Why Belmond Rebranded Iconic Orient-Express Name
When the Orient-Express collection of hotels, trains and riverboats was rebranded as Belmond in February, more than a few people questioned or lamented the decision. Airbnb hospitality guru Chip Conley, for example, tweeted “What a branding mistake!!!”
People are sometimes going to look at a brand reinvention of this magnitude sideways, but the simple fact is that the Orient-Express flag was tired. Bearing a name conjuring up images of Kipling, Conrad, and other nostalgic detritus of British Imperialism, it tracked zero with younger generations, and not very well with older travelers either.
The #Pinnebago Swings into Austin for SXSW
SXSW is upon us, and the Pinterest Creative team is preparing to hit the open road in our trusty Pinnebago. We’ll be road-tripping from San Francisco to Austin, with stops in LA, Marfa and more. Read about the trip or follow @pinnebago on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest for real-time updates. Hope to see you in Austin!
Gensler’s Design Forecast: Where Design Will Take Us
Looking at their global markets, Gensler just published the 2014 Design Forecast. The PDF examines the trends affecting their clients’ businesses, with analysis of how these trends will intersect with business performance between now and 2025. The Lifestyle section beginning on page 26 examines hospitality, retail and mixed-use development.
The 2014 Design Forecast highlights six meta-trends that form a working agenda for how design will impact our clients’ success in the coming years. These meta-trends—which touch on workplace, wellness, technology, urbanization, globalization and development—will drive further proprietary research initiatives and guide our thinking in the years to come.
New Fast Company eBook: SXSWi Uncensored
Fast Company just released its SXSWi Uncensored ebook about the evolution of South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin. Also check out FastCo’s corresponding post.
MARK ROLSTON: Hugh’s a clever fellow because he’s never been too dogmatic about the things people come talk about at SXSW, which is one of the central complaints. You go there and the content can be wildly varied from poorly prepared speeches and people going, “What the fuck am I listening to this person talk about?” to really valuable breakthrough stuff when someone debuts a tool like Twitter and everyone is using it. It’s because he doesn’t curate it too specifically that’s allowed the show to be the accidental birthplace for so many things.
Q&A with Baz Luhrmann About Miami’s Faena Saxony Hotel
After decades of directing lavish motion pictures such as The Great Gatsby and Moulin Rouge, Baz Luhrmann is turning his attention to a different kind of spectacle: the Faena Saxony Hotel, set to open later this year in Miami Beach.
Q&A: Commune Hotels CEO Niki Leondakis, on Palo Alto’s sleek new Epiphany Hotel
Our customers have become much more sophisticated, with many more expectations. They’re no longer just looking for a comfortable bed; the standards have been elevated, and people want hotels and resorts that provide memorable experiences where they can learn and feel engaged. And that can’t be done from a corporate office, where you just stamp them out. Each hotel has to be its own creation. Each is a piece of handcrafted art.
While Traveling, Would You Visit a ‘Work Space for Free-Range Humans’?
This was supposed to be the age of the mobile (aka nonexistent) office, with “solopreneurs” telecommuting from home or the beach in elastic-waist pants. But many who work independently are discovering alienation lurking behind the home-office fantasy, and an increasing number are joining a new generation of co-working organizations, like Grind, Fueled Collective and NeueHouse. There are work spaces for writers (Brooklyn Writers Space); for design types and bloggers (Studiomates in Dumbo); and scores for tech entrepreneurs, including ones that double as Continuing Ed campuses (General Assembly).
I wonder if this type of venue could attract travelers. The story mentions different workspace themes. Maybe something like Ace Hotel NYC but without the Ace Hotel part. Also visit Place Matters' blog and the new NeueHouse video.
Four Seasons’ New CEO & the Era of Peak Hotel Luxury
This is seriously good hotel industry reporting from The Globe & Mail focusing on Four Seasons’ honcho Allen Smith:
In the industry nowadays, there are few luxury frills left to offer guests. It’s all been done before. His pronouncement of peak hotel luxury is defensible, but nonetheless disappointing to hear from a Four Seasons CEO.
The Epiphany Hotel is set to open in Palo Alto in March just five minutes away from Stanford University. Operated by Joie de Vivre (JDV) Hotels, the 86-room property was gutted to the bones and brought back to life with assiduous attention to how technology and design affects the overall user experience.
As the lodging industry grapples with Airbnb, TripAdvisor and other locally oriented services, major hotel brands are increasingly taking a back seat to the surrounding neighborhoods. “Our facility is no longer the destination,” said one hotel executive. “Now we are a portal to the community around us.”
From Destination Marketing:
As the world shrinks due to globalization, and emerging destinations develop into key target markets for international tourism, it will be imperative for the U.S. to build awareness amongst this group and distinguish themselves as a sought after destination. This is the true potential of Brand USA.