WEST ELM TO BRING THEIR DESIGN SAVOIRE-FAIRE TO THE HOTEL WORLD
Last week, the U.S.-based home furnishings retailer West Elm announced plans for its own line of design hotels, combining its covetable furniture and decor with…well, the modern boutique hotel experience, of course.
At least five West Elm Hotels will open by late 2018, most of them in cities that have few design hotels – such as Savannah (there’s an Andaz there btw), Indianapolis and Detroit. Prices will start in the reasonable range at around $175 a night and the hotels will stick to a fairly small room count: 100-250 rooms. West Elm is hoping to make good use of existing buildings and will tap local artisans for design help as well. No word on the food and beverage outlets, but given that West Elm is positioning itself to be a chic boutique hotel, there are bound to be some buzzy elements to their F&B plans.
And of course, the rooms will will most definitely have the look and feel of a West Elm store. However, the hotels themselves won’t actually be selling furniture. Instead, guests can shop a “hotel-inspired” capsule collection on the West Elm website.
Even more exciting is that hotelier David Bowd of Salt Hotels will assist in managing the West Elm hotels through the newly formed DDK hospitality management company. In a press release, Bowd said, “There is a growing desire among modern travellers to immerse themselves in the place they are visiting. They want a boutique experience, and expect great, reliable service that caters to their needs. Our general managers will serve as innkeepers, and West Elm HOTELS will focus on making real community connections for visitors and residents alike.”
Backing that up, West Elm has detailed three key tenets of their hospitality plan:
- Wholehearted hospitality: Great service, personalised attention, regional knowledge and community connections will help guests feel like a local and at home.
- Distinctive, thoughtful design: Each property will have its own design point of view, from the exterior architecture to custom installations, such as locally crafted art and bespoke furnishings.
- Community connection: Communal spaces and one-of-a-kind experiences will bring guests and neighbours together in a relaxed, collective setting.
This sounds a lot like the experience at The Asbury Hotel, which we absolutely loved when we toured it in July. But with West Elm behind the project, expect even more design flair.
[Rendering: West Elm Hotels]