HD Talks

Hospitality

Hotel Throwback: The Blackstone’s Luxe Upgrade

Posted by on July 3, 2017 in Hospitality, Projects | 3 comments

By Mary Beth Klatt

There has been much secrecy at the Blackstone Hotel in Chicago throughout its history. Republican leaders named Warren G. Harding as its presidential nominee there during a secret meeting (notable for introducing us to the concept of the smoke-filled room, also an aptly named suite at the hotel); gangster Al Capone got his haircut at the hotel barbershop tucked away from prying eyes; and John F. Kennedy quietly prepared at the hotel to negotiate the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.

Dual staircases in the Blackstone Hotel in Chicago.

Following the $139 million architectural restoration in 2008 by the Gettys Group, the firm was called on once again to lead the hotel’s multimillion-dollar renovation, which included updating original artwork, highlighting the early 21st-century glamour and craftsmanship of the original building, and incorporating technology with modern amenities and a contemporary design.

A modern guestroom with contemporary artwork above the beds.

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The Art of Hospitality

Posted by on February 2, 2017 in Hospitality

There’s a reason this magazine is called Hospitality Design. The crux of the brand and what we write about and showcase is how design should be accessible and welcoming; good design should facilitate interaction, community, and evoke some level of comfort—a home away from home (or, for that matter, one better than your own). That welcoming essence of hospitality is what we continually try to capture.

The lobby and gallery space at 21c Hotel Oklahoma City

Talk to anyone in the industry, from GMs and front-desk staff to hotel company CEOs and designers, and they’ll tell you the reason they love working in hospitality is because of the guests that check-in and out everyday, as well as the interesting, creative, and diverse set of people they get to work with. Many have worked in the industry all their lives.

A good example of this comes from our February issue. We interviewed two hoteliers: Michael Fuerstman, co-founder and creative director of Pendry Hotels, who said his best job remains his first, as the pool boy at the Bellagio in Las Vegas; and Steve Wilson, founder of 21c Museum Hotels, who points out the most rewarding aspect of hotel life is being a part of the guests’ lives. Continue reading →