6th December 2021 | London
Spotlight: ibis Styles

To support our mood boarding competition in partnership with ibis Styles, we sat down with key members of the team to quiz them on all things…

Make sure you feast your eyes on the below to fully immerse yourself in the brand & get ahead of the competition.

First up, the brand team…


So talk us through ibis Styles as a brand…


We’re part of AccorHotels and were born in Paris in 2012. We’re one of three ibis brands within the ibis Family network and sit alongside our classic ibis brand and super smart ibis budget

At ibis Styles, diversity and design are at the core of our commercial proposition. Our key passion is creative design and the most special part of our brand is our bespoke and non-standardised offering throughout our hotels. Each of our hotels has its own, unique and immersive theme, which is brought to life throughout the hotel’s interior design in all areas of the hotel, from the lobby to the rooms. In the UK, we have hotels themed upon Theatre, Weather and Music to name a few. Each theme has a strong story behind it and this is what makes you feel fully immersed in it as you walk through the hotel.

At ibis Styles, we strive to make design accessible to everyone and trigger people’s creative spirit. We want to inspire our guests with our creative design, leaving them feeling excited and joyful. As a brand, we inject fun into everything we do so we can make our guests feel alive as soon as they step foot into the hotel! 

To read more about the ibis Styles brand, head here

Why are you passionate about Creative Design at ibis Styles? 


It sits at the heart of our brand and is what provides a unique and joyful experience for our guests. You only have to step into one of our hotels to feel instantly wowed. 

Each of our ibis Family brands have their own strong passions and this is what enables us to offer something for everyone, with any budget! Providing such a range of creative design concepts throughout the ibis Styles network enables us to be free and create trends in the market, acting as a source of design inspiration and discovery for guests. Our creative design is also what evokes a sense of freedom and creativity in our guests, which is what makes them want to return again and again. 


As each hotel has a non-standardised design offer, how do you ensure you keep to a strong sense of brand?


Whilst each hotel has its bespoke interior design, our ibis Styles key brand markers ensure consistency across the network and bring a sense of comfort to our guests.

When you stay in one of our hotels, you’ll be greeted by a friendly staff member instead of the check-in desk, you will experience the dream sleep in our SweetBed™ by ibis and wake up to an unlimited continental breakfast offering. These are just a few examples, when you stay you’ll experience many more fun, playful extras!

Who is your target audience? 


Our guests crave simplicity & creativity and live by a sense of optimism. They are passionate about setting trends, seeking inspiration in their everyday life and pushing themselves to new boundaries. Our hotel experience enables them to feel free to express themselves and feel inspired to create in their own worlds. Our guest is at the heart of every new design, product and service we bring into our hotels. 


Next up, we spoke with Arun Rana the Design Manager for Accor Northern Europe. Arun plays an integral role in the Design and Technical Services Team developing the extensive new projects Accor has in the pipeline, briefing and collaborating with designers to achieve the best hotel designs in Accor’s Midscale and Economy range. Essentially he is the brains that brings the ibis Styles vision and creative design passion to life through each hotel's bespoke interior design.    

Arun joined Accor from Philip Watts Design, an independent agency where he worked as Senior Lead Designer for eight years. He has a background in hospitality design, ranging from F&B concepts to full hotel establishments and has worked alongside Accor for several years.


Where do you start when creating a theme for a new hotel opening?

As there are no restrictions when selecting a theme for a new hotel, the page is completely blank and the options are so broad. This can be seen as daunting, but this is actually what is most exciting - it enables us to be free and push the boundaries.

We take inspiration from styles that are contemporary but also look to the future. Our themes are there to set trends in the market - while we take inspiration from the market, we don’t follow trends, as our guests crave innovation and newness. 

Our hotel themes are not locally inspired – we base a theme on absolutely anything that inspires or interests us and something we can bring to life in an exciting and innovative way for our guests.

We know our customer doesn’t want the ordinary, they expect excitement and surprise and this is why they return again and again to our hotels. Our designs are original, acting as a source of design discovery and inspiration for our guests. We want our customer coming away saying ‘I want my house to look like this, where do I buy this piece for my own room?’. So all of this sits at the forefront of our mind when selecting a new theme.  


How do you take this chosen theme from an idea on paper into an immersive in-hotel experience for your guests?


Each theme is created to tell a strong story through the hotels interior design. The experience of walking through our hotels can be viewed in the same way as when reading a book; you read it from the beginning to the end in the same way you walk from the hotel lobby all the way through to the room. Entering the hotel lobby is the beginning of the book where you’re sussing out what the story is based on and predicting what’s to come. The lobby is full of hints and nods to the hotel theme, making the guest eager to carry on transcending through the space to get to the final chapter – their room. The guest bedrooms are where the real surprises happen as we try to input the theme in subtle and fun ways, like the coat hooks, grab handles or details on the carpet.

For us, it’s not about being too loud or too obvious when implementing the theme. We don’t want to overload the theme in every area of the hotel, we cleverly pick key touch points where we bring it to life.

We’re interested in all the subtle touchpoints and details... creating moments where our guests are subconsciously interacting with the theme of the hotel when they don’t even realise it. We love to create hidden details, which the guests have to discover for themselves. It’s the smallest details that evoke surprise and what makes the guest discover the theme in ways they didn’t think they would. We take the everyday item and give it a new meaning that relates to the theme.

Colour is a huge consideration when creating the design of the hotel, as it can evoke so much feeling. It’s amazing how the use of colour can enhance the guests' emotion and transform a room from a functional one into a welcoming, cosy one.

We create a strong colour palette that is consistent across the hotel and experiment with materials and textures to enhance this palette. Even elements like the paint finishings are crucial, from matte to gloss. It’s this contrast of materials that intrigues our guest. We are constantly thinking: how do we want the guest to feel through these design elements, what emotions are we trying to spark?



What are your hopes for the future of ibis Styles?


We’ll continue to push the design boundaries and create spaces that guests and non-guests can use to spark their own creativity and imagination. We want to expand our community internationally and create immersive and memorable experiences for everyone that steps foot through our doors. We’re working on lots of new projects at the moment, so stay tuned for what’s to come! 


If you want to take a look around ibis Styles Southwark then make sure to attend our upcoming event. You can purchase your tickets here [see more]. Make sure you get in quick before it sells out!


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