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The Benefits of Being There

(June 2017) posted on Fri Jun 02, 2017

The most recent BDwest offered a series of meaningful face-to-face interactions, starting with a sneak-peek design tour of a soon-to-open hotel in LA.

By Matthew Hall

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Just down the street from my office, a new Home2 Suites by Hilton is taking shape. During my daily lunch walks in recent months, it’s been instructive (OK, and fun) to watch that extended-stay hotel rise out of the ground—as I write this, just the concrete/aluminum/steel shell is in place.

But that project is dwarfed many times over by another new hotel whose construction I recently got to eyeball firsthand. That property, the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown at Wilshire Grand Center, was the site of this year’s BDwest Design Tour.

Our hard-hat walk-through of that soon-to-open hotel was guided by AC Martin’s Chris King, as well as Wilson Associates’ Amy Jakubowski and Purchasing Management Intl.’s Bill Langmade. They all gave some great behind-the-scenes insights into the design and fabrication of the interiors for this massive project, which consists of a 900-key luxury hotel located in the upper floors of a 73-story skyscraper. My favorite part: a visit to the rooftop Spire 73, which according to the hotel’s website will be the tallest open-air bar in the Western Hemisphere. Yes, that’s the famed Hollywood sign waaay out there.

The tour provided me with a powerful reminder that the creation of such ambitious projects is an intricate dance that requires a laser-like focus and constant communication between contractors, designers, purchasing agents, clients and others to become a reality. (It also reinforced the idea that the participants’ strategies for accomplishing those tasks should always be an integral part of the coverage Boutique Design provides for a given project.)

The site tour was the start of two-plus days of learning and networking at the fifth annual BDwest. Highlights of other firsthand interactions offered up by this year’s trade fair and conference are contained in this event review from our June issue.

As for the rest of that edition, we offer up a virtual visual feast of some of the latest must-see hospitality projects from around the globe, with their stories told by the creative forces behind them. (Kudos, as always, to BD art director Kelly Farrar for designing the pages that wonderfully illustrate those tales.) Our feature lineup kicks off with profiles of our 2017 Up-and-Coming Hoteliers by executive editor Mary Scoviak and contributing editor Oriana Lerner. Past that are Lerner's looks at three cutting-edge F&B venues and her overview of two game-changing lodging concepts that are truly worthy of that label. How’s that for a power trio?

Beyond the features, this issue also offers other informative eye candy, including associate editor Christina Green's "Design Deconstructed" spread on an uber-cool space in a recently renovated hotel in Charleston, South Carolina, and her two product showrooms: Carpet + Rugs and Green FF&E.

As is always the case, our intention in creating such content is to inspire our readers as they go about the business of designing noteworthy hospitality spaces.


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