PortfolioJumeirah Clearwater Bay Resort
Qingshui Wan, Lingshui, Hainan, China
Jeff Naprawa and I recently accompanied our client on a trip to Mexico and Panama to visit potential project sites and do a little market research. Fortunately for us the trip also allowed for a stop at the Edzna Pyramids.
Attached are a few photos from my recent holiday. I traced the route of the Maya and Aztecs in Mexico. The highlights for me were the moments of awe upon seeing the choice of site location for the temples. The scenery was breathtaking, particularly at Tulum along the coast.
You've been up since 4 a.m., and are harried from the hassles of airport security, the transcontinental flight, jet lag and back-to-back traffic. As you step out of the taxi and enter the hotel, your surroundings feel comfortable and you can eventually exhale. The lobby is a living room, and someone with a smiling face greets you. Your check in process is effortless and you are intuitively able to find your room. Whether you decide to have a glass of wine, check your email or have a hot shower, your day is suddenly looking better since the experience is the complete antithesis to your stressful day. The most important design trend for hospitality? Customization, ease and authenticity.
Read the whole article here.
A couple photos from a recent visit to Berlin's Holocaust Memorial
The pre-opening celebration for Bardessono in Yountville, California on January 30th was a special occasion. As architects, it is always wonderful to see the “fruits of our labor” in a built project. After all, there are plenty of great projects that never see the light of construction.
We were all invited to stay at the resort, tour the serene courtyards and finally, enjoy a gourmet five course meal for approximately 150 people who in one way or another helped to bring the project to a successful completion. Of course there was also plenty of Napa Valley wine to enjoy.
Artists, architects, a myriad of consultants, investors, contractors, sub-contractors, operators and managers were hosted and toasted by developer Phil Sherburne of Yountville Investors, LLC, and operator James Simkins of MTM Luxury Lodging. I was especially touched and pleased by Phil’s public recognition of Susan Frieson and the round of applause she received. Susan was responsible for the construction documentation and construction administration for the project over the last two years. The project opened officially at noon on Monday, February 2nd, following an open house for the townspeople of Yountville.
Here is a WATG boutique hotel project with significant LEED credentials that is, relatively speaking, in our own back yard! Be sure to stroll through the project next time you happen to be tasting wine in the Napa Valley.
Salli Morita and I visited Niu Valley Middle School for their annual career day. We shared with them the different aspects of architecture, master planning, interior design, and landscape architecture, and the various types of projects we do globally. They were impressed... "Have you really designed a house on the water?"
We then gave them their first design assignment as future architects: to design their dream home. We showed them how we begin every design with "bubble diagrams,"(bubbles representing rooms, illustrating room adjacencies and relationships) and let them go. They did well. After all, what 11-year-old wouldn't want a water slide between the bedroom and dining room?
Photos by Tiffany Lee
Here's a little exchange I had with a banker at ALIS (Americas Lodging Investment Conference) recently in San Diego. We were among the 2,300 in attendance.
HJW: Why are you at this conference?
He: I just wanted to get a sense of how bad things are.
He: Things are even worse than I thought.
HJW: So, are you making any loans for any projects at all?
He: No. If I make one bad loan in this economic climate, I'll get fired. When times are good, we have more leeway.
HJW: Well, forgive me for saying so, but it seems you're a big part of the problem. Bankers get a bailout and then are afraid to lend money. A deepening recession becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
He: You're right.
Awkward but honest.
Seems to me that smart money would be going into viable projects now. These properties will open ahead of the competition, when the economy inevitably rebounds. Any brave bankers out there?
Photos by Mary Suenaga
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