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Do People Really Like "Hipness" in Hotels?

Do People Really Like "Hipness" in Hotels?

Old Aug 26, 05, 2:09 pm
  #1  
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Do People Really Like "Hipness" in Hotels?

It seems everywhere I turn these days, new hotels are opening, emphasizing "hipness" in format and decor and existing hotels are remodeling with a similar ambience. Obviously, this is the result of some widespread marketing analysis, but not many of my associates or I find this particularly appealing.

What I observe as this "hipness" is 1) relatively loud background music (usually disco-like) in lounges and even restaurants, 2) incense or other aromas wafting through the public spaces, 3) rather bizarre color schemes both in the rooms and public spaces, 4) novel, though not necessarily functional, furniture of unusual shapes, and 5) cutesy names for hotel services (such as "anything, anytime" for concierge).

I know, I too get tired of the same old dreary decor in many hotels, but perhaps I am a little too old and set in my ways. Or maybe I'm just not hip.
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Old Aug 26, 05, 2:43 pm
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Not Hip

I am not hip. My husband and I stayed at the original W Hotel in NYC about a month after it opened. Only reason we were there was because I had a 50% off coupon and the Westin was sold out. Lobby was so hip (and remember, I am not) that I found a side entrance (by way of restaurant) and just used that during entire stay. Just couldn't take the lobby! Also couldn't bear waiting at elevators with all the hip people so found staircase to take to 2nd floor so at least I could wait in non-hipness. Had to face hip people on ride up and down.
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Old Aug 26, 05, 2:51 pm
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Rest easy - this trend has died. You may be experiencing the last gasps at the W or wherever. Having said that, the concept was refreshing in the early 90s.
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Old Aug 26, 05, 3:26 pm
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What you describe, no.

What I do enjoy, though, is a decent amount of style in a hotel. And if it can pull off some decent contemporary style, all the better!

An example of a personal favourite.
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Old Aug 26, 05, 3:35 pm
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It is nice to stay somewhere that has decor that resembles how I would like to live in an ideal, clutter free, dirt free existence!
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Old Aug 26, 05, 3:38 pm
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'hipness' is best transated as obnoxious snobbery.

give me a bed and heat/ac (depending on season, of course) and i'm content. I would never stay at one of those glowing green hotels.
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Old Aug 26, 05, 3:41 pm
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I don't consider myself 'hip' either, but I do enjoy the W Hotels. They are very unique, not only in terms of other hotels, but also within their own brand (each is different). While I do enjoy the decor,style, and comfort of the W, I stay there b/c I find that their service is generally exceptional. As far as being a dying trend, I don't think that is the case. The W is one of the fastest (if not THE fastest) growing brands, and Starwood is so keen on the idea they are introducing a lower end 'hip' brand (a moderately priced W, called 'XYZ' I think). I think it's just a matter of taste, but I find it to be a nice change after I stay in hotels that are a little more 'plain'.
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Old Aug 26, 05, 5:02 pm
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I stayed in a W early on (Seattle, 2000 or 2001). Loved the bed, was amused by the wax lips and candy necklaces at $5 each in the minibar, didn't turn on the waterfall sculpture. The entire staff, I swear, was slim, young and dressed in black.

Definitely a breath of fresh air, but the problem with "hip" is that it needs frequent updating. The lobby of a place like The Palmer House, OTOH, just needs maintenance.
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Old Aug 26, 05, 5:08 pm
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hip v stylish

I don't care whether a hotel is 'hip' - but I do like a hotel that has some style - which means that most chains are off the list. I like the Park Hyatts and Four Seasons - but tend to stay away from more 'traditional' properties.
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Old Aug 26, 05, 5:25 pm
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"Hip" hotels make me cry.
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Old Aug 26, 05, 5:38 pm
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Don't lump all 'hip' hotels together. What matters is how they pull it off.

IMHO, W Seattle is great, W New York is not.

Service at 'hip' hotels can sometimes be poor, twentysomethings in black that you tell to act cool don't always yield anticipatory service. But if you can overcome that.. and the attempt at cool doesn't feel contrived then it can be a nice experience. "Hip" is not the same as 'awkward' or 'forced'.
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Old Aug 26, 05, 5:39 pm
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Personally not so big on the attitude at Ws - would rather trade it for comfort at a Westin, Hyatt, or Fairmont -- but I really like the style of Morgans Hotel Group properties. And having a place like Skybar or Whiskey Blue built in as part of your stay is a real draw for my demographic (late 20s/early 30s). I have several friends and colleagues who factor the hip factor into their selection - from consultants spending 100+ days a year on the road to small business owners only traveling about 10 days per year). And the comment that all "hip" hotels are not created equal is especially true -- my friends are looking at the individual property, not the chain brand, when making their choice.

Last edited by dbuckho; Aug 26, 05 at 5:43 pm
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Old Aug 26, 05, 6:08 pm
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I am at an age that is a good bit past 'hip', but I find the non-uniformity of those hotels often refreshing. What I do find annoying is the hotel that pushes itself to be hip for the sake of being hip ("hip gratia hipis") -- UGH.

For that reason I am finding the W hotels that I have stayed at so far to be mostly forced-hip. The Kimpton Group hotels are a mixed bag; some are in the force-hip category, others not so much.

I recall a similar discussion about what it is to be 'cool', very apropos here:
-- If you are trying to be cool, you ain't cool
-- Sometimes you can be so cool, you can freeze your a$$ off
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Old Aug 26, 05, 6:13 pm
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Originally Posted by stut
What you describe, no.

What I do enjoy, though, is a decent amount of style in a hotel. And if it can pull off some decent contemporary style, all the better!

An example of a personal favourite.
And that is an example of one I would absolutely choose to pass on.

I'm not into primary colors or big, square (read: uncomfortable looking) chairs.

Rita
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Old Aug 26, 05, 8:08 pm
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Thumbs down

Originally Posted by JerryFF
. . . What I observe as this "hipness" is 1) relatively loud background music (usually disco-like) in lounges and even restaurants, 2) incense or other aromas wafting through the public spaces, 3) rather bizarre color schemes both in the rooms and public spaces, 4) novel, though not necessarily functional, furniture of unusual shapes, and 5) cutesy names for hotel services (such as "anything, anytime" for concierge). . .
Then you should definitely stay away from the 'upgrade' to the Loft523 annex at the International House in New Orleans. http://www.loft523.com/lobby.html

You get all of the above, including bare concrete floors, minimalist furniture, a LOUD hip hop nightclub in the lobby with noise resonating through the hotel until 1am. What could they have been thinking?!

And this in the same town that gives you the Windsor Court for about the same price http://www.windsorcourthotel.com/web..._c2b3_full.jsp


.
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