by: Idris Mootee

Marriott
announced that they will bring designers' touch to their chains. With big names designers
like Starck and Graves who lift Target to the contemporary design class, I think it is really a matter of
time that they bring their ideas to hotels, restaurants or even gas stations. Hip hotelier Ian Schrager, the
founder of the concept of boutique hotels, is partnering up with Marriott.
The
idea is to have Schrager to design about 100 boutique hotels for the
as-yet-unnamed brand in major cities across the US, South America, Europe and
Asia, and Marriott International will operate them.
Mariott plans to leverage Mr.
Schrager's aesthetic ingenuity and cachet with its own marketing and
organizational muscle to enter into the boutique segment, still the fastest-growing
in the hotel industry with healthy margins. It is estimated that the global
market for the boutique segment is $6 to $7 billion a year and half is
in the US. I believe in the next three months they will be busy doing these
roadshows to sell the idea to investors.

According
to Mr. Mariott,
"Schrager
is going to be developing a new experience for people looking for more than
just a bed, and breakfast."

For those who is old enough to remember that
Mr. Schrager was co-founder of the Studio 54 and
Palladium nightclubs in New York City in the late 70s. His other project included Royalton and
Paramount hotels in Manhattan to the Delano in South Beach and the Mondrian in West Hollywood and that's
how we earned the rock-star status of hip hotelier.
I love the Delano. By tapping into his
circle of renowned architects and designers, Schrager can definitely transform
these properties.


While
there's no announcement on  who those
"renowned architects and designers" will be, Schrager says,  "...believe me, I'm not going to have a
book of standards. It will be..." He paused for effect. "The
anti-chain
." That's the strategy and probably a smart one. Coincidently,
my business partner Scott and I were talking about the idea of bringing contemporary
designs to many less obvious industries. I think there's a lot can be done with
this "anti-chain" idea. The three
biggest opportunities would be the transformation of "de-chain" of 1/ fast food chain 2/ car dealership and 3/ chain
restaurants. May be I need to be pitching these ideas soon. Scott, start your
idea engine!

Original Post: http://mootee.typepad.com/innovation_playground/2007/08/experience-desi.html

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