Room mates

As competition between boutique hotels intensifies, teams of designers are being called in to create interiors that set new standards for luxury.

Entrance to Hotel on Rivington,designed by Marcel Wanders

Four years in development, 181 extremely large rooms have been created from the original 500, priced in excess of $300 (£171) a night. Although some names are involved, such as the painter Julian Schnabel (who is tight-lipped about what he is doing, apart from saying it’s not art) and Nadia Swarovksi, it’s very much Schrager’s team’s vision. He describes it as an integration of lots of pieces, lights and furniture by people from all over the world, ‘That’s why it’s a difficult process,’ he says. ‘We have to make it all work together. It’s what I would call a traditional design vocabulary, but by someone on acid.’

Looking forward, both Schrager and Wanders are championing a future trend. They are keen to develop discreet boltholes, offering extreme haute service to accommodate global citizens who require regular longer stays in key cities. Wanders is already on the case with the Lute Suites (effectively serviced cottages), which opened near Amsterdam earlier this year. Schrager, inspired by Carla Sozzani’s three-room hotel in Milan, is planning a similar concept on Bond Street in New York, but that’s another story.

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