Boutique hotel is my thing, it is not about being cool or being seen, I’ve passed that stage and it is not about the brand. Do I care if it is W or X or Y? I am sick of staying at the Sheraton or Marriot of the world, it is not only depressing, it reminds me that I am another one of those global travelers without a life.
Although that’s not quite the case. I travel around the world for a reason, a good one. It is my job. And I am a byproduct of globalization. With a handful of passports, hotel loyalty cards and Facebook contacts (used to be Rolodex), I am at home anywhere in the world.
I like boutique hotels because they remind me that life can be special, there is more to it. It is about reflecting individuals’ style, it is about efficiencies and it is about design. For me, I have a handful of favorites but ACE is on my top ten lists, Morgan’s is nice. I am definitely adding Moschino Milano to the list. And that’s where I am staying this week. Maison Moschino is located in the old neoclassical railway station on Viale Monte Grappa. The four (or five?) story building has 54 and a few suites each with its own unique look. Rossella Jardini and the Moschino creatives designed the space themselves with whimsical fairy-tale rooms like the petal bedroom shown at right. I think there are 16 styles of rooms (vs. one in Sheraton or Marriot). My favorite is the box room.
The next one for me to check out will be the Christian Lacroix hotel. I love the flouncy and bright fashion style, the Hotel du Petit Moulin is in the Marais district of Paris. Lacroix has decorated each of the boutique hotel's 17 rooms differently, mixing various time periods and styles in riotous combination. Toile on one wall, a space mural on the next, a lipstick red bathroom and liberal use of color is cool. It is the opposite of the minimalist style which I still like.
And for London, I don’t stay in hotels there (since I usually stay with family) so no luck to taste the best in boutique hotels. The one that I really want to try is 40 Winks. It is a great idea by interior designer David Carter. It is a great place for magazine photograhy. Carter is now offering his two spare bedrooms to paying guests on a B&B basis. Yes two rooms and no TVs. Carter is also happy to arrange visits from beauty therapists and reflexologists for those in need. If I am living in London, that’s probably what I would do too, rent out two rooms and one is D-school room and the other is you-know-what, B-school room. The dining room is where D-school meets B-school. I can arrange visits from organizational psychologists and behavioral economists for those in need.
Honestly, I have enough of the boutique craps from the big chains, they are still better than their main stream brands. Those are killing the minute I walk into a lobby. They are like 3 stars fast food chain that offers a bed too. Another big problem is the fact that all hotels seem identical, few incorporating local features or better to say local flavors.