The Final Announcement:
Wallpaper makes clear Eco Design has its attention.
It’s a great source for Eco friendly design.
Mexican Caribbean coast located Hotel Basico is mentioned among others. The architects used a lot of recycled materials.
I am a fan of Philippe Starck, not in the last place because he, like yours truly, is from the very good Bordeaux wine vintage year of 1949:-).
He teamed up with UK property tycoon John Hitchcox and others and formed Yoo. Yoo is mostly about development of residential property, but is also engaged in new Hotel developments.
Granmercy By Starck is one example. Back via the back door in cooperation with his old buddy Ian Schraeger? Oops, Tamara of Mr and Mrs Smith had a Lunch with John Hitchcox who stated there is no connection with this Granmercy and Ian Schrager’s Granmercy.
‘We want to offer democratic, high-fashion living.’ – PHILIPPE STARCK
Well this post is also meant as a rant. Those apartments don’t come cheap. In addition, like many designers, Mr Starck likes Flash for his sites. I don’t like Flash, not in the last place because it prevents poor Bloggers like myself to pinch nice photo’s from a site. (Even if you know how to do it, it is cumbersome) Therefore this silly picture…..
Last edited on March 19,2019
The CitizenM Room has various neat design features:
Its 2 m long and 2 m wide Bed under the window with, on the west side of the hotel, nice views on one of the landing strips of Schiphol Airport:
Under the bed, like in yachts, there is a huge trunk size drawer where you can stash your luggage away. Next to the entrance there are 5 coat and dress hangers over a small locker that can hold a small laptop without loading facility for its batteries.
How do they manage to care for those beds? Very simple: They developed a system whereby the whole mattress can be pulled up to the front of the bed vertically. The used sheets fall of and the clean sheets can be hung up on the two upper corners in stead of crawling around the bed which would be impossible. They applied for a patent for the system.
The view gets nicer when the sun sets:
The shower and the Throne have each their own cylindric glass separation. The throne’s glass is etched. Between the shower and the bed there is a room wide curtain to separate the bath”room” part from the Sleeping part of the room. In the Throne’s cylinder an extra air suction facility prevents odors.
Here you see the two cylinders closed. Left is The Hotel Throne. Even I with my considerable belly can easily pass between the two cylinders. In the middle you see the sink. Under the sink is a small cupboard that holds the waste basket. No tiles behind the sink. The floor of the room is quite slippery when wet.
In this photo of Citizen M taken from the bed, you can see the mood lighting and, on the left,the separation curtain (they took care of the Yotel guest reviews that were complaining about the visibility of the Yotel Throne) and the rain shower. There are two tables in front of the bed and there is one chair available: The Vitra re issued C1 chair designed by Verner Panton.
Between the sink and the throne there is a turnable frame with on the one side a man high mirror and on the other side some small shelfs to store stuff and a shaving mirror and some international shaving wall sockets.
This photo I took in the big mirror.
This photo I took in the shaving mirror.
Detail of the sink with huge soap block
Two types of shampoo and a water bottle which is the only drink available in the room. Other drinks you have to fetch in the lobby cum canteen M…however I noticed they closed the lot during the night at around 2 AM while Rattan claimed during his introduction that it would be open all night!
I don’t know what to think of this feature: The Citizen M Doll. If you think it is a gift you are wrong: They charge a hefty Euro 20 for it!
Room rates vary according to demand and start with Euro 69 per night up to Euro 139 per night.
The bed sleeps fine.
All in all I am really impressed by the care for detail in this concept. Especially the lack of outside noise is amazing with all the planes flying around at Schiphol Airport.
Good value for money if you are looking for a bed to crash in.
He looks a bit tired, but here is Rattan Chadha, the founder of CitizenM and former owner of the Mexx fashion company who opened the press conference.
Some quotes as a starter:
- They started 4 years ago.
- Rattan traveled more in his prior life than many in the audience of the well attended press conference will ever do in their and their children’s lifetime.
- It is very important that the whole operation is set up by a team.
- One of the first team members is his cricket mate for over 20 years, Jan Wulf van Alkemade, who makes his living in hotel amenities.
- A good hotel room is about a good bed, a good shower and a good TV.
- TV films and Wifi are free.
- Savvy travelers want short check in and short check out times. Rattan claims being a tech nitwit and managed a check in time of 40 seconds. My own not so nitwit experience is rather 5 minutes, but even that is fine.
- In 2020 market expectations are 1,5 billion people traveling abroad, India alone 50 mio (India in 2002 had only 5 mio people traveling from India abroad)
- If I have worked hard and late, I want to be able to get sushi at 3.00 AM rather than frozen spaghetti warmed up by the night manager or some soggy hamburger. On the other hand we don’t want the staff around until somebody orders food at 3.00 Am. Therefore we have developed our own food concept.
- If you arrive at a hotel, you want to be welcomed by a real person. Therefor Citizen M has ambassadors who are not trained in the hospitality industry.
Michael Eman, the F and B manager who developed the F and B concept from the beginning adds: “We have two very important moments here: The coffee moment and the cocktail moment: All our ambassadors are first class barristas and cocktail makers”
As usual I have been wrestling with both my old heavy laptop and the Wifi system in the Citizen M hotel room. The Blue Tooth connection of the
Citizen M Remote “do it all” Control, developed by Philips,
interfered with the remote control’s other functions and was not stable at all. After wrestling for an hour and a half I gave it up.
Rattan Chadha may not like this photo, but I caught him with one of the Citizen M signs above the cold section of the self service food and beverage wall: “Citizen M Says: I’m Cold”. Well I felt left a bit in the cold with the non functioning of the remote control/Wifi combination. BTW here at home I rechecked and the old and heavy laptop does function perfectly with my own Wifi.
As a final observation I wonder why they didn’t let it read “Citizen M Says: I’m Cool“
The Amsterdam College Hotel Front
Dutch designers Colin Finnegan and Gerard Glintmeijer of FG Stijl have had a important influence in the design of the Amsterdam College Hotel. I now have access to press material from their site and also, after setting up my new computer, I am able to resize their high resolution photos without getting the famous blue screen. Therefor I now can offer my dear readers some additional photos.
Amsterdam College Hotel Front Desk
Amsterdam College Hotel Room
Amsterdam College Hotel Restaurant
I do like this style. The College Hotel is partly staffed by students from a local hotel school. Therefor the service is sometimes not entirely up to the standards that FG Stijl has set for this hotel.
Update May 14, 2008:
Recently the owner of the Hotel (the Amsterdam school ROC) was forced by the Dutch Government to sell the school. Dutch Government deemed the risks of owning a hotel too high for a state funded school….The buyer is Michael van de Kuit’s Nedstede Groep BV. Contrary to many property tycoons, Michael van de Kuit wishes to stay as anonymous as possible. To that extent he even has retained a PR adviser to keep him off the journalists’ hooks.
is the first designer Bed & Breakfast in the heart of Catania. Much more than a simple b&b, it is a unique mix of hospitality and creativity, ideal for both those travelling for pleasure and for business. It unites the fascinating Catanese baroque architecture with contemporary art and design.
At BAD one breathes the creativity of Giulia and Alessandro, the two owners and curators. Professionals in the World of advertising and graphic design, they have expertly created within the ample and comfortable rooms different ambiences, exhibiting psychedelic wallpapers, amazing 19th Century Sicilian artifacts, vintage furniture and works of young aspiring artists.
Every room of the b&b in fact has a different mood, colour and feeling, with two or three beds, private bathroom and naturally all the comforts you would expect.
Because BAD is more than a sleeping experience.
Catana is located on Sicily, on the edge of the glittering Mediterranean and also home to Mount Etna, the highest sometimes active volcano in Europe.
What’s in a name?
Marriott and Schrager, (Boyscouts?)
In a meeting today in Beverly Hills Ian Schrager and J.W. Marriott, Jr. will introduce the name Edition for their earlier announced venture. They will announce signed development deals with the first properties being opened in 2010. They have reached agreements with developers for the first nine of what eventually could be more than 100 Edition hotels in markets around the globe. Under the agreements, Edition hotels are now planned for Paris, Madrid, Costa Rica, Miami, Washington, Chicago and Scottsdale, Ariz. Two hotels are planned for Los Angeles.
They are in advanced discussions involving 20 more hotels with as many as 30 agreements in prime locations expected by the end of 2008.
Six months ago, they anticipated having only five projects announced by the end 2007, essentially half of what has actually been signed.
The hotels will have an average size of 150-200 rooms. Not exactly what I would call a Boutique Hotel Brand.
World-renowned architects and designers will be recruited to create one-of-a-kind buildings spanning the complete range of project types, from new construction, to conversions, to dramatic renovations. Mr. Schrager will be leading the Edition venture on concept, design, marketing, branding and food and beverage. Marriott will be overseeing the development process, and will operate the properties.
Source: E Hotelier.
Probably E-Hotelier cited from a press release…
Very cleverly Mr. Marriott devoted a post to it on his Marriott on the Move Blog from which I pinched the photo.
Quite funny Mr. Marriott picked this photo where he has his eyes open and Mr Schrager not so much.
There I learned that actually the meeting was on January 29, 2008.
Olga and her Brother Rocco Forte
This post, mainly about Olga, has been on the backburner for quite some time, as I had misplaced an interview with Olga Polizzi on my computer, but found it back recently.
The interview is by Locum’s managing director James Alexander and Locum’s non-executive director Tony Hodges for Locum Destination Review, a publication of Locum Consulting. It appears the interview can stil be easily found at Locum’s website under the title Olga Polizzi, an eye for individuality.
I’ll start with Olga
Olga Polizzi is a hotel investor, a hotel designer and a hotel proprietor: A real Hotelier.
She is the daughter of famous hotelier Lord Forte. She was married to Count Alessandro Polizzi, an Italian marquess who died in a racing-car accident in 1980, leaving her to bring up her two daughters – then six and four -on her own. For 16 years she was responsible for building and design within his eponymous chain that I remember as Trusthouse Forte long before Granada raided it. More recently, Olga has been a co-investor and again responsible for design in the mini-chain being driven by her brother, Sir Rocco Forte. Finally, she is a hotel proprietor of Hotel Tresanton in St Mawes, Cornwall.
The William part
of this post is William Shawcross, according to his Profile born 28 May 1946 in Sussex, raised at Eton and Oxford. Son of Baron Shawcross. Married to Olga Polizzi, his third wife and her second husband. According to his own website William Shawcross
is an internationally renowned writer and broadcaster. As well as being the author of several highly acclaimed books on subjects as wide-ranging as the Shah of Iran and Rupert Murdoch, he appears regularly on television and radio. His articles have appeared in leading newspapers and journals throughout the world.
His profile, basically by Ed Vulliamy and published Sunday July 13, 2003 in The Observer notes:
William the conqueror (which heading inspired me to the title of this post)
As a radical young writer, he took on the US establishment over Vietnam. Now he counts American hawks as friends and has been appointed biographer to the Queen Mother. What will he do with the House of Windsor’s secrets?……
Marriage to Olga Polizzi, Shawcross’s partner in the ownership and management of the Hotel Tresanton, gave Shawcross the surroundings he needed to both ‘gaze at the sea’ and pen his treatment for last year’s BBC series Queen and Country. It was three years in the making and denounced as ‘sycophantic and fawning’ to the Crown, but it became the collateral for his forthcoming book.
The marriage put the couple at the epicentre of Establishment entertaining: Prince Charles and Shawcross’s old friend Camilla Parker Bowles (her father was a friend of Sir Hartley) are regular guests.
And it enabled the author of Sideshow to attain what he says, as a supposed joke, is his aim in life: to be ‘a Basil Fawlty to my wife – one who writes a bit’.
From the Locum interview
I noted some interesting thoughts of Olga:
because the hotelier wants to distinguish the hotel from the one next door and make it more popular. And then the guest comes in and sees something different and likes it.
Service is 70 per cent of it, really. Service is incredibly important, how you are greeted, hot water, is it friendly?, telephone calls ….â€™ Despite the new sophistication of the seasoned traveller, â€˜we are still the same humans we always were … mainly we want comfort, good food, good service … youâ€™re just playing around with the elements a bit.â€™
- Comfy Design:
I like going somewhere really brilliant and new … I’ll notice the door handles … but most people, you ask them what colour the room was and they won’t remember … it’s just a feeling, it’s everything in its right place, everything really comfortable.
- Sound Economics:
We are quite careful and budget-conscious. I can’t bear it when I see something like Sandy Lane where they’ve spent £80 million on it. We’re in there to make money and cannot spend that sort of money.
- Her first own hotel: The Tresanto
When I first opened it, the accountant down there said “You can”t make money on a hotel in Cornwall”, but I said “I haven’t put all this effort and money in not to make money, we’re going to make money”. Actually, we are doing incredibly well. This is my fourth year …. I broke even from the first year …
- “The Designer Hotel”
The Designer hotel – a designer hotel doesn’t look at comfort … it’s so often done too cheaply, everything breaks, you take a shower and the water pours out into the room, all the little things that drive you completely mad … design is not for its own sake.
- Establishing her own brand. Not so much in her own words but in the interviewers’ finale:
She admits that she is in demand. Practically every day I get someone writing to me. What colour paint is this in the room? Where did you get this bedspread or this material? Where do you get your handles, your basins, your baths? It’s extraordinary … someone came the other day and they’ve called their house Tresanton, she trills. Yet down in the family’s gift and fashion boutique in St Mawes – ONDA – for all the well-cut clothes and Tresanton iconography on towels and lavender sachets, and the £50 umbrella and £5 soap, there is no sense that Olga Polizzi is taking her potential brand strengths seriously enough. She should. She is a talented individual with a rare eye and a fine business brain. And she has something that ordinary mortals understandably envy. In all innocence, she defines this something simply and memorably when discussing good food and good design. It’s true of both, design and food. There is a connection. It’s good taste at the end of the day. Precisely so, Mrs Polizzi. Now why not share your taste with a wider audience? Heroes make good brand stories, but so do heroines.
A Telegraph article In Pollizi Custody describes her next project: The acquisition of the Grade I-listed Endsleigh House on Dartmoor and refurbishment into a five star hotel.
In another Telegraph interview aptly titled Perfection is her Forte
“I’m completely obsessive-compulsive. I can never talk to anybody if a crooked painting catches my eye. And I tell myself, ‘Olga, do shut up,’ but I can’t help it. When I used to go to other hotels with my daughters [Alexandra, 33, and Charlotte, 31], I would be straightening all the furniture and they would say, ‘Ma, this isn’t your hotel.’ “
Wow! What a designer!
I found the photo at another worthwhile interview with her last year over at the Artisans of Leisure Travel Blog