Design hotels: do you like them?

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by traveltoomuch, Feb 17, 2015.  |  Print Topic

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What is your opinion of "design" hotels?

  1. I love them.

    1 vote(s)
    12.5%
  2. I slighly prefer them.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. I could take them or leave them. It matters not.

    3 vote(s)
    37.5%
  4. I slightly prefer hotels with more traditional architecture and furnishings.

    3 vote(s)
    37.5%
  5. I strongly prefer hotels with more traditional architecture and furnishings.

    1 vote(s)
    12.5%
  1. traveltoomuch

    traveltoomuch Silver Member

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    I have appreciated some features introduced in design hotels (e.g. the motion sensing floor-level nightlights in the Andaz Maui) but generally find the rooms in design hotels 1) less visually appealing than traditional properties and 2) often less functional than traditional properties. An example of the latter: our room at the Andaz Maui (an ordinary, non-suite room) had only an overhead "rain" shower. It had clearly been plumbed for a hand shower, but the hose had been disconnected and the fitting capped off. I'm guessing that's because the novel shower stall design, which doesn't include full-coverage glass/tile, is not sufficiently water-tight to cope with a random-direction spray, but that wasn't discovered until well after the hotel was built.

    With that background: what's your take on design hotels? Do you prefer them over (equivalently well-maintained and plushy) hotels with more traditional architecture and furnishings?
     
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  2. HaveMilesWillTravel
    Original Member

    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    It depends.

    I love rain showers.
     
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  3. MX

    MX Gold Member

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    I find that poorly working pretentious crap is available in any style, including very "traditional". I like staying in well-designed and working buildings with clean & comfortable furniture. Guess my favorite design style would be Scandinavian. I can't stand rain showers, and anything branded by Frank Gehry over the last decade (his early work is genius though).
     
  4. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    It's interesting to read all the praise in the travel blogs for the Andaz Maui, as though it's the place to stay on the planet! :confused:

    Designer hotels appear to be just about everywhere, and are trying their best to give the "big guys" a run. Such business competition often works out well for the consumer. FWIW, I stayed at the The Standard in downtown Los Angeles a couple of years ago. They do try to be hip, chic, etc., but that doesn't always work out so well - like their placing the room's glass enclosed bathroom next to the bed! :eek:
     
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  5. Dublin_rfk

    Dublin_rfk Gold Member

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    I found the same glass wall somewhere in Asia I think it was Singapore or possibly Tokyo (They really do all run together!) Great if you are trying to impress your travel mate.
    I do much prefer smaller / local designer places (Peace Lodge in La Paz CR)
     
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  6. 365RoadWarrior

    365RoadWarrior Silver Member

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    I'm with MX: rain shower = early check out. I really can't think of any other thing in a hotel room that would have this effect (setting aside noise, smell and light issues). Sleep on the floor? Sure. Bugs, spiders and ants? No big deal. Rain shower? Bye.

    I'm not into anything that doesn't directly lead to a good sleep and easy necessities (hygiene, dressing). I don't spend any time in a hotel room. Either I'm working (100+ hours a week) or I'm on leisure...in which case I damn well better be doing something better than sitting in my room.

    So don't give me a room with some complex appliance where there should be a clock radio, a sculpture where I want to find a desk, or a museum-piece toilet.
     
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  7. MSPeconomist
    Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    A lot depends on the execution and service as well as price point. I enjoy unique and local hotels. However.....

    I once stayed in an early very famous boutique hotel in Amsterdam where the welcome gift was a (admittedly perfect and on a modern plate that blended with the decor) single green apple, the foodie in house restaurant where I had reserved a table was closed without warning for a private party (no, dinner in your noisy sushi bar is not what I wanted when I made my reservation), and concierge service consisted of an intern new to the city giggling and handing me some city guidebook--after I had been waiting. NO THANKS, especially for a very expensive property.

    An otherwise good boutique (and artsy) hotel in a good neighborhood of Barcelona cooks incense in the lobby every afternoon. It permeates the atrium, making your eyes water by the time you reach the room. This isn't a special feature, it's just a stupid idea.
     
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  8. newbluesea
    Original Member

    newbluesea Gold Member

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    Bit of a stodgy lot of folks we have here:)

    Well Gehry not withstanding I stayed at SPG's Marquies de Riscal property In Elciego, Spain a few years and it was one of my very best hotel experiences ever.:)
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2015
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  9. 365RoadWarrior

    365RoadWarrior Silver Member

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    I suppose that "stodgy" would be an appropriate adjective to describe me. But keep in mind that for someone traveling 365 days for business, a hotel is a utility. Anything not useful is an impediment to my purpose. Similarly, anything whose utility is made more complicated than necessary should be simplified.

    Stodgily yours,
    365
     
  10. mattsteg
    Original Member

    mattsteg Gold Member

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    That depends on your perspective. 365 days of the same bland homogeneous marriot room in dozens of cities could drive one insane, regardless of functionality. By all means maintain function, but variety in form is a very good thing!

    And if you're traveling 365 hotels are not just a utility, they are home. I know I'd go insane in fully bland surroundings continually. There's a need for variety, as well as people who thrive on new experiences vs. Stifling routine.
     
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  11. 365RoadWarrior

    365RoadWarrior Silver Member

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    You're right in several ways. First, I am insane. (365 days, 16 years, how could i not be?) In a development that seems odd to me, I have grown to like the Andaz Fifth Avenue for some of the very reasons you mention. At first, things like the "touch" light switches with vaying functions and the mysterious radio-like device made me angry and want to leave; now, I just get angry, but don't want to leave. I guess this is why they insist on sending a hotel staff member to your room with you - so you can at least turn on the lights.

    Stylish, botique hotels can still be functional in all the ways I seek. Heck, I'll take a minimalist decor over a Hilton with nine plexiglassed advertisements, two binder, six plasticized sheets of paper, a phone, a notepad (with one sheet of paper), an add-on power strip, a USB hub and a DSL cable on the desk....where I need to work. (I do like Hilton pens.)

    So who here likes the "open to the world" shower designs? Expressed differently, who here doesn't travel with his/her mother?

    By the way, I went for "indifferent" on the poll question.
     
  12. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    That's the first sign that I won't like the hotel. Especially if it's late at night and I just want to go to bed (or in the shower if traveling all day). If I need a guided tour of the room features, it's poorly designed.
     
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  13. newbluesea
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    newbluesea Gold Member

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    You do have my sympathies if you spend that many nights in hotels then surely the OP and the attendant poll was just not intended for you.. I think it was directed at normal people.:D
    I suppose the easiest comparable example I can think of the top of my head to your predicament is that I eat food every day but I never get tired of having as great, inventive gourmet meal every so often (in a boutique restaurant to boot).:)

    Just two other points of interest .. The larger suites facing the ocean of the Ft Lauderdale Beach Hilton (the chain you maligned up thread) have free standing bathtubs (in addition to the regular bathrooms) in the front of the living room area ....so one (or two:) ) can relax in the tub with a glass of bubbly and look out on the Atlantic ...and no I for one do not travel with my mother.

    I will continue further to say that if one thinks that the little introduction of the room's features is not ever necessary or is as a result of poor design that I put to you haven't stayed in many European hotels.
     
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  14. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Since this was directed at me, I guess....

    Chuckle. You obviously don't know me. :)
     
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  15. 365RoadWarrior

    365RoadWarrior Silver Member

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    Please don't take any of my commentary seriously.
    On restaurants: For what it's worth, I don't eat in them, aside from obligatory business meals. For me, grocery stores only. GIven the variety of meals that can be prepared in a hotel or office breakroom, well, diversity doesn't reign.

    On Hiltons: I hope you didn't take my reference to "Hilton" (standing in for "mainstream hotel") too seriously. My point was just that sometimes the botique hotel "wins" by not swamping the room with information and advertising as sometimes happens in at least one "Hilton" where I sometimes hang my hat. (I could have said Sheraton or Hyatt just as easily.)

    On "open" showers (et cetera): perhaps the open toilet design would have been a better example. As an adult, I never traveled with my mother*. But even with my wife, a shower wasn't a "show" to be performed or watched. But that's just me. But sure, I'll take a view...if I ever get to go to a resort/beach. (Ain't happened yet.)

    Aside: you mention European hotels (where I spend about 60 days a year). I remember staying at the Hilton in Cologne (not particularly a design hotel) where I had at least two appliances I could neither operate nor discern their function.

    * I will forever regret not taking her on a bucket-list trip before she passed.
     
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  16. newbluesea
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    newbluesea Gold Member

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    I don't worry didn't hence the smiley. :D
    While on the subject of European hotels and all my trips there are with my wife I always try to remember to get two keycards from the front desk if only have one to put into the slot to operate the room lights.
    The one and only trip I took with my mother to Italy was a nightmare (food-wise). She is accustomed to having dinner at 600 pm .. try finding a restaurant other than a pizza joint open that early in the evening.:)
     
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  17. tastyfoodsgs

    tastyfoodsgs New Member

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    ya like it and i like this food...and eagerly waiting to visit restaurants in singapore. visit tastyfooddotsg
     
  18. don't say that booking flights to usa maybe I should change
     

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