Design Travel explores the interplay between design and travel. It might be a new hotel for business travellers, an airline collaborating with a world-renowned architect or a product designed specifically to enhance the travel experience. Our brief is to make you want to be there and inspire you to seek out incredible design examples when you travel, or in your own city. 

Stephanie Williams, is an interior designer,  writer and travel communicator. Stephanie was the first editor of Qantas epiQure and her work has appeared in magazines, newspapers, television and online.  She also has a love of fashion design, borne while working for Comme des Garcons

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SKY HIGH: AccorHotels opens skyscraper hotel in Canary Wharf

SKY HIGH: AccorHotels opens skyscraper hotel in Canary Wharf

The newly opened £90 million Novotel in London’s Canary Wharf, by AccorHotels is now one of the tallest buildings in the area, at 127 metres high with 360 degree views taking in sights including The Shard, the Olympic Park and Greenwich Park.

The ultra-modern Bokan 37 restaurant, Bokan 38 bar and Bokan 39 roof terrace, sit up top and coffee shop, Canary Coffee, brings a vibrancy to the ground floor, servicing the local working population as much as hotel guests.

The hotel has 313 rooms including 26 individually-designed suites, and has nine meeting rooms, all with innovative and individual designs based around the commodities brought in from the Canary Islands.  There’s also a state-of-the-art gym, swimming pool and sauna on the lower ground floor and free Wi-Fi throughout.

Sustainability was at the forefront of the design, with a wide range of initiatives aimed at achieving a BREEAM Excellent rating. BREEAM is the world’s leading sustainability assessment method for masterplanning projects, infrastructure and buildings, measuring sustainable value in a series of categories, ranging from energy to ecology. Sustainable features in Novotel Canary Wharf include: 

  • A Combined Heat Power system contributing to a 30 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions
  • Light regulation system that adjusts the level of light according to the time of day and season
  • Beehives on the 39th floor – believed to be the highest in the UK – producing honey for guests
  • Recycling of cooking oil, general waste, soap and bottled bathroom products
  • Use of eco-friendly food products and products from local suppliers and short supply chains

150 jobs have been created and employees have been selected for their passion and personality in order to fit into a reinvented, guest-focused hospitality experience where check-in is facilitated on iPad with no reception desk in sight. The hotel will be the first of the group’s UK portfolio to have a vegetable garden, in line with AccorHotels’ PLANET21 plan to support urban agriculture by planting 1,000 vegetable gardens in its hotels by 2020.

Heading to London? You can book today at Novotel Canary Wharf.

GET AWAY: MUJI Launch New Travel Pod Concept

GET AWAY: MUJI Launch New Travel Pod Concept

PETS PARADISE: The ARK at JFK redefines pet and animal travel

PETS PARADISE: The ARK at JFK redefines pet and animal travel