Comfort zones are all very well, but the gal has a feeling that sometimes luxury hotels rely too much on what is the norm. A little deviation, a little imagination here and there, might spark interest. Who would not remember having a double eggcup for boiled eggs at breakfast (question, have YOU ever seen a double eggcup in a hotel?).
Yes, there are brands that make a feature of creativity. Think Andaz Amsterdam and its ‘book’-lined elevator cabin – at ground floor, at least, as then the glass-sided cabins rise to enable you to see the stunning art installation hanging all the way down the five-floor open atrium. This is creativity from co-owner and designer Marcel Wanders. Think W Hotels in so many destinations. W Barcelona allows access to the beach directly from the lobby. W Guangzhou, designed by Yabu Pushelberg has a people-holding ‘birdnest’ floating above the Living Room lobby, where it hosts world-class fashion shows (see above). Even Four Seasons is getting into the creativity act, with fronts of old cars, supposedly real, sticking out of one wall of Michael Mina’s diner – that one is an Adam Tihany design.
But this is not enough. Design needs complementing, by such simple things as having canine ambassadors, as at Fairmont Copley Plaza in Boston, The Jefferson in Washington DC and Mandarin Oriental Paris. Now I await a luxury hotel that says yes, we have double egg cups.