BOND Five Star

The Forum for EMEA’s Leading Five Star Hotel Designers

December 10-13, 2022

Abu Dhabi, UAE

EMEA’s Most Exclusive Luxury Hotel Designers and Hospitality Design Firms in One Place

Getting specified for five star hotel projects in Europe and the Middle East isn’t easy, especially if it’s a new marketplace for you. There are many regional factors to contend with but in the end, it comes down to two things: what you know and who you know. BOND Five Star EMEA can help you with both.

Let’s start with who comes.

If you scroll down you’ll get a snapshot of what to expect. But you really need to get the full list of buyers confirmed so far for this year to give this proper context.

Around 50 of EMEA’s top luxury hotel designers and hospitality design firms will be with us in Abu Dhabi this December. That means the busiest, most influential five star hotel designers in the Middle East in one place, relaxed and ready to talk.

Now consider the time, effort and expense it would take to even try to get in front of this number and calibre of decision maker and you’ll start to appreciate what’s on offer here.

These are the people who decide who gets specified for the major luxury hotel projects throughout EMEA and beyond. And if they don’t have confirmed five star hotel projects on their books, they don’t get invited.


We pre-qualify designers to meet the following criteria:

1. Principal, Director, Vice President

2. Significant portfolio of five star hotel projects in Europe, Middle East and Africa

3. Global hotel brand or top architecture/design firm

Leaders in luxury hospitality design who attended in 2019 include:

Anne Becker-Olins

SVP Design & Technical Services - LUXURY Europe

Accor Hotels

Paul Bevis

Senior Director of Design
and Construction

Four Seasons Hotels
& Resorts

Chris Webb

VP Architecture & Design EMEA

Hilton Worldwide

Jaime Nadal

Director of Technical
Services & Design

Six Senses Resorts & Spas

Geraldine Dohogne

Interior Designer

Zannier Hotels

Francis Pereira

Senior Design Architect

Wimberly Interiors (WATG)

Joanne Teoh

Global Head of Interior Design

Millennium Hotels
and Resorts

Thomas Ito, FAIA, LEEP AP

Principal & Global Head of Hospitality


How it works

As with all BOND Events, it starts with a series of private, one-to-one meetings between EMEA’s five star hotel designers and vendors that each have selected before the event. So you know exactly who’s coming and who you’re going to meet before the event. And this is just the start…

You are all together for 3 days and 3 nights, away from the distractions of studio and office environments, in a uniquely relaxed set up where you can properly get to know each other, and this is where the hotel project trail really lights up. Because this goes way beyond luxury hotel project leads – this is about relationships and connections and the very real collaborative possibilities that come from them.

EMEA’s Top Luxury Hotel Designers and Hospitality Design Firms come to BOND Five Star to get away from hotel project pressures to find inspiration and to connect with solutions providers who can help them deliver something outstanding for their clients. And if you want to get a true understanding of the needs and aspirations of EMEA’s five star hotel project leaders and have some interesting solutions to discuss, you may just have found your platform.

Still a bit cynical? Some testimonials might help. Or a video? Better still, have a conversation with us because it’s hard to make this real for you simply through words on our website. You may want to talk to some people who have already attended BOND Five Star to get things from their side and we’d be happy to point you in the right direction.

For suppliers, BOND Five Star EMEA is the best way, bar none, to win hearts and minds at EMEA’s most exclusive luxury hospitality design firms.

For luxury hotel designers, the value lies in re-connecting with peers and discovering the best solutions to your design challenges from the experts who will be your lifeline.

Great selection of attendees and a chance to make wonderful new contacts. I was not sure what to expect from this event but it turned out to be wonderful, very worthwhile and I would certainly attend again.

Patricia Holler

Senior Interior Design Director

MARRIOTT international


View 2019’s program here
Seminar timings and/or content may vary at our discretion

12:30 pm Hotel Lobby

Seminar - Pre-Event Walking Tour of Rome

Andrew Graham-Dixon

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More information will be available soon


Andrew is an expert on Italian Art and Architecture. In his home country, he is best know for a massively successful BBC series ”Italy Unpacked” which he presented with the Chef Giorgio Locatelli. In fact, he has presented more television documentaries about art for the BBC than anyone else in the Corporation's history. He is one of the world’s leading art critics with a weekly column in the Sunday Telegraph (one of the UK’s leading newspapers), having written more than a million words on all aspects of the visual arts.  
4:00 pm

Delegate Registration

6:30 pm

Seminar - Using Experience Design to Create a World-Class Resort

Doug Lansky | Thought Leader on Tourism Sustainability, Innovation, Trends & Destination Development

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Doug will challenge the audience to look beyond palm trees and deck chairs to understand how new hotel policies can merge with smart design to solve problems that deliver the guests a better experience. 


Doug Lansky is a tourism development thought leader who advises destinations and tourism companies around the world - from Singapore to Aruba, Google Travel to Amadeus – on strategic branding, marketing issues, visitor experience, industry trends and sustainability.  Doug has a background as a travel journalist, author and editor with 20 years of experience writing for publications that range from National Geographic Traveler to The Guardian to Lonely Planet to Skift, and traveling to over 100 countries.
7:30 pm

Welcome Drinks Reception

8:00 pm

Welcome Dinner

6:00 am

Breakfast at your leisure

8:40 am

Seminar - How Can Principals Retain Their Design Talent?

Abigail Wilmore | Chief People Officer, Stella McCartney Ltd

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With ever expanding complexity in the war for talent from multiple generations in the workplace and the acceleration of AI,  with automation set to change the face of many industries and the sharp rise in consciousness about the emergency situation on our planet, the future of work is changing at an unprecedented rate. Employee expectations and demands on the experience they want to have at work is increasing and the sense of meaning and belonging organisations need to create has never been more critical. How do you attract and retain people in this context? With Stella McCartney being a sustainable luxury fashion brand it has a commitment to also have a sustainable people strategy. Abigail will talk about the importance of having a really defined purpose based on the true values of a brand, how tech can bring people together and how wellbeing is not just about offering yoga classes! She will show that if invested in effectively, wellbeing can have a proven and direct impact on your bottom line. At Stella McCartney the people agenda is defined on 4 key pillars and attracting and retaining creative talent is paramount to the success of the business. You will hear about some of the key initiatives and strategies set up specifically to tackle this current complexity.


As CPO at Stella McCartney, I define and implement the people strategy, bringing the ethical, sustainable and responsible elements of what the brand stands for into our people and culture agenda. With over 20 years in Human Resources I have spent the majority within the Luxury fashion sector with brands such as Gucci, Bottega Veneta and Saint Laurent and have held global roles at Alexander McQueen. I have been fully dedicated to Stella McCartney since 2014. I believe in bringing the human side into learning, wellbeing and supporting the health of the organisation.  Inclusivity and encouraging diversity of thought are key drivers of engagement at Stella McCartney and helping people to work towards our common purpose.
9:40 am

Collect Final Meeting Schedule

9:50 am

One-to-One Meetings

12:40 pm

Group Photograph

12:50 pm


1:50 pm

One-to-One Meetings

5:15 pm

Free Time

7:30 pm

Drinks Reception

8:00 pm


6:00 am

Breakfast at your leisure

8:40 am

Seminar - How to Design with your Ears

Julian Treasure | Sound & Communication Expert, The Sound Agency Ltd

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Sound expert, author and five-time TED speaker Julian Treasure explores the huge opportunity to design sound that’s appropriate, delightful and congruent with visual branding in hotels. He will viscerally demonstrate the four powerful ways in which sound affects guests and staff alike, and show how our senses interrelate so that that design can never be truly complete if it focuses on the eyes alone. He will then explore the shocking extent of a global problem: noise, which adversely affects happiness, effectiveness and wellbeing in many environments – including hotels – and reveal the four simple steps to excellent sound design, including some tips on beneficial sound and a brand new tool. He will end with an introduction to audio branding with some real-world examples, showing how to create sound that’s not only effective but also iconic and memorable.


Julian Treasure is a sought-after and top-rated international speaker. Collectively his five (yes five) TED talks on various aspects of sound and communication have been viewed more than 80 million times. His talk How To Speak So That People Want To Listen is in the top 10 TED talks of all time.

Julian's first book, Sound Business, is the seminal work on creating effective business sound, now in its second edition and also published in Japanese. His audio branding company The Sound Agency works with major brands worldwide proving that good sound is good business and pioneering the use of generative soundscapes instead of mindless music in spaces like airports, shopping malls and offices.

His second book, How To Be Heard: Secrets for Powerful Speaking and Listening, is a practical guide to improving the vital personal communication skills of listening and speaking (both public and private), which have been eroded by our ocular culture, including our obsession with screens. The book includes many simple exercises; interviews with experts; and potent, transformational concepts gleaned from 30 years' experience as a speaker with a passion for listening.

Julian has been widely featured as a sound and communication expert in the world's media, including TIME Magazine; The Economist; The Times; and many international TV and radio stations and podcasts. He is a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Marketors, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a long time musician, remembering with affection his two 1981 BBC John Peel sessions (the bands were Transmitters and Missing Presumed Dead). He lives in Orkney, Scotland with Jane and their daughter Holly.

9:45 am

One-to-One Meetings

12:35 pm


1:25 pm

Seminar - Be Creative. Be Brave

David Kepron | Founder – Owner, NXTLVL Experience Design

David Kepron
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How do we stay on pace with the speed of change? Can we actually get out in front of our guests changing desires? How can design serve as a long-range strategy for growth? And, what might be the best balance of being mindful and present while vision casting the future of brand experience design business?

This session will look at the ‘power of design’ and the evolving role of the designer in the making of relevant experiences in a digitally enabled marketplace. It will ask attendees to consider their own level of adaptability in the context of a dynamic design culture where adoption of a ‘growth vs. fixed mindset’ will determine success. Our adaptability may be our saving grace as we try to remain sure footed in shifting sands.

There has been a long-held assumption that the digital world would result in stores closing as customers’ preferences shift to on-line purchases. Some have suggested that ‘virtual travel’ may become more compelling than the hassle of getting to one’s favorite vacation destination. Though the .com world has put pressure on traditional retailers to align with new shopping paradigms, and hoteliers to ‘up their game’ the end of stores has not actually come to pass and people still go away on vacation.

Equally, there is an often-cited critique of digital experiences as diminishing deep connections to other people and disconnecting us from true embodied interactions with brands in relevant places made for engagement. This too is being challenged by a wave of immersive digitally enabled experiences that are transforming data into transformative physical places that are able, despite being digitally created, to connect on a profoundly physical level with captivating sensory experiences. This session will also look at how ‘digitecture’ and other digitally immersive experiences can connect at a deeply sensory level and promote brand adoption.

The true test will not be in how we muddle through the mundane, but in how we navigate the unknown of the in-between, the uncharted and mysterious, where wonder replaces fear and a passion for discovery propels us forward without the certainty of knowing the destination.

Change is not for the faint of heart. It asks of us to ‘Be Creative. Be Brave.’


David Kepron is a multifaceted creative professional with a compulsive curiosity to understand ‘why’, ‘what’s now’ and ‘what’s next’. He brings together his background as an architect, artist, educator, author, podcast host and builder to the making of meaningful and empathically focused customer connections at brand experience places around the globe. David is a former VP - Global Design Strategies at Marriott International. While at Marriott, his focus was on the creation of compelling customer experiences within Marriott’s “Premium Distinctive” segment which included: Westin, Renaissance, Le Meridien, Autograph Collection, Tribute Portfolio, Design Hotels and Gaylord hotels. In 2020 Kepron founded NXTLVL Experience Design, a strategy and design consultancy, where he combines his multidisciplinary approach to the creation of relevant brand engagements with his passion for social and cultural anthropology, neuroscience and emerging digital technologies. As a frequently requested international speaker at corporate events and international conferences focusing on CX, digital transformation, retail, hospitality, emerging technology, David shares his expertise on subjects ranging from consumer behaviors and trends, brain science and buying behavior, store design and visual merchandising, hotel design and strategy as well as creativity and innovation. In his talks, David shares visionary ideas on how brand strategy, brain science and emerging technologies are changing guest expectations about relationships they want to have with brands and how companies can remain relevant in a digitally enabled marketplace. David currently brings his creativity and insight on brand experiences to an international audience as a member of VMSD magazine’s Editorial Advisory Board, as a Board Member of the Interactive Customer Experience Association (ICXA) and Sign Research Foundation’s (SRF) Program Committee. In 2014 Kepron published his first book titled: “Retail (r)Evolution: Why Creating Right-Brain Stores Will Shape the Future of Shopping in a Digitally Driven World” and he is currently working on his second book to be published soon. David also writes a popular blog called “Brain Food” which is published monthly on In September of 2020, he launched a new podcast called “NXTLVL Experience Design” which brings listeners daring and different dialogues about “DATA: Design, Architecture, Technology and the Arts.” His guests include thought leaders who are driven by a passion to create the ‘New Possible’ and promote new paradigms of experiences into the mainstream.
2:30 pm

One-to-One Meetings

5:45 pm

Free Time

7:30 pm

Farewell Drinks Reception

8:00 pm

Farewell Dinner

6:00 am

Breakfast at your leisure

Delegate departures

Grand Hyatt

West Corniche
Abu Dhabi, UAE

+971 2 510 1234

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