The heritage-listed Royce Hotel, a five star boutique establishment on Melbourne’s St Kilda Road, has recently undergone a transformation, with the opulent redesign harking back to its past life with a subtle nod to Art Deco. The Royce Hotel takes its name – and its style – from the fact it was originally a Rolls Royce showroom (in the 1920s) that was recognised as the most glamorous in the world.
The famous Royce Hotel stands proud in the heart of Melbourne on St Kilda Road.
In 2000 the building was converted into a luxury hotel with SJB Interiors commissioned to design the interiors. Now, 15 years later, the same firm has just completed six prototype rooms that will form the footprint for the hotel’s ongoing refurbishment strategy. SJB Interior’s vision for this work took inspiration from the building’s history and then enhanced this with a luxurious Art Deco style.
The Presidential Suite is a stunning nod to the 1920s Art Deco era.
SJB developed a base palette of oyster and metallic tones layered with black detailing and royal blue accents. In addition, the subtle texture of knurled chrome detailing referenced the magnificent Rolls Royce vehicles that once called the building home.
Each luxurious bathroom features hand-made vanities to showcase the new Components tapware range by Kohler.
Sophistication, glamour and opulence are all key words for the ambience of the Royce and nowhere are these more evident than in the bathrooms of the guest suites and rooms.
The Presidential Suite bathroom features double-sized walk in shower with Katalyst showering, minimalist accessories, paired with the modern Evora wall hung toilet suite (Englefield by Kohler).
“It was imperative for the tapware, for example, to reflect the aspiration of the hotel,” said Andrew Parr, director interior design, SJB Interiors.
The stunning Components tapware set features the Tube spout and knurled handles – Oyl.
“Kohler’s Components provided the perfect balance between Classic and Modern Deco, while its choice of decorative elements meant the same range could run throughout the hotel in its various designs. The fittings are beautifully proportioned and the knurled detailing of the Oyl tap handles provides an elevated level of tactility and prestige,” he said.
The moodiness of this Signature Suite is reminiscent of the 1920s style featured throughout the hotel.
Signature Suite bathroom.
The new bathrooms feature spouts and handles from the highly innovative Kohler Components, a collection of interchangeable tapware elements – handle, spout and finish – that can be used to create a unique and bespoke look.
Other bathroom details of note are the marble wall tiles whose shell shape is taken from a motif found elsewhere in the original Royce building, while the chrome detailing on the marble vanity units is subtly redolent of Le Corbusier’s Grand Confort armchair, a classic design of 1928, the year the Rolls Royce showroom opened.
The shell motif marble tiles and deco inspired sconces set the scene for the modern bathroom fixtures including the Evora Wall Hung toilet suite and Katalyst air infused showerheads.
Kohler’s Katalyst showerheads deliver a highly indulgent, luxury showering experience courtesy of a clever water-saving technology whereby 2.2 litres of air is introduced into every 9.4 litres of water to create a deluge of larger, fuller water droplets.
The Kohler Katalyst air infused showerhead matched with Components Oyl top assembly handles.
In lock-step with the design brief of elegant, classic design are the Purist tapware fixtures including freestanding Purist bath filler. A piece of perfectly proportioned, classic design exuding clean, timeless lines Purist is the perfect fit with the marble and chrome finishes and textures of the 5 star Royce Hotel.
A true Melbourne view from the bathroom in the Presidential Suite including the Purist Freestanding Bath Filler.
Interiors: SJB Interiors – Andrew Parr and Léo Terrando
Project Management / Fitout: Chroma Group
Read more on this project by YellowTrace in our Kohler / SJB / YellowTrace co-lab.
Earlier this month was the 10th anniversary of the Australian Hotel Industry Conference and Exhibition (AHICE) – hosted and presented by HM Magazine at the Grand Hyatt, Melbourne – and Kohler Australia once again was a Silver Sponsor at the event.
With the largest attendance of delegates in its 10-year history, AHICE is now the #1 attended hotel industry conference in APAC. 850 delegates joined key figures from global Hotels and related industries spanning from developers to designers, builders and real estate to investors and financiers, in addition to keynote speakers and thought leaders from around the world.
Day One’s proceedings kicked off with a welcome by Howard Kemball (Host of AHICE & Director, KCom) and James Wilkinson (Editor-In-Chief, HM magazine) followed by an overview of local tourism by the Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Sally Capp. Together they cheered 10 years of AHICE as a giant anniversary birthday cake was presented to the group for their enjoyment at the morning tea break!
With yet another world class speaker program comprising industry members and presenters from around the globe, the 10th AHICE conference looked sure to provide an informative and inspirational series of discussions and panels.
Kenneth MacPherson – CEO of EMEE, IHG got the main event underway in a Q&A session talking about IHG’s past twelve months – a very busy time for the company, launching two new brands (Avid and Voco) and acquiring two luxury brands in Regent and Six Senses.
This session was followed by a thought-provoking Executive Panel discussion on “What Owners Want”.
Panellists ranged from boutique hotel owners including Dr Jerry Schwartz (Schwartz Family Co – Australia’s biggest private hotel owner) and Malcolm Bean (Owner of luxury properties Mount Lofty House, Sequoia Lodge, The Reef House etc) to financiers Lucia Grambalova (GM Hotel Investments Mulpha AU Ltd) and David Scalzo (Perri Projects – investment and development group) and host Howard Kemball. A controversial discussion point from this panel saw Dr Jerry Schwarz jumping to his feet, waving signs to “Maintain Rates” – a message for hotel owners not to cut room rates, creating a price war – rather than guests selecting on hotel and brand experience.
Executive panels explored the “Boutique Blooming” and the Development of Luxury Brands” with IHG, Accor, Marriott and Hyatt VPs and Directors sharing key points around boutique hotels being on the rise as they believe that smaller properties offer more flexibility in design and services for the owner and developer and we should see an influx of boutique openings in the next 2 – 3 years.
Hotelier Q&As for the day included Simon McGrath from Accor Hotels who enlightened delegates on their signing of the new $100 million world class beachfront resort in Byron Bay; Paul Bromley from Choice Hotels APAC explaining how Choice Hotels Asia-Pac has rolled out the ‘Book on Google’ feature across its Australian hotel network allowing travellers to search and pay for their preferred hotel through the Google platform rather than a third-party website.; Dino Messatesta from The Star in Sydney who spoke about their hotel rebrand to The Star Grand Hotel including a $100million renovation and refurbishment underway and…
Heidi Kunkel from the Hilton Australasia who shared on the Hilton’s 100 year celebration as well as the overall performance of the ever-growing portfolio of Hilton Hotels & Resorts in Australia, NZ and the South Pacific.
Investor Q&As included Pro-Invest’s CEO Ron Barrett talking about their recent deal with IHG for a 245 room Holiday Inn Express Hotel in Adelaide, while private investor Dr Jerry Schwartz talked about his recent purchase of the Hilton Surfers Paradise, cementing his place on the hotel and tourism industry map now with management rights to 5 groups and 14 hotels in his ever-increasing portfolio.
Keynote speaker for the day, in association with Fairmont Designs, was Gus Balbontin. As the former Executive Director and CTO of Lonely Planet, Gus led one of the most loved brands in the world through significant disruption. An investor, entrepreneur, founder and explorer, having spent decades helping businesses adjust strategies, products, services and culture to better deal with rapid and regular changing markets, Gus demonstrated with a great deal of energy and enthusiasm about the “Importance of defining your own path” in what is a crowded market.
A fun, interactive hotel industry challenge game ensured the delegates were competitive and still on their game before the afternoon session dived deep into a Global Hotel Sales Outlook, followed by panels on the Australasian Real Estate Outlook and 2020 and beyond Australian Hotel Industry Outlook.
Changing pace, STR APAC presented on Tourism by the Numbers – an insightful session looking at hotel performance and occupancy rates and hotel ownership. It was reported that Australia is still going strong for hotel investment sitting closely below South Korea for the Asia Pacific region. With approx. 25% of hotel investors coming from Asia, this shows an increase in local developers getting into the hotel sector.
The World Travel and Tourism Council’s President Gloria Guevara Manzo talked about Australia as a drawcard and the forecasted growth in tourism in the APAC region, resulting in a pull of more hotels through the pipeline.
With the theme of 2019 being ‘People, Product and Performance in a period of Unprecedented Growth,’ an executive panel featuring Heidi Kunkel (Hilton), Suzi Finkelstein (WLA), Leanne Harwood (IHG), Sean Hunt (Marriott International) and Simon McGrath from Accor, discussed “Human Resources, Why Diversity Matters” – Kohler being an equal employer and a company that has an extensive Female presence in Senior Management, it was interesting to listen to Marriott Group’s Sean Hunt express the same values in their business and plans they have implemented to encourage female’s into the higher ranking management positions available at Marriott Group globally.
The winner of the inaugural award honouring of former Pro-Invest Director Paul Davis – the Paul Davis Hotel Design Award, in association with Pro-Invest Group – was announced. Terence Yong of Terence Yong Architecture won the award for the Little Albion Guesthouse – however he was not able to join us at the conference.
The industry-based award recognises and celebrates excellence in Australian hotel design, valuing the vital contribution made by interior design to the Australian hotel industry.
Pictured is runner up, Rick Whalley from Chada, pictured with Paul Davis’s family and judging chair, Leone Lorrimer. Paul tragically passed away last year after a lifetime dedicated to architecture and the hotel industry.
Over the course of the conference, delegates experienced thought-provoking updates and presentations from key hotel CEO’s including IHG’s Keith Barr, Marriott’s Craig Smith, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts Joon Aun Ooi and Ovolo Hotels Girish Jhunjhunuwala (winner of the APAC Hotel of the year at the HM Awards late 2018) spoke on panels – and independently – to update delegates on their brands current activity and expansion plans, with a number of hotels in the pipeline for Australia in the near future.
A Food and Beverage related panel discussion revolved around the current and inherent food and beverage issues and trends including re-energising Australia’s nightlife and the impact on the hotel industry; while the event hospitality and entertainment topic explored the need for hotels to consider themselves a go-to destination for locals and guests alike, In conclusion Emirates Airlines Joost Heymeijer weighed in on the secrets to F&B success that he has learned, from luxury lodges to inflight dining with a fascinating presentation.
The end of day two finished up with presentation of prizes with one lucky winner taking home a Kohler Purist Accessories prize – perfect timing for his home renovation!
Exhibitors ranged from software companies, exercise machines, food and beverage through to paint – yes the Dulux Dog was even there!
The Kohler display featured some of our latest hotel-related products including the new Components tapware with matching accessories and rimless Reach II toilet – due for release later this year – Milano Lithocast bath, Kathryn rectangular undermount basin, and Hydrorail Showering Systems featuring Katalyst RainCan showerhead and Renew handshower.
And our very own Sales Manager David Wu appeared on AHICE TV!
Brisbane was full of development in 2018, with an impressive range of 5 Star properties opening in the Sunshine State capital within as many months.
The latest to open in December 2018 was the Brisbane Marriott Hotel.
Completed on time to celebrate it’s 21st birthday, the Brisbane Marriott Hotel enjoyed a $20 million renovation refurbishment which has transformed the hotel’s 267 guest rooms and suites, Executive Lounge, two floors of event space and signature restaurant.
Furthering our relationship with the Marriott Group, Kohler featured in the bathrooms of all suites, with Malaysian-based company Duoz Design designing and YTL Hotels the owner and developer.
Stunning guest bathrooms feature restored, original marble, thoughtful lighting, magnifying mirror, roomy baths and separate shower. The Presidential suites feature the Red Dot design award winning Avid tapware paired with Chalice Oval basin and Reach Back to Wall toilet, while the Executive suites feature the ever-popular Aleo tapware with the Chalice and Reach.
Presidential suite bathroom
Award winning Avid tapware with Chalice Oval basin.
The Presidential Suite at Brisbane Marriott
Brisbane Marriott Hotel General Manager, John Douglas said careful consideration was given to the hotel’s unique natural and historic surroundings and these details were effortlessly incorporated into the new design to create a multidimensional sensory experience for guests.
Standard rooms feature Aleo tapware and Chalice Oval basin
Located at the Howard Smith Wharves and Petrie’s Bight Precinct, guests can enjoy breathtaking views of either the Brisbane River, taking in the Story Bridge and Kangaroo Point Cliffs or the River City skyline.
The hotel’s signature restaurant – Motion Dining – is a destination in itself, refurbished to include a range of dining options and bars for both guests and locals alike.
From San Francisco to the Scottish shores, Midtown Manhattan to Ho Chi Minh City, luxury hotels around the world have counted on Kohler to help welcome global travellers with luxurious environments, gracious hospitality and elevated experiences.
In 2018 the William Inglis Hotel, MGallery by Sofitel – a five-star boutique lodging opened in Sydney, forming part of the new $140m precinct developed by thoroughbred horse sales company William Inglis & Son Ltd and operated by the multinational hotel Group Accor Hotels, called Riverside Stables.
Riverside Stables is set across eight levels and features 144 guest rooms – each personalised to the champion racehorse it is named after – and offers a host of hospitality and leisure facilities. Each room includes artwork of the relevant racehorse and associated winning jockey silks.
Kohler was exclusively selected by design studio Chada to provide bathroom sanitary ware products including tapware, toilets and showering tapware, showcasing the timeless Purist range in stunning PVD Brushed Bronze.
Guests staying at the new property can enjoy world-class hospitality facilities onsite including the all-day dining paddock-to-plate restaurant Newmarket Room, headed up by chef Samuel Bull. The menu focuses on robust food with rural soul but refined elegance – the perfect complement to the Warwick Farm precinct, celebrating racing history and the thoroughbred industry.
There is also a stunning rooftop bar and pool deck atop the hotel lined with cabanas and sun loungers overlooking 300 acres of greenery.
As part of the hotel’s new marketing initiative the William Inglis Hotel, MGallery by Sofitel last week launched a program called “Inspired by Her”, a new hotel initiative designed specifically for women.
Inspired by HER event at William Inglis Hotel, M Gallery by Sofitel
The program will see high quality hairdryers, bathroom lighting, makeup mirrors and other feminine amenities introduced to all bathrooms in MGallery hotels around the Pacific, to meet the needs of travelling women.
MGallery by Sofitel recently worked with a global marketing research company to conduct an in-depth survey to understand guests’ habits and what they want to see and experience in hotels. The survey found that 86 per cent of female travellers wanted a hospitality program designed specifically for them.
Australian international model, photographer and Inspired by Her ambassador, Candice Lake, flew in from London for the event ahead of Sydney Fashion Week, to speak on the Inspired by Her program and why it is so important to cater to the needs of travelling women.
Inspired for Women event at William Inglis Hotel, MGallery by Sofitel in May 2018
Held in the big barn at the new hotel, guests of the intimate lunch were given an insight into Candice’s life as an in-demand photographer and her thoughts on what makes a hotel a great hotel.
“Having those thoughtful extras in a hotel such as great bathroom lighting, quality high powered hairdryers and emergency kits which have items such as stockings, hair ties, nail polish remover and moisturiser turns a good hotel into a great hotel, and one that you want to keep coming back to. It is always a pleasure when I know I am travelling to a destination where there is a MGallery by Sofitel hotel and it has been wonderful learning more about brand.”
Kohler are thrilled to be working with Accor and MGallery to deliver premium bathrooms for hotel projects and initiatives such as these.
W has arrived! The opening of W Brisbane in mid 2018 marks the first of the iconic W hotels to relaunch in Australia. In addition, W Brisbane is the first five-star hotel to open its doors in the Brisbane CBD in over 20 years.
The new development in the Mary Street, Brisbane Quarter precinct houses this thoughtfully curated 312 room/suite luxury hotel and is sure to please. All rooms have river views, feature the latest facilities including on-trend technologies and entertainment options alongside dark and moody bars, superb restaurants, spas’s and pool areas, all woven into the layers of colour and pattern that capture the W brand’s outlandish and bold attitude.
The W brand, from the Marriott International stable, is renowned for its punchy, stand-out designs located in every corner of the globe. They stand out not only for their exceptional and innovative design but for their hospitality concepts – such as W Brisbane’s ‘Penultimate Extreme WOW suite’ (W’s version of the presidential suite) located on the 33rd floor and boasting a limitless panoramic vista from the river to the mountains and beyond – alongside creature comforts in every room and suite. Think flowing timber panelling, birdcage-like wardrobes and beautiful guest bathrooms (with fixtures supplied by Kohler and Agape).
Owned and developed by Shayher Group and displaying the distinctive design style of renowned interior design studio Nic Graham & Associates, Nic himself has worked on a number of W properties and tells us that each project always starts with a detailed narrative that is guided by the W Brand protocol. Key DNA touch points are addressed based on location and the key story for W Brisbane was ‘A River Dreaming’, an indigenous-based narrative of the Brisbane river.
Nic and his team tapped into Brisbane’s history, culture and key social aspects that support the brand goals of providing an engaging hotel experience from Food and Beverage through to each guests stay. They touched on the river and the effects on the landscape, the floods, the Queenslander heritage, flora, fauna, Australiana and Brisvegas.
“We were excited about the opportunity to weave an Australian narrative into this international brand that is so focused on design and modern culture.” says Nic.
This theme is apparent in every nook and corner of the hotel from the lobby to the dining venues, the unmissable pool, spa, and each and every glamorous room. Images and analogies of the river, its waves, and ripples pop up in various subtle and not so subtle colours at every corner of the property.
Mirrored ceilings and strong horizontal forms inspired by the river banks of Brisbane feature throughout, and wall graphics created in collaboration with Fabio Ongarato pay homage to the arts district that is located nearby while art installations by Australian artists including John Nicholson, Lucas Grogan, and Reko Rennie give it a special touch and complete the picture.
Re-entering the Australian market and Brisbane, in particular, was perfect timing for the Marriott International group as the city is growing rapidly and morphing into a more mature metropole. The year-around sunshine and the outdoor lifestyle attracts guests and travellers looking for luxurious experiences and mini-adventures, all of which they are bound to find in this property.
If only to admire the exceptional, unconventional design approach of the organic forms and curvilinear shapes, W Brisbane is well worth a visit. Or stay a little longer to enjoy The Living Room or Wet Deck bars, or fine dining at the signature restaurant Three Blue Ducks for a truly immersive experience. Whichever it is, W Brisbane should be included on your next visit to Brisbane.
W Hotels are set to open in Melbourne in 2020 and Sydney soon after.
All images courtesy of Toby Scott