Tag: Design

Motel 6 Gets an Upgrade

Motel 6 Gets an Upgrade Photo by qnr via Flickr (Creative Commons)
Photo by qnr via Flickr (Creative Commons)

Yep, the roadside budget standby has got a flashy new interior design, described as “bold, sleek, frugal euro-modernism”—but don’t worry, the new look won’t affect the reliable prices. The Los Angeles Times has photos and a review.

The Perfect Gift for the Airplane House Owner in Your Life

If you know someone who has one of these, here’s a gift idea: Furniture made of old airplane parts.

Hotel Intrigue and a Banished Denizen

Hotel Intrigue and a Banished Denizen Photo by ravedelay via Flickr (Creative Commons)
Photo by ravedelay via Flickr (Creative Commons)

Word came down recently that plans for Denizen Hotels, a Hilton-owned and operated chain dreamt up by two former Starwood execs, would be suspended after Starwood filed a lawsuit alleging that the two execs took trade secrets with them when they left the company. In this case, they allegedly nabbed development plans and encouraged employees to jump ship.

Denizen was slated to be a W-level competitor from Hilton, hence the temptation to nab the info. Corporate intrigue! Skullduggery! Tiny soaps!

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Trip Drip

I like to think of myself as pretty worldly when it comes to hotels and hotel design. I don’t mind sacrificing a little to stay someplace pretty, whether it be some space or comfort. But sometimes, hotel showers baffle me. I’m staying at the Moreno here in Buenos Aires this week and the shower looks amazing: rainfall showerhead, slatted wooden floor and just a small glass partition with no actual door to enclose it.

Functionally, it makes no sense. The water spritzes everywhere else but on the partition when you use it, and there’s no door to close to prevent that from happening. I’m a relatively clean guest, yet the hotel is actively encouraging me to make a mess. Plus, some of the shower water stays on those wooden boards overnight. If I were a groggy, first-thing-in-the-morning shower taker, they’d be slippery beams of death. This happens to me time and again: great looking shower, but it fails in the whole keeping water inside the shower area part. Do the hotels just not care?

I don’t mean to single out the Moreno; I like that shower, and if they want me to be a little messy, fine. In a nod to their understanding and patience, I promise I won’t eat a meatball sub over the room’s white cowskin rug.

No One Will Ever Find Me in This Camouflaged Treehouse Hotel

Not sure if this idea is crazy or brilliant, but I’m not surprised that it came from eco-chic Scandinavia. The Swedish architecture firm Tham & Videgard Hansson have designed a lightweight treehouse hotel with a mirrored exterior that reflects the forest around it. The mirrored cube is supposed to be invisible, but with a full set of living quarters inside, including a bedroom, bathroom, kitchenette and even a roof terrace. (But a warning to the dainty eco-poseurs: scaling up here via rope ladder or rope bridge is not for the matched luggage set; pack a backpack instead.)

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This is Not a Miami Vice Pun

The view from the Viceroy’s spa. Photo courtesy Viceroy Miami

The Viceroy Miami, down in the Icon Brickell project, is set to open tomorrow. Predictably, hotelistas are excited. It’s very Miami-ish, and not in an old guys sipping from tiny coffee cups and playing dominoes way: 162 rooms with interiors designed by Kelly Wearstler, Sferra linens and a ginormo 28,00-square-foot spa. A spot-check on rates reveals that you could stay there next weekend for about $200 a night, less than half of what they intended to charge until very recently. It makes for a much more intriguing proposition than at the previous price point, which was justified with a “they’ll come because they’ve always come” attitude.

Much like the Standard in New York, look for this project to be the canary in the coal mine for new Miami hotel openings. All the recently opened properties in less-than-prime locations will start getting antsy should things not pan out here. Much depends on enticing visitors to stay in a part of Miami that doesn’t have quite the same name recognition as South Beach—the EPIC, just on the other side of the Miami river, is in the same boat. Still, if they are out in front with these rates, it’s a sign of flexibility that up to this point many Miami hotels lacked. I’ll be sure to head down to check it out just as soon as I get a base tan that upgrades my skin color from “Casper” to “eggshell.” 

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