartland collection of box-fix decorative wiring accessories was nominated as the perfect match for the interior design theme. In the 72 ‘Made in Wales’ rooms and the 31 ‘Welsh Industry’ rooms, the decorative accessories were finished in Matt Black with Copper switches and Matt Black inserts. Meanwhile, the 19 ‘Music’ rooms feature Hartland products finished in Antique Brass with Antique Brass switches and Black inserts. All bathrooms are fitted with Hartland plates finished in Satin Steel with White inserts.

When striking wall finishes showing bold leaves and flowers shouldn’t be interrupted, Hamilton’s Perception CFX is the perfect choice. The clear plate allows your selection of wallpaper to be inserted resulting in an almost-invisible finish. The contemporary switch plate has eight insert designs and concealed fixings to make it disappear and allow the wall covering to take centre stage, such as the bold wallpaper, Kews Dramatic Roses in green.

Whether the look is lush green jungle or inspired by the diverse colours of the Welsh hills, Hamilton offers a variety of decorative wiring solutions that will perfectly complement and complete the look.

Alternatively, Hamilton’s Paintable range allows you to pick a colour from the wallpaper, or even a contrasting hue from



Jonny Sin, Associate Director - ReardonSmith Architects Since joining ReardonSmith Architects in 2011, Jonny Sin has been a key member of the Beaumont Hotel award-winning team that transformed a Grade II Listed art deco style building into a luxury boutique hotel winning “Best Hotel in the World” opening 2014. In particular, Sin worked closely with British artist Sir Antony Gormley and was responsible for developing the unique architectural and technical solution to realise the artist’s vision of a monumental sculpture as a living space and extension to the hotel. More recently, Sin was the project associate on a new-build 173 bed fivestar luxury hotel tower development in Battersea and has since taken a lead role in delivering feasibility studies for Park Hyatt and a new façade retained five-star luxury hotel in Mayfair, London.

Julian Lewis, Co-Founder/Director - East Architecture With a multitude of social and community incentives, Park House is a new aparthotel and community leisure project in West Ham Lane, Stratford. Designed by East Architecture, and led by Julian Lewis, the nine-storey building holds a mix of uses, including 91 apart-hotel spaces, seven ‘residential’ units, community facilities, a gym and a new café and restaurant. The building is a London landmark project for hotel operator Roomzzz, marking the brand’s arrival in London.

Laura Turner, Architect - jmaarchitects Catapulting herself into The Brit List 2019, Laura Turner has just completed the design of Stock Exchange Hotel, Manchester. Built between 1904 and 1906, the building is a historically symbolic institution, which was purchased by co-owners Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs to transform it into a leading boutique hotel. “Several schemes to extend the building were explored with the client in virtual reality, arriving at an extrusion of the existing mansard roof form, set back from the building frontage and clad in monolithic zinc,” commented Turner. “A contemporary insertion routed into the building via a seven-storey sculptural staircase in place of the former 1980’s circulation core.”



Laurence Pinn, Associate - Tate Harmer Tate Harmer is the studio responsible for The Eden Project in Cornwall, which last year won The Eco Award at The Brit List Awards 2018. Laurence Pinn joined Tate Harmer in 2011. He is design-led yet blends the best of both worlds, considering aesthetics and practical components of development to ensure concepts can become a reality. Laurence was the project architect for the Eden Canopy Walkway project, and the Brunel Museum project, London, re-opening the historic Rotherhithe Sinking Shaft for use as a performance space.

Liz Pickard, Managing Director - Consarc Architects Liz Pickard was awarded a European Laureate as one of the best emerging European architects in 2010. Consarc Architects has been led by Pickard for more than 20 years. She is an accredited RIBA client advisor and has worked with many clients in the private and public sectors. She teaches at the University College London Bartlett School of Architecture, as module director on the postgraduate course.

Luke Fox, Head of Studio - Foster + Partners Luke Fox leads a team of designers in London, Hong Kong and Beijing on a wide range of international projects at Foster + Partners. Recently, Fox has completed The Murray Hotel in Hong Kong and won an award in 2017 for his plans for the mixed-used development plans, which will shelter Four Seasons Makkah, by reinterpreting the traditional dense building clusters and creating a new contemporary vernacular that respects its sacred location.




Crosswater’s high-quality signature finishes and textures enable hotels to express their own brand through the power of bathroom design…

Combined with lighting and interior design elements, Crosswater’s signature finishes allow each bathroom to be created to perfectly suit the personality of each hotel, often without the need to change existing sanitaryware.

that integrates the traditional with the modern, Crosswater’s range of high-quality signature finishes and textures presents an extensive range that can be used to create a divine, romantic bathroom scheme. Using an enchanting combination of subtle pastel shades, neutral white and bold signature brassware, a romantic bathroom is expressed through soft colour, textures and patterns, along with tasteful accessorising - bringing to mind light evenings, pink flowers in bloom and sunshine through the windows.

Indulgent Bringing together a collection of products that is both raw and refined, Crosswater provides hotels with the opportunity to create a luxury, personal spa environment, with exquisite detailing, finishes and feature lighting. This opulent bathroom space offers guests a place to escape and unwind; a place to feel rejuvenated and inspired.

Gold, rose and blush are used in harmony with distinctive terrazzo, herringbone and marble-effect surfaces, which complements metallic finishes and pops of pink and white.

Utilising a combination of darker tones and industrial details, the final scheme is edgy and versatile, on-trend and desirable. Paying homage to the materials, colour schemes and accents used in older industrial interior designs also bring a taste of indulgence into the bathroom. Clean lines, metallic shades and eye-catching pieces are the finishing touches to create a minimal feel that has maximum impact.

Soft furnishings, upholstered in materials such as green velvet with gold detailing, are used to bring additional colour into the room and accentuate natural elements such as leafy houseplants. Make use of neutral white furniture for extra storage space, as well as creating a truly eye-catching finish when paired with gorgeous brushed brass or matt black brassware.


Calming, elegant and surprisingly versatile, this overall finish will bring warmth, glamour

Bringing together a collection of products


By also incorporating a statement patterned wallpaper, bold colours and darker tones, any hotek is able to achieve a bold bathroom scheme. The overall finish is one that is creative, unique and playful – a statement room that has maximum impact.

and elegance to the hotel – a statement bathroom that has maximum impact. Brave Dare to be brave with the ultimate in contemporary, bold bathroom design from Crosswater. Utilising a mixture of deep colours, bright patterns and retro styling with daring brassware finishes, a bold bathroom expresses personality through colour, texture and pattern.

Mindful Bringing together a collection of products that creates a natural, ethical and organic environment, we offer products for a hotel bathroom that replicates a bright, light spa, with a neutral colour palette and natural wood tones. This relaxing bathroom is a place to breathe, meditate and let the day’s worries go.

The bathroom scheme is brought to life with a bold botanical print and monochrome pattern tiled floor. The brushed nickel brassware stands out against the dark wallpaper and complements the stylish marble gallery basin. The grey furniture provides practical storage while also being a neutral, subtle grounding feature within this bathroom, as is the white wall hung WC. The entire style is finished with a stunning illuminated mirror and dramatic pendant lighting to make a real style statement.

Utilising clean, simple lines, the mindful hotel’s bathroom is an uncluttered space in which to think clearly and promote wellbeing. Neutral tiled floors are paired with wood surfaces, statement pendant lighting and brass overtones. Pops of greenery are brought into the scheme with plants, wall art and botanical touches.

Other ways of introducing this bold aesthetic into a bathroom design can include featuring eye-catching accessories, such as towel warmers and green plants.

Crosswater offers a range of light, modern products and furniture to complete a mindful bathroom scheme for hotels.



Mark Bruce, Main Board Director - EPR Architects Since being on The Brit List 2018, Mark Bruce has led the completion of the Great Scotland Yard Hotel, which breathes new life into the Edwardian building in London that was once used by the Ministry of Defence. The sensitive exterior retention and basement excavation, and two-storey roof extension, transformed the building into a 153-key luxury lifestyle hotel whilst being respectful of the original brick and stone façade features and sensitive to the surrounding listed buildings.

Michele Salvi, Associate - Zaha Hadid Architects The Morpheus opened last year as the world’s first free-form high-rise exoskeleton hotel. The project architect for that remarkable building – and the man responsible for many of the decisions in conceiving and creating it – is Michele Salvi, an associate at Zaha Hadid Architects. Salvi is currently working on the architecture project for Australia’s first Mandarin Oriental, a 196-key hotel, slated to open in 2023, that will be sheltered within a new high-rise based in Melbourne.

Nicholas de Klerk, Associate Architect - Aukett Swanke Nicholas de Klerk is a thoughtful and forward-thinking architect. He has a keen interest in strategy and logistics, particularly on redevelopment projects where heritage and new development need refinement and fine balance. His focus is on hospitality projects and he has built up a highly regarded reputation within the sector, through thought leadership, R&D, participation in panel discussions and conferences, as well as through his design work, as a knowledgeable and inventive architect.



Nikolas Travasaros, Founding Partner/Director - Divercity Architects Nikolas Travasaros is the founding partner of Divercity Architects (Athens and London) and director of Divercity Architects (London). He studied architecture at the National Technical University of Athens (1999) and received a Master of Architecture from the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL (2000). As well as managing Divercity Architects’ growing team, Travasaros leads the design process on all the practice’s projects, overseeing initial design to completion of construction. Projects include Aegon Mykonos, Gracce Santorini and W Algarge, which is currently on the boards.

Richard Holland, Director/Co-Founder - Holland Harvey Architects Richard Holland was one of the masterminds behind the planning and completion of Inhabit Hotel in London, a new boutique eco hotel, sheltering 90 well-appointed rooms. What is arguably most interesting about this project is the fact that the building’s listed qualities did not prevent the hotel’s build from being sustainably designed. Holland has extensive experience in a wide variety of architectural and urban design projects, and has also tutored at the University of Sheffield, critiquing post-graduate students during the technology module of their Masters studies.

Ross Perkin, Co-founder - Emil Eve Architects Ross Perkin is an architect with extensive experience in environmental design and conservation. Perkin has extensive experience of collaborative practice and has completed work on a visitor centre at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park with Clare Lilley and Feilden Fowles Architects. Recently, Perkin led his team to complete the spa inside Taj Hotel London. Located in the Victorian cellars of the luxury Taj 51 Buckingham Gate Suites and Residences, the spa facilities include a glowing vitality pool wrapping around the hotel’s historic brick walls, a steamroom clad in continuous milled sections of Carrara marble and a sauna created from solid sections of thermally treated Alder wood.



Sarah Matheou, Archtiect - Simpson Haugh The studio Simpson Haugh describes Sarah Matheou as having: “a broad experience across pre- and post-planning design stages, throughout which she has shown a conscientious manner and tenacity for resolving issues.” Recently, the project architect completed One Blackfriars and Buckingham Gate, following being recognised as a Hotel Designs 30 under 30.

Simon Kincaid, Partner - Conran and Partners With more than 15 years’ professional experience, 10 of which at Conran and Partners, Simon Kincaid has been involved in a great depth of high-profile projects adding value by both developing design proposals and managing teams through all work stages across residential and hospitality projects. His hospitality experience includes working on hotels, restaurants and private members clubs in the UK, Europe and across Asia.

Simon Whittaker, Associate - Orms Simon Whittaker joined Orms in 2003, and became an Associate in 2013. He has worked on a wide range of projects in the commercial, education and leisure sectors and clients include Great Portland Estates, Crosstree Real Estate, British Land, Derwent London and Duchy of Lancaster. The firm has recently completed its work on The Standard London, which is the brand’s first hotel outside of America. The hotel, with its distinctly modern shell, is a thriving addition to the London hospitality scene, which has a unique perspective opposite St Pancras Station. Tom Lindblom, Hospitality Leader/Principal - Gensler* Interviewed by Hotel Designs this year, Tom Lindblom is a Hospitality Leader and a studio director in Gensler’s London office with more than 25 years’ experience on a variety of projects, including Four Seasons Kuwait, St Regis Langkawi, and is working on the completion of Hilton Woking. In addition to his role at Gensler, Lindblom teaches and lectures on architecture, lighting design, and museum design at universities in the U.S. and London. *Tom Lindblom has recently relocated to Costa Rica, but is still working for the architecture firm Gensler.




Barry Sternlicht, CEO - Treehouse Hotels/Starwood Capital Group The original founder of W Hotels, and Chairman and CEO of Starwood Capital Group, Barry Sternlicht makes his debut on The Brit List as a result of his announcement to launch a new hotel brand in London. Described as “the little brother of 1 Hotels”, Treehouse is a less serious, more torn jeans and t-shirts, kind of hotel brand. Featuring 95 keys, the first Treehouse in London is situated streets away from the BBC Broadcasting House near Oxford Circus. All hotels to open in the Treehouse portfolio will embrace sustainable protocols.

Charlie Rosier, Director - Cuckooz Cuckooz was founded by Charlie Rosier and Fabienne O’Neill. The pair collaborated with designers and sleep experts this year to launch the sleeping experience like no other in their design-led serviced apartments… in the womb. The nine-month project, which resulted in The Zed Room being opened, was inspired by the safety and ‘snugness’ of the womb and comes complete with muted lighting, soft-pink walls and a high-tech mattress.

Conor O’Leary, Joint Managing Director - Gleneagles Hotel Crowned Hotelier of The Year at The Brit List 2018, Conor O’Leary is a leading hotelier with a difference. His hands-on approach has led the hotel to become not only a prestigious property but also one that feels like a home-from-home. The hotel’s latest renovation of The Strathearn F&B area has opened up new opportunities for afternoon teas and day guests, as well as servicing those staying overnight.



Dimitris Manikis, President and Managing Director (EMEA) - Wyndham Hotels and Resorts Interviewed by Hotel Designs shortly after becoming president and managing director of Wyndham Hotels and Resorts (EMEA), Dimitris Manikis is an unconventional leader who has become a breath of fresh air for the hotel group’s management team. Based in the group’s London offices, Manikis is responsible for the development of all Wyndham Hotel Group’s brands in the EMEA region as well as maximising the performance of all new and existing franchise and managed hotels.

Guillaume Marly, Managing Director - Hotel Café Royal For more than two years, Guillaume Marly has been the managing director of Hotel Café Royal following on from stints as hotel manager at The Ritz, The Connought and senior positions at Claridge’s . Constantly referred to as London’s “modern grand hotel”, the property straddles the elegance of Mayfair and the energy of Soho. This year, Hotel Café Royal was voted the #4 hotel in London by Conde Nast Traveler readers.

Harry Cragoe, Owner - The Gallivant The Gallivant, led by Harry Cragoe, is positioned on the beach in Rye, Sussex with a core focus on wellness and wellbeing. Last year, the 20-key boutique hotel transformed its F&B offering from a conventional space into a multi-room ‘beach house’ atmosphere, and in the process, it expanded ground floor space with a £1m investment.

Hasham Soliman, Opening General Manager - The Dixon Hasham Soliman was appointed as opening General Manager in 2018 following a proven track-record in launching successful London-based luxury hotels to the market. In addition to The Dixon, Solimean has opened five other hotels, including InterContinental London - The 02 and The Grange Tower Bridge Hotel.



As one of the industry’s most in-demand photographers, Mel Yates’ impressive portfolio includes shooting for the likes of The Four Seasons, One & Only, Kimpton and Melia, among many others. Wearing his judging hat for The Brit List 2019, Yates explains why Britain remains a creative capital…

As a photographer and film maker, I’m extremely lucky to frequently travel and (usually) check in to some of the world’s most stylish hotels - sometimes also shooting them and thereby getting to know each property extremely well. Staying in these spaces has been and remains a constantly improving experience, as “bland international style” is disappearing quickly – often being replaced with tasteful design.

willingness to experiment as well as being traditional. Being a melting pot of influences as well as honouring the past and to have irreverence as well as being respectful. Therefore, it is arguably a combination of things that don’t obviously go together. In Britain, we have a tradition of loudness whether it be brass bands, bright red tunics, or wild nights out. I see an exuberance in many of the hotels I’ve experienced here that make it a joy to photograph, because it’s also so visual and so well considered.

In Britain, too, this is often the case. Many hotels in the UK also cater for the international aesthetic, but in my experience things here are changing rapidly.

My most recent project was a large hotel in the North of England, not yet launched, in a former industrial building. Every detail has been painstakingly thought about, from the floral displays, to the texture of the bed throws, to what the staff wear in their pockets - the list goes on.

A very British approach is not only apparent - it is actively sought-after by many hoteliers. I’m certainly not talking about the dreadful addition of a Union Jack cushion or a “Keep Calm and Carry On” poster. But, instead, a real desire to create an experience that is both individual to that particular property that is also connected to a wider sensibility. Obviously, the big question is: “What is British?”. Perhaps it’s the ‘yin and yang’ of a

The result was somehow essentially ‘British’ - and I’m very pleased to be able to report there wasn’t a single Union Jack cushion in sight!



Ian Fletcher, General Manager - Hard Rock Hotel London Drawing on the legacy of the guests who stayed there in decades past – and an inspiration to those who are yet to write their own story – Hard Rock Hotel London at Hyde Park stands alone as a haven for music lovers and cultural explorers everywhere. Located on the corner of Oxford Street and Park Lane, the hotel shelters tribute to former residents such as Jimi Hendrix, Diana Ross, Bob Dylan and Buddy Holly with an incredible memorabilia collection and original artwork in every bedroom. Ian Fletcher is the man who is ensuring that the brand’s values and images are appropriately represented throughout the hotel.

Keshav Suri, Executive Director - LaLiT Suri Hospitality Group Keshav Suri is a keen activist within the LGBTQIA community, particularly in India where he was instrumental in the movement to decriminalise homosexuality. He has strived to carry this message of diversity across all hotels, including The LaLiT London, which opened in 2017. The London hotel recently hosted a Drag Reading Hour event, whereby children were invited to listen to a reading by a drag queen of new children’s book, Elphie & The Peacock. The story, written by Suri, follows Elphie’s journey through life, learning the power of being true to yourself, and celebrating individuality.

Laura Sharpe, General Manager - Ham Yard Hotel Laura Sharpe is an experienced, passionate and dedicated hospitality professional. She has been working as the general manager at Ham Yard Hotel since pre-opening, following a variety of other roles at Firmdale Hotels, including hotel manager, deputy general manager and front-ofhouse manager. Firmdale hotels, which is rapidly expanding, is a group of nine boutique hotels in London and a further two in New York.



Marco Novella, Managing Director - The Lanesborough Marco Novella was interviewed on-stage at Hotel Summit this year by editor Hamish Kilburn, where he openly spoke about the challenges of operating one of London’s most illustrious hotels. Novella succeeded Geoffrey Gelardi as the Managing Director of The Lanesborough last year, and brings with him a modern and sensitive approach to running the hotel. The hotel is owned by the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, and, since its relaunch in 2015, has been managed by the German-based Oetker Collection. Prior to his position at The Lanesborough, Novella was the managing director of Brown’s Hotel London for nearly two years. His previous roles also include managing director of Belmond Villa San Michele in Florence, Italy, and general manager of Marriott’s Gritti Palace, a Luxury Collection hotel, in Venice.

Mario Ovsenjak, Cluster General Manager - Hotel Gotham/Bespoke Hotels Since 2012, Mario Ovsenjak has led teams at a range of country house properties, including The Lambert Arms in Oxfordshire, Shaftesbury’s Grosvenor Arms, as well as the Prince Regent Hotel. Prior to this, he held positions at several London establishments, including the Corus Hyde Park Hotel, The Royal Trafalgar and Piccadilly Hotels, as well as the Colonnade and Hotel Xenia. His recent role has seen him lead The Brooklyn project with the aim to open a new kind of luxury hotel in Manchester, which will become the sister property of Hotel Gotham.

Michael Bonsor, Managing Director - Rosewood London Michael Bonsor is at the helm of one of London’s most successful hospitality establishments, which has collected an eclectic mix of awards for design, service and management. Bonsor’s more than 18 years’ experience of hotel management within the luxury sector – along with his naturally warm charisma and his unparelled dedication to become an international ambassador for the brand – makes him one of the leading hoteliers in the world. His arrival at Rosewood London followed a period at Claridge’s London, where he began as the F&B manager before later becoming hotel operations manager.



Nick Davies, Owner - Cottage In The Woods Nick Davies left Shoreditch in London in 2015 to take on the ownership and management of the 30-key hotel in the Malvern Hills. Together with wife Julia, Davis is managing a three-phase refurbishment of the hotel, which began in January 2017. Since owning the property, revenue has increased by more than 40 per cent in both F&B and overnight stays, largely down to a complete overhaul of the structure of the business. Earlier this year, Davis secured £2.1 million from The Cumberland Building Society enabling the complete refurbishment of the entire property by 2020, two years ahead of schedule.

Olivia Byrne, Director - Eccleston Square Hotel At the age of just 23, Parisian born Olivia Byrne graduated from L’Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne and went straight onto becoming the youngest hotelier in London. Operating one of the capital’s most dynamic and tech-driven hotels, which the former presenter of The Gadget Show Jason Bradbury reviewed for Hotel Designs last year, Byrne recently led an extensive renovation. The newly refurbished 39-key hotel, which now shelters artificial intelligence and 3D television, has now entered a new tech era.

Olivia Richli, General Manager - Heckfield Place Olivia Richli who recently sat on a panel with editor Hamish Kilburn to put sustainability under the spotlight, is an inspirational general manager with a real drive to operate a consious luxury hotel. She was plucked from semi-retirement at her beachfront home in Sri Lanka by Boston’s Gerald Chan, who had bought Heckfield Place almost twenty years before. Richli’s youth spent among the farms and gardens of the British countryside, combined with her unique career in developing and operating eclectic luxury hotels within historic precincts, stood her in perfect stead to guide Heckfield Place into a grand new era. Heckfield’s sense of responsibility and sustainable stance has inspired Richli onto the next level of stewardship, one that quietly leads by example and endeavors to establish an estate that will thrive and guide all those who visit.




Architect and designer Jacu Strauss speaks to editor Hamish Kilburn on Britain’s position on the international hotel design scene, as well as defining the value of being a judge in The Brit List 2019…

Considering Jacu Strauss’ eccentric portfolio of completed hotels, there is arguably no one better placed to judge all three categories of The Brit List 2019.

think the emphasis on sustainability is also particularly strong at the moment.

As he prepares to open his first ever hotel, following a successful few years designing some of the world’s most eye-catching hotel interiors and exteriors, Strauss will always been attracted back to the shores of Britain, and for good reason.

JS: Someone who is unapologetic about their work and approach to design without being arrogant. It is good to be different if you are setting yourself apart for the right reasons and with confidence. I believe as architectural and interior design moves increasingly faster, there is a danger of it becoming about being fashionable and that is not sustainable. Design should have longevity.

HK: What makes a leader in this industry?

Hamish Kilburn: How has the UK evolved as a design hub in the last two years? Jacu Strauss: I always fly the flag for British design, and I can see the credibility it has abroad where I do a lot of work at the moment. “The current political climate has created some uncertainty, but I am confident the UK will always attract great talent and maintain its reputation as a leader for design of all kinds.” Afterall the UK is always at the forefront of finding new solutions for new problems in an ever-changing world. I

HK: What has been the highlight of being part of this year’s judging panel? JS: So much happens every year and it is easy to get caught up in one’s own design world. There are so many exciting developments happening in a broader design sense, and I have discovered new movers and shakers from each of the categories.



Pat King, CEO - The Doyle Collection Pat King, CEO of The Doyle Collection, has been with the company for more than 20 years, and became the CEO in 2012. The company currently owns eight luxury properties, which include The Westbury, The Marylebone, The Bloomsbury, The Kensington, The Croke Park, The River Lee, and The Bristol, and has recently officially relaunched The Dupont Circle hotel in Washington, D.C.

Robert Alam, Area General Manager - Nadler Hotels Robert Alam has worked at Nadler Hotels for more than three years, and has been the area general manager since October 2018. During this time, he has overseen the launch of Nadler Covent Garden, which is the brand’s latest hotel to arrive on the London scene. Overlooking The Strand in a restored Edwardian building, the 57-key hotel opened as the hotel group’s fourth luxury boutique hotel in the capital.

Robin Hutson, Chairman and Chief Executive - Lime Wood Group & Home Grown Hotels (The Pig) Robin Hutson is known as an innovative and entrepreneurial hotelier with 40 years’ experience in some of the world’s most famous hotel brands, including Hotel du Vin and Soho House. He was non-exec director, then executive chairman alongside Nick Jones at Soho House Group for 14 years until 2008 when the group was successfully sold for £105m. Hutson is now CEO & Chairman of Lime Wood Group Ltd & Home Grown Hotels Ltd; his latest venture The Pig in its short existence has already been much lauded as a mold breaker in the country house sector, transforming English rural areas and enhancing comunities for the better.



Robin Sheppard, Chairman - Bespoke Hotels With more than 40 years’ experience as a hotelier, Robin Sheppard was The Brit List 2018’s winner of the Outstanding Contribution to the Hospitality Industry. In 2004, just four years after co-founding Bespoke Hotels, Sheppard was left completely paralysed from the neck down as a result of Guillain-Barre Syndrome. This life-altering event made Sheppard realise how inaccessible many hotels were. As a result, he launched the Bespoke Access Awards (now known as the Blue Badge Access Awards) to shine the spotlight on hotels which do offer stylish accommodation that is accessible to all.

Sandeep Bhalla, General Manager - The Connaught Hotel Sandeep Bhalla was recently appointed as the new general manager of the Connaught Hotel. Indian-born Bhalla previously held the position of hotel manager of the five-red-AA-star, Maybourne Hotel Group property, which he joined as hotel manager in 2018. Before arriving at the Connaught Hotel, he worked at the sister hotel, The Berkeley in Knighstbridge, where he joined in 2007 as director of food and beverage, and was later promoted to hotel manager in 2012. Prior to his position at Maybourne Hotel Group, Bhalla was part of the preopening team of the Burj Al Arab in Dubai.

Sholto Smith, General Manager - Great Scotland Yard Hotel Sholto Smith joined Great Scotland Yard Hotel from the same role at the Hyatt Regency Perth in Australia, which he held for four years. Sholto, who has been part of the Hyatt family for more than 20 years, was the general manager of the Park Hyatt Siem Reap in Cambodia and director of sales and marketing at the Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill before being promoted in 2008 to area director of sales UK & Ireland at Hyatt’s worldwide sales office in London.



Stephen Baker, Joint Owner - Carbis Bay Hotel & Estate Joint-owned by Stephen and Jose Baker, Carbis Bay Hotel & Estate is a luxurious coastal retreat with a privately owned 25-acre Blue Flag beach, impeccable service, fine food, superb spa facilities and breathtaking views across one of the world’s most beautiful bays. Central to everything is the main house, a white-walled landmark designed by the celebrated Cornish architect, Silvanus Trevail, and erected in 1894. Inside, gilt mirrors and chandeliers are complemented by modern, chic interior touches inside 45 individually furnished rooms and sea-facing suites.

Thomas Kochs, Managing Director - Corinthia London Thomas Kochs became the managing director of Corinthia London in May 2017. Kochs is responsible for managing the group’s flagship property, which opened its doors in 2011. In six years, the property has achieved international acclaim as one of the world’s leading luxury fivestar hotels. This year, Kochs was the face of the two-part TV series, A Hotel for the Super Rich & Famous, which documented the operations behind Corinthia London, including the behind-the-scenes of significant changes to service and design, with the launch of Kerridge’s Bar and Grill.

Will Ashworth, Managing Director - Watergate Bay Hotel Born and having grown up in Cornwall, Will Ashworth has worked within the hospitality industry in Kenya, Switzerland and North America before returning to Cornwall in 2000 to take over the running of the family hotel at Watergate Bay. Under Ashworth’s management, the hotel has been transformed from a traditional seasonal seaside hotel into a vibrant, sustainable year-round holiday destination. In addition to managing the hotel, Ashworth also sits on the Visit Cornwall CIC board. Ashworth was once again on stage at the Independent Hotel Show this year, where he delivered an insightful talk on hotel dynasties.



The Brit List 2019 judge Edward Webb, who is the Director of Development Management at Nuveen Real Estate explains why Scotland’s capital is the most investable city in the UK…

and major schemes like Edinburgh St James are set to be a game-changer for the city’s retail, leisure and hotel scene. The 1.7 million sq ft development will open its retail phase in a year’s time - the largest retailled development in Scotland and one of the most significant regeneration projects currently underway in the UK. Edinburgh’s economy is expected to benefit too. The development is predicted to increase the city’s catchment area by 13 per cent when it opens, reaching 1.9m people with £4.5bn of available spend. It will also benefit from the city’s £1bn visitor economy, where tourists spend an average of £236 per visit, compared to £162 in European benchmark cities such as Stockholm and Amsterdam. The development will offer consumers something different and enhance their experience of Edinburgh.

As 2019 draws to a close we reflect on another successful year for the tourism and hotel industry in the Scottish capital. Last year, Edinburgh by Numbers, a document produced by the City of Edinburgh Council (CEC), concluded that the Scottish capital draws in more than 15 million visitors per year. Combine this statistic with a hotel occupancy rate of 83.7 per cent, and it paints an impressive picture of the tourism and hospitality scene in Edinburgh.

I am excited for what’s to come and to open the doors of Edinburgh St James next year. It is time we showed the world what a great, pan-European, opportunity city Edinburgh is.

Things have not slowed down. There’s a wealth of hotel development underway in some of the capital’s most iconic areas

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