Conran: Sleep talking in India!

Simon Kincaid from Conran & Partners talks about a recent trip to India

Last month I was invited to speak at The Sleep Event in Mumbai.  The Sleep Hotel conference is Europe’s leading conference in this field and this is its first year in India – it was held at the Westin Garden City Hotel in Mumbai; a 30 storey tower of hotel/residential which looks to the Bollywood Hills and National Park to the East and the metropolis of Mumbai to the West and the South.  

Over 200 delegates attended – owners, operators, developers, designers, architects, service consultants and suppliers- many from international hotel brands with growing operations in India as well as many many local operators with a wide range of property type and offer.

I had been invited to speak and present an international perspective on hotel design as well as take part in a panel discussion on effective bedroom and bathroom design.  


I was keen to remind the audience that good design does not have to be expensive and that although bedroom design has changed comparatively little over recent years compared to the bathrooms, it’s the bathrooms where radical changes in design, innovation and guest expectations have developed and there was plenty of healthy discussion over the ongoing trend of open bathrooms.  Standardisation, space saving and smart technologies were also all debated.   

Although for my talk I was asked to give ”an international perspective on hotel design” I felt this was too broad a topic, I only had 40mins………! 

I changed the topic to give a focused and specialist presentation on “Food & Beverage design in hotel development, its importance and how to stay ahead”.  I talked about aspects of location & context, guest type & expectation, design, finances and trends – using Boundary, the hotel we at Conran & Partners designed, in East London as a case study

Bedroom and Bathroom in Le Corbusier room at Boundary

I also talked about other projects from our portfolio of hospitality designs including Custom House  in Copenhagen, The Park Hotels in Delhi and Hyderaba, The Mandarin Oriental in Hong Kong, The Great Eastern Hotel in London and Roppongi Hills Club in Tokyo…

Custom House in Copenhagen


The event was full of enthusiasm, positivity and exchange of ideas. 

I have no doubt that the Sleep event in this region has great potential and it was a definite success.  Rumour has it that next year the event will include an Asian Hotel design awards and plans are also being considered to include the Sleep exhibition/trade fair as in London.  It would not surprise me if the event soon becomes bigger than its London parent!  At least I can say I was there from the start.

A few of the recurring hot-topics at the event were: 

  • – Mumbai’s high land costs and the implications of local hotel development
  • – The rise of demand for budget and mid-market hotel offers in the Indian market
  • – The subjective question ”what is luxury?” 
  • – The future of prefabricated container hotels….

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