Everywhere people talk about innovation. Not necessarily as an unconditional embrace of technology, not as an outstanding pulse of scientific research, but by incorporating some improving elements or efficient initiatives in the production process. We all must be innovative to be better, to be different. Yes, innovation is the buzzword of these times.
Do we really know what it is that is forcing us to innovate? I’m afraid not much. Behind this hackneyed word remain hidden the old dogmas, the same bigoted attitudes, the inalienable conservative principles, and this stagnation always leads nowhere. Step by step, the concept of nowhere, a “non-place”, is becoming familiar to us. But indeed we Continue reading
The Westin Palace (Madrid)
The former palace of the Dukes of Medinaceli was inaugurated by Alfonso XIII in 1912 and refurbished in a French style. It was frequented by Picasso, Buster Keaton, Sarah Bernhard, Mata Hari, Dali, and Ava Gardner among other celebrities. Hemingway drank dry martinis at its bar, while the bullfighter Manolete walked out the hotel door towards the arena of Las Ventas. In the Palace halls, the Socialist Party held its first victory in the general elections of 1982. Here was celebrated the Madrid Peace Conference (1991) and the dance-opening of the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum.
It was the first hotel in Madrid designed by Cesar Ritz, in the early twentieth century. King Alfonso XIII ordered it built, because he wanted to offer a luxury hotel in the Continue reading
Since The Lord of the Rings trylogy, of which its first part was directed by Peter Jackson, tourism in New Zealand has not stopped growing exponentially. The national tourism authority would never have dreamed such an avalanche of foreigners would come with the premiere of the adventures of Frodo, Gandalf, Bilbo, Gollum and Aragorn, despite spending millions of NZ dollars on promotion. Just one film, only one impression, was good enough to entice us with those dreamscapes we enjoy now and forever.
The same feeling came to us some decades ago with the vision of 2001: A Space Odyssey. When the master Stanley Kubrick took us into science fiction ecstasy, we ran to Copenhagen for a few days to seeing with our own eyes the white, pristine, hotel lobby SAS, designed by the great architect Arne Jacobsen for the final chapter of the Continue reading
Besides the purely functional criteria, the illumination of each room shifts depending on the aesthetic and sensory effect we want. Also, it depends on the time of day, which determines how some multi-purpose spaces should be transformed. Experimenting with light allows us to design some interesting projects playing with color, intensity, and even with the flashing beams. The transformative power of light draws attention to concrete objects or spaces. It creates atmosphere and engenders different feelings to guests. From bright to dim to all those discrete visual effects created by optical fiber, any hotel is the perfect scenario for this kind of delightful fireworks. Continue reading
At the end of an exquisite dinner, and only at the moment of serving the dessert, one of the maid falters and made the water gurgle while she was serving the glass. Hell, what did just happen? We found out immediately. A fatal rupture had taken place in the harmonious cadence of the service, an unpardonable oversight in the quietude of the dining hall, surely caused by an anticipated step or a delayed gesture. The atmosphere, suddenly, broke its Zen inspiration. Like a stab, all the gazes converged towards that glass from which bosom, a slight, but obvious, gurgle had been perceived. The maid, Continue reading
The use of the landline phones in the hotel rooms has dropped significantly since the popularization of the mobile phone. That non-negligible complement of the hotel business —easier to manage than the mini bar goods— is going through its hardest times, and there is no evidence of it getting any better. On the contrary, the tendency leads to its extinction for all travelers have been provided with their small device.
Only provided with that? It is well-known that nobody travels with a trunk anymore. Not even the Saudi sheikhs, oblige to feed their harem, they carry with them or get someone to carry those heavy chests which used to show the pedigree of the old travelers. Today he will only carry a suitcase, the more practical the better, and since airports started being impossible when it comes to safety, the smaller and lighter the better. Continue reading