Student wins hotel design award with cocktail decanters

An Edinburgh College of Art student has been recognised for her skills in product design, following a competition launched in partnership with Nira Hotels & Resorts.

Nicola Saunders, aged 19, won the judges over with her ‘Cocktail Culture Decanters’, an innovation for the hospitality industry which will be manufactured for use at Nira’s three boutique hotels.

Launched in January, the competition challenged the college’s second-year design students to create an item that would be useful in the luxury hotels of Nira Caledonia in Edinburgh, Nira Alpina in Switzerland and Shanti Maurice in Mauritius.

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The18 students presented their ideas to judges Nira Hotels & Resorts CEO MPS Puri, Edinburgh Life editor Peter Bourhill and the college’s Product Design programme director Douglas Bryden.

The hand-blown glass cocktail decanter has a distinctive design and colour for each property, it is easy to manufacture, cost-effective and will be available for hotel guests to purchase as a souvenir. 

The judges said the product fitted in with the group’s cocktail culture, having recently opened a new Rooftop Bar at Nira Alpina and new Rum Shed at Shanti Maurice

In second place was Emily Annan who designed a thermal glass jug, while Shelley Lucas took the third spot with her six-piece cutlery set, aimed at recreating the hotels guests’ dining experiences back home.

Commenting on Nicola’s design and the overall competition, MPS Puri said: “We’re thrilled with the quality of the projects presented to us.

"We’ve encouraged students to think creatively and come up with original ideas for an industry – hospitality – that is constantly evolving," he continued.

"As a company, we feel it is essential to nurture and support young talent and we hope to offer ‘Cocktail Culture Decanters’ and some of the other products presented today across our hotels in the near future”.

The ‘Cocktail Culture Decanters’ will be manufactured and available to purchase at the Nira hotels later this year.

Saunders won a relaxing weekend for two people at both Nira Caledonia and Nira Alpina.




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