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Category Archives: Hotels
The world has gone mad-hatter-wild for Alice in Wonderland.
The highly anticipated film hit theatres on March 4, 2010, and the excitement is palpable. Fashion designers are dedicating collections, department stores their windows and the Four Seasons Hotel is even hosting mad hatter tea parties.
That’s right, the luxury hotel in its Toronto, Chicago and Los Angeles locations are hosting Carroll and Burton inspired teatime. Menu items include Nutella and caramelized banana, raspberry jam and cream cheese pinwheels, cheddar and apple butter and desserts such as dark chocolate mousse with crunch toffee, almond cake, mini vanilla cup cakes and Alice’s special sugar cookies. Not bad!
The tea parties in Chicago take this one step further down the rabbit hole with Wonderland inspired activities, such as giant chess (the pieces are two feet tall), tea cup decorating and Red Queen’s croquet. And yes, the mallets will be traditional pink flamingos.
On the other side of the world, Alice madness is equally present. Zoom in on Parisian department store Printemps, which has dedicated its display window to commissioned pieces by Chloé, Alexander McQueen and Nicholas Kirkwood.
Kirkwood’s Alice heels are a chaotic representation of nonsensical absurdities that are on the other side of the looking glass. ”This time, I figured, why not just pile as much as I can on top?” Nicholas said. He did this, and he did this well.
Maison Martin Margiela designed a spectacular creation, which emulates the idea of falling headfirst. How better to achieve this than by creating an upside down dress? Indeed, the skirt is a bustier and a chiffon veil begins at the waist and goes over the head. One of the sleeves mimics a crinoline made of whale-boned velvet, embroidered with pearls, crystals, and recycled jewels.
None of these items are for sale.
When thinking about Milan, cheap doesn’t come to mind, especially when were talking about designers. But Moschino has lent its expertise to style a mid-priced hotel that will combine cheep and chic.
Maison Moschino has created a fairy-tale within the walls of the hotel that are completely surreal. Bedspreads made with velvet rose petals, a tree-branch four poster bed is featured in one room, and each of the 54 rooms and 15 suites that fill the four floors are each styled different from the next.
The rooms are themed with a few examples being the “Sleeping in a Ball Gown” room and the “Half Room,”where everything in the room has been cut completely in half. The hotel is also home to a restaurant bar, garden, spa and gym…Oh the joy!
Maison Moschino opens March 10, 2010 and definitely one to keep on radar. It’s fashion, comfort, and beauty. And best of all, it’s affordable. Milan here we come!
-Melissa S. Robinson
Introducing Phoenix Island— a man-made, luxury island to be created by MAD Architects. The site will be home to some and a coveted vacation destination for many.
Located in the centre of Sanya City, Hainan province, China, the exclusive island will have a seven-star hotel, five-boutique apartments, a yacht club house, shopping high streets and a harbour for international passenger boats. Sounds a little Dubai to us.
Don’t try to make reservations yet— construction is due to finish in 2014. But from what we can tell, it looks like it’ll be worth the wait.
-Melissa S. Robinson
Spa getaways are usually connected to buildings filed with aroma therapy, hot stone messages and facial. They are a woman’s oasis. Imagine getting that spa treatment in a more interesting place…like, say, a boat.
Architect Sami Rintala has introduced the spa boat in Norway. The boat contains wood clad interior featuring a Turkish Hammam, Zen lounge with fireplace and a sauna with panoramic views of the sea, not too bad, not too bad at all.
The Scandinavian vessel attributes don’t stop there, there is a hot tub is designed for mid winter lounging on deck and for the more adventurous a high dive board
Can it get any better? Yes! Lastly, when spa-ing on this boat you have access to myriad of professional chefs ready to make you taste buds dance with delight.
This luxury spa located in the city of Tromso and has only been around for a year. The only question is why didn’t this brilliant idea come any sooner?
-Melissa S. Robinson
Take off your shoes and step into the unknown. Discombobulated by the mirrors on all sides, you walk down a hallway that gets thinner and shorter with each step. You wonder if there is ever an end to this fun house where all sides reflect you. Turn a corner and plop— you’ve fallen into the soft embrace of a bed.
This is not a dream, but an art installation put together by Richard Unterthiner and Paolo Ferrari as part of the 2010 Come Up to My Room alternative design event held at the Gladstone Hotel in Toronto at the end of January.
“We wanted to delve deeper into what the bed represents for us,” said Ferrari, while lounging on the bed at the end of the glass hallway.
The artists started bedmemories.blogspot.com to collect anonymous bed experiences. People were free to post whatever they wanted, so of course some of the answers were overtly sexual. One of Ferrari’s favourites was neither about dreams nor sex, but this: “I’m an insomniac and the bed is the most frustrating object I own.”
Once your rest is over and you’ve read over all of the best bed memories floating like mobiles above your head, the glass hallway doesn’t seem as scary anymore. Instead, you feel refreshed and impressed by an installation that effectively merges dream and waking life.
The four-day event starts this Thursday, January 21 and continues until Sunday, January 24th as part of Toronto’s International Design Festival.
There are 50 participants taking part in this year’s show, including light sculptor Orest Tataryn, award-winning illustrator Ian Phillips known for his beautifully hand-crafted books, and Science & Sons founder, Tristan Zimmermann.
If you want to sleep in a work of art, the Gladstone Hotel has got you covered. The hotel is offering packages that include one night in a classic room, a continental breakfast and tickets to the Come Up to My Room exhibition, along with other perks.
Don’t miss your chance to see some of the best new design works— you might just be awake and dreaming!
Designers are given full-reign to make their wildest design/art dreams come true. Each are selected based on the merits of their previous work, and the curators are not allowed to see the rooms until the show starts on January 21, 2009. So get ready for pure unadulterated art and design!
The recession may be coming to a close, but that doesn’t mean that everyone’s out of the red. Luckily, Brooklyn-based artist Kevin Cyr has a solution to pricey accommodation— a shopping cart shelter!
The “Camper Kart” is a collapsible, tent-like structure all contained within a movable shopping cart. It includes a retractable roof, a back door and is large enough to house Cyr’s 5-foot-8-inch body.
The structure was inspired by Cormac McCarthy’s post-apocalyptic novel, The Road (which was adapted into a film starring Viggo Mortensen and released in autumn 2009), in which father and son’s lives are contained within one shopping cart. Cyr decided to play upon the shopping cart’s double life: it is at once an object related to excessive consumption and, at the same time, with poverty and homelessness.
Similarly, Cyr’s previous project, the “Camper Bike”, places an object of middle-class prosperity—the camper— onto the back of a Chinese three-wheeled flatbed bike. The odd juxtaposition between West and East, rich and poor, is humorous, but its functionality is serious.
Cyr plans on experimenting with an Indian rickshaw for his next piece. Making one wonder, are these the condos of the future?
Ciao, Italia! Milan has always been one of the most stylish cities in the world, and from October 22-25, 2009, Milan Design-in-the-city will be reminding us why. This four-day long event, courtesy of Design Partners, will be showcasing the best of Italian interior design for an international audience. Through showrooms, galleries, and exhibits, Milan Design-in-the-city will serve as a follow up to Milan Design Week in April; making the most loved pieces available for the general pubic to purchase and enjoy. And the headquarters for this swanky event? The elegant and trendy STRAF hotel and bar in the center of Milan, of course.
Milan Design-in-the-city serves as an opportunity for Milanese citizens to discover the very best of what European design has to offer through entertainment activities, exhibitions, and extraordinary showroom and retail displays. Opening hours of the participating 60 showrooms and stores will be extended, and transportation will be made readily available as the Design-in-the-city event will stretch over several different neighbourhoods of Milan.
Milan-design-in-the-city will also host the ‘Ideas Contest’ where attendees of the event will be able to enter ideas for designs that they’d like to see become a reality. At the end of the week, winners will be drawn from the thousands of entries by a jury and students in various Milanese fine art schools will be chosen to turn these concepts into reality. In turn, the actualization of these designs will be shown next year during Milan-design-in-the-city 2010.
Such is the spirit of Milan Design-in-the-city: it reminds us that with the right designer, virtually anything is possible.