With hoteliers becoming ever more ingenious when it comes to attracting guests, it was probably just a matter of time until one of the hottest recent global hospitality trends materialised: homeware hotels.
If you’re wondering if that means bedding down in an IKEA, think again. Homeware hotels act as a window on design products, be they in interactive showroom-style set-ups where you can try out a bespoke luxury kitchen, or more traditional approaches where every design detail and fitting you see in a room can be ordered with a couple of swipes. This try-before-you-buy approach has the added benefit of letting brands get valuable feedback from guests on what they did and didn’t like about a product.
Three very different brands that have made inroads in the homeware hotel space are MADE.com, the American designer Jonathan Adler and Taco Bell (yes, that Taco Bell). London-based MADE.com, an e-tailer for designer furniture and homeware, was one of the first to see the potential of partnering up with the hospitality industry. The MADE hotel in New York’s hip NoMad district was the result, a successful launch where their furniture and designs were given the perfect platform to reach both a local and international demographic of discerning and distinctly fashionable guests.
Its success then spawned a ‘boatel’ in London called The Boathouse. The upcycled 60-footer, or as they call it, ‘An industrial-style barge turned contemporary bolthole’ is moored in the quaint canals of the city’s Little Venice district near Paddington Station, and features furniture and fixtures from MADE.com’s collection. The space can be rented as a place to stay, but it’s also popular as a venue for events and launches. They even include two bikes and a rowing boat to let you discover the neighbourhood.