Tag: Hotel Design

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Will 'Opposites Attract' When the Excelsior Gallia in Milan Unveils Its New Addition?

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  Site Where: Piazza Duca D Aosta 9, Milan, Italy, 20124
February 28, 2014 at 9:23 AM | by | Comments (0)

Milan, recognized around the world as one of the great intersections of design culture--where fashion, interior design, and architecture come wonderfully together. We often look to Milan for inspiration and what’s next.

And what’s coming next, as in right next door to the circa 1932 Excelsior Hotel Gallia, is a striking new addition that is garnering quite a bit of attention. Not to mention an Italian tourism award for its modern design. Not bad for a project still under construction. Once completed sometime next this year, it will be hard to ignore but maybe easy to love. Once we get to know it.

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A Peek Inside Toronto’s Iconic Hipster Hangout, The Drake Hotel

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  Site Where: 1150 Queen St W, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
February 20, 2014 at 9:51 AM | by | Comments (0)

The Drake Hotel was one of, if not THE, first boutique hotel in Toronto when it opened. When we heard that dot-comer Jeff Stober was opening The Drake west of Queen West, we thought it impossible for the hotel to survive in the then downtrodden boonies. We were wrong, so wrong—not only did The Drake persevere but it quickly became a hotspot for locals who lined up to get into its basement band venue and kickass lounge. Now, ten years on, we set out to discover whether The Drake Hotel still had true cachet.

We walked in on a wintry Saturday afternoon and the place was overflowing with bohos and hipsters alike, most waiting for a table in the recently-reno’ed (and enlarged but still full to capacity) restaurant and lounge. If you ever wondered what the Canadian design aesthetic is, you need to come here. There’s lots of natural wood, industrial lighting, earth tones, forest motifs and—to take it one step further—The Drake has a kitschy camp feel that reminds us of every camping trip we ever took as kids, sans mosquitoes.

The rooms carry on that mid-century modern campground feel but with modern ModCons. You can see inside the rooms in the photo gallery, but there are a few things that deserve an extra shout-out. First, let’s hear it for “Hairy Chest Man.” This particular doll for adults with leather studded collar is handmade and you can find a different doll in every room. Next, the “pleasure menu”: The Drake purports to be the first hotel in the world to carry one and while we can’t vouch for that, we can say that it is probably the most extensive menu of its kind that we’ve had the “pleasure” of seeing (yuck yuck). We also loved the owl light and the toiletries by Malin + Goetz.

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The Saint Hotel Introduces 'Naughty and Nice' New Suites

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  Site Where: 931 Canal Street [map], New Orleans, LA, United States, 70112
February 19, 2014 at 9:45 AM | by | Comments (0)

The Lucifer bathroom

With Mardi Gras just ahead (March 4), New Orleans is hard to beat as a place to celebrate. While there are no guarantees that what happens in New Orleans stays in New Orleans, the Saint Hotel wants it to happen there. With the debut of five new luxury suites their message is clear—play naughty. It’s OK.

We loved the Saint Hotel when it opened in 2012, and we love it still. Now a member of Marriott's Autograph Collection, the Saint continues its unique blend of approachable luxury with the soul of New Orleans. The design concept of the new suites is to the credit of the hotel’s owners Mark and Lorenda Wyant. They created the setting -- the rest is up to you.

The suites are named after archangels Christopher, Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, and Lucifer. Yes, Lucifer. Let’s have a look at the two Master Suites, the Archangel Lucifer Suite and the Archangel Michael Suite, which are about as different as night and day.

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It May Be Winter, But 25hours Hotel Berlin Bikini is Open

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  Site Where: Budapest Str 40, Berlin, 10787
February 18, 2014 at 1:31 PM | by | Comments (0)

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!

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7 Reasons Why Banks Make Great Hotels

February 17, 2014 at 12:53 PM | by | Comment (1)

UPDATE: We've added one more bank since the article was first published. So now there's 7 bank hotels to enjoy!

There can be no denying that banks build great big homes for themselves. They get the best locations – they hire the starchitects of the day – and they spare no expense in creating rich interior spaces. And it’s a win-win when these “pillars of strength” are plucked by savvy developers and converted into hotels.

Banks have so many great features that designers can’t wait to get their hands on: dramatic multi-story lobbies with heavy yet ornate columns; monumental staircases that you would love to slide down; and over the top interior finishes. Vaults become spas and ballrooms, mezzanines become restaurants, and executive boardrooms become… executive boardrooms.

We’ve reported on a few hotel conversion projects currently under way including the former Colorado National Bank in Denver, the Jarmulowsky Bank in New York City,and the upcoming Virgin Hotel in Chicago but we will continue to keep you posted as they progress. For now, check out these uniquely adapted from banks around the world:

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Funky Friday: Color Replaces Caffeine at the Hotel Art in Rome

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  Site Where: Margutta, 56, Rome, Italy, 00187
February 14, 2014 at 4:04 PM | by | Comments (0)

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?

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The Real Basel to Welcome its Next Design Hotel, The Passage

February 11, 2014 at 4:39 PM | by | Comments (0)

There is no place like Basel, Switzerland. It is one of the great cultural hubs of Europe, uniquely positioned where France, Germany and Switzerland come together. Basel has been a destination for trade fairs since the 15th century and that legacy continues today. It is the home of Art Basel, the largest art fair in the world, and Baselworld, for those of us that just cannot have too much jewelry.

Basel today is nirvana for the modernist. It has attracted some of the biggest names in architecture and design, who have collectively made Basel a living museum of design. Of course, the importance placed on design must extend to Basel’s hotels, and they do not disappoint. On March 10th, a new kid on the block will open its doors in downtown Basel – The Passage.

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Oh Really? Men Care More About Their Hotel Room Colors

February 11, 2014 at 4:11 PM | by | Comments (0)

A room that both sexes will enjoy?

Now this is interesting. When a man and woman walk into a hotel room together, it's the man who will more likely care about the colors used on the bed, on the drapes and on the walls.

That's according to this new study from a student at the University of Southern Florida.

Using a model room at the Ritz-Carlton Sarasota, Vanja Bogicevic learned that men liked dark brown, blue and gray colors in the hotel room while women went for pink, purple and orange. Yellow and turquoise were neutral colors. But she also found that the men were pickier when it came to color, with results showing that women didn't have as strong a preference between a masculine color palette and a more feminine one. (That's probably because we care more about the mirrors, lighting and hair conditioner. High five, ladies!)

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It's Funky Friday and Le Méridien Istanbul Has Us Hypnotized

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  Site Where: Cengiz Topel Caddesi No:39, Etiler Istanbul, Turkey, 34337
February 7, 2014 at 2:34 PM | by | Comments (0)

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.

We kick off Funky Friday in the lobby of Le Méridien Istanbul Etiler. It’s kind of hard not to notice the larger-than-life starburst patterns, created by artist Mustafa Hulusi. While we cannot say for certain what the meaning is behind this stroll down psychedelic lane, one clue may lie in that Hulusi himself couldn’t come up with a name for his work (“Untitled”).

Whatever the artist’s intentions may be, Le Méridien Istanbul Etiler clearly want modern art of be a part of the guest experience. The hotel has partnered with Istanbul Museum of Modern Art in their "UnlockArt" program and offer free entrance to guests who present their room key. (This program is actually in effect at all Le Méridien hotels.)

Now, stare straight into the center of any starburst and repeat to yourself, “I love HotelChatter.com and recommend it to everyone I meet …I love HotelChatter.com and recommend it to everyone I meet.” Feel better?

[Photo: Le Méridien Istanbul/Facebook]

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Could This Be What The Virgin Hotel in Chicago Will Look Like?

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  Site Where: 203 N. Wabash Avenue, Chicago, IL , 60601
January 23, 2014 at 1:50 PM | by | Comments (0)

**The illustration has been removed at the request of Rockwell Group**

We're getting pretty impatient with Virgin Hotels. The first-ever Virgin Hotel in Chicago on Wabash Street is just months away from opening (sometime this summer, they say) yet we know very little about what's going to be inside. Heck we hardly know what's on the outside since much of the Virgin has been wrapped in red sheets tarps and tape.

But we did stumble across this design concept from a Rockwell Group illustrator which was posted last April (Update: It's since been taken down.) While we doubt it's the actual design concept for the hotel (Virgin has put any and all design concepts on lockdown) it has us thinking....Hmmmmm.

There are a few illustrations to peek at, all for the public spaces of the hotel. None of the 250 guest rooms. But if this concept is something to go on, it's clear the Virgin will be all about socializing. We love the headphones that hang from the ceiling of one lounge and the swinging chairs in another. The restaurant and bar will have lots of communal seating along with banquet seating. There are also what appears to be personal workstations and crazy cool lighting.

Again, we highly doubt this is what the Virgin Hotel will actually look like when it opens. But if it did, we wouldn't mind.

[Photo Via Behance.net]

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Country Inns & Suites Debuts Brand's New Look in Illinois (But The Cookies Remain)

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  Site Where: 3092 Stevenson Drive [map], Springfield , IL, United States, 62703
December 23, 2013 at 2:43 PM | by | Comment (1)

Hey, Santa: if you need a place to take a disco nap on Tuesday night, we’d suggest hitching your reindeer up at Country Inns & Suites in Springfield, Illinois. Trust us: this place gives good cookie—and it has a spanking new design.

Founded in 1987 in Burnsville, Minnesota, Country Inns & Suites by Carlson has some 480 locations worldwide. The original property was modeled on a home-style bed and breakfast, and visitors got freshly baked batches of Santa’s favorite treats. The tradition of cookies-on-arrival continues today, even in the midst of the brand's first-ever major overhaul. (We first reported on this new look back in April.)

Created in partnership with Genevieve Gorder (an interior designer and HGTV star), “the new look is a take on contemporary American residential style,” said Scott Meyer, senior vice president of midscale brands in the Americas for Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group. “Crate & Barrel, Room & Board, or Restoration Hardware...had a great influence in the design approach we took.” The overall goal of the facelift, Meyer added "was to acknowledge modern tastes and lifestyles, while continuing our philosophy of treating guests like they are family.

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An Ode to The Delano...Again

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  Site Where: 1685 Collins Avenue [map], Miami Beach, FL, United States, 33139
December 12, 2013 at 5:44 PM | by | Comments (0)

Our love for the design of The Delano South Beach is nothing new. But on a recent stop at the hotel, we couldn't help but be captivated by the Delano's mysterious look all over again.

From the outside, The Delano is still the best-looking building on Collins Avenue, built in 1947, at the time the tallest art deco tower in Miami. It was completely renovated on the inside in 1994 by one Philippe Starck. The inside remains largely unchanged since Starck had his way with it. The billowing curtains still dance with the breeze in the lobby and the oversized furniture still greets guests at the entrance. But we particularly loved the back patio of the hotel, just before the pool area begins, which has an interesting topiary arrangement.

The Delano still commands a high rate, especially now as we move into "the season" ($600 and up) but service can be spotty and the white-on-white guest rooms are pretty small, according to recent TripAdvisor reviews. Then again, that sounds about right for a hotel in Miami Beach.

[Photos: HotelChatter]