75012 Travel Guide
Ibis is showing guests that they can be their most creative but when they're fast asleep in bed. A select few European Ibis hotels are taking part in a new interactive program called "Sleep Art," which has to be the most unusual example we've seen in a while of cool art being integrated into the hotel experience.
Basically, guests sleep on a special mattress, which analyzes their movements, and then sends that data to a robot arm programmed to create a unique painting based on the information (kind of like the Yobot's long-lost cousin!). Since every person has a different way of sleeping, every painting will be one-of-a-kind.
And if you love the idea of bringing home a work of sleep-induced art, but are too creeped out by the presence of a soulless robot arm twitching and whirring next to your bed, then worry not. The mechanical arm is actually located in a remote studio in Paris. Which leads us to think the whole "Sleep Art" initiative isn't about expression creativity at all, but rather an opportunity for Ibis to flaunt its strong WiFi signals.
But now that he's opening his sixth hotel and his first property in Italy, Coppola reminds us that he's an established hotelier that we should be better about following.
Palazzo Margherita will open tomorrow, March 1, in the Basilicata region of Southern Italy. More specifically, the hotel is located in the town of Bernalda, the birthplace of Francis’s grandfather Agostino Coppola.
The palazzo, first built in 1892, has been completely renovated by French designer Jacques Grange with tiled floors, hand-painted fresco ceilings. While the place hopes to exude "Italian elegance", the decor also incorporates a bit of Moroccan and Baroque influences as well.
After the buzz wore off from our stay at Le Meurice, we traveled over to the Novotel Paris Du Gare Lyon, right next to the train station, where we were due to catch an early morning train the next day.
Being a budgety Novotel, we didn't expect to be amazed by anything but we were surprised by the free WiFi throughout the hotel. It was especially heaven sent after getting thwarted at Mickey D's and having to shell out 20 Euros at Le Meurice. The network was super fast and we had no problems signing on.
We did, however, find our room utterly depressing with drab (although new and modern) decor, teeny pillows, scratchy sheets and a bathroom that looked as if it belonged in a sleeper cabin on a train.
Hotel technology doesn't get much better than a hotel room that you can open using your cell phone, does it? Well, it sure turns us on and it's already a reality at the Pullman Paris Bercy, an Accor hotel that serves as a home-base for testing rooms from the chain's Innovation and Design unit.
You can actually book the test rooms or you might just be lucky to end up in one. As well as cell phone key technology (so far it only works from Samsung phones), there is a high tech shower with glass that turns from clear to opaque at the flick of a switch as well as having different lighting options while you're washing.
As you'd expect, all the gadgets are connected to a single remote control, which means you can fiddle with the bedroom and shower lights, lightproof blinds, TV and video projector without moving more than a couple of fingers.
The Pullman Bercy is aimed at business travelers but curious hotel tech observers are no doubt dropping by as well. Rates for a double start from around €170 ($225).