Hospitality Design - March 2011 - 45
For its ﬁrst Radisson Blu in the U.S., Carlson is making a grand entrance—the estimated $125 million project opening this fall is going to be housed on the ﬁrst 18 ﬂoors of the 82-story Aqua tower in Chicago designed by Studio Gang Architects, now somewhat of an icon for the city with its undulating slabs. And the name similarity was a sheer coincidence. “It was love at ﬁrst sight,” explains Thorsten Kirschke, president, Carlson Hotels, Americas. Public spaces will subtly reference Chicago. Shadows cast by cars driving over the city’s various bridges inspired the corridor guestroom carpet. There are steel plates on the ﬂoor of the lobby, taken from existing street gratings. And a brick wall in the lobby has a series of cutouts in varying heights as homage to the skyline. “[The references] are done in a way that is slightly under the radar, but if someone wants to look closely, [they will tell],” explains Glasgow-based designer Jim Hamilton of Graven Images. “It is a European take on what we liked about Chicago.” Rethinking how guests use the spaces was also key. The mezzanine restaurant has theater-inspired balconies overlooking the lobby below, and a lounge with two 20-foot-long contemporary ﬁreplaces greets guests, not reception. As Hamilton says, “The ﬁrst thing you see is a fantastic lounge—you forget about the whole check-in process. It’s warm and inviting and makes you want to go back to the hotel.” The more than 300 guestrooms will follow two of the brand’s new room concepts by Swedish designer Christian Lundwall: Naturally Cool and NY Mansion House.
Photo by Don Riddle
Designer Dean Singer didn’t imagine creating just a hotel for the Rosewood San Miguel de Allende. Instead, he set out to create a luxurious hacienda. “It’s a fresh version of traditional and Spanish Colonial with elements of cultural in uence that has been evident in San Miguel over the past 500 years,” explains Singer, principal of Design 360 Unlimited in Marina del Rey, California, adding that he and his team explored the artists’ village nestled in the mountains north of Mexico City before starting the project. “The history surrounding the foundation of San Miguel and the artists who reside in the town to this day, all provided inspiration.” The interiors throughout the 67 guestrooms, Sense spa, various F&B spaces, and event space have a handcrafted feel thanks to earthy tones, custom furniture fabricated in various regions of Mexico, adornments scouted in Oaxaca, Guadalajara, Mexico City, and San Miguel, an abundance of wood (some distressed to look antiqued), and tactile elements like hand-wrought iron, plaster walls, and regional stone. Yet the standout: the rooftop bar with its private cabanas, communal dining, lounge seating, and views of the city.
beverly hills hideaway
With the new bungalows at the Beverly Hills Hotel set to open this April, designer Lauren Rottet of Rottet Studio speaks about her inspiration for the luxurious hideaways: “The Beverly Hills Hotel has a unique micro-climate like no other place in the world. Protecting and enhancing this ambiance was the inspiration. We researched historic stories and photographs and began to understand the layers of style and design that had gone into the hotel from its inception as a ‘hideaway’ bungalow retreat to the glamour of the Paul Williams era—a true mix of garden charm with contemporary glamour. Having lived in a 1920s Hollywood bungalow, I experienced the seduction of sunlight ltered though overgrown vegetation, the sound of water dripping down the fern grotto, and the transformation from poolside by day to replace by night. With this lifestyle, the interiors are inseparable from the landscape, so we designed the bungalows where by day windows and doors can remain open and by night outdoor lights reveal magical gardens. We also insisted on a replace in every room and also outside. Furnishings are all one if a kind, inspired by designs from the ’30s and ’40s, but also very contemporary in attitude. We used two different color schemes for the great rooms: one more Beverly Hills green and one more Beverly Hills pink, both with an updated twist.” www.hospitalitydesign.com