So the year started yesterday and already it’s ‘game on’ for hotel-land, but don’t be fooled in preparation for these projects, militant planning and negotiation started long ago. With more openings than Wolfgang Puck planned throughout the year we thought we’d show you the reason that 2015 will surely be held dear for a while to come.
Understanding the nuances of a city can make or break a hotel experience. In hotel-land, you can never tell the same joke twice, so whilst the ethos and mentality might remain the same, the swagger and character must change – something that the likes of W know very well. Especially in an era where superstar designers and “starchitects” are mercifully behind us, scalability and sincerity become worthy adversaries. The product has to mean something and take us on a journey whilst retaining that all-important local love. Perhaps the most compelling aspect of hotel design in 2015 is simply put, perspective.
Often a neighbourhood makes a hotel, but every so often a hotel defines an entire neighbourhood. Yes, we’re looking at you Andre, Nick and the late, great Alex Calderwood. Down the line here’s the heroes in our midst:
Soho Farmhouse will be with us this summer and offers a slice of Babington House and much more. Located in Oxfordshire, the hotel, club, bar and restaurant will also feature a Cowshed spa, gym, much outdoor space and most compellingly, a boat area as well as an in-door out-door pool.
Sydell Group, the chaps behind The Nomad in NYC, The Line in LA and The Freehand in Miami. Yes that’s one progressive, forward thinking brand. They never fail to show a sense of character, personality and perspective. They’ve helped define what the next evolution in hospitality is. In case you’re wondering that’s a modern edgy contrast with traditional hospitality grounded blend. The Freehand hipster hostel brand opens in Chicago this Spring this year.
The Hoxton Amsterdam, by the good folks who bought you the original Hoxton hotel in Shoreditch. The savvy folks behind the brand paired up with Soho House to look after all of their daytime and late night haunts across all their hotels. Their policy is hipster friendly and no BS.
citizenM are known as the original game changer. Much like The Matrix every so often there comes along the one hotel that challenges everything we think we need for an international jaunt. This is that one and it has grown considerably since first scooping up 5 awards for their first hotel in Amsterdam. Their opening strategy is always fun, engaging and a delight to watch unfold. This year, look out for their Tower of London hotel.
Edition New York is the love child of the inimitable Ian Schrager and JW Marriott. It has soul, substance, compelling design and Ian. Watch closely for double-header from these chaps with two hotel openings planned for the Big Apple.
Hotel Costes, perhaps we’re cheating a little as this will likely open 2016. But 2015 is the year that Costes finally broke news of their imminent arrival. The original in Paris, is perhaps the only place on the planet you’re more than happy to eat in a hallway, just so long as you get a table. No trip to Paris is complete without a visit to Costes, rumoured to be the meeting place of Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis.
Mama Shelter Los Angeles. So in the 90’s Ian Schrager and Philippe Starck changed everything we know a hotel could be. They used art, design, culture, heritage, food, drink, theatre as well as music as narratives from which to draw inspiration. That company is called Morgans Hotel Group and neither Schrager nor Starck have anything to do with it now. For those wondering what became of Starck after he designed trainers for Puma, just pop over to a little place called Mama Shelter in Paris. His partnership and design aesthetic here has been well documented and tipped for perhaps the next biggest hotel expansion plan to come. LA is phase one and rest assured Los Angeleans are about to see Starck be the most Starck he’s ever been. Watch this space.
1Hotels is a new group set to change that passive eco-friendly message and turn it into something relevant, engaging and most of all honest. This roll out is kicking off with Miami this month, then New York next month. And of course, Brooklyn follows in November and then of course the world. Keep watch, sustainability is in their genes and it comes from the original founder of W, who refers to it as “not a brand but a cause”.
Written for Urbanologie