Boutique Design - May 2017 - 26
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. Rooms at Nobu
Ryokan Malibu were designed by international designer ToddAvery Lenahan, owner and founder of award-winning TAL Studio.
From 200-plus room properties to the one-time motel that will
soon be the Nobu Ryokan Malibu, the former Hard Rock Intl. executive says Lenahan 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, along with the hotel's design. 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.
HOW DO YOU DIFFERENTIATE THE RESTAURANT BRAND FROM
THE HOTEL BRAND, EVEN WHEN THEY SHARE SPACE?
stand out, but also that they make sense in the destination. The
restaurants are the theaters with high-energy bars, whereas the
hotels serve as the respites. It's critical that we make sure to pay
close attention to purposeful design features that offer simplicity
to the overall hotel experience.
HOW DOES THAT TRANSLATE INTO DESIGN?
2 International designer
founder and owner of TAL
Studio, placed the bed
front and center, creating a
restful room, not just a
3 Designer Todd-Avery
Lenahan used neutral
tones to create a
design in the beachfront
boutiquedesign.com may 2017
HORWELL: For example, David Rockwell designed the first
Nobu restaurant in New York and has always understood the
essence of the restaurant's spirit of "fun" luxury. His use of highdesign features and quality craftsmanship and products are
reasons why we continue to work with his company on our
restaurant and hotel projects. However, we do work with other
designers and architects on our hotels and restaurants and look
for these characteristics. Room interiors at this Nobu Ryokan
Malibu were designed by Lenahan and his TAL Studio.
WHAT DO YOU SEE AS A TRAVELER THAT'S A CAUTIONARY
TALE FOR YOU AS A HOTELIER?
HORWELL: Hotels need to rethink their approach and make
sure that they are addressing the ever-changing needs of today's
guest through updated technology, inviting and engaging F&B
outlets and staying clear of conventional offerings. We need to
get back to hospitality basics and make sure we are not overthinking the process.
BARBAR A KR AF T PHOTOGR APHY (NOBU); COURTESY OF NOBU HOSPITALIT Y (HORWELL)
HORWELL: When we design the hotels, it's important that they