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Life Stylists

(May 2017) posted on Fri May 05, 2017

Move over, Instagram. Today’s guests want a 360-degree lifestyle experience. Find out how three innovators are crafting hotels that feel as good as they look.


By Oriana Lerner

click an image below to view slideshow

Hotels aren't just for selfies. Instead, they're grown-up playgrounds where guests get to toy with their #lifegoals, whether they're aspiring musicians or Type A jetsetters trying to chill. That means it's time for hoteliers and designers to shelve their egos and craft properties that provide a framework for the guests, not a sizzle reel for their own preferences.

Garden Fireplace
Guest rooms at the Nobu Ryokan Malibu use blonde woods, simple shapes and a cozy layout to create a cocoon-like serenity. Photo: Barbara Kraft Photography

From the ultra-luxury effortless cool of Nobu Hotels to the multi-channel creative juggernaut of Ace Hotel/Atelier Ace to the new-school California vibe of Shade Hotels, building a brand today means playing psychologist, mixologist, curator, local guide and host in equal measure. Read on to find out what the brains behind those flags think that trend means for design.

Trevor Horwell
ceo, Nobu Hospitality



C’mon, relax already. Horwell’s out to prove that both “boutique” and “luxury” hotels should be begging guests to kick their shoes off and take a deep breath. Horwell has no time for flags that force guests to buy into the brand’s aesthetic or ethos.

Garden room
Guest rooms don't always need to be multifunctional. Here, the bed is front and center, creating a restful room, not a live/work/sleep studio. Photo: Barbara Kraft Photography

From 200-plus room properties to the one-time motel that will soon be the Nobu Ryokan Malibu, the former Hard Rock Intl. executive puts a great mattress ahead of too-done design and lets famed sushi chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s dining venues be the stars of the show. And, yes, Horwell knows a thing or two about star power, as both Robert DeNiro and producer Meir Teper sit on Nobu’s leadership team with the chef, himself, coo Struan McKenzie and investor James Packer. Find out what else is on Horwell’s menu below.

WHAT DOES LUXURY MEAN IN 2017?
Horwell: It’s not a thing or a look. It’s anticipatory service. Our guests are busy people who value time more than anything else, so how we approach them must respect that. Technology is paramount in today’s hotel experience as it enables the guest to fully experience seamless hospitality from start to finish through mobile applications, in-room check-in, and the ease of doing business and having fun while traveling.


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