Designer-hotel brands leaving room to expand

Design-led hotel brands Myhotel and Malmaison are braving tough trading conditions to expand their portfolios over the next couple of months.

Myhotel is opening its second bespoke hotel this October in London’s Chelsea, based on a modern country home theme and designed by architect Project Orange, featuring graphics work by Future City.

Malmaison’s 40-room extension at Malmaison Edinburgh, designed by Jestico & Whiles Interiors, will open as soon as last-minute glitches are sorted out.

The chain is following the Edinburgh expansion with the newly built Malmaison Birmingham, also in October. Other new hotels and revamps are in the pipeline, all designed by Jestico & Whiles.

The hotel market is still suffering from the impact of last year’s foot and mouth epidemic and the 11 September terrorist attacks. High-end London hotels have been worst hit due to the fall in the long-haul market, says a British Hospitality Association spokesman.

But Project Orange director James Soane, creative lead on the Myhotel project, says there is still plenty of trade in London and it is up to better designed hotels to take business from more old-fashioned ones.

‘Some big chains are starting to wake up now, but there are still lots of terrible hotels across the board,’ Soane says. ‘Myhotel Chelsea is eclectic. [The design reflects] a personal set of choices – it’s as if things were found over time, because they don’t quite match.’

Jestico & Whiles was asked to design the Malmaison Edinburgh extension in keeping with its revamp of the hotel’s bar, lobby and brasserie earlier in the year.

The consultancy maintained the hotel’s nautical and French theme, but gave it a more pared-back feel, including new furniture for the rooms and introducing flashes of colour, says senior designer Michelle Le Masurier.

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