Tag: Interviews

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A Denver Hotel Masseuse Answers All Our Ridiculous Questions... And More

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  Site Where: 1600 17th St Denver [map], Denver, Colorado, United States, 80202
September 19, 2013 at 12:10 PM | by | Comments (0)

It's a very intimate procedure, getting a massage. You're naked. You're exposed. Enya's blasting in the background. Just how well do you know the person who is about to have their hands all over your body? We tracked down Marrana Davis, Spa Coordinator at the Oxford Hotel in Denver, to get some answers to our burning questions about life in a hotel spa.

HC: Marrana, you work in an urban hotel in downtown Denver. You get locals and tourists coming in for treatments. Who needs more TLC?

Marrana: Tourists. People that live and work down here tend to know us, and they’re very comfortable with our Colorado-type of place. We’re all kind of easy going, laid back for the most part. We operate in a vintage building. I think sometimes when people come in from out of town and they expect to find a spa that’s completely cut off from the outside world. We have a fitness room and a salon mixed in beside our treatment rooms. Our facility is a little more community-based.

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Hard Rock: Inside Their Plans to Take Over The (Hotel) World

August 23, 2012 at 1:30 PM | by | Comments (2)

While life may be rockin' hard as usual inside Hard Rock Hotels around the world, behind the scenes the high-energy hotel brand has been carefully composing its next big hits.

Currently, there are 16 Hard Rock hotels open for business--with three new Hard Rocks that opened this year in Panama, Cancun and Puerto Vallarta. But there are five more Hard Rocks set to open in Riviera Maya, Aruba, Hungary, Abu Dhabi and Northfield Park (Ohio) in the next few years.

Naturally, this mini-burst of expansion had us wanting to know more about what the Hard Rock brand had up their (rock n' roll tattoo) sleeves. Fortunately, Michael Shindler, the executive vice president of Hard Rock Hotels and Casinos and a seasoned hospitality industry veteran, was gracious enough to answer some of our most pressing questions. (Teaser: there's going to be a Hard Rock loyalty program soon!)

See what Michael Shindler had to say about Hard Rock's new overture in our Q&A interview below!

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More Hot Hotel Talk With Hospitality Designer Lenny Kravitz

May 30, 2012 at 9:31 AM | by | Comments (0)

After picking Lenny Kravitz's brain about his designs for SLS South Beach, we wanted more. So without further ado, here's Part 2 of our interview with Kravitz, where we delve deeper into his design inspirations and his hotel must-haves as he travels the world for that other day job of his...

What do you need in a hotel room to be happy and comfortable?
More than just one thing, I like hotel rooms to be thought through. A lot of times there are lots of elements missing. I have to live in a hotel when I’m on the road and it’s not just a place for me to sleep; I have to entertain there. So it’s really about how it flows; it has to feel like a home away from home for me. I want to feel comfortable—like I’m going to be happy chilling out in the room all day. Like I don’t ever want to leave the room.

So, what inspires your designs?
You know how people are … I’m a musician, and people like to keep other people in a box. But you know for me, I design, I’m a photographer, I make music, I’m an actor—amongst other things. That’s the kind of person I am. I have always be influenced by so-called Renaissance men—or women. People in general. I love using different mediums to express myself.

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Lenny Kravitz Takes Us into His Design World as He Dishes on SLS South Beach

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  Site Where: 1701 Collins Avenue [map], Miami Beach, FL, United States, 33139
May 29, 2012 at 9:29 AM | by | Comment (1)

We've heard why sbe founder Sam Nazarian wanted to work with Kravitz Design Inc.—yeah, that'd be Lenny Kravitz to you—on SLS South Beach. But we wanted to hear from the designer himself. Who wouldn't, right?

Here's what Kravitz had to say about his work on the SLS SoBe penthouse and special bungalow suite...

What made you want to work on the SLS South Beach?
I have always loved this building. And Sam Nazarian is a great hotelier. I love the different things he is doing. Philippe Starck, what can you say? The design icon, guru, whatever you wanna call him, he has just done so much for the world of design and has been an amazing supportive figure for me. I love that we have Jose Andres doing the food — he is a mad scientist, an artist.

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Philippe Starck Walks Us Through His SLS South Beach Designs

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 1701 Collins Avenue [map], Miami Beach, FL, United States, 33139
May 17, 2012 at 2:00 PM | by | Comments (0)

Welcome to Design Thursdays! This is our day to focus on hotel design through photo tours, video walk-throughs and interviews with hotel designers. Got a cool hotel design story we should know about? Let us know.

We've seen the renderings and they sure look pretty. But as we all know, nothing can capture the feel of a hotel room quite like checking into it for real.

We're just weeks away from being able to do that at SLS South Beach, and in the meantime we have the next best thing to walking through the hotel itself--uber-designer Philippe Starck walking us through his designs.

We asked what we could expect from the rooms and where his inspiration came from. His answer took on a life of its own...

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'Go Big or Go Home': Donald Trump Talks Expansion Plans with HotelChatter

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 401 N. Wabash Ave. [map], Chicago, IL, United States, 60611
March 27, 2012 at 3:44 PM | by | Comments (0)

Recently in Chicago for meetings, Donald Trump sat down with us at Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago for the chance to talk hotel bidness. Sitting across the table from Trump in the hotel’s newest board room, there was an eerie pull tugging us toward "Apprentice"-land, but we shook it off and stayed the course.

And anyway, we were far more captivated by the latest action in the Trump Hotel Collection and some very recent changes right in Chicago (including Sixteen’s new executive chef Thomas Lents and a new boat dock for Wendella's Chicago River Architecture Tours -- more on that coming soon).

We half expected Trump-is-bigger-than-thou answers and definitely got our share. But Mr. Trump did throw us a few unexpected curveballs, all of which suggest the king of bajillion-dollar hotel and real estate investments is now, more than ever, rockin’ the mantra, “go big or go home.”

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A Look Inside the Rooms at Hyatt Union Square and More on Those Reversible Headboards

March 1, 2012 at 4:00 PM | by | Comments (3)

Welcome to Design Thursdays! This is our day to focus on hotel design through photo tours, video walk-throughs and interviews with hotel designers. Got a cool hotel design story we should know about? Let us know.

Today we have a super special treat--a sneak peek inside the forthcoming Hyatt Union Square in Manhattan (above) AND an interview with Morag Macpherson, a textile artist based in Scotland who did the fabric designs and supply for the hotel's reversible headboard patterns. Yes, reversible! After all, this Hyatt did want to be design-forward than other Hyatt hotels. So now, let's dig in!

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What's Happening in the Courtyard By Marriott Zone During Super Bowl Weekend

February 3, 2012 at 11:30 AM | by | Comments (0)

The Courtyard Greatness on the Road Zone at the NFL Experience in Indianapolis yesterday.

We've already told you how Courtyard by Marriott, an official sponsor of the NFL, was turning into a superfan for the Super Bowl XLVI this year but now that the Big Game weekend has officially kicked off we thought we'd check in with Janis Milham, Vice President and Global Brand Manager for Courtyard and get some on-the-scene reports from her.

"It is BUZZING," she said yesterday of the vibe in downtown Indianapolis. "There are people all over the place and it is just the first day. I can only imagine what it would be like on Saturday and Sunday."

Milham was sitting in the sports bar of the JW Marriott but she was about to head over to the NFL Experience at the Indianapolis Convention Center where NFL fans can gawk at the Vince Lombardi Trophy, step into a replica NFL locker room, see how far they can throw a spiral downfield and more. It's also where people can peep at the new Courtyard By Marriott lobbies at the Courtyard Greatness on the Road Zone.

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Hyatt Regency NOLA's GM Does Not Want to Gouge You With His Minibars

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 601 Loyola Avenue [map], New Orleans, LA, United States, 70113
November 3, 2011 at 2:57 PM | by | Comments (0)

We already took you on a tourof the guest rooms at the back-in-business Hyatt Regency New Orleans--and told you all the gourmet tailgating goodness that can be found at the hotel's bars and restaurants.

As for the reason your minibar is empty, we decided to let the Hyatt Regency NOLA's GM explain. We caught up with Michael Smith at the hotel's 24-hour market Lagniappe Exchange, which factors heavily in his plans not to rip off his guests at the minibar.

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Hyatt House is Outfitting Their Chairs With Power Outlets (And Other Awesome Design Details)

October 13, 2011 at 2:45 PM | by | Comments (0)

Welcome to our newest new feature, Design Thursdays! Thursdays are now our day to focus on hotel design through photo tours, video walkthroughs and interviews with hotel designers. Got a cool hotel design story we should know about? Let us know!

Just a few weeks ago, Hyatt Hotels surprised us with the announcement of their new brand, Hyatt House, which they hope will reinvigorate their extended stay offerings.

Right now, all of Hyatt's Summerfield Suites and Hotel Sierra hotels are turning into Hyatt Houses with the service upgrade and remodels to continue throughout next year. The redesign aims to create public spaces and guestrooms that will be more home-like but at the same time, more social. (Don't worry, there's still free WiFi on offer.)

Judging by the renderings we saw after the announcement, we're sure that Hyatt House will thrill road warriors and extended-stay trippers, particularly with the revamped lobby henceforth known as the Great Lounge, but there's only so much we can learn from computerized graphics.

That's why we were happy to get the chance to speak with Michael Suomi, a principal at Stonehill & Taylor the firm that created the new Hyatt House concept and design. Two of the design firm's past clients are among our favorite hotels in New York--The Ace and The Crosby Street Hotel--which intrigued us even more. Big box brands borrowing from boutique hotels is nothing new these days but to do it for an extended stay brand? We could hardly contain our excitement.

So without further adieu, let's delve into the design details with Michael Suomi. And we never thought we'd say this, but the brand's new proprietary chair is totally worth this read.

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We Ate Risotto And Talked Hotels With Curtis Stone

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  Site Where: 127 W 28th St [map], New York, NY, United States, 10001
October 4, 2011 at 9:53 AM | by | Comments (0)

Stone enjoying some Risotto Milanese, catered by Cafe B inside the Hotel Indigo Chelsea

In another life, we might have rolled our eyes at the thought of interviewing some pretty boy celebrity chef who makes a living cooking (and eating) gourmet food on national TV. But in the case of Curtis Stone, who showed up at the Hotel Indigo Chelsea on Friday to promote a local food campaign ("Locals Know Best"), we sat up to listen.

During our chat, the well-traveled chef name-drops a few of his fave NYC spots, professes his love for English Afternoon Tea, and explains why The Standard requires a certain "mood."

How did this partnership with Indigo come about?

I'm a huge advocate of local food, local produce, local chefs, local restaurants, so we decided to do a "Locals Know Best" campaign, which is just an extension of sourcing local ingredients. But it's also trying to bring in a bunch of local knowledge to each of the [Indigo] properties. I think the most important thing when you travel is to get a local flavor when you're there. Otherwise, there's no point in traveling, for both business and pleasure.

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DJ Bijal On His New Hotel: 'It's Been Like A Daydream...'

Where: 139 33rd St [map], Brooklyn, NY, United States, 11232
May 19, 2011 at 4:02 PM | by | Comments (0)

If you check the Twitter page of Brooklyn's yet-to-be-finished Hotel BPM, it is not immediately clear what the status of the project is. Originally slated to launch in July, the website now commands us to wait until the fall. But what is it exactly we're waiting for?

Sure, we know the hotel is under the direction of Bijal Panwala, aka DJ Bijal. And we know its PR rep, Carolyn Izzo-Feldman, heralded the hotel as "the newest place to see and be seen in New York City." Gee, how descriptive. But what else can we expect from the property?

Last month, we spoke to Mr. Panwala (below) about his background, his vision, and the reality of building a 75-room boutique hotel. We found it strange that such a large-scale, experimental, Brooklyn-based hotel project would continue to remain such a mystery. But, as it turns out, the DJ man himself is still trying to wrap his head around it all.

"I often ask myself, 'is this really happening?'" muses Mr. Panwala, who graduated from Long Island University in 2005 with a degree in business management. "I'll be sitting in a meeting with the lighting design team, explaining where I want the lights to go, what color I want...it's been like a daydream. As I see the entire body of the building come together, it's slowly starting to sink in."

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