AHEAD Europe is adjudicated by an independent panel of experts, comprising leading hospitality architects, designers, owners, operators, developers and industry commentators.
The judging process for AHEAD Europe has been carefully developed to ensure a rigorous, robust and balanced procedure is followed to select the final winners in each category.
Alba Biedermann joined Design Hotels to manage the curation and qualitative growth of the member portfolio in EMEA.
Alba believes in visionaries with an imaginative spirit who dare to seek the unexpected and create original experiences for the traveler of tomorrow. Her multidisciplinary background and intuitive sense for aesthetics, culture and branding in the digital and physical space, let her shape the collection of Design Hotels members – and contribute to the strategic development and further evolution of the brand.
Previously, Alba spent six years successfully contributing to developing a digital lifestyle agency in London and Germany, where she worked with prestigious clients like Net-a-Porter, Alexander McQueen and Made.com.
As an Alumni of Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne, Alba has a solid understanding of the hospitality industry. Her curiosity for the lifestyle sector and appreciation for sophisticated design led to a Masters in Fashion & Luxury Brand Management at Istituto Marangoni in London as well as Interior Design courses at Central Saint Martin.
Chris Penn is an experienced operator, creator and curator of hospitality experiences. A career spanning 25 years has seen him operate hotels across a broad spectrum of markets, including the lifestyle segment within which he has become well known.
Chris left employment in 2016 to build his own hotel businesses and has created two brands, Steel and Birch, the latter of which launched to huge acclaim in 2020. He is a pioneer of new experience, a believer in challenging impossible both personally and professionally and an ambassador for humanity in hospitality.
Christopher Webb leads Hilton’s Architecture and Design team across multiple offices, overseeing and guiding design projects across Hilton’s Europe, Middle East & Africa region.
Chris has been designing and shaping international luxury, lifestyle, and full service hotels for a wide range of owners, developers, hospitality companies, celebrities and brands for over 20 years. Directing the design of all Hilton branded hotels in the region, he led the design of the first Waldorf Astoria, as well as most recently the category defining Canopy by Hilton Reykjavik City Centre, Hilton’s first lifestyle hotel.
Dennis is a Director at Richmond International, passionate about all things design, ensuring integrity, honesty and inherent design flair in all his projects. Prior to joining Richmond International, Dennis founded and led Dennis Irvine Studio delivering worldwide luxury projects ranging from wellness SPA’s, private residences, super yachts to restaurants and hotels for prestigious operators both renowned and independent. Clients have included Marriott Luxury Collection, Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, Raffles Hotels & Resorts, The Dorchester Collection and Waldorf Astoria Hotels.
Dennis previously worked for several renowned London design studios and worked on prestigious and unique projects to hone his design skills, spearheading international projects from concept to completion.
Through global travel and engaging in multiple luxury commissions, Dennis has gained a wealth of design experience. Exposure to various cultures and collaborations has enriched his design aesthetic. His innate ability to respect and refine the client’s vision informs the studios ethos and principles.
Dennis has previously won an AHEAD Europe award and was listed in House and Garden’s ‘Leading 100 Interior Designers’ and Country & Townhouse ‘Finest 50 Interior Designers’. He often speaks at major industry events and his work is regularly published in Sleeper, Forbes, AD, Robb Report, Hospitality Design & House & Garden.
Born in Rome, growing-up in London and currently residing in Paris, Federico explains his design thinking by comparing it to his barbecuing skills: nomadic but rooted in European traditions, informed by an experimental antipodean approach and with a twist of American confidence.
Federico leads the team that defines the design and product strategy and creates standards and concept guidelines for Accor’s luxury and premium hospitality brands, overseeing design initiatives to evolve the design, performance, guest experience and market development of their brands.
A qualified architect with over 20 years of experience in hospitality, focusing on the design of hotels, resorts, private residences and high-end retail, he delivers experience driven luxury projects and has overseen the development of innovative and award-winning destinations.
Federico’s strategic team is the key link between the Luxury, Premium, Lifestyle & Partner Brands and the Regional Design & Technical Services Teams, working closely with Operations, Marketing, Brand and Development, facilitating concept creation with the necessary market adaptations across the globe.
Geraldine Dohogne is a concept designer by passion, whose love for creating unique spaces has grown over the years. Involved in every phase of a new hotel project, she is in charge of conceptualizing, creating environments and bringing them to life.
Geraldine believes in the power of beautiful interiors to transform daily life. Her interiors are designed to be intimate. It is all about instinct and emotions. For this, she always aims to understand the history of the location, spending time in the country and meeting locals. Respectful of the culture and traditions of the area, the designs of her spaces are the result of intense sourcing (magnificent local materials, antique furniture, crafts and natural fabrics).
She prides herself on her attention to detail, her obsession with quality and her love for the designs of local craftspeople. The search for timeless minimalism and apparent simplicity are central to her work, as is the love of tactile and raw materials.
Henry Reeve as Director of Interior Design for InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG) is responsible for the design, development and product quality of all new openings and refurbishments of both Kimpton and Hotel Indigo properties across the EMEAA region.
Since joining IHG in 2015, Henry has become an integral part of the Design & Engineering team. Henry has been instrumental in positioning both the neighbourhood story led boutique brand Hotel Indigo and launching Luxury brand Kimpton into Europe to ultimately deliver over 40 brand defining and often award winning boutique and luxury hotels across the EMEAA region.
Henry has worked across the majority of IHGs brands. Notable projects include the successful creation and subsequent roll-out of the new Holiday Inn Express Design scheme across the wider European region, in addition to leading the creation of the noted Luxury eco-led QO Amsterdam Hotel.
Prior to joining IHG Henry was Associate Director at forpeople, and a Creative Director and Designer at a number of guest experience, retail, and event agencies based across London. Henry has worked for clients as diverse as Nike, Lotus, Peugeot, Mulberry, Bollinger, Pfizer, Coca-Cola & McDonalds.
Jason has almost two decades of experience executing significant developments throughout Europe for several renowned hotel chains.
His passion for dining and nightlife, anchored to a deep knowledge of hotel brands in the upper lifestyle/luxury sector, has, in recent years, been his motivation.
Jason joined Benihana, part of Minor International, in Q4 2019. He is responsible for the global growth (outside the US, Caribbean & South America) and operational strategy for a group in its 58th year.
His philosophy on the brand is simple; everyone who visits Benihana will enjoy the theatre at the heart of the experience, where the chefs are the entertainers, and our guests are the show's stars. The performance enjoyed in this culinary extravaganza has set new global standards in the world of experiential dining.
Benihana holdings have 19 locations across 12 countries with a solid growth trajectory of additional restaurants to forthcoming openings in Europe, Canada, the Middle East & Asia.
Renowned in the industry for her warm and emotionally intelligent approach, Linda’s 14-year career has seen her work for an impressive roster of global clients. Before founding her own studio in 2020, Linda was Design Director of Soho House where she was responsible for Asia, Europe and the UK regions, overseeing a team of nearly one hundred people including architects, interior designers and a procurement team. She took overall design responsibility for members’ clubs, overseeing hotel rooms, restaurants, bars, lounges, event and co-working spaces, bespoke furniture lines and home accessories.
Previously Linda worked at leading architecture and design practices including Tom Dixon, Martin Brudnizki, Woods Bagot and Tara Bernerd, collaborating on sites and destinations for Caprice Holdings, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Greenland Group, Morgans (now SBE), Nobu Global, Qantas, Starwood Capital and Virgin Hotels.
Linda grew up in Hungary and her passion for design was ignited by her parents; her father is an architect and her mother, a passionate collector of arts and antiques, founded a Pulitzer winning design magazine. Linda trained to be a fashion designer in Paris before deciding on a career in interior design. Drawing daily inspiration from art, fashion, literature, music, cinema, architecture and craft, she aims to create projects that balance individuality and functionality, heritage and modernity, character and comfort. She is in demand as an industry commentator, speaker, design columnist and judge.
Matthew's passion for creative design can be traced back to his academic days when he would undertake a very creative based curriculum including photography, technical design and art. He continually pursues to work and collaborate with varied creative teams globally.
For the last 20 years, Matthew has been focused purely in hospitality design which has taken him on some fascinating adventures. Travelling all over the world, he is - at heart - a problem solver who builds strong design teams, with a personal passion for hospitality design and development. Matthew is now focused upon developing Marriott’s Luxury Brands across EMEA.
Before founding A Studio Between in 2022, Richard McConkey was Head of Hospitality at Universal Design Studio, having led, designed and delivered many of Universal’s award-winning projects. These include the AHEAD-winning At Six hotel in Stockholm, ground floor architecture for Ace Hotel London, nine iterations of the Frieze Art Fair in both London & New York and the guestrooms and suites at the 381-room Villa Copenhagen.
Now as founder of bespoke practice A Studio Between, Richard is developing a studio that is original, open and quietly radical in its approach. Currently working across hospitality and arts projects in Europe, UK & the US, the studio is focusing on delivering deeply crafted, personal and people-focused responses to place.
Stefan Rier graduated in interior design from Centro Studi "AndreaPalladio", Verona, Italy, and in architecture from the Technical University Ferrara, Italy. He first worked as an architect and project leader with Arch.Demetz, then moved to Bergamo to work with Prof. Massimiliano Mandarini and finally in Milan with Matteo Thun. He received his professional qualification as an interior designer and architect from the Universita di Genova. Stefan has been focusing on a series of projects from sustainable housing to hotels, extending to interiors, landscaping and bespoke furniture design. He is now a member of the Architectural Chamber of Bozen/Bolzano.
Tina Norden is an architect and interior designer with a diverse portfolio stretching across many contexts and continents, from hotel and restaurant design to high-end residential. She studied architecture at Westminster before joining Conran and Partners in 1997, completing her MA in Architecture + Interiors at the Royal College of Art in 2000.
With every project, Tina approaches the brief by delving into its context and unique history to create timeless spaces that tell a story. She designs for style over fashion to ensure the result is long-lasting and consistently fresh.
Tina has recently completed the new Park Hyatt Auckland and is working on two subsequent projects in Asia Pacific. She is also working on a number of high profile residential developments in the region.
Other recently completed projects include the new FEAST restaurant within Hong Kong’s EAST Hotel, Hotel Maximilian in Prague and the White Label QO for the IHG hotel brand in Amsterdam. She also led the design for the F+B areas at Hotel Icon, the refurbishment of the Hong Kong Club, the Roppongi Hills Club for Mori Building in Tokyo and the recent KEF Gallery in Central alongside a number of hospitality and residential projects in both Asia and the UK with a particular focus on public areas and F&B spaces.
The brand Lasvit, founded in 2007 by Leon Jakimič, sheds new light on Bohemian glass and takes it into the next millennium. Lasvit combines the authenticity of glass craft with innovative technologies and creative craftsmanship. In a few short years, Lasvit has established itself as the authority delivering bespoke lighting sculptures and art installations made from hand-blown glass.
Collaborations with renowned designers and artists produce also unique glass collections. Nendo, Ross Lovegrove, Daniel Libeskind, Maarten Baas, Czech legends René Roubíček and Bořek Šípek are among those who choose Lasvit in order to embody their unconventional artistic vision, endow it with the precision and mastery of our glassmakers, and produce impressive creative oeuvre. This is a manifesto of Lasvit’s uncompromising mission: To transform glass into breathtaking light and design experiences.Visit site
TOPHOTELPROJECTS is the heart of a global community of suppliers and decision-makers which initiates and supports the communication relating to building, design, furnishing, and operation of hotels.
We are a German research firm covering global hotel constructions, that over a decade branched out into hospitality events, media, and hotel design.
No other company comes close in supporting the hotel industry by efficiently combining different business areas into one integrated solution.
Ever since the hotel industry veteran Rolf W. Schmidt founded the company in 2009, our core activity is building the world’s most comprehensive directory of:
We took the complex, ever-evolving global hospitality industry and introduced it to our German sense of efficiency and sheer hard work.
Our research team of some 25 experienced professionals spends 1,800 hours a month researching hotel projects around the world.
Our database has been 10 years in the making, during which we gathered information on over 24,000 hotel projects and 120,000 related companies. Currently, our database has information on more than 6,500 ongoing hotel projects worldwide – important details included.
TOPHOTELPROJECTS today represents an exhaustive, ever-growing network of professionals from all major sectors of the hospitality industry: owners, developers, investors, brands, operators, architects, designers, and suppliers.
In 2019, TOPHOTELPROJECTS and Sleeper Media signed a strategic partnership with mutual co-investment. This partnership combines digital expertise and in-depth data of TOPHOTELPROJECTS with Sleeper Media’s leading hospitality offerings. It is all about synergy and a win for all sectors of the industry.Visit site
KALDEWEI – your worldwide partner for iconic bathroom solutions shaped from superior steel enamel. KALDEWEI’s extensive range of bathtubs, shower surfaces, and washbasins are ideally suited to the demands of the hospitality industry delivering an increased level of health and wellbeing awareness for your hotel. The smooth, non-porous glass surface not only gives you security against germs and dirt but is also the material of the future. KALDEWEI steel enamel is made of 100% natural materials and is 100% recyclable, so it’s good for your guests and the planet too.
To learn more visit KALDEWEI.comVisit site
Founded in 1892 in Switzerland, LAUFEN has become one of the world's leading companies for sanitary ceramics. Today LAUFEN Bathrooms provided integrated bathroom concepts with high-quality products, ranging from sanitary ceramics to bathtubs and shower trays, furniture, faucets, and accessories.Visit site
Villeroy & Boch, formed in 1748, is a leading ceramics manufacturer steeped in European culture and history, and one of the biggest international premium brands in the areas of bathrooms and wellness.
Villeroy & Boch offers the finest and most innovative bathroom products and furnishing concepts for both private customers and property developers. The company is a pioneer in the realm of ceramic product design and innovation. Villeroy & Boch beautiful, high-quality products are hallmarks of French design flair and German engineering efficiency.Visit site
Interdecor Design, with over 20 years of experience, we are proud to be considered the leading 5-star international interiors contractor within Europe.
Garnering an undisputed reputation amongst clients for our manufacturing capability and skilled team, we offer products, with a commitment to style, quality and value, ensuring absolute client satisfaction.
Professionalism is ensured throughout all stages, with Interdecor assuming control of the project from initial site surveys to completion, providing value engineering advice, sample finishes, prototype rooms, achieving strict budget requirements, and meeting tough delivery schedules and completion dates for all our clients. Interdecor has undertaken complex projects often requiring hand finishing, inlay, and intricate carving. Our team uses the latest computer technology and has access to constant training programs. Considering our expertise, dedicated management team, and project managers, we can confidently guarantee all our clients will be completely satisfied with our performance across all project stages. Our primary objective is to provide interior designers, contractors, major international hotel operators, and private clients with the highest quality bespoke furniture, upholstery, architectural millwork, and complete interiors for bedrooms and public areas.Visit site
BECK was founded in 1994 to deliver world-leading interior fit-outs for the luxury, lifestyle, and museum sectors. We’re still privately owned and committed to producing world-class craftsmanship, whether on-site or in our bespoke in-house joinery facility.
We collaborate with architects and designers from our UK headquarters in Surrey, just outside central London, but our work takes us all over the world wherever clients demand outstanding interiors with unparalleled attention to detail.Visit site
Preciosa Lighting elevates the heritage of Bohemian crystal through contemporary lighting designs since 1724. The company is built on centuries of tradition and the unique art of master glassmakers from Crystal Valley. We honour this heritage and craftsmanship by creating innovative lighting products that stand the test of time.
Our lighting styles range from individual luxury lighting to dynamic and interactive installations. As a global company, Preciosa cooperates with designers worldwide to create exclusive lights that reflect our spirit. Our historic chandeliers and contemporary projects can be found in hotels, resorts, fine restaurants, luxury residences, cultural institutions and on board yachts and cruise ships in locations as varied as New York, Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai, Moscow or London.
Preciosa Lighting can create unrivaled emotional experiences by combining the traditional art form of chandelier craftsmanship with cutting-edge technology. This knowledge is what drives our intention to unveil the symbolic as well as the aesthetic power of decorative lighting. It led us to create Preciosa’s Signature Designs which are highlighted by countless customization possibilities to perfectly fit the owner’s desires.
Signature Designs are authentic, timeless, and celebrate design. We are inspired by the allure of crystal combined with light. Creative craftsmanship is evident through the versatility of each light; customizable for space and its uses. Preciosa’s advanced use of technology is seen in every element of the design. They present contemporary styles with a timeless quality.Visit site
Close to you
As a global manufacturer of sanitary products and installation systems, “close to you” is our promise. We have been operating as an independent, family-run business in close proximity to people and the markets for over 30 years. Curiosity about our customers’ world leads us to develop well-thought-out products and services and will continue to drive our innovative approach forwards in the future. Innovation, design, and high-quality standards are our main drivers. Our system solutions combine permanently safe functions with a timeless design. This combination is representative of the driving force behind our company – making good products even better.
In front of and behind the wall. TECE’s areas of competence encompass outstanding sanitary design elements such as toilet flush plates including cisterns, prefabricated wall modules, a toilet with shower function, and elegant shower channels or shower profiles.
We support your international project activities by consulting you, providing the configuration of water supply systems, and preparing the accurate technical design of prefabricated wall modules. We assist you with the fulfillment of all relevant local regulations and environmental certification. You can rely on a fast, responsive, and reliable service.
Around 1’500 employees globally manufacture and serve clients – TECE products are available in more than 50 countries.Visit site
Designing and manufacturing everything in bathrooms.
Roca began life as a family business manufacturing cast iron radiators at a factory in Gavà, near Barcelona in 1917. Over the years, the portfolio gradually expanded and by 1929, Roca entered the bathroom environment for the first time. With an attentive focus on social changes, Roca has since been pioneering when tackling issues surrounding sustainability, design, and technology, and remains at the forefront of these innovations today. Today, Roca reaches over 170 countries, supplied by 76 production plants with more than 20,000 employees worldwide. After one hundred years, Roca is still proud to call itself a family business.Visit site
Alarwool S.L. is a family business with over 60 years of experience in the textile industry. Its origins date back to 1950 in Alar del Rey, a small town in the Spanish province of Palencia (ALAR-WOOL) where the main economic engine was agriculture and sheep farming. That was when Don Pedro Cubero bought the only local industry, a textile spinning facility that belonged to the Count of Mansilla and which employed most of the population in the area. Spinning at the heart of Tierra de Campos, where there was more than 1 million head of sheep, guaranteed the best raw material for its yarn.
More than 60 years after its founding, Alarwool S.L. is still a family-owned and operated company, run by the same family that founded it and its principal activity is still the manufacture of custom woven wool rich carpets. At present it not only works with local raw materials but also selects the best wool form around the world to manufacture its carpets, which are installed in cruises, casinos and hotel chains worldwide, making Alarwool S.L. one of the world-leading custom carpet manufacturing company.
Alarwool S.L. makes its carpets according to the most demanding design, color and quality specifications, working closely with some of the most important design and architectural firms around the world. For the company it has always been a priority to keep all the workforce in Spain, so now all carpets are manufactured at its production plant in Crevillente, Alicante. Furthermore, it is important to note that approximately 90% of its production goes to projects outside Spain.
Alarwool S.L. offers a very personalized service, updating customers on a regular basis as to the progress of its project from the moment our designers begin to develop design concepts to the delivery of the material or installation. With a capability to produce over 450,000 square meters of carpets annually, Alarwool S.L. is one of the largest companies manufacturing high quality wool carpets for hotels, casinos and cruiseVisit site
Expo. Talks. Installations and Social. HIX is designed for hotel design.
Last year, HIX welcomed over 3,500 guests and 200 exhibitors for a showcase of the latest and greatest in hotel design and experience.
Returning bigger and better for 2022, we’re bringing the hotel interiors community together for two days of networking, discussions and celebration against a backdrop of design installations, social spaces and a curated exhibition of Europe’s leading suppliers.
New this year is Collection, a curated edit of of 30 leading brands serving up a taste of their latest ranges in a space served by its own ‘mini-bar’ and curated playlist. Elsewhere, the Workshop Lounge allows guests to meet our expert speakers following sessions of an expanded talks programme exploring the latest hotel trends.
Northern Lights have been transforming spaces through artisan lighting for over 35 years, forming close collaborative relationships with some of the most influential and high-profile interior designers and architects globally.
Their passion & expertise has helped create some of the most iconic luxury bespoke lighting on a global scale, with their decorative fittings located in a wide variety of stunning hotels, restaurants, private residences, marine and commercial settings. From bedside lamps and wall lights to six metre bespoke chandeliers, their expert teams work closely to turn creative visions in to reality.
Well-considered design is at the forefront of everything; from the timeless, versatile and ever-evolving lighting pieces in the Signature Collection through to dramatically stunning bespoke lighting design. Blending 35 years of manufacturing expertise with generations of innovative product design principles enables Northern Lights to configure complex in-house manufacturing techniques in their UK facility to deliver spectacular, unique lighting designs that exceed their clients’ briefs.
Their skilled teams of designers and artisans have spent years developing their craft, focusing on the details to ensure Northern Lights is a name you can trust. By keeping as much of the manufacturing as possible under one roof, they are able to maintain full control from concept through to delivery. This commitment to carefully curated designs enables them to approach bespoke lighting in ways that very few other companies can.
“Northern lights are very proud of our in-house manufacturing capabilities. We create exquisite bespoke installations and some truly unique collections. We have particular expertise in glass techniques, metal fabrication and an extensive range of completely custom finishes, all produced in our own facilities. Our unique blend of traditional craftsmanship and new technology allows us to elevate any design vision, turning the sublime into the iconic.” - Donna Bruce, MD.Visit site