Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 48

3
International, we designed a brand new
Rock Shop in the center of the lobby; it has a
motorcycle chain chandelier and TV displays that
are in a bling-y watchband and perforated metal
surround that has a tattoo icon cut into it. And
there’s a U2 Trabant car from a Zooropa tour that
also has a prominent display in the lobby.

You also recently opened two new
properties in Mexico—in Cancun with
Gettys, 555, FODA Design, and AECOM;
and in Nuevo Vallarta with Graham
Downes Architecture, and once again,
555 and AECOM.
Cancun was a renovation of an existing six
hundred-room hotel. When I first visited the
property, it had this tree-like canopy at the portecochère, so the first words out of my mouth were,
‘Welcome to the jungle,’ which is [now] the lyric
over the front door. Originally, our concept was
loosely based on the luxurious days of travel—the
glamour times when travel was really for the
rich—so the materials and patterns of the early
thirties are thread throughout.

The Mexican properties are part of Hard
Rock’s new All Inclusive Collection.
What is the objective with this venture?

Our goal is to go into these projects and think of
them much like a cruise ship, especially Punta
Cana in the Dominican Republic, with one
thousand eight hundred rooms. Essentially you
don’t really leave the property; you’re stuck on
this large, two hundred twenty-acre complex.
Vallarta is a little bit smaller. It’s three
hundred and forty eight guestrooms right on
the ocean. It’s got a beautiful setting, but it has
an eight-story lobby space and felt more like a
museum to us, so we dubbed it the rock and roll
museum. When we start a project, we always pick
a guitar that’s going to be the icon; we picked the
Santana guitar since he’s from the region. I had
this lobby with these [massive] walls that were
blank canvases. I was looking for the opportunity
to do something really cool with cover art—a
dying art the way music is going—so we created
this huge mosaic of Santana playing the
guitar out of two thousand eight hundred LP
record covers.
The icon for our brand is this tribal tattoo, so
on the other wall there’s this huge, fifty-foot-long
tattoo made out of three thousand instruments—
guitars, drums, keyboards, brass instruments,
and cymbals. In our Panama property, we did a
similar art installation made of different-sized

048

January/February 2013 hospitalitydesign.com

4
3. A sprawling patio at the
Sun Bar at the Hard Rock
Hotel Vallarta blurs the
indoors and outdoors.

5

5. A deep-soaking tub
takes center stage in a
guestroom at the Hard
Rock Hotel Cancun.

4. Vallarta’s towering
lobby features two wall art
installations: one crafted
from 2,800 LP record
covers, and one made of
3,000 instruments.

cymbals going up the escalator to the second
floor. It’s not in-your-face, blatant, theme-y
design; it’s more about the discovery.

Next up is an all-inclusive property in
Riviera Maya.

We are currently in design with Jeffrey Beers
International, FODA, 555, Tandem, and AECOM.
It’s another monster renovation project—one
thousand two hundred and eighty eight rooms on
two hundred and fifty acres. There’s a family side
and an adult side. When I first went down there,
I said, ‘Let’s concept this as a rock star’s hacienda
in the Maya Riviera,’ and that stuck. There
wasn’t a real nightclub, so we’re adding one. The
pools are always a huge draw for our guests, but
sometimes they get sunburned after day two and
can’t go in the sun, so we have a covered pool
experience that’s going to turn into a nightclub.

It’s great that you have so much
inspiration to work with.

It’s a fun brand. Music always evokes a mood
and touches everybody in a different way.
There are some common threads—music and
memorabilia—that run through our projects, but
every one is different. We have standards that are
really performance standards; they don’t tell you
what kind of carpet and what color drapes to use.
It’s really up to the designers to design with us.

How do you find and choose the
designers you work with?

I’m always looking for fresh meat. I like to vary
my designers within my projects. I think that’s

what makes the properties more successful. We
might have a spa designer, nightclub designer,
and hotel and guestroom designer all involved in
one project along with the landscape designer.

How are you responding to guests’ everchanging needs?

Obviously, a resort hotel and a casino hotel get
different guests, but a lot of ours are looking
for the same thing: an authentic rock and roll
experience. They know there’s going to be music,
and they know there’s going to be memorabilia,
but what we’re trying to do is give them those
expected experiences in unexpected ways.
Architecture is about problem solving. I always
try to think like a guest—I watch them, listen to
them, read the comments, and try to fill the voids.
Technology has been a huge influence. We
were a Microsoft Surface test pilot for the Surface
Silverlight program. We took our memorabilia
collection, photographed it, and now guests can
view it on what we call a ‘Rock Wall,’ which is
basically a large iPad where guests can type in
a star or a location or hit a piece of memorabilia
and find out where it is, get a little history on it,
and find other similar pieces.
And our properties have a vibe manager, who
is responsible for creating the vibe in that venue,
be it playing different music at different parts of
the day, or interacting with guests. We like the
music to start from the time guests enter our
property to when they dive underwater. So if you
want music, you’ve come to the right place. If you
want quiet? Sorry. hd


http://www.hospitalitydesign.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Hospitality Design - January/February 2013

Hospitality Design - January/February 2013
Contents
Online TOC
From the Editor
From the Show Director
People
People
Sketchbook
Interview: Jay Pecotte
5 Questions for Harry Apostolides
Profile: Dirk Wynants
Trends: Door Handles
Furniture
Lighting
Textiles
Places to Watch
Mama Shelter Marseille
L’and Vineyards Hotel
The Fish Shack
Hotel Topazz
Ad Index
Back Space
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - Intro
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - Hospitality Design - January/February 2013
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - Cover2
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 1
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 2
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 3
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 4
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 5
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 6
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 7
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 8
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 9
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 10
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 11
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 12
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 13
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 14
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - Contents
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 16
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 17
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 18
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - Online TOC
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 20
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 21
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - From the Editor
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 23
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 24
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 25
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 26
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 27
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - From the Show Director
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 29
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - People
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 31
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 32
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 33
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - People
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 35
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 36
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 37
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 38
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 39
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 40
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - Sketchbook
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 42
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 43
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 44
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 45
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 46
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - Interview: Jay Pecotte
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 48
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 49
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 5 Questions for Harry Apostolides
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 51
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 52
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 53
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 54
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - Profile: Dirk Wynants
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 56
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - Trends: Door Handles
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 58
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - Furniture
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 60
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 61
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 62
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - Lighting
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 64
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 65
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 66
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - Textiles
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 68
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 69
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 70
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - Places to Watch
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 72
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 73
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 74
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 75
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 76
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 77
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 78
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 79
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 80
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 81
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 82
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 83
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - Mama Shelter Marseille
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 85
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 86
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 87
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - L’and Vineyards Hotel
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 89
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 90
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 91
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - The Fish Shack
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 93
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 94
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 95
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - Hotel Topazz
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 97
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 98
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 99
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 100
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 101
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - 102
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - Ad Index
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - Back Space
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - Cover3
Hospitality Design - January/February 2013 - Cover4
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