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WELSH SLATE STARS IN LONDON'S "VERY FIRST SUSTAINABLE LUXURY HOTEL”

7 February 2024

Countertops from Welsh Slate feature at the award-winning 1 Hotel Mayfair.

A hotel brand that is leading the way in sustainable hospitality has made sensory use in its interiors of an architectural product from Welsh Slate’s diverse portfolio.

Sleek dark countertops produced from Welsh Slate’s honed and dressed Cwt-y-Bugail Dark Blue Grey slate feature on the vanity units and minibar tops in the 184 bedrooms and suites (including London’s largest one-bedroomed penthouse) of the European debut of the mission-driven 1 Hotel brand, in glitzy Mayfair, London.

Specified by hotel interior design specialists the GA Group, the Welsh Slate products complement the organic design narrative at the nine-storey flagship building overlooking Green Park. Here, living moss walls, timber flooring crafted from fallen trees on the Windsor Estate, chandeliers made from air plants, sliding rattan panels, and a reception desk produced from one naturally-felled piece of Sussex wood abound.

Rebuilt and refurbished from two existing buildings that made up the Holiday Inn Mayfair, but with an additional upper two floors, the award-winning 1 Hotel was reimagined to reduce CO2 emissions and accelerate sustainable practices throughout the brand’s operations. It claims to be London’s very first sustainable luxury hotel … and has sterling eco-credentials to back that up.

Every 1 Hotel under the umbrella of US-based SH Hotels & Resorts (founded by hospitality virtuoso Barry Sternlicht) has systems in place to reduce its environmental impact by minimising energy usage, harnessing local resources, preserving non-renewable materials, reducing plastic and paper consumption, and reducing landfill waste.

At 1 Hotel Mayfair specifically, a combined heat and power system produces electricity that feeds back into London’s utility grid, using less than 5w/m2 of pure LED lighting – 50% less energy than a standard UK hotel.

While the 184 bedrooms are distributed across 14 different categories, each features the Welsh Slate vanity units and minibar tops alongside handcrafted sisal coffee tables and smoked timber mirrors.

Welsh Slate combines beauty and practicality which is why it is the perfect material for countertops, combining minimal liquid absorption levels with a luxurious warm feel to the hand.

The material is supplied as a completed wipe-clean slate worktop to contractors’ projects or as unfinished or polished scant to worktop manufacturers. A variety of edge details are also available, including Bull Nose and Half Bull Nose, along with drainage grooves, sink cut outs and tap holes. At 1 Hotel Mayfair, it was fabricated by GD Stones and installed by County Contractors.

Unaffected by normal extremes of temperature, a Welsh Slate countertop can withstand the worst a domestic or commercial bathroom or kitchen can throw at it. It is also non-fading and stain proof and available in Penrhyn Heather in addition to the Cwt-y-Bugail used at the 1 Hotel Mayfair.

1 Hotels' commitment to sustainability and biophilic design principles drove every decision when it came to creating this property, starting with the defining decision to reuse and renovate the two pre-existing Mayfair buildings, as opposed to constructing from scratch.

The resulting retention of more than 80% of the existing structures reduced the amount of embodied carbon produced during demolition and construction, mitigated construction waste and debris, and helped the project to meet BREEAM “Excellent” standards.

GA Group say: “Our vision for the hotel was to create an unexpected union of sustainability and luxury, previously unexplored in Mayfair. Working with artisan makers and creators we dreamt of a place that is relaxed and comfortable whilst offering a pared back aesthetic with exceptional attention to detail. Key to the design was authenticity – in terms of the passion of all the craftspeople involved in the project and its materiality.”

Welsh Slate commercial director Michael Hallé said: “It was a real pleasure to work with the design team from conception to realisation of a unique project that showcases the sustainability and quality of our natural slate.”

At 1 Hotel Mayfair at least, the two words “Sustainable luxury” no longer seem at odds with one another.

 


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