HD Talks

Hard Rocking with Bret Michaels

Posted by on October 22, 2014 in Projects | 0 comments

A couple of weekends ago, I was lucky to take a trip that may represent the apex of my journalistic career thus far—a weekend getaway to Hard Rock Riviera Maya in Mexico, part of the brand’s All Inclusive Collection, for the debut of the Bret Michaels (yes, that Bret Michaels)-designed, 8,000-square-foot Rock Star suite.

Michaels worked hand-in-hand with Hard Rock’s design and development team to create the oceanview suite, donating more than 100 items of memorabilia from his personal collection—which will be constantly updated—including accessories from his tour bus, his custom Harley, and his blue “Every Rose” guitar.

Various pieces from Bret Michael's personal collection can be found in the suite's media room.

Various pieces from Bret Michael’s personal collection can be found in the suite’s media room.

“We branded together with the same philosophy: how to make this a great party, but it’s got to have soul,” Michaels said to a press group during the suite’s unveiling. When you walk in this room, beyond just seeing the objects—a platinum record or a guitar—you’ve got to feel like you want to be here.”

The suite's bedrooms were swathed in pink in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The suite’s bedrooms were swathed in pink in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

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Best Western’s New Brand Offers Good Vibes

Posted by on October 15, 2014 in Projects, Trends | 0 comments

When Best Western International announced the launch of Vib (pronounced vibe), it wasn’t surprising. The type of product is on par with Millennial-focused brands from Carlson Rezidor (Radisson Red) and Commune Hotels + Resorts (Tommie), and the just launched lifestyle brand Canopy from Hilton Worldwide. What do all of these new brands have in common? The idea of offering hotels that are more localized and unique to their surroundings, allowing guests to have one-of-a-kind experiences every time they travel whether for work or play.

It’s still interesting, though, when a well-established company like Best Western takes a leap like this. When I see hotel companies catering to Millennials, I know it’s because the younger demographic is driving design trends, and determining what everyone else will be doing six months from now.


A rendering of Best Western’s new brand, Vib.

“We’d be foolish if we didn’t pursue Millennials,” Ron Pohl, senior vice president of brand management and member services for Best Western, told me yesterday during a phone interview. Continue reading →

Preparing for Platinum Circle

Posted by on October 9, 2014 in Events | 0 comments

We’re nearly a month away from our most glamorous event, the Platinum Circle Awards Gala. Celebrating it’s 26th year, Platinum Circle continues to honor the best in our industry. There’s no shortage of talent, and this year’s class of honorees is no exception.

As you may have read, this year, we’ll honor Adrian Zecha, non-executive chairman of resort developer, Amanresorts; Danny Meyer, CEO, Union Square Hospitality Group; M. Arthur Gensler Jr., founder, Gensler; and Lauren Rottet, founding principal and president, Rottet Studio. The evening will also honor New York-based Rockwell Group for 30 years of design excellence and innovation.

The honorees are ubiquitous in the industry. Their design stamps are global. In any major city in the world, you’ll find buildings, hotels, restaurants, theaters, hospitals, and more created by this group. And yet, their tales remain inspiring. In our October issue, we explore their stories a little more. Continue reading →

Tile Italian Style

Posted by on October 1, 2014 in Events, Products, Trends | 0 comments

After the pasta, gelato, and romantic views, Italy’s other specialty—ceramic tile—displays the innovation and artistic beauty the country is known for. Last week at Cersaie, the International Exhibition of Ceramic Tile and Bathroom Furnishings, I had the opportunity to explore a show floor packed with the newest advancements and artistic ideas in the industry. The offerings moved beyond the traditional, revealing just emerging trends, new twists on ancient designs, and more realistic imitation wood and handmade tiles.

Here’s a sneak peak of a few of the products I loved, with more to come in HD’s December issue.

ABK captures the beauty of slate in its Fluido collection, which uses less raw materials for a more eco-friendly design.



Del Conca’s Lupin collection uses Japanese manga for a selection of quirky characters and the hints of a story line.

Del Conca

Del Conca

Sottobosco Underbush + Intarsio, a mosaic tile from Cottobosco, recalls Italian artisan work. Continue reading →

HD Americas: The Sights and Sounds of Miami

Posted by on September 23, 2014 in Events, Projects, Trends | 1 comment

While the Miami Beach Convention Center hosted HD Americas last week, some attendees were able to go on an off-site field trip, exploring the Redbury South Beach and the Metropolitan by COMO.

I, luckily, was tasked with chaperoning these excursions, which I gladly accepted. Like any good chaperone, I kept the group on schedule, made sure we were all well-behaved, and took plenty of photos. But the real star of the site visits were the hotels themselves.


The lobby at the Metropolitan by COMO

We have hyped these visits in past blogs but seeing firsthand what goes into creating a contemporary aesthetic in these famous Art Deco buildings was a learning experience for any design novice or expert.

Our first stop was the 69-room Redbury South Beach, a sister property to sbe’s West Hollywood location, and designed by photographer and director Matthew Rolston in collaboration with Avenue Interior Design. Continue reading →