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
Converge brings a new level of control – it’s the very latest in showering technology! This piece of ingenuity sees sleek design converge with space-saving smarts to create a truly multifunctional showerhead that features a cleverly integrated hand shower.
The 152mm diameter flat-faced showerhead is wall mounted and at first glance appears to be a simple, large format showerhead – but its exterior rim almost magically detaches from the magnetic docking station and becomes a very convenient, separate hand shower!
Converge, with its advanced spray engine, provides three powerful spray patterns while using only 9 litres of water a minute (WELS 3 star rated). The showerhead literally sculpts water!
Choose from the dense, luxurious Silk spray; or Infinity – three spray experiences in one (complete cleanse, refreshing massage and delicate rinse); or Full Coverage for a drenching, all encompassing spray.
In sleek polished chrome, Converge features a MasterClean™ spray face that simply wipes clean with a damp cloth, without any build-up of minerals. It also has Kohler’s premium finish to retain a long, enduring and unblemished polished chrome surface.
Converge, with its innovative 2-in-1 space-saving design is an exciting development for all those who love a luxurious, ultra-responsive shower but may have less space than they wish! The release of this product coincides with Kohler’s 145th anniversary – 145 years of ongoing revolutionary design and innovation for the bathroom.
Referencing vintage hand pumps and precious metals PURIST, from global tapware specialist Kohler, is the essence of simplicity and authenticity. PVD Brushed Bronze, Rose Gold, Polished Gold and Brushed Nickel are the beautiful finishes set to steal the limelight in a bathroom or powder room near you!
Hero of the range is the single lever basin mixer in both standard and tall – a single column topped with a slender cylindrical lever it is the epitome of intuitive functionality. Simply lift and turn the lever to adjust flow and temperature.
The design taps into our ever-growing love for unadorned simplicity and effortless use, without the obsessive need to over-design and innovate.
Other models within the tapware range, offering choice in terms of handle design (while maintaining the same mantra of purism and integrity), are the three-piece basin mixer sets with lever handles plus a wall-mounted option.
All basin taps are five star WELS rated using less than 6 litres of water a minute. There are also bath spouts and bath/shower mixers with and without diverter.
All of the Kohler tapware ‘precious’ metal finishes – Brushed Bronze, Polished Gold, Rose Gold and Brushed Nickel – are achieved by virtue of PVD technology (Physical Vapour Deposition). This is a customised finish system that vaporises the finish and molecularly bonds it to the chrome surface. This produces a finish that is both tarnish and corrosion resistant – in fact all Kohler finishes twice exceed the industry standard and carry a 15-year warranty.
About the PVD process
The Kohler patented Physical Vapour Deposition process was introduced to allow Kohler to add variety to their line of finishes, as well as improve the durability of those finishes. PVD results in a mechanically strong finish that is ceramic in nature, and resists the tarnishing, scratching and corrosion that can occur over time from repetitive use in the bathroom.
PVD is an environmentally friendly process as it minimises the volume of water required and creates zero waste as harmful chemicals are not used.
And while the Purist collection offers a complete set of tapware for the bathroom – basin, shower and bath – there will also be matching accessories available shortly which will include towel bars and ring, soap dish, tumbler and holder, robe hook and toilet tissue holder. Basin accessories including wastes and bottle traps in PVD will also be available to complement this stunning range of tapware.
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: