WELCOME TO THE COLLECTIVE: 4 EXPERIMENTALISTS WHO KNOW WHAT MEMORABLE EXPERIENCES ARE MADE OF
Turning your travel brand into an authentic reflection of your era and location is now so popular that it’s almost a mandatory requirement. Time and place – it’s how we define our experiences. But is it what makes them memorable?
We’ve recruited four new experimentalists who just had to find out. By transporting travellers out of the here and now and enabling them to lose their geographical bearings, they’ve stripped the guest experience of a sense of time and place to see what’s left. And what have they found? Only the pure fundamentals that constitute those memorable experiences contemporary travellers yearn for…
NAME: People Make Places
LOCATION: Tokyo, Japan
CAUSE: Introducing travellers to the people behind the scenes making Tokyo a happening hotspot.
People Make Places: it’s in the name. Yes, Tokyo’s modernity and exciting places might have attractions, character, vivacity – but in the end, they’re nothing without the stories of the people who’re behind them. Divorcing Tokyo from its contemporary, sturdy setting of closely packed skyscrapers and blinding lights, Charles Spreckley – the Tokyo-based writer and Founder of People Make Places – allows travellers to blaze an intimate and transparent trail across Tokyo with his book-turned-app, which offers people-oriented tours and hotel and restaurant recommendations that the world will want to know about. Travellers are introduced to “the chef and the restaurant, the designer and the brand, the barista and the coffee shop” – these people are what memorable experiences are made of.
UTSUWA KENSHIN • After several years working at a ceramics shop, Kenshin Sato had the knowledge and the network to set up on his own. All he needed was an affordable space in a good location. Again, fate stepped in. "There was a ceramics shop here before me and I knew the owner. I was
visiting one day, and I told him: 'I want to open my own shop.' He replied, 'Well, I want to close mine.' So I took over the space, just like that." #utsuwakenshin #ceramics #japaneseceramics #shibuya #peoplemakeplaces #japanesecrafts
SAKURAI JAPANESE TEA EXPERIENCE • "I want to offer people a new way of enjoying Japanese tea," Shinya Sakurai explains. "Today there are so many different teas in plastic bottles and so many young Japanese have never even tasted a properly prepared cup of Japanese tea. I want to change that." #sakuraijapaneseteaexperience #peoplemakeplaces #japanesetea #greentea #japaneseteahouse
LOCATION: Maldives, South Asia
CAUSE: Curating stress-free, rejuvenating experiences that are the epitomy of timeless experiences that stand the test of time.
It’s the ultimate castaway: weary and overwhelmed travellers can escape the madness of the everyday by stranding themselves in the middle of the ocean on an extravagant, palm-fringed island, far away from the reality of tourism’s intense, time- and place-oriented itineraries. Anantara Naladhu mercifully spares travellers the headache caused by the noisy questions of “what”, “who”, “where” and “why” during their stay, allowing the history and geography of the Maldives to fall away. All that’s left is the envy-worthy offerings of revolutionary experiences that focus solely on restoring the self – phew. Masters of their trade, they help guests channel their inner zen with guided meditations on the deck at sunset and (finally!) find their centre with yoga classes; and spur on their foodie urges with rewarding specialist culinary courses and tastings. A timeless treat guaranteed to make the cut for the memory books.
NAME: Bulgari Milan
LOCATION: Milan, Italy
CAUSE: Allowing guests swap the hubbub of Milan for moments of true Italian style.
Pounding the streets between the shopping and ‘must-see’ landmarks Milan offers is all fun and games until travellers start to feel like tourist roadkill – but that’s what you’ve got to do in Milan, right? Buried in Milan’s artist quarter, Bulgari’s hotel entices travellers to toss their logistical travel plans out of the window and experience a different Milan: a haven planted in a leafy, 4,800-square-yard private garden, guests forget their ‘must-see’ itineraries and lose their geographical bearings, only to uncover sleek and chic Italian living at its finest. And what could encompass the lifestyle better than sipping the city’s best aperitivi amongst sleek, black marble and granite-dyed oak interiors, whilst enjoying the dazzling view afforded by the floor-to-ceiling windows? Here’s to uncovering a great Italian pastime that never goes out of style.
NAME: TUVE Hong Kong
LOCATION: Hong Kong, China
CAUSE: Creating a riddle of a hotel experience, where the answer is self-discovery.
Dare to imagine a space where all perceived notions dissipate before your eyes, and you’ll begin to digest the puzzling, yet enlightening experience enjoyed by guests at TUVE Hong Kong. Tucked away behind Causeway Bay with no obvious entrance, this boutique hotel is a minimalist maze of galvanised steel and white marble achieving a “timeless, placeless and genderless” appearance that invites guests to delve deeper into the only tangible thing in reach: themselves. From the absence of art taking up the wall space, to the nonsensical, jenga-like architecture, self-speculation is actively encouraged at every turn. Although that’s not to say that guests need to soul-search in discomfort: warm lighting, invitingly soft beds and craft beer–laden mini bars are on hand to create an inviting, illuminating and unforgettable experience for all.