2019 GOLD KEY AWARDS
BEST GUESTROOM FOCUSED SERVICE
THE DESIGN FIRM: Yabu Pushelberg, Toronto/New York
THE MUSE: Make compact rooms not just serviceable, but clever, iconoclastic and memorable. Find a way to inject personality into each of the room types: the quad bunk, the double-double and the king (which range from 185 sq. ft. to 195 sq. ft.).
THE MAGIC: Moxy was already a disruptor in the New York hospitality scene, so the “basics” of the brand’s major guestroom innovations are on display a short walk away at Moxy Times Square. Bonus: Yabu Pushelberg also created the guestrooms for this property’s older sibling in Times Square, so the apples-to-apples comparison is even more tempting. Like any design-led hotel without generous floorplates (in other words, most of NYC’s hotel stock), whatever tools the team uses to make these rooms stand out need to have an efficient profile. Yes, the small room staples are here: pegs instead of closets, underbed storage and compact bathrooms. What makes this hotel statement-making, not just problem-solving, is that there is a twist to each of those elements. The pegs also hold a folding chair and folding table. The platform beds have an eye-catching detail on the corners. The bathrooms have blue or black sinks, a very Instagrammable way to wake up. A nature-led palette and a near ban on shiny textures help differentiate Chelsea from the brighter, more manmade details in the TSQ hotel.
THE MAVERICK MOVE: Using vertical space to make the compact footprint feel bigger. “Ten-foot ceilings and wall-to-wall windows that flood the rooms with natural light increase the sense of spaciousness,” says George Yabu, cofounder, with Glenn Pushelberg, of their eponymous practice. It’s fair to say that not every similar project has that leg up. But, the team’s stewardship of those precious cubic feet helps makes the rooms shine. Except for the necessities of the pegs and a TV, everything on the walls flaunts their height—simple plaid window treatments become a dramatic moment when they’re extra-long and the hangings behind the bed are suspended from a roller above eye level. In other words, these rooms own their stature.
THE MESSAGE: Public spaces don’t have a monopoly on playful, fun, boundary-pushing design. That just has to be right-scaled for the guestroom. Specifying an offbeat light next to the bed makes a big “I’m different, look at me!” statement in a compact room. “Urban camping”-inspired materials on multipurpose furniture pull the look even further away from New York 101.
PHOTOS: MICHAEL KLEINBERG FOR MOXY CHELSEA