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We've got Milan on our minds today
The "young and rich" luxury brand that is ME by Melia is in the midst of a global expansion, making powerful modern design statements (to put it lightly) in each city it debuts.
With hotels like ME London, a futuristic class act by Foster + Partner; the recently opened sexy cool ME Majorca and ME Ibiza; and the mind-altering ME Dubai, coming in 2016, it should be no surprise that when ME Milan Il Duca opens next year, it, too, will be something very special.
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When we shared some early images of the upcoming ME Dubai back in March, it was hard to wrap our heads around the undulations and contortions that are a staple of Zaha Hadid Architects.
With this new batch of renderings, we continue to look (gasp) in amazement and wonder at the hotel’s visual evolution. If space is still the final frontier, then the ME by Melia, Dubai, opening in 2016, seems like a good prototype for a hotel in space--it is just that way out there. It's also gonna be expensive to build.
You’ve already had a chance to browse street art at ME London last year, but while at the time you were able to make some yourself, this month you can browse and buy: from today, an exhibition entitled “Stealing Banksy?” will display over $8 million of Banksy artworks in the hotel’s Norman Foster-designed space-age pyramid atrium.
The exhibition, “exploring the social, legal and moral issues surrounding the sale of street art”, includes pieces like ‘No Ball Games, ‘Liverpool Rat’, and ‘Balloon Girl’ (check them out here), which will all be auctioned off on April 27, with profits going to local charities.
Tickets are still available through this website and cost £17.50 ($25), which includes a charitable donation and a copy of ‘The Banksy Bulge’, a one-off Banksy newspaper created for the occasion.
We found a Vibe Room for just over $500 this coming Saturday, but special offers should be available if you are going to the exhibit by contacting the hotel directly.
[Image: Stealing Banksy]
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There ain’t nothing like a dame – or a hotel that is designed by Dame Zaha Hadid, one of the most influential architects of our time. It should come as no surprise that the design-focused brand ME, by Melia Hotels has hired Zaha Hadid Architects as the sole design firm -- both interior and exterior -- for their new hotel, ME Dubai, set for a 2016 opening.
Aside from its rooftop offering far-stretching views of the city, one of the most distinctive features of Foster-designed ME London is the giant marble pyramid that houses reception, shooting up from the first floor towards its glass pinnacle inside Radio bar up top. Already a regular backdrop for video projections of star-filled galaxies and floating jellyfish, the hotel is taking things a step further during its street art exhibition ‘The Outside In’, running until August 4. We stopped by for a preview last week.
Five international graffiti writers and street artists (BRK, Christiaan Nagel, Thierry Noir, RUN and Zomby – for those who are well-versed in this particular genre) are displaying their work throughout the hotel’s public spaces, including projection onto the 30-metre high white marble walls. If you’re keen to unleash the inner street artist in you, now is also your chance with a dedicated hotel package.
We’ve kept you up to date on ME London on its long journey from when we first heard about it, through fires, delays, its Aura Managers, and the view from the roof, all the way to the much-delayed soft launch.
Today, March 1, is a brand new day however as ME London really, truly, opens its doors. Check out that lobby above, stepping into which, given the pitch black corridors (below), we likened to floating out into space, especially with the galaxy-like video projections on the angular walls at the time.
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All of the reviews are insanely positive with two being about the bar and restaurant options (the Radio rooftop, the STK eatery and Cucina Aselina are fully open for business), one review in French and another review praising the hotel design and recommending travelers pick a room as high up as possible to get views of the Thames.
While the price is right and the nightlife options are in full swing, the hotel is still in a soft-opening phase so there may still be some kinks to work out. Word is a full opening is expected in March but we'll be sure to update you when that's finalized.
'Til then, enjoy your time with ME.
[Screengrab taken January 21st from ME London's website]