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Handkercheif by Nienke Voorintholt for the Lloyd Hotel

Sleeping In: The World’s Slowest Hotel

Hulking on the edge of the trendy Eastern Docklands in Amsterdam, the Lloyd Hotel is a storied mammoth. It was first an emigrant hotel for moneyed travelers before they set sail for the Americas (after a stint in the adjacent Quarantine building for a thorough scrubbing down); when the Germans occupied, it was converted into a prison for members of the resistance; in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the artists came. The building, a repository of three generations of European history, reopened in 2004 as a hotel once again, and Cultural Embassy. For the past two years, it has also been the site of a massive slowing down.
June 25, 2012
Exterior of the NoMad Hotel in New York

The NoMad Hotel, New York

One block away from the scene-making New York outpost of the Ace Hotel, in a district mostly known for its wholesale garment industry, is a Beaux Arts showstopper anchoring the corner of Broadway and 28th Street. The recently-opened NoMad Hotel, distinct from the exterior owing to its giant cupola, is not just a coincidence but a companion property (and aesthetic foil) to the Ace. Both were developed by The Sydell Group in partnership with GFI Development, who hired Parisian designer Jacques Garcia to give the NoMad interiors a whiff of the grand dame. During its soft opening this spring, we took a whirl around the hotel, which pairs traditional, swank, and very French interior design moves with a decidedly modern, zeitgeist-y, and still very New York feel. 
June 5, 2012
Hotel Endemico in Silvestre, Mexico

Encuentro Guadalupe , Mexico

In recent years, Baja’s Valle de Guadalupe, only an hour and a half from the San Diego airport and 40 minutes from Ensenada, has emerged as Mexico’s wine country. In order to showcase the best that this region has to offer, The founders of Antiresorts™ decided to develop a property in the area that "combines amazing dry weather, rich new wines, incredible seafood and produce, impressive light, and human talent." And so, Encuentro Guadalupe came to be. The project, whose moniker suggests that it is a "wild reserve" and "native to its environment," is slated to open this July. It features two main components: Vinícola Encuentro, the winery and restaurant, and Encuentro Resguardo Silvestre, twenty high-end bungalows, which offer guests the chance to immerse themselves in the outdoors while still enjoying modern comforts.
May 14, 2012
Modern Honolulu Hotel Pool

The Modern Honolulu

In early April I was invited out to Honolulu to give a talk at the Hawaii Build and Buy Green Expo, an offer I could hardly refuse. And wanting to be as close to the Hawaiian Convention Center as I could, I took up a two-day residence at the Modern Honolulu, a rather cool new hotel just on the other side of the Ala Wai Canal. The hotel has changed hands lately, it was an Ian Schrager property just last year, but much of the design by Yabu Pushelberg and landscape designer Deborah Nevins remains intact. I had a grand time in the sophisticated spot. Read on for my little tour.
April 25, 2012
Ventura Lambrate RCA mylar

Ventura Lambrate Trumps in Milan

For the second year running, Milan’s Zona Tortona feels more like Zona Tortura, a nightclub dotted with big brand showrooms, than the former creative epicenter of the Salone furniture fair that it has been for years. Dance music pulses out of black-curtained buildings past the large men (bouncers?) dressed in black suits that guard them while costumed kids handed out free drink tickets. For those seeking a slower-tempo compliment to the commercial fair center at Tortona, the best relief is Ventura Lambrate, where the warehouses surrounding the polytechnic university—themselves beautiful objects of architectural design—are filled with student work, some fresh takes on old products and materials, and design that borders on art. Check out our slideshow of what to see at Ventura Lambrate.
April 20, 2012
modern design hotel in Berlin, Germany

Propeller Island Hotel, Berlin

In 1997, musician Lars Storschen started renting out rooms in his house to supplement his income. Bored with the idea of a traditional guest room, Storschen created different themes for each of the four rooms. Inspired by Jules Vernes’ science fiction novel, Propeller Island, Storschen’s guestrooms-cum art installations, like Symbols (A room filled with 300 symbols) became an extension of his career as an artist. Soon after, the rooms became popular and Storschen began toying with the idea of expanding Propeller Island into a proper hotel. When the pension hotel in his building became available, Storschen bought it and spent the next five years expanding. Now, with three floors and 27 rooms, Propeller Island is part art gallery and part hotel. It’s impractical and slightly gimmicky, but I love Storschen’s madcap approach and imaginative décor. Click through the slideshow to view my favorite rooms.
April 14, 2012
Hau tree overview

Hau Tree Lanai in Honolulu

I was in Honolulu, Hawaii, last week to talk at a green design conference, and in my two quick days there I was able to see a few of the sights. Though I managed to eat at some trendy, and rather well-designed spots—tip of the cap to Salt and Morimoto—I was reminded of a fundamental lesson of design over a decidedly unhip breakfast at the Hau Tree Lanai Restaurant at the New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel. Sometimes a single element of a space's design (in this case, the hau tree) can make it so magical that the fetishism so often shown for meticulously sourced tablewares and organic pork belly goes completely out the window. Located down at the Diamond Head–end of Waikiki in an unspiffy old hotel, on a pretty but pedestrian stretch of beach, the Hau Tree Lanai eschews just about every design trick in the book—see the pink tablecloths, white wrought-iron patio furniture, and institutional tile floor. But that hau tree creates such a perfect canopy, shielding diners from the hot sun while giving us this ribbon-width view of the flat blue sea, that you don't want to be anywhere else. 
April 13, 2012
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Friday Finds 03.30.12

In this installment of Friday Finds, a look at tennis's most entertaining athlete, Pantone swatches that are good enough to eat, and answers to all the grade-schol test questions you never knew. Scroll down for more!
March 30, 2012
Mox big open

Chester Mox Passport Wallet

I was very excited to head to Morocco for my weeklong visit with a new accessory in my back pocket: Chester Mox's Passport Cover. I was giving this Horween leather travel wallet a test drive on the mean streets and in the cavernous airports of San Francisco, New York, Marrakech, and Casablanca. And it passed with flying colors.
March 26, 2012
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