European Hotel Design Awards 2014: The Winners

As official partner to the European Hotel Design Awards, we wait each year with baited breath to hear which of the outstanding shortlisted projects have won the category awards. Well…the wait is finally over, for this year at least, with the winners being announced last night at a dinner and ceremony at the Park Plaza, Westminster Bridge.

Commenting on this year’s award, Matt Turner, Editor-in-chief of Sleeper Magazine, said:

Once again, the European Hotel Design Awards have recognised the incredible diversity of talent and the ingenuity of the hospitality sector today. Our overall winner, Lanserhof Tegernsee beat off intense competition from runners up such as EDITION London, Aman Canal Grande and the Chedi Andermatt. The panel agreed that the design had created a new paradigm in hospitality, combining hotel, wellness resort and healthcare facility. On a personal note, it was particularly gratifying to see Ace Hotel London triumph and that we were able to honour the memory of its creator, Alex Calderwood. This is another genuinely innovative project that has moved the industry forward, reinvented the hospitality experience and contributed to its local community.

Hosted by BBC arts programme presenter, Katie Derham, and Sleeper Magazine Editor-at-Large, Guy Dittrich, this year’s awards were attended by over 800 guests from across Europe.

Take a look at the full list of winners below…congratulations to all!


Architecture – Adaptive Re-use

EHDA Architecture – Adaptive Re-useFontevraud L’Hôtel, France – By Gabor Mester De Parajd

Architecture – Newbuild

EHDA Architecture – NewbuildLanserhof Tegernsee, Marienstein, Germany – By Ingenhoven Architects

Architecture – Renovation
EHDA Architecture – Renovation
Ace Hotel London, UK – By EPR Architects

Interior Design – Lobby, Lounge & Public Areas
EHDA Interior Design – Lobby, Lounge & Public Areas
Generator Venice, Italy – By DesignAgency

Interior Design – Bar
EHDA Interior Design – Bar
Scarfes Bar at Rosewood London, UK – By Martin Brudnizki Design Studio

Interior Design – Café Bar or All Day Dining
EHDA Interior Design – Café Bar or All Day Dining
The Rosebery at Mandarin Oriental London, UK – By GA Design International

Interior Design – Restaurant
EHDA Interior Design – Restaurant
Berners Tavern and Punch Room at The London EDITION, UK – By Yabu Pushelberg in collaboration with I.S.C Design Studio

Interior Design – Bedrooms & Bathrooms
EHDA Interior Design – Bedrooms & Bathrooms
The Chedi Andermatt, Switzerland – By Denniston

Interior Design – Suite
EHDA Interior Design – Suite
The Suites at Aman Canal Grande, Venice, Italy – By Denniston

Interior Design – Spa & Wellness
EHDA Interior Design – Spa & Wellness
Lanserhof Tegernsee Marienstein, Germany – By Ingenhoven Architects

The European Hotel Design of the Year Award
EHDA The European Hotel Design of the Year Award
Lanserhof Tegernsee Marienstein, Germany – By Ingenhoven Architects

Outstanding Contribution Award
EHDA Outstanding Contribution Award
Posthumously awarded to Alex Calderwood, Co-founder of Ace Hotel

Tomorrow’s Hotel
EHDA Tomorrow’s Hotel
The Edible Hotel – By Dexter Moren Associates


The 7 most luxurious hotels at this year’s European Hotel Design Awards

With the European Hotel Design Awards dinner taking place tonight, we take a closer look at this year’s shortlist of exquisitely designed hotels. With so many great finalists, we have made the executive decision to focus our efforts on one particular selection of entries – the ever admirable luxury hotel.

Here are the 7 most luxurious hotels around the world, all of them opening within the past 18 months, and each as grand and wonderfully dramatic as the next. Who needs the hype of the Chiltern Firehouse when we have these beauties hey? (that being said, if anyone does know how we can gain an invite to the Chiltern we’re still very, very much interested!)

  1. Aman Canal Grande, Venice, Italy – By Denniston
    aman canal grande
    A refurbishment of a listed heritage Venetian building, the last Palazzo in Venice permitted to be converted into a hotel, the Aman Canal Grande is a truly stunning example of a heritage transformation. Although updated luxurious modern facilities, the project has still managed to retain the building’s charm, history, and the Palazzo’s rich architecture.
  1. InterContinental Davos, Switzerland – By Living Design
    interontinental davos
    Set in the spectacular Graubünden Alps, 1,600 metres above sea level, the Intercontinental Davos has simply stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valley. With 216 rooms, the hotel has a modern, warm alpine feel which is reflected in the interiors, underlined by high tech amenities creating an atmosphere of quiet elegance, privacy and comfort.
  2. Palazzo Parigi, Milan, Italy – By Pierre-Yves Rochon
    palazzo paligui
    Located on the former site of Palazzo Kramer, just steps from the Quadrilatero Della moda, Teatro alla Scala and the city’s famous fashion district, Via Brera, the Palazzo Parigi is a grandiose hotel in the historic heart of Milan. The hotel’s unique interior architecture uses generous volumes and natural light throughout its public spaces and alternates Milanese modernistic aesthetic with a more graceful Parisian refinement.
  3. Rosewood London, UK – By EPR Architects
    Rosewood London is one of the finest five-star hotels in London. Blending English heritage with contemporary sophistication, the Edwardian, Grade II-listed building has been sensitively renovated to create a luxury hotel with the ambience of a stylish London residence.
  4. The Mandarin Oriental Barcelona, Spain – By Patricia Urquiola
    Opening in 2009, this year saw the Mandarin Oriental launch 22 new keys, including 17 new suites when the hotel took over the modernist bank building next door. The hotel has a distinctly residential flavour which reflects a sense of place, combined with an emphasis on space, light and materials to create a new level of luxury and comfort. Oak floors combined with bespoke Tai Ping rugs, high ceilings, and bronze highlights set a modern but comfortable tone.
  5. Waldorf Astoria, Amsterdam, The Netherlands – By OeverZaaijer Architecture & Urbanism
    waldorf astoria
    Situated on the UNESCO heritage protected Herengracht, (Gentlemen’s Canal’) in Amsterdam, the Waldorf Astoria is an elegant restoration project of 6 monumental 17th century canal houses. With 93 rooms, a spa, spacious courtyard and beautiful garden, this is definitely one not to be missed.
  1. The London EDITION, UK – By Yabu Pushelberg in collaboration with I.S.C Design Studio
    Located in Fitzrovia on the edge of London’s Soho, this luxury boutique hotel preserves the finest aspects of an iconic landmark building, but reinvents the spaces within to create a dynamic fusion of old and new, past and present.

We’ll be publishing the EHDA 2014 winners’ list right here on Between Our Sheets, so keep an eye out!

Don’t miss out on Sleep 2014, you can register right here!

Sleep Speakers Spill the Beans…Part 2

We were excited to hear some of our Sleep Conference Speakers’ views in Part 1 of this post, and now we’re back with Part 2 to hear three more speakers voice their opinions on the latest issues and trends in hotel design. We asked them to speak out about topics from hostels to peer-to-peer lodging, all in a bid to find out what our speakers think the future holds for hotel design…and we definitely weren’t disappointed with their answers!

In the spotlight for Part 2 of our Spill The Beans post are Sleep Conference speakers Philip Allin, Graham Mitchell, and Lionel Benjamin…


Q1. What does the hotel of the future look like?

Philip Allin: There will always be tension between ‘what we know’ – classical model, brand hotels – and ‘what we want’ – AirBnb style, hand-picked accommodation. I believe these will both develop, and find a balance to coexist. Colours are increasingly being used by model hotels to strengthen their brand and reinforce the feeling of comfort that they sell.

Graham Mitchell: The fundamentals of a hotel such as a comfortable bed and good shower will remain constant; however we are seeing a trend towards smaller room sizes and more efficient design, coupled with an emphasis on technology, to create an enjoyable, memorable and tailored guest experience.

Lionel Benjamin: Technology driven to deliver the guest experience will be key, emphasising great media. It is taken for granted the bed and sleep experience would be super comfort. The bedroom will be complemented by the wet room experience including rain showers vs bath. An emphasis on spa and relaxation will become ever more paramount to guests’ choice of hotel. Contemporary dining with health food as a focus. An experience of service and quality, regardless of price point, to rival guests experience in their own homes.

Graham Mitchell
Graham Mitchell, Senior Development & Asset Manager, McAleer & Rushe Group
See Graham in ‘Hotel Development – How can Owner & Operator Combine’ on
Wednesday 26th of November at 14:45 as part of the Sleep Conference

Q2. How will the hotel guest evolve over the next few years?

Philip Allin: Similar to above with a blurring of boundaries between work and leisure. This goes hand in hand with technological advances: work email follows us everywhere, but we also Skype family from hotels and so our children see where/how we work

Graham Mitchell: Guests are becoming ever more discerning in their choice of hotels, with increasing usage of the core review sites along with cross referencing of these charts against a range of price comparison sites.  A more savvy, value driven consumer will require hotel operators to stay on top of their game through pro-active engagement, the use of technology and enhancement of existing loyalty schemes.

Lionel Benjamin: There will be more emphasis towards the leisure guest. With the corporate market driving hotel owners and managers to provide them with the latest technology available on the market.

 Philip Allin
Philip Allin, Creative Consultant, Global Color Research
See Philip in ‘The Future is Coming…to a hotel near you’ on
Thursday 27th of November at 11am as part of the Sleep Conference

Q3. How will the rising trend for peer to peer lodging affect the hotel industry? 

Philip Allin: I don’t see it as a destructive revolution. The hotel industry will stay standing, but will adapt, and is already doing that. Simply by providing made to measure services that peer-to-peer can’t. Kind of peer-to-peer on a larger scale. Sharing city-experiences, rather than home-experiences.

Graham Mitchell: Just as there are different hotel types to meet differing consumer requirements, the peer to peer lodging arrangements will only suit a particular sector of the market.  I doubt many hotel brands will be particularly concerned.

Lionel Benjamin: The market for Airbnb and similar style companies will grow. However once governments decide to regulate this sector the impact will reduce. In saying this there will always be a market for budget accommodation and the lifestyle choice to share an experience with a local verses staying within a traditional hotel.

Q4. What are your thoughts on heritage design and how heritage buildings can be used to create hotel spaces?

Philip Allin: Great potential here. I’m from Amsterdam, and live in London: both world-class cities with stacks of places (former warehouses, factories, churches, etc) which can be transformed into truly special hotels.

Graham Mitchell: Many of us will have experienced hotels in heritage buildings, both in a personal and professional capacity, which have the power to hugely impress.  Unfortunately there are just as many others which are not fit for purpose, to put it kindly.  The incorporation of a hotel into a heritage building is a specialist area, requiring an experienced design team to ensure success and an excellent end product.

Lionel Benjamin: Heritage is an essential part of a traveller’s experience. Giving guests the opportunity to enjoy luxury and contemporary style within an architecturally unique environment will create a competitive edge likely to appeal to international travellers. The Royal Crescent Hotel in Bath is a prime example.

Lionel BenjaminLionel Benjamin, Director – Hotels, Topland Group
See Lionel in ‘Sleep Round Tables’ on Wednesday 26th of
November at 4:30pm as part of the Sleep Conference

Q5. Hostels are the latest game-changer in the world of hospitality, how can more traditional hotel business models utilise this trend?

Philip Allin: I disagree: peer-to-peer and the pod-in-a-city concept are more recent, and more powerful. Hostels simply provide for a lower price bracket. The PtP & PiaC are undermining some of the traditional industry’s tenets. We – designers of great spaces – can help by providing hotels with an inclusive, all-encompassing experience for the traveller. Imagine having the lighting at your restaurant table complement the suit you’re wearing, to maximise the effect during a dinner meeting?

Graham Mitchell: If gaining hostel business is a direction that traditional hotels which to embrace, the obvious solution is to combine some of the normal sized rooms into larger bedrooms, capable of sleeping larger numbers of guests.  Many traditional hotels already contain rooms capable of accommodating 3 or 4 adults as a matter of course, so it is not too much of a stretch to consider an increase in this. Whilst it is a perfectly achievable aim, it’s important not dilute the core brand values and there are more mundane factors such as Lease restrictions, building control approvals and fire strategy to consider.

Lionel Benjamin: Rather than compete with the hostel offering, traditional hotels should focus on delivering a quality and service offering which will distinguish themselves from the hostel. There will continue to be a market for guests at all ends of the hotel and lodging spectrum. The key difference is hotels service guests whereas the hostels service a customer.

Register for Sleep 2014 to hear more from the speakers at this year’s Sleep Conference!

Sleep Speakers Spill the Beans…Part 1

With only 1 week to go until the doors open for Sleep 2014, excitement is building within the industry, creating a definite buzz around this year’s event. With some of the best UK and international exhibitors showcasing brand new innovative hotel design product, this year’s show is set to be the best yet.

Not forgetting, of course, the intriguing line-up for this year’s Sleep Conference, providing us with a great opportunity to hear from some of the greatest names from the Hotel Design world. Here at Between Our Sheets we simply couldn’t wait until next week (impatient, we know!), and so we tracked down some of the Sleep Conference speakers to get a glimpse of what’s to come, asking for their views on some of the biggest challenges facing the industry today…and now we REALLY can’t wait for the conference to start!

With so much to discuss, we have split this feature into two parts, so be sure to keep an eye out for our Sleep Speakers Spill the Beans…Part 2, published next week!


To start us off we speak to Sleep Conference speakers Philip Camble, Anwar Mekhayech, Ian Burleigh and Soren Hullberg…

Q1. What does the hotel of the future look like?

Philip Camble: Externally the hotel will become an extension of the interior – including outdoor experiences such as terrace bars/cafes, rooftop bars/cafes/pools, and including façade interactive media such as LED screens displaying messages and MICE branding. Internally, hotels will become increasingly communal in the public areas, with lots of opportunities to meet people and experience local culture in terms of food, beverage and entertainment. Bedrooms will become more interactive and tailored to a guest’s preferences through a Preference App.

Anwar Mekhayech: Completely integrated and connected to you as an individual, your style, your tastes and preferences. Yet simple and elegant in many ways and hopefully connected to better health. Travelling both on planes and in hotel rooms should add value to one’s life not take away from it.

Ian Burleigh: With increasing market size and competition the ‘one size fits all’ approach will continue to decline. More variety which delivers individuality and personalised solutions are likely to be driven by future customers. Demands will become more complex but sometimes the solutions will be very simple.

Soren Hullberg: Strong profile and a clear position on its market. User friendly cloud based reservation systems, check in methods and hi-tech all over the hotels. Consumers’ impressions and critics will be more important than the hotels’ own marketing.

Philip Camble
Philip Camble, Director, Whitebridge Hospitality
See Philip in ‘Analysing the Analyst’ at 12:20pm on Wednesday
the 26th of November as part of the Sleep Conference

Q2. How will the hotel guest evolve over the next few years?

Philip Camble: Many will get older and will seek a greater degree of flexibility and services/features that will assist them with their increasing exacting requirements. The Chinese are coming and Chinese friendly facilities and services should be given more serious consideration.

Anwar Mekhayech: On one end it will be a return or renaissance to classic luxury I think, followed by more choice in the lifestyle microhotel sector with less patience for bad product, service or not-free wifi!!

Ian Burleigh: Guests are increasing empowered by social media and will lead the revolution.

Soren Hullberg: Consumers will ask for more and pay less. Travellers will have more experience and total transparency of the market.

Anwar Mekhayech
Anwar Makhayech, Generator’s Creative Director and DesignAgency principal
See Anwar in ‘Hot Hostels’ at 11:35am on Wednesday
26th November as part of the Sleep Conference

Q3. How will the rising trend for peer to peer lodging affect the hotel industry? 

Philip Camble: If this new segment can overcome legislative issues and become more mainstream it will nibble away at the margins. If we believe people are looking for more personal service levels and greater opportunities to meet people, where better than in a hotel.

Anwar Mekhayech: it should just infill a new category of lodging in a sweet spot where design & technology meets budget and quality accommodations.

Ian Burleigh: Peer to peer will continue to rise and be a strong competitor to hotels in a more interesting and personalised market.

Soren Hullberg: Travellers will appreciate the qualities of good hotels and the tired hotels will have a tough time.  Long staying guests and families will rather lodge in private homes. But hotels will push their rates closer to the private lodgings.

Ian Burleigh, Director, ICA
See Ian in ‘Hot Hostels’ at 11:35am on
26th of November as part of the Sleep Conference

Q4. What are your thoughts on heritage design and how heritage buildings can be used to create hotel spaces?

Philip Camble: Love it! To be able to preserve our heritage and give beautiful and irreproducible buildings a new lease of life is something that should be encouraged and supported, eg government grants.

Anwar Mekhayech: to me these are always the gems. I hope this part of the business never goes away. The coolest hotels around the world often have an interesting adaptive re-use story behind them.

Ian Burleigh: A ready supply of stock with limited conversion options to other use types creates an opportunity for hotel developers which is cost effective, sustainable and appreciated by guests.

Soren Hullberg: Difficult projects that basically demand someone’s idealism and lots of capital.

Soren Hullberg

Sören Hullberg, CEO/Partner, Story Hotel Holding AB
See Sören in ‘Question Time’ at 16:50pm on Wednesday
the 26th of November as part of the Sleep Conference

Q5. Hostels are the latest game-changer in the world of hospitality, how can more traditional hotel business models utilise this trend?

Philip Camble: Squeeze more beds into a room and become fun places where people will want to go and meet other people.

Anwar Mekhayech: There is already a huge surge in terms of boutique hostel’s globally. I love some of the one-off places I have seen around the world. Hopefully we, Generator and DesignAgency are leading the way in terms of large-scale, global urban design hostels. Many hotel companies are already looking at how they can get into the shared-room lodging space and I think some are doing it really well. It’s all about options and creating an environment that is universally accepted and adaptable to the traveller. It’s not a formula that you can just bang out because there is a fine line with these limited-service properties and you need to capture the soul of the place to make it really work!

Ian Burleigh: We live in a rapidly evolving society which is creating challenge and opportunity for the wider hospitality sector. Hostels are in a unique position to respond early to this with their emphasis on the leisure sector and large city locations. Responding to more diverse needs and desires of guests is a trend many hotels will find more challenging than hostels but one they will need to respond to.

Soren Hullberg: Any destination with good hostels shall be happy. Number of visitors will increase. The Hostels are welcoming young and/or budget travellers whom in the long run will get used to a certain standard and, getting older and more wealthy, will select hotels of a higher standard. High performing and frequent business travellers will also in the next demand high standard, serviced, hotels.

Register for Sleep 2014 to hear more from the speakers at this year’s Sleep Conference!

2014 European Hotel Design awards are ‘toughest competition yet’

Here at Sleep we are proud to be the official partner of the European Hotel Design Awards. A highlight of the design calendar, the Awards celebrate exceptional hotel design and architecture, honouring the work of industry leading architects and designers, and the projects they create with hotel developers, owners and operators.

The great minds behind these award winning projects will be gathered in London next week not only for the awards, but for the Sleep event and conference, and also in a first for the industry, at the Sleep Afterparty at the the newly opened Mondrian at Sea Containers House.

With the Awards night just around the corner, judge and organiser Matt Turner gives us an exclusive insight into this year’s tough competition…


One way or another – as judge, media sponsor, and latterly as the organiser – I have been involved in the European Hotel Design Awards for over a decade now.

We say it every year but this year it is truer than ever – the competition really has been the toughest I have seen in my ten plus years on the panel.

Without giving anything away, the final decision on who won what has come down to the finest of margins this time around. In four of the categories, just one or two votes separated the winner from second place.

This is a sign of the quality and diversity of hotel design across Europe today. Take the Lobby, Lounge & Public Area category where two projects reinventing the hostel sector (Generators Venice and Barcelona) competed with a brace of Italian palazzi (Aman Canal Grande and Parigi Milano), and a landmark addition to London’s hotel scene (Edition).

You could ask how the judges can weigh up apples against pears but it’s no different at the Oscars, where big budget blockbusters go head-to-head with independent movies, comedies vie with period dramas, and children’s animations are up against documentaries. In the end there can be only one winner in each category but being shortlisted is a huge achievement in itself.

This makes the task of our judging panel a difficult one, and the judges commit their valuable time to ensure that each shortlisted project is visited in person. It is this that sets the European Hotel Design Awards apart from other similar schemes, where the winners are often chosen from airbrushed photographs and PR-written statements.

It is always hard to know how to explain the panel’s final decisions at the awards dinner itself. Go into too much detail and the evening can drag on. Too little, and you risk glossing over the efforts that have gone in from the contestants and judges alike.

We hope we will strike the right balance at this year’s ceremony. In a slight change to the format of previous years, the awards are being co-hosted by industry commentator and Sleeper Magazine Editor-at-Large Guy Dittrich, alongside BBC broadcaster and Proms presenter Katie Derham.

You can view all the shortlisted entries in detail following the links here and more insight into the deliberations of the panel will appear at once the winners are announced on Tues 25 November.

If you want to be among the first to find out who has won, and have the opportunity to meet the people behind this incredible array of projects in person, there is still time to book tickets here. We hope to see you there!

Don’t forget to register for Sleep 2014 to hear from some of the finalists in the Sleep Conference