A 1960s workplace block in central London may appear an unlikely place to construct a treehouse, however that’s precisely what billionaire hotelier Barry Sternlicht has completed.
The Treehouse Resort is the primary iteration of a brand new model from the mastermind who created W Lodges in 1995, served as chief government officer of Starwood Lodges, and based Baccarat’s resort chain in 2015. In accordance with Sternlicht and his companions at Starwood Capital Group, it’s meant to be an offshoot of 1 Lodges, the corporate’s standard eco-luxury model, with outposts in america (Manhattan, Miami and Brooklyn in New York; and West Hollywood in California).
The idea’s inaugural location fills the highest flooring of a 16-storey tower that has 95 rooms, a rooftop bar referred to as the Nest, and a small smattering of meals and low venues, each on the bottom ground and on the 15th ground.
Arguably, the views alone may justify the title, for the reason that 360° outlook from the roof deck gives great sights of the British capital – from Canary Wharf and the Shard to the BT Tower and the London Eye. However treehouses provide campy nostalgia, not Baccarat-style consolation. So what’s it prefer to sleep on this one? We checked in to search out out.
Discovering the entrance desk isn’t precisely an intuitive matter, being that it’s on the 15th ground. Getting there requires strolling via the ground-floor espresso store to the elevators – and perhaps asking a barista. However when you do arrive, the namesake idea is unattainable to disregard.
All through the general public areas, partitions are lined in bark and shingles. A lot of the furnishings is comprised of wooden or rattan. Lighting fixtures are both naked filament lightbulbs or pulled-from-the-campsite kerosene lamps (fitted with LEDs). Potted vegetation dangle from ceilings all over the place; discovering a stack of old-school board video games right here is as straightforward as discovering a toddler enjoying Sweet Crush within the airport.
All this verges on feeling gimmicky. If it fails to wow, the panorama of London behind the entrance desk doesn’t. And the workers’s abilities transcend wanting the half (you realize, younger and hip). They’re pleasant, useful, and may present all method of suggestions, right down to the most effective native poetry slam.
Sleeping in one in all Sternlicht’s treehouse rooms doesn’t really feel like house from a design perspective – except you occur to stay in a summer time camp bunkhouse in upstate New York – nevertheless it does ship on the technological comforts of our on a regular basis lives. By way of the resort’s propriety cell app, you possibly can handle each side of your keep from check-in to check-out, request an “in-room picnic”, talk with workers, and discover out what’s taking place within the space. It’s straightforward to stream Netflix or Spotify out of your cellphone to the enormous good TV. However there’s one obtrusive omission that’s certainly a deal breaker for some: There’s no health club or spa.
In addition to the kitsch, the room decor is extra luxurious loft than suburban treehouse. The flooring are wood, and the naked cement partitions say warehouse, not 9-to-5 wage slaves.
The world rug is a patchwork kilim, the snug membership chair an unidentifiable classic velour. Within the nook close to the walk-in rain bathe is a decadent free-standing copper and metal roll-top soaking bathtub, with rubber ducky and cellphone/pill stand-luxury with a wink. And within the spirit of 1 Lodges, there are nods to sustainability, resembling the massive, refillable bottles of native physique soaps and shampoos. The white cotton sheets are natural, as is the fair-trade Karma Cola within the minibar.
Features can really feel alienating, although. As an alternative of making a fantasy round a ubiquitous idea – being surrounded by nature, for example – the design leans arduous on Americana. A baseball bat sits on a bench subsequent to the closet, with a fielder’s mitt hanging above. Classic bedside studying books resembling Winter Sunshine, by early 20th century American naturalist John Burroughs, are piled below a Magic eight Ball; throughout the room is a tome about baseball playing cards. Just one hard-bound choice, Harvard Classics No. 27, bothered to characteristic English authors. A way of place, it appears, was removed from Sternlicht’s precedence.
The underside lineIt doesn’t take lengthy to understand that Treehouse is Sterlicht’s American dream – not a British one. Certain, treehouses are mythic in Britain, too – suppose Winnie-the-Pooh’s Hundred-Acre Wooden or the Treetop Walkway at London’s Kew Gardens – however the much more ubiquitous British yard fascination is the common-or-garden shed, beloved by everybody from eccentric tinkerers to former British Prime Minister David Cameron as his £25,000 (RM132,000) writing hut.
Finally, Treehouse is just too hemmed inside its forest lookout; the jokes fall flat for anybody exterior the membership. This is perhaps the grasp plan: to present company the sensation of being on trip, not simply in London or Paris or Amsterdam (or no matter cities might come subsequent), but in addition a toddler’s yard in 1950s Anytown, US. A model that doesn’t demand customisation for every market will surely be simpler to scale. – Bloomberg