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"Traditional luxury belongs to the past." This is the epiphany that led Serge Dive and Sarah Ball (both of travel media company Beyond Luxury) to launch a trade show that would shake up the luxury travel market. Their vision for LE Miami was that it would be ‘more than just a trade show;’ an annual forum that would "literally define the contemporary travel industry ... your year-round source for the contemporary travel evolution."
The show's inaugural event took place over four days in June. In between the awards, the parties and the meetings, a couple of key events stood out: the "Ministry of Ideas," which featured speakers including Seth Godin and Ian Schrager talking on the theme 'Be Creative, Create', "and the Leadership Lab a conversation between 11 key influencers, including Claus Sendlinger of Design Hotels; Grupo Habita's Carlos Couturier, Priya Paul of Park Hotels and Ace Hotel president Brad Wilson, that discussed the topics bringing about the shift in luxury and the heightened influence of the "creative class. The results were recorded and you can now read the full report here.
Design Thursdays / Design Hotels / Hotel Design / Finland Hotels / Helsinki Hotels / Free WiFi / → All Tags
This summer we nipped into Helsinki’s Klaus K hotel, part of Design Hotels, for a look at this delightfully well-designed hotel.
To best describe the hotel, we’ll start with the ethereal premise on which the hotel’s design is based. Do your best to try to stay with us.
Klaus K is inspired by Finland’s national epic, the Kalevala--a 19th-century work of epic poetry compiled from Finnish and Karelian oral folklore and mythology. Each of the 139 guestrooms represents a theme from the myth’s primary emotional elements: namely desire, passion, mysticism and envy. The room categories are broken down by these themes, so when you book a room, you book a Desire room, a Passion room and so on and so on. You can also book specialty rooms including the Passion for Mini room, art rooms and the Urban Nature rooms, all designed in collaboration with creative-type partners.
While you’re digesting that, here are some of the hotel’s other deets. It opened in 2004 in a late-19th-century building, and is the only Design Hotel in Helsinki. Located in the city’s hip Design District, it’s close to the Design Museum and plenty of great shops and cafes. Next door to the hotel (which you can enter directly from Klaus K) is the city’s first urban day spa, with various beautifying treatments, a gym and a sauna.
Don't miss the pics below!
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Nevertheless, this hotel is a feast for the visual senses since the restored building marries vintage charm with edgy design and comfort. Named after the year that Kodak launched their first box and roll camera which, coincidentally, was the same year the building was built. Freaky!
With little doubt, the hotel's public spaces and rooms are an Instagrammers dream, 1888 is planning to attract even more "snap happy" guests with an Instagram contest.
Hotels Curated / Boutique Hotels / Design Hotels / Hotel Technology / Hotel Conferences / Hotel News / → All Tags
There's a new hotel conference coming to NYC next month and it's right up our boutique-loving-lifestyle-hotel alley--Hotels Curated.
Presented by the N Group and IndieWalls, the event is billed as a half-day discussion about opportunities and challenges in the lodging sector, focusing on branding, design and our fave, technology.
The format for the conference will consist of two panels--one about the "It Factor" in hotels and the other about innovations in design, architecture and technology as well as a special "Innovators Showcase" featuring quick pitches from select companies in hospitality tech and service-delivery. Afterwards there will be a cocktail network session. Cheers!
Guest speakers include Michael Achenbaum of Gansevoort Hotels; Michael Adams, editor in chief of Hospitality Design Magazine; Jeffrey Beers of Jeffrey Beers International design firm; David Duncan, President of the Denihan Hospitality Group; and Julie Frank, Director of Design, Global Brand Design.
Here are the details:
WHEN: OCTOBER 4th, 2pm to 5pm
WHERE: 55 Gansevoort, New York City
Interested in attending? You can register here. And yes, of course, HotelChatter will be there too! Hope to see you there!
Design Hotels / Hotel Check-Ins / Front Desks / Karim Rashid / Hotel Design / Berlin Hotels / Hotel Recording Studios / → All Tags
Berlin is known for their funky, eccentric, quirky and sometimes, just plain weird hotels but right now, we're crushing hard on this massive pink check-in desk at the Hotel nhow.
We found this snapshot in the HotelChatter Flickr Pool, taken by Ken E. Lee, one of our regular photo droppers. He mentioned that the desk is a work of DJ/designer Karim Rashid who has been populating design hotels around the world with his installations.
Indeed, the nhow, a "music and lifestyle" hotel, was touched by Rashid throughout from the lobby spaces to the guest rooms. Which is fitting considering that Rashid has a musical background as well. Here's some more on the concept of this nhow hotel (there's another one in Milan):
There's no doubt that Chicago has become quite the hotbed for new hotel action in the past few years. From trendy boutique hotels with a definite artsy edge to names that are synonymous with luxury. Fortunately, we got to lay our very own eyes on a new property that fits into the latter category; the Langham Chicago.
Langham opened in July in a 'soft opening' that elicited lots of "oohs" and "ahhs", including our own when we got a glimpse of what's inside the former IBM building along the Chicago River. To the untrained eye, many people wouldn't take note of the building itself, but design junkies will know the building to be the last of famed architect, Mies van der Rohe. It should also be known that the inside pays as much homage to the designer and his building and we couldn't be more wowed.
Full of little details from hanging Czech glass globes in the lobby, designed by London-based Richmond Group, hand-picked art pieces and the subtle tech-y nod to the building's former glory in Travelle, the upscale restaurant on the lobby level; it would be hard to check-in to this hotel and be underwhelmed. Each of the 316 rooms are so well thought out featuring high-end furniture, plush fabrics and sleek marble, in even the basic of rooms.
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Fans of design hotels will rejoice with the latest news of an ultra-hip, uber-trendy Sofitel So Hotel set to open in Auckland. The Pacific's first hotel of the brand will have all of the "So" details and elements for which we've been know to go a little gaga.
The Sofitel So Auckland, the fourth of the So brand, will be smack in the middle of the central business district, putting visitors within close proximity to everything the Kiwi metropolis has to offer. Setting up shop in the former New Zealand Reserve Bank, design junkies will be able to walk one block to the city's harbor and still be just five minutes away from the Auckland Viaduct, the hot entertainment district.
If you ever need to track down someone in a hotel, it helps to put someone who works in a hotel on the job. When we guessed the whereabouts of the PRISM whistleblower, Edward Snowden, this morning, we threw out a couple of not-so-serious hotel guesses. But someone reading our story took it very seriously.
Our own Macau Deepthroat, as we call him, noticed the interview setting that Snowden did for the Guardian UK looked very similar to the rooms at The Mira Hong Kong in Kowloon Park. A quick Google image search confirmed this for him. Then MD went to the next level. Here's what he did:
With this bit of information I called to the hotel and claimed that I had sent a fax to Mr Snowden but it had never reached his room. The friendly operator confirmed then that Mr Edward Snowden had checked out at 12:30 pm and explained that this may have been the reason why he never received my fax message. I thanked her and ended the call.
I then called a second time to the hotel, this time I asked for the reservations department and pretended to be interested in extending Mr Edward Snowden's stay as he had to remain in Hong Kong due to unforeseen circumstances. I only provide the name and the fact that he had checked out of a Parkview Room today and a second later the reservations agent happily provides me the room number (on 10th floor) and quotes the rates for an extension of stay...
As I work in hotels, I know how to play the game and get the information one wants...
Where Snowden has gone is anyone's guess but we're sure the CIA and the NSA are on it. Meanwhile, the Mira might need to have a conversation with their "friendly" operators.
Photo Gallery / Hotel Openings / Singapore Hotels / Hotel Design / Hotel Art / Design Hotels / → All Tags
On our last spin through the Lion City, we took you inside the trendy Wanderlust Hotel (see: the Typewriter Suite). Now, along comes a brand new boutique hotel in the city's Kampong Glam district with a whole new set of goodies to ogle over.
The place is known as the Clover Hotel, and it's located off the Bugis stop on the MRT, just under a mile east of the Wanderlust Hotel—and right around the corner from Arab Street, where tourists like to go eat kebab and buy silk.
Though the lobby is bright and modern-feeling, the decor is all out of a museum: everywhere you look, there are suitcase typewriters, Singer sewing machines, an old gramophone, a rotary telephone, and even a wooden bullock cart loaded with canvas sacks.
This is old-world Singapore done up as a chic boutique hotel, and we loved it.
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We've started a series of what’s trending in hotels these days: What’s Out, What’s In. Do we like what we see? Think it's a dud? You be the judge!
What’s Out: Seaweed facials
What's In: Facials with gold, diamonds and other sparkly things
Diamonds and other precious metals and gems are sparkly and luminous; why shouldn’t your skin be the same? See what the hotel spas below are doing to make your skin radiate with good health.
The Dorchester Hotel in London offers the Carol Joy London Diamond Facial. Following ten years of research and three years of development, Carol Joy London products are created with some of the most precious beauty ingredients around (who knew that Golden Millet Oil was like pure gold?).
This intensive facial includes exfoliation with a diamond-head contraption that is said to be gentler than the traditional crystal ablater (we just like that word –- it sounds kind of bad-ass). While that’s going on, you’re being blasted with an Oxyjet machine that produces 95% pure oxygen to cool and soothe your skin and stimulate collagen production. The result? A firmer, clearer and more glowing you. The price for beauty, in this case, is £205 ($279).
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On January 9th in downtown Olso, Norway, a former 18th-century prisoner colony became the country’s first waterfront hotel. It’s name? The Thief . Seriously, we don’t make this stuff up! The moniker goes back to the days when criminals were brought to the island just off the coast called Tjuvholmen, nicknamed "Thief Island". Today, you’ll find art galleries, bars, cafes, restaurants, and funky shops along this Scandinavian city’s mile-long waterfront. What won’t you find? Cars. So the primary way of getting around is via foot or bike--the popular local way.
And it’s your feet that’ll lead you to the modern 119-room hotel which is a member of Design Hotels. There are nine-floors at The Thief, including a penthouse suite, that affords panoramic views of the city. Add that and the rooftop terrace and we have a feeling no one will be longing to escape these quarters.
Photo Gallery / Hotel Reviews / Germany Hotels / Frankfurt Hotels / 25hours Hotels / Design Hotels / → All Tags
Think about the adjectives typically associated with Frankfurt, Germany. They're not exactly the most pleasant, are they? Perhaps that's why the Goldman 25Hours Hotel shakes up the scene with confident use of colors and whimsical design touches. In any case, our stay (1 night, paying a standard prepaid rate of 92 Euros) blessedly brightened what had been a dreary, sleep-deprived week
Never heard of the 25Hours boutique chain? Well neither had we until last year, when we found their Hamburg HafenCity location and promptly fell head over heels. Their Goldman Frankfurt property is not as new or large as Hamburg, but the brand's bravery with design and affordable rates are very much in house at all locations.