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Hotels are adding keys, as in piano keys, into their design repertoire, and there seems to be no end in sight.
We’re seeing more of them as a carefully placed, often dominating feature in lobbies, bars, ballrooms, and specialty suites. As hoteliers and interior designers seek to create a unique identity for a brand or even an independent, the style or placement of a piano can and usually does, set the tone, so to speak.
We thought it might be fun to take a collective look at some examples of how hotels use pianos to show their true colors, their sense of style, or simply to show off. In some hotels it is clearly the piano itself that makes the design statement—these will be obvious— and in other cases it is the overall setting that brings it all together.
We threw in a couple of “extras,” one which is a temporary piano display in a hotel that we could not resist, and the other which is more of a suggestion on our part, for matching a piano that we found, to a hotel that is not yet open.
Here’s our gallery of hotels and their pianos, quite possibly the first of its kind. Not the last, the way things are going.
[Photos by the hotels mentioned; Blue Dog Steinway piano by RodriguesSteinway; Ferrari Grand Rossa piano by Ressino]
Hotel Suites / Photo Gallery / Four Seasons Hotels / Paris Hotels / France Hotels / Europe Hotels / Luxury Hotels / Sweet Suites / → All Tags
Last week, we gave you ideas for things you can do at Four Seasons George V if you can’t afford the pretty penny it costs to stay there, but still want a piece of that luxury pie. Now we’re going deeper inside to give you a peek at one of the coveted suites at the hotel – Suite 335.
Suite 335 is a Four Seasons Suite, the lowest rung on the suites ladder at George V. After it comes the Deluxe, Premier, Duplex, and Empire Suites, and all the way up to the Penthouse Suite. The Four Seasons Suites are not to be scoffed at, however, as runts of the litter, for they range in size from 650-750 sq ft and have the old-world elegance found throughout George V plus all of the mod-cons you need to carry on with your daily life.
Plenty of pics below!
Photo Gallery / Hotel Lists / Paris Hotels / France Hotels / Four Seasons / Luxury Hotels / Hotel Cocktails / Hotel Restaurants / → All Tags
Paris is crazy expensive, especially when you get into the five-star hotel world, but who doesn't want a hit of that kind of luxe?
Here's how to get your glam on at one of the most iconic hotels in all of hoteldom without having to spend the night: the Four Seasons George V in Paris where rooms start at 1,000 Euros a night. Your bank account will thank us.
1. Cocktails at Le Bar: Fresh off a renovation, Le Bar is the cheapest, er, easiest way to take in the ambiance of the George V. We recommend the George Fizz champagne cocktail for 28 EUR ($38) because hello, it's champagne. Mixed with fresh strawberries, raspberries and orange juice, as well as guava juice, we thought it had more than enough vitamins and phyto-nutrients to cancel out the alcohol.
Photo Gallery / Luxury Hotels / boutique hotels / Fashion Hotels / Hotel Lounges / Hotel Cocktails / Preferred Hotels / Europe Hotels / Paris Hotels / → All Tags
Now that the word is out regarding the sale of the Mondrian Soho to the Buddha-Bar Hotel Collection owner, Gerard Guez, we thought you might like to have a peek at the fairly-new Buddha-Bar Hotel Paris (opened as a Preferred Boutique Hotel in June 2013) to get an idea of what all the brouhaha is about regarding these properties in Paris, Prague and Budapest.
The 56-room Buddha-Bar Hotel Paris is located right in the fashion heart of the 8th arrondissement (and is often used in fashion shoots), just off Faubourg Saint-Honoré but, when you enter, you feel as if you’re not in Kansas (or Paris) anymore. All looks standard-issue Paris on the outside of the 1734 building, but step inside to face the 120 red-glass lanterns hanging at the entrance, and you imagine that you’ve been thrown into the movie classic, “Shanghai Express.”
With just a hint of opium-den design, the hotel and its rooms are full of mahogany wood, red or black lacquered doors and tabletops, golden brown or yellow walls and carpets, and grey or red sofas and chairs. Greeting you in the lobby, besides the Buddha-like black cat, is the Chinese Dragon woven into the carpet – a motif you’ll find throughout the hotel – as the official protector of travelers to this, and other, foreign lands.
Have a look at the photo gallery!
With summer almost officially under way, hoteliers are getting their (rubber) ducks in a row in preparing their outdoor spaces for the influx of party-hungry crowds, both guests and locals alike. Terrace seating areas are primped, outdoor lighting and special effects are recharged, and bars with summer drinks and menus await our arrival.
As a kickoff to a wonderful summer season that most of us have already started, we have compiled a photo gallery of hotels' outdoor living spaces representing a range of designs and scenic settings. For this gallery we did not focus on rooftop bars or pools, as those have, like, totally been done before.
[Photos in gallery courtesy of the hotels featured]
Two things can be said about present day hotel interiors that cannot be refuted--they are sometimes colorful and they are sometimes colorless. For as many hotels that we have seen with lobbies, guest rooms, and restaurants that feature bold, bright, and busy settings, we come across almost as many that go for the classic simplicity of a predominantly white palette.
The consensus is that white offers a sense of calm, order and cleanliness. That might be true in a hotel setting when there is no one in it. Further, whoever says that white signifies innocence probably doesn't spend much time in hotels. We're just saying.
Without getting too nitty gritty on whether white is or is not a color – we leave that discussion to Bill Nye the Science Guy — we have compiled a photo gallery of some great hotel interiors that have seriously lightened up. As you will see in this gallery there are many shades of "white" (for further study refer to your handy Pantone color deck) and infinitely many ways that designers capitalize on this eternal non-color in their hotel designs.
If you happen to be reading HotelChatter.com from a hotel -- and how great if you are -- take a look around. There's a very good chance you will see one of the most popular and re-invented lounge chairs ever -- the wingback chair. Maybe you are sitting in one now and if so, it's pretty comfy isn't it?
The wingback chair has been around since the 17th century yet seems to have found a permanent home in modern hospitality. What a difference 300 years can make, as there are about as many different versions on the market to entice us.
It is a design that has always been intended for comfort first. This chair generally features a high back that you can fully rest your head against, and projecting side sections that offer a subtle sense of security, especially at the top (hence the term "wings.") This goes a long way in a great big hotel lobby -- designers love it and guests love it. Win win.
This photo gallery celebrates the chair that has won the hearts of hoteliers, their designers, and perhaps more often than we realize, our derriere. Have a seat and take a look at our first round of images. Trust us, we've got more.
Design Thursdays / Snapshot / Photo Gallery / Hotel Design / Boutique Hotels / Hotel Renovations / Canada Hotels / Toronto Hotels / → All Tags
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.
Oh God, yes. Earlier this morning, we confirmed the existence of the Andaz Munich which will have 274 rooms when it opens in 2017 (note to self: we better start practicing some tantric sex right now.) Located in the a cultural district of Munich known as Schwabinger Tor, the Andaz will feature an all-day dining restaurant, a lounge and rooftop bar, a spa, a pool and all that we've come to love about Andaz--free WiFi, complimentary mini-bar snacks, personalized check-in and lots of cool design and art.
While the renderings we discovered over the weekend, mysteriously disappeared, Andaz has now provided us with a bunch to fantasize about. It's only of the exterior but we'll just imagine what's on the inside. Enjoy!
[Renderings via Andaz Hotels]
Next up in our Toronto tour is the 18-room hotel, The Beverley, found on hipster hangout, Queen West. After some initial confusion as to whether to head up or down the stairs (go up to check-in and down to go to the popular restaurant and lounge), we met up with GM Scott Newnham who showed us around this tasteful minimalist boutique property.
The hotel’s motto is, “Everything you need and nothing you don’t,” and we think this is a pretty accurate depiction of what the hotel’s all about. Cool, white minimalism takes over the rooms — with a happy shock of vivid color coming from the bathrooms — and what’s there is luxurious: Frette linens; local spa Body Blitz toiletries; fluffy cotton robes; and flat-screen TVs mounted on the ceiling or wall.
Have a look at the photo gallery below to see for yourself!
We popped in to 12-room boutique Hotel Ocho during our recent excursion to T.O. We found an industrial-style crash pad with Danish minimalism and shabby chic décor thrown in for good measure.
The hotel opened in May 2011 in an area underserviced by the big-name brands. Next to Chinatown and in the trendy Queen West area (you can rent a bike right outside the hotel to get around), it attracts the creative class with its basement restaurant and lounge offering martini and wine nights. The hotel’s reception is also in the basement level, although you might just miss it if you're not aware, since check-in is located behind the stairs leading up to the second level (as you can see, there’s some quirk here too!).
Once you hit the rooms—on the top two floors of the four-storey building (and yes, there is an elevator)—you’ll have a choice of a Standard Room, Superior Room or Deluxe Room. All have wood-plank ceilings, flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi. We had a peek at a Superior Room and it also had a little desk, an open bathroom concept and walk-in shower, and La Source toiletries. The Standard Room also had the open concept bathroom and was... cozy.
The hotel showcases local artists and rotates the work about every two months, giving the hotel a lot of character. See for yourself in the Photo Gallery below!
While times, they are a-changing, the vast majority of airport hotels are still conservatively-designed chain hotels. The Grand Hotel Winnipeg Airport, part of Preferred Hotel Group, could be the next generation of stylin’ airport boutique hotels that have it all goin’ on.
To prove our point here are 10 things that we loved:
1. It brings back the golden age of flying – We’ve all heard tales of a time when one wore their Sunday best to fly and martinis were copious. We’ll never get those days back, but with The Grand’s design scheme we can still pretend. Colours in the hotel are tarmac grey paired with sky and Robin’s egg blues. The addition of whites makes the hotel feel crisp and laundered. It feels like optimism, all shiny and new.
2. Artwork – The hotel doesn’t bill itself as an art hotel, but it should. All of the artwork in the hotel—the rotating images behind reception, in the rooms and throughout the public areas—are photographs taken by the hotel's owner, Keith Levit.
3. The Room – Spacious and well-thought out, full of flat spaces and cubby holes for our stuff. We had a Deluxe Runway View room (620 sq ft) and—calling all location scouts—it looked directly out onto the apron and runways.
4. Local food done really well – Fresh ingredients including the kitchen’s homegrown micro greens made for a great dinner, and you should see that walk-in wine cellar!
Not ones to apologize for noticing and appreciating the minutiae of a hotel because we do sweat the small stuff, some small but important deets are below: