The new generation of lifestyle hotels

“It’s not mediocre, retro, industrial, recycled or Brooklyn… it’s just simple.” This is how Ian Schrager, the ultra-cool boutique hotel mogul, describes his latest address, the Public Hotel, which opened a few weeks ago on the Lower East Side, a bohemian but not yet completely bright Manhattan neighborhood. it.

Schrager is a false modest: “simplicity” requires a lot of thought. Here, a hidden entrance to the greenery, then a spectacularly designed escalator, followed by a hybrid café between the grocery store and the market.

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Add to this a building designed by the star studio Herzog & de Meuron, small but interconnected rooms designed as yacht cabins (from $ 95), a restaurant run by Jean Georges Vongerichten, Alsatian food tycoon melted, a cultural -The festive peak of the roof where everything drains the fashion society and you get the latest “hotel” of New York.

It’s that Ian Schrager, since the peak of his 70s, knows the little noise music perfectly. He who co-founded the legendary nightclub Studio 54, which played Big Apple Nights during the 1970s, was the first in the 1980s to realize the importance of design in the hotel industry, where few travelers and fashionistas could come and meet in an environment. that resembles them. It was Senderson, Royalton, Delano in Miami, all equipped at the time by a somewhat crazy designer-architect named Philippe Starck.

Break the codes of the traditional hotel industry

Room in the shape of a “yacht cabin” at the Public Hotel in New York (Nicholas Koenig)

Since then, Schrager has built an empire and inspired a whole generation of hoteliers. From famous friend André Balazs (Château Marmont in Los Angeles, Standard hotels in New York, Chiltern Firehouse in London) to Alex Calderwood, the “father of hipsters”, the creator of the highly artistic Ace Hotel, passing from France to the Trigano Family at the top of Mama Shelter’s success story, which, since the opening of their first “urban kibbutz” in Paris in 2008, has spread Mama to Bordeaux, Belgrade, Rio and Los Angeles.

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Everyone has broken the codes of the traditional hotel industry by opening up places that have become the epicenter of the cold, attracting celebrities and anonymous characters, content to be there for hours or nights.

“The hotel is a stage in which we offer our friends an experience. My concept of hospitality is ultimately this: real estate, decor and actors,” André Balazs said in 2016.

A recipe that everyone is copying today, from the big chains to the small “new generation” hotels that have had to reinvent themselves against the same competitor Airbnb. Their common point? Prices from 25 to 95 euros per night, with open spaces, open from the outside, attracting both tourists and locals, creating a social dynamic that goes beyond the initial role of an ordinary institution.

Instagram compatible

Citizen M Hotel Bar (Richard Powers)

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Like the new youth hostels we’ve seen appearing everywhere in recent years, redesigned hostels version 3.0 (Les Piaules, Generator, St Christopher …) two half-room hotels, semi-luxury dormitories for friends and family.

In the “democratic” space of luxury, the arrival of new small 4-star chains at low prices (Okko Hotels, Citizen M) and with an exponential growth rate has also increased the image of the urban hotel industry.

Everyone realized that in order to attract young people, celebrities “Millennials” (18-35 years old) it was necessary to bet on the lifestyle and settings that attract instagrammers.

Self-service check-in and check-out terminals, small rooms, no doubt, but with state-of-the-art beds, free high-speed Wi-Fi and VOD, artwork and collaborations, a cheese bar with small farmer and craft beers from our friendly microbrewery … And above all, in order for the “community” to exchange, large common spaces, a kind of club-lounge with a friendly atmosphere, with “social hours” and aperitifs free for all. talk and smile.

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Betting on the lifestyle of “living together” paradises

At the Citizen M Hotel (Richard Powers)

In the age of globalization of offers, it is above all the personality of the countries you seduce. “Having a great architect is no longer enough to get people talking about a hotel. The very idea of ​​a ’boutique hotel’, a concept that has been rejected and reworked a thousand times, is the first word to be avoided, it is simply an entry key Above all, you need a story to stay, otherwise the projects do not last over time “, notes Antoine Ricardou, founder of the graphic design studio Be-Pôles, responsible for the artistic management of the Nomad Hotel in New York ., whose narrative design was directly inspired by a collection of photographic books.

Because the very traditional notion of luxury itself is questioned. Bling, trinket, “Wow” effect no longer impress customers.

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“A beautiful product is no longer enough to make a successful brand. You have to create other connections, provoke emotions, experience,” explains Audrey Dardenne, director of the design consulting agency Grismarine.

As Cyril Aouizerate did when he opened the MOB Hotel in Saint-Ouen a year ago – another has since opened in Lyon.

This champion of urban openness and social diversity, immersed in good feelings, wanted to create “a haven for living together, a cooperative movement,” he says. The MOB is the spirit of Brooklyn mixed with Parisian boboity in a large red brick building and loft-style windows, which hosts a bucolic courtyard with an open-air cinema and market of small producers, a meditation pavilion, organic product concept store and cooperative vegetable garden. for local residents.

Bet on it-street

Room at the Okko Hotel in Strasbourg (Jérôme Galland)

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Arguments have also been made about the choice of neighborhoods and locations. The latest Okko hotel to open in Strasbourg is located on the Malraux Peninsula, a former port wasteland that is being transformed.

The new Hoxton Hotel, a teleported concept from London that made all of Paris whisper, is located in the heart of the Sentier neighborhood. With its neo-organic gourmet restaurant, small bars and start-up businesses, the former clothing castle has everything “it-way” according to Sharan Pasricha, the brand’s boss. He explains:

“I always want to put my hotels in a lively corner where something is happening.

Economic and artistic

Lobby-lounge of Hotel Hoxton in Paris (Hoxton)

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For their part, the big chains have realized that “lifestyle” was one of the most consistent drivers of growth of the decade.

All are positioned in the country with dedicated, economic and artistic brands. Hyatt with Andaz hotels, Starwood with Aloft, Marriott with high-tech hotels and vitaminized Moxy …

As for the Accor group, after becoming a 36% shareholder in Mama Shelter, it launched the new Joe & Joe brand a few months ago in Hossegor, mixing dormitories, rooms and apartments in a “Playground” spirit, imagined by Web students . School Factory in Paris and decorated by Lee Panson, English stylist of YouTube and Google headquarters.

And the group does not stop there. To expand its scope and objectives, it has just launched the “Accor Local” application, a 24-hour service offer (laundry, à la carte sports lessons, grocery shopping, parking, etc.) aimed not at hotel guests, but individuals and people in the neighborhood where they are located.

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Towards a hotel capable of predicting mood

The new Joe & Joe concept between the hotel and the youth hostel (Jérémie Mazenq / Abaca)

Room providers, collaboration spaces, start-up incubators, restaurants, nightclubs, leisure centers, spas, cinemas … The new generation hotels have turned into real trend laboratories, a kind of inns Spanish with multiple and very stylish entrances.

Educator and futurist Ian Pearson already predicts that within ten years, tomorrow’s hotel will be transformed into an entertainment theater:

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“A delicate blend of science fiction, relaxation and eroticism, with interactive rooms offering services for games, entertainment or sexual activity.”

He continues: “The attached bed will adapt to the sleeping position and the heat of his body (prototypes already exist), and the walls, filled with holographic screens will allow you to create your own atmosphere, modify the color of the room , change. furniture, make love with your virtual partner … “

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A smart hotel capable of recognizing, even predicting the mood, tastes and habits of residents with data extracted directly from social networks “, adds Ian Pearson.

Dorane Vignando

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