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Madrid-based NH Hoteles has just delivered its third child under the Nhow brand, the Nhow Rotterdam. It is distinctly different from its two siblings, Nhow Milan and Nhow Berlin… who can forget the gigantic pink musical note reception desk? Whereas the Milan hotel favored fashion, the Berlin destination focused on musicians, the Rotterdam hotel celebrates art and architecture. Ooh yeah.
Well, not a drop of pink in this new hotel and kudos to NH Hoteles for jumping right into Rotterdam’s growing modern architectural movement. Growing taller we might add. The 278-room hotel occupies 23 floors of a much larger development --- so large it is referred to as a vertical city. This project, De Rotterdam, was designed by award-winning Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas and his firm OMA.
The “vertical city” that Nhow calls its Rotterdam home is oriented to offer great views of both the sunrise and sunset. As we have come to expect from any hotel in a skyscraper, the upper floors feature the restaurant, the bar and the killer views. The public areas throughout will showcase a rotating selection of artwork.
The 25hours brand has scored another design hit with its seventh hotel, 25hours Bikini Berlin. What better time for such a debut when most of us are embedded in snow.
25hours, aka 25h, is best known for its vibrant personality, creative vision, and dedication to its like-minded guests. Each of its hotels comes alive in a very distinctive way, taking a modern perspective of the local setting, while carefully cultivating spaces that really work. With only seven hotels, 25hours is a brand to keep watching-- and we love looking!
Welcome to Funky Friday, a new segment we’re trying out which features one photo that we think singularly expresses a hotel’s inner psyche. We look for – and find a lot of – wacky, wild and wondrous designs that seem to have one thing in common: a Type A personality. So why not have a bit of fun as we all wrap up our week by taking a quick look at some hotels that quite frankly, want our attention.
Hotel Art has an ancient setting in Rome by the Spanish Steps, occupying a former boarding school, but the experience inside its walls has no historic precedent.
It is a visual journey through one vibrant space after another—all the way to the guest rooms. The interiors are designed to stand out – in white or in combination with one of more dominant colors: blue, green, yellow, and orange.
In the case of the hotel’s main lobby, the Hall and the focus of this week’s Funky Friday, the pixels are unlimited and the brightness button has been turned all the way to the right.
The Hall is the original old chapel, a rich historic space that any hotelier would be thrilled to transform. This is one very memorable way to do it. The chapel’s amazing vaulted ceilings are given new life by painting them deep cobalt blue, accented with tiny golden stars. Walls and columns are white, further amplified by the use of upward lighting at the base of the columns.
The chapel’s historic alter sits behind ice blue glass walls that bring a soft glow to the reception area. The rather noticeable spaceship shaped reception desks are -- so we are told -- abstract eggs that symbolize eternal perfection. Who knew?
Some say, "Paris is for Lovers", and while that's totally true, we might also say that the city is for lovers...of awesome hotels! A newbie to the French capital is the Hôtel du Continent and it's not only a comfy place to stay on the Right Bank, but it offers up new travel inspiration with your stay.
Designed by the French master himself, Christian Lacroix, the hotel has a different theme for every floor, based on the earth's continents and each of the 25 rooms in this vintage building play into that theme. The first floor is stylized with Europe in mind, where the second is Antarctica and so on and so forth, finishing up with Africa on the fifth floor.
Guests can expect a departure from the literal design aesthetic that comes with each continent. Instead the rooms have a modern take enveloped in whimsy with the use of antique maps, fabrics, patterns, colors and finishes. Lacroix notes that the design of each room is
"...far from any anthropological or strictly ethnic preoccupation, but rather with this fanciful distance known to ancient travellers who brought back with them not only scientific information but tales and dreams too."
Development news from 3201 Collins Avenue, Miami keeps catching us off-guard. Back in January 2012, there was this bait and switch where the development sneakily went from Cipriani Miami to a new Faena project. Now we hear that they've been keeping a star design duo under their belts: Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin.
The husband-and-wife movie director and costume/set designer duo will be collaborating on the design for the 168-suite hotel; handling the interiors, uniforms, and 'cultural programming' for the what was originally called the Saxony Hotel, which is just one part of Faena's huge Miami development project.
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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.
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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.
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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!
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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.