HD Talks

Hotel Flashback: A Desert Oasis Reborn in Scottsdale

Posted by on March 14, 2018 in Projects | 1 comment

By Mary Beth Klatt

The original Mountain Shadows resort, built in 1959 in Scottsdale, had a distinctive Rat Pack appeal. The sprawling building, designed by real estate developer Del Webb, had the largest known swimming pool in Arizona. It attracted Hollywood actors such as Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Bob Hope, Lucille Ball, Elizabeth Taylor, and Robert Stack, among others. They came to enjoy golfing, swimming, and drinking cocktails while listening and dancing to a live orchestra at night in the shadows of the Camelback and Mummy Mountains.

Hearth ’61 in the upgraded Mountain Shadows from Mark Zeff

The sunken living room at Mountain Shadows

The resort eventually closed in 2004 and remained vacant for more than a decade. Expectations were high when Westroc Hospitality and Woodbine Development eventually acquired and demolished the iconic facility, and for $100 million rebuilt a more intimate, 183-room hotel with 41 new resort condominiums, which opened last year.

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The Sparkling Oscars Stage Shines

Posted by on March 6, 2018 in Events, Trends | 0 comments

On Oscar night, the only thing shining brighter than the stars who graced the stage to pick up their awards was the stage itself. Swarovski provided millions of crystals to illuminate the stage, this being the company’s 11th Oscars and sixth time collaborating with set designer Derek McLane on the ceremony, for which he previously won an Emmy in production design in 2014.

For this year’s stage, in which the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was celebrating its 90th ceremony, McLane says “the proscenium was inspired by the inside of a geode and by an image I saw of a domed, mirrored room” from Swarovski’s headquarters in Wattens, Austria. Constructed from octagonal tiles with a mix of crystal, metal, and mirror, the front piece of the stage incorporates more than 45 million Swarovski crystals.

Behind the proscenium, the stage’s sparkling demeanor never faltered. Returning from last year’s ceremony are the “floating Oscars,” which feature more than 140,000 crystals. Continue reading →

5 Wellness Trends for 2018

Posted by on February 7, 2018 in Events, Trends

Wellness has become a buzzword in hospitality, and it extends beyond physical health. The concept now comprises mental and emotional wellbeing where self-care is top of mind. Recently, at the Global Wellness Summit held in January, eight wellness trends were announced, along with new ways to understand and apply the perimeters on wellness. It’s something we here at HD HQ have been exploring as well, notably in our November issue, guest edited by health and wellness guru Neil Jacobs, CEO of Six Senses Hotels Resorts. But also in our September issue, where we delved into everything from cutting-edge pharmacies to inviting dental offices and in December, we looked at floating fitness barges, richly colored basketball courts, and eco-conscious wellness resort Civana.

As the summit proved, wellness is a $3.7 trillion sector with no plans of slowing down. Here, we take a look at five takeaways that are redefining the wellness moment in the new year and beyond. Continue reading →

3 Steps to Rebuild After a Natural Disaster

Posted by on January 10, 2018 in Hospitality, Projects

The tranquil guestroom at Ventana Big Sur

By Rachel Fischbach, Principal, BraytonHughes Design Studios

We are often asked by clients to help them rebuild after a devastating event. Whether it’s a fire, flood, earthquake, or other disaster, how do you pick up the pieces and start to rebuild? Below are the three things we always ask ourselves when designing a new project, which hold true when rebuilding one, too:

1. What is the story that we want to create?
The original Casa Dorinda in Santa Barbara, California, for example, was a grand estate built in the early 1900s, and though the property had been restored recently, the adjacent dining room that was built in the 1970s did not connect to the Spanish revival style of the estate. We, therefore, took design cues from the original Casa and tried to seamlessly blend the spaces, which is reflected in the furnishings, color palette, architectural details, and iron lighting. Continue reading →

BIG Introduces the Courtscraper to New York

Posted by on January 2, 2018 in Events

Via 57 West sits on the Hudson River. Photo by Iwan Baan

When it comes to portmanteaus, there are certainly cringeworthy ones (bleisure, a combination of business and leisure, for one) and some that bring comfort (Kimye, all and any Bennifers), but one that is getting some noticeable attention, thanks to design and architecture firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), is courtscraper—a combination of courtyard and skyscraper—that succinctly explains the Via 57 West residential building in New York. In late November, BIG partner Kai-Uwe Bergmann joined Fritz Hansen’s head of design Christian Andresen at the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum in New York to discuss the residential building, as well as their collaboration on the Via 57 chair, which was specifically crafted for the courtscraper.

BIG partner Kai-Uwe Bergmann talks about the six-year process to construct Via 57 West. Photo by Aldo Soligno

It took six years to make Via 57 West a reality, with BIG opening an office in New York in 2010 to focus on the sustainable pyramidal-shaped building nestled near the Hudson River next to a brownfield site and a Con Edison sanitation building. Continue reading →