HD Talks


Preparing for Platinum Circle 2014

Posted by on August 6, 2014 in Events

Full disclosure: I’ve never attended Hospitality Design’s Platinum Circle Awards Gala, but I’ve been anticipating the November event since I started at the magazine in the beginning of the year. In that short time, punctuated by my own vociferous obsession with award shows and galas, I have been able to dream up what goes on at Platinum Circle. In my mind, it’s a mix between the Met Gala (with our own Michael Adams acting as Anna Wintour) and the Oscars: an amalgamation of fun and prestige.

This will be my first Platinum Circle Awards Gala, already in its 26th year, and though my expectations are high (looking forward to see who covers the red carpet …), I am certain they will be met, especially with the list of this year’s inductees—industry superstars that would make any hospitality fan girl’s night.

This year, the distinguished talent includes: Adrian Zecha, director and non-executive chairman, GHM; Danny Meyer, CEO, Union Square Hospitality Group; M. Continue reading →

A True Collaboration

Posted by on July 30, 2014 in Events, Projects

Last night, I was happy to attend the launch party of the penthouse at Tuscany, a St Giles Boutique Hotel in New York, for many reasons. It has been my master’s class in the ins and outs of the design process, and to see it come to fruition is amazing.

A few years ago, St Giles reached out to us to see if we would like to curate the penthouse’s makeover (the rest of the hotel is designed by Jeff Lincoln and his team) as they were looking for a more creative way to handle this part of the hotel’s renovation. The idea: the designers and FF&E manufacturers (and HD) donate their expertise and products, and in return, the hotel partners with a charity, the Make It Right Foundation, to match donations of time, product, and other monies given by the participating companies. (Also thrown in were perks at the hotel to use the fabulous space, and of course, coverage in HD.) We did a call for entries—essentially giving them a blank canvas and unlimited budget under the direction of a modern, Tuscan feel—from some 25 design firms in Manhattan; about half responded, and in the end, three were chosen for the space: AJC Design (master bedroom, bathroom, and the outdoor wraparound terrace with coveted views of the Empire State and Chrysler Buildings), Gensler (living room, entry, and second bedroom and bathroom), and dash design (kitchen and powder room). Continue reading →

Conference and Competition in Miami Beach

Posted by on July 10, 2014 in Events, Products, Uncategorized

We’re just over two months away from HD Americas, coming up September 16th-17th at the Miami Beach Convention Center. I’m looking forward to experiencing for the first time our Latin American and Caribbean-focused event, partially because I’m a former Miami resident (before I realized that my too-fair skin tone means I won’t ever be a beach bum), but mostly because I’m excited about the great conference sessions that our editorial director, Michael Adams, has been planning.

Here are a couple of highlights:

Miami at the Moment

Long a design hub, Miami has been enjoying an upsurge of creativity and energy in hospitality design. Meet designers whose work has been brightening the city’s distinctive landscape.


Peter Oleck, ADD Inc

Malcom Berg, Edge of Architecture (EoA)

George Scammell, Wyndham Worldwide

Will Meyer, Meyer Davis Studio

Meg Sharpe, Meg Sharpe Interiors


Showing How It’s Done: Four Case Studies

Top-flight designers describe in detail their current major projects in the area, including choices, challenges, and rewards. Continue reading →

Wave of the Future: Authenticity Drives Design

Posted by on July 2, 2014 in Events, Trends | 2 comments

In our June issue, we honored seven innovative and up-and-coming designers in our Wave of the Future series. Reading through their profiles certainly made my job harder, as I was definitely more enthralled with their stories than the editing process.

Luckily for me, our Wave of the Future honorees had the chance to talk more about their career trajectories by defining authenticity and how it inspires their design process during our HD NextGen Forum a few weeks ago. Authenticity is an abstract term but one that is pervasive in the hospitality design world. A hotel may look beautiful but if it doesn’t exude a sense of place, then it comes across as hollow. Each took a quick, Pecha Kucha-style dive into defining how authenticity drives their work.


Hospitality Design magazine’s Wave of the Future honorees

Julie Frank, global director of design for Le Méridien Hotels, opened the discussion by looking at authenticity in its rawest form. Continue reading →

Talking Industry Issues with the Owners

Posted by on June 25, 2014 in Events, Trends

HD NextGen ForumWhile the sessions at HD’s NextGen Forum two weeks ago in Chicago were inspiring, it was the Owners’ Roundtable, sponsored by RH Contract, that was truly enlightening. We at HD constantly cover trends and postulate about the future of the industry, but it’s another thing altogether to have leading hoteliers, owners, managers, and more, talking about these topics (and others) with candor.

I am naturally curious so I found a seat at the table in the W Chicago City Center ballroom and hoped to blend in—learning through observation. Yet, the journalist got the better of me, so of course I found time to ask some of questions, too. In fact, here are some key points I overheard at NextGen’s Owners’ Roundtable:

  • Sam Suleman, vice president of development and operations at Equinox Hospitality, asked a startling question when he first sat down at our table: Are online travel agencies (OTAs) signaling the end of the brand?
Continue reading →