I’m having one of those, sensory overload, exhausted yet giddy moments… sometimes we all need to step pretty far out of our daily lives to simultaneously reset, reflect, and find inspiration in the unexpected. For the next 5 days, i’m hiding out in the Lembeh Strait of Sulawesi, Indonesia… and they have awesome wifi, so when i’m not drop dead tired or diving exploring all the creatures around… the regularly scheduled content may be coming on vacation with me! So today was a morning flight to Manado from Singapore, followed by a 1.5 hour van ride through Bitung out to the dive spot, and now i’m curled up in my adorable cottage at Kungkungan Bay Resort. Certainly quite the contrast to the design overload i’m looking forward to in Milan in a few weeks! Although i thought about crashing after the day of travel, when i stared out at the possibly full moon with the intense clouds over the ocean… i couldn’t help taking a few pics, and i’m so in love with the view, i had to share them with you before i got some sleep! Isn’t it amazing how the palm trees and clouds look in the moonlight? See a few more pics of the night… some of the view on the flight in… and another random pic or too…
Entries tagged with: hotels
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On gyms with views ~ had a chance to check out the gym at the Standard NY while i was there (it wasn’t open when i stayed last time!) ~ and wow. Filled with mirrors, super empty, lots of brand new equipment… and amazing views! Not to mention fun super red drinking fountain… and you can even see the statue of liberty out of the port hole by the bathrooms! Take a peek at more pics on the next page!
On fun additions to the world of the Standard New York ~ their new store is like a wonderland of practical and playful designer goodies. Greeted by a giant ALL FOR YOU made of ring pops ~ you discover a hotel store filled with everything from forgotten amenities like meds and toothpaste in card catalog drawers to power adapters and magazines… and then fun gifts like the beautifully bound penguin classics to giant dunnys to glossy apples and stunning jewelry… and of course there are even naughtier gifts like vibes and condoms that you can wrap in raunchy double sided wrapping paper and pair with chocolate! See lots of pics on the next page!
On unexpected surprises… did you know the Soho Grand Hotel will provide you with a roommate? An adorable little black goldfish? Strangely though, no food… i guess i will have to trust that housekeeping comes by and feeds the little guy? Their cheeky website says “If travelers cannot bring their pets, the Soho Grand offers surrogate animal companionship in the form of a goldfish in your guestroom.”
For those that asked on twitter ~ no i haven’t named it. No need to get attached, i don’t think i get to bring him with me to london… But i do wonder if there’s a mysterious room in the hotel somewhere with wall to wall goldfish bowls… do they really have enough for EVERY room? Or if you have two kids, can you request two? Or can you ask for two in the same bowl just so they dont get lonely while you’re out? Cute idea though ~ providing a bit more life to often sterile feeling hotel spaces! See more pics on the next page…
Laguna Beach ~ so many surf brands have their home base in the OC ~ and recently so many hotels with special designer suites ~ but somehow i never heard about the Casa Surf Project over at La Casa del Camino until now! The hotel is perched less than a block from the beach, has an old spanish styled look and feel… and somehow the smell and hallways remind me of college… something frat house-y about it? Or maybe that was the crowd too… fascinating thing about the Casa Surf Project is that they gave 10 brands and their designers 10 suites, and let them have their way with it - “Action sports icons like Billabong Men’s and Billabong Women’s, Rip Curl, etnies, Roxy, Quiksilver, L* Space, Lost International along with Riviera Magazine and Glaceau have teamed with Southern California’s finest designers to create the Casa Surf Suites with a portion of the proceeds from each room donated to key charities for the first year.” I love the moroccan inspired Lost room… how far they took the decor, and the furniture choices… you have to see how fun the lights looked at night! And the way they really customized the walls… so beautiful! Billabong and Quicksilver are my other favorites ~ see more pics on the next page, and see full information on each suite here!
So after a bit of hotel horrors ~ and bouncing in and out of the vitale over the last week ~ with sf gift fair and macworld happening, SF hotels seem a bit packed… just decided to check out the Clift Hotel in San Francisco which is part of the Morgans Hotel Group (with those awesome “The world needs to discuss it over drinks. The world needs more interesting.” ads i adore.)… they were nice enough to upgrade me to experience one of their suites, and i’m currently working at that “through the… orange… looking glass” feeling table above… and really, between the bizarre world within it and the stunning city views here, it’s hard to focus! It’s also incredibly calming and relaxing with it’s lavender entry way, light grey carpeting, and light wood furnishings… exactly what i needed after quite the crazy last few days! Go take a peek into their fun, spacious, suite i’m living in for the next few days on the next page!
Looking down out this huge concave window in my Hotel Vitale room, has been strangely mesmerizing and inspiring to stare out of… from the spiderweb mess of bus cables to the curved arcs of the road and diamond of the cross walk and just watching the traffic/people flow through it… it kind of looks like a math or physics diagram…
Anyhow, Hotel Vitale has been one of my favorite spots to hide out in San Francisco since i moved out of this city… and while i’ve been in quite a few different rooms, this is definitely one of the most unique. I sleep better than usual in their beds… this room has a nice tub with a view… and this ridiculously large window! As well as the usual nice huge desk space to work at… and chaise to lounge on. Take a peek at a few pictures of the view in both day and night, as well as a peek at the room!
Wow. This has definitely been a whirlwind of a week or so, and a very Macallan filled month! A week and a half ago, i thought tasting the 50 and 52 year old Macallan were the oldest my lips may ever touch, but little did i know that this week i’d be sipping the 57 yr old Macallan! Tuesday night was a NOTCOT first. I’ve never played host at a party before! But when Macallan and the W Los Angeles approached me to co-host a party with Julie Wolfson, saying they’d take care of the details, we just had to invite some friends to come indulge with us, how could i say no? Despite the rainy night (which cleared up mid way through the party so we finally got to sneak outside and enjoy the brisk night air, curl up by the fireplace, and smoke cigars while sipping Macallan into the night), we had a great turn out. And as you know, Macallan loves twitter (in fact, our other co-host, The Macallan West Coast Ambassador, Eden Algie ~ just joined twitter, please follow him and message him to convince him to let us throw another LA party!)… so once again live tweeting was up on the screen during the party, and people were tweeting up quite a storm with #macallan (you can see my favorites on the next page!)… one of the highlights of the night was definitely getting to taste the 57 year Macallan in a Lalique crystal decanter… take a peek at the festivities, as well as some of the great coverage and photography to emerge from the event so far!
Mmmmm. Doing that bicoastal commmute again, this time thanks to the Macallan folks who have brought me out to NY for an event tomorrow night, more to come on that later though. Long day of travel ~ popped over on JetBlue (i miss Virgin America, they spoil me with wifi. I thought i might be happier without it when flying, but i was wrong) ~ luckily i feel like i’m at home away from home as i slipped in to The Mercer Hotel ~ another Andre Balazs property, this one in the heart of Soho… and i absolutely adore it. Got in, got room service, and got to work! Well, after taking a bunch of pics of all the little design details that grabbed my eye. Also bonus points to them for super fast room service and bringing me some benadryl at midnight. They’ve been so kind and taking such good care of me here already! And so many details of this room make me want to go home and remodel already… Ready to take a peek?
I’m a bit obsessed with print recently. I mean, i always love/d print, but extra aware of it and all its design nuances at the moment. Beyond that, i can’t seem to help fixating on the way digital/online medias can translate back out to print in the real world well ~ and how integrated ads can be beautiful and/or enhance the content. Ran into this little booklet for the first time at a hotel and love not only the concept and execution, but also the design!
Daily Candy has a beautiful Los Angeles pocket sized city guide that is perhaps one of the most thorough (SO many of my favorites and many more are included!) guides to places to eat, sleep, shop, and more in LA! Design is fun and readable, adorable little icons and extra notes and illustrations tucked away in each page. It’s also light on the branding/advertisements Only a few Jet Blue ads inside with fun creative and copy of course! On the front it mentions it is in partnership with the Viceroy Group and Urban Retreats. As far as positioning, seems like great positioning to get Daily Candy in front of boutique hotel guests ~ particularly those who may not know the mailing list yet. Lovely idea, beautifully executed, i’d rather grab one of these than a Wallpaper guide, etc. if i’m sending a friend off to explore LA ~ now i’m curious what other cities exist! And how to find them! Take a peek inside this LA guide on the next page…
UPDATE: Just in from Daily Candy - there are NYC and LA guides. the NYC guides were made last year and can be found at the 5 W hotels in NYC. The LA ones just arrived in the Viceroy and Urban Retreat hotels last month! “They were penned by the NYC and LA editors respectively. It’s the first time we’ve printed our favorites in such a fashion and they are being well-received in both markets. The great thing is it’s everything we love — Not just the “latest and greatest” but they also include mention our tried and true favorites.”
The Ace Hotels practically radiate visual inspiration at every turn... but at the Ace Hotel Palm Springs add being at the foot of the mountains in Palm Springs with that crisp desert sky at night as you float in the pool and hot tub ~ only to run out and press the "Make Fire" button on one of the many fire places surrounded by adorably designed chairs as you look up at the Stan Bitters ceramics ~ or wander to the bar where what appears to be the coolest sunglass wearing stuffed bear you will ever see is perched behind the bottles ~ challenging the coolness of the coyote of a mascot above the reception whose silhouette is all around the hotel... and the THINK signage in the lobby "compliments of IBM corporation" is just priceless. OH! And there are yurts too... with beautiful domed skylights colored with geometric gel patterns... and hammocks too! So as you can see, there was too much besides my room, that i couldn't help but share with you... so MANY pictures on the next page. I hope you enjoy them as much as i do!
Don't mock. It's friday night. I know. It's friday the 13th even! And honestly, as many events and people are convening in LA for a combination of art events, MOCA anniversary, and so much more this weekend ~ after that endless travelfest the last month and a non stop week since i touched back down ~ i couldn't help myself when a few fun folks said "Ok!" to having our own top secret brainstorm session where we'd clear the weekend and meet up in Palm Springs. So after a delicious (intellectually and nourishingly) breakfast meeting at Chateau Marmont, i hopped back in the car and drove east... running super low on sleep and high on ideas, i stumbled into the Ace Hotel Palm Springs, and into Room 214 with only my laptop/camera bag and purse... and have been sucked into photoshopping and before i wander back out to feed myself and see whats going on with the wedding folks right outside... i just had to share this little oasis with you. Stepping in, life slowed down, mind felt clearer, body felt calmer. And the welcome card tells me "Life is not about surviving the storm, but learning to dance in the rain." Wise words to live by ~ so let's dance? I have a feeling there will be much more to share this weekend... the Ace family always does manage to get me so inspired with their attention to details, great design, and just awesome experiences...
Half awake in the airport lounge at Arlanda ~ going through pictures, and since i'm not over it yet... more chandeliers that grabbed my attention at the Grand Hotel, Stockholm (that became my home for the last 4 nights!). According to their website (and everyone i encountered in Stockholm), it is "Scandinavia's leading hotel and much appreciated meeting place. The hotel opened in 1874 and has a long and fascinating history." And it truly is quite the opposite in style of the Lydmar Hotel next door which i adored. Part of what made this trip so fun was the stark contrast between the two! I must admit they took incredibly good care of me, had lightning fast wifi, and all the rooms (peeked into a few others!) were quite unique ~ but all with a consistently luxurious historical atmosphere... so on my last night when i ran out in hope to get some pictures of the black cube, i also got distracted by some of the crazy abs on the men holding up the building, the amazing glow of the building itself, and the chandeliers i couldn't believe i'd missed as we rushed between events! Can you believe it was dark out when these were all taken? That image above still blows my mind when i stare at it and realize the sun had fully gone down by then... see more on the next page!
Biggest tease was that the full spa and pool are opening in 10 days!
As you've seen, i love the Lydmar Hotel ~ i'm so happy i had a chance to stay there before it got completely transformed into an Absolut Art Collection haven the day after, so i could appreciate the contrast to what the space was normally like. (Not too much changed, just some rearranging and art hanging... i suppose it was too easy for Absolut when the starting space was such a nice fit already!) While i'm sure you're familiar with many of these collaborations between Absolut and Sylvie Fleury, Dan Wolgers, David Shrigley, Douglas Gordon, and Hung Tung-Lu... what is really worth seeing is how the Absolut installations really work with the space, particularly in the suite! (The shadows are stunning! and the four poster bed? with the deceptively provocative duvet? I desperately want one now... you'll see what i mean...) So take a peek on the next page to take it all in... quick video to show you how the lenticular piece of Hung Tung-Lu felt in person as well...
You guys are AMAZING, today particularly @chakrapenny who shared the designers of the naughty bedspread within 15 minutes of my call for help! So if you're interested, check out K-Lou's Erotic "Toile de joui" Collection.
I know. I go rather quiet for a few days as i travel far too much the last few months, still not sure what day or time zone i'm in most of the time, but one thing i'm sure of... it's 5:30 am and i should be sleeping, but i'm staring at such an awesome bathroom here in the Lydmar Hotel, i just had to share it with you before i go sleep. The slate tiles floor to ceiling... the incredible lighting... the way the fixtures all seem to float... the contrast in textures... the hardcore thick grey blinds... I suppose the part that i'm smitten with most is the inset mirror that then doubles as a shelf, as well as a beautifully lit frame (only lit by two strips of light along the sides), and everything on the shelf looks so dramatic! So take a look at more details... including the packaging of their Byredo Parfums Tailor's Cotton line of toiletries...
you also have to see the room key... it looks like a car key... and they all have different keychains!
So since that top picture is what i am literally lying in bed staring at as i write this post (yes, i went to paris/versailles for barely 24 hours, and am now in stockholm)... and since it's already 4:30am, and i'm kind of on a chandelier high (they are kind of mesmerizingly stunning, and at the moment, i just feel drawn to standing directly under them and looking up)... figured i'd show you the crazy contrast between chandeliers from Versailles and the various more modern chandeliers here at the Lydmar Hotel in Stockholm. More to come on the Lydmar soon, but it has definitely jumped up on my list of favorites quickly ~ there's something so nice about their eclectic mix of modern and woody and i'm completely smitten by the bathroom, particularly the lighting! But first... go see the rest of the modern chandelier mandala pics on the next page!
Between Oxford and Stockholm, there was a last minute irresistible reason to change plans and detour through Paris to have dinner as a guest of Dom Perignon in Versailles! In the style and room that Louis XIV dined... ok, quite honestly, for something that "once in a lifetime" feeling, how could you turn down such an opportunity? So that meant hopping on a train to London in the morning, then Eurostarring it over to Paris, and then into the infamous Hotel de Crillon (according to wikipedia, it's one of the oldest luxury hotels in the WORLD), where a matte black Dom Perignon bag filled with matte black goodness and lots of history and background information on the world of Dom awaited me on the desk to dive into in the few hours i had to prepared before for dinner. So before we get into Versailles... here's a peek at design details of Hotel de Crillon and the lovely packaging of the Dom Perignon materials! (As you'll see, they LOVE stacks of cards/imagery on gorgeous paper in various sizes... even with gilded edges...)
I'm sitting at that desk, in that chair, as i write to you... I don't even know where to begin, as you know, i've been a bit quiet the last few days as i was whisked off from LA to Paris and driven to Reims as soon as i touched down to go meet up with Veuve Clicquot for the start of the harvest. Which means, packed to the gills schedules, lots of champagne, a day of manual labor picking grapes, incredible experiences with friends new and old, and so many photographs to share with you! So with hundreds of photos awaiting, running on minimal sleep and having just hopped a train over to London from Paris ~ i find myself trying to catch up in the stunning Hazlitt's in Soho. I'm going to walk you through things a bit haphazardly, but know there are MANY posts in progress to come! So first take a look at where i've landed to spend the day writing/photoshopping/processing my thoughts to share with you!
Huge thanks to Mr and Mrs Smith, they've helped me find a few hotels i may not have found on my own, and as my first stop, i'm blown away. Hazlitt's in Soho. There is something incredible about being surrounded by walls of old books and paintings, georgian period furniture... and nice speedy wifi, bluray players and flat panels hidden behind mirrors... coupled with a huge bath tub and a thrown like wooden toilet... and motorized shades and skylights... its fascinatingly comforting to step in from the midst of Soho and into another time period, but equipped with all the tech-infused modern amenities i couldn't survive without. Firstly, i'm just going to show you what you'll find inside my room (honestly, i'm so tired and have so much to do, i'm hiding out for a little while, so i'll go shoot and share some of the other amazing shared spaces later!) ~ but for a quick background... "Hazlitt's was created in 1986 from three unspoiled 18th century townhouses, built in 1718... the hotel takes its name from William Hazlitt, perhaps the greatest of all English essayists and critics..." He both lived and died here in the 1800s when it was a boarding house, and all of the bedrooms here are named after people who lived in or has some connection with these buildings... my room is named after Mrs. Teresa Cornelys ~ a viennese opera singer and lover of Casanova, with whom she even has a child! So while i get back to catching up, take a peek at the stunning suite ~ and i'm just so inspired and excited by all of the walls of books and clawfooted fixtures around the property!
UPDATED!!! To any non-US people who were getting awesome contests to italy earlier from the link ~ i updated the link for you to enter to play in NYC! ENTER HERE
When my friends over at WEJETSET and Mr & Mrs Smith reached out and asked me to share a chance to win some goodies, i couldn't resist when they were giving away so many NOTCOT favorites... You know you're way overdue for some R&R ~ possibly with someone of your choice curled up in the lush bed over at Cooper Square Hotel in East Village, NYC... while rocking out in electric blue headphones and doodling in your field notes and snapping pics of whatever silliness the others in the room are up to... ok, maybe that's just what i wish i were doing right now? But none the less ~ i'm sure you'd enjoy the fantasy too.... and it even comes with $400 of spending cash (or travel cash or whatever you'd like to do with it?)... SO, happy wednesday, and go ENTER HERE!
I know i don't do contests like these often ~ and yes you have to be 21+ ~ but honestly i just love the brands involved! Good extremely passionate folks, with awesome taste, and i'm currently getting lost in the Mr & Mrs Smith Global Shortlist book... the design, layouts, stories, and breathtaking hotel shots are like an instant midday escape from wherever you may be... definitely a good one on the list of gifts that are like the ultimate tease for those with the travel bug...
So far you've seen the close ups of the Standard + Quiksilver Boardshorts and vending machine ~ the packaging/experience/etc... but as i was photoshopping my way through my pictures, there were SO many more filled with fun absurdities, design details, quintessential LA... everything from the vintage incredible hulk wallpapered gym bathroom with green tinted mirror... to the number to call for encouragement... to the kids that perk up and pose in the pool... to the bikini girl with her red chanel bag traipsing through the downtown LA parking lot... to the red bed pods... to the tubs of flip flops which couldn't make a matching pair unless you had two left feet... to the huge twister board... and the photobooth with vintage mannequins... and so much more i couldn't bare not to share with you! So take a peek at this stunning LA saturday up at the roof of The Standard Downtown LA launch party scene with Quiksilver!
on unphotographed things... it was hilarious that beyond water guns and beach balls there were even cupcakes and jello shots circulating... good times...
There is really only so much you can get about an actual user experience, packaging, presentation of a product from press photos. You saw what i had to show you about the launch in the previous post... For the rest you just have to go play with them in their natural setting! So for part one of the posts from The Standard Downtown LA's rooftop pool party with Quiksilver to launch their boardshort collaboration ~ let's focus on the SHORTS! And the vending machine! And the people wearing them! And then on to the rest later... I was lucky enough to get a chance to sneak away from the party to play with samples in one of the Standard rooms ~ so actual close up pics of the adorable pouches and details on the next page too! Take a peek at it all on the next page!
I wish they had them smaller than a 30! The feel amazing ~ dry super fast ~ and are so cute with the retro upside down labels, pouches, special buttons, and more... the bikini is adorable too (subtle stripes, oh so soft, cutest buttons ever on your bum)... and to purchase them, its ok if you're not by the pool vending machine ~ they are also on the Standard online store!
I've never lusted for board shorts before, well not men's anyhow... but i must say these Standard Boardshorts by Quiksilver are tempting! Not to mention they are sold in VENDING MACHINES (which are really all the rage lately) ~ and come in an "odor resistant waterproof travel bag" ~ and much like the standard, the labels are upside down (and adorably retro styled too)... but perhaps most unique of all? Inside each waistband is a list of addresses... a quick tips city guide precisely curated by Natas Kaupas. With a limited edition of 250 of each product, and so much attention to detail, this premier collaboration between The Standard and Quiksilver is stunning.
Now as for the style itself, these are "based on the original retro design from Echo Beach era - New wave/post punk style first pioneered by pro surfer Danny Kwock." There is also a "Standard Issue" Bikini for us ladies, but i'm curious to see how the shorts fit girls too... You can find them at The Standard Shop, as well as the poolside vending machines at the hotels. Also exciting? "Official launch event will be a pool party on the rooftop of The Standard Downtown LA on Aug 8th and from Aug 8-16, the hotel will have "ECHO BEACH RETROSPECTIVE, 1978-1982: Surf Culture Art Exhibition" show. Includes art, photography, paintings, film, vintage beachwear, and surfboards curated by Will Pennartz of The Surf Gallery. Art show admission is free." ~ See you there! As for now, see lots of pics on the next page of all the gorgeous details!
Social Media as your new *living* search engine? You read all the rumors, you hear all the rants on how irrelevant + trivial these fleeting status updates are... And honestly, i'm still learning how/why to use these services MY way...
I've found that twitter and facebook have been my new go-to after obsessive internet searches when doing research... and these have spurred some incredible conversations and quick sources of great information! BUT, it's always so 1-to-many (versus 1-1 or many-to-many) and hosted in a way where all participants can't see the results. (i.e. i tweet a question and followers/repliers can't see all the other responses ~ and on facebook i have a status question and only those following it can see the evolving conversation)
End result? A post so i dont lose this fun conversation, and the valuable information that came up with it... So, if you're looking for where to stay in London during Design Week 09? (Sept 19-27) ~ well i was looking into Soho and/or Shoreditch, and here's what i've learned (on the next page!)
A floor literally tiled with thousands of copper pennies... it's pretty surprising to look down and see them when you walk into The Standard Grill in the Standard Hotel New York, below the Highline. The design was selected by the restaurant's designers,
Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch of New York-based design firm Roman
and Williams. See some more peeks of it on the next page!
So after doing the beach thing, i realized i really needed to sit down and do some work between all the running around i've been doing in NY! And i guess the Ace Hotel New York really must feel pretty homey, because i ended up calling up and booking a few nights there to nurse my sunburn and curl up with my laptop to catch up. Of course while here, as the soft opening evolves, i noticed even more awesome typographic details (i also didn't have a chance to show you other rooms i poked around in last time as well!). In addition to what you saw of my room last time... here is a focus on the typographic details i'm obsessing on... instead of a smeg fridge i have one of the mini-fridges in a roadie case... and i LOVE the NOW/NOT NOW magnet (yes! the doors are magnetic!)... and this DESK is fabulous. I want one at home, so nice how it overlooks the bed too so i can still look out the window and work here all day long... so go see the pics on the next page already!