Last week, Kohler Australia sponsored and exhibited at the ninth annual Australian Hotel Industry Conference and Exhibition (AHICE), hosted and presented by HM Magazine at the Grand Hyatt, Melbourne.
The largest line-up of global Hoteliers in the nine year history of AHICE descended on Melbourne for the two-day event with more than 800 delegates attending the conference, including industry leaders, investors, consultants, developers, architects, designers and educators.
Boasting the strongest and most comprehensive speaker program ever produced for AHICE, world class industry members and speakers from around the globe joined the line-up to provide an informative and inspirational series of discussions and panels.
Early on the first day, former Starwood CEO, Frits van Paasschen, flew in from New York to give a keynote on the power of disruptors. This was a fascinating session looking at ‘change blindness’ and how a lack of agility and not focusing on potential disruptors can affect our strategic outcome as change in any complex system is inherently unpredictable!
Fritz Dirk Van Paasschen – ex CEO of Starwood Hotels giving his talk on ‘The Power of Disruptors.’
Another major keynote speaker was London-based Professor Toby Walsh (Scientia Professor of Artificial Intelligence at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of New South Wales), talking about how Artificial Intelligence will impact the hotel industry. He said: “AI has the opportunity to make us happier, healthier and wealthier. The smartphone in your pocket has more power than the technology that took us to the moon.”
Other international key note speakers included Michael Issenberg – Chairman and CEO APac – Accor Hotels; Tony Ryan – Managing Director of Global Mergers & Acquisitions, Hotels & Hospitality, JLL and George Nicholas – Global head of hotels, Savills in London.
Tony Ryan – Managing Director of Global Mergers & Acquisitions, Hotels & Hospitality, JLL – speaking on how the hotel industry is currently fragmented.
Over the course of the two days, a number of CEO’s inlcuding TFE Hotels Chief Executive Rachel Argaman and Far East Hospitality CEO Arthur Kiong gave an update on their brands and expansion plans, with a number of hotels in the pipeline for Australia in the near future.
Delegates experienced thought provoking updates and presentations by Tourism Australia Chair and Mantra Chief Executive Bob East; industry updates by organisations including Tourism Accommodation Australia chair Martin Ferguson and Q&A sessions with Travelodge Asia chairman Stephen Burt and Intrust Super Chief Executive Brendan O’Farrell.
With regards to F&B, Time Out Australia Managing Director Michael Rodrigues led a panel discussion on food and beverage issues and trends.
IHG Managing Director Leanne Harwood took to the stage next with HM editor-in-chief James Wilkinson to discuss her new role and ways to develop staff to take on leadership roles. Harwood said that the talent pool for top level jobs is getting smaller and smaller. “Hospitality isn’t just a part-time job, we do have great careers available for you,” she said.
IHG Managing Director Leanne Harwood at AHICE with HM Editor-in-Chief James Wilkinson
Staying on the topic of innovation, B-Hive founder Tammy Marshall delivered an educational presentation on the ‘7 Deadly Sins of Innovation’, and how to embrace them and use them to your advantage. She implored the audience to make sure that the innovations they were implementing were meaningful to their customers. “Don’t just innovate for the sake of innovating,” she said.
The technology discussion continued with tech experts Toby Berger, Revinate; Jeremy Holmes, Elements of Byron and Wayne Taranto, Crown Group in a panel discussion delving into the emerging tech that hoteliers should look into, including digital compendiums and in-room tablets.
Another marketing and social media highlight was PR Maven Kim McKay’s keynote on the business of influence and what hoteliers need to know about influencer marketing. On the topic of targeted social posts, she said: “Consumers are more likely to survive a plane crash than click on a banner ad,” she said. Instead, consumers are looking to honest influencers for recommendations on products and services, she said.
Kim McKay of Click Communications talked about the power of Influencers.
With the sharing economy a hot topic in the industry, the session with Airbnb Country Manager Sam McDonagh inspired heated discussion among delegates before the final Q&S with ex Starwood CEO Frits Dirk van Paasschen returning to the stage.
At the end of the event, a number of exhibitors offered prizes for attendees. The lucky winner of an Exhale Kohler Slide Shower was Kate Quigley from Radisson Hotel Group, pictured with KOHLER’s Rachael Biggs.
Rachael Biggs with shower prize winner Kate Quigley of Radisson Hotel Group
The Kohler display featured some of our top hotel-spec’ed products including the Veil Intelligent Toilet, Hydrorail Showering Systems, Katalyst showers (Exhale, Awaken) and a new tapware range soon to launch.
Global bathroom designer, Kohler, has released a high calibre range of tapware that brings quality and design within the reach of first home buyers and budget-conscious renovators.
Taut features classic, streamlined design and a high quality polished chrome finish – but it’s what is not visible that sets this tap apart.
Kohler uses the highest quality materials in its state-of-the-art factories that each have a global sustainability goal of net zero by 2035. Each basin and kitchen mixer features durable ceramic valves that have been tested to 1,000,000 on/off cycles – the equivalent of 50 years of domestic use. All hoses are of flexible stainless steel.
There is a 15 year warranty on Taut tapware and the polished chrome finish resists scratching, corrosion and wear to a level that is twice the industry standard.
The Taut collection features a choice of regular and tall basin mixers, each with a user-friendly flat-tab lever, plus a wall mount mixer. Each has a WELS rating of Five stars (less than six litres per minute).
These are supported by shower/bath mixers with and without diverter – featuring the new Slim Trim backing plate – together with a wall mount bath spout.
The tapware collection includes a kitchen mixer featuring the same classically simple, clean lines with goose neck spout and a Five star WELS rating (less than 6 litres per minute).
Link to the Taut product leaflet here.
Celebrating its 145th year of producing some of the world’s most fashion-forward bathroom fixtures, Kohler presented a celebration of modernism at this year’s Salone del Mobile (Milan Design Fair).
Transforming Milan’s famed Museo Bagatti Valsecchi, Kohler treated its audience to an experience that was both visually enticing and emotionally evocative.
Guests were taken on a journey through the entire spectrum of modernism – from minimalism to maximalism – via the lens of a series of artistic installations constructed from Kohler’s world wide products portfolio.
The ornate décor of the Museo Bagatti Valsecchi served as the perfect backdrop to a series of installations set in the grand rooms of the historic museum.
One of the highlights was the newly released ‘Dutchmaster’ sinks collection featuring bold embellishment in the form of large scale botanical patterns in a rich, dark, moody colour palette.
As a direct contrast the smart, sharp ‘Components’ tapware collection drew much attention. Exuding a strong, raw industrial aesthetic the taps feature a clean matte black finish.
Other drawcards in the modernist oeuvre were the newly released Ombré finish and the DeStijl-inspired Kallista Grid tap. The latter is a feat of design and engineering, featuring a dramatic geometric silhouette created with cutting-edge 3D-printing technology.
A further element of Kohler’s visual feast was the very creative use of lighting to add a new and exciting dimension to a number of products. Its new Lighting Suite, for example, created for the organic Veil collection, magnified and enhanced the products – which included mirror, basin, vanity, bath and wall-hung vanity. Each piece was framed by an ambient glow that can change shade according to the user’s mood.
Curator of the exhibition, Mark Bickerstaffe, Kohler’s Director of New Product Development, Kitchen and Bath, said the installations demonstrated Kohler’s love and commitment to comprehensive and forward-thinking design. “From minimalism to maximalism, we love creativity in all its forms; and that has never been more apparent than with our new products”, said Bickerstaffe.
See the video here:
Taking its cue from the world’s rapidly growing ‘love of vintage’, Kohler has introduced a range of bathroom tapware called Artifacts, referencing the form and ornamentation of the Edwardian period – and introduces new, deep, rich textures such as oil-rubbed and vibrant brushed bronze!
Wishing to create a collection that is timeless and classic in its inspiration, the Kohler U.S. design studio turned to the past for inspiration, drawing on the overall aesthetic of turn-of-the-century designs reflecting the ingenuity of practical-minded craftsman who made do with the resources at hand.
Artifacts revives this pragmatic approach within the context a culture that embraces highly personalised design. The design team wanted each piece of the collection to be distinct in form and ornamental details, yet to feel part of a whole.
What they created is a standout range of tapware that features detailed turnings and finials, elegant spouts and and a unique ‘swing lever’ basin mixer handle design unlike any other on the market.
The Artifacts tapware range is available in a choice of three finishes – oil-rubbed bronze, vibrant brushed bronze and polished chrome.
Each piece in the collection is distinct in terms of form and ornamentation but, while the aesthetics are vintage, the range’s performance is full of innovation.
Basin taps are Five Star WELS rated, using less than six litres of water a minute; engineered ceramic discs resist deterioration and mineral build-up; and the polished chrome, oil-rubbed bronze and vibrant brushed bronze finishes feature the Kohler patented corrosion and tarnish-resistant surface.
The range comprises single and twin-handle basin sets, shower/bath mixers with and without diverter, two handle deck-mount bath set plus a wall mount bath spout – all in a choice of oil-rubbed bronze, vibrant brushed bronze and polished chrome.
If there is one key trend for bathrooms in 2018 it would be CHOICE. While one person opts for sleek and white, another will crush on personality and patina. Global suppliers such as Kohler have seen the signs and are extending their ranges to ensure we can all stamp our style and character on our interiors.
Just as Kohler was one of the forerunners in creating precious metal finishes to its tapware – rose gold, titanium and brushed nickel for example – it has also taken the lead in developing a choice of trims for bath and shower mixers.
With its introduction of new Slim Shower Mixer Trims consumers can now choose between the traditional sized mixers to match their favourite tap and slimmer, sleeker versions. They also have the option of a shower mixer plate with or without diverter.
The new Cuff Slim Shower Trim – with and without diverter
The Slim Shower Mixer Trims have been designed to match some of Kohler’s best- selling polished chrome tapware ranges – Purist, Loure, Aleo, Strayt and Cuff.
Aleo Slim Shower Trim – without diverter
Strayt Slim Shower Mixer – without diverter
In most cases the width of the mixer plate, without diverter, has been reduced by at least 25 per cent – and in the case of the Purist and Cuff mixers these are now a neat 100mm diameter circle.
Purist Slim Shower Trim
The aesthetic advantage of the Slim Trims is that the peripheral hardware no longer dominates – which allows the true heroes, such as the showerhead and surface finishes, to shine!
Purist Bath Filler with Loure Slim Shower Mixer
All of Kohler’s tapware features its unique tarnish and corrosion resistant polished chrome finish.
Award-winning NZ designer Kelly Gammie, recognised for her love of colour and texture, recently completed a luxurious townhouse project for a busy professional couple. The home’s compact bathrooms showcase a clever use of bold granite with natural timbers.
The owners, while living in the inner city, wanted to incorporate their love of nature into their bathing space – the look was to be sophisticated while exhibiting a soft masculine edge.
Kelly chose large format moody, granite-look tiles as her starting point – her philosophy is that the WOW factor has to sit side by side with functionality for any bathroom to truly shine.
To prevent visual overload in the master bath, the vanity wall was finished in a solid ebony-brown tile with fixtures such as bath, back-to-wall toilet and vanity/basin in crisp white. Hand-blown glass pendant lights by Kate Brown complete the look in this bathroom.
Clean lines were essential for this richly textured bathroom to have visual impact while not overwhelming. Kohler’s Terrace Basin, with its beautiful rectilinear design and European Oak storage drawer, plus the brand’s Grande rimless toilet were the perfect fit. Tapware from Kohler included the semi industrial style Composed mixer – winner of this year’s Red Dot Design Award (2017) – plus the Memphis bath spout.
Kelly injected some defining black accents in the form of powder coated aluminium shutters and custom-made framed shower.