Walking through a West Elm usually serves as a reminder that, for all your good intentions to fill your apartment with stylish homewares and chic mid-century style furniture, it will never look quite as sleek as the store’s own signature décor. Now, however, you have the chance to (sort of) actualize all your lifestyle dreams by staying in a West Elm boutique hotel, as the brand announces it is venturing into the travel industry.
Slated to launch in the U.S. in 2018, West Elm Hotels will be, unsurprisingly, outfitted entirely with West Elm furniture—from rugs and bed sheets to bar trolleys in the rooms (a nice improvement from your nondescript hotel mini-bar)—and each hotel will have between 100-250 rooms. Rates will range between $175 for a standard and $400 for a suite, and locations are set to include cities like Minneapolis, Savannah, and Detroit. The brand is notably skipping perhaps more obvious locales like New York or Los Angeles, which are already saturated with boutique hotels, and opting for smaller cities where there is presumably less competition.
The key, the company says, is to allow each property to incorporate local designers into the space, in turn reflecting the aesthetic each region is known for. “By adapting the framework design of each hotel to reflect the mood and identity of its host city,” Jim Brett, president of West Elm, said in a statement. “We will continue to engage the adventurous spirit of our customers as they follow us to our next level of hospitality.” According to the Wall Street Journal, the hotels will have details like “marine blue tiles” in the bathrooms or, in the case of Savannah, an “etched copper print” that was discovered in the city’s historical archives and turned into wallpaper. Furthermore, WSJ says, West Elm has already tested out mock rooms in—where else?—a Brooklyn warehouse.
The store is following in the footsteps of high-end furniture mammoth Restoration Hardware, which opened a 14-room hotel and restaurant in New York’s Meatpacking District last year. And with the rise of AirBnb meaning that more and more travelers are looking to immerse themselves in their destination’s community during their trip, it makes sense that West Elm would try to cater to that demographic. The hotels will even have so-called communal areas to draw in guests and locals alike.
That said, the best part of any trip is bringing back one-off designs and local trinkets to decorate your home with: West Elm intends to let guests shop as they stay, with all the furniture and artwork featured in the rooms available to buy via the website.
From: Condé Nast Traveler